UK: Money Well Spent

I have gone on and on about the amount of cash the US is wasting on useless crap…..like a gas station in Afghanistan……and especially the F-35 which has not worked as promise…..if anything it is at best a “flying brick”….

It appears that the US is not the only country that wastes the taxpayer’s money….the UK navy has a new destroyer, a 21st century destroyer, to lead their navy into the wars of the future…..slight problem has been found…..

Crew members in the British Royal Navy keep coming up against a pesky, possibly dangerous Achilles’ heel as their $1.4 billion warships cruise through the Persian Gulf: warm waters. Water temps there can hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and that’s causing the ships to lose power, CNN reports. During a Defense Committee meeting Tuesday, MPs interrogated company execs about the Type 45 destroyers—said to be the country’s most advanced warships ever and expected to last at least two more decades—and their assessments were less than encouraging. A director from ship designer Rolls-Royce—which claims it was never informed the 8,000-ton ships would sail for long periods in such warm waters, per the Mirror—says that equipment is struggling to perform in “far more arduous conditions [than] were initially required,” resulting in “total electrical failure.”

The Sun explains what causes the ships to turn into “sitting ducks”: There are two turbines on each ship that redistribute exhaust heat back to the engine, but in too-warm waters the turbines slow down; a “domino effect” leads to engine shutdown and, eventually, a complete power outage. Reaction in Parliament was mainly astonishment. “I’m just absolutely stunned,” one MP said. “It’s a [$1.4 billion] asset that you’re putting into perhaps a war zone, and we don’t know if these people … will go in there and come back out alive because there might be a problem with the power system on the ship.” Britain’s Defense Ministry takes issue with these malfunction claims. “The Type 45 was designed for world-wide operations, from sub-Arctic to extreme tropical environments, and continues to operate effectively in the Gulf and the South Atlantic all year round,” a rep tells CNN.

Money well spent!

See idiocracy spans the pond….only the best for the troops, huh?

Afghanistan: Confusion Persists

When Obama was elected he promised to end the US involvement in Afghanistan by 2016…..and as we approach the end of his term the confusion is as deep as ever on what the intentions are regarding Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama aims to complete by July the Afghanistan plan he will hand over to his successor in 2017, including a decision on the number of American troops to leave in the country after he leaves office, according to U.S. officials. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

As the United States braces for an especially bloody summer fighting season in Afghanistan, President Obama inched closer this week to allowing American forces to once again directly battle the Taliban, loosening restrictions on airstrikes and on ground combat in support of Afghan forces, the administration said on Friday. – New York Times

With all that said it still appears that we could be pulling the majority of our troops out and sending them home, right?

You would assume incorrectly…….

In addition to a planned increase in airstrikes, reported yesterday, the White House today confirmed plans to loosen restrictions on ground troops, particularly the special forces in occupied Afghanistan, with an eye toward increasingly their direct combat role.

Press secretary Josh Earnest says that the US troops will be “more proactive” in their operation, and while the US is still officially listing the troops engaged in the occupation as non-combat “advise and assist” troops, they will also engage in “occasional” combat operations alongside Afghan forces.

While plans had at one point been to end the occupation by now, the US has put troop withdrawals “on hold” repeatedly as the Taliban gains more territory. With the Afghan military’s losses mounting, the new US commander, Lt. Gen. John Nicholson was keen to ramp operations back up.

This is a prime example of why the American people have NO idea what is going on in the world or with our troops……if they keep the American people confused and distracted then they will lose interest and anything can be done at that point.

After 15 Years What Did We Accomplish?

9/11 attacks will be 15 years ago this September…..and it will be the 15th anniversary of the War on Terror…..and in those 15 years what has been done to win this War on Terror?

We invaded Afghanistan and put the Taleban on its back foot…..we finally tracked down and killed Osama…..we invaded and have occupied Iraq and rid the world of a tyrant, Saddam and in doing so unleashed the dogs of Hell….so I ask again…..what has the war on terror accomplished?

We have killed a lot of people mostly civilians…..we have caused countless dollars of destruction and devastation and in all that time we have not ended this war….we have made new enemies and irritated old ones…..

All in all….it has NOT been a productive 15 years…..

I found a good piece in “The American Conservative”….believe it or not….they do publish some good articles……and this analysis is a really spot on piece of work.

It’s been almost a decade and a half since 9/11, but the foreign-policy establishment still cannot admit that continuous American intervention in the Middle East has been a failure.

I recently attended a conference entitled “Hindsight: Reflections on 15 Years of the War on Terror.” With a wide range of highly respectable speakers, I naively expected that the panels would conclude that the so-called “global war on terror” had been a misguided project ab initio, that the United States continues to repeat mistakes in its national security policy that promote rather than discourage terrorism—and that the terrorism threat itself has been grossly inflated for largely political and economic reasons.

Source: Washington’s Terrorism as Usual | The American Conservative

And this election that approaches smells like it will be yet another 15 years of the same unproductive policies….and that does not matter which candidate wins the contest.

The US-Russia Info-War: What’s Real?

If one spends any time researching the situations in the international stage the articles will inevitably turn to the confrontations between the US and Russia……each side is claiming something of the other….some say the US and NATO are attempting to encircle Russia with all the troops being deployed around the world especially in Eastern Europe and Central Asia…..and others are claiming that Russia is pushing the limits of acceptable behavior trying to prompt NATO into overreacting……

But what is the true situation?  Is most of this back and forth just propaganda from the debating sides?

The Obama administration is dangling the possibility of real peace progress in Ukraine to convince the Europeans to renew sanctions on Russia, but is that just a bait-and-switch trick to keep Europe in line, asks Gilbert Doctorow.

The ongoing information war between Russia and the U.S.-led West creates moments that are paradoxical if not downright confusing. But confusion may be the prime objective of both sides, following the old maxim: if you cannot convince, confuse. But confusion can be dangerous, too.

This week, National Security Adviser Susan Rice expressed hope that the Ukraine crisis could be resolved by the time President Barack Obama leaves office on Jan. 20, 2017, citing redoubled efforts by U.S., French and German officials to complete implementation of the Minsk-2 agreement signed in February 2015.

Source: The US-Russia Info-War: What’s Real? – Consortiumnews

How long will the war of words continue?  Is the possibility of an escalation possible?

What say you?

The 1967 Naksa: The making of the new Middle East

You guys know me by now…..I do enjoy my history and the perspective that it can bring to light.

There are always people trying to explain what all the violence in the Middle East ius all about….some write it off simply by saying….”it is always thusly” and then there are people like me that are always looking beyond the bullshit and into the events of the past that may have led to the situations we now face.

First someone will ask….what is Naksa?

Naksa Day (5 June 1967) (Arabic: يوم النكسة‎‎, Yawm an-Naksa, meaning “day of the setback”) is the annual day of commemoration for the Palestinian people of the displacement that accompanied Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six-Day War. As a result of the war, Israel took control of the Palestinian-populated West Bank and Gaza Strip, which were previously annexed by Jordan and controlled by Egypt, respectively.

The first displacement, known as the Nakba, took place during and after the 1948 Palestine war. It is marked annually on Nakba Day on May 15.

(wikipedia)

This article is a bit one sided but it does make some interesting points…

The seeds of the current troubled Middle Eastern scene were sown in the June 1967 war that Israel started.

The “Levellers were better understood as political democracy established itself in late 19th and early 20th-century England,” wrote Christopher Hill on the 17th-century English political movement.

The Diggers, another 17th-century English movement, appeared significantly different 300 years later with the rise of socialism. Such a profound reconsideration of the actors of the 17th-century English Civil War owes much to Hill’s “world turned upside down” approach.

His thesis is rather simple: “History has to be rewritten in every generation, because although the past does not change, the present does; each generation asks new questions of the past, and finds new areas of sympathy as it relives different aspects of the experiences of its predecessors.”

Source: The 1967 Naksa: The making of the new Middle East – News from Al Jazeera

The year 1967 was the start of many events that have brought us to the situation of today.