Thursday, June 15, 2017

Trump's General Staff

Arrives just in time, too:

"Islamic State Captures Tora Bora, Once Bin Laden’s Afghan Fortress" by Rod Nordland New York Times   June 15, 2017

KABUL, Afghanistan — Tora Bora, the mountain redoubt that was once Osama bin Laden’s fortress, fell to the group that calls itself the Islamic State group early Wednesday, handing the extremists a significant strategic and symbolic victory, Afghan officials said.

So they say. I'm smelling rank-rot, war-pushing propaganda.

Taliban fighters who had previously controlled the extensive cave and tunnel complex fled overnight after a determined, weeklong assault by the extremist group, according to villagers fleeing the area Wednesday.

That means IS is the U.S.'s ally? Or then the Taliban are their ally? 

You know what works here? Make ''em all enemies. Who cares about the contradictions, who cares about the absurdities? Just roll with it.

Hazrat Ali, a member of Parliament and a prominent warlord from the area who helped United States forces capture Tora Bora from Al Qaeda in 2001, said that the offensive was prompted by the US decision to drop the so-called mother of all bombs on an Islamic State network of tunnels in Achin district in April.

That's garbage, and this guy is one of the Northern Alliance Tajiks and Uzbeks that were more brutal than the Taliban before they were pushed out in the 1990s.

All this ISIS, OBL, Tora Bora talk is a big mind-f*** to trigger you mentally and get geared up for the upcoming summer attack and false flag. That's what this rot smells like.

Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Taliban in that area, accused the United States of carrying out airstrikes in support of the Islamic State, but local officials and residents denied hearing any.

We will get to more of those later.

Residents said the Taliban had fled. “The Taliban escaped from the area last night and left us to ISIS with our women and children,” said Juma Gul, a tribal elder from the Suleymankhel Valley, close to Tora Bora, who said he was among hundreds of families who fled the area after the Islamic State took over. “There was no resistance by the Taliban against ISIS, and local tribes had no way to fight them anymore, so we just escaped.”

That I don't believe.

The militants now have an easily defended base at Tora Bora, Ali said, as well as access to many other parts of Nangarhar province through the Spin Ghar mountains along the Pakistan border, where Tora Bora sits. “ISIS has a stronghold and will capture these areas one after another,” he said.

Pakistan to be slowly turned into an enemy soon? Looks that way.

Ali has extensive experience fighting against al Qaeda in the area but has also been accused of having helped bin Laden escape from Tora Bora in December 2001, reportedly betraying his U.S. and Afghan allies as they closed in on the al Qaeda leadership.....

Why not? They both worked for the same boss.


"Trump gives Pentagon authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan" by Thomas Gibbons-Neff Washington Post  June 15, 2017

WASHINGTON — President Trump has given the Pentagon new authorities to decide the troop levels in Afghanistan, a US official said Tuesday. The move could lead to a deployment of thousands more troops as commanders decide the way forward in the now 15-year-old war.

With the new authority, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis could authorize deployment of additional troops to Afghanistan, something commanders on the ground there have been requesting for months. General John Nicholson, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan as well as his direct superior, head of US Central Command, General Joseph Votel, have both made cases for sending a few thousand more troops. If sent, the forces would help the fledgling Afghan military regain portions of the country that have fallen to the Taliban since US forces ended their combat mission there in 2014.

The decision from the White House comes the same day Mattis told lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee that ‘‘we are not winning’’ in Afghanistan. Mattis said that the Taliban was surging throughout the country. When asked what ‘‘winning looks like,’’ Mattis replied that it would mean a long-term US presence.

Confirms what I've stated repeatedly: it's not about "winning," it's about being there. Now you know why the U.S. and its allies support ISIS. Need a reason to stay.

In the short-term, Mattis and the chairman of the Joint Chief’s of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, said additional US troops sent to the country would provide more fire and air support to the Afghans. Airstrike and artillery, they said, would give the Afghan forces breathing room to build a more effective force.


WTF have they been doing for the last 16 years? 

How much money have they spent training forces?

All wasted, huh?

In the first eight months of 2016, Afghan forces suffered 15,000 casualties, including more than 5,000 killed. Recruiting efforts have been barely able to keep the Afghan security forces from maintaining their current ranks, let alone growing to a size large and capable enough to project security in the country.

The Taliban ‘‘had a good year last year,’’ Mattis said.

With an air force that is still in its infancy and corruption still rampant in the ranks, the Afghan army could take years to mature enough to negate the US role in the country, experts say.....

It makes you laugh save for all the dead bodies and misery be inflicted upon the place.


See: McMaster’s War 

It will be if it isn't already, and "the move is similar to the April decision that gave the Pentagon more authority to set troop levels in Iraq and Syria."


UN: ‘Staggering’ loss of life reported from US-led air raids on ISIS-held Raqqa

The tragedies of war.

Dozens of Islamic State militants in suicide vests launch Mosul counterattack

Nothing about the sick kids today?

"Qatar pulls all its troops from Djibouti-Eritrea border" Associated Press  June 14, 2017

DOHA, Qatar — Qatar said Wednesday that it had pulled all of its troops from the border of Djibouti and Eritrea, east African nations that have a long-running territorial dispute Doha had helped mediate.

They need them at home.

Qatar offered no explanation for the move, though it comes amid a diplomatic dispute with other Arab nations that have cut diplomatic ties and now are trying to isolate Qatar from the rest of the world.

Not working; Oman, Iran, Russia, and Turkey have filled the void.

While the dispute hasn’t escalated to a military confrontation, Qatar’s military is dwarfed by neighboring Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Eritrea’s top diplomat to the African Union, Araya Desta, said the move came after Eritrea cut diplomatic ties to Qatar; however, Desta said his country wanted no confrontation with Djibouti.

‘‘We don’t want to take any of Djibouti’s land,’’ Araya said. ‘‘The last time we had some skirmishes. It was unnecessary.’’

That's like saying it's not about the money.

Doha mediated the conflict between the two countries in 2010. Gulf nations have stationed troops in both African countries, using that as a jumping-off point for the ongoing Saudi-led war in Yemen.....


Good thing for Djibouti there is a Chinese base nearby.

"US troops in besieged city of Marawi, Philippine military says" by Felipe Villamor New York Times  June 14, 2017

MARAWI, Philippines — US troops are on the ground in the embattled southern Philippine city of Marawi.

Then someone lied to me yesterday.

The spokesman, Brigadier General Restituto Padilla, said the US forces were not engaged in combat, but his statement was the first official confirmation of the US military presence in Marawi.

Yes, the pre$$ always needs official confirmation or it's not true.

US officials have framed the assistance as part of a long-term counterterrorism project, noting in a statement Monday that the Special Forces had been “providing support and assistance in the southern Philippines for many years.”

This goal here is the same as in Afghanistan!

On Sunday, President Rodrigo Duterte told reporters he had “never approached America” for help and was unaware of US military assistance in Marawi. His spokesman, Ernesto Abella, said on the same day that the US role “does not involve any boots on the ground.” Those comments suggested the Philippine military, which has a long relationship with the US military, may not have consulted Duterte.

Then we have had a SILENT COUP in the Philippines! 

Duterte needs to pull an Erdogan!

Padilla noted that the United States and the Philippines were bound by a 1951 mutual defense treaty that calls for them to aid each other in times of aggression by a third party. Hundreds of militants claiming allegiance to the Islamic State attacked Marawi last month with the goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate in the Philippines....

Yeah, came out of nowhere in the elite section of town and an area with a nearby U.S. military base. Hmmmmm.



Twist in Otto Warmbier Case: North Koreans Don’t Usually Beat American Captives

"Human rights groups and the United Nations have condemned the policy, under which refugees and asylum seekers have languished for years in grim conditions on the remote, underdeveloped islands....."

G'day, mate!

Also seeSenate overwhelming votes to curtail Trump’s power to ease up on Russia sanctions

The vote count was 97 to 2. No messy partisanship when it comes to war.

I assume they were paired with sanctions on Iran, no?


Senate passes sweeping sanctions bill targeting Iran, Russia

98-2 this time.

"Islamic State militants have set up new headquarters in Syria where they are digging in and likely planning more attacks against the West. The militants’ relocation could extend their ability to wreak havoc in the region and beyond for months to come. US officials and Syrian activists say many commanders have fled the besieged cities of Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria, in recent months for Mayadeen, a remote town in the heart of Syria’s Islamic State-controlled Euphrates River valley near the Iraqi border, although the United States-led coalition is aware of the migration and has launched airstrikes there....."

Somali survivors tell of restaurant siege by rebels; 31 dead

Suicide bomber strikes near Shiite mosque in Kabul, 4 dead

Pentagon to send 4,000 additional US forces to Afghanistan, report says

In general, the rest of the paper is sh**, too.