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25 March 2020


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"We trained hard, being in the field well over 50% of the time." That reminds me of the old Skipjack class fast attack I was once assigned too (it was commissioned before I was born). We had more time at sea than home port. I remember once we were tracking a Soviet sub in the Western med and were ordered to the give up that duty so the 5th fleet could assign the newest 688 to the job with all the resulting kudos and praise for a job well done. Not a word to the sonar operators aboard our ship who identified the damn thing to begin with. Buy hey, we had a 'new navy' and Sec. Lehman was going to make sure the latest and greatest got all the (at the time internal) pr. It was good for the budget.

Upstate NY'er

Hated for your role in Desert Storm?
Why and by who?

JP Billen

El Trumpo reminds me of Slick Willy Clinton. Both were draft dodgers and koozhounds; and both showed disdain for the military. This country needs a new political party or better yet a way to eliminate the media and the debates from the election process.

The thing that really pisses me of about Trump is his blatant humping of the American flag. If he'd been in the military and done that he would have been court-martialed. At least back in my time.



I knew this was coming. This was a major episode in my life and I remember it well. Fat Norman was the recipient of an approved contingency plan that was the basis for existence for his command, USCENTCOM. That plan was never intended to be an operational plan. He was supposed to modify the plan to fit the reality of the moment. He did not. He merely allowed a lot of drones on the CENTCOM retirement plan to draft the simplest possible plan. After the concept of his plan soaked in at Washington, I, and maybe others, was asked if this was a good plan. I was asked by Powell, Soyster and the navy dweeb who was head of the J-2 function of DIA what the "center of gravity" of Baathist and nationalist Iraq was. I told them that it was the Iraqi Army to include the Republican Guard with its three division armored corps. I was asked what the plan should do. Regretfully, because of past missions to Iraq during their war with Iran, I said that the Iraqi Army should be trapped in Kuwait and destroyed. A plan was subsequently adopted to push hard from south to north while swinging wide around through the desert with 18th Airborne Corps (including the French Division) to get north of the Kuwait/Iraq border and trap them in Kuwait. This only partly succeeded because after the mass of the Iraqi forces were defeated south of the Kuwait Airport, a "sauve qui peut" order was issued by the high command to evacuate division and corps staffs , support units and what was left of higher quality units. We would have bagged the lot except that a lot of their people could not get past the barbed wire barrier along the Kuwait/Iraq border at the two lane crossing point and were shot to death by our air in masses strung out along the fence. The pictures of this were in the media and '41 Bush told Powell to stop it. Fat Norman did that. LTG Fred Franks and 7th US Corps waiting to spring the trap north of the murder air slaughter were ordered to halt in place and enough Iraqi Army escaped to reconstitute itself. Me? It was deeply resented that a mere retired colonel who was an SES and a planner for J-2 intelligence in the ME should have intervened to say that Fat Norman was a fool. I flew into the kill zone just south of the border with a senate delegation three days after the massacre. Standing on the bermed up road looking at the masses of still burning vehicles and bodies I was approached by a young US Army captain who told me they had gotten what they deserved. I told him to shut his fucking mouth



Very personal "It don't matter. It don't mean nothin." That's what the grunts said in VN. I think of my father's comrades who fought to the death against the Japanese in 1942 on Bataan. Where did I leave that bottle?



From my memoir -

"The trip to Turkey was an adventure in itself. The Langs drove to Venice where they boarded a very modern French built motor ferry for a three-day trip to Izmir across the Mediterranean. The sea was blue, their stateroom was pleasant, and the cuisine in the first class dining room was splendid.
At Izmir, he made the acquaintance of a truly memorable “Old Army” character. This was Major General John K. Boles, the Chief of Staff of Land Southeast... This crusty old buzzard was a true “diamond in the rough.” He was from the Class of 1939 at West Point, and had fought his way across northern Europe in the 3rd Armored Division. His whole family was cavalry all the way back to the 1830s, when an ancestor had been a founding member of the 1st Dragoons, the very first US regular mounted regiment
Lang first met the man when he reported in the general’s office in Izmir. Boles was filling his pipe from a large wooden humidor. The tobacco looked and smelled like Burley. This was hopeful. At least he’s not altogether a Yankee... Lang thought.
Boles’ “blouse” was open and in closing the drawer of his desk, he caught the skirt of it. He looked down and said, “Well, good thing I had my pants on...” He then looked up and began to question Lang’s provenance in the closed world of Army society. “You look like Old Army to me,” he said. “Just the way you stand there… You’re not afraid of me. Are you Steve Lang’s son? No? Are you the nephew of the Lang girls in Baltimore?” He asked if Lang were related to this Lang or that, and finally said, “Well, who the hell are you, Lang?”
Walter Lang was angry. He looked Boles in the eye and said, “Sir, I am Sergeant Major Lang’s son.” This was not strictly true as the father had retired as a lieutenant colonel, but he had been a sergeant major at one point.
Boles considered that and then asked, “Which regiment?”
Lang ransacked his memory and chose the best one. “26th Cavalry,” he replied.
This was the Philippine Scouts cavalry regiment.
Boles now really looked at him. “My father commanded the regiment in the 20s,” he said. “I was born at Camp John Hay. We lived there for twelve years. I remember a sergeant named Lang in “G” Troop...”
”That was my father,” Lang answered in astonishment.”
“Your father taught me to ride. Sit down. Is your father still living? Yes? Please pass him my regards.” the general said.
After a half hour of conversation, Boles asked if he knew what happened to the horses.
“The regiment’s horses?”
“They shot them when ordered to surrender on Bataan. They killed them to save them from the Japanese. Each trooper shot his own mount. My father still cannot speak of it.”
Boles lowered his bald old head and nodded.
Sergeant Major Lang’s son had found a friend. He and General Boles became boar hunting and SCUBA diving companions. Friendship is not too strong a word for the relationship that emerged." pl

Dennis Daulton

What needs to be discussed and that urgently, is the total bankruptcy of the Wall Street financial system. Four trillion has been announced to bailout this madness while the average Joe get $1200 to distract him from this fact. The Wall Street free market system is dead, it was dead in 2008 and now amount of money printing will save it. The time is now to revive the glass steagall banking legislation to kickoff an FDR style recovery otherwise expect a rapid push for a bankers dictatorship centered around their fantasy of a green new deal as stated by mark carney on many occasions.

Stuart R Wood

In regards to the planning for offensive operations in Gulf War I, I read that the ideas of Col. John Boyd, USAF, ret. was paramount. He is the only non Marine who has a statue dedicated to him at Quantico. From Wikipedia, "John Richard Boyd was a United States Air Force fighter pilot and Pentagon consultant of the late 20th century. His theories have been highly influential in the military, sports, business, and litigation fields." Did you ever run across him?


Dennis Daulton,
re: The time is now to revive the glass steagall banking legislation ...

I would agree with that and it would be quite sensible to do that.

Point is, you are not ever going to get that with Trump and his happy Trumpeteers.

Why? Because they have managed to enact two or three laws in almost three years (One Law A Year - OLAY - would look splendid in white on a red golf site cap)) - a speed so fast one falls asleep watching.

In contrast to that, Trump solo destroyed treaties and presidentially away-decreed about 50+++ times as many laws or regulation rules though not yet with tweets.

Responsibility, rules and regulations, just like evil things like taxes, are a vile anathema to Trump.

He picks just the people he needs for his view of how work should be done:

  • Pruitt led the EPA, had sued them often, was a coal lobby man and wanted to abolish it. Perfect man for the job? Hardly.

  • One of Pruitt's people at the EPA was a man from a family bank who had been for whatever reason been tried by bank oversight and sentenced to never ever work in a bank again for the rest of his life. Under Pruitt his job at the EPA was to oversee the superfunds (a lot of tax payer money). Perfect man for the job? Hardly.

etc. pp.

The Twisted Genius


Yes, we share a history and set of traditions rich enough to nourish us through any crisis, an anchor that will stand fast through the worst of storms. I almost feel sorry for those pitiful souls who cannot appreciate or even grasp such a history... almost.


TTG (if you will indulge me, Col Lang),
Here’s an old tune that may smooth one’s contemplation of things not mattering.

Larry Kart

Sorry -- I can't find a link to Trump's actual "brand new military" remarks. Can anyone help or just type out what he said? Thanks.


Colonel, Sir
you are probably correct in your prediction.
yes, we will be stuck with the coronated king of sycophants, cronies and in-laws. Sad.


Oh crap!

The USS Theodore Roosevelt 5000 floating city has confirmed
COVID expanding onboarding. They're heading for Guam which is scrambling to provide makeshift medical facilities in place for when the Carrier arrives.



@The Colonel:
Thank you for the details and the painful history. When it was ended in 91, Noman, Colin and Bush sr. got the kudos. It has been 30 years and I honestly do not remember any lionization of Gen Franks at that time or since. What I do remember most vividly is the sudden national belief that America was back, that the long decline from Korea through VN and culminating in the Grenada invasion had been reversed. What is shown to those outside is never congruent with what is known by those inside.

Terence Gore

"At Qom, al-Sadr called for expelling Americans in a "humiliating manner" and for all contact with Americans to be criminalized."


The social distancing of Americans may be disastrous in this case


Larry Kart

He ad libbed it at one of his CODIV-19 briefings.


Stuart R Woods

I never met Boyd. He was in the ops world and I was an intel puke. His contribution to the plan was probably on the air side at Checkmate. He believed as I did that you have to operate faster than the enemy can react. But then, Stonewall Jackson was the real master of that. Read my Army War College article about that. "Jackson's Valley Campaign and the Operational Level of War." Parameters Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, Army War College Winter 1985.

The Twisted Genius

Larry Kart,

It was part of his opening remarks during the 25 March Coronavirus Task Force briefing. As Colonel Lang said, Trump clearly ad libbed it. No speech writer would pen that meandering stream of consciousness.

“So we are setting up a fund of $45 billion for disaster relief. That’s more than doubling the amount available to support my national emergency and disaster declarations. It’s a doubling up. $27 billion to build up the Strategic National Stockpile with critical supplies, including masks, respirators, pharmaceuticals, and everything you can imagine — because it was very depleted, like our military was depleted. Now we have a brand-new military. Never had a military like this. We have equipment either coming or it’s already come. For the most part, it’s already come. But we have a lot of things that will soon be coming — planes, missiles, rockets, lots of things. But the stockpile was very depleted, like everything else.”



A fleet carrier has state of the art medical facilities aboard. "The crud" of one kind or another circulates the the crew in the first week or ten days every deployment. A carrier getting aircraft from a shore base might see that more often.

The word "makeshift " does not appear in that article. It does reference CNN, who reference unnamed Pentagon officials. Why wad the ship making a port stop in Vietnam two weeks ago is a good question to ask the CNO.

The Twisted Genius


That was my question. Why did that ship have to make a port call at all? What was the CNO thinking? Clearly a lack of intelligence, discipline and judgement in the Pentagon.

I had a thought last night about what Trump can do. Why not redefine national security and begin the process of disengaging from our military involvements around the world? Get out of Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq for starters. Withdraw all support from Saudi adventurism in Yemen. Leave Iran alone. If Trump did that, I believe he would be unbeatable in November.


TTG, my thinking exactly. Get the troops home. Now if Trump could then bury the hatchet with Russia and China, you have the beginnings of a new and better world after the Pandemic.

To me, that is the best use of the game changing potential of Coronavirus - use the crisis as a basis for permanent change. This is the “freeze, unfreeze, refreeze” model of strategy.

Unfortunately history may have more malevolent ideas....

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