TOC Ready Room 19 Oct 2021; *UPDATE*

What’s wrong and right with the world today.

[Updates added at the bottom. – JED]

Greetings, readers.  This is the inaugural edition of the TOC Ready Room, which will be an open thread and drop-by briefing space in the spirit of the ready rooms used by military aviators.

My experience being with U.S. Navy ready rooms, the feature image is of a ready room on the carrier USS Constellation (CV64) used by a squadron from Carrier Air Wing 2.  The image is tagged as being from March 2003, when Constellation was on her final operational deployment supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.  (The CVW-2 patch is visible on one of the flight jackets, incidentally.)  Constellation was decommissioned only a few months later, in August 2003.

On a carrier, the ready room is used for planning and squadron briefings, but also serves as a gathering space subject to availability.  It’s the center of squadron life during underway periods and deployment.

The Ready Room posts will be added at least once a week, Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 19 Oct 2021; *UPDATE*”

Lose the ‘quagmire’ theme; Russia can’t fall into one in Syria

Interesting times.

Putin confers with his senior military officials. (Image: Kremlin/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin via Newsweek)
Putin confers with his senior military officials. (Image: Kremlin/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin via Newsweek)

We’re going to keep this one (relatively) short.  I’ve written about Russia’s goals in Syria elsewhere (see here as well).

A Bloomberg article from Monday commendably recognizes that Russia’s goals in Syria are “far broader” than the official goal of fighting Salafi terrorists.  The authors fall short of “getting” what the Russian involvement there is about, but they’re on the right track.

The problem is that they, like almost everyone else, are still framing the situation in the terms of a U.S.-style expeditionary intervention.  This leads the authors to say something like this: Continue reading “Lose the ‘quagmire’ theme; Russia can’t fall into one in Syria”

BREAKING: Russia cuts off major supply route for U.S., NATO in Afghanistan

Not quite “Moscow is burning,” but a similar concept.

Attack on a NATO convoy in the Khyber Pass, June 2014. (Image: EPA, Gullamullah Habibi via NY Daily News)
Attack on a NATO convoy in the Khyber Pass, June 2014. (Image: EPA, Gullamullah Habibi via NY Daily News)

Well, this is bad.  This is a real, no-kidding move against U.S. and NATO interests, one that could significantly increase the peril to our forces in Afghanistan.  It creates the potential for things to go south very quickly for NATO troops.

That, in turn, increases the likelihood of divisions within NATO over the alliance’s Afghanistan commitment.  The divisions could well affect NATO’s posture on the political conflict with Russia.  And assuming the Obama administration is passive and ineffective in the face of this latest move by Moscow, the alliance will find an existential crisis – at least the beginnings of one – inescapable.

The basic story is that the U.S. and NATO have relied throughout the Afghan operation on supply routes that run through both Pakistan and the former-Soviet republics of Central Asia.  In 2008, the route called the Northern Distribution Network, or NDN, was consolidated, with a portion of it running through the territory of Russia.  Russia has benefited from transit fees, along with the Central Asian ‘Stans, and has been content to hold in reserve the pocket veto she possesses by agreeing to let our supplies flow through her transportation network. Continue reading “BREAKING: Russia cuts off major supply route for U.S., NATO in Afghanistan”

NYT blindly reports Obama’s reluctance to let troops defend themselves in Afghanistan

War is peace.

Obama blesses the troops in Bagram, May 2014. (White House photo)
Obama blesses the troops in Bagram, May 2014. (White House photo)

New post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!

Why ‘leave no one behind’ isn’t the controlling principle in the Bergdahl case

Reality check.

 

U.S. Army soldiers of 3/509 infantry 4BDE25ID Task Force Geronimo walk after a patrol at Paktika province, Afghanistan, November 12, 2009 (Image: Reuters, Bruno Domingos)
U.S. Army soldiers of 3/509 infantry 4BDE25ID Task Force Geronimo walk after a patrol at Paktika province, Afghanistan, November 12, 2009 (Image: Reuters, Bruno Domingos)

New post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!