Donald Rumsfeld, A Documentary

I ran across the trailer for the Documentary: The Unknown Known.  The title of the documentary comes from a DoD briefing in February of 2002 when he famously said: “There are known knowns.”  It was directed by Academy Award winner Errol Morris whom also directed The Fog of War, which was an excellent documentary about the life of Robert McNamara. I’m unsure how I will take this, I grew up in the shadow of war following, 11 SEP 2001.  However, I will say I was well read, knowing of the Neo-Conservative movement and all of the folks that were in […]

Down Goes Fallujah

With a bang, not a whimper. BEIRUT — A rejuvenated al-Qaeda-affiliated force asserted control over the western Iraqi city of Fallujah on Friday, raising its flag over government buildings and declaring an Islamic state in one of the most crucial areas that U.S. troops fought to pacify before withdrawing from Iraq two years ago. The capture of Fallujah came amid an explosion of violence across the western desert province of Anbar in which local tribes, Iraqi security forces and al-Qaeda-affiliated militants have been fighting one another for days in a confusingly chaotic three-way war. How many soldiers, sailors, airmen and […]

Material for Thinking

Robert Kaplan whom I first encountered when I read his Balkan’s Ghost prior to deploying to Kosovo in 2000, is in my opinion one of the big thinkers of our age.  Over at Foreign Policy, he has a fascinating article that I urge all to read and think about, entitled Augustine’s World. Syria is the Levant, the geographical core of Late Antiquity. And its disintegration, like the crumbling of Libya, Yemen, and Iraq, along with the chronic unrest in Tunisia and Egypt, signifies not the birth of freedom but the collapse of central authority. Rome could not save North Africa, […]

Joe’s Language

From NPR, the almost definitive guide to the language of the troops.

Gun-Day Sunday: WWI Field Guns Repatriated

Like the old Canadian Ross rifle we had in our office at Camp Eggers, if these field guns could talk I bet they’d have a story to tell. In 2003 a British Colonel found two British WWI 18 pounder field guns hidden in the desert sand at an Iraqi Army base. The guns were taken back to Britain and BAE restored them back to “service condition”. NEAT-O.

Food For Thought: Reflections on Counter-Insurgency

As I was checking my email, I looked at my linkedIn discussions, a title hooked me in from the US Army Armor and Cavalry group. The discussion is about the “Myth of the Savior Generals” and  the adoption of counter-insurgency tactics and how General Petraeus became that savior.  As you dig deeper into the review of COL Gian Gentile’s book on his use of Counter-Insurgency doctrine: Then-Lt. Col. Gentile referred to FM 3-24 as a “superb piece of doctrinal writing”, and felt that its middle chapters were particularly useful for commanders in Iraq.  However, he heaped scorn upon a section of the […]

O.I.F.

Ten years on. What say we?

Heroes With Four Legs

For several years, Rebecca Frankel has been writing a weekly column about War Dogs and their contributions to both Iraq and Afghanistan.  Here is a link to her latest installment. I have for a number of years believed that our military ought to have a way to officially recognize the heroism of these dogs.  I also am of the belief that we owe them a great deal and that our nation can afford to care for them when they are no longer able to serve as Military Working Dogs.  As soldiers their only fault is they are loyal to a […]

Failing to Remember History

Neither the United States nor the United Kingdom understands their history! Given the shock of both liberals (e.g. Tony Blair) and neo-conservatives (William Kristol) to the events unfolding in Egypt, Libya, Iraq, they should take pause in urging the United States to involve itself in the affairs of Syria. In the United States Government there are those who think intervening to end the violence is Syria is the right and proper course.  Of course most have never served in uniform. Most can speak about the absolutes of counter insurgency having never had to make it work.  Most believed that democracy […]

Afwan, Iraq

And so it ends. Here’s one retrospective. I leave it to you to add yours. Feel free.