Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Secret Drone Wars!

Incirlik Air Base coming in handy about now!

The CIA and U.S. Special Operations forces have launched a secret campaign to hunt terrorism suspects in Syria as part of a targeted killing program that is run separately from the broader U.S. military offensive against the Islamic State, U.S. officials said.

The CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) are flying drones over Syria in a collaboration responsible for several recent strikes against senior Islamic State operatives, the officials said. Among those killed was a British militant thought to be an architect of the terrorist group’s effort to use social media to incite attacks in the United States

The clandestine program represents a significant escalation of the CIA’s involvement in the war in Syria, enlisting the agency’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC) against a militant group that many officials believe has eclipsed al-Qaeda as a threat.

Although the CTC has been given an expanded role in identifying and locating senior Islamic State figures, U.S. officials said the strikes are being carried out exclusively by JSOC. The officials said the program is aimed at terrorism suspects deemed “high-value targets.”

The decision to enlist the CIA and JSOC reflects rising anxiety among U.S. counterterrorism officials about the danger the Islamic State poses, as well as frustration with the failure of conventional strikes to degrade the group’s strength.

Against that backdrop, the Obama administration has turned again to two of its preferred weapons against terrorist groups: the CTC, which pioneered the use of armed drones and led the search for Osama bin Laden, and JSOC, which includes the elite commando unit that carried out the raid that killed the al-Qaeda chief.

The new adversary, however, poses different challenges. Unlike al-Qaeda, the Islamic State has extensive territory, a seemingly endless stream of recruits, and a deep roster of senior operatives, many of whom served in the military of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

The program so far accounts for only a handful of strikes, a tiny fraction of the more than 2,450 conducted in Syria over the past year. That broader U.S.-led assault, which also includes an additional 4,000 strikes in Iraq, has relied on conventional bombs to dislodge the Islamic State from territory it has seized.

The involvement of the CIA complicates one of 44’s remaining counterterrorism policy goals of gradually reversing the agency’s evolution from spy service to paramilitary force. Last year,44 signaled his intent to have the agency cede control of drone strikes to the Defense Department and return the spy service’s focus to more traditional categories of espionage.

Instead, Syria is a new front in a spreading campaign of secret operations and drone strikes that encompasses Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and parts of North Africa.

Faced with those obstacles, administration officials now see the hybrid approach in Syria as a possible way to salvage at least part of 44’s plan. The agency will remain deeply involved in “finding and fixing” terrorism targets in collaboration with JSOC but will leave the “finish” to the military, at least in Syria

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fall Weiß

At dawn on September 1st, Luftwaffe struck at Polish airfields destroying most of the planes before they could get off the ground. With control of the skies assured wicked Wehrmacht began the systematic destruction of railroads and the few communications nodes. From the very outset the Poles mobilization plan was seriously compromised. Before the day ended, chaos reigned at Polish Army HQ.

The first phase of the campaign, fought on the frontiers was over by September 5th and the morning of the 7th found reconnaissance elements of Army Group South’s 10th Army just 36 miles southwest of Warsaw. Meanwhile, also on September 5th, vBock’s Army Group North had cut across the corridor and turned southeast for Warsaw. Units of the 3rd Army reached the banks of the River Narew on September 7th, just 25 miles north of Warsaw. The fast moving armored panzer 'Schwerpunkts' of blitzing attacks left the immobile Polish armies cut up, surrounded and out of supply.


Meanwhile the closing of the inner ring at Warsaw witnessed some tough fighting as the Polish Poznan Army, bypassed in the first week of the war, charged heading and attacked toward Warsaw to the southeast. The German 8th and 10th Armies were put to the test as they were forced to turn some divisions completely around to meet the desperate Polish assault. In the end the gallant attack fell short and by September 19th the Poznan Army surrendered some 100,000 men and Poland’s last intact army.


As this was occurring the second, more deeper envelopment led by General Heinz Guderian’s panzers took the city of Brest-Litovsk on September 17th, and continued past the city where they made contact with the 10th Army spearhead at Wlodowa 30 miles to the south.

The war, for all practical purposes was over by September 17th. Lvov surrendered on the 19th. Warsaw held out until September 27th, gave up the ghost and the last organized resistance ended October 6th with the surrender of 17,000 Polish soldiers at Kock.


The campaign had lasted less than two months and ended in the destruction of the Polish Army and the fourth partition of Poland. German losses were surprisingly heavy considering the brevity of the campaign.


Deutsch casualties total some 48,000 of which 16,000 were killed. Fully one quarter of the panzers the German committed to battle were lost to Polish anti-panzer guns.  Luftwaffe was forced to trash  550 aircraft.


It was not a cheap victory by any means but it did confirm to the generals of  Wehrmacht that the military machine that they had built was indeed the best in the world and worthy of their confidence.


Reaction around the world on 1 Sept 1939?


France - mobilized her military and demanded Deutschland withdraw from Poland.


Great Britain - mobilized her army and RAF (the Navy was mobilized the day before) and demanded Germany withdraw from Poland.


Italy - Announced no military plans or initiatives.


Russia - warned concern for civilian population of Russian descent and fear of Polish bandits would warrant armed intervention. She also mobilized her military.


Great Satan - Demanded a halt of indescriminate bombing of towns and civilians.


Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Swiss - announced neutrality


Deutschland - "Determined to eliminate insecurity and perpetual civil war from the borders of the Reich"


Poland - appealed to Great Britain and France to intervene in honour of the Mutual Assistance Treaty of 1939.


1 September is the day an old world order was violently overturned, chock full of lessons, promises and harbingers that echo still today.

Monday, August 31, 2015

5th Column


Sore spot?

“Trahison des Professeurs: The Critical Law of Armed Conflict Academy as an Islamist Fifth Column”, appeared in the most recent issue of the National Security Law Journal, a student-run publication at the George Mason School of Law.

In a lengthy academic paper, the professor, William C Bradford, proposes to threaten “Islamic holy sites” as part of a war against undifferentiated Islamic radicalism. That war ought to be prosecuted vigorously, he wrote, “even if it means great destruction, innumerable enemy casualties, and civilian collateral damage”.

This “clique of about forty” scholars, Bradford writes, have “converted the US legal academy into a cohort whose vituperative pronouncements on the illegality of the US resort to force and subsequent conduct in the war against Islamism” represent a “super-weapon that supports Islamist military operations” aimed at “American political will” to fight. They are supported by “compliant journalists” marked by “defeatism, instinctive antipathy to war, and empathy for American adversaries”, but Bradford considers the lawyers a greater threat.

The offending legal scholars “effectively tilt the battlefield against US forces [and] contribute to timorousness and lethargy in US military commanders”, he writes. They are among several “useful idiots” who “separate Islam from Islamists by attributing to the former principles in common with the West, including ‘justice and progress’ and ‘the dignity of all human beings’”.

The West Point faculty member urges the US to wage “total war” on “Islamism”, using “conventional and nuclear force and [psychological operations]”, in order to “leave them prepared to coexist with the West or be utterly eradicated”. He suggests in a footnote that “threatening Islamic holy sites might create deterrence, discredit Islamism, and falsify the assumption that decadence renders Western restraint inevitable”.

As may be ascertained - the professor is getting creamed...  

Sunday, August 30, 2015

WoW!

WoW - the Watchers Council- it's the oldest, longest running cyber comte d'guere ensembe in existence - started online in 1912 by Sirs Jacky Fisher and Winston Churchill themselves - an eclective collective of cats both cruel and benign with their ability to put steel on target (figuratively - natch) on a wide variety of topictry across American, Allied, Frenemy and Enemy concerns, memes, delights and discourse.

Every week these cats hook up each other with hot hits and big phazed cookies to peruse and then vote on their individual fancy catchers.

Thusly sans further adieu (or a don"t)

Council Winners






  • *First place with 3 2/3 votes!Puma By DesignBlack Lives Matter Hypocrites Oblivious to Epidemic of Black Violence, Genocide


  • Second place *t* with 2 1/3 votes Bookworm RoomThe collected (nit)wit and un(wisdom) of Bernie Sanders


  • Second place *t* with 2 1/3 votes The Right PlanetJurisdiction, Common Law and Birthright Citizenship


  • Third place *t* with 2/3 votes The Noisy RoomTed Cruz: Rise Of The Evangelical & Constitutional Warrior


  • Third place *t* with 2/3 votes Don SurberAstaire Way To Heaven


  • Third place *t* with 2/3 votes The RazorAmerican Imperialist Baby Killers Racially Profile and Attack Muslim


  • Fourth place *t* with 1/3 votes The Independent SentinelDecorated Green Beret Discharged for Shoving an Afghan Child Rapist


  • Fourth place *t* with 1/3 votes Nice Deb Intel Ops: Hillary broke “So many” laws (Video)


  • Non-Council Winners

    See you next week!

    Friday, August 28, 2015

    The Return Of The Kaga!


    Climb Mount Niitaka!

    Japan has launched the second in its new class of helicopter carrier — the largest Japanese ships since World War II — in a Thursday ceremony in Yokohama.

    The 24,000-ton Kaga (DDH-184) — built by ship builder Japan Marine United — bears the same name as the World War II Imperial Japanese Navy carrier Kaga that was part of Pearl Harbor attack and was sunk in the Battle Midway.

    The ship follows JS Izumo (DDH-183) which entered service in the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) in March.

    The Japanese have said the primary roles of the two ships are anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and humanitarian aid and disaster relief (HADR) operations.

    The ships “heightens our ability to deal with Chinese submarines that have become more difficult to detect,” a JMSDF officer told Asahi Shimbum in March.

    The ships will field seven Mitsubishi-built SH-60k ASW helicopters and seven AgustaWestland MCM-101 mine countermeasure (MCM) helicopters, U.S. Naval Institute’s Combat Fleets of the World.

    There is a potential for the two ships to work with American MV-22s and potentially the short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). However, the Japanese say they have no plans to operate the JSF from either ship.

    When Kaga commissions Japan will have four helicopter carriers. Along with Izumo, Japan has 18,300-ton Hyuga-class helicopter carriers already in commission.

    Thursday, August 27, 2015

    With Friends Like These...

    Problems with rapproachment?

    The Saudi Arabian terrorist suspected of leading a deadly, Iranian-financed attack on a U.S. base has reportedly been captured. State Department officials refused to comment on the reported arrest of Ahmed al-Mughassil, a leader of the Saudi chapter of Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed terrorist group. The group has long been regarded as responsible for the 1996 bombing of Khobar Towers, a U.S. Air Force housing complex, which killed 19 U.S. personnel and wounded hundreds of other people.
     

    Though al-Mughassil has been on the FBI’s list of most wanted terrorists for years, his arrest might have come at an inconvenient time for President Obama’s team. Congress is just weeks away from voting on a deal negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry that would ease sanctions on Iran as part of an accord that is supposed to halt the regime’s nuclear program for the next decade.
     
    A federal judge ruled in 2006 that Iranian “senior leadership” organized the 1996 attack, which al-Mughassil is suspected of leading. “The totality of the evidence at trial . . . firmly establishes that the Khobar Towers bombing was planned, funded, and sponsored by senior leadership in the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth wrote. “The defendants’ conduct in facilitating, financing, and providing material support to bring about this attack was intentional, extreme, and outrageous.”

    Under the terms of the pending nuclear deal, Iran would get as much as $150 billion in sanctions relief. The administration has admitted that at least some of this money will be used to finance more terrorism. “We’ve decided that we need to address the nuclear threat and then turn to the terrorism,” Adam Szubin, acting undersecretary of the treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, told a Senate panel August 5.


    Wednesday, August 26, 2015

    TALOS



    Power Rangers indeed!

    For decades, the U.S. military and its private-sector partners have been working toward a technology straight out of science fiction: robotic suits.


    And it's no surprise. Exoskeletons could add to soldiers' natural strength, letting troops lift seemingly impossible loads and dart across the battlefield at incredible speed

    Currently, the military is exploring creating an Iron Man-like specialized suit through the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) program. The suit would provide soldiers with enhanced mobility and protection, and it would most likely run on top of an exoskeleton base.   

    Today's exoskeletons vary in utility, but they can allow soldiers to carry 17 times more weight than normal and march with significantly less strain on the body. With an XOS 2 suit, for example, a solider can carry 400 pounds but feel the weight of only 23.5

    Although robotic exoskeleton suits have been in development for over 50 years, things really started picking up speed in the 1990s, leading to more and more interest from the U.S military. Now, it's a clear priority.

    As former Air Force Chief of Staff General John Jumper said: "We must give the individual soldier the same capabilities of stealth and standoff that fighter planes have. We must look at the soldier as the system"