Streetwise Professor

October 28, 2015

Could Be Dedovshchina in Syria: Definitely Mendacity in the US

Filed under: Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 10:41 am

Russia has acknowledged the first fatality in the force it has deployed to Syria. The Russians claim the 19 year old soldier committed suicide. The family is having none of it, and one anonymous source told Novaya Gazeta the body had a broken jaw, a smashed skull, and a broken neck. Given the curtain Russia draws over military deaths (including those that occur in Russia where it is not necessary to maintain fictions about involvement, or not, in combat) it is likely that we will never know for sure. Indeed, the family may never know.

But if the Novaya Gazeta report is correct, it sounds like dedovshchina, which would be all too believable. The abuse-often resulting in death-of young soldiers is just one of the dysfunctions that afflict the Russian military.

The Russians are not alone in drawing a curtain over the deaths and maiming of its military personnel. The United States is doing so as well, all to maintain a fiction that the US has no combat presence in Iraq, a fiction that is maintained purely to allow Obama to continue to insist that he ended the war in Iraq (or at least, the US involvement therein). First, the story about the circumstances of the death of the truly remarkable Delta Force soldier (11 Bronze Stars, 4 with the valor device!) in the raid on the ISIS prison in Iraq are being challenged:

Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler died leading his Delta Force team on the primary assault into an Islamic State compound in Iraq — a stark contrast from the Pentagon’s account that American commandos were there only to support Kurdish forces during the rescue mission, according to a U.S. military source.

The body of the 39-year-old native of Roland, Oklahoma, was flown to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Saturday as more details began to emerge of the Oct. 22 night raid on a prison run by militants affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

Video footage, released by the Kurdistan Regional Government, shows American and Kurdish forces freeing 70 hostages that were held by ISIS militants near the town of Hawija, about 30 miles south of Kurdish-controlled Kirkuk. In a news report, a Pentagon official confirmed its authenticity to CNN.

Wheeler was the first U.S. combat fatality of the campaign against ISIS, but U.S. officials maintain that his death was not the result of a direct combat role.

Second, the military is refusing to release any information about the circumstances surrounding the wounding of 5 personnel:

Five other service members have been “wounded in action” since the U.S. first sent troops back into Iraq last year, according to statistics from the Pentagon and interviews with officials in Iraq (PDF). But how and when they were injured, the Pentagon refuses to say.

As the Obama administration holds to the increasingly dubious claim that U.S. troops are not engaged in combat against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, the Pentagon is withholding details about its wounded that would give key insights into the kind of fight American troops are facing in Iraq. Were any of the five shot by the Iraqi forces they are training? Did a mortar round shot at their base injure a soldier? Has ISIS wounded a U.S. service member?

It is a sad day when the US military channels Russian duplicity about casualties, all to protect the amore propre of Barack Obama. Recent news about creeping escalation by the US in Iraq and Syria also reeks of deception. More on that later.

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  1. SWP:

    After the #MSM let Barry off the hook for Benghazi, what’s to stop them now? They have a license to do anything. No need even for the fig leaf of a video.

    VP VVP

    Comment by Vlad — October 29, 2015 @ 9:04 am

  2. You could argue that the US military isn’t really lying because nobody believes a word they say anyway, and therefore nobody is misled.

    Comment by dearieme — October 29, 2015 @ 10:24 am

  3. In the old days you would receive zero information about Delta and Seal operations. I’m not sure that JSOC isn’t in charge of media relations here rather than Central Command.

    Comment by srp — November 4, 2015 @ 7:37 pm

  4. @srp-Yes. Back in the day, special operators called themselves “the silent professionals.” Sadly, the SEALs became more publicity friendly-and in some cases, arguably publicity seeking-some years ago. Delta had remained extremely secretive, but in the past year, several of their operations have been publicized.

    I find this deeply disturbing. I agree that this disturbing trend is not JSOC’s doing, but is driven from somewhere higher in the chain of command. And I suspect by someone or someones above Centcom. From the Pentagon and the White House, to be specific. This administration in particular has been quite free in leaking highly secretive operations (e.g., Stuxnet, as well as special operations), as part of its effort to demonstrate how tough it is.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — November 4, 2015 @ 11:16 pm

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