Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Short Hiatus

Due to being busy with work and busy having a social life I've decided to take a short hiatus from this blog. I'm not expecting this break to be very long, I should return in time for the yearly "Warhorse Top 10 Shitty Places".

If anything of interest pops up I'll certainly write about it as well.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

LTG Flynn Out From The DIA

A little over 2 years ago I wrote a post on LTG Michael Flynn being nominated to head the Defense Intelligence Agency. I approved of the move based on some things I had read about LTG Flynn as well as a paper that he had written about intelligence analysis and what deployed analysts should be doing. My ending statement was a hope that LTG Flynn "...will be able to break the Cold War mentality that often can be found at the upper echelons of the intel bureaucracy."

At the end of last month, word was leaked that LTG Flynn would be stepping down from his position. He stated that he was retiring and that this had been planned for some time. I have no doubt that LTG Flynn likely planned his retirement for some time but he still had about a year left on his tenure. Also, as head of the DIA and a 3-star general why retire now? You can't tell me a fourth star wasn't in his future.

RUMINT has it that LTG Flynn was forced to step down from pressure within the intelligence community, especially by the civilian leadership. It appears that he was stepping on quite a few toes, toes that had been at this business for a long time and didn't want to change.

LTG Flynn had been developing plans to send more of the civilian analysts overseas...“up and out of their cubicles into the field to support war fighters.." as one official put it. Also, apparently his management style was chaotic and his plans met resistance from both his superiors and his subordinates.

As a former intelligence officer and current civilian analyst, I have no issue with LTG Flynn's ideas of sending more analysts into the fight. Too often analysts get set in the steady 9-5 office job and have little to no clue about the tactical, or even operational, fight in a combat zone. I've seen it here at NGIC a number of times...especially amongst the government analysts who often have no clue about the "small picture" on the ground in Afghanistan...the conflict we are supposed to be supporting.

But I suppose breaking that Cold War mentality is just too difficult for some folks.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Boko...Have Trouble Giving A Damn

If you have been watching, reading, or listening to the news lately then you are likely aware of increased violence in Nigeria due to  the terrorist group Boko Haram as well as the kidnapping of nearly 300 school girls by that organization. I haven't written much about Nigeria or Boko Haram, although the country made my "Top 10" List last year (spoiler: Nigeria will probably make it again this year).

Boko Haram, aka The Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad (or in Arabic, Jamat Ahl as-Sunnah lid-da'wa wal-Jihad), was founded in 2002 and is an Islamic group found primarily in northern Nigeria as well as parts of Cameroon and Niger. They seek an Islamic state ruled by Sharia law. Boko Haram's tactics to gain this state are through terrorism and guerilla warfare...because fuck peaceful means (bias alert).

So yeah, another part of the world that I'll keep a closer eye on. One never knows when the US will decide to get involved. But it's not like Nigeria has oil or anything...oh wait, they do. However, the kidnapping of some school girls won't likely turn the eyes of the US government which is working to cut the budget of the military to save some cash. Events would have to seriously escalate for that to happen.

Look at that. We are getting involved...a little bit.

300 hundred more dead? This is going downhill fast.

But why the sudden interest in Nigeria? Sure, nearly 300 school girls is a lot but school girls get attacked in Afghanistan all the time. Schools are burned to the ground. Villagers' fingers cut off for voting. Etc, etc, etc. When did Americans stop caring about that?

How about over 300 children kidnapped by the Kurdistan Workers Pary (PKK) in Turkey? Anybody care about that? Bueller? Bueller?

No? Funny...