Why Obama Should Reconsider
His Afghanistan Pledge

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently briefed President Barack Obama on Afghanistan and the Pentagon’s proposal to send 15,000 more troops there by late spring. Obama is expected to accept the plan as a “down payment” on his pledge during the campaign to put more troops into the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban insurgents. … Continue reading “Why Obama Should Reconsider
His Afghanistan Pledge”

Base-less Strategy

With nine months left in office, the Bush administration has opened negotiations with the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that are expected to set parameters within which future relationships between Iraq and the United States will be conducted. The end product, as presently envisioned by Washington, will be either one document with two major … Continue reading “Base-less Strategy”

Paying for the Wars’ Wounded

The Bureau of the Census has issued a lengthy summary of "facts" about the nation’s 23.7 million veterans in time for Veteran’s Day. Considering that there are two significant ongoing armed conflicts involving U.S. forces, I expected that there would be some "facts" dealing with Iraq and Afghanistan. Nothing was disaggregated. Well, nearly nothing. Where … Continue reading “Paying for the Wars’ Wounded”

Why Saudi Arabia? Why Now?

The "headline-grabber" read: "U.S. Plans New Arms Sales to Gulf Allies." Nothing startling there. For decades the United States has routinely sold or transferred weapons and ammunition, sent military teams abroad or brought foreign military personnel to the United States for training, and transferred technology that allowed "friendly" governments to produce almost state-of-the-art copies of … Continue reading “Why Saudi Arabia? Why Now?”

Iraq: Finding the Diamonds?

Last week’s briefings for the press by U.S. civilian and military officials in Baghdad were uniformly upbeat, cautious, and predictable. The first half of the message was straightforward: "Don’t judge too early. Give the ‘surge’ a chance." One division commander said all he needed was another year. The second half, anticipating the day when the … Continue reading “Iraq: Finding the Diamonds?”

Counting Troops in Iraq

This past week, both the House and the Senate debated and voted on legislation affecting the deployment of U.S. troops in Iraq. In the Senate, the issue was the length of time soldiers and Marines would have at home between deployments to the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan. In the House, Ike Skelton (D-MO) … Continue reading “Counting Troops in Iraq”

Bombs Away! Or Bomb Any Way

December 2001: the U.S. Air Force dropped the 15,000-pound “Daisy Cutter” on the cave complex in Afghanistan known as Toro Bora. At the time, this was the largest bomb in the U.S. arsenal. The same month, the Pentagon sent 10 of the more lethal 2,000-pound thermobaric bombs to U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Thermobaric weapons are … Continue reading “Bombs Away! Or Bomb Any Way”

US Credibility Under Friendly Fire

"When truth becomes war’s first fatality, Trust quickly becomes the second." "Since my son’s death … I don’t trust them [the Pentagon] one bit." One need only read the article in the Los Angeles Times to sense the loss felt by Mrs. Mary Tillman whose son, former pro-football star Corporal Pat Tillman, was killed in … Continue reading “US Credibility Under Friendly Fire”

Intelligent Intelligence Reform

While the media focus attention on congressional turf battles associated with intelligence reform, the president is taking steps – largely under the public’s radar screen – to create his own hidden "army" of covert spies. Before getting into what the White House is doing, it’s necessary to examine what Congress is doing and not doing … Continue reading “Intelligent Intelligence Reform”