Archiv: United States Central Command (Centcom)


10.02.2019 - 17:20 [ CNN ]

Sold to an ally, lost to an enemy

(6.2.2019) The US shipped weapons and secrets to the Saudis and Emiratis. Now, some are in the hands of fighters linked to al Qaeda and Iran.

02.01.2019 - 17:03 [ ForeignPolicy.com ]

The Pentagon Ups the Ante in Syria Fight

(30. März 2015) Also in Jordan is a U.S.-led multinational effort named Operation Gallant Phoenix, aimed at tracking the foreign fighter flow into Iraq and Syria. Begun as an initiative under Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which controls the military’s most elite special operations units, and JSOC’s higher administrative headquarters, U.S. Special Operations Command, it has expanded to include participation by U.S. Central Command and U.S. European Command, said the senior special operations officer. Although sometimes referred to as the “foreign fighter task force,” Gallant Phoenix doesn’t have troops of its own to send out on raids or direct assaults and instead passes on the information it receives to allied countries.

02.01.2019 - 16:31 [ Nick Turse, TomDispatch / Truthout.org ]

America’s Black-Ops Blackout: Unraveling the Secrets of the Military’s Secret Military

(7. Januar 2014) As Special Operations Command chief Admiral William McRaven put it in SOCOM 2020, his blueprint for the future, it has ambitious aspirations to create “a Global SOF network of like-minded interagency allies and partners.” In other words, in that future now only six years off, it wants to be everywhere.

(…)

While Congressional pushback has thus far thwarted Admiral McRaven’s efforts to create a SOCOM satellite headquarters for the more than 300 special operators working in Washington, D.C. (at the cost of $10 million annually), the command has nonetheless stationed support teams and liaisons all over the capital in a bid to embed itself ever more deeply inside the Beltway. “I have folks in every agency here in Washington, D.C. — from the CIA, to the FBI, to the National Security Agency, to the National Geospatial Agency, to the Defense Intelligence Agency,” McRaven said during a panel discussion at Washington’s Wilson Center in 2013. Referring to the acronyms of the many agencies with which SOCOM has forged ties, McRaven continued: “If there are three letters, and in some cases four, I have a person there.“

02.01.2019 - 16:12 [ theAtlantic.com ]

Obama Gives Commanders Wide Berth for Secret Warfare

(25. Mai 2010) Gen. Stanley McChrystal, at the time the director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, advised President Obama to allow combatant commanders more latitude to combat terrorism using task forces. Coming from McChrystal, it was a surprising endorsement of a policy that would shift responsibility for unconventional warfare from JSOC, which he had commanded, to the combatant commanders.

02.01.2019 - 15:58 [ New York Times ]

U.S. Is Said to Expand Secret Actions in Mideast

(24. Mai 2010) The order, which an official said was drafted in close coordination with Adm. Eric T. Olson, the officer in charge of the United States Special Operations Command, calls for clandestine activities that “cannot or will not be accomplished” by conventional military operations or “interagency activities,” a reference to American spy agencies.

While the C.I.A. and the Pentagon have often been at odds over expansion of clandestine military activity, most recently over intelligence gathering by Pentagon contractors in Pakistan and Afghanistan, there does not appear to have been a significant dispute over the September order.

A spokesman for the C.I.A. declined to confirm the existence of General Petraeus’s order, but said that the spy agency and the Pentagon had a “close relationship” and generally coordinate operations in the field.

02.01.2019 - 15:46 [ theAtlantic.com ]

The Special Ops Command That’s Displacing The CIA

(1. Dezember 2009) The military at large has also felt the growing influence of JSOC. Indeed, General Stanley McChrystal, now the top military commander in Afghanistan, led JSOC from 2003 to 2008. McChrystal’s extensive special operations in Iraq, credited as crucial in the country’s stabilization, earned both him and JSOC wide support in the military and in Washington. In his high-powered role in Afghanistan, McChrystal is increasingly turning to his old command. Spencer Ackerman reports that JSOC’s current leadership is „playing a large and previously unreported role in shaping the Obama administration’s Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy.“ That new influence includes strategic decision-making and direct involvement in the more traditional warfare conducted by the conventional military. Ackerman writes:

„In his Afghanistan review, McChrystal said that a key goal for him would be to increase coordination between his NATO command and the independent command of JSOC, which suggested that the dichotomy between using Special Operations Forces for counterterrorism and conventional forces for counterinsurgency was eroding.“

02.01.2019 - 15:23 [ Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America / Twitter ]

“General” McChrystal got fired like a dog by Obama. Last assignment a total bust. Known for big, dumb mouth. Hillary lover!

02.01.2019 - 13:33 [ New York Times ]

U.S. Halted Some Raids in Afghanistan

(9. März 2009) According to senior military officials, the stand-down was ordered by Vice Adm. William H. McRaven, the head of the military’s Joint Special Operations Command, which oversees the secret commando units.

The rising civilian death toll in Afghanistan has soured relations between American commanders and the Afghan government led by President Hamid Karzai, who has vocally criticized the raids.

The stand-down began in mid-February, and the raids have since resumed. It is unclear, though, whether the Special Operations missions are being carried out with the same frequency as before the halt.

02.01.2019 - 13:20 [ Jake Tapper, CNN Anchor / Twitter ]

Retired four-star Admiral William McRaven, the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014 (which included the OBL mission), just issued the following statement to CNN in response to POTUS attacking GEN McChrystal on twitter:

02.01.2019 - 13:08 [ CNN ]

Ret. admiral defends McChrystal on Trump claim

Ret. Admiral William McRaven came to the defense of Ret. General Stanley McChrystal after President Trump took shots at the general on Twitter following the comments McChrystal made on Trump during an ABC interview.

02.01.2019 - 12:37 [ Seymour Hersh / New Yorker ]

Preparing the Battlefield

(Juli 2008) The covert operations set forth in the Finding essentially run parallel to those of a secret military task force, now operating in Iran, that is under the control of JSOC. Under the Bush Administration’s interpretation of the law, clandestine military activities, unlike covert C.I.A. operations, do not need to be depicted in a Finding, because the President has a constitutional right to command combat forces in the field without congressional interference. But the borders between operations are not always clear: in Iran, C.I.A. agents and regional assets have the language skills and the local knowledge to make contacts for the JSOC operatives, and have been working with them to direct personnel, matériel, and money into Iran from an obscure base in western Afghanistan. As a result, Congress has been given only a partial view of how the money it authorized may be used. One of JSOC’s task-force missions, the pursuit of “high-value targets,” was not directly addressed in the Finding. There is a growing realization among some legislators that the Bush Administration, in recent years, has conflated what is an intelligence operation and what is a military one in order to avoid fully informing Congress about what it is doing.

02.01.2019 - 12:24 [ New York Times ]

Commandos See Duty on U.S. Soil In Role Redefined by Terror Fight

(23. Januar 2005) As part of the extraordinary army of 13,000 troops, police officers and federal agents marshaled to secure the inauguration, these elite forces were poised to act under a 1997 program that was updated and enhanced after the Sept. 11 attacks, but nonetheless departs from how the military has historically been used on American soil.

These commandos, operating under a secret counterterrorism program code-named Power Geyser, were mentioned publicly for the first time this week on a Web site for a new book, „Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs and Operation in the 9/11 World,“ (Steerforth Press). The book was written by William M. Arkin, a former intelligence analyst for the Army.

The precise number of these Special Operations forces in Washington this week is highly classified, but military officials say the number is very small. The special-missions units belong to the Joint Special Operations Command, a secretive command based at Fort Bragg, N.C., whose elements include the Army unit Delta Force.

02.01.2019 - 11:23 [ CNN ]

Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal hits Trump as immoral, dishonest

(30.12.2018) Retired four-star Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal on Sunday criticized President Donald Trump for his approach to the presidency in a wide-ranging interview that saw the former top commander of the US and international forces in Afghanistan label Trump as dishonest and immoral.
„I don’t think he tells the truth,“ McChrystal told ABC’s Martha Raddatz on „This Week.“ When asked if he thought Trump was immoral, McChrystal responded: „I think he is.“

02.01.2019 - 11:05 [ Watson.ch ]

„Verlogen“: Ex-US-General kritisiert Trump heftig für Syrien-Abzug

(31.12.2018) Nun hat sich auch Ex-General Stanley A. McChrystal kritisch zu Trumps Plänen geäussert. Der ehemalige Kommandant der US-Streitkräfte in Afghanistan bezeichnete Donald Trump und dessen Entscheidung als „unmoralisch und verlogen“.McChrystal hatte sich schon früher negativ über den Präsidenten geäussert. Ex-Admiral William McRaven, der die Operation gegen den Terroristen Osama Bin Laden verantwortete, hatte Trump mehrfach öffentlich kritisiert. Trump nannte ihn darauf einen „Hillary-Clinton-Fan“ und „Barack-Obama-Unterstützer“ und sagte, die Operation gegen Bin Laden habe viel zu lange gedauert. McChrystal nahm McRaven anschließend in Schutz und stellte das Vertrauen in Trump infrage.

21.12.2018 - 05:12 [ Newsweek.com ]

Who Is U.S. Bombing in Syria? Government, Activists Accuse Coalition of Attacking Army Instead of ISIS

(3.12.2018) Nevertheless, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based monitor with ties to the Syrian opposition, appeared to corroborate the government with its own account published Monday. The report claimed that about 15 missiles had been fired from Al-Tanf, where the U.S. base was located, toward pro-government positions.

12.11.2018 - 19:42 [ CNN ]

Pentagon rejects request for additional military resources in Persian Gulf

It also comes as Defense Secretary James Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, are engaged in high-level classified discussions with senior commanders around the world about how to allocate military resources for the next two years, officials say.

12.11.2018 - 19:31 [ OttawaCitizen.com ]

Military contractor received $1.6 billion to advise Afghans but results unknown

(31.10.2018) The U.S. government’s Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) found that since 2010, the U.S. Department of Defense has awarded four contracts, worth $1.62 billion U.S., to DynCorp International to provide contract advisors at Afghan MOD and MOI. Two of these contracts, worth $421 million, are ongoing and expected to end in November 2018.
And the results?

12.11.2018 - 19:15 [ ORF.at ]

Mehr als 100 Tote bei Gewaltwelle in Afghanistan

Die meisten Opfer seien Sicherheitskräfte. Der Attentäter habe die Bombe an einem Polizeikontrollpunkt in der Nähe einer Schule gezündet, teilte das Innenministerium mit. Dort demonstrierten Hunderte Angehörige der schiitischen Volksgruppe der Hasara für mehr Schutz der Regierung vor Angriffen der Taliban. Zu dem Anschlag bekannte sich zunächst niemand.

03.11.2018 - 11:20 [ Moon of Alabama ‏/ Twitter ]

1. SDF retreats from a minor ISIS attack opening its path towards the Iraqi border. 2. SDF suspends anti-ISIS operation. Sounds like a plan to give ISIS new momentum to act in Iraq where it can help the U.S. to gain leverage over its new government. cc @ejmalrai

03.11.2018 - 11:18 [ Southfront.org ]

Turkish Newspaper: ISIS In Syria Receives Weapons Directly From US-led Coalition

A commander in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) confirmed to Yeni Safak that the U.S. had handed over weapons to ISIS in the town of al-Mansurah, west of the city of Raqqa, and in the area of al-Tanaf, near the border with Iraq.

According to the commander, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the US-led coalition formed a group of Kurds and Arabs to facilitate the delivery of weapons to ISIS terrorists. The PPK and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) played a key role in the process.

03.11.2018 - 11:17 [ Al Masdar News ]

Syrian Army seizes US-made weapons left behind by Daesh in Deir Ezzor (photos)

A SANA reporter said that during the combing operation to cleanse the liberated areas from the terrorist remnants, the authorities uncovered a cache containing 450,000 bullets of US-made medium-caliber machine guns from Daesh’s remnants in the Al-Mayadeen area.

Below are a number of photos that were captured by SANA of the weapons cache that was seized by the Syrian military this week:

13.10.2018 - 20:15 [ Buzzfeed ]

The Pentagon Used To Hide US Troops In Syria. Now It’s Posting Videos Of Them On Twitter.

(3.10.2018) A few years ago it would have been jarring to see the US military presence in Syria promoted as if it were Afghanistan. But overlapping and intentionally vague statements about what exactly US troops in Syria are doing, how many of them are doing it, and how long they are planning to be there have seemed to lull much of the country into accepting that they are there long term.

13.10.2018 - 20:02 [ US Zentralkommando (Centcom) ]

Department Of Defense Press Briefing By General Joseph Votel via teleconference from Tampa, Florida, on Operations in the Central Command Area of Responsibility

(4.10.2018) In Syria, we will remain with our partners to ensure the defeat of ISIS and provide an opportunity for a negotiated political resolution of the Syrian conflict and humanitarian crisis, consistent with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254.

Recent pledges of more than $300 million in new funding for stabilization and humanitarian aid from our coalition partners is a welcome start to consolidating our military gains.

13.10.2018 - 19:42 [ Southfront.org ]

US Sends More Diplomats to Coalition-Controlled Areas of Syria: What’s Behind the Move?

Defense Secretary James Mattis announced on Oct. 2 that the number of US diplomats in Syria had doubled. No specific number was mentioned, but the move was motivated by the need to intensify the diplomatic effort, with “the military operations becoming less.” Under the label of “Syria,” the secretary was referring to more than a quarter of the country, with an estimated population of 1.5 million to two million people. This territory is controlled by the US-supported and Kurdish-dominated SDF and its political wing, the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC).

25.08.2018 - 11:32 [ Intercept ]

Military Brass Tells Congress It Has No Idea What Saudi Arabia Is Doing With U.S. Bombs in Yemen

(14.3.2018) Warren followed up by describing an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition that struck civilians in February. The attack, in the northern Yemen town of Saada, killed five civilians. Medical staff who rushed in to help survivors were hit in a follow-up attack, Warren noted. (This is known as a “double-tap” airstrike.)

“General Votel, when you receive reports like this from credible media organizations or outside observers, is CENTCOM able to tell if U.S. fuel or U.S. munitions were used in that strike?”

“No, senator, I don’t believe we are,” he replied.

25.08.2018 - 11:28 [ Washington Post ]

End U.S. support for this misbegotten and unwinnable war

ON AUG. 9, an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen struck a bus packed with young boys in the northern village of Dahyan, killing at least 51 people, including 40 children, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross. As Saudi spokesmen defend this horrific massacre — one called the bus a “legitimate military target” — Trump administration officials are being pressed by members of Congress …

24.08.2018 - 17:40 [ tampabay.com ]

CentCom’s Votel: U.S. will stay in Syria to fight ISIS and keep an eye on Iran

(22.5.2018) In March, President Donald Trump said he would be pulling U.S. troops out of Syria „very soon.“ But they’re still there, and will stay there, to defeat what’s left of the so-called Islamic State, says the man in charge of military efforts in the region.

Despite the commander-in-chief’s comments, Army Gen. Joseph Votel said it didn’t require much pushback to convince Trump to stay the course.

24.08.2018 - 17:29 [ cbn.com ]

ISIS 2.0: Islamic State Launches Massive Attack in Syria, Resurging in Iraq

(24.7.2018) Seven months after routing ISIS from large swaths of Iraq and Syria, the Department of Defense says a coalition of 77 nations and numerous international organizations remains determined to keep the terror group from resurfacing.

24.08.2018 - 17:22 [ Charles Bybelezer, The Media Line / Jerusalem Post ]

Analysis: The Islamic State’s push for a new caliphate

(16.8.2018) According to findings by the Lead Inspector General of Operation Inherent Resolve, the United States-led military coalition against the Islamic State, the terror group is much larger than previously thought and still poses a significant threat.

18.08.2018 - 10:21 [ Radio Utopie ]

Admiral William McRaven: der Letzte der Viererbande

(17.11.2013) In den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika findet diese Strategie des unkontrollierbaren Tötens ihren vorläufigen Höhepunkt mit den Visionen des Chefs des U.S.S.O.C.O.M., Admiral McRaven (Vortrag vom Frühjahr 2013 am Woodrow Wilson Center „U.S. Special Operations 2020“). Dieser Mann ist, wenn ihm nicht durch die eigene Regierung Einhalt geboten wird, im Prinzip der mächtigste Kriegsfürst auf diesem Planeten.

Dem mit der C.I.A. eng verbandelten Admiral wird in Kürze alles ohne Rechenschaftspflicht wegen der Geheimhaltung im Rahmen der nationalen Sicherheit zur Verfügung stehen: Geld ohne Ende, die Elite der Elite der eigenen sowie ausländischer Spezialeinsatzkommandos (auch deutscher), ein Strom von Informationen von internationalen detaillierten Daten über fast jeden Ort und Bürger dieses Planeten durch befreundete Geheimdienste, die neuesten Errungenschaften militärischer Techniken, Einbindung des Heimatschutzministeriums, staatlicher und nichtstaatlicher Behörden und vieles mehr. Für die Bewilligung des dazu benötigten Kapitals sorgen die Profiteure im U.S.-Senat und Kongress.

Eine Kontrolle ist so gut wie unmöglich, da alle Aktivitäten und Informationen als „Top secret“ eingestuft sind. Dem Präsidenten können zur „legalen“ Absegnung der Einsätze Märchen serviert werden oder laufen ohne jegliches Wissen darüber im Geheimen ab.

29.07.2018 - 12:40 [ Bloomberg.com ]

Russia-U.S. Syria Deal Hits Trouble as Post-Summit Tensions Grow

The U.S. “has not fulfilled its own promises” made in Helsinki to remove opposition forces to enable a buffer zone on Syria’s border with Israel, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. The Defense Ministry accused the U.S. of sabotaging the agreement after a senior American commander, General Joseph Votel, said that his country’s military won’t cooperate with Russian forces beyond a de-confliction hotline to avoid unintended clashes.

24.05.2018 - 07:55 [ Reuters ]

Syrian state media says U.S. struck army base, U.S. denies

“We have no operational reporting of a U.S.-led coalition strike against pro-Syrian regime targets or forces,” Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, told Reuters.

Another Pentagon spokesman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “We have no information to substantiate those reports.”

11.04.2018 - 06:10 [ Weißes Haus ]

Remarks by President Trump and Amir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani of the State of Qatar Before Bilateral Meeting

AMIR AL THANI: I’m very happy and honored to be here, and thanks for this invitation. Our relationship between Qatar and the United States has been more than 45 years. It’s a very strong, solid relationship. Our economic partnership is more than $125 billion, and our aim and goal is to double it in the next coming years.

Our military cooperation is very solid, very strong. As everybody know, that the heart of fighting terrorism is from Al Udeid Base. And, thank God, it’s been a very successful campaign against the terrorist groups around our region.

Lately, before I come here, I was in Tampa. I visited the CENTCOM, and we met with the generals. And it was a very important visit, and it shows how strong our cooperation is between the armed forces.

Of course, we speak today and we see the suffering of the Syrian people. And me and the President, we see eye to eye that this matter has to stop immediately. We cannot tolerate — with a war criminal, we cannot tolerate with someone who killed more than half a million of his own people. And this matter should end immediately.

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

04.04.2018 - 10:25 [ Army Times ]

Trump says ‘it’s time’ to leave Syria; Votel says we’re staying

At almost the exact same time that President Donald Trump said at the White House Tuesday that the U.S. will soon be departing Syria, his top commander for forces there said the U.S. is in for the long haul.

In a speech before the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington the commander of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, said that the next steps in Syria require “stabilizing these areas, consolidating gains, getting people back into homes, [and] addressing long term issues of reconstruction.”