“U.S. military leaders recognize that they need to make adjustments.”

by twit

why does it sound like we just got to Afghanistan?

The men of the 3rd Batallion, 8th Marine Regiment, based at Camp Lejeune, are discovering in their first two months in Afghanistan that the tactics they learned in nearly six years of combat in Iraq are of little value here — and may even inhibit their ability to fight their Taliban foes.

Their MRAP mine-resistant vehicles, which cost $1 million each, were specially developed to combat the terrible effects of roadside bombs, the single biggest killer of Americans in Iraq. But Iraq is a country of highways and paved roads, and the heavily armored vehicles are cumbersome on Afghanistan’s unpaved roads and rough terrain where roadside bombs are much less of a threat.

… to reach the populace, American forces must find unmapped caravan routes that run through treacherous terrain, routes not designed for their modern military vehicles.

American forces have been in Afghanistan since October 7, 2001 …  and the military is just beginning to notice that the terrain is different?

U.S. military leaders recognize that they need to make adjustments.

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The end of the Iraq War

by twit

is now scheduled for 2011:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Monday that an agreement had been reached in negotiations on a security pact with the United States to end any foreign military presence in Iraq by the end of 2011.

“There is an agreement actually reached, reached between the two parties on a fixed date which is the end of 2011 to end any foreign presence on Iraqi soil,” Maliki said in a speech to tribal leaders in the Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone.

(update: The BBC has more on the story)

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Once again, Arab insurgents distract a superpower from the obvious threat… The other superpower

by lestro

In the future, when alien anthropologists or hyper-intelligent insect archaeologists are trying to piece together the end of what we call ‘human civilization,’ they will undoubtedly come to one conclusion:

It was the fault of the Arabs. But not in the way that one might expect.

After 50 years of posturing and bluffing and threats of mutual assured destruction, the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union finally seemed to burn itself out in the late 80s. The Soviet Union broke apart and the Doomsday Clock finally turned back a few ticks as everyone was now almost all on the same side.

World War III, at least as we expected it, had been averted.

But the new threat of Islamofacism stepped in to fill the gap, an ideology of destruction and hate, premised on a bastardization of a religion and a total lack of respect for nation states, their leadership and their territorial boundaries.

Eventually, all eyes turned to this rising force as the new potential enemy for World War III. At first, they attacked, we ignored. They attacked again, we swatted at them like flies. They attacked again and we continued to pooh-pooh and downplay the threat to our national security. Then, on September 11, 2001, the little bastards went too far and suddenly everyone – including, finally, the Bush Administration – was paying attention.

Finally we had a new enemy. Finally we could crank our war machine back up. The World War that we had spent 50 years preparing for was finally on our doorstep.

It didn’t matter that it wasn’t the war we expected or that they didn’t play by the rules, we took it to them.

Fer us or agin us. And agin us gets bombed.

If World War III was going to play out, it was obviously going to be between the Civilized World and the Fundamentalist Islamic World.

Made sense at the time.

But history, says the cliché, is written by the victors. And that means much of the story often gets left out. And as recent events in Georgia have shown us, just because we counted out the Soviets and that version of WWIII doesn’t mean they did.

We took our eye off the Russians in favor of the Arabs and it may end up costing us. Just like it did them.

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postcards from the internets

by twit

from Russia:

When I travel by, I often visit these churches. I walk through the wormwood towards the door – they are unlocked, no one inside. No priests, no smell of incense, no burning candles, only a couple of cheap icons, towels, a slightly radioactive Bible and images of Saints on the walls.

https://i1.wp.com/www.angelfire.com/extreme4/kiddofspeed/spring15.jpg

I make sure the Bible is left open on the page where the age of wormwood is foretold. Then I stay for a while in contemplation.

Looking at radioactive image of Jesus I ask myself, ‘How long will these churches be here? Can they live without people?’

I leave this question to be answered by someone who travels here in the future and myself going back on the road to continue my journey.

Pluto’s Realm Chernobyl photoreportage 2008

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war is fun

by twit

Bush listens to military and civilian personnel on the front lines describe how difficult operations are in Afghanistan, and in a Ferraro-esque display of self-absorption and abandonment of reality, suggests they should quit complaining and instead be more appreciative of the ‘fantastic’ and ‘exciting’ experiences of war and reconstruction.

From Reuters on March 14, 2008, with emphasis added:

https://i2.wp.com/z.about.com/d/politicalhumor/1/0/N/b/bush_finger_thumbnail.jpg

I must say, I’m a little envious,” Bush said. “If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed.”

It must be exciting for you … in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger.

You’re really making history, and thanks,” Bush said.

The Raw Story notes on March 13, 2008 that an upcoming conference is going to highlight “some pretty fucked-up shit” from the experiences of combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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