Does The Army Have a Gang Problem?

Closing Thought–09Sep20

I have written in the past about the waivers that gang members can get so they can serve in the US Army… has that worked out in the last decade or so?

The most recent report from the Army on street and outlaw motorcycle gang activity in the ranks shows both trending upward, while incidents of domestic extremism remain roughly constant.

An internal report, obtained by through a Freedom of Information Act request, shows that gang members were tied to dozens of Army felony law enforcement reports and more than 100 criminal investigations in fiscal 2018, the latest year for which data is available. 

While these reports and investigations make up less than 1% of all Army law enforcement incidents, the new report shows that the little-discussed problem of military gang activity continues to be a headache for base commanders and other service leaders.

The Gang and Domestic Extremist Activity Threat Assessment from Army Criminal Investigation Command, or CID, is a regular report compiled at the behest of Congress.

Is the Army so desperate for recruits that it will take violent gang members to fill the quotas set for signing up new bodies for our wars?

This is a problem of their own making.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


In Defense (Sort Of)

I have been a critic of Trump since he was elected….there is very little about him or his policies that I can agree with on any occasion.

But pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable….I am about to do something that I seldom do….

But I have agree with him on some issues like ending our endless wars…I agree with the promise but not the actions that he has taken.

He opens his mouth and spouts crap almost daily. Most of it is either exaggeration or lies…..but on occasion he does say something that is accurate or almost accurate….like his most recent statement that has the media crapping on themselves to discredit his words.

What could he have said that I would jump to defend him over?

Let’s see shall we?

President Donald Trump blasted the Pentagon’s leadership on Monday for allegedly caring about the defense industry more than U.S. service members.

“I’m not saying the military’s in love with me – the soldiers are,” the president said at a White House news conference. “The top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.”

Trump also said that his desire to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria now that the Islamic State no longer holds any territory has put him at odds with military leaders.

“I said: That’s good; let’s bring our soldiers back home,” Trump said. “Some people don’t like to come home. Some people like to continue to spend money.”

A Pentagon spokeswoman referred questions about the president’s remarks to the White House. The Joint Staff declined to comment for this story.

(Task & Purpose)

Think about it……if there is not a revolving door at the Pentagon then why are most retired generals and such working for Halluburton, Raytheon or Lockheed-Martin?

Old soldiers don’t retire….they just move location and continue to do what they do…..and war is what they do.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


2020 Vote: Biden Wins!

Most people are hoping that is the headline as soon as the count can be verified.

Pundits are throwing the polls at the public which , according to them, looks as if Biden has a sizeable lead in the polls.  (a forecast not a prediction)

According to the metrics at Biden has a good chance of winning…..

a flurry of national polls as we inch closer to the conventions, but so far, the numbers haven’t moved much. Joe Biden still has a comfortable lead over President Trump in our national polling average and is favored to win the election in our forecast. But remember, Trump still has a meaningful chance of winning — even though the polls are stable now, that doesn’t mean they will stay that way.

  • Another big point of uncertainty? How voting is going to work. Due to the pandemic, many states have already changed their election laws to make voting absentee easier, but the influx of ballots cast by mail risks overwhelming the U.S. Postal Service. In fact, the USPS has already told the state of Pennsylvania that some mail-in ballots might not be delivered to voters on time because “the state’s deadlines are too tight.” Troublingly, Trump has signaled he might not be cooperative in getting the USPS additional funding to help with these problems.
  • We’re tracking all this and more with our new state-by-state guide to voting in the general election. Find out how to vote — by mail or in person if you prefer — plus the key deadlines. We’re keeping it up to date with all the latest changes to election laws that have arisen because of the pandemic.

But a sound thrashing by Biden over Trump is a bit too optimistic….

This file has been corrected to reflect that 40,000 simulations were run.) Stats guru Nate Silver and his team ran 40,000 simulations of the November election and concluded that Joe Biden has a 71% chance of defeating President Trump. This is clearly good news for Biden: “Having a 70-ish percent chance of beating an incumbent in early August before any conventions or debates is far better than the position that most challengers find themselves in,” writes Silver. But he also thinks that widespread predictions of a Biden romp are misguided. He reminds readers that his site’s final forecast in 2016 also had Trump with an identical 29% chance of victory. “So if you’re not taking a 29% chance as a serious possibility, I’m not sure there’s much we can say at this point, although there’s a Zoom poker game that I’d be happy to invite you to.”

Silver runs down the reasons that it’s too early to write off Trump, and one is the “uncertainty index” built into the models. This year, the coronavirus is a big factor in that. A vaccine or a dramatic decline in cases or deaths before November could give Trump a boost. Another issue: Silver expects the race to tighten in the coming months, and it appears that Trump would have an advantage over Biden in the Electoral College in a close race. Of course, uncertainty cuts both ways—it’s possible Biden could widen his lead between now and Election Day. Silver’s bottom line: Biden is in a good position with a “robust” lead, but there’s too much time left to be making assertive predictions about a victory in November.

Most of the info says that Trump could get 40-47% of the vote….now think about that for a moment.

Will we have a repeat of 2016?

My thought is that it is very possible…..

The moral of this story is…DO NOT TRUST POLLS!

Learn Stuff!


I Read, I write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Once Around The Middle East

My regulars know that I am a person who studied the Middle East in college and worked in the region for years after college and the military…..

But these days with protests and pandemic and elections not much attention is being paid to the Middle East…..and I tried to rectify that oversight on the media’s part.

There are changes taking place in the Middle East…

Yet there is a real historic change going on in the Middle East and north Africa, though it has nothing to do with the relationship between Israel and the Arabs. It is a transformation that has been speeded up by the coronavirus cataclysm and will radically change the politics of the Middle East.

The era characterised by the power of the oil states is ending. When the price of oil soared in the aftermath of the 1973 war, countries from Iran to Algeria, mostly though not exclusively Arab, enjoyed an extraordinary accretion of wealth. Their elites could buy everything from Leonardo da Vinci paintings to Park Lane hotels. Their rulers had the money to keep less well-funded governments in power or to put them out of business by funding their opponent.

Then there is that deal between UAE and Israel… if this was the whole answer for the region…..BS!

The leaders involved — Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed of the UAE, U.S. President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — deserve much credit for sealing the agreement, and they stand atop a long list of winners. Indeed, the Netanyahu doctrine comes out the biggest winner of all. In its outline, that doctrine holds that peace between Israel and the Palestinians must go through the rest of the Arab world first, rather than waiting for Palestinian approval. Israel is done taking risks and making concessions for an elusive peace that hovers on the horizon, always just out of reach.  

Opposite a long list of winners stands only one real loser. It is not the Palestinians, or at least it doesn’t have to be. Rather, it is the failed belief that Israeli-Palestinian peace is the key to regional stability, and that it is Israel that must be pressured to achieve that peace through territorial and other risky concessions.

Nothing about this deal strengthens the security in the region….all it does is make Israel a bigger target.

But all that must wait for the election and pandemic to be over and counted…..

But it appears as if the Middle East does not matter as much as it use to…….

Joe Biden has made clear that he wants America “back at the head of the table” to “rally the free world to meet the challenges facing the world today. … No other nation has that capacity.”

While it is essential for the United States to restore U.S. leadership and credibility on issues that are vital to national security and prosperity—most notably, global health cooperation, combating global warming and pushing back on China’s predatory trade practices—there is one region that simply isn’t as important as it used to be: the Middle East.

No matter who wins the White House in November, it is important to recognize that in recent years, the turbulent Middle East—where more often than not American ideas go to die—has become decidedly less important to American foreign policy and to our interests. The change reflects not only new regional dynamics and U.S. domestic priorities but the changing nature of American interests there.

American leadership and exceptionalism cannot fix a broken Middle East or play a major role in leading it to a better future. The U.S. still has interests there to protect but America needs to be realistic, prudent and disciplined in how it secures them. If we can learn to act with restraint, we’ll avoid the overreach, arrogance and self-inflicted wounds that have caused us and many others so much unnecessary misery and trouble.

But none of this means that US will walk away from the Middle East or its conflicts it feeds.

And the overall prognosis for the region is not all that bright…..

We have come a long way from the hopes associated with Camp David, “Globalism,” “the end of history,” the end of the First Gulf War in 1991, and the first year of the Arab Spring in 2011 – almost all of it in the wrong direction. From a “realist” perspective, the greater Middle East has deteriorated over time, and in ways that go far beyond its conflicts, competing ideologies and faiths, and the petty power struggles of its ruling elites.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”