Good Company

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Blowing the Middle East Scenario

Small Wars Journal has it in a headline: Obama Claims His Critics Forced Him to Make a Mess of Syria, quoting Jennifer Rubin at the WaPo:
In what surely is the most cringe-worthy excuse offered by a commander-in-chief, President Obama last week complained that his critics — whom he routinely ignored and scorned — forced him to make a mess of Syria. To say it is unbecoming of a president to whine that he was only following what critics told him to do, understates just how dishonest the president is and how morally repugnant is his approach to a war that has claimed more than 200,000 lives, created millions of refugees and provided the Islamic State with a base of operations.

Well, Surprise, Surprise, Surprise.

Air war alone? Not so much, as noted here a year ago:
"Pretty adaptive" ain't going to cut it - the OODA loop is getting away from us because of self-imposed limitations on engagement. Being a "one trick pony" makes it easier on the enemy who gets a vote on how to respond to your threat.

If we are going to "beat" these guys, we need to hear the sound of boots on the ground and see the ISIS logistics flow of people, money and weapons disrupted big time.
Oh, yes, and "cooked intel" designed to give the "boss" what he wants to hear rather than what he needs to hear:
The situation is serious. The term “mass uprising” has been heard in espionage circles and we now know that more than fifty analysts in Tampa, a high percentage of those assessing the Islamic State, have blown the whistle on politically skewed analysis.

Recent reports paint a disturbing picture of a badly distorted intelligence process at CENTCOM headquarters, with senior officers directly pressuring analysts to change their assessments to fit the administration’s optimistic take on the war against the Islamic State. Senior military officers like to toe the official line—you get promoted for “speaking truth to power” in the movies, not in the U.S. military—and clashes with intelligence analysts, especially when they are civilians, are commonplace.
Hmm. I wonder if anyone warned the Boss that the Russians might make a move into Syria? Or was it another "Surprise?"

Take a look at that map above. How many reasons can you see that Russia/Putin might see the advantage of a Russian "friend" in Syria? Warm water port on the Mediterranean? Another border with old rival Turkey?

UPDATE: See Government Report Is Compelling Indictment of Obama’s ISIS Strategy.

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