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McCain endorses proposal from Fort Riley officer

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Here are recent headlines about the military in Kansas:Fort Riley ¢ 1st Infantry Division[(Press Release) REMARKS AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY: SENATOR MCCAIN ADDRESSES THE CONCORD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE:][1] "What we need today are more soldiers and more civilians with the right kind of skills to fight a global counterinsurgency. The bulk of our effort must be directed toward helping friendly governments and their security forces to resist our common foes. Toward that end, I would immediately implement an idea offered by Lieutenant Colonel John Nagl, a veteran of Iraq and one of the army's brightest strategic thinkers. We should create an Army Advisor Corps with 20,000 soldiers that would work with friendly militaries abroad. I would increase the number of personnel in information operations, Special Forces, civil affairs, military policing, military intelligence, and other disciplines."[(Manhattan Mercury) How-to quell an insurgency:][2] After participating in Iraq's defeat in the 100-hour Persian Gulf War of 1991, Lt. Col. John A. Nagl concluded that no enemy is ever going to allow the United States to fight that way again. "I thought that our enemies are either going to go to the high end of the spectrum and acquire weapons of mass destruction, or they will go to the low end and use the ancient arts of insurgency and terrorism," said Nagl, a tank platoon leader in the Persian Gulf War. When Nagl, who commands the Fort Riley-based 1st Battalion, 34th Armor, prepared to write his dissertation for a doctorate in international relations at Oxford University, he chose the topic of counterinsurgency. The ''low end'' of the spectrum, he said, ''is where I thought the wars would happen.Nagl's dissertation evolved into a book - "Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons' from Malaya and Vietnam" - which was published in 2002. The title was inspired by a T.E. Lawrence quote (Lawrence of Arabia fame): "To make war upon rebellion is slow and messy, like eating soup with a knife." Nagl's theory rests on the premise that the U.S. Army can no longer use the conventional large scale World War II search and destroy tactics, and instead must focus on building up the government, economy and security forces of the host nation. This is essentially the approach being used by the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan with the military transition team plan, which embeds American soldiers with Iraqi and Afghan forces to train them to ultimately take over the defense of their country. "These are long, hard, slow wars," Nagl said. "Ultimate success in Iraq very much depends on the political growth and development of the Iraqi government, which is still enormously young and faces some very severe challenges."[(The Military Family Network) Iraq Raids Net Terrorists, Weapons; Sheiks, U.S. Leaders Meet:][3] Additionally, U.S. troops found a cache and captured 13 suspected insurgents during raids in eastern Baghdad July 13. Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, detained five suspects and recovered two rocket-propelled grenade launchers, three grenades and one IED. The soldiers, from Fort Riley, Kan., were operating in the New Baghdad District of the Iraqi capital.[(Washington Post) Mahdi Army, Not Al-Qaeda, is Enemy No. 1 in Western Baghdad:][4] In the 10-square-mile district of West Rashid, the Mahdi Army also controls the housing market, the gas stations and the loyalty of many of the residents, according to the soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division's 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment. ... To prevent the extermination of Sunni residents, the battalion has launched a series of raids to capture Mahdi Army leaders. Because Sadr's followers dominate the Health Ministry and control access to most of Baghdad's hospitals, the Americans have plans to open a hospital catering to Sunnis in the al-Furat neighborhood. They are developing a program in which a roaming tanker would dole out gas to Sunnis barred from the area's gas stations. On his drives through the neighborhoods, Lt. Col. Patrick Frank, the battalion commander, points out Iraqi contractors newly hired by the U.S. military to clear trash, build fences, set up generators and fix sewage pipes. In the areas overseen by the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, $74 million has been committed for such contracts. "We have to be out there with our coalition partners, engaging the populace and making progress on essential services and major projects," said Frank. "We know that we can conduct direct action from now until we go back" to the battalion's base at Fort Riley, Kansas."But that is not the solution to lasting victory."[(WIBW) Ft. Riley Soldier Cheats Death, Finds New Friend:][5]116 Fort Riley soldiers have died since the beginning of the Global War on Terror. But this is a story of incredible survival and a new friendship. Sgt. Darrell Moody is back at Fort Riley. But on April fifteenth, after a four-hour raid in Baghdad like this one, Moody says his team was attacked by insurgents. So he started fighting back, firing at the insurgents until he ran out of ammunitition. "So I kneeled down to reload, and I popped back up to engage the last guy, and that's when I got shot. My vision whited out, I couldn't hear, I couldn't talk, I couldn't do anything, everything whited out." He was shot six more times in the chest and back, but managed to get out alive.[(AP) $18 Million Settlement Reached Over Security Guards at Army Bases:][6] A New Mexico security firm has agreed to pay the U.S. government $18 million to settle allegations that it violated terms of a contract to provide trained civilian security guards at eight Army bases, including Fort Stewart in Georgia. Akal Security was hired in September 2003 to provide guards also at Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Lewis, Washington; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Campbell and Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky; Sunny Point Military Ocean Terminal in North Carolina; and Anniston Army Depot in Alabama. U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren announced today in Topeka, Kansas, that an investigation indicated that Akal failed to provide as many guards or their proper training as the contract required.Kansas National Guard[(American Forces Press Service) Kansas, Iowa Guard Continue Kansas Flood Assistance][7] Kansas and Iowa National Guard members are providing assistance to several Kansas communities recovering from the effects of recent record rains and flooding, a state of Kansas official said today. Ten Kansas National Guard troops and 27 Iowa National Guard soldiers are assisting local Kansas authorities with command and control and water-purification needs, Sharon Watson, a spokeswoman for the state's Adjutant General's Department, said during a telephone interview with American Forces Press Service. Large swaths of Kansas were pummeled with heavy rains between June 30 and the Fourth of July, Watson noted. The state had been hit by previous rainstorms, as well as tornadoes, in early May. [1]: http://schotlinepress.wordpress.com/2007/07/14/remarks-as-prepared-for-delivery-senator-mccain-addresses-the-concord-chamber-of-commerce/ [2]: http://www.themercury.com/News/article.aspx?articleId=79c6439d9fcf42e080bd63e2fd923efa [3]: http://www.emilitary.org/article.php?aid=11620 [4]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/15/AR2007071501248.html?hpid=topnews%3Cbr%3E [5]: http://www.wibw.com/home/headlines/8521997.html [6]: http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/georgia/news-article.aspx?storyid=86758 [7]: http://www.emilitary.org/article.php?aid=11591

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