The Syrian rebel Kawa Khalil told me the recent story of the Holy Cross church. Before the war, the church doubled as a school, attended by Muslims and Christians. After the destruction of Syria began, classrooms became homes for refugees.
In 2006, the talking points from London and Washington insisted: we had won the war in Afghanistan, and Iraq was not in civil war. To say otherwise was apostasy. In 2006, British Defense Secretary John Reid was famously quoted on
Happy Valentine’s Day. It isn’t Valentine’s for those who will get hit with bullets or bombs today. And it will happen. So let’s get down to business. The top officer in the US Military is the Chairman of the Joint
An Army officer writes: The Army is not resisting Dustoff policy change because our leadership honestly believes the current policy is superior, but rather because of AMEDD’s [Army Medical Department] protectionist attitude toward “their” Dustoff MEDEVAC helicopters. I’m an active
A Gold Star Mother is one who lost a child in service of the United States. Ms. Keyko Clark-Davis is a recent Gold Star Mother. I was present when her son Chazray was mortally wounded. We have communicated many times.
While reading traffic in a closed forum between current and former military officers, I stumbled across this message from a British officer. I’ve known him since the Iraq days, and he’s also served in Afghanistan. He’s an honest and very
The Army has been deceiving members of Congress about MEDEVAC issues in Afghanistan. This poses a danger for civilian leadership who may run with the Army information, expecting accuracy in detail and in spirit, only to be ridiculed later. Letter
Increasing progress is being made on the Army helicopter MEDEVAC problems. Media attention has been building and appears that it will soon break big. Communications are coming in spontaneously from key places. Support for improvement is snowballing. Pilots and crews
Many people remember Command Sergeant Major Robb Prosser. Robb is the man who shot the man who shot Erik Kurilla. This firefight is described in Gates of Fire. I spent about five months with his unit in Iraq, and so
The US Army is today in flagrant violation of the Geneva Conventions in Afghanistan. This was first pointed out to me by a very smart, highly experienced senior military person. Though he has never steered me wrong, this seemed a
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” From World War II, we’ve heard reports that the enemy shot at Red Crosses emblazoned on medical vehicles, tents, and helmets. The Japanese were said to specifically
A groundswell continues within the Dustoff community to have Red Crosses removed from MEDEVAC helicopters in Afghanistan. There is much behind the scenes work on this. We’ve also set up a private forum to exchange information and ideas. Numerous encouraging
Every day in Afghanistan there are casualties requiring helicopter evacuation. There is a high probability that as you read this, someone is bleeding and in the process of extraction from the battlefield. US Army MEDEVAC helicopters fly unarmed into combat
Happy Thanksgiving weekend in America! This is a good time to share something lighter than the constant war. I’ve traveled to more than sixty countries, often spending years on end abroad. Those journeys have revealed many fascinating sides of life.
Camouflage is a combat imperative. Instruction in the use of camouflage begins in basic training. The Red Cross on the bright white background is meant to break up camouflage and to be seen. While there might seem little chance in
Forward Operating Base Pasab is in the upper left corner of this image. It’s the little rectangle looking area bristling with machineguns. Well, you can’t see the machineguns in this picture, but they are there. One time I walked by
This morning, I emailed to the office of Congressman Mike Pompeo asking for a phone conversation. His office informed me that the Army will appear before Congress to address the MEDEVAC failure in Afghanistan. [vimeo 31609732 nolink] The email follows:
It’s amazing how many lights can be seen on a dark night. Especially if you are with the US military. Different-colored lights are useful for differing purposes. The color you use can depend on your job. For medics, blue light
Pale Riders’ Tents 03 November 2011 Few people realize that Task Force Spartan is in what is probably the toughest fighting in Afghanistan. Many of the Soldiers might not even realize it because they are so busy. Within Task Force
To Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and President Barack Obama: For the last seven years I have written about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have covered the US Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy. I’ve also covered the
This lucky image was captured two days ago in the Dasht-e-Margo (Desert of Death). The Baloch tribesman is a member of the Afghan National Police and was part of an Afghan security escort to a very remote dam. I was
4-4 Cav waiting to board helicopters for an air assault. 12 October 2011 Afghanistan Most of our troops in Afghanistan never see combat. The closest they get might be the occasional rocket attacks on bases. A relatively small number will
26 September 2011 Zhari District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan Task Force Spartan, 4-4 Cav The boy knew it would be loud.
25 September 2011 Kandahar Province, Afghanistan Every American service member is a representative of the United States of America. If an American Soldier were to write about President Obama, “I want to rip his head off and piss down his
23 September 2011 Zhari District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan Task Force Spartan, 4-4 Cav Many Americans have died in these vineyards. Canadian blood has fertilized this ground, and we kill Taliban in these fields daily. We watch them through UAVs, such