« The emergence of a competent syrian Army | Main | The jihadis are surrendering in East Aleppo. »

06 December 2016


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

Jay M

see we are deploying all over the place because the terriorist bugs are like fleas
teh hope is killing me



It was a standard feature of life in the Old Corps at VMI (pre-coloring books)to watch yankee cadets discover that grits are not cream of wheat. pl


India requires that their fighter planes are made in India so the choice is between selling them to India assembled in an Indian factory or not selling F16's. Also the F16's were not only made in the US but also The Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey, South Korea and Japan so it is not something new.



While I'm sympathetic to the idea that the Pentagon is wasteful, I have to call bullshit on this report. Certainly a savings of 4% of the annual defense budget isn't nothing. If you make your way through the presentation, however, you'll see it's the same old McKinsey process improvement bullshit. In this case it's supposed to be implemented in just eight months and magically the Pentagon procurement process will throw off huge savings.

I helped McKinsey and other management consultants shovel this bullshit in the private sector (some of the slides look strangely familiar :-)). I imagine transformation is no easier on the government side.


This is a good idea since smaller states that need tax base and employers would benefit greatly from the employment opportunities. Spread it around like the various contracts for weapons and military hardware. You can bet lots of congress critters would jump at the chance to have some federal agency stationed in their home state. With the advent of the internet there is absolutely no need for federal agencies to be in close proximate distance from each other.


I'd say Boeing took their punch on the chin fairly gracefully.

Pentagon almost blew the whistle on themselves? Until the "contractors" saw their gold toilet seat orders in the reticle.




"People all throughout Aleppo are heard shouting Allah-u-Akbar (God is Great) from their rooftops and mosques in a show of joy and victory."

Wed December 07, 2016 - 7:39 [local time]

URGENT: Syrian Army On Verge of Epoch-Making Victory in Aleppo

TEHRAN (FNA)- Aleppo is to be announced a completely liberated city by the Syrian army any moment now after hundreds of terrorists surrendered to the Syrian army at the end of daylong secret talks with government officials in Eastern Aleppo, while the remaining few hundreds under a now very tight siege have agreed to the Damascus terms to evacuate the city in less than two days.

Hundreds of militants left Aleppo city on Green Buses Tuesday night after they removed barricades at Bab Al-Hadid Square (the Iron Gate) in Southeastern Aleppo and allowed civilians to evacuate the war zone hours earlier.

The militants of Fatah Al-Halab (Conquest of Aleppo) – one of a dozen terrorist groups operating under the umbrella of Jeish Al-Fatah coalition - surrendered almost all Old Aleppo districts after the Syrian Army's swift advances West of the Aleppo International Airport risked splitting them apart from their comrades further South.

The terrorists gave up fight and requested ceasefire talks with the government after their massive counteroffensive at Karm Al-Maysar and Karm Al-Qaterjy failed to yield any gains. Making matters worse for the insurgents, the Syrian Armed Forces would proceed to capture Sha'ar district, and the nearby Turbet Lala, Qadi Askar and Qarleq districts to arrive at Bab Al-Hadid on Tuesday.

Later in the day, the militants engaged in secret negotiations with government officials in Aleppo to surrender the Old Aleppo quarter and leave the city.

Bab Al-Hadid Square is a few hundred yards North-East of Aleppo Citadel and is the borderline of the Old Aleppo quarter to the East.

The only pocket of Jeish Al-Fatah terrorists now remaining in the city are mostly from Al-Qaeda's Nusra Front (recently renamed to Fatah Al-Sham Front) and Noureddin Al-Zinki that are further to the South in Bostan al-Qasr (Also Bostan Alkaser) and its adjacent districts and under a very tight siege of the army and Hezbollah troops.

Early Wednesday morning reports by several regional Arab media outlets quoted rebel sources as declaring that factions operating in the few remaining Eastern Aleppo districts have now agreed to pull out completely.

The Arab media and activists all confirmed that the terrorists have been negotiating with Russia through representatives in Turkey over an evacuation plan from Eastern Aleppo.

Reports suggested that a Turkish-Russian agreement has been reached over the surrender of the remaining East Aleppo districts under jihadists' control after extended negotiations between leaders of opposition groups and Russian officers in Turkey.

The Syrian army also confirmed that militants will start leaving Aleppo in 48 hours.

Meantime, militants have started confirming through their social media pages and websites that they are to leave Aleppo after several years, acknowledging defeat.

Over the last two days terrorists' affiliated media outlets have been sending consoling messages, saying 'we are losing Aleppo but we will fight in other places', showing that they were preparing to surrender Aleppo, but the messages appearing on these media now are all filled with sorrow, acknowledging final defeat.

On the other side of the war, radio exchanges are heard among Syrian army and Hezbollah commanders felicitating each other on the landmark victory that is a turning point in the war on terrorism in Syria and will be of unrivaled weight at any political talks on the future of Syria.

People all throughout Aleppo are heard shouting Allah-u-Akbar (God is Great) from above their rooftops and mosques in a show of joy and victory.

Aleppo will once again see a calm day and there will be many family reunions when citizens come together from the West and the East to celebrate the end of war in their city. They will shed tears, but this time of joy, today or tomorrow.



On the "institutional knowledge" issue, a proper rotation scheme to prevent empire building by incumbents is probably a good idea. Perhaps scheduling rotation from 18-36 months in post (depending on the technical skill set needed) would contribute to enhanced esprit de corps and reduced tendency for the myth of indispensability emerging?


UPDATE 5:25 AM EST re my earlier comment around 3:30 AM
FARS reported earlier today "Aleppo is to be announced a completely liberated city by the Syrian army any moment now."


This is turning into a long 'any moment now.' AMN is reporting today (no time stamp) that 10,000 civilians are still stuck in a 'pocket' in E. Aleppo. Although various MSM reports, including one from the BBC filed about 50 minutes ago, say that the "old city" has fallen to the Syrian Army coalition, FARS seems to be the only source reporting up to this point that the entire city has been liberated. Irrational exuberance, perhaps? sigh.


6:36AM I know as soon as i give up and go to sleep that's when the Syrian government will declare total victory n Aleppo but I can't keep my eyes open any longer. Over and out.


7:14 AM

"However, the battle for east Aleppo is far from over for the Syrian Arab Army, as the jihadist rebels still maintain control over the strategic Marjah, Sheikh Lufti, and Sheikh Sa'eed districts."

Syrian Army officially enters surrendered east Aleppo districts
By Leith Fadel - 07/12/2016

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:15 PM) - The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has officially entered two of the recently surrendered districts of east Aleppo today after the militants fled the area, per the Russian-Turkish agreement.

According to an Al-Masdar field correspondent, the Syrian Arab Army's elite Tiger Forces entered the Kadi Asker and Bab Al-Hadid districts of east Aleppo, following the departure of the jihadist rebels earlier this morning.

As a result of yesterday night's surrender by the jihadist rebels, the Syrian Arab Army now controls the entire area around the Aleppo Citadel, including the provincial capital's second largest mosque that was turned into a militant base.

However, the battle for east Aleppo is far from over for the Syrian Arab Army, as the jihadist rebels still maintain control over the strategic Marjah, Sheikh Lufti, and Sheikh Sa'eed districts.



The Beaver

"The real objective for McKinsey is to be given a fat, long-term contract to manage the changes recommended in their report. This is McKinsey standard operating procedure."


Yep, then you will find entry-level "project consultants" commuting on a weekly basis , all expenses paid, to do that .


This blog might interest you field ration gourmands

Ken Roberts

Re procurement practices, it might be fun to review this film -- which was reminded by an earlier post, re another Cary Grant movie. The logistics methods used by supply officer Tony Curtis proved to be pretty effective.

Operation Petticoat ---




I share prejudices against the trade. Even lower staff, ideally available around the clock to produce Powerpoint condensations are quite well paid.

mike allen

Nothing better than some mess hall SOS with a dash or two of Tabasco to spice it up. Had one mess sargent that ground up some spicy Portuguese sausage into the gravy so you did not even need the tabasco.

On the other hand, nothing is worse than those green powdered eggs in your mess tray while on an LST rolling in the waves from a distant typhoon. Even the old salts would be lining the rail, "calling for Ralph" as we used to say.


I work on the other side and am familiar with this kind of thing. At rough glance, this might just be a blue sky project, not a serious proposal. The idea is that if you work in an organization, you tend to be constrained by the reality of what you do every day. So, if you want out-of-the-box ideas, you hire some outside researchers, don't give them background, and allow them to think about how transformation could work. That sort of thing does have its place, but it shouldn’t be taken seriously, but rather as a fresh perspective, a set of ideas that may or may not be practical. If so, a lot of the data is probably imaginary or fudged.

Whatever this study was or why it was done, it has likely been stripped of its original context and a new context has been supplied to anger people.


FYI, 1947 law:
U.S. Code › Title 10 › Subtitle A › Part I › Chapter 2 › § 113
"(a) There is a Secretary of Defense, who is the head of the Department of Defense, appointed from civilian life by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. A person may not be appointed as Secretary of Defense within seven years after relief from active duty as a commissioned officer of a regular component of an armed force."

So Congress will have to pass a waiver for Trump's nominee.


For what it’s worth, the process by which a probably harmless research project can quickly become an alarming story about a Pentagon cover up of a vital cost-saving plan is described here:



Having been some manner of "consultant" (interesting life experience) once, that report strikes me as the typical consultant bullshit.

It reads like the standard copy and paste McKinsey report, which is massaged by some 22 year old "senior analyst" before it is send to the people who ordered it. Now, some consultants are very very useful, but the McKinsey type may well be the least useful subspecies.

Some of the charts have a buzzword to normal word ratio that is totally off the chart, and basically that report resulted in a constant activation of my internal bullshit sensor.

The Twisted Genius

mike allen,

Being on an LST in a typhoon must be pure hell. I was on the USS Cleveland sailing through a typhoon. We were accompanied by a Philippine Navy LST. That flat bottomed old girl was tossed around like a cork. In the morning, as we approached the landing beach, the LST suddenly kicked up a rooster tail heading straight for the beach. She was sinking and had to beach herself.

In the wardroom on the Cleveland earlier that evening, we had corned beef and cabbage. I could see the two young 2LTs in our company were getting queasy. I took a big forkful of corned beef with mustard and fresh horseradish and waved it under their noses. They both ran out to "look for sea snakes" as we called it on that cruise. Back in Hawaii we called it looking for lava snakes.


TTG, Chris, Fred, Bandit,

I think along the same vein. Why the BPHQ in D.C. versus on the southwest border?

They were good enough to station the Academy in the damn middle of nowhere FFS.

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