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U. S. Shoots Down Syrian Fighter-Bomber After Attack on Coalition Forces

U. S. Shoots Down Syrian Fighter-Bomber After Attack on Coalition Forces

“A U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Su-22 that had dropped bombs near SDF positions”

http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.displayPlatform&key=C42247D4-36AF-4038-AD33-B559F68AA774

A U. S. Navy fighter jet shot down a Syrian Su-22 fighter-bomber following an attack on U. S.-led coalition forces in Syria.

This story is just breaking, so we will have more as it becomes known.

Fox News reports:

U.S. Navy fighter jet shot down a Syrian government warplane after it attacked Washington-backed fighters near ISIS’ de facto capital of Raqqa, the U.S.-led coalition said Sunday.

In a statement, the coalition said its aircraft “conducted a show of force” to turn back an attack by Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s forces on the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the town of Ja’Din, south of Tabqah.

The coalition confirmed that a U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Su-22 that had dropped bombs near SDF positions. The coalition said the shootdown took place “in accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defense of Coalition partnered forces.”

The statement said “a number of SDF fighters” were wounded in the regime’s attack, but did not specify further. The coalition also said that Russian officers had been contacted on a special “de-confliction” hotline in an effort to halt the regime’s attack.

ABC News has the release:

ABC News reports further details:

The incident occurred in the town of Ja’Din, south of Tabqa, Syria, which had recently been retaken from ISIS by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an umbrella group of Syrian Kurdish and Arab rebel forces supported by the U.S. in the fight against the militant group.

SDF came under attack from regime forces in favor of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad around 4:30 p.m. Syria time. A number of SDF fighters were wounded in the assault, and the SDF soon left Ja’Din.

Coalition aircraft conducted a show of force overhead that stopped the initial pro-regime advance towards the town.

“Following the Pro-Syrian forces attack, the coalition contacted its Russian counterparts by telephone via an established ‘de-confliction line’ to de-escalate the situation and stop the firing,” said a statement from Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS.

“At 6:43 p.m., a Syrian regime SU-22 dropped bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqah and, in accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defense of coalition partnered forces, was immediately shot down by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet,” said the statement.

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Comments

I’d prefer “Operation Kill the Bastards.”

This is just jockeying for position. A deal has been made.

http://classicalvalues.com/2017/06/its-a-gas/

inspectorudy | June 18, 2017 at 6:37 pm

This is the problem when there is not a “No fly zone”. Anything that the good guys do is a reaction, not an offensive action. The object is to stop the invaders befoe they drop their bombs not afterward. This looks more like some kind of message or test than a serious attack. We’ll know in a few days what it is.

Whether a message or attack… they can’t afford to make many… either in aircraft or pilots.

    Merlin in reply to alaskabob. | June 19, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Ha! It could be equally plausible that the Hornet watched that old Sukhoi rust bucket fall from the sky of its own accord.

The US defends ISIS and other al-Qeada terrorists. The idea that we are fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda is patently absurd. The terrorists are our surrogates. We fund them, train them, and support them every way possible. In turn, they mostly do our bidding. But they are bad dogs and often due stuff we don’t like. Nevertheless, they are our dogs.. Wake up.

I guess nobody in liberal lala land has yet realized that the Sukhoi-22 is Russian, or we’d be hearing more demands for an investigation into collusion in … something-or-other.

Next thing you know, American soldiers on the ground will be allowed to shoot in self defense without first calling the White House to ask permission.

Best election ever.

So, once again the US illegally attacks the sovereign nation of Syria, in contravention of existing international law. IN other words, we have just committed another act of war. Sooner or later, someone is going to get fed up with the US ignoring international law and doing whatever it wants in the Middle east and we are going to find ourselves at war with multiple nations in the Middle east. On of which could well be Russia.

Right now, the US has troops on the ground inside the borders of the nation of Syria, without the permission of the Syria government. We have now used direct military force against units of the military of the lawful government of Syria, in direct support of armed groups which are in open rebellion to the lawful government of Syria. And, we have done this at least three times. Explain how what we are doing in Syria is any different that what would happen if Mexico moved troops into the continental US to support La Raza and shot down one of our fighters. But, we are traipsing around inside Syria attacking their military forces, in support of an armed rebellion. Does anyone remember what started WWI? In what way are we bejaving any differently than Russia behaved in Georgia or the Ukraine?

    inspectorudy in reply to Mac45. | June 18, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    Are you wearing a pink shirt? You sound an awful lot like the ladies in pink do when they can’t distinguish between us and them. If you can’t see the difference in the government of Syria and the US government then maybe you shouldn’t comment here. If Mexicans invaded Texas what would be their humanitarian goal? Who is the US government killing in Texas? Have the people of Texas asked the Mexican government to intervene? WTF are you taking about?

    Macaroni45:

    Why are you outraged the US is occasionally trespassing in Syria, when half of Mexico is trespassing in the U.S.?

    Quite the double-standard. (“Double” means “two.”)

      “half of Mexico is trespassing in the U.S.”
      Mexico’s total population is 120 million. Are you asserting that half of that population resides illegally in the US, and that only 60 million people actually reside in Mexico? Or would you like to rephrase your assertion?

      “Quite the double-standard.”
      Please support this accusation by showing where Mac45 said that he approves of illegal immigration from Mexico.

    moonmoth in reply to Mac45. | June 19, 2017 at 11:30 am

    The replies to your post show that liberals’ belief that conservatives are dangerously irrational has some basis in fact.

    Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | June 19, 2017 at 11:56 am

    What alternate universe do you people live in?

    We supposedly live in a world where laws determine what we can and can not do. And, we use violations of these laws as justification to take action, including military action, against other sovereign nations. Then you turn right around and cheer the actions of the US which are obvious violations of these laws.

    Here is reality. The US actively supported rebel groups against the lawful government of Syria. We did this, initially, by providing logistical support including financing and weaponry. We graduated to providing direct, active military support for these rebels. Now, under the questionable auspices of a war on ISIS, the US has militarily invaded the territory of the sovereign state of Syria, without the permission of that nation’s government. And, that military is actively supporting rebel forces against the lawful government of Syria. This is not fabrication this is actual fact. All of these actions are tantamount to acts of war, in violation of international law.

    Now, this is no different than what Russia did in Georgia and South Ossetia or what it did in the Ukraine and the Crimea. No difference at all. Yet you will condemn the Russian for their activities and cheer the same activities by the US. The war on ISIS and “humanitarian” goals are simply BS to justify aggression against a legally recognized, sovereign nation. Similar bogus arguments were used by Russia to justify its invasion of Georgia and the Ukraine.

      Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | June 20, 2017 at 2:28 am

      There is nothing lawful about that government.

      Also, there’s no such thing as binding international law, in the sense of domestic law. There are the customary rules of war, under which we are entitled to pursue our war with AQ, ISIS, and the other jihadists, and if that takes us into Syria then so be it. If Assad objects we can just add him to the enemies list.

        Mac45 in reply to Milhouse. | June 20, 2017 at 10:44 am

        Ah, attorneys. The Al Assad government IS the lawful government because it is recognized as being such by the majority of nations in the world.

        Under the rules of war, that you mention, it is not permissible to invade a country, even in hot pursuit of aggressors, without the permission of the government of that country. The government of the invaded nation is free to use force against the invading troops and to declare war on the nation which they hail from. If the government of that country acts to protect cross border aggressors, then it can be treated as an acknowledged belligerent allied with the aggressors, such as happened with regard to Afghanistan.

        What is happening in Syria is quite different, however. The US is using military might to support a group which is in open rebellion against the legally recognized government of a sovereign nation. They are using the hot pursuit doctrine to justify it. and, US military assets have attacked units of the Syrian military which have not attacked them. As it was not done in self defense and Syria is not attempting to protect the group which the US is “pursuing”, this constitutes an act of war against the Syrian government by a foreign power.

          Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | June 20, 2017 at 3:24 pm

          “The majority of nations” has no power, under “international law” or any other, to determine anything. There is no international legislature in which this “majority of nations” gets to vote. The Assad government is not the legitimate government of Syria. It has no control over the territory. Whatever recognition it once had from other nations has seriously dwindled. It never had the people’s support. US policy (which is the only one that matters, from a US perspective) is that any settlement can’t leave Assad in office.

“So, once again the US illegally attacks the sovereign nation of Syria, in contravention of existing international law. IN other words, we have just committed another act of war… ”

Blow me. Right now the Iranian-backed Hezbollah and the Sunni-backed Islamic State has “boots on the ground” in the United States. Every one of the 50 states. And they they have for a while. It’s war, son, grow the ‘f’ up.

Also, I have it on good authority that Air Force types are P.O.’d that the Navy got this kill.

    Mac45 in reply to Arminius. | June 19, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Who do you think the Syrian “rebels” are? One of the major parties in the establishment of the rebel movement was the Muslim Brotherhood. The rebels contain the Army of Conquest made up of such notables as Al-Nusra Front, which is a part of Al-Qaeda,the Al-Sham organizations, and the Turkisatan Islamic Party. All are Islamic fundamentalist organization and most are under the umbrella of various international terrorist groups. It is true that they are opposing Hezbollah, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and ISIS, which is a rogue organization composed of even more radical Islamic splinter groups. But, these groups are still bent upon religious domination of Syria. And the US is actively backing them against a country sovereign government which is largely secular. Incredible logic in this move.

    Now, once again please explain to me the ADVANTAGE to going to war with Russia over the nation of Syria. Just one of you explain to my WHY the US should spend OUR blood and gold in Syria, except to support the existing government of that nation. When did the US become a thug nation? And, why would we allow it to continue? It is one thing to stand up for your principals, and quite another to beat people up because you can.

      Arminius in reply to Mac45. | June 19, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      The amazing thing, Mac, is you actually think Putin is stupid enough to go to war with us over Syria. You do realize that the US has both nuclear weapons, ICBMs, SLBMs capable of reaching Russia, right? I mean you realize that armed conflict between two nuclear capable nations is not like a rumble between the Sharks and the Jets, don’t you? Then again, maybe you don’t.

      But Putin does.

        Mac45 in reply to Arminius. | June 19, 2017 at 4:03 pm

        It was clever the way that you repeated my response to another poster. But, what makes you so sure that the Russians would NOT take military action if pressed? Perhaps your many lat night poker games with Putin?

        So, the Russians declare a No-Fly zone. The US violates it and shoots down another Syrian military plane. Russia now has to put up or shut up, as the US is targeting one of its allies. so, Russia starts flying aircap for the Syrians. The US now has the option of interdicting Syrian flights and running afoul of the Russians or backing off a la Obama. If Russian air units and US air units end up shooting at each other, we might well find ourselves in an expanding shooting war with Russia and her allies in the region. And all for what? To install a radical Islamic theocracy in the largely secular state of Syria?

        Of course, in this instance, as we are the aggressors and clearly violating international law by our actions, we will not have any solid justification for our actions, if they lead to expanding armed conflict. So, one more time, give me a good reason why the US should violate international law to remove the Assad government and install a radical Islamic theocracy in Syria.

          Arminius in reply to Mac45. | June 19, 2017 at 4:43 pm

          Why, Mac, you’re a strategic genius!!! I’m sure none of those considerations have occurred to anyone in the Kremlin. Why don’t you write them a letter explaining the dangers of escalating the air war over Syria.

          I have mixed feelings about our role in Syria, but one thing that is true is that escalation is inevitable: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/russia-says-it-will-treat-us-and-coalition-planes-in-western-syria-as-targets-defense-ministry-says/article/2626363I

          I like your comments, Mac, because they make me think; we do need to get beyond the black hat/white hat view of conflicts in the Middle East that we can’t understand on an intuitive level (though many try). But your argument makes me think about our own nation’s history. We won the Revolutionary War because sovereign nations decided that it would be in their best interests to support a rag-tag group of rebels, seen as traitors and, in modern parlance, as terrorists by Great Britain. France and, to a lesser extent, Spain opted to arm and otherwise assist revolutionary forces against the legal, internationally-recognized, and legitimate rule of Great Britain. Without their assistance, we almost certainly would have lost. Obviously, international law was not as well-developed at that time, but it did exist and required open declarations of war.

          That said, I agree that we are on precarious ground in shooting down Syrian planes, and that the proxy war between the U.S. and Russia that began under Obama is escalating beyond proxy and unlikely to end well. The U.S. aligns too often with what we deem the lesser of two Islamist totalitarian evils, so we arm and train them and then kind of hope that they won’t be worse than what was displaced. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we don’t.

          As far as those pushing back against the fact that we are arming and training Islamic terrorists, of course we are. What do you think Benghazi was all about? The U.S. calculation is that the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood and even at this point al-Quaeda will be more preferable to American interests than ISIS.

          Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | June 19, 2017 at 8:59 pm

          Let’s take a look at some of these points.

          The French backed the American Colonies largely because they were in a perpetual state of war with the British. France had lost the Seven Years War, of which the French and Indian War [in North America]was part,in 1763. England was an active enemy of France and had been for many years. So, backing a rebellion in British territory was to their advantage. It also served the long term advantage of France to deny England their beachhead in the New World if the revolution succeeded. The same was true for Spain, to a lesser degree. In fact, France officially recognized the USA as a sovereign nation, in 1777, and entered into treaties with the new nation, before the war was over. The US has not officially recognized the SDA as a sovereign nation. We have no treaties with that group, as a national entity. All we are doing is actively assisting a rebel organization against against a legally recognized sovereign nation, Syria.

          However, the US is not at war with Syria. Syria is not our enemy. It was not really closely allied with Russia, until the Assad government found itself fighting Islamic terror organizations and the United States. France had every reason to expect that the US would be friendly to the French, if the colonists won the war. But, who would expect Al Qaeda [Al Nusra in Syria] to be friendly toward the US should Al Assad be deposed?

          About the proxy war between the US and Russia, under the Obama administrations. There wasn’t one. The US levied a few sanctions against Russia for its activities in the Ukraine, but they found little European support and provided only a minor inconvenience to the Russians. And, that was it. Eight years of virtually unchecked Russian activity and nothing was done to curtail the Russians.

          Now, Syria. Russia entered the Syrian civil war in 2015, that was only two years ago. And, it did so at the direct request of the lawful government of Syria. The US has been supporting the Syrian opposition forces since the middle of 2012. So, who has a better right to be actingh in Syria, the US backing a movement composed of criminal organizations or the Russians, backing the legally recognized government of that country? Speaking of Benghazi, what did we learn there? That our radical Muslim “allies” will take our gold and weapons and then kill us. Just something to think about.

          Arminius in reply to Mac45. | June 19, 2017 at 10:39 pm

          “Let’s take a look at some of these points.

          The French backed the American Colonies largely because they were in a perpetual state of war with the British. France had lost the Seven Years War, of which the French and Indian War [in North America]was part,in 1763…”

          If you want to make a respectable point try getting your head out of your, uhh, 18th century.

          Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | June 20, 2017 at 10:08 am

          Try making an intelligent counterpoint, instead of a personal attack. That is what debates and discussions are made of.

      Arminius in reply to Mac45. | June 19, 2017 at 4:41 pm

      Obama spent eight years destroying America’s ability to influence events around the globe, creating vacuums that countries like Russia, Iran, and the PRC have happily stepped into.

      So the question for you is, do you like Obama’s destruction of America’s power, prestige, and reputation so much that you prefer to continue those policies? Do you want to live in a world where actual thug nations like Russia, Iran, and the PRC are calling the shots? Because that’s what you’re advocating.

      A blind man could see that Obama was setting up a situation (see the worthless Iranian nuclear “deal” which has made the US the largest state sponsor of Iranian terrorism in the world) where it would be extremely dangerous to reverse the American decline that he set in motion. Or does it never occur that we wouldn’t need to confront Russia in Syria (but not about Syria) if Obama hadn’t freaking invited Putin to take over OUR Syria policy?

      This is about reversing Obama’s disastrous national security policies.

      So you either accept the fact that reversing Obama’s treasonous acts will require brinkmanship, or you accept Obama’s traditional leftist premise that America is the cause of all evil in the world. And that it’s actually best to leave Russia, the PRC, and Iran in charge as global and regional powers.

      Right now we can reverse the trend without fighting for it. But we will have to confront Russian and the PRC, and countries like Iran to do it. And in the case of Russia, it’s not about Syria and Putin is smart enough to know it even if you aren’t. I suppose you don’t understand the implications of the Obama administration ceding the entire South China Sea, East China Sea, and even the Senkaku islands to Chinese territorial claims. Japan understands it; they’ve been talking openly how an alliance with the US is essentially worthless.

      Duterte is a thug but he’s no idiot and has arrived at the same conclusion.

      http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/philippine-leader-duterte-ditches-u-s-china-says-america-has-n670066

      ” Oct 20 2016, 2:53 pm ET
      Philippine Leader Duterte Ditches U.S. for China, Says ‘America Has Lost’”

      Ever since the rise of the PRC in 1949 US maritime strategy has depended upon countering the Chinese “island chain strategy.” The Chinese classify island chains as (1) a very long series of islands that (2) runs north-south fairly close to Asian shores, (3) encloses the Asian mainland, and (4) is inhabited by a prospective rival or rivals of China able to project military power seaward. But if these island chains can be flipped and either controlled by China herself or at least by an ally then they become a shield for the PRC rather than a shield for a potential adversary that must be punctured.

      The strategic value of Japanese control over the Senkakus has been obvious to everyone involved in maritime operations for over sixty years. All PLAN naval bases face either the East China Sea or South China Sea. At the very least the first island chain, which consists of four main islands of Japan, then the Ryukyus through Okinawa to the Sakashima islands (really, just the southernmost Ryukyu islands), then to the Senkaku islands, Taiwan, the Philippines (including the strategically important Batanes and Babuyan islands north of Luzon), and Indonesia, is intense pain in China’s backside. Why? Because to claim innocent passage under the laws of the sea all PLAN submarines must transit on the surface flying the PRC flag. It is for all practical purposes impossible for a submarine from the PLAN’s East Sea Fleet to access the vast maneuver spaces of the western Pacific without surfacing to innocently transit Japanese waters. Allowing China to unilaterally enforce its claim to the Senkakus would make it easier to transit submerged. And for the first time in our history since we returned control over the Senkakus back to Japan we failed to give even half-hearted support to Japan’s claims to the islands. Which are valid because while the PRC now claims the island there’s no indication they ever attempted to occupy and develop them. The Chinese simply used them as navigational markers while in the late 19th century when Japan formally annexed the unoccupied islands (the Chinese never did) they actually established a Bonito fish processing plant. And for the first time in recorded history (Japanese and Chinese, both of whom have long known of the island’s presence) the Senkakus actually had a human population. The Japanese factory workers.

      While it wouldn’t be a fatal blow to our first island chain strategy if the PRC did unilaterally enforce its claim to the islands, the fact we failed to back up our ally’s claim would be. But that’s down the road, and I don’t think any other President will be as feckless as Obama.

      Where Obama may have done permanent damage to our first island chain strategy is in the Philippines. The Obama/Hillary “pivot” to Asia was a disaster. It only consisted of talk. What was required was an air/seapower pivot and it never happened because Obama gutted those forces. Deliberately. When the PRC saw this, that all the US had on the menu when it came to the “pivot” was hot air, they started fortifying the Spratley islands. When Duterte saw this, and realized that the odds were that Hillary was going to continue the Obama legacy of going supine and cowering before the PRC party bosses and military, he declared the above and started making his own deal with the PRC.

      Without the Philippines we have no first island chain strategy. But the PRC will have effectively flipped a key linchpin from an adversarial threat to a shield to use against us. As of now all South Sea Fleet submarines transiting the Luzon strait are confined to a relatively narrow portion due to the territorial waters of Taiwan and the Philippines due to the two archipelagos north of Luzon that extend pretty deeply into the strait. If the Philippines were to allow PLAN submarines to transit submerged in exchange for the PRC recognition of at least some of its Spratley island claims (so far I haven’t discussed the importance of these claims as a baseline for claiming an exclusive economic zone) where presumably the PLAN submarines could also transit submerged, that would greatly complicate the ASW. Because now those territorial waters would be off limits to us other than for innocent passage. And that precludes sub hunting as innocent passage must be direct and expeditious.

      Oh, and about the Chinese fortification and development of the Spratley islands, again a blind man could see what that will lead to. The Australians predicted it in 1959. But then anyone could have.

      http://thediplomat.com/2017/06/australias-60-year-old-south-china-sea-prophecy-comes-true/

      “Among the documents is a briefing on the military significance of the disputed islands from Australia’s Joint Intelligence Committee in 1959. It read:

      ‘On 27th April 1950, in connection with the formation of a draft peace treaty with Japan, the Defense Committee agreed that it was in Australia’s strategic interests to work for U.S. Trusteeship of the Spratly Islands. In fact, the Peace Treaty left the question of sovereignty unsettled.’

      It continued:

      ‘In May 1950, Australia was concerned, for strategic reasons, that the Spratly Islands might fall into Chinese Communist hands. In an attempt to forestall this, the United Kingdom was sounded out about accepting trusteeship of the islands. The United Kingdom replied that they would probably be unwilling to do anything which would embarrass them in relations with the Communist Chinese. They foresaw the danger their occupation of the islands might be resisted.’

      …’If, in the longer term, the Communist Chinese were to develop the islands militarily, they could make a nuisance out of themselves on the international shipping and air routes on the pretext of infringements of territorial waters and air space and might even shoot down an aircraft occasionally. Again, there is little the West is likely to do, except protest.'”

      This is exactly what is going on now, thanks to the fecklessness of Obama/Hillary/Kerry.

      In fact, so feckless were they that in 2011 we started hearing rumblings from Chinese naval strategists that we began hearing rumblings of a third island chain. Old Pacific hands had long known of the Chinese concept of a second island chain which I won’t go into in great detail. Suffice to say it consists of Honshu, a couple of Japanese extending southwest pointing toward the northern Marianas, down the Marianas to Guam, then Palau, and finally New Guinea.

      Guess what the Chinese began to consider an island chain that’s really and appendage of Asia just like the first two? The Hawaiian islands.

      Again, these are Chinese terms. When they look at the terrain of the Pacific through the lens of their island chain strategy they see these chains as Asia’s island chains. We’re lucky Hillary Clinton didn’t get elected. Four or even, it’s almost two bad to think about, eight more of the same Obama/Clinton national security policy that we had in the previous eight and Chinese naval strategists would be talking about North and Sough America as Asia’s fourth island chain.

      Obama and his henchmen have made the world a far more dangerous and unstable place. Deliberately, as he views America and the bad actor and the cause of all the world’s trouble since our founding. Hence the need he had to fundamentally transform us. We’re evil, and anyone who hates us is right to do so. That’s why he abdicated and gave Putin a free hand in the Middle east, guaranteed the Iranian nuclear program plus gave them billions to spend on terrorism, and let the PRC do what it wants in the South China Sea and in fact what it wants to all its regional neighbors.

      Any President would have to deal with reality. I want Trump to deal with this reality. It’s far better to do it now than wait until our adversaries get strong enough they’ll happily fight over it.

      Now if you don’t want the current President to deal with it then I have no other choice than to understand you, Mac, to approve of the course that Obama has set for the nation. One of atrophy and decline. Which will be bad for America, but President Barack “Citizen of the World” Obama never had our best interests at heart.

      And I’m also going to have to believe you agree with Obama’s underlying worldview about the nature of America that informed his decision to degrade the United States (not ISIS, he never took any concrete action harm them but never missed an opportunity to harm the US). Because there are no other choices. Either we reverse course now, which will be dangerous but far more dangerous in four or eight years. Or you think Obama’s course of decline was and is the right choice for the US, and that you accept the ideology that drove Obama to make that choice.

buckeyeminuteman | June 19, 2017 at 6:03 am

AIRPOWER!

Legal Insurrection is the ONLY web-site using a correct picture of the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornet. I’ve seen pictures of F-35s, A-4s, F-14s. Thank you, Professor!

    Paul in reply to SeniorD. | June 19, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Dang, I thought that was an AR-15.

      The shoulder thing that goes up can make it confusing.

      Arminius in reply to Paul. | June 19, 2017 at 8:38 pm

      No, the swiveling bayonet that can either be folded under the fuselage or extended forward of the RADOME makes this aircraft a variant of the SKS.

      And the HuffPo assures us that the SKS is a variant of the AK-47, even though the SKS preceded the AK-47 by a few years.

      So it’s not an AR, it’s an AK.

And that, folks, is how you project naval air power.

Hey Putin….Buddy….can I call you Buddy?

Not only do we have all Syrian assets dialed in…..we have all RUSSIAN assets in Syria dialed in too..

…so please….PLEASE….MAKE OUR DAY!

    Mac45 in reply to audax. | June 19, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    This is incredible. You do realize that Russia has both nuclear weapons AND ICMBs capable of reaching the US, right? I mean you realize that armed conflict between two nuclear capable nations is not like a rumble between the Sharks and the Jets, don’t you? Then again, maybe you don’t.

    Thank God you are not in charge of our foreign policy. Though our current foreign policy is not much better.

      Merlin in reply to Mac45. | June 19, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      Unfortunately, we own each and every one of Obama’s foreign policy disasters. His apology tours, degradation of military power, and feckless use of our diplomatic service will take decades to overcome. You cannot effectively walk softly while carrying a big stick if your predecessor hands you a friggin’ toothpick.

      Small foreign military skirmishes as a means of re-establishing resolve and a measure of dominance don’t equate to the onset of global nuclear annihilation. If we’ve learned anything from the Obama years it should be that diplomacy is most difficult to conduct from your knees.

        Mac45 in reply to Merlin. | June 19, 2017 at 4:17 pm

        Yes we own the Obama legacy. That includes the Arab Spring BS that he started and which has led to the disruption of secular governments throughout the Middle East. But, that is NO reason to support a bunch of Islamic radicals who are seeking to overthrow a largely secular government in the region. That is simply stupid. We are supporting the same groups that we are fighting in the Global War on Terror.

        Our country continues to do stupid things in this region. We are still in Afghanistan. That country has NO strategic or even tactical value for us, anymore. We should have been out of there by 2006, when it became apparent that OBL was no longer in the country. We are just wasting time, money and, most importantly, lives there, for no good reason. We pulled out of Iraq. There was no reason for us to do that. The Iraqi government did not want us to leave and we could have easily leveraged them to allow the maintenance of 60,000 – 80,000 troops there indefinitely. This would have maintained stability in the region. Instead our withdrawal caused a power vacuum to occur which allowed Iran to increase its expansionist policies and allowed ISIS to develop and expand. We actively assisted in the removal of Gaddafi and handed Libya over to the radical Islamists. We destabilized Syria by supporting more radical Islamists. We supported the Muslim Brotherhood in its takeover of Egypt. So, to convince ourselves that we are powerful, we beat up on a 65# weakling, Syria, which we are already attacking illegally. Bully diplomacy us usually counter productive.

          Merlin in reply to Mac45. | June 19, 2017 at 5:17 pm

          Folks in that region hold grudges for centuries, so a simple rollback to happier times is not an option. It is entirely possible that those people will have to be separated at the point of a gun for decades to come as has been done everywhere else on the planet. Allowing any one faction to “win” would almost certainly condemn the “losers” to a rapid extinction. Peace by force requires enough power and influence to force the participants to accept a forced solution. Currently we possess neither power or influence.

          Arminius in reply to Mac45. | June 19, 2017 at 8:13 pm

          Two of the stupidest things Obama did in the M.E. as part of his legacy that we now own was to outsource our foreign/natsec policy Vladimir Putin and to accept AND ACT ON the insane idea that it was in our interests to set up the Iranian Mullahcracy as our natural partner as the dominant power in the region.

          This was, no s***, the consensus opinion among the foreign policy “elite” at Foggy Bottom and among D.C. area academics for years.

          I agree that we shouldn’t be arming, training, or equipping anybody in the Syrian civil war. But Obama opened the barn door and let the Russian horse escape, and it is in America’s interest to get that Russian horse back in its stall.

          Because this stupidity of Obama’s has implications far outside of Syria. And far outside the middle east; in Ukraine, the new NATO states in Eastern Europe, the Baltics, and our older traditional allies. For this reason I have no problem with the Trump administration forcing the Russians and Syrians to concentrate their efforts on the Islamic State. As it stands, fewer than 10% of their airstrikes are against IS.

          Who are our allies, what is in America’s best interest? It’s not in Syria, but it’s part of Obama’s legacy that we now own as you admit, Mac. And abandoning allies in field has never worked out well for us. If you haven’t noticed.

          But I’m not going to write another naval epic like I did about how Obama screwed up our western Pacific strategy. And I only barely scratched the surface as it’s impossible to go into full detail in the kind of bandwidth that our courteous host could possibly find acceptable.

          I will say this. It’s impossible to understand the M.E., and other Muslim majority countries in Southwest Asia and elsewhere, without understanding driving ideology. Islam. As long as we continue to do so we will continue to do stupid things. The nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan was stupid because SOMEBODY, who I don’t know, got to Bush and convinced him Islam means peace. Peace in Arabic is Salaam. It shares the same three consonental root with Islam; SLM. But they’re two entirely differently words as should be obvious as one begins with a vowel (entirely due to the diacritical marks) and the other with a consonant.

          Did you know when we were engaging in our ignorant nation building efforts we, let me repeat, we, allowed Sharia to be established as the fundamental basis of both the Iraqi and Afghani constitutions? I was, I think, stationed temporarily at DGAR (as close as I got to the fighting). Even from the Indian Ocean I could hear the hope being sucked out of the reformers.

          This is the equivalent of American occupation forces in Japan not only allowing Hirohito to claim divinity but establishing Shinto as the fundamental basis of the new Japanese constitution.

          We weren’t that stupid then. We have apparently lost a lot of brain cells since 1945.

          Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | June 19, 2017 at 9:29 pm

          Arminius, am having trouble following your argument.

          In the first place, the current President has already taken steps to correct a number of stupid things that previous US administrations have done, including NAFTA. So, washing our hands of Syrian rebels, the bulk of which are radical Islamic movements which are recognized as or part of recognized terrorist organizations does not seem far fetched. What the US should be doing is assisting the Syrians in eliminating the rebel organizations. However, as you point out, Obama made that impossible. So, if the US continues acting in Syria, one of two things is going to happen. The rebels will lose and or the US and Russia will become embroiled in a hot military conflict. We, the US, can not win in this fight. Even if by some miracle the rebels depose Assad, there is a 80% chance that the new government will be hostile to the US and, most assuredly, hostile to Israel and will be composed of militant Islamic factions hot off a military success. What do you think happens then?

          Russia does not target IS, because ISIL is actively fighting against the other rebel organizations. ISIL is actually helping the Syrian government, and by association, the Russians. The US only became militarily involved when ISIL was forcibly kicking the other rebel forces out of territory that they had taken from the Syrian government. The US made it possible for the Syrian rebels to prosecute violence against the Syrian government. Then, because of the power vacuum which we created by leaving Iraq, the US allowed ISIS to develop. The US OWNS everything about the situation in Syria. But, we do not have the will yo acknowledge that and walk away. There is NO upside for the US in Syria. It is even worse than the situation in Vietnam after 1970.

          I will agree that the occupation of Iraq was horribly mishandled. The influx of Islamic jihadists was unforeseen, but actually was an advantage for the US. It allowed us to easily identify them and eliminate them. If we had run the occupation as we did the occupation of Germany and Japan after WWII, the results would have been much better. In the case of Germany and Japan, one of the stabilizing influences was the massive number of US troops stationed in those two countries. People are less likely to cause problems if the nation that defeated them has three or four divisions stationed in their country.

          The US never had to understand the ME. Because we were never going to govern Iraq for more than a decade. All we had to do was to convince the people of Iraq, and the rest of the Islamic world, that we would eliminate any violent threat posed to the people in the region. And, Three or four divisions, stationed in Iraq for the next 25 years would have driven that message home loud and clear. That was the plan. That was why the US built four huge military bases in that country. Instead we have a power vacuum in Iraq which has required us to send US troops back there to protect the people of that country, and now, the rest of the region.

          Yes, Obama caused all of this. Yes, we now have to clean it up. But, cleaning it up does not require us to end up engaging the Russians, who are lawfully asttacking, internal enemies of the legal government of Syria. Now we are even militarily attacking representatives of the legal government of Syria, itself. This is counter productive, and stupid, in the long tun. And just plain stupid in the short run.

          Arminius in reply to Mac45. | June 19, 2017 at 11:01 pm

          Yes, I realize you are having trouble following my argument. Consider:

          “…The US never had to understand the ME. Because we were never going to govern Iraq for more than a decade. All we had to do was to convince the people of Iraq, and the rest of the Islamic world, that we would eliminate any violent threat posed to the people in the region…”

          Are you serious? The US never had to understand the M.E.? I mean, we’ve just involved ourselves in it for, what, 60 years, but apparently it was never important to understand it. Since you say so.

          Here’s a newsflash. The people in the region understand perfectly well that the violent threat the people in the region face every day is Islam itself. Ask an Iranian, who have lived under one of the strictest versions of Sharia since 1979 and hate it. Every day millions of Muslims wake up and are only Muslims because Islam is like a gang code that you don’t choose but are born unwillingly into have no earthly use for the gang code. And no way out.

          Had we at least understood that much of the M.E. we never would have tried the Sharia-based democracy-building that was doomed to failure from the start.

          Yeah, it was important to understand the M.E., Mac. Everything you complain about is a result of people adopting your attitude that it wasn’t. So I don’t see where you have the intellectual and moral high ground to expound on everyone else’s screw-ups while extolling the same level of ignorance that led to them.

          Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | June 20, 2017 at 10:27 am

          Your argument that “understanding” the people of the ME was “necessary” for our purposes in Iraq is nothing more than a weak justification ofr our failure there.

          Look, the ME is very easy to understand. Why, because the people who live there are, well, people. And people are the same everywhere, as much as we would like to think differently.

          Where the US went wrong was in succumbing to the liberal idea that people are naturally kind and compassionate. They are not. People are born amoral opportunists. We are forced to become kind and compassionate by the society in which we live. The one immutable law of human behavior is enlightened self interest.

          Now, Iraq, and much of the Middle East is still in the 13th century, socially. Tribalism still prevails there. Most of that region has not even risen to the level of nationalism. What was necessary was not some hippy-dippy feelgood approach, but simply the threat of overwhelming force.

          The US should have controlled Iraq for 8-15 years after the second invasion, in 2003. The running of the country should have been gradually turned over to the Iraqis, as they proved themselves able to handle it. And, 50,000 – 80,000 US troops should have remained in the country to this day.We had planned for that and we should have done it. We did the same in Germany and Japan following WWII and it worked. The US was never going to change the culture of the people of the Middle East, it is simply too backward. But, this point was unnecessary if we had followed the rules of foreign occupation which have worked for 100 years. Just as you saturate a high crime area with police in a US city, the same tactics and strategy works in foreign policy.

          Now, care to discuss how the collapse of order in the Middle East during the Obama administration was the direct result of the introduction of the Arab Spring, the abandonment of the region by the US and the direct, active assistance with the overthrow of the more secular governments in the region; all of which was done by the Obama administrations? Russia is not our enemy in the region. Islam, especialy radical expansionist Islam is our enemy.

          Arminius in reply to Mac45. | June 20, 2017 at 12:03 pm

          “Your argument that “understanding” the people of the ME was “necessary” for our purposes in Iraq is nothing more than a weak justification ofr our failure there…”

          This would be laugh out loud funny if weren’t typical of our foreign policy going back to Woodrow Wilson’s administration.

          You, sir, are in no position to complain about the USG committing serial acts of stupidity when you ridicule the very idea of “understanding” what we might be stepping into.

          You are now officially a laughingstock, Mac. You’ve talked your way into it, and you can’t talk your way out.

          Arminius in reply to Mac45. | June 20, 2017 at 12:05 pm

          “Look, the ME is very easy to understand. Why, because the people who live there are, well, people. And people are the same everywhere, as much as we would like to think differently…”

          You are insane, Mac. But good news! That qualifies you for a high position in the State Department.

Pukin is writing checks his account can’t cover.

He knows full well that he cannot control the airspace over Syria as long as we choose to counter him. He opened his big mouth to impress the russkie clients. He’s not going to war with the USA over a Syrian airplane shot down. He’s a blustering ass, but he’s not stupid.

Now up @LI and not about Syria, as nothing about us and Russia is really about Syria, this:

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/06/20/breaking-news-armed-russian-jet-comes-within-5-feet-us-recon-jet.html

“An armed Russian fighter jet buzzed a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance aircraft in the Baltic Sea on Monday, two U.S. officials told Fox News…”

Mac, you may be content to live in a world where we are Putin’s (and consequently every podunk “strongman” that Obama set up to credibly threaten us) prison bitch.

But that’s not a world I’m willing to surrender to.

Good luck in your future endeavors. Hope you like the taste.

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