April 13, 2017
Big Bangs Can Not End The War On Afghanistan - Admitting Defeat Will
5667 days after the beginning of the war between the mightiest military of the world and local Afghan farmers, Pentagon reporters were excited to report:
Lara Seligman @laraseligman
BREAKING: US drops largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan - GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast
4:28 PM - 13 Apr 2017
The U.S. generals demand, as they always do, more troops to "break the stalemate". But there is no stalemate. The Afghan farmers are winning. The Taliban control more areas now than they ever controlled since 2002.
Dropping 22,000 lbs of high explosives on some shack will not change that trend.
GBU-43 prototype via Wikipedia
(Though it will drown the news that the U.S. military just bombed and killed 18 of its Kurdish proxy forces in Syria.)
So what can the U.S. do in Afghanistan but blaming Russia and Iran on dubious grounds. Those countries -like China and other nearby countries- see the obviously coming U.S. retreat and talk with the Taliban to prepare for it.
The U.S. will have to and will leave and acknowledge that it joins the long lists of empires which tried to conquer Afghanistan and were defeated.
Posted by b on April 13, 2017 at 01:29 PM | Permalink
You know when Pakistan wants to partner with Russia in Afghanistan that things are not looking good for the "indispensible nation."
Posted by: Mike Maloney | Apr 13, 2017 1:41:54 PM | 1
What makes you think the Outlaw US Empire will vacate Afghanistan when there's so much illicit money to be made there? The Empire's only been ousted from three nations since WW2--Vietnam, Iran and Philippines, but the latter only briefly, while Iraq was superficial and very temporary and really doesn't count. If The Soviet leaders had been as criminal minded as those in the Empire, it would never have left Afghanistan and turned it into the money maker the CIA has--a very underappreciated fact never discussed.
The Outlaw US Empire's been described as a Mafia-like criminal racketeering operation, which is quite apt and helps explain the apparent directionless of its Imperial policy aside from continuing its goal of attaining Full Spectrum Dominance. Recent evidence to sustain that description was provided by a NY Times op/ed by Friedman advocating the Empire formally ally itself with Daesh, seconding the initial suggestion by Petraeus. Afghanistan is key to the containment policy aimed at Russia and China, and the Empire won't leave it until it goes bankrupt or has an internal revolution ousting the Deep State.
Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 13, 2017 1:55:32 PM | 4
- Do Iran and Russia REALLY want to get stuck in the quagmire called Afghanistan ?
Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 13, 2017 1:58:45 PM | 6
Bet Russia appreciated that back-door knock. The next one will be used in Syria?
Hope it didn't harm any poppy fields!
Posted by: Greg Bacon | Apr 13, 2017 2:00:19 PM | 7
I figured that the CIA wouldn't let go of Afghanistan so easily. As noted, too much money to be made there. Unsure whether it matters if Taliban has assumed control of more areas or not, as I assume that the CIA is quite willing to make deals with anyone and everyone, as long as they get the cut.
Hard to say what the purpose of this super-bomb is at this point.
One thing is clear: the intention of electing Trump as a non-War POTUS was clearly ill-advised.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
Would anything have been different under Clinton? Not sad that she's not POTUS, but I'm not seeing any "improvement" with Trump at the helm. No doubt, the main thing he's interested in is getting his cut, which is, no doubt, the super great deal that he just got for himself.
Posted by: RUKidding | Apr 13, 2017 2:01:26 PM | 8
Hope it didn't harm any poppy fields!
No kidding! You echo my exact thoughts. I'm sure the CIA had that mapped out very clearly. Who cares if they kill innocent humans?? Just make sure the product stays in tact.
Team USA! USA! USA!
And now I'm supposed to believe that Assad had chemical weapons? Because... ??
Posted by: RUKidding | Apr 13, 2017 2:03:40 PM | 9
The Graveyard of Empires. Aimal Mehrabi, lived in Afghanistan
Many of the world's "super-powers" and largest empires have tried and failed to capture Afghanistan. Afghanistan has historically been an extremely strategic piece of land to hold, given it's location in Central Asia.
Some of the super powers that have tried and had major difficulties capturing Afghanistan:
1. Alexander the Great circa 330 BC conquered Persia in 6 months and then spent nearly 3 years attempting to subdue Afghanistan. The losses incurred and the resistance faced were some of the contributors to the eventual fall of his empire following his death
2. The British had three Anglo-Afghan wars spanning the 19th and early 20th centuries. The end result of these struggles were heavy British losses as well as the end of British military influence in Afghanistan
3. The Soviet Union attempted to capture Afghanistan in it's sphere of influence by spreading socialism there. While it initially gained traction, religious and tribal forces within Afghanistan resisted and this led to the Soviet-Afghan War. With help from the CIA and Arab/Muslim fighters from other regions, the "Mujahideen" succeeded in drawing the USSR into a protracted struggle that many believe led to the end of the Soviet Union. (the pebble that cracked the Soviet Empire)
4. It can be argued that the US conflict in Afghanistan which began in 2001 and continues to this day is another example of technological and military power being unable to subdue the tribal forces of Afghanistan
Thus, Afghanistan has gained the moniker "Graveyard of Empires" for causing superpowers to overestimate their odds of victory and overextend themselves in attempting to conquer it.
Why the Technologically advanced military of Big Nations Lose Small Wars - The Politics of Asymmetric Conflict - 1975 study (PDF)
A cursory examination of the history of imperialist expansion in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century reveals one thing very clearly: Third-World resistance, where it existed, was crushed with speedy efficiency. In terms of conventional military thinking such successes were not unexpected. Indeed, together with the Allied experience in the first and second World Wars, they served to reinforce and to rigidify the pervasive notion that superiority in military capability (conventionally defined) will mean victory in war. However, the history of a number of conflicts in the period following World War II showed that military and technological superiority may be a highly unreliable guide to the outcome of wars. In Indochina (1946–54), Indonesia (1947–49), Algeria, Cyprus, Aden, Morocco, and Tunisia, local nationalist forces gained their objectives in armed confrontations with industrial powers which possessed an overwhelming superiority in conventional military capability. These wars were not exclusively a colonial phenomenon, as was demonstrated by the failure of the United States to defeat its opponents in Vietnam.
For some idea of the degree to which the outcome of these wars presents a radical break with the past, it is instructive to examine the case of Indochina. The French successfully subjugated the peoples of Indochina for more than sixty years with a locally based army only fifteen thousand strong. The situation changed dramatically after 1946, when the Vietnamese took up arms in guerrilla struggle. By 1954 the nationalist forces of the Vietminh had forced the French, who by this time had deployed an expeditionary force of nearly two hundred thousand men—to concede defeat and withdraw their forces in ignominy. Within twenty years, a vast U.S. military machine with
an expeditionary force five hundred thousand strong had also been forced to withdraw...
Fight to Win: How the Vietnamese people rose up and defeated imperialism
Nick Turse, in his meticulously-researched book ‘Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam’, describes vividly the obscene ‘technowar’ perpetrated by the US:
They shook the earth with howitzers and mortars. In a country of pedestrians and bicycles, they rolled over the landscape in heavy tanks, light tanks, and flame-thrower tanks. They had armoured personnel carriers for the roads and fields, swift boats for rivers, and battleships and aircraft carriers off shore. The Americans unleashed millions of gallons of chemical defoliants, millions of pounds of chemical gases, and endless canisters of napalm; cluster bombs, high-explosive shells, and daisy-cutter bombs that obliterated everything within a ten-football-field diameter; antipersonnel rockets, high-explosive rockets, incendiary rockets, grenades by the millions, and myriad different kinds of mines. Their advanced weapons included M-16 rifles, M-60 machine guns, M-79 grenade launchers, and even futuristic technologies that would only later enter widespread use, like electronic sensors and unmanned drones. In other words, in Vietnam the American military amassed an arsenal unlike any seen before. As it faced off against guerrillas armed with old rifles and homemade grenades fashioned out of soda cans, or North Vietnamese troops with AK-47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, the United States had at its disposal more killing power, destructive force, and advanced technology than any military in the history of the world...
Posted by: Outraged | Apr 13, 2017 2:07:23 PM | 10
Trump is saying he is bigger and better ...
1) A MOAB hit in Afghanistan
2) 60 tomahawks against (first suggestion to Obama as a response to the 2013 gas attack)
3) A CSG parked under the nose of N. Korea... and in highly sensitive Chinese waters
All big chest-puffed demonstrations of "strength"
MAGA = more power, more commands to the world, more military, more wars, more death.
Also = more stupidity, more arrogance, more waste, more abuse,
...more of the same
Posted by: les7 | Apr 13, 2017 2:21:52 PM | 11
Re the SDF casualties ... with air strikes called in on 'em by other 'Friendly(?)' spotters ?
Murphy's Laws of Combat:
21. Friendly Fire, isn't.
Supplementary: The only thing more accurate & deadly than enemy fire is, 'Friendly Fire,'.
Posted by: Outraged | Apr 13, 2017 2:33:53 PM | 12
thanks b... it is not in the american spirit to admit defeat.. or is it not in the war party spirit to admit defeat? bigger is always better apparently and the size of a bomb is more relevant news then those innocents dying from the same in some other location - syria, yemen and etc.. yeah - distraction personified...
Posted by: james | Apr 13, 2017 2:34:29 PM | 13
Daily Mail Shocking moment Putin risks wrath of Trump as 'Russian-backed Assad jets' drop deadly cluster bombs in Syria FOUR DAYS after gas attack killed 89
With all due respect to you, I find DM is not always credible; runs with propaganda.
Yesterday evening into this morning, in the 11:00 PM-1:00AM time frame, Express.co.uk had “Breaking News” ‘Israeli Strikes west of Damascus’ --- explosions, people reporting Israeli planes above had hit Hezbollah then they had hit munitions depot with chemicals. The Times of Israel – blah, blah. Check on RT and Sputnik to see what they were reporting - there was nothing on it. Next you know, the Express article was pulled or fell into very deep cyber well.
or by accident, the “hospital” processing plant and export packaging facility.
Posted by: likklemore | Apr 13, 2017 2:40:37 PM | 14
The bomb supposedly targeted "Khorasan" (who they now call "ISIS-K"). It's the same fictitious group Obama used to justify bombing Syria.
As for blaming Russia for Afghanistan, I fully expect more anonymous sources claiming they are behind the conflicts in Yemen and Libya too.
Posted by: Bob | Apr 13, 2017 2:41:15 PM | 15
have you seen the clips of the afghan plains of old.
the kodachrome shots of lovely 1970 city
folks with kids walking in the parks
lovely faces angelic happy eyes
what a race a nation.
that was then
ohhh ivanka donald chabad kushner nuttyahoo
what of the innocent babies
vaporized on the afghan plains.
moab talmud bomb 666% bigger than a fake syriana barrel bomb
Posted by: email@example.com | Apr 13, 2017 2:53:09 PM | 16
Afghan farmers? There are no longer foreign fighters beyond the US? The US should not have gone in in the first place let alone supported a corrupt govt/warlords and let the poppy situation get worse. Iran and Russia are interested. Of course they are. They're getting flooded with Opium. Pakistan's interested? Sure, they teamed with the Saudis (and US) to grow an extremist "jihadi factory" (according to India) there. Like any other situation/war the US jumps into, the US makes it many times worse.
So now ISIS is in Afghanistan? Where's the intel? What happened to Taliban and al Qaeda? Whack-a-mole continues.
Posted by: Curtis | Apr 13, 2017 3:00:33 PM | 17
@14 YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS STUFF UP
After Assad gassing his own people would not the use cluster munitions follow next? The oft used dogeared script is being followed. We are dealing with inbred neanderthals here volken.
PS - I see a white phosphorus attack on his own people as Assad's next move.
Posted by: ALberto | Apr 13, 2017 3:11:38 PM | 18
Just a reminder...The US military is under the Vatican...not the
Front room decor Neocon Jews.
Empire of Rome continues...even though Central banking from Vienna
Bankers to Rothschilds operate in evolution form,..the Vatican
Nazi Ratline, NASA,OSS/CIA was Vatican, Jesuit, Knights of Malta.
This is the Deep State. ..even though Jewish Bankers and media
Front a image of control...they are not.
Ancient Rome was Legions accross the then world,
Today. .US is some 800 bases worldwide, ..it's Navy is Rule
Empire seeks confrontation and submission.
Banking and resources are not the highest desire of Empire.
Nations which were in Ancient times...Empires,..now are called out
To face today's Empire.
Empire will throw Israel under the bus in the future....You can Bank on it.
Posted by: Brad | Apr 13, 2017 3:19:21 PM | 19
Trump's angry face on inauguration's day before going out to the building to make his speech on the platform..
Flynn having big things to say and requesting legal guarantees...
What a perfect bouc emissaire Trump is. With or without war they'll impeach him?
Posted by: Mina | Apr 13, 2017 3:21:43 PM | 20
Where are our pathetic europeans now? Where are the humanitarians asking if Afghanistan WANT to get their people and land bombed by these bombs by the US? Did EU ask syrians if they liked Trump's warcrimes? Do they care about how many North koreans that will be killed?
These people are really sick, they believe their own liberal/humanitarian propaganda.
Just another proof by the way that Trump is as crazy as Obama, Bush.
Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 13, 2017 3:45:42 PM | 22
@22 anon1... yeah, maybe the world is getting tired of the depleted uranium being left everywhere... lord knows how environmentally friendly the war party is, not to mention their great concern for the welfare of the people and places they drop it on..
Posted by: james | Apr 13, 2017 3:52:02 PM | 23
According to news reports the bomb was dropped on a cave and tunnel system? GBU-43 is an aluminium cased air burst weapon, not a ground penetrator?
Bomb dropped for nothing more than demo/propaganda?
Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 13, 2017 3:55:08 PM | 24
- Do Iran and Russia REALLY want to get stuck in the quagmire called Afghanistan ?
Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 13, 2017 1:58:45 PM | 6
No Willy2, but they want their people and their borders zones safe ... The Afghan Government has been attempting to sit down and negotiate with the Taliban for years and years now, stymied by American sabotage and blackmail (remember how our "diplomats" suggested Karzai was cray-cray if not a drug (heroin) addict? -- depresses the response to those pleas to international donors)
How much "ISIS" is in Afghanistan is anyone's guess. They may be bad-azzes who thing that Al-Qaeda is old-men shaking fingers while ISIS is the new-team virile killahs ... but god know anyone receiving military aid to fight "terror" rejoices at the ability to claim an ISIS infestation on top of their usual garden variety sociopaths and malcontents.
The Guardian has a new article on most recent European terrorists -- yuppers, they're bad-azz street already-criminal punks who converted to Islam to do-bad-things under that black flag in the name of god and vengeance.... guardian.
Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 13, 2017 4:14:55 PM | 25
Best description of ISIS, its attraction and its limitations.
Arguably, ISIS did not lose because of a determined opponent, for they are not short of courage and military experts attest to their mastery of asymmetric warfare. ISIS lost because the local populace stopped believing in them. So much so that the people reviled them more than they reviled Assad. People hate Assad because he killed their children but they hate ISIS for stabbing them in the back whilst they were trying to overthrow former. Assad never claimed to be ‘Islamic’ and in a way, nothing was expected from him. He could do what he wanted, he was after all from a long tradition of Middle Eastern tyrants who crushed uprisings whether they be Muslim Brotherhood, Iraqi marsh Arabs or Shi’ites. Brutal cruelty was expected. Even though the deaths inflicted by ISIS remain minuscule compared to the former, when ISIS claimed to be ‘Islamic’ and acted with such wanton cruelty, it provoked disgust and revulsion from even the most dissolute of Muslims.
Paradise Lost: The Rise and Fall of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by Tam Hussein
Posted by: mauisurfer | Apr 13, 2017 4:16:51 PM | 26
Bomb dropped for nothing more than demo/propaganda
I read the headlines…"Used for the first time in combat"
It's under the category: "Testing" …see Kim Jong-Un, in addition we are sending an armada but no chocolate cake for you.
Oh, btw we are the exceptional one.
Warped in time - the wild, wild west has returned. Unfortunately, we shoot from a very unsteady hip.
Posted by: likklemore | Apr 13, 2017 4:16:55 PM | 27
Bomb dropped for nothing more than demo/propaganda? Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 13, 2017 3:55:08 PM | 24
I fear that Trump has given Mad-Dog Mattis carte-blanche ... and there's no one around (like the POTUS and State Department) to rein anyone in. The military under Obama were among the nay-sayers, absolutely not willing to pointlessly risk and lose men ... In Syria, iirc, it was the CIA and the neocon warmongerers at State chomping at the bit.
Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 13, 2017 4:19:31 PM | 28
I wonder if Brian Williams will comment on the beauty of white phosphorous or the elegant symmetry of cluster bombs?
Posted by: Musburger | Apr 13, 2017 4:24:32 PM | 29
best comment on this by Edward Snowden on twitter - US bombs the bunkers they built ....
Posted by: somebody | Apr 13, 2017 4:29:30 PM | 30
A world leader coined a good term for these EU clowns the other day, probably won't end up with as much replay value here at MofA as the term 'headchopper' has, but it should.
What was the reaction of the NATO allies? All of them are nodding like bobbleheads,”
~ Putin said in an interview with Mir 24 TV channel.
Might as well add The Japs (ok, I understand, two nukes will do it) and 'Gutless Wonder of The South' Australia to that list.
"Ok, first things first, this was a chemical attack by Assad, no results back yet but you gotta trust us on this, right??"
(Cue mass bobbling)
Posted by: MadMax2 | Apr 13, 2017 4:37:16 PM | 32
Who exactly is ISIS in Afghanistan fighting, besides the Taliban and Al-Qa’eda? Who has Team Trump has been listening?
Foreign Policy (MAY 2016): Iran Teams With Taliban to Fight Islamic State in Afghanistan.
an is working with the Taliban to set up a buffer zone along its border with Afghanistan to keep out the Islamic State, the latest sign of how the rise of the Syrian-based terror group is turning longtime rivals into uneasy allies.
Tehran’s growing push to secure its 572-mile border with Afghanistan, which hasn’t previously been reported, marks a significant shift for the Shiite power. Iran had long seen the Taliban, a militant Sunni group, as a direct threat. Tehran also provided weapons and other assistance to the Northern Alliance during its war with the Taliban in the years before the American-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
But Iran now believes that the Taliban pose much less of a threat than the Islamic State, whose expanding affiliate in Afghanistan is thought by U.S. officials to have as many as 3,000 fighters.
Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 13, 2017 4:38:32 PM | 33
It was not immediately clear how much damage the device did.
Posted by: okie farmer | Apr 13, 2017 4:46:28 PM | 34
Outraged 10 During one of his liaison trips to Hanoi, Col Harry G Summers Jr had his now-famous exchange with his North Vietnamese counterpart. When Harry told him, "You know, you never beat us on the battlefield," Colonel Tu responded, "That may be so, but it is also irrelevant." Yes history does matter.
ALberto@2 Russia, Syria and the US are not part of the cluster bomb treaty. Nor are Israel who bragged about dropping over one Million cluster munitions in Southern Lebanon, when the war was almost over. Those cluster munitions still kill children in Lebanon today.
Posted by: harrylaw | Apr 13, 2017 4:55:42 PM | 35
@ Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 13, 2017 4:19:31 PM | 28
@ Posted by: mauisurfer | Apr 13, 2017 4:16:51 PM | 26
Black Daesh [ISIS] v White Daesh [ISIS]:
The former slits throats, conducts public beheadings & floggings, executes captives by innumerable means including immolation, tortures, kills, stones-to-death, cuts off hands/legs, destroys humanity’s common heritage and despises archaeology, sorcery(?), being gay, proselytizing, unveiled women, veiled women and non-Muslims, etc, & so on & so forth.
The latter is better dressed and generally neater but does exactly the same things.
The Islamic State = Saudi Arabia.
In its struggle against terrorism, the West wages war on one (supposedly ?), but shakes hands, trades with & is lobbied by, the other.
- Kamel Daoud (Paraphrased)
Posted by: Outraged | Apr 13, 2017 4:56:54 PM | 36
Well, that's one way of taking out poppy fields run by growers not under the control of the CIA and its placemen in Afghanistan.
I wonder if the pilot of the plane had small hands?
Posted by: Yonatan | Apr 13, 2017 5:14:58 PM | 37
The MOAB was most likely a message to North Korea. They have some kind of national missile-testing day coming up. The carrier group will be in Busan. Aegis will to try and shoot them down. MOABs will be primed and ready.
Posted by: dh | Apr 13, 2017 5:23:09 PM | 38
All good :) Tho:
Col Harry G Summers Jr, "You know, you never beat us on the battlefield."
Patently untrue, and a revisionist myth & sustained outright falsehood. There were many defeats on the battlefield, literally too numerous to recount, tho range from the decimation of an entire Bn group in open battle to the sinking of an Escort Carrier ...
With the revolutionary army approaching Saigon, US Ambassador Martin asked the South Vietnamese president, Thieu, to resign, in the hope that the NLF would be willing to reach an accommodation with his successor, Duong Van Minh, who had a reputation for being more favourable to a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
However, Saigon was already encircled.
On the morning of April 30, Minh ordered a general cease-fire. ‘In a final extraordinary irony,’ James Harrison writes, ‘the man who transmitted Minh’s cease-fire order, a one-star general named Nguyen Huu Hanh, was a longtime Communist agent.’”
... and far from the only one nor most important ...
@ Posted by: dh | Apr 13, 2017 5:23:09 PM | 38
Primed & ready ? Well, that would be a C-130 pilot/co-pilot & aircrew flying 'over' NK with literal balls of steel, and an active self-actualized euthanasia (suicide) wish, unless total air supremacy was achieved, including 100% suppression/destruction of NK AD systems, first. 'cause, the Delivery:
Instead of being dropped from a bomber through the bomb bay doors, the MOAB is pushed out of the back of a cargo plane such as a C-130 Hercules, primarily the MC-130E Combat Talon I or MC-130H Combat Talon II variants. The bomb rides on a pallet. A parachute pulls the pallet and bomb out of the plane and then the pallet separates so that the bomb can fall.
In this video, you can see the pallet and bomb come out of the back of the plane and then separate from one another within a few seconds. The bomb then accelerates rapidly to its terminal velocity.
Just sayin' ;)
Posted by: Outraged | Apr 13, 2017 5:43:39 PM | 39
MOAR WAR PLEASE
The generals hate holidays
Others shoot up to chase the sun blues away
Another store front church is open
If you haven't mooners this artist which I started listning to in the 70's ,up aginst the ending of the Vietnan.
Posted by: col from oz | Apr 13, 2017 5:45:13 PM | 40
Fukushima everywhere to convince the new generation they need to try the new frontier? Time to read Le Guin 'paradises lost'
Posted by: Mina | Apr 13, 2017 5:47:50 PM | 41
(Though it will drown the news that the U.S. military just bombed and killed 18 of its Kurdish proxy forces in Syria.)
Yep. And the MOAB is just one of the pointless stories in the MSM.
There's the faked cluster bomb footage from Syria, molecular hydrogen on one of Saturn's moons, the (Eurotrash) International HR Court's 'finding' of Putin's Bungling of the Beslan siege (pots call kettle black?). (All the experts are incompetent dorks when it comes to anticipating and professionally avoiding violent consequences of ter'rist attacks on civilians).
Something for everyone?
There was one bright note though; the little cutie who delivers Fr24's British bullshit, in a British voice, called the MOAB a 24,000 TON bomb the first couple of times she mentioned it.
The idiots making up all this drivel remind me of Fang (Phyllis Diller's husband).
Fang: "Who was that on the phone?"
Phyllis: (laughs) "Your proctologist."
Fang: "Well, what did he want?"
Phyllis: "He said he's got the X-rays and he thinks he's found your head."
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 13, 2017 5:56:51 PM | 42
@39 You're right of course. I had assumed MOABs were dropped from a great height. Balls of steel needed. Maybe Jared will volunteer to fly the cargo plane.
Posted by: dh | Apr 13, 2017 6:02:13 PM | 43
How will it end? "Not with a bang but a whimper" - R. Frost.
Other news beginning to emerge is a US strike on an IS depot that has caused the release of poison gases and a subsequent large death toll including civilians. Perhaps Russian should send 59 Kalibre missiles at the offending air base?
And another even larger convoy of US military forces and equipment viewed by satellite crossing the Turkish-Syrian border. Last week it was a twenty vehicle group crossing the Jordanian-Syrian border. Both entries being completely illegal, but then again the whole war against the Syrian people and nation is illegal.
Posted by: BRF | Apr 13, 2017 6:21:19 PM | 44
col from oz 40
Thnx for that. I heard about Sugarman via the video where So Africans wanted to know whatever happened to the guy. His music can be deep and gritty. You can add Black Sabbath's War Pigs to the mix.
Posted by: Curtis | Apr 13, 2017 6:26:33 PM | 46
This MOAB is only slightly larger than the 20,000 lb behemoth called the 'Big Boy' or usually known as a 'block buster' that was used in WW II to flatten entire city blocks. Perhaps today though the explosive package is of higher yield? Ah modern technologies and their advancement of human civilization....
Posted by: BRF | Apr 13, 2017 6:32:43 PM | 47
We will never leave Afghanistan at least not until China snd Russia are dominated by us at some point in the future.. People have antiquated notions on what Victory means. We no longer try and achieve total victory as in WWII. Victory no longer means wiping out all resistance or stability in the country at large. We have our bases which are fortresses. We buy opium from Taliban and non Taliban for pennies on the dollar to destabilize Russia and other countries and to fund covert operations with European and US sales of heroin. If the resistance gets too annoying we go on a Turkey shoot and slaughter a bunch of them and if needed we send in more troops for awhile.
We only left Vietnam because we found out there was not as much oil as expected and wanted to direct resources to the Middle East and Afghanistan while playing the China card against the Soviets after establishing relations with China. The Soviets only dropped Afghanistan because Gorbachev was our puppet and this was one of first steps to dismantling the union and handing it over to global oligarchs so that the Russian elite could live as well as the western elite. They finally saw the light, Socialism was for suckers. China saw the light as well but went about it in a smarter way
Posted by: Pft | Apr 13, 2017 6:58:18 PM | 48
Which way is the US thinking with NK?
Is the US playing a game of chicken, thinking NK will back down with a show of US might, or is Trump admin looking for an excuse to attack NK?
Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 13, 2017 7:21:48 PM | 50
Man from Brookings on BBC says the reason the MOAB hasn't been used before is because it has not been necessary and has no particular utility of two smaller bombs, suggesting this was merely a show of force. Apparently (from link about) the US and Afghans had been playing wack-a-mole for 6 weeks with "ISIS" who were using long pre-existing tunnels built by the Taliban
VOA: Crisis Group calls Afghan Government Shaky (apparently that co-governing travesty introduced by Kerry has led to absolute paralysis and one-ups-manships
The ICG report says the only promising way forward is for Ghani and Abdullah to acknowledge the stability of the government and country requires they work together.
Last disputed election resulting in this hybrid 2014; next election 2019, meaning they're more than half-way through -- so, good luck with they placing Stability First. Abdullah may be CEO, but that may simply be a tribal concession to the Tajiks.
Wondering that while we may fail at regime change in Syria, there's always Afghanistan to screw with.
Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 13, 2017 7:48:34 PM | 51
Might N Korea strike first If they feel US attack inevjtable?
Posted by: andoheb | Apr 13, 2017 7:53:33 PM | 52
This is more theater that has no real strategic or military importance. It's probably designed to scare N Korea's leadership.
I think trump is bluffing and I suspect someone will call that bluff in a meaningful way
Posted by: Alaric | Apr 13, 2017 7:59:01 PM | 53
I can't imagine they would act to make death and destruction inevitable preempting the celebration of great leader's birthday. I also can't imagine they will cancel the test and the highpoint of those celebrations.
This would be a good moment for us (or Russia or whomever) to make use of their absolutely fabulous hacking prowess, stealth and/or insider knowledge due to A1 espionage, with sabotage rather than another demonstration of firepower ...
Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 13, 2017 8:00:36 PM | 54
@51 I don't think Trump can afford to back down now. Don't know what he has in mind but he'll need more than a few Tomahawks. Maybe Xi can think of a way out for him.
Posted by: dh | Apr 13, 2017 8:09:29 PM | 55
Peter AU@48 - Both, Peter. At worst (for the US), the US loses a few ships and uses that as an excuse for a much-needed war. The unfortunate South Koreans will be the ones slaughtered, and it doesn't take nukes to do that.
The US always playbook here is well-known: they will start with a preemptive strike against North Korean Air Defenses with Tomahawks - maybe a few ballistic missiles for theater - then clean up with aircraft. All in an effort to destroy North Korean missile, CW and nuke capability and shut down their communications, command and control. North Korea really has no effective defense against a determined U.S. military and might manage to destroy a few aircraft or ships, but nothing else.
North Korea WILL invoke the equivalent of Israel's 'Sampson Option' and destroy whatever they can in South Korea, Asia or anywhere else before they lose that capability. They have plenty of conventional weapons that can reach population centers in the South. US and South Korean air defense will be overwhelmed. The South only has a limited number of overpriced US Patriot and THAAD missiles to use. North Korea has way more conventional rockets and missiles. They can fire Scud knockoffs all day long at the South, and the South HAS to fire an air defense missile at it to take it down. Their entire stock can be depleted in a day or two, and the North will still have tens of thousands left to send over.
I'm just guessing that Kim will just as happily target population centers as he will military targets. South Korea will ultimately pay the price for US provocation, not the US. We'll simply wait for the day we can stand knee-deep in the blood of Koreans and pat ourselves on the back in front of western MSM for saving the world. That's my leaders' intent, anyways. I think it has something to do with their penis size (or psychopathy, although the two may be related).
Posted by: PavewayIV | Apr 13, 2017 8:18:22 PM | 56
Actually I'm more wondering what this 'accident' with the 18 dead SDF(?) means.
Are they tired of doing the dirty ground work for the US and need some gentle encouragement?
Really just guessing; would be curious to know your thoughts.
Posted by: smuks | Apr 13, 2017 8:27:33 PM | 57
@54 I don't see why Kim would take it out on Seoul. There are 30,000 US troops in South Korea and they aren't particularly popular.
Posted by: dh | Apr 13, 2017 8:38:30 PM | 58
@30... very succinct and very poignant.
Perhaps as insightful is an observation over at RI that the Kremlin did not even list the meeting with Tillerson as an event...
In other words, the US message Tillerson was sent sought to deliver - at least as far as Putin is concerned, simply does not exist.
What they did post was a picture of the surrender of Japan. A bit of history will show that event was a cooperative effort by hostile compatriots. The US achieved its' part of that goal by use of nuclear bombs (anticipating the MOAB demonstration) and the Russians achieved their part of that goal using conventional forces that set the record for the amount of land occupied by a mechanized force in such a short amount of time.
for those who have ears to hear...
Posted by: les7 | Apr 13, 2017 8:43:02 PM | 60
smuks@55 - Impossible to sift through the flurry of BS yet, Smuks. I will say that the very first report of this I saw (not necessarily the first one out there) was that it was an Arab contingent of the SDF, not Kurds. This pissed off the affected Arab militia (a couple thousand by some reports) so much that they just left the fight for Raqqa and won't fight with the SDF anymore. Not all Arab militias, but a big one. That can't be good. There was always tension there where the Arabs felt marginalized and treated like cannon-fodder in the SDF despite repeated assurances by the US and Kurds that it wasn't the case. Guess they're not so reassured anymore and figure they'll go back home to Raqqa *after* the Kurds and US 'liberate' (level) it.
Some accounts are confusing this with the dozen or two Kurds that died last week at the hand of ISIS somewhere around Tabqa and were sent home for burial. That is completely unrelated to CJTF-OIR killing someone with a bad airstrike. Unfortunate too because CENTCOM was just bragging up how they trained Kurds to call in strikes. Not sure what would be worse - a bad call by a Kurd or a bad call by a US JTAC killing SDF Arab militia. If that's even what they are. I have the hazy recollection that some Arab militia are just fighting alongside the SDF but are not really part of it.
Posted by: PavewayIV | Apr 13, 2017 8:46:29 PM | 61
This was right after there were reports the US was rescuing ISIS commanders in Raqqa and Mosul.
Posted by: Les | Apr 13, 2017 8:48:18 PM | 62
The U.S. has no intention of ending the war in Afghanistan -- the goal remains open-ended occupation with no coherent strategy or goals articulated. If you find this doubtful, merely watch the next congressional hearing where they trot out some DOD war planners in the name of "accountability".
On another topic, Charlie Rose brought out David Ignatius (WaPo reporter & CIA mouthpiece) and Nicholas Burns (major deep state player) to discuss national security last night. The segment is about 20 mins and is worth a look if you have the time. About 3 mins in they gleefully discuss how Bannon is on the way out and how Kushner will save the day for this administration because he is being mentored by none other than Henry Kissinger.
Posted by: duncan_idaho | Apr 13, 2017 9:19:30 PM | 63
If Cohen is right (interview with John Batchelor) Russia was looking for some kind of frank response as to who is making decision in Washington (*IF* Tillerson even knows) .. so that Russia would know how to read the signals and know how to respond.
The US crossed a red line, and Russia did not respond because of that confusion. That will not happen again. Even Medvedev is saying they are on the verge of war.
The response of the Kremlin website (the meeting does not exist) is best translated to mean they got zero information that they can count on. It is such confusion of narratives, and confusion in decision making that makes for escalation and a real shooting war.
Narcissism is the worst of backdrops for such a stage in which events play out
Posted by: les7 | Apr 13, 2017 10:02:18 PM | 64
A facebook friend, an Afghan who lives and works Kabul says there is no military solution. He is a translator and works in dept that brings potable water to rural areas. Two of his posts:
"Actually, Afghanistan's problem does not (have) a military solution. If it had, the ongoing war in this country would have been halted few years back when there have been thousands of American and NATO forces.
Taliban feel themselves part of this society and they are fighting for getting a portion in the government, and this is a reality because they are also residents of this territory. But foreign troops, especially, the US emphasize on war which by no way can bring stability to this nation."
Back in February, as a bomb hit buildings about a block away from his office, he wrote this:
"While US forces once again martyred some 20 civilians in their blind airstrikes in Sangin district of southern Helmand provinces, a top commander of US forces in Afghanistan has asked for additional troops in the country.
Americans in general and Trump and the new government security officials in particular should learn from the past that their wrongdoings -- killing and torturing civilians and destroying ordinary people's houses-- over the past 15 years provoked Afghans to stand against US forces and the Afghan government under one or other banner, and Afghans, unfortunately, still bear the brunt of the bloody war.
Therefore, if they want a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, firstly, they must put an end to the civilians' causality as no Afghan can bear the brutal killing of his/her innocent fellow citizen let alone relatives or kinfolks. Secondly, the increase of American troops in Afghanistan also cannot heal the wounds of Afghanistan, instead, it can rather pave ground for more civilians death tolls. Thus, Americans should invest in Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) so as they are capacitated enough and defend from their country against various armed groups."
Posted by: Laura Roslin | Apr 13, 2017 10:20:18 PM | 65
a little, (or a lot) arsenic with your cake? usa state dept daily press briefing from">https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2017/04/270147.htm/">from today...
why would the war party ever leave afgan? perpetual war, prep for war, etc. etc. is the everlasting agenda.. it is an exceptional agenda from an exceptional nation!
Posted by: james | Apr 13, 2017 10:26:30 PM | 66
Is there a pattern developing, with Tomahawks in Syria and MOAB in Afghanistan? Both instances had a gee-whiz factor but are tactically impotent. If you use artillery or aerial bombardment and then fly away, especially without damage verification on the ground, the foxes just come out of their holes and business as usual. Not to minimize the horror of civilian casualties, certainly, but there is nothing gained.
In DPRK's case, the nuclear threat is more of a justifiable cause, but my guess is if the pattern continues, at best we lob some whiz-bang device at Birthday Boy's facilities causing little real damage.
Are we just on a military technology marketing adventure (not selling very well) or is the USG really really bad at anything but fireworks?
Posted by: stumpy | Apr 13, 2017 10:38:20 PM | 68
Posted by: les7 | Apr 13, 2017 8:43:02 PM | 58
Posted by: les7 | Apr 13, 2017 10:02:18 PM | 62
for those who have ears to hear...
Russia did not respond because of that confusion. That will not happen again.
Precisely. Well said.
Short version, which can be taken to the bank, from post in previous thread #102:
Vice Chairman of the State Duma for Defense, Yuri Hvitekin, ... also added that there are Russian military facilities and installations on Syrian territory, pointing out that should the Trump administration ever decide to strike them, there will be consequences. "it will not be words. Instead, it will be actions."
Posted by: Outraged | Apr 13, 2017 10:42:54 PM | 69
Trump looks, acts, and sounds like an idiot. He appeals now only to the Neanderthal Knuckledraggers of his base which are base.
FOX News was on tv w/volume up - in a restaurant where I had lunch. It is amazing how stupid Americans are who believe this shit dispenser.
Geraldo gleefully showed off a helmet that once belonged to a dead Taliban.
Posted by: fast freddy | Apr 13, 2017 10:47:10 PM | 70
Russians probably do supply Taliban. They always deny everything, that's how they roll. Of course, it would be incredibly stupid for them not to, given the West's supplies to the Ukrainian military and Syrian "rebels". The only reason the Americans take somewhat subdued posture in Ukraine (no lethal weapons) is because Russian interaction with the Taliban is equally tentative. This is one intricate geopolitical dance.
Posted by: telescope | Apr 13, 2017 10:50:32 PM | 71
This is where this is going, I would guess:
US Airstrike on North Korea Risks Leading to '5-6 Chernobyl-Type Disasters'
"Approximately 30 nuclear power plants are operational in South Korea. Several of them could be destroyed even if conventional bombs and shells are used. This could lead to five-six Chernobyl-type disasters on a relatively small area of 99 square kilometers that could instantly turn into a place unsuitable for life," he explained.
But that's not all we're going to get:
The Pentagon "cannot but take into account that in case of an airstrike against North Korea, US-made Tomahawks will fly toward the territory of Russia and China. This is a more dangerous scenario than the show of force in Syria," he said. "Russia will not be able to wait for US missiles to accidentally land on its territory. Moscow will be forced to shoot down the missiles while they are in North Korean airspace."
Meanwhile, tens of millions of South Koreans perish, with a few becoming radionuclide refugees. Good job, eh?
Posted by: blues | Apr 13, 2017 11:38:56 PM | 73
@ 54 paveway IV
"We'll simply wait for the day we can stand knee-deep in the blood of Koreans and pat ourselves on the back in front of western MSM for saving the world." ..a bit of Deja vue?? It seems to me I remember reading something like this in history somewhere... (sarc)
NK has always been willing to do a deal. It has just needed a trustworthy partner.
If memory serves, it was during the Clinton presidency that a deal was done to provide NK with a large amount of fuel oil, food, and loosen sanctions - in return they dropped their work on things nuclear and the border opened to allow family reunions and visits. The big military centre that supported nuclear work was abandoned and dismantled. The deal held for several years.
Things were improving nicely, South Korean leaders began serious talks of reconciliation between the Korea's etc. Then under George W. they went bad. The US initiated things with a suspension of the fuel oil transfers. The tit-for-tat response escalated re-imposing food and other sanctions, escalating military exercises and eventually NK went back to work on things nuclear.
At one point a blast and the following burst of radiation spread out from the NK mountains near the border with China. The radiation reports surfaced a week after it all happened (after the cloud had already passed Japan for independent monitors to analyse it)- suspected US special forces sabotage of the nuclear program.
Since then the US has had an enemy they can count on to be enemy-ish enough to justify military build-up and the positioning of forces close to China. This is why China is so upset - N.K. action is the fig leaf for the THAAD build-up.
It's a tough position to be in, being told to keep a low profile all the while the biggest bully on the block is continually poking at you with all kinds of not-in-the-headlines stuff.
If Trump is just posturing - this is where it will show. If Trump takes any kind of action against NK then Iran, Russia and China have been put on notice that the deep state is back in control and before the next two years are out, they will have their turn "to be served". Such actions will begin in Iran.
Posted by: les7 | Apr 14, 2017 12:07:24 AM | 74
@ Posted by: telescope | Apr 13, 2017 10:50:32 PM | 69
Taliban are primarily funded, trained, armed, supported and given safe haven by Pakistan ISI & Military in order to provide for 'Strategic Depth' re potential war with India. Afghanistan was awash with small arms for two centuries and the means to manufacture at the expert artificer craft/village level, including ammo, etc, before '79, and exponentially ever since. The latter re manufacture in Pakistan even more so.
Since 1979, there is so much weaponry throughout Afghanistan/Pakistan you can buy an AK for $5USD in a market, let alone RPGs, RPKs, SVKs, M4s, even .50Cal Barrets & all manner of other ordnance/equipment/materiel. And Taliban is also passed whatever it needs by deserters from ANA/Police, which is so hollowed out new intakes often fail to fully replace monthly desertions, year in year out.
There is no need for Russia to supply any arms whatsoever, an insurgencies needs are truly mninimal, and the Afghanis are past masters of it going back millenia.
Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 12:19:01 AM | 75
@ Posted by: les7 | Apr 14, 2017 12:07:24 AM | 72
Well said indeed.
And let us not forget the crucial, critical, failure to deliver/supply the agreed light water reactors as a foundational/fundamental part of the deal. Cumulative history, consistent Empire policy, and the lesson of the 1991/2003 Iraq invasions re nuclear as opposed to non-nuclear armed 'target' States, are the clincher. Further details in previous thread re relevant forgotten/overlooked history & consistent policy approaches thru every administration for ~71 years.
Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 12:27:36 AM | 76
So now the boffins have invented an even better sodium (not lithium) battery that uses a solid glass electrolyte. How much sodium chloride is in the ocean? No whiskers can grow in the solid glass.
Lithium-Ion Battery Inventor Introduces New Technology for Fast-Charging, Noncombustible Batteries:
The researchers demonstrated that their new battery cells have at least three times as much energy density as today’s lithium-ion batteries. A battery cell’s energy density gives an electric vehicle its driving range, so a higher energy density means that a car can drive more miles between charges. The UT Austin battery formulation also allows for a greater number of charging and discharging cycles, which equates to longer-lasting batteries, as well as a faster rate of recharge (minutes rather than hours).
Today’s lithium-ion batteries use liquid electrolytes to transport the lithium ions between the anode (the negative side of the battery) and the cathode (the positive side of the battery). If a battery cell is charged too quickly, it can cause dendrites or “metal whiskers” to form and cross through the liquid electrolytes, causing a short circuit that can lead to explosions and fires. Instead of liquid electrolytes, the researchers rely on glass electrolytes that enable the use of an alkali-metal anode without the formation of dendrites.
Posted by: blues | Apr 14, 2017 12:42:16 AM | 78
1. Earlier this week Trump tweeted:
“North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.”
2. Trump said on Wednesday, “We are sending an armada. Very powerful. We have submarines. Very powerful. Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier.”
Reality based translation based on national interest, strategic military necessity and geopolitical calculus:
We are sending a single carrier task force, ubiquitous, absolutely routine. If either carriers/subs militarily strike Nth Korean, then the 'armada' becomes an expensive series of floating targets, including very large numbers of US crew as potential casualties. After the Subs fire their small number of cruise missiles in a volley, they are unmasked, exposed/detected and also become, targets, extremely defenseless targets, once detected.
Frankly, though the politics and 'isms' are very different today than in the Korean War '50-'53, the national and strategic interests and military necessity driven imperatives for BOTH Russia & China re survival of the State, remain the same. In all probability both would respond/interpret War with NK as an indirect prelude to a follow on war against themselves. That was the calculation in '50 re support and direct & indirect involvement in the war, and it remains the same re risk, intentions & capabilities today, regardless of superseded 'isms'.
Just sayin'. YMMV
Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 12:53:40 AM | 79
@54 pw, 'South Korea will ultimately pay the price for US provocation, not the US'
someone else always pays the price for us provocation, not the us.
we usians don't care ... border and mexico under control, canadians on top, oceans on both sides ... the rest of 'em are out there to be killed when they need it.
well ... at least tee-rump looks and acts just like what he is. obama had aplomb and was a skillful liar. and was only half-white. tee-rump will draw the world's disgust and revulsion, and hatred of the usofa will rise bottom-up until even the us' appointees at the eu will feel it. one bright morning we usians are gonna wake up to ... the way we used to love ya baby (there were two or three), that's the way we all hate ya now. hey, if that's what it takes ...
Posted by: jfl | Apr 14, 2017 1:18:50 AM | 80
Maurice MEISSNER in his great short study on MAO T'SE TUNG maintained the U S triggered the first Korean war - in which MAO'S son died - deliberately to put the 'people's republic' off its stride .
Sixty years earlier the U S grasped control of the Phillipines as a future base to be used in delimiting a 20th century competitive China . The Chinese as often stressed by commentators here were and are profoundly aware of all these power plays .
Posted by: ashley albanese | Apr 14, 2017 1:33:45 AM | 81
“There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.” - Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Posted by: michaelj72 | Apr 14, 2017 1:34:25 AM | 82
China abstains at UN.
Posted by: Nick | Apr 14, 2017 2:30:32 AM | 84
fast freddy @68
Trump looks, acts, and sounds like an idiot. He appeals now only to the Neanderthal Knuckledraggers of his base which are base.
Trump is an idiot, but now that he's made his bones he's one of the boys and his appeal solidly includes the Washington foreign policy establishment.
Posted by: sleepy | Apr 14, 2017 2:35:52 AM | 85
@ Paveway 54
The Samson option.
I think that is what they are about to do. Some here have commented here on how bad it would be for the US for a war to kick off in Korea. Perhaps the North Koreans also see this. For over sixty years they have been cut off from the world, virtually a hermit kingdom, always under threat of attack from the US, which has recently ramped up to decapitation exercises and so forth.
With help from China, NK survived the last war although all infrastructure, and everything built above ground was destroyed.
I strongly suspect that with Trumps show of force, they will try to provoke (by provoke that I mean a nuke test or rocket test) US into initiating a war a which will draw others in and be extremely damaging to the US.
Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 2:40:11 AM | 86
@ Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 2:18:19 AM | 81
The primary effect and purpose of the MOAB and predecessor BLU-82 and similar munitions is as a weapon of Psychological warfare. Shock & Awe.
The military effect is similar to a small tactical nuke, without the geopolitical, fallout nor escalatory consequences, killing instantly by extreme over-pressure (crushed internal organs), instantaneous temporary vacuum effect resulting oxygen consumption/deprivation over a wide area for a sustained period resulting in asphyxiation, even partly extracting oxygen 'from' lungs, even within bunkers/shelters/tunnels/caves, with the actual kinetic effects of the blast wave and subsequent direct and secondary/indirect destruction, being derivative.
The objective in military terms could have been achieved more efficiently and at a fraction of the cost using a variety of more common ordnance, and without risk to a C-130 cargo plane & crew.
This is a second instance of a militarily irrelevant and pointless 'demonstration', again with high probability for domestic political purposes exclusively. Shayrat airbase & now this ... lots of sound & fury, impressive blast cloud, signifying ? Nothing ?
Irrelevant bellicose demonstrations of bluff & bluster undermine the claims & credibility of the worlds supposed sole remaining superpower, they do not re-inforce or enhance it, quite the opposite beyond a stateside domestic audience, IMV. YMMV
Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 2:46:13 AM | 87
Peter AU @ 24
The bomb, despite what is seen from its explosion, is supposed to cause a massive vacuum that can severely damage tunnel systems and underground infrastructure. According to Wikipedia, the Russian version is even bigger. The problem is, how accurate can such a huge (almost 10t) free falling bomb be, especially considering how it is released...
Posted by: dan | Apr 14, 2017 2:50:46 AM | 88
Mother of all bombs repeated in all the world languages by the sms recall 2003 Bagdad and its mother of battles and the escalation of words then.
Add that msm have nothing to say about casualties and it sounds merely like kuds watching a beautiful firework.
At least it will help the last ppl who trusted the msm to start waking up.
Posted by: Mina | Apr 14, 2017 2:58:41 AM | 89
@ Posted by: dan | Apr 14, 2017 2:50:46 AM | 86
More than accurate enough given combination of inertial guidance & GPS guidance system integral to the ordnance, especially when considering the massive area & radius of effect, and far more accurate than previous BLU-82s.
~12(?) BLU-82 predecessor munitions were palletized and dropped on various Iraqi positions during the extended air campaign of Desert Shield (prior to desert Storm) during the first Persian Gulf War/Iraq Invasion '90/'91 at night from SpecOps MC-130s, IIRC.
Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 3:07:04 AM | 90
Now it makes sense! Russia is hosting today a huge conference on Afghanistan with india, pakistan and central asian countries.h The US had been invited but declined.
Posted by: Mina | Apr 14, 2017 3:07:31 AM | 91
@ fast freddy | Apr 13, 2017 10:47:10 PM | 68
An observation: There seems to be a meme developing here and you are not its originator by any means, alleging stupidity to something you may not understand, or appreciate. Donald Trump may be as close as you will ever be to massive wealth, likely the neighbourhood of six or seven degrees of separation. What is obvious with Mr. Trump's demeanour is the contempt he holds for his audience, speaking slowly and simplistically in the smallest words he can find. This is an adult addressing juvenile behaviour. But if you bother to observe as well the failure of the U.S. educational system, noting the reading levels obtained compared to other 'advanced' nations, you may find some basis for that assumption. The only problem with that is, the species is naturally intelligent and has been so for a long way back in its history; that intelligence is based upon learning, and failing to learn, or be effectively taught, Mr. Trump's audience is the result. No, Donald Trump is one of the most intelligent examples of the species; just where do you think the saying "If you are so smart, why aren't you rich?" may come from? Another consideration you may appreciate comes from Sun Tzu and the observations about the arts of war, particularly the parts about knowing your opposition, and make no mistake Donald Trump is that. If you blithely dismiss President Trump as stupid, he has won and will win every time. This is the choice you have, choose wisely, but don't continue the meme, leave that to the kindergarteners who are stuck on their 'Tee-rump's and the like.
Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Apr 14, 2017 3:07:47 AM | 92
"The objective in military terms could have been achieved more efficiently and at a fraction of the cost using a variety of more common ordnance, and without risk to a C-130 cargo plane & crew."
What I suspected Outraged. Also us has other ordnance better suited to caves deep tunnels. Inertia fusing and so forth, to detonate fuel air explosive within tunnel system.
Moab air burst can kill personal through pressure wave, and destroy shallow tunnel complex, but as I noted, this is a cave tunnel complex which most likely runs deep into hills or mountains. So a few killed, tunnels, caves still there. As you say, "demonstrations of bluff & bluster"
Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 3:26:46 AM | 94
@ Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Apr 14, 2017 3:07:47 AM | 90
Last post before zzzs ... troubling ... a thought experiment ...
There is now an inexplicable pattern of 180' about-faces on policy issues/statements, two militarily pointless 'demonstrations' highly probably for purely domestic political consumption, excess bellicose rhetoric re Russia, China, Iran, Syria ... no actual ACTION of any real significance nor any indications of military preparations/alerts of any significance so far ... acclaimed and applauded by the presstitues in the MSM and the Neo-con/lib warmongers, etc, as a War President, uncompromising, a Tough 'can do' 'Leader' of da 'Free World'.
What if all of this is to become a pseudo-Nixon figure ... only the rabid McCarthyist warmonger Nixon could go to Evil ChiCom China in '72(?) and entertain a 'detente' without being crucified politically ... if there is no move to war with NK, is this to nullify the extensive and prolonged Trump-Putin Psyop narrative ... to create a foundation positional mystique to make the case for better relations with Russia, given the 'At the lowest point of all time' rhetoric ?
Highly speculative, perhaps grants way too much Machiavellian credit, yet, all the same ... hm ... the reaction to what NK does will tell the tale, me thinks ...
Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 3:34:03 AM | 96
@ Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 3:26:46 AM | 92
Indeed. see 94 ...
All actions/conduct have to be explained 'rationally', I do not believe/perceive the 'Trump' is unintelligent nor stupid as some readily attribute. Unprincipled, morally bereft, manipulative, unwise, shallow, poorly informed/knowledgable/wordly, uninquisitive/incurious, a grifter, a con-man and narcissistic arch-opportunist, always motivated by self-interest, Yes.
Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 3:41:50 AM | 97
yeah, he's clever. but he's stupid. he's playing, 'dealing', in a fake, reductionists' world where the beneficiaries number in the tens and their victims number in the millions. that's not smart. that's clever. clever but depraved. and so, deprived of rationality. rationality implies a certain proportionality, the ability to commensurate relative values. if there is one thing the 1% lack it is a sense of proportion. deaf, dumb, and blind ... but oh, so clever.
Further distinguishing the neofascism of our present moment is the advent of the climate change crisis — the very reality of which the White House denies. Rather than address the problem, the new administration, backed by the fossil-capital wing of the Republican Party, has declared flatly that anthropogenic climate change does not exist. It has chosen to defy the entire world in this respect, repudiating the global scientific consensus.
There are deep concerns, raised by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which just moved its doomsday clock thirty seconds closer to “midnight,” that this same irrationalism may extend to nuclear weapons. 
 Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, “It Is Two and a Half Minutes to Midnight,” news release, January 25, 2017.
Posted by: jfl | Apr 14, 2017 4:22:53 AM | 98
Posted by: jfl | Apr 14, 2017 1:18:50 AM | 78
The US pay the price - with substandard healthcare, education, roddy infrastructure and high social aggression (this united airlines story is a joke on many, many levels)
They are behind the European Union - and many others - in all relevant facts - child mortality, life expectancy, income equality, education, basically every index that measures development.
Posted by: somebody | Apr 14, 2017 4:25:57 AM | 99
One cannot be a successful grifter nor con-man if one is not rational or calculating or is actually stupid. And if nothing else, he has demonstrated he is successfully the former two. Intelligent and smart enough to select professional/experienced/competent people, as he perceives them, demanding absolute loyalty (unreciprocated), yet casually discards such as expendable pawns on a virtual chessboard when he considers their value diminished/compromised or no longer required to achieve his goals. Demonstrably acts with determination to achieve 'his' goals.
Suggest you're, respectfully, conflating unpalatable policies/goals/objectives and superficial perceptions/dislikes, with actual character/personality & traits ... all speculative tho ... NK events and response will be the clearest indicator ... a third political non-militarily effective/relevant 'demonstration' ?
'Acta, non Verba!', such patterns re conduct is what will count ... too much unassessable disinformation/distortion/outright MSM/Agencies lies creating massive 'fog' & 'mirror-walls', these last 7-10 days especially, IMV.
Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 4:47:28 AM | 100