"Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your HONOR."
~ Vietnam Pilot
"In combat, honor is obtained by those who do what must be done, not what is allowed by those who refuse to fight or die for their own cause...my extremes pump fear into the enemy for generations come, your extremes cause warriors to bow in the presence of the unworthy, presenting weakness and opportunity ... well, I bow to no man"
~ Antonio Cezar Vega
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US Soldiers in Afghanistan Now Forced to Fight a Two-Fronted War – by Parents of Navy SEAL Killed in Extortion 17
Very important read.
Originally posted on Boomer:
It fills my heart with grief to tell you that I stood in front of a crowd of 50+ conservatives today and asked how many of them knew that 2 special operators were killed Wednesday in an insider attack. ONE lady raised her hand…ONE. I just started crying. Could barely go on.
Karen’s emotion is totally understandable. It seems this news should be known to all and yet, we continue to hear about celebrities misbehaving, criminals committing misdemeanors and other seemingly less significant news ahead of this real, and totally relevant information. The fact that deaths are escalating in Afghanistan, and the reasons for it, including the Rules of Engagement imposed by our own government, are addressed in this article, and should be known by all Americans.
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Penned by Billy and Karen Vaughn
U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan are now forced to fight a two-fronted war. Before each deployment, these soldiers understand fully that day after day they will do battle against relentless terrorists with shifting loyalties and unspeakable hatred. But what none of them could have foreseen was the killing field that would open from their rear: the Continental United States.
Our government’s incessant tightening of already restrictive ROE (Rules of Engagement), compounded by the failed COIN (Counterinsurgency) strategy—also known as “winning hearts and minds”—has made an otherwise primitive enemy formidable.
Our best and brightest come home in body bags as politicians and lawyers dine over white linen tablecloths; writing, modifying, and re-modifying these lethal rules. Rules that favor the enemy rather than the American soldier. Rules so absurd they’re difficult to believe until you hear the same stories over and again from those returning from battle.
In a delicate discussion with an Army Ranger who recently left the military, we heard the following: “I had to get out. I have a family who needs me. I didn’t join to be sacrificed. I joined to fight.”
This decision came shortly after he lost a close friend to the ROE. He explained how the Taliban had attempted an ambush on his friend’s squad but quickly realized they were in a battle they couldn’t win and began retreating. While chasing them, the U.S. soldiers were ordered not to engage due to the slight chance the Taliban had laid down their arms as they ran through some type of shack. While arguing with leadership at the JOC (Joint Operations Center), his friend was shot and killed.
A Navy SEAL who left his job only a few years shy of full retirement said the following: “I got out because I couldn’t take it anymore. We tried to explain how much reckless danger we were being exposed to and they told us we were being illogical.”
This type of response has created a growing crisis of confidence between our warfighters and senior military leadership. His argument wasn’t illogical at all.
A gut-wrenching pattern began forming in early 2009, a pattern completely ignored by Congress, the White House, and apparently the DoD.
In the first seven plus years of war in Afghanistan (October 2001 – December 2008) we lost 630 U.S. soldiers. In early 2009, this administration authorized the implementation of the COIN strategy. Over the next five years, the U.S. death toll skyrocket to 2,292.
Seventy-three percent of all U.S. deaths in Afghanistan have taken place since 2009.
In the first seven plus years of war in Afghanistan, 2,638 U.S. soldiers were wounded in action. In the next forty-five months (2009 – 2012) an additional 15,036 suffered the same fate.
Liars figure, but figures don’t lie.
While concern over being killed due to these policies weighs heavily on the minds of those we’ve spoken with, the deepest pit in the stomach comes from fear of prosecution should they violate these absurd and ever-changing ROE. The last thing a warfighter should ever be forced to experience is unnecessary fear.
Fear creates hesitation. Hesitation creates flag-draped caskets. Flag-draped caskets create fatherless children, widowed wives, and childless parents. Our heroes deserve the right to fight with swift hands, clear minds, and confident hearts.
However, today’s warfighters have the grave misfortune of serving leaders who elevate the virtues of inaction over action. The message? If you dare use your training or your gut instinct, if you have the fortitude to fight for your life or the desire to kill the enemy, there is a good chance you will be punished.
The physiological capacities of a true patriot cannot tolerate the vile stench of injustice, especially when perpetrated against those who defend us. Its wretched aroma permeates the core and demands a response.
We’re counting on you, the American patriot, for that response. We must defend our defenders. Please, spread the news and demand change.
Billy & Karen Vaughn are Gold Star parents of Special Operations Chief (SEAL) Aaron Vaughn, KIA 6 Aug 2011. Billy is the author of Betrayed: The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17. Read more or schedule the Vaughns for a speaking event at http://www.forourson.us.
Important to know for planning that must be done.
Originally posted on project chesapeake:
On the modern battlefield the American army is a mighty force but not all soldiers participate in the fighting in a similar fashion. For every combat arms person there are eight or more support personnel behind the lines making sure the trigger pullers on the front line have the materials they need to fight. Without this supply function the battle would come to a halt in a very short time. Amateurs talk of strategy while generals talk of logistics. Logistics mean fighting capability. Without the materials of war victory is difficult if not impossible to achieve.
When the south went to war in 1861 they were at a decided disadvantage. They had little in the way of raw materials or production capability. This led to final defeat in 1865. When the final shot was fired the south was slowly starving to death from lack of war materials…
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Shane Osborn is the only Senate candidate who can make a campaign pitch like this.
“If I can stand up to interrogations by the Chinese — the communist Chinese for twelve days — I can certainly handle Harry Reid in Washington, D.C.,” Osborn said in a recent interview with The Daily Caller.
Osborn, the former Republican State Treasurer in Nebraska, was the Navy pilot held captive for nearly two weeks by the Chinese after the Hainan Island incident in 2001.
The Navy plane piloted by Osborn collided in midair with a Chinese fighter jet in international airspace, sending his plane into an inverted dive.
“It cut the Chinese jet in two and flipped us inverted, tore the nose off,” Osborn told TheDC.
While the Chinese pilot died in the collision, Osborn safely landed the plane in China carrying a 23-member crew. That gave newly-sworn in President George W. Bush his first international crisis to deal with.
Osborn and his crew were interrogated by the Chinese before being released.
“You’re 26 years old, you’re scared out of your mind,” Osborn recalled. “Those twelve days they held us prisoner were very intense. They used sleep deprivation. They interrogated me six to eight hours at a time. They didn’t let me sleep for days on end.”
Osborn said he is often asked about his experience in China while on the campaign trail.
“I say this on the stump, ‘Listen, I understand you’re probably thinking in your mind what’s being a good Navy pilot have to do with being a good U.S. senator. And my answer is not much. But leadership matters. And, I learned how to lead in the Navy,’” Osborn said.
The Nebraska Senate primary
Osborn is running in a competitive GOP primary to replace Republican Sen. Mike Johanns this year. His competition includes Republican Ben Sasse, the president of Midland University.
Asked to differentiate himself from his opponents, Osborn noted his military experience. “There are only two combat veterans in the United States Senate,” he said.
“I’ve collected intelligence off of every single country we’re having problems with today,” Osborn said. “I won’t just make my decisions based on academic theory. I make them on real-world experience. Personal experience.”
Obsorn also emphasizes his business experience. “I’m the only entrepreneur in this race,” he said. “I’m the only one who knows what it’s like to risk all and leave a cushy job and go out there and create a business from scratch.”
He also boasts of cutting spending as state treasurer. “I’m the only one in this race or probably in any race running right now that can say they’ve actually shrunk government,” he said.
Continuing, he said: “Over a four year period, I cut the budget nearly 12 percent. I reduced the staff 28 percent. … I actually know how to shrink government and make it more efficient.”
As state treasurer, Osborn said he launched NebraskaSpending.gov, which shows every aspect of state spending. He said the federal government should do something similar.
“Pie graphs, bar graphs, historical data going back ten years and it shows people where they’re money’s being sent,” he said. “Who’s the vendor, who are the vendors doing business with the state? That’s something we absolutely need in Washington, D.C.”
As for other issues he’s talking about on the trail, Osborn said: “Obamacare is obviously a big topic on everybody’s mind. I am the only candidate in this race that back in 2009, I spoke at rallies all across the state hammering on Obamacare, saying this is bad policy.”
“Obviously Obamacare is failing miserably, but it was designed to fail. It’s just failing quicker than they thought. And we know the end game here. For the Democrats and Obama it’s to have single payer health care,” he said.