President Trump thinks he can solve the AfPak dilemma. In his speech, Trump talked about winning. There is no winning to be had beyond safeguarding our national interests.
This is all a distraction from a gigantic problem: China. On our scale of concern, Afghanistan is microscopic by comparison to China and other challenges, yet on our scale of priorities, the price of nation building in Afghanistan dwarfs the price of securing our borders.
Afghanistan is at the periphery of our influence bubble. Pluto. Our footprint is a speck in the Asian beyond. The President called on Pakistan and India to do their parts. How often we have heard this.
Yesterday, a busy Facebook page published some of my work. This sparked lively conversation. Some Soldiers cued me in. The story revolved around an intense, close firefight in Mosul that ended with hand-to-hand combat and my finding an empty M-4 rifle, loading it and firing.
Pardon the language, but in the comments a reader named Mitchell Spillman asked: "Want to explain to me how the fuck the journalist reloaded a rifle? Whered he pull the mag from, his ass?"
Kingdom of Thailand: The body of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, has passed away. His Loving Soul is with us now.
With sad heart that I write these words. I was told by sources close to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej that he passed away one hour ago, at about 1415 Thailand time. As I write these words, it has not yet been announced, but when you read these words, it will have been officially announced.
I read it several times. Generally speaking, we already knew of Saudi culpability in the 9/11 attacks. After all, 15 of 19 hijackers were Saudi, and there remains mountains of other evidence.
These 28 pages contain many specifics ranging from Florida and across the country to California to Oregon. These pages should be of great interest to journalists, and to people who live in neighborhoods where some of these mosques exist, etc.
Many veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and other such wars, likely view this news cycle through a different glass. Using Iraq as example, after things truly began to spin out of control in 2004, many people were fighting for vastly different reasons. The situation was difficult to track even for dedicated analysts. Just who was fighting whom, and for what reasons, often was a great mystery even to our intelligence people.
Amid the chaos of unstructured conflict and war, the always-there lunatic fringe is uncorked. Suddenly the actions of a serial killer look like the work of an insurgent or group. Criminality skyrockets, and what would earlier have been seen as just a bank robbery looks like part of a movement.
The British and others have much basis in fact for wishing to leave the EU and its nonsensical Eurocrats. This post explains a trivial matter by comparison, but by scaling up this example it becomes easier understand their anger and frustration.
My Canon DSLR cameras shoot video that is of sufficient quality to use in major motion pictures. The quality is extremely high. Many filmmakers use the Canon Mark III 5d.
I use the same model for interviews and other situations to capture maximum details. I just used this camera in 11 countries during ‘comfort women’ research.
Tim is a retired Marine infantry officer. I spent much time with Tim in various provinces in Afghanistan, such as Nangarhar, Kabul, Kandahar, Helmand, Nimoroz.
Good Lord almighty we went everywhere together, often alone or with just one other man, an ex-Aussie Soldier named Shem.
First time Tim picked me up in Kabul to take me to Jalalabad, Nangarhar, there was a bag beside me in the backseat filled with grenades. I said I'll just help myself to a couple of these.
We were going down roads sometimes passing burning and blown-up, shot up vehicles. IED holes, and people who obviously were Taliban and associates, yet somehow we got away with it. You had to be there to believe it.
I was not advertising this at the time due to the obvious peril, but we both learned a lot about the war which left both of us ahead of the curve when writing about it.
This morning I checked Tim's website and saw that he posted on the Orlando shooting.
Several years ago, Mr. Gingrich called me about something and I still have his private number. So I called him this evening from China to ask his thoughts about Donald Trump. This audio is short and unedited, though it kicks in about 20 seconds after we started talking:
This came from a former EOD officer and close friend who served two tours in Iraq and still teaches internationally on the topic:
Oh, before I forget, they really need some 256 kits to be sure on the chem from the Free Burma Ranger report. Some incendiary compounds can fail to ignite and look like a black oily mess with fumes on occasion. Given that various groups in that region typically modify ordnance I would not put it past them to improvise an incendiary.
I'm not sure either way and would have to defer to the blood test from the hospital on those who were exposed as well as a 256 kit or other detection to see, but black and oil could also be an incendiary as well as chemical. Just another potential.
Erik is the finest combat leader I ever went to combat with. Spent five months with him. Before I got there to the unit in Mosul, Erik had already been knocked out by a car bomb and all sorts of other things, but was still doing missions literally 7 days per week, as the battalion commander.
The enemy hated Erik so much that they put a bounty on him. The enemy hated Deuce Four. I loved them. They were incredibly aggressive and so there was constant contact with the enemy.
I was sitting here studying about Korea and set up my camera for this snake. I know a little about its habits and just less than one minute after the video started rolling, its tongue flickered out and then it came out. Perfect timing.
I got a call this morning that Abhisit wants to talk on Thursday. I can try to work in questions if there is time. If you have any questions just post here and I will do my best. I will ask how the meeting went with U.S. Ambassador Glynn Davies.
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.