Falliti gli ultimi colpi d’ala dell’anatra zoppa – IlGiornale.it
Russia is worried that terrorists could be fleeing from Syria to Afghanistan and is moving to counter. It has many of the same goals as the US in Afghanistan, but different motivations.
Next month, Donald Trump will inherit the nation’s longest war – the war in Afghanistan. More than 8,000 United States troops remain there, 15 years on, primarily to support Afghan forces in their battle against the Taliban, while the Islamic State, or ISIS, has also gained a foothold.
For a president-elect who abhors nation-building – and castigated President Obama for prematurely pulling out of Iraq – Afghanistan presents few good options.
Peace talks with the Taliban, hosted by Pakistan, have gone nowhere. Afghan troops are more effective, but still reliant on US air power. The Taliban’s territorial control is at its greatest extent since it lost power in 2001.
One wild card is Russia. This week Russia hosted talks on Afghanistan’s security with Pakistani and Chinese envoys, the third such meeting and a sign, say analysts, of rising Russian concern over instability and Islamic extremism on the borders of its sphere of influence.
Could Moscow be a useful partner in Afghanistan? Or will it only add to the regional rivalries that perpetuate the conflict?
On one hand, Afghanistan is not Syria. There, Russia supports a regime that the US opposes. In Afghanistan, both powers want to see the Kabul government deny sanctuary to ISIS and Al Qaeda. That could present a common agenda.
“The Russians have been content to see the US tied down in Afghanistan and watch from afar. Now ISIS is making inroads in Afghanistan … I think Russia is starting to get worried,” says Lisa Curtis, an expert on South Asia at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
But Russia, which still bears the memory of the disastrous 1979 Soviet invasion, has a narrower agenda than the US has had in Afghanistan.
“Russia’s interests are not so much in Afghanistan itself but in preventing any instability spilling over into Central Asia,” says Paul Stronksi, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Russia’s pursuit of that agenda has made its role hard to pin down. For instance, Russia has warned that ISIS fighters from Syria are flowing into Afghanistan, giving them a rear base to attack Russia. In response, it is deepening its ties to the Taliban, seeking to root out ISIS from its Afghan sanctuaries, say analysts.
That could be useful for brokering political talks with Kabul – a US goal. But any material support for the Taliban would undermine US efforts to build Afghan forces capable of defeating all militants. Russia has denied helping the Taliban and said its goal is to promote peace talks.
“What we see from Moscow is a short-term tactical approach that could backfire on them,” says Ms. Curtis, a former US diplomat and adviser to the State Department.
Russia’s diplomacy has also raised hackles in Kabul. The Afghan government complained this week that it had been excluded from the Moscow talks. In a joint statement, China, Pakistan, and Russia said they would invite Afghanistan to the next meeting.
They also said that China and Russia would work with the United Nations to promote peace talks by removing Afghans from sanctions lists, a reference to Taliban leaders who are barred from international travel.
As a candidate, Mr. Trump gave few clues about his views on Afghanistan, a war that had largely fallen from public view. Given his claims that Mr. Obama “founded” ISIS because he yanked US troops from Iraq, US military deployment in Afghanistan is unlikely to end anytime soon, say analysts.
Trump might want to step up the pace of counterterrorism missions, in addition to the training and support for Afghan troops, says Curtis. “It’s safe to assume we’ll remain engaged in Afghanistan.”
One difference between Iraq and Afghanistan, says Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the left-leaning Center for American Progress, is that political leaders in Afghanistan want US troops there, unlike former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Mr. Korb says he expects Trump to continue a policy of trying to nudge the warring parties toward negotiations while supporting Afghan military and civilian forces – roughly in line with Obama’s current policy.
“We’re in a situation where the costs are relatively low. We may not be winning but we’re not losing dramatically, and the hope is that we could get some sort of settlement,” he says.
Anticipated actions by the Trump administration and Congress should lead to a significant rollback of the Pentagon’s renewable energy and climate initiatives. With the incoming administration poised to dismantle Obama’s clean energy and climate policies, the Pentagon could soon begin to phase out controversial programs like military biofuels and portable nuclear reactors.Trump has pledged to end policies that “undermine and block America’s fossil fuel producers,” rescind “job-destroying executive actions,” end the “war on coal” and scrap Obama’s “climate action plan and the clean power plan.”
The president-select has nominated leaders for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department whose views are diametrically opposed to those of the outgoing administration.Many of the Pentagon’s clean-energy programs, however, might be hard to undo as they are tied to the military mission or meet a specific tactical need. The military and intelligence communities’ climate focus also is rooted in security concerns. As a war commander, defense secretary nominee retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis was a vocal advocate of energy-saving initiatives.
He made headlines for speaking out about the military’s heavy dependence on fuel and calling for new approaches to manage and provide energy in the battlefield.Pentagon energy initiatives that reduce the military’s logistics burden should continue to receive support, but more comprehensive efforts by the Defense Department to increase use of renewable energy and curb the effects of climate change — programs that served as an extension of Obama’s national energy policies — are not likely to survive, experts say.“It’s not uncommon for an incoming administration to want to clear the slate,” says Sharon E.
Burke, a senior adviser at New America, a Washington think tank. “I just hope they have common sense about it and don’t throw away projects and programs that really support war fighter needs,” says Burke, who in 2010 was named the first-ever assistant secretary of defense for operational energy plans and programs. Burke speculates that Mattis will stick with energy programs that are clearly “core defense,” she says. When he led troops in Iraq, “Mattis considered operational energy issues to be in support of the war fighter.”Mattis commanded the 1st Marine Division in 2003 in Iraq and worried his troops were slowed down by fuel resupply lines that could not keep up.
He later commented that the Defense Department…
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ISIS fighters seized most of al-Baghdadi in Ramidi – where 300 US Marines are stationed training Iraqi Forces.
Al-Asad base is near the city – where 300 Marines are stationed.
UPDATE: At least eight ISIS fighters attacked the base where over 300 US Marines are stationed.
Eight suicide bombers managed Friday to get onto a sprawling Iraqi military base where hundreds of U.S. Marines are training their Iraqi counterparts, but were killed by an ISF counter attack almost immediately.
The US Marines at Al-Asad airbase has been under frequent attack since January.
But today ISIS seized large swaths of the city.
The ISIS linked Twitter accounts are tweeting about the developments.
Iraqi officials say they have lost contact with the base.
ISIS is openly mocking Obama.
UPDATE: Reuters has more…
90% of town of al-Ramadi is under ISIS control.
Islamic State insurgents took control on Thursday of most of the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi, threatening an air base where U.S. Marines are training Iraqi troops, officials said.
Al-Baghdadi, about 85 km (50 miles) northwest of Ramadi in Anbar province, had been besieged for months by the radical Sunni Islamist militants who captured vast swathes of Iraq’s north and west last year.
“Ninety percent of al-Baghdadi district has fallen under the control of the insurgents,” district manager Naji Arak told Reuters by phone.
Militants attacked al-Baghdadi from two directions earlier in the day and then advanced on the town, intelligence sources and officials in the Jazeera and Badiya operations commands said.
The officials said another group of insurgents then attacked the heavily-guarded Ain al-Asad air base five km southwest of the town, but were unable to break into it.
UPDATE: Pentagon says Baghdadi has fallen but no attack at base.
In these days the news are talking about two main war problems: ISIS and Ukraine.
Here following an interesting overview on the last year Obama Point of view of ISIS … It could also be called: How “people” change mind along the time …
President Barack Obama formally asked Congress on Wednesday for authorization to use military force to fight ISIS. The proposal limits engagement to three years and prohibits “enduring offensive ground forces.”
Here’s a look at how the president’s language on ISIS has evolved over the past year.
Jan. 27, 2014
In an interview with The New Yorker, Obama makes the point that not every terror group rises to the level of al Qaeda.
“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama said, resorting to an uncharacteristically flip analogy. “I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.”
June 13, 2014… … keep reading at: ISIS Threat: Obama’s Remarks Over the Past Year Show Evolution – NBC News.com.
Lt. Col. Ralph Peters joined Lt. Col. Allen West on Fox News’ Hannity to discuss how ISIS – also known as Daesh – is not desperate after the burning of the Jordanian pilot, as the Defense Department claims, but instead loves to torture and is empowered by it.
“They’re having the time of their lives. This kind of violence is captivating, exhilarating and thrilling to these guys. It’s never going to get better for them than this,” Peters said. “They have power now. They can exert their will over others.”
Then he said this:
Keep reading and watch the interview at: You Will Never Hear A Better Comment About ISIS After What Lt. Col. Ralph Peters Just Said.
NEW DELHI, India — A drone landed inside the White House grounds early Monday, a federal law enforcement official told NBC News.
The official gave no further details about the unmanned aerial vehicle, other than to say it landed in a tree at 3 a.m. ET. The Secret Service responded and determined the drone did not pose a threat, the official said.
Keep reading at: Drone Lands Inside White House Grounds.
first network hub
WASHINGTON — Tests of the first hub in the Pentagon’s network consolidation effort, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, have thus far been successful, Acting DoD Chief Information Officer Terry Halvorsen said. This amounts to a step forward as the Pentagon collapses its sprawling, disparate networks into a more streamlined, standardized, defendable and cost-effective structure. Each network hub, called a joint regional security stack (JRSS), is essentially a collection of servers, switches and software tools to provide better network traffic visibility and analysis. “It has some sensors, which will give us a better tip-off to what’s going on on the network, so we can take more responsive action [against anomalous activity],” Halvorsen said in a call with reporters. Citing security concerns, he declined to discuss the specifics of the test or the protective software — and declined to discuss costs ahead of Congress approving the Defense Department’s budget. The consolidated structure would also be visible to the National Security Agency, for intelligence sharing and collaborating on network defense, officials say. Starting next year and culminating in 2016 and 2017, the rolling effort will see 11 JRSS nodes in the continental U.S., and 23 locations around the world. The first JRSS is at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland has been set up to handle both Army and Air Force network traffic. “There’s an enormous push behind the thing, this is happening now, it’s not some future pipe dream type stuff,” Hari Bezwada, the chief information officer for the Army’s Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems. An Army battalion, which has been installing bulk buys of networking gear, has completed work at nine bases, Bezwada said. The Army and Air Force are converting to JRSS nodes, ahead of the Navy and Marine Corps. The consolidation is meant to reduce the attack surface for hackers, and DoD’s finite number of defenders, Rezwada said. DoD plans to wrap the whole thing in “best-of-breed” security software. “You don’t want people to come in through the back door and attack, now we can defend these locations a lot better, with sophisticated, trained people,” Bezwada said. The Army and the NSA’s Information Assurance Directorate are also collaborating on a laboratory that allows experimentation with new cybersecurity technology. Among other cloud-based applications, the consolidated networks will host “big data” analytics apps that would sniff out intrusions in real time, Bezwada said. What’s more, network overseers will be able to “see” 4 million users simultaneously, Rezwada said. The transition will also enable the Army to seek cloud-based “unified capabilities,” a package of IP-based services including chat, video and voice communications. The Pentagon plans to issue a request for proposals in early 2015.
By JOE GOULD