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Great article Loren and I don't necessarily disagree with many of your observations but I think you are over reaching in some areas to create a link to today's special ops units.  Are you going to apply the past lessons learned to the current fight in a followup article?


FWIW, what you observed about pre revolutionary war Indian fighting might be correct but it doesn't apply across the board to the 100+ years after.  Often, the plains Indians were better equipped than the US Cavalry.  http://gruntsandco.com/u-s-ordnance-rogue-fiefdom/

Indians on the plains and in southwest US were often less encumbered than Cavalry units (actually there were quite a few Infantry units employed in the anti-Indian role).  Hopefully YP will weigh in.

US Cavalry units were generally pretty poor about living off the land.  No where near as effective as the Indians. They often needed supply trains or were limited in the distance they could patrol from their fort.

"Small, light, highly mobile units attacking by surprise deep into enemy territory. Led by experienced men, with the ability to make independent decisions." This isn't the definition of unconventional units.  Most units operated that way in our history.  The quintessential fort was deep in Indian country and sent out patrols with mission type orders as a matter of course with no communication or supervision by higher.  This is even more true of our experience in S. America and the Philippines.


On a separate issue I understand your approach to the moral aspects of early America fighting but I don't think we can ignore it in it's application to current events.  I mean to say we can ignore the issue but the issue will not ignore us given today's society/technology.


Finally, and two points as food for thought...

The use of biological warfare can be a form of asymmetric warfare and while we may consider it barbaric and illegal, our current enemies aren't burdened by those considerations  (and those of the past might not have had too much compunction about using it if they had it).

Consider in your treatment of total war contrasting the belligerents.  I can see a very strong argument that the enemy is already waging total war.  Our waging total war might not be a question of "if" but "when" (I bet the "torture"/morality.


4 hours, 45 minutes ago on Total War Part 2: Historical COIN

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"She was the only teacher I had at Columbia who would assign us readings and then openly defy them and make her students question the conclusions in the papers. Almost like, you know, critical thinking or something!"

"Being an infantrymen or a Green Beret doesn’t make you an expert on any and all geo-political matters."

Those comments deserved to be said twice. 


I'd be very interested on your take on how feminisim influenced the course material in the classes you cited a fear of keeping the family jewels.  I'll be up on NYC next month so maybe we can meet in person but I bet readers here would be interested also.

(I promise I'm coming to NYC so I won't ask you to do something and not be around to hear it like the guys that dropped the class :P)

14 hours, 9 minutes ago on A Ranger Goes to College (Part 3)

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@psavidge 

"Best class I ever had was with a philosophy professor who was a known anti-war, anti-Vietnam, anti-anything-military guy. First day in class the two other Army guys and I showed up in greens with medals, jump boots and wings, CIB's, combat patches, etc. flagrantly displayed!!  The professor rather meekly introduced the course, dismissed us after about 5 minutes ... didn't show up for the next class ... and the Assistant Dean (ex-army guy) taught the rest of the course!"


That's just awesome!  Well done!

14 hours, 11 minutes ago on A Ranger Goes to College (Part 3)

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FWIW here's an article of what the original Fury script looked like.  https://medium.com/war-is-boring/the-script-for-fury-gave-norman-psychic-powers-ea4bfdaccf6c

Sounds horrible.  Glad they redid Brad Pitt's character and didn't give the new guy superpowers.

1 day, 8 hours ago on “Fury” Movie Review

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@traumamama 

It does. You have to understand the policies, priorities and thought process of those in charge.

Back in the day when I was in uniform I learned if a superior did something dumb (typically after being advised not to do it) it became relatively easy to figure out one of the two primary causes...

1. Incompetence (sometimes you wished for this considering the other explanation)

2. Different priorities e.g. the selected solution was self serving in some way never mind the cost to the unit/soldiers or mission


So instead of saying to oneself "I don't understand" I'd suggest devoting your efforts to trying to understand why our leadership is doing things obviously detrimental to the nation and its people and why the media is ignoring it.

1 day, 16 hours ago on Another 9/11 is Not What America Should Be Afraid Of

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@Txazz @majrod @clluelo 

Heck, that would scare people just like enacting a common sense travel ban against Ebola.

Note the lack of coverage of the woman's beheading last night in Long Island or the media disinterest in the terror ties to the NYC hatchet murderer.

Two similar events is a coincidence (and I don't believe much in coincidences), but three is a trend...

1 day, 16 hours ago on Another 9/11 is Not What America Should Be Afraid Of

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These types of small, near simultaneous attacks have bothered me since 911.  I've never voiced my concerns on the internet to avoid giving anyone a bad idea.

2 days, 10 hours ago on Another 9/11 is Not What America Should Be Afraid Of

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@Txazz @clluelo 

I don't know of any city that has had to deal with multiple active shooter incidents simultaneously or even consecutively.

Many cities have a SWAT team but they don't have more than one and when one is committed with all the regular cops there is another area that isn't covered.


Imagine a Gabby Giffords incident by one person followed by an attack on a school without a cop and then another event at a mall with multiple shooters covering exits as people run and to slow the police down when they arrive.  Minimum of five people independently controlled not aware of each other except for the three man mall team.


Multiply this by a couple of cities...


Toss in an IED to slow the cops.

2 days, 10 hours ago on Another 9/11 is Not What America Should Be Afraid Of

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@Recon6 @majrod @JackMurphyRGR 

I think we already have more than enough reason to get our dirty and finish these fanatics.  That's not the point.  The national command authority will not make the case.  He will not mobilize public opinion because of a multitude of reasons.  e.g. you start something it's your fight, you're responsible and you better damn well finish it.


This administration is incapable of that kind of foreign policy decisiveness and after Libya figured out it's not as easy as it looks.  Better to leave it to the next guy so one can always claim "it was ok on my watch".

2 days, 12 hours ago on U.S. and Allies Prepare for War Against ISIS

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@JackMurphyRGR @majrod 

Well, if we are just short one beheading to change the role and number of troops we have in Iraq/Syria then it's not the election holding back that decision.

That said, I don't think one beheading (or half a dozen) is going to change the role or intensity of US ops in the region.  It will take something more substantial to upset the "hold till Inauguration Day" approach.

Again, I don't disagree that we should be doing more.  We lack the resolve and the leadership to make the case for the obvious. 

2 days, 16 hours ago on U.S. and Allies Prepare for War Against ISIS

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I hope you're right but I'll believe it when I see it.

We've had SOF prepositioned in Jordan since before the red line fiasco (over a year ago), a brigade plus in Kuwait and SOF is always getting ready to go.  When a hot spot pops up proactive commanders start preparing their troops to get ready and go with increased and focused training.


The election isn't stopping military action.  Heck, it would be a boost to Dem candidates that look like they will be taking a beating.


I'm not saying we shouldn't project more military power.  I'm saying what we should do isn't what we will do.  The President has stated numerous times we won't put troops on the ground.  The plan is to hold what we have until Inauguration Day 2017 and then it will be someone else's problem...

2 days, 16 hours ago on U.S. and Allies Prepare for War Against ISIS

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@JackMurphyRGR @CameronMichaelPartlow 

Sad but interesting to hear.

6 days, 15 hours 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.

6 days, 15 hours 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!

6 days, 16 hours 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 week 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 week 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 week 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.   

1 week, 1 day 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. 

1 week, 1 day 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 ;) 

1 week, 4 days 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.

1 week, 4 days 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...

1 week, 4 days 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?

1 week, 4 days 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.

1 week, 4 days 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...

1 week, 5 days 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...

1 week, 5 days 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, 6 days ago on Israel to train women tank commanders

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@YankeePapa 

Do you have a link to the article? ;)

2 weeks, 1 day 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?'

2 weeks, 1 day 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.  

2 weeks, 1 day 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.

2 weeks, 2 days ago on Making US Troops More Vulnerable, Banning AP Mines

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@Michael_mike 

THANKS!

I made the correction.

2 weeks, 2 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!!!

2 weeks, 4 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.

2 weeks, 4 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.  

2 weeks, 4 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..  

2 weeks, 4 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.


2 weeks, 5 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...

2 weeks, 5 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.

3 weeks, 1 day 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."

3 weeks, 1 day 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)

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

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@LawyerHandle 

NAH!!!! What does he know!

3 weeks, 2 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/

3 weeks, 4 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..   

3 weeks, 4 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.

3 weeks, 5 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.

3 weeks, 5 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.

3 weeks, 5 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. :)

3 weeks, 5 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.

3 weeks, 5 days ago on Bomb Damage Assessment: US Airstrikes Smash ISIS

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