Friday, February 27, 2009

The Petraeus and Bush relationship

Great article by Thomas Ricks in the Washington Post:

"As Centcom commander, Fallon was technically Petraeus's new boss. In practice, however, Petraeus bypassed the chain of command and answered directly to Bush, enjoying what was probably the most direct relationship between a frontline general and his commander in chief since the Civil War."

This description may lend some credence to the claim by some that Fallon and Petraeus hated each other. Now, for any student of the Civil War, Lincoln's relationship with his generals draw many interesting comparisons with that of Bush and Petraeus. Prior to, and during the battle of Chancellorsville, for example, Lincoln received reports via courier directly from Major General Joe Hooker. Furthermore, Lincoln himself visited the front to participate in strategy planning with the general. Hooker was appointed by Lincoln to change the course of the war, much as Petraeus was. Neither Lincoln's Secretary of War, nor his Army Chief of Staff supported Hooker's appointment, and they had little dealings with the commander of the Army of the Potomac. They left him to deal directly with the President, which was just what Hooker preferred.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Brigade 055

Al Qaeda has reorganized its notorious paramilitary formations that were devastated during the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and 2002. Al Qaeda has reestablished the predominantly Arab and Asian paramilitary formation that was formerly known as Brigade 055 into a larger, more effective fighting unit known as the Lashkar al Zil, or Shadow Army, a senior US intelligence official told The Long War Journal.

More on al Qaeda's Shadow Army at The Long War Journal.

The Taliban and al Qaeda working closely together is never a good thing. However, it's worth noting how terribly Muslim militants have been punished when perpetrating large company sized attacks on NATO forces.

Force Recon Marines sent to the Philippines

"A company of Force Recon marines has been sent to Basilan to help with the search for the kidnappers of three UN workers. The Force Recon marines are highly trained, and would likely be used for the actual assault on the kidnappers camp."

This might actually be Filipino Marines. More at StrategyPage.