Archive for Friday, April 9, 2010

Commanding general gauges state of military

April 9, 2010


— Through electronic warfare, military officials have been able to thwart improvised explosive devices. But electronic warfare also comes with challenges, said Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., who assumed duties as commanding general of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth in early March.

“You press the button, nothing is going to happen,” Caslen said, referring to IED operators. “But when you’re jamming IEDs, you’re also shutting down phone lines … also communication to UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) above and other things.”

Caslen met with media members Thursday morning to discuss his new post and his time in Iraq. He previously served as the commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division and commanding general of the Multi-National Division - North for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Caslen said of his time in Iraq: “It’s leadership ability to build relationships with foreign police.”

“It’s not based on brute force or intimidation,” Caslen said, stressing the importance of understanding the culture. “Go into things, sit and listen.”

The U.S. Army Combined Arms Center oversees the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, as well as 17 other schools, centers and training programs throughout the United States.

Caslen said he was proud of the cooperation between the Army and Kansas University on the Wounded Soldiers program that allows wounded soldiers to take KU graduate courses at no charge — in exchange for serving additional time in the Army.

During Caslen’s military career, he earned a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Kansas State University.

Asked about what qualities make a good leader, the commanding general said trust, competency and integrity. Trust especially was important with subordinates and senior leaders, he said.

Also during Caslen’s discussion, with his wife, Shelly, present, he stressed the importance of the military family at the college and providing resources.

“When we’re on our death bed, we’re not wishing we spent more time in the office,” Caslen said. “We wished we had spent more time with our family.


Paul R Getto 8 years ago

Good points on technology and the challenges. NPR ran a good series on cyberwar this week. Our enemies are starting to pay attention to this aspect of modernity. We are fighting oil wars now in two places; much of the Israel, Palestinian conflict is based on access to fresh water; the water wars are likely to come next, then, perhaps landfill wars to see which country 'gets' all the garbage. In the middle of this mix, is cyber war, which could be the most dangerous. We are on the cusp of great change and the entities who control cyberspace may very well rule an as yet undefined future world. Keep on truckin', General!

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

Occupation is invading the privacy of others.

Why on earth did Bush/Cheney build 50 USA bases in Iraq?

How many are being built in Afghanistan? In Pakistan? In Yemen?

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

If other countries were doing what Israel is doing USA armed forces would likely be in the middle of the conflict. Instead we get:

Plans to build a pipeline to siphon oil from newly conquered Iraq to Israel are being discussed between Washington, Tel Aviv and potential future government figures in Baghdad.

The plan envisages the reconstruction of an old pipeline, inactive since the end of the British mandate in Palestine in 1948, when the flow from Iraq's northern oilfields to Palestine was re-directed to Syria.

Now, its resurrection would transform economic power in the region, bringing revenue to the new US-dominated Iraq, cutting out Syria and solving Israel's energy crisis at a stroke.

It would also create an end less and easily accessible source of cheap Iraqi oil for the US guaranteed by reliable allies other than Saudi Arabia - a keystone of US foreign policy for decades and especially since 11 September 2001.

Until 1948, the pipeline ran from the Kurdish-controlled city of Mosul to the Israeli port of Haifa, on its northern Mediterranean coast.

The revival of the pipeline was first discussed openly by the Israeli Minister for National Infrastructures, Joseph Paritzky, according to the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz .

The paper quotes Paritzky as saying that the pipeline would cut Israel's energy bill drastically - probably by more than 25 per cent - since the country is currently largely dependent on expensive imports from Russia.

US intelligence sources confirmed to The Observer that the project has been discussed. One former senior CIA official said: 'It has long been a dream of a powerful section of the people now driving this administration [of President George W. Bush] and the war in Iraq to safeguard Israel's energy supply as well as that of the United States.

'The Haifa pipeline was something that existed, was resurrected as a dream and is now a viable project - albeit with a lot of building to do.'

The editor-in-chief of the Middle East Economic Review , Walid Khadduri, says in the current issue of Jane's Foreign Report that 'there's not a metre of it left, at least in Arab territory'.

To resurrect the pipeline would need the backing of whatever government the US is to put in place in Iraq, and has been discussed - according to Western diplomatic sources - con't

Robert Marble 8 years ago

wow....sounds like the paranoids have their tinfoil hats on a bit too tight

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