Wars That Were Mistakes

It is Sunday and what better time for a little history?  What better time to correct some historic misconceptions?

AS most people know that I am an antiwar supporter after witnessing combat first hand…..

With Ukraine exploding and the war of words over Taiwan the US seems to be running head long into another war……of all the wars that have erupted since the end of WW2….must were a mistake that all it did was waste money and cost many American lives.

Wars like the Spanish-American, World War One, Vietnam….this is the one that I am most familiar with…..Vietnam…..

The U.S. war in Vietnam had an undeniably just cause which was to defend the Republic of South Vietnam from Communist takeover. However, Vietnam was never a U.S. vital national interest and the loss of 58,000 soldiers killed in action was not justifiable and did nothing to further U.S. national security. This is particularly the case given that Communist North Vietnam ended up annexing South Vietnam anyway, and the Communists took control of Laos and Cambodia as well. The Vietnam War proved to be the worst strategic mistake by U.S. leaders since President Harry Truman cut off all military assistance to the Nationalists in 1946 at a time when they were on the verge of winning the Chinese Civil War—leading mainland China to fall to the Communists instead.

That is one read about the others….

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/8-wars-united-states-should-never-have-fought-201824

Any opinions on these wars?

As long as we are talking about Vietnam…..here is some info that you probably did not know…..

We all have heard about the bravery and costs of places like Khe San, Hue…..but most of that was all show…..did we win all conflicts with our superior military?

Not really they were seldom reported….you know keep the home fires burning brightly….sort of thing….

One theme presented by supporters of the American empire is the U.S. military is invincible and can never lose unless stabbed in the back by impatient politicians. They claim the U.S. military never lost a battle during the entire Vietnam war. On August 30, 2011, President Barack Obama proclaimed to a gathering of veterans: But let it be remembered that you won every major battle of that war. Every single one.” Vietnam vet Senator John McCain repeated this lie in a 2013 article in the “Wall Street Journal.” This myth was disputed by America’s most decorated officer of that war, Colonel David Hackworth, in his book “About Face.” The U.S. military had every advantage, yet mistakes were made and battles lost. Internet research turns up these 112 lost battles of the Vietnam war: 

1. Battle of Ap Bac – In January 1963, American advisors launched a battle after they pressured reluctant South Vietnamese officers to use American air mobility assets to destroy the Viet Cong. The attack was a disaster in which the VC mauled a far larger force while shooting down five American helicopters (pictured) and damaging eight, while killing three Americans and wounding eight.

2. The Sinking of the USNS Card – This World War II aircraft carrier was later used as a transport for American military cargo. On May 2, 1964, it was moored in a heavily defended harbor in the Saigon River. Two VC commandos crawled down a sewer pipe and attached explosives to the ship. The explosion knocked a huge hole in the hull and killed five American crewmen, causing the ship to sink 45 feet to the river bed.

There are so many more…..checkout the list…..

http://www.g2mil.com/lost_vietnam.htm

As you can see not all was blued skies and unicorns….and I would bet every war has had their failures that we seldom hear about until many years later.

Here is one last thought—-the US has been in a state of war since the end of WW2…..that is damn near 80 years….just think what this country could have accomplished with the funds that was wasted on wars we could win.

Was all that waste worth it in the end?

Say what is on your mind

Have a day…..be well….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A Bummer For The Army

The news that is not making news is the US Army is having a problem looking for recruits to sign up…….

The Army is running short of soldiers. The military branch is projected to end the current fiscal year with 466,000 soldiers, which CBS News reports is about 20,000 short of the goal. And the trend line is only getting worse—the total at the end of the 2023 fiscal year is expected to drop to between 445,000 and 452,000. Army Secretary Christine Wormuth and Gen. James McConville, the Army’s chief of staff, have laid all this out in a new memo, along with potential ways to boost recruitment—mainly through signing bonuses and more choices about where recruits eventually will get stationed.

As USA Today notes, military recruitment typically suffers when employment is robust in the private sector, and that’s clearly the case in 2022, with unemployment hovering near historic lows. The Army is offering $50,000 bonuses for those who sign up for six years, and $35,000 bonuses for those who can ship out within 45 days of recruitment. Through April, the Army had met just 68% of its goal, a shortfall of more than 8,000 soldiers, notes the newspaper. The Navy also was short, though only by 8%, or about 1,500 sailors, while the Air Force, Marines, and Space Force were all on track with their recruitment goals.

“We’ve got unprecedented challenges with both a post-COVID-19 environment and labor market, but also private competition with private companies that have changed their incentives over time,” Gen. Joseph Martin, vice chief of staff of the Army, told a House panel this week, per CNN. If the projections for 2023 prove to be accurate, the Army will have missed its original goal by about 28,000 soldiers. Martin noted that only 23% of Americans ages 17 to 24 meet the physical requirements to join the Army, a figure that’s also on the decline.

Is that a good answer to the problem?  To try and bribe people to join.

Read more on this growing problem…

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2022/07/19/army-will-be-up-to-28000-troops-understrength-vice-chief-tells-congress/

Why is this?

I thought it was a high honor to serve your country…..I guess I was mistaken……

A veteran explains why this is a problem…..

Popular gun Youtuber Iraqveteran8888 points out that people (presumably he means the rightwing where most military recruits originate) have lost faith in our institutions, largely due to the implementation of what he describes as “woke” policies:

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/a-veteran-explains-why-people-arent-joining-the-military/

Could this be the final nail in the coffin of the all-volunteer Army?

Thoughts from the American Conservative…..

A half-century after the end of the draft and the implementation of the All-Volunteer Force (AVF), has the United States Armed Forces found itself in an existential crisis?

The Pentagon recently reported all its branches of service were failing or struggling to meet recruiting requirements for the current fiscal year. The Army alone has met just 40 percent of its annual goal and there are only two months left in the fiscal year. In the beginning of 2022, the U.S. military had 1.3 million active-duty service members—over a third of which were in the Army alone—making it the third-largest military in the world, plus a National Guard and Reserve component bigger than most countries’ entire forces.

The End of the All-Volunteer Force?

Back in the 60s I was an anti-draft protester…..but that has changed.  Why?  There is no common experience for Americans…the nation is depending on a very small percentage to protect and serve their country.

I think the country would be better off if there were something that brought us together…..it is sad that mandatory military service could be that common ground.

So will it be conscription or just more money dangled before poor kids to con them into ‘volunteering’?

Please let me know your thoughts

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Military Advisers?

Does Vietnam ring a bell?

As the war in Ukraine drags on and we hear this side or that is winning….a couple of representatives have horrible idea……they think we should send in military advisers to Ukraine.

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers visited Kyiv on Saturday, and two members of the delegation told Fox News that they support the idea of the Pentagon sending military advisors to Ukraine, which would significantly escalate US involvement in the war.

After meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) said he supported sending military advisors into Ukraine to oversee weapons shipments and help with intelligence and logistics. “It could be contracted, it could be civilian, but it could be military as well,” he said.

“I don’t think anybody is advocating for any [American] military on the front line, but helping with logistics, planning those operations, integrating the intelligence is incredibly important right now,” Waltz added said.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) also expressed support for sending military advisors to track weapons shipments. “It would be good to have a logistics officer here to make sure that we understand and track the weaponry that we’re sending,” she said.

Last month, The New York Times reported that there is CIA personnel operating in Ukraine to direct intelligence sharing with Kyiv. The report said there are also commandos in the country from Britain, France, Canada, and Lithuania to help facilitate the transfer of Western arms, but there is currently no known US military presence in Ukraine.

Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, was also part of the delegation that visited Kyiv but wasn’t quoted saying he supported sending military advisors.

(antiwar.com)

Seriously?

Have any of these idiots every read a book?

Military advisers lead to the US escalation in Vietnam and we know where that lead (well some of us but not these morons)…..

Maybe a good idea would be to check out just who pays their ‘donations’……my money is on the M-IC.

Hopefully the rest of the Congress will see the folly of this idea….but I will not hold my breath.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Money Well Spent

Would you like 450,000% return on your investment?

A silly question….of course you would.

Well that is the return on the bribes the Defense industry gave to Congress and all members got their blood money.

I know….I know….I bitch a lot about the M-IC but seriously (?) this is ridiculous….

Military contractors give members of Congress millions of dollars in hopes of boosting the Pentagon budget—a practice that could have a huge payoff for the next fiscal year, according to an analysis published Thursday by the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.

The new report reveals the industry poured about $10.2 million into 2022 campaign and political action committee (PAC) contributions for members of key committees, and contractors could see a nearly 450,000% return on that investment.

The sector gave $2,990,252 to members of the House Armed Services Committee and $7,175,092 to members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, or a total of $10,165,344 for this election cycle.

President Joe Biden requested an $813 billion Pentagon budget for fiscal year 2023. The House committee in June voted to add about $37 billion, while the Senate panel last month voted for a $45 billion increase above the White House request.

As the Public Citizen report—which relies on campaign finance data from OpenSecrets.org—explains:

Notably, the average campaign contribution from the military-industrial complex to a member of the House or Senate Armed Services Committee who voted “yes” to increase military spending for FY23 is more than triple the average campaign contribution from the military-industrial complex to those who voted “no.” Those who voted “yes” received average contributions of $151,722. Those who voted “no” received average contributions of $42,967.

The House committee’s top recipients from the past two years who recently voted to boost the Pentagon budget were Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) at $404,525; Rob Wittman (R-Va.) at $237,799; Mike Turner (R-Ohio) at $150,950; Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) at $131,000; and Elaine Luria (D-Va.) at $127,743. Rogers is the panel’s top Republican.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/07/07/weapons-industrys-10-million-investment-congress-could-yield-450000-return

You still cannot see the corruption going on?

Do you still think that you have a voice in Congress?

You do if you have millions to bribe a Congressperson….if not you are just a means to an end and have little sway over the decisions these slugs have to give.

At what point do we allow this corruption to continue?

Greed and corruption are the politics of today….and the Congress cashes (no pun intended) in….and cases in massively.

Not to worry this corruption will continue and continue….and you worry about the corruption in say Russia….look a little closer to home….you will be surprised.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Pentagon Does The Right Thing

In my opinion for the wrong reasons…..

The Pentagon has come out on the side of ‘reproductive rights’….(for now)

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Friday that the Pentagon is working to ensure that members of the military, their families and its civilian employees will still have access to “reproductive health care” after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Why it matters: The Defense Department currently does not have a policy to accommodate service members or employees who are seeking an abortion but are stationed in a state that has outlawed abortion, Politico reports.

  • Federal law currently allows military medical facilities to provide abortions only in cases of rape, incest or if a woman’s life is in danger, while the military’s health program is allowed to cover abortions at private facilities for those same reasons only.

What they’re saying: “Nothing is more important to me or to this Department than the health and well-being of our Service members, the civilian workforce and DOD families,” Austin said in a statement on Friday.

  • “I am committed to taking care of our people and ensuring the readiness and resilience of our Force. The Department is examining this decision closely and evaluating our policies to ensure we continue to provide seamless access to reproductive health care as permitted by federal law,” he added.

The big picture: The court’s decision may further strain the military’s recruitment efforts — already hampered by low employment and other factors as potential recruits may fear being stationed in states that have banned abortions, according to Bloomberg.

  • Women make up around 20% of the military’s 1.3 million-member active-duty force, and 95% of them are of reproductive age, according to Stars and Stripes citing department statistics.

(axios.com)

Ain’t that some kind of special?

My thoughts is that this will be a recruiting tool…..I mean the Pentagon has a hard time doing anything about sexual assaults, rape and such, in the military why else would they be so concerned about reproductive rights?

Next this ought o make conservs lose their under productive little minds.  (Something that would give me hours of enjoyment)

But here is a thought for them….punish the Pentagon by slashing their budget by $250 billion and use the cash for infrastructure and social programs.

That is just my wishful thinking for that will never happen….the M-IC and its oligarchs will slip lots of cash to our Congress to soothe their troubled minds.

This is nothing more than a news trap….in other words bullsh*t.

Any thoughts of this little piece of theater?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Drone Operator’s Dilemma

We all are aware of the death and destruction that our military drones can deliver on our many perceived ‘enemies’.

They are deadly and administer a punishment indiscriminately.

Since these drones are pilot-less has anyone considered the operators?

Probably not….but their actions are having a toll on the mental faculties.

Kevin Larson was a churchgoing Eagle Scout and honors student with dreams of becoming a fighter pilot. He received his officer’s commission in 2012, but by then, the Air Force didn’t need airplane pilots, it needed drone pilots. Larson was disappointed, according to a story in the New York Times by Dave Philipps, but he settled in and did his job, completing some 650 combat missions and launching 188 deadly airstrikes from 2013 to 2018. All the details of Larson’s missions are classified, and because drone pilots aren’t considered combat troops, he did not receive the psychiatric resources, recovery periods, and other benefits offered to deployed troops. Instead, per the Times, he was treated as an ordinary office worker.

What started as a “tightly controlled operation” in the wake of 9/11 has steadily expanded, especially after the Obama and Trump administrations loosened the rules of engagement. Times investigations show that “over time, the rules meant to protect civilians broke down … and the number of innocent people killed in America’s air wars grew to be far larger than the Pentagon would publicly admit,” writes Philipps. The USAF is working to provide more support for drone crews now, but for many—including Larson—it’s too late. After a breakdown and a bust for psychedelic drugs, which he used for self-medication, Larson was convicted in military court on multiple charges. Fearing a jail sentence, he fled into the wilderness, and—with police drones searching overhead—he shot himself. Per the Times, on Larson’s military file under “Combat Service” is the word “none.”

(Read the full story.)

I am sorry but what did they expect?

War is not some silly game like HALO or other such killing games…..you cannot hit the ‘restart’ button and make things right.

Drones kill….men, women and children it is indiscriminate….there is NO restart to bring them back from death.

Any thoughts?

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Another Interventionist Speaks

AS the conflict in Ukraine continues there are those here in the US that are calling for US troops to intervene…..Congresspeople, pundits, and retired generals….and there is the latest war hawk calling for US troops…

Former NATO top commander Gen. Philip Breedlove is the latest big name to come out for putting troops on the ground in Ukraine. Breedlove, who has been angling for weeks for a more muscular policy against Russia, told The Times of London that it’s time for real action. And he may have the ear of the White House: the article says he’s named as one of “several high-ranking retired commanders advising the Biden administration on Ukraine.”

“So what could the West do? Well, right now there are no Russian troops west of the Dnieper River. So why don’t we put Nato troops into western Ukraine to carry out humanitarian missions and to set up a forward arms supply base?”

Of course it wouldn’t stop there. Most likely Russia will react aggressively, if not explosively, since setting up “a forward arms supply base” would be fully entering this war on the side of Ukraine. NATO would be a co-belligerent in every way, with its 40,000 troops now stationed on alliance’s eastern front considered future enemy combatants. At the end of April, the Pentagon mobilized some 14,000 troops, along with F-35 strike fighters and Apache helicopters to Poland, Hungary, and the Baltics. A total of 100,000 U.S. troops now spread across Europe would no doubt be on some level of alert if NATO entered the fray.

Former US-NATO commander wants to put troops on the ground in Ukraine

Seriously?

Old soldiers never go away…they hide behind national security to get the rest of us killed.

Why are troops always the answer for these people?

This ‘solution’ has seldom ended well for the US and its troops.  The attitude that “we are the US and we are here to help” has seldom worked out the way it was planned….but yet it is always the answer for these people.

When will we stop continuously looking for as military solution and start trying to find ways to solve conflict without the use of US troops?

Just wondering.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Ukraine No-Fly Zone

The big Ukrainian ask of the West is the implementation of a ‘no-fly zone’ over Ukraine. 

There are many Americans that also think the best thing for the US is to impose a “No-Fly” zone over Ukraine to help the people fight against the troops of ‘Vlad the Invader’…..and the case keeps being made by Ukrainian lawmakers as well as the president of that country.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is urging President Biden and NATO to impose a “no-fly zone” over “significant parts” of the country, telling Axios in a statement that Ukraine “can beat the aggressor” if the Western allies “do their part.”

(axious.com)

Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksandra Ustinova continued to make the case.

“We need to protect our sky, and that’s why we need a no-fly zone,” Ustinova said. “I know this is something that nobody wants to talk about because everybody is scared of Vladimir Putin. … My only question here to the international community would be, what is the red line for him? What is the red line when you actually step in? How many children have to die?”

On Friday, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., called for the implementation of a no-fly zone, stating that it would “disrupt Russias air [operations] to give the heroic Ukrainians a fair fight. It’s now, or later.”

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., joined him on Monday.

A No-Fly Zone?

A terrible idea!

Why?

First how many know what is actually meant by a ‘no-fly zone’?

A no-fly zone refers to any region of airspace where it has been established that certain aircraft cannot fly.

It can be used to protect sensitive areas, such as royal residences, or brought in temporarily over sporting events and large gatherings.

In a military context, a no-fly zone is designed to stop aircraft from entering banned airspace, usually to prevent attacks or surveillance.

It has to be enforced by military means.

That could be surveillance, pre-emptive strikes against defensive systems or bringing down aircraft which enter the restricted area.

A no-fly zone over Ukraine would mean that military forces – specifically Nato forces – would engage directly with any Russian planes spotted in those skies and shoot at them if necessary.

(bbc.com)

An article as published in Vox.com…..

This is a catastrophic idea. Stripped of cant, the US announcing a no-fly zone in Ukraine would be an American declaration of war on Russia — the first major conflict between the two nations that, put together, control 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons.

“A No Fly Zone is not a magical umbrella that prevents planes flying in a given area. It’s a decision to shoot at planes that fly in a given area,” explains Olga Oliker, the International Crisis Group’s director for Europe and Central Asia. “To put in a no fly zone is to go to war.”

This would put NATO and the US in direct action against Russia if the ‘zone’ is to be enforced….now is that really something the US needs to do?  (Think Afghanistan and Iraq)

It started to sound like Ukraine is begging for the US and NATO to go into direct confrontation against Russia…..

I understand the urgency that Ukraine has assigned to this issue….they are just trying to survive…I can sympathize with their desire and their plight….but I still do not think the US needs a new war to contend with right now.

But all this depends on how much lobbying and cash is passed around in DC…..I remember how Wilson was conned into WW1….will Biden be that easy?

The ‘No-Fly Zone’ is a really bad idea.

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–14Feb22

Happy Valentine’s Day to all my readers and their loved ones.

The US is engaged in several wars (all of which are undeclared) and with our troops are stretched so thin the country has turned to the state’s National Guard to fill the gaps in troops.

I have a problem with this on several levels…..Nat Guard is the state’s to use in time of emergencies…they should be used by the states not the national military muscle.

There has been a movement to keep the troops out of unauthorized wars…….

According to the Constitution, Congress has the sole power to declare war—but that hasn’t stopped presidents from sending U.S. troops to many conflicts that haven’t been congressionally authorized. Now state lawmakers across the country are introducing legislation that could challenge unconstitutional deployments.

“Defend the Guard” legislation would allow state governments to prevent their National Guard units from being deployed into conflicts abroad unless U.S. military involvement has been officially authorized by Congress through a declaration of war. “Over 45% of the soldiers deployed in the Global War on Terror have been National Guardsmen,” notes Defend the Guard, a project of BringOurTroopsHome.US. By withholding this manpower, Defend the Guard notes that states could compel the federal government to limit “its endless wars and ensure that the U.S. Constitution is followed.”

Congress last issued a declaration of war in 1942, during World War II. The U.S. military footprint abroad has ballooned in the 80 years since. Active-duty American soldiers are involved in counterterrorism training missions in 65 nations and are engaged in direct-fire combat operations in 14 of them. The U.S. conducts drone strikes in seven countries.

None of these activities have been explicitly authorized by Congress, but many have been made possible through Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs) issued in 2001 and 2002. The AUMFs give the president broad discretion “to use all necessary and appropriate force” against “nations, organizations, or persons” determined to have been involved in the September 11 attacks. The 2001 AUMF has been used to justify 41 operations in 19 countries, while the 2002 AUMF hasn’t been the sole authorization used in any military force since 2011.

Defend the Guard legislation seeks to hobble this presidential carte blanche. Lawmakers in Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and other states have introduced bills in the past month that would keep their National Guardsmen out of unauthorized conflicts. Should these bills pass, the federal government would still be able to deploy the National Guard to other states or send them to training missions abroad, among other explicitly constitutional activities. A 1990 Supreme Court decision ruled that the federal government could deploy a state’s National Guard for peacetime training purposes without a governor’s approval.

These Bills Would Keep the National Guard Out of Unconstitutional Wars

This in my opinion is a good thing….the states should be in control of their troops.  If the US wants to use these troops then they need to grow spine a start declaring these wars.

In stead they just keep using troops that are not theirs to use.

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–24Jan22

“Join the Army–Visit beautiful and exotic places and kill the people”

That was a poster and slogan from back in the 60s at protests against war…..

It seems that the US military is offering the one thing that most Americans understand….MONEY.

The problem is declining enlistments…..

Labor shortages aren’t just hitting the private sector during the pandemic. The military has been affected, too, though the US Army is now offering a carrot it hopes will bring in more recruits. An enlistment bonus of up to $50,000—the Army’s biggest ever—is now on the table for newbies who embark on certain career paths and agree to a six-year active-duty enlistment, reports NBC News. “This is an opportunity to entice folks to consider the Army,” Brig. Gen. John Cushing says in a release. The Army hopes to use the financial incentives for jobs that are hard to fill or that it has a special need to fill at the moment, especially those that keep training bases up and running.

In the past, the most a recruit could hope for in terms of a bonus was $40,000. Now, officials have tacked on “critical accession” payments, as well as “quick-ship” bonuses if the recruit agrees to head off to basic training within 90 days. The example the release offers is someone who signs up to be an air and missile defense crew member, which comes with a $40,000 career-based incentive. Currently, that role also comes with a $9,000 critical accession bonus, and if the recruit packs up for basic training within the next 90 days, they can tack on an extra $1,000 quick-ship bonus to reach the $50,000 maximum.

That cap will admittedly be difficult to reach, as it’s for the most elite positions, such as signals intelligence and Special Forces, notes the AP. Maj. Gen. Kevin Vereen, who heads up the Army’s recruiting division, tells the outlet that recruiters have faced big challenges over the past two years, as the pandemic has prompted school shutdowns—”we lost a full class of young men and women that we didn’t have contact with, face to face”—and a competitive job market that’s been luring young people who might otherwise consider the military.

The Army is counting on greed to fill the ranks….let me ask is that money worth the chance of spending a life trying to recover from PTSD or debilitating wounds?

Is your life worth $50K?

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”