Time For A Revisit 1973

My regulars know that I cannot let the fact that we are still fighting wars started before my granddaughter was born and she is 15 now…..and I do harp on the conflicts a bit much but since few people see the necessity to keep these wars in the minds of our people I feel that I must do so.  And yes I am anti-war and hope that if people see what is happening to our country and our military they too will see the need to end all this intervention for the sake of intervention.

Let’s start with 1973.

The year before the resignation of Nixon……so what could be so important that we should revisit that year?

The War Powers Act……..Congress passed the War Powers Resolution in 1973, it did so to reestablish procedures for Congress and the president to share responsibility for the introduction of armed forces into foreign conflicts. By explicitly limiting the executive’s prerogative to initiate or escalate military actions, the act affirmed that such power rests with Congress. The founders assigned Congress this most important authority to ensure solemn debate and prevent the kinds of foreign policy disasters that plagued European monarchies.

I have bitched in the past about the fact that the Congress needs to step up ans exercise their power by re-defining the AUMF…….the Congress has been wimping out for decades and that we are fighting a conflict on most continents maybe now would be a good time to revisit the War Powers Resolution of 1973……..

The ongoing hostilities in Yemen are just the sort of conflict the founders meant to avoid. The Saudi monarchy’s war has become a foreign policy debacle for the United States, and hell-on-earth for the Yemenis. Indeed, the cholera crisis now facing the country is the worst in recorded history.

Yemen’s deteriorating circumstances offer Congress an opportunity to reclaim its constitutional mandate and help resolve a humanitarian catastrophe by demanding deliberation viz. material and logistical support for Saudi’s war of attrition.


The US Congress is staffed with cowards….they are afraid to do anything at all for it may piss off someone and it might cost them votes or worse…….. donations.

War after war is the future as long as the Congress refuses to act…….costing this country massive amounts of cash and the lives of our citizens……

When will enough be enough for the American people?


Are The Generals Failing Our Troops?

I will not lie to my readers….I am an anti-war proponent and have been so since the 1970’s….I see our military personnel being pushed to their limits by the multiple deployments and the multiple wars been fought and to what aim?

In the past generals have gone to the president and told him what needed to be done and what wars we needed to fight….those days are gone with the promise of cushy jobs awaiting the generals upon retirement….

We need generals with a backbone that cares more about the troops than his retirement……

September 2006. Iraq was falling apart. Nearly 100 American troops were being killed a month. The war seemed hopeless, unwinnable (because it ultimately was). So the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Peter Pace, convened a “council of colonels’ – purportedly some of the brightest minds in the military – to recommend new policies. Only three, reportedly, had any combat experience in Iraq, but still, these guys were sharp. The group debated endlessly and eventually reached an impasse. They had three separate proposals and the group generally divided along service lines. Some Air Force and Navy guys wanted a phased withdrawal – the “Go Home” option – but their ideas were promptly dismissed. Other (mostly army and marine officers) wanted to “engage in prolonged conflict – the “Go Long” option. Finally, the most prominent army officers – including America’s current National Security Adviser, H.R. McMaster – wanted to “Go Big” and heavily reinforce the troops in Iraq with a “surge.” You can guess which side won out.

George W. Bush liked the can-do optimism of the “surge” team and doubled down. Violence briefly dropped, a couple thousand more American troops died, and the military promptly declared victory. We’re still dealing with the fallout.


We need generals that will do what is needed to keep the country from fighting unnecessary wars ….wars of profit……

Yes we now have entered into a time of perpetual wars…….the costs of these wars have made the country less safe and a falling apart infrastructure……

I’m in my mid-thirties, which means that, after the 9/11 attacks, when this country went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq in what President George W. Bush called the “Global War on Terror,” I was still in college. I remember taking part in a couple of campus antiwar demonstrations and, while working as a waitress in 2003, being upset by customers who ordered “freedom fries,” not “French fries,” to protest France’s opposition to our war in Iraq. (As it happens, my mother is French, so it felt like a double insult.) For years, like many Americans, that was about all the thought I put into the war on terror. But one career choice led to another and today I’m co-director of the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.


Our generals should remember the old slogan from the 70’s…..”War  is good business….Invest your children”……

Yemen War Update

Recently Congress attempted to flex its muscle and invoke the AUMF in the Yemen War fiasco….

On February 28, Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 54, a resolution that seeks to end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. Even before the resolution was introduced, the Department of Defense responded with the extraordinary claim that Congress lacked the legal authority to “override the President’s determination as Commander in Chief” and end the United States’ involvement in the conflict.

To catch my reader up on the situations……March of 2015, a coalition of nine Arab governments, led by Saudi Arabia, began a bombing campaign in Yemen. The Saudi airstrikes were aimed at restoring to power the internationally recognized government of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who had been deposed by an armed rebel group known as the Houthis.

Since 2015, the United States has been refueling Saudi planes in mid-air before their bombing runs into Yemen. As of last October, the military reported that the U.S. had provided over 80 million pounds of fuel, and refueled over 10,400 in “the Horn of Africa region.” (This total includes support for U.S. and allied counterterrorism operations as well as the Saudi coalition’s war in Yemen. The number of airstrikes by the Saudi coalition is orders of magnitude higher than the number of reported U.S. counterterrorism strikes, so refueling for Saudi planes for operations in Yemen likely constitutes a large share of the total). The war has killed thousands of civilians and contributed to epidemics and widespread food shortages.

The M-IC when it heard about the attempt by Congress went into “get tough mode”…….

The multi-trillion-dollar military-industrial-counterterrorism complex (MICC) has a business model for scuttling legislation that would end or curtail the involvement of the United States in military operations overseas.This typically involves leaking classified falsehoods, i.e., a false statement that the executive branch has classified to prohibit disclosure to the general public on the theory that disclosure might damage the national security of the United States (Executive Order 13526). Typically they will purport to demonstrate catastrophic danger or damage to the United States if Congress ends a use of the United States Armed Forces (USAF) in a designated conflict. Leaks like these will tend to fall into the hands of favored columnists like David Ignatius of The Washington Post or Tom Friedman of The New York Times.


The issue is dead!  The M-IC has defeated any effort to end a barbaric war that is causing a humanitarian crisis….death, destruction, disease, and so much more….but to preserve their profits the M-IC will continue to fuel the crisis on the Arabian Peninsula…..

In a surprising admission on Tuesday, the head of U.S. Central Command — which oversees U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central Asia — admitted that the Pentagon doesn’t know a whole lot about the Saudi airstrikes in Yemen that the United States is supporting through intelligence, munitions, and refueling.


This is NOT what the US is suppose to stand for…but these days it is all we have.

Update to the update……..

Senate Joint Resolution 54, which would force the end of the US involvement in the Saudi War in Yemen, continues to face mounting opposition from the administration. Defense Secretary James Mattis is the latest to express opposition to the bill, in a letter to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Mattis argues that the US support for Saudi Arabia is “non-combat support,” and that without it, Saudi Arabia would kill even more civilians in their airstrikes. This is a bold prediction given the outrageous number of civilians the Saudis are killing already.

Mattis further claims that the Saudis are engaged in a “legitimate exercise of self-defense,” another outrageous claim that other administration officials have made. This is based on the Shi’ite Houhis firing missiles at the Saudis, though presenting this as a pretext for a war of self-defense is preposterous, since the missiles were fired years after the Saudi invasion began.

Mattis does concede the point in his letter that there is no legal authorization for US involvement in the Yemen War, but insists Congress should “not impose restrictions” based on the war’s plain illegality under the War Powers Act.

Exact timing for the vote on S.J. Res 54 is still not certain, though proponents of the bill are hopeful that the vote will come early next week. Those wishing to contact their senators to urge them to support SJ Res. 54 should call 1 (202) 899-8938.

The US War Powers Act requires that Congress authorize any US military operations of the sort being carried out in Yemen. Since 2015, the US has conducted mid-air refueling for Saudi warplanes, and committed warships to the naval blockade which is fueling starvation across Yemen.


Man’s Best Friend

Hopefully you remembered to Spring forward…..`the most worthless governmental program….daylight savings time.

Sunday and I am sitting in the garden with my best friend Jazzy, she and I became friends just after Hurricane Katrina and since she had nowhere to go she came home with me and we have been thick as thieves ever since.

I have always been a dog person…..cats are cool but to me nothing beats a dog…..so when I read some news about mistreatment of dogs I usually go ballistic…..so I read some disturbing news and the mistreatment is from the US military……

A report finds that the Army failed to do right by some of the more than 200 bomb-sniffing dogs that served with US soldiers in Afghanistan, detecting roadside bombs and saving lives, the AP reports. The Defense Department’s inspector general has determined that, after the program ended in 2014, some soldiers struggled or were unable to adopt the dogs they had handled. This included two dogs among 13 that were given to a private company to be used as service dogs for veterans but then abandoned at a Virginia kennel. The report says Congress amended the law in 2015 to give handlers top priority in adopting their dogs. The inspector general also faults the military for not properly screening those adopting the dogs, including law enforcement agencies and private individuals.

More on this situation…….


Despicable treatment of a soldier that saved lives and served honorably….if they do this then how badly are they treating the two legged veterans?

This story made me sick!

As long as we are focused on the VA here….

To say things are strained at the VA would be a massive understatement. That’s the thrust of a report from the Washington Post, which interviewed 16 Trump administration officials and others. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has lost trust in his senior staff and may be facing a mutiny. He’s attempted to fire at least six members of his senior management, and some officials are pushing the White House to remove him. It’s gotten so bad Shulkin has posted an armed guard outside his office, banned staffers he thinks are against him from his executive suite, stopped meeting with political appointees of President Trump, and hasn’t spoken to his public-affairs chief in weeks. “Things have come to a grinding halt,” a senior manager says. “It’s killing the agency. Nobody trusts each other.”

There are a number of issues at play outside of personality differences. For one, Shulkin is the only Obama administration official to get a post in Trump’s Cabinet. There’s also the report stating that taxpayers were misled into paying for Shulkin’s wife to join him on a 10-day European vacation. But most recently Shulkin has upset some in the White House by pushing for a compromise on the Trump-supported plan to allow veterans to choose private doctors that will still be paid for by the VA. There’s fear among veterans groups and unions that the plan will lead to downsizing at the agency. However, some see Shulkin’s unwillingness to buy in fully with that plan as reluctance to “drain the swamp.” Read the full story here for why the national director of veterans affairs for the country’s biggest veterans group says what’s happening is “salacious conspiracy and … treason.”

There seems to be NO department that is not involved in some sort of drama….a dining set at HUD, a $100,000 door for Zinke, and now the VA……and you thought the Teapot Dome was a drama…..the Trump White House beat them all hands down.

I am gonna try and enjoy the rest of my Sunday and let Jazzy know how important she is to me…..thank you for your visits…..chuq

Yemen–Looking For The Solution

Another morning of doctors…..I may not be around much today…..hopefully everyone will have a good Friday.

The US has been entangled in the events in Yemen since the attack on the USS Cole….first we set about trying to find and punish those that planned the attack and after we have been fighting the Houthi tribesmen along with the Saudis.  This little conflict is causing a massive humanitarian crisis……starvation, epidemics, death and destruction…..

The US Senate has stepped up to try and end the US involvement in Yemen….surprise, surprise….it is a bi-partisan endeavor…..

Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) unveiled the bipartisan Senate resolution which aims to force an end to the US military involvement in the Saudi-led invasion of Yemen.

The bill makes use of the 1973 War Powers Act, which allows any legislator to introduce a resolution which would compel a withdrawal from any conflict that was not specifically authorized by Congress in any Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). Neither of the two extent AUMFs have anything to do with the attack on Yemen’s Shi’ite Houthi movement.

This is the first time the Senate will have ever made a War Powers challenge to a conflict. A previous effort at such a legal challenge in the House was derailed by the leadership, and replaced with a “non-binding” resolution noting the Yemen war was unauthorized, which overwhelmingly passed.

Centcom commander Gen. Joseph Votel confirmed to the House Armed Services committee only the day prior that the US does not have an AUMF for Yemen, and that America’s involvement is solely a function of having sold the arms to the Saudis in the first place, and promising to “provide support” for those arms.

Yet legally, Congress is supposed to have the war-making powers, and this Senate effort stands to be the first time in recent history that Congress looks like they might be reasserting that authority.


The US is fighting in too many countries ans this one is one that we need to remove ourselves from……

As early as the next few days, the Senate will have its best opportunity so far to end US support for Saudi Arabia’s devastating war in Yemen — a war that has sparked a humanitarian catastrophe that puts millions of lives at risk.

The vehicle for congressional action is a bipartisan bill introduced last week by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut. The bill would end US refueling and targeting assistance for Saudi Arabia’s bombing, aimed at Houthi rebels in Yemen, unless such actions are authorized by Congress
This is a good start….but it needs to be expanded to include the AUMF and the War Powers Act…..
The Senate started the ball rolling and now the House seems to want to join in……

Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), hosted a bipartisan hearing on the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that for 17 years has been used to exercise executive military action abroad under multiple presidential administrations.

The hearing focused the congressional caucus members’ desire to repeal the 2001 AUMF, hold a congressional debate and vote on a new authorization. The hearing was composed of members from both the House Liberty Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The caucuses say the vote on war isn’t a partisan issue.

“The overly broad and outdated AUMF represents a critical deterioration of congressional oversight of military operations,” a press release from Rep. Amash for the ad-hoc hearing read.

Republicans and Democrats join forces to call for repeal of 2001 AUMF war making powers

The old college try…..finally a glimmer of spines peeks out of the cowardly Congress…..I wish them luck.

A-10 Vs F-35–Remix

My Closing Thought–05Mar18

I have given my opinion on the idea that the A-10 needs replacing for the US military….but instead of writing more than I have to here is a post that I did that explains my thinking…..with other links within……


If you read the post then you know that I think that the ‘Hog cannot be replaced as for close combat support…..and now it looks like there will be an answer to the question of which is best coming this April……

Before moving into operational testing, the joint strike fighter will have to prove its mettle as a close-air support plane to the Pentagon’s independent testers, the F-35 program head said Wednesday.

This April, the Defense Department’s director of operational test and evaluation will scrutinize the F-35’s close-air support and reconnaissance capabilities during a series of flights at Edwards Air Force Base and the Point Mugu Sea Range in California, said Vice Adm. Mat Winter, who leads the F-35 Joint Program Office.

Winter said he isn’t sure whether the close-air support assessment in April — the second increment of tests ahead of this September’s initial operational test and evaluation, or IOT&E — would include the much-hyped F-35 versus A-10 flyoff. But it’s coming soon.


I will be following this and reporting back as soon as possible…..I feel if the tests are up and up then I know which will win the “fly off”…..

My Monday is done….time for a beer and a burrito….see you guys tomorrow and we can pick up where we leave off today……chuq

Closing Thought–02Mar18

Could This Be A Step Closer?

Recently in Syria the US engaged some hostiles in Syria and those troops were Russian in origin…..some say mercenaries but they were Russian citizens……

France 24 published an interview last week with a man it described as a Russian paramilitary chief who provides Russian citizens access to mercenary work in Syria in which he said his countrymen had been galvanized by reports that they were taking an embarrassing loss to US forces.

“Each week I receive five or six new requests,” the man said. “Some call me by phone; others come to see me.”

He said that about 100 people in Russia’s Yekaterinburg region, where he is based, were “planning to go to Syria.”

The man said that after reports that US forces earlier this month crushed an advance of fighters loyal to the Syrian government — troops said to have contained hundreds of Russians — he had seen a change in the volunteers.

“Now it’s more about getting revenge than it is about money,” he said.


The US is selling this attack as self-defense…….

U.S. Military Battle with Possible Russian Mercenaries: ‘Our Strikes Were Done out of Self-Defense’

The Pentagon is reiterating that a battle in Syria that allegedly left some number of Russian mercenaries dead was purely an act of self-defense on the part of U.S. forces. Indeed, the Pentagon still does not know exactly who it is that American forces targeted during their retaliatory strike on Feb. 7.


This could be a diplomatic nightmare but we will never know because we have very few diplomats left……could this spiral out of control of tit for tat attacks?

Keep in mind that the US and Russia and confronting each other in the Baltics, Eastern Europe and Southern Europe….would not take much for this to become a major international problem.

On to the weekend and some much needed enjoyment…..thanx guys….chuq