ISIS

ISIS Gains Big Ground, U.S. Strategy Shifts, Former Obama CIA Chief Predicts 30-Year War

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As the Obama administration hashes out its plans for war against the Islamic State (ISIS), it's becoming clear that the depth and duration of America's involvement will be much larger than anticipated. The president estimated that it could take three years to win the war. His former CIA director says it will be ten times as long.

"I think we're looking at kind of a 30-year war," Leon Panetta predicted yesterday. As head of the CIA, he oversaw the operation to kill Osama bin Laden. Panetta also served two years as Secretary of Defense for President Barack Obama.

According to USA Today, Panetta anticipates that America's latest iteration of the war on terror "will have to extend beyond Islamic State to include emerging threats in Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere." The former CIA chief is promoting a memoir that takes a somewhat critical look at Obama's leadership, and the book is already under fire from the State Department and Vice President Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, ISIS is gaining major ground on its Syrian front. The terrorist organization, operating tanks and heavy artillery, has apparently already raised its flags over a town called Kobani. CNN reports:

The fall of the city would carry huge symbolic and strategic weight, giving ISIS sway over an uninterrupted swatch of land between the Turkish border and its self-declared capital in Raqqa, Syria, 62 miles away. …

ISIS managed to close in on Kobani despite airstrikes by the United States and allied forces over the weekend and on Monday.

In related news, the U.S. announced that Apache helicopters are now part of the fight against the Islamic State. Stars and Stripes explains the significance:

Until Sunday, U.S. airstrikes in Iraq have been limited to fast-moving Air Force and Navy fighter aircraft and drones. But the use of the relatively slow-flying helicopters represents an escalation of American military involvement and is a sign that the security situation in Iraq's Anbar province is deteriorating. …

"It's definitely boots in the air. This is combat, assuming U.S. Army guys were flying the helicopters," said White, a defense fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a center-right policy institute. "Using helicopter gunships in combat operations means those forces are in combat."

Moreover, the Obama administration's decision to authorize the use of U.S. helicopter gunships indicates that nearly two months of U.S.-led airstrikes by fixed-wing fighters and bombers have failed to stop the Islamic State from massing ground troops and launching offensive operations, he said.

Read more Reason coverage of ISIS here

NEXT: A. Barton Hinkle: What the Hannah Graham Disappearance Says About U.S. Culture and the Media

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  1. Well, pretty much anyone even remotely following the issue knew the administration was full of it when they said three years and no boots on the ground. Would have been nice if someone actually challenged them, rather than just acknowledging it wasn’t true.

  2. I warned my mom that if she voted for McCain the U.S. would find itself mired and pointless limited wars because her President would be easily goaded into intervening in local disputes.

    It looks like I was right!

  3. “I think we’re looking at kind of a 30-year war,” Leon Panetta predicted yesterday.

    With all due respect, what is the basis for such utterances?

    Something like: “Well, look at all the time we’ve spent in Iraq and Afghanistan”?

    1. It takes a long time to fight a war you have no intention of winning.

      1. Nor even a strategy that entails obtaining some sort of objective goal.

        Dipshit can’t even define “winning”.

        Perhaps he could ask Charlie Sheen?

        1. Wait a minute, I thought ascertaining an objective wasn’t until Phase 3.
          God, FA, at least give him a decade to figure out what we’re supposed to be doing over there!

      2. Constantly arming the other side makes it difficult to win. It seems counter intuitive to us little people, that’s why they have top men on it.

    2. I think we’re looking at kind of a 30-year war

      I suspect Panetta is looking at a “containment” strategy like the Cold War, which took about 30 – 40 years to “win”.

    3. It’s going to take 30 years before we’re completely and utterly broke, thus ending the war.

  4. So, can we infer from Panetta’s comments that we are in fact losing the warn on terror?

    1. Was there ever any doubt? How does one win a war on a tactic?

      1. The same way you win a war on poverty or drugs.

        1. So… drink?

      2. “How does one win a war on a tactic?”

        You kill the people who use that tactic.

        1. The tricky part is identifying them.

          1. He’s the guy waving an AK and shouting “durka durka, mohammed jihad”.

            1. Yeah, and once you’ve killed all of the obvious ones, and then the enemy continues to exist and kill your people, you have to get a little more clever or a little more brutal (or both) about it.

              None of this is to excuse fecklessness or incompetence, but identifying the enemy in an asymmetrical conflict is a large part of the effort. Alternately, you can just go around killing everybody and letting God sort ’em out, but that has its own consequences.

        2. You kill the people who use that tactic.

          So you plan on being at war forever then?

          1. My impression is that he or she only wants to kill a particular subset of the people who use terrorism as their primary means of influencing governments.

            I doubt that groups similar to The Shining Path, Tamil Tigers, the Irish Republican Army, et cetera, are relevant to the discussion. It doesn’t seem to be terrorists per se which are problematic. But I look forward to being disabused of my opinions.

    2. So, can we infer from Panetta’s comments that we are in fact losing the warn on terror?

      To lose you have to play; so no, we aren’t losing!

      /sic

  5. Boots in the Air?
    YES! That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read.

    Speaking of dumb, am I delusional thinking Rand would disentangle us from this bullshit?

    Also, DefDist now offering a mini-CNC to finish an unserialized 80% lower receiver:

    http://www.theverge.com/2014/1…..-rifles-at

    https://ghostgunner.net/

    1. That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read today.

      FIFY

    2. That toy is fucking retarded. For the cost, you can buy real machine tools, not just something that only does a tiny bit of the work.

  6. Chill out, we’ve had 30 years’ wars before and it wasn’t so bad!

    1. Albrecht von Wallenstein, call your office.

  7. So, The Tidemaster was talking out of his ass again? I’m shocked, I tells ya.

    1. On a related note, is he making this up as he goes along or is there really some nefarious master plan behind this all? Up till now, I’d have thought the former but I can’t tell anymore.

      1. I’m confused about that, too. I’m leaning toward a vague, unworkable master plan that keeps colliding with reality and thus forcing a lot of frantic improvisation.

        1. Perhaps perpetual war is the objective.

          The increasing probability of retaliatory acts of terrorism launched within the United States doesn’t seem to bother too many of the people making the decisions.

          1. To be fair, it’s Islamic jihadis who want perpetual war. You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.

            1. “To be fair, it’s Islamic jihadis who want perpetual war. You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.”

              I’m confident that the Military Industrial Complex President Eisenhower warned us about wants perpetual war too.

              1. I get so fucking tired of hearing about Eienhower and the MIC….fuck…..he presided over the largest nuclear buildup in US history, going from a few hundred warheads when he took office to nearly 20,000 by the time he left. He approved and funded the development and deployment of a vast array of new weapons and delivery systems, including intercontinental ballistic missiles and their delivery platforms and silos.

                It’s not 1942 anymore, when Ford Motor Company could go from building cars, to building tanks in a year, and IBM could go from building adding machines to rifles. It’s a much different thing to go from cars or adding machines, to cruise missiles or thermal imaging fire-control systems. You can’t learn to build an M1 Abrams or F22 in a year, or even five.

                1. I get so fucking tired of hearing about Eienhower and the MIC

                  Noted.

                2. Eisenhower…

                3. “You can’t learn to build an M1 Abrams or F22 in a year, or even five.”

                  This is true (at least for “a year”, not so sure about “even five”), but we already have hundreds of M1 tanks and F22 fighters. Yes, they have to be maintained, and that isn’t free, but we have no idea what the next major conflict will entail. The M1 and F22 might be critical parts of it, or they might be curious footnotes. Human beings are horrible predictors, but pretty good adapters.

                  There is a difference between “defenseless” and “reasonably defended”; while difficult to quantify each, as the world’s only remaining superpower, we would be nowhere near “defenseless” even with double-digit cuts to military funding, provided that those cuts were effected with the interests of the nation, and not the careers of politicians, civilians, and general officers, in mind.

                  1. By “civilian” I mean non-military DoD personnel.

                4. Nothing you typed addresses the fact that there are many who financially benefit from increased “defense” spending and/or perpetual war.

                  1. I apologize – my comment was in response to “Anon E. Mouse” who posted at 3:12 pm.

            2. To be fair, it’s Islamic jihadis who want perpetual war. You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.

              I’m pretty sure there’s a whole block of people in the US who are interested in perpetual war – people like you.

      2. Well, Republicans like fighting wars. Especially wars they can’t ever win. So what better for the midterm elections than to get Republicans talking about putting boots on the ground than talking about:

        ACA
        Benghazi
        IRS
        NSA
        FF
        Economy…

        Nefarious master plan? You betcha!

      3. He’s making up a nefarious plan as he goes along.

      4. To understand Obama’s approach, I suggest you watch Mel Brooks’ To Be Or Not To Be, specifically the ‘Naughty Nazis’ number at the beginning of the movie.

        Like Mel Brooks’ campy Hitler, Obama is a deeply insecure person who is making decisions based on the bad things people say about him in the paper. And the incentives for his underlings are such that they are better off obeying his idiotic orders than if they blow them off.

        1. That’s part of it, but he’s also leftist who wants to make things “better” by doing leftist things.

  8. Funny. At my most pessemistic, I think we’re looking at a 30 Year War-type situation – a grinding, region-wide, sectarian bloodbath.
    Big powers fight. Little powers fight.
    Mountains of corpses.
    The French, sort of, win?

    1. The French could definitely win if they don’t play.

    2. I’ve been saying this since Iraq descended into sectarian fighting. These people are going to have it out with each other. There’s nothing the West can do to stop it. We can only delay the inevitable.

    3. Consider the possibility that the Islamists win.

      Say the Islamic State survives (high probability), the West either tries occupation again, and doesn’t have the stomach to do it right, or else does nothing (High probability).

      Then what?
      What happens when we have revolutions across North Africa and a unified Islamic State emerges that decides it wants to wage jihad on Europe?

      1. Europe has to pony up for some goddamn military equipment of their own for a change?

  9. I think we’re looking at kind of a 30-year war

    Well, that should make McCain and Graham happy.

  10. OT: The Climate Change fearmongering Hail Mary –

    http://www.climatecentral.org/…..ized-18139

    1. The only way this Hail Mary could be more perfect is if the “research” were being done at Boston College…or the guy’s name was “Flutie”.

      +1 Flutie Flakes!

    2. The heat is always hiding in the place they are about to look… assuming they get the grant award.

    3. The oceans are TWICE as hot as previously believed! Oh, the humanity!

      The interesting thing one reads is the part where it says that, previously, it was very difficult or even impossible to read the temps of the oceans at the greater depths, but still were able to state with a straight face that the oceans are warmer than in 1950. So I guess it wasn’t THAT impossible to read the temps at greater depths after all.

      1. Two words: Whale farts.

  11. But THIS war won’t cost anything. Only wars started by GOPers cost anything. Wars started by Ds are free!

    1. And body count… don’t forget body count.

    2. But the President (PBUH) isn’t starting ANYTHING!!! He’s cleaning up the mess made by BOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!! if BOOOOOOOOOOOSH hadn’t screwed up Iraq in the first place, none of this would be necessary!

      Now you Kochtarian Rehtuglihadstards blame The One for the thankless job of cleaning up the white manz mess!!!

      Typical. Racist.

      Also – fried chicken.

      1. Also – BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOGH!

      2. if BOOOOOOOOOOOSH hadn’t screwed up Iraq in the first place, none of this would be necessary!

        Well, OK. Not to get in the way of your mocking, but… isn’t that kind of true?

        Of course, I’m talking about Bush I. I still don’t see why we should ave given a rat’s ass about Kuwait. Not our our circus. Not our monkeys.

    3. Wars started by Ds are free!

      You’re such a goddamn fucking moron, Sevo.

      THIS WAR CREATES JERBZ!

      1. “THIS WAR CREATES JERBZ!”

        Could you please come by and fix my window?

        1. But creative destruction!!!!!2111one

      2. Indeed.

        Just like fighting off invasions from hostile space aliens.

        1. How dare you disrespect Nobel Laureate Dr. Paul Krugman, PhD. !

          1. What makes it sad is that he did do decent econ at one time:
            “Reckonings; A Rent Affair”
            http://www.nytimes.com/2000/06…..ffair.html

            I used to post this on SF Gate when they had an article on rent control; you wouldn’t believe the lefties’ excuses.

    4. The GOP didn’t start wars until the Bushes came along and decided to make like good Democrats.

  12. OT: Baby-killing Detroit cop off the hook thanks to Judge’s ruling. Film at eleven! The only solace I take from this is that a LOT of people are PISSED. Now, whether that translates into any action….well….LET’S KEEP HOPE ALIVE!

    Protect your nuts, please…..

    http://www.detroitnews.com/sto…../16799265/

    1. He claims Aiyana’s grandmother, Mertilla Jones, slapped at his gun, causing it to fire and kill the sleeping girl.

      Fucking liar.

      1. Does that mean she’ll be charged with murder? Seriously. I thought that when you interfere with an officer and it results in a death, you get charged with murder.

        1. I wouldn’t be surprised if they charge her with endangering her child.

          How long do you think it will be before someone snaps and starts shooting police officers?

          1. Like Dorner? Or the Boston Bombers?

            1. I was thinking of a parent or a victim of police brutality.

              Since you mentioned ex-officer Dorner, did you get a chance to read the “manifesto” he wrote before he began his attacks? It didn’t justify his murderous intent but it was quite revealing and damaging to the police department he had worked in (if what he wrote was indeed true).

              1. I think so.

    2. Prosecutors argue Weekley didn’t use proper care for safety because he kept his finger on the trigger, which police are trained not to do.

      Clearly not.

    3. The baby should have complied with the officer’s demands. People need to accept personal responsibility when it comes to dealing with cops. Obey me or I’ll murder you.

      /dunphy

    4. As nut punches go, this is pretty small; the Supreme Court is right – a directed verdict of not guilty should not be overturnable.

      The trial judge did get it wrong, I think, it ruling that there was no intent; it takes intent to put one’s finger on the trigger of a gun and launch a surprise invasion of someone else’s property, last I checked.

      However, since he had been trained to go in that way, had been ordered to go in that way, one could argue that he had no intent to hurt anyone prior to the trigger being pulled; and it’s pretty likely that a jury would have gone the way the judge did in the directed verdict.

      However, this case makes a mockery of the claim that these violent assaults into a home are justified by the danger to the police and the innocent when a more peaceable attempt to apprehend suspects for whom an arrest warrant has been issued.

      The police admit they were trying to sow confusion (shooting flash bangs etc.). If we take the shooter’s story as being truthful (ha!), the measures impaired his ability to discern who was an innocent bystander and who was a threat to him. If the police are telling the truth, their murder of an innocent child was the result of their procedures and their approach to apprehending violent fugitives; something that inevitably would happen sooner or later.

      1. Yeah, I have to agree on the specifics and minutiae. I’m more upset at the idea that this whole thing went in this direction – he was probably mischarged – or something – and therefore

        GETS OFF SCOTT, FUCKING FREE FOR BEING A DUMBASS AND GETTING A 7 YEAR OLD KILLED KILLING A 7 YEAR OLD BECAUSE HIS FUCKING HAND WAS ON THE FUCKING TRIGGER WHEN IT SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN!

        Scott free.

        fuck that.

  13. In the year 2044, the cyberjihadists have overrun most of the Extranet. The Techno-Caliphate arises from the nuclear ashes of the Middle East, ready to force its will on the fleshy dhimmi. Only Clint Hardman, Cyborg Veteran of the Syrian Expedition and the Eighth Gulf War, can stop them.

    MANBORG, COMING TO A DIRECT NEUROINTERFACE NEAR YOU!

    1. I call bullshit. Only 8 gulf wars by 2044? Clearly this is fiction.

      1. Are we up to 3 or 4? Does Afghanistan count as a Gulf War? I need a ruling.

        1. No way – not enough water in the whole country to make a gulf!

          Call it “Land War in Asia III”

    2. Sounds like the premise for a new Call of Duty game.

    3. But there was one Cristfag-cyborg who taught us to fight, to storm the wire of the internet camps, to smash those metal motherfuckers into junk. He turned it around. He brought us back from the brink.

  14. I blame cosmotarianism.

  15. Hmmm, it’s almost like the harder we prosecute the ‘war on terror’ the more and quicker it multiplies…almost suggesting a possible cause/effect. Must be my imagination. I’m sure John will be by shortly to square me away.

    1. Why don’t you support the troops Steve?
      I jest.

      During the Bush/Cheney Administration I was repeatedly labeled unpatriotic/un-American for trying to explain the concept of blowback. Several individuals suggested I move to another country with the other “Liberal terrorist sympathizers.”

  16. Slightly OT, but I spent some of my lunch time, as I often do, browsing around the globe in Google Earth. Today, I was perusing western Africa, and came across Mauritania. Now, I am generally well versed in geography, but I have to ask:

    What the fuck is in Mauritania? Seriously, how can there even be a functioning country there, much less one that covers so damn much surface area? Everything seems to be desert, and I can’t identify more than a couple of large mines, and practically no industrial centers, even small ones.

    What is the deal with Mauritania? How does it even exist as an incorporated area, much less as a nation?

      1. What a fucking shithole.

      2. That looks like the land that time forgot. 10 to 20% of the population is enslaved.

        1. That describes most of the Middle East, Southwest Asia, and Northern Africa.

    1. An of course, the answer to the main question here is “European Colonialism.” There can be no other explanation for how such an area would be combined into a single political entity.

      1. A better question is how it’s stayed in one piece post-colonialism. The answer seems to be the Berbers/Moors ruling with an ironclad fist.

        1. That’s sort of where I was going with this, and I’m glad someone challenged it. The initiator could have been European colonialism and its general failure at making cohesive states in large geographic areas dominated by non-European cultures, but the reins have been.in the hands of the locals for so long, they deserve much of the blame for failing to achieve economic success when sitting on top of such mineral wealth.

      2. This.

        Also, Botswana occupies land with similar terrain, but is rapidly becoming one of the few success stories of Africa. While they do have mineral wealth, that’s easily wasted. They are one of the economically freest nations in Africa (yeah, yeah, I know)

    2. Mining and fisheries, with some offshore oil. Also they apparently still have slavery. Population’s only a few million over a rather large area. Massive Sunni majority so maybe it’s religion keeping it together?

      1. You use the term “keeping it together” very loosely.

        1. TIA man. Multiple coups, juntas and ethnic tensions are just par for the course.

      2. With all the mineral wealth in the north, could it become the next Libertopia? I mean, it lacks roads, so basically we’re all set from an infrastructure standpoint–we’ll have so much less to tear down.

        1. Hey, they’re sitting on a gold mine of water front property. Imagine the tourism if they let the women show a little leg.

      3. When you are chained up in a coffle, you are definitely “together”.

    3. I was watching this black comedian on HBO the other day, and he said thank god for slavery or else he’d be living in Africa.

      1. That’s probably a good argument against reparations for slavery too. Your ancestors were freed and now you live in one of the most propserous places on earth. Would you rather still be enslaved in Mauritania?

  17. and the book is already under fire from the State Department and Vice President Joe Biden.

    Well, that sure sets the matter straight then! Since they sent the intellectual heavyweights out…

  18. For the uninformed, this is how it works:

    President: General X, how long will it take to solve this problem?

    General X: Mr president, due to the fact that we need to reeducate an entire population, and bring them from the 12th century into the 21st, we’re predicting that this effort will take a minimum of 50 years.

    President: You’re fired. Next.

    General Y: Mr. President, due to the fact that we need to reeducate an entire population, and bring them from the 12th century into the 21st, we’re predicting that this effort will take a minimum of 10 years.

    President: You’re fired. Next.

    General Z: Mr. President, there’s only a few of these guys, and we can kick their asses without even leaving our cubicles, in less than a year.

    President: That’s exactly what I wanted to hear. You’ve got the job. BTW, you can’t drop bombs anywhere where there are civilians, and you can’t use nukes, and you have to respect their culture, oh, and no scary patches with skulls, or dark sunglasses…you’ll intimidate the population, and no mines or cluster bombs, or incendiaries, or ….

    General Z: ….fuck me…

    1. Getting fired on a 4-Star pension isn’t much of a threat.

      1. He’d be on the board of directors of some defense contractor before he left the building.

        1. And laughing all the way to the bank as he sold his wares to that poor sucker, General Z.

          1. And yet so few seem to be willing to fall on their swords as anyone w/ honor and dignity should…

            1. You don’t get to be a general these days by having honor and dignity.

              1. I disagree, at least regarding the ones I work with on a daily basis. Yes, they are very in tune with politics and, although they don’t admit it, are very career-minded, but there isn’t one that I’m familiar with that doesn’t act honorably. It’d just be nice if one would resign in protest every now and then to highlight an issue that they can’t fix otherwise. …not that it would matter or anything.

                1. It’d just be nice if one would resign in protest every now and then to highlight an issue that they can’t fix otherwise. …not that it would matter or anything.

                  For as fucked up as the AF is (military?) it should be how every fucking 4 star retires. Fogleman was the last one with any balls, and even he didn’t go public.

              2. If you cultivate an atmosphere of careerism and risk-aversion over a period of 20 years, you get a military lead by risk-averse careerists. Just to give you an idea how far this has gone, we currently have a military leadership that forces soldiers to wear reflective belts over their camouflaged uniforms in a combat zone, so they don’t get hit by cars when crossing the street.

                1. military leadership that forces soldiers to wear reflective belts over their camouflaged uniforms in a combat zone, so they don’t get hit by cars when crossing the street

                  Because in garrison, where this is required, that’s their biggest threat. They aren’t doing this outside the wire. Also, despite all barracks lawyer logic to the contrary, reflective belts don’t actually emit light.
                  But as far as your main point is concerned, yes they have cultivated a pattern of risk-aversion over a career. Does it make many GO’s timid? Yes, but I wouldn’t say that makes them dishonorable.

                  1. Do you consider Bagram Afghanistan, with its weekly rocket attacks and multiple massed assaults on the perimeter to be “in garrison”? How about Kandahar; is that “in garrison”? I’ve got no issue with requiring someone to wear a reflective belt at Ft. Bragg, but any place where you’re REQUIRED to carry your loaded weapon with you at all times because of the danger of an attack, it’s utterly fucking retarded to festoon your people in reflectors.

                    1. Yes, I consider BAF and KAF in garrison. A soldier wearing a reflective belt is not visible to the guys setting up the IDF attacks outside the wire. I hear what you’re saying, but the fact remains you are at greater risk of getting hit walking down the road in a mostly dark base than by the random rocket attack.

                    2. You know they have sidewalks and pedestrian crossings, right? You know that if a vehicle drives up on the sidewalk where the pedestrians are, that reflective belt isn’t going to stop it, right? Reflective belts on camo uniforms…Why do I get the distinct impression that you’re Air Force?

                    3. Yeah, and? The belt ain’t a protective bubble for the pedestrian, it’s for the driver of the vehicle that doesn’t have good vis to start with. Please tell me the downside other than offending your delicate fashion sense?
                      I realize this is the go-to meme of those who can’t fathom the possible use of adding temporary visibility to a camo uniform, but it actually does serve a purpose.

                    4. The “downside” is that it’s fucking stupid. It sends a signal that says “We trust you with a loaded weapon because we have to, but we think you’re too stupid to cross the street”. It serves no purpose other than to give some risk-averse CSM a bullet on his NCOER.

                      “Implemented and enforced a comprehensive safety program thereby saving countless man-hours and lives, increasing the overall effectiveness of US military forces in the GWOT”.

                      Sounds a lot better than “I made my guys wear reflectors in a combat zone”, doesn’t it?

                      So let’s say the bad guys assault Bagram and penetrate the perimeter, again; do you really think that the risk of getting hit by a car on the sidewalk outweighs the risk of being reflective? Does the drill now become “tap, rack, remove reflective belt, bang”? Seriously? You ARE Air Force, right?

                      It makes about as much sense as forcing people to wear construction hard-hats when riding in a fully-enclosed Mule.

                    5. Let it go Army, your services’ well-documented “PT Belt” rage is going to give you a heart attack.

                      we think you’re too stupid to cross the street

                      Again, for the cheap seats and hard of hearing critical thinking: it’s not about the pedestrian’s actions, it’s about the vehicle driver’s, and making a pedestrian more visible to a driver on a dark air base is not risk-aversion, it’s common sense. Risk-aversion is not letting your folks drink responsibly down range.
                      I am AF, and again, so?? I’ve spent 20+ years working on flightlines and air bases, including many dark ones to include BAF. I wouldn’t presume to tell you what makes sense outside the wire, but you conflating PT belts with combat inside the wire is pretty “fucking stupid”

                      So let’s say the bad guys assault Bagram

                      Wow, that’s quite the remote scenario, but I’ll entertain it. How does the PT belt endanger them? Are the bad guys wielding flashlights? Will our guys not find cover immediately, thus covering up their belts anyway?
                      How many folks have died in OEF/OIF from your scenario vs died being hit by a tactical vehicle? Don’t worry, you don’t have to answer that. To you it’s only motivated by an OER bullet, not a genuine concern for safety.

                    6. I don’t question anything you say here Steve.

                      But reflective belts are gayer than that time Gay went to Gaytown. And the resentment stems from being ordered to wear them as if you were a child incapable of making such a decision on your own. We are talking about fully grown adults here.

                    7. Dude, I’ll remember this moment. 🙂

                      It’s just PPE, I don’t like wearing it either, but when the best argument anyone can ever muster is basically, ‘it looks silly’ it just doesn’t outweigh why it was put in place. And since when did we give ‘fully grown adults’ leeway, esp in the military? That would be like me telling my crew chiefs who’ve never splashed themselves with lox in 5 years to just not wear their apron and mask since they’re grown adults and can use their best judgment. That’d last about a week until someone lost an eye. Could your fully grown adults blow off boldface in their check rides?
                      Who am I kidding, the gulf between ops and mx on this is subject is as wide as it is between us ‘non-ers’ and the Army.

                      PS Gay is wearing the PT belt in PT gear that already has reflective material on it.

                    8. It’s not that you should be able to decide not to wear your protective gear (which you should, contrary to popular belief I own my body, not the USAF) it’s that that goddamned gay belt shouldn’t be considered protective gear in the first place.

                      There is a point of absurdity, and this is well past it. How many people were ever killed by getting hit and how many of those would the gay belt have saved. There is a point of diminishing returns. Particularly when you consider the trade-off of emasculating your folks and the hit morale takes when you do so. Despite what the brass thinks, grown men resent being treated as fucking children.

                      The risk averse culture has completely run amok. “If it prevents just one accident…” Hey, I have an idea, how about we wear our chem gear to work everyday, just in case there is an attack? Maybe you could propose that…you’d surely make 0-6. 😉

                    9. it’s not about the pedestrian’s actions, it’s about the vehicle driver’s,

                      I don’t claim to have the intelligence of the armed forces, but how the fuck is it not BOTH people’s actions?

                    10. It is both people’s actions, I was simply countering the asinine argument that the PT belt doesn’t make a pedestrian invincible, therefore not necessary

                      You know that if a vehicle drives up on the sidewalk where the pedestrians are, that reflective belt isn’t going to stop it

                    11. “Wow, that’s quite the remote scenario, but I’ll entertain it. How does the PT belt endanger them? Are the bad guys wielding flashlights? Will our guys not find cover immediately, thus covering up their belts anyway?”

                      It’s not as remote as you think. The bad guys have penetrated the perimeter and run amuck many times on numerous US FOBs, including BAF. When it happens, YOUR guys are generally curled up in a fetal position pissing themselves after they’ve abandoned their guard tower, while MY guys are up running around trying to kill the bad guys. Fuck, YOUR guys are so risk-averse, they’ll let a taliban rocket team set up in plain sight 300 meters from their guard tower and rocket the base because, well, “they weren’t shooting at us, so we couldn’t shoot at them”. Fuck learning the ROE, there’s a safety meeting, right?

                      Air Force: So gay that sweat is not allowed. Seriously. Al Udeid Qatar, where it’s 107 degrees out at midnight; the enlisted club has signs that state “Customers with excessive perspiration will be refused service”

                  2. And BTW, it wasn’t me who was questioning the honor and integrity of military leadership. I’ve worked with all branches of the military over a period of decades, and I’ve never encountered one that didn’t take the issues of honor and integrity very fucking seriously. A man is only as good as his word.

      2. Getting fired on a 4-Star pension isn’t much of a threat.

        Yeah, I always wondered why more of them don’t fall on their swords over this bullshit. Maybe it makes it harder to get that seven figure “consulting” job at Boeing?

          1. I later heard through the grape vine that there was a fourth version on which they forged my signature.

            My neighbor, an old guy who was a clerk in the Army National Guard in the 60s, said the first thing they had to do whenever they got a new commanding officer was to learn to forge his signature.

          2. One certainly doesn’t get it without a lot of work and sacrifice (even if its sacrifice of *others*) so once you got that you don’t give it up.

            Its like congressmen and senators – most could move on after a couple of terms and make more int he private sector. But where else but inside government are you going to get to a position where your word is, literally, law?

            4 Star general is about as close as you can get to being able to have a man killed on a whim without actually getting elected.

            1. The more I hear about the Army (and Air Force) the happier I am that I went Navy.

        1. Seven figures….hmmmm…where does one find a consulting job that pays seven figures? I’d be interested in this. Got any examples?

          1. John Jumper, former CSAF. March 2012 brought on to SAIC as CEO with a comp pkg worth 2.75M. Departs Jul 2014.

            Coincidentally, the current Secretary of the AF was sworn in on 24 Jan 14. Her previous employer: SAIC where she was a VP.

            1. CEO isn’t exactly a “consulting job”.

              1. Yeah, but when it seems an awful lot like he was brought on temporarily just to get an SAIC person in the big chair, it definitely gives it a more ‘consulting’ air.

          2. Pulled it out of my ass (exaggeration). However, for a 4 star, I wouldn’t be surprised. Especially a service chief.

            My buddies old man is a dime a dozen 1 star and he was making a couple hundred K as I recall.

            1. Shit. As a retired O-5, I have to toil in the insurance mines for Swiss masters.

              1. I won’t tell you what my wife makes, per hour, consulting.

  19. According to USA Today, Panetta anticipates that America’s latest iteration of the war on terror “will have to extend beyond Islamic State to include emerging threats in Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere.”

    “How about Total Global Thermonuclear War?”
    “Would you rather play a nice game of chess?”
    “Later. Let’s play Total Global Thermonuclear War.”
    “Fine.”
    “All right!”

    1. Wasn’t that the guy in “Honey I Married a Horse”?

  20. Meanwhile, ISIS is gaining major ground on its Syrian front. The terrorist organization, operating tanks and heavy artillery, has apparently already raised its flags over a town called Kobani.

    Hope you guys enjoyed that yogurt while it lasted.

  21. The war was only going to take a few months and no boots on the ground, just like POTUS said, but then Vice Magazine fucked that all up!

    Vice Magazine consorts with da debil, causes 30 year war

  22. Typical frikkin’ USAF bullshit.

    ISIS is just begging for a couple of squadrons of Warthogs, but the AF hates the Warthog, so they send their poncy little fighter/”bombers”. Which are great against limited menu of targets, but for armored columns and general air-to-ground killin’, the Warthog is the right tool for the job.

    And we have dozens of them snoozing in mothballs here in Tucson.

    1. Look dude, we can’t just wipe them out. They ‘could’ be the good terrorists, we’re not sure yet. But if they do turn out to be the moderate good terrorists, then we will need them against the bad terrorists when we figure out who that is.

      You extremists, always second guessing our top men.

    2. The USAF doesn’t hate the Hog. It would love to keep it, but has painted itself in the corner with the F-35 both in $ and people. Gotta dump the A-10 to make room.

    3. A) Warthogs need to be based close to the fighting since they fly really, really slowly. At this point, the only ‘friendly’ countries are Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which are quite happy to see ISIS massacring Alawites, Kurds, and Shiites.

      B) Warthogs work great against armor, and to a lesser extent against massed formations of people. Isis use vehicles that look just like the vehicles used by the local population.

      Unless the U.S. massacres everyone from the air, it will not be able to seriously dent the ranks of ISIS. Fighting them, really fighting them, requires ground troops.

      1. In 2004, when I was in Afghanistan, the A-10s were quite good at massed formations – several hundred dead later, the Taliban figured 150 man columns were not such a good idea…

    4. The time to use Warthogs was back in May and June when ISIS was merrily prancing down the Tigris and Euphrates and openly advertising their locations. However, that would have required 1) some actual initiative on the part of the DoD and POTUS to station aircraft at a base suitable for engagement, and 2) the permission of the country we were going to station them in. The problem was that no one really took ISIS that seriously until they were licking the outskirts of Baghdad and about to massacre the Yezidi on Sinjar, so whatever initiative that might have been gained while ISIS were overextending themselves was lost.

      Now that they’ve had time to entrench themselves in places like Mosul and the Anbar province, they’re back to beating up on the Iraqi Army again. A-10s are pretty much irrelevant at this point.

      1. BTW, I stopped by Balloon Juice just to see if they’ve made ANY sort of mention on this over this operation the last few days. This fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants bullshit that’s being conducted now would have brought down the wrath of every bloo-bloo-blooing loser on that blog when Bush was in office.

        Now that President Butt Naked is doing the warmongering? They’re basically pretending that it isn’t even going on, much less questioning what the long-term strategy is there. Just a bunch of happytalk on the economy and the typical quoting of incel nerds like Charles Pierce to signal how much they hate Republicans.

        Sites like that truly reinforce that, as bad as the Republicans are, Democrats are just as venal and worthless.

    5. The Hog has outlived its usefulness. The areas where it excelled have been replaced by weaponry able to be dropped by ANY combat aircraft. CAS only platforms are a thing of the past.

      Keeping it would be to squander taxpayer’s money.

  23. This seems familiar. It’s like I’ve read similar stories about similar events in the same area or something. Weird.

    1. Yup. I believe it all started on Jan. 20, 2001 and ended on Jan. 20, 2009, but then started up again with some fake scandal in 2013.

  24. “It’s definitely boots in the air. This is combat, assuming U.S. Army guys were flying the helicopters,” said White, a defense fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a center-right policy institute. “Using helicopter gunships in combat operations means those forces are in combat.”
    —–

    Not if His Excellency says they aren’t!

    1. Its like a children’s game. You’re ok as long as your feet don’t touch the ground – its lava.

  25. “I think we’re looking at kind of a 30-year war,” Leon Panetta predicted yesterday. As head of the CIA, he oversaw the operation to kill Osama bin Laden. Panetta also served two years as Secretary of Defense for President Barack Obama.

    According to USA Today, Panetta anticipates that America’s latest iteration of the war on terror “will have to extend beyond Islamic State to include emerging threats in Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere.”

    If Barack Obama takes Panetta seriously, then that means Panetta and Obama are a bigger threat to American security than ISIS.

    They’re not the biggest threat to American security, however. The biggest threat to American security are the idiots who identify with both parties and who listen to losers like Panetta and Obama–because they’re cowards and afraid of Muslims or whatever.

    1. Hmm, I’d say the biggest threats to US security are those who insist on bombing everyone who talks nasty about us.

      1. Free Strawman Army?

    2. I’ve noticed that when something bad happens, it’s always the fault of the Intelligence Community for not knowing about it, even if they did and no one took them seriously, but then when the Intelligence Community points out a threat based on all available intel and years of experience, anybody who listens to them are “cowards”, “afraid of Muslims”, “bed-wetters”, “idiots” or something.

      I for one will sleep soundly and safely knowing that YOU know far more about ISIS and radical islam than the CIA or any other intelligence agency, and that you’ve got this covered.

      1. I’m sorry, are you saying the CIA and *any* of the other intelligence agencies know anything about ISIS and radical islam beyond what’s best for their budgets?

        1. Are you saying that they don’t?

          1. I’m saying they’re not a substantial threat to the United States–they’re certainly less of a threat than Iran.

            And they’re certainly not a threat that justifies us fighting a 30 year war encompassing, Iraq, Syria, “Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere”.

            And I don’t understand why, if we were unable to put down an insurgency with 165,000 American troops on the ground in Iraq at the height of the surge, why we should expect to be able to put down ISIS in Iraq by itself, much less Syria, “Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere”.

            Sounds pretty stupid to me. …especially when you consider that whatever small amount of threat ISIS might represent to the United States, they only exist because of the United States’ incursion into Iraq. But it’ll be different this time, I’m sure!

            …because now we’ve got Obama in charge?

            You tell me.

      2. AEM, perhaps you could just preemptively kill everybody. Then you will be able to sleep really well.

        You see, you don’t attack a threat because it’s a threat. Doing so, makes you immoral.

        You identify it, you do a risk analysis to determine the probability of ever needing to face it and if it ranks high enough, you develop methods to defeat it within the budget you are allotted.

        Then, IF and when the threat actually engages you, THEN you employ your methodology to counter said threat.

        That’s how you deal with a threat. Calling something a threat isn’t justification to engage it.

  26. “will have to extend beyond Islamic State to include emerging threats in Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere.”

    If that’s actually the case, then we’ve already lost.

    I mean, its pretty amazing that we’ve been able to sustain combat operations for over a decade straight as it is – now we’re going to expand those operations to cover the whole third world? Does this man even realize what that would entail?

    1. If it does, it will truly break the military. We can barely sustain operations in the Middle East as it is, with all the manpower reductions that have taken place–and now he wants us to expand into these other Third World shitholes?

      Maybe this country really does need someone to come in and conquer us just to cut all this shit out. No one seems to have a fucking clue otherwise.

  27. It should be noted that apparently the Kurds took back the small part of Kobani where the ISIS flag was raised.

  28. The issue isn’t ISIS. The issue is the religiously-rooted ideology driving ISIS. It’s an ideology that’s been around for centuries and has been colored with more recent resentment of Western powers’ meddling in the region (ISIS’s declaration regarding the destruction of the borders of the Sykes-Picot Agreement meant nothing to anybody west of Beirut but it’s a big issue in that region).

    You can’t kill an ideology with airstrikes or even boots on the ground. Naziism is still alive in some quarters despite the complete destruction of the Third Reich. Communist adherents will likely be with us for the foreseeable future, despite the collapse of the USSR and China’s embrace of a form of capitalism (in an effort to avoid a collapse).

    You have to delegitimize ISIS’s ideology. The problem is the United States cannot do that with its planes and soldiers; that will only reinforce what ISIS is arguing. The ideology will live on even if every single ISIS fighter is dead and it will rear its head in another decade or two. Syria and Iraq — the two countries that should be leading the delegitimization charge — are, at best, completely unhelpful (they are either incapable of doing anything or, through utter short-sightedness, doing the wrong things).

    1. legit, unfortunately this insight precludes you from any position regarding US foreign policy

    2. Last I checked, Nazism wasn’t going very far or killing many people. You’ve made an excellent and it is completely opposite to the point you intended. There is nothing so delegitimizing for an ideology as Total Military Defeat.

      1. By your logic, the Total Military Defeat of Germany, killed the ideology of Nazism. Did it?

        1. It delegitimized it.

          Before: Lots of Germans were Nazis.
          After bombing the shit out of Germany: Few Germans are Nazis.

          1. Yeah, but it didn’t kill the ideology. Think about it, WWII Germany was a direct result of Total Military Defeat 20 yrs earlier

          2. It delegitimized it.

            The fuck it did.

            After bombing Germany, we had to split the fucking thing into two BECAUSE WE DIDN’T totally delegitimize socialism. We might have successfully delegitimzed some of the symbolism and institutions, but the ideology pretty much just reorganized under new symbols and new institutions.

            Germany, especially the eastern regions, are still hotbeds of socialism. Those are the areas that support the EU with vigor, despite the fact that their last currency union was a total economic disaster.

      2. Communism, Nazism, Islam – I put them in the same nasty totalitarian bucket.

        As individuals they may be slightly more prone to violence than the norm, but are generally safe to deal with. As soon as they grow past about 25% of your population, look out – they will try to seize power and it will be some horrendous form of totalitarianism.

    3. You have to delegitimize ISIS’s ideology. The problem is the United States cannot do that with its planes and soldiers; that will only reinforce what ISIS is arguing.

      Oh I don’t know, we “delegitimized” Naziism by bombing the shit out of Germany.

  29. Why I Am Not a Muslim

    http://www.danielpipes.org/893…..t-a-muslim

  30. Apparently destabilizing all of the regions governments doesn’t lead to an outbreak of liberal democracy, but instead leads to the rise of a violent fanatical international religious movement bent on restoring a 1000 year old empire.

    NICE GOING PROGRESSIVES!!!

    1. And that’s an Amen…………

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