CSIA Foundation

Analyst's note:  Absolutely must read.  Please take a look, there is a "cost of freedom" as a nation remembers those who moved toward the sound of battle.  Do we learn as these fallen warriors look back at us?  For us as a nation, the answer is a resounding "No!" for many of our "leaders."

Concern over political correctness, on-going diversity programs, and blind adherence to the Counterinsurgency (COIN) "strategy" and associated training has produced a U.S. military now being led from on high by far too many senior "pacifistic" people unwilling, untrained, and inexperienced to defeat even a disorganized illiterate adversary such as the Taliban in Afghanistan. 

Such senior pacifists are more and more unwilling to close with and destroy our enemies. Rather they prefer to sacrifice the American Warrior.  Only God can help us if our nation permits our military to continue down this path without re-education and total correct re-indoctrination of such "leaders" if we are forced to face a modern sophisticated enemy in future conflicts.  Such useful idiots are embedded throughout our federal government  from our White House, National Security Counsel, Department of State, Department of Defense, Homeland Security, etc. etc.

Political correctness and accepting strategy suggestions from the Muslim Brotherhood (think enemy) embedded in our federal government, to include our Department of Defense, simply doesn't work for America.  Now we have a U.S. Army Colonel who is telling our "leaders" in our White House & Pentagon of the details related to this systemic problem.

As pointed out in here frequently in CSIA Report and certainly at  Let Them Fight or Bring Them Home! we find a US Army Infantry Colonel Reveals Stunning Failure of COIN and Barbarism of Afghans

[....] The COIN doctrine that does exist consists of musings from amateurs, contractors, plagiarized journal articles, etc. It is not professional and relevant because it does not reflect the studied body of best practice– the concepts it promotes, in fact, contribute to needless American casualties.

COIN has become such a restrictive dogma that it cannot be questioned; any professional discussion about its strengths and weaknesses is discouraged. It has reached such a crisis that those who employ other Army doctrinal concepts do so at their own professional peril because they will be subject to censure for not adhering to COIN. This has created a dysfunctional and toxic leadership throughout our army which has resulted in poor organization, unrealistic training and indecisive battlefield performance.

And then tells the following, almost unbelievable, story

Worst of all COIN dogma has degraded our ability to properly, effectively and realistically train for combat. As the commander of 5/2 ID (SBCT) I was continually badgered not to conduct brigade maneuver live fire training before deploying because NTC leaders deemed that we were already “too lethal” of an organization. As a military historian I am simply not familiar with the concept of an infantry brigade being too lethal and thus denied live fire training.

He critiques the politically correct consequences of COIN

A gross lack of concern for subordinates manifests in guidance that “zero” civilian casualties are acceptable and coalition soldiers may have to be killed rather than defend themselves against a potential threat and risk being wrong and possibly resulting in injury or death of civilians.”

Population-centric approaches to war have resulted in senior officers are almost pacifistic in their approach to war; while they may have a public persona that seems offensively spirited that is not the reality when they are issuing guidelines to subordinates.

And finally a statement from the Colonel that has much wider applications to our efforts in the Muslim world.

Finally, a main COIN assumption is that the population does not want what the Taliban have to offer. This is an unbelievably flawed assumption… it might be more correct to assess that the population does not like how the Taliban deliver.

Now that you’ve read through all that, here’s an excerpt from his less classified writing.

Military leaders must stay focused on the destruction of the enemy. It is virtually impossible to convince any committed terrorist who hates America to change his or her point of view—they simply must be attacked relentlessly. … It is appropriate for military units to develop goals that include appreciating local culture, improving quality of life for the populace, and promoting good governance whenever these concepts improve access to the enemy. However, if the pursuit of them does not advance one’s knowledge of threats and a unit’s capability to maintain the offensive, then they are of little practical value as tactical or operational objectives. Destruction of the enemy force must remain the most important step to defeating terrorists and insurgents. [....]






Yet another fallen American son is remembered in Marine killed in Afghanistan honored at memorial service for his brave actions.

When he died Sept. 14 while organizing fellow Marines to resist a Taliban attack on his air base in Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Christopher K. "Otis" Raible, of Irwin, was one of the highest-ranking Marines to be killed during combat in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

During a series of poignant and moving speeches given during a memorial service Saturday at Norwin High School attended by about 500 friends, family and members of the community, the heroic way Lt. Col. Raible died was described and cheered.

But his friends, family, local officials and Marine brothers who spoke during the 2 1/2 hour ceremony wanted to talk mainly about how he lived: his goofy, "wicked sense of humor;" how he outworked other, more talented players to start on the Norwin High School football team; the fun he had with his daughters at a Daddy-Daughter Dance in Arizona; how he once stood up for a friend during a heated pickup basketball game; how he'd listen to Steelers games while flying his AV8 Harrier jet; how he doled out meaningful philosophy to pilots under his command on the eve of battle.

They were the kinds of stories his parents, Kim and Al Raible, hoped everyone would bring to the ceremony, that was complete with a military color guard, the playing of taps and a photo montage of his life that had the audience alternately crying and laughing.

"This is what has held us together," Mrs. Raible said Saturday. "I guess I just didn't know how many people cared, how many people loved him and how many people understood his sacrifice."

He was buried Oct. 3 in Arlington National Cemetery. His wife and three young children (ages 11, 9 and 2) could not attend Saturday's memorial at the high school because they were attending the Miramar Air Show in Southern California that was dedicated in his honor.

The attendance at the high school memorial "is clearly a testament to how many lives he touched," his wife, Donnella, said in an email. "He loved North Huntingdon and Pittsburgh. He was always talking about what a great place Pittsburgh is. And of course, he was a huge fan of the Steelers and the Pens."

The brave actions that led to his death have not gone unnoticed by the Marines.

Lt. Col. Raible was already highly decorated as a combat pilot and squadron commander of the only Harrier squad in Afghanistan, Marine Attack Squadron 211 Avengers. For his actions on Sept. 14, he was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, Combat Action Ribbon and an Air Medal with Strike 15 Award.

The conflict began when 15 members of the Taliban, dressed as U.S. military, cut a fence that ringed the base. They stormed a line of planes and helicopters there, destroying six Harrier jets and damaging two more, causing more than $200 million in damages that U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, said was the single largest loss of U.S. military aircraft since the Vietnam War.

Lt. Col. Raible and another Marine, Sgt. Bradley W. Atwell, were killed by an exploding grenade, but not before Lt. Col. Raible's fellow Marines reported that his quick organization played a significant role in containing the enemy before the Taliban were finally defeated.

"So, when the bad guys got to the gate, and they were attacking those airplanes, Chris Raible made a decision," Marine Lt. Gen. Jon M. Davis, deputy commander, U.S. Cyber Command, told the audience Saturday. "It was dark. It was chaotic. One man, one man with courage, Chris Raible, took charge. He organized those Marines and led a counterattack. He was killed in the process of doing that.

"His Marines cried at his loss. I cried at his loss. His family cried at his loss," Lt. Gen. Davis said. "They lost a great leader."

A fellow pilot, Col. T.J. Dunne, told the audience that many people will say of Lt. Col. Raible's death: "It's a shame."

"But I would say shame is on the complete opposite spectrum from what Otis did," Col. Dunne said through his tears.

Instead, because he died defending his fellow citizens, Lt. Col. Raible's death "was an honor."

A cousin, Duane Raible, used a visual to drive this point home, putting a picture of Lt. Col. Raible on a large video screen behind him on the auditorium stage, with a list of the various names and titles he was known by before asking the audience: "Please stand and applaud loudly his new title: 'Our Family's American Hero.' "

The crowd enthusiastically agreed, leaping to their feet and applauding as he requested, loudly.

Lt. Col. Raible is one of the highest ranking Marines to die during combat since the wars began in Iraq nine years ago and in Afghanistan 11 years ago, according to the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense. Only three other Marine officers of the same rank have been killed in action in Iraq or Afghanistan, and none of a higher rank, though one colonel died in a non-hostile incident in Iraq.

Lt. Col. Raible was also an instructor pilot at the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One -- known as MAWTS-1 -- which is the Marine Corp's version of the Navy's TOPGUN training program for the best of the best pilots.

Not that any of his non-military friends knew that he was that important in the military.

"I didn't realize until he died how high up he was in the military," his lifelong friend, Art Pancost said prior to the ceremony, "because he never mentioned it."

What they all knew, though, was something Mr. Murphy said during his remarks: "He was a natural leader," a theme many of the speakers came back to.

Jim Garrett, head of the civil and environmental engineering department at Carnegie Mellon University, from which Lt. Col. Raible graduated with honors in 1995, said during the summer of 1993, Lt. Col. Raible was the leader of a group of six students who renovated a laboratory as part of his work-study program.

It could have been just a burdensome, tiring project, but "under Chris' leadership, the group bonded," and remained in touch 19 years later.

Mr. Garrett told the audience that CMU was establishing an alumni award for distinguished public service in Lt. Col. Raible's name, and naming him its first recipient.

And for all of those who spoke, hearing how he died running toward the terrorists was not a surprising story, even for those who never served in the military with him.

"You bet that was the guy I knew," Mr. Pancost told the crowd.

A senior U.S. Marine enlisted friend of mine, who like me is retired,  made the following comments:

All of this is true and indicative of a Base mentality. We stopped prosecuting an offensive campaign a long time ago and with that gone, focus turns inboard. Even the existing mission seeks to "improve" training scenarios centered on Afghan proficiency rather than US security.  It was inevitable that kind of thinking would pervert sound defensive security mentality within the structure. Add to this the inexplicable softening of sound security (ie hiring Afghans for work inside the wire) which understandably leads to an overall compromised defensive security plan and the outcome is a successfully launched attack.

The other thing that is even more troubling is the narrative that is perpetuated by our leadership that the Taliban are "strengthened" and "improved" and somehow become a force to reckon with when in truth, at best, they are opportunistic and tenacious thugs.  They do not represent Afghanistan "the nation", they don't even represent "Allah" in the sense that there may be as many variations of doctrinal belief and adherence as their are villages. They are self-centered while shrouding themselves in Islam and claiming to want to shed Afghanistan of the Infidel.

This is an enemy that was hiding in the "cleft in the rock" in Tora Bora and across the border in Pakistan within 6 months of our initial incursion. Our first failure. We should have annihilated them with FA (Fuel/Air explosive) ordinance when we still embodied a sense of righteous indignation; we failed! And that failure begat other more egregious failures which led to that attack.

It was an accumulation of failures, errors in judgment, willful ignorance, misplaced compassion, a dying sense of nationalism and most importantly, a complete drain of belief in God.  Semper Fidelis



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