History, Politics And Current Affairs

Opinions expressed here are personal views of contributors and do not necessarily represent the companies, organizations or governments they work for. Nor do they necessarily represent those of the Board Administration.
It is currently Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:24 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:02 am
Posts: 15793
Location: Planet Earth, Milky Way, Universe
ISIS Affiliates In Southeast Asia Could Harbor The Group Once Raqqa And Mosul Falls




Iraqi security forces are set to declare victory in Mosul within hours as ISIS forces are all but forced out of the city, say local media. This comes after a large confrontation between the two forces, which saw the jihadi’s last bastion in the city fall.

Prior to the final push, security forces have cleared much of the surrounding area around Mosul with the help of Russian and U.S. airstrikes. After the majority of the civilians in the last extremist-held areas left, air strikes and artillery battered Mosul’s Old City before ground forces moved in.

According to the Daily Mail, security forces delivered a crushing victory to what was left of the city’s occupiers. Soldiers and police officers celebrate as they reached their designated objectives, dancing with rifles and machine guns while waving the new Iraqi flag.

The battle to liberate Mosul has been raging since October when a combined Kurdish and Iraqi force began their push to the city. A spokesperson from the Iraqi military said that the extremist defense lines were collapsing after months of intense fighting.

More than 70 percent of fighters left in the city were foreigners, according to Iraqi officers who reported a spike in suicide bombings during the final weeks of the Battle for Mosul. The group has been known to use foreign fighters for suicide attacks due to their lack of training compared to their fellow Arab fighters.

ISIS defenders in Mosul are crumbling to Iraqi forces after months of intense fighting. [Image by Felipe Dana/AP Images]The jihadis’ refusal to surrender also resulted in the heavy casualties of the battle. According to General Abdel Ghani al-Assadi, a commander of Iraq’s elite counter-terrorism service, Old Mosul will be their graveyard.

After Mosul, the next target for the Arab-Kurdish coalition will be the group’s political capital of Raqqa in Syria. U.S.-backed forces around the ISIS stronghold expect the battle to retake the city will take months and could endanger the over 60,000 civilians who still live in the city.

There is no doubt that the group will eventually be stomped from the region under the might of the Western-backed Arab coalition. However, the global network they have laid since coming into power in 2014 could be of use as the caliphate crumbles.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the ability of the terrorist organization to put down roots through affiliates will be much more important as it loses ground in Iraq and Syria. The power vacuum in Libya has already fostered a splinter faction of the group which has terrorized neighboring Egypt for the majority of its existence.

However, it is in Southeast Asia that the group could find its new home. What happens in the region, particularly in the Philippines, will have ramifications all over the world.

The group has already taken a hold of a major city in the country and has been fighting government forces for over a month. So far, over 500 fighters have been engaged, most of them being local affiliates such as the Maute and Abu Sayyaf reinforced with foreign fighters from nearby countries along with Arabs and Chechens.

ISIS affiliates in Southeast Asia could harbor the group after the fall of Mosul and Raqqa. [Image by Bullit Marquez/AP Images]

The southern island of Mindanao has been a safe haven for extremist activities due to a lack of government presence. This is particularly true for the southernmost island of Basilan, which has long been a bastion of insurgent groups.

The country has played a role in several terrorist plots in the past, including the failed 1995 Bojinka plot which involved blowing up 11 airliners. The plot’s masterminds, Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, also stayed in the capital Manila and used their connections in Malaysia, Pakistan, and the United States to plan the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and 9/11.

Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon has already been recognized by the ISIS top brass as the Emir of the Philippines. The group’s remote hideouts could serve as a safe haven for any surviving Islamic State leaders once Raqqa falls. Sympathizers from neighboring Malaysia and Indonesia, both Muslim-majority countries, could also aid the group as they plot the rise of a new caliphate.

The current conflict in Marawi has more riding on it than initially believed. Should the terrorists hold Marawi after the fall of Mosul and Raqqa, Southeast Asia could become embroiled in a new jihad, an eventuality that the region is not prepared for.

_________________
I am Charlie


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:02 am
Posts: 15793
Location: Planet Earth, Milky Way, Universe
Trump officials signal intent to begin refilling Guantanamo
The Hill, by Rebecca Kheel

Original Article: http://thehill.com/policy/defense/34105 ... guantanamo


The Trump administration appears to be making its first moves toward fulfilling a campaign promise to fill the Guantanamo Bay prison camp with “bad dudes.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein visited the prison on Friday to get an update on current operations, the first concrete action the administration has taken on the facility since taking office.

Up until now, Guantanamo has been running on autopilot; the executive order from former President Obama calling for the facility to be shut down is still technically the law of the land.

But President Trump promised during the campaign to “load it up with some bad dudes,” and Sessions has called it a “very fine place” with no legal reason not to send new detainees there.

Supporters of keeping the facility open and sending new detainees there are confident Trump will fulfill that promise, even if little movement has been made.

“We have taken off the table the silly ideas that the previous administration had about Guantanamo,” said David Rivkin, constitutional litigator and a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who served under Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush in the White House counsel’s office and the Justice Department. ...

_________________
I am Charlie


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:02 am
Posts: 15793
Location: Planet Earth, Milky Way, Universe
What Price Heroism

Chivalry is not dead in England.
By Petrarch | July 9, 2017

scragged.com

In days of old when knights were bold, you had to do something bold in order to receive the honor of knighthood. Traditionally, the recipient knelt before the reigning monarch, who tapped the hero on both shoulders with a sword and proclaimed, "Arise, Sir [Your Name Here]!"

As with grade inflation, the value of knighthood has suffered severely of late as we've forgotten what "hero" means. These days, the "Honors List" is stuffed full with high-ranking British bureaucratic mandarins being honored on retirement. Richard Branson, of Virgin business fame, was knighted because of his commercial endeavors. Celebrities such as James Bond actor Sean Connery and Andrew Lloyd Webber have also received noble honors. Mr. Webber - or Lord Lloyd-Webber as he is now styled - has purchased an estate fit for a lord with the proceeds of his successful stage productions, but neither he nor Mr. Connery have done anything especially brave or heroic.

Hearts of OakFor all we bemoan the fact that British "hearts of oak" are being diluted by immigrants who don't share British values, there remain traces of British valor. The Telegraph reports:

A British Transport Police officer, who has only been with the force for two years, has been praised for his remarkable bravery in the face of terror.

The man, who remains unnamed, is recovering from his injuries in hospital after he was stabbed during the London Bridge terror attack as he confronted the attackers armed with only a baton. [emphasis added]

The officer was one of the first on the scene after he responded to calls for help from the public after a vehicle ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge.

This brave Briton's furious counterattack delayed the terrorists long enough for them to stab him 12 times. This gave other unarmed civilians time to escape, and for armed police to arrive and deal with the terrorists properly.

Why, one might ask, was this first responder armed with "only a baton?" The logic of creating victim disarmament zones continues to escape us. Guns are like parachutes - if you need one and don't have one, you'll probably never need anything ever again. This hero is fortunate to have survived his heroism, yet we had to hunt even to find his name, which is Wayne Marques.

The attack brought out the usual meaningless "Standing with the people of...," and "Hearts go out to..." which we are so utterly sick of hearing. We want to hear something Churchillian, starting with a clear definition of exactly who the enemy is, followed by firm action to remove said enemy from civilized lands.

These days, unfortunately, that's the job of our mostly unfit elected Western political leaders. Queen Elizabeth II reigns over England, but under their current constitutional arrangement, she does not rule - she has no direct political power and basically leaves all policy to parliament, even policies that directly affect the territorial and political integrity of the land over which she reigns. Perhaps a future King William might see fit to renegotiate this arrangement, assuming there's still a throne for him to take up when the time comes.

In the meantime, there is one meaningful thing the Queen could do: confer a knighthood on this heroic transport police officer. Instead of the usual nonsense of rewarding people for campaign contributions or for creating jobs, worthy though these activities may be, this action would remind everyone what knighthood is supposed to mean - laying your life on the line out of concern for others.

Arise, Sir Wayne!

_________________
I am Charlie


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:12 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:02 am
Posts: 15793
Location: Planet Earth, Milky Way, Universe
In the southeast (Paktia province, near the Pakistan border) an American UAVs used missiles to kill seven Islamic terrorists. It was not yet clear which group they belonged to as the Taliban and Haqqani Network are active in this area.

July 7, 2017: In the north (Kunduz province) there was a clash between two tribal militias that left six civilians wounded. Such clashes are not unusual, in fact they are more “normal” that the drug and religion inspired violence of the Taliban and other Islamic terror groups.

July 5, 2017: In the east (Nangarhar province) Taliban attacked a village mosque, killing three people, wounding another three and taking kidnapping another two. This is all about intimidating local religious leaders to stop criticizing the Taliban.

In Kabul someone fired two small rockets into the city. One hit a residential area killing two civilians and wounding another.

July 4, 2017: In the east (Nangarhar province) an airstrike killed three ISIL men, two of whom were later identified as Pakistani.

After two weeks of deliberation Afghan leaders agreed to a Pakistani proposal that the two nations run joint-military patrols along their common border and cooperate more closely in halting illegal cross-border activity. Afghanistan was wary of this proposal until assured by American officials that the U.S. was also skeptical and would be monitoring Pakistani compliance closely. Pakistan is facing increasing criticism by neighbors, including China, their major ally, about the continued duplicity of the Pakistani military in supporting many Islamic terrorist groups even while denying that was going on and blaming India, Afghanistan, the United States, Israel and so on for the Islamic terrorist violence inside Pakistan.

July 3, 2017: In the south (Helmand province) one American soldier was killed and two wounded by an enemy mortar shell. The U.S. troops were working with Afghan troops near an Afghan base.

Further north (Uruzgan province) a group of 18 Taliban surrendered to the police, after first killing their leader. This group surrendered their weapons as well as any information they had about Taliban operations.

July 2, 2017: In the north (Jawzjan province, on the Turkmenistan border) locals report that five notorious ISIL leaders were killed by missiles fired by an American UAV.

July 1, 2017: In the north (Balkh province) Taliban attacked a rural mosque and killed 13 people. It was later discovered that the dead included locals who used to be members of an Islamic terror group. Three of those killed were local militia leaders. The Taliban were apparently seeking to discourage locals from organized opposition to the Taliban or the drug gangs they work for.

In the east (Nangarhar province) a night operation involving airstrikes on Taliban hideouts followed by troops coming in to check the damage and search for information and perhaps a prisoner or two. Six Taliban were confirmed dead by these troops and others apparently survived and got away.

June 30, 2017: In the north (Jawzjan province, on the Turkmenistan border) there was yet another clash between ISIL and Taliban forces. In this case ISIL won and captured ten Taliban men. The captives were later beheaded and their bodies left where they could be found. This was over control of drug smuggling routes across the border.

Elsewhere in Jawzjan province an American airstrike destroyed a vehicle carrying five ISIL leaders to a meeting. All five of the ISIL men died.

In the east (Nangarhar province) Taliban captured and later killed fourteen former Taliban who had joined ISIL.

June 24, 2017: The Interior Ministry fired two of their security force commanders after some of their subordinates recently posted a video where troops provided details of how their commanders stole military supplies including food for the troops. After the videos appeared the commanders forced the troops who made it to post another one denying the accusations. But the public uproar had already prompted an investigation that verified the theft allegations.

In the west (Herat province) the Taliban attacked an army checkpoint 13 kilometers from a major dam. Ten soldiers died, three were wounded and the Taliban stole many weapons and other equipment from the checkpoint. Iran opposes the many new dams (which keep water in Afghanistan that used to flow into Iran) and is accused of supporting Islamic terrorists who will attack the dams.

June 22, 2017: In the south (Helmand province) a car bomb went off in front of a bank in the provincial capital as government employees (including soldiers and police) were there to get their pay. The major towns and cities in Helmand are among the few areas left in Helmand the government still controls.

June 17, 2017: In the east (Paktika province) an airstrike killed six Haqqani Network men, two of them senior leaders in both Haqqani and the Afghan Taliban. Later in the day two Taliban leaders were killed during a clash with security forces.

In the north (Balkh province) seven American soldiers were wounded at an Afghan military base outside the city of Mazar-e-Sharif. The shooter was an Afghan soldier, who was shot dead. This is the second such incident in the last week. The other one took place on the 11th in a base in eastern Afghanistan (Nangarhar province) that left three U.S. troops dead and one wounded. That makes eight American military personnel killed in the first half of 2017. In all of 2016 14 died compared to 22 in 2015 and 55 in 2014, the first year since 2006 that American deaths in Afghanistan were less than a hundred a year.

_________________
I am Charlie


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:20 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:49 pm
Posts: 3556
Location: CIVLANT
Eric wrote:
Trump officials signal intent to begin refilling Guantanamo The Hill, by Rebecca Kheel

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein visited the prison on Friday to get an update on current operations, the first concrete action the administration has taken on the facility since taking office.

Up until now, Guantanamo has been running on autopilot; the executive order from former President Obama calling for the facility to be shut down is still technically the law of the land. , WHY?

But President Trump promised during the campaign to “load it up with some bad dudes,” and Sessions has called it a “very fine place” with no legal reason not to send new detainees there.

Supporters of keeping the facility open and sending new detainees there are confident Trump will fulfill that promise, even if little movement has been made.

“We have taken off the table the silly ideas that the previous administration had about Guantanamo,” said David Rivkin, constitutional litigator and a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who served under Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush in the White House counsel’s office and the Justice Department. ...


I been to Gitmo a few times although Pac Fleet (my Navy ;) ) does Reftra in Dego.
It's really not that bad a place, with good sailing, fishing and diving. The "Goat Locker" CPO Club on "Marine Hill" is not bad. In the old days, we used the Staff NCO Club.
I definitely would not want my family there though. Off base living, thanks to the Crimp's RN degree,
in Dego and Hawaii it is not!
:lol: :lol:

_________________
"If you think they’re going to give you THEIR country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken. ;)


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group