We can win the war in Vietnam!

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Mo
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Mo » 19 Jan 2016, 22:44

The same thing happened in Egypt over that time period.

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andr ... s_on_cairo
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Kolohe » 19 Jan 2016, 22:48

Aresen wrote:
From the few dates offered, this appears to pre-date the Soviet invasion. I'm not going to blame the Russians for the Taliban (nor the American funding the resistance to the Soviets), but neither probably helped the situation.
there's a few of these photo essays around. The Russians hadn't invaded yet, but the Socialists (with some Marxist sympathies) were in charge. Big Government does well for a capital city over a sufficiently short time frame.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Aresen » 19 Jan 2016, 22:53

Mo wrote:The same thing happened in Egypt over that time period.

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andr ... s_on_cairo
For Egyptians, I can see wearing the hijab as an 'anti-Western' statement, but I thought that Egypt was never as oppressive of women as the Saudis or some of the other more avowedly religious states.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by thoreau » 19 Jan 2016, 22:54

Yeah, I wonder what the rural areas looked like back then.

Or the other major cities. My limited understanding of Afghanistan is that there are substantial ethnic divides between the regions, and local warlords matter. Before the Soviet invasion, what was life like in other major cities? Did it depend on the sorts of relationships the local authorities (official or de facto) enjoyed with Kabul?

EDIT: "Less oppressive than the Saudis" is a low enough bar that even Iran clears it, and the Taliban arguably tie them.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Warren » 20 Jan 2016, 09:56

The captions are too much.
THIS SPACE FOR RENT

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fyodor
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by fyodor » 25 Jan 2016, 12:07

Is this old news?

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/ ... ght-213554

The most important part is the first sentence:
the Secretary of Defense wrote:Soldiers in the storied 101st Airborne Division will soon deploy 1,800 troops to Iraq to join the fight against ISIL.
I haven't seen much about this. In fact, I hadn't seen anything about it till alerted to it via email from a lefty friend who blamed "the conglomeratized and corporatized media" for the lack of legs on this, though I did find a Fox piece online referencing this piece in a story about Carter saying some of the same stuff (apparently less specifically) to the World Economic Forum (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/01 ... -isis.html). I went looking for this story half to see if my friend was passing false info, but looks not.

I suppose this might not be anything radically new as I realize we already have Special Ops over there doing this (nor extremely surprising, necessarily, for other reasons), but still...?

EDIT: the number of troops is 1800, not 800
Last edited by fyodor on 25 Jan 2016, 13:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Hugh Akston » 25 Jan 2016, 12:11

It was previously noted over in the Iraq thread, but before they disclosed the number of troops.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by fyodor » 25 Jan 2016, 12:22

Hugh Akston wrote:It was previously noted over in the Iraq thread, but before they disclosed the number of troops.
Ah.

Hmm.

Does anyone know if the 101st Airborne Division counts as Special Ops?

I wonder if the lack of legs is due to the information being disseminated in little bits and pieces.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by thoreau » 25 Jan 2016, 12:37

Well, they're airborne, so their boots aren't on the ground.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by fyodor » 25 Jan 2016, 13:16

thoreau wrote:Well, they're airborne, so their boots aren't on the ground.
Yeah, and I guess they can't even hurt you if you wear a respirator.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by tr0g » 25 Jan 2016, 13:26

fyodor wrote:Does anyone know if the 101st Airborne Division counts as Special Ops?
Not really. I would have to go check... and yeah, they're still air mobile. They're not an airborne division anymore, they just retain the title for old time's sake. In any event, airborne units are sometimes considered the lowest tier of spec ops. But in reality, they're still under FORSCOM (Forces Command) not USASOC (Special Operations Command). If you don't report to USASOC you're not special operations.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by fyodor » 25 Jan 2016, 14:14

tr0g wrote:
fyodor wrote:Does anyone know if the 101st Airborne Division counts as Special Ops?
Not really. I would have to go check... and yeah, they're still air mobile.
Wait, was Thoreau serious? In the article in the second link in my post, Carter describes them (or other troops being sent?, but probably them) as "boots on the ground." So if that's not inherent to sending an airborne division, maybe that's another example of bits and pieces of the larger picture being dribbled out so as not to attract as much attention? (I would think if an airborne division is being "deployed to Iraq", then their base would be there and thus das boots be on der ground and thus moot point, but then I know less than Obama and Bill Clinton put together about matters military, so...?)

silly EDIT
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by thoreau » 25 Jan 2016, 14:20

I was being half-serious. On a serious level, they may not be "special" forces, but they aren't entirely conventional, so politicians can tell the public "These aren't conventional forces, and there won't be a long ground war that we get bogged down in, just specific pin-point interventions in support of limited objectives and other parties."

On a more light-hearted level, you can play semantic games with "boots on the ground" vs "airborne."
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by tr0g » 25 Jan 2016, 14:58

They count as conventional troops. Air mobile means the division is capable of being transported almost entirely by helicopter, and has the native assets to do so. Aside from the insane amount of aviation assets the division controls, they are otherwise a light infantry division.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by thoreau » 25 Jan 2016, 15:01

You're speaking as somebody who understands the military. I'm just an ordinary voter who hears that there's something special or distinctive about the 101st Airborne. So they aren't conventional in the sense that John Q. Public understands. Which means that using them doesn't count as a quagmire. (Yet)
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by tr0g » 25 Jan 2016, 15:06

thoreau wrote:You're speaking as somebody who understands the military. I'm just an ordinary voter who hears that there's something special or distinctive about the 101st Airborne. So they aren't conventional in the sense that John Q. Public understands. Which means that using them doesn't count as a quagmire. (Yet)
That's fair. If it's a question of selling to the public unconventional vs. conventional, that's an area I'm not terribly qualified to address.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Painboy » 25 Jan 2016, 15:35

I was actually in the 101st back in the day. This is actually kind of complicated issue without more specific info.

The 101st Airborne as a division has multiple units with in it. These include infantry (where I was), artillery, various recon units, supply, and a large support and attack helicopter unit. It's these last two that I think is what the article is referring too. When I was in it was fairly normal for our supply and helicopter units to be deployed to some far off country while the infantry and the rest of the units sat on our butts back home. The helo and supply units in the 101st are one of the only groups in the army that have their kind of logistics capability. They allow for a much wider theater of action as they can haul of lot of stuff over a large area quickly and even deploy deep into enemy held territory.

So my suspicion is they are going to use them to help indigenous forces, probably led or accompanied by Special Forces personnel, with various air assault, transportation, and supply issues.

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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by fyodor » 25 Jan 2016, 16:08

tr0g wrote:
thoreau wrote:You're speaking as somebody who understands the military. I'm just an ordinary voter who hears that there's something special or distinctive about the 101st Airborne. So they aren't conventional in the sense that John Q. Public understands. Which means that using them doesn't count as a quagmire. (Yet)
That's fair. If it's a question of selling to the public unconventional vs. conventional, that's an area I'm not terribly qualified to address.
Well like I say, the secretary of defense has used the term "boots on the ground" his own self, so it doesn't even seem like they're selling it as don't worry they're just gonna swoop in and out before you can say holyfuckingshitwe'rebackatwaroverthere. While my friend's explanation seems suspect, it does seem odd the very little attention this has received. Oh, and bad news.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by dbcooper » 25 Jan 2016, 23:20

Vladimir Putin asked Bashar al-Assad to step down

Sam Jones in London, Erika Solomon in Beirut and Kathrin Hille in Kazan
January 22, 2016 11:55 am

Just weeks before his death on January 3, Colonel-General Igor Sergun, director of Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency, was sent to Damascus on a delicate mission.

The general, who is believed to have cut his teeth as a Soviet operative in Syria, bore a message from Vladimir Putin for President Bashar al-Assad: the Kremlin, the Syrian dictator’s most powerful international protector, believed it was time for him to step aside.

Mr Assad angrily refused.

Two senior western intelligence officials have given the Financial Times details of Sergun’s mission. The Russian foreign ministry referred a request for comment to the defence ministry, which said it was unable to comment.

But on Friday, in response to a question from a journalist, asking if the Russian leader had asked Mr Assad to step down, a spokesman for Mr Putin said: “No, that’s not so.”

Russia’s failed gamble in Damascus left Mr Assad more entrenched than before, and hopes for a diplomatic solution to the vicious civil war appear again to be ebbing away.

UN officials have spent the past week lowering expectations that the talks between the warring factions planned for January 25 in Geneva will go ahead, let alone produce a breakthrough.

It is a dramatic reversal of fortunes. News of the secret proposal delivered by Sergun — a choreographed transition of power that would maintain the Alawite regime but open the door to realistic negotiations with moderate rebels — added to a growing mood of optimism among western intelligence agencies in late 2015.

For the US-led coalition fighting Isis, it seemed that accommodating Moscow could break years of diplomatic deadlock over Mr Assad’s removal — a move Washington views as a precondition to cooling the sectarian tensions in Syria and Iraq that have fed the jihadi insurgency.

Moscow’s military intervention in the conflict in support of Damascus in late September, many in Europe and the US reasoned, had reached its limit. “Mr Putin had taken a look under the bonnet of the Syrian regime,” one senior European intelligence official told the FT “and found a lot more problems than he was bargaining for.”

However, Russia overplayed its hand, the official said, and Mr Assad made clear to Sergun that there could be no future for Russia in Syria unless he remained as president.

In his dealings with the Kremlin, Mr Assad has adopted a strategy of playing one foreign power off against another. His trump card on this occasion was Iran. Russia has been nervous of Tehran’s growing regional influence at the cost of its own leverage for months.

People close to the Syrian regime say suspicions about Russia’s intentions have been growing in Damascus for some time. “That mood of elation when Russia first got involved lasted for a while, but then people got more pessimistic,” said one Damascus businessman. “Assad’s people started to realise that having the big brother defending them meant he could also demand things of them too.”

Mr Assad has also been scrupulous in rooting out any powerful figures who might one day stand as an alternative to his leadership.

The disappearance of Abdel Aziz al-Khair, an Alawite dissident, was a striking example, said Joshua Landis, a Syria analyst from the University of Oklahoma.

Mr Khair, a leading member of the National Co-ordinating Body, a political grouping dedicated to negotiating with Mr Assad to achieve democratic change, was from a prominent family in Mr Assad’s home town, said Mr Landis.

“He went to Moscow in 2012 and then he went to Beijing. It seemed clear to everyone they were checking him out as a potential Alawite replacement to the current regime that could assure the Alawite community,” Mr Landis said. On his return to Damascus he was taken from the airport by security agencies.

“That seemed to be a sign that Assad was not going to allow Russia to pick the next president,” Mr Landis added.

Moscow is frustrated. “It has become quite clear that part of an eventual political solution is that Assad has to step aside at some point, although we don’t think that it has been decided yet when that should be,” said a Russian authority on Syria who is involved in Moscow’s diplomacy. “Ever since President Assad was flown in to be received by our president last year, his attitude has been less than satisfactory, and this does interfere with our efforts towards a political solution.”

But the Kremlin is also pragmatic, note many foreign policy experts, and its intervention is as much about projecting itself on the international stage as it is about determining Syria’s leader.

Dmitri Trenin, head of the Carnegie Moscow Center, said: “For Putin, the intervention in Syria was never about keeping Assad in power, it is about getting the Americans to acknowledge Russia’s key role in settling this conflict, and that’s being achieved through the Vienna process.

“But it looks premature to engineer a coup in Syria — I don’t see how that would help the political process as there are not enough opposition people who can accept the regime if it gets just a different figurehead.”

Meanwhile, says one British diplomat, with no palatable strategy for withdrawal, Russia appears to be doubling down on its military intervention, leaving the prospect of a negotiated peace as far from reality as it has ever been.
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thoreau
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by thoreau » 25 Jan 2016, 23:34

Recent Google searches from Assad's house:

"WebMD Polonium Poisoning"
"Polonium toxicity"
"Polonium treatment WebMD"
"Polonium Ingestion Emergency Treatment"
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by JasonL » 26 Jan 2016, 11:13

Hey Vlad. A picnic, what a nice idea. Great of you to bring the sandwiches. What are these again? Bolonium you say? Lovely!

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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Andrew » 26 Jan 2016, 11:42

JasonL wrote:Hey Vlad. A picnic, what a nice idea. Great of you to bring the sandwiches. What are these again? Bolonium you say? Lovely!
That made me chortle.
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Hugh Akston » 29 Apr 2016, 13:22

So that time the Pentago bombed a MSF hospital turned out not to be a war crime, according to the Pentagon, because whoopsie-doodle.
A Pentagon investigation into a 2015 airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan found that the failures that led to the disaster did not amount to “a war crime” because they were not intentional, Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, said Friday.
But don't worry, dead doctors and patients, because justice has been served:
The Pentagon concluded that 16 service members were involved in the attack, though it declined to name them. The personnel involved did not know they were striking a medical facility, Votel said, and have been disciplined. Their punishments ranged from letters of reprimand to formal counseling.
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Mo
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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Mo » 29 Apr 2016, 13:42

You know the rules.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

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Re: We can win the war in Vietnam!

Post by Kolohe » 09 Feb 2017, 15:01

"Thousands More Troops Needed To Break Afghanistan 'Stalemate,' General Warns"
Moscow has begun "a public effort to legitimize the Taliban," Nicholson said, that is aimed at undermining Kabul among its own citizens and warning neighboring countries that ISIS could spill over into their nations as it did in the Levant.

"This is a false narrative," Nicholson told senators. He alluded to "reports" about Russia supporting the Taliban directly. Later, he added: "I believe its intent is to undermine the United States and NATO."
(em added)

I can't even
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