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5 NatSec Things - 07 May 2018

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Today's things: AAF lady quits; Marines = muj; Gitmo guy to KSA; Trump confused on helos; Luftwaffe g
 
May 7 · Issue #53 · View online
5 NatSec Things
Today’s things: AAF lady quits; Marines = muj; Gitmo guy to KSA; Trump confused on helos; Luftwaffe grounded.

Quote of the Day
“We love helicopters. He loves them more than I do.“ President Trump about Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari 
Afghanistan's 1st female pilot granted asylum in US
“I’m really happy and thankful to all the people who made this [being granted asylum] happen. All I want now is to go back to my dream of flying.” – Niloofar Rahmani, from an Uber, probably
If you’re not first, you’ll die last
Niloofar Rahmani got to realize her dream of flying for the Afghan Air Force (AAF), and it got her what she always wanted: enough death threat points to win the asylum lottery. Now she’ll get to pursue her new dream: getting a five star rating as an Uber driver. 
Pet rocks don’t fly
Rahmani was the poster child for all things gender in the graveyard of sustainable initiatives once. Got her a ride with the Blue Angels and everything. It’s a great start to a story, except that it ends like most of these do: with our heroine being hounded out of the country and living in the US.
Where there’s no chance she’ll get to fly anything but a Toyota.
The “pet rocks” is a reference to a WaPo story several years back where some less-than-positive development type described the plight of Afghan women as another pet rock in the rucksack. 
They’re not wrong
As much as I want to decry that “pet rock” theory, it’s been borne out on more than one occasion by how the Americans have pursued initiatives like putting Rahmani at the controls. By making her such a public face of the effort in Afghanistan, they ensured this kind of disaster would follow. 
USMC Commandant: US the 'mujahideen' in Afghanistan
“The Afghan army and the Americans, we’re the Mujahideen. We’re the Mujahideen. That’s the message. Maybe they’ll get tired of this and they’ll decide that there’s a better way, and then we can move on to something else.” – USMC Commandant Gen. Robert Neller and his keen grasp of history
So close, sir. So. Close.
Remember the muj?
Gen. Neller must be a hoot at karaoke, because it does not get more tone deaf than comparing coalition forces and their Afghan government partners to the CIA-backed fighters that ran the Russians out of town and then realized they liked flying airplanes into skyscrapers.
But Rambo
The enemy of my enemy is the guy who buys my guns, so there was a time when the mujahideen were our “friends.” Just long enough for Sylvester Stallone to learn how to play goat ball and teach the Afghans all about the fighting because Western ways are the best ways.
So we’re like Islamic crusaders?
I guess the imagery fits here of people fighting a holy war against a common enemy. Except that in this scenario the Americans are the invaders, and unless they’re trying to toss themselves out of Afghanistan, this whole metaphor falls apart faster than a Cohen deposition.
Trump transfers Gitmo detainee to Saudi Arabia
“My words will not do justice to what I lived through in these years and to the men I leave behind in prison,” al Darbi said in a statement to The New York Times provided through his volunteer lawyer. “No one should remain at Guantánamo without a trial. There is no justice in that.” – Mohammed Ahmed Haza al Darbi, heading home to a prison in Saudi Arabia
Home is where your cell is
Mohammed Ahmed Haza al Darbi is the first Gitmo detainee to be transferred out of the facility, heading home to Saudi Arabia and the super understanding KSA penal system. Which is an interesting turn of events, given that Trump was going to fill the place up with all the bad guys.
Wonder if Mueller knows there’s a vacancy
Guantanamo Bay used to be synonymous with a time when Demi Moore was still relevant and Tom Cruise wasn’t banking his career on people believing that a man in his 50s could do his own stunts. 
Then came the planes, the extraordinary renditions, and the orange jumpsuits. 
Trump, who likes things orange, wants to keep the place open, while others in the administration are inclined to getting folks out of the place. Since it seems to be inspiring things like burning people alive in cages.
Maybe Trump’s got plans in case this Mueller thing goes poorly and some of the president’s former staff will need new digs?
Close it and burn it to the ground
Or at least keep it open as a museum. A testament to another in a long line of dark ages in American history where “security” trumped “freedom”. 
Ugh. 
I just said “trumped” and it wasn’t ironic.
Seriously, though, shut it down already.
Trump thinks the Tucano is a helicopter
“Part of the problem is you weren’t allowed to buy helicopters in our country and now you are. I worked that out so that now you can buy the helicopters that you want.“ – President Trump, talking about selling the Nigerians something that is totally not a helicopter
If he can’t grab it, he’s not interested
Last week President Trump stood next to Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari and congratulated Nigeria on all the new helicopters Nigeria would be getting thanks to the Donald who totally isn’t a CAS-blocker like Obama was. 
Except the only helicopters Nigeria’s getting right now? 
Russian Mi-35s, which are nothing like the A-29 Super Tucanos that Trump is referring to, and because the Tweeter-in-Chief doesn’t know his helo from his pee tape. 
Who cares? The Nigerians are getting new planes from the US
Except they’re not…not yet, anyway.
The deal was held up by the Obama administration because the Nigerian Air Force has a tendency to use its aircraft to shoot up displaced person camps. Because if you can’t pre-emptively wipe out the civilians who might one day be insurgents with your airplanes, why have an air force at all?
Foreign Military Sales = YOU get a Tucano, and YOU get a Tucano
Under Trump, the US is selling more guns overseas than ever before. And that’s not to say the Americans weren’t selling a lot already. Now, though, in a lot of places where Obama feared to tread, the man who can turn any casino into a parking lot is ready to play "Let’s Make A Deal” with people who may or may not be ready to use their new toys responsibly.
Most of Germany's Eurofighters not combat ready
“These jets are barred from participating in real deployments, such as air patrols in the eastern flank of NATO.” – Der Spiegel because there isn’t a better quote in the article
It’s just the pods, though
The Luftwaffe is understandably reluctant to talk about how many of its Eurofighters are combat ready, but Der Spiegel has learned that most of their targeting pods have leaks that mean the aircraft can’t fight. Which means it’s going to be tough for the Germans to fulfill their NATO commitments.
Define “ready” already
Luftwaffe leadership counters that the planes can fly just fine. They just can’t identify which aircraft in the sky belong to the enemy. Which should lead to a lot of friendly fire fun over the skies of Europe.
You go to war with the allies you have
With the Americans getting ready for what we’re calling “near peer” wars with just about everyone that fits in that category, having countries like Germany ready and able to fight alongside American aircraft is going to be even more crucial. 
Or else we all hope the aliens come and we fight united against a single foe.
But we’d better hurry before Will Smith’s too old to save us from ourselves.
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