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Old 10-08-2013   #181
John T. Fishel
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Default Hey Carl

I had an Ivy League education and I resent that. Some of us really aren't stupid and can admit our mistakes. Others, on both sides of the aisle, have a real problem admitting they are wrong.

I've been wrong a whole lot of times (although I just can't seem to remember any off the top of my head ) but I still keep trying and hopefully learning.

Cheers

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Old 10-09-2013   #182
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JohnT:

There is a rehabilitation program available, but it is rigorous and available only to those who will take full responsibility for their actions and are sincerely sorry for their transgressions. You mainly have to say you take responsibility and say you're sorry with a slight choke in your voice...once. After that, you're in. We didn't want to make it too hard so as not to discourage deserters from the other side.
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Old 10-09-2013   #183
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Originally Posted by Stan View Post
Hey Carl,

How about a disinformation campaign... loled into a false sense of security.

CA and Pysops
Hey Stan! How you been? Glad to see you back here.

We got 'em man. They all think our leaders are feckless girly men right now. Just wait till the ballon goes up and the sterling characters and courageous dispositions come out. Boy will they be surprised.
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Old 10-09-2013   #184
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Carl, Maybe that really isnt the world we live in. Isnt there a dialog somewhere in Wag the Dog where the Dustin Hoffman character gets a little pensive and wonders what will become of our civilization if we just manufacture a Potemkin war and sell it like we sell washing powder (actual words were probably different)..and De Niro says "that IS our civilization"...
Or some such.
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Old 10-09-2013   #185
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Exhibit A in "the emperor really is naked"" http://linkis.com/yaleglobal.yale.edu/PfQD

Marc Grossman was Afpak special rep. And apparently he is totally serious here. Read and weep.
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Old 10-09-2013   #186
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and this is exhibit 2. One of the best (if not THE best) book review in the nation is suckered by Akbar S Ahmed. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/arch...gination=false
I have lost all hope.
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Old 10-09-2013   #187
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carl View Post
Hey Stan! How you been? Glad to see you back here.

We got 'em man. They all think our leaders are feckless girly men right now. Just wait till the ballon goes up and the sterling characters and courageous dispositions come out. Boy will they be surprised.
Hey Carl,
Doing fine and had enough of the Dark Continent this year

I was just across the fence during our last fiasco in Somalia and I assure you the boys in green will not suffer fool to another administration

PM and email sent.

Regards, Stan
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Old 10-09-2013   #188
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Default Good catch

Quote:
Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
and this is exhibit 2. One of the best (if not THE best) book review in the nation is suckered by Akbar S Ahmed. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/arch...gination=false
I have lost all hope.
Very good catch. Lots of gems and wisdom in the review.
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Old 10-09-2013   #189
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Default How to reduce al-Shabab -- in six easy steps

A FP Blof article by:
Quote:
Roger D. Carstens is a former U.S. Army Special Forces Officer who recently spent 15 months in Somalia as an observer and military advisor. He is a non-resident senior fellow at the New America Foundation.
and entitled 'How to rid Somalia of al-Shabab once and for all -- in six (not-so) easy steps':http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...isom?page=full

Others are better placed to comment, but from disadvantage point I did find this passage lacked credibility - with my bold:
Quote:
The Somali National Army currently sits at about 12,000 troops divided among six divisions. The soldiers are generally great fighters -- and for the most part, they are led by good officers who are eager to improve and professionalize.
I simply do not believe there are 12k Somali troops. In none of the newsreel I have watched, reliant on ANISOM protection, has there been any Somali soldiers in view.
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Old 10-09-2013   #190
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Default The ROE for Strategic Raids - and Other Actions

From the WP, Heeding new counterterror guidelines, U.S. forces backed off in Somalia raid (by Karen DeYoung, October 7, 2013).

First, as to the ROEs:

Quote:
When Navy SEALs were met with gunfire as they attempted a raid on a seaside militant compound in southern Somalia early Saturday, the commander of the operation had the authority to call in a U.S. airstrike. Instead, he opted to retreat.

The site had been under surveillance, and the operation against an al-Qaeda-affiliated group had been in the planning stages, for months, current and former Obama administration officials said Monday. A drone strike against the al-Shabab compound had been rejected, officials said, because there were too many women and children inside, the same reason that the commander opted against an airstrike once the operation was underway.

Destroying the compound probably would also have defeated a primary purpose of the mission: to capture, not kill, a Kenyan-born al-Shabab commander named Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, also known as Ikrima. He has long been on a U.S. “capture or kill” list, along with al-Shabab leader Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr, known as Godane, and was considered the group’s primary planner of attacks outside Somalia.

As they provided more details of the aborted operation in the town of Barawe, current and former administration officials said it was designed within restrictive counterterrorism guidelines that President Obama signed in the spring. Under the 2001 congressional Authorization for the Use of Military Force, the guidelines say that lethal force can be used only when there is a “near certainty that non-combatants will not be injured or killed.”

If civilians had not been present at the compound, a senior administration official said, “we might just as well have done a standoff strike,” hitting the site with missiles launched from piloted or unmanned aircraft. The desire to avoid hitting non-combatants, the official said, “accounts for the fact that ultimately [U.S. forces] disengaged” when they “met resistance.”
If accurate (the actual ROEs haven't been published), the Centcom ROE ("reasonable certainty", given variant meanings) has morphed to "near certainty" - at least in this incarnation. "Near certainty" begins to sound very much like "beyond a reasonable doubt".

That ties in with the second point (both the Somalian and Libyan ops were capture ops):

Quote:
The guidelines also codify a long-stated but rarely implemented administration preference for capturing rather than killing terrorism targets.

Officials cited the Somalia operation, as well as the capture of an al-Qaeda figure in Tripoli, Libya, on the same day, as proof that the administration is not overly enamored with the relatively risk-free use of drones at the expense of detaining militants to glean intelligence.

“To people who had said we don’t undertake capture operations, here are two,” the senior official said.
No attempt has been made by the administration to justify either operation on other than Laws of War principles. I've no objection to that as such; but, it's interesting that the administration, in effect, recognizes that a state of war exists in the "new" Libya.

Regards

Mike
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Old 10-10-2013   #191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
Exhibit A in "the emperor really is naked"" http://linkis.com/yaleglobal.yale.edu/PfQD

Marc Grossman was Afpak special rep. And apparently he is totally serious here. Read and weep.
You're right Omar. This thing is incredible. Statements about setting condtions that weren't preconitions but end conditions or Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) to viewing the release of Baradar as an effort by Pakistan (!?) to catalyze the peace process (boy do I hate the phrase 'peace process') to Taliban & Company's continuing to kill people as having "called into question the Taliban’s commitment to creating a peace process, " made me alternately laugh out loud and crash my face into the table in frustrated incredulity.

The most telling part of the whole piece though, and the most amazing, was this "...the war in Afghanistan is going to end politically... If there is ever to be peace in Afghanistan, Afghans will need to talk to other Afghans about the future of Afghanistan." That is true but people like Mr. Grossman don't seem to realize that this kind of exchange-"Surrender now or we'll kill you! Ef off!" BANG.-is a political ending that involves talking just as surely as a nicely refined series of talks held in a 5 star hotel.

We are led by people who can't perceive the real world. This is not good.
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Old 10-11-2013   #192
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my comment about Akbar S. Ahmed may not have been immediately clear, so here is a little clarification I wrote to someone elsewhere:

Akbar S Ahmed is an ex-civil servant who has made a career in anthropology and academia selling his "first hand experience" of tribal mores. This book is more or less on that theme. The idea that the Jihadis are basically aggrieved tribal people, upholding their mysterious, exotic tribal code against the modern world. Which, I think, is nonsense. The traditional tribal structures have completely collapsed in the face of modern jihadism and have little or nothing to do with this phenomenon, which was imported into tribal areas by the CIA and ISI and is hardly a tribal innovation. Undeveloped administration and tribal loyalties and notions of honor are indeed part of the reason why they have thrived there, but only a part..and the ungoverned part has more to do with it than the tribal part. Akbar is basically selling the line that all would be well if the West leaves the tribals alone to carry on with their tribal ways. Which is not true. I thought that for a major publication (OK, a left-liberal one, but still) to publish such a laudatory review indicates that Westerners are eager to buy this notion and Akbar is there to sell it to them. He knows what he is doing, being well attuned to what his audience wants to hear. But after you push past the fluff, there is no substance there.
Dr Taqi has a very forgiving review here that may be helpful http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default...4-3-2013_pg3_5
Irfan Husain has some background on Akbar S Ahmed http://dawn.com/news/1023105/the-unflattering-truth
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Old 10-19-2013   #193
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Default Barawe - in the past; where the SEALS were

Aidan Hartley recalls a visit to this port town in 1998 and what happened next. Barawe was the port that the SEALS visited recently.

Link:http://www.spectator.co.uk/life/wild...ll-in-somalia/
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Old 10-28-2013   #194
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Default Somalia: a building competition

A lengthy article, for once, although somewhat reliant on official press briefings:http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...ion?CMP=twt_gu
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Old 01-27-2014   #195
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Quote:
The U.S. military carried out a missile strike in Somalia on Sunday targeting a suspected militant leader with ties to al-Qaeda and al-Shabab, a U.S. military official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The strike took place in southern Somalia, the official said, without offering further information, including the identity of the suspect or whether the strike was believed to have been successful.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/u-s-car...ader-1.2511956
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Old 03-31-2014   #196
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Default It's the charcoal stupid

A way back I posted a reference to the charcoal export trade from Somalia, via Kismayo (then just re-taken from Al-Shabaab) and the surprising difficulties encountered in shutting down a trade - which could aid Al-Shabaab.

This is an update, although few will expect much from Interpol:http://moneyjihad.wordpress.com/2014...oal-smuggling/
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Old 04-04-2014   #197
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Default Al-Shabaab’s Insurgency in Somalia: a Data-Based Snapshot

An academic analysis from Georgetown University on the evolution of the insurgency, the authors explanation:
Quote:
Here, we analyze what can be discerned about the current shape of al-Shabaab’s insurgency from data about all al-Shabaab-related attacks that have been conducted between the group’s loss of its Kismayo stronghold and the end of February 2014. We draw from a Foundation for Defense of Democracies database that attempts to chronicle every reported al-Shabaab-linked attack carried out since al-Shabaab was encircled in Kismayo and stood on the verge of losing the city; the database draws from both the English-language and also the Somali-language press.
Link:http://journal.georgetown.edu/2014/0...s-henry-appel/
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Old 04-08-2014   #198
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Al-Shabaab publishes alleged photograph of dead French commando

Quote:
Al-Qaeda's army in Somalia taunted Francois Hollande's government by publishing photographs of a dead white man they claimed was a French commando killed during a failed hostage rescue mission at the weekend.
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Old 04-08-2014   #199
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Default Catching up

JMA - this report is dated:
Quote:
14 Jan 2013
Three days later Al-Shabaab announced:
Quote:
The Somali Islamist group al-Shabab says it has killed French intelligence agent Denis Allex in retaliation for a failed French operation to free him.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21056592

Denis Allex had been captured in July 2009, whilst undercover as a journalist; his colleague managed to escape - no date readily found.
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Old 05-26-2014   #200
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Default The Mogadishu you don’t read about

Quote:
While the kids play in the street, young adults walk in groups to the city centre to play soccer. They go to a place locally know as Sallax, a centre that hires out fields for various sports, including football and basketball . There are not enough football fields in the city and with everyone at work during the day, Sallax is very popular at night. Games usually last two hours. From my flat, I can often hear the youngsters chatting away past midnight on their way back home.
Link:http://voicesofafrica.co.za/the-moga...nt-read-about/

Self-explanatory.

Yes I did note the attack on the parliament building this week.
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