Oddly enough, the Major fouled up. It is never a good idea to take such complaints out of house. It will get you in trouble and will accomplish little.
The first thing the Major should have done was to inform higher command, in a dispassionate manner. If they are indifferent, or support the LTC's bad judgment, then the Major could totally nuke the LTC.
By telling the combat units on the ground who had expressed a willingness to sacrifice their lives for some vague "greater good".
That unit would be focused on getting rid of the LTC, one way or another, and combat personnel have ways of getting what they want.
Thus it would be the LTC on the hot seat, and the best he could hope for would be to have his career ruined and shipped out of theater. That is, if the unit didn't take it too personal.
...that's based upon the assumption that the 'chain' would act in the manner most of us would expect. However, I suspect deeply that the chain has been compromised to the PC side of the spectrum and not the purpose and function of a military.
Just my personal opinion but the entire senior officer corps needs to be read Article 99 of the UCMJ and specifically (8) and (9)...
Text. Any member of the armed forces who before or in the presence of the enemy
(8) willfully fails to do his utmost to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy any enemy troops, combatants, vessels, aircraft, or any other thing, which it is his duty so to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy; or
(9) does not afford all practicable relief and assistance to any troops, combatants, vessels, or aircraft of the armed forces belonging to the United States or their allies when engaged in battle; shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct.
This shit has been going on for a long time. Viet Nam, at least. In OCS, in an artillery class, I asked how long from call for fire to rounds on the ground. Three minutes. Not long afterwards, in a class on restricted fire zones, somebody asked how long for authorization for supporting fires. An hour. Maybe never.
See Broughton, Thud Ridge and Going Downtown.
Posted by: Richard Aubrey ||
03/12/2012 15:01 Comments ||
I remember a tale from a Vietnam vet who was then, when I talked to him, a Sergeant Major.
He and his team had been fighting out in the jungle for months, in pretty vicious combat, and they noticed that it was taking longer and longer to get rations and resupply. He finally decided to apply some "moral suasion" via radio to the rear area supply NCO.
The supply NCO readily pointed the finger at a senior officer who for whatever illegitimate reason had been intentionally delaying their support.
So the combat NCO asked the supply NCO to put that officer on the radio, then leave the room and not look back, lest he be turned into a pillar of salt. He did so.
The end result was that the officer was so terrified for his own personal safety that the combat NCOs unit was sent double rations, along with a case of Michelob on ice and a handwritten note of apology.
Well, at least 51% are to blame considering who they put in charge in 2008. [Not that the people who offered up an alternative which was basically similar in attitude and behavior can avoid the same tag.]
The Europeans want to play a key role in the ongoing conflict with Iran over its disputed nuclear program, jumpstarting stalled negotiations in a bid to prevent Israel from taking military action. But can the EU's hapless foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who will lead the talks, make a difference?
When Catherine Margaret Ashton, also known as Baroness Ashton of Upholland, became Europe's top diplomat two years ago, even her husband Peter Kellner expressed skepticism. Upon her appointment, the British people "weren't exactly dancing in the streets," admitted Kellner, president of the YouGov international opinion polling group. Following an unpromising start, Ashton's reputation has continued in one direction: downward.
After one and a half years, the job performance of Europe's first high representative of the Union for foreign affairs and security policy -- as Ashton is officially known -- was so dismal that there was open speculation that she would be replaced. "We are slowly running out of time," warned Elmar Brok, the foreign policy spokesman for Germany's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the European Parliament. Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) at the parliament in Brussels, described Ashton's policies as "ridiculous."
The Briton, who has the "charisma of a caravan site on the Isle of Sheppey," as British journalist Rod Liddle once quipped, has endured the reproaches without complaint. When she is criticized, she dutifully takes notes. She gladly reads off prepared statements. Her strengths lie in her work behind the scenes, she asserts. When she became the EU's foreign policy chief, she said that she was not "an ego on legs," adding: "The skills I bring (are) of negotiation, of diplomacy."
Over the coming months, Ashton will have an opportunity to prove whether this is true. The top EU foreign policy representative currently faces the most difficult mission in international politics. It is her job to negotiate with Iran over its controversial nuclear program.
[Dawn] ANOTHER three religious groups with links to militancy and terrorism were banned over the weekend by the federal government, taking the total number of proscribed groups in the country to 38. But this is no belated move that is worthy of applause, for the experience with the first 35, banned through various notifications since 2001, suggests that simply outlawing groups either pushes them further underground or, as is increasingly the case, the groups resurface with a new name soon enough.The fact of the matter is that Pakistain has no coherent strategy to deal with sectarian and radical Islamist outfits that practise and preach violent jihad. Worse, there are more than just lingering suspicions that the state itself helps some of these groups survive. For what else can explain the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, the now banned offshoot of the anti-Shia Sipah-e-Sahaba, being warmly embraced by the Difaa-e-Pakistain Council, itself packed with establishment favourites who dabble in turban rhetoric and worse? Banning the ASWJ now when in the very recent past the group had been allowed a high-profile public platform does not really have the makings of a credible, anti-extremism policy.
While official tolerance for or indifference towards groups linked to violence and operating publicly in Pakistain is a big part of the problem, there is also the shrewdness of these outfits that has to be contended with. Taking advantage of the devastation caused by floods and rains in Sindh over the last couple of years, religious 'charities' with fairly obvious links to orc groups have leapt into the field and secured a foothold for themselves in new areas. Meanwhile, ...back at the ranch, Butch and the Kid finally brought their horses under control... that most rabid of sectarian outfits the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi ... a 'more violent' offshoot of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistain. LeJ's purpose in life is to murder anyone who's not of utmost religious purity, starting with Shiites but including Brelvis, Ahmadis, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Rosicrucians, and just about anyone else you can think of. They are currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of al-Qaeda ... is believed to be recruiting in the Brahvi belt in Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... , where well-funded holy mans have radicalised parts of the population. Faced with a canny and cunning foe, the state has much to do to stay one step ahead of these groups.
Tweaking laws to deal with such groups, resourcing law-enforcement and intelligence agencies to keep track of them and developing coordination mechanisms to keep local, provincial and national agencies in the loop and on the same page are only some of the things that need to be done if radical outfits are to be disabled. But first, there has to be the will. A tolerant, pluralist Pakistain or a dark and ugly place where no one is safe? The choice is one that Pakistain must make.
Posted by: Fred ||
03/12/2012 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
[Dawn] IN November, the Pakistain Telecommunications Authority (PTA) attempted to filter 1,500 words out of SMS messages. The initiative was ridiculed into oblivion, and one thought the government would take a hiatus from clumsy censorship. But no.
The National ICT Research and Development Fund, under the aegis of the Ministry of Information Technology, recently advertised a public tender for the development of an Internet filtering and blocking system. The move indicates how completely out of touch the powers that be are with contemporary Pakistain, the 21st century and democratic values on the whole.
Internet service providers (ISPs), who finance the fund, have defended the filter, arguing that it is not a censorship tool, but a means by which to make existing efforts to block online content more time- and cost-efficient. This is utter nonsense. The power to efficiently and effectively block up to 50 million websites, as per the tender's demands, is an incentive for widespread online censorship.
Many indications that the government will take improper advantage of a censoring mechanism already exist. Pakistain currently ranks 151st out of a list of 179 countries on a 2011 media freedom ranking by Reporters Without Borders. This is hardly the environment in which to introduce an Internet filtering system with the hope that it will be judiciously deployed.
The tender has also been announced at a time when it is clear the authorities are hurting from relatively unrestrained media coverage of their activities: last month, the Pakistain Electronic Media Regulatory Authority announced new regulations for private television channels, which prevent the broadcast of material that undermines Pakistain's illusory sovereignty, compromises the national interest, or ridicules organs of the state. It is also no coincidence that the call for an Internet filter comes the year before a general election -- a last-ditch effort to minimise critical discourse about the government in campaign season?
The political motivations behind the tender suggest that the criteria for blocking online content will be harsh and arbitrary. One can expect much benign content to be censored. Clearly, no one at the Ministry of Information Technology is thinking about the fallout of limited information access for students, businesses, scientific researchers and others trying to engage with and compete in an innovative, global marketplace.
It is also worth noting that the Internet filter tender not only foreshadows censorship to come, but also highlights the extent to which it is rampant. Private-sector ISPs are agreeable to financing the filter in response to continued pressure from the civilian government and army to block online content. When talking to free-speech activists, they defend their actions by arguing that the Internet is already being censored, the filter will simply automate the process to save time and money for the ISPs. In sum, censorship is already a fait accompli in Pakistain.
It is appalling that this tender was announced during a civilian government's tenure. Freedom of speech is a fundamental requirement of a functioning democracy. The fact that this government is willing to pay money for technology that institutionalises censorship speaks poorly of its democratic credentials, its long-term vision for the country, and its aspirations for Pakistain on the international stage.
Pakistain's luddite politicians may not realise this, but in the 21st century, the freedom of the Internet is a gauge of a country's genuine commitment to democracy and human rights ...which are usually entirely different from personal liberty... (lest we forget, the United Nations ...boodling on the grand scale... has declared Internet access to be a human right). This is especially true when governments seek both to censor their citizens and invade their privacy: in addition to blocking websites, the proposed filter will seek to infiltrate encrypted content. If Pakistain goes ahead with this inane plan, its civilian government will be spoken of in the same terms as prior dictatorships: regressive, authoritarian, undemocratic. For a moment, let's concede that the Pakistain government cannot comprehend that censorship is bad, and that while it stifles dissent in the short run, it sparks social discontent in the long run. There is still no excuse for the government's failure to think through this initiative strategically.
In the coming years, Pakistain could emerge on the world stage as the country that stood by Iran while the world slapped sanctions on its economy, and that served as an interlocutor for the Afghan Taliban. These approaches serve Pakistain's national interest, but they do little for its public image or soft power. If Pakistain also gains notoriety for installing a firewall, it will have little claim to any reputation other than that of rogue state or international pariah.
The Internet filter might also destroy Pakistain's façade of abhorring religious and violent extremism. Consider the websites the government has already blocked: pornography, YouTube, Facebook, Baloch nationalist sites and the online edition of Rolling Stone magazine for publishing an article critiquing military expenditure.
Now consider the websites you can browse with impunity: the home pages of jihadi groups that spew hate speech, incitements to violence, prejudicial content about religious minorities and rival sects, and worse. Pakistain's ever-declining human rights record has until now been mitigated through perfunctory political rhetoric. A clear pattern of anti-liberal censorship will expose the sham.
One final niggling detail: Internet filters don't work. The 2009 Iranian election, spreading discontent in China, and the Arab Spring -- these events have shown that Internet blocks don't prevent citizens from using digital and social media technologies for political activism. If the government has genuine concerns about online content, it has to work jointly with ISPs, the media industry, academic institutions and non-governmental media monitoring organizations to minimise the impact and reach of egregious material.
When it came to SMS filtering, civil society mocked the government into retreat. But Internet filtering is no laughing matter -- it is nothing less than the denial of a basic human right.
Posted by: Fred ||
03/12/2012 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
One final niggling detail: Internet filters don't work. The 2009 Iranian election, spreading discontent in China, and the Arab Spring -- these events have shown that Internet blocks don't prevent citizens from using digital and social media technologies for political activism.
Maybe, unless the likes of Siemens and Nokia step in to ensure the deaths of activist bloggers.
The cable that comes to your house and business? The wireless that your smartphone and laptop sniffs? Regulated by government. Someone had to enforce certain technical standards and ensure orderly deployment into the public land and airwaves. Those cables don't lay themselves.
Add to that the standards (such as they are) for use and the taxes paid (hundred fifty year tradition going back to the telegraph), and yes, government has a role.
What we don't want is government regulating internet content. Good luck.
Posted by: Steve White ||
03/12/2012 7:34 Comments ||
Governments role is just to enforce contract between private parties (and perhaps defend patents that enable them).
There's no need for them to insert themselves without invitation.
I posted the article to go with the one we had a few days ago about the lady whose human right to a parking place had been violated.
As usual the "human right" is the representation of the actual "God-given right" that underlies it.
In the case of the parking place it's the right of privacy, to be left alone to do as you please unless you're harming someone else. The argument comes over the definition of "harm." I lean toward the idea of "no blood, no harm," myself. Even if someone parking his/her/its car on the grass is ugly you'll probably survive the experience.
The same applies to the "human right" of the internet. The inhabitants of Lower Slobbovia or Ice Station Omega have no "right" to the internet, anymore than you or I do.
y'gotta pay for it
That's not a right, it's a commodity.
The actual "human right" lies in the content, which is what this author was actually talking about. The "God-given" right is that of free and unfettered speech -- which includes perhaps especially the freedom to mock and deride politicians, maybe government in general, the military, holy men, and even (gasp!) religion.
I would have a hard time becoming a "human rights expert" because they're greasy, oily things that are so damned hard to pin down. (The "human rights" more than the "experts," though the experts exhibit many of the same characteristics...) Often "human rights" equate to the end result of a basic liberty (let's call them that to distinguish the two and avoid typing "God-given rights" and firing up the atheist crowd.) Almost invariably they are granted by government. The Soviet constitution, if I remember, contained among other goodies a "right to employment" and the "right to housing." The children of all ages who turned out to Occupy [Insert Location Here] were demanding the "human right" to have their college loans annulled, to absolutely free housing, and a dozen or so other things, some of which sounded good at first blush but which on consideration were pretty stoopid.
>>Pakistain's luddite politicians may not realise this, but in the 21st century, the freedom of the Internet is a gauge of a country's genuine commitment to democracy and human rights
I will try to remember that back-patting comments like that, and not laugh, when America tries to pass things like SOPA and ACTA into law. ACTA has been passed there. And I would bet all the money in my pockets that 90 percent of Rantburgians have no idea what its content contains.
Fred, I love it when you you dig up these gems. But you are an expert in Human Rights! Everyone is, about their own rights of course, everyone is a tad Myopic after that.
As for the parking "rights" -lets see the claimed right to use publically owned property (a street) for ones own private purposes. Sounds like squatters rights if anything,and worth as much. No wait -it does sound like Ottawa!
Freedom of speech (as well as Freedom of Religion) is a human right in that all humans have a basic right to say what they want or believe whatever God(s) or not they wish. Weather their government allows them to is a different story.
This also pertains to the 'content' of the Internet.
I think there must be some limits however. Yelling 'Fire!' in a Theater (or Whitesnake concert) is one - it can cause direct harm to someone else. Sending out millions of spam emails is another - it can prevent others from being able to use their email.
Saying that God is dead, is alive, is an imaginary friend, or is Allah, Allan, Cthulhu, Obama (has anyone ever seen those two at the same time?), or whatever (or simply saying God exists) is a 'right'. Even saying that a particular religion is vile and their 'god' is pathetic is also protected - or should be.
Unfortunately Human Rights has been abused to mean just about anything. Parking, Income, Food, Cellphone, Housing, Internet access, Healthcare, etc... And worst of all the 'human right not to be offended'.
Those are *not* rights - you may have the right to have the ability to access those things - but you do not have a direct right *to* those things.
By that I mean you have should be able to access those things (provided you are able to - usually meaning you can afford it or have the means). (Or, for example, to turn away from that which offends you, turn off the TV or radio or simply leave the room - but not silence the speaker.
Unless you own the private forum - for example you can't spam, threaten, or encourage violence on Rantburg - that is not a right - and Fred - who 'owns' Rantburg, (or his delegated Mods) can remove your postings, sinktrap them or outright ban you.
Yesterday we discussed the cost of Gaza's rockets and missiles vs. Israel's cost for the Iron Dome response. In this article Debka addresses the benefits to Israel vs. the non-monetary cost to Hamas, et al.
The Iron Dome system designed by Israeli engineers to intercept the short-range Paleostinian missiles battering Israel from the Gazoo Strip is turning out surprisingly to be a wonder weapon.
The three batteries posted in Beersheba, Ashdod and Ashkelon have all but eliminated the number of Grad missiles getting through for direct hits and so far saved their populations from fatal casualties since Jihad Islami started shooting missiles at a dozen Israeli towns and villages Friday, March 9.
DEBKAfile's military and intelligence sources report that top Iranian and Hizballah missile experts posted at Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, and Jihad Islami's military headquarters in Gazoo went to work Sunday to puzzle out counter-measures for disarming the novel interceptor. For the Paleostinian Jihad's operation to be counted a success, its mobile multiple Grad launchers must get past Iron Dome and bring devastation and multiple fatalities to an important town, like one of the three shielded by the interceptor.
In the last 24 hours, Iron has intercepted an estimated 40 missiles aimed from the Gazoo Strip at major towns. In Beersheba, Iron Dome missed three. Two hit buildings including an empty school and damaged cars but, aside from shock victims, caused no casualties.
For the Paleostinian Jihad's operation to be counted a success, its mobile multiple Grad launchers must get past Iron Dome and bring devastation and multiple fatalities to an important town, like one of the three shielded by the interceptor
Western intelligence sources watching the asymmetric duel between the Paleostinian Grads and Israel's Iron Dome note that it is incumbent on Iran and Hizballah to find an answer to the Israel interceptor - else the short-range, surface-to-surface missile programmed as the primary weapon of a second strike capacity against Israel after an attack on Iran's nuclear sites, loses its punch.
It is true that the Fajr 5 missile in Hamas hands is more advanced that the weapons used in the current campaign, armed with advanced guidance systems and able to launch from a pit multiple missiles which automatically home in on target.
But Hamas has been very reluctant to join the missile offensive launched by Jihad Islami and the Popular Resistance Committees, after the latter's chief was killed by a targeted Israeli air strike, and shown very little enthusiasm for being co-opted to the Israeli-Iranian conflict as part of a potential two-front, pro-Tehran offensive to be launched from Leb and Gazoo against the Jewish state.
It is therefore doubly urgent for Iranian and Hizballah missile experts to winkle out an electronic gap in the Iron Dome's tracking and launching systems, while Israeli military engineers are working just as hard to perfect their weapon and introduce surprise innovations to slow the other side down. Col. Zvi Haimovich, head of the IAF missile interception unit, said Sunday: "We must close the last gap between "a 90 percent and a perfect performance."
Meanwhile, ...back at the precinct house, Sergeant Maloney wasn't buying it. It was just too pat. It smelled phony... the batteries are being shifted at speed from place to place to make it harder for the missile launchers to home in on unprotected areas outside Iron Dome's shield.
The ability of the Iranian and Hizballah experts to win their battle of minds with their Israeli antagonists faces a critical test Sunday night and Monday. Its outcome will show up in the performance of Jihad Islami missile strikes in the next 24 hours. It will also determine the duration of the current Paleostinian-Israeli clash.
Their failure to outwit the Iron Dome ought to promote the chances of American and Egyptian mediators achieving a Gazoo soon and without conditions.
Iron Dome has unexpectedly become a key strategic X in the equation between Israel and its adversaries. Its defense ministry is now pushing hard for the production of at least another half a dozen batteries to seal off the rest of the population in range of missiles from Gazoo.
The guy does not know what he is talking about.
Iron Dome is overrated. Each interception costs around $100,000 as it fires two rockets each about $50,000. So that is $100,000 a missile while a Qassam rocket costs about $150 to produce, an Iranian missile, I am not sure but nothing like these costs. Plus each battery costs about $500,000 and only covers a small area so you need a lot of them.
Recently, they fired at Be'er Sheva a volley of seven rockets almost simultaneously. Seven rockets costed Hamas maybe a $1,000. Six that Iron Dome shot down costed $600,000 to shoot down. The one got through killed one Israeli, wounded eight and caused several hundred thousand dollars in property damage.
It should be mentioned here that Hezbullah has much better technology and that iron dome does not work within seven kilometres from the border, so there are plenty of targets it cannot help.
Bernard is absolutely right.
The Iron Dome is a stupid result of an internal
fight between Israerl weapons Developing conglomerates for the R&d and production moneys and lucrative jobs for personnel.
It is not possible to sustain the cost balance of this system for long.
The real solution is to put 12 batteries of 155mm Howitzers and fire 1000 shells indiscriminately at Gazan civil population for each rocket fired into Israel.
It is a cheap solution that will guarantee that after a few hundred gazooans dye there would bwe a deadly silence on the gazoo border.
The only real problem is that Israeli leaders are cowards that are afraid of "international laws" being dumped on their heads by the Euro-Eunuchs.
You cannot establish fear on the other side without proper retaliation.
Defense only will not help, Surgical hits of ammo depots will not help, only the death of 90% the Hamas leadership will be a proper hint that a cese fire should be quickly declared.
Posted by: Elder of Zion ||
03/12/2012 8:45 Comments ||
Iron Dome buys time. That's that all Israeli governments been doing since 1948---buying time. Time until Eurabia collapses.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.