Monday, November 19, 2007

A real world "exercise" for counterinsurgency training

  David Gulula writes, "Who indeed has heard of field games involving the task of winning the support of the population when such a task, which, in any event, requires months of continuous efforts, has no clear built-in criteria to assess the results of the games?  And who is going to play the part of the population?" The answer to the first question is, or course, no, but I offer a answer to the second question, the disenfranchised minorities of the American ghettos.
  Although there is little danger of the violence of the ghettos becoming an actual insurgency, aspects offer similarities.  In New Jersey, not only has the state completly lost its monopoly on violence but it has accepted as fact that the gangs have a legitimate resort to violence by the authorities relunctance to prosecute.
  We have many detroyed cities between Annapolis and West Point, where there is little or no gentrification has in Manhattan.  There is Baltimore, Philadelphia, Camden, Trenton, Newark, parts of the outer boroughs, and Bridgeport to name a few.  As a nation we could both stop the de facto establishment of a permanate underclass while at the same time training our future ground combat leaders in those skills most needed in the future.  Although it's possible that we might someday face another conventional war, any country powerful enough to fight us conventionally, i.e. China or Russia, would have too much to loose economically.  Any country or force that challanges us will seek our weakness, which is clearly not conventional high technology based warfare. 

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Defense Switched Network Sucks.

With both the United States Department of Defense, NATO, and other coalition militaries on the ground here in Afghanistan, one can assume that huge sums of money are spent on communications. I don’t know the exact amount but we have NATO classified phones, NATO unclassified phones, DSN, DOD Secret Voice Over IP phones, two separate NATO classified computer networks, regular internet that one must use his or her chipped military ID to access since we wouldn’t want the Taliban to get on base and use our internet, US DOD SIPRNET, and the multitude of radio circuits.

What system do you thing two infantry officers directly fighting the Taliban and foreign fighters in the South use to communicate most of the time? None of the above. They use the main local mobile network, Roshan. Of course for classified discussion, usually involving only such things as specifics of convoys and the such, a more cumbersome method must be used but for 90% plus of communications, Roshan is the best option.

I can attest to how cumbersome they other systems are when it took me over an hour to even find DSN contact information for another officer in the East of Afghanistan, in Kunar Province. My DSN phone could not call his DSN phone. Why? I don’t know and I couldn’t find a number for an operator either. Eventually I figure that someone I knew at Bagram could call him and I could call my fellow service member at Bagram. I called Bagram. Then Bagram called Kunar and told that officer to call me. Then the officer in Kunar called me. Why could he call me but I couldn’t call him? I don’t know and there’s no one to ask.

I also have a DSN cell phone. It drops about 50% of my calls before I can even speak to the person on the other end. Much of the time the interface between DSN landlines and DSN mobiles doesn’t work. I also had to do paperwork to sign for custody of a years old phone worth about two dollars on the open market. Also, DSN mobile and fixed phones don’t have voicemail or call-waiting. They do have caller ID but it only works about 30% of the time.

I have not priced a Roshan but my understanding is that they are very affordable. So on one hand we have one of the most destroyed countries on earth that has been through nearly thirty years of constant war and on the other hand we have the most powerful and potent military force ever assembled.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The distain for the military on the campuses of elite universities.

  Relating to the various fellow servicemembers here, only two of who are submariners, has made me realize how ill prepared most of them are for Hilliary Clinton to be the next president.  Although I agree with most of her politics, I don't care for her personality.  Nevertheless with the democrats having a more significant majority in Congress next term and her as president, it's pretty obvious that the time will have come for Don't Ask, Don't Tell to be abandoned.  
  According to the arguments put forth by such lumenaries as Lee Bollinger, President of Columiba, one would think that after gays are allowed to openly serve in the military, that elite universities will come to accept military service as a worthwhile endeavor.  
  This won't happen because opposition to Don't Ask, Don't Tell has merely come about as an excuse to cover for the fact that culturally students at these universities consider military service beneth them.  They so much smarter so they merit such public service in such things as the Foreign Service.  The fact that only 250 State Departmen personnel might be required to go to Iraq is merely incidental.  

Sunday, November 4, 2007

So this is my first post.  I often have things to say and decided that a blog might be a good forum to espouse my ideas and record them for posterity.  

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