ThereAreNoSunglasses

American Resistance To Empire

ISIS is NOT ‘Blowback’ from Western Foreign Policy; It is Western foreign policy

wahhabi

“THE ORIGIN OF ISIS”

ISIS is not ‘Blowback’ from Western Foreign Policy;

They ARE Western Foreign Policy

empire strikes black
By the Editor.

Notice that ISIS are sworn enemies of Syria, Hizbu’llah, and Iran. This in itself gives a most obvious clue as to the identity of the group’s benefactors.

A prevalent liberal cliché is the “blowback” theory – the theory that ISIS terror attacks, and indeed the group’s very existence, are somehow in retaliation to US/Western/”Israeli” foreign policy actions.

This is a disingenuous theory that is disseminated in order to keep the empire’s citizens on side. Crucially, it distracts from a key truth.

Western and “Israeli” intelligence has historically effected deep infiltration of ‘jihadist’ terror cells throughout the Arab world and the West; these groups are used literally as foot-soldiers (see Afghanistan throughout the 1980s) to achieve Western and “Israeli” military and strategic objectives. The “blowback” theory distracts from this key fact.

ISIS aren’t retaliating against Western foreign policy; they are Western foreign policy. These very people were mobilized against Muammar Gaddafi in Libya’s bogus ‘revolution’ of 2011, as with Syria in the same year.

In moving across the Syrian-Iraqi border, ISIS – Zionism’s foot-soldiers – underwent a magical media transformation into the ‘bad guys’. The ‘war against ISIS’ is a con, a total scam. It is a pretext for a war against the resistance axis: chiefly Syria, Hizbu’llah, Iran, and the Palestinian resistance. It is a pretext to kick the ‘Yinon plan’ – the plan to balkanise the Arab world to ensure “Israeli” hegemony – into high gear

The WMD lies of 2003 never went away; they simply got re-packaged for the liberal crowd in the post-Bush era.

The Yinon Plan, “Greater Israel”, Syria, Iraq, and ISIS: the Connection

TIMES OF POL

The Zionist Plan for the Middle East, also known as the Yinon Plan, is an Israeli strategic plan to ensure Israeli regional superiority. It insists and stipulates that Israel must reconfigure its geo-political environment through the balkanization of the surrounding Arab states into smaller and weaker states.

Reach of a "Greater Israel"

 “Greater Israel” consists in an area extending from the Nile Valley to the Euphrates.

When viewed in the current context, the war on Iraq, the 2006 war on Lebanon, the 2011 war on Libya, the ongoing war on Syria, not to mention the process of regime change in Egypt, must be understood in relation to the Zionist Plan for the Middle East. The latter consists in weakening and eventually fracturing neighboring Arab states as part of an Israeli expansionist project. (READ HERE)

 

Guantanamo and The Saudi Rehabilitation Program Behind AQAP–(Intentional, or Major Fowl-UP?)

The Eleven Saudi Guantanamo Veterans Returning to the Fight

THE ELEVEN

“Arguably, the most dangerous of the eleven Saudi Gitmo veterans currently on the run—Saeed al-Shehri and Mohammed al-Harbi—were cooperative, non-confrontational, and even charming during their interactions with ARB panel members in Guantanamo Bay. One cannot but appreciate the irony
of Mohammed al-Harbi—now thought to be in the midst of planning imminent terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia and in Yemen—making a “heartfelt” offer “to work for American authorities once he was back in Saudi Arabia.”356

356 “Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the Case of al Harbi, Mohamed Atiq Awayd.” Administrative Review Board (ARB) Round 2. U.S. Department of Defense; Office for the Administrative Review of the Detention of Enemy

 

THE ELEVEN al shehri

al jebairy al shehrial jebairy al shehri1

al faifyTHE ELEVEN al faify

al jutayli

al harbi 1al harbi 2

al hadrami

al shedoky1al shedoky2

al sayegh1al sayegh

ar rabeish

al assiri1al assiri

al ghamdi1al ghamdi

 

Al-Qaida in Arabian Peninsula=Guantanamo/Mossad, ISIS=Camp Bucca, Iraq

Embassy Bombing Trial Confirms “al Qaida” in Yemen Is Mossad

Batch 10

[SEE:  What Is the Truth About ISIS ]

How a group freed from Guantanamo returned to terror

By Peter Taylor
BBC News

The failed Detroit airliner bomb attack on Christmas Day awakened the world to the threat from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a group that until then was hardly a household name.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a young Nigerian who allegedly came within an ace of killing almost 300 passengers and crew with a bomb hidden in his underwear, said he had been trained and sent by its leaders.

US President Barack Obama’s embarrassment and anger at the potentially catastrophic failure of intelligence which allowed Mr Abdulmutallab to board the plane has been compounded by the revelation that two of AQAP’s founders, Said al-Shihri and Mohammed al-Awfi, were both former Guantanamo detainees.

Several AQAP foot soldiers are also former Guantanamo prisoners.

This only confirms the fears of critics vehemently opposed to Mr Obama’s promise to close the prison camp by the end of this month.

‘Deviant ideology’

In total, 120 Saudi detainees have been repatriated from Guantanamo.

Mr Obama’s dilemma is dramatically illustrated by a BBC investigation into what happened to the 14 detainees of Batch 10, who were flown home to Saudi Arabia just over two years ago.

FIND OUT MORE…
Peter Taylor’s film for Newsnight will be broadcast on Wednesday 13 January 2010 at 10.30pm on BBC Two
Or watch again on the BBC iPlayer
Peter Taylor’s new three part series Generation Jihad is coming soon to BBC Two

The Saudi government’s aim was to put them through its controversial de-radicalisation or Care programme, with a view to rehabilitating its “beneficiaries” in society.

Of the 120 Saudi returnees, 111 of them have gone through the Care programme – the other nine returned to the Kingdom before the scheme was set up.

The government claims a 90% success rate and says that only 10 of the former Guantanamo detainees absconded, crossing the border into Yemen.

But Batch 10 certainly does not fit this picture.

When the Saudi 747 jet carrying them landed in Riyadh, its passengers were greeted by the authorities not as heroes but as “victims” who had been brainwashed and misled by a deviant ideology.

All went through the Care programme, but five later escaped to Yemen.

Increasing threat

There two of them, al-Shihri and al-Awfi, helped set up AQAP and then took part in the organisation’s launch video.

The video was released on 22 January 2009, the day after Mr Obama announced that Guantanamo was to be closed down by 22 January 2010 – a deadline which will not be met.

In the video al-Awfi savagely attacked the Saudi rehabilitation programme, perhaps an indication of the increasing threat it poses to al-Qaeda.

It is no coincidence that last October an al-Qaeda suicide bomber, with explosives concealed in his rectum, tried to assassinate the eponymous founder of the centre, Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef, the Saudi deputy interior minister.

He survived. The bomber did not.

The attack was a sign of the technical sophistication of al-Qaeda’s Yemeni franchise, mirrored by the explosives hidden in Abdulmutallab’s underpants on Christmas Day.

Capitulation

Mohammed al-Awfi’s is an extraordinary story. He went through the rehabilitation programme like the others from Batch 10, but then fled to Yemen where he starred in the al-Qaeda launch video.

Astonishingly al-Awfi later re-crossed the border into Saudi Arabia and gave himself up.

Peter Taylor in Riyadh

Peter Taylor pictured in Riyadh, where he met Mohammed al-Awfi

I have never understood why he did so.

The Saudis told me it was because he had received a phone call from his wife telling him to return to look after her and the children.

The explanation caused me to raise a quizzical eyebrow. I was told it is not unknown for the Saudis to use families as bait.

Al-Awfi is now living in luxury accommodation in Riyadh’s top security prison where he is being drained of every scrap of intelligence.

He has all the comforts of home, a well furnished flat and regular visits by a grateful and relieved family.

After long negotiations with the Ministry of the Interior, I was finally allowed to meet him for an interview.

Surprisingly for a former jihadi who had breathed such fire in the al-Qaeda video, he was gentle and unthreatening, with pristine white robes, and a red and white checked Saudi keffiyeh.

His story and the reasons for his change of heart are well rehearsed.

Eighteen months earlier the interior ministry had video-taped the return of Batch 10.

In it one of the first returnees to be seen boarding the plane is al-Awfi.

He is dishevelled and appears to be in pain, the result, he told me, of being tortured by the Americans at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan six years earlier.

Al-Awfi claimed his US interrogators had done terrible things to him. He alleges they sat him on a chair, made a hole in the seat, and then “pulled out the testicles from underneath which they then hit with a metal rod”.

“They’d then tie up your penis and make you drink salty water in order to make you urinate without being able to do so, until they make you scream,” he added.

Painful memories

I spoke to other former detainees who allege they had been subjected to electric shock treatment at Bagram and Kandahar.

When I asked al-Awfi why the rehabilitation programme had not worked for him, he said it was because the memories of what he had suffered at the hands of Americans were far more powerful than any corrective inducements he had received in the Care programme.

I asked him about his participation in the video.

Now securely in Saudi hands and surrounded by Saudi minders, he told me he had been forced into it.

“The al-Qaeda leadership there put pressure on me to appear,” he said.

“I came and found a photocopied paper with a full text of what they wanted me to say. I even disagreed, but they said I had to recite all these things for political reasons.”

He says the recording took six hours and lasted until 0200 in the morning.

I then asked al-Awfi why he had decided to return after making the video.

“I saw the truth,” he said. “I saw that the path was a deviant path away from the sayings of the Prophet. Thanks to God Almighty’s generosity, I realised that and I made a final decision to return to Saudi Arabia.”

I personally suspect there was much more to it than that though.

But al-Awfi is alive, unlike another former detainee from Batch 10, Youssef Al-Shihri, who also joined al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Last October he crossed the border from Yemen into Saudi Arabia disguised in a burqa, with six others from Yemen to carry out a bomb attack.

The cell was intercepted by the Saudi security forces. Al-Shihri and another member of the cell were shot dead in the ensuing gun battle. Three loaded explosive belts were found in their car.

Bigger threats

Two others returnees from Batch 10 – Murtadha Ali Saeed Magram and Turki Meshawi Zayid al-Assiri – are still at large in Yemen and on the Saudi wanted list.

And what of Said al-Shihri who was on the same flight as al-Awfi and who later appeared with him in the al-Qaeda video?

Al-Shihri now represents the biggest threat of all as he is believed to be second in command – the deputy leader – of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

In the video he declared “our imprisonment has only increased our persistence”.

What happened in the skies above Detroit on Christmas Day is an indication of that.

Exec. Order for U.S. Department of Hasbara

[SEE: A Guide To HASBARA TROLLS ]

white house

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Executive Order 13584 –Developing an Integrated Strategic Counterterrorism Communications Initiative

EXECUTIVE ORDER

DEVELOPING AN INTEGRATED STRATEGIC COUNTERTERRORISM COMMUNICATIONS INITIATIVE AND ESTABLISHING A TEMPORARY ORGANIZATION TO SUPPORT CERTAIN GOVERNMENT-WIDE COMMUNICATIONS ACTIVITIES DIRECTED ABROAD

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 2656 of title 22, United States Code, and section 3161 of title 5, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. The United States is committed to actively countering the actions and ideologies of al-Qa’ida, its affiliates and adherents, other terrorist organizations, and violent extremists overseas that threaten the interests and national security of the United States. These efforts take many forms, but all contain a communications element and some use of communications strategies directed to audiences outside the United States to counter the ideology and activities of such organizations. These communications strategies focus not only on the violent actions and human costs of terrorism, but also on narratives that can positively influence those who may be susceptible to radicalization and recruitment by terrorist organizations.

The purpose of this Executive Order is to reinforce, integrate, and complement public communications efforts across the executive branch that are (1) focused on countering the actions and ideology of al-Qa’ida, its affiliates and adherents, and other international terrorist organizations and violent extremists overseas, and (2) directed to audiences outside the United States. This collaborative work among executive departments and agencies (agencies) brings together expertise, capabilities, and resources to realize efficiencies and better coordination of U.S. Government communications investments to combat terrorism and extremism.

Sec. 2. Assigned Responsibilities to the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications.

(a) Under the direction of the Secretary of State (Secretary), the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (Center) that has been established in the Department of State by the Secretary shall coordinate, orient, and inform Government-wide public communications activities directed at audiences abroad and targeted against violent extremists and terrorist organizations, especially al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents, with the goal of using communication tools to reduce radicalization by terrorists and extremist violence and terrorism that threaten the interests and national security of the United States. Consistent with section 404o of title 50, United States Code, the Center shall coordinate its analysis, evaluation, and planning functions with the National Counterterrorism Center. The Center shall also coordinate these functions with other agencies, as appropriate.

Executive branch efforts undertaken through the Center shall draw on all agencies with relevant information or capabilities, to  prepare, plan for, and conduct these communications efforts.

(b) To achieve these objectives, the Center’s functions shall include:

(i) monitoring and evaluating narratives (overarching communication themes that reflect a community’s identity, experiences, aspirations, and concerns) and events abroad that are relevant to the development of a U.S. strategic counterterrorism narrative designed to counter violent extremism and terrorism that threaten the interests and national security of the United States;

(ii) developing and promulgating for use throughout the executive branch the U.S. strategic counterterrorism narratives and public communications strategies to counter the messaging of violent extremists and terrorist organizations, especially al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents;

(iii) identifying current and emerging trends in extremist communications and communications by al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents in order to coordinate and provide thematic guidance to U.S. Government communicators on how best to proactively promote the U.S. strategic counterterrorism narrative and policies and to respond to and rebut extremist messaging and narratives when communicating to audiences outside the United States, as informed by a wide variety of Government and non-government sources, including nongovernmental organizations, academic sources, and finished intelligence created by the intelligence community;

(iv) facilitating the use of a wide range of communications technologies, including digital tools, by sharing expertise among agencies, seeking expertise from external sources, and extending best practices;

(v) identifying and requesting relevant information from agencies, including intelligence reporting, data, and analysis; and

(vi) identifying shortfalls in U.S. capabilities in any areas relevant to the Center’s mission and recommending necessary enhancements or changes.

(c) The Secretary shall establish a Steering Committee composed of senior representatives of agencies relevant to the Center’s mission to provide advice to the Secretary on the  operations and strategic orientation of the Center and to ensure adequate support for the Center. The Steering Committee shall meet not less than every 6 months. The Steering Committee shall be chaired by the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy. The Coordinator for Counterterrorism of the Department of State shall serve as Vice Chair. The Coordinator of the Center shall serve as Executive Secretary. The Steering Committee shall include one senior representative designated by the head of each of the following agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Treasury, the National Counterterrorism Center, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Counterterrorism Center of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Broadcast Board of Governors, and the Agency for International Development. Other agencies may be invited to participate in the Steering Committee at the discretion of the Chair.

Sec. 3. Establishment of a Temporary Organization.

(a) There is established within the Department of State, in accordance with section 3161 of title 5, United States Code, a temporary organization to be known as the Counterterrorism Communications Support Office (CCSO).

(b) The purpose of the CCSO shall be to perform the specific project of supporting agencies in Government-wide public communications activities targeted against violent extremism and terrorist organizations, especially al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents, to audiences abroad by using communication tools designed to counter violent extremism and terrorism that threaten the interests and national security of the United States.

(c) In carrying out its purpose set forth in subsection (b) of this section, the CCSO shall:

(i) support agencies in their implementation of whole-of-government public communications activities directed at audiences abroad, including by providing baseline research on characteristics of these audiences, by developing expertise and studies on aspirations, narratives, information strategies and tactics of violent extremists and terrorist organizations overseas, by designing and developing sustained campaigns on specific areas of interest to audiences abroad, and by developing expertise on implementing highly focused social media campaigns; and

(ii) perform such other functions related to the specific project set forth in subsection (b) of this section as the Secretary may assign.

(d) The CCSO shall be headed by a Director selected by the Secretary, with the advice of the Steering Committee. Its staff may include, as determined by the Secretary: (1) personnel with relevant expertise detailed on a non-reimbursable basis from other agencies; (2) senior and other technical advisers; and (3) such other personnel as the Secretary may direct to support the CCSO. To accomplish this mission, the heads of agencies participating on the Steering Committee shall provide to the CCSO, on a non-reimbursable basis, assistance, services, and other support including but not limited to logistical and administrative support and details of personnel. Non-reimbursable details shall be based on reasonable requests from the Secretary in light of the need for specific expertise, and after consultation with the relevant agency, to the extent permitted by law.

(e) The CCSO shall terminate at the end of the maximum period permitted by section 3161(a)(1) of title 5, United States Code, unless sooner terminated by the Secretary consistent with section 3161(a)(2) of such title.

Sec. 4. General Provisions.

(a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) authority granted by law to an agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,
September 9, 2011.

Turkey Asks Interpol To Arrest Fethullah Gulen for Supporting Zaman News, a.k.a., “Armed Terrorist Group”

Turkey issues arrest warrant for Erdoğan rival Fethullah Gülen

guardian

Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen The warrant marks an escalation in the battle between Erdogan and Gülen whose movement has millions of followers worldwide. Photograph: Stringer/Turkey/Reuters

 

Constanze Letsch

 

A Turkish court has issued an arrest warrant for the US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, a former ally of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who has since become a fierce critic.

In his request for the warrant, Istanbul public prosecutor Hasan Yilmaz accused Gülen of leading a criminal organisation. According to Turkish media reports, the charges include operating an armed terror group, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison. Yilmaz said that “sufficient tangible evidence showing that Gülen committed a crime was collected during the investigation”.

Turkish authorities are now able to apply to Washington for extradition of the elderly cleric, though such a request is likely to put strained relations with Turkey’s Nato ally under further pressure.

Following a string of orchestrated raids on media outlets with ties to the cleric last Sunday, the warrant marks another escalation in the battle between Erdoğan and Gülen, whose movement, also known as Hizmet, has millions of followers worldwide.

Erdoğan has accused his foe of establishing a “parallel structure” within the state by placing his followers in institutions such as the judiciary and the police, and of exerting strong influence through his media empire. Gülen denies any intent to overthrow Erdoğan or the Turkish government.

The European Union has strongly condemned the raids, which Erdoğan defended as a necessary response to “dirty operations” against the Turkish government.

Speaking at the opening of an extension to an oil refinery near Istanbul, Erdoğan told his EU critics to mind their own business: “We have no concern about what the EU might say, whether the EU accepts us as members or not, we have no such concern. Please keep your wisdom to yourself,” he said.
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EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn described the police operation as “not really an invitation to move further forward” with Turkey. The US State Department has also expressed concern, urging Turkish authorities “to ensure their actions do not violate [the] core values [media freedom, due process, and judicial independence]”.

On Friday, a Turkish court also kept a media executive and three other people detained during Sunday’s raids in custody pending trial, all of them on charges of being members of a terrorist group.

Hidayet Karaca is the head of the Samanyolu Broadcasting Group, a media organisation known to have close ties to the Gülen movement. Ekrem Dumanli, editor-in-chief of the Zaman newspaper also linked to Gülen, was released pending trial, but forbidden from travelling abroad before the completion of the criminal investigation.

Human rights groups criticised the court’s decision. “Human Rights Watch is concerned at today’s court decision to place journalist and Samanyolu broadcasting group head, Hidayet Karaca, in pre-trial detention,” said Emma Sinclair-Webb, HRW’s senior Turkey researcher. “Pre-trial detention should be the exception, and keeping journalists in custody on dubious terrorism charges without clear justification harms media freedom and is likely to further dent Turkey’s international reputation.”

The power and influence of the elderly cleric and his far-reaching network have long been a defining issue of Turkish politics. The domination of Erdoğan’s AKP in Turkey was aided by his alliance with Gülen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1998. Those who dared to speak up and criticise the Gülen movement were swiftly punished, often through dubious court cases and on fabricated charges.

The relationship between the two turned sour after a corruption scandal in December last year that implicated the government, Erdoğan’s closest associates and his family. Maintaining that the sleaze allegations were unfounded and part of a coup attempt led by Gülen, Erdoğan purged the police of thousands of officers, transferred prosecutors linked to the investigation and tightened control over the judiciary. Prosecutors dropped the corruption charges this year.

Erdoğan said that both the operations and the purges of state institutions would continue, and added that the judiciary and some others, including the state scientific agency Tubitak, must yet be “cleansed of all traitors”.

Censorship Through Search-Engine Tampering

[In case anyone hasn’t noticed, or hasn’t been paying attention, Google’s infamous “secret algorithm” has been squeezing most blogs out of search results.  Even blogs which are treasure troves of information on the Imperial war on humanity, such as No Sunglasses, can no longer be found by “stumbling-upon” them in concerted searches on specific topics, using Google searches.  Prior to Google’s previous reworking of its search algorithm, called “Panda” (SEE:  Getting Squeezed-Out of Google Searches With the Panda Logarithm), which devastated the Alexa Ratings Index for this website and others like it,

snapshot no sun  Dec. 3, 2014

This site lost over 100,000 points in the Alexa system, because readership is down that much, 400+ daily visitors difference.  Before, “therearenosunglasses” nearly always came up in most web searches, pertaining to the American dictatorship or resistance to it.  Now, after the new algorithm rework, we are faced with Google’s next generation search barricade, called “Hummingbird” (SEE: Hummingbird Unleashed), which has flat-lined most of us.  The proof of Hummingbird censorship has been summed-up in this article from aangirfan, “TRUTH BLOGS UNDER ATTACK.”  It is impossible at this stage of the game to determine whether this can all be written-off to more of the same govt/corporate censorship of truth-tellers (a.k.a., “conspiracy theorists”), or it can be partially explained by the move to hand-held computers and the tendency to turn everything into another “APP” (SEE: Lets talk about Hummingbird—Parts 1 and 2)]

peter.chamberlin@hotmail.com

 

google-chains

US Counter-Insurgency (COIN) Abysmal Failure…But We Still Follow It

COIN Is a Proven Failure

the American Conservative

America risks shoveling more troops into Iraq to replicate a strategy that never worked in the first place.

In late October MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow asked retired Army Lt. Col. John Nagl to give viewers a deeper understanding of the fight between the Islamic State (ISIS) and Kurdish fighters around Kobane. Widely credited with “writing the book” on successful counterinsurgency (COIN) operations, Mr. Nagl said, “we’ve got 1,500 guys on the ground, but they’re not as far forward as they need to be to make a real, immediate impact on the battlefield.” He and a number of COIN experts argue that along with 15,000 U.S. ground troops, Iraqi, Kurdish, and Syrian rebel soldiers can defeat ISIS. Before making any decisions, American leaders should first consider this: despite what is often claimed by a host of advocates, the COIN theories upon which these recommendations are based were in fact demonstrable failures in both Afghanistan and Iraq. We must not sacrifice any more American lives and harm American interests any further by acting on theories that are likely to fail again.

It has been taken as an “obvious truth” by many Americans and major media outlets that the counterinsurgency strategy brought to Iraq by former general David Petraeus in 2007 turned a near-certain defeat into an historic victory. There were two key fundamentals from which many believe victory sprang. The first was that American troops needed to leave U.S. bases and “live in the neighborhoods” with Iraqi citizens, the second that a surge of troops would give Baghdad “breathing space” to form an inclusive government. Instead of leading to success, however, these twin pillars may have contributed to the failure.

In a study published earlier this year by the National Defense University, authors Sterling Jensen and former Iraqi general Najim al-Jabouri wrote this of the Americans’ effectiveness in Anbar province cities: “[t]he surge did not have a role in the Anbar Awakening. Surge troops that came to Anbar in 2007 were not seen as useful… In fact, U.S. troops in general were not seen as useful even before the surge…”

But the authors’ possibly most pointed finding was that the causal factor behind the eventual drop in violence had little to do with either the increase in U.S. troops or the new strategy: “If not for al Qaeda’s murder and intimidation campaign on Sunnis, and its tactic of creating a sectarian war, the Anbar Awakening—a fundamental factor in the success of the 2007 surge—most probably would not have occurred, and it would have been difficult for the United States in 2006 to convince Sunnis to partner with them in a fight against al Qaeda…”

The Sunni-initiated Anbar Awakening, followed by the Petraeus-led “Sons of Iraq” program, resulted in a dramatic drop in violence. The breathing space purchased with considerable American blood was intended to facilitate the development of Iraqi democracy. Kelley Vlahos, contributing editor for The American Conservative, recently wrote, “in hindsight, the only meaningful space created was for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki” to use America to rid him of political enemies, not the least of which were many Iraqi Sunni leaders and groups.

Maliki’s oppressive rule, which alienated much of the Sunni population in the Western part of the country, was a key factor in the rise of ISIS; his penchant to dismiss Sunni officers and pack the senior ranks of the Iraqi Security Force (ISF) with inexperienced political patrons played a major role in the disintegration of the ISF when the Islamic State began its offensive.

I served in Iraq as a military trainer in 2009, and have twice deployed to Afghanistan (2005, 2010-11). Between my 2009 Iraq deployment and the last Afghanistan deployment—at the height of that surge—I traveled over 14,000 miles throughout both countries, going on mounted and dismounted patrols, with U.S., allied, Iraqi, and Afghan troops, and led a team to train an Iraqi border battalion. I can conclusively state that outside the wire, the counterinsurgency theories were an unqualified failure at the strategic level. The populations were never protected in either country. The insurgent forces were never fully defeated in either country—and are stronger now than they have been at any time since 9/11. The Afghan and Iraqi governments remain the third and seventh most corrupt governments in the world, and do not have the support of their people. The armed forces for both countries, despite the decade-long effort and tens of billions of dollars that the U.S. spent training them, are virtually incapable of conducting even basic security.

It is incomprehensible that with such an extensive, publicly available record of failure—which cost the United States $2 trillion in direct outlays, 6,842 U.S. troops killed and 52,281 wounded in action—that the designers of this failed concept are given any credibility. The conclusive evidence of the failure is on graphic display right now, in both countries: after six full years and tens of billions spent, the U.S.-trained Iraqi army melted away before a few thousand irregular fighters; after the U.S. pulled out of Helmand province in Afghanistan, the Afghan National Security Forces were incapable of preventing an immediate return of the Taliban.

As the president’s national security team continues to develop a new strategy to deal with ISIS—and now also searches for a new secretary of defense—it is more important than ever to make a no-holds-barred analysis of the past decade of combat experience before settling on a new strategy. No matter how many U.S. boots might be placed on the ground in Iraq or Syria in this current environment, they would not be able to accomplish the president’s previously stated objectives. All the additional causalities we would suffer would be in vain.

We must not send any more Americans into the morass of Iraq and Syria with as little concern as one might show shoveling coal into a furnace. They deserve better than to be asked to risk their lives to conduct a no-win tactical mission.

The opinion expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not represent the views of the Department of Defense or U.S. Army.

Daniel L. Davis is a Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army stationed in the Washington, D.C. area. He has been deployed into combat zones four times, winning the Bronze Star Medal for Valor in Desert Storm.

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