WHY ISLAM IS AT WAR WITH ITSELF

Before the arrival of the Prophet Mohammed in the 7th century AD, the Arab world of the desert nomads believed mostly in the fiery spirits of the dunes and numerous other gods, as well as the patron gods of individual towns.

Although in the Arabian Peninsula and the surrounding regions, the influences of Judaism and Christianity had gradually become recognised in some areas.

Amongst the numerous deities of the time, Allah (the God) was rising above all others to be accepted as “the creator, provider and decider of human destiny”. Followers of Mohammed’s teachings grew into a powerful Islamic force to be reckoned with in a dark time of general immorality, violence and blood feuds.

Muslim armies broke out of Arabia and defeated the Persians (today’s Iranians, who are not ArabsARABIAN DESERT 4 and speak the Farsi language), putting an end to their Sasanian empire.

Thirty years after Mohammed’s death in 632AD, a row began over who should succeed the great prophet and become the ruler (or Caliph) of the rapidly growing Muslim empire (or Caliphate).

Descendants of the prophet’s cousin and son-in-law, Ali, believed it should be them. They formed the breakaway Shi’ite movement when, five years into his reign, Ali was assassinated and his two sons were denied succession by the rival Sunni faction.

To this day, the Shi’ites resent this historic act and hold a deep grudge against the religious opposition, the Sunnis, who were able to go on to claim the holiest of Islamic shrines, Mecca and Medina, to be on their land.

Fast-forward some 1,500 years and that land is now Saudi Arabia, which has only been in formal existence since 1932.

IRAN 1-CMeanwhile the Shi’ites have gone on to become the majority of the population in Iran, Iraq and Bahrain. Everywhere else is mostly Sunni. A status quo had developed in which the relaxed Sunni Arab Gulf States, headed by the Saudi Arabian monarchy , enjoyed friendly relations with the Shah of Shi’ite Iran and were happy to allow his navy to become police constable of the Gulf waters.

At this time Westerners and locals, in either Iran or Saudi Arabia, could wallow in alcohol-driven decadence and a very liberal lifestyle.

That was to come to a shuddering halt in 1979 with arrival of the radical Iranian Revolution and the deposing of the Shah of Iran. Almost overnight a contest arose between the two countries as to which was the most strict and worthy of being leaders of the Islamic world.

While Iran’s ayatollahs declared their intention to export of their Islamic revolution in defiance of the corrupt and unworthy monarchy of Riyadh, Saudi royalty responded by proving itself to be even more Islamic than its radical Islamic rivals.

Shaken by events, the House of Saud decided that its ultimate survival would be determined by its ARABIAN DESERT 7devotion to the strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islam, which allowed strict clerics a say in public life, education, justice and social behaviour.

This has resulted confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia, each promoting and contesting its own version of Islam, each trying to out- do the other.

Iran has spawned Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine. It also backs the current majority Shi’ite governments of Iraq, Syria and the Houthi rebels of Yemen. Sunni Saudi Arabia stands accused of bankrolling Islamic jihadist extremism in the form of al-Qaeda and Da’esh (aka Islamic State).
ARABIAN DESERT 3
The battle between the two ancient religious ideologies – and the political and historical baggage attached to them – threatens to drag the entire modern world into its apocalyptic war of madness.

WORLD WAR 3 HAS BEGUN – BUT NO ONE’S NOTICED

by
Dixie Hughes

Dixie HughesDixie Hughes served in the British Royal Navy, where he attended Britannia Royal Naval College. Later he served in the Dorset Police and he is known for his passionate interest in the Middle East. He is also a founder member and contributor to Defensionem.com.
[This item is condensed from an original article on Defensionem.com]

With the imminent arrival of some 5000 Communist Chinese troops in Syria to assist the Russians in ridding the world of the extreme radical Islamic Da’esh (commonly known as Islamic State) movement, the conflict has unquestionably become “World War Three” in all but name. It’s just that no one seems to have noticed.
CHINESE TROOPS 1
The term “World War” is thought to have been first used in 1850 by Karl Marx in The Class Struggles in France. Its next appearance was as a literal translation of the German word ‘Weltkrieg’ by the German writer August Wilhelm Otto Niemann. He used the term in the title of his anti-British novel Der Weltkrieg: Deutsche Träume (or The World War: German Dreams) in 1904. It was also published in English as The Coming Conquest of England. Officially, the OED cites the first known usage in the English language as being in April 1909, in the pages of the Westminster Gazette.

The definition of a “world war” is a conflict that involves some of the world’s most powerful and most populous countries, spanning multiple countries on multiple continents, with battles fought in multiple theatres. It is also defined more simply, as a war involving many large nations in all different parts of the world.

Many historians have used the term “World War” to include the “War of the Spanish Succession”, the “Seven Years’ War” and the “Napoleonic Wars.”

It was only during the 20th Century that the world experienced two truly global conflicts which are generally recognised as the First and Second World Wars.

Since the latter ended with the explosion of two nuclear weapons, it has been generally assumed that any future conflict between the opposing power blocks of NATO and the Warsaw Pact would bring about Armageddon. Such an apocalyptic end to our civilisation would hopefully be prevented the certainty of aptly-named MAD – or “Mutual Assured Destruction”.

Nowadays such terrifying weapons are possessed not just by USA, UK, France and Russia, as previously; we now know that China, India and Pakistan also have them, and that it is generally accepted that Israel and North Korea do too.
NUKE
I think it was Einstein, who said something like, “I don’t know how World War 3 will be fought, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones.”

But what if Einstein was wrong? Everyone, even Albert, is allowed one mistake. Can we really be certain that any Third World War would involve nuclear weapons at all?

I was told recently that “What’s happening in the Middle East is a side-show. The next World War will start in Europe or the Pacific.”

Though hardly a “side show”, what is happening in the Middle East is certainly only part of a much bigger picture, as I will illustrate.

If, by definition, a World War must be “a war that involves some of the world’s most powerful countries”, there is also nothing to say those countries had to start it. Or, indeed, have to be the main protagonists.

Surely involvement is the chief criteria. And does a World War actually have to be between countries at all?

A “war” can easily be between contrasting ideologies. If it takes place within one country, it would be called a “civil war”. If it spanned several countries, on different continents, with fighting in multiple theatres, involving some of the world’s most powerful nations; it would most certainly be called a “World War”.

So what have we got?

The Islamic religion is broadly divided into two main houses of faith, Sunni and Shi’ite. DA’ESH – calling itself Islamic State (IS) – is a Wahhabi-Salafist organization, which is opposed to all who aren’t of their Wahhabi-Salafist leaning.

However, it is the Shi’ites who are their main enemy and who comprise the vast majority of their victims
IS 6.
Da’esh has affiliates who are currently fighting in the Middle East and Asia (Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan), in Africa, (Libya, Sinai, Algeria, Nigeria) and in Eastern Europe (Chechnya & Dagestan.) The would-be Caliphate also has followers active in Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Israel and Palestine.

All this more than fits the multiple countries and continents criteria!

That other well-known Wahhabi-Salafist (Sunni) organisation, al-Qaeda, has affiliates operating in Africa, (the Magreb, Tunisia, Libya, Kenya and Somalia) and Asia (Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines.)

Major nations opposing them around the world include the USA, Great Britain, France and Russia. Now the Communist Chinese have joined the party big time.

Meanwhile in Yemen, Sunni Da’esh and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, (AQAP) were losing their struggle against the Zaidi Shi’ite Houthis and the bulk of the Yemeni Army.

However, Da’esh and al-Qaeda jihadis are now being enthusiastically supported by the Saudi-led coalition of Gulf Co-operation Council States (UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain, as well as Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Sudan). These are all Sunni nations.

The coalition’s airstrikes, which are actually assisted by the United States, appear to have turned the tide.

On the ground, troops Saudi Arabia and UAE troops are fighting openly alongside Daʿesh and al-Qaeda to defeat the Shi’ite Houthis.
Back in Iraq, Da’esh (IS) is opposed by the Iranian-supported Shi’ite Militias, the Kurdish Peshmerga and parts of the Iraqi army. Sunnis in the Iraqi army have an unsurprising propensity to run away or defect when confronted by Da’esh.

From Baghdad the fight against Da’esh is supported by US-led coalition air force operations including planes from the USA itself, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the UK. Just to add to the confusion, Turkey, with its Sunni administration, has in fact carried out more airstrikes against the separatist Kurds than it has against Da’esh.
In Syria, the fight against the Alawite (a Shi’ite Sect) regime of President Assad, on the ground is led by Da’esh and al-Nusrah (al-Qaeda in Syria).

At the leadership level there is disagreement between them, but their ideologies remain the same (Wahhabi-Salafist).

Ranged against them, supporting President Assad are the Iranian-backed Shi’ite Hezbollah, Iranian and Russian forces. And now the Communist Chinese.

Of course Turkey, which borders Syria, confuses the local issue even further. The current, Turkish (Sunni) regime also want rid of Assad, but not as much as they want rid of the independence-seeking Kurds. It just so happens that Kurdish fighters are the most effective ground force against Da’esh that the US is prepared to support.
GRAPHIC-19-KurdFemTroops(NBC)
This clearly international conflict is in fact really between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims.

If the West is serious about defeating Da’esh (aka Islamic State), it must take a pragmatic approach and co-operate with Russia and Iran. In this particular fight, they are the allies it needs. If that means leaving President Assad in place for now, so be it.

But it also has to recognise that this is a world-wide Muslim war. The necessary counter force of “boots-on-the-ground” have to be Muslim, ie. Kurdish and Iranian. The West and Russia must limit themselves to support operations, Special Forces activity and airstrikes, as at present.

SAS 3So, the news is most definitely that World War Three has already started, though – or perhaps because – nuclear weapons are not (yet) involved, nobody appears to have noticed.

SYRIA IS A SIMPLE CASE OF BLACK AND WHITE – OR GOOD AND BAD

My unofficial briefing to anyone who is confused (including our politicians) courtesy of

ANONYMOUSANONYMOUS
The originator of this article cannot be traced; when and if he or she is, they will be credited for their excellent analysis and presentation
[Edited]

President Assad of Syria (who is bad) is a nasty guy who got so nasty that his people rebelled and the rebels (who are good) started winning (hurrah!).

Then some of the rebels turned a bit nasty too and started calling themselves Islamic State ( which is definitely bad!). But other rebels continued to support democracy (and they are still good)

So the Americans (who are good) started bombing Islamic State (who are very bad) and giving arms to the other Syrian rebels (who are good) so they could fight Assad (who is still bad), which was good.

GRAPHIC-52 - Kurd in Kobane(D.Mail)By the way, there is a breakaway state in the north of neighbouring Turkey run by the Kurds who want to fight Islamic State (which is a good thing). But the Turkish authorities think that they are bad, so we have to say they are bad, whilst secretly thinking that they’re good and giving them guns to fight Islamic State (which is good) but that is another matter.

Getting back to Syria…

So President Putin of Russia (who is bad, because he invaded Crimea and the Ukraine) has decided to back Assad (who is still bad) by attacking Islamic State – which is sort of a good thing.

But Putin (still bad) thinks the other Syrian rebels ( who are good ) are in fact also bad, and so he bombs them too. That is much to the annoyance of the Americans (who are still good) who are busy backing and arming the good Syrian rebels.
IS 6
Now Iran (which used to be bad, but now they have agreed not to build any nuclear weapons and bomb Israel are now considered good) are going to provide ground troops to support President Assad (still bad) as are the Russians (bad) who now have their own ground troops and aircraft in Syria.

PutinSo a Coalition of Assad (still bad), Putin (extra bad) and the Iranians (good, but in a bad sort of way) are going to attack Islamic State (who have become exceedingly bad) which is a good thing. But they’re also attacking the good Syrian rebels – which is terribly bad!

Now the British (obviously good, except that nice Mr Corbyn in the corduroy jacket, who is probably bad) and the Americans (also good) cannot attack President Assad (still bad) for fear of upsetting Putin (bad) and Iran (good and bad) and now they have to accept that Assad might not be that bad after all compared to Islamic State (who are the baddest people on the planet).

So bad Assad is now probably good, being better than Islamic State. And since Putin and Iran are also fighting Islamic State, that may now also make them good. Or at the very least better.

America (still good) will find it hard to arm a group of rebels being attacked by the Russians for fear of upsetting Mr Putin (now good) and that nice mad Ayatollah in Iran (also good) and so they may be forced to say that the good rebels are now bad – or at the very least abandon them to their fate.

RAF Typhoons

RAF Typhoons

This will lead most of them to flee to Turkey and on to Europe or join Islamic State (still the only consistently baddest people).

To Sunni Muslims, an attack by Shia Muslims (Assad and Iran) backed by Russians will be seen as something of a “Holy War”, and the ranks of Islamic State will now be seen by the Sunnis as the only jihadis fighting in the Holy War – and hence many good Muslims may now also see Islamic State as good.

Sunni Muslims will also see the lack of action by Britain and America in support of their good Sunni rebel brothers as something of a betrayal and thence see them as bad.

So now we have America (now bad) and Britain (also bad) providing limited support to Sunni rebels (bad), many of whom are looking to Islamic State (good and bad) for support against Assad (now good) who, along with Iran (also good) and Putin (also, now, unbelievably, good) are attempting to retake the country Assad used to run before all this started?

I hope that clears all this up for you.
GRAPHIC-39-British Lion

COMRADE CORBYN IS RIGHT THIS TIME ON SYRIA

Everyone’s spoiling for a fight with the medieval Islamic death cult of Daesh (or Islamic State as it grandly calls itself) – including me.

Prime Minister Cameron wants to earn his credentials as a gun-toting sheriff to take on the bad guys with the black hats and the black flags. But for Britain to go bowling into the madness that is Syria would be pointless to the point of dangerous lunacy.

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn

On this vexing subject, new pacifist Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has made the right call, along with UKIP’s world-wise Nigel Farage – so he is not alone.

Syria’s unpleasant President Assad has the country sewn up with some 50% of the rigged vote. His opposition is a disparate bunch of whom only another 50% share the West’s vision of democracy. Therefore there can be no winning strategy or clear exit plan.

The Russians (who have supported Assad long-term and want his Mediterranean naval facilities) have already check-mated the West by allying themselves against all his enemies.

As you will see in the last post, there is little the RAF can contribute in Syria. Arguably they have enough to do against IS in Iraq, which is the UK’s recent legacy.
Believe it or not, Comrade Corbyn is right this time.
Syria is a private party between the Syrians and their Russian guests. The west is not invited.
FREEDOM CITY
Our wisest option is to allow no disillusioned British or European poopers from that party back home (remove passports and citizenship) and get refugees funded by Saudi Arabia and its allies under the United Nations.

If Russia successfully finishes off Islamic State in Syria, refugees can decide to go back home.

It gives the West the opportunity to form a diplomatic understanding with Putin that may possibly involve a political change in Damascus that doesn’t leave Assad in complete control. The current opportunity should not be squandered because of sour grapes.
IS 1-C
Meanwhile the West should concentrate in knocking seven bells out of Daesh in Iraq and supporting the Kurds there. George Bush and Tony Blair made Iraq our domain and it is our responsibility to leave it in better shape than we found it.

An achievement that so far is a long way off.

RAF Typhoons

RAF Typhoons

WHY THE RAF CAN’T DELIVER THE PUNCH CAMERON WANTS IN SYRIA

Contributed by Sharkey Ward

Air ace Starkey Ward

Air ace Starkey Ward

Falklands War air ace and Harrier squadron commander
[Edited]

Things do not auger well for Britain’s future land-based air participation by the Royal Air Force in the fight against Islamic State (IS) targets.

It is understood that the UK’s Eurofighter aircraft – now dramatically named ‘Typhoons’ – simply lack the necessary independent laser targeting and interdiction ability to destroy the death cult’s ground assets. This was clearly demonstrated during the Libyian conflict – despite a huge investment by the Government to try and give the aircraft a truly multi-role capability.

Continuing such investment is unquestionably throwing more good money after bad.

The Typhoons’ operational limitations leave Britain with the obsolete Tornado as its fighter-bomber. That is also costing the taxpayer huge amounts of money in order to keep some of the airframes operationally capable.

But even more important than wasting taxpayers’ money – and quite another matter – is to deliberately send ill-equipped aircrew “into harm’s way”.

The Tornado would not be able to evade a Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile.

RAF Typhoons

RAF Typhoons

Of course, the risk factor from this and other surface-to-air missile defence systems over contested territory could have been mitigated by the procurement of few A/E-18 Super Growler defence suppression aircraft.

These aircraft are able to identify interrogating enemy air defence radars and blind them by “jamming” and other technologies.

The RAF or Royal Navy could have afforded two of these for the price of one Typhoon or one F35B STOVL aircraft. Such a purchase would have enabled relatively safe operations by Tornado over Syria.

(I hardly dare point out – again – that Britain could have purchased three proven F-18 Super Hornet multi-role fighter aircraft for the cost of one Typhoon or F35.)

The vulnerability of the Tornados’ low-level attack profile to air defences was amply demonstrated way back in Desert Storm when eight RAF aircraft were lost, mainly during operations against Saddam Hussein’s airfields.

Some may remember reliable press reports of a near-mutiny by Tornado squadron aircrew in Kuwait because of their high loss rate and the plane’s ‘suicidal’ attack profile. Allegedly one squadron expressed its firm desire to ‘down tools’ en masse and return to the UK.

Further, both Libya and Afghanistan must be considered operational failures as far as the Tornado is concerned. The aircraft was not reactive to urgent “ground support” tasks, even though it was not opposed by any sophisticated form of air defence – just shoulder-launched missiles and small arms – and it stayed well out of range of these infantry weapons when delivering ordnance.

Indeed, it is little known outside the military that in Afghanistan the original RAF Harrier squadrons would respond to urgent requests for close air support in less than half an hour (wheels off the ground in 15 minutes).

But when Tornados took over, just weeks before SDSR 2010, ground forces were informed by the Tornado hierarchy that all requests for “close air support” had to be submitted 24 hours in advance.
IS 1-C
Shockingly, I understand that the Tornados flew lengthy sorties at high level, clocking up the hours to create the false impression that they were being effective in that combat theatre.

Until now in Iraq, RAF Tornado and Voyager missions have remained well above the range of ground-based small arms and shoulder-launched missiles when attacking IS targets.

Tornado

Tornado

Some might say unkindly that they are, in the main, boring holes in the sky (just as they did in Afghanistan) to create the impression of some combat utility.

After all, an occasional pickup truck destroyed by an expensive Brimstone missile can hardly be said to be a game-changer in the war against Islamic State.

However, Russia’s introduction of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile into the Syrian theatre is a major game changer (all targets up to 90,000 feet and within a 250 miles range).

If pressed, Moscow might use the missile and, if in Syrian air-space, gallant RAF aircrew could be lost. I am reminded of Guernica and the Spanish Civil War, when Hitler’s Luftwaffe tested its weapons with impunity. Would Putin do the same?

For example, any Western “coalition” aircraft conducting missions over Syria could be ‘taken out’ by the Russian missile and Putin/Assad would no doubt argue that under international law the coalition aircraft had no right to be using weapons of war in sovereign Syrian territory.

The Russians have already alluded to this by criticising some of the air strikes made by the French following the radical Islamist terror attack in Paris.

By default, Putin and the S-400 threat have now ‘created’ a pretty effective no fly zone.

The situation is a complete mess and, as far as Britain’s efforts are concerned, its military is becoming a laughing stock.

RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus is only 70 nautical miles from Syria. Britain owns approximately 100 Typhoon and 75 Tornado aircraft. So why has it been unable to do more in Iraq? The answer is that it has the wrong aircraft with the wrong weapon systems and it lacks any vital AA suppression capability.

This state of affairs says little for those in the RAF who plan British air power and provide the Government with such dreadfully partisan advice.

In the light of all the above (and the Tornado’s dreadful track record) is it not extraordinary that the Government’s Ministry of Defence has seen fit to appoint two Tornado officers to take charge of the new Royal Navy carriers and their air groups?

It hardly bodes well for the future of Britain’s global national security and defence.

HMS Queen Elizabeth Photo by BAE

HMS Queen Elizabeth
Photo by BAE

NO, NOT LISTENING, CAN’T HEAR YOU

Naval aviation against Islamic State

by Sharkey Ward
A contribution from Britain’s Falklands War Harrier Squadron Commander and Air Ace
[Edited]

Britain’s Defence Minister Michael Fallon does not yet seem to have taken in the implications of not having an efficient air force available, now that he has lost the old fixed wing Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy.

He may or may not be right about the moral indefensibility of the UK not doing its part to destroy Isis in Syria, but he does not understand that we do not now have the air resources to take effectively the fight to the enemy.

Tornado

Tornado

(And if we DO have the resources, why are we not using them?)

The crux of this matter lies in the figures that have been presented:

How is it that, with a force of approximately aging 75 Tornados and some100 Typhoon “multirole” fighter bombers (fourth-generation), only 8 aircraft can be spared to attack Isis?

That is approximately 5% of the entire RAF fighter inventory. And, on a particularly distressful note, these 8 Tornado aircraft can only achieve two missions a day – of which very few actually involve delivering ordinance against the enemy.

If the RAF really does end up administering, maintaining and controlling the whole of the F-35B STOVL Royal Navy Fleet and only 12 aircraft are to be deployed on board the Queen Elizabeth, it could be mischievously argued that with the extraordinarily poor RAF maintenance and engineering record only one aircraft out of the 12 may be available for operations at any one time.
So much for our so-called strike carrier!

HMS Queen Elizabeth Photo by BAE

HMS Queen Elizabeth
Photo by BAE

In parallel, Akrotiri is only about 70 nautical miles from the Syrian border and as such represents the nearest comparison that one can make to a land-based strike carrier. Yet given its close proximity, all that space, all those land-based aircraft and all those personnel, the Royal Air Force appers unable to provide our nation with effective air power against a very Third World target, the Da-esh (aka Isis) dream of a Caliphate.

UK ministers and civil servants should take serious note of the inability of land-based aircraft (and more than 2,000 personnel) to provide “Operation Shader”’s 8 fighter bombers to fly more than two missions per day.

Something is wrong.

In the Falklands War, my squadron of 8 Harrier fighter bomber aircraft flew 601 sorties against the enemy in a period of six weeks – equating to 14 aircraft missions per day – and that was with the support of no more than 120 aircraft maintenance engineers, armament personnel, etc.

RAF Typhoons

RAF Typhoons

And we, the Fleet Air Arm fixed wing squadrons, achieved victory in the air against an enemy that deployed ten times as many combat aircraft against us.

I would humbly suggest to Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and PM David Cameron, et al, that there lies the difference between the Fleet Air Arm that this Government is throwing away and the land-based, PR-driven Royal Air Force that is very good at “talking the talk” but demonstrably unable to “walk the walk”.

Sadly it must bear the blame for Britain’s current inability to deploy effective air power against the enormous threat of this new Caliphate.

One really must despair of our political leaders who, in spite of advice from proven maritime warfare experts to the contrary, have listened to land-based air personnel who have no successful track record in expeditionary task force combat operations and other forms of naval air warfare.

By entrusting Britain’s future offshore air warfare capability to Tornado navigators and instructors (rather than to seasoned naval air experts) Government, a misguided MOD and an amateur Defence Secretary have surely made Great Britain a laughing stock within NATO, a joke in Russia and, according to Admiral Lord West, “barking mad” in the eyes of the rest of the world.

[UK “Operation Shader” against Daesh (ISIL) : 8 Tornados, 1 Voyager, 2 C130, some Reapers, 2 ISR aircraft – 800 personnel plus complement of RAF Akrotiri (approx. 1500)

FS carrier Charles de Gaulle: ship’s company 1,650 (of which CAG 600) with 40 aircraft, including a mix of Rafale M, Super Étendard, 3 x E-2C Hawkeye, SA365 Dauphin, EC725 Caracal. AS532 Cougar – flying 100 missions per day]

REFUGEE SOLUTION: BUILD A NEW HEAVEN ON EARTH

The current escalating refugee crisis throughout Europe and the Middle East is not of Britain or Europe’s making.
REFUGEE QUESTION 4-C
Individual European countries should not beat themselves up because they feel it inappropriate or socially damaging to take in refugees from mostly Syria, but also North Africa and Afghanistan.
It is not the same as Jews escaping the anti-Semitic tyranny of the Nazis in the 1930s. With exceptions of some persecution, these good people are understandably still running away from either war or abject poverty, or both.

Others would argue, perhaps harshly, that men of fighting age should stay and fight for what they believe in and create the nation that they want – as all major nations have, from England, America, France and Russia.
REFUGEE QUESTION 3
However, it is unrealistic to allow a sudden overwhelming tsunami of humanity to overwhelm the infrastructure and social fabric of individual European states.

This requires big thinking, and thinking outside the proverbial box.

Remember, this is essentially a Middle East problem. Near neighbours of Syria like Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan are buckling under the strain of refugees, but other major players of the Arab League don’t want to know.

Among them is Saudi Arabia. It’s no secret in world intelligence circles that various members of the Saudi political elite fund and encourage al-Qaeda. Likewise, highly-placed Qataris support and encourage Daesh (self-proclaimed ISIL or Islamic State) to create its dream of an extreme Islamic ‘Caliphate’ from the Far East and across the Middle East to the shores of the Atlantic.
Despite spawning such glorified religious cults, these nations and others take in virtually no Islamic migrants.
FREEDOM CITY 4
Here is an open goal for the European Union on the world stage to demand that the United Nations take this defiant stand.

For the major players of the United Nations – the USA, Britain, France, Russia and China (all of whom have problems with Islamic extremism) to demand of the Arab League that its members fund a dramatic and exciting new coastal FREE CITY in Arabia for all Middle East refugees.
It would be a huge and exciting project.

Maybe sited in Britain-friendly Oman or the UAE, it would be – most importantly – funded by the Arab League (with Saudi/Qatari money).
A huge, modern encampment would be set up by the United Nations, although Arab-funded.
But refugee architects, designers, builders and workers would make it happen themselves. Latest desalination technology would create a fertile hinterland to support crops and animals.
FREEDOM CITY
Here the Israelis may be persuaded to help (for a shekel or two) and build much-needed bridges between the rival communities. There are also ample fishing grounds nearby.

FREEDOM CITY 2Okay, it’ll never happen. But eventually the Arab nations have to start taking responsibility for their actions and not escape the consequences just because the West is so dependent on their oil.
That’s changing, but I’m not sure all the sheikhs have fully woken up to that fact.

THE VANISHING BRITISH ARMY

British Army ReservesSuch is the lunacy of policy at Number Ten and the British Ministry of Defence (MOD) that over 12,000 redundant servicemen and women have had to be re-employed since 2010 to fill vital gaps in Britain’s defence forces.

In particular highly-experienced NCOs, who form the backbone of the Armed Forces, have been encouraged to leave at great expense to the taxpayer. Even as they were leaving, others with similar experience were being rehired at even more public cost.

Since 2010 the MOD has spent nearing £1 billion on redundancy payments to military personnel and civil servants. Many have come back to the army Reserves which has failed dismally to acquire any recruits, let alone the large number required to boost the depleted regulars.
Some 3,600 personnel were being rehired at the same time that thousands of other regulars were being given the boot.
GRAPHIC-119-ArmyJobs
The Royal Air Force has a shortfall of almost 300 pilots of the rank and experience that it requires, although it insists there is no front-line shortfall.

Such is the current chaos that the austerity cuts have caused, that there are now serious shortages of experienced personnel in most British Army units. They are not even being filled by members of the Reserves, formerly the Territorial Army, it has attracted embarrassing few new recruits to date.

The Regular Army is being cut to around 84,000 with some hoped-for 35,000 made up from the new Reservists for whenever the shit hits the fan. But, as by its very nature mostly civil or government service workers will be granted such generous periods of absence, the go-getting calibre of recruits may be in question. And so far even those stout yeomen are hardly volunteering at all.

At a time when the government has expressed its desire to increase the size of UK Special Forces it is diminishing the size of the “gene pool” of the Regular Army from which to sieve out the elite few. It suggests a growing problem with fewer and fewer politicians and civil servants ever having served in or having a proper understanding of the military and how it functions.

By most international consensus, a regular national army numbering under 100,000 members is considered to be a “militia”.

GRAPHIC-128-UKAfghanTimes may be hard, but with Putin’s Russia rearming and showing increasing signs of empirical expansion and the threat of a vicious Islamic Caliphate growing from Asia to the Atlantic, it is not the time for a country to have its Armed Forces in such chaotic array and its procurement procedures a total circus.

The first duty of any government is defence of the realm and it remains a mystery why a supposedly responsible government would so severely cut its regular Armed Forces to the bone before knowing it can effectively make up the numbers game with weekend volunteers.

KURDS BOIL OVER BAGHDAD OIL

KURD OIL-CThe region of Kurdistan is gradually inching its way to becoming an independent nation state.

That embryonic state is inconveniently spread over no less than four independent countries: Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq.

The division of those Kurdish tribal lands is a result of successive accidents of history and border redrawing since the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

On the front line of its war with Daesh (or ISIL), the current Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq has recently severed its arrangement to sell its oil via Baghdad.

There has been a long-running dispute between the KRG and the Iraq government over oil receipts. The KRG has now decided to sell its 650,000 daily barrels of oil direct to the international market, bypassing SOMO, the Iraqi state trading company.

That company has allegedly been making only partial or spasmodic payments for Kurdish oil, adding to the region’s pressured finances when it is engaged in a battle to the death with Daesh jihadists.

Fighters of the KRG’s army, the Peshmerga, are engaging the vicious Islamic sect along the whole of the 640-mile border between Turkey and Syria. They are also trying to cope with nearly 2 million terrified refugees fleeing into their territory for protection.

It is feared that the KRG’s decision on oil funds could accelerate the breakup of Iraq as a whole into three distinct and separate territories, a Kurdish north, a Sunni Muslim central area and a Shi’ite south.

In recent days, NATO-member Turkey (a Muslim nation now politically less religiously tolerant than it was) has worryingly shown more zeal in striking its own Kurdish separatist targets than it has those of extremist Daesh beheaders.

GRAPHIC-52 - Kurd in Kobane(D.Mail)KRG’s growing independent oil production is forecast to reach 1 million barrels a day in the coming year. Such an increase is unlikely to pour oil on any waters in this deeply troubled region of the world anytime soon.

NEW SECRET FORCE FROM SOUTH AFRICA HITS MUSLIM TERROR GROUP BOKO HARAM

STEP Task Force in action

STEP Task Force in action

Over 200 schoolgirls captured by Boko Haram to be sex slaves and bush wives

Over 200 schoolgirls captured by Boko Haram to be sex slaves and bush wives

Boko Haram share Daesh's (ISIL) flare for publicity

Boko Haram share Daesh’s (ISIL) flare for publicity

There appears to be a new phantom force at work in Africa.
A deadly new mercenary company, comprising old-timers from South Africa’s border battles during the Cold War, has apparently given the radical Muslim terrorists of Boko Haram a bloody nose in recent covert missions.

Operating in the desert wastelands of northern Nigeria, Boko Haram hit the world headlines big time when it kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in 2014.

Despite some assistance to find the girls from the British and American military, there were no good results to help the incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan win his looming national election.

He faced much criticism and his own dispirited Nigerian army appeared to have little competence, and even less appetite, for a scrap with the Boko Haram bandits, whose reign of terror had run unopposed for some six years.

In desperation, Goodluck turned to a South African outfit with the catchy acronym of STEP (actually STTEP for Specialised Tasks, Training Equipment & Protection). There is a subtle but important difference between ‘mercenaries’ and ‘contract soldiers’. STEP appear to be the latter, paid by a legitimate government to train and assist for the greater good, as opposed to mercenaries will kill their own grandmothers for the coins on their eyes. That’s the theory.

STEP is headed by a Colonel Eeben Barlow, 62, a former South African Defence Force commander who runs a group of bush warfare experts that cut their teeth in the border wars of 30 years ago.

Barlow was formerly a co-founder of Executive Outcomes, which in 1995 helped the government of Sierra Leone to defend itself successfully against the limb-chopping Revolutionary United Front.

In January of this year, Col. Barlow recruited a task force in top secret to assist the Nigerian government and hit the Boko Haram where it hurt. He found an aging ‘Dad’s Army’ of former South African soldiers who still retained that country’s continuing wild frontier spirit.

They comprised a force of some hundred men, including ex-members of apartheid-era SA security forces and former elite black troops from both South African and opposing communist guerrilla units. Their steady confidence and experience under fire paid off.

This rainbow band of brothers, backed with its own small helicopter fleet, hit the Boko Haram terrorists hard, causing them to flee and freeing hundreds of captured women being held as sex slaves and bush wives. The campaign was relentless in its momentum, says Barlow, which was designed to push Boko Haram onto its back foot.

‘It was not uncommon for us to be met by thousands of cheering locals once the enemy had been driven out.’

The secret of STEP’s success was its policy of ‘relentless pursuit’ (a similar principle to NATO Special Forces’ Black Ops in Iraq), which mirrored Boko Haram’s own non-stop hit-and-run tactics.

Once the terrorist fighters were on the run, STEP forces would be helicoptered ahead to cut off all escape routes.

Expert bush trackers were used (see Terence Strong’s thriller ROGUE ELEMENT for further understanding of these specialist techniques) to learn about the enemy, where the fighters were heading, and the location of their secret camps.

STEP’s helicopter unit was notified of ‘kill blocks’ to the fore and flanks of its advancing ground strike force. The whole operation also assisted the regular Nigerian army with intelligence gathering, troop transportation and casualty evacuation.

Although it has been claimed that Boko Haram has virtually been wiped out in the relentless three month campaign, it is unclear whether or not it will be able to regroup and whether Nigeria’s new President, ex-general Muhammadu Buhari, will continue STEP’s contract.

Others have suggested that outfits like STEP could be appropriately and effectively used against Daesh (ISIL) on the Syrian/Iraqi borders or in Libya.

Never say never.