Friday, January 12, 2007



Continuity and Change – USA 2007

In Latino countries you celebrate the New Year by dumping water over your balcony to symbolize throwing out the stale residue of the past year, making space for freshness and hope in the new year. In the USA, this year was characterized by changing the stinking, political context of the US Congress and the burnt out, stagnant US military command in Iraq. Whether it will bring new vigor to the life of the US is unclear. At this stage it appears there is at least hope the Democratic Congress may clean the stables in Washington, but there is almost no hope the change of command in Iraq will win the war or stop the endless killing of Americans and Iraqis in a pointless war.

A least from my viewpoint, a sparkling, attractive, well turned out Nancy Pelosi is much more pleasing to the eye than the gross walking heap, Dennis Hastert, a man fattened like a goose to produce fois gras, by too many paid lobbyist's lunches. Madame Pelosi’s problem will be whether she can shed the euphoria of the first women Speaker of the House, by avoiding the temptation of being a hugging and kissing American sweetheart; will she do her job protecting the interests of the American people over those of US corporations and foreign lobbyists? She was given a mandate by the American people to lance the boil of Iraq. She has the power of the purse strings to do it or will the Israel Lobby with powerful influence in the House overwhelm her? Representative Tom Lantos, now chairman of the House Foreign Affairs committee, who advertises himself as a holocaust survivor, and Rahm Emmanuel, former civilian volunteer in the Israeli Army during Gulf War I, a pro Israel supporter who now is the Democratic Caucus Chairman, will provide the central opposition to Pelosi as she moves to bring the troops home from Iraq. In the Senate, pro Israeli senators Lieberman and Levin have already eagerly indicated they support President's Bush's reinforcement surge in Iraq even before the president proposed it. So the Israel Lobby's support for permanent war in Iraqi remains constant; unabated despite the polls against the war and the results of the 2006 elections. Israel now has a no bid US contract to make US military ammunition. Why the US would outsource military ammunition to a foreign country is beyond me. It would be interesting to put some sunshine on this to determine who in the US made the deal. There is an easy, ironic metaphor: THE ISRAELIS MAKE THE BULLETS AND THE US GETS TO SHOOT THEM. What a deal! Now on to Iran with our Israeli pals?

Changing of the guard in Washington in 2007 so far has demonstrated that GW Bush has a shallow reservoir of talent. Uncertain whether this is due to a scarcity of ability or lack of loyalty to Bush. For example John Negroponte has had four important jobs under the president: UN Ambassador, Ambassador to Iraq, Director of National Intelligence and recently was appointed Deputy to the Secretary of State. Zalmay Khalilzad gets his fourth job with his appointment as UN ambassador – he served at the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President , Ambassador to Afghanistan, and Ambassador to Iraq. In the case of both men, it puts abundant titles on a resume, but smart employers remain suspicious of too many jobs too fast. Remember President READ MY LIPS George Herbert Walker Bush? He held a multitude of significant jobs, but he was clearly a four year flop as President. The recent appointment of an unqualified Bob Gates as SECDEF signaled at least to me, that Bush has few choices for important jobs. After the Wolfowitz and his kooky Cakewalkers' debacle at Defense, and Bolton's confirmation problems in the Senate, doubt he would risk appointing another neocon to a high level job. Bush's selection of two former flag officers, both who were chiefs at the National Security Agency, one to head CIA and the other to replace Negroponte as Director of National Intelligence, indicates that Bush does not understand that there is much more to sound intelligence beyond snagging secrets from the ether...

Despite the cliche that every private has a field marshal's baton in his rucksack, it is not apparent in the US military establishment. Selection of a naval officer to head CENTCOM is a stroke of absurdity. Does this mean that there were no ground force generals – Marine or Army – qualified for the high unified command that fights wars on the ground? Can we now expect a ground force officer to head a naval command in the Pacific or Atlantic? Either Bush does not trust ground force commanders or they do not trust him and rejected the appointment. Crisis in command?

Musical Chairs in Baghdad is revealing the weakness of the military leadership choices by Bush. General George Casey, the commander of forces in Iraq but a failure by most standards, who oversaw an exploding insurgency and bloody development of civil war, was rewarded with the plum assignment of Army Chief of Staff. It seems he was promoted because he did not surrender to the insurgency and acquiesced to Bush's Surge policy. Desperation by Bush was further evinced by returning General David Petraeus to Iraq for the third time to replace Casey. Patraeus was praised; recognized as the most successful division commander, because of his intelligent pacification of Mosul in the first phases of the Iraq war. He returned in 2005 for a second tour to train Iraqi forces. That time he was unsuccessful. His problems centered on the exaggerated reporting of the number combat ready Iraqi battalions. Congress was involved. He was removed early from the responsibility for training Iraq forces, and was replaced by General Dempsey who still remains. At the time, Patraeus indicated that he was stunned by the corruption in Iraq – apparently his professors at the US Military Academy and Princeton never warned him about it. This Ivory tower mentality was disturbing for a combat commander fighting in the midst of traditionally corrupt Arabs. He was reassigned to a training assignment at the Army staff school at Ft. Leavenworth where he produced a joint field manual on counterinsurgency with the US Marine Corps. When combat commanders end up in back water training commands, their career is usually over and dead, so the Patraeus resurrection to the most important combat command in Iraq was surprising; Bush had to dig deep into the barrel to dust him off for replay. His promotional press spin is that he was assigned to command the US forces in Iraq because he produced this joint field manual – a rational that is even thin by GW Bush standards. Try this: nobody else better qualified wanted the job. His first power point briefing after his third coming to Baghdad should be ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES OF BAGHDAD.

Read the December 2006 draft of the counterinsurgency field manual; it is a fine, definitive analysis of counterinsurgency warfare, but as a guide to action, it misses the point, which Patraeus will discover as he applies it in his new assignment; there is big difference between theory and practice. In most cases the manual is inoperable in Iraq now, because of past events and bungled opportunities... Perhaps an under-worked congressional staffer one day will use it as a template to analyze the fiasco in Iraq. Now that would be an interesting read.

As Patraeus charges into his new job, he should remember the injunction in the recently minted field manual that counterinsurgency warfare is 80% political and 20% combat power. This last Sunday on US TV, Iraq leadership blamed the US for the failures of the Iraqi military units, because the US recruited them and trained them. I would work on that one first... and do it fast, if I were you General; you do not want this fire to spread. By the way, what page in your field manual gives you guidance on how to fix this problem? Colonel Robert E Bartos USA RET

8 Comments:

Anonymous W.LindsayWheeler said...

Pat Buchanan whose columns appear at the Drudge Report, writes that the appointment of a Navy Man to Centcom is about the coming bombing of Iran---A Navy Guy to keep the oil lanes open. Furthermore Buchanan reports that a 2nd Carrier Group has been dispatched to the Indian Ocean.

Things are heating up.

And don't you know, America is only a suburb of Israel? Get with the times!

20:41  
Anonymous W.LindsayWheeler said...

In "How to Lose an Army" by William S. Lind, in The American Conservative, Dec. 18, 2006, Vol. 5, no. 24:

"The elephant in the parlor is, of course, the fact that Israel wants an attack on Iran, and for Republicans and Democrats alike, Israel is She Who Must Be Obeyed. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ran to Washington as soon as the election was over, and the subject of his discussions with President Bush is easy to imagine. Who will do the dirty deed and when? Iran has already announced it will consider an attack by Israel an attack by the U.S. as well and respond accordingly, so the difference may not much matter."

Israel is She Who Must Be Obeyed.

11:58  
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14:33  
Anonymous W.LindsayWheeler said...

Squadron of 24 F-16 Fighters Lands at U.S. Base in Incirlik
January 13th, 2007

I’m sure you can do the math on this one by now.

Via: Hurriyet:

A certain silence which had reigned over the US Incirlik Air Force base in the Turkish city of Adana for the past 3 years came to a close today.

After an absence of 3 years, a squadron of 24 US F-16 fighter jets landed at Incirlik yesterday, reinforced also by an early warning system AWACS airplane, as well as tanker airplanes meant for mid-air fuel replenishing. The F-16s which landed at Incirlik yesterday began flight training runs in Adana this morning, although authorities did not comment on whether the jets will be staying at Adana for a long duration or only temporarily.

20:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the US attacks Iran, Iraq will get very messy and even more dangerous.

Putting a Navy ADM in charge in CENTCOM is seems desparate to me.

How are the "ground pounders" going to react to some ADM telling them how to do THEIR job.

02:39  
Anonymous W.LindsayWheeler said...

An Admiral at Centcom is to keep the Sea Lanes open after we attack on Iran. The Admiral is about moving ships and preventing attacks on oil terminals and oil shipping

It is almost a sure thing now. The talk shows are abuzz today about the possible attack on Iran.

I believe the Iranian president is quite smart. Upon an attack on Iran, the Shia in Southern Iraq will rise up and can close off the only supply route into Iraq from Kuwait. We just may see the destruction of a whole American Army here aka the Athenian destruction at Syracuse.

18:44  
Anonymous W.LindsayWheeler said...

Well, Col. Barton more news on the Front:

Saudis are thinking of sending troops into Iraq to help the Sunnis!!!

Bush, ChristianZionnazi Cheney, the Neocons, and the Jewish Lobby are now getting what they want a regional religious civil war!!! This is exactly what the Israelis want and they are playing us for all they got!

I served in Desert Storm. I was stationed in Saudi Arabia. After the war I did a Med Cruise with 8th marines (I forget my battalion), and we did training with the Saudis. We landed three different times in Saudi Arabia.

These people couldn't fight themselves out of wet toilet paper! It took 15 Saudis to put up a 292 antenna in two hours. Saudis don't fight its their Bedoins.

Saudis are not a military people. They lead soft easy lives. They do NO manual labor---and the Saudi King is going to send troops there? The Shia are going to hand their ass to them!

All Hell is going to break loose! And when the Saudis get defeated, that is going to be the end of the Saudi Monarchy. This is exactly what the Jewish Neo-cons in their Global democracy want!

Even more, the American military will have to babysit the Saudi military!

This is unbelievable! George Bush and the Republican Party and Dick ChristianZiononazi Cheney are #%#@# idiots on steriods!

Americans are really the most stupidiest people there ever was!

Here is the link to the article on the Saudis

22:01  
Anonymous W.LindsayWheeler said...

Let me redo the link:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16656642/

22:02  

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