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The Twisted Genius
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A little over a month ago, I wrote about a possible diplomatic breakthrough in southwest Syria. The core of this breakthrough was and remains an intense effort to speed peace negotiations between Damascus and various opposing forces in Syria. It... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2018 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
The Caps, my beloved Caps and their crazy 8 captain, Alex Ovechkin won the Lord Stanley Cup in Las Vegas tonight. Slava Sasha! During an interview before the season started, Alex was asked how the team would perform this year.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2018 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
A long sought thaw in US-Turkish relations appears within reach following yesterday's talks in Washington between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Answering reporters’ questions in the Turkish city of Antalya today, an upbeat... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2018 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Several sources are reporting the arrival at an agreement among multiple parties that will leave Damascus and the SAA in full control of southwest Syria without the risk of a full scale conflagration involving Israel, Iran and the US-led coalition...... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2018 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
The genesis of this article stems directly from Richard Sale’s recent piece on his experiences in pre and post revolutionary Iran. It reminded me of an artifact I kept from my days in ODA 334, 10th Special Forces then stationed... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2018 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
A long time reporter out of Syria has sent out a series of tweets over the last six hours describing an Israeli missile attack on the Damascus area. What is unique about this attack is that the SAA is not... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2018 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Yes! Absolute proof! And it all became crystal clear last night at PPG Paints Arena during game six overtime of the NHL round two Stanley Cup playoff series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals. At ground zero of... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2018 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Location of the four de-escalation zones The recent advances by the R+6 in Ghouta, Yarmouk, Qalamun and beyond have laid bare the true strategy of the de-escalation zones established by the Astana Accords. They certainly were not meant to establish... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2018 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Fred, You must have been a hippie back in the 60s. Actually, damned near everything you say sounds fine to me. We are at peace with Russia... at least for now. For Syria, we should declare our intentions to leave after convincing/preparing the Kurds to seek an agreement with Damascus. Then, after taking a few more swings at the remaining Daesh jihadis, just leave. We did do a joint counter-terrorist exercise with the Russians in 2012. A detachment of the 45th Guards Spetsnaz Brigade trained in Colorado with the 10th SF Group. We should push for more of these JCETs (Joint Combined Exchange Training). Africa would be a good place to hold these as well as joint operations against AQIM, Boko Haram and the like. Hell we have no problem cooperating in space, why not do the same here on Earth. We should also try to fix the mess we made in Ukraine. Accept the fact that Crimea is part of Russia and do our best to get the Nazis out of Kiev. If there ever was a case of "you break it, you buy it" that is it. Then get out. As far as the Baltics go, I have no problem maintaining our small presence there. Although that may be my Lithuanian blood talking. I met an influential Polish Communist Party member in 1987. He was Jaruzelski's principle civilian advisor during the martial law crackdown on Solidarity. It was an academic affair. I was introduced as a Green Beret by my thesis advisor. The old commie visibly shuddered and his face looked like he saw the devil himself. He probably believed all those tales told about us by his political officers. After several vodkas he relaxed and we had a good conversation. We proudly told me of the WTO plans for the Polish Corps. He also told me it was widely accepted among his peers that all this war in Europe talk was just rhetoric and political posturing. They all knew war would destroy Europe, east and west, no matter who won. It was unacceptable. They quietly went about the business of keeping the real hot heads corralled while creating the socialist paradise. We parted friends. Too bad I wasn't a case officer yet. I tell you this to illustrate my central point. Our militaries will continue to use each other as bogeymen to extract resources from our respective governments, but there's no need to be so loud about it. We have to keep the crazies corralled.
Fred and J, What do you recommend we do in the face of even more dreadful Russian doomsday systems? And what does it say about the Russians who willingly develop and deploy those doomsday systems? We and the Russians have been capable of destroying a large part of each others population and treasure many times over for decades. How much more doomsday can you pile on the potential for doomsday that already exists? I doubt the Russians want to hasten doomsday anymore than we do, but I do think the Russians are firm believers in MAD as the best guarantor against deliberately marching or mistakenly stumbling towards that doomsday. Until something better comes along, I agree with that notion. My perhaps forlorn hope is that a core of sober realists exist who can use MAD's promise of a mutual suicide pact to cool down the hottest heads on both sides. Below that threshold, all the belligerent talk is just internal jockeying for resources and political influence.
“Dig a hole, cover it with a couple of doors and then throw three feet of dirt on top… It’s the dirt that does it… if there are enough shovels to go around, everybody’s going to make it.” - T.K.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2018 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
It’s not just the US, British, French and Manbij Military Council squaring off against the FSA and Turkish Army around Manbij. While the French contingent consists of fifty or so Colonial Marines, the US force consists of 300 troops (SF... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2018 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
At one time, not long ago, there was a U.S. Space Command headquartered at Peterson AFB in Colorado. This was a unified combatant command. I was never aware of their full mission, although the CINCUSSPACECOM was also the CINCNORAD and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2018 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
My experiences with the VA benefits and health systems stand in stark contrast with those horror stories we often read about in the papers or see on the television exposés. It started by accident. After years of haranguing by family... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2018 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
All, A big, beautiful, 30 foot tall wall from sea to shining sea is an impractical and wasteful idea. However, I do think using the military to improve the barrier system along that border is a good idea. This system can take into account the realities of the terrain and ecological factors such as animal migrations. Another point to remember is that any barrier or obstacle needs to be kept under observation to be effective. An unwatched wall, no matter how big and beautiful it is, will not be effective. And Bill H, of course the SeaBees should be involved in this.
Eric Newhill, If you want to prevent attacks like 9/11 from foreigners, you must shut down all air and sea ports of entry. We would have to implement our own form of Sakoku policy and make America for Americans only. Become a closed country. I think most Americans would tire of that very quickly. The big, beautiful border wall serves as a symbol for controlling our borders, including our air and sea ports of entry. A wall on the envisioned scale is wasteful and mostly ineffective, but it is a powerful and tangible symbol. A more effective way of controlling illegal immigration including visa overstays is to prosecute employers who employ illegal workers and shut down their businesses. If that enforcement policy was fully implemented, I think most Americans would also tire of that very quickly. Shutting down those industries would also deprive the illegals of money to send back to their families. It's a pure cut off your nose to spite your face move, but it would give the deplorables a warm feeling in their hearts... until they go to the grocery store.
Brendan Doran, Those are my words, the twisted genius AKA TTG. Colonel Lang speaks for himself. I never liked the push to refer to soldiers, sailors, marines or airmen as warriors. It paints us all as a bunch of preening prima donnas who can no longer dig our own latrines, clean our own mess kits or repair our own engines. Unless you're facing your foe eye to eye with edged weapons on a regular basis, you're not a warrior.
egl, Vincente Fox has made it clear many times. "Mexico will not pay for the fucken wall."
Imagine, Amen to that. There is plenty of blame to go around as to why Puerto Rico is now in such a sorry state beyond the storms, but this is a good case for political reform, legislative and regulatory relief coupled with good old fashioned rebuilding of the infrastructure.
Sasha S, Dick Black is a colorful character. He served a full career as a Marine helicopter aviator and forward air controller and as an Army JAG officer. His views are strongly held and consistent. I certainly don't agree with all his views, but I find his open appreciation for Assad in saving the Christian communities in Syria reasonable.
Amir, A national citizen's army is just a universal draft. I doubt we'll ever go back to that, although I like the idea of some kind of universal service. If I had my way, the military would get away from the employment of contractors except when absolutely necessary. Bring back company mess teams and motor pools. That's where being a soldier is far different from being a warrior. I despise that cheese-assed designation.
"(20 July 2012) By RUSTY DENNEN - THE FREE LANCE-STAR Civil War soldiers in Union blue transformed the Stafford County landscape nearly 150 years ago during their yearlong stay—cutting trees and roads and setting up vast camps, a harbor and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2018 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
pl, Yes, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has some great programs including the oyster reseeding. The accounts of Captain John Smith about the boundless oyster beds in the Bay are quite remarkable. I'm more attached to the Potomac Conservancy which works hand-in-hand with the CBF. The Conservancy just released its report on the river and gave it an overall grade of B. In 2011 it was a D. Fredericksburg has also done a terrific job of preserving the Rappahannock along with the Friends of the Rappahannock group. The city acquired control of both banks of the Rappahanock and Rapidan for some 30 miles upstream to ensure the rivers' quality. It's another ecological success story that contributes to the health of the Bay.
Despite all the drama of the reality show, the government continues to function, even in a fitful and disjointed way. The country will survive and will probably be better for the shake up. Despite all the tough rhetoric, Trump signed a budget that should please any denizen of Ecotopia. It pleased me. The budget fully funded the Chesapeake Bay Program with 73 million. This program has strong regional bipartisan support and has dramatically improved the Chesapeake Bay over the last nine years. I and many others in the area were worried about Trump being good to his word in gutting this program. In fact the EPA retained it’s current funding level and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy received an increase of 12.5 percent. The anti-environmental budget amendments put forth by the Republicans were dropped. The CDC and NIH also received funding increases and the prohibition against CDC research on gun deaths has been lifted. That surprised the hell out of me.
The crux of Phil Giraldi's call for the investigation of Brennan centers on the intelligence provided by allied intel services concerning contact between Russian officials and some of Trump's people. Did the allies share this kind of information as standard practice or did Brennan somehow induce them to collect and report it? I agree that this question would fall within the scope of Mueller's investigation. Whether Mueller investigates the provenance of this allied intelligence is unknown. I hope he has already done so. If Brennan really thought those contacts between Russian officials and Trump's people posed a potential CI risk, he would have been derelict if he did not pursue the matter. After all, three Russian intelligence officers were already convicted of trying to recruit Page who became one of Trump's people. Beyond L'Affaire Russe, there is much that needs to be investigated concerning the CIA's capture-kill MO during the entire GWOT era. Brennan was in the thick of that, but that is not a subject for Mueller.