Thursday, September 18, 2014

Advice Regarding Fighting ISIL

For John, BLUFEveryone is a strategic expert.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the on-line presence The Hill we have this short article on an OpEd piece in The [Manchester] Guardian about the current US fight against ISIL.  The headline is "Chelsea Manning:  US can’t defeat ISIS with ‘bombs and bullets’".

Remember when Chelsea was Bradley?  Remember when she was an Army Private First Class (PFC) and involved in leaking massive amounts of data to Wikileaks?  Remember when she was condemned to serve 35 years at The United States Disciplinary Barracks (Fort Leavenworth, Kansas).

Well, at any rate, here is her OpEd in The [Manchester] Guardian.  The Headline is "How to make Isis fall on its own sword" and the sub-headline is "Degrade and destroy? The west should try to disrupt the canny militants into self-destruction, because bombs will only backfire".  This falls along the line presented by David Kilcullen in his book, The Accidental Guerrilla—In fighting the insurgents the force tends to alienate even more people, creating more insurgents (or guerrillas).

Here is the conclusion presented by Ms Manning:

Eventually, if they are properly contained, I believe that Isis will not be able to sustain itself on rapid growth alone, and will begin to fracture internally.  The organization will begin to disintegrate into several smaller, uncoordinated entities – ultimately failing in their objective of creating a strong state.

But the world just needs to be disciplined enough to let the Isis fire die out on its own, intervening carefully and avoiding the cyclic trap of “mission creep”.  This is certainly a lot to ask for.  But Isis is wielding a sharp, heavy and very deadly double-edged sword.  Now just wait for them to fall on it.

Regards  —  Cliff

Protecting US Citizens Abroad

For John, BLUFGlobal Terrorism, with diverse motivations, is a serious problem.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

On City Life yesterday there was a discussion of the current ISIL practice of beheading Westerners who fall into their hands..  Both Guest Co-Host Linda Bown and Producer John McDonough want to "do something".

From The Huffington Post we have this article by Mr H A Goodman,"Of the 17,891 Deaths from Terrorism Last Year, 19 Were American. Let Iraqis Fight ISIS."  The author suggests that major military action might be disproportionate to the problem, at least from the US point of view.

Over 100,000 deaths are attributed to terrorism worldwide in other countries against other citizens in the past five years, while less than 60 of those deaths are American, so perhaps we're waging a war on terror to protect citizens of other countries?  Terrorism and the ideology that fuels it can't be destroyed by American military interventions and shouldn't be the reason we send our soldiers to counterinsurgency conflicts (with sectarian violence and ever changing political turmoil) that hurt our nation immeasurably.  We owe our soldiers and veterans better, especially since they do the fighting and there's still a VA crisis and an ongoing war in Afghanistan.  President Obama's strategy against ISIS is as short-sighted as Bush's was in getting us into Iraq in the first place.
The writer gives us a cost/benefit analysis.  Is it worth putting at risk tens of thousands of US Military personnel for what is a numerically small number of people?  Ms Linda Bown would have us commit US forces.  The problem with that approach is that it will result in American casualties, and also in the death and injury to a lot of non-ISIL people on the ground in the Middle East, resulting in a active recruiting for ISIL by US actions.

This is not an easy problem.  We have gone to war over this kind of thing in the past, and it has not been a free ride.

Regards  —  Cliff

  And are not ransomed, as some European nations engage in.
  I am not a Special Operator, but my sense of Special Operations actions is that they are well planned and well rehearsed and thus can not be conducted off the cuff.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Asset Forfeiture

For John, BLUFThis could seriously impact the economy of Florida.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I WISH I COULD CALL THAT CRAZY:  Canadian News Outlet Warns Canadians That US Law Enforcement Officers Will Pull Them Over And Seize Their Cash.
Hat tip to the Instapundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

What To Believe?

For John, BLUFCross cultural science.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is discouraging news:

"The science of sex:  4 harsh truths about dating and mating".

Don't tell the NFL or Sports Media.

Hat tip to the Instapundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Ebola Statistics

For John, BLUFIt either dies out or it doesn't, and if it doesn't, there will be big problems.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Wired Magazine we have "The Mathematics of Ebola Trigger Stark Warnings:  Act Now or Regret It"

Earlier on Tuesday, on City Life, host George Anthes asked about why are we sending military forces to Africa to fight Ebola.  Part of the reason is that we actually have forces trained and equipped to send (and the airlift to actually get them there) and part of the reason is that others don't seem to yet understand how serious the problem is.  Then, of course, there are those [jerks] who just want a free ride.

Hat tip to the Instapundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Mocking the Enemy

For John, BLUFIn foreign policy one should speak politely, if sometimes forcefully.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

OpEd writer Peter Lucas of The Lowell Sun is often disparaged by various citizens of Lowell for being a hack.

The Tuesday column, "Taunts come back to haunt mocker in chief", talks to how the President has used mockery as a tool for both domestic and foreign policy and how some of his comments have come back upon him.  Mr Lucas does mention Mr Saul Alinaky and his Rules for Radicals.

Mockery does not seem a good way to conduct foreign policy.

Regards  —  Cliff

Europe Slowly Breaking Into Smaller States

For John, BLUFI am guessing some negotiations will be involved.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Tomorrow the Scots vote on Independence from Great Britain.

Do you think "be careful what you wish for" could apply here?

On the other hand, a Europe of 50 smaller states within a European Union might work out, if the EU can accept some diversity of thinking and acting and weights and measures and cheese growing and potato chip manufacturing.

Regards  —  Cliff