Israeli Situation: Dire

November 14, 2006

Increasingly, Israel’s “peace” is the “peace” defined in Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary.

Peace, n. In international affairs, the period of cheating between two periods of fighting.

I discussed Israel’s situation earlier this month. In a nutshell, Hizbollah continues to illegally import heavy weapons from Syria and Iran, further destabilizing Israel’s northern frontier. The UN is doing nothing to stop this rearmament.

Now, from the within the very core of Israel, the Hamas-led government of the Palistinian Authority is also undergoing an aggressive rearmament program. Knesset Member Limor Livnat (Likud) claims Egypt is actively aiding Hamas militants.

Things are certainly not going well for Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Olmert doesn’t seem to understand the asymetrical 4GW threat he’s facing, as is shown by a recent speech whereby he claims that the American expedition to Iraq has brought stability to the region. Not even President Bush would say such a thing.

The Islamic Courts Union in Somalia seems to have been sending warriors to fight Israel during its war with Hizbollah. This is proof of a convergence between Al Qaeda and Iran against Israel.

Israel’s star (of David) has even fallen in the American press. Even without mention of the fauxtography practiced by Reuters stringers in Lebanon, it seems the mainstream press has become further biased against Israel, going so far as to falsly rewrite stories wired by reporters.

What to watch for in the future: A convergence between Al Qaeda In Iraq (AQIZ) warriors, Hizbollah, and Syria against Israel. Remember that these AQIZ fighters are experienced in warfare against technologically-advanced foes, and their numbers are in the thousands. The only thing tying these warriors down is the Coalition in Iraq. When the bloody knife of the Coalition is removed from the wound known as Iraq, the situation will become a lot more messy.

With Olmert essentially paralyzed, and Likud itching for a fight with Iran (which would certainly end in Israeli defeat – again), nobody is discussing the 4GW reforms required for Israel to win. Right now, Israel is counting on Hamas, Hizbollah, and Iran making huge mistakes, rather than preparing for victory. The strategy I outlined in here becomes even more salient.

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Who Does the Better Soldiering?

November 13, 2006

DefenseTech has an awesome entry explaining how an unorthodox commander is kicking ass in Iraq. We need fellows like this guy. A couple of side notes:

1) This kind of unorthodoxy would never happen under the American chain of command in Iraq. It would be PowerPointed to death from afar by some staff weenie to the Commanding General of whatever Multi-National Division, and an angry satellite phone call would be placed to the commander, either telling him to shape up or ship out.

2) My observation: Austerity breeds warriors and the fighting spirit.

3) Brilliance in the basics wins! (Corollary: Brilliance in the simple wins!) If you need to patrol an area, then send troops to patrol. If the Americans would show up, put in a huge Forward Operating Base, put in an Armord Cav Regiment, and send out patrols–but not too many.

4) If the enemy is attacking you on the roads, then stay off the roads! The irony of adding all of this uparmor to the vehicles is it makes them more roadbound. Right now, American doctrine in Iraq is this: All convoys will be conducted on MSR (major roads), all in uparmored vehicles, and all convoys will be sufficiently large (so they can fight off attacks, and so they are more visible to insurgents. Iraqi cars do not convoy).

I’m not saying that we should only use unarmored vehicles. I advocate a mix. Imagine this: a convoy full of supplies moving along an MSR in uparmored vehicles, and flank security provided by lightly armored and heavily-armed vehicles moving on either side of the MSR. Or imagine this: An infiltration convoy–break the convoy up into tiny 2-3 car teams, send them at different times along different routes across the desert (not on roads).

Instead of focusing only on our predicament and using only the most orthodox solution (add more armor, damn it! And get the media over here so they can see that I don’t have enough of it!), we need to think about the enemy!

Back to the DefenseTech article. It’s good until the last paragraph:

Imagine a Stryker brigade adopting Labouchere’s model. Imagine what we could accomplish combining American resources with Labouchere’s no-nonsense methods. Now imagine that American commanders had half his guts and smarts.

The author doesn’t understand that resource-rich environments breed intellectual laziness. Because of the Pentagon’s resources we will never see tactics like these unless it’s a SOF unit that’s free to be creative, or maybe from the Marines if we can shed our addiction to big money defense programs. (highly unlikely!)


Israel vs. Hizbollah: Round II

November 12, 2006

Wretchard writes about Hizbollah’s buildup of rockets, apparently reaching 20k-30k, which is larger than the inventory before the recent Hizbollah War started. Both Israel and Hizbollah confirm these figures. And with the UN Peacekeepers’ blind eye watching the situation, these figures are probably correct.

When the next Israeli-Hizbo war starts, hopefully Israel will have learned from their recent experiences:

1) If you are going to invade, do it with light infantry in the lead (instead of airpower and armor).

2) Do everything possible to make your side the morally correct one (don’t commit war crimes, do not attack anything ‘Lebanese’, only attack Hizbollah targets, etc.) Document Hizbollah war crimes (using hospitals, mosques, school, civilian housing areas for military purposes, document Hizbollah’s illegal arms, evidence of Hizbollah oppression).

3) Prevent the alignment of Lebanese and Hizbollah, as Israel did so tragically last time. Form alliances to parties within Lebanon against Hizbollah.

4) Where possible, capture instead of kill.

5) It would be cool to see not a single airstrike. The side that uses these tends to lose a counterinsurgency campaign. If you do use airstrikes, use only helicopters in a close air support role. Stay away from the TACAIR for ordnance delivery.

6) Quickly pay for damage to Lebanese property, and redress all genuine grievances.

7) Make the invasion seem to be more about good governance for the Lebanese and less about killing Hizbollah. In a counterinsurgency campaign, the Objective is always the population the insurgency lives in–remember that. Never prosecute the mission to the extent it defeats the objective. That’s shooting yourself in the foot.

Col Thomas X. Hammes, USMC (Ret), thinks it possible for Nation States to defeat 4GW opponents. Israel did it at least once (Second Intifada), and hopefully they will do it again.

Good luck, Israel.


al-Masri: "The Victory Day Has Come Faster Than Expected"

November 11, 2006

The currentl leader of Al Qaeda In Iraq, an Egyption by the name of al-Masri (“The Traveler”), has put out a victory speech of sorts in light of the Democratic wins in the House.

The Dems claim that the quicker we Redeploy (withdraw), the quicker this nasty insurgency will end. They are mistaken. Al-Masri says his forces will continue to fight to the last man until the White House is “blown up.”

And the fight will not be over if we withdraw from Iraq. There may be a false peace after withdrawal as Iraq turns into an inter-ethnic and inter-sectarian bloodbath, and the Islamists fight to ensure the existence of a friendly government there. But, in time, they will attack again.


Happy Birthday my Brothers!

November 11, 2006

Today is the 231st birthday of the national treasure known as the United States Marine Corps.

Dymphna has a nice tribute.

In addition, the first Marine to earn the Congressional Medal of Honor in the Long War will receive the medal today, posthumously. Story here.

If you do nothing else today, read the Constitution. That’s what we defend.

And think about your family. That’s why we fight.

Semper Fidelis!


The Wilderness

November 9, 2006

Welcome, conservatives, to the wilderness. This is where we are now, because we have forgotten or forsaken our obligations to the Constitution and to the citizens of the United States. We earned this.

Do not despair about our predicament.

Some things have undoubtedly changed. The Dems control the House and will probably control the Senate. Real border security and immigration reform are not in the cards, unless you think reform = amnesty. Tax increases are more likely in 2009. Nothing significant will be done about entitlements. Watch of OBL’s reaction to the Democratic takeover of congress–I’m sure he’s delighted. None of these things are good.

But for the people who keep the wolves at bay–the warriors of this civilization, the situation is fundamentally the same. We are still at war with people who want to kill us. There are appeasers and apologists in government, like the former Nation of Islam organizer and recently elected Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison, and Cindy Sheehan. The ideas of these people need to be dealt with. Yet this was true before the election, and it is true after it. For the warriors, the situation is certainly more grave, but is fundamentally unchanged.

Now is the time for us to revisit our roots. What makes us conservative?

Is it our government programs? Entitlements? Open borders? Our gun ownership regulation? How about high taxes? That the UN is here?

None of these things.

This country is great because of the people here, because we’re Occidental, because this country was born on the frontier, which bred competitive, fit, industries, and energetic individuals and leaders. This country is great because it’s free.

Freedom needs protection–protection from people who know and understand the value of it, and consequently are willing to go to all lengths to protect it. We need to challenge our fellow citizens to understand the threat that we’re facing, and to implore them to take up arms–whether rhetorical, military, entrepreneurial, charitable, or civic.

American conservatives are unlike European conservatives, who try to conserve social orders and castes. American conservatives conserve freedom. This means keeping government small, taxes low, defense strong, and maintaining high-quality essential government services. This also means fighting terrorism–indeed, one of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms was Freedom from Fear.

So welcome to the wilderness. We will come out of this the stronger.

We have much work ahead. Do no despair–there is too much work to do and not enough time. Two years is all, and that is not much.


The Losers in the Election

November 7, 2006

I’m not sure who the winners of the election are yet. The press seems to be leaning in the direction of divided government: The Dems taking the House with a remote possibility of taking the Senate. This is probably fairly likely. However, the Republicans may through some miracle manage to retain their grasp of the reins of power in both houses of the legislature.

In either case, a political party will be the winners of the midterm congressional elections.

The losers in this election will be the American fighting man and woman.

They will be the losers for myriad reasons. A few of which I will enumerate:

1. If the Democrats win, Bush will have to govern with a party that is anti-war in temperament. This Democratic Party is the party:

  • Of John “Fucking” Kerry, who thinks that just because he’s a Vietnam Vet, he has moral authority to pontificate on all war-related causes, to speak with scorn of the Americans in uniform, has the gall to apologize that I was offended because I misinterpreted his remarks. The John Kerry who says American “terrorize” Iraqis. The John Kerry that dishonored fellow Vietnam Veterans in front of the Senate. John Kerry isn’t of America. He’s in spite of America.
  • Of the Hollywierd Left, of Rosie O’Donnell, who, refused to answer the question, “Do you want the United States to win in Iraq?.” The Rosie O’Donnell who claims that evangelical Christians are just as dangerous as militant islamists. Don’t forget Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn, and the rest of the California moonbats.
  • Of the treasonous slanderous like Kevin Barrett
  • Of the useful idiots like Cindy Sheehan, who court disaster with enemies of the United States.
  • Of the San Francisco loonies like Nancy Pelosi, who support such debauchery as adults-only street parties, cradle-to-grave entitlements, abortion-on-demand by youth girls (don’t tell me about a Woman’s Right to Choose–we’re talking about girls!), open borders to all people, whether their status is illegal or not, punishingly high taxes, etc.
  • Of the cocktail upper-crust moms and dads whose idea of national service is a combination of “dissent” (because dissent = democracy, right?!), of going to war when it doesn’t benefit American national interests (“SAVE DARFUR!”), and at the same time, preach “Just not my kids,” when they realize that someone has to man the posts, carry the rifles, work the radios, drive the HMMWVs, and walk patrol. These are the first cousins on the NIMBYs (Not In My BackYard). (Republicans–there are plenty of you like this too!)

I could go on and on. But bottom line, this is a party that is ill-tempered to govern in a time of war. They’d much rather “redeploy” to Afghanistan, Okinawa, or to the United States. They want to capture Osama bin Laden, thinking that if only he were captured, read him Miranda Rights, and thrown in a nice Club Gitmo style resort, that this whole terrorism nonsense would disappear.

This is no longer the party of JFK, of “What can you do for your country?” This is the party of nuanced classism, of subtle condescension, of faux-moral shrill, of those out of touch with the United States, and out of touch with the threats which we are facing.

2. Regardless of who wins, reform of the way the Pentagon fights war is just not in the cards. Proper oversight by congress of the DoD has not happened, and certainly will not happen if the Dems take control. The emphasis will continue to be on feeding the largest centrally-planned economy in the world: the Pentagon budget, with all of its waste and pork. Emphasis will not be placed on how to fight and sustain a fight in the Long War, counterinsurgency, coalition-building, correcting inter-agency mismanagement, of raising the number and types of troops needed for this war.

The Republicans only know how to totally support the President, or, if their neck is on the line, how to distance themselves from him. They do not know who to oversee the fight.

The Democrats only know how to oppose the President, and nothing more. Some want to run from Iraq. Some want to run from Afghanistan. They think this war is as much a military affair as the War on Poverty, or the Great Society programs. The military cannot win the Long War on its own, but sidelining it is a grave mistake.

3. The country seems more interested in the Me-ism that the late Vice Admiral Stockdale spoke of. MTV. Dr. 90210. Reality TV in general. What about my prescription drugs! I want gay marriage! We need to stop global warming! More gun control! Open borders! Send in the lawyers! . Does anybody know there’s a war going on?

I deploy, fight, and come back. And I wonder what country I’ve returned to.

There are 11 embedded reporters in all of Iraq. Most are reporting for foreign nations. 5 are American embeds in American units. America gets their news of what’s happening in the the Red Zone (all of Iraq less the Green Zone) from a bunch of desk-jockey Green Zone reporters who do not venture to see what’s happening.

Ask the average man on the street what are Phantom Fury, Matador, Spear, Steel Curtain. They don’t know. They don’t know that for the most part, the IED problem has been defeated to a nuisance that is still occasionally successful.

America doesn’t Support the Troops. They only say they do. And then they watch more TV.

That is why the loser in this midterm election is the American fighting man and woman.