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29 July 2010

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J

There are some troubling items while Petreaus was commanding Iraqi training was the 'suicide?' of Army Investigator Colonel Ted Westhusing. Westhusing a graduate of West Point, 3rd in his class, served tours in Italy, South Korea, Honduras. Westhusing became the ops officer for the 82nd at Bragg.

Westhusing's Iraq assignment was to oversee USIS Mercs who had a contract to train Iraqis for Counter-Terror Ops. It is said that USIS used Israelis as trainers. Some allegations that the USIS Israelis were in fact trained assassins. 5 June 2005 the day after Westhusing met with General Petraeus at Camp Dublin, Westhusing was found dead. It is said that Westhusing was investigating USIS's fraud, and illegal killings/illegal tortures of Iraqis by USIS personnel. After the Westhusing incident, Petreaus was re-assigned to Ft. Leavenworth in short-order, along with the re-assignment of MGen Joseph Fil to Ft. Hood. Days before Westhusing's supposed suicide, it's been said that Westhusing reported in an email back to the U.S. "terrible things were going on Iraq." Westhusing also said he hoped he would make it back to the U.S. alive. Westhusing had three weeks left on his tour of duty in Iraq when he allegedly shot himself in June 2005, conveniently bringing to a close Westhusing's investigation of USIS. USIS personnel whom Westhusing was investigating had the keys to his trailer. Why were Petreaus and Fil so quickly re-assigned after the Westhusing death? There are still many unanswered questions regarding Petreaus - USIS fraud/murder/torture investigation.

JohnH

Repudiation of the Powell Doctrine seems to be a central tenet of current policy. But the Powell Doctrine was only a reaction to Vietnam.

What neocons are really targeting is the post Vietnam reluctance to use military force. They are trying to prove that American willpower can endure any quagmire, no matter how stupid. After all, it was American resolve that brought about the collapse of the Soviet Union, wasn't it?

To succeed, government must have the resolve to disregard public opinion or manage it. Public opinion simply must not be allowed to interfere with governmental action, not matter how ill conceived.

These are authoritarian conservatives, not the traditional American strain that promoted freedom, democracy and the consent of the people.

What's most troubling is how well they have succeeded in their perverse agenda.

William R. Cumming

The Flag Ranks in the US military have a huge problem. Their competion is not the enemy but all those other Flag Ranks and Field Grades. They must spin as much as the politicians to secure their "next" job. Perhaps the only solution to get them to focus on their current jobs is to keep them in some form of new semi-retired status forever subject to the UCMJ.
PL! If you were President-not a bad idea, or SECDEF how would you analyze the current situation and who should run the show? And perhaps what show? I would focus totally on South and East Asia and ignore the rest of the world and let some other organization deal with those threats. The all-hazards all-everywhere approach means that we don't really have much expertise anywhere.
Curious if you have read Sebastian Unger's new book "WAR" and whether you think it has its teaching moments beyond its description of ground combat in Afghanistan?

Fred

The only nation buiding strategy the US needs is the one that focuses on the building of the American nation.

Castellio

In the article Giraldi writes "If he were to become president would his better angel come to the fore?"

Yes, but even if it did it wouldn't mean much. You have to take a look at how the key offices are staffed. An 'anti-neocon' revolt from the top would die a quick death.

jonst

I would keep a close, and jaundice, eye on any man who says, as a point in his favor, something roughly along the lines of ' and after all, I did not say that, I only offered it in my written prepared statement'.

I'm a lawyer, and he sounds like another lawyer trying to give me reasons why the contract clause I'm reading, the one that is picking my pockets, is really well designed to help me.

Patrick Lang

Castellio

This has become very apparent in every department of government. pl

Patrick Lang

WRC

I have been a field soldier and I don't read books about what it is like to be one.

I would withdraw just about all our troops from overseas, cut the Army (including the Guard) in half and reduce the marines to one division. I would go after the jihadis with spooks, paramilitaries and SOF.

"Assasinations? you bet, but only after a new court condemns them in absentia. pl

J

Colonel,

What do you think the Congress would do with all that 'new flush cash' if they followed your proposals? Would we get to disassemble NORTHCOM and just go back to NORAD? NORAD protection works when head honchos don't do stand-downs for the entire structure at the exact same time period.

Norbert M. Salamon

I greatly appreciate your last comment to WRC, Colonel. It would also help the Homeland's citizens immensely.

zanzibar

The irony is that Colin Powell as Secretary of State repudiated his own doctrine and became a water carrier for the neo-cons.

Does that prove anything? Like the power of the neo-con provocateurs and their groupthink infiltrated deep into our policy making circles.

Steve

Yes, Colonel, I couldn't agree more with your thoughts on bringing our military home. There's an oft-thrown around figure of something on the order of 700 US military installations worldwide (yes, I know, that probably counts every minute radar installation, yet still . . . ).

For the life of me, I can't figure out how any of that promotes US interests--world hegemony? why? what for? are we safer? who exactly is going to invade us? is it protection of US global economic interests and resources? maybe a bit, but I think the world would trade with us regardless of having a fort in every country. After all, everyone likes money.

The only rational reason I can think of for our out of control military spending is the vast sums to be made from that by private defense contractors/consultants, etc.

And, no, I don't think the world is a particularly nice place that harbors no enemies of the US. Of course it does, but in many cases I think we are swatting flies with very expensive sledgehammers, where some "targeted finesse" would do as well, if not better.

In any event, the current rate of DOD spending is financially unsustainable. However, IMHO our body politic is too sick and dysfunctional to rationally address that issue while there is still time.

Patrick Lang

J

Ah, yes, the Unified Command Plan needs to be re-done as well as the whole "roles and missions" set-up.

Commands like JFCOM, Northcom and Africom need to be dumped. How many paid billets can we save that way. Ah, yes that means we can cut the number of flags way down.

I want the government to stay solvent. They owe me money. pl

J

Colonel,

We need a way to castrate, at least partially castrate the way the White House and Congress get U.S. into 'unnecessary' wars. I'd settle for a 1/2 castration as opposed to none. Or maybe a way to slam their White House/Congressional nutz into their war vise, so they can at least 'feel the pain' that Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen/Marines feel when wars are born because of some's personal greed and not because of national security purposes.

Just a thought anyways.


William R. Cumming

Thanks Pat!

Walrus

I have to preface this with the observation that only your friends will tell you what you don't want to hear.

I think you are becoming ungovernable in the Democratic sense of government being somewhat in accordance with the wishes and best interests of the Governed. Congress is controlled by donors, including Israel. The Presidency is becoming virtually a figurehead position. The only time legislation makes it into law is when a majority of donors agree that it should be so.

The question for me is: "Is Petreaus prepared to channel the wishes of the donors?" If the answer is yes, even a subconscious yes, then he will run. The key to guessing the answer to that question in my mind, is to ask: how Petreaus treats his subordinates, both now and in the past?

I would dearly like to know what Petreaus is like as a boss now, and in the past, right back to cadet days.Does his character and behaviour change depending on the rank of who he is addressing, especially Private soldiers? Have the people he has led found it to be a formative and beneficial experience that has has had a lasting effect on their worldview? Do they feel that they were used, sucked dry, and then discarded, with Petreaus cursing them for having nothing more to give?

If his style is more to the latter, then he will run in 2012. I still think a hyper patriotic campaign with Palin as his VP would be unstoppable, especially since the economy is not going to recover for a decade. The "take our country back" chorus would not be shouted down,then add a subvocal suggestion that this is what happens when you let a Black man govern.

Walrus

Meanwhile...Col. Pat Lang for President!

The Twisted Genius

"I want the government to stay solvent. They owe me money. pl"

Amen to that. I'm very close to the promised land, myself, and I don't want to be stiffed by Uncle Sugar.

Bringing all our garrison forces home, eliminating unnecessary hedquarters and drastically reducing others is an excellent idea. Our global presence can consist of joint trainig exercises and perhaps an expanded SF with an even more robust JCET and MTT schedule.

I read very recently that some organization recommended JFCOM be disbanded. Since JFCOM is mostly contractors, we'll see how far that idea goes.

citizen

I think Gen. P's email exchanges with Max Boot were particularly troubling. I don't know what disturbs me more, P's intense desire to let "the folks" know that he has shameless self-promoter Eli Wiesel over for dinner or the glib language in which the email was written. One can imagine seeing emoticons at the end of the executive order for the invasion of Iran, perhaps a :(.

J

Colonel,

May I submit another one for the 'boneyard' in addition to the dismantling of the unified commands -- the NSA which was created for a different time and era. NSA today has blossomed into a Merc heaven bloated so much it 'shifts' when it walks. It has been documented that NSA is a repeat law-breaking offender against the very ones who pay its bills -- the American Citizenry. It has been said by many that NSA has also been penetrated and the only way to clean out the barn is to tear it down to its slab and start rebuilding from scratch. I recommend that its coding section be moved for safety/security to the hands of DIA for safe keeping until it can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

Just because something was created by the 1947 National Security Act, doesn't mean it should continue in a cancerous form.

Sidney O. Smith III

Off topic but then again, maybe not: the WSJ just published an oped “How the CIA got it wrong on Iran’s Nukes”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704913304575371942413920522.html

DE Teodoru

I would rather call in soda-pop in cheap plastic bottles to be advertised by his weirdo peanut gallery of military “experts” like the Kagans. The whole damned production managed to get itself in an academic scandal of plagiarism. Petraeus still never responded to question of how do you deal with fact that your intel blind, culture dumb and language deaf troops still shoot more to stay alive than thinking long term and are creating ten dedicated avengers for every man they kill? So, Mr. "best soldier in the world" Petraeus, how do you defend your strategy in light of "towel heads" with rifles still holding up and exsanguinating your lean mean high-tech killing machine?

AS in Vietnam, the Islamic Revolution controls the initiative and we’re paying them 15% of our logistic costs not to blow up our truck line. Ah well, this was all Obama's demotion of Petraeus, exiling him at Kabul KQ so he can’t run for president in 2012. In the end, McChrystal is as able a politicians as COIN flipper!

FB Ali

Col Lang has, as usual, got it right: the US should bring its troops home, and pursue hostile jihadis with SF etc. However, more will have to be done to reap the full benefits of such a move, eg, stop supporting Israel in its oppression of the Palestinians and bullying of its neighbours, don't back corrupt and repressive regimes,etc.

Unfortunately, it is most unlikely this will happen any time soon. The reason why is laid out in an article I would highly recommend: Andrew Bacevich's The End of (Military) History? It's available at:

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175278/

In it he discusses an issue that I have raised several times here: the hold on US policy of the 'perpetual war' conglomerate.

Norbert M. Salamon

FB Ali:
An Audio interview with Mr. Bacevich on the book is at:
http://tomdispatch.blogspot.com/

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