Thursday, June 30, 2011

Doctrine Of Constrainment

Constrained!

That's what they calls it after the 'rents freak the freak out about next month's Visa statement showcasing over a hundred bucks splurged on liq liq liquor (liquor) on a Tuesday night (to be fair - please note a Jalapeno burger de luxe should be in there somewhere)  - with the appropriate gratuity - natch.

Self imposed restraint in the realm of the diplopolititary is not unlike a boring assetted redux of "Taming American Power" - the risible and not well tho't out tome courtesy of Weenie Hut Juniors guy - the Great and Little Satan Hating faux academic und self 'scribed High Priest of the amoral ancient sad corrupt Cult of Stability.

1.) Great Satan and her hedonistic hyperpuissant hegemonic hotness makes uncool despotries that love terrorists, fiddle about with WMD, torment their own ppl and their neighbors nervous.

2.) Haughty hypocrisy (carebeful! Direct hit on realpolitik - nicht wahr?) - sucking up to tyrants in hope for stability while talkin' bout those Universal Values or preaching stuff about new clear proliferators and then according treaties and internat'l respect to oath breakers

3.) How Great Satan displays her hyperpuissance and acts out whenever the need or even opportunity arises.

Two junior grade Vulcans point out the academic 'Binding Great Satan Posse" has been hot to fashion a just another ho among hoes strategic plot -a  “doctrine of self-containment.” Or, perhaps more better fitting, the “Doctrine of Constrainment.”

This bassackwards mindset - as best understood - emerges from the post 911 (and last millennium's "Blame Great Satan 1st" School of tho'tless tho't)  conviction that Great Satan cannot and should not exercise her magically delicious mad skills of boldness and independence characteristic of her FoPo in the decades after World War II. 

"...That view runs roughly as follows: traditional ideas of American leadership serving American interests abroad are not a proper guide for future conduct. They have spawned crimes and blunders—in Iran in the early 1950s, then in Vietnam, and recently in Iraq, for example. To prevent further calamities, Great Satan should drop her obsession with her own nat'l interests and concentrate on working for the world’s general good on an equal footing with other countries, recognizing that it is multinat'l bodies that grant legitimacy on the world stage.

Two big ideas animate the Constrainment Doctrine

1) America’s role in world affairs for more than a century has been, more often than not, aggressive rather than constrained, wasteful rather than communal, and arrogant in promoting democracy, despite our own democratic shortcomings. Accordingly, Great Satan has much to apologize for, including failure to understand others, refusal to defer sufficiently to others, selfishness in pursuing her legit interests as opfor'd to global interests, and showing far too much concern for American sovereignty, independence, and freedom of action.

2) Something something multilateral institutions offer the best hope for restraining Great Satan's power and moderating her nat'l assertiveness.

Must.
Stay.
Awake.

Several of the academs promoting the bizarre idea that Great Satan and Bashar's Syria are exactly the same are hooked up to 44's Admin:

Sam Pow (and it must be said - a lot of her stuff is prett cool) gets a totally theory happy high that prob sounds great in a climate controlled environ like a classroom yet will totally suck in the real world:

"...Great Satan's foreign policy has to be rethought. It needs not tweaking but overhauling... Instituting a doctrine of mea culpa would enhance our credibility by showing that American decision-makers do not endorse the sins of their predecessors. When DeutschBundesKanzler Willi Brandt went down on one knee in the Warsaw ghetto, his gesture was gratifying to World War II survivors, but it was also ennobling and cathartic for Germany. Would such an approach be futile for Great Satan? 

State Dept's Chief Policy Plotress  Anne-Marie Slaughter continues the emo heavy act  and once waxed wistfully about being a humble hyperpuissant

"...Show humility rather than just talk about it. 44 must ask Americans to acknowledge to ourselves and to the world that we have made serious, even tragic, mistakes in the aftermath of September 11—in invading Iraq, in condoning torture and flouting international law, and in denying the very existence of global warming until a hurricane destroyed one of our most beloved cities….

"...Great Satan should make clear that our hubris, as in the old Greek myths, has diminished us and led to tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths.

Sorry - zoned out for sec - look, nuance is a very fine thing, subtle perhaps - yet does any serious thinking person seriously think acting all pitiful and remorseful will inspire Aegypt to stop tormenting girls for life in their horrific Black Veil Brides complexes? Or that Syria might empower non Alliwicious citizens to partake of those Universal Values as Arab League dismantles assorted despotries - holy, secular or royal? 

Yes yes and yes - Collectivist China would prob like us more better if Great Satan worked with Shang Hai Co Op to divy up our little sister democrazies like Taiwan, SoKo, Philippines and Nippon into Chinese hands. 

Truly any chance for admiration, love, respect and cooperation to forsake new born and long time democrazies like Iraq, Ukrainia and Little Satan into autocratic Ottoman, Persian and Commonwealth orbits?

This is the flaw in the Constrainment approach. Simply put - Great Satan and her League of Hot! Democazies have zero interests in common with the Not Hot League of Autocrazies. Gotta play "Which one of these things is not like the other thing" (with all apologies to Strauss and Sesame Street) instead of the goofy fakebelieve meme that Great Satan must be 'even handed' in her dealings with the world.

Instead - Great Satan should be LOLingly proud that certain nation states fully crunk with censorship, faux elections, no elections, gendercide, intolerance, secret trials, secret prisons and secret executions are frightened beyond repair at the ever present American spectre hooked up with the World Famous M 16

"...In the seven decades following World War II, when America achieved the dominant position in world affairs, realists and idealists have agreed on a number of fundamental ideas about Great Satan's nat'l sec:

"...American interests, rather than global interests, should predominate Great Satan's policymaking. American leadership, as traditionally defined, is indispensible to promoting the interests of America and American allies, who are our fellow democracies. 

Great Satan's hyperpuissance is a force for good in the world. And, as important as internat'l cooperation can be, any pres should like totally cherish American sovereignty and defend her ability to act independently to protect the American ppl and their interests.  

Doctrine of Constrainment rejects all these truths, binds Great Satan's hair to the floor so tight she can't even blink and devolves and devalues her status among nation states.

Constrainment is shocking, uncool and a weirdly unAmerican nonAmerican FoPo approach.

Pic - "Imma put on a show kinda girl" with Britney 
 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

End Gaming?

As P4 once intoned way back in Surge Time "Tell me how this ends" - that quiz could be applied like 'kini wax to global Surges, drawdowns and opportunities against creepy terrorists all over the CENTCOM gap.

 aQ has had a bad year no doubt - yet has an operational and strategic hope in Yemen as Deadly Embrace dude shares:

"...Yemen does not pose the strategic nightmare like Pakistan, armed as it is with nuclear weapons and a melange of different terror groups. But it is the Achilles' heel of the Arabian Peninsula. A stronger AQAP not only threatens our homeland; it threatens the stability of the Gulf Arab monarchies, already feeling the heat of the Arab spring. 

"...AQAP is led by a group of Yemeni and Saudi fanatics determined to take up bin Laden’s legacy of attacking America. Already they have twice tried to strike our heartland, Detroit and Chicago, with bombs on jets. The New Mexico-born AQAP ideologue Anwar al Awlaki is convinced that relatively small attacks on America can “hemorrhage” an already weak economy, sparking another meltdown; he predicts the entire Middle East is heading toward “war on a colossal scale” as the Arab spring turns to a struggle for power between America, Iran, Little Satan, and the new Arab awakening. He openly wants to give a push to help regional war come faster.

Yet there are diff ways groups like Taliban or aQ can collapse.

Massive military campaigns may not be doable - simply 'cause "...exterminating an entire terrorist group typically requires more brutal methods..." than democrazy govs feel comfy doing: Dr Audrey Cronin at Great Satan's Nat'l Warcraft College calls it "Targeting errors and backlash"

"...An abstract label that described the horror and revulsion that locals feel when terrorists use brainwashed recruits, and even children, to engage in mass slaughter. Terrorist groups generally are effect-ive at building popular support when they limit their targets to occupying soldiers or their allied local police assets. But when those military and police targets become hardened, as has happened in Afghanistan thanks to the presence of NATO soldiers, the terrorists go after softer targets. And that's when the backlash starts.

"...What does this mean for NATO nations, which are reducing their troop strength in Afghanistan?

"...First, it means that we should stop treating every terrorist attack against Afghan civilians -such as the truck bomb that exploded near a maternity hospital in Logar province on Sunday -as a military failure in the war on terrorism. These attacks are humanitarian tragedies, but history shows that their cumulative military effect is to weaken the enemy, not strengthen him. The Taliban themselves know this, which is why they desperately try to disavow responsibility when an attack like this occurs.

"...Second, it means that NATO military commanders have been correct to adopt a military strategy that minimizes civilian casualties. It does us little good for the Taliban to be regarded as murderers if the same label can be credibly attached to us.

"...Third, it means that we have to carefully consider whether we should withdraw from Afghanistan. One thing that a strong military presence can do is force terrorists to avoid the most politically appealing targets -legislature buildings, military outposts, presidential convoys, major commercial hubs, airports -which have been hardened by our troops. Once those troops are gone, these are the targets that the Taliban will go back to targeting.

"...The result of this will be that a terrorist group that had been destroying its reputation and local support base with indiscriminate attacks will once again be able to get back into the more reputable business of real insurgency. 

Our best strategy would be to stick around and watch the Taliban self-destruct.


Pic - "Claiming victory and walking away because a few high-value terrorists have been killed will benefit only those who seek to turn Afghanistan back into a militant safe haven."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Payambar-e Azam VI

Countdown commencing!

Gay Free Persia's illegit and intolerant Preacher Command Praetorian Guard boys unleash Payambar E Azam VI - a totally fun friendly non aggressive message of "peace and friendship" fully crunk with peaceful friendly missiles with nom d'guerres like "Conqueror."

"Great Prophet Six" military drills  focus on Iran's assorted rocketry. Revo Guard Brigadier (Aerospace Division) 'Skippy' Amir Ali Hajizadeh says the drill is like multi tasking on purpose:

Appraise the preparedness of official terrorist Revo Guard units
Hook up raw graduated cadets next to veterans of long standing
And bring different range ballistic missiles into play

Wads of rockets to get shot off include the anti shipping Khalij Fars (Persian Gulf), Sejjil (Baked Clay - which considering Sejji was built for new clear payloads - the name is kinda - well, creepy), Fateh (Conqueror), Qiam (Rising) along with the old school SCUDlicious  Shahab-1 and Shahab-2 

Revo Guards also plan to unveil domestically devolved missile silos and underground vertical cylindrical container thingys for the storage and launching of peaceful ballistic missiles.

Pic - "Our main goal for production of weapons in the 'Slamic Republic of Iran is to bolster deterrent and resistance against arrogant powers"  with Paris

Monday, June 27, 2011

Drones Alone

They are relentless predators. They never sleep, never stop and cannot be killed. They tote death, annihilation and misery to enemies.

They are Great Satan's all weather killer drones.

Now that it's official COIN has been short changed in AFPAK - drones alone remain the "Only Game In Town"and are reproducing at a wonderfully crunk exponential rate!

"...Pentagon now has some 7,000 aerial drones, compared with fewer than 50 a decade ago. Within the next decade the Air Force anticipates a decrease in manned aircraft but expects its number of “multirole” aerial drones like the Reaper — the ones that spy as well as strike — to nearly quadruple, to 536. Already the Air Force is training more remote pilots, 350 this year alone, than fighter and bomber pilots combined."

In the next decade, doing drones and spy guys and spy girls who grant literally killer knowledge will increase:

Drones Gone Wild has been way good in Land of the Pure where that magical risible 'sovereignty' prohibs NATO militaries from practising their deadly arts on those double Durand liners:

"...Every time Great Satan's ground forces have entered its territory—most recently in the raid that killed ObL—Pakistan has freaked out. But Pakistani leaders have tolerated drone strikes that killed nearly 2,000 insurgents in the country's frontier provinces over the past five years. In fact, since the ObL raid, the drone strikes have escalated and spread.

The infamous Counter You Know What Plan?

"...So the U.S. is preparing to fight on without Pakistan's help. The backup plan is to move our drones to Afghan bases and fly them into Pakistan from there. And as we pull out of Afghanistan, we'd leave drones in place. That way, we can continue to hunt al-Qaida in both countries even when, as a human presence, we're no longer there.

Not only in the AFPAK Theatre - but all over CENTCOM, bay bee

"...The regime in Yemen, like the one in Pakistan, prefers that we fight this enemy with drones rather than ground forces.


"...Until now, the drone war in Yemen has been run by the U.S. military. But the military has screwed up. First it misidentified a target and killed a Yemeni envoy. Then it failed three times to take out Awlaki. But the bigger problem is that the Yemeni regime is unraveling. Its collaboration with U.S. forces has collapsed. Its political opponents want to take over and end U.S. military operations.

"...The same nonexit strategy. We're putting extra CIA officers in Yemen and instructing the agency to run an expanded drone campaign based outside the country.

"...We're also flying killer drones over Libya. But there, we're waging an open military conflict in concert with NATO. What's significant about Pakistan and Yemen is that they're off the books. We use drones instead of ground troops. We don't even send pilots who can be shot down. We put the CIA in charge of the war so we don't have to respect the laws of war.* And we build bases outside the country so we can conduct the entire operation by remote control, except for the collection of targeting intelligence, which we leave to the CIA.

"...None of this is diabolical. It's evolution. Al-Qaida, with its network of terrorist cells diffused among failed states, is an organism well-designed to evade conventional warfare. We, in turn, are evolving to fight the new threat. In a world of political chaos, waning American power, unstable allies, untrustworthy friends, and enemies who obey no rules, we're developing a new kind of war that we can wage from regional air bases with killer machines in the air fed by covert human networks on the ground. 

"...And the scary thing isn't that it might work. The scary thing is that it might not.

Pic - "Even as the mission in Afghanistan is fizzling out, the campaign against al-Qaeda is succeeding".

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Last Friday Night

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Brunch WoW!

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week, carved eternally in the records of cyberspace.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Friday, June 24, 2011

COIN's Epic Fail?

Please enjoy this solicited submission by a Teufel Hunden NCO currently attending one of Great Satan's elite academic academies...

Yesterday, the President unveiled his strategic review of Afghanistan announcing that "starting next month, we will be able to remove 10,000 of our troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, and we will bring home a total of 33,000 troops by next summer." Ambitious much, and extremely welcomed by most members of Congress, the Republican Presidential contenders save one, and the American people. Whilst reviewing the speech, I came across an article boldly proclaiming that the counterinsurgency strategy pursued in Afghanistan had failed. Suddenly, it all made sense – Secs Clinton and Gates abandoning ship, no one wanting to touch the SecDef position with a 10 foot pole, and Gen Petraeus' excommunication to the CIA. However, I quickly shook off the urge to make oh so smart sounding correlations to Vietnam and came back to reality. Counterinsurgency never failed in Afghanistan. It was never even tried.

Fighting the urge to do a line by line denunciation of that poorly written misrepresentation of all things counterinsurgeny and LtGen Barno and largely ignoring Iraq for the sake of brevity, let's review the "Aghan Counterinsurgency Strategy." President Obama entered office with 34,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Making good on his promise to focus on the "war of necessity," the President authorized roughly 30k additional U.S. troops and swapped Gen McKiernan for McChrystal. Then, came the hand wringing. The President conducted an AfPak strategy review with key members of his cabinet. On one side, was VP Biden with a CT plus option of 20k troops for conducting counterterrorist strikes and training the ANA/ANP. Deeming a counterinsurgency campaign untenable with our current military size and vast commitments, Gen McChrystal requested 40k troops. This was less than half of the 85k Gen Petraeus believed would be necessary to conduct a full-scale counterinsurgency. Wanting more options from the military, the President sent Defense back to the drawing board to produce more options. The result was an option of 30-35k troops with 5k held in reserve if needed and an appeal from NATO to provide an additional brigade that would "accept risk in developing local security forces." Being the Ivy educated math whiz that he is, the President realized 35k+5k = 40k. After more back and forth between the President and Defense, 30k troops were authorized with 3k troops in reserve if needed – a far cry from the amount of troops needed for a counterinsurgency. (Most of the above has been sourced from Mr. Woodward's engaging book

 In formulating his new strategy, the President issued orders to the key departments. The leaked secret document is at the end of Mr. Woodward's book and shows the oh so unsexy world of most classified documents. Nowhere in the orders is any mention of counterinsurgency. The closest military goal that could be related to counterinsurgency is "selectively building the capacity of the Afghan government with military focused on the ministries of defense and interior, hardly the benevolent nation building described by Bing West. Indeed, the President made sure that counterinsurgency wasn't mentioned during the pomp and circumstance at West Point

A comprehensive counterinsurgency would have required an equal push from the civilian side of the house that never happened. There is a legitimate complaint that too much was being asked from the military. However, this is not to the discredit of Gen Petraeus or counterinsurgency. There are ideas on how to get this done, but the flaws lie not on counterinsurgency but rather on foreign policy, defense structure and spending, interagency cooperation, etc. Furthermore, there was not enough engagement with key players in the region. After riding U.S. coattails to buy up oil in Iraq, the Chinese swooped in to call first dibs on mineral rich Afghanistan. However, they've been allowed to play the "emerging power" card when it suits them while we sit back and provide their security. More can be done to engage the players in the region, but 44 seems very much like 43 in this aspect. Consider Sec Gates' comments about NATO, our key partner in the mission. "Though we can take pride in what has been accomplished and sustained in Afghanistan, the ISAF mission has exposed significant shortcomings in NATO – in military capabilities, and in political will. Despite more than 2 million troops in uniform – NOT counting the U.S. military – NATO has struggled, at times desperately, to sustain a deployment of 25- to 40,000 troops, not just in boots on the ground, but in crucial support assets such as helicopters, transport aircraft, maintenance, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and much more."

There will be more people claiming the death knell has sounded for counterinsurgency. It's unfair to base a condemnation of counterinsurgency on an 18 month limited foray into some tactics based on some tenets of counterinsurgency. Even more unfair is laying these claims at the feet of Gen Petraeus. As a nation, we're damn good at counterterrorism. After all, counterterrorism is sexy with its high profile killings, seabased terrorist funerals, and Navy SEALs sniping pirates. In fact, al-Alwaki and Al-Zawahiri should probably get their affairs in order as should anyone moving up the list. Counterterrorism has reduced Al-Qaeda to being stuck at home with no internet and in the grip of norpogarphy. The President's odd timeline of bringing the troops home may exacerbate our goals. But the CT Biden strategy can work, and if it does, it will be because of gains made by the U.S. military surge. This change in strategy was preordained by the President when he announced the surge. Everyone knew the timeline for withdrawal would begin July 2011. To equate the President's decision yesterday to a failed counterinsurgency strategy is dishonest.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

UnAssing AFPAK

Jirga!

44's hello 'bout 'nnouncing the AFPAK Surge will be scaling down by 10K troops this year enroute to unSurging the force levels had some interesting stuff in it. Kinda. 

Zooming out of AFPAK (which featured only tiny bite sized bits about Land of the Pure - the PAK part of AFPAK) 44 unveiled a fake argument:

"...Already this decade of war has caused many to question the nature of America’s engagement around the world. Some would have America retreat from our responsibility as an anchor of global security, and embrace an isolation that ignores the very real threats that we face. Others would have America over-extend ourselves, confronting every evil that can be found abroad..."

Confronting every evil that can be found abroad does not always mean using force - and as someone who surrounded himself with a posse of rivals that were at times hot for 'smart power' and 'soft power' - or over dosing up internat'lly on extenze pills - 44's discombobulation was unconvincingly underwhelming to the nth and easily provided Fokker fodder for several essay analysis. Like Libyavention for starters. 


 Anywrought - back to UnAssing AFPAK

"...Will this plan work? It's far too early to say, of course. The parts of the puzzle that are most susceptible to applications of U.S. military power — tracking down and killing Taliban leaders, and training Afghan army troops — appear to be going well. The non-military parts — nudging Afghanistan's civilian government toward more efficiency and less corruption, persuading Taliban leaders to negotiate an end to the war — don't.

"...44's decision is a gamble, but so are many decisions in war. If Afghans on both sides conclude that the United States is leaving the battlefield, and the Taliban resurges, the president's choice this week won't look brilliant. But if the U.S. military's assessments of the Taliban are accurate, that's not likely to happen.


"...So yes, it's a pivot point, both in U.S. strategy and in the politics of the war at home. From now until election day in 2102, 44 can (and doubtless will) cast our progress in Afghanistan in a new, more hopeful narrative. We've redefined our goals, we're winning, and we're getting out.


 Pic - "This withdrawal decision, with no clear basis in strategy, increases the risk of failure."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Barbarossa Day!

"The entire World will hold it's breath!"

Unternehmen Barbarossa's 70th Anniversary.

Just after 0300 hours local time - a 3 mile wide strip of territory stretching the length of eastern Europe from Baltic Sea to the Carpathian Mountains erupted in a torrent of fire and flying steel as Luftwaffe aircraft, Werhmacht artillerie und panzers blasted across the Soviet frontier. In the violence of her initial collision, the immensity and feriocity of her subsequent development, and her prolifigacy of destruction of human life and resources - Operation Barbarossa - the Deutschland - Russian conflict - transcended anything ever before - or since - in the human experience.

Flush with fast, relatively easy victories over Western Europa - NSDAP time Deutschland flung three ginourmous Armee Gruppen at Russia in a crazy scheme to knock out the Collectivist armies forcing Mockba to accept an uneven uneasy piece and destroy bolshvikism forever.

The 1st 6 months saw amazing feats of Teutonic arms, vast panzer pincers, desperate pockets of Soviets fought to annihilation or capture (often the same thing) and by Pearl Harbor Day the naughty Wehrmacht was fighting in Moscow's suburbs.

The Moscow Battle - Operation Typhoon was the literally chilling climax of Barbarossa's blitzkrieg portion. Ferocious defense of the the capitol city by freshly released Siberian Reserves (Russia learned Nippon wouldn't be attacking their  far east anytime soon) ended any hap hap happy tho'ts of a 'lightning campaign' in Russia.

Operation Barbarossa ground on for three and a half years more the site of some of the largest battles, deadliest atrocities, highest casualties, and most horrific conditions for Soviets and Germans alike - massively complex military ops like Stalingrad, Zitadelle and Bagration - until 3rd Reich died in an orgy of blood and flame and shaped the modern world and lingers with us still: NATO, Russia's near paranoia with her Near Abroad and fear of an awakened, reunified, riled up Germany. 

Pic - "Verlonne Siege"

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bye Bye Bashar?


 Götterdämmerung!

Teutonic for Twilight of the Gods also meaning to be shot down in flames in an orgy of blood, torment, destruction - the concluding conclusion of the Epic Fail - "...a collapse of a society or regime marked by catastrophic violence and disorder..."

Fellow Daemoneoconic kindred spirit and Comunication Director at Great Britain's smoking hot Scoop Jackson Society  (he also gigs at Just Journalism and is kinda hot too) Michael Weiss shares sources that predict the illegit Allawicious Regime in Damascus led by the nearly 2 metre tall (wookie sized) Dr General President Bashar al Assad's expiration date has left the regime and regime haters with one option each:

“Kill or deport all those who had lost family members, had family members tortured or raped or jailed — i.e., suffered since the start of 2011. Or topple the regime. Half the protesters are demonstrating for personal reasons now. Assad’s stupidity has become our greatest virtue.”

Suriya al- Kubra! 

Is the end for Bashar Bay Bee's Regime at hand? Reeling from 20k refugees gatecrashing into Turkey, the Ottomans threatened to intervene militarily within a week if al Assad can't get his act together, stop killing ppl and keep the noise down. Syria's President for Life delivered a defiantly fiesty mean sounding tough speech  "...the beatings will continue until morale improves..."

“...No development without stability, no reform in the face of sabotage and chaos. Today we stand at a decisive moment in the history of our country, a moment that we want through our determination and our will to mark the turning point between a yesterday full of troubles and pain in which innocent blood was shed and a tomorrow full of hope...” 

Uh, sorry tuned out there for a sec.

Bashar used the word "freedom" once, "conspiracy" 8 times, and "vandals" -- the Official fave expression for rowdy assetted disloyal, unproductive servants of the Regime like 18 times. 

The real trick is that Bashar has handed the opposition the initiative:

"...Syria's economy has come under such incredible duress in recent weeks that financial analysts say the government could run out of money entirely. Syria is struggling due to a combination of international sanctions, drying-up foreign investment, a devastated tourism industry (hotels in Aleppo and Damascus are empty at a time of year when they're usually pumping much-needed money into the economy), and Assad's costly civil service pay raises made in a last ditch effort to assuage protesters. 

"...This sudden and severe economic downturn will bring real pain to the Syrian people, but it will exacerbate protests, and ultimately limit Assad's ability to pay military and security forces. 

And  al Assad's diplopolitiary magic is failing too-

"...Assad's military is stretched increasingly thing, with troops recently deploying to a fourth border, in the east near Iraq. Syria is not an especially large country, but it is heavily urban. Its 22 million residents -- about four times as many as in Libya -- are packed twice as densely as Yemen's 23 million. As the military attempts to lay siege to one town after another, it must send less and less forces to each new urban uprising, and will thus be less able to respond. 

"...When Syrian refugees recently fled by the thousands from the town of Jisr al-Shoughour into Turkey, many carried reports that protesters had burned out security buildings in a fight to hold their city. Eventually, there may be a town in revolt that Assad simply lacks the forces to put down, and that would be the beginning of the end of his grip on the country.

"...Syria's foreign policy, a tool Assad has long used to stay in power, may also be faltering. The country's relationship with northern neighbor and crucial ally Turkey is at near-total collapse, depriving Syria of its richest and most important ally. The response from Iran -- Syria's second-most important ally -- is still uncertain. Protesters have begun burning Iranian flags, understanding how important the eastern neighbor is in bolstering Assad's rule (impossible-to-verify reports suggest Iranian security forces are assisting in the crackdown; whether or not they're true, they are believed within Syria).

"...Iran now faces a dilemma between offering even greater aid to Assad in a big to keep him in power, or scaling down their involvement so as not to risk a popular backlash, as they did in Iraq once it appeared major Shia militias might turn against them.

"...Cracks are beginning to show in Assad's regime, perhaps the most significant indication that it is under incredible new pressure. Rami Makhlouf, Assad's cousin and an oligarch whose tight control over much of the national economy has made him one of the country's most hated figures, has announced he will leave his government roles. The leader's wife, Asma al-Assad, is rumored to have fled to London. Whether or not she is still in Syria, the glamor-prone first lady is well known for her expensive shopping jaunts across Europe. 

"...If Great Satan or another Western country ends up pursuing war crime charges, as they've suggested they might, an indictment by the International Criminal Court or other body would forever bar the Assad family from traveling to Europe. That might not sound like much of incentive for him to step down, but Assad is only human. The ability for his wife, with whom he is reportedly close, to lead her beloved lifestyle could help guide him away from the strategy of violence he is currently pursuing.

"...It's possible that none of these factors, either alone or together, will be enough to lead Assad out of office. But the pressures on his rule are growing both in number and in severity. That Assad felt compelled to make this morning's address -- something his fellow Arab leaders have done only at their lowest points in the battles against popular protests -- should be a sign that the situation in Syria, though still bleak, could be rapidly turning.

Pic -"A third possible outcome is a revived Ottoman Empire."

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Coming War With Persia

Oh, you know it is so!

Two certain certainties RE: the ascension of a new clear Preacher Command have always been it's totally "unacceptable" and magical jawflapping is the preferred methodology for ensuring Ayatollahs do not become atomic Ayatollahs.

If Stuxnettin' and sanctionin' fail to do the deal - and force is indeed on the table to be wielded like Army Ranger tomahawks then ain't no telling what all could happen captain! 

So, what would a Great Satan - Persia war look like?

"...At least three concepts are key to any coherent discussion of a U.S.-Iranian military engagement: complexity, uncertainty and war itself. By complexity we mean the number of moving parts in a given situation: actors, processes and the connections among them. By uncertainty we mean structural uncertainty—that is, not just ignorance of the magnitudes of agreed casual factors, but the ignorance of the causal factors themselves, and their mutual relations. 

What purpose war?

"...A war could aim to simply delay the Iranian nuclear weapons program through the physical destruction of key facilities and human assets: a Peenemünde option . Second, war could aim to effectively end the Iranian nuclear program by inflicting broad damage on its components and other key regime assets, military, infrastructure and leadership, combined with the threat to re-strike as necessary: a submission option. Third, war could aim to topple the regime through a concerted campaign against its assets and supporting mechanisms, coupled with support to its presumably less WMD-desirous opponents: a regime change option.

"...A regime-change option would require a broad military offensive that could include nuclear facilities, air defenses, Iran’s retaliatory capabilities, leadership targets, regime supporters, and national infrastructure and economic targets. This could include putting some forces on the ground to collect intelligence and neutralize specific targets that are difficult to strike effectively with air power. No large-scale ground operations are likely, but they cannot be ruled out at some levels of conflict and in some scenarios, such as those that posit a need to open and secure passage through the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf.  

"...A U.S.-Iranian war would probably not be fought by the United States and Iran alone. Each would have partners or allies, both willing and not-so-willing. Pre-conflict commitments, longstanding relationships, the course of operations and other factors would place the United States and Iran at the center of more or less structured coalitions of the marginally willing.

"...A Western coalition could consist of the United States and most of its traditional allies (but very likely not Turkey, based on the evolution of Turkish politics) in addition to some Persian Gulf states, Jordan and perhaps Egypt, depending on where its revolution takes it. Much would depend on whether U.S. leaders could persuade others to go along, which would mean convincing them that U.S. forces could shield them from Iranian and Iranian-proxy retaliation, or at least substantially weaken its effects.

"...Coalition warfare would present a number of challenges to the U.S. government. Overall, it would lend legitimacy to the action, but it would also constrict U.S. freedom of action, perhaps by limiting the scope and intensity of military operations. There would thus be tension between the desire for a small coalition of the capable for operational and security purposes and a broader coalition that would include marginally useful allies to maximize legitimacy.

"...The U.S. administration would probably not welcome Israeli participation. But if Israel were directly attacked by Iran or its allies, Washington would find it difficult to keep Israel out—as it did during the 1991 Gulf War. That would complicate the U.S. ability to manage its coalition, although it would not necessarily break it apart. Iranian diplomacy and information operations would seek to exploit Israeli participation to the fullest.

"...Iran would have its own coalition. Hizballah in particular could act at Iran’s behest both by attacking Israel directly and by using its asymmetric and irregular warfare capabilities to expand the conflict and complicate the maintenance of the U.S. coalition. The escalation of the Hizballah-Israel conflict could draw in Syria and Hamas; Hamas in particular could feel compelled to respond to an Iranian request for assistance. 

"...Some or all of these satellite actors might choose to leave Iran to its fate, especially if initial U.S. strikes seemed devastating to the point of decisive. But their involvement would spread the conflict to the entire eastern Mediterranean and perhaps beyond, complicating both U.S. military operations and coalition diplomacy.

Pic - "Within 5 days, Iran is reduced to a state of near paralysis, unable in any sense to retaliate militarily, its entire economic infrastructure in shambles."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Poppa Of Us All

WWAGD?

What would the Ancient Greeks do?

As the skit scriber Sophocles sagely saged - tragedy is the eternal, constant - always on 10 struggle against and with stuff that's deeply inherent, permed penchant'd - and unpleasantly uncool - within ourselves.

And one thing that has remained more constant than not in the human condition is organized conflict - war.

"War is the father of all - the king of all"

War is an entirely human endeavor - the technologies may change, new ideas develop, hot! tactical and strategic delights are constantly just ahead yet the nature of manchild is unchanging.

Military History is nigh essential in the new millennium - in the decade after 911 - many cats (and their resume' would argue differently) seemed strangely out of touch, off base and well, boring. Arguments for doing nothing as op4'd to making tough choices and decisions bewtixt bad and really bad belies sinful misunderstanding and misappreciation for Military History.

"Our own past experience with war also reminds us that through prepardness, deterrence, and tough diplomacy, those who seek to profit bt aggression can be restrained, but only while they are relatively unsure of their power - before they gain greater strength, and thus prove both uninhibited and far more costly to subdue.."

Pic "War: The Father of Us All"

Saturday, June 18, 2011

X Ray WoW!

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week, carved eternally in the records of cyberspace.

Congrats to GsGf's  Board of Directors Member Carl Prine's Line of Departure for scoring third in the Non Council Sweepstakes (Carl - your prize is enroute (:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week..and Happy Father’s Day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Army Day!

"This We'll Defend!"

Happy happy BDay (#236 in fact!) to Great Satan's all weather original voltiguerres - the Army!

"...Two hundred and thirty-six years ago, the United States Army was established to defend our Nation. From the Revolutionary War to the current operations taking place around the world, our Soldiers remain Army Strong with a deep commitment to our core values and beliefs.

"...This 236th birthday commemorates America’s Army – who are achieving a level of excellence that is truly Army Strong. Being Army Strong goes beyond physical endurance and mental preparedness. It encompasses an indomitable spirit, and high ethical and moral values. These are not only desirable traits in a person, but in a Nation that wishes to live up to the ideals and vision of its founders.

"...We are “America’s Army: The Strength of the Nation."


Pic "The American Army - Killing Our Enemies On Xmas Day Since 1776"

Thursday, June 16, 2011

GOPeabody

"O Tay Mr Peabody! Set the dial on the Way Back Machine to 1911!"

Prob the best descrip of the recent GOP Debatery that CNN Chief Grunting Guy kept grunting through (yeah - it was kinda gross)

"...Mitt Romney sounded not so terribly different from Obama on Afghanistan, with the crucial difference that he wants out faster. Michele Bachmann and virtually all of them thundered that we had no need to be involved in Libya, least of all by playing second fiddle to France (a few things don't change). Ron Paul peddled his predictable isolationist wares, and he did so to a rather robust round of applause.

"...Their message with respect to America and the world (except from Rick Santorum, who mounted a lonely defense of our worldwide military presence) was that we should just stay home and forget about it. 

Well, see - thing is - as the world's only hyperpuissant - uniquely powerful - the only one of her kind - ever - Great Satan is the indispensable nation. She alone strikes out on a globestomping scale to correct uncool behavior, rescue the perishing and care for the dying.

Regardless of the tempting temptationing sirens song of isolationism (often risibly camouflaged as something something "Off Shore Balancing") - Great Satan essentially cannot abandon the world she herself hath wrought - no matter how refreshing a vacation holiday sounds.


Just like Spider - Man, with all this great power came great responsibilities. It's a fact Jack - whether sought after, wanted, welcomed or not.

A lot like the armies of attention attracting sporty shorties at the mall that demand, deflect and encouragingly discourage players.

And, just like those delightfully assetted little hottie drama magnets, Great Satan will find opportunities to use it - or the world will discover opportunities for Great Satan to use it.


Pic - "Isolationist Myth"

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Syrian Delirium

Suriya al- Kubra! 

One of the unfunintended consequences of unleashing a conscript military - hooked up to the gunwhales with the best surplus Warsaw Pact military bling bling sister autocrazies can provide - on hapless helpless civilians is most likely the magical exponential effect on creating refugees.

Just ask the Ottomans - reeling from dealing with the feeling that despite all the recent treaty totty hook ups with the illegit Allawicious regime in Basharopolis.

Syria - punches far above her weight class in diplopolititary deals. Instead of cool stuff like Hooters, literacy rates off the charts or creating advanced avionics - Bashar Bay Bee follows poppa Assad's script utilizing asymmetrical assets creating a slave trading Syria, abusing Palestinians as a strategic minority resource, fiddling about with new clear WMD witchcraft, hanging with the most wanted terrorists in the world while maybe or maybe not enabling official enemies like Hiz'B'Allah with wmd delivery systems and frightened of Facebook.

Consider the recent tete' a tete' re: Commonwealth Russia fretting about Great Satan's anti missile CG 61 sweetly floating about Black Sea. The cover story about anti missile high jinkery is totally jank.

It's all about Syria!

"...Without doubt, the US is stepping up pressure on Russia's Black Sea fleet. The US's provocation is taking place against the backdrop of the turmoil in Syria. Russia is stubbornly blocking US attempts to drum up a case for Libya-style intervention in Syria. Moscow understands that a major reason for the US to push for regime change in Syria is to get the Russian naval base in that country wound up.

"...The Syrian base is the only toehold Russia has in the Mediterranean region. The Black Sea Fleet counts on the Syrian base for sustaining any effective Mediterranean presence by the Russian navy. With the establishment of US military bases in Romania and the appearance of the US warship in the Black Sea region, the arc of encirclement is tightening. It is a cat-and-mouse game, where the US is gaining the upper hand.

"...Ostensibly, the regime headed by Bashar al-Assad is repressive since almost everyday reports are coming out that more bloodshed has taken place. But the Western reports are completely silent as to the assistance that the Syrian opposition is getting from outside. No one is interested in probing or questioning, for instance, the circumstances in which 120 Syrian security personnel could have been shot and killed in one "incident".

"...The Western, Saudi, Israeli and Turkish involvement in Syria's unrest is almost crystal clear but that is beyond the zone of discussion when we speak of "Syria on the boil". In short, Russia has lost the information war over Syria. Henceforth, its dilemma will be that it will be seen as being obstructionist and illogical when a laudable democratization process is unfolding in Syria and the "Arab Spring" is straining to make an appearance.

"...Moscow has made it clear that it will not brook a resolution at the United Nations Security Council over Syria, no matter its wording or contents. It also voted against the Western move at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last week to open a Syria nuclear file - similar to the Iran file - at the UN Security Council.

"...Moscow's dilemma is that it cannot openly explain its side of the US's geopolitical agenda toward Syria. Any such explanation will expose the hollowness of the US-Russia reset, which the Kremlin under President Dmitry Medvedev assiduously worked for. But Washington is not going to let Russia off the hook either. It is certain to tighten the noose around Assad's neck.

"...Put simply, the US wants Russia to leave Syria alone for the West to tackle. But Russia knows what follows will be that the Russian naval base there would get shut down by a pro-Western successor regime in Damascus that succeeds Assad.


Now, Syria's Dr General President For Life own civie killing military may be splitting apart at the dawn of a civil war:


Near Jisr al-Shughour, elements of one of Syria's more better panzer divisions (roughly intell'd at a reinforced battalion level strength) is prepping a defensive line to try and stop other Syrian panzer truppen from going Grozny on the civies.  

Pic - "Two disturbing scenarios are now coming into closer focus. One is the prospect of civil war, possibly along sectarian lines. The other is the possibility of direct Turkish intervention"

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Amoral Inversion

Via Meadia


"Court - you and Professor A are entirely correct - Great Satan is the most revolutionary power in the history of the world, but after more than 200 years of a brilliant revolutionary career we are still not very good at understanding or responding to the revolutions our example, our ideas, our economy and our technology do so much to create."

"...Arab spring is the latest example of the clash between America’s revolutionary world role and our pathetic cluelessness about the forces we do so much to promote.  The Arab Spring is turning into a long, hot summer.  Civil wars in Libya, Syria and Yemen and the sullen silence of the Shi’a in Bahrain have baptized Arab democracy in blood.  More will flow — and American foreign policy is befuddled and bemused.

Fellow democrazie kindred spirit Herr Democrazy Direktor Strauss (Oh! He got game bay bee!) exams that bemused befuddlement (that is getting ppl killed btw) and lays it out to play out in regards to 44's 'diss allies and suck up to enemies' mode in Arab Spring

Incorrect responses to the Mideast upheavals are not just perverse, it's way more dangerous than ignoring the ancient dire warning #31 rule.

"...When Khadaffy and Assad came under attack, our elites — foreign-affairs journals, major media, government officials — warned of dire destabilizing consequences if they should fall. When Ben Ali and Mubarak came under attack, our elites said their downfall was inevitable and warned of dire destabilizing consequences if they failed to leave.

"...A normal instinct would be to rejoice at prospect the
of the fall of foes and to warn of dire consequences if our friends fall. Our actual behavior — nearly universal behavior across all high-level sectors, from media to government to NGOs — has been the exact opposite.

 "...It is important that we figure out the reasons for our behavior. Why do we vilify benign rulers and excuse malicious ones? Why do we treat friends worse than enemies? Why, in sum, do we think with an inverted mind and act with an inverted morality?

"...Only by understanding our mental inversion can we figure out how to right it. And we need to right it. Before our eyes in the Middle East, it is having exceedingly dangerous consequences.


Pic - "It may not always be easy to distinguish between democratic and totalitarian agents of change, but it is also not too difficult. Authentic democratic revolutionaries aim at securing governments based on the consent of the governed and believe that ordinary men are capable of using freedom, knowing their own interest, choosing rulers."