'87 Sir

Thirty years of service ----USNA Class of 1987 '87 Sir

Monday, November 30, 2009

My Prediction-"I was for the surge, before I was against it"

 Well the fix is in and the narrative is set, even  before President Obama (Urkel) goes in front of the nation today to explain his retreat policy for Afghanistan (at least that's my prediction).

POWERFUL Democrats (read liberal wacko Defeatocrats) are going to give the Prez two escape routes:
  • DANG, that war thing is expen-sive and we should be spending that money on something more important, like universal health workers at SEIU, ooops, I meant universal health care, and creating green jobs and funding more puppies and unicorns.
  • OH, and the Afghan government is SOOOO corrupt...look how they wasted $787 BILLION dollars, oops, my bad, that was OUR government.  But hey they had a rigged election...with Black Panthers intimidating white voters and everything...ooops, that was Philadelphia.  And they can't take care of their people, at least not like ACORN can...as long as you're pimps and 'hoes.  
Nonetheless, as Prez Urkel desperately tries to keep the loony left of his base happy before the 2010 election truck runs over the Dems and tries to placate those pesky generals trying to win a very difficult war, he will undertake some half-measure with a fixed timetable that the Taliban will LAUGH at before retreating into their caves or going back to their poppy fields and wait out the infidel Americans to leave...ouch, now I said it.

Obama does not want to take responsibility for this war, so his hacks on the hill try to blame Bush for "failing to get Obama., I mean Osama, ooops Freudian slip" in the fall of 2001.  Now, I won't excuse the decisions made at the time...their was a very conscious decision to keep our footprint on the ground and rely on the Afghans, which in retrospect was a mistake, but so was McClellan's Seven Days Campaign and John Pope's Manassas Campaign and you didn't hear Abe Lincoln whining about it!  He found a fighting general in Grant, gave him what he wanted and got the hell out of the way, knowing that VICTORY would be the best political result.

I fear we have Jimmy Carter and not Abraham Lincoln in the White House...or as someone once said, "Mr. Obama, you're no Abe Lincoln."  The good news is, Jimmy was a one-term President...will history repeat itself?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fascinating look at what might have been

Came across this article today talking about FDR's probable cancer and the fact that his doctors, probably with his consent or active participation, covered up his medical condition during his 1944 Presidential run for a 4th term.

The article raises a number of interesting what ifs?  Clearly FDR got run over by Stalin at the Yalta Conference and likely contributed to the Soviet takeover of Easter Europe after 1945.  The more intriguing question is who might have been President if FDR had died a year earlier or chosen not to run?  For various reasons, including his strong Soviet sympathies, Henry Wallace was not chosen as FDRs running mate, but who might have taken his place at the top of the Democratic ticket?  Harry Truman?  I doubt it.  It might have been a wide open floor fight in the day when the party bosses ran the convention.

Would Thomas Dewey have been electable and if so, what might have been different?  Dewey was an "establishment Republican", what we might call a RINO today on social issues, but he was a staunch anti-communist who might have stood up better to Stalin with a little backing from Winston Churchill.

FDR's reputation has taken a pounding lately, especially his Progressive social plan of the "New Deal" and his handling of Stalin and post-war Europe.  This potential revelation will not help it any.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Another Outstanding Work

Antony Beevor has written another excellent World War II history in this volume of the D-Day and Normandy Campaigns.  I read Beevor's book on Stalingrad for my Urban Warfare course and it was a very gritty look at one of the turning points of World War II.

As much as I dislike 'revisionist' history, I would actually have to say that in many aspects Beevor's book would qualify.  He looks at the Normandy Campaign from a much  more balanced perspective than many recent works, such as Steven Ambrose's excellent books and John C. McManus' two volumes focused on the American perspective of the battles.

Beevor spends half of the book detailing the fighting by British, Canadian and Polish soldiers around Caen, where, as he correctly points out, the Germans had as many Panzer divisions engaged as they did during the Battle of Kursk, arguably one of the largest tank battles in history.  He takes a great deal of issue with recent histories that credit the Russians with actually being more responsible for defeating the Nazis than the Western Allies.  Although the Russians certainly fought more German divisions, the intensity of the fighting in Normandy, both in terms of casualties and destruction, easily matched any fighting on the Eastern Front.

Most interestingly, Beevor tells the long-neglected tale of the French civilians who lived on the battlefield and struggled to survive through the grueling battles during the summer of 1944.  He also devotes a good deal of long overdue attention to the political and personality issues facing the Allies as they tried to keep together a fractious alliance together long enough to defeat a common enemy.  Needless to say, the French have truly been a pain in the ass for over 60 years, starting with Charles deGaulle.  Beevor pulls no punches in his criticism of many of the bad decisions by Allied military leaders and has a great deal of disdain for Bernard Montgomery.

The truly narrow margin by which the Allies won, should be a fixture of World War II "revisionist" history, in my opinion.  The myth that the Allies steamrolled over the Germans with a bottomless reservoir of men and material is shown by Beevor to be simply not true.  Britain, in particular, had a great deal of difficulty providing infantry replacements for the meatgrinder taking the city of Caen and it is not too much of an exaggeration to say that D-Day really was England's last throw in the war.  Although the Americans were in a little better shape, Beevor shows, but does not elaborate as much as he could, how the infantry replacements used by the U.S. Army were often cooks, artillerymen or other "soldiers" thrown into the line with little training, where they quickly suffered disproportionate casualties.  The U.S. Army's decision to limit the Ground Forces in World War II created a definite manpower crisis throught 1944 as heavy fighting caused 100% divisional turnover in many infantry divisions in the European Theater of Operations.  I reviewed Peter Monsoor's book detailing how the Army prepared infantry divisons for overseas missions and the many pitfalls in the manpower mobilization of the U.S. during the war.

This is a highly recommended book, no matter how many previous books you've read on D-Day and the Normandy Campaign.  As a first book on the subject for someone to read it really does shine.  He provides an extensive bibliography on his website and his research was clearly outstanding.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More Brain Candy

Yup, Vince Flynn is my kinda brain candy...much like JD Robb, I consume these bad boys in about 72 hours...and I had to restrain myself with this one.  I have enjoyed all of the Mitch Rapp series and this book is a worthy successor.  I doubt Eric Holder has spent a long night reading these series of books, although I'm pretty sure they are on Dick Cheney's bookshelf.
Well done, Vince, can't wait for the next one...darn, gotta get back to my paper now.....


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Another viewpoint on the Russian military

UPDATED!  Another take on the current state of the Russian military...maybe not so good as I thought...as long as they have a nuclear arsenal, they are certainly a threat, but against their regional neighbors...I guess they hope Obama will surrender our allies to them and spare us all that messy war stuff.

The newest issue of Military Review, published by the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center offers an interesting critique of the Soviet military operation in Georgia.

The Russian military performed solidly if not spectacularly, but lost a lot of aircraft to Georgian SAMs.  According to the report, elite Russian paratroopers and SpecOps guys did a lot of the heavy lifting and helicopter support was not very well coordinated.

Why is this important?  Well, the Russians are on the prowl again and the situation is getting tense with Ukraine and Georgia again.  Since Obama threw the Eastern Europeans under the bus over missile defenses, what effect will that have on Putin and his cabal?  Time will tell.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Interesting Strategic Problem

My sister sent my this link to an editorial on the NY Times (gasp) about the end of World War II.
Now I know a LOT about World War II in the ETO, since it is one of my favorite topics, but the story of the U.S. 6th Army Group, consisting of the 7th US and 1st French Army is truly a neglected topic of World War II history. 

Well, looks like I may have to turn my attention to this topic, maybe over the holidays after my current class in historiography in done.

The controversy over the narrow front versus broad front in Europe in the fall of 1944 will likely rage for ever.  I can't honestly give an educated opinion other than I think too many people take a very simplistic view about how "beaten" the Wehrmacht was in the fall of 1944.  Although I don't disagree the Ike was a very political general (which he had to be), I don't at this point think that he was wrong to be worried about a German counterattack of any "narrow thrust" made by the Allies into Germany in late 1944.

But we'll see what this guy has to say.

Thanks, Sis...

Friday, November 20, 2009


Now Ralph Peters is one of my favorite grouchy military commentators.  His latest column takes aim at our military leadership for failing to provide President Urkel with more options on Afghanistan.

I don't agree with all of his points, clearly no matter what option this Administration, short of withdrawal and surrender of Afghanistan to the Taliban, the U.S. will need to send more troops.  Where I think Ralph's column falls short is understanding that this is not a military or strategic decision, it is a domestic political issue:  How many troops can Obama send without appearing to give up, but not annoying his DailyKos wing of the Democratic party.  For him it is a lose-lose situation, hence he is putting of a decision as long as possible.

Here are some other viewpoints on a very important debate that should not be politicized. (Although with this Administration, EVERYTHING is about politics)

The Cost of Dithering

The Hurry-Up Offense

Both of these articles are by military analysts I have read and respect.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week. 
George S. Patton

The fact that our Dear Leader has still not made a decision about reinforcing our troops in Afghanistan is becoming disheartening.  This doesn't seem like rocket science to me.  Either you decide to win the war or you don't.  It is clear that Obama is trying to figure out how to have his cake and eat it too...he can't anger his lefty base by spending more money on winning a war that could go to ACORN or SEIU, but at the same time, he has backed himself into a corner by calling Afghanistan the "good war" that must be won.

So our troops and the Afghan people pay the price while Obama, Rahm and Axelrod decide how to make sure they don't let this crisis go to waste.

Jimmy Carter would be proud....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The "new" global war or terror? I don't think so.

Funny how history continues to repeat itself.  Christianity and Islam have, alas, been at war for over 1300 years, since the first bands of Muslims came surging out of the desert to attack CHRISTIAN held lands in the Middle East.  In fact, America has been battling Islamic terrorism, on and off, since our country's founding.  Why is this so hard to understand?

From AMERICAN SPHINX The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. Ellis

"Several muslim countries along the North African coast had established the tradition of plundering the ships of European and American merchants in the western Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic, capturing the crews and then demanding ransom from the respective governments for their release. In a joint message to their superiors in Congress, Adams and Jefferson described the audacity of these terrorist attacks, pirates leaping onto defenseless ships with daggers clenched in their teeth. They had asked the ambassador from Tripoli, Adams and Jefferson explained, on what grounds these outrageous acts of unbridled savagery could be justified: "The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the laws of the prophet, that it was written in their koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their [islams] authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners...."

This event occured between 1784-1789 while Jefferson was ambassador to France and Adams (2nd president) was ambassador to England.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Weakness

Okay, so sometimes I like trashy, brain-break kinda books.  Although JD Robb writes very classy brain candy books.  The combo of sci-fi, mystery, just a little romance (but not chick lit) makes these great books.  This is the kabillionth book in the series and Nora Roberts (JD Robb) is clearly making big bongo bucks off these books.

SO when will someone figure out what a gold mine of a TV series this would be....better than Women's Murder Club and nearly as fun to watch as Castle, my favorite TV show.

NO, I don't watch the History Channel all that much...too elementary for me...I could write most of that stuff. :)  {No my ego is not as big as Barrack Obama's I know I can't walk on water}

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More Ugliness in the Middle East

This is not going to end well. Israel takes no crap from anyone and I seriously doubt if Benjamin Netanyahu is going to place Israel's safety in the hands of Barrack Hussein Obama.  The Israelis will not sit by and let Iran go nuclear with Hizbullah parked next door with hundreds of ballistic missiles.

Israel Says Hezbollah Has Capability to Hit Major Cities

When push comes to shove, the Israelis know the UN hates them, the Europeans despise them and the Arabs want to kill them, so they don't give a rat's ass about bombing Damascus and Tehran into glass.

Obambi had best wake up and figure out that the Russians, Chinese and UN aren't going to stop Iran, but the Israelis darn well might.  Wouldn't it be much better to have a Green Revolution and let the Iranians solve their own problems?


Veteran's Day

Today we honor all those who served and continue to serve.  General of the Army Douglass MacArthur's farewell address to West Point says it best:
"Duty, Honor, Country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.....The unbelievers will say they are but words, but a slogan, but a flamboyant phrase. Every pedant, every demagogue, every cynic, every hypocrite, every troublemaker, and, I am sorry to say, some others of an entirely different character, will try to downgrade them even to the extent of mockery and ridicule.....And through all this welter of change and development your mission remains fixed, determined, inviolable. It is to win our wars. Everything else in your professional career is but corollary to this vital dedication. All other public purpose, all other public projects, all other public needs, great or small, will find others for their accomplishments; but you are the ones who are trained to fight.....Yours is the profession of arms, the will to win, the sure knowledge that in war there is no substitute for victory, that if you lose, the Nation will be destroyed, that the very obsession of your public service must be Duty, Honor, Country......Others will debate the controversial issues, national and international, which divide men's minds. But serene, calm, aloof, you stand as the Nation's war guardians, as its lifeguards from the raging tides of international conflict, as its gladiators in the arena of battle. For a century and a half you have defended, guarded and protected its hallowed traditions of liberty and freedom, of right and justice."

Read the full speech...puts our current Apologizer in Chief to shame...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Getting the Freak on in Korea

Does anyone think this is a coincidence?

Navies of 2 Koreas exchange fire near border

The North Koreans don't do anything by chance.  This is a clear attempt by the whiny little Norks to get Obama's attention on their demand for hostage negotiations on their nuclear program.  

The question is how will this Administration respond?  Will they try to buy off the Norks like the Clintonistas?

The Center for a New American Security, the current think tank de jour has a new report out on how to negotiate with North Korea.

 I am a tad skeptical.  Maybe after we board and capture on of their arms exporting ships, or use our Aegis ships to shoot down one of their ICBM tests, then the little Commies might negotiate, but I doubt it.
Obama's feckless foreign policy is truly world wide.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Russian Military on the Rebound?

The newest issue of Military Review, published by the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center offers an interesting critique of the Soviet military operation in Georgia.

The Russian military performed solidly if not spectacularly, but lost a lot of aircraft to Georgian SAMs.  According to the report, elite Russian paratroopers and SpecOps guys did a lot of the heavy lifting and helicopter support was not very well coordinated.

Why is this important?  Well, the Russians are on the prowl again and the situation is getting tense with Ukraine and Georgia again.  Since Obama threw the Eastern Europeans under the bus over missile defenses, what effect will that have on Putin and his cabal?  Time will tell.