Archive for the 'General Suleimani' Category



Stepped-Up Covert Iranian Operations

BY Herschel Smith
2 years ago

From The Washington Free Beacon, there is this article on intelligence officials being angered by the Obama administration cover up of intelligence on Iranian and al Qaeda surge in Egypt and Libya.  But there is this interesting discussion up front.

Weeks before the presidential election, President Barack Obama’s administration faces mounting opposition from within the ranks of U.S. intelligence agencies over what career officers say is a “cover up” of intelligence information about terrorism in North Africa.

Intelligence held back from senior officials and the public includes numerous classified reports revealing clear Iranian support for jihadists throughout the tumultuous North Africa and Middle East region, as well as notably widespread al Qaeda penetration into Egypt and Libya in the months before the deadly Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

“The Iranian strategy is two-fold: upping the ante for the Obama administration’s economic sanctions against Iran and perceived cyber operations against Iran’s nuclear weapons program by conducting terror attacks on soft U.S. targets and cyber attacks against U.S. financial interests,” said one official, speaking confidentially.

The Iranian effort also seeks to take the international community’s spotlight off Iran’s support for its Syrian ally.

Note to the administration, and a future Romney administration.  Are you sure that you don’t want to take my advice and reverse executive order 12333, and assassinate General Suleimani?  It would make life a lot easier.

Iran’s Asymmetric Warfare

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 6 months ago

Andrew Exum discusses how we and Hezbollah have more in common that one might think.  His entire commentary is interesting, but he summarizes with this.

In the end, Hezbollah finds itself in much the same position as the United States as it watches the clouds of war gather between Israel and Iran. Like the United States, it has reason to hope conflict can be averted. But like the United States, it is realistic about the likelihood that it will be drawn into a conflict once the first shots are fired.

To get the context for the statement above you must read his commentary.  Andrew does come down warning that Hezbollah would likely respond against Israel if war comes to Iran, but he also casts us in the same light as Hezbollah: poor, strange bedfellows – hoping against war, shaking our heads at the very idea, war weary, and being dragged kicking and screaming against our will into the larger conflict if it comes.

I don’t see Hezbollah as dependent on the electorate in Lebanon as does Andrew, nor do I see them as war-weary, hoping against hope that war doesn’t come.  They are part of Iran’s forward-deployed troops, present from the Middle East to South America.  As for Iran (and its forward deployed troops), it all comes down to whether one believes the things that the Mullahs say.

“We do not worship Iran.  We worship Allah.  For patriotism is another name for paganism.  I say let this land [Iran] burn.  I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world”

I believe that the Mullahs mean what they say.  We have discussed their behavior-controlling eschatology before.  But if Hezbollah is only one part of Iran’s forward deployed troops, there is another more secretive part.

Intelligence agencies are searching for members of a secret Iranian network of assassins under orders to attack Jewish, Israeli and Western targets in Turkey.

According to intelligence sources, the organisation behind the attack is known as Unit 400, a secret part of the al Quds Brigade, which falls under the direct command of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader.

“Unit 400 of the Qods Force has been developing in the last few months a standing operating procedure for carrying out an attack in Turkey against western targets as well as Israeli and Jewish. It is our firm assessment that these procedures are in a very advanced stage, and that the intention is to act on the plans very soon,” an intelligence source told Sky News.

There is also evidence that Unit 400 has been given instructions to carry out more frequent and more daring ‘terror’ attacks around the world as a demonstration of ‘Iran’s asymmetric power’ – in the face of the growing threat of Israeli or American air strikes on its alleged nuclear weapons programme, the sources said.

[ ... ]

“Unit 400 is a top-secret “special ops” unit within the elite overseas wing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force (IRGC-QF). It plans and carries out terror attacks on external targets, and provides material support to foreign militia groups, at the direct behest of the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. This is in accordance with the regime’s core strategic considerations about how best to challenge perceived enemies in Israel and the west – through asymmetric warfare – and to cope with mounting international pressure over its nuclear programme,” a secret study by a foreign intelligence agency said.

Several international intelligence sources confirmed that Ali Khamenei controlled the Quds Force through his close ally Qassem Suleiman.

“He runs the whole thing – directly. [Mahmoud] Ahmedinajad [the Iranian president] makes all the noise and gets the attention but it’s the Supreme Leader who is in charge of what is going on especially when it comes to international operations,” said a senior intelligence official.

 Regular readers know all about General Suleimani.  I have recommended a targeted assassination of him, as well as covert and asymmetric warfare against Iran and fomenting an insurgency and regime change in order to avoid all out warfare.

It seems that the only one who takes our advice seriously is Iran.  They are masters of covert warfare, we … well, we are masters of vacilation and equivocation.  But remember what I said that I could pull off with 400 well-trained, motivated fighters.  Consider yourself warned, for it may soon be too late.

UPDATE: Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the attention.

Hell To Pay: Hezbollah On The Mexican Border

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 8 months ago

We have known for some time about the fact that Hezbollah has networks in Central and South America, and that they are present in more than 40 countries.  Now, Michael Braun, former chief of operations at the drug enforcement agency, weighs in concerning the emerging threat on the Southern border.

The Iranian-supported Shi’ite terrorist group Hezbollah has spread its influence all the way to the U.S. border with Mexico, a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Iran’s influence in the Western Hemisphere heard on Thursday.

Michael Braun, a former chief of operations at the Drug Enforcement Agency, said Hezbollah had developed relationships with the powerful Mexican drug cartels to “move their agenda forward.” He cited a plot, recently uncovered by the DEA, involving an Iranian operative in Mexico allegedly planning to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, D.C.

“Hezbollah are absolute masters at forming close relationships with existing organized crime groups around the world that helps them facilitate what they need to do to move their agendas forward,” Braun told CNSNews.com following the hearing. “And if anyone thinks for a moment that they don’t have their eye on the southwest border and all of our country, then they couldn’t be more wrong.”

In his prepared remarks Braun, who also served as interim director of the Department of Justice’s Drug Intelligence Fusion Center, said Hezbollah and other terrorist groups understand that the Mexican cartels are already operating successfully inside the United States.

“If anyone thinks for one moment that these terrorist organizations do not understand that the Mexican drug trafficking cartels now dominate drug trafficking in our country – reportedly in more than 250 cities – than they are very stupid or very naive,” he said.

“And these groups most assuredly recognize the strategic value of exploiting that activity, and all that has been built to support it, for moving their vision forward in this part of the world.”

[ ... ]

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), committee member and chairman of the Homeland Security Committee’s subcommittee of oversight and investigations, asked about Hezbollah’s relationship to criminal organizations in the Western Hemisphere and what it means for U.S. security.

Braun warned that those relationships allow “these groups to operate freely in our neighborhood” and said the U.S. would regret it if the threats were not taken seriously.

“I don’t want to sound too crude, but I think there’s going to be hell to pay in the not too distant future,” he said.

Braun discussed the Quds forces, which is controlled  by Iranian general Suleimani.  Recall that I have called for reversing executive order 12333 and assassinating general Suleimani.  Concerning what he thinks about his scope and power of influence, listen carefully to his recent words.

An Iranian general said Iraq and Hezbollah-dominated South Lebanon “submit” to Tehran’s wishes.

“Those two countries, in a way or another, submit to the will and the wishes of Tehran,” head of Iran’s elite al-Quds Force, Qassem Suleimani, was quoted as saying by Iran’s ISNA student news agency and later relayed by Al-Arabiya television.

He added that his country “can organize any movement that leads to the formation of Islamic governments [in Iraq and Lebanon] in order to fight imperialism.”

According to ISNA, Suleimani’s remarks came during a seminar entitled “Youth and Islamic Awareness”, which was held in Tehran on Thursday.

Commenting on the Syrian crisis, the general said that “the Syrian people support the government [of President Bashar al-Assad] completely.”

Assad’s troops have cracked down on protests against almost five decades of Baath rule which broke out mid-March, killing over 5,400 people and triggering a torrent of international condemnation.

He has killed American servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He has pressed the ambitions of the radical Mullahs at every chance, and it’s time for him to go.  We need a strategic assassination.

As for the Southern border, we are losing that battle, and it doesn’t bode well that we haven’t taken the fight seriously and yet allow a new gangster – General Suleimani – into the neighborhood.

Iran Busy Inside of Iraq

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 10 months ago

More from Wikileaks (courtesy of WSJ):

Leaked U.S. diplomatic cables provide new details on the U.S. assessment of how Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps has promoted Tehran’s influence in Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

The demise of archenemy Saddam Hussein, with whom Tehran fought an eight-year war in the 1980s, presented the Iranians with an unprecedented opportunity, and they appear to have exploited it from Day One.

The leadership of the Qods Force—the Guards’ paramilitary and espionage arm—”took advantage of the vacuum” in the aftermath of the fall of Mr. Hussein’s regime to begin sending operatives into Iraq when “little attention was focused on Iran,” according to an April 2009 dispatch from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The cable was part of a trove of classified U.S. diplomatic communications made public this week by WikiLeaks.

Early priorities for the Iranian operatives included assassinating former Iraqi fighter pilots who flew sorties against Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, according to a December 2009 dispatch from Baghdad. As of the end of last year 180 pilots had been killed, according to the report.

But Iran’s broader goals have been the establishment of “an economically dependent and politically subservient Iraq” and the undermining of rivals, in part through paramilitary means, the cables suggest.

Iran’s ambassador to Iraq Hassan Danaie-Far denied in a recent interview that Iran was meddling in Iraq’s affairs or supporting militias.

Since 2003, Qods Force commander Brig. Gen. Qasim Soleimani has been “the point man directing the formulation and implementation” of the Iranian government’s Iraq policy “with authority second only” to the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to another dispatch from Baghdad dated November 2009.

Through his officers and “Iraqi proxies,” Gen. Soleimani “employs the full range of diplomatic, security, intelligence, and economic tools to influence allies and detractors in order to shape a more pro-Iran regime in Baghdad and the provinces,” according to the same dispatch.

Some Qods Force operatives have entered Iraq under the guise of charities or the Iranian Red Crescent—the Islamic version of the Red Cross—according to an October 2008 dispatch from America’s Iran Regional Presence Office based in the Gulf Arab emirate of Dubai.

The cable, which cites an “Iranian with detailed knowledge of the country’s Red Crescent” as a source, says the organization contracted companies affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards to build clinics in Baghdad and the predominantly Shiite cities of Basra, Hilla, Karbala and Najaf to the south. The clinics were used “for treatment but also as warehouses for military equipment or military bases if needed.”

Other Iranian operatives came in as diplomats, including some allegedly as senior as Tehran’s former ambassador to Iraq Hassan Kazemi-Qomi, who is described as “an associate” of the Qods Force in the November 2009 dispatch. His successor, Mr. Danaie-Far, was a naval commander in the Revolutionary Guards.

In addition to training, funding and arming Shiite militias in Iraq involved in attacking U.S. interests, Gen. Soleimani has overseen economic development assistance to Iraq and the promotion of bilateral trade that reached an annual level of almost $4 billion by the end of 2009. He also oversaw the furthering of Iranian “soft power” through activities such as the renovation of Iraq’s revered Shiite shrines by Revolutionary Guards-owned companies, according to several dispatches.

The Iranian commander also “enjoys longstanding close ties” with several top Iraqi officials such as President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, according to a dispatch from Baghdad.

The November 2009 cable says Iran hands out cash payments to “Iraqi surrogates,” which include some of the political parties currently in power. It says while exact figures are unknown, Tehran’s financial assistance is estimated in the cables at $100 million to $200 million a year, with an estimated $70 million going to the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) party, which was based in Iran before Mr. Hussein’s fall.

In one cable, U.S. diplomats in Baghdad say sensitivity by Iraqi leaders toward being seen as “Iranian lackeys” will ultimately constrain Iran’s influence in Iraq.

Even though both countries are majority Shiite Muslim, they embrace opposing clerical traditions. Iraq’s revered Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is Iranian-born but rejects Iran’s clerical rule.

One dispatch that followed a visit by U.S. diplomats to Mr. Sistani’s base in Najaf last year said the reclusive cleric personally prohibited the enrollment of Iranian students at seminaries in the city in order to prevent infiltration by the Revolutionary Guards.

Right.  Like Iranian meddling inside of Iraq is some sort of newly-discovered fact.  It was known years ago.  Take careful note.  I have been watching this man General Qassem Suleimani, and have specifically called for his assassination.  It would have been better for Iraq had this man been dead long ago.  Note also that I have more recently called for more assassinations of Iranians in key places within the Quds forces.

This follows a rich tradition here at The Captain’s Journal, where I called for the assassination of Moqtada al Sadr.  It’s simple.  Reverse executive order 12,333 prohibiting assassinations.  It’s way past time to wield this simple but effective tool.

Concerning the assassination of Iranian nuclear physicists which I applauded just recently, the New York Post has taken what I perceive to be a very significant step.  They have endorsed the same thing.

Who is killing the great nuclear scientists of Iran?

Who cares?

That is, as long as enough of them are offed to stymie development of a deliverable Iranian nuke.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he knows who’s behind the recent drive-by bombings of the scientists. He sees “the hand of the Zionist regime and Western governments” — by which he means Israel and the United States.

Maybe. (The answer will no doubt be in the next WikiLeaks dump.)

According to news reports, unidentified assailants riding motorcycles carried out two bombings in Tehran on Monday, attaching explosives to the scientists’ cars and detonating them remotely.

One attack killed Majid Shahriari, manager of a “major project” for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization and an expert in neutron transport — a key stage in the chain reactions behind nuclear weapons.

The other bomb seriously injured Fereydoon Abbasi, a senior Ministry of Defense scientist who’s said to work closely with the notorious Revolutionary Guard and reportedly is believed by Western intelligence to be a key figure in Iran’s drive to build nukes.

As one unnamed US official told the Times: “They’re [both] bad people, and the work they do is exactly what you need to design a bomb.”

Israel, of course, has been warning about an Iranian nuclear arsenal for some time now — and is believed to have been behind last summer’s Stuxnet computer-worm attack, which reportedly sent Iran’s nuclear centrifuges out of control.

If the US government has finally come to realize that a more hands-on approach is needed — and, as the latest WikiLeaks disclosures show, Washington is being pressed hard by a clearly terrified Arab world — that’s all to the good.

Not so significant for a Military Blogger.  Monumentally significant for a main stream news organization, even one which leans more conservative.  To the New York Post: welcome.  My position actually cost me readers (I know because of demands to remove e-mails from my auto-distribution).  I suspect that it will for you as well.  But I’m not in this to max out my readers.  I have a stake in what we do in this transnational insurgency in which we unfortunately find ourselves.  I suspect you feel that you do as well.

A Battleground for Intelligence Services

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 11 months ago

Iraq’s defense minister has weighed in with some interesting insights concerning the future of Iraq.

Iraq’s defence minister warned on Saturday that the Gulf would be infested by pirates and Iraq left at risk of attack by its neighbours if US forces leave the country too soon.

“Coalition forces are currently protecting the Gulf, and our navy will not receive its first ships until April 2009,” Abdel Qader Jassem Mohammed al-Obeidi told a press conference in Baghdad.

If those forces “withdraw precipitously, our gulf will become like the Gulf of Aden, where there have been 95 acts of piracy,” he said.

Obeidi was addressing journalists on his support for the controversial military pact that would allow US troops to remain in Iraq until the end of 2011, a deal now being considered by the Iraqi parliament.

The minister did not enlarge on his remarks or explain how the Gulf would become prey to pirates when one of its littoral states, Bahrain, is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet.

The Gulf, which supplies the bulk of world oil imports, is also bordered by Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Iran, all of whose navies patrol the waterway.

Somali-based pirates have in recent months been plaguing shipping in the Gulf of Aden and in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa.

Obeidi also said Iraqi territory risks being attacked by neighbouring states, referring to Turkey’s bombing of Turkish Kurdish PKK rebels in their mountain hideaways of northern Iraq.

“Today, Iraq is the target of bombing from abroad but it is limited because the (US-led) coalition represents a dissuasion force,” he said.

“If it not there any more, the whole country risks being the target of shooting, even (the southern port of) Basra, and they will justify their actions by referring to information on a PKK base there,” the minister said.

Obeidi also said his country has turned into “a battleground for different foreign intelligence services,” without naming any countries.

“Iraqi security forces, backed by the coalition, must impose a limit on their activities, of which Iraqis are the victims,” the defence minister added.

Iranian Quds, Syrian intelligence, and so on, are in Iraq battling for preeminence – and the Iraqi Defense Minister knows it and makes it clear that there is more that must be done in Iraq. The roles filled by U.S. forces going forward will be fundamentally different that before, with focus on border security (e.g., the Marines in Anbar have their eyes trained on the Syrian border), training, backup of ISF, sea and air space security.

But there is a very real need to continue the high value target campaign that has been going on for months now in Iraq. Whereas in Afghanistan we have incorrectly attempted to employ a strategy of high value targets rather than counterinsurgency, in Iraq the counterinsurgency campaign has now given way to a campaign against high value targets, which is the right order.

This campaign won’t simply employ the U.S. military. The Captain’s Journal has made it clear that U.S. intelligence will engage Iranian intelligence or we will lose the region regardless of what happens in Iraq. Iraq is the primary battleground at the moment as noted by the Iraqi Defense Minister. But the covert war has been going on for years, and we must be willing to play “hard ball” in order to be in the same league with the Iranians.

And what would such U.S. engagement look like? We mustn’t forget Iranian General Qassem Suleimani, who is the primary commander of the Iranian covert war with the U.S., and to whom General Petraeus had to turn to request that the summer 2008 artillery shelling of the green zone be halted.

Bullying, arrests, much better human intelligence and targeting of people like General Suleimani must be employed or the covert war will be lost. The Israeli Mossad understands that they are engaged in a deadly serious effort for self-preservation and behaves accordingly. Thus far in Iraq, the effort has also been deadly for U.S. warriors. The full engagement of all U.S. resources is necessary to finalize the gains in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and this means actions that make some squeamish. But the squeamish should find other things to occupy their attention, and we must do what needs to be done.

More on General Qassem Suleimani

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 4 months ago

David Ignatius gives us another glimpse into the Main Man in Iran’s Fight with the United States.

Let’s try for a moment to put ourselves in the mind of Brigadier General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. For it is the soft-spoken Soleimani, not Iran’s bombastic President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who plays a decisive role in his nation’s confrontation with the United States.

Soleimani represents the sharp point of the Iranian spear. He is responsible for Iran’s covert activities in Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan and other battlegrounds. He oversees the regime’s relations with its militant proxies, Hizbullah and Hamas. His elite, secretive wing of the Revolutionary Guard is identified as a terrorist organization by the Bush administration, but he is also Iran’s leading strategist on foreign policy. He reports personally to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his budget (mostly in cash) comes directly from the supreme leader’s office.

Soleimani is said to be confident about Iran’s rising power in the region, according to an Arab official who met recently with him. He sees an America that is weakened by the war in Iraq but still potent. He has told visitors that United States’ and Iran’s goals in Iraq are similar, despite the rhetoric of confrontation. But he has expressed no interest in direct, high-level talks. The Quds Force commander prefers to run out the clock on the Bush administration, hoping that the next administration will be more favorable to Iran’s interests.

“The level of confidence of these [Quds Force] guys is that they are it, and everything else is marginal,” says the Arab who meets regularly with Soleimani.

Soleimani has been adept at turning up the heat in Iraq, then lowering the temperature when it suits Iran’s interest. A good example was the Basra campaign in March when Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki attacked the Mehdi Army, the Shiite militia headed by Muqtada al-Sadr. Though the Iranians had been backing Sadr, they made a quick switch to supporting Maliki. It was Soleimani himself who brokered the cease-fire that restored calm in Basra.

The simultaneous support for Maliki and Sadr is characteristic of Soleimani, according to people who know him well. Rather than pick a single ally, as Americans tend to do, he will choose at least two. By riding several horses at once, he maximizes Iran’s opportunities and reduces its risks.

Soleimani’s opportunism was evident during the heavy shelling of the Green Zone in March. The Iranians had supplied their Mehdi Army allies in Sadr City with very powerful 240 mm rockets and mortars, and they had bracketed their targets in the Green Zone so precisely that US casualties were rising sharply.

After a particularly heavy day of shelling, Genral (sic) David Petraeus sent Soleimani a message – “Stop shooting at the Green Zone.” The message was conveyed verbally by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. The Quds Force commander didn’t react immediately. But the heavy mortar fire on the Green Zone soon tapered off. Iran had flexed its muscles and demonstrated America’s vulnerability, and then opted for a tactical retreat.

The only compromise between full scale conventional war with Iran and abject surrender to Iraninan hegemony is selective targeting and fomenting an insurgency inside of Iran and its security apparatus (Qassem Suleimani himself should be targeted, and he should know that he is is a marked man).  As for the words from General David Petraeus to General Qassem Suleimani, they might have been more effective had they carried threats.

Iran has mastered the art of small scale, covert intelligence warfare.  The U.S. will master the art as well if we are to be successful in Iraq and throughout the larger region.  Time is short.

Prior: Is Iran the Biggest Problem is Iraq?

Is Iran the Biggest Problem in Iraq?

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 5 months ago

A few days ago McClatchy published an exposé on an Iranian General they called the most powerful man in Iraq.  A short selection will be reproduced below.

One of the most powerful men in Iraq isn’t an Iraqi government official, a militia leader, a senior cleric or a top U.S. military commander or diplomat,

He’s an Iranian general, and at times he’s more influential than all of them.

Brig. Gen. Qassem Suleimani commands the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, an elite paramilitary and espionage organization whose mission is to expand Iran’s influence in the Middle East.

As Tehran’s point man on Iraq, he funnels military and financial support to various Iraqi factions, frustrating U.S. attempts to build a pro-Western democracy on the rubble of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship.

According to Iraqi and American officials, Suleimani has ensured the elections of pro-Iranian politicians, met frequently with senior Iraqi leaders and backed Shiite elements in the Iraqi security forces that are accused of torturing and killing minority Sunni Muslims.

“Whether we like him (Suleimani) or not, whether Americans like him or not, whether Iraqis like him or not, he is the focalpoint of Iranian policy in Iraq,” said a senior Iraqi official who asked not to be identified so he could speak freely. “The Quds Force have played it all, political, military, intelligence, economic. They are Iranian foreign policy in Iraq.”

McClatchy reported on March 30 that Suleimaniintervened to halt the fighting between mostly Shiite Iraqi security forces and radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia in the southern city of Basra. Iraqi officials now confirm that in addition to that meeting, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani personally met Suleimaniat a border crossing to make a direct appeal for help.

Iraqi and U.S. officials told McClatchy that Suleimani also has: [i] Slipped into Baghdad’s Green Zone, the heavily fortified seat of the U.S. occupation and the Iraqi government, in April 2006 to try to orchestrate the selection of a new Iraqi prime minister. Iraqi officials said that audacious visit was Suleimani’s only foray into the Green Zone; American officials said he may have been there more than once, [ii] Built powerful networks that gather intelligence on American and Iraqi military operations. Suleimani’s network includes every senior staffer in Iran’s embassy in Baghdad, beginning with the ambassador, according to Iraqi and U.S. officials, and [iii] Trained and directed Shiite Muslim militias and given them cash and arms, including mortars and rockets fired at the U.S. Embassy and explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, the sophisticated roadside bombs that have caused hundreds of U.S. and Iraqi casualties.

At Abu Muqawama, Dr. iRack read this report and said:

The story is part of the growing drum beat of Iran stories Dr. iRack has pointed to this week (see here and here). There is clearly a concerted effort underway by the Bush administration (which began during the April Petraeus/Crocker testimony and President Bush’s April 10th speech) to prime the media pump and ratchet up the perceived threat posed by Iran’s “malign” activities in Iraq.

To which The Captain’s Journal responds, rubbish.  We have had twenty five years of experience reading Knight-Ridder / McClatchy due to it being the exclusive supplier for our very own hometown newspaper.  It is unapologetically and unabashedly biased and leftist.  This has consistently been the case for well over a quarter of a century, which is the amount of time we have invested in this rag and pitiful excuse for news.

It might take on the trappings of erudition to critique the McClatchy report as part of the “growing drumbeat on Iran,” but erudite it isn’t.  If they thought that this report would even be perceived as shilling for the administration, they would have killed it even if sourced better than any story even done at McCatchy.  In fact, this might be only the second instance of actual reporting we have ever seen from McClatchy (the first being a good report on snipers in Ramadi).

Along with this same theme, NBC News’ Richard Engel had an interesting post today about the role of Iran in Iraq, sourcing his information to “senior U.S. military officials,” duplicated below.

Over a meal this weekend at a Green Zone chow hall (chicken salad and Baskin-Robbins pralines and cream ice cream, a KBR delight), I had a revealing conversation with two senior U.S. military officials.

“We’ve pretty much defeated al-Qaida here,” one of the military officers said. “If Iran stopped doing what it’s doing, things would dramatically change.”

“You think that would be it, a turning point? If Iran stopped backing militias, you think things would get much better?” I asked.

“No doubt. It would be dramatic,” replied the officer.

For many military commanders there is a feeling of euphoria that the U.S. troop “surge” and the top commander in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus managed to reduce violence, especially in Sunni areas.

The surge has become something sacred for the military in Iraq. It was a plan that worked. It has been entered into the annals of history – at least here – as a success, not to be questioned. The commanders I spoke to this weekend were angry Iran, they claim, is trying to ruin their surge.

The frustration is understandable. Sunni radicals have gone quiet, thanks in part to the “Sons of Iraq” program in which former insurgents (mostly Sunnis) are paid to fight al-Qaida. (Critics say the program is just arming the insurgents to fight another day).

Anbar province, once considered a lost region overrun by Sunni radicals, is now mostly calm. It is the Shiite areas, especially where Iran is strong, like in Basra and Sadr City, which are now in revolt.

U.S. military commanders deduce that if Iran stopped stoking the fires of conflict, both Sunnis and Shiites would stop fighting long enough for Iraq to blossom into the prosperous nation that U.S. officials promised and that the U.S. military needs to prevent failure in Iraq.

Perhaps they are correct. It would be logical to assume that if both sides stop fighting, there would be less bloodshed and more room for dialogue.

He goes on to wonder if this is the “flavor of the month” enemy in Iraq.  Contrary to this fear and Dr. iRack’s diminutive analysis of the McClatchy report, we vote that Iran is a powerful actor in Iraq – but then, we were saying this before it became popular.  Perhaps our warnings were prescient.

But the reader will not detect rumblings of war at The Captain’s Journal.  Rather, we will advocate as we always have, i.e., full engagement in the covert warfare in which Iran has engaged against the U.S. for twenty five years.  The U.S. is so powerful and resourced so well in this type of warfare, yet engages so poorly in it, that it can only be the fault of the CIA.

In this case, there is a solution for General Suleimani.  It is selective targeting, analogous to the same for Mughniyeh.  It will get their attention far more effectively than deployment of yet another carrier to the Persian gulf.


26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (675)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (28)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (6)
Ammunition (14)
Animals in War (4)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
AR-15s (38)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (34)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (26)
Australian Army (5)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (44)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (15)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (2)
Blogs (4)
Body Armor (16)
Books (2)
Border War (6)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (26)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (1)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (10)
Christmas (5)
CIA (12)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (2)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (214)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (114)
Department of Homeland Security (9)
Disaster Preparedness (2)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (5)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (1)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (1)
Featured (160)
Federal Firearms Laws (15)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (252)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (14)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (38)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (7)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (205)
Guns (567)
Guns In National Parks (2)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (7)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (11)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (1)
Horses (1)
Humor (13)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (34)
India (10)
Infantry (3)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (2)
Intelligence (22)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (169)
Iraq (378)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (33)
Islamists (37)
Israel (17)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (2)
Jihadists (71)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (8)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (2)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (2)
Lawfare (6)
Leadership (5)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (1)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (11)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (7)
Logistics (47)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (229)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (22)
Memorial Day (2)
Mexican Cartels (20)
Mexico (24)
Michael Yon (5)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (3)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (3)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (10)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (16)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (13)
NATO (15)
Navy (19)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (1)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (53)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (205)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (6)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (17)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Police (116)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (136)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (75)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (74)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (27)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (139)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (22)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (17)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Survival (10)
SWAT Raids (50)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (1)
Tactical Gear (1)
Taliban (167)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (16)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (86)
Thanksgiving (4)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (10)
TSA Ineptitude (10)
TTPs (1)
U.S. Border Patrol (4)
U.S. Border Security (11)
U.S. Sovereignty (13)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (2)
Uncategorized (38)
Universal Background Check (2)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (2)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (210)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (2)
War Reporting (18)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (5)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (57)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (11)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2014 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.