Is The Red Sun Rampant Again?

To be truthful…I do not pay as much attention to Asia….I lost interest in the region once I left the military after Vietnam….then I started my education and the Middle East became my focus.  I do keep an eye on the developments especially when it may lead top some sort of armed conflict….which was one of my majors.

In this case and since we have just celebrated, not the best word for the occasion) the attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago I thought that an article I recently read might bring about a few comments….

Once we nuked the piss out of Japan and they surrendered aboard the USS Missouri they have been allowed to have a military force but for defense only….nothing that could appear to be an offensive force.

The problem there is…how do you define or draw a line on which force is which?

On another note…I read a couple of years ago that Japan has resended its self-defense call for its military…..

Source: Japan Ends Ban on Military Self-Defense | TIME

That one move got me to thinking about the future and then a report on CNN (not a fave of mine but will use the report anyway)……

Seventy-five years after Japan unleashed one of the most devastating naval attacks in history on the US fleet at Pearl Harbor, the country has again established itself as one of the world’s foremost military powers, experts say.

The resurgence comes despite a constitution imposed by the United States after World War II that limited the country’s forces to defensive purposes only. In fact, analysts say, that defensive restriction has helped make Japan’s military stronger than it might have been without it.
“Pilot for pilot, ship for ship, Japan can stand toe to toe with anybody,” said John T. Kuehn, a professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
With all happening in the South Asian waters…is it possible that the military is once again becoming an important part of their society?  Are we rebuilding another future Empire of the Rising Sun?
I know….I know….they are our valued ally…..but keep in mind that Japan was a valued ally during World War One…..so take that for what it is worth.

DoD, You Have A Leader

I have been waiting for two appointments made by PEOTUS Trump, SecDef and SecState these will be very telling in our pursuit of a Trump foreign policy.

SecState has been a yo-yo, a game of appearances and so far nothing of substance….but SecDef had been a relative silent choice….that is until yesterday….an unofficial official announcement was made that a choice had been made…..Gen. Mattis for SecDef….

Sources tell the Washington Post that Donald Trump has picked a “Mad Dog” for secretary of defense. That’s just one of the nicknames held by retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who CNN notes is also known as the “Warrior Monk.” Apart from spending four decades with the Marines, Mattis was recently the chief of US Central Command—a role in which he clashed with President Obama over Iran—and spent time as the supreme allied commander of transformation for NATO. John McCain has called Mattis “one of the finest military officers of his generation and an extraordinary leader.” He has a “cult-like following” among infantry Marines and soldiers, the Military Times reports.

“He speaks truth to everyone and would certainly speak truth to this new commander in chief,” a former Pentagon official tells the Post. Mattis has raised eyebrows—to say the least—in the past with quotes such as “It’s fun to shoot some people” and, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” Trump has called him the “real deal.” Mattis would require a special waiver from Congress before being confirmed because he’s been a civilian for less than seven years. Despite a Trump transition spokesperson saying no decision has been made, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that Mattis was offered the gig and an official announcement is expected next week.

Mattis sees Putin in a different light as Trump…will this be a point of contention between the two?

Trump, himself, made the appointment official in his Victory Tour he began yesterday….however there is a slight problem…you see he has been out of the military for 3 years and the law is it must be 7….he will need a waiver….which he will probably get for Congress is controlled…..but there may be some push back from the Dems…..just to be a pain in his ass.

My Concerns For National Security

I have always said the foreign policy and national security should be paramount in Trump’s mind….but recently I read something that gives me concern….

George W. Bush and Bill Clinton received daily intelligence briefings after winning their elections, and Barack Obama was said to be an “avid consumer of intelligence” as president-elect. But US officials tell the Washington Post that Donald Trump has only had two intelligence briefings since defeating Hillary Clinton and has been turning down further briefings. The daily intelligence briefings include information on “global developments and security threats” from all 16 US intelligence agencies. “Trump has a lot of catching up to do,” one senior US official says.

But Trump’s team says the president-elect has simply been too busy putting together his administration. “National security is Donald Trump’s No. 1 priority, and I think he’s taking it very seriously,” a senior member of his transition team tells the Post. The official points to Trump’s meetings and phone calls with world leaders as evidence and says people criticizing Trump “need to get a life.” But government officials critical of Trump say it’s further evidence he doesn’t really care about the ins and outs of the job. A former deputy CIA director says Trump is “missing out on a golden opportunity.” On the other hand, Mike Pence has been receiving intelligence briefings nearly everyday. Read the full story here.

Sorry Donald but the prez needs to be able to walk, talk and chew gum all at the same time…..

I cannot tell if his hesitation to pick a SecState and SecDef is a good thing or a bad one…..I am anxious to see who he will choose for these two positions….that will be very telling of the direction Trump wants our foreign policy to travel.

As I watch the Trump government take shape there are a few concerns I have and I list them here……

  • Publicly reveal all potential international conflicts of interest among his business holdings and place all of his business assets in a blind trust—not managed by family members, which is an obvious conflict of interest—to avert running afoul of the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Allow the IRS to indicate a timeline for the completion of his most recent audit so that he may fulfill his pledge to release his tax returns to further ensure no conflicts of interest in executing U.S. foreign or domestic policy.
  • Direct his choice for national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, to publicly disclose all financial payments and consulting arrangements from foreign governments and to release a detailed record of all communications with Russian and Turkish officials or agents, including during the election period.
  • Join with his incoming secretaries of defense, state, and homeland security to provide details on his plan to defeat the Islamic State and clarify how his avowed war on radical Islamic terrorism will be waged and the metrics for which its success should be gauged.
  • Join with his national security appointees to clarify how his commitment to a no-fly zone over Syria will be enforced, what allies would participate in such an effort, and its likely duration.
  • Join with his incoming attorney general and secretaries of homeland security and defense to make an unequivocal vow that in their confirmation hearings, they will both recuse themselves and not impede investigations into Russian interference in the recent U.S. elections and links to WikiLeaks hacks.
  • Direct his secretary of state and U.S. Department of Defense nominees to reconfirm the nation’s long-standing commitment to treaty obligations to U.S. allies in NATO and in Asia.
  • Direct his incoming secretaries of defense and state to make clear their view of the illegal occupation of Crimea by Russian forces and the role of Russia in downing Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine.
  • Join with his national security appointees to explain the mechanics and ramifications of the United States canceling all pledged support to the United Nations for addressing the increasingly severe challenges of global warming.
  • Immediately outline the details of his plan to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon if he dismantles the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
  • Immediately commit publicly not to ban anyone from entering the United States based solely on race, religion, or any other basis that would violate U.S. values.
  • Immediately outline his plans for preventing North Korea from advancing its nuclear and missile programs.
  • Immediately commit to nonproliferation of nuclear weapons.

These are the aspects of foreign policy that will help make me more confident on the leadership of Donald Trump….I am not naive and realize that he may not address each of these issues…..but the ones he does will be very telling.

Closing Thought–25Nov16

Another sad story about the treatment of troops and their families……form an uncaring country…….

At first I was going to post on the Chili’s debacle….where they took a free meal away from a vet because some douche questioned his service…..instead of ranting about that pathetic display I just decided to NEVER use Chili’s for anything.

And then I read a post in another blog….The Silent Soldier…..where a Gold Member family on the way to pick up their son’s body was booed by passenger on an American Airline flight…..

Stewart Perry, a former Marine, along with his wife and daughter, were on an American Airlines flight last Monday to pick up the remains of their son, a soldier who was recently killed in Afghanistan. Their solemn flight took an even more grievous turn, however, when passengers allegedly booed the family while on the flight.

Source: Slain Soldier’s Family Booed on American Airlines Flight ‹ The Silent Soldier ‹ Reader — WordPress.com

This incident just illustrates what I am always bitching about….this society cares little about our veterans and their families…..

All the “thank you” in the world cannot erase this insult and disrespect…

When I left the military in 2014 after nearly 12 years of service in the Air Force, a fellow veteran advised me on how to respond when a civilian says, “Thank you for your service.” Such expressions of gratitude, while never wrong, often leave veterans uncertain how to answer. He suggested a very simple reply: “Thank you for your support.

Source: One veteran’s unease when hearing, ‘Thanks for your service.’ – LA Times

I have heard this from some of the vets I have spoken with in the past……

No one cares as long as it does not effect them…..

This is a sad indictment of our society and a pathetic lack of respect.

This brings this week to a close…..please enjoy your weekend my friends…..

Sad News On T’Giving Day

While we were enjoying our day with family and food it is easy to forget that our troops do not have the luxury that we are experiencing….

Once again sad news must be given to a family…..

The first American combat death in Syria happened on Thanksgiving. US officials say the service member was fatally injured in a blast from an improvised explosive device, the AP reports. The New York Times reports that officials say the American died in Ayn Issa in northern Syria, where Americans are assisting Arab and Kurdish fighters seeking to drive ISIS out of Raqqa, the capital of their “caliphate.” “The entire counter-ISIL Coalition sends our condolences to this hero’s family, friends, and teammates,” Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander of Combined Joint Task Force—Operation Inherent Resolve, said in a statement. “On this Thanksgiving, please be thankful that there are service members willing to take up the fight to protect our homeland from ISIL’s hateful and brutal ideology.”

“I am deeply saddened by the news on this Thanksgiving Day that one of our brave service members has been killed in Syria while protecting us from the evil of ISIL,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement. “It is a painful reminder of the dangers our men and women in uniform face around the world to keep us safe.”

A shitty message to be delivered on a day of joy and family.

It is time for America to remove ourselves from this situation and let our country set about making it “Great Again”…(if you care to believe the hype)

Dreaming Up a Reason for NATO’s Relevance

As the process continues…the search for the perfect government…..I will leave most of it behind and return to my love of foreign policy.

During the run up to the final result of the past election Mr. Trump showed some contempt for NATO…..I will agree some what with his take on the organization…..

There was a time when NATO was to be the front line on a perceived expansion of the USSR…Western Europe was paranoid after the debacle of WW2…..

Mr. Trump has cast shadows on the relevancy of NATO…..could he be right?

A few months ago during the seemingly endless U.S. election, Donald Trump said NATO is not a gift that America can keep giving. In his stated view, the other member states should make a greater financial contribution (the U.S. currently contributes 70 percent of NATO’s budget) and, if not, they could not expect automatic protection in the face of an attack.

On Nov. 13, after Trump’s victory, NATO Secretary General and former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg wrote a think piece in the U.K.’s Observer newspaper, and acknowledged the need for more widespread contributions while crying up the historic importance and future need for NATO by citing growing Russian “assertiveness” (diplo-speak for “aggression”) and the threat from international terrorism.

Source: Dreaming Up a Reason for NATO’s Relevance – Consortiumnews

But what exactly is Trump’s stand on NATO?  His speeches will leave an interested party a bit confused……

Source: What’s Trump’s Position on NATO?

After reading this post…I am NO closer to knowing what he will do with NATO…..how about you?

It is still too early to tell what Trump’s foreign policy will be…..can he do all the stuff that he promised while running?

Let’s say he cannot deliver….will his supporters hold that against him?

As it appears today…the answer is NO.

I am beginning to think that there is something very simple about his appeal…..something that I am not too thrilled with the thought.

The Demise of Anti-War Liberals?

After my stint in Vietnam I returned home to a society that did not like me much (deep down they still do not like the Viet vet very much)….I also became an antiwar activist because I did and do not think that war is a good thing…it usually creates more problems that it solved…..

I have noticed that the antiwar movement does not have the same impact it use to…..especially within the ranks of so-called liberals…..one reason is because war nowadays only effects 1% of the population…..basically there is NO shared experience and the media used to control ALL info about our numerous wars……

The liberals aka Dems, are now as entrenched with the money of the “defense” industry that they have turned a blind eye to anything resembling right……

This last election proved this point…..and a little historical perspective at the liberals and the antiwar movement…….

Senator Sanders may now have sounded the death knell for the liberal anti-war movement.

During the post-World War II period, opposition to U.S. militarism and involvement in dubious military conflicts has usually been stronger on the political left than the right.  Left-wing, anti-war sentiment reached its peak during the Vietnam War, when groups opposed to that conflict could sometimes mobilize tens of thousands of demonstrators.  Opposition to subsequent U.S. military crusades was less robust, but even as late as the Iraq War, there were sizable anti-war demonstrations in the streets.

There have been warning signs for some time, though, that opposition to unnecessary armed conflicts has lost its appeal to much of the political left.  For one thing, there was always a partisan bias to anti-war movements.  Even during the heyday of resistance to the Vietnam War, the criticism became more intense after Republican Richard Nixon took over the White House than it had been when Democrat Lyndon Johnson occupied the Oval Office.  The bias was even more apparent in later decades.  There was far more criticism of Republican George H.W. Bush’s Persian Gulf War than there was of Democrat Bill Clinton’s wars in Bosnia and Kosovo.  Indeed, a distressing number of prominent liberals found reasons to praise Clinton’s military crusades in the Balkans.

Source: The Demise of Anti-War Liberals? | Cato @ Liberty

Americans need to pay more attention to the wars we start and why….if for no other reason than it could be a family member that has to fight the battles…..