Afghanistan update — change in strategy

UPDATE IIITask force 121 transfers from Iraq to Afghanistan” according to AM Kansas city Radio. 

This from my Saturday hodgepodge, with new updates that are leading to very interesting developments in Afghanistan. The original article described the upsurge of offense to prep for NATO force takeover, but since then it appears there’s more to it than that. 

While the MSM will paint these attacks as losses for the US and the Afgan government of Karzai, they are largely victories. Masses of taliban fighters are being called back by Mullah Omar and others, and they are dieing in masses. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing.

“In the last two months, the Taliban have been conducting larger attacks this year than they did during the same time last year,” Pace said. “The problem for the Taliban is that as they have gotten larger groups together, they have become much bigger targets. And they have lost about 300 Taliban in the last two months during those operations. So the Taliban are a tactical problem for the coalition in Afghanistan. [But] the coalition in Afghanistan is a strategic problem for the Taliban.”

In the end to win in Afghanistan you have to do three things: Kick everyone’s ass, demonstrate that you will persist, and then buy all the local warlords to your side. The warchest needs to re-open in southern Afghanistan, and we need to use it to corner Omar and potentially Bin Laden. This is how the Russians failed, they did not persist and they did not buy allies.

The last time the region was truly conquered, Alexander the Great fought long and hard against a nimble opponent who always ran away to fight another day. In the end Alexander bought off all of the Grey Wolf’s allies and thus conquered him, as detailed in Steven Pressfield’s great  book, “The Virtue of War“. Alexander ended the campaign by defeating Spitamenes Oxyartes and marrying his daughter, Roxana, who bore his son Alexander IV.

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Lone Cypress Pencil Sketch

lone cyprus pencil.jpg

 I bought this from a fellow named Don something (can’t read the scrawled last name) in 1978. If anyone has info on more artwork by him, I certainly would be interested. I love pencil sketches like this done with such mastery of art.

Gingrich Might Run

Details and quotes at the WaPo……

He’s probably my candidate if he does, the lot with their hats in the ring at present for both parties are largely unappealing. Gingrich would be the best candidate in terms of advancing US technology.

September 11th Firefighter’s Memorial Unveiled

SF Chronical writes on the firefighter’s memorial:

There is that instant of horror to be relived, forever frozen in bronze. There are scenes of valor and camaraderie to be celebrated. There are names to be touched and traced: the Fire Department’s 343 dead.

But the most poignant messages of the first large-scale Sept. 11 monument at ground zero — a bold, literal and almost neo-Classical 56-foot-long bronze relief — will never be visible. Those are the private thoughts written by firefighters on the back of the south panel, just before the monument was installed last month on the side of “10 House,” the engine and ladder company across Liberty Street from the World Trade Center.


Here is the broadband link to the NYT interactive guide. (don’t click the link if you aren’t DSL or better…)

Here also is a link to an online tribute.

Nuclear Storage needed now

In a balanced article at the SF Chronicle they detail most of the issues surrounding fuel storage, and the reasons why we need to get the Yucca Mountain Storage facility in place. Either that or the lawyers need to get out of the Goshutes way.

Troop levels – just right

At some time in the future we will be at peace, and sometime later in the future we will be at war again. Wars will come and wars will go as evil rises and falls again — in all of history there have been few years without war or conflict of some level in some part of the world. 

Against this backdrop we still inexorably progress, and life gets better on average for most peoples of the earth. Wars dim and fade, and as we progress the conflicts become more violent at their fronts, but overall war itself becomes less consuming and fewer people die.

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