War on the Sub-Continent! The Indian Air Force Has Attacked Across the Line of Control

(Line of Control Separating India and Pakistan)

While this specific response may not have been what was anticipated, those of us who follow security measures on the sub-continent have been expecting India to retaliate for a Jaish e Mohammed attack against Indian police officers earlier this month.

India said a Pakistan based militant group, Jaish-e Mohammed carried out Thursday’s deadly attack on an Indian police convoy in disputed Kashmir, and demanded that its neighbor act against militant groups operating from its soil.

A car laden with explosives slammed into the convoy, killing at least 44 soldiers in the deadliest attack on security forces in decades in the region, raising tensions with Pakistan which claims the territory.

“We demand that Pakistan stop supporting terrorists and terror groups operating from their territory and dismantle the infrastructure operated by terrorist outfits to launch attacks in other countries,” India’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

While The Reuters reporting states the Indian casualties were soldiers, subsequent reporting clarified they were police officers.

As of right now we know that the Indian Air Force (IAF) struck well past the Line of Control. Everyone is now waiting on Islamabad’s response. Apparently, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has their F-16s on combat air patrol (CAP) over Islamabad, which is to be expected.

The spokesman for the Pakistan Armed Forces is making the following statements about the attack, which contradicts some of the reporting above:

And this reporting from NDTV:

As of right now, there is nothing posted by either the Indian Ministry of Defense or the Indian Air Force on social media about the attack. Though both the Congress Party and Rahul Ghandi have responded:

Something that is important to keep in mind, just as in the case in the Levant, because of the geography of the region, where basing is located, and the capabilities of modern fighter jets, time to station for either the IAF or the PAF is well below the ability of the other side to respond to a quick strike. I would expect that right now the Pakistani Prime Minister Imram Khan is being pulled in at least three different directions: one by his civilian advisors, one by he military, and one by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

According to NDTV’s live feed:

Feb 26, 2019
10:04 (IST)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is meeting with top ministers in the cabinet committee on security at his home in Delhi to take stock of the situation.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defence Nirmala Sitharaman, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and other top officials of the government are attending the meeting.

Feb 26, 2019
09:55 (IST)
Indian Air Force has put on high alert all air defence systems along the International Border and Line of Control, reports news agency ANI.

Now we have to wait and see what happens. India’s response to the 11 February 2019 attack on its paramilitary police is unprecedented. As Ankit Panda indicates below, no nuclear weapons state has used conventional air power to attack another nuclear weapons state’s territory before.

All we can do now is wait for Pakistan’s response and then India’s response to that if any.

Open thread!

Operational Security is Painless, It Brings on Many Changes, and John Bolton Can Take or Leave It if He Pleases…

Ambassador John Bolton, the Assistant to the President – National Security Advisor (APNSA) and the Frank Burns of American national security professionals, is also a master of operational security!

For those that can’t quite make that out:

And now the close up!

That says:

3) Afghanistan -> welcome the talks; 5,000 troops to Colombia

Nothing like the element of surprise when violating the War Powers Act!

Bolton has to be one of the absolutely stupidest national security professionals ever. Anyone want some action on whether he was one of the 30 people that were denied a clearance by the professional adjudicators and then granted one by Carl Kline, just like Jared Kushner was? He makes Alcibiades pushing the Athenian government to invade Sicily look like a military genius fusion of Pericles, Julius Caesar, Sun Tzu, and Clausewitz! And I don’t want to hear from you Jomini fan boys in the comments either! Keep it to yourselves you freaks!

Open thread!

The President Doesn’t Want US Military Personnel Deployed in Combat Zones; Fine, Order Them Home!

The New York Times dives into the President’s unwillingness to make a visit to US military personnel deployed in combat zones. Here’s the real important part of the article:

One reason he has not visited troops in war zones, according to his aides, is that he does not really want American troops there in the first place. To visit, they said, would validate missions he does not truly believe in.

There is a very simple solution if the President doesn’t want US military personnel deployed to these war zones or conducting these operations because he doesn’t believe that the US military should be conducting them: ORDER THEM HOME!!!!!

Every single one of these deployments, from Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria to Operation Freedom Sentinel in Afghanistan to every aid, advise, and assist mission conducted by both conventional and Special Operations forces, to every lethal/kinetic Special Operations mission covered under JSOC’s remit are all conducted solely under the authority of the President. Either authority provided to the President by the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force or the authority the President has to order short term, renewable contingency operations as long as the President both notifies Congress about them and Congress is willing to fund them.

If the current President of the United States believes that these campaigns, operations, and missions are wrong, should either never have been initially authorized or not repeatedly reauthorized, and doesn’t believe in the missions, the US military’s ability to complete the mission, or some combination of these reasons, then he needs to issue clear orders ending these assignments and return the US military personnel deployed to conduct them home. There is no declaration of war that creates a constitutionally rooted, statutory requirement that US personnel be deployed to defend the US and its interests that complicates this. Right now there are Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Service civilians deployed in harm’s way. Leaving them to face danger, when the President doesn’t believe they need to be there is a gross dereliction of his duty. If the President doesn’t believe in the missions these Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and DOD, Department of the Army, Navy, and/or Air Force civilians are tasked with carrying out under his authority as Commander in Chief, then he needs to end them. Immediately. If he can’t bring himself to do so because he’s too much of a coward, then he has a responsibility to visit US military personnel deployed abroad, to attend to memorial services at Arlington and other national cemeteries and monuments, both within and without the US. If he can’t bring himself to do either of these – ending missions he doesn’t believe in or actually attending to his duties and obligations to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Service civilians deployed in harm’s way under his authority, then he needs to resign.

We are off the looking glass and through the map!

Open thread.

On the 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month of 1918 World War I Did Not Come to an End

(Satwinder Sehmi’s Calligraphy: In Flander’s Field)

As Veteran’s Day 2018 comes to a close, and with it the commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, it is important to remember that World War I did not actually end on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. While it is true that the armistice was signed and peace talks would soon begin, World War I did not stop on November 11, 2018. Rather, and more accurately, it transformed into a series of low intensity conflicts that would simmer until reigniting into World War II. At the heart of those conflicts was a war of ideas. One of these ideas was national identity. Specifically, how ethno-national minorities that were left behind the lines, so to speak, when the armistice was signed would relate to the governments they now lived under, their ethno-national majority neighbors, and how those governments and those neighbors would relate to them. Out of these tense, taut, and often violent relationships between ethno-national majorities and minorities in post World War I Europe would grow other even more dangerous ideas such as fascism, in its corporatist, nationalist-syndicalist, and racist forms. Even, to a certain extent, Leninism, was unable to escape the nationalist tensions that resulted from the way World War I never really ended.

The great power competition that had led to World War I was changed by these clash of ideas – nationalism, fascism, communism – and, as a result, World War II and the Cold War were as much wars of ideas and ideology as they were wars of conquest and for territory. These ideas were about how to better organize state and society. And they placed the ideas of liberty and liberal democracy in all of its various types in direct conflict with the totalitarian ideas of fascism on the extreme right and communism on the extreme left. And just as different forms of liberal democracy would develop, so to would different variations of fascism and communism. These clash of ideas, of how states, societies, and even the global system should best be structured, would lead to both World War II, a long Cold War, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and a number of conflicts fought by the proxies of the two post World War II superpowers. to a certain extent they are also an undercurrent in the US’s seeming forever war against terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq.

As 2018 moves towards 2019, the world is once again faced with a war of ideas. The ideas of well ordered liberty and its expression in the different types of liberal democracy are once again facing off against totalitarian ideas from both state and non-state actors. Vladimir Putin challenges the US and its EU and NATO allies and partners with his promotion of managed democracy as a façade for the kleptocratic organized crime state he has created in Russia. Xi Xinping, recently declared as President for Life, promotes his fusion of Maoism, state controlled capitalism, and Chinese nationalism through his Belt and Road Initiative. ISIS continues to promote an extreme version of tawheed, the Islamic theological understanding of the unity of the Deity, which includes violently imposing its doctrine on believers and unbelievers alike. 

The War to End all Wars did not do so because it could not do so. Nor did World War II. Now has any other war. So while we recognize and commemorate the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I, we need to be realistic about what we face both within and without the United States. We need to remain vigilant in order to ensure that well ordered liberty prevails in this 21st century war of ideas.

Open thread.

And The Band Played…

Some years ago, I put up the video of a song that speaks to me on Veterans/Remembrance Day, and invited you all to add the one or ones that do the same for you.

When I hear this and the other pieces in this grim playlist, of course), I think of my grandfather, who served from 1914-1918, mostly on the Western Front, mostly as a battery commander in the Royal Horse Artillery.  I think of my dad, whose discharge papers my sister just excavated, documenting his four year journey from Japanese language school to Tokyo Bay.  I think of my uncle, who fought a towed-gun across northern Europe in 1944 and ’45, and ended his combat service in the Malayan Emergency, which was the only battlefield on which he ever saw a particular opposing soldier aiming a gun personally at him.  And of lots more, people I’ve known, and those I’ll never meet.

So here’s that tune again; respond as you will.


Memory is a defense against those for whom war is a prop.

Over to y’all.