Fair Specimens of Citizen Soldiers
Here’s a very good op-ed in the WaPo– “The Election’s Invisible War.”
Rather than post a pithy excerpt, I’d prefer you go read the whole thing.
It was a mistake to not mention the war or even “our heroic troops” during the convention – I’m sure they felt it was too risky.
….it’s hard to push forward towards the enemy when your leading from behind.
“Obama has commanded the war in Afghanistan with a kind of split-the-baby ambivalence.” So Hiatt tosses in a poorly-constructed bit of Old Testatmentism to say Obama has run the war with both Solomonic wisdom, and the conviction of a skater dude deciding between an egg roll and a burrito at the 7-11.
“Last summer Obama overruled his generals’ advice in ordering a drawdown of 10,000 troops in 2011 and an additional 23,000 by this summer.” War is too important to be left to the Generals. Unless they’re calling for retreat when they must be heeded.
Here’s the important take away in Afghanistan: anti-aircraft missiles hit the plane carrying the CJCS. That the missiles were duds are immaterial to an army that believes it will withdraw through the airhead at Bagram.
Iran is exercising its air defense system. Ostensibly to defend against Israel, but by moving several platforms to the vicinity of the Iran-Pakistani border, or even across that border, the American airbridge may become untenable.
Will a lame duck Obama listen to his generals and admirals? Will either candidate highlight how precarious the situation is from an operational standpoint? According to Hiatt, Romney wouldn’t know, and Obama wouldn’t care.
When did anti-aircraft missiles hit the plane carrying the CJCS? Did I miss something while I was here? I remember the rockets that struck near the plane while it sat on the tarmac on Bagram airfield and lightly damaged it (sans the CJCS, who was off getting a briefing or giving a speech at the time). I don’t remember an anti-aircraft missile hitting it.
There have been, thankfully, very, very few attacks on aircraft involving MANPADS.
The Stinger changed the course of the war in favor of the mujahideen. The SA-7, launched in volume, could make for a bigger victory than the Kasserine Pass. Unless we invade Pakistan and clear a ground route to the ports.
Everyone knows about the Stinger and its effect on the Soviet experience. There were reasons for that. There are also very valid reasons why MANPADS have not been used in Afghanistan and why only a few were used in Iraq (the DHL cargo plane being hit and forced to return to BIAP is the most notable one in my memory).
I do not believe that the military plans some sort of mass exodus via Bagram Airfield. Obviously, that would be stupid. Invading Pakistan even more so.
A good summing up there, PSYOP Cop. I would add that the SA-7 had a very poor track record in Afghanistan even when it was available in larger numbers.
You use the word “stupid,” but inside the Pentagon, that’s a feature, not a bug. Good luck!
No argument there. If the Pentagon dreamed up an idea to do something like that, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.
I always wonderwed why we didn’t face more MANPAD attacks…In Iraq we found a weapons cache that included a couple SA-7s…this was in the flight path of a US FOB. Some of the people “associated” with the cache were asked why they weren’t used, and they said that the weapons were being stored for future use against the Iranians when they came after the US left. I doubted it at the time, be it does make me wonder why they aren’t used more often.
Got to admire people that plan ahead.