Biden And War

The big question is what will a president Biden’s policies on war really look like?

To begin where does Biden stand on war…..

Is the real Biden the dove of 1991, the hawk of 2002, or the dove of 2020? The answer is all of them. And so, in the end, the Biden doctrine may be a mirage. He’s not an ideologue who seeks to impose a foreign policy program. Neither is he a narcissist who views every diplomatic issue in terms of his individual benefit. Rather, Biden is a man of his time, a man who shares many of his party’s and his country’s strengths and weaknesses, a man who has lived and learned in the shadows of war, a man once tempted by the possibilities of power and now tempered by the realities of force. Biden’s foreign policy journey is not over. As president, he may pivot in a more hawkish direction, as memories of the Iraq War fade and new challenges emerge from China and Russia. Biden recently wrote: “The triumph of democracy and liberalism over fascism and autocracy created the free world. But this contest does not just define our past. It will define our future, as well.”

Let’s take a look at Biden’s history with war and foreign policy……from an article written in the Foreign Policy Research Institute……

Biden the Moderate

Biden’s foreign policy journey is a story in three chapters, each in the shadow of war. The opening chapter began in the wake of Vietnam in the 1970s, when Biden was a youthful senator, and lasted through the Gulf War in 1991. “I ran the first time as a twenty-nine-year-old kid against the war in Vietnam,” recalled Biden, “on the grounds that the only way to take a nation to war is with the informed consent of the American people.” Still, he didn’t identify with the peacenik protesters and thought that the Vietnam War was dumb, rather than immoral.

During this time, Biden was a middle-of-the-road Democrat on foreign policy. He backed the invasions of Grenada in 1983 and Panama in 1989, but opposed funding the Contra rebels in Nicaragua, and in 1991, voted against authorizing the Gulf War. Saddam Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to U.S. national interests, he said. Just as Washington was ignorant about Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s, now it didn’t understand the Middle East. The goal of stabilizing the region was a pipe dream, which “has never in 5,000 years been accomplished for very long.”

Biden’s wariness about fighting Iraq was in sync with the Democratic Party mood and wider public opinion. He was one of 45 (out of 55) Democratic senators who voted against the Gulf War (the resolution authorizing war only narrowly passed 52 to 47). In the buildup to Desert Storm, the American public was also cautious about hostilities, and only became enthusiastic about war after the fighting started.

Biden the Hawk

The second chapter of Biden’s foreign policy thinking is the hawkish phase, from 1991 to 2003, in the shadow of the Gulf War and the end of the Cold War. Biden quickly regretted his vote against war in 1991 and criticized Bush senior for ending the campaign too soon and leaving Saddam in power, causing “immense human suffering within Iraq.” Buoyed with confidence about seizing the sword, Biden championed U.S. intervention in the Balkans, called Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević a war criminal to his face, and described the Bill Clinton administration’s inaction in the region as, “a policy of despair and cowardice.” Biden supported the Kosovo War in 1999 as well as the Afghanistan War in 2001. He also sought to check Saddam’s “relentless pursuit of weapons of mass destruction,” and in October 2002, voted to authorize the use of force against Iraq.

Is the Biden doctrine really a hawkish manifesto, as some on the left claim? Biden’s bellicose pivot in the 1990s reflected the broader American zeitgeist. The rapid U.S. victory in the Gulf seemed to bury the Vietnam syndrome in the Arabian sands. From 1991-2003, over one hundred polls asked Americans whether to remove Saddam by force, and every single one found majority support. After the 9/11 attacks, Washington was gripped by fears of a potential alliance between terrorists and tyrants, and Biden was one of 77 senators who authorized the use of force to topple Saddam.

Biden the Dove

The Iraq War opened a new chapter: Biden the dove. The senator saw the invasion of Iraq as a national and personal failure. He had hoped that congressional backing for war might spur a tougher United Nations response and avoid hostilities entirely, but the hawks surrounding Bush were set on fighting. “I made a mistake,” he explained. “I underestimated the influence of Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, and the rest of the neocons. I vastly underestimated their disingenuousness and incompetence.” His fears about the aftermath of regime change in Baghdad proved prescient, as the war became a costly quagmire.

Since 2003, Biden has been generally skeptical about the use for force. He opposed the surge of troops in Iraq in 2006-2007, the surge in Afghanistan in 2009, and the Libyan War in 2011. He raised doubts about the raid to kill Osama Bin Laden in 2011, as well as the decision to draw a red line against the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Biden did back the campaign against ISIS and favored the escalation of drone warfare, but he criticized Trump’s decision to kill Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.

So what do you think?

Is Biden a dove or a hawk?

My gut will go with….HAWK!

The Biden campaign promised to “increase pressure” on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad – presumably by providing more arms and money to his violent opponents. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris declared that the U.S. government “will once again stand with civil society and pro-democracy partners in Syria and help advance a political settlement where the Syrian people have a voice.” Northeastern University professor Max Abrahms observed, “Every foreign policy ‘expert’ being floated for Biden’s cabinet supported toppling the governments in Iraq, Libya and Syria, helping Al Qaeda and jihadist friends, ravaging the countries, uprooting millions of refugees from their homes.”

Declassify America’s Dirty Secrets in Syria to Stop a Biden War

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Trump’s Troop Withdrawal

I have been writing on one issue that I agree with defeated Trump…..I agree that we should be ending these forever wars and bring our troops home.

Now there is more news on that front…..

The Trump administration is expected to cut the number of US troops in Afghanistan almost in half to 2,500 by Jan. 15, US officials said Monday. The order would stop short of outgoing President Trump’s goal to have all troops withdrawn by the end of the year, which had faced opposition from military and diplomatic advisers. The Pentagon also expects to cut the number of troops in Iraq to 2,500, the AP reports, a reduction of more than 500. The decisions come in the wake of Trump’s shakeup of the Pentagon leadership last week, in which he installed loyalists who share his frustration with the continued troop presence in the war zones. The cuts would give Trump an accomplishment in his final weeks in office. The officials said military leaders were told over the weekend about the planned withdrawals, and an executive order is in the works but has not yet been delivered to commanders. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. There are 4,500 to 5,000 troops in Afghanistan, and more than 3,000 in Iraq.

Under the order, the troop cuts would be completed just five days before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, leaving him with a smaller military footprint in the two key war zones. Military commanders have expressed less concern about pulling more troops from Iraq, where the Iraqi forces are better able to maintain their nation’s security. Trump’s new Pentagon chief, Christopher Miller, hinted at the withdrawals over the weekend in a message to the force that suggested compromise. He said that “we remain committed to finishing the war that Al Qaida brought to our shores in 2001.” But he also made it clear that “all wars must end.” The accelerated withdrawal goes against longstanding advice from Trump’s military leadership, including Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, top commander for the Middle East. But officials suggested this week that commanders will be able to live with the partial pullout, which lets them to keep counterterrorism troops in Afghanistan and allows more time to remove critical equipment.

The GOP may be the Party of Trump now but there are still issue they will not help Trump achieve…..

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) warned against a withdrawal from Afghanistan on Monday amidst reports that say the Pentagon is planning for a drawdown in the country.

McConnell, a staunch ally of President Trump, was careful to praise the administration’s foreign policy record before slamming the idea of an Afghanistan withdrawal. “A rapid withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan now would hurt our allies and delight the people who wish us harm,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

McConnell went through the typical talking points for arguments against the US ending the 19-year-old war. He said a US withdrawal would “embolden the Taliban,” hand al-Qaeda a “propaganda victory,” and would be “welcome news” to Iran.

(antiwar.com)

What about those troops in Syria?

I know not much said lately about them but make no mistake they are there….even some confusion on just how many are there…..

Four years after signing the now-infamous “Never Trump” letter condemning then-presidential candidate Donald Trump as a danger to America, retiring diplomat Jim Jeffrey is recommending that the incoming Biden administration stick with Trump’s foreign policy in the Middle East.

But even as he praises the president’s support of what he describes as a successful “realpolitik” approach to the region, he acknowledges that his team routinely misled senior leaders about troop levels in Syria. 

“We were always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had there,” Jeffrey said in an interview. The actual number of troops in northeast Syria is “a lot more than” the roughly two hundred troops Trump initially agreed to leave there in 2019. 

https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2020/11/outgoing-syria-envoy-admits-hiding-us-troop-numbers-praises-trumps-mideast-record/170012/

Keep in mind that Trump ordered the troops home in 2018…..but changed his mind (as he often does)…..

The withdrawal in my opinion is something positive coming from Trump……but I fear that they will (the M-IC) never allow this to succeed…..not to worry after all we have a new president that owes much to the high dollar donors…..in other words….the wars will continue.

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Veteran’s Day–2020

Closing Thought–11Nov20

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month…..Veteran’s Day.

I wish to thank all my fellow veterans for the service and their families for their sacrifice.

Veterans Day Closing – Hidden River Credit Union

Today is the day that I set aside from my schedule to remember those fine people that I served with in Vietnam…..and to say a short prayer for those that did not come home to their loved ones.

41+ “Veterans Day Thank You” Quotes and Sayings, Images, Pictures - Veteran  Day 2020 #veteransdaythankyou 41+ “Veterans Day Thank You” Quotes and  Sayings, Image…, 2020

Please take a moment to thank a veteran for his/her sacrifice…..

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Veterans Day 2020, Greeting, Quotes, Images, Wishes, Poems, Memes - Veterans  Day 2020

 

The Space Force

Not the Netflix sit-com…the real life Space Force that will take the US military into the next century.

Our very first Space Force LTs have graduated….

Eighty-six graduates from the United States Air Force Academy celebrated receiving their diplomas April 18 and moved directly into the U.S. Space Force, marking the first infusion of commissioned personnel into the new service since its creation last year.

“As our nation’s first Space Force lieutenants, these leaders will defend democracy and protect the ultimate high ground of space,” said Barrett. “As they depart the Academy today, they will join the ranks of air and space power pioneers. They will be instrumental in building a lean, agile and forward-looking Space Force defending our nation, our allies and our American interests in space.”

While approximately 16,000 military and civilians from the former Air Force Space Command are now assigned to the Space Force, the arrival of these newest officers signals that the new service is taking a significant step toward filling its ranks.

The 86 newest members of the Space Force will fill a variety of roles, the majority of whom are assigned to the space operations career field and will be moving to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, to begin undergraduate space training. The remaining members are assigned to a variety of career fields, such as cyberspace operations, intelligence, developmental engineer and acquisitions manager, and will go to their respective initial skills training locations across the country. Upon completion of training, all 86 will be assigned to a Space Force unit.

Question!

If they are educated by the Air Force and the Air Force already has a Space Command….why do we need a separate Space Force?

A few more questions about our newest military…..Is the Space Force built for war?

If I were a Russian or Chinese space warfare theorist, thinking about a future war with the United States, it might be reasonable to bet that the newly-minted U.S. Space Force was planning for a kinetic space conflict, starting on Day 1.

Understandably, the Space Force keeps a tight lid on broader discussions of its capabilities. There isn’t a lot of direct information one way or another. Without a clear understanding of what the U.S. can do, an analyst might start trying to figure out U.S. intentions.

The culture of the Space Force might still be unformed and changing; it does bear at least a family resemblance to its sister services in at least one significant respect. In the services, the purveyors of kinetic mayhem — the shooters and the killers — tend to be culturally dominant within their respective services. The Space Force has been no exception to this.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2020/10/16/us_space_force_built_for_war_580985.html

To me this Space Force sounds more like an invasion and occupation force….more so than some vague defense force.

WE even have an orbiting drone just for the future of war.

The fledgling U.S. Space Force’s Space Delta 9 is tasked with performing a mission set that the service describes as orbital warfare. This includes keeping an eye out for potentially hostile activity in space, as well as deterring those threats and even potentially defeating them, according to the unit’s official website. Publicly, it provides this support primarily through various space-based surveillance and communications systems, but, interestingly, it is also responsible for overseeing the operations of the experimental X-37B mini space shuttle, the exact mission and capabilities of which remain obscure.

Space Force highlighted the intriguing orbital warfare mission of Space Delta 9, as part of the larger array of capabilities within its new Space Operations Command (SpOC), in a Tweet earlier this week. The unit had first come into existence in July and had previously been known as the Air Force’s 750th Operations Group, which had only been activated and assigned to that service’s 50th Space Wing the month before. 50th Space Wing, headquartered at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado, was also transferred to the newest branch of America’s armed forces that month, at which time it was rebranded as the Peterson-Schriever Garrison.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/37361/space-force-has-a-unit-dedicated-to-orbital-warfare-that-now-operates-the-x-37b-spaceplane

When and we will engage in space battles in the future…what will they be like?

As countries around the world continue to militarize space, experts are beginning to envision what an actual off-world clash might look like.

Unfortunately, dogfights among spacecraft zipping around like in Star Wars are out, Ars Technica reports. Rather, according to a new report published by the Aerospace Corporation, space battle is likely to be way slower, more deliberate, and even a little clunky.

The challenge, the report says, is that space operations need to be planned well in advance. And once a satellite is in orbit, it can’t just change direction or careen around like a fighter plane. That makes the likelihood of a spontaneous skirmish in space much less likely than on Earth.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/experts-actual-space-battles

Last year after the announcement of the creation of the Space Force I wrote and asked the question….Do we need a Space Force?

https://lobotero.com/2019/12/24/does-america-need-a-space-force/

Could the US Space Force be the prelude to the establishment of a Space Empire?

It’s easy to get swept up by the tide of excitement for space exploration and perhaps someday even settling on another world — just think about what a moment of national pride each “first” was during the Cold War-era Space Race.

But that excitement, taken too far into fanaticism, could give rise to a disastrous future in which space is controlled by a totalitarian empire, warns Johns Hopkins University political scientist Daniel Deudney. In a review of Deudney’s new book about those concerns, University of Leicester international relations lecturer Bleddyn Bowen argues that Deudney might be a touch pessimistic — but makes a compelling case that space exploration poses several oft-overlooked threats to our future.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/johns-hopkins-professor-warns-totalitarian-military-space-empire

And you thought the Galactic Empire of Star Wars was fiction.

These are all questions and issues that future international relations people will have to face in the near future…..best not ignore them now or they will bite you in the ass soon rather than later.

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Push Back To Leaving Afghanistan

I have seen the reasons that some have for Trump’s decision to move our troops out of Afghanistan……most of those that want to stay are getting paid by the corporations that are milking the taxpayers out of their money…..and that includes the former VP Biden…he has NO plan to bring our troops home..

Beyond that I have made an accusation that it is about the cash and not the foreign policy……here is why I say this….

The 19-year-old war in Afghanistan continues to be a huge sinkhole for US taxpayer dollars. The US government’s oversight authority that monitors waste in Washington’s Afghanistan reconstruction effort released a report this month updating its findings.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) found that as of December 31st, 2019, Congress appropriated almost $134 billion to Afghanistan reconstruction since the 2002 fiscal year. Of that amount, SIGAR reviewed about $63 billion and found approximately $19 billion or 30 percent was lost to waste, fraud, and abuse.

Between January 1st, 2018, and December 31st, 2019, SIGAR found an additional $3.4 billion was lost to waste, fraud, and abuse. Of that total, SIGAR identified $1.5 billion in taxpayer funds that were lost to waste, $300 million lost to fraud, and $34 million lost to abuse. The remaining $1.6 billion was allocated to counter-narcotics, which SIGAR believes was also wasted.

In a 2018 report, SIGAR described US counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan as a “failure.” A UN report from 2019 found Afghanistan is the source of 80 percent of the world’s illicit opium production despite the billions of US taxpayer dollars being spent to stop it.

Since SIGAR was formed in 2008, the oversight authority has investigated approximately 44 percent of the $134 billion spent by the US on Afghanistan reconstruction. According to Brown University’s Costs of War project, as of September 2019, the US has spent $2 trillion on the war in Afghanistan. The number includes interest on borrowed money used to fund the war and money spent on care for veterans

(antiwar.com)

Can you see it now?

Close to $2 trillion and who thinks that the M-IC will give up that easy cash without a fight?

Here’s another thought about the $2 trillion…..

Pursuing trade and industrial policies that boost U.S. exports and eliminate the trade deficit while investing $2 trillion over four years in the nation’s infrastructure, clean energy, and energy efficiency improvements could support 6.9 to 12.9 million “good jobs” annually by 2024, according to an analysis published Tuesday.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/10/20/investing-2-trillion-us-clean-energy-and-infrastructure-could-create-millions-good

Something to think about…..

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That Tank!

I recently read an article about the massive and impressive tank……but before I go into the article let us look at the tank….which is a little over 100 years old and has been a supporting player in every war since World War One.

Let us now turn to a little history of the tank.

The weapon known as the tank was invented by the British in 1916…..

The first official photograph taken of a Tank going into action, at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, 15th September 1916. The man shown is wearing a leather tank helmet.

The concept of a vehicle to provide troops with both mobile protection and firepower was not a new one. But in the First World War, the increasing availability of the internal combustion engine, armour plate and the continuous track, as well as the problem of trench warfare, combined to facilitate the production of the tank.

The name ‘tank’ came from British attempts to ensure the secrecy of the new weapons under the guise of water tanks. During the First World War, Britain began the serious development of the tank. Ironically, the Royal Navy led the way with the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, establishing the Landships Committee in early 1915.

The military combined with engineers and industrialists and by early 1916 a prototype was adopted as the design of future tanks. Britain used tanks in combat for the first time in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette on 15 September 1916.

https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/how-britain-invented-the-tank-in-the-first-world-war

Then when the US entered WW1 and the US became a major proponent to tank used in warfare…..

Most American military observers were unimpressed but some officers felt differently. Even before the American Expeditionary Force arrived in France, General Pershing took a liking to the tank. Seeing the metal monster in action, Pershing ordered the formation of an American tank corps before the end of 1917.

Two men, who would go on to become major figures during the next world war, began fitting this new battlefield beast into the U.S. army’s ranks. In France Captain George Patton worked hard to assemble the U.S. Tank Corps, while in the U.S., Captain Dwight Eisenhower helped create the U.S. Tank Service.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a17015005/history-american-tank/

We all remember seeing the impressive sight of the American tanks screaming across Iraq in the 1990s and again in 2003….and of course the tank was credited with our quick successes in both those invasions.

Recently there has been less and less dependence on tanks in our many asymmetric conflicts….and some are proposing a radical idea.

From the day that the concept of a tank was introduced there has been debate about the utility of these vehicles. Hard to build, difficult to man and drive, and ultimately vulnerable once deployed, tanks have never been the perfect package that they externally represent. The late Professor Ogorkiewicz wrote in his 2016 book Tanks, of how Lieutenant Colonel J. F. C. Fuller came to realise the limits of tanks during the 1917 Ypres offensive.  And, following that war, only Britain and France continued to see utility in the tank for close to a decade, before the Soviet Union began to enter the field.

The contemporary discussion around the abiding value of the tank is not therefore new, however the context and the nature of the modern battlefield has changed considerably since 1916, and this in turn warrants a different discussion around the value of the tank. To be clear, this article is intended to initiate discussion, it is a reflection of those issues that must be considered when balancing forces. There is value to any asset deployed to the battlefield, from an entrenching shovel to aircraft carriers, providing that they are used properly and adequately supported.

We have chosen three select areas, which all influence the utility of tanks; the Totality of the Battlefield (TotB), the totality of technology, and the totality of society. Much of this discussion should be regarded as a “Red Team Exercise”, a deliberate attempt to pull apart entrenched thinking. And, while it is framed against the current climate that prevails within the British Army, it should be understood that these considerations will apply in some measure to every single force in the world.

The tank is dead. Long live the tank.

Could this be the beginning of the end for our beloved tanks?

Well let’s look….an Abrams cost about $4.3 million and cost annually about $250,000……that does not include fuel for the many trips to the battlefield.

With Napoleonic battles a thing of the past it would make sense to rid the burden to tanks and their upkeep from the military budget.

Any Thoughts?

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That Bullet Had His Name On It

The weekend and I am being lazy…..I have 30 drafts and I will attempt to clean the folder out….a little history and a little FYI….

How many times have you heard that statement in TV and the movies?

Well DARPA may have just made that prediction a possibility.

One of the most challenging roles in ground units is that of a military sniper. Military snipers must take long distance shots with precision rifles, often doing a fair amount of math in their heads to make a bullet reach its target. A new guided-bullet technology, however, promises to make longer distance shots a little easier by installing guidance systems in bullets.

The mission of the sniper is to take out targets at ranges farther than your typical rifleman, from five hundred yards out to two thousand yards. Snipers rely on specialized training, accurized, high power rifles and quality optics to reliably hit targets that are often mere specks on the horizon. These targets typically include anything from specialized enemy troops (engineers, heavy weapon operators) to command, control, and communications targets (radio operators, officers.) Snipers may also engage material targets, such as antennas, aircraft and light vehicles.

In addition to mere distance, snipers must contend with the technical limitations of their weapons and physics to make long range shots. Once they exit the barrel, bullets immediately start slowing down as gravity begins to exert an influence. This causes bullets to travel in a gradual downward arc. Bullets are also vulnerable to weather conditions, particularly wind, and are increasingly vulnerable to environmental conditions as they lose velocity.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/reboot/military-snipers-could-soon-be-using-guided-bullets-169616

I believe back years ago Tom Sellack did a movie where the bad guy had a DNA bullet…..program it to kill only the person intended to die.

But this is not new…DARPA had a bullet in 2015……

You know the phrase “dodging a bullet”? Forget about it. Probably not going to happen anymore.

The U.S. military said this week it has made great progress in its effort to develop a self-steering bullet.
In February, the “smart bullets” — .50-caliber projectiles equipped with optical sensors — passed their most successful round of live-fire tests to date, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA.
 
 
In the tests, an experienced marksman “repeatedly hit moving and evading targets,” a DARPA statement said.
“Additionally,” the statement said, “a novice shooter using the system for the first time hit a moving target.” In other words, now you don’t even have to be a good shot to hit the mark.
 
Making killing easier……better death through science.
 
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Those Asymmetric Wars

The battlefield no longer looks like it did in the 18th century or even the mid-20th century….the wars today are fought in irregular units….or as it is now called “asymmetric” warfare.

My day it was called guerilla warfare….but times change and terms get moved around to suit those with letters after their name.

To start let us define “asymmetric warfare”……

Asymmetrical warfare, unconventional strategies and tactics adopted by a force when the military capabilities of belligerent powers are not simply unequal but are so significantly different that they cannot make the same sorts of attacks on each other.

Guerrilla warfare, occurring between lightly armed partisans and a conventional army, is an example of asymmetrical warfare. Terrorist tactics, such as hijackings and suicide bombings, are also considered to be asymmetrical, both because they tend to involve a smaller, weaker group attacking a stronger one and also because attacks on civilians are by definition one-way warfare. War between a country that is both able and willing to use nuclear weapons and a country that is not would be another example of asymmetrical warfare.

(Britannica)

If this is the true future of warfare then high is the Army shutting down its Asymmetrical Warfare Group?

For nearly 15 years a little known but highly influential Army group has been in the middle of how the Army learns immediate lessons from combat, adapts to the evolving battlefield and saves soldiers’ lives.

It’s called Asymmetric Warfare Group, and the Army is shutting it down next year.

The Army made its official announcement today that by mid-2021, AWG will be discontinued.

An Army statement to Army Times:

“The functions of AWG, including the solutions to current and emerging threats, will transition to other Army organizations. Also, to ensure the utility of the organization’s work over the past 14 years is not lost, all lessons learned will be maintained by the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center (CAC), via the Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL), Centers of Excellence (COEs), and other TRADOC enterprise stakeholders.”

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2020/10/02/the-army-is-shutting-down-its-much-lauded-asymmetric-warfare-group/

The Defense News has reported that the military is moving past special forces in dealing with irregular conflicts…..

The Pentagon has begun to shift the focus on irregular warfare away from the specific counterterrorism missions of the last two decades and toward a broader effort that includes information warfare and gray zone operations, a top special operations official said Friday.

Joe Francescon, deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and combating terrorism, told reporters that the shift is needed to counter China, Russia and Iran.

Francescon was speaking as part of a rollout of an unclassified version of the Irregular Warfare annex of the National Defense Strategy. The strategy was rolled out Jan. 19, 2018, under then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, but the annex was not completed until early 2019 and took “a long time” to declassify to the point where even the 12-page summary could be shared with the public, Francescon said.

https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2020/10/02/irregular-warfare-strategies-must-move-beyond-special-forces-pentagon-says/

If the US will be fighting small groups in the future…why close down the “Group” that will perfect the tactics?

Or is the fear of China in the future driving all this re-organizations?

Just Asking.

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Let The Kids Do It

Some of those apocalyptic films have wars being fought for generations and generations….well fact is not so far off…..

Just last week our war inn Afghanistan entered into its 20th year……and soon the children of the original warriors will be fighting this conflict…..

The longest war in US history now spans generations. Service members who were deployed to Afghanistan, starting 19 years ago last week, are turning the mission over to their children. Since 2002, Master Sgt. Trevor deBoer has served three tours in what the government called the war against terrorism, Stars and Stripes reports. Spc. Payton Sluss has been deployed there as well, stationed at a base where his father served. “My feet were walking the same land you were,” Sluss told deBoer. His father said he often wondered during his tours if the US effort was making any progress. “When we started this, people asked why I was going, and my response was, ‘So my sons don’t have to fight this war,'” deBoer said. His son sees progress, however incremental, citing changes in women’s rights, free speech and education. “An inch is an inch, progress is progress no matter what,” he said. The US still suffers casualties in Afghanistan.

The job is different for this generation. Operation Enduring Freedom ended in 2014, per the New York Post. With the Taliban protecting al-Qaeda, Americans now concentrate on training local forces and rebuilding the country. “Afghanistan didn’t have a functioning toilet when I showed up,” said Capt. Bajun Mavalwalla, who arrived in 2002. When he returned as an adviser in 2012, he was amazed by the improvements. His son, also Bajun Mavalwalla, who was deployed in 2012, is more discouraged. “I wanted to go out and help people, serve my country. … I just sort of contributed to this deepening mire,” he said. The elder Mavalwalla’s view is across generations. “You have to have seen what it was 20 years ago, and then see it again 10 years later, to appreciate the improvement,” the father said. Another veteran whose son has served in Afghanistan said he just hopes his grandson won’t someday have to go fight the same battles “for the same reason.”

And yet Americans do not see the problem they are allowing to develop…..the media is to blame for making war seem somehow patriotic and romantic…..and try to ignore the conflict as often as they can.

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More Good News From Trump?

Yes I know I have been a critic of Trump since he took office….but I have also stated that I approve of his attempts to end our endless wars……and now he has made another statement that I can support….( I shall qualify that shortly)…..

He is attempting to bring home the troops from Afghanistan and Iraq….and moving some out of Germany…..

Pres. Trump wants to bring our troops home from Somalia…..Somalia?  Think Blackhawk Down…..

Bloomberg published a story on Wednesday that cited anonymous sources who said President Trump is looking to withdraw hundreds of US troops from Somalia, a war the administration has significantly escalated since 2017.

The sources said the Pentagon has begun drafting plans for the president, and discussions have involved Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the US currently has 700 troops in Somalia. Mostly special forces who train Somalia’s army. Most of these troops were sent to the African country by President Trump, according to the Bloomberg story.

The US is engaged in Somalia as part of its war against the militant group al-Shabab. In 2017, President Trump loosened the rules of engagement for the drone war and his administration has dropped a record number of bombs on Somalia.

In 2019, the US conducted 63 airstrikes in Somalia, the most in a single year. The first seven months of 2020 saw more US airstrikes in Somalia than were conducted during both the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, combined.

The war in Somalia is extremely underreported, and it is tough to know how damaging it has been to the civilians on the ground. US Africa Command usually claims its airstrikes only kill militants and only occasionally have to admit to civilian deaths if there is enough outcry.

(antiwar.com)

Now is this just election posturing or is he serious?

He has made promises before an election that he has not carried forward once he was placed in the seat of power for the United States.

So I ask again….can we trust him to do what he says?

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“lego ergo scribo”