If I had my way of course.
Powerful and needed words from an actual supporter of Veterans….unlike the posers and imposters with their window stickers and their lapel pins.
I implore VSO’s to turn this into a television commercial and buy up as much air times as they can. I’ll donate as much as possible, if they do.
Perhaps it’s time for Bonus Army 2.0. I’ll bet you the ‘eviction operation’ has a far, far different outcome this time around……
Remember the Fallen Warriors this day. Visit a gravesite if you can……read about someone who made the ultimate sacrifice if you can’t.
But above all, when you’re relaxing or grilling, or doing whatever it is you do on a day not at work……please remember the solemn reason why it is, that you’re not at work*
*I know, many folks are working today. Generalized statement.
Definitely grilling some cow today, and raising a dram (or three) of my best Whisky to remember my friends, and those I never knew, who cannot do the same today.
The latest fall of that city and it’s sort-of-nation. A good read from Jonathan Schroden at War on the Rocks, details the six factors that led to the fall of the Ghani regime, laid out by the May 2022 Interim Report of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
Bookend excerpts below, but I recommend the full read for anyone who is interested in the topic….or who has trafficked in political narratives for partisan gamesmanship.
The Taliban’s takeover of Kabul on Aug. 15 of last year cemented the complete collapse of Afghanistan’s security forces, which the United States and its partners built over twenty years at a cost of nearly $90 billion. Last week, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction placed primary blame for that collapse on the shoulders of the United States, saying that the “single most important factor” behind it “was the U.S. decision to withdraw military forces and contractors from Afghanistan through signing the U.S.-Taliban agreement in February 2020 under [President Donald Trump], followed by President [Joe] Biden’s withdrawal announcement in April 2021.”
This finding aligns with views espoused by some U.S. military leaders, such as the former commander of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Frank McKenzie. He similarly traced the collapse of Afghanistan’s security forces to the signing of the U.S.-Taliban agreement. But this runs squarely against statements by Biden, who placed the blame on Afghan security forces themselves, saying, “We gave them every chance to determine their own future. What we could not provide them was the will to fight for that future.”
This report — and others that will follow, such as those from the Afghanistan War Commission — have the ability to drive that accountability. But to do that effectively, their framing is critical. The special inspector general and his team deserve credit for the work that went into this report. But its identification of the U.S. withdrawal decision as the “single most important factor” behind the Afghan security forces’ collapse enables the blame for that disaster to be placed singularly on Trump and Biden instead of forcing us to grapple with the more complicated reality that a whole web of people and institutions were responsible.
The answer to “who is to blame” for what happened with Afghanistan’s security forces is complex. Framing six factors as equally important avoids oversimplifying that complexity and is more likely to enable the type of accountability we really need: not just of presidents, but of critical leaders and institutions at all levels. As the special inspector general concludes, “Unless the U.S. government understands and accounts for what went wrong, why it went wrong, and how it went wrong in Afghanistan, it will likely repeat the same mistakes in the next conflict.” On that at least, the special inspector general is absolutely correct.
An article in WorldCrunch posits that it’s time now for Ukraine to engage in Unconventional Warfare (UW), otherwise commonly known as ‘Guerrilla Warfare’:
Moscow’s major offensive has begun in Donbas. The Russian military machine now appears ready to waltz mercilessly over eastern Ukraine, bringing death and terror.
Can the horror of the images that have been spread for weeks be surpassed? We have to assume so with an army like Russia’s, which has made wanton murder and cruelty its trademarks.
Let there be no illusion: Ukraine will not win this war. Moscow’s military power is overwhelming — no matter how clumsily its invasion was planned. Even if Germany were to supply all the weapons it possesses to Kyiv, the Ukrainian army would not be able to defeat the Russians.
At least not in the sense in which European kingdoms defeated one another in the past, imposing humiliations and cessions of territory on the defeated, or at least demanding reparations for the endless suffering and damage the defeated unilaterally inflicted on them.
None of this is possible against the nuclear power of Moscow with its formidable conventional firepower as well.
The Vietnamese showed how it was done against the Americans, and before them the Algerians in the war against France. Both followed the fundamental lessons of guerrilla warfare.
One of those lessons is: know when to fight and when not to. A second: stubbornly dodge every decision as long as the enemy remains stronger, and accept no decision as final until a counterattack is successfully won. A third: appear weak when you are strong and strong when you are weak.
This strategy has the confusing property that the seemingly weaker side always wins and the apparent superiority turns out to be powerlessness; to the repeated dismay and embarrassment of the conventionally trained military and military policy experts.
The author says the time is now. I disagree. Kyiv has shown that it can go toe-to-toe with Russian Battlegroups in certain situations, and win. The attack on the Moskva wasn’t an act of UW, but a conventional missile strike (albeit with the added flair of using a UAV to feint against the ship).
I offer that the contested Donbas Region is the right environment for Hybrid Warfare…….employing conventional attacks to fix Russian forces, while conducting asymmetric operations deep in their rear…..and the use of information operations amongst the divided Donbas populace.
Ukraine certainly won’t ‘win’ this fight, in the conventional sense….but it can inflict enough pain on RUSFOR that they feel no sense of victory either.
Since it seems that there are never-ending roadblocks to providing Russian model fighter and close air support aircraft, from NATO countries, to Ukraine…..USNI Proceedings has a really interesting article regarding resurrect the American Volunteer Group [The Flying Tigers of Claire Chennault fame], in the skies over Ukraine. I’m a ground guy, so I may be missing something in the technical aspects, but overall……lacking the issuance of formal Letters of Marque and reprisal….I rather like this idea. In-depth article, so snips only below:
On 20 December 1941, just days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the first American pilots tangled with Japanese bombers over the skies of Kunming, China. Under the leadership of then-Colonel Claire Chennault and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, three squadrons of flyers and maintainers served in the American Volunteer Group (AVG) as a mercenary component of the Chinese Air Force. The famed “Flying Tigers,” originally comprising 100 P-40 Warhawks and 100 pilots, flew combat missions against the Japanese invasion forces in China and Burma from late 1941 to mid-1942 and are credited with 296 enemy aircraft destroyed in slightly more than six months of combat.
With the Russian invasion in Ukraine consolidating and regrouping in Ukraine’s east, the time has come to resurrect this hallowed unit, rebuilt for the modern age. In the weeks since the invasion began on 24 February, the United States and NATO have steadily increased their response from economic sanctions and other deterrence-oriented measures to lend-lease supply of arms to Ukrainian forces, particularly antitank weapons. The defenders have summoned a stiff and willful resistance, and the Russian assault—plagued by logistical and doctrinal shortcomings—stalled significantly in its first month. But it is not unreasonable to question how long the world’s 23rd-largest military force can feasibly hold off the predations of the 5th largest or to wonder how hard a floundering Vladimir Putin might push to save face by securing victory—perhaps with chemical, biological, or even nuclear weapons.
If Russia’s withdrawal from the northern theater proves to be a feint followed by a greater reattack, the AVG should primarily focus its efforts on this region. If the areas surrounding Kyiv and Kharkiv remain clear of invasion forces, then the AVG should support the Ukrainian war effort in Donbas.
If the Russo-Ukrainian War were to spill beyond its current borders and draw outside powers into direct conflict, the United States would benefit from having an established foothold in the region. The AVG could be absorbed into the U.S. Air Force, as was its forebear in 1942 with the Army Air Forces. Seasoned aviators would be an invaluable resource as advisors to brief and train new personnel entering the theater or even to lead squadrons in the horrifying combat that would surely follow this worst-case scenario.
“Freedom must be armed better than tyranny.” – Zelensky
And just for funsies:
Big fan of the move Red Dawn from 1984, which premiered in theaters just a few months before finding myself patrolling the ‘Iron Curtain’ [Czech border] and wondering if I too would be facing the red horde.
Along comes a photo, purportedly from Ukraine, which warms my heart.