Archive for the 'Notes on the war' 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 […]

Halliburton/KBR and U.S. Government Accused of Covering Up a Gang-Rape (UPDATED)

This is one of the most bizarre and disgusting stories I’ve heard in quite a while:
A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident.
Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a […]

I have located myself

I was going to post some the last few days, but then I saw this:

Happy Thanksgiving
Now get of off the computer and spend some time with your family, will you?
I always follow Bob Owens instructions.
Of course he is rather disgusted with The New Republic, which continues to dither, as well as the Washington Post, which […]

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 […]

News Brief, Comfortable Headphones Edition

From Russia The Conjecturer, with love.
Defense & The War

SimIraq? Could make for an interesting variant of the latest Sim City game, which looks interesting enough to pirate.
Triple Canopy for sale? Oh noes! Meanwhile, a federal grand jury has convened to investigate the Blackwater Massacre. They’re being charged under MEJA. That’s good! But the realities of […]

The Higazy Conundrum

For anyone who has been following the Higazy case and the puzzling circumstances under which a Second Circuit opinion was issued, withdrawn, and then reissued in redacted form, here is some information that seems to have been missed in the commentary (my emphasis):
A source close to the case said the opinion was withdrawn because of […]

Fred on the war

In the first Pajamas Media War on Terror Conversation, Presidential candidate Fred Thompson discusses the current situations in Iran, Iraq and Pakistan. The senator/actor also explains why he thinks the recent Hollywood anti-war films are box office failures. Joining Thompson are PJM CEO Roger L. Simon and Bob Owens of Confederate Yankee. (Produced by […]

News Brief, Henry and Hanzy Edition

Cross-posted to The Conjecturer
Defense and the War

Steven Biddle, one of the strategists behind the surge and an advisor to General Petraeus, thinks Iraq might not be a disaster if we keep 100,000 troops there for the next 30 years. Also worth noting, as Lynch does, that the lack of consideration for Maliki or the national […]

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, […]

News Brief, Cake Parade Edition

Cross-posted to The Conjecturer.
Defense & The War

What, they’re accused of only murdered 14 people? Let’s see if the White Rabbit can break his weeks-long silence to defend them this time.
Well, at least they’ve finally joined the war.
Oh great. With friends like these… who says we’ll ever fix Iraq?
Max Boot has a problem, and the only […]

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 […]

News Brief, For Me This Is Heaven Edition

Cross-posted to The Conjecturer.
Defense & the War

Oh hey look, “experts” have found what I’ve been saying ever since Russia started it’s show-patrols around the Arctic in its decrepit old Bear-D strategic bombers like it’s the 1960’s all over again: the Russian military ain’t all that, at least not yet.
Every time we fail in our information […]

The Reavers Arrive Amongst the Children

59 Schoolchildren Killed in Afghan Blast
Aziz Poonawala tells us who we are really talking about:
not to contradict Tariq bhai, but these aren’t even people. They are Reavers, and they will burn in hellfire.
More importantly, it behooves us all to remember who kills the most innocent muslim blood in this world. Not secret Jewish cabals, or […]

News Brief, Bigmouth Strikes Again Edition

Cross-posted at The Conjecturer.
Defense & The War

Daniel Drezner proves just how fun it is to work off stereotype and assumption. The FSOs in the comments offer much needed context to the debate over the current row at the State Department.
Roger Cohen makes the strong case that we should be watching al-Jazeera to better our counterinsurgency. […]

News Brief, Caribou Edition

Cross-posted to The Conjecturer.
Defense & the War

While recognizing the horror of Blackwater’s atrocities being so common they’re… common, Mountain Runner points out the very real, very messy problems that arise when the Iraqis start to raid contractor compounds. As he said, “Phase out contractors or bring under our wings, don’t let them hang outside because […]

Staying In The Game

One of the unique things about top-notch athletes that makes them so popular is their ability to not only withstand pain, but to play through it and still be effective. Hockey players are routinely stitched up during games (sans anesthesia); football players oft times play with broken and separated appendages; and some athletes survive […]

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, Speak to Me/Breathe Edition

Cross-posted on The Conjecturer.
Defense & the War

Noah Shachtman wonders if any other federal agency has ever publicly rebuked its employees like the State Department has. I can’t think of any, not even in scandals, but that doesn’t mean much. It doesn’t remove the fact that many of those objecting (especially to poor mission clarity, and […]

Republicans Back Impeachment of Cheney!

Well, sort of.
House Democrats on Tuesday narrowly managed to avert a bruising debate on a proposal to impeach Dick Cheney after Republicans, in a surprise maneuver, voted in favor of taking up the measure.
Republicans, changing course midway through a vote, tried to force Democrats into a debate on the resolution sponsored by longshot presidential candidate […]

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 […]

News Brief, Do You Realize?? Edition

Cross-posted to The Conjecturer.
Defense & the War

While it’s easy to snipe at the State Department for the freak out over being told to serve in Baghdad (and there are legit complaints, as well as good counterpoints), it is also useful to examine the institutional reasons the Department is such a mess. Indeed, the massive transformation […]

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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