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ISSUES....
Inside, confidential and off the record

 

Mad Dog

 

Gooogle maps

Russia's warm water sea port on the Mediterranean at Tartus, Syria.

 


Washington is now aligning with Putin and Erdogan and we
are more than merely dismayed; we are absolutely horrified.

 


ON THE POLITICAL FRONT, the important news, as noted above, is that Gen. James
“Mad Dog” Mattis… the last of the “Adults” in the Trump Administration… has resigned, for like the soldier/scholar that he is, he has found that his “views” and those of the President are not “aligned.” There has been considerable turn-over and considerable dissension within the ranks of the Trump White House, most of which we have obviously found dismaying, but
this is without question the most dismaying of all. The “Adults” are now gone. General Kelly is gone… or is going. Reince Priebus is gone and now Gen. Mattis will be leaving as the end of February. At least the General has the maturity not to have resigned his post in a huff
and thus leaving the Department of Defense defenseless. At least he has had the decency and respect for his office and for that of the President to give the President time to nominate another Sec’y and to have that gentleman… or woman as the case might be… approved by the new Senate after the year’s turn.

General Mattis has chosen to stand down following the President’s single-minded decision to declare “victory” in Syria and to remove our troops from there swiftly despite a Pentagon report stating very clearly that United States and our allies “have not defeated” the Islamic State in Iraq or Syria. The report states quite clearly that ISIS has fixed the attention of the US anti- ISIS coalition on the last remaining territorial pocket of its caliphate, even as it
regroups in other parts of Syria. ISIS is also reconstituting in its traditional strongholds in Iraq…. Current conditions on the ground do not warrant the withdrawal of the US from Syria… [and ISIS] is reconstituting a capable insurgent force in Iraq and Syria despite efforts to prevent its recovery by the US.

The Pentagon estimated four months ago that ISIS has approximately 30,000 fighters stationed in Iraq and Syria and that those battle-tested troops are more capable than Al Qaeda fighters at their peak of power in Iraq in 2006 and to reestablish durable support zones while raising funds and rebuilding commandand- control over its remnant forces. On its
current trajectory, ISIS could regain sufficient strength to mount a renewed insurgency that once again threatens to overmatch local security forces in both Iraq and Syria.

Not only have we abandoned the Kurds there in the region… hard fighting and loyal allies in the fight against ISIS… but we have listened to the Turks in abandoning the Kurds and this is a dangerous precedent indeed.

Further, we have all but given Russia its most treasured wish: a warm water sea port on the Mediterranean at Tartus… a satellite view of which we’ve included this page, courtesy of Google maps, noting the various dock facilities and the massive break-water walls erected in recent years. Given the sinking of Russia’s massive dry dock at Murmansk, which we brought
to everyone’s attention earlier this week, Tartus is all-themore- important to Russia than
ever. Hence, Washington is now aligning with Putin and Erdogan and we are more than
merely dismayed; we are absolutely horrified.

General Mattis… the most scholarly of soldiers in the mold of our old and very dear friend, Gen. Peter Dawkins… has apparently had enough. The President is listening to Rand Paul; he is listening to Peter Navarro; he is listening to isolationists in an era of globalization and Mattis, Kelly & Company… the “adults” in the White House’s rooms… are exhausted.

The adults are leaving those rooms. Uncertainty shall fill the large void they are leaving behind.


Denis Gartman / The Gartman Letter / Dec. 21, 2018

 


ISSUES.... 12 / 24 / 2018 - Send Us Your Issues

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