- Published: Saturday, 01 September 2012 15:36
01 September 2012
01 September 2012
01 September 2012
People who are uncomfortable with methodically killing the enemy have no place in combat units. People who are uncomfortable with the idea of being blown to pieces should not go to war.
This combat video is only a small taste, a whiff, of reality. Many Americans love to hoot and holler and cheer and celebrate as we kill and dismember the enemies. The U.S. military itself releases the videos on a common basis, and I have released worse from my own camera.
27 August 2012
At this rate, 2012 will be the first year since 2004 that I have not stepped into a war. An invitation came last week to attend a combat tracking course in Norway. I received a similar invitation several years ago to attend a British military tracking school in Brunei on the island of Borneo. The British school was excellent.
23 August 2012
Most people likely wish to hear that everything will turn out right in Afghanistan. The reality is that it will not end well. This bastard war will have a thousand fathers and nobody will claim it.
In 2009, I wrote, “If a writer wants to make money, he should avoid truth and tell people what they want to hear. Yet to win the war, tell the truth.”
Since 2006, at minimum, the AfPak war on the whole has been going down. Only in 2010 [correction 2011] did I see some flicker of hope for a change of direction. In my view, that flicker has been snuffed. And writing truthfully about Afghanistan will never pay the bills, because I have nothing to say that people want to hear. It is just bad news atop more bad news.
20 August 2012
An interesting study of Danish troops and PTSD has been released. (Link at the bottom.) An informed group of people was talking about it on a private forum, where I saw this comment from Robert Goldich. Mr. Goldich is smart and experienced, and so I normally stop to see what he has to say. I republish his words with permission:
19 August 2012
Many people have alerted me to a copyright violation of my work in this video. Thank you. There is a clear violation. And for that, for starters, I could demand that the video be removed from the Internet until my work is removed. Refusal to do so could have serious consequences. The video has had nearly two million views in three days, and so monetary compensation would be a no-brainer. In particular, I do not allow my work to be used for politics on any side.
There have been some serious OPSEC violations, and this video makes an important point. However, inclusion of my work indicates inclusion of me with people I do not know. (Not to mention that inclusion of my work is illegal).
17 August 2012
This is an interesting account of tracking and counter-tracking after an ugly murder in Australia. It was sent to me by The Scott Donelan Tracking School. It is very difficult to evade a skilled tracking team -- something I learned at the British tracking school in Brunei, on Borneo Island. The man they were tracking was using shrewd counter-tracking but they still got him.
Jonathon Stenberg is suspected of killing 54-year-old Edward "Ned" Kelly at his home in Broadwater, a small town on the NSW north coast, in what is believed to be a neighbourhood dispute. It is believed that this occurred on the 21st of June 2012.
Kelly's headless corpse was found in his kitchen, with a hat placed on top of his body. His head has not been found.
Detectives conducted inquiries and identified Stenberg as a suspect in the murder. Inquiries later suggested that Stenberg had travelled by vehicle into the Northern Territory (NT) and the NT Police were subsequently notified.
On the 26th of June Stenberg was observed by an off-duty Police officer driving his vehicle in the Berry Springs area South of Darwin, NT. Stenberg drove his vehicle from the main road and onto a dirt track where he made an attempt to camouflage his car.
Members of the NT Tactical Response Group (TRG) arrived at the area a short time later in an armoured Bearcat and located Stenberg’s abandoned vehicle. A search of the area was conducted which including the use of a tracking dog however Stenberg was unable to be located. The vehicle was removed from the area and items located within it included a bolt action rifle, solar panels and food supplies.
Further searches were conducted over the following days utilising aircraft and ground searches. Road blocks were maintained around the 45sq km search area.
15 August 2012
I asked board members of Soldiers’ Angels who owns the Soldiers’ Angels warehouse in San Antonio. A Soldiers' Angel said I should ask a board member, and during due diligence I asked Board Member Mark Seavey.
Mr. Seavey just replied:
“Do your own damn research, it's not like a property search wouldn't come up with it. The easy thing to do would be just to tell you and let you realize for yourself that your barking up yet another misbeggotten tree, but since you claim to have sources so close to SA you must already know. Keen job on that scoop about the T-shirts though, I was particularly impressed with how you saw through our subterfuge of claiming it on IRS forms. Any chances of you getting civil answers from me went out the window when you decided to classlessly scare the shit out of my wife with dire predictions of legs being blown off during my embed, which you then said didn't happen, despite it being on the cover of the 24th largest magazine in the US (2.2 million copies.)
“Still waiting on the legal expert who agrees with your assertion that flying over the Taliban constitutes a violation of the GC [Geneva Conventions]. When I get that, I'll send you the landlord's name and number.”
It is telling that Mr. Seavey admits in the second paragraph to his involvement in the MEDEVAC issue. Soldiers’ Angels previously made a statement that they were not involved, and yet this board member comes out again showing that the opposite is true.
The constant aggressiveness from the Soldiers' Angels leadership is astounding. Where are the angels and the love?
Please see my Facebook.
14 August 2012
The multi-million dollar charity Soldiers' Angels has funneled donations to a company owned in part by a son of the founder.
The son's name is Brandon Varn.
Mr. Varn and his partner, Brian Harman, founded a t-shirt company in Nevada. According to public records, their company, "Boodam and the Beav, Inc.," was established in 2008 in Las Vegas.
14 August 2012
Last week it was reported that ten police were killed in Nimroz Province, Afghanistan. In total, eleven were reported killed, including the assailant. I got an interesting, single-source report from Afghanistan on this. Details are a bit shaky but are interesting enough to mention:
It appears that an enemy of some sort, who was from Khashrood, was in negotiations for several days about surrendering after some fighting. Apparently the negotiations were going by phone. Eventually the guy turned himself in. The Afghan Highway Police apparently were too trusting. The assailant was related to the AHP commander. He was let into the checkpoint, where there were AKs, PKM machineguns, and grenades. I was told that he was “untied” and that they trusted him. He started killing everyone, including his relative, the AHP commander, also from Khashrood.
12 August 2012
A sad message came from Afghanistan. Mehrab, who is known to some readers of my website, has been shot and killed. I and many others greatly liked Mehrab. He took good care of us in Jalalabad. Every time I want to forget about Afghanistan, the names and faces of the good Afghans flood in, and Mehrab was one of them. Mehrab will be missed by people in many countries. Rest in peace from Thailand.
This is the sad note:
Ladies and Gentleman,
It is with great regret that I have to report to you some very sad news. This morning I was informed from Jalalabad that the Mehrab (Dr Mehrabudding Sirajuddin) the manager of the Taj was shot and killed by AGE yesterday. It seems it happened just a few hundred meters from his house in Najm-ul-Jihad close to [Jalalabad] city. His funeral is this morning at 0930 and I have passed on our condolences.
As you are all aware Mehrab was pivotal in the Taj and looked after us for a number of years and also went back along way with the UNICA compound in [Jalalabad].
Please pass to anyone who may have known him as he serves as part of our great memories and times in the Taj Jalalabad
MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE
12 August 2012
It will be difficult to keep even a small Special Forces footprint in Afghanistan with these increasingly effective insider attacks. And we do not hear a word of apology from Karzai. This whole affair is sad. Time to bring home our main battle force:
Three United States Marines have been shot dead by an Afghan worker on a military base in southern Afghanistan, in a deadly 24 hours for Nato-led forces during which six American soldiers were killed in rogue attacks.
The shooting took place on Friday night in the Garmsir district of Helmand province, where three US special forces soldiers were killed by an Afghan policeman and comrades earlier in the day.
11 August 2012
Government and private watchdogs are on the heels of another large charity. The charity Help Hospitalized Veterans is accused of scamming millions. One of those watchdogs, Charity Navigator, similarly outed Soldiers' Angels with a 1-star financial rating in 2012.
Many reports and statements are unfolding in the media, such as:
"At the same time, it has ranked for more than a decade at the bottom of lists by watchdog groups that rate nonprofit organizations based on their financial management and abilities to use most of their donations toward their causes. CharityWatch says about 35 percent of Help Hospitalized Veterans' funds go toward programs to aid veterans. The recommended standard is about 65 percent."
"According to Charity Navigator, a third of the 50 military veterans charities it evaluates rate poorly and 20 percent either got a zero for their financial management or a "donor advisory" tag, which indicates the organizations are being investigated by authorities.
"That compares to 2 percent for other kinds of charities, said Ken Berger, the president of the Washington-based group that evaluates 5,500 charities."
10 August 2012
Approximately 13 Coalition members have been killed over the period of a week. In fact, this sad reality is normal. There is another report today that three Special Forces Soldiers were murdered by Afghan Security Forces.
Earlier in the week was also a massive suicide bomb. It could have been much worse. One source in Afghanistan sent me a photo from just as the attack unfolded. The mushroom cloud was huge. Another source mentioned that some of our KIA were leaving Camp Fiaz in Asadabad. They were heading toward a meeting at the governor’s office and were hit at a choke point that was a bridge.
Vigilante might sue me for saying this. If so, we will make a long series of stories about the case and how it unfolded, and how it unfolds. Should make for an interesting series.
09 August 2012
Curiosity did not land on Mars, but in the Dasht-i-Margo (Desert of Death) Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. This looks amazingly like Afghanistan, including two small IED craters on the left-front.
02 August 2012