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Nov 28

Written by: Diana West
Monday, November 28, 2016 8:18 AM 


Speaking of Petraeus and Mattis -- "the two general officers who catalyzed the new [COIN] doctrine" --  behold Marine Lt . Col. Matt Baker (commanding officer of 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment), practicing a highly catalyzed form of COIN in Nawa, Afghanistan, in late 2009: 

"When in doubt, I want you to be nice," Baker told his Marines.

And not just nice. Baker, according to the Pentagon news site, DVIDS, donned the local Afghan garb "out of sincere respect for Afghan culture." 

Here is a pic of LTC Baker and SGTMAJ Dwight D. Jones sincerely respecting Islamic culture some more on Islamic New Year in March 2010. (Note the grinning one's hand on Jones' shoulder.)

Of course, COIN was more than "respect the Afghan culture" dress-ups. At this late date, however, maybe something essential will come through this strange gallery of the failed infidel effort to win Muslim hearts and minds -- a crashing, bloody, expensive and predictable failure -- something that may quickly and visually convey the fraudulence of it all, the corruption of it all, when time is of the essence as we await news of whether COIN generals will actually be tapped to take a place inside the new Trump administration.   

Please, no.

Service members in the other branches were also forced into the Petraeus-Mattis-McChrystal-Mullen-Allen COIN-catalyzed "petri dish." There was US Army Capt. Michael Harrison, for example, who, the WaPo reported in 2009, "shed his uniform and pulled on a shalmar kameeze" -- a.k.a., manjammies (a.k.a. seven-day-shit-suit, as former Green Beret/embedded photo-journalist Paul Avallone put it) -- in an effort "to show that U.S. and Afghan forces were compassionate and caring" of that wonderful culture all around them. So went the COIN "strategy" of winning hearts and minds.  

That would be the tribal and Islamic culture of Afghanistan which institutionalizes the rape of children, practices pedophilia, and makes women chattel. 

Photo by Paul Avallone

Alas, there is no picture online of Capt. Harrison in his Afghan togs, so here is a stand-in. 

Yes, that's David Petraeus himself, in a real DVIDS photo. 

Before I try to take this quick gut-check any deeper, do bear in mind the caliber, the clarity, the morality, the discernment, and, yes, the decency of the American military leaders very much including Petraeus and Mattis, who devised a war-fighting strategy for mainly Christian armies based on currying favor and generally playing sloppy sycophant and major moneybag$ to this same tribal Islamic culture.

Would you want them in your administration?

The first thing COIN leaders had their mainly Christian armies do was supress and deny their own morality and decency when it came to this Islamic treatment of women and children.

In fact, those were orders.

“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death [by an Afghan] at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”

No, it's COIN. 

There is so much to say about the COIN fiasco of the Bush and Obama years, which, it is vital to remember, turned on the same axis of ignorance and lies about Islam that imperils us still. At this point, though, maybe it is best simply to pray that COIN leaders do not rise to power again in the Trump years.

If President-Elect Trump were to read one thing about COIN, this single paragraph from Gen. Petraeus's August 2010 Guidance would be just the thing -- the one where Petraeus instructs troops traversing IED-laced roads and booby-trapped towns not to ride when they could walk; and to be sure and take off their protective ballistic glasses.

Too many military leaders in air-conditioned headquarters still see these as perfect COIN tactics "to win the trust of the Afghan people" -- a primary COIN objective that never would be achieved. Indeed, if these same military leaders ever acknowledged the basic and immutable laws of Islam they would know it never could be achieved, no matter how many, many, many, many American limbs and spleens and brains were to blow up on goggle-less foot patrols as a direct result of COIN "guidance" from David Petraeus and the other COINdinistas.

These senior officers should be brought before Congress and the Pentagon to explain themselves -- not elevated to higher office. 

But people forget, if they ever even knew any of this in the first place.

Some people know and will always remember because COIN, in all of its moral and strategic bankruptcy, happened to them and their loved ones.

What has never happened to the larger nation is a COIN reckoning -- and it probably won't ever happen, not if President-Elect Trump actually elevates COIN's leading theorists and practitioners, including Petraeus and Mattis. 

I will close with an entry from 2012.

"The Tragic End of Staff Sgt. Matthew Sitton in Afghanistan"

On August 2, 2012, while many millions of Americans were either on, refreshed from or perhaps contemplating their summer vacation, Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Sitton and another U.S. soldier stepped on an IED in a mine-riddled field in Afghanistan. They were both killed. Sitton's sacrifice came to our attention all too briefly in September when a letter he had written to his Congressman in desperation about the strategic futility of such patrolling -- a COIN (COunter INsurgency) staple -- became public. In looking back on the year, it is important not to forget what Sitton wrote. The recklessness and failures of COIN must still be addressed by the nation.


Below is an extraordinary, heart-stopping and historic letter. It is a letter SSG Matthew Sitton sent to U.S. Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young after his commanders in Afghanistan told him to "quit whining" about orders to lead patrols without objective "through, for lack of a better term, basically a mine field on a daily basis," as Sitton wrote. Twice daily basis, in fact. On August 2, 2012, Sitton and another US soldier were killed in one the IED-riddled field he spoke of. Eighty-one-year-old Rep. Young, who attends the same church in Florida as the Sitton family, this week announced he no longer supports the presence of US troops in Afghanistan and called for their withdrawal in advance of 2014. Young also held a hearing yesterday to ask the agency in charge of protecting troops against IEDs to explain why so many are still dying and suffering horrific injuries despite an annual budget of nearly $3 billion.

I support immediate withdrawal ("Let it go") and commend the Congressman's resolve -- all but unique among his hundreds of peers in the House and Senate, which is in itself a national disgrace --  but he is asking the wrong people the wrong question. This is a question of strategy that goes to the heart of the whole multi-billion-dollar nation-building endeavor predicated on a Big Lie that Islam and the West are compatible. It is time for Sitton's commanders and their commanders and on up the chain of command to be questioned, to talk to We, the People about who devised and signed off on this morally and militarily bankrupt doctrine  -- counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy -- that patriots such as Matthew Sitton have paid for with their lives. It is time for Generals PetraeusMcChrystal, AllenDempsey, Admiral Mullen and many more to face us and explain. It is also time for former President Bush and his advisors and President Obama and his advisors to answer for the failure of their misbegotten and irresponsible policy of nation-building in the Islamc world, which COIN supports. This letter by Matthew Sitton, RIP, is the right place to start.


Hello my name is SSG Matthew Sitton. I am in the 82{+n}{+d} Airborne Division stationed in Ft. Bragg, NC. I am currently deployed with the 4th Brigade Combat Team in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. I am writing you because I am concerned for the safety of my soldiers. This is my 3{+r}{+d} combat tour to Afghanistan so I have seen the transition in Rules of Engagement and Overall Tactics over the past 6 years.

I am only writing this email because I feel myself and my soldiers are being put into unnecessary positions where harm and danger are imminent. I know the threat of casualties in war and am totally on board with sacrifice for my country, but what I don't agree with is the chain of command making us walk through, for lack of a better term, basically a mine field on a daily basis.

I am in a platoon of 25 soldiers. We are operating at a tempo that is set for a full 35-40 man infantry platoon. We have been mandated to patrol twice daily for 2-4 hours each patrol on top of guarding our FOB and conducting routine maintenance of our equipment. There is no endstate or purpose for the patrols given to us from our higher chain of command, only that we will be out for a certain time standard. I am all for getting on the ground and fighting for my country when I know there is a desired endstate and we have clear guidance of what needs to be done. But when we are told basically to just walk around for a certain amount of time is not sitting well with me.

As a Brigade, we are averaging at a minimum an amputee a day from our soldiers because we are walking around aimlessly through grape rows and compounds that are littered with explosives. Not to mention that the operation tempo that every solider is on leaves little to no time for rest and refit. The moral and alertness levels on our patrol are low and it is causing casualties left and right.

Here is an example of how bad things have gotten. Our small FOB was flooded accidentally by a local early one morning a few days ago. He was watering his fields and the damn he had broke and water came flooding into our Living Area. Since our FOB does not have any portable bathrooms, we had to dig a hole in the ground where soldiers could use the bathroom. That also got flooded and contaminated all the water that later soaked every soldier and his gear. Instead of returning to base and cleaning up, our chain of command was so set on us meeting the brigade commanders 2 patrols a day guidance that they made us move outside the flooded FOB and conduct our patrols soaked in urine.

That is just one single instance of the unsatisfactory situations that our chain of command has put us in. At least three of my soldiers have gotten sick since that incident and taken away from our combat power because of their illness caused by unhealthy conditions.

I understand that as a commander you are to follow the orders of those appointed over you however there needs to be a time where the wellness of your soldiers needs to take priority over walking around in fields for hours a day for no rhyme or reason, but only to meet the Brigade Commanders guidance of you will conduct so many patrols for such an allotted time.

I'm concerned about the well being of my soldiers and have tried to voice my opinion through the proper channels of my own chain of command only to be turned away and told that I need to stop complaining. It is my responsibility to take care of my soldiers and there is only so much I can do with that little bit of Rank I have. My guys would fight by my side and have my back in any condition and I owe it to them to have their best interest in mind. I know they would and I certainly would appreciate it if there was something that you could do to help us out. I just want to return my guys home to their families healthy. I apologize for taking your time like this Sir, and I do appreciate what you do for us. I was told to contact you by my Grand Mother (name blacked out) who said that you had helped her son (my uncle) (name blacked) out many years ago. He also was serving in the military at the time. Thank you again for allowing soldiers like me to voice their opinion. If anything Please Pray for us over hear. God Bless

Very respectfully,

SSG Matthew Sitton






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