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I didn't expect that one but didn't know enough to tell.
Now, who's going to NORTHCOM, and what's happening with STRATCOM?
Washington, D.C. - the Winter meeting of the Democratic National Committee:
If there’s one thing obvious in this room, it is that Emanuel might be clever, but it’s Howard Dean’s party. Dean electrified a similar DNC gathering four years ago when he said that he was “from the Democratic wing of the Democratic party,” and launched his antiwar candidacy briefly into the stratosphere. Now, all the Democratic presidential candidates appearing here borrow from Dean and try to appease the party’s yowling, antiwar base.What venue do you suppose they chose to plan their onslaught against the American campaign in Iraq?
The Democrats are in the throes of a full-fledged Vietnam flashback. Even if the Bush “surge” works, Democrats will stay committed to ending the war — just as Democrats cut off the war in Vietnam in the mid-1970s, even as it had been put on a more sustainable footing. The party has regressed all the way to its McGovernite roots. The centrist Clintonite interlude of the 1990s is almost entirely washed away, with the Clintonite candidate — Hillary — trying not to get washed away with it.
At the Winter Meeting of the Democratic National Committee, in a ballroom of the Washington Hilton packed with hundreds of Democratic activists...The perfect place to Party, at least, now that all those damn disgusting cripples are finally gone.
More ambitiously, the popular blogger "Buck Sergeant" at American Citizen Soldier is working to edit his footage from Iraq into a serviceable full-length feature, "Give War a Chance." The trailers he has posted on YouTube show some of the stunning images he has captured, as well as the inspiration for his title choice--a plea for public support on the home front that will let the troops continue to fight for hearts and minds in Iraq.See Buck (and his video collection) here.
A US Army unit that monitors thousands of websites and soldiers' blogs has been served with a lawsuit by a San Francisco-based privacy group. In the suit filed in the US District Court in Washington last week, the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) said that despite several requests for information from the Army unit, known as the Awrac (Army Web Risk Assessment Cell), no answers have been provided.
Marcia Hofmann, a Washington-based staff attorney for the EFF, said the FoIA lawsuit is aimed at protecting free speech and privacy and helping soldiers understand how and why websites and soldiers' blogs are being monitored.
"The idea is to get more information on what the Army is doing," Hofmann said. "Some soldier bloggers choose not to blog because of concerns about what they can and can't say" online.
We cannot have it both ways. We cannot vote full confidence in General Petraeus, but no confidence in his strategy. We cannot say that the troops have our full support, but disavow their mission on the eve of battle. This is what happens when you try to wage war by committee. That is why the Constitution gave that authority to the President as Commander in Chief.
Cynics may say this kind of thing happens all of the time in Congress. In this case, however, they are wrong. If it passed, this resolution would be unique in American legislative history. I contacted the Library of Congress on this question last week and was told that, never before, when American soldiers have been in harm’s way, fighting and dying in a conflict that Congress had voted to authorize, has Congress turned around and passed a resolution like this, disapproving of a particular battlefield strategy.
Boy, those journalists really don't like it when they get some reporter asking questions, do they?
...for either NASA or the Navy. From this CNN article:
A NASA astronaut was arrested Monday on battery and attempted kidnapping charges after allegedly trying to subdue a romantic rival with pepper spray and abduct her from a parking lot at Orlando International Airport, police said.The rest of the story explains how Capt. Nowak, married with three children, used or planned to use pepper spray, diapers, and a CO2-powered BB pistol.
Navy Capt. Lisa Marie Nowak, who was a mission specialist aboard the space shuttle Discovery in July, and Colleen Shipman were both reported to be "in a relationship" with astronaut Bill Oefelein, a Navy commander, according to a police report of the incident.
Nowak, 43, has been charged with battery, attempted kidnapping, attempted burglary to a vehicle and destruction of evidence. Police have recommended Nowak be held without bond...
Lieberman, who caucuses with the Democrats, voted with the rest of the Republicans not to proceed.
I'm still trying to decode the sentence. But give CNN some credit...they actually acknowdged that Lieberman voted.
The WaPo has somehow managed to lose the Senior Senator from Connecticut from its voting database.
I guess Senator Lieberman has become "An Inconvenient Truth", a Progressive Democratic that wants to "End the Slaughter", true to the Democratic Traditions of Roosevelt.
The Dems wanted to end debate, the Republicans wanted to keep the debate open and argue alternatives, the headline reads GOP blocks Senate debate on Iraq resolution.
But Harry Reid gets the credit for ironic quote of the day: "You can run, but you can't hide," Reid said. "We are going to debate Iraq."
Speaking of running, if we leave Iraq, the slaughter will skyrocket, but these events will stop:
BAGHDAD — 5th Iraqi Army Forces killed a reported leader of rogue Jaysh Al-Mahdi violence and criminal activity within Diyala Province during operations Feb. 4 near Baqubah.Three Terrorists Killed, Al Qaida Cell Leader Captured
The suspect was killed Feb. 4 during a raid by Iraqi Forces, with Coalition advisers, to capture him on suspicion of controlling rogue JAM violence and criminal activity in Al Huwaydir and other areas north of Baqubah. The suspect is believed to have facilitated and directed numerous kidnappings, assassinations and other violence targeting Iraqi civilians and Iraqi Police. He is reportedly responsible for several attacks against Iraqi and Coalition force members in the area. Reporting indicated he was directly linked to rogue JAM leadership in western Diyala Province and Baghdad.
Iraqi Forces did not find the suspect in the building originally entered. Believing he had fled to a second building, Iraqi Forces entered it and encountered a male, armed with an assault rifle, displaying hostile intent and posing an immediate threat to Iraqi Forces. The male was shot by two Iraqi Soldiers and killed. The male was identified as the suspected rogue JAM leader.
One additional suspect was detained by Iraqi Forces.
Operations caused minimal damage and there were no Iraqi Forces or Coalition force casualties.
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces killed three terrorists and detained 26 suspected terrorists including an al-Qaida in Iraq cell leader during raids Monday morning targeting foreign fighter facilitator and al-Qaida in Iraq networks.More here. All done!
In Al Karabilah, Coalition Forces raided four buildings where a foreign fighter facilitation cell was reported to be operating. During the raid, ground forces encountered three armed men who attempted to engage them. Coalition Forces quickly responded killing the three terrorists. Thirteen suspects with alleged ties to the foreign fighter facilitation cell were also detained.
Coalition Forces captured the suspected leader of an al-Qaida in Iraq cell in Mosul. The al-Qaida cell in Mosul reportedly specializes in IED attacks against Coalition Forces. Three others were detained during the raid.
In Karmah, four suspects were detained with reported ties to al-Qaida in Iraq foreign fighter facilitation.
Four others were captured in Arab Jabour, 12 km south of Baghdad, with suspected ties to vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices manufacturing.
One suspected terrorist with ties to al-Qaida was captured in Baqubah.
No civilian or Coalition Forces were injured during the raids.
Note the author of that WaPo article: Tom Ricks, author of Fiasco.
Note his proclivity to quote anonymous sources when an opinion is to be put forth...
You can argue that troops have done too many tours in Iraq, or you can argue that the troops are untrained - but you really can't argue both at once:
Soldiers of the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division had so little time between deployments to Iraq they had to cram more than a year's worth of training into four months.Unless you're a reporter for a major American newspaper.
Some had only a few days to learn how to fire their new rifles before they deployed to Iraq -- for the third time -- last month.
All this talk about US troops being mercenaries because they get paid sounds a lot like the argument that all women are prostitutes because of their being with you following a nice dinner and a movie.
There's a certain internal logic behind both, but you're still a schmuck for making either.
The WaPo headlines: "Officers With PhDs Advising War Effort"
The only appropriate response might be "Well, duh!"
But seriously folks... no offense to the fine folks profiled therein, but try finding a senior officer in the military without an advanced degree. These guys might be exceptional, but they aren't the exception in that department. There's a bit of myth perpetuaton here - the reality is the military invests time and money in developing the talents of the right folks for the right jobs - and sometimes they get it right.
And in spite of the article's "but the job is too big for these guys or anyone else" tone, I think the right people have indeed been chosen for this task - a conclusion not just based on the evidence of wisdom exhibited in the highlighted words of this paragraph:
Petraeus, who along with the group's members declined to be interviewed for this article, has chosen as his chief adviser on counterinsurgency operations an outspoken officer in the Australian Army. Lt. Col. David Kilcullen holds a PhD in anthropology, for which he studied Islamic extremism in Indonesia.And his Don't confuse the surge with the strategy entry at the Small Wars Journal blog was recently recommended by one of Mrs Greyhawk's favorite military thinkers.
Kilcullen has served in Cyprus, Papua New Guinea and East Timor and most recently was chief strategist for the State Department's counterterrorism office, lent by the Australian government. His 2006 essay "Twenty-Eight Articles: Fundamentals of Company-Level Counterinsurgency" was read by Petraeus, who sent it rocketing around the Army via e-mail. Among Kilcullen's dictums: "Rank is nothing: talent is everything" -- a subversive thought in an organization as hierarchical as the U.S. military.
Back to the WaPo
The two most influential members of the brain trust are likely to be Col. Peter R. Mansoor and Col. H.R. McMaster, whose influence already outstrips their rank. Both men served on a secret panel convened last fall by Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to review Iraq strategy. The panel's core conclusion, never released to the public but briefed to President Bush on Dec. 13, according to an officer on the Joint Staff, was that the U.S. government should "go long" in Iraq by shifting from a combat stance to a long-term training-and-advisory effort.If you're not familiar with the Battle of 73 Easting, Dereliction of Duty, or the battle for Tall 'Afar, start here.
But to make that shift, the review also concluded, the U.S. military might first have to "spike" its presence by about 20,000 to 30,000 troops to curb sectarian violence and improve security in Baghdad. That is almost exactly what the U.S. government hopes to do over the next eight months.
An unbeatable team? A foolproof plan? Of course not. It doesn't take a genius to spot the potentially fatal weakness:
"It wouldn't surprise me if Congress pulled the rug out..." said Erin M. Simpson, a Harvard University counterinsurgency expert.But surely they're smarter than that? All done!