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11 August 2008

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JohnH

I have to admit you were right, Colonel. Oil markets are rigged by "market makers." There is no other explanation.

Last Wednesday, the BTC pipeline, carrying a million bpd, got bombed in eastern Turkey. Last weekend Russia invaded Georgia and dropped bombs near the BTC. YET THE PRICE OF OIL IS NOT RISING. No additional risk premium for a new zone of instability threatening supplies.

frogspawn

Too little, too much risk, disaster waiting to happen. pl

And if/when it does happen, nobody could've anticipated it.

Cold War Zoomie

God bless 'em.

Hope they all get home.

JfM

Often modern technology can be a force multiplier. True, robust communications has the effect of quickly mustering firepower from afar. But, even with the most potent fire available, one man or a reinforced squad on a remote hilltop regrettably does not mean they own the terrain. It is probably still best said in the words of T.R.Fehrenbach from his 1963 history of the Korean War, This Kind of War, “ You may fly over a land forever, you may bomb it, atomize it, pulverize it and wipe it clean of life--but if you desire to defend it, protect it and keep it for civilization, you must do this on the ground, the way the Roman legions did, by putting your young men into the mud. His blunt but eloquently expressed assessment is, if anything, more pertinent today.

jose

Why would the military allow such a story to be published?

Unless these men are bait to spring a trap, someone in the chain of command has really screwed-up.

b

Poor guys - there is absolutely no use in such a position - cannon fodder.

But now the CinC will help them by cutting the U.S. supply lines through Russia (those were negotiated in April/May).

Not that the supply line through Pakistan is getting anymore stable ...

Supply through Iran? Nice try ...

David Habakkuk

b:

Exactly right.

The Bush Administration handed the jihadists a golden opportunity in Iraq.

They managed to blow it -- through their reckless fanaticism and cruelty.

But then -- just as the knife is at their neck -- the Bush Administration produces the perfect rabbit out of the hat.

They do their absolute best to antagonise the two most determined opponents of the Sunni jihadists: the Shia clerics in Tehran and the Russian government.

And then they do everything possible to antagonise the population of Pakistan.

The result is that -- in a totally gratuitous own goal -- they are removing the knife from the jihadists' throats, where the jihadists had very kindly placed it.

drauz

It's pretty clear - the reason they are under-resourced & over-committed is that they are not performing an important task, nor are they themselves particularly valuable. Sad.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

The pictures of my old Brigade 38 years later does bring it back, all over again. Strange, much is the same, the helicopters, the same pointless strategy of killing them all; but, also so different; no barbed wire defense in depth, no screened plywood hooches; 15 month tours, over and over again.

Twenty three years ago I listened to General Westmoreland speak at the 20th anniversary of the Brigade's deployment from Okinawa to South Vietnam. He really didn't get what happened. The most striking point was his boast that every square foot of South Vietnam could within minutes be hit by artillery fired from Landing Zones (LZs) strategically placed throughout the country. It didn't matter.

The only way to defeat the Afghans is to do the exact same thing the USA did to the Nez Perce; place them in reservations. Otherwise as long as they survive and raise new warriors, the Afghans will harass the Invaders till they finally leave.

By rejecting diplomacy and the rule of law, in favor military force, the USA is has no tools left to influence events; its military force and good standing in the world was spent in the sands of Iraq and mountains of Afghanistan for nothing.

Note the lack of effective counter efforts to stop the war in Georgia and Putin's recognition of America's weakness. A Bully's bluff was called.

Paul

Outpost Margha is indeed risky; it might even be classified as negligent depending on other factors that are not disclosed in the piece. If that group is wiped out there must be an investigation to place blame to those responsible. That Afghanistan is risky is directly related to the alleged victory of the “surge” of ground troops in Iraq. One wonders why military planners would risk those soldiers given the ever-rising threats in Afghanistan.

The NY Times says that cash has become the choice weapon in many parts of Iraq. Everyone seems to be on the dole. What happens when the money stops?

Little is published in the main stream media about the fuss in Georgia. It appears, however, that the Georgians have been led to believe that we would “be there for them” in times of distress. Those who know Bush (French, British, Germans – and now the Poles) don’t trust him as far as they can throw him. The Russians are acting because they claim to be protecting their interests. I don’t know enough of the detail to agree or disagree. But the Russians went into Georgia with a vengeance and with enough troops and firepower to accomplish whatever they intended. Cheney intones: “this will not go unanswered!” What will he hit them with, a wet noodle?

And now we have McCain talking tough about Russia, and Kristol states that “we owe the Georgians”. What are they thinking? Their followers – every one of them a sheep of one sort or other – mistakenly think that America intimidates potential foes, Muslim or otherwise. America has been hollowed out and has to be protected from itself.

Meanwhile, “W” lives his children dream: hanging around Beijing sniffing sweaty jock-straps. Now, there’s a real leader.


jonst

"Often modern technology can be a force multiplier". Yeah, but can it help with constipation? Does it make ya blow things out your ass faster? Some things about nature, and warfare, can't be massaged.

jonst

Hey JfM....just wanted to say my comments were not directed to you. You more than get it. I was shaking my fist at the sky, so to speak. And especially to the voices now calling on us to 'protect the territorial integrity of Georgia' and all the while those brave men sit on the top of hill. And wait.

jr786

Respect for local culture and traditions can be the greatest force multiplier of all, and certainly would have been in Afghanistan where people had already suffered so much.

Accidental killing of civilians in tribal areas through misguided jdams has done more to hurt the effort in Afghanistan than anything else. That and the fact that Afghanistan was a deeply conservative country before Taliban. Except for the educated elite who had already fled the country anyway at the outbreak of the Catastrophe, most Afghans would be more than happy with a traditional, conservative Muslim life.

What has modernity brought them?

fasteddiez

The wire defenses are sad; this place would seem to be easy to breach if the defenses/lighting on the main building can be suppressed. This would be fairly easily achieved, since this post is at the bottom of a soup bowl with the proximate high ground overlooking the inside of the camp. This is probably similar to the OP setups in the Korengal valley and that Nuristan location that was breached recently (9 US KIA).

Jose, The military would allow this to be published because the PAO types see nothing wrong with this sad sack POS (since they are professional sycophants and liars, war is not their métier). Additionally, The MSM does not know any better; as is the case with ninety percent of the microcephallic, oxygen thieving audience of said media.

Le plus ça change ... le plus c'est la même chose!

Mark Johnson

I had two buddies at Bu Dop in 1969, Paul Fager and Mike Parks. When Mike got hit he had to key the mic on the prc-25 and call in his own dustoff because the VN's did not know how.

Mark Johnson

Here's a shot of a hook at Bu Dop

http://www.c-7acaribou.com/album/kfphotos/kf_29.htm

Clifford Kiracofe

"They do their absolute best to antagonise the two most determined opponents of the Sunni jihadists: the Shia clerics in Tehran and the Russian government."

b and David Habbakuk,

Agree. And it is the Israel Lobby (Jewish and Christian) that is the underlying problem. I argue in my book that it is a structural problem not only in US domestic politics but also in international politics.

A normal American foreign policy -- say from the multipolar world of the 19th century -- would be constructive relations with Russia (as we had) and Iran (as we had). What has changed? Back then we did not have an Israel Lobby.

But this did arrive in the 20th century in the wake of the 1905 Russo-Japanese War in which the New York Kuhn Loeb group financed the Japanese against Russia. This is not something new in American politics, NOT repeat NOT 1948, more like a century old. It is a structural problem of significant magnitude as the Iraq War, the potential Iran War, the war in Georgia, and the New Cold War demonstrate.

It is not just about the "Neocons." The issue is much bigger than the Neocons.....and at much more rarified levels.

Marcus

Is there a strategy here? Is there an overarching vision of where the execs want to see this place ten years from now? Has anyone defined "The War on Terror?

If not then I submit this is just the craven throes in the last months of The Incompetents, and how can you expect smart tactics under these circumstances?

JfM

Because of the misguided and stupid adventure in Iraq leaving us with very little in the quiver, we are almost powerless to react against Russia in defense of a threatened ally, Georgia. Truly this episode has our national interests at risk. Thus is the cost of folly. And, no, jonst, I understand your comment and stand here under the lovely darkening Virginia sky and shake my fist at the heavens in disgust and frustration of what resides within the nearby Beltway. Meanwhile Cheney continues to mutter promises of reaction to the Russians and threaten to act with capability we simply do not have.

Mike Parks

I was on the team at Budop, A 341, from Aug 68-Feb 70.

We usually only had 8 or 10 Americans and about the same number or VNSF.
There were around 250 strikers and most all were locals.
Viets, Montagnards and Cambodians.
The camp was completely over run in '67 and rebuilt after that.
It was basically square.
In 1970 it was turned over to the ARVN rangers.
Exciting times for a young man off the farm.
The SF guys in Afghanistan were and continue to do a great job in spite of meddling from the conventional military.
We are trained to integrate with populations to a much greater extent than conventional folks.
There was quite a lot of problems over this.
My .02, anyways

MTJ

Col - Outpost "Margha" is an example of 4th Gen. Warfare. 5th Gen would be one paratrooper manning the outpost.

Jose

"The military would allow this to be published because the PAO types see nothing wrong with this sad sack POS (since they are professional sycophants and liars, war is not their métier)."

Fasteddiez, you reminded of a certain Battalion Commander that was the final straw...

Old Bogus

I remember flying over hills near Pleiku and seeing SOLITARY ARVN scouts below. With dusk approaching and them in a known position, I wondered how many "converted" to being VC on the spot! Even with artillery support, they were obviously expendable. I felt so sorry for them as individuals. But our pilot wouldn't stop and give them a ride home!

Patrick Lang

bogus

That sounds pretty bogus. pl

Patrick Lang

Mike Parks

I was at song be in 1969 and 1969. I must have met you at Bu Dop the times I visited there. pl

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