Closing Thought–18Jan19

This post may be of little interest to most readers….however it is something that many of us think about or live with daily.

Okay, I would like to wax nostalgic…..my memories of basic training at Fort Jackson was not something that I look back with fondness.  9 weeks of total Hell.  Oh that run up Drag Ass Hill was something NO one could forget.

All these memories flooding back after I read a piece that talked about the Army’s new “basic training”……

Army basic training got a major face lift in 2018.

Early in the year, Fort Jackson, South Carolina’s basic training program of instruction was updated to encourage more fitness and discipline in new soldiers, while infantry one-station unit training at Fort Benning, Georgia, was extended from 14 to 22 weeks.

Senior leaders have said that extension will be made permanent in 2019, along with extensions for OSUT for the other combat arms, such as armor and engineer. Also under consideration: changes to the length of basic combat training.

“We have packed a lot into basic training — we have — and we need to extend it,” Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey told reporters in June. “We know we can make a better product.”

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2019/01/02/new-in-2019-the-armys-basic-infantry-training-is-about-to-get-longer-and-it-could-be-a-sign-of-broader-changes-to-come/

I am sure that there are readers that remember their experiences with some sort of Basic Training…that does not include our president for he had “bone spurs” in his small feet.

Share if you like.

Another thing about military recruitment…..

As the babies born on and after 9/11 start turning into military aged citizens….the military needs to think over its recruitment strategies…..

While actual enlistment in the armed services saw only a modest and temporary bump, the years following 9/11 saw an increase in average scores on the Armed Forces Qualification Test and the number of high school graduates recruited for the Army, according to a 2006 Congressional Budget Office study.

A 2005 Heritage Foundation report found an increase in military recruits from higher-income neighborhoods following the attacks and an increase in overall education levels.

Crofoot said he noticed another trend in his own recruitment work.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/01/02/teens-born-after-9-11-reach-military-age-recruiters-face-new-challenges.html

Sad that I can write a post like this……Just saying.

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More US Deaths–2019

With all the debate on whether we are pulling out of Syria or not there is one thing that never changes….the chance of being killed in service to the country.

4 American soldiers were killed in Manjib, Syria by a suicide bomber…..

Described as the deadliest attack against US troops in Syria, a suicide bombing in the city of Manbij killed at least 15 people, including four US troops, and wounded a number of others, including three US troops.

The attack was claimed by ISIS, and that started an immediate furor among opponents of the announced US withdrawal from Syria, notably Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who suggested the very idea of the pullout had provoked the attack by emboldening ISIS.

This is almost certain to grow dramatically, with huge numbers of lawmakers and media pundits opposing the Syria pullout bound to present this as vindication for keeping the war going.

This is not just a convenient case for hawks to be mad, but also for ISIS themselves. ISIS, like its al-Qaeda predecessors, is very keen to keep US forces in the immediate vicinity as a way to keep them globally relevant. As with al-Qaeda in places like Afghanistan, the US has long been willing to give them exactly what they want.

So while now many are gearing up to try to further slow, if not outright stop, the Syria pullout, the reality of the situation is that if the US had kept to the reported 30-day pullout in the first place, the troops attacked today almost certainly would’ve already been out of Syria.

The names have not been released….I shall update this post as soon as the names are available…..

The sad thing is to see the media and war hawks try and use this incident of sadness as a rallying cry to stay the course in Syria. (A separate post to follow soon)

Special Ops Under Scrutiny

I know that the public thinks that our special ops can do no wrong….after all they did kill Osama, right?  I wish this was true and in the last couple of years scandal has become synonymous with the command.

In the last year or so SOCOM has had its scandals…..from murder to ambush deaths to loose lips……in Africa alone their ops have gone side ways on several occasion…after all this the Pentagon has ordered a review of SOCOM because of all the scandals that just keep mounding up……I wrote about their problems as they became evident……https://lobotero.com/2018/10/26/socom-you-have-a-problem/

Thanx to all the scandal…..The entire special ops community is under scrutiny…….

This fall has been rough for headlines involving special operations troops.

Two Navy SEALs and two Marine Raiders face murder charges in the death of a Green Beret last year in Mali. Meanwhile, a Navy SEAL is under investigation for murdering an Iraqi detainee, and a dozen of his colleagues could be called as witnesses.

Now, after U.S. Special Operations Command has been entrenched in the Global War on Terror for going on two decades, Congress is calling on a Defense Department review of the entire organization, from its operational load to ― notably ― the state of its professionalism and ethics programs.

The most recent National Defense Authorization Act points to “growing congressional concern with misconduct, ethics, and professionalism,” according to a Congressional Research Service report published in late October.

“That review is ongoing right now,” a defense official told Army Times

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-army/2018/12/05/the-pentagon-is-reviewing-the-special-operations-community-after-a-series-of-high-profile-scandals/

I have written that it is shameful to know that the “best of the best” after the media build-up is not necessarily the “best”.  None seem to be immune….the Green Berets, SEALs, Raiders, et al……..

I will be watching and reporting as often as I can on this situation and we hope that this can be rectified without the loss of face.

Special Ops cannot walk on water and they should not be immune to scrutiny….maybe with better oversight these types of scandals can be avoided.

Turn The Page!

Space–Late 2018

I have been watching and writing about the possible creation of another branch of military service, a Space Command.  First Obama had the itch and now Trump is going to scratch it……

I promised my readers that I would keep my eye on this story for few others seem to care that another drain on our money is being considered……..

President Donald Trump has launched the Pentagon’s new Space Command. It’s an effort to better organize and advance the military’s vast operations in space that could cost as much as $800 million over the next five years.

Trump signed the one-page memorandum Tuesday authorizing the Department of Defense to create the new command.

U.S. officials say President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order soon creating a U.S. Space Command that will better organize and advance the military’s vast operations in space.

Two U.S. officials say that Vice President Mike Pence will make the announcement Tuesday at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.

Trump’s order is separate from his oft-stated goal of creating a “Space Force” as an independent armed service branch, but it’s considered a step in that direction. The move will require the Defense Department to pull together various space units and agencies from across the military services into a more coordinated, independent organization.

(nbc12.com)

First comes the “Command” then comes the “Force”……the gears of the machine will already be in place……that aside a few words about the possibility of a new (Force)…..

Pentagon and administration officials discussed the possibility of establishing a Space Force under a larger Department of the Air and Space Force.

A DoD spokesman confirmed to SpaceNews that a team of Pentagon officials led by Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan floated this idea to Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the administration’s space reorganization efforts. Shanahan is overseeing the drafting of a legislative proposal that will be submitted to the White House in the coming weeks and, once approved, will be sent to Capitol Hill with the president’s budget request for fiscal year 2020.

https://spacenews.com/space-force-proposal-could-create-a-broader-military-department-for-both-air-and-space/

My biggest concern is how much cash will be sucked out of the budget for yet another Pentagon straw……

The takeaway from new cost estimates for establishing a new military service for space is that there is no cheap way to build a Space Force.

Todd Harrison, director of defense budget analysis and senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, unveiled a highly anticipated report on Monday, detailing cost estimates for standing up a Space Force as a separate military branch. Harrison made headlines in September when he criticized Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson’s estimate — $13 billion over five years to establish a new service and a space command — as overinflated.

https://spacenews.com/how-much-does-a-space-force-cost-analyst-lays-out-menu-of-options/

Where to put this “Space Force” in the hierarchy of the military?  I have an answer……

After months of deliberating how to stand up a Space Force, a sixth branch of the military proposed by President Donald Trump, Pentagon leaders have decided to funnel the new organization under the Department of the Air Force, Defense News has learned.

“There is established a United States Space Force as an armed force within the Department of the Air Force,” states a draft of the legislative proposal due to be put forward alongside the fiscal year 2020 budget early next year, which was viewed by Defense News on Dec. 20.

The new service will be overseen by the newly created undersecretary of the Air Force for the Space Force and a Space Force chief of staff, who will sit on the Joint Chiefs.

https://www.defensenews.com/space/2018/12/20/trumps-new-space-force-to-reside-under-department-of-the-air-force/

So much is happening that this situaation is still not newsworthy….but that is why I am here, right?

The Pentagon is finalizing a proposal for the establishment of a United States Space Force as a sixth military branch. According to a draft of the proposal, the Space Force would be organized under the Department of the Air Force. The Space Force would be made in the same mold as the Marine Corps, which is an independent service that resides under the Department of the Navy.

The contents of the draft proposal were first reported on Thursday by Defense News. SpaceNews reviewed a draft document that confirms what Defense News reported.

The proposal is labeled “Preliminary Draft for Policy Discussion.” A White House source confirmed that the National Space Council has been in coordination with DoD on the legislative proposal.

https://spacenews.com/space-force-proposal-creates-an-independent-service-under-the-department-of-the-air-force/

This is a developing story and soon will be one for page one and I hope my reader will recall where they got their info in the beginning.

Further Reading:

https://lobotero.com/2018/09/27/space-the-final-frontier-again/

https://lobotero.com/2018/10/03/space-and-space-rangers/

https://lobotero.com/2018/11/04/space-the-good-news-and-the-bad/

https://lobotero.com/2018/11/07/space-up-up-and-away/

Closing Thought–14Dec18

Today I must go to the hospital and let the doctors poke and prod….so this should be it for the day and I shall return tomorrow…..but tomorrow is my wife’s day with her cardio doctors…..so another light posting day as well.

I have written here on IST many times about the problem of suicide with our active duty service people and our Veterans…..there are many different approaches to try and curb this spiraling problem…..

The mounting toll of military suicides since 2003 — an intractable problem highlighted again Friday with a murder-suicide at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland — has surpassed the number of troops killed in Iraq.

The latest Pentagon statistics on suicides in all service branches, combined with previously-released data compiled by the San Antonio Express-News, brought the total to 4,839 for the years 2003 through 2015. In the same period, 4,496 American were lost serving in Iraq.

https://www.expressnews.com/news/local/amp/Suicides-in-military-since-2003-now-exceed-U-S-7237308.php

The military now has a novel approach for active duty personnel to try and head off this in advance……

The U.S. Army‘s top official said Thursday that he wants to see sergeants making regular visits to the barracks on weekends to help reduce the number of soldiers who die by suicide.

Suicide is a problem that every service struggles to prevent. In calendar year 2017, 509 U.S. military personnel died by suicide, according to Defense Department numbers. Of that number, the Army suffered 298 deaths by suicide across the active duty, National Guard and Reserve.

“It’s a tragedy that we have suicide in our ranks, but it’s coming into our ranks from society writ large,” Army Secretary Mark Esper told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute. “Every week, I am signing letters to families offering my condolences for soldiers who have taken their lives.”

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/11/08/army-wants-sergeants-barracks-weekends-prevent-suicides.html

Something needs to be done for this problem….but I think this approach is a band-aid for a sucking chest wound…..I do not think that this approach will do much to lessen the attempts of suicide to be honest…..

Anyone have anything they would like to add?

Closing Thought–29Nov18

I have found that too many Americans could care less about our service people one reason is that it is a volunteer military….but a new report shows that the military is falling behind their recruitment goals….

The Department of Defense released recruiting and retention statistics for the 2018 fiscal year that show the the Army having significant shortfalls in recruiting for it’s active, reserve and National Guard components, while the Navy, Air Force and Marines met most of their goals.

The active Army recruited 69,972 soldiers out of a planned 76,500 in fiscal 2018, or 91 percent of it’s goal. The Army Reserve and National Guard numbers were much more short of goals, with only 73 percent and 78 percent of their goals met respectively, leaving a total shortfall of planned recruiting for the service at over 25,500 personnel.

https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2018/11/15/Department-of-Defense-reports-mixed-results-for-2018-recruiting/8921542312407/

If this trend continues will the M-IC demand that the draft be re-instituted?  And believe me it will take the M-IC who calls most shot with our military.

If so then I can foresee the rebirth of an antiwar movement…..something we need…..

Space: The New Frontier?

Note:  This is a long read with many references but if you are interested in this situation they are well worth the attention to read….

Our Dear Supreme Leader has stated that he wants to make yet another branch of military service……a Space Force…..not an original idea…..actually it was proposed by the Obama administration…..in 2009 I wrote about the proposal…..https://lobotero.com/2009/01/06/militarization-of-space/

Space might be the final frontier, but it is also now on the verge of becoming a well-worn bureaucratic path. Military and civilian leaders are currently working through the details of proposals to create an independent service dedicated to space within the next two years. This would be the first new military branch since the Air Force spun off from the Army in 1947. Pentagon planners estimate it would cost upwards of $13 billion over the next five years to establish the Space Force as a separate service branch, although history suggests the real cost will be many times that.

https://www.pogo.org/analysis/2018/10/space-force-a-historical-perspective/

There is a necessity for Space Power, right?

The mystery of space has always been the subject of intrigue and wonder for mankind. Today is no different, and new technological capabilities raise the question, “How can space be utilized most effectively on a global scale?” As countries scramble to develop and maintain space assets, as well as compete with each other for advantage and prestige, a lack of order and regulation remains within the space domain. Currently, no unified or coherent space theory exists directing how the domain should be controlled and utilized. This problem is one of the many with which the United States must wrestle as it seeks to create an independent space service. Toward that end, this article reviews current theory and, it is to be hoped, provides the next space theorist an adequate starting point which might assist in creating a lasting and universally accepted unified theory of spacepower.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/11/13/in_search_of_space_power_theory_113952.html

Since very few people are taking this seriously…I thought IST should keep an eye on this situation…….

One of the issues that will face the new Congress is the creation of a new military service: the U.S. Space Force.

Recently, Vice President Mike Pence chaired the fourth meeting of the National Space Council. The council is comprised of key elements of the U.S. government that are involved with space, and includes not only the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the secretaries of state and defense, but also the secretaries of commerce, transportation, and homeland security, as well as the director of national intelligence, the director of the Office of Budget and Management, the head of NASA, and the national security and homeland security advisers.

The venue was significant — Roosevelt Hall at the National War College. Established in 1946, the National War College seeks to train the next generation of senior officers and national security civilians in the ways of grand strategy, including how to balance resources available against requirements. Thus, the announcement that the National Space Council would unanimously endorse the creation of the new Space Force was intended to send a strategic signal.

https://www.westernjournal.com/space-force-coming-us-needs/

Is there truly a Space Force on the Launching Pad?

Vice President Mike Pence addressed the fourth meeting of the National Space Council, a White House advisory group charged with making recommendations about America’s activities in space. This summer, President Trump called for the establishment of a new branch of the military, a US Space Force, to protect American interests there. Thus far, only a few pollsters have explored the public’s awareness of the plan and support for it.

To understand current attitudes, it helps to look at how Americans have viewed space exploration over time. In 1955, when Gallup asked Americans whether “men in rockets will be able to reach the moon” in the next 50 years, 38% said they would, but 51% said they would not. A few years later in 1961, 65% approved of the country’s attempt to send a man into space, while 20% disapproved.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bowmanmarsico/2018/10/30/a-space-force-on-the-launch-pad/#3bea060239c1

The problem when space is involved is the line between military and civilian……the lines are getting more and more blurred…..

Vice President Mike Pence recently was asked by Washington Post reporter Robert Costa: “What will the Space Force do?”

In his response, Pence did not run down a list of duties that might be assigned to the new military branch. But he did comment extensively on why he and the president feel strongly that a Space Force should be established.

It all started on the campaign trail in 2016, Pence recalled. “The president and I had a conversation about his interests in really reviving American leadership in space, and particularly when it came to human space exploration. … And we both shared a concern that while America continues to be dominant in space, in terms of technology, in terms of our accomplishments, that we were losing momentum in recent years; that America had essentially been consigned to low-Earth orbit, and we actually off-lined our own platforms when we grounded the shuttle program,” said Pence. “The president saw all of that as intolerable.”

https://spacenews.com/space-force-discussions-increasingly-blur-the-line-between-military-and-civilian-space/

AS I waited to see if there is more on the new branch of the military I came upon this article…..it seems that the Pentagon may be deadly serious about a new branch and starting in 2019 it will be forefront….

The Pentagon is moving at a good clip to establish a U.S. Space Command and a Space Development Agency in early 2019, said Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.

During a meeting with reporters on Thursday at the Pentagon, Shanahan spoke with a sense of urgency about the DoD space reorganization.

“I’d love to make it this year,” he said of standing up a Space Development Agency to take over the procurement of next-generation technologies. While creating a Space Force as a separate military service requires new legislation, the Space Command and the Space Development Agency can be set up using existing executive authorities.

There is likely to be congressional resistance to forming a new military branch, but Shanahan said he expects no push-back on Space Command or on the Space Development Agency.

https://spacenews.com/major-moves-in-dod-space-reorganization-to-start-in-early-2019/

IST will try to keep its readers informed on this topic…..too many are laughing it off….we are not.

All the news no one can use!