Archive for the 'Russia' Category



The End Of Russian Democracy?

BY Herschel Smith
10 years, 11 months ago

Via Instapundit:

Despite criticism from the U.S. and an appeal on Friday by Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s lawyers, it appears the former head of the Yukos Oil Company will spend as much time in the Gulag as many Stalin-era political prisoners. His sentence of 13.5 years for fraud means that he will not be a free man until 2017, if then. The presiding judge in the case said that correcting Khodorkovsky would only be possible if he was isolated from society.

In fact, however, the Putin regime is not concerned about correcting Khodorkovsky. The arrest and sentencing of Khodorkovsky made it possible to complete the transformation of Russia into a controlled society with a permanent political leadership and a president for life (Putin). It is for this reason that Putin not only hates Khodorkovsky but, to a degree, fears him. Putin cannot abide the implicit challenge that Khodorkovsky at liberty would represent.

When the Soviet Union fell, almost all property in Russia was in the hands of the state. This meant that it was controlled by government bureaucrats. At the same time, only criminal elements and those who had benefited from the connections to the authorities during the perestroika period and were able to start their own businesses had money to buy it. Khodorkovsky, a young communist league (komsomol) activist, was in the latter category. Like other nascent “capitalists,” Khodorkovsky benefited from corrupt ties to government officials to amass phenomenal wealth. Khodorkovsky acquired the Yukos Oil Company under the “loans for shares” program in which the government mortgaged the crown jewels of Russian industry in return for loans that it was clear would not be repaid. Khodorkovsky’s bank, Menatep, was put in charge of the auction of Yukos which controlled 2 per cent of the world’s oil reserves. It acted to eliminate all competitive bidding and Khodorkovsky purchased the company for $159 million, $9 million above the starting price. In 2003, the value of Yukos was estimated at $15 billion.

Unlike the other Russian oligarchs, who amassed wealth in similar ways, however, Khodorkovsky realized that the Russian rules of gangster capitalism had to change if Russia was ever to be a civilized country and he took steps to transform Yukos into a modern Western company. He declared his income and introduced Western standards of accounting and governance. He also began to exercise the rights of a Western businessman, including the right to finance opposition political parties. It was this that set him on a collision course with Putin.

When Putin took power as Yeltsin’s hand picked successor, his first priority was to protect the lives and property of the members of the corrupt Yeltsin oligarchy. Putin, however, changed the rules of the game in one important respect. He was ready to allow the oligarchs to enjoy the fruits of their misdeeds as long as they did not intervene in politics. Putin was to rule alone, without opposition, and the wealth acquired through dishonest means during the Yeltsin era was to be placed exclusively at the disposal of the Putin regime.

From Putin’s perspective, there was never to be any such thing as Russian democracy.  It isn’t just that it’s now dead.  It was stillborn from the beginning.  Our ratification of the New START treaty reflects a stolid and dense understanding of world affairs.

It bought us nothing.  Russia hasn’t exactly cooperated with respect to inspections anyway, so that argument fails.  It restricts the number of nuclear weapons for both Russia and the U.S., but Russia is bankrupt and wouldn’t pursue such an expansionist program anyway.  On the other hand, it does indeed restrict our ability and freedom to develop defensive weapons, and it makes irrelevant the DoD recommendations to pursue the reliable replacement warhead program (and even continue to develop nuclear weapons technology).  Thus is takes a situation of superiority for the U.S. and makes it parity.

Russia fought our attempts to secure the Manas air base for logistics to Afghanistan, and they are even now attempting to reduce our influence in Tajikistan.  They want the U.S. to sell them weapons, but demand that we refrain from aiding Georgia in her fight against Russian hegemony while they also sell weapons to Syria, that apparatchik of Iran.

Returning to New START, Russia is no friend or ally of the U.S.  Mr. Obama read a biography of Ronald Reagan while vacationing in Hawaii.  Under START when Reagan negotiated the treaty, even Time noted that:

Under Reagan’s ceilings, the U.S. would have to make considerably less of an adjustment in its strategic forces than would the Soviet Union. That feature of the proposal will almost certainly prompt the Soviets to charge that it is unfair and one-sided. No doubt some American arms-control advocates will agree, accusing the Administration of making the Kremlin an offer it cannot possibly accept—a deceptively equal-looking, deliberately nonnegotiable proposal that is part of what some suspect is the hardliners’ secret agenda of sabotaging disarmament so that the U.S. can get on with the business of rearmament.

But accept it they did because of SDI.  And thus Reagan negotiated the treaty from a position of strength to preserve superiority, not ensure parity.  We all knew Ronald Reagan.  He was our beloved President, and under his watch I didn’t have to worry with such pedestrian issues as what the New START contains and why a lame duck Congress would ratify such a thing.

Yes, we all knew Ronald Reagan, and Mr. Obama, you sir are no Ronald Reagan.

Obama Administration Allows Russian Inspections of Nuclear Sites

BY Herschel Smith
12 years, 1 month ago

Russia gets to count U.S. missiles and warheads according to a recent agreement sponsored by the Obama administration.

Russia and the United States have tentatively agreed to a weapons inspection program that would allow Russians to visit nuclear sites in America to count missiles and warheads.

The plan, which Fox News has learned was agreed to in principle during negotiations, would constitute the most intrusive weapons inspection program the U.S. has ever accepted.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said publicly Tuesday that the two nations have made “considerable” progress toward reaching agreement on a new strategic arms treaty.

The 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, expires in December and negotiators have been racing to reach agreement on a successor.

Clinton said the U.S. would be as transparent as possible.

“We want to ensure that every question that the Russian military or Russian government asks is answered,” she said, calling missile defense “another area for deep cooperation between our countries.”

While we’re at it, let’s go ahead and give them our miniaturized nuclear weapons technology from Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories.  Let’s allow them access to Oak Ridge National Laboratory so that they can see how we cascade our enrichment of weapons grade material.  In fact, let’s just give them some of our weapons so that Russian scientists and engineers can study our material purity and weapons designs.

Talk about OPSEC (operational security) violations, this must be the mother of all offenses.  The Marines ban twitter, Facebook and MySpace because of just such issues, but Obama lets the Russians investigate and inspect the most significant deterrence to all out conventional war in the last half century.  Is there a problem with this picture?

Counterinsurgency, Brutality and Women in Combat

BY Herschel Smith
12 years, 3 months ago

Generally I think that articles which rely on the ideas of other bloggers is to be avoided.  Occasionally however, it is appropriate to respond to critics.  One strength of blogging is the ability to link, criticize, interact, and respond.  I accept that although I don’t want it to dominate my prose.

Now for Gulliver at Ink Spots.

People will use just about anything as evidence for things they already believe.

Case in point: Herschel Smith thinks that the presence of women in Soviet combat formations is one of the top five most important reasons for their failure in Afghanistan.

I think that other things were essential to the loss, including [a] focus on the cities v. the countryside, [b] complete breakdown of the lines of logistics due to [a] above, [c] heavy losses because of Taliban control over the roads due to [a] above, [d] focus on mounted combat and mounted patrols as opposed to dismounted operations, [e] women in combat billets which led to a high number of lower extremity injuries and a high number of combat ineffective units, and a whole host of other things. [emphasis mine]

This comes in the SWJ comment thread about an article on “Sri Lanka’s disconcerting COIN strategy,” as part of a post in which Smith dismisses Soviet “ruthlessness” as one of the primary reasons for defeat in the Afghan war.

So in short, girls in the infantry were more damaging to the Russian war effort than bad counterinsurgency tactics. “There is the thing of testosterone, and it’s different because God made it that way.” Ok? Ok. Glad we cleared that one up.

Let’s think carefully about both my comment and Gulliver’s reaction to it.  Both say something about the commenters and their thought boundaries.  The comment was left at the Small Wars Journal blog in response to an article by Major Niel Smith.  If I may be allowed to summarize the thesis, he posits that the more violent and less population centric counterinsurgency model has its supporters.  He specifically mentions Ralph Peters and Colonel Gian Gentile; I’m not sure sure about Ralph Peters, but I would comment that the inclusion of Colonel Gentile in this category is true to some extent, but somewhat inappropriate given the nuance included in Gentile’s model and also given the use made of this inclusion (for one of the best discussions of Gentile’s position, see The Imperative for an American General Purpose Army That Can Fight, Foreign Policy Research Institute).  His (Niel Smith’s) discussion ranges into the brutality of less population centric counterinsurgency, and in this he should have (in my opinion) focused more on Edward Luttwak.

But getting back to the main point, Niel goes on to grant the assumption that some of the evidence is compelling in favor of this view, but that there is even more compelling contrary evidence – defeater evidence – for the success rate of counterinsurgency focused on heavier combat tactics.  At this point he uses several examples, one of which is the Russian campaign in Afghanistan.

So Niel has written a fairly open minded article positing that there is evidence to support what I will call the Luttwak position, while more compelling defeater evidence.  He then invites critique.  In my critique I didn’t weigh in on the overall thesis, but did essentially state that the Russian campaign was a poor example to support the thesis.  I opined that there were other more important reasons that the Russians lost the campaign.

Enter Gulliver.  He thinks that I have listed my top five reasons that the Russian campaign failed.  Why Gulliver thinks that I have listed my top five reasons is not known.  Gulliver would have to answer that question himself.  If I had been asked to list my top reasons that the Russian campaign failed, I probably would lead with focus on the population centers and relegation of the countryside to the Taliban to recruit, train and raise support.  In second place wouldn’t be U.S. help and assistance, although many would place this one in first or second.  My second reason (challenging for top spot) would be the existence of the Russian made RPG, plentiful to the Taliban for reasons that included U.S. help.  The Russian RPG was the first EFP (explosively formed projectile) used en mass on the battle field.

But no one asked me to enumerate my top five reasons the campaign failed.  I merely included a list of things that initially came to mind.  Let’s deal with women in combat now.  Gulliver’s response drips with sarcasm even after his incorrect assumptions concerning my list of reasons that the Russians lost.  But it remains undisputed that there were women in combat billets in the Russian campaign, and it remains undisputed that there were a large number of lower extremity injuries and that this led to a large number of ineffective units.

Marine in Helmand suffering under a heavy combat load, way more than 100 pounds.

But there is more to discuss on this issue.  As regular readers know, we have followed the dismounted campaign by the U.S. Marines in the Helmand Province.  CBS reporter Lara Logan has seen the Marines in Helmand without an ounce of fat on their bodies, and she has even expressed concern over their health.  When my son deployed to Fallujah he was so slim and muscular that I wondered how he would lose any weight whatsoever, as there was no weight to lose.  The only way he lost 20 or 30 pounds was the same way the Marines in Helmand do it.  The body turns on itself and begins eating muscle for energy.  I am a weight lifter and I know how to avoid this, i.e., I know when to stop my workout because I am no longer helping my body.  It’s actually dangerous, although Ms. Logan doesn’t know how to express it.  The body hurts itself when it begins using muscle and internal organs for energy.

Here is a test question.  We have discussed the Marines carrying 120 pounds on their back in 120 F heat in Helmand, patrolling all day and even conducting squad rushes with this weight.  Now for the question for the readers.  How many of you – raise your hands now – believe that women could carry 120 pounds in 120 F heat all day in Helmand and then conduct squad rushes?  You can answer in the comments – it’s okay.  But if you answer yes, you are also required to tell us what kind of dope you’ve been smoking.  You see, we all know what the honest answer to this question is, even if Gulliver doesn’t admit that he does.

Now let’s close with a little examination of what the Democrats think about special forces, special operations forces, and women in combat billets.  I support women in the military, and one example of such a role would be the use of female Marines to interact with Afghan women after terrain has been seized.  But the Democrats in Congress ( hereafter Dems) wanted something different for the Army.  Hence, women occupy combat billets in the Army.

The Dems want their social experiments and projects, but even they know that there has to be a boundary for this.  Michael Fumento has a good article on the Dems’ love of SF and SOF and their promise to expand the SF.  I have weighed in on the cult of Special Forces, so I won’t reiterate my issues with the Dems’ proposal or Michael Fumento’s prose here.

The point is that SF are deployed all over the globe.  They are involved in black operations that are never seen, never heard of, and are not subject to the Dems’ social experiments.  The Dems know this and they want it that way.  Women are not allowed in combat billets, not in the Special Forces, not in the Special Operations Forces, and not in Marine infantry.  The Dems want their programs, but they also want to know that they can call on infantry to do the job of infantry, so they restrict their own programs to known boundaries.  I challenged those boundaries and believe that they should not allow women in Army infantry.  The Dems include women in Army infantry.  But they stop there.  Not the Marines, and not Army SF.

There you have it.  They are at the best simply not forthcoming, and at the worst, disingenuous liars.  The truth gets spoken in quiet circles when no one but the power brokers are listening.  The public hears what the power brokers want them to hear.  One piece of that tripe is that there is no difference between men and women in the military.  They know better, but don’t want you to know that they know.

Now back to Gulliver … if Gulliver has managed to hang on and pay attention this long.  Is it I who has allowed his bias (presuppositions) to dictate the outcome, or Gulliver?  Note again his comments above.  Gulliver is simply indignant that I have “dismissed” Soviet ruthlessness as the reason for their failure in the campaign.  But isn’t he begging the question?  Has he not even allowed the Niel Smith’s assumptions to dictate the course of the debate?  Niel has allowed that there is evidence that supports Luttwak’s thesis, but believes that there is stronger defeater evidence.  Gulliver doesn’t engage in the debate.  He simply assumes that the Soviets lost due to the reasons he outlines, and then proceeds from there.  Who then is the one who uses just about anything as evidence for things he already believes?

The reader can judge for himself.  In the mean time, I have given you Luttwak, Gentile, Niel Smith, women in combat billets, heavy combat loads, squad rushes, the Small Wars Journal blog, SF and SOF, black operations and the Dems in Congress to think about.

If I ever give you worthless tripe like you read at Ink Spots, you should savage me in the comments.

The Coming War in the Caucasus

BY Herschel Smith
12 years, 6 months ago

In It’s Time to Engage the Caucasus we described a potential logistics route through the Caucasus region in lieu of the problematic and troublesome Pakistan routes (especially through Khyber).  The recommended route involved transit from the Mediterranean Sea through the Bosporus Strait in Turkey, and from there into the Black Sea.  From the Black Sea the supplies would go through Georgia to neighboring Azerbaijan.  From here the supplies would transit across the Caspian Sea to Turkmenistan, and from there South to Afghanistan.

In addition to this region being a potential viable alternative to Pakistan, we noted this region as being an up-and-coming economic power due in part to the massive quantities of energy buried beneath its soil.  The engagement of the Caucasus region would potentially lead not only to logistics routes, but political and energy partnership as well.  But the darker truth that accompanies this potential is that Russia is also interested.

Russia is interest for several reasons, including the fact that Russian bases in Armenia have no viable land resupply and logistics route except through Georgia.  Recent NATO exercises in Georgia infuriated the Russian administration, causing the Russian ambassador to say that “Differences between Russia and U.S. on a number of issues still persist. The most recent example is NATO maneuvers in Georgia. It disappoints us as it assures Georgian government that regardless of what it did towards Russia, it will gain NATO membership. Unfortunately, no lesson was drawn from August events,” referring to their 2008 invasion of Georgia.

This is the first admission of the real reason behind the invasion of Georgia, veiled though it was.  It was all about “lessons” for the U.S. and Georgia.  The most recent warnings are less veiled.

A Kremlin policy paper says international relations will be shaped by battles over energy resources, which may trigger military conflicts on Russia’s borders.

The National Security Strategy also said that Russia will seek an equal “partnership” with the United States, but named U.S. missile defense plans in Europe among top threats to the national security.

The document, which has been signed by President Dmitry Medvedev, listed top challenges to national security and outlined government priorities through 2020.

“The international policy in the long run will be focused on getting hold of energy sources, including in the Middle East, the Barents Sea shelf and other Arctic regions, the Caspian and Central Asia,” said the strategy paper that was posted on the presidential Security Council’s Web site.

“Amid competitive struggle for resources, attempts to use military force to solve emerging problems can’t be excluded,” it added. “The existing balance of forces near the borders of the Russian Federation and its allies can be violated.”

Medvedev’s predecessor Vladimir Putin, who is now Russia’s powerful prime minister, often accused the West in the past of trying to expand its clout in the ex-Soviet nations and push Russia out of its traditional sphere of influence. The Kremlin has fiercely opposed NATO’s plans to incorporate its ex-Soviet neighbors, Ukraine and Georgia.

Russia currently controls most natural gas export routes out of the former Soviet region, but that grip is coming under growing pressure from China and the West.

The European Union, which depends on Russia for about one-quarter of its gas needs, has sought alternate supply routes, including the prospective Nabucco pipeline that would carry the Caspian and Central Asian gas to Europe but skirt Russia.

Intensifying rivalry for influence in the ex-Soviet region fomented tensions and helped stage the ground for last August’s war between Russia and Georgia, which sits astride a key export pipeline carrying Caspian oil to Western markets.

The war erupted when the U.S.-allied Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili sent troops to regain control over the separatist province of South Ossetia, which had close links with Russia. After routing the Georgian army in five days of fighting, Russia recognized both South Ossetia and another Georgian rebel province of Abkhazia as independent nations and permanently stationed nearly 8,000 troops there.

President Barack Obama’s administration has sought to rebuild ties with Moscow, which plummeted to a post-Cold War low under his predecessor and focus on negotiating a new nuclear arms control deal. Medvedev and other Russian officials have hailed what they called the new administration’s constructive approach and voiced hope that Washington will drop plans to deploy missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic — a top irritant in U.S.-Russian relations.

Reflecting the Kremlin’s hope for better ties with Washington, the strategy paper said Russia will seek “equal and full-fledged strategic partnership with the United States on the basis of coinciding interests.”

But it warned that missile defense plans and prospects to develop space-based weapons remain a top threat to Russia’s security, and said Russia will seek to maintain a nuclear parity with the United States. However, it added that Russia’s policy will be pragmatic and will exclude a new arms race.

The Captain’s Journal has recommended engaging the Caucasus by means of friendship, assistance and special dispensation for business partnerships.  This remarkable admission by Russia, signed by Medvedev, directly admits that war is possible over energy.

The romantic notions of influence in its so-called near abroad has been dropped in favor of more honest but crass verbal bullying and threats, targeted at an administration which wants to press the “reset” button with them.  The team of Putin and Medvedev intend to bloat the cash flow directly into Russia in payment for energy, this very energy being extorted by force if necessary.

Given the predisposition of the current administration to negotiate, talk, bargain and expect only the best of our supposedly erstwhile enemies, it isn’t apparent that Georgia, the Ukraine and other regional countries have any hope of continued sovereignty as it currently exists.  If extortion and threats don’t pave the way towards a re-emergence of the old Soviet style government, then they have made their only other option clear.  War is coming to the Caucasus.

Prior:

Mutiny in Georgia

Obama, Russia and the Future of Georgia

It’s Time to Engage the Caucasus

Rapidly Collapsing U.S. Foreign Policy

Mutiny in Georgia

BY Herschel Smith
12 years, 6 months ago

We have previously predicted a war between Russia and Georgia, or better described, a Russian invasion and rapid takeover of Georgia.  The casus belli will be political instability, or cross border shooting at each other, or some other absurd smoke screen.  The real issue will be the Russian bases in Armenia and inability to reach them without passage through Georgia.  That, combined with Russian hegemony in its near abroad, will be the impetus for renewed military action.  But the method in which is almost began is interesting.

Georgian police officers are seen in a truck body at a road outside Tbilisi today. Georgian troops staged a mutiny on the eve of NATO exercises in the ex-Soviet republic, which the government said it ended without violence but accused Russia of backing the rebels (Vano Shlamov / AFP / Getty Images).

Reporting from Moscow and Tbilisi, Georgia — Georgia’s president, a post-Soviet darling of the Bush administration, is already struggling with a buildup of Russian troops in breakaway territories and an angry opposition movement intent on driving him from power. Suddenly, the integrity of the armed forces is in doubt as well.

The short-lived mutiny of a tank battalion today was another reminder of the instability that has racked Georgia since it was defeated last summer in a war with Russia. President Mikheil Saakashvili rushed to negotiate with the mutineers. And he took to the airwaves to accuse Russia — whose leaders loathe him and are bitterly opposed to his hopes of joining NATO — of trying to organize a coup.

“What happened today is just a signal that the war has not ended yet,” said Alexander Rondeli, president of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies.

The flare of insurrection was over in a few hours. The commander of the 500-member tank battalion was in custody, the base was calm, and the government had turned its attention to circulating a news release describing “the failed military mutiny.”

But the uprising further pressurized politics in the small republic in the volatile Caucasus region.

The government accused Russia of orchestrating the uprising in an effort to undermine NATO war games set to begin in Georgia on Wednesday.

Saakashvili called the uprising “a serious threat and a serious challenge,” but said it was isolated. He also said the mutineers had “connections with special forces in a specific country known to us.”

“I am asking and demanding from our northern neighbor to refrain from provocations,” Saakashvili said in a televised address.

This mutiny is thuggery, the actions of criminals.  It’s tailor-made and just perfect for Vladimir Putin and his lap dog Dmitri Medvedev.  Money has been pouring into Georgia to support the forces of unrest, and it’s quite the wonder that Georgia has held on as long as it has.  But while the U.S. is glad-handing, or hand-slapping, or fist-bumping, Russia, and hitting the rest button in our relations, Russia is flipping the U.S. the bird.  The Russian ambassador to the U.S. has given a stern warning on what the invasion in the August of 2008 really meant.

Russia deplores the NATO decision to hold military training in Georgia. It shows that the alliance did not draw right lesson from the developments in the Caucasus in August 2008, RIA Novosto quoted Russian ambassador the United States Sergey Kislyak a saying in New York.

Corporative Longbow 09 /Corporative Lancer 09 multinational training is expected to begin on May 6 and run through June 1 in Georgia. As many as 1,300 military men from 19 alliance member states and partners will participate.

“Differences between Russia and U.S. on a number of issues still persist. The most recent example is NATO maneuvers in Georgia. It disappoints us as it assures Georgian government that regardless of what it did towards Russia, it will gain NATO membership. Unfortunately, no lesson was drawn from August events,” Russian ambassador said at Carnegie Council in New York.

Lessons.  That was the point of the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008.  Apparently we (and Georgia) didn’t learn them the easy way, and with the fist-bumping and smiles being the order of the day, The Captain’s Journal wonders if Georgia regrets sending its sons to fight alongside U.S. troops in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Some ally we turned out to be.

Prior:

Obama, Russia and the Future of Georgia

It’s Time to Engage the Caucasus

Rapidly Collapsing U.S. Foreign Policy

Will Russian-Afghan Logistics Dictate Foreign Policy?

Obama, Russia and the Future of Georgia

BY Herschel Smith
12 years, 7 months ago

Significant attention is being given to Mr. Obama and his administration’s position on engaging the Muslim world.  But little attention has been given to what may be a very important exchange over the Caucasus.  We have extensively covered Russia’s interest in its near abroad, including in Rapidly Collapsing U.S. Foreign Policy, where we observed that the ceasefire with Georgia:

… has left the strategically important Russian base in Armenia cut off with no overland military transit connections. The number of Russian soldiers in Armenia is limited to some 4000, but during 2006 and 2007 large amounts of heavy weapons and supplies were moved in under an agreement with Tbilisi from bases in Batumi and Akhalkalaki (Georgia). At present there are some 200 Russian tanks, over 300 combat armored vehicles, 250 heavy guns and lots of other military equipment in Armenia – enough to fully arm a battle force of over 20,000 (Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozrenie, August 20, 2004). Forces in Armenia can be swiftly expanded by bringing in manpower by air transport from Russia. Spares to maintain the armaments may also be shipped in by air, but if a credible overland military transit link is not established within a year or two, there will be no possibility to either replace or modernize equipment. The forces will consequently degrade, undermining Russia’s commitment to defend its ally Armenia and Moscow’s ambition to reestablish its dominance in the South Caucasus

Russia hasn’t lost interest in the Causasus in spite of the overwhelming worship of the new administration on the world wide stage.  They have a long attention span and have kept their eye on the ball, so to speak.  At The Captain’s Journal we have recommended the full engagement of the Caucasus region, including transit of logistics through Georgia to neighboring Azerbaijan; from there the supplies would transit across the Caspian Sea to Turkmenistan, and from there South to Afghanistan.  This approach would have a dual affect.  First it would address the issue of interdiction of supplies through the Khyber region in Pakistan by the Taliban, and second, it would aid and benefit Georgia and assure the world that the West supports its sovereignty.

But perhaps Georgia shouldn’t have sent troops to Iraq to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.  The U.S. doesn’t have such a long memory when administrations change.  Russia is playing nice when it comes to logistics, in that it has “offered to discuss allowing the US to ship military cargoes across its territory to Afghanistan in a significant step seemingly aimed at building bridges twithWashington” (sic).  On another front, the Russians are hailing comrade Obama.

Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev hailed Barack Obama as “my new comrade” Thursday after their first face-to-face talks, saying the US president “can listen” — even if little progress was made on substance.

The Russian president contrasted Obama as “totally different” to his predecessor George W. Bush, whom he blamed for the “mistake” of US missile shield plans fiercely opposed by Moscow.

Obama agreed to visit Moscow in July after his talks with Medvedev on Wednesday on the sidelines of a G20 summit in London aimed at fixing the battered world economy.

“I believe that we managed to establish contact. But Moscow lies ahead. I cannot say that we made much progress on the most serious issues,” he told reporters, adding: “Let’s wait and see.”

“I liked the talks. It is easy to talk to him. He can listen. The start of this relationship is good,” he said, adding: “Today it’s a totally different situation (compared to Bush)… This suits me quite well.”

So Dmitri Medvedev is happy, something that may be a sign of trouble.  Continuing:

“Today from the United States there is at least a desire to listen to our arguments,” he said, adding that: “Such defence measures should be carried out jointly “between Washington and Moscow.”

The missile defence plan was “a mistake that the previous US administration is responsible for. Many of my European colleagues also believe this,” the Russian leader added, without specifying who.

Obama, speaking on Wednesday, admitted US-Russian ties had cooled, saying: “What we’ve seen over the last several years is drift in the US-Russian relationship.

“There are very real differences between the United States and Russia, and I have no interest in papering those over. But there are also a broad set of common interests that we can pursue,” he said.

One area of difference is Georgia — Russia sent troops and tanks deep into the ex-Soviet republic last August in response to a Georgian military attempt to retake the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

Medvedev made clear later Thursday that Moscow’s views have not changed — in particular about Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili — however he feels about Obama.

“Everything that has happened, I will tell you frankly, that the leader of Georgia is responsible for everything. That is my direct and honest and open opinion.

“A lot of people had to pay for the mistakes of one man. We love and appreciate the Georgian people. But I do not want to have any relations with President Saakashvili.”

A catchphrase to remember: “jointly between Washington and Moscow.”  So there you have it – the price for the happiness.  Georgia had best be preparing to defend itself or have a puppet dictator installed who is subservient to Moscow.  Same for the Ukraine, and other nations in the Russian near abroad.  As for any possible U.S. reaction to this potential aggression?  Well, we wouldn’t want to “cool” our new-found happy relations with Moscow.

It’s Time to Engage the Caucasus

BY Herschel Smith
12 years, 8 months ago

We have closely followed the implementation of the Taliban strategy (pointed out here at The Captain’s Journal one year ago and one half year before it began in earnest) to shut down lines of logistics via the Khyber region and through the Torkham Crossing.  The closing of the Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan has occurred due to entirely different reasons than enemy strategy.  Or has it?  Russia is asserting itself in what it considers to be its near abroad, and has essentially bribed the officials in Kyrgyzstan to close down the Manas Air Base.  This makes the U.S. utterly dependent on logistical lines that run through Russia to Central Asia.  Of course, this places the U.S. in a precarious position regarding membership of Georgia and Ukraine in NATO, as well as missile programs in Poland and elsewhere.  If the U.S. is dependent on Russia for logistics, then it is much more likely that Russia will be able to assert itself in the region with U.S. weakness because of dependence on Russian cooperation for logistics.

For this reason The Captain’s Journal had recommended approximately two months ago that the U.S. work harder on a potential logistical lines through the Caucasus region, specifically, from the Mediterranean Sea through the Bosporus Strait in Turkey, and from there into the Black Sea.  From the Black Sea the supplies would go through Georgia to neighboring Azerbaijan.  From here the supplies would transit across the Caspian Sea to Turkmenistan, and from there South to Afghanistan.

If this line of supply came to pass, then this leaves the issue of refueling for air supply and transit through the region unaddressed, since this was the primary mission of the Manas Air Base.  Stephen Blank, professor at the US Army War College, has written that of the potential replacements for Manas, none appear to be viable.  But unaddressed in Blank’s commentary is the potential to base air support in either Azerbaijan or Turkmenistan.

Returning to lines of logistical supply, as we recently reported, there are ongoing talks concerning the Caucasus region regarding the very routes we have discussed.  Furthermore, trial runs of supplies are ongoing to test these routes.

… the Air Force is working on contingency plans to move the tanker fleet to bases in the Persian Gulf if it loses basing rights to Manas.

The Azeri capital, Baku, is emerging as a leading candidate to substitute for Manas, should the Kyrgyz government refuse to reconsider its withdrawal of the basing rights.

American and Azeri officials said that the focus of the discussions on Monday and Tuesday was a surface route that would move supplies from the Georgian port of Poti on the Black Sea and overland to Baku, where they would cross the Caspian Sea to Aktau, Kazakhstan, and then overland across Uzbekistan into Afghanistan.

A second potential route would land cargo at the Caspian seaport of Turkmenbashi, in Turkmenistan, for transit into Afghanistan. Talks on supply routes have also been held with officials in Tajikistan, another neighbor to the north of Afghanistan.

One American official said the first “trial run” of cargo containers on the new route was conducted within the last two weeks, with shipments of lumber sent from Turkey to Georgia to Azerbaijan, and then onward toward Afghanistan.

So this report notes not one, but two potential lines of logistical supply over land, as well as the potential replacement of the Manas Air Base with Baku, Azerbaijan.  At this point it might be that the Russians backpedal on disallowing Manas to continue to function (thus the recent equivocation in the news), since U.S. involvement in the Caucasus (i.e., their near abroad) is the last thing they want.

But this logistical transit route is viable.  First to Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan is more developed than Turkmenistan, and is obviously the center of gravity of both of the potential logistical lines discussed above.  Baku would be almost ideal for an air base to support refueling operations for U.S. aircraft supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.  Turkmenistan is far less developed, and the only viable route for supplies would go through Ashgabat from the port city of Turkmenbashi, and then South to Kandahar or East to Kabul.

Much ink has been spent spilled over the human rights record of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and both are undoubtedly repressive regimes, although there is evidence that Turkmenistan is slowly and gradually changing for the better.  There is also significant corruption in Turkmenistan.  But there is also indication that Turkmenistan is opening up to economic cooperation.  They have expressed an interest in becoming an associative partner in the ECO (Economic Cooperation Organization), and have recently opened their air space to NATO supply flights to Afghanistan.

The U.S. has a history of moral preening when it comes to working with unsavory dictators and political regimes, but this preening must be put aside in favor of functionality and logistics.  Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan have all expressed an interest in working with the U.S. to enable lines of logistical supply to Afghanistan.  This plan is, after all, what provided more than 40% of the supplies to Russian troops during their campaign.

Moreover, a stronger presence in the Caucasus region is in the interests of the U.S. in both the near and long term.  Stronger ties will serve to ensure continued supplies to U.S. troops in Afghanistan, cement critical relations in this region and Central Asia, and provide a counterbalance to Russia’s increasing hegemony in their near abroad.  It is the right time and circumstances to engage the Caucasus.

Postscript: The Captain’s Journal thanks Mr. Bob King, Instructor, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Department of Joint, Interagency and Multinational Operations, Leavenworth, for the encouragement to write this article.

Caucasus Talks on Logistical Transit Routes for Afghanistan

BY Herschel Smith
12 years, 8 months ago

Ever since The Captain’s Journal warned a year ago that logistical lines through Khyber would be targeted as part of the Taliban campaign, we’ve covered and analyzed the progress (or lack thereof) in developing new lines of supply.

There have been occasional problems further South in Pakistan, and while a smaller percentage of supplies goes to Kandahar from the port city of Karachi than through Khyber to Kabul, this recent attack may mark the beginning of a new phase of the Taliban campaign to interdict supplies in the South.

Gunmen in Pakistan on Tuesday torched a truck carrying supplies for NATO forces in neighbouring Afghanistan, leaving its driver and a helper wounded, police said.

Gunmen snatched the truck in Baluchistan province’s Soorab, 200 kilometres (120 miles) south of Quetta, and set it ablaze after wounding the driver and his helper, senior police official Khaild Baqi told AFP.

“The injuries to the driver were serious, but his helper’s condition is stable,” Baqi said.

Police chased the attackers and traded fire with them, but the search for them was continuing, he added.

Baqi said some 150 truckers parked their vehicles to protest against the attack but that the authorities were negotiating to persuade them to continue their journeys.

NATO and US-led forces in landlocked Afghanistan are hugely dependent on Pakistan for supplies and equipment, around 80 percent of which is transported through Pakistan.

Nobody claimed the responsibility for the attack.

Baluchistan has been rocked by a four-year insurgency waged by tribal rebels fighting for political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region’s natural resources.

The province has also been hit by attacks blamed on Taliban militants.

On the other hand it may be the local insurgency rather than the Taliban, although Karachi already has elements of the Tehrik-i-Taliban, and Quetta is the home of the senior leadership of the Afghanistan Taliban.  Either way, this is not a good sign.

In other news, it appears that someone has been reading The Captain’s Journal.

US military officials have held talks with government and business representatives from Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan on the transport of supplies to Afghanistan, the US embassy in Baku said Tuesday.

The two days of talks in Baku, which concluded Tuesday, were aimed to “coordinate transportation issues that will facilitate the shipment of supplies to US, NATO and partner military forces operating in Afghanistan” through the Caucasus region, the embassy said in a statement.

It noted that the talks focused on “non-lethal supplies” and that “no military personnel are involved in the actual transportation of supplies through the Caucasus.”

The Asia Times recently summarized why we have been opposed to supply routes that go through and/or rely on Russia.

Moscow has every reason to encourage NATO to become more and more dependent on the northern corridor … a Russia-Iran understanding over the Afghan transit routes enables Moscow to exploit NATO’s dependence on the northern corridor, which, in turn, compels the alliance to be sensitive about Russia’s security interests and concerns and at the same time paves the way for Russia to play a bigger role in the stabilization of Afghanistan, which of course suits Iran.

Nothing good comes from the logistical transit routes through Russia.  To be clear, we had recommended approximately two months ago that the U.S. work harder on the Caucasus route, which is as follows.  First, supplies (including military supplies) would be shipped through the Mediterranean Sea through the Bosporus Strait in Turkey.  And from there into the Black Sea.  From the Black Sea the supplies would go through Georgia to neighboring Azerbaijan.

From here the supplies would transit across the Caspian Sea to Turkmenistan, and from there South to Afghanistan.  A larger regional map gives a better idea of the general flow path.

The problems are numerous, including the fact that the supplies would be unloaded in Georgia to transit by rail car or road, unloaded from rail or truck to transit again by sea, and finally loaded aboard rail cars or trucks again (after passage across the Caspian Sea) in Turkmenistan to make passage to Afghanistan.

But removal of the logistical lines from Russian control places Iran, the missile shield, and NATO membership for Georgia and the Ukraine back on the table while we still supply our troops in Afghanistan with ordnance and supplies.  The U.S. is not “over a barrel,” so to speak.  And the DoD and State Department should keep reading The Captain’s Journal.

Category: Logistics

Rapidly Collapsing U.S. Foreign Policy

BY Herschel Smith
12 years, 9 months ago

Iran is quickly advancing towards becoming a nuclear state.  In troubling developments in air power, Iran can now deploy UAVs, and Russia may have supplied Iran with new air defense systems, including their long range S-300 surface to air missiles.  If they haven’t, the system is being used as a bargaining chip by Russia.  There are reports that they have refused to sell the missile system, but responding to the Israeli plan to sell weapons systems to Georgia by saying that Moscow expected Israel “to show the same responsibility.”  In the first case, Iran is armed with an air defense system that would make an attack against its nuclear assets much more difficult.  In the second case, Russia has used this potentiality to weaken Georgia and prime it for another invasion.

Pavel Felgenhauer at the The Jamestown Foundation has recently published a commentary entitled Russia’s Coming War with Georgia.  The commentary very smartly connects the isolated Russian base in Armenia – which in itself is further demonstration of Russian intentions of control over its “near abroad” – with the need to control Georgia.    Says Felgenhauer, “The ceasefire last August has left the strategically important Russian base in Armenia cut off with no overland military transit connections. The number of Russian soldiers in Armenia is limited to some 4000, but during 2006 and 2007 large amounts of heavy weapons and supplies were moved in under an agreement with Tbilisi from bases in Batumi and Akhalkalaki (Georgia). At present there are some 200 Russian tanks, over 300 combat armored vehicles, 250 heavy guns and lots of other military equipment in Armenia – enough to fully arm a battle force of over 20,000 (Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozrenie, August 20, 2004). Forces in Armenia can be swiftly expanded by bringing in manpower by air transport from Russia. Spares to maintain the armaments may also be shipped in by air, but if a credible overland military transit link is not established within a year or two, there will be no possibility to either replace or modernize equipment. The forces will consequently degrade, undermining Russia’s commitment to defend its ally Armenia and Moscow’s ambition to reestablish its dominance in the South Caucasus.”

Concerning the timing of the potential invasion, Felgenhauer observes:

While snow covers the Caucasian mountain passes until May, a renewed war with Georgia is impossible. There is hope in Moscow that the Georgian opposition may still overthrow Mikheil Saakashvili’s regime or that the Obama administration will somehow remove him. However, if by May, Saakashvili remains in power, a military push by Russia to oust him may be seriously contemplated. The constant ceasefire violations could escalate to involve Russian servicemen – constituting a public casus belli. The desire by the West to “reset” relations with Moscow, putting the Georgia issue aside, may be interpreted as a tacit recognition of Russia’s right to use military force.

With the addition of the Biden pronouncement that the U.S. would “press the reset button” with Russia, the U.S. is now in the throes of a logistical dilemma.  On the one hand, the missile defense program for NATO states is meant as a deterrent for a potential Iranian nuclear and missile based military capability.  On the other hand, the current administration is seen as likely to jettison the whole project.

The U.S. is now beholden to Russia for logistical supply lines to Afghanistan.  General David Petraeus has visited numerous European and Central Asian countries recently, including Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.  Supplies are soon to leave Latvia bound for Afghanistan.  But the common element in all of the logistical supply lines are that they rely on Russian good will.  This good will exists as long as the missile defense doesn’t, and the missile defense was intended to be used as a deterrent for Iranian nuclear ambitions.

Alternative supply routes have been suggested, including one which wouldn’t empower Russian hegemony in the region, from the Mediterranean through the Bosporus strait, into the Black sea, and through Georgia to neighboring Azerbaijan.  From there the supplies would transit across the Caspian Sea to Turkmenistan, and from there South to Afghanistan.  An alternative to the air route from the recently closed Manas Air base is sea transport to India, rail or truck to the Indian-controlled Kashmir region, and then air transport to Kabul.  But none of these options has been pursued.  The current administration is locked into negotiations that empower Russia.

Pakistan President Zardari has observed, and correctly so, that Pakistan is in a state of denial concerning the threat posed by the Taliban, yet rather than eliminate the threat, the strategy has been to make peace deals with the Tehrik-i-Taliban and plead for the same financial bailout being offered across America, saying that in order to defeat the Taliban Pakistan needs a “massive program,” a “Marshall Plan” to defeat the Taliban through economic development.

Certainly, some of the foreign policy problems were present with the previous administration, from the failure to plan for logistics for Afghanistan, to support for Musharraf’s duplicitous administration, assisting the Taliban by demure on the one hand while money was received with the other.  But the currents appear to be pointing towards a revised world opinion of what the U.S. is willing to sustain on behalf of “good relations,” and the current administration’s prevarications appear to be going headlong into numerous dilemmas.

We wish to use the missile program in Europe as an bargaining chip to avoid the reality of an Iranian nuclear program, while the Iranian supreme has said that “relations with the U.S. have for the time being no benefit to the Iranian nation.”  Russia, who is assisting Iran in its military buildup, is unimpressed because we have planned for no other option for logistics for Afghanistan except as dictated by Vladimir Putin.  The best that we can come up with, so far, is to forestall the planned troop reduction in the European theater, a troop reduction that is needed to help fund and staff the war against the global insurgency.

Pakistan’s Zardari figures that if the administration is willing to give away on the order of a trillion dollars, they can play the game of “show me the money” like everyone else, from Russia over logistical lines to Afghanistan to over-leveraged homeowners in the U.S.

Israel figures that all of this points to throwing their concerns under the bus, and thus they have launched a covert war against Iran, a program that is unlikely to be successful, pointing to broader regional instability in the near term.  Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah, has said that they will acquire or have acquired anti-aircraft weapons.  While they have stood down over the war in Gaza, they are apparently preparing for more of the same against Israel.

The current administration has attempted to befriend Syria, while at the same time the USS San Antonio has interdicted Iranian weapons bound by ship to Syria, intended for Hezbollah or Hamas.  Most of this has occurred within less than two months of inauguration of the current administration in Washington.  It may prove to be a difficult four years, with unintended consequences ruling the day.

Update: Welcome to Instapundit readers and thanks to Glenn for the link.

U.S. Supplies Shrinking in Afghanistan

BY Herschel Smith
12 years, 10 months ago

Military.com has an important article on the logistical state of affairs in Afghanistan.

The milk is now pulled from the mess hall by 9 a.m., to ration the limited supply.

At the Camp Phoenix base store nearby, the shelves look bare. There’s no Irish Spring Body Wash, no Doritos, no Tostitos Scoops, no Bayer Aspirin.

“We’re having the same problems all over Afghanistan,” said Randy Barnes, who manages warehouses for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, which operates stores at many of the bases where U.S. troops are deployed in the war on terror here.

For the Soldiers at Camp Phoenix, about 650 of whom are from the Illinois National Guard, the missing supplies underscore what senior military officials have been saying for months: U.S. and coalition troops must find new routes to supply what will be a rapidly growing force in Afghanistan, ones that avoid the treacherous border areas of Pakistan where convoys have been ambushed.

Supplying an army in any war is crucial; it’s not just bullets and bombs, but everything from fuel to lettuce, that must be shipped in by the ton and the truckload. And a country like Afghanistan — landlocked, mountainous and with few good roads — poses enormously difficult challenges even without attacks by militants.

Gen. David Petraeus, the chief of U.S. Central Command, announced late last month that the military had reached transit deals with Russia and several Central Asian states to the north of Afghanistan, to provide an alternate route from Pakistan. But it’s not yet clear whether any new route would be able to absorb the heavy traffic.

“It is very important as we increase the effort in Afghanistan that we have multiple routes that go into the country,” Petraeus said …

The supply-route challenge is politically sensitive; as long as the U.S. and coalition troops depend on Pakistan to move supplies, it’s difficult to be too critical of its government’s help in the war on terror. Some in Washington have questioned Pakistan’s commitment.

But a route through Russia and neighboring countries is not necessarily a long-term solution either. The over-land route is much longer and more expensive, and dealing with repressive regimes in Central Asia also could pose political dilemmas.

This is a significant story on the state of affairs of logistics in Afghanistan, rounded off by a stupid comment at the end of the quote.  There are no political dilemmas with which to deal.  Ending every repressive regime is not in the bag of tricks that we should expect the U.S. military or the State Department to perform.  Repressive regime or not, we should make allies with the countries with whom we must deal.

This is true – except for Russia, who is still, in our estimation, an enemy posing as a friend.  It won’t take much for them to revert from being a temporary friend to being an erstwhile friend.  Maybe the switch has already begun.  When General David Petraeus recently stated that agreements had been reached for transit of supplies via Russia, he was quickly corrected by Russia.

The shocking intelligence assessment shared by Moscow reveals that almost half of the US supplies passing through Pakistan is pilfered by motley groups of Taliban militants, petty traders and plain thieves. The US Army is getting burgled in broad daylight and can’t do much about it. Almost 80% of all supplies for Afghanistan pass through Pakistan. The Peshawar bazaar is doing a roaring business hawking stolen US military ware, as in the 1980s during the Afghan jihad against the Soviet Union.

within a day of Petraeus’ remark, Moscow corrected him. Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Maslov told Itar-Tass, “No official documents were submitted to Russia’s permanent mission in NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] certifying that Russia had authorized the United States and NATO to transport military supplies across the country.”

A day later, Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, added from Brussels, “We know nothing of Russia’s alleged agreement of military transit of Americans or NATO at large. There had been suggestions of the sort, but they were not formalized.” And, with a touch of irony, Rogozin insisted Russia wanted the military alliance to succeed in Afghanistan.

They are playing hard ball, as we predicted that they would.  For Afghan logistics, The Captain’s Journal has strongly recommended the route that passes through the Bosporus Strait, Georgia to neighboring Azerbaijan, across the Caspian Sea to Turkmenistan, and from there South to Afghanistan.  So what do the Russians think about our proposal?

Russian experts have let it be known that Moscow views with disquiet the US’s recent overtures to Central Asian countries regarding bilateral transit treaties with them which exclude Russia. Agreements have been reached with Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Moscow feels the US is pressing ahead with a new Caspian transit route which involves the dispatch of shipments via Georgia to Azerbaijan and thereon to the Kazakh harbor of Aktau and across the Uzbek territory to Amu Darya and northern Afghanistan.

Russian experts estimate that the proposed Caspian transit route could eventually become an energy transportation route in reverse direction, which would mean a strategic setback for Russia in the decade-long struggle for the region’s hydrocarbon reserves.

The Asia Times gives us the summary of the Russian position.

Medvedev made it clear Moscow would resist US attempts to expand its military and political presence in the Central Asian and Caspian regions. He asserted, “This is a key region, a region in which diverse processes are taking place and in which Russia has crucially important work to do to coordinate our positions with our colleagues and help to find common solutions to the most complex problems.”

This is political speak for the fact that Russia wants to ride the coattails of the American taxpayer and fighting men to importance in the region, and will resist any attempt of the U.S. to expand logistical routes.  Russia will be just fine with the U.S. solving its Islamic militant problem in Chechnya by fixing Afghanistan, but wants the U.S. out of the region as soon as this is done.  Another way of saying it is that the U.S. needs to hurry its preparations for logistical routes through the Caspian region.

Underscoring their commitment to hegemony in the region, Russia snared a new Naval base on the Black Sea, courtesy of Abkhazia.  Time is wasting, and the Soldiers are running out of milk, Aspirin and soap.

Prior:

Will Russian-Afghan Logistics Dictate Foreign Policy?

New Afghan Supply Route Through Russia Likely

U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership


26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (704)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (36)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (21)
Ammunition (172)
Animals (116)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (303)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (80)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (27)
Australian Army (7)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (121)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (18)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (3)
Blogs (23)
Body Armor (21)
Books (3)
Border War (14)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (38)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (3)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (15)
Christmas (12)
CIA (29)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (3)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (218)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (190)
Department of Homeland Security (26)
Disaster Preparedness (4)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (12)
Donald Trump (26)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (2)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (32)
Featured (186)
Federal Firearms Laws (18)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (1,440)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (15)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (44)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (9)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (1,380)
Guns (1,943)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (8)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (16)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (1)
Horses (1)
Humor (37)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (94)
India (10)
Infantry (4)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (2)
Intelligence (23)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (170)
Iraq (379)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (64)
Islamists (95)
Israel (18)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (2)
Jihadists (80)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (4)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (4)
Lawfare (7)
Leadership (6)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (50)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (271)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (62)
Medical (110)
Memorial Day (6)
Mexican Cartels (36)
Mexico (52)
Michael Yon (6)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (4)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (6)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (25)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (24)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (78)
NATO (15)
Navy (24)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (3)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (58)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (221)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (7)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (67)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (2)
Pizzagate (21)
Police (549)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (913)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (248)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (75)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (32)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (442)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (28)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (23)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (30)
Survival (58)
SWAT Raids (55)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (2)
Tactical Gear (6)
Taliban (168)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (17)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (95)
Thanksgiving (11)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (22)
TSA Ineptitude (13)
TTPs (4)
U.S. Border Patrol (5)
U.S. Border Security (14)
U.S. Sovereignty (17)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (3)
Uncategorized (58)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (3)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (318)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (4)
War Reporting (21)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (73)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (21)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2021 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.