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February 22, 2008

Comments

Thomas Collins

Folks worrying that Barry the O hasn't been sufficiently vetted might better spend their time researching Rezko and the machinations of machine politics in Illinois than on Barry's blusterings. Let's face it, there have been seemingly lightweight "change" candidates before, and Barry is no worse than any of them. He might even turn out to be a decent President. What troubles me is that the MSM hasn't dug deeply enough into his various wheelings and dealings. At least we've had plenty of digging into Billary and the Ancient Mariner over the years. Barry the O is still a relative unknown who may be less than a year away from taking the POTUS oath of office.

Garth

sounds like the WS took the bait and some nice prep on obama's side to know they would have to produce the captain.

smart move.

rplat

Who is this jackass and what unit was he assigned to? Did he inform his commander before he puked his guts out to a politico. We need to know more about this guy and his unit. I spent 35 years as a soldier and from time-to-time I experienced some serious logistical problems but never did I let it effect the welfare of my troops or my mission, nor did I whine to the media. I think what we have here is a young captain that really needs attention. This sorry story just doesn't have much effect.

Anon

Where the hell to start with this.

Let's start with did Obama believe it-the story -himself?

Well-for frig's sake the answer looks like a bloody yes does it not?

Then what does Obama doe with "it"-

Is he a Man of Action or damn it-Mr.Pretty Wordman?

If the story was true-Obama had certain repsonsibilites did he not? A call to duty...

What action did he take as a US Senator- what did he do with the story-vote "Present".

Or did he preserve the conditions of that story for his OWN political gain.

Which brings me to that Grand Dame Hillary.

The punditocracy everywhere is lauding the vaildictory nature of her las statement.


You have got to be kidding me.

She lists the case of the soldier with his face blown off, and the amputees limping in-

So that she can STEAL THEIR VOICES for her political gain-and essentially minimize their sacrifce to STAB their BROTHERS in the back and erradicate the gains made through THEIR sacrifice.

{She! now has a plan to get out in less than 60 days!-ya that's optimal...}

I can't express it-I'm too angry.

But- if Jack Tapper had any GUTS he'd interview those guys who's story Hillary used.

Ask them who they'd vote for-

All of a sudden Tapper and the Liberals would remember that the active duty have a duty to remain apolitical.

Which didn't seem to bother them in this case, ey?

Alamo

Ouch my ass. Tappers professed celief in this Captain's credibility established nothing. All very....."Foeresque" to coin a term. TNR continuously calimed their source "credible" while he remained anonymous- and they ended up being shown for the hacks they are.

And even if the unidentified Captain is genuine, his story and the account put forward by the Messiah vary in significant and meaningful ways.

Anon

Short answer:

Tapper you useless jackalope go ask those guys at the Vet Hospital that Hillary so "eloquently" used in her final "winning" comment, what they think of the Democratic Lose the War as Fast as You Can Plan.

Anon

Well ya-

First Obama says he was a Capt.

Tapper says he was a Lt.

Then it was an undermanned-situation normal- division . It wasn't divided against Army policy as Obama declared.

There's probably more differences...

Sue

I can only say "Ouch". IMHO, Jake Tapper gets the goods from the Obama campaign and squelches folks like this at the Weekly Standard.

Does he really? As Rusty, over at Jawa says, this doesn't mean the story has been verified, only that the storyteller has been located. It seemed to me that the story had come to Obama recently. Is that the way others thought? If so, what took the captain so long to tell his story, why did he give it to Obama, and are there other stories similar to his and if so, why have we not heard them?

I saw somewhere while surfing this story, I can't remember where, so I don't know who to hat tip, a comment about if our soldiers are indeed capturing Taliban weapons without any weapons of our own, we are indeed kicking some serious butt in Afghanistan.

Indeed.

Pofarmer

I think what we have here is a young captain that really needs attention.

Ouch.

I've got a feeling the attention you have in mind isn't the attention this young captain would like.

Pofarmer

If there actually is a young captain, that is.

Garth

face it.

obama's version was carefully worded to be verified in detail from an unimpeachable source. the story is true.

what's being exposed is the automatic RW attack hyenas savaging every sad detail that doesn't jibe with their prefered reality.

this was no off the cuff remark by obama, but clever bait that has been taken up by the sharks, heedless of the hook in it.

IT'S ALL TRUE. EVERY LAST VERIFIABLE DETAIL IS TRUE!

choke on it.

just another mindless diversion from the sucking mccain drain.

Other Tom

I wouldn't say "ouch," or anything else, until I'd had a chance to talk to this officer. I'm not sure we will ever have a chance to hear what, say, his company commander has to say about the reasons for whatever parts of the story are true, because apparently the officer will not let us know the identity of the company commander, or the battalion commander, or anyone else except the "Commander-in-Chief."

"He knows of 10 of those 15 for sure who went to Iraq, and he suspects the other five did as well." Really? When did those ten go to Iraq? Were they detached from his platoon for the purpose of going to Iraq, or for some other reason, and simply end up in Iraq later on? Why does this officer "suspect" that the other five went to Iraq?

What was the function of this "rifle platoon?" If in fact it was downsized, was that downsizing done because, army-wide, platoons with that particular mission were restructured?

It is simply not conceivable to me that the army would ever begin to cherry-pick individuals from a unit as small as a platoon in order to commit resources from one theater to another. I don't think it has ever happened in the history of the US Army, and if anyone knows of a contrary example I'd love to hear about it.

There is a lot more (or less) to this story than we have been told thus far.

Garth

the full guts of the article;


The Army captain, a West Point graduate, did a tour in a hot area of eastern Afghanistan from the Summer of 2003 through Spring 2004.

Prior to deployment the Captain -- then a Lieutenant -- took command of a rifle platoon at Fort Drum. When he took command, the platoon had 39 members, but -- in ones and twos -- 15 members of the platoon were re-assigned to other units. He knows of 10 of those 15 for sure who went to Iraq, and he suspects the other five did as well.

The platoon was sent to Afghanistan with 24 men.

"We should have deployed with 39," he told me, "we should have gotten replacements. But we didn't. And that was pretty consistent across the battalion."

He adds that maybe a half-dozen of the 15 were replaced by the Fall of 2003, months after they arrived in Afghanistan, but never all 15.

As for the weapons and humvees, there are two distinct periods in this, as he explains -- before deployment, and afterwards.

At Fort Drum, in training, "we didn't have access to heavy weapons or the ammunition for the weapons, or humvees to train before we deployed."

What ammunition?

40 mm automatic grenade launcher ammunition for the MK-19, and ammunition for the .50 caliber M-2 machine gun ("50 cal.")

"We weren't able to train in the way we needed to train," he says. When the platoon got to Afghanistan they had three days to learn.

They also didn't have the humvees they were supposed to have both before deployment and once they were in Afghanistan, the Captain says.

"We should have had 4 up-armored humvees," he said. "We were supposed to. But at most we had three operable humvees, and it was usually just two."

So what did they do? "To get the rest of the platoon to the fight," he says, "we would use Toyota Hilux pickup trucks or unarmored flatbed humvees." Sometimes with sandbags, sometimes without.

Also in Afghanistan they had issues getting parts for their MK-19s and their 50-cals. Getting parts or ammunition for their standard rifles was not a problem.

"It was very difficult to get any parts in theater," he says, "because parts are prioritized to the theater where they were needed most -- so they were going to Iraq not Afghanistan."

"The purpose of going after the Taliban was not to get their weapons," he said, but on occasion they used Taliban weapons. Sometimes AK-47s, and they also mounted a Soviet-model DShK (or "Dishka") on one of their humvees instead of their 50 cal.

The Captain has spoken to Sen. Obama, he says, but this anecdote was relayed to Obama through an Obama staffer.

I find that Obama's anecdote checks out.

michaelt

Obama said it
Garth believes it
That settles it.

Topsecretk9

Usually instapundit says "ouch"

boris
"We should have deployed with 39," he told me, "we should have gotten replacements. But we didn't. And that was pretty consistent across the battalion."

He adds that maybe a half-dozen of the 15 were replaced by the Fall of 2003, months after they arrived in Afghanistan, but never all 15.

So a platoon, defined as between 16 to 40 soldiers was temporarily closer to 16 than 40. BFD.

Is the implication that Soldiers in Afghanistan, at this time, seriously underequipped true or not? If not, is it therefore a lie or just standard leftist political boilerplate?

Sue
Obama: "They were actually capturing Taliban weapons because it was easier getting Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current Commander in Chief."

The Captain: "The purpose of going after the Taliban was not to get their weapons," he said, but on occasion they used Taliban weapons. Sometimes AK-47s, and they also mounted a Soviet-model DShK (or "Dishka") on one of their humvees instead of their 50 cal.

Nuance. The left had a candidate that was nuanced last go round. I'm sure he, like Garth, doesn't see any difference in the 2 statements.

SteveMG

Obama: "They [US troops] were actually capturing Taliban weapons, because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief."

Captain: "The purpose of going after the Taliban was not to get their weapons" but on occasion they used Taliban weapons. Sometimes AK-47s, and they also mounted a Soviet-model DShK (or “Dishka”) on one of their humvees instead of their 50 cal.

Hmm, a bit of a discrepancy. Were they using Taliban weapons because they were easier to get?; or did they use them because it was smart to use them? Need or improvisation?

In any event, as the saying goes, "for example is not proof."

I'm going to want more than one anecdote.


SteveMG

Ooops, Sue beat me to it.

Topsecretk9

Spruiell has a lot of military emailers, but this is an excellent question...


Another veteran writes, "There's also the obvious question of, if they're so short of U.S. ammunition, how are they managing to capture Taliban ammunition."

Bueller? Bueller?

MikeS

"...And that was pretty consistent across the battalion."

SteveMG

A story about military preparedness in Afghanistan in the summer of 2003 and 2004 is relevant today how?

Obama neglected to put an expiration date on his anecdote.

Anon

Tops-

Obama:I heard from a Army captain, who was the head of a rifle platoon, supposed to have 39 men in a rifle platoon. Ended up being sent to Afghanistan with 24, because 15 of those soldiers had been sent to Iraq. And as a consequence, they didn't have enough ammunition; they didn't have enough humvees.

They were actually capturing Taliban weapons because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief.

Which might beg the question-

If it was so easy to get Taliban weapons then why would they need more guys?

Afghanistan has been lauded by Chinese generals of all people as a job well done and subject of their study.

clarice

AJ's not buying the tale either:
http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/5104>Tell me a Tale that you told long ago

I'm not buying it, at least in the O version. While the Lt/Capt is not in Scott Beauchamp territory, I expect he embellished a bit (as BFD Boris notes) and then I think O added his special sauce and stirred.

Topsecretk9

If it was so easy to get Taliban weapons then why would they need more guys?

Exactly.

Spruiell's emails are pretty great

I am an Infantry Captain. I have deployed to Afghanistan twice, OEF 4 (2003-2004) and OEF 7-8 (2006-2007). In the army, we don't split up units like that; the quote about 15 guys from a rifle platoon bound for Afghanistan getting sent to Iraq is utter nonsense. Not enough ammunition? are you nuts? No soldier leaves Bagram Airfield without a Basic Load, 210 rds of 5.56 (7 full magazines)....

...US Soldiers do not use enemy weapons or equipment under most circumstances (Special Forces and assorted secret squirrel guys sometimes do). Think about it: why would I train up on a weapon system, zero the optic so that I hit what I aim at, maintain it etc. and then trade it in for an AK47?

What do we do with captured Taliban/Al-Qaeda/Haqqani/Waziri equipment? We turn some of it over to the Afghan police (what is serviceable, which usually isn't much) and Afghan army units, but the majority is destroyed.

I seriously question the veracity of the "Army Captain" referred to. Most disturbing to me about this incident is it illustrates how clueless Obama and his staff are when it comes to the military. Prepared to be the CIC indeed...— JDT

Here's my question - if Obama's Captain is to be believed simply because he says so, then why isn't JDT or Pete L. or any other serving or previously served troops who question it or disagree?

Personally I'm kind of tired of exploiting and believing only anti-war troops. Further, the left and the press do not care or want to here about or from troops who are proud of their mission or want to recount their successes.

If Obama's Captain wants to say what he wants, fine - but JDT and Pete L. and thousands of other soldiers get as much or more validity and time in my book.


Jane

Fox reports that the Pentagon disputes Obama, who got an advance look at a NY Times story and no one can believe the NY Times.

I swear.

Forbes

Were up-armored Humvees an issue in the summer of 2003? IIRC, the armoring of Humvees became a news and policy issue in Iraq not until 2004 or 2005. (My nephew--Army infantry Sgt--served in OIF II--'04-'05--without armored Humvees.)

Anyone?

Also, Obama's claim is that soldiers needed to capture Taliban weapons and ammo because they were not being properly supplied and re-supplied. Jake Tapper's report does not support that claim.

Topsecretk9

hear, not here from above. Sheesh.

RichatUF

I was poking around and found that Task Force Warrior from Drum was deployed from 03-04. It included the 1st Brigade CT, and I've found write ups for the 1/87, 2/87, and 2/22. I find the training argument hard to believe because I thought everyone deploying had to go through 3 months at NTC or JRTC first?

Wonder if this guy got on the Winter Soldier II panel and has dreams of becoming the Lt (jg) Kerry II for this war?

GMax

The storyline was that we were beggaring our troops with too few men and so scarce ammo that they were having to confiscate weapons from the slain or wounded or abandoned enemy just to be able to fight.

Coming up with a Captain who did talk to Obama is certainly a nice touch. It does remove the making shit up charge from the table.

But Captain story is not supportive of scavenging weapons to be able to fight.

And then there is the small admission that 12 of the missing 15 from the platoon were replaced within months. So is 3 short in a platoon odd, is it even a story?

I find this whole thing to be a candidate hearing what he wanted to hear and then throwing in some more stuff about the CinC not supplying the troops cuz that would be just what the Out of Iraq coalition would believe and further would eat it up.

Bill in AZ

OT - Politico has a piece on Bush hammering congress on not passing the Protect America Act.

Reyes, the House intelligence chairman, told NPR on Thursday: “President Bush has just been spoiled dealing with the Republican-controlled Congress before. I take strong offense at the president's comments that somehow we're less safe because the Protect America Act expired.”

And I had just fired up my brand new replacement ACME IronyMeter after the last one melted last week - and this one already has a bent needle.

Enlightened

So Obama spews a contrived anecdote which allegedly answered the question of how his lack of experience qualifies him for CIC.

The only answer he came up with was second- hand, anecdotal drivel some 4 years old, proving he is adept at blaming George Bush or This Administration.

And yet there they were - standing and clapping and oohing and ahhing for the apparent next leader of this country whose only qualifications are his oratorial BDS skills.

A Supahstar is born.

Sara

I've read so many milblogger comments on this story this morning, I now can't find the link, but one soldier made what I think is a pretty good point. He said that soldiers learn the sound a particular type of weapon makes and it would be suicide to go to battle with confiscated AK-47s as our side would figure you for the enemy and blow your position to smitherines.

cathyf

Hmmm... Is this a coincidence? On Tuesday, the Illinois National Guard press office put out a release (warning, .doc file) It included these explanatory paragraphs:

According to Maj. Gen. William Enyart, Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, the mobilization of the 33rd IBCT is unique in comparison to previous Illinois Army National Guard call-ups for operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

“Previously, Illinois Guard battalions and companies have been mobilized and attached to another brigade once they arrived in theater,” Enyart explained. “By mobilizing the entire 33rd Brigade Combat Team, our Soldiers will not only train together as a cohesive team, they will deploy together as a family.”

So, I wonder how mangled this story is? If this is a guard or reserve platoon, then, yeah, calling up individuals with high-demand jobs and attaching them to another unit is how it works -- that's why they call it reserves after all.

Then there is the whole question of attrition, and individual troops not deploying and getting reassigned when things happen. So consider this scenario: there is a platoon that is deploying within a very short time to Iraq. One of the members who has an important (must have) job tears his achilles tendon playing basketball, and can't deploy. Then the only other platoon member with the same specialty is injured in a car accident (Murphy's law, ya know.) So the army scrambles and finds a platoon which has 5 people who are in that specialty, and transfers two of them into the platoon that's deploying. That's how a platoon that (eventually) deploys to Afghanistan could lose 2 guys to a platoon that needs to deploy to Iraq right away.

The captain is very vague about the whole time period of the transfers. So, over a period of months, people got transferred out and transferred in, and so they end up having to go to Afghanistan temporarily with closer to 16 than 40, as boris says. Then when they got to Afghanistan they got some individuals transferring in. This is how the military works -- in previous wars platoons would be constantly restructured to deal with the killed and injured. In more modern times it's gotten hugely easier, since there are orders of magnitude fewer troops killed and wounded in battle, but this problem is an inherent part of military operations and the military has been dealing with it since the dawn of warfare. People are not perfect -- they have gallbladder attacks and get cancer and have accidents and need to be replaced. No one is irreplaceable.

It's essentially a random process -- sometimes you lose somebody who is easy to replace, sometimes it's somebody hard to replace -- and who is easy or hard to replace changes from week to week even day by day. Groups deploying right away have priority over groups deploying later. The equipment needs of soldiers in theatre take higher priority over those training back home. Because of the random nature of the process, some platoons will be hit hard, others barely affected. This is how the military is supposed to work! Nobody is irreplaceable, and the military has solved the problem of scrambling around and doing replacements and getting the mission accomplished.

in_awe

I find it charming of Obambi to cite this story, when at the same time the Dems have done everything in their power to stop the flow of supplies and warriors to the front lines for over 2 years now. Doesn't anyone recall how Harry and Nancy used the defense funding bills as leverage for months and months and months?

It didn't seem to bother Obambi that his buddies in Congress were conspiring to do that to the very troops he "honors" - all for POLITICAL GAIN.

Disgusting.

Anon

The Capt. then Lt. was on duty in Afghanistan from the summer of 2003 to early Spring 2004-

The casualties during June 2003 through Oct.2003-the first five months of his tour-

Five.

It's at this website maintained by a liberal organization-

http://cryptome.org/mil-dead-iqw.htm#June%202003

Anon

In fact you could make the argument for argument's sake that they should have sent less troops to Afghanistan.

hit and run

Bill in AZ:
And I had just fired up my brand new replacement ACME IronyMeter after the last one melted last week - and this one already has a bent needle.

Word of advice. Ditch the ironometers.

Read on the internet with your fists clinched palms facing you. When you read a story you can measure by observing the extent to which the middle finger on your dominant hand is automatically raised in exclusion of the others. And if both middle fingers are raised, well...

And if instead of raising any fingers you start punching the monitor...

Wait. Maybe an ironometer is more economical.

PeterUK

It is very common in warfare for troops to use captured weaponry,soldiers of the Wehrmacht prized the Russian PPSh-41 submachine gun.The AK47 is used by US in Iraq and Afghanistan,whatever is plentiful and does the job at a given time.Special forces use whatever they see fit.
It is insane to think that troops only use standard issue.

Anon

At that time period.

Garth

face it. any time a democrat has the balls to tell a story involving a "soldier" who is in the least bit critical of the war or Herr Busch, goes through this meat grinder.

true, the captain didn't paint a pretty picture, but, maybe there should be more outrage about the reported problems and less shoot the messenger.

PeterUK

So does this mean that a President Obama would ensure all the troops he brings back from Iraq will be properly armed?

I like liberals,"Our boys must never fight,but they will have the best weapons money can buy".

Anon

Let me walk you through this in Afghanistan US casualties-

In June 2003 two guys died.

In July 2003 one guy died.

In August 2003 nobody died.

In September 2003 two guys died.

In October 2003 nobody.

In November there's a helicopter crash but can you blame that on Obama's argument...

too few guys not enough arms?

Probably not.

So that's six months of his tour.

I cant find a better site for the stats so if a liberal wants to check the rest of Nov.,Dec.Jan., Feb., and March go ahead.

I'm going to rest my case with the fact that five guys died in Afghanistan during this guys first five months -

So Obama's point that guys were robbed in Afghanistan for Iraq is kinda assbackwards.

SteveMG

more outrage about the reported problems and less shoot the messenger.

(1) We're not sure what the reported problems were. Sorry, I just don't believe whatever a politician - of any party - running for office claims.

(2) This story is about 4-5 years old.

We need to have more contemporary information.

If you wish to uncritically accept what someone claims, you're welcome to.

I'm not.

clarice

More outrage,Garth? Hill and O both voted to cut off funds for the troops. Did they expect they'd just get by on used shells? And why more outrage? The story is clearly an overwrought version of a perfectly ordinary reassignment and reveals neither understafing nor underequipping of the troops.

PeterUK

Garth
Obama isn't standing against Bush.It takes "balls" to tell a story? Is Obama a member of the Special Raconteurs Division? Parachute him into a Townhall meeting and he'll chill your blood.

SteveMG

Garth:
And when people claim that progress is being made in Iraq, they go through a meat grinder from folks on your side.

Michael O'Hanlon come to mind? His career in Democratic circles is reportedly ended because he's supported Bush's surge.

And supporting anything of Bush's is strictly forbidden.

As Joe Lieberman found out.

Enlightened

"face it. any time a democrat has the balls to tell a story involving a "soldier" who is in the least bit critical of the war or Herr Busch, goes through this meat grinder."

What a tool.

The meat grinder is neccessary for asshats that think their lies will never be discovered.

hoosierhoops

oh come on..
the story about soldiers using captured weapons because they didn't have any seems far fetched to say the least..
My son is a Marine in Iraq and i'm sure his unit has plenty of firepower in the 3/5th Kilo Company..I'm pretty sure if they come across an AK-47 it would do them little good to have a weapon with no issued ammo..
Of course for him to give up his SAW gun for a POS enemy rifle is laughable.
I can see the letter home now..Dear Mom and Dad..they sent me to war but forgot to give me a gun..guess they ran out..
don't worry, I'm sure i'll capture one any day now..
Love,
Your Son..

Rick Ballard

If Captain Anonymous is so brave, why doesn't he allow his name to be used?

ANON - Best maintained casulaty list I've found is here.

The Captain mentions Fort Drum which is home to the 10th Mountain. the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 87th Regiment were in Afghanistan during the period mentioned. There would be about 40 LTs spread among the 10 companys of the two battalions.

Captain Anonymous could well have been among them.

Garth

CentCom commander Gen. John Abizaid lately told an audience at Harvard, "This is not an Army that was built to sustain 'a long war.'"

Retired Gen. Kevin Ryan agrees: "Today, the 37 combat brigades of the active Army are almost totally consumed by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. With all units either deployed, returning from deployment, or preparing to deploy, there is none left to prepare for other contingencies."

Yet, adds Ryan, "Our published defense strategy requires a military that can defend our homeland, sustain two major wars, be present in key regions abroad, and fight a global war on terrorism. With Marine and Army ground forces barely able to fight the two major wars, the other security tasks are left to flyovers and ship visits from our Air Force and Navy."

What these generals are saying is ominous. Not only is the United States "losing" the war in Iraq, the Army is breaking and we do not have the troops to meet the commitments America has made all over the world. In short, U.S. foreign policy is bankrupt. We cannot meet all the IOUs we have outstanding if several are called at once.

What kind of superpower is it whose army can be "broken" by two insurgencies that have required only half the number of troops we sent to Korea, and a third of the number we sent to Vietnam?

If our Army is "about broken" now, how do we propose to defend the Baltic republics and, if Bush and the neocons get their way, Ukraine and Georgia from a revanchist Russia? How could we fight a second Korean war, the first of which required a third of a million men?

If our Army is "about broken," has our commander in chief lost his mind when he issues bellicose ultimatums to Tehran? And if our Army is not built to "sustain a long war," are not those people insane who talk wildly of fighting "World War IV"? In World War II, we had 12 million men under arms on V-E Day.

Our Army, says Abizaid, is not "built to sustain a long war." Yet we are committed by NATO to defend Central and Eastern Europe – including the Baltic republics and the eastern Balkans, against a resurgent Russia. We are committed to defend Israel, Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf states from Iran. We are committed to defend Afghanistan from the Taliban, South Korea from North Korea, and Japan and Taiwan from China.

12/2006

the neocon's famous rosecolored glasses.

the grownup are taking over.

SteveMG

The above is called changing the topic.

From the grownup crowd.

Topsecretk9
face it. any time a democrat has the balls to tell a story involving a "soldier" who is in the least bit critical of the war or Herr Busch, goes through this meat grinder.


uh huh, some balls

hit and run

hoosierhoops, I've missed you. An update on your son would find very grateful ears.

Enlightened

Besides - this story is starting to smell like Garth's skid marks.

1) Noted above - only 5 US troops killed in Afghanistan in the period noted by the alleged "captain". He's bitching about 5 months and 5 troops killed? Sorry - to me that makes this "captain" a wussy, and not even the MSM would have taken up that story - not enough dead bodies to fluff the piece up.

2) Most of the near-identical stories you can google all occurred in Iraq. Remember how conveniently Scott Beauchamp changed theaters to fit his story?

3) Most of the near-identical stories from google are linked to IVAW. Funny that.

There is nothing remarkable about this story. Obama used it to pander to the idiotic followers who are equally clueless about the military, and to deflect his complete lack of military knowledge.


Smelly smelly smelly.

Sue

It doesn't take much to defend those countries when democrats are in charge. You just invest in white hankies and long poles.

Ranger

Well, lets start with a few basic points.

Equipment: If this guy was the Platoon Leader of a Light Infantry Platoon, then the last time I checked they weren't authorized any HMMWVs or .50 cals, or Mk 19 Automatic Grenade Launchers. That means the HMMWVs and heavy weapons they got were addisional equipment specifically for the mission. Once they got in country they faced maintenance issues, so the Army got them some Toyota pickup trucks and Cargo HMMWVs to keep the platoon operational in the field. So, rather than the Army not providing, they came up with resources that the unit wasn't even authorized to make it more effective.

Personel: When he arrived, the unit was at almost full strenght. Over time soldiers left "in ones and twos." That sounds like normal troop rotation and re-assignment to me. Espeically sense he said some went to units that may not have been deployed to Iraq. It is possible that since his unit was going to operate as a mounted rather than light platoon in theater, the Army may have decided that 24 men was all he needed for this type of unit. The fact that he bagan recieving replacements again as they prepared to re-deploy back to the US may also indicate they wanted to start building the platoon back up to light infantry strength in preperation for its return to that role upon deployment out of the theater.

Ammunition: It is not surprising that since a light infantry platoon has no .50 cals or Mk 19s normally assigned to it, that they had no ammunition available to train right away. Ammunition is budgeted a year in advance, and since this unit was newly equipted with these weapons.

Now, there may be other issues involved in this, but I have a strong feeling that what was driving the problems this young officer saw were the Army's efforts to adjust and adapt to the situations it faced.

Overall, this story is really a success, not a failure for the Army. They took a light infantry unit and transformed it into a mounted unit quickly and were flexable enough to keep it mobile, even by buying civilian pickups off the shelf rather than just saying 'its too hard, we don't have enough HMMWVs to get this unit in the field and keep them operational.'

PeterUK

"This is not an Army that was built to sustain 'a long war.'"


No army ever is. WWI quickly saw trench warfare develope,it turned into a bloody war of attrition.In WWII the Germans beat everyone to the punch,but it still turned into a long slog.Similarly the War in the Pacific ground on.
Nobody ends a war with the Army that they started with.
Interestingly the US fought two separate wars in WWII against two far more formidable foes,Germany and Japan.

Which makes this sound the utter bollocks it is.

"What these generals are saying is ominous. Not only is the United States "losing" the war in Iraq, the Army is breaking and we do not have the troops to meet the commitments".

Enlightened

Garth - son, you off your ADD meds? Try and stay on task -

We are talking about the tale Obama spoke about in the DNC debate last night, in answer to the question of how he is qualified to be our CIC.

Weird how your doomsday prophecies seem to turn you on somewhat.....kinda like someone else that used to get off on reciting the death tolls when that was the soup du jour.

Garth

You remain curiously untroubled by the alleged inadequate training and supplies.

Don't shoot the messenger. There are many reasons to believe that the military has been stretched to the breaking point. Namely, it seems as if every newly retired general begins crticising the management of this war.

Posters here see no problem in calling critics of the war, even West Point soldiers, wussies. It boggles the mind.

The head in the sand approach is particulary dangerous when there is so much at stake.

Obama related a specific instance in which a soldier confided to his campaign that he felt he was inadequately prepared and equipped for his job description. This West Point Cadet is a wuss.

Furthermore, despite the relatively low loss of life in Afghanistan, that does not mean we are "winning." Casualties are down in large part because we have ceded large swathes of territory to the taliban and warlords. Karzai could not be in less control of his country.

This IS silly season.

Sue

I think we are wading into weeds when it isn't necessary. The gist of Obama's story was our soldiers were being forced to capture "Taliban weapons because it was easier getting Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current Commander in Chief". Whether or not the captain told Obama's people that originally, he certainly didn't stand by it when he talked to Tapper. "The purpose of going after the Taliban was not to get their weapons," he said...". End of Obama's story line.

SteveMG

this young officer saw were the Army's efforts to adjust and adapt to the situations it faced

Doesn't this happen in every war?

I'm no military historian, but all of the histories of modern war that I've read indicate that that is what armies do. Improvise, adapt, change tactics et cetera based on the fluid situation of war.

Sure, there's legitimate criticism of how the war was carried out.

But not all criticism is legitimate.

See above.

PeterUK

You can tell that there is some downside in this for Obama because the rebuttal unit is on the job.Not the A teeam,only Garth so perhaps Obama's handlers think he can shrug this Beuchampism off?

SteveMG

You remain curiously untroubled by the alleged inadequate training and supplies.

You uncritically accept them.

We don't.

In order to be "troubled" by claims, the claims have to be true.

Second: these claims were made of matters in 2003 and 2004.

I'd like to know about the current situation.

We can fight the history later; let's worry about the present and future.

Sue

Obama related a specific instance in which a soldier confided to his campaign that he felt he was inadequately prepared and equipped for his job description.

The captain should be pissed that Obama changed the story. Or Obama should be pissed that the captain changed his story. Either way, the story changed.

Ranger

One clarification. The one year budgeting cycle for ammunition is for training. Units get all the ammunition they need in theater.

And back in the 1980s when the 9th Infantry Division was exerimenting with light mounted infantry, the standard squad carrier was an unarmored cargo HMMWV, like the ones this guy is complaining about having to use instead of armored HMMWVs.

Sue

I would also like to know who the captain talked to besides Obama's campaign and a reporter. Did he relay his concerns up the chain of command?

Garth

Now, there may be other issues involved in this, but I have a strong feeling that what was driving the problems this young officer saw were the Army's efforts to adjust and adapt to the situations it faced.

- Ranger


Ranger nails it, but, what he is really saying is that what the "young officer" was faced with was the Army's response to inadequate time and material for proper training and field equipment.

"Son. What we have here is a failure to communicate."

Enlightened

Yes - Anonymous sources, even from West Point are wussies.

The only persons with their heads in the sand are the ones that rely on allegations in lieu of facts.

Anon

Rick-

Thanks for that link.

Enlightened

Uh, yeah - Garth has been furiously googling the "allegations". Seems like his script writer is getting a little close to some Time stories about our broken Army.

And I'm supposed to be alarmed by the stories reported in Time magazine.

Sincerely - the DNC talking points are so pathetic - the record has been skipping now for how many years?

Sue

LOL. Via http://hotair.com/archives/2008/02/22/escalation-warner-sends-letter-to-obama-asking-for-more-information-on-taliban-ammo-story/>Hot Air

What I need from you are the essential facts of when — the dates — the unit was deployed, to which brigade combat team, or other unit it was assigned, the name and current location of the captain, or other military personnel who shared the alleged facts with you, so that committee staff can debrief them.

Obama and the captain better hope the story holds up.

Garth

so not only is the West Point graduate, on active duty, a wussie, he is a liar.

what he says is clearly untrue?

unworthy of being related to the American people, even in so gross a context as a Presidential Debate?

if it were true, would that be indicative of a problem?

pssst; the military is not happy with the HBG.

Anon

Garth-

The argument Obama is making via his Lt./Capt. is at the time of his deployment-they were undermanned and underarmed.

So the necessary argument is-did a lot of guys die needlessly because of that?

The reference point-time frame- is the ONE your Messenger Obama gave us.

You go to the dance with the messenger you have....

Are yo sure that you want to ride that One-

His Oneness?

I think Hillary would make the better horse.

Ranger

Garth, in a sense you are right, but not in the way you think you are. After 8 years of neglect under the Clinton administration, the Army was in dire need of a lot of things. For example, the shortage of up-armored HMMWVs was identified as a problem in 1996 in Bosnia, where the greatest threat was from the 6 million land mines scattered all over the country. The US Army only had enough up-armored HMMWVs to give 2 to each Brigade Combat Team. Yet, in 2001, when the current administration took offce, there had been no action taken to significantly increase the number of up-armored HMMWVs nor any serious efforts made at research and development of a new generation mine resistant vehicles. It wasnt't until the current administratin that the number of up-armored HMMWVs was dramtically increased and serious efforts were made to design mine resistant vehicles. Another reason the US Army was short of personel is that the Clinton administration chose to cut the size of the Army from 12 division to 10. I have no doubt that the current administration deeply wishes that hadn't happened and has worked very hard to restructure the Army to make up for that mistake.

Sue

if it were true, would that be indicative of a problem?

See my link above. I think the captain wishes he had remained quiet right about now.

SteveMG

Well, some progress.

They're now called "allegations."

Previously, they were accepted as the gospel truth.

Of course, we still have the problem that they relate to matters in 2003 and 2004; which doesn't tell us much about current preparedness and training.

Anon

Garth-

the military is not happy with HBG-

Hillary, 'Bama and Garth?

Sue

http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/obama022208.pdf>John Warner letter to Obama. (pdf file)

Anon

Sue-

Damn Warner is after it?

Heh.

Trust me Warner wouldn't go after that if he thought the answers to his questions would hurt his guy McCain.

Ranger

Garth,

Any officer who makes these kinds of statments should be ready to stand behind them. That means with his name attached to them. In the military, your word only has value if your name is behind it. It is very dishonorable to make accusations in private that you are not willing to make in public.

hoosierhoops

Hi Hit & Run!!
Jordan returns from Fallujah to the states 4-28-08.
Mom and Dad will be there to meet him at the bus at camp pendleton. we rented a beach house in Oceanside that sleeps 10 for the week. He and his buddies will be spending time there with us.
We are very excited and count the days..
Last week his unit was attacked 4 times so mom is a mess but we have faith in our Marines and thier firepower..( captured weapons..what a crock )
Talk to you soon..

Anon

Heh.

Warner is going after Obama's duties as a Senator and why he sat on them in favor of political gain.

If you read the letter that's the jest of it.

Gawd they are going to give him enough rope...

boris

what he says is clearly untrue?

The storyline that the platoon had to use captured weapons and ammo for lack of their own is apparently untrue. But then that particular detail was a Jesus 2.0 "misunderstanding".

SteveMG

How much of these problems (the real ones that have been documented) were the results of the usual cluster you-know-whats that occur in war?

It seems to me that the critics of this Administration wish to use a standard that, as far as I can tell, has never been met by any military in any war.

This is what steams me. If the criticism emanates from a sincere desire to improve our military capabilities, that's one thing; but if it is driven solely by a desire to score political points, that's another.

When I read or here critics express criticism completely removed from the realities of war, I can only assume the worst.

Rick Ballard

Would anyone care to wager against the idea that Senator Warner already knows Captain Politico's name?

Anon

hoosierhoops-

Be damn proud-always.

Sara

I cannot believe that any of you are even questioning that this story might be true. It is so ludicrous, it could only come out of a mind of Kerryesque deceit. First of all, even if we were short of ammo, and I'll never believe that to be the case, we capture and blow up more ammo and weapons than we would ever need. Second, you are making the military sound like evil managers who would fail to equip their men and women going into combat. The story is just bogus.

Now that does not mean that some soldiers or marines have never tried to bring home an enemy weapon or have never captured an enemy weapon and fired it for the fun of it or that after a firefight, they don't gather up the weapons of the dead enemy so their comrades can't come along and collect them to use again. But, to be sent into combat without guns or ammo is such an incredibly evil charge, there should be no entertainment of even the possibility of truth in it.

And it makes me sick to death. These soldiers and marines in Afghanistan are not illiterate fools. A good portion of them are college educated and highly, HIGHLY TRAINED in the most sophisticated weapons systems in the world. The picture this story paints is a bunch of ignorant, illiterate fools who would blindly serve without guns or ammo. Kind of reminds you of the days of the Revolution or the Confederate south where soldiers had to drill with sticks and wooden toy guns in lieu of the real thing because of a lack of funds or organization.

There isn't a single one of those leftists who would even make it a week in real military training, yet they are going to speak on these matters and people are supposed to listen. Give me an effin' break!!!

Garth

Ranger,

I agree that perhaps no action was taken by the Clinton administration, but it is unfair to blame him. He was committed to balancing the budget and not planning for the long term occupation of Middle East nation. No matter how you slice it, the military inherited by Bush was going to be less than fine-tuned to the task.

However, from a strictly tactical pov the Bush administration badly misjudged what was necessary to secure concrete, objectives.

Nor can there really be any argument with what may be inconvenient facts. Complaints and warnings from military personnel are going unheeded as to the conduct of this war. Because they are inconvenient for an administration who does not want to have to deal with intractable political realities.

HBG = Herr Busch Gang

bgates

You remain curiously untroubled by the alleged inadequate training and supplies.
We're unconvinced by an anonymous report to Obama's staff and an anonymous report of a confirmation to an ABC reporter.

Don't shoot the messenger.
Tell it to Scooter Libby.
There are many reasons to believe that the military has been stretched to the breaking point.
If only Obama or Hillary were part of some political organization with the manpower and Constitutional authority to alleviate the strain on the military - by, I dunno, increasing the Army from 10 divisions to 16, for instance.
Namely, it seems as if every newly retired general begins crticising the management of this war.
It does seem that way. Somehow every critic of the war effort gets on tv, and anyone criticized for their own role while running things becomes a genius when complaining afterwards.

Posters here see no problem in calling critics of the war, even West Point soldiers, wussies. I guess we should have gone with 'attack hyenas'.

The head in the sand approach is particulary dangerous when there is so much at stake. Yeah. Isn't it.

Obama related a specific instance in which a soldier confided to his campaign that he felt he was inadequately prepared and equipped for his job description. This West Point Cadet is a wuss. He's a Captain, assuming he exists. Does the Academy have any guidelines about confiding in the chain of command, rather than campaign staffers?

Furthermore, despite the relatively low loss of life in Afghanistan, that does not mean we are "winning."
Well, we are winning. But when I say 'we', I mean the United States.
Casualties are down in large part because we have ceded large swathes of territory to the taliban and warlords.
Now you're not even trying. Don't give up just because your allies in Afghanistan are.
Karzai could not be in less control of his country.
He would be if he were Mullah Omar.

This IS silly season.
True dat.

hit and run

hoosierhoops, thanks.

I will not forget between now and 4/28.

Sara

Frankly, I think that along with the age rule and the citizenship rule, it should be made mandatory that ALL CANDIDATES who wish to be Commander-in-Chief go through boot camp and serve at least a year. Every single one, whether man or woman. I'm not saying they have to have served in combat, but they should at least have some working knowledge of what the military is all about.

Enlightened

Time to close it up -

There is no military in the world that is 100% equipped with personnel or supplies. Logistically speaking, getting supplies from point A to point B during war is statistically impossible to pre-plan. Of course that doesn't matter to General Garth who apparently would have or could have deployed the anonymous source more efficiently in hindsight.

And a West Point, Active Duty Captain hides his face behind the same story told since World War II.

It doesn't frikking matter what the SOURCE told Obama about what happened to him 4 YEARS ago.

The only thing that matters is that Obama used a well-worn, anti-war diatribe, sourced anonymously, about American troops to bolster his "qualifications" as CIC.

He couldn't even answer the question because he has no actual qualifications - so I guess he falls under the "untrained and undersupplied" category.

Other Tom

Garth, it's pretty hard to shoot the messenger when you have no idea who he is.


I'll become troubled about "inadequate training" when I hear from a credible source that the training has indeed been inadequate. In the past five years, of all the whining and carping I've heard, none of it has been about the training of our troops. I think the case can well be made that they are the most highly trained troops that the US has ever put in the field.

Similarly with respect to supplies. I've heard complaints about the lack of armored HUMV's, but the need for them was not apparent until the war in Iraq got underway, and the emergence of needs of this kind in the course of a war is so commonplace as to cause a shrug among professionals.

Face it, the entire import of Obama's story is that, back in the spring of 2003 there was a crying need for more troops in Afghanistan, but that need went unmet because of troops being diverted to Iraq. That is, quite simply, a falsehood. Recall that the Taliban were overthrown by the use of air power and about 200 Americans on the ground--CIA and Special Ops guys. Until quite recently there has not been a single professional military voice expressing any need whatsoever for more manpower in Afghanistan, and in 2003 there was not a peep about it.

As for the carrying of AK47's by the troops, I myself carried a captured AK47 for a time, and at other times carried an M-# grease gun (it looks like those things the guys in The Dirty Dozen had). In both instances I, like a lot of other guys, was just kind of showing off and fooling around. I ended up going back to an M-16 and an M1911A .45 automatic (so named because it was developed in the year 1911, and it will still knock your dick in the dirt).

Anon

You gotta love this line from Warner-

Consequently I, and other members of SASC, have a responsibility to establish where in the military chain of command rests the "accountability" depending of course, on the accuracy of the facts.

pagar

We've had Capts telling stories before, Remember

"Much of the evidence suggests that they spoke to one man, a police Capt. Jamil Hussein, who reported this to them:" Course Guess we should give the leftists credit, at least that time the Capt had a name. Phony name, or ?

Rick Ballard

OT,

M-3A1. Fun to shoot.

Jane

Bgates,

That was such a fun read!

Charlie (Colorado)

Oh, bullshit.

In other words, we went from a CAPT in command of a platoon to a war story about when he was an LT commanding a platoon; from a third of his platoon being sent to Iraq to 10 or 15 guys being rotated out, some of whom eventually went to Iraq (like damn near everyone in the Army does right now); and from having no supplies and having to take them from the Taliban to there being a certain amount of scavenging going on.

Did he happen to mention whether this war story started "once upon a time"?

I don't think we can really blame Obama for this --- see the post I did a few days ago on the SNAFU Principle, he plugged --- but Jesus, he did base a whole riff of his campaign speech on this fairy tale.

PeterUK

"However, from a strictly tactical pov the Bush administration badly misjudged what was necessary to secure concrete, objectives."

Gee General Garth,what would those objectives be.Are they the same ones that Field Marshal Obama has,"Give them all guns and run away"?

BTW you have tactical and srategic confused.
Tactical would be grabbing the enemies guns and using them.

Now enough of the thread stealing and on with Obama.
"Obama lied the story died"

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Wilson/Plame