In a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, President Obama calmly explained that his Administration asked Iran nicely for their drone back. “We’ve asked for it back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond,” Obama said. He added that the matter was classified, but the acknowledgement that someone wrote a note to the Iranian Lost & Found seeking one RQ-170 Sentinel stealth plane basically confirms the capture of the drone.
|By: David Dayen Saturday December 10, 2011 7:00 pm|
People would rather not focus on the litany of undeclared wars this country currently fights, but when one of the adversaries considers putting defensive weaponry at the border to guard against future attacks, it’s worth taking notice.
|By: David Dayen Thursday December 8, 2011 3:23 pm|
Iran showed off their new toy, courtesy of the CIA, on state-run television, proving their possession of a US surveillance drone.
The condition suggests that the Iranians took control of the remotely-piloted aircraft rather than shooting it down.
|By: David Dayen Monday December 5, 2011 7:40 am|
The media has begun to recognize that the United States is routinely engaged these days in covert wars involving extrajudicial assassinations in foreign countries. Well, they’re not quite putting it that way. But this story about the huge explosion at an Iranian missile base doesn’t require much reading between the lines.
|By: David Dayen Saturday October 22, 2011 10:14 am|
In some sense, the Obama Administration has taken the Pentagon strategy of “transformation” put forth by Donald Rumsfeld to its logical conclusion. Rumsfeld sought a light footprint in warmaking, a small, agile force that could quickly move through regions with superior firepower. The innovation from Obama’s Administration has been to get rid of the footprint altogether. Instead of standing armies occupying foreign countries, the move is toward shadow wars, and unmanned flying robots, and special operations forces. That is the new American way of war.
|By: David Dayen Friday October 21, 2011 5:17 pm|
On a conference call with progressive media, White House deputy national security adviser for strategic communication Ben Rhodes stressed that the United States would now commence a “normal” relationship with the Iraqi government, an equal partnership between two sovereign nations. But it’s hard to square that with the reality that the United States will have a massive diplomatic presence in the country, with the largest embassy in the world in Baghdad, two consulates in Ibril and Basra, and as many as 5,000 private military contractors under the direction of the State Department protecting it all.
|By: David Dayen Monday September 26, 2011 9:35 am|
Lindsey Graham hit the war default button yesterday on one of the Sunday shows, saying that the US should engage in military action against Pakistan for their relationship with the Haqqani network. The US has accused the network of a truck bomb attack on the US Embassy and NATO headquarters on September 13.
What is less known is that the Obama Administration reportedly threatened the same thing last week. They said that Pakistan must engage the Haqqanis or face unilateral action against them from the US.
|By: David Dayen Thursday August 11, 2011 7:10 pm|
Buried in with today’s news was this story about one of our secret wars, this time in Somalia. It appears that now we’re using African proxies to fight Al Shabab there.
|By: David Dayen Sunday August 7, 2011 6:14 pm|
There’s a lot of talk about defense budgets, and some internal squabbling between Congressional liberals and Leon Panetta over balancing cuts to the military with cuts to the safety net. But I think some of this misses the larger point, that the budget that needs to be put under control is the largely secretive one, the budget of the intelligence agencies. Because it’s pretty clear that warmaking capabilities are being moved out of the Defense Department and into covert ops.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday June 22, 2011 7:18 pm|
In other words, the goal in Afghanistan is to attack safe havens in Pakistan. And that’s backed up by Spencer Ackerman’s reporting. There will be no movement of troops east, where the Taliban is dug in. Instead, the strategy will be “drones, drones, training Afghans, commando raids, and drones,” to quote Spencer. The mission has shifted to counter-terrorism, only with far more troops that you need for that mission (Sen. Coons didn’t see such a shift, but the refusal to go into the east is the tell). And the special ops forces, the JSOC guys, are being used to selectively take out Taliban to keep them at the negotiating table.
This is why the permanent bases are so important.