commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Wall Street Journal presents a leaked outline of the war request by Gen McChrystal…….

The Wall Street Journal has printed a pretty detailed piece today describing the basic points of General McChrystal request and recommendations to the Commander in Chief…….

Among the most interesting information is the fact that there is a request for three different levels of troops…….

A) 40,000

B) 60,000

C) None

McChrystal is reported to want to go with choice A, 40,000 troops……but there is a BIG BUT here….according to a review of the General’s plans ……the Army, and Marines would have significant problems in getting that many troops in-country, as soon as the General has reported they are needed for a ‘surge’……..In, addition, McChrytal’s aim would be to deny  al Qaeda, and the Taliban access to Afghanistan…..the White House may be content with just keeping al Qaeda out of the country, and finding a middle ground with the Taliban……

While McCrystal is a warrior, concerned with his troops, and objective…the CIC has to deal with the political component of the campaign…And since he has publicly said he won’t leave, and he won’t cut the number of troops …he really doesn’t have many options left………McCrystal is emphatic that the current troop level will not hold ground…Units are being overrun in the boonies, and are being cut back …….

Also…while Obama is holding his sessions …Hillary  Clinton, the Secretary of State, is holding hers…Seeking to identify the role for the State Department and civilians…Unlike during the Condi Rice period, in which State Department actions in Iraq consisted of sending staff home, leaving Sec of Defense Gates to fill those spots in with badly needed military assets……..

In the end the Army and the Marines would be able to move between 11,000 to 15,000 troops in country by the end of the year and another 20,000 by next July….…Finally, the movement of troops into the country is accompanied by a serious deficiency in helicopters, and contrary to this piece, a problem with Iraq ‘dialed in’ vehicles that are useless in Afghanistan’s terrible roads…….

October 9, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The State Department and Blackwater (Xe)………..

It may come as a shock to people but Blackwater has renamed itself and is still in the employ of the United States State Department.…..The Washington Post has this story about indiscretions by another firm ‘s employee’s that resulted in the State Department having to send its special agents to Kabul to watch over its security contractors……Sound familiar?……Yep ……about a year ago the State Department had to do the same thing in Bagdad………

The fact is…I’m sure the State Departments Diplomatic Security Service probably doesn’t have enough agents to go around. While the Secret Service is a domestic agency and has more man/woman power……the DSS is tasked with providing its service all over the planet (they will have a major presence in NYC and Pittsburgh providing security details for the annual United Nations General Assembly meetings).  Most people don’t know that security services are contracted out in most overseas embassies to the extent that in a lot of places private foreign nationals provide close security for State staff….and that can include security details…..

The number of people working for the ArmorGroup in Aftganistan is close to 450 in country…….and the report on the group points out that a lot of the work is essential but boring and routine…….the State Department does not need special agents for all of it……..But I’m sure they  could save a whole lot of headaches if Obama let Sec. of State Hillary hire  more agents to keep a check on things and let them assume more of the contracted work………..

Update:…….Eight guards have been fired for miscoduct in Kabul by the State Department…….

September 3, 2009 Posted by | Military, Other Things, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment