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I can’t figure out what happened in Georgia. What were they thinking? If the problem is Ossetian bandits, the answer is light infantry and sensors. You restrict their movement and hunt them down. NATO could provide the material needed for that. That’s a low-level problem for police and border troops.


If the problem is retaking South Ossetia, how could the Georgians look at their forces and think they could win? Didn’t they believe the Russians would attack? No plans to seal the Roki Tunnel? No plans to play GM 100 on Russian columns on narrow roads in steep valleys with rocket barrages? Mines? No prior preparation of the terrain to maximize the chances of success? Occupation plans? What about Abkhazia military/occupation plans? This makes Saddam’s Gulf War planning look brilliant.


Or was it a setup to disgrace the Georgian military leadership so they could be removed? I can’t believe any competent advisor would EVER tell the Georgians what they were planning would work. “You’re doing a helluva job, Brownie” is a gross understatement of competence.


Larry A. Altersitz


Maybe true, but the fact is that Georgia was a target of Putin for a long time. Certainly, they had to know that. Still, what they may or may not have thought doesn’t change the fact that the situation did not warrant Russia’s actions. – Ed.



I like the idea proposed by George Burnett in the Dec. ‘08 issue: instead of an expensive-to-the-point-of-silliness new Navy destroyer with a “super-gun” for Marine landing support, a better support platform would be as follows:


A USN Wasp-class amphibious assault ship equipped with the following Marine artillery, positioned on the flight deck: High Mobility Artillery Rocket System and/or the self-propelled howitzer, such as the 155mm M109. As the Zumwalt-class destroyer’s main projectile armament (not missile) is only 155mm, this ship is unnecessary for amphibious support and its abandonment should save our grandchildren a ton of money.


Of course, I know the Navy brass isn’t going to give up their super whammy-dyne new toy (defense/offense against the Chicoms?), but at least some better utilization of the equipment we have should be the “word of the day.”


Ken Johnson


It’s an idea, but the Wasp-class ships currently are needed to carry Harriers, Ospreys, Cobras, and other aerial assets that the Marines need. The need for fire support is not going to go away. – Ed.



Here is something to try.


Last week while I was coaching my Jerusalem Spec-Ops Border Police snipers for the Israeli Police Annual National SWAT Competition, one of the guys (they are all Russians) took out a can of police-issue tuna. Of course it is in oil. He tried some of the oil as a lubricant on an M16. It worked. Then he put a match to the can of tuna and used the flame to heat the water for our coffee. Finally, he ate the tuna as a hot entree. He said it was a Russian trick he picked up from friends in the Russian Army on a trip home in August.


Howard Linnett


Now that is versatility! – Ed.



I’ve enjoyed reading your articles for some time now. I recently read your Nov. 2008 article in SOF entitled, ‘Survival in the Wilderness.’


My question is about the knife with orange handles that is pictured on page 54. I’ve never seen anything like it before, but it’s just what I’m looking for in a general bush knife. Could you please let me know if you sell them, or perhaps where I could find one if you do not carry them? I would appreciate your response.


Jeff Robinson

Are you talking about the knife in the attached photo? If so, it is one that we had built to our specs. – Jeff Randall,

SOF Survival Editor



It only took [Obama and Biden] two days to state they want to destroy the gun industry. I think it’s time for our own million-person march. Also support letters from all the industry vendors stating how many manufacturing and support jobs will be lost.


The NRA, NSSF and everyone needs to step up. How about a commercial from the president of Remington stating the facts? There must be a Remington in half the households of America.




Ain’t that the truth. Not only is the right to keep and bear arms vital to the Republic’s health, but also those who produce the arms that are kept and borne. What is worse is that while they are being busybodies about what is in peoples’ gun safes and how many rounds a magazine for a Glock or AR-15 can hold, the real criminals will be committing a lot of crimes. – Ed.