I was fully prepared to write an old-school blog today, specifically to remind us about the cost in blood and treasure we've spent in Afghanistan.
I'll still note that today is our 5,798th day in Afghanistan.
We're reaching the point where it's about to become a generational war. Somebody born in 2001 (like Javi) will be graduating high school in 2019...and there's every indication that we'll still be there at that time.
Nevertheless, Mr. Trump's speech last night was surprisingly lucid. Oh, of course it's short on specifics, but still...a military veteran friend of mine who is an extremely vocal critic of the President online has called this "possibly his best speech".
Where do we go from here? It's anybody's guess. Will any good come of this? Also difficult to say, but since nothing good has come out of Afghanistan since the Soviets invaded in 1979, that would seem unlikely.
But of course, even if we do ramp up in Afghanistan again, it doesn't seem like we'll be able to make anything out of it. Unfortunately, the United States Navy has recently become the 'Gang that Couldn't Sail Straight".
I've been following these stories off and on for what seems like years. An extraordinarily large number of US Navy commanders have been relieved of duty over the last few years, due to varying levels of incompetence, loss of confidence, and of course good old fashioned sexual misconduct.
But until this year, very few sailors have died because of faulty commands. The USS McCain crash yesterday is the fourth incident this year.
Now, I'm a sailor myself. (inshore; not blue-water, there is a difference). But watching the news last night, the speculation was that there is a lack of basic seamanship among the Navy these days - modern recruits are spending too much time below-decks looking at radar scopes instead of actually being outside looking with their own eyes for vessels or other hazards.
The US Navy has actually suspended operations for a few days here to figure out what's wrong. Which won't be helping our Afghanistan strategy any.