Saturday Morning Update
On to the news ... This story from the Australian press includes a great photo of a hastily constructed terrain model that US forces are using to rehearse the plans for attack in detail. This is good for us of course. The more detail there is in the planning, the better we will be able to adjust when our plan goes out the window. Also, I would imagine that these terrain models have been walked through dozens of times, and everyone down to the PFC level is familiar with the planning. This is standard practice. This article offers a good general overview of the events around Fallujah as well. A front-page article from the San Francisco Chronicle (U.S., Iraqi troops mass for assault on Fallujah / STRATEGY: U.S. to employ snipers, robots to cut down casualties) is very interesting. First, a critique of the article: I'm getting a little tired of the press and their juvenile understanding of virtually anything military. I guess it comes from the fact that most journalists at elite newspapers come from elite universities. And most elite universities have courses like "Post-Modern Reality in Bolivia" instead of "The History of War." What a dumb headline! No kidding we'll use snipers! We always use snipers! Every infantry battalion has a platoon of snipers! Hello! This is kindergarten level stuff. Second, the article sets up our options as a)call in 500 pound bombs, or b) use robots and snipers. Come on! Does the press really think that the military is like the Keystone Cops out there? Makes it sound like a Chinese fire drill every time we do anything. This probabaly stems from another fact about elite journalists at elite newspapers from elite universities: they think those in the service are rubes who have been duped into serving for silly reasons. Overall a very simplistic article. Even when they quote experts from GlobalSecurity.org, US Naval Postgraduate School, or the Center for Defense Information, they distill their analysis, which is presumably complex, since these folks have PhDs in all manner of things, into a one-sentence blurb, the effect of which is something like this: the battle may be difficult or it may not. This is just plain intellectual cowardice masquerading as objectivity. As I've stated before, our assault will be fierce, highly coordinated, our Devil dogs will spare civilian lives as much as possible, and the attack will be as fast as possible. Enough of that rant. Some administrative notes: I would sincerely like to thank my daily readers for their patronage. I started this blog fifteen days ago and yesterday's page impressions totalled 6900 and change. I appreciate your telling your friends about me. Again for the record, I am not in Iraq. My analysis is based on my experinces there in 2003 and open-source information. I have a day-job. This is not my only gig. I appreciate the many great recommendations I have received, many of which I will pursue, including: -adding a link to a reading list on Amazon -adding BlogAds -adding a link to my email address -increasing the font size for readers who have trouble with the small print. I'll get to all of these things in time. I appreciate your patience, and so does Mrs. Adventures of Chester, who is trying to adjust to the fact that her husband's new hobby involves staring at a screen for long periods of time. A final admin note: I have mentioned that I think the Battle of Fallujah will take place in three phases, and we are in the first, Shaping the Battlespace. The second, The Ground Assault, will begin shortly. From the day that it begins, as I determine it, until the day that it ends and phase three begins, I will donate all of my google ad revenue to the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, which is an organization that provides scholarships and other assistance to the children and families of Marines and Law Enforcement Personnel killed in the line of duty. I can't see myself profiting from my google ads while my fellow Marines are slugging it out, so that's my pledge. I'll post when I'm declaring the ground assaulut beginning and when I declare it over, so it'll be transparent to all. I'll also post daily totals of the amounts to be donated. More later today . . . UPDATE: 11:28 pm: Just to be safe I have been reviewing my user agreement with Google. It's a violation of the policy to encourage viewers to click on ads for any reason. So I'm calling off my charity drive. I will try to add a donate button for the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation instead. AGAIN, my charity drive is cancelled.