Sunday, September 14, 2008

"What happens when the bluff no longer works?"

Dexter Filkins, writing for the New York Times:

"Pakistan’s double game has rested on two premises: that the country’s leaders could keep the militants under control and that they could keep the United States sufficiently placated to keep the money and weapons flowing. But what happens when the game spins out of control? What happens when the militants you have been encouraging grow too strong and set their sights on Pakistan itself? What happens when the bluff no longer works?"

The best reporting by the New York Times in a long, long time.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Monday, September 08, 2008

'Experience in a gun fight"

Outside the Wire - An Un-intended Advantage:

"...the United States military is one of the most combat-experienced militaries in history. Virtually every officer of the line has led Soldiers and Marines on daily combat missions.Sergeants and Junior Staff NCOs have come up through the ranks not in garrison or on training exercises but in combat. Virtually every U.S. Rifle Platoon has something the Russian and Chinese military do not--experience in a gun fight. While many may not believe that the U.S. has started winning in Iraq, the General Staff's of the authoritarian regimes know what is happening and surely must be wondering how their untested conscripts would fare against the battle hardened 1st Marine Division or 82nd Airborne."

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

"When things go wrong, you persevere"

Corporal Michael Pinckney:

"I'm twenty-three. My generation sucks. They're all soft. They don't care about their identity as Americans. We live in some bad-ass country, and they're not even proud of it. My family flies the flag, but other families don't. Nobody knows what it means to be American anymore, to be tough. I like being home and yet I don't. People at home are not proud of us being in Iraq, because they've lost the meaning of sacrifice. They expect things to be perfect and easy. They don't know that when things go wrong you persevere; you don't second-guess. During OIF-I, we all slept in the rain and got dysentery in Ad-Diwaniyah. But back home, everyone is going to shrinks and suing each other. That's why I like the Marine Corps. If you fuck up, your sergeant makes you suck it up. I don't want to be anywhere else but Iraq. OIF-I and OIF-II, this is what manhood is all about. And I don't mean macho shit either. I mean moral character."

From Robert Kaplan's "Imperial Grunts," page 323.

Secret War: SAS and Delta

More than 3,500 insurgents have been "taken off the streets of Baghdad" by the elite British force in a series of audacious "Black Ops" over the past two years.

It is understood that while the majority of the terrorists were captured, several hundred, who were mainly members of the organisation known as "al-Qa'eda in Iraq" have been killed by the SAS.

The SAS is part of a highly secretive unit called "Task Force Black" which also includes Delta Force, the US equivalent of the SAS.