sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Building a Better Terrorist

On Tuesday, August 20, the US Treasury Department, Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) levied economic sanctions against a madrassah (Islamic school) in Pakistan by branding it a 'terrorist training center' supporting al-Qaida and the Taliban. The Treasury Department said that the Ganj madrassah in Peshawar was being used as a training and recruiting base by two militant groups, as well as the radical Lashkar-e-Taiba, blamed for the November 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. They're right. That's what it is being used for.

Most USGOV anti-terrorist initiatives do not focus on recruitment and indoctrination of youth in the processes of becoming jihadis. The main thrust has been on decapitation, which is never a permanent solution to terrorism, and on total destruction of terrorist groups which is always impossible.

Attacks on the reproductive systems of Islamic terrorism require pressure on madrassahs and specific rabble-rousing imams in order to dissuade Muslim kids from embracing violent jihad. The reproductive subsystems of a terrorist organization are usually more vulnerable to disruption. However, Pakistan is a US ally, and disrupting venerated institutions of religious education on an ally's turf is not appreciated by the ally. So it's easier said than done.

Many attacks aimed at US Forces in Afghanistan were executed with the assistance and resources of jihadis trained at madrassahs in Pakistan. A madrassah in Multan, Pakistan has maintained connections with several madrassahs in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, for the purpose of supplying suicide bombers and violent jihadis, according to published Afghan police interrogation reports. Suicide bombings in Afghanistan tend to be an international enterprise, invariably rooted in Pakistan.

The Indian government would ask the US why it clings to Pakistan as an ally in the fight against terror when much of the jihadis operating in the Subcontinent and Southwest Asia are Pakistani or are Pashtun (ethnic Afghans living in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province, referred to as a 'tribal area'). I  have asked the same question and always get a bewildered look from US State Department FSO's (Faggots Serving Overseas) and the response goes something like this, "What would happen if they turned against us?"
Pakistan allowed Osama bin Laden to live next door to their military academy... 
Pakistan's loyalty is measured in many billions of dollars a year of foreign aid. The Pakistani Interservice Intelligence Service (ISI) is a type of shadow government that acts on its own and works its own agenda separate of Pakistani national policy.
(Fox News) Pakistan is one of the largest recipients of U.S. assistance. Nearly $3 billion in U.S. aid to Pakistan is planned for fiscal 2012. About $1.6 billion of the FY2012 funds are security-related and most of the remaining $1.4 billion is for economic development. Pakistan has received over $20 billion in military and non-military aid since 2001. About $9 billion of that total went to reimburse Pakistan for its expenses incurred in supporting U.S. military operations.
US SECSTATE, John Kerry is a big proponent of massive foreign aid to Pakistan -- and that makes perfect sense.

My Cracker in the Soup (Syria)

The history of predicted accuracy when it comes to chem/bio weapons has been notoriously poor. The US used the weapons-of-mass-destruction pretext for an invasion of Iraq in 2003 and ended up with egg on its face. Lethal gas kills effectively. There are no large numbers of people left alive and suffering. Victims die by the thousands. Survivors are few, if any. That is the lesson of Iraq's use of such weapons at Hallabjah against the Kurds and later against the Iranians. Casualty reports from Syria are precisely opposite of the lethality pattern in a chemical weapon attack. That doesn't mean that gas wasn't used -- but it suggests a flaw in the pattern that should be examined before we start shooting at people.

The Geneva Convention does not prohibit the use of all gas weapons. The Russians deployed a chemical agent in 2002 when Chechen terrorists held more than 700 Russian hostages in a Moscow theater. Their crowd suppression agent that killed 116 people, but enabled 650 to be rescued. The agent is not banned by the Geneva convention on chemical warfare. If the Syrians used such an agent, which can be delivered by mortars, artillery and (Russian) aircraft, there would be no international legal justification for attacking Syria based on the Geneva convention. Did the Syrians use a chemical agent (of Russian manufacture) that was not banned? It would be nice to know that answer. Does the Obama Administration have that answer? I don't believe that they do. Try harder.

However, by all accounts (blasted out by the press), the US plans to attack in a war that is more existential than real. We do that a lot -- and it never ends well. Not ever. Not once. We're going to stand of and blow things up in Syria without any concept of 'end game' -- because only Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wants to see the Muslim Brotherhood in charge in Syria based on my observations. At least he's been the only one trumpeting it. The US is briefing the press and the Syrians, by extension for arcane (weird) political purposes. Possibly to have the Syrians evacuate the targets we have in mind to avoid a loss of life. I thought that the purpose of war was to take life. Silly me.

Iran is heavily invested in the survival of the Assad government in Syria so US and NATO planners must plan for retaliatory attacks in Western Europe, in the US, in the Persian Gulf states and everywhere the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force has a presence. 

Hillary Clinton waits for the outcome before deciding
which side she's on.
The Europeans are a paper tiger. In Libya and more recently in Mali, Western European air forces were unable to sustain combat flight and logistics operations without comprehensive US support, from intelligence to mission planning to all types of resupply. Some US military personnel are resentful because they received so little recognition for so much effort to compensate for European NATO lack of capabilities. NATO is incapable of sustaining any but the most elementary level of air combat for a minimal amount of time without comprehensive US support. That means the feel-good notion of a coalition of the willing is actually a cover term for US military operations with minimal NATO help for window dressing. This is not a criticism, it is a fact of European economics.