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04 December 2011


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steve g

Did anyone watch the NatGeo one hour special
last week. Exactly what Col Lang was referencing.
A two hour flight from Kandahar to FOB Cobra.
First time an embed had been permitted for an
extended period. The Green Berets had to cover
a territory the size of Rhode Island. A great
inside to the machinations of on the ground
COIN. However, it did not end well. An IED
killed the two translators who were always
monitoring taliban voice traffic. They were
watched from the moment they rolled out the gate.
Almost got the Geo team. The Afghan backup vehicle
lite up the vehicle with its headlights right before
the attack. It was supposed to be night vision only.


"Supposed experts continue to express surprise that the Egyptian electorate is going to vote an Islamist parliament into office.



PS: If I were the Israeli's ... I would be more concerned with this development than anything Iran is doing.....


The pressures on Obama from the usual suspects are mounting. Panetta is one of them - and in a position to insulate the Oval office from the prudent voices among the Joint Chiefs - such as they are(as a group, not known for their voicing heterodox views in recent years).

Still, I'd bet anyone a pound of the best Texas beef jerky that Obama never will launch strikes against Iran. The man is a coward through and through who has not the nerve to take risky actions whose consequences are unpredictable and, above all, unspinnable.

R. Whitman


In order to make the substantive changes you suggest to the armed forces of the USA, the basis of the entire foreign policy of the country needs to be re-examined and re-imagined.

I cannot see any President of the US taking this on unless absolutely forced to by external events.

Perhaps we here on SST need to be debating what an ideal foreign policy for the US should be.


Gideon Rose

I say put him in the cockpit of one of those F-15s and let him go at it.



Is that the one where they enter a house and the Taliban appear across a field out of nowhere, closing the avenues of retreating forcing the SF Team to go forward into an ambush?

I , sadly, recommended that one a while back.

"now we are all Israelis." - But not good enough to marry Israelis...lol

PL, did you make a side-bet with Nagl?

Time to collect...lol



You get a "D" for paying attention. We have been talking about this for years. the hierarchy of planning taught at the War Colleges and not practised by the cretins who run the government requires that foreign policy dictate force structure. SST foreign policy would require no more foreign "adventurism." i have decided to endorse Ron Paul for president and as his SecState i will insist that this will be our policy moderated by isolationist defense of the ocean spaces and aggressive CT stuff for people like I used to be. Withdrawal from NATO will be part of our policy. You don't think that the screwing that we have taken the last ten years is enough impetus? pl



No, I was dumb enough to buy the prig a drink. pl

William R. Cumming

Won't vote for Paul but he may yet win, in or out of the Republican party. The rest of PL's approach seems common sensible. But that means probably won't happen.


The Colonel did not mention the story of Barney Frank's dedication to 'compromise' on the triggered budget cuts (supposedly) to be applied. So here's another wager offered. Ten pounds of the best Texas beef jerky + a bag of pork crisps that there will be no automatic sequester of defense funds as stipulated. Please take care what you stake - you're sure to lose it.


Thank you Col. Lang.

Astute observations sir. Having read Galula, I was always a bit confused as to the proclaimed connection between neocon COIN and that of the French military officer/theorist. David Galula always assumed an established government with initially an adequate amount of "legitimacy", not an imposed, essentially "puppet" government . . . How was theirs Counterinsurgency in the traditional sense at all?

Rose is a smart guy. For him to have said this is particularly discouraging. Where are we now exactly?

War, following Clausewitz, would reflect the/our political conditions/relations as a political community interacting with other political communities.


"I'd bet anyone a pound of the best Texas beef jerky that Obama never will launch strikes against Iran." Let's hope you're right.

But you can bet that the Obama team has studied the lessons of the successful Bush '02 congressional campaign, where he neutered the opposition by extreme hawkishness. And the team has studied the failings of recent Israeli election campaigns, where wars were part of the electoral calculus.

If the Republicans can settle on an electable opponent (still entirely possible despite the lunacy and ignorance of the base and the underwriters), then Obama has to have something to run on. I put even odds on his putting Iran front and center, officially launching the war marketing campaign in September 2012.

A nice little war would give him the benefit of the patriotic vote, particularly if any downside could be delayed until after the election.

And an election win would give Obama the "mandate" he needs to gut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, something no Republican can do (Bush was their best shot). Most Democrats in Congress will not oppose their President on the war or on the cuts.

You doubt? Remember, it was Clinton who did away with any government oversight of commodities speculation and with Glass-Steagall (just in time for Hillary to run for Senate representing Wall Street.) Clinton's second term provides a model for Obama, except that this time around the issues will be different. This time it will be Social Security and Medicare that get sacrificed.


"We're all Israeli's now"? How so? The US faces no existential threat from Iran - real or imagined. Are we a religious theocracy? Other than a large portion of GOP primary voters, no. Too bad inside the beltway doesn't understand that.

So our 'best (self-proclaimed) ally in the Middle East is going to give us a war with Iran for Christmas? Oh joy.The resulting oil shock, once it hits the financial markets, will further impoverish millions in the third world. There will be plenty of revolts paraded across the t.v. screens, they just won't be led by the telegenic well educated 'youth' that the MSM can label "Arab/African/Asian spring. Things won't be much better in the US, but at least all our well armed cops have to worry about is unarmed 'occupy' protesters.


"now we are all Israelis."

Not me, thank you. Not that I read it much but that magazine is now one less thing to consider.

Maybe it's so obvious that it doesn't need mentioning but do any of the advocates of an American attack realize that such an attack is actually a declaration of war against Iran and that Iranians will certainly treat it as such? And that maybe such a war might last for years and years?

Nah. What could go wrong?

Roy G.

I learned something new today: Many here are familiar with General Smedley Butler, and 'War Is a Racket.' Fun fact about the ringleader abortive coup planned by a cabal of Wall Street heavies in the 1930s: 'Virtually all of them were founding members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).'

Does that shed any light on Gideon Rose's position on Iran?



Now that I'm Israeli I want my gomint paid health insurance.


The interesting thing as I recall was that the JP Morgan faction of the Liberty League wanted Doug MacArthur but someone pointed out that, after the Bonus Army busting he ordered in 1932, he might not be the best fit to head a Croix-de-Feu type of Fascist Veterans Legion.

Farmer Don

"The man is a coward through and through who has not the nerve to take risky actions whose consequences are unpredictable and, above all, unspinnable."

Who was it who finally got Bin Laden?
Who fought for universal health care?

Adam L Silverman

RoyG and Mr. Shreffler: You'll find a good posting on Maj. Gen. Butler's activities here, with bibliographic references:

I've read both the Spivak and the Archer works, they're both very good.

Nancy K

mbrenner you think President Obama is a coward, I think he is wise enough to know that any attack against Iran is a no win situation for the US. Israel may want us to attack Iran but we are fools if we do.
As for us all being Isralis. my husband is Israeli and he does not identify with the government of Israel at all. He feels they are religious nuts and eastern europeon thrugs, and it saddens him that the country he fought in 2 wars for has become what it is today.

Bill H.

Everyone is hyperventilating about war with Iran, I have concern that the silly ass will get us into a war with Pakistan, either on purpose or by accident.

Nato commanders are planning a substantial offensive in eastern Afghanistan aimed at insurgent groups based in Pakistan, involving an escalation of aerial attacks on insurgent sanctuaries, and have not ruled out cross-border raids with ground troops, The Guardian newspaper reported on Friday.

Things like this, along with continued drone strikes, make me nervous.


We're all Israeli's now...

Rose should be preaching to the Egyptians instead of to the choir. Or does he think that we still run Egypt?


You know, the statement "We are all Israeli's now," coming from a Jewish person (I assume), is really and truly incredible. It jumped off the page at me. I was amazed.

When John McCain says, "We are all Georgians now," it is easy to pass it off as the blathering of an over-the-hill politician seeking publicity. It was clearly a meaningless grab for the spotlight.

This statement by Rose is something different. He is the editor of Foreign Affairs, which the last time I looked is a respected journal that one presumes attempts to present all views on any particular subject and fill as much of its space with factual information as it can.

But Rose's statement is none of that. It is propaganda. Pure and simple.

So, for me, the question becomes not how I should react to it, but rather where is it coming from? What is in Rose's mind that leads him to say such a thing, given his position in the intellectual world of the US?

I don't know the answer, but I would like to. There's something frightening about it.

I would tend to compare it to statements about Aryans from another time. Either you're an Aryan, or you're the enemy.

Is the translation ultimately, "You better God damn well be an Israeli now if you know what's good for you,"?

In other words, I'm not so much interested in how I should respond as in how he wants me to respond.

We live in an atmosphere where the President is reluctant to treat American citizens as prisoners of war, because that will technically prevent him from sending them to other countries to be tortured. That's where we are.

And now I am being told that I am an Israeli.


Obamacare is NOT universal health care (whatever that is).
SEALs got Bin Laden.
Obama was golfing.

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