Post-9-11 events and analyses
Monday, July 25, 2005
"War by Video Conference" by Phillip Carter
: Account of how key battles in Afghanistan were handled - remotely. "Perhaps the biggest problem was the Rube Goldberg command structure created by Gen. Franks. The war was run from Tampa, Fla., 7,000 miles and 10 time zones away by video teleconferencing. Decisions were made by committee and on Eastern Standard Time, often with an eye towards how the decisions would be briefed to the press at the Pentagon. Naylor quotes a deputy commanding general's priceless description of the SecDef's daily press briefing: "When SecDef started having a [press] briefing every day, it meant that for hours of that day you could not talk to the CENTCOM staff… . For hours of the day you were unable to get to a senior person to make a decision at CENTCOM because they were tied up prepping themselves for the SecDef's briefing." " 11:30:17 PM
Guerrillas in Iraq Refocus and Strengthen
: "In Baghdad, it is commonly understood that the recent success of the insurgency lies in part in the weakness of the Iraqi government. The Sunni leaders who were slain, for instance, were traveling with a single guard, whom one of the Sunni leaders had provided at his own expense. Pleas by the two Sunni leaders to the Iraqi government for protection had apparently gone unheeded. And in the case of the bombing in Musayyib, Iraqi officials said the gas truck, owned by the Oil Ministry, had been hijacked by insurgents on its way from Baghdad to Falluja several days before the bombing. To get to Musayyib, the truck probably passed through numerous military and police checkpoints, yet somehow, it reached its destination. ..
Still, part of the explanation for the insurgents' resiliency stems from their own shrewdness. American commanders believe that the rash of diplomat kidnappings came after the Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi formed a cell in Baghdad specifically for abducting diplomats." 12:39:35 PM