Comments and e-mails are welcome, but all such communication is to be assumed to be 1) the original work of any who initiate said communication and 2) in the public domain, with free use granted for publication in electronic or written form. If you do NOT wish to have your message posted, write "CONFIDENTIAL" in the subject line of your email.
Original content copyright © 2006 - 2008 by the respective authors. Fair, not-for-profit use of said material by others is encouraged, as long as acknowledgement and credit is given, to include the url of the original source post. Other arrangements can be made as needed.
Site contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com
This might win the award for media quote of the decade:
Right now, said another U.S. official, who declined even to be identified by the agency he works for, the data are "insufficient and difficult to measure."It's out of context - obviously, but hell, that statement doesn't require context, it's utterly meaningless anywhere. The mind reels with the possibilities.
But it came from a WaPo piece (co-authored by Tom "Fiasco" Ricks) quoting various unnamed officials on whether or not al Qaeda in Iraq is defeated. That should generate interesting political arguments among those who claim (wrongly) it was never a threat to begin with, and who likewise claim that anyone who says otherwise is trying to validate our presence in Iraq. Exactly where should any member of either group stand on this point of contention? No doubt many are eagerly awaiting their instructions...
Ricks also interviewed a guy who doesn't want his name used but who uses other peoples names a lot:
"I think it would be premature at this point," a senior intelligence official said of a victory declaration over AQI, as the group is known. Despite recent U.S. gains, he said, AQI retains "the ability for surprise and for catastrophic attacks."For what it's worth, I don't know or care if anything like that background conversation is ongoing or not. As I said, we've won.
Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, head of the Joint Special Operations Command's operations in Iraq, is the chief promoter of a victory declaration and believes that AQI has been all but eliminated, the military intelligence official said. But Adm. William J. Fallon, the chief of U.S. Central Command, which oversees Iraq and the rest of the Middle East, is urging restraint, the official said. The military intelligence official, like others interviewed for this report, spoke on the condition of anonymity about Iraq assessments and strategy.
Senior U.S. commanders on the ground, including Gen. David H. Petraeus, the head of U.S. forces in Iraq, have long complained that Central Command, along with the CIA, is too negative in its analyses. On this issue, however, Petraeus agrees with Fallon, the military intelligence official said.
Lt. Gen. Odierno is absolutely right to note: "it only takes three people" to construct and detonate a suicide car bomb that can "kill thousands". And John Kerry was wrong when claiming (in an effort to undermine homefront morale in another war) that no one wants to be the last man to die for a mistake. In fact, al Qaeda will always have someone eager to prove him wrong.
Yes, they could pull off a "Tet". Hell, they could manage something like their own version of the battle of the bulge, but the reality is they're whipped.
They brought ass, we kicked it.
A drop in violence around Iraq has cut burials in the huge Wadi al Salam cemetery here by at least one-third in the past six months, and that's cut the pay of thousands of workers who make their living digging graves, washing corpses or selling burial shrouds.
From the actual Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant:
Even during this march of Sherman's the newspapers in his front were proclaiming daily that his army was nothing better than a mob of men who were frightened out of their wits and hastening, panic-stricken, to try to get under the cover of our navy for protection against the Southern people.Of course, he was referencing papers published by his enemy...
The Southern papers in commenting upon Sherman's movements pictured him as in the most deplorable condition: stating that his men were starving, that they were demoralized and wandering about almost without object, aiming only to reach the sea coast and get under the protection of our navy. These papers got to the North and had more or less effect upon the minds of the people, causing much distress to all loyal persons particularly to those who had husbands, sons or brothers with Sherman.
As was General Sherman, in his own memoirs:
At Milledgeville [Georgia] we found newspapers from all the South, and learned the consternation which had filled the Southern mind at our temerity; many charging that we were actually fleeing for our lives and seeking safety at the hands of our fleet on the sea-coast.Later, however,
Judging from the tone of the Southern press of that day, the outside world must have supposed us ruined and lost.
Thousands who had been deceived by their lying newspapers to believe that we were being whipped all the time now realize the truth...More, including Grant's account of saving a reporter from a (probably well-deserved) firing squad, here.
I found the Website of one of the 12 Captains here.
It's sole purpose is to support a piece of Legislation Introduced in Congress by Rep. Rangel....
To require all persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform national service
I seem to remember rumors of a "Pending Draft" circulated prior to the 2004 presidential election...Rep Rangel introduced the same legislation then.
Yet another try at getting the "Hell No...We Won't Go" crowd all in a tizzy.
Oddly enough, I just got an email from a man who served with Sherman as he marched across Georgia and he had this to say about "The Real Georgia We Knew"-
What does Georgia look like on the ground? It's certainly far from being a modern, self-sustaining state. Many roads, bridges, schools and hospitals are in deplorable condition. Fewer people have access to drinking water or sewage systems than before the war. And Atlanta completely lacks electricity.Or, if you like, you can find letters regarding Germany and Japan after WW II or South Korea after the Korean Armistice to the same end.
Georgia's institutional infrastructure, too, is sorely wanting. Even if the Georgians wanted to work together and accept the state identity foisted upon them in 1790s, the ministries do not have enough trained administrators or technicians to coordinate themselves. At the local level, most communities are still controlled by the same autocratic planters that ruled under Jeff Davis There is no reliable postal system. No effective banking system. No registration system to monitor the population and its needs.
War does that. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
Hmmm.... what's wrong with this picture?
This column was written by 12 former Army captains:
Kristy (Luken) McCormick served in Ninevah in 2003.
Gary Williams served in Baghdad in 2003.
Elizabeth Bostwick served in Salah Ad Din and An Najaf in 2004.
Jason Bugajski served in Diyala in 2004.
William "Jamie" Ruehl served in Nineveh in 2004.
Luis Carlos Montalván served in Anbar, Baghdad and Nineveh in 2003 and 2005.
Jason Blindauer served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005.
Anton Kemps served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005.
William Murphy served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005.
Gregg Tharp served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005.
Jeffrey Bouldin served in Al Anbar, Baghdad and Ninevah in 2006.
Josh Rizzo served in Baghdad in 2006.
It is now October of 2007.
In 2006 (when the last of these twelve former Army captains saw Iraq) al Anbar was thought to be irretrievably lost. Needless to say, a few things have changed, since then.
And exactly when was it ever our mission to completely transform Iraq from the ground up:
Iraq's institutional infrastructure, too, is sorely wanting. Even if the Iraqis wanted to work together and accept the national identity foisted upon them in 1920s, the ministries do not have enough trained administrators or technicians to coordinate themselves. At the local level, most communities are still controlled by the same autocratic sheiks that ruled under Saddam. There is no reliable postal system. No effective banking system. No registration system to monitor the population and its needs.
Somehow, I must have missed that part of the grand strategy. Sounds like a bit of mission creep going on here.
But then if your desired end state is to declare a state of Miserable Failure, defining the mission upwards is key, isn't it?
Agenda. Don't leave Iraq without it.
So says Colonel Richard Simcock, Commander of USMC Regimental Combat Team 6.
Team Badger supported RCT 6 from their arrival in theater in January 2007 till when we rotated out in September. We reduced over 400 IEDs in our year in Iraq; many of those in the Falluja area controlled by RCT 6.
We clearly had a positive impact in defeating the enemy.
We've won the war, and there's work to be done. Iraq is a mess - that's undeniable. In fact, it looks like a war zone.
The pink response to that should surprise no one.
The only inescable conclusion you can draw from this is that 7 NCOs and an E4 can write a better op-ed than 12 Captains.
Of all the great minds out there, ahem, looking for someone to throw them a bone and publish a book on the gov'munt dime - why did the USAF decide to throw taxpayer money at William Arkin?
Mr. Arkin’s book, “Divining Victory: Airpower in the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War,” will be published this month by the Air University Press, based at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. It is expected to influence Air Force strategy and teaching.Yes, that William Arkin. You know, the one that Uncle Jimbo sends love notes to.