October 28, 2019

Military Deconfliction Notice

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 1:42 pm

Schiff-Pelosi OutrageOnce again, the great political cartoonist AF Branco has captured the essence of a political issue with graphic brevity and precision.

In this instance, he has caricatured the House Bullet Twins, Representative Adam “Hollow Point” Schiff and Speaker Nancy “Dum-Dum” d’Alesandro Pelosi, displaying their faux outrage at President Trump’s authorization to provide Turkey, Russia, and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) with a military deconfliction notice of the air traffic associated with the hit on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

“Military Deconfliction” notices have been used regularly to help militarily adversarial forces avoid misinterpreting the intent of a military action.   In this instance, the deconfliction notice would likely have been limited to the expected flight paths of the US helicopters flying low, dark, and fast in and out of Barisha, Syria.

It is almost certain that whoever made the call on behalf of the US disclosed only enough information to reassure the Turks, the Russians, and the SDF that they were not the intended target of a US military action.  It may have included any potential alternate flight paths if they were forced by operational necessity.

As for Hollow-Point’s and Dum-Dum’s faux outrage that the President didn’t inform them before the recipients of the deconfliction notice, they did not as Congresscritters have a “need to know.”  They had no beneficial part to play in the operation.  Their being informed ahead of time could only result in the operation being compromised, not improved.

If information about the operation had leaked out, it would have compromised operational security and jeopardized the lives of all our military troops involved.   It could easily have escalated the conflict rather than prevent it.   “Friendly fire” by uninformed adversaries would have adversely affected the mission’s success.  By giving the notice, President Trump was giving US military counterparts from Russia, Turkey, and the SDF time to prevent friendly fire.

It seems likely that the Russians, Turks, and SDF probably figured out what the US’s mission was.  They would quickly have deduced that al-Baghdadi’s demise helps them by removing a major impediment to stabilizing the region while at the same time not appearing to be in cahoots with the US.

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