July 09, 2010

Not only no, Colonel, but f___ no

Gen. Mattis of the USMC, who replaces Gen. Petraeus as commander Centcom, has already been immortalized, of course. Playing as Mattis, Robert John Burke in the miniseries Generation Kill gave one of the most memorable cameos of that series, in depicting the chewing out of Col. Dowdy at Nasariyah in 2003, a historically documented incident that would later contribute to Dowdy's controversial relief of command. No idea how close it mirrors reality, but the fictional Dowdy's place is a place every soldier has nightmares about being found in someday: right in the gunsights of a superior commander who sees excuses instead of caution. At 4:27 of this video.

Of course the amusing bit is that Generation Kill itself was based on a series of articles in none other than... Rolling Stone, the same magazine whose current issue has saved Mattis from retirement, as well.

Posted by BruceR at 05:02 PM

Today's essential Afghan reading: Roland Paris

On the Canadian government's assessments of success:

Without at least receiving information on both security incidents and Afghan public perceptions of their security, Canadians will not be in a position to assess the progress of allied and Canadian efforts in Kandahar or, for that matter, to grasp the urgency of the current situation in Kandahar.

Yet Ottawa routinely withholds information on broad trends in insurgent activity as well as basic data on public opinion of Afghans living in Kandahar.

This is similar to what I wrote here, about how the government's quarterly reports on security are focussed on second-order effects.

Posted by BruceR at 08:06 AM