American Resistance To Empire

RAND Corp. Study Reveals US Military Mission In Africa A Near Total Failure

[SEE: Reporting Heavy Casualties Is Revealing Massive Failure–US ARMY Consistently Fails To Train Proxy Forces Adequately]


US air raid in Somalia kills 18 al-Shabab fighters
Deadly drone attack carried out after US and local forces on the ground came under attack.

Kenya an exception to failure of US military aid in Africa, study finds


Recce Squad members called in to flush an armed thug out of a house in Muthaiga, Nairobi in 2014. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP NATION


In Summary

  • Assessment shows US military aid to African countries appears to have actually worsened conflicts during the Cold War era.
  • Kenya is cited as a seemingly rare example of an African country whose security forces have performed more effectively as a result of US assistance.
  • Study says GSU performed more competently than other units responding to the Westgate Mall attack in 2013.

Advertisement By KEVIN J. KELLEY,  NEW YORK,

US assistance to security forces in African countries has failed to quell political violence on the part of insurgents or terrorists, a think tank has concluded in pair of new studies.

The analyses conducted for the US Defence Department and the US Africa Command reveals that multi-billion-dollar efforts during the past 25 years to train national security forces in Africa have been “highly inefficient.”

During the Cold War era, US military aid to African countries appears to have actually worsened conflicts, the assessment adds.

But when provided in conjunction with United Nations peacekeeping operations, US military aid “has had a significant impact on the incidence of political violence,” adds the assessment carried out by the California-based Rand Corporation.


The studies do not examine specific conflicts, but Kenya is cited in one of the analyses as a seemingly rare example of an African country whose security forces have performed more effectively as a result of US assistance.

“The Kenyan security units that have worked closest with US officials have demonstrated their capacity for counterterrorism, including in challenging contexts,” this evaluation finds. Kenyan troops that received US training “performed well in Amisom operations — for example, successfully retaking territory from Al-Shabaab,” the Rand study team adds.

In addition to supporting KDF contingents deployed in Somalia, the US has focused on enhancing the capacity of Kenyan police, including through the creation of specialised anti-terrorism units, this country-specific report notes.


US assistance has also been directed to institutional police reforms following the 2007-2008 “outbreak of communal violence in which the police were heavily implicated,” the study says.

“Similarly,” the study adds, “the elite paramilitary police General Services Unit, which has received substantial US support, performed more competently than other units responding to the Westgate Mall attack in 2013, although the overall security forces’ response was plagued by ‘significant shortcomings’.”

Kenyan police forces became “less politicised and more professional” due in part to US assistance from 2008 to 2013, “resulting in better performance in the 2013 elections,” the Rand assessment states.

“Also, some evidence suggests that, following US training, the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit is carrying out fewer extrajudicial killings, collecting better evidence, and making more arrests than in the past.”


The study acknowledges, however, that there are continuing reports of human rights abuses by this and other Kenyan security units.

Moreover, the country’s current leadership “appears to be backsliding on some of the reforms made since 2008.”

Stephen Watts, an author of both Rand studies, tempered the positive appraisal of KDF operations in Somalia following a query from the Nation.

An email message to Mr Watts pointed to UN reports of KDF responsibility for the deaths of several Somali civilians.

The message also recalled findings by UN experts in 2016 that some KDF troops stationed in or near Kismayo were collaborating with Al-Shabaab in circumventing the international embargo on charcoal exports from Somalia.

“We should have been a little more precise in the wording of our judgment of Kenya’s performance in Somalia,” Mr Watts replied.

“We were arguing that there is evidence to suggest that Kenyan forces demonstrated improvements in their operational capabilities, and some of the units that seemed particularly capable were those that cooperated most closely with US trainers and advisers.”

Reporting Heavy Casualties Is Revealing Massive Failure–US ARMY Consistently Fails To Train Proxy Forces Adequately

A Brilliant Pentagon Plan for Spreading Perpetual “Persistent War” Looks Just Like A “Failed” Terror War

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

The Abject Failure of American Military Leadership and America’s Unwinnable Wars

A Brilliant Pentagon Plan for Spreading Perpetual “Persistent War” Looks Just Like A “Failed” Terror War

The Army and Special Forces: The Fantasy Continues

A member of the Afghan National Army training with United States Army soldiers in Helmand Province in 2016. The Afghan government keeps casualty rates among its security forces a secret, along with information on attrition and recruitment.CreditCreditAdam Ferguson for The New York Times

By Rod Nordland


PUL-I-KUMRI, Afghanistan — Taliban insurgents killed so many Afghan security forces in 2016, an average of 22 a day, that by the following year the Afghan and American governments decided to keep battlefield death tolls secret.

It’s much worse now. The daily fatalities among Afghan soldiers and policemen were more than double that last week: roughly 57 a day.

Seventeen years after the United States went to war in Afghanistan, the Taliban is gaining momentum, seizing territory, and killing Afghan security forces in record numbers.

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Last week was especially bad, with more than 400 killed, according to an account by diplomats. But even the average numbers in recent months — from 30 to 40 a day, according to senior Afghan officials — represent a substantial upswing from two years ago and appear unsustainable in a country that has been shattered by decades of war.

Relatives mourning in Baghlan Province last month next to the coffins of police officers who were killed in a Taliban attack.CreditReuters

The growing losses have made recruiting fresh soldiers more important than ever, but also harder than ever. Most days at the Afghan Army’s recruitment center in Helmand, the southern province that has seen the war’s worst fighting, there are only two or three applicants, said Abdul Qudous, the center’s head.

“Sometimes we don’t see any recruits for weeks,” he said. “People don’t want to join the army any more because the casualties are too high.”

This is not just a matter of lives lost, which reverberate through families already traumatized by decades of war. It is also a sign that the stalemate between the Taliban and government forces is tipping in the insurgents’ favor. Throughout this year, the Taliban have owned the initiative against government forces who have been spread thin and rooted to the defensive. The security forces have repeatedly had to call on the small American contingent here — and its considerable air power — to rescue them from trouble.

In a war of attrition, the momentum is all with the Taliban, who seem to have no trouble replenishing their forces.

Moment Iranian Army Parade In Ahvaz Is Attacked By Terrorists

DISTURBING: Moment Iranian Army parade is attacked by gunmen

WATCH moment Iranian Army parade is attacked by gunmen
Dramatic footage made on the spot shows the moment assailants opened fire at troops participating in an Iranian Army parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz.

The video emerged shortly after the attack took place. A trembling camera records soldiers lying on the ground while multiple gunshots are heard in the background. Several seconds into the footage, troops wearing body armor and carrying assault rifles are seen crawling through the area.

Warning! Footage contains scenes you may find disturbing.

Tunisian Def. Min. Rejects US Claims About Secret Base In Tunisia

Controversy over US drones in Tunisia

<img src= alt=”” class=”ratio-16×9-height cell-news”>
Ferhat Horchani, ministre tunisien de la Défense, à Tunis, le 31 août 2016. Ferhat Horchani, Tunisian Minister of Defense, Tunis, August 31, 2016.

Russia rejected the report of the Israeli delegation on the plane dropped

[Report: Russia rejects Israeli findings on downed aircraft ]

Information for the fields: Russia rejected the report of the Israeli delegation on the plane dropped 

معلومات لمراسل الميادين تفيد بأنّ موسكو رفضت التقرير الذي قدمه الوفد العسكري الإسرائيلي حول إسقاط الطائرة “إيل 20″، والذي يحمّل الطرفين الروسي والسوري مسؤولية إسقاط الطائرة. Information to the correspondent of the fields that Moscow rejected the report submitted by the Israeli military delegation on the downing of the plane “El 20”, which holds the Russian and Syrian parties responsible for dropping the plane.

The Russian military leadership did not comment on the results of the Israeli delegation's visit

القيادة العسكرية الروسية لم تعلق على نتائج زيارة الوفد الإسرائيلي The Russian military leadership did not comment on the results of the Israeli delegation’s visit

أفادت معلومات لمراسل الميادين في موسكو بأنّ روسيا رفضت التقرير الذي قدمه الوفد العسكري الإسرائيلي حول إسقاط الطائرة “إيل 20”. According to information from the Moscow correspondent in Moscow, Russia rejected the report presented by the Israeli military delegation about the downing of the El-20 plane.
وأشارت الملعومات إلى أنّ روسيا طالبت تل أبيب بإجراء تحقيق جديد حول إسقاط الطائرة. Russia has demanded that Tel Aviv conduct a new investigation into the downing of the plane.
ووفقاً لهذه المعلومات فإنّ التقرير الإسرائيلي يحمّل الطرفين الروسي والسوري مسؤولية إسقاط الطائرة، ويشير إلى أوامر خاطئة أصدرها الروس ما أدى إلى تعرض الطائرة للنيران السورية. According to this information, the Israeli report holds the Russian and Syrian parties responsible for dropping the plane, and refers to the wrong orders issued by the Russians, which led to the exposure of the aircraft to the Syrian fire.
وذكرت معلومات مراسل الميادين أنّ التقرير يقول إن الطائرة كانت تتجسس على الفرقاطة الفرنسية اوفيرن قبل أن تغير وجهتها جنوبا. The report says the plane was spying on the French frigate Overne before changing its destination south.

لم تنطلِ على الروس الحيلةُ الإسرائيلية التي أرادت تل أبيب من خلالها تلبيس الجانب السوري التهمة بإسقاط طائرة الاستطلاع “إيل 20”. The Russians did not think of the Israeli trick that Tel Aviv wanted through which the Syrian side was accused of shooting down the El-20 reconnaissance plane. القيادة العسكرية الروسية لم تعلق على نتائج زيارة قائد سلاح الطيران الإسرائيلي عاميكام نوركين والوفد المرافق له إلى موسكو ما يعني أنها ظلت متمسكة بموقفها ومفاده أن الطيارين الإسرائيليين يتحملون كامل المسؤولية عن نكبة “ايل 20” ومصرع من كان على متنها. The Russian military leadership did not comment on the results of the visit of the commander of the Israeli Air Force Amikam Norkin and his delegation to Moscow, which means that it remained steadfast in its position that the Israeli pilots bear full responsibility for the disaster of “Il 20” and the death of those on board. وما يدعم هذا الموقف أن الرئيس فلاديمير بوتين لم يبدِ نية في لقاء العسكريين الإسرائيليين الذين كان يفترض أن ينقلوا له التعازي بالمصاب. What supports this position is that President Vladimir Putin did not show any intention to meet with the Israeli soldiers who were supposed to convey his condolences to the wounded. الخارجية الروسية هي الأخرى لم تفوت الفرصة لتؤكد مجدداً اتهامها (لإسرائيل) بالمسؤولية عن الحادثة. The Russian Foreign Ministry also did not miss the opportunity to reiterate its accusation (of Israel) of responsibility for the incident. وكما قالت المتحدة باسم الدبلوماسية الروسية ماريا زاخاروفا فإنه “من العار الاختباء وراء ظهور أولئك الذين يوفرون الأمن للجميع، بمن فيهم الإسرائيليين، وبأدائهم هذا الواجب لا يستطيعون الحيود عن الرصاصة التي لم تطلق عليهم”. As the United Nations said on behalf of Russian diplomat Maria Zakharova, “It is a shame to hide behind the appearance of those who provide security for all, including the Israelis, and in doing so they can not break away from the bullet that has not been fired at them.”
أما الإسرائيليون فقد أصدروا بياناً مقتضباً بعد مغادرتهم موسكو قالوا فيه إنهم قدموا تقريراً مفصلاً حول روايتهم لملابسات الحادثة، وأن الجانبين أكدا ضرورة الحفاظ على آلية تفادي الاشتباك في سوريا. The Israelis issued a brief statement after leaving Moscow saying that they provided a detailed report on their account of the circumstances of the incident, and both sides stressed the need to maintain the mechanism of avoiding engagement in Syria. وكالعادة تحدثوا عن الخطر الإيراني ونقل أسلحة استراتيجية إلى “حزب الله” – أسطوانة مشروخة لم تعد تقنع الروس. As usual, they talked about the Iranian threat and the transfer of strategic weapons to Hezbollah – a broken cylinder that no longer convinces the Russians. ولعل تكذيب الأمين العام لـ”حزب الله” السيد حسن نصر اللّه للادعاءات التي تذرع بها الإسرائيليون في عدوانهم على اللاذقية وضع الأمور في نصابها الصحيح الذي ينسجم مع ردة الفعل الروسية على إسقاط طائرتهم. The denial of the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Mr. Hassan Nasrallah, to the allegations made by the Israelis in their aggression against Latakia put things in perspective, which is consistent with the Russian reaction to the downing of their aircraft. وردة الفعل هذه غير مسبوقة! This reaction is unprecedented! الكل في روسيا أدانوا بصوت واحد التورط الإسرائيلي في الحادثة. All in Russia condemned in one voice the Israeli involvement in the incident. حتى بعض الإعلام الروسي المعروف بميوله (لإسرائيل) وجد نفسه محرجاً ولم يكن بوسعه تجاهل الأمر. Even some well-known Russian media (of Israel) found himself embarrassed and could not ignore it. بدا المشهد الإعلامي في روسيا وكأن الجميع تلقوا تعليمات مباشرة “من فوق” لإدانة التصرف الإسرائيلي، أو أضعف الإيمان انتقاده. The media scene in Russia seemed as if everyone had received direct instructions “from above” to condemn Israeli behavior, or the weakest faith to criticize.
في هذه الأجواء جرت زيارة العسكريين الإسرائيليين إلى موسكو، زيارة لم تحظ بتغطية إعلامية روسية. In this atmosphere, the Israeli military visited Moscow, a visit that did not receive Russian media coverage.
فهل نشهد تحولاً في تعامل روسيا سياسياً وإعلامياً مع إسرائيل بعد حادثة “ايل 20” أم أنها مجرد تنفيس للاحتقان؟ Are we witnessing a shift in Russia’s political and media dealings with Israel after the IL-20 incident, or is it just a vent for congestion?

200 US Marines At Illegal Syrian Outpost Back Down Vladimir Putin

Operation Apex Tuefelhunden was conducted from Sept. 7-11 near the At Tanf garrison in eastern Syria…[by a] company-sized element from 3d Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.”

The Russian military has backed down after the US Marine Corps called its bluff in Syria

U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jorge Castrosamaniego, an assault man with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, attached to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force, Crisis Response-Central Command, learns how to utilize an 84 mm Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle near At-Tanf Garrison, Syria Sept. 9, 2018.
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jorge Castrosamaniego near the At Tanf garrison in Syria on September 9.  U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Roderick Jacquote 

  • Following a show of force by the US Marine Corps in Syria, Russia has backed off its earlier threats to conduct operations inside the deconfliction zone, an area of strategic significance for the Russians, the Syrians, and the Iranians.

The Russians appear to have backed off their earlier threats after the US Marine Corps sent them a clear message.

The Pentagon, US Central Command, and Operation Inherent Resolve have all confirmed that Russia has stayed out of the deconfliction zone and is no longer insisting on conducting operations or launching precision strikes in the area near the At Tanf garrison, where US Marines are based.

Russia warned the US twice on September 1 and again on September 6 that the Russian military, together with Syrian and pro-regime forces, planned to carry out counterterrorism operations inside the 55-kilometer deconfliction zone. It accused the US and its coalition partners of harboring terrorists.

Immediately following Russia’s threats, the US Marine Corps conducted a live-fire demonstration at the At Tanf garrison to drive home the point that the US military did not need Russia’s help eliminating terrorists.

“The United States does not seek to fight the Russians, the government of Syria, or any groups that may be providing support to Syria in the Syrian civil war,” the US Central Command spokesman Lt. Col. Earl Brown previously told Business Insider, adding: “The United States will not hesitate to use necessary and proportionate force to defend US, coalition, or partner forces as we have clearly demonstrated in past instances.”

“The US does not require any assistance in our efforts to destroy ISIS in the At Tanf deconfliction zone, and we advised the Russians to remain clear,” he added.

In the nearly two weeks since, the Russians have not contacted the US military about operations inside the deconfliction zone, an area the Syrians and the Russians want to access to build a strategic land bridge between Tehran and Damascus.

Russian Il-20 downed by Syrian missile after Israeli F-16s used it as cover during attack

Russian Il-20 downed by Syrian missile after Israeli F-16s used it as cover during attack – MoD

Russian Il-20 downed by Syrian missile after Israeli F-16s used it as cover during attack – MoD
The Russian military says an Israeli raid on Syria triggered a chain of events that led to its Il-20 plane being shot down by a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile. Moscow reserves the right to respond accordingly.

READ MORE: Russia ‘reserves right to response’ after saying Israel’s actions led to downing of Il-20 by Syria

On Monday evening, four Israeli F-16 fighter jets attacked targets in Syria’s Latakia after approaching from the Mediterranean, a statement by the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday. The Israeli warplanes approached at a low altitude and “created a dangerous situation for other aircraft and vessels in the region,” it said.

The military said that the French Navy’s frigate ‘Auvergne,’ as well as a Russian Il-20 plane were in the area during the Israeli operation.

“The Israeli pilots used the Russian plane as cover and set it up to be targeted by the Syrian air defense forces. As a consequence, the Il-20, which has radar cross-section much larger than the F-16, was shot down by an S-200 system missile,” the statement said.

The Russian ministry said the Israelis must have known that the Russian plane was present in the area, but this did not stop them from executing “the provocation.” Israel also failed to warn Russia about the planned operation in advance. The warning came just a minute before the attack started, which “did not leave time to move the Russian plane to a safe area,” the statement said.

The statement gives a larger death toll than earlier reports by the Russian military, which said there were 14 crew members on board the missing Il-20. It said a search and rescue operation for the shot-down plane is underway.

A later update said debris from the downed plane was found some 27km off the Latakia coast. The search party collected some body parts, personal possessions of the crew, and fragments of the plane.

Israel did not comment on the reports about the air raid in Syria, which is consistent with its usual policy on such matters. Israeli officials earlier acknowledged hundreds of airstrikes conducted in Syria over the past years. Israel claims its interventions are necessary to fight the Iranian presence in its neighboring country.