PressTV Watch #2

Welcome to PressTV Watch.

Something I found interesting today was the follow up by PressTV of the UK’s Gen Sir David Richards recent comments that the West could not beat Al Qaeda.

There piece seen here has one juicy non-West morsel embedded in it.

The UK Army chief repeatedly uses words such as “Islamism” or “Islamic militancy” in spite of the fact that he is well aware that al-Qaeda and Taliban have been taught with the extremist wahhabi schools of thought.
Wahhabism, itself, has its roots in Saudi Arabia which is the UK’s closest ally in the Middle East region.

I find this juicy for a couple of reasons.

#1 the credible assault on the US/UK /Saudi Arabia relationship. This is an excellent dig at the West that has credible traction with many elements within our society. It is also a snub of the nose at the Saudis themselves who the Iranians loathe.

#2 the virtual shoe thrown at the Saudis as being perfect examples of sub-standard Muslims. This has the added umph seeing as hands down Wahhabism is an international pain in the ass to say the least. The charge gives the Iranians a position of superiority on many fronts,even as they funnel money and weapons to Hezbollah and threaten to overturn the value of international efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan as they exert their regional bravado. These guys are freakin’ good at the Game.

Related?

The Telegraph interview here

A recent Fray: Can we beat Al Qaeda

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10 Comments

  1. Hucking Fypocrites says:

    “These guys are freakin’ good at the Game.”

    Yes they are. And they are kicking the living shit out of us at it. It doesn’t help that we have a leader who makes it easy for them.

  2. *chuckles*
    Alfie, I didn’t comment on the other thread (Can we beat AQ?) Too any extent because? Well, who the hell there commented that had any real sense or experience in counter insurgency?

    This, to your credit ties into that thread directly. It involves “Moral Authority” and several other things as well.

    When I taught at SOTA, I made it a point to cover this in depth. Define “Victory.” Insurgencies can, and have been smashed. Yet? When there are indeed “true believers?” It will really never end. Example; Britain claims that there is a peace in Ireland. The IRA now negotiates in good faith with the Brits… Yet, there are still bards collecting money all across America to purchase weapons for continuing the “good fight.”

    We are sleeping with Mata Hari, period. The Sauds themselves may not be Wahbbi’s. But the nation / Kingdom that they rule is.

    I personally wouldn’t give a damn if some stray MX was deposited there. Then perhaps we would be free to exploit our own energy resources without home grown complications.

  3. Hucking Fypocrites says:

    “Well, who the hell there commented that had any real sense or experience in counter insurgency?”

    A COIN specialist and a scholar of rebellions and Islamist guerrilla movements among others.

    Why don’t you join the discussion and tell us where we are wrong?

  4. And just who might that be HF? BTW, I don’t get into a lot of these types of conversations because then the bad guys get an even better handle on the how’s and why’s of our operations. Otherwise known as operational security. As any real Counter Intelligence Specialist would know…

  5. Alfie says:

    Patrick the post looked at a news story and found a relative with this post. Unfortunately we are seemingly willing to do our people in theater a grave disservice and continue to tie their hands and zip their bags.That’s where I was/am coming from when I look at stories like these.
    On a personal note:My military training focused on either the Soviets or Latin American guerrillas. I may be off base but I think the dynamics our folks are dealing with today is in a whole different ballpark.

  6. Hucking Fypocrites says:

    Gorilla is the COIN specialist and I am the scholar.

    And since there have been countless books already written on the subject, I think we are safe in discussing our CT/COIN efforts against AQ here. Plus I highly doubt any jihadis are reading IntoTheFray….

    My position is that AQ is too globalized and too much a franchise brand name to ever be defeated in the traditional sense of the term. I suspect by your post above that you would more agree than disagree with that assessment. Am I correct?

  7. an800lbgorilla says:

    Re- Pat #2

    When I taught at SOTA, I made it a point to cover this in depth. Define “Victory.” Insurgencies can, and have been smashed. Yet? When there are indeed “true believers?” It will really never end. Example; Britain claims that there is a peace in Ireland. The IRA now negotiates in good faith with the Brits… Yet, there are still bards collecting money all across America to purchase weapons for continuing the “good fight.”” Pattrick Sperry

    SOTA?

    The Good…
    Define Victory. Absolutely, it is hard to go somewhere if you don’t know where there is. More importantly, even if you don’t know what victory looks like, I’d appreciate you (generically speaking) would fake the funk. The fact that Obama refuses to say the word victory is disturbing at best and at worst, counterproductive.

    Iraq, for all of its failures, had a vision of victory, and while that took us some time to get towards- relatively speaking- because we knew what we were looking for, we could eventually make that happen.

    Afghanistan, well, this has been an evolution in strategic goals if there ever was one. It has transitioned from one great big CT op, into a state sanctioned coup, and then into a nation building exercise- all without a stated definition of victory.

    The Bad…
    Never ending. I find defeatist comments of never ending warfare, well, unhelpful. Everything ends, it just depends on the conditions. You bring up the IRA, well, it isn’t the IRA making thecase for the good fight right now, and they sure as hell won’t be making that case once they’re forced to take the British bailout for their government. We’ll never change everyone’s mind. Of course, that’s not the point. The point is to establish a set of conditions that make insurgent positions untenable, if not outright undesirable.

    The Ugly…
    How. I am a proponent of effects-based warfare. It was a very effective model for me and I had significant success with it in Northern Iraq. Its downside, if one must call it that, is the heavy focus required for second and third order effects, which require enemy anticipation/reaction in the planning process. That is hard in that it requires a significant amount of understanding and knowledge of the enemy. What’s worse, it also requires the same from your allies, which we take for granted are similar to our own goals, but usually are not; enter stage left, Hamid Kharzai…

  8. Alfie says:

    Gorilla given my training from back in the day I always remember a paraphrase of an Afghan proverb or something like that. It was something along the lines of:

    Me and my brother against my cousin.Me,my brother and my cousin against all others.

    Have you ever heard anything along those lines and would you agree that it is starting to apply to us as much as it did the Soviets?

  9. an800lbgorilla says:

    Its actually Arab, and yeah, I’ve heard it.

    Afghanistan has to find a way to stop its devolution. Until that happens, well, there is little hope.

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