Contrary to the conventional view, Obama has not been averse to using or threatening to use force. He pretends to be reluctant to resort to force, and his domestic critics pretend to believe him, but he will leave office with the dubious distinction of having presided over eight uninterrupted years of war. He has continued wars that he inherited, he has started new ones during both terms, and he has lent U.S. support to the wars of clients that couldn’t have been fought without our backing.Read more
An American-trained sniper has been promoted to a top position in the Islamic State war machine.
Gulmurod Khalimov, a 41-year-old colonel who underwent US special arms training while heading the Tajikistan special police force, was tapped to be ISIS’s minister of war, according to a new report….
Khalimov has replaced the infamous red-bearded Tarhan Batirashvili, better known as “Omar the Chechen,” who rose through the ranks of ISIS before he was killed in a US airstrike in July.Read more
On July 19, US warplanes dropped bombs on a crowd of civilians in the Syrian village of Tokhar. When the dust cleared, a minimum of 95 people were killed, and some groups claimed that as the wounded began dying, the toll rose to nearly 200.
CENTCOM seems to accept the pieces of this story. There was definitely a crowd of civilians, and there were definitely US warplanes dropping 500-pound bombs on them, and those bombs definitely hit the target. Getting them to the part where bombing a bunch of civilians with deadly explosives meant killing them, however, is a herculean task.Read more
Suppose some federal agency was conducting tours in which they regularly guided people to walk through a bed of rattlesnakes. Every day, some people are bit by rattlesnakes and die. Imagine American churches, seeing this ongoing death toll, exhorted their parishioners every Sunday (1) to pray that people stop being bitten by rattlesnakes; and (2) to also pray for the bureaucrats who are guiding people through the rattlesnake beds.
Do you see the problem with that scenario?Read more
With gains in the Helmand Province mounting for Taliban forces, and the Afghan military struggling to defend both that and the other provinces around the country which the Taliban are advancing into, the Pentagon has announced an additional deployment of US ground troops into the Helmand capital of Lashkar Gah.Read more
The United States Army’s finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced.
The Defense Department’s Inspector General, in a June report, said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. Yet the Army lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up….
“Where is the money going? Nobody knows,” said Franklin Spinney, a retired military analyst for the Pentagon and critic of Defense Department planning.
The significance of the accounting problem goes beyond mere concern for balancing books, Spinney said. Both presidential candidates have called for increasing defense spending amid current global tension….
DFAS also could not make accurate year-end Army financial statements because more than 16,000 financial data files had vanished from its computer system.Read more
Just when you thought US foreign policy could not get more absurd. Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, who is listed as “commander of US forces in Iraq and Syria,” has issued a warning to the Syrian military that if its counter-insurgency operations on Syrian soil leave US troops on Syrian soil “feeling threatened,” the US military would “defend itself.”
That needs to be broken down to even be believed.Read more
Defense Department contractors in Afghanistan still outnumber U.S. troops by a 3-to-1 margin according to new research released this week, raising questions again about the role those workers play in the ongoing wars overseas and the oversight they receive….
The latest figures available, for the first few months of 2016, show nearly 29,000 defense contractors still in Afghanistan…Read more