Closing Thought–29Nov18

I have found that too many Americans could care less about our service people one reason is that it is a volunteer military….but a new report shows that the military is falling behind their recruitment goals….

The Department of Defense released recruiting and retention statistics for the 2018 fiscal year that show the the Army having significant shortfalls in recruiting for it’s active, reserve and National Guard components, while the Navy, Air Force and Marines met most of their goals.

The active Army recruited 69,972 soldiers out of a planned 76,500 in fiscal 2018, or 91 percent of it’s goal. The Army Reserve and National Guard numbers were much more short of goals, with only 73 percent and 78 percent of their goals met respectively, leaving a total shortfall of planned recruiting for the service at over 25,500 personnel.

https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2018/11/15/Department-of-Defense-reports-mixed-results-for-2018-recruiting/8921542312407/

If this trend continues will the M-IC demand that the draft be re-instituted?  And believe me it will take the M-IC who calls most shot with our military.

If so then I can foresee the rebirth of an antiwar movement…..something we need…..

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How About That Farmer’s Bailout?

In one statement…..It is Crap!

The Dear Supreme Leader has decided, in the past, that what the US needs is a good trade war to make everything okay for the future…..his trade wars and tariffs have hit our farmers the worst but not to worry the president has a plan to stop the bleeding of our farmers….a bailout!

SO now that it is in place how is it doing?  Are our framers making out okay?

American farmers are struggling to find storage for crops that would usually be sold overseas, with some being forced to leave produce rotting in fields as a last resort, as the trade conflict between the US and China continues.

Farmers in some US states are being forced into plowing their crops under — effectively burying them under soil in fields — as there is not enough room to store them in storage facilities, and they are unable to sell their products thanks to Chinese tariffs, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

https://www.businessinsider.com/us-china-trade-war-soybeans-left-rotting-thanks-to-lack-of-storage-2018-11

And the bailout?

Well $6 billion has been promised to our farmers to ease their pain and so far $838 million have been doled out….so things are better right?

Well let’s be honest……the plight of the American farmer still sucks!

President Donald Trump’s $12 billion bailout of farmers who had been hurt by his trade wars has been a massive bust politically — and a New York Times report has found that very little of it has gone to the struggling farmers who need it most.

According to the Times, the bailout program “has done little to cushion the blow” of the president’s trade wars, “with red tape and long waiting periods resulting in few payouts so far.”

In fact, the Times estimates, just $838 million of the $6 billion worth of bailout funds that have been authorized so far has been paid out.

https://www.alternet.org/trumps-12-billion-bailout-farmers-hurt-his-trade-wars-has-been-massive-bust-nyt

Will the pain continue for the American farmer or will these tariff thingys do what they were promised to do?

My guess is the promises will not be met…..something that is a reoccurring trait of Trumpism.

The Deadliest Month

I promised to update my post of a couple of days ago with the names of the troopers killed in Afghanistan….

Two Army Green Berets and an Air Force combat controller were killed Tuesday by an improvised explosive device in the eastern Afghan province of Ghazni.

The two Army Special Forces soldiers were Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross, 29, of Lexington, Virginia, and Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond, 39, of Brush Prairie, Washington. The two were assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-air-force/2018/11/28/pentagon-identifies-three-special-operations-troops-killed-by-ied-in-afghanistan/?utm_source=clavis

In Saner Thought

Just days ago I reported about the death of another American soldier in Afghanistan…..https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/11/24/us-service-member-2-afghan-troops-killed-afghanistan.html  and before the ink could dry more sad news about more American deaths in Afghanistan…..

A group of US soldiers got caught up in a roadside bombing in the Ghazni Province of Afghanistan on Tuesday. At least three US soldiers were confirmed killed, and three others wounded. Another American, a contractor, was also wounded.

This is the single deadliest incident for US troops in Afghanistan in 2018. High casualty incidents were more common earlier in the war, but US troops are less often on the front lines, or in places where they’re likely to directly face such attacks.

The condition of the wounded remains unclear, though officials did say that they have been evacuated and are receiving treatment. In general, details are limited until the families of the casualties are notified.

Taliban forces have been heavily…

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Three Thanksgivings

Another Thanksgiving has passed into the memories of our nation….and it is another time when troops are away from their loved ones…..we see glowing tributes by the different media companies to show that their spirits and mental make-up is just ducky and all is well….but is it?

I read an article by Maj. Danny Sjursen that I felt I needed to share with my readers……

Millions of American troops have spent countless holidays away from home, in Iraq, Afghanistan and various smaller wars across the region – it’s worth asking what it’s all for.

The memories can be fond, some of them anyway. Patrolling in the morning with a platoon full of mates – brothers, really – and then returning to base to share decent turkey dinners flown in for our enjoyment. We wore dirty uniforms, gorged ourselves on turkey and sides, and washed it all down with plentiful doses of nonalcoholic beer and energy drinks. Another year, sticking around the chow hall after the holiday meal to watch cricket matches with the vaguely Pakistani contractors who prepared and served our food, desperately trying to learn the rules of the odd sport.

For all the hardships of three holidays spent in Iraq and Afghanistan (2006, 2007, and 2011), the army never failed to get us a Thanksgiving Dinner of sorts. There was a certain sadness, of course, about being away from family and friends – but it was surprisingly easy to face the day and manage a smile in front of the troops. Our humor was dark – dark as hell – but, in times since, I’ve rarely laughed so hard. In a way, Thanksgivings at war weren’t all that bad.

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2018/11/26/three-thanksgivings-snapshots-from-a-career-of-failure/

Danny Sjursen is a US Army officer and regular contributor to Antiwar.com. He served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point.

Afghanistan Is Collapsing!

I have been writing about Afghanistan since the early days of the invasion and then through the occupation……I have said continuously that it is time to declare success and bring our people home…….

I am not alone in my angst about Afghanistan……(this article was written before the rash of American deaths this month)…..

November has been quite a month, so far, in Afghanistan.  The level of violence has been appalling and the most serious recent atrocity was yet another suicide bombing in Kabul. It killed over fifty people and injured twice that many but didn’t merit a Trump tweet, which isn’t surprising because he doesn’t seem to be interested in the place.  Further, as reported by the Washington Post on November 19, he hasn’t visited a single country in which his troops are fighting.

The reason he hasn’t visited his troops in such areas is because he is a coward.  He is a physical yellow-belly who lacks the courage to go anywhere near a war zone.  He is below contempt, but he could gain a little bit of respect if he ordered the US and NATO to get out of Afghanistan.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/11/23/afghanistan-is-collapsing-get-out-now/

Does anyone disagree?