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June 25, 2010

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narciso

Ricks got the story wrong in "Fiasco" and had to catch up in the Gamble, for that matter so did Woodward is "state of Denial", Until you replace Holbrooke, whose been stinking up the place, since 1963, in Ba Xuyen, and Eikenberry
who presided over the rise of the Taliban, his first go around, you're not going to get anywhere

Danube of Thought

Minus 15 at Raz today.

Captain Hate

Amen, narc; both those toadies had been leaking against McChrystal like a broken faucet and received no consequences for it. LOL @ Easy Bake talking about "coming together" without calling those 2 on the carpet. IOW, watch your back Petraeus.

narciso

Petraeus knows the deal, remember he had Fallon, back at CENTCOM working against him,
he had Mullen back in Washington, neutral at best, and he had Casey, who had s similar track record to Eikenberry, also lukewarm if not opposed to the strategy

Tom R

The smart fix for Obama is to fire Eikenberry and Holbrooke and replace them with newly appointed ambassador to Afghanistan retired General McChrystal.

All the reports indicate McChrystal has a good relationship with Karzai and other Afghani officials so he sounds like the obvious best choice to be the US diplomat in charge of working with them.

Cecil Turner

McChrystal's firing (and coincident strategy reaffirmation) put Eikenberry on notice. I suspect either he'll get remarkably cooperative or be replaced himself. Nor are Petraeus's qualifications an issue here. The issue remains, "what about CentCom"?

There is still no clear picture of what's going on. Is Petraeus supposed to be his own subordinate as he commutes between Tampa and Kabul, wearing two full-time hats? Speculation has Lt Gen John Allen taking over, which makes it obvious who is actually in charge (i.e., Petraeus), turning the command relationship upside down. Or it could go to Gen Jim Mattis, which would probably cause some Marine/Army rivalry; or to GEN Ray Odierno, which would tend to elevate Iraq concerns (and cause some disruption there as a replacement was sought), or . . .

Whatever they do here, it's going to cause a lot of confusion at a bad (the worst possible?) time.

And Obama bows to it.  The Opiate after the Awakening.

Petraeus also had Sistani in Iraq. He has Wahabbi money pushed on fundamental but tolerant tribal Muslims in Afghanistan.
======================

LouP

The problem is bigger than Holbrooke and Eikenberry. The Army does have a chain of command. The civilian side of COIN doesn't even come close. When you have Obama, Clinton, Biden, Holbrooke, Eikenberry, etc., etc., all independently, and at counter-points, trying to run things then COIN can't succeed.

It's trademark Obama: when you can't get your act together, find someone to act as a distraction to shift all the blame from himself. I see BP and the Gulf spill all over again.

matt

Petraeus had the entire DoD establishment against him and one supporter, GWB. He also plays to win and is smart enough to outgame the playa in in chief.

narciso

True, Lou, but they are the point persons on the effort, but Biden, good god, Hillary seems to have gotten some good marks from McCrystal, "Mr. '85" has Rhodes and McDonough
pulling his strings,

Jane

Petraeus is much more like Obama than he was like Bush.

What an insult to Petraeus! He should demand a retraction.

Ignatz

I have great respect for Petraeus but I don't think this will end well. Not with the band of cutthroat, corrupt, quarrelsome fools in that civilian government he has to deal with.

And the government over in Afghanistan isn't much better.

NK

Patraeus will do everything possible to 'win'in Afghanistan. Has anyone here defined 'winning' in the Af/Pak Theater of Operations (TO)? That is a good question, GWB had a definition-- Taliban eliminated as a military force, and the Afghan central gov't is strong enough to prevent Afghan territory from being used as a Jihadhi training ground. GWB was however vague on the tactics, but he clearly understood that tactics should be based on COIN and NOT Vietnam-like reinforced firebases. The problem is that Afghan geo-topography is a logistical nightmare, so large logistical bases and protected transit lines are essential and COIN is made very difficult. Our moronic disloyal opposition, Kerry, Hildebeast, Barry-O all demagogued about the 'wrong war', starving the Af/Pak TO of resources, blah blah blah. Lies, all lies none of it was true, just politically convenient to con the moderate electorate that they would actually confront Jihadhis in the Af/Pak. The only big GWB tactical mistake was leaving the Af/Pak to the cowardly NATO Lions, who's armies (except the Brits and Canadians) had no interest in actually, you know, fighting the enemy. So here's Barry O turning to a real hero and leader-- but for what mission? what definition of victory? By the Fall 2011, Barry O will start bailing on the Af/Pak to appease his Dem-Left base. End of Mission, Epic Fail, Af/Pak is a Jihadhi base, and there is nothing Patraeus can do about that. Cheers.

I R A Darth Aggie

and that the key skills he brought to bear in the first war won't help him as much in the second

Ummm, what? the key skills he brought to bear in the first war lie between the man's ears. I'm pretty sure that's a transferable skill.

Danube of Thought

Allen is also a marine.

At the outset, the position was supposed to alternate between the Marine Corps and the Army. It did so until Abizaid succeeded Franks, and then Fallon (Navy) got the job. It seems the original protocol has pretty much gone by the boards, and in any event Gates and Obama certainly will be simply be looking for the guy who fits best.

I think Holbrooke should be called home and his position eliminated. And Eikenberry surely has to go.

Clarice

Ditto I R A. If a man as bold and brilliant as Petraeus cannot geld Holbrooke ,the ass, I'd be astonished.

In ny event Ricks lost me with his description of Boo as briliant.

peter

Minus fifteen today at the Ras

bunky

Ricks is an asshole.

Clarice

DoT--Don't you suppose that Bozo heard enough from McChrystal and Petraeus about those two and Petraeus got some sort of assurances?

Cecil Turner

Allen is also a marine.

If that's directed at me, it's why his rank is abbreviated LtGen above instead of LTG. But more importantly, he is Petraeus's deputy. Mattis, as a current 4-star in his own right and fellow Combatant Commander, would be more likely to compete with Petraeus if confirmed as CentCom. (Though I doubt he'd want or would be assigned the job, despite some rumors to that effect . . . OTOH, I would never have guessed the Petraeus pick.)

At the outset, the position was supposed to alternate between the Marine Corps and the Army.

Those traditional CCDR assignments largely went away circa 2000 (PACOM being one arguable exception). Now candidates from each Service are supposedly considered for each opening.

Danube of Thought

It was my understanding that Mattis was about to retire.

Danube of Thought

Mattis in 2005:

"You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right upfront with you, I like brawling."

Jane

Petraeus is modifying the stupid rules of engagement - it was just announced.

Old Lurker

Anybody besides me getting awfully sick of 2,000 page transfornmational legislation passing at dawn, unread, by sleep deprived idiots who have no understanding of what they do to the American Dream?

Captain Hate

Yes, OL; November can't come quickly enough.

Cecil Turner

It was my understanding that Mattis was about to retire.

If he doesn't find something else to do pretty quickly, I suspect he will.

"You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around . . .

Petraeus reportedly respects him but considers him too outspoken (the two were lead COIN authors). Go figure. I suspect the relief of one his Regimental commanders in OIF (Col Dowdy) while commanding 1stMarDiv is a bigger issue. It hearkens back to the saga of "the Generals Smith" when LtGen Holland M. relieved MG Ralph C. on Saipan. With the preponderance of the AF force being Army, Mattis as COCOM would be in a position to reenact the drama writ large. All speculation of course, but in any event he's not an optimal fit. Besides, transferring CCDRs from one unified command to another still leaves a gap somewhere (which is where we're at now).

Neo

Yeah it's turning into Afghanis Nam

Neo

... and they said Bush was stupid for going into Iraq.

Pick your own turf

Danube of Thought

Several reports say Petraeus is changing the ROE. The traditional courtesy of not changing the set of the sails immediately after relieving the watch does not seem to apply, but what the hell...

BobDenver

Since the sails were set to make the ship go in circles, I'm glad he made the exception.

Tom Bowler

Ricks: Before Petraeus arrived [in Iraq], the top priority for U.S. forces was getting out.

Before Petraeus arrived the top priority for Democrats was getting out of Iraq - on the pretext that we needed to go go fight the "real war on terror" in Afghanistan. After Petraeus arrived the top priority for Democrats was getting out of Iraq. Fortunately, that didn't work out for them.

Now that we're fighting the "real war on terror" in Afghanistan, the top priority for Democrats is getting out. And while congressional Democrats will happily orchestrate a pullout claiming the war is unwinnable, Obama knows he has the tiger by the tail. His heart is with the rest of the Democrats but he can't admit it.

So Petraeus is the go to guy, who will make something happen. Ricks thinks Petraeus will give cover for pulling out. If Petraeus can't do it, then nobody can! But Petraeus can do it, and he also provides cover for backing away from the 2011 withdrawal date.

Clarice

I think the tell on McChrystal was that kerry liked him. Kerry IMO has neither the patriotism nor the brain skills to back a first rate American military commander.


It's just that simple.

Jane

Anybody besides me getting awfully sick of 2,000 page transfornmational legislation passing at dawn, unread, by sleep deprived idiots who have no understanding of what they do to the American Dream?

It just gets more and more devastating. This one apparently lets the government seize private property if they don't like you. Apparently they burned the constitution.

lyle

Speaking of John F'ing Kerry (and with full acknowledgement that precisely no one on this site might even give the slightest of shits about my opinion), I will assert this: I f**king loathe the guy. With the intensity of a hundred suns.

Steve C.

It's kind of odd that Ricks is underselling Petraesus' skills. What he brought to Iraq was his brain and a can do spirit. Sure they are not the same place and there is a different set of conditions. But I think they are more alike than they are different. Isolate the insurgents, strengthen the national government and forces, and protect the civilians. It's also a positive that we are drawing down in Iraq.
In a somewhat contrarian vein, the fact that so many people are so pessimistic about winning in Afghanistan reminds me of 2006/2007 in Iraq.

Jack is Back!

Has Ricks served?

I love it when the journos who never had a day in the life of a career military officer or grunt try to speculate on strategy, tactics or even organization. It ain't like that. In fact, its more "seat of your pants" than you think.

But what gets me hummed up is Ricks condescending and gratuitous placement of Obama in the same intellectual range of Petraeus. He couldn't even carry the General's boot wax or even know how to shine them. Book lick comes to mind but that is a higher calling than this charlatan can accomplish.

Porchlight

The traditional courtesy of not changing the set of the sails immediately after relieving the watch does not seem to apply, but what the hell...

Perhaps, but would Jack Aubrey hesitate if the enemy had been sighted off the bow? Or worse, was in hot pursuit? Sadly in this instance there is not a minute to lose.

Janet

Kerry IMO has neither the patriotism nor the brain skills to back a first rate American military commander.

Yeah Clarice, Centralcal got that exactly right. Kerry is always wrong.

glasater

Could we be overestimating Petreaus' skills here just a bit?

I know we all want a savior of sorts with the mess we're in but I just don't see how COIN in Iraq can be applied in the same way in Afghan.

Mattis's home town is where I live. If he retires I hope he gets a four star welcome here.

glasater

Anybody besides me getting awfully sick of 2,000 page transfornmational legislation passing at dawn, unread, by sleep deprived idiots who have no understanding of what they do to the American Dream?

It just gets more and more devastating. This one apparently lets the government seize private property if they don't like you. Apparently they burned the constitution.

OL and Jane--

Re FinReg--Meredith Whitney said the other morning with this new bill it's going to be more expensive to be poor.

Janet

The Dodd-Frank Bill LUN
"One of the last motions Friday was to name the bill after the two chairmen, who had shepherded the legislation through the House and the Senate over the past year. At 5:07 a.m., they agreed unanimously that it would be known as the Dodd-Frank bill, and the sound of applause echoed down the empty hallways."

Look at the picture of these 2 up on Drudge. It really is sickening. What has either ever done to merit trust & confidence that they know what they are doing? In fact, history proves just the opposite....they are failures and cheats. Every American would know if we had an honest MSM.

Bill in AZ sez it's time for Zero to resign

lyle:
I will assert this: I f**king loathe the guy. With the intensity of a hundred suns.

No worries, lyle. The feeling is mutual with many folks. When Kerry and the NYTimes both pass on, a smart entrepreneur will arrange to put the tombstones in close proximity surrounded by beer gardens.

Soylent Obamacare

or even know how to shine them.

Maureen Dowd's ears just perked up - RAAACIST!


Isolate the insurgents, strengthen the national government and forces, and protect the civilians.

COIN is COIN is COIN, in terms of the grand strategy level you just outlined. Where GEN Petraeus' skill and intellect will come into play is in the application of grand strategy at the strategic and operational levels.

In that way Iraq is much different than Afghanistan. But then so is Tennessee, Greenland, or Gabon. Coming up with the basic grand strategy isn't the exhibition of brain power, it's how you fit the grand strategy into the specific locale.

Afghanistan, IMO will be a tougher nut to crack, but if I had to pick the one guy I think could do it, it would be GEN Petraeus (and I'm quite sure that my high regard is hugely important to him.)

Anyway, "We'll see," said the Zen master.

Ignatz

--Look at the picture of these 2 up on Drudge.--

Unfortuntely I did.
Looked like Chris had just finished giving Barney one of those AlGore massages.

Danube of Thought

Ricks has never served in uniform.

Don't get me wrong: I'm all in favor of the ROE change, and am glad he wasted no time. Neither would Lucky Jack have hesitated.

jimmyk

It's kind of ridiculous to assume that Petraeus is some sort of one-trick-pony. As others have said, the best interpretation of his success in Iraq is not that he was lucky, but that he is brilliant and capable. I would guess that he will come up with a viable strategy, but unfortunately it will be up to C-I-C to decide whether to implement it. If history is any guide, this particular C-I-C will divide the baby in half and thereby ensure defeat.

Jane

the Dodd-Frank bill,

At least we will know who to blame. I wonder what is in it for them.

matt

the biggest morale and operational issue in Afghanistan has been the ROE's. Soldiers were losing faith and losing the war in their opinions.

Joe Tolly Bon could loose off a clip, put the gun down, and know we would not engage. Troops couldn't get illumination rounds. The Afghans weer actually laughing at us at times. The ROE's were insane. Hopefully, the new ones are sensible.

glasater

I think Petraeus is a man of honor, integrity and intelligence and have a ton of admiration for him. Best man in a terrible situation and all. But what happens if/when Zero and minions undermine the heck out of him.
All I can hope for is he can outwit those fools.

Danube of Thought

I think that Obama's original, gratuitous announcement of the July 2011 deadline has cost lives and made success impossible. I'm not sure it was possible anyway.

matt

glas, I will personally vouch for that.

Clarice

You think O can fire yet another Af commander and get away with it?

Jack is Back!

O is dead meat and the general knows it. I think he is going to play the extreme and see if O blinks. Why not? What the hell does Petraeus have to lose? If the polls are right and he has higher approvals than O, he becomes an overnight hero. Truman came out strong because he was strong and a decision maker - you don't drop the big one without some cajones.

No, when O put Petraeus in there he did it without Uncle Joe's approval and Rahm is tired of his shit anyway. So, its his decision and if Petraeus comes through he looks great but what he doesn't know is that the General is going to come through bending every one of O's rules and there is nothing O can do about it. Sucker! You should have brought Sanchez out of retirement.

Cecil Turner

Don't get me wrong: I'm all in favor of the ROE change, and am glad he wasted no time.

Same here. Minimizing civilian casualties is a must for successful COIN, but if the current rules are as reported, they've gotten completely unmanageable. Even the perception of change will be a welcome morale-builder. Can't happen too soon.

Extraneus

Easier than he could get away with Petraus resigning over a conflict with the CiC. That would inflict a near-mortal if not fatal wound, and that's a lot of power to hold over the president.

laura

OT
I'm watching the live feed from the Young America's Foundation High School Conference in DC, my daughter is attending. They have a full two days of presenters on the conservative message. Last up was Burt Folsom of Hillsdale on the horrendous policies of FDR. Before that they had a young Brit who was encouraging the young students to fight Obamacare before it became enshrined like the NHS, very illuminating and extremely encouraging. LUN for videos of the last two days.

Clarice

JiM, Cecil, my thoughts exactly.

lyle

"When Kerry and the NYTimes both pass on, a smart entrepreneur will arrange to put the tombstones in close proximity surrounded by beer gardens."

I wouldn't cross the street to piss on him if he were on fire.

Smearing and defaming 'Nam vets (any vets) cuts too close to me. I never served but many family members did.

Have I mentioned how much I loathe J f'ing Kerry?

Beyond the loathing comes the petulant: Jf'ing Kerry and his white trash wife hang out every so often around my favorite place on earth, Sun Valley, ID. Their enormous house sits right next to Schwartzenger's.

lyle

N.B.: Not sure/don't care if I spelled the guv of Cal.'s name right.

matt

Yglesias just won the idiot of the week award. According to him, the success of the Surge in Iraq was just spin.I guess all the mooks who were disposed of in Anbar and elsewhere were just imaginary bad guys.

It was all just rainbows and unicorns and horse manure and Petraeus spun it masterfully, according to old Matty....and this guy is considered an opinion maker? the man should be horse whipped.

A.Sullivan

"the man should be horse whipped."

Oh, dear, getting light-headed again...

glasater

I do wish the real Andrew Sullivan could read the comments written by A.Sullivan on JOM. He'd do a "Wiegel".

Jane

Laura,

Yet another reason why you have such great kids. Okay, I only know one of them, but I'd bet her sister is just as spectacular.

matt

my take on the cognitive dissonance of the Left, especially Mr. Yglesias. LUN.

Danube of Thought

Anyone know how to contact Weigel directly for some world-class gloating?

Neo

It looks as though First Things has been juked ..

Reported Attack Page!

Danube of Thought

I emphatically share the generalized JOM disdain for Brooks, but what he says here is pretty much the way I remember the changes over the past fifty years.

laura

Thanks Jane,
I have to say working with teenagers leads me to believe there are a lot of great kids and a lot of very, very, awful adults indoctrinating those kids in schools. Unfortunately so many parents I meet think because their kid is in a gifted program the education system is wonderful.

Extraneus

That's not the real A. Sullivan? It is too.

Clarice

Right on cue--the LA Times suggests Holbrooke is the next to go. I hope so.

 Ann  Squaredance

Governor Brewer tweet:
I had to see the sign for myself! President Obama-Warning Signs Are Not Enough!

Here's the video:
Brewer to Obama; Warning Signs are not enough
__________________________________

Real Feminists for 2012! Palin/Brewer

(That should yank their chain!)

Jane says obamasucks

Matt,

That was great!

Real Feminists for 2012! Palin/Brewer

I'm in.

Extraneus

Great news!

White House Picks Critic of Local Immigration Enforcement for Key Role at ICE

Harold Hurtt, a former police chief in Houston and Phoenix, has been hired as the director for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of State and Local Coordination. Starting July 6, Hurtt will supervise outreach and communication between ICE, local law enforcement agencies, tribal leaders and representatives from non-governmental organizations.

"Chief Hurtt is a respected member of the law enforcement community and understands the concerns of local law enforcement leaders," said John Morton, the Homeland Security assistant secretary for ICE. "His experience and skills will be an invaluable asset to the ICEs outreach and coordination efforts."

But as a police chief, Hurtt was a supporter of "sanctuary city" policies, by which illegal immigrants who don't commit crimes can live without fear of exposure or detainment because police don't check for immigration papers.

He also, during his tenure as Houston police chief, criticized ICE's key program that draws on local law enforcement's support.

Janet

Wow, that video is great!

Jim O'Sullivan

Here we go again: Ricks mindlessly repeats the statement that Obama's father was an "immigrant." No. He was was foreign student who knocked up a 17 year old girl in Hawaii, bigamously married her, then abandoned the girl and the baby for a more prestigious American school before returning home with his degrees. Some immigrant. I mean, when Bill Clinton accepted his Rhodes scholarship, did he "emigrate" to England?
Why do people insist on calling that creepy Obama Sr. an immigrant?

 Ann  Squaredance

Janet:

I know you don't have FOX cable, but David Barton was on the Founder's Friday/Glenn Beck Show. He has been instrumental in changing text books in our public schools to accurately report our remarkable history; especially, the history of our patriotic black founders.

Anyways he has a great website, Wallbuilders.com and you can follow him on facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/David-BartonWallBuilders/101762193194695

Wallbuilders has a great historical archive too: http://wallbuilders.com/LIBdefault.asp

I think a lot of JOMers would enjoy both.

Janet

Thanks Ann...(Ann Squaredance still makes me laugh!)

 Ann  Squaredance

Here is some video of the show with David Barton. Enjoy:

Founders'Friday -America's Black Founding Fathers

Ignatz

--I do wish the real Andrew Sullivan could read the comments written by A.Sullivan on JOM. He'd do a "Wiegel".--

Let's just hope bunker doesn't see em and go all homoerotic on us again.

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