Tag Archives: Stars and Stripes

We have met the enemy and he is insensitive

The U.S. Army believes that the U.S. military’s insensitivity is a reason why terrorists are killing us in Afghanistan.  More specifically, the Breitbart story “New Army Handbook: ‘Ignorance’ and ‘Lack of Empathy’ cause of U.S. Deaths” says a draft army handbook attributes the rise in Green-on-Blue deaths to our ignorance and/or lack of empathy for Afghans.

Confused yet?

Hello?  We’re spending BILLIONS in Afghanistan and giving THOUSANDS of lives and our own military thinks we are insensitive? 

This clearly reflects the intrusion of politics into our modern military–a shame and disgrace but a harbinger of things to come for new recruits.  Fortunately, the Breitbart article implies that the handbook should never see the light of day. 

But with kooks in Congress like Senator “we’ve got to eliminate the rich” Frank Lautenberg saying things like “[Republicans in Congress] don’t deserve the freedoms that are in the Constitution,” our military will be even more politicized and the “blame us first” mentality is not the last we’ll see of politics in uniform.

On a positive note, more homosexuals in the military should improve our sensitivity.

Cod’s on the menu (finally)

Nine months ago, it resulted in a two-star getting fired.  After the media learned we’re spending nearly $100 million on an Afghan National Army Headquarters in Kabul, it’s a battle cry: 

“Cod’s on the menu.”

It was a good idea then and it is a good idea now–you just can’t keep a good idea down.

Perhaps it was just MGen Fuller’s politically incorrect way of saying “Afghan Good Enough” (we are indeed a more sensitive military now).  While still yet unable to employ the impactful brevity of a two-star, COL Andrew Backus, Director of Engineering for NTM-A, was able to construct the right combination of words to sell the concept to the Washingon Post:

“What we’re going to do is finish the project with strict change control and turn it over to the Afghans. And if they want to change it, then they can change it.”

While it may not change the “19 true things generals can’t say in public about the Afghan war,” it does provide hope that a good idea has a chance in Afghanistan–even if the Afghans don’t like it.

Kabul air — Quality you can taste

Nothing says “ambiance” on Camp Eggers like walking by a “suck-truck” pumping sewage holding tanks on your way to the DFAC.  It’s something like Pavlov’s Dogs–but no one is really sure whether the hunger pangs or the stench comes first.

"Okay air" versus "not-so Okay air"

So poor is the air quality in Afghanistan that the urban legend is that you get an automatic 10% disability rating for a year in theater (you don’t).  NTM-A recently declared that, “If you can see, taste, or smell the air, or you cannot see the mountains during daylight hours, then you should exercise indoors.”

Another revelation from NTM-A is that, “During exercise, breathing becomes faster and deeper through the mouth, which allows more particle matter to reach deep into the lungs.”

Call off the war, I have a 5k to run.

Kabul Attacks

From the media attention, you would have thought Kabul was about to fall on September 13th.  Things were interesting for a few hours–then it rained.  I guess the Taliban lost interest in fighting after that.

Multiple explosions rock Afghan Capital

Taliban attack US Embassy, other Kabul buildings

Taliban target key sites in Kabul

3 police, 1 civilian killed in Taliban attacks in Kabul

Insurgents Attack U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan

Clinton Decries ‘Cowardly Attack’ on Kabul Embassy

Insurgents attack U.S. Embassy in Kabul

Kabul Standoff continues into night

Taliban attack in central Kabul ends

Regarding the rain, it was probably the hardest rain in the last six months.  It has maybe rained on only four or five days during that timespan as well.  I’m sure the Taliban weren’t prepared for that.

Donkey-Borne IEDs–Only in Afghanistan

John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Donkeys are extremely valuable in the remote areas of Afghanistan and are even common on the streets of Kabul.  Being so common, it only makes sense that terrorists would think they can launch attacks with these animals against unsuspecting targets.

For some ANSF projects, donkeys and horses are the primary source of transport for construction materials

Here is a war story you won’t likely find on Oliver North’s show:  The Tale of the Donkey-Borne IED.  Like any war story, documentation is often sketchy and the teller’s enthusiasm often over-the-top.  However, knowing what Afghans do to man’s highly-trained best friend, it isn’t to surprising that this beast of burden would be asked to give the ultimate sacrifice.

DBIED owners don't stand this close to "live" animals

Proverbs 12:10,A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”

Are the Afghans Ready?

For all the victories we make with the Afghans, it seems like there are equally negative stories to offset them.  The first two paragraphs are not encouraging:  Afghans show little progress

We committed to creating an ANSF that was capable of keeping Afghanistan from becoming a haven for terrorists.  How much more time, money, and lives are required to reach that goal?  Is it even attainable?  And now that we have been set on a timeline by the President, does it even matter?