Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 19, 2005


The U.S. Defense Department finally finds that during and after a war, you will need to take some care for a stable aftermath.

Pentagon to Raise Importance of 'Stability' Efforts in War

The newest draft of the document, delivered in recent days to the acting deputy secretary of defense, Gordon R. England, for final approval, states, "Stability operations are a core U.S. military mission that the Department of Defense shall be prepared to conduct and support."

Before the war on Iraq, the Defense Department discarded the plans developed by the State Department regarding a stabilization of Iraq after Saddam's fall.

Looking at the ongoing catastrophe, the right option now should be to reverse that position and to give the State Department the lead in establishing a viable government.

Not so:

Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote last month to the senior members of the Senate Armed Services Committee in favor of granting the Defense Department authority to transfer millions of dollars to the State Department in part "to enable civilian professionals to deploy alongside military forces in stabilization and reconstruction operations.

In any administration, control over the budget allows control over what gets done how. So these plans are nothing less than a unfriendly DoD takeover attempt. Future control of the State Department's budget will not be by Congress, but through the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the DoD's budget process.

The empire will be ruled by the Pentagon. Now donĀ“t miss the next sequel which will feature: The US Army Corps for Tax Collectors and then ask yourself how an even more  militarized state may look.

Posted by b on November 19, 2005 at 21:37 UTC | Permalink


So they may get it right in Syria then?

Or maybe they'll have a post war plan for a nuked Iran?

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Nov 19 2005 21:46 utc | 1

We have yet to declare war.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 19 2005 21:52 utc | 2

We will stay until Victory

A stable path to Victory

Posted by: DM | Nov 19 2005 23:06 utc | 3

Great just fickin great:

Scientists Work on New Nuclear Weapons

For the first time in nearly 20 years, U.S. nuclear weapons labs are drawing up plans for new atomic bombs. They would replace the ageing warheads in today's missiles with more robust ones that would be easier to maintain. The work would completely transform the country's nuclear arsenal.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 19 2005 23:39 utc | 4

A Department of Defence or a cancerous canker consuming democracy from within ?

The CIAs and the State Departments 'realists' have been progressively sidelined, the agencies gutted, their functions stripped, duplicated and detached. So too the apolitical and truly professional (troublesome ?) senior officers in the ranks of the Pentagon ... retired, discharged, or 'framed' out of the services if they don't drink the Kool-aid.

The Pentagon, it can be argued, is now clearly the major executive organ of government, nay, it is the government. If the capabilities of the uniformed arms and specialist branches of the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), as well as Special Forces (SF) Groups and Commands wasn't enough, the Pentagon has effectively internalized the other major arms of governmental power and influence ... arguably effectively unaccountable.

The scope of functions and capabilities now under the direct control of the Secretary of Defence is worth pondering, especially when the State Department and the CIA amongst others are now effectively sidelined, neutered or marginalized by the new improved DOD.

Covert and black, compartmented operations and pseudo-agencies comprising, but not limited to:

military and security contractors (mercenaries),
contracted paramilitaries, VIP protection and security detachments (ex-SF),
contracted civilian 'interrogators', translators, and 'analysts',
contracted Intelligence, counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism officers and 'operatives',
multi-disciplined specialist paramilitary/SF Task Forces (TFs),
disinformation, deception operations, psyops and propaganda operations against domestic, allied and foreign nations,
Journalism and media 'management',
Assassination, seizure (bagging), detention, prison and interrogation operations in the Global 'War on Terra' (GWOT), etc

Rumsfeld and the Vice Prez between them control all the above as well as, the Office of Special Plans (OSP), the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), the Office of Global Communications (OGC), the Office of Strategic Influence (OSI), and the Information Operations Task Force (IOTF), etc ... not to mention the not inconsiderable indirect influence and backing of energy and arms industry corporate companions and beneficiaries.

Contractors (for profit) and spies-for-hire (for profit) by the Pentagon have been used to strip away functions formerly performed outside the DOD. And one of the arguably singular political benefits of doing so from Rumsfelds perspective ... their allegiance/oaths to serve what exactly ?

No organizational/cultural, service or duty impediments to their 'employment' and utilization and certainly extremely grey areas re legal and military law 'constraints' ... not accountable in the scope, size, scale or consequences of the activities and operations they conduct by the supposedly counter-balancing arms of the government ... people completely unaccountable to Congress or the Judiciary ... forget the press/journalism, the OSI and IOTF are there to suborn them ...

The annual budget for Intelligence agencies operations ~$44 Billion, of which the CIA is only one of a plethora of agencies, the notional Pentagon budget, ~$400 Billion plus ...

Since contracted and 'civilian' operations and personnel numbers are not limited by law as for the uniformed branches, only by budgetary funds, there is little to constrain it's cancerous growth in such directions. Even the DODs own Inspector General can't account for or reconcile the expenditure of literally billions upon billions of its budget allocations ...

All this must be truly propitious for a healthy and robust democracy ...

It's impossible to imagine the 'new improved', ever expanding powers, cankerous growth Pentagon ever being brought to heel.

Hm, the Dem's winning an election will obvious make all of the above, and the direct challenge, nay suborning of, democracy, all well again. Not.

The beacon upon the Hill ? America, where art thou ?

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 20 2005 0:22 utc | 5

Correction - the notional Military budget, ~$591.1 billion/yr

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 20 2005 1:20 utc | 6

Vital Military Jobs Go Unfilled:
Army And Marines Fell Short Of Goals For Hiring Roadside Bomb Defusers

The report found that, in all, the military, which is engaged in the most demanding wartime recruitment effort since the 1970's, had failed to fully staff 41 percent of its array of combat and noncombat specialties.

November 18, 2005 By DAMIEN CAVE, The New York Times Company

The military is falling far behind in its effort to recruit and re-enlist soldiers for some of the most vital combat positions in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a new government report.

The report, completed by the Government Accountability Office, shows that the Army, National Guard and Marines signed up as few as a third of the Special Forces soldiers, intelligence specialists and translators that they had aimed for over the last year.

Both the Army and the Marines, for instance, fell short of their goals for hiring roadside bomb defusers by about 20 percent in each of the last two years.

The Army Reserve, meanwhile, failed to fill about a third of its more than 1,500 intelligence analysts jobs.

And in the National Guard, there have been consistent shortages filling positions involving tanks, field artillery and intelligence.

The report found that, in all, the military, which is engaged in the most demanding wartime recruitment effort since the 1970's, had failed to fully staff 41 percent of its array of combat and noncombat specialties.

Officials with the accountability office, the independent investigative arm of Congress, found that some of the critical shortfalls had been masked by the overfilling of other positions in an effort to reach overall recruiting goals.

As a result, the G.A.O. report questioned whether Congress had been given an accurate picture by the Pentagon of the military's ability to maintain the force it needs for Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The aggregate recruiting numbers are rather meaningless," said Derek B. Stewart, the G.A.O.'s director of military personnel.

"For Congress and this nation to truly understand what's happening with the all-volunteer force and its ability to recruit and retain highly qualified people, you have to drill down into occupational specialties. And when you do, it's very revealing."

The report found signs of wasted spending. In many cases the military offered enlistment bonuses to people who signed up for jobs that were already overfilled.

An Army recruiter in New York, who insisted on anonymity because he had not been authorized to speak to the news media, said it was not uncommon for noncombat positions to be opened up at the end of a tough recruiting month even the Army did not need more people to do the job.

As a result, the report found that shortfalls in many occupations were more severe than overall recruiting totals. The active-duty Army missed its target of 80,000 soldiers by 8 percent last year, but fell short of its goal for human intelligence experts by 35 percent.

The Marine Corps, which reached its recruitment goal last year after missing a few monthly quotas, struggled to fill several positions. It hired only about three out of every four linguists for the Middle East and Asia that it said it needed for last year.

Even the Navy and Air Force, which met their annual targets for overall recruitment last year, could not find enough qualified people for several combat and intelligence positions, according to the report.

The war, several military experts said, has scared many young people away from dangerous work.

"Prospective recruits, when they think about rewards and sacrifices of military service, realize that some positions are simply a lot more dangerous than others," said James R. Hosek, a military personnel analyst at the RAND Corporation.

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 20 2005 1:52 utc | 7

South Korea to reduce troops in Iraq, Qatar - 17 Nov 2005

SEOUL, South Korea - South Korea has announced plans to pull a third of its troops out of Iraq next year.

Defence Minister Yoon Kwang-ung reported the plan to withdraw about 1000 soldiers from Iraq to the ruling Uri Party on Friday.

The announcement from the Korean Defense Ministry comes a day after President Bush met with South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and praised him as a staunch ally in the Iraq conflict.

Meanwhile, the US has reacted with surprise to word that South Korea could cut its presence in Iraq by one-third in the first half of 2006, saying it had no official confirmation from Seoul.

"At this point, the United States government has not received official confirmation of this reported withdrawal," said Fred Jones, a spokesman for Bush's National Security Council, on Friday.

Roughly 32-hundred South Korean troops are stationed in northern Iraq -- the third-largest contingent after America's and Britain's in the U-S-led coalition...

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 20 2005 1:57 utc | 8

Do The Math - The Iraq War Is Lost:
The Only Question Is How Many More Will Die Before We Withdraw

18 November 2005 By Larry Johnson, Booman Tribune [Excerpts]

"Mr. Johnson, who worked previously with the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. State Department's Office of Counter Terrorism (as a Deputy Director), is a recognized expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, crisis and risk management."

The situation in Iraq is clear. The United States does not have enough troops on the ground to contain and destroy the insurgency. The Iraqi insurgency consists of at least 26 different groups and draws upon as many as 250,000 supporters.

These groups represent a spectrum of beliefs ranging from secular nationalists to hard core jihadists.

The only thing they agree on is that they hate the invader; which is us.

To defeat the insurgency we will need at least 400,000 troops on the ground. At the present time, the United States does not have sufficient troop strength to ramp up to that level.

Our choice is simple--either we come up with the additional forces and commit ourselves to an effort that will stretch on for at least five years with 400,000 plus soldiers and marines in theatre or we withdraw.

How do we get 400,000 troops on the ground? That will require a draft or a commitment by NATO forces and other countries to provide forces.

Even if we start a draft tomorrow, we will not be able to field combat capable divisions for at least two years. Basic training requires 10 weeks. Advance infantry training adds an additional six months. Once the troops are trained they need to train as units. The unit training, starting with companies and working up to division level exercises, will require at least 18 months (and that is an optimistic scenario).

In the interim we would need to call upon NATO forces to deploy to Iraq and conduct a coordinated counter insurgency effort.

This effort, over the next two years, will likely produce at least 10,000 fatalities and 80,000 wounded. Are we willing as a country to pay that price? I don't think so.

Meanwhile, our efforts on the ground are succeeding in killing and capturing a large number of suspected insurgents.

But our kill capture effort is producing a blowback--Iraqis who are incarcerated and the surviving relatives of those killed respond to our effort by joining the insurgents. Instead of reducing the insurgency our efforts are providing a catalyst that recruits new insurgents faster than we can kill them.

I see no political will on the part of the American public to accept a draft and to accept 90,000 casualties during the next four years.

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 20 2005 2:03 utc | 9

'Post-conflict preparations':

Take bad intel, twist it, and run with it

Germans contend that U.S. distorted Iraq intelligence

Chemical Bush

British-trained police in Iraq 'killed prisoners with drills'

The Dirty War: Torture and mutilation used on Iraqi 'insurgents'

Heavy-handed tactics against the insurgency, dubbed "spray and slay", have attracted much criticism. The current American offensive in the west and north-west appears to replicate the methods used in Fallujah: the population is ordered to leave before the town is sealed off and subjected to an air and ground assault. Those killed are invariably described as insurgent fighters, even in incidents where there is strong evidence that groups of civilians, including women and children, have been caught up in airstrikes.

Frontline police of new Iraq are waging secret war of vengeance

Intelligence authorities and Mafias run the Iraqi secret detention camps

Secret death squads among Iraq's commandos

Innocence of childhood wanes in Iraq

Posted by: roro | Nov 20 2005 8:27 utc | 10

On other blogs, I have to fight to even get people thinking about what we are accomplishing.....Will we abandon this mission without people understanding what the ramifications of our actions are?

Posted by: Maloga | Nov 22 2005 6:13 utc | 11

If we have failed, then why have we failed, and how are we to NOT repeat it?

Posted by: Maloga | Nov 22 2005 6:15 utc | 12

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