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Forum: Government Agencies & Officials 03-23-2008
Replies: 41
Views: 18,023
Posted By Merv Benson
Predator missions

Most air Force missions are transient, i.e. they go from point A to Point B and back and sometimes spend a short time over a target. That is one reason why air power is a poor substitute for boots...
Forum: Middle East 02-17-2008
Replies: 176
Views: 127,016
Posted By Merv Benson
Whose strategy in Lebanon

Iran and to some extent Syria supplied Hezballah with beau coup rockets for a purpose beyond responding to a Israeli attack on on Lebanon. Iran wanted the rockets to act as a strategic deterrent...
Forum: Futurists & Theorists 11-17-2007
Replies: 238
Views: 34,844
Posted By Merv Benson
Attack helicopters vs. A-10s

Rob Thorton said:

I agree. I think the A-10 is a superior aircraft for that particular mission, and my guess is that if the Army was flying them, they would have been used.

I am currently...
Forum: US Policy, Interest, and Endgame 10-13-2007
Replies: 20
Views: 12,727
Posted By Merv Benson
What he said when he was in charge

In January 2004 Gen. Sanchez ( said, "I really believe that the only way we are going to lose here, is if we walk away from...
Forum: Historians 10-11-2007
Replies: 402
Views: 109,195
Posted By Merv Benson
Travis vs. Santa Anna

I think Santa Anna decision was the much bigger mistake and it wound up costing him the war, since the Texas Army under Sam Houston was able to get into a position to ultimately defeat him while he...
Forum: Middle East 10-05-2007
Replies: 187
Views: 119,808
Posted By Merv Benson
Did Israel hack into Syrian air defense system?

This post ( suggest that may very well have happened.

Meanwhile the Russians who supplied the air defense...
Forum: Futurists & Theorists 09-28-2007
Replies: 238
Views: 34,844
Posted By Merv Benson
Intelligence in War

I just finished John Keegan's Intelligence In War. It is excellent. He uses some historic examples beginning with Nelson's search for the French fleet on its way to Egypt. His discussion of code...
Forum: Intelligence 09-26-2007
Replies: 25
Views: 13,220
Posted By Merv Benson

Is there some reason why interpreters that we and the Brits have hired in Iraq could not be used as document translators? I understand that the Brits are concerned that their guys might get killed...
Forum: Military - Other 09-25-2007
Replies: 5
Views: 6,664
Posted By Merv Benson
Training for what

Will seem to be suggesting that the war was getting in the way of the Marines basic mission of training. I recall when I was in the training command prepping for my tour in Vietnam one of the...
Forum: Training & Education 09-22-2007
Replies: 49
Views: 14,279
Posted By Merv Benson
Asking the right questions

Sometimes just asking the right questions ( can make a big difference in the effectiveness of our forces.
Forum: Futurists & Theorists 09-19-2007
Replies: 142
Views: 55,726
Posted By Merv Benson
Combined arms still needed

Most people recognized that sufficient mounted armor forces could have made a significant difference in the Blackhawk Down battle in Mogadishu.

We also know that dismounted forces are more...
Forum: Catch-All, GWOT 09-18-2007
Replies: 253
Views: 129,683
Posted By Merv Benson
Defeating an insurgency

I will not try to bridge the differences between LtC. Gentile an others. I think most of his metrics make sense despite a different emphasis in the COIN manual. In fact, I think the current...
Forum: PMCs and Entrepreneurs 09-18-2007
Replies: 317
Views: 294,479
Posted By Merv Benson
Were the people firing on teh convoy wearing uniforms?

I think Jedburgh and Steve Blair both make good points. I suspect the events surrounding the exchange of fire were much more nuanced than either side is revealing at this point. One point that...
Forum: Doctrine & TTPs 09-14-2007
Replies: 280
Views: 162,207
Posted By Merv Benson
Policy and strategy

The Bush administrations policy in Iraq has too often been conflated with the strategies for implementing it by many of the critics of the policy. Thus the Abizaid-Casey small foot print strategy...
Forum: The Whole News 09-11-2007
Replies: 24
Views: 9,091
Posted By Merv Benson
Defacing the monument

Does anyone have a link to a news story on this, or has the media not covered it?
Forum: Equipment & Capabilities 09-07-2007
Replies: 11
Views: 15,196
Posted By Merv Benson
Choice of colors?

Rob said:

With an order that size, you can probably get it in Mary Kay pink.
Forum: Equipment & Capabilities 09-06-2007
Replies: 11
Views: 15,196
Posted By Merv Benson
Brits develop Mad Max Taliban chase vehicle

You can see a photo and a description here (

It is an open vehicle with several weapons mounted in various...
Forum: Catch-All, OIF 08-24-2007
Replies: 41
Views: 43,324
Posted By Merv Benson
Iraqis crossing US border

I think most of them are Christians fleeing persecution by the terrorist in Iraq. The San Antonio Express News has done a series of articles on the Iraqis coming across the southern border. I will...
Forum: Media, Information & Cyber Warriors 08-17-2007
Replies: 41
Views: 13,637
Posted By Merv Benson
Accounting for WMD


When we talk about honesty on the WMD issue too often we over look how we got there. Iraq was required to account for its WMD by virtue of a cease fire agreement and some 16 or so UN...
Forum: Adversary / Threat 08-17-2007
Replies: 57
Views: 58,837
Posted By Merv Benson
Pictures from the Taliban manual

Use the link on my post to get to the Telegraph story. There is a link to several pictures from the manual. I have not been able to copy the link directly but it reads "In pictures: Taliban 'how...
Forum: Adversary / Threat 08-17-2007
Replies: 57
Views: 58,837
Posted By Merv Benson
Training for the Jihad (merged thread)

From my post ( with excerpts from the UK Telegraph:

I'm sure our intel guys will be eager to get their hands on...
Forum: Doctrine & TTPs 08-14-2007
Replies: 7
Views: 7,618
Posted By Merv Benson
Wedding party blues

Recall that early on in the war in Iraq when the Air Force was "bombing wedding parties" because of the "threat" from celebratory gunfire? The theme kind of wore itself out after it was used a few...
Forum: The Whole News 08-08-2007
Replies: 18
Views: 8,457
Posted By Merv Benson
Boney Fingers?

I am not familiar with that one, but I am sure they would object to her somewhat autobiographical "I'll keep on falling in love 'Til I get it right" or I Don't Wanta Play House.

Another C&W song...
Forum: Who is Fighting Whom? How and Why? 08-07-2007
Replies: 17
Views: 10,252
Posted By Merv Benson
A general uprising against al Qaeda

I think we are riding the crest of a general uprising among the tribes against al Qaeda and its allies. This post...
Forum: Politics In the Rear 08-04-2007
Replies: 23
Views: 11,119
Posted By Merv Benson
Foolish but somewhat useful

Tancrado's "deterrent" would obviously be a strategic mistake, but the suggestion is somewhat useful in countering the argument of the Islamist movement that we are at war with Islam, because it...
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