Memorial Day–2016

Today is Memorial Day….a day set aside to remember our fallen service people during a time of war.

We build monuments to them and then they are soon forgotten…at least this day the public is forced to remember…..all the “sunshine patriots” come out of the woodwork…..and most will beat their chests like sex crazed primates….the sound and fury that signifies (what?)…….

But first a musical interlude….

This will be my only post of the day for I intend to honor our vets in my own way…..first I post this video of the group that I was part of during the Vietnam War…the LRRPs…..with the 9th Infantry Division….Mekong Delta….Republic of South Vietnam…..

Please take the time to learn about a group of men that did all asked of them and for the most part have been forgotten….something I hope to rectify…..

 

9th Infantry Division RECONDO Qualification Badge, LRRP, LRP | Vietnam ...

Although the LRRPs of Vietnam became the 75th Rangers…..I was a LRRP then and will always be a LRRP.  I refuse to let my guys be eaten up by the legend of the Rangers…..we were there first and we did it better…….

In closing let me leave my readers with a couple of thoughts……

Our veterans are having a rough time…as they always have when they return home from war……we need to do better in their care…..we need to care more than we do today……

The Veterans First Act, does almost nothing to fix the structural problems with the VA. Instead, this bill will increase costs and further entrench an unaccountable bureaucracy. Worst of all, under this bill, veterans will continue to be left waiting for the critical medical care they need.

“The VA, riddled with scandal, needs an overhaul focused on accountability and choice that leads to improved delivery of health care to our veterans. The Isakson-Blumenthal bill meets all the demands of the federal employees, but none of the demands of veterans.

Don’t let mere political activity be mistaken for actual progress.  Our veterans deserve better. We strongly urge Senators to reject the Isakson-Blumenthal bill, and keep the door open for real VA reform.

One last thought……

Please take a moment of your time today to remember all those that did not return home to their loved ones…it is the least we can do!

Go now and enjoy your Holiday activities….I shall return tomorrow in full force….

Peace Out!

Professor’s Continuing Battlefront Diary

This is a series that I write to keep my readers up on the conflicts that the US is involved in….most times the media does not report on this stuff….and by media I mean the mainstream media…you know the crap they feed you at 6 p.m.

The US was involved in the humanitarian effort that brought down Qaddafi…..and we have never left….we are handling one of the “leaders” a Col. Haftar through the CIA and now we are sending in more combat troops…..

Adding to the details about the US deployment of special forces into Libya to prepare for a ground invasion of the country, officials today revealed that two “military outposts” have been established in the country since late 2015, each containing “fewer than 25” troops.

Details are scant, but the bases are said to be located near Misrata and Benghazi, respectively. It is noteworthy that neither of these areas are under the control of either of the UN-backed governments, though Misrata is largely aligned with the Tripoli parliament, a third government that the UN doesn’t recognize.

How long will it be before we have a Libyan surge?

A good question and here is the start……

Officially, the US supports the “unity government” in Libya, whose territory includes a single naval base in Tripoli and a few nearby buildings. In practice, the US is seen backing the two other extent would-be governments just a seriously.

That’s becoming more and more obvious as the Pentagon is increasingly open about its ongoing ground operations in Libya, where they are “meeting a variety of Libyans.” Less important that the sight-seeing is that the US has established two bases, one in Misrata and one near Benghazi.

You’ll notice that neither of those places is right next to the naval base in Tripoli. Rather, the Misrata base is in territory held by the Tripoli parliament, a rival government, and the site near Benghazi is in the sphere of the Tobruk parliament, another “UN-backed government.”

Yet another country that we will occupy and not be held responsible….

When do old enemies become new friends?

President Barack Obama appears poised to begin selling weapons to an old enemy and a new friend: Vietnam.

Obama, who will embark this weekend on his first trip to the Communist country, is weighing an end to a United States’ ban on selling weapons that started in 1975 at the close of the Vietnam War, which left nearly 60,000 Americans dead and scarred a generation.

Vietnam has long sought an end to the moratorium. But the request took on a more urgent tone in recent years after its neighbor, China, repeatedly threatened or attacked ships in the disputed waters of the South China Sea and started picking territorial fights with Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan.

US arming an old enemy that killed 60,000 of our countrymen…..will this come back and bite us in the ass?
The New World War 3 will begin May 2017……(so sez a past NATO commander)
Former NATO deputy commander Gen. Sir Alexander Richard Shirreff has published a new book, called 2017 War With Russia, in which he predicts a full-scale nuclear war between NATO and Russia, saying the sides are heading “inexorably” for a nuclear exchange, and that the war will start next May.
The book’s narrative follows the same expectations as other NATO officials who have been angling for bigger budgets and more military buildup, claiming Russian President Vladimir Putin will just randomly invade NATO member nations and start a huge war out of the blue.
Sir Richard says Russia feels “encircled” by NATO, and will invade Latvia in May, and threaten nuclear war if NATO isn’t okay with that. NATO won’t be okay with that, and so the world will basically end with the same nuclear holocaust NATO has hung over our heads for generations.
Is this yahoo trying to sell books or is he prophetic?
Ant then there is Afghanistan….there has been a lot of rhetoric about the US ending its involvement in the country…most of which is BS……
2016 is almost half way over, and the war in Afghanistan is going as bad as ever. Though it’s not as high-profile a topic of discussion at NATO meetings 15 years into the failing occupation, the alliance once again agreed to extend the military operation, which was scheduled to end at the end of 2016.

The US, of course, had no intention of withdrawing at the end of 2016 at any rate, and has already punted their end date to the end of 2017, and later extending it to an indefinite point in the future. The NATO announcement just means they’ll have company from the other nations, at least the ones still willing to throw troops at the war.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also confirmed that the alliance is separately debating a plan to extend the subsidy of Afghanistan’s military beyond the present end date of 2020. After 15 years of occupation, NATO has created a huge Afghan military, but the nation has virtually no economy, no tax base, and no chance of paying for it on their own. Most analysts agree this subsidy is going to continue for decades to come.

All the news that no one will use…..

Women Take Up Arms

I remember when the Army allowed women into the Ranger training course and couple of them passed with flying colors…..there was a bit of a push back….mostly from those people that think that women should be at home bare foot and pregnant cooking dinner, having his slippers waiting when Papa comes home.  And then after that “set back” the news broke that women would be allowed to choose “combat arms” when entering the Army…..meaning they could be thrown into the conflict just like their male counterparts……and once again those people that think that women are only good to keep the “home fires burning” were back in force….railing about all that 17th century bullsh*t……

But I have written about women in the Middle East that are as much “freedom fighter” as their male counterparts……(but in case you missed my superb posts)…….

Source: The female guerilla fighters of the PKK | Middle East Eye – In Saner Thought

Objectifying female fighters | openDemocracy

With your memory sufficiently refreshed ….there is more on the women of the Middle East that are doing more than their part to defeat the forces of evil……

It is no exaggeration to say that a strip of land along Syria’s northern border with Turkey is home to the most radical experiment in democracy and gender equality, not just in the Middle East, but in the whole world. Western Kurdistan, or Rojava, ‘the land where the sun sets’, first entered popular consciousness in that lopsided way that news from elsewhere hits Western TV screens, when Kurdish women fighters liberated Yazidi women and children from ISIS on Mount Sinjar in August/September 2015. When the might of the US, the Free Syrian Army and the other regional armies in Iraq were unable to stop the advance of ISIS, young women in military fatigues and floral scarves defeated men who can barely tolerate fully covered-up women. Such film footage was undeniably eye-catching. Yet rather than leading to further information and analysis of the Rojava phenomenon, it was appropriated for the purposes of capitalist consumerism. H&M tried to sell a range of clothing based on the women’s uniforms, provoking outrage in the Kurdish community for trivializing their struggle.

Source: Military fatigues and floral scarves — New Internationalist

These women are fighting evil and the right for a freer democracy in their homeland….

These women are proving that they are just as capable as any man and in some cases more so……

It is the 21st century in case you were not aware that the 17th century has long since passed……

 

The Civil War Inside the US Military

I have been writing a blog now for 10 years and I have always kept with my beliefs that we should not rush into conflict for any reason short of an attack on the nation proper……I can justify the invasion of Afghanistan but not the occupation for 14 years…..in all that time I have also been a keen observer of the budget battle especially the money that will be earmarked for the military or what we call the defense budget…..

This year is no different……I have been watching the battle for the budget on the Hill…..I have watched the propaganda machine go into full tilt boogey…..The Russian are coming seems to be the war cry…..

In early April, a battalion of senior military officials appeared before a Senate panel and testified that the US Army is “outranged and outgunned,” particularly in any future conflict with Russia. Arguing for a much bigger budget for the Army, they claimed that, absent a substantial increase in funding, the Russians would overtake us and, even scarier, “the army of the future will be too small to secure the nation.”

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! And before you know it, Brooklyn will be renamed Putingrad.

Source: The Civil War Inside the US Military – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

It will be interesting to see where this budget, the final budget, will lead our military….will the armed conflicts continue to rise or will calmer heads prevail?

Any bets?

Anchors Aweigh–You’re Fired!

Sounds like something Donald Trump would say, right?  Well, not this time.

A few months back a couple Naval boats strayed into Iranian waters and were captured….of course the normal outrage at such an act….but for me I found it strange that it occurred and ask some questions that others failed to ask….How did both boats get lost?  If one boat broke down why did not the other come to their rescue and tow them to international waters?  What happened to both boat’s GPS system?

There was more to the incident than a simple confusion on navigation.

I mention all this because it seems that the Navy has found its scapegoat for this incident……

The commanding officer responsible for 10 sailors captured by Iran is no longer commanding anybody. The Navy says Cmdr. Eric Rasch of Coastal Riverine Squadron 3 has been fired because of a “loss of confidence” in his ability to command after the embarrassing international incident in January, the Navy Times reports. Sources tell Reuters that other sailors involved in the incident have also been disciplined.

The sailors were held overnight and interrogated after their two vessels ended up in Iranian waters around Farsi Island when they were supposed to be going from Bahrain to Kuwait. Officials blamed a navigational blunder, along with some serious errors in judgment, possibly including a decision to take an unauthorized shortcut. The Navy has yet to release its official report on the incident.

And even with the investigation more questions arise.

Like was the short cut authorized?  If not then why not discipline the sailors on the boats.

My guess is this will be the last we hear of this incident (except when the lunatics want to use it to further a conspiracy)……..we will probably not get to see just what the investigation revealed……

Any thoughts?

Downsizing?

I have always disliked that term……

Let’s go back to pre-Cold War….in those days military service was not the “hero” worship it is today……the peacetime military was small, skeletal force whose nain function was to train the civilian population to be used militarily if the need were to arise.

We are getting more and more involved in the situations around the globe…..and we have only a limited amount of troops to carry out the policies of our admins…..and it appears that those troops will lessened even further……we appear to be trying to return to the days of the skeletal force……

In 1940, the head count for active-duty soldiers in the US Army was 269,023, a low that hasn’t been reached since, the Army Times reports. But due to budget cutbacks, a drawdown plan announced last summer to whittle manpower by 40,000 troops has left the Army with its lowest post-World War II count yet: 479,172 soldiers, which is 154 fewer than those on active duty during the previous post-WWII low hit in 1999.

“These are not cuts the Army wants to make, these are cuts required by [the] budget environment in which we operate,” the Army’s vice chief of staff said in July when the plan was first announced, Fox News reports. Per the Defense Manpower Data Center, there are also just over 548,000 soldiers in reserve, bringing the total number of Army troops to 1,027,196. The ultimate goal: to hit a total force number of 980,000 by the end of September 2018.

Back in the day we had the draft to make up the difference in case of dire need…..but the Congress may finally eliminate that fall back position…..

This year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) looks set to decide the question of whether women aged 18-26 will have to register for the military draft in the United States, with a vote likely next week on Rep. Pete Sessions’ (R – TX) legislation attempting to block language that would require women to register.

The debate has happened off and on for decades and came up again with calls from the Army and Marine chiefs of staff calling for women to be brought into the Selective Service system in the name of “equality.” The Selective Service Act requires all men 18-26 to register, though none have been conscripted since 1973.

This led to some bipartisan efforts to satisfy the desire for equality in the more straightforward way, ending the Selective Service outright, though ultimately this didn’t happen and the committee put language into the NDAA forcing women to register. Sessions’ bill would remove that language.

Questions about who is or isn’t eligible for conscription have long been treated as purely academic, and officials have downplayed the money wasted on the unused Selective Service system. Secretary of State John Kerry, however, recently spoke out in support of bringing back the draft, saying he has “deep reservations” about America’s all-volunteer military.

Let’s say we drop the draft….what then when the country needs recruits fast?  Or will we start limiting our international entanglements?  (Raucous laughter…like that will EVER happen)

Veterans And The Choice Program

I have been an outspoken critic of the services that this country is withholding from its veterans…..and as usual Congress, especially the conservatives are looking for a “better” way for the vets to get what we owe them….

The Veterans Choice Program?  What is this?

For Veterans who have faced unacceptable waiting times for needed medical care, or for whom a regular VA medical facility is inaccessible, the Veteran Choice Program (VCP) will make it possible for you to receive the needed care from a non-VA health care provider in your community.

The Veterans Choice Card (Choice Card) has been distributed to all Veterans enrolled for care at VA. Veterans will receive a letter in the mail along with the Choice Card and information about eligibility. The cards were mailed first to those VA believes are in immediate need and meet the eligibility requirements. If you have recently moved or your primary residence has changed, complete VA Form 10-10EZR to update your information and contact your enrollment coordinator at your nearest VA medical facility.

The Choice Card will enhance other treatment options already available at VA and is designed to improve wait times and access. It does not impact existing VA health care or any other VA benefit – it just offers other options for care when VA cannot meet Veterans’ health care needs.

There seems to be a bit of a push back against this program by several veterans groups……

The nation’s largest veterans groups have lined up to oppose any expansion of the Veterans Affairs Choice program that would allow all veterans who are eligible for VA medical care to use it.

The stand, by the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and others, places the groups squarely in the corner of VA Secretary Bob McDonald, who has called proposals favoring private care for veterans over VA facilities, a “dereliction” of department duties, and at odds with seven powerful U.S. senators, including Arizona Republican John McCain, who have proposed legislation to lift restrictions on Choice.

Source: Veterans groups oppose Choice program expansion

There seems to be a gimmick when it comes to the health of our veterans….why is that?

I am not very knowledgeable about this program but if there are any vets out there that would like to shred some light on this for the readers of IST……I would appreciate the help understanding.