Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Consolidating the Surge

Colonel Dominic Caraccilo of the 101st Airborne Division very generously helped me with an article on the Surge which appears in the Jerusalem Post.

The article describes the importance of institutionalizing the gains of the Surge. The troops have done a remarkable job outorganizing, out-fighting and outmanuevering the enemy on his own ground. But ultimately victory is a politico-military phenomenon. Battlefield victories much be translated to political gains. But that's an area which is outside the scope of the Armed Forces.

The Belmont Club is supported largely by donations from its readers.


Blogger Starling said...

Wretchard, it is my distinct privilege to be the first on this forum to congratulate you on publishing an article in a world-renowned newspaper. I surely speak for others here when I say that the calibre of your analyses far surpasses much of what is found in many well known papers and magazines. I am glad to see your name and work included in the debate about the Surge.

3/04/2008 12:36:00 AM  
Blogger Ticker said...


Thanks. But gee, I never thought of it that way.

3/04/2008 12:44:00 AM  
Blogger Mr X said...

I would love to read your your take on what is happening right now between Colombia, Equador and Venezuela after the killing of FARC´s nr.2 (or maybe 1) by Colombian troops in Equador. Quite a confusion right now... Congratulations on your articles.

3/04/2008 05:46:00 AM  
Blogger newscaper said...

Semi-OT and one really OT:

Yesterday I ducked out of the office to grab a quick bite at McDonald's.
I must confess an politically incorrect thought -- the drive-thru girl was wearing a hijab under the headset and company uniform ballcap. I can't tell a joke worth a damn, but I'm pretty good at off the cuff, smartass one-liners. The un-PC thought (which I managed not to say out loud) "I didn't know this was MeccaDonalds."

Yep, cringeworthy, I know. sigh.

In other good news, my wife's 79 year old paternal uncle was arrested for soliciting BJs in a public park along withe several other men in an undercover sting operation. His name & mugshot made the local evening news. My wife's a first grade teacher with a relatively uncommon maiden name.

Gee, thanks, Uncle Shake.

>>>>off to the read W's post now.

3/04/2008 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3/04/2008 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Wretchard's & Colonel Caraccilo JPost Piece Posted at FreeRepublic here

Actually I'm not sure that I disagree with the Shia guy for sending the bill back because of the stipulation that the president had the right to fire governors.

If the president has the right to fire governors then you don't really have a federal system. For example the US president doesn't have the right to fire governors.

That said you DON'T need the right to fire governors to accumulate power in the central government. There are other, less sexy, ways of doing so.

3/04/2008 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

I would have liked to read it but Wretchard has crashed the Jpost servers...

so many millions of fans of Wretchard have driven the Jpost to it's knees!


I shall wait until the millions get a chance to read, absorb and understand the awesome talent we here at the Belmont Club take for granted!

3/04/2008 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Davis said...

Battlefield victories much be translated to political gains. But that's an area which is outside the scope of the Armed Forces.

Tell that to G. Washington, U. S. Grant or D. D. Eisenhower. War is the continuation of politics by other means. But the ends remain political.

I strongly suspect that before this is all over, we will have another name to add to that list

3/04/2008 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

“Let me tell you bout ahab the arab, the sheik of the burning sand,
He had emeralds and rubies just a-dripping off a him and a ring on every finger of his hand.
He wore a big old turban wrapped around his head, a scimitar by his side
And every evening about midnight hed jump on his camel named clyde.
And ride silently through the night to the sultans tent
Where he would secretly meet up with fatima of the seven veils.
She was the swinginest number one dancer in the sultans whole harem.
It was like him and her they had a little adam going, you see,
Behind the old buggers back.
And you could hear him talking to his camel
And as he rode out across the dunes past the oil wells
His voice would cut through the still night desert air
And hed say, maaaaaaa oyy oyy oyy !!!
Which is arabic for oh, baby ...
And clyde would say, yewrah raaaoww uh uh uh uh uh!

Well, he brought his camel to a screeching halt at the rear of fatimas tent,
Jumped off clyde, snuck around the corner and into the tent he went.
There he saw fatima laying on a, on a zebra skin rug,
With rings on her fingers, bells on her toes and a bone in her nose, eeeeyye.

There she was friends and neighbors, laying there in all her radiant beauty,
She was eating on a raisin, had a grape, and an apricot, and a pomegranate,
A bowl of chitterlings, two bananas, three hershey bars, four burritos,
Sipping on a frozen margarita, listening to a transistor radio,
Watching the grand ole opry, reading rolling stone magazine and singing rocky mountain high.
And ahab walked up to her and he said, yeeeiiaaaahowowhidehowdihi!
Which is arabic for, lets boogie again like we did last summer, baby.
And she said, oh, ahab, ah ha uh, ahab. crazy, baby.

And thats the story about ahab the arab, the sheik of the burning sand,
He had emeralds and rubies just a-dripping off a him and a ring on every finger of his hand.
He wore a big old turban wrapped around his head, a scimitar by his side,
And every evening about midnight hed jump on his camel named clyde ...”

3/04/2008 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Here's Ray Stevens doing another version of the 1962 songAhab the Arab

3/04/2008 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Humpf. I don't know why Stevens kept updating the song. Here's the original on 45

3/04/2008 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger joe buz said...

Teamwork effort between wretchard the cat and a screaming eagle colonel results in concise, agenda free reporting, congrats!

3/04/2008 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Mentioned in Ahab the Arab is song called "Does your chewing lose its flavor" by Lonnie Donegan. Good tune imho. Came out August 1961. See here track 25

On track 27 Lonnie Donegan does a catchy version of "Battle of New Orleans"

3/04/2008 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Hmm yesterday I had a great day at work. All focus and direction. Today, not so much.

Does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost over night.


3/04/2008 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

I hope that people in DoD will capture fine articles such as this one and use them in Professional Military Education instead of the drivel that is so common.

Mind you, I really enjoyed the extra sleep I got reading about major pipelines of the U.S and similarly stimulating subjects....

3/04/2008 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...


It was inevitable you got published. Congtatulations!


3/04/2008 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Brian H said...

There's a tactic I'm putting around here and there which any local or national party could use to de facto bypass the "lists". Designate ridings and local candidates to taste, tell the voters "their guy" would be seated from your list in priority according to the % of local vote he/she attracted, and Bob's Your Uncle! The names and numbers involved would be open and transparent, from public sources, so voter confidence would be assured. Candidate selection could be by primary, arbitrary choice of the leadership, or any other suitable process: it's the openness that would make the difference.

3/06/2008 12:52:00 AM  
Blogger Brian H said...

P.S. I rather doubt the sectarian parties would dare use the above approach, so there's a built-in competence bias.

3/06/2008 12:57:00 AM  
Blogger Words Twice said...

Prior to 2007, it was only occasionally swept by US forces and left to the Iraqi army who, more often than not, found themselves hunted by rather than hunting insurgents.

WRONG. There were FOBs in Mahmudiyah, Yusufiyah, and Ladafiyah long before 2007. Saying there was only an occasional sweep before 2007 is simply not true. While I was there in 2004 & 2005, I never saw the Iraqi Army do anything other than stand on a few token checkpoints, always with some Americans there to do the real work.

But beginning in June, 2007, following the progress in achieving security in Baghdad itself, US forces began moving into the surrounding areas including the Triangle of Death. Leaving the larger camps, US forces redeployed into smaller combat outposts and patrol bases. From there they could get closer to the local population, control the routes into Baghdad which were used to smuggle in munitions, and strike at al-Qaida cells and safe houses.

Sorry, wrong again. US forces (Army and USMC) were there long before 2007. All of this, leaving larger camps, controlling routes, etc, was happening back when I was there and none of this is top secret. Look it up.

3/10/2008 02:20:00 PM  

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