Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Not since the war in the Pacific ...

...the VA has added 3,700 mental health professionals in the last two years.-LA Times

Saturday, April 19, 2008

FARC a Predictor of Taliban vis-a-vis Drugs?

A well composed story:

It has been 44 years since the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia group, or Farc, began its fight to overthrow the Colombian government.

The Farc, which says its armed struggle against the government is based on a search for social and economic justice, found natural support among the country's rural poor.

But in recent years the movement has faced decline.


Pablo, who deserted from the Farc four years ago, says he became disenchanted after his fellow fighters got involved in Colombia's drug trade.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

One Well Placed Bullet, Today


Kunar province's chief bad actor, dead at the hands of small arms fire by Paki police.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rummy to Write Memoires Afterall

How could he resist? It's done.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Reconciliation At Gunpoint

There is no having Democracy at gunpoint.

Yet, there is.

Reconciliation, of a sort, in Diyala, at gunpoint.

My nose tells me that the history of Diyala's politics post invasion would make a remarkable book or bit of reporting.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

No Soldier Leaves War Unwounded

From Australia:

A FORMER soldier who shot dead four members of his family before walking into a police station with a bag of weapons and a homemade bomb was detained today for a minimum of 15 years, police said.

David Bradley, 41,...

Police said Bradley had developed mental health problems after serving in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and the 1991 Gulf War

Are we safer?

It's not just terrorism or the "GWOT", post Iraqi invasion... :

• a new definition of state sovereignty as "nuclear sovereignty," accompanied by a massive increase in the number of small and medium-sized nuclear states;

• the illegal proliferation of military nuclear technology;

• the legal proliferation of civilian nuclear technology and an increase in the number of "civilian" nuclear states, implying military proliferation risks;

-Joschka Fisher

More First Draft History

The strategy for Victory in Iraq? This author says it was a declassified version, not de novo:

That was the background to a decision in the fall of 2005 to release an unclassified version of Gen. Casey's campaign plan, along with a document explaining how all elements of American power were being mobilized to assist in its realization. The full document was called the National Strategy for Supporting Iraq, the name of which changed somewhere along the way to the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq, or NSVI. There was nothing new here. The release of the NSVI, bolstered by a series of frank presidential addresses, was simply an attempt to make public a number of details about our approach and offer a reasonable response to our reasonable critics.

The effort was doomed. It was overtaken by political events or, rather, by one specific event: a press conference, on Nov. 17, 2005, by John Murtha, a Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania.

Mr. Murtha was a veteran of the Vietnam War and a hawk on defense spending--someone generally thought to be at home with the old "Scoop" Jackson wing of the Democratic party. When it came to Iraq, he turned out to be something else.

Medal of Honor Awarded Today

Navy SEAL Michael Anthony Monsoor, shown during winter training in Alaska in 2004, died in Iraq in 2006 after saving the lives of three American snipers and several Iraqi soldiers.

I remember remarking this story when it came through, but I cannot find the blog post. I did think it occured way up North, however.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Bad Voodoo Good Voodoo

The compelling Frontline effort to document a microcosm of the war effort from the inside through the eyes of the men of "Bad Voodoo" can be found here (complete with blog).

The flattening of journalism can be read in Columbia Journalism Review's piece on Good Voodoo Man Bill Roggio.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Re-definition of "In Country" - Part III

{what more is there to say, at this point - let us pray?}

Another female KBR employee has come forward alleging she was brutally raped in Iraq, and that the company attempted to cover it up, the Nation magazine reported yesterday. -Justin Root

Bush Legacy

The legacy of Bush's legal "strategy" for GWOT is a real eyesore (and I'm not even totally opposed to military commissions!).


Now, during a March 14 speech at the London School of Economics, [Gonzales's] successor Mukasey stated that the long-delayed trials of Guantánamo prisoners—six of them to start this year—will have "all the protections [for the defendants] we regard as fundamental." But he neglected to mention one glaring, discordant fact: that Colonel Morris D. Davis, the former chief prosecutor for the Office of Military Commissions, which will be conducting these trials, resigned in protest over their lack of credibility last October.

"I resigned on that day," he wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed piece in December 2007, "because I felt the system had become deeply politicized and . . . I could no longer do my job effectively or responsibly." And in February of this year, Brigadier General Thomas Hartmann, the legal adviser for these military commissions, refused to rule out the use of "evidence" that had been obtained by waterboarding—which nearly everyone but Mukasey defines as torture.


Central to Mizer's claim is a piece of evidence suggesting that Crawford's legal adviser, Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann, is so ensconced in the prosecution that he has become the de facto chief prosecutor -- a highly improper role according to observers, participants and the Military Commissions Act itself.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Non-Gay Band of Thebes

The Army is letting the married non-gays live together in Iraq:

U.S. Army Sgt. Jacqueline McCloud, 29, left, and her husband, Sgt. Jason McCloud, 24, right, kiss in the doorway of the small cargo container they share at Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul, 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, March 27, 2008. The two, who have two small children, are deployed together with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. The Army is allowing scores of husband-and-wife soldiers to live and sleep together in the war zone -- a move aimed at preserving marriages, boosting morale and perhaps bolstering re-enlistment rates at a time when the military is struggling to fill its ranks five years into the fighting. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

Malaki's "Operation Fall Apart Together"

Shiite militiamen roamed the streets of Basra, Iraq, on Friday with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. Gunfights erupted unpredictably between the Mahdi Army militia and Iraqi forces.