Andrew home


"War is too serious a matter to entrust to military men."
~ Georges Clemenceau, French premier during World War I.

"In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies."
~ Winston Churchill

War montage

War archives, etc.


Military Web sites


Blog links

Regular reads:
Virginia blogs:
Lefty blogs:


U.S. ground forces

Division Home base(s) Now?
1st Armored* Wiesbaden, Germany; Ft. Riley, KS home
1st Cavalry Ft. Hood, TX home
1st Infantry (Mech.)* Wurzburg, Germany;
Ft. Riley, KS
2nd Infantry (Mech.)* Camp Red Cloud, S. Korea;
Ft. Lewis, WA
3rd Infantry (Mech.)* Ft. Stewart & Ft. Benning, GA returning home
4th Infantry (Mech.)* Ft. Hood, TX; Ft. Carson, CO Iraq
7th Infantry (Light)** Fort Carson, CO home
24th Infantry (Mech.)** Ft. Riley, KS
(NC, SC, GA)
home - N.G.
25th Infantry (Light)* Schofield Barracks, HI;
Ft. Lewis, WA
10th Mountain Fort Drum, NY Afghan.
82nd Airborne Fort Bragg, NC home
101st Airborne Fort Campbell, KY Iraq
28th Infantry (N.G.) Harrisburg, PA Iraq?
29th Infantry (Light) (N.G.) Fort Belvoir, VA home
34th Infantry (N.G.) Rosemont, MN home
35th Infantry (N.G.) Fort Leavenworth, KS home
36th Infantry (N.G.) Austin, TX Iraq
38th Infantry (N.G.) Indianapolis, IN home
40th Infantry (Mech.) (N.G.) Los Alamitos, CA home?
42nd Infantry (Mech.) (N.G.) Troy, NY Iraq
1st Marine Exped. Force Camp Pendleton, CA home
2nd Marine Exped. Force Camp Lejeune, NC Iraq
3rd Marine Exped. Force Camp Butler, Okinawa, Japan home

NOTE: This information is tentative, pending further research. Elements of some divisions currently based at home are deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan. This table does not include separate brigades, armored cavalry regiments, or smaller units.
* Most divisions have one brigade based separately.
** The 7th and 24th Infantry Divisions are mere umbrella organizations, not intended to be deployed en masse.

SOURCES: Divisional Web sites, via, as well as,, and Washington Post

U.S. war fatalities
in Iraq

Month Monthly deaths Cum. deaths
Mar. 2003 65 65
Apr. 2003 73 138
May 2003 37 175
June 2003 30 205
July 2003 47 252
Aug. 2003 35 287
Sept. 2003 30 317
Oct. 2003 43 360
Nov. 2003 82 442
Dec. 2003 40 482
Jan. 2004 47 529
Feb. 2004 19 548
Mar. 2004 52 600
Apr. 2004 135 735
May 2004 80 815
June 2004 42 857
July 2004 54 905
Aug. 2004 66 971
Sept. 2004 81 1052
Oct. 2004 63 1121
Nov. 2004 137 1258
Dec. 2004 72 1330
Jan. 2005 107 1437
Feb. 2005 58 1495
Mar. 2005 36 1531
Apr. 2005 52 1583
May 2005 79 1662
June 2005 77 1739
July 2005 54 1793
Aug. 2005 84 1877
Sept. 2005 48 1925
Oct. 2005 96 2021
Nov. 2005 83 2104
Dec. 2005 66 2170
Jan. 2006 61 2231
Feb. 2006 53 2284
Mar. 2006 30 2314
Apr. 2006 74 2388
May 2006 69 2457
June 2006 59 2516
July 2006 42 2558
Aug. 2006 65 2623
Sept. 2006 70 2693
Oct. 2006 100 2793
Nov. 2006 63 2856
Dec. 2006 105 2961
Jan. 2007 82 3043
Feb. 2007 81 3124
Mar. 2007 75 3199
Apr. 2007 102 3301
May 2007 121 3422
June 2007 98 3520
July 2007 75 3595
Aug. 2007 77 3672
Sept. 2007 62 3734
Oct. 2007 37 3771
Nov. 2007 35 3806
Dec. 2007 23 3829
Jan. 2008 40 3869
Feb. 2008 29 3898
Mar. 2008 37 3935
Apr. 2008 51 3988
May 2008 20 4008
June 2008 28 4036
July 2008 13 4049
Aug. 2008 22 4071
Sept. 2008 25 4097
Oct. 2008 13 4110
Nov. 2008 16 4126
Dec. 2008 12 4138
* so far

NOTE: Includes all deaths, caused by enemy forces or not. Excludes military personnel (currently 72) whose names have not been released because their next of kin have not yet been contacted.

Washington Post, Sept. 8, 2004

No automatic redirect? Please click HERE to go to the new War blog page, as explained below.

April 17, 2006 [LINK]

Web site Spring cleaning

As part of my relentless, never-ending efforts to make this Web site more automated and interactive, I have begun a transition to a new blog system that will entail a slight change in Web site addresses. Unless I have slipped up somewhere, you shouldn't notice any differences in page format or functionality for the time being. In a slight departure from blogosphere custom, the blog entries on the archives pages will henceforth be listed in natural chronological order, starting with the earliest date. To me, that makes it a lot easier to review old material. For the time being, the "legacy" blog and archive pages (".shtml") will remain intact, and they will eventually have an automatic redirect to the new pages (".php"). As part of this transition, there will be feedback features in the near future, as long promised. Note that the new Macintosh & Miscellanous page serves as the residual catch-all for all blog posts that don't fit into any other categories. That means general culture, religion, music, movies, science, computer technology, and non-baseball sports. From now on, the monthly and categorical archives pages will include all blog entries, up to and including the current date. Therefore, there will be some overlap between current blog pages and archive pages. Here are the new and old addresses for the main blog categories. Please adjust the bookmarks in your Web browser accordingly, and as always, "thank you for your $upport."

Central blog page index.shtml index.php
Baseball Baseball/index.shtml Baseball.php
Latin America LatinAmerica/index.shtml LatinAmerica.php
Macintosh / Miscellaneous Macintosh.shtml MacMisc.php
Our canaries HomeBirds.shtml HomeBirds.php
Politics Politics.shtml Politics.php
War War.shtml War.php
Wild birds WildBirds.shtml WildBirds.php

One of the tradeoffs with this new system is that I will lose flexibility in making cross blog posts between more than one category. From now on, each post will appear on one, and only one blog category page. That is why you will see this blog post (classified as "miscellaneous") on the old Baseball blog page, but not the new one.

UPDATE: Another change is that for each successive day, blog posts on the central blog page will henceforth be listed from top to bottom in reverse alphabetical order of their category (wild birds first, baseball last), irrespective of what time of day they were originally posted.

Reminder: Legacy blog pages (ending in ".shtml") will not be updated after today. Please choose one of the new blog pages.

April 14, 2006 [LINK]

Retired generals want Rummy out

The dissatisfaction felt by some U.S. military commanders toward Donald Rumsfeld has been well known for some time. After all, he "declared war" on the Pentagon as part of his administrative reform campaign just before the Pentagon was attacked in 2001. What is new is how widespread the opposition to him is, and how many high-ranking officers [are among those speaking out]. Retired Gen. John Batiste says the current Defense Department leaders do not respect military professionals and have violated well-established principles of strategy. What makes his argument more credible is the fact that he turned down a promotion to become a three-star general because he so strongly disagreed with Rumsfeld's approach. In Time magazine, retired Marine Gen. Gregory Newbold blames "zealots" in the administration for launching a "needless war," and criticized Rumsfeld for "micromanaging" military operations, like LBJ and McNamara did in Vietnam. Likewise, former Central Command chief retired Gen. Anthony Zinni says we have "wasted three years" in Iraq. Yesterday's Washington Post summarized the recent critiques.

Such vociferous complaints by so many high-ranking military officers cannot be ignored, but that doesn't mean we should take them at face value either. President Bush is "standing by his man," as usual, and thankfully has not yet said that Rummy is doing a "heckuva" job. Belmont Club contends that anyone calling for Rumsfeld to step down must offer a credible alternative plan of action:

Yet notably absent from discussion is the answer to the question: change [Administration policy] to what? To more troops on the ground? To a renewed effort to bring European allies into Iraq? An accelerated withdrawal from Iraq in order to concentrate on what General Newbold called "the real threat -- Al Qaeda"? All of these are possible alternatives but only one has been formally articulated by the Administration in waiting, the Democratic Party. It is called the Real Security plan and many of Rumsfeld critics are unhappy with that as well. Unless it is the case that 'anyone will be an improvement on Rumsfeld', it is surely fair to ask: how should it be done differently. The Real Security plan has been put forward. Are there any others?

Needless to say, the Democrats' proposal is not based on strategic considerations, but is geared solely to electoral politics. I disagree that calling for Rumsfeld to resign obliges one to offer an alernative approach. Indeed, the main issue in this controversy is managerial style and policy-making process, not necessarily national strategy per se. On a related note, I saw retired Colonel Larry Wilkerson, former aide to Colin Powell (with whom he is now estranged), on C-SPAN earlier this week. He was speaking about what he regards as major strategic errors by the Bush administration in the way he is handling the war against Islamic terrorism. There was a Washington Post Style section profile of him in January, and while his criticisms are serious and well thought out, I get the sense that his dissent is based on personality clashes as much as anything.

On the op-ed page of today's Post, David Ignatius called on Rummy to resign. He thinks we need someone who can muster bipartisan support (that sounds far-fetched to me), suggesting Joe Lieberman or John McCain. I disagree; if Rumsfeld is replaced, it should be by someone who is not part of the political maelstrom in Washington.

I have long had mixed feelings about Rumsfeld. His bluntness and candor are a refreshing change of pace from the dull, mealy-mouthed norm in Washington. As I noted in January 2005, he does deserve some criticism for failing to adequately plan for postwar reconstruction in Iraq, but no one really knew what to expect. A substantial degree of improvisation was inevitable, and our troops and officers have done a very good job of learning how to fight a new kind of war without any advance preparation. Ironically, the need to carry out a war against the Islamic terrorist movements made it difficult for Rumsfeld to carry out the organizational changes in the Pentagon he thought were necessary, and after five years, almost all talk of that has vanished. That being the case, I really don't see what purpose his continued presence in the Pentagon would serve, so it's probably for the best that he should step down soon.

Disclaimer: My military experience is limited to one semester of ROTC at the University of South Dakota.

Deaths in U.S. wars

War Began Ended Months Combat
Deaths /
Revolutionary War June 1775 Oct. 1781 79 4,435 . 4,435 56
War of 1812 June 1812 Jan. 1815 30 2,260 . 2,260 75
Mexican War Jan. 1846 Jan. 1848 24 1,733 11,550 13,283 553
Civil War (both sides) Apr. 1861 Apr. 1865 49 214,939 59,297 274,236 5,597
Spanish-American War Apr. 1898 Aug. 1898 4 385 2,061 2,446 612
World War I Apr. 1917 Nov. 1918 20 53,513 63,195 116,708 5,835
World War II Dec. 1941 Aug. 1945 45 292,131 115,185 407,316 9,051
Korean War June 1950 July 1953 37 33,667 3,249 36,916 998
Vietnam War Aug. 1964 Jan. 1973 101 47,393 10,800 58,193 576
Persian Gulf War Jan. 1991 Feb. 1991 1.5 148 151 299 199
Iraq War Mar. 2003 >> 36 1,900+ 400+ 2,300+ 64

SOURCE: The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2004; Global Security; Washington Post


James F. Dunnigan, How to Make War In the early 1970s Mr. Dunnigan was the co-founder (along with Redmond Simonsen) of Simulations Publications, Inc., the original publisher of Strategy & Tactics magazine and many wargames. He has since become a military affairs consultant and is often seen on television. He presently oversees the StrategyPage web site.

Geoffrey Blainey, The Causes of War (New York: Free Press, 1973).

Eugence Dyer, War (New York: Crown Publishers, 1985). For those who recoil at the very notion of studying war, this book is a good pacifist-leaning historical and philosophical examination of the subject.

Sir Basil H. Liddell Hart, Strategy (New York: Praeger, 1967). Along with Germany's Heinz Guderian and France's Charles DeGaulle, Liddell Hart was one of the leading exponents of the strategy of "indirect approach," in contrast to the Clauswitzian notion of striking at an enemy's center of power. This was one of the keys to the success of blitzkrieg in the early years of World War II. (Thanks, Dad!)

John Keegan, The Face of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo and the Somme (New York: Vintage Books, 1977). Prof. Keegan has written prolifically about military history, and this book is distinguished by examining what fighting has been like for front-line infantry troops in various historical eras.

Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000 (New York: Random House, 1987). This book inspired me to apply my knowledge of economic matters to the study of the grand strategic questions of national survival and collapse.

Peter Paret (ed.), Makers of Modern Strategy: From Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986). This thick textbook has excellent chapters on the military leaders and thinkers whose innovations brought about victory.

Bruce Porter, War and the Rise of the State: The Military Foundations of Modern Politics (New York: The Free Press, 1994). This book deals with "state building," the long process by which fractured regional powers become unified into nation-states as a collateral effect of waging war.

Thomas Schelling, Arms and Influence (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1964).Prof. Schelling is a leading scholar of strategic studies, having applied game theory to analyze nuclear deterrence policies.

Sun Tzu, The Art of War trans. Samuel B. Griffith (New York: Oxford University Press, 1971).

Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations (New York: Basic Books, 1977).

Russell F. Weigley, The American Way of War (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1973).