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Monday, July 30

Your masters are not in Brussels, Gen. Dempsey

“The ministers get together and provide [the defense chiefs] with political guidance, and we discuss how we turn that into military advice and planning,” the chairman explained.

The chairman, in this case, is Army General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in the United States of America, and the chief military advisor to the President of the United States.

From the American Forces Press Service, published at the U.S. Department of Defense website:
KABUL, Afghanistan, April 22, 2012 – The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will focus on progress in Afghanistan’s national security forces during a visit here.

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey arrived this evening, and after a private dinner with a small group of field grade officers, met for about an hour with Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force.

Discussions here also will center on Allen’s plan to draw down the U.S. presence in Afghanistan to 68,000 troops by the end of September, the chairman told American Forces Press Service during the flight here from Amman, Jordan.

Dempsey’s visit to Afghanistan comes between last week’s meetings in Belgium among NATO foreign and defense ministers and the alliance’s summit in Chicago next month.

“The ministers get together and provide [the defense chiefs] with political guidance, and we discuss how we turn that into military advice and planning,” the chairman explained.[...]
I found myself in a difficult position when I first read the above report because I'd already suggested that Gen. Dempsey was barking mad after I heard his comments in March on the Charlie Rose show about Pakistan. If you think a person is crazy, what use is it to attempt to reason with him?  However, I don't know whether the chairman is actually crazy, or just doing a good imitation whenever he discusses Pakistan -- a mental blip that seems to manifest in all ranking members of the U.S. military who hold forth on Pakistan whenever they get in front of a microphone.

But despite my discomfort I should like to point out that while the U.S. military is under civilian control, this doesn't mean it's supposed to be under the control of civilians in foreign nations, even NATO ones.

To put this another way,  I can't find a sound rationale for U.S. commanders basing their war planning on the geopolitical machinations and business concerns of European, Turkish and Canadian governments. This, in my view, is taking the 'You gotta have a gang' mentality too far.

I confess I've been particularly concerned about the gang mentality since February 2010, when AFP reported that NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasumssen had floated the idea of NATO becoming "the hub of a network of security partnerships and a centre for consultation on international security issues -- even issues on which the alliance might never take action."
Rasmussen underlined that he did not seek to replace the work of the United Nations, and his stance was backed by German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg.

"We don't want to enter into any competition with the United Nations," the minister said. "We don't want to turn NATO into a global security agency."
So I've been a little nervous since reading those words because you know how it is, when people seek to assure you about something that hadn't even occurred to you before. Not to be unkind, but NATO demonstrated in Afghanistan that it can't fight its way out of a paper bag. All that NATO seems to excel at in the military sphere is carpet bombing. So I certainly hope it's not entertaining the idea of becoming a global constabulary -- one that takes its political guidance from Brussels, no less.

If Gen. Dempsey gets my drift.

The USA is the Global Security Agency. Most Americans don't realize that...

War is political, social, and for many mendicant so these can't be ignored.

And the the meat of your question: A former Deputy CDR of CENTCOM wrote a book a few years ago - I think it may have been DeLong and the book INSIDE CENTCOM - I read it. MEATMATTER: It was very clear and the conclusion of the book* that the most important thing to the author was the Global Coalition they built, aka the Trailer Park CMD in Florida. That was the Supreme Achievement from the author's POV. As he is an Infantry Jock he seems to have missed the point of said coalition, and also that courtiers, mendicants, and creatures like the Paks attaching themselves to us does not an Operation OVERLORD make...and as an American soldier he has about as much mental resistance [or awareness] to said machinations as the Spartans did to Persian money...none. I don't know about Dempsey but it's quite possible he misses the points as well.

*almost sure that's the book, but it's been a few years.
That is a great comment, bdoran.

Er, I've noticed the following too:

"...and as an American soldier he has about as much mental resistance [or awareness] to said machinations as the Spartans did to Persian money...none"

Why is that? I've often wondered.
"Lt-Gen (retired) Mike Delong, who is currently visiting Pakistan along with other executives of M/S Shaw briefed the Senate chairman about their firm. He said M/S Shaw would like to undertake business ventures with Pakistan on a long-term basis.

He informed that the firm would open an office in Islamabad shortly to facilitate business projects throughout Pakistan. He said M/S Shaw attached great significance to the people of Pakistan and expressed gratitude on the warm welcome and support extended to the delegation.

Earlier, Mohammadmian Soomro apprised the delegation about the investment policies and said due to the economic reforms and liberal policies of the government, Pakistan’s economy had turned around which was evident from the impressive economic indicators.

He assured Gen Delong that the government would provide every possible support to their firm for undertaking business in Pakistan.

M/S Shaw is a publicly held company with over $3 billion in annual revenue. It is a global leader in engineering, procurement, construction, energy and environmental remediation with over 20,000 employees and 140 offices worldwide."


Not suggesting anything negative, just interesting, that's all.
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