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April 2012

More Green on Blue Murder as Afghan SF Soldier kills American Counterpart

From the Chicago Tribune:

...NATO's top general in the country, U.S. Marine General John Allen, and Afghan Defence Minister General Abdul Rahim Wardak just this month signed an agreement for Afghan special troops to spearhead controversial night raids on Afghan homes, which are seen as one of the most potent anti-insurgent tactics.

Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Afghan Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack in a phone text message sent to journalists, saying the Afghan soldier was "an insurgent infiltrator called Zakerullah."...

US Soldiers immediately returned fire and killed the attacker and another Afghan SF soldier.

And there was another Green on Blue incident at about the same time, but this event was with police forces.

"Two Afghan policemen opened fire on US soldiers in a military post in Zherai district of Kandahar province late Wednesday," the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) press office in southern Afghanistan told AFP.


Both Afghans were killed in return fire, while there were no ISAF casualties, a spokesman said.

So what is the Green on Blue attack total so far this year...?  18?  20?

Spearhead Recovery

Spearhed 567899_q75
A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter piloted by Lt. Col. Blake Alexander, a native of San Antonio, Texas, commander, Task Force Spearhead, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, flies over the hills of western Afghanistan on its way back to FOB Shindand after departing the remote Forward Operating Base Chaghcharan as the sun sets and paints the world in shades of orange, April 12. The Black Hawk was carrying personnel, tools and supplies for a Downed Aircraft Recovery Team that was sent to Chaghcharan to recover an AH-64D Apache attack helicopter. The Apache had been grounded due to damage in the rotor blade which was discovered after it received fuel at the small Lithuanian run base. The DART consisted of maintainers from two companies within TF Spearhead, as well as maintainers from the Forward Logistics Element, 615th Aviation Support Battalion, 1st ACB. With hard work and dedication, the damaged rotor blade was replaced and the mission was a success. The recovered Apache was flown back safely to FOB Shindand.


Welcome home Cpl. Vaughan

Hanky alert:

Cpl. Kevin Vaughan was wounded while serving his 2nd tour in Afghanistan ultimately resulting in the loss of his leg. After many months of rehabilitation Kevin is finally coming home for the first time. This is short glimpse of the gratitude and overwhelming support from his local community of North Merrick [NY] and surrounding areas.

God bless ‘em all.



Twitter: @McQandO

New Marine recruiting video

OK, it's obviously not a recruiting video. But if the Marines promised me that Katy Perry would be my battle buddy, I'd sign up today. There is just something irresistible about a woman in a uniform with a weapon.

And what is up with "Uncle Jimbo's Sin Palace"?

"Gutsiest call ever" delegated to man w/ actual guts

Barack Obama has been making a disgrace of himself and his office using the death of Osama bin Laden as a political prop to disguise his complete lack of any other national security accomplishments. It is unseemly enough to be running around spiking OBL's ventilated melon like a football, but worse is the false narrative that Barry O bears anything but the barest credit for his death. Last time I checked it was a joint operation w/ SEALs, Rangers, TF 160 birds, CIA and a host of other folks actually putting their lives on the line. Now we see Bill Clinton, who failed numerous times to have the guts to take OBL out, narrate a campaign ad for Obama that pretends Romney wouldn't have been as gutsy as O. This is both a flagrant misrepresentation of Romney's words and a grotesque use of one failed President to support another. There are even fairly reliable reports that Obama had the idea polled to see if he would bear blame for a mission failure or for chickening out and saying no go. But once the results said it was politically viable, the story was that bravely brave Sir Barry hollered "Follow Me" and led his minions to the Situation Room to watch the show.

As it turns out, it was even lamer than that. A memo has come to light that shows responsibility was pushed down the chain to ADM McRaven, Commander of JSOC. And you can be sure that if it had gone south, McRaven would have been portrayed as a trigger-happy SEAL who led the Prez astray.

"The timing, operational decision-making and control are in Adm. McRaven's hands," the memo says. "The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the president. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the president for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and, if he is not there, to get out."

So additional risks have to be run by The President, really? What about the winds on the landing zone, does he make that call? Or if it's raining, does that require more gutsiness? It shouldn't. That is what the operational commander does, assess risks. If you have ever been in a military command and control situation, you can smell the weaseling all over this. If it all works out and OBL gets scarfed up, or as was the case shot in the eye, Barry gets the credit. But that little line about "additional risks are to be brought back to the President" is a world class bit of ass-covering. The second you greenlight an op like this, additional risks begin popping up and there is no way to successfully do the mission if every change requires another poll and another gutsy call. As Murphy's First Law of Combat states "No plan survives first contact".  McRaven was teed up to be the scapegoat and you can probably imagine the press conference if the worst had happened:

Obama's Designated Liar- "We must sadly announce that a military operation in Pakistan appears to have gone horribly wrong. A US helicopter crashed near Abbotobad, Pakistan killing all the military personnel on board as well as six Pakistani civilians. We deeply regret this loss of life and humbly apologize to the people of Pakistan for this tragedy and violation of their sovereignty. The President authorized a mission to arrest Osama bin Laden but the intelligence he based this decision on was faulty. In addition he was told that the danger to civilians was minimal, but additional risks that came up during the operation were not brought to his attention."

Nice career you had there Admiral, but the President has political considerations and a reelection campaign to run and so you join the cast of thousands he's thrown under the bus.

If you want to contrast styles of leadership, or more properly contrast leadership with the acts of a politician, look at the letter Dwight Eisenhower wrote before approving the invasion of D-Day to make sure he was on the hook good or bad. Oh and yes Mr. Biden this was one of dozens of military missions monumentally more audacious that your bosses poll-supported call. This is leadership.

“Our landings in the Cherbourg-Harve area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.” Eisenhower Library and Museum

Take note President Obama, that is how you lead, from the front. It's the only way.

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On Patrol in Afghanistan

TSO goes on patrol with some American heroes in Afghanistan.  Get to know them and the Afghan soldiers they serve with over at This Ain't Hell.

But today I got to follow the CO around, and watch him interact with the troops, the terp (“Cletus” is probably not his given Afghan name, but it is on his nametape) and the Afgan Army guys. He pointed out all the stuff they were doing. For instance, we were moving through one village, and it had probably 20-30 qalats, and in-between the houses were 2-300m open spaces. Where on my deployment here (’04-05) I had witnessed similiarly situated ANA guys walking around in circles or playing soccer with UXO (well, it probably wasn’t unexploded ordinance, but it was a cylinder that looked unhealthy) these guys set up overwatch positions, and then bounded in 2 elements.

When we went into the compounds, they didn’t steal everything that wasn’t tied down, they talked to the homeowner first, requested permission to climb up on the roofs, didn’t leave litter everywhere, and then thanked the guy when we left. They continue to not get the total concept of safety* but on tactical stuff they are great. They understand how to use the maps, and communicated through the radios pretty effectively.

There is a lot more over at TAH.  Go check it out.

Michael Yon still bats*t crazy

I know, I know this is hardly news to anyone with an above room temperature IQ, but this latest stuff is just psych-ward bait. I can hardly encourage you to read it, but in the same way we slow down to gawk at accidents and train wrecks , well this is clinical.

Milblogger Jim Hanson (“Uncle Jimbo”) of Blackfive, calls this his “backyard office.” Music, laptop, drinking and blogging. In this image, it appears that Jimbo is making a self-portrait by remote control. Jimbo never saw a day of combat, and he admits that he has never been to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Milbloggers such as Jim Hanson at Blackfive wrote that I was kicked out of Afghanistan and Iraq.  Untrue.  Of the approximately 65 countries that I have traveled in, only Burma ever denied me a visa.  The bedroom and backyard milbloggers do not grasp that the US military has no control over travel to Iraq, Afghanistan, or to Canada.  All are sovereign countries that control their own immigration and borders.

I am more aware than Mikey that the military doesn't control access to other countries (most of the time). But as to the idea that I never saw a day in combat, well that is not what I said. I wrote that I have not done what could be called a combat tour the way that is thought of today, I did say I have not been to either Iraq or Afghanistan. But those aren't & weren't our only enemies when I was on active duty. I also did not say that I have not conducted combat operations. 

Unlike Mikey, I spent operational time on a Special Forces team. Mike, on the other hand, got in trouble for rabbit-punching a guy in a bar who hit his head and died. Then he spent the rest of his embarrassingly short stint in SF trying to stay out of jail, and in the rear with the gear. He did nothing while in uniform and that makes him sad and whiney. So he tries to hassle people who did real things in uniform like me and CJ Grisham. CJ has multiple combat tours and I deployed  on classified operations that nobody even told Mike about, because he couldn't be trusted. And again unlike Mikey, I dont routinely reveal information that could be harmful to the troops.

So STFU Mike, you are not a combat vet. You never served in combat nor did you do anything even mildly important while in uniform. Don't be jealous of those who did. You are a combat tourist who wanders around annoying the folks actually serving their country taking out of focus pictures by the gigabyte and then being tossed from embed after embed. Well you used to do that until your latest misadventures which caused you to scurry away from Afghanistan with your tail between you legs back to the loving arms of the thai lady boy community. They do appreciate you patronage. Please send us more pictures of fishies nibbling your little tootsies. I am sure the fools who still donate money to you appreciate the use you put their money to.

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I Think My Book Is Good, But...


$999.99 used plus shipping? 

For that price, I probably would hand deliver it to you, autograph it on the spot, and pose for pictures.  Seriously.  I've got PayPal.  Or you can buy it for much, much less and have ten percent of the profits go to Cooking with the Troops (and no screams later from me wanting the money back). 


torn between laughing and shaking his head...