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Feingold to re-introduce a flexible 'Get out of Afghanistan ' Bill……

This from The Hill…….

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) plans to introduce legislation calling for a “flexible timetable” for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

Feingold, a critic of President Barack Obama’s decision to escalate troop levels in Afghanistan, plans a bill that would seek to define what he’s called the United States’s “large-scale, open-ended military strategy” in the region.

The new legislation comes as tensions between the U.S. and Afghan leaders have become more publicly apparent over the past week, with some U.S. officials openly expressing frustration toward Afghan President Hamid Karzai over the corruption that’s plagued his government.

More……..

Read the fourth Comment to the piece…He, he, he…….

April 7, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , | Leave a comment

Feingold to re-introduce a flexible ‘Get out of Afghanistan ‘ Bill……

This from The Hill…….

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) plans to introduce legislation calling for a “flexible timetable” for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

Feingold, a critic of President Barack Obama’s decision to escalate troop levels in Afghanistan, plans a bill that would seek to define what he’s called the United States’s “large-scale, open-ended military strategy” in the region.

The new legislation comes as tensions between the U.S. and Afghan leaders have become more publicly apparent over the past week, with some U.S. officials openly expressing frustration toward Afghan President Hamid Karzai over the corruption that’s plagued his government.

More……..

Read the fourth Comment to the piece…He, he, he…….

April 7, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , | Leave a comment

President Obama is GAME ON!…….He is in Afghanistan visiting Karzai and the Troops….

Continuing a remarkable week……

The President of the United States of America further displays his bona fides but traveling to Afghanistan instead of being at Camp David…to visit the troops and to talk to the President of that country Hamid Karzai……

The trip a la’ George Bush feint…The Commander in Chief left for a 13 hour flight that has him in there at night….

He will be leaning on Karzai to pitch in and help get things rolling within his own country by providing support for military gains his troops along the Americans and NATO have made……

Those military gains will not hold unless the population feels safe and the country provides basic services  to its population…..

Air Force One landed at nighttime at Bagram Air Base after a 13-hour nonstop flight for a visit shrouded in secrecy for security reasons; Mr. Obama quickly boarded a helicopter for the trip to Kabul, landing at the presidential palace for talks with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan.

Mr. Obama’s trip caps a high-profile week for the president in which he coupled a singular domestic policy victory — the signing of a health reform bill — with the foreign policy achievement: reaching an arms control agreement with Russia in which the two agreed to slash their nuclear arsenals to the lowest levels in half a century.

Coming on top of that, the Palm Sunday visit to American combat troops by their commander in chief could project the image of a president keeping on top of a number of issues at once.

General James L. Jones, the National Security adviser, told reporters aboard the flight to Bagram that Mr. Obama would try to make Mr. Karzai “understand that in his second term, there are certain things that have not been paid attention to, almost since day one.” Gen. Jones said those things included “a merit-based system for appointment of key government officials, battling corruption, taking the fight to the narco-traffickers,” which, “provides a lot of the economic engine for the insurgents.”

More……..

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Travel, Updates | , , , , | 9 Comments

General McChystal to open up another ground offensive in Afghanistan…..

Seeking to strike at the largest area’s of resisitance…..The U.S. Military along with NATO and Aftghan troops are preparing to to lay siege on Kanadar in the second large scale milittary operation in Afghanstan using the extra ‘surge’ troops the Commander- in- Chief sent to the country…….

General McChrstal…..formerly the head of the Special Operators in the Middle East is striking at the heart of the Taliban strongholds……..

Here’s the piece from the Washington Post……

Even as Marines in Afghanistan continued to fight for control of the Taliban stronghold of Marja, senior Obama administration officials said Friday that the United States has begun initial planning for a bigger, more complex offensive in Kandahar later this year.

The assault on Marja, the largest U.S.-NATO military operation since 2001, is a “prelude to larger, more comprehensive operations,” senior Obama officials said Friday. Administration officials declined to say when the Kandahar offensive will begin, but military officials have said that it probably will kick off in late spring or early summer after additional U.S. forces have moved into the area.

“Bringing comprehensive population security to Kandahar City is really the centerpiece of operations this year, and, therefore, Marja is the prelude. It’s sort of a preparatory action,” said one senior official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

U.S. officials telegraphed the Marja offensive for many weeks before it began, and they appear to be laying the same kind of groundwork before moving into Kandahar,Afghanistan’s second largest city and the original base of Taliban leader Mohammad Omar. The drives into Marja and Kandahar come as part of the administration’s decision to deploy 30,000 additional troops in the country, a final push to secure major population centers almost nine years after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Any military operation to drive the Taliban from Kandahar will probably play out very differently than the battle taking place in Marja, which is a tenth the size. About 11,000 U.S. and Afghan troops pushed into Marja and within the first 13 days of the operation raised the Afghan flag over the district’s government center. Afghan officials also quickly selected a new district governor to oversee reconstruction efforts.

In Kandahar, U.S. forces are unlikely to move into the city in large numbers and instead will probably attempt to drive Taliban fighters from towns and villages surrounding the main city, military officials said. Local politics in Kandahar, where the Taliban movement first secured its foothold in Afghanistan, are also far more tangled than in Marja.

More………

February 27, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , | Leave a comment

More with Marine Company K……..The goings get rough…..and the local's understand…..

[An American Marine walked past an Afghan cemetery in Marja on Tuesday.]

We continue our journey in the current U.S. Marine and Afghan offensive in the Marja area in Afghanistan……This piece explores the ground war which is very concentrated after a quiet arrival of the troops….

The embeds also seem to be more interested in reporting the civilian deaths part of the war…which is understandable….after all ….they are civilians…not soilders….who’s objective is to defeat the enemy …and take ground……but this is a war..and people do get hurt and killed …..

…On must remember that in deference to Iraq…..the Aftghans are better, tougher fighters in general than the Iraq’s where…and a big part of the reason for that is that the United States trained a lot of these people years ago to fight the Russians ( who quit the area )…..What comes around…Goes around, eh?

This from the New York Times piece from the embedded reporters……

Colonel Christmas, commander of the Third Battalion, Sixth Marines, had arrived near this place in northern Marja by helicopter just before dawn; his beleaguered Company K, after three days of heavy fighting, was finally getting resupplied. Bridges had been put over the canals nearby, so roads could reopen.

“The resistance has been a little thicker than I would have liked for the forces I have,” the colonel said, as he led a foot patrol over to the house later in the day.

On Sunday, Company K had been in its fighting positions a couple of hundred yards away from the family’s mud-walled compound when the rocket or rockets struck it. Since then, several versions of what happened have emerged.

Eager to demonstrate the coalition’s commitment to avoid civilian casualties, and to take responsibility for them when they do happen, the American commander in Afghanistan, Gen.Stanley A. McChrystal, immediately issued a statement saying that 12 civilians had been accidentally killed, that the rocket launcher had missed its target by 300 meters and would be suspended from service, and that apologies had been conveyed to President Hamid Karzai. An investigation was ordered.

The investigation found that the targeting system — the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System — had not been defective, a spokesman for the NATO-led coalition force, Lt. Col. Todd Vician of theUnited States Air Force, said Tuesday. He said the suspension was lifted, allowing the system to be returned to use as a defensive weapon. As to what did happen, however, he said, “We are still waiting for those results and hope to have an answer soon.”

To the Marines of Company K, and an embedded reporter accompanying them, one thing seemed clear: the company had not ordered a rocket strike on that house. At the time they were taking fire from many houses in the area.

“The original target of the two rockets was a compound where insurgents were delivering accurate, direct fire on an Afghan-ISAF joint team,” according to a Sunday news release by the NATO-led force, the International Security Assistance Force.

That team was Company K, with an Afghan Army unit attached to it. “The compound that was hit was not the one we were targeting,” the company commander said that day.

After the Marines saw children stream out of the ruined house, the company commander immediately ordered a cease-fire. With Taliban snipers still trying to pick them off, his men raced across the flat, open expanse between their positions and the house, where medics rendered what first aid they could.

And this……

At a news conference on Monday, the Afghan interior minister, Muhammad Hanif Atmar, flanked by the Afghan minister of defense and the army commander for Helmand, said that only 9 of the 12 dead in the house were civilians, and that the other 3 were Taliban insurgents who had forced their way into the house and used it as a fighting position.

He said local tribal leaders were “deeply saddened,” but not angry. “I will quote one of them,” Mr. Atmar said, “ ‘We are very sad about the civilian casualties but if nine civilians have died, hundreds of thousands will get freedom.’ ” Marja has 80,000 residents.

The Afghan government’s account seemed at best debatable on Tuesday. For one thing, if there had been weapons in the house, the Marines would most likely have found them.

At this point, though, the Americans are not jumping to any conclusions.

The Marines have bent over backwards to help things…..

In the mud-brick charnel house where the Afghans were killed, Hajji Karim, the local elder, took up Colonel Christmas’s offer of assistance on Tuesday.

The victims had already been dead for more than two days. Muslims believe in prompt burial, but the family had no way to carry the bodies through the battlefield to the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, 17 miles away. Would the Americans take them?

Within hours, a Marine Corps Osprey, a transport aircraft that can take off and land like a helicopter, put down nearby, taking enemy fire as it came in, and the Marines grimly loaded the bodies aboard for the trip to the cemetery.

February 17, 2010 Posted by | Counterpoints, Government, Media, Men, Military, Politics | , | 2 Comments

More with Marine Company K……..The goings get rough…..and the local’s understand…..

[An American Marine walked past an Afghan cemetery in Marja on Tuesday.]

We continue our journey in the current U.S. Marine and Afghan offensive in the Marja area in Afghanistan……This piece explores the ground war which is very concentrated after a quiet arrival of the troops….

The embeds also seem to be more interested in reporting the civilian deaths part of the war…which is understandable….after all ….they are civilians…not soilders….who’s objective is to defeat the enemy …and take ground……but this is a war..and people do get hurt and killed …..

…On must remember that in deference to Iraq…..the Aftghans are better, tougher fighters in general than the Iraq’s where…and a big part of the reason for that is that the United States trained a lot of these people years ago to fight the Russians ( who quit the area )…..What comes around…Goes around, eh?

This from the New York Times piece from the embedded reporters……

Colonel Christmas, commander of the Third Battalion, Sixth Marines, had arrived near this place in northern Marja by helicopter just before dawn; his beleaguered Company K, after three days of heavy fighting, was finally getting resupplied. Bridges had been put over the canals nearby, so roads could reopen.

“The resistance has been a little thicker than I would have liked for the forces I have,” the colonel said, as he led a foot patrol over to the house later in the day.

On Sunday, Company K had been in its fighting positions a couple of hundred yards away from the family’s mud-walled compound when the rocket or rockets struck it. Since then, several versions of what happened have emerged.

Eager to demonstrate the coalition’s commitment to avoid civilian casualties, and to take responsibility for them when they do happen, the American commander in Afghanistan, Gen.Stanley A. McChrystal, immediately issued a statement saying that 12 civilians had been accidentally killed, that the rocket launcher had missed its target by 300 meters and would be suspended from service, and that apologies had been conveyed to President Hamid Karzai. An investigation was ordered.

The investigation found that the targeting system — the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System — had not been defective, a spokesman for the NATO-led coalition force, Lt. Col. Todd Vician of theUnited States Air Force, said Tuesday. He said the suspension was lifted, allowing the system to be returned to use as a defensive weapon. As to what did happen, however, he said, “We are still waiting for those results and hope to have an answer soon.”

To the Marines of Company K, and an embedded reporter accompanying them, one thing seemed clear: the company had not ordered a rocket strike on that house. At the time they were taking fire from many houses in the area.

“The original target of the two rockets was a compound where insurgents were delivering accurate, direct fire on an Afghan-ISAF joint team,” according to a Sunday news release by the NATO-led force, the International Security Assistance Force.

That team was Company K, with an Afghan Army unit attached to it. “The compound that was hit was not the one we were targeting,” the company commander said that day.

After the Marines saw children stream out of the ruined house, the company commander immediately ordered a cease-fire. With Taliban snipers still trying to pick them off, his men raced across the flat, open expanse between their positions and the house, where medics rendered what first aid they could.

And this……

At a news conference on Monday, the Afghan interior minister, Muhammad Hanif Atmar, flanked by the Afghan minister of defense and the army commander for Helmand, said that only 9 of the 12 dead in the house were civilians, and that the other 3 were Taliban insurgents who had forced their way into the house and used it as a fighting position.

He said local tribal leaders were “deeply saddened,” but not angry. “I will quote one of them,” Mr. Atmar said, “ ‘We are very sad about the civilian casualties but if nine civilians have died, hundreds of thousands will get freedom.’ ” Marja has 80,000 residents.

The Afghan government’s account seemed at best debatable on Tuesday. For one thing, if there had been weapons in the house, the Marines would most likely have found them.

At this point, though, the Americans are not jumping to any conclusions.

The Marines have bent over backwards to help things…..

In the mud-brick charnel house where the Afghans were killed, Hajji Karim, the local elder, took up Colonel Christmas’s offer of assistance on Tuesday.

The victims had already been dead for more than two days. Muslims believe in prompt burial, but the family had no way to carry the bodies through the battlefield to the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, 17 miles away. Would the Americans take them?

Within hours, a Marine Corps Osprey, a transport aircraft that can take off and land like a helicopter, put down nearby, taking enemy fire as it came in, and the Marines grimly loaded the bodies aboard for the trip to the cemetery.

February 17, 2010 Posted by | Counterpoints, Government, Media, Men, Military, Politics | , | 2 Comments

Company K , Third Marines moves on……

We gave you Company K of the Third Marines first night in combat already…….We now follow them through the eyes of the New York Times embed reports as the get involved in more combat, a combat injury and a missed round taking out a civilian house resulting in causalities……

The Dog would like to remind people that these reports are about a war.…..The Media has changed the rules in that they have become intolerant of civilian causalities…The Dog would like to remind us all that civilians die in wars…..smart enemies embed themselves into the civilian population, with the knowledge, that American the media will further their cause by reporting on ANY civilian deaths…….

This of course is stupid…..Soliders don’t deliberately mess up and go after civilians (and should try to keep civilian deaths to a minimum)…..but in the ‘ fog’ of war ‘all sort’s of things happen……One should be aware of that fact……

Here’s the start of the second Company K piece……..

[This scene  from Marja, Aftghanistan….could have been right out of Viet Nam ]

An errant American rocket strike on Sunday hit a compound crowded with Afghan civilians in the last Taliban stronghold in Helmand Province, killing at least 10 people, including 5 children, military officials said.

Avoiding such civilian deaths, which came on the second day of a major allied offensive around Marja, has been a cornerstone of the war strategy by the top American commander, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal. He apologized to PresidentHamid Karzai, saying, “We deeply regret this tragic loss of life.”

More about Company K, Third Marines………

Among the vanguard were Company K and an accompanying Afghan Army platoon, which remained alone in their area of the Taliban stronghold for the second day, engaged in off-and-on gun battles from 8:30 a.m. until just before sunset.

Two of the American company’s Marines were wounded by gunfire on Sunday, including one shot in an arm and another through his left shoulder shortly before the Himars rocket strike. No Afghan soldiers with the company had been wounded by nightfall.

The Marines had positioned themselves on Saturday night in one outpost and two small smaller patrol bases. The first shots from the Taliban began minutes after patrols left two of the positions on Sunday morning. Gunfire, along with occasional shoulder-fired rockets and mortars, boomed throughout the day, as the Taliban surrounded the company, probing and attacking from different directions as the hours passed.

More……..

February 14, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, Politics, Updates | , , | Leave a comment

The U.S. offers to upgrade other countries troops equipment in Afghanistan….

A mine-resistant troop carrier outside the village of Pushtay in Afghanistan in January.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates pledged Friday that the United States would help protect foreign troops in Afghanistan by offering them armored transport vehicles, surveillance systems and electronic equipment to guard against roadside bombs. Such bombs have claimed more lives than any other weapon in the war.

What a wonderful common sense move….as equipment becomes available from the Iraqi campaiign…why not sell, loan or even give it to other countries troops operation in Aftghanistan?……Perhaps this might make those troops safer?……

Now no body like hand-me- downs….but nobody likes being unequiped to go out on patrols when  I.E.D.s are a re big problem….Since it cost money to pack equipment up and send it back to the states…why not find use for the stuff where it can be used……

Simple and smart……

Oh, and Gates wants to give these other armies better intel?…..why haven’t they been doing that all along?…we ARE all in this together…right?

February 5, 2010 Posted by | Automobiles, Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates, Women | , , , | Leave a comment

Sometimes you get lucky…..this Marine stepped on a IED and lives to move on…..

SHOSHARAK, Afghanistan — If luck is the battlefield’s final arbiter — the wild card that can trump fitness, training, teamwork, equipment, character and skill — then Lance Cpl. Ryan T. Mathison experienced its purest and most welcome form.

On a Marine foot patrol here through the predawn chill of Friday morning, he stepped on a pressure-plate rigged to roughly 25 pounds of explosives. The device, enough to destroy a pickup truck or tear apart several men, was buried beneath him in the dusty soil.

It did not explode.

Lance Corporal Mathison’s weight triggered the detonation of one of the booby trap’s two blasting caps. But upon giving an audible pop and tossing small stones into the air, the device failed to ignite its fuller charge — a powerful mix of Eastern Bloc mortar rounds and homemade explosives spiked with motorcycle parts, rusty spark plugs and jagged chunks of steel.

Lance Corporal Mathison and several Marines near him were spared. So began a brief journey through the Taliban’s shifting tactics and the vagaries of war, where an experience at the edge of death became instead an affirmation of friendship, and in which a veteran Marine reluctantly assumed for a morning one of the infantry’s most coveted roles: that of the charmed man.

Here’s the link. for the rest of the story……..

War IS Hell…….Especially in a landscape from right out of the Moon…thousands of miles from home……

January 24, 2010 Posted by | Government, Health, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Travel, Updates | , , , , | 8 Comments

Another process piece…..McChrystal vs the Civilians in the administration….The General plans to win…. not hold in place……

In a very important piece in the Washington Post (that will no doubt generate more pieces in the Times and Cable Networks)…..Rajiv Chandrasekaran takes up the maneuvering between the military and the administration’s political planners who view Obama’s tasking orders early this month for the military as strictly a ‘surge’ then a phased withdrawal going into the 2012 elections….and the military (Sec Gates included) as a call to engage an enemy and try to ‘win’ the campaign in Afghanistan with a moderate makeover like the military has done in Iraq……

While the sell by the President ( Commmader-in Chief ) was for a “surge’…President Obama, and Secretary Gates, both, have already backed away from their initial pledge to have the troops heading home en mass in 2011……

I know from a strictly logistical point of view the U.S. military will take a much longer period to get 30,000 to 40,000 troops in country then was advertised when President Obama called for the move….

In another sense the media is going to paint this as McChrystal as not following his bosses orders…that would be a mistake…Presidents give orders…General follow them…Sergeants get it done….

The same applies here…and it’s gonna take more time then the political people the White House think….

That’s the way it goes…..

General McChrystal has been a ‘snake eater’ for a long time….

Secretary of Defense Gates has been around for long time also…….

If these two get it right…The President will be assured a second term and another Nobel Peace Prize………

And a place in American history not just by his color…….

December 26, 2009 Posted by | Other Things | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment