Whither Afghanistan?

The ever-vigilant, thoughtful commentator and stalwart Op-For loyalist George W ’64 sent in two articles on Afghanistan for consideration. The first is here, “Why Afghanistan is going to fall…” This is one of the first paragraphs: After covering the invasion of Afghanistan, former NPR journalist Sarah Chayes decided to stay in the country to try to help turn it around. She opened a business in Kandahar and probably spent more time living directly with the Afghan people — without security guards — than any other American since 2001. Chayes ultimately went to work for coalition forces in the region, sharing the […]

Syria: The Great Power Flashpoint

“U.S. fears a clash with Russia over Syria” That sound you heard is a balance-of-power shift, and not one in our favor. One decidedly to our detriment. It’s bad enough that Putin’s actions, deftly and boldly executed, have put us and the coalition on the strategic defensive. It’s worse still that the move appears to have caught our national leadership off guard! Is there a strategy for Syria and the Levant? (Besides dropping bombs and training rebels by ones and twos.) Is there some kind of rational plan?? And the means to execute it? Does the Iran nuclear deal now […]

Question: Why Isn’t COMUSCENTCOM the “ISIS Czar”?

Seems a fair question to me.  

The Air “War” Against ISIS

DaveO tossed this out for us. “Year One: Inside the Air War Against ISIS.” The plane left in such haste that the crew took off without knowing the flight plan, the radio frequencies for Iraqi air traffic controllers, or even who on the ground will give the bomber authority to attack targets. They’re trying to piece it together en route. “We didn’t know what we were doing,” Lobo says. There’s not much time for small talk on the two-hour journey to the Iraqi border. These conditions make the airmen nervous—if they break the rules or make mistakes, they could be […]

9/11, 2015

I’m out of profundities and tributes. I have very little to add to the discussion of the remembrance of this day. Except, that is, for a deep sense of dread at the state of our nation’s defenses, her readiness and her willingness. I’m appalled at the pervasive mendacity, mediocrity, and– here’s the only word for it– shit-headedness of the vast majority of our political leadership. Preposterous non-entities. (There’s not much good to say for a large swath of the military leadership, either.) When you have a man who is charged with the readiness of two of the armed services and all […]

“Treason of the Professors”

On behalf of DaveO, who’s on the road, I give you THIS: Bradford begins with the proposition that the West is losing its war against Islamic extremism. In all of the quotes below, Bradford’s copious footnotes are omitted: As of 2015, the West is losing the 4GW [fourth generation war] Islamism declared for three reasons. First, at the most basic level—understanding what the war is about—Islamists enjoy a near-decisive edge: whereas they are fixed on extending their religious, political, and legal domain across the world, the West quests after a fuzzy vision of a democratic, rule-of-law Islamic world where rights […]

The Great Train Beat-Down

This story, I tell you, is truly inspiring. I turn (improbably for me) to the NYT— Alek Skarlatos, a specialist in the National Guard from Oregon vacationing in Europe with a friend in the Air Force, Airman First Class Spencer Stone and another American, Anthony Sadler, looked up and saw the gunman. Mr. Skarlatos, who was returning from a deployment in Afghanistan, looked over at the powerfully built Mr. Stone, a martial arts enthusiast. “Let’s go, go!” he shouted. Mr. Stone went after the heavily armed gunman and, with his friends, pounded him to the floor of the train carriage…. […]

Don’t Worry, Europe– We’ll Keep Defending You

Off-duty American servicemen subdue Moose-Limb loon bent on murder and mayhem. AMERICA, F YEAH.  

“That Went Well”

Or not. The Pentagon has been slowly recruiting and training rebels to fight against the Islamic State in Syria. A contingent of U.S.-trained rebels was recently taken prisoner very shortly after entering the country, and the wheels continue to fall off the rebel trainee program… I have no comment. But you may add your own.

“Middle Eastern Men” vs American Military Families?

Looks like it, here on U.S. soil. The [FBI] alert says Middle Eastern men are approaching families of U.S. military members at their homes in Colorado and Wyoming [emphasis added]. It mentions Greeley, Colorado, and Cheyenne, Wyoming, as the specific areas. There is a straightforward two-step plan military families can implement to solve this menace, should they be faced with it. The tools and the training are readily available in most American states. (Step Two involves calling 911.)