Archive for the 'Military Matters' Category

McQ On The Depletion Of The Officer Corp

Over at QandO, McQ offers his take on a thoughtful article by Andrew Tilghman entitled “The Army’s Other Crisis: Why the Best and Brightest Young Officers are Leaving.”
Here are the nut graphs from McQ:
So we should certainly be concerned about the loss of CPTs. And while the fixes are obvious, given the mission, they aren’t […]

Top Al Qaeda Operative Nabbed In Iraq, and Other Good News

Bill Roggio has the scoop at Long War Journal:
The Iraqi Army claimed to have captured the minister of defense of the Islamic State of Iraq, al Qaeda’s political front organization. Ahmed Turki Abbas was captured after being wounded in a skirmish near Mahmudiyah and “claimed the rank of defense minister,” Qassim al Moussawi, Iraq’s military […]

Pining Away For Jihad Johnny

The aptly named Unqualified Offerings has had its share of troubles lately, and I’m not usually one to pile on, but this is simply beyond the pale (emphasis added):
Have We Given Justice to Lindh?
By Mona
American citizen John Walker Lindh is now serving 20 years in this heinous prison for what appears to have been the […]

Give Up on Giving Up, Senator Reid

When members of your own party are positive about changes they are seeing first hand in Iraq, maybe it’s time to give up on giving up.
“I feel we’ve made progress, and the other part is I feel we can see an end game in sight,” Donnelly, D-Ind., told reporters on a conference call Tuesday from […]

Nothing to See Here, Move Along

This is interesting:
The “Key Judgments” released by the intelligence community last week begin with a dramatic assertion: “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.” This sentence was widely interpreted as a challenge to the Bush administration policy of mobilizing international pressure against alleged Iranian nuclear programs. It […]

Sarajevo War Criminal Sentenced

While this is welcome news, it can hardly be called justice. A just society would have stopped this guy in his tracks, long before 10,000 people were killed during the seige of Sarajevo.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071212/wl_nm/warcrimes_bosnia_dc_4;_ylt=Atb4Bpre3V1KJ4H.g7llWfkE1vAI
The U.N. war crimes tribunal sentenced former Bosnian Serb general Dragomir Milosevic to 33 years imprisonment on Wednesday for the shelling of […]

News Brief, It’s Happening Edition

So I mentioned before I might not continue doing these into the New Year. I am approaching one solid, eventful year of trying to summarize the important, and possibly ignored, stories of the day. I’m not quite burned out, but my time has become very precious to me (my preciousssss), and it’s just a bit […]

Christmas Cards For “Any” Wounded Soldier - UPDATE

This is a follow-up post including new information for those who wish to send mail, gifts, care packages, etc. to wounded and covering soldiers.
About a month ago Keith drew our attention to a popular, yet erroneous, email floating around that encouraged people to send Christmas cards to “any wounded soldier”.
Recently an email similar to the […]

News Brief, You Don’t Have to Be Afraid Edition

Cross-posted at The Conjecturer.
Did you know the calm in Iraq is actually very fragile, which is what happens when you buy off competing factions in a civil war? I can’t imagine why—after all, the bands of roving, independent Sunni volunteer militias have contributed to something… except maybe if you read Jules Crittenden, who seems to […]

News Brief, They Shoot the Horse Don’t They Edition

Always yours, at The Conjecturer.
Defense & The War

Dan the Missing Conjecturer and I were emailing each other today (he’s fine, thanks, just very busy). He mentioned something fascinating—Secretary Gates seems to be rather assertively professionalizing the DoD’s analytical corps (for lack of a better term), breaking it somewhat of the politicization we’ve seen under Bush/Cheney. […]

News Brief, The Great Intoxication Edition

Meticulously yours, over at The Conjecturer.
Defense & The War

Northrop Grumman is far ahead of the usual timetable for the Killer Drone it’s building for the Navy.
NATO can’t be bothered to keep enough helicopters on hand to, you know, be effective.

Around the World

Fighting drugs and building peace.
North Korea still choking on its lack of food.
Oh, […]

News Brief, Schadenfreudeny Truthiness Edition

Cross-posted to The Conjecturer.
Defense & The War

Leave it to Jules Crittenden—who thought Japan’s war crimes in World War II justifies our own crimes now—to think Bush’s comparison of Iraq to Korea is a good thing. Because Bush does what he says! Except when he promises not to torture people or to actually rebuild Afghanistan like […]

News Brief, Beginning to See the Light Edition

Verbatim on The Conjecturer.
Defense & The War

The Marines want exoskeletons. I guess they love Aliens and need to destroy the queen? The SEALs are out for their own as well.
It would be nice to stop lying about the problem of refugees and IDPs in the kaleidoscope of Iraq, wouldn’t it?
And how long will we be […]

News Brief, I’m Off for Thanksgiving Break Edition

Cross-posted verbatim to The Conjecturer
Defense & The War

Thin solace, I know, but my piece on Ann Marlowe’s critique of the Human Terrain System (updated, too), got a link in the Small Wars Journal.
Also, Bill Roggio followed up with some good analysis on what’s going on in Pakistan; his thoughts align largely with my own.
Support the […]

Looking at the other side II

Fox News has a report on Ameriya and Abu Abed, that shows a somewhat different view than the Guardian once again. One suspicious aspect of Ghaith Abdul-Ahad’s Nov. 10, Gaurdian piece “Meet Abu Abed: the US’s new ally against al-Qaida“is the description of Abu Abed in it:
The great iron gate opened and Hajji Abu Abed […]

MSM on Iraq

More and more coverage in Iraq is beginning to reflect the positive changes that have occurred over the last few months.
The New York Times and The Washington Post report sharp declines in attacks today (though the Post relegated it to page A14 ), the Los Angeles Times looks at signs of local reconciliation “war-weary Sunnis […]

Looking at the other side

Joshua recently linked to this story. Via Confederate Yankee we get another persons view of the situation in Ameriyah:

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Sen. Reid Vows Defeat In Iraq

The war funding bill passed by the House was shot down by the Senate, but Sen. Reid promised to win the Democrats’ war against the White House through attrition (my emphasis):
Nearly a year after anti-war voters put them in power, congressional Democrats remain unable to pass legislation ordering troops home from Iraq.
Frustrated by Republican roadblocks, […]

Non-Coms speak out

 Here is a video of  the two highest ranking Non-Commissioned Officers in Iraq, Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Ciotola and CSM Hill, on Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer. They are speaking from Baghdad on views within the military criticizing the war.

As we have mentioned before, despite all the coverage of it at the time, CSM Ciotola […]

Veterans as victims

They have to be, so CBS tries to do the numbers. Like most of us however, when numbers fit you take them at face value:
But a five-month CBS News investigation discovered data that shows a startling rate of suicide, what some call a hidden epidemic, Chief Investigative Reporter Armen Keteyian reports exclusively.
“I just felt like […]

Writing on the Wall in Iraq??

Hmmm, first al Sadr calls for a cease fire. Now he is actively seeking out those of his ‘army’ who are ignoring his orders.
Now, does this sound like a man who’s winning the war? Sounds more like someone who now believes you’re either part of the solution, or part of the problem, and […]

Christmas Cards for Any Wounded Soldier

Recently an email similar to the following was sent around. I contacted the Public Affairs officer at Walter Reed to check on this, because I’ve heard for a few years that they do not accept anonymous cards or packages.
If you want, the Lieutenant Governor of Indiana is accepting cards till Nov 16th, and is […]

Powerful Imagery

Michael Yon captures a moment on film that in a world with a meritocratic media would surely garner a Pulitzer:

A Muslim man had invited the American soldiers from “Chosen” Company 2-12 Infantry to the church, where I videotaped as Muslims and Christians worked and rejoiced at the reopening of St John’s, an occasion all […]

News Brief, Psychocandy Edition

Cross-posted to The Conjecturer
Defense & The War

In the midst of petulantly crossing his arms and throwing a tantrum about the Future of Iraq Project, an anonymous FSO makes a really good point: “Sending officers into this failed, hideously violent exercise with no language training, no military liaison training, no arms or means of self-defense, no […]

The Most Reasonable Dark View of Iraq

Phil Carter takes the most pessimistic view of the reasons behind the recent progress in Iraq. While each element of his case has some truth to it, all noted here before, on the whole it speaks more of an unwillingness to credit the change in strategy than  an  objective assessment.  Nevertheless the caveats are worth […]

Time to teach the Kossacks

 The Daily Kos spins
Unfortunately, no one seems to be calling our elected officials or the traditional media on this nonsensical idea that the “Petraeus strategy” should be credited with stanching the flow of blood. No one seems to notice that, as with everything else in Iraq, the Iraqis are going to do what they want, […]

CNN says the change is undeniable

They discuss this change with Michael Yon:

He was also on CBN, but I can’t get the video to work for me. Maybe you can.

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News Brief, Offline P.K. Edition

Cross-posted at The Conjecturer.
Defense & The War

Yet another former interrogator and counterterrorism expert comes out against waterboarding. Meanwhile, Jacob Sullum notes that the Congressional debate over this is obfuscating a larger question of why the President should be allowed to violate our liberties to defend our security as he sees fit.
John Nagl, one of the […]

A Torturous Dilemma

In light of the recent discussion about torture around here, this little thought experiment seems appropriate and perhaps informative. If you don’t think that torture is ever a good choice, then read to the end of this post — you will change your mind:
If neither event is going to happen to you personally, but […]

News Brief, My Schedule Is Not Friendly To These Briefs Edition

Cross-posted at the right-wing, garden variety, war mongering Conjecturer.
Defense & the War

Fascinating post on AQI borrowing from us and beginning its own COIN operations in Baghdad.
William Lind on buying too much into the Navy’s desire to keep on fighting the Cold War.
Meanwhile, cost overruns on the pathetically overdesigned LCS have forced another to be withdrawn, […]