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Old 10-19-2012, 04:19 PM   #31 (permalink)
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No one in the WhiteHouse or State Dept. gets the concept of tribes. Border lines are imaginary and mean nothing.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:13 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
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No one in the WhiteHouse or State Dept. gets the concept of tribes. Border lines are imaginary and mean nothing.


And that's nothing new for this administration, it goes back at least through the first world war.

....3/4s of the way through the book. Learnin' a lot.
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:13 PM   #33 (permalink)
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No one in the WhiteHouse or State Dept. gets the concept of tribes. Border lines are imaginary and mean nothing.
Hillary does but she calls them Villages.


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Old 11-06-2012, 04:02 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Finally finished the book last week. IMO, it was terrific. Certainly not for everybody: more text book than novel. Impeccably sourced and resourced. Great writing, and excellently edited. The personal stories of individual soldiers, and interviews with the Iraqi leadership were the key elements that made this narrative effective.

The thing that I found most surprising was the extent of the involvement of Joe Biden, from the very beginning as Senator, and then to the very end (game) as VPOTUS. Also fascinated by how General Casey became the leader on policy instead of procedure. While Bush deservedly gets the blame for policy failure, it was by listening to his generals, not the other way around.

Most interesting to most people would be the failure of the Military and Whitehouse to listen to Red Team, a fact-finding mission way back in '04 that accurately warned of what was going to happen AND how to stop it: Counterinsurgency.

The question of what came first the Surge or Awakening is resolved in the Author's opinion as immaterial. Neither could have been effective without the other. Ultimately the awakening grew not because of any great intelligence or policy, but because of the brains and initiative of the colonels and sergeants on the ground.

There was so much to this war that America should know, and of course, never will.

Highly recommended for anyone with the patience to read it.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:44 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Thermodyne is reading this now saying WTF is this? Thermodyne is reading this now saying WTF is this?
We have no end game for Iraq. We never had one. Fact is, no one was interested. Everyone was looking to get their share of the skim and nothing more. Lets face facts. Our government is no longer about governing. It's about collecting and spending trillions of dollars. And for every 10 spent, 4 get siphoned off. Over time, it got harder to collect the payoff on federal programs, so we switched to grants. Again, given time, this too became hard to skim and had too many people skimming the pot. So we started giving the grants to foreign governments. They had no idea how to handle the pallets of cash and lots and lots of it evaporated. So now that the money tap has been turned off, no one is interested in Iraq anymore. While we were hard at work skimming, the EU, China and India moved in and became the legitimate investors in the region. Actually a pretty good deal. We still foot the bill for keeping a lid on the region and they bank the returns. As usual, American greed won out over sound business.

It's the same thing that happened to the US economy. And it's the same thing that will happen to Gannystan. Do you really think that it takes 1.2 million dollars to kill one Afghan a-hole? That's right 1.2 million per. Don't like $4 a gallon gas? Just look at what the government pays for it, $400 dollars a gallon delivered to a Gannystan base. Bottle of water, $32 per/ltr. Seriously, it's only about a 1000 miles from the Gulf State refineries to central Afghanistan. Considering a wholesale price of $1.25, you can fly it in for about $8 a gallon bulk, $10 a gallon in drums.

With profit margins like this, you can bet that there will be a lot of pressure to find a new cash cow of a war soon after we leave Afghanistan. The quick money is in fighting the war, not in the winning of the war.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:27 AM   #36 (permalink)
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why, that's news to all of us.
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