Putin is doing what Obama only has been pretending to do for over a year. Has it ever been more clear which side Obama is actually on?
The Navy’s operations, on which the sun never sets, are the nation’s nerve endings, connecting it with the turbulent world. Although the next president may be elected without addressing the Navy’s proper size and configuration, for four years he or she will be acutely aware of where the carriers are. Today they are at the center of a debate about their continuing centrality, even viability, in the Navy’s projection of force. Far out into the South China Sea, China is manufacturing mini-islands out of reefs, many of which used to be underwater at high tide. China is asserting sovereignty above and around these militarized specks in the congested cauldron of this sea. Through it and adjoining straits pass half the world’s seaborne tonnage; five of America’s most important 15 trading partners are in this region. Until President Trump launches his many trade wars, those partners include China, which is America’s third-largest export market and largest source of imports. The Obama administration has rejected challenging China’s audacity by not sailing through its claimed territorial waters — within twelve miles — around the new reef-islands. RELATED: The U.S. Navy Needs to Radically Reassess How It Projects Power Henry J. Hendrix of the Center for a New American Security argues that, like the battleships which carriers were originally designed to support, carriers may now be too expensive and vulnerable. China has developed land-based anti-ship missiles to force carriers to operate so far from targets that manned aircraft might become less useful than unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) operating from smaller, less expensive carriers. The newest carrier, the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford, to be commissioned next year, cost $12.8 billion. Add the costs of the air wing, the support of five surface-combat ships and one attack submarine, and 6,700 sailors. The bill for operating a carrier group: $2.5 million a day. China, says Hendrix, could build more than 1,200 of its premier anti-ship missiles for the cost of one Ford carrier, and one of the 1,200 could achieve “mission-kill,” removing the carrier from the fight for months. The bad news is that America’s entitlement state is devouring the federal budget. The good news might be this axiom: As money gets scarcer, people get smarter.
Charles Martland acted Honorably and was treated like a criminal.
This is very disturbing that our country is so afraid that it sides with the enemy? Where is America going politically? When I read the story about our men and women in the Military being ordered to turn a blind eye to Child sex abuse and Rape I dismissed the thought, I even stated in a post if it were seen by one of our troops someone would end up dead. Now I run across this video. People Speak up! Post, call the Army, let us be a voice to bring the reckoning day to all these corrupt entities that are in our Government! This is Bull Shit. -Islamacide
WASHINGTON — Soldiers in Iraq will soon have a new shoulder sleeve patch to signify their service in the fight against the Islamic State.
All told, there are about 3,335 troops in the region training Iraqi troops, providing security and conducing bombing missions on Islamic State targets in Iraq and neighboring Syria.
The Army’s patch features crossed scimitars, a palm wreath and stars. The scimitars, short swords with curved blades, are meant to symbolize the twin goals of the U.S.-led coalition: to defeat the Islamic State, also referred to as ISIL, and to restore stability in the region, according to Army documents.
The palm wreath is symbol of honor. While the stars and the buff-and-blue colors on the patch indicate the three-star command and the land, air and sea forces involved in the fight.
Scimitars and palm wreaths have appeared on patches from previous periods of war in Iraq. Saddam Hussein also favored the look, building a grand sculpture called the Arc of Triumph to commemorate the Iraq-Iran War in the 1980s. It became a favored back drop for soldiers, contractors and journalists to snap photos after the invasion in 2003.
The current round of conflict there, referred to as Operation Inherent Resolve, by the Pentagon, began in August 2014. ISIL fighters swept through northern Iraq, seizingMosul, its second largest city, threatening the Kurdish region and ultimately advancing toward Baghdad.
U.S.-led airstrikes stemmed the advance to a degree. However, ISIL fighters retain control of Mosul and in May seized the Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar in western Iraq. They continue to hold those cities and a broad region stretching west into Syria despite daily airstrikes.
Since August 2014, there have been more than 7,000 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, destroying thousands of buildings and hundreds of tanks and Humvees the fighters seized from fleeing Iraqi troops. It cost U.S. taxpayers nearly $10 million per day to fly combat missions and train local troops. All told, the bill for the current fight is nearly $4 billion.
“Unit insignia is important because it fosters esprit de corps,” said Army Col. Steve Warren, the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve. “The CJTF-OIR headquarters is made up of men and women from all services, many nations and many different units in the Army. This insignia will be worn by all of the Army members of the CJTF and may be authorized for wear by other services and nations according to their regulations.”
In some cases, analysts also were urged to state that killing particular ISIS leaders and key officials would diminish the group and lead to its collapse. Many analysts, however, didn’t believe that simply taking out top ISIS leaders would have an enduring effect on overall operations.
“There was the reality on the ground but it was not as rosy as [the leadership] wanted it to be,” a defense official familiar with the complaint told The Daily Beast. “The challenge was assessing whether the glass was half empty, not half full.”
Some analysts have also complained that they felt “bullied” into reaching conclusions favored by their bosses, two separate sources familiar with analysts’ complaints said. The written and verbal pressure created a climate at CENTCOM in which analysts felt they had to self-censor some of their reports.
Some of the analysts have also accused their bosses of changing the reports in order to appeal to what they perceived as the Obama administration’s official line that the anti-ISIS campaign was making progress and would eventually end with the group’s destruction.
Lawmakers and even presidential candidates seized on the allegations of politicizing intelligence as the White House tried to distance itself from the very strategy it has been pursuing.
Army Gen. Lloyd Austin came under withering bipartisan criticism on Wednesday when he testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that after spending at least $43 million over a 10-month period, the U.S. had trained only nine fighters to confront ISIS in Syria.
Senators were dumbfounded that the nearly year-long effort had produced such paltry results, calling it “a joke” and “an abject failure.”
Asked whether he had ever ordered changes to intelligence reports, Austin replied, “Absolutely not.”
The Obama administration is now considering modifying the Syrian train-and-equip program, while the White House attempts to portray the president as having always been skeptical of it.
“There was the reality on the ground but it was not as rosy as [the leadership] wanted it to be. The challenge was assessing whether the glass was half empty, not half full.”
Meanwhile, Pentagon investigators are examining the back-and-forth between the intelligence bosses at CENTCOM and the analysts, which created a paper trail. Favorable reports had fewer comments written on them, and requests that were more critical showed heavy questioning, the two officials said.
The altering of intelligence led to reports that overstated the damage that U.S. strikes had on specific ISIS targets. For instance, strikes on oil refineries and equipment were said to have done more damage to the group’s financing of operations through illicit oil sales than the analysts believed. Also, strikes on military equipment were said to have set back the group’s ability to wage combat operations, when the analysts believed that wasn’t always the case.
The altered reports made ISIS seem financially weakened and less capable of launching attacks, the analysts allege.
The New York Times has a bombshell report out tonight alleging that U.S. soldiers and Marines serving in Afghanistan have been told to cover up rampant child abuse and sexual assault of young boys by Afghan police officers.
Here’s the opener:
KABUL, Afghanistan — In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.
“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”
Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan,particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural landscape and can bully the population. The practice is called bacha bazi, literally “boy play,” and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene — in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and court records.
The policy has endured as American forces have recruited and organized Afghan militias to help hold territory against the Taliban. But soldiers and Marines have been increasingly troubled that instead of weeding out pedophiles, the American military was arming them in some cases and placing them as the commanders of villages — and doing little when they began abusing children.
Muslims Dying Daily.
All the threats to hang your bandana on the White House are hollow threats, you are a Joke and you know it. This is in tribute to our Military, Their Families, and our Veterans. You have already lost this war so stick to slaughtering your own people, like the cowardly dogs you are- ISLAMACIDE
The U.S. military has ordered its nearly 3,500 troops stationed in Iraq to reacquaint themselves with their chemical weapons suits due to evidence that the Islamic State has obtained chemical weapons and used them on multiple occasions.
“It is a precautionary measure,” a defense official told Fox News, acknowledging the order.
During a briefing Thursday, the Pentagon would not publicly confirm the order but reassured reporters that the military is prepared to handle a chemical attack by ISIS.
“The commanders in the field are making sure their troops are adequately prepared for the threats they may face,” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said when asked about the new preparations.
Defense officials recently confirmed that a “mustard agent” was used by ISIS against Kurdish Peshmerga forces in a mortar attack on Aug. 11 in the northern Iraqi city of Makhmur, located southwest of Erbil.
“[We] were able to take the fragments from some of those mortar rounds and do a field test, a presumptive field test on those fragments and they showed the presence of HD, or what is known as sulfur mustard. That is a class one chemical agent,” said Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Killea, chief of staff, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, in a Pentagon video-teleconference with reporters from his base in southwest Asia late last month.
In the past few days, more evidence has surfaced of chemical weapons attacks by ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
On Monday, a rocket suspected of carrying chemical weapons was fired by ISIS at Kurdish Peshmerga forces guarding the Mosul Dam, the Kurdish media news agency Rudaw reported.
The attack produced “yellow smoke,” according to the report. There were no significant injuries reported.
On Wednesday, Rudaw also reported that ISIS allegedly used chemical weapons again, this time in Syria against Kurdish fighters of the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) in Hasaka province.
Jennifer Griffin currently serves as a national security correspondent for FOX News Channel . She joined FNC in October 1999 as a Jerusalem-based correspondent.
Lucas Tomlinson is the Pentagon and State Department producer for Fox News Channel. You can follow him on Twitter: @LucasFoxNews
Things are getting more complex by the hour!!! World War III here we come!
While military direct intervention by US, Turkish, and Gulf forces over Syrian soil escalates with every passing day, even as Islamic State forces capture increasingly more sovereign territory, in the central part of the country, the Nusra Front dominant in the northwestern region province of Idlib and the official “rebel” forces in close proximity to Damascus, the biggest question on everyone’s lips has been one: would Putin abandon his protege, Syria’s president Assad, to western “liberators” in the process ceding control over Syrian territory which for years had been a Russian national interest as it prevented the passage of regional pipelines from Qatar and Saudi Arabia into Europe, in the process eliminating Gazprom’s – and Russia’s – influence over the continent.
As recently as a month ago, the surprising answer appeared to be an unexpected “yes”, as we described in detail in “The End Draws Near For Syria’s Assad As Putin’s Patience “Wears Thin.” Which would make no sense: why would Putin abdicate a carefully cultivated relationship, one which served both sides (Russia exported weapons, provides military support, and in exchange got a right of first and only refusal on any traversing pipelines through Syria) for years, just to take a gamble on an unknown future when the only aggressor was a jihadist spinoff which had been created as byproduct of US intervention in the region with the specific intention of achieving precisely this outcome: overthrowing Assad (see “Secret Pentagon Report Reveals US “Created” ISIS As A “Tool” To Overthrow Syria’s President Assad”).
As it turns out, it may all have been just a ruse. Because as Ynet reports, not only has Putin not turned his back on Assad, or Syria, but the Russian reinforcements are well on their way. Reinforcements for what? Why to fight the evil Islamic jihadists from ISIS of course, the same artificially created group of bogeyman that the US, Turkey, and Saudis are all all fighting. In fact, this may be the first world war in which everyone is “fighting” an opponent that everyone knows is a proxy for something else.
According to Ynet, Russian fighter pilots are expected to begin arriving in Syria in the coming days, and will fly their Russian air force fighter jets and attack helicopters against ISIS and rebel-aligned targets within the failing state.
And just like the US and Turkish air forces are supposedly in the region to “eradicate the ISIS threat”, there can’t be any possible complaints that Russia has also decided to take its fight to the jihadists – even if it is doing so from the territory of what the real goal of US and Turkish intervention is – Syria. After all, it is a free for all against ISIS, right?
According to Western diplomats, a Russian expeditionary force has already arrived in Syria and set up camp in an Assad-controlled airbase. The base is said to be in area surrounding Damascus, and will serve, for all intents and purposes, as a Russian forward operating base.
In the coming weeks thousands of Russian military personnel are set to touch down in Syria, including advisors, instructors, logistics personnel, technical personnel, members of the aerial protection division, and the pilots who will operate the aircraft.
The Israeli outlet needless adds that while the current makeup of the Russian expeditionary force is still unknown, “there is no doubt that Russian pilots flying combat missions in Syrian skies will definitely change the existing dynamics in the Middle East.”
Why certainly: because in one move Putin, who until this moment had been curiously non-commital over Syria’s various internal and exteranl wars, just made the one move the puts everyone else in check: with Russian forces in Damascus implicitly supporting and guarding Assad, the western plan instantly falls apart.
It gets better: if what Ynet reports is accurate, Iran’s brief tenure as Obama’s BFF in the middle east is about to expire:
Western diplomatic sources recently reported that a series of negotiations had been held between the Russians and the Iranians, mainly focusing on ISIS and the threat it poses to the Assad regime. The infamous Iranian Quds Force commander Major General Qasem Soleimani recently visited Moscow in the framework of these talks. As a result the Russians and the Iranians reached a strategic decision: Make any effort necessary to preserve Assad’s seat of power, so that Syria may act as a barrier, and prevent the spread of ISIS and Islamist backed militias into the former Soviet Islamic republics.
See: the red herring that is ISIS can be used just as effectively for defensive purposes as for offensive ones. And since the US can’t possibly admit the whole situation is one made up farce, it is quite possible that the world will witness its first regional war when everyone is fighting a dummy, proxy enemy which doesn’t really exist, when in reality everyone is fighting everyone else!
That said, we look forward to Obama explaining the American people how the US is collaborating with the one mid-east entity that is supporting not only Syria, but now is explicitly backing Putin as well.
It gets better: Ynet adds that “Western diplomatic sources have emphasized that the Obama administration is fully aware of the Russian intent to intervene directly in Syria, but has yet to issue any reaction… The Iranians and the Russians- with the US well aware- have begun the struggle to reequip the Syrian army, which has been left in tatters by the civil war. They intend not only to train Assad’s army, but to also equip it. During the entire duration of the civil war, the Russians have consistently sent a weapons supply ship to the Russian held port of Tartus in Syria on a weekly basis. The ships would bring missiles, replacement parts, and different types of ammunition for the Syrian army.”
Finally, it appears not only the US military-industrial complex is set to profit from the upcoming war: Russian dockbuilders will also be rewarded:
Arab media outlets have recently published reports that Syria and Russia were looking for an additional port on the Syrian coast, which will serve the Russians in their mission to hasten the pace of the Syrian rearmament.
If all of the above is correct, the situation in the middle-east is set to escalate very rapidly over the next few months, and is likely set to return to the face-off last seen in the summer of 2013 when the US and Russian navies were within earshot of each other, just off the coast of Syria, and only a last minute bungled intervention by Kerry avoided the escalation into all out war. Let’s hope Kerry has it in him to make the same mistake twice.
US forces in Iraq yesterday demanded the Shia Popular Mobilisation Crowd to leave the Sunni dominated city of Ramadi in the Anbar province.
An officer in the Anbar Police Command Lieutenant Colonel Abdul Sattar Halbusi said US forces stationed in Habbaniyah airbase, 25 kilometres east of Ramadi, issued a warning to the popular crowd militia to leave the strait east of Ramadi within 24 hours.
Halbusi told the Anadolu Agency that the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades refused to leave the area.
He revealed that American advisers and military commanders reject the popular crowd’s presence in Ramadi for fear of sectarian violence against the city’s Sunni residents.
The US insists the Iraqi government withdraw allied popular crowd militias from Sunni areas recaptured from Daesh.