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October 19, 2006

H&I Fires* 19 OCT 2006

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite.

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More on the on-going Art 32 hearing for LTC Jordan regarding Abu Ghraib:

Testimony has differed over whether Pappas or Jordan was in charge of the interrogations at Abu Ghraib.

Lt. Col. Jeff Hamerick, who was assigned to protect U.S. forces at the overcrowded Iraqi jail, said the leadership problems at Abu Ghraib were complicated by internal tussles.

"It was broken there - absolutely broken, the leadership was," Hamerick testified over the phone from South Carolina.

Brigadier Gen. Janis Karpinski, who was in charge of the U.S.-run prison system in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib, and Pappas, who was in charge of military intelligence in Iraq, "would not work together," Hamerick said.

"It was a dysfunctional relationship" between the military intelligence and the military police brigades, Hamerick said.

Leaders of the two forces, which were supposed to cooperate in detaining and questioning thousands of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, couldn't agree over who should protect the prison's walls from outside attack. So one of the four walls went unprotected, Hamerick said.

General Sanchez, Colonel Karpinski... your office is calling. Read the rest here.

A new Airborne School... in Germany? Kewl.

“An airborne school in Europe would allow us to get a large number of soldiers qualified locally without spending TDY (temporary duty) money to send them back to the States,” Davis said, adding that any move to give soldiers full airborne training in Europe is likely years away.

Well, we live in interesting times. Hopefully not another Diem-like episode in our future? Geez, does *no one* read a little history...?

The escalating violence raking Baghdad and other Iraqi cities is pushing that nation's leaders, neighboring Arab countries and U.S. advisers to consider a dramatic change of direction in the conduct of the war.
Leaks from a U.S. task force headed by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III are contributing to the widespread sense that the Bush administration is preparing for a "course correction" in the coming months.
The options cited most frequently in Washington include the partition of Iraq into three ethnic- or faith-based regions, and a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops, with some remaining in neighboring countries to deal with major threats.
Another scenario is being discussed -- and taken seriously in Iraq -- by many of Iraq's leading political players, under which the U.S.-trained army would overthrow struggling Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and replace him with a strongman who would restore order while Washington looks the other way.

Read the rest here.

Regardless - something is in the wind.

With the violence in Iraq flaring dangerously, a national consensus is growing, even among senior Republicans, that the United States must consider a major change in strategy in the coming months.

But in a sign of the growing sense of urgency, a member of a high-powered government advisory body that is developing options to prevent Iraq's chaotic collapse warns that the United States could have just weeks, not months, to avoid an all-out civil war.

"There's a sense among many people now that things in Iraq are slipping fast and there isn't a lot of time to reverse them," said Larry Diamond, one of a panel of experts advising the Iraq Study Group, which is preparing a range of policy alternatives for President Bush.

Read the rest here.

Meanwhile, the enemy flexes and adapts - sometimes in ways that hurt him, sometimes in ways that help. Keeping up is a bitch.

In the void forged by the sectarian tensions gripping Baghdad, militias are further splintering into smaller, more radicalized cells, signifying a new and potentially more volatile phase in the struggle for the capital.

Iraqis and U.S. officials blame militias for mass kidnappings and slayings, for setting up unauthorized checkpoints and for causing much of the recent carnage.

Senior U.S. military and intelligence officials say they have identified at least 23 militias -- some are Sunni, but most are Shiite. Some are paramilitary offshoots of the Mahdi Army or have broken away entirely from Sadr's command structure. Others seem inspired by Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah guerrilla movement.

"In some ways it makes it easier for me because I have digestible doses I can deal with that might not be reinforcing one another," a senior U.S. military official said at a recent briefing with reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity. "But at the same time, it creates problems for me because it is harder to find them when they are splintered, to identify who they are."

Read the rest here.

In the meantime, we deal with our own internal miscreants. More potential visitors to our long-term accomodations here at Leavenworth. -the Armorer


Important note! If you are planning on attending the welcome home ceremony for the 1/127th FA at Washburn U. in Topeka - the time of the ceremony has been changed to 12 Noon today! -the Armorer


SWWBO sez: Vote Republican!


Don Surber (who *used* to link here a lot. *sniff, sniff*) got ahold of some bad dates and is having nightmares... President Pelosi? Egad, that's as bad as President Rodham-Clinton. Worse, even. Hopefully just the fevered imaginings caused by too much rich food down in Charleston. -the Armorer


Kewl! Invisibility! -the Armorer

I’m having a real Innigo Montoya (I don’t think that means what you think it means) moment thanks to this little bit.

*A term of art from the artillery. Harassment and Interdiction Fires.

Back in the day, when you could just kill people and break things without a note from a lawyer, they were pre-planned, but to the enemy, random, fires at known gathering points, road junctions, Main Supply Routes, assembly areas, etc - to keep the bad guy nervous that the world around him might start exploding at any minute.

Not really relevant to today's operating environment, right? But, it *is*

The UAVs we fly over Afghanistan and Pakistan looking for targets of opportunity are a form of H&I fires, if you really want to parse it finely. We just have better sensors and fire control now.

I call the post that because it's random things posted by me and people I've given posting privileges to. It's also an open trackback, so if (Don Surber uses it this way a lot) someone has a post they're proud of, but it really isn't either Castle kind of stuff, or topical to a particular post, I've basically given blanket permission to use that post for that purpose. Another term of art that might be appropriate is "Free Fire Zone".

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