Chuck Simmins has a wonderful series of posts about female Veterans planned for today. Visit, read, and remember: service and honor aren’t tied to gender.
The debate continues between Title 10 personnel urging the Army’s transformation to Future Combat Systems programs, and the experienced voices of those who’ve actually been in Afghanistan and Iraq and warn that future wars will be just as messy. The latest argument on behalf of the latter comes from Col. H.R. McMaster, who is heading the brain trust to assist Gen. Petraeus’ review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Defense transformation advocates never considered conflicts such as those in Afghanistan and Iraq—protracted counterinsurgency and state-building efforts that require population security, security-sector reform, reconstruction and economic development, building governmental capacity, and establishing the rule of law. Our experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the 2006 Lebanon war, provide strong warnings that we should abandon the orthodoxy of defense transformation and make appropriate adjustments to force structure and development.
It’s a damned fine paper on how the “bunnies, rainbows and light” promises behind the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) are utterly unsuitable in asymmetrical warfare.
Evidently, this year’s class at the Command General Staff College (CGSC) on Ft. Leavenworth (where my husband teaches) is expected to make “intelligent” comments on blogs. As a result, I’ve been hit by a slew of email requests for pointers on where to comment. God forbid you guys actually do your own thinking, eh?
Anyway. I can’t speak for other bloggers, but here are some entries of mine that are relevant to your courses. These are all from my “War College Primer” series, authored before I realized that no one really expects me to think deeply anymore:
- Timeline: Iraq Between The Wars (a chronological, hyperlinked time line of the reasons why, even without WMDs, we needed to get Saddam out of there.
- Iman and I Debate The War
- Primer: Military Ops in Urban Terrain
- Primer: Chemical Weapons and Field Response
- Quick Primer: Saddam’s Top Units
- Battle of Basra: A Quick Primer on Shiites
If you think you are actually capable of making an intelligent comment, email me (see the Contact link above) and I’ll re-open the comments long enough for you to type something of interest.
This email, written from a soldier stationed in Afghanistan during Obama’s recent visit, paints an entirely different picture of the visit than what we’re seeing in the mainstream media. It is shocking and disgusting how Sen. Obama treated the men and women serving in Afghanistan, a place where even he acknowledges we’re needed.
(Deleted per Snopes investigation.)
One day after a visit from Dick Cheney, the Saudi government-controlled newspaper, Okaz ran an ominous story about the Saudi Shura Council’s newest project:
“(Making) plans to deal with any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards that may affect the kingdom following experts’ warnings of possible attacks on Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactors”.
Oh, I know what you’re thinking: those Lefties are whining again. They got a whiff of Adm. Fallon’s retirement from CINC/CENTCOM and decided it must be due to his opposition to a U.S. attack on Iran. So naturally they’re pulling out the ol’ Bush is a war hawk argument. *yawn*
Not so fast, folks.
After months of reports coming out of Washington, D.C. claiming that Iran was developing nuclear weapons, the National Intelligence Estimate — a consortium of the nation’s 16 intelligence agencies — concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 2003, but was keeping options open for the future.
Two weeks ago, Vice President Cheney was asked about this report. His response should sound eerily familiar to those who recall the administration’s statements just prior to the start of the war in Iraq:
It’s important if you’re going to look at the National (Intelligence) Estimate that we be precise in terms of what it says,” Cheney said. “And what it says is that they have definitely had in the past a program to develop a nuclear warhead; that it would appear that they stopped that weaponization process in 2003. We don’t know whether or not they’ve restarted.
“What we do know is that they had then, and have now, a process by which they’re trying to enrich uranium, which is the key obstacle they’ve got to overcome in order to have a nuclear weapon,” he said. “They’ve been working at it for years. They’ve now got a large number of centrifuges operating. We know this from the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
“I have high confidence they have an ongoing enrichment program,” Cheney said.
So, is the country stepping up to launch yet another war based on this “hunch”?
• Last week, a U.S. nuclear sub joined the fleet stationed in the Persian Gulf.
• On land, Russian sources say the U.S. is currently massing forces on the Iranian border.
• Today the U.S. announced plans to sanction Iran’s Central Bank for funding state-sponsored terrorism.
Military positioning plus sanctions: that sounds awfully familiar to me.
Not that we’ll hear much about it, what with today’s big brouhaha over the domestic economy that everyone’s been worrying about.
“Family Blames Iraq After Son Kills Wife” … “Soldier Charged With Murder Testifies About Postwar Stress” … “Iraq War Vets Suspected in Two Slayings, Crime Ring.”… 121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one, after their return from war. In many of those cases, combat trauma and the stress of deployment – along with alcohol abuse, family discord and other attendant problems – appear to have set the stage for a tragedy that was part destruction, part self-destruction.
That’s how the New York Times portrays the men and women returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Those of us old enough to remember Vietnam will recognize the insulting, sorry chant.
The NY Times had previously gone out of its way to avoid taking an editorial stance recalling the days of anti-Vietnam protests. Oh, they ran articles claiming a parallel between the wars in Iraq and Vietnam but that, they say, was something the President himself proclaimed. They were not making a comparison themselves; they were just reporting all the news that’s fit to print, you know.
Now, the Grey Lady has resurrected the ghostly voices who called Vietnam vets “baby killers”. Now, the NY Times wants to portray soldiers who answered the call of duty as somehow responsible for the war they fight.
The very same war that, just 6 years ago, all of the shocked and horrified, righteously outraged NY Times-reading, left-leaning, rainbow flag-waving Manhattanites virtually demanded we wage against Muslims overseas — preferably those in highly repressive states — to “pay them back” for 9/11.
So here we are, quite nearly four years later.
Now, the NY Times is tired of the war. (It’s not all “democracy, whiskey and sexy anymore, which is so dull when you’re trying to write headlines that make people want to buy a printed paper instead of getting their news online.) Now they want something that sparks outrage, anger… purchases.
Know what? I’m tired of the war, too. I’m tired of worrying whether the man-power shortage is so great that my M.I. husband might get called over there. I’m tired of worrying about whether Charlotte’s or Karen’s daughters will come home in one piece. I’m tired of wondering when (not if, but when) my friend Tony Baker will be back in the desert… by his own choice… and if he’ll make it home this time.
But here are two things I’m not tired of: my freedoms, which are more numerous and more lenient than any citizen of any other country on this planet, and the safety with which we all live every single blessed day because the war is being fought there where the people who want to kill us live, instead of here where we value freedom so much we even let newspapers publish things that just stir up rage.
When I read the NY Times articles vilifying our returning Vets I am disgusted. I am appalled. I am convinced by their own words that they want to torture logic and reason so they can relive the post-Vietnam experience. Why? Possibly because, like any middle aged grey lady, they want to relieve the “glory days”. Possibly that kind of anti-military fodder attracts readership, many of whom are as appalled as I am by their stance but want to read it with their own eyes and so their bean counters presume those purchases show agreement with what they print.
And possibly it’s because they’re just too lazy to do the math that bloggers like the folks at Winds of Change have done.
[T]he NY Times 121 murders represent about a 7.08/100,000 rate.
Now the numbers on deployed troops are probably high – fewer troops from 2001 – 2003; I’d love a better number if someone has it.
But for initial purposes, let’s call the rate 10/100,000, about 40% higher than the calculated one.
Now, how does that compare with the population as a whole?
Turning to the DoJ statistics, we see that the US offender rate for homicide in the 18 – 24 yo range is 26.5/100,000.For 25 – 34, it’s 13.5/100,000.
See the problem?
Instapundit did. So did Bruce Kesler.
I do. And I suck at math.
But at least I’m skilled enough to know that the $1.25 it costs each day to pick up the NY Times renders it the most expensive toilet paper I’ve ever heard of.
Earlier, I listed a number of ways you can make the holidays a bit more merry for our military members. If you haven’t done so already, please do check out the ways to send soldiers some cheer.
One opportunity I neglected to mention: providing voice-activated laptops to military members who’ve suffered hand- or other injuries which limit their use of standard technology. My friend Kim is part of the Soldiers’ Angels team raising money for this worthy project.
I stand with those who stand for what I believe in, and I’m proud to support Soldiers’ Angels and Project Valour-IT. But, hey, if you can’t stand behind our troops yourself, I understand and hope you’ll stand in front of them instead.
The fighting in Somalia’s capital has been growing increasingly violent, with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades launched by both sides. Tens of thousands have already fled, and hundreds more were driven from their homes today. Unfortunately, that’s nothing new in Mogadishu.
Nor is today’s report of a crowd dragging the body of an Ethiopian soldier through the streets.
How very surreal, to have just sat through two entire hours of evening news here in the U.S. and have not heard one thing about this horror. Evidently, most MSM believes that once Ridley Scott fictionalized a similar act against American soldiers, they don’t need to bother when it’s “just” a foreigner’s body being ripped apart.