Money For The “Wall”

Closing thought–11Mar19

We all know of the damn silly event of the border wall and the national emergency that has been declared by our Beloved Leader…..an emergency without a reason….not a credible one anyway.

So if Trump succeeds where will the money come from? Which program will have to suffer because of a presidential ego trip?

Looks like we have an answer to that question……military pay and pensions may suffer……

The Pentagon is planning to tap $1 billion in leftover funds from military pay and pension accounts to help President Donald Trump pay for his long-sought border wall, a top Senate Democrat said Thursday.

The development comes as Pentagon officials are seeking to minimize the amount of wall money that would come from military construction projects that are so cherished by lawmakers.

Durbin said, “Imagine the Democrats making that proposal — that for whatever our project is, we’re going to cut military pay and pensions.”

Not to worry though….this president only wants whats best for our troops, right?

To that I say BULLSH*T!

Maybe his damn silly proposal for a Space Force and the cash it will take for the start-up would be a better place to start…..after all it is a simple thing…he is just looking for something to hang a plaque on that bears his name……so the “Wall” is more important than anything happening in space, right?

Just more screwing by the Supreme Leader…..and you allow it…..

Advertisements

Closing Thought–08Mar19

There have been stories of insurgents around the world that use child soldiers……from Africa to the sand of the deserts of the Middle East….child soldiers are still a problem….I have written about this situation before……

https://lobotero.com/2015/08/04/isis-child-soldiers/

https://lobotero.com/2017/05/08/child-soldiers-reloaded/

I bring this up again because the study made of child soldiers involved in war worldwide……

The number of child soldiers involved in conflicts globally has increased 159 percent within five years, with almost 30,000 verified recruitment cases since 2012, Child Soldiers International, a London-based human rights organization, said in a press release on Monday, February 11.

“Ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and persistent unrest in Somalia, South Sudan, DR Congo, Central African Republic and elsewhere are all leaving children increasingly exposed to recruitment,” the release said. “Boys and girls are routinely being used as fighters and at checkpoints, as informants, to loot villages and as domestic and sexual slaves.”

Child Soldiers International analyzed United Nations annual reports on Children and Armed Conflict issued in 2013-2018, recording 29,128 verified cases of child recruitment in 17 countries. Even though a significant number of cases usually take place in Africa, about half of them happen outside the continent, in countries like Syria, Iraq, Myanmar, and Colombia.

https://thedefensepost.com/2019/02/11/child-soldiers-global-increase/

Child recruitment in 17 countries……that should be unacceptable to the world….but instead they look the other way and allow this assault on childhood go unpunished.

Time to go and do what my Honey needs me to do….the garden needs work before the veggies go in…..

Later my friends.

Space Command Or Space Force?

I have been one of the few bloggers that show any concern over the proposal for a 6th branch of military service, the Space Force, as Trump has labelled it.

Then I read about the need for a Space Command…..is this the same as the Space Force or yet more waste of the taxpayer money?

Pentagon leaders wanted U.S. Space Command, a new joint combatant command for space warfighting, up and running by the end of 2018. Two full months into 2019, Congress has yet to repeal a law that is preventing the command’s creation, according to defense and Trump administration officials.

Here’s the problem. In the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, lawmakers ordered U.S. Space Command to be subordinate to U.S. Strategic Command, the same way U.S. Cyber Command started out under STRATCOM. But the administration wants Space Command to begin its organizational life as an independent unified command.

https://www.defenseone.com/politics/2019/02/legislative-hurdle-delays-us-space-command-stand/155220/

The Space Force proposal has been sent to Capitol Hill……..

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Wednesday sent to Capitol Hill a legislative proposal and a “strategic overview” of how the Pentagon plans to organize a U.S. Space Force as a separate military branch. The information was emailed to the staff directors of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, as well as the House and Senate Appropriations defense subcommittees.

The proposal is the culmination eight months of work since President Trump directed the Pentagon to draw up a plan to create a Space Force. Shanahan already had been designated by Congress as the point man for the space reorganization and he has overseen every step of the process.

Now that the proposal has been kicked over to Congress, DoD faces what could be a harder-than-expected job communicating the plan to Congress and the public. One of the challenges for DoD will be to argue that Congress should authorize a Space Force for reasons of national security, not just to satisfy the commander-in-chief’s directive.

https://spacenews.com/space-force-proposal-officially-sent-to-capitol-hill-now-come-the-questions/

As this proposal moves closer to reality….I ask how much of the taxpayers money will be wasted this time?

The Trump administration plans to spend $2 billion over five years to create its Space Force, according to a Defense Department proposal released Friday.

The legislative proposal

https://thehill.com/policy/defense/432235-pentagon-seeks-2b-over-five-years-for-space-force

Once again yet another way to expand the DoD budget while asking the nation’s population to make the sacrifice in services and entitlements…..

To make the case for justification for a Space Force…..National Security……

We quickly learned that America no longer owns space. We operate there along with every other space-capable nation, including adversaries like China and Russia. We learned that they are doing everything in their power to interfere with our operations. We learned that future wars will take place in space.

And we quickly realized the grim truth that we aren’t ready.

China and Russia, in particular, are aggressively pursuing space-based capabilities. China successfully destroyed an old weather satellite in a test in 2007, creating a debris field of more than 3,000 pieces, which could have damaged countless other satellites in orbit. They’ve stayed at it, continuing to work on anti-satellite weapons including lasers, signal jammers, and other ways of blinding our assets in space. In some areas, they are beating us.

https://spacenews.com/op-ed-getting-space-right-is-both-a-national-security-and-an-economic-question/

And this sage will continue….and IST will be watching and writing…..

Learn Stuff!

Turn The Page!

Space: Where No One Hears You Scream

I am one of the few people posting on the possibility of the creation of a new branch of the military……a Space Force or Corps. I am watching because I want to know how it will be funded and what services will suffer to do so.

Trump will soon approve the creation of this “Force”……

President Donald Trump will sign a directive on Tuesday to establish a new branch of the military dedicated to space but instead of being a fully independent department it will remain part of the Air Force to assuage concerns in Congress, a senior administration official told POLITICO.

The presidential directive, formally called Space Policy Directive 4, will set the groundwork for a subsequent legislative proposal for Congress, which will have the final say over what has been a signature military objective since Trump announced his intentions nearly a year ago.

 
DoD to request funds for the Space Force HQ as a starting point……
 

The Defense Department is expected to request approximately $270 million in its fiscal year 2020 budget to stand up a Space Force headquarters, a Space Development Agency and U.S. Space Command, according to draft documents.

The amount is modest compared to multibillion-dollar estimates that have been floated in the past several months. The 2020 request would cover the cost of setting up the Space Development Agency, U.S. Space Command and the Space Force headquarters — if and when Congress authorizes the establishment of the new branch. The Pentagon projects that the Space Force budget will increase over the next several years due to mission demands.

https://spacenews.com/pentagon-budget-proposal-funds-space-force-headquarters-as-a-starting-point/

If we are to have this unneeded Space Force then why are experts silent?

The last time the United States considered the creation of a new military service, there was an extensive debate within the military departments, Congress and the public sphere. Airpower’s great advocates, with names like Billy Mitchell, Hap Arnold, and Tooey Spaatz became established in the collective zeitgeist long before war-time exploits or Air Force base names would inscribe them more permanently to history.

There was an expectation that military members, as public servants and the experts on various forms of warfare, would have a voice in informing the debate. However, the ultimate decision to create an independent air force would be a political one. All service members, constitutionally beholden to civilian control, would then be expected to unquestioningly comply.  

https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/429665-in-the-space-force-debate-the-militarys-space-experts-are-missing

There is so much BS swirling around this issue…..it is difficult to see who wants it and who is against it…..the one thing for sure….it will cost money we do not have.

Finally!  We now know why we need a “Space Force”…..Gay aliens!

Making a major announcement at the Pentagon on Thursday, Vice-President Mike Pence said that the proposed United States Space Force was necessary to defend the U.S. from gay aliens.

“I stand before you today to say that this country is under attack from outer-space gays,” Pence told the military gathering. “Only Space Force can protect us from their unimaginable evil.”

Pence detailed a nightmare scenario in which “gay aliens by the thousands” land in the U.S. in “seemingly cute spacecraft” and “subvert life in America as we know it.”

https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/pence-calls-space-force-necessary-to-protect-us-from-gay-aliens

SERIOUSLY!  READ THAT FROM OUR MENTAL MIDGET VP!

I glad to know that Trump will protect us from those damn “gay aliens”……how about you?

What price stupid?

Do We Have An Obligation?

Closing Thought–05Feb19

Conversations With my Granddaughter

In this case the obligation is that of military service.

I have been having an internal debate (was hoping there would be an expanded debate…but it did not work out that why) on the necessity for some form of conscription for military service…..an easy term would be ….the Draft.

Should I give a short synopsis?  Not a chance because this topic is more complex than a simple short synopsis.  The posts that I have written in the past…..

https://lobotero.com/2015/10/05/would-a-return-to-conscription-substantially-reduce-the-probability-of-war/

https://lobotero.com/2007/04/10/why-no-draft/

https://lobotero.com/2018/02/26/conscription-is-not-the-answer/

But what are the pros and cons of a military draft?

First the pros……

1. It eliminates multiple re-deployments and provides a stronger military.
With more soldiers, there can be a sufficient number of fresh reserves ready to defend the country in case war breaks out. Aside from that, since there are more troops there is less tendency for individuals to be re-deployed several times during their service period, allowing them more ‘down time’ and hopefully decreasing the number of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cases.

2. It promotes stronger national unity.
A large number of individuals who volunteer for the United States army are in need of a career or money for higher education. Conscription can diversify the military since people from all classes of society should enlist. This removes the disproportionate amount of burden from ethnic minorities and the poor, and creates better integration of races and economic class and stronger national unity.

3. It creates a more competitive workforce.
Military training equips young people with skills and knowledge that make them better equipped and more competitive even when transitioning to a career outside the armed forces.

4. It promotes discipline and public service in the youth.
Youth who have no direction or drop out of school due to bad behavior can learn essential life skills when joining the military. They learn about responsibility, working for a greater cause, and protecting freedom.

Now the cons…….

1. It violates individual liberties.
Freedom of choice is a right that many Americans firmly believe in. By taking away this liberty, citizens can feel resentment towards the government and even towards the armed forces.

2. It can cause civil unrest.
It won’t be just those who are forced to enlist who will harbor negative opinions about the government and military. Loved ones and anti-war advocates will also be disapproving of the idea, especially since they know it is putting the lives of so many young citizens at risk. Rallies and demonstrations were very common during the Vietnam War draft.

3. It demands more financing from the national budget.
Currently, the military already takes more than half of the national budget. By increasing the size of the armed forces, more funds are required. So, more money will be taken from other government sectors and projects, affecting social resources and programs.

4. It increases the number of wartime injury cases.
Even if troops can have more down time, it does not guarantee that they won’t incur physical and emotional injuries during deployment. Cases of PTSD are still highly common among current volunteer military and veterans, and they will most likely increase as more individuals witness the ravages of war first hand.

With all that info at hand….what prompt me to write this post was something I read about the “obligation of military service”…..

In 1778, Samuel Johnson said that “every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier,” but should that still be the case today? John Stuart Mill claimed:

a man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for…is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

Was Mill right? Does every able-bodied citizen have an obligation to put him or herself in harm’s way if needed? Should the United States compel such service by a draft? Perhaps most importantly, is a fully-informed discussion about these issues overdue in America?

https://warontherocks.com/2018/06/can-we-talk-the-obligation-of-military-service/

What had me going to rite about something I detest was the simple fact that our troops are stretched too thin……all have multiple deployments as many as ten times…..and the society does not care…..time for the nation to share the burden…..

I hate to admit that as an antiwar person for over 50 years I would support a re-introduction of conscription as an obligation to this society.  Why?  The Society needs to share the experience of wars on families.

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.

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)