wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

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Mostly military (w/one naval) linkagery

Well, at least one Japanese gets it. Unfortunately the rest are still neck-deep in that Egyptian river. Defense Minister forced to resign for pointing out that Japan got what it had coming when Nagasaki and Hiroshima got nuked. (Jules Critenden, who includes some horrific accounts of life as an American POW in Japanese camps for more context.)

Big Damn Hero: Attack copter pilot straps himself to outside of Apache so wounded soldier can be medevac'd. (Jules Crittenden) Video clip here at Blackfive.

Big Damn Hero, Maori Style: Kiwi commando sprints over 75 yards under heavy fire to save the life of badly wounded comrade in Afghanistan, wins Victoria Cross for heroism. (Jules Crittenden)

"Galloping Ghost of the China Coast" dies at 93. Rear Admiral Eugene Fluckey won the Medal of Honor and four Navy Crosses while commanding the submarine USS Barb during WW2. Among other achievements, he and his crew sank 29 ships with more gross tonnage than any other American submarine and were the only Americans to actually set foot in Japan during the war. Article includes the hair-raising tale of the exploit that won Fluckey the Medal, as well as the tale of his generosity towards his old crew. Well worth reading. (Jules Crittenden) More about the Admiral here at Eaglespeak, including the Medal of Honor citation and the story of how the Barb's crew "sank" a train after pioneering the use of cruise missiles aboard submarines. (In From The Cold)

Where does the Army go from here? Junior officers leave in droves, write articles critical of the generals and the way Iraq has been handled.
My personal opinion is that the Army was too quick to grab onto Summers' explanation of why we lost Vietnam and too slow to blame the generals for not standing up to LBJ and his micromanagement of the war, to say nothing of the "thank God that's over, now how do we whip the Russians?" institutional attitude that took hold in the 70s and 80s. The article also misses the point of what's happening now - what the surge is doing is buying time for the Iraqi Army and security forces to get good enough to take over once the bulk of our troops leave (cf. Vietnamization) except that unlike South Vietnam, Iraq can actually afford to support its own military. In this context, Dunlap isn't really proposing anything new at all, he's just playing the traditional "victory through air power" tune that blue-suit generals are expected to tootle for the press and Congressmen. LTC Nagl's vision of building an advisory corps for training foreign troops is reinventing the wheel: we already have the Green Berets for that sort of thing, and I suspect that's why the generals don't like it. There's a lot of historical distaste in the Army for elite forces like the Green Beanies and Rangers, and no doubt this is seen as more of the same - better to have five more brigades of troops so we don't get caught short again if something like Iraq happens again. Which it probably will.
(Jules Crittenden)
Tags: linkagery, military stuff
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