Closing Thought–22May19

A follow up to my post of the day on the M-IC…….

I have been a staunch opponent and critic of the Military-Industrial Complex (M-IC)……I see the defense contractors getting away with murder…both literally and physically…..

I have written about the waste at the Pentagon……https://lobotero.com/2015/04/28/wasted-days-and-wasted-money/

And then this post…….https://lobotero.com/2016/04/12/only-the-pentagon-could-spend-640-on-a-toilet-seat/

Finally some proof of the fraud a report has been issued…..

The four-page report covering fiscal year 2013 through 2017 was sent to lawmakers in December, as required under the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, but was released to FOIA requester Steven Aftergood, who writes the Secrecy News blog for the Federation of American Scientists.

Investigators at the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Defense Department Office of Inspector General found that during the five-year period, there were 1,059 cases resulting in criminal convictions of 1,087 defendants. “The cases reported involved 678 defendants as individual persons and 409 defendants as business entities,” the Pentagon said. “As a result of the criminal convictions, a total of $368,670,055 was recovered in fines and penalties; $370,194,702 was recovered through restitution; and $53,361,358 was recovered through forfeiture of property.”

https://www.defenseone.com/politics/2019/05/under-pressure-pentagon-makes-its-contractor-fraud-report-public/156991/

Just another case of fraud by contractors and the American people could care less where their money goes as long as their social bullshit issues are addressed.  Truly sad!

Closing Thought–19Apr19

In life there are always those “Oh shit!” moments…..well this plane had one of those very moments…..in a BIG WAY!

In 1956, the Grumman aircraft corporation was testing its new fighter, the F-11 Tiger, off the coast of New York state. The pilot fired a long burst from its guns and moments later suffered mysterious, catastrophic damage that caved in the windshield and mortally wounded the engine. What happened? The pilot had shot himself down.

The F-11 Tiger, like all Grumman aircraft, was named after a cat. Fast and nimble, the F-11 was only the second supersonic fighter in the Navy’s inventory, capable of 843 miles an hour (Mach 1.1). It was actually Grumman’s first supersonic fighter and the company’s inexperience with the consequences of supersonic flight, as well as the fighter’s amazing speed, would be one test Tiger’s undoing.

On September 21st, 1956, as DataGenetics explains, a Grumman test pilot flying a Tiger off the coast of Long Island dropped his nose twenty degrees and pointed it at an empty spot of ocean. He fired a brief, four second burst from his four Colt Mk.12 20-millimeter cannons, entered a steeper descent, and hit the afterburners. A minute later, his windshield suddenly caved in and his engine started making funny noises, eventually conking out as the pilot attempted to return to Grumman’s Long Island airfield.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a27967/the-fighter-plane-that-shot-itself-down/

OOPS!

Maybe this is not the best way to sell this plane to the Navy….whatcha think?

Have a good day and let the weekend begin…..

Thanx everyone for your visits and your comments and especially your valuable time….I appreciate your loyalty……chuq

National Security Crisis

Here we go!

It seems everyone has a national security crisis they want to champion…..and each one helps DoD rape the Treasury of funds.

Just another justification for more money, more money, more money…….

The National Defense Strategy Commission began as a congressional panel to review America’s national defense strategy. It turned into yet another justification for ever-greater military spending. In the panel’s view, America is weak, isolated, beleaguered, and endangered. Unless military spending is greatly increased, Washington will lose its ability to run the world and a new dark age will envelop the earth.

Indeed, the barbarians are already at the gates. Complained the NDSC: “The security and wellbeing of the United States are at greater risk than at any time in decades.”

That, alas, is to be expected since “America’s military superiority—the hard-power backbone of its global influence and national security—has eroded to a dangerous degree.” Foreign conquest may be just one battle away. “Rivals and adversaries are challenging the United States on many fronts and in many domains,” the NDSC says. Not just China and Russia, but Cuba and Venezuela. What is a superpower to do?

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/congress-creates-a-commission-to-justify-military-waste/

NO MORE!

Please….it is time for the Congress to help check the Pentagon budget.

Granted it will be hard especially with so many Congresspeople on the payroll of the defense contractors.

The US can NO longer afford more wars they cannot afford the ones they fight now.

War is good business!

The United States has now been continuously at war for more than seventeen years. It is still fighting an active war in Afghanistan, has yet to fully defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq – much less establish a state of lasting security in either country – and is playing a role in low level conflicts against extremist and terrorists in many other parts of the world.

The U.S. government, however, has never developed a convincing method of reporting on the cost of the wars, and its estimates are a confusing morass of different and conflicting Departmental, Agency, and other government reporting that leave major gaps in key areas during FY2001-FY2019.

It has never provided useful forecasts of future cost, instead providing empty “placeholder” numbers or none. It has failed to find any useful way to tie the cost estimates it does release to its level of military and civil activity in each conflict or found any way to measure the effectiveness of its expenditures or tie them to a credible strategy to achieve some form of victory.

https://www.csis.org/analysis/americas-military-spending-and-uncertain-costs-its-wars-need-transparent-reporting

DoD is looking to ask Congress for even more funds…..”war” funds…….

The U.S. Defense Department is planning to ask Congress for a massive increase to a controversial war account often criticized as a “slush fund” in order to circumvent mandatory spending limits, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the discussions.

The increase would amount to a reversal for President Donald Trump’s White House budget director, former Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who for years campaigned against what he saw as former President Barack Obama’s abuse of the account, calling it a “slush fund.” After he was tapped for the job, Mulvaney told Senate lawmakers that he would seek to eliminate the fund altogether.

https://outline.com/VpU9ga

Like I said…..the price is too damn high!

AMERICANS…….. speak up…..Enough Is Enough!

What Is The Military-Industrial Complex?

For years I have been writing about the “evils” of the military-industrial complex….how it controls our foreign policies….how it has a strangle hold on the members of Congress through massive donation to their election trunks……

Then I realized that I may not have given a clear definition of this situation…..yep a history lesson…..

The term “Military-Industrial Complex” was first used by Ike in his farewell speech…..

Now that you have heard the first use….let us go to the history books….

The term the”military-industrial complex” was made famous by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his 1961 farewell address. Eisenhower warned:”In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” Eisenhower (or his speechwriters) did not coin the phrase, but its previous usage referred to physical connections between industrial and military production, not political relationships. Eisenhower referred to a novel set of challenges facing the American polity in the Cold War, while other definitions refer to more general relationships between the military and industry.

One use of the term MIC refers to any set of relationships between military policy and industrial production. For example, scholars have examined the MIC in the former Soviet Union and in Latin American countries. Their concern is usually with the reciprocal influence of the military and industry on each other’s policies, rather than the hijacking of foreign policy by a collective interest in maintaining military-related production.

http://hnn.us/articles/869.html

The only good to come out of this is jobs……everything else is just making a few extremely wealthy and use to start conflicts worldwide.

This is a slightly different look at the infamous M-IC…..

Military-Industrial Complex is an unofficial phrase used to signify the “comfortable” relationship that can develop between government entities (namely defense) and defense-minded manufacturers/organizations. This union can produce obvious benefits for both sides – warplanners receiving the tools necessary for waging war (while also furthering political interests abroad) while defense companies become the recipients of lucrative multi-million or multi-billion dollar deals.

“War for profit” is not an exclusive approach for modern times as it drove the best and worst of old Europe for many decades – perhaps best exemplified by the naval arms race seen between France, Spain and Britain. The driving force behind these initiatives was generally in out-doing a potential foe and, therefore, forcing the establishment of a large standing military force to counter the moves of the potential enemy. The modern interpretation of this, as it relates to the Military-Industrial Complex, is only slightly altered in that the established military force is now utilized to further global interests – the enemy is no longer another nation per se but any organization not in line with presented ideals.

https://www.militaryindustrialcomplex.com/what-is-the-military-industrial-complex.asp

Further Reading for those interested……

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/01/big-money-behind-war-military-industrial-complex-20141473026736533.html

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-military-industrial-complex-is-real-and-its-bigger-than-ever

To illustrate how far the M-IC tentacles reach…..just look at the news of troop withdrawals issued by the president…..and the Dems are pretty silent even war-like in their response….

One month after President Donald Trump abruptly ordered thousands of troops to pull out of Syria and Afghanistan, only a handful of the Democratic Party’s likely 2020 presidential candidates have taken a stance on one of the most important U.S. foreign policy decisions in years.

The drawdown in Afghanistan and total withdrawal from Syria is expected to significantly alter the fight against the Islamic State militant group and potentially leave American-allied militias vulnerable as the U.S. begins to extricate its forces. The decision has also triggered backlash from the U.S. security establishment, including the resignation of top officials like former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/democrats-2020-syria-afghanistan_us_5c40f6d9e4b027c3bbbf849b

The party use to be a reliable source of accountability…that has vanished.

The assault on the M-IC has gone into the land of activism…..

The MIC maintains itself through support from politicians across the right and the left enabled by policies and lack of accountability to public. Public awareness raising about the existence and harm of this system is step one. We have seen awareness raising and education turn the tide of war before, when it drastically shifted public favor against the Iraq war and propelled it to be a key voting issue in the 2008 presidential primaries. Important progress was achieved then but the wars continue and it’s time to organize for structural policy changes. Some examples include

https://aboutfaceveterans.org/drop-the-mic-campaign/

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

Who Owns The GOP?

Well to answer that question I would say pick a large corporation and the GOP has fingers in their wallets….but the one that owns the most spineless representatives of both parties is the Military-Industrial Complex (M-IC)……

These vultures are making record profits……feeding the Saudis weapon systems so the Saudis can destroy the poorest country in the Middle East, Yemen…..

There have been a few in the House that are trying to curtail the US involvement in this conflict….but now the GOP has stepped up and done what the M-IC wants….kill as much attempts to end the US involvement as possible…..

…a measure is being advanced at the behest of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) aiming to derail House Continuing Resolution 138, a War Powers Act challenge which would force an end to the US military involvement in the Saudi-led War in Yemen.

Under the War Powers Act, any individual lawmaker is intended to be able to raise the matter of an unauthorized war for debate and a vote on the floor. Efforts to do so have failed, however, as the House leadership has used the Rules Committee to sidestep the issue.

This move to derail the debate is part of the first day of lame-duck House business, and Rep. Ryan and the other leaders seem to be hoping to turn the legal challenge of the war into a partisan issue. Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) accused the Republican leadership of shirking Congressional responsibility.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), however, is hoping to drum up enough Republican support for the legal challenge to prevent this, arguing that the legality of the Yemen War deserves a full debate and vote in the House.

(antiwar.com)

Those wishing to contact their lawmakers to tell them to vote against the attempt to strip privilege from H. Con. Res. 138 should do so quickly, as the vote is expected on Wednesday. You can do so by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121, or find the phone number for their specific representative here.

Speak up!  The US does not need to be part of the Saudi genocide of Yemen.

Revive The “Middle East NATO”

Over the weekend I read a piece where Our Dear Leader wants to revive something that he proposed on his first overseas trip as president to Saudi Arabia…….

The Trump administration is quietly pushing ahead with a bid to create a new security and political alliance with six Gulf Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, in part to counter Iran’s expansion in the region, according to U.S. and Arab officials.

The White House wants to see deeper cooperation between the countries on missile defense, military training, counter-terrorism and other issues such as strengthening regional economic and diplomatic ties, four sources said.

The plan to forge what officials in the White House and Middle East have called an “Arab NATO” of Sunni Muslim allies will likely raise tensions between the United States and Shi’ite Iran, two countries increasingly at odds since President Donald Trump took office.

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-07-27/trump-seeks-to-revive-arab-nato-to-confront-iran

As you might expect I wrote about this a year ago when it was first purposed on that trip to pay homage to the Saudi monarch.

https://lobotero.com/2017/05/22/new-plan-a-middle-east-nato/

As I point out in the original post there is already an organization that acts as a NATO style organization…it is called the Arab League…..and as I suspected in the original this proposal was merely as a counter to Iran…..

Trumps group will be made up of the countries that spend the most cash with the US arms dealers….has little to do with the region or the people…..these are not even secondary considerations….but business is the prime motivator.

This is a total waste of time and money.  Dear Leader does not think the the original NATO is not working why would a cheap knock-off work?

Business Models Of War

Since the mid-60’s to be in charge of the Pentagon you need a business school degree to be successful.

The American military is infatuated with the latest business models and their potential application for war. Bureaucracies are not agile organizations, as a rule, and just as the Pentagon institutes the previous decade’s top-selling business management method, it seems corporate America has already moved on to the Next Big Thing. A list of the 25 top-selling business management books, sorted by publication date, reads like a slightly delayed litany of ideal business-to-war manifestos.[1] Nonetheless, in his most recent memorandum, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis echoed many of his predecessors in encouraging all members of the military to “bring business reforms to the Department of Defense.

Secretary Mattis follows a long line of similar efforts. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (1961-67) directly inserted systems analysis business practices developed while at Ford Motor Company into both weapons acquisition programs and war-planning/assessment models in an effort to increase military efficiency during the Vietnam War, with at least equivocal results in military effectiveness.[3] Secretary William Cohen (1997-2001) similarly directed the Pentagon to initiate a revolution in military affairs (RMA) based on an ongoing “revolution in business affairs” to “streamline, … downsize, [and] outsource” for improved efficiency.[4] Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (1975-77, 2001-06), who served as the CEO of three major corporations between stints in government, transferred then-popular business modelling of information systems into the military through a process called transformation.[5] Secretary Chuck Hagel (2013-15), in announcing the Defense Innovation Initiative (DII), flatly asserted that the Department of Defense “must embrace better business practices that are core to any modern enterprise, private or public.”

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2017/11/22/on_the_business_models_of_war_112669.html