Posted by lex, on December 5th, 2011
With the Iraq war ending and an Afghanistan exit in sight, the Marine Corps is beginning a historic shift — a return to its roots as a seafaring force that will get smaller, lighter and, it hopes, less bogged down in land wars.
This moment of change happens to coincide with a reorienting of American security priorities to the Asia-Pacific region, where China has been building military muscle during a decade of U.S. preoccupation in the greater Middle East. That suits the Marines, who see the Pacific as a home away from home.
After two turns at combat in Iraq — first as invaders in the 2003 march to Baghdad and later as occupiers of landlocked Anbar province — the Marines left the country in early 2010 to reinforce the fight in southern Afghanistan. Over that stretch the Marines became what the former Joint Chiefs chairman, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, has called their own “worst nightmare:” a second American land army, a static, ground-pounding auxiliary force.
The Corps has always been an expeditionary force, lean from tooth to tail and immediately on-call for a broad spectrum of military operations. Getting out of static encampments and back to sea to serve as America’s 9-1-1 force is a good idea.
We don’t need two land armies, but we do need Marines.
Back To The Index
By lex, on November 3rd, 2011
What satisfaction cans’t thou have this day? When your host most shamefully slept on both ears until nearly the hour of seven, a repose that left him uncharacteristically refreshed, but which has relegated to status pitiful the time we have to share to these few moments. On account of the security constraints that are in it at the (prestigious) Navy Fighter Weapons School. Where even having an iPhone in your pocket is reason to be shot on sight, an iPad getting you drawn and quartered, like.
But: Another day being lectured, it was. A thing not nearly so onerous as that once meant, back when I was a wee nobbut. Ended up meeting a former squadronmate at the officer’s club just as I was getting to leave.
He remembered me at once, and although I knew his face his name did not spring instantly to mind. It turned out that the had joined my final squadron just six or eight weeks before I was due to leave. He said nice things, which is always gratifying. To know you left a bit of a mark, even in the final laps.
Anyway, got to go. More lectures and then an Actual Flight. In the Fallon Range Training Complex.
More when there’s time, that being the fire we all burn in.
Back To The Index
By lex, on July 6, 2008
Got my last US Navy paycheck deposited on the 30th, gratefully accompanied by my first significant civilian recompense. For a moment there I reflected upon my transitory fortune and considered the advantages of going off like any good sailor on a liberty spree, but no: For everything a time, and to each a purpose. And it isn’t like that mortgage paying itself, is it precious?
No, precious. It most certainly is not.
Got my baby blue retiree ID card on Wednesday. Hit up the personnel support detachment at North Island for to pick up my discharge certificate, and thought to economize on time. It was nigh on 1500 and the ID card clerk seem happily determined to run out the clock on my watch. Two weeks ago I might have sprinkled a little high dudgeon around.
I sit and quietly seethe.
By lex, on October 31st, 2007
Sorry about that. Wasn’t trying to be a drama queen and wasn’t fishing for sympathy votes (although I do appreciate your many kindnesses) but I’d suddenly realized that I wasn’t entirely in control of my environment.
Which is a hard realization for a pilot to make, but one we’ve been trained to respond to: Controls release, throttles idle, speedbrake in.
As mentioned, I plan to be back in battery come tomorrow, albeit at a somewhat lower duty cycle. The fact is that time is the fire we all burn in, and this was taking a great deal more time (and effort) than could responsibly be supported.
So. I know that was a long walk to a small house. Those who’d want to know more are free to follow the jump.
Posted by lex, on December 17, 2008
We’re friends here. Those we’ve met, and those we’ve yet to meet. Those whom we agree with, and those we set at hammers and tongs.
Jim Cannon was a friend of ours. Guy Cannon’s son. He wrote at least 191 times here to share his viewpoints with us, under the flag of “Jim C.” The last time was four days ago.
Hosted a blog of his own. One of his last entries went thus:
Well, after a lengthy stay in the hospital I’m finally home. I spent about two weeks on the ventilator. It’s going to be a slow return to normal posting. Please bear with me.
That was on the 8th of November.
Tonight I got an email from Kris, in New England:
Lex – thought you might want to know that blogger Jim Cannon – of Thinking Right – and a frequent commenter at your site, passed away suddenly yesterday the 15th. He had recently been hospitalized for Guillain Barré Syndrome problems (he wrote about them on your blog in a comment some months ago) and had emailed me over the weekend that he was working hard and fighting to get back to health again. He was in his early 30s.
Grieve with us.
Back To The Index