Thursday, June 30, 2016

Arab Tribes Must Fight the Islamic State

The tribes in eastern Syria have been driven in different directions by the Assad regime, outside actors, and their own self-interest, leaving the coalition with a complex web to untangle before it can fully uproot IS.

This week, Kurdish and Arab fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces pushed west into Islamic State-controlled territory in a bid to seize the town of Manbij. Only days earlier, however, the beginnings of a longer southward campaign -- to retake the IS "capital" of Raqqa -- were set in motion when the SDF began attacking IS positions in Balikh Valley, about fifty kilometers north of the city.

The latter offensive is far from a blitzkrieg that will bring the SDF to the outskirts of Raqqa promptly; for one thing, the Kurds may be distracted by their oft-stated goal of continuing westward toward Afrin in order to link up their two border enclaves (see PolicyWatch 2542, "The Die Is Cast: The Kurds Cross the Euphrates"). Yet the SDF's main military patron, the United States, has another reason to be cautious about the Raqqa timeline -- before the coalition even thinks about launching a final push on the city, it must rally the Arab tribes in the area, some of whom have pledged allegiance to IS. 

Any such effort will require a thorough understanding of the evolving role that tribes have played there, first under the Assad regime and now under IS rule.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Strategic Reversal

In a new Contingency Planning Memorandum produced by the Council on Foreign Relations' Center for Preventive Action, Seth Jones, director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation, considers what an unraveling of the political and security situation over the next 18 months would mean for Afghanistan and what can be done to prevent it. 

Progress achieved in Afghanistan since 2001 has recently come under threat from a resurgent Taliban and growing instability of the Afghan government, notes Jones in “Strategic Reversal in Afghanistan.”
A collapse of Afghanistan's national unity government—already plagued by corruption, slow economic growth, and poor governance—could embolden the Taliban to make advances on major urban areas, which in turn would further undermine support for the government. 

A reversal could increase the number of extremist Islamic groups operating in Afghanistan, lead to regional instability, and foster the perception that the United States is not a reliable ally. Jones recommends several steps the United States can take to avoid such an outcome:
  • Sustain the current number and type of U.S. military forces through the end of the Obama administration. Approximately 10,000 U.S. forces are currently in Afghanistan. “President Obama should refrain from cutting the number of U.S. forces to 5,500, as he promised to do by the end of his presidency.”
  • Decrease constraints on U.S. forces in Afghanistan. “President Obama should grant the military new authorities to strike the Taliban and Haqqani network, as he did with ISIL-KP in January 2016.”
  • Sustain U.S. support for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. “The United States should commit to providing at least $3.8 billion per year for the next five years” to sustain the Ministry of Defense's and Interior's costs.
  • Focus U.S. diplomatic efforts on resolving acute political challenges. The United States should focus “on working with the Afghan government and political elites to reach a consensus on contentious issues such as electoral reform.” With a push to organize parliamentary and district council elections, “it makes little sense to hold elections until there is electoral reform, and Afghanistan should not hold a loya jirga until there is a broader consensus on its ultimate purpose.”
  • Address economic grievances that could trigger violent unrest. U.S. diplomats, working with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, could focus on alleviating poor agricultural harvests, rising unemployment, and energy shortages, as well as other issues that exacerbate public opposition.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Fallujah’s Forever War

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, desperate for a victory, declared last week that Fallujah had been liberated. Iraqi commanders said they were just clearing remaining pockets of Islamic State fighters. But U.S. military officials said the battle for the iconic Islamic State stronghold is far from over, and that only roughly one-third of the city had been recaptured from the jihadist group.

Inside Fallujah, 

It’s clear the clashes are continuing. Black smoke rose from airstrikes in the north of the city over the weekend, and the rattle of heavy machine gun fire and the thud of mortars echoed from adjoining neighborhoods.

 Tens of thousands of civilians have managed to flee unharmed, but now face another struggle for survival in makeshift desert camps without enough water or even toilets and where health care workers say they are treating over 1,000 undernourished people per day.

 After the Iraqi government unexpectedly launched the Fallujah battle in May, it took five weeks to fight into the center of the city. Retaking the provincial capital of Ramadi this year took 18 months and left the city heavily damaged.

 In fact at least 80,000 people stayed in Fallujah, and almost all of them are now under suspicion by security forces of supporting the Islamic State. As the families have escaped the city, Iraqi security forces have separated the men and older boys from their families, taking them away for screening. They spend days in an overcrowded warehouse with little food or water, where security forces lack the computers necessary to verify their identities.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Naval Review in 2030

Vampire! Vampire! Vampire!

The most powerful navies in 2030 will be a reflection of the broader state of the world. Some countries are invested in preserving the current international order, and see naval power as a means to maintain it. Other emerging countries are building navies commensurate with their newfound sense of status, often with an eye towards challenging that order.

 
The United States, the dominant naval power worldwide in 1945, will continue to dominate the seas eighty-five years later. By 2030 the Navy will be halfway through its thirty-year shipbuilding plan and have built three Gerald R. Ford–class aircraft carriers to begin replacing existing Nimitz-class carriers. Amphibious ship numbers should be slightly higher than current numbers, and the first ship in class to replace the Ohio ballistic missile submarines should enter service in 2031.

In surface combatants, all three Zumwalt-class cruisers will be in service—assuming the program remains fully funded—and the Navy will have built thirty-three more Arleigh Burke–class destroyers. A next-generation version of the Littoral Combat Ship will enter production in 2030.

Under current plans the U.S. Navy should reach its three-hundred-ship goal between 2019 and 2034, but after that period the number of surface combatants begins to drop. These plans also assume a higher than average shipbuilding budget, while at the same time the service must compete with the budget demands of other services—particularly the Air Force—and domestic programs. While U.S. naval superiority isn’t ending any time soon, the period after 2030 will be a critical one.

 Great Britain
The Royal Navy of 2030 will be paradoxically the smallest and yet most powerful in the history of the United Kingdom. A combination of two new aircraft carriers, restoring fixed-wing flight to navy after a forty-year hiatus, and a fleet of ballistic-missile submarines will keep a numerically inferior Royal Navy in the top five.
The Royal Navy’s surface fleet, currently at nineteen destroyers and frigates, will shrink even further to six Type 45 guided-missile destroyers and eight Global Combat Ship frigates. The number of nuclear-powered attack submarines will remain constant at seven.

The Royal Navy is responsible for the UK’s nuclear deterrent and currently operates four Vanguard-class nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarines, each equipped with sixteen launch tubes for Trident D-5 missiles. The Vanguard class is expected to be replaced with the Successor class starting in 2028.


China
The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) of 2030 will continue to build on the ground broken by the PLAN of 2016. Currently, China has four major ship hulls it seems to be content with: the Type 052D guided-missile destroyer, Type 054A frigate, Type 056 corvette and Type 071 amphibious transport. All four are mature designs in large-scale production that will form the bulk of the fleet in 2030.
By one prediction, by 2030 the PLAN will have ninety-nine submarines, four aircraft carriers, 102 destroyers and frigates, twenty-six corvettes, seventy-three amphibious ships and 111 missile craft, a whopping 415 ships in total, to approximately 309 in the U.S. Navy of 2030. This would put China in a solid position as the world’s largest navy by number of ships—though not by total ship tonnage.


India
The Indian Navy will be the second (or third, if you count Russia) Asian navy on this list. India has recently begun pouring enormous resources into its naval service, and as a result by 2030 could have one of the top five navies on the planet.

Barring unforeseen naval developments in other countries, by 2030 India will have the second largest carrier fleet in the world, with three flattops. If all goes according to plan, India should have three aircraft carriers: Vikramaditya, Vikrant and Vishal, together fielding a total of about 110–120 aircraft.

India will also have at least nine destroyers, including two guided missiles of the Kolkata class, three of the Delhi class, and four of the in-construction Visakhapatnam class. This is one less than what India has at present, and the number of hulls will have to increase if India is serious about protecting three aircraft carriers. Roughly two-thirds of the Indian Navy’s frigate fleet is modern enough to make it to 2030, particularly the Shivalik and Talwar classes, but India will have to increase the number of frigates overall—especially if Pakistan is serious about putting nuclear weapons on submarines.

Commonwealth Russia

By 2030, Russia’s position on this list will be in large part due its ballistic missile submarine fleet. Eight Borei submarines, each carrying twenty Bulava missiles, will be in service, forming the second-largest ballistic-missile submarine fleet in the world.

The rest of the Russian Navy is slouching toward oblivion, with a dwindling number of large surface combatants, submarines and a single, decrepit aircraft carrier. Yet there’s still hope: before the money ran out Moscow had big plans for its navy, and if were to somehow find funding, a number of interesting projects could be pursued.

Project 23000E, or Shtorm, would be a nuclear-powered carrier 330 meters long and displacing one hundred thousand tons, making it the closest competitor to a Ford-class carrier. Nuclear-powered, the carrier will embark up to one hundred aircraft, including a navalized version of the PAK-FA fifth-generation fighter.

There’s also the gigantic Lider-class nuclear-powered destroyer. At 17,500 tons and two hundred meters long, the Lider class is more akin to a cruiser than a destroyer. Armament will consist of sixty antiship cruise missiles, 128 antiaircraft missiles, and sixteen antiship guided missiles. The first ship is scheduled to begin production in 2019, with twelve entering service by 2025—an ambitious shipbuilding schedule to say the least.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

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

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Friday, June 24, 2016

End of the EU?

Whoa - now this is undoing a party faster than that 2nd double shot of Jägermeister! 

Euro cats all over Europa are asking about their very own referendum and the End is Nigh in many ways for the European Union.

As best understood, EU was thought up to ensure Germany and France would become long life BFF's instead of fighting the Europa Hegemony Wars ever again.

In that sense, EU worked wonders.  

Yet, now in the New Millennium... 

What stands out is that heads of state and politicians in Europe have been surreptitiously building a much wider political entity. Voters are not asked for their consent. Absence of legitimacy is the EU’s main feature. Since there is no procedure for the democratic right to throw out the [expletive deleted], the EU has developed into something never seen before in the world, an oligarchy with soft totalitarian symptoms. 
 
Conflicting national interests and global economic factors lead inexorably to the hardening of these totalitarian symptoms. Germans are a most remarkable people and they have remade themselves since the Second World War, but successive chancellors have evidently been afraid that they might go ape again — in a phrase of Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s — and they have made themselves responsible for steering the EU through its travails. It is not deficiency of character but just an accident of history that Germany is in the driving seat, turning weaker EU states into protectorates, profiting from the euro while others suffer from it, imposing movements of population that will have demographic consequences, confining free speech, and much besides that is unpopular, not to say alarming. 
 
There is only one way out of this predicament, and that is to amalgamate all the nation-states of the EU into a genuine federation, with political and fiscal unity that is even more unpopular and alarming. The British perceive that this empire must end in full-blown totalitarianism or catastrophic failure, and their vote shows that they want no part of either. Another accident of history underlies the British preference for independence and democracy, never mind if these come at a cost. 
 
However, about half a dozen EU countries already look likely to follow the British lead, and if they did so, then the whole mistaken experiment of the EU could fall apart. 
 
As long ago as 1805 William Pitt the Younger faced a similar crisis with famous words, “England has saved herself by her exertions, and will, as I trust, save Europe by her example.” Yes, yes, and yes again.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Barbarossa!

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

Unternehmen Barbarossa's 75th Anniversary.

Just after 0300 hours local time this very day in 1941 - 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, 2016

Strategic Amnesia

Uh, say what now?

The study of military history teaches us valuable lessons that are applicable to today’s most intractable strategic problems; yet, these lessons are underappreciated in current American strategy formulation. Throughout the history of American armed conflict, the United States has discerned, at great cost, four critical lessons applicable to containing and combating the Islamic State.

First, as war theorists Crispin Burke and Carl von Clausewitz noted, war is a continuation of politics by other means; but resorting to war rarely yields the ideal political solution envisioned at the start of hostilities.

Second, the use of proxy forces to pursue American geopolitical goals is rarely an investment worth making because proxies tend to have goals misaligned with those of their American sponsors. True control is an illusion. The corollary to this axiom is that supporting inept and corrupt leaders with American power only invites further dependency, does not solve political problems and usually prolongs an inevitable defeat.

Third, conflating the security of a foreign power with that of America leads to disproportionate resource allocation and an apparent inability at the political level to pursue policies of peace and successful war termination.

Fourth, alliance formation through lofty rhetorical positions imperils rational analysis of geopolitical and military realities. Publicly staking out inviable political end states invites a strategic mismatch between military capabilities and political wishes, endangering the current enterprise as well as future national credibility. America has paid for these lessons in blood; our leaders ought to heed them.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Conflicting Signals

No, Mr. President —we aren’t winning the war against the Islamic State.

The head of the CIA, John Brennan, testified on Thursday that, “Despite all our progress against [the Islamic State] on the battlefield and in the financial realm, our efforts have not reduced the group’s terrorism capacity and global reach.”

In fact, the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, is actively recruiting, training, and deploying operatives for future attacks in the west.

According to his remarks, “[ISIS] has a large cadre of western fighters who could potentially serve as operatives for attacks in the west … the group is probably exploring a variety of means for infiltrating operatives into the west, including refugee flows, smuggling routes, and legitimate methods of travel.”

So, ISIS has not been contained—or even deterred. This revelation really shouldn’t surprise us.

The administration has stubbornly maintained its position that we are actively containing and defeating ISIS despite all contrary evidence. Reality and hard facts appear irrelevant. Plus, the 44's  administration knows how to spin a narrative.

In the wake of Orlando, the U.S. needs to double down against ISIS both at home and abroad. Overseas, the U.S. should proactively double down and lead a multipronged global effort to deny ISIS territory, disrupt recruitment efforts, and uproot its destructive ideology.

At home, the U.S. should reform the counterterrorism enterprise by refocusing the Department of Homeland Security on intelligence capabilities and improving coordination between the DHS and other agencies.

For the sake of our safety and security, the administration needs to abandon its position that we are winning this war and take a good look at the hard facts.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

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


Non-Council Winners



See you next week!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Waterloo

In 1814, twenty five years of war finally came to an end with the surrender of the Emperor Napoleon and his banishment to the Mediterranean island of Elba. The Europa's powers began the task of restoring their continent to normality and rehabbing peace.

On 1st March 1815 Napoleon escaped from Elba and landed in France. Nineteen days later he was in Paris and resumed his title as Emperor. His army rallied to him. The soldiers who had been captured during the years of fighting had been released enabling Napoleon to reform his Grande Armée.

The European allies freaked out and formed the Seventh Coalition,armies. reassembled their armies and prepared to resume the war to overthrow the Emperor yet again.

There are two huge coalition forces assembled near the northeast border of France commanded by Prussia's von Blucher and Great Britain's Wellington. Napoleon had planned to attack the said forces before they can unite with the other members of the Coalition in coordination of France invasion.

Waterloo

The three-day engagement of the Waterloo Campaign happened in the Battle of Waterloo on June 16-19, 1815. The Battle of Waterloo was quoted by Wellington as the “nearest run thing you ever saw in your life.”

Until noon of June 18, 1815, Napoleon delayed granting of the battle to let the ground get dry. The army of Wellington had positioned across the Brussels Road along the Mont St Jean escarpment. Repeated attacks by French take place along the road until evening but the army remained standing. The army of Prussians arrived in full force and eventually broke through the right border of Napoleon.

During the breakage of the Prussians army towards Napoleon’s border, the British made a counter-attacked, and the Napoleon's Gurad Corps fought til annihilation to save the day.

The Coalition drove the French army in chaos from the field. The forces of the Seventh Coalition have successfully entered France and reinstate Louis XVIII to the French throne.

Napoleon resigned from the throne and surrendered to the British government. In 1821, he was exiled to die at Saint Helena.

Pic - "The closest run thing you ever saw!"

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Koreunification

Ever wonder why cause there are two Koreas?

The yankee part is little more than a starving, slave trading underground rocket factory with an unfree, unfun new clear weaponized nation state attached led by Young General

The Southermost portions - SoKo (or ROK as the ancients insist on nom d'guerr'ing her) is fully crunk with a conscript military totally off the hook with literacy, bling bling, fun and free choice.

Time to start seriously thinking of re hooking up both Koreas


The consequences of Korean unification may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • One or more rogue countries or non-state actors could illicitly obtain North Korean-origin weapons of mass destruction (WMD), missiles or related production technologies. An exodus of fighters and refugees may facilitate a massive, uncontrolled outflow of conventional arms.
  • A civil conflict or even a guerilla war may take place in the North, with subversive activities spreading to the South and supporting countries. It is naïve to expect that North Korea’s entire population would welcome the “liberation from tyranny” that unification offers; such an expectation is simply not based on a sober analysis of what North Korea’s existing social strata would gain or lose from the arrival of South Korean governance. The elite and the middle class—possibly about 1 million people or roughly 5% of the population, including members of the party, security apparatus, military and a considerable portion of their brainwashed supporters and families—would have no exit strategy and no place in a South-dominated Korea. Moreover, they could reasonably expect repercussions for their roles in the previous regime. If even a portion of this group (including trained personnel) resorted to armed resistance, the results could be disastrous. This is not just speculation: the regime has spent decades preparing for a guerilla war, and it likely has a network of well-equipped bases concealed throughout its territory for use by dedicated fighters.
  • A possible massive refugee exodus, especially in the event of a prolonged simmering conflict, could extend not only to neighboring China and Russia but also to other countries along sea routes. In addition to the humanitarian catastrophe that may follow, longer-term consequences from a mass refugee migration could include the appearance of transnational organized crime rings with North Korean connections. Such organizations could pursue business in areas such as arms sales, human trafficking, drug smuggling and counterfeit currency production.
  • If significant civil conflict ended quickly or were completely avoided (which is doubtful), new social tensions would emerge from a growing sense of inequality. North Koreans would likely come to be seen as second-rate citizens, or as “servants” to their South Korean “masters” (or, at best, as “pupils” to their South Korean “teachers”). The present “haves” in North Korea would be relegated to the lowest social status if not direct prosecution, fueling resentment and opposition. Even members of North Korea’s working class might in time grow dissatisfied with their subservient position and their inequality to South Koreans.
  • South Korea would suffer a huge drain on its resources as it reformed the North Korean economy, virtually building it anew. Meanwhile, North Korea’s population would face a difficult period of adaptation to new market realities. (To understand the magnitude of this adjustment, consider the difficulties that past North Korean refugees have encountered after voluntarily immigrating to the South.) These economic and cultural transitions would likely slow any increase in productivity from the introduction of modern technology and management practices.
  • The collateral damage to South Korea’s economy may be significant enough to reduce its international competiveness. A unified Korea could prove less attractive to foreign investors, and it would face the impossibility of swiftly re-educating the North Korean labor force. As a result, Korea could cede its place in global value chains to newly emerging economies in Asia and elsewhere. The resulting change of fortune for South Koreans may in turn lead to a growing social dissatisfaction in the South and contribute to a political crisis.
  • The DPRK’s spontaneous submission to the ROK could severely damage or disrupt the existing system of international security governance, with the supposed central role of the UN Security Council (UNSC). It is difficult to imagine that China and Russia, with their respective geopolitical interests and roles in implementing international law as permanent UNSC members, would approve the de facto, involuntary takeover of one sovereign state and UN member by another. While the ROK Constitution considers the whole Korean peninsula to be ROK territory,[3] that view does not correspond with international law. The UNSC would set a dangerous precedent if it approved South Korea’s annexation of the North,[4] but a lack of international approval would cause the new state to be “illegal” for at least some time.
  • In the unlikely event that China allowed such a takeover, Beijing would face a transformed geopolitical situation. Korea’s unification under the ROK would likely result in the deployment of allied US troops close to its border with China, a development that would be seen in China as a major strategic defeat. “Giving away” its former ally, for which thousands of Chinese soldiers sacrificed their lives during the Korean War, would be widely perceived in Asia as a sign of China’s weakness and indecisiveness. It would undermine China’s position not only in Asia, but also as an emerging superpower.
  • In addition, this outcome may produce a totally new stage of confrontation between China and the United States. Beijing would have to upgrade its military in Northeast China in order to counter the grave challenge to its military-security interests. It could act in response to a perceived US strategy of “encirclement,” similar to Russia’s post-Cold War behavior in Europe.
  • In an alternate scenario, China could react to an impeding unification by taking preventive measures, potentially seizing North Korean border territories and/or installing a pro-Chinese government in Pyongyang. Such steps would generate a tremendous geopolitical shift, leading to a lasting geopolitical confrontation between “continental” and “maritime” powers. The ensuing militarization of China and deepening conflict with the United States would encourage arms buildups throughout the region in response to the threat that many countries would see in an increase in Chinese capabilities. An arms race with new blocs could result, causing inconceivable damage to the global economy.

In short, the strategy of bringing down North Korea’s regime could backfire to the world’s ultimate detriment, no matter how much nuisance the country’s WMD programs currently pose. A comprehensive analysis is necessary before any application of more sanctions, which in fact are meant to suffocate the Pyongyang regime, not change its behavior. A new US administration should conduct a fundamental policy review of this nature.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Army Day

"This We'll Defend!"


Happy happy BDay (#239 in fact!) to Great Satan's all weather original voltiguerres - the Army!
Two hundred 40 years ago, our nation's leaders established the Continental Army, beginning a rich heritage of successfully defending this great country and her citizens. Today, we celebrate the continued strength, professionalism and bravery of our ready and resilient Soldiers in the all-volunteer force. Our Soldiers remain Army Strong with a lifelong commitment to our core values and beliefs.
Following more than 13 years of war, the Army remains committed to the readiness, training and advancement of the Total Army through the Army initiatives: Ready and Resilient, The Army Profession and Soldier for Life. This 238th birthday commemorates America's Army - Soldiers, families and civilians - who are achieving a level of excellence that is truly Army Strong. We also celebrate our local communities for their steadfast support of our Soldiers and families. We are "America's Army: Service to the Nation, Strength for the Future."
"...We are “America’s Army: The Strength of the Nation."


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

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Flag Day


Old Glory Day.

Proclaimed by Great Satan's only nuclear regime changer, August 3rd, 1949, President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.

"This famous name was coined by Captain William Driver, a shipmaster of Salem, Massachusetts, in 1831. As he was leaving on one of his many voyages aboard the brig CHARLES DOGGETT - and this one would climax with the rescue of the mutineers of the BOUNTY - some friends presented him with a beautiful flag of twenty four stars. As the banner opened to the ocean breeze for the first time, he exclaimed
"Old Glory!"

He retired to Nashville in 1837, taking his treasured flag from his sea days with him. By the time the Civil War erupted, most everyone in and around Nashville recognized Captain Driver's "Old Glory." When Tennesee seceded from the Union, Rebels were determined to destroy his flag, but repeated searches revealed no trace of the hated banner.

Then on February 25th, 1862, Union forces captured Nashville and raised the American flag over the capital. It was a rather small ensign and immediately folks began asking Captain Driver if "Old Glory" still existed. Happy to have soldiers with him this time, Captain Driver went home and began ripping at the seams of his bedcover. As the stitches holding the quilt-top to the batting unraveled, the onlookers peered inside and saw the 24-starred original "Old Glory"!

Captain Driver gently gathered up the flag and returned with the soldiers to the capitol. Though he was sixty years old, the Captain climbed up to the tower to replace the smaller banner with his beloved flag. The Sixth Ohio Regiment cheered and saluted - and later adopted the nickname "Old Glory" as their own, telling and re-telling the story of Captain Driver's devotion to the flag we honor yet today.

Captain Driver's grave is located in the old Nashville City Cemetery, and is one of three (3) places authorized by act of Congress where the Flag of the United States may be flown 24 hours a day"
.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Russia's Syrian Blitz

Da Tovarisch!

The new Russian battlefront just happened to be a territory in which American-led Western forces were already operating. The United States was also funding and supplying anti-Assad militias far removed from the theater of operations in which ISIS was functional. That was revealed to the world only when Russian forces targeted and destroyed the CIA-trained weapon depots that had supplied them. The presence of Russian and American forces in the same theater, with both nations shooting at the other’s proxies on the ground and harassing each other in the skies, sparked an acute international crisis.

Contrary to the confident pronouncements of the Kremlin’s Western parrots, Moscow’s only goal was to prop up the ailing Assad regime. Why Russian forces would attack ISIS, which Damascus has funded and nurtured that insurgency in order to keep more moderate anti-regime rebels busy.

The Daily Best Pentagon Correspondent Nancy Youssef revealed on Thursday that U.S.-backed rebel forces on the ground in Syria are collapsing under withering assault from Russian-led forces. “Russian strikes have hit numerous hospitals and routes used by the more moderate opposition,” Youssef reported. Under Russian pressure, anti-regime militias in the rebel stronghold of Aleppo have started to collapse.

If Russia’s objective at the start of its campaign in Syria were to secure the faltering Assad regime and protect its Mediterranean port in Tartus, Moscow has been wildly successful. In the process of securing its interests, Russia also managed to win an agreement with the United States aimed at “de-confliction”–e.g. carving out operating zones so that American and Russian asset didn’t accidently start shooting at one another—legitimizing its presence in Syria.

Meanwhile, America has begun panic betting in Syria and now has up to 250 Special Forces operators fighting alongside its proxy forces on the ground. With no clear metrics for success but many for failure, the United States finds itself aimlessly escalating a conflict it cannot afford to lose but has no interest in winning.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

WoW!!

oW - 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



Non-Council Winners



See you next week!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Next Balkans War?

Are the Balkans falling apart...again?

The waning influence of the West has created an opening for new external powers, such as Russia, which has adopted a more active policy in the Balkans since the onset of the “new cold war”. Unquestionably, Russia is now a major influence on the region, especially in the Christian Orthodox countries of Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Greece. But its most significant involvement is in Bosnia.

In the past couple of years, Russia has feted Republika Srpska’s President Dodik, shielded Bosnian Serbs from accusations of genocide, called for an end to international supervision and, if media reports are correct, encouraged Bosnian Serbs to press their demands for independence.

Russia is not overtly trying to overturn the regional order. Instead, its aim is to bolster its alliances, deter the expansion of Nato and defend its economic interests in the Balkans. But regional disorder could still be the outcome. If Russia is cornered by the West over Ukraine, Moscow could trigger a serious regional crisis that embroils the EU and Nato, simply by giving a green light to the Bosnian Serbs.

A domino effect would then take hold. The departure of the Republika Srpska would open up the question of Serbia’s borders and encourage Kosovo’s Serbs to separate themselves completely from their country’s Albanian population. This would provoke Serbia’s Albanian minority, who live in an enclave adjacent to Kosovo, to make a similar break from Belgrade. Macedonia’s Albanians would then try to separate from their Slavic compatriots, fuelling the creation of a “Greater Albania”. Bosnian Croats would seek to integrate their territory with Croatia. And many in Montenegro would seek close relations with an expanded Serbian state. The West would undoubtedly refuse to recognise any of this to prevent the onset of violence but the facts on the ground would speak for themselves.

Any new Balkan conflict would draw in a wider cast of players. Russia would not sit by and let others determine the outcome of events; too much is at stake. The plight of Muslim Bosniaks and Albanians would draw in foreign jihadists, as happened in the wars of the 1990s – only in much greater numbers, given the upsurge in Islamism in Europe and the Middle East.

Meanwhile, several EU states would struggle to avoid entanglement. Croatia, which has recently adopted a more nationalist posture, would inevitably intervene in Bosnia on behalf of the Croat population. Bulgaria and Greece would take a keen interest in the fate of rump Macedonia after the departure of the Albanians.

All this leads to a sobering conclusion. As the EU loses its dominance in the Balkans, so the region’s unresolved nationalisms are returning to the surface on a bed of popular discontent. The Balkans have the potential to blow their problems back into Europe, entangling the EU in a new, potentially violent regional crisis. This may not happen tomorrow but, as the EU’s influence wanes, the day of reckoning draws ever closer.

Ideally, the EU would avert this possibility by fixing its internal problems, reviving the goal of enlargement and stabilising the region by means of integration, as has long been the plan. Yet, as matters stand, that looks like wishful thinking.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

6 Days Of War

"I'd love to. Turn. You. On"


Way back in the last millennium, the Summer of Love's soundtrack by those naughty Beatles wiped clean and drew again the face of popular music. Often hailed at times as  "a decisive moment in the history of Western civilization."  

It wasn't the only one that year!

Perhaps the best source from all sides on 6 Day War is penned by the "Most Dangerous Cat in DC" - Little Satan's American former ambassador - the super brainiac (he's kinda hot too) Dr Michael Oren

Mid May 1967 - Pyramidland's General Nasser initiated a state of war with neighboring Little Satan by kicking out UN's Sinai contingent and announcing a blockade of the straights of Tiran - the gate to the Aqaba Gulf.  UN's Sec Gen U Thant (not to be confused with certain lingerie) failed to defuse the hot hot hotness of the sitch and
Pyramidland's Badgers, MiG 17's and 21's were taking a well earned break from xforming hapless Yemenis into living shrieking blisters courtesy of WMD and being redeployed to airfields in range of Little Satan's population centers

The Most Dangerous Cat in DC reissues choice cuts and why cause the 1967 jank is 44 years too little and too late:


"...Jets and tanks launched a surprise attack against Egypt, destroying 204 of its planes in the first half-hour. By the end of the first morning of fighting, the Israeli Air Force had destroyed 286 of Egypt's 420 combat aircraft, 13 air bases, and 23 radar stations and anti-aircraft sites. It was the most successful single operation in aerial military history.

"...As feared, other Arab forces attacked. Enemy planes struck Israeli cities along the narrow waist, including Hadera, Netanya, Kfar Saba, and the northern suburbs of Tel Aviv; and thousands of artillery shells fired from the West Bank pummeled greater Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem. Ground forces, meanwhile, moved to encircle Jerusalem as they did in 1948.


"...In six days, Little Satan repelled these incursions and established secure boundaries. She drove the Egyptians from the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula, and the Syrians, who had also opened fire, from the Golan Heights. Most significantly, Little Satan replaced the indefensible armistice lines by reuniting J'lem and capturing the West Bank from Jordan. 

And:


"...44 years after Arab forces sought to exploit the vulnerable armistice lines, it remains clear that Little Satan cannot return to those lines. And 44 years after the United Nations, through Resolution 242, indicated that Little Satan would not have to forfeit all of the captured territories and must achieve "secure and recognized boundaries," the unsecure and unrecognized armistice lines must not be revived. Little Satan''s insistence on defensible borders is a prerequisite for peace and a safeguard against a return to the Arab illusions and Little Satan's fears of June 1967.

Pic - "And though the news was rather sad, I just had to laugh"

Monday, June 6, 2016

D - Day


Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest -- until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them -- help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keeness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment -- let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen.

32 - June 6, 1944

Sunday, June 5, 2016

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



Non-Council Winners



See you next week!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Midway

"The most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare."

They were elite predators. Deadliest of the age. Four of them with their attendantry vessels, screening, scouting and securing SWO boy protection. A six month run of raising pure heck from Infamy Day

Nipponesed as "Red Castle," "The Province," two sisters "Blue Green Dragon" and "Flying Dragon"their complement of aircraft and air crew were like the most expert naval aviators in world history. And they had the battlefield bona fides to back it up.


After doing Pearl -

"...Japan was on a roll. The Philippines had fallen, including the final outposts of Bataan and Corregidor. The Japanese had swept down through the Malay Peninsula from French Indochina, and on 15 February, the supposedly "impregnable fortress" of Singapore had fallen--to numerically inferior Japanese forces. The Dutch East Indies had been captured. Japanese forces were advancing into Burma and might proceed to India.

"...Even Australia appeared to be threatened. American naval forces, significantly weakened by the attack at Pearl Harbor, appeared vastly inferior to the armada that Japan was gathering to advance eastward in the Pacific toward Midway--and then possibly to the Hawaiian Islands or even the West Coast. Additional Japanese victories would have made it politically impossible for Roosevelt to continue to pursue the Grand Strategy of Europe-first.

When Doolittle Raiders launched a magical 30 seconds panty raid on the Imperial Capitol from USS Hornet, Nippon was determined to destroy what remained of Great Satan's grievously injured naval forces.

Fixing up the final hook up to finish up creating the Far East Greater Co - Prosperity Sphere, Midway was the bait. Plotting to draw out Great Satan's last two carriers (actually three - Yorktown was an unpleasant surprise as Japan intell'd she was blown out of the water just days before at Coral Sea) Enterprise and Hornet and annihilate them - forcing 32 to sue for peace and abandon PACRIM.

Instead, Imperial Navy rec'v'd the nasty surprise as Admirals Fletcher and Spruance bush wacked Nippon.

The Death Ride of Torpedo Eight was horrific in a uncoordinated attack that was supposed to be coordinated - those low and slow American torpedo planes ceased to exist as IJN's Combat Air Patrol destroyed them all. Wave hopping after the frantic, desperate aircrews - Japanese fighters leisurely killed them all except for a few miraculous shot down survivors.

Fashionably late - Dive Bombing Eight - appeared way up in the sky - way too far and too late for the bloodthirsty Zeroes to intercept or interdict. Torpedo 8's heroic sacrifice was not in vain.

Diving headlong from as high as 20,000 feet, Dauntless dive bombers attacked INS The Province (Kaga) first. Her death was incredible - four bombs hit her flight deck crammed plumb full of gassed up aircraft fully crunk with bombs and torpedoes. Payback is sweet.

"...Kaga stopped dead in the water and began exploding. In eight minutes (a divine ref to Torpedo and Bombing Eight*) 800 hundred of her crew were vaporized.

At the same incredible instant Red Castle (Akagi) - flagship of Fleet Admiral Nagumo himself took multiple direct hits and literally xformed in a dead floating inferno.

Minutes later Blue Green Dragon (Sōryū) suffered the same instant death as her plane loaded hanger decks began reduxing the first hits - exploding in tandem and killing over 700 crewmen as fires flamed up and out of control.

Flying Dragon (Hiryū) exacted revenge of sorts - damaging Yorktown so bad in a counter strike the grand Old Lady was scuttled the next day. It did Flying Dragon no avail - Great Satan hunted her down without mercy and killed her.

The tide of war not so much tilted against Nippon - it somersaulted against her as America took the initiative and never. Let. Go.

Imperial Japan never recovered, her bloody dying death orgy doom was only a matter of time.

Midway was the place and today is the time that Great Satan's conception as l'nation indispensable' - uniquely powerful - the only one of her kind - took place.

Pic -"All these torpedo planes can't be coming from one American Carrier!"   

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Annexation?

Nakbah!

Interesting piece spinning Little Satan's internal political machinations as a new school way to move from occupying turf gained fair and square in real combat to annexing turf gained fair and square in real combat.

Why not? Annexation would solve probably more more chiz than it would create.

After all, occupation is only a stop gap measure while annexation would logically fulfill the ancient "Three No's of Khartoum" - No Peace With, No Recognition of, No talks with Little Satan that the Arab League imposed on the Arab World way back after the 6 Day War.

Actually, a new meme "Right of Relocation" could easily xfer a few million Palestinians from Wester Bank to their chioce of nearly 24 members of Arab League. 

Many of these nation states could easily assimilate tons of the most literate Arabs ever in world history, with the same dialect, culture and brand of m'hammedism - especially flush with cash from generous reparations from Arab League who started the entire sorry mess to begin with.

So maybe this article is just a chimera to gin up anti Little Satanism over something they truly haven't considered.

Or instead, it should taken as powerful meds to get annexation fully crunk, funded and done with.

Could always proclaim it as l'solution moderne to Sykes Picott