After Paris, post-NATO ‘solution’ for Syria blasts off without U.S.

War without leadership.

Tu-95 Bear bomber, one of several types used in Russian strikes on Tuesday, 17 Nov. (Image: UK MOD, SAC Robyn Stewart via Guardian, Oct 2014)
Tu-95 Bear bomber, one of several types used in Russian strikes on Tuesday, 17 Nov. (Image: UK MOD, SAC Robyn Stewart via Guardian, Oct 2014)

If you’re not convinced we are now in a “post-American” (and hence post-NATO) world, consider these events of the last 72 hours.

After the Paris attacks on Friday, the G20 leaders gathering in Turkey knew that both Syria and ISIS would top their agenda in Antalya.  On Sunday, UK Prime Minister David Cameron expressed the standard position of the Western allies, since late summer, that Russia should stop prosecuting what is essentially a unilateral war in Syria.

How odd that that position should seem antique a mere 48 hours later.  In the wake of the most recent events, one now has the sense that Cameron was speaking in another world and time.

Obama’s watershed moment Continue reading “After Paris, post-NATO ‘solution’ for Syria blasts off without U.S.”

Paris, the Russian airliner, Lebanon: ISIS is enlarging the war

The center cannot hold.

The house of war comes to Paris. (Image: EPA, Etienne Laurent via UK Guardian)
The house of war comes to Paris. (Image: EPA, Etienne Laurent via UK Guardian)

his will be a quick update tonight, with less of the usual analysis, because I just don’t have time.

I have no doubt that ISIS is behind the recent attacks that have been spreading out around the Syria/Iraq theater.  ISIS has claimed responsibility for all of them, and it is credible that ISIS is behind them (although they are being executed through ISIS affiliates in each local area.  The core leadership of ISIS doesn’t have to be involved in planning or managing each attack, and I assume unless it’s proven otherwise that it is not).

But this is not a minor campaign of pinpricks from single-venue terror attacks, randomly distributed here and there.  This is a full-blown campaign: a strategy on ISIS’s part. Continue reading “Paris, the Russian airliner, Lebanon: ISIS is enlarging the war”

Patriot missiles being removed from Turkey were hacked, given ‘unexplained orders’

Peace in our time.

(Image via Sigmalive.com)
(Image via Sigmalive.com)

There are several weird elements in the missile defense drama suddenly being played out in Turkey.  Alert readers won’t be surprised that two of those weird elements are Russia and Iran.

Seemingly out of the blue, Germany announced this past weekend that the German contingent of two Patriot missile batteries, deployed to Turkey as a defensive measure in January 2013 – against the threat of Syrian Scuds – would be withdrawn ahead of schedule.

Within hours, the U.S. had made the same announcement about the American Patriot missiles that were deployed to Turkey at the same time.  The German and American contingents represent four of the five NATO Patriot batteries now in Turkey (the fifth is from Spain).  The four units will be gone by the end of 2015. Continue reading “Patriot missiles being removed from Turkey were hacked, given ‘unexplained orders’”

Bizarre ‘anti-ISIS’ operating zone planned on Syrian border has U.S. military stumped

Interesting times.

Turkish tank patrols the border near Suruc.  (Image: AP via EKurd)
Turkish tank patrols the border near Suruc. (Image: AP via EKurd)

What lies beyond surreal?  Whatever it is, America is about to probe its depths, unless something intervenes to prevent the implementation of a U.S.-Turkish accord that would allow American forces to use Turkish air bases for strikes in Syria.

The U.S. has for months been seeking permission to use Turkey’s Incirlik air base in the campaign against Islamic State.  Incirlik is a Cold War-era base from which U.S. air forces have operated for years.  But Turkey has been selective about its use in the post-1991 period (prohibiting American use, notoriously, for the 2003 invasion of Iraq).

After the terrorist attack on the border town of Suruc, Turkey on 20 July – linked to Islamic State – Obama and Erdogan reportedly agreed in a phone call to bring Turkey into the campaign against ISIS, and begin operating American military aircraft in that fight from Turkish bases. Continue reading “Bizarre ‘anti-ISIS’ operating zone planned on Syrian border has U.S. military stumped”

Memphis and the inconvenient dead: We’re all snarling jihadis now

The worst of the Old World breaks out in the New.

Graves of WWII soldiers in Libya, desecrated by jihadis. (Image via euronews)
Graves of WWII soldiers in Libya, desecrated by jihadis. (Image via euronews)

Congratulations to the Memphis City Council.  As Howard Portnoy reported, Memphis’s finest voted this week to dig up the remains of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest – and his wife – from their resting place beneath Forrest’s statue in a Memphis park.

It’s politically incorrect, according to the council, for the Forrests’ bones to repose there any longer.

“It is no longer politically correct to glorify someone who was a slave trader, someone who was a racist on public property,” said City Council member Myron Lowery.

So now our own, all-American Memphis, Tennessee is just like the jihadi animals who’ve been attacking graves around the Middle East, as they slash and burn their way through the post-Arab Spring landscape. Continue reading “Memphis and the inconvenient dead: We’re all snarling jihadis now”