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Intelligence analyses are estimates. Any fool can get it right with 100 percent of the available information. Making an estimate with multiple sources is an art. In the business it's often called a "wise-assed guess" or a "WAG." As I understand it, the intelligence community had a pretty good idea something was going to happen at the end of summer in 2001. Truth to tell, we got out-thought on 9/11. As far as Benghazi goes, I think the Intell community knew who was involved and that it wasn't a "bunch of guys out to kill some Americans" as our Secretary of State posited while trying to avoid responsibility for DoS being unprepared. The story that it resulted from a video didn't hold water from hour one. Concerning Russia's move into Crimea, Tom Clancy got that right when he wrote "Command Authority." Any Soviet/Russian specialist could have told you Russia will be Russia and it would NEVER risk losing it's only Southern "window on the world." It's not what the intelligence you have, it's how you use it.
Silliness all around. Saint Nicholas was a white Greek. Jesus was a Nazarene, kind of dark but nevertheless a semite and "white." Christ and redemption through God's grace and love is what Christmas is all about…"God with us" in the person of Jesus, fully God and fully man. God has no sex. No color. No physical being. He is that He is, a Spirit that must be worshipped in spirit and in truth. Santa Clause is symbolic of the sprit of giving. The original Santa was a swarthy Greek. I've seen black Santas, even growing up in the South during segregation. It never bothered me. I don't recall giving it a second thought. I've also seen black Jesus's in some African-American churches. That doesn't bother me either. It would bother me if it were in my particular church, but then I'd simply go somewhere else because that would mean the church had gone goofy with political correctness. The Presbyterian Church in America isn't about to do that, so I'm not worried. Merry Christmas. If you don't like that, tough. I'm wishing you a Merry Christmas anyway. God bless us everyone!
There goes my six.
Zing! The "good wars" are the ones you win. With all due respect to the Duke of Marlborough who wrote after Waterloo that "The only thing sadder than a battle lost is a battle won," the French weren't the Nazis, Japanese, or the Soviets.
I was fortunate. The men who directed my doctoral work at George Washington University were both ex-military. My mentor in the fields of US and European Military History was a Marine officer during the 1950s. He later became Chief Historian of the CIA. The man who directed my outside field in Modern Russian history, was a Russian ex-patriot who fought against the Soviets during the war. They knew a lot about war. My first day as a student, my mentor handed me a copy of Carl von Clausewitz's "On War," and Russell Weigley's "The American Way of War." He said, "Read these…the first four books of Clausewitz's "On War" and all of "The American Way of War" before next week's opening seminar. I've read both so many times I'm into the third copy of each…and I've taught courses using them as primary texts. I was very fortunate at George Washington University to have been taught by two men who had experienced war and understood its true nature.
I am proud to live in Alabama where the common core won't be tolerated. Our great, great grandparents knew something about war's horrors and the cost of being defeated. Our great grandfathers fought in Cuba and some in France. Our fathers and grandfathers fought in World War II and Korea. Some of us fought in Vietnam. So we know what it means to answer the call. We won't let honor die. Nor will we let the legacies of our ancestors be trashed by a bunch of pointed-headed educationists. Earl H. Tilford
In response to:

Department of Defense’s Death Spiral

Earl Wrote: Nov 16, 2013 6:55 AM
Perhaps we could raise the USS Arizona, its keel was laid down before Woodrow Wilson really got us "involved" in foreign entanglements. Then we can invite a host of new "Pearl Harbors." Whether we are strong or not, be assured aggressors always show up. Earl Tilford
In response to:

Department of Defense’s Death Spiral

Earl Wrote: Nov 15, 2013 2:58 PM
In reality, the United States was pitifully unprepared for war in Korea in 1950. The Army consisted of 10 under-strength divisions, about the same size it is now. The nuclear arsenal was substantially larger than that of the Soviets but our delivery capability was only just being developed, thanks largely to the force of will of Gen. Curtis E. LeMay who was beating the Strategic Air Command into a potent force. North Korea attacked South Korea because they (and Stalin) were convinced the US wouldn't react. Truman, a Democrat, was blamed for "losing China". On the other hand, to be fair, Roosevelt's New Deal, while it didn't do a lot to solve America's economic woes put in place a mindset used to big government and the infrastructure necessary to mobilize industry so the US did outproduce the Axis powers. In the end, we overwhelmed Germany and Japan with stuff. He also marshaled the resources necessary to obtain the bomb. What we need is a lot less partisan political bickering and a lot more unity in the face of some real threats posed by China, Russia and Iran…if not now certainly and possibly in the future. Those countries have tremendous problems but they also have some determined leaders.
In response to:

Department of Defense’s Death Spiral

Earl Wrote: Nov 15, 2013 10:14 AM
The National Security Act of 1947 was a big deal, as goldilocks intimates. It created a separate U.S. Air Force, the joint chiefs of staff, the Central Intelligence Agency and a lot more. It's time for reforming the Department of Defense again. It's still structured for Industrial Age Warfare.
I doubt if he even knew about the Little Big Horn, the First of the Seventh, and George Armstrong Custer. Unlike Marines, Air Force officers don't read. I was with a group of academics visiting Marine Corps OCS at Quantico several years ago. We had lunch in the chow hall where Marine NCOs were in the face of the officer candidates, yelling at them as they were trying to eat. A lady professor asked, "How can they expect these men and women to eat when they're harassing them like that?" I answered, "Their future enemies will be doing more than yelling at them. What they have to be able to do is function as normally as possible under extreme pressure." I added, "This is nothing compared to what the Taliban has in mind for them.
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