Meet The K9 Corps

It is Memorial Day and now is a good time to introduce my readers to the other veterans….the K9, the Dogs of War…..

Dogs are man’s best friend, but war takes that special bond to another level. Out on the front lines of brutal armed conflicts half a world away, US soldiers count on their canines to keep them safe from hidden threats and get them back home alive.

One of many dangers on the modern battlefield is improvised explosive devices, crude bombs that can be disguised as everything from part of a car to roadside trash, but US explosive detection dogs are trained to find these deadly weapons before disaster strikes.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Robert Citrullo, the kennel master who supervises the service’s 8th Military Working Dog Detachment at Fort Drum, told Insider that a dog he deployed with named Uran “definitely saved not only my life but multiple other service members’ lives by finding IEDs and other things that were just ready to go off and hurt someone.”

https://news.yahoo.com/meet-dogs-war-run-danger-122000240.html

The Dude, a military working dog, awaits a CH-47 Chinook during a live-fire exercise at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, May 18, 2020.

(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Andrew Garcia)

Explosive detection dogs risk everything to keep US troops safe from hidden dangers on the battlefield.

These are valued members of the teams in combat…..they deserve all the respect that is given to the humans…..

So please remember the dogs that have died keeping our troops safe….they deserve the attention….and the respect.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

IG Report On Afghanistan

A recently released IG (one of the few left employed at this time) report on the progress of the mission in Afghanistan…..and it is so sad……

The Lead Inspector General Report to the United States Congress on Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (OFS) has been published. the 88-page report covers the period of January through March 2020. This quarterly report is required by Congress.

The Inspector General’s of the Department of Defense, Department of State, and USAID contribute to the report. The DoD IG is the lead for the report. Usually there is a classified appendix containing information about OFS; however, the coronavirus pandemic has precluded that work.

Operation Freedom’s Sentinel is a two-part mission for the United States. The first is to conduct the U.S. counterterrorism mission against al Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – Khorasan. The second part is to, in concert with NATO and other Coalition nations, develop the capacity of the Afghan security ministries and to train, advise, and assist the Afghan security forces.

This report provides a detailed summary of events in Afghanistan during the first three months of 2020. It provides an update on the political, diplomatic, and military situation as well as the status on the train, advise, and assist mission to further develop the Afghan security ministries and the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. This report, along with the recent SIGAR quarterly report to Congress, will keep the reader informed on the current situation in Afghanistan.

IG Report on OFS – Afghanistan, May 2020

You would think that a country that is so involved in the troops that they would care more about the wars they are fighting.

To me all the troop support is just a feel good move so the rest of us do not have to deal with these massive wars….we pretend that we are so proud and yet we seldom show that pride other than props and slogans.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

On To Gallipoli

Not some movie about the event with Mel Gibson….but the actually event and what it meant in WW1…..

The bright idea from Winston Churchill was to inavde the peninsula of Gallipoli with the expressed purpose of defeating a weak Ottoman army and take them out of the war….this was in 1915……

gallipoli peninsula 1 - Welcome to Turkey Honeymoon Tours & Packages

The Gallipoli Campaign of 1915-16, also known as the Battle of Gallipoli or the Dardanelles Campaign, was an unsuccessful attempt by the Allied Powers to control the sea route from Europe to Russia during World War I. The campaign began with a failed naval attack by British and French ships on the Dardanelles Straits in February-March 1915 and continued with a major land invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula on April 25, involving British and French troops as well as divisions of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). Lack of sufficient intelligence and knowledge of the terrain, along with a fierce Turkish resistance, hampered the success of the invasion. By mid-October, Allied forces had suffered heavy casualties and had made little headway from their initial landing sites. Evacuation began in December 1915, and was completed early the following January.

https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/battle-of-gallipoli-1

For those too lazy to read…a short video…..

This brilliant offensive ended in complete defeat and an utter failure…..

In 2015 during the 100 year anniversary of the military invasion….which had several “new” military techniques…like the amphibious invasion of the beaches…..

A team doing research of the military action has found something interesting….the Turks used alcohol to help their soldiers find their “will”…..

But the ongoing fieldwork by the joint Turkish-Anzac team doesn’t always bolster the official narrative. A few years ago, in the Ottoman trenches, the archaeologists discovered bottles of Bomonti beer, a popular wartime brand brewed in Constantinople. News of the find was published in Australian newspapers; the Turkish government reacted with dismay and denial. “They said, ‘Our soldiers didn’t drink beer. They drank tea,’” says Tony Sagona, a professor of archaeology at the University of Melbourne who leads the Australia-New Zealand team at Gallipoli. Turkish officials insisted that the bottles belonged to German officers who often fought alongside Turkish conscripts and put subtle pressure on the team leaders to back up that version of events. “I told them that the evidence is inconclusive,” says Mithat Atabay, leader of the project and a history professor at March 18 University in Canakkale, across the Dardanelles from Gallipoli. Drinking alcohol was a normal activity in the Ottoman Empire, he points out, “a way for young men to find their freedom.” It perhaps offered a small bit of comfort for men marooned in one of history’s bloodiest battlefields.    

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/new-view-battle-gallipoli-one-bloodiest-conflicts-world-war-i-180953975/

History is amazing……the things we can learn……

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Mercenaries To The Right…Mercenaries To The Left

I have written many times about the modern use of mercenaries. I do not approve of using mercs to fight wars. If the war is necessary and for the right reason then man up and use the military…….do not use thugs masquerading as “security specialists”.

Like I stated I have lots to say about the use of mercs……pick on or read them all…..

https://lobotero.com/2018/02/13/the-dogs-of-war/

https://lobotero.com/2017/01/03/rise-of-the-american-mercenary-2/

https://lobotero.com/2016/03/11/those-security-contractors/

https://www.your-poc.com/the-private-military-industrial-complex-extending-conflict-duration-and-quality-the-cost-of-using-private-military-contractors/

https://www.brookings.edu/articles/outsourcing-war/

https://lobotero.com/2019/11/27/curb-your-mercenaries/

Now you know how and why I feel that way about the use of mercs in today’s world.

Occasionally I get to read some of the papers that grad students are writing on international relations and conflict management…..this one is very interesting…..

The roots of the mercenarism can be traced back to the sixteenth century, argues Janice Thomson in one of the most comprehensive studies dedicated to this issue, in her book entitled “Mercenaries, Pirates, and Sovereigns: State-Building and Extraterritorial Violence in Early Modern Europe”. Countries like Switzerland were the main suppliers and France, one of the main beneficiaries of mercenary troops in the 16th and 17th century. By the 18th century, armies could be considered truly multinational. “Frederick the Great recruited all over the Holy Roman Empire (…) At the onset of the Seven Years War he attempted to incorporate the entire Saxon army into his own”, argues Thomson. Large scale mercenarism began to fade in the 19th century, and by the 20th century the citizen-army became the norm with the employment of foreign fighters beginning to be regarded as an anomaly, representing either the remnants of imperialism or an ad-hoc response to a shortage in fighting forces. Janice Thomson argues, and her view is consistent with Barry Posen’s, the fading of this practice can be seen as a corollary of the evolution of state authority claims.

The practice of mercenarism is sanctioned under Humanitarian and Public International Law, under Article 47 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions, the 1989 International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries and under a regional convention sponsored by the African Union. The 1989 Convention describes a mercenary as “any person who is especially recruited locally or abroad in order to fight an armed conflict” who is “motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain”. The convention entered into force in 2001 and was signed only by 36 countries – with notable absentees like the US, Russia, Turkey or the UK. Arguably, these states have not ratified it because they use Private Military Contractors (PMC), who are of a different kind from mercenaries. However, the distinctions are more often hard to make – it is hard to find out whether foreign fighters are hired in a registered organization – which is what defines a PMC.

Opinion – The Rise of Mercenarism: Avoiding International Accountability

Let’s not forget that failed merc operation to kidnap Venezuela’s Maudro…..of course this was not in any way sanctioned by the DoD.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Perryville

Most people know the major wars of the American Civil War…..battles like Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Bull Run, etc etc…..but how many have heard of the Battle of Perryville?

Plus I have a loyal reader that is interested in the American Civil War….https://beetleypete.com/  if you have not visited his site yet then I suggest you do so for you will not be disappointed.

It is 1862 in Kentucky…..this battle was claimed by both sides as a victory…..that tells me it was a draw and fell from the minds of historians for they like winners and losers…

Here is the people and tactics of a little known battle of the War Between The States…..

Confederate Brig. Gen. George Maney maintained tight control of the three regiments in his first line as he pressed his attack against a key position on the extreme left flank of the Union Army on the afternoon of October 8, 1862. The Battle of Perryville had begun less than an hour earlier, and Maney’s brigade was part of a sledgehammer attack by the reinforced Confederate right wing against Maj. Gen. Alexander McCook’s I Corps.

Maney’s immediate objective was to drive the Federals from an eminence known as Open Knob, one of the key positions on the north end of the battlefield. Situated atop the knob was Lieutenant Charles Parson’s eight-gun battery. It was supported by the 123rd Illinois of Brig. Gen. William Terrill’s brigade.

Maney’s Rebels, clad in faded gray uniforms that matched the flora so well that Federal staff officer Samuel Starling thought from a distance that they wore camouflage, had reached a split-rail fence overgrown with brush partway up the east slope of the knob. With his regiments suffering additional casualties from Federal fire with each passing minute, Maney gave the order to charge.

Battle of Perryville: Death in the Kentucky Hills

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–14May20

How About A Global Ceasefire?

The pandemic is raging across the global….and the UN has floated a great idea…..while the nations fight to control this virus there should be a global ceasefire on the numerous wars being fought…..

On 23 March 2020 the UN issued the call for a global ceasefire…..

“The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war”, he said.  “That is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world.  It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives.” 

The ceasefire would allow humanitarians to reach populations that are most vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19, which first emerged in Wuhan, China, last December, and has now been reported in more than 180 countries. 

So far, there are nearly 300,000 cases worldwide, and more than 12,700 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 

As the UN chief pointed out, COVID-19 does not care about nationality or ethnicity, or other differences between people, and “attacks all, relentlessly”, including during wartime. 

https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/03/1059972

As a long time antiwar activist I believe this is an excellent idea that should be embraced by all nations in this time of need.

Especially the US…..we are fighting numerous unwinnable wars and this would be the perfect time to bow out of all of them…..

As President Trump has complained, the U.S. does not win wars anymore. In fact, since 1945, the only 4 wars it has won were over the small neocolonial outposts of Grenada, Panama, Kuwait and Kosovo. Americans across the political spectrum refer to the wars the U.S. has launched since 2001 as “endless” or “unwinnable” wars. We know by now that there is no elusive victory around the corner that will redeem the criminal futility of the U.S.’s opportunistic decision to use military force more aggressively and illegally after the end of the Cold War and the horrific crimes of September 11th. But all wars have to end one day, so how will these wars end? 
 
As President Trump nears the end of his first term, he knows that at least some Americans hold him responsible for his broken promises to bring U.S. troops home and wind down Bush’s and Obama’s wars. Trump’s own day-in-day-out war-making has gone largely unreported by the subservient, tweet-baited U.S. corporate media, but Trump has dropped at least 69,000 bombs and missiles on Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, more than either Bush or Obama did in their first terms, including in Bush’s invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. 
 
All I am saying is you want out of these wars and now you have the perfect excuse to get out of them…..why not take it?
 
Plus there is a  movement to get Biden to speak up in favor of ending these wars he helped start…..

In a letter Monday to former Vice President Joe Biden, over 50 groups urged the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee for president to embrace “a principled foreign policy, one that prioritizes diplomacy and multilateralism over militarism.”

“The American people are looking for a leader who will turn the page on 9/11 policies that have resulted in an endless cycle of war, countless lives lost, increased global instability, large-scale refugee flows of the displaced, and the violation of Americans’ civil liberties and human rights,” explains the letter (pdf), first reported by HuffPost.

 
I like the effort but I just do not see Biden giving any thought to doing so…..but he will give it lip service.
 
All I am saying is….Give Peace A Chance!
 
After writing this draft news came to me on this proposal……
 
After six weeks of negotiations, the United States shot down hopes for a resolution to be approved in the United Nations Security Council on May 8, refusing to back worldwide cease-fires as the US continues to castigate China and the World Health Organization for the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, momentum behind tenuous cease-fires is vanishing, experts say.
 
Is there any doubt that the US is a warmongering nation that lives for death and destruction?
 
Not to me.
 
I Read, I Wrote, You Know
 
“lego ergo scribo”

Hamburger Hill

Closing Thought–12May20

It’s official designation is Hill 937…..or Ap Bia Mountain…….in the A Shau Valley……

51 years ago this week….the US forces faced the forces of the Army of North Vietnam…..a loss of 400 American soldiers and 600 for the NVA…..the battle was fought over 10 days in 1969.

This battle was a failure in more ways than not…..and helped turn the temperament of the nation against the war…..there was more to this battle than the entertainment of the movies….

Information on the Battle of Hamburger Hill during The Vietnam War, also known as Hill 937. The battle, which was fought on May 10-20, 1969 was a direct assault against a heavily defended and strategically insignificant hill, resulted in over 400 U.S. casualties and caused an outrage back home.

‘Don’t mean nothin’. That was the refrain of the powerful 1987 movie about the battle for Hamburger Hill, more correctly called Ap Bia Mountain or Hill 937. Many veterans of that May 1969 fight would no doubt agree, since the hill was abandoned to the enemy soon after it was taken. But the truth is that it was one of the most significant battles of the war, for it spelled the end of major American ground combat operations in Vietnam.

The Hamburger Hill battle had run afoul of a fundamental war-fighting equation. Master philosopher of war Karl von Clausewitz emphasized almost a century and a half earlier that because war is controlled by its political object, the value of this object must determine the sacrifices to be made for it both in magnitude and also in duration. He went on to say, Once the expenditure of effort exceeds the value of the political object, the object must be renounced. And that’s exactly what happened. The expenditure of effort at Hamburger Hill exceeded the value the American people attached to the war in Vietnam. The public had turned against the war a year and a half earlier, and it was their intense reaction to the cost of that battle in American lives, inflamed by sensationalist media reporting, that forced the Nixon administration to order the end of major tactical ground operations.

Battle Of Hamburger Hill During The Vietnam War

“When will we ever learn?”

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”