boji

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #80 on: November 28, 2018, 04:00:52 PM »
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Not going down that rabbit hole this early in the day...

 ;D ;D


boji

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #81 on: November 28, 2018, 04:06:09 PM »
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moving into Viet Nam conflict...
Have you watched the Ken Burns / Lynn Novic Documentary on Vietnam?  Good stuff.

JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #82 on: November 28, 2018, 05:20:47 PM »
Have you watched the Ken Burns / Lynn Novic Documentary on Vietnam?  Good stuff.
No, I was drafted in 1970 so I lived through the Viet Nam era and don't need a pop history treatment.

My permanent duty station stateside (Ft Riley, KS) was full of infantry soldiers, who already survived their one year tour of duty across the pond "in country" (what VN vets called service inside VN) marking time until they could be discharged. I heard several wild stories and these guys were more than a little crazy (fun to go drinking with). I knew at least one guy who was a door gunner (not a high life expectancy gig in combat).

I spend time with a LRRP (long range reconnaissance patrol)... classy name for a 3-6 man team who would go out into the jungle alone, gather intelligence on the enemy, and call in airstrikes or artillery. Sometimes they set up ambushes with claymore mines, etc...  They preferred to shoot enemy soldiers when they were squatting to take a dump, because it made it harder for that enemy to return fire if they missed.

 I attached a picture of me in Germany with the 1st Infantry Division (aka the big dead one) on Nato Maneuvers (Reforger II) in 1970.

I expect I will learn something about the air campaign in VN from the book about air combat. That duty station turned out rather poorly for John McCain (RIP). I think he stayed past his expiration date in the senate, but he showed some true grit and honor by his behavior in that NVA POW camp (I voted for him for POTUS).

JR

 
John Roberts
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boji

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #83 on: November 28, 2018, 06:12:22 PM »
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No, I was drafted in 1970 so I lived through the Viet Nam era and don't need a pop history treatment.
I guess that was kinda insensitive question to ask, as I do remember you telling us how Nixon drafted you...
All I can say is there is plenty in the doc about Minh and his ideology and the bungling French that I thought you would find interesting. I'm sure it's nowhere near as insightful as a book on it...

boji

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #84 on: November 28, 2018, 06:39:12 PM »
Regarding Air combat in VN, my only story is one my old landlord told me, who has since passed away from Alzheimer's.

He was a reconnaissance officer who later in his tour had the job of interpreting recon photos, advising on areas to target. He said the cameras at the time were far more powerful than anyone on the ground knew. The higher up's decided on a plan to intentionally 'botch' a drop shipment of cigarettes and supplies to an area near the front lines which were eventually raided by the locals, and passed on to the VC.  After a few weeks, they were able to identify VC encampments leading to and away from tunnels and rear supply areas based on the patterns of tiny cigarette cherry glows in the night, and they then used those glows to map out bombing runs. He said one week he was responsible for forwarding bomb coordinates that ended up killing many, many Vietnamese.  He told it like he was telling someone about a fond memory.  Needless to say I was speechless afterwards, and it was chilling to see the look of pride in his face.

JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #85 on: November 28, 2018, 07:12:31 PM »
I guess that was kinda insensitive question to ask, as I do remember you telling us how Nixon drafted you...
All I can say is there is plenty in the doc about Minh and his ideology and the bungling French that I thought you would find interesting. I'm sure it's nowhere near as insightful as a book on it...
The French connection to  Indochina is (ancient ) history (old western empires spread from Europe around the world).
-----
No worries, for me this too is old news and I knew many who had it far worse than I did. I did not enjoy being conscripted (without a choice) but in hindsight I am glad I didn't take the bus ticket to Canada, my co-workers offered me. I took the bottle of Canadian Club instead (it didn't last very long).  8)

JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
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Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #86 on: November 29, 2018, 10:19:34 AM »
Finally went full circle. Saudi's and UAE caught arming Al-Qaeda, and ISIS linked groups in Yemen... When the same thing happened in Libya, Iraq and Syria, isn't it time to recognise it's being done on purpose?

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/nov/28/arms-yemen-militia-were-supplied-by-west-find-analysts?CMP=share_btn_tw

Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.

JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #87 on: November 29, 2018, 11:45:31 AM »
I am finally reading the chapter about VN and it was mismanaged by the politicians worse than I thought (remembered, but lots of this was not public information at the time).

One example, a reconnaissance pilot was shot down and the state department decided to not rescue him. An irate air force colonel demanded to talk to the commander in chief (Lyndon Johnson at the time) and he said, of course go rescue him, but by then it was too late. Not how to make points with your immediate chain of command by going around your superiors. I suspect that colonel's military career was over. The pilot was captured and held but eventually escaped on his own.

wrt French connection, they got VN (actually several countries in the region) from the Japanese after WWII and were not up to the task. Viet Nam was partitioned into North and South VN  (like Korea) later in the 1950s and the world expected that to end it.

President Kennedy sent in Green Beret special forces "advisors" (cough) in the 60s. On of my coworkers in Boston in the late 60s was one of those green berets who served in VN. President Johnson inherited VN pretty much unprepared (Kennedy was ex-military so had a clue) and delegated decisions to other political types to mismanage.

As Sun Tzu warned us several centuries ago, keep the politicians away from waging war.   
=====

After the French failed in VN they left behind a huge weapons cache, it looks like arming the insurgents with western weapons is an old tradition.  Lots of US weapons in the middle east end up in the wrong hands due to wishful thinking by politicians. Only the recent campaign against ISIS looks like it was managed by military leadership. Afghanistan is still a quagmire due to mission creep and vague goals. Al queda (?) was neutralized there in months. Unclear how this morphed into trying to remove the Taliban (still unlikely to succeed), the question now is how to get out honorably.

  FWIW the NVA were backed by China, and the SAM anti-aircraft missiles that shot down US jets in VN were Russian made. The same three world powers as today playing odd man out, and the US is all too often that odd man.

JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #88 on: December 19, 2018, 07:11:56 PM »
I was pretty vocal in opposition to President Obama's complete withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 (that arguably led to ISIS build up).

I appreciate President Trump's libertarian bent suggesting we will pull all troops out of Syria now because ISIS is spanked (they are down but not completely gone).

I worry that Iran, Russia, and Assad will gladly rush into any vacuum when we withdraw.  Turkey is already getting more aggressive about attacking Kurds (US allies) in Syria. We owe the Kurds some support, but that is obviously complicated.

I hope this is just a trial balloon and not a done deal...I doubt the military leadership supports this (some argue its a "wag the dog" play to change the news cycle). We still have troops in Iraq, so this is not complete withdrawal from the "neighborhood", but premature IMO.

JR

PS: #2 This legislation has been stalled in the congress so long I forgot about it, but looks like they finally passed some credible prison/judicial reform. At least we should all applaud that.   
John Roberts
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JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #89 on: December 21, 2018, 12:38:18 PM »
Looks like the resignation of the defense secretary General (mad dog) Mattis coincidentally with the withdrawal from Syria, and draw down of more troops from Afghanistan is not completely unrelated.  I respect his 2 years of service and he was much loved by all the soldiers serving under him. It looks like I was not the only one uncomfortable with this Syria decision.  He is a good example of performing public service with class. If you disagree with your boss, leave... Don't hang around and "resist" the administration from the inside (like many are still doing).

I appreciate the rejection of classic mission creep in Syria where we went in for a specific reason (defeat ISIS) and accomplished that goal (mostly). While we no doubt served as a stabilizing buffer between Iran and Israel, that mission needs to be explicitly defined and authorized by congress... not backed into without legislative approval.

I have long declared Afghanistan un-winnable without massive western monetary support, that the west appears unwilling to throw money into a black hole in the sand.

Withdrawing from Syria will be an obvious win for Russian and Iran (and of course Assad).  Putin is already celebrating this decision (duh). Hopefully Russia has no love for radical islam due to their own problems at home so will work to prevent ISIS reconstructing. Assad and Iran may consider ISIS a useful distraction of attention from themselves, as they did before.

The Kurds that have been our most successful allies fighting against ISIS in Syria are now at risk of new military attacks from Turkey, without our physical presence and support. They have a long running conflict with Turkey, that will be unrestricted without us there. (We will still have troops in Iraq, so we are not completely absent from the region, but this can and will make a difference in Syria.
 
----
Unclear how Afghanistan could end up well.   The Taliban have long been part of a vague mission creep after we rather quickly eliminated the Al queda training camps shortly after 9/11. As distasteful as we (the west) find the conservative religious Taliban culture/governance, that alone does not justify regime change.  ISIS is already positioning itself to establish in Afghanistan where there is no effective central government and no rule of law (besides a few war lords) after we withdraw.

I appreciate President Trump acknowledging the practical realities on the ground. It is sad to walk away from such a huge investment in blood and treasure (Afghanistan), but without an obvious path forward to an effective solution, it is just smart business to cut our losses sooner rather than later. It is rare to see political leaders acting like businessman (they generally act like used car salesmen).

JR

PS: This reduction of forces in the ME will free up military budget that can be better used.

John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
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ungifted

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #90 on: December 24, 2018, 03:58:09 PM »
It's really interesting where and how the western coalition "accomplished that goal (mostly)" in Syria. And why Putin is selebrating "this decision"? Because US supported FSA, including Al-Nusra?
We'll see how US will leave ME states soon (Afghanistan, Iraq, and sure Syria), I don't belive it.
Or perhaps we'll see your military forces in Ukraine and Poland?  8)
http://diy-tubes.com - parts for guitar/studio gear

JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #91 on: December 24, 2018, 06:29:34 PM »
Merry Christmas to you too..
It's really interesting where and how the western coalition "accomplished that goal (mostly)" in Syria.
Borders are kind of porous in the ME, especially between Iraq and Syria. ISIS took advantage of that while they could get away with it. After spanking them in Iraq we spanked them in Syria.
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And why Putin is selebrating "this decision"?
it's called winning.. he is now the big dog in region supporting Assad and Iran.
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Because US supported FSA, including Al-Nusra?
I had to google FSA,,, is that still a thing,,?

 Al-nusra are still on santa's naughty list.

I am worried about Kurdish allies in northern Syria who are likely to get attacked by Erdogan without US presence, protecting them.
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We'll see how US will leave ME states soon (Afghanistan, Iraq, and sure Syria), I don't belive it.

yup don't beleieve it. We are still in Germany and Japan.

 I expect us to maintain some presence in Iraq as they try to develop a working democracy.  Afghanistan was always a desert rest stop on the silk road, and unlikely to ever become a modern nation capable of policing itself. The Taliban and warlords can have it as long as they don't support islamic terror with a haven.

I don't agree with doing this using tweets but I appreciate the libertarian impulse to not send more young Americans to die in countries where they aren't appreciated and we are not at risk.
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Or perhaps we'll see your military forces in Ukraine and Poland?  8)
President Obama blinked and withdrew the missile shield from Poland that Putin opposed. It was supposed to protect EU from Iran, but Putin probably worried it would somehow minimize him as a military threat.  ::) I didn't think Poland was at risk lately.

Ukraine is far from settled and forgotten, but sending US ground troops there is probably not President Trump's first, second, or third choice. That said the US has a long tradition of supporting freedom seeking people.

I realize it sounds a little cliche but mostly true, however ham handed.

JR

PS “S rozhdyestvom Hristovym!”
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
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ungifted

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #92 on: December 24, 2018, 07:20:07 PM »
Merry Christmas to you, John. Sorry for disturbing you. :)
FSA is Free Syrian Army.
Where did you spanked ISIS? In Rakka?
You're worried about Kurdish allies in northern Syria, we'll see another Kosovo in Syria? Where ISIS in Syria now, same territory where your Kurdish allies or "moderate opposition". Iraq, Afganistan? Everywhere where your troops located?
I'm admired with  the US tradition of supporting freedom seeking people. So many of them over the world, waiting for Santa and Bruce Willis from the USA to save them. 
PS: Rozhdestvo Hristovo will be 07.01.19 in Russia.
PPS: Sorry for throlling, nevermind. :)
http://diy-tubes.com - parts for guitar/studio gear

JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #93 on: December 24, 2018, 07:41:08 PM »
Merry Christmas to you, John. Sorry for disturbing you. :)
you are not alone..
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FSA is Free Syrian Army.
yup I googled it, but does not seem a distinct single group, just opposition to Assad in civil war.
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Where did you spanked ISIS? In Rakka?
Yes, their would be caliphate is gone... that was a rallying call for them.

the ideology lives on.. they are reforming in Afghanistan, Libya, .... etc.
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You're worried about Kurdish allies in northern Syria, we'll see another Kosovo in Syria?
not sure exactly what they means but already a lot of indiscriminate killing of civilians by Assad.
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Where ISIS in Syria now, same territory where your Kurdish allies or "moderate opposition". Iraq, Afganistan? Everywhere where your troops located?
?
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I'm admired with  the US tradition of supporting freedom seeking people. So many of them over the world, waiting for Santa and Bruce Willis from the USA to save them. 
Bruce Willis is an actor but die hard is a good christmas movie.
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PS: Rozhdestvo Hristovo will be 07.01.19 in Russia.
PPS: Sorry for throlling, nevermind. :)
Already stopped googling stuff.. its christmas eve....

JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #94 on: January 07, 2019, 03:51:00 PM »
It appears that President Trump is modifying his withdrawal from Syria.  He is asking Erdogan for assurances he will not target Kurds in Syria, if the US withdraws. I am not sure what Erdogan might promise, but pretty sure he considers Kurds an enemy. He has been opposed by Turkish Kurds for a long time.

The entire region has a Kurdish population longing for a homeland of their own. None of the regional powers are sympathetic. The US allied with them because they are fierce effective fighters who hate the terrorist as much as we do. The PKK (Kurdish workers party) are labelled as terrorists themselves...  so not obvious black and white stuff. More like enemy of my enemy stuff.

But I appreciate not leaving our recent allies hanging out to dry (for now)

JR
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
Tune it, or don't play it...

JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #95 on: January 09, 2019, 05:13:16 PM »
Not too surprising President Erdogan has rejected President Trumps request that Turkey not attack US backed Kurdish fighters in Syria after we pull out (he still considers them terrorists).

Looks like another example of President Trump engaging his mouth before his brain (advisors) were in gear, and on board with the full program. This is exactly why "mad dog" Mattis was upset.

 I like his instincts but he (Trump) is not a student of history and Turkey has been less then helpful to the US in the region in the past, so kind of expected. We'll have to see if he has some other leverage up his sleeve. I hope he doesn't leave our former allies to fend for themselves. That could end badly for them.    :o

JR
John Roberts
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boji

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #96 on: January 10, 2019, 08:25:25 PM »
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I hope he doesn't leave our former allies to fend for themselves.
I was reading an article today about Afghanistan needing billions in training, materials and support from the U.S. each year in order to keep something resembling an air force. All the heavy sorties are still planned out and implemented entirely with U.S. troops and equipment. It doesn't look like we'll be leaving that country for quite some time.

JohnRoberts

Re: The Middle East Friendship Chart
« Reply #97 on: January 10, 2019, 09:06:26 PM »
I was reading an article today about Afghanistan needing billions in training, materials and support from the U.S. each year in order to keep something resembling an air force. All the heavy sorties are still planned out and implemented entirely with U.S. troops and equipment. It doesn't look like we'll be leaving that country for quite some time.
I have been talking about this for years (right here)... Afghanistan needs more than an air force... how about a police force to maintain basic security and provide rule of law across the entire country, not just in Kabul where the government is based...

Yes it will take billions and billions of western aid just to prop up the weak central government. Iraq was a real country that has the wealth and will to police themselves. In afghanistan the taliban, and war lords are just waiting for the latest white knight (us/NATO) to give up and go home like every other one has before. It is the historical pattern there and I don't see anything different this time. 

I argued against President Obama's "surge light" as wrong headed... Afghanistan is not Iraq, and lacks the wealth to defend themselves, after the immediate terrorists are killed. The vacuum in security there and pressure in Syria has allowed ISIS to establish themselves in Afghanistan too. 

Right after 9/11 we went in and surgically wiped out the Al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan, that the Taliban had allowed in their midst (only took months). In a classic case of mission creep this campaign has morphed into fighting the Taliban (who didn't bomb the trade center). The Taliban are certainly deplorable by western standards but that alone does not justify regime change. Their sin was being indiscriminate landlords to terrorists. Let them have the sand and dessert, and poppy plants. 
 
JR

PS: Speaking of Al Qaeda we just spanked the terrorist who blew up the USS Cole, with some "radar love, coming in from above" (in Yemen). 
John Roberts
http://circularscience.com
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