Stuck in the Mud

24 September 2012

2011-09-23-0001-1000Chazray Clark was blown up in September 2011. His buddies posted his image on the door, and on the wall of our tent. Nearly everyone in the tent had been wounded at least once.

Before Staff Sergeant Matthew Sitton was blown up and killed in Afghanistan, he wrote to U.S. Representative Bill Young about incompetent leadership and meaningless risk-taking in this hollow war.  Matthew was on his third Afghan tour.

The Soldier’s words are emblematic of the realities and frustrations of a war that many Americans do not realize is still on.  The veteran wrote, “As a Brigade, we are averaging at a minimum an amputee a day from our soldiers because we are walking around aimlessly through grape rows and compounds that are littered with explosives.”

 

2011-09-19-111435-1000U.S. weapon destroyed when an Afghan Soldier stepped on a bomb in Zhari in September 2011.

Combine that lethal meandering with the fact that our troops are inadequately trained in Ground Sign Awareness (GSA), and are nearly blind when it comes to combat tracking, and it is no wonder that we take so many casualties.  Much of the billions of dollars that we spent on counter-IED gadgets were wasted.  We burned the money.  Most counter-IED appliances cannot be used in the places where our people walk.

In southern Afghanistan, all but a few gadgets are useless in those fields, grape rows, and villages.  Dogs are of limited use.  Matthew wrote truthfully that many missions are about nothing in particular.  They are busywork, combat style, in fields of bombs, where small-arms ambushes and snipers are the daily norm.  Plenty of veterans can vouch for the authenticity of Matthew’s observations. Ask them.

Yet the enemy is not the cause of most frustrations.  This is war.  We try to frustrate each other and this is expected.  The worst frustrations are caused by our own leadership, by our Afghan cohorts, and because we create our own obstacles.  Nothing is more maddening than watching the incompetence of our own side become more disadvantageous than enemy bombs and bullets. We are not just fighting the enemy. We are fighting against ourselves.

image005-1000SecDef Panetta: Fan of Red Crosses and unarmed MEDEVAC helicopters.

For example, after 11 years of war, our leadership is still forcing unarmed MEDEVAC helicopters to fly over Afghanistan.  They force our pilots and crews to fly into danger, unarmed, while displaying the Red Cross, the symbol of the Crusaders.  I would give a hundred bucks to fly a Red Cross-emblazoned Blackhawk into a hot LZ with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey aboard.

Secretary Panetta and our Generals pretend that we must display Red Crosses to be in compliance with the Geneva Conventions.  This is false.  We are not obligated to display the Red Cross. None of our allied partners display them on their helicopters in Afghanistan.  The Norwegians and other armies removed them.  It was nothing more than common sense.

The Taliban pay no heed to the Geneva Conventions.  When our MEDEVACs do display the Red Cross, it is illegal for them to carry offensive weapons.  The Taliban know this. A helicopter wearing the Red Cross is defenseless. Red Crosses do not just offend the religious sensibilities of the Taliban: they embolden them. The Taliban consider our MEDEVACs to be an easy kill. And they are.

Is it any wonder that we are losing this war? Red Crosses themselves are not entirely to blame, obviously, but they are indicative of poor generalship, and we have had that in abundance. Pundits blame this disaster on former President Bush, on Obama, on the press, on our ISAF partners, and most of all on the Neolithic Afghan “government,” all of which are rancid ingredients of this unhealthy pie. But the reality is that the U.S. military leadership has failed. Who does the President ask for options? He asks the Generals. Our Generals have helped morph Afghanistan into a bomb and opium factory.

Even if our Presidents had made perfect decisions, incompetent military leadership and the inability of our current leaders to execute maneuvers more complex than blunt trauma would still have hobbled them.  It took years for us to get serious about training Afghan forces. When we finally got underway, we did it sloppily, and we have lost many men due in part to our haste and our poor security measures.

America needs a purge of its top military Generals.  Not a wholesale purge, as there are some good leaders, but we have too many Generals and attempts to weed them down have failed.  We need to get back to basics.

2011-08-04-052459-1000Zhari District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.

After 11 years, our troops are inadequately and inappropriately trained, and wrongly outfitted.  Money has never been the issue.  Americans were not stingy.  The money supply was generous.  We used the money to buy monster trucks with space-tech gadgets that cannot go off-road on even semi-rough terrain, and counter-IED gear that cannot find simple bombs, because the bombs are too simple. Most of Afghanistan has no roads.  Using these monster trucks is like running missions while staying on railroad tracks. The enemy knows exactly where we will be.  They are not running from us.  If you sit still, they will come.  Believe me.

In Zhari District, the enemy is accurate with their 82mm recoilless rifles, which easily penetrate our armor.  The enemy can stop us with a real or a decoy IED, and then take out four vehicles in thirty seconds.

Inside the wire, Green on Blue and insider attacks have reached an all-time high.  Our Afghan counterparts murder our troops on a near weekly basis.  (Green on Blue refers to Afghan forces attacking ISAF forces.  Insider attacks refer to Afghan contractors, etc., doing the same, and include Green on Blue.)

When you ask top commanders about the war, the response is something straight out of Apocalypse Now.  The supreme officer in our military is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey.  Just this week, Dempsey is quoted on the JCS website:

“The surge had its intended effect,” Dempsey added. “I think it was an effort that was worth the cost -- and don’t forget, it did have its cost. But I think it will prove, as we look back on it, to have set the conditions necessary for us to achieve the objectives by the end of 2014.”

Who does Dempsey think that he is talking to with his comment, “and don’t forget, it did have its cost”?  We get it, General Dempsey.  Loud and clear.  We wonder if you do.

General Dempsey is a favorite on the milblog Small Wars Journal.  The SWJ editor-in-chief is a journalist named Dave Dilegge, a retired service member, and a director at the Small Wars Foundation.  With those credentials, we might expect that Dilegge spends much time downrange to help tune his BS sensors.  If not downrange … at minimum, we would expect him to be at work in a dark basement poring over information streaming in from myriad sources.

The truth of the matter is that amateur journalist and editor Dave Dilegge owns and operates a food truck in Largo, Florida.

imagetruck-1000Office of Dave Dilegge, editor-in-chief of the influential Small Wars Journal.

truckinside-1000Nothing against food trucks, but this is hardly the place to come for advice on Afghanistan, on small wars, or on nation building. Nevertheless, for folks who would like a free counterinsurgency consultation, or to book this food truck for a party, go here.

General Dempsey seems to have booked the food truck.  He does a good job pushing his word out through the service window.  This is a safe way to peddle information.  Critics who actually spend time on the ground in Afghanistan are dangerous, on the other hand: they know too much.

Some of us want more than street food.  We want to know why Camp Bastion security was breached, and we want to know how the Taliban destroyed a Marine Corps Harrier squadron. Who has been held responsible? Who was fired?  HQ in Kabul refused to give me the name of who was in charge of Bastion security.  Typical cover-up.

American taxpayers paid hard earned money for those Harriers, and now they are wreckage.  $200 million is gone.  We lost two U.S. Marines who were trying to save those jets, including the squadron commander, who by all accounts was an outstanding officer.  Our men are gone.

Why is it that sangers (guard towers) sometimes are unmanned in Afghanistan?  Since 2010, I have written about unmanned sangers at least twice, and now word comes that unmanned sangers were the norm at the Bastion base complex.

image009-1000General Dempsey: Fan of Red Crosses, unarmed MEDEVACs, and food truck information operations.

Comments   

 
+14 # Mad DogMike S. 2012-09-24 17:23
Get Gen. Mattis out of retirement. He would get shit moving.
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+8 # Former USMCTom McSweeney 2012-09-24 18:01
Didnt realize Jim Mattis had retired, living in India sa an expat, never see much coverage on the war.
What is so disgusting is the callous attitude towards the worth of an American soldier/Marine' s life, who are constantly boots on the ground. Our Generals, and SecDef worry too much about image across the world, of which, most despise us and our standard of living. As Michael suggests, put the General's and SecDef in harms way, or their children, and see the immediate changes that would occurr. When this is all over, we need to step back and reflect on how we could have fought this differently and to how to win! Our current situation is a needless loss of American lives due to the ROE that our troops are forced to adhere too.
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+1 # Camp Bastion Cover UpBritinOz 2012-09-28 09:14
Michael, good on you for trying to follow up on the Camp Bastion attack. Clearly there was a catastrophic failure of security that allowed the attack to occur. From what I've read, the RAF spin machine is in full swing telling us how successful the counter-attack was, but failing to acknowledge that the ball was severely dropped when it came to securing the base. Somebody needs to explain the circumstances that lead to the deaths of two US marines died and the near destruction of an entire Harrier squadron.
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0 # RE: Mad DogMore Liberty 2012-11-02 15:02
Quoting Mike S.:
Get Gen. Mattis out of retirement. He would get shit moving.


I was thinking the same thing. Mad-dog Mattis is old-school. He isn't some PC ass-kisser. He tells it like it is, and doesn't mind getting into the mix.
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+5 # In WWIDanEngels 2012-09-24 17:29
There was a moment when the soldiers didn't take it anymore. The enemy wasn't aware of this situation. Some got heavily panelized for that. But it resulted in a change of command and that started the war to turn around.
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+16 # $Billions vs. Brainsin_awe 2012-09-24 17:31
Your summary of the situation is infuriating because all of the issues are known and resolvable by someone with a backbone and true concern for our troops.

The Red Cross issue comes down to "optics" for the brass - they somehow feel that seeing a Red Cross on a helicopter is a morale boost for our troops and a symbol of international responsibility to our enemies. Insane.

There are many reports and studies that document that tracked vehicles are much more effective in soft sand, mud, flooded areas, grades, etc. In fact, one study I read showed repeatedly that wheeled vehicles failed to even complete test courses, let alone perform better than the cheaper tracked vehicles they were competing against.

Sometime someone will show that the Rules of Engagement as practiced by our military has cost hundreds (or thousands) of unnecessary WIA and KIA in Iraq and Afghanistan. And to what end? Trying placate pacifist politicians and media?

The Army Surgeon General touts how she is running the world's 5th largest HMO. Her top priority in 2012 has been to put a pedometer on the waistband of every soldier in the US Army. Address the severe issues in MEDEVAC policies and practices, medic training, expanded Tactical Combat Casualty Care training, etc.? No. Her priority is running an HMO.

The list is seemingly endless. Where are the adults in the military? That SSG Sitton's life was wasted in the way it was is a clarion call for change in the way things are done. But who in a position of authority and power will stand up for the troops? Who?

Pray daily for our brave troops.
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+9 # Thanks for your postChris Higgins 2012-09-24 17:32
I appreciate your candor. Your observations mesh with what I hear from my son and other young folks from my community who are serving. I seem to remember a rash of resignations of General Officers when the War in Iraq started. Is that accurate? Could that be where all the competent Generals went? As an outsider it looks to me that our Army is filled with Generals trying to cover their butts and avoid failure rather than striving to succeed.
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+6 # makes me cringePeter 2012-09-24 17:34
Michael, my daughter married while living in Japan. For their honeymoon, in 2006, they motorbiked form Hanoi down to Siagon-Ho Chi Minh City, and posted it along the way on Facebook or you tube. I was aghast, having served in the Army during Viet Nam, although I did not go there. Still, to think where Viet Nam is 40 years later is mind boggling. I guess your right. We should pull out of Afghanistan. This is now a war of attrition, or a "holding position" war, just like Viet Nam ended up being. Little strategic goals, and only policing action. I hate to think what might fill up the vacuum, with Alqueda and the Taliban, but maybe we can hope it will be like Viet Nam. Pray is still an answer.
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+10 # CW4(Ret)USADan Jacobs 2012-09-24 17:36
You will notice Gen Dempsey,s ribbons. No Vietnam service. Not his fault. That generation is no longer active. But we are making the same mistakes in running current wars. Ironically, this BS started at about the time of the time Persian Gulf War. Witnessed it first hand. What debacle will it take for us to learn and not repeat past mistakes? I dont have an answer.
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+6 # RE: Stuck in the MudDeidre 2012-09-24 17:45
The war seems to be riddled with officers of the highest rank who demonstrate the Peter Principle. Incompetence, callousness, political correctness and a desire to look good to their master (and I don't mean the American people). Do they care if we win? Doesn't look like it. Our soldiers, sailors and Marines are losing their limbs and lives for nothing. Excuse me while I puke on their crisp uniforms.
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+7 # RE: RE: Stuck in the MudMary Dixon 2012-09-24 18:55
Quoting Deidre:
The war seems to be riddled with officers of the highest rank who demonstrate the Peter Principle. Incompetence, callousness, political correctness and a desire to look good to their master (and I don't mean the American people). Do they care if we win? Doesn't look like it. Our soldiers, sailors and Marines are losing their limbs and lives for nothing. Excuse me while I puke on their crisp uniforms.


Amen!! It turns a 'war' into nothing but a meat grinder. I'd like to see the fools actually over there joining everyone in that daily jobs there. I'd like to see the brass injured and wait an hour for a MEDEVAC show up. What do they care about IEDs? Have any of them been close to one?
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+15 # RE: Stuck in the Mudannie 2012-09-24 17:55
The enemies within the camp are always more dangerous than those without, Mike. You know that. We have lots of enemies within the camp now days...within our own Country. All we have right now is a propaganda machine and unfortunately too many citizens take it all in without questioning it. Ignorance has been used way too long as the excuse for our high ranking politicians and some Generals. At some point you have to realize they do what they do on purpose. Incompetent Military Generals are not the only ones who need to be "purged." At this point our country is committing suicide and everyone is too PC and too nice to do a dang thing about it. Thanks Mike, for the truth. Truth is what we need and then we need to put our words to action. You're not the only one they hate by the way...anyone who speaks the truth now days catches hell for it.
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+14 # RE: Stuck in the MudServed_In_79 2012-09-24 17:56
Not enough people are sick to their stomachs with what is happening and there are precious few journalists who post solid observations. The POTUS is so insulated and oblivious, he thinks the death of our Libyan ambassador and the others who bravely fought in the consulate are merely bumps in the road. Clarity of purpose with this war is not coming the top, and his overall foreign policy is beginning to show particular patterns.

Too many citizens are distracted to demand action, and even fewer know how to apply the right measures to bring about solid results.

I'm reminded of Rome at it's peak, and various legions that simply disappeared in battle because their efforts were so far away from the daily amusement.


May God bless your efforts and may He keep our soldiers safe despite the incompetence of a military bureaucracy.
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+13 # Fish rots...Rich 2012-09-24 18:07
from the head down.

Leon Panetta is just Les Aspin with nicer ties. There isn't anyone from the White House on down Mark Clark wouldn't have cashiered the first day.

What a sorry pile of PC leadership. Let the purges begin!!
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-1 # RE: Fish rots...MotherGoos3 2012-11-04 01:12
AMEN! SecDef should never have been approved with all his prior communist ties. He has been anti-military, anti-American throughout his entire career.

http://www.aim.org/aim-column/who-checked-out-leon-panetta/

http://www.keywiki.org/index.php/Leon_Panetta

http://www.trevorloudon.com/2012/09/trevor-loudon-outs-leon-panetta-video-do-you-know-who-panetta-really-is-loudon-on-ron-paul-foreign-policy/

All this is just so heartbreaking.
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+9 # All or nothingTheOldMan 2012-09-24 18:35
It seems obvious to me that if you decide to deploy soldiers, then do it whole hog; otherwise stay away. Dribbling out effort only plays to the enemy's strengths while ignoring ours. But I'm a total civi so what do I know about military strategy?
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+6 # Military Industrial Complex KillsSun Tzu 2012-09-24 18:58
Having worked for the MIC I can categorically state that many of the concepts brought to them by the military/govern ment are never questioned for effectiveness or reliability in the actual field of operations by those getting paid to deliver said "ideas"! If you do raise questions or concerns you are told to shut up and just do the job, period!

The rear area military dolts coming up with the "ideas" and the engineers designing and building same never actually go to the AOP and see the real conditions in which these "ideas" fail miserably. They just sit back and make up "CYA" excuses of why the "ideas" did not work as advertised, etc, etc.!!

This is current state of the miserable fallacy that is the MIC supply chain. No one is thinking about or talking to the folks actually fielding and using the over priced bloated garbage that is being fielded presently in name of "HiTech" warfare, which in places like AFPak is mostly useless.

The valuable and deadly lessons of Vietnam and SEA have been lost on the current military and civilian leaders and it's costing us more than we are willing to spend!

Thanks Michael bringing an important matter to everyones attention that I have companied about openly since joining the Air Force in 1975!
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+3 # RE: Stuck in the MudHeath 2012-09-24 20:49
My first reaction to seeing pictures of our U.S. Troops still living in tents ? Now I think I understand what the returning veterans at the VFW bar say when they say they are afraid to sleep and have their throats cut or the enemy uses mortars. Tents ? Really ? Come on seriously after 11 years there should be fortified areas for sleeping with air conditioning for our troops. Make it Steel City U.S.A. on our military bases overseas. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has steel and they would be glad to help our troops. Our troops can build anything, make one for our generals & top leadership over there and both enlisted personnel have air conditioning. The troops at the VFW tell me it is very hard to get any sleep in this miserable heat. Time to start treating our veterans the right way.. I could understand the first year over there with tents but 11 years later there are still tents ? Un-acceptable. Get our troops armed, fed and ready for battle just like fresh troops, not exhausted, tired GI Joes. Fresh n' Fighting U.S. Troops is what the American people need. Thank you Michael Yon for the hard work & prayers go with you and the US Troops & the US Generals who will make things right for our Fresh n' Fighting U.S. Troops.
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+4 # It's an image thing...Sun Tzu 2012-09-25 00:58
The politicos and the brass never wanted anyone to get the slightest impression that we are in AfPak to stay or appear to make a permanent base of operations, therefore the slacker tents :o

How long have we been in that shite hole :-?

But God forbid we should ever look like we intend to be there any real length of time :-?
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+1 # It's not the MIC, it's US management in generalEngineer Mario 2012-09-24 20:52
Two issues, Michael:
1. You stated this : "SecDef Panetta: Fan of Red Crosses and unarmed MEDEVAC helicopters."
Do you have a URL or anything to back that claim? If Panetta had declared that publicly, I'd be the first one writing him and my reps that I am displeased and they need more facts. Panetta has *not* forced the Air Force Pedros to put crosses on, so you are possibly painting with a frustrated but broad brush - unwisely. I believe they simply look to their Joint Chiefs and generals to make service specific recommendations . You'd be the first ones to accuse them of micro managing if they did otherwise.

2. I agree with 95% of "Sun Tzu" comments in spirit but a critical 5% misses the mark. I am one of those engineers who spent time in the field on a radar installation in a war zone. I brought home very valuable lessons that colored the rest of my career. But Sun Tzu is correct, I am an exception. Throughout corporate America - including the Military Industrial bits - there is a disconnect between the street level reality of field operations and senior management. I attribute it to the rise of the finance weenies. Whereas when I started my career, my boss, and his boss had done my job, that does not exist now. Today, the Excel slingers with zero street level experience have reached critical mass. So the emphasis becomes less about whether something is effective in field (i.e, fitness for purpose) and far more about the profitability. Customer came with a requirement, it got translated into an excel spreadsheet and analyzed for profitability, and in the end is fielded that way. If you have clueless Middle Management in the Army with no field experience issuing an RFP for a product that does X, asking them "What is it that you really want to do?" is not part of the RFP response.
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+3 # Ain't it the truth;-)Sun Tzu 2012-09-24 22:33
Quoting Engineer Mario:
I agree with 95% of "Sun Tzu" comments in spirit but a critical 5% misses the mark. I am one of those engineers who spent time in the field on a radar installation in a war zone. I brought home very valuable lessons that colored the rest of my career. But Sun Tzu is correct, I am an exception.

Thanks for the follow up Mario as you are spot on also ;-)
When I was in trenches as a military contractor, the Army had instituted a program where the folks who where going to use the equipment we where building, worked right along side of us while we First Article tested the design and worked out the bugs and all through 8) the final production and testing.

What was initially fielded was design tested by the users and when fully implemented was the latest and greatest in the world, the cats meow as they say 8)

Apparently that idea has been scrapped in favor of raping the taxpayers and screwing over the troops :sad:
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+3 # gachong84gachong 2012-09-24 21:19
While working in Iraq I had the opportunity to share an after hours beer with a British liaison officer to our General staff. He claimed extreme disappointment and amazement at our general staff--not the sort he'd heard about from WWII era as a boy growing up. No one brought up original or contradictory ideas or even obvious questions, just a lot of head nodding and keeping your head down and between the General's cheeks. A sorry state, especially for Americans. It would be nice to get the Petreases and Pittards up front and center but since so many of our major politicians--in either party--have ever served, they will probably continue to rely on REMFs for their military advice. Are there any veterans organizations capable or making noise about this?9pmsg
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+2 # never servedgachong 2012-09-24 21:22
Sorry,
typo in my previous email. Should have read, ". . .since . . .our politicians--in either party--have never served. . . ."
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-4 # There's no profitJonathan Halsey 2012-09-24 21:37
...in peace. Every piece of armament destroyed, every bullet spent are dollars in the pockets of the sociopaths that rule the world.
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+2 # Poor SoulSun Tzu 2012-09-24 22:40
Quoting Jonathan Halsey:
...in peace. Every piece of armament destroyed, every bullet spent are dollars in the pockets of the sociopaths that rule the world.


He obviously cannot bear the strain 8)

BTW who do you think "rules the world" as you put it :-?
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+8 # Wow..Bryan Andrew 2012-09-24 21:56
In my opinion, that was one of the best dispatches yet. Thank you again Michael.
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-9 # RE: Stuck in the MudJennifer 2012-09-24 23:12
It disgusts me that you belittle Mr. Deligge's service in order to "prove" your (invalid) point while your own service is questionable. Mr. Dilegge is a highly respected RETIRED HUMINT officer, meaning he served exponentlially longer than you (20 years) and acquired much more experience, to include Operation Desert Storm. But you don't mention that to your readers.

While you belittle him and make snide comments about his food truck, you yourself are doing little more than sitting on your 4th point in Thailand. How anyone can take anything you write seriously is beyond me.
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+6 # So What!Sun Tzu 2012-09-25 01:30
I looked Mr. Digllegge's site and all I see is newsreader feeds in which Mr D seems to have a penchant for putting his By Line on same :o

I don't follow milblogs and other such low level sites, so I don't know who the other so called contributors are and not going to waste my time finding out :zzz

Respected by whom :-?

Don't see where he gets off declaring to be a "world policy" mill and hub of influence :-?

Pretty strong stuff when we have organizations like the the Council on Foreign Relations and other such high powered think tanks that make folks like Mr D look like rank amateurs :eek:

This is the typical attack response of a indoctrinated sycophant (or one of Mr. D's relatives) who cannot see the differences here of what is really worthwhile and of real importance, over emotional semantics and irrelevant word associations :-?

BTW I did not and still do not see where Michael belittled Mr D's service, just current judgments and associations :-*
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-5 # RE: So What!Jennifer 2012-09-25 12:40
Quoting Sun Tzu:
I looked Mr. Digllegge's site and all I see is newsreader feeds in which Mr D seems to have a penchant for putting his By Line on same :o

I don't follow milblogs and other such low level sites, so I don't know who the other so called contributors are and not going to waste my time finding out :zzz

Respected by whom :-?

Don't see where he gets off declaring to be a "world policy" mill and hub of influence :-?

Pretty strong stuff when we have organizations like the the Council on Foreign Relations and other such high powered think tanks that make folks like Mr D look like rank amateurs :eek:

This is the typical attack response of a indoctrinated sycophant (or one of Mr. D's relatives) who cannot see the differences here of what is really worthwhile and of real importance, over emotional semantics and irrelevant word associations :-?

BTW I did not and still do not see where Michael belittled Mr D's service, just current judgments and associations :-*


Allow me:

"With those credentials, we might expect that Dilegge spends much time downrange to help tune his BS sensors. If not downrange … at minimum, we would expect him to be at work in a dark basement poring over information streaming in from myriad sources.

The truth of the matter is that amateur journalist and editor Dave Dilegge owns and operates a food truck in Largo, Florida."

Mr. Dilegge HAS been downrange-IN UNIFORM. That is something Mr. Yon has not done. He also has roughly 7 times the time in service that Mr. Yon has.

Your insinuation that I am either family or a sycophant is laughable and the mark of a person with a weak argument. I only recently became aware of his existence, so your claim couldn't be farther from the truth.

The fact remains that Mr. Yon's own service is minimal, yet he feels he's more qualified to speak than someone with actual combat experience. And you, good little sycophant that you are, lap it up as if he's the final authority on everything.

Please, spare me the rhetoric.
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+5 # Can't sand the truth...Sun Tzu 2012-09-25 17:09
As usual when you expose a truth you usually find a layer of supporters of those who object to the truth being exposed. 8)

By calling out the facts of Mr D's present actions that have no bearing on the past but only on the present and the future we have here a pathetic attempt by one of those "supporters" to succor Mr D's feeble attempts at being any kind of viable influence in a world of self proclaiming John the Baptists come to proclaim that they have all the right answers, and make money off of same, WRONG! :-?

As for rhetoric little lady you had better hike up your garters because the rhetoric you spew in defense of something that never happened is pretty pathetic and lame :o
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-6 # RE: Can't sand the truth...Jennifer 2012-09-25 22:36
Since you've obviously the intellect of a lima bean, I'll spell it out for you.

Mr. Yon clearly stated tha anything Mr. Dilegge's credentials gave him no authority to speak on matters of war because he has a food truck, conveniently omitting the fact that he was a HUMINT officer for 20 years and actually deployed to a combat zone, something Mr. Yon can not say of himself.

NOTHING I have said here is untrue. Nothing. Are you disputing that?

While you're at it, why don't you lose the nom de plume and go ahead and tell everyone whom you really are. I'm sure they'd get a kick out of that.
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+4 # RE: RE: Can't sand the truth...Sun Tzu 2012-09-26 19:37
Nom de plume yourself and get off the Pentagon network!

I thought it was illegal for government employees to use government computers and networks in such a way :-?

Oh yeah, that's right your IP address is being tracked little missy, if indeed you are a woman :o
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+10 # RE: RE: Stuck in the MudJonny 2012-09-25 01:40
Yons been in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan, risking his life to cover these stories, for the last decade. Thats why we take it seriously.
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-13 # RE: RE: RE: Stuck in the MudJennifer 2012-09-25 12:43
With a camera and an ego, even endangering lives while there. There's a reason he wasn't there in uniform.

And he's been more out than in.
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+6 # Pathetic Reply to FactsSun Tzu 2012-09-25 17:28
Please show direct examples of where Michael has "endangered lives" :o

Not only are you defending "food truck" folly, but you have devolved into telling outright lies about Mike which I find typical of the weak minded who cannot further their argument with relevant facts but has to throw out lies and demeaning insults in the process, sorta like what the Democrats and the Obomination is doing to anyone who opposes their hidden agenda of Communism and socialism!

Comments like those of Jennifer and her ilk show they know nothing about the real world and are wrapped up in a lamestream media mentality that crushes the inconvenient truth and promotes fantasies of how "they" would like the world, to be or not to be 8)

Insult and lie about Mike some more and see what you get little lady :-?
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-6 # RE: Pathetic Reply to FactsJennifer 2012-09-25 22:32
"See what you get"? Really? Do tell. I'm waiting.
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+8 # 867 5309!Heywood Jablomi 2012-09-25 22:47
Quoting Jennifer:
With a camera and an ego, even endangering lives while there. There's a reason he wasn't there in uniform.

And he's been more out than in.


I got your number from the wall.

Pray tell about Yon "endangering lives." You sound like you were there, and like you witnessed it actually happen. Surely you would not make a statement like that unless you were an eyewitness. Right?

I am dying to know the "reason he wasn't there in uniform." It sounds really juicy. Do not hold out on us, now . Tell us why Yon was not "there in uniform." You sound like you really know what you are talking about.

One more thing: you say that Mr. Dilegge "has roughly 7 times the time in service that Mr. Yon has." This is actually an easy fact for you to check, if you are not lazy, and assuming that you are interested in being factual rather than rhetorical.

It just so happens that one of Mr. Yon's numerous detractors did him an irreplaceable service by submitting a FOIA request for his military records. Then his critic published them on the internet.

I found it interesting that Mr. Yon could not be bothered to do this himself, as a common refrain among those who disparage him is that "Yon has no time in service," or better, that Yon has "no time on an A Team." Well, Mr. Yon's public military records are actually out in the wild. They can be googled by anyone with a desire to learn the truth about his service.

You will see that Mr. Dilegge does not actually have "roughly 7 times the time in service that Mr. Yon has." Let's just consider this a friendly, cordial, comradely correction between colleagues, shall we? I am sure that you are not prioritized on denigrating Mr. Yon for no good reason, right?

You have a real bone to pick, I am sure. The fact that Mr. Dilegge runs a food truck is no secret. He proudly says so on his public biographies on his websites. I wish that I was local to him, to be honest. I bet that he can make a mean Cubano. I wonder if I could get a side-order of COIN with that? Maybe an appetizer of insurrection to go?

For what it is worth, I think that lazy objections like yours are a waste of time. I am more interested in what Mr. Yon and what Mr. Dilegge are doing right now, at this moment. In fact, the topics raised by Mr. Yon in his article are actually quite significant. Why not discuss those?

I am sorry if you feel as though Mr. Dilegge was belittled. Comparing his theoretical penis size with Mr. Yon's is ultimately an irrelevant sideshow. Anyone who actually knows Mike Yon knows that he was refined by his 4 years and eleven months of active duty service, but he was not defined by it. In his case, serving 30-odd months on ODAs during peacetime was a beneficial experience. It is not, by any means, his main claim to fame.

Want to try another vector of attack, girlie? :D
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-4 # RE: 867 5309!Jennifer 2012-09-26 01:08
I really hope you get a reacharound from Yon. I really do.

A retired Marine with over 20 years service has exponentially more experience in a combat zone than a man who couldn't hack anything but a haymaker in a bar.

It amazes me no end that Yon and sycophants like you claim that all you do is for those in uniform, then act as if those who've actually worn it are beneath you and know next to nothing comparatively. That isn't an organ-measuring argument, it's one of reespect and decency- something with which neither of you are familiar.

I never argued his points of contention in his not-a-blog, only pointed out that he's (again) published a personal attack that misleads his readers into thinking he actually know more than someone with far more experience by pointing out other aspects of that person's life and omitting the the pertinent details, something with which he is all too familiar.

Never once did I claim he has no time in service, only that he has far less than those he disparages. My apologies for the error of stating "7 times". I had 3 years in my mind and 20+ years is roughly 7 times that. My bad, 5 times. Or are we going to argue semantics over that as well?

As for the rest, as Mr. Yon would say, "Google is your friend". Deal with it.
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+4 # You are amazed? I am amazed.Heywood Jablomi 2012-09-26 02:48
Silly people on the internet.

You said that Yon was "endangering lives" while in theatre. I mused that it sounds like you were there, that you witnessed this actually happening. Remember? It is right above this post. I am sure that you would not make an asinine statement like that without reason. So, lay it on me. I am all ears.

I also asked you to explain why Yon "wasn't there in uniform." You said, "there's a reason he wasn't there in uniform." What reason is that? I would love to hear about it. I would ask what "he's been more out than in" means, but I am afraid that I might regret it. I would prefer to keep this conversation above the belt. Just because you refer to "reach arounds" does not mean that I also have to squat down to a venereal level.

Your statement, "A retired Marine with over 20 years of service has exponentially more experience in a combat zone than a man who couldn't hack anything but a haymaker in a bar" is nonsensical. Read it again. You actually wrote that. It makes no sense.

Do you actually know how many years that Yon has spent in combat zones with troops? Oh, I see. That "does not count." Well, girlie, you can get just as shot carrying a camera as you can carrying a gun. But you know that. Right? I mean, why else would you be opening your cake hole and talking a mean game at the adult table if you did not also have time outside the wire?

In any case, please do not put words in my mouth. You claim that I claim that everything that I do "I do for those in uniform." I have never made that statement. Maybe in Stupid World it is a viable technique to claim that somebody said something absurd and then ridicule it, but I would prefer to stick to things that were actually stated. Not things that you allege were said. You see, you are not looking real reliable.

No one said that anyone was "beneath them." You said that. You can assert that I know nothing of "respect and decency." But how would you know? I have simply asked you to explain your own statements. You accuse Yon of publishing "personal attacks," but the only person that I see here getting personal is you.

In case you did not get the memo, "time in service" does not equate to credibility or coherence. There are a lot of stupid people who served longer than 20 years. Many of them are calling the shots right now, in fact.

In the end analysis, statements should be evaluated on their own merits--not by how many years the person who speaks them happens to have on active duty.

Now if you do not mind, I am off to look for my "reach around." Yon owes me. Or so you say. :cry:
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+2 # Teenagae TwitSun Tzu 2012-09-26 19:09
Heywood your getting into a back and forth with an obvious low intelligence twit who has no POR and no idea what she is blathering about as she herself said she "only recently learned" of the "food truck folly" :o

I suspect she and her drivel is either the regurgitation an SA or Pentagon troll trying to discredit Michael and using the usual destroy and distraction tactics of the politicos :eek:

Trying to inform and educate the inane ignorant is folly in and of itself, as they usually wither up and blow away 8)
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+4 # RE: RE: 867 5309!Deidre 2012-09-26 03:46
Just stop it, Jennifer. Your personal emotional involvement adds nothing to the discourse. How sad it is to defend someone you do not even know by disparaging another person you do not know. Learn how to debate and how to act in a seemly manner in these forums. It will stand you in good stead in the future.
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+2 # They don't seem to learnLarry 2012-09-24 23:44
Thanks again Michael for your latest dispatch. It is just so frustrating to see how the brass and SecDef continue down the same road time and time again expecting different results, borderline lunacy. I was hoping the Medevac issue would've been resolved by now but apparently not. The ROE issue is also something we've been talking about for some time, and still no results from that except for more ISAF casualties. I'm sure all the directives come from the CIC so hopefully there is a light at the end of the tunnel come November.
You be safe out there friend.
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+2 # Ticket PunchingAndy Johnson 2012-09-25 01:37
So many generals was a stories. As Vietnam wandered in search of direction, we had majors, light colonels, and birds wandering about "ticket punching " to get points for promotion or bump up and out pay. Peacetime military is -all - politics. Too many got killed following desk officers orders... Career and retirement pay is never a good reason for getting good people killed. Or it should be considered wrong by more people.

Looks like the war is over and we lost again. The question is never about winning. It 's winning fast enough so the politicians in and out of uniform can 't come and safely get their tickets punched...
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+1 # RE: Stuck in the MudJonny 2012-09-25 01:38
This is great and all Michael, but did you hear what Romney said about Kate Middleton yesterday?

But seriously, it must be frustrating knowing nothing will change. Next year, new/old leadership, same old problems. Govt doesnt care, american people dont care, about our deployed soldiers.
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+6 # RE: Stuck in the MudDonald Porter 2012-09-25 02:02
Someone should compile and publish soldiers letters home. They are far more informative than what is available in news.
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+3 # RE: RE: Stuck in the MudBarbara 2012-09-25 04:52
You can actually do that yourself. All you have to do is start writing to soldiers. May I suggest anysoldier.com as a place to start?
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0 # veteranJohnG88 2012-09-25 05:27
Here's a quote from General Dempsey, "You’ve all heard that warfare is changing, technology is taking over, the Army is a thing of the past. But you know, the most sophisticated piece of warfighting equipment in this picture is this squad leader and he hasn’t changed all that much really since the days of the Roman legions. Politics are going to change, technologies will change, the enemy will change, but that squad leader won’t. And you as his leader can’t.

What the Profession of Arms requires of us first and foremost is trust. "
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+9 # Simple questionHeywood Jablomi 2012-09-25 10:33
Where is General Dempsey's Ranger Tab?

Oh. He never served in the Ranger Regiment?

Then WHY is he the CSA?

The Infantry is the essence of the US Army. How can the apex leader of the US Army not have a Ranger Tab? How can the apex leader of the US Army not come from the bloodline of the 75th Infantry?

How much time does Dempsey have in Special Operations?

None? He was never in Special Forces? No time in JSOC?

Then HOW was he selected to be CSA? WHO selected him? On WHAT BASIS?

Now let's talk about his Sergeant Major of the Army.

That man hid at the Sergeant Majors Academy for most of the past eleven years. He pulled ONE combat tour, where he was on an FOB, and he rarely left the wire.

And guess what? The Sergeant Major of the Army ALSO has NO RANGER TAB.

No experience in the Ranger Regiment. No experience in special operations. No time in JSOC.

His claim to fame? The reflective belt. Everyone has to wear one. It was this jackass's idea.

DOD is downsizing. Rather than downsizing non-combat morons like this, the Pentagon protects its bureaucrats and eliminates combat brigades.

That should tell you everything that you need to know, right there. That should tell you who is in charge, and what their values and their priorities are.

We could amputate 30% of the political cubicle warriors at the Pentagon, and save infantrymen from the budget axe.

Good idea, right?

Think again.

These are the nimrods who want to send women to Ranger school. Easy decision for them to make. They never attended the course. They never served a day in the Ranger Regiment. They never really humped a ruck.

They are out of touch with grunts. Grunts are the heart and soul of the Army.

These idiots cannot relate.

Who hired them? Why have they not been forced into retirement?

Key questions.
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+1 # Nailed it!Larry 2012-09-25 11:39
Once again Mr Heywood, you nailed it, thank you for your insight.
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+2 # RE: Simple questionJosh 2012-09-25 15:32
I don't know that I'd insist on Ranger Regt. or SF as prerequisites for the JCOS, ACOS, or SMA, but a minimum of recent combat experience should be as mandatory for them as the POTUS' age being (at least, by law) 35. But yes, the FIRST place the DoDuds needs to cut is the Cubicle Commandos (whom I also suspect to be behind our ACU "Cubicle Cammo").

To endless bread and circuses we turn,
And every Roman fiddles... and Rome burns.
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+1 # Move to the front of the class mate;-)Sun Tzu 2012-09-25 17:36
Once again Heywood makes hay, the cows come home and the chickens roost 8)

Hallelujah, Praising the Heysus :P
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+2 # RE: Stuck in the MudHeath 2012-09-25 12:34
The U.S. Troops can always take down Steel City U.S.A. when they are finished with their missions. Screw the perceptions by the enemy, Tents with flimsy doors that can be easily kicked in just like those " blue on green incidents " ( not sure how to spell it but you get the gist of it ) or suicide bombers with vests on & the red button at the ready. It would be too easy for the enemy to do that right now as it is ... The U.S. Troops need a steel door with a keypad & security cards and be able to get a good night's sleep with guards posted outside the door with extra protection of guard dogs who can sense danger long before soldier guards can sense danger. Make sure the guard shack is made of steel & bullet proof glass and air conditioning running so that the soldier guards stay alert & not become tired and succumb asleep from the miserable heat. We owe that much to our U.S. Troops. I suggest another allied countries follow this example then maybe a light bulb will go on in the U.S. generals who are so far removed from the realities our battlefield troops are enduring. Remember this, the U.S. Troops can build or take things down when heading home statesides. The American people need to contact congressmen & senators about these issues. That could be our sons & daughters, nephews & nieces being drafted into military service someday. Even if no one in your family is serving right now, Remember we are ONE BIG AMERICAN FAMILY THAT COVERS THE U.S.A. MAP THAT STANDS BEHIND OUR U.S. TROOPS. Those are our family members that we cheer on when they play football and when one of our football players are bleeding & injuried ? What do we do ? Rally him on with the love & support that he needs. This is Wartime America. Let's change the political map this November and support our U.S. Troops. I am sure Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania will be happy to negotiate a good deal for steel with the Pentagon. Let's get out there & roll out our sleeves and support our U.S. Troops.
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+2 # RE: Stuck in the MudHeath 2012-09-25 12:40
* roll up our sleeves I am Deaf and use American Sign Language sometimes I may not say things the right way but the picture in my mind & heart is right. Let's support our one big American family !!! :lol:
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+1 # RE: Stuck in the MudHeath 2012-09-25 12:43
Contact your senators:

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
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+1 # RE: Stuck in the MudHeath 2012-09-25 12:45
Contact your congress:

http://www.house.gov/representatives/
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+2 # VNAFVNAF 2012-09-25 17:24
This war ended the day Obama announced our withdrawl date, he even brags about it.
I was in the central highlands during the '72 Easter Offensive, a lot of casualties, but I don't think even that exercise in futility comes close to the level of criminal insanity taking place in Afghanistan.
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+3 # Masterful Prosaic AssimilationSun Tzu 2012-09-25 18:34
I forgot to tell you Michael that this article has to be one of your finest allegorical expositions of the picture that presents itself in regards to our current debacle in the Middle East :-*

The double entendre and innuendo of this article shows you are a real thinker and a wordsmith on par with all of our great American writers 8)

We are indeed "Stuck in the Mud" in the Middle East :sad:

In our results oriented society we have a penchant to waste countless person-hours(go tta be PC;)and millions of dinero, following the fault trail and laying blame, rather than quickly and properly fixing the problem :-? (A frustration I'm sure many of us deal with with daily :o )

But no where have seen this asinine witch hunt mentality more evident, and sadly so, than in our present military structure :eek: And this goes for the military contractors too :-? Find "someone" to blame and then declare the problem solved :eek:

This kind of politicized CYA mentality has no business being anywhere near our military structure, it's sudden death waiting for the opportunity to strike :eek: And if history is to be any kind of a credible teacher, strike it will :sad:

Someone commented asking why is no one paying attention :-?

Just step back and take an objective look all the output of "The Media"(that includes everything written or tranmitted, all programming) around you and take good hard look at the messages, Are you wearing the right clothes?, driving the right car?, eating the right stuff?, having the right stuff?, using the right stuff? THINKING RIGHTLY?,(or should I say LEFTIST?)

Think about it and then I think you'll see why, as a nation, we are indeed, "Stuck in the Mud" :sad:
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+2 # CynicSteve S 2012-09-26 03:16
Mike,

You hit it right on the head, and in fact it is ten times worse than what you say in this post. This war is a joke and the lack of military leadership (not to mention political) is a disgrace. Every single military initiatie in this series of single-deployme nt wars has blown up in our faces. You cannot build a house on sand. We failed to build up the proper political partnerships back in 2001, and it is all coming to haunt us now. It will only get worse from here.

Steve
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+1 # NoneW. Frost 2012-09-26 14:02
Who is supplyng the Taliban with 82mm recoiless artillery????
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+1 # Bomb, Bomb, Iran!Sun Tzu 2012-09-26 18:50
Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran
Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran
Oh Bomb Iraaan, into saaand!

Bomb Iraaan
You got me rockin and a-rollin
Rockin and a-reelin
Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran
(Sung to Barbara Ann by Beach Boys)

Does that give you a clue Mr. Frost :-*
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+1 # That's so 1979Randy 2012-09-26 19:39
Quoting Sun Tzu:
Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran
Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran
Oh Bomb Iraaan, into saaand!

Bomb Iraaan
You got me rockin and a-rollin
Rockin and a-reelin
Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran
(Sung to Barbara Ann by Beach Boys)

Does that give you a clue Mr. Frost :-*


I remember that being sung during the Carter Admin over the hostage crisis. Gettin' old.
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+1 # Showing your ageSun Tzu 2012-09-26 20:09
and our point is :-?

I wonder how many folks here can even relate to 1979 8)

BTW, this was Sen John McCain's response to a reporter when asked what we should do about Iran :P
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+1 # RE: NoneEric Verhulst 2012-09-29 16:01
I can't speak from evidence, but I'd bet dollars to donuts that a certain Asian nation that starts with "C" and ends in "a" is involved.
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+2 # Dempsey/Afghani stanTom Kinton 2012-09-26 18:58
Dempsey is displaying behavior that would get me a GO letter permed in my file. Calling a civilian and lobbying him to modify/surrende r his free speech? If the civilian declines, does Dempsey call NORTHCOM?

We are in deep kimchee here gents.

tom

PS: the rifle painfully reminded me of May 10th, 2011, 1818 hours outside of Terazayi in Khost. The rifle I picked up was in seven pieces.
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+1 # RE: Dempsey/Afghani stanRandy 2012-09-26 19:41
Quoting Tom Kinton:
Dempsey is displaying behavior that would get me a GO letter permed in my file. Calling a civilian and lobbying him to modify/surrender his free speech? If the civilian declines, does Dempsey call NORTHCOM?

We are in deep kimchee here gents.

tom

PS: the rifle painfully reminded me of May 10th, 2011, 1818 hours outside of Terazayi in Khost. The rifle I picked up was in seven pieces.
Tom speaks well. Glad to see you on here.

That's the least of Dempsey's issues. More sensitivity training. Battalion level whor*house.
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0 # Gimme Kimchee anyday...Sun Tzu 2012-09-26 20:03
as I like it and it's good for you. Chocked full vitamins and keeps your GI system clean of any parasites or bugs :o

Rather Kimchee, over the sewer pond that AfPak, and the Middle east in general, has become due to the Obominations current foreign policy, or should I say lack of same :eek:

We are neck deep in shite in that perspective :o
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+1 # stuck in the mudLee Jenkinson 2012-09-27 02:48
I see parallels of the incompetence in the military and our very own politicians. Do not hold your breath waiting for anything to get any better, because it won't regardless of whoever wins the election.
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+2 # generals and politiciansEric Verhulst 2012-09-28 21:48
Generals are political appointees, and these generals are the ones the political folks want.

Crappy generals lose battles.

Crappy politicians lose wars.
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+3 # officersCarl 2012-09-30 19:40
If you study US military history, you will find that we have had nothing but a plague of bad military officers. Lincoln went through at least 4 generals before he found one who was even competent, much less could win the war. We have had bad officers in every war we have fought so maybe it has something to do with the process of training up our officers and not vetting them enough to get rid of the bad officers. We tend to only remember the great officers who did win. In almost every case, even those great officers were held back by bad officers. It seems like we should completely over haul the academies and the rest of the system to get rid of the bad officers and encourage the good officers. Please note that you also have the same problem in the enlisted ranks. I guess we just have not developed our military to a point to where we get rid of bad military personnel and it is obviously time to do so.
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+3 # Marinebones92 2012-10-02 13:55
I suspected things were skewed before I mobilized to go to AFG. I became dubious after a couple months in Helmand. I left AFG in 2010 with the knowledge that we could not possibly achieve our stated goals and objectives. The ANA will withdraw from Nimruz, Helmand and Kandahar provinces within 1-2 years of the exit of NATO combat power in the south. The Taliban will infiltrate them, cut them off from resupply, or otherwise nullify their effectiveness. The ANA cannot resupply themselves without CF help. Bastion, Delaram, Dwyer, Lashkar Gah... Kandahar Air Field... all will be in Taliban hands within 5-7 years.

I think a lot of military leaders know this, and have known for years. It reminds me of what I've read about WW1; dogged determination to carry on despite the empirical facts that show the flaws of the strategy. How can you win a COIN fight when the people are either against you, or at best, unwilling to do anything for themselves?
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0 # RE: Stuck in the MudMore Liberty 2012-11-02 14:54
"Why is it that sangers (guard towers) sometimes are unmanned in Afghanistan? Since 2010, I have written about unmanned sangers at least twice, and now word comes that unmanned sangers were the norm at the Bastion base complex."

I saw this in Iraq as well. The huge parameter around Al Asad AB actually had silhouette targets in them.
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0 # RE: Stuck in the MudArlene 2012-11-03 16:40
Michael, have you been in touch with General Patraeus? It seems to me, as soon as he left his former position, the situation quickly went downhill. After the election, I am going to start a letter-writing campaign. The American people have to DEMAND changes that will keep our troops strong and safe. I'm seeing a lot of wonderful young people signing up in every branch; I worry for them and for their parents. We cannot accept lousy leadership.
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