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March 29, 2005

A mish-mash of stuff I found interesting today..

Hoist by their own petard! That had to have been embarassing when dining in other Wardrooms.

Whether a sponsor/tutor of a Saudi officer as a Basic Course student, or a Small Group Leader for the Advanced Course - I found this was more true than not about the Saudi officers I have had direct contact with. There are exceptions, but they are frankly lonely men in their Army.

Two more bits from Strategy Page:


March 26, 2005: More Taliban are surrendering, and the government
expects about a thousand to openly turn in their weapons and accept an amnesty. These surrenders also provide information on Taliban who are not surrendering. As a result of this, the government is turning more of its attention, and guns, to the drug gangs.

March 25, 2005: For American soldiers died south of the capital when their vehicle hit an anti-tank mine. The Taliban took credit, but it appeared that the mine was left over from the 1980s. Thousands of these mines litter the ountryside, and each Spring, the melting snow causes mud and floods that move some of these mines around. The Taliban claim was doubted because the route the Americans took was one that was rarely used, and they had not lanned to use it.

Getting closer. Now if only the lawyers will let us.

Interesting point-counterpoint here.

GEN Schoomaker, the Army Chief of Staff, on Transformation:

The Army is reorganizing itself to field smaller, more capable brigade-sized units, Schoomaker said, that can be deployed much more quickly and perform more tasks than legacy forces under the old-style division system. The Army’s Stryker-armored-vehicle-equipped Interim Brigade Combat Teams embody this transformational thinking.

This is the Chief doing what he's supposed to do - support his boss, and keep the troops informed. What is interesting however is the budding resistance to Rumsfeld's push to a smaller, lighter, force - especially in light of the costs associated with it. Rand recently completed a study of OIF Lessons Learned that cautions the Secretary to be cautious about plans that move to light armored vehicles and heavy reliance on linked C4ISR (command and control) systems, given that we haven't really figured out yet how to take all that data and fully fuse it into swiftly absorbable and actionable information.

We're still at the infancy of this, and it's not simple. It isn't just technology - it's ergonomics and human factors engineering, and it's proving to be a daunting task. I know - I'm in the middle of it, and have been for some time. We make great strides, but many times, we crest this obstacle, only to find it reveals another behind it.

The Buffalo, a new (to us, not the South Africans, who developed it) mine clearing vehicle, is spreading through the force - the latest to get it the 256th Infantry Brigade of the Louisiana National Guard.

Castle Denizen Tregonsee points us to some interesting credit card info.

Mike, who blogs at chattr +a -V, has been doing some surfing and sent us this link to a clock on a war memorial in Britain (scroll down to second picture) on Paul Humphrey's blog. We will take the design under consideration should we desire to erect a clock tower at the Castle!

The Afghan National Army (about which more in a later post, from MSG Keith) is starting to take more responsibility for the defense of the Afghan people from predators, internal and external.

While patience is obviously needed, things are looking up on that front in Iraq, too. Despite Liberal dreams to the contrary, you don't build a competent military force overnight. What do I mean by that? When I talk to some libs, they basically feel like the military should be disbanded if they aren't in power, and reconsituted when they are in power - and it must, of course, be instantly competent. To hear them gripe about the time things are taking in Iraq... I begin to wonder sometimes if they don't literally think it's true...

Troops and family members - and their commanders - know your rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Go ugly early - immediately inform a creditor of military status - and get to JAG. Don't wait, don't argue, don't plead. Go directly to JAG. If you are a family member of a Guardsman or Reservist - contact your unit Rear Detachment commander. The Wells Fargo thing is particularly egregious and bullshite.

More info available here from the Army JAG.