29 Dec 2010

A Bittersweet Goodbye Post

So I’ve been dreading this for some time. But this is going to be my last post for FDL, a community I’ve been honored and fucking thrilled to join ever since Jane let me take Attackerman 2.0 here in June 2008. My departure is pretty mundane: the congressional press galleries

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29 Dec 2010

Journey To The End

BACK IN D.C. — Via Juan Cole, Nouri al-Maliki clarifies his intentions for U.S. troops in a Wall Street Journal interview: ‘ WSJ: Some American officials have spoken about contingency plans being drawn now in Washington for the possibility that some American troops will stay after 2011. Do you know

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28 Dec 2010

When There’s Nothing On The Horizon, You’ve Got Nothing Left To Lose

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 1181-10 December 28, 2010 DOD Identifies Marine Casualty The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Sgt. Garrett A. Misener, 25, of Cordova, Tenn., died Dec. 27 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned

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27 Dec 2010

When There’s Nothing On The Horizon, You’ve Got Nothing Left To Prove

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 1180-10 December 27, 2010 DOD Identifies Marine Casualty The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Lance Cpl. Kenneth A. Corzine, 23, of Bethalto, Ill., died Dec. 24 of wounds received Dec. 5 while conducting combat operations in

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27 Dec 2010

Mapping Failure in Afghanistan

The Wall Street Journal scores some classified United Nations maps of Afghanistan showing the deterioration of security in the north and west without notable improvements in security in the south and east during 2010. Joshua Foust properly notes that he told you so.

I’m not going to embed the images of the maps, since I’m not sure what’s fair use here and I’d rather not tempt a lawsuit. But if you click through, you’ll see something striking that escapes comment in the Journal story. Among the changes from the March 2010 map to the October 2010 map is that there are now(ish) more high-risk areas surrounding Kabul. That fits with a longstanding insurgent strategy, as assessed by ISAF and explained to me over the past two years, of infiltration and resupply from the Pakistani tribal areas in the east to the areas near the capitol city, where they lie in wait for the moment to do something big.

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27 Dec 2010

And The Military Looked At Industry, And Industry Looked At The Military, And No One Could Tell Who Was Who

Give Bryan Bender and the Boston Globe a Pulitzer for this doggedly-reported piece on how ubiquitous it is for retired generals who represent defense corporations to be included in decision-making on major military programs. It’s a wonderful piece that defies quick bloggery, but check out Jack Keane’s pull in stopping

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27 Dec 2010

Maps

The Wall Street Journal scores some classified United Nations maps of Afghanistan showing the deterioration of security in the north and west without notable improvements in security in the south and east during 2010. Joshua Foust properly notes that he told you so. I’m not going to embed the images

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26 Dec 2010

For Your Gifts

THE WILDS OF SUBURBAN MICHIGAN — As your Christmas holiday comes to an end, enjoy a Monster X classic while you fondly reflect on the gifts you have given and received this year.

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26 Dec 2010

Pure, Unadulterated Fear

I’m several days late to Marvel’s announcement of an “extinction-grade threat” in its summer 2011 crossover Fear Itself — and we’ve never, ever heard that before — but this is going to be a story I’ll be sorry to miss. Getting married is expensive and doesn’t allow for comic collecting.

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26 Dec 2010

Afghanistan to the East: Deterioration

The eastern provinces of Afghanistan abutting the Pakistani tribal areas provide cross-border access to the Taliban-led insurgent coalition. Whatever else you think about the Afghanistan war, the Obama administration decided in 2009 to deemphasize security operations in the east at the expense of a wide-ranging effort to reverse Taliban momentum in the south. The best that can be said of that effort so far is that Taliban momentum, by the administration’s account, is stalled.

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