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@JackMurphyRGR @CameronMichaelPartlow 

Sad but interesting to hear.

21 hours, 48 minutes ago on A Ranger Goes to College (Part 1)

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@TTTZombie @JackMurphyRGR 

I bet.

I had one guy (who hadn't gone) tell me I hadn't really seen combat because Desert Storm was so quick. I'm sure your cognitive dissonance was even more severe.

21 hours, 49 minutes ago on A Ranger Goes to College (Part 1)

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@KineticFury 

I think you found the crap lining behind that gray cloud!

22 hours, 16 minutes ago on Evaluating Ebola as a Biological Weapon

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@Waterborne 

I have to think on your phases.  I don't see a link between these events necessarily.

You are probably on to something about planning how to fight what's going to evolve in the region.  Everyone thinks our current actions are designed to "diminish and defeat" ISIS.  The truth is they are designed to get to Inauguration day 2017 when it will be someone else's problem...

1 day, 14 hours ago on Total War Part 1: Counter-Insurgency Theories

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I'm not sure ISIS is really an "insurgency" any more.  They control territory, govern it, provide government services, have fixed lines etc.  Heck, they won't last long but they even have aircraft.

Undoubtedly ISIS was an insurgency at one point but if one ascribes to Mao's theory of Revolutionary War ISIS is largely operating in the third phase where targets are selected for their military value and the enemy's military forces are engaged along conventional lines.


The strongest point for defining what's going on in ISIS territory is the the UN hasn't defined ISIS as belligerents which is a weak leg to stand on.  One could define our civil war as an insurgency because few nations recognized the confederacy. This was the North's desired perspective but it didn't really change the reality on the ground.


My quasi cerebral/intellectual point is not to say an unconventional approach to ISIS isn't the way to go.  It is one of the arrows in our quiver.  I'm just promoting a holistic analysis or definition to what's going on in the region (not easy to do).  At this point I'm uncomfortable categorizing ISIS as an insurgency or a civil war as others have stated.  Both labels have been promoted to describe what's going on.  Couple this with what's happening in Ukraine "insurgencies" and "war" aren't so easy to define, hence understand and ultimately fight...


BTW, didn't Foreign Policy's analysis of insurgencies strike you as incomplete?  66 specific insurgencies chosen by the authors seems pretty sparse and maybe selected to achieve a certain result. Especially when the Rand corporation study you cited looked at 89 insurgencies only since WWII.  Seems like FP missed a lot!

I think you have a good point in implying most folks don't understand what total war means.


Looking forward to the rest of your series.

1 day, 15 hours ago on Total War Part 1: Counter-Insurgency Theories

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@SEAN SPOONTS(MAFIA) @majrod @Riceball

"My remarks were in compliment to yours, no intention of contradiction on my part."

Agree Agree!  I failed in getting the right tone in my response.  I was trying to build on what you were saying.

To continue building...

The US eventually got about 100 fireflies that never saw combat.  The delay was caused because of a disagreement of the conversions would be done on US or British Sherman hulls.  The Brits didn't want to build them out of the stick we gave them but wanted more to do the conversion.  Ammo was always short. http://www.tank-net.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=18099

Something I recently learned was the Firefly eliminated the gunner's station so the commander had the dual role of commander and gunner.  That's a significant disadvantage in a fight where the commander has to control the tank, coordinate with fellow tanks and scan for targets.  Now add selecting an aiming point based on the ballistics of the round, where the target is, who's moving, laying the gun on target, firing and then adjusting if necessary for a re-engagement.  Also, Brit tank platoons consisted of four tanks (vs. five like US ones) with a max of one firefly if it was available, 

1 day, 22 hours ago on “Fury” Movie Review

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@SEAN SPOONTS(MAFIA) @majrod @Riceball 

Good stuff and I'm sure plenty of the readers here had never seen it before.

I'm very sensitive to traveling with armor in Europe.  There's still plenty of bridges that can't handle the M1 tanks that were routinely attached to my company as well as paying Germans for any damage my armored vehicles did to their roads.

I don't think anything you said contradicts what I was saying though it was a great insight into German armor.  BTW, the German high velocity 75mm, ground mounted 88mm and Tiger I faced US forces in Africa (Tiger I in very limited numbers).  At the lower levels we were reading the writing on the wall as well as being aware of the British experience with German armor tech.  

You make a good point explaining the intricacies of mass production.  Still, the M26 was delayed for a myriad of reasons from going into production hence my observation about "rushed".  Some fault Patton, some McNair, in the end there's little to shield Army Ground Forces from a slow realization of the obvious.  This complacency is even more obvious if you compare our approach to tank development to the Russians and the Brits. The latter we tried to leverage into supplying Sherman Firefly's to offset our error. 

Tigers and King Tigers were relatively uncommon anywhere in WWII.  Even more so on the Western front considering a minority of the German Army faced us.  FWIW, the Brits built about 2100 Fireflies, about 200-300 mire than all the Tiger I's & II's (granted they were all in Europe).  Of course these numbers are dwarfed by the almost 50k Shermans built.   

2 days, 10 hours ago on “Fury” Movie Review

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@Riceball 

Agree on the German vs US main gun analysis.


FWIW about the Sherman's use...

I used to believe the same thing but some recent research I've done makes me believe the truth is much less clear.

Actual doctrine doesn't say the Sherman or even light tanks shouldn't be employed in the AT role.  The manual on doctrine is here: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/ref/FM/PDFs/FM17-10.PDF


Here's a good essay that expands on the subject: http://forum.worldoftanks.asia/index.php?/topic/6213-the-can-openers-americas-successful-failure/


The other point is the 76mm was selected to arm all Sherman tanks effective Dec '43.  If the Sherman wasn't supposed to have an AT role the decision to arm all of them with the relatively high velocity 76mm contradicts doctrine.

There's an essay (of which I don't agree entirely) here that is very informative.   http://worldoftanks.com/en/news/21/the_chieftains-hatch-end_of_75_M4/


There are a couple of points I don't agree with there but the biggest error is the writer of that article ignores the role of Gen McNair (an artillery officer) on the development and continuance of the Tank Destroyer branch (the shortest living branch in the Army's history).  It's no coincidence that McNair death by an errant B17/B24 bomb strike paved the way for the fielding of the M26 Pershing mounting the 90mm gun we were mounting on the M36 Jackson tank destroyer.  McNair's artillery experience highly influenced the TD rile and ensured they served as addotional artillery (even if they were manned by Infantry).

I sense the lack of HVAP ammo was a logistical snafu than one determined by so called doctrine.  I haven't seen the evidence that HVAP rounds were prioritized for TD units vs. tank units.  Also the simple fact is that TD units were primarily equipped with M18's and M10's.  All of which were equipped with 76mm guns were there was typically only one 76mm Sherman in armor tank platoons.  Of course TD units are going to get more HVAP rounds.  In the end, I bet the average M10/M18 had as many of the HVAP rounds as the 76mm equipped Shermans. 

There are many reasons Shermans were kept on the line as long as they were.

First the facts on the ground were swimming upstream in countering the propaganda that we always issue our troops the best gear.  Back then the press was self and gov't censored.  Starting in '42 when we started facing Mark IV Panzers with high velocity 75mm guns the truth was obvious.  Heck, we thought the Bazooka was great in general while it was really obsolete in '43 - '44 when it consistently failed to penetrate the frontal armor of German Panzer V's and VI's.  We were still issuing them until 1950 where TF Smith had a LT hit a T34 with over 20 rounds with no damage.  We copied the Germans Panzershreck (an 88mm copy of our Bazooka).  Changed the measurements calling it the 3.5" Super Bazooka and pressed it into service.


Another reason the Sherman lasted as long as it did was pure logistics.  The industrial base was geared to making them and they were easier to transport than an M26 Pershing which would require entirely new planning.  Admittedly this is not a good reason but to deny it was important fails top understand the mindset back then.  This is best exemplified by a quite attributed to Stalin, "Quantity has a quality all its own."

Finally, (and related to my first point) we were kicking German butt.  Complaints of the Sherman's performance were loudest when we were involved in defensive or slow moving offensives.  Stalled in the Tunisian sand, Normandy hedgerows, Siegfried line, Ardennes or jumping the Rhine one can note the complaints of the Sherman's performance getting more visibility.     


To the troops the Sherman was a love hate relationship.  It was extremely rugged, robust and reliable.  It was a rolling home that kept one out of the rain and the cold providing creature comforts the grunts could only dream of and it could give tons of punishment to German infantry but when facing the comparatively few Panthers and Tigers it provided as much protection as a GI t-shirt to a bullet. 

2 days, 17 hours ago on “Fury” Movie Review

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@LawyerHandle 

Relationship maintenance is important.

I'm hoping to create a place that does just what you describe and attracts people who want to understand more and commemorate what been/being done.  Thanks for your participation!  Share wildly ;) 

5 days, 17 hours ago on “Fury” Movie Review

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@KESStrong 

"I understand the politics and again I'm genuinely trying to sort out the facts on this one."

Really?

Copy here the questions you have sent to the administration or various articles where you make the case that a travel ban cuts the number of travelers from the impacted countries that come here.  Last I read Ebola does need a human host to transmit itself.  Ask what kind of economic impact they are talking about.  What do we import from Liberia?


Like I said, "I'm always entertained over who gets asked questions on how to fix a situation but that curiosity never seems to exist when it comes to asking the individuals that created the situation..."

Feel free to distance yourself from the crowd.

5 days, 18 hours ago on Bikinis and Green Berets: Girls Gone Wild with the Utah National Guard?

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@KESStrong 

Not for me to figure out but people should have to use passports to get in the country.  When enforced immigration controls we used to issue visas when someone entered the country also....


I would suggest you ask the officials who say it can't be done but these were the same clowns that thought leaving Iraq was a good idea, claimed credit and have since been busy trying to place 100% of the blame on the Iraqis.  As well as claiming a "red line" and then blaming Congress for not being able to enforce it.


I'm always entertained over who gets asked questions on how to fix a situation but that curiosity never seems to exist when it comes to asking the individuals that created the situation...

5 days, 21 hours ago on Bikinis and Green Berets: Girls Gone Wild with the Utah National Guard?

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@Waterborne 

Just to piggyback...

A travel ban would have kept Mr. Duncan from coming to the US and infecting the two nurses as well as the almost thousand people put at risk for infection by those three people.  The effectiveness of a flight ban is pretty obvious which is why the gov't owned British, French and Korean airlines have instituted one.

Note: I'm not discussing panic.  I'm talking actual infections and the very real efforts recommended by the bungling CDC to prevent further infection.  A travel ban is common sense.

If everything you've read says a travel ban won't make an impact I would suggest assessing the logic of what they are saying and looking at more sources for your health information.

There was a time that most written articles were saying it was a good idea to withdraw completely from Iraq and not intervene at all in Syria.  Where did that get us?

5 days, 21 hours ago on Bikinis and Green Berets: Girls Gone Wild with the Utah National Guard?

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@Txazz @majrod 

It'll twist your guts.  Let me know what you think.

5 days, 22 hours ago on Israel to train women tank commanders

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@Txazz @majrod 

Have you seen the movie "Fury" yet?  http://gruntsandco.com/fury-movie-review/


It's a pretty good depiction of armored warfare...

6 days, 6 hours ago on Israel to train women tank commanders

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Yep. Iraq and Syria are being overrun.  ISIS and Co have the most foreign islamist fighters in history, a geographic location they rule and access to natural resources to fund their nefarious cause.  Ukraine is a modern reincarnation of Poland '38-'39.  Ebola has reached our shores, (Dallas no less) and we can't emplace a temporary travel ban (but it took only one rocket to hit Tel Aviv to shut down travel to Israel).

Well we still can all sleep well.  The forces of good are winning the war on women.


"Only in America" used to mean something entirely different...

6 days, 22 hours ago on Bikinis and Green Berets: Girls Gone Wild with the Utah National Guard?

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@Riceball @majrod @Txazz 

Not just maintenance.  Pulling 24/7 security is an issue also.

1 week ago on Israel to train women tank commanders

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@YankeePapa 

Do you have a link to the article? ;)

1 week, 2 days ago on Israel to train women tank commanders

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@Txazz 

Our women service people will fight in an emergency it doesn't mean we are expecting that necessity.

I don't think Israel is looking to the future with this move.  It might be trying to leverage more women into instructional positions to free up men for combat units but that message is politically incorrect so, "Yeah, they might fight in an emergency".

Note in the same story they described the formation of all male ultra orthodox combat units that frown on such things as women singing in public.


Another reality is that when the tank needs maintenance the whole crew is necessary.  Consider each track consists of hundreds of track shoes/links each weighing upwards of 40-50lbs.  

Often the commander is responsible for mounting his own .50 caliber machinegun.  That weapon weighs 100 lbs alone.  As a Bradley commander I couldn't imagine asking the rest of my crew to help me with some of the heavy loads I had to hoist (e.g. installing and loading the 800 or so rounds of the much lighter M240).  They had their own tasks.  If anyone thinks having a commander that can't carry his/her part of the load isn't going to impact the leadership climate they know NOTHING about combat arms.

These stories just gloss over the physicality of many of these jobs and no one asks why aren't the women being placed in the potentially easier positions of driver, gunner or loader?'

1 week, 2 days ago on Israel to train women tank commanders

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@Camo_Steve @majrod @Michael_mike 

They only fall into the definition of an AP mine under the Ottawa Convention if you emplace them out of the command detonated mode.  

1 week, 3 days ago on Making US Troops More Vulnerable, Banning AP Mines

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@Michael_mike 

We have these types of mines.  They are called FASCAM.  The downside is they are typically delivered by artillery which takes them out of the fight because ittakes a battery about 20 minutes of shooting (if they don't move) to put one in.

We also have mine fields that can be automatically laid by a vehicle or helicopter that have an auto destruct function.  We even have mines in a box that sow themselves (google Volcano minefield).  I vaguely remember they had short duration settings (several hours) or long duration (a day or so).  Great stuff if the enemy cooperates and attacks when you expect them to (and don't happen to be watching you as you put them in).

These are great systems but they do nothing for our expeditionary forces that don't initially have those resources when they are deployed to seize and airfield, beachhead or serve as a tripwire let alone the guys that fought at Wanat and COP Keating.

FWIW Claymores can be fused to go off with the presence of people or  a tripwire.  In that format they are included in the treaty.


Personally I don't have any problem with the US employing old school AP mines.  Sure, develop something you can attach to the bottom so they'll self destruct but by banning them in total all we've done is made our troops more vulnerable.  Check out those places where the mines are thickest. You'll find they were sown by third world countries using primarily old and new communist mines.  The same countries that still not signatories to the Ottawa Convention.  All that's been done is we now have bragging rights.  That doesn't help the troops.

1 week, 3 days ago on Making US Troops More Vulnerable, Banning AP Mines

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@Michael_mike 

THANKS!

I made the correction.

1 week, 3 days ago on Making US Troops More Vulnerable, Banning AP Mines

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@ColonelProp 

"The Sanford's money looks to be the keystone to the whole sordid affair...without it very few get screwed is all.."

LOL, based on your previous posts on SOFREP I'm sure you didn't mean it the way it sounded but there are some in modern America that think, "Yeah, if the Sanfords didn't have so much damn money less people would have been screwed."


They think the Sanfords are the villain in this story.  Darn Capitalism!!!

1 week, 5 days ago on Why Frauds Fake Non-Official Cover (CIA) Credentials

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@ColonelProp 

Having a lawyer suggest something is far from being told.  That said, anyone who has had serious or numerous dealings with our legal system or real estate law is wise to be concerned.  The newspapers are full of stories of imminent domain, squatters stealing one's property and a host of frivolous lawsuits where good people lose.


The Sanfords may be dirty but in today's society being successful when it comes to money makes you a bad guy.  My attention is just riveted on Smith and all the people besides the Sanfords he defrauded. 

Still, I find it very strange that so many focus on one paragraph in an essay that is over 130 and where so many people besides the Sanfords are hurt but the only millionaires in the story get a unique and conjecture filled estimation about their moral fiber.

1 week, 5 days ago on Why Frauds Fake Non-Official Cover (CIA) Credentials

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@ColonelProp 

I don't understand why some would entertain the belief that the Sanfords were not honest people so quickly and with so little evidence.

Earning large amounts of money doesn't make one automatically smart.  Look at some of those that earn a lot of rank.  Some are still no smarter that a box of rocks.  

1 week, 5 days ago on Why Frauds Fake Non-Official Cover (CIA) Credentials

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@LawyerHandle 

People's trust in the military as well as people's ignorance of the military doesn't surprise me.  We have seen some fakes around here thrive for a bit and there's a ton of military expertise here. Don't forget the role of the trusted family friend that vouched for Smith.  The same guy that got in business with Smith and moved to Costa Rica.

The family may have been trying to hide their wealth.  The judgement against them might have been wrong, it may have been right, but people hide their wealth all the time and at the tax rates we inflict I don't blame them..  

1 week, 5 days ago on Why Frauds Fake Non-Official Cover (CIA) Credentials

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@Fred82 

"Why does it seem these phonies tend to cloak themselves in religion?"

The same reason so many frauds claim to be special forces, SEALs, combat vets, grunts or an advanced rank.  Some even 'cloak" themselves in store bought valor and uniforms to sell the lie. 


"For that matter, why do phony people in general seem to cloak themselves in religion?"

Evidence?  And for everyone you cite there's a half dozen of every persuasion that make the case that religion doesn't necessarily draw posers more than other factors.  You're showing a personal bias.  It's like blaming trigger pullers for their propensity to attract posers.


1 week, 6 days ago on Why Frauds Fake Non-Official Cover (CIA) Credentials

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Absolutely amazing Jack!


The fraud is detestable as is the gov'ts weak response to a lie that destroyed a family's hard earned wealth. Amazing the people the gov't will go after and the ones they let slide...

1 week, 6 days ago on Why Frauds Fake Non-Official Cover (CIA) Credentials

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@YankeePapa 

Pretty good article explaining why the Turks are dragging their feet.  http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/10/07/fiddling_while_kobani_burns_turkey_islamic_state?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=*Situation%20Report&utm_campaign=SitRep1008

In short...

It's in the Turks interest for the popular Kurdish Guerrilla group defending Kobani to lose and get taken down a peg.  (This is in line with my previous observation that the Turks nave an issue with an independent Kurdistan.)


The Turk's inaction is a lever to get the US to commit to a "no fly" zone and maybe put the US on the road of physically committing to Assad's ouster and nit just talk about it.  

I'd add to the mix that expecting the Turks to put troops on the ground while we don't isn't setting the example and the region had no faith in our credibility to stay the course.

2 weeks, 2 days ago on When Domestic Politics and Medals Collide

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@Luddite4Change @LawyerHandle 

Not the first time I said it (that was the week Bergdahl was retruned) but...

"Not to worry, time will help the public forget Bergdahl and not react too strongly to the “Army’s” decision not to prosecute."

2 weeks, 2 days ago on Bergdahl planning to leave Army & use GI Bill

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@YankeePapa 

I think you hit it with the latter.  The airstrikes are proving to not be as effective as many hoped.  ISIS is still on the offensive and continue to apply pressure on the Iraqi, Turkish, Lebanese and Jordanian fronts.  Yes their command and control has been disrupted as well as the flow of oil but neither has been destroyed.

Throwing all of six Apaches into the fight is a test for what the Apaches can add to the mix which is significant while they are in the air.  As with all airpower, they cannot seize ground and as much as I love attack helicopters they don't hold a candle to what fixed wing aircraft like the A10 or even the F16 can bring.  Because of sheer tonnage the most efficient way to deliver explosive on target with aircraft is via fixed wing.

What Apaches do offer though is a gun with very similar characteristics as the A10 but even more precise in it's ability to deliver steel on target.  That comes in handy for fleeting or hard to hit targets. Its sensors and manned cockpit also allow it to discern targets more easily than most fixed wing who may have to rely on drones for some imagery.  Whenever you rely on air Force drones you have to account for 2-5 seconds of satellite induced latency which is a real issue when using guns.  (and why you don't see flying drones with guns, the cheapest munition around)

2 weeks, 3 days ago on Apaches see action in Iraq

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@LawyerHandle 

NAH!!!! What does he know!

2 weeks, 3 days ago on American Combat Troops inevitable return to Iraq Part II

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Great article and glad to see it here.


For those into other points not mentioned in the debate here reference the article check out http://soldiersystems.net/2014/09/25/fbi-9mm-justification-fbi-training-division/

2 weeks, 5 days ago on The FBI is Going 9mm: Here Comes the Science

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@KineticFury 

"9mm Luger now offers select projectiles which are, under identical testing conditions, I outperforming most of the premium line .40 S&W and .45 Auto projectiles tested by the FBI" (emphasis added)

Besides the typo in the second sentence, this raised a red flag.  What "select projectiles" specifically?  Do they not make this "select projectile" in other calibers.  If so, why weren't they tested against the same type projectile?  If not, why aren't they making the projectile in the other caliber?

Glock doesn't make a single stack 9mm (yet).  Wouldn't it strike one as strange if a company was touting the concealability of their single stack against a full size double stack Glock or worse, comparing their compact double stack against a full size Glock (instead of a compact double stack Glock)?

Not enough info here to determine what they did in the study to justify that point but it does imply a purposeful poor comparison to make a point for 9mm..   

2 weeks, 5 days ago on The FBI is Going 9mm: Here Comes the Science

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@Michael_mike If you check the second link you'll see I took a picture of a larger version as a model and of course the V280 Valor which is similar to an Osprey but simpler.

2 weeks, 6 days ago on Sikorsky Unveils S-97 Raider Light-Attack Helo

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@evi1joe @majrod 

You're fooling yourself if you think we ever had Pakistani trust.  Heck, it was Dec 2001 at Tora Bora that they failed to seal the boder as promised, three months after 911. Before then they were giving Taliban and AQ free refuge. Blaming the US for causing Pakistani "mistrust" ignores the facts but is reassuring from a certain political bent.

The same is true of the narrative that Bush created more terrorists like they didn't hate us before.  Funny, you don't see anywhere near the same repotition of "creating terrorists" as a byproduct of the exponentially increased drone war and the relaxed standards on what constitutes a terrorist?  FTR, I fully support the luxurious use of drones and don't fault Obama for creating terrorists for killing those that hang out with terrorists.

Those that tinker with the belief that our actions in response to an attack on the nation are "creating terrorists" fundamentally don't understand the enemy.  It's as ridiculous as blaming the sitting President for the ISIS beheadings of Americans.  Another not so popular narrative because it doesn't demonize the right people.  Disgusting in my book and a classic example of how party bias is more important to some that the nation's security.  The hypocrisy is so deafening it's very hard to hear what the same people are saying.


Glad you liked my article.


We will be sending US troops to the middle east.  The only question is if they will be tens of thousands sooner vs. hundreds of thousands later.  If we have the latter case it will be because some will be more concerned with making political hay over what to do and/or the isolationists will be fooling people...


Later, just like after WWII they will be very hard to find as we count body bags while the media controls their appetite for photo ops at Dover solely dependent on what party the man in office is from.  This is how Americans are informed about the rightness or wrongness of their conflicts.

2 weeks, 6 days ago on Bomb Damage Assessment: US Airstrikes Smash ISIS

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@evi1joe @majrod 

I wouldn't put a lot of faith in "hope" unless we get a lot of "change" quick.

2 weeks, 6 days ago on Bomb Damage Assessment: US Airstrikes Smash ISIS

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@evi1joe @majrod 

Well gosh, let's go back and look at how Clinton enabled Bin Laden and Al Qeada if you want to take in "the full spectrum of events and mindset".  Maybe a rehash of how 911 and the nation's mindset supported the invasion of Iraq along with a majority of both parties.


One can get ridiculous in tracing the cause and effect of today's situation and it becomes very attractive when you have a particular propensity.  BTW, YOU started the blaming one President and doing it by name simultaneously ignoring (and as I said in my article, the one you still haven't read) the current one...

"The last critical decision node that lead us to our current situation is the catastrophic failure to establish a residual force in Iraq after 2011."  http://gruntsandco.com/american-combat-troops-inevitable-return-iraq-part/#sthash.haladgwg.dpuf

We've conducted about 310 airstrikes since Aug 8, a blistering average of about 6 a day.  We did that many in a day in the outset of our previous conflicts of the last two decades or so.  I think you have something on that "too moderate" observation.  I wouldn't place too much faith in "hope" unless we get a lot of "change" soon. :)

2 weeks, 6 days ago on Bomb Damage Assessment: US Airstrikes Smash ISIS

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@Fred82 @majrod @evi1joe 

I agree Iran had greater influence but that was a self inflicted wound.  A residual force of several thousand troops (EIGHT times less than what our military asked for) would have been overwhelmed with defending themselves let alone accomplishing other mission requirements vs. Iran and all they could do would make anyone align or at least mollify Iran.

Attributing the failure of establishing the residual force entirely or even primarily on Iran is like an analysis of the battle of Mogadishu focusing only on what the Somalis did.

BTW, Russia has been instrumental in brokering a truce between the Ukrainians and the rebels.  A similar message to be sure.

2 weeks, 6 days ago on Bomb Damage Assessment: US Airstrikes Smash ISIS

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@evi1joe @majrod 

Yes and most wanted us to stay a year longer or as long as needed.

More importantly public opinion is not necessarily the wisest course of action.  That's why leadership is so important rather than sticking one's finger in the air and going whichever way the wind has blown.  Our foreign policy SOP for the last six years and look where its gotten us...

We haven't fixed our internal conflicts after almost 240 years and the Sunni Shia divide is over a thousand years old.  Did you really expect those issues to be solved after eight.  Yes, let's set impossible standards so we can seize defeat out of the jaws of victory.. 

2 weeks, 6 days ago on Bomb Damage Assessment: US Airstrikes Smash ISIS

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@evi1joe @majrod 

Yes, good stuff.  See page 11, 12 & 13.

2 weeks, 6 days ago on Bomb Damage Assessment: US Airstrikes Smash ISIS

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@evi1joe 

I'm not introducing politics into this.  Bush made plenty of mistakes that I've pointed out.  My analysis is from a national security perspective.  My case is not addressing the right or wrongness of Iraq.  I'll leave that to those that suffer Bush Derangement Syndrome.

You've focused quite a bit on Bush and have demonstrated a wanting lackof knowledge on what's happened the last six years and why while focusing on the decisions and loaded language of 2003. 


Like most that have had their beliefs shaken with the truth you're reverting to political narrative.  This isn't a political site.  When you want to come back and discuss strategy, foreign relations, how to protect the nation and solve problems let me know.

2 weeks, 6 days ago on Bomb Damage Assessment: US Airstrikes Smash ISIS

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@evi1joe 

hind·sightˈhīn(d)ˌsīt/nounnoun: hindsight
  1. understanding of a situation or event only after it has happened or developed."with hindsight, I should never have gone"

It's not hindsight when the military, sitting officials and the previous Pres tell you while it's happening that you are making a mistake.

It was not an unpopular idea with most Iraqis.  Check the polls.

You can try to redefine the term "hindsight" and revise history but it doesn't make it more true.  I agree.  No one is going to make the case for you.  You are set in your beliefs despite the mountain of contrary evidence. 

2 weeks, 6 days ago on Bomb Damage Assessment: US Airstrikes Smash ISIS

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@evi1joe @majrod 

"(2) it wasn't popular with almost ALL Iraqis,"

Did you look at the poll I attached?

At one time a lot of people thought the world was flat.  This is the problem with contesting "common knowledge".  So many take it for granted they are incapable of assessing other information.

Most Americans were against staying in Iraq.  They had eight years of media conditioning and three years of Obama doing it promising a peace that has brought us to today. As I said elsewhere American public opinion is a better measure of the President's ability to make a case for war and unify America behind it than an assessment of what's best for American national security.  Most Americans are against Obamacare in its present form. It still hasn't been repealed.


I've discussed the issues with Khedery and Panetta.

20/20 hindsight wasn't necessary to determine we should have kept a residual force in Iraq.  The military, then, was asking for it.  There were many others.  Most poignantly, the Pres you have blamed repeatedly for our current situation prophesied in detail what would happen in Iraq if we left too early...

Again, crediting him for the war and conveniently forgetting all those who were against leaving too early is not intellectually honest. 


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@evi1joe @majrod @Fred82 

"(a) it wasn't popular with most Americans including most deployed Americans"  Sadly that's irrelevant.  There were times during the Civil War when public opinion was against it and for making peace with the south.  Would that have been right?  Then there's the reality that troops don't decide when a war ends (or starts, most troops wanted nothing to do with fighting Germany in 1941) and if you want to go off public opinion Afghanistan was/is a waste also.  This is more a measure of the administration's failure to make a case for combat than an analysis of what's best for our nation's security. 

"(b) it wasn't popular with almost ALL Iraqis"  No.  You are repeating common knowledge and what the media has programmed you to say.  Most Kurds (who are still Iraqis) wanted us to stay as well as Sunnis if for nothing else to be honest brokers and there were Shia who also wanted us to stay.  "When asked if it was the right time for American soldiers to leave -- the U.S. military earlier confirmed troop numbers in Iraq had fallen under 50,000 for the first time -- 59.8 percent said no, compared to 39.5 percent who said yes." http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2010/08/24/117503.html


Hindsight is 20/20 but I was calling this back in '10-'11.  It remains important to figure out what happened to find a solution today and avoid a repeat in Afghanistan.  Again, I say this in my essay.


Panetta disputing what he's saying now?  Ok,he's a politician.  What makes better sense, what he said then or what he's saying now considering all the other information you have?  You could keep your doctor at one time also...

BTW, my case does not rely on him.  I made it with a boatload of other sources.   What's your point?  To sharpshoot Panetta or contest my article that you didn't read?

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@evi1joe @majrod @Fred82 

You skipped the part where Khedery said, "This might be averted if we rebuffed Iran by forming a unity government around a nationalist alternative such as Abdul Mahdi. It would be extremely difficult, I acknowledged, but with 50,000 troops still on the ground, the United States remained a powerful player."

"But all the lobbying was for naught. By November, the White House had settled on its disastrous Iraq strategy. The Iraqi constitutional process and election results would be ignored, and America would throw its full support behind Maliki. Washington would try to move Talabani aside and install Allawi as a consolation prize to the Iraqiya coalition."

Who made these decisions?

Nor does Khedery ever contest the points made by numerous gov't officials to include those I named that the Iraqis lost faith in us when the administration slashed the military's recommendation of 24k troops.


Like I wrote, "According to Gen Keane, the Iraqis realized that 3k troops weren’t enough to execute their stated missions but enough to inflame the Iranians.  Instead of a robust US military to help Iraq chart a course, we were going to provide a force that would just incite Iranian adventurism and be barely enough to provide security for themselves.  Iraqi leadership came to the realization that such a small force was of no benefit to the nation."  http://gruntsandco.com/american-combat-troops-inevitable-return-iraq-part/#sthash.JMmQKfRG.dpuf

Something that might bother the critical thinker...  Khedery cites what an Iraqi official who was told what was said in a meeting that happened in Iran that Maliki didn't attend.  We don't know who was "summoned" or even the exact date of the meeting.  Wouldn't a reliable gov't official be told that?  Further Khedery resigned in protest on Dec. 31, 2010.  That's a year before our withdrawal and most of the events Khedery cites happened...


So in the end I'm glad you brought up ONE person that was there but still the case that Iran was the kingmaker and we were powerless is waiting to be conclusively made.

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@evi1joe @majrod 

"MAY"?  How so?  Who and how was a presidential decree (which is what we are using now to deploy troops to Iraq) going to be contested?  Who and how were placing the residual force on the diplomatic roster (there were already 5000 Americans on it) going to be contested?

What are the specific hypotheticals?  Too many that say we couldn't pull off a residual force say something similar while never documenting the details.

BTW, some of the "others" are the Army Deputy JCS and a bunch of US and Iraqi gov't officials as well as the recently added Sec Def Gates & SecDef/CIA Director Panetta. 


Read my article again.  I never said we are sending a large number of troops to Iraq anytime before inauguration day 2017.  I say quite the opposite multiple times.


I get the feeling you really didn't read the article to make such a fundamental mistake.

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@Fred82 @majrod @evi1joe 

I don't disagree that the Iranians didn't want a residual force.  Neither did Syria and a host of other countries.  That doesn't mean Iraq was doing their bidding.  Please point out where and how Gordon, Trainor or Baer document an Iranian influence so strong as to dictate what the Iraqis do especially when we were still in Iraq in force?  I've heard of nothing. 


"it looks to me as if Iran was sending a message to Maliki in the Battle of Basra."  Again, how so?  Where are the links?


You seem to rely on a lot of opinion to shape your beliefs while I've documented numerous individuals from both sides involved in the policy making at the time.

There's a huge qualitative (and quantitative) difference in the evidence supporting our respective positions.  If you want to believe the Iranians were the key you can, this is America but all the facts point in a very different direction.  Unless you are going to bring some facts or statements by decision makers involved in the decision that support your contention that Iran was the king maker it really isn't worth carrying on the discussion.  You are going to believe what you want to based on opinion and I'm going to keep relying on those from both sides involved in the decision.


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@YankeePapa 

Nonexistent.

We are currently taking all the Kiowas out of the force because we don't have the money to fly them.  Scouting/Light Attack missions will be done by the more expensive Apache or not at all.

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@Fred82 @majrod @evi1joe 

The administration did try very hard.  To NOT leave a residual force.

 

Your position doesn't jive with all the documentation I included in mine.  If you have something to show the Iranians were that strong to dictate Iraqi policy go ahead and share.  Funny, Maliki conducted operations against the Shia militias that were supported and directed by Iran at the same time the residual force was being negotiated.  We in fact had to help them.  That doesn't sound like Maliki was in Iran's pocket then.

My case only gets stronger when one adds Panetta's recent comments (I didn't have access to them when I wrote my article).  His assessment jives with mine.

One has to be open to new facts and its impact on one's beliefs.

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@evi1joe @majrod Read the article (and all the supporting documentation) I linked.  The administration pushed for the Iraqi Parliament to approve the deal.  There were other ways.  How do you think we got an agreement to protect the troops we've sent in the last two months.  HINT:  It didn't go through the Iraqi Parliament.

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