20+ yr Infantry Officer.
Visit me at GRUNTSandCo.com. You'll find my commentary on SOFREP, foreignpolicy, DoDBuzz, Defensetech, KitUp, Military.com. Smallwarsjournal
Loved Chris' two previous books.
This one sounds like a very interesting read. I especially like the breath of the coverage across units. Just need to decide between paper or electrons.
As an aside I'd like Chris' perspective on researching different units. Which units have are tighter lipped or just lack material in the open source world? I have my own thoughts and would be interested in his.
2 days, 10 hours ago on Chris Martin on Modern American Snipers
I'm glad Jack has come around but the YPG is a good start but no where near a solution. It's like expecting Texas to seal our nation's border (both North and South).
As awesome as Texas and Texans are, they are not capable nor very interested in securing California's border let alone Minnesota. Getting them to that point both in capability and desire would not be good for the nation. The same metaphor applies to Syria and the larger problem that is ISIS which spans the border into Iraq. The Kurds are badass they also have their agenda which is directly confrontational with Turkey (a NATO "ally") and Iran (an "enemy" of the US).
(I put ally and enemy in quotations because there's a whole lot more to those words and the current situation going on than I could address is a post but the words I chose generally describe our relations with those two countries.)
There are also the much larger geopolitical issues of having a strong Kurdish entity in the region that Jack alluded to and I addressed more explicitly elsewhere. http://gruntsandco.com/american-combat-troops-inevitable-return-iraq-part-ii/
If members of the FSA gravitated to Al Nusra because as Jack said, "guns and money" back in 2012 it supports my long held position that we should have been helping the FSA with guns and money much earlier. Acknowledging it was resources that caused mass defections from the FSA doesn't mean It was wrong then but right now. It actually proves it would have been right back then also.
We also have very similar issues with selecting who to support among the Kurds as we had with the FSA. Supporting the wrong guys and getting them military capability just sows the seeds for a greater fight down the road potentially between Turkey, Iran and Iraq's Shia & Sunni. A conflict we will have indirectly caused, have very strong links to a side let alone responsibility for the outcome of that fight.
I addressed why we should have become involved in Syria in a series of articles on SOFREP over a year ago.
It created quite the spirited discussion.
Most if not all of my predictions came true most noticeably, tremendous damage to our credibility which has encouraged other crisis in the world, more meager choices on who to support in the region, an exponential growth of instability threatening other nations and a return to the region of US military force that will get exponentially larger.
My bottom line is we need to be involved in the region. The Kurds are part of the solution but no where near the only one unless one wants another conflict down the road that will suck us back into the region. We need to do it right, find a lasting solution and leave. Sadly this will not be a short duration mission and before the whining starts about how long we've been there already the lesson here is not to do things fast and cheap. That approach just condemns us to doing "it" again and reminds me of that annoyingly all so right saying, "If you don't have time to do it right when are you going to have time to do it again?"
If it's important enough to fight over it's important enough to win otherwise let's just pack up and acknowledge we'll be fighting them here one day and accept US cities looking like Kobani, Aleppo, Mosul or Falijah is acceptable justifying our lack of action.
The "If it's important enough to fight over it's important enough to win" sort of commitment likely sounds strange to a lot of people. Don't be fooled, our enemy is even more committed to his cause...
3 days, 7 hours ago on Why I Support Intervention In Syria In 2014, But Didn’t In 2012
NP. I really don't sweat these small details much. The difference of a terrorist coming from AQ, ISIS, Al Nusra, Hezbollah etc. is irrelevant except from an intelligence standpoint.
It's like making mountains with mouse turds attributing dead Americans in WW2 to the Wermacht, Gestapo, Luftwaffe or Waffen SS. Too many of the wrong people care too much about which terror organization killed Americans to deflect from a bankrupt foreign policy.
4 days, 2 hours ago on Operation Inherent Resolve (Iraq/Syria) Update
I give a lot of credence to the barking dog or urinating guard.
Granted a ransom may have been paid (I had not heard money had exchanged hands just a promised release) but there's still no guarantee a release would have occurred. An additional request for funds isn't uncommon. It's not like the money goes in escrow.
I've no doubt politics was involved in both the timing and the release of information but none of us can prove it. The uncanny timing and multiple coincidences are pretty damning though (I'm thinking the Syria raid also).
5 days, 3 hours ago on Yemen SOF Raid Details Makes US Troops Vulnerable
The only countries raising their defense spending are the Baltic states and Poland. They guys most threatened by Russia and likely to pay the price until (and especially IF) the world comes to save them.
As for the overwhelming majority of Europe they've been on US defense welfare for so long they can't imagine a need to source their own defense beyond symbolic levels so they have someone to parade.
6 days, 13 hours ago on US Army considering prepositioning armor in Eastern Europe
That's as silly an argument as investigating "enhanced interrogation" but giving the drone wars that have killed a hundred times more innocents a pass.
Oh wait, we're doing just that...
6 days, 23 hours ago on CIA Torture Report: Why Was It Released?
The "substance of what is in the report" is entirely one sided. That isn't "substance". It's propaganda.
It was posed as "not medically necessary" by ONE individual and the committee didn't look for anyone to disagree.
This "report" isn't good electronic paper to wipe one's virtual butt with.
They didn't even talk to the guys who were there or the CIA directors who have pointed out multiple errors. This isn't a "report" it's purely political propaganda. It started from a premise that we were wrong, eliminated anyone who disagreed with that premise and selectively filled in the blanks.
It throws those that did America's bidding under the bus. Collateral damage in the continued effort to discredit the "other" party at any cost and further the blame America first narrative.
Those that applaud it either aren't interested in getting to the truth or lack the intellectual complexity to understand they are being fed propaganda.
Disagree? When was the last time you called for a hearing into the drone war that has killed hundreds of times more innocents than the interrogation program did and seeks to kill terrorists to include Americans than capture them & interrogate them to take down the organizations they serve instead of playing whack a mole.
@YankeePapa @HM1 (FMF) Ret.
Just shows stupidity isn't specific to an era.
A decade ago we had a politician comment about how we were keeping tabs on Bin Laden through his cell phone. He and his organization promptly stopped using them for high level commo. No doubt it made finding him much more difficult when we had the gumption to.
Heck, even today's "torture" report falls in the category of outing state secrets for political advantage.
1 week, 3 days ago on Yemen SOF Raid Details Makes US Troops Vulnerable
A huge breath of fresh air Nick. Thanks for weighing in.
I empathize with you about not being "black enough". It's a shame so many identify with their ethnicity over their Americanism. Used to annoy me to the nth degree when all the Puerto Rican flags came out in the hood on Puerto Rican day (2nd Sunday in June) but the Stars and Stripes was almost absent on the 4th of July.
This phenomenon has served to increase the divide between us and is promoted by those that benefit from dividing us than uniting us. There's money to be made in racial animosity.
1 week, 4 days ago on Race Issues In America: A Ranger’s Perspective
" just that fact that an unarmed citizen died would seem to indicate that
there was sufficient, tangible evidence for a public trail in the light
No. I reject that premise wholeheartedly. Whether a person was armed or not doesn't dictate whether a trial is necessary or not. There's a multitude of factors to consider which is what grand juries do.
Your logic would dictate a trial for every domestic violence case where an "unarmed" spouse was abusing his partner despite the context and record. Your falling for the sane mischaracterization that has accompanied these cases where the adjective "unarmed" is constantly repeated but "over 6' 250lb man resisting arrest" is not...
An aspect of this whole situation not being discussed is that our growing nanny state society is saddling cops with responsibilities far beyond what they were intended for. In this case law enforcement officers are enforcing tax law. What about having a meter maid address this and issue a summons first? Who's responsible sending cops to do the tax man's job? OH! The same guy who as the mayor of NYC is making this a race issue. Great deflection!
Amazing people are surprised eggs get broken and start second guessing decisions made by individuals whose jobs they would never dream of doing for one day let alone imagine themselves in the midst of the situation they are judging.
Eerily similar to how the military is judged in a combat zone by the media and co...
Plenty of issues worth discussing in this incident but the role we are asking our law enforcement to fill as well as our military at times seems to get overlooked.
1 week, 6 days ago on I Can’t Breathe: NYPD Needs More Non-Lethal Options Or Things Will Get Worse
FATS stands for Fire Arms Training Simulator. http://www.meggitttrainingsystems.com/commercial-ranges/commercial-simulation-equipment/fats-l7/p2/true.aspx
It basically places an individual (armed with a laser emitting weapon) in front of a screen where scenarios are played. The scenarios can have different "branches" based on the individuals decisions and actions. It's somewhat "canned" in that regard and doesn't represent weapons effects very well (e,g, rounds required to put a person down or the scenario doesn't respond well to unforecasted events because these are filmed beforehand and played in front of the individual). It's pretty old dating back to the late 90's.
There are a multitude of systems out there http://www.virtra.com/. Some are much better providing a 270 or 360 degree environment or even allowing individuals wearing sensors (some wearing projector glasses) to move in and around the "virtual environment" vs. static scenarios.
Personally, I like what a company called laser shot is doing in the field of simulations. https://bisimulations.com/showcase/laser-shot-weapons-training Besides doing everything FATS can do it can be networked and allows for the use of a video game interface to add to the 600+ scenarios out there. This facilitates training more than one individual as well as a variety of systems like vehicles. They even have the capability to integrate live firing with one's firearm with a system called Thermal Shot.
"When the situation goes sideways the people at the top take no
responsibility for the lack of training for their officers. The guy on
the ground gets the blame, sound familiar."
That needed to be said twice and is exactly what happened. Guess who Comrade DeBlasio is blaming after he directed cops to enforce the tax code...
2 weeks ago on I Can’t Breathe: NYPD Needs More Non-Lethal Options Or Things Will Get Worse
@LawyerHandle NP & Thanks. Deja vu bro...
I think this might be the story you are looking for... http://gruntsandco.com/isnt-asked-failed-foley-rescue/
2 weeks ago on 2015 National Defense Authorization Act includes Carrier, A10 and Apache provisions
Welcome back Jack and great reporting.
2 weeks, 3 days ago on Save the Last Bullet for Yourself
Political Press Puts Rep Adam Smith on Short List for SecDef
2 weeks, 5 days ago on Hagel curiously resigns/fired. Replacements getting scarce.
Dude, using "conventional military officer" as an epithet (look it up) says a lot more about you than it anything else you've said. Your tone and approach are indicative of why so many good cops have an upstream swim on the streets.
The first to devolve to name calling is admitting they've lost the debate.
I accept your surrender whether you know it or not. Bring evidence and logic not attitude and emotion next time.
2 weeks, 5 days ago on Resurrecting the Selous Scouts to Destroy ISIS
So to encapsulate your response, you were never military and
were taught by a few ODA’s the intricacies of COIN during your free time “advising”. In short you have no formal training upon
which you are basing broad brush characterizations about the military.
I doubt ANYONE to include your peers (if you acknowledge
any) would agree that the military was “failing miserably” and “brought in Law
Enforcement Professions to show them how to attack the insurgent networks.”Do you have a timeframe to coincide with that
“WAG” (as opposed to SWAG)?I guess we
just got lucky in Iraq and the full court press of LEO in Afghanistan is one of
those not discussed secrets ("the secret surge").
As for conventional and unconventional maybe you aren’t
aware the first unconventional officers were conventional ones and ALL the unconventional
Army and Marine officers today started
out as conventional ones.I’m impressed with your clairvoyance about my
mindset.Short of your ESP do you have
any evidence that I’m just promoting conventional solutions?
“One thing I have ;learned in the three years I spent in
Afghanistan. You can't have a military strategy, when dealing with a criminal
I'm surprised you admit learning anything but that’s probably the most helpful thing you’ve said and may
be why we don’t have a strategy in Iraq/Syria. It explains how we are fundamentally
floundering.Are you advising the
“here a question for you, after over three insurgencies,
Viet nam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Please explain to me why we have not learned
from Viet nam and Iraq? why we can't beat the Taliban at this game even though,
the military has beenat it for over 30
Hmmm, probably why we haven’t won the war on drugs that has
been going on much longer.
Try and think through your response and put it in one
post.You’ll be less redundant that way.
Uh, well they seem to have brought in an exponentially greater number of soldiers....
"I have seen it from both sides and have the experience to talk about it."
Really? Where did you go to basic training (or advanced military training if you'd like to go there) and what schools taught you the principles of war? Just because one is accompanying a raid doesn't automatically give "experience" in military operations. LOL, it's like me claiming law enforcement experience because I've read quite a few folks their rights...
Reread what I wrote. Sure modern insurgencies break the law. When we invaded Iraq we captured a bunch of Iraqi currency. The Iraqis could categorize that as bank robbing.
My point remains whether you get it or not. Low level actors that include a political aspect to their actions could be characterized as insurgents. They aren't. Just like all insurgencies don't happen to be criminal affairs.
Predictable choice. Johnson will do whatever he has to to make Obama happy. The constitution was the first casualty as he engineered and facilitated the President's recent immigration move. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/11/21/dhs-chief-recommended-and-supports-obamas-entire-immigration-plan/
Obama is looking for a yes man and a fall guy. Johnson will be happy to be both and few on the left will question Johnson's credentials to run the Pentagon (he was the head lawyer at the Pentagon during Obama's first term and for the Air Force under Clinton).
Remember when I said things are going to get much worse.
I don't remember any reports of Iraqi Apaches being shot down. I don't think they even have any. I do remember some russian built helos being shot down.
I would share your concerns for CAS if it was being done like we would expect e.g. the JTAC's eyes on target. What I've been reading is the JTACs are in the rear HQ deconflicting airspace and matching aircraft payloads with reported targets by drones, SIGINT and maybe Iraqi forces.
This isn't the CAS we typically define as such but it does keep our troops out of "combat".
2 weeks, 5 days ago on Operation Inherent Resolve (Iraq/Syria) Update
Very informative article YP though I don't buy the author's mesage that we are building a lean Iraqi military instead of a robust one that would be necessary for Iraq's defense needs. First the author doesn't touch the much lower number of Americans being dedicated to today's effort means we can't do anything else but train less troops. He also ignores the plan to stand up an Iraqi "national guard" which of course means you need a smaller Iraqi army.
Sounds like the same approach as before just different packaging.
FWIW - a little dated but a roll up of what's been destroyed in Iraq/Syria.
Great (and all too often ignored) point about how using precision weapons to destroy a truck isn't financially efficient.
Very interesting article. I especially appreciate the early statement that you are talking "tactics" not strategy.
I believe some of what you propose is already happening.
Open source reporting has the SAS conducting raids against ISIS. http://gruntsandco.com/sitrep/sas-conducting-raids-behind-isis-lines/
Back in '05 I was privy to infiltration tactics used by the Ranger Regiment Reconnaissance Detachment (now a company) and there is some open source stuff out there showcasing certain JSOC units "blending in" to conduct a raid in Libya
or extract intel on the ground in Syria to adjust a raid. http://gruntsandco.com/isnt-asked-failed-foley-rescue/
I have little doubt that Americans are already embedded with the Kurds. So in short, it might not be on the scale of the 1500 Selous Scouts (though it might be since JSOC alone is larger) and may not be as famous nor may it ever be (considering today's publicity antics, I doubt it).
One final word of caution though and to come full circle, the tactics of the Selous Scouts are fascinating but the losing strategy made them irrelevant to Rhodesia's victory and is why that country no longer exists and the land is now called Zimbabwe and led by the same Robert Mugabe that fought against the Selous Scouts.
Recreating the Selous Scouts by US personnel will be a footnote if Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi becomes the first "president" of the ISIS Caliphate.
I hope you expand on the pros and cons of the practicality of application of the concepts presented in the article. With the first hand experience you have from serving in the Rhodesian conflict I believe your insights would be fascinating.
"Also, Ideology has nothing to with human nature or human behavior.
Remember, the actions of this group are criminal in nature. All
Insurgent and terrorists are criminals. But not all criminal and
terrorists are insurgents."
This is an often repeated premise in your writings here as well as in your previous postings under a different name. It relies on a faulty perspective based on a double standard. All insurgents are criminals because they break the law. The law in this perspective is a pretty all encompassing concept where all acts of violence are considered criminal acts versus acts of war. In fact this perspective doesn't acknowledge the state of war as all violence can be characterized as "unlawful".
Not suprisingly, you don't apply this extremely loose application of lawlessness to many criminals who see themselves as acting against an illegal authority. Just look at the Black Panthers arrested in Ferguson recently for trying to buy explosives or the goals of many cartels to replace lawful gov't in their areas and replace it with their authority. Heck, some of these groups have bastardized Christianity to such a degree that their actions are holy acts.
The truth is somewhere in the middle. Misapplication of law to apply to states of war is as faulty as granting "insurgent" status to a neighborhood thug. Honorable credentials are great but they aren't sufficient in covering huge leaps of logic. Nor should one seek to characterize all military based on one's personal experience. It would be as weak as someone characterizing all police yet lacking any formal law enforcement experience/schooling. There are some fundamental war making concepts that are universal. Culture isn't one of them.
I haven't done any serious thinking on it. There's a lot I don't know like the actual intel on how close the Iranians are. Read an article yesterday that speculated the Iranians have enough Uranium for about four nukes and will have enough for five by June-July. (Still has to processed past the 5% level)
The Israelis may also be waiting for a world crisis that might distract attention or wanting to get as close as possible to the end of Obama's term to mitigate the predictable punishment.
3 weeks, 2 days ago on Operation Inherent Resolve (Iraq/Syria) Update
Don't be so sure. Israel was cutting a deal with Azerbaijan to refuel in their country in 2012. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/03/28/israel_s_secret_staging_ground
There's also been a lot of speculation that Saudi Arabia would help with airfields and potentially more.
Israel also owns a small known fleet of air to air refuelers but there was again speculation of homegrown solutions. Considering how resourceful the Israelis can be it wouldn't surprise me if they turned some civilian airliners into refuelers.
3 weeks, 3 days ago on Operation Inherent Resolve (Iraq/Syria) Update
Hagel's firing is classic scapegoating. Hagel has done everything the administration directed him to do. Instructive lesson on how the administration accepts responsibility. It really is a silly move especially in light of the three names you suggested considering they'd do exactly what's been done to date.
In reality the administration should make a public announcement about a change in policy. That's about as likely as discovering unicorns actually exist. The best call is for the administration to select a dove to lead the Pentagon.
3 weeks, 4 days ago on Operation Inherent Resolve (Iraq/Syria) Update
There will be no honesty until well past the next election and by that time the stark truth we'll be facing and its cost will rend hearts.
I was referring to US boots...
Snipers are very effective at impacting an enemy's morale but like airpwoer I've never heard them win a war on their own...
We watch the same movies...
At this rate, assuming ISIS doesn't replace any dead insurgents, it'll take about 25 years to reach the lower number.
I applaud the SAS's efforts but it's worth putting them in context especially when so many think SOF and Drones are a panacea.
3 weeks, 4 days ago on SAS conducting raids behind ISIS lines
That's always been a great read.
I've found Loren's series interesting. Sadly I think it's all for naught. There are so many factors that make waging total war unacceptable to the West let alone Americans that a tragedy beyond comprehension will be necessary to change minds.
Compare the Russian mindset when it comes to waging war and ours. Russia has no issue taking the kids gloves off (and the little patience citizens have with their fellow citizens who promote "civility" in war). A big part of that realistic approach to war is the 20 million Russian dead it took to defeat the Nazis. Something to think about when one considers how many dead we may have to suffer to budge the mental calculus of the masses.
(and how frustrating it is for those of us that don't have to experience history to appreciate it and try to avoid it repeating itself).
The same mindset exists when the discussion is about criminal sentencing and gun control. Very few who have experienced crime are foolish enough to think soft sentencing and gun control will minimize the actions of evil people but of course there are those who have never experienced crime that "know better".
3 weeks, 5 days ago on Total War Part 4: Compassionate Brutality
Now THAT would be a great subject to explore.
Readers should take special note of your commentary about Confederate troops. There is a strong and very successful movement bent on tarnishing all Confederate troops and especially Generals like Robert E. Lee with the sin of slavery. The celebration of their sacrifices and incredible successes have begun to fall out of favor and equated with celebrating slavery. It's so bad that Washington and Lee (where Lee served as the college president) have removed flags from the chapel where Lee is buried. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/washington-and-lee-university-to-remove-confederate-flags-following-protests/2014/07/08/e219e580-06bb-11e4-8a6a-19355c7e870a_story.html
Celebrating Lee's birthday is see by some as support for slavery. Totalitarian thought by any side is scary and un-American. Well at least it used to be.
Shelby Foote's Civil War trilogy are among, if not the most esteemed seminal historical telling of the conflict. http://www.amazon.com/Civil-War-Volumes-1-3-Box/dp/0394749138
Fiction is great (Shaara's early work is required reading by many military services and schools) but I find what actually happened as fascinating and something one can refer to and apply to current history. Something one should never do with fiction.
I'm never surprised that five deferment Biden is always conveniently forgotten.
3 weeks, 5 days ago on How Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Really Met His Fate
There is no doubt the 75th could take an airfield down. The problem is the complicated part just starts then. After seizing an airfield one has to establish an airhead. It's a monumental task requiring putting enough forces on the ground to establish and maintain at least a 10 mile perimeter around the airfield to defeat MANPADS of which ISIS has plenty and keeping them supplied.
This sort of task is best done by conventional forces. To ignore the security aspect is waiting for a C17 with 300+ troops to get shot down with the subsequent response by our spineless politicians and video war game educated citizens.
If one looks at successful airhead type operations (not raids) the stormtroopers went in followed by conventional in follow on waves or on the ground e.g. Crete, Grenada, Panama. When this isn't done right or is cut off from conventional reinforcements you get Dien Bien Phu which started out as an airfield seizure...
That said, the whole point is mute. The administration has no stomach for US ground troops becoming "combat troops" except for the occasional raid, rescue or withdrawl.
3 weeks, 6 days ago on Potential Boots on the Ground in Iraq and Syria: Key Terrain
Thanks for a fascinating essay Nick. Agree wholeheartedly on your key points. I'd add that hey apply to the run of the mill infantry also.
I tell you the ROPAT results you reported won't be found anywhere else. Too damning. Woukld be good if you could add class dates and such so they could be cited as a counterpoint to all the propaganda.
Could you share how you determined that the Regiment leads among SOF or any regular unit in the captured/killed categories? How did you determine how many enemy are captured/killed by the most black units or the most conventional ones since these stats are not maintained anywhere I can find (or heard of).
3 weeks, 6 days ago on Ranger School, Ranger Battalion, and Female Rangers…The Facts
@Ntwa Dumela @irishiceSP
Agree with your point about everyone can contribute. (the other shoe
is in some units everyone has to contribute in the same way, you can't
always pass off the load to another person)
I'd like to know how many women engaged in hand to hand combat and won.
It's not like the movies...
NEVER going to happen.
First, that female unit's capabilities would differ to such a great degree that the fact that stark differences exist between men and women couldn't be ignored. It would be a mortal wound to the madness.
Think about it. There are two medium machineguns and six light machineguns in a light infantry platoon. With no men around the women would have to carry the heaviest loads (as opposed to having the guys do it) and your unit moves at the pace of the slowest person.
This is just one example of how many little things add up to big ones and there are dozens of them.
Try a little test. Try and find pictures on line with women carrying medium machineguns on any movement of 20 km (the yardstick when it comes to Infantry roadmarches) with a pack or body armor. You'll be looking for a L o n g time.
Agree with your point about everyone can contribute. (the other shoe is in some units everyone has to contribute in the same way, you can't always pass off the load to another person)
It's not like the movies...
I have never heard thatthe Pres can pardon himself and wouldn't he have to be charged with a crime first? Chilling that we even have to think about it.
You're right about pardons in the last days. Think how pardoning every illegal alien for breaking immigration laws will impact the process...
3 weeks, 6 days ago on Ransom paid and lost for Bergdahl
In other but related news Congressman Hunter has discovered that Delta was the bagman for a ransomf for Bergdahl. It ended up in the hands of a con man who disappeared.
Hunter is asking Hagel what about that policy about not paying ransoms especially as we beat up our allies for doing the same thing and after Hagel said no ransom was paid? "Of course", none was. It was a scam but the mental gymnastics are just staggering.
4 weeks ago on Kassig, Bergdahl, and Obama’s New Hostage Policy
Awesome stuff Fru! THANKS or the insight.
1 month ago on Top 5 Qualifications for CIA’s Clandestine Service
FWIW it was my experience at the West Point that Mormon cadets were commonly granted sabbaticals to do their missionary work. They had an over 90% record of coming back to the Academy and graduating.
That kind of persistence along with the uniquely American centric aspect of the religion (it was created here after all) makes Mormon presence in certain gov't sectors a no brainer.