TOC Ready Room 8 Feb 2022: Domestic terror alert results “changing quickly,” says Google

What’s wrong and right with the world.

Just a short update for Tuesday, as sites across the Web take note of a new National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin published on 7 February 2022.

The bulletin is not hard to interpret.  It says the following in the first paragraph:  “The United States remains in a heightened threat environment fueled by several factors, including an online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis- dis- and mal-information (MDM) introduced and/or amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors. These threat actors seek to exacerbate societal friction to sow discord and undermine public trust in government institutions to encourage unrest, which could potentially inspire acts of violence.”

The bulletin goes on to say, Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 8 Feb 2022: Domestic terror alert results “changing quickly,” says Google”

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”