Published: Tuesday, 23 October 2012 00:38
22 October 2012
The following email came from Mark Safranski subsequent his reading this letter from Colonel (ret.) Harry Tunnell. The letter.
===Email from Mr. Safranski:===
Interesting, this part in particular:
""A gross lack of concern for subordinates," Tunnell wrote, "manifests itself in guidance that 'zero' civilian casualties are acceptable and coalition soldiers may have to be killed rather than defend themselves against a potential threat and risk being wrong and possibly resulting in injury or death of a civilian."
....Tunnell's memo exhibits particular disdain for British Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, commander of NATO forces in Regional Command South, which includes the Arghandab District where Sitton was killed.
It was Carter, Tunnell wrote, whose verbal order led commanders to risk their own troops rather than Afghan civilians – something Sitton complained about two years later in an email to his wife."
Very helpful. I finally get it now.
Read more: Mark Safranski Comments Col (ret.) Harry Tunnell
Published: Friday, 19 October 2012 13:07
19 October 2012
A veteran friend made these images yesterday with his iPhone4s. They were flying off the coast by San Diego training with the U.S. Navy.
Read more: Pedro and Submarine
Published: Monday, 15 October 2012 14:01
15 October 2012
Read more: SOF: Targeting Prince Harry
Published: Monday, 15 October 2012 13:29
15 October 2012
Rumor Control is practically an industry within the military. Some rumors are bad for morale and completely untrue, while others are bad for morale and are completely true. (Why do most rumors seem to be bad for morale?)
Here is the latest rumor to hit my inbox, from a military email address in Afghanistan. I have no idea if it is true.
The White House or Pentagon is welcome to confirm or deny:
Read more: Rumor in Afghanistan: President Sucking Assets Away
Published: Wednesday, 10 October 2012 13:09
10 October 2012
This is the most stunning and forceful letter I have read from the Afghanistan war. It was written in 2010 from Afghanistan by Colonel Harry Tunnell, the Brigade Commander of 5/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team.
After this letter, Colonel Tunnell was investigated and the normal smear campaign unfolded. Having been embedded with his Brigade in 2010, it became obvious that they were put into a no-win situation, with troops spread over several provinces in Afghanistan.
Read more: Stunning Letter: Infantry Colonel Communiqué to Secretary of the Army
Published: Monday, 08 October 2012 16:55
08 October 2012
Published: Monday, 08 October 2012 14:02
08 October 2012
Terrain is the single most important factor in combat.
During the early days of the wars, back when everyone seemed to know we had won in Afghanistan, testimonials streamed from the battle zones about how badly the deserts treated our super-gear.
Batman could only dream about the techno-wonders we complained about. But we pleaded that the high temperatures, moon dust, and that terrible Brownian Motion could be the undoing of our high tech. (Send more money.)
Yet, no Einstein was required to see that the commotion over climate and dust avoided a few important realities; Iraqis and Afghans have lived there beyond the frayed edges of history, and today their televisions, motorbikes, and cars work, despite the sand and heat. Their helicopters still fly. Their AK-47s still burp flames and hot metal. (Yes, the Taliban really did have high-performance aircraft working.)
Eventually we stopped crying about the gear. Many of our own training centers are in U.S. deserts, and we have many times fought in deserts, yet somehow we still fielded gear that we said has difficulty in deserts. (Send more money.)
Read more: All The King’s Horses (Some notes from a weekend of thought)
Published: Thursday, 04 October 2012 13:00
04 October 2012
From Chiang Mai
In the Leftwing corner, wearing black, weighing very little, hailing from Africa, or Indonesia, or maybe Hawaii, nobody really knows, the undisputed Champion, Beeeetllle Obammmma!
In the Rightwing corner, wearing reddish-brown, weighing more that Beetle Obama, the challenger, a Mormon and white guy, Buug Romnnneyyy!
Read more: Obama v. Romney: Brutal Combat in Thailand
Published: Wednesday, 03 October 2012 15:11
03 October 2012
Face of our Broken Army, and the Taliban's Best Friend
Grisham contacted a lawyer today, who contacted me. This must be hitting home. So let’s keep exposing what has gone wrong with our Army.
General (ret.) Barry McCaffrey warned us many times over the years that we are breaking the Army. Today, it appears that we have passed that point. Our signal-to-noise ratio now favors the noise.
The Taliban hardly needs to dress up like American Soldiers to hit our jets when enough real Soldiers do worse, all on official business. The Army pretends to have the luxury of sending liabilities to Afghanistan who have little better to do than post on Facebook, play at being journalists, and then claim to be under combat stress. Meanwhile, real combat troops go toe-to-toe with the Taliban 24/7.
Read more: “Faggots” and Women are Unfit for Combat: The Face of a Broken Army
Published: Tuesday, 02 October 2012 14:55
02 October 2012
Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair recently was sent home from Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. Sinclair was charged by our own military with forcible sodomy (rape), inappropriate sexual relations with several female subordinates, multiple counts of adultery, stealing government money, and the list goes on.
While it is almost true in America that a man is considered innocent—in the eyes of the law—until proven guilty, the extraordinary charges made by our own military is already a death sentence for Sinclair’s current and future career.
The circumstance is demonstrative of the malignant leadership that is bringing shame to the military, while spilling blood unnecessarily on the battlefields. Either Sinclair really did these things, or he did not do these things and is wrongly accused. Either way, the military is covered with slime.
Slime likes to surround itself with slime so that it looks normal. And slime oozes downhill.
Read more: Rotten Rose Petals in War
Published: Tuesday, 02 October 2012 14:11
02 October 2012
[This came to my inbox as is; none of these images or text is mine.]
Incredible photos from last Friday's accident in Canada ( Lethbridge ). Check out the sequence of the canopy leaving the scene, the pilot in his rocket-powered seat coming out, the parachute opening sequence, and the separated seat falling away. Modern technology at its best. All of this happened in about two seconds from canopy off to the fireball.
Check out all the smoke from the canopy rocket motors.
Read more: F-18 Demise
Published: Tuesday, 02 October 2012 13:59
02 October 2012
A blog about politics and issues with Kathleen McKinley.
(Editor's note: The author is responsible for this blog, which is not edited by the Chronicle.)
‘The Good War’ Has Gone Terribly Wrong
Monday, October 1, 2012
Written by: Kathleen McKinley
Really disturbing news out of Afghanistan that may be being overlooked with all the Presidential election news going on. The New York Times reported in August that the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan has more than doubled since Pres. Obama took office.
From Michael Yon:
“Afghan forces are infested with Taliban suicide killers. Two more “green-on-blue” attacks have occurred in the last few days, killing six more troops.
Days ago, the Taliban executed an audacious attack on Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan where Prince Harry is stationed. Under darkness without moon, at least fifteen attackers breached the wire, killed two U.S. Marines, and wounded numerous other people.
Read more: ‘The Good War’ Has Gone Terribly Wrong
Published: Monday, 01 October 2012 14:33
01 October 2012
Camp Bastion Sanger circa 2011. Camp Bastion is a major foothold in Afghanistan.
If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected. - Sun Tzu, the Art of War
Despite the past eleven years in Afghanistan, U.S. ground troops are less prepared than ever for “small wars.” We have become so dependent on gadgets and contractors that we would not know what to do without them. Contractors provide much of the security at major bases in Afghanistan, and even on many smaller bases.
We like to use contractors because they are cheaper and politically expedient. When they are killed by car bombs at the gates, they are not added to the only body count that Americans care about. Leaders do not have to deal with photographs of grieving families.
Read more: False Sense of Something: Some observations and thoughts on the unfolding wars
Published: Monday, 01 October 2012 02:24
01 October 2012
An excellent and thought provoking website by a British bomb expert. We treat IEDs as if they are something new. In fact, they have been in use probably for a thousand years.
The latest from Standing Well Back:
Published: Sunday, 30 September 2012 20:21
30 September 2012
Young dog just wants to play with baby squirrel. Mom says NO!
Read more: Momma Squirrel Breaks Bad
Published: Thursday, 27 September 2012 13:42
New FBR teams listening to IDPs tell their story
27 September 2012
“Meet the former Green Berets delivering aid to some of the most blighted corners of Burma, and saving souls along the way.”
To understand the response below, it is necessary to read the article Commandos for Jesus above.
Read more: Commandos for Jesus (Article: Foreign Policy)
Published: Thursday, 27 September 2012 13:25
Major Mark Bieger with Farah. (Mosul, Iraq, May 2005.)
27 September 2012
Through time, numerous people have asked me if Mark Bieger committed suicide a couple of years after this photograph was made. The answer is NO.
At first, I dismissed the rumor because it seemed random and small. Yet apparently many people believe this. Another person just asked. The answer remains absolutely not. I talked with Mark’s wife early in the year. He is doing fine, as expected.
Read more: Soldier did Not Commit Suicide
Published: Wednesday, 26 September 2012 12:54
26 September 2012
Afghan Police in Zhari District, 2011.
Yesterday a concerned father forwarded to me a letter from his son in Afghanistan. I confirmed authenticity, and republish with permission:
I am fed up. I cannot believe the lack of attention the recent changes in this war is receiving by the media or the country. I think I saw one thing on CNN about the following subject, but I had to dig extensively to find it. The purpose of this letter is to let you know of the garbage that our soldiers are going through right now. With this knowledge, I hope that you take action by writing your congressmen.
Read more: America’s Dumbest War, Ever
Published: Tuesday, 25 September 2012 14:18
Zhari District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan (2011)
25 September 2012
Much controversy continues to swirl around the fact that our “Dustoff” MEDEVAC helicopters fly unarmed into combat. They wear the Red Crosses, alerting the enemy that they are unarmed. Note that this Afghan medic is armed, and wearing a Red Cross and Red Crescent.
Please see these links on the issue:
Published: Monday, 24 September 2012 16:01
24 September 2012
Chazray Clark was blown up in September 2011. His buddies posted his image on the door, and on the wall of our tent. Nearly everyone in the tent had been wounded at least once.
Before Staff Sergeant Matthew Sitton was blown up and killed in Afghanistan, he wrote to U.S. Representative Bill Young about incompetent leadership and meaningless risk-taking in this hollow war. Matthew was on his third Afghan tour.
The Soldier’s words are emblematic of the realities and frustrations of a war that many Americans do not realize is still on. The veteran wrote, “As a Brigade, we are averaging at a minimum an amputee a day from our soldiers because we are walking around aimlessly through grape rows and compounds that are littered with explosives.”
Read more: Stuck in the Mud