I’ve been fighting a cold this week, but still been able to chronicle items I deemed of importance on Facebook. I’ve also spent my evenings convalescing by having a tremendous amount of fun reacting to outrageous events on Twitter.
From Moon of Alabama:
U.S. soldiers, and especially commanding officers, have a well pampered and safe life. Many civilian jobs pay less and are more dangerous. A myth is build around the U.S. military with the help of hundreds of millions in public relations and marketing expenditures. The U.S. military does not win wars, but its soldiers are depicted as being better humans than the general population…
If the soldiers do not work “for any other reason than that they love this country” why do they ask to be paid? Why is the public asked to finance 200 military golf courses? Because the soldiers “love the country”? Only a few 10,000 of the 2,000,000 strong U.S. military will ever see an active front-line.
From the comments:
We more closely resemble post WW1 Germany, in that although largely defeated on the field of battle far away from the home front in our 16 years of dubious missions, the hoi ploy here only hears of individual valor in a everybody in our armed forces is a hero, fashion…
In the wars of the past decade, hundreds of Army generals were deployed to the field, and the available evidence indicates that not one was relieved by the military brass for combat ineffectiveness. https://www.theatlantic.com/…/11/general-failure/309148/…
Either American generals are so inept that they cannot defeat an enemy whose most advance weapons system is a Toyota pick up truck, or they are so cowardly that they will not state clearly that the US military cannot “win” any counter insurgency conflict.
From Russia Today:
What the US-led coalition did to Syria’s Raqqa is comparable to the infamous Allied bombing of Dresden in 1945, the Russian Defense Ministry said, adding that the allies may be rushing to pour money into Raqqa to cover up the aftermath.
The tactic used by the US forces – whether in Syria or in Iraq – is to cause as much damage as possible to make the cities that get liberated from ISIS hard to rebuild and to reconstruct. At the same time, they want to turn the issue of the civilians and their needs as a mean to obstruct further advances of the Syrian army – especially that the US is losing ground, both in Syria and Iraq, and it wants to hold on to whatever it could in order to enter into negotiations later on.
From Thomas E. Ricks on General John Kelly:
So you want to be a career soldier? Good for you. But remember that the longer you stay in uniform, the less you will really understand about the country you protect. Democracy is the antithesis of the military life; it’s chaotic, dishonest, disorganized, and at the same time glorious, exhilarating and free — which you are not.
After a while, if you stay in, you’ll be tempted to say, “Look, you civilians, we’ve got a better way. We’re better organized. We’re patriotic, and we know what it is to sacrifice. Be like us.” And you’ll be dead wrong, son. If you’re a career soldier, you may defend democracy, but you won’t understand it or be part of it. What’s more, you’ll always be a stranger to your own society. That’s the sacrifice you’ll be making…
Being part of the “one percent” doesn’t make us any more entitled than any other citizen. And while we’re happy that the public respects military service, too much respect makes us a little uneasy, for the reasons the old colonel said. We are privileged to serve, not the other way around.
From ABC News:
Despite being massively outnumbered, the American and Nigerien troops held their own — including Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed in the ambush, the sources told ABC News.
“He was the best kid you could ask for,” the survivor said of Johnson, who fought back the militants with machine gun fire from the back of a pickup truck, before grabbing a sniper rifle and continuing to shoot.
“The guy is a true war hero,” the survivor added. “I really want his wife and kids to know that.”
Last week the new head of the CIA Mike Pompeo publicly threatened to make the CIA a “much more vicious agency”. His first step towards that is to unleash CIA sponsored killer gangs onto the people of Afghanistan…
The campaign will be a boon for the Taliban. While it will likely kill Taliban aligned insurgents here and there, it will also alienate many more Afghan people. Some 75% of the Taliban fighters are locals fighting near their homes. Killing them creates new local recruits for the insurgency. It will also give the Taliban a more sympathetic population which it can use to cover its future operations.
As usual, the MoA comments are chock full of chewy goodness, should you be so inclined.