USA Seems to Have Upgraded Assassination Technologies

The USA has had drone and airstrike capabilities for over two decades but the quality of recent US assassinations suggests improved long-term target tracking. This is likely due to a combination of AI, big data and improved imaging and regular intelligence and military operations.

I think the situation is similar to WW2 when the allies had the advantage over Germany by breaking the Enigma code. I think the US is using some new technologically based advantages and but then using regular technology to carry out the actions.

Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, a commander of Iran’s military forces in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere throughout the Middle East was killed in a drone strike.

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy of the militias known as the Popular Mobilization Units and a close adviser to Soleimani, was also killed in the airstrike near Baghdad’s airport.

ISIS leader Baghdadi was killed in a Seal team raid.

The Soleimani and Baghdadi hits look like the US has improved capabilities to track and time hits.

The US has killed many ISIS second in commands before but they killed the second in command at nearly the same time as the Baghdadi operation.

New air strikes targeted Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces umbrella grouping of Iran-backed Shi’ite militias near camp Taji north of Baghdad have killed six people and critically wounded three.

I think the US is using some better imaging capabilities, sensors and AI for improved tracking.

125 thoughts on “USA Seems to Have Upgraded Assassination Technologies”

  1. Hay tribunales para juzgar a los terroristas? a Bin Laden? a Baghdadi?, Vamos andante ya es hora de que aterrices.

  2. It’s always open season on terrorist. International courts will never decide which terrorist the U.S. targets.

  3. American is the demonym for the United States, and colloquially, the United States of America, has long been known as AMERICA.

    Get bent, propagandist.

  4. “No one objective thinks that precision attacks on military targets is the definition of terrorism.”

    To call drone strikes “precision” is a running joke of current miltary policy to cover for their anti humanitarian stance on collateral damage – their mounting civilian death tolls have far exceeded any terrorist action in the US bar the 9/11 attacks.

    This is not a criticism of any one US government, or even any one drone using nation – it simply is not and can not be accurate to call a strike precision at all when it is delivered by a rocket propelled explosive.

    Precision is a bullet from a sniper – the simple fact is that they value their ground special forces operators lives higher than any blowback from the incurred civilian collateral damage of these strikes – and even then they have now taken clear action to obscure the civilian death tolls of these strikes, first Obama obscuring the full number, and now Trump’s government refusing to give any number at all.

    There comes a point at which it stops becoming an accidental death toll, and starts becoming state sponsored murder and terrorism when you know it is going to happen repeatedly before you order it.

  5. There was not much push back from China or Russia because they saw an opportunity gifted to them by Trump’s action, or do you seriously think that the US are the only major world power with their eye on the region?

    “Iran has been attacking the world since 1979.”

    The US purposefully engineered the replacement of the previous more peaceful and democratic regime in Iran in order to further it’s goals for controlling ME oil resources – the events in 1979 were the domino effect of this action coming back to haunt the US, and most of the current instability in the ME region can be traced to one or several western countries interfering (sometimes violently) in ME nation politics for oil gain and/or anti Soviet initiatives in the case of the US training and arming the Mujahideen against the Soviets and their ME allies.

  6. Finally, as to cowardice and the long arm of American justice – the last time I checked, the oh so righteous about nuclear power USA are the only nation that has actually used a nuclear weapon in war.

    Not to mention that it was not bravado that had the US enter WW2, without Pearl Harbor they would have gladly remained isolationist even as Hitler solidified power in Europe – by the time the US would have finally reacted it would have been far too late, and likely von Braun’s V rockets would have had a nastier bite by far when they were turned on the US after Europe had fallen.

    Or shall we peruse more recent history of the Vietnam war maybe?
    How the great and powerful USA turned tail and ran from a nation of guerilla fighters defending THEIR OWN COUNTRY from US military incursion – yes yes, clearly the US are not at all the cowards historically!

    Mind you, I say this as a criticism of the government – I understand it’s not the fault of the people who declares war or drafts the people to fight it for them, historically it’s your politicians that have made the worst name for the country, Trump is just the latest and most egregious example of the problem, sadly very few with sense and/or morals desire high political office, and the few that do are displaced by the more power hungry and morally bankrupt among them.

  7. Actually the country is properly called the United States of America, so you are actually wrong twice.

    United States and America are just shortened versions used by people too lazy to say or write the whole thing, and I have seldom noticed an American that would go to the effort of using a full term when a shortened one was available – and so typical of an American to claim the whole continent for themselves I might add, you are only proving Skywalker’s point.

    The USA is only one state of many on the continent, which is itself called America, in previous times it was referred to as “the Americas” in reference to the many European colonies therein, of which the USA are only the centermost group of.

    There are 3 main regions of the American continent – North, Central and South.

    North America includes Alaska and Canada. Central America includes the USA (and possibly Mexico too depending on who you ask). South America includes the Latin American nations mostly settled by Spanish/Portugese European immigrants.

    As to Sith rationalising evil…. I have never heard such a thing among Sith, they don’t see it as evil at all, just dog eat dog/strong over the weak as it were – the way that I see it from all the literature it’s only the Jedi that go to the trouble of justifying killing people among force users in Star Wars.
    I realise it’s a ridiculous point to make considering it’s a fictional problem, but you did bring it up to begin with!

  8. Iran invading the US embassy in Tehran and taking everyone hostage is an act that’s a technical declaration of war… Iran attacking the US embassy in Baghdad is an act that’s a technical declaration of war… Pulling out of a treaty, unless it was a ceasefire treaty, is not tantamount to a war declaration.

  9. First off, the US is also called America and has been from its inception.

    Second, thanks for affirming you’re on the side of cowardly murders who stand behind women and children in an attempt to shield themselves from the long arm of American Justice.

    You come off like a Sith rationalizing their evil, because, after all, the Jedi kill people too.

  10. Because its closer to lucci, the firefly in Italian. Which seems to fit your mode of on-and-off-again but without-fail, absolutely anti-American discourse. Lucci seems fitting.

    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

  11. Looks like the strike from Iran was not what you predicted. You can stop being afraid. You no longer have to pee yourself and cry yourself to sleep. As for Iran not being Iraq. So what. Iran is still a backwards Islamic dictatorship that suppresses the people and is sooo inferior militarily that it’s laughable you think they pose a real threat to America. This doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t kill a few people, but that is impotence at it’s core. Using terrorism and proxies because you can’t face your enemy straight up. The U.S. isn’t going to roll into Iran anytime soon, but do you really think American military might wouldn’t steamroll Iran? Iraq was the biggest kid on the block back in ’03, not Iran. I personally think the U.S. went about ousting Hussein the wrong way, but that’s my opinion and nobody in charged asked for it at the time.

  12. Oh how wrong you are little Luca! The U.S. is not subject to international courts nor the U.N. We are a sovereign nation, just like Iran. Article 51 of the U.N. Charter allows for defensive and preventative action anyway. “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations…” Iran has been attacking the world since 1979. If you want international bodies to be honored then ALL participants MUST follow the same rules. Iran does not follow international rules. Notice there was not very much push back from China nor Russia about the U.S. hit on this terrorist. You must be completely incompetent and deranged if you think their is a corollary to the U.S. strike and 9/11. You just hate America and what it stands for. Your life must be filled with pain and hate to see the U.S. at the top, free and prosperous. Hopefully all nations and peoples will have prosperity and liberty some day. Until then, we need to keep killing people like Salami to maintain peace.

  13. No, your personal financial well being will be in jeopardy, because you’re spending more money on fuel, thus you’ll have less to spend elsewhere.

  14. He wasn’t a belligerent in Iraq though, he was traveling through legally and openly and apparently on a diplomatic mission at the time.

    The idea the US is responsible or accountable to the international community for peace and order is interesting. Largely your traditional allies and indeed the Iraqi govt do not support this action and given your responsibilities, how will the US respond to that?

    Meanwhile, the next time there is a colour revolution that Russia deems to be the work of the CIA, or Western influence, and often exhibit features very much like those attributed to Solemeini (storming of govt facilities), will you be supporting their right to off senior officials?

    This is, frankly, an insane approach. Over the next century, it will be China that has the advantage in both numbers and increasingly technology; and you are handing them a license to dominate not only their neighbours but much of the rest of the world.

    1. Analogy fail.
    2. We did not attack Iran. We eliminated an unwelcome belligerent in Iraq, which we are still responsible to the international community for maintaining some semblance of peace and order until the permanent government can take over responsibility.
    3. Iran has never stopped working on their nuke program.
    4. Deniability? This was deterrence in action.

    I am happy that Trump takes leadership seriously. I expect their will be attempts at retribution, and look forward to measured response in place of earlier shrinking from proper retaliation and punishment.
    The UN is assisting with a peaceful restoration of sovereignty to the state of Iraq. But it is not the UN which keeps the peace there.
    The world needs to decide whether they want US leadership or not. I would be very happy to see the US pull completely out of NATO and form more effective modern alliances. We have no interest in protecting gulf oil producers, nor their European clientele. When we close the book on Iraq, I hope we are never drawn back into that region.

  15. Would it have been reasonable, and proportionate, and just for the Russians to have bombed the head of the CIA during the 90s given US support for Afghan proxies where their IED’s and rockets killed Russian personnel?

    If so, how should the US have responded?

  16. America supported and armed terrorist proxies against Russia during the 80’s in Afghanistan.

    Had the Russians been able to drop a bomb on top of the chief of the CIA, or chairman of the joint chiefs of staff in Pakistan’s main international airport in the 1980’s while he was on the way to a diplomatic meeting to try and negotiate a reduction in tensions between Pakistan and India over Kashmir; would that have been considered a valid or justified attack?

    In purely formal legal sense, there is no accepted state of war between Iran and the US, so this is not legally justified. And in normative terms, this is not how we (the West) have traditionally behaved outside of recognised conflicts.

    So what this does is strongly strengthen the argument that to be taken “seriously” by the US, countries need to obtain nuclear weapons. At this point it is genuinely difficult to see how Iran does not obtain a basic nuclear deterrent unless the US is prepared to go to war in way that would not be supported by any major countries. This is of course highly undesirable, and it looks to me a massive mistake.

    If the US wanted to send a powerful message that it would not longer tolerate proxy and asymmetric warfare, more deniable methods should have been sought.

  17. Iran is the number one terrorist regime and if you defend them, you are defending evil. Sorry about your invincible boyfriend.

  18. Well, “national security establishment” is kind of nebulous. If the loud bunch of employed-by-the-media ex-mil types, well … picking cherries to advance the anti-Trump agenda has been their business for well over 3 years now. 

    Note that the “national security establishment” aficionados haven’t taken John Bolton’s geopolitical read. Because we pretty well know what that’d be, would we not?  “About time!”

    But still, your point is valid. There are apparently many who cotton to the idea that 

    • The Iranians haven’t been “at war” with the US
    … thus this is a hard provocation
    … and we should expect bloodshed

    • Suleimani wasn’t planning anything in the near future

    • The region has suddenly become MORE destabilized

    • The US would have needed UN approval to take out the gentleman (ahem… right…)

    • The Prez violated Constitution by taking action. 
    … lest we forget that Barack initiated over 2,800 take-outs w/o Congress’s approval

    • The right move would have been diplomatic
    … ROTFL, right.

    Anyway, my opinion differs from the popular narrative.
    As it most-always does.

    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

  19. Where did all these spineless, scared of their own shadow commenters come from? Go back to the Washington Post comments section. You are all people who got your lunch money stolen so many times when you were kids, you now think it was your fault. Iran strike was righteous. This is the real world kidd-o’s. It’s a violent messy place and no amount of your wishful pansy-a$$ bellyaching will change that.

  20. Any country that says “Death to America” has already declared war…and can expect a response of our choice and at our convenience.
    Nuke in the US? No more Iran. I think they can do that math.

  21. If you think the twin towers were military targets…your tenuous grip on reality has snapped. The US went for clear military targets.
    No one objective thinks that precision attacks on military targets is the definition of terrorism. Terrorism is preying on random people in a country or people of one ethnicity or religion with no regard as to who the individuals are, to try to make everyone who is a member of those groups terrified.

  22. Which ships? The American DD’s or you taliking about the bigger ones? Because those were generally fine. Also the Americans were fielding Thousands of ships including hundreds of capital ships. And tens of thousands of planes and hundreds of thousands of troops not even counting sailors. This also ignores all the material support.

    So yea we basically did nothing.

  23. According to your stated position, now that he is dead Iran will mellow, change their ways and start acting like a responsible government. Now that this extreme power broker is out of the picture, that they lost control of and who was busily shaping their policies for the worse in opposition to the wishes of his government everything will change for the best with Iran because the rest of the government was being run roughshod by him and the IRGC. That he was not just following orders like the soldier he was. A dubious assertion at best. Let’s see how this plays out, shall we, and see if your position is correct. I hope you are correct actually, but I’m not holding my breath.

  24. Funny also seems to have made people in Iraq Iran and all over the middle east VERY happy also. The guy was a damn butcher. Iraq has been a puppet of Iran sense we left and the people have been demonstraiting against it for months. Iran is the one funding the war in Yemen and has been funneling weapons and money to every terrorist organization they can including the taliban in Astan and others including the Shia militia’s which also used those weapons on American and Coalition soldiers in Iraq.

    Said Militia’s then used those same weapons to fire at and kill a American Contractor in Iraq which caused American retaliation which then led to THOSE SAME MILITIA’S invading our compound and burning what they could. ALL under the command of Soleimani by their very admission.

    They KNEW trump would respond but didn’t believe the second response would take out them.

    Play stupid games..

  25. NO ONE CARES. Trump isnt and never was going to get impeached. They know he was not going to get impeached in the Senate it was all a BS scheme because the Russia gate crap didnt work.

    Even then lets see..

    Trump told the president of a country we are giving aid to he wanted the president of said country to look into the possible corruption of a past government official of the US.
    -Never withheld any money.

    But then….

    Said ex government official The former VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES DID threaten the President of the Ukraine to fire the investigator into a corruption investigation that just Happened to involve a company Bidens son happened to be getting millions from for just existing.

    -The investigator was fired, the aid was sent through after.

    Yea seems TOTALLY legit…

  26. The nuclear deal was never going to be upheld anyways. From the start the Iranians would stall and outright refuse the people tasked with watching over Irans stockpiles from entering facilities.

  27. Tell us Luca what was that reason?

    And why does everything become OK once a nation or group you dislike is the victim?

  28. The entire region has been a shit show for over 2000 years. When it hasnt been ruled by a large empire like the Ottoman, Persian or some such the place has been a sh&t show. Hell even then the it was still one when those empires were fighting eachother or themselves.

  29. Concur.
    Soleimani was in uniform, on the battlefield & on the same road where his IEDs killed & maimed U.S. military personnel. Justice served.

  30. The Reaper reaped what he sowed… In Iran these guys were dealing with civilian protestors by cutting off opposing arms and legs… and then we see a photo of the head butcher’s mangled hand next to a mop of hairy scalp while reaching for a denuded scapula bone. “I will require the blood of man at the HAND of man” comes to mind.

  31. I had to look it up and found a BBC article that stated as follows:

    “It was the Polish contribution towards the common enemy but it is quite a magnanimous gift for one country to reveal its intelligence secrets to another.”
    Mr Gallehawk explained that as war approached, the Germans were changing the settings every day and this was too much for Polish resources to deal with.
    So the machine was handed over to codebreakers at Bletchley who developed the technique and the first German message was broken in January 1940.
    However, it was not until 1941 that codebreakers were able to break into the naval Enigma messages after codebooks and a machine were captured from German U-boat U-110 by a boarding party from the British destroyer HMS Bulldog.

    So you are both right. What the article doesn’t mention is that many of the Polish code breakers exiled in England continued their work throughout the remainder of the war. Also of significant interest is that the enima machines were also hacked by the Americans through Joseph Desch’s of NCR (parent of IBM) reverse engineering of the Enigma with a machine called the Bombe. It was the technology of the era and before the war NCR had off the shelf Enigma type machines for government and corporations to have private domestic and foreign communications.

  32. People think it’s impossible…not true.the Chinese are.masters at this type of thing.. I’m sure they probably rewrote the Chinese Muslim minorities Quran… all you do is bribe and buy control of every company that prints the Quran with dark money…. then keep Accidentlly deleting pages From Quran when you reprint it…and call it an accident… then make up some Bullcrap where you offer people money to give their Quran to a needy child… you just toss unaltered Qurans in the furnace and replace them with the book with deleted pages and modifications…. then give them out again… After some time people forget what happened torte Quran…

  33. The US defense budget in 2018 was 650 billion dollars, easily double that of China and Russia combined. But the US’s top ten allies between them also spent far more than Russia and China combined. Where’s the peace benefit we were supposed to get after the Cold War ended ? It’s not as though there isn’t good work for engineers to do elsewhere. Iran and North Korea don’t even feature on the military spending heavy hitters list.

  34. Let China spend trillions to keep the gulf open. There’s no reason why we have to. If they need the oil so badly, they can be the cop.

    Also, Saudi Arabia spends 10 times more money on defense than Iran ($70 billion to $6 billion). They can defend themselves. It was ridiculous for Trump to send troops into Saudi Arabia.

    BTW, why couldn’t the USA keep the sea lanes open and at the same time keep our troops out of Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, … ?

  35. We have killed other heads of states in the past, but most of the time, we have firm control of the country with our military. South Vietnam, Panama, Iraq are cases in point. Libya was a case where we failed to occupy the country after we killed the head of the state, but Libya was at least broken very badly. While this guy is not head of state, he is an important enough figure to be treated in the same class. You don’t enrage the population but leave their country in tact. If you think this is a way to get someone to back down, I have a bridge to sell you.

    Now that we have enraged a big part of Iraq and united Iran around the killing, the cost of our stay just went up. In a couple of years, we may point to this event as the watershed moment that started our path out of Iraq, because our potus wanted to show how tough he is. The Iraqis wanted us to leave. Obviously, we could ignore them for now. The non-cooperation from Iraq will dramatically increase our military cost and increase American lives taken. I could be wrong, but I think this would be looked back as a very bad decision.

  36. First, let’s be clear why we are there in the first place. We are there to control the world by controlling its oil supplies. We use coercion to control the Saudis, sanction to control Iran, threats and destabilization to Venezuela, all part of the move to control the world by controlling its oil supply.

    The Iranians are competing for influence in the region. That, in itself, speak to the level of our decline from top cop of the world. Second rate powers such as Iran and Turkey only is able to assert their power when the top guys start to vacate the area.

    If we are going to retreat, we should do a negotiated retreat, as Obama had done. Instead, we got a guy eager to use this for domestic politics. Mixing foreign policy with demestic politics is very bad idea.

  37. The British weren’t with The Allies? Who knew. Anyway, Enigma was first broken by the Poles. They were Allies as well.

  38. Non sequitur. Vietnam controlled no resources used by the world in general. In the mideast the US is protecting the sea lanes, keeping the gulf open, not letting Iran or others choke the supply of oil to the rest of the world, and more specifically, US trading partners. Maybe you don’t like the notion that someone has to be the cop. Or maybe you don’t like the notion that it’s the USA doing it. Can’t tell. But do try to respond to the actual points being made.

  39. That doesn’t jibe very well with reports that the national security establishment was generally horrified that the Orange One pulled the pin on this.

  40. Military & defense services companies like Haliburton benefit far more from actual military operations than defense manufacturers like Raytheon or Northrop Grumman, and I’ll tell you why. Most of NG, Boeing, Lockheed and Raytheon’s money comes from a defensive/forward-looking mindset in R&D and innovation, not in actual fabrication. Actual point of sale fabrication of missiles, bombs, guns, is not any kind of ridiculously profitable industry – profit margins and low, and you only make money when the government orders equipment. Also, the engineering on these programs is pretty simple. I’ve been on these kind of programs and as a systems engineer, I barely have any work to do. If you are a systems engineer you can basically quantify how profitable / wasteful a program based on how much work you get paid to do. That is a slight generalization and there may be some vehemently proud systems engineerboi out there who screams at me but generally, systems engineering is ProfitFluff (C). It consists of making the government feel good about a car they’ve already bought, to paraphrase the film “Dave”. We (the big defense contractors) make our money on development programs, which don’t reap any upticks in activity by being at war. In fact, sometimes they get de-prioritized over making short runs of operational hardware. Peacetime, but warhawk presidencies, like this one (ish), are when we see our biggest returns. They’re just throwing money at missile defense right now.

  41. That rhetoric sounds awfully similar to the author L Frank Baum talking about native americans – advocating their total extermination because they were a threat to European American lives.

    You people really do believe you are the only ones worthy to hold the weapons in this world don’t you?

    Considering the rate of gun violence in your own country, you clearly have the wrong end of that stick.

    I’d say take the guns out the hands of middle eastern countries and the US and others would just invade them tout suite, it’s not like they needed much of an excuse in the past.

    Or are you one of those warhawks still claiming that WMD’s were all over the place that started the last major war over there?

    You confuse a lack of technology with righteousness – the western nations are by no means innocent bystanders in this never ending mess, and certainly not without their own religious fraca’s and nutjobs, both civilian and in government, as evidenced by the numerous bible thumping GOP fools who seem to completely ignore the separation of church and state enshrined in the US constitution.

    This will only end the day oil resources run dry in every ME nation, then the US and all others will quietly slip away in the night as if there was never any reason to be there in the first place, mark my words it will happen.

  42. Entertaining, but no.

    It all started when western nations realised the immense profits to be made from middle eastern oil resources.

    All of them have been pulling s**t left, right and center since then to destabilise regimes less than subservient to western business interests in the region – almost everything that happened since in the ME is the result of that interference – Israel/Palestine mess excepted, that’s its own s**tshow, but arguably jump started by Jewish migrations post WW2, so still caused by mess from the conflicts started in the west.

  43. Yah, we wouldn’t be debating this from opposite sides of the aisle, that’s for sure. We’re on the same side. 

    I do think that an explanation that is more richly sophisticated with plausible supporting causality might help either you or I to “cross the rubicon” to more dispassionately decide “its bunk” or “well, yah, I could see that”.  

    I can imagine that the military has been quietly, inexorably developing all nature of remote snooping, persons tracking, surveillance, and so on; they’ve got an admittedly large chunk of ‘bright budget’ for this, and who knows how much dark budget. Lots, as “intelligence” is the backbone of both compelling defensive action, and often surprising offensive measures.

    And the military, besmirched by the recent Embassy business, recent likely-undetected (prior) attacks, having to answer for these to The Orange Guy, with almost near certainty would be incentivized to cherry-pick from their hundreds of tracked targets, a half-dozen “opportunities”, for the CiC to authorize. If successful (as with this event), the besmirched hawks can preen a bit, and restore their ‘utility’ to the Prez. If they fail (think Carter), then … why fund them at all?

    So, yah. If that were the playbook, I really do think Tucker Carlsen’s most recent op-ed (yesterday!) was spot on. Of all the Fox Anchors, he directly and unambiguously called out the Military Industrial complex for their self-aggrandizing complicity.

    Interesting times.
    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

  44. This is the problem with an administration that’s willing to lie so indiscriminately, though: You have to assume that the official line of imminent offensive ops is BS, or at best equally likely to be true or false. “Equally likely to be true or false” is the information-theoretic definition of “no information”.

    Given that, we have to look at this as a black box, and the “tit-for-tat” explanation fits the facts best.

    That said, most of the reporting I’ve seen indicates that the national security establishment was genuinely surprised/alarmed that Trump chose this option. That does provide at least some information that he might have goofed. Guess we’ll see…

  45. Technically, no you can’t say that. if the document had some clause in it that declared pulling out of it was an action of war maybe, but you’re just being an idiot. It was never ratified by the Senate in the US, which is why it was so easy to get out of. Iran has been pulling s*** since the 79 revolution! This all started then.

  46. So, let’s all curl up in the fetal position and suck our thumbs and not face reality. I guarantee you none of the hand-wringing slack-jawed retaliatory massacres are going to happen. They will something, but limited. We’ve hit them in the past and they do what they’ve always done. It’s like Thomas Sowell said. Take weapons out of the hands of Arabs and Muslims in the middle East and you will have peace. Take weapons out of the hands of the United States and Israel and you’ll have a bloodbath. That’s reality.

  47. A lot of ordnance dropped in WWII, probably most, didn’t hit the target due to the limits of the technology. I had thought the reference to Schweinfurt illustrated that point because it’s so well known.

  48. The intent was never to burn down Schweinfurt… only to hit its Archelli’s heal power plant that was secretly nested in a forest along the river. Having done so it would have destroyed the German ball bearing industry and ubiquitously crippled German manufacturing. Concurrent decoy bombing runs were flown to distract the air defenses but Schweinfurt was well defended and the first and subsequent mission failed at a very high cost. One can only wonder the historical outcome had they taken a low level approach as was McNamara’s style over Tokio.

  49. Funny how you describe the Allies breaking the Enigma when everyone knows it was the british. Its sort of like the Americans built the first atomic bomb but with absolutely no help from any other nation, especially those british.
    you yanks sure like your myths. Heres another, WW2 Pacific, now you all believe the US navy was alone, wrong. The brits,Aussies,New Zealand were out there too. Difference is they weren’t floating around in death trap ships, they to had kamikaze hits but, their ships could take it.

  50. You completely disregarded something in either my statement or his – I spoke of proof to support his statement claiming that Iran was breaking the terms of the NUCLEAR deal by developing nuclear weapons.

    The fact that both US, and the international intelligence communities refuted Trump’s claims on this score proves it was all bluster and bulls**t to excuse provocation for starting a war with Iran.

    As to crazy religious states armed with nuclear weapons – the GOP’s insane adherence to Christian evangelists in direct opposition to the constitutions aim of separating church and state shows that the US is already a “crazy religious state”.

    As far as I am aware it is also the only state that has actually used nuclear weapons on any human population target, military or otherwise – so your self righteous indignation on the subject is highly hypocritical at best.

  51. Such events as those do not happen in a vacuum, you are conveniently discounting the preceeding events in order to ‘shape’ the facts to your liking.

  52. Assassination is an incorrect term. This was a strike against a known terrorist whose activities against the west goes back to the Iran Hostage Crisis in the 1970’s. Solemani setup the 911 hijackers to bypass security as they traveled around the middle east prior to attack the U.S. He setup the IED program resulting the killing and maiming of thousands of American troops. He was the head of the Quds terrorist group and he was personally orchestrating the attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. He was a very legitimate military target. This was not an assassination! It was a military operation.

  53. Nonsense. You are assuming things will fall apart if we were to leave. Did Asia fall apart when we left Viet Nam ?

  54. The USA’s trading partners are not energy independent. Disrupt oil, that messes with the countries who trade with the USA, which in turn affects things in the US. The world is a big interconnected web. Here in the US I have German appliances, a Japanese automobile, South Korean electronics, and more than one Chinese made something or other. I’m fairly typical.

    Like it or not, someone has to run this show, someone with the authority and ability to stomp hindquarters as needed.

  55. Except that 20 years ago there had to be 100,000 troops in the area and infrastructure out the yingyang and eleventy billion $$$ worth of air assets to put the missile in a window. Today the USA can wipe the bad guy with some comparatively cheap cubesats, a fairly off the shelf drone, and maybe a couple of pimple faced kids playing video games in colorado, and without the massive in-theatre infrastructure used previously. Thus the weapons tech is improving; the goal has always been to be able to stop the bad guys and ruin their ability to wage war and not necessarily have to burn down all of Schweinfurt to do it.

    As fun as it is to take massive steaming loads on the dreaded military industrial complex, I reckon that if the western powers were putting up reasonable GDP output into shared and common defense, much of the expenditure and power argument would be mitigated.

  56. Yeah, no. Let’s see here, Iran took hostages in 1979 nd has existed in a state of war with the USA since then. There are no formal diplomatic relations. You’re entitled to your own opinion, but facts, not so much.

  57. Brigadier General Esmail Qaani has been promoted to the role. Something he’s been in position to do for 15 years as deputy commander of the IRGC.

  58. Shame they didn’t upgrade their intelligence and diplomatic capability at the same time.

    In one move they’ve managed to nullify US influence in Iraq, destroy the regional alliances against ISIS and the Taliban, and unify the people of Iran behind their government.

    But hey, you got a dog and pony show for the voters.

    *slow clap*

  59. Proof????? This is foreign policy. The only proof presented is whether or not Iran actually acquires a nuclear weapon, which they won’t. The world needs less crazy religious terrorist states armed with nuclear weapons, not more. If they want to go down like this then so be it, but proving whether something falls under your wacky definition of a declaration of war is a fools errand, same with war crimes or “international law”. This is a kinetic war and there are drones flying all over the Middle East, stealth drones flying over Iran right now could be armed within an hour, I would imagine a declaration of war will be made once those missiles start flying into Iranian targets.

  60. ⊕1 for onanistic. 
    Great word, I had to look it up. 
    And I echo ScaryJello’s amusement with “dog tucker”.  

    Thing is though, amusement aside, YOUR POINT IS SPOT ON.  

    We, the American taxpayer, have for decades been spending a prodigious amount of money on our military’s never-ending war on (you name it…) terrorism, Mideast geopolitical upset, a rising pro-caliphate movement, the almost-remarkable perpetual warring mindset of so many Mideast types, the Jïhadis, the Muftis, the … … …

    Billions to trillions.  

    The real problem IS the military-industrial complex, I think. Without dozens of ‘hot wars’ going on, there isn’t the pölïtical call to endlessly fund military (industrial) guns and butter. Oh, the bogeyman of Russia, Russia, Russia gets its funding nod, for sure. But that only goes so far with the now-much-degraded Russian offensive capability. It is impolitic to suggest China, China, China, as they are a most-favored trading partner, but they could fill-in, too.  

    Yet with the smell of smoke comes the real likelihood that there ARE fires smoldering away, potentially to disastrous result.  

    And if so, remaining “on our toes”, ready, watching, capable, trained, armed and primed is prudent. It IS what militaries are supposed to do, when not fighting HUGE world wars.  

    Just Saying,
    -= GoatGuy ✓ =-

  61. The reason actually given: growing evidence of a major Iranian offensive attack; thwarted with mastermind taken out.  

    Pass that thru your usual “bbb-bb-b-bûllsnot detector”: is it more likely that that is true, or rather that any of the increasingly crackpot reasons are more likely?

    Mmm… I’d say the “official line” remains most plausible.  

    Moreover, if per this article’s point, you balance that against the markably “upgraded” surveillance and remote tracking capabilities of the US military, it isn’t hard to infer that Mil-Int operations are tracking hundreds of active, high-level, pro-Islamic State leaders all thru the world.  

    Not just the Mideast.  

    That point’s impact must be considered in its full import: US covert Military actions are a pretty rude awakening to those hundreds-to-thousands planning the Next Big Fubar.

    Now, whether these actions will deter Iran-funded Mideast paramilitary ‘terrorist’ activities can be debated endlessly. It is, however, like your aunts and cousins debating whether removing young Martha’s uterus because of a growing cancer will save her, or just disable her for life. Hard to say, except she WILL die without the hysterectomy.

    Just Saying,
    -= GoatGuy ✓ =-

  62. I don’t disagree that withdrawal from the JCPOA was provocative at some level, and probably a dumb idea. But that withdrawal has to be put into the context of a continually escalating tit-for-tat that Iran was orchestrating throughout the middle east. That started before the JCPOA, escalated after it, and continued to escalate after the US withdrew. That’s pretty good evidence that the withdrawal wasn’t really germane to the overall dynamics.

    I haven’t decided whether killing Soulemani was a good idea or not. It’s clearly a pretty big ratchet up in the tit-for-tat from the US. But so were the Iranian attacks on the Saudi oil refinery and the embassy attacks of last week.

    These kind of tit-for-tats tend to escalate until one or both sides back down. Neither side has the high ground on the escalations. But the JCPOA is almost orthogonal to the real action.

  63. The fact that “shooting down a drone” even enters a discussion about revenge in any form other than destroying unmanned machinery is a really pathetic commentary on the human race.

  64. The point of the nuclear deal was to halt nuclear weapons development, the clue is in the name – the excuse given to withdraw was a bogus claim by Trump that Iran were continuing to develop nuclear weapons anyway, a claim completely refuted by his own intelligence agencies, among those of other nations.

    You are correct, withdrawing from the nuclear deal by itself is meaningless, the deal was drawn under negotiations to escape from the previous economic sanctions – the fact that they were renewed after Trump reneged on the deal was essentially a start in provocation to war.

    This assassination was just the next phase in aggression and provocation – well timed as an impeachment distraction to be sure, but I have zero doubt it was always going to be something along these lines.

    If the shoe was on the other foot, any American would be livid at having their countries economy impeded directly by an outside force – but then again the US government has demonstrated time and again their mastery of hypocrisy in action, always judgemental of any other country doing precisely what they would and have done before, including making war in the middle east for their own ends.

  65. Proof is a fine thing, and you lack any to back up your argument.

    The combined international intelligence communities (including those in the US) agreed that Iran was following the terms of the deal, only Trump and his brainless acolytes believed or stated otherwise.

    All withdrawing did was give them a reason to actually continue to develop nuclear weapons once more, the previous sanctions were used only as a bargaining tool to bring them to negotiations on the nuclear deal, the current ones serve no purpose but continious economic deprivation and nothing else.

    So yes, withdrawing from that agreement and continuing the previous debilitating economic sanctions was tantamount to declaring war, because that was the only possible outcome you could expect from any nation unwilling to become wholly subservient to another national power – would you accept that if the situation was reversed?

    It’s basically a soft invasion by attrition of their economy – the assassination is just a step up towards hard military action that was always intended, and fools like yourselves only serve to cheer it on.

  66. Ending any agreement is in no way the same as declaring war. The agreement was worthless, Iran was still developing nuclear weapons with the help of NK.

  67. My analysis is much different from yours. You assume he was a replaceable cog in their government. Based on the spending of the Obama appeasement funds on the Quds force Solemani controlled, rather than internal improvements to stabilize the regime, I believe he was much more central to the decision making process than you think. He was either first or second among the powerbrokers, the mullahs have lost control to the IRGC. Frankly, your assertion that he was only an executor not the shaper of Iranian foreign policy is belied by his presence in Syria and Iraq planning operations with the Quds controlled militias.

  68. My point was that leaving the nuke deal is irrelevant, and certainly isn’t anything close to “declaring war”.

  69. Everyone has upgraded their mortification technologies, but not everyone is in a hurry to use them. But give it time, and when it is all done, make your last words thus: SCIENCE HAS WON.

  70. Long term target tracking has been around for a long time. It seems more likely to be improved executive testicular fortitude post 2016…

  71. It won’t matter, barely slow them down. He was not the architect of the activities, simply the executor. Short of killing the majority of their top levels of government, the goals will not change. All that will happen is someone else steps in to do the job. I don’t see there will be an earthquake, just a ripple. If anything, it is going to make them more careful, more united behind their power structure, and countries like Russia and China more likely to provide assistance just to help cut our throats by getting us overextended financially, politically and militarily. Remains to be seen what their response will be to this killing, but other actors will now be on notice that “assassinations” are on the table and will be more likely to answer in kind.

    Iran is a regional power, that cannot be denied as much as we do not like it. We will not be invading them the way we did Iraq, anyone with a military background could tell you the folly of trying that. No country will allow us to stage our military from their country to attack them. Their economy is already used to our sanctions and will adapt. We have driven a wedge with our European allies on this issue, one open to exploitation by countries antagonistic to us. This is basically a fools game, something known as mission creep being the primary risk to our country.

    All of this is being driven by our internal politics, and I don’t see us having anything in our countries interest by “winning” it.

  72. Iran’s activities in the Middle East, specifically the Quds Force’s training, arming, and support for local militias in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria, started in about 2011 and have become increasingly aggressive up to the present. The nuclear deal didn’t reduce those activities at all. If anything, it increased them, because the deal gave Iran access to more cash and international resources, some of which it spent on expanding Quds activities.

  73. The answer to that is Oil money lobbyists – the people and their votes have nothing to do with it sadly when the politicians allow themselves to be bought.

  74. The word is Quran actually, not exactly straining the old noggin if you frequent this site for anything other than politics.

    As for “without them noticing”, what do you think they are, T-Rex’s confused by your lack of motion?

    Even without the text itself there are likely millions of Muslims that know the Quran by heart as the average bible thumping Christian evangelist does.

    The fundamentalist Jihadi perspective is as uncommon to them as the KKK and white supremacist movements are to Christian populations.

    The existence of the current fundamentalist regimes in the middle east is a direct result of greedy western nations interfering in the region for Oil profit and waging proxy war with Soviet forces during the cold war – these actions resulted in the creation of the Al Quaeda progenitors, armed and trained by the CIA to fight Soviets, and then left to their own devices afterwards.

  75. Weeel, technically you could say Trump declared war first by withdrawing from the nuclear deal – this outcome was inevitable.

    Evil is fairly ambiguous these days when people in power will maneuver wars into being just to profit from them, by that measure there are no end of evil men in the US.

  76. No… not really. This is a response to a specific series of events, and nothing to do with electoral politics, which is why the fear of escalation, because that’s exactly what’s been happening. What started out as a rocket attack on a small group of Americans, escalated in a counter attack. That counter attack was answered with the attack on the embassy. The attack on the embassy was answered with the killing of ‘Salomi’.

  77. Maybe after the dust settles, an enterprising person will be able to make some available for restoration.

  78. Alltogether not a good thing, but just like nuclear arms, it is good in a way, because it shows the leaders and instigators that the battlefront is everywhere. In a way it is bad, because it shows us that everybody lives on the frontline.

  79. “Our President will start a war with Iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate” Donald Trump speaking about Obama in 2011

    Aren’t I glad I invested in MIC stocks

  80. Much as the targets probably deserved it, this was nothing more than the first shot in Trump’s 2020 election campaign. Innocent bystanders on both sides will die as a result.

  81. Why do we waste our time in the Middle East ? I read that we will become energy independent this year. Why can’t we just leave ? The Saudis can protect themselves.

  82. I agree, and would go one step further to say that targeting these militia leaders was our obligation to the nascent “caretaker” gov of Iraq. We are on the hook for the preservation of their sovereignty until they are able to exercise de facto control within their borders.

  83. I think the CIA should drop bags of money on people to rewrite the Muslim Koran and secretly burn the old koran so that nobody can find a copy… they do the same thing with the Bible by changing words like “man” into “people” etc… why can’t we sneak a few Jesus lessons into the Koran without them noticing… And write something like allah says if you want revenge you will go to hell and you are a spawn of satan…It’s easy as heck to just delete parts of it without anybody noticing…Whoops we forgot to print the Koran page about jihad…sorry. buy another Koran.. here’s your free Koran with jihad missing,,,And bonus lesson on Jesus…

  84. The only thing sad here is that–if the conflict escalates, some poor shmoe of a drone driver or Navy pilot is going to be given orders to attack the Iranian Air Force–and the last surviving F-14 Tomcats.

    I don’t think I could do it.–that’s worse than the sinkhole that just had to pick the Corvette museum to open up under. I guess God is a fan of the Ford Mustang

  85. They’re more like a board or directors or an crime family, than a modern state. Individual actors control sectors of the government. One of the most powerful actors has been removed, now his rivals maneuver to increase their own power at the expense of his successor. The power structure will heal, but aftershocks of an earthquake is a better analogy than flowing water.

  86. The Middle East has been about revenge and retaliation for about the last 1000 years or so. I think the U.S. has to decide how much it wants to be a part of that back and forth.

  87. We were all watching videos twenty years ago of how the US could send a missile through a basement window. Now, two trillion dollars, thousands of American lives, and probably pushing a million locals, we’re still being fed this onanistic technokilling garbage. Who has benefitted ? The arms industry, mostly. The oil majors and the Saudis, I suppose. Certainly not the schmucks who voted for the last two presidents who vowed to get the boys out of there. Dwight Eisenhower knew a bit about fighting wars, and his farewell speech was to warn of the influence of the military/industrial complex.
    Robert Fisk’s book ‘ The Great War for Civilisation’, describes him flying in to Teheran as a journalist at a time when Iran was the US’s best friend in the middle east. The plane came in to land over mile after mile of tanks and weapons, all supplied by the Americans, and paid for with oil. The Shah, he realised, was invincible. Days later, he was in Teheran, surrounded by block after city block crammed with Iranians, all screaming ‘ Death to the Shah!’ It was clear that the Shah was dog tucker.
    Since then American arms, or allies, have taken Kabul, Baghdad, Tripoli, Mosul. None have the effective, democratic governments that were supposed to ensue, and only a foolish American would walk down their streets.

  88. So nice to see President Trump take such decisive action against these rogue regimes and sponsors of terror, all the while avoiding substantial boots on the ground. best of both worlds.

  89. Iran is a modern state, not some backwater terrorist organization. Modern states have a chain of command and leadership that will adapt to this like water flowing around a rock in a river. It is not going to stop anything, just escalate it. This killing will only set them back slightly from their current activities, and will use it as a rallying cry.

  90. This “retaliate” business is annoying. Iran will seek revenge for this killing. But this killing itself was America’s revenge on Iran for shooting down a drone; supplying 140,000 missiles to Hezbollah against UN wishes; attacking Saudi oil terminals, sowing mines in the gulf, destabilizing Iraq-Syria-Lebanon-Yemen, firing missiles into Israel etc etc etc etc..

  91. The proper term is “Targeted killing” or “Targeted elimination”.
    While some snowflakes still call this assassination, and claim that the proper terms are nothing more than a euphemism, there are legal limitations as to when it is allowed and there is a clear difference.

    When there is no other viable way of stopping a prolific terrorist with known plans of continuing their murderous actions, stopping them with a Targeted elimination, is not only necessary, but the morally justifiable.

    No one calls killings in a war when two soldiers stand with guns against each other, murders or assassinations, but killings.
    Same applies here.

  92. This was extremely sloppy. It took place on Iraqi soil without permission and killed Iraqi bystanders. There was nothing precise about it. It all feels like a step back from the flying sword attacks used elsewhere.

  93. “iran has much more to lose than the U.S.”

    😀 A few question for “You”. Do you like the idea of “terrorist” attacks in your country, or your city? Do you like the idea of more terrorist attacks, or deadlier terrorist attacks? Because that’s what gonna happen… the more people you kill outside of your country, the more will die inside. Violence brings violence, not because some god said that, but because history tells you that. It’s that simple. No matter how many you kill. US killed more than two hundred thousands people during the iraq war only. The real problem is that 90% of them were not “bad guys” like in this case, but civilians like you and me, who just want to stay away from wars and deaths and care for their families. Take a moment to think about someone coming from another country getting there, where you live, and shooting somebody you love… wouldn’t you feel rage inside? Wouldn’t you want to retaliate, possibly with your own hands? Wouldn’t you vote any leader that promises to strike back? Multiply that by 200000 (just for Iraq, in reality). Can you see the loop? Is this what you want for your family?

    Iran is not Iraq. They are the most advanced country of the middle east, in terms of military arsenal. They will retaliate. It will escalate. And the problem is that many countries of this world will suffer the aftermath, not only U.S. and Iran. Frankly, I’m sick of paying the consequences of warmongering imperialist short-sighted leaders, no matter their flag

  94. If you do something for 15 years, you get really good at it. I doubt if there’s any significant technological leap here, but rather a whole series of little things. Better optics. Longer dwell time over the target. Better SIGINT processing. Better C³. Better decision-making workflow. Smaller weapons that give you more attack options with less collateral damage. More precision weapons. Faster weapons.

  95. Assassination is too strong a term. Akin to murder.
    The targets were valid and justified, and the response was very limited.
    The precision strike is the result of military transformation to the electronic battlespace, and it will become much more decisive in small conflicts. But it comes with plenty of bureaucratic resistance. Sea and land forces will need this transformation as well. Which is why (I think) that large projects have been cancelled, much to the chagrin of Navy Commanders who want more DDs and CGs (the better for their advancement).

  96. Iran declared war on the U.S. by its actions. It is now paying a price for those actions. It may escalate, but Iran has much more to lose than the U.S. Hopefully the message is received by the evil which occupies Tehran.

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