Sunday, February 5, 2017

RUSSIA and THE WEST - РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: Russia - Belarus conflict: Russia starts passport ...

RUSSIA and THE WEST - РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: Russia - Belarus conflict: Russia starts passport ...: Russia - Belarus conflict - 2.3.17 - Reviewed on 2.5.17 Лукашенко:"Володь не порти вечер" Путин уже не управляет Россией? - You...

News Reviews and Opinions: » Mike Nova's Shared NewsLinks: bne IntelliNews - ...

News Reviews and Opinions: » Mike Nova's Shared NewsLinks: bne IntelliNews - ...: Mike Nova's Shared NewsLinks Review  |  Mike Nova on Twitter   |  Tweets in this blog   »   Mike Nova's Shared NewsLinks: bne In...

Updated: 12:08 PM 2/5/2017: The Yemen Raid of 1.29.17: WHAT WENT WRONG?! | In deadly Yemen raid, a lesson for Trump's national security team - WP | The danger of Steve Bannon on the National Security Council - The Washington Post: "History suggests all this will not end well..." - By David J. Rothkopf | Bergen - CNN: Did Kushner and Bannon have roles in Yemen decision? | Will Trump continue to make the big decisions huddled with Bannon and Kushner? - Slate

First Published on 1.29.17 - 2.5.17 | Updated on 2.27.17 

News Reviews and Opinions: Yemen News, Raid, and its Investigation - 2.27.17 Update: » Mike Nova's Shared NewsLinks: Nine Young Children Killed: The Full Details Of The Botched US Raid In Yemen - Mintpress News (blog) 27/02/17 10:28

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Updated on 2.27.17 - M - 10:40 AM 2/27/2017 
News Reviews and Opinions: Yemen News: Nine Young Children Killed: The Full Details Of The Botched US Raid In Yemen - Mintpress News (blog) Monday February 27th, 2017 at 10:28 AM Yemen Raid Investigation

News Reviews and Opinions: Yemen raid investigation | » mikenov on Twitter: Amid the chaos of Trump's White House, Republicans laud the man who's next in line @mmcauliff via @HuffPostPol 27/02/17 08:24

News Reviews and Opinions: White House: Trump is likely to support request for investigation of Navy SEAL’s death - The Washington Post

White House: Trump is likely to support request for investigation of Navy SEAL’s death - The Washington Post

Father of US Navy SEAL killed in Yemen raid demands probe, slams Trump | Fox News

Updated: 12:08 PM 2/5/2017

M.N.: Some signs of what looks and feels like the orchestrated negative, critical or somewhat tendentious coverage in the media do emerge, pointing to the post-event accompanying propaganda and information war, which is consistent with the previous pattern of post-events media coverage - information war elements in the cases of the previous "special operations", abroad and domestic. 

Yemen Raid - News Review as of 12:08 PM 2/5/2017

US military releases video obtained in Yemen Al Qaeda raid, then takes it down after realizing it's 10 years old

New York Daily News - ‎2 hours ago‎
The military made the unusual move last week of posting a brief video obtained in a raid of an Al Qaeda compound in Yemen, which ended with the deaths of an American fighter and several civilians. Stranger still, though, the military then took down the ...

Deadly US raid in Yemen reveals strength of al-Qaida affiliate

Chicago Tribune - ‎18 hours ago‎
A U.S. commando raid in Yemen that set off a fierce firefight revealed the growing strength of an al-Qaida affiliate that has targeted both the United States and Europe in recent years. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, as the branch is known ...

Military botches release of video seized in Yemen raid

CNN - ‎Feb 3, 2017‎
A White House official told CNN it was not involved in the Pentagon's decision to release video of the January raid in Yemen. The video that was released is nine years old, according to US CENTCOM officials. But the military said the footage, even if ...

Pentagon Argues Value of Yemen Raid Using Old Evidence

smallwarsjournal (blog) - ‎6 hours ago‎
A U.S. military effort Friday to demonstrate the intelligence value of a weekend commando raid in Yemen ended in a snafu, when video clips the military released from a computer seized during the operation turned out to be years old and already public.

Don't Politicize the Failed Yemen Raid

The Atlantic - ‎Feb 3, 2017‎
The United States lost a Navy SEAL this past week in a raid in Yemen that went wrong. In addition to the loss of the SEAL and a $75 million aircraft, it also appears that several innocent civilian lives were lost—never a good thing, and even worse ...

That 'Valuable Intel' From The Yemen Raid? It Was 10 Years Old

NPR - ‎Feb 3, 2017‎
A terrorist video released on Friday by the Pentagon to show what it called intelligence gleaned by the recent raid in Yemen actually was made about 10 years ago, it acknowledged. Defense officials canceled a briefing they had called to discuss the ...

Videos US Seized in Yemen Raid Appear to Show Nothing New

New York Times - ‎Feb 3, 2017‎
WASHINGTON — The military's Central Command on Friday released a clip from videos seized in this week's commando raid in Yemen, which American officials called “do it yourself” lessons for “aspiring bomb makers” seeking to attack the West. But hours ...

US Defends Release of 9-Year-Old Bomb-Making Video Seized in Yemen Raid

ABC News - ‎Feb 3, 2017‎
In an unusual move, the U.S. military today publicly released clips from a bomb-making video seized by Navy SEALS Sunday during a deadly raid on al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen that killed 14 militants but also claimed the lives of some ...

Yemen Al Qaeda leader says US raid on Yemen a blow to Trump

Reuters - ‎20 hours ago‎
The raid on al Qaeda in southern Yemen that took place last week was the first such operation authorized by President Trump as commander-in-chief. U.S. Navy SEAL William "Ryan" Owens was killed in the raid, which the Pentagon said also killed 14 ...

US military releases, withdraws old Islamist video from Yemen raid

Reuters - ‎Feb 3, 2017‎
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives aboard the Marine One to greet the remains of a U.S. military commando killed during a raid on the al Qaeda militant group in southern Yemen on Sunday, at Dover Air Force Base, Dover, Delaware, U.S. February 1, 2017.

The Yemen Raid—What Was Normal and Abnormal About the Process with Lessons for the Future

Just Security - ‎Feb 3, 2017‎
Over the past five days, accounts of Sunday's special operations raid in Yemen have continued to evolve to a point where questions are now being raised as to the process that went into its planning and approval. This dialogue will no doubt continue ...

Current, Former Officials Spar Over Approval of Special Ops Raid in Yemen

ABC News - ‎Feb 3, 2017‎
A war of words broke out late Thursday between former Obama administration senior officials, the military and the Trump White House over who approved what, when and how a violent special operations raid in Yemen last weekend was planned, proposed ...

US Military Releases, Then Withdraws, Fatal Yemen Raid Video

Newsweek - ‎Feb 3, 2017‎
In an awkward reversal, the U.S. military promptly withdrew a video by Islamist militants it had released on Friday as evidence that a fatal raid in Yemen by American special forces was a counter terrorism success. An expert in radical Islamist media ...

US military touted 10-year-old videos from Yemen terror raid

Politico - ‎Feb 3, 2017‎
The video clips that the U.S. military said were evidence of the success of last week's raid on an Al Qaeda compound in Yemen have one major problem, the Pentagon acknowledged Friday: They have been on the internet for a decade. The U.S. Central ...

What Happened Behind the Scenes Before the Yemen Raid?

Slate Magazine - ‎Feb 2, 2017‎
28 raid on an al-Qaida outpost in Yemen, which resulted in the deaths of a Navy SEAL fighter and several civilians, was approved by President Trump with no advice or consultation from intelligence officers or military commanders, according to officials ...

White House Defends Commando Raid on Qaeda Branch in Yemen

New York Times - ‎Feb 2, 2017‎
WASHINGTON — The White House on Thursday defended the planning and execution of a Special Operations raid in Yemen on Sunday — the first approved by President Trump since taking office — that left one American commando dead and three others ...

The White House and the Pentagon Are Defending the Yemen Raid

TIME - ‎Feb 3, 2017‎
U.S. government officials on Thursday said a Special Forces raid in Yemen on Sunday, the first major military mission authorized by President Donald Trump, was successful—even though it resulted in the death of a Navy SEAL commando and likely several ...

Pentagon's video from Yemen raid turned out to be 10 years old, already widely circulated

RT - ‎Feb 3, 2017‎
“The raid resulted in the seizure of materials and information that is yielding valuable intelligence to help partner nations deter and prevent future terror attacks in Yemen and across the world,” US Central Command (CENTCOM) declared in a statement.

Military releases al-Qaida video seized in Yemen raid

The Detroit News - ‎Feb 3, 2017‎
Washington — The U.S. military on Friday released a short clip of what it said were instructional videos seized in last weekend's Yemen raid, but it was unclear whether the video actually came from the raid. U.S. Central Command released the clip ...

Inside the Yemen raid: Women al Qaeda fighters surprised US forces

CNN - ‎Feb 1, 2017‎
Washington (CNN) New details have emerged surrounding Sunday's deadly joint US-United Arab Emirates counterterrorism raid on an al Qaeda compound in Yemen, shedding light on why the mission happened when it did -- and what went wrong.

House Dem wants briefing on Yemen raid

Politico - ‎Feb 2, 2017‎
A Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee is asking for an “urgent briefing” on the SEAL Team Six raid in Yemen this past weekend that resulted in the deaths of a U.S. service member and civilians on the ground, possibly including an 8-year-old ...

Pentagon mistakenly posts 10-year-old video to back up Yemen raid

The Hill - ‎Feb 3, 2017‎
The Pentagon on Friday mistakenly posted a video it claimed had been recovered from a recent anti-terror raid in Yemen that had actually been recovered nearly decade ago. The Defense Department had uploaded footage of a Jihadist training video ...

Inside the Navy SEAL Raid in Yemen Targeting al Qaeda - ‎Feb 3, 2017‎
But multiple military and intelligence sources told NBC News that something tipped off the terrorist targets of an early-morning raid by the U.S. and its allies in Yemen on Sunday, and all hell broke loose. A well-rehearsed mission that was supposed to ...

Dems demand briefing on deadly Yemen raid

The Hill - ‎Feb 2, 2017‎
“Serious questions have been raised regarding a recent raid in Yemen that resulted in the death of an American sailor," Gallego wrote. “I write to respectfully encourage our committee to request an urgent briefing from the Department of Defense and the ...

US Accounts of Plan for Yemen Raid Prompt Debate

Wall Street Journal - ‎Feb 2, 2017‎
A U.S. raid on an al Qaeda compound in Yemen that left an American service member and likely a number of civilians dead encountered trouble soon after the commandos began the operation on the ground and a fierce firefight ensued with militants, ...

Trump's raid in Yemen proves he, wrongly, embraced the Iran hawks

The Hill (blog) - ‎Feb 3, 2017‎
The Trump administration's response to the war in Yemen is an early indicator of what its Middle East policy may look like. Unfortunately, the Jan. 29 raid on an al-Qaeda encampment in Yemen by U.S. Special Forces along with National Security Advisor ...

Video released by Pentagon to prove Donald Trump's deadly Yemen raid was successful is a decade old and available ... - ‎Feb 3, 2017‎
As human rights groups and members of congress called for an inquiry into the Yemen raid that killed one American special forces commando and several civilians, including children, the department of defence released a statement intended to show the ...

Video proof of Yemen raid success turns out to be golden oldie

Military Times - ‎Feb 3, 2017‎
U.S. Central Command ate crow on Friday after releasing al-Qaida video from a raid in Yemen, only to abruptly pull the video down after learning it was older than expected. The video, in which a masked militant demonstrates how to properly mix ...

Pentagon pulls footage seized in Yemen raid

Deutsche Welle - ‎Feb 3, 2017‎
The US military on Friday released footage from training videos seized during a botched raid on an al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) compound in Yemen last week. At least 14 militants, one US soldier and an unspecified number of civilians have ...

What went wrong in the deadly raid on al-Qaida in Yemen?

PBS NewsHour - ‎Feb 2, 2017‎
President Donald Trump authorized a raid in Yemen over the weekend with the goal of targeting an al-Qaida stronghold. Details of the planning and execution have come under scrutiny; a Navy SEAL died, a transport aircraft had to be destroyed and ...

Updated: 8:40 AM 2/5/2017

US President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump walk toward Marine One while departing from the White House, on February 1, 2017, in Washington, DC. Trump is making an unannounced trip to Dover Air Force bace in Delaware to pay his respects to Chief Special Warfare Operator William 'Ryan' Owens, who was killed during a raid in Yemen. Owens is the first active military service member to die in combat during Trump's presidency.
 Mark Wilson/Getty Images


Video released by Pentagon to prove Donald Trump's deadly Yemen raid was successful is a decade old and available online

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The videos showed a man in a white robe and a black balaclava appearing to give instructions into how develop a bomb.
If it seemed familiar that's because it was. It quickly emerged that the video titled “Courses for Destroying The Cross,” was first released a decade ago.
Screen grabs of the same video were posted  on Site Intelligence group in November 2007, in a revelation unearthed by Buzzfeed, and have been online for years.
Eliot Higgins, an expert in online behaviour of extremist groups had earlier questioned the claims by the Pentagon that the information helped them understand al-Qaeda's "terror-planning".
"The videos aren't particularly noteworthy, it's no news that these videos exist, nor is the content remarkable," he said. "They could have likely found the same sort of guides by browsing LiveLeak for a few hours."
The Pentagon did not immediately reply to the Telegraph's request for comment. 
Mr Trump is coming under increasing pressure to justify his authorisation of the attack which killed one US Navy  SEAL, and several civilians. Human rights groups said some 23 people were killed in the raid, including up to ten children,
Emerging facts about last Sunday's raid have undermined the Trump administration's account, with some Yemen experts also accusing the Pentagon of "spin".
The department of defence initially described the commando raid in central Yemen as an offensive against a fortified "al-Qaeda headquarters" that resulted in the capture of information that will provide "insight into the planning of future terror plots".
Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary went even further, briefing that that the raid had gathered an "unbelievable amount of intelligence that will prevent the potential deaths or attacks on American soil".
But information from US military officials speaking on condition of anonymity, human rights groups and sources on the ground build a different, contradictory, picture, in which massive fire power was brought to bear on a ramshackle village against targets of limited importance in the so called "war on terror".
By this account, the reinforced al-Qaeda "headquarters" was a two room residence crammed in among other houses in the village; the "determined enemies", which the Pentagon said included women in "prepared fighting positions" were scared residents firing weapons into the night in panic; and the value of the intelligence gathered is still being assessed.

Update: 2:58 PM 2/4/2017 

Update: 5:37 PM 2/3/2017 

 “There’s no information to suggest it was compromised,” Pentagon Spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said. 

M.N.: "Seek and you shall find. Or: don't seek and say that "there's no information...", which does not mean that this information does not exist, just that it has not been found. 

"Raids involving American forces on the ground in Yemen that become public knowledge are rare. Sunday’s was the first since late 2014. Two AQAP hostages, including American photojournalist Luke Somers, were killed by their captors during that raid.
“Some you may know about, many you do not,” Capt. Davis told reporters Thursday, speaking about special operations forces raids.
On Wednesday, Mr. Trump flew from the White House to Dover Air Force Base for the arrival of Chief Petty Officer Owens’ remains."
—Gabe Johnson in New York and Mohammed al-Kibsi in San’a, Yemen, contributed to this article.
Write to Ben Kesling at, Asa Fitch at and Gordon Lubold at 

U.S. Accounts of Plan for Yemen Raid Prompt Debate

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A U.S. raid on an al Qaeda compound in Yemen that left an American service member and likely a number of civilians dead encountered trouble soon after the commandos began the operation on the ground and a fierce firefight ensued with militants, according to Pentagon officials.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday that the Obama administration had been asked to approve the raid weeks ago, but the plan needed to wait for the next moonless night to be carried out, which didn’t arrive until after President Donald Trump was inaugurated. But former Obama Administration officials publicly disputed that account.
The raid, on Sunday, quickly devolved into a substantial firefight that killed Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, a U.S. Navy SEAL who was part of the operation, and wounded three others. During the operation, a U.S. plane supporting the mission had a hard landing, injuring three service members. The plane was damaged so badly, U.S. forces chose to destroy it in place.
During the fighting, U.S. drones struck the house of Abdulraoof al-Dhahab, a leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, known as AQAP, the group’s Yemeni affiliate, according to two local residents. A mosque, a school and a prison run by the militant group were also hit, they said.
Local residents said Sunday that about 20 civilians were killed in the fighting and images purporting to show the bodies of several children killed in the raid circulated on Yemeni social media accounts.
A man walked near a painting of a U.S. drone on a wall in the Yemeni capital, San’a.
A man walked near a painting of a U.S. drone on a wall in the Yemeni capital, San’a. Photo:Mohammed Mohammed/Zuma Press
The raid—the first counterterror operation known to have been ordered by Mr. Trump—has kicked off a debate among U.S. lawmakers and led Obama-era officials to question accounts of its planning and authorization since news of the deaths emerged.
Mr. Spicer, at a briefing Thursday, pushed back when asked by a reporter if the raid had been a success. “This was a very, very well thought out and executed effort,” he said.
The Pentagon initially said it had no knowledge of civilian deaths but on Wednesday it acknowledged civilian noncombatants, possibly children, “likely were killed” in the midst of a firefight, probably by aerial gunfire from aircraft called in by U.S. commandos who needed added firepower.
Mr. Spicer said Thursday that the mission was first proposed by U.S. Central Command to the Department of Defense in November, working its way through the bureaucracy and landing before the White House National Security Council on Jan. 6, while President Barack Obama was still in office.
The next moonless night, needed for an effective raid, would fall under Mr. Trump’s tenure, so Mr. Obama didn’t approve it, Mr. Spicer said.
However, former Obama administration officials challenged Mr. Spicer’s account as misleading.
“The specific operation in question was never presented to or considered by the Obama Admin for approval,” Ned Price, the former spokesman for the National Security Council under Mr. Obama wrote in a message on Twitter.
Colin Kahl, who was national security adviser to former Vice President Joe Biden, said in a statement sent to The Wall Street Journal and released on Twitter that the Pentagon’s proposal for broader authorities for raids in Yemen was discussed at the end of the Obama administration, but the particular raid in question was not.
He said Mr. Obama thought the incoming administration should take a careful look at the matter and questioned whether the Trump administration did so. “In a nutshell, Trump and his team owns the process and the ultimate decision--and the consequences,” Mr. Kahl wrote.
Despite the U.S. death and the civilian casualties, military officials believed the operation was successful. Pentagon officials said intelligence collected at the site was valuable, although the military is still doing an assessment of what it collected, according to those familiar with the matter.
“It’s hard to ever call something a complete success when you have the loss of life or people injured,” Mr. Spicer said.
On Jan. 25, Mr. Trump had dinner with military officials, national security advisers and White House strategists and advisers, including his chief strategist Steve Bannon, and discussed the mission. He then green-lighted it in a memo on Jan. 26, according to Mr. Spicer.
There was no indication that Mr. Trump directed the military to conduct the mission on that particular evening, leaving it to them to determine the timing, U.S. officials familiar with the operation said.
The Pentagon also countered suggestions in news reports that the mission had been “compromised” before it began, although officials wouldn’t say whether they believed al Qaeda had learned about the operation before it started.
“There’s no information to suggest it was compromised,” Pentagon Spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said.
Dozens of AQAP’s fighters and three commanders, including Mr. Dhahab, were killed, the local residents said. Members of the Dhahab family have been identified as al Qaeda sympathizers in recent years and targeted by the U.S.
Also among the dead was the 8-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, the residents said. Mr. Awlaki was an American citizen and AQAP leader who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen authorized by Mr. Obama in 2011. Mr. Awlaki’s teenage son also was killed in a U.S. strike, later in 2011.
For years the U.S. has carried out drone strikes against AQAP, one of the militant group’s most formidable branches. AQAP claimed responsibility for a foiled plot to set off bombs on cargo planes in 2010, as well as for the 2015 attack on the Paris offices of satirical French publication Charlie Hebdo.
“AQAP remains the most capable element of al Qaeda in exporting terror to the West,” Capt. Davis said of the group.

Last Update: 4:34 PM 2/3/2017
"“I wouldn’t leap to the conclusion that it was poorly thought out or there were mistakes in execution,” Schiff, the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, said on MSNBC on Thursday. “Sometimes in the maelstrom of these kinds of operations, things just go wrong. But it does certainly call on us to understand the risks inherent in these kinds of operations.”"

M.N.: If these "inherent risks" are systemic rather than pertaining to a particular case, and that's how it looks, they require a different type of assessment and management. The point is to be able to distinguish between these two types of risks. 

Last Update: 1:36 PM 2/3/2017

Trump is responsible for the Yemen raid disaster! 
Mr. Trump, resign!

Mr. Trump, your first task and operation as the Commander-In-Chief demonstrated your utter inability to deal with the military issues, despite some background military education. It is very doubtful that you will be able to handle the future ones, as the times and the circumstances demand it. The responsibility for this failure is first of all on you. Resign, sir! 

Gen. Vincent Stewart, resign! 

And if he does not resign, he should be removed!

The next immediate responsibility is on Gen. Vincent Stewart, the current head of the DIA. 
Gen. Stewart failed to provide the adequate intelligence support for this operation. "Since taking over DIA, Stewart has said he wants to build an information system that will facilitate sharing of data among intelligence services", indeed, one of the most important and vital, for all the aspects of the military functioning, task. However, the DCGS, in its current form, apparently cannot be viewed as functioning adequately, it draws multiple complaints and criticisms, including from Gen. Flynn, and, apparently, this inadequacy contributed to the failure of this mission, and lead to the multiple and unnecessary losses of life, including a Seal, civilians, and children. The material damage from this failure, considering the future compensations and the loss of the aircraft, might run into about $200 million. The security issues, related to the information system, is also extremely important aspect to consider. 

The adequate and secure information system is especially important for the proper functioning of the Special Operations Forces, and it is also related to the tasks of providing the adequate, timely, objective, and accurate support to the political decision makers, free from the malignant politicization and the desires and habits to please the authorities, blindly and self-servingly. 

"Jim Pettigrew, Special Operations Forces Program Manager, Mission Support Systems, emphasized that data-sharing across networks is of particular relevance for their forces, given that they operate in more than 60 countries at any one time.... “Information agility is the key to success, so we are really providing the right information at the right time to the decision maker at all echelons,” said Pettigrew." 

Gen. Stewart, the main responsibility for the failure of this mission, with its complex and significant losses, is on you. Resign, sir! 

All of the above are strictly my personal opinions, based on the readings about this subject. I am an entirely civilian person, I am not beholden to anyone, I express my opinions freely, and will continue to do so. And I also believe that the mass media should pay the adequate attention to these important issues. I do. 

Michael Novakhov 



The Yemen Raid of 1.29.17: WHAT WENT WRONG?! - 2.2.17 

yemen raid - Google Search
Why did Trump's Yemen raid go wrong? | MSNBC
tommy vietor - Google Search
yemen raid - Google Search
Questions Cloud U.S. Raid on Qaeda Branch in Yemen - The New York Times
U.S. military probing more possible civilian deaths in Yemen raid | Reuters
The U.S. and Global Security Review: American Commando Killed in Yemen in Trump’s First Counterterror Operation - by ERIC SCHMITT Sunday January 29th, 2017 at 9:02 AM - World News Review - Three others were injured in a fierce firefight with Qaeda milit
The U.S. and Global Security Review: The Yemen Raid of 1.29.17: WHAT WENT WRONG?!
US military officials: Trump-ordered raid in Yemen that killed US Navy SEAL was approved 'without sufficient intelligence' - Business Insider
In deadly Yemen raid, a lesson for Trump’s national security team - The Washington Post
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Stephen K. Bannon - Google Search
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Yemen Raid: Questions Swirl About Trump's First Military Operation : Parallels : NPR
News Reviews and Opinions: » mikenov on Twitter: In deadly Yemen raid, a lesson for Trump's national security team 02/02/17 05:49
Yemen al-Qaeda: US says raid was 'very thought-out process' - BBC News
White House Defends Commando Raid on Qaeda Branch in Yemen - The New York Times
SEAL Team 6 raid in Yemen raises questions -
Inside the Yemen raid: Women al Qaeda fighters surprised US forces -
Smearing Trump over deadly Yemen raid is unfair | New York Post
Inside the Navy SEAL Raid in Yemen Targeting al Qaeda - NBC News
Dems demand briefing on deadly Yemen raid | TheHill
Operation Eagle Claw - Wikipedia 

Intelligence flaws

Trump is responsible

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V. Stewart is responsible

Top Stories - Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency: Who Is Vincent Stewart? - AllGov - News
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Pentagon, services seek cross-domain DCGS -- Defense Systems
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Update: 2.3.17

M.N.: Is it not obvious that it was a set-up by the adversaries, an elaborate trap, into which the Seals were lured and sent right in? 

It is logical to assume that this set-up dates back probably to the very beginning, possibly to the planning stages of this event, when this target was identified, proposed or skillfully introduced by the opponents. All aspects of this occurrence have to be carefully examined, including the possible compromises and the outflows of information during the whole planning period. 

The next natural step is to stop, to think, to investigate (the Congress most likely will get involved also), to identify and to plug the holes, to fix and to improve the process generally, and to start anew gradually, by trials and small errors, if any, and with the perspectives for the full scale operations. Nothing can substitute for the experience, with the value derived from its bitterness too; that what is called learning from mistakes. 

The caution is also advisable in the handling of the newly obtained "intelligence materials": they might have been deliberately planted. 

As to the ID-ing the opponents in this particular case, given the signs of its relative sophistication and advance planning, the Russians as the top-level advisors, planners, and the managers (using their broad and various, including the outside of the area resources), the Iranians as the next level, on the ground, organizers, and with the local Yemenis as the foot soldiers (with the women-warriors as the potential captors-humiliators and the shields - rather unusual arrangement for the Arab country, the Persian instructions and viciously revengeful mentality: not just to defeat, but to humiliate publicly and condescendingly, does show), appear to be most likely. 

The distant roots-analogies of this type of a set-up can be traced down to the failed hostages rescue mission in Iran in 1980, when the helicopter crashed in a "sand storm", and which probably was arranged with a "little help" from their "Russian friends" also. 

This and the previous post on this subject were first published from 1.29.17 to 2.2.17: 


Dems demand briefing on deadly Yemen raid

Dems demand briefing on deadly Yemen raid -The Hill - 2.2.17: 

"Democrats are demanding briefings on a U.S. raid on al Qaeda that left one Navy SEAL dead, along with an unspecified number of civilians.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) wrote to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) asking for an "urgent briefing." Separately, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) said in a statement that he requested a briefing from the Pentagon.

“Serious questions have been raised regarding a recent raid in Yemen that resulted in the death of an American sailor," Gallego wrote. “I write to respectfully encourage our committee to request an urgent briefing from the Department of Defense and the administration on the planning and execution of this mission as well as on the decision-making process that preceded its approval.”" 

Photo published for SEAL Team 6 raid in Yemen raises questions

Bergen: Did Kushner and Bannon have roles in Yemen decision?

The SEAL Team 6 raid in Yemen on Sunday that killed 14 al Qaeda fighters and 10 civilians has raised questions about the approach President Donald Trump will take to fighting terrorism: 

"The third question: Was the Trump administration aware of the substantial number of civilians at the target? If not, why not? And if so, why did the raid proceed?
Final question: The New York Times reported that Stephen Bannon, Trump's top policy strategist, and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner were both present at the dinner where the decision to authorize the Yemen JSOC strike was weighed with President Trump.
Isn't the presence of Bannon and Kushner at this dinner more than slightly strange? Neither have any relevant expertise or experience. It's not even a given that they are "cleared" for discussions about JSOC's operations, which are among the most tightly "compartmented" of the United States' secrets.
Also at the dinner were US Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford and Michael Flynn, Trump's national security adviser who played a key role in JSOC when he was stationed in Iraq during the Bush administration.
When President Obama was planning the raid in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, his top policy and political advisers Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod and others who had no "need to know" and didn't have the requisite clearances were not included in discussions about the operation that went on at the White House over the course of nine months.
By contrast, will Bannon and Kushner participate in the key national security decisions of the Trump administration? We already have a partial answer to this question, which is Trump's decision announced on Monday to give Bannon a seat on the National Security Council's Principals Committee." 
"But what happens after the new national-security team is fully in place? Will its members perform their usual functions, or will Trump continue to make the big decisions huddled with Bannon and Kushner? Mattis will probably learn lessons from the raid’s downside—he is famously a serious student of history and strategy who seeks guidance from chronicles of past successes and failures—but will Trump? Is he capable of learning—of changing his mind or broadening his perspective after exposure to unfamiliar ideas or unexpected events? The answer will shape the course of his presidency. So far, the prospects seem dim."


Donald Trump Michael Flynn Steve Bannon Reince Priebus
U.S. President Donald Trump (L-R), joined by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, senior advisor Steve Bannon, Communications Director Sean Spicer and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

"U.S. Central Command said in a statement that an investigating team had "concluded regrettably that civilian non-combatants were likely killed" during Sunday's raid. It added that children may have been among the casualties.

Central Command said its assessment "seeks to determine if there were any still-undetected civilian casualties in the ferocious firefight."

U.S. military officials told Reuters that Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations. 

As a result, three officials said, the attacking SEAL team found itself dropping onto a reinforced al Qaeda base defended by landmines, snipers, and a larger than expected contingent of heavily armed Islamist extremists.

The Pentagon directed queries about the officials' characterization of the raid to U.S. Central Command. The latter pointed only to its statement on Wednesday... 

The military officials who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity said "a brutal firefight" took the lives of Owens and at least 15 Yemeni women and children... 

As Sunday's firefight intensified, the raiders called in Marine helicopter gunships and Harrier jump jets, and then two MV-22 Osprey vertical takeoff and landing aircraft to extract the SEALs.

One of the two suffered engine failure, two of the officials said, and hit the ground so hard that two crew members were injured, and one of the Marine jets had to launch a precision-guided bomb to destroy it." 

The Yemen Raid of 1.29.17: WHAT WENT WRONG?! 

See also the previous post of 1.29.17:

American Commando Killed in Yemen in Trump’s First Counterterror Operation - by ERIC SCHMITT Sunday January 29th, 2017 at 9:02 AM - World News Review - Three others were injured in a fierce firefight with Qaeda militants in a dawn attack: 

"M.N.: How did this particular target emerge? How were the operational details processed? What was the need for the human involvement, instead of entirely by drones? What were, and are, the possible channels of the possible outflow of information, which seems to be almost indisputable? Was the timing determined by the Pr-t Trump's phone call to the Saudis, and why? 
You may dismiss all these questions with the "gnashing of teeth", as some little mouse's empty noise, but they have a certain logic in them. But most of all, methinks respectfully, they point to the warning, lesson, need to be very careful, to examine the flaws, to act without a trace of any political pressures, just disregarding them completely, to use the technology predominantly and mostly, and to reserve the human participation only when absolutely needed and as the last resort. Again: I say all this humbly and respectfully, as a complete outsider and a non-professional. I do not think that these losses, even whatever minimal, should be allowed and repeated, all this might escalate into the wrong direction, as some opponents probably desire so much, and probably plan. 
It makes sense [until the situation clears, the errors are identified and corrected, and all the appropriate safeguards are put in place - M.N.], to build the protective firewalls at all the relevant points and in all the relevant places, [to insulate them safely - M.N.], [notwithstanding, regardless of - M.N.], and despite all the customs and traditions. These are the special times and the special circumstances, and they require the special precautions and special tactics. In these circumstances, the organizational self-preservation and a certain autonomy is the must, the most of all, and the above all." 


Questions Cloud U.S. Raid on Qaeda Branch in Yemen - NYT

On 1.25.17, "just five days after taking office..." 

"With two of his closest advisers, Jared Kushner and Stephen K. Bannon, joining the dinner at the White House along with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., Mr. Trump approved sending in the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, hoping the raid early last Sunday would scoop up cellphones and laptop computers that could yield valuable clues about one of the world’s most dangerous terrorist groups. Vice President Mike Pence and Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser, also attended the dinner.  

Qaeda fighters were somehow tipped off to the stealthy advance toward the village... 

Through a communications intercept, the commandos knew that the mission had been somehow compromised, but pressed on toward their target roughly five miles from where they had been flown into the area. “They kind of knew they were screwed from the beginning,” one former SEAL Team 6 official said...  

With the crucial element of surprise lost, 

the Americans and Emiratis found themselves in a gun battle with Qaeda fighters who took up positions in other houses, a clinic, a school and a mosque, often using women and children as cover, American military officials said in interviews this week... 

That mission and the raid over the weekend revealed the shortcomings of secretive military operations in Yemen... 
The loss of Yemen as a base for American counterterrorism training, advising and intelligence-gathering was a significant blow to blunting the advance of Al Qaeda’s branch in the country and keeping tabs on their plots." 


See also: 

"The two units planned to meet in the desert to transfer the wounded SEALs so they could be taken back to the amphibious assault ship for treatment, but one of the Ospreys lost power, hitting the ground hard enough to wound two service members and disable the aircraft." 

M.N.: Why did "one of the Ospreys" lose power? Was it a result of an act of electronic warfare: deliberate and prepared in advance interference with the aircraft's control systems? What is the CC's answer to this question, if it is found and is appropriate to be disclosed? The similar instances of electronic warfare seem to be present in the past episodes, e.g. with the navigational systems at sea. If it is so, this might indicate the involvement of the third party, other than the locals, sophisticated enough to conduct these types of the interference, or to equip and to train the others. Was there the intention to repeat the infamous episode with the capture of the sailors; are there the indications that the same party, or the parties were involved? 

"The operation may also be a sign of things to come. The Pentagon, according to two defense officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, is drawing up plans to be considered by the White House that, if approved, could delegate decision-making for operations in Yemen to a lower level and accelerate activities against AQAP." 

M.N.: This might be one of the most appropriate, necessary, and common sense corrective measures. 

"A former senior defense official familiar with prior operations in Yemen said Saturday’s raid and the potential for expanded operations were “overdue.”" 

M.N.: Indeed. 

  1. "Bannon and his team are doing just that — thinking strategically and planning ahead..." - WP: Can anyone stop Stephen Bannon?
  2. “It’s not a team of rivals, it’s rival teams,” White House official said, referring to Bannon’s effort - WP: Can anyone stop Stephen Bannon?


See also: 



The danger of Steve Bannon on the National Security Council - The Washington Post

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Clarification: An earlier version of this op-ed stated that no political advisers to the president had ever served on the National Security Council before the appointment of Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor. Edwin Meese, when he was counselor to the president, served on the NSC during President Ronald Reagan’s administration. This version has been updated.

Stephen Bannon's White House role expands amid immigration turmoil

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As nationwide protests against President Trump’s immigration mandate rage on, he reshuffled the National Security Council and put chief strategist and former Breitbart News chair Stephen Bannon in an unprecedented national security role. As nationwide protests against President Trump’s immigration mandate rage on, he put chief strategist Stephen Bannon in an unprecedented national security role. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)
January 29
While demonstrators poured into airports to protest the Trump administration’s draconian immigration policies, another presidential memorandum signed this weekend may have even more lasting, wide-ranging and dangerous consequences. The document sounds like a simple bureaucratic shuffle, outlining the shape the National Security Council will take under President Trump. Instead, it is deeply worrisome.
The idea of the National Security Council (NSC), established in 1947, is to ensure that the president has the best possible advice from his Cabinet, the military and the intelligence community before making consequential decisions, and to ensure that, once those decisions are made, a centralized mechanism exists to guarantee their effective implementation. The NSC is effectively the central nervous system of the U.S. foreign policy and national security apparatus.
Trump’s memorandum described the structure of his NSC — not unusual given that the exact composition shifts in modest ways from administration to administration. The problem lies in the changes that he made.
Now, those key officials will be invited only when their specific expertise is seen to be required. Hard as it is to imagine any situation in which their views would not add value, this demotion is even harder to countenance given the threats the United States currently faces and the frayed state of the president’s relations with the intelligence community. A president who has no national security experience and can use all the advice he can get has decided to limit the input he receives from two of the most important advisers any president could have.
The president compounded this error of structure with an error of judgment that should send shivers down the spine of every American and our allies worldwide. Even as he pushed away professional security advice, Trump decided to make his top political advisor, Stephen K. Bannon, a permanent member of the NSC. Although the White House chief of staff is typically a participant in NSC deliberations, I know of few other instances in which a political adviser has been a formal permanent member of the council. 
Further, Bannon is the precisely wrong person for this wrong role. His national security experience consists of a graduate degree and seven years in the Navy. More troubling, Bannon’s role as chairman of "" , with its racist, misogynist and Islamophobic perspectives, and his avowed desire to blow up our system of government, suggests this is someone who not only has no business being a permanent member of the most powerful consultative body in the world — he has no business being in a position of responsibility in any government. 
Worse still, it is an omen of other problems to come. Organizing the NSC this way does not reflect well on national security adviser Michael Flynn — whether the bad decision is a result of his lack of understanding of what the NSC should do or because he is giving in to pressure from his boss.
Moreover, elevating Bannon is a sign that there will be more than one senior official in Trump’s inner circle with top-level national security responsibility, an arrangement nearly certain to create confusion going forward.
Indeed, rumors are already circulating that Bannon and senior adviser Jared Kushner are the go-to people on national security issues for the administration, again despite the lack of experience, temperament or institutional support for either. Kushner has been given key roles on Israel, Mexico and China already. History suggests all this will not end well, with rivalries emerging with State, Defense, the Trade Representative and other agencies.
Combine all this with the president’s own shoot-from-the-lip impulses, his flair for improvisation and his well-known thin skin. You end up with a bad NSC structure being compromised by a kitchen cabinet-type superstructure and the whole thing likely being made even more dysfunctional by a president who, according to multiple reports, does not welcome advice in the first place — especially when it contradicts his own views.

Meet Stephen Bannon, Trump's chief White House strategist

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Here's what you need to know about the man who went from Breitbart News chairman to Donald Trump's campaign CEO before his appointment as chief White House strategist and senior counselor. Here's what you need to know about the man who went from being Breitbart News's chairman to Trump's campaign CEO and now to chief White House strategist. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)
The executive order on immigration and refugees was un-American, counterproductive and possibly illegal. The restructuring of the NSC, and the way in which this White House is threatening to operate outside the formal NSC structure, all but guarantees that it will not be the last bad decision to emerge from the Trump administration.
Read more:
Story image for Jared Kushner from New York Times

Where Is Jared Kushner?

New York Times-Feb 1, 2017
Jared Kushner arriving for his swearing-in ceremony at the White House. Credit Pool photo by Andrew Harrer. Remember the good old days ...
Harvard Alums Request Meeting with Jared Kushner (blog)-18 hours ago