August 2, 1990

On this day in 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, within a few days, VMI alumni in the 82nd and USMC were standing as a thin shield in the desert. The defense of Saudi Arabia, retaking of Kuwait and defeat of Hussein was part of a continuum of combat experienced by VMI alumni of the 1980s and 1990s. There was Grenada. Then Panama in December of 1989. With Noriega’s capture and the collapse of the Soviet Empire, also known as the Warsaw Pact, some VMI Keydets wondered if they’d ever see combat. Then came August 2, 1990. Followed by Somalia and […]

For But a Moment, Old Glory came down

So last week a group of UCI students passed a piece of legislation that took down the American Flag from the the student government work room or lobby, to which I’m unsure.  Since apparently Old Glory breeds intolerance and represents Imperialism.  The bill’s author, Matthew Guevara, I wonder if he understands irony. You see, a distant cousin of his somewhere down the line of centuries ago was Ernesto Guevara de La Serna, whom we all know as a doctor, but more so as a murderer.  His face became a symbol of rebellion, see the El Che shirts everywhere.  I wonder […]

Sue and Settle

Back in the old days, “Climate Change” was called “seasons.” Anthropogenic Global Warming was called “lighting a fire in the wood stove.” Just like the new EPA rules regulate livestock water sources, which will cause ranchers and farmers to dump a lot of animals onto the market, driving down the meat resource and driving up the cost of meat, eggs, and dairy products; the new EPA rules also govern wood-burning stoves. ‘Preposterous!’ you say. ‘The courts will save us!’ you say. No. Not at all. Someone will sue! No, because of several rules, such as determining who has the legal […]

Russia never left The Great Game

Russia never left the Great Game. Obama never studied history, and it shows. While Vladimir Putin demonstrated respect for Bush-43 that was never extended to Obama, Putin still re-started the Great Game with the invasion of Georgia, using the guise of Pan-slavism as his excuse, and Bush’s focus on GWOT as cover. In a little known speech delivered in Sochi last month, Putin announced that Russia is done with the status quo and will change it. But given Russia’s economic predicament, Putin needs a way to distract Russians from the economic mess created by Putin’s kleptocracy. So pan-slavism is again […]

Fall of the Wall: Where Did the Stasi Go?

An interesting essay from Robert Wargas on the Stasi and its ‘day after.’   The Stasi’s methods of controlling the East German population were often wickedly creative. Even among those fairly knowledgeable of the German language, the word “Zersetzung,” used in a political context, is likely unfamiliar. Translated variously as “degradation,” “decomposition,” “disruptiveness,” or “disintegration,” the word is most often used in a biological sense. When it comes to espionage, Zersetzung refers to the Stasi’s practice of destroying a target’s personal life. [emphasis by DaveO] The methods, however, were much more subtle than the word implies. The Stasi perfected their ability […]

Should the 4th Estate be saved?

The 4th Estate, also known as news media, has had a tradition of both a liberal (change-promoting) editorial bent and being the opposition party to whomever is in power. America’s journalism business has a checkered past, with its William Randolph Heart’s Yellow Journalism, and Walter Duranty’s prize-winning [un-]reporting of conditions inside the USSR. In terms of national security and foreign affairs, journalist would tell you why the F-35 is like the Great Wall of China (answer: neither leave the earth, both cost a lot, and were overcome by new technology before completion), or why a treaty was or wasn’t in America’s […]

The Long War

When I was studying in France back in 2009 one of the many unique opportunities I had was to attend the Collogue Guerre Irreguliere/Irregular Warfare Conference at Camp Coetquidan.  And one of the things a British General said was that NATO knew Afghanistan would be a 20 year war.  That it would take an entire generation to fight and rebuild that country. The reason I bring this up, one of our categories here on OPFOR is The Long War.  I’ve had this sneaking suspicion that my generation’s war never ended.  That this irregular enemy, the non-state actor, would continue to […]

The Day Our World Stopped Turning

As the junior member of the group I haven’t really reflected on this today.  11 September 2001, I was in the seventh grade.  12 years old, mom almost kept us home, but the college decided they were going to push and she dropped us off at school.  I honestly don’t know if she got much work done that day. As much as my teachers may have wanted it to remain normal, they exacerbated the issue by not playing the news for us that day.  We’d all watched the beginning with the towers smoking, I didn’t see either collapse until that […]

Why not make Afghanistan a US state?

I’m starting to believe the “fierce moral urgency” of ending the “good war” in Afghanistan is like Obamacare. Why not make Afghanistan a US state? While many Americans have been led to believe the war in Afghanistan will soon be over, a draft of a key U.S.-Afghan security deal obtained by NBC News shows the United States is prepared to maintain military outposts in Afghanistan for many years to come, and pay to support hundreds of thousands of Afghan security forces.  

Hollywood redefines The Hero, but America isn’t buying

Hollywood, famous for redefining accounting and corporate welfare even as it preaches the gospels of paying taxes and political correctness, periodically redefines The Hero. Today in America, Hollywood provides essentially four choices, with each being a parody of reality: First, there’s the Comic Book Super Hero, then there is the un-male nothing-burger, followed by the clown. and lastly the something that Hollywood’s present cadre of super-geniuses can’t pull off: the Anti-Hero. The Hollywood elite are at least as talented as Richard Brooks and Burt Lancaster in Elmer Gantry, because they tell us they are. So why is Hollywood’s worship of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden […]