US Troops Positive News

Let me start by saying that there is lots about Trump’s presidency that I do not now or would ever support….however his decision on the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan is a positive aspect of his rule.

And now he, Trump, has threatened to bring troops home from Germany and some are going bonkers at the thought of no troops in Germany…..but I do believe that he deserves recognition for attempting to fulfill a campaign promise……

This week, President Trump called for a modest reduction of American troops in Germany, reducing them from 34,500 to 25,000 (a great start that will hopefully lead to further reductions there). The Republican neocon caucus responded exactly as you would expect. You’d think the Berlin Wall was still in place and two million Russians were about to invade Germany. Utter nonsense.

With the Cold War now 30 years moribund, the hysteria over removing troops is ludicrous. Meanwhile the very real threat of bankruptcy and menacing debt grows each day. Just this year, the United States will add $4 trillion to the national debt. Can the Germans afford to defend themselves? Without question. Germany actually balances its annual budget every year.

Trump Deserves Credit for Bringing the Troops Home

In Afghanistan the question has been asked…..will we ever get to zero troops deployed in Afghanistan?

This is the agreement between the US and whoever it is we were negotiating with at the time…..

Click to access Agreement-For-Bringing-Peace-to-Afghanistan-02.29.20.pdf

Now a few thoughts on this question…..

The agreement itself suggests that it will not. To understand why requires examining the agreement in a bit more detail. The text of the document contains three main parts. In the first part, the United States agreed to a number of terms. Chief among these is to draw down its military forces to a total of 8,600 troops within 135 days (which has nearly happened) and, subject to the Taliban meeting its obligations, to withdraw all of its remaining forces within another nine and a half months. Washington also agreed to facilitate a prisoner exchange between the Afghan government and the Taliban (which has been happening, albeit slowly). In the second part, the Taliban agreed not to allow any of its members or other groups—explicitly including al-Qaeda—to use Afghanistan to threaten U.S. security or for recruiting, training and fundraising activities designed to do so. The third part of the agreement includes a requirement for the United States to seek endorsement from the United Nations for the deal, which Washington has already done. And it includes these two sentences:

https://www.lawfareblog.com/will-united-states-really-go-zero-troops-afghanistan

I agree…we have way too much invested in Afghanistan to leave it completely….but I have been mistaken in the past and hopefully I am once again.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Attack On Guardsmen

Let me say here that there are some things happening in these protests that I do not agree with in any shape….contrary to popular belief.

While deployed for duty in DC……The National Guard from South Carolina was sent a pizza that had broken glass baked into the crust…..

While deployed in Washington, D.C., responding to protests, two soldiers with the South Carolina National Guard discovered glass in their pizza, a new report says.

The soldiers were staying at the Marriott Marquis Hotel and used Uber Eats to deliver the pizza from an unnamed local establishment, the Post and Courier reports, citing a Defense Department report on the incident. But upon its arrival, the soldiers found the pizza had pieces of glass baked into the dough and cheese.

The soldiers weren’t harmed, and the S.C. National Guard believes it was an isolated incident.

“The service members are okay. It was a single incident. Their command said the Soldiers were advised to file a report with local police department. From my understanding they chose not to. There is no additional information to report,” Capt. Jessica Donnelly, a spokeswoman for the S.C. National Guard, said in an email to Military Times.

(Military Times)

Let me say here that this is unacceptable…..this is an act of terrorism in my book.  This is the act of a coward.

Now my analyst mind kicks in and I ask why was it not reported to the police?

After all it was an attempt on the lives of serving members of the South Carolina National Guard….this was a crime and needed reporting to the police to make the offenders pay for their murderous attempt.

Again…why was this not reported?

Why was the South Carolina National Guard singled out?

Why is the Uber Eats driver not interviewed?

Surely someone out there has an opinion on this incident…after all they have lots to say about stuff that they have no idea what they are talking about….why not this one?

I have a feeling that those most offended by this report will have little say now that it is in the rear view mirror.

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“My Bad…….”

Closing Thought–12Jun20

We all have seen the images of the Head of the Joint Chiefs Of Staff….walking with the president after the suppression of protests so Trump could have a Bible moment in front of a church.

Now the General has said that he should not have been part of the photo op…….

The fallout from President Trump’s now-famous walk from the White House to St. John’s Church continues: On Thursday, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff apologized for joining the president on that June 1 walk in military fatigues, reports CNN. “I should not have been there,” said Army Gen. Mark Milley in commencement remarks at the National Defense University. “My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics. As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from, and I sincerely hope we all can learn from it.”

  • Defense chief: Esper, who also joined the walk, wrote a letter to Congress with Milley reiterating they did not realize the walk would be used for a photo op, reports the Washington Post. “We participated in the walk with the aim of observing damage in Lafayette Square and at (St. John’s) Church, and meeting with and thanking the National Guard members who were on duty,” they wrote.
  • More on the letter: Esper and Milley also sought to clarify the military’s role in the response to the protests, saying that National Guard troops in DC were there only in a supporting role and “were not ever in the District for purposes of civilian law enforcement.” Previously, Esper publicly disagreed with Trump on invoking the Insurrection Act—using the military in more of a domestic policing role—to quell protests.

I think the general has one the right thing by apologizing for his participation in the presidential theater…..

But I ask after a long distinguished career in the military and he did not think that would be an issue of him in combat fatigues while the population was in protests……what message did he think it would send?

He has done (I reiterate for those that cannot find the time to read my post) in my opinion the right think and he should have resigned over the issue to make it with an exclamation point.

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How Will This Help?

Everybody in Washington is scrambling to find a way to counter the protests and the issue of race.

The military has their idea….rename bases that are named for Confederate generals……

The death of George Floyd in police custody and the ensuing protests are sparking changes in law enforcement, media, and business—and now the US armed forces. Earlier this year, the US Army said it had no plans to scrap the names of any of its 10 bases named after Confederate leaders—ie, Fort Bragg, Fort Lee, and Fort Hood, to name a few—even though at the time it was announcing it would no longer allow images of Confederate flags at these sites. Now, however, in the wake of Floyd’s killing, military bigwigs say they’ll entertain a conversation on a possible renaming. “The secretary of defense and secretary of the Army are open to a bipartisan discussion on the topic,” an Army spokesperson said in a statement Monday for Mark Esper and Ryan McCarthy, per Politico.

The statement added, however, that “each Army installation is named for a soldier who holds a significant place in our military history. Accordingly, the historic names represent individuals, not causes or ideologies.” Still, as Politico points out, even these individual histories aren’t stellar: As an example, it cites Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg, “a major slave-owner and … largely considered to be one of the most incompetent generals of the Civil War.” One person who agrees the military sites should be renamed: former CIA chief and retired Gen. David Petraeus, who resigned in 2012 amid an affair scandal. “We do not live in a country to which Braxton Bragg, Henry L. Benning, or Robert E. Lee can serve as an inspiration,” he writes in an op-ed in the Atlantic. “Acknowledging this fact is imperative.” More from him here.

Confederate monuments have reemerged as a national flash point since the death of George Floyd. Protesters decrying racism have targeted Confederate monuments in multiple cities, and some state officials are considering taking them down. Pelosi lacks the authority to order the removal of the 11 Capitol statues honoring Confederates but is urging the little-noticed Joint Committee on the Library to vote to remove them. Senate Republicans share jurisdiction. The presence of statues of generals and other figures of the Confederacy in Capitol locations such as Statuary Hall—the original House chamber—has been offensive to African American lawmakers for many years. But the chairman of the Library Committee noted, “the law does not permit the Architect of the Capitol or the Joint Committee of Congress on the Library to remove a statue from the Capitol once it has been received.” States determine which of their historical figures to display at the Capitol.

I agree that these changes should occur but why now?

They have needed addressing for many decades and now they are important….why?

Could it be the new bill the Dems are offering for consideration?

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/06/09/dems-j09.html

They, Dems, realize this piece of theater will go nowhere once it gets to the Senate it will die……so as usual the powers will do the “DC two step”…look like they are doing something when they are doing nothing.

I say do not accept this ‘compromise’ stay in the streets where changes will occur……

Stay in the streets…..it is working…do not accept anything but change……https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/06/08/stay-streets-its-working-two-weeks-racial-justice-protests-new-york-state-classifies

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Troops And Iraq

Trump is determined to bring our troops home from our longest war and now he is working on reducing our military footprint in Iraq as well.

Yes this is one of those promises Trump made back in 2016…..and now he may be holding to it…..

Many months after the Iraqi parliament voted unanimously to expel US forces, the question of future troop levels is finally up for discussion at this weeks talks.

Iraq is driven by trying to avoid hosting a US-Iran proxy war, and sees not hosting US troops as the path of least resistance. US officials took permanent basing in Iraq as a given and are willing to do anything to Iraq to protect that.

This was why Trump threatened sanctions worse than Iran for the very suggestion the US should pullout. Even then, there was no consideration of leaving.

This is also why these talks cover the full US-Iraq relationship and not just troop levels. This allows the US to threaten cuts everywhere else if they don’t get what they want.

Pentagon officials say they expect Iraq will at least let them stay through the “final final victory” over ISIS. But again, there is no suggestion the US might actually leave after that.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2020/06/11/a_moment_of_truth_for_us-iraq_relations_115369.html

Contrary to popular belief….I give credit when it is due…..and Trump gets credit if he is entering into these negotiations honestly and not just trying to gain a few points for the election.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Trump Foreign Policy: The Good And The Bad

I have said on numerous occasions that there are some parts of the Trump foreign policy that I do support….and then there are others that I will NEVER support….

First the good in his foreign policy…..

Trump is bringing the troops home from Afghanistan and wants all out by election day…..

Senior military officials are set to brief President Trump in the coming days on options for pulling all American troops out of Afghanistan, with one possible timeline for withdrawing forces before the presidential election, according to officials with knowledge of the plans.

The proposal for a complete withdrawal by November reflects an understanding among military commanders that such a timeline may be Mr. Trump’s preferred option.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/trump-wants-troops-in-afghanistan-home-by-election-day-the-pentagon-is-drawing-up-plans/ar-BB14DkPC

I can support bringing our troops home for a much deserved rest…..

Then Trump has to open his mouth and take any support I may have for him away…..

President Donald Trump’s May 6 veto of a Senate resolution that would have required him to seek congressional approval for any further military confrontations with Iran demonstrates that, despite his occasional feints toward scaling back foreign intervention, Trump is as much a warmonger as anyone else in Washington. Worse still, his explanation for his veto indicates that he believes presidents have unlimited authority to launch wars, contrary to clear constitutional language.

“The question of whether United States forces should be engaged in armed conflict against Iran should only be made following a full briefing to Congress and the American public of the issues at stake, a public debate in Congress, and a congressional vote as contemplated by the Constitution,” reads the resolution. It directs Trump to remove U.S. troops from any hostilities with Iran within 30 days and not to order any further attacks “unless explicitly authorized by a declaration of war or a specific authorization for use of military force.” It does, however, reserve to Trump the right to respond to an “imminent attack.”

Trump: I Can and Will Start Wars Whenever I Please

These are the contradictions that makes me to dislike and never support Trump in any fashion….it is a shame for he could have done so much about war and yet he continues to be at the beck and call of the M-IC….

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“lego ergo scribo”

Germany In The Rear View Mirror

The commander in chief has ordered US troops out of Germany…..not all but just a few…..

Growing US-Germany tensions have reached the point where the Trump Administration has announced that 9,500 troops will be returning from Germany. This will leave 25,000 US troops there, which is the new “cap” for maximum troop levels.

The US has been haranguing Germany for years over military spending, and this has included Trump threatening to pull troops back. Polls have shown Germany tended to prefer that the US troops leave anyhow.

The US had at one point many more troops in Germany, as part of Cold War deals. The troops are still nominally there to fight Russia, even though a large number of NATO countries are now in between Germany and Russia.

(antiwar.com)

Many of us antiwar types have been calling for the US to bring the troops home from Germany since the USSR is no longer a threat….

But what about Russia?

Russia’s Western Military District has announced the deployment of more troops as well as motorized units into their western region, saying they are meant to “perform tasks on ensuring the defense of the Russian Federation in the Western Strategic direction.”

This puts more Russian forces in the area near the NATO frontier, after years of US and NATO troops being deployed in the Baltic and in other areas bordering Russia. This is a continuation of that buildup, with an eye toward further tit-for-tat challenges.

(antiwar.com)

The big question is will this Trumpian move harm America’s standing in Europe?

Some say the move will damage Trump’s relationship with Germany, Europe’s most powerful nation, and boost anti-American sentiment there. “Russia has done nothing to lower its threat to our allies,” a retired US Army general tells the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story. “Germany is the most important ally we have in Europe. This looks like punishment somehow.” But a senior US official says the order reflects Trump’s frustration with Germany in other ways—like its level of military spending (not yet the NATO goal of 2%) and decision to finish a gas pipeline with Russia under the Baltic Sea. Some of the US troops will apparently go to Poland or other American allies, while the rest will come home.  

I am pleased to see some of these troops finally coming home….but will this move make matters worse in Europe….especially in Eastern Europe?

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“lego ergo scribo”

The Myths Of D-Day

There were many myths swirling around the invasion of Normandy….most were to confuse and frustrate the Nazis……but others were just misunderstandings of what the invasion  and who was carrying it out.

This article was first published in 2014…..6 years ago……

Anniversaries are useful moments to pause and reflect. For the 70th anniversary of D-Day and subsequent campaign in northern France, it is also an opportunity to look at the past in detail and ask how much of what we think we know is true and how much is well-entrenched myth. Not only is it more interesting, it is also of greater worth as we plan for the future and pray there will never be a conflict like World War II again.

1. MYTH: D-Day was predominantly an American operation

https://www.cnn.com/2014/06/05/opinion/opinion-d-day-myth-reality/index.html


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Be thankful the the Greatest Generation stepped jup and did there part to keep democracy safe from tyranny.

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06 June 1944

With all the news about the protest engulfing the nation and the lingering pandemic….it is forgivable that the day might slip past the memories of the American people.

Today is the 76 anniversary of the beginning of the end for the Occupation of Europe…..we remember it as D-Day….Operation Overlord.

At dawn on 6 June, nearly 7,000 U.S. and British ships and craft carrying close to 160,000 troops lay off the Normandy beaches, surprising German commanders, who had overestimated the adverse weather’s impact and were also expecting landings to the northeast, in the Pas-de-Calais area. Following assembly, and a 24-hour delay, the invasion fleet had proceeded across the English Channel along five lanes cleared by minesweepers toward the French coast. The waters off of the U.S. (Utah, Omaha) and British-Canadian (Gold, Juno, Sword) landing beaches had been divided into transport off-loading areas, fire-support channels and areas, and lanes for the assault craft. Cruisers and battleships bombarded enemy coastal fortifications and strongpoints, followed by tactical air strikes. In each of the initial attack waves, LCTs (landing craft, tank) carried specially configured amphibious tanks that were to serve as immediate infantry fire support once ashore. Patrol boats served as control vessels off of each beach. Destroyers and other small combatants stood by to provide gunfire support, and loaded landing craft proceeded from their line of departure (“Dixie line”) toward the beaches.

https://www.history.navy.mil/browse-by-topic/wars-conflicts-and-operations/world-war-ii/1944/overlord.html

For those too young to remember then a little background…..

D-Day – 6 June 1944 – was the largest amphibious invasion in the history of warfare. The statistics of D-Day, codenamed Operation Overlord, are staggering. The Allies utilised over 5,000 ships and landing craft to land more than 150,000 troops on five beaches in Normandy. The landings marked the start of a long and costly campaign in north-west Europe, which ultimately convinced the German high command that defeat was inevitable.

https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/the-10-things-you-need-to-know-about-d-day

Sadly the numbers are dwindling of our greatest generation and people that will mourn the dead from the day.

At least the dead will always be there.

All too many have been, for 76 years since that fateful June 6 on France’s Normandy beaches, when allied troops in 1944 turned the course of World War II and went on to defeat fascism in Europe in one of the most remarkable feats in military history.

Forgotten they will never be. Revered, yes. But Saturday’s anniversary will be one of the loneliest remembrances ever, as the coronavirus pandemic is keeping almost everyone away — from government leaders to frail veterans who might not get another chance for a final farewell to their unlucky comrades.

https://apnews.com/57a23515d56f45e23784be8505e487a2

Please take a moment to say a few words of praise for our greatest generation that gave all to save the world from tyranny….

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Hell No We Won’t Go!

(Sorry had mental flash there)

Our dear leader has decided that he might do something that presidents of the past have done…call up the national guard for police work….

Vets are strong against using any military against civilians….that is tantamount of the policies of a third world dictator.

The veterans have issued a open call to all Guardsmen…..

Over 300 veterans have signed onto an open letter encouraging members of the National Guard to respond to the “moral choice” in front of them by refusing orders to deploy against protesters in streets across the nation.

“We urge you to have the courage to do the right thing,” the letter says. “Refuse activation orders.”

Protests over the May 25 killing of unarmed black man George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers have spread around the country, leading to confrontations between demonstrators and heavily armed police.

The open letter was coordinated by About Face: Veterans Against the War, a group that describes itself as composed of “post-9/11 service members and veterans organizing to end a foreign policy of permanent war and the use of military weapons, tactics, and values in communities across the country.” It was released the same day President Donald Trump threatened protesters with violence, tweeting that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/06/02/do-right-thing-veterans-call-national-guard-members-refuse-deploy-against-protesters

With all the back and forth a Dem Senator is issuing a proposal to stop the use of military on protesters….

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said Tuesday he will introduce an amendment to the annual defense policy bill seeking to block President Trump from deploying the military against protesters.

The move from Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, comes after President Trump threatened to deploy the military in response to demonstrations against police violence and racial injustice. The senator said he will introduce the amendment when the Senate panel takes up the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) next week.

“I never thought we would have to use the NDAA to make clear that the U.S. military shouldn’t be used as an agent of force against American citizens who are lawfully assembling,” Kaine said in a statement Tuesday. “I thought that would seem obvious to everyone. But as we take up the NDAA next week, I’m going to be pushing to ensure the president can’t treat the U.S. military as his personal palace guard to try to ward off peaceful protests.”

https://thehill.com/policy/defense/500769-democratic-senator-plans-defense-bill-amendment-to-bar-using-troops-against

This may be a moot point for we all know that the US Senate is where good bills go to DIE!

In case the reader would like more information on About Face then please visit their site….https://aboutfaceveterans.org/

… anybody in the National Guard, the GI rights hotline # is 1-877-447-4487.

But keep in  mind that the military has been used against protesters before…..think Bonus Army 1932

http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/snprelief4.htm

Do the Right Thing!

“lego ergo scribo”