Two interesting articles from newspapers you probably rarely if ever read:
- Active-duty Lieutenant Colonel openly discusses defeat in Iraq; trashes nation’s generals. In the Armed Forces Journal, Lt. Col. Paul Yingling makes one of the boldest statements yet from inside the military about how the military’s top brass has, well, completely screwed up in Iraq. Here are his introductory paragraphs; the whole thing is well worth a read.
For the second time in a generation, the United States faces the prospect of defeat at the hands of an insurgency. In April 1975, the U.S. fled the Republic of Vietnam, abandoning our allies to their fate at the hands of North Vietnamese communists. In 2007, Iraq’s grave and deteriorating condition offers diminishing hope for an American victory and portends risk of an even wider and more destructive regional war.
These debacles are not attributable to individual failures, but rather to a crisis in an entire institution: America’s general officer corps. America’s generals have failed to prepare our armed forces for war and advise civilian authorities on the application of force to achieve the aims of policy. The argument that follows consists of three elements. First, generals have a responsibility to society to provide policymakers with a correct estimate of strategic probabilities. Second, America’s generals in Vietnam and Iraq failed to perform this responsibility. Third, remedying the crisis in American generalship requires the intervention of Congress.
- Sharp-eyed employee foils terrorist plot. From the Austin (TX) American-Statesman comes a story of what appears to be an attempt at domestic terrorism, foiled only because an employee of the targeted institution spotted a suspicious package.
The targeted institution? “A South Austin women’s clinic that performs abortions.”
A package found Wednesday in the parking lot of a South Austin women’s clinic that performs abortions contained a bomb that could have seriously injured or killed people had it not been spotted by a clinic employee, officials said Thursday…. Two sources familiar with the contents, who didn’t want to be identified because of the ongoing investigation, said the device also contained nails. Jimmie Oxley, a nationally known explosives expert and chemistry professor at the University of Rhode Island, said bomb makers often add nails to devices to make them deadlier…. “The device was a dangerous device,” [Austin Assistant Police Chief David] Carter said. “We believe it was capable of detonation.”
That’s terrorism, folks. Not all the terrorists are members of radical Islamic sects.