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?

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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”

Those VA Promises

Today is Veterans Day and this will be my only post for I want to spend time remembering fallen comrades and looking back on my time in service to my country.

21+ Happy Veterans Day Pictures 2021 to Color & Draw for Facebook -  Veterans Day 2021

Since my days in the Army there have been a wealth of promises to our veterans…..so far most of them have not come about…..and the Biden admin is no different…..we have new promises to do something…..

Denis McDonough was part of President Barack Obama’s administration when officials began a high-profile push to solve the problems of veterans homelessness, suicide and toxic exposure illnesses.

Now, a decade later and serving as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, McDonough acknowledges the frustration that the topics are still at the top of his agency’s to-do list.

“I’m not asking anybody for the benefit of doubt. Talk is cheap, full stop,” he said.

“I think I have a pretty good understanding of how to get things done. I think we’re out of the block strong. But again, I’m not asking for any benefit of the doubt. I understand we need to execute on this, and that’s what we intend to do.”

Department officials in August announced that for the first time, some veterans exposed to harmful burn pit smoke while serving in overseas war zones will get presumptive disability benefits, a move that could speed up help for tens of thousands of veterans of the most recent wars.

https://www.militarytimes.com/veterans/2021/11/09/va-secretary-promises-quicker-action-on-burn-pit-benefits-veteran-suicide/

This is strong talk….but vets have had a wealth of strong talk and yet nothing has changed for our many veterans.

I doubt that this will not change a thing….I hope I am mistaken…..

Please find the time to remember our fallen heroes….

Veterans Day 2021 Archives > Tolovana Inn, Cannon Beach, OR

Have a good holiday….Be well and be safe….

I Read, I Write, You KNow

“lego ergo scribo”

The Effects Of Being A Soldier

The army has its first female sniper…..

A Montana soldier is the first woman to graduate from the US Army’s sniper course, the Montana National Guard announced. “We are extremely proud of this soldier’s achievement and recognize that this is a milestone for not only Montana, but the entire National Guard and Army,” said Maj. Gen. J. Peter Hronek, per the AP. The military is not identifying her at this time. The soldier enlisted in the Montana Army National Guard in December 2020 and underwent a 22-week training course at Fort Benning in Georgia that combines Army basic training with advanced individual training in infantry skills.

Her training staff recommended she be given the opportunity to attend the sniper course after she qualified as an expert shooter. She began the US Army sniper course in September and graduated on Nov. 5. “We’re all incredibly proud of her,” says Capt. Joshua O’Neill, her company commander. “There wasn’t a doubt in our minds that she would succeed.” The course trains soldiers to deliver long-range precision fire and to collect battlefield information. Now that her sniper training is completed, she will rejoin her Montana National Guard unit. Though she is the first to complete the Army’s intensive course, several women have previously completed the shorter training of the Air Force, notes Military.com.

I say good for her…..but…….

I recently wrote a post for those thinking about enlisting in the military…..

Thinking Of Enlisting In the Military?

As a continuation I would like for my readers to think about the psychology of being a soldier…

Firstly we all should be aware of the large number to veterans who are choosing suicide as a way out of their torment.

It is a seldom told cost of war.

When I returned from Vietnam I had a difficult time re-entering society. Within 48 hours I went from rain soaked Mekong Delta to the streets of New Orleans…..dealing with that was mind bending….the sounds and smells could trigger a response at any time.

I only had two tours and it is hard to realize what someone is going through with 10 or more deployments.

This article is what the psychological effects of being a soldier….

Supreme Court ruled that there is no place for a cowardly soldier in the army. The incident in question occurred in 2006 in the Kashmir Valley, when the army had surrounded militants inside a cordon. During the ensuing firefight, the dismissed soldier chose not to engage with the cornered militants and instead deserted his post, because of which the militants were able to break the cordon, kill an army personnel and decamp with a machine gun.

The soldier was armed with an assault rifle and a pistol but did not retaliate with either. The honourable bench pointed out that soldiers cannot be exonerated from cowardice just because they had participated wholeheartedly in previous operations, and had never displayed fear prior to this incident and upheld his dismissal from service.

The Psychological Toll of Being a Soldier

These are things that are seldom considered when one enters the military….with promises of signing bonuses and health care and training and….on and on….but NO where is the side effects are discussed….and it should be.

If you are thinking of entering the military to do your part to protect your country then please do some research.

Please, please take the time to do the searches and then weigh the pros and cons of military service….the side effects can be lethal.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Thinking Of Enlisting In the Military?

The airways are full of the opportunities out there for those thinking of making the jump to military service. “Be All You Can Be” sort of thing.

They even brain wash our children into thinking that it is something special by teaching them with ROTC.

Before anyone is considering the jump to the military to broaden their horizons maybe they should read this….written by someone who made the jump and their experiences….

Though the war in Afghanistan is over, its grim history is filled with hard truths about what it really means to serve in the American military.

Those truths are particularly relevant to anyone contemplating enlistment or commissioning in the armed forces. With that in mind, here’s a warning label informed by the grim lessons of Operation Enduring Freedom—the failed and futile 20-year war in Afghanistan.

After 9/11, the U.S. government was right to lash out at Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. However, that mission was largely accomplished by the end of 2001. As Scott Horton wrote in Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan, within three months of 9/11, “there were not enough (al Qaeda) left alive to fill a seventeenth-century pirate ship.”

The balance of the war was a futile effort to replace the Taliban with a government more palatable to western powers. Today, after more than 2,400 U.S. service members were killed and more than 20,000 wounded, Afghanistan is ruled by the Taliban, just as it was two decades years ago.

https://starkrealities.substack.com/p/thinking-of-enlisting-read-this-afghan

I admit it…after serving as a combat grunt I am antiwar all the way….our children need a better education than war.

Please anyone contemplating joining the military please read this and then make an informed decision….for the decision will change your life in so many ways and not always for the better.

Think Before You Sign!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those Unwinnable Wars

Some of have asked for many years just how this country is so terrible at winning wars after such a success in WW2.

Think not?

What was the last won by the US in the last 80 years?

….Pause here for further thought….

Can’t think of one?

Why is that?

Washington’s attempts to back pro-U.S. foreign movements against incumbent regimes have amassed a similar dismal track record. Under the so-called Reagan Doctrine in the 1980s, the United States funded and equipped a number of anti-communist rebel organizations that were trying to oust left-wing regimes in the Third World. The most prominent cases included the Contras in Nicaragua and Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA faction in Angola. Both of those insurgencies ultimately failed to take power. In only one case was Washington’s support for an insurgency successful during that era – backing the mujahidin against the Soviet Union’s occupation forces in Afghanistan. However, that outcome was especially ironic, since many of the mujahidin alumni later showed up in the Taliban. Moreover, the collapse of Moscow’s client regime in Afghanistan foreshadowed what would happen to America’s client in that country. In both cases, a government that a foreign power helped install and prop-up eventually collapsed because of a lack of meaningful domestic roots.

Why US Foreign Clients Collapse – and Collapse Fast

Further thoughts on this is an article from 2018 that tries to explain the reasoning…….

“When I was young, in high school and college, everybody used to say we never lost a war,” Trump told a group of US governors last February. “Now, we never win a war.”

Dominic Tierney, a professor at Swarthmore College and the author of multiple books about how America wages war, may know the reason why.

He believes the US can still successfully fight the wars of yesteryear — World War-style conflicts — but hasn’t yet mastered how to win wars against insurgents, which are smaller fights against groups within countries. The problem is the US continues to involve itself in those kinds of fights.

“We’re still stuck in this view that war is like the Super Bowl: We meet on the field, both sides have uniforms, we score points, someone wins, and when the game ends you go home,” he told me. “That’s not what war is like now.”

The US military is currently mired in conflicts in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. It’s hard to see any end in sight — especially an end where the United States is the victor, however that’s defined.

A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows.

https://www.vox.com/2018/2/15/17007678/syria-trump-war-win-interview

Let’s be honest wars of today are not really about saving the world, the rhetoric is but reality is that it is more about making cash out of destruction and death……the plans maybe about the end game but when since 1954 has it ever worked out?

Disappointing experiences should create an indelible lesson for future US policymakers. The United States usually cannot successfully identify and install capable governments in foreign countries. That point is especially true in societies that are vastly different from American culture in nearly every aspect. We can’t fully comprehend such key factors as their unique histories, religions, economics, and politics. In short, we don’t understand such alien cultures and cannot even begin to shape them effectively to serve Washington’s foreign policy objectives. US leaders keep choosing clients who make statements that echo American values. Even in the rare cases when such clients are sincere, they typically have little domestic support and even less ability to organize their faction effectively. The Afghanistan fiasco is just the latest confirmation of that reality.

War has become an extension to the term “business as usual”…..that needs to change and change NOW!

But as long as the corporations can own a representative then they are guaranteed a steady income for generations.

The people no longer have a vote in war….corporate owned media sees to that and in doing so mutes the voice and the will of the people.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You KNow

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–11Aug21

There are many stories that go under reported because of the laser focus on Covid and infrastructure and other stuff by the MSM.

This report needed more coverage than it received…..

More than half of women soldiers who report sexual harassment say they are repeatedly harassed, according to a Rand Corporation study about sexual harassment and gender discrimination faced by soldiers. The most prevalent forms of harassment are attemptsat unwanted sexual relations, being “ignored,” “mistreated” and “insulted“ due to their gender and hearing they are not as good as men.

Rand released the results of a five-month study that was requested by the Army as part of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s February 2021 order to address sexual assault. The study,comprised of 1,582 female and 900 male active-duty soldiers who reported some form of sexual harassment to the 2018 Workplace and Gender Relations of Active Duty Members survey. It concluded that while men and women both face forms of harassment in the Army, women are more likely to face “serious” or “persistent” harassment.

The WGRA is a biennial survey mandated by Congress to asses the prevalence of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and related issues within the military. In 2018 the survey sampled 735,645 active-duty service members across the military, with 17 percent of respondents self-reporting a form of sexual assault or harassment.

The most prevalent form of harassment experienced by women — reported by 53 percent of respondents — was being “ignored, mistreated,” or “insulted” due to their gender. In addition, 45 percent of women reported hearing that they weren’t as good as men at their job.

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-army/2021/08/03/more-than-half-of-women-in-army-report-facing-some-form-of-sexual-harassment-study/

Apparently the Pentagon had rather fight wars instead of insuring the safety and the mental health of women military participants.

This is so sad…..pathetic even.

Why are women soldiers treated like second class citizens?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”