You Think You Are Retired?

Closing Thought–03Apr20

For all those recently retired folk from the military…..keep an eye on the news for you are only retired if the military says you are retired…..

Covid-19 may be the straw that broke the retired camel’s back……

What the Hell could the old professor be blabbing about, right?

Glad you asked……

The Pentagon will call back a number of retired and reserve troops to help fight the pandemic, after President Trump issued an executive order Friday night. He did not say if anyone would be returned to service who didn’t agree to it, the Washington Post reports. The order covers retirees, though, and Trump said some of them have “offered to support the nation in this extraordinary time of need.” Under the order, Defense Secretary Mark Esper is to return units and members of the National Guard and Reserves, as well as some Individual Ready Reserve members, to active duty, per the Military Times. “Decisions about which individuals may be activated are still being reviewed,” a Pentagon spokesman said in a statement issued after midnight.

No one said how many troops will be brought back, but an Army spokesman said roughly 15,000 veterans have shown interest. Recalls of Ready Reserve forces are rare, per Stars and Stripes. Trump’s order says returned troops could be kept on active duty for as long as 24 months. Those brought back would mostly fill headquarters jobs and medical roles, the Pentagon said. The Army had asked some veterans who were medical care providers last week if they were interested in returning to duty. “When the Nation called — you answered, and now, that call may come again,” Lt. Gen. Thomas C. Seamands wrote to them.

So if you are recently retired…..DO NOT get too comfortable in that retirement…..your recall may be in the mail….

On March 29, the Army’s Human Resources Command sent messages to nearly 10,000 soldiers in the IRR asking for volunteers to put the uniform back on, Lt. Col. Emanuel OrtizCruz, an Army spokesman, confirmed to Military.com. The messages went out to those who had served in military occupational specialties including family nurse practitioner; critical care nursing; emergency nursing; nurse anesthetists; generalist nurse; and respiratory specialist, he said.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/03/31/army-asks-10000-recently-separated-soldiers-come-back-virus-fight.html

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Iraq–17 Years Of Chaos

My writings on foreign policy have suffered while I try to help my readers come to grips with this virus thing……but I still read my international news daily……

Our second longest war started with chaos and has done little to change that diagnosis.

We went to Iraq to help the people achieve democracy……that is the government’s story and they are sticking to it.

Actually that is one of the biggest lies….but Hell what’s new?

It all started with a take down of Saddam….then it fell into chaos that lead to the creation and the fight with ISIS….then they were all but defeated and the people started protesting the treatment of the government……and 17 years later Americans are still dying.

Let’s look at those 17 long years…..

Last week saw the seventeenth anniversary of the ill-fated US-led invasion of Iraq that led to the reported deaths of millions of Iraqis, the destruction of much of the country’s infrastructure, and the establishment of an unstable democratic system.

Iraq’s political system has been fraught with instability and has incubated almost two decades of corruption leading to several protest movements and the rise of violent Islamist militant groups, including many Shia militias who operate as part of the state security apparatus.

The Islamic State group was also born out of the sectarianism and violence that has been emblematic of the Iraqi political process since 2003, which has seen a succession of weak governments and a legislature divided along sectarian quotas.

Today’s protest movement – ongoing since October of last year – has aimed to disrupt the cycle of corrupt political appointments, nepotism, and political actors who are beholden to both Iran and the United States.

https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/indepth/2020/3/23/iraq-still-in-chaos-17-years-after-us-invasion

But what has been learned from this adventure?

One man’s look that originally supported the war…..

“Man’s real treasure is the treasure of his mistakes, piled up stone by stone through thousands of years,” according to Jose Ortega y Gasset, the great Spanish philosopher of the early twentieth century. For to remember the past in all its searing complexity is what separates us from the apes, Ortega goes on. By that logic, the Iraq War, which started seventeen years ago this month, should constitute among the crown jewels of knowledge and insight in American foreign policy circles.

What lessons do I take away from my support of the Iraq War?

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/middle-east-watch/9-lessons-iraq-war-134567

But did the government learn from these things? 

My thought is NO!

We learned nothing from Vietnam and I feel we have learned nothing from our Iraq misadventure.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Return Of M*A*S*H

Oh NO! That does not mean the popular movie and TV show but it is about the concept of M*A*S*H….Mobile Army Surgical Hospital….a concept that needs to be revive, taken out of mothballs as it were..

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that military mobile hospitals are on standby to back up local hospitals in combating the coronavirus outbreak.

In addition to the mobile hospitals, Trump said that the Army Corps of Engineers has been alerted to be ready to renovate empty buildings to serve as isolation units for a potential surge of coronavirus patients, which could overwhelm local facilities.

Trump referred to Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals, or MASH units, made famous by the TV show about the Korean War, starring Alan Alda. The last MASH unit was deactivated in 2006, however, its successor was combat support hospitals, which transitioned to modular field hospitals in 2017.

Trump said the military is “ready, willing and able” to commit field hospital units and the Corps of Engineers, but “we’re starting the process” to mobilize them. No final decisions have been made, he said.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/03/17/return-mash-army-corps-standby-build-tent-hospitals-white-house-says.html

Really?

Why was this not one of the first thoughts on how to protect the people of this country?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–17Mar20

52 years ago yesterday one of the first massacres in American war history happened…..I am talking about the deaths of about 500 Vietnamese men, women and children at the hands of US soldiers.

Fifty-two years ago today, in one of the most heinous and grisly acts against civilians during wartime, as many as 500 unarmed men, women, children, and the elderly — nearly the entire population of the South Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai — were slaughtered, raped, and brutally tortured by United States troops.

As the U.S. military continues to deploy boots on the ground in additional nations — and as specters of totalitarianism and even greater militarism materialize as if pulled from a century ago — the lessons of My Lai should not be relegated to history’s ignominious dust bin.

History, after all, doesn’t repeat itself — ill-fated actions are carried out like déjà vu, by those who refuse to examine past mistakes as if they are sleepwalking through life.

“The My Lai hamlet, part of the village of Son My, was located in Quang Ngai province, which was believed to be a stronghold of the National Liberation Front (NLF) or Viet Cong (VC) and was a frequent target of U.S. and South Vietnamese bombing attacks,” History.com explains. “In March 1968, Charlie Company [or, C Company] of the Americal Division’s 11th Infantry Brigade received word that VC guerrillas had taken control of Son My. Led by Lieutenant William L. Calley, the unit was sent to the village on a search-and-destroy mission on March 16.”

Never Forget, 52 Years Ago the US Slaughtered 500 Unarmed Men, Women, & Children

A Horrible chapter in the history of Americans at war….but that is NO reason to write it out of our conflict histories….

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

What Happened To The Arms Race?

If you are old enough to remember the Cold War then the term “arms race” is something you are aware of…..but for those youngsters here on IST….

An arms race occurs when two or more countries increase the size and quality of military resources to gain military and political superiority over one another. The Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union is perhaps the largest and most expensive arms race in history……

But thank God with the end of the Cold War the dangerous game of arms race in nuclear weapons disappeared….think again!

We ended our involvement in the INF and that is an invitation to an arms race……

If you asked the Pentagon, they would tell you in no uncertain terms that the US is not engaged in any sort of nuclear arms race. At the same time, the US is spending heavily on new nuclear weapons, and is particularly scrambling to get weapons designed to target Russia.

Officials described a recent table-top war game where Russia carried out a tactical nuclear first-strike against NATO territory during a conflict in Europe. This idea of Russia attacking first seems to be informing a lot of US policy decisions.

The exercise saw a low-yield Russian nuke deployed, and the US arsenal, still limited on lower options, ultimately decided that their only response was a much bigger strategic nuclear strike on Russia, starting a civilization-ending nuclear exchange.

Though seemingly the risk of such a war would be a deterrent against a Russian first-strike, the Pentagon is arguing they need more low-yield options so they can engage in tit-for-tat nuclear wars at a lower level.

Analysts have been very concerned about these developments, because the Pentagon very publicly views lower-yield nukes as more usable, and this risks the US deploying them in attacks on non-nuclear states.

(antiwar.com)

If there is NO arms race then why would the Pentagon be begging for more funds for nukes?

The US spends tens of billions of dollars annually on nuclear weapon modernization schemes. Every year, the Pentagon complains it is insufficient, and that continued with StratCom head Admiral Chas Richard, who warned that the US is “almost on a path to disarmament.”

Given how much the US spends, this is a vastly expensive sort of disarmament. Since the US outspends all other nuclear powers, it is hard to imagine that the problem is that the US needs to spend more, and while the admiral suggested the US should “invest smartly,” it’s clear he also wanted more money.

The narrative is that if the US continues at the current heightened level of spending they’ll still end up having to virtually rebuild their entire infrastructure or no longer be a nuclear power. This seems to be overly alarmist, but is just the sort of thing that would sell Congress on bankrolling more arms.

Still, while Strategic Command is built around always spending more money on more arms, and never couches it as an option, it must be considered if proper disarmament is worth considering. After all, if tens of billions of dollars every year can’t maintain an arsenal, the US could at least save that money by no longer pretending to be modernizing it.

(antiwar.com)

In case you want more info…..

he Pentagon’s five-year nuclear weapons plan calls for requesting at least $167 billion through 2025 — building from the $29 billion sought for next year to $38 billion, according to previously undisclosed figures.

The commitment includes research, development, procurement, sustainment and operations. It reflects a major boost to an effort started under President Barack Obama to replace aging nuclear systems, such as Minuteman III missiles and command and control systems.

It doesn’t include funding for the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration, which is requesting $19.8 billion for fiscal 2021, including $15.6 billion for nuclear weapons activities.

https://time.com/5790901/pentagon-nuclear-weapons-spending/

So all indications are that we are still in an arms race with the USSR….my bad….Russia.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Recent US Deaths Update

I reported the other day about 2 more Americans being killed in Iraq as well as a soldier of them UK……https://lobotero.com/2020/03/11/iraqi-deaths-update/

Lance Corporal Brodie Gillon. A British service member was killed in the Taji rocket attack. She served as a reservist with the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry, having joined in 2015 as a Combat Medical Technician.

May she rest in peace and her family find some peace…..

The two American deaths ……

The Americans that were also killed in this attack……

The military on Friday identified the two U.S. troops killed in a rocket attack on Camp Taji in Iraq as Army Spc. Juan Miguel Mendez Covarrubias, 27, of Hanford, California and Air Force Staff Sgt. Marshal D. Roberts, 28, of Owasso, Oklahoma.

Mendez Covarrubias was assigned to 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Roberts was assigned to 219th Engineering Installation Squadron of the Oklahoma Air National Guard’s 138th Fighter Wing.

“The international military coalition is capable and credible because of warriors like Juan, Brodie, and Marshal,” said Lt. Gen. Pat White, commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, the coalition to defeat the Islamic State. “They volunteered to serve the United States and United Kingdom to improve their lives and help keep the world free from ISIS terrorism. Our fallen comrades have a legacy that will never be forgotten.”

4 deaths of US soldiers in 3 days time…..not something that looks good for our time in Iraq.

May they find peace….and may their families find the closure that we all search for….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

More American Deaths In Iraq

Just two days ago I wrote about the two Marine Raiders that were killed in Iraq and now more sad news for two more Americans have been killed in Iraq….as well as a British soldier as well…….

Two American soldiers and one British soldier were killed Wednesday evening when 15 small Katyusha rockets hit Iraq’s Camp Taji. The Pentagon reported 10 other people of various nationalities were wounded.

Details are still emerging, with the US quickly dismissing the idea that this was an ISIS attack by doubting they had the capability, even though Katyusha rockets are virtually ubiquitous among Middle Eastern armed factions.

Instead, officials say they suspect Shi’ite militias in general, and Kataib Hezbollah in particular. The militia is part of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) of Iraq, whose leader was killed in a January US airstrike in Baghdad.

I will post more as the facts become known..

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”