Archive for Russia
Again, the news cycle is moving so quickly, no one is able to completely keep up. However, with all of the focus on executive orders on immigration some major events are slipping by unnoticed. The take away is that the Middle East is again moving rapidly toward all-out war. The immigration issue is serious and important, but the war that could potential break out in the Middle East could be staggering. Here are the most recent highlights with comment:
Yemen in particular has become a flashpoint. Starting from the top, a unit from SEAL Team Six got mauled badly and lost an operator while conducting a direct action raid on a suspected al-Qaeda facility. Further, their MV-22 Osprey crashed and was destroyed on the ground. The base model of a single Osprey costs over $73,000,000 dollars and this was a special operations variant, which comes in closer to one hundred million dollars. This was in exchange for killing 14 alleged terrorists of at best, medium value, and collecting some information to better identify their network. This shows that President Trump is less risk averse when it comes to launching our soldiers into combat. If this becomes a trend, it means much more kinetic warfare and far greater US casualties. Previous to this raid, attacks in Yemen were almost exclusively being carried out by airstrikes.
If not bad enough, a Saudi Arabian Frigate, which is a warship, was attacked according to the US government, by a small boat laden with explosives. However, video evidence supports the assessment that believes the ship was hit by a missile supplied by Iran. Anti-ship missiles have been fired at US Warships in the same area over the last six months. Further, one man can be heard speaking in an Iranian accent chanting death to America. If it was indeed a missile that hit the boat, the fact is being downplayed and covered up to prevent outrage in Saudi Arabia that would demand revenge and initiate a war with Iran. This is not unprecedented in the region. An advanced ship from the UAE was also recently hit by an Iranian supplied anti-ship missile launched from Yemen and damaged so badly it had to be decommissioned. However, the UAE never officially acknowledge the attack.
Irrespective of how the attack occurred, the blast appears to have struck the upper portion of the stern of the Saudi ship inflicting serious damage and killing at least two Saudi sailors. This is a major act of war and is believed to have been launched by the Houthi rebels in Yemen. One may say this is the cost of starting an unnecessary war and invading Yemen. I would agree that it was stupid for Saudi Arabia to intervene militarily in Yemen. However, the Saudis tonight are not discussing whether or not their war was smart. What they are discussing his how to retaliate. If it in fact was an attack launched by the Houthis, the missile was undoubtedly supplied by Iran. Everyone knows this, but the question is if the Kingdom will hold the Houthis and/or the Iranians responsible. I assess the possibility of Saudi Arabia expanding their war in Yemen as high. I also see a medium likelihood of Saudi Arabia expanding it to Iran to include indicting any Iranian flagged ship near Yemen. This will undoubtedly provoke another cycle of violence. Worst case is Saudi Arabia decides to retaliate directly against Iran, but I assess this as unlikely. The fact that Saudi Arabia has not said anything about the ban in immigration from seven predominately Muslim countries factors into this situation. It is highly likely the Saudis will try to lean heavily on the US to take out Iran for them, which brings me to my next point.
Iran test launched a ballistic missile this week in violation of pretty much everything the international community has told Iran it could not do. Iran became a serial violator of any international dictates since the Obama Administration was in office. Their transgressions included seizing US Navy vessels and their crews in international waters, providing weapons to attack and kill Americans, holding Americans hostage, developing long range missile technology, and feigning attacks on our warships. Following precedent, Iran conducted a launch of another ballistic missile and has yet to be “reprimanded” by the new Administration. Perhaps, Iran thinks it has gotten away with it and President Trump will be a push over. If so, I believe they have badly miscalculated the new American President. President Trump in a short amount of time will respond. How, is the only question. Trumps retaliatory options range from lodging a diplomatic protest and re-invoking sanctions to launching a nuclear strike.
Yes, I do think President Trump is serious enough he may indeed use nuclear weapons during his time in office to prevent a bloody and costly deployment of ground troops against a country like North Korea or Iran. Nonetheless, I assess the Administration will come out with a clear warning to Iran, but will stop short of a military strike. Iran will get one warning, but no more. However, there is a perfect coalescing of Saudi and US interests with regards to annihilating Iran. Iran should take this seriously because Saudi Arabia may be on the phone right now with Washington discussing military options for the attack on their ship. If Trump greenlights retaliation, we could have a major outbreak of war in days. However, I reiterate, I think right now we will have some clear red lines drawn and preparations made, but the war won’t begin just yet.
In summary, things are getting hotter in the Middle East. All that is needed is a slight nudge and the entire region could erupt. I do not see anything getting calmer anytime soon. In fact, I think we are about to see a major escalation of war in the Middle East.
By Guiles Hendrik
January 30, 2017
I have to say, from a business perspective, we are getting a lot for our money. Trump, to date, has proved to be the hardest working president in a generation…like him or not. Further, the man has so far done exactly what he promised to do. Even more amazing is that he is getting it done in hours and days not months and years. For a man of his age, you have to respect his level of energy and dedication. It also appears he doesn’t take weekends off. Sorry bureaucrats…you have to work like the rest of us…and should. The question is whether he can keep this schedule up. The news agencies are literally physically breaking down trying to keep up with covering him. It truly is unprecedented. Here is the release in its raw form:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2017
PRESIDENT TRUMP’S FIRST WEEK OF ACTION
· 15: Presidential Actions to begin fulfilling his promises to Make America Great Again.
· 11: Diplomatic conversations with foreign leaders to promote an America First foreign policy.
· 4: Members of President Trump’s cabinet sworn into office.
· 3: Stakeholder meetings to get input from both workers and business leaders on jumpstarting job creation.
· 3: Engagements with members of Congress to discuss his agenda.
· 3: Visits to federal agencies committed to protecting our homeland and ensuring our national security.
· 1: Official White House visit by a foreign head of state.
· 1: Reception to honor law enforcement and first responders.
· 1: Proclamation supporting National School Choice week.
· The President’s team followed through on his commitment to action, by:
o collaborating with 28 federal agencies and departments on a near daily basis.
o discussing legislative items with at least 75 House members or their staffs and 35 Senators or their staffs.
o making initial contact with governors in each state and territory, and having in-depth discussions with 32 governors or their staff.
o discussing issues with 22 state attorneys general.
o beginning outreach to our nation’s largest municipalities and tribes.
President Trump Used The Power Of His Office To Follow Through On His Promises To The American People
WITHIN HOURS OF HIS INAUGURATION: President Trump moved to protect Americans from ObamaCare, government regulations, and future bailouts.
· On the evening of his Inauguration, President Trump sought relief for Americans from the cost burdens of ObamaCare.
· Through a memorandum issued by the Chief of Staff, all new regulations were frozen to protect job creators from the crush of new government rules on their businesses.
· President Trump put a stop to a reckless action that would have reduced funding for the Federal Housing Authority after it was bailed out by the taxpayers as recently as 2013.
MONDAY: President Trump fulfilled his promise to immediately address trade and jobs by withdrawing from the harmful Trans-Pacific Partnership, put in place a hiring freeze, and protected taxpayer money from funding abortions overseas.
· President Trump protected American workers by withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
· To stem the tide of an ever growing government, President Trump put in place a hiring freeze on federal civilian employees.
· After years of taxpayer money being spent to promote abortions abroad, President Trump reinstated the “Mexico City Policy” to ban such usage.
TUESDAY: President Trump promoted job creation by jumpstarting the construction of two new energy pipelines, requiring the use of American-made materials and equipment in building those pipelines, and reduced the regulatory burden on America’s manufacturing and construction industry.
· President Trump began the process to finish construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline after a series of delays.
· After years of delays, President Trump signed a presidential memorandum to revive the Keystone XL pipeline.
· To make sure Americans benefit from infrastructure projects, the President signed an executive memorandum requiring all new construction and repair of pipelines to use American materials and equipment.
· President Trump ordered the Commerce Department to streamline and reduce regulations affecting U.S. manufacturing to help bring factories back to America.
· To jumpstart much needed infrastructure projects, President Trump signed an executive order to speed up the environmental impact review of projects.
WEDNESDAY: President Trump followed through on his pledge to protect America’s borders and end the lack of compliance with immigration laws.
· Following through on his commitment to protecting the American people, President Trump signed an executive order to improve border security, particularly through the construction of a physical barrier on the southern border.
· President Trump signed an executive order to ensure that immigration laws are enforced throughout the United States, including halting federal funding for sanctuary cities.
FRIDAY: President Trump followed through on his top priority to keep America safe.
· President Trump signed an executive order protecting the United States from foreign nationals entering from countries compromised by terrorism, and ensuring a more rigorous vetting process.
· President Trump issued a presidential memorandum to direct the Secretary of Defense to review our readiness and create plans to rebuild the U.S. military.
President Trump Has Held or Scheduled 11 Conversations With Foreign Leaders To Promote American Interests Around The Globe
· On Saturday, President Trump spoke with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico and discussed respect for the sovereignty of both nations.
· On Saturday, President Trump also spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the importance of strong U.S.-Canada ties.
· On Sunday, President Trump spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to discuss opportunities to strengthen relations.
· On Monday, President Trump spoke with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi of Egypt, expressing his commitment for a new push in bilateral relations.
· On Tuesday, President Trump spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India to strengthen relations and cooperation.
· Today, President Trump spoke again with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico to discuss bilateral relations, border security and trade.
· Tomorrow, President Trump is scheduled to speak Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of with Japan
· Tomorrow, President Trump is scheduled to speak with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.
· Tomorrow, President Trump is scheduled to speak with President Vladimir Putin of Russia.
· Tomorrow, President Trump is scheduled to speak with President François Hollande of France.
· Tomorrow, President Trump is scheduled to speak with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia.
Four Of President Trump’s Nominees Were Confirmed By The Senate And Sworn Into Office
· Last Friday, retired General John Kelly was sworn in as Secretary of Homeland Security.
· Also last Friday, retired General James Mattis was sworn in as Secretary of Defense.
· On Monday, former Congressman Mike Pompeo was sworn in as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
· On Wednesday, former Governor Nikki Haley was sworn in as Ambassador to the United Nations.
Following Through On His Commitment To Job Creation, President Trump Held Stakeholder Meetings With Business And Labor Leaders
· On Monday, President Trump met with labor leaders to discuss his plans to renegotiate trade deals and put Americans back to work.
· Later on Monday, President Trump met with manufacturing leaders to discuss how to bring factories and manufacturing jobs back to America.
· On Tuesday, President Trump met with key industry leaders to discuss how the auto industry can bring back American jobs.
President Trump Held Meetings Or Spoke With Congressional Leaders To Discuss His Agenda
· On Monday, President Trump hosted Republican and Democrat congressional leaders and chiefs of staff at the White House to discuss the upcoming legislative agenda.
· On Tuesday, President Trump met with key Senate leaders to discuss his upcoming choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.
· On Thursday, President Trump spoke at the Republican congressional retreat in Philadelphia.
President Trump Spoke At The Headquarters Of The CIA, The Department Of Homeland Security, And The Department Of Defense
· On Saturday, President Trump spoke at CIA headquarters and told a raucous crowd that he’d have their back as he thanked them for their service to the country.
· On Wednesday, President Trump visited the Department of Homeland Security to reinforce his strong belief in protecting America’s borders.
· On Wednesday, President Trump visited the Department of Defense to highlight his commitment to rebuild our military.
President Trump Hosted U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May
· In hosting his first foreign head of state at the White House, President Trump welcomed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May.
As One Of His First Actions After Inauguration Day, President Trump Thanked American Law Enforcement And First Responders
· On Sunday, President Trump held a White House Reception to honor and thank law enforcement and first responders who helped make his Inauguration safe and successful.
President Trump Proclaimed National School Choice Week
· On Thursday, President Trump renewed his commitment to expand school choice for Americans by proclaiming January 22 through January 28, 2017, as National School Choice Week.
The President’s Team Is Following Through On His Commitment To Action
President Trump’s team has worked to ensure his team is in place at various departments and agencies and working to implement his agenda:
· The White House Office of Cabinet Affairs made 140 calls to 28 separate federal departments and agencies to collaborate on various issues.
· Cabinet Affairs personally met with 10 Cabinet nominees.
· Cabinet Affairs coordinated the swearing in of four cabinet members this week by the Vice President.
President Trump’s team has worked to ensure his legislative agenda is well-received in Congress:
· The White House Office of Legislative Affairs met or spoke with 110 congressional offices or elected representatives in 75 House and 35 Senate offices.
· Vice President Pence had several in-person meetings this week on Capitol Hill.
President Trump’s team began outreach to our nation’s states, municipalities, and tribes:
· The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs made initial contact with the governor’s offices in all of the states and territories.
· Intergovernmental Affairs held detailed discussions with the governors or their staff in 32 separate states.
· Intergovernmental Affairs made initial contact with 22 of the 50 state attorneys general.
· Intergovernmental Affairs has begun outreach to America’s largest municipalities, such as Los Angeles County and met with the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
· Intergovernmental Affairs made contact with the largest tribes in the country and has begun outreach with many leaders.
Trump Wins in Historic Anti-Establishment Victory, but Temper Your Jubilation: The Good, Bad, and Ugly of What’s to Come
Last night, Donald Trump won a historic victory by all accounts. America’s silent, dispossessed majority has spoken and it should serve as a warning to anyone discounting the anger of the CITIZENS the government has failed to serve. His victory was more about defeating Hillary and the overwhelming corruption and arrogance of the elites she represents than a referendum on his policies. With their support, Trump took on what amounts to the entire establishment and stunned the elites. The magnitude of this victory can’t be understated and we should have immense respect for what he has accomplished. The “Donald” went head-to-head with the media complex, fended off judicial attacks, and even successfully overcame his own party sabotaging him all while essentially saying exactly what the pundits said he couldn’t say…the truth. Donald Trump lived up to “his” own hype and proved he does have what it takes to outsmart even the dirtiest of career political elites. However, once the celebrations are over, the real work begins. Trump will have one of the most challenging jobs as President of anyone in our time and it is far from certain he will turn out to be what the people that voted for him believe he will be. Trump won by capturing populist anger, but when it comes to the nuts and bolts of healthy policies, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows if you now analyze what the American voter just elected. Here is a list of what we can look forward to, be worried about, and outright fear from President Trump.
The good: Read more
Jack Murphy, an author at SOFREP recently had the opportunity to interview Syrian President Assad. Whether or not you like President Assad, you need to hear Andrew Wilkow’s short interview with Jack about the meeting broadcast on The Wilkow Majority radio show. Jack may not realize it, but his observations are accurate and completely contradict Washington’s talking points. To be specific, our government is lying to us about Syria. If you do not get smart about the real facts on the ground that Jack discusses, you will be tricked into World War III by your propaganda masters.
As I have detailed from the beginning, the war in Syria has been engineered by global elites using terrorist proxies. (See http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/?s=syria). These special interests are solely interested in advancing their own agendas and care not for the damage it does to others. If successful, their strategy will result in disastrous strategic consequences for the region and the US. Read more
The following summary of recent world events is decidedly negative. This is not due to overt pessimism as much as the facts are just plain bad. In fact, I didn’t even include events like the effects of Hurricane Mathew, the attack on our warship off the coast of Yemen, and the assassination of more police around the US. The world is not getting any safer and indicators are all pointing to things worsening as we move into late fall and winter. The following are major events you should be taking note of with short comments.
- Situation in Syria: Syrian government forces backed by Iran and Russia continue to pound Aleppo and are nearing a strategic breakthrough. All actors in Syria recognize that if Assad is able to recapture Aleppo from the Islamic extremists it will be the beginning of the end for Washington’s terrorist proxies in Syria. As such, there is panic from Doha to Washington. The terrorist coalition knows that it is now or never for major intervention, which may force the White House to order direct strikes against the Syrian regime, which undoubtedly will be countered by Russian retaliation. This creates the potential for a rapid outbreak of a major regional war that could go global. We have effectively arrived at the point I have repeatedly forecasted would occur in Syria where either Moscow or Washington accepts a massive strategic policy defeat or there is a major war…perhaps both. This is inescapable at this point. The best case scenario is if the US backs out by aligning with Russia to defeat ISIL and negotiate a peace deal that leaves the regime in place for now. This is highly unlikely and if Hillary Clinton is elected, all but impossible.
- I am forecasting that the US will continue to spread false anti-Assad and anti-Russian propaganda to drum up war sentiment in the US to prepare the public for the announcement airstrikes against Syrian military positions. If the neo-cons within the establishment get their way the air strikes will happen, but there will be an immediate cost to US forces. Russia will defend its positions on the ground and engage any US forces that directly threaten Russian lives and interests. In this event, it is possible we will witness the first combat losses of US Fifth Generation Fighters, which Washington is rightfully terrified will occur. The loss of these jets will show everyone how much superiority the US has lost against countries like China under Obama. This will jeopardize the multi-billion dollar acquisition program that has been riddled with corruption, failures, and delays. As such, it is far more likely Washington will lead with cruise missile and drone strikes that are easier to deny and hide if they fail to achieve their objectives, but are also much less likely to achieve decisive results.
While the world has been distracted by the quickening of the dissent into global chaos, it was easy to miss a major even that occurred this week. Russia delivered the first batch of S-300 missiles to Iran. The missiles were the last component needed to make their previously delivered S-300 Air Defense System fully operational. This may signal Russia is moving forward with a more aggressive foreign policy to counter the US military’s growing list of provocative actions. Further, two countries did not miss this major geostrategic event. Israel and Saudi Arabia have been carefully watching and monitoring Iran for this event, which may prove to be a red line that at least Israel is unwilling to allow Iran to cross. If true, the clock is about to run out for Israel to take unilateral action or be at the mercy of warming US foreign policy to Iran. This could mean the outbreak of WWIII.
Make no mistake, the introduction of a fully operational S-300 Air Defense System in Iran alters the balance of power in the Middle East and Israel and Saudi Arabia know it. It is possible Israel has developed counter measures to the S-300, but the mere presence of the system alone would fundamentally limit Israel’s ability to attack Iran’s nuclear sites. Whether or not Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu reached a mutually acceptable deal on the sale and delivery of the system to Iran is unknown, but my guess is Israel protested vigorously. Both the Netanyahu and Putin know that the air defense sale will significantly strengthen and embolden Iran, which is a sworn enemy of Israel. Further, Iran is seen as a threat by the rest of the Sunni dominated Gulf-Arab countries. Therefore, one must ask if this could trigger and war and if so, why Russia would finalize the sale and delivery.
I have previously warned and detailed why an operational S-300 Air Defense System is a major event that could trigger a war in the Middle East that goes global. (See: http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/2015/08/29/russian-transfer-of-s-300-air-defense-system-may-force-israeli-to-initiate-war-with-iran-before-winter/). Read more
What can we expect next from Turkey? Although, elements of the coup are still holding out in Ankara, the coup leadership has allegedly fled Turkey by helicopter to Greece and asked for asylum. All indications now are that Erdogan will remain in power and the coup failed. This is bad news for Turkey and the rest of the world.
The immediate aftermath is clear. Erdogan’s security forces are now busy arresting a massive number of military personnel that are believed to have supported the coup. Once complete, this will consolidate Erdogan’s power over the military, which is has already deeply purged. Further, the failure of the coup due to “popular support” will only increase his power, which will accelerate Turkey’s descent into a Islamic State. In short, the idea of a secular Turkey died last night with the failed coup. Read more
Events are still unfolding and it is too early to make any final conclusions. However, it is clear that a military coup in Turkey is underway to overthrow Erdogan. As of now, all indications support the CIA was completely caught off guard and US was happy with the Islamic leaning Erdogan’s administration. As such, it is unlikely the CIA had anything to do with the coup. However, there are some indications that Russian intelligence helped back the military coup to oust Erdogan. Did Putin just get the last laugh…again?
Russia-Turkey relations have warmed remarkably in the last two weeks, but was this because Russia knew change was coming? It is also quite coincidental that US Secretary of State John Kerry just met with his Russian counterpart. Further, Russia correctly recognized Turkey was continuing to back Islamic extremists in Syria against Russian interests. Turkey is/was preparing a major military offensive to back Islamic extremists to retake Aleppo from Syrian forces in hopes of forcing Syrian President Assad out of power. This was a Russian redline. However, Russia did not want a direct conflict with Turkey and potentially all of NATO. Nonetheless, Russia could not and would not allow Turkey to directly intervene in a decisive way as I previously warned. As such, Russia needed a way to counter Erdogan’s policy to overthrow Assad and stop it without a bigger war. I should also mention Putin didn’t take the fact Turkey shot down a Russian jet lightly.
Short of a major war, a coup became an attractive option for derailing Washington’s Middle East Policy, defeating ISIL/ISIS, and countering Turkish actions targeting Syria and its President Assad. This appears to have culminated in a Russia covert operation to support the overthrow of Erdogan. Whether or not the coup proves successful, one will look back and see this is probably the last best effort to return Turkey to a secular state and defeat radical Islamists hijacking the country with a minimal amount of bloodshed. I find it fitting that Erdogan, a radical extremist that has backed Islamic jihadists found himself potentially one run out of office, not Assad.
I can’t understate the implications of this coup. If successful, ISIL/ISIS will get hammered by unimpeded Russia, Kurdish, and Syrian forces. Without Turkey’s covert support, ISIL/ISIS will face near certain military defeat in Syria. However, if the coup fails, expect all hell to break out across the region. Erdogan will return and his crackdown and purges will murder many people as radical Islamists solidify their grip on power. Any hopes for a secular Turkey will be dead. ISIL/ISIS will also get the full backing of Turkey in Syria and it is likely this will lead to plummeting relations with Russia and an outbreak of a major war. This is just the beginning of an unraveling of the entire region. Events will continue spiral out of control across the globe and the US. I will continue to update on this as events unfold.
July 15, 2016
Putin deals Obama another strategic policy defeat in Syria as Russian military outflanks Turkey and redeploys to Armenia in preparation for major regional war
This week Russia announced it would begin the withdrawal of some of its military forces from Syria catching many analysts by surprise. However, it appears the US military and intelligence community may have known in advance that this was going to occur because of a secretly brokered ceasefire deal between Moscow and the White House. On the surface, this appears to be a positive sign for all parties. Russia doesn’t get bogged down in Syria and it alleviates tensions in the region and the chances for a military miscalculation that could lead to a rapidly escalating war. Don’t be fooled. Russia just handed the US another major strategic defeat and most policy makers are too dumb to even realize it yet because they can’t think beyond the immediate.
As with most things in government, looks are deceiving and Putin is again laughing at the US as he readies for a potential war with Turkey and Saudi Arabia, Read more
Obama’s pick to head CENTCOM testifies his strategy to fight ISIL will be to use the previous failed strategy to fight ISIL. Can it get any worse for the military?
President Obama picked General Joseph Votel, the current commander of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), to succeed General Lloyd Austin as the new head of US Central Command (CENTCOM) pending Senate approval. This was a genuine opportunity for Obama to change the strategic trajectory of US failures in the Middle East. However, after hearing Gen. Votel’s comments, I can say without any doubt the man is an incompetent commander that was politically chosen as a policy “yes man.” In short, Gen. Votel does not have a viable strategy to achieve victory and therefore should be fired as a commander, not promoted. Gen. Votel will not be the man to defeat ISIL unless he takes credit for the good work the Russians, Kurds, and Syrians are doing. Even then, I have full faith and confidence that the White House will manage to scuttle Russia’s successes too for the time being. What it means if Gen. Votel is confirmed by the Senate is that you can expect more of the same series of failures and continued perpetual indecisive wars across the globe. I urge every one of you to make it clear to your senators that Gen. Votel is NOT the man for the job or he will be confirmed and you will see another one of my predictions come to pass. Tell your senators we need a CENTCOM commander that will break from the failed strategies of the last 15 years. Congress must know Gen. Votel is incapable of charting a strategy for decisive victory, which our nation requires.
I am sure that some of my readers, which are well meaning, but loyal brainwashed company men of the military establishment, are cussing me for my blasphemy against such a vaunted general. However, I can say that anyone that places stock in military commanders that fail to achieve victory against a force as inept as the Taliban is a qualified idiot. Further, if they are currently serving in the military and support these professed students of what I refer to as a defeatist military strategy, they are suicidal. How weak minded must someone be to buy into the rhetoric that the Taliban are a super human force that would require a generation to defeat? Only by choosing to lose could that be a reality for the US military. This is strategic dereliction and I will not accept it even if the best Army post graduate students are too institutionalized to see the truth. At times, it is far more effective to be tactful in commentary; however, this is a case where blunt honesty is needed because lives will be lost because of this mockery of a commander. Incompetence left to its own devices is forgivable, but I will give no quarter to incompetence that seeks the power to sign the death certificate of a single life.
Gen. Votel was in charge of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) before taking over SOCOM and should know that our current strategy of training rebels isn’t working unless you are taking into account the number of ISIL and Taliban fighters we armed, trained, and equipped. Gen. Votel’s professional pedigree sounds superb until you consider “brilliant” losers like General McChrystal came from JSOC as well. Don’t get me wrong, I love the superbly professional organization JSOC has become and can say from working with their phenomenal operators around the globe that they are “tactically” the best in the business. However, the special operations cult worship has to end on Capitol Hill. Special operators regularly do take on missions of vital strategic importance, but they do not decisively operate at the strategic level. The distinction is crucial. Special operators are an extremely valuable warfighting tool, but have become the defacto tool for supporting the flawed notion that you can fight a war on the cheap and win decisively with a handful of special operators training foreign armies and rebels. Part of this comes from the fact many special operators trace their roots to traditional Army Special Forces units where their primary “special” mission is training and advising indigenous forces to support COIN and Foreign Internal Defense (FID) missions even if the historical data now overwhelmingly shows the COIN and FID tactics and techniques don’t work. The bottom line is unless said special operators are launching a strategic nuclear strike, the strategy simply isn’t working at a strategic level and over 15 years of failed war attest to this fact. Neither JSCOC nor SOCOM is designed or capable of giving us a decisive strategic victory against ISIL. Only, a through a true total war of attrition will you finally turn back and utterly defeat the Islamic Holy War against the West.
Specific to Gen. Votel’s demonstrated incompetence, in testimony Wednesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen. Votel told lawmakers that he supports moving forward with a revised effort to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels battling Islamic State militants. Gen. Votel described the “new” approach as a “thickening effort” as opposed to just raising a large force. What that exactly means is anyone’s guess, but this much is clear. This is the same “old” counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy the US has been peddling since Vietnam, which has never led to anything but total strategic failure. This is repeating a failed and completely discredited strategy and expecting a different result, which is insanity. Gen. Votel should know that there are no “moderate” rebels that will effectively challenge ISIL. He should also know that the only effective fighting force has been the Kurds and Washington is about to double cross them again on behalf of the Turks, which will blow back horribly on our anti-ISIL efforts. How, after billions of dollars were spent overtly and covertly on the failed strategy to arm, train, and equip rebels to fight ISIL in Iraq and Syria, can Gen. Votel honestly believe it will be different this time? Even Gen. Austin, the retiring CENTCOM commander, admitted in Congressional testimony the entire plan only trained four of five fighters! Not even Gen. Votel can be this naïve. Only someone that has sacrificed their integrity at the gates of politics would continuing such a ridiculous policy be possible.
Gen. Votel’s testimony did not improve. He went on to testify, “But I do think it is helpful to have people who have been trained by us, who have the techniques, who have the communications capability, and the resources to link back into our firepower.” The trained fighters, Votel explained, present the Islamic State with added “dilemmas.” This is a very disturbing conclusion by the general considering the historical record shows that US trained forces repeatedly failed when tested in battle and also defected in most cases without even a fight. Worse yet, these indigenous forces took all of our training, techniques, communications, and firepower to the enemy when they defected. In fact, based on the US track record, it would be more accurate to say that it is only helpful to our enemies.
Gen. Votel’s lack of integrity and or lack of good sense will rightfully earn him the blame for the failure of US strategy (or lack thereof) in the Middle East against ISIL. Mark my words, Obama has never accepted responsibility for his growing list of strategic failures and isn’t going to start now. Gen. Votel is signing on to a disastrous strategy that cannot work. Obama will hang this around Gen. Votel’s neck just like he has done with nearly every other commander. If Gen. Votel is even a bit savvy as a strategic thinker, he should clearly see that he is being set up as bad as the disgraced General Petraeus and run for the door or get a new strategy right now.
As with most articles I write, I try not to just criticize and point out flaws, but offer solutions. This article is no different. The links at the bottom of this article are a short list of key articles I have written that accurately predicted the progression to the state of affairs as it stands now in the Middle East with regards to ISIL. A key part of those predictions has been to repeatedly warn that President Obama’s strategy was never a “strategy” and would ultimately fail in a very predictable fashion, which has played out exactly as I predicted over two years ago. This should serve as my bona fides for correctly assessing and accurately predicting events years in advance. Second, I have also included an outline of what a real strategy for a decisive strategic victory would look like. I hope that these articles end up in the right hands of individuals that actually have power over policy, but it suffices for now that the public is being educated about the military’s lies. Whether or not Gen. Votel is confirmed, I will continue to extend the offer to step up and advise anyone actually serious about defeating ISIL going as far as staking my reputation to a winning strategy, which to date, no one has had the courage to do. It is time for our senior policy makers to show real courage and leadership by breaking away from the old caste of establishment beltway characters and seek some fresh, independent perspectives because to date, nothing the snake oil salesmen have provided has worked and it never will. Until then, in the least, call your senators and explain that we need a real military commander in charge of CENTCOM and that Gen. Votel should not be confirmed.
By Guiles Hendrik
March 10, 2016
Massive and devastating escalation of War in Syria looms as Syrian Forces backed by Russia are poised to retake Aleppo: Saudi Arabia and Turkey prepare to deploy armies to Syria in response
This is an alert to all of my readers of a potentially imminent global crisis. We are not at the point of a full blown crisis yet, but I am telling everyone they need to not get, but, BE ready for things rapidly to turn very bad within 30-60 days. I will be closely monitoring this situation and will provide updates as necessary.
While most Americans are distracted by the Super Bowl and the disgusting Jerry Springeresque political theater we call an election process, the world is rapidly descending toward a major, devastating war that will ultimately involve more Americans than both Afghanistan and Iraq combined. Make no mistake, the situation developing in the Middle East is extremely grave and the US government has lost all control. I have warned repeatedly about ignoring the last off ramps to peace in the Middle East and what the result would be. Well, now another prediction has come to pass as Russian backed Syrian troops are poised to retake Aleppo from the murderous Islamic savages and Saudi Arabia and Turkey prepare to militarily join the fight.
One quick look at a map will demonstrate the strategic significance of Aleppo for rebels fighting in Syria. Most critical to the mix of rebel elements still holding Aleppo is that it provides access to key supply lines originating in Turkey. If Aleppo falls, the primary rebel supply line will be cut and the rebels will face a near imminent defeat. Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar are the primary backers of rebel forces in Syria and know this means their policy is about to collapse and Shia Iran will become the region’s hegemon. This also petrifies countries like Israel that have remained mostly quiet about the civil war even though they too are deeply involved. As a result, these countries are preparing to commit military forces to prevent Aleppo’s fall. As I have repeatedly warned, this will escalate the conflict significantly and rapidly. See: http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/?s=syria
Make no mistake; the US has been on the wrong side of this war. I welcome the advance of Russian backed Syrian forces smashing the rebel forces, which are primarily composed of radical Islamic extremists that have been brutally murdering thousands of innocent people to include Christians. However, as I have repeatedly predicted, if one side in the proxy war primarily between Iran and Saudi Arabia gains a decisive advantage, it would force the other to quadruple down (they have already doubled and tripled) on their policy. At this point, that means putting their troops in actually face to face battle. As I warned for years and literally predicted, Saudi Arabia has now announced it is preparing to deploy its troops to Syria. See: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/02/general-saudi-arabia-set-deploy-troops-syria-160205042542486.html
The arrival of Gulf Arab armies in Syria will be in a single word, catastrophic. The US long ago lost effective control of the conflict it in large part created, but MUST stop this deployment or risk the outbreak of a full scale regional and possibly world war. The notion that an alliance of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, and Kuwait, the same countries that have collectively spent billions arming and supporting ISIL, will now move to destroy ISIL defies all logic. In fact, it is so politically ridiculous that it is in fact a thinly veiled lie. Instead, Saudi Arabia and Turkey will lead an army into Syria with only one goal and that is to overthrow President Assad. Rather than fighting the radical terrorist elements such as ISIL, they will back them by recasting them as “moderate rebels.” Russia, Iraq, Iran, and Hezbollah will not be fooled by this and proportionally escalate. This sets the stage for a massive and devastating escalation. Read more
Black Friday hit world stock markets causing almost three trillion dollars in losses. As I predicted, this summer’s crash initiated a far larger crash cycle that is now returning with a fury. The Chinese contagion that was said to be “contained” by our leaders is anything but contained. It is now clear China’s economic crash wasn’t averted; it was just temporarily masked and delayed. Further, oil prices continue their steep decline and now are under 30 dollars a barrel. Also, 2015’s economic numbers are in and 2015 was the year global economies fell back into chaos. With compounding bad economic news in all markets globally, what can we expect going forward?
I have for years told advocates of energy independence that it isn’t $200 dollars a barrel for oil that I fear, but rather $20 a barrel. Most “experts” thought that by reducing our reliance on Middle Eastern oil supplies, we would somehow achieve greater stability. I correctly warned that if you want to see real chaos, drop the oil prices to $37 or below. Well, today, oil prices broke below the key technical floor of $30 per barrel and barring any intervention by Saudi Arabia to reduce oil production, we are going to soon test the $20 mark. Even before hitting the $37 mark, it was clear stability in the Middle East had gone from really bad to near worst case scenario. At the $20 per barrel mark something must break. Whether Saudi Arabia takes and knee and gives into OPEC pressure to cut production or a war breaks out, no oil producing country can continue to endure this price point much longer. This downward spiral in the oil market will only add to the vast problems in the Middle East and before the region rebalances, it is very likely more countries will collapse. With near certainty, the old geographic boundaries of the Middle East will be completely redrawn and it is increasingly likely we are seeing the first waves of what will eventually turn into a major collapse of Saudi Arabia. Read more
Just as I warned earlier this week, it appears Russia is moving to debase the Petro-Dollar, which would fundamentally destroy the quality of life Americans enjoy today.
Russia has just taken significant steps that will break the present Wall Street oil price monopoly, at least for a huge part of the world oil market. The move is part of a longer-term strategy of decoupling Russia’s economy and especially its very significant export of oil, from the US dollar, today the Achilles Heel of the Russian economy.
Reposted from Zerohedge.com; Submitted by William Engdahl via New Eastern Outlook