Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 30, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

CENTCOM FOLLIES....Spencer Ackerman reports from Capitol Hill:

I just got back from Admiral Bill Fallon's hearing to head Central Command, and I've never heard a military officer testify for nearly four hours and fail to exhibit an understanding of even one issue he's about to grapple with.

Here is Fallon's excuse:

"As you know, I've got a full-time job in Pacific Command, and I've tried to stay away from the detail of Central Command until such time as I might be confirmed," he said. "Then I intend to dive into it."

"I'm surprised that you don't have that understanding going in, frankly," said Senator Levin.

Spencer's promised followup post ought to be worth reading.

Kevin Drum 1:11 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (114)

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Comments

pelosi!


"Then I intend to dive into it."

that's worked so well so far...

Posted by: mr. irony on January 30, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

There is one reason and one reason only that they want an Admiral at CENTCOM at a time they have two carrier task forces (not strike groups - full battle rattle task forces) in the gulf.

Iran.

Wake the fuck up people. This mother fucker is a cornered wounded animal.

And that answer is way disturbing. Get rid of these Dionysian, Mars worshiping bastards now.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 30, 2007 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

All the important information is probably classified. We don't want the terrorists knowing our strategy. He's wise to realize that, with the information available to him now, he can't have a true understanding of the situation.

Posted by: American Hawk on January 30, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

It seem like Republicans want their generals and admirals to be the same as their women: quiet, passive, ignorant.

Posted by: Keith G on January 30, 2007 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

So, if I apply for a job I know nothing about, it's all OK as long as I promise to "dive right in" as soon as I get the job?

Wow.

Posted by: idlemind on January 30, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Every time I try to learn something new, it pushes out something I used to know.
Now I purge first before I "dive into it".

(interesting theory, la Blue Girl)

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on January 30, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

It worked so well for Bush, that he doesn't want his staff to know anything now, either.

Posted by: freelunch on January 30, 2007 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

All the important information is probably classified.

He's the fucking head of PACCOM, and the five commands are interrelated. They don't operate in a vacuum, you know. (Or, more likely you don't. Sorry I implied the ability to think, make connections and infer to a GOP shill) Nonetheless, his security clearance authorizes him to study up. The gravity of the job he is being considered for behooves him to do so.

Jesus Christ, if that's the best your side can do your party is doomed. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 30, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure I see the issue here. Petraeus is to come up with the Iraq strategy...Fallon's purview is more long-term strategic...he's CentCom after all...and has a lot more on his plate than Iraq (or Iran or Afghanistan)...

I agree with Arkin that the real reason for Fallon's placement is his reputation as a diplomat.

Posted by: Nathan on January 30, 2007 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

This is typical business-school nonsense -- the idea that someone "with good management skills" can be "slotted in" nearly anywhere and do a good job is practically the Harvard MBA mantra. One would think the military would be smarter than that, but within the walls of the Pentagon it's business-school rules.

Posted by: idlemind on January 30, 2007 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Sun Tzu had something to say about figuring out how to fight a war *after* you get to the battlefield:

"Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."

Granted, this applies more to Bush & Co. than to Admiral Fallon, but hey.

Posted by: Grumpy on January 30, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of classified. America would be improved a lot if congression authorized a grand jury with security clearance to review all classified material. Their job would be to indict anyone who abuses the classification process to cover their mistakes or the mistakes of others.

Posted by: freelunch on January 30, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

All the important information is probably classified.

They're not even trying anymore. Sad.

Posted by: klyde on January 30, 2007 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Nonetheless, his security clearance authorizes him to study up. The gravity of the job he is being considered for behooves him to do so.

Unlike Sandy Berger, he takes his security clearance seriously and isn't going to spill classified information all over public airwaves. If only the democrat senator who spilled the beans on us tracking Bin Ladin's satellite phone was as responsible. All he can say in public is what's publicly available. Given the no doubt reams of classified information, that's so little to go on there's very little he can say. That's why he's perceived as "saying nothing" by democrats who either don't understand how national security works or are just trying to score cheap political points.

Posted by: American Hawk on January 30, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

If the information is so highly classified that he has to play dumb, yet at the same time the Senate Armed Services committee needs honest answers, then why is the hearing "open"? How is it that Ackerman is allowed in?

The whole process makes no sense. I need more info.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on January 30, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Are you implying I have no understanding of national security issues? My credibility is far and away beyond yours. It is incumbent upon the nominee to provide a better answer than he did.

It indicates he will be a yes-man, and that is not what is needed right now. He just disqualified himself from the job. That you can't see that belies an ignorance that boggles the mind. How do you manage accessing the internets with your limited capacity?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 30, 2007 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

"I just got back from Admiral Bill Fallon's hearing to head Central Command, and I've never heard a military officer testify for nearly four hours and fail to exhibit an understanding of even one issue he's about to grapple with."

Actually, I can't make sense of this sentence. I *think* it means either "[Before Fallon,] I've never heard a military officer testify for nearly four hours and fail to exhibit an understanding of even one issue he's about to grapple with," or "I've never heard one [including Fallon] who wasn't on top of at least one issue." Everyone seems to be betting on the first, so I will too; at least the context suggests as much. I'd post this on Spencer's blog, but I can't figure out how.

Posted by: David on January 30, 2007 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

If only the democrat senator who spilled the beans on us tracking Bin Ladin's satellite phone was as responsible.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Lemme refresh your memory.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Monday that the president was referring to an article that appeared in the Washington Times on Aug. 21, 1998, the day after the cruise missile attack, which was launched in retaliation for the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa two weeks earlier.

Name the Democratic senator. Ten bucks says you can't name him and back it up with a non-wingnut link.

Smarter trolls, please.

Posted by: Stranger on January 30, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) >"...How do you manage accessing the internets with your limited capacity?"

Oh come on BGRS, you know the answer to that, his mom helps him

"As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities." - Voltaire

Posted by: daCascadian on January 30, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Stranger-- It was already verified by the Washington Times. Go read the original article.

Global-- You clearly don't understand that some things have to stay secret for the military to work. Do you want him to openly discuss troop movements on the Senate floor?

wish-- That was undoubtedly a decision made by democrats more concerned with scoring cheap political points than asking genuine questions.

Posted by: American Hawk on January 30, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Fascist Chicken >"...It was already verified by the Washington Times..."

ROFLMAO

The Mooney Times ?

I`d believe Al was a liberal before I`d believe anything the Moonies (Satan`s master mouthpiece) published.

You are one lost soul & in so many ways.

"Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day." - Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: daCascadian on January 30, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

You clearly don't understand that some things have to stay secret for the military to work.

I hold a fucking security clearance, asshole. (I am sometimes around anesthetized Officers). Don't tell me how the military works, m'kay? I was born on a naval installation and my husband finished his career in intel. I know a hell of a lot more than you do, and you are a deluded tool.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 30, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Global-- You clearly don't understand that some things have to stay secret for the military to work. Do you want him to openly discuss troop movements on the Senate floor?

The stupid! Please, for the love of Pete make it stop.

Posted by: klyde on January 30, 2007 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan wrote: I'm not sure I see the issue here.

Imagine my surprise...

Of course, if Nathan didn't have a long-established history here as a GOP water carrier (not to mention failed lawyer and documented liar), his confession of ignorance might carry some possible weight. As it is, though, whil Nathan's ignorance is a matter of common knowledge, sadly, it's usually of the dishonestly willful variety.

Posted by: Gregory on January 30, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

forgive the whoring, but if any of you FireFox users would like a disemvoweller for the WashingtonMonthly boards, you can grab mine, here.

it requires FireFox and GreaseMonkey (which is trivial to install, if you have FireFox).

believe me, seeing comments from Al and A-Hawk disemvowelled (or turned to exclamations of the goodness of pie) makes this board much easier to handle.

Posted by: cleek on January 30, 2007 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

All Admiral Fallon needs to do his job are the Iranian geographical coordinants and the amount of kilotons required to destroy that target.

Posted by: Brojo on January 30, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

I realize one shouldn't feed the animals, but I'd just like to point out that, in the (unlikely) case that the Admiral's concern was revealing classified info, then the honorable and traditional way for an Officer to reply to a Senator is something like "I'm afraid I can't go into that in open session, because of my concern for classified information, Senator, but I'd be happy to discuss it with you in the proper surroundings."

What he SAID was "I've tried to stay away from the detail of Central Command", which has nothing to do with classified information and everything to do with willful ignorance of the two major armed conflicts currently involving our armed forces. At the very least, it speaks to a lack of curiosity, and implies that, upon confirmation, there will be a 'ramp up' time that really shouldn't be required in the middle of our alleged 'existential' struggle.

Posted by: biggerbox on January 30, 2007 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

If only the democrat senator who spilled the beans on us tracking Bin Ladin's satellite phone was as responsible.

Stranger-- It was already verified by the Washington Times. Go read the original article.

[sigh] It continues. Name the senator please. And there's this...

The story of the vicious leak that destroyed a valuable intelligence operation was first reported by a best-selling book, validated by the Sept. 11 commission and then repeated by the president.
But it appears to be an urban myth.

Posted by: ckelly on January 30, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Calm down folks. If we get angry at every lunacy AH mouths we will always be angry.

AH, the Admiral in question has been nominated for a very important position. I am sure if he wanted he could have called somebody in Central Command and they would have provided him with a very serious briefing of everything going on in the middle east. It is remotely possible that the briefer might have withheld some information, unlikely, but possible. That kind of information wouldn't have been the subject of a public hearing anyway. The briefer would have had to be prepared to tell his new boss that he hadn't told him everything. General officers are pretty prickly about knowing everything. I wouldn't want to be that briefer, would you.

The Admiral had no reason not to make that call. After all he hasn't been nominated to a judical position. No, the Admiral is either unqualified for the job, or he has been told not to share his thoughts with the committee. Either way we lose.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 30, 2007 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

It seem like Republicans want their generals and admirals to be the same as their women: quiet, passive, ignorant. Posted by: Keith G on January 30, 2007 at 1:32 PM

...and their constituents, and their media, and their scientistis, and their oversight committees, and ...

Posted by: Zit on January 30, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Whoa. I think I have a major system crash a brewin...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 30, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK
I'm not sure I see the issue here.

You inability to see obvious issues is well established.

Petraeus is to come up with the Iraq strategy...

Petraeus is to command US forces in Iraq. Given that Iraq is supposedly the key part of a broader war, people with broader responsibility for that war, however, ought to be guiding the strategy in Iraq consistent with the needs of the broader war, and to do that they need to understand the broader war, understand the situation in Iraq, and be able to intelligently plan how those pieces fit together.

Fallon's purview is more long-term strategic...he's CentCom after all...and has a lot more on his plate than Iraq (or Iran or Afghanistan)...

Yes, he will have more on his plate than Iraq in dealing with Centcom issues, but it is those issues, not merely those specific to Iraq, of which he has admitted deliberate, consciously-planned ignorance.

That being said, Iraq and Afghanistan, where there is active fighting, and Iran where, for good or ill, military options are being weighed and actions in Iraq may provoke crisis aside from that, are pretty big pieces of the Centcom responsibility.

I can't tell if your inability to see the problem results from genuine ignorance of the responsibilities involved and context, or if it is the same kind of deliberate, desperate deflecting spin that infuses much of your commentary on, say, legal issues relating to the administration, though the latter seems more credible as the principal explanation.


I agree with Arkin that the real reason for Fallon's placement is his reputation as a diplomat.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 30, 2007 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

I'm just happy he didn't nominate the Sea Captain from the Simpsons (he hates the sea and everything in it), although I'm sure he tried.

Posted by: norbizness on January 30, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

I'm just happy he didn't nominate the Sea Captain from the Simpsons (he hates the sea and everything in it), although I'm sure he tried.
Posted by: norbizness

S'nice! That really is more the Preznit's style: put someone on the job that is antithetical to the faithful execution of said job.

Posted by: cyntax on January 30, 2007 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

I nominate this as the best yet:

"As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities." - Voltaire
Posted by: daCascadian

It sums up the whole of the substitution of marketing/PR driven absurdities for a real national discourse.

"Simply put our nation is on an imprudent and unsustainable fiscal path." - David Walker, the Comptroller General

Posted by: MsNThrope on January 30, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

GC: The Dionysian is the life seeking force. Not the death seeking. That's Thantos.

Posted by: MsNThrope on January 30, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

a-h: he takes his security clearance seriously and isn't going to spill classified information all over public airwaves.


says who?

Posted by: valerie plame, noc on January 30, 2007 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

AH: Name. The. Senator.

Or just STFU. Thanks.

Posted by: Stranger on January 30, 2007 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

So by "diplomat" do they mean sycophantic toady? Who else would carry on in a position of command authority in time of war without the background, training, and credibility to do the job? He will go down with Hooker in the hall of ignominy to be built as the GW Bush presidential library. That is unless civic pride does not preclude its construction anywhere in the U.S.

Posted by: Sparko on January 30, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

MsNThrope >"...Simply put our nation is on an imprudent and unsustainable fiscal path." - David Walker, the Comptroller General"

An intentional path nonetheless.

This behavior is the ReThuglican ultimate fall back position on social entitlement programs. They believe that if they can`t destroy FDR`s New Deal any other way, national bankruptcy will do the job.

Their thoughts are that once the Treasury is declared bankrupt, there will be unstoppable pressure for getting rid of all those social (but not corporate) entitlements & their cronies will be able to pick up through auctions all the property they care to.

Private kingdoms Ho !

[And, no, I AM NOT kidding about this...]

“The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

Posted by: daCascadian on January 30, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

The senator who ratted is Pat Leaky.
Bank it.

Posted by: Orwell on January 30, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

MsN! Hiya darlin, how're things?

Posted by: cyntax on January 30, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Once out of a job even reactionaries have to live in the real world.

John Bolton endorses dividing Iraq into three parts.

"We did a disservice to Iraqis by depriving them of political leaders," Bolton was quoted as saying, adding that the Coalition Provisional Authority that initially ran Iraq allowed terrorists to regroup. . . .

"The United States has no strategic interest in the fact that there's one Iraq, or three Iraqs," he was quoted as saying. "We have a strategic interest in the fact of ensuring that what emerges is not a state in complete collapse, which could become a refuge for terrorists or a terrorist state."

The comments marked the second time in less than a week that Bolton had criticized the Bush administration's policy. On Fox News last week, he said the United States may not be able to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons because it was following a flawed diplomatic strategy.

Posted by: cld on January 30, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

I think this question was useless anyway.

Admiral Fallon said that he was also unable to give an assessment of whether the Iraqi government was up to the task of embarking on a new strategy.

Everybody, even Bushco, agrees that we need a new plan. What if Fallon's assessment showed that the Iraqi government was NOT up to the test of embarking on a new strategy? Is there a Plan B for that contingency?

Who thinks the Iraqi army would follow the orders given by a new "Coalition" government of Americans and Iraqis selected by Americans? Who thinks we could carry out another election in Iraq if we announced that we were dissolving the one previously elected?

Assessing the Iraqi government as though we had an alternative to working with them would be a useless exercise, which is why Fallon obviously isn't going to do it. But he added that a major challenge would be to identify Iraqi military leaders and units that would be effective.

We're supporting the Iraqi government that was elected, rather than the one we wish had been elected.

Posted by: cowalker on January 30, 2007 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

MsN: (*blushing here*) One-a these days that's gonna take. I do believe that is probably about the three or four hundredth time I've had that gently pointed out to me.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 30, 2007 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

Orwell >"The senator who ratted is Pat Leaky.
Bank it."

Prove it !

Simply pass us a valid reference where "valid" == a reliable source

[a blog or one of your fever driven dreams does NOT count]

"Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines." - Bertrand Russell

Posted by: daCascadian on January 30, 2007 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

"I've tried to stay away from the detail of Central Command" because I was hoping to avoid the clusterf*&k that is Iraq, but now that I'm neck deep in it, I guess I'll have to study up.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 30, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

If you two are here for a minute, I'm going to go fetch my favorite quotes!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 30, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

With any other President, I would without doubt know that Fallon was giving poor answers. But when you serve under President Bush, I tend to give generals a lot more slack. Just think about their situation. Yuk.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on January 30, 2007 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of conservatives in the real world, here's a great quick article on how every one of the Republican candidates for President has directly offended the conservative fantasy base.

Posted by: cld on January 30, 2007 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

It seem like Republicans want their generals and admirals to be the same as their women: quiet, passive, ignorant.

Not only that, it seems they prefer bosses and leaders who make they themselves want to remain quiet, passive, and ignorant.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on January 30, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Calm down folks. If we get angry at every lunacy AH mouths we will always be angry.
Posted by: Ron Byers on January 30, 2007 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Well, that explains the last 6 months of my life.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on January 30, 2007 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Fallon's appointment is entirely consistent with the Republicun Plan for Endless War. It's all they have left.

Posted by: CT on January 30, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

"You can't be Captain Nemo all your life."

Quote from Fantasy Island, by a woman speaking to a child obsessed with Captain Nemo.

I made this quote quite popular in the middle Seventies while at university. I was collecting interesting expressions. Too bad it actually has meaning now.

Posted by: Brojo on January 30, 2007 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Leaders of the house and senate intelligence and other committees don't know the difference between sunnis and shia, so I don't see why we should expect the leader of the military to know anything more. Ignorance has served us well so far.

Perhaps I should rephrase that so as not to be taken for an Al-bot: [sarcasm] so I don't see why we should expect the leader of the military to know anything more. Ignorance has served us well so far. [/sarcasm]

Posted by: anandine on January 30, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

I'll agree that they probably don't pay him very much, but it's still impressive to see that somebody thinks Kevin's blog should be neutralized by employing a troll to clog the comments.

Reminds me of the undying faith of the American automobile industry that people will buy more expensive cars if only they spend more on advertising.

Posted by: serial catowner on January 30, 2007 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone does know that AH isn't "real"?... It's a liberal satirizing conservative arguments by making them (obviously) dumb. Maybe not obvious enough.

Posted by: luci on January 30, 2007 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

Explains why King Buttfuck wants this guy to run things.

When you are an incompetent like King Buttfuck, you want to elevate other incompetents.

if you elevated a competent person, it would make you, the decider, look even stupider.

Posted by: POed Lib on January 30, 2007 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

PO: Explains why King Buttfuck wants this guy to run things.

When you are an incompetent like King Buttfuck, you want to elevate other incompetents.

if you elevated a competent person, it would make you, the decider, look even stupider


Tell us what you really think! I do believe you're onto something here, though. I challenge AH, Al, Fucked-Up Kenneth, Nathan, or any other troll to name ONE competent member of Shrub's administration.

I'll wait...

Posted by: bigcat on January 30, 2007 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

I challenge AH, Al, Fucked-Up Kenneth, Nathan, or any other troll to name ONE competent member of Shrub's administration.

I'll wait...

... and wait...


Posted by: bigcat on January 30, 2007 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

You folks are unhappy that this nominee won't give bullship opinions on any subject raised. Unlike politicians and unlike us commenters he apparently wants to know the facts and details before reaching a conclusion.

For a high military leader, that would be a good trait. Politicians and bloggers can spout nonsense with little consequence. But, a bad decision by a military leader can cost many lives.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 30, 2007 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

a bad decision by a military leader can cost many lives.

Gee...Ya think? The point is the guy is already in a really small club - their are only five commands, and he's going to the one that's been watching North Korea and which bumps up against CENTCOM. He has the clearance, and he has the Need to Know. (That's the key - clearance be damned, if you don't have Need to Know, you don't need to be asking.) In fact - he has a responsibility to know. Either he is not fit for the job; or he is giving a yes-man non-answer. Either way, it doesn't bode well.

You can do better than defend this.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 30, 2007 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

He's going from the one that has been watching North Korea....

Sorry.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 30, 2007 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Politicians and bloggers can spout nonsense with little consequence. But, a bad decision by a military leader can cost many lives

Bush's decisions have cost tens of thousands of lives in Iraq.

Posted by: cleek on January 30, 2007 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK
You folks are unhappy that this nominee won't give bullship opinions on any subject raised.

“I've been ignoring CENTCOM issues deliberately” is “bullship” only with a ‘t” instead of a ‘p’.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 30, 2007 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

bigcat: I challenge AH, Al, Fucked-Up Kenneth, Nathan, or any other troll to name ONE competent member of Shrub's administration.

Okay. Ben Bernanke, federal reserve chair. When he was nominated, Paul Krugman said something like "Is Bush now so weak that he has to nominate somebody qualified?"

Posted by: anandine on January 30, 2007 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Kind of makes you wonder; sending in an Admiral to direct our landwars. I guess they are just going to blow up the middle east and be done with it. Bush and Cheney are going into the bio fuels biz.

Posted by: darby1936 on January 30, 2007 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl\GC doesn't really need my defense, but she's been a long time poster here. I've never seen a single inconsistency, and I have some idea of what to look for.

Never seen you before, though, VRWC.

Posted by: hotrod on January 30, 2007 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone I've ever known who needed to play his credentials was a poser. Multiply threefold for whipping it out in an anonymous medium.
Posted by: VRWC

Thanks, we all find your logic very persuasive. But as hotrod notes, Blue Girl is a known quantity, while you are... not.

Posted by: cyntax on January 30, 2007 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Either he is not fit for the job; or he is giving a yes-man non-answer. Either way, it doesn't bode well.

Hopefully, it isn't getting to the point where that is all there is left to choose from.

Posted by: asdfg on January 30, 2007 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK
Either he is not fit for the job; or he is giving a yes-man non-answer.

If he is prone to giving yes-man non-answers when quizzed by the lawmakers who represent the people of the United States and in whose hands decisions of war and peace and government of the military are entrusted by the Constitution, he is manifestly unfit for the job. So, he is either unfit for the job, or he is unfit for the job.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 30, 2007 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

"As you know, I've got a full-time job in Pacific Command, and I've tried to stay away from the detail of Central Command until such time as I might be confirmed," he said. "Then I intend to dive into it."

It's obviously not possible for him to do both jobs simultaneously at the professional level, so he is doing the job that he has until he is given his next assignment. When he refers to "the detail" he is referring to ALL the detail in the precision and volume that he will be required to master if he is put in command of CENTCOM. Anything else that he said would be glib, superficial, and unprofessional.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on January 30, 2007 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

Kind of makes you wonder; sending in an Admiral to direct our landwars. I guess they are just going to blow up the middle east and be done with it. Bush and Cheney are going into the bio fuels biz.
Posted by: darby1936

Yup. But if you see a third carrier head to the region, wonder no more: Iran's anti-aircraft batteries are gonna get a real workout.

Posted by: cyntax on January 30, 2007 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

"bigcat: I challenge AH, Al, Fucked-Up Kenneth, Nathan, or any other troll to name ONE competent member of Shrub's administration.

Okay. Ben Bernanke, federal reserve chair. When he was nominated, Paul Krugman said something like "Is Bush now so weak that he has to nominate somebody qualified?""

I'm on the right, though I don't think I'm considered one of the nuts. Since Al, et al probably couldn't name a cabinet member, let me help.

I'm not sure Bernanke\the Fed is considered part of the Executive Branch, though I might be wrong about it.

Paulson at Treasury seems solid, though that's mostly because he held out until things were so bad for the administration they had to guarantee to restore it to a policy position, rather than a glorified spokesman. Supposably there are a few bright spots in political slots below him at Treasury.

Gates seems okay, though that's at least in part because he replaced a disgrace. Some of the lunatics are being weeded out of the lower ranks at DOD as well.

There is decency\competence in some other places as well.

The problem with the Bushies from a competence standpoint is the monumental dysfunction. They set up the VP as kind of an Executive VP. All things flow through Cheney, but without the accountability, oversight, or staff to make that arrangement work. In turn, power was centralized at the White House, with the cabinet departments minimized, and any barriers between policy and politics demolished. Lastly, a culture was built that demanded personal loyalty first and discouraged reporting the bad news.

The position that is supposed to fix such dysfunction is the Chief of Staff. The original Chief of Staff, Card, was kind of a highly paid appointments secretary - apparently made so quite deliberately by Bush and Cheney. Bolten seems to be making some improvements, so I'll point him out as a competant contributor as well.

That dysfunction contributes to the misuse of others - e.g. Rice, a talented analyst but in over her head at her current job.

Fallon is supposed to be the real deal, and is thought so by some people who think very little of the Bushies. I don't know what happened at the hearings, but am hesitant to make to much of a single incident. I agree it's a concern though.

Posted by: hotrod on January 30, 2007 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, VRWC, if you're still here -

"Everyone I've ever known who needed to play his credentials was a poser. Multiply threefold for whipping it out in an anonymous medium."

I took a shot (pretty mild one) at VRWC about this, but will qualify it by saying - in different settings I would agree, up to a point.

That said, postings on a political blog with a well established community, of which Blue Girl is surely a part, hardly rate the same as some PX Ranger sewing on a long tab to chase tail.

If you don't know what I just said, don't worry about it. And no, I haven't earned a long tab.

Posted by: hotrod on January 30, 2007 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

We tend to focus on specific folks who lead
our military endeavors like CENTCOM, EUCOM, PACOM, SOCUM, etc.

This is unfortunate because it masks the real costs of our worldwide DoD operations.

CENTCOM is building new headquarters, where 1,000s of folks will work. See if you can find the price tag for the five-year plan.

http://www.centcom.mil/sites/uscentcom2/Misc/Future.aspx

The costs of war are sky-rocketing, we are building stuff all over the planet.

While we argue about the mess within CENTCOM, don't forget all the other "COMs" and related costs and illustrious personnel.

The speed and expense of our military expenditures
is absolutely obscene.

That is the real story.

The transformation of our military isn't just piecemeal, it is being carried out systematically and on a global scale unprecedented in human history.

That is our legacy.

Hurray for war. USEARTHCOM here we come!

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on January 30, 2007 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

PX Ranger sewing on a long tab to chase tail.

Now they don't even have to sew - they buy the fucking velcro insignia off the web. And eventually get stomped in a bar-fight off the back gate.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 30, 2007 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

That is what Bush said to Rice, I intend to dive into it, you little man with your horrible lies.

Posted by: Al on January 30, 2007 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

cleek: Bush's decisions have cost tens of thousands of lives in Iraq.

Bush's decisions have also saved hundreds of thousand of Iraqi lives, if one believes UNICREF and others who argued before the invasion that the UN sanctions had killed half a million to a million Iraqi children. E.g.

According to Unicef, the United Nations Children’s Fund, 4,000 more children under five are dying every month in Iraq than would have died before Western sanctions were imposed. Over the eight years that these sanctions have been in place, 500,000 extra children under five are estimated to have died. http://www.zmag.org/edwinthalliday.htm

wikipedia says: Critics of the sanctions say that over a million Iraqis, disproportionately children, died as a result of them [sanctions], [5] although other researchers concluded that the total was lower

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 30, 2007 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

Is Bush a little man?

He once ordered the “help” (security) to “hurt” someone permanently because they called his father (then president of the United States), a wimp!

The “hit” was called off but the attempt was witnessed by many.

Little Man, hardly. Bush is a wimp, just like his father.

Posted by: tech head on January 30, 2007 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

That said, postings on a political blog with a well established community, of which Blue Girl is surely a part, hardly rate the same as some PX Ranger sewing on a long tab to chase tail.

If you don't know what I just said, don't worry about it. And no, I haven't earned a long tab.
Posted by: hotrod

If VRWC does know, I'll eat the patch (no tab) off the right shoulder of one of my BDUs (and it ain't a small one).

Posted by: cyntax on January 30, 2007 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

Cyntax, Hotrod - thank you both from the bottom of my heart. I got your backs anytime.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 30, 2007 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

VRWC:

If you heard someone reply to the statement that it's easy to hit a 101 mph Joel Zumaya fastball because its flat by pointing out that its hard to hit anything moving 101 mph, and he should know because he played pro baseball, would you deride him as a poser? When you go to see a surgeon, or when you take your car in for repairs, or when you want to hire someone to do your cabinets, you either pay a great deal of attention to his or her credentials, or you're a fool.

military sub-thread crowd:
When my brother was at Ft. Dix, after finishing his ranger training, he found himself at the O-Club one evening having to listen to his colonel attack one of his sergeants as worthless. Having had one or two beers too many, my brother waited for the colonel to pause, then asked, "you mean worthless, like a tabless infantry colonel?" Fireworks ensued.

Posted by: keith on January 30, 2007 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK
Fallon's placement is his reputation as a diplomat. Nathan at 1:48 P
A reputation obviously not based on his knowledge of facts on the ground.
... he apparently wants to know the facts and details before reaching a conclusion....ex-lax at 6:28 PM Anything else that he said would be glib, superficial, and unprofessional MatthewRMarler at 7:55 PM
He should know before hand. The Bush policy of on-the-job training has cost us several office towers in NYC, mid-sized city in Louisiana, and one fubar invasion in the Middle East. We don't need another.
Bush's decisions have also saved hundreds of thousand of Iraqi lives...ex-lax at 8:56 PM
If Bush had been interested in saving lives, he could have gone with the position of lifting sanctions. Unfortunately, he prefers the title Butcher of Baghdad, displacing Saddam.

America ‘poised to strike at Iran’s nuclear sites from bases in Bulgaria and Romania
Report suggest that ‘US defensive ring’ may be new front in war on terror. By Gabriel Ronay

PRESIDENT BUSH is preparing to attack Iran's nuclear facilities before the end of April and the US Air Force's new bases in Bulgaria and Romania would be used as back-up in the onslaught, according to an official report from Sofia.
"American forces could be using their two USAF bases in Bulgaria and one at Romania's Black Sea coast to launch an attack on Iran in April," the Bulgarian news agency Novinite said.
The American build-up along the Black Sea, coupled with the recent positioning of two US aircraftcarrier battle groups off the Straits of Hormuz, appears to indicate president Bush has run out of patience with Tehran's nuclear misrepresentation and non-compliance with the UN Security Council's resolution. President Ahmeninejad of Iran has further ratcheted up tension in the region by putting on show his newly purchased state of the art Russian TOR-Ml anti-missile defense system....

Posted by: Mike on January 30, 2007 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

The terrorist attacks on 9-11 showed us we have little or no national defense. Almost all the trillions of our tax dollars spent on the U.S. military go to maintain an extensive network of international bases and weapons for offensive power projection, like aircraft carriers. The U.S. has essentially no border defenses and could not even muster armed fighter jets to intercept Flight 93 or the other hijacked planes on 9-11. Bush had to be pressured by Democrats into supporting only the most basic port security measures, almost five years after 9-11.

There is also no "war on terror". Al-Qaeda and most other terror groups in the world were originally formed and/or funded by the CIA to fight "communism" or to prevent socialism and international labor unions from succeeding. What we have is a vast bullying machine dedicated to acquiring resources and guarding property for a greedy corporate billionaire elite. If our government was serious about ending terrorism and spreading democracy or freedom then it would stop funding state terrorism by countries like Israel and setting up the numerous dictatorships which were installed and continue to receive aid from the U.S. This won't happen because the neofascists like Bush rely on war, terrorism, torture and dictatorship to maintain their multinational, corporate kleptocracy. Their goal is not free enterprise, or democracy but the continuing concentration of more of the world's resources into fewer and fewer hands, the taking of resources from indigenous peoples by force, ownership of the media by a like-minded few, and subversion of democratic government through corporate campaign financing, electoral fraud and violence against those who would count all of the votes that are cast.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 30, 2007 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

"you mean worthless, like a tabless infantry colonel?" Fireworks ensued.

Ooohh. I woulda loved to see that! I've seen some fireworks between "silo sitters" and "missile monkeys" back in the SAC days. Those crazy bastards sitting in the Control Center for 24 hours at a time, waiting for the airborn command post to fly over and give them a message they had to decode that might meant the end of the world are crazy as shithouse rats after 40 or 50 missions underground.

You ever watch South Park? After a few missions underground, all those folks on launch crew were like Tweek.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 30, 2007 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

Keith G wrote:

"It seem like Republicans want their generals and admirals to be the same as their women: quiet, passive, ignorant."
__________________

It's clear you never met my wife. Or many admirals.

lol

Posted by: Trashhauler on January 31, 2007 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

BGRS wrote:

"It indicates he will be a yes-man, and that is not what is needed right now. He just disqualified himself from the job."
______________________

Admiral Fallon is far more than a yes-man, GC, believe me. He's a genuine heavy-hitter. Playing too coy, is my guess. But, you're right, if I can get the daily classified CENTCOM briefings (at work, not here at home), then Admiral Fallon surely gets more.

Posted by: Trashhauler on January 31, 2007 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

then asked, "you mean worthless, like a tabless infantry colonel?" Fireworks ensued.
Posted by: keith

Ouch. That's a much bigger dust-up than the red-leg/blue-leg ones I was used to.

Posted by: cyntax on January 31, 2007 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

Remember, folks, General Eisenhower was selected for his diplomatic skills. As far as I know, he never commanded troops in combat until he was put in charge of the North Africa campaign.

Admiral Fallon was likely chosen long before we decided to send another carrier to the Gulf. And there must be a dozen reasons why we want two carriers there that have nothing to do with an intent to attack Iran. And you don't need a four star admiral to generate integrated air tasking orders or con a fleet. Who's the Fifth Fleet commander?

However, it must be said that it's slightly unusual to move the commander of one regional command to command another. It could have to do with the the proposed formation of Africa Command, which they might want to go to an Army general. Speculation, either way.

Posted by: Trashhauler on January 31, 2007 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

The nice thing about the passage of time is the way it sorts things out. Let me make all my predications for 2007 to be checked for accuracy on February 1st, 2008.

1) The present Iraqi regime will still be in power.

2) The present regime in Iran will have failed to provoke the war it desperately needs to prevent the Iranian people from focusing their demands for social modernism and prosperity.
The obnoxious Mr. Ahmadnadinejad will be on the way out, if not actually out.

3) Syria and Israel will either make a peace now or fight a nasty war and then make a peace.

4) Castro will have finally died. There will be a modest celebration in Miami. Nothing in Cuba will change. Guantanimo Bay will continue to not even be the worst prison on the island of Cuba.

5) Hurricanes will be back, but likely not killer flu epidemics.

6) Pat Robertson will probably be proved wrong in predicting a new WMD attack, or whatever it was he predicted.

7) Chevrolet will have its 100 mpg plug in hybrid ready but gas will still be at $2.40 a gallon so I may buy the Denali SUV I really want.

8) Seattle will return to the Super Bowl with a healed-up team.

9) For the first time in five hundred years, no one will see the face of a religious figure in a rust stain or other natural deformity.

10) A computer acting on its own will be discovered to have rigged a major national lottery and is using the winnings to have its own perfect mate constructed, thus proving A.I. is for real.

Posted by: mike cook on January 31, 2007 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

"ex-liberal" wrote: Bush's decisions have also saved hundreds of thousand of Iraqi lives, if one believes UNICREF and others who argued before the invasion that the UN sanctions had killed half a million to a million Iraqi children...

As if the chaotic, primitive conditions in Iraq are some improvement. Pathetic effort, "ex-liberal." Although your desperation to justify your support for this clusterfuck as some sort of noble endeavor is obvious, you sound like you're just phoning it in now. Your earlier silence was far less embarrassing to you -- I remind you of Mark Twain's advice against spouting off and removing all doubt of your cluelenssness, mendacity and dishonor.

Not that we had any doubts of those to begin with, of course.

Posted by: Gregory on January 31, 2007 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

It's obviously not possible for him to do both jobs simultaneously at the professional level, so he is doing the job that he has until he is given his next assignment.

Shorter Matthew Marler: There's no Republican incompetence I won't apologize for!

Posted by: Gregory on January 31, 2007 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

Trashy wrote: Admiral Fallon is far more than a yes-man, GC, believe me.

I'm sure your vouching for him will be evaluaded with the credibility you've earned from your previous posts, Trashy.

Not good news for Fallon, alas....

Posted by: Gregory on January 31, 2007 at 8:39 AM | PERMALINK

Trashy wrote: And there must be a dozen reasons why we want two carriers there that have nothing to do with an intent to attack Iran.

OK, I'll bite. Name six of them.

Posted by: Gregory on January 31, 2007 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory wrote:

"Trashy wrote: And there must be a dozen reasons why we want two carriers there that have nothing to do with an intent to attack Iran.

OK, I'll bite. Name six of them."
______________________

Gregory, you do like to beat your head against walls. I'm not certain why you always seem to doubt my bona fides. I haven't read a word about yours.

Okay, let's see...

1. Having worked with carrier exercises a few times, I learned that carrier schedules are often made as much as 18 months in advance. A temporary overlap of carriers might as well be where both are useful, rather than in transit.

2. The Navy might have decided that more overlap is worthwhile, especially if a carrier is coming out of refit or has a new command structure.

3. CENTCOM might want to temporarily increase naval air in Iraq or Afghanistan.

4. I haven't checked the CJCS Five Year Exercise Schedule recently, but one or both of these carriers might be scheduled in bilateral or multilateral military exercises with allies, either as a PASSEX or as part of a JCS-coordinated or -directed exercise. These exercises could be anywhere from the Med to Australia or Korea. Again, the schedule might have resulted in an overlap in the Gulf.

5. CENTCOM might want some ability to put a carrier near the Horn of Africa quickly. In the meantime, it makes sense to station it in the Gulf.

6. The loss of Vieques as a workup location has sometimes led to carriers performing shakedown en route. The availability of ranges is sometimes variable, meaning that more transit time is now scheduled for arriving carriers, with the possibility of more overlap always there.

7. I haven't checked the air wing composition of each carrier, but there might be assets on one carrier that will be transferred to the other (with new personnel).

8. It might be general saber rattling intended to send Iran a message without any intent to attack that country at all.

I gave you a couple extra and some thought could provide a few more.

Look, Greg, the point is that we don't know why the second carrier is going to be there and speculation about what it means should be tempered by the knowledge that it needn't be anything very significant.


Posted by: Trashhauler on January 31, 2007 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Admiral Fallon was likely chosen long before we decided to send another carrier to the Gulf. And there must be a dozen reasons why we want two carriers there that have nothing to do with an intent to attack Iran. And you don't need a four star admiral to generate integrated air tasking orders or con a fleet.
Posted by: Trashhauler

I agree that two carriers do not indicate an intent to attack Iran. But if we sent a third, could it be for anything other than an attack on Iran? And as you pointed out it is unusual to move regional commanders around.

Posted by: cyntax on January 31, 2007 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

cyntax, a third carrier would make quite a difference, because it means making a major change in the overall carrier refit and deployment schedule. An even greater indicator that something's brewing would be if the gathering of carriers was accompanied by the deployment of substantially more USAF tanker aircraft.

Large Alpha strikes from carriers into Iran would exceed the carriers' organic aerial refueling capability. Any series of large strikes would need large numbers of KC-135 and perhaps KC-10 tankers. I'm convalescing here at home, so I haven't asked anyone about tanker deployments. Nor would I necessarily be allowed to talk about them if I knew anything.

Posted by: Trashhauler on January 31, 2007 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not certain why you always seem to doubt my bona fides.

au contraire, Trashy, I don't doubt at all that you're a bona fide water carrier for this Administration. You have post after post to prove it.

Someone with an interesting opinion and an ounce of credibility? Not so much.

you do like to beat your head against walls

Sayeth the one who continues to carry water for the Republicans. It is to laugh!

As to your reasons, props to you anyway for providing them. I'll point out that many of them, such as "there might be assets on one carrier that will be transferred to the other (with new personnel)", are easily falisfiable one way or another, and others -- the one referring to "a temporary overlap being useful" -- are hardly exclusive to that usefulness being for an attack on Iran.

Your point that it's saber rattling rather than a genuine preparation for attack is at least credible. But your plea that "we don't know why the second carrier is going to be there and speculation about what it means should be tempered by the knowledge that it needn't be anything very significant" is rank bullshit of the first order. The Persian Gulf is a hot spot -- duh! -- and if the Administration deploys a carrier group there, in the face of the region's natural volatility, the current chaos in Iraq and the Administration's bellicose rhetoric re: Iran, and yet it's a toal freakin' coincidence that a second carrier battle group happens to be there -- well, then, this Administration is incompetent on a level that I doubt even you could support.

Posted by: Gregory on January 31, 2007 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Calm down, Gregory, you'll bust a gut. I realize you probably don't have much personal experience or knowledge about the military, but using a tone of hostility doesn't make up for the lack.

Posted by: Trashhauler on January 31, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Large Alpha strikes from carriers into Iran would exceed the carriers' organic aerial refueling capability. Any series of large strikes would need large numbers of KC-135 and perhaps KC-10 tankers. I'm convalescing here at home, so I haven't asked anyone about tanker deployments. Nor would I necessarily be allowed to talk about them if I knew anything.
Posted by: Trashhauler

Wouldn't expect you to comment on things as specific as air-tanker deployments. According to Steve Clemons, it's the deployment of the Nimitz that would signal a shooting war with Iran (I recommend this piece for anyone who's interested in the details around why two carriers aren't a necessarily belligerent force posture). Hope the convalescing proceeds apace.

Posted by: cyntax on January 31, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Whoever Clemons asked knows what they are talking about. Probably a naval officer.

Posted by: Trashhauler on January 31, 2007 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Calm down, Gregory, you'll bust a gut. I realize you probably don't have much personal experience or knowledge about the military, but using a tone of hostility doesn't make up for the lack.

Dishonest as usual, Trashy. Since I can't help but notice you didn't rebut a single thing I said, I take it you concede the, ah, dubious nature of some of your hypotheses as well as your role as an unthinking GOP water carrier.

Posted by: Gregory on January 31, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Trashy: Whoever Clemons asked knows what they are talking about.

How jealous that must make you.

Posted by: Gregory on January 31, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

somewhat off-topic....but here's what the admiral is stepping into..

saw stuart bowen (u-s inspector general for iraq) on c-span this morning...

he said oil...electricity and a number of other..

public services were all under pre-war levels..

last quarter...

that's when the number of troops was drawn down from..

150k...to around 130k...

bowen's top reason for these problems..

lack of security...

15% increase in troops isnt a surge...

as jon stewart says..

its a tip...

Posted by: mr. irony on January 31, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

>If VRWC does know, I'll eat the patch (no tab) off the right shoulder of one of my BDUs (and it ain't a small one).

The point's pretty simple, kids. The world's militaries constitute a big playpen, and experience, training, and proximity to one area of expertise are no guarantee of being able to provide a worthwhile opinion in another.

Posted by: VRWC on January 31, 2007 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

At some point the U.S. is going to need to learn how to fight a fairly low intensity war against a smart insurgency in an urban environment. We have some great high tech stuff in the pipeline--robots and such, and we have gotten a lot better at protecting fixed checkpoints with the use of non-lethal microwave and directed high intensity sound devices that minimize civilian casualties around checkpoints.

However not a lot of high tech has filtered down to more mobile jobs like convoy protection and routine patrols. I would love to work with Blackwater security and similar private operators on cheap, practical ways to use off-the-shelf technology in order to react more quickly and decisively against well-planned ambushes. Too often I've seen combat video of private contractors in action, holding rifles that are Vietnam era with maybe high tech scopes tacked on. About the only real technical advantage these guys have over the foe is their body armor and you can only wear so much of that in the Iraq climate. For the most part the street fight is still cowboys and Indians right smack in the middle of milling traffic and with the odd I.E.D. thrown in.

For all those problems, I don't see the present Iraqi government being overthrown anytime soon. There is a funny analogy here with the way Fatah and Hamas have each other by the throat in Gaza. Paychecks, on a regular basis, do matter to soldiers. The Israeli government lets one side get paid when they are being good. The other side only gets the odd bit of charity from Iran or maybe some Saudi sheikhs.

But I wonder if the insurgent payroll fund isn't getting a little tapped out? Believe it or not, the Reds did not win the Vietnam conflict with zealous volunteers who existed on no supplies and never got a paycheck. It was won by the N. Vietnamese regular army soldier who did get paid, was promised a retirement with benefits, and so on.

Rome conquered the world, putting down a number of very zealous local warriors who often out-numbered the Roman legions, because Rome paid its soldiers regularly, gave them the best available medical care, and had a generous retirement system built around colonizing territories which had been conquered. Rome really didn't run into real trouble until they tried not paying the troops all they thought they had been promised.

So, payrolls matter for warriors, even for long term insurgencies. Supply matters. Technical support matters. This coming summer may illustrate some important and interesting tactical and strategic realities in Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Africa.

Posted by: mike cook on January 31, 2007 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

The point's pretty simple, kids. The world's militaries constitute a big playpen, and experience, training, and proximity to one area of expertise are no guarantee of being able to provide a worthwhile opinion in another.
Posted by: VRWC

Well pops, when you've demonstrated some expertise on these boards, maybe we'll start thinking of your opinions as worthwhile.

But word to the wise, to get out of a hole, you gotta stop digging.

Posted by: cyntax on January 31, 2007 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

That bit you quoted there, Cyntax, sounded like something a politician would say. Mouth some words that sound good and hope nobody diagrams the sentence and figures out it says nothing.

Now, that one has taken enough time and energy. I want to know, and I can't find it at GlobalSecurity.org...Where is the Nimitz? I'll be paying attention if it is in the area of Diego Garcia. I'll be considering getting religion if that boat heads for the gulf.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 31, 2007 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

Well, now that you mention it, I'm having trouble tracking down anything current on the Nimitz. Hmmm... I'm gonna go digging cause this could bother me.

Posted by: cyntax on February 1, 2007 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK

I can usually locate any carrier, if not at GlobalSecurity, then I email a cousin on board the Eisenhower, but he isn't answering me.

I kinda wish it didn't spend so much time in the Med as a regular course. It would be easier to get a read. I hope it's parked off Okinawa or the coast of Korea...But I'm afraid it's not.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on February 1, 2007 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

OK, it looks like the Nimitz is is scheduled to complete refitting after the Stennis:

    Nimitz Completed COMPTUEX 19 December 2006. COMPTUEX is normally conducted during a two-week to three-week period six to eight weeks before JTFEX. Successfully completing the COMPTUEX certifies the carrier and its air wing as qualified for open ocean operations.

    As of late 2006 the Nimitz was running about two months behind the Stennis in the schedule of pre-deployment training. Unless deployment was accelerated, Nimitz would depart some time in March 2007, replacing the Eisenhower, which deployed 01 October 2006 with plans to remain on station into March 2007.


    Chronology
    00 Mar 2007 - scheduled deployment
    19 Dec 2006 - Completed COMPTUEX
    02 Nov 2006 - Tailored Ship’s Training Availability [TSTA] completed
    02 Sep 2006 - Preparing for TSTA

So I'd guess the Nimitz is going to start JTFEX in a few weeks.

Posted by: cyntax on February 1, 2007 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

It's relieving the Eisenhower? The Eisenhower is in the Gulf.

Can you find the map? I'm cheating my system and circumventing a corrupted server file, and when I try to load anything at GS I lock up my browser, and the log-on process requires an altar, a sharp knife and a live chicken.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on February 1, 2007 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

It's scheduled to relive the Eisenhower in March. Can't find the map.

Posted by: cyntax on February 1, 2007 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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