The other day I suggested that it would be good to have a reading list for allies on how to work with the U.S. military. Old @DarkLaughterTBD did me one better and pointed me toward a USAID guide to just that, in an appendix to their field operations manual. I just looked at it, and it is pretty good. I sensed it was informed by some hard experiences.
Here are some highlights about how to work with the U.S. military:
Expect meetings, lots of them. But if you go for consensus-based decisions at those meetings, the military officers will consider you “inefficient and lacking focus.” (The guide hints that autonomous relief organizations will balk at getting orders. I smell trouble.)
They will want “in-depth” data about what you are doing. But they are sometimes reluctant to share their own info, citing “operational security.”
If you don’t have plans, the military will make them for you—and will do so from its own perspective. “The military will generally fill the void as it sees fit.”
Their top priority will be protecting their force, and that will affect your operations, “freedom of movement, security and logistics.”
None of the above applies to Special Operators, who are a different breed. “Some significant differences separate these units and individuals from the standard military profile.” In other words, the SOF guys are a bunch of hippies, “culturally aware” and “more flexible and creative and less rigid in their thoughts and ideas.”
Find the Joint Task Force commander’s chief of staff. Tell him who you are and what you are doing. He is, the guide tells us, the “gatekeeper.”
When working with data, the international relief organizations will use the metric system, but U.S. military will not, at least for things like amounts of potable water available. They just like gallons, OK? You got a problem with that? GTFO with your kiloliters.
If you depend on the military for housing, food, communications or transportation, you risk being seen as a “support requirement,” not an asset.
An Oregon Air National Guard F-15C Eagle that made an emergency landing on Wednesday ditched its entire arsenal of live air-to-air missiles before touching down at Portland International Airport, The War Zone reports.
President Donald Trump announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but Sen. Lindsey Graham has since made a strong push to keep a small residual force along the Turkish border along with troops from European allies.
The former Navy SEAL among a group of eight men arrested earlier this week in Port-au-Prince on weapons charges says he was providing security work "for people who are directly connected to the current President" of Haiti.
"We were being used as pawns in a public fight between him and the current Prime Minister of Haiti," said Chris Osman, 44, in a post on Instagram Friday. "We were not released we were in fact rescued."
It's a photo for the ages: a Marine NCO, a Greek god in his dress blues, catches the eye of a lovely young woman as her boyfriend urges her on in distress. It's the photographic ancestor of the much-loved "distracted boyfriend" stock photo meme, made even sweeter by the fact that this is clearly a sailor about to lose his girl to a Devil Dog.
Well, this photo and the Marine in it, which hopscotched around Marine Corps Facebook and Instagram pages before skyrocketing to the front page of Reddit on Thursday, are very real.
The photo shows then-Staff Sgt. Louis A. Capozzoli — and he is absolutely not on his way to steal your girl.