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The late Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. I was quoted in the London-based Arabic-language online newspaper Sharq Wa Gharb (East and West) on the death of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. . Translation: Retired US Air Force Intelligence officer Rick Francona says it is important for the United States to carry out these types of operations against terrorist leaders. Francona, a former officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency, added that it sends a message that “we will devote time and resources to locate them, and we will take the risk to either bring them to justice, or in this case, bring justice to them.” He points out, however, that this is not
Although not a geopolitical film, I found this Israeli production about a Bedouin family living in southern Israel interesting. It provides a glimpse of a relatively unknown part of Israeli society. Unlike the other "Israeli Arabs," these people are not of Palestinian heritage, nor do they speak like it. I will admit that the dialect was fairly difficult to understand, and not at all similar to the Arabic spoken in other parts of Israel or the Palestinian Authority. The subtitling takes a lot of liberties - interpreting rather than translating. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but at times the text would have been better if it had stayed truer to the actual words. The plot revolves around the second marriage of a hapless man and the effe.
Turkish troops in northern Syria - unnecessary and unhelpful. The situation in northern Syria is in complete disarray, and changing by the hour. If you could take a snapshot of what is going on, it would have all the makings of confusing international geopolitical suspense movie. Just a few days ago, the United States and its in-name-only NATO ally Turkey had arrived at an uneasy status quo in which military forces of the two countries were conducting combined patrols along the Syrian-Turkish border. The patrols were in essence a confidence-building measure by which the U.S.-allied, trained, and equipped Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) attempted to convince the Turks that they were not a terrorist organization, and that they posed no territor.
The long-threatened Turkish invasion of northern Syria has finally begun. I am in total disagreement with the decision of President Donald Trump to basically give Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a green light to mount an attack on what have become some of America's best allies in the region - the Syrian Kurds. I spent a fair amount of time working with the Iraqi Kurds in the mid-1990s. Even then, the perceived betrayal of the Kurds in 1975 as part of the fallout of the Shah’s signing of the Treaty of Algiers was still a sore point with the Kurds. It appears that we are repeating the same treatment with the Syrian Kurds, this time at the behest of the Turks. For some time now, probably since the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and S.
Eli Cohen was arguably one of Israel's best, if not the best, intelligence assets in its relatively short history. This new miniseries certainly highlights his value as an Israeli agent who penetrated the highest levels of the Syrian government. The producers attempted - with a modicum of success - to tell Cohen's story. Most people are aware of the basic facts of this case: Eli Cohen, an Egyptian-born son of Syrian Jews from Aleppo, immigrated to Israel, where he twice applied to work for the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service. While working as an accountant, he was finally offered employment with Mossad in 1959. Cohen's assignment was to penetrate the Syrian political and military establishments. The Israelis developed a legend (tha.
U.S. and Turkish forces joint patrol in Syria (U.S. Army). Note: This is a follow-up to my earlier article, . In response to persistent Turkish demands for the establishment of a security zone inside northern Syria, the United States and the Turks have begun the development of the framework for such a zone. It appears that the U.S. side has pared down some of the more ridiculous, unrealistic, unnecessary, and unhelpful Turkish demands and will attempt to prevent Turkish autonomous military action against the Syrian Kurds. It is important to remember the major participants here. The Syrian Kurds of the People's Protection Units (known by their Kurdish initials YPG) provided the bulk of the ground forces in the U.S.-led coalition-supported Syr.
Many Americans are not very familiar with an alliance that was in a large way responsible for the successful conduct of the Revolutionary War. After the American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain in 1776, very few - well, no - other countries were willing to recognize the United States, let alone provide assistance in its fight against the world's premier military power. The thought that a rag-tag group of rebellious farmers could hold their own against well-trained, well-equipped, and well-led British forces was laughable. For its own reasons, France recognized the United States in 1778 - the two countries signed a treaty which, among other provisions, promised the new country French military support in case of attack.
Operation Finale is a 2018 American historical drama about the 1960 Israeli intelligence operation to capture Nazi SS officer Adolph Eichmann in Argentina and transport him to Israel to stand trial. It is the story of a well-planned and well-executed operation that should have made a great movie. Unfortunately, the screenwriters took far too many liberties with actual events when there was no need to do so - the actual story is fascinating and deserving of just being told, not embellished. That said, the performances of Ben Kingsley and Lior Raz go a long way to making up for the historical inaccuracies. What was in reality a excellent Mossad operation comes across as a poorly-executed amateurish effort that barely succeeded. The Mossad is
Inmate 45426-083. John Walker Lindh, or more properly, Inmate 45426-083, will be released from the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana on May 23. Lindh is fortunate to still be alive, and fortunate to not be serving a life sentence at the Supermax prison in Colorado - both of which I find disappointing. Lindh, now 38, is being released after serving 17 years of a 20 year sentence, a sentence reached in a plea deal to preclude the government from being questioned about Lindh's treatment after his capture on a battlefield in Afghanistan while fighting for the Taliban. Many (including me) believe that Lindh could have prevented the death of CIA officer Mike Spann during a prison uprising in Mazar-i-Sharif. He was aware of the impending.
(Note: This movie is available on Netflix.) I often make presentations on the Middle East to various audiences, including cruise ships. Surprisingly, there is great interest in the history of the region, particularly how the current borders were drawn by the United Kingdom and France. A friend recommended this film to me as it touches on that history. Of course, as soon as I saw the name Gertrude Bell, I had to watch it. She was one of the key British advisers as the Ottoman Empire was carved up after World War One, at a time when women were not readily accepted in this role. Queen of the Desert is a 2015 film that purports to be a biography of Gertrude Bell. I found it to be condescending and petty - Gertrude Bell was a pioneer who made ma.
(Note: This movie is available on Amazon video.) I recently made a series of talks on the Middle East during a cruise - yes, a tough job - and one of the movies available to stream in the passenger staterooms was Beirut . Bottom line: Watch it - it is two hours of tense action with a reasonable story line. As a glimpse into Beirut in 1982, it is plausible. As an "inspired by actual events" documentary of the situation at that time, not probable. The movie opens with a really well-done scene set in 1972 at the Beirut home of the main character Mason Skiles, played by Jon Hamm of Mad Men fame. Skiles, a Sate Department diplomat, is hosting a cocktail/dinner party for a visiting congressional delegation - those of us who have served at America.
U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers in Syria. In what appears to be a significant - and welcome - policy reversal, the United States now plans to keep about 400 troops in Syria. This is yet another change to the complete withdrawal plan voiced earlier by President Donald Trump, which then became a small residual force of 200, and now has grown to a force of 400. The American forces will not be operating alone in Syria. The French and British - two allies with troops on the ground in Syria supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the primarily Kurdish force providing the ground component in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) - will only remain if there is a U.S. presence. This residual U.S. force addresses that r.
The "Wanted by the FBI" circular for Witt. The recent indictment of a former U.S. Air Force intelligence specialist and counterintelligence agent raises serious questions beyond the information released in the the court filings. If you have time, . I have, and will try to clarify much of the legalese and intelligence community phraseology, while omitting the boilerplate miscellany. Here is my review of the facts as we know them from the actual text of the indictment, from reading "between the lines" of the indictment based on my similar military background and training, and other publicly available information. Monica Witt enlisted in the Air Force in August of 1997, and served on active duty for over ten years until March of 2008. After enl.

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