SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > Conflicts -- Current & Future > Other U.S. GWOT > OEF - Afghanistan

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-28-2007   #1
milnews.ca
Council Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 156
Default Germans in Afghanistan

Quote:
Originally Posted by marct View Post
I suspect that part of the problem has to do with how NATO is reconstructing itself. I remember chatting with a senior German policy advisor about Germany's role in Afghanistan, and he pointed out the somewhat ironic position where for years Germany was told they were "bad" for being militaristic and were now being told they were "bad" for not being militaristic enough .
Interesting.....

Saw something earlier this year talking about the German approach:

Quote:
We're back to the delicate situation at the very beginning of operations in Afghanistan, when U.S.-led forces started "Operation Enduring Freedom" to rid Afghanistan of its Taliban rulers, who had hosted Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda terrorists. Their mission, with full support of the UN Security Council and all members of the Alliance, continues. But the Alliance as such has been excluded from the very beginning, although NATO had invoked Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. At the time, many allies, including Germany, expressed disappointment over this course of action. It was only a year later that NATO was given a role, that of command of the ISAF forces, which have a mission based in peacekeeping and stabilization: to provide security, at first, in Kabul, later in the north and the west, and now, since October 5, in all of Afghanistan. So, the distinction between the two missions is the distinction between a peacekeeping and reconstruction force on the one hand, and a fighting force on the other. Germany has made clear that its aircraft will not be part of the fighting force.
...a little more

Quote:
On the one hand, German participation in Afghanistan may have been considered more self-evident in the United States, than was actually the case in Germany. Stated differently, Americans may have tended to underestimate the political hurdles which German national leaders had to overcome in order to develop a consensus for the German military role in ISAF. Therefore, it was perhaps inevitable that the Bundeswehr's engagement would be prescribed in a priori, legalistic terms containing operational caveats designed to reinforce a clear separation in the mission elements between ISAF and OEF. This approach was necessary within the German domestic political context both to develop, and then to sustain, sufficient political support for the German ISAF role. The downside of this approach was the impression it could create among other allies, notably the U.S. and the United Kingdom, that the Germans were not fully sharing the same risks and burdens they themselves were confronting in the more dangerous southern portion of Afghanistan.
milnews.ca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2007   #2
Jedburgh
Moderator
 
Jedburgh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Tripoli, Libya
Posts: 3,074
Default

SIPRI, 4 Nov 07: Still on the way to Afghanistan? Germany and its forces in the Hindu Kush
Quote:
....On 7 February 2007, the German Government decided to expand its military presence in Afghanistan at the specific request of NATO. Six Tornado aircraft were stationed in Mazar i Sharif to assist the alliance in surveillance operations, chiefly covering the troubled southern provinces. The decision came after a lengthy debate, which clearly exposed the growing discomfort of many Germans with their country’s military role in Afghanistan. Currently Germany has approximately 3000 military personnel in Afghanistan. These are divided between Kabul and the northern provinces, where there is a larger base in Mazar i Sharif as well as two provincial reconstruction teams (PRTs), in Kunduz and Feyzabad. German governments have for some time rested the justification for the military commitment on the need for peaceful and democratic reconstruction of a war-torn country. However, recent events in the Hindu Kush in the north of Afghanistan have begun to undermine this rationale. The insurgency in the south, where NATO assumed command in 2006, has emerged as a serious threat to the international forces as well as the Afghan Government.

Because Afghanistan remains volatile terrain, and because the ISAF mission has changed significantly over time, a majority of Germans are anxious about their country’s future engagement. Along with other NATO members, Germany is concerned about getting more deeply involved in Afghanistan’s troubles, especially while a successful end to the engagement is getting further out of sight. The death of three soldiers in May 2007 also raised serious doubts about the mission’s purpose and success. Although the German Government was quick to rebuff calls for a withdrawal, it is not clear whether Germany will continue in the middle term to adopt greater military responsibility or seek an exit route. Because ISAF’s task has turned into an awkward and sensitive test for NATO, much of its success will depend on the position of its leading member states.

This paper examines the guiding principles behind the German military contribution to ISAF, both in the context of German foreign policy in general and the international state-building project in Afghanistan. In the light of this discussion some conclusions are drawn about the future direction of Germany’s Afghanistan policy.....
Complete 15 page paper at the link.
Jedburgh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2008   #3
oakfox
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 7
Default On German contributions (or the lack thereof)

It is interesting that, of all nations in Nato not largely involved in the south, the main criticism seems to hit Germany. This is peculiar indeed considering its past (and comparably intensive involvement in the north).

Some aspects of the German contribution (as well as of its limits):

1) German forces have been part of offensive operations in the context of Anaconda (special forces) and Harekate Yolo 1 + 2.

2) The Germans do have a problem to extend their mandate to the south and let things get hot with larger forces being involved (which cannot be obfuscated wrt to the media).

The WW2 aspects should not be underestimated. On the one hand, Germany gets constantly reminded of the 3rd Reich ( by countries officials including todays allies), especially when it is profitable from the other countries point of view. On the other hand, Germany was no asked to help invading a sovereign country (which they did) and join in messy warfare implying collateral damage. ... That is asking a lot.

There are two other points in this regard. Politically speaking, the allied tactics during WW2 to, by explicitly attacking civilians, bomb/shell/starve out any appetite for military campaigns out of the Germans forever seems to have worked out quite well. Today, the democrats in the States would be best compared to the German conservatives, i.e. the political climate is rather leftish-liberal and most certainly pacifistic. No chancellor would survive (politically) media reports of German forces having mistakenly dropped a bomb on a wedding ceremony... or sth. like this.

WW2 also greatly influenced the German constitution. That is, any form of offensive wars are forbidden by it. It has been controversially debated whether even peace-keeping missions are unproblematic. So, building schools in the north is much less of a legal issue than fighting Taleban in the south.

3) The opinions of German leaders as of how to bring peace to the south are quite different from the ones advertised and implemented by their American colleagues. If the Germans would enter the south then they would do so as junior partners following American instructions in a blood demanding operation the Germans do not believe to be promising. A question we all need to ask ourselves is whether it is feasible to build a stable Afghan nation with the amount of energy and investments the west is willing (and able) to spend.

In the final analysis, I believe it should be clear that, from a German point of view, their current contribution could already be considered being maximally supportive. I would be optimistic that those limitations may slowly erode as WW2 becomes more and more forgotten and younger (less biased by this past war) generations take over in all nations.

Last edited by oakfox; 01-13-2008 at 10:05 PM. Reason: some spelling issues.....its laaate
oakfox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2008   #4
Surferbeetle
Council Member
 
Surferbeetle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,112
Default References?

Oakfox,

Interesting post. Some references would be appreciated to back up your points.

CSPAN covered an interesting panel discussion on NATO, Afghanistan, and some of the inter-related issues on 1-10-2008 entitled: CSIS Panel Discussion on Transatlantic Partnership and Strategy

http://www.c-span.org/VideoArchives....ays=100&Page=5
__________________
Sapere Aude
Surferbeetle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2008   #5
oakfox
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 7
Default references

Sure. Although it turned out that it is quite hard to get appropriate articles in English.

1) I do know wikipedia is not a reliable source - but best to my knowledge the information regarding German involvement is mainly accurate.

Harekate Yolo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coaliti...nistan_in_2007

Anaconda: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Anaconda

An interesting anecdote is that the German public was kept oblivious of the fact that German special forces participated in the battle at tora-bora. The classified information became disclosed when a former Guantanamo inmate (Turkish national) accused German special forces (KSK) of having participated in mistreatment (i.e. he claimed they rammed his head to the ground holding him heels over head or sth.). The claims could not been proven and I personally see them as an attempt to get rich by suing - leveraging the anti-military biased media. However, the incident rose a lot of discussion whether the secretive nature of the KSK was justified.

Another relevant article mentioning harekate yolo is http://www.spiegel.de/international/...523805,00.html

(although it contains some mistakes regarding the facts)

2) An old article (1993) hinting at the constitutional issue: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...57C0A965958260

(Note, the constitution has not been adapted since the article was written - so, the problem remains unaddressed).

For those of you who speak German, the constitution can be downloaded at http://www.bundestag.de/interakt/inf...6_download.pdf

The relevant part is art. 26 (I).

If you speak German, and are interested in an impression of the German mood and foreign politics viewed through the eyes of German soldiers a good place to visit may be the following board (somewhat a German version of lightfighter - but with a seemingly stronger focus on political aspects... you know, less opportunity to talk about trigger time ... so what can you do...): http://www.sondereinheiten.de/forum/index.php

Additional remark: The supreme court would not have allowed a German participation in Iraq. Reference (German): http://dejure.org/dienste/lex/GG/26/1.html

Last edited by Jedburgh; 01-14-2008 at 07:06 PM.
oakfox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2008   #6
Surferbeetle
Council Member
 
Surferbeetle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,112
Default German Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by oakfox View Post
Sure. Although it turned out that it is quite hard to get appropriate articles in English.
Oakfox,

Thanks for the references.

All,

For the 'German View' in English this website ( http://atlanticreview.org/ ) is an interesting place to jump into the pool from and they do have some commentary on Jan 15 with regard to Mr. Gates' comments.

Der Spiegel has an English portion of their website that is always of interest, and as Oakfox mentioned this particular article deals with Germany's concerns about the dangers in Afghanistan and the debate about reconstruction (north) and combat duties (south). ( http://www.spiegel.de/international/...523805,00.html )

The Berliner Umschau ( http://www.berlinerumschau.com/ ) has a short article (German) today about Ukraine's written response to NATO which defines/clarifies their entry in a 'Membership Action Plan' and which was signed by their president, Viktor Juschtschenko, their prime minister Julia Timoschenko, and a parlimentary leader by the name of Arseni Jazenjuk.

Die Ziet always has thoughtful pieces and the recent one (German) on Afghanistan captures the parliamentary concern about the 'thin edge of a wedge' in the form of a Bundeswehr QRF leading to regular combat duties. This debate has been precipitated by Norway's upcoming mid-year withdrawal from ISAF. ( http://www.zeit.de/online/2008/03/bu...eingreiftruppe )

Sueddeutsche.de has a funny article about us gun-loving Americans in German ( http://www.sueddeutsche.de/,tt7m1/pa...el/650/153259/ ) which definitely puts a slant on things. The author appears to have been taken in by our Hip-Hop & NRA IO Plan.

Happy reading.

Steve
__________________
Sapere Aude

Last edited by Surferbeetle; 01-19-2008 at 11:16 PM.
Surferbeetle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2008   #7
Jedburgh
Moderator
 
Jedburgh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Tripoli, Libya
Posts: 3,074
Default

SWP Comments, 18 Feb 08: The German Army and Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan
Quote:
Alongside their NATO allies German troops are facing a growing insurgency in Afghanistan. However, the alliance still lacks a joint strategy to deal with this challenge. While the US government recently called on NATO to pursue a "classical" counterinsurgency campaign, Germany insisted on the development of a more "comprehensive strategy" before the next Summit in Bucharest in April 2008. Yet, over recent months the German position has been criticized by a range of allies for lack of credibility. To gain political influence over the making of NATO’s Afghanistan strategy, the German government first needs to adjust its national position on how to deal with the Afghan insurgency.....
Jedburgh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2008   #8
Surferbeetle
Council Member
 
Surferbeetle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,112
Default Bayernwahl bremst Bundeswehr in Afghanistan

From the German Newspaper Spiegel (Mirror)

'Bavarian vote slows Bundeswehr in Afghanistan'

Quote:
Die Furcht der CSU-Führung vor einer Schlappe bei der Landtagswahl im September hat Auswirkungen auf den Afghanistan-Einsatz der Bundeswehr. Nach Informationen des SPIEGEL soll die Truppe erst im Oktober verstärkt werden. Es droht neuer Ärger mit den Verbündeten.
“The fear of the CSU Leadership (Christian Social Union – a conservative German political party headquartered in Bavaria) of a slap (at their policies) in the state vote (Germany has 16 Lander or States) in September has affected the Afghanistan mission of the Bundeswehr. Spiegel has learned that the troops are to be increased in October. This has threatened to again upset the political alliance.”

More in German at the link....
__________________
Sapere Aude

Last edited by Surferbeetle; 05-04-2008 at 01:40 AM.
Surferbeetle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2008   #9
Jedburgh
Moderator
 
Jedburgh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Tripoli, Libya
Posts: 3,074
Default

Spiegel Online, 19 May 08: German Special Forces in Afghanistan Let Taliban Commander Escape
Quote:
German special forces had an important Taliban commander in their sights in Afghanistan. But he escaped -- because the Germans were not authorized to use lethal force. The German government's hands-tied approach to the war is causing friction with its NATO allies......
Jedburgh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2008   #10
Uboat509
Council Member
 
Uboat509's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: CO
Posts: 681
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
I just had a conversation today with a friend of mine who has extensive experience in Afghanistan about this very issue. He was just flabbergasted at some of the ROEs used by various NATO forces. Just as the article points out they end up being self defeating.

SFC W
Uboat509 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2008   #11
Fuchs
Council Member
 
Fuchs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,189
Default

It's a political failure that casts shadows on our democracies.

The German population has a firm majority that opposes the Afghanistan mission entirely. No-one believes our past SecDef that Germany is to be defended in Afghanistan.
Our government dares to keep the troops there against its people's will; but only with extreme constraints. They even dared to send some hundred more troops.

It's really about time to stop licking the shoes of the U.S..
OEF/ISAF are ####ed up missions - a majority of our population knows that, but our government prefers to mis-use our troops as a kind of political money.
Only problem; they never seem to be able to buy anything with that money, especially not the permanent UN security council seat that they wanted for years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by oakfox View Post
It is interesting that, of all nations in Nato not largely involved in the south, the main criticism seems to hit Germany. This is peculiar indeed considering its past (and comparably intensive involvement in the north).

Some aspects of the German contribution (as well as of its limits):

(...)
I believe my other post here
http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=5483
helps to understand the situation as well.

Foreigners who ask for more (like Gates did) can impossibly be aware of the complete picture, as much "more" would break the Afghanistan mission entirely.
The German government is already doing politics against its own population's will in regards to Afghanistan, the government would lose support of its own political party bases if it got involved in Afghanistan like the British.

Last edited by Jedburgh; 07-09-2009 at 11:58 AM.
Fuchs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2008   #12
Entropy
Council Member
 
Entropy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,457
Default German Special Forces leave Afghanistan without conducting a single mission?

If true, Wow:

Quote:
GERMANY has admitted its Special Forces have spent three years in Afghanistan without doing a single mission, and are now going to be withdrawn.

More than 100 soldiers from the elite Kommando Spezialkrafte regiment, or KSK, are set to leave the war-torn country after their foreign minister revealed they had never left their bases on an operation.

The KSK troops were originally sent to Afghanistan to lead counter-terrorist operations.

But Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the foreign minister, admitted they had not been deployed "a single time" in the last three years, despite a desperate shortage of Special Forces units in the country.
Entropy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2008   #13
Pragmatic Thinker
Council Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: VA
Posts: 57
Default Not suprising...

There are several partners in the NATO coalition that aren't doing much of anything in Afghanistan. There is a glaring lack of unity of effort and unity of command in OEF-A and the NATO partners.
Pragmatic Thinker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2008   #14
Uboat509
Council Member
 
Uboat509's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: CO
Posts: 681
Default

I know some KSK guys from when I was in 1/10 in Germany. If this is true, and I suspect that it is, then there are some truly disgruntled Germans sitting on a FOB somewhere in Afghanistan right now. The KSK are just like anybody else who volunteers for an elite unit, they want to get into the fight not sit on their collective ass for three years. I doubt it was the KSK commanders that kept them out of the fight. I would be more willing to believe that that decision was made much further up the chain of command. Bummer.

SFC W
Uboat509 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2008   #15
JT Clark
Council Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 28
Default Ksk

I spend a lot of time in Germany and speak German. A few years back one of the glossy magazines published some leaked photos of a KSK unit in their long-range patrol vehicle. The front bumper was covered in zip-tied on human skulls. The vehicle certainly wasn't sitting on a FOB at the time- but the public outcry may explain why they've been keeping a low profile since.
JT Clark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2008   #16
Entropy
Council Member
 
Entropy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,457
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JT Clark View Post
I spend a lot of time in Germany and speak German. A few years back one of the glossy magazines published some leaked photos of a KSK unit in their long-range patrol vehicle. The front bumper was covered in zip-tied on human skulls. The vehicle certainly wasn't sitting on a FOB at the time- but the public outcry may explain why they've been keeping a low profile since.
Actually, the picture of the vehicle didn't have skulls, but the Afrika Corps insignia and was taken in Oman, not Afghanistan.

There was another incident where some German troops, but not KSK, made some obscene pictures with human skulls found near Kabul. Some of them were later court-martialed, IIRC.

The low profile may instead stem from accusations of abuse at the hands of the KSK of a German national captured in Pakistan and interrogated in Kandahar.
Entropy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2008   #17
Jedburgh
Moderator
 
Jedburgh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Tripoli, Libya
Posts: 3,074
Default

CES, 1 Dec 08: German problems with their mission in Afghanistan
Quote:
he increase in the Bundeswehr's contingent in Afghanistan up to 4,500 soldiers, which the Bundestag voted for this October, has not eased the criticism of German engagement by some of their allies. In the next few months, Germany will find itself under increasing pressure to enhance their participation in the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan, especially from the new US administration. President-elect Barack Obama has already promised to shift the emphasis of the US engagement from Iraq to Afghanistan, expecting at the same time that European allies, mainly Germany will intensify their engagement in combat operations. Although the German contingent is the third biggest in Afghanistan, its engagement in combat operations against the Taleban is rather small. The government has limited the Bundeswehr's activity to non-military operations in the relatively quiet northern provinces of Afghanistan and prefers engagement in reconstruction and development aid. One of the reasons for that is the German public opinion's negative perception of the Bundeswehr's military missions for historical reasons. The German policy is unlikely to change, especially considering the approaching parliamentary elections next autumn and the diminishing consensus over the engagement in Afghanistan among the political elite. Germany expects that the USA will treat its European allies' views regarding security issues with greater respect and at the same time is not ready to incur an equal share of the military costs as part of NATO. Therefore the mission in Afghanistan may become a problem in future relations between Germany and the USA.......
Jedburgh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2008   #18
Surferbeetle
Council Member
 
Surferbeetle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,112
Default From the German News

From the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zietung

Quote:
Interministerielle Entfremdung

03. Dezember 2008 Eine Art Stellvertreterkrieg wird derzeit zwischen Innen- und Verteidigungsministerium ausgetragen. Er betrifft die deutschen Unterstützungsleistungen für den Aufbau der Polizeikräfte in Afghanistan, und ein Stellvertreter ist der Bundeswehrverband. Dessen bisheriger Vorsitzender Gertz und sein Nachfolger Kirsch hatten den Beitrag mehrfach als unzulänglich kritisiert. Am Wochenende reagierte ein Sprecher von Innenminister Schäuble (CDU) darauf in scharfer Form: Gertz sei ein „chronischer Faktenleugner“, und Kirsch trete nun in seine Fußstapfen. 24.000 Polizisten seien unmittelbar durch Deutschland geschult worden.
My translation...

'Alienation between Ministries

A kind of representative’s war is taking place between the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defense. It involves the German support work for the Development of the Afghanistan Police and the Armed Forces Association. The previous leader [COL Bernhard] Gertz and his replacement [LTC Ulrich] Kirsch have criticized the [German] contribution as repeatedly taking too long. During the weekend the Speaker for the Ministry of Interior, Schauble (CDU) reacted sharply: Gertz is a “chronic denier of the facts” and Kirsch is following in his footsteps. 24,000 Police have been directly trained by Germany.'
__________________
Sapere Aude
Surferbeetle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2009   #19
Jedburgh
Moderator
 
Jedburgh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Tripoli, Libya
Posts: 3,074
Default

IPCS, 8 Jul 09: Afghanistan: Understanding German Objectives and Strategies
Quote:
....The German strategy in Afghanistan has been aimed at building a reasonable balance between civil and military efforts. German troops have been widely involved in reconstruction acitivities in the northern provinces of Afghanistan, where Germany maintains two Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT), in Konduz and Feyzabad. The success of German efforts in the north is respectable. The ISAF troops seem to be well connected to the local population and the Afghan people have welcomed their presence.....
Jedburgh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2009   #20
Rex Brynen
Council Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 1,583
Default Germany and the Haji Sakhi Dedby airstrike

Sole Informant Guided Decision On Afghan Strike

By Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, September 6, 2009

Quote:
HAJI SAKHI DEDBY, Afghanistan, Sept. 5 -- To the German commander, it seemed to be a fortuitous target: More than 100 Taliban insurgents were gathering around two hijacked fuel tankers that had become stuck in the mud near this small farming village.

The grainy live video transmitted from an American F-15E fighter jet circling overhead, which was projected on a screen in a German tactical operations center four miles north of here, showed numerous black dots around the trucks -- each of them a thermal image of a human but without enough detail to confirm whether they were carrying weapons. An Afghan informant was on the phone with an intelligence officer at the center, however, insisting that everybody at the site was an insurgent, according to an account that German officers here provided to NATO officials.

Based largely on that informant's assessment, the commander ordered a 500-pound, satellite-guided bomb to be dropped on each truck early Friday. The vehicles exploded in a fireball that lit up the night sky for miles, incinerating many of those standing nearby.

A NATO fact-finding team estimated Saturday that about 125 people were killed in the bombing, at least two dozen of whom -- but perhaps many more -- were not insurgents. To the team, which is trying to sort out this complicated incident, mindful that the fallout could further sap public support in Afghanistan for NATO's security mission here, the target appeared to be far less clear-cut than it had to the Germans.
Anyone know how this is playing out in Germany?
__________________
They mostly come at night. Mostly.
Rex Brynen is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:23 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7. ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design © 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation