Memorial Day 2010

In honor of those that didn’t come home I urge all Americans to remember why we fight.  Freedom can easily slip away if we are not careful.  All of our fights are not on foreign shores.  To win a fight we must be able to define the enemy.  If we cannot call it what it is how do we prepare a strategy?  




Military intelligence…stop laughing…

U.S. Orders Covert Military Action in Mideast

Gen. David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, is said to have signed a directive authorizing Special Operations troops to conduct surveillance missions in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Somalia.

The Pentagon has approved a broader range of secret military operations against militant groups in the Middle East and Africa, officials said Monday, according to a published report.

The New York Times said Gen. David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, signed a directive in September authorizing Special Operations troops to conduct surveillance missions in such countries as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Somalia.

The document says the goals are to "penetrate, disrupt, defeat or destroy" militant groups, including Al Qaeda, and "prepare the environment" for future attacks. The Times said the document does not authorize offensive action.

Anonymous U.S. officials cited by the Times said the order does allow for intelligence-gathering missions in Iran, which could lay the groundwork for possible military action if tensions between the U.S. and Iran continue to rise.

The directive, called the Joint Unconventional Warfare Task Force Execute Order, does not describe specific missions, although the Times said it had withheld some details in response to Defense Department concerns over U.S. troop safety.

Some of the covert military operations that followed the secret order have been reported.

These include a September 2009 attack by helicopter-borne Special Operations Forces on a car carrying one of east Africa’s most wanted Al Qaeda militants, Kenyan-born Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan.

According to Reuters, Central Command has been positioning Reaper drones at a base in the Horn of Africa. Officials told the news agency the drones can be used against militants in Yemen and Somalia, and even against pirates who attack ships traversing the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

"They (the drones) are part of it but it is much broader than that," one U.S. official told Reuters of the order.

This could be interesting.  While the media will try and make it a pentagon Vs CIA It’s really not.  Both produce different types of Intelligence and often work closely.  Now my experiences with the CIA is very mundane.  I’ve seen Operators work well and headquarters people very condescending to SF types.  It’s probably the nature of the business.  Turf wars will always be there to some degree. 

Tactical intelligence is simply something covert military units do well.  The CIA can take care of the strategic level stuff.  I won’t comment on how good that is because frankly it’s too easy a shot and doesn’t reflect on the field guys who I believe are doing a pretty good job.  Not counting the bombing of CIA operators at Forward Operating Base Chapman last December.  There seems to be some issues there with the CIA base chief.  I’m just not sure how they hire analyst. 

Acronyms,’s all so confusing..

As I begin my new career search one the most infuriating aspects of this is the use of acronyms.  The conventional wisdom is that you don’t use acronyms if you can avoid it in your resumes, cover letters and even interviews.  This is especially true outside of the military industry.  This is an industry where acronyms are created and discarded on what seems a daily basis. 

What I’ve been seeing is the extensive use of acronyms in job postings.  Now my degree is in Business Information Systems and I’ve seen a serious expansion of acronyms.  It’s insane.  At times I wonder if employers realize that if they created the acronym others outside their company may not know what it means.  It doesn’t mean they don’t know the subject. 

Some might say that if your keeping up with your industry you should knows the current acronyms.  But I would suggest that if you have time to research acronyms that your company doesn’t use you might not be spending your time efficiently doing your actual job. 

Another note is that as acronyms continue to expand we find many that mean different things to different people.  It certainly makes things interesting.

Now this doesn’t just apply to acronyms but terminology in general can be very confusing.  For example my overall career field to date is Special Forces or Unconventional Warfare.  Now try finding the definitive definition for that.  The special warfare center has one.  But then what is Irregular warfare, asymmetrical warfare, 4th generational warfare or COIN (Counter Insurgency)? All are very similar and overlap yet most definitions and discussions for the matter don’t actually help you do the job.  So, if someone is very experienced in one of the above would they not be very experienced in all?  

Anyway just some thoughts today as I fill out a particular companies questionnaire with information already in my resume..  Yes I know it’s everywhere. 

Robin Hood

First off I liked the movie.  Contrary to what some critics have said I didn’t find it too long (2 hrs 20 minutes).  It’s not as good as Gladiator but was a good movie.  The key parts I took away were the desire for liberty under the rule of law and not the rule of kings and the idea that to a man has the right to earn his own way free from tyrannical rule. (over regulation,  Deer for example all belong to the King and hunting them can bring a death sentence)

Some on the right have been overly critical in my opinion about the one question in the movie referencing the crusades.  It’s a small incident but used to point out Robins honesty even facing the King. 

Robin Hood is not the merry tale of a band of good guys but a tale of a group of good men surviving.  A tale of elites that see their authority coming to them from god and the injustices a nation not founded on laws with endure. 

I wonder, has Russell Crowe been in a bad movie?  Maybe not all were the best but I don’t recall a bad one.

File under are you F&(*&*g kidding me

Courageous restraint!  That could be the new medal given for….. not doing anything.   One would think this is just some internet joke but it appears to be real. 

U.S. troops in Afghanistan could soon be awarded a medal for not doing something, a precedent-setting award that would be given for “courageous restraint” for holding fire to save civilian lives.

The proposal is now circulating in the Kabul headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force, a command spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

How about we just call this the European courage award?  Un-freaking believable.   Maybe this is an indication why Afghanistan is a damn mess now.  ISAF should just pack their shit and go home. 

Has Mullah Omar been captured?

Has Mullah Omar been captured?  Brad Thor at Big Journalism is reporting it’s so.  There doesn’t seem to be anything coming out of the Obama Administration on this.  I’m not excited just yet as reports like this are notoriously bad.  But it would be a major coup for Brietbart and Thor if this turns out true.  If not we keep trying. 

Thor is reporting that sources in Pakistan say Omar has been captured by Pakistani forces. 

Banner change

In light of the fact that I will soon be retiring I’m thinking of a new banner.  The question is what should it look like.  I have a mock-up of  one with two of my vices.  A glass of liquor and a cigar.  But if anyone has suggestions on how I might go about finding a new banner concept feel free to send either comment of email.

Just some thoughts today.


Navy SEAL acquitted.  This is old news to those watching but pretty good news.  I have no idea what they were thinking pursuing this. 

Oil spill

It looks like they are lowering the massive structure to cover the oil leak off the LA coast.  This is actually pretty interesting.  First off I hope it works, the engineering feat this would be is pretty cool.  

Kids told they can’t wear US flags on their shirts during Cinco De Mayo

How silly is this?  At what point will Americans just say enough.  Look, Cinco De Mayo is fine to celebrate.  I mean really any excuse for a party is good with me.  But let’s remember where we are. 

This reminds me of an incident in my sons school, a student (grade school) wore a President Obama hat.  One mother apparently said something about and a teacher replied she just puts up with it or something to that effect.  The point is that President Obama IS our President and while I don’t support most of what he is doing a school should not be a place to hide your pride in your country.  In fact that’s where you encourage it.

Illegal immigration forces protest

Pro illegal immigration forces will be out today protesting the new Arizona law along with immigration reform (amnesty).  I wonder if they will be as peaceful as the Tea Party rallies.  Humm

Updates later today.

Ok didn’t update much.  Hey had a soccer game, cleaning the garage and playing guitar.  So far I haven’t read of any major problems with the protest although it doesn’t seem like the turnout was very high.  Anyway gotta play some more.