Apr 012010

Today marks the 65th anniversary of the invasion of Okinawa.

by Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online, April 1, 2010

Sixty-five years ago, on April 1, 1945, the United States Marines, Army, and Navy invaded Okinawa. The ensuing three months of combat resulted in the complete defeat and near destruction of imperial Japanese forces on the island, just 340 miles from the mainland.

The victory proved the most costly American campaign in the Pacific. Some 50,000 Americans were killed, went missing, or were wounded. The incredible carnage would help persuade the American government to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in hopes of avoiding an even more horrific invasion of the mainland.

Okinawa and the war in the Pacific are back in the news these days with the airing of a ten-part HBO series, The Pacific — a companion story to the 2001 series Band of Brothers, which was about the American advance from Normandy across the Rhine into Germany. Continue reading »

Mar 302010

President Obama made his first trip as chief executive to Afghanistan over the weekend to, among other things, visit troops close to Kabul. He spoke to them at Bagram Airfield and we had the full text right here.

The White House released this picture by official White House photographer Pete Souza, showing the president shaking hands and grabbing a soldier’s finger, and the troops’ reactions.

Continue reading »

Mar 222010

by Brad Thor
BigJournalism.com, March 21, 2010

The first rule in intelligence is to not get used.  This is something Robert Young Pelton and Eason Jordan should have learned before agreeing to become rock-throwers for the Central Intelligence Agency.

As I reported on Tuesday, Pelton and Jordan were upset because they “lost” an intelligence-gathering contract with the Department of Defense.  What stuns most people is that a man like Pelton (who thinks Al Qaeda is a myth, that the U.S. Military has killed thousands and thousands of people in Afghanistan and was publicly rebuked by the US Military and taken to task for his unprofessional conduct and reporting in Afghanistan) ever got close to a Department of Defense contract in the first place.

The level of incredulity is only added to by Pelton’s partner, Eason Jordan, a former CNN News exec who was forced to resign from CNN when he stated that American soldiers in Iraq had purposefully been targeting journalists.and that he deliberately covered up news in Iraq so as not to lose his Baghdad bureau. Continue reading »

Mar 132010

Enormous, massively destructive engagements may again be on the horizon.

Victor Davis Hanson
Winter 2010

Have we not seen, then, in our lifetime the end of the Western way of war?” Two decades ago, I concluded The Western Way of War with that question. Since Western warfare had become so lethal and included the specter of nuclear escalation, I thought it doubtful that two Western states could any longer wage large head-to-head conventional battles. A decade earlier, John Keegan, in his classic The Face of Battle, had similarly suggested that it would be hard for modern European states to engage in infantry slugfests like the Battle of the Somme. “The suspicion grows,” Keegan argued of a new cohort of affluent and leisured European youth—rebellious in spirit and reluctant to give over the good life to mass conscription—“that battle has already abolished itself.”

Events of the last half-century seem to have confirmed the notion that decisive battles between two large, highly trained, sophisticated Westernized armies, whether on land or on sea, have become increasingly rare. Pentagon war planners now talk more about counterinsurgency training, winning the hearts and minds of civilian populations, and “smart” interrogation techniques—and less about old-fashioned, “blow-’em-up” hardware (like, say, the F-22 Raptor) that proves so advantageous in fighting conventional set battles. But does this mean that the big battle is indeed on its way to extinction? Continue reading »

Mar 082010

By Ken Russell
American Thinker, March 8, 2010

On October 23, 1983 the Marine Corps Battalion Landing Team (BLT) building located at the Beirut International Airport was blown up.  Two hundred twenty Marines, 18 Sailors and 3 Soldiers were killed in a split second by a suicide bomber.  I wasn’t there at the time.  I was participating in Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada.  I was a squadron CH-46E helicopter co-pilot in Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 261 (HMM-261) and also the squadron classified materials officer.  Being the one who set up the squadron classified messages, I read about it before most others.  It was an unbelievable gut punch and breathtaking in a bad way.

I did arrive in Lebanon with the rest of HMM-261 about two weeks later to relieve the aviation combat element for the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit, HMM-162.  My first day landing in LZ S-Bird, located directly besides the now destroyed BLT building was quite sobering.  Twisted metal spikes of rebar jutted out of the concrete wreckage in no particular recognizable fashion.  Bits of boot leather, t-shirts and camouflage utility shreds dangled from the several feet long ragged rebar.  Indications of human occupation in the flattened mass demanded no comments about what happened and how.  Silence and reverence was the only response we could muster every time we saw it, every day we landed there for the next few months. Continue reading »

Mar 032010

By Dr. Laurie Roth
Canada Free Press, March 2, 2010

american soldiersSince 9/11 we have seen a war unfold on two major fronts in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The stakes have been and still are high with Islamic fundamentalist killers who hide behind all kinds of names,  seeking to kill the infidels….you and moi.  It is a stupid waste of time to talk only about Al Qaeda since the mother alien has many murderous body parts such as Hamas,  Hezbollah,  Al Kae Da,  Taliban and many more peppered through out the world.

The common bond is nothing but their devotion to radical Islam.  They think they are doing the will of Allah.  By now most of us understand our enemy, especially those who flew in the plane over Detroit on Christmas.  It wasn’t a Scottish Highlander who tried to blow up the plane. What most of us don’t seem to understand,  including our own military criminal investigators, President, and congress is that our troops are innocent until proven guilty. Continue reading »

Feb 262010

In southern Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, Thousands of American, Afghan and British troops entered Marja in the biggest offensive of the war, with the goal of destroying the Taliban’s largest haven and restoring government presence in southern Afghanistan. Resistance was sporadic and fierce as troops seized positions around the area. Stricter combat rules and a concerted effort by the Afghan government and NATO forces were aimed at not only protecting the civilian population, but planning for the aftermath, building infrastructure, support and trust in an area long dominated by the Taliban. Collected here are images of the country and conflict over the past month, part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. (43 photos total)

See photos

Feb 232010

Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2010


Afghan civilians walk behind U.S. Marines in Marjah on Sunday.

MARJAH, Afghanistan—As Capt. Anthony Zinni monitored a live video feed from a Predator drone circling overhead, he spotted four men planting a booby trap in the middle of the road here.

For Capt. Zinni, one of the officers responsible for approving airstrikes in the nine-day-old battle for Marjah, it seemed like an easy call: The men were digging a hole alongside a road where a Marine supply convoy was scheduled to pass within hours. But just as he was about to give the order to strike, Capt. Zinni spotted even-smaller white figures on the video running along the path south of the canal.

Children. Maybe 50 feet from the men planting the booby trap. “It’s not a good shot,” Capt. Zinni said, ordering the Predator drone to delay the strike. “It’s not a good shot.” Continue reading »