Discover more from The View from the Front. By Stan R. Mitchell.
The 10/26/21 dispatch.
Happy Tuesday! Hope everyone had a great weekend!
I mentioned in last Friday’s newsletter that American troops had been attacked in Syria. I predicted then that it was likely Iranian-backed militias.
Yesterday, U.S. officials confirmed that Iran was behind the drone attack last week. Though the drones were not launched from Iran, intelligence officials stated that Iranian drones were used, and that Iran appeared to have facilitated their use.
Officials said they believe the attacks involved as many as five drones laden with explosive charges, and that they hit both the U.S. side of al-Tanf garrison and the side where Syrian opposition forces stay.
There were no reported injuries or deaths as a result of the attack.
In a follow-up article today, the Post reported that there have been “a series of largely unreported rocket attacks against U.S. bases in the Kurdish-controlled northeast,” according to Michael Knights, an analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Knights also suggest that things could get worse.
“Toward the end of the year, when the troops are supposed to leave Iraq, and with the nuclear agreement not going that well, we’re going to see the temperature rise,” he predicted.
Moving on to the subject of China, I wrote in the last edition about a China-analyst who argued that, “The Defense Department is taking legitimate concerns about another nation’s military and turning them into cartoon caricatures to boost military spending.”
It’s fair to say that I got some strong pushback on that, so I wanted to quickly address that here. First, as most of you know, I have been GREATLY concerned about the threat of China for months now. I’ve written about it at length and supported our country’s strategic shift toward Asia.
I provided last week’s article as something to help balance my own views and perspective, as well as the beliefs held by our strategic leaders.
As I’m embarrassed to admit, I was wrong about Afghanistan being able to hold out. And how fast it would fall. And while I opposed the exit, I assumed the Afghan people would stand up and fight harder.
I was wrong. Dead wrong on that. (Though I still don’t think I was wrong to say that I think we should have stayed.)
Nonetheless, I write about huge issues that impact the direction of our country, and I don’t want to avoid share opposing views to mine from time-to-time. That was what last week was.
One of those who disagreed with the China piece in the last edition shared this item below for those who might’ve been persuaded that the U.S. is over-stating the threat:
From fishing fleets to psych ops, the article explains what China (is doing) and could do. It’s definitely worth the read if you get a few minutes.
Moving on to an item that goes along with the attack on U.S. troops mentioned above (and the increasing threat from drones), the Army recently completed its first live-fire of a new system that it’s fielding. (This can’t arrive too soon for ground troops and others out there.)
Called the Mobile Short Range Air Defense system, or M-SHORAD, the weapon idea “integrates existing guns, missiles, rockets, and sensors onto a Stryker A1 vehicle,” the Army states in a news release about the system.
You can read more about the weapons system at the link above, but the idea is that these units would move alongside advancing troops (or units at the front).
Moving along, in not-so-great news this week, a study discovered that U.S. Airmen who flew and worked on planes were far more likely to get cancer. (See below.)
This is one of those things that drives me crazy to no end. So many military members have not only sacrificed their lives and put themselves in danger for this country, but they’ve also paid the price long-term (even when they were lucky enough to survive the actual confrontation).
From Agent Orange in Vietnam, Gulf War syndrome from Operation Desert Shield/Storm, burn pits in Afghanistan, contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, and dozens of other things I could cite, our veterans always get the short end of the stick.
I am proud that our government is increasingly coming clean about these things, but there have still been countless lives wrecked through reckless indifference and calculated expediency, followed by years of government denials while families of service members suffered financially.
Okay, I better stop before I really get angry about this.
Before wrapping up this week’s news part of the edition, let’s hit a few quick points in case you missed them:
News broke (completely unsurprisingly) that Pakistan is using informal intelligence channels to prop up the Taliban in its operations against ISIS. I say completely unsurprisingly because some elements of the Pakistan government helped the Taliban even as the Taliban fought the U.S.
The U.S. conducted an airstrike in northwest Syria that allegedly killed a senior al-Qaeda leader, Abdul Hamid al-Matar. The strike was conducted by a General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper.
Several days ago was the anniversary of the massive 1983 suicide bomber attack of a compound in Beirut, Lebanon that killed 220 American military personnel (mostly Marines), as well as 58 French troops and six civilians. (This hits close to home since it was the same Marine battalion (1/8) that I’d join a decade later, and I personally know folks who lost Marines there.)
Finally, we’ll wrap up this edition with a couple of lighter notes.
First, how about this for some artistic motivation?! Doodling and a black magic marker!! (On a luxury car!)
And secondly, how about this for some inspiration that I hope will move you as it moved me.
That’s it for this post. Stay safe and be kind. As always, please share this post if you enjoyed it.
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Every Tuesday and Friday, I write about conflicts and military matters that are happening throughout the world. I do this from a moderate perspective that focuses on unity in our country. I also don’t believe in clickbait, over-the-top headlines, or other tactics that increase fear or panic, all in the hope of web traffic. You will always get the sober, mature view, with a slight bit of my optimism peering through.
Stan R. Mitchell
P.S. Don’t forget to check out my books. I write fast-paced military and mystery thrillers. You can find all ten books here: amazon.com.