Tag Archives: ISIS/

Trump Admin follows Obama script in African military policy action…

This should be NO surprise since just about the all the  Trump Admin Pentagon bosses served under President Obama….

Image result for US spec ops in Africa

American Special Ops ‘advisors’ are on the ground in more than seven countries and those and other countries have asked more…

The global reach of special operators is widening. During the peak of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, nearly 13,000 Special Operations forces were deployed on missions across the globe, but a large majority were assigned to those two countries. Now, more than half of the 8,600 elite troops overseas are posted outside the Middle East or South Asia, operating in 97 countries, according to the Special Operations Command.

Still, about one-third of the 6,000 American troops currently in Iraq and Syria are special operators, many of whom are advising local troops and militias on the front lines. About a quarter of the 8,400 American troops in Afghanistan are special operators.

In Africa, about one-third of the nearly 6,000 overall troops are Special Operations forces. The only permanent American installation on the continent is Camp Lemonnier, a sprawling base of 4,000 United States service members and civilians in Djibouti that serves as a hub for counterterrorism operations and training. The United States Air Force flies surveillance drones from small bases in Niger and Cameroon.

Elsewhere in Africa, the roles of special operators are varied, and their ranks are small, typically measured in the low dozens for specific missions. Between 200 and 300 Navy SEALs and other special operators work with African allies to hunt shadowy Shabab terrorists in Somalia. As many as 100 Special Forces soldiers help African troops pursue the notorious leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, Joseph Kony. And Navy SEALs are training Nigerian commandos for action in the oil-rich delta.

The United States is building a $50 million drone base in Agadez, Niger, that is likely to open sometime next year to monitor Islamic State insurgents in a vast area on the southern flank of the Sahara that stretches from Senegal to Chad.

Mr. Trump’s tough talk on terrorism has been well received here in Chad, where American Special Operations and military instructors from several Western nations finished an annual three-week counterterrorism training exercise last week.

Many African soldiers and security forces said they would welcome an even larger United States military presence to help combat myriad extremist threats. “Of course we’d like more,” said Hassan Zakari Mahamadou, a police commissioner from Niger. “U.S. forces enhance us.”

The Pentagon has allocated about $250 million over two years to help train the armies and security forces of North, Central and West African countries.

But American aid and training alone — along with occasional secret unilateral strikes — will not be enough to defeat groups like Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and the Islamic State, officials say…..

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image…The Huffington Post

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The fight against ISIS drones…

Yes…

ISIS is fighting the Iraqi military with drones….

Grenade launchers, kamikaze bombers, flying decoys, eyes-in-the-sky, and soapbox-derby dinosaurs: as the Islamic State group loses neighborhood after Mosul neighborhood, it is still dispatching a wide variety of UAVs on deadly missions.

“Over the last two months, coalition forces have observed about one adversary drone every day around Mosul,” a U.S. Central Command official told Defense One.

And they’re doing more to counter it: coalition aircraft have hit ISIS-made drones, launch sites, or production facilities in Iraq and Syria every day since Jan. 7, including four strikes west of Mosul on Jan. 10 alone, according to CENTCOM releases.

“The Coalition has struck a number of what we believed to be unmanned aerial vehicle facilities in Mosul,” the official said. “We spend considerable time researching and developing target lists to ensure maximum effects against” ISIS.

It’s not a new concern; in August 2015, coalition forces hit an ISIS drone in Ramadi. But social-media posts and independent reporting from the Mosul war zone are helping to bring the wide variety of ISIS drones to light…..

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images..Defense One

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Iraqi military says they have retaken Falluja from ISIS….

This time there was NO disorganized retreat by Iragi Military units…

The ISIS forces continue to lose ground across Iraq and Syria….

America and other countries miliray’ advisors’ have been on the ground helping Iraqi military units….

Iraqi forces are now dismantling bombs and booby-trapped houses, whilst pursuing militants who slipped out of the city from the northwest, Sabah al-Numani, a spokesman for the counter-terrorism forces that spearheaded the offensive, told Reuters.

The insurgents had put up limited resistance in Falluja and folded after some of their commanders abandoned the fight.

Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi said on Twitter around 90 percent of Falluja remained “safe and habitable,” comparing that favorably with the cities of Ramadi and Sinjar, which were recaptured from Islamic State but badly damaged in the process.

Fighting to recapture the Iraqi city has forced more than 85,000 residents to flee to overwhelmed government-run camps. The United Nations says it has received allegations of abuse of civilians fleeing the city, including by members of Shi’ite armed groups supporting the offensive.

The militants seized Falluja in January 2014, six months before they declared a “caliphate” over parts of Syria and Iraq….

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ISIS HAS lost territory this year….

While the America political season ramps up things in Iraq and Syria have been NOT good for ISIS….

Under the watchful eye and with assistance from the West….

The Iraqi military, the Kurds and some militia’s have been quietly and relentlessly taking ground back from the ISIS advances in the past…

That effort has been also augmented by increased efforts to cut ISIS from it’s money sources and a stronger cyber and media effort against the group…

Recent gains against the Islamic State in eastern Syria have helped sever critical supply lines to Iraq and set the stage for what will be the biggest fight yet against the Sunni militancy, the battle to retake Mosul, Pentagon officials said on Monday.

Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a Pentagon news conference that American-backed forces had begun laying the groundwork for the fight by moving to isolate Mosul from the Islamic State’s de facto headquarters in Raqqa, Syria. Kurdish and Arab forces retook the town of Shaddadi in eastern Syria last week, cutting off what Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter called the last major artery between Raqqa and Mosul.

But military officials cautioned that the fight for Mosul could last many months, requiring Iraqi forces unproven in urban warfare to advance street by street through the explosives-laden terrain of Iraq’s second-largest city, with more than one million people.

In addition to the advances in eastern Syria, the Pentagon has begun using cyberattacks on Islamic State communications between Raqqa and Mosul, as well as attacks meant to disrupt the militant group’s ability to use social media to recruit fighters, officials said….

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Would the American Military follow a Trump order to kill terrorists families?

Former  CIA Director Michael Hayden says NO…..

In a Q & A with HBO’s Bill Maher  Hayden explained that such actions avocated by Trump was off bounds for the Americanb military and intelligence people(For obvious personal reasons)….

That Donald Trump would seek to do so if he was elected President could give American forces a pause and maybe even a moral reason to NOT go thru with such action….

Appearing on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” to promote his latest book, Hayden expressed concern about Trump’s language, including the Manhattan real-estate magnate’s vow to bring back waterboarding and worse because “they deserve it.”

“I would be incredibly concerned if a President Trump governed in a way that was consistent with the way that candidate Trump expressed during the campaign,” Hayden said.

Maher brought up Trump’s pledge to kill family members of Islamic State terrorists. “That never even occurred to you, right?” Maher deadpanned.

“God, no!” Hayden exclaimed. “Let me give you a punchline: If he were to order that once in government, the American armed forces would refuse to act.”

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The US may have Spec Ops troops in Libya…

It appears the small contingent of Speciual Operators where sent to get a ‘feel of the land’ in the country….

There are reports that the group may have left the country….

OR….

Could still be gathering info in the country…

Their mission is said to be to find groups that are willing to after ISIS forces in Libya and could a pathfinder mission for more ‘advisors’ to arrive in that country…

The Pentagon is considering fresh military action in Libya more than four years after conducting an air campaign that helped topple dictator Muammar Gaddafi, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

Officials are currently “looking at military options” to stop the Islamic State militant group from gaining ground in another oil-rich Mideast nation, said Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook.

At present, US efforts in Libya are focussed on identifying local allies to work with, for what a senior military officer has envisioned as a “decisive” confrontation with Isis….

Cook acknowledged that the “metastasis” of Isis beyond its primary base in Iraq and Syria has prompted the Pentagon to revisit the question of a renewed war in Libya.

A “small group” of US forces had made contact with Libyan militiamen, “simply to get a sense of who the players are”, Cook said, amid a fractured security landscape with multiple and overlapping combatants.

Although the US personnel are likely to be special operations forces, Cook did not specify how many of them had taken part in the mission, nor if they were still operating in Libya. Cook portrayed the contact as closer to a broad assessment mission than the so-called “shaping operations” that precede imminent combat….

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Moody’s model predicts a Democratic win in November….

Moodys model says the American current economic situaution helps the Democrats….

The Democratic presidential nominee will win the race for the presidency but the election is shaping up as historically tight, according to a political model.

Less than 11 months from Election Day, Moody’s Analytics is predicting that whomever lands the Democratic nomination will capture the White House with 326 electoral votes to the Republican nominee’s 212.

Those results are heavily dependent on how swing states vote. The latest model from Moody’s reflects razor-thin margins in the five most important swing states — Florida, Ohio, Colorado, New Hampshire and Virginia.

In each of those states, the Democratic advantage is less than 1 percentage point, well within the margin of error.

The election model weighs political and economic strength in each state and determines the share of the vote that the incumbent party will win…..

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After 7 years…President Obama has stepped back in Foreign Affairs…

Coming off of George W. Bush’s Wars a younger Barack Obama moved swiftly to ‘Bring the Troops’ home….

He HAS…..

Things have come up to make him send some troops back….

But the numbers are far less than Bush’s ……

At the end of Bush’s term, American’s where looked down upon….

No more….

The actions of ISIS has brought those on the right to urge sending America troops back to the Midddle East in large numbers to ‘destroy’ ISIS….The President has held back….

The Republicans are ranting about restoring America…..

THAT means putting American solders in harms way for what?…President Obama would ask….

Those who ask that America fight THEIR wars have the wrong person in Bracak Obama…..

While he HAS elevated the ‘drone war’ ?

He has keep many a monther and wife happy that their sons, daughters and spouses have come home whole….

This IS a Different America….

And the American President makes no aplogies for his actions….

Below is a linked piece that asks for a more assertive America, But points to the patience and restraint of Presitdent Obama from jumping into a region that has been fighting Holy Wars for centuries…..

Thank You Mr. President…(This Dog is proud you have a Nobel Peace Prize )

“We must chart a more centered course,” Obama said in 2011 during a speech on the “way forward” in Afghanistan. “When threatened, we must respond with force –- but when that force can be targeted, we need not deploy large armies overseas. When innocents are being slaughtered and global security endangered, we don’t have to choose between standing idly by or acting on our own. Instead, we must rally international action, which we’re doing in Libya, where we do not have a single soldier on the ground, but are supporting allies in protecting the Libyan people and giving them the chance to determine their own destiny.”

The Libyan example has hardly proven that a “just right” Goldilocks approach to U.S. foreign policy exists. But in an era of extended wars and multiple deployments, scaling back America’s ambitions for its interventions and its influence has carried the day.

There is some sign the president has seen his own vision begin to be realized, with regional forces playing a role in the counter-ISIS coalition and the Iraqi military pushing hard in Ramadi. All of this is perhaps the seed of a future in which Obama’s vision is realized. But if that is indeed the case, years more patience will be required for regional powers to step in with the resources to lead. And the next president would have to be willing to watch and wait as the carnage continued, threats morphed, and many more fled and died. Short of that, the United States is likely to slow step its way back into the fight. Indeed on the same night as the State of the Union the Army announced it was deploying 1800 troops to Iraq and Afghanistan for advise and assist missions…..

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Red State Democrats in Congress begin to put distance between themselves and Obama…

The President has run his last campaign…..

But other Democrats in Congress are looking at 2016 and 2018 races and are NOT happy….

While progressives in the Democratic party may like the red meal pushes by the President and even Hillary Clinton on guns, immigration, abortion, ISIS, Iran, Trade and other things….

Some moderate and conservative Democrats can’t afford to back the left of center pushes by Obama and Clinton….

While a small number of House moderates like Reps. Gwen Graham of Florida and Brad Ashford of Nebraska will be on the ballot alongside Democrats’ presidential nominee, likely Hillary Clinton, this fall, the far more troubling election for Democrats will occur in 2018. In that midterm, five Senate Democrats will be up for reelection in strongly conservative states from Indiana to Montana to West Virginia.

Some of the party’s more conservative members already have a strategy to distance themselves from the president, and no one’s hewing closer to it than West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin. The former governor has disagreed with the president consistently on foreign policy, the environment and abortion rights, but for years, the two linked arms to push universal background checks on firearms.

That partnership frayed this week as Obama, frustrated with the repeated failure of that proposal in Congress, decided to go it alone.
“You get to that point where (Obama) may be pushing the envelope” with his unilateral actions, Manchin said in an interview on Wednesday after the president’s gun announcement.

On Wednesday evening Obama fired back in an op-ed for the New York Times, directing his own measure of displeasure toward those who question his actions.

“I will not campaign for, vote for or support any candidate, even in my own party, who does not support common-sense gun reform,” the president wrote.

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Hillary Clinton tells Trump …’Hell NO’ on apologizing for her connecting him with ISIS…

Trump and Clinton square off against each other….

“Hell no,” Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon told The Wall Street Journal.
“Hillary Clinton will not be apologizing to Donald Trump for correctly pointing out how his hateful rhetoric only helps ISIS recruit more terrorists,” Fallon added.

Trump earlier on Monday demanded an apology from Clinton for claiming that he was being used in Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) recruitment videos, saying Clinton “always lies.”

“I demand an apology from Hillary Clinton for the disgusting story she made up about me for purposes of the debate. There never was a video,” Trump tweeted…..

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image…abcnews.go.com

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Does Donald Trump actually HELP ISIS ?

The MORE strident Trump is in front of the media?

The MORE the ISIS recruiters can point to Trumps comments to covert more to their cause?

At first glance, Donald Trump looks like Islamic extremism’s worst nightmare. Trump said he would ban the billion-plus Muslims around the world from visiting the U.S. He would send the medieval ISIS back to the proverbial Stone Age: “Bomb the shit outta them.” In Tuesday’s Republican debate, Trump underscored his previously stated desire to deliberately kill the families of ISIS members. “I would be very, very firm with families. Frankly, that will make people think because they may not care much about their lives, but they do care, believe it or not, about their families’ lives.”

From another angle, however, Trump and ISIS are effectively, if not intentionally, helping each other. They don’t communicate. There’s no moral equivalence between them. Nevertheless, Trump and ISIS aid each other’s agendas in a strange combination of the coiffured and the caliphate. Even in a Republican Party that has drifted closer to Islamophobia in recent years, Trump stands out for his polarizing rhetoric, which poses a threat to openness and tolerance in the United States. “Terrorists like ISIL are trying to divide us along lines of religion and background,” as President Obama warned recently. “Prejudice and discrimination helps ISIL and it undermines our national security.”

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The US admits Russia has checkmated Syrian President Assad leaving anytime soon…

The line from almost ALL the people the US hoped to recruit to fight ISIS in Syria was …..

‘We want Syrian President Assad gone first.’…

These people really didn’t care much about ISIS…They wanted Assad gone….

THAT isn’t gonna happen anytime soon….

Russian President Putin has inserted Russia’s military into the Syrian conflict…..Strengthy up the Syrian military against the Syrian REBELS, under the guise of going after ISIS…..

The effort has slowed the Syria rebel push against Assad…..

THAT has caused the US to have few people in Syria willing to join THEIR efforts….

Thus leaving the US with little wiggle room against Putin’s effort to keep Assad in power….At least for Now….

On a trip to Moscow this week, Secretary of State John Kerry urged a focus not on removing Syrian President Bashar Assad but instead on developing greater cooperation in Syria — a change in tone which could represent a reversal of standing US policy and have dramatic repercussions for the fight against the Islamic State group.

However, analysts wonder whether Kerry is simply trying to find common ground with Russia at a time when the relations between the two nations are as strained as they have been since the end of the Cold War.

Speaking in Russia on Dec. 15 following meetings with high-level Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, Kerry reiterated that the US does not see Assad as part of a future Syrian government, but used terminology less stark than other members of the Obama administration when discussing the Syrian president…..

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All this war talk by GOPer’s could lock them out of the Middle….

Politics 101…..

For the primaries and caucuses you run to right or left….

For the general election?

You run more twoards the middle….

While the LEADING Republican Presidential candidates, the media and others gloss over this political axiom……

The truth is ?

The hawkish boasting by Trump, Cruz, Rubio and others WILL create problems for them , should they become the nominee…

They ALL have pushed to have the media define them to their bases as more severe than the next guy…..

That has driven the GOP races poll numbers….

In which Donald Trump leads….

 

The presidential debate here this week crystallized the Republican Party’s growing consensus on national security and its strikingly hawkish response to threats at home and abroad, with the candidates vividly channeling the alarm and fear coursing through the GOP base.

“America is at war,” Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas declared in his opening statement. “Our enemy is not violent extremism. It is not some unnamed malevolent force. It is radical Islamic terrorists. . . . If I am elected president, we will hunt down and kill the terrorists. We will utterly destroy ISIS.”

Using bellicose language at a moment of pitched voter anxiety, many of the candidates committed themselves to a confrontational set of policies that, while energizing conservative activists, could prove difficult to carry out internationally and pose the risk of a backlash from war-weary swing voters next fall.

Thomas H. Kean, a former New Jersey governor who co-chaired the 9/11 Commission, said the GOP candidates were probably reacting to the suddenly hawkish mood of the electorate that is showing up in polls.

But Kean warned, “You can get locked into some of these positions if you get elected. It all sounds fine now in a primary, but Republicans might be sorry at the end of the year if they’re in the White House and the new president has to adjust to changing circumstances.”

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Some Dem’s who voted FOR limits on Syrian (And Iraqis) feel the heat….

As they SHOULD…..

The bill won’t become law since the Senate won’t approve the bill with enough support to overide a SURE President Obama veto….

A handful of House Democrats are racing to defend their support for legislation imposing new conditions on the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the face of blowback from human rights groups and other liberal advocates.

Almost 50 Democrats bucked President Obama and other Democratic leaders Thursday to join nearly every Republican in passing the bill, which toughens screenings on refugees arriving from Syria and Iraq before they can enter the country. The final vote was 289 to 137.

The legislation has been hammered by many liberals, who see it as a politically motivated — some say racist — effort to cripple the program and keep the refugees out of the country altogether.

But supporting Democrats disagree, arguing that the extra screenings required under the bill are simply a commonsense strategy for bolstering national security in the wake of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, which left 129 people dead and hundreds more injured.

On Friday, several of those Democrats took to the cable shows or issued statements aimed at explaining their vote.

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The US will cease training most anti-Syrian Rebel’s….

Why?

Cause Syria President ain’t going anywhere now that Russian President Putin has his back….

The program wasn’t much of a success anyways…

This is one case where sunlight on a program was good in getting it cancelled…

The Russian’s are now gonna be stuck in the Middle East Religious War…

Already we have them dropping missiles bound for elsewhere dropping in on their buddies the Iranians…

President Obama is wise to sit this out for now…..

In the end this Dog believes that no matter what ?

We have the separation of Syria and Iraq into separate religious based states…..

Syria and Iraq as Shia based ones….

The Islamic State as a Sunni one….

And the Kurds getting their own….

It was NEVER gonna be anything different in the end….

We can only define the countries it might have….

The Obama administration has ended the Pentagon’s $500 million program to train and equip Syrian rebels, administration officials said on Friday, in an acknowledgment that the beleaguered program had failed to produce any kind of ground combat forces capable of taking on the Islamic State in Syria.

Pentagon officials were expected to officially announce the end of the program on Friday, as Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter leaves London after meetings with his British counterpart, Michael Fallon, about the continuing wars in Syria and Iraq.

“I wasn’t happy with the early efforts” of the program, Mr. Carter said during a news conference with Mr. Fallon. “So we have devised a number of different approaches.” Mr. Carter added, “I think you’ll be hearing from President Obama very shortly” on the program.

A senior Defense Department official, who was not authorized to speak publicly and who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that there would no longer be any more recruiting of so-called moderate Syrian rebels to go through training programs in Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates. Instead, a much smaller training center would be set up in Turkey, where a small group of “enablers” — mostly leaders of opposition groups — would be taught operational maneuvers like how to call in airstrikes….

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‘Train and Equip’ against the Islamic State is gonna take time….

For those who haven’t listened closely?

The American War on Terror isn’t gonna have a lot of local ‘boots on the ground’ of a while….

That’s the way the plan is supposed work….

“Airstrikes alone are not going to do this. They’re not going to fix this. They’re not going to save the town of Kobani,” Pentagon spokesman Adm. John Kirby said Wednesday. “The ground forces that have to — that matter the most are indigenous ground forces. And we don’t have a willing, capable, effective partner on the ground inside Syria right now. It’s just a fact.”

Another fact: the urgency of getting help, including weapons and ammunition, to Syrian rebel forces has now collided with the reality of the timeline for vetting those fighters and establishing the train-and-equip program in Saudi Arabia.

And for those supporting the rebel fighters against the Islamic State, the clock is ticking.

“The opposition is asking to expedite the train-and-equip program, but particularly the equip. You have a battle force already on ground that is training on the field,” said Oubai Shahbandar, strategic communications adviser to the Syrian Coalition. “The training program is very important and part of a long-term program with U.S. and Saudi Arabian allies, but you need ammunition and you need ammunition fast. That is what stopped ISIS from overrunning Irbil and that is what is going to help FSA [Free Syrian Army] and Sunni tribes to hit ISIS at its exposed flank on the Syrian side of the border.”

In congressional testimony last month, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said the train-and-equip effort would take up to five months to launch. He also said a year might pass before the recruit, vet and prepare cycle was completed.

The question is what the war will look like by then?

“Two clocks are ticking at different speeds,” said Janine Davidson, who served from 2009 to 2012 as deputy assistant secretary of defense for plans. “It takes a certain amount of time to train people and equip them, and the question is what sorts of facts on the ground will be changed by the time they are able to get in there and do anything. How many more villages will get taken?”

Right now Kobani is just one of the towns that sit in ISIS crosshairs. As the Pentagon has acknowledged, others are likely to fall while cameras roll. In the meantime, those standing with Syrian rebel forces say there’s little time to waste…..

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