This year I will say and write some things that may sound outlandish. Before dismissing my words, please remember that I am very careful with information that is delivered to your table. Your time is valuable and is respected. Those who pay attention to what I write will be ahead of the game in some areas. Please remember my history:
Authored by: David W. Brown (First published on June 1, 2010 in The Atlantic)
It began with a bridge. On the morning of March 1, a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated on Tarnak River Bridge near Kandahar, Afghanistan, killing multiple civilians and one American soldier. While the destruction of a single bridge might ordinarily pose a mere inconvenience to the U.S. war machine, in the oppressive terrain of Afghanistan it became a logistical chokepoint, halting ground-based operations for days.
War correspondent Michael Yon sought the answer to an uncomfortable question: who was responsible for the security of that bridge?
Yon is no ordinary reporter. A former Green Beret with U.S. Army Special Forces, he has spent more time embedded in Iraq and Afghanistan than any other journalist. His dispatches have produced some of the most memorable combat narratives of the war, and a large share of its most iconic images. Make no mistake; Michael Yon is not a dispassionate observer of the Columbia J-School variety. When writing about U.S. forces, he says "we." When writing about insurgents, he calls them terrorists or Taliban. And when reporting failures in the war effort, he names names. This has earned him both the respect and ire of senior military staff. In the case of the Tarnak River Bridge, the name most repeatedly mentioned as responsible for its security was Daniel Menard, the Canadian brigadier general in charge of Task Force Kandahar. Yon went public with this information.
Several years ago, Mr. Gingrich called me about something and I still have his private number. So I called him this evening from China to ask his thoughts about Donald Trump. This audio is short and unedited, though it kicks in about 20 seconds after we started talking:
This came from a former EOD officer and close friend who served two tours in Iraq and still teaches internationally on the topic:
Oh, before I forget, they really need some 256 kits to be sure on the chem from the Free Burma Ranger report. Some incendiary compounds can fail to ignite and look like a black oily mess with fumes on occasion. Given that various groups in that region typically modify ordnance I would not put it past them to improvise an incendiary.
I'm not sure either way and would have to defer to the blood test from the hospital on those who were exposed as well as a 256 kit or other detection to see, but black and oil could also be an incendiary as well as chemical. Just another potential.
Several days ago we came from the front line across from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-held Nineveh to attend the memorial of a General killed as he led his troops in repelling an ISIS suicide attack. Our team, consisting of Karen, Kachin and Karenni Free Burma Rangers (FBR) team members from Burma, our family, and foreign staff, drove under snow-covered peaks and through a beautiful gorge arriving in mid-afternoon in the snowy mountain vastness of Soran.
The memorial service lasted two and a half hours with speeches, poems, as well as Kurdish music from Kurdistan’s greatest singer, Shivon Prewar. Kurdish Generals, Members of Parliament and people from all walks of life crowded in to pay their respects to General Shawkat and the others who died with him.
Deuce Four: B. General Erik Kurilla makes an Amazing Speech
Published: Wednesday, 06 January 2016 16:36
06 January 2016
Erik is the finest combat leader I ever went to combat with. Spent five months with him. Before I got there to the unit in Mosul, Erik had already been knocked out by a car bomb and all sorts of other things, but was still doing missions literally 7 days per week, as the battalion commander.
The enemy hated Erik so much that they put a bounty on him. The enemy hated Deuce Four. I loved them. They were incredibly aggressive and so there was constant contact with the enemy.
On Monday, while conducting operations in west Mosul, a voice came over the radio saying troops from our brother unit, the 3-21, were fighting with the enemy in east Mosul on the opposite side of the Tigris River. Moments later, SSG Will Shockley relayed word to us that an American soldier was dead. We began searching for the shooters near one of the bridges on our side of the Tigris, but they got away. Jose L. Ruiz was killed in action.
Although the situation in Mosul is better, our troops still fight here every day. This may not be the war some folks had in mind a few years ago. But once the shooting starts, a plan is just a guess in a party dress.
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