Wednesday, July 16, 2014

This foreign policy update brought to you by the letters "W", "T", and "F".

The party currently in charge got into power partly on the strength of national exhaustion with the previous administration's policy of regime change, which consisted of sending soldiers and marines with guns and missiles and cannon to go topple a regime, ostensibly to free oppressed people.

The current administration does it differently, in that they send the guns, missiles, and cannon, albeit without the soldiers and marines or much in the way of any adult supervision. Instead, the arms are given to anybody who fills out their "oppressed by a tyrant" application and pinkie-swears not to ever do anything bad to us with the guns 'n' stuff.

Additionally, we bolstered the shaky Baghdad regime with a full panoply of high-end 'Murican military hardware and then tossed them the keys and left, despite everybody involved being old enough to remember when Ho Chi Minh city was labeled differently on the maps because apparently we are some slow damned learners.

In our new multipolar "soft power" world, where peaceful bombing campaigns are named after strippers, this has resulted in predictable outcomes...
One unexplored consequence of the US’s provision of arms in lieu of useful support to weak allies regionally, is that the US has lost control of quite a number of modern arms, including sophisticated ATGMs, late-model SAMs including MANPADS, armored vehicles with classified composite armor, and electronic equipment including encryption gear.
RTWT at the linked piece.


Anonymous said...

I have a . . . um, friend who is looking forward to "Operation Destiny on Stage 3".

Shootin' Buddy

DAG said...

I am just going to point out on the WTF end of things this is not an issue any longer, all this tech has already fallen into the hands of our enemies. It kind of happened during those 9 or so years of occupation of iraq and even longer campaign in Afghanistan.

Boat Guy said...

Like DAG, I'm not quite so worried about the "technology" especially of say an M198 155. Having suffered the loss of a family friend to an Iranian-provided VERY sophisticated SAM, I'll continue to maintain that the hardware is the least of it (though egregiously bad in and of itself).
In the spectrum of badness I'm far more worried about the fecklessness in our "planning" and the example we are once again setting. The anaology of tossing the keys and splitting is very apt.

Tam said...

I have edited the quoted portion down by one sentence, since it seemed to be completely muddying the intent of what I was trying to say.

heresolong said...

I'm not a big fan of war by drone strike, but ISIS just had a freakin' parade with all their captured tanks and Humvees. If they are going to line them all up for us, why wouldn't we do a little target practice?

Ancient Woodsman said...

And we have now reached a point where some screecher will claim that one is racist for even suggesting that the president is paying way too much attention to his golf game.

Anonymous said...

Tam, you are confused.

Beltway Bob III said yesterday,
"WH: We've ‘Substantially Improved the Tranquility of the Global Community’"

It must be true if it was on the internet.


D.W. Drang said...

I'd like to believe that this is one of those really clever moves we make that confuse the crap out of everybody because they look like such dumb mistakes. Call it the Kissinger Protocol.

I'd really like to believe that. Something like "Hey, you know that lot of faulty TOW missiles..." "You know how we're bringing out the Gen III armor for the Abrams...?"

Sure would be nice to be able to believe that.

(Any typos brought to you by the cat who is #OccupyingMyDesk.)

Paul said...

You got to love it. we buy the hardware with our hard earned money, our representative gives it away, so we have to spend more of our hard earned money to either get it back or blow it up.

And the encryption gear, lets not only give them the keys, lets give them the plans as well.

What a crock

Stretch said...

Not so confusing once you accept;
1) the Dept. of State is a hostile 3rd World country.
2) the current administration is a ComInten Cell.

JimB said...

Let's see. They're cutting back drastically the number of personnel in the armed forces. I can't wait until the ones that are left stop re-upping. Wonder just what they're going to do then???

staghounds said...

Our enemies have been running lab experiments on us since, what, October 1983? November 4, 1979? June 24, 1948?

Bubblehead Les. said...

Well, just be glad the F-35 hasn't fallen into Enemy Hands yet.

It just falls onto the Runway after a 150 hours.

But Hey! What's a $400 Billion Price Tag amongst friends anyway?

RandyGC said...

Another case of nothing new...

During the 80's wars in Central America, turns out a lot of the weapons captured from rebels (supposedly captured from incompetent Gov forces or brought over by large numbers of defectors, in the NYT universe at any rate) had serial numbers that were last seen on invoices to the ARVN.

Kristophr said...

If you are going to make a third world country into a colony, you have to garrison it for at least three generations, or it will revert into an even worse tribalist cesspool.

Kinder to just have the Dreadnoughts shell their ports for their affront and leave.

staghounds said...

Not just in the bars and schools is there a lot to be said for "He's crazy, don't fck with him" as a reputation.

Sigman said...

RandyGC - as I understand it, some of those same weapons are now showing up in Mexico. I shudder when I think about where today's "lost" weapons will turn up 10+ years from now (if not sooner).

DAG said...

Our enemy that want our tech already have it or they can get access to the Russian Equivalent that already exists. because we have been involved in active conflicts from 2001 till now any man portable items that have been in service for more than 2-3 years has more than likely found its way into enemy hands. when up-armored hummers have been stolen by the Taliban you can bet that anyone who wanted the armor tech found a way to get a hold of it off of them. With that said, untrained idiots using products without proper training manuals when they do not have a large quantity of said items puts them at as much risk of hurting their teammates as succeeding in using them against us.

on the tech getting into the wrong hands it does our enemies no good simply get their hands on a sample of something to analyses in terms of armor, because the composition is not the challenge its how you make the product that is the trick. for the electronics the trick is figuring out the encryption algorithm and not the actual radio.

Tam said...


Despite my paring down the quote, you continue to miss the point of my post.

If I'm getting smoked out of the sky on a 737 by a MANPAD that got lost in Libya or handed over to an ill-vetted AQ affiliate in Syria, I could give two ratfucks in a shit tornado if the Chicoms had bought a seeker head from some ANA mook.

DAG said...

Tam you mean like the Ill Vetted would be AQ members that we gave stinger missile systems to in the 80's?

Last time I checked they have not been used to shoot down air liners yet.

the thought process you are presenting holds a distinct similarity to the Anti-gunners stance on AR 15's. It is easy to look for the worst case scenario but when you actually look at feasibility and outcomes its not good/smart for ISIS or most terrorist to successfully attack us and they know that.

Just because we do not like ISIS and ISIS does not like us does not mean they are going to use it to on us when their bigger enemy is currently using Planes to drop bombs and straif their positions. ISIS despite its perceived strength is not in a position to hold onto weapons for a rainy day they are in an active conflict against 3 different forces 2 of which have air forces.

Tam said...

1. Still not talking about ISIL.

2. You might want to do a little more reading on the Muj in A-stan pre-civil war. That "We gave Stingers to AQ!" is such a fucking tired trope.

3. It's spelled "strafe".

DAG said...

Tam, on 3 thanks spelling has never been my strong point.

on 1 even if its not your point its the articles main hangup that ISIL/ISIS is getting them and if its the main funnel by which others will get the weapons.

on 2 its not that we gave the Stinger missiles to some evil men its that they did get into the hands of those people after the soviets left because the Muj didn't have any real need for them.

lastly if your concern is that a terrorist is going to have an easier time shooting down a plane because there are more stingers out there, then you need to have a basic understanding of the market for these things which is to say that Iran and Pakistan make their own versions of them along with Russia and China, Sudan was given a stockpile by us in the 80's and 90's along with Qatar and a Saudi Arabia. Simply put the international arms trade is not wanting for decent MANPADS. If a terrorist wants to shoot down a plane with a MANPAD they can and have had that ability long before we setup our store front in Syria. It is more an issue of terrorist cost benefit analysis for publicity retaliation and continued funding.

RandyGC said...

Signman _ one reason why the whole "Mexican drug cartels are buying weapons from US Gun stores" story was laughable from the beginning.

The large number of military grade weapons (US and combloc) floating around Central America left over from the 80's "Struggle for National Liberation" kind of undercuts the need to have a strawman pay retail for a semi-auto version of the same thing. (not to mention the relatively easy to obtain stuff stored in Mexican police and military armories)

Lewis said...

A suspicious fellow, well endowed in the tinfoil department, might find it odd that you were referencing SAMs and MANPADs in light of today's developments.

Fortunately, I'm fairly punily endowed.

Geodkyt said...

staghounds @ 2:17 PM, July 16, 2014 said...
Not just in the bars and schools is there a lot to be said for "He's crazy, don't fck with him" as a reputation.

I thought that was Reagan's entire foreign policy vis a vis the Soviets? (And it worked, too. ;-) )

DAG 10:24 AM, July 17, 2014 said...
on 2 its not that we gave the Stinger missiles to some evil men its that they did get into the hands of those people after the soviets left because the Muj didn't have any real need for them.

You mean like how the Viet Minh go ahold of American weapons that were floating around teh world after WWII? Or like how Central American insurgents and Arab terrorists got ahold of US weapons that the Communist government of the reunited Vietnam sent them from weapons given to the ARVNs? Or how Garands, M1 Carbines, and FN FALs from Cuba; HK G3's from Iran; and BM59s from Libya showed up in all sorts of unfriendly hands after those governments fell to anti-American forces?

Look, giving Stingers to the Muj during the Soviet invasion made sense. The fact that years after we gave them the Stingers, a group that didn;t even exist until the Soviets had announced their pullout managed (several years after that) to get ahold of a handful of Stingers (and those things would have been right at the end of their "Use By" date by that time, even under ideal storage conditions) is irrelevant. At least until perfect prognostication is developed by the Men Staring at Goats dudes in the CIA.

OTOH, it was really freaking obvious ahead of time (And people loudly bitched at the time just those very things, only to be dismissed with, "They just oppose everything /O/u/r/ /G/r/e/a/t/ /a/n/d/ /F/l/a/w/l/e/s/s/ /L/e/a/d/e/r/ President Obama proposes, because 'racist'.") what the consequences of Obama's foreign policy decisions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria would mean in terms of US weapons getting into unfriendly hands almost immediately.