I have seen a lot of reactions to any news coming out of Iraq, especially concerning the growing unrest there, that are dismissive at best. “I don’t care what these people do to each other.” “As long as no Americans were killed, so what?” Inevitably, those who believe that Iraq was a horrible misstep at best, somehow a malicious adventurism for no good reason by George Bush at worst, have to throw in the same tired talking points from the war’s most bitter opponents, many of which can be easily refuted or shown to be blatant hypocrisy with a few keystrokes. One such commenter referred to Iraq as an “infantile war.” (Go tell the families and friends of the men who died there that they died in an “infantile” war. I dare you.) Read the rest on SOFREP.
On the night of July 21st, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant assaulted the prisons at Taji and Abu Ghraib, freeing a confirmed 500 prisoners from the latter. Suicide bombers drove vehicles packed with explosives up to the gates of Abu Ghraib and detonated them. This opened the way for assault forces moving into the compound, while other fighters brought the guards under small arms, mortar, and RPG fire. Still others set up blocking positions on the roads to fend off reinforcements. More fighters, wearing suicide vests, were reported going into the prison to free the prisoners. A report from Al Akhbar says that the attack only started after the prisoners began rioting, suggesting there were communications from inside the prison before the assault. Given a history of turncoats in the Iraqi Security Forces, particularly the Iraqi Police (though nowhere near the level of Afghanistan), this should come as no surprise. Read the rest on SOFREP.
“Allah is our objective; the Quran our constitution; the Prophet is our leader; struggle is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.” In 1924, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in Turkey and the ascension of Ataturk to the leadership of a new secular government, ended the Islamic Caliphate. The Caliphate had been led by Istanbul for centuries, even though its power had steadily waned after the disastrous defeat of Muslim forces by the Poles at the siege of Vienna in 1683. With the establishment of secular rule in Turkey, there was no longer a single Islamic political power. The reaction to the loss of the Caliphate led to two major Islamist movements, both of which, along with their successor groups, are still making their presence felt today. The first was the Wahabi sect in Saudi Arabia, which soon became the guiding ideology of the House of Saud, and remains the backbone of Salafist ideology to this day. Wahabism grew out of the tribal Bedouin society of the Arabian Peninsula and soon became what Walid Phares calls “Top-Down jihad.” The second group to emerge in the pursuit of a new Caliphate was
Jimmie Earl Howard enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1950 at the age of 21. He graduated from boot camp in January, 1951 and was promoted to PFC. He then stayed on MCRD San Diego as a drill instructor until December, 1951. (The Marine Corps operated a little differently then.) In February, 1952, he was deployed to Korea as a forward observer for the 4.2″ Mortar Platoon, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division. While in Korea, in defense of “an important hill position” (not specified in the citation), then-Corporal Howard not only called in effective mortar and artillery fire on attacking North Korean (and presumably Chinese; again, the citation doesn’t say) forces, but engaged in close combat to hold his forward observer position. After he was relieved by another FO, Howard set to helping evacuate the wounded and carry ammunition and supplies until he was knocked out twice by enemy mortar fire. He was awarded the Silver Star for his actions. He also received two Purple Hearts. Read the rest on SOFREP.
The first round of copies for my illegible scrawl have shipped. I’ll have the links up here to order them once I get them. I’ve also started working on getting Audible versions done. Don’t get too excited yet; there’s still a long way to go. But it’s likely going to happen.
I’ve gotten a couple of requests for signed copies of Task Force Desperate and Hunting in the Shadows. Since I’m not sure what kind of demand there is, before I order any copies, I’d like to hear from you if you’d be interested. It would be the cover price plus $5.00 shipping and handling. Once I get an idea of how many are interested, I can start ordering, and I’ll put up a post for you to buy them. [polldaddy poll=7247128]
The Jaysh al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar (The Army of Emigrants and Helpers) was officially formed at the end of March, 2013. It began as three different groups, including the Kataeb al-Muhajireen (The Brigade of Emigrants), the Kataeb al Khattab (The Brigade of Khattab), and the Jaysh Muhammad (Army of Muhammad). The latter two were Syrian groups, while the first consisted of Chechens, Turks, Tajiks, Pakistanis, French, Egyptians, Moroccans, and others. A group of jihadists, including Chechens and Bangladeshis, were arrested in London in October 2012, planning to join the Muhajireen Brigade, and in March, a Swedish jihadist known as Abu Kamal as Swedee was killed while fighting with the Brigade. Read the rest on SOFREP.
While Marine Recon got its start in World War II, with the Raiders and the 1st Marine Division’s Amphibious Reconnaissance Company, much of what Recon is today is thanks to Marine Test Unit 1. After the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, most of the US military started trying to shift their doctrine to a model of a nuclear battlefield. At the time, it was assumed that nuclear weapons would become an integral part of warfare, much like gas had in WWI. As a result of this shift in doctrine, the services started looking at how to operate in a nuclear environment. Read the rest on SOFREP.
With Hunting in the Shadows out, I’ve been doing most of my writing for SOFREP lately, as you might have figured from the number of SOFREP posts below. That’s not all, however. As an outgrowth of “The Cost of Limited War” on SOFREP, I’ve started work on “History, Moral Philosophy, and War.” So far I’ve described it as attempting to cut through a lot of the BS, emotional “moralizing,” and obfuscation that has led to our not winning a war since 1945. It’s a huge project, and I’ll probably be lucky to get it finished by 2015. I am working on Alone and Unafraid, the third book in the American Praetorians series. It’s starting off slow, however; I’ve still got some thinking and figuring out to do. In the meantime, I’ve gone back to a side project I started a couple of years ago. It’s what Larry Correia has dubbed “supernatural adventure.” I’m a fan of Larry’s work, as well as Jim Butcher’s “The Dresden Files,” so it’s somewhat along those lines. I got my start as a storyteller telling spook stories around campfires, so it’s fun to get back into that sort of story. It’s not going to be
With AQI and its Syrian affiliate/rival Al Nusra increasingly in the news, here is a brief rundown of AQI’s history. Al Qaeda in Iraq got its start in 2003, originally called Jama’at al Tawhid wal Jihad (The Group for Monotheism and Jihad). It was founded by Abu Musab al Zarqawi, a would-be mujahid who got to Afghanistan after the Soviets departed. Unable to take part in the jihad against the Soviets, he turned his attention to overthrowing the Kingdom of Jordan, where he was imprisoned until being released in 1999. He then traveled to Afghanistan and trained with other Islamists near Herat, until traveling to northern Iraq to join forces with Ansar al Islam. Read the rest on SOFREP.