The Best Defense

Getting pissed off in Afghanistan

What those urinating Marines did was wrong, but hardly shocking in the context of what goes on in war -- especially in Afghanistan. I remember reading in a history of fighting in Waziristan that British officers were warned that if they were captured, Pushtun fighters likely would jam a sprig of camelthorn up the captive's penis and then tie him naked and spreadeagled over and anthill and leave him there to roast in the sun until he died. Given the historical memory of Afghans, I would expect that knowledge of those practices is widespread.

More next week on this issue.

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The Best Defense

Dempsey: When our budget shrinks, the most important task is to develop leaders

That's what the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday at Duke, according to the Fayetteville Observer.  He said he would "redouble our efforts to build leaders." I think his aim is correct. I hope he can follow through.

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