Guest Authors Guest Authors

This site gets much traffic from all around the world, from people searching for news from Iraq, making it an ideal place to host stories from deployed forces in harm’s way.  In my travels I’ve met many budding writers who are now wearing boots and carrying rifles, and I found their stories so compelling that I want the world to see.

Reflections on Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

By David Petraeus | PRISM Volume 7, No 1 | September 14, 2017

This interview was conducted by Dr. Joseph Collins and Mr. Nathan White for Lessons Encountered: Learning from the Long War, which was published by NDU Press in November 2015.

Can you tell us how your view of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan evolved during your various leadership assignments?

GEN Petraeus: When we were getting ready for what became the invasion of Iraq, the prevailing wisdom was that we were going to have a long, hard fight to Baghdad, and it was really going to be hard to take Baghdad. The road to deployment, which was a very compressed road for the 101st Airborne Division, started with a seminar on military operations in urban terrain, because that was viewed as the decisive event in the takedown of the regime in Iraq—that and finding and destroying the weapons of mass destruction.

There was the expectation of those who were presumably thinking about the Phase IV plan, after-hostilities, that the invasion would lop off the top level of the Saddamists, and then we would relatively expeditiously be able to hand off the responsibilities of governance to some new governing entity, which would exercise governance through the existing institutions of the state, albeit without the Saddamists. By Saddamists, I mean the true loyalists—this would not go down to Ba’ath party level four. It would be Saddam, level one, level two, perhaps some of the level three. But the professionals, if you will, the governing class, would largely remain in place, and there would be functioning governmental institutions that would resume their respective tasks.

Read more: Reflections on Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

Japan’s Sovereign Right to Bring Silence from Within

image001

By Marshall Wordsworth

Martin Scorsese’s Silence, his latest film adaptation of a novel by Japan’s celebrated author, Shusaku Endo, is an ambitious attempt to portray the fierce struggles of Jesuit priests in a mission to spread Christianity in 17th-century Japan.  Andrew Garfield stars as the young Padre Sebastiao Rodrigues who faces physical and spiritual tribulations by the hostile Japanese authorities in Nagasaki as he searches for his fellow senior Portuguese missionary, Padre Cristovao Ferreira played by veteran Liam Neeson.

Read more: Japan’s Sovereign Right to Bring Silence from Within

Michael Yon's War

This year I will say and write some things that may sound outlandish.  Before dismissing my words, please remember that I am very careful with information that is delivered to your table.  Your time is valuable and is respected.  Those who pay attention to what I write will be ahead of the game in some areas.  Please remember my history:

Authored by: David W. Brown (First published on June 1, 2010 in The Atlantic)

It began with a bridge. On the morning of March 1, a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated on Tarnak River Bridge near Kandahar, Afghanistan, killing multiple civilians and one American soldier. While the destruction of a single bridge might ordinarily pose a mere inconvenience to the U.S. war machine, in the oppressive terrain of Afghanistan it became a logistical chokepoint, halting ground-based operations for days.

War correspondent Michael Yon sought the answer to an uncomfortable question: who was responsible for the security of that bridge?

Yon is no ordinary reporter. A former Green Beret with U.S. Army Special Forces, he has spent more time embedded in Iraq and Afghanistan than any other journalist. His dispatches have produced some of the most memorable combat narratives of the war, and a large share of its most iconic images. Make no mistake; Michael Yon is not a dispassionate observer of the Columbia J-School variety. When writing about U.S. forces, he says "we." When writing about insurgents, he calls them terrorists or Taliban. And when reporting failures in the war effort, he names names. This has earned him both the respect and ire of senior military staff. In the case of the Tarnak River Bridge, the name most repeatedly mentioned as responsible for its security was Daniel Menard, the Canadian brigadier general in charge of Task Force Kandahar. Yon went public with this information.

Read more: Michael Yon's War

DEATH OF A GENERAL, A MOTHER’S LOSS, AND HOPE

2 February 2016
Nineveh, Kurdistan

Written by: Free Burma Rangers

1Kurdish forces at Nineveh front.

Several days ago we came from the front line across from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-held Nineveh to attend the memorial of a General killed as he led his troops in repelling an ISIS suicide attack. Our team, consisting of Karen, Kachin and Karenni Free Burma Rangers (FBR) team members from Burma, our family, and foreign staff, drove under snow-covered peaks and through a beautiful gorge arriving in mid-afternoon in the snowy mountain vastness of Soran.

The memorial service lasted two and a half hours with speeches, poems, as well as Kurdish music from Kurdistan’s greatest singer, Shivon Prewar. Kurdish Generals, Members of Parliament and people from all walks of life crowded in to pay their respects to General Shawkat and the others who died with him.

Read more: DEATH OF A GENERAL, A MOTHER’S LOSS, AND HOPE

Reader support is crucial to this mission. Weekly or monthly recurring ‘subscription’ based support is the best, though all are greatly appreciated.  Recurring and one-time gifts are available through PayPal or Authorize.net.

supp

supp

subscribe

My BitCoin QR Code

This is for use with BitCoin apps:

189

You can now help support the next dispatch with bitcoins:

Donate Bitcoins