The Hagelian Dialectic

Perhaps a certain Senate Majority leader was premature. SecDef Hagel is certainly inspiring confidence.   History tells us in the last 3,000 years we’ve had perhaps 250 years of peace, with millions slaughtered to make way for various and sundry master races, religions, and ego. Maybe SecDef Hagel’s Aide could read him a bedtime story about Hannibal and Scipio some time. Or Bellisarius and Narses. Something besides Ernest P. Worrell.

The changing face of war

The greatest horror stories take place in your mind. H. P. Lovecraft planted suggestions, such as the renewed vigor of Robert Suydam that grew into terror at the discovery of mysterious clawmarks on the body of his wife in “The Horror at Red Hook.” Artillery is most effective because it invisible in action, but its affect morally devastates those who survive. We respect and fear snipers for this same reason. Facing your enemy decreases the senses of horror and helplessness. Whether in the boxing ring or on the battlefield, a face is humanizing, and humans can be defeated, especially non-Americans. But the […]

Corporal [sic] Hassoun Gets His (First) Day in Court

ETP0802 sent this along and wondered aloud, “Will be interesting to see how touchy/feely this one goes…” Any bets?  

100,000 Snowdens?

100,000 people is beyond big when it comes to security clearances. Thank you Mike Burke for reminding me of this article. Do I believe there are 100,000 Snowdens working as contractors? No, but then Snowden would have to be a Genius of Immense Magnitude to learn the NSA system, disable all internal monitoring, and download the Crown Jewels without leaving any traces as to just what was accessed in less than 3 months and escape out of the country when most experienced SysAdmin and DBA are still learning the environment in that time. Or the NSA is the F-35 of IT Security. […]

Happy Birthday, C-130!

Sixty years old! Here’s a great vid of the landing on the carrier (starts at about :30)– I’ve ridden a C-130 from 29 Palms to Cherry Point, another from Bagram to Kabul, I’ve jumped out of a few, and I’ve watched one pound the shit out of Fallujah in 2004. It’s a pretty nifty piece of gear, and I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon.  

Colonel A.C. Volant ’88 Takes Command

Another fair specimen of a citizen-soldier! “Col. Adam C. Volant [L] takes command of the Fairfax-based Information Operations Support Center…” Congrats on the command and the recent promotion!  

“Who’s Getting Riffed?”

Re the upcoming Army RIFs, Parker Longbaugh tossed this over the transom. Not being a member of the US Army, I have no business commenting so I’ll levy the expertise of our three (3) Army brethren plus all of you in commenter land. Thanks for serving your country, Major. Now hit the bricks. Have at it!

Blind Hog Finds an Acorn

While I generally find William Lind a horse rear end, he nevertheless is capable at times of great insight, his comment on the Officer Corps I think hits the nail on the head particularly in the Army. At Boyd’s next level, the mental, our officers are not professionals. They are merely craftsman. They have learned what they do on a monkey-see, monkey-do basis and know no more. What defines a professional—historically there were only three professions, law, medicine, and theology—is that he has read, studied, and knows the literature of his field. The vast majority of our officers read no […]

“Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the Theory and Practice of Jihad”

Well worth a look: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is not a formally trained military commander. However, he is not illiterate or a common thug such as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who led al Qaeda in Iraq until his death in 2006. Al-Baghdadi holds a doctorate in theology from a theological seminary and appears to be a keen student of American tactics as they were passed on to the Iraqi Army, as well as the military practices of his Syrian Baathist opponents. Whether he is a military prodigy or merely a very talented student and practitioner of military art is irrelevant. To date, […]

“To the Shores of Kurd-i-stan…”

Interesting: ABOARD MILITARY AIRCRAFT, OVER THE BERING SEA — The military has sent 130 advisers to northern Iraq to plan for the evacuation of refugees under siege by Islamic militants, according to a senior Defense Department official. The Marines and special operations forces have been sent to the city of Irbil in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq to assess the humanitarian crisis in the Sinjar mountains and ways to end it, said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity because officials were not authorized to speak publicly about the mission. Too little, too late? What say you?