23 July 2011

Electronic Warfare

This is a small portion of electronic warfare, but it represents and enduring capability that insurgents in Afghanistan have had to learn to deal with.


A lot about capabilities, a little about the how, and very little about successful insurgent tactics.  Still worth reading about twice over if you aren't familiar with the emerging realm of land based electronic warfare.

22 July 2011

Days running into each other....

For the first time in my career I'm a real staff officer.  That means 14 hour days are the norm, 7 days a week.

Obviously that is why updates have hovered between "sporadic" to "non-existant" here at randomthoughtsanguns.

About the time that I get this job figured out they'll move me on to the next one, so wish me luck.  And Afghanistan?  Pulling out can hardly make the situation worse.

14 July 2011

The "not knowing" good and bad

Communication has come a long way.  From post mail on ships in WWI to air mail in WWII.  Telephone calls in Vietnam.  Telephone calls in the Gulf through MARS links where no land line or satphone existed.  Email in Iraq.  Twitter in Afghanistan.

Communication has made our world a smaller place.  But it also brings distraction.  Yesterday I learned that someone I knew did something terrible.  It ate at me all day, my guts in knots over how someone could do that to a child.

08 July 2011

Com blackouts

Every time something really bad happens we go into a "coms blackout" until the Casualty Notification Officer has been able to deliver the message that starts of a long series of really bad days for the receiving family.

Hence sometimes the sporadic updates.  I don't want to really talk about what happened, only because I don't have all the details and a google search will tell you everything I know about it.  Working as a staff officer in a HQ element gives me a pretty broad overview of the battlefield, but some inherent detachment from the visceral reality of serious incidents.

Even here, after ten years of war, the border is still porous, the enemy still has a safe haven and significant amounts of international support.  This war isn't "winnable" in any sort of traditional sense.  We can kill the terrorists, but "winning" would be convincing Pakistan to kill terrorists.  And that is something that is more outside of the military realm an into the diplomacy realm.  But war is politics by other means, and battle is just honest diplomacy....

02 July 2011

More random thoughts

Why do people who protest war also protest "human overpopulation"?

Why do people who believe in "green energy" insist on polluting the land with windfarms and solar farms that don't put out anywhere near the electric power of a single nuclear power generation station?

Why do people who argue against genetically modified foods, synthetic fertilizer, and pest and herbicides cry the loudest when "organic sprouts" start killing people because of a E.Coli contamination?

Don't they know that "organic fertilizer" is nothing more than animal shit?

Don't they know that the safe process of irradiation would have saved peoples lives from their dirty organic poison?

And why do they care if someone dies from a totally preventable disease if they believe the Earth is "overpopulated" as it is?  So maybe they do want people to die from food poisoning in the dark.  Just as long as it isn't them, right?

01 July 2011

Patchwork of problems

Afghanistan is a patchwork of security issues and stability.  Much like Mexico.

There are places where you don't want to go.  There are networks that don't like you.  There are networks that don't like other networks.

But in the end the problems in Mexico don't stem from the US.  As much as the Libtards want to say that Mexican violence is our fault it isn't (Dems in congress want to pass more gun control laws in the wake of "Fast and Furious" because they think the solution to government incompetence is to give the incompetent agency more power and authority). I want to tell them that corruption should not be rewarded.  Not in Mexico, not in Afghanistan, not in Washington D.C.

So until you change that culture, you end up with Mexico.  Or Afghanistan.  It really seems quite simple.