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Archive for the ‘terrorism’ Category

A great question

From the L.A. Times

In response to the “recommendation” from General Petraeus that the U.S. should keep 130,000+ troops in Iraq until at least July and spend another $100 billion. 

What else could the United States do with a guesstimated $100 billion to reduce the strength and the appeal of Islamist terrorist groups worldwide?

If you think about it, deploying troops to Iraq is a rather ass-backwards way of addressing the threat of Islamist terrorist groups around the world.  Some, like myself, would argue that it doesn’t address that problem at all and actually aggravates it.  But all that aside, $100 billion could buy an awful lot of things.  And maybe some of those things actually works better than what we’re doing. 

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Elyzabethe said I should start posting webcomics because that’s all I read anymore, and I thought this one from Bunny would fit nicely here.

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Newsweek has an excellent article on the ongoing hunt for Osama Bin Laden.  If you have no desire to read some of the excellent books on our war in Afghanistan (like Not a Good Day to Die by Sean Naylor or Jawbreaker by Gary Berntsen and Ralph Pezzulo) then this article is a more than decent overview of what’s been happening over there. 

As Attaturk mentions it basically vindicates much of what Senator Kerry was saying back in the 2004 elections before he got swiftboated.  Perhaps as a sort of Pavlovian political training regimen, we should learn to pay more attention to the administration critics who get tarred and feathered by the Republican crazies. 

There’s so much in the article I recommend it to anyone who cares (or professes to care) about the war on terrorism. 

But I can’t resist highlighting this passage which brought back so many memories of ridiculous military bureaucracy (italics added). 

Rice was not optimistic about getting timely permission. Whenever he and his men moved within five kilometers of the safe house, he says, they had to file a request form known as a 5-W, spelling out the who, what, when, where and why of the mission. Permission from headquarters took hours, and if shooting might be involved, it was often denied. To go beyond five kilometers required a CONOP (for “concept of operations”) that was much more elaborate and required approval from two layers in the field, and finally the Joint Special Operations Task Force at Baghram air base near Kabul. To get into a fire fight, the permission of a three-star general was necessary. “That process could take days,” Rice recalled to NEWSWEEK. He often typed forms while sitting on a 55-gallon drum his men had cut in half to make a toilet seat. “We’d be typing in 130-degree heat while we’re crapping away with bacillary dysentery and sometimes the brass at Kandahar or Baghram would kick back and tell you the spelling was incorrect, that you weren’t using the tab to delimit the form correctly.”

But Rice made his request anyway. Days passed with no word. The window closed; the target—whether Mullah Omar or not—moved on. Rice blames risk aversion in career officers, whose promotions require spotless (“zero defect”) records—no mistakes, no bad luck, no “flaps.” The cautious mind-set changed for a time after 9/11, but quickly settled back in. High-tech communication serves to clog, rather than speed the process. With worldwide satellite communications, high-level commanders back at the base or in Washington can second-guess even minor decisions.

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