Category Archives: terrorism

FOXNEWS: West Point report describes Islamic State threat as crisis 4 years in the making

A new report from the West Point counterterrorism center challenges the notion that the Islamic State only recently became a major terror threat, describing the network’s gains in Iraq as a crisis four years in the making.

Meanwhile, Fox News has learned that top aides to President Obama expect the threat from the organization, also known as ISIS or ISIL, to outlast Obama’s time in office.

The details underscore the challenge facing the U.S. government and its allies as the president and military advisers weigh how — and where — to confront the Islamist militant forces.

“ISIL did not suddenly become effective in early June 2014: it had been steadily strengthening and actively shaping the future operating environment for four years,” the report from the West Point center said.

Capture
Sure, 4 years in the making, but the choice, if anyone was thinking about it to make a choice, I think was just which four years.

I’m not sure it wasn’t inevitable, no matter who was President; just a matter of sooner or later. The only solution is to raise our game to a level of ruthlessness that our modern sensibilities will not countenance. We don’t have to go full Mongol and kill them all. We don’t even have to go biblical and kill all the men and take the women and children as our own. But we do have to decide that Total War can be an imperative, that we must engage in it.

As for our sensibilities, the—well “reasons” gives too much credit for thinking it through, but I don’t know a better word—the reasons that we lack the mettle to be ruthless is our cultural sensitivity.  If there is a population out there that is so near the edge, that they can be radicalized by how we fight the war, then by all means, push them past that edge and let them die on our pikes as they charge. Let them become enraged by our actions. Enraged opponents may be fierce, but emotional people make mistakes that we should be happy to seek out and exploit.

And we have to remain unemotional doing it.  We can neither afford to love it or hate it and warriors that find themselves doing either must be sidelined.  We have to be cold and dispassionate about the business even while being energetic and passionate in executing it.

We have to shake off the traditional American lack of fervor in the fourth phase of warfare, which is pursuit.  We must pursue—hunt them down and kill them where we find them with whatever means we have available for doing it.

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ISIS Vulnerable?

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ISIS was once an insurgent guerrilla force.  But no longer.  ISIS is a conventional force. They have tanks, APCs, howitzers….  They can’t hide that aspect and remain a conventional force–they can move some small assets around, but not in numbers, and certainly not their heavier elements.

Seems to me that ISIS has left itself vulnerable to the same kinds of attacks that were used on Coalition forces–guerrilla style hit-and-run attacks, roadside ambushes. There is no deep security. Opposition would need only the ability to withdraw to the countryside and blend in, or, if unable to blend in, move far enough away with an ability to navigate the countryside (GPS?).

Look at the map above.  There are a number of choke points that could be used to make a nightmare of their need to support themselves, tactically and logistically.  Especially if a conventional force were to harass those “control zones” by way of distraction and harassment.

Busting Some Benghazi Myths:

Why are we making a big deal of this?  Embassies were attacked a lot more frequently during the Bush administration.

Sort of.

There were 12 attacks on diplomatic facilities during the Bush administration.

2 produced no fatalities.

Of the remaining 10 only 2 produced any US fatalities, and only one of those a diplomatic officer.

A common feature of all 12 attacks is the death or arrest of almost all attackers in a fairly short time frame following the events, a majorly significant difference from Benghazi. None of the attacks were of a prolonged assault nature during which the administration could have had time in which to send help, the most pertinent difference.

Why are we making a big deal of this?  The most important thing is to catch those responsible, not fix blame.

Had there actually been any emphasis on catching the perpetrators, catching them in the act was surely the easiest and most efficient way to do so. And yet every order given (and we don’t know yet by whom) was to stand down.

In all 12 attacks during the Bush administration the perpetrators were dealt with, generally, on the spot because of heightened security and a leadership priority. In this event there was no such environment–requests for more security ignored or denied.

Why are we making a big deal of this?  The attacks during the Bush administration (or any other event that they care to portray as worse) were worse.

First, “worse” when deaths are involved, is a pretty tricky, not to mention sick, calculation to make.

For those who want to compare body counts as a valid measure of better/worse anyway:  twice as many deaths under President Obama, and in fewer attempts (meaning the terrorists are not only bolder, but more efficient as well) is better? It’s also better that Obama has let the perpetrators walk around free for the last 8 months than if they’d been killed in the event or arrested shortly after? Also better that Obama, not only failed to act during the event, but actively ordered, or allowed orders to go out, to not act?

Why are we making a big deal of this?  It was physically impossible to get assets to respond moved in the time available.

That’s bullshit. I can’t even imagine where that excuse comes from. Jets in Italy and the Med could have been there in a couple of hours. Security in Tripoli could have as well. Absolute proof of this is that Dougherty and Woods did exactly that, ignoring the order to stand down.

A commercial airliner can fly from Aviano, Italy to Benghazi, Libya in 2 hours and 6 minutes at a regular cruising speed of 500mph. The F-16 Block 30 has a sea-level speed of Mach 1.2 (915 mph) and can achieve Mach 2 at altitude. The units at Aviano have F-16 Block 40s, which I don’t have specs for, but are at least as fast. From first shots fired to the evacuation of personnel was 9 hours. It took Woods and Dougherty 2 hours to drive from Tripoli. A mediocre commander could have coordinated the arrival of land and air forces and done it while a chimpanzee beat him about the head and neck.

Why are we making a big deal of this?  What good could fighter jets have done with an attack on the ground?

Dan Quayle usually gets a lot of disrespect, but there was a day, when George Bush was undergoing surgery and had signed a 25th Amendment letter. On that day, Dan Quayle was President of the United States. On that day also was an attack on the government of the Philippines by communist rebels. It became clear that this was likely to be a successful attack resulting in a coup over President Aquino. Dan Quayle gave orders. The result was low level supersonic flybys over all the engagement areas. A lot of glass was broken in Manila, but the back of the attack was broken by the show of force, and not a shot was fired by US forces. Dan Quayle has more balls, imagination, and smarts, than President Obama.

So, why are we making a big deal of this?  Because someone made a political calculation that left people to die.  I was four, but could have been 35, and the number doesn’t matter.  If that’s not enough for you, another calculation was made to lie about it.  I think that’s plenty.

 

Related:

Check this breakdown at The Anchoress.

If They Mean to Have a War, Let it Begin Here.

Explosion in Times Square this morning damaged a military recruiting office.

I’ll guarantee that the bomber is no 17-26 year old. Rather they need to be looking for an aging hippie who either was, or wished he had been, a Weather Underground member.

Is this the vision of the “energized base” of the left?

Bomb throwing terrorists don’t elicit any sympathy.

They need also to consider that we’ve become very good at fighting exactly this kind of cowardly tactic.