The Civilian Army in Our Midst

Congress authorizes our end strength, and the Services do what they are told.  We haven’t had a strong voiced service Chief in the Army since Shinseki told Rumsfeld you couldn’t invade Iraq with a “whambam thank you ma’am” strategy.  Which is what they attempted to do. . .many issues followed the invasion to be discussed ad nauseum later. But I came across this article in the Wall Street Journal that talks about how the civilian DoD work force has just exploded in support of the military.  Yet our troop numbers are beginning to dwindle, and the guys that wear suits […]

The Islamic State in Europe

The area is home to followers of the strict Sunni Islam Wahhabi movement. It has been raided by police several times over the past decade due to suspected links with radical groups. A report on jihadism in Bosnia said: “Returning foreign fighters from Syria and Iraq – battle-hardened, skilled in handling arms and explosives, and ideologically radicalised – pose a direct threat not only to the security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also of the region and beyond.” Five points to consider: 1. The area is home to a large number of Iranian IRC soldiers sent to Bosnia since Yugoslavia dissolved. […]

The Return of the Hollow Force

As the youngest of us here on Op-For, I remain in service to Columbia. I signed that dotted line prior to my rat year at VMI, the War in Iraq was at its height, the surge going into full swing and there was an initiative from President Bush Called “Grow the Army.”  “Grow the Army” the Army reached a height of 570,000 Soldiers.  We all thought then, that all of us would be going to war.  Many of us have, yet most of us have not.  I would say we’re both lucky in different ways. There was an officer in […]

A Report on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program

From the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence [sic], for your review and comment. (Here’s some not-so-fast criticism from someone in the know. And this, too. And THIS!) War is an ugly business, and it’s not for the faint of heart. What, now?  

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 […]

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. […]

Why, What on Earth Could Go Wrong??

Oh, just all sorts of things. WASHINGTON — U.S. intelligence officials are planning a sweeping system of electronic monitoring that would tap into government, financial and other databases to scan the behavior of many of the 5 million federal employees with secret clearances, current and former officials told The Associated Press. The system is intended to identify rogue agents, corrupt officials and leakers, and draws on a Defense Department model under development for more than a decade, according to officials and documents reviewed by the AP. Annnnnd… The price tag, Clapper conceded, “is going to be costly.” Sounds to me […]

Assymetric Oddity: Warheads Seized in Jamaica

An asymmetric oddity with your morning coffee: Police in Jamaica say authorities have seized 3,300 missile warheads and a machine to make missiles and bullets.  

Congress doesn’t lose power…it just gives it away.

It seems today was another morning where I had spit out my coffee.  I turned the news on, as this road to war with Syria, it seems the speed bumps are getting flattened by the POTUS’ steam roller.   Although when I read that the Admiral Kuznetsov will be sailing for Tartus and becoming the flagship of the current naval task force, it put me at ease a little.  The total of Russian ships on stations would be less than ten, although the sheer firepower will not the equal the USN’s it will be enough to cause the USN to take pause. […]

Snowden: the Tip of the Iceberg

Just in case anyone still believes that Snowden had all these “noble” ideas of revealing domestic spying, read this article detailing some of the Top Secret US intelligence budget. While the Washington Post is only publishing part of it, this information is certainly in the hands of the Chinese and the Russians.  It is mind boggling to me that he had access to this document and it gives me further confidence that he had far more information with him than the story he told.  This is bad.