ISIS Not Defeated

Ken AshfordMiddle East, Syria, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

NBC News reports: U.S. service members were among those killed by an explosion in Syria on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the coalition fighting the Islamic State group said. Earlier, a senior Kurdish security official told NBC News that members of the U.S.-led coalition were caught up in a blast at a market in the northern city of Manbij. The official could … Read More

Trump’s Ignorance Of Afghanistan Is Scary And Curious

Ken AshfordAfghanistan, Military Issues, Russia, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

At a press briefing at the end of a cabinet meeting Wednesday, Trump took questions from the press, and went on for 90 minutes in a rambling monologue festooned from end to end with falsehoods on a variety of subjects. But one particular statement he made has stood out: But then Trump went right off the deep end with a disquisition on … Read More

Trump Undermines Military Intelligence — This Time On Syria

Ken AshfordRussia, Syria, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

On Monday, the U.S. special representative for Syria engagement publicly pledged that the U.S. commitment to Syria would not waiver. The very next day, Trump reportedly decided to rapidly withdraw all U.S. troops there.  Today he tweeted this: Trump appears to be discarding his entire Syria and Iran strategy at a single stroke, giving up any and all U.S. influence in the … Read More

Trump On A Twitter Tear This Morning

Ken AshfordImmigration and Xenophobia, L'Affaire Russe, Stormy Daniels & Karen McDougal Affairs, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

He rants about the investigations, Cohen, the wall…. in a largely fact-free tirade. This is creative accounting at best. I don’t know how much the US benefits from the NAFTA 2.0 Trade Agreement (i.e., the USMCA), but by most accounts, it’s not that different from the original NAFTA.  And anyway, the benefits go to manufacturers, farmers, etc. — not the … Read More

Trump Administration Tries To Cover For Saudis

Ken AshfordForeign Affairs, Middle East, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

If Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Riyadh to read the Riot Act to Saudi rulers over the apparent murder of Jamal Khashoggi, he hid it well behind cheery smiles and professions of amity. But then outrage has been conspicuously absent from the Trump administration in the two weeks since Mr. Khashoggi entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, never to be … Read More

Breaking: Saudis Admit To Killing Khashoggi: Said It Was An Accident

Ken AshfordMiddle East, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

It looks like the Saudi prince is trying to clear his name by throwing certain operatives under a bus. Source tells NYT the Saudis are preparing to describe a scenario that would protect MBS from blame. The source said the royal court would soon put out a narrative that an official within the kingdom's intel services carried out the killing … Read More

Van Slams Into Toronto Pedestrians; Possible Terrorist Attack

Ken AshfordMental Health, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Police have arrested a suspect after a white van mounted the curb and struck numerous pedestrians in Toronto. The incident happened on Yonge Street south of Finch Avenue around 1:30 p.m. today. A suspect was arrested beside the van on Poyntz Avenue off of Yonge, just south of Sheppard Avenue West. The van is marked as belonging to the rental … Read More

National Threat Assessment

Ken AshfordCybersecurity, Foreign Affairs, Russia, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

It may not be in the news much today, but there is an important open hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, where the directors of the all the intelligence agencies testify: Director Daniel R. Coats – Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Director Michael Pompeo – Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Admiral Michael Rogers – Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) Director Lieutenant General Robert Ashley – Director of … Read More

Failed Terrorist Attempt In Manhattan Port Authority

Ken AshfordBreaking News, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Police were called to a reported explosion at 7:20 a.m. ET in a below-ground walkway that connects two subway lines at 42nd Street. Responding units found an injured 27-year-old male, identified him as Akayed Ullah. He had burns and wounds to his body. Ullah was from Bangladesh & was doing it “in the name of ISIS” Preliminary investigation at the scene indicates that … Read More

We Know Now Why We Were In Niger

Ken AshfordAfrica, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

CNN: The US Army team that was ambushed in Niger was gathering intelligence on a terrorist leader operating in the area when it was attacked, two military officials told CNN on Tuesday. The officials said the unit was not under orders to conduct a kill or capture mission on the leader, since such missions are typically reserved for other elite … Read More

9/11 Plus 16 — What If Trump Was President?

Ken AshfordDisasters, History, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/Torture, WeatherLeave a Comment

Each year as 9/11 comes and goes, there is less added to the perspective. An entire generation is now politically aware, who cannot remember that horrible day.  Bizarre, to me. We forget that Bush, like Trump, was in the infancy of his presidency. I remember thinking that he was over his head — partly because it was unprecedented, and partly … Read More