Those Unpopular Wars

I know the old professor sounds like a stuck record…but until the napping masses wake up I shall continue to be stuck…..on an antiwar footing.

Trump is pulling out of Syria (so they say still no real evidence)(and now Trump is walking back his proclamation) and all the pundits that are paid handsomely for the pro-war analysis have come forward to crap on the announcement.

Then there are the pundits that say that Americans are tired of these unpopular wars….really?  Which ones are unpopular?  Who have they talked to to ascertain the unpopularity of these wars?

If these wars are so unpopular why is there few speaking out against them?

I have readers that are against our many entanglements but beyond that I hear very little about war from those on the street….so I ask again…..just who are these people that find our many wars distasteful?

The truth is that most Americans give little thought to these wars, regardless what some pundits try to push…..if the war is forgotten then why keep fighting?

A nation that doesn’t remember the men and women sent to fight on its behalf has no business whatsoever sending more. And a democracy that spends more time debating kneeling before the flag than the justification for issuing folded ones desperately needs to get reacquainted with the Constitution – and its moral compass.

Our loved ones didn’t sign up to serve a president. They signed up to serve the American people, most of whom have no idea what they’re fighting for.

Let’s be real shall we……war makes no sense anymore…..the only ones that keep the whole idea of conquest are the defense industry only because that is their profits.

America spends more on its military than all its enemies put together yet it still can’t win wars. Failed adventures in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan have drained America’s power and diminished its prestige. The bloated Pentagon budget actually makes us weaker.

Here’s the weird bit: nobody seems to care. If any other government department spent as much and accomplished as little, the populace would be in arms, complaining about wasteful government spending. Instead we mumble “Thank you for your service” and increase defense appropriations.

Finally the Neocons have wiggled their way back into the spotlight of war…..

Two years ago, as Donald Trump ascended to the presidency, you might have thought that, if nothing else, neoconservatives had finally been put out to pasture. In the campaign, Trump had blasted the neocons’ signature policy, the war in Iraq, as a “big fat mistake,” and repudiated their ostensible program of turning nations into liberal democracies. He paid no political price with voters, and probably the opposite, as white evangelicals once drawn to George W. Bush’s “freedom agenda” flocked to Trump in record numbers.

Even allowing for Trump’s opportunism and inconsistencies, his election victory appeared to deal a double blow to the neoconservative persuasion. It not only broke the neocons’ hold on the Republican Party, but also, in the same stroke, revealed that they lacked a popular constituency. There they were, free-floating pundits, alone and exposed—neither intellectually credible nor politically representative.

With the return of the Neocons comes the old plan…the “preventive war” (is that an oxymoron or what?)

In a December column in the Washington Post, reformed conservative Max Boot bemoaned the emergence of competing visions for American foreign policy, led by Trumpian skeptics on the right and progressive leaders, such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, on the left. These visions, Boot said, were in opposition to his own beloved doctrine of primacy and an American-led international order.

“For decades, elites in the United States had a consensus on foreign policy: They believed that championing a liberal world order was in our interest,” he writes. But now “we are seeing a new left-right axis emerge around protectionism and isolationism—the very policies whose failure during the 1930s ultimately led to the internationalist consensus of the postwar period.”

Sad to say……”war is good business….invest your children”

After Thought:  Has anyone noticed that since Trump has walked back his original proclamation and the US will stay in Syria the warmongering media has gone silent on the deal?


It’s About The Discipline

In the past there have been a couple of reports about SEALs acting less than honorable… was the dispute on who fired the shot that killed Osama and the other is an alleged killing of a Green Beret in Mali (since found a wall of silence)…..but to help out my two posts on these incidents…..

I bring this up because of something I have recently read…..there seems to be a disciplinary problem with the SEALs and of course it has been refuted….

A Naval official has stepped forward to refute the accusation……

The Navy Department’s second-highest civilian leader says a recent string of alleged misconduct in the naval special warfare ranks is not indicative of a wider cultural problem in the elite community.

Navy Undersecretary Thomas Modly told reporters Thursday that while service leaders are concerned about recent high-profile allegations of wrongdoing in the Navy SEAL community, there’s nothing that “is indicative of a cultural problem.”

“We’re a huge enterprise and so, as a huge enterprise, we have problems just like every other huge enterprise,” he said at a Defense Writers’ Group event in Washington. “So when these types of problems arise, we have very, very good processes to go through a legal adjudication of them, and I think we do that very well.”

Over the last six months, 10 SEALs were booted from the service after testing positive for drugs, two senior leaders were relieved following allegations of sexual misconduct, and reports broke that an operator is in the brig while under investigation after allegedly executing an Iraqi detainee.

SEALs like all the Special Ops people…they believe their own hype….To me it sounds like there is a problem….maybe it would help if they would stop glorifying these soldiers and the wars they fight……

Just my thought….anyone have one they would like to share?

Do You Know The Way To Cameroon?

I am proud to say that I am getting new followers from Africa my newest are from Rwanda and Cameroon……so I thought that I would make a more concerted effort to give news and views from Africa.

In the past my posts have been mostly for North Africa because I knew that region better from having worked in the Middle East and North Africa.

A group that I have done work with in the past, International Crisis Group, have issued a conflict risk alert for October 2018 in Cameroon.

Image result for cameroon images

Today I want to post on the events in Cameroon……

Cameroon, where elections are due to take place this week amid widespread discontent at President Paul Biya’s rule, continued fighting against Boko Haram in the north and a worsening conflict in the Anglophone region. Cameroon’s international partners should use the days ahead of the polls to push the government and Anglophone separatists toward a ceasefire; after the vote, they should throw their weight behind an Anglophone conference organised by religious leaders which could be a first step toward a national dialogue.

I have written about a problem brewing with the troops that are handled by the US Special Ops group……(please be warned that the video is pretty explicit)

Since the problem came to light the US is sticking with the group that has murdered women and children…..

The women were slapped and shoved down a dusty road. They were blindfolded and forced to the ground. Then they, and two young children, were gunned down — 22 shots from assault rifles fired at close range — by men in military uniforms.

In July, The Intercept was the first media outlet to publish the complete, unedited footage of this murder of four civilians by members of the Cameroonian armed forces — a key U.S. military ally in the region — drawing on extensive investigative work by experts at Amnesty International. The government of Cameroon quickly dismissed reports that its soldiers were involved in the atrocity, calling it “fake news.”

Sad to say that US has sided many times with the wrong people and it usually comes back to bite us in the ass.

Another problem is the US does not have the best foreign policy people in place at this time…..the leaders of our international relations are not the sharpest pencils in the box…..most are warmongering tools of the M-IC.

Sad to say yet again that nothing will change for the better as long as this administration remains in power.

Are There Spines Being Grown?

I have complained many times about the lack of action and yes the lack of a spine by our elected officials when it comes to committing our troops in harm’s way.

They have allowed the president to go to war without any intervention from the Congress that is suppose to be the last word on war.

Their lack of action is driven by elections and not the rule of law….just like so much in our society the rule of law means NOTHING.

So I was surprised when I read of at least two attempts to limit the president’s reach when war is concerned……

A bipartisan resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives Wednesday under the War Powers Act. If the bill is passed, it would formally end US military involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

The war in Yemen was never authorized by Congress, and US participation has become increasingly controversial, as Saudi airstrikes kill staggering numbers of civilians. This has led to growing resistance within Congress, though Congressional leadership has often sought ways to circumvent the votes.

Last year, the House offered a very similar War Powers Act resolution. Such resolutions are legally required to come up for a vote, though the leadership managed to block that one, and bargain their way down to a non-binding resolution.

Indeed, that bill and a Senate version came with the Pentagon claiming there were no US ground operations in Yemen involved in the war, a claim which later proved to be a lie. That in particlar has added calls for a re-vote.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), the lead sponsor, says he is confident that the new version of the bill won’t suffer the same fate, noting that support for the bill has expanded since then.

The support for ending the war both reflects incidents like the Saudi attack on a school bus in August, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s overt circumvention of the 2019 NDAA clause which obliged the US to halt aid to the Saudis until they did more to reduce casualties. Pompeo immediately declared they’d done enough, though the death toll has continued to rise.


And the second attempt concerns a possible attack on Iran……..

With National Security Adviser John Bolton threatening to “come after” Iran this week and President Donald Trump accusing the country of sowing “chaos, death, and destruction,” Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) was joined Wednesday by several other members of the Democratic caucus in urging Congress to ensure that the U.S. avoids yet another prolonged war by passing legislation affirming that a preemptive attack on the country would be illegal.

The Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act of 2018 demands that the president obtain congressional approval for any military action in Iran. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) signed on as co-sponsors.

These attempts may not meet with success but at least someone is trying to break the cycle of endless interventions that recent presidents have put this country in….we can only hope that sanity will soon return.

Could the election results in 2018 play into this narrative?

Space, The Final Frontier (Again)

Our Dear Leader has proposed a new branch for our military, a space force.  I have written extensively on the subject…..  (several reference posts included in this one post)

The Obama administration was also on-board with a space force……

Like I said I have written extensively on this idea……plus there are those officials in Congress that are pushing back on the idea of a separate “Space Force”……

A bipartisan group that includes generals and lawmakers fears that carving the new branch out of the Air Force would siphon resources from other programs and weaken the military.

Republican Reps. Steve Knight of California and Mike Coffman of Colorado would appear the ideal champions of a new military branch focused on space.

Three of Knight’s top five donors are aerospace giants Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Honeywell, which would be well-positioned to help build and outfit it. And Coffman’s district is an epicenter of the military’s current space operations.

But with all the criticism there is a necessity for a Space Force/Space Corps…..

Discussions in recent days with friends and family indicate that few have a clue as to why establishing a US Space Force might actually be a good idea.

Allow me to offer a few reasons:

(1) Good government and governance: currently, military space capability is diffused amongst the Air Force, Navy, Army, National Reconnaissance Office, Missile Defense Agency, and other agencies. The Defense Department periodically reorganizes its space authority. This results in a lack of unity of command, budget overlap, and confusion about “who is in charge”.

Back and forth….will we or won’t we?

Even the House Armed Forces Committee is not taking sides right now…..

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry said he is not yet ready to weigh in on how a Space Force should be organized or how much it should cost.

Thornberry’s committee has been a dynamic proponent of a reorganization of military space forces, and that push will continue into the next legislative season, he told reporters on Tuesday on Capitol Hill. But Thornberry suggested that the scope and pace of the reorganization is still up for discussion.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson set off a heated debate last week when she submitted to Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan a detailed proposal for how to organize a Space Force as an independent military service, which was the mandate from President Trump. She estimated the cost at about $13 billion over five years.

I ask as I always ask….if we are to have this 5th special branch of our military……where will the money come from?

Now, Donald Trump is clearly, if I can coin a word, a nostalgiac. He longs for the 1950s and 1960s, the years of his youth, and since entering the Oval Office he’s been trying to take us all back – lock, stock, and barrel – to that highly fossil-fueled, deeply polluted age when you didn’t have to put “again” after “great” while mentioning this country. Having already done his best, in a globally warming world, to burn yet more fossil fuels, he’s now adding to his nostalgia for that ancient era of American preeminence by proposing that we all revisit Star Trek (with him, of course, as Captain Kirk). He’s ordered the creation of a sixth branch of the U.S. military, a Space Force, for which, in language redolent of that distant age, he invoked “our destiny beyond the Earth.” As TomDispatch regular and expert on Pentagon spending William Hartung points out today, that means one thing: money, money, money, and yet more money. I think it’s clear what his once-vaunted plan for funding the rebuilding of this country’s failing infrastructure will have meant on his departure from office: nothing built or rebuilt on this small planet of ours – not a mile of new high-speed rail, for instance – but plenty of new weaponry in outer space. Let Hartung fill you in on the future according to our own Captain Kirk.

Is this truly necessary?

A damn good question that has no answers being offered.

Those Old-Time Wars

…but I exp-ectI have been writing and analyzing conflict (war) for many years and in all that time I have valued the input from my readers on their thoughts and beliefs about the subject.  I am fortunate enough to have several readers and visitors that have strong opinions o the matter and they do not always agree with what I have said or written…..but I find it exhilarating to have opposition for it always helps the conversation move forward.

Recently a good friend from,  to IST was commenting on a post I wrote about war…..

His comment was about fighting wars the way we use to and winning them like we use to……my point is that the “big war” is no longer the way we fight……but after saying that are their still things called “Battle Lines”?

It is common in today’s wars to claim there are no battle lines, but this is only because we do not create or at the very least do not want to recognize them as such because the enemy creates them. The creation of battle lines is the intentional act of an army and is, in fact, one of its great powers. In recent years modern armies have seized territory pushing the enemy out and behind the borders of that territory. Only to then stop pursuing them and begin administering the territory they seized.

It follows then that while the army is thus occupied and unwilling to cross the existing territorial borders in pursuit of the enemy’s final destruction. It becomes an easy thing for that enemy to build a center of gravity, and from the safety of this position across the border (A battle line they created) continue the war in every facet with almost no serious risk to their operations. We’ve seen this time and time again especially in modern warfare. Just in the last century, we’ve seen it in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Columbia, and other places as well.

In other words it depends on the way war is viewed.

Personally, I view war as a use of special operating teams with massive technological superiority….but that does not mean that the conflict can be won…..take Vietnam as an example then fast forward to Afghanistan and then Iraq……technological superiority did not lead to victory….but then we need to define victory…..for “victory is more difficult art than the war” (cannot remember who said that…..just know it was not me).  Keep in mind….”Victory counts for nothing  if those who gain it know not what to make of it”.  In the last 60 years the US is a prime example of that statement.

I believe that large scale operations are a growing thing of the past…..after the initial strike the conflict settles into a humdrum existence tit for tat confrontations.

Oops! Well That Sucked!

History is a fun subject…we get to look into the lives of our ancestors…..I do a lot of reading and I have found some blunders, military blunders that few of us realize.

Take Russia…there were two separate invasions that were just amazing and each one was beaten by those famous Russian generals…..General January and General February…..

I would like to teach my reader about the 10 most amazing military blunders in history…..

Throughout history, battles have been lost to bad weather, insufficient weaponry and bad luck. But what about those for which poor judgment and shoddy planning are to blame? From the French troops led to their death at Agincourt, to Hitler’s lost army of 330,000 men at Stalingrad, historian Rupert Matthews rounds up 10 of the worst military mistakes in history…

Any fool can lose a battle. All you need to have is a weaker army than your opponent. What takes a special talent is to lose a battle when you start off with all the advantages in your own hands.

Some commanders have managed to throw away the power of greater numbers, strong positions and superior weaponry with blunders of such awesome scale that they have ended up losing a battle that, logically, they should have won with ease. Here are the most impressive military blunders in history…

Like I said Oops!  That just sucked!