Thanks a Million!
I honestly don’t have the words of thanks needed to show you my gratitude at your continued interest in this blog. Now in our 5th year, I never expected the support and interest it has received, especially when I can remember posting article after article with ZERO comments (a lesson to you newbies, don’t ever get discouraged, just feed your passion for writing).
I also have to thank my peers out there, the bloggers who on occasion would point out various posts and I know some of you Readers came recommended by established mil-blogs such as CDR Salamander, War News Update, Murdoc Online, and Raymond Pritchett’s Information Dissemination. I also have been and continue to be inspired by guys like Eric Palmer and Craig Hooper, plus fellow South Carolinian David Axe.
Below is the first post I ever wrote, beginning on the old Blogspot website, and as you can see New Wars was prepared to be controversial from the start!
Soldiers Equipping Themselves
January 11, 2005
by Mike Burleson
There has been much controversy about US troops in Iraq having to purchase their own body armor, scavenge for armor for vehicles and so on. Too bad the press has little understanding of history (before 1960) as they would easily discover this isn’t unheard of in warfare. The ancient Greek hoplite was required to bring his own armor, shield, and weapons when called for battle, likewise the armored knight of medieval times. Remember the Minutemen? What state would our country be in today if they thought the government must arm them before they would fight for our freedom? Before WW2 George Patton had to purchase fuel for his tanks from his own substantial fortune to keep them rolling during maneuvers. In his new book American Soldier, Tommy Franks explained how he had to buy CB radios for his men from his own funds. Secretary Rumsfeld rightly stated “You go to war with the army you have”. I’m glad we still have soldiers who can take initiative in defense of our country.
I had one comment, and we were off! I started to quit a few days later, but a friend encouraged me onwards, and there was no stopping after that. I was very political the first few years, mainly because I didn’t want Iraq to become another Vietnam. Some of the comments on the blog ended up being reported by the mass media so this sustained us the first couple years for lack of an audience.
After the Surge and the 2008 Election, with Iraq about as safe as it could get, I felt relieved enough to drop the political stuff, and I tell you it was very liberating! I could focus on my original goal of offering defense alternatives that would prepare the military for a new era of warfare. Instead of faltering numbers and aging equipment, in the midst of still big budgets, I wanted to see a return of innovation, experimentation, and especially new platforms which were practical, easy to replace for age or combat reasons, and most of all affordable. The goal has always been the rebuilding and revitalizing of the Navy, though I am often accused of trying to destroy American seapower. As if the admirals need any help there!
Anyway, that’s what we’re all about, and along the way tried to have a little fun. Thanks to guys like ScottB and D.E. Reddick for their support and encouragement in this area. I owe ScottB enormous thanks for his help on the LCS Alternatives ideas, also Leesea and Bill for my lack of technical savvy. D.E., do you realize the Breaking News Page is now the second most visited New Wars page of all time, and in just a few months? The Vets at Warboats, Lee and Bob Stoner have been especially helpful, reminding us of another war where the USN was quite adept at littoral combat. Thanks also to Campbell and Chuck Hill. Husdon, Heretic, Smitty, Tangosix, Hokie, Fencer, Al, and Al L, and elgatoso. I know I’m leaving someone important out, but thanks to all. Some of the new folks, your thoughts are much appreciated!
I’d also like to thank our overseas supporters, and am very appreciative of guys like Jed, Original Alex, “x”, MatR and others who keep me straight on international affairs. This blog has always been supportive of our allies and though we have exchanged barbs over the years, I feel I have made some true friends. The continued exchange of ideas is too important.
OK, I’ll hush now, and get back to the serious stuff. Don’t ever stop commenting. I think the Brass in Washington are slowly but surely getting the message. Funny how lack of funds can change your priorities on what is really important. Average citizens have been feeling this for a few years, and now its time for the politicians and the military to learn to live in its means. So we write…
Branchville, SC USA