US Army Colonel: Pentagon’s Latest China Report A “Budget Ploy” To Bleed The Taxpayer

11-05-19 08:55:00,

A former US Army Colonel has blasted Department of Defense’s (DOD) latest report on China’s military capabilities as a “budget ploy”. 

“You’re looking at a situation where the only thing [the DOD] can ask for, in terms of fixing any of this, is money — more and more money” retired Colonel Lawrence “Larry” Wilkerson said of the DoD’s annual report prepared for Congress entitled, “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2019”.

US Navy in the Pacific Ocean, via US Navy/Reuters

Wilkerson, who served as former chief of staff to US Secretary of State Colin Powell, described in an interview with The Real News that hyping the China threat taps into a well-trodden American pastime of fear-mongering in order to squeeze more precious taxpayer dollars towards inflated budgets. 

The Pentagon report focused heavily on President Xi’s plans for rapid modernization of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), especially China’s ambitious plans for the region’s “largest navy”  which has lately included ongoing construction of the country’s third aircraft carrier (the first full-sized one), with plans for seven total by 2025.

Watch the interview with Army Col. (ret.) Larry Wilkerson below.

Col. Wilkerson dismissed the idea that China’s aircraft carrier or latest much reported naval modernization initiatives were real causes for concern:

We’ve got a dozen [aircraft carriers]. They’ve got one at sea, one… about to come out, and another one perhaps, and ours are so far ahead of theirs that it’s 10, 15, 20 years before they even achieve the kind of capacity we have.

He explained that “aircraft carriers are extraordinarily vulnerable and we’re going to find that out when one of them with 5,000 hands and $14bn worth of taxpayer money is sunk in less than 30 minutes, whenever we get engaged in something real.”

Now a military analyst who teaches at The College of William & Mary in Virginia, Wilkerson addressed the familiar Pentagon cycle of threat inflation in the interview:

The [US] army could not expand; it could not take on a real enemy today without massive conscription and full mobilization.

 » Lees verder

French Colonel: US Forces in Syria Allow Arab Proxies to Kill, Destroy

14-03-19 09:25:00,

An article that, until recently, appeared in the online version of the February 2019 edition of France’s Revue Defense Nationale, takes a very critical look at how the United States forces in Syria executed their battle strategy against the remaining ISIS forces in Syria and the final success of the battle.  Colonel Francois-Regis Legrier, a senior French officer who has been in charge of directed French artillery supporting Kurdish-led groups in Syria since October 2018.   Colonel Legrier claims that the United States-led coalition fighting against ISIS in the Battle of Hajin (near Syria’s eastern border with Iraq) as shown on these maps (which show Syria to the north and east (pink and yellow) and Iraq to the south (grey) with the battle area located under the small blue bomb icon):



…had focussed on limiting risks to itself rather than decreasing the risks to civilians which has greatly increased the death toll among civilians and left the regions infrastructure severely damaged.  Let’s look at a few details of Legrier’s commentary on the Battle of Hajin which took place between September 2018 and January 2019, the last battle to destroy the Islamic State which, at one point in time, controlled significant areas of both Iraq and Syria.

In the Battle of Hajin, there were approximately 2000 Islamist fighters, mainly foreigners, located in a thirty kilometre by 10 kilometre stretch along the Euphrates River in Syrian Arab-Kurdish territory.  The area where military action took place is a V-shaped wedge of land located between the Euphrates River on the west and the Iraqi-Syrian border to the east.  There are several thousand civilians present in the northern part of the Hajin pocket located in a mainly rural area.  The Syrian regime and Iraqi militia control the West Bank of the Euphrates River and the area to the north of the city of Al-Qaim (in Iraq) is the firing position of the coalition forces.  The southern border is controlled by the Katiba Hesbollah, a small relatively well equipped Iran-affiliated militia.

The author notes that the features of the ground fighting Battle of Hajin were very similar to battles of the First World War with a front line between fighters and with territorial gains reflecting violent attacks and counterattacks by each side through the massive use of artillery.  

 » Lees verder