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05 July 2010


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Patrick Lang

Norman rogers

1- Too bad. He is a much better soldier than the chipmunks they have working now. I don't like him personally by the way.

2- In re Murphy. He needs no defense by anyone. pl



The Taliban never did anything to the United States other than shelter Osama as it appears honor would dictate in their culture. Our invasion is massively out of proportion and appears counter-productive to boot. That said, the Taliban are firmly supported by a proportion of inhabitants of Afghanistan and firmly opposed by a portion of the inhabitants of Afghanistan. The remainder are in the middle. When the Taliban were in power they were sufficiently oppressive -- especially to women -- that it appears that the Afghans in general were happy to be rid of them. Since the replacement we engineered is failing and the situation is in many respects worse, many Afghans under pressure from all sides are reconsidering that position. What I am interested is what conditions would induce those for whom the Taliban is a cause to give up their attempts to control their countrymen.

Patrick Lang


It appears that you don't read anything that I write here. If so, then go somewhere else. pl

Babak Makkinejad


You asked; ""Under what conditions does a population abandon support for a cause which lead them into war?"

The answer is under the condition of state collapse or threat thereof.


On those medals, I was agreeing with you, but was not clear enough. I held back from calling the majority of his medals "flair".

Patrick Lang


That was his first wife. He knew she was that ill when he married her. She died only a few years after they married. This woman had been his sweetheart when he was a cadet at VMI. His second marriage was quite different. pl

Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

They were married for 25 years; essentially all of his youth.

Patrick Lang


Why are you hiding your IP?

In regard to Marshall's sex life, I had forgotten that they were married that long. I met the second Mrs. Marshall twice. She seemed very healthy. pl

Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

Did not know that I was hiding it.

Must be some sort of policy change by my ISP.

Adam L Silverman

Jane: part of the reason the Marshall Plan worked is that the European states and Japan were nation-states. Afghanistan barely meets that criteria - if it even does. The other thing we did in Germany, Japan, and Italy is hold the leaders and the worst offenders accountable, very publicly, then left the institutional structures and much of everyone and everything else in place. While it led to fairly stable and effective reconstruction and stabilization, it was driven by recognizing that if we had rounded up every Nazi, every Italian fascist, every Japanese supporter of the Emperor and his generals (or should that be the other way...), there wouldn't be enough Germans, Italians, and Japanese to work with. It is for this reason that a number of institutions within those countries were, and in the case of Italy, still are dysfunctional. Most notably Italy's criminal justice system. And since we largely stayed out of France's post Vichey regime retooling it explains why most of those folks were never held accountable at all and the French still haven't dealt with their WW II issues the way the Germans have.

So the comparison between what we're doing in Afghanistan or Iraq today and how we did things in the aftermath of WW II really isn't a good one.

Patrick Lang


Afghanistan is a state but IMO not a "nation-state." pl

Patrick Lang


I think Marshall learned self discipline at VMI. That contributed to his ability to live with a woman whom he deeply loved but could not always have.

Let us speak no mare of his personal life. pl



Regarding the Japanese after WW2, I've often wondered how much of a role culture played in the ensuing peace. I was told by a former professor who grew up in Hawaii in the 1940s that Japanese pow's in Hawaii were never a cause of concern. Up until the moment of surrender Japanese soldiers were deadly, but once they surrendered they were far less likely to dissemble, fight, or try to escape. The sense of shame was so profound there really was no point in trying to fight another day. Of course this notion of dehumanizing shame partially explains Japanese cruelty to pows in their custody. My point is, I just don't think Afghans have this sense of fair play, shame, and bad form in the Japanese/ Captain Hook sense of the word. Afghans have their own sense of honor, but that somehow never prevents them from dissembling when the need arises. So one can defeat the Afghans over and over and over again, but unless the occupying force is willing to be far more ruthless than even the Soviets in the 1980s it amounts to naught.

Regarding ruthlessness, contra to punditry b.s., the Mongols were quite effective in cowering the Eastern half of the Islamic world, in fact they engendered a profound cultural and religious crisis. The Mongols didn't occupy southern Afghanistan effectively because why waste time with a backwater when there are better prizes to be had? Same goes for Timur.

I would also add that I'm not sure why pundits don't talk about the Soviet "successes" in the 'stans, which until the 20th century weren't too far removed politically or culturally from their neighbors to the south. Is it ignorance or an unwillingness to praise our enemies?

Point is, critics of US operations get it wrong when they quote the mantras like graveyard of empires, Alexander etc. People have proven effective in controlling the region, I'm just not sure we want to go there.

Norman Rogers

"I don't like him personally by the way."

You had to have dealt with him at a level that would be vastly different from my own. Was he another acolyte of the Joe Biden school of never say anything about Israel that isn't vehemently pro-Israel?

In person, McCaffrey is approachable and pleasant. The few times I spoke with him he seemed like a nicer version of the top used car salesman down at the best dealership in town. He really is a huckster for the bucks (I guess that four star retirement doesn't pay enough).


So now Mattis will be General Dave's boss??

This should be interesting, to say the least!

Since General Ray was already appointed to JFCOM, I guess Mattis was the free agent 4-star. Sorry 3-stars, no one gets elevated due to Stanley's untimely dismissal!


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