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 […]
Watch, read, think. Well, if we could avoid getting involved in wars, I think everybody would be happier. The problem is, as we’ve seen over the course of our long history, there’s really been very few, if any, presidents who have actually succeeded in staying away from such conflicts and especially now, when the U.S. is the preeminent power in the world and insurgency is the preeminent form of warfare. Almost nobody is fighting the kind of conventional tank-on-tank engagements that the U.S. military pines for and does so well at. Almost everybody is fighting using guerilla and terrorist tactics, […]
Michael Hirsh 0ver Politico has a great article on Obama’s National Security Team and their amateurish approach to national security. A couple of quotes stand out: Despite an NSC staff that’s grown from 50 under George H.W. Bush to more than 300 under Obama—in part because White House support and Homeland Security staffs have been folded into the NSC—“there is a sense that the NSC is run a little like beehive ball soccer, where everyone storms to wherever the ball is moving around the field,” according to another recently departed senior administration official. “They are managing by crisis rather than […]
Not sure if I shall bother reading this new biography of George Marshall, but here is a review of it in the New Republic. Concluding paragraph says a lot about George Marshall the man: For a military man, Marshall’s heroism was peculiar. It did not arise from his conduct on the battlefield. It arose from his modesty, including “a modest daily schedule that often ended at three or four o’clock in the afternoon” and his avoidance “of lucrative corporate board memberships so commonly available to retired high military officers in our more avaricious times.” Most importantly, Marshall’s modesty flowed from […]
Commander US Southern Command, on the subject: Those looking for good news on the fight against Ebola will not find much encouragement from Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, the commander of the U.S. Southern Command. As Jim Garamone of Department of Defense News reports, Kelly told an audience at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday that, if the disease reaches Central America, “it’s literally, ‘Katie bar the door,’ and there will be mass migration into the United States.” He also said with certainty that “there is no way we can keep Ebola [contained] in West Africa.” “Mass migration” is a […]
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 […]
General Mattis and Ambassador Crocker weigh in on the emerging strategy to manage confront ISIS ISIL IS. There’s more to it than just that, so I enjoin you to read the whole thing. I had not yet heard Gen Mattis on the subject; as usual he’s very much worth listening to. As ETP0802 pointed out in a different forum, he has some experience in these matters.
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 […]
Who watched last night? I, alas, did not. There was a little intra-Op-For commentary behind the scenes, but I did not participate. Anyone care to comment?
Again from the good offices of MDL, this from Defense One– “The Summer of Obama’s Caution and America’s Discontent.” An excerpt, emphasis mine: He tries to manage the world as he hopes it will be, rather than lead the world as it is. Yes, foreign policy is hard. These issues are both historic and existential. The American public is fickle. Congress is all but useless. And our allies in Europe are loathe to lead—or even to pay a fair price for fighting threats closer to their borders than our own. But that’s why only one person gets to be president of […]