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Grim
Interests: history, philosophy, mythology, military science.
Recent Activity
I knew Ed Cardon when he was a one-star, serving as DCG-S for 3ID in Iraq. He was a very smart guy, and seems to have gone on to great things. He flubs a couple of dates, but it's just the verbal version of a typo. It's worth listening to what he has to say. Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Posted Mar 16, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
I'm working on a project that involves a history of these groups. If you have stories or memories about dealing with them you might like included, hit me at grimbeornr AT yahoo DOT com. Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
It'd be pretty embarrassing to try to say there was no civil war. The other points are accurate, however. I was there for the Surge, and it did work. We gave them a chance, and it might have held if a certain president had negotiated a bilateral security agreement that kept a stabilizing presence on the ground. Instead, the agreements between the factions we painstakingly crafted fell apart once Maliki was liberated from anything that could restrain him from following his worst impulses. Which impulses have gotten pretty bad, lately. The militia he's deploying are striving to prove themselves less legitimate than ISIS as representatives of a governing force. http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=ad6_1425405833 It was like that when I got there. It wasn't like that when I left. I'm pretty sure the reason it's like that again now is a complete failure by the administration that tracks right to the top.
Toggle Commented Mar 12, 2015 on SOCCENT Report on ISIS/Daesh at BLACKFIVE
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Really? Doesn't show up on my machine. Try this direct download link.
Toggle Commented Mar 9, 2015 on SOCCENT Report on ISIS/Daesh at BLACKFIVE
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This assessment by "an unofficial brain trust" within the Interagency was commissioned by Major General Nagata, Commander, US Special Operations Command Central. They're pretty impressed. Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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The ability to hire career prison guards may in some sense be a proof of legitimacy, but I'm not convinced it's the best such proof. Nor do I think that prisons are a good for the health of a society -- our own over-reliance on them is already one of the things I think most worth criticizing in my own. The Pope doesn't care for executions either, though, so you're in good company.
Toggle Commented Mar 9, 2015 on Authorization of Force vs. ISIS/Daesh at BLACKFIVE
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I would have said that the sin deserving the cesspool was collaborating with Nazis, but I suppose we can differ on interpretations. Shooting the Nazis doesn't strike me as particularly bad, though they formally deserved a POW status that terrorists and guerrillas often do not: they had likely deserved from French hands what they got at French hands. In any case, pirates, brigands, enslavers of women and destroyers of historical treasures are not high on my list of people with whom I'd like to share the world. I see no reason to pay to house them forever. Once they've had the mandatory status hearing to demonstrate that they are in fact members of such a band they -- like the part of Blackbeard's crew that didn't die with him -- deserve the rope.
Toggle Commented Mar 9, 2015 on Authorization of Force vs. ISIS/Daesh at BLACKFIVE
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I mean, that may not be Mattis' concept -- he talks about holding them 'until the end of hostilities,' which may mean 'for life.' But I think it's a workable concept for members of these groups. Otherwise, you're introducing a radicalizing virus into whatever prisoner setup you do have.
Toggle Commented Mar 8, 2015 on Authorization of Force vs. ISIS/Daesh at BLACKFIVE
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That's right, prisons were very important to the formation of some of these groups. We provided them with a safe place to meet and develop relationships and plans: they couldn't trust each other enough to do it. (Likewise, now that they're back 'in the wild,' al Qaeda in Iraq and the Islamic State of Iraq have broken up again; they're fighting not just each other in Syria, now known as al Nusra Front and ISIS, but are also preying on erstwhile allies among the Syrian resistance). So I think the concept is summary execution -- which, by the way, was the standard the French Resistance preferred in WWII. My father used to convey a story from one of our uncles about some POWs he turned over to a French Resistance unit, only to be met with horror by his commanders when he reported it. Rushing back, he found that the prisoners were nowhere to be found. "They all got sick and died," the Resistance told him.
Toggle Commented Mar 8, 2015 on Authorization of Force vs. ISIS/Daesh at BLACKFIVE
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Another piece by this Mattis guy. Once again, he seems to know what he's talking about. Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Remorse isn't my game. The wheel keeps turning.
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2015 on Jordan Allies with the Tribes at BLACKFIVE
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A New American Grand Strategy by someone called "James Mattis." Sounds like he knows what he's talking about. He must have an interesting background. Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
That's roughly my view as well. A Kurdish free state, and a Sunni tribal state of some sort in eastern Syria and Western Iraq. Both of these would be plausible buffers against Iran, as well as potential allies (once we recover from this momentary lapse of sanity with regard to our Iran policy).
Toggle Commented Feb 27, 2015 on Jordan Allies with the Tribes at BLACKFIVE
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Turkey appears to be allowing ISIS to resupply from its territory mostly without interdiction. There have been a few exchanges of fire, but the Turks seem to favor a radical Sunni state on their border to an Iranian proxy. They've offered similar free passes to al Nusra Front, which is the group formerly known as al Qaeda in Iraq.
Toggle Commented Feb 27, 2015 on Jordan Allies with the Tribes at BLACKFIVE
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This is the policy likeliest to succeed, provided that you're willing to accept the secession of Western Iraq. Our government is opposed to that, but I see no reason why we should be at this point. Baghdad has proven it was, and remains, unwilling to treat the Sunni population justly. It held together while the US remained in Iraq to enforce the peace, and perhaps in time if we had stayed they would have learned to trust each other and work together. We left, and the Shi'a led government chose the path of fear. It is that very dynamic that allowed Daesh, the so-called "Islamic State," to spread rapidly through Western Iraq. They are horrible people, though, and are preferable for Iraq's Sunnis only to the hostile and corrupt government in Baghdad. I would not be surprised to see a Sunni kingdom built around one of the larger tribal groups emerge from this conflict, a state perhaps like Jordan itself: not perfect but better than what they have now, and a buffer against Iranian efforts to dominate the Levant. Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Sparks: Did you mean to jump straight from "it's awful how they treat their women" to "...and their livestock"? :)
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At least we'll hear no more complaints about America not showing up.
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B5 Crew, Jerusalem. Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
That is good. That is good.
Toggle Commented Dec 4, 2014 on For All the John Kerry Fans at BLACKFIVE
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"How well do you know Genghis Khan?" Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
How did the reaction compare to Reese Bobby's? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlYbpDylmUs Good speech. Good to see you, Froggy. Happy Veteran's Day.
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Have some appropriate motivation. NSFW, unless your job is awesome. (H/t: Gruntworks.) Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
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David French in the National Review explains why our "moderate allies" seem especially prone to dropping their guns and fleeing. All of this should be elementary, but the increasing lack of combat experience in the highest echelons of our government suggests it’s not. At the most elementary level, a soldier has to find the moral courage to overcome primal fear. And when fighting jihadists, the Iraqi soldier or Syrian moderate faces a sudden, terrifying reality. They are coming, and they will not stop. That is the reality of fighting disciplined armies, but it is also the reality of fighting fanatics — of people who give the impression that they don’t care whether they live or die, that the normal rules of human preservation have been utterly discarded, and they exist only to kill or be killed. In the face of such ferocity, there is but one response: We shall not be moved. This is the response of the American fighting man... This is so fundamental that it explains why storied units like the 3rd Infantry Division go to such trouble to maintain their unit history, and teach it to new members. The sense of belonging to a tradition like this, and having a heritage to uphold or to shame, is one of the things that motivates young men to stand their ground. They know their predecessors went through terrors just as bad, and somehow managed to find the way. They know it can be done. They just have to do it too. When you are fighting an army that literally believes that God is on its side, you are going to need a tremendous amount of moral courage. A force must be found, or made, that has such courage if this enemy is to be defeated. It will not be the forces supporting a corrupt government that has deserved little loyalty. Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
If God sends us a second Joan of Arc, I'll be the first to follow her where she wills.
Toggle Commented Oct 10, 2014 on Women in the Combat Arms at BLACKFIVE
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