Friday, December 09, 2005

Donald Rumsfeld on Iraq

Donald Rumsfeld recently gave a speech at the Paul Nitze School of Advanced Studies at Johns Hopkins where he discussed in an engaging and candid way the reasons why perceptions over the Iraq mission differ and laying out why he thinks seeing OIF to victory is not only necessary but indispensable. But the question-and-answer period which followed rises above his prepared remarks by considerable margin. While no transcript is available, a Real Player audio file is available here and it is worth every one its 44 minutes. (Hat tip: DL)

Commentary

Secretary Rumsfeld regretted that every time he spoke it was inevitably to "several audiences" of varying degrees of friendliness or hostility, an awareness which probably made routine press briefings dull and wary affairs. But while Rumsfeld at Johns Hopkins may not have been playing to an unquestioningly admiring audience, I think he felt he was talking to a rational and highly intelligent group of listeners, one that could be swayed by force of argument and the enumeration of facts. That turned the Q&A period into a kind of dialogue, in which Rumsfeld proved willing to examine each question in the round. And the subjects he covers run the gamut. What is torture? Are military contractors necessary in Iraq? Why does the perception of the same event differ between segments of the American public? What is military transformation? What are the key advantages of the enemy? If they are not to be called insurgents, then what should they be called? How many troops are enough?

In responding to each question it's obvious he has considered them before and we can hear the echoes of earlier dialogues in his response to the students and faculty of Johns Hopkins; one can't help wondering in what setting those earlier conversations took place. And yet it isn't pure regurgitation because if one listens carefully it's possible to hear Rumsfeld debating with himself; and the reverberations give the listener something of a picture of his mind. And whether one likes or loathes him, Rumsfeld's mind is an interesting place to be.

111 Comments:

Blogger Aristides said...

Video is at C-span defense link.

12/09/2005 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

link?

12/09/2005 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger greer rants said...

LARWYN says:

Happy an Aussie was watching for us. Priceless Rumsfeld.


PUBLIC DOESN'T APPROVE

Jim Lehrer interviews Donald Rumsfeld:

I looked at the public opinion polls the last, recent ones that mention you. And you don’t come out very well in terms of the public. I couldn’t find one where the public had approved of the job you were doing, less than 50 percent. Does that bother you?


And Donald Rumsfeld interviews Jim Lehrer:

If you look where the news media is, it’s down very low at the polls. If you want to get into public opinion polls, people in that business are right down near the bottom. You know that. Yeah, does it bother you?



Posted by Tim B. on 12/09/2005 at 03:08 AM
(43) Comments • Permalink
Click here: Tim Blair

12/09/2005 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger Cobalt Blue said...

The administration should have been doing this sort of thing for the past two years. Why has it taken so long to do this--that is, talk to the nation in a grown up way about the war? It can't be for a lack of forum for the administration. It has been a disappointment to me and to a lot of others. Thank heavens for blogs like this one in the meanwhile. I look forward to listening to the whole thing.

12/09/2005 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Pork,

Here's the link

12/09/2005 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

...Imagine the world our children would face if we allowed Zawahiri, and Zarqawi, and bin Laden, and others of their ilk to seize power and operate with impunity out of Iraq. It would turn Iraq into what Afghanistan was before September 11th -- a haven for terrorist recruitment, training and a launching pad for attacks against U.S. interests and our fellow citizens. Iraq would serve as the base of a new Islamic caliphate to extend throughout the Middle East and which would threaten the legitimate governments in Europe, Africa, and Asia. This is their plan. They have said so. We make a terrible mistake if we fail to listen and learn.

In my view, quitting is not a strategy. Quitting is an invitation to more attacks and more terrorist violence here at home. This is not just a hypothesis. The U.S. withdrawal from Somalia emboldened Osama bin Laden in the 1990's. We know this. He said so
. --Rumsfeld


See: The Future of Iraq

I agree with Rumsfeld.

Because of the oil wealth of Iraq, if we cut and run it will indeed be a well financed launching pad for terrorists.

Worse, other thugs like Zarqawi will replace Saddam and go wild. They will have the financial means to buy any type of weapons, from MANPADs to Nukes. And, these thugs will not hesitate to use them. Failure in Iraq is just not an option.

12/09/2005 11:28:00 PM  
Blogger Dublin Saab said...

SF...

Absolutely! The only reason that there is even a question about cutting and running in Iraq is a direct result of the Bush Administrations complete inability to clearly explain what is being fought for and what is at stake.

Here's hoping they keep the aggressive talk up.

12/10/2005 12:11:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Pork,
Still up to your old tricks, eh?
C4

12/10/2005 02:55:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"And yet it isn't pure regurgitation because if one listens carefully it's possible to hear Rumsfeld debating with himself;
and the reverberations give the listener something of a picture of his mind.
"
---
What a clear picture it is!

Many of us debate with ourselves,
but few have such faultless and productive exchanges.

12/10/2005 03:00:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

ON BOOK TV
New LIVE Author Call-Ins:

Victor Davis Hanson
"A War Like No Other:
How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War"

(3:15pm);
SAT., C-SPAN2, 12-5PM ET

12/10/2005 03:23:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

It'a pity there isn't a transcript, because many of the points Secretary Rumsfeld made were striking and very nearly original. In one section he discussed the actual and hypothetical responses of US soldiers stumbling upon abuse in ways one might think about if that soldier happened to be you. And for a moment the largely academic audience, and a very good one too, was vicariously transported to a situation where actions have immediate and very serious consequences, so that when Rumsfeld returned to the subject from the viewpoint of journalistic coverage it was a psychological coup de grace, because by contrast the news stories seemed stilted and almost dishonestly facile.

At that moment I realized that demagoguery, as is sometimes practiced by yellow journalism, is possible only where the level of discourse can be sufficiently lowered to turn things into a contest of sloganeering. TV makes that much easier, because you do not have to think; whereas audio, for all its limitations, requires you to imagine the situations described only in words. That wakes the brain and every sensibility at its command, always a dangerou situation.

12/10/2005 03:47:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"...so that when Rumsfeld returned to the subject from the viewpoint of journalistic coverage it was a psychological coup de grace, because by contrast the news stories seemed stilted and almost dishonestly facile."
---
I have recently visited Kevin Sites blog a few times, and always take away the same feeling I get listening to Senator Kerry:
An inability to express himself without sounding embarrassingly self promoting and self-important.
(The MSM generally excel at this, of course.)
The contrast with Michael Yon is profound.
---
---
"...whereas audio, for all its limitations, requires you to imagine the situations described only in words.
That wakes the brain and every sensibility at its command, always a dangerous situation.
"

A friend of mine refers to
"Active Listening."

No doubt the brain has more hardware for audio language processing than any other, being that it came well before the rest.

12/10/2005 04:10:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

Wretchard wrote:

"At that moment I realized that demagoguery, as is sometimes practiced by yellow journalism, is possible only where the level of discourse can be sufficiently lowered to turn things into a contest of sloganeering."

Precisely. Most of the race riots in the US where whites attempted to dispossess blacks hinged on yellow journalism and local politics working hand in hand.

12/10/2005 04:18:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

ledger

You have to agree there are more options than "stay the course" and "cut and run".

The Administration is so far behind the curve, so afraid of defining either the Battle of Iraq or the WoT, that they have lost the homefront.

They have helped to create the current narrative. When given the opprotunity to define the Enemy, in Iraq and around the World, the Admin declined. They continue to do so today. In the cases of Syria, Iran, Sudan and portions of central Asia, we should, by Mr Bush's words, be at war.
We are not.

The Administration has morphed the Battle of Iraq into the War on Terror, without a Public understanding of the strategic purposes of the invasion & occupation, in the greater War.

The Army's logistic tail is so heavy and unwielding that when 13% of the overall Force is deployed, the Military is strrreched to the "breaking point". Even in theater, add up the numbers in ach of the city clearing operations.
500 here, 1500 there, on and on.

The number, each time I did it, never came to more than 10,000 to 15,000 troops.

Wonder of wonders, about 13% of the deployed Force.

That is the real discovery for US, the one that is left unspoken. The size of the Military and it's relative ineffectiveness.

Three years for US to secure Ramadi, who'd have believed that in 2002.

12/10/2005 04:38:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Passing of another kind of Wordsmith .

If I am not mistaken, Phil was only half Welsh, but in his heart and soul, he was a Welshman through and through.
He was first and foremost a storyteller, one of the best.
I once heard an eminent Welsh professor solemnly intone that
"the essence of Welshness is dishonesty."
And he went on to explain that the Welsh had been so oppressed by so many different enemies through the centuries that their forms of speech had taken on a sort of fabulous protective coloration.

He maintained that a Welshman could not tell you the time, or predict the arrival of the morning train, without making it sound as though he were embroidering the truth.
Phil was never dishonest, but in his hands the truth took wonderful forms
.
---
...It was here that I tapped into Phil's astonishing knowledge of our Civil War and his enthusiastic willingness to burrow into that war's arcana at the drop of a plastic beer cup.
Later, writing in this magazine, Phil said,
"We've vowed to spend more time following in the footsteps of Stonewall Jackson, the ill-fated and slightly eccentric hero whose last words were nothing less metaphysical than,
'Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.' "

12/10/2005 04:50:00 AM  
Blogger Karensky said...

Hey Guys and Gals I got the transcript from Drudge vie the Washington Post. Complete to a tee, I'll try to find it and attempt to get a link.
Karensky, sorry I don't know my html but here it is http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/05/AR2005120501248.html

12/10/2005 05:14:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Thanks much for the link. Download is rather painful, so I will have to do that at my liesure later.
As I have said before I see in Rumsfeld a familiar but rare face, someone who entered the D.C. environment and emerged even more honest than he was before.
In even "normal" times an offhand comment or short answer to a poorly worded question is used as justification for all sorts of things people wanted to do anyway but did not have a good reason. Congressional staffers refuse to read requested reports and then slash funding on the basis that their questions were not answered. Vast new programs are built based on desires for career enhancement - and others cancelled based on the same philosophy.
It is about DA*MN time someone stood up and spoke out!
Take it from someone who has spent far too many hours running the literally endless halls of 5 Sided Ft. Fumble On the Potomac: the man is a treasure.

12/10/2005 05:53:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Karensky, thanks for that link

A very interesting read.
Many of the answers, while honest, were disturbing.

"... RUMSFELD: So it is an entirely different environment that we're functioning in. It's a difficult one. And it requires a set of skills that the United States government doesn't have in abundance.

We have historically avoided doing much in that area, trying to affect people's attitudes and minds. ...'


The most important weapon in the WoT is not in our inventory. It is nonlethal and for US, Rummy goes on to say, illegal.

Totally insane, while we spend hours of Media minutes discussing "torture".

The battle ground in the Information Wars is surrendered with hardy a fight.

12/10/2005 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Congressional staffers refuse to read requested reports and then slash funding on the basis that their questions were not answered."
---
"BUSH MISLED US!"
Say the Dems,
...but only 4 or 6 Democrat Senators read the 90 page report provided to them, which covered most of the areas about which they now complain.

12/10/2005 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger Albert said...

The transcript of his speech and Q&A session is at The Washington Post.

12/10/2005 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger Piercello said...

Doug (4:10), I could turn your suggestion on its head and say that because the visual processing centers of the brain are the most highly developed--everyone I know, including very small children, turns to look for a noise source, rather than the other way around--the images on television recieve so much more of our attention than the audio that it is possible to slip verbal untruths, half-truths, and generally sloppy argument past the casual viewer as long as the video component is sufficiently compelling. The more riveting the video, the less attention the audience pays to critically assessing what is being said. Hellooooo, television reporting!

-Piercello

12/10/2005 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Bill Roggio reports from Ramadi that

nonkinetic military operations.
Civil Administration is what it was called, back in the day.

More and more POLICE work required in Iraq, and that my friends is success.

12/10/2005 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr Roggio reports that
"The Wild West of Anbar isn't so wild anymore"

some day I may figure out why it does that.

12/10/2005 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger Piercello said...

The corollary of course being that if you have never acquired the verbal skills to present a solidly constructed argument, you can marginalize that inadequacy with a torrent of striking images. Whether or not television reporters and anchors actually know this, their producers surely do.

12/10/2005 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

To All,

Remember the unspoken goal of our current conflict scale in the GWOT:

That is: To avoid Total War...

Defined in Wretchard's Three Conjectures, 2003/09/19

Our efforts in the Middle East are efforts to provide a lasting alternative to Total War. President Bush is showing tremendous strength and leadership in this. Think back to 9/11, Beslan, London, Paris, Hamburg, Indonesia, attacks in Pakistan, etc...

Who stopped Putin?

12/10/2005 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

I beleive that the administration knew that the media and the Democratic opposition would spin this type of event as spin, and pick and choose what they published, thus making a negative out of a positive it negatively.

And we have all seen that happen on many occasions, so it is a valid concern. But overall, I think it is still a mistake not to engage the public more.

12/10/2005 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger nonomous said...

wrechard wrote:
"At that moment I realized that demagoguery, as is sometimes practiced by yellow journalism, is possible only where the level of discourse can be sufficiently lowered to turn things into a contest of sloganeering. TV makes that much easier, because you do not have to think; whereas audio, for all its limitations, requires you to imagine the situations described only in words. That wakes the brain and every sensibility at its command, always a dangerous situation."

In personal conversation, I call WWII the war between radio dictators. Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and Roosevelt were all masters of crowd control via radio. One might go further and say they were media pioneers, but radio was their primary tool.

It seems audio engages the passions far more than TV. When considering the consistent failure of liberal talk shows, this truth is constantly confirmed. The liberal message of fear and submission is perfectly plausible on TV. Even 'talk' shows with carefully controlled 'guests' works. The conservative call to fight for one's rights comes across as dangerous on TV, but works wonderfully on radio talk shows.

12/10/2005 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger Bat One said...

"... because if one listens carefully it's possible to hear Rumsfeld debating with himself; and the reverberations give the listener something of a picture of his mind. And whether one likes or loathes him, Rumsfeld's mind is an interesting place to be."

A truly brilliant analysis! I think it is also true that for the President to not avail himself of Donald Rumsfeld's mind would be a disservice to the country tantamount to dereliction.

12/10/2005 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Mix:

1 Part Rumsfeld
3 Parts Wretchard
a Dash of Barnett
a bit of Whittle
and VDH to taste

and you get a discussion of the problem, a couple of postulations, and a long term strategy of solving the problem.

I took a weak ass'd chop at Three Conjectures - Revisited

12/10/2005 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger Fred K said...

I've often wondered if we could "draft" Rummy for president. The news conferences alone might scare AQ enough ;-)

My favorite Rummy story has to be posted over at
Lt Smash's site
Read the whole thing, you'll be glad you did.

I also appreciated one of his low points when a "snowflake" memo was leaked that discussed the problem of terrorist recruiting in Madrases. While this was used to bludgen the administration, it was evidence that someone was truly working to address the root of the terrorist threat.

My Blog:

Political Fred

12/10/2005 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Silicon Valley Hiker said...

To Stuart Fullerton:

You asked "Why has it taken so long to do this--that is, talk to the nation in a grown up way about the war?"

If you watched the C-SPAN DoD Press Conferences then you would have seen this happening _DAILY_ ... I blame the MSM for filtering this from those who do not "get off" watching most of Rummy's DoD Press Conferences since 9/11.

THANK GOD FOR C-SPAN!!!

12/10/2005 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/10/2005 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Rumsfeld:

For starters, it must be jarring for reporters to leave the United States, arrive in a country that is so different, where they have to worry about their personal safety, and then being rushed to a scene of a bomb, car bomb or a shooting and have little opportunity to see the rest of the country.

By contrast, the Iraqi people see things probably somewhat differently. They can compare Iraq as it is today to what it was three years ago: a brutal dictatorship, where the secret police would murder or mutilate a family member, sometimes in front of their children, and where hundreds of thousands of Iraqis disappeared into mass graves...

The situation in Iraq is terrible...and it's never been better.


The divergence in opinion on Iraq flows from a divergence in standards of observation (this only applies to honest observers--many care nothing for truth). Those who measure backwards, using history as the control group, are divided into two camps: those who use Iraq's history (either written or experienced), and those who use their personal history (either ideological or experienced). Those who use Iraq's past as the comparative standard are generally optimistic about what they see on the ground. As Rumsfeld notes, when one has knowledge of both Iraq's past and Iraq's present, the present looks miraculous by comparison.

On the other hand are those who choose to be less rigorous in their measurements. For these observers any standard will do, and snap-judgments abound. A misremembered past becomes the standard by which to measure a misperceived present (e.g. Snowcroft's "50 years of peace"). As has been shown, these non-Iraqis who calibrate their judgment from ego are vulnerable to the pessimism of privilege (an affliction of the affluent) and the inaccurate intuition of the ignorant.

Of course, there are those who eschew looking backwards at all, judging everything by that which has not yet arrived. Those chronic discontents, who use possibility as the control group, will forever be disappointed and sceptical. Untethered by amnesia and distracted by perfection, these men know nothing at all.

This is true for more issues than Iraq.

12/10/2005 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

In many ways, SecDef Rumsfeld is the most senior, most accomplished member of the Bush Administration. In "The Rise of the Vulcans" he clearly stands apart, and after serving as CEO of two Fortune 500 companies, you can appreciate his dedication in service to America in his present (almost) thankless position. Check out his bio for a sec: Donald Rumsfeld, youngest SecDef in History in 1975

Now, I've heard from guys who have been in theater in Afghanistan and Iraq that he is not universally loved, but so what? When was the last time the grunts and the spooks appreciated the REMF's in the Pentagon? Answer: NEVER. Well, maybe in the Civil War.

While Greg Dj over at Belgravia has gone starkers in his distaste for Rumsfeld, there are a lot of us out here who wish we had a mature enough electorate that Rummy could have a chance to be President.

Ah well, we got Reagan, we have Bush, I guess I shouldn't be greedy. But compared to those two giants, Rummy would have towered over them. And our enemies would shudder and tremble before us.

12/10/2005 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

"I blame the MSM for filtering this.."


I disagree. I don't think the administration was ever ready to talk to, or properly engage the public on this war, and they're not ready still.

Just finished watching Rumsfeld via the C-SPAN link posted, and to put it mildly, I wasn't terribly impressed.

Rumsfeld (and to be fair, most of the other top echelon personnel), need to go back to school. A crash course reading through the archives at Belmont, LGF, VDH, Bearstrong, Michellemalkin, etc., would make for a good start.

12/10/2005 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mika,
You got links for that opinion?
(inside joke for you and Pork)
---
I'll bet Wretch, as well as a lot of us would PAY to go to school if Rummy were the teacher.

I totally agree with the Silicon Valley Hiker that it makes no sense to tar Rummy with the sins of the MSM.
Was it FDR's fault that his Fireside Chats were not well understood in Hitler's Germany?

12/10/2005 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Food for thought…
An odd point, maybe not worth the ink…

President Bush and anyone knowledgeable on the what is called the GWOT unequivocally state that this conflict will last a very, very, very long time…

There is, and always will be, a domestic political component to this conflict…

President Bush and his Administration will be out of power in early 2009…

President Bush took an active interest in growing his Party’s power in 2002…

President Bush looks to be taking an active role in growing his Party’s power in 2006…

Thus,
To win this marathon of a war, this Administration realizes that adults have to be in power upon their ‘retirement’. What better way is there than to give the opposition the opportunity to pop up like ‘whack-a-moles’, to demonstrate their childish indecisiveness, to illustrate divisiveness, to exemplify the conflicted nature of their very being…

That is: Give the opposition enough rope to hang themselves…

If the Democratic Party were still the party of FDR, Truman, and JFK than I would hope President Bush wouldn’t drive them in this direction. We need a viable two party system. However, the Democratic Party is now the party of Carter, Clinton, and Dean – and they are not viable leaders in a Global War on Terror.

12/10/2005 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Piercello said...Doug (4:10)," I could turn your suggestion on its head and say that because the visual processing centers of the brain are the most highly developed--everyone I know, including very small children, turns to look for a noise source, rather than the other way around--the images."

Ah yes, but we are "talking" WORDS, and higher order thinking,
not IMAGES of Luscious Chicks, Explosions, and Fireballs .
(how do they worm there way into a discussion like this? ...oh yeah: IMAGES!)

And the verbal processing centers, which all right thinking people believe is what set us off on a path above the animals,
(in the beginning...) got it's start playing with SOUNDS.

Comeon, Tony, help me out here!

12/10/2005 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

boghie says,
" the opportunity to pop up like ‘whack-a-moles’, to demonstrate their childish indecisiveness, to illustrate divisiveness, to exemplify the conflicted nature of their very being."
---
Exactly.
He is also a skilled politician and poker player, and knows that politically speaking 4 years is a LONG time.
Just as EVERYONE got sick of hearing WMD's before the line was crossed, he knows that the important thing is to have the MOMENTUM of public opinion going his way at the crucial time.

If he had been setting the moles up to whack since the day after the election, people would be sick of that show by 2006 elections, not to mention '08.

...an art which SPc4 'Rat and his rag tag team of Buck Privates Sunny DAY Warriors can't appreciate.

12/10/2005 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Mika, what's your disatisfaction, exactly? I thought Rumsfled's musing was as good as etiquette allowed.

12/10/2005 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Doug,

Another thing,

Rumsfeld will be remembered...

Who will remember the multitudes of loaves and fishes that served that position under Clinton, Carter, and even the 'defense' advisor under Kerry. They are best forgotten. Like their superiors, these slugs will only be remembered as the failures and floatsam they were.

Therefore, I am with President Bush. There is no need for the Democrat Party - hooray for the One Party State... Actually not... But there has to be a shake up domestically. These chumps can't be placed in the seats of power.

12/10/2005 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Doug, you can't count on the Democrats to keep dropping the ball for ever. Sooner or later they'll figure it out that they can't afford to indulge their idiot fringe by having people like Dean at the front of their public relations efforts. What happens then? 2004 was a fairly close election. What happens if they put a guy like Lieberman at the front? 2008 could be theirs.

12/10/2005 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Appreciate, appreciate indecisiveness?
Appreciate kicking the can down the road?
No not really, I don't.

If the US Military has still not secured Iraq's major cities and towns, three years after the Invasion, which some claim is the case.
If we have not trained enough Iraqis to secure Iraq after three years, a normal term of a troop's enlistment.
If US troops are misapplied, assigned missions for which there are no skill sets.
If US deaths caused by cross border infiltrators is not a US responsibility, but an Iraqi one.
If Insurgents, captured by US Forces are quickly released, returning again, back into the fight.

Then you are right doug.

I do not apprecite it.

As a father of a Marine, the mismanagement of the Conflict is stomach wrenching.
Imagine your boy sent to cruise the streets of Iraq with ROE's the Sec of Def does not understand.

Read Roggio's nonkinetic conflict report from the Front.

The Iraqi WAR is over
Saddam is disarmed
Iraq will have it's Government
The Iraqi Army has Armor and Light Infantry, they'll do just fine

Poop or get off the pot

Decide what & who to leave behind and get on with the War.

Osama is the real game, We can't catch him. either, after how many years now, Why?

Is it cause we cannot or cause we will not.
The will is the thing and it's lacking.

12/10/2005 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

BTW,

Although it's off topic, one of the ironies of the riots now taking place in China is that it is partially over land taken from farmers for wind farms.

12/10/2005 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ironic
...as are the Mass. Liberals like Kennedy et al that go to war before they allow Windmills in THEIR backyards.

12/10/2005 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mika says,
"Sooner or later they'll figure it out that they can't afford to indulge their idiot fringe by having people like Dean at the front of their public relations efforts. "
---
The Dems ARE the idiot fringe:
They'll figure it out over Pelosi's dead body, but by that time, no one will be able to discern if, or when, she died.

Likewise for the botox-bathed Ketchup King.
...and you have to give credit to those Irish Genes keeping the Kennedy Whale Afloat...
...that or the preservative qualities of alcohol.

12/10/2005 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat says,
"The will is the thing and it's lacking. "
---
Agreed, and I share most of your frustrations.
However:
1. The Admin has the domestic front as the base to work from, a not inconsiderable impediment.
2. Bush is not Cheney nor Rummy, he is GWB.
Cheney and Rummy could have done a better job imo
(NO DAMN GENERAL POWELL ever would have been part of that admin)
3.Cheney did not, and by all odds COULD NOT have been elected, given the state of play in 2000.
I agree Bush has caved on some soft-PC points he "shouldn't have," and we have paid the price.
...but, this country is going to have to grow up, and I am convinced that won't happen until most of my generation are GONE.

(That by itself will improve the situation!)

12/10/2005 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

doug
What I really do not appreciate is that the Sec of Def says

"... And the rules are very strict. And that is understandable.

The problem is, that if you say anything, you are talking to multiple audiences. I mean, simultaneously everything I'm saying here today is going to people in the Department of Defense, it's going to the civilian and the military people, it's going our friends and allies around the world, it's going to our enemies, it's going to other governments.

And everything is right there out front. And it's a very different situation. And I would go so far as to say we're not organized or trained to handle it in a particularly brilliant fashion.

We have a lot of restrictions on us that are understandable, and in my view appropriate. But we're up against people who do not have those restrictions on them. And they're able to turn inside the turning circle. ..."

How many years, is it four now, and we still are not trained to handle information flows in the WoT.

And the Rules that make us uncompetitive with the enemy, that let hime"turn inside our cirle" are in Rummy's own words
"understandable" & "appropriate"

Cede the damn field if that is our Policy.
It is no way to fight a War,
unless it's just like our other War of unending duration, the War on Drugs.
To be taken just as seriously.

12/10/2005 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Mika, what's your disatisfaction, exactly? I thought Rumsfled's musing was as good as etiquette allowed.

I don't know. I just get the uncomfortable feeling that he's shooting from the hip. He's a clever guy, Rumsfled, that's for sure. But I get the impression he's working on instinct. That there's no substance or underlying understanding of the scope of the problem. I see the Islamists and their allies slowly laying siege to America, and I see an administration that is nonchalant and lackadaisical in its manner confronting this cult. I don't know. Maybe they're all better actors than I give them credit for. I suspect not.

12/10/2005 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Doug @2:42

LOL! Thanks for laugh! :)

12/10/2005 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Desert Rat,

This may seem a bit, um, naive... But the hope is that Syria and Iran and maybe even Saudi Arabia will fall from within - like the Soviet Union (and soon North Korea).

There is a political element involved - domestic and regional. I think the Administration has a good hand on it. To win this thing, short of Wretchard's '2nd Conjecture', the Iraqis have to take the brass ring. My reading points to a strong grab at that ring by the Iraqis.

Imagine (not hearing John Lennon in the background for a second) a Middle East with a strong and democratic Iraq dominating their kleptocratic neighbors economically, politically, and militarily.

Maybe a Democratic Caliphate...

Osama's Dream!!!

12/10/2005 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Desert Rat,

I guess I am trying to state that your solution is too close to Wretchard's '2nd Conjecture' in his tremendous post Three Conjectures.

In that, Wretchard postulates that a repeatable WMD strike by Islamic Terror would lead to the annialation of Islam as a whole.

I reviewed that post, along with materials by VDH, Whittle, Mixed Humor, and a bunch more in a post of mine called Three Conjectures - Revisited

To sumamrize, President Bush is trying to destroy Islamofascism through the deliberate use of hard power and soft power and diplomacy. I hope it is early enough to do so and thus avoid Total War.

What Rumsfeld is dealing with are the carping idiots in the Left and media (redundant) who do not understand the other probable outcomes if these efforts do not succeed...

12/10/2005 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mika says,
" I just get the uncomfortable feeling that he's shooting from the hip. He's a clever guy, Rumsfled, that's for sure. But I get the impression he's working on instinct.
That there's no substance or underlying understanding of the scope of the problem
"
---
otoh,
Look at it from his perspective as SECDEF,
INSIDE the Pentagon,
INSIDE the Bush Admin,
INSIDE the Beltway,
INSIDE the dumbed down, public "educated" electorate,
INSIDE the cover of darkness that is the current state, overall, of info consumed by that populace, that emanates from the Beltway Centric MSM.
Talk about "inside the turning circle....""

More like "Beneath the Wheel."
No doubt he is shooting from the hip:
What's a poorly armed and supported smart guy to do?

12/10/2005 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I understand the idea, support it more than most. The idea of liberty will not become organic to the region while our footprint is so large.

In threatening the neighbors of Iraq, the equipment is the thing, not the men. Men are quickly transportable, not so the equipment of the 4th ID, etc.

A much smaller footprint would accomplish more, in so far as establishing Iraq as a free and independent threat to the status que.

The Five Rings is often maligned here, but it's core, to win, act decisively is a universal truth.
The SAS motto "Who Dares Wins" captures the sentiment.

We are managing the battle zone Mr Roggio quoted an Officer some weeks ago. The is not the verbage of decisive action. It is not the way either General Sherman or General Patton decribed War.
Or Victory

12/10/2005 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Well named, too:
When he's gone,
They'll say, "Rumsfled"

12/10/2005 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"It is not the way either General Sherman or General Patton decribed War.
Or Victory
"
---
But they had ZERO risk of being seen as they would be today with all their primitive, bloodthirsty, backwards words and ideas.
...and what's so great about victory?
What would (did) Murtha Say?

12/10/2005 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Rat, not that it's not understandable, but I think your concern for your son is warping your expectations a little. Not securing the borders evidently requires knocking out regimes who are not in complete control of their citizens and certainly aren't in ccntrol of their smuggling routes anyway. This is not being "mismanaged;" rather it strikes me as another example of attributing a crappy aspect of the Iraqi culture to something we failed to do. Ah - we failed to abolish the tribal culture (who do you think runs those smuggling routes, and what tribes do you think the guards belong to?).

The Iraqi military, such as it is, will not survive. The tribes will assert themselves, as the de facto powers; the militias will fan out; the fledgling government will fall within a month as the "anti-imperialists" get their upper hand - aided, needless to say, by the ululating joy all over the Middle East and its amplification by al Jazeera.

That's to say nothing of the outside influences that will begin to really rock those contingency plans they've no doubt been developing, correcting and waiting to implement since, like, 1978, but at least since 2002 or -3. Only valiance and honor like your son's - and, I hasten to add, Rumsfeld, Casey and Abizad - is keeping things together there.

Y'know it would be more than merely interesting for a CNN crew to get official diplomatic permission to do a mini-series' worth of documentary reports about life and government in Egypt or Jordan. I'm sure these many many "mistakes" would look a hell of a lot more like normalcy in the Arab world.

And I think that's exactly what these guys are doing - improvising. I can't understand why, when we've committed ourselves to confront an entire region's ancient introversion and intransigence, you think that's an inferior idea to a "plan." Undoubtedly there are many plans, consantly implemented, redrawn, discarded, built upon. When the region's primary problem is its anti-Americanism, its chauvanism, its poverty, its tribalism and emirs-in-suits, then how can we expect the smphony of resources available near to hand? Everyone knows that whatever support we've provided to our Cold War ally Arab despots (accepting that characterization arguendo) they obviously do mostly what they want. With Europe in the grip of stagnation, confusion and its own elite/non-elite conflicts, how can we expect the cartoon version of the historical support it supposedly provided following 1945? With our own forces necessarily finite? With the prospect that long occupation will provoke, but our departure will allow the underlying source of that provocation to reassert its tendency to brutality, habitual vanity and bad faith, and basic incompetence?

I realize my perspective seems unsatisfactorily wide, indulgent of US efforts, and perhaps needlessly critical of our current hosts. Yet in an environment where your rat's son says one thing, and the mother of a marine on that Fox town hall show says there will be a civil war if we leave now or later, AND our project necessarily sets us to address what have become in the information age a species of pathologies that are simultaneously hallowed and ancient and sacrosanct traditions and habits from Morocco to Kashmir, I can't understand the impulse to engage in what will in effect defeat the overall effort while we are only one country deep into this effort, and that not the worst actor in the bunch.

As rat points out, we are only just beginning this, whether we withdraw or not - even if we could establish a Buchananite reality here in the continental USA. We must harden ourselves.

And I mean no offense to you, rat, or your son, or anyone in the military - not in the least.

2,100 KIA is still 700 fewer than happened in one day in New York. And that was a very, very lucky count.

12/10/2005 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Rat, what do you think the next big move should be - Syria, or Iran?

I vote squeezing Syria out into this mild Iraqi chaos, isolating Iran. Or can the region's apparent relative indulgance of our presence tolerate the fall of another Arab brother? I'm betting internal divisiveness (perhaps the underlying reason for the traction of the democracy and reform movements?) will take care of that problem for us.

12/10/2005 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I served, the boy served, he's in Okinawa now.
To send young men out without understandable ROE's is not patriotic. It is not good Policy.

Iraq will not collapse into a cesspool if we "only" have 65,000 troops there.
If 5,000 or 20,000 Insurgents were a REAL threat to Iraq, our 65,000 troops would have to REALLY SUCK
and they don't.

The Iraqis get Iraq sooner or later, sooner is better for the goal of spreading the idea of Individual Political Particpation in the Region.

Victory in the WoT will not come by or through the occupation of Iraq. It will come from the results of the Information Battle that Mr Rumsfeld has already ceded to the enemy.

12/10/2005 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Desert Rat,

Your son will be coming home. We will draw down, but we will not leave...

We need our military where the fight is. We cannot 'strategically redeploy' to the next continent - or whatever. Having 50,000 Americans, and 300,000 American trained Iraqis, on the borders of Syria and Iran is a very coercive thing for the turds in the region. We don't have the option of peacetime deployments in a time of war.

I am with you Rat... I pray we can draw down soon. I pray that your sons children do not have to fight a Total War that we refused in the 80s/90s. I pray for the safety of your son - thank you and Merry Christmas to him.

12/10/2005 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I'd bet on the Assad clan taking the hit. Perhaps a coup. Take out the figure heads but try to save the Baathist Infrastructure. Whether that is an acceptable result...


Iran is a tough nut to crack. Internal pressure could blow it wide open.
Mr IAEA, the Nobel winner says three years and Iran will have capacity. Quoted in the Independent out of the UK.

12/10/2005 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Well put, as always Dan.
"And I mean no offense to you, rat, or your son, or anyone in the military - not in the least."
---
Nor do I, AT ALL, BUT it is a fact that I and others, on a public forum here, foresaw in detail most of this happening, shortly after 911.

Anyone that lived through the Vietnam Era as a young man, esp observing while overseas in the military, and was not either terminally damaged or corrupted (the Dem "Leadership") could see this playing out over time, no crystal ball needed.
5O,OOO KIA, MILLIONS OF INNOCENTS SLAUGHTERED OVER DECADES,
Yet the Dems still have not learned.

I repeat:
The country will have to grow up.

12/10/2005 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

boghie

I've been saying your outlined solution is just that, the solution for about a year now, doug will tell you I'm like a scratched record. Ages us both.

It is with proxies that the Mohammedan Wars must be fought.

We just need to get on with it.

As the fella says on Redneck TV

"Git er Done"

12/10/2005 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

More like "Beneath the Wheel."
No doubt he is shooting from the hip:
What's a poorly armed and supported smart guy to do?


The Don is not running for reelection. Don't you think he can start making some noise. That German fellow gave him a perfect opening. Why not mention his latest read on subject? Bring some awareness to the issues involved. One of Bat Yeor's books perhaps.

Rumsfeld is the perfect front man to do this. He's non-political. And now is a good time. Things in Iraq are pretty much on autopilot. He should be making some noise. Instead, he's playing diplomat.

12/10/2005 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Because Carter shrank from his duty as 'Commander in Chief' and proved America was a Weak (if not Dead) Horse...

Because Reagan had other fights - more important than those with these barbarians...

Because Pappa Bush wanted to keep Syria in the 'allies' column - or something...

And becuse Clinton was too conflicted to use hard power, soft power, economic power, or any power...

we are facing a more substantial enemy now.

Breaking the Crescent of Terror (land bridge, financial support, moral support, state sponsorship) is the key element in winning this war. Iraq is the key. It must succeed, and it must draw the region into at least the 20th Century.

Desert Rat, I hate to tell you this - and I know you realize it - but this war does not end with victory in this theater. We are in for a low intensity conflict that will last years or decades. But, we have to hold this bridgehead - at any cost.

12/10/2005 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You were easier to deal with as a Decadent Cat.

12/10/2005 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

(message meant for the heavily armed dentist)

12/10/2005 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/10/2005 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Subversive Trick Link to Israeli Cat

12/10/2005 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

I'm working on a non-subversive linky for you, Doug. Should be ready soon. :P

12/10/2005 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Scary cat Doug...

My little critter is being gold plated as we type at the vets...

My wife left an open credit card with the vet and they are doing their best... Oh, well... She is a purty little thang... Hops around alot... Wakes us up in the morning and everything... Be happy Boghie, be happy... At least she will come out fine... Geez, what a blather on a fine blog...

12/10/2005 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Boghie,
Because,
Because,
Limbaugh had the same great response as yours regarding those who try to equate Eisenhower and Reagan's inaction with that of Clinton:
They had a few much larger issues at hand at the time, and it was at the time.
To hold someone in power during "the end of history" and after 50 years of ME terrorism to no higher bar, is to play with the absurd.

12/10/2005 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Doug,

Me thinks you and I agree...

At the time, the Soviet threat had to be met and vanquished by Reagan. Without resolving that issue, the current issues with Islamofascism could not be dealt with. Imagine the dream world of the Lefties where you could have a powerful totalitarian Soviet Union superpower at the same time as a rising tide of Islamofascism!!! What a dream!!!!

Clinton did nothing. He dithered while we took (by his definition, I guess) acceptable collateral casualties in the Global War on Terror. How much easier would it be if we had been a bit tougher against terrorism during "the end of history"? He didn’t even get a document to wave around in front of the cameras – oh, that’s right he had Arafat’s signature on the Oslo Accord to be proud of.

12/10/2005 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

...and his endearing wife Hillary got her hug from Arafat's sweet Paris Tart.
(Betcha Mika's Jealous.)
---
Problem is, folks will be able hold us as a country up to the same laserlike view of hindsight if "we" continue to act as though domestic politics and welfare state goodies are more important than our National Security.

Shameful that our defense spending now as a percentage of GDP is at Clinton Era levels.
...Betting our future in a dangerous world.

12/10/2005 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Look forward to your comment on the Chicoms in the next thread!

12/10/2005 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Doug,

Clinton dragged defense spending into the defenseless Euroweenie realm of <3% of GDP.

We are around 4% now.

We have about 16,000 more ground troops than during the Clinton era.

We are now spending 499 Billion; we were wasting (sarcasm) 285 Billion on the military under the Great Peace Dividend President (at least till a few months after he skipped out of the office).

We need to spend more. We need more ground troops. We need more and different armor, ships, and planes. And we need to reassess the MilCiv conversion and NMCI thangs… Surprisingly, it has proven difficult to budget those $300,000 in-theater contractors that replaced Marine Corporals.

The most important thang is that we need more ground troops. A growth of 16,000 in four years of war is not fast enough. And, the Libbies are right on one thing - without numbers, our ground troops are carrying too much of a load…

I just don’t think we can wisely spend much more money. But one thing is certain. We might be hugely superior in quality, but one major loss hurts when you don’t have numbers.

12/10/2005 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Here's that linky, Doug. Since Cedarfard wont do his part to shore up that sinking, decrepit economy of yours, I thought my mom and I would. :)

12/10/2005 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

Is Iraq the Poland of the Middle East? Can the Middle East be tranformed by transforming Iraq as the Warsaw Pact was transformed by vitory in Poland?

It would seem to be so.

Iraq and Poland have a lot in common - both are mixtures of various Ethnic groups which link them to nations to the East and West. Both nations are rich in natural resources and a hardworking population. Both nations are deeply religious. Both nations were taken over by Socialist despots who killed large segments of the population. One key difference is that Poland succeeded in internally throwing off the Soviet yoke ( with some outside support ) by itself, whereas Iraq could not depose it Communist ( Baathist ) yoke, although it was attempted.

12/10/2005 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

Desert Rat

"The Iraqi Army has Armor and Light Infantry, they'll do just fine"

You were advocating immediate withdrawal a year ago when you first started posting at Belmont.

Before elections, before training up the Iraqi army.

Was Iraq ready to go it alone then or is it now?

12/10/2005 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Uh, Mika,
They say the new GOP ad featuring a white screen for the first five seconds is VERY effective.
...but it doesn't STAY white for the remaining 25 seconds.
But then you are a tricky lot, so what do I know about tricky links?

12/10/2005 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Smacko,
Boy, are you well named.
Wish I had Ingraham's sound effects of the Rat of Arabia being smacked around.
Well Done!
(he may have to commune w/the Murtha of all surrenders before responding)

12/10/2005 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/10/2005 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The 'Rat as a Weasel?
Don't be surprised if he says a year ago he advocated this AFTER the elections.
Whose gonna know?
Point is, it's the same game the Dems are trying to pull:
Advocate what the Admin has been planning for months, then claim all the credit for dragging the
Chimp and his retinue of
Neocons tm, out of Israel's playpen.

12/10/2005 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"The Army's logistic tail is so heavy and unwielding that when 13% of the overall Force is deployed, the Military is strrreched to the "breaking point". Even in theater, add up the numbers in ach of the city clearing operations.
500 here, 1500 there, on and on.

The number, each time I did it, never came to more than 10,000 to 15,000 troops.

Wonder of wonders, about 13% of the deployed Force.

That is the real discovery for US, the one that is left unspoken. The size of the Military and it's relative ineffectiveness.

Three years for US to secure Ramadi, who'd have believed that in 2002."


Even accounting for the amount and dispersion of our bases, it really is amazing how light our army is when it comes to infantrymen and real groundpounders. The Army more-so than the Marines. Say what you want for the Soviet model, but even with their incompetency they could generally put 1 man into combat for every 1 man supporting him.

12/10/2005 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Course, you've got to account for the distance of that trail, but still, it's also a structural problem in counter-insurgency, when firepower is less important than coverage.

12/10/2005 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

Cutler, Yes, that's true, but the Soviet model often needed that one man per supply clerk. It was less raw combat power that the Soviets sought but the fact that conscripts were expendable.

That's unacceptable for an American model.

The American model HAS those large logistical trains simply to accomodate impressive combat power with wide margins of safety, from those clerks to inspectors and the baneful 1500 levels of bureaucracy for every decision.

12/10/2005 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey Verc,
I got a Orange Revolution link for ya.
I'll see if I can find it.

12/10/2005 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

Also, let's compare notes.

Soviet Model: Chechnya. Two wars, two debacles, no end in sight.

American Model: Afghanistan and Iraq. Two wars, but two transitions into democracy.

I'd give the American model the better chance for defeating the 'insurgents.'

12/10/2005 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Very nice pics, Mika.
Make me homesick for the old stomping grounds.
We had a farm right up the creek about 7 miles behind Morro Bay.
Also spent some summers working in Truckee, near Tahoe.
How long were you on the road?

12/10/2005 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

After One Year, Hope of 'Orange Revolution' Is Fading .
Damned Ruskies are still screwing things up.
Sad.

12/10/2005 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

Lay it on me, Doug, but manana... Need to keep my Gallic beauty up...
;)

12/10/2005 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yeah, I was thinking of the War in the Pacific, when our brave soldiers died by the hundreds of thousands as being an example of a shorter tail, and many more very seriously shortened lives.
...to bad we didn't have today's Marines to deal with Imperial Japan's finest!
---
Find a Frenchman old enough to tell the truth, and he could relate many sad, short tales of our Heroic American GIs.

12/10/2005 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Gaul!

12/10/2005 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wonder if Verc has his Dominique Wig on for the French Wench?

12/10/2005 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"Soviet Model: Chechnya. Two wars, two debacles, no end in sight.

American Model: Afghanistan and Iraq. Two wars, but two transitions into democracy.

I'd give the American model the better chance for defeating the 'insurgents.'"


Choosing to blow entire villages off the map and poison water supplies rather than soccer balls and implementing local rule might also be relevant to that comparison. Nevermind the infinite number of situational differences.

12/10/2005 11:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Cutler,
Verc is temporarily in the Pre Occupied (war) Zone

PRINCESS.
We are wise girls to mock our lovers so.

ROSALINE.
They are worse fools to purchase mocking so.
That same Berowne I'll torture ere I go.
O that I knew he were but in by th' week!
How I would make him fawn, and beg, and seek,
And wait the season, and observe the times,
And spend his prodigal wits in bootless rimes,
And shape his service wholly to my hests,
And make him proud to make me proud that jests!
So perttaunt-like would I o'ersway his state
That he should be my fool, and I his fate.

PRINCESS.
None are so surely caught, when they are catch'd,
As wit turn'd fool: folly, in wisdom hatch'd,
Hath wisdom's warrant and the help of school
And wit's own grace to grace a learned fool.

ROSALINE.
The blood of youth burns not with such excess
As gravity's revolt to wantonness.

. High Style and Misdeedmeaners .

. Maid in France

12/10/2005 11:06:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

As for the bureacrats, I'm sure a good of them are expendable, and nothing more than an institutional waste.

It certainly can go too far, and isn't all for safety. I remember reading in one of Dunnigan's books about the plan in the 1980s to build an experimental division around dune buggies and other experimental equipment. Got all sorts of media airplay, so hi-tech. Until the people figured out for about 20,000 people in the division, it could put barely 1,500 riflemen in the field.

12/10/2005 11:06:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

For reference, the division Dunnigan was talking about was the "High-Technology Land Division":

"In 1980 the Army's 9th Infantry Division was selected as the test unit for the new High Technology Light Division (HTLD). The HTLD was designed to fight in the deserts of Southwest Asia."

"The intent was to advantage firepower and mobility as a trade-off to save spaces. This meant a decision by the Army to reduce infantry strength and thus the HTLD ground-holding capability."


So sorry, that's a poor example. It wasn't a necessarily a case of excess supporting units, but a different doctrinal objective. Though, in retrospect, it certainly would have been positively awful to have a division like that in an already stretched OOB going through counter-insurgency. Be a waste in urban setting.

12/10/2005 11:36:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

smacko
That is a lie
Find the link liar man

12/11/2005 06:54:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Doug,

Images vs. words - Words win in a big ol' smackdown!

For their capacity to emulate thinking - words win!

For their ability to carry our thoughts effortlessly through space and time, without having the watch the starfield through the windshield go streaky - words win!

For their natural evolution from speech to writing - words win!

Okay, now back to my hero, Rummy.

12/11/2005 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Having printed millions of words, and thousands of photos
The photo on the printed page, wins.

Now having produced some Video, the imagery is MUCH more fleeting, the effect much more transitory.

Reading wins over video in effect, but not, in today's world. saturation.

That is the PRIMARY failing of the blogsphere, saturation. Quantity of eyeballs. Not the quality of presentation.

The visual will gain your attention, survival skiill, but I always turn to see the source of a 'new' noise, again survival skills.

Old maixms though tend to hold truths
a picture is worth a thousand words.
When the picture moves, well, that is something else, again.

12/11/2005 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Thank you, Doug. You have a beautiful country. Not very hard to photograph. ;) The pine forest(s) near San Clemente remind me of my stomping ground, Beit Oren. (Just south of Haifa). We spent 2 weeks taking in the beautiful scenery. 4,000 miles in all. :)

12/11/2005 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Cutler,

The Russians are playing a different game. Their goal is to replace the ethnic muslim population with their own ethnic Russian population. Choosing to blow entire villages off the map and poison water supplies is good way to go about it.

12/11/2005 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Here's some info relevant to force structures and the deployment of new technology. Anyone who is paying attention knows, as Wretchard once put it, that "we are fighting with one hand tied behind our back." As Desert Rat says, the "war in Iraq" is won and we are doing the harder business of creating lasting democracies to fight the battle of the decades, as we did by "standing up" Germany and Japan, who then stood with us against the USSR. (well, Desert doesn't usually say that last part, I just threw it in for him.)

If this were war, the B-2's and B-52's would have annihilated Fallujah, Ramadi and all the rest. This is global conflict, requiring global institutional change.

Now, while the NYT and WaPo and the rest of the mainstream media - and John Murtha! - portray this effort as poor, hapless American soldiers walking around in a hopeless shooting gallery, another magazine is taking the lead. Since I go to a girl barber these days, I haven't seen much of this magazine lately. Follow the sidelinks too - extremely interesting coverage of our UAV's and combined arms tactics.

Popular Mechanics doing the work of the NYT and WaPo

Why are all mainstream stories strictly about our casualties, and not about the victories that those sacrifices earn?

12/11/2005 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Desert Rat,

You think images over words? Okay, draw me a picture of this:

"To be, or not to be...."

When you're done with that, finish it:

"To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action. - Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd."

12/11/2005 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

aaah yes boghie, you bring forth the Master of the written word, who wrote those words for a Performance.

When the performance is put on video and seen, fleetingly, by millions. The impact is gauged against the thousands that have read it.

The readers will, or could, obtain a deeper understanding or the word. But the author meant for the WORDS to be performed, to be seen.

The SCALE of saturation becomes grounds for debate.
I prefer the printed word, but understand the breadth of the market. As well as it's laziness. Most people do not read, much.

Or a Play it would not have been.

12/11/2005 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The words of the Bard

Read by thousands
Heard by hundreds of thousands
Seen by millions

Which has the deepest Cultural impact?

The numbers themselves are just illustrative, a comparrison of scale, millions of people have read the work, I realize. But more have seen the plays or movie adaptations.

Where do all the folks that would not know of the Bard but for a Leonardo deCapprio (sp?) movie?

12/11/2005 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Desert,

I'm just saying, you couldn't put the idea of Hamlet's soliloquoy in a picture. Take the words away from the pictures and actors, and what would you have?

Words are to pictures what the Internet is to the Telegraph.
. . . _ _ _ . . .

Off Topic: Interesting posts over at Powerline on the CIA's covert info war against our currently elected government.

12/11/2005 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Picasso
Rembrandt
Whistler
O'Keefe

12/11/2005 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I guess the CIA did not get the same memo Rummy got about the Info Wars, aye

12/11/2005 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Desribe Mozart audio performance, in words that convey the emotion.

Ansel Adams photos, now they are worth thousands of words to a real Conservationist. Perhaps to tree huggers as well.

What is more important then the medium is the quality of the reception.

12/11/2005 09:31:00 AM  

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