Don't Ever Call Me A Hero

A verbal knife hand to the masses.

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Mystery blight decimating Afghan poppy harvest

Poppies in Afghanistan

Up to a third of Afghanistan’s poppy harvest this spring? Dead. Killed by a mysterious disease wreaking havoc on the country’s primary source of income. The Taliban’s public relations strategy will say that the U.S. has introduced this disease to destroy the farmer’s crops, even though US forces have significantly decreased efforts against the poppy harvest. The Taliban PR machine is fast and efficient, and while the US and NATO… Read More

Space Marines? Space Marines.

Peter Bollinger | Popular Science Magazine

Former Marine Colonel Roosevelt Lafontant first pushed the idea of a Marine space plane in 2002. Long a sci-fi fantasy, it’s becoming a reality, sooner than you think. With the Air Force launching a space plane this week, the Marine Corps has issued a ConOps, or Concept of Operations regarding a space-bound aerial drop platform for the Marine Corps. It seems I got out of the Corps too early. That’s… Read More

Pakistan seizes networks of Taliban caves


After a long offensive in the federally administered tribal areas of Pakistan, Paki forces declared that they had seized a large network of caves in the Bajaur tribal area—a final militant holdout. This network of caves is just four miles from Asadabad, where I was stationed in 2005. While there are strongholds remaining along the border, at a press conference Maj. Gen. Tariq Khan stressed the tactical importance of this… Read More

A Marine’s critical review of The Hurt Locker


I finally watched The Hurt Locker last night. I was sorely disappointed. For a movie that has been receiving awards left and right, I expected more. A lot more. Let’s start with the portrayal of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal tech, Sergeant James. He’s a cavalier, reckless, careless, adrenaline junkie. He disregards all safety, tactics, techniques, and procedures, to just walk up on IEDs, brazenly clear buildings, and save the day.… Read More

Marines encountering stiff resistance in Marjah

Starkey / AP

Marines are now encountering stiff resistance in the northern part of Marjah, reports say. Three more coalition troops have lost their lives in the battle, bringing the tally to 11. While more casualties are mounting than previously, it’s still significantly less than what coalition officers had prepared for. The Taliban have also deployed new tactics. Snipers.

Marjah is ours, what’s next?

Patrick Baz / AFP / Getty Images

First off, sorry for the delay in postings, everyone. I recently bought a house with my wife up in the mountains of Colorado, and we’ve been moving in and getting settled. Let’s get down to business. The Marine Corps, NATO, Afghan, and other US Forces stormed Marjah this last week. My cousin is amongst the Marines serving with battalion 3/6. Semper Fi, Ryan. After using the “Shredders”, the Assault Breacher… Read More

Christmas Terror Plot

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in custody - courtesy EPA

(EDIT: See my post on the 2012 underwear bombing here)     On Christmas Day, 2009 Nigerian citizen Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab got on board a flight bound for America. He had a bomb in his shorts. The bomb consisted of an unkown amount of PETN, or pentrite (pentaerythritol tetranitrate for all you sticklers), and some sort of firing device, like a blasting cap. He exposed a fatal flaw in the American Airline… Read More

Pregnant in combat? Not anymore…

Female Marines in the Lioness program, Al Asad, Iraq

The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Major General Anthony Cucolo passed a new policy which may mean time in the brig for soldiers, airmen, and Marines who become pregnant while on active duty in a combat zone. This issue presents so many moral, tactical, and ethical problems I can’t possibly cover them all. There is the issue of personal freedom, the issue of husband and wife deployed together, the issue… Read More

Marine Corps’ newest modded tank, “The Shredder!”


When I was a kid I used to watch the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on television. In it, their nemesis, the Shredder, had a subterranean vehicle that drilled through bedrock and dirt to get places. That’s kinda what the Marine Corps’ newest piece of equipment looks like. It’s a modified M1A2 Abrams tank that shoots out line charges to clear IEDs, mines, and other obstacles. Check out the picture after… Read More

Afghanistan’s poppy problem

A Taliban militant with Afghan poppy farmers in Nawa district, Helmand province, April 2008.

In one year, Afghanistan produces enough poppies to satisfy 92% of the world’s demand for opium and heroin, according to the UNODC. The U.S. and United Nations reports that the Taliban pays up to $500 million a year for farmers to produce and smuggle opium out of the country. The illicit production of this crop provides the money that the Taliban uses to fight the United States, the legitimate Afghan… Read More