Saturday, May 29, 2010

Winning or losing?

Enemy KIA in Pakistan and Afghanistan (Source: Long war journal)

5/23/10 70 KIA and 50 wounded by Pakistan
5/19/10 60 killed by Pakistani army.
5/19/10 a dozen KIA at Bagram airfield in Afghanistan.
5/18/10 two suicide attackers, one in Kabul and the other in Pakistan.
5/15/10 Khyber Pakistan between 5 and 15 KIA.
5/13/10 41 KIA in kunduz province
U.S 35 strikes in Pakistan this year (2010) KIA range from 2 to a dozen per strike.

One snapshot (woefully incomplete) is not enough to say anything. However, I have not seen any of the big battles in a few years, like Fallujah in ‘04. I do not believe that enemy losses are at anywhere near the level of attrition in 2007. Even if we were killing more than 1000 a month (I do not think we are that close) it would not be enough. Our enemies can handle much more than this. We could reduce the enemies ability to replace losses if we were able to topple more governments, but this is politically impossible today. The other alternative is to raise the level of
combat in the areas we are already engaged in. This we are not doing in Iraq.

The majority of the attrition our enemy is enduring has shifted into Afghanistan and Pakistan. Although the U.S. will not win the war in Afghanistan (I am referring to the general war against Islamic nationalism) the war can easily get out of hand if Islamic nationalists gain control of Pakistan. With nuclear weapons and delivery systems available, it is unlikely they would not be deployed within a relative short period of time. Although it is difficult to say if we are winning or losing in Pakistan, the general strategic posture of the U.S. is defensive. I do not see this changing.

We were winning in ’07 and many did not know it. The enemy could not match our firepower nor could they sustain the losses that were being inflicted upon them at that time. The enemy pulled back soon after. They lowered the level of contact with our military in Iraq. This was open defeat. This gave our side a chance in Iraq. We may believe that we are being smarter with those we kill today or where we are choosing to do battle, but this can easily be incorrect. Islamic nationalism is alive and well, and killing a few of the leaders of the Islamic ‘army’ is not going to change this.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Dangerous times

The U.S. Congress and President Obama overrode the U.S. public when they passed Health Care reform. I am certain that the motivation was that this is in the best interest of the country. The health care system in the U.S. was in such a state that desperate situations call for desperate measures.

I view politics as a pendulum. The public swings back and forth, preferably more in the middle. I would expect that if Republicans became a substantial majority, they could now pass a law that would privatize Social Security because it is in the national best interest. And toss in the Postal Service. In other words, I expect that the pendulum would swing back to the FAR right. I do not believe that this change is healthy nor good for our country.

Monday, May 17, 2010


What I am hearing from our political defense leadership is that our military must scale back. We don’t need all of those expensive weapons systems, nor do we need so many generals and admirals. OK, I accept that the defense department is as inefficient as just about all of the other government agencies. What concerns me is the imbalance.

With all of the domestic spending, defense is about the only part of government that has to cut back. And we are at war! If anything, the roles should be reversed. Strategic defense has not changed all that much.

More than 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water. To project force overseas, aircraft carriers are required. A problem is that we need to have multiples of 3. Just to have one available at any given time requires one in port for refit and another in for yard repairs and travel back and forth to station. Like tanks, carriers are more effective if grouped together. They are not very effective if not grouped together. We must control the air above, which would require space mounted weapons platforms.

On top of everything else, we are limiting our missile defense. If we are going to limit our conventional weapons systems, we need far more research and development in space based weapons. Yet this is another area we are targeting for either cuts or limited growth. Strategic blunders that even a non security clearance person with half a wit can see. We face scary and dangerous times ahead.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Army of Islam

Today’s Islamic terrorist organizations are the modern army of Islam. These groups and many individuals who support them believe in installing Islamic law by force. This ‘army’ is an irregular force, which is what armies were prior to the rise of the professional army. The concept of the nation-state evolved at the same time as the professional army, which was well after Islam had been founded. The Islamic army has not been able to modernize well, a symptom seen in other aspects of Islamic governance as well.)

The armies of the crusades were the Christian army. They were not professional warriors. (Although the knights can be considered to be) Religions fielding armies was common during and prior to the Middle Ages. The rise of the nation-state and professional armies put an end to this. (Exception: Islam) Islam has been attempting to go through this process since the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Nationalism is weak at least in part because Islamic nationalism was far more entrenched and more important culturally. This is where the Islamic army obtains its generals and soldiers. It will require warfare to rid the world of this Islamic nationalism. It is like defending your country. If this is not a solid cause of war, I do not know what is. Like so many good Southerners in the U.S. Civil War and the good Germans and Japanese in World War II. And this is a BIG war.

Repeated suicide attack has only one other occurrence throughout history. As survival is the most basic instinct in living things, overcoming it on a scale as these two requires cultural upbringing that must share some characteristics. As the case against Japan in 1945, this will not be ended through peaceful means. It will require violence on the cultural level, one, which historically has been a driving force behind many of the worst of wars. The world has not had a World War since 1945. I am not certain that we are due, but this war of Islam against the United States will not end until either we become Muslim, or the Islamic world ignores most of what is written in the Koran. Either way, a massive war can be the only way to achieve this decisive result. I see only see one way out of a war involving WMD. Take out the governments of Syria and Iran. See what it shakes loose. ALL governments who support the Islamic armies are to be taken down. The other, far more likely event is the use of WMD by the Islamic army that triggers the main conflict.

Either way, this will require a war to resolve. And these issues are of the type that caused the U.S. Civil War. Good people on both sides. Enough evil on one side to require that they lose. I see no way out without waging organized warfare against Islamic nationalism.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Change in the war

The recent failed attempt by an amateur Islamic terrorist is just the beginning. This makes three Islamic attacks within the U.S. in the past 6 months. Fort Hood, the failed Christmas attacks and this failed attempt. I remember the first few months of the ‘occupation’ of Iraq. Reports were numerous of failed attempts to attack our soldiers in the open. Maximum damage inflicted. This means that we killed them all in that attack. These attacks were poorly thought out and poorly executed. Within 6 months, the effort by our enemies began to improve. By the time a year had gone by, our enemy had learned enough to contain their own losses. The U.S countered by increasing the combat through attacking the cities, one at a time. We initiated additional combat. In addition, we attacked into positions that our enemy would resist and could not re-supply. It was a series of losing battles for our enemies. We are not doing this today.

Without any classified information, I am guessing that the losses our enemies are taking in combat have fallen drastically from 2007. We are not engaging any significant portion of the enemy army today. The rules of engagement in Afghanistan prevent just about any meaningful action. A withdrawal date of July 2011, which I fully expect to be implemented, will complete the strategic shift to defense. After all, we are winding down operations in Iraq and will be fully out well before the election cycle of 2012 begins. President Obama was against both wars and is determined to end both of them well before he goes up for re-election. This allows our enemy to re-deploy.

This ‘first wave’ is a group a determined individuals. However, they are the amateurs. The next step is for the pros to begin to set up shop in the U.S. I see this as much more easily accomplished and much more likely than in the past. After all, we are in a defensive mode worldwide. We may catch some of them, but most will be able to move around. And many will not be moving into areas where they can attack our military. They will be moving so that they can attack our civilian or ‘soft’ targets. This is change that is not good for us.