Monday, June 22, 2009

Run Away!!! Run Away!!!! 
Obama the Lion has a new general in Afghanistan, and Obama the Lion's new general has announced tough new rules of engagement: Track down Taliban holing up in a house? Leave them alone.

Run away.

The top U.S. general in Afghanistan will soon formally order U.S. and NATO forces to break away from fights with militants hiding in Afghan houses so the battles do not kill civilians, a U.S. official said Monday.

The order would be one of the strongest measures taken by a U.S. commander to protect Afghan civilians in battle.

What kind of fellatist journo takes a look at what's essentially an order to surrender the towns to the enemy and considers that a "strong" anything?

McChrystal will issue orders within days saying troops may attack insurgents hiding in Afghan houses if the U.S. or NATO forces are in imminent danger and must return fire, said U.S. military spokesman Rear Adm. Greg Smith.

"But if there is a compound they're taking fire from and they can remove themselves from the area safely, without any undue danger to the forces, then that's the option they should take," Smith said. "Because in these compounds we know there are often civilians kept captive by the Taliban."

Nice. So the civilians have no incentive to fight off Taliban themselves. And the Taliban get a million free safehouses around the country out of the deal.

If we lose Afghanistan, this is the moment you can point to.

McChrystal's predecessor, Gen. David McKiernan, issued rules last fall that told commanders to set conditions "to minimize the need to resort to deadly force."

But McChrystal's orders will be more precise and have stronger language ordering forces to break off from battles, Smith said.

Run away!!!! Run away!!!!!!

The Obama military. Tough. Strong.

UPDATE: MCQ at Blackfive has the same reaction I do, and asks: "I mean, you tell me, where, if possible, would you initiate all of your contact from now on if you're the Taliban?"

UPDATE II: In the comments to the above, commenter Marcus, who apparently blogs here, writes:

General McChrystal is playing a very smart game of counterinsurgency. He understands the Afghan culture--particularly the ethical code of "Pashtunwali." Two of the major tenets of Pashtunwali are "Melmastia" and "Nanewati" which loosely translates into "hospitality" and "protection." The Afghan people--and the ethnic Pashtun in particular--will provide shelter and protection in their own homes for whoever asks for it. That includes the Taliban... and our people too.

Destroying houses and villages with Taliban in them because the locals won't turn them over is a quick way to turn the population against us. The center of gravity in this war--and any counterinsurgency for that matter--is the popular support of the people. In this case it is the Pashtun peoples, as the insurgency has not caught fire amongst the Tajiks, Hazara, Uzbeks or other ethic groups within the country.

Unlike in Iraq we enjoyed a tremendous wave of popularity amongst the Afghan people after we invaded. The Afghans hated (and still hate) the Taliban, and therefore welcomed us in with open arms. This has all changed within the last two years and our popularity with the people there has plummetted. Since we cannot hope to win if the people hate us, we have to get them on our side. And what the people there want more than anything right now is security--so McChrystal's metric of success may very well be spot on.

We can run around killing insurgents all day long but that will definitely not win the war for us. It didn't work in Iraq and it's not working in Afghanistan either. If we focus on killing bad guys while alienating the Afghan people we will eventually lose. Then we'll sit around like the Vietnam generation and bitch about how we won all the battles but lost the war. They lost because they didn't understand COIN. We've figured it out--it sure as hell took long enough--and now hopefully it's not too late to apply what we've learned.

If you look at the new FM 3-24 (Counterinsurgency), or more importantly read Bernard Fall, Sir Robert Thompson, Roger Trinquier or even Mao you'll see that protecting the populace and getting them to support you is critical.

McChrystal is applying COIN doctrine while tailoring it to the Afghan culture. He's also looking at it from a operational and strategic perspective... not tactical. And that's good, since that's what the man gets paid for.

Will we lose more people on the ground because of this adjustment to the ROE? Maybe. But I would argue its better to lose a few more men and women and win the war, rather than be casualty-adverse and lose it.

Now that may sound like a cold thing to say from a "Chairborne Monday Morning Quarterback," and it would be. So full disclosure--I will personally be over there humping the hills and working with the ANA in a few months time--and I still think McChrystal's policy is the smart play. I'm willing to put my own ass on the line, perfectly comfortable with this new ROE. It's up to guys like myself to figure out the tactical problems framed within the confines of guidance nested within the operational and strategic framework. And I'm cool with that.

Like Denzel Washington said in the movie Training Day... "This shit is chess, it ain't checkers!"

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Your initial reaction is understandable but you must realize that counterinsurgency is not anything like a conventional conflict. It is essentially a political fight centered on winning the good graces of the people. There are many important aspects to it, but it really boils down to winning the civilian populace over. Everything then must support this effort. Military, political, economic, information and so on. All of it must be geared toward gaining the people's good graces.

Now, on the surface, McChrystal's policy seems... well... pretty limp-wristed at best. But it really isn't. While the metric for success is how many Afghans are protected, the policy does not in any way prohibit us from killing the living shit out of the enemy. The metric communicates the purpose of operations in the field much more clearly.

I assume you are well familiar with "Task" and "Purpose." Well, the "Task" is still to "Hunt the Taliban to the ends of the Earth and turn their frickin' lights out." The "Purpose" is now appropriately "In order to protect the Afghan people."

In this way our young tactical commanders have no confusion about what is important. Kill all the enemy you want, but you are doing it to protect the Afghan people.

Let me put it this way, if we were fighting foreign invaders in this country (think a "Red Dawn" scenario), wouldn't you want us to shape our operations around ultimately protecting our own people? It's no different there. The Afghan people are our allies... we can't go around killing innocent people and destroying their property even if it is by accident, or it's done for the very best of intentions.

Let's put it another way. The people of Afghanistan have a visceral hatred for the Russians. They like Americans for the most part. When American patrols roll into most of these little Afghan villages the people ask right away if our boys (and girls) are Russian. They are mightily relieved when they learn that our people are from "Amrika." My point is that most Afghans just see us as foreigners and can't tell the difference between us and others. They'll side with us because we're not Russian--so long as we don't give them a reason to take up arms and fight against us. And in this way, I don't think the average Afghan is so much different than you or I.

Anyway, I don't usually post this much in comments, but this particular subject is close to my heart.

Glad you stopped by to take a gander at our blog--feel free to stop by anytime. Just for that, you've earned a covetted spot on the "Just Barking Mad Blogroll."

Take care.

Oh, I almost forgot.

I just wrote that whole thing after drinking half a bottle of bourbon.

How do you like me now?


Thanks for your comments. And they are well-taken. But this is also a subject that's close to my heart as well.

Contrary to your assertion that this order "doesn't say you cannot kill the living shit out of the enemy," I would argue that, on the face of it, this order says precisely that!

IF this policy has been accurately conveyed by the media - and that's a pretty big "if," given the utter ineptitude displayed by our media so far covering military affairs, but for now I have to operate under that assumption, then what we seem to have done is given every Taliban a permanent safe harbor in the villages... the ONE place you DON'T want them to have a safe harbor.

For all your abstractions, your posts, both here and on Blackfive, do nothing to address the tactical problem on the ground. We've given the Taliban a freebie. And MCQ raises a specific question you do nothing to address: Aren't we really guaranteeing that the Taliban are going to hole up in houses from now on? Aren't we guaranteeing the Taliban the initiative when they open up on coalition troops from the house?

Once the coalition unit moves away, you still have the problem of how to kill them. Lay seige to the village? Yes, they'll love us.

As for the General's metric, how on earth are we going to measure the number of Afghans shielded from violence?

Further, I question your assumption that shielding Afghans is the purpose, rather than the task. While any professional force ought to protect innocent and noncombatant life, the point of the exercise is to kill Taliban. We protect civilian life because, in the long run, it helps us kill Taliban and AQ, not the other way around.

In practice, of course, you can't really separate the two... killing Taliban and protecting civilian life are two sides of the same coin, in Afghanistan. But you still need to solve the tactical problem. And all the CI doctrine in the world is useless, if it cannot provide a solution to the platoon leader on the ground to close with and destroy the enemy.

Otherwise, you just turn every hostage into a walking, talking, get-out-of-Hell free card, and every house into a safe zone. You're going to see a lot of Taliban opening up from houses pretty soon.

What do you do after you withdraw, and make the coalition forces look like pussies?
Not an easy question to answer, since each situation on the ground will be different. Ideally we will have the Afghan Army taking the lead--since they have far more credibility there than anyone else... including us.

If I read your response correctly, you're asking me how we root out Taliban insurgents without assaulting villages. If I have been vague here and at Blackfive it is because the problems at the tactical, operational and strategic level are so complicated, nuanced, and involved. In short, it would take me quite a while to write up a detailed response, and I'm trying to simplify it as best I can within the constraints of a simple "comments section" of a blog.

There are any number of ways to get Taliban out of a village without firing into it. But since we are talking about abstract imaginary scenarios, these solutions are nothing more than arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Mental masturbation if you will.

I still assert that protecting the Afghan people is the most important thing we can possibly do right now at this juncture. Afghanistan is not Iraq and I can read you chapter and verse on the differences.

We've done ourselves more harm than good these last few years in Afghanistan. And I know "Joe." And I'm well acquainted with his officer counterpart--the lieutenant. McChrystal's policy is geared toward them, and I think it is probably the right one. Am I absolutely convinced? No. But McKiernon got fired for allowing villages to be attacked and things went sour for us. Clearly we need a new direction if we have any hopes of winning there.

Now, on the metric itself... how many Afghans protected? Who will know? Nobody. It's an impossible metric to assess, just as it's impossible for Obama to tell us how many jobs he's "saved." The reason it's a metric though is not to accurately measure anything. It's there to send a message to all subordinate commands. And that message is that the people must be protected. They are not a part of the landscape. They are not to be considered "collateral damage." They are valuable.

The new catchphrase these days is "human terrain." I think the phrase sounds stupid but the idea behind it is sound. We are fighting for the people just like we used to fight for key terrain.

If we do not, we will lose.


P.S. That post was courtesy of Jim Beam and Coke Zero.
Ceding the initiative to the enemy in the villages is not "protecting" them, by any measure.

That post was courtesy of Coke Zero and Publix peach yogurt
I just wrote that whole thing after drinking half a bottle of bourbon.

You didn't share.

How do you like me now?

I don't really have to answer that, do I? ;-)
One of our partner nations has placed a restriction on their soldiers that prevents them from getting far from the major ring road in Afghanistan. As a result, their Soldiers have earned a reputation with the locals as being cowardly - something that is far from the reputation of that particular nation's forces in the rest of the world.

GEN McCrystal must be very careful that this not happen to all of ISAF due to this directive. If the people come to think that we will run from a fight rather than free them from Talibs holding them captive in their own homes they will reject us as the preferred security choice, creating the exact opposite effect he strives for.

Concerning the Pastun hospitality culture. My understanding is that when Marcus Lutrell escaped the Taliban he was given shelter by Pashtun tribemen. This is called "Lohkay"...the mandatory sheltering of the injured and wounded. They did this despite Taliban threats.

Our Marcus is one hundred percent correct. As long as MCQ doesn't handcuff the ROE too much leaders on the ground need to figure out how to kill as many on the ground while not pissing off the locals.

Almost 30 years ago at IOBC I was in a class about the laws of war. The scenario was that my platoon was taking fire from a village. It was unknown if civilians were present. "What do you do LT?"

I answered that you engage the huts with fire until they were smoking ruins and not rick the men. My counseling was to read several books concerning COIN. The most interesting one was about the Malayan Emergency. Essentially the populace turned against the Communists when the MNLA killed High Commisioner Sir Henry Gurney.

The government, sensing that the people were on their side offered amnesty. Government officials urged _the people_ to ask the communists to surrender. When, by and large, the communists failed to surrender the people turned their bback on them.

When Chin Peng returned to Malaysia in 1967 he was never able to regain where he had been, despite there being no Commonwealth FOrces left in Malaysia. I later spoke to a Malaysian Marine Captain who was going to IOAC and he said that the people's rejection of the communists was why they would never win.

In 1989 that captain proved to be correct.


I don't think we are ceding the initiative at all. We are simply refusing to allow the enemy to suck us into their version of a "baited ambush." The enemy intentionally fires at us from villages in order to elicit a disproportionate response from us. They want us to hurt the civilians, and we do it when we allow them to play us in such a manner. In effect, when they fire on us from a village, they already have the initiative and we have to regain it.

A proactive approach (which is currently being used) is actually posting our forces in the villages with the civilians to protect them. Others include enconomic development plans and infrastructure expansion. All of which are designed to get the people to support their government and by extension, ISAF.

Clearly the tactics we are using on the ground are not only ineffective, but are in fact losing us the war. Surely you don't advocate continuing on this slipperly slope? What would you recommend to General McChrystal and his staff instead?

"Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who took over Monday as the top commander in Afghanistan, said he will launch a broad assessment of how U.S. and NATO troops are arrayed in the country to ensure his forces are focused on safeguarding key population centers and not hunting down Taliban fighters."

How do you protect the inhabited areas from attack when you have to run away if you are attacked from an inhabited area?

We are effectively falling back to a final defensive line in the cities, but we are not allowed to kill the bad guys in the cities because it might result in some collateral damage. I can understand the General's decision on limiting air strikes in villages. However, I can't see why we shouldn't still be allowed to use ground forces to close with and destroy the enemy!

I pose my question again: How do you defend a village without firing back at the dudes firing at you? How do you hold the line by running away?

Additionally, what will happen to guys like me who refuse to be killed by cowardice and idiocy? If I get shot at by a dude on a rooftop (again), I'm going to shoot back. I'm going to do everything within my power to kill that guy before he kills me or my friends! Will I have 25-to-life in Leavenworth for that?

Scary stuff to think about since I'll be there in a year or 18 months from now.
" How do you defend a village without firing back at the dudes firing at you?"

You stay in the village and do not allow the Taliban to enter. The Pushtun will fight against them out side the villages. As much as they despise the Taliban they are compelled to shelter them.

Mr. Houghton...if you have ants in your kitchen do you burn your house down to kill them? Or do you put a line of defense around your house (powerful ant poision) and then bait the ones inside?

Clearly it is a tough job for the tactical level officers. But then, that's why they get paid the big bucks. Throwing up your hands and smoking a whole village because you think that your superiors are idiots and cowards will not only get some time at Leavenworth...it will turn the people against us. You CANNOT win an insurgency without the support of the people.

I'm waiting for the next HR McMaster to write a paper at the War Collge explaining why the insurgency increased when the hard charging 101st took over froma Georgia National Guard Brigade.

Hint. The 101st acted like Mr. Houghton seems want to act.

I never said I wanted to "smoke the whole village". I just want the ability to kill bad guys when they shoot at me. That's it! I don't want to level the place. I want to defend my life!

"You stay in the village and do not allow the Taliban to enter."
How do you do that by running away? I think maybe we should stop them from entering by KILLING THEM with well aimed fire. You don't win wars by pacing back and forth like targets in a shooting gallery, then getting your soldiers killed--but maintaining some warped view of the moral high ground. (Our dead are morally superior to their dead?)

To borrow a line from Marcus and Denzel "This shit is chess, it ain't checkers."
Well, to win at chess, you have to take the other guy's pieces while maintaining your own. Taking your pieces off the board doesn't equate to winning.
There are several tactical alternatives to "blasting the house down":

1) Treat the operation as a SWAT hostage rescue instead of the Streets of Stalingrad. Work with the locals to ID the Taliban, emphasizing the "rescue" angle instead of the "demolish the house" angle.

2) Ambush them when they are NOT inside that house - with sniper fire, NOT an Air Strike.

3) If they hole up for long periods of time, the locals can be convinced that they insurgents are cowardly. Besides, what can they do if they cannot come outside.

4) If people's homes are not a preferred battle ground, take the fight to the enemy in the countryside - they have to move sometime.

Do these rules apply inside the Taliban base areas in the Tribal Territories of Pakistan? I suspect that different rules are used in different locations.
I also suspect that the news media has not reported entire picture of the current ROE.
Mr Houghton,
"I think maybe we should stop them from entering by KILLING THEM with well aimed fire."

Usually I try a well reasoned argument. In this case:


You seriously need to read some the previous comments in detail. No one is saying not to kill Taliban. The where and when is in question. If you can offer an alternative to MCQ's plan that does not alienate the Pastun people please enlighten us.
I think we may all be on the same page here, but what I hear from McChrystal is this-
1. We are not going to fight in the mountains.
2. We are not going to fight in the cities.
Okay, so where WILL we fight?

I'm on board with not leveling occupied buildings. But you HAVE to get the bad guys out somehow. Why not simply cordon the area and get your SWAT on? Why not let your designated marksmen or sniper team take out those who fire at you from say, an apartment building or the roof of a compound?

No one on my side of this issue is saying that we always have to respond by having B52s carpet bomb the village. What I'm saying is that you can't keep bad guys from taking territory by running away from the fight. If they are in an occupied building then enter the building and go room to room until the hostages are safe and the bad guys are dead. Sooner or later they will get the message that we protect the innocent and punish evil with a heavy hand. I think that might garner more local support than having hostages in occupied buildings watch us run away.

What's wrong with that?
"No one is saying not to kill Taliban."

Not true. The orders say PRECISELY THAT, when the Taliban opens up from a house. It won't take long for the Taliban to initiate ALL their actions from a house.

"Treat the operation as a SWAT hostage rescue."

No problem. That means establishing a base of fire, gaining fire superiority, and closing on the house with your assault element, blasting through the wall, and killing or capturing the bad guys. That's what SWAT teams do. If they didn't, we wouldn't need SWAT teams. We'd just have beat cops and negotiators.

"Ambush them when they are NOT inside the house."

If it were that easy, they wouldn't have made it to the house to open up on us to begin with, and we never would have an occasion to issue this order.

"Take the fight to the enemy in the countryside."

If we're giving them a free hit in the villages, why in God's name would the enemy ever want to present himself in the countryside?

"What can they do if they cannot come outside?"

I'll tell you what five guys can do: Tie down an entire company minus indefinitely while we wait for them to come out. Meanwhile, the company conducting the cordon will themselves become targets for Taliban firing from other houses. We'd have to withdraw from the town. Taliban wins.

Quilty Mammoth, I think your IOBC instructor was confusing the Law of Land Warfare with COIN. There are a lot of things that would be legal under the Law of Land Warfare that you might not want to do in the COIN environment. But that's a separate issue from COIN.

Moreover, Communists in Malaysia != Taliban in Afghanistan. It's become fashionable, in the wake of John Nagl's excellent book, Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife, to look to Malaysia for lessons to be learned. But any historical parallels need to be taken with a grain of salt.

Further, not confuse COIN with being pussies. COIN is applied violence, too. COIN is the combination of a logistical strategy against an irregular enemy with civil affairs with the search and attack technique of the movement to contact operation... with an extra helping of HUMINT mixed in.

When the enemy presents himself, you still kill him.
Further, proponents of this approach seem to be saying that if we occupy the villages with our own troops first, we can prevent the Taliban from taking hold.

Ok. How many villages are there in Afghanistan? How many troops will it take to put a platoon in each village?

I will wager that the math doesn't work too well. We will spread ourselves thin, and wind up being weak everywhere and strong nowhere.

That is the real rub right now... the number of security forces available to do the job. The boys at Ft Leavenworth enjoy throwing around the 20:1000 security force ratio to population. Given the size of Afghanistan, the number of troops in the Afghan National Army, Police, and the combined forces of ISAF our ratio currently works out to something like 7:1000, which is not nearly enough to do the job.

Complicating matters is that there hasn't been a real census in Afghanistan since the 1970's--pre-Soviet invasion. So nobody really knows how many people are in the country. We certainly don't have a clear picture where all the ethnic groups are--which is important since our problem centers around the Pashtun tribal areas.

Fortunately the Afghan Army is getting good, and they enjoy a tremendous reputation amongst the Afghan people. In fact it is THE most respected institution in the country right now. So we do have that working for us.

The real path to success in this war will be whether or not we can build a large enough security apparatus and hand the mission off to the ANA. That can free us up to build the infrastructure and the economy... an Afghan Marshall Plan if you will.

In any event, I think we can all agree that the mission is a tough one.

Lieutenant Houghton (or is it captain now?),

I believe you are reading far too much into this. Your perception seems to be that we will be tucking our tails between our legs and ceding the countryside to the Taliban. I don't think that is a correct interpretation of the policy.

As a military professional I highly recommend that you read FM 3-24 and the following books on COIN:





Then make your way over to the Combat Studies Institute at the Ft Leavenworth page and download the free publications on COIN. The ones discussing the American operations in the Philippines are particularly relevent. You can find them here:


You should take the time to do this research before deploying to Afghanistan again. You owe it to the soldiers in your charge. I think you will find these readings very illuminating.

If you would like some other recommendations for additional readings, or where to find research materials please shoot me an e-mail at Kelleyshro@aol.com. I've got some really terrific stuff on Afghanistan as well.


Actually, I'm enlisted, so I guess I'm not worthy of any respect.

I just see this bass-ackwards strategy as a huge problem on the tactical level. It's going to take a hell of a lot of convincing to get me to NOT shoot at people who are actively engaging me. This strategy looks to me like asking us lower enlisted guys to walk around with great big targets on our backs.

It sounds great to say "we aren't going to shoot back at occupied buildings" until the bullets are skipping down the side of YOUR hummer.

But what do I know. I haven't read all of those books. I've just been there and taken fire in a village before. Hell, I probably shouldn't have shot back, right?
The problem with COIN is it hard. It's particularly hard at the tactical level because it seems, often, counter-intuitive.

Malaysia is often cited because it is really the first COIN program that has historical depth. (I would argue, now, that it is Greece. I think soon you will see the defeat of the IRA become a part of the COIN gospel. Again, the Brits used a highly unpopular act by the IRA to turn public opinion against the IRA.

We used to say that the Army didn't lose Vietnam, the American People did. Think about that. A successful COIN operation in reverse.

Mr. Houghton, I once had a SFC who worked for me who could run rings around officers in these sorts of debates. I knew he read a lot and later I found out he had a Masters in International Affairs. Reading and learning are not forbidden to you because you are an enlisted man. Reading provides a vista of experiance far beyond what one can experiance in life. If all you know is what you have seen or done then, in the big scheme of things, you are limited in experiance and therefore in the knowledge base you have from which you base your decisions on.

More knowledge base, more data from which to derive a good decision from.

If we ever bump into each other I'll tell you, over a drink, a story about a little island we invaded that could have been far worse on us then it was solely because people made a decision based on their personal experiance and not on the body of information available.

And Jason? Just call me QM, saves on the typing. :)

PS: you should have seen the faces of the instructors at IOBC when they handed out my first check. O1E over six made serious dough in the day.

I have actually read a book before. I am working on my bachelor's in criminal justice/sociology right now. I have also read the basic stuff like On War and The Art of War on my own time. I'm no expert, but I'm not a complete idiot either.

My beef isn't necessarily with COIN. It's with this particular strategy of what sociologists might call "radical non-intervention". If I'm supposed to go to Afghanistan and do nothing, then why send me? I can do nothing here at home and not get shot to death in the process.

What McChrystal said *specifically* was that we aren't going to fight in the mountains or in the city. We are going to fall back to a final defensive line and sit there--unless we're shot at, in which case we'll have to run away because civilians might be in the area.

Sounds really, really dumb to me. Like I said, I have no real beef with COIN, just McChrystal's ideaof it--the one that says I'll have to run away every time some goat-lover shoots at me. That doesn't sit well at all with me. Sorta defeats the point of all this training to clear rooms. Sorta defeats the purpose of sending an infantry unit there at all.
There is nothing in COIN that says you can't attack the enemy and kill him where he is with small arms fire and maneuver when he presents himself and shoots at you.

Ok, so by your own count we're operating with about 7 troops per 1,000 population. Historically successful COIN operations need, by your own argument, 20 per 1000.

So why are you arguing for a strategy which requires even more troops than that (garrisoning villages all over the country, mass and economy of force be damned), when you know, I know, and everyone here knows those troops aren't available, and aren't going to be available - ever!

Further, you haven't provided a tactical solution to the LT on the ground yet. How does he rid the village of Taliban when he cannot attack them?

Convince the villagers? How? He can't even enter the village. And why should the villagers fight the Taliban? If they know coalition forces won't attack, they have nothing at all to gain by standing up to the Taliban, and everything to lose.

I'll just say this: I have 4 years USAF enlisted experience from 86-90--nowhere close to combat--and years and years of studying history, and I am enjoying the hell out of this discussion!!!
Lawrence, KS

Come on over to my blog, read my latest post on this... then we'll discuss. You can find the post here:


Then we can talk force ratios and tactics.


I never attacked you or said you are stupid. I am merely debating your position. You are focused on tactical problems... as well you should. That's what you get paid for.

Like I said to Jason, pop on by the blog that QM and I post on, read what I wrote, then we'll continue the discussion if you like.

Again you can find the post here:


We're all on the same side and we all want the same thing. We simply are having a discussion over how to go about it. Stop on by and we'll "talk" some more.

Jason et al,

I've published a follow-up post here:


I'm attempting to answer your question regarding employment of platoons under fire. It is a lengthy response, so I'll have to write it in installments. I'll drop you a line as each one goes up.

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