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...and by the way, shut up, because who the hell asked you?
Hadn't caught this detail before:
When questioned directly, Petraeus said he would not be able to do his job as commander of MNFI without the additional 21,000 troops President Bush has pledged to Iraq.Odd - the General has universal "support" in congress.
But apparently the troop number question is no longer a military issue.
After you've read the second link above let's set the wayback machine to November, 2006:
Last April a group of six retired generals made headlines with a call for the dismissal of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld... in the months that followed few stories about any aspect of Iraq would lack a quote from one of the "gang of six".These, of course, are the generals who are now rarely quoted but often alluded to - the generals who criticised Bush's handling of Iraq, and the generals Bush wouldn't listen to. Rather unfortunate that now that they've gotten their way - and now that active duty generals (who acknowledge those additional troops they advocated for are essential) actually are publicly being told to stfu about Iraq their reporter pals have lost their phone numbers. (Read this, too)
...Senate Democrats were able to arrange unnofficial hearings a mere five months later - just a few weeks before the U.S. elections.
...Strangely enough, although the anti-Rumsfeld generals had been frequently quoted over the intervening months, and the elections were looming large on the American calendar, the "show trial" received scant notice in the American media.
One likely reason? The generals were able to give more specific information regarding what they would do differently than Secretary Rumsfeld - and those actions were not to the liking of their assumed supporters:...Batiste and his colleagues offered their solution: more troops, more money and more time in Iraq.Although getting Rumsfeld out of the picture was only step one, media coverage of the demands of those particular retired generals will probably vanish now that half their goals have been achieved - the remaining steps of the plan are an embarrassment to those who previously offered a large platform and amplification system for their call to arms.
Or as I said more briefly in the title of that November post: "So long, and thanks for all the fish".All done!
From a senior personnel perspective, this was the greatest single kill event the jihadis have managed since 9/11. While no death is better or worse than the others, the Army Aviation community took a big hit on January 20th.
No. 081-07 IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 24, 2007 Media Contact: (703) 697-5131/697-5132 Public/Industry(703) 428-0711
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of 12 soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died in Baghdad, Iraq, on Jan. 20, when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter they were in crashed.
Col. Brian D. Allgood, 46, of Oklahoma, who was assigned to the 30th Medical Brigade, European Regional Medical Command, Heidelberg, Germany.
Staff Sgt. Darryl D. Booker, 37, of Midlothian, Va., who was assigned to the 29th Infantry Division, Virginia Army National Guard, Sandston, Va.
Sgt. 1st Class John G. Brown, 43, of Little Rock, Ark., who was assigned to the Arkansas Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment (Air Assault), 77th Aviation Brigade, Camp Robinson, Ark.
Lt. Col. David C. Canegata, 50, of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, who was assigned to the Virgin Islands Army National Guard, Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Command Sgt. Maj. Marilyn L. Gabbard, 46, of Polk City, Iowa, who was assigned to Joint Forces Headquarters, Iowa Army National Guard, Camp Dodge, Johnston, Iowa.
Command Sgt. Maj. Roger W. Haller, 49, of Davidsonville, Md., who was assigned to the 70th Regiment, Regional Training Institute - Maryland, Maryland Army National Guard, Reisterstown, Md.
Col. Paul M. Kelly, 45, of Stafford, Va., who was assigned to the Joint Force Headquarters of the Virginia Army National Guard in Blackstone, Va.
Staff Sgt. Floyd E. Lake, 43, of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, who was assigned to the Virgin Islands Army National Guard, Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Cpl. Victor M. Langarica, 29, of Decatur, Ga., who was assigned to the 86th Signal Battalion, Fort Huachuca, Ariz.
Capt. Sean E. Lyerly, 31, of Pflugerville, Texas., who was assigned to the Texas Army National Guard's 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, 36th Infantry Division, Austin, Texas.
Maj. Michael V. Taylor, 40, of North Little Rock, Ark., who was assigned to the Arkansas Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment (Air Assault), 77th Aviation Brigade, Camp Robinson, Ark.
1st Sgt. William T. Warren, 48, of North Little Rock, Ark., who was assigned to the Arkansas Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment (Air Assault), 77th Aviation Brigade, Camp Robinson, Ark.
Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam.
In discussing his "no" vote on the non-binding "no surge" resolution of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Republican Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said he didn't support the resolution because he didn't believe it would affect administration policy. Instead, he said next time he talks to Tennessee soldiers he will tell them, "I oppose what you are doing but I thank you for your service."[emphasis mine]
and if Bob ever does say it, I sure hope no one is carrying... or at least they're not locked and loaded. Nothing like supporting your troops, eh, Bob?
Update: Yes I see that they have chaged the quote in the story (do you think it really was misquoted or someone asked them to change it? ok, how cynical can I get on press coverage? I think the sentiment remains the same.)
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has passed a resolution condemning the president's plan for more troops in Iraq.
The vote on the Democratic resolution, which says the troop buildup “is not in the national interest,” was 12-to-9.
Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel was the only Republican to support the nonbinding resolution.
Like Abraham Lincoln in 1860, Chuck Hagel is rising amid a more glamorous and well-known crowd, and, like Lincoln, Hagel is setting himself apart in substantive and visionary ways, for Hagel’s political motives lie in his heart, not in his ego.
Hagel speaks of issues with a candor and clarity his contemporaries cannot match. His appearances on TV news programs are devoid of the sycophancy reliably on display from John McCain, Hillary Clinton and the other usual political suspects who overpopulate those shows. Hagel’s eyes are steely serious when he speaks of Iraq, of the need to return to Republican core principals, of energy independence, and of myriad other issues long neglected by Washington.
Hagel, a Vietnam veteran, has deeply rooted common sense, inherent courage and the proper measure of humility.
History can marry a man and a moment like nothing else. That moment has arrived for Chuck Hagel, the emerging leader, the emerging president.
And how about this? Wiill the "maverick" become an "Independent?"
Feel free to hum along with my latest:
The Iraqi army as a whole is probably never going to be mistaken for The Unit, but they are for the most part capable and willing to carry out what is asked of them. It's encouraging to see them finally transition to uparmored Humvees from underarmoured Toyotas; (less so when you factor in that the enemy has since mastered converting our H1s into CO2).
You see, our dilemma from day one has been with quality control: the coalition fixation with increasing the quantity of the indigenous Iraqi forces without much regard to their quality. They have been rushed into production since 2004 in a nod to our own domestic politics to an extent that fast forwarded to 2007 we now find ourselves faced with a devastatingly huge and potential Dell-like power supply recall of a shamefully defective detective force. This was never as evident in the northern provinces, but in the capital city (the linchpin on which all our efforts hinge) it was as painfully explicit as amateur porn on HDTV.
Find the rest waiting for you here.
How to succeed at a Warfighter EX. See here.
Man, am I tired.
We've all heard the term "strategic corporal," that breed of soldier/marine that is able to process the larger picture and make the correct moral decision with the quick discipline and confidence in its rightness that he can make the correct tactical decision. Chester has a good example of such a corporal.
The September 2006 issue of The Army Lawyer (the real Army Lawyer, I'm just a pretender to the throne) has an interesting article by COL Kelly Wheaton titled: Strategic Lawyering: Realizing the Potential of Military Lawyers at the Strategic Level (PDF). An excerpt:
More provocative is the notion of "lawfare," or the use of the law (international and the law of armed conflict) as a weapon to be wielded both by and against US forces.
Doctrine recognizes that judge advocates in the 21st century will be challenged in accomplishing their objectives. In particular, to accomplish missions, Army judge advocates must thoroughly understand the military mission to better forestall and resolve legal issues affecting the mission and “must become more involved in the military decision-making process in critical planning cells, and at lower levels of command.” In accomplishing their objective of enhancing legitimacy, judge advocates will have to transmit their thorough understanding of U.S. values and constitutional and international law to assist commanders in integrating these laws and values into military operations.
So how should the "strategic JAG" operate?
Lawyers at the strategic level, at a minimum, must be able to recognize lawfare when it occurs and react appropriately. Optimally, military lawyers should address lawfare that may damage U.S. defense interests before the damage occurs. Legal issues are decided by application of the law to the particular facts in question. Proactive lawfare, therefore, is working in advance of issues to shape the law and facts in such a way that the military attorney’s clients’ interests will be adequately supported once the issues arise.
Commanders’ decisions must be considered in light of legal considerations to ensure that the enemy is not given ammunition to destroy the will of the people (defensive lawfare). Furthermore, legal decisions must be considered in light of national strategy to ensure that they support that strategy (offensive lawfare). Additionally, to win the war on terrorism, military decisions must be sound and derive from U.S. values. While it is recognized that the fundamental values of American society are consistent with the role of the American military professional, military adherence to and spreading of the fundamental values of American society also are necessary to win the war on terrorism. Every time the actions of the United States and its military are seen as incompatible with the values the military espouses, the United States hands radical Islamism a round of ammunition.
The increasing importance of law in this conflict makes this an intriguing article and worth a read. All done!
General Patraeus will be confirmed by the Senate soon.
Probably by close to a unanimous vote.
He has said he needs more troops to secure Baghdad.
Various Senators, who will vote for General Patraeus as the "Man to Accomplish the Mission", will then vote to deny the man the tools he has told them he needs.
Then we wonder why after decades of trying to find solutions to the problems if the Middle East we are standing at square one. In the insanity called Washington, the "Man with the plan" is denied the tools to do the job, while the "Man with no plan" gets all the tools he needs to accomplish nothing.
The Lance P. Sijan Air Force Leadership Award annually recognizes U.S. Air Force Airmen who demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities. The four recipients for 2006 have just been announced.
Wanted to take a moment and highlight one:
Master Sgt. David John is the winner for the Senior Enlisted Category. The Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, sergeant was responsible for more than 800 convoys during his deployment in support of OIF. His expert leadership resulted in the convoys traveling more than 450,000 miles across Iraq without a single casualty or injury.Let's repeat that: "convoys traveling more than 450,000 miles across Iraq without a single casualty or injury."
That task would be impossible in the Iraq you read about in the papers - draw your own conclusions. As for me, I wonder what kind of insurance break that would get you Stateside.
On a related note, below the fold you'll find a brief bio of Lance P. Sijan. If you've never heard of him, I highly reccommend this.
Captain Lance Peter SijanRead this, too. All done!
Lance P. Sijan was the first graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy to receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for heroism above and beyond the call of duty. His spirit and determination inspired a fellow prisoner of war to nominate him.
Sijan was born in April 1942 and graduated from Bay View High School in Milwaukee, Wis. He originally planned to attend the Naval Academy. However, he was attracted to the prestige and quality education of the Air Force school, plus he had developed a love of flying. He played football, but quit the team in his senior year to concentrate more on his studies. After graduation in 1965 from the academy, he attended pilot training. Then he was assigned to the 366th Wing, at Da Nang Air Base, Vietnam.
On his 52nd mission, 25-year-old Sijan ejected from his F-4C Phantom after it was hit Nov. 9, 1967, over North Vietnam. A search-and-rescue crew, Jolly Green 15, radioed to Sijan that they were sending down someone to assist him, but Sijan refused to put another person in danger. He asked that a penetrator be lowered instead. However, he couldn't grab the dropped steel cable, and after 33 minutes the rescue team faced enemy fire and had to leave.
Even with no food and very little water he managed to avoid capture for 45 days. Because of a serious compound fracture of the left leg, he was unable to walk but did manage to pull himself backward through the jungle. Even with a broken leg, a skull fracture and a mangled right hand he was able to escape shortly after his initial capture. Upon recapture he was taken to Vinh and thrown into a bamboo cell. He was 'interrogated' repeatedly, and in spite of his captors technique of twisting his damaged right hand he refused to disclose any information but his name.
Sijan was soon moved to a POW camp at Hanoi. Even in his emaciated condition, he attempted more escapes all meeting with failure. His physical condition continued to weaken without proper food or medical attention . He developed additional respiratory problems including pneumonia in January 1968. After many months of ill treatment, his health broke. Sijan was removed from his cell during the night of Jan. 21, 1968 and died the following day at Hoa Lo according to his Vietnamese captors.
He was promoted posthumously to captain on June 13, 1968. On March 4, 1976 President Gerald Ford presented the Medal of Honor to his parents, Sylvester and Jane Sijan.
The U.S. Air Force Academy named Sijan Hall, a cadet dormitory, in honor of him on May 31, 1976. Additionally, the U.S. Air Force honors Air Force personnel who exhibit the highest example of professional and personal leadership standards with the Lance P. Sijan Award.
Democratic Response at Drudge
With respect to foreign policy, this country has patiently endured a mismanaged war for nearly four years. Many, including myself, warned even before the war began that it was unnecessary, that it would take our energy and attention away from the larger war against terrorism, and that invading and occupying Iraq would leave us strategically vulnerable in the most violent and turbulent corner of the world.
As I look at Iraq, I recall the words of former general and soon-to-be President Dwight Eisenhower during the dark days of the Korean War, which had fallen into a bloody stalemate. “When comes the end?” asked the General who had commanded our forces in Europe during World War Two. And as soon as he became President, he brought the Korean War to an end.
Anybody see irony in Sen. Webb invoking our "exit" from the Korean War since we're still there 50 years later?
Additionally, had Webb's logic been followed then, we never would have stood up to North Korea and South Korea would have been far less...ummm...existing.
From the White House:
On the war on terror:
“For all of us in this room, there is no higher responsibility than to protect the people of this country from danger…[T]o win the war on terror we must take the fight to the enemy. From the start, America and our allies have protected our people by staying on the offense. The enemy knows that the days of comfortable sanctuary, easy movement, steady financing, and free flowing communications are long over. For the terrorists, life since Nine-Eleven has never been the same.”
“[O]ur military commanders and I have carefully weighed the options. We discussed every possible approach. In the end, I chose this course of action because it provides the best chance of success. Many in this chamber understand that America must not fail in Iraq – because you understand that the consequences of failure would be grievous and far reaching.”
“The war on terror we fight today is a generational struggle that will continue long after you and I have turned our duties over to others. That is why it is important to work together so our Nation can see this great effort through.”
“Both parties and both branches should work in close consultation. And this is why I propose to establish a special advisory council on the war on terror, made up of leaders in Congress from both political parties. We will share ideas for how to position America to meet every challenge that confronts us. And we will show our enemies abroad that we are united in the goal of victory.”
If you watch the video on the original story you'll see that Fox really hammered on that "sleeping on the ground" issue, even bringing in an expert on how horrible it is.
More importantly, they acknowledge that the business owner has said he terminated the employee that sent the response - something that should be noted in blog coverage too.
More from embedded Tony Perry of the Los Angeles Times...
RAMADI, IRAQ — At 35, he is younger than many sheiks. And his Sunni Arab tribe is not one of the largest in Al Anbar province. But Sheik Sattar Bazeaa Fatikhan projects the aura of power and seriousness that comes to a man who has taken a stand.
After Sunni insurgents killed his father and four of his brothers last year, Fatikhan declared war against the insurgency.
He convened a summit of about a dozen prominent sheiks. From that meeting came a document called "The Awakening," in which Fatikhan persuaded all but one sheik to join him in opposition to the insurgency.