General: Trump’s Cut-And-Run From Syria Is A ‘Serious Strategic Mistake’

President Trump’s surprising decision to cut and run from Syria is being panned by military analysts as “a serious strategic mistake” that ranks with such errors as President Obama’s decision to withdraw from Iraq and the abandonment of South Vietnam. Trump’s decision to retreat from Syria reportedly went against the advice of Defense Secretary James Mattis and other top generals.

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria,” Trump said in a tweet justifying his unilateral decision to withdraw American troops from the embattled Middle Eastern country.

But other analysts, such as Jack Keane, a retired four-star general and army vice chief of staff, disagree. Keane, now a military analyst for Fox News, lashed out at the president, calling the move “a serious strategic mistake” with “dire consequences.”

Keane, who has generally supported Trump’s foreign policy, told Trish Regan on Fox Business that, “It’s a decision that the president will come to regret.”

“The obvious analogy is a simple one,” Keane said. “How you end a conflict is more important than how you start one and history will tell you that. When we stayed in post-World War II Germany, Italy and Japan, we helped to stabilize those countries. We did the same thing in Bosnia-Herzegovina.”

However, he added, “When we prematurely withdraw forces because we’re tired or it or we’re frustrated by the time it took – Vietnam, Iraq, and now Syria – the consequences are usually unfavorable and quite dire.”

“It is not speculation that ISIS will indeed reemerge,” Keane said. “Our intelligence services have already forecasted that. The reality is they will come back. They are conducting terrorist operations around Raqqa right now on a low level.”

Keane said that ISIS leaders around Raqqa had been telling people there that the Americans had not followed through with their promises to rebuild schools, power plants, and other infrastructure destroyed in the war against the terror group. ISIS will use the unkept promises and withdrawal of American troops to recruit and gain influence.

“The Iranians, which are a much greater threat than ISIS, will now own all of Syria,” Keane said. “That is a fact. They will encroach on the sovereignty and security of Israel.”

Keane also warned that the withdrawal would have implications beyond the Middle East. “Russia and our adversaries will look at this, not as a victory for the United States,” he said. “They will look at this as weakness. It will impact North Korea in terms of the stalemate we have with them right now. It impacts Russia in terms of our ability and willingness to confront them and have some impact on them. And certainly, it’s going to impact also with China…. It’s going to encourage them and embolden them. All these things are related to one another.”

Keane acknowledged Trump’s concern for casualties and the fact that ISIS was temporarily on the run in Syria, but said, “The one thing I think history has also told us is the Middle East is a breeding ground for radical Islam and it’s also the place Iran wants to dominate and control.”

Keane said that Trump’s withdrawal is already encouraging ISIS to reemerge. Noting that the president said he was willing to redeploy forces to Syria if ISIS returns, Keane asked, “Why? If you’re willing to do that let’s finish it. Let’s stay the course and finish this thing once and for all.”

The Trump withdrawal closely mirrors Barack Obama’s premature withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. Against the advice of military leaders, Obama removed the US military and the resulting power vacuum allowed ISIS to flourish and gain control over large swaths of both Iraq and Syria. The expansion of ISIS required the US to recommit troops to the region and gave Russia a pretext for sending a large military force to Syria in 2015. Additionally, the Syrian unrest created a refugee crisis that led to a wave of terrorist attacks in Europe.

The Trump policy threatens to undo progress made on those fronts. American forces in Syria have subdued but not destroyed the ISIS threat and provided a counterbalance to Russian and Iranian influence in the region. An American withdrawal that allows ISIS to reform would also likely create new waves of refugees fleeing to Europe.

Another big winner from Trump’s isolationist policy is Iran. USA Today points out that the US-controlled eastern portion of Syria had posed an obstacle that prevented the Iranians from being able to move by land from Iran all the way to Lebanon, home base of their ally Hezbollah. Without American forces in the way, Iran can ship heavy weapons all the way to the Israeli borders with Syria and Lebanon. Where Barack Obama gave Iran billions of dollars, President Trump just gave the mullahs something much more strategically valuable.

The Media’s Fake News About the Manhattan Terrorist Attack

Yesterday, a 29-man named Sayfullo Saipov plowed through a bicycle path in Lower Manhattan with a white truck, resulting in the death of 8 and the injuring of 11 more.

Along with the lives lost, an additional casualty of the attack is liberals’ ability to recognize reality: among them, that the culprit of this act of terrorism adhered to what he at least understood to be Islam and carried out the attack for the advancement of the self-described “Islamic State.”

As reported by the Daily Wire, a CNN host began by choosing to withhold from his report the description of the attacker the network had obtained by the police. Then, as Newsbusters reported, an MSNBC terror analyst denied any role Islam might have played in the attack, because — and get this — “we have seen Catholics in Canada who converted to, quote unquote, Islam.” He went on to suggest that the attacker may have been Catholic two weeks before. Of course, he did not even consider the implications of a correlation between religious conversion and radicalized actions. Certainly a nascent convert is in a poor position to understand the true embodiment of his new faith, but whether the conversion is a justification for an act he wished to undertake or the misappropriated object of the act itself, it is an indispensable psychological component to his actions.

It is routine in the wake of ISIS-related attacks to discount the importance of the role played by Islam, just as it is routine in the wake of attacks by white males to point out the number of terrorists who have been white or Christian, or even to question why some attacks carried out by white males are not labeled terrorism. The Las Vegas shooting is only the most recent example of this. A Newsweek article on the subject is typical, and only one of many. It points out the differences between Nevada law and federal law on the subject, as well as what President Obama defined as terrorism in addressing the Boston Marathon bombing.

But presidential remarks do not such a vital definition make, and a law contains merely a legal definition of what can be designated terrorism for the purpose of charging a perpetrator with that specific crime. What we are concerned with here is not terrorism as a crime, but terrorism as a tactic. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what Obama said or even what Nevada law says; for observers nationwide, terrorism is not understood to be something so broad as an act intended to harm innocent civilians or “intended to cause great bodily harm or death to the general population.” Federal law comes closest to the standard academic definition: “unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.” Motiveless attacks are, by any meaningful definition, not terror.

Despite the obviousness of this distinction, the media seem intent of muddying the waters when the facts regarding the motives themselves are not in dispute. The first fact — that the attack was carried out by vehicle, like an increasing number of ISIS-related terrorist attacks in Europe have been — should at least have tipped everyone off to the possibility. But again, terrorism is a tactic, and a vehicular attack could be employed in service of any cause. The second fact, which CNN ultimately reported — that the attacker yelled “allahu akbar” — should have sealed the deal.

Additional facts, such as the description of Saipov the CNN host initially withheld — which would have included a photo and the fact that he was from Uzbekistan, a country which is over 96 percent Muslim — would merely strengthen the already obvious conclusion about his motive. Ultimately, a note was found inside the attacker’s vehicle “claiming the attack was made in the name of ISIS.” Case closed.

But the first aim of the liberals in the mainstream media is not to report facts, but to advance (or undermine) certain narratives. No wonder we’re so suspicious of fake news these days.

Of course the vast majority of Muslims are neither terrorists nor approve of terror. Of course the bulk of terrorist attacks are wholly unrelated to Islam. Of course President Bush was right when he said we are not at war with Islam. The left appears not to trust those facts when it withholds the facts about specific attacks. In order to combat what it considers to be fake news about Islam and terrorism, it creates fake news about specific terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims. Ostensibly, the media don’t trust ignorant Americans to come to the right conclusions, but they undermine their own authority to place terrorists in their proper context whenever they lie by omission.

Even if we decide that true Islam has absolutely nothing to do with creating terrorists such as Saipov, it is imperative to understand what terrorists believe that drives them to use such tactics. It is vital to get inside their heads, in order to understand how to prevent such attacks in the future. We cannot combat what we willingly choose not to see.

4 Dead Soldiers in Niger Shows How Bad the Media Has Gotten

Four dead soldiers in Niger. They were ambushed and gave their lives in a place most Americans (including journalists) couldn’t find on a map. Their names are Sgt. LaDavid Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright.

Black and Jeremiah Johnson were assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group, and their bodies received a heroes’ somber return to Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C. Dustin Wright was from Lyons, Georgia, which is not too far from my home. I live in a military town, and people very close to me have deployed in harm’s way.

The media went after the president.

They focused on President Trump calling the families of the dead soldiers. They knew Trump would get defensive. They knew he’d try to play “whatabout” games or react in a way they could exploit. They knew that some of the families were not Trump supporters and would make a good story. They exploited the situation to make the president look bad, and participated in a dishonoring of the lives of American professional special forces soldiers.

Of course, they were right.

Trump fumbled his response. They were counting on it. He got defensive and tried to deflect blame. Then when Trump called the widow of a fallen soldier, they were on a hair trigger for anything he might say to upset her. And of course, whatever he said, she was upset.

And instead of respecting her privacy, they pounced and make her suffering a public event.

That’s despicable; it’s no better than a tabloid. But they do it because they’re on a mission. Make no mistake, the media has a case to make: that Trump is a bad president.

And the nation is fed up with hearing it. A recent poll by Politico and Morning Consult shows that 46 percent of all voters think the media makes up stories about Trump. Even 35 percent of Democrats believe the press makes up stories. 85 percent of Trump supporters believe the press makes up stories. They do make up stories, or at least play fast and loose with sources and “facts” from others who make up stories and spoon-feed them to the press.

Let’s contrast that with a story that hasn’t gotten much reporting.

Raqqa has been liberated, and ISIS is being crushed. Most of the reason for this is explained in this one chart. Look at the number of strikes since Jan 20. (From Ricochet.)

President Trump and Secretary of Defense James Mattis deserve tremendous credit, even though the media will be loath to give it. Where the previous administration was content with precision drone strikes and economic damage, the current Commander-in-Chief decided to snuff out the would-be caliphate. Well done.

The European press is reporting this, but in America, the media won’t report anything that makes Trump look good. They only want to report his failures, even if they have to resort to tabloid methods.

It has gotten that bad.

FBI Director: Terrorist Drones Are ‘Imminent’ Threat

On Wednesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress that terrorist attacks in the United States by groups using drones were an “imminent” threat. Such attacks could be launched against soft targets using the small unmanned aircraft armed with chemical weapons or small explosives.

“We do know that terrorist organizations have an interest in using drones; we’ve seen that overseas already with some growing frequency and I think the expectation is it’s coming here imminently,” Wray testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee as reported by the Washington Free Beacon. “I think they are relatively easy to acquire, relatively easy to operate, and I think quite difficult to disrupt and monitor.”

ISIS has been known to use drones in both a surveillance and an attack role. Last April, Fox News reported that ISIS had posted online videos with instructions for arming commercially-available drones.

“Two years ago, this was not a problem,” said Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center. “One year ago, this was an emerging problem. Now it’s a real problem, and so we are quickly trying to up our game.”

Rasmussen said that counterterrorism agencies are working to understand and defend against the threat of drones. In Iraq, drones have been used by ISIS to drop bombs on Iraqi government troops, but merely flying an unarmed drone in the vicinity of a busy airport could bring down a commercial airliner. Last week, an army helicopter collided with a small drone over New York, but was able to land safely. The operator of the drone has not been identified.

Several private companies are working on anti-drone projects as well. Droneshield provides devices to detect drones as well as the “dronegun” that jams the remotely controlled aircraft and forces them to land. The company’s products have been used by law enforcement and military organizations in the field. Another company, Department 13, has developed software that allows operators to take control of threatening drones.

Current federal law complicates the ability of local law enforcement and private companies to defend against drone attacks. The federal government considers drones to be aircraft and it is a federal crime to shoot at any aircraft. Popular Mechanics points out that state laws that allow police to target threatening drones are in conflict with federal law.

Drone technology is advancing at a rapid clip and terrorists have proven adept at altering new technology to their purposes. Drone aircraft are cheap, plentiful, anonymous and can adopted to perform a variety of roles. This makes them attractive to terrorists and difficult to defend against.

Secretary Mattis in Afghanistan, Kabul Airport Hit by Rockets

Secretary of Defense James Mattis made a surprise visit to Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday.  Hours later, militants launched a rocket attack on the airport in Kabul.

The Taliban claims that Mattis was the target, although he was no longer at the airport when they attacked.  The Islamic State has also claimed responsibility for the attacks.  Both Islamic State (ISIS) and Taliban forces control territory in Afghanistan but, while they have co-operated at times on joint attacks, they seek different ends.  The Taliban desires control of Afghanistan, while ISIS pursues the institution of a global Islamic caliphate.

Mattis is a highly-regarded retired Marine Corps General, having previously served in many conflicts, including the Persian Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the War in Iraq.

Accompanying Mattis was NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.  They met with Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan, and General John Nicholson, commander of American forces in the country.  This was the first visit by Mattis to Afghanistan after President Donald Trump announced his new strategy for the Afghan war last month.

The Resurgent previously reported on the key pieces of Trump’s new strategy, but the main points are that he is loosening the rules of engagement for American forces and focussing on assisting the Afghan government and military so that they can begin to control their own country’s security.  In addition, Pakistan will be expected to assist with rooting militants from its territory, and India may be enlisted as a partner in the fight.

There are approximately U.S. 11,000 troops currently in Afghanistan, with 3,500 more being sent.  At the war’s peak in 2011, there were over 100,000 American troops there.  Since the beginning of the war in 2001, American casualties have included over 2,300 dead and 17,000 wounded.

 

ISIS Using Children For War and Propaganda




ISIS has released a new series of propaganda videos, one of which features a 10 year old boy, Yousef, who states that he is an American.  He says that his father is a former American military member, and that he and his family moved to Syria two years ago.  With propaganda, the truth does not matter as much as the emotions which the propaganda engenders, and this video is no different.

ISIS’ propaganda is meant to convey the message that they are in the fight for the long term, as evidenced by the fact that children are involved.  That is to say, there is a new generation rising up who will continue their “jihad,” or “struggle.”

Yousef is shown with another boy, Abdullah, who is 7 and comes from the town of Sinjar in northern Iraq.  This area was populated by the Yazidi people and was captured by ISIS in 2014.  Both boys are depicted as “brothers” in jihad and shown handling weapons.  Yousef also reads a message to President Trump that the fight will be brought to U.S. soil.



The use of Yousef and Abdullah is part of a disturbing wider trend.  ISIS, like other terrorist groups, consistently uses children as part of its operations, both in support and fighting roles.  Research shows that children are being used as fighters alongside adults, being integrated into the same units.

A study of ISIS operations from January 2015 through January 2016 showed that ISIS had reported 89 children as “martyrs.”  Of these, they died in the following ways:

  • 39 percent died while “detonating a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) against their target”
  • 33 percent died as active participants in ground operations
  • 18 percent died in “marauding operations in which a group of mostly adult fighters infiltrates and attacks an enemy position using light automatic weapons before killing themselves by detonating suicide belts”
  • 6 percent died while embedded with ISIS fighters as propagandists
  • 4 percent died in suicide attacks against civilians

Most of these children died in Iraq, followed by Syria as the next most common location (Yemen, Libya, and Nigeria are also represented).

In addition to the horror that the use of child soldiers creates in Western minds, American and allied forces will, unfortunately, have to deal with situations in which children are increasingly used to attack them.  Furthermore, as ISIS seeks to conduct terrorist attacks in the United States and other Western countries, they will likely attempt to use children in these attacks as well.

 

 

 

Trump’s Big Asia Shift: Goodbye Pakistan, Hello India





President Trump gave what we can legitimately call a major foreign policy and anti-terror strategy speech tonight. Speaking before a military audience at Fort Myer, Va., the president called the nation to unity, healing and love.

He then made what will surely be a bombshell of a shift in American’s focus in South Asia–flipping our support from Pakistan to larger rival India, and redoubling our efforts to achieve an “honorable and enduring victory” in Afghanistan.

Trump spoke for about a half hour, and remained “on script” reading from the teleprompter. None of the pique or emotional outbursts of previous talks was evident in what was a very conventional, presidential address.

“We cannot remain a force for peace in the world if we are not at peace with each other,” Trump said as a preface to announcing a fairly seismic shift in the way the so-called “war on terror” is being conducted in Afghanistan and South Asia.

The president said that his initial instinct was to end the war in Afghanistan, but after many meetings. he felt that three fundamental conclusions guided his decision:

1. Our nation must seek an “honorable and enduring outcome.”

2. The consequences of a “rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable.”

3. The security threats we face in Afghanistan and the region “are immense.”

Trump singled out Pakistan as a nation that has given a haven to terrorists. He called the terrorists “nothing but thugs and criminals and predators and…that’s right…losers.”

He laid out three “core pillars” to his plan to achieve victory over terrorists.

First, the U.S. will shift to a “strategy of conditions,” which means we will no longer focus on numbers of troops or plans for further military operations. “I will not say when we are going to attack,” Trump said, adding, “but attack we will.”

“We are not nation building again. We are killing terrorists,” he said.





The second pillar is that the U.S. will no longer be silent about Pakistan’s tolerance and sheltering of terrorists. “In the past, Pakistan has been a valued partner,” Trump said. “But Pakistan has also sheltered the same organizations that try every single day…to kill our people.”

Trump said that will have to change. “It is time for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilization, order and peace.”

The third pillar is India. India has historically been Pakistan’s rival. Trump noted that both countries have nuclear weapons, and he mentioned the tension between them that could develop into violence.

A shift toward India, which Trump said makes billions in trade with America, is for the “broader Indo-Pacific region.”

Finally, Trump said he’s removing restrictive rules of engagement and giving the military the tools to fight. “Micromanagement from Washington, D.C. does not win battles.”

He pledged to expand authority for U.S. armed forces to target terrorists and criminal organizations. He promised to maximize sanctions.

“Our troops will fight to win,” Trump said. “Victory will have a clear definition.”

The president once again called his paradigm “principled realism,” whereby the U.S. does not seek to recreate our culture or nation in other countries, but to focus on American interests, and seek partners who share them. Those other nations will be required to participate financially, and by showing loyalty.

Trump thanked the Afghan people for their commitment and sacrifice. He lauded those soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery and said the country must honor them by pursuing a victory worthy of their sacrifice.

The Story Behind a Christian Missionary’s Daring Rescue of Girl Trapped by ISIS

Former special ops soldier and American missionary David Eubank has been on the front lines in some of the deadliest war zones in the world in an effort to spread Christ’s message and save people from danger. Earlier this month, the director of the Free Burma Rangers made headlines for the dramatic rescue of a young girl in Mosul, Iraq, who had been forced to take shelter under her dead mother’s hijab for nearly 48 hours after ISIS tore through her community and killed her entire family. He prayed as he ran:

Eubank and his organization regularly share updates and photos of their heroic work on social media, and the group posted haunting images of this particular search and rescue mission, which recovered the young girl and two adult men—one of whom sadly died in transport—on Instagram.

This week, Eubank appeared on CBN News to discuss his experience in the fight against ISIS. He shared examples of the strength and resolve of both American and Iraqi soldiers, while shedding light on the Bible verse that keeps him going amidst the danger and tragedy.

“I consider myself forgiven by Jesus and blessed to do something. And it was, I believe, God’s power that helped us rescue that girl,” Eubank said of the daring mission that involved the careful coordination of both American and Iraqi forces.

He explained that ISIS seized the village on June 1, killing more than 70 people. The extremists remained camped out and ready to fight off anyone who tried to provide aide to the few remaining survivors. Eubank said that he and his team watched the young girl and other survivors from afar for nearly two days before they were able to swoop in for the rescue. He described the waiting game as “horrible,” and he ultimately ran some 150 yards under enemy fire to retrieve the petrified child, who was hiding under her mother’s burka.

“I just said, ‘Lord help us’ and if I die my wife and kids would understand,” Eubank told CWN. “It’s to save a little girl and I ran and I had to pull her away from her dead mother.”

Through his military service and organization, Eubank has been on the front lines for more than two decades, and there is a particular Bible verse he credits with…

Read the full story at Faithwire.com.