Scott Brown to Afghanistan?

posted at 3:40 pm on May 2, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

One of the chief complaints we hear about Congress and our three current wars, (I’m sorry… TWO wars and a time limited, scope limited kinetic military action which will last days, not weeks, or TLSLKMAWWLDNW) is that they don’t have “skin in the game.” There are a few exceptions though, and one of them is the fact that Senator Scott Brown is still a member of the Massachusetts Army National Guard and, as such, is obligated to perform specific periods of service each year. This time he’s volunteering to go to Afghanistan.

“As a lieutenant colonel in the Massachusetts Army National Guard, I have service obligations that I fulfill each year.

“Following in the tradition of other lawmakers who have completed their military service requirements overseas, this year I have requested to conduct my annual training in Afghanistan.

“Doing so will help me to better understand our ongoing mission in that country, and provide me first-hand experience for my duties on the Senate Armed Services, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs committees,” he said.

There will be some immediate criticism of this (which is hinted at in the Boston Globe article linked above) because a sitting US Senator would be a very high value target and could draw needless risk and fire upon his unit if he deployed in a war zone. But it’s worth pointing out that Brown is a JAG. (judge advocate general’s corps) They are essentially lawyers and one would suspect that he wouldn’t usually be deployed in the field.

All in all, this could be a plus. I’m all for members of Congress being as well informed as possible on critical decisions, and many of them have visited war zones to get a first hand look at the situation on the ground. He may also be setting a very good example. It would be easy to criticize him for this decision, but if it’s not going to result in needless danger to other members of his unit, good for him.


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For all his faults I’m still glad I sent this guy’s campaign my $20.

eyesky on May 2, 2011 at 3:44 PM

They are essentially lawyers and one would suspect that he wouldn’t usually be deployed in the field.

You’d be wrong to suspect that. Lawyers are involved in making a lot of the calls in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A Balrog of Morgoth on May 2, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Doesn’t Lindsey Graham still serve occasionally as a judge in the Air Force?

Mark1971 on May 2, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Lindsay Graham does the same thing, he’s an Army JAG COL.

ted c on May 2, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Ha. I knew it. I knew Scott Brown wanted to be President.

cynccook on May 2, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Lindsay Graham does the same thing, he’s an Army JAG COL.

ted c on May 2, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Only difference is Graham likes to wear short pants.

jake-the-goose on May 2, 2011 at 3:47 PM

He doesn’t really even have to go to become a target, just ANNOUNCE that he’s going and use it for bait … then Preds in the sky can whack ‘em.

Tony737 on May 2, 2011 at 3:48 PM

You’d be wrong to suspect that. Lawyers are involved in making a lot of the calls in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A Balrog of Morgoth on May 2, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Can you say “Rules of Engagement”?

tencole on May 2, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Good for Senator Brown.

I didn’t even know he was in the Army National Guard.

chief on May 2, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Only difference is Graham likes to wear short hot pants.

jake-the-goose on May 2, 2011 at 3:47 PM

FIFY

cynccook on May 2, 2011 at 3:53 PM

cynccook on May 2, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Ha!

jake-the-goose on May 2, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Doesn’t Lindsey Graham still serve occasionally as a judge in the Air Force?

Mark1971 on May 2, 2011 at 3:45 PM

You missread the article, Lindsey often services liberal judges…

right2bright on May 2, 2011 at 3:56 PM

He’s a Lt. Col. in JAG. He’s not going to be on the front lines. So security shouldn’t be a huge issue.

amerpundit on May 2, 2011 at 3:57 PM

You missread the article, Lindsey often services liberal judges…

right2bright on May 2, 2011 at 3:56 PM

Oh my god – LMAO – you hound !!!

jake-the-goose on May 2, 2011 at 3:57 PM

I see this as him burnishing his conservative cred before the election.

andy85719 on May 2, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Didn’t then Rep. Kirk, now Senator, serve his time in Afghanistan a year or so ago. I think it’s good for those that are serving and represent us in Congress to participate in the wars they help authorize, I would think a month or 6 weeks of living with the troops is a very different perspective than that of a dignitary dropping in to get an assessment from the generals.

Not sure about the announcing of it beforehand, it could always be announced after they get back.

lizzie beth on May 2, 2011 at 4:02 PM

With 4 tours under my belt (so far), I can say with quite a bit of certainty that a JAG Lt. Col, who’s also a Senator, has nothing to worry about while spending 2-3 weeks in Afghanistan. This immediately reminded me of all the other higher ranking slick sleeves who go to get that combat patch. I mean, c’mon, it’s pretty bad that a Lt. Col. still doesn’t have one.

mfrantom on May 2, 2011 at 4:03 PM

He’s a RINO from a deep blue state. But he’s our military RINO.

I’m breaching etiquette and going straight for the jugular. I triple-dog dare Massachusetts to send some limp-wristed Democratic senator to DC in his place in 2012.

BuckeyeSam on May 2, 2011 at 4:05 PM

“So what…I…uh…hey I have a boonie-type cap that I sometimes wear fishing.”

-PBHO

Bishop on May 2, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Doesn’t Lindsey Graham still serve occasionally as a judge in the Air Force?

Mark1971 on May 2, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Don’t ask; Don’t tell

Wade on May 2, 2011 at 4:06 PM

My son is a para-legal deployed in Afghanistan right now. It’s a “non combat” position….so no, they are not “down in the trenches” so to speak.
Soldiers still “get in trouble” and need legal help, but another area that he’s involved in is ROE infractions. :(

But when it comes down to it, they are soldiers first and are trained in other fields…so they are ready if needed. My son is also trained as a helicopter gunner. *sigh*

So I HIGHLY doubt that Senator Brown will be put in ANY danger what so ever.

tencole on May 2, 2011 at 4:06 PM

You’d be wrong to suspect that. Lawyers are involved in making a lot of the calls in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A Balrog of Morgoth on May 2, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Can you say “Rules of Engagement”?

tencole on May 2, 2011 at 3:53 PM

These Rules of Engagement are really swell. They only seem to apply to the American and Israeli militaries. I guess it is only sporting that we give the Islamic supremacist jihadis a handicap. Who cares how many of our troops die as a result?

thuja on May 2, 2011 at 4:08 PM

Doing AT overseas is a major boondoggle. AT is 2 weeks of “training” that is nearly always conducted in the US. The travel costs for a 2 week trip are astronomical and frankly there isn’t much training value that I can see. This is a stunt for sure. He can go over there whenever he wants on a congress trip. Lame.

Froggy on May 2, 2011 at 4:10 PM

For all his faults I’m still glad I sent this guy’s campaign my $20.

eyesky on May 2, 2011 at 3:44 PM

I good but last $20.00 for me.

Caper29 on May 2, 2011 at 4:10 PM

daniels/brown!

joepub on May 2, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Good for Senator Brown.

I didn’t even know he was in the Army National Guard.

chief on May 2, 2011 at 3:53 PM

That information was unimportant. However that he drives a pickup is important.

RDuke on May 2, 2011 at 4:15 PM

With 4 tours under my belt (so far), I can say with quite a bit of certainty that a JAG Lt. Col, who’s also a Senator, has nothing to worry about while spending 2-3 weeks in Afghanistan. This immediately reminded me of all the other higher ranking slick sleeves who go to get that combat patch. I mean, c’mon, it’s pretty bad that a Lt. Col. still doesn’t have one.

mfrantom on May 2, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Because I run in Republican circles, I tend to know a fair number of military folks. I have gotten to know a few (5-6) NCOs and company- and junior field grade officers (about 5-6) who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Since I’m a lawyer myself, I will always get a comment about JAGs somewhere along the way. Without exception, they had generally good things to say about the JAGs they served with–namely that they helped them safely accomplish their missions without risking a RoE violation (which everyone recognizes are political clusterhumps best avoided).

They’re not combat people and they’re not heros, but they provide honorable service. Good for Brown.

Outlander on May 2, 2011 at 4:16 PM

Graham is a JAG lawyer with a specialty in handling drug cases, IIRC.

Wethal on May 2, 2011 at 4:16 PM

OT: Hannity is on gushing about Obama.

andy85719 on May 2, 2011 at 4:20 PM

But it’s worth pointing out that Brown is a JAG. (judge advocate general’s corps) They are essentially lawyers and one would suspect that he wouldn’t usually be deployed in the field.

Maybe Scott Brown should be sent to Gitmo to plead on behalf of CIA interrogators. They all deserve medals for helping turn Bin Laden into shark bait.

Steve Z on May 2, 2011 at 4:22 PM

unseen…
The difference between Obama’s speech last night, and Sarah’s speech tonight will be like night and day.
Obama’s speech had lots of I’s and Me’s and My’s in it. How much you wanna bet that Sarah’s probably won’t have any.

How many times last night did Obama give kudos to the brave military involved? I have a feeling that THAT, will be all Sarah talks about tonight.

I’m thinking the Sarah’s speech will be both patriotic and presidential.

Speaking of patriotic and presidential…..

“It’s fitting I am visiting Walter Reed Hospital today -these injured warriors are hearing from me firsthand – they are loved & we are proud”
Allen West

Palin/West 2012

tencole on May 2, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Obama’s speech had lots of I’s and Me’s and My’s in it. How much you wanna bet that Sarah’s probably won’t have any.

What can she say? She didnt have anything to do with any military operation, ever.

joepub on May 2, 2011 at 4:34 PM

as a veteran of both Iraq and Afgahn, I will say this – there are no unimportant jobs in the military

and I was Marine Infantry, not a laundry tech trying to justify myself – but those butchers bakers and candlestick makers are all there doing important work, because they are supporting the guys on the front lines, and by making it possible for them to be up there doing that, the JAG Corps and all that surrounds it, makes the whole thing possible

seaniep on May 2, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Awesome … he’s been in the National Guard since he was 19 and … HE’S NEVER BEEN DEPLOYED.

Also – since he’s a JAG (lawyer) – he’s not going to be in harm’s way. He and Bo Biden are comrades like this. Want people to think they are killing machines – when the only thing they “kill” is paper and ink.

Yawn.

HondaV65 on May 2, 2011 at 4:44 PM

yes agree it’s a plus and a good thing. Now we need to ge tthe other 534 idiots to do the same.

unseen on May 2, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Ok, since nobody else is curious, I’ll ask. What the heck is TLSLKMAWWLDNW?

Pattosensei on May 2, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Pattosensei on May 2, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Its the acronym for the phrase immediately before it.

eyesky on May 2, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Its the acronym for the phrase immediately before it.

eyesky on May 2, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Booy do I feel sheepish. lol

Pattosensei on May 2, 2011 at 5:32 PM

Pattosensei – your answer is printed right before the acronym you questioned:

time limited, scope limited kinetic military action which will last days, not weeks TLSLKMAWWLDNW

Katfish on May 2, 2011 at 5:39 PM

So what…I…uh…hey I have a boonie-type cap that I sometimes wear fishing.”

-PBHO

Bishop on May 2, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Better watch that racist crap talk there buster, or you’ll be in deep sh…. Um, I mean, deep doody.

44Magnum on May 2, 2011 at 5:45 PM

Also – since he’s a JAG (lawyer) – he’s not going to be in harm’s way. He and Bo Biden are comrades like this. Want people to think they are killing machines – when the only thing they “kill” is paper and ink.

Yawn.

HondaV65 on May 2, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Ya, I bet the 7 CIA agents that were killed there last attending a meeting on-base thought they weren’t in harms way either…

Yawn indeed.

TheBigOldDog on May 2, 2011 at 5:57 PM

That he represents Massachusetts, and is a republican- why isn’t that miracle good enough for you guys?

Judging by these comments, and without your support, it’s safe to say any democrat will be cash heavy and beat Scott Brown in the next election.

Republicans have a way of shooting themselves in the foot e.v.e.r.y s.in.g.l.e t.i.m.e.

c.j.ammenheuser on May 2, 2011 at 6:20 PM

Doing AT overseas is a major boondoggle. AT is 2 weeks of “training” that is nearly always conducted in the US. The travel costs for a 2 week trip are astronomical and frankly there isn’t much training value that I can see. This is a stunt for sure. He can go over there whenever he wants on a congress trip. Lame.

Froggy on May 2, 2011 at 4:10 PM

You’re right that the added cost for the training is not worth it, but it is worth it for a US Senator to spend significant time in theater.

pedestrian on May 2, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Nice photo opp RINO!

Hope he loses in 2012, so we can get an official Dem in the Kennedy seat.

PappyD61 on May 2, 2011 at 6:40 PM

Ya, I bet the 7 CIA agents that were killed there last attending a meeting on-base thought they weren’t in harms way either…

Yawn indeed.

TheBigOldDog on May 2, 2011 at 5:57 PM

Spoken like a true office pogue.

jdkchem on May 2, 2011 at 6:43 PM

I REALLY wish Brown wasn’t so liberal. I really want to like the guy.

KMC1 on May 2, 2011 at 6:59 PM

Scott Brown is my favorite RINO.

Slowburn on May 2, 2011 at 7:23 PM

You’re right that the added cost for the training is not worth it, but it is worth it for a US Senator to spend significant time in theater.

pedestrian on May 2, 2011 at 6:25 PM

You’re right, but some people can’t function without whining. As a member of the Senate Armed Services, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs committees, he does this type of traveling all the time. Many of them do. This is a good way to kill two birds with one stone.

Just a few weeks ago Johans, Moran, and Hoevan all visited Afghanistan. I doubt if the same people who are whining about Brown now were whining about costs then.

swamp_yankee on May 2, 2011 at 7:32 PM

Korengal valley, OP Restrepo. That’s a good place for him.

Sam_I_Am on May 2, 2011 at 7:34 PM

Korengal valley, OP Restrepo. That’s a good place for him.

Sam_I_Am on May 2, 2011 at 7:34 PM

It would be pretty lonely there right now.

hawkdriver on May 2, 2011 at 8:21 PM

It would be pretty lonely there right now.

hawkdriver on May 2, 2011 at 8:21 PM

That was the point. Thank you for your service, Brother. 12B here, 9 years active duty.

Sam_I_Am on May 2, 2011 at 9:01 PM

What can she say? She didnt have anything to do with any military operation, ever.

joepub on May 2, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Maybe not, jackass. But during her brief time as governor before she was shoved into the public eye, she made more trips to Afghanistan–one–to check on her boys from the AK Natl Guard than the Senator in charge of the Subcommittee on Afghanistan held meetings of his subcommittee–zero.

As Chief Executive/Commander of America’s first response unit in the event of missile attack from Asia, she also had a higher security clearance than Senator Zero [Meeting]. She toured the forward units [stationed in-state] regularly.

So she’s never been a commander. She has always been a staunch active supporter of our Armed Forces. Even now our Jackass-in-Chief can’t be the same unless he gets to keep the primary victory laurels for himself.

rwenger43 on May 2, 2011 at 9:19 PM

It probably is worthwhile to get the views of the those in country rather than just the stars he usually hears from in Committees on Capitol Hill; so it probably is not a total boondogle. As for his assignment being a safe one, even a FOBbit is not completely safe in Afghanistan and in any case, you don’t have to get shot or blown up to serve.

KW64 on May 2, 2011 at 11:24 PM

Sam_I_Am on May 2, 2011 at 9:01 PM

I see what you did there. 34 and retired. Stay safe.

hawkdriver on May 3, 2011 at 12:54 AM

Hey, I saw the JAG TV show… JAGs fly F-14s, infiltrate behind enemy lines and perform extremely hazardous hostage rescue missions. This guy even looks the part!

Haiku Guy on May 3, 2011 at 6:12 AM

Certainly he’s a liberal Republican “but” you’d never see Teddy Kennedy putting on a uniform and reporting for duty in Afghanistan. So Brown is a big plus, in my view. DD

Darvin Dowdy on May 3, 2011 at 7:26 AM