“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, December 08, 2006

An Iraqi Offensive?

Five held in massive Iraq operation

By Emma Henry and agencies The Telegraph
Last Updated: 3:09pm GMT 08/12/2006

Hundreds of British troops have carried out a huge pre-planned operation targeting five rogue militia leaders in southern Iraq.

More than 7,000 British troops are based in southern Iraq
A force of 800 British and 200 Danish troops seized the men and discovered arms including artillery shells wired up for making roadside bombs in the largest mission to take place since the 2003 invasion.

The pre-dawn raids took place in the northern al-Hartha district of Basra, home to a number of rival Shia militias.

A predominantly Danish force struck from the north while an amphibious assault team crossed the Shatt al-Arab waterway and Challenger main battle tanks advanced from the south, Maj Charlie Burbridge, a British military spokesman, said. Helicopters and jets supported the operation.

British military spokesman Maj Charlie Burbridge said: "This was a difficult and complex operation. It was designed to target criminals who have been involved in murder, kidnappings and attacks on multi-national forces."

The troops, which were drawn mainly from 19 Light Brigade, targeted several addresses north of the city at around 3am local time. Commanders assembled a force of Warrior armoured vehicles, Challenger tanks and boats to carry out the raids.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "It is a measure of the importance of the men who were targeted that they were expected to be armed and protected by bodyguards; hence the potency of the force.

"The operation lasted several hours and many of the soldiers did not return to base until after dawn." Maj Burbridge told BBC News 24: "We have had to use overwhelming force to ensure our own protection to conduct that sort of operation."

There were no casualties among civilians or coalition troops, who came under intense small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire, Maj Burbridge said. It was unclear whether any militants suffered any casualties

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "It was a large search and detention operation targeted against known individuals who were suspected of criminal activity, including attacks on multi-national forces and civilians."

US forces also claimed a sucess today as a result of an unrelated raid in Salahaddin province, north of Baghdad. The Americans said ground troops, supported from the air, killed 20 suspected al-Qa-eda militants and found weapons including rocket-propelled grenades and suicide vests packed with explosives.

Local authorities, however, disputed that account. Police said innocent women and children were among the dead.


  1. Whack a Mohammed!
    Whack another!

    Capture a Mohammed
    "It was a large search and detention operation targeted against known individuals who were suspected of criminal activity, ...
    Turn the Criminal over to the Iraqi Courts
    Release a Mohammed
    Catch & Release
    It's the Iraqi Way

  2. We still haven't used the Air Force to just kill people. We should, it's what you do in peacetime and in war. War is just a messy extention of peace.

    Bomb Sdar City to rubble, say it was a training exersice gone bad. Got ZERO to lose.

  3. Before relase we provide surgical hypospadia so they're easier to track next time.

  4. Here is an interesting website from KS.
    It links five different views of:
    the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division, that prepares teams of U.S. troops to embed with Iraqi forces
    Military Matters: Fort Riley general talks Iraqi training

  5. rufus, again one of your interesting articles

    There will be many ways bringing the ideas to market. Your link sees one version, similar to one I mentioned a while ago.

    An idealized vision has a corn farmer hauling a load of grain to a cooperative-owned ethanol plant and leaving with a load of environmentally friendly fertilizer.

    It seems to me that the distilleries will be large plants, more comparable to Anheuser-Busch than a micro brewery. Pipeline capable, if the scale that the country requires is to be reached.
    Or thousands of tanker trucks, running from dispersed production facilities to pumping stations.

    If it's a grass roots development, perhaps. But "top down" will centralize production as much as possible.

  6. A drill planned to demonstrate the Navy's ability to knock down two incoming missiles at once from the same ship failed off Hawaii's coast on Thursday, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said.
    A computer configuration problem aboard the USS Lake Erie grounded one interceptor missile, and officials halted the second during the test of the sea-based U.S. missile defense system.

    It was the second failure in nine tests of the system by the agency and the U.S. Navy, said Missile Defense Agency spokesman Chris Taylor.

    Just a 22% failure rate. Better get those missile deployeed in depth. Make sure we have enough, that work, when needed.
    Upgrade as improvements are available.

  7. O/T but..
    Sea Urchin Genome Suprisingly Similar To Man And May Hold Key To Cures ...did we really need the Scopes trial?


  8. DR..
    KGB is buying Orkin and will deploy units of Polonium 210 "ant killers" to spray their way to world domination..we don't need no stink'in missiles.

    Your waiter approaches you with a pepper grinder, Pepper sir, special polonium blended210?
    "no thanks I'm trying to cut down on the radioactivity"

    And to think of all those radon warning gizmos people bought. Whew

  9. Rufus,
    An the A-10 Warthog which no one wanted but proved very effective.

  10. I was being serious, rufus.
    Buy the missiles now, expand the numbers out in the world, upgrade as available. The frame will not change.

    The "biggest" speach of Mr Bush's carreer in in the offing, a speach that could eclipse the Stae of the Union, or really set the stage for it.

    Ms Rice, Ms Myers, Ms Harris and of course, Mrs Bush. The President's "inner circle".
    Mr Cheney, was he laying down the Law to the Sauds or getting instructions? The reality of that meeting vs the preconcieved perceptions of the dueling pundits.

    To have been a fly on that wall.

    Bet we see the results, soon.

  11. My understanding of the A10, habu, was that no one in the Air Force wanted it. The Army's mouth was watering for it. The Air Force was told that if they did not buy it, the Army would expand it's Air Wing from only rotors to fixed wing and buy it themselves.

    Or so the story was told.

  12. DR..believe that's the way it went...anyway somebody didn't want it but I think it worked out well in Desert Storm.

  13. Rufus,
    i gotta hand it to ya you've raised my awareness of alt fuels etc from zero to, "Hey, I can ALMOST talk about it". Your feeds wre great please keep it com'in man it's a treat.

  14. Fabulous plane.
    Need more of them or improved version, more so than fancy fighters.

    Few countries can match what we have now, but ground support will increase in importance, especially if we use more proxy forces.

    That will be the extended outcome, if training foreign fighters becomes the next important Army mission.

  15. How much would the Ethiopian Army be force multipled with dozens of trainer advisors that could call in the "black" planes at a moments notice?
    Against the aQ and Hezzbollah aided Islamic Courts of Somalia forces it could be all the edge they need.

  16. We agree on that, rufus!


  17. remembering what a few stingers did for the muj ag/ the Red army--what a return. of course it turned out mixed, but it sure helped the crisis--which was a USSR advance to the Persian Gulf, behind Jimmy Carter's middle eastern political landscape.

    I agree, on the Warthog. hard to believe how close it came to the scrapyard.

  18. Conclusion First, Debate Afterwards
    Recently in The Weekly Standard:
    The stacked Baker-Hamilton Commission.
    by Michael RubinFrom the October 30, 2006

    Raad Alkadiri, for example, has repeatedly defined U.S. motivation for Iraq's liberation as a grab for oil. Raymond Close, listed on the Iraq Study Group's website as a "freelance analyst," is actually a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, which, in July 2003, called for Vice President Dick Cheney's resignation for an alleged conspiracy to distort intelligence, which they said had been uncovered by none other than Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV.

    The following summer, Close posited that "Bush and the neocons" had fabricated the charge "that the evil Iranian mullahs inspired and instigated the radical Shia Islamist insurgency." To Close, the problem was not Iranian training and supply of money and sophisticated explosives to terrorists, but rather neoconservatism.

    Baker's legacy is twofold. As secretary of state, he presided over the 1989 Taif Accords, which ended Lebanon's civil war. By blessing Syrian military occupation, he sacrificed Lebanese independence on the altar of short-term pragmatism. Many Iraqis--Sunni elites and former officers especially--fear Washington may repeat the episode in their country. They fear Baker's cold realist calculations may surrender Iraq to Iranian suzerainty. While Americans may nonetheless welcome short-term calm, in terms of U.S. security, the Taif model failed: Damascus used its free hand to gut civil society and turn Lebanon into a safe haven for terror.

    Baker's other legacy may be harder to shake: Iraqis remember him for his role in Operation Desert Storm. On February 15, 1991, President George H.W. Bush called upon Iraqis to "take matters into their own hands and force Saddam Hussein the dictator to step aside."
    Iraqis did rise up, but Baker counseled U.S. forces to stand aside as Saddam turned his helicopter gunships on the rebellious Kurds and Shiites. Had more commission members exited the Green Zone, they might have found that among the greatest impediments U.S. forces and diplomats face in Iraq is the experience of betrayal that Baker imprinted on their country.
    Washington's adversaries have capitalized on this legacy.
    The foolishness of Iraqis' trusting Washington has been a constant theme in Iranian propaganda.

  19. Habu,
    Have you tried listerine?

  20. "I think the Army should have it's own A-10's. "
    300 Hogs would be a drop in our Military Budget, but oh what chaos they could raise!
    ...not to mention save thousands of US Lives on the ground.

  21. The Elephant Bar Becomes the Warthog Club.

  22. One item on the agenda upon which we ALL seem to agree about.

    My oh my.
    Either a great idea, or we are way out of the loop

  23. VDH Link:
    "If there were any serious blunders, they concerned the sense of hesitation that gave our enemies confidence
    —the sudden departure of Gen. Franks,
    the pullback from first Fallujah,
    the reprieve given Sadr, etc.

    In other words, once we were in a war, whatever public downside there was to using too much force was far outweighed by losing our sense of control and power, and ceding momentum to the terrorists.

    So we can learn from that, and begin again cracking down hard on the insurgents before calling for more troops.

  24. good thing the Luftwaffe didn't have that 30mm flying gatling gun back in 1944. that thing would've dropped Fortresses like autumn leaves.

  25. Add VDH to that growing echo of victories past

  26. That BOMARC that RWE referenced was a lot further ahead of it's time than are our anti missile jobs, but it was deployed and improved.
    Scary weapon w/a Nuke on the nose!

  27. MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Fighting broke out Friday in the southern Somali town taken by the Islamic militias that control much of the country, but the government denied claims that Ethiopian troops had led an attack.

    A top Islamic official said militiamen fought Ethiopian troops in the southern town of Dinsor, and he called on Somalis to defeat "the enemies who have invaded our land."

    If confirmed, it will be first direct fighting between the militias and Ethiopian troops. But a minister of the Somali government said the clashes were between his forces and the Islamic militia challenging the government for control of Somalia. He denied Ethiopians, who back his government, were involved.

    The "Somali Government holds a single town, as I recall, the Mohammedans control the majority of the Country.

    Ethiopian troops were first reported in Somalia in June, soon after the Islamic courts took the capital, Mogadishu. Ethiopia has always said it has only a few hundred military advisers in Somalia to help the transitional government form a national army, but a confidential U.N. report obtained by the AP in October said 6,000-8,000 Ethiopian troops were in Somalia or along the border.

    The report also said 2,000 soldiers from Eritrea were inside Somalia. Eritrea denies having any troops in Somalia.

    Earlier Friday, Sheikh Abdullahi Ali Hashi, a spokesman for the Islamic courts, claimed Ethiopian troops had shelled the central Somalia town of Bandiradley, while residents of a nearby village said Ethiopian troops and tanks had taken up positions near the town.

    Witnesses in a village near Bandiradley said hundreds of Ethiopian troops and tanks had taken up positions near the town.

    They said that this new movement puts these forces and their rival Islamic courts' militias just over a mile apart.

    It is an AP story, but the fat may be near the fire. At least it's in the frying pan.

  28. The Hughes AIM-26 Falcon was a larger, more powerful version of the AIM-4 Falcon air-to-air missile. It is notable for being the only U.S. guided air-to-air weapon with a nuclear warhead.
    The ever famous W54 warhead adapted to an air to air mission.

    The W54, was a very compact implosion-type nuclear weapon design, designed for tactical use and had a very low yield for a nuclear weapon.

    All four variants share the same basic core: a nuclear system which is 10.75 inches diameter (270 mm), about 15.7 inches long (400 mm), and weighs around or slightly over 50 pounds (23 kg).

    There were many uses contemplated for the W54, a 50 pound nuke.

    The W54 was tested for use in a U.S. Navy SEALs project that was demonstrated as feasible in the mid-to-late 1960s, designed to attack a harbor or other strategic location that could be accessed from the sea. The SEALs version would be delivered into water by parachute along with a two man team, then floated to the target, set in place and armed by hand.

    I am sad that so many people think that a small, backpackable, warhead is a fantasy of excess imagination.
    That some how it is still to difficult an engineering task to be accomplished by small countries, more than fifty years later.

  29. Boeing was granted a full contract for Bomarc production in 1951 under the XF-99 designation. The numerical designation would eventually change to IM-99A and CIM-10A.

    Boeing began delivering operational Bomarc missiles to the U.S. Air Force in 1957, with a total of 366 deployed by 1960 at bases which could house one or two 28-missile squadrons.

    Essentially an improved and streamlined Bomarc A, the Bomarc B, designated IM-99B, was ready for flight testing in 1959.

    Boeing delivered a total of 349 Bomarc B missiles to the U.S. Air Force between 1961 and 1965.

    These either replaced aging Bomarc A missiles at existing bases or facilitated Bomarc B deployment at new sites.
    The last of the Bomarc squadrons was deactivated in 1972.

  30. Yeah, 'Rat, but the PLANS to the '54 have been carefully held by us, in SECRET.
    ...and by the Chicoms, Ruskies, Pakis, and...

  31. Wu Wei already informed us that we'll just stalemate them with MAD.

  32. our immaginations.
    With their immaginary small Nukes.

  33. The President of South Africa is with Mr Bush. He says he relys on US support and needs more troops in Darfur.
    He says Mr Bush is committed.
    Mr Mbeki is very pleased.
    We go forward together, to find solutions.

    No questions.

  34. Habu said, "Bomb Sdar City to rubble, say it was a training exersice gone bad. Got ZERO to lose."

    Bombing a country for democracy is like fucking for virginity.

  35. How about Fucking for Old Virginny?

  36. "We have had to use overwhelming force to ensure our own protection to conduct that sort of operation."
    I remember right at the giddyup on the drive to Baghdad, it struck me as WRONG to hold up an entire column of Tanks, Humvees, and Bradleys while two guys risked their lives all day long trying to suppress the enemy from a KIOWA!
    ...Apache at least, Spectre at Best.

  37. Take care in trusting the USAF brass too much on procurement wisdom. Had Col. John Boyd not risked court martial, the brass would have killed both the F-15 and F-16.

    Tests do show the F-22 to have extraordinary tactical capabilities. However, once it takes down the Chinese air force, for example, what does it do? Consider its limited payload.

    The only airframe in the US inventory able to deliver all ordinance packages, save one, on a single run, is the fifty year-old, tricked out B-52. The brass wants to reduce by 20% (more or less) the fleet.

  38. Why?
    Pretend you see the World as a zero sum game & you have over 1 Billion people to manage.

    300 million people, on the otherside of the world consume 25% of the annual global resources.

    These barbarians have financed your factories, you can mow be selfsustaining, and need the barbarian's share of the resources.

    Political and economic dominance comes first but then, as your power expands, you can push hard, knowing that asymetric, conventional or limited nuclear war could be acceptable, 10 or 20 million dead, acceptable. Chairman Mao killed 40 million to cleanse the Mainland of foreign influence, you can lose as many, or more, to achieve Victory & World Dominance.

  39. On top of that, the ruling Elite of China, they have an abundunce of single men coming of age, even as we speak. Rising Nationalistic fever has been building for almost a decade.

    The historic invasion route, through Korea, is once again spinning out of control. The border security fences nearing completion. Gotta keep those people out of China, no matter what.

  40. "...huge pre-planned operation "

    Doh. 800 Brits + 200 Danes is a reinforced battalion group. Hardly huge like, I dunno, D-Day or Barbarossa or Bagration each with millions of participants. Pre-planned operation? No shit, though the "pre" becomes redundant next to "planned".

    F***ing useless MSM jackals.