Notes from the Jordanian Border

I get emails from all quarters of the globe, from “every clime and place” as it were. Here is one from a Marine I know who is out on duty with a border training team. He gave me permission to post it, and added, “If we can’t make a legitimate contribution to the Long War, at least maybe our saga will amuse a few folks.” He is an exceptional officer, and as you will be able to tell, a perceptive observer and chronicler…

Monday A.M. Prep Fires, 28 Aug 06

I’ve been quiet lately because Mrs Maj P has been out of town and so I”ve been playing full-time dad with Son & Heir, age 16 months. I have much sharper appreciation for what my wife does on a daily basis, and I wouldn’t trade these four days for anything. In the news… A spasm of violence in Iraq; five American dead. The release of the Fox News crew is a welcome development, and their experience highlights the kind of enemy we are fighting. Bombs in Turkey… who do you think is responsible? The IRA? The Basques? The Red Brigades? […]

"There is no easy way to do this"

4th Civil Affairs Group, a Marine reserve unit from Washington DC, heads back to Iraq for the third tour. The Washington Post– I’ll hold back the usual remark– has a very good article on them. To borrow B5’s phrase, these are people we should all know. “With each deployment of the 4th CAG, the dangers in Iraq have increased. Even as this unit and others are being asked to shoulder a mission that carries a soaring amount of risk, top U.S. military leaders are telling Congress that they fear Iraq is sliding into civil war. Even as many here at […]

Two Items from Iraq

The first, “Sadr’s Militia and Slaughter in the Streets” is sort of a dog-bites-man-and-urinates-on-hydrant story in the sense that it is merely confirmation of what we already knew. Yet the text is very revealing. The second, “British Leave Iraqi Base; Militia Supporters Jubilant,” is more interesting from a tactical point of view. The author makes it sound like they hauled ass out of the base. I think that is probably not the case. The real item here is what that battalion is going to do now: “Adopting tactics used by a British special forces unit in North Africa during World […]

Dog Bites Man, Chases Mailman, Urinates on Hydrant

“Iran Rejects Offer for Nuclear Talks” This is surely worthy of attention and comment, but is it “news”? I don’t think so. Who thought that the Iranians would just roll over and play along? THAT would have been news. This? This is just another turn down a very ugly road. And what, pray tell, will be done about it?

This Is What Milblogging Is About

Matt at Blackfive interviews a Marine in Iraq. This is what milblogging is all about. I enjoy pontificating and I think I provide some decent scratch analysis, but Matt just hit the proverbial nail right on its head.

Willingness vs Readiness

My quaint and amusing local paper is a goldmine of interesting subjects today. See this: “War Stirs Worry in Israel Over State of Military”. Now, I believe that when this dust-up started, I asked aloud if the famously fit IDF reserves were as fit as they could be. I was never in doubt about their courage and conviction. What I wanted to know is how well they were organized into cohesive units, how well they trained in those units, and what was the state of their equipment and material. Willingness is a state of mind; readiness is a statement of […]

Five Questions on Lebanon

A former Assistant SecDef asks some questions about the LebaNon-Peacekeeping force in today’s WaPo. Those questions are: 1. What is the mission of the force? 2. What will be the relationship of the force to the Lebanese government, and particularly to the Lebanese military? 3. Will the mission go beyond the purely military? 4. What will be the composition of the force? 5. What resources will be provided beyond the peacekeeping force? These are entirely sensible questions, but he fails to address the central issue. Will southern Lebanon be a terrorist stronghold and thus the main battlefield in a continuous […]

Lebanon and the Non-Decision

The nonsensical cease-fire in Lebanon is dragging on, prolonging the agony of all the peoples involved and forestalling a badly needed decision. For those of you out there who favor the paper exercise and its concomitant multi-national farce, I would say, stop being fooled, it has no substance. Where, then, do matters stand?

Too Many Consuls, Too Few Captains

In line with John’s most recent question of the day and my own unaccustomed gloom, Op-For loyalists might be interested in a post I have on my other blog—what, you didn’t know I had another blog?? It’s titled, “Too Many Consuls, Too Few Captains,” drawing from the epic of Horatius at the bridge. The story runs like this: Rome is threatened by omnipotent tyrant who resents the city-state asserting its independence by expelling its king. Tyrant gathers large army and one Roman traitor, sets out to conquer. Pillage and destruction ensue; Roman government knows what is happening but fails to […]