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Thread: "Replace Petraeus"-Fred Branfman

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    Default "Replace Petraeus"-Fred Branfman

    Just reading this 10 pager and I think it has some very valid points,anyone else reading this?

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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Here's a link for those who might wish to read and comment:

    article
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Council Member Hacksaw's Avatar
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    Default Can't Help Myself

    This is moronic drivel
    Hacksaw
    Say hello to my 2 x 4

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    Default I see that the "Betray Us" crowd is still alive & well

    Coupla points:
    1. Huffington
    2. Main source - Times
    3. Pre-emptive declaration of defeat. Big Dave just took over a few months ago. Hasn't had the in-flow of resources, but let's say we're beaten anyway? I don't think so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hacksaw View Post
    This is moronic drivel
    Absolutely... who would take this remotely seriously? Despite being full of logical errors, Branfman doesn't even seem to have a remote grasp of what is going on in Afghanistan and Pakistan, nor how Petraeus (or anyone else, apparently) have influenced, or more importantly, not influenced tehse events. Anyone who has been following these developments knows that McChrystal's/Petraeus's strategy has not been fully implemented and even if they had, there hasn't been enough time to even gauge their effectiveness. As far as drone attacks, I'm on the fence over how much I agree with them but that doesn't necessarily mean they can be linked to Petraeus. There are other entities and dynamics at work besides the military one.

    bigdukesix101 -- are you some kind of agent provocateur or do you actually fall for this crap?
    "The status quo is not sustainable. All of DoD needs to be placed in a large bag and thoroughly shaken. Bureaucracy and micromanagement kill."
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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Branfman is a long term rabble rouser

    of little to no merit who culls the work of real journalists (not that most of them are terribly accurate...) and thinks he has great insights. Nearly as I can determine he's anti most everything.

    This particular insight is even more specious than most because the 'strategy' Peteaus is accused of using is in fact a national strategy that was in place before Petraeus moved to CentCom. Civilians think that a person serving as the combatant commander is totally responsible for or in charge of everything that goes on in his AO. Those days disappeared about the time of the Civil War and it hasn't gotten better with each succeeding war.

    It should be recalled the US is a huge ponderous Elephantocerous and that even the election of a new Administration and an announced 'new' strategy will take months to be implemented due that ponderous bureaucracy that has to be pointed in a new direction -- if it can be swung at all...

    I'm not a Petraeus fan but that's a hit piece of little substance. One should also note that any statement of strategic success or failure in South Asia (or Iraq / the ME) is very premature; it will be years before any such assessment can be made with any accuracy -- by anyone.

    Thanks for posting the link, Steve. Hopefully Bigdukesix101 wiill provide links to any future articles that arouse his curiousity.

    Short version: What Hacksaw said...
    Last edited by Ken White; 06-03-2009 at 09:29 PM. Reason: Credit for conciseness and clarity where due. :D

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    Default Thank you, Hacksaw ....

    This article, if judged solely by content and not by source, is a collage of quotes (which may or may not be accurate or material) and statements which are at best unevidenced. E.g.,

    His ill-conceived effort to deny Al Qaeda and the Taliban "safe havens" in Pakistan - through drone aircraft bombing and special forces' assassination and torture associated with General Stanley McChrystal, his new Afghan military commander - has backfired, driving the Taliban east into Pakistan where they have joined local allies to weaken the Pakistani government.
    Mr Branfman offers no solutions to a difficult problem. One suspects that his bottom line is not that two generals should leave things Astan-Pstan; but that the US should leave Astan-Pstan. He does not address that hidden issue in his agenda.

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hacksaw View Post
    This is moronic drivel
    That would form the bones of both an accurate and detailed conclusion in my view.

    However the really stupid thing about this article is that there some very solid grounds to question a lot of the simplistic assumptions that say Iraq is won, and A'Stan can also be won - and can those things be ascribed to one man.

    This guys just seems to lack the ability or insight to ask those questions in anything like an intelligent way
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

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    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
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    I refuse to read anything on a political website - whatever its leanings - that purports to be serious analysis of an issue.

    I don't go looking for murderers so that I can get stabbed. Likewise, I don't go looking for political activists so that I can soak up their influence. Political activists don't care about informing you. They see you as a means to an end and seek to fill your head with whatever information will influence you to contribute toward that end, with no regard for accuracy or honesty. No thanks.

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
    Likewise, I don't go looking for political activists so that I can soak up their influence. Political activists don't care about informing you. They see you as a means to an end and seek to fill your head with whatever information will influence you to contribute toward that end, with no regard for accuracy or honesty.
    I can see that, and I rather agree. How do you feel about military activists? They exist, believe me.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Default Did not say I agreed, just SOME valid points for discussion.

    I did not include a link because I was given a hard copy to read. I did not say I agreed but I still think there are valid points for consideration. Has anyone read "The Great Gamble"-Gregory Feifer and/or "Soviet-Afghan War"-Russian General Staff ?

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    Council Member IntelTrooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdukesix101 View Post
    I did not include a link because I was given a hard copy to read. I did not say I agreed but I still think there are valid points for consideration. Has anyone read "The Great Gamble"-Gregory Feifer and/or "Soviet-Afghan War"-Russian General Staff ?
    What points are those? Can you summarize them? I don't feel like wading through Brenfman's link-o-mania to extract a few valid points.
    "The status quo is not sustainable. All of DoD needs to be placed in a large bag and thoroughly shaken. Bureaucracy and micromanagement kill."
    -- Ken White


    "With a plan this complex, nothing can go wrong." -- Schmedlap

    "We are unlikely to usefully replicate the insights those unencumbered by a military staff college education might actually have." -- William F. Owen

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    The Huffington Post - says it all right there

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    Talking You guys are reflective, intelligent, awesome

    Hi everyone,

    Interesting thread! What I like about coming onto this board is that folks here analyze, question and assess what is put before you, questioning its rationale to see if whatever idea that is proposed is truly valid. This is true scholarship, reflection and learning After reading about Code Pink, I have lost respect for activists and I tend to avoid political websites too. I just saw the Revolutionary Workers' party on my campus again today. I think Marx and Lennon are really smiling now, lol.

    Van, I read the review of the book about the Human Terrain debate that you posted on Amazon. Your review was very detailed, critiqued the book's weaknesses well and was very informative For myself as an academic, I keep my ideas to myself, I don't lecture/critique on an idea unless I really have knowledge about it, and my thoughts may help someone else.

    I've realized an obvious thing: we live today in a "victimology" culture, at least parts of civilian society I encounter, with people jumping on the bandwagon of identity politics. I've been reading parts of a great series on global war and conflict since the Vietnam era. Again, it's amazing what your professors don't teach in school.

    Just a question, why do people continue to blame Gen. Petraeus? I try to follow his interviews and was reading the Gamble again. He seems like a very determined, intelligent and focused individual. Is it that some people are unhappy with their lives, or impatient and vent on him as a target?

    Naomi

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    Quote Originally Posted by yamiyugikun View Post
    Just a question, why do people continue to blame Gen. Petraeus? Is it that some people are unhappy with their lives, or impatient and vent on him as a target?
    Because the Bush administration gets the credit for "The Surge" and Gen. Petraeus commanded the Iraq theater during that period, certain partisans will always be critical of him, regardless of how successful his commands are.
    Sir, what the hell are we doing?

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    You mean the draft-dodging post deserting former Bush administration,right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdukesix101 View Post
    You mean the draft-dodging post deserting former Bush administration,right?
    We try to keep political rants to a minimum here.

    But back to Naomi's post, I also suspect that there is always some outside observation tension when a general is encountered that doesn't fit the George C. Scott model (ie., his portrayal of Patton or Gen Turgidson ). I've noticed that historically the "rant" crowd has trouble with what they tend to call "warrior-scholars" or generals who have a deep intellectual and academic background. Maybe they consider them class traitors (in other words they should have followed the call of the book or pen and not of the sword). Note that I have no data to back this up...it's just an observation that seems to track back through the years (especially when one looks at the American military).
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Bifdukesix101, I'd like to repeat Intel Troopers request.

    What were the valid points to which you referred?

    Haven't read either of the books but will pick up the Feifer book next time I hit the book store.

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    I've read good reviews of the Feifer book, but I'm cheap so I'm waiting for it to come out in paperback.

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    Default Dave Petraeus is simply ...

    a personified dart board for some of those who are dissatisfied with past and present US foreign policy. Instead of attacking the policy and proposing an alternative solution (which is acceptable discourse), those of that ilk simply launch ad hominen attacks - and hope that some of the darts impress their viewing or reading audience. Since the audience usually consists of the same ilk, the behavior becomes self-reinforcing among that particular group - and they go happily on in their ignorant bliss.

    I never bashed Pres. Bush despite the fact that I had strong disagreements with certain of his foreign and domestic policies. I expect to follow that same tradition with Pres. Obama. You salute the office, not the man. Which doesn't mean that one should keep silent (active military aside, who have constraints) about policies that you believe are not in the nation's best interests.

    End discourse.

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