Michael's Dispatches

Of Concern

Monday, 08 March 2010
Kandahar, Afghanistan

Yesterday, an American involved in the war effort handed me a document. It was an email from a Lieutenant Colonel in the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan. His unit is in combat seven days a week. To be clear, I did not get the email from the officer and I have never met him.

The email is about the abysmal, unsafe conditions which some of our most dedicated troops are living in, at a remote base run by the Spanish military in Afghanistan. All deletions [xxx] are by me. I have the entire email. The serious and disturbing allegations are found in the second and third paragraphs.

Please note, that the failure to support permanent US troops at this Spanish base constitutes real negligence about their ultimate safety. And that comes on top of a degree of harassment that is shocking among allies.

The message begins:

I just finished spending a couple days with TF [xxx] at [xxx] and visiting all of our sites that we have troopers located at. Great progress continues to be made in the [xxx], but several items need some help ASAP:

[Para 1 deleted]

2) Qal E Naw: The Spanish are not interested in helping in anyway, and are trying to make us decide to leave based on their unacceptable treatment of Americans. Our refuelers [soldiers who refuel helicopters] that are living there have to run out, unroll the hoses, pull security, and roll everything back up. They have asked for gravel along the FLS as it is currently calf deep mud, but the Spanish refuse to make any improvements. They asked for a T barrier (just one) to put at a 45 degree angle outside the fence where the FARP [Forward Arming and Refueling Point; where helicopters land for ammo and gas] has to be set up so they can run for cover in case there is small arms fire, the Spanish say no and refuse to make any improvements. They asked for a small gate where their billets are located so they can access the FARP directly rather than going a half mile loop to get out the gate, but the Spanish said no and refuse to make any improvements. They [sic] guys are living hard (we understand that) but have to do laundry by hand as all of their stuff is stolen if they turn it into the laundry, they discussed this with the Spanish, but they refuse to many any improvements.

USFOR-A needs to energize someone to develop a viable, enduring plan for this FARP that isn’t reliant on the Spanish. This is a key hub for fuel (since we can’t get trucks to [xxx] or [xxx]) so let’s improve this location to better support those guys living out there on the edge by themselves. They refused to allow a Marine detachment that was dropped there to come into the wire or feed them overnight. Our refuelers had to fight the Spanish to bring them in and squeeze them into the two small tents that they have and give them MREs as they [sic] Spanish wouldn’t feed them. Is this how we allow our Coalition partners to treat Americans?

3) BmG: Who ever briefed that they have gravel there has never been there. We arrived during a TIC [fighting] and a MEDEVAC mission. The aircraft have to land/park in a field that has no gravel and then they sink into the ground. They have to be moved everyday to pull them back out of the mud. If we can’t get gravel, how about putting some AM2 matting, stakes and a couple of Red Horse guys on a CH-47 and fly them in to build a couple of pads just big enough to park an individual UH-60 on? We’ve been pushing the gravel issues since last fall and are no closer to a solution. Those guys are living in fighting positions. When it begins to warm up in the next month, that field will be untenable without gravel or AM2 matting. We don’t want to lose MEDEVAC capability there because we couldn’t put in two pads. We did a MEDEVAC [troop(s) wounded] and Hero [troop(s) killed] mission while I was there and the next day as well, let’s not forget that they are on the tip of the spear, we owe them more.

I would like to discuss these Saturday to see what the way ahead is going to be.


On that note, the email closes.

So, our soldiers and Marines, living in rough conditions at the far tip of the spear, apparently are being treated with contempt, with all basic support denied, from laundry to the conditions of the field on which our troops do their thankless job. If this report is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, the Spanish are endangering the lives of our warriors by failing to provide basic safety.

To the extent that there is an international dimension to this potential problem, requiring a diplomatic solution, it deserves the immediate attention of our civilian leadership. Our able Secretary of Defense will likely wish to investigate, and bring it up with our Spanish allies for any corrective measures that might be in order. I will personally see that this gets to Secretary Gates. When Secretary Gates gets wind, we can rest easy that proper attention is forthcoming.

Michael Yon



# Matt 2010-03-07 19:14
Morale must be desperately low among the Spanish to let themselves be embarrassed in front of another nation's military. I'm sure this is happening elsewhere. Is NATO falling apart?
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# Matt 2010-03-07 19:16
It's little anecdotes that remind me that for even all of its faults, the American military is the most capable in the history of human civilization. All borne on the backs of grunts and support personnel, often strictly based on being too proud to fail.
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# Matt 2010-03-07 19:16
It's little anecdotes that remind me that for even all of its faults, the American military is the most capable in the history of human civilization. All borne on the backs of grunts and support personnel, often strictly based on being too proud to fail.
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+1 # John Capt in ANG, Civilian in Afghanistan 2010-03-07 19:36
To Morale: I have been in theatre for almost a month. I'm writing this from ISAF HQ in Kabul and will very shortly be moving back over to KAIA (Kandahar Airport). I see Macedonians, Italians, Spaniards, British, Australian, US, and a long list of other nations' troops every minute of every waking day. All are positive, professional and not falling apart. Yes, at times we make fun of each other (esp of Italians who love to stop and talk in the middle of doorways), but it's good natured fun.

That said, I was surprised when I read this. Yes, I haven't been as far "into the woods" as this report comes, but it's not indicative of the NATO efforts I've witnessed firsthand. I briefly jumped over to my Outlook, to see if Gen McChrystal was on there...and then spend the 10 minutes I'd take contemplating if I wanted to jump the chain and let him know...but his name wasn't there. I went back and finished reading the story, and saw Michael mention going to Gates. In my humble opinion, I'd suggest working the chain before going to the top. Give Gen McChrystal, or one of his 3-star Deputy's a chance to rectify this. It might be a simple miscommunicatio n, or a full blown (as implied) dereliction of duty.
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# Haakon Dahl 2010-03-07 19:47
NATO is not falling apart. Sounds like Spain is, though.

IIRC, it was Spanish airspace ownership that cost a guy a leg several years ago.
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# thad lucken 2010-03-07 20:02
after al queada hit spain they voted in a ally of castro and hugolito, obama knows this. of course the front is where the least news is going to reach us, and its also where they care the least about whats going on. how many democrat congressmen and women from Michigan or Illinois are going to go out that far from an FOB? answer: none.
youre doing someone's job for them Mike and I appreciate it immensly. This shouldve never been able to happen, let alone be allowed to continue. I really hat PC warfare and NATO cowards tagging along, dragging their feet just so they can say they went to work with dad one day. COME ON HIGHER!! WAKE THE F UP!!
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# Michael 2010-03-07 20:13
Invade Qal E Naw;
Cover combat engineers installing requested (at least) improvements;
Install effectively a base within a base to support this Forward Helo Support Point;
Bump the number of personal to take into account minimal self securing and support needs;
Install minimal basic support for any detachment that stages through overnight.
Bill Spanish HQ for all the extras they're suppose to be suppling but that we have had to install ourselves.
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# Scalyback 2010-03-07 22:46
This is disgraceful behaviour on the part of the Spanish not NATO. I would like to hear their side of this, but if it is true as I suspect will be the case then it is likely to be a decision made by the local commander. If so cannot the US military address this at a suitable level? Then I trust he would soon be an ex commander. If it is more sinister than that and the local commander is following orders, then certainly get the Defence Dept or whoever involved and quickly! Lastly, can I suggest that calling NATO soldiers cowards is both insulting to those troops doing a dangerous job from whatever nation, and arrogance of the worst kind.
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# Jordan 2010-03-07 22:52
thad lucken you are right our congressmen do not know so we should write to them and tell them. I am sure they will listen if you insist that you will vote in the November elections. Hell I just wrote to my states senators and thank you Michael Yon for providing the updates.
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# Scalyback 2010-03-07 23:09
Is this something that the local commander decided upon? If so surely this could be sorted quite easily through the normal chain of command? I would hope that there are no orders within the Spanish chain of command not to co-operate with US forces, but if this is the case then go to the very top if necessary; that sort of behaviour is beyond contempt.
Finally, although I understand that this is a very emotive item, can I please ask that phrases such as 'NATO cowards' are not used. That is an insult to the many such soldiers fighting bravely alongside the US.
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# Wind Rider 2010-03-08 01:24
I'd recommend using the strategy you used coveirng the Bridge situation last week. Look into what the chain is, and start identifying those responsible for the continuation of this Bravo Sierra. Push the issue. This isn't merely a personnel comfort issue, it sounds like the Spaniards are pig-headedly refusing to do things to facilitated mission accomplishment - their lack of cooperation is plainly degrading mission effectiveness. My picture of Gerge Washington says this boils down to one or two individuals in the position to be D-heads, that are exercising their option. Make it a question of honor for those above them in the chain, and rattle the HELL out of their tinhorn little cages. Turn the volume up to 11 on this one. If the Spanish OIC's can't keep their heads in the game, then those heads need to figuratively roll.
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# Austin 2010-03-08 02:05
if that was our FOB, there would be lots of dead Spanish soliders... but there is also a chain of command that should be also looking out for those guys as well. They should never have relied primarily on the Spanish
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# Joe 2010-03-08 02:12
You should see how the Spanish troops are treated at American Bases in the AOR.. LIKE KINGS! They come and go as they please to eat our fast food shacks, shop at our BX, refuel their vehicles and roll back outside the wire. Nice to see they know how to show their friendship with us. Who needs Al Qaeda when you have friends like the spanish?
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# StarCMC 2010-03-08 02:18
I hope you all will do the same. This is absolutely ridiculous - we should not be fighting our "allies" while fighting our enemies.
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# libertyandvirtue.com 2010-03-08 02:26
Just look at the government of Spain....you have your answer..they are left wing have no respect for the USA, and are only there because they have to participate being a member of NATO and the EU...Spineless ...US should demand NATO resolve the problems, and tell Spain to get off their lazy butts
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# Father of a Lifer 2010-03-08 02:35
Field Grade Officers assigned to staff and logistics do a lot of traveling. They have to use air transport from various Nations. That is where the above quote comes from.
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+1 # RE: Of ConcernGW CRawford 2010-03-08 02:38
Please don't Obama the rest of NATO. Canadian soldiers are putting in, proportionally, more then the US. I notice the one American posting further up neglects to mention Canadians at all, just lumping us in with 'other nations'

Excuse me? We are the third largest contingent and one of the few providing actual combat effective soldiers

It has been said that the best thing to be is America's enemy and the worst her friend - Canada keeps learning that lesson. We get nailed as untrustworthy by the right, as an economic enemy by the left.
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# jeff 2010-03-08 02:43
when i was there i seen alot crap like that.when your from the USA kissing ass is part of your job
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# JDCR52 2010-03-08 03:03
Situations like this are why we need a commander in chief who is not afraid to do what is right for America, to do what is best for OUR troops, and to say "screw international relations" if it means endangering our troops or interests. It's the whole reason that George Washington I told us to stay out of international conflicts and entanglements back in the 1790's. Other countries care only about themselves, don't give a rat's ass about our troops, and often have conflicting interests against which we have to contend in order to obtain "international agreement or cooperation".
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# ThomasPaine2009 2010-03-08 03:09
The UN ( Usless Nations) are the problem! Not NATO! Saw first hand the "effectiveness" of th UN in Haiti. Doesnt surprise me what is happening at that FOB! The US Troops, KEEP UP THE FIGHT! We SUPPORT YOU!
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# ThomasPaine2009 2010-03-08 03:14
Thank you for your support too! Canada has been a PARTNER with the US since this began! I have worked with alot of Canadian Military in the MANY deployments that I have done. ALL OF THEM WERE EXCELENT, PROFESSIONAL SOLDIERS!!!! I would fight side by side with them any day!
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# Patton 2010-03-08 03:18
Why do you folks whine so much? I've recently returned to the US after spending 2 years "north of the border", and it seems that the favorite national pastime is bitching, usually about some perceived slight or grievous insult from the United States. Get over yourselves!

I think everyone recognizes and appreciates the contributions of the Canadian forces in Afghanistan, but let's not overdo it, okay? After all, you folks have decided to pack up and leave. Americans, as usual, will be left holding the bag.

Back on topic, the treatment of American personnel by the Spanish is reprehensible, and heads should roll!
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# Jack 2010-03-08 03:31
Great email by the LC. One important thing is missing. The rank and full names of the top Spanish commenders at this location, also which one(s) and date(s) that each of the problems were addressed to includinng their respective response(s). All of the problems can be the result of one idiot. I have a feeling that the email's author who sounds very professional may have already addressed the items I mentioned above but I included them here because the informations are a MUST in order to resolve the problems, prevent future one, and reassert accountability for these type of Spanish officers once and for all. Our heros surely don't need to tolerate this cheap BS.
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# Willys 2010-03-08 03:36
This is the way Spaniards treat each other and the reason Spain is a failed power. They aren't allies, just recipients of U.S. largess. Spain's only value is its coast lines.
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# lance 2010-03-08 03:44
This is absurd! We should give them 48 hours to improve this situation then pull our men out for a day or two in order to allow the Afghani Army to have a little target practice by wiping out the Spanish contingent. This is a war zone, if they don't want to treat it as such we should show them what war is all about and send the so-called "Spanish Soldiers" scrambling like cockroaches out into the desert. Once we get rid of these Spanish wimps we can take the base over and build it correctly. There is a saying that seems to fit the spanish quite well and it's "if you are not part of the answer then you are part of the problem" the Spanish are clearly a part of the problem in this instance and should be treated as such. Do your jobs or be treated like insurgents and you can try and survive on your own in the desert, or have a 2000 lb. bomb dropped on them while they are sleeping. I didn't even know that Spain had a military, I thought that ended with the conquistadors, I guess that was just the last time they had any balls!
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# Dan Smith 2010-03-08 03:50
this letter should be posted on the front door of every recruiting office. Every recruit should know the extreme and very real scenario he/she may be volunteering for. It for certain no recruiter will bring something like this to light. Just imagine if our soldiers took these matters into their own hands. A court martial is their only destiny when they'd come home. I'd take the court martial for my guys while paving the runway with spainiards. A court martial is worth the knowledge that I did all I could to bring my boys home safe. The reality of it is Secretary Gates won't loose any sleep over this.
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# Tim Gray 2010-03-08 03:51
There is a FOB up north in Afghan, where one countries troops refuse to go outside the wire, while the other countries troops only go out during the day. The good ol USA troops have to carry the burden around the clock. The troops from all these Nato countries are there, but thats about it. I guess just being there fulfills their commitment. We can thank our leaders in country for allowing this to continue..
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# Senglar 2010-03-08 03:52
As an American living in Spain, I'm disappointed to read this. It has no explanation or justification. The view I receive in Spain of Spanish troops is a very professional one. They have lost blood and treasure. I don't know what can be going wrong. I hope someone higher up reads this and acts accordingly. What angers me most is the theft of laundry. It harks back to the worst stereotypes of the Spanish. I hope to read soon that this situation has been resolved appropriately. I live very close to a mountain range where Spanish troops train for deployment in Afghanistan. One recent Spanish fatality had trained there. They seem to be fine soldiers.
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# Jeffrey Billups 2010-03-08 04:04
The comments I would like to leave is I was in Chargcharan for 18 Months working with NATO. Now the time has been 3 years ago but the Canadians were doing and I believe are doing a great job. The location I worked at was remote and we had harder time getting US C-130s in that other NATO aircraft due to bad weather. Many times we are so easy to point the fingers or lump everybody into one pile. I believe I know this location and it is not the best. If the Military at this location is not performing their responsibility than up the chain our oull our soldiers out. Let the Spaniards absorb the fueling responsibility.
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# ron 2010-03-08 04:06
shoot the bastards..
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# Joe K 2010-03-08 04:09
Easy solution. Fly in the Marines and kill all the MFs and that should end the problem. The Spanish will think twice before they pull this s--t again.
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# Austen 2010-03-08 04:09
This shameful. I have passed this information onto Bill O'Reilly and to the Spanish Embassy in London. A impassive ally is worse than an enemy at least you know what the enemy will do.
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# Mark 2010-03-08 04:11
I believe SecDef Gates has become compromised and that his efforts will come to naught in this matter. Yes, there will be some admonishment of our NATO Partners, but the Power of the Admin will curtail any true changes. If you have seen the SecDef in recent WH WarRoom sessions and testimony before Congress, it looks like he just swallowed a lit cigarette. I believe it TRULY pains him that he can not do more for the troops. I believe his hands are being tied by the Pols in the WH with strong ties to the Anit-War /Anti Military base. I Believe he stays because he thinks that there will be a much worse advocate for the troops if he steps down and is trying to make the best of a bad situation. We saw the same type of minimalist CENTRAL control strategy in Vietnam. Don't go all out and win, just prolong the fighting and try to get a NEGOTIATED peace out of it. That IS the UN/Global Government Model that this Admin aspires to be. didn't work then, Won't work now!

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# TB 2010-03-08 04:17
ISAF HQ is the United Federation of Planets, where resources are abundant, things are safe, and everyone has plenty of free time to get along.

I've been to plenty of places in the field, and plenty of places in Kabul. Kabul isn't real. It's a bubble.

Outside the bubble, the behavior of the Italians becomes more than a slight nuisance in a doorway. The Spanish aren't just there for eye candy anymore - unlike KAIA, where the Spanish ladies are my primary reason for visiting.

In the field, above all else, you stop giving a crap whether people from other NATO countries are likeable or not. All you end up caring about is whether they're good at fighting. And when people can't or won't fight, the whole Model United Nations playgroup falls apart.

Don't base your opinion of mice on Disneyland.

PS: BTW, KAIA is Kabul. KAF is Kandahar. Don't end up in the wrong place - especially with the way the KAF authorities will screw with you as a civilian with their tightened BS restrictions.

Be safe.
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# scalyback 2010-03-08 04:24
I've just read the comments of JDCR52 & Patton above. Quite frankly if these gentlemens views were typical of the those held by the majority of the US people then you don't deserve friends & Allies & you will very soon find yourself without both, and contrary to what you might believe, every country needs them. I don't believe their views are typical, and the British, Canadian, Australian, Dutch & other allies casualties being sustained are not wasted lives. I accept some nations could do more, some much more to pull their weight, but even the Spanish troops do not deserve to be called cowards; maybe their Govt might, but please have some respect for the soldiers of every nation who are in Afghan.
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# Janice Stroud 2010-03-08 04:28
I fear the writer Dan Smith is more correct than you are Michael that Secy Gates will lose no sleep over this, and working the "chain" as another reader suggests makes me question how everone in the chain could not know of the situation on this FOB. That said I too hope this situation gets resolved and conditions on this base improve for our troops.
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# Scott Laidig 2010-03-08 04:32
If the situation is so bad that the LtCol who first identified it cannot immediately fix it, then US Army leadership is the major problem, not the Spanish, or NATO, or Gates or Obama. The fact that Michael even has to consider taking action is ridiculous. This is basic leadership.... taking care of the troops. Rather than leak the email, why not confront the officer who wrote it to find out what he had done to fix it? If nothing, then the chain of command needs replacing.
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# William Bloom 2010-03-08 04:43
One wonders if this mistreatement of our troops by supposed allies is something sanctioned by the Spanish government or sanctioned by the local base commander. I hope our government has the guts to take this up and get it resolved.
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# El Lepero 2010-03-08 04:44
I believe that all problems mentioned are being caused by the local Spanish Commander. He obviously believes that his Socialist Government will approve of his actions. What is needed here is a Senior US Officer on the ground to berate this individual as soon as possible in order to prevent his actions from causing in someone being injured or killed.
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# Jay B. 2010-03-08 04:45
Here's a picture of the place:

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# Bill 2010-03-08 04:51
Either way this is a bad situation.
We either have disinformation being released by a man in the field or the Spanish troops are a sorry NATO partner.
I do believe the man in the field. Lying about something like this would not be in anybodies best interest.
If our people are being subjected to needless danger, this must stop asap. I dont want to hear about a commission to look into it.
I expect the US military to take care of its people even if the poliiticians try to impose themselves.
It's tough enough to engage a commited enemy, it's something else and a disgrace to have to deal with petty BS when lifes are at stake.
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# xoxoxoBruce 2010-03-08 04:56
I have reposted this at http://cellar.org/showpost.php?p=639658&postcount=194
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# Wayne M. 2010-03-08 04:58
Maybe they are pricks because if they are seen aiding our military they fear another attack of thier country. It may be a streatch but it did happen before. If possible we could set up another re-fueling point at another location and possibly we could watch them get overrun.
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# Dr. Kenneth Noisewater 2010-03-08 04:58
Line them up against a ditch and shoot them.
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# NF 2010-03-08 05:01
It is definitely ashame that it would take you, Michael (an outsider, in comparison with a LTC in the "system") for this to reach Gates' ears. I appreciate the LTC who is obviously advocating for the troops. But military beauacracy is so stifling! Sounds like this should have been dealt with a long time ago.
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# Nuno 2010-03-08 05:08
I hope this source was double checked because this are very serious accusations...
If it's true heads must roll.

Please let's not loose the focus here and forget how's the enemy!
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# Scott Dudley 2010-03-08 05:21
This is clearly a U.S. Military COC issue. Tarring all allies with the same brush, even all Spanish troops is just stupid as are the wingnuts who blame Obama. Then you have the chickenhawks who want to kill the Spainards on the base. Way too much shallow thinking here. The COC has failed here. Just fix it.
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# Dan 2010-03-08 05:28
Just like the French treated us in Sarajevo when my section was in the French Sector!! Sad, very sad.
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# Aticus 2010-03-08 05:40
Back in 2003 and up through 2005 I knew a lot of guys who couldn't wait to get in the fight and many who readily volunteered for second tours. But now, here in 2010 I know a lot more who are looking at preparing retirement papers or looking at just getting out altogether if they haven't reached their retirement point. These aren't guys who are Charlie Sierra, most have done multiple tours, they are just tires of the Bravo Sierra and see Afghanistan as a lost cause. Even people I know there now in what we would consider built-up bases talk about bad living conditions and rarely speak about success or a feeling of accomplishment of what they are doing...more of just trying to get through the tour.
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# Lee Brooks 2010-03-08 05:45
A LTC should be high enough rank to take care of this problem. If the Spanish commander is of higher rank and the LTC gets nowhere with him then he should move it up his (US) chain of command. If that fails you always have the IG. Inspector General to consult with. The LTC should keep the pressure on until something is done. Don't depend on the politicians to do anything intelligent so leave them out of it. The military chain of command will take care of their men and women if they are aware of it. Not doing so means release from command and or a reduction in grade.
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+1 # RE: Of ConcernMike Benish 2010-03-08 05:45
Mike Hi. I just spent two months in Qala-E-Naw, and going back there in a few days. The Spanish supported us when we had no place to live or eat. (they may not have liked it). We live and work outside the wire. We visit the Spanish everyday. They have treated us very well. Inspite of being contractors. :-) This may be because the nature of who our client is and the Spanish Military mission. I have never been to BMG so I can comment on that location. I am sure there is validity to what the LTC says. I just have not seen it at Qala-E-Naw. Large amount of the Spanish enlisted are actually from South America. Having spoke with a lot of them, they are frustrated that they are not allowed to conduct the same type of operations that the 82nd does.
There is animosity between the Americans and the Spanish but it is at the Field Grade level. IMHO.
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# Curtis 2010-03-08 05:48
Sorry, real American troops would have already cut a nice man sized hole in the fence where they want one. A real gunny or top soldier would have had a Texas berm flown in by one of those helicopters if he really wanted one. A real soldier would have the Spanish garrison commander making complaints about him/them to "his" chain of command, not vice versa.
If the Spanish are in tents, a "real" American gunny or top would have every single American helo do its descent to hover and land right smack dab over the Spanish tent city every single time and twice as often after midnight. Again, let the Spanish complain about us through their chain of command.
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# Rich 2010-03-08 05:52
"O Canada" is right on. I lived there for 20 years. The National Pastime is whining, not hockey. This is particularly true of the Media.
The only Canadians worthy of respect as "stand-up guys" are the ones in uniform. The rest are crybabies.
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# Douglas Rapé 2010-03-08 06:20
I think this is over blown. Never saw this sort of behavior. Seems to me that Cmdr to Cmdr this would be resolved very quickly. There are some cultural frictions going on here...... I NEVER knew a Spanish Officer to not be professional and accomodating if approached like an officer and a gentleman.
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# will 2010-03-08 06:37
let's view this with a little perspective - the spanish are unwilling to protect their own citizens from terroristic ragheads at home, why would we expect the same losers to provide basic services for forces attempting to protect the masses from same said ragheads abroad?

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# JD 2010-03-08 06:38
In 75 I went to Spain. They parked us in the last row with the KC-97s of the Spanish AF behind us. It was a daily thing to find equipment and instruments removed from the aircraft overnight. Piss cans, honey buckets, chains, straps, anything that was and wasn't tied down. They also didn't like us on their side of the base. Figures, America built it and we were restricted. A spanish F4 blew a tire on the runway one day and we had aircraft low on fuel trying to come in. They just ignored us and really pushed us to the limit. Maybe we should have bailed out and let the aircraft land in downtown Madrid. 35 years later and it still seems to be the same.
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# cindi 2010-03-08 07:05
Patrick Murphy of the 8th Congressional District of Pennsylvania.

Prayers to all.
God Bless our Military, and NATO.
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# Rhyno 2010-03-08 07:09
The Spaniards are gutless, they were chased from Iraq, they don't wanna be there in A-stan, at THIS particular place they have numbers, they are "running sh*t"...well you get a couple choppers and fill 'em up and GO THERE to make the Spanish feel small, which they are here, damn thanx NATO WTF??? Im so angry my eyes are crossing..damn go there with 40 heavily armed Troopers and make things right. Maybe we should leave thier butts hangin in the wind....
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# CB 2010-03-08 07:13
We put up with this same crap supporting NATO allies in Europe. Germans and Brits were OK. The Belgians must have been related to the Spanish. The only other forces in Afghanistan with balls are the Brits, Germans, and Poles. Kick the other token do nothing forces out.
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# DawnJ 2010-03-08 07:18
Doesn't sound like a Spanish morale problem. Sounds like a Spanish arrogance problem.
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# BrianW 2010-03-08 07:25
Someone commented "We are the third largest contingent and one of the few providing actual combat effective soldiers " (referring to the Canadians). Could someone please tell me which countries actually are providing combat effective soldiers?
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# Corsair8X 2010-03-08 07:25
I read comments like Rich's and I wonder why we bother to help. The contempt reads like the Spanish contempt. I don't think Rich is in the minority either.

I'm apauled at the conditions the Americans are experiencing with regards to the Spanish. One would think that the very concept of brothers in arms would be enough to ensure that this would never happen. Makes me wonder if here is some current of resentment about their being there. I wonder if they blame the US for their being there. Truly sad if that is the case. After all, were they not victims of terrorism themselves? Even after they pulled out of Iraq did they not then foil another plot?
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# ALAN 2010-03-08 07:34
Put the Spanish in our jail if they refuse to provide basic needs for our warriors. Then let the spanish government scream. The Spanish have become cowards like the French, knuclkling under the threat of islam.
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# Russ 2010-03-08 07:37
This should have been monitored by the brass and rectified by an immediate takeover. This is their failing and it is unsonscionable.
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# Ted Thomas 2010-03-08 07:42
AQ has to be monitoring this blog. If they don't know it already, this post should give them enough intell. to mount an effective attack. And why not? Always attack the enemy at it's weakest position. That said-- I'm glad it's here. Multiple U.S. Army/Marine officers know much better than I the truth of the previous sentence, and many of them RSS feed this blog. This issue will get fixed pronto... lives are at stake.

Mr. Yon, of course, now faces the possibility of a little "accident" while shadowing NATO troops in the future, since he has publicly embarrassed one of them. I'm going to send him another check and say a prayer for him-- keep safe, Mr. Yon.
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# Mike Perez 2010-03-08 07:46
What did you expect from a lazy, cowardice country like Spain.
We should have left them to the Fascists those many years ago.
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# Mike Perez 2010-03-08 07:47
What else would you expect from a lazy, cowardice country like Spain?
We should have left them to the Fascist those many years ago.
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# Danielle 2010-03-08 07:50
Thank you Michael, for making incompetency difficult to hide and courage visible to more of us here at home.

To the Canadian person who wrote that Americans are not good to have as friends...read Michaels "Whispers" blog from 2/22/10. I think you underestimate our countries' relationship in both directions.
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# Jim 2010-03-08 08:15
The big picture that no one is looking at is that the Spanish have traded in sanity for ideals of the left just like the politiclal leaders of our country are doing and like our people the Spanish people, a normally center country are fed up as well. As a former ops chief I would assign this responsibility to a combat platoon and a bulk fuelers unit. I would rotate them from their assigned positions every fifteen days the ones in the front would handle security and refuling duties and the ones in the rear I would assign asswhuppin duty and everytime a Spaniard said no I would hold a blanket party on his ass in mass until they change their tune and lose the attitude, and if they continue hazarding our troops it would be time for a come to Jesus meeting and lay it all on the line in a mutual understanding if they promise not to screw up we won't kick their ass. Diplomacy does not belong on the battlefield of war. By definition war is a violent conflict between opposing forces not yelling matches for polital rivals. Extreme circumstances call for extreme solutions and this does not sound like it will get solved politically. I say put a boot in their ass and if they don't like who needs a malcontent as an ally in war.
Semper Fi
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# Sircules 2010-03-08 08:16
Spanish solders are sissy girls
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# Andrew 2010-03-08 08:27
CB, you forgot the Canadians, the Dutch, and the Australians, they all have balls and fight hard, plus many more great countries.

To those who are slamming NATO: Just becasue the Spanish are running the outpost like sh*t deosnt mean you should slam the rest of NATO or other allies. SHOW SOME DAMN REPSECT! Give heat to the nations who are not helping out, but who are making things more difficult and dangerous instead of bashing all of NATO. Thank you to the U.S. Military and our allies fighting in A-Stan.

Whoever is responsible for this problem needs to fix it immediately!
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# Juan Pedro 2010-03-08 08:32
I hope that what the Spanish Army says it can prove.

It is shameful that the Army will speak Spanish and Spain is an ally that deserves your respect, our military are fighting and doing their duty.

As for the ignorance of Spain and his army can only be due to the low cultural level of its readers, but of course, would not surprise me that we are confusing with Mexico but considering that more than half do not know how to put on the map or Spain, or Afghanistan or anything else other than USA since settled issue.
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# John Capt in ANG, Civilian in Afghanistan 2010-03-08 08:36
Thanks for the heads up, TB. Although, HQ ISAF is right across the street from the Embassy. It's not exactly a low profile target. We had an VBIED and two suicide bombers last Friday and some other "fun times" recently. Gen McChrystal has completely changed Disneyland, as you put it. It's def not fun here any more.

To the Canadian, please. Relax. There are 42 nations there and I'm not about to cut and paste all of them. Also, you are incorrect. US is the #1 supplier of troops, #2 is Great Britain. And number 3? Germany. I'm not sure about the quip, "If there's a cloud in the sky, the German's don't fly," because the tarmac was full of C-150s with props churning both times I flew threw KAIA. They brought me all the way from Belgium into theater. If they never flew in clouds, they'd never fly in Europe (as I mentioned else where, between Belgium, France, Germany and Afghanistan, I have only seen a sunny day 5 or 6 days in the last 2.5 months...kinda rough for a Cali boy). Finally, just so you feel better, yes, the Canadians are working here very hard. OK, any Romanians pissed because I didn't give them a West Coast shout out?

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# Lisa 2010-03-08 08:37
Maybe the US should do more to assure our troops get proper treatment while in the war zone. Our son lived in horrible conditions while there. Should our troops be in the care of other countries while there? I don't think so! It is the US's job to make sure our troops are well taken care of! The US military is fighting to keep terrorists away from this country! They deserve the best!
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# Harold Swift 2010-03-08 08:38
The Spaniards caved to the al-Qaida when their little train was blown up. They were weak kneed then and they will always be week kneed. If they are going to add anything to the NATO effort, they and the French should be stuck together and let them wither on the vine together. With allies like them, we don't need enemies.
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# Former Marine 2010-03-08 08:44
Everything Retired Marine said, I concur with an addition. I would send in a platoon of 3rd Marine Recons to straighten things out. It wouldn't take long for them to shape up the area and make it safer and more friendly for our medevacs. I definitely would not waste my time contacting Gates. We have enough PC as it is.
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# Jon wilson 2010-03-08 08:44
Put the Spanish on the next plane home and get some real help put in place. The last thing you need in a forward combat situation is some
"SO-Gay-I can't-Fight" sissy's from Spain corrupting an already hard situation. Send the Pussys home.... They really do need an ASS WHUPPING....
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# Spaniard 2010-03-08 09:13
It's incredible to give credit that a full LC from the 82nd has to solve its problems sending an email to who knows, being the supreme commander of ISAF another american guy. Sincerely, I don't believe this history. And please read more before posting such a gifts for the Spaniards. We have currently a full batallion working in the area, and 500 more soldiers arriving on scene. We are investing huge amounts of money in MRAPs and other state-of-the-ar t military equipment, part of it from your industry. This is a war we didn't start, but anyway we are there because we are your allies. We have had casualties also, a lot of them, much more that in other of our international missions. We also depend on others: the airspace in the area is not ours, it depends on the italians. It's the way NATO works.

To the man who said to leave us to the Fascists: yes, you did it, you left us to them for 35 years. But anyway, today we are supporting you, dude.
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# Christopher Bell 2010-03-08 09:15
I was shocked to read this story. It borders on the unbelievable in my experience.
I have no reason to doubt it, but this is just beyond my comprehension.

Back in the '80s and '90s, Spain had a fine Army. They do run things a bit sparse by our standards, but to hear that they would deny food and shelter to US Army and Marines is devastating. I wonder what Spain's Commanding General Staff would think, and I shudder to think what they would do if these issues are true. Could this just be a rouge Captain or Major? That might be the most likely explanation. Maybe their Logistics chain is so over-stretched that they have nothing to spare.

I would just ask that everyone withhold their judgment until the facts become clear. The Spanish Army I remember was a well-trained, professional, and competent force that I was proud to count among our allies. I hope that it has not fallen so far.....

I just wish we could get this whole mess done and won. I don't want any more of "my" boys or our allies getting killed or wounded to support a holding action with no clear objectives..... Are you listening up there in Brussels????
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# Virgil renfroe 2010-03-08 09:20
If the pussies from Spain cant cut it send them home , The whole world is getting too woosie. Do we still have a base over there in Spain? maby it needs cloosing . Its time for someone of power in this country to repeat the words of John Kennedy about supporting any friend or opposing any foe something like that . That was back when Democrats believed in a strong moral nation instead of Socialism...
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# Joe 2010-03-08 09:27
The number of currently serving, active duty soldiers who think this is an isolated issue means that a lot of you should think before you type... Most of the world thinks that Americans are overweight, arrogant and completely culturally insensitive. I don't, and I doubt you would either, but it shows how stupid tarring entire nations with the same brush is.
I know soldiers serving from three nations in Afghanistan, and I support any soldier of any nation who does his job. Absolutely, if the Spanish officer in charge isn't doing his job, then get rid of him as soon as possible and get someone else in who can. Soldiers have enough to deal with as it is, without allies putting them in danger too
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# PACO 2010-03-08 09:30
I dont understand why we SPAIN are in Afghanistan. Why must 80 Spanish soldier die for a handfull dollars.
USA and Great Britain can do that better (Vietnam, Bahia Cochinos, Irak, Panama, Corea, Libano) ever small countries, but Versus Germany you need 2 wars and the help from Russia.
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# paco 2010-03-08 09:41
Spanish Soldiers have fight not only for a country, they have fought for a Continent (America) "alone".
And we win.

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# Paco 2010-03-08 09:48
Spanish Soldier have discover and conquer America.
USA need the help of a lot of countries to conquer Afghanistan.
A very good ARMY
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# Jeremy 2010-03-08 09:49
Michael, I read and enjoy your stories every time you publish something new. I am active duty and have done 2 tours in Afghanistan in the last three years. The first one was at a small FOB in Jalalabad and the most recent one was in Kandahar. To put it bluntly, I am not sure it was appropriate to publish this e-mail. I could be completely wrong on this issue but the way I read this email it sounded like a battalion commander bringing the issue up to his brigade commander. It is my guess that maybe the brig commanders exec or someone that works for him gave you the e-mail. Why publish this? Why not let the command fix the problem? You are very well connected and a respected journalist. You could have easily passed the information on to a higher up that could have addressed the issue. You have created a storm of criticism against an entire country for what probably was caused by the incompetence of a single company grade officer. Bottom line this should have been addressed at a company or battalion level rather than by creating an international incident.
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# Michael 2010-03-08 09:53
... the chapter "Beware the Spaniard (for He has a Cutlass Hidden on his Person at all Times)." from J. Edward Runcible's "The Hidden Secrets of Most Europeans" published in 1832.

Amazing the things that get stuck in your head from College, although I have to admit that "Literary Idiots of the 19th Century" was a course that was designed to catch your attention beyond the test at the end of the semester. http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=905

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# Big Bang 2010-03-08 09:58
I agree with the idea about this being a matter between commanders. Even though the Spanish commander has 45 stars on his uniform he's probably only a Lt. Colonel. We had similiar problems working on a remote camp in Bosnia back in '97/98. The Euros only respect field grade OFFICERS and ONLY if they'll sit/negociate over cigars and Brandy.
I'm surprised the 82nd has allowed their troops to be treated in this manner. There's Brigade (or lower) commander somewhere in the 82nd that needs to take charge. And they need to keep in mind that none of the Euro Armies (Except the British) have anything close to the same standards as the American Army.
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# Paco 2010-03-08 10:02
We dont need the base from the USA, this was doing between Franco (fascista) USA Goverment.
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# Don Miguel 2010-03-08 10:08
From my experience living in Spain for a number of years I find this quite believable. They don't care enough about themselves, so why should they care about anyone else?

¡Todos pueden joderse!
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# Efussor 2010-03-08 10:09
I'm ashamed. I wish US forces defeat enemy as soon as possible, but don't think Spain will contribute to it. Zapatero goverment is weak, and is afraid to have casualties. There are strictly orders to keep ourselves safe. Goverment officials just say we are there toi rebuild Afgan country, not to combat. This message is continuosly repeated in media. SP Army is not allowed to combat enemy forces, so they don't have heavy weapon and just a few ammunition. There are little money to support forces so they can't carry out combat operations like allied forces. Zapatero is deeply anti-american.
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# Darío 2010-03-08 10:20
Why should Spain support this band of killers? they support Franco, Pinochet, Videla and many more dictators!!! LEt them die alone in the desert!!
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# Paco 2010-03-08 10:31
Zapatero is not anti-american he is not pro-america.
Is diferent
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# Graeme Thompson 2010-03-08 10:39
If you remember, when José María Aznar was Spanish President and invited US soldiers to a march past for Spain's National Day to take the King's salute, its current President José María Zapatero refused to stand up for them.

I had an 'intercambio' in Sevilla at the time of the build up to the Iraq War. Her husband was a bank manager. She detested socialists. Her spiel on the Iraq War though was straight out of the mouth of any leftie. I once came round hers once after she'd been watching Muslims shaking their beards at TV cameras and being *very, *very **ANGRY**. She was really scared. She said in Spanish "I dont want this war. I dont know what they're going to do".

When Al Qaeda bombed Madrid's trains and killed 191 Spaniards, I'm sure she's one of the 'Conservatives' that switched her vote to Zapatero to appease Osama Bin Laden. José María Aznar's 'Partido Popular' were 7 points ahead in the polls at the time with 3 days to go, inspite of the fact 90% of the country opposed the war. They recognised Aznar as a man with integrity who they could trust and respect.

If José María Aznar was still President the Spanish Army would be in the thick of the fighting kicking terrorist ass. Only under a repellent character like Zapatero would Spanish military honour be sullied in this despicable manner.

A British Subject, Barcelona
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# James McGreen 2010-03-08 10:40
"It's little anecdotes that remind me that for even all of its faults, the American military is the most capable in the history of human civilization"

I'm sorry but do you realise what a bizarre and sweeping statement that is?
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# OLD75 2010-03-08 11:02
My first war was WWII. General Patton was quoted as saying "I would rather have six divisions of Germans in front of me rather than one division of French behind me." One of my neighbors, drafted at the same time as me, once told the ammo bearer who had just brought him two cliips and one loose round for his daily supply, "This loose round is for you, when my two clips are gone." The guy dropped the half box in his hole and took off.
It seems the IG was preparing for a tour of the ammo supply by some of Congress' finest and wanted to show a full and proper amount of bullets ready for the troops in the forward areas. Our army used a lot of AK's taken from dead enemy soldiers during the human wave attacks and that helped them survive. Once Eisenhower and Nixon took over, the situation got a lot better, since Nixon himself became the visiting VIP from then on.
It is too bad that Joe Biden can't climb into some fatigues like Nixon did and visit the point of the spear. It probably would not work since Obama is too busy and lacking in dedication to the troops that are dedicating their lives to save his butt. Our guys need all that we can muster until we get this war won and they can finally come home.
I am like most other soldiers, in that I hate war and love freedom, but freedom is not free. I hope these words and thoughts help make that happen. By the way, in 1955 when the German occupation ended we were still under attack by NAZI and Communist insurgents as they tried to undo the lost war that they started. The Communists (Progressives, Socialists, etc.) are still trying to undermine that outcome, even in the USA. They seem to love war. We still have to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, by being our enemy's worst nightmare. They need an attitude adjustment session real bad, you know what I mean? This includes anybody who helps our enemies by derelictions of duty.
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# Noahwilly Spaniard 2010-03-08 11:08
Many problems of the world has been created by the american self-defense plan. First attack, after ask.
Al Qaeda was a problem created by USA 30 years ago, i remember this all the people in this blog.
Irak and Afghanistan are the evidence of this politics of USA. Spain forces are in these places helping, we are not slaves to anyone.
Many USA people think that they are de center of the universe and in other countries we have to be grateful for this. No, you are mistaken.
USA is not the owner of the world. We have our opinion and in most cases is not the same about USA, fortunately.

In twenty years USA will overcome by China...

Bye "yankees"...

Resumiendo, que encima que vamos a echar una mano quieren una chacha.
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# Graeme Thompson 2010-03-08 11:21
'Paco', 'Noahwilly' o cómo te llamas. Le compadezco de verdad. Le deseo que aprendas el valor del amor propia.

José María Aznar hizo la justicia a la España de El Cid, la España tuya es de los checas y los falangistas. A fin de cuentas sois iguales.
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# PerseP 2010-03-08 11:22
Nobody knows if this is true, Michael Yon should moderate some of these comments, they are starting to get really offensive
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# Kevin 2010-03-08 11:36
I just returned and yes to some of the issues noted by the LTC. Do the Spanish have the availability to bring in gravel? If they don't have the trucks or easy access to the gravel then they won't do it. I understand this. Need to set them up for success. Run it up the engineer chain at USFOR-A as they have a new BG on the ground.
As for KAIA, that's Kabul Internation Airport. It used to be better than KAF (Kandahar Air Field) but now you can't walk the streets so I don't see any advantage being there, and the air quality is better in KAF.
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# Paco 2010-03-08 11:39
El Cid lucho contra los musulmanes, como Aznar.
La España del Cid es un invento Hollywoodiano.
No se compadezca de nadie sino de si mismo.
No soy "Noah......"
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# Anni G 2010-03-08 12:21
If we buck the SOP onsite it's the USA. If we call home... we'll see. Michael, I'm sure this is one of many. Thank God you're reacting.
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# Bob 2010-03-08 12:40
"'It's little anecdotes that remind me that for even all of its faults, the American military is the most capable in the history of human civilization'
I'm sorry but do you realise what a bizarre and sweeping statement that is?"

Bizarre, eh? Do regale us with a list of possible competitors to the modern American military.

As to "Spaniard," if Spain were to stand against the United States, it might deserve respect. The behaviour described by this article, though, is simply contemptible.
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# Alex 2010-03-08 12:46
I read the email and, sincerely, cannot believe it. Someone has written you, someone whose name is not even appearing here. This person is telling a lot of Bravo Sierra about Spanish troops and we just have to believe it? Where are the names? You could just have invented all this story and should we have to believe it?

Well, this sounds to me like American soldiers are stationed in a Spanish base where they have to be mainainted by Spanish resources. Perhaps Spanish military authority is tired of supplying free resources for this people, who should be equiped by American personel.
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# Alex 2010-03-08 12:46
I read the email and, sincerely, cannot believe it. Someone has written you, someone whose name is not even appearing here. This person is telling a lot of Bravo Sierra about Spanish troops and we just have to believe it? Where are the names? You could just have invented all this story and should we have to believe it?

Well, this sounds to me like American soldiers are stationed in a Spanish base where they have to be mainainted by Spanish resources. Perhaps Spanish military authority is tired of supplying free resources for this people, who should be equiped by American personel.
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# Bubba 2010-03-08 12:53
This story reeks of BS.
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# Nathaniel 2010-03-08 13:11
Sent to both my senators and my congressman.
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# andrew 2010-03-08 13:15
So, can our guys take out the spics and requisition their billets? Then make the changes they want?
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# Bill Cattley 2010-03-08 13:23
I've had a love for the Canadian military forces since serving with them on a Reforger '86 as well as many visits up to Kingston. The Canadian soldiers are awesome and great fighters. Nothing but respect for them and what they bring to the fight. The far left of center government earns my contempt as does my own far left of center goverment.
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# Rio 2010-03-08 13:26
The reason the Spaniards are not getting involved is for the simple reason there is no GOLD to be stolen from Afghanistan and taken to the crown of Spain. Just ask Central and South American people. Here in Florida, there is a museum where treasure was taken out of a sunken Spanish ship and is displayed for all to see. The ship was called "Nuestra Senora de Atocha"...link: http://www.melfisher.com/ . If there was GOLD in Afghanistan, they'd be helpin'
Semper Fi!
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# Jett 2010-03-08 14:09
Real simple--anyone endangers or hinders our troops in a war zone, they're an enemy, subject to immediate arrest and/or execution as a saboteur. People who know there are immediate consequences make improvements immediately.
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# Ken 2010-03-08 14:57
I have just gotten back from a short tour in KAIA. The Spanish troops stationed there where very professional and dedicated to the task at hand. I find it hard to believe that one soldier would not extend a hand to another no matter what country he is from. This most be some political BS cooked up in Madrid. So lets not blast the Spanish troops here, as we are all in it together.
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# DPI 2010-03-08 15:23
For the site mentioned, and I note that site name is given, which breeches OPSEC.

They are in the middle of relocation to a new, larger site and have been in the planning for this since the middle of last year. That may impact on some of the statements made in the email. Accomodation etc, has been an issue at the site both before and during the the relocation.
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# David 2010-03-08 15:28
And do we have to believe this?
I read the email and, sincerely, cannot believe it. Someone has written you, someone whose name is not even appearing here. This person is telling a lot of Bravo Sierra about Spanish troops and we just have to believe it? Where are the names? You could just have invented all this story and should we have to believe it?

Well, this sounds to me like American soldiers are stationed in a Spanish base where they have to be mainainted by Spanish resources. Perhaps Spanish military authority is tired of supplying free resources for this people, who should be equiped by American personel.

Sorry Alex, try reading comprehension. Michael made it very clear that the entirety of the email wasn't posted, and I sincerely doubt he would throw the LC under the bus by putting his name on the blog. If you believe Mr. Yon invented this story, perhaps you ought to read his prior dispatches then politely remove yourself from the comments section out of shame. He's a respected columnist for many reasons and has only ever had the best interests of soldiers (of every nation) in mind.

The Spaniards and our other coalition partners are more than happy to take advantage of the many resources the American taxpayer paid for, all while sporting the same attitude you show here. No one has more invested more resources than America, justifiably, because we own this war. The medical resources alone cost millions of dollars, and save more than American and British lives. Yes, these soldiers should be taken care of by their own, and there's clearly been a failure on the US side of this issue. But, if we're partners in this conflict and the Spaniards are there, why would they not want to cooperate and offer BASIC resources.

I have several relatives fighting in Afghanistan, and most say the Spaniards and Italians live up to their many stereotypes. Particularly when it comes to Italian pilots. Cultural differences aside, theft by Spaniards is a pretty consistent complaint.

If even a small portion of this email is true, than the Spaniards owe those soldiers a very public apology.
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# claudia 2010-03-08 15:50
Mike if anyone can get help for our military men and women fighting hard to protect this country it is you. Don't let this one drop it is despicable what the Spanish are doing to our soldiers. They have to be accountable and the higher ups need to get on the ball and get those troops some very much needed help. What the h---- is going on over there? When I read these stories I am infuriated about our lack of leadership these days what is it going to take for everyone to see it!!

Thanks Mike and god speed to all the men and women in harms way!!
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# Nick 2010-03-08 16:04
>> In twenty years USA will overcome by China...
>>Bye "yankees"...

If you think China is a better choice than the USA, then good grief.
This is the same china that overran tibet, innumerable atrocities commited, threatens taiwan, parked tanks on their own people just 20 short years ago?

Spend some time in China if you really want to learn about arrogance & racism...

Que tonto...
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# Jeff Stanley 2010-03-08 16:33
..."We don’t want to lose MEDEVAC capability there because we couldn’t put in two pads."

So a Spanish soldier shows up on a stretcher, and we're gonna have to say, "No, we CANNOT make any improvements."
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# Pedro Ball 2010-03-08 16:34

I'm a former US Navy officer who served on an exchange tour with the Spanish Navy in Rota during the early 90's. I must say that I'm very surprised that the sort of behavior which your article highlights has not been exposed before. Not that this is modus operandi for the Spanish Armed Forces. To the contrary, my experience during my exchange tour is that I found Spain's Officer's & NCO's to be highly professional and skilled - unfortunately the troops were barely marginal on the bests of days. The reason why the behavior that you've highlighted should not come as a surprise to the US forces is due to the fact that myself, along with other US exchange officers that came before me, all reported to our US superiors that the Spanish Armed Forces had become highly politicized. I repeatedly emphasized such grave situation during my de-brief in the Pentagon at the end of my exchange tour. All they had to do in DC was open up the archives and read our reports.

The reason for the behavior which you have brought to light is based upon reality, and not any allegations of anti-Spanish behavior to which you may find yourself accused, is that due to the ebb & tide of the political arena in Spanish politics, military postings and promotions have become entangled to the web weaved by parties & workers union. The Socialist Party and its attached union (UGT) are probably the worst promoters of this politicization. The Zapatero government came to power barely 3 days after the horrific bombings in Madrid, swept to victory by a knee-jerk reaction of uncontrollable fear-hysteria by the Spanish population. This government is solely concerned with maintaining its grip on power, handing out spoils, and ensuring that its operatives and supporters move into career positions of authority and control within all the ministries and agencies of the Spanish government. Thus in the event of a victory by the opposition, the Socialist Party can order its embedded supporters to quickly create obstacles to the policies of the new government in the hopes of ensuring its short tenure.

How does this affect Afghanistan? It is a well established joke in Spain that their troops in Afghanistan have more in common with social workers than a true fighting force. Without large number of volunteer recruits from Latin American nations (who are offered visas in exchange for enlistment) the Spanish Armed Forces, specially the Army, would find itself facing almost unsurmountable gaps in its manning requirements. The marginal skills demonstrated by the draftees that I served with has shrunk even more with the inclusion of this large body of barely illiterate immigrants. A cursory view to the Spanish casualty lists will demonstate the disproportionat e number of deaths among this group within the Spanish Armed Forces. Furthermore, the Socialist government has repeatedly placed in the senior leaderships of the different units officers who openly advocate support for the Socialist government, not the nation or the Crown. The most important directive given by the government to the deployed units is not to suffer casualties and to avoid combat at all costs. But the Socialist government has also instructed the officers in those units to keep the active NATO forces (US/UK/DK/NL & Canada, Australia/NZ) at arms length, to refrain from all joint operations with them, and to avoid as much possible any interaction with them unless absolutely essential.

The end result is exactly what you have reported and I commend you from bringing this grave behavior to the attention of the powers-to-be.
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# Sean 2010-03-08 17:07
I've written my members of Congress and y'all should do the same.
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# Another Dave 2010-03-08 18:28
I agree with Nuno - I hoped you checked the report before outing the email. It's hard to believe that a Lt. Col. has such a poor command of English. It feels like a hoax. Not the first time it's happened.
If it's true, I'm sure now that it's out it will be quickly dealt with. This will be something that the rest of the press gloms on to. Woo hoo. Of course then I'll be depressed at the writing skills of the Army officer corps.
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# Marsh 2010-03-08 18:56
Our Western allies seem to be cheering on their own destruction. America is the pillar on which all of Western Civilization rests on. I'm not saying that out of xenophobic patriotism or to brag; it's simply reality. Our Western have all embraced socialism and have kicked their feet up and just come to accept their slow gradual decline in global GDP and competitiveness while relying almost completely on America for security. And I can't say I really blame them. It's very tempting for us to do the same. Americans are becoming more and more war weary and fed up with serving as the world's police force. Pretty soon a lot of us will want to slash our defense spending and redirect those funds into domestic national projects such as infrastructure and overly generous welfare entitlements. And when that happens who then are our Western allies going to fall back on?

I see dark times ahead for the West in the 21st century. When America becomes both more isolationist and slowly crumbles domestically it's going to create a huge power vaccum in the world. Our Western allies and many here on the left in America seem to be totally oblivious to these almost certain future challenges. They refuse to set aside enough enough funds for a prudent defence force and to top it off they constantly spit on their American Spartan-like body guards. And I say Spartan-like because we've sacrificed our own standard of living to a very real degree in order to fund THEIR national and regional security. They're a bit like the pampered Athenians who live it up like kings who look down on the Spartans as uncouth savages until they need their warrior talents when the Persians come to enslave them all.

As far as I'm concerned our Western allies have burned their bridges with us long ago. It's time we kick them out of the nest and force them to take care of themselves again for their own good. They've simply become too reliant and dependent upon us. I don't have a problem with helping out friends. I don't want to see Japan invaded by China or Eastern Europe invaded by Russia or Southern Europe invaded by Turkey. But since they can't even seem to manage a simple "thank you" let alone treat us with mutual respect and gratitude for everything we've done for them for the last 50+ years I find it hard to justify allowing them to continually leech off us.
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# 82ndAirborneParatrooper 2010-03-08 19:31
I am an 82nd Airborne Paratrooper. I have passed this message up the chain-of-comman d, to higher. Be assured, action is being taken.
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# Joe 2010-03-08 19:44
Just a moment:
You're presenting serious allegations as if they are fact, yet you yourself admit that the document was handed to you by a third party from someone you don't even know.
So heres whats wrong:
1. You have not verified anything here. You're just going with whatever the other guy said.
2. Nobody seems to give a toss about what the Spanish have to say. "If this report is true, and I have no reason to doubt it " and yu have no reason to verify it either? You're taking one side of the story and presenting it as truth. And you, Mr Yon, know full well that this is going to have legs of its own, and before long this story will be gospel.

It seems like Americans are pretty keen to slag off their allies, otherwise this document might have been withheld until it could be confirmed and the Spanish side of the story heard. But instead, serious, damaging allegations are made and everyone just buys into them unquestioningly . It appears as though Americans are keem to buy into the idea that their allies are useless, so checking of facts just becomes secondary. Sounds like a certain invasion of a certain middle eastern country.
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# John Capt in ANG, Civilian in Afghanistan 2010-03-08 19:57
I stopped in the NSE this morning to grab the day's copy of Stars and Stripes and overheard a person commenting on this very issue. I asked if she had heard of a "an email from a LtCol" to which she didn't have knowledge. I then asked how she came to hear of the issue with a FOB and the Spanish problems, and the person said, "I've been flying out of Kabul quite a bit over the last couple months and there's been issues." I then asked more detailed questions to get a feel for how authentic or "overheard" the information was, and she seemed to be credible. I won't post all of the cases mentioned for OPSEC reasons, but there were very specific examples.

So, I don't know. There might very well be some validity to this report. To the Spaniards defence (and yes, it's a weak one), from what I've been told we use "leverage" in some cases to get some nations to help. I'm more practical. If they don't want to be here, they should go home. There are many brave men and women, of all nations that I won't list so no one gets offended again if I omit a single one, who will step forward.

We can argue all day and night as far as who is responsible for what, but I don't see how it's useful.

**Side note: Good catch on my misuse of acronyms. For some reason in my mind, when I think KAIA, I think Kandahar, which is incorrect. I didn't catch that mistake when I proofed before hitting "Add Comment". Also, there isn't "an abundance of free time", as I've lost count of the people who have said, "I've been working 12-14 hours a day, every day for the last couple months, without a day off." In my opinion, quite a few people are putting in very long days, for months at a time, non-stop.
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# Mike Yon 2010-03-08 22:27
A number of commanders brought this up this morning. Including the Commander of the 82nd Aviation "Pegasus" from which the email originated. (The document did not originate from the commander, but from another officer in Pegasus.) Commander said he had emails yesterday asking if the email was authentic. Yes, it's authentic.

All is good. The matter is being handled. I posted more details on Facebook:

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# NoahWilly 2010-03-08 22:54
>If you think China is a better choice than the USA, then good grief.
>This is the same china that overran tibet, innumerable atrocities commited, threatens taiwan, parked tanks on their own people just 20 short years ago?

>Spend some time in China if you really want to learn about arrogance & racism...

>Que tonto...

Hi, nick.

I don´t think that China is a better choice than the USA, i don´t like any dictatorship.
I only put an eye on the fact that USA isn´t yet the number 1 of the world but today USA politics are the same since II World War.
It´s a mistake. USA must to try alliances with other countries not only requirements (like this "problem" with Spain forces).
The problem is the point of view, USA has one, Europe other.
We(Spain) have thousand of soldiers in a countries that has been invaded by USA not united nations.
If USA don´t want our support we don´t need help USA.
The last thing... "Que tonto", i think this is an example of my opinion.
I we don´t have your point of view we are "tontos"...well , maybe you can look for where is Spain and the we can talk, sure you not have any idea that where is.
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# Jack E. Hammond 2010-03-08 23:04

You can say what ever you wish about this situation (ie a lot the problem started with GWB asking for NATO support for just a security mission against "bandits and then pulling all the important support stuff out for Iraq, leaving NATO to hold just small firebases). But I think everyone had better read more about the Spanish military. At one time Spain sent one of its Spanish Legion units to Afghanistan, and their reputation resulted in them being left alone.

Finally, remember our country has a reputation unfortunately of being Rha-Rha then good by. Vietnam is the worst example. Then came Somalia. A lot of those nations that came to support us in Somalia were ready to kick some butt after the Ranger battle then suddenly the rug got pulled out.

Jack E. Hammond

NOTE> I think the US would be better to have other nations send forces to Afghanistan, who "really" want to and are not being forces with promises (a lot of former Eastern European nations have forces in Afghanistan only for quid pro quo on NATO and weapons upgrades) and some threats (ie why in the world would Mongolia have sent 45 guys to Iraq!!!).
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# Gismo Fly 2010-03-09 02:30
Trusting the Spaniards appears to be a bloody tragedy. Lesson learned. Bypass them. Pay the locals to deliver gravel but make sure you get them to rake it and then have sura followed by a footstomping barn dance. Invite the Spaniards of course......if you can get them out of their bunkers.

With every good wish to those brave Yankees refuelling the 'choppers'.
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# Henry IX 2010-03-09 03:23
Thinking of this, and of the efforts made to save a wounded British soldier last July, initiated by Michael and Soldiers Angels, it occurred to me that those Americans who are so shabbily treated by the Spanish would make the same efforts to help an injured Spanish soldier from that very area.
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# Paco 2010-03-09 03:38
America ( is a continent you are USA) is not the the pillar of the western. Europa dont want more wars, USA and Great Britain never have a war on his ground this is the reason because the people from this country, go to the wars happy. We dont need your help maybe Israel
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# USMC Steve 2010-03-09 03:42
The Spani's blow. I did two years in Rota Spain and was singularly unimpressed with their military. We did a fam fire with their "marines" and their Cetme rifles would not fire three rounds without jamming, due to the RUST in the bores and chambers.

These scumbags are actively hindering our war efforts. Additional riflemen need to be sent in there, and the Spani CO needs to be told to keep his dirtball halfassed troops away from the US area. Then the US forces there need to just walk over the Spani and do what needs to be done to operate effectively. And make it clear to them that if they need anything from us, screw off, they ain't getting it. Then just ignore them.
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# Paco 2010-03-09 04:13
70% world weapons markt is from USA. You need to use them
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# Paco 2010-03-09 04:21
Spanish Army have since 1999 the rifle HK G3 (Germany).
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# bill 2010-03-09 05:28
well, at least france now has a partner. They deserve each other.
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# Bill Smith 2010-03-09 07:42
You are an ignorant moron. WWI and WWII were started by Europeans in Europe, but were both finished with major help from The United States of America. You seem to forget that. Spain was "neutral" in WWII, but gave major help to the nazis. Do NOT lecture me on what to call my country.

I once had a citizen of another country on one of the North or South American continents try that little game of yours. So, I asked him: Suppose you are on an airplane that is hijacked. The terrorists tell "all the Americans to come forward." You'd stand up and go forward, RIGHT?!

He kept quiet, and I suggest you do the same.
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# Bill Smith 2010-03-09 07:44
Sorry. My comment was directed at "Paco."
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# Bob Beers 2010-03-09 10:18
"They refused to allow a Marine detachment that was dropped there to come into the wire or feed them overnight. Our refuelers had to fight the Spanish to bring them in and squeeze them into the two small tents that they have and give them MREs as they [sic] Spanish wouldn’t feed them."

Spain is no ally. There are working both sides as they have always done in order to profit in any way they can. If the Taliban or any other Islamic group find out that Spain has actually helped the US in any functional way the Spanish lose the middle east money. What the US needs to do is drive the Spanish out of the fort, ignore the whimpering diplomats and put in a proper facility. It was proven long ago that we could win any war we fought if we really wanted to. My question is this, do we really want to?
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# dan 2010-03-09 12:13
The Spanish hate Americans...I believe they have a national low self esteem problem. I went the Madrid on business to my company's office there and they were amazingly ignorant and rude. They would barley speak with me. Took breaks and left me sitting in the conference room, even left for lunch and never included me. Strange, smelly (that's right: bathing there seems to be optional) losers... check history, always losers, were ruled by Muslims for a long time... Losers.
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# Midknight 2010-03-10 00:50
Zapatero is a ****ing coward, and believe ir or not, he is deeply anti-american,
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# SPANISH 2010-03-10 02:52
lance, you're talking about an army that has maintained the largest empire in the history of mankind for 4 centuries. Your army is known to lose all wars in which it participates. When you had that have helped us, after the Spanish Civil War, came out running in Europe.
Respect for this army of all time by courageous men invincible. The war is won with courage and not with technology.
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# SPANISH 2010-03-10 02:58
"The Spanish hate Americans...I believe they have a national low self esteem problem. I went the Madrid on business to my company's office there and they were amazingly ignorant and rude. They would barley speak with me. Took breaks and left me sitting in the conference room, even left for lunch and never included me. Strange, smelly (that's right: bathing there seems to be optional) losers... check history, always losers, were ruled by Muslims for a long time... Losers."

Perhaps you were smelling bad. That's why you never invited to dine with them. Who lost in Vietnam and who loses in Afghanistan and therefore help you run crying to lose the Spanish? American LOSER and WEEPING.
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# USMC Steve 2010-03-10 05:50
Awful lot of outraged Spani's coming out of the woodwork to snivel and moan here. Maybe you should not have voted for a [censored] COMMUNIST who immediately surrendered to terrorism in the hopes that they would save Spain for last. Borderline third world hole that it is.
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# Arlene Cali girl 2010-03-10 06:50
Wow, Michael,
You really lit a firestorm with this one! I am SO glad it is being taken care of. I enjoyed the comments from John (Capt in ANG Civilian in Aghanistan) and from the 82nd Airborne Paratrooper. Too many other commentors got off topic and downright nasty.
The problem is being addressed and that is ALL I care about. God Bless the troops!
All the troops!
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# Greg 2010-03-10 08:33
Well the coalition is bound to have these kind of problems .... but overall the effort seems to be well controled and organized. Are the Spanish anti American ? ... well they are Europeans and the overwhelming sentiment is anti american among them. So I could see how this would happen. Although among soldiers I would beleive that this would be less prevalant.

Last I heard the Spanish have less than 1500 soldiers in country .... I cant imagine that they are effecting our operations that drasticaly. My hopes are that they are fighting the enemy and upholding the proud tradition of the Ejército de Tierra.....

Thanks Mike ,.... and by the way the " Valnetines Day" photo made me tear up .... it was moving and unforgettable.
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# American Joe 2010-03-10 08:45
Wow, I do not know what to say. I cannot believe that we would allow the spanish to treat our troops in such a manner. If we would pull the same stunt of them, it would make headlines around the world.

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# Maria 2010-03-10 09:27
The problem is not our Spanish Army, the problem is our goverment, Zapatero is the problem. The order for all the troops around the world is "don't move, only shoot if they (terrorists) shoot first". If the commander, captains, liutenants, etc, want to be there and not be degraded, must obey the LEADER!. What have we got?. A weak army, dissapointed from their high command, low morale, they have a fame of cowards that they don't deserve, but their hands are tied.

Our best generals, commanders, etc were sended to their retirement when Zapatero arrived and he puts officials close to his political ideas, easygoing, people who tell mr.president only the things he wants to listen to and now the army is very politiced and to the left part.

You know?. Today my goverment say to us that Afganistán is not a war and we are there is a peace mission, like Red Cross, can you believe this?.

Is like when the crisis arrived to my country?, Zapatero said we are in crisis two years after!!!. This man doesn't live in a real world, and sadly is our president since 11th march 2004.

Another thing, Al Queda didn't put the bombs in the trains in Madrid, it's false. It was ETA with some help of maybe secret services who did want to influence in the votes 3 days after and they won. Somebody didn't want a strong country, good ally of USA and they guessed.

The last thing, Spain doesn't hate Americans, this is not true, maybe some of them yes, like not all Americans hate Germans, for example, it is not good to generalize.

Un saludo from Spain.
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# Alex 2010-03-10 09:41
Sorry Maria, but I must disagree with you. It is a common practice in this kind of operations that rules of engagement do not allow armed exchange with hostiles unless you are fired first. Perhaps I am wrong but similar ROE apply to US troops. I find this position quite coherent with the Spanish position in the area. We are there to help Afghanistan to rebuild and develop a democratic state and not shoot anything that may look like a hostile. You get more with "social work" (like it was defined by a previous commenter) than with bombardments. Operations like the attacks in the Afgan-Pakistan border only upset the civilian people, who joins Taliban troops.
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# Maria 2010-03-10 10:46
I agree with you Alex. I didn't want that this sentence was taken so literal.

I meant that they are doing like our Defense Minister expressed long time ago to some journalists, he said : "I'd rather be killed than kill", and this is the most stupid sentence that i've never heard, spoken by a demagogue who knows that he never won't be in the front line-the front row, another people will die for him and because of his misguided politics. All part of the same wrong decisions. Be fine, be quiet, don't move, another people will do the job for you.
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# Senglar 2010-03-10 21:03
Dear friends: This seems to have had some effect. See http://www.lavanguardia.es/internacional/noticias/20100311/53897487253/soldados-de-estados-unidos-se-quejan-de-la-tropa-espanola-afganistan-isaf-qala-jose-luis-rodriguez-z.html

It's in Spanish, but run it through the Google translator and it will be readable.

The Spanish command is "aware" of the problem, the article says.
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# Spaniard 2010-03-10 23:24
Please, a respect for spanish soldiers, this issue is still on air and we don't know every detail, but remember we fight in the same side. Until today soldiers from US and from Spain have had a very strong and warm relationship in all international missions. Obviously here there's something missing, we have been working together for years in Afganisthan and Libano, without any problems of this kind. If there's any gap or misunderstandin g in the commanding chain, an investigation will be open and everything fixed. If someone is deliberately doing this, he'll be corrected for his behavour. We're allies of the same coalition, and we have also lost good soldiers in battle. Spain, in general and with some exceptions (same as in US), respects warriors and brave men, doesn't matter if they are from Spain or from outside. Thank you for your understanding.
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# Arnau BAs 2010-03-11 00:05
Good days to all.

Forgive my Englishman's level, it is not my habitual language.

I have been leyendos the commentaries here written.

The attitude of the Spanish troops with an ally they are deplorable and must be solved.

The fault(sin) is of the control, not of the soldiers.

But I want remember(remind ) that in Iraq not tape-worm that to go nothing to do, not habia terrorism, if habia a dictadura was thank you the support of USA.

And if in Afghanistan, there are terrorists, also it is a responsibility of The United States.

This way that now they know wherefrom the problems come.

Do not stop reading books.
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# Troy Cain 2010-03-11 05:15
What is going on here. how could a senior military officer leave that area w/out someone head or @ least stay there {being a pain in the spanishes ASSes} till something was done.

Be the soln not just complain about it {although, this is the media job}.

can't believe how our soldiers are being left to fend for themselves!!!!!!!!!

Cpt Cain
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# El Héroe Ibérico 2010-03-11 06:51
The American freeloading servicemen are very funny
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# Magellan 2010-03-11 06:58
The spanish body count at afganistan is more than 80. I suggest any american commander involved in the operation mentioned to stop moaning and go direct to the spanish commander on the field to see what is wrong, as it doesnt look average spanish behaviour.
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# magellan 2010-03-11 07:36
Can´t believe some of the comments I have read about Spain and the Spanish Army. If this attitude passes on to the general spanish public, the already high public pressure to withdraw the troops from the afgan mess is going to be too much for Zapatero, who is losing in the polls for the upcoming elections and desperately searching for something to turn the tide.

Nevertheless, if you like history, you could learn the troubles the Roman Republic had because it could not adequately manage its Italic Allies; They were lucky to have Caius Marius -himself an Italic- to quell the rebellion that ensued due to Roman mismanagement of the Italic Troops.

I remember everyone in this forum that the casualty roll for the Spaniards is more than 80.
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# mjp 2010-03-11 08:05
the best soldier in the world is Spanish, provided they do not send him to stay home.
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# Galland 2010-03-11 08:05
I am Spanish and am utterly ashamed of this happening. I beg your pardon for our little-minded attitude towards your fighting comrades. The only reason I can think of for this shameful behavior is that our government has mandated "0 casualties", out of fear of public opinion, and that means getting far from real combat units (that means US units in general). We abandoned you in Iraq "thanks" to our current government, it's really no surprise that we are undependable now. Again, my sincerest sorry from my coward-looking country, and thanks for defending the West World.
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# El Cid 2010-03-11 08:06
I'm Spanish and has Great Honor (The World's Best Infantry, U.S. Marines were born of our Marines and are also Spanish Legion, Regular, MOE, etc ...). After reading some disparaging messages to the troops of my nation I am very angry with America because they blame (except theft of course) of the Orders of the Governor of my country (President Zapatero and Defense Minister Chacon) satisfying Commander of the base (or is not the duty of a soldier following orders?). In Spain my current government in Afghanistan says "NO WAR" just a conflict with such a thought of my country's troops will not be effective. Also the lack of material of Spanish troops (bullet proof vests with many years of use, old cars without adequate protection, and economic crisis have reduced funds for the Spanish army, etc ...) undermine the effectiveness of the troops.

I would therefore ask that before you criticize, insult and threaten become better informed on the subject. (We had the May 2, 1808 did not you please take yours too)

Excuse me for my bad English
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# Isma 2010-03-11 08:10
The day than the better of the US Soldiers could be compared with the worst of the Spaniards, call me... and I laugh in your face.

In the angry 200 years of ridiculous existence of the USA, don't exist the day, that can compare with the worst Spanish day... what's USA without technology? A group of bastards, who fight for money... USA don't have army, have soldiers...

You want that Spaniard fight and dead for you? And what do USA for the Spaniards? Cowards.

"I read that the Spanish soldier was the best in History. Now, watching them figthing in the Eastern front (against communism) I comprove it".

USA, go home.
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# Isma 2010-03-11 08:14
Per cert,

USA is the country whot thinks that Spain is in SouthAmerica, that Europe is a country... yes!! A great country. lol

With a great History... be careful, 200 years... wow... fantastic!!

Go home bastards.

PS: who sais: "Shoot the bastard". I want to see that. Behind the PC it's so easy... "home of the braves". lol
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# Spanishronin 2010-03-11 08:21
Hi to everyone.
I am Spanish too, and well, what to say about this.
Here in Spain nor the army, neither the governmente have said nothing, but here we know the things are not going well in our army.
Our soldiers has old vehicles, they lack of basic equipment for army exercises so no imagine in a war like against the talibans. And as our goverment says "the world is happy", well, there is no money for our soldiers, there is only money for our politicians trips, meals, cars, ...
Our soldiers are dying, as well US soldiers, and from other places and I believe these problems beteween our armies should be fixed in the political way, but the soldiers from both countries have not to forgot who are the real enemy.
Is sad there is a stupid goverment here in Spain, if only you know a bit more about our internal affaired probably US soldiers would give even their pants to our soldiers.
Well, is the tradition in our history, good soldiers and army, good people, awfull politicians.

Please, don´t blame all of us. A lot of people here in Spain don´t forget how Zapatero ran away from Irak like a coward. That issue is a black point in our army list. Hope the things change in thee future.
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# mjp 2010-03-11 08:22
Lake Ilmen ?
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# alex 2010-03-11 08:24
3 years ago more or less, the defense minister of Spain said: It is better to die than to kill, when questioned him about the mission in afghanistan. If in Spain the government still has not acknowledged that there is war in afghanistan and our soldiers were killed in action receive the pensions of victims of terrorism. While Zapatero. is president did not expect anything from us.

A greeting and good luck in the war from Spain.
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# mjp 2010-03-11 08:25
Lake Ilmen?
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# EL Cid 2010-03-11 08:29

The 9th Annual U.S. Army International Sniper Competition in Fort Benning,Georgia .
31 Teams..Winner Spanish Team!!!!

It's in Spanish, but run it through the Google translator and it will be readable.
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# EL Cid 2010-03-11 08:38
See this:

The 9th Annual U.S. Army International Sniper Competition in Fort Benning, Georgia.
31 Teams...The Winner Spanish Team!!

It's in Spanish, but run it through the Google translator and it will be readable.
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# Another Spanish 2010-03-11 08:41
Isma, you are a good proof of why we have almost always been behind the rest: "what's USA without technology? A group of bastards, who fight for money... USA don't have army, have soldiers... You want that Spaniard fight and dead for you? And what do USA for the Spaniards? Cowards."
You show the typical communist/socia list mentality so common here in Spain: "I am LAZY (yes, uppercase), Government give me EVERYTHING"

The US have given you the nuclear energy you waste with the PC they have invented, the light bulbs you see with, the phone you use to call, the TV you watch, the cars you move with, the airplanes you fly on, etc. etc. etc. etc. I am sure you would mindlessly join Hamas just to give pleasure to your brainless AntiAmerican feelings, your poor knowledge of their language (2nd language in our schools) shows how instructed you are to make allegations against anybody outside your little town.
You are a shame to us all Spanish people.

eres tonto del culo
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# Francisco 2010-03-11 08:43
Soy un soldado español de la Infanteria de Marina de España,no he estado en Afganistan y por lo tanto desconozco si esas acusaciones son ciertas o no.Conozco a muchos compañeros españoles que han servido en Afganistan y no han tenido ningun problema con los americanos,todo lo contrario,han tenido muy buenas relaciones.Si dichas acusaciones son ciertas,yo, como soldado español y tambien como ciudadano español me sentiria tremendamente avergonzado por tales actos y pediria la depuracion de responsabilidad es de los autores de dichos actos.Hasta ahi estamos todos de acuerdo.La mayoria de los comentarios que he leido son vomitivos ya que solo buscan el ofender a España sin fundamento alguno.No se puede generalizar sobre un pais entero.España entro a formar parte de la OTAN en 1982 y hemos estado en todas las misiones internaciones desarrolladas tanto por la ONU como por la OTAN con una hoja de presentacion intachable.Pero lo que mas me ha ofendido son los comentarios relacionados con la retirada española de Irak en 2004.Para acusar hay que saber de lo que se habla,nuestro actual presidente de gobierno en las elecciones del 2004 prometio la retirada de las tropas españoles de Irak antes de que ocurriesen los atentados del 11 de Marzo.Una vez ganadas las elecciones,nues tro presidente cumplio con su promesa y retiro las tropas españolas de Irak.Bien es cierto,y yo lo admito,que las formas en las que las tropas españolas fueron retiradas no fueron las adecuadas,pero. ....ESPAÑA NO RETIRO SUS TROPAS POR EL ATENTADO DEL 11 de MARZO,NO LAS RETIRO POR COBARDIA SINO POR UNA PROMESA ELECTORAL,PORQU E MAS DEL 80% DE LOS ESPAÑOLES ESTABAN EN CONTRA DE DICHA GUERRA.Asi que un poco de mas verguenza!!! Y si el soldado español se caracteriza por algo es por SU VALENTIA!!!.Som os un pais pequeño,pero tenemos una gran historia,y NO TOLERO CIERTAS ACUSACIONES PUBLICADAS EN ESTE FORO CONTRA ESPAÑA!!! SI SE QUIERE SER RESPETADO ANTES UNO HA DE RESPETAR.
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# Ali Ahmad Mansoor 2010-03-11 08:46
Why American troops protest if they are on same conditions that Spanish. They need more protection? They have more fear? I see many times American troops and Spanish troops and I can see more fear on the face of Americans. They can only be braves after a weapon carried in an armored vehicle?. What Americans need to not to have fear. Are they chickens or soldiers?. Where are hard Americans Soldiers.
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# mamen 2010-03-11 09:16
I am sure, this journalist is a trickier man. But, my question is. What is his interest to create a problem between allies? Is a traitor, is a bastard? This issue only support taliban. If they are problems loyal acting is to translate its to authority can solve. Or not?
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# Domingo 2010-03-11 09:22
This is our president, no comments

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# Antonio 2010-03-11 09:36
Great comment on Isma's one. She/he is probably a well feeded happy belly, as those many we have in Spain. USA keep up being first country in the world, you deserve it. We, on the other hand, only deserve what we have... a stupid comunist president whose IQ is lower than his shoe size. I wish I could run out of here someday and live in a sane country, like yours.

You want to know who's responsible for all this? Easy, ZAPATERO, keep that name in mind, as he will go in history for being the WORST president in a democratic (said who?) country.
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# jon ander 2010-03-11 09:36
solo hay una cosa que un soldado español, no va a perdonar, la arrogancia.
Tal vez al coronel Usa, se le olvidó pedir las cosas, por su nombre, con un por favor.

El soldado español es desde epocas preromanas de la siguiente manera(entre muchas otras):

una tenacidad en la defensa hasta límites insospechados, tozudez hasta la desesperación, desprecio absoluto por la vida propia (y en ocasiones por la ajena), crueldad, generosidad, imperturbabilid ad en las derrotas (de manera general, no nada más terminar), y sobre todo austeridad.

Si en el frente os encontráis a un soldado mal afeitado, sucio, con las botas rotas y el uniforme desabrochado, cuadráos ante él, es un héroe, es un español.
General de Artillería Jürgens.

Son indisciplinados , pero no he visto soldados más valientes. Aún no han cedido un palmo de terreno. Yo sé que los nuestros están tranquilos cuando tienen a los españoles de vecinos de sector.

Opinión de Adolf Hitler recogida por Von Ribbentrop en sus memorias.

Ni hablar. Los españoles son el único pueblo mediterráneo verdaderamente valiente e immediatamente organizarían guerillas en nuestra retaguardia. No se puede entrar en España sin permiso de los españoles.

Frase pronunciada por Hitler, luego de invadir Francia, cuando algunos generales le propusieron también invadir España.

"Considerados como tropa, los españoles son una banda de vagabundos.

Para ellos el fusil es un instrumento que no debe limpiarse bajo ningun pretexto.

Entre los españoles, los centinelas no existen más que en teoría.

No ocupaban sus puestos, pero si los ocupaban es durmiendo.

Cuando llegan los rusos, son los indígenas los que tienen que despertarles.

Pero los españoles no han cedido nunca una pulgada de terreno.

No tengo idea de seres más impávidos. Apenas se protegen.

Desafían a la muerte.

Lo que sé es que los nuestros están siempre contentos de tener españoles como vecinos de sector.

Si se leen los escritos de Goeben sobre los españoles, se advierte que no han cambiado desde hace cien años.

Extraordinariam ente valientes y duros para las privaciones, pero ferozmente indisciplinados "

Adolf Hitler.

"Los argentinos tienen dos sangres, la española y la italiana, si sacan su sangre italiana ganaremos la guerra, pero si sacan su sangre española podemos perder la guerra. - Ministro de Defensa Británico a Margaret Thacher, duante la Guerra de las Malvinas.

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# Antonio 2010-03-11 09:40
Lo siento mucho, Francisco, pero solo recojemos lo que sembramos... somos la verguenza del mundo. El pasado es solo eso, pasado. El presente es por lo que la gente nos conoce y desafortunadame nte nuestro presente es patetico. Somos el hazmereir del mundo, empezando por Europa, nuestros "aliados", lo cual es doblemente triste. Pero bueno, no pasa nada!!! Tenemos nuestro paro, nuestros sindicatos y los 400 euros para una tapita y una birra... que mas se puede pedir?
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# Sertorio 2010-03-11 10:23
No cabe duda, de que en este hilo tan interesante, se pueden encontrar estupideces escritas tanto por norteamericanos intoxicados en un McDonald, que no saben que más de la mitad de los territorios que hoy forman parte de EEUU, fueron en su momento parte de España (desde Florida, hasta Alaska, pasando por Texas, California, etc, etc...); como por parte de españoles idiotizados por la basura que propagan ciertas ideologías políticas, tipo comunistas, socialistas y compañia. Por desgracia en España tenemos que sufrir especialmente a éstos.

Pero la verdad, es que el estado actual de las FFAA españolas es penoso, mensajes arriba un declarado militar norteamericano decía que había un gran problema con la politización de las FFAA, y es cierto. El mecanismo de control social es tal y como ha comentado. Como es cierto que la dirección gubernamental de éstas, sobrepasa lo ridículo en el mejor de los casos. Y como es cierto, que el pueblo español, parece perdido en un mundo irreal; probablemente por comodidad, y por falta de cultura política, sustituída por mucho sectarismo.

Seamos serios: En la propia España hay mucha gente que está harta de la mala utilización de las FFAA en Afganistán, y que sienten vergüenza por ello, que no se creen la memez de la "misión de paz" del presidente Zapatero. Que saben que es una guerra en la que deberíamos estar en los puestos de más esfuerzo y sacrificio, como mandaban las RROO de Carlos III, y eran la tradición de siempre del Ejército Español, y de esa marina que gobernó los mares, no hace tanto tiempo.

Por favor, si hay alguien serio por aquí, que lea esta revista, en la que se se habla de alguna de estas cosas.



Perdón por la publicidad, pero es importante que se sepa que en España, hay quien siente vergüenza por el gobierno que tiene. Y que saben lo que es un ejército de verdad.

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# Casto Méndez Núñez 2010-03-11 11:01
Spanish soldier are, unfortunally, under the orders of a socialims-nacio nalims catalan ministry called Carmen Chacón. She ordered not to combat until they are under atack . José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero are a coward man, and a friend of the islamins, who help him with the 11-M bombs to being president.
Spanish soldiers are brave and patriots, not our president and ministry of defense...
"Más vale honra sin barcos que barcos sin honra."
Casto Méndez Núñez (puerto del Callao 2 de mayo de 1866)
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# Blas de Lezo 2010-03-11 12:50
I guess there is plenty of ignorance from both sides with some bright exceptions. In any army there are tons of crap that anyone would like to hide. The great US Army with all their money (just think that their budget is roughly the same amount of the next 20 world´s armies added).http://e n.wikipedia.org /wiki/List_of_c ountries_by_mil itary_expenditu res is at risk for a clumsy ally. Oh, dear God, western civilization is at stake!
So, they are very angry because an spanish officer "refuse" to help in something and claims we are a gang of thieves that stole their clothes.
Well, to begin with this I must state a few questions.

- Are you sure it is an Spain´s duty to do those things? Spanish commanders in overseas missions do just EXACTLY what they are ordered to. Otherwise they are dismissed.
- Are you sure your clothes were stolen? Maybe the treacherous Afghan wind just fade them away. Anyway, if you let that your clothes had been stolen more than once in a war zone is because you are an moron/cretin/id ito(choose what fits you best if you understand any). If any of my soldiers would come with such a complaint he would be immediately arrested...for being an stupid, the worst crime in war times.
- Are you sure that the LC asked so following military regulations or he just asked "nicely", the way US commanders usually treat their allies. You "americans" are well known for being very polite and not arrogant or obnoxious at all!!! And yes, we Spanish are very famous for not being proud,or haughty. It seems nobody is perfect!
- If the number of comments from USA advising to let us alone, put us in jail or simply shoot us to death are the most popular idea of how to treat an ally that is trying to help you( in a war you started.)..no wonder you are the most hated country. I don´t need to imagine how you treat enemies, I saw it by myself. Don´t blame us if we don´t want to be too related with you.
- And to other “wise guys”, our rules of engagement are probably the most restrictive of all NATO. Lately our soldiers killed an Afghan approaching with a motorbike to a convoy that ignored the THREE warnings (laser point, Whistle, and warning shoots befote shoot to wound, not to kill) and it almost start a nacional debate…and of course our yellow stripe government gave money to the family because it could not be proved he was a taliban( the convoy continued). This is with what our army must deal with…

- Leaking a complaint to the press instead of following the regulations is something used by politicians, not officers and gentlemen. No wonder that lots of US officers finished their careers as politicians. Probably they intended so when joined the army.

To finish this, I must say that is very arrogant to look at your allies from an ivory tower paid with the 5% of the GNP of a big country.
Next time just think that Spain only use a 1% of their GNP in their military Budget. And don´t make me tell how is spent (waste, really) It´s a big effort for us to help an ally and unfortunately after 35 years of dictatorship (and centuries of war) our army is not very popular among Spanish.

We are now an “small” country but the main reason we are is because we spent some centuries using all our Money in stupid Wars all around the World. All empires fell for the same reason…too many Wars. I hope you´ll learn the lesson before…

Anyway, if finally our officer is to blame for this incident, I offer my most sincere apologies, but as I have stated befote precedents don´t help your claims very much. So do not judge so lightly with such a poor information and understand that being an ally is not being an slave.

I believe it´s our duty to help you and in my opinión Al-Qaeda must be wiped from Earth
We shouldn,t be afraid from them, they should be very afraid of US.

Ps: Don´t forget that with all your power and money invested in this war your army is also hand-tied…not as much as us, but you are too. Try to be more understanding.
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# Spaniard 2010-03-11 13:00
Qué triste es ver a españoles resentidos con ZP tirar mierda contra su propio país, en vez de defender a nuestros soldados. Y lo digo por muchos de los que han escrito aquí, en especial de Castro Méndez Núñez. A vosotros no os importa una mierda España, lo que queréis es fustigar a ZP. A mí tampoco me cae bien, pero en un caso como éste tenemos que hacer piña en torno a las FFAA y defenderlas. Aprovecháis para sembrar discursos paranoicos como que ZP es amigo de los islamistas. No sois personas sanas. En serio. Si de verdad os preocupáis por España, cada vez que habléis de política en foros internacionales , defend al pueblo, a sus instituciones y a las FFAA. Yo también critico a ZP, pero que eso se quede en casa.
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# avanter 2010-03-11 13:10
Please, it is too serius. Give us proves of that. Names of the officials by example.

We are dying there because our goverment don't give us what we need.
What I can imagine is that we don't have concrete, whasing machines, neither gravel. The last milk supply to our troops was corrupted (look our newspapers: www.elmundo.es www.libertaddigital.com).
Our JEME ("spanish pentagon chief") said one month ago that the spanish solider must learn to survive and fight with no resources (from the spanish army), but using the resources that can find by himself (spanish DoD magazine- january).
Perhaps they are applying this new doctrine. We invented the "guerrilla". Now we are developing "bandolering" in Afganistan. :-D (I'm crying).

You can't imagine a US goverment allowing to a local governor to forbid and punish the use of english languaje in (eg) California. It is happening in Spain. So have pattient with our soldiers.
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# avanter 2010-03-11 13:18
ponerte de nick spaniard indica tu nivel de sinapsis neural. Es una raza de perros inglesa, y nos llamaban así los ingleses para despreciarnos.
Y mas que ponernos verdes internacionalme nte, se trata de explicar lo inexplicable. Nuestra tropa no tiene la culpa si no les envian calzones ni jabon ni lavadoras.(sufi cientes)... ¿desde cuando tenemos lavadoras (suficientes) en misiones de este estilo?? Pero si no hay agua para ducharse, la vamos a tener para lavadoras. No me extraña que no se las presten a los de otros paises.
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# avanter 2010-03-11 13:35
11M: Queremos saber la verdad.
fue titadine o C4. Y no goma2eco y vale ya.
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# Blas de Lezo 2010-03-11 13:37
Avanter...No estarás confundiendo Spaniel con Spaniard? En la enciclopedia británica no sale tal aserto....
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# A Spaniard in US 2010-03-11 13:40
I am a Spanish living in US. I love this country and I am American citizen. I don't know if this comment reflects a reality because I don't see any reason for that behavior from Spaniards. However, if it is true I am sorry for myself and in behalf of all people that in Spain love America.
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# Blas de Lezo 2010-03-11 13:41
I´M VERY ASHAMED for the ignorance of a compatriot. To let it clear:
Spanish Navy Infantry DOES NOT come from the US Marines. The corps was created more than two centuries before(1537)

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# Blas de Lezo 2010-03-11 13:47

I´m very ashamed for the ignorance of one of my compatriots.

Spanish Navy Infantry does not come from the US Marines...It was created more than TWO centuries(1537) before the USMC.
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# Gabriel Martin 2010-03-11 20:14
All these problems with our troops are because of the president we have now, Spain has 40 millions citizens, half of those hate american people and the other half do not. Our formal president Jose Luis Zapatero is friends with Castro and Hugo Chavez, like I said half of us do not agree at all with this president and his political actions, as you know he is the one that took out our troops from Irak after the terrorist attacks in Madrid, Obama is a good friend of him as well and as the american president he should do something about this as well, send our president a firm message that these things will not be tolerated by the U.S Army or by the government, after all, europe is europe thanks to all the Americans that gave their life in that continent. God bless America and do not forget that all spaniards do not think alike.
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# Juan 2010-03-11 22:51
I arrived few days ago from QeN, and I have to say that the situation is not easy for nobody. There are daily shootings and the TIC (troops in contact) situation is continuous every time we leave the base. The logistic convoys are always escorted and harassed under enemy fire when we have to support the coalition forces detachments around. This is the main important think that all of the people in this page forget. We fight everyday for the coalition and for the freedom. We don’t fight for countries. Nobody fight alone.

The logistic situation in QeN is difficult, and the Spanish and Americans work together to solve it. The Spanish base is under construction and will be finished this summer. Now they are moving from the old base to the new one.

There are several Americans liaison in the Spanish operations centre of QeN, and all the problems among units (not countries) should be solved through them. But at this time there is a high level of mutual cooperation and collaboration between 82nd Airborne and the Spanish units. I have met these Americans officers and they are happy with our collaboration.

But, there is a problem with the small unit that lives in the airport terminal in QeN. The soldiers that refuel the choppers. They arrived in November due to a increase in the refuelling capability for a specific operation. They were going to stay there only for few days, later weeks and it seems to be month. In that time, Spanish Base Commander requested them about their needs, but they said that they were going to leave that place soon. The US soldier’s conditions were very hard, with only one dirty WC and no hot meal. The building were they lives are not Spanish installations, so we can do nothing for them. They are there due a personal agreement with the airport director (afghan).

The solution is to determine if the refuel detachment is really need to be maintained, establish the needs for the soldiers (food, lodging,…) and sign an agreement of support with the Spanish Base Commander (a few lines document). But the “provisionally” situation doesn’t allow doing so. But the 82nd Airborne Commander has to take the initiative to solve the problem, don’t leave the people with boots in the ground to do so.

Anyway this personal are supported as much as the Spanish can do, and we consider them brothers in arms and friends. I have a lot of pictures of them playing football in the parking lot, and working really hard refuelling the Apaches and from the USMC KC-130.

I understand that is very easy to put your opinion in a web seated in your warm chair but think in the people that are doing the hard and dirty job. We understand ourselves very well and I’ll never leave an allied and a friend without my support. Please, we are at war, did you noticed?
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# Magellan 2010-03-11 23:47
So, if I do understand correctly to the previous post by Juan, the american unit that is doing refueling arrived for a especifi operation thought to be brief, but they had to stay longer than expected duevery likely to unexpected events so common in war situations.

Also I understand that they are living in quarters outside spanish control, dependent on afghan authorities.

Juan also said that the spanish commander requested info about the specific needs of the US soldiers and was told it would be a brief stay.

An also I understand that the means to solve this situation exist under current regulations, and that no need exists for US and spanish people to quarrel in this forum about a minor incident among allied troops.
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# Antonio 2010-03-12 00:38
This person defines himself as a "red", remains seated in front of a passing US flag in a military parade, considers Spanish presence in Afghanistan as not a war event.
On the other hand looks desperately to appear in a picture with the "good"Obama, because Bush means all the evil of the world.
Spanish troops and officers are good, generous, disciplined and brave. Pleasse do not question this.
Just help us to kick in the ass out of the office this bad President.

Antonio, former Spanish NCO.
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# Angel Santana 2010-03-12 01:46
Spanish people is, historicaly, antiamerican. The efforts of Aznar goverment to induce a normal feeling of partnership between Spain an USA, had been disolved by the actual President Zapatero. Actually, the critics about the way, and treatment of our forces in Afghanistan are commons and very hard. Soldiers down in battle are treat like men who had suffered an accident and their sacrifice are not rewarded. It.s, in certain way, normal that moralship of the troop and officers are low and they do not want to risk their lives in a conflict not recognized and rewarded by their own goverment. It is a shame, but spanish people are suffering the acction of a radical socialism, destroying the economy and making friends like Evo Morales, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro etc. Wiht Aznar Spain was a first division country; whith Zapatero, Spain looks like a "not aligned country" from cold war era.
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# Spaniard 2010-03-12 02:22
"Spanish people is, historicaly, antiamerican.", said by Angel Santana.

That is simply not true. Spain had America as an inspiration for the first Spanish Constitution of 1812. Also, the Spanish Army fought in the side of America in the war of american independence, along with France, and against Great Britain. They were allies of America then, and warm friends. And USA knows perfectly that Spain helped them to get their independence. Today, Spain and USA are also allies and friends. We have so many things in common, that it would be a nonsense to focus on our differences. Of course, there are people in Spain as in USA that dislike each other, but the majority of spaniards and americans know that our alliance is for the greater good, and we support each other.
Historically then, americans and spaniards have many things in common. Pride, individuality, admiration of courage, a deep sense of individual freedom, and a respect of the multicultural aspects that make up our nations.
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# Salvora 2010-03-12 02:50
1.- I'm a Spaniard and I'm pro-American. I strongly disagree with PM Zapatero cold policy toward USA. But your comments are really offensive. Fortunately, your Government is pretty much polite than your citizens. Otherway, you can keep Afgan War for yourself, and pay it all.

2.- The situation referred in the mail could be true or could not. Imagine it's true. Perhaps it's Spanish fault... or perhaps not! When somebody is rude with you, it's possible you did something wrong with him.
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# Avanter 2010-03-12 03:09
El vocablo spaniard se "implementó" en el siglo XVII, cuando los ingleses querían referirse de forma despectiva a los españoles. Procede en concreto un tal Drake que djio "So please your Majesty, to singe the King of Spain's beard; it has grown somewhat too long." Es decir, Spani'ard, en la pronunciación del pueblo llano.

The term spaniard was implemented in S XVII, when the english want to mention with a injurious term to the spanish. It cames from a pirate called Drake, that said to his client "So please your Majesty, to singe the King of Spain's beard; it has grown somewhat too long.". So spani'ard (spain's beard) in slang.

So, I prefer to say that i'm spanish (born in Spain). The people from the rest (USA & Canada) of America are "colombianos", "mejicanos", or south-americans.

Few people in Spain know the procedence of "spaniard" because of PSOE education plans. (the socialism goverments of spain).
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# Stephen Page 2010-03-12 03:39
Who needs enemies?
The US has only these true allies: The English, Canadians, Australians & New Zealanders.
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# Casto Méndez Nuñez 2010-03-12 03:59
Como bien dice aventer spaniard es un apelativo despectivo usado desde siempre por los anglosajones hacia nosotros los españoles (spanish). Se ve, como también indica aventer, que has recibido educación socialista de la LOGSE.
Mire usted, yo soy reservista voluntario y quiero a mi país y a las FFAA mucho mas que usted con absoluta seguridad, por eso me permito distinguir entre un presidente y su pueblo, y, por supuesto, entre este y las FFAA, donde es muy ampliamente despreciado.
Cuando Bush fue presidente de EEUU muchos de sus compatriotas lo criticaban dentro y fuera del país si contemplaciones , que para eso es un país democrático, y nadie allí ponía en cuestión su patriotismo.
Casto Mendez Nuñez, contralmirante de la Armada española y héroe del Callao, rehusó el nombramiento de teniente general por parte del gobierno provisional de España en 1868, porque para él la Patria estaba por encima de cualquier gobierno.
The Infantería de Marina (Navy Infantry) or Spanish Navy Marines is a corps within the Spanish Navy responsible for providing amphibious warfare from the sea utilizing naval platforms and resources. The Infantería de Marina is fully integrated into the Spanish Navy Structure.
It was formed in 1537 by Charles I of Spain (also known as Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor), making it the oldest marine corps in the world, drawing from the Compañías Viejas del Mar de Nápoles
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# Magellan 2010-03-12 04:03
Beautiful comment from Mr Page. Would you like perhaps that the rest of us leave NATO and stay out of your, lets say, Thanksgiving family meeting? Not only the Spanish, but The French, the Italians, The Germans and all the like?
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# Magellan 2010-03-12 04:18
Mr Yon, sometime has passed already since this issue went public. Do you have any confirmation on the alleged rude treatment that the Spanish troops dispensed to the US soldiers? If this were the case -and I am a Spanish myself- that is unacceptable behaviour, but I find that hard to believe. Do you confirm that?
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+1 # Marsh 2010-03-12 08:22
In defense of Spain (somewhat), I wouldn't single them out for being anti-American like many people here have done. Most of the world hates America with a burning passion frankly - often our closest allies especially. I couldn't believe how many Canadians, Britons, Australians, Germans, etc, really just flatout hated me simple because I was an American. So when traveling abroad prepare to get flamed. Which might come across as bizarre to most Americans since we'd consider the allegation of being anti-Canadian or anti-British or anti-German as simply ridiculous. But anti-Americanis m is very, very real.

Conservatives in countries like the UK have even had to actually make pro-American political ads in order to try and counteract the rabid anti-Americanis m there; to give you an idea of how bad it is. And a public poll conducted in Germany if I remember correctly actually showed a majority of Germans believing America is a greater threat to world peace than Saddam Huessein...

I also don't know how often people watch foreign media but it amazed me to find out just how America-obsesse d the rest of the world is. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that many people living outside of America follow American political elections even more closely than they follow their own elections.

And there's almost always a negative news report about America every single day in the foreign press. They're constantly harping on Gitmo, Gitmo, Gitmo, more Gitmo, America's refusal to adopt the Kyoto treaty, Gitmo, our awful support for Israel, our crimes against humanity committed daily in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gitmo, our 3rd world health care system, Gitmo, our attempt to militarily takeover Haiti, Gitmo, our barbaric support for the death penalty and gun ownsership, Gitmo etc.

It almost seems like their liberal media and intellectual elites have an agenda of bashing America and reassuring weary taxpayers that their skyhigh taxes are really all worth it. I mean, think of the alternative: they could end up like America! The horror!

Combine that constant stream of anti-Americanis m with our glaring cultural and economic dominance and you get some ugly jealousy mixed in as well. Afterall, nobody likes to be reminded that their country isn't as important as another country. Which I personally suspect is one of the main not-so-secret motivations for further growing the power and scope of the European Union beyond all reason.

On a continental scale they can at least start to rival America in both economic, geographical, demographic and military strength. Indeed, many Europeans speak of the need for a less America-focused "multi-polar" world and refer to America as a beligerent and dangerous "hyper-power". Many Europeans would like to see Europe rival America and offset our global influence on geo-politics especially.

Most Americans are simply unaware of this petty and treachorous backstabbing (like the shock over this Spanish treatment of our soldiers in Afghanistan displays) and need to read more German and French news especially in order to see the direction our supposed allies are moving towards.

It's my opinion that if the Europeans want to play hardball then so be it. We should demand full repayment for the Marshall Plan (plus interest), pull out of NATO (and all other one-sided security agreements) and if they refuse to pay up then we should start underminding them diplomatically just like they're constantly doing to us.

The socialist European welfare state model is currently on the tipping point. All it will take is a reclusive, spiteful America to bring it all crashing down. Which I think would actually be doing them a favor in the long run...
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# Spanish Soldier 2010-03-12 12:42
Ok, maybe I'm missing something here, but this hasn't been proved true yet, has it? And if it is true, why has it happened, as someone mentioned above, maybe they didn't bring the issue up properly to the right person or as another guy mentioned, the refueller guys were only supposed to stay for a few days and no provision was made for them, who knows? But you were all too quick to judge the spanish, we've been called cowards, smelly, useless,thieves , we should be shot, the marines should be flown in and take over the base, we should be ignored and just do whatever you need without counting on us,etc. Great! And you still wonder why Americans are not liked by their own allies? I've seen this sort of prejudice and arrogance from americans more than once, but I've never seen it from any other servicemen of any other nation.
I've worked with many different nations and the only difference I've seen is the amount of money their nation spends on them, but I haven't seen big differences in profesionalism between servicemen doing the same job, but you seem to think that your troops are brave and profesional just because they are americans and our troops are cowards, useless, etc...because they are spanish....Righ t now, if I was the spanish commander on that site and I got wind of the bullshit you were talking about us I would throw you out, I would put my career on the line just to spite you, arrogant bstrds I just hope he is more professional and even headed than me, I'm sure he is, that's why he gets the big bucks, as I'm sure that the US soldiers working alongside the spanish don't have any complaints about them and viceversa.
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# Blas de Lezo 2010-03-12 12:54
Dear Marsh,
Yes, USA is an "hyper-power", really "THE hyper-power". As I stated before your military budget is bigger than the next 20 countries added. Your influence in economics, cultural and political terms in the rest of world is huge....WHY in the world you are surprised that the rest of the world fears/hates/adm ires/envy you? It have been the same way since the beginning of mankind.
French will never forgive you for saving their asses two world wars in a row. UK will never accept that they would had lost both wars without your help but it´s easier for them to accept you as they think you come from them, also they feel better looking at you as a bunch of rich red-necks that shatter their language . Germans will never(hardly) accept you for the opposite reasons.
The Marshall plan did not help with this, as I said about french people usually resents against those who are in debt with. By the way, there were not Marshall plan in Spain. We were not eligible since we were a fascist dictatorship... thing that did not suppose any problem ten years after when USA needed some bases to fight the cold war(you are as pragmatist as british, which I admire).
When Spain was the hyper-power(yes , very long ago but it was so) we had to stand with the same crap. Black Legend is called and it was made from a lot of bullshit created to justify the attacks against us. I don´t mean that everything was a lie, but most part of accusations could fit easily with the countries which were accusing Spain. Agit prop of those times...And if you want to know more you can find the same against Romans, British, Egypt,...The bigger the empire was the bigger the lies. Yours is very big, still young but with no real opposition ...by now if we except the inside opposition Michael Moore´s type.
About your ideas about weapons, death penalty, health care I insist on what I just said...you have enough opposition inside your country for being surprised. Also, if you are the actual empire why in the world you act surprised when the rest of the world is very interested in your internal affairs? They have a lot of influence around the world. Problem is that average US citizens do not realize it. Maybe you should be worried that the rest of the world does realize it.

And last but not least, Europe does not want to compete against you in the military way, we just don´t want to become a colony of your economic superpower. Excuse us for trying to compete but I thought US were always with the free enterprise and europeans are just trying to make commercial agreements not just to compete against US but with(not against) all the world.
About the Marshall plan, IT WAS A VERY GOOD BUSINESS FOR USA!!!(Also for europe I don´t deny it) It´s funny how you try to state that it was like a gift that USA´s generosity sent to europe...
The UE is spending billions every year in "structural funds" to emerging europeans countries and that happens because is absolutely proven is a very good business for both sides, not because the great generosity of Germans/French/ UK/Italy/Spain( yes, Spain too) hearts. Maybe the idea was inspired by Marshall Plan I have to admit. When any idea is good....

So, please stop complaining about how badly the rest of the world mistreat you. Try to be more critic with yourselves because you are far from perfect as all empires have been. It´s the problem when you are powerful, natural trend is to abuse of it and if you check fairly you´ll find loads of shit to be ashamed with....

We spanish have learned about it, probably too much because it seems we just want to remember our dark side and anyone who claim that there were good things too is immediately qualified as an A-grade fascist.

Funny thing is that there are hints that the same is starting to happen in the US. Remember, your worst enemy is inside you.

Kind regards,

Ps: For the record, I believe there are lots of good and excellent things in the US and probably my idea of democracy is closest to what US have than an european social democracy model...but believe me, there are also very good things at this side of atlantic sea.
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# Blas de Lezo 2010-03-12 13:15
Who need enemies?... Definitely you need them. Otherwise your weapons industry would fall in bankruptcy...an d if you don´t know I am eager to tell you. USA is the world´s biggest arm dealer. If there were not enough wars out there your economy would be in serious trouble.
Arms "commerce" is wonderful. They are made with the state of the art technology so lots of money is used in R&D that is after used in other fields that gets competitive advantages. Good for the economy.
The best brains can be attracted not only for great salaries but for patriotism too! Great motivation that usually pays off.
When you have a license to sell weapons is like printing your own money (oops, US Government already do) most popular and best sold weapons have no patents rights and are highly demanded...No surprise that politicians insists on keeping the internal market.
On the contrary, and the best (there are more but I´m quite tired)...everyt hing is destroyed in the war or become obsolete so fast that you can start over and over. Yep, no wonder one of the most profitable funds invest in that field.

Yes, if USA would not have enemies they should have to invent/create them. It´s a luck that USA never, ever, ever have done such a nasty thing.

It´s not surprising that so many US citizens seems so eager to make more enemies, even among their allies...Busine ss is business.
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# Spaniard 2010-03-12 23:35
En una carta fechada ayer mismo, el coronel Robert J. Ulses, responsable de la logística militar estadounidense en Afganistán, comunicaba al coronel Jesús de Miguel que el mando español en la base de Qala-i-Naw (uno de los tres destinos españoles en Afganistán) "ha atendido de forma adecuada las peticiones de ayuda solicitadas por las USFOR- A DET (las fuerzas estadounidenses en Afganistán) en la región oeste del país".

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+1 # another 2010-03-13 03:09
It seems Americans have grown bored with this subject, but the Spaniards are still feeling offended. At least the latest Spanish messages are of a better tone and education than those initially seen. I would like to add my two cents:
1. Michael Yon voices a complaint by US troops at a Spanish base in Afghanistan and I believe the petty behavior it reveals. It reveals envy (a trait even Spaniards concede is a mark of their national character) of a more professional army that is actually fighting. I can feel sympathy for some of the Spanish army professionals whose political masters treat them as social workers, but that's their problem mostly. If you don't care to fight, at least don't get in the way of those that do.
2. chest-beating of the type "we invented the marines", is irrelevant. And "in any case, we have lost 80+ servicemen in Afghanistan": well, if we look at how they died, we see that 60+ did so when their cheap Ukrainian passenger plane flew into a hill in Turkey, another 20 died when their helicopter accidentally flew into the ground, one died of a heart attack after an excercise routine, another turned his vehicle over, etc. Nonetheless regretable, but certainly not much related to combat. Why have the latest deaths been mostly of Colombians enrolled in the Spanish army?: Spaniards don't want to be soldiers and if they do it's for UN peacekeeping episodes.
3. Blas de Lezo has to go back to the early 1700s to find a suitable hero after whom to name himself. This says something about Spanish military history since then. The fact is there is little to commend it in terms of winning wars, other than that of 1936-1939 against itself, the war against Napoleon's occupation which required decisive British and Portuguese involvement and generalship, and a 19th Century naval expedition to the Pacific coast of South America to bombard the ports of the recently independent and mostly unarmed republics of Chile and Peru. Remember the Spanish-America n War, about how Spain lost Spanish Morocco without firing a shot in the 50s, Spanish neutrality in both World Wars (but actively pro-nazi in WW2), etc? Not glorious. Please don't even attempt to make us believe otherwise.
4. so, the US is an empire and it promotes wars in order to fund its arms industry. From where I see it, US taxpayers and soldiers are bearing most (although recognizing that the US has some true allies in this, some of them European) of the brunt of the defence of a war on Western civilization. You do not care to accept that you and certain other so-called Western allies are free-riding in defence terms. If Europe is going to really be a world power in more than social-spending and unemployment, then it is going to have to invest resources in defence and believe that there are causes worth fighting for. Alternatively, you will continue calling the US when things get out of hand, as of late in Yugoslavia or maybe even Spain one day when you finally deal with your regional nationalist-soc ialists or wake up to finding that Al-Andalus is not yours again. You can't just pay ransoms and desert your allies when you feel threatened, reality eventually comes home.
5. you think the US should be worried if Spain were to leave NATO, I don't. Pardon me, but it is mostly irrelevant. Apart from the use of a small naval base at Rota, what's its value? What would Spain's armed forces be like without their connection to NATO?
6. If you feel hurt by the fact that someone else complains, try to resolve the cause of the complaint, rather than insulting the complainer.
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# R. Konkel 2010-03-13 07:08
Whatever- EVERYONE'S morale is low. Maybe if Spain had offered any substantial contribution to a serious war in the last 50 years they would know what to expect, not leave their allies hanging out there. It's WAR for God's sake- not a vacation. They need to get their sh!t together.
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# R. Konkel 2010-03-13 07:12
Also- this war is not about funding the "Arms Industry" and wars in this country haven't been that way since the middle of the century. Sure, they are going to make money, but if you think the "Arms Industry" lobby has enough pull to start a war just to make money you are a fool.
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# Pedro 2010-03-13 09:47
In answer to the last post, which is unsigned.
Sorry if there are errors but the "English" is not my language, so I write in Spanish and translate with Google.

Do not go into criticisms that only get about tensions high and therefore will not use words like jealousy, smelly, cowardice etc ...

1 Our army is certainly smaller than yours as it is easy to understand but is designed to cope with potential threats that surround us here, namely Morocco, Algeria, southern flank of NATO and according to our economic potential . That is why we invest more in naval means (AEGIS, aircraft carriers, amphibious ships, submarines etc ...) and air assets (F-18, EF Tiphon, A-400, Helicopter Tiger etc ... that of terrestrial (a matter of doctrine and strategy) . Anyway the current government is making significant efforts to provide the Army (Infantry, Legion, Regular, Special Operations Group etc ...) means that there are more modern today as anti-IED vehicles (RG-31 General Dynamics with external machine gun by remote control, shielded Wildcats FDI, new lightly armed German HK-G36 etc ..., and maintains several UN and NATO missions abroad as Lebanon (which you will remember well) and Afghanistan. In the latter we in ISAF, not in "Enduring Freedom". We also have F-100 AEGIS frigates with helicopters, Marines and P-3 Orion aircraft off the coast of Somalia (also remember this country) in the operation Atalanta against piracy the Indian Ocean.
I remind you that the ISAF mission is focused on reconstruction (roads, hospitals, insurance ...), while "Enduring Freedom" is a purely military offensive. Thus our militates are not equipped with heavy weapons or other means (That if we have), but the ROE is changing and will send 500 more soldiers and the new Tiger attack helicopter (Apache type) as they become ready and well-trained crews.
We have also put great effort in the bases (Herat and Qala i Naw (the latter still being finalized) with all possible means (medical helicopter transport of injured, decent housing, meals, in short, everything necessary for a good defense and running.
Our army is composed of trained professionals and prestige, especially our Marines and elite legionnaires considered inside and outside our borders and with a long history of service to the Kingdom of Spain. The percentage of foreigners (only South American to accept the special ties that bind us to them and have common language) is less than 7% are illiterate as someone said we all have to pass entrance exams and related training. It is untrue that he killed a higher percentage of South American Spanish soldiers only have to look a bit on the Internet and newspaper archives to prove it. Besides, they are excellent soldiers, mostly Colombians and Salvadorans in our short but eventful stay in Najaf "Iraq" (political issue campaign promise) came to fight hand to hand with a knife. Our military are not politicized, but subject to the orders of the executive power as in any democratic country where there is separation of powers etc ...
I think we know the European reality and Spanish in particular. The socialist parties here (Social-Democra ts really) are not communists, I rather compare them with his Democratic party, ie emphasizes social and welfare issues but with laws and democratic norms within the rules of free markets and civil rights.
We really have more in common with you than differences. The latter are mostly in foreign policy (eg weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is wrong, Palestine-Israe l Problem Troubleshooting Cuban etc ... but we like with Iran, North Korea, Honduras, Venezuela, Terrorism. Otherwise compete commercially of course (this will not talk more)
You can talk about the past, marshal plan 1st and Second World War etc ... and not us? We also have history, a long history full of facts more or less glorious. For 500 years or so (without looking further back) in military matters, we have been at war with all European countries that had at that time from Holland to France, from Britain to Russia through Sweden, Portugal, the Ottoman Empire Algeria or Morocco. Almost always won, sometimes lost and we had so many civil wars, uprisings and revolutions that maybe that's why, we were deeply etched in blood and fire the horror of war and all the ills associated with it. Throughout the centuries we have bled in the demographic and have ruined economically dying or migrating hundreds of thousands of Spanish. Only now after many years we are recovering a bit to our old selves and thriving (if we leave the current crisis).
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# Pedro 2010-03-13 10:01
In answer to the last post, which is unsigned.
Sorry if there are errors but the "English" is not my language, so I write in Spanish and translate with Google.

Do not go into criticisms that only get about tensions high and therefore will not use words like jealousy, smelly, cowardice etc ...

1 Our army is certainly smaller than yours as it is easy to understand but is designed to cope with potential threats that surround us here, namely Morocco, Algeria, southern flank of NATO and according to our economic potential . That is why we invest more in naval means (AEGIS, aircraft carriers, amphibious ships, submarines etc ...) and air assets (F-18, EF Tiphon, A-400, Helicopter Tiger etc ... that of terrestrial (a matter of doctrine and strategy) . Anyway the current government is making significant efforts to provide the Army (Infantry, Legion, Regular, Special Operations Group etc ...) means that there are more modern today as anti-IED vehicles (RG-31 General Dynamics with external machine gun by remote control, shielded Wildcats FDI, new lightly armed German HK-G36 etc ..., and maintains several UN and NATO missions abroad as Lebanon (which you will remember well) and Afghanistan. In the latter we in ISAF, not in "Enduring Freedom". We also have F-100 AEGIS frigates with helicopters, Marines and P-3 Orion aircraft off the coast of Somalia (also remember this country) in the operation Atalanta against piracy the Indian Ocean.
I remind you that the ISAF mission is focused on reconstruction (roads, hospitals, insurance ...), while "Enduring Freedom" is a purely military offensive. Thus our militates are not equipped with heavy weapons or other means (That if we have), but the ROE is changing and will send 500 more soldiers and the new Tiger attack helicopter (Apache type) as they become ready and well-trained crews.
We have also put great effort in the bases (Herat and Qala i Naw (the latter still being finalized) with all possible means (medical helicopter transport of injured, decent housing, meals, in short, everything necessary for a good defense and running.
Our army is composed of trained professionals and prestige, especially our Marines and elite legionnaires considered inside and outside our borders and with a long history of service to the Kingdom of Spain. The percentage of foreigners (only South American to accept the special ties that bind us to them and have common language) is less than 7% are illiterate as someone said we all have to pass entrance exams and related training. It is untrue that he killed a higher percentage of South American Spanish soldiers only have to look a bit on the Internet and newspaper archives to prove it. Besides, they are excellent soldiers, mostly Colombians and Salvadorans in our short but eventful stay in Najaf "Iraq" (political issue campaign promise) came to fight hand to hand with a knife. Our military are not politicized, but subject to the orders of the executive power as in any democratic country where there is separation of powers etc ...
I think we know the European reality and Spanish in particular. The socialist parties here (Social-Democra ts really) are not communists, I rather compare them with his Democratic party, ie emphasizes social and welfare issues but with laws and democratic norms within the rules of free markets and civil rights.
We really have more in common with you than differences. The latter are mostly in foreign policy (eg weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is wrong, Palestine-Israe l Problem Troubleshooting Cuban etc ... but we like with Iran, North Korea, Honduras, Venezuela, Terrorism. Otherwise compete commercially of course (this will not talk more)
You can talk about the past, marshal plan 1st and Second World War etc ... and not us? We also have history, a long history full of facts more or less glorious. For 500 years or so
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# Pedro 2010-03-13 10:03
or think they are things of the past, now once and must look to the future. Who manages stereotypes or clichés are almost always wrong.
Al-Andalus? Please read a little, you'll find abundant information on the Internet, (I get tired and not typing)
What he says in paragraph 4 as Heisenhower also said in his final speech and Kennedy on TV. The lobbying power of military companies is excessive from my point of view. As for arms spending potential you'd be surprised if you add European. Maybe someday there posiblilidad to prove it. Read a little about it also. Although it is difficult to agree because there are several cases of collaboration for new aircraft (EF-Eurofigter Tiphon) (A-400 aircraft most modern and largest Milt and road transport) and some countries like Germany and France made excellent weapons (missile Taurus cruise almost all German) (German Leopard Tank) (French Rafale aircraft) (Swedish Gripen) (French Scorpene submarine) (New SSK-AIP submarine S-80 Spanish, the largest conventional) and there are bodies of elite and French Legionnaires Spanish and actually lethal if necessary. This proved even by U.S. military in exercises regularly does NATO.
Yugoslavia not only participated in the U.S., also almost all of Europe-NATO countries were. Spain for example F-18 aircraft sent to the Aviano base in Italy and participated in real missions against Serbia to fulfill its obligation without any problems. The army sent soldiers to Mostar and noted for his role in defending the civilian population to risk their lives (there were still cases where a detachment with BMR's defending a group of civilians in heavily outnumbered and retreated not saved. Dutchmen fled in a similar situation and there was a slaughter of civilians will remember that this came out much on television.
Spain's role in NATO irrelevant? Whoever has the mission to protect the southern flank and rear serve as support and logistics during the Cold War? And yet even under Franco was not integrated into NATO. Strategically speaking Spain is regarded as a major carrier of their geographical situation and you had bases in Zaragoza, Torrejon de Ardoz, Moron de la Frontera and Rota. Rota small? Use Google-map and read a little please. As for the size of our land army is true that is small compared to U.S. or even other European countries but is growing and fewer foreigners ever come. But our "Navy" or Armada as we say is very good, only Britain and France are better and Italy more or less equal. The Air Force is highly regarded even by the U.S., and our pilots (Navy Harrier also) participate in joint exercises of NATO and the U.S. as Red Flag, recently in the Mediterranean Sea in NATO naval maneuvers of two Harrier aircraft carrier Principe de Asturias "crossed the bow of an aircraft carrier escorted by his Task Force, ie, the" sunk ". It says so? Do you think that makes any driver?.

Finally, there has been no official U.S. complaint, conversely, have sent a letter to current greeting command in Afghanistan. Anyway I think if something happened was for a lot of misunderstandin g or timely performance of an individual and that is not the normal behavior of any Spanish military. If anything characterizes us today is the hospitality and generosity of our people. Spain stands out in the humanitarian and economic aid to countries and third world brothers in proportion to our size and "specific weight". A single example, our rate of organ donation for transplantation is the highest in the world and are perhaps the only country to meet the standard of donating 0.7 of GDP despite the economic crisis (non-financial, that our banks up until now have resisted even bought UK and U.S. banks)

A greeting.
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# Tom Curley 2010-03-13 11:51
If this situation is not corrected by Gen. Mc Crystals staff quickly units down the line can have a lot different priorities than the Spaniards . Limit logistic support to the Spanish through out Afghanistan to emergency support only. Let them resupply that FOB and others by truck with their own security. If they don't play well with others let them play alone or go home, They can't be accomplishing much anyway.
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-1 # Blas de Lezo 2010-03-13 13:13
We spanish did not get bored of this yet because we got to know this new two days after you(that do not seem bored neither)...
who created the firs marine corps? I feel sorry that most spanish don´t know it. But do you think I care to teach you something about a country that probably more of the 50% of your college students don´t know how to place it on a map? I´m not so pretentious like trying to improve your education system, I have enough with mine.
I never stated about casualties because there are just a few in combat, and I think is not a question to brag about. The helicopter was attacked but our government forbid survivors to make any statement about the crash.
Spanish people is told that we are in Afganisthan in a peace mission. Our government refuses to accept the world "war". Injured and killed have the same status as if they had a car accident in a Madrid´s base.

About the war against Napoleon we were the first army that defeated the invincible(then ) french army (and no, no english army, battalion or platoon were around). Yes, we suffered then defeat after defeat but the main thing is that spanish army never surrendered. They regrouped again and again http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peninsular_War even when there were no government to rule them. Look at how happy was Napoleon about that invasion and how he judged that mistake.

About Portugal, a few years before (1801)Spanish army invaded Portugal and finished the war in 18 days. If you think Portugal and British army was then such a threat for french army I advise you to take a look of how big that armies were and if you think about it you´ll find something missing. As you seem to have a good knowledge about history I guess you´ll get some conclusions.

And yes, thanks God Spain haven´t had to be in a war in the last 60 years. But it was at 1975 when we left spanish Sahara(not Morocco. Morocco invaded it and natives are still fighting Morocco´s army) and it was because Spanish people is against any war and less for a colony.
At WWII we were neutral( Spain stated that in 1938!! which caused tensions with Germany) excepted against URSS because the government then was ferociously anti-communist.

I don´t think that USA is acting as "Globocop" for just their pure heart or just to defend the freedom or western civilization. And at least by now Spain never had your uninterested help( for example we were out of Marshall Plan when we really need it)...it have been the other way and Spain have accepted to do it because our mutual interest.

R. Konkel. I did not say at all that the arms lobby started any war. I just said that arms are one of the best business in the USA (am I lying? I hope not). I even recognize that it also affects positively in other economic fields. But still, even not affirming such thing, there are a lot of questions that arise and I wanted to stated as the old refrain..Quid prodest? Then, it easy to get some conclusions. Are mine the only truth? I would not dare to say so.

Also, I never said that this problem in Afganisthan is Spain´s or USA´s fault. I just made a few questions and remarks because all this thing does not make any sense to me. Yes, I added some sarcasm but just to make it more fun. At least to me...

My knickname is not because I had to desperately seek for an Spanish hero.In Spain not very much people knows his name and I did not expect that any american could know about him. Blas de Lezo is only remembered by the Spanish Navy and is difficult to find any reference in Spanish books about him. I like him because his story shows clearly how anglo-saxons historians write about their history, no self-critizism at all and how easily and often Spain had mistreated their best men.
But anyway, our military heros can be old, but I assure you that we have lots more than you. It´s just a question of history and ours is much, much longer than yours. Don´t worry, your country will be tired of wars sooner or later as it happened with us. It´s a matter of time. Probably none of us will see it but I´m sure it will occur.
About Nato...too many points of view and all very respectable. You think you can fight your wars alone. Why don´t you do it instead of being constantly disturbed for clumsy allies like us?

And , I do not think we have a very good army, but as I reckon that fact I do not agree with the vision that anglo-saxon historians have written about Spanish history. It comes from biased viewpoints and the only thing I have to admit about it is that it was very intelligent from them to use history as another weapon to justify their politics. It´s against the truth and common sense but it helps to reach some goals.
Ps: Even winning all wars, there is always lost battles and lot of terrible facts within them. As I said before, all empires have fell for the same reason...too many wars. Keep being proud about yours and forget the costs of victories...
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# LarsenWhipsnade 2010-03-14 01:38
I sent a link to this article to my two senators and representative, encouraging them to read it and do what they can to help the situation.
Michael Yon provides us with the truth of the situation on the ground in Afghanistan. It's our duty to act upon that in support of our troops.
I urge other readers to do the same.
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-1 # another 2010-03-14 03:09
Pedro and Blas continue to dribble about history, education, organ transplants and banks. What do you have to say about the despicable behavior of Spanish servicemen towards their "allies" at Qal E Naw?
A few comments about your latest points:
1. who invented the marines continues to be irrelevant to practically anything to do with this subject. Is this the reason your "soldiers" won't provide food to visiting US marines?
2. if your government is pathetic that's your problem. Isn't it true that each country has the government that it deserves?
3. Pedro, isn't it a Spanish saying that goes along the lines of "tell me what you boast about and I will know what you are lacking in"? Apply that to your last message. Try Scandinavian countries for aid percentages, try Spanish "solidarity" with dying Cuban dissidents, try Spanish cowardice in dealing with Morocco over the abandoned Saharauis and try the judicial cover-up over the train massacre in 2004.
4. it is truly unfortunate US students know so little about World geography, but yours probably don't know where Malawi is, see the symmetry?
5. the US has a shorter formal history than Spain: apart from the fact that Americans inherit the history of their European and other ancestors, I believe we are in great measure all shaped by our latest history, not that of many centuries ago. Need I really say anything more about Spanish history in the last two centuries? I suppose so.
6. Blas, Bailen was not the end of the Napleonic war in Spain, it was pretty much at the beginning. It was Wellington who kicked the French back over the Pyrennees and, incidentally, once in France, sent the Spanish troops with him back to Spain because of their uselesness and misconduct. The size of the armies had little to do with their effectiveness. What is undeniable, is the value in that war of Spanish civilian guerrilla warfare: it itied in well with an innate bandolero spirit that lives on in the theft of US servicemens' clothes in the laundry at QEN.
7. Yes Blas, Spain does not lately fight wars other than against itself and then shows how brave it is in the systematic massacres of prisoners. Spain was really neutral in WW2 because Hitler couldn't be bothered to accept the Caudillo's compensation demands to join the war and thought their armed forces incapable of being of much use. Please don't give me a speel on the huge value of the Blue Division in Russia and thus remind us all of whose side you were on.
8. Yes Blas, all powers have their day and the same will occur with the US. But before the US is relegated to the dustbin of history, many in countries such as yours will long for the days when the West lived a period of unparalelled freedom and progress under your despised "Anglo-Saxon" benefactors. Start teaching your kids broken mandarin and forget about your very short-lived experience of democracy.
8. Not that many "Anglo-Saxons" left in the US these days, but the term conforms to a permanent Spanish conspiratorial view of world affairs where Spain's rightful standing is belied by crafty foreign conspirators: Anglo-Saxons, Jews, bolsheviks, masons, whoever. Grow up. Much of objective Spanish written history of the last century has a great debt to "Anglo-Saxon" historians.
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# santi 2010-03-14 11:39
Tal vez el problema sea la arrojancia de los norteamericanos a la ora de pedir las cosas se cren el ombrigo del mundo y son una verdadera mierda tegnologia sin ningún hijo nada esto reconocido por sus propios mandos y DEMOSTRADO en muchos ejercicios y es de risa que MAYUSCULA intenten conparar su historia en muchos casos inventandola o exagerandola con la de España no nos Llegan ni a la suela del zapato, lo que hace la invidia de España y de lo español aparte de los ignorantes e incultos que son Creyendo que los españoles vivimos todavia en la Edad de piedra o Debajo de Méjico QUE SE PUEDE esperar de esta gentuza Verdaderamente lo que les jode es que no nos hemos dejado avasallar como lo han echo otros
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# Avanter 2010-03-14 12:34
We were posting about the blog, where the spanish troops seems to be a gipsy camp or a bandoleros cave.

It has no sense to arguee if the spanish soldier are worst or better than the us soldier.

I suggest to came back to the blog article.

To be serious, the journalist need to add proves of the status of this base.

Because this and other silly situations are due to our goverment, what about if the US help us to derogate our Zapatero's franc-massonic anti-christian goverment?

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-1 # Avanter 2010-03-14 12:48
We left Sahara because:

Franco was "out of service"
France banned us to use the french weapons
US banned us to use the US weapons

If the Sahara became a peaceful morocco region, they (los moros de mierda) will have their back secured, and then, they will think in us.

With our goverment, if Morroco invade Ceuta, Melilla, or Canarias, nobody will help us to recover our territory (spanish territories since year 1200 more or less, several sicles before the existence of Morocco). And then,
France and US will forbid us to use the fighters and missiles, etc.

We must be a Nato ally, with a true occidental goverment, if we want to be well considered worldwide as a first world nation.

Now we are ally of Venezuela, Argentina, Cuba, Turquia, Siria, Palestina, Libia, ... countries without democracy.

good night
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# Blas de Lezo 2010-03-14 16:03
1- i´m not mixing at all who invented marines with the alleged incident. It was a comment answering a mistake. You are the one who thinks there is a link.
2- Yes, every country has the government that it deserves. It happens with you too. What I don´t get is what you are so proud of.
4.- If you are able to make that analogy about Malawi vs Spain your ignorance is deeper than I thought. Spain is part and origin of your country. Do you think than even a 1% of your students know that Malawi is a country? Please.
5- You are wrong. What makes the spirit and the soul and present of a country is its history, longer or shorter. Your melting pot is not the sum of all histories of the different countries that came to US. That would be unintelligible or a complete pandemonium. Don´t mix personal stories with History.
6- Who said it was the end? It was the very beginning. Wellington army acted like a bunch of thieves and killers (even destroying Spanish industries in order that they could´t compete anymore with British manufactures) and even so they got help from Spanish governments in our own interests. The size doesn´t matter? Then you must explain that Wellington succeed against a much bigger and same skilled army just because he was just much better and a genius. Typical!
Spanish army in France did less of what french army( or British) had done to Spain a few years before. But this time Wellington showed more scruples in France than what he showed in Spain. Obviously it was because we were just savages.
And that bandolero spirit is exactly what made the germans stay out of our country during WWII. The same spirit probably that kicked you out from Vietnam.
About the alleged thieving I insist on what I already said. Anyway, you keep believing in this quarrel when a responsible of your army already had praised the spanish help at Qal e Naw.
7. For a country with racist laws until a few years ago, with a latent racism even now, responsible of innumerable indian´s massacres and even having a civil war( for that you should know better) you are incredible arrogant to judge the behavior of countries that you obviously know little. We were in a civil war but, what excuse do you have for instance at My Lai or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_crimes#United_States_perpetrated_crimes for example? How funny you are trying to believe you are so perfect. So little history for so many crimes. War is war no matter who fights...boy scout.
If at 1938 that caudillo proclaimed Spain´s neutrality. Why are you so eager to believe, like red wing historians that Franco wanted so hard to get into the war? Blue Division (15.000 men) was sent under the command of not fight against allies but only against URSS. Of course they were not important in the course of war but it served three purposes: a) Put less pressure to Spain´s government. b) Return in part the help received during our civil war and c) To show German what Spanish could do in order to make them think carefully an invasion. They succeed in that. The so racist Germans considered them very valuable and they were the only foreign division (250) totally integered in Wehrmacht. Read hitler´s and other generals opinions about them or http://www.feldgrau.com/InfDiv.php?ID=163
8- Nobody thought at late 80s that russian empire would fall apart in a few years. At 1946 British empire was at its best shape after winning WWII...This doesn´t ring any bells to you?
And sorry, Anglo-saxons had never been our benefactors, they intended to destroy us since they started to count at international arena. And it wasn´t any conspiracy at all it was a normal course of history.
British policy have been always to weaken any emergent power and it worked really well. Now they are just your faithful buddy in order to keep counting on international scenario. They do not like it very much but is better than the alternative. Aren´t pragmatical those smart bastards?
Those anglo-saxons historians has their view, but is quite suspicious that they are always the heroes and spanish are nothing but a superstitious bunch of illiterate thieves that always lost war after war and only survived in history by anglo-saxon mercy. It´s quite notorious how the invincible armada is studied and continuously published by british but nobody knows about the counter-armada they sent a year after(1589)to destroy Spain ports and fleet in order to complete 1588 victory. Have you ever knew about it? British students neither.
That is the difference ,Spanish historians seem to like to punish their own and Anglo-saxon don´t. Really I´d prefer second option but I try to find the balance.

And last...are you serious about the " conspiranoia"? One of the America´s favorites entertainment are conspiracies. You are still looking for the second shooter of JFK, etc, etc..., and think that everybody in the world conspires to destroy you. This forum is a big proof of it. And you dare to blame us for that? You are very funny.
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+1 # Tommy Barrios 2010-03-15 04:41
I really love all these folks who came in here to defend Spain. I'll bet NO one from Spain ever read this blog until this article came out then all of a sudden we have a whole legation here defending the despicable behavior of the Spanish troops. Not with any defensive facts mind you, only the typical leftist communist rhetoric of name calling, illogical references to past history, deflective pandering to political pansies in the Spanish government, and complete and unmitigated lying about WHO first tortured and murdered the residents of the Americas during the reign of terror under the tyrant Ferdinand and the equally greedy pathetic Isabella!
Spain was never a great nation. It was just a another assemblage of pirates and thieves, like most of Europe at the time, who went around the world stealing and looting at the point of a sword or musket! So don't try to ply me with the liquor of past grandiose embellishments of Spanish history, I am NOT impressed! In fact I hold most of Europe in disdain as being nothing more than a morass of inbred juveniles still needing toilet training!!
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# Tommy Barrios 2010-03-15 05:16
Now that i have excoriated the Spanish Inquisition, I would like to thank Michael for having the cojones to publish this letter in defiance of protocol (a polite excuse for cowardice). Michael has been and continues to be a vital part of our TRUTHFUL information coming out of the Middle Eastern conflicts. He has a unique unbiased on the the ground perspective that no other war time journalist has ever been able to come close to since Ernie Pyle!
His hard hitting honest reporting has made things happen that four star generals and pitiful politicians could not get accomplished. If he puts out the call for underwear, the shelves at the local Walmart emptied in response!!! We need MORE Michaels in the field!!!
Please keep yourself safe Michael, you have made an enemy of the Spanish and I for one do not trust them as far as I could throw one of their insipid terrorist pandering politicians. Watch your back around these cowards, Michael!!!
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# Pedro 2010-03-15 07:45
(without looking further back) in military matters, we have been at war with all European countries that had at that time from Holland to France, from Britain to Russia through Sweden, Portugal, the Ottoman Empire Algeria or Morocco. Almost always won, sometimes lost and we had so many civil wars, uprisings and revolutions that maybe that's why, we were deeply etched in blood and fire the horror of war and all the ills associated with it. Throughout the centuries we have bled in the demographic and have ruined economically dying or migrating hundreds of thousands of Spanish. Only now after many years we are recovering a bit to our old selves and thriving (if we leave the current crisis).
The data that gives you about the latest conflict in which we played were incorrect. Napoleon? Buff, if it goes backwards, that if, without knowing the real story. Napo said the same thing my big mistake was the invasion of Spain, Spanish rose en masse on May 2 1808ganano his army battles (dance) and the `people made the mountain initiating what became known as guerrilla warfare word known around the world and that is Spanish, of course. More than 500,000 soldiers of the best army in those days were unable to subdue a peasant pcos and an army that yano was like before. Seems to have a very selective memory. We left Morocco for the UN so decided, like France and even then there were two conflicts, Sahara and Sidi Ifni. The sahara we left by the weakness of the government of the time (Franco was dying) and that what we faced was the "Green March" composed by civilians so he decided to leave the territory to prevent a slaughter. The Green March has become known after it was funded by the U.S.. In Sidi Ifni win was in 1957 I think (by the way that the latter had to use old aircraft that our "American Friend" vetoed the use of which they had bought. In Chile and Peru had a diplomatic and economic disputes from to many years and fleet admiral threatened you with Mendez Nunez was shot and when the Admiral said that about "The Queen and I prefer to honor without ships than ships without honor, of course, the fleet stood quite still you Like the English ships were there. You'll also recall that in its war of independence Mr. Galvez organized a small army to attack in Florida and the British navy of Spain (yet severe) collaborated with France in their struggle. King Carlos III gave several million reais to help and more than half of its territory was then the crown of the Kingdom of Spain. As you paid us?. Starting a war for Cuba under the false pretext the sinking of the battleship "Maine" thing you have recognized same time. Cuba for us it was a colony, if not a province, a darling, full of Spanish and Spanish children, was the pearl of the Caribbean. The first A railway built in Spain we did there as well as universities, cathedrals, schools ... yet we feel deep inside and our love for the Cubans still alive, even the dictator Castro is the son of Spanish, you know?. Besides, that war was lost because politicians of the time. The fleet was not bad but lacked resources, coal, ammunition, personnel and badly maintained. It was an ocean fleet with ironclad vessels with less firepower but quicker so the strategy was a mistake used. It would have been much more effective attack and block the Atlantic port exploiting the characteristics of the boats. you would have been forced to defend their ports and forget about Cuba. On land we also win, we have 300,000 troops there, equipped with rifles Mauser was the best at that time but politicians again adopted a defensive strategy to have the numerical advantage and be well armed. Our leaders were always exceptions except nefarious Emperor Charles V, Philip II, Charles III and in modern times Felipe Adolfo Suárez González and under King Juan Carlos I. Finally, in the Second World War did not participate by leaving a civil war, the country was devastated and the dictator Franco thought it best to remain neutral despite pressure from Hitler . must be all that Franco did well.
Yet Franco allowed the formation of a division of volunteers to fight the Communists in the Russian front. Militarily speaking soldiers were considered excellent.
It seems right that I said that about "with friends like these who needs enemies",
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# Hemlock 2010-03-15 09:02
Think I got lost.. What is this blog about?
...Is it about how terrible-masoni c-communist-ter rorist-antiamer ican-islamic is the spanish government of spanish President Zapatero?
or... Maybe is it about the situation and behaving of the allied troops in Afghan?
Why, in the hell, do these lads not look for another anti-gov blog? They've got thousands of them
Gosh, these patriotic spaniards, kind of chetniks, for them, everybody is red and love to kill each other, all day talking about who's got bigger cojones, maybe they don't realize that their caudillo is dead long time ago, by the way, Hitler and Mussolini as well are dead, ...they should wake up and take a look at the free world, come on, let's rock
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-1 # Graeme 2010-03-15 10:05
Hola Francisco, le refiero a lo que escribí en inglés fechada 08.03.

Antes del 11-M, a pesar que 90% (no 80 si me acuerdo bien) de los españoles se pusierorn en contra de la guerra de Irak, todos los sondeos enseñaban un ventaja de 7% a favor del Partido de José María Aznar. Cuando Al Qa'eda atentó en Atocha, España rindió y votó para el Partido de Zapatero como quería Al Qa'eda. Sin este 'ayuda externa' PSOE no hubiera ganado las elecciones de 14.03.04. Además, después, Zapatero se rectificó sobre la retirada de las tropas españoles de Irak. Pero todo era un engaño. Declaró que si ciertos condiciones se cumplieron con el ONU por EEUU llega cierta fecha, se quedarían. Pués, que pasó Francisco? Una semana así antes de la fecha tope de Zapatero, cuando EEUU estaba a borde de llegar a dicho acuerdo con el UNO reclamado por Zapatero, él anunció la retirada unilateral de sus tropas. Que mala fe. Que malvado. Que deshonradez.

Mira Francisco, soy Britanico. Llevo más de 7 años aquí en España. Gracias a José María Aznar España es un país ejemplar en tratar con el terrorismo domestico - a verguenza nuestra que nos entregamos a PIRA (imaginatelo Otegi en el gobierno del País Vasco a cambio de 'la paz'!) - pero cuando se trata del Estados Unidos y la guerra contra el terrorism islamico, el español por medio tiene una intolerancia patalógico. Los comentarios 'anti-yanqui' aquí no son atipicos de la intolerancia horripilante anti-estadounid ense aquí. Seguro que bastante de los 'anglo' aquí se enfadan con España por este asunto, pero no es exactamente sin provocación, no?

Claro que el ejercíto de la tierra de España es una fuerza militar con gran tradición y hazañas de valentía, pero si lo que ha puesto Michael Yon es de verdad, y no hay razón para dudarlo, parece que el mando do las fuerzas militares españoles en este base Afgano es de la misma indolé de sus jefes politicos Zapatero y Blanco.

Lo que va mano a mano en España con el anti-'norte'ame ricanismo siempre es el anti-semitismo. Nos acordemos del libelo de sangre de Blanco cuando Israel lanzó un ataque defensivo contra Hizbollah en el libano "civiles son blancos buscados". Ni olvidemos de las palabras delatados de Zapatero en una cena de la Moncloa privada "se puede entender el Holocuasto".

Bajo Aznar España tuvo mucho honor. Con Zapatero tiene verguenza.

Saludos de Barcelona
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# another 2010-03-15 13:06
1. it's called sarcasm and an attempt to make you return to the subject of this blog issue.
2. do you really want to compare Obama with Zapatero? Calling the latter pathetic is being kind.
4. I'm beginning to think Malawi would make a better ally
5. we disagree. Also, you contadict yourself: for you US history begins on the 4th of July, as if a bunch of innate beings without values, ideals and concerns set out to create a new country that day, yet in 4. above the US is really descended from Spain. Heaven forbid!
6. in a previous mail: "About the war against Napoleon we were the first army that defeated the invincible(then ) french army" You weren't referring to Bailen, to what then? So, Wellington and his Anglo-Portugues e army were really the enemy together with the French. I can now add crass historical ingratitude to your list of attributes.
Yes, I believe what I have read about the Spanish treatment of US servicemen at QEN.
7. Yes Blas, My Lai existed, but you have to relate to a small and punished massacre as comparison to the 200,000 or so murdered prisoners in your civil war.
You're a great Wikipedia scholar, but should try other sources. Your defence of the Blue Division and attempt to make us believe the Nazis were frightened of you is contemptible. Do you have a blue shirt in your closet, how often do you face the sun with your arm in the air?
8. As said, start learning mandarin and forget about democracy. However, seeing the rest of your message, you evidence fascist views, so democracy is not something you'll miss.
So I'm funny, I wish I could say something positive about what I have read of yours. This episode in QEN is also now part of history and once again your country's image has been sullied by the perfidious Anglo-Saxons. Get a life. Bye
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# another 2010-03-16 01:49
I have now read Michael Yon's latest blog article (dated March 15) and it is no longer clear that Spanish troops treated US servicemen in the way initially described.
There will be suspicion that what we are now witnessing is a politically-mot ivated whitewash aimed at smoothing feathers within the Coalition and it should be interesting to read Michael's blog over the next few weeks on this subject. Nevertheless, I now feel two things are warranted:
1. someone in the US army has made a mistake in either exaggerating incidents or providing a whitewash for them and should be accountable for this. Let's hope we actually find out which of the two it is.
2. in the meantime, I for one feel the necessity to apologize for my criticism of those specific and now questionable actions. It goes to show that a journalist has to double-check sources. Unfortunately, much of what has been written here, by myself included, evidences discrepancies between "allies" that go far beyond this incident and those won't go away anytime soon.
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+1 # Magellan4441 2010-03-23 07:59
I can only laugh at all this...So much injuried Spanish pride and so much US bravado...
I ask again Mr Yon if he confirms or not the alleged rude treatment by the spaniards. If you do not want to answer here, send me an email. I do not belive it. If it is true I´ll start sending mails to whoever in Spain to try to change it, but, honestly, I do not believe it.
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-1 # Big Time 2010-03-26 11:51
There are many nations who claim to be 'allies' of the US, primarily for the foreign aid we pay them to be our 'allies'. But in all honesty, we have only a very few true 'allies'. Spain isn't one of them. Canada, UK, Australia, Italy, perhaps South Korea and Japan, and a few other northern European nations are. For that we thank you. But really, aside from these countries, what do the others have to offer, especially in the way of military capability in theater? Not much. As mentioned many times on this thread, they are merely 'coat-tail' allies.


As unfortunate as the situaiton is, and I'm sure there are other in the AOR just as bad, it is exactly these types of situations in which the US miitary men and women thrive and excel. They'll figure out a way to get it done or work around it. Adapt and overcome is the mantra. It's what we do best. Hoo-aah!
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+1 # JmDt 2010-05-26 08:03
I'm 1 Lt in the Spanish military (light infantry) and I have been deployed in Qala-I-Naw as Platoon Leader.
The Spanish soldiers are no responsable of their chain of command or the government decisions as happens today in Afghanistan or few years ago in Iraq.
We have more restrictive ROES and Cavetas and all the operational decisions involving the deliberate use of force are ordered directly from madrid.

I am in the infantry and me and my soldiers are doing their best.
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+1 # Mike Benish 2010-06-05 01:04
JmDT. Speaks the truth. I am back at Qala-E-Naw as I write this. I visit both bases on a daily basis. The Spanish have been nothing but professional, cooperative and supportive of everything we do here. We needed EOD support and got it. No questions. I speak with both 82nd and Spanish soldiers on a daily basis. They have an excellent relationship. I do consider the Spanish allies.

US Army
Special Forces Retired.
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+1 # Tyler Wallis 2010-11-29 07:08
i see a couple problems here. first of all no one knows if the email was even real. second more people are concerned with name calling and history lessons then actually fixing the problem. i may not know much about this particular battle but i know damn well what it takes to win. morale and cooperation from allies. im not dissing spain because im not really sure if this negligence was intended or not. but stop the immature squabbling alright? you know things are sad when a 17 year old boy (me) has a better head on his shoulders then most of the soldiers on this blog.
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# Retired SFC 2011-06-27 01:20
I worked with the Spanish Army in Germany and the NCO corps was a shell wishing for better days. The officers were often wealthy and titled and lacked interoperabilit y. The NCOs were willing but limited in their scope of allowed duties. If the Spanish dislike us it is a leadership and political problem, most Spanish soldiers I met just needed leadership and direction and to make sure someone had their back. Many other countries in Afghanistan take this for granted because they are more evolved. I have worked with German, Canadian and British and I always worked things out at a soldier level because we had resources. This LTC does not have this because of remoteness and unwilling leadership souring the possible solutions, but it will get worse as soldiers with weak leadership point fingers for their reduced circumstances
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