6000 Islamic State Fighters Killed In US-Led Attacks?

ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

    Back in October of 2014 the CIA estimated that the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq had a military strength of some 20,000 to 30,000 fighters with other US intelligence sources claiming that air-strikes by the United States and its allies had killed several hundred IS combatants up to that point (though just how many were “combatants” … Continue reading

Special Forces, Special Operations, Special Rules

Troops from the United States Army on patrol in Iraq

In a similar vein to yesterday’s post on James Fallows’ controversial critique of the United States’ military in the Atlantic magazine comes this article by Nick Turse over on Tom’s Dispatch examining the remarkable growth of America’s special forces contingents since 2001. As with Britain’s counter-insurgency war in Ireland from the 1970s to late ’90s (and arguably to the present day) a … Continue reading

Military Secrets And Scandals

Volunteers of the Derry Brigade of the Irish Republican Army armed with American-supplied weapons, an M60 general-purpose machine gun and an AR-15 assault rifle, British Occupied North of Ireland,

For those of you interested in the performance of the United States Armed Forces over the last two decades, especially combating the invasion-born insurgent movements of Afghanistan and Iraq (and the many-headed hydra of militant political Islam that US and Coalition operations accelerated in growth and influence) the journalist James Fallows has a provocative opinion … Continue reading

Condemning Rebellion In Occupied France And Ireland

The Roman Catholic hierarchy with John Redmond MP, the leader of the Irish Nationalist establishment, 1912

Today’s Irish Times newspaper carries a deeply offensive article examining the period of 1939-45 in France and what the author of the piece characterizes as the “armed rebellion” of the French Resistance against the mandated administration of the country by Nazi Germany and it’s collaborationist partners during World War II. In particular the journalist questions … Continue reading

An Online Fenian Archive From ASF

British militiamen stand over the body of a slain soldier of the Irish Republican Army following the Battle of Eccles Hill, the Second Fenian Invasion of Canada 1870

  I’ve discussed my interest in utilising online resources for researching various historical topics a number of times on ASF, as can be seen in the two brief articles I wrote in 2011 and 2014 on the mainly American origins of the name “Irish Republican Army” (or “IRA”) where I used both newspaper and literary sources to uncover some of the earliest examples of it’s use. … Continue reading

Those Leaked Al Jazeera Emails On Charlie Hebdo

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The National Review Online, the web-version of the right-wing American current affairs magazine, has published a series of “leaked” emails from the Al Jazeera news network under the somewhat disingenuous headline “Leaked Newsroom Emails Reveal Al Jazeera Fury over Global Support for Charlie Hebdo“. In fact the emails don’t reveal any such “fury” but rather … Continue reading

Some Irish Stories

The 1912 Fianna Éireann Ard-Fheis with a large Gal Gréine banner in the background

A few quick links to articles and posts that I have enjoyed over the last week or so. First up is this piece from the excellent historical website, The Cricket Bat That Died For Ireland, featuring a series of photos taken in a British concentration camp in Ireland during the most important period of the … Continue reading

Improvised Weapons Of The New IRA Modernise Old Designs

A Volunteer of the (New) Irish Republican Army holding a (N)IRA-manufactured grenade-launcher just before an attack on the British Forces in Belfast, 2014

  On the 16th of November 2014 an armoured jeep of the PSNI, the paramilitary police force in the British-administrated north-east of Ireland, was parked on a street in the Ardoyne district of north Belfast when it was hit by an explosive projectile that penetrated the vehicle’s exterior “skin” before being deflected by the thicker plating underneath (we do not know if the … Continue reading

Secrets Of The NSA And GCHQ War On Internet Security

An Idirlíon

Just before Christmas the German news and current affairs magazine Der Spiegel published a detailed article examining the covert campaign by the United States and its principle intelligence-gathering allies (Britain and to a lesser extent Canada, Australia and New Zealand) to gain access to some of the key protocols and technologies governing global internet security. I have selected some … Continue reading

Celebrating The Irish Who Fought Against Slavery

The De Móinbhíol or Mansfield family of Skerries, Ireland, with a monument mentioning two former Confederate officers of the American Civil War

As Ireland’s plutocratic old guard grinds its teeth in anxiety at the approaching 2016 centenary of the Easter Rising, the insurrection that heralded the Irish Revolution in 1916, some from the Neo-Ascendancy class have sought solace in rival historical commemorations where they can express their true ideological loyalties (and perhaps true political identity too). Dismissing the remembrance of a risen people they have plunged into the records of the industrial-scale … Continue reading

The CIA’s 2009 High-Value Targeting Report From Wikileaks

Troops from the United States Army on patrol in Iraq

“Making High-Value Targeting Operations an Effective Counterinsurgency Tool (C//NF)” is the latest confidential government document to be released through Wikileaks, the first for some while. It reveals that in 2009 some analysts for the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency or CIA were arguing for a more selective use of armed-drones in the US’ self-declared “War … Continue reading

Inside The Islamic State

ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

Martin Chulov in the Guardian newspaper presents a fascinating insider analysis of the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) through an interview with Abu Ahmed, the nom de guerre of a claimed IS leader. It includes this nugget: “The revelation of abuses at Abu Ghraib had a radicalising effect on many Iraqis, who saw the … Continue reading

  • blog awards ireland Nominated 2013: Best Politics, Personal Blog Categories; Best Blog Post
  • blog awards ireland

    Nominated 2014: Best News, Current Affairs, Politics, Mobile Blog Categories; Best Blog Post

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