« "What Torture Never Told Us " Ali Soufan | Main | Obama's "socialist" school speech. - the text »

07 September 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Interesting letter: "There are many retired and active duty military who feel you hit the bull's eye."
Could you have written it? Or is there something you'd disagree with?

Patrick Lang


As I said, I do not know Krulak and I did not write it or contribute to it in any way unless he reads SST.

The only thing I might disagree with is that Krulak seems to ignore the place where his counter-terrorist teams would be based. pl


This is a bit off the the topic but I'd watch the moves on health care reform quite closely and base the future of our commitment in Af on how that goes.

LBJ went to his grave maintaining that Vietnam was the price he paid for the Great Society. He committed US forces to ground combat in Vietnam on July 28 1965, and signed the Medicare act 2 days later on July 30.

If Obama gets his way on health care, the neo-cons get forever war in Af, regardless of what well intentioned people want. Happened before, exactly like this.



This comment shows my lack of knowledge of your craft. But, I’ll jump in anyway.

When in a foreign country, line companies can’t tell who the enemy is other than when they are shooting at you. They don’t have the language or cultural skills to distinguish the “good verses bad”; except by broad strokes, like any male between 10 and 60.

Hunter Killer Teams have to have special cultural skills or turn coats; otherwise, they are like LRRPs who have to depend on free fire zones; killing persons in a place that is by definition the enemy.

Whatever method used, depopulating enemy zones or just shooting any suspicious male; the military option is guaranteed to turn the native population against the occupier.

Wars cannot be fought on the cheap. Overwhelming force is required to pacify the occupied quickly. To be successful, in the long run, the native government, police and legal system have to keep the peace not GIs. They may even eventually kick the Americans out, like the Philippines closing of Subic Bay in the 90’s.

Japan’s new government is going to revisit American military presence in their country; a new consequence of the never ending Long War.


Why is Karzai's government, the tribal nature of Afghan society, Afghan poverty or the 'inextricable link to Pakistan' a hindrance to the writer's ability to generate ideas?

Perhaps the Pentagon should allow access to your blog and block Fox News and neocon think tanks; after all they've had almost a decade to come up with new ideas.


There are, or may be, anyway, interesting, and intertwining, twists of history here. Brute Krulak, the father of the author, was a big, and relatively high profile, supporter of the 'ink blot' strategy in Vietnam. Now, here MAY be his son opposing, I believe it fair to say, the same strategy being employed in Afghanistan. It is akin to navel gazing....but I wonder about some-if any-of the dynamics behind Krulak the Younger's positions.


Brute didn't get all he wanted either:

"He was not one to withhold his honest opinion. In 1966, for example, he met with his President Lyndon B. Johnson to discuss the progress in Vietnam. The president asked: What is it going to take to win?

Krulak advocated devastating attacks on key ports in Haiphong that allowed supplies to reach the Ho Chi Minh Trail. But the president, who stood 6-foot-3, would hear none of that.

“As soon as he heard me speak of mining and unrestrained bombing of the ports, Mr. Johnson got to his feet, put his arm around my shoulder and propelled me firmly toward the door,” Krulak wrote in “First to Fight.” “It was plain to me then that the Washington civilian leadership was taking counsel with its fears.”

The incident is believed to be one reason why Krulak wasn’t appointed commandant. He retired in 1968, ending a 34-year career.""

Buzz Meeks

Flash back to the stolen election of 2000. Imagine Gore using the instincts of an alley fighter who brought a gun to the knife fight. The Bush bastards and their janitor, Jim Baker,would have backed down (hopefully indicted for election fraud)and we would be looking at a different world today.

Diplomacy, rule of international law and humanitarian aid to places like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and India after their major earthquakes wouldn't leave a right wing fiction left standing to justify the PWOT in Iraq or Afghanistan. The United States would still be the most admired country in the world.

The discussion of use of torture and the number of torture scenarios that fit on the head of a pin wouldn't be in the public discourse. The coward/draft dodging/sadist co-president would be spinning hallucinations of his own fecal smeared world. And, we probably wouldn't have needed offers of foreign aid after Katrina.

I'll go for a urine test now, I'm busted.

Buzz Meeks


I am reading Halberstam's "Best and Brightest," and I have to say, he didn't seem to like Brute Krulak at all. Papa Krulak seemed to be a very vocal proponent of escalating military operations despite the increased failure of the S. Vietnam govt and its inability to protect its people. Halberstam goes so far as to say that Krulak basically lied by saying the "shooting war" was fine, all was on schedule, and that State Dept was misreading the situation during Diem's reign. Suggests that this discord was the real reason he didn't get the commandant position.


I don't believe in Generals or their stinkin' torture states...

Dr Bruce Cockburn.....A member of the order of Canada.

N. M. Salamon


An interesting extension of the General Krulak's letter:


N. M. Salamon


Clarification of Afganistan's status vis-a-vis hard USA data:


Educational and interesting


William P. Fitzgerald III

Pat Lang,

If anyone recieves the "Tom Dispatch" news letter via e-mail, I recommend today's edition. The subject is measuring success in Afghanistan and is illuminating.

General Krulak's letter (is it Maj. Gen.?) is on the mark and I'd be surprised if there wasn't a lot of agreement in the active duty ranks.

Finally, I conclude that one of the, if not the main, reasons for the escalation in Afghanistan originated in the presidential campaign. As the prez was criticizing the reasons for invading Iraq and promising a withdrawal, he emphasized the war in Afghanistan as a way of burnishing his "Commander in Chief" credentials. I tend to think that he didn't realize what he was in for.



Charles Krulak is a full general. Pl

Bob Bernard

I don't think we have either the stomach for a long counter-insurgency and nation building effort or the resources.

So the question is how does Obama get us out and keep his job. Not easily, because he has painted himself into a corner. If he had not appeared hawkish on Afghanistan, he would have probably not gotten elected.

The best possible solution might look like the Balkans, with Afghanistan split along tribal lines and our forces primarily engaged in securing Kabul and working with NATO to broker the cease fire. Buying the opium crop is the right thing to do. The old "Millions for defense and not one cent for tribute" doesn't play well anymore.

I would work on alternative supply routes and procedures that would reduce or eliminate the losses and cost we have on road-bound logistics and I would eliminate all the little forts and forward operating bases that are designed to be Taliban magnets.

An underlying issue is Kashmir. The Pakistani intelligence services and military are obsessed with regaining the whole province and the Taliban were created and supported to aid in that effort. Getting a resolution to that problem would have a positive impact on the region.

So when the dust settles, I would see a fragmented Afghanistan that was a "game preserve" for Special Operations to run a very quiet effort along with all the tribesmen we can "rent." Kipling would feel right at home.

BTW, I assume you have heard of the student who was asked if he liked Kipling, and who replied that he didn't know, as he had never kipled.

N. M. Salamon

Mr Gates Sec DoD is on Al Jazeera 23 min long video.




Having just read Gen. Krulak's comments to George Will, my first thought was if he had discussed the issue with his late father?

As some may know, the General's father was never one to hold back on the honest truth as he saw it, and was considered to be an "authority," in some quarters, on small wars. The former CMC has "some" experience as well.

In addition, it would be interesting to know just exactly who it is we are fighting now: is it those that attacked us on 11Sep01 and their Taliban hosts?

That may no longer be the case, and we may now find ourselves embroiled in a domestic insurgency with no clearly defined goals.

Additionally, why would al-Qaeda want to come back, or the Taliban want them back, considering the headache we've caused them?


Top Former Generals Denounce Cheney for Torture: Charles Krulak and Joseph Hoar

Op-Ed, Sept 11 2009, Miami Herald.

"Charles C. Krulak was commandant of the Marine Corps from 1995 to 1999. Joseph P. Hoar was commander in chief of U.S. Central Command from 1991 to 1994."

Sulat sa pilipinas

This is interesting good you shared this,keep posting!


The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad