USA Wars: News from the front

 

Here we go with the news that is making our military-industrial complex squeal like a stuck pig. Bringing the boys home… heresy to those who have a need for a war somewhere. Always. The best part is now they have no shame. They use to hide their nefarious actions but no more. James Jeffrey is more than happy to claim the title of a treasonous scoundrel. Here we go:

 

James Jeffrey—who is retiring from his posts as the Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS — reportedly said that “shell games” have been used to avoid telling U.S. leaders the true number of American troops in Syria.

“We were always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had there,” Jeffrey said, according to Defense One.

Amb. James Jeffrey, special representative for Syria Engagement and special envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat Islamic State, speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. AP PHOTO/SUSAN WALSH

Jeffrey reportedly said that when President Donald Trump was interested in withdrawing from Syria, arguments against a withdrawal were presented to the commander in chief.

……

“What Syria withdrawal? There was never a Syria withdrawal,” Jeffrey told the outlet. “When the situation in northeast Syria had been fairly stable after we defeated ISIS, [Trump] was inclined to pull out. In each case, we then decided to come up with five better arguments for why we needed to stay. And we succeeded both times. That’s the story.” From Just the news

Wandering over the Afghanistan:

Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell warned against a potentially “humiliating” withdrawal that threatens to undo Trump’s “tremendous” work in the region. The GOP leader said a “premature exit” would be reminiscent of the U.S. departure from Saigon in 1975. Leaving Afghanistan now “would be broadcast around the world as a symbol of U.S. defeat and humiliation and a victory for Islamic extremism,” McConnell said.

 

 

Acting Secretary of Defense Miller to officially announce U.S. drawdown in Afghanistan and Iraq from the Pentagon.

 

 

We can count on Liz Cheney. June 2020.

 

 

The Democrats pitched in:

House Democrats, Working With Liz Cheney, Restrict Trump’s Planned Withdrawal of Troops From Afghanistan and Germany. July,2020.

The bipartisan commitment to using Russia for endless war and imperialism remains vibrant.

THE U.S. MILITARY HAS BEEN fighting in Afghanistan for almost nineteen years. House Democrats, working in tandem with key pro-war GOP lawmakers such as Rep. Liz Cheney, are ensuring that continues.

Last night, the House Armed Services Committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of an amendment — jointly sponsored by Democratic Congressman Jason Crow of Colorado and Congresswoman Cheney of Wyoming — prohibiting the expenditure of monies to reduce the number of U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan below 8,000 without a series of conditions first being met.

The imposed conditions are by no means trivial: for these troop reductions from Afghanistan to be allowed, the Defense Department must be able to certify, among other things, that leaving Afghanistan “will not increase the risk for the expansion of existing or formation of new terrorist safe havens inside Afghanistan” and “will not compromise or otherwise negatively affect the ongoing United States counter terrorism mission against the Islamic State, al Qaeda, and associated forces.”

Read more The Intercept

Speaking of Liz – I add a refresher. Let’s roll back to 2013 and her Institute for the study of war. Wander over for the full read.

Liz Cheney, Elizabeth O’Bagy, Military contractors- a toxic brew

Just what is the  Institute for the Study of War? Unfortunately,  much of their original information disappeared yesterday from their website. Thanking various military contractors for hosting dinners, and of course Liz Cheney’s name and picture are no longer prominently displayed.

ISW has increasingly drawn support from military contractors with stakes in the issues that the institute studies. “According to ISW’s last annual report,” noted Consortium News in December 2012, “its original supporters were mostly right-wing foundations, such as the Smith-Richardson Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, but it now is backed by national security contractors, including major ones like Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and CACI, as well as lesser-known firms such as DynCorp International, which provides training for Afghan police, and Palantir, a technology company founded with the backing of the CIA’s venture-capital arm, In-Q-Tel. Palantir supplies software to U.S. military intelligence in Afghanistan.”[18]

 

Other than that all is swell in the swamp.

 

 

 

Top US general Milley and Sec.of Defense Esper testify and dump on Trump

 

Below the radar yesterday was a hearing that should give us all heartburn. The hearing?

House Armed Services Hearing with Secretary Esper and General Milley.

I have already opined about Esper et al before:

Trump Loyalists no where to be found – Mattis, Esper attack Trump

What is with a General who thinks they are above the President? Mattis resigned/fired over Trump’s Syrian policy. Then we had the Secretary of Defense now complaining how he had to “tag along” with Trump and walk through Lafayette Square with Trump carrying a bible. Are there no loyalists?  Not satisfied he goes on…..

‘I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act’: Defense Secretary Esper breaks with Trump on use of troops

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday he opposes using the U.S. military to quiet domestic unrest in a break with President Donald …

Military General Calls White House Photo-Op a Mistake. June 11, 2020

Setting the predicate: A refresher.

 

 

Back to the hearing yesterday:

Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Mark Milley testifed before the House Armed Services Committee

Like the country it serves, the U.S. military is fighting an internal battle against racism, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said Thursday, but old names and symbols of that enemy are present and strong enough to sow division.

“Divisiveness leads to defeat,” Milley told the House Armed Services Committee.

“There is no place in our armed forces … for symbols of racism, bias or discrimination.”

Milley and Esper

First out of the box, let talk about the re-naming of military bases. Am I invested in it one way or another? No. My military friends who had not a clue about the names of the bases they passed through have memories based on the present names and would want to keep them the same. But the bigger issue is that these Generals and the Secretary of Defense apparently believe they do not have to support their Commander-in-Chief’s position.

I can’t expect my stalwart readers to listen to a two hour hearing. I can because I am still locked down here in COVID land. Let me give you a couple of highlights I found.

 

Mark Esper claims he never received a briefing that included the word ‘bounty’

 

 

Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley says, “The Confederacy, the American Civil War…was an act of treason at the time against the Union, against the Stars and Stripes, against the U.S. Constitution

 

 

 

Gen. Mark Milley: U.S. ‘Perhaps Not’ Doing Enough Against Russia In Afghanistan | NBC News

 

 

 

Clearing the Park

 

 

Milley: We need a clear distinction between police and military

 

 

 

I for one am not counting on any military to help me out when the SHTF. I thought the days of MacArthur were over. Your thoughts? Am I wrong on this one?

A couple of samples from the deep deep swamp.

Taliban claim MOAB bomb caused ‘detriments for the environment’

We got some really bad guys when that big beautiful bomb MOAB went off last week in Afghanistan. How well the Taliban understands us. Attacking the U.S. on the grounds of harming the environment. I am sure this will get Hollyweird gassed up and ready march. Now all the Taliban needs to find are some endangered species. Here tis:

The Taliban accused Washington of harming the environment and using disproportionate force against ISIS by dropping the “mother of all bombs” in Nangarhar province last week.

“Many families had long been displaced from the area due to ISIS brutality,” said Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah. “Government also took great care to avoid civilian harm.”

Tolo reported Tuesday that the majority of the 96 fighters killed by the MOAB in the ISIS stonghold were Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and members of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba. TTP’s attacks include the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the shooting of Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, and the 2014 massacre at a Peshawar school. Lashkar-e-Taiba, which has been allied with the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda, was behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Also reportedly among the dead: 13 ISIS commanders, 12 Tajiks, and 13 Indian nationals who had joined ISIS.

ISIS operatives are still active in other provinces including Kunar, Zabul, Ghor, Jawzjan and Sar-e-Pul, where Afghan officials say ISIS has beheaded children and torched homes.

ISIS and the Taliban called a truce last August, agreeing to stop fighting each other to both focus on fighting U.S. forces and the U.S.-backed Afghan forces.

In a statement posted on their website over the weekend, the Taliban said the “barbarity” of the Achin district MOAB drop “was followed with much fanfare with the Americans proudly boasting about it in the media thus showcasing the increasing barbarity of the foreign occupation.”

Taiban terrorist attacks this year include a car bombing that killed 7 people outside of a bank and an insider attack that killed a dozen policemen in February. In November, the Taliban claimed a suicide bombing at Bagram Airfield that killed four Americans.

The Obama administration would not call the Taliban a terrorist group, claiming they were an “armed insurgency” and encouraging the Afghan government to broker a deal with the group.

This month, some Afghan officials in Uruzgan province reported seeing Russian trainers among the Taliban.

More at PJ Media

Two former Secretaries of Defense give scathing rebuke of Defense policies

We know how the Emperor is doing on the home front, but anyone wondering how he is demonstrating his intellectual prowess as the Commander-in-Chief? (Or should I add how Valerie is doing)? We have heard subtle comments that he is micro managing our military actions, but this is a scathing report by two former Secretaries of Defense. This story makes the immigration issue pale for those who are serving or have loved ones serving in our military. Here we go:

President Obama’s former Secretaries of Defense have a low opinion of the boss’ defense policy.

Robert Gates, who served in that position under Obama from 2009 to 2011, and his replacement Leon Panetta (2011 to 2013), sharply criticized Obama on everything from administrative methods to being too insular to fighting the Islamic State terrorist organization in speeches at the Reagan National Defense Forum November 15.

“[President Obama] has given them the mission of destroying ISIS,” Gates said. “But when you then deny the military the authorities they require to achieve the objective, you leave them with a great sense of frustration.”

 

“I think it is important for the president and I think it’s important for our military leaders to know that they have to be able to use every possible option on the table in order to be able to succeed in that effort, and that we ought not to just ad hoc limit certain areas,” Panetta said.

“I think there is a gap between the president’s rhetoric in terms of the objectives and the missions that he sets for the military and then the authorization that he gives them to carry it out,” Gates added

More over at the Free Beacon

 

WH Official claims ‘Upcoming progress’ in freeing Gitmo Terrorists this year

I don’t know what is worse. Watching this regime load up the world with these terrorists out of Gitmo, or the eunuchs known as Congress, in particular the GOPers who will sit back and watch this go down without a fight. We think about ourselves, but what about the Afghan people who will have to endure the terrorists as well? Who have endured years of their brutality.

Washington (AFP) – Moves to free detainees from the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay are gathering pace as the administration works to close the notorious jail, a top US official said Thursday.

“There are a significant number of transfers in the pipeline at various stages and I think you’re going to be seeing substantial progress this year,” the senior administration official said, amid a furor over the release of five Taliban prisoners for a captured US soldier in Afghanistan.

Yahoo News

Here is a piece about just one of the fine fellows just released by our Commander in thief.

Release of Taliban Detainees Alarms Afghan Villagers
Some Recall Scorched-Earth Offensive Led by One of the Freed Prisoners

SHEYKHAN, Afghanistan—Taliban forces led by Mohammed Fazl swept through this village on the Shomali plain north of Kabul in 1999 in a scorched-earth offensive that prompted some 300,000 people to flee for their lives.

When the Taliban seized control of this area from their Northern Alliance rivals in 1999, they systematically demolished entire villages, blowing up houses, burning fields and seeding the land with mines, according to two comprehensive studies of war crimes and atrocities during wars in Afghanistan and human rights reports. Mr. Fazl played a major role in the destruction.

“There was not a single undamaged house or garden,” said Masjidi Fatehzada, a shopkeeper in Mir Bacha Kot, the district center. “My entire shop was burned to the ground. There was nothing left.”

Khwaja Mohammad, a farmer in the village of Sheykhan, remembered how Mr. Fazl’s men took away his son, a civilian, and sent him to Kabul’s Pul-e Charkhi prison.

“Fazl is the case among the five where there is clear evidence that he had command responsibility for forces that committed atrocities,” said Patricia Gossman, a researcher with the advocacy group Human Rights Watch who has studied crimes committed during the Afghan civil war. “Shomali is the place where he was on the ground.”

Ms. Gossman added that evidence also places Mr. Fazl on the scene of a massacre of civilians in the Yakawlang district of central Bamyan province in January 2001. All of the parties in Afghanistan’s civil war that began in the 1990s were involved in atrocities and rights abuses, according to researchers.

More at WSJ. Ed. And we could not make a way of finding Fazl guilty of a crime? How about war crimes Mr. Obama, and take him to the Hague??

Obama Official: Bergdahl “Worthy of Sympathy” if He Joined Taliban to Protest “Psychopath” Platoon Leaders

Here we go. The bashing continues against the military. This man should lose his job. Will he? Of course not. Apparently the administration was shocked that Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers spoke out. Did they really think they would be Obamabots?  We have this first balloon:

Breitbart:

First we have:  On Wednesday’s “Today Show,” NBC’s senior White House correspondent Chuck Todd reported that “a few [White House] aides describe it to me as ‘we didn’t know that they were going to Swift Boat Bergdahl.’”Chuck Todd: White House Aides Accuse Vets of ‘Swift Boating …In a later tweet, Todd didn’t dispute that the White House used the derogatory term “swift boat” to “describe Bergdahl’s platoon reaction.”.An Obama administration official has floated the idea that Bowe Bergdahl was justified in deserting his platoon in Afghanistan and joining the Taliban over disagreements with the platoon’s leadership.

Now today:

Brandon Friedman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs for the Department of Housing and Urban Development posted a series of tweets Wednesday evening. (He joined the Obama administration in 2009 at the Veterans Administration. Left in 2012 and rejoined the administration at HUD in 2014)

Friedman speculated that Bergdahl deserted over bad leadership of his platoon and that is why his fellow soldiers were smearing him.

Brandon Friedman @BFriedmanDC

Follow
Here’s the thing about Bergdahl and the Jump-to-Conclusions mats: What if his platoon was long on psychopaths and short on leadership? (1/5)
11:44 PM – 4 Jun 2014

Here are his tweets defending deserter Bergdahl:

Here’s the thing about Bergdahl and the Jump-to-Conclusions mats: What if his platoon was long on psychopaths and short on leadership? (1/5)

What if he grew disillusioned with what he saw, didn’t trust his leadership, and walked off? Legal? No. Worthy of sympathy? Maybe. (2/5)

If that were the case, the soldiers in his platoon would have all the more reason to smear him publicly now. (3/5)

Given other examples, it’s not out of the realm of possibility–and more reason to withhold judgment until after an investigation. (4/5)

I’m not a fan of such speculation, but this story could not be more unbalanced–with so many premature calls of “traitor.” (5/5)

More at gateway Pundit with original tweets.

Deserter Bergdahl served with ‘distinction’ according to Susan Rice

 

I caught an interview with Jake Tapper, now with CNN. He reported that in discussions with soldiers who served with this deserter, that Bergdahl took a knife and a compass when walking off in civilian clothes. In addition, at least six soldiers were killed while attempting to find him after he deserted. This does not even address what his father had to say in support of the Taliban.

This traitor should be tried for desertion, and certain not a hero deserving a parade. Now it is open season on kidnapping for trade. Good work.  Our Secretary of Defense is even more clueless. Just when one thought it could not get any worse. Tapper will have more with those who served with this fine fellow at 5:00 pm Eastern time on CNN. Might be worth the watch.

 

Kerry lies about the death of Afghan Diplomat

I was stunned to hear Kerry speak this morning. Kerry now says it was an I.E.D. After posting last week that the story of the death of a Diplomat in Afghanistan was morphing, a new version was now being promulgated. Even worse, when I googled the story, many of the versions did not include the FBI was being called in. Now why in the world would the FBI be called in? This was a military incident. Why not talk to the survivors before spinning this new version? Stay alert on this on, another Benghazi to be buried.

Was it a I.E.D? A Suicide Bomber, were they lost?

“As long as I am secretary of state I promise you I will do everything in my power to cover your back, you cover mine. We’ll be a good team and together we’ll get the job done.”

An FBI investigation is in its preliminary stages.

Smedinghoff was just 25 when she and four other Americans were killed while walking from a military base to a nearby school. Two explosions occurred, apparently a suicide car bombing followed by a roadside blast.

On Friday I posted :State Department has new story on Afghan blast that killed Diplomat

The State Department has acknowledged that five Americans killed in Afghanistan, including 25-year-old diplomat Anne Smedinghoff, were on foot when they were caught in the blast of a suicide bomber, and not in an armored vehicle as officials told bereaved relatives earlier this week.

The deaths of U.S. diplomatic personnel — and the State Department’s changing account of how they died — raise echoes for some of the security failures in Benghazi, Libya, where Islamist extremists killed four Americans in assaults on the U.S. diplomatic compound Sept. 11.

 Questions about the incident are likely to multiply in coming days, as more details about the attack are revealed. A witness reported Thursday that the provincial reconstruction team was lost, which is why the personnel were caught in the blast
US Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday he would be making a stop on the way home from a 10-day overseas tour to visit the family of a young diplomat killed in Afghanistan.

“We are not going to be deterred. We are going to be inspired. And we’ll use Anne’s idealism as another motivation to the idealism that brings all of you to this effort in the first place,” he told embassy staffers.

“We can make this world better,” Kerry said. “We can strengthen other countries. We’ve seen it happen.

H/T:Kanasas City

“As long as I am secretary of state I promise you I will do everything in my power to cover your back, you cover mine. We’ll be a good team and together we’ll get the job done.” Yepper!

State Dept has new story on Afghan blast that killed Diplomat

Shades of Benghazi: State Department changes story on Afghanistan blast that killed diplomat

More lies from the Obama regime. Apparently it is just so much more advantageous to spin whatever story comes to mind then to be concerned about the truth. Again, we lose more State Department staff members and no one cares enough to give their families the truth of what happened to them. The MSM? Nothing to see, move it along.

This undated photo provided by Tom Smedinghoff, shows Anne Smedinghoff. Anne Smedinghoff, 25, was killed Saturday, April 6, 2013 in southern Afghanistan , the first American diplomat to die on the job since last year's attack on the U.S. diplomatic installation in Benghazi, Libya. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Tom Smedinghoff)

Ms. Smedinghoff is the first U.S. diplomat to die in Afghanistan in 11 years of U.S.-led war and counterinsurgency, and the incident is the worst this year in terms of U.S. casualties.

Mr. Ventrell said four other State Department employees were injured in the blast. He identified one of them — the most seriously hurt — as Kelly Hunt, a public affairs officer who was evacuated to Germany.

“She is receiving the best possible medical care,” Mr. Ventrell said, adding that Secretary of State John F. Kerry had spoken with Ms. Hunt’s parents twice since the weekend “and conveyed his sympathy to the family during this difficult time.”

Two other injured State Department personnel were being treated at an allied medical facility in Afghanistan, and a fourth was released.

The State Department has acknowledged that five Americans killed in Afghanistan, including 25-year-old diplomat Anne Smedinghoff, were on foot when they were caught in the blast of a suicide bomber, and not in an armored vehicle as officials told bereaved relatives earlier this week.

The deaths of U.S. diplomatic personnel — and the State Department’s changing account of how they died — raise echoes for some of the security failures in Benghazi, Libya, where Islamist extremists killed four Americans in assaults on the U.S. diplomatic compound Sept. 11.

“The question about Benghazi I always wanted an answer to was whether it was a one-off or whether there were systemic problems with the way the State Department was doing risk management for high-risk posts,” said James Carafano, a scholar at the Heritage Foundation think tank. “We never found that out.

“Obviously, in a war zone, you can’t have zero risk and you can’t have zero casualties. But now, is this [incident] a one-off as well?” Mr. Carafano said.
Questions about the incident are likely to multiply in coming days, as more details about the attack are revealed. A witness reported Thursday that the provincial reconstruction team was lost, which is why the personnel were caught in the blast.

Read more: Washington Times

Serving Abroad…Through Their Eyes, the military

Fox last night showed a few of these photographs from  “Serving abroad. through their eyes”. I was sad to see Life magazine fold. Often a picture tell s story so much better than words. Here is a link to the 12 who received top honors from the State Department’s program: Here

In commemoration of Veterans Day, the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Art in Embassies (AIE) and the U.S. Department of Defense proudly announce the 12 “Best in Show” featured in AIE’s 50th anniversary “Serving Abroad…Through Their Eyes” photography exhibition. A year ago on Veterans Day, Military, Civil Service and Foreign Service personnel were invited to submit photographs illustrating their life while serving abroad. More than 3,200 images were submitted, from which 161 finalists were chosen; ultimately, the 12 “Best in Show” were identified. These photographs, selected by a panel of distinguished photo-journalists, depict themes of friendship, places, faces, loss or triumph, providing a window on the complexity, diversity and courageous work performed by America’s heroes throughout the world. Photo’s: Here

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