CDR Phibian "Sal" Salamander

Articles by CDR Phibian "Sal" Salamander

Hedging the Future

The quasi-long awaited “Defense Budget Priorities and Choices” is out – you can get the whole thing here. It is a very mixed and curious bag – but with the expected budget stress, the outlines on page 5 & 6

Oh, The Credit Downgrade Is The Military's Fault? Thanks Barney Frank!

First, shockingly, let’s review some facts. The 2011 budget includes … a $1.267 trillion budget deficit … … and spending on defense, For the 2010 fiscal year, the president’s base budget of the Department of spending on “overseas contingency operations”

Bye Bye Military Health Care‏

As in all socialized health care systems, the Department of Defense’s health care for military personnel has its challenges from quality of care of dependents, inadequate personnel, the occasional Jihadist, and the cold indifference that bureaucracies can create like we

Students Hiss and Verbally Attack Vet Who Was Shot 11 Times

Almost a cliche – but instructive. Columbia University students heckled a war hero during a town-hall meeting on whether ROTC should be allowed back on campus. “Racist!” some students yelled at Anthony Maschek, a Columbia freshman and former Army staff

Of Peace and Civility

Take a little trip back with me down memory lane. Those old Cold Warrior among us will recognize the ploy right away, those younger and taught history in guv’munt schools may need to just trust me on this and read

What About the Egyptian Army?

As their nation’s capital descends into chaos and violence, one thing that continues to characterize this crisis in Egypt has been the behavior of its army – an army showing restraint. This is in a nation that in living memory

Holbrooke's Last Act of Service on Afghanistan

As reported by the Washington Post, these were Richard Holbrooks’s last words, As Mr. Holbrooke was sedated for surgery, family members said, his final words were to his Pakistani surgeon: “You’ve got to stop this war in Afghanistan.” More than

Trainwreck of a New National Security Advisor

As expected, retired Marine General and former military head of NATO James Jones is leaving as National Security Advisor. I’ll bet a bar tab at Kelly’s Irish Times on this; his replacement will be a complete rolling trainwreck. The thing

Afghanistan dénouement

Those closely involved with operations in Afghanistan have known since 2008 that there was a better than average chance that our very good allies, the Dutch, were going home in 2010. It was also known that the Canadians were looking

Politics, fraud, and PTSD

Last week, the VA made a move that at first blush may seem like a good thing – but it isn’t. Sally Satel over at the WSJ gives us a good overview. Veterans with unrelenting PTSD can receive disability benefits

UK Signals Retreat…

Something slipped in during the July 4th holiday season. DAVID Cameron yesterday spelt out his five-year exit strategy for British forces in Afghanistan. While the Prime Minister said combat troops should be out by 2015, he said there would continue

Not Learning the Lessons from Ft. Hood

After the terrorist attack at Ft. Hood, the official reaction from General Casey to the West-Clark Report were disappointing in the extreme for their lack of clear and direct understanding of the problem, but in a way are understandable given

Afghanistan: the Meaning of Mattis

Very important news in filling the gap created at US Central Command by Gen. Petraeus moving to lead US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis has been picked to take over U.S. Central Command, the Pentagon

The President and Operational Planning

Why, over six months after his West Point speech is there still such a debate over President Obama’s July 2011 departure date for Afghanistan? Simple; a military campaign has never been won where you run a blinkered Time-Based campaign instead