Tonight they had a long analysis of how four Americans got killed by a B1 that dropped a 500 pound bomb.
On the four Americans.
The bottom line of the analysis – as I understood it – I was cooking steelhead, so I might have missed something, was that the captain in charge of the whole goat rodeo lost track of, or didn’t adequately keep track of, the guys who were out in harm’s way.
The 60 Minutes version of events pretty well shredded that view of what happened.
But I was not able to suppress my own reaction to the story (and part of my reaction is based on my total rejection of the current use of the word “strategy”).
“Strategy” is a big thing – like winning WWII.
“Tactics” are things like dropping the atom bomb on Hiroshima to end the war.
An “F” designated airplane is a tactical airplane.
A “B” designated airplane is a strategic airplane.
I am not going to even attempt to explain the differences between the capabilities of the two types of aircraft.
But they are legion.
And, when misapplied, as we see from the 60 Minutes story, they are fatal.
So why, in an undeniably “tactical” situation did the US military deploy a “strategic” weapon, as they did in the case of the story analyzed this evening by 60 Minutes?
And why is everybody surprised that the “strategic” weapon killed four Americans involved in the most elementary sort of “tactical” situation?
Actually, nobody is.
Any one of the four or five people who might read this post are going to say “my, my” and go back to whatever it was that they were doing before they wasted their time reading it.
And the people who know that I am right, and who are too important to find blog posts like this to read, are just going to continue in the cover up: somebody really fucked up when they deployed our (we all, Americans, after all, do own these assets) “B” thing, rather than an “F” thing and that was tragically, fatally, the wrong tool to save some lives.