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December 31, 2006

H&I* Fires DEC 31, 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. [Admittedly, I'm fibbing. Trackbacks are still broken]

You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

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Good riddance to 2006. Though, truth be told, I'm not looking forward all that much to 2007. It has the potential to be much worse on a personal level, and just as boring on a professional level. You guys need to entertain me!

CAPT H is doing a pretty good job of that, with this link to Canadian War Stories.

New Year's Eve will be pretty tame here at the Castle. I'm building a trebuchet (with hollow axles, natch) and SWWBO and I will probably be asleep before midnight, if the last few years are any indication. We don't hang with a crowd that parties 'til dawn, and we're lazy. If the neighborhood behaves as it did last year, we'll have every critter in the Herd save the horses in bed with us, as our neighbors scare away the demons with loud explosions. (You'd think the demons would be used to this by now, and at least have developed some form of hearing protection...)

I might go see Apocalypto. SWWBO will demur from that one, I'm pretty sure.

What are your plans?

Oh, and for the recipe collectors - Carnival of the Recipes is up. -the Armorer

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Just call me mean, but I think it would have been better that Saddam's body been burned and the ashes dumped at sea, as we did with the Nuremburg criminals, to prevent their graves being a focus point. Any bets on how long it takes for a shrine or mosque of some sort to appear, whether we pull a Murtha or not? Mebbe I'll get surprised. -the Armorer

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Forget my plans, you gotta wonder what these people surveyed are going to do for New Years' Eve. I mean, "one in four predicts the second coming of Christ" within the next year?! Where did they get their sample?! I mean, I run in religious circles and I don't know a single person who believes that. - FbL

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Happy New Year to Murray, Trias, Geoff, and any other of you guys Down Under! -the Armorer

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Let me go on record over this item:

By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff | December 26, 2006

WASHINGTON -- The armed forces, already struggling to meet recruiting goals, are considering expanding the number of noncitizens in the ranks -- including disputed proposals to open recruiting stations overseas and putting more immigrants on a faster track to US citizenship if they volunteer -- according to Pentagon officials.

You can read the whole thing here.

1. I don't mind expediting citizenship for those willing to serve to earn it... but.
2. I don't like the idea of overseas recruiting. If we're going to create a Foreign Legion, then create one. My visceral reaction is not good. The staff guys are paid to think up ways to get things done - commanders are paid to sort through 'em. I hope the overseas recruiting bit falls off the table.

Hard enough to screen the people who've been in the country long enough to have some presence in our systems. The problems with screening foreign nationals, not already present, bothers me. Especially if we aren't going to essentially make it clear that it's a pathway to citizenship.

But all that aside - if we can't get enough citizens to volunteer, then just perhaps we should accept that we can't have the size of Army we think we need. And reopen the draft debate. With all that entails. Heh. We had a 700,000 man all volunteer Army in the 80's. The available pool is larger now. If we can't match the services of the 80's out of the available pool of 2006, then perhaps it's time to consider the limits of our power and the citizen's support of that power, vice recruiting foreigners to do it for us.

On a related note: would this allow an increase in the numbers of Europeans and Asians allowed in the country? Or would we be building a Hispanic Division? Currently, we allow hispanics in the country in far greater numbers than any other group. Europeans have very small quotas available to them. Are we going to relax those limits? Or will enlistees count against those quotas - essentially meaning that if you're a Euro who wants to escape the Euro-state, you have little choice but to join the US military? Just sayin'. This isn't about race, it's about equity and the underlying premise of US military service. -the Armorer

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Oh - and the answer to the last Whatziss? A US Military .357 Magnum round. -the Armorer

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Oh - and, Happy New Year, everybody. I actually did get some good news tonight... which I'll share in the morning. -the Armorer

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*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".

Comments on H&I* Fires DEC 31, 2006
BloodSpite briefed on December 31, 2006 11:12 AM

If the weather clears up we'll be drinking cold ones by a bonfire with some friends and playing old Bluegrass, country and folk tunes.

Not exactly a wild night in the woods, but a nice way to bring in the New Year anyway

John of Argghhh! briefed on December 31, 2006 11:35 AM

Were we a hundred miles closer... that sounds just fine.

dick briefed on December 31, 2006 12:07 PM

Your link to Carnival of the recipes got a 404 message. Care to try again?

Andi briefed on December 31, 2006 12:28 PM

Happy New Year to you, the Mrs. and all your "critters."

NOTR briefed on December 31, 2006 01:09 PM

Overseas recruiting is one of the dumbest ideas lately. One of the strengths of our military is that they are free men choosing to fight for their freedoms. What does a foreign citizen fight for after joining up? Certainly not that. I would rather see a return to Project 100,000 insanity that this form of it.

MalcolmCog briefed on December 31, 2006 03:25 PM

Taking on non US Citizens to serve in US forces is a good idea. The Romans peopled their mighty army with non Romans, and Rome thanked their foreign soldiers by giving them Roman Citizenship. US Citizens that became American by serving in the military will be better citizens than those sneaking across the Rio Grande.
The British Empire had an army of mostly Empire (Indian) troops, and with them we ruled for 300 years.

kat-missouri briefed on December 31, 2006 04:05 PM

Except, dear Malcolm, these foreign troops ended up being the demise of the Roman empire in many ways. Not the least of which were those that returned to their people trained in Roman tactics, lack of loyalty (or conflicted), inability to pay and manage those troops, etc, etc, etc.

I gotta agree...no foreign legion. If we can't manage it, then we don't do it or, if the need is so great and the war so extensive, then lets do the draft.

Barb briefed on December 31, 2006 05:45 PM

I find the idea of recruiting in other countries stupid. I would like to see the accelerated citizenship offered to men and women who are Legal Residents right now, and would consider adding a method for illegals who have been working here (but only a small percentage compared to those who have followed the rulez). In fact, if someone has been here already under some legal method, and wants to serve 8 years, I would consider allowing their family members to be accelerated as well - before their 8 years are up ... and sooner if they are injured or die in service.

But no foreign legion - the idea is very bad!

Justthisguy briefed on December 31, 2006 09:54 PM

My plans? I'll be drinking the Bud Light by myself and reading on the web, and communing with the kitties. (yah I know, but the dilution saves the kidneys.)

I agree with Barb, and Jerry Pournelle, with regard to foreign legions. That's why it's it's important to contribute to Valour-IT even if you are a selfish cold-blooded a-hole who doesn't care that young men (and wimmin, these days) risk their pale tender bodies for your interests against red-hot flying metal!

That is, when The Republic falls over, you want to be on the good side of The Legions. I have my receipts.

FbL briefed on December 31, 2006 10:01 PM

JTG, you're a riot! *LOL*

Happy New Year to Castle Management, Denizens and Scrupl's. May this coming year be better than the last in every way you would wish.

See you next year!

Walter M. Clark briefed on December 31, 2006 10:57 PM

John, and all,

Happy new year! May this year be a whole bunch better than you even hope! As to recruiting foreigners, take a wander over to strategy pages and read their take on it. Seems like it could be a combination of some foreign and slightly lowering the standards from where they are now. Not recommending, not objecting, just commenting.

SFC Walter M. Clark, USAR Ret.

Consul-At-Arms briefed on January 1, 2007 12:45 AM

Nice bit about overseas recruiting of foreigners. I've linked to you here: http://consul-at-arms.blogspot.com/2007/01/castle-argghhhs-take-on-overseas.html

Trias briefed on January 1, 2007 01:23 AM

I'd have prefered no known grave as well but i respect the Iraqi decision in the matter.

I think a foreign recruiting effort is a risky idea. How would you establish their reasons and would those reasons be particularly compatable with US and military goals? Then there's the way it would be managed and my guess is poorly.

Happy New Year to you All!

Cricket briefed on January 1, 2007 09:01 AM

But will the grave be secure so that the body isn't moved, thus claiming some sort of ascension?

As to partying, at least fireworks are still legal. We don't indulge, but that is personal
choice, not a matter of law. Our fur children
were inside until two am, when I got up and let them out...since the party animals went indoors at one.

I am happy as there is a sale going on at the local Williams-Sonoma store and there are items of a culinary interest.

So, the Castle Chef is off to ooohh and aaaah over the bright shiny stuff.

Menu:
Fresh squeezed orange juice
Hot beverages of choice are coffee, tea (both tisanes and regular tea) and cocoa

soft scrambled eggs
fried ham
biscuits

Fresh ambrosia, not the canned stuff

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Oldloadr briefed on January 1, 2007 09:28 AM

Anybody making good-luck meals today? We’re having cabbage, black-eyed peas and country ham.

FYI: Foreign recruiting is not new. In 1980, I had a citizen of the P.I. assigned to my crew. He told me that the Air Force and the Navy had recruiting offices in downtown Manila. Of course, there was a special relationship with the P.I., at least until Mount Pinatubo blew it’s top.

That said, I agree with Kat that the example of Rome is a one to avoid for all of the aforementioned reasons.

Ernie briefed on January 1, 2007 09:40 AM

Happy New Year to you and yours and all the Denizens. I'm with you on the whole foreign recruiting thing. We man the Army we need with the people we have, or, like you said, make do with a smaller Army. Way too many complications in recruiting from outside our borders. Accelerated citizenship for legal immigrants is good, if they serve they earned it. But that's as far as we need to go down that path.

Maggie briefed on January 1, 2007 09:49 AM

1st laugh of the New Year!!! Picturing FbL "running in religious circles"!

Happy New Year to you all!

John - If I had been in your neighborhood I would have come over to cause chaos, for the sake of chaos.

Foreign recruiting bad. Accelerated citizenship good.

Oldloadr - what is lucky about black eyed peas and cabbage? Sounds like you are unlucky enough to have no chocolate.

Oldloadr briefed on January 1, 2007 09:52 AM

Cabbage represents money; I'm not sure what the black-eyed peas represent, but I'm too superstitious to go against my family tradition.

We've had enough chocolate since Thanksgiving in our house to give every teenager in South Carolina zits.

Cricket briefed on January 1, 2007 12:17 PM

I did some research about the foreign recruiting and agree with the detractors. The biggest reason I would disagree with it has to do with the example of Rome and the aftermath. But there is another reason: The fifth column element. It is bad enough we get these twits bad mouthing the US of A without having someone add fuel to the fire within.

Our ability to adapt shows that the military, like the AMA changes it's ponderous mind at the speed of a glacier traveling south, global warming notwithstanding.

The other option is to pull out when the elections of '08 are finished, regardless of the outcome and let Iraq deal with it and NEVER get involved in something like this again, but strengthen our borders and build our own nation.

ry briefed on January 1, 2007 12:32 PM

That draft essay is in the works, John. It's just as problematic as the PLAN sub one though. It's 'resting'.

I stand by TN Dupuy though---who cares where they're from so long as they have good leadership, are well trained, and have high moral. Those three are the troika of victory. Which is why a draft sucks. I'd take Jorge from Michochan over a draftee with a crappy 'tude based on the work done by the HERO group that devined the troika. But that's my crazy arse.

KGP briefed on January 1, 2007 02:46 PM

Re: recruting non native born people to serve in the US Armed Forces.

We (the US) have always done this, in a small way. I have had many many filipino sailors work for me and with me, and I have had an Indonesian guy who was a USMC recruit, did his 4 years and went into the Army. Numerous folks from other countries as well. So, it's been done, although not on a scale that may be needed.

Fifth Column comments and thoughts aside, providing comprehensive security backgrounds for clearances could be a nightmare.

And as an aside, the US, especially the Army's Human Resource Command (HRC), has dropped the ball with respect to retiree volunteers who would come back in a heartbeat. It has taken me since 9/12/01 to get close to coming back. Granted, I got fed up more than once and stopped trying, but in the end, it is something that has to be done, and it's my obligation to this country.

Instead, HRC involuntarily recalls people who sometimes do not show up, and when they do, their goal is to get out ASAP. I had a couple of those in Desert Storm.

I gave the Navy 8 yrs of AD, 6 to the Army, and about 15 to the USAR before they unfunded my IMA slot and pushed me to retire. I can still give them 10 years or so.....let's see what they do with my physical. I was slightly undertall for my weight. A consequence of being a civilian for 8 years. *SIGH*

Best wishes to all for 2007. If I do get picked up, I would be pleased to be a correspondent....

KP
CW4
ex USN EMC (SW/PJ)

KGP briefed on January 1, 2007 02:46 PM

Re: recruting non native born people to serve in the US Armed Forces.

We (the US) have always done this, in a small way. I have had many many filipino sailors work for me and with me, and I have had an Indonesian guy who was a USMC recruit, did his 4 years and went into the Army. Numerous folks from other countries as well. So, it's been done, although not on a scale that may be needed.

Fifth Column comments and thoughts aside, providing comprehensive security backgrounds for clearances could be a nightmare.

And as an aside, the US, especially the Army's Human Resource Command (HRC), has dropped the ball with respect to retiree volunteers who would come back in a heartbeat. It has taken me since 9/12/01 to get close to coming back. Granted, I got fed up more than once and stopped trying, but in the end, it is something that has to be done, and it's my obligation to this country.

Instead, HRC involuntarily recalls people who sometimes do not show up, and when they do, their goal is to get out ASAP. I had a couple of those in Desert Storm.

I gave the Navy 8 yrs of AD, 6 to the Army, and about 15 to the USAR before they unfunded my IMA slot and pushed me to retire. I can still give them 10 years or so.....let's see what they do with my physical. I was slightly undertall for my weight. A consequence of being a civilian for 8 years. *SIGH*

Best wishes to all for 2007. If I do get picked up, I would be pleased to be a correspondent....

KP
CW4
ex USN EMC (SW/PJ)

Cricket briefed on January 1, 2007 03:21 PM

ry,
I won't comment on the state of your tuckus, but
high morale and all the good things notwithstanding, the vetting to screen for those things at the time of recruiting isn't happening.
And there was the fragging incident in the opening days of the war with a soldier who was a member of the Nation of Islam who answered a question about what he thought of fighting against people of his own belief. His comment was: "It depends on what state of jihad they are in."

Scary...as vetting is needed to root out potential problems within before they get too far and hurt friendlies, not the enemy.

Just saying...

ry briefed on January 1, 2007 05:28 PM

No worries Crik. My point relied heavily on two things: my new found love of flexibility and knowledge of QJMA. I'm not too thrilled with creating a foreign legion myself.

The vetting and what not isn't what worries me so much---LA gangbangers are getting in no problem. It is as someone else pointed out: the Roman analogy. When so few Romans were willing to do the work of the State and relied on bringing others in to do it Rome wound up writting its own death warrant.

If we cannot raise the numbers to do the job internally, with some augmentation of those who want to be Americans and using Service to earn that citizenship, then maybe we ought not be doing it. Of course, we'd have to be able to live with the results of laying that burden down---no Darfur intereventions and the like. TOo many of us can't live with that so we'll find ways to do semi's work with a pickup.

FbL briefed on January 1, 2007 11:54 PM

1st laugh of the New Year!!! Picturing FbL "running in religious circles"!

Maggie, you cracked me up!

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