Monday, 7 October 2019

Should the US Leave Syria?

The plan put out today is that the US troops would leave rather quickly out of Syria, and Turkey would be taking the ISIS prisoners, with the likely plan for Turkey to exercise control over this extreme northern region of Syria (the Kurds operate this zone). 

Anger by the Kurds?  They kinda want their own independent area, without Assad or the Turks, and the US 'protection' was the only way to achieve that. 

How many US troops?  No one really says.  It might just be in the 1,000 to 2,000 range. 

So what happens now?  First, you have to wonder about these ISIS prisoners, of which around a thousand are European prisoners, and Trump wanted all of them returned to their native lands.....which most European countries said 'NO'.

What will Turkey say?  I'm guessing here, but I think they will put them on a raft with clean clothing and drop them as refugees on some Greek isle, and a month or two down the line.....some Greeks piece together that these are all former ISIS folks....getting highly upset.  The Turks offering to take them back?  Maybe, but for a price.

As for this Kurd influence continuing in northern Syria?  No....that will end. 

It wasn't the war for the US to be in, or change dynamics.  Go back to Senator McCain's visit in 2013, and ask about his connection to the ISIS players at that meeting.  A bunch of people felt they were bringing civil war to Syria.  In the end, they just made it more miserable for everyone in Syria.

Reforger 2020?

Back in 1969, the US went and held a major military exercise in Germany...which was coined 'Reforger'.  The key to the 1969 exercise was that it would involve all of the US Army troops in Germany, and transport ships/aircraft would bring thousands more. 

Through the years, all the way to May of 1993, there was a Reforger exercise (there are a couple of exceptions in this period, but it was almost yearly).  Most Army guys would describe it as three to four weeks on the go....either to get to the play area, to participate in the 'gaming', and then to return to home station. 

At the conclusion of 1993 exercise, that was generally it.  No one felt an urgent need to do some massive exercise of that size.  Well, up until now. 

What the exercise was mostly about?  That's an amusing part of the story....typically there's no bullets fired or cannon rounds involved.  The 'teams' move from point 'A' to point 'B', then move to point 'C', and onto 'D'....with some end-of-exercise announcement.  It's mostly to say that you could move thousands of troops in a matter of days across the Atlantic, and be prepared for some conflict. 

Today, the US and Germany announced that in the spring of 2020.....37,000 US Army troops will participate in another massive exercise.  They will gather in Germany (via transport ships and aircraft, along with present-day assigned US troops in Germany) and make their way to Poland and the Baltic region.   Both countries kinda admit....they haven't done anything like this in at least 25 year.  I would go and suggest that it's the most massive exercise since 1993. 

Just the US and Germany involved?  No....19 members of NATO will participate. 


Well, let's start with the general hub for the US tank and APC vehicles will be in Luneburg.  That's the hub point.  It's roughly 30 miles SE of Hamburg....the capital of radicals, extremists, and revolutionaries.  Every single group in Hamburg will be focused on Luneburg, and thousands of German police will be required to 'keep the peace'. 

Anger by the Green and Linke Party membership?  Yes, they will voice some concern, and likely call for Germany to leave NATO.  I expect half of the SPD Party membership to agree with that topic.

Harsh journalistic criticism.....that Germany doesn't need these type of exercises?  Probably so.  Public TV networks will do forums over the topic.

The potential failures of the German Bundeswehr to cease movement or operations because of maintenance issues?  That's guaranteed, and I'll even wager that a quarter of all German tanks are red-lined by the 10th day. 

The Greta-kids and XR-kids demonstrating against the military exercise?  More than likely.

So if this ends up as a massive 'goat-rope' (the US term for a 9th-degree mess) can look across the German spectrum and identify all of the problems and suggest that Germany is unable to participate in NATO because of maintenance issues, money woes, and public frustration with radicals.  Politically, it would be a thorn for the 2021 national election in Germany. 

The Gate and Security

In early August of 1977....late into the evening, our bus from the San Antonio airport had pulled up to Lackland AFB for boot-camp.  It was one of those moments that you kinda remember.  SPs at the gate getting the Ok by the military guy escorting us (forty of us on the bus) to enter.  The gate-guards?  All armed with a pistol.  There was a sign or two, but you couldn't make that out (too small of font).

As the months and years went by, you got use to the gate procedure, and eventually one day....I stood close enough to the stupid signs to read them.  You actually need to be within eight feet to read the small font.  It basically says there's significant security on this military reservation, and either 'force' or 'deadly force' is then uttered.

It's hard to say if there's any difference between 'force' and 'deadly force'.  Either way, Airman Cindy has a pistol. 

After 9-11, all that 'deadly force' stuff ramped-up and the guards all started to hold M-16s and if you did something really were going to be shot dead.  Along the way, they installed the flip-barriers, which take around two seconds to come up enough to stop all vehicles.

So this 'accident' at Warner-Robins AFB, Georgia on Friday evening interests me.  Some car speeds through.....never showing an ID, and the SP guard hits the button for the barrier to pop-up. With the high speed of the car, and impact....two guys are immediately dead and the third will die at the hospital.  Oddly, all three lacked an ID, and two days after the one apparently knows the ID of the three.  Teenagers on the run?  Maybe, just a bit odd.

Failure to read that stupid sign business at the front-gate?  Well....maybe if they'd read the sign and realized that Airman Jimmy wouldn't hesitate to hit the button, or shoot-out the car, all three would be alive today.