Showing posts with label ISIS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ISIS. Show all posts

Monday, April 11, 2016

"Hillary Clinton was a fine Secretary of State" said Obama

Weekend interview with Chris Wallace on Fox.  Yeah Right.  Fine judge of people that Obama.  Picks the right person every time. 
Hillary was Secretary when the Benghazi consulate was attacked, killing four Americans including the Ambassador to Libya.  She had allowed State Dept cookie pushers to short stop appeals for more security from the ambassador.  She was there when a US general and a US Admiral were fired that night for daring to send rescue missions.  She sent one of her operatives on all the TV Sunday pundit shows to blame the disaster on an obscure bit of internet video. 
   She was Secretary when the Arab Spring began to undermine Hosni Mubarak in Eygpt.  Mubarak had kept the peace that Anwar Sadat had negotiated with Israel.  Mubarak had been a useful and loyal ally of the United States.  When SHTF, and Mubarak's regime began to totter, she did not do the right and proper thing, namely allow the Egyptians to work out their internal problems.  No, she (and Obama) jumped right in and called to Mubarak's overthrow.  
  She was Secretary when the US pulled the troops out of Iraq, turning the place over to ISIS. 
  She was Secretary of State when Putin invaded Ukraineand annexed the Crimea.  She didn't say squat about that.
   She was Secretary will Libya came unglued during the Arab Spring.  We gave the Europeans a little logistical support while they overthrew Qaddafi  and then we all up and left.  Libya is now a failed state, controlled by ISIS.
   She was Secretary of State when Obama announced a "red line" in Syria over the use of poison gas.  She was still Secretary while Assad gassed more of his own citizens and we did nothing. 
   If elected President, Hillary will doubtless find more catastrophes to mismanage.

Friday, December 18, 2015

No Creditable Threat

Yeah, Right.  There was no threat, creditable or otherwise,  before San Bernardino.  I figure ISIS will try that again, just as soon as they can find the shooters to do it. The San Brnardino shooters were unusual in that they gave no warning, aroused no suspicion of them selves before they struck, and were willing to give up their lives for their cause.  You don't find shooters like that just everyday.  But I figure ISIS will come up with some and send them out to kill, any day now.  
   Hold onto your hats, the party is gonna get rough.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Strategy, as opposed to tactics.

Strategy is the highest level of planning and directing a war.  Tactics is concerned with how to win an engagement with the enemy.  For instance, at the Casablanca conference in WWII, President Roosevelt announced that the allied war aim was "Unconditional Surrender".  That was strategic.  It surprised our allies the British, and it shocked the German enemy.  But it told the American voters, whose unflinching support for the war was essential, that the administration was not fooling around, and that we would not settle for the sort of half measures that followed WWI.  Other strategic decisions of WWII were the decision to do Germany first, and the decision to invade North Africa. 
    Tactical decisions, are of a lower level.  For instance, George Washington when he crossed the Delaware, fearing that his colonial militiamen might not be able to stand up to Hessian regulars, brought eighteen guns across the river with his infantry.  When battle was joined  American artillery superiority quickly decided things.  That is an example of a tactical decision. 
   By my way of thinking, current day discussions about boots on the ground, is a tactical discussion, it is not strategic.  The strategic discussion, which we have not had,  is what should we do about ISIS and middle east insurgency under any name they select.  We could ignore them and hope they go away or die out. We could embargo them, cut off their oil sales, access to the banking system, commercial air transport, and all imports.  We could bomb them, either lightly, or back to stone age.  We could infiltrate political operatives, or a modern day Lawrence of Arabia, and attempt to raise a revolution against ISIS.  We could invade and occupy the ISIS lands.  Or some other option that has not occured to me.  These are strategic issues. 
   Whether to deploy American troops is a tactical decision.  I only see American troops necessary if we decide to invade and occupy the ISIS lands.  The lesser strategic options could be done without US troops.
   Our country would be better off by first deciding upon a strategy, rounding up the political support for the  strategy, and executing it.  So far, nobody, Obama, the media, the Congress, the pundits, not even Rush Limbaugh, has said a word about strategy. We don't have one.   

Friday, November 20, 2015

Let's change the name to confuse the ignorant

We used to call 'em ISIS or ISIL.  Now Obama and the newsies are calling them Daesh.  Wonder why that happened?  Has ISIS been so successful that they want to stop talking about 'em?  So change the name and who is the wiser.  Good work Obama. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015


Syria a smallish wartorn middle east country just to the north of Israel.  Has been run by the Assad family and the Alawite sect for decades, maybe more.  Dunno just how the Alawites differ from Sunni or Shia, but its enough to matter somehow.  Could be the Sunni and or the Shia detest the Alawites.  Could be the Sunni  would rather have the Alawites running things than the Shia.  Or vice versa.  I don't know, and our clueless newsies have no idea either.
   The current Assad running Syria, a certain Bashar, fairly recent heir to the throne, has not been doing well. He has angered a sizable portion of his population to the point of armed rebellion against his regime.  ISIS has set up shop and controls a big slice of Syria.  Other "moderate" non-ISIS but anti Assad rebel groups are active, but probably not as active as ISIS.  By now, Assad's control of the country is shaky, ISIS is as strong (or stronger) than he is.  The Russians have decided to back Assad, probably in return for basing rights in Syria. Assad needs all the support he can get.
   US policy, such as it is, favors dumping Bashar Assad.  Not a a bad idea, but for it to work, we have to have someone to replace him with.  We need a name, and we don't have one.  ISIS has a name, Allah.  The "moderate" rebels must have some leaders, but who ever they are, they haven't made it onto US TV news.  Until we find a Syrian leader with some name recognition, at least inside Syria, and some popularity, our anti Assad, anti ISIS operations are going exactly nowhere.
   We should be talking to the Israeli's about Syria.  They have agents in Syria, who actually speak the language, and a much better idea of who is who, and which end is up, than CIA ever will. To bad Obama has been dissing Netanyahu.  The Israelis are less likely to level with Obama than with someone who has supported Israel over the years.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Shopping for boots

Boots to put on the ground that is.  Other than Americans, we have the Iraqi Army, the Kurdish Peshmerga, and some shadowy Syrian rebels.   Our Prez doesn't want to use Americans for political reasons.  The Iraqis haven't fought well since Saddam Hussein's early days.  They put up a good fight during the Iran-Iraq war on the 1980's.  That war lasted 8 or 10 years.  The Iranians had a larger population, a lot of good US equipment left over from the Shah's regime, and a scary level of fanaticism on all levels, from Ayatollah Khomeini right down to the teen age Iranian soldiers who conducted human wave attacks on Iraqi positions.  But when faced with the Americans in 1990 and 2003 they crumped.   Iraqi units didn't fight much, or very hard, and a lot of 'em just deserted under fire.   After a good ten years of rebuilding under American guidance, they aren't even as good they were in 1990.  ISIS was able to brush them aside with ease. 
   The Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have a decent rep.  They fight hard and they don't run.  Trouble is, there aren't all that many of them, and they lack heavy weapons, mortars, artillery, tanks, armored personnel carriers, even trucks and jeeps.  We could help out there, but the  Baghdad government thinks that Kurdistan is still a province of a greater Iraq, and refuses to give  the Kurds any weapons, lest they use them to declare independence from Baghdad.  And Baghdad gets huffy with us when we suggest shipping arms direct into Kurdistan. 
   Then we have the Syrian rebels.  They have little to no rep.  They have been fighting for years to drive out Assad with little success.  They have been able to stay alive, and prevent Assad from offing them all, but that ain't much. 
   And then there are the Iranians.  Lots of 'em, close by, and they have a pretty good rep.  Trouble is, they are bad guys, trying to go nuclear and nobody wants that.  Iran is Shia, and Iraq is split Sunni Shia.  All the Sunni Iraqis would rather die than allow Shia Iranian soldiers into Iraq.
  Bottom line.  There ain't no good boots to put on the ground in Iraq.  (except ours of course).

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What Obama ought to say tomorrow night

He ought to set forth our objectives, our goals, in the Middle East.  What America wants of achieve.  You gotta sort out your goals before getting into methods (bombing, blockade, ground invasion, etc.  Included as a goal, is who gets control of the ISIS controlled Iraq and Syria.  Without goals, it's hard to enlist allies in a crusade.  Might as well use the good old word that we all understand and the Arabs all hate. 
Possible goals, listed from soft to hard.
1.  Stay out of it.  Let ISIS grab as much territory as it likes.  Obama personally likes this one, but fears the voters will turn on him and the Democrats if he voices it.
2.  Contain ISIS.  Prevent them from grabbing more territory but let them live and keep what they have.  Lotta people like this, it seems cheap and easy.  It leaves a deadly enemy in control of a lotta oil, lotta land, lotta people.  They could well bide their time, build up their strength and try something like 9-11 in a couple of years.
3.  Destroy ISIS.  Kill their leadership, drive their supporters into the desert, lay waste to their croplands, bomb their industry, "dehouse" their workers.  Seize their oil fields, refineries and pipelines.  Decide what to do with ISIS controlled territory.  Give it to the Shia Baghdad government? set up a new Sunni government?  give a goodly slice to the Kurds?  Since ISIS controls a swath of Syria as well as most of Sunni Iraq,  we will have to do something about Assad after we blow ISIS away and seize the ISIS lands in Syria. 

Obama may not want to express a goal.  Partly 'cause he fears he will be unable to get agreement on a goal that he likes, and partly 'cause he will get blamed if he fails to achieve a goal once he announces it. 

My bet.  Obama will not talk about goals,  and at best he will discuss/advocate for, some air strikes, big enough to look good on TV, but not enough to really hurt ISIS.  That will quiet down the domestic hawks.  Then he will call for allies, European and Arab to step up to the plate and commit troops, aircraft, money and jet fuel.   Which they will fail to do, 'cause they have no idea what the Americans are gonna do, and don't want to risk war unless they understand what's in it for them. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Objectives, Strategy, and Tactics

The TV newsies are babbling on about Obama's strategy.  It seems to be in flux, I think I heard Obama confess that he was still working on his strategy.
   That's perverse.  Obama's job is define objectives, what we want to achieve.  In regards to ISIS there are a number of objectives we could pursue.  We could attempt to just stay out of it, avoid getting sucked back into a middle east war. We could attempt to prevent ISIS from grabbing any more land.  We could attempt to destroy ISIS and hand control back to the new Baghdad government.  We could attempt to destroy ISIS and set up three states, Sunni, Shia and Kurd.   Those are all the possibilities that occur to me, although I daresay someone might think of others.  But to have any effect, the US has to define it's objectives.  We have to decide what we want to do. And Obama then has to sell the objectives to the Congress and the voters.  Selling is not Obama's strong point.  The Congress is split.  The leftie greenies  want to stay out completely.  Some hawks want to destroy ISIS.  Nobody has thought about what we want after ISIS is gone.  The vast bulk of Congress (and their constituents) don't know what they want. 
   Only after we have settled upon an objective does it make sense to discuss "strategy".  Strategy is concerned with means to obtain our objectives.  Strategy  picks options,  such as invade the place from the sea, nuke 'em from the air, subvert their government by aiding domestic dissenters, blockade 'em, crash their infrastructure by cyber attack,  cut off their access to the international banking system and credit, crash their currency, and doubtless many other things.  But until you have decided upon your objectives,  discussion of methods and means is worthless. 
   And Obama (or any administration) should not making strategy.  Leave that to experts, the Joint Chiefs, with maybe CIA.  Leave the State Department out of strategic discussions, they are just messengers, and they ought to carry the message, not make it up.
  Way down at the bottom, is tactics.  Tactics are methods of winning battles, after strategy has decided where to fight.  Most of the talk I hear on the TV is really about tactics, specifically air strikes. 
   So far I haven't heard a peep out of the Obama administration about objectives.  They don't have a clue.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Presidential leadership

Or lack thereof.  The TV news is calling for "presidential leadership" on the matter of ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State. By which they mean Obama coming on TV and explaining to the voters why we need to kick some ass in ISIS.
    The newsies have a point.  The voters are anti war, and won't change their minds without the president  expressing a need and a reason for going back to Iraq.  Until he does, the electorate isn't going to go along. 
    And, I think it is safe to predict that Obama is never going to call for military action in Iraq.  Neither is the Congress.  The Republicans and Democrats in Congress are having so much fun trashing each other, they couldn't get behind a single resolution on Iraq or on anything else for that matter. 
   Even worse, there is some doubt in my mind that the voters would  follow Obama's leadership.  His standing in the polls is abysmal.  He has given so many speeches full of motherhood and apple pie, but totally lacking in substance, that few people bother to listen to him anymore.  His constant output of  Pablum is boring.