A Man worth Following

Yesterday Senator James Webb announced an exploratory bid for the presidency.  I honestly never thought of him as a Candidate for the job.  The reality is that the bench on the Democratic side is extraordinarily slim.  The Republicans have a few guys I’d take a look at.  Many of you might recall him as the combat boot wearing candidate who ran for the Virginia Senate seat.  Although it was in solidarity of his son who was deployed at the time.  Webb, a Marine, is a Combat Veteran of Vietnam who was award for conspicuous gallantry on numerous occasions, an accomplished […]

“Accomplished Nothing” in Afghanistan

So says SIGAR, in the realm of economic development: SIGAR’s chief, John Sopko, told reporters Tuesday, that the agency has opened an “in-depth review” into the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO), a Defense Department unit aimed at developing war zone mining, industrial development and fostering private investments. “We have gotten serious allegations about the management and mismanagement of that agency, as well as a policy question about what they were doing and whether they should have existed,” Sopko said. Not “news” in the strict sense, but still disheartening and damning. I did my time in NTMA/CSTC-A, so […]

When English gets in the way of understanding

Is this Pentagonian, or some weird mutation from Wharton? This is a helpful guide to understanding a boss who’s knowledge is one business article deep. Please feel free to add to this list. 1.     Reach Out – Just say call, speak, email etc. Unless you’re physically going to touch someone. 2.     Take off line – Talk about this later. Alternate: you’re embarrassing  the boss 3.     Shift the goal post – This is just a sports metaphor for saying your goal was out of reach. 4.     Utilize – use! 5.     Elephant in the room – Unless it’s an actual elephant, this […]

HQDA and Congress need to stop

Any time something about race in the military comes up I amped up.  This most recent article about the Army wanting to make the military and really the officer-corps more cosmopolitan gets my dander up.  Why Slater, why would you say that?  Well, when they first hit the nail “they,” and whoever “they” are is the enemy, talk about the percentage of black officers within the Army.  The truth is, you can’t force an all-volunteer force into being something unless you make racial quotas and deny folks that are qualified for folks that are unqualified. That’s how you get things […]

What is the proper role of DoD in political elections?

Seriously? Old scandals from Panetta’s circus brings up the question: can Buttercup’s DoD do any better? Something to consider: because people who wear the uniform are perceived to be uniformly conservative (and many of our readers can enjoy a hearty laugh about that), servicemembers and employees who are Democrats, Republicans, Greens, Libertarians and whatever else political affiliation had their privilige stripped from them for the sin of relying on DoD to follow the law. What is the proper role of DoD in political elections? Is it right and proper for DoD to do anything more than giving servicemembers and employees time off to […]

The Burden of War

Falleth not upon the Soldier, or Marine, or Sailor, or Airman.  But on the people who sent him to that beach without water.  Here‘s an interesting article by Sebastian Junger who has spent much of his journalistic career embedded among Soldiers to tell their story. The Soldier. . .is a tool.  When you hammer a nail as you build a bed frame, what take responsibility for it?  The hammer?  I would say no.  It must be the person hammering the nail.  To that effect, the Soldier is a tool, he should not bear the majority of the pain or blame […]

Failure To Lead: The Islamic State Ascends

I recently shared amongst the five of us the first dispatch from VICE News on the Islamic State.  If you don’t have HBO, fear not VICE News posts everything onto their website and youtube channel.  Where these guys go makes Michael Yon look an amateur of epic proportions.  They go and get the story, for you and I. Today the top American Advisor in Iraq, LTGEN Mick Bednarek, was quoted saying: “This is not just an Iraqi issue. This is not just a regional issue. This is a common enemy issue that we’ve got to address.” Remember the $100M that went […]

The Shape of the Drawdown

So far the shape of the drawdown only affects us the plebeians of the American Warrior Society: the junior and field grade officers, junior Soldiers and Lower Non-Commissioned officers.  What I’ve been saying is that the Army has not been serious like the Marine Corps has by offering Early retirement.  The current 15 year retirement only pertains to those with enlister and commissioned service.  The current Reduction In Force some could say was looked at strategically. I would say that it has not.  Just barely has it reached the Field Grade Level.  Majors and Lieutenant Colonels just had the OSBs […]

Douglas MacGregor: Make the Army even smaller!

Col (R) MacGregor is arguing that the Army needs to get smaller.  Supposedly members of congress are listening.  One thing I don’t agree with is the dismantling of the Brigade Combat team.  That transformation that took place under Rumsfeld although done very painfully is a good thing.  Brigades are self-sustaining.  The negative with that in the last decade of war you have not seen Division headquarters actually have to maneuver the entire formation.  But what is even more fun is that MacGregor wants to eliminate divisions and make small formations of “Battle Groups,”  the description sounds like a BCT to […]

General Dempsey finds a fight he can win

The original editorial here. And the hat tip goes to the Washington Free Beacon, who’s translation is found here. It is a reasonable attempt at saying something, but beyond having Captain Obvious write the filler for him, what is Dempsey saying? Help me Obi Wan, I don’t speak Pentagonian! Interest paragraph: It would be difficult enough if all we had to grapple with was what Naím calls the “decay of power.” But the waypower relationships are changing varies greatly from region to region across the globe.