The Face of War

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Right — PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Creative Arts Dance Team performs to “I Just Can’t Give Up Now” by Mary Mary in celebration of Women’s Equality Day, Aug. 24, 2012. The 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade celebrated Women’s Equality Day on Bagram Airfield, with servicemembers and civilians from all across the large base. Congress designated Aug. 26 as “Women’s Equality Day” in 1971, to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Pahon)
Me–poke fun at celebrating “Women’s Equality Day” in a war zone? — Ok, that’s precisely what I’m doing. When the interpretive dance troupe is flown into Bagram, it’s time to re-think the nature of war and what we’re doing in Afghanistan. What is the ratio of REMF’s and Pogues to combat groups in theater? 
And if you don’t know what a REMF is, look it up. This is a family friendly blog. War means fighting and fighting means killing. While the REMF’s sit in the rear areas eating turkey and steak dinners, waiting for the (friendly) Afghans they’ve hired to go berzerk and slit their throats — which does happen with alarming regularity– troops stand vigil on lonely outposts (right) that are regularly threatened by insurgents (can we still call them that?).

Left — LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan — U.S. Army Josh Strey, a mortarman with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, Task Force 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, and a native of Apple Valley, Calif., pulls security during a patrol in Logar Province, Afghanistan, Aug. 17, 2012. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael Sword, TF 173

Right — BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. Drew Fidler feeds his new bride, U.S. Army Spc. Michelle Williams, at their impromptu wedding reception Aug. 25. The two were married via a double-proxy marriage through the state of Montana. Both are from Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, stationed at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. David J. Overson 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

I’m not against weddings, love or wedding cake, but it doesn’t belong in the WAR ZONE. Nor does spending time and personnel on the big Women’s Equality Day gala celebration – more below:

Left — KHOST PROVINCE, Afghanistan- U.S. Air Force Capt. Rehema Stuckey (right), serving as the Joint Theater Support Contracting Command Regional Contracting Command Salerno Deputy officer in charge speaks with 1st Lt. Jennifer Simmons, the officer in charge of a Female Engagement Team at the Women’s Equality Day event on FOB Salerno. Women’s Equality Day commemorates the granting of the right to vote to women throughout the United States with the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution on Aug. 26, 1920. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Eric-James Estrada)

Or do I need a reality check. Maybe my concept of war is hopelessly out of date.

We clearly need to pull the main line military out of Afghanistan and leave what’s left to Special Forces to sort out.
KHOST PROVINCE, Afghanistan- Soldiers with the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, read information on women’s suffrage during the Women’s Equality Day event on Forward Operating Base Salerno. Women’s Equality Day commemorates the granting of the right to vote to women throughout the United States with the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution on Aug. 26, 1920. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Eric-James Estrada)
Being at the point of the spear is one thing. Dealing with the vast group of REMF’s is another. So is wasting the taxpayer’s money (and the money we borrow from China) on goofy displays and dance troops in the rear area.

11 thoughts on “The Face of War

  1. The 'tail' is living high on the hog; the 'teeth' not so much… I've heard as high as 100:1 ratio!!! It's usually pretty bad, but it seems that 'this' goat rope has gotten even worse than what we've seen in 91 and in Nam…

  2. 100:1 wouldn't include the para-military contractor types who have brought in to 'augment' the military in bureaucratic capacities that we didn't see in Viet Nam and were not all that evident in the 1991 Gulf War. It could be potentially 200 REMF's/Pogues for every warrior.

    At least it explains the spare time and resources devoted to celebrate "Women's Equality Day".

  3. I know, Opus, I don't look down on "Women's Equality Day" but there is a time and a place for everything and the War Zone is not the place for wedding ceremonies, the equality day party/boondoggle, etc. Maybe we need to draw down the war to make it a bit more valid than it would appear to be with the vast legions of garrison troops eating oysters and beef wellington for dinner.

  4. Wonder how the hard line Islamics looked at Women's Equality Day? Bet you could hear the screeching as far off as Cleveland.

  5. Historically (WWII & Korea) I thought it was a 7:1 ratio of support to combat troops. Some are essential such as those in logistical support, etc. But 100 or 200:1? That is not sustainable, especially when Obugger wants to make further reductions that he will blame on Bush.

  6. With any luck at all, we won't have more than 65 days of Obama to look forward to (plus his lame duck period between November and January).

  7. I've always been against women's suffrage…end the suffraging!

    Are you really that optimistic? I was yesterday, but the derned polls! I tell others that the polls mean little, but I can't help but fear. I think Mrs. Bannon and I are going to try and find 5 non-likely to vote R's and drive them…

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