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April 16, 2009

article on “fixing the military”

http://www.slate.com/id/2187616/   I’m not a Salon.com fan, but this is an interesting article, and I am not certain of the author’s background, but he makes SOME valid points, especially with respect to the promotion system. Promotion- GEN Petraeus is an exception to the rule, and that is true. Anyone, generally, who rocks the boat, or takes risks, especially in peacetime, is out (especially during the 90’s). GEN Petraeus survived a broken system and is proving his metal. The system is broken, and SECDEF Rumsfeld knew this - it’s the reason he brought GEN Schoomaker out of retirement. If in peacetime you do not “ticket punch” or take risks, you don’t promote. Been there, LOL. One of the things that has NOT happened in some of the services is what I call the “wartime purge”, where the “ticket punchers” are weeded out. This has been slow to happen, and in most, and I say most, of the Navy, hasn’t happened.  I know of one SEAL officer who was awarded a Silver Star and Two Bronze Stars from AFG and was passed over for CDR because he had a traffic violation - a DUI that was reduced.  (he made it the next year)  Why? Because the guys on the boards pick those within their own frame of reference - he wasn’t spot free, so they nailed him even though the guy, whom I know, was/is an excellent officer whose guys loved him because “he played offense”. This isn’t limited to the Navy, and it also can be found in some other agencies.  I was shocked when ADM Mullen, now CJCS, came out in favor of closing GITMO a few months ago because it has “hurt our prestige around the world” (which is baloney).  Excuse me sir, isn’t that a political statement from which you should refrain (as well as being wrong)?  GITMO was and is the right place for these idiots, morally and legally.   I saw retired VADM Sestak, now a congressman from PA, on “Meet the Press” last year,  advocating the politically correct line to “pull out of Iraq”, and the conservative writers across the table were shocked at a recently retired flag officer advocating defeat - so was I - and this guy ran a battle group? He also made me cringe with his hushed tone and arm-grabbing - it looked like he was trying to run an encounter-group therapy discussion. Bet that’s why he hasn’t been asked back. He has a Ph. D. - click. He also campaigned, at one point, in uniform. OOPS. We have some excellent battle-tested flags in the SEAL Teams and SF, and I salute them as they are getting our guys the money and recognition they deserve. It’s too bad other line designations still cling to the past.  There are still too many left over “Clinton-era” officers, which started with ADM Boorda’s administrative mindset of “officers as managers”.  Remember “right-sizing”?  Political correctness? Tailhook? We have had how many ship/squadron/sub C.O.s relieved in the past 5 years? Close to, if not over 50 - I stopped counting when my NAVY TIMES subscription ran out last month.  What’s wrong with that picture? Promotion board problem? Yep.  Maybe we should do as the Brits do - apply and interview. Slowly, though, the rest of the Navy is begrudgingly starting to change overall.  Initiative is now not frowned upon as much, though still a bit misguided: what the heck are we worried about new uniforms and mandatory degrees when we have a war on? I’d rather have a sailor who is comfortable behind a 25 mm Cannon, can discriminate friend from foe, shoot straight when needed, fix the comms when under fire, and pick up damage control shoring than run a 7 min mile, have a Master’s in Sociology, and volunteer for river cleanup - the farce of the “zero-defect” sailor.   I’m glad we have a new MCPON - the old one was focused on some pretty inane things. MCPON Joe Campa is deck-plate straight and focused on what matters. Before the COLE and 9/11, C.O.s were more afraid of an accidental discharge in sailors carrying weapons or manning stations than pursuing defensive measures with the intelligence that was given - pure risk avoidance.  Bottom-up reviews and military budgets: The author(s) must take care in criticism of the military-industrial base. We DO need some of what people percieve, or call, “pork-barrel” in the military budget - why? Having been witness to this, if we don’t build another submarine or carrier, or don’t build more airplanes than we need, we will lose that industrial/technological base along with the tooling and expertise, the re-start of which is many times more expensive and time consuming. Look at how long it took us to re-tool in WWII and Korea. We were lucky, indeed, that we had an ocean between us, though Hitler was already at work on that. The author makes the assertion that this is not the present threat. Well, did anyone anticipate 9/11 and have our UW capability and Counter-insurgency capability front-loaded (except SF as a core capability)? Nope.  I remember some SOCOM people, especially those with Ranger backrounds, saying we will never do the UW/C.I. mission again. It was being de-emphasized in workups, and what was the first thing we did in AFG: true UW - war by proxy (for those not knowing this definition, the true definition of Unconventional Warfare is training and leading indigenous persons to fight battle - i.e., the Maquis in France in WWII, the Northern Alliance in AFG - to be the insurgents).  The “door-kicker” mindset is what inflamed the insurgents in Iraq (read Carlos Marghella, Brazilian insurgent). It took us years to “re-tool” our battle plan, our people, and our equipment for this, and now we have it right.  That being said, our leaders become very short-sighted. The Chinese and other conventional threats are building - we will need these other expensive platforms, either offensively or for deterrence, but certainly to maintain our tech/industrial base prowess.   What we need is Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid for a SECDEF -”balance, Danielson, go find’a balance”. We must never again submit to the  ”peace dividends” mindset. We must have a balanced force with rational long term thinking, not the “threat of the day”.. The author(s) said that “there hasn’t been a bottom-up review since WWII”.  Au-contraire.  Joint Vision 2020 was a useless pamphlet when it was written over many months and millions of dollars, extolling the virtues of “super-standoff robot weapons” and not extolling the best weapon there is, the “trained person on the ground” - invest in our people’s training; however, if one does not think we still need “Cold War” platforms, think again. We MUST also keep our “small wars” capability viable, and not let it wither on the vine as it did after Vietnam. BALANCE. Our doctrine must be balance: a mixture of Sun-Tzu and Clausewitz, not one or the other. This is too expensive you say? We need trade-offs for domestic programs? Nope. The first job of the government is defense, not health care. Universal health care, the “code-word” for Socialist healthcare, would far exceed the defense budget (let us save that for another discussion).

      This was a good article, overall, to stimulate discussion. Whaddya think?  Cheers….

Piracy

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 4:08 pm

There is a reason why we haven’t had a US ship taken by Pirates, and it’s two-fold: We have the Americans on those ships trained to repel boarders, and we have the US Navy and my fellow frogmen. The US Navy was founded because of piracy in the Med, and since the burning of the USS PHILADELPHIA, no ship has been in enemy hands with the exception of the USS PUEBLO, which is a museum piece in North Korea. What to do for the future? It is clear that we need to arm any US flagged vessel, and we can do that with private contractors very easily. Back in my staff days, we were doing what we called a “schmoozex” in Odessa, Ukraine, where the SIXTH Fleet Flagship was moored for a week. Dignitaries would come onto the fantail for a cocktail party the first night, then tours during the day. I was called to the Quarterdeck one afternoon, and was met there by a former Russin SPETSNATZ operator (Special forces equivalent), and we talked for an hour. I asked what he was doing since the fall of the Soviet Union, and he had been contracted by a shipping insurance company to ride ships through the Straits of Malacca, then a pirate haven as bad as Somalia. He was fairly heavily armed, and when they would try to board, he simply had to fire warning shots, and that was that. He was making 20k US equivalent for a month’s work. Many ports are averse to having ships enter with any armament, and some insurance companies also are averse to the same thing. The time has come to change this philosophy until which time the pirates grow weary of trying to board vessels that have armed personnel. Wake up, shipping and insurance companies! The US Navy, just like policemen, can’t be everywhere. These pirates, surely, have spotters and intelligence so that they avoid them. Be assured, also, that Al-Qaida is getting part of the booty through Al Shabaab, one of their cronies. Al-Qaida is probably ship spotting at several choke points in the Red Sea and the Horn area. We need armed contractors on the ships, and we need more P-3 reconnaissance as well as the smaller Patrol coastal craft with two sets of crews, using a large LHA or LHD as a mother ship for logistics with tactical air support as well. We can think about the model of OPERATION PRAYING MANTIS during the 80’s when we protected re-flagged tankers in the Gulf from Iranian speedboats; however, the area is far too big for static platforms, such as those barges were, though they were right for that op. As for cleaning out the pirate havens: easier said than done. For the short term, deny them the ability to hijack, the money earning through hijacking becomes untenable, and the populace there will turn on the pirates as the money the pirates paid for support infrastructure dries up. The populace will want real commerce to return as well as the food aide that WAS going into those ports. What do you think?

April 17, 2008

Reporter embedded in western Iraq

Filed under: SEAL articles — Tags: , , , — admin @ 1:05 pm

http://www.menshealth.com/cda/article.do?site=MensHealth&channel=guy.wisdom&category=life.lessons&conitem=a45ff170b76a8110VgnVCM20000012281eac____

A reporter from Men’s Health embeds with SEALs in Western Iraq.

Canada’s emasculated military - we were almost there.

Filed under: fixing the military — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:46 am

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2008/04/16/165703.aspx  This is an interesting article written by a Canadian who served with the Mossad. Interestingly, it is about the emasculation of Canada’s Armed forces as a whole by the Liberal Party, read Socialists. Their Special Forces snipers continue to help in AFG, though. mThis is the route the Clinton’s were leading us down in the 90’s. Peacekeeping and armed “Meals on Wheels”/officers as business managers. We can never let them get hold of our military again. Where have all the Scoop Jackson Democrats gone? …and as for REP Murtha - McCain too old to be President? YOU and SEN KKK Byrd are older than him? Do us a favor and retire now. 

April 14, 2008

Iranian speedboats, again.

Filed under: Iran — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 5:46 pm

Well, those pesky Iranians were shadowing and making provocative moves against USS TYPHOON, which used to be a Naval Special Warfare ship. Three issues here: force protection, enemy collection, and response recon. The Iranians are doing electronic collection on us  from shore-side as it isn’t too far away. They want to see what electronic emissions are coming from different ships and catalogue them, just my hunch. Probably are salivating for us to turn on our fire control. Can one avoid the collection? Probably not. If we shut down they will simply switch tactics, such as sending in their own UAV to feint or attack us, reminiscent of 20 years ago when we were afraid of the “low/slow” flyers. They are also measuring response and profiling each ship for readiness and weapons. That having been said, if they are making straight in moves - hey surface guys - you MUST fire flares and warning shots: be prepared to destroy them. Remember retired Marine GEN Paul Van Riper a few years ago came in and destroyed a battle group in an exercise using swarms of small boats: that really mad the regular Navy mad - that wasn’t in the script!! You are going to hurt people’s careers!! Here’s the link: www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A28161-2002Aug16 This baloney that the CO’s are “showing great restraint and discipline” is just that. The CO of one of the Cruisers a few months ago let those guys get FAR TOO CLOSE.  This is the slippery slope which then leads to risk aversion: to having our ships not even manned with loaded guns, which led to the COLE incident: “better to risk the ship than an accidental discharge or have to fire a warning shot”; that could ruin a CO’s career!  Hey CO’s - better to be tried at a Court of Inquiry than lose any of my people. You need to be able to pass the ”man in the mirror” test in the morning for the rest of your life, as I used to tell my guys. If you are that worried about your career, switch jobs. 
    The other thing we MUST have is as many cameras documenting the situation, as well as perhaps putting up a UAV during transits: be on the forward edge of the info warfare scheme as possible, and get it out front in the media IMMEDIATELY. Heck, get some UN  observers to do the transit and speak into the mike - uh…umm…well, I can dream, can’t I?  This is asymmetric warfare, with info warfare a huge part. The Iranians know that and are very good at it.  ”Stinky” Ahmedenijad could use a little kick in the ass….

April 8, 2008

The President was not “lying” about WMD.

Filed under: no WMD in Iraq? — Tags: , , , , , , , — admin @ 11:37 am

Here is a piece my little brother did for KDKA radio in Pittsburgh - it speaks for itself : facts and humorous pictures. Cut and paste:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9l52IBJlwR8   Check out his other works by clicking on his logo on the links page.

Also, check this one out from years past of LSD’ers trying to re-write history. http://www.bercasio.com/movies/dems-wmd-before-iraq.wmv   ….and, SEN Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), just made the moron list in besmirching SEN John McCain’s service and the service of all military personnel.  Oh, and SEN Rockefeller, laser-guided bombs (you said missiles) were not around when SEN McCain, in his A-4 Skyhawk, was shot down - they were still under development, and when they did come into service in 1969, at first, they needed a seperate aircraft to “lase” for them, an O-2 spotter with Pave Knife designator pod or Pave Nail, an OV-10 Bronco with a qualified Forward Air Controller. Here is the link: http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/smart/lgb.htm   Most fighters now “self-designate”, though we could also do it for them on the ground. Pushups, ready….begin.  See Daryl Whitcomb’s book, The Rescue of BAT-21. This is a Medal of Honor story. The movie was factually wrong. Callsign BAT-21, LTCOL Iceal E. “Gene” Hambleton, was rescued by a Navy SEAL LT Tom Norris and a South Vietnamese SEAL, Nguyen Van Kiet, (the only Viet awarded the Navy Cross, but what do you expect from Hollywood?  

April 2, 2008

there was WMD in Iraq

Filed under: no WMD in Iraq? — Tags: , , , , , , , , — admin @ 12:53 pm

   Let’s remember that going into Iraq to get the WMD and his abilty to manufacture WMD were combined but one reason to go. The outcry and constant drumbeat of those against our invasion was  that “there was no WMD found”. This is complete spin. Read Dr. Mahdi Obeidi’s book, “The Bomb in My Garden” - he wa the top nuclear scientist in the regime. Having heard his lecture, most everything was hidden from inspectors. Parts for centrifuges were buried in his garden, which were found, and our nuclear experts from the U.S. government labs attested that “they were better than ours.” Hundreds of tons of yellowcake, the precursor to making nukes, was found in the opening days of the invasion (someone pass that to Joe Wilson and Val Plame). Several hundred sarin nerve gas rounds were also found. What happened to the rest? Well, I think most was trucked out, and, much is still buried out there. Let’s remember what was buried at the end of some of the runways in Iraq: 30+ MiG-25 FOXBAT aircraft. These were developed to chase down the SR-71 BLACKBIRD. It was the basis for the movie “FIREFOX” with Clint Eastwood. I have a pic that I will try to upload of one of these huge jets being unearthed - these are half the size of a 737. These were fitted with chemical canisters, and, we were concerned about these before the war because they could take off from airfields out of the no-fly zones, fly at over MACH 2 along the borders at high altitude, and return to their bases before OPERATION’s NORTHERN and SOUTHERN WATCH could get aircraft up to intercept.  Let’s remember the “puppy poisoning” videos from Ansar Al-Islam, which was making ricin, working in NE Iraq - yes, they were/are Al-Qaida (someone please pass that to SEN Obama.), but Saddam supporting Al-Qaida (and he was) is for another post. Much of what was reported by DR. Kay and the ISG was spun by the media. Dual-use technology was dismissed as not being dual-use, such as the mobile vans.  Was the manufacturing suspended? Yes. Were they able to reconstitute - yes - read his book. Why won’t anybody publish this? Because there is an agenda out there - look at SEN Harry Reid - “the war is lost”…please don’t tell that to my SEAL brethren out there. By the way, you and Rep John Murtha got some ’splainin’ to do…the “Haditha Marines” have been found innocent.  Drop down for some pushups, schticks.  We are winning this insurgency. Counter-insurgency is the hardest operation there is, because it combines military, law enforcement, civil affairs, psyops, and the political process to win, and it is a long process which requires patience. The media and LSD’ers keep saying ”there isn’t a military solution”…yah….no kidding, but if you don’t have security first, and marginalize terrorists to being criminals, the political process can not succeed. This was the mistake the Clinton Admin made. He treated it as a law enforcement problem first; well, it was way beyond that - it was then, as now, a war. No Bill Maher, it isn’t a “giant law enforcement problem”.  Sure would be nice having some honest Democrats like SEN Liebermann. Whether you agree or not, we are there, and we need to win. Pulling out will be a disaster: do you think these terrorists will just go home? Think again. Whaddya’ think? GOD Bless MA2 Mike Monsoor who will recieve the MOH posthumously next week…where do we get such men as these?

March 26, 2008

Harvard Study

Filed under: Intelligentsia - NOT — Tags: , , , — admin @ 3:11 pm

A Harvard study that came out on Monday said that “adverse rhetoric by members of congress and the press about the war inflames and motivates the enemy”. We need these guys to tell us that? Well, even though the liberal intelligentsia has proclaimed such, will those liberal socialist democrats (LSD’ers) who want peace at all costs listen? Probably not as it plays with their political agenda to lessen our dominance in the world.  As for the study, this is basic information warfare, or as it was called, psyops. The media were also responsible for the hysteria after TET ’68 - Walter Cronkite even admitted as such in 2003. To read more, see PeterBaestrup - THE BIG STORY. How the media helped to lose the war. 

Welcome aboard.

Filed under: Welcome. — Tags: , , , — admin @ 2:28 pm

I started this LLC with this website for contracting, and the LLC, for those of you getting into this, is great for tax purposes.  I am starting this blog to discuss topics relative to Special Warfare and to the Global War, and it is Global, not as the Speaker of the House says “is just in Afghanistan” - ridiculous and harmful to our efforts.  It will also be fun because we were always told to be tight-lipped on how the civilian and military leadership handles the military - not anymore - got the r-e-t behind my name.  Why should all these retired “Clinton-era flag officers” have the fun?  Some of them say some pretty - questionable - things. We will mix factual arguements with some humor as well. Please feel free to send articles, questions, and comments. Also, please see the You.tube tribute to my fallen SEAL brethren and the lads of Naval Special Warfare on the “contact us” page.   Let’s kill/capture the enemy before they do it to us.  Cheers…Sandy