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Author Topic: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR  (Read 157995 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #900 on: April 13, 2017, 04:52:12 PM »

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-08/former-cia-officer-intelligence-confirms-russian-account-syria
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ccp
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« Reply #901 on: April 13, 2017, 06:51:30 PM »

In view of CD's post above I post this from a few days ago.

Maybe Assad didn't do it.  Buchanan asks some good questions though  I don't know if I agree with him or not FWIW:

http://buchanan.org/blog/trump-enlisting-war-party-126799

also from Judge Napolitano offers opinions form other intelligence that this was not Assad's doing:

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/04/13/andrew-napolitano-trumps-attack-on-syria-was-both-emotional-and-illegal.html
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 07:25:37 PM by ccp » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #902 on: April 15, 2017, 09:35:34 AM »

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/15/world/middleeast/syria-bashar-al-assad-evidence.html?emc=edit_ta_20170415&nl=top-stories&nlid=49641193&ref=cta&_r=0
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #903 on: April 16, 2017, 08:42:04 PM »

http://jordantimes.com/news/local/muslim-youth-take-initiative-guard-churches-easter-celebrated
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #904 on: April 17, 2017, 06:16:34 AM »

After ISIS, the U.S. Military Could Help Keep Iraq Stable
A limited troop presence would support a strategy aimed at containing Iranian aggression.
By James Jeffrey
April 16, 2017 2:09 p.m. ET


Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has called on the U.S. to deepen cooperation with Baghdad under the 2008 U.S.-Iraqi Strategic Framework Agreement. That makes sense. America has expended incalculable resources in Iraq, intervening militarily four times since 1990. Iraq is worth the effort—the center of the Middle East, with almost two-thirds of the oil and gas reserves of Saudi Arabia, abundant water, an educated population and a functioning democracy. But if the U.S. doesn’t want to intervene again, assistance must be linked to maintaining a small military contingent there.

An American-Iraqi decision on keeping U.S. troops in the country must be taken soon, as the rationale for their current presence—to defeat Islamic State—will fade as it is destroyed. The justification for a longer-term presence would be to train and equip Iraqi forces and assist against ISIS remnants. Strategically, it could also help keep Iraq independent of Iran.

The impending destruction of ISIS as a “caliphate” will rank with the 2003 Iraq war, the Arab Spring, the Iran nuclear agreement and Russian intervention in Syria as a regional game-changer. The first four advanced the Iranian and Russian quest to upset the U.S.-led regional security order. But the defeat of ISIS could help the U.S. reverse this trend.

To do so Washington must view the region differently. Since the Cold War the U.S. has treated Middle East challenges—Iran, Saddam Hussein, Syria, Yemen, terrorism, and more—as discrete problems, not part of a larger endeavor. The U.S. assumed that the region’s core, an American-led regional order, would endure.

Threats to that order from Iran, Russia and Sunni Islamists challenge this assumption. In this environment, Cold War principles—alliance solidarity and U.S. credibility—must be reinvigorated. Anything the U.S. does must support the strategy to contain Iran and combat Sunni extremists. The two are linked: Under Iranian influence, Damascus and Baghdad so oppressed their Sunni Arab populations that they turned to ISIS.

Keeping a troop contingent in Iraq would support such a strategy. The Trump administration appears interested, but success is uncertain given that Iraq did not allow the U.S. to extend forces in Iraq in 2011. Prime Minister Abadi appears supportive, but other political leaders, the public and Iran are more or less opposed. To keep a troop presence, the U.S. will have to proceed on three avenues: “sell” the presence, link it to other assistance, and keep it noncontroversial.

Iraqis must be convinced that an American presence would support the fight against terrorism and ensure the Iraqi army does not implode as it did in Mosul in 2014. They must also be convinced that it would support Iraqi unity, by signaling to skeptical Sunni Arab and Kurdish minorities that the largely Shiite Baghdad government seeks ties to the West. Also important is the perception that the U.S. supports Iraqi sovereignty, by signaling to Iran that Iraq will not become anyone’s vassal state.

The U.S. will have to link economic assistance and diplomatic cooperation—in short, “tough love”—to clarify that in exchange for such help, Iraqi politicians have to be flexible on troops. U.S. support for Iraq beyond security has been remarkable: an IMF-led $15 billion loan, mediation of disputes between Baghdad and Kurdistan, and the facilitation of oil production. The U.S. has a vital interest in preventing Iraq from descending into violence, enabling Iranian regional aggression, or spawning another terrorist movement, and that requires not just political and economic support but continued military ties.

But Iraq must also be reassured that a U.S military presence would be acceptable to Iraqis. Based on the troop-extension talks with Iraq in 2011, the following would be politically acceptable.

First, the troop contingent should be limited and not permanent. The 5,000 troops contemplated in 2011 are likely the maximum politically sustainable. U.S. troops should also be part of an international contingent and stationed on Iraqi bases. The U.S. should not again ask for Parliament-approved legal immunities for U.S. personnel, but rather extend the administrative status under which they now operate.

Second, the formal troop mission should focus on training and equipping Iraqi forces, and specific intelligence, counterterrorism and perhaps air-support functions. Everyone in the region would understand that such a presence would also help contain Iran and promote stability, but diplomacy requires that this not be explicit.

Third, the U.S. should be careful not to suggest that troops in Iraq are a combat force to project power into Syria or Iran against Baghdad’s interests.

None of this guarantees that Iraq will allow such a military presence but it will make the choice easier. Stability in the entire region hangs on Iraq making the right one.

Mr. Jeffrey served as U.S. ambassador to Turkey (2008-10) and Iraq (2010-12).
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ccp
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« Reply #905 on: April 17, 2017, 07:14:22 AM »

https://www.yahoo.com/news/mit-expert-claims-latest-chemical-100819428.html
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DougMacG
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« Reply #906 on: April 17, 2017, 08:43:21 AM »


I don't know the truth but it was reported that Israeli intelligence declared 100% certainty this chemical attack was ordered by Assad.

https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/society/142007-170406-israelis-urge-gov-t-to-establish-safe-zone-in-southern-syria-after-gas-attack

Must say it would not be wise for Israel to wrongly manipulate Trump this early in his presidency.  A strike on an airfield that they could have done themselves is not much of a gain for the risk of losing their largest ally.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #907 on: April 26, 2017, 04:09:28 PM »

http://www.dailywire.com/news/15746/stampede-disgruntled-blessed-boars-rampages-isis-joshua-yasmeh?utm_source=dwemail&utm_medium=email&utm_content=042617-news&utm_campaign=position3
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #908 on: April 28, 2017, 04:52:58 PM »

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/S/SYRIA?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-04-28-13-49-00
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #909 on: April 28, 2017, 05:17:35 PM »

http://conservativetribune.com/trump-mattis-1-order/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #910 on: May 24, 2017, 12:07:54 PM »



http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/05/22/israeli-officers-to-trump-youre-doing-isis-wrong-215172

Their idea sounds good.

Question:  What about the refugees created?

Question:  What about the ever increasing solidity of the Russian-Iranian axis?  Does not Trump's strategy of getting the Sunnis lined up against it have the same "let them all fight it out" essence to it?

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G M
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« Reply #911 on: May 24, 2017, 12:18:07 PM »



http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/05/22/israeli-officers-to-trump-youre-doing-isis-wrong-215172

Their idea sounds good.

Question:  What about the refugees created?

*Who cares? Not our problem. Their fellow muslims can see to them.


Question:  What about the ever increasing solidity of the Russian-Iranian axis?  Does not Trump's strategy of getting the Sunnis lined up against it have the same "let them all fight it out" essence to it?

*I'm all for a massive Sunni-Shia war. Let them burn.



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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #912 on: May 24, 2017, 12:20:14 PM »

Jordan already is past full with refugees.

VERY bad for US if Jordan falls into chaos and war.
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G M
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« Reply #913 on: May 24, 2017, 12:25:21 PM »

Jordan already is past full with refugees.

VERY bad for US if Jordan falls into chaos and war.

I'm pretty sure Jordan has already stopped taking in refugees.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #914 on: May 24, 2017, 01:45:40 PM »

It can be hard to control long expanses of desert without a fence I'm told.    Just ask our Border Patrol.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #915 on: May 25, 2017, 06:14:53 PM »

Sent to me by a professional:

http://www.realclearlife.com/news/isis-near-collapse-comes-next/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #916 on: May 28, 2017, 01:26:39 PM »

http://www.meforum.org/6717/eclipsing-caliphate-the-fight-for-eastern-syria?utm_source=Middle+East+Forum&utm_campaign=07623d312b-spyer_jonathan_2017_05_28&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_086cfd423c-07623d312b-33691909&goal=0_086cfd423c-07623d312b-33691909
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #917 on: May 28, 2017, 10:57:38 PM »

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/05/us-military-admits-failures-to-monitor-over-1-billion-worth-of-arms-transfers/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #918 on: May 30, 2017, 03:46:58 PM »

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2017/05/28/mattis_nothing_scares_me_i_keep_other_people_awake_at_night.html

Fazce the Nation May 28, 2017

Mattis on destroying ISIS:

MATTIS: Our strategy right now is to accelerate the campaign against ISIS. It is a threat to all civilized nations.

And the bottom line is, we are going to move in an accelerated and reinforced manner, throw them on their back foot. We have already shifted from attrition tactics, where we shove them from one position to another in Iraq and Syria, to annihilation tactics, where we surround them.

Our intention is that the foreign fighters do not survive the fight to return home to North Africa, to Europe, to America, to Asia, to Africa. We are not going to allow them to do so. We are going to stop them there and take apart the caliphate.

DICKERSON: Explain what it means to be moving in an annihilation posture, as opposed to attrition.

MATTIS: Well, attrition is where you keep pushing them out of the areas that they are in, John, and what we intend to do by surrounding them is to not allow them to fall back, thus reinforcing themselves as they get smaller and smaller, making the fight tougher and tougher.

You can see that right now, for example, in Western Mosul, that is surrounded, and the Iraqi security forces are moving against them. Tal Afar is now surrounded. We have got efforts under way right now to surround their self-declared caliphate capital of Raqqa.

That surrounding operation is going on. And once surrounded, then we will go in and clean them out.

DICKERSON: One of the things you mentioned in this new accelerated tempo is that the president has delegated authority to the right level. What does that mean?

MATTIS: When you are in operations, the best thing you can do at the top level is get the strategy right.

You have to get the big ideas right. You have to determine, what is the policy, what is the level of effort you are willing to commit to it, and then you delegate to those who have to execute that strategy to the appropriate level.

What is the appropriate level? It's the level where people are trained and equipped to take decisions, so we move swiftly against the enemy. There is no corporation in the world that would, in a competitive environment, try and concentrate all decisions at the corporate level.

But I would point out here that we have not changed the rules of engagement. There is no relaxation of our intention to protect the innocent. We do everything we can to protect the civilians. And actually lowering, delegating the authority to the lower level allows us to do this better.

DICKERSON: After the annihilation has been done, does that mean you can't let it fall back into ISIS hands?

MATTIS: Once ISIS is defeated, there is a larger effort under way to make certain that we don't just sprout a new enemy. We know ISIS is going to go down.

We have had success on the battlefield. We have freed millions of people from being under their control. And not one inch of that ground that ISIS has lost has ISIS regained. It shows the effectiveness of what we are doing.

However, there are larger currents, there are larger confrontations in this part of the world, and we cannot be blind to those. That is why they met in Washington under Secretary Tillerson's effort to carry out President Trump's strategy to make certain we don't just clean out this enemy and end up with a new enemy in the same area.

DICKERSON: You served under President Obama. You are now serving President Trump. How are they different?

MATTIS: Everyone leads in their own way, John.

In the case of the president, he has got to select the right people that he has trust in to carry out his vision of a strategy. Secretary Tillerson and I, we coordinate all of the president's campaign. We just make certain that foreign policy is led by the State Department.

I inform Secretary Tillerson of the military factors. And we make certain that then, when we come out of our meetings, State Department and Defense Department are tied tightly together, and we can give straightforward advice to the commander in chief.

DICKERSON: President Trump has said, to defeat ISIS, he has said that there has to be a humiliation of ISIS. What does that mean?

MATTIS: I think, as we look at this problem of ISIS, it is more than just an army. It is also a fight about ideas.

And we have got to dry up their recruiting. We have got to dry up their fund-raising. The way we intend to do it is to humiliate them, to divorce them from any nation giving them protection and humiliating their message of hatred, of violence.

Anyone who kills women and children is not devout. They have -- they cannot dress themselves up in false religious garb and say that somehow this message has dignity. We're going to strip them of any kind of legitimacy. And that is why you see the international community acting in concert.

DICKERSON: When should Americans look to see victory?

MATTIS: This is going to be a long fight.

The problems that we confront are going to lead to an era of frequent skirmishing. We will do it by, with, and through other nations. We will do it through developing their capabilities to do a lot of the fighting. We will help them with intelligence. Certainly, we can help train them for what they face.

And you see our forces engaged in that from Africa to Asia. But, at the same time, this is going to be a long fight. And I don't put timelines on fights.

DICKERSON: What about civilian casualties as a result of this faster tempo?

MATTIS: Civilian casualties are a fact of life in this sort of situation.

We do everything humanly possible, consistent with military necessity, taking many chances to avoid civilian casualties, at all costs.

DICKERSON: Under this new aggressive posture, what can be done that would not have been done, say, six months ago?

MATTIS: Probably the most important thing we are doing now is, we are accelerating this fight. We are accelerating the tempo of it.

We are going to squash the enemy's ability to give some indication that they're -- they have invulnerability, that they can exist, that they can send people off to Istanbul, to Belgium, to Great Britain, and kill people with impunity.

We are going to shatter their sense of invincibility there in the physical caliphate. That is only one phase of this. Then we have the virtual caliphate that they use the Internet. Obviously, we are going to have to watch for other organizations growing up.

We cannot go into some kind of complacency. I am from the American West. We have forest fires out there. And some of the worst forest fires in our history, the most damage were caused when we pulled the fire crews off the line too early.

And so we are going to have to continue to keep the pressure on the enemy. There is no room for complacency on this.

DICKERSON: A hundred civilians were killed after a U.S. bomb hit a building in Mosul in Iraq. Is this the result of this faster tempo? Is this the kind of thing Americans needs to get used to as a natural byproduct of this strategy?

MATTIS: The American people and the American military will never get used to civilian casualties.

We will -- we will fight against that every way we can possibly bring our intelligence and our tactics to bear. People who had tried to leave that city were not allowed to by ISIS . We are the good guys. We are not the perfect guys, but we are the good guys. And so we are doing what we can.

We believe we found residue that was not consistent with our bomb. So we believe that what happened there was that ISIS had stored munitions in a residential location, showing once again the callous disregard that has characterized every operation they have run.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 03:52:00 PM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #919 on: May 31, 2017, 04:16:55 PM »

https://friendsofsyria.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/al-qaedas-godfather-is-dead-good-riddance/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #920 on: June 05, 2017, 12:39:16 PM »

Although it is Breitbart, this does read like actual news:

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/06/05/5-jun-17-world-view-us-and-iran-backed-troops-head-for-confrontation-at-al-tanf-on-iraq-syria-border/
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ccp
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« Reply #921 on: June 15, 2017, 11:15:32 AM »

Go figure.  After all we have been hearing in the past couple of weeks a sell out to the military industrial complex is how I read this:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/qatar-signs-12-billion-deal-034012941.html
« Last Edit: June 15, 2017, 12:00:22 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #922 on: June 19, 2017, 01:34:39 PM »

http://americanmilitarynews.com/2017/06/russia-says-it-will-now-target-us-aircraft-and-come-after-them-following-downed-syrian-jet/?utm_source=colddeadhands&utm_campaign=alt&utm_medium=facebook
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G M
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« Reply #923 on: June 19, 2017, 11:13:53 PM »


It could quite easily happen. But as it doesn't fit the left's narrative, not much attention from the MSM.
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