Closing Thought–11May17

Bomb’s Away!

As it is today the US is dropping bombs on at least 5 different nations through multiple sorties per day…..and that has created a bit of a problem…..

Massive air wars in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan are just the beginning of the story for the United States military, with regular strikes in places like Somalia and Yemen, and constant risks of the US launching a massive war on North Korea at any moment. That’s a lot of bombs being dropped, and mostly in open-ended conflicts.

A year ago, the Pentagon was warning that it was forced to raid its world-wide stockpiles of bombs because they were using so many. Now,, they’re running through those too, and are using smart-bombs faster than they can buy them from massive US arms makers.

That’s a big problem for the Pentagon, because as already the biggest consumer of bombs on the planet by far, there isn’t exactly a ton of leftover capacity for them to draw on. That makes the US air wars literally unsustainable at current levels, because there just aren’t enough bombs on the planet to supply them all

(antiwar.com)

The Defense industry runs non-stop and we still cannot keep up with the number of bombs needed…..does anyone see the problem here?

Thanx everyone for your visits and your comments…I appreciate your visits….time to bow out for the day….chuq

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The Army Secretary America Needs

Trump is having a helluva time finding someone to lead the Army as Secretary of the Army…..his last 2 appointees had to drop out because of their business dealings or their mouth would prove to be a hindrance.

I offered up my choice if I had a vote in a post from several days ago……my choice was Chuck Hagel….but hey read my thoughts for yourself…..

Source: Can We Find One Good Man? – In Saner Thought

America can’t afford to see the U.S. Army continue in strategic and organizational drift.

According to U.S. Code Title 10, the secretary of the Army is “responsible for, and has the authority necessary to conduct, all affairs of the Department of the Army,” including such functions as “recruiting, organizing, supplying, equipping, training, servicing,” and the “formulation of policies and programs . . . that are fully consistent with national security objectives and policies established by the President or the Secretary of Defense.” Today’s Army is suffering in almost all of those areas.

Source: The Army Secretary America Needs | The National Interest Blog

According to the article there are 3 characteristics needed to be a good SEcArmy

• Army-specific knowledge and experience.

• A solid understanding of business practices.

• An understanding of how things work on Capitol Hill.

Chuck Hagel fits the bill perfectly……he is a combat veteran with the Army in Vietnam…..he was a successful businessman before he ran for Congress and became a Senator…thus he is well acquainted with the inner workings of Capital Hill…..

The man is a perfect candidate for the job of Secretary of the Army.

Will commonsense prevail?  No, that is not a joke.

But my bet is on some numb nuts that is in Trump’s back pocket will get the nod and the Army will suffer.

The Army needs a good man at the helm….and there is NO better candidate than Chuck Hagel.

I have sent a copy of this post to my Senators with my recommendation……we will see if they are listening…..

Thoughts?

“All The President’s Men”

With the drama playing out in DC these days maybe some channel should show the Watergate Drama on a continuous loop…just as a reminder to those “Ignorati” that cannot remember the history of this country. (thanx to beetleypete for the idea)…..bye the bye…this situation will make an excellent movie in the future……and look for a novel with this scenario come out soon also.

But that aside there is lots happening in Foggy Bottom…especially around the presidents men……

This is for those readers that do not want to spend hours on Google or Twitter…..

Flynn

The Senate Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena Wednesday to force former national security adviser Michael Flynn to turn over documents related to the panel’s probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, including possible ties between the Kremlin and the presidential campaigns. – Washington Post

White House lawyers have had to warn President Donald Trump repeatedly against reaching out to his fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, two people familiar with the matter tell The Daily Beast. – The Daily Beast

Targeted in widening investigations of his foreign entanglements, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, is at odds with his former Turkish client over two unusual payments totaling $80,000 that Flynn’s firm sent back last year to the client. The disagreement points to inconsistencies in Flynn’s accounts to the U.S. government about his work for interests outside the United States. – Associated Press

Trump-Russia Connections

Acting FBI director Andrew McCabe and other top U.S. intelligence officials are scheduled to testify before a congressional committee in a public hearing Thursday that has taken on new significance since President Trump suddenly removed James B. Comey as the leader of the FBI.   – Washington Post

The Senate Intelligence committee’s leading Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner, said Wednesday that he has asked former FBI Director James B. Comey, who was fired by the White House Tuesday, to testify before the committee next week. – Washington Times

Senate Democrats laid out new demands on Wednesday in the aftershock of FBI Director James Comey’s firing that they said would ensure the current federal probe into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials is not impeded. – Politico

I am sure there are others out there but these are the largest circulation…..we will see how far the cowards in Congress are willing to go…..my guess is they will procrastinate for as long as they can before they actual do something…..they will continue to pout party ahead of country.

Is Conservatism Dying?

The GOP won the last election and Donald Trump was swept into the White House.  The “conservatives” rule the roost…they control all government…..all 3 branches.

I still think of conservatism in the classical sense….what we have today is more neo-liberalism than conservatism…..but we can argue the points of this philosophy….but the point I want to make is that Trump is NO conservative……our politicians, conserv ones, abandoned the philosophy decades ago….but look at the Trump White House……

If someone who paid little attention to American politics were to quickly survey congressional activity and presidential rhetoric since January, he might be excused for thinking that the Democratic party is firmly ensconced in both Congress and the White House. Very little has been accomplished so far this year, and that, along with the poor quality of the few supposed “successes,” can be ascribed to the dysfunctionality of the ruling Republican party and the inability of its leadership to achieve results amid general chaos. This week alone, congressional leaders reached a “compromise” on a $1 trillion budget deal that consisted primarily of concessions made by the GOP majority and points scored for Democrats. These include the continued funding of Planned Parenthood and so-called “sanctuary cities,” nearly $300 million for Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program, and language preventing the funding of any border-wall construction. The $1.5 billion apportioned for border security does not permit any funding of a deportation force.

Source: Donald Trump’s White House & GOP Have Abandoned Conservatism | National Review

In 1956 my grandfather was a strong supporter of the GOP and Ike….but that party has long since slid into the abyss of political craziness……back 60 years ago the GOP stood with workers, women, education and so forth….and look at them today….
I am sick of the toads that claim to be conservative…they are not.  A real conservative holds to tradition…I am not talking about the crap they call “tradition” from 25 years ago….a real conservative is for the traditions set forth in the Constitution…..a document that few know or have actually read.
Real conservatism is dying if not already dead and being replaced with the putrid issues of neo-liberalism.
And that is sad because as atrue radical, progressive if you like, we need a true conservative party….it makes for great political debate…today all we have is a rant between Right leaning neo-liberals and left leaning ones…..
We need true Conservatives!

Beyond Afghanistan

There is good news and bad coming out of Afghanistan…..

The good news is that the “Big Guy” for ISIS in Afghanistan seems to have been killed….

A military raid last month killed the head of the ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said Sunday night. The death of Abdul Haseeb Logari had been suspected after the April 27 raid on a compound in Nangarhar, a province in eastern Afghanistan, but officials said then that they weren’t certain, the AP reports. Logari was among several high-ranking leaders of the Islamic State in Afghanistan who died in the raid carried out by Afghan Special Security Forces in partnership with US forces, the Pentagon said in a statement. Logari directed the March 8 attack against Kabul National Military Hospital, which killed or wounded more than 100 people, the Pentagon said.

Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, said Logari was the second leader of ISIS in Afghanistan to be killed in the last nine months. Nicholson said the militants had “waged a barbaric campaign of death, torture, and violence against the Afghan people, especially those in southern Nangarhar.” “This fight strengthens our resolve to rid Afghanistan of these terrorists and bring peace and stability to this great country,” he added. “Any ISIS member that comes to Afghanistan will meet the same fate.” Two US Army Rangers died in the April 27 raid. US officials say they may have been killed as the result of friendly fire in the opening minutes of the three-hour battle.

The bad news is that the US, even with a new president, still does not have an end game plan for the conflict……but the Trump Pentagon has a plan to end the stalemate…..

The latest in a series of Pentagon proposals on changing US policy in its assorted wars, a series of options are expected to be delivered to President Trump next week on Afghanistan. The options being presented, according to the Pentagon, are meant to “break the stalemate” in Afghanistan

By “stalemate,” what the Pentagon really means is mounting losses, which have left the Taliban with more territory now than at any other point in the 16-year US occupation. The Pentagon has previously indicated the most ambitious escalation will involve some 5,000 more US troops and 13,000 NATO troops being deployed.

But either way, wars don’t get deescalated by the US these days, so all of the plans being offered are escalations, with the least of the deployments being 3,000 US troops and everything just going up from there. The details beyond that are not all public knowledge.

None of this is an exit plan just more escalation and doing the same crap over and over….Trump’s Gamble……

As the Trump administration reviews its Afghan policy, it is imperative to recognize that Afghanistan’s stability remains inescapably linked to two fundamental factors: peace with Pakistan and peace with the Taliban. Unfortunately, the solutions to both pieces are intertwined and revolve principally around Pakistan, a poster child for proxy and terrorist groups in the region.

Source: Trump’s Afghanistan Gamble | The National Interest

Let’s admit that there are NO easy choices for Afghanistan…….packing up declaring a win and coming home is the best idea…more so than sending in more troops to do everyone’s fighting for them….

There are some aspects that most people ignore about Afghanistan….

Some forbidding facts:

  • The Afghan war is in its 16th year, and no victory is in sight.
  • General John Nicholson, the current and 12th US Commander since the beginning of the Afghan war, gave his best assessment during a recent congressional hearing by using an Orwellian phrase, “The war in Afghanistan is at a ‘stalemate.’”
  • General Nicholson, reviving memories of General Stanley McChrystal’s 2009 request to then newly elected President Obama,  asked newly elected President Trump for more troops to conduct “hold-fight-disrupt operations.”
  • The growing presence of the so-called Afghan-Pakistani Daesh franchise – also known as the Islamic State Khorasan Province or ISKP – is a source of worry, using territory as a base to terrorize Afghanistan and conduct terrorist operations inside Pakistan.
  • Another source of apprehension are reports of “direct talks” between Russia and the Taliban. Russia is reported to regard the Taliban as a “strictly national movement that did not intend to spread beyond Afghanistan’s borders.” An assessment from the American side is that Russia, by directly negotiating with the Taliban of Afghanistan and also reportedly providing weapons, wants the United States to fail in Afghanistan.

Source: Lose Now or Later: America’s Uneasy Choices in Afghanistan | YaleGlobal Online

And yet there will be a presentation of plans to the Prez fro his approval……..

the Pentagon is expected to deliver a series of “options” for the US escalation of the 16-year-long war in Afghanistan. Each of these plans involves sending a minimum of 3,000 more US ground troops into the country, with some reportedly seeking as many as 5,000.

The other details, beyond raw numbers, are still coming out, but most recently, the signs are that the plans will follow the escalations in Iraq and Syria, in that they will see President Trump transferring the future decisions on US troop levels in Afghanistan to the Pentagon directly.

President Trump has been eager to delegate decision-making to the military brass wherever possible, though giving the Pentagon control over not just day-to-day operations but broader strategic decisions clearly poses significant risks to the level of civilian control over the US military.

(antiwar.com)

Someone needs to stand up and tell the truth to the country about Afghanistan and let us decide what to do….what part of this is “America First”?

I vote for bugging out!

A Middle East NATO?

WE here in the West have NATO as an armed wing of foreign policy….basically it was a group started to help Europe deal with Soviet expansion during the Cold War….

We all know simplistically the problems in the Middle East…..could their problems be handled by a version of NATO especially designed for the countries in the Middle East?

But I thought that they had an organization along these lines….it is called The Arab League….

According to its charter, the founding members of the Arab League (Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Yemen) agreed to seek “close cooperation” on matters of economics, communication, culture, nationality, social welfare, and health. They renounced violence for the settlement of conflicts between members and empowered League offices to mediate in such disputes, as well as in those with non-members. Signatories agreed to collaborate in military affairs; this accord was strengthened with a 1950 pact committing members to treat acts of aggression on any member state as an act against all.

There is a proposal making its way around the region and of course it was the Saudis that pitched the idea originally…..

The year was 2015……..

A new Saudi-led Islamic alliance to fight terrorism will share information and train, equip and provide forces if necessary for the fight against Islamic State militants, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia announced earlier on Tuesday the formation of a 34-nation Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism, a move welcomed by the United States which has been urging a greater regional involvement in the campaign against the militants who control swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

Source: Saudi Arabia announces 34-state Islamic military alliance against terrorism | Reuters

The alliance’s full roster is Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Jordan, Tunisia, Yemen, the Palestinians, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Benin, Chad, Togo, Djibouti, Senegal, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Gabon, Guinea, Comoros, Ivory Coast, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria.

I find it interesting that the nation that introduced Muslims to the idea of “jihad” originated in Saudi Arabia….the country that has cut off as many heads as ISIS, a country that has a religious police, a country that does not allow women to drive, and  well you get the idea.

I bring all this up again because of what the Saudis have just done…..An international public relations firm is facing accusations of complicity in “whitewashing” alleged Saudi Arabian war crimes in Yemen after signing a deal to represent a Riyadh-dominated military alliance dubbed the “Muslim Nato”.

Source: Saudis hire world’s biggest PR firm to push ‘Muslim Nato’ | Middle East Eye

Is this organization about fighting terrorism or is it more about popularity of the originator?

Personally, I like the idea of a Middle East “NATO”….but not when one of the world’s biggest violators of human rights is the leader.

Why not incorporate this idea into the idea of The Arab League?

This does not past the sniff test for me.

Any thoughts?