Thomas Wictor

A military expert calls for France to fail spectacularly

A military expert calls for France to fail spectacularly

Novelist Caleb Carr has written a ridiculous op-ed titled “If France wants to succeed against Islamic State, it should study the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.” I didn’t know that Carr is considered a military expert. After reading his piece, I’m stunned that he’s actually paid to give speeches on terrorism.

There was almost an eeriness about the U.S. global response in the days after 9/11. We saw none of the usual attempts at immediate vengeful gratification — the path France has chosen to satisfy the demands of its rightfully outraged people.

This is preposterous. The French aren’t doing anything that hasn’t been carefully thought out. It might surprise Caleb Carr, but the people making the decisions in the fight against the Islamic State are real military experts. Carr has no military experience whatsoever. He’s a novelist, a screenwriter, and a paid speaker.


Though he has a degree in military history, that doesn’t mean much, as Carr’s op-ed proves.

The action won for the U.S. an enormous store of faith among Afghans; and although that store was soon to be squandered by George W. Bush’s foolhardy attempt (later repeated with even more disastrous results in Iraq) to occupy and “democratize” Afghanistan, that squandering must not obscure the brilliance of the attack itself.

That attack is what the French armed forces must adopt as a model.

This kind of peevish, supercilious criticism infuriates me. Where to begin?

The Taliban was the government of Afghanistan. Operation Enduring Freedom was an international war—nation versus de facto nation. We overthrew the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Anybody who argues that it was wrong to stay and try to rebuild Afghanistan should take a peek at Libya. After overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the coalition simply left. Operation Unified Protector was the brainchild of a journalist-turned-academic named Samantha Power, the current US ambassador to the United Nations.


Power’s book A Problem from Hell won her a Pulitzer Prize. Since it describes modern genocides and garnered her international attention, Power began referring to herself as the “Genocide Chick.” President Obama was so impressed with her that he made her his foreign-policy adviser. This is an example of Power’s intellectual prowess.

The Palestinian Authority is nothing but an organized-crime enterprise that steals billions in foreign aid. Israel, on the other hand, provides the US with crucial military technology such as missile defenses that have rendered Russian and Chinese ICBMs obsolete. Nobody’s saying it, but it’s true. So Power suggests that the US should send a giant American expeditionary force to the Palestinian territories to militarily confront one of our closest allies.

It was a stupid question. Nobody ever says that.

“What a stupid question. Are you an idiot? The Israelis aren’t committing genocide. Since 1948 the population of Palestinians went from 500,000 to 4.4 million, an increase of almost 900 percent. It’s an anti-genocide. The Israelis must be putting Viagra in the Palestinian water supply.”

Samantha Power conceived “responsibility to protect” (R2P), the notion of intervening in a country when its government begins committing genocide against its own people. The overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi was the first (and hopefully the last) R2P war. “Responsibility to protect” sounds marvelous, but it doesn’t address what happens after you get rid of the genocidal government. In Libya the people who overthrew Gaddafi departed without creating a means to protect the National Transitional Council. Now Libya is a haven for…the Islamic State.

We overthrew the Nazis and then occupied Germany. We overthrew the Tojo government and then occupied Japan. The occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq were problematic only because the Afghan and Iraqi cultures embrace corruption, violence, tribalism, xenophobia, ignorance, backwardness, fanatical religious sectarianism, duplicity, nepotism, self-pity, and criminality. Blame the Afghans and the Iraqis. They BLEW IT.

Caleb Carr says this.

France ought to quietly embed special forces troops of Muslim background into those sectors of Islamic State-contested Syria that still contain large numbers of displaced but not yet refugee citizens. These troops could join or replace small groups of U.S. special forces, who are less ideally suited by background to the work at hand.

But earlier he says this.

[A] plan was devised to insert U.S. special forces and intelligence units into Afghanistan within days of the 9/11 attacks. These units established contact with anti-Taliban and anti-Al Qaeda groups and tribes among the Afghan people, most notably the collection known as the Northern Alliance. The images of these brave Americans at work are now familiar: bearded and riding horseback beside their Afghan allies, they moved about the country, precisely identifying targets to be struck by American air power.

So the same men who brought about the victory in Afghanistan are suddenly “less ideally suited by background” to do it in Syria.

You know how the Syrian Civil War resembles Operation Enduring Freedom? Both involve Muslims. That’s it. Here are the combatants in the Syrian Civil War.


That’s not even all of them. And what we’re seeing is not what’s really happening. Russia is only pretending to bomb the hell out of the Islamic State. The al-Nusra Front—al-Qaeda in Syria—sometimes fights the Islamic State and sometimes allies with it. The Turks supply weapons to al-Qaeda and bomb the Kurds, who fight both al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. Qatar funds anti-Saudi terrorists while fighting in a Coalition led by Saudi Arabia.

And you can bet that Iran supports the Islamic State.

ISIS’ presence helps keep Iraq and Syria off-balance—giving Iran the weak neighbours it has always wanted—and the ISIS menace helps keep any opposition to Iranian hegemony among the governments in Baghdad and Damascus side-lined when the alternative is extermination.

This, however, is only the most indirect means by which Iran has helped ISIS build its power. One “cannot truly understand ISIS today,” Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan write in their superb book on the takfiri group, without examining “the agendas of [the] regimes in Iran and Syria”.

From the very start in Syria, the Assad regime bet on provokatsiya (provocation), the Russian-perfected tactic of taking strategic control of one’s enemies to have them discredit themselves, of creating problems in order to solve them—which has been serving Moscow since the 1880s…

“Assad first changed the narrative of the newborn Syrian revolution to one of sectarianism, not reform,” a defected Syrian diplomat noted, after which “the Assad regime and Iran … meticulously nurtured the rise of al-Qaeda, and then ISIS, in Syria.”

Assad not only released the violent Salafists—some of whom went on to be ISIS emirs—while continuing to arrest and kill the secular activists, but “facilitated [the extremists] in their work, in their creation of armed brigades”.

Once ISIS had taken hold, Assad avoided attacking it—since “letting black-clad terrorists run around … crucifying and beheading people made for great propaganda”—and Assad even provided ISIS a de facto air force when the rebels went on the offensive against ISIS in early 2014.

This is why the only long-term solution for the Middle East is the overthrow of the mullahs. Remember what Prime Minister Netanyahu said at the UN.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Israel is working closely with our Arab peace partners to address our common security challenges from Iran and also the security challenges from ISIS and from others. We are also working with other states in the Middle East as well as countries in Africa, in Asia and beyond. Many in our region know that both Iran and ISIS are our common enemies. And when your enemies fight each other, don’t strengthen either one – weaken both. Common dangers are clearly bringing Israel and its Arab neighbors closer.

If Caleb Carr studied arms sales, military exercises, and troop movements, he’d know that something gigantic is in the works. Operation Enduring Freedom relied on special forces, indigenous ground troops, and air power. The coming war is going to be exponentially more violent, due to the huge missile caches that Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah have. Unlike in Afghanistan, the enemy must be defeated almost instantly.

Netanyahu said at the UN that a coalition is going to deal with the Iranian mullahs and the Islamic State simultaneously. This massive undertaking has required years of training. The coalition will use new weapons and new strategies; recently the airspace around Los Angeles International Airport was closed due to a missile test. According to the Pentagon, the USS Kentucky ballistic missile submarine fired a Trident II offshore.

Nice try, Pentagon!

A photo of the missile shows the direction it traveled.


That image was taken from the 4th Street bridge over the 110 Freeway. See the Union Bank building on the left?

The photographer was at the green arrow, the Union Bank building on his left.


Therefore the missile flew from east to west. In other words, it was fired from land, not a submarine. It hit the missile test range on San Nicholas Island.



My brother Tim and I figured out what’s special about this missile, but nobody else has written about it, so I’m not going to be the one to spill the beans. The US Navy swears that a submarine fired a Trident II, and the following members of Congress were on board the submarine to watch.

Sen. Joe Donnelly (Indiana)
Rep. Stephen Womack (Arkansas)
Rep. Pete Visclosky (Indiana)
Rep. Jackie Walorski (Indiana)
Rep. Larry Bucshon (Indiana)
Professional staff members from Senate and House subcommittees

Four from Indiana. Why that state?

The prominence of the defense industry in Indiana may be one of the most important untold stories of the past decade.

After Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed Congress on March 3, 2015, he had two vocal defenders.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence said. “The unfortunate talk of a boycott of the Prime Minister’s speech only plays into the hands of Israel’s enemies when this historic moment gives us the opportunity to demonstrate the deep and bipartisan support of the American people for the State of Israel.”

“I agree with Prime Minister Netanyahu that the most direct threat to world peace is a nuclear Iran,” [Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said]. “He articulated clearly why this threat is of such significance and why the negative consequences of a bad deal with Iran will impact the security and safety of all Americans. As the Iranians continue their dangerous nuclear activities, it is vital that Israel and the United States stand together to prevent Iran from developing these capabilities.”

My guess is that the missile fired on November 7, 2015, was a new design, developed jointly by Israel and a member of the Indiana Aerospace and Defense Council. Once again the Israelis have found a solution to a problem that limited the effectiveness of this particular weapon. My interpretations of events are sounding less and less insane. Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Israel would deal with Iran and the Islamic State simultaneously, and now a prominent American politician tells us that this is absolutely necessary.

Mrs. Clinton said: “In September, I laid out a comprehensive plan to counter Iranian influence across the region and its support for terrorist proxies such as Hezbollah and Hamas. We cannot view Iran and ISIS as separate challenges. Regional politics are too interwoven. Raising the confidence of our Arab partners and raising the costs to Iran for bad behavior will contribute to a more effective fight against ISIS.”

The former Secretary of State is the first American leader to publicly articulate the idea that Iran and the Islamic State should be confronted at the same time. Her security clearance has given her a general idea of Israeli capabilities, which is why she’s feeling confident enough to make the above statement.

Things are not what they seem. I would never offer advice to real military experts. For one thing, I’m just a dilettante, and for another, everything’s going to be fine. President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu do not hate each other.


Have you ever seen either man with such expressions? That’s a rare, genuine smile from the president, and the prime minister for once looks as though his troubles are over.

It’s because they are.