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by CTuttle

“It’s Just Damage Limitation Now”

7:30 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

My only regret of living here in the tropics is having to get up at two in the morning, to catch ‘Up’…!

Now, there was a flurry of news and views, all across Asia and the Middle East, that bears noting…

In Afghanistan, with the sudden halt in joint ISAF operations

Afghanistan: “It’s Just Damage Limitation Now”

Why did you write No Worse Enemy: The Inside Story of the Chaotic Struggle for Afghanistan?

I’d been travelling to Helmand for five years, first in 2007 with the Brits, then later mostly with the U.S. Marines, covering every major operation since the war in the south was taken seriously.

Despite new troops, extra resources and new polices, it kept getting worse.

It was more dangerous for me and the troops I was with, Afghan security forces didn’t seem to be improving, and perhaps most importantly, locals were not being won over but instead were complaining of civilian casualties, damage to their homes, being inconvenienced and disrespected, or preyed upon by the Afghan police.

Yet in the second half of 2010, statements from Kabul, Washington and London kept talking of progress, goals being met and the Taliban being on their last legs.

This was the exact opposite of what I had been seeing, so I felt that I had to write this book

Et Tu, Brute…? Crocker: Taliban Infiltration Worse Than US Will Admit

Now, It’s rather amusing that neocons luminaries, such as Ross Douthat: It’s not about the video, and, Jennifer Rubin, recognize the problem, but can’t see the forest for the trees…

White House dumps false cover story on embassy attacks?

For a week various Obama administration figures, including the White House press secretary, have insisted that the attacks on U..S. embassies in the Middle East were a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muslim video. But that excuse has not held up to even superficial scrutiny… {…}

I’m not sure what that even means. But in any case, the administration, perhaps recognizing their cover story on the attacks was blown, is now backpedaling fast.

There is all the more reason now to get to the bottom of this, to hold hearings and for the president himself to answer questions. If it is now conceded that this was more than a spontaneous uprising the questions remain: Was there an intelligence failure? And is the president’s purported Middle East policy a flop?

Jennifer did cite Foggy Bottom’s and the WH’s frantic back-pedaling…

Ms. Nuland…

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by CTuttle

Bibi’s ‘War Plan’ is ‘Leaked’…

6:37 pm in Uncategorized by CTuttle

The ever intrepid Richard Silverstein published this blockbuster today…

In the past few days, I received an Israeli briefing document outlining Israel’s war plans against Iran. The document was passed to me by a high-level Israeli source who received it from an IDF officer. My source, in fact, wrote to me that normally he would not leak this sort of document, but:

“These are not normal times. I’m afraid Bibi and Barak are dead serious.”

The reason they leaked it is to expose the arguments and plans advanced by the Bibi-Barak two-headed warrior. Neither the IDF leaker, my source, nor virtually any senior military or intelligence officer wants this war. While whoever wrote this briefing paper had use of IDF and intelligence data, I don’t believe the IDF wrote it. It feels more likely it came from the shop of national security advisor Yaakov Amridor, a former general, settler true believer and Bibi confidant. It could also have been produced by Defense Minister Barak, another pro-war booster. {…}

This is Shock and Awe, Israel-style. It is Bibi’s effort to persuade high-level Israeli officials that Israel can prosecute a pure technology war that involves relatively few human beings (Israeli, that is) who may be put in harm’s way, and will certainly cost few lives of IDF personnel.

Bibi’s sleight of hand here involves no mention whatsoever of an Iranian counter-attack against Israel. The presumption must be that the bells and whistles of all those marvelous new weapons systems will decapitate Iran’s war-making ability and render it paralyzed. The likelihood of this actually happening is nearly nil.

Now, I know I’ve mentioned Millennium Challenge, once, twice, or even, thrice before…! So, let’s again revisit the most expensive military exercise…

…The exercise, which ran from July 24 to August 15(2002) and cost $250 million, involved both live exercises and computer simulations. MC02 was meant to be a test of future military “transformation”—a transition toward new technologies that enable network-centric warfare and provide more powerful weaponry and tactics. The simulated combatants were the United States, referred to as “Blue”, and an unknown adversary in the Middle East, “Red”. {…}

Red, commanded by retired Marine Corps Lt. General Paul K. Van Riper, used old methods to evade Blue’s sophisticated electronic surveillance network. Van Riper used motorcycle messengers to transmit orders to front-line troops and World War II light signals to launch airplanes without radio communications.

Red received an ultimatum from Blue, essentially a surrender document, demanding a response within 24 hours. Thus warned of Blue’s approach, Red used a fleet of small boats to determine the position of Blue’s fleet by the second day of the exercise. In a preemptive strike, Red launched a massive salvo of cruise missiles that overwhelmed the Blue forces’ electronic sensors and destroyed sixteen warships. This included one aircraft carrier, ten cruisers and five of six amphibious ships. An equivalent success in a real conflict would have resulted in the deaths of over 20,000 service personnel. Soon after the cruise missile offensive, another significant portion of Blue’s navy was “sunk” by an armada of small Red boats, which carried out both conventional and suicide attacks that capitalized on Blue’s inability to detect them as well as expected.[1]

At this point, the exercise was suspended, Blue’s ships were “re-floated”, and the rules of engagement were changed…

Aftermath

Due to his criticism regarding the scripted nature of the new exercise, Van Riper resigned his position in the midst of the war game. Van Riper later expressed concern that the war game’s purpose had shifted to reinforce existing doctrine and notions of infallibility within the U.S. military rather than serve as a learning experience.

Van Riper also stated that the war game was rigged so that it appeared to validate the modern, joint-service war-fighting concepts it was supposed to be testing.[4]

Here’s the Beeb’s attempt to smear the messenger… Leaked Israel memo: propaganda or Iran war plan?

Richard Silverstein – the American blogger who says he has been given the text of a memo outlining Israel’s plans for a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities – is clear about what he thinks it is.

He says it came from a senior Israeli politician – a former minister – and he describes it as a “sales pitch”, used by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak to try to win round sceptical members of Israel’s divided inner security cabinet.

The text supplied to the BBC is just that – text. {…}

Paralyse the regime

The document itself is striking in both the scale and scope of the military operation that it proposes.

It also employs a range of technologies, many of which we have known that the Israelis are developing, but this document suggests that they are battle-ready and fully operational.

The leaked text suggests that an Israeli operation would begin with a massive cyber attack against Iran’s infrastructure, to “paralyse the regime and its ability to know what is happening within its borders”.

Ballistic missiles would be fired at Iranian nuclear targets, albeit with conventional non-nuclear warheads. Cruise missiles would be fired from Israeli submarines in the Gulf.

‘Shock and Awe’ on some of that nano-level, genetically-altered, Ziocaine, Babee…!

And, to be sure ya’ll didn’t miss the memo… Israel PM: Possible War with Iran Could Last One Month…! Well, I do suppose Bibi was generous when he factored in an additional week from the 3 week pogram that the Neo/Ziocons had custom designed for Irak…!

In summation, I give ya today’s woeful performance from the bowels of Foggy Bottom

QUESTION: With the country being destroyed fast and furious in a way or rapidly, during your deliberations with other countries, would it be a good idea, let’s say, to have something akin to the Marshall Plan for the day after, because everybody talks about the day after? Is that something that you can – or you discussed or you have discussed with the rich oil countries in the Gulf?

MS. NULAND: Well, in fact, we are, as an international community, already beginning to look at some of these day-after issues, as the Secretary said when she was in Istanbul. And one of the issues is this question of economic support when a democratic government gets back up on its feet. In fact, we have a preliminary conference beginning tomorrow in Berlin on the potential economic needs of a democratic Syria. Fred Hof will represent us at that conference, and we anticipate that that will lay the groundwork for further work in September.

Syria is not Iraq. It doesn’t have that great, vast natural wealth. And depending on how long this goes on, we are already seeing a lot of the economic underpinnings of Syria’s prosperity at risk from this fighting. So there’s going to have to be a serious rebuilding job that will be Syrian-led obviously, but the international community has to be ready to support, so we’re beginning to think about those things. {…}

QUESTION: So I was intrigued by your statement of fact a few minutes ago where you said Syria is not Iraq; it doesn’t have the great natural wealth that Iraq does. I presume you’re talking about oil, yeah?

MS. NULAND: Yeah. I mean, it has some natural wealth, but it’s not swimming in an ability to –

QUESTION: Would you say that that’s one of the reasons why you’re not doing anything to intervene, because Syria doesn’t have the amount of oil that either Iraq or Libya had?

MS. NULAND: There are no connections between these two things. This is –

QUESTION: So anyone that would –

MS. NULAND: Our –

QUESTION: You yourself brought up the distinction. I just want to make sure that that’s not – that oil is not the reason that you’re not doing anything militarily to help the Syrian people .

MS. NULAND: My point with regard to Iraq was that Syria is a country that in the rebuilding phase is likely to want, need, and request significant international economic support because it doesn’t have the same kind of natural benefits that some of these other –

QUESTION: So all right. From your experience, Iraq didn’t need any help rebuilding?

MS. NULAND: No, of course they did. But they didn’t need – they mostly took loans, they mostly took technical support. They didn’t take straight-out assistance in the same way. So –

QUESTION: So you’re not intending to suggest that going in, militarily intervening in a country with oil is in the U.S. interest, but not intervening in a country that doesn’t have oil isn’t in U.S. interests? That’s not what you mean?

MS. NULAND: There is no connection between those two things. Our decisions about how to support the opposition are based on the litmus test that the Secretary has put out very clearly in Istanbul and which we’ve been saying all along. We want to ensure that what we do to support the opposition actually hastens the day rather than increasing the suffering.

God Help Us All…!

*gah*