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The Iraq Mess
Having read your February piece at the time - along with various pieces on logistics on Chuck Spinney's website - I have to say you have been completely vindicated.Two questions:.
1. What is now our least worst option out of this mess? Obviously, that's a question which is part military, part political. It's difficult, both because all the options are ghastly, and also because putting military and political considerations together is precisely what we have been so catastrophically bad at. But how does it look to a thinking American soldier?
2. What should surely be clear is that you need to get rid of the Zionist clique who have got you into this mess. (No, this is not anti-Semitism, simply an accurate account of Perle, Wolfowitz et al.) We need to get rid of lingering delusions of imperial grandeur and our megabungler of a PM. It's clear our professional military didn't like this, any more than Zinni and Schwarzkopf. I can't think of a PM before who would have ignored them in such a cavalier manner.
I hope this doesn't up costing the lives of too many of your soldiers and of ours - also Iraqis.
We Liberated Iran
We seem to have "liberated" Iraq much as Jimmy Carter "liberated" Iran from the Shah: at least in southern Iraq we have replaced one brand of tyranny (the Baath party) with something much worse, the tyranny of the religious fanatic Shiite Ayatollahs.
Ed: We should pull out ASAP. Many embed reporters now say the US troops are angry that they fought a war only be find no weapons of mass destruction, just a lot of poor and hostile Iraqis.False Casualty Figures
I enjoy your editorials. There was something in the latest one that caught my interest; your comment on the USA Today story. Would you say that the reported casualties by the US media are accurate? If not, what is your estimate?
Ed: I sent this inquiry to CENTCOM twice and once to the Pentagon.
1) Have any American servicemen wounded in Iraq been later classified as Died of Wounds (DOW) since Operation Iraqi Freedom began?
2) Are deaths of US Special Operations Command Forces operating in Iraq included in CENTCOM casualty figures?
3) Have the names of any KIAs or DOWs been withheld from the press at the request of next of kin?
4) Have the names of any US military personnel killed on classified missions in Iraq been withheld?
Editor G2mil Magazine (www.G2mil.com)
They have refused to answer after two weeks, saying they had "forwarded" the request upward. As for request #4, I'm not requesting information on classified missions, just how many American GIs died in fighting there.Russian Intel?
That link in the April editorial is a pile of crap. The biggest disinfo campaign since DEBKA Files. I went through about a week's worth of these so-called GRU reports, after which I lost interest. Some of Venik's 'GRU' reports actually claim to quote Franks' radio conversations verbatim. This means a) GRU has both broken CENTCOM's crypto and also doesn't care if CENTCOM finds that out or b) pure b.s. I'm betting on the latter.
Ed: But then CENTCOM announced:
The next day, that Russian website reports:
RAMZAJ DISCONTINUES OPERATION
However, this article says it was not credible info. But maybe the Moscow Times is reporting disinformation claiming the source was bogus to protect a real source.
Diesel Engine Expert
Ed: After the fuel consumption problem of the gas turbine powered
Abrams tank stalled the offensive on Baghdad, and several GIs were killed from a
lack of gun shields, I received several positive e-mails based on my M1A3
Tank article, including this one:
Ed: Some info from last year:
The Army's response to this idea of tripling the gas mileage for its tanks was to ignore it, and has now proposed gas turbine engines for its Crusader artillery gun. I just found a March 31, 2000 press release from General Dynamics about its tests of an M1A2 tank operating a diesel engine. They want to sell M1A2 tanks to the Turks, but they are too smart to want the gas turbine engines. General Dynamics found the tests successful, and proclaimed: "The tank moves as well as the standard turbine-powered tank with no difference in target detection, identification or main gun accuracy. The testing confirms that the tank's performance is not changed by the diesel engine and that it has a significantly lower operating cost".
A May 2001 study by the Defense Science Board "More Capable Warfighting Through Reduced Fuel Burden" noted that fuel makes up 70% of the cargo tonnage needed to position the US Army in battle. The study said that if M1A1 tanks were 50% more fuel efficient , the Persian Gulf War buildup could have been 20% faster and ground forces ready to fight one month sooner. They noted that a fuel delivered by ocean tankers costs only around $1 a gallon at the port, but transporting it inland can drive the cost up to $50 a gallon.