Most Americans only know what multi-national corporations allow on television or in major newspapers and magazines. We often encounter interesting military information ignored by the corporate "mainstream" press. We post it here to stimulate thought and discussion.
July 2007 - Free Trade Insanity
The 11-06-2006 Aviation Week has a short article on page 16 entitled: "No Help Here." It states that as part of the Bush administration's free trade philosophy, NASA's publicly funded research and development will be made "available on an all-come basis." Advanced technology will no longer be shared with American satellite, aerospace, and space systems companies first to avoid accusations that the U.S. government is subsidizing them.
April 2007 - F-22 Too Sensitive
As F-22 fighters finally deploy for operational service, the USAF has decided not to send them to Iraq. Some thought the F-22's highly acclaimed electronic surveillance features would prove valuable to support ground troops. General Ronald Keys thinks these systems may be "overwhelmed by the density of U.S. and allied emitters to be useful in the electronically polluted environment of Baghdad." (Aviation Week 1-29-07) Generals like to pretend that future wars will be fought over desolate deserts like their aircraft test ranges. In fact, most action will occur in urban areas "polluted" with electronic emitters.
February 2007 - New Iraq Strategy
October 2006 - Letter from a Marine in Al Anbar
September 2006 - Mantrap
July 2006 - Failsafe UAV Fails
Defense contractors are exploiting the need for greater homeland security to sell ultra-expensive UAV's to the US Border Patrol, which bought its first $40 million Predator B UAV last year that the US Army has used for a couple of years. Some Congressmen expressed worry about costs and safety, but were told the Predator was safer than a manned aircraft. The Border Patrol's Predator B went into service on 9-29-05 and crashed for unknown reasons after just six months in service. As the 5-01-06 issue of Aviation Week noted: "The Predator crashed during an operational mission after a series of redundant, fail-safe systems failed." New lightweight business jets made by Cessna cost $2.5 million each. Such aircraft could provide far better reconnaissance than these golden UAVs, and wouldn't crash nearly as much.
June 2006 - Churchill Hated Iraq
"I hate Iraq. I wish we had never gone to the place," said Winston Churchill in 1926 when, as Chancellor, he was asked to sink yet more millions into Britain's "Mesopotamian entanglement".
May 2006 - The Censored Media
Many reporters have mentioned off-the-record that President Bush often shoots the finger at people when he gets angry. One would think that an aggressive "left-wing" press would report this and publish pictures. However, the editors of major American media work for billionaires who are right-wing and hire editors and reporters to sell the idea that there is a difference between Republicans and Democrats. They support whoever is in office if he supports them.
This means ignoring embarrassing personal episodes. Presidents sometimes refuse to play along, like Bill Clinton's push for national health care. As a result, he was impeached for telling a lie about a blow job. President Bush plays along so he can lie about WMDs to start a bloody war, openly violate laws by torturing prisoners, ignore laws requiring a warrant to spy on Americans, and not worry about impeachment.March 2006 - JSF ready for production prior to testing
This GAO report provides an example of how corrupt the US military's procurement process has become. It notes that the US Air Force wants to begin production of the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter after only 3% of testing has been completed.Joint Strike Fighter: DOD Plans to Enter Production before Testing Demonstrates Acceptable Performance. GAO-06-356, March 15. http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-06-356
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d06356high.pdf
February 2006 - On the Politics of FearChuck Spinney always signs off with these timely quotes:
"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." - H.L. Mencken
"Naturally, the common people don't want war...but, after all it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship...Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country." - Herman Goering at Nuremberg trial in 1946
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." - Franklin D. Roosevelt
January 2006 - MLRS in Iraq Counterinsurgency Operation
This is a great example of how not to fight insurgents. The MLRS is designed to hit huge targets the size of a football field. This is not something to be used to fight a dozen insurgents. This weapons system should not even be in Iraq. Perhaps they are just wasting money for fun, instead of wasting lives.
January 2006 - Pentagonese
Paul Van Riper (Ed: former three-star head of
Marine Corps Education)
For the past three years, I have watched with misgiving as the new Joint Capability Integration and Development System evolved into its current form. Unfortunately, I believe my apprehension has proved valid for today JCIDS evidences all the signs of an overly bureaucratic and procedurally focused process. Moreover, in the last two years that process has led to the creation of an excess of concepts most of which in my view are devoid of meaningful content. My greatest concern is that as these concepts migrate into the curricula of professional military schools they will undermine a coherent body of doctrine creating confusion within the officer corps. In fact, I have begun to see signs of just that!
In the following paragraphs I outline evidence to support my fears that:
* The Joint Staff has created a flawed force development process
* This process has produced too many concepts and most lack substance
* The seeming inability to express ideas clearly, loose use of words, and ill-considered invention of other terms have damaged the military lexicon to the point that it interferes with effective professional military discourse
* The result will soon prove harmful to professional military education
These are not merely esoteric concerns of secondary importance. Ideas move institutions, for good or ill, and I firmly believe that the result of leaving these concerns unaddressed will be a military that is significantly less able to meet its future requirements.
Recognizing your all too-busy schedules, I apologize for the length of this e-mail at the outset. I have attempted several times to shorten it; however, in each instance deleting material seemed to lessen the impact of the account. Thus, my hope is that the importance of the issues will encourage you to read and consider the entire e-mail.
Admiral Stansfield Turner, and Generals Donn Starry and Al Gray, worked diligently in the 1970s and 1980s to reintroduce the historically sound theories upon which their followers created new approaches to strategic thinking and operational art. Their efforts also led to the creation of the related air-land battle and maneuver warfare service doctrines, which demonstrated their value in Operation Desert Storm. In the 1990s, the joint community incorporated the essence of these ideas into a solid and relatively complete body of joint doctrine that has repeatedly proved itself. I fear that we are drifting away from these now time-tested concepts without offering worthy replacements. I am further troubled that if we weaken the intellectual content of the concepts upon which we base joint and service doctrine we will materially weaken professional military education.
Admiral Turner and Generals Starry and Gray focused on specific problems. This is not surprising for a truly useful military operating concept only results when there is a need to solve a significant problem or through recognition that an opportunity exists to perform some military function better or in a new way. Professor Williamson Murray notes in Military Innovation in the Interwar Period that between the two world wars:
A number of factors contributed to successful innovation. The one that occurred in virtually every case was the presence of specific military problems the solution of which offered significant advantages to furthering the achievement of national strategy. [Italics added.]
For this reason alone, recent claims of a revolution in military affairs or a military transformation ring hollow since there is little to suggest these movements were undertaken to solve clearly identified military problems. Merely to be transformational does not qualify as a specific military problem. Mostly, the names of the movements now serve as a mantra for those advocating advanced technologies.
The operating concept for air-land battle, as expressed in the 1982 and 1986 editions of Field Manual 100-5, Operations, fundamentally changed the way the U.S. Army approached war. Similarly, maneuver warfare, first explained in detail in a 1989 edition of Fleet Marine Force Field Manual 1, Warfighting, fundamentally changed the way the U.S. Marine Corps approached war. The unique thing about these documents is that no staffs produced them; rather they were the products of a few authors supervised by senior leaders championing the projects.
In the case of FM 100-5, it was then Lieutenant Colonels Don Holder ( TX Aggie), Huba Wass de Czege, and Rick Sinnreich working with General Starry. In the case of FMFM 1, it was then Captain John Schmitt working with General Gray. After each service promulgated a manual describing its operating concept, no one perceived a need to produce a vast hierarchy of supporting concepts offering increasing specificity. One document drove changes in doctrine, organization, material, and training and education throughout each service. Senior leaders expected combat developers, informed by their understanding of war, to exercise considerable judgment in their duties. They could not anticipate additional and more detailed concepts to justify directly their every programmatic decision.
In contrast, today, we see the creation of an overabundance of joint concepts a Capstone Concept for Joint Operations, four operating concepts, eight functional concepts, and nine integrating concepts with more reportedly under development. Further, some plans I have seen call for the revision of these documents on a regular two-year cycle. Upon approval, the Joint Staff then employs these concepts to conduct capabilities-based assessments, another seemingly overly complex methodology. In an effort to remain consistent with the joint approach the services are beginning to create similarly overpopulated families of concepts and complex developmental processes.
Rather than a method to drive change, the joint concepts seem to serve more as a means to slow innovation. Services, agencies, and even individuals claim they need ever-increasing detail before they can proceed with force development. I can imagine what sort of reaction subordinates might have gotten from General Starry or General Gray if they had demurred from taking action because of a supposed lack of detail in FM 100-5 or FMFM 1. After an appropriate butt chewing and a short reminder of what mission-type orders meant, the generals would have sent the offenders away with orders to move out swiftly or pack up their gear and leave. Nowadays the more likely outcome is the development of another layer of concepts in an ever-expanding hierarchy. We have already seen the creation of joint enabling constructs, a fifth level of concepts created to fit below integrating concepts in the hierarchy because developers deemed the integrating concepts not sufficient for the capabilities-based assessment.
In summary, neither uniform nor civilian leaders can simply mandate the development of worthwhile concepts. For every concept, there must be a problem in search of a solution or a previously solved problem for which someone envisions a better solution. Though force development is inherently a complex undertaking, making the process too complex causes commanders and staffs to focus inward on that process rather than on the problem they are trying to solve. When they do the process becomes dysfunctional.
Let me turn now to what I perceive to be a lack of intellectual content in emerging joint concepts.
Assigning our best thinkers to infuse content into vacuous slogans such as information superiority and dominant maneuver, is fruitless and wastes valuable resources. Even worse, such efforts are potentially dangerous when they produce an empty concept that is imposed upon our operating forces. I believe there is considerable evidence that the latter is happening.
Several cases come to mind, none more egregious than the idea of effects-based operations. This concept has its roots in efforts undertaken by Colonel John Warden (USAF) and then Lieutenant Colonel Dave Deptula (USAF) during the planning for Operation Desert Shield. These two officers wanted to move beyond the practice of building air-tasking orders based on the work of targeting experts employing joint munitions effectiveness manuals, since this practice focuses on the efficient servicing of single targets. Accordingly, Warden and Deptula did not allow their Checkmate staff to concentrate on individual targets. Rather, they required the staff to build ATOs that took into account the larger effects or results they wanted to achieve.
This required the staff to identify a target-set and then to select an element within that set to be attacked in order to accomplish a specific effect or outcome. To illustrate, rather than planning to strike each launcher in a ground-to-air missile site the staff would target the radar unit, thus offering a more efficient way to eliminate the sites capability. Warden and Deptula later expanded this technique to target systems, for example, taking out a few key transformers rather than destroying an entire plant to shut down an electrical power grid. This targeting methodology is eminently sensible and proved its worth during Operation Desert Storm. [i][i]
Unfortunately, Colonel Deptula argued after Desert Storm that this effects-based approach offered a new way to plan for and conduct all military operations. He did not seem to recognize that mission-type orders with their tasks and associated intents accomplish the same goal, but in a far less restrictive way. More important, neither he nor Colonel Warden showed that they had any understanding of the differences between structurally complex systems such as integrated air defense systems and power grids and interactively complex systems such as economic and leadership systems. Operational planners can understand the first using the reductionism of systems analysis. They can only understand the second type of system holistically. Tools for one type of system are inappropriate for the other. [ii][ii]
The concept of effects-based operations formally entered the joint community's thinking when a former JWAC commander put forward a refined version as an operating concept. This occurred in 2000 during a congressionally mandated experiment sponsored by the Joint Forces Command, known as the Rapid Decisive Operations Analytical War Game.
The effects-based operations concept, despite its title, is at most a concept for planning not an operating concept. Operating concepts by definition center on how joint forces bring combat power to bear, normally through maneuver and fire, not how they plan. However, even as a planning concept its utility is limited since it does not deal effectively with the interactively complex systems that make up most of the systems that military forces must deal with.
Many of the ongoing endeavors to train joint headquarters on effects-based operations concentrate on defining the word effects. [iii][iii] Since 2002, I have seen upwards of a hundred e-mails and papers that staffs have written in an attempt to define effects. The usefulness of these endeavors is suspect as the following transcript of a recent Joint Forces Command training session illustrates.
"What is an objective?"
Student: Next, I point out . . . [the center of gravity] analysis methodology as being useful and similar to the Effect-Node-Action-Resource link in EBO.
Instructor: "Well, yeah...but we really don't use that stuff. Clausewitz is just too ethereal."
Joint Forces Command instructors and others have displayed this sort of convoluted logic as well as disdain for the classical theorists during their nearly five years of trying to teach effects-based operations. It reminds me of a Mobius Strip approach to thinking! One officer who has worked with the development of effects-based operations from its outset recently noted that it had taken him fours years to earn a degree in electrical engineering, yet in the same amount of time he has not mastered effects-based operations.
If there is an advantage to effects-based operations as an approach to operational art, it must be explainable in simple English. Moreover, if the joint community desires to introduce this term into the existing planning lexicon its proponents should be able to explain how it improves upon current terms, especially mission with its inherent task and purpose or intent. They have not! Incredibly, some officers in the joint community are advocating for an entirely new definition of mission that would include effects. Attached as an annex is a discussion of today's planning terms to illustrate not only their heritage, but also their great power.
To correct the shortcomings outlined above will require several steps. First, senior joint and service leaders must clearly identify the most significant problems or opportunities not more than one or two of each presently confronting joint forces. I would offer two problems for consideration, insurgency and operational design and planning. In the case of the latter, the good news is that both the Army and Marine Corps are evaluating systemic operational design as a potentially more powerful approach.
Second, with close involvement of these leaders, staffs need to assist in developing a clear understanding of each identified problem or opportunity. That is, what are its boundaries, its character and form, and most importantly its logic.
Third, senior leaders through discourse with other experienced and professionally schooled officers must seek to find a counter-logic that will enable them to solve the problem or take advantage of the opportunity. Such a counter-logic constitutes the essence of a concept as it describes in some detail how to attack or solve the identified problem. Failure to discover and portray a counter-logic is the most serious deficiency in current methods of concept development. Thus, many contemporary concepts are merely descriptive and filled with jargon.
Concurrent with step three, leaders must select a few authors of known talent and immerse them in the process to ensure they are conversant with the best thinking, thereby helping them to explain the concept in clear and concise language, language free of slogans and jargon. This, I believe, was one of the secrets of General Starrys and General Grays successes when they set out to solve the post-Vietnam operational problems they chose a few very talented writers who possessed a special ability to grasp and then write clearly about complex ideas.
Since retiring eight years ago I have spent considerable time teaching and mentoring field grade officers. Without a doubt, they are the most motivated and intellectually curious officers the American military has ever produced. Recently, however, I have found they lack a firm grasp of many proven doctrinal concepts and their speech and writing is filled increasingly with an unintelligible effects-speak. A flawed force development process is producing a plethora of concepts that, from my observations, make it difficult to focus current force development efforts. In addition, it is eroding what until recently was a clear and concise professional lexicon.
[i][i] There remains some dispute as to whether this idea originated with the two officers mentioned or came from earlier work at the Naval Warfare Analysis Department, later the Naval Warfare Analysis Center, a predecessor organization to the Joint Warfare Analysis Center. In any case, the JWAC perfected this systems methodology during and after the first Gulf War.
[ii][ii] Systems can be complex based on the numbers of elements they have: the greater the number of elements, the greater the complexity. This is structural complexity. Systems can also be complex in the ways that their elements interact: the greater the degrees of freedom of each element, the greater the complexity. This is interactive complexity. Of the two, the latter can generate greater levels of complexity by orders of magnitude. Systems that are both structurally and interactively complex, not surprisingly, exhibit the most complex behavior of all.
A system can be structurally complex and interactively simple. That is, it can consist of many parts but exhibit relatively simple behavior because those parts interact in limited ways. Such systems tend to exhibit orderly, mechanistic and predictable behavior. Automobiles, like many modern machines, are perfect examples. They consist of a huge number of parts, but those parts interact only in a designed process. As long as the parts function as designed, the automobile performs in a consistent way. Take action on one part of the automobile or interrupt one sub-process, and the results are generally predictable.
By comparison, a system can be structurally simple and yet exhibit highly complex behavior because its elements interact freely in interconnected and unconstrained ways. Such systems are highly sensitive to initial conditions and ongoing inputs; immeasurably small influences can generate disproportionately major effects. As a result, these systems tend to exhibit a qualitatively different type of complexity, a disorderly, organic complexity that may exhibit broadly identifiable patterns and boundary conditions but remains steadfastly unpredictable and uncontrollable in its details. Within interactively complex systems it is usually extremely difficult, if not impossible, to isolate individual cases and their effects, since the parts are all connected in a complex web. Reductive analysis will not work with such systems: the very act of decomposing the system changes the dynamics of the system. It is no longer the same system. Most social systems, such as economies, governments, diplomacy, culture, and war, exhibit rich interactive complexity.
[This description is taken from a paper I co-authored for the Defense Adaptive Red Team (DART), an OSD sponsored project of Hicks & Associates Center for Adaptive Strategies & Threats.]
[iii][iii] The word effect has as many as eight different meanings. A recent book on the most misunderstood words in the English language prominently lists effects. Choosing an inherently imprecise term seems particularly unwise for a profession that requires precision and clarity in language to avoid misunderstandings, which might lead to confusion in battles and operations.
November 2005 - Rolling a Battleship
I saw an interesting story on the sinking of the massive Japanese battleship the Yamato in 1945. It had hundreds of watertight compartments so it was thought nearly impossible to sink. Therefore, the American aircraft used a strategy of only firing torpedoes at her from one side. The ship did not sink from eight torpedo hits, but it filled with so much water on one side that it rolled over.
September 2005 - Tillman Opposed Iraq War
Max Blumenthal of the Huffington Post reported on Sept. 26th:
Of all the symbols the right used to cultivate domestic support for the Bush administration's military escapades in Iraq and Afghanistan, that of Pat Tillman was one its most effective. If your memory is fuzzy, Tillman was a handsome, muscle-bound NFL star who passed up a multi-million dollar contract to become an Army Ranger battling Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The official Army account of Tillman's death held that he was killed while charging up a rocky incline in pursuit of a band of Qaeda fighters. When word of Tillman's killing hit stateside, the conservative propaganda factory sought to make him theirs. Ann Coulter described Tillman as “an American original -- virtuous, pure and masculine like only an American male can be.” (Can we have that in the original German, bitte?) Though the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan were growing increasingly catastrophic, Tillman's reinvigorated public support for the administration's mission, at least momentarily.
Now, almost a year and a half later, the right's version of Tillman's killing has been shattered. The San Francisco Chronicle got its hands on 2000 pages of testimony on Tillman's death and interviewed his family and soldiers who served with him. The Chronicle's report not only strengthens the evidence that the Pentagon deliberately covered up Tillman's death from friendly-fire to better exploit him as a PR tool, it reveals that:
--Tillman joined the Army specifically to fight Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, but was sent to participate in the invasion of Iraq against his wishes. He called the invasion, "so fucking illegal."
--He was an avid reader and fan of Noam Chomsky. Tillman was scheduled to meet Chomsky upon his return from Afghanistan.
--Tillman was an independent-minded, outspoken Bush critic who planned to vote for John Kerry.
August 2005 - JSTARS in Iraq
One reason US occupation costs are so high in Iraq is the USAF likes to fly hundreds of sorties a day to help out with every squad-size raid. They even have huge E-8 JSTARS flying around just for communications relay. However, JSTARS expensive radar designed to track tanks has some value. After some suicide bombings, they have replayed radar recordings and found the general location from where the car bomb originated.
June 2005 - Army UAV madness
The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle racket is sapping the US military of funds. For example, the USAF wants to buy 144 more Predator UAVs at a cost of $40 million each, about the same cost of a new F-16E which is ten times more capable for all missions. Over one-third of these golden UAVs have crashed since they were first procured a decade ago. Now the US Army plans to buy 12 newer versions called Warriors for one billion dollars, that's $83 million dollars each. (see Aviation Week 5-16-05) That same issue has an article on the newest lightweight business jets. Cessna is selling them for $2.5 million each. Such aircraft could provide far better reconnaissance than these golden UAVs, and wouldn't crash nearly as much.
April 2005 - Marines Complain About Defending the USA
Border crossings hinder training at Ariz. bases
Illegal immigrants found on test range
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. -- Marines preparing for combat in Iraq or Afghanistan have lost significant amounts of training time because undocumented immigrants from Mexico have constantly wandered onto a bombing test range in Arizona, according to the commander of this base along the border.
Virtually every Marine squadron headed to Iraq or Afghanistan receives combat training at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, which for nearly 40 miles touches the US-Mexico border in the southwestern corner of Arizona. The Border Patrol's focus in recent years on tightening the border in the eastern part of the state, where volunteer citizens this month have established their own observation posts, has pushed more undocumented immigrants westward.
Since July 2004, the training range has been shut down more than 500 times because of immigrants spotted on the range, causing a loss of more than 1,100 training hours, said Colonel James J. Cooney, the base's commanding officer.
''That's equivalent to almost 46 days of training. We're getting overrun here," he said in an interview. (Ed: The whole nation is getting overrun because officers like you like to play imperial ruler on the other side of the globe rather than defending your own nation.) ''Any moment we take away from a Marine's experience base could cost him his life in combat."
Cooney said Marines intercepted more than 1,500 undocumented immigrants on the training range last year and, in the first three months of this year, more than 1,100. Base personnel detain the immigrants and call in Border Patrol agents to pick them up.
''I have to use Marines that aren't trained in that to do that, which puts me at a liability," said Cooney, a Boston College graduate. (Not trained? What training is required to grab some illegals and hold them for the Border Patrol? Liability? You mean that you worry defending the nation by intercepting invaders may cause an incident and damage your career.) ''It's completely counterproductive to our whole training operation."
Another big concern, he said, is the potential danger to undocumented immigrants: ''We just don't want them to come here, because we're firing lasers, we're shooting machine guns, we're shooting 209-millimeter cannons, and we're dropping practice bombs, and we don't want to hurt anyone." (Unless they are Iraqis fighting a foreign invader. Illegals sneaking across the border should provide the perfect training opportunity for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, a virtual OPFOR. A 209-millimeter cannon?)
Last summer a Marine pilot dropped a practice bomb on a target and seconds later, a few feet away, a small group of illegal immigrants scrambled from underneath a bush and ran down the range. The near miss was caught on a training tape that Cooney has reviewed.
So far the Marines said there have been no deaths of immigrants in the training exercises.
''My overall concern is that we'd have an unfortunate incident out there where we'd inadvertently harm an illegal entrant that we did not spot or see, and that in turn would cause a moratorium on training until we sorted out what exactly happened," said Cooney. (Good, then your Marines can defend the nation at the border instead. Killing a few invaders may also cause a moratorium on illegal crossings.)
Two other bases in Arizona, one the Army's and another the Air Force's, have experienced similar problems.
At the Army Yuma Proving Ground, near the Marine Corps Air Station but about 30 miles north of the border, an increasing number of undocumented immigrants have invaded military space and disrupted training.
''The smugglers just drive them up the highway and dump them off, and these illegal immigrants stumble right onto our testing range," said Chuck Wullenjohn, spokesman for the Army base.
As one of the largest military installations in the Western world, the Army Yuma Proving Ground is constantly conducting tests (sometimes is more accurate, Yuma PG is little used.) for ground forces on artillery and ammunition, including tank rounds, mines, mortars, and helicopter guns.
''Having anyone on this range that doesn't belong here is extremely dangerous," said Wullenjohn. ''The illegal immigrant issue is becoming a bigger problem all the time."
The Air Force said it has had to interrupt exercises with F-16 pilots after undocumented immigrants were spotted on a bombing range east of Gila Bend, north of the border.
''In 2004 we suspended range operations 55 times for a net loss of 122 hours," said Jim Uken, director of the 56th Fighter Wing range management office.
There is some concern that, besides wandering immigrants, foreign terrorists could cross the Mexican border and infiltrate the Arizona bases to conduct intelligence gathering or commit acts of sabotage.
''The potential exists, and that is a key reason we are vigilant about securing our training ranges," Cooney said. (What about securing OUR nation? Aren't you much more likely to intercept a terrorist intending to harm Americans at our border rather than chasing Iraqis resisting American occupation?)
Robert C. Bonner, the commissioner of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, said last week when he was visiting Arizona that more than half the undocumented immigrants entering the United States come through the state.
He promised that federal help is on the way. (Aren't US Marines federal helpers? We have only 10,000 Border Patrol agents yet 175,000 active-duty marines, and 520,000 soldiers. More Americans have been killed by illegal aliens over the years than by terrorists.)
March 2005 - Soldiers Die Hauling Water
The 12-20-04 edition of "Aviation Week" has a story about how the USAF plans to dedicate more C-130s to move cargo into Iraq to reduce the number of vulnerable Army ground convoys. This will replace 1600 truck loads of Army cargo a day. They will focus on the most dangerous routes, which will require air drops and landing on highways. Air Force Generals were surprised to learn that 30% of daily Army cargo was bottled water. They immediately ordered USAF water purification units deployed to Iraq to support the Army.
This represents staggering incompetence by US Army Generals. The Army had planned to operate in dry environments for decades, and developed advanced mobile water purification units in the 1980s, called ROWPUs. Generals can say they have trouble with parts or manpower, but they've been there two years now. What about private contractors? What about forming new units with new ROWPUs? What about asking for help from the Air Force or Navy? Meanwhile, a hundred or so soldiers have died hauling bottled water, and dozens of trucks lost as well as millions of gallons of fuel burned.
February 2005 - The Pentagon Before WW II
Americans are taught that the USA was caught "unprepared" by the "surprise" Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. Students of history know this is all BS. For example, the Pacific Fleet was not based at Pearl Harbor, but San Diego. Roosevelt ordered it deployed to Hawaii for "training" and kept it there as bait for over a year, prompting the Fleet commander to resign in protest. I came across another tidbit, in the history of the Pentagon. Many people know the Pentagon opened during World War II to run the huge US military. However, the prime contract awarded on 11 August 1941, four months before America was "thrust" into World War II.
January 2005 - CIA Critic DeadThis is from Mike Levin, a retired 25-year veteran of the Drug Enforcement Administration. I confirmed that he wrote it via direct e-mail.
Gary Webb the
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist whose article and book entitled "The Dark
Alliance" detailed the connections between CIA protection of cocaine
traffickers and the influx of crack cocaine into Los Angeles's black community,
was found dead with what the authorities say is a "self-inflicted bullet to
the head." The Los Angeles Times, typical of how media treated
Gary, even in death, sought to continue the myth that he and his story had been
discredited, when in fact the opposite is true.
ANYONE APOLOGIZING TO GARY WEBB?
Gary Webb, just in case you've already forgotten him, was the journalist who, in
a well researched, understated article entitled "The Dark Alliance,"
linked the CIA supported Contras to cocaine and weapons being sold to a
California street gang and ended up literally being hounded out of
journalism by every mainstream news peddling organization in the Yellow Pages.
Even his own employer The San Jose Mercury piled on for the kill.
Read Year 2004 G2 Gems