For those who are familiar with the real reasons Russia went into Georgia a few years ago, an interesting discussion on how pipelines may be figuring into the current politial calculus is up at ZeroHedge. There usually is more than one level in these considerations, even if one in particular dominates the thoughts of top leadership.
I would like to know if anyone has seen my unicorn? It must be around here somewhere. Hang on.... I got it. I know where it went. It must be the same place the Anti-War Left has been hanging out, because I can't find either of these these mythical beasts anywhere.
Wasn't it awesome when the Anti-war Left actually had the courage of their convictions to protest both LBJ and Nixon instead of just protesting a Republican president who went to war in a Middle Eastern country based upon a brutal dictator suppressing his own people, using and possessing chemical weapons, using them on innocent people, using "hard intelligence" about WMD and terrorism as justification and getting approval from Congress and making his case to the American people.
But no word yet on the march to Washington by the mythical Anti-War Left against a Democrat President who wants to start a war in a Middle Eastern country based upon a brutal dictator suppressing his own people, using and possessing chemical weapons, using them on innocent people and using "hard intelligence" about WMD and terrorism as justification and trying to get approval from Congress and making his case to the American people.
What about it Anti-War Left? Gonna get your march on? Cat got your tongue? I know, it must be hard to criticize the President you voted for based upon his ability to stop the seas from rising and heal the planet, what with everyone who speaks out against his policies being called a racist for just opposing him on principle.
And it was nice to see that Code Pink got their act together enough to show up to protest both this Secretary of State when he was giving his statements to both houses of Congress, and the first black woman to hold the post as well when she was talking abou the last great Persian Excursion. Must have been hard to protest a fellow traveler who was for it before he was against it, especially since many in this administration spent the last administration talking about how bombing dudes with WMDs was wrong and immoral, and getting the help of Code Pink in their government funded publicity stunts.
"It is for me, but not for thee" I guess....
And why in the world has the smartest president EVAH! decided that we should become AL-Qaeda's Air Force in their hour of need? This fight between the "Crips and Bloods" of the Middle East is best left to them, so that we can reduce the number of people we are going to drop some more Tomahawk missiles on to a more reasonable number after a winner is decided. I mean, really, who would not want to watch Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda shoot each other in the face?
But if our plan is to launch some missiles so that we can hopefully hasten the downfall of the Assad regime, so that Al-Qaeda can get their hands on a country with WMD, then Bravo! Mr. Nobel Peace Prize winner, your plan is working perfectly. It is not lost on many of us the irony of a Nobel Peace Prize winner bombing a country further into the Stone Age.
The Russians and the Chinese know the Preezy of the United Steezy is a scared punk who is trying desperately not to look spineless after talking about "red lines" and then spending these many months not rushing to judgment over Assad high jumping them. I mean, Arabs killing each other without WMD involvement is all kinds of copasetic with him, and destabilizing an entire region and flipping the bird to our only ally in the region are just a serendipitious benefit of what this administration does.
"Red Lines" mean something, and the hypocrisy over the issue of dictators who have WMD and use them on their people would be laughable at this point, except those on the Democrat side of the fence fail to see it, so that just makes it sad that anyone with two functioning brain cells would vote to have any of the current players in this administration run anything more complicated than the Fry Station at Mickey D's.
This collection of mental midgets and their RINO enablers have no idea what words like "Commander's Intent" mean; let alone simple words like "Objective," "End State," or even "Victory."
Can you imagine what the rough draft of that Commander's Intent statement looks like?
Commander's Intent:To destroy Syria's ability to use WMDs (Oh wait, that sounds too aggressive). To hinder Syria's ability to fight off Al-Qaeda (hang on, can't talk about Al-Qaeda, people might think they are not "on the run" like I told the Media everyone). To harass and hinder Assad's lines of communication (wait, harassment is something I should check with HR about). To look strong in the face of adversity and confirm our belief in red lines and how they should not be crossed. (looks like a winner).
The fact that Bella Pelosi has a 5 year old grandson with a greater intellect and understanding of foreign affairs than she has was among the most unsurprising things I have encountered this year. Even he understood that becoming decisively engaged in this region of the world was a bad idea. I was even less surprised when she wasn't able to make the case to him. I guess her plan is to vote on the resolution and then read it.
Liberal Trolls are going to hate me (more), but that doesn't leave me sleepless, because liberal trolls aren't scary people. I don't give two poops in a pocket if Assad kills his own people or kills Al-Qaeda while he eats halal goat and sings the chorus of "There is Nothing Like A Dame" because when there are two groups of people deciding they want to kill each other, and you don't like either one of them and they certainly don't like you; you don't offer charity to either of them in the form of Close Air Support and weapons so you can look "strong." You pop some corn, order a pizza and watch the show.
It will not all of a sudden be a world that includes all of the warm fuzzy's in the title once the Tomahawk missiles and Mark 82 Rockeyes stop raining down, it will be much messier, much more complicated and galactically more dangerous.
It will not be another Iraq. It will be much worse. This is a bell that cannot be un-rung. It is dangerous ground Mr. President, and your hubris is showing...
Leading from Behind isn't and Campaigning is easy, it is the governing that is hard; but I bet you knew that already....
Posted By Laughing_Wolf
First, I want to thank all those who were honest brokers in the marketplace of ideas and put forward their thoughts in regards my simple question on Syria. Second, I want to thank those who stepped up and debated the concepts raised by Donald Sensing. Third, I want to thank those who discussed cascade effects.
On the matter of Syria and taking "limited" action there, I agree with Grim's position (and urge you to read his comments below) and feel strongly that we should just say no. No one was able to posit a clear and compelling matter of national interest, though several made the case on an emotional basis (and at least one on a more rational basis) that any use of chemical weapons constituted such an interest.
In Syria, neither government nor rebel is a friend to the United States and both are fully committed against the ideas of individual liberty and responsibility that lie at the heart of the Republic. In point of fact, both sides have fought hard against the United States and our efforts to protect ourselves from terrorism and more. That by itself should preclude any thought of a solid national interest in backing either. However, given that politicians and other lawyers thrive on straining at gnats and swallowing elephants without a quiver I have my doubts that such will be a major consideration.
My second point of consideration is that we have set no measurable goal for any such venture, and the push is that simply doing something will be sufficient. I would submit that failure to set measurable immediate, intermediate, and end-state goals is a necessary component to the process, both for simple self-interest and for at least some consideration of it being a just war/action. Indeed, I consider the failure to set such goals to be a large factor in what has happened in Afghanistan and Iraq, but you go to war with the civilian leadership you have, not what you want or need. (please note this is not a slam of W, but is aimed at more than one member of that administration).
The third point of consideration are the cascade points this will create, and the likely cascade effects as mutual defense treaties and pledges are honored by powers in and out of the region. Things need not go literally nuclear to cause a figurative meltdown of economies and more; and, there is a real possibility (probability) of an expanded and protracted conflict. To date, I have not heard anyone in DC acknowledge this consideration much less offer any thought of how to prevent or contain such.
Finally, I would touch a bit on legalities. The written Constitution does indeed place the responsibility of declaring war with Congress. The unwritten Constitution is up in the air on the subject. Since the end of WWII, we've lived with the fact that war as practiced in the past no longer truly exists. The days of ranked armies and formal declarations is pretty much dead, and notice of conflict comes from attack rather than a diplomatic note. The concept of a punitive expedition is not new, and history is replete with some good examples. However, almost all of those involved situations on or near our border and had specific stated goals along with strong public support (at least in the areas affected).
I am intrigued by the arguments advanced by Donald Sensing and respect that he raised them. I also am intrigued and in no small amount of agreement with the counter-points raised by Grim and TSO. That said, I think that a good bit of the discussion is focused on the minutae of legalese and frankly nitpicking. Were the administration to request a declaration of war against Syria, it be rejected, and the administration press ahead anyway it would indeed create a decision moment in regards legal orders.
That's not going to happen. What is going to happen is that an appeal will be made to Congress to strike. Much depends on the actual wording of that appeal and approval/disapproval, but:
• The President is Commander-in-Chief of the military and, by law and consent, has a great deal of latitude in making decisions and giving orders. Much of the legal basis comes from a point no one has yet touched on, which are the laws and regulations enacted in the face of nuclear war. These were adopted and consented to by Congress to ensure that in an emergency when seconds count that the President could respond immediately (and effectively it is to be devoutly hoped). That these also formed the basis of our response to terrorist attacks is oft overlooked.
• To the best of my memory, no administration has ever acknowledged the legality and Constitutionality of the War Powers Act. There has been lip service payed by both current major parties, and the George W. Bush administration worked within it even as it worked equally hard not to legitimize it by those efforts. It remains an untested law in the Courts overall, and there are good and valid reasons for it to retain that status.
• Congress has by inaction abrogated many of the functions of the declaration of war not covered under the laws and regulations cited above. As such, they have created legal precedent for the President to take action not approved by them. I would simply note that while this is true, that the written Constitution can be re-installed by actions of two of the three branches of government. Such would create an interesting situation, and there would be merits to declaring such ex-post-facto and not applicable to any actions taken in the interim.
What will truly matter is the precise proposal presented by the administration, and the precise wording of any approval of or rejection by Congress. To be blunt, unless Congress specifically says that no military or other action is to be taken against Syria, the President can -- with full legal authority -- take actions not rejected by Congress. That does not touch on other aspects that could (and I hope would) prompt civilian and senior military leadership to pause and think. There is fine parsing legal, and then there is Legal, and it is the latter that should cause good Men (male and female) to think and take principled action even at cost to themselves. It is oft overlooked that much of what led to the famed Nuremburg trials was technically legal within German law based on legislation, regulation, executive orders, and precedent (short-term).
I have a very strong concern that the point on lawful orers raised by Mr. Sensing is correct, and that there are several groups that would love to make it such no matter what. One set of groups will do so because they are determined to eliminate the military as an effective and efficient force for domestic political gain, and will see this as one more way to do so consequences be damned. Others will do so because they see it as a way to attack and defeat the administration and use that for domestic purposes, consequences be damned. Yet others will do so because they want to destroy the U.S. and they really can't do so as long as we do have a strong, effective, and efficient military. Few, if any, will do so for the good of the military and the Republic IMO.
All of this remains, for now, academic. The government of the Republic -- all three branches -- have yet to work their way through to the end. To that end, I urge my representatives in Congress to vote no, and to be specific in intent and language. We have no national interest in the situation as currently defined; we have no immediate, intermediate, or long-term measurable goals; and, no need to give enemies foreign or domestic any excuse or opening to act.
It is good that the President has asked Congress to consider authorizing military force in Syria, rather than acting on his own. This is the proper course under the Constitution, and a wise feature of it. In a democratic form of government, as the Athenians discovered ages ago, continuing political support for a war is a necessary condition to winning it. The Constitution's framers hoped that the legislature, especially the Representatives who must face re-election every two years, would serve to ensure that the nation widely supported any war it undertook.
With that in mind, I urge you not to support the current proposal to join the war in Syria. I would ask you to contact your representatives and let them know your feelings on the matter.
There are several reasons to oppose the action.
1) We have no hope of victory. This is not because we are not stronger than the existing combatants. It is because we know, before committing forces, that we have no intention of staying the course through the kind of pain and cost that any victory would entail. You cannot win if you do not intend to win. Anyone we kill in this war will have been killed without hope of their death bringing about some good. It is immoral to fight a war on these terms.
2) We have no plan for victory. Even in Libya we had a plan, even if it was somewhat reckless: gamble on the rebels. Here we do not intend to replace the government. We do not have any idea with whom or with what we would want to replace it anyway.
4) There is no national interest, which is also why there is no strategy for anything beyond the 'statement' we want to make. We have nothing to achieve in Syria.
5) That there is no exit strategy is a point occasionally mentioned, but I dissent that exit strategies are as important as they are often said to be. Commitment to victory is often the best exit strategy. The problem with this war is not that there is no exit strategy, but that the plan is only an exit strategy.
For these reasons alone, the war should be opposed by Congress. Let us not engage in war without hope of victory, a plan for victory, or a clear understanding of the nature of war. It is immoral, and it is mad.
No, I'm not talking physics, but something that can make basic physics seem easy. It is something we see every day in the corporate, academic, and military worlds and it can have profound effects on people and institutions. Let's take a hypothetical look at a situation.
You are in a telecon, with people scattered around the country. Leading the telecon is a manager that is known to be ambitious, somewhat unscrupulous, well-connected, and not terribly connected to reality in terms of consumer wants, needs, and buying habits. He has a plan to advance sales (and market share), and is somewhere between announcing it and trying to sell it to other managers and offices. To his mind, the plan is a slam-dunk that no one of any intelligence can not see as a slam-dunk.
Problem is, none of the other managers and offices were consulted. They were told a plan was in work, but none were truly brought in to the development process. Marketing research had been asked to provide specific data sets and analysis of those sets, but that was all. This fact, but not the reasons behind it, are known to those taking part in the discussion. There are some other considerations in play, but this is a hypothetical.
Mr. Manager launches into his pitch, and is asked a question by the manager for Northeastern sales, who is from and residing in Maine. Mr. Manager is a touch thin-skinned (to be polite), and so answers the question with a retort rather than an answer, using a phrase common in the Southwest where he is from. That phrase has the meaning there of "shut up the answer is coming" but has a much stronger meaning in Maine.
Out of the almost infinite range of possibilities, we really have three probable responses that are going to take place. First, in the ideal world, the Maine rep will sit back, be a professional, and objectively analyze what is to come before making any decisions or even speaking again. Second, the Maine rep is going to respond immediately, but both sides will call a truce and get information and facts out, though the process will not be fun for anyone. Third, Maine will respond and Mr. Manager will take it personally, and things will go downhill fast.
We see this all the time, and in many facets of life where we have to interact with others. Even the best of people can have an off day or moment. Even the best intentioned of people forget the concept of mores, the cultural "blinders" that almost everyone tends to wear such that we think that everyone thinks in the same way we do. Even when it is critical not to, we also let personal opinions of people cloud our judgement about the professional opinions and actions of others. Conversely, leadership can and does (on a regular basis even) take personal ownership of ideas/programs/etc. well beyond the point of healthy, so that any question is taken as a personal attack.
When we role-play, excuse me, conduct training exercises, it gives a chance to experience this first hand and to develop mechanisms to detect and limit the cascade effects of bad decisions and actions. These are both personal and institutional mechanisms, and are critical to ensure good outcomes. The fact that such exercises also allow us to get to know others involved, develop professional and personal opinions of them, get a feel for how they will act or do (so we can make allowances for same), and can allow us to detect and learn mores that WILL have an impact on what is said and done, well that's really what it is all about on higher-level exercises.
When it comes to politico-military issues, Hollywood and bad literature always tend to put the blame for bad cascades on Private Snuffy who is always ignorant, scared, bloodthirsty, etc. The fact that Pvt. Snuffy should not be in that position and would not be except for bad decisions on the part of politico-military leadership is never discussed or even to be considered. The fact that in alien scenarios the peaceful intentions of the saintly ET happen to look like 'I'm going to kill you slowly and painfully and barbecue you while still alive' to Private Snuffy is a discussion for another day (mores again). I have to agree a good bit with David Drake, who has noted that if you don't want Private Snuffy deciding your diplomacy for you, you should not have put them there.
I've noted before that while individual leaders may be great and noble people, governmental responses and actions tend to follow the toddler property laws model and responses are based on a similar level of maturity. Good leaders will recognize that the positive needs of the state (and its Citizens) must come first, and factor that into their thinking. Bad leaders will respond along the lines of "L'etat, c'est Moi!"
Over on Facebook, both at my page and in a discussion on the boss's page, I've made note of a book that the current situation has brought to mind, "Alas, Babylon." Note: I have not read the new introduction by David Brin and can simply hope it is more knowledgeable and honest than some of his discussions on firearms. The book itself deals with a very bad cascade effect caused when a Navy pilot fires a missile that misses it's target, hits something that explodes, and sets of lots and lots of explosions -- ultimately triggering WWIII. The location of this attack? Syria, and a certain warm-water port that has figured (and most likely still does) strongly in Soviet and now Russian thoughts and plans.
In "The Sum of All Fears (Jack Ryan)
" Tom Clancy explores what happens when key players in events don't know each other and react both to worst-possible intents and on a purely personal basis (they attacked me/they tried to kill me). Of course, the day is saved by Jack Ryan who bravely blocks the cascade and ends it with that block, but keep in mind that is fiction. Honest question time: Can anyone tell me if the current POTUS, Valerie Jarrett, and other senior staffers have ever taken part in any serious emergency response exercise, or have they (like Clancy's characters) blown them off?
Now, consider the following.
In Iran, there is a dominant trend in current leadership to hold the religious view that a great (final) battle is needed to bring about the return of the 12th Imam. To that end, they have embarked on a variety of efforts including nuclear and quite likely chemical and biological warfare efforts. Iran has pledged that any attack on Syria will bring about an attack on Israel. While the standard response of (too) many in the U.S. is to dismiss those as posturing (easily bolstered by the ridiculous photoshops put out by Iran), sober analysts are not as dismissive, and an attack against Israel does not have to succeed in hitting Israel to be successful, it simply has to provoke a response. Keep in mind that Syria is a partner (potential client state), has received quite a lot of weapons and support from Iraq, and is a hell of a lot closer to Israel than Iran.
In Syria, you have a rather ruthless dictator who's back is against the wall in several respects. You have there all of whatever it was (cough, cough) in those trucks from Saddam's Iraq that even the media has acknowledged went over the border to Syria. Within the government faction, you have those who happen to share the 12th Imam scenario; those that happen just to hate Israel (and other Muslims who are not them); and, those who might just be feeling a bit of "take them all with me" right now. Add to that a group of rebels that are backed by the Muslim Brotherhood and AQ, and you get even more players in the game (cascade points) that one can pretty much count on to make personal (bad from our viewpoint) choices.
In Russia, you have a leader who's response to being protested and strongly contested in recent elections is rather draconian by our previous standards. This leader also has international problems resulting from some of the internal actions, problems that can affect revenues, trade, and more. Factor in a history of bad relations with the current administration (reset button anyone?), and the perception that previous and current leadership have lied to them on matters of import, and… Also consider that previous efforts at power projection (Georgia invasion and seizure of American military equipment as but one example, Poland and SDI another) have not met with any real opposition or consequences.
Lather, rinse, and repeat with China, France, Israel, and Egypt.
To make it really interesting, consider the following. Unless the Russian and other foreign intelligence organizations have gone completely out of business, the leaders in those countries know that there are discussions that military plans by the administration are considered by some (including political leaders) to be a "wag the dog" scenario; that there are strong divisions in the country around the Constitutionality of those proposed military actions by the administration; and, that many foreign leaders consider our leadership to be weak and inept when it comes to foreign policy. Then, add in consideration of how the administration might react to events/proclamations from abroad based on both past performance and their response to domestic considerations -- and that foreign leaders have been briefed on this and could see it as standard mode. Add in personal opinions of current leadership as expressed by foreign leaders involved. Let's not even get into the fact that the administration has been leaking details of attack plans like a sieve giving everyone and their pet time to prepare a response…
Now, add in the fact that no one in the administration has made a case for national interest, and have admitted that there is no plan beyond making a strike to 'send a message.' No goal has been articulated beyond that: immediate, intermediate, or end-state. Consider that Russia has begun moving fleet (and possibly other) military assets into the region, and indicated that it will regard any attack on Syria (ally/semi-client state) in the strongest possible terms. Consider that Iran has said it will launch against Israel if Syria is attacked. Consider what China has said about the situation. Look at what others in the region have said, much less among our allies in Europe and elsewhere.
All it will take for things to go bad, to extremely bad, is one "failure" at one cascade point. While the world is filled with cascade points and the potential for bad cascade effects, there are times, places, and valid reasons to proceed -- one of the best being that consideration of all the possibilities and probabilities can freeze one into inaction, which has its own negative consequences. That said, there being no clear and compelling reason of national interest (as opposed to internal political interest), and a host of obvious problematic (negative) cascade points, why proceed?
If you have not read the books noted above, I will recommend them to you if for no other reason than that they present good studies on decision trees, cascade points, and cascade effects. I will also remind you of a truism (that is true) in regards war and CBN war: we are all hostage to the least stable person involved.
Have a good weekend.
NOTE: Updated to fix some typos/possible-Freudian-slips.
"I hestitate not to pronounce, that every man who is his own lawyer, has a fool for a client.
And we found out the level of competence that statement defines during Inmate Hasan's sentencing today....
Nidal Malik Hasan was sentenced to death Wednesday for killing 13 people and wounding 32 others in a 2009 shooting spree at Fort Hood, Tex., the worst mass murder at a military installation in U.S. history.
The death penalty was handed down by a panel of 13 senior military officers in a unanimous decision. If even a single panel member had objected, Hasan would instead have been sentenced to life in prison.
The jury deliberated for a little more than two hours.
Two Hours? I would like to point out that NCO's could have had this wrapped up before the second pot of coffee in the First Sergeant's office was done. Next time, let us handle that for you sir....
Now that we have dispensed with the particulars and gotten this Jihadi on the hit list for his 72 virgins, this is how it should work from here on out.
In courts martial, appellate review is mandatory and cannot be waived or withdrawn when the sentence includes death. Under military law (UCMJ), any sentence calling for more than one year of incarceration gets an automatic review by the US Army Court of Military Review, and after that it goes to the Armed Forces Court of Appeals.
I know it has been since the time my Dad was in high school since the US Military actually got to the business of executing someone on their Death Row. My question is how is it that an organization dedicated to killing bad people can't seem to find their day-planner long enough to put some dirtbag on the schedule to the see the hooded man with the long rope?
I thought, "can't we just get to it?" and then I saw this little nugget and was nearly overwhelmed by evil...
He will be transferred to a military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., on the first available military flight, officials said.
Attention US Army! I am free this weekend.... This presents quite an opportunity. How about we save ourselves as a country a great deal of aggravation and just take this dude up to altitude and shove him down the ramp and bid him adieu as he tumbles into the Wild Blue Yonder? Perhaps we could coat him in some napalm and hook a pressure sensitive detonator to him and well? There is lots of open country to fly over between Ft. Hood and Ft. Leavenworth, so no real danger of him and his wheelchair landing in someone's Labor Day barbeque. Then we can nuke the site from orbit, just to make sure....
His last statement to the jury was "the defense rests." I hope he rests, in peace(s), real soon....
The sentence is in, and it is death. However, given the speed at which military executions take place, and the extreme reluctance/complete inability to do right by their people of the perfumed princes it is life in prison for all intents and purpose. Given that cradling "diversity" and being politically correct is far more important than seeing to it that the people and families you are sworn to protect are taken care of and done right by, want to bet that someone senior commutes the sentence to life with possibility of parole?
Given that it is simple and straight to the point, I have to wonder if anyone inside the beltway is asking it. So, I will ask it of you:
Can anyone posit a compelling national interest for intervention in Syria?
Compelling is not simply because a politician said we should, but because it is in the clear national interest to do so. It means it is worth the large amount of resources required to do so, it will be worth the blood that will be spilled if we do so, and it will be for a valid and measurable goal. Not feelings, not sweet and fluffy rhetoric, but a measurable objective goal (put man on moon, remove Hitler from power, etc.).
Also, if there is an immediate measurable goal, then there needs be an end-state in mind from the start. What is it? What will be required to achieve it?
I have my own thoughts, but I want to give each and every one of you a chance to make your case.
UPDATE II: Thanks to everyone who came out. It was a good start getting Team Rubicon better known in Atlanta, though no where close to what I had wanted to raise. My only regret is that I did not get to spend as much time talking with everyone as I would have liked.
UPDATE: We've added a raffle to the evening, with a chance to win some prints. How many? That's up to you and how many tickets you buy. If there's enough interest, we will add more.
A Different View at the Doo
WHEN: 24 August 2013
WHERE: The dooGallery, Unit J, 205 Holtzclaw St. SE, Atlanta, GA 30316
TIMES: 3-6 Family hours, 7-midnight reception and fundraiser
COST: $10 per person at the door
In partnership with the dooGallery, "A Different View at the Doo", a special showing of my digital photography work is being presented as a fundraiser for Team Rubicon.
Coffee for the evening is being provided by Ranger Coffee (an Atlanta-based veteran-owned company), Pensadores Cigars will be providing a limited number of free samples in the back garden of the gallery, and Bacon's Heir will be joining the festivities and in addition to providing samples of their wonderful product they are also bringing a very different sculpture for your enjoyment.
Parking is in the gravel lot in front of the gallery, and I hope you will come join us for the event.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.