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Interests: History (all kinds), theology, literature, cowboy boots, the War Between the States, Norwich Terriers.
Recent Activity
I've been ill the last month and need some time off from SST. Adam Silverman is the Deputy Moderator of SST and will deal with the blog until I return. BTW, IMO the best thing on TV just now is... Continue reading
Posted 3 hours ago at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Allen Thomson Bullis? Army posts usually are de facto wildlife preserves. pl
Toggle Commented 17 hours ago on New York City wildlife at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Matthew "... hidden snipers and booby traps everywhere." John Wayne movies and the BS of returned draftees seeking sympathy aside it really was not like that. We fought them. They fought us and the villagers and city people wanted to stay out of the way to the extent that either side would allow them to do so. Boredom was the major threat to most US soldiers in VN, that and cheap heroin made available by the VC apparat at bargain prices. Oh, yes, then there was VD from the masses of women who were looking to make a few dollars whenever they could. You had to be unlucky and caught in a billet bombing in the cities or in an actual combat unit and out in the field looking for the enemy to be at risk most of the time. pl
Image pl Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Babak "Their ancestral ways included having sex with young boys." Yes. Many folkways are deplorable but not worth fighting over. pl
ex PFC Chuck "Smiling Al Kesselring" was an accomplished German Army officer and a member of the Great General Staff when he transferred to the rising and emerging Luftwaffe to get faster promotion. pl
WBS "NO WAR IS WINNABLE!" Ask the Germans or Japanese if they were defeated in WW2. pl
Elaine Brace yourself for the news that most people out in the 3rd World DO NOT WANT TO BE LIKE US or our European cousins. They like their own ways. They do not like ours and they think we are funny with all our baloney about democracy. They only like democracy when it benefits their sub-group. They find our prattle about corruption to be amusing and believe it to be hypocritical. Sometimes it is that. They think the way they treat women is their business, not ours and as I wrote a lot of them are willing to fight us over our idea that we can make them be like us. That is why the Pushtuns and various groups of Iraqis, etc fight us so hard. We have tried now since 9/11 to transform these people and a lot of Americans have died or been horribly hurt in the process. Where would you like to try next? The whole Kodak Moments approach to COIN has been tried by the US many times. The Green Berets are particularly good at this. I am one and a member of two Montagnard hillmen tribes in Vietnam and Laos. The Montagnard tribes in SE Asia accepted us as their allies against the Vietnamese because the Vietnamese on both sides simply wanted to get rid of the Montagnards because they were not Vietnamese and would never be. Are you in favor of unending war against those who do not accept to be like us? pl
Elaine "In hindsight perhaps we should have backed the USSR when they went into Afghanistan" I see. Cultural transformation trumps everything for you. pl
Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear ... pl Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Elaine It appears that you think that COIN is being nice to the natives. Try reading this. pl
Elaine It doesn't appear to me that you have a clear concept of what COIN means. Can you describe it? pl
fred82 "have you ever heard the expression "water me" in relation to David Petraeus?" Enlighten me. pl
Patrick Bahzad "SAMS graduates served in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and were "remembered most famously in the early days for producing the 'Jedi Knights' employed by Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf in developing the famous 'left hook'  ".[24] Wiki on SAMS pl
Patrick Bahzad I don't know about Boyd's influence in Desert Saber. After Schwartzkopf's initial frontal plan was rejected by Powell, a planning cell of "Jedi Knights" was brought in from the second year phase of the General Staff course at Leavenworth. They planned the operation. pl
VV Worse than what the old upper class had become by WW2. pl
Patrick Bahzad I can understand that for a local government the time bought for the emergence of a national ethos can be useful even if the time is measured in centuries. For a foreign interventionist power, centuries are no longer available. pl
TV IMO the Likud government/Zionist interest in this country together are more than enough to be the player in this. A lot of the money behind this is in both parties. pl
VV "a sign of the success of the aristocrat counter-revolt." I would say the success of the Snopesian neo-aristocrat rise to power. pl
TV "is a question?" No. They are seeking to kneecap her so that a Republican who will be compliant with Zionist wishes will be elected. The talking heads on the tube are just following editorial direction and some few are directly complicit in this effort. pl
LL It is not acceptable here to post under your e-mail address. I have changed that to "LL." The problem with COIN in any of its manifestations is that it very rarely works. it sounds terrific as a theory but the costs inherent in suppressing a rebellion that has profound roots in the politics, ethnicity or sects of a country are just too great for any external power and almost always for a "national government" trying to unify a country. it never worked for the post WW2 colonials trying to re-establish their rule, and it doesn't work for a national government trying to establish "nationhood" over a fractured society. The problem is always the same. the material and psychological costs are too great for lasting success to happen. I was trained by the French and British experts that Bahzad spoke of. That was in the mid-60s at Fort Bragg. I then worked in that field in S. America, SE Asia, East Africa, etc. for ten years. This was before I met you and before my amusing reporting from Yemen, reporting that reflected hard won knowledge of the impossibility of "uniting" a place like Yemen. The only local government success at COIN that I can name off hand would be Ramon Magsasay's effort against the Huks and that never included the Moros who fight on against Filipinohood to this day. BTW, the US had exactly the same experience with the Moros after the Phillipine Insurrection. The US won the COIN war in SE Asia as the French did in Algeria but in the end the psychological costs of the struggle were too great for the "metropole" to persist indefinitely and the French people and De Gaulle quit as did the US people as expressed by the congressional abandonment of the Vietnamese. COIN failed in VN. COIN failed in Iraq. COIN has failed in Afghanistan even though it will be propped up for a while by a sizable US garrison. COIN is a romantic fiction, a non-war theory of war and Petraeus is exposed as the charlatan he always was. I published the following on SST in December, 2009. pl
Matthew Petraeus graduated from Hudson High in 1975. The VN War was over. Don't ever excuse things like My Lai. There were very few instances of our soldiers doing things like that. Don't believe crap like that. I don't care what that lying self serving bastard Kerry said before the senate. At My Lai, a brigade raised for the war from odd bits and pieces and often led by officers who would never have been commissioned except for extreme circumstance, was led by those officers themselves to commit this crime against humanity. Calley and Medina were beneath contempt for what they did. To their credit some of the soldiers in Calley's platoon simply refused to participate in the murders. One helicopter pilot landed his "bird" between the shooters and the victims and threatened to fire on them if they did not desist. I had just arrived in Germany after a year in VN and when my wife told me of Hersh's story, I refused to believe it until I saw the photographs. I had never seen VN civilians look afraid of Americans in that way. I expect the usual back blast here from those who still want to justify what they left the rest of us to do forty years ago. If you want to find those responsible for My Lai talk to Ivy League grads who would not serve then and who let Calley and Medina take their places. pl
"... we are still living with the nuclear-strike doctrine of the Cold War, which dictated three strategic options: first strike, launch on warning and post-attack retaliation. There is no reason to believe that Russia and the United States have discarded... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Sic Semper Tyrannis
A. Pols & Steve G Yes, he does retain all that because he has not been dismissed. I look forward (irony) to his appearance at a state dinner in blue mess uniform. It should be said that retired service people retain so much because the retirement system has always been designed (since the 1850s) to retain people for a full career and then get them to leave before physical incapacity for field service sets in. War is a young person's business. After the mid 40s most people become a burden to the troops if they are in the field. Something else that should be mentioned is that for officers the system is ruthless in its out-selection. The ranks structure of the military is very pyramidal and if you are not selected for promotion, you are put out on the street often with nothing. This is softened in wartime for the "good of the service" but the end of hostilities ALWAYS sees an unrelenting drive to shrink numbers and get rid of officers who are at the bottom of their year group's "order of merit." That is underway now. Promotion rates have been very high since 9/11. That has ended. Of all 2nd Lts commissioned in the Army the number who make it to retired (as opposed to former) status is historically under 5%. pl
Bobo Hack was a friend. I, too, know what he would have said. Petraeus and some of his Whoopoo running mate pals are a group that has grifted their way through life most admirably beginning with a free first rate undergraduate degree. Actually more than free, they were salaried while studying. pl