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20 December 2015

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Bill Herschel

"The military’s indirect pathway to Assad disappeared with Dempsey’s retirement in September. His replacement as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Joseph Dunford, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in July, two months before assuming office. ‘If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I’d have to point to Russia,’ Dunford said. ‘If you look at their behaviour, it’s nothing short of alarming.’ In October, as chairman, Dunford dismissed the Russian bombing efforts in Syria, telling the same committee that Russia ‘is not fighting’ IS. He added that America must ‘work with Turkish partners to secure the northern border of Syria’ and ‘do all we can to enable vetted Syrian opposition forces’ – i.e. the ‘moderates’ – to fight the extremists."

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n01/seymour-m-hersh/military-to-military

Valissa

Not sure that means anything. Maybe Dunford really meant what he said or maybe he just wanted the job and knew what to say to get, and also what NOT to say after seeing what happened to Flynn and knowing the WH positions. I expect members of "the resistance" would have to be cautious and circumspect if they want to keep their jobs and work as quietly as possible behind the scenes.

It is interesting to me that Dunford is an Irish Catholic as is Dempsey. Does anyone know if they were on friendly terms?

oofda

The comments Dunford made about Russia during his testimony before the SASC tell me that he is over his head- and has no clue about Russia. As a retired Marine, I am disappointed in those comments and hope they are not a harbinger of things to come.

William R. Cumming

A number of Marine Officers over its history were deep thinkers as to history and warfare and wonder what happens to these types today?

What did Peter Pace end up doing in retirement?

Lesly

The Marines were a bit of the red headed stepchild when I was in. Annual budgets would provide DOS-based dino programs like NAVSUP while the Navy moved on to better things. I wonder if Dunford would like a six-figure salary shilling on Fox.

Nightsticker

Col Lang

I snicker at "fighting/combat/etc" designations
for persons whose introduction to war was
as a modern day O-6.

Night sticker
USMC 65-72
FBI 72-96

Eliot

Dunford recommended that women be banned from certain MOS. So there's that, at least.

- Eliot

Bill Herschel

Puller was, I believe, at Chosin. One of my favorite books is Breakout by Martin Russ. I realize that reading a book has nothing whatever to do with the actual combat that occurred. But Breakout is a very needed counterbalance to books like Zinky Boys by the Russian Nobel Laureate Svetlana Alexievich which only emphasizes the utter horror experienced by Russian troops in Afghanistan. The tragedy is that if you took the Marines at Chosin and the Chinese troops there and separated them from their "leaders" (i.e MacArthur and Mao), they would never have been killing each other. That is the tragedy.

turcopolier

Bill Herschel

The 1st Marine Division was in an Army Corps outside 8th Army. To the west of that, 8th Army fought a creditable action against much superior
Chinese forces. pl

BostonB

Not a good choice of possibilities. Dumb, duplicitous, or devious. I think Dempsey comes from better stock than Dunford and is more intelligent. Dempsey strikes me as the caliber of guy who could be a Jesuit scholar. Dunford strikes me as the caliber of guy who could be a Quincy PD captain or maybe a lieutenant in the staties.

shaun

and what say you to the female Vietcong? or is it just americans whop cant use women in Combat. They might see what we are really up to, mass slaughter and wildly rambling around, cluelessly, as the USA tends to do, like a wounded King Kong, after a few drinks. There are mmany peopleon here who could not have a conversation with anyone who has mot drank the military koolaid. 20 years in the FBI? So what, does that make you a real American or a criminal?? Do you think weed is still illegal? I bet u do.

turcopolier

shaun

"and what say you to the female Vietcong? or is it just americans whop cant use women in Combat" I saw hundreds of dead VC and NVA up close and never saw a woman who had been killed in combat. I did see a woman NVA medical officer who had been captured. I transported her to a US brigade command post to remove her from the custody of the troops who had captured her. your English is so bad that I assume you are foreign. Is that true? pl

Degringolade

Colonel:

I realize that this may seem critical, but it is a suggestion. I think that there is a way to put in a "search" function in your blog. Should you wish, I would be happy to try and figure this out and e-mail me my "rescherches".

The reason that this came about is that I was going to look up previous posts/replies re: Lawrence Wilkerson. I am almost certain that I have seen discussions regarding his thoughts here in the past. I tried to find them, but alas, no joy.

Comments by any and all would be well received:

I found this comment of his to be simplistic, yet....

“Today the purpose of US foreign policy is to support the complex that we have created in the national security state that is fueled, funded, and powered by interminable war. ... It’s never been about altruism, it’s about sheer power.”

turcopolier

Degringolade

Let me know what your proposal would be. pl

turcopolier

BostonB

Dunford probably has relatives in the "staties." pl

optimax

Fighting Joe even looks like a pit bull, an extremely loyal and powerful dog you don't want to mess with.

mike

Yes on your question re Puller. Chesty's (Puller's) fame was mainly amongst enlisted Marines and comes from his habit when a regimental commander of moving his regimental CPs up close to the front. Many times he was right forward of his Battalion CPs. Reportedly some of his staff officers were not happy being so close to the action.

I agree with Nightsticker's comment above @ 11:06 on the 21st. However, Dunford got his nickname by commanding the 5th RCT on the march up to Baghdad in a similar way to Chesty: his mobile CP was typically at the front lines and sometimes ahead of them. It consisted only of a single Humvee with a driver, a Ma Deuce, comms & GPS, and a Blue Force Tracker. I understand he also had two tureens of coffee which he often stopped to share with his troops.

I like Dunford's previous stand against allowing women in combat units. I also like his comments to CNAS re reform of the JCS, that is long overdue:

He has also contradicted the White House regarding Daesh being contained:

Dunford's comments re Russia before the SASC panel may well be wrong. On the other hand, like all flag officers, he needs to be more conscious of capabilities rather than intentions.

mike

Col - Concur with your response to Shaun. I never saw a VC woman combatant in my two point five tours: just nurses and medics, and most common were messengers.

turcopolier

mike

I did two one years ands three three month TDYs to repair HUMINT ops that my successors did their best to ruin. The NVA used women extensively as HUMINT assets with some success. A lot of people just can't keep their pants zipped up. pl

turcopolier

mike

"like all flag officers, he needs to be more conscious of capabilities rather than intentions" That's true at the tactical level but when you are CJCS you need to be aware of people's intentions. pl

Lesly

I think your Wilkerson quote is captured in this interview: http://youtu.be/kgig1QVU2lY

I agree with much of what Wilkerson says and can't help but think that he hopes history will forget his role in Iraq.

mike

Maybe so. I spent most of my time at tactical level and never had to serve in the puzzle palace.

turcopolier

mike

He and the other Chiefs have to advise SECDEF and the CinC about more than military action to be taken. Otherwise you get people like SECDEF Carter who will just kiss WH ass. pl

Thomas

"The NVA used women extensively as HUMINT assets with some success. A lot of people just can't keep their pants zipped up."

Sir,

You shared the story of the bus ride out into the country and the driver took a short cut so that he could get back to his woman which led to an ambush. I am wondering now, was the driver's sweety one these ladies so that he was never ambushed until he had a group of senior officers?

turcopolier

Thomas

No. He was just a dummkopf PFC with a hot girl friend. What I was thinking of was the successful infiltration of the operations staff section at MACVSOG by gorgeous young women who worked in the unclassified part of the headquarters on Pasteur Street. There was a complete NVA intelligence cell under a LTC who was the MACVSOG commander's driver as his day job. He had about ten people who had been hired into the headquarters. Most of them were very good looking women. It was a masterful operation. pl

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