Biden’s Pentagon

I have written in the past that I think a Biden admin will be hawkish…….first here….

Then his transition team for the Pentagon signals that he will be a Hawk….why?

So far they are all war profiteers, chicken hawks, corporate stoolies…..https://thegrayzone.com/2020/11/14/bidens-transition-team-war-profiteers-chickenhawks-corporate-consultants/

Look at his transition team members….

Two members of the transition team come from the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), Susanna Blume, a former Pentagon employee, and Ely Ratner, who served as deputy national security advisor to then-vice president Joe Biden from 2015 to 2017.

CNAS is another think tank that enjoys hefty donations from weapons makers, major corporations, and governments. From 2019 to 2020, CNAS received at least $500,000 from the US State Department and at least $500,000 from Northrop Grumman. Other donors include Google, Facebook, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin.

Three more team members list their latest employer as the RAND Corporation, Stacie Pettyjohn, a wargaming expert, Christine Wormuth, who held a few roles in the Obama administration, and Terri Tanielian, a behavioral scientist.

RAND is another hawkish think tank that receives the bulk of its funding from the US government, including the US Army, Air Force, and Department of Homeland Security. RAND is also funded by the UAE, Qatar, and NATO.

A report from In These Times found at least eight out of the 23 team members come from organizations that receive funding from US weapons makers (not including RAND). Besides the CSIS and CNAS employees listed above, In These Times includes Sharon Burke, who works for New America, Shawn Skel­ly, from CACI International, and Vic­tor Gar­cia, from Rebellion Defense.

(antiwar.com)

The only positive thing I can say about this team is that the majority are women.

So the burning question of the campaign because it was never addressed by either candidate ….so the question was Will Biden be a Warmonger or Peacemaker?

Keep in mind that his so-called front runner is the person that is leader of CNAS which most of his transition team comes from…..gives her the inside lane….I would say.

His choices have answered the question…the arms industry wins ergo so does armed conflict.  For further analysis….https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2020/11/10/biden-landing-team-for-pentagon-announced/  and more here….https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/11/11/will-the-biden-team-be-warmongers-or-peacemakers/

Looks like very little will change within the Pentagon with the exception of the secretary who has already resigned/fired…..

More analysis to follow…

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“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–12Oct20

This one story should chap old Marines butts no end.

In these changing times of a truly co-ed USMC there is a decision being weighed by the leaders…..

The Marine Corps is considering a plan in which it could close its two existing boot camp locations and funnel all recruits to a new base where men and women would train together.

Marine entry-level training is a long way off from being able to meet a congressional mandate to make its East and West coast training bases both able to support gender-integrated training in the coming years, the Corps’ top general said on Thursday.

That is leading the service to study the option of opening a third training base in a new location to which all new recruits would ship, rather than spending cash on construction projects at aging training bases.

“Nothing, the way we’re organized right now, lends itself to integrated recruit training,” Commandant Gen. David Berger said on Thursday. “If that’s our start point — and it is — we have to get to a place on both coasts, or at third location or whatever we end up with, that … there are male and female recruits around.”

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/09/24/marines-weigh-closing-parris-island-and-san-diego-open-new-coed-boot-camp.html

Will they approve the loss of their beloved “boot camps”?

Next question with a chap ass quality is that there is female drill instructors headed for an all male San Diego…..

Men stepping onto the famous yellow footprints at the Marine Corps‘ historically all-male recruit depot on the West Coast will soon be greeted by female drill instructors.

For the first time ever, the female drill instructors could begin training men at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Commandant Gen. David Berger said Thursday. The move is part of a years-long congressional mandate the service is facing to make its entry-level training coed.

“All of our female drill instructors are on the East Coast,” Berger said during an event hosted by Defense One. “… We’re going to run a couple trials this wintertime actually moving drill instructors from South Carolina to San Diego [on temporary duty] and train recruits on the West Coast to see how this is going to work.”

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/09/24/female-marine-drill-instructors-are-headed-all-male-san-diego-boot-camp.html

Just a couple of macho altering decisions that should have butts clinching all over the country.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Time To Re-Think The Pentagon Budget

In twenty years we have spent trillions on unnecessary wars…..and can we state without qualification that we are a safer nation because of them?

The pandemic we are now fighting has shown us that we need to re-think war and focus on the survival of this country.

The inadequate response of both the federal and state governments to the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the United States, creating what could only be called a national security crisis. More than 190,000 Americans are dead, approximately half of them people of color. Yelp data show that more than 132,000 businesses have already closed and census data suggest that, thanks to lost wages, nearly 17% of Americans with children can’t afford to feed them enough food.

In this same period, a number of defense contractors have been doing remarkably well. Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon’s top contractor, reported that, compared to 2019, its earnings are actually up—yes, up! The company’s success led the financial magazine Barron’s to call it a “pandemic star.” And those profits are only likely to grow, given the Trump administration’s recent approval of a 10-year deal to sell $62 billion worth of its F-16s to Taiwan.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/14/national-insecurity-and-pentagon-budget

Congress needs to step up and do the hard lifting since no one else will….but they are a worthless, lazy bunch and I feel they will do what high dollar donors want…not what is best for the nation.

More Americans have now died from COVID-19 than from the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Yet the United States is poised to continue spending more money on the Pentagon than the next 10 countries combined, with some 1 million troops deployed in about 175 countries. In other words, there’s no end in sight for our forever wars.

Monday marked the 19th anniversary of the vote to pass the post-9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, a blank check to deploy U.S. military personnel anywhere in the world in the name of going after terrorists. Our country’s response to that attack has had unintended and tragic consequences: war profiteering by military contractors, traumatic impact to our soldiers, and massive numbers of refugees and civilian casualties around the world.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/15/its-time-repeal-presidents-license-endless-war

This pandemic has shown the nation just how inadequate our social skills are….we can go fight wars without end but we are dumb-founded by a virus.

Maybe now is the right time to start putting the nation and its people first…and I do not mean another round of stim cash that only benefits those that do not need the stim.

Wall Street wants more and more cash…..

When Wall Street receives a major boost from the US Federal Reserve it can always be relied upon to come back and demand more. This phenomenon, one could say a law of political economy, has been on display again this week.

On Wednesday, the central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) set out its new framework for monetary policy. It committed itself to maintaining interest rates at near zero levels, for as far as the eye can see. It would also maintain its purchases of financial assets, at least to the tune of $120 billion a month—nearly $1.5 trillion a year—and intervene even more aggressively should there be a return of financial turbulence.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/09/19/wall-s19.html

Time for this nation to once again become a single entity and not the wandering bands of tribes that spend all their energy sniping at each other.

Pay Attention!  Your life is depending on it!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–23Sep20

We all know about the so-called stim plans that the government has put forward to help the nation survive the pandemic.

Of course the Wall Streeters made out the best from the different plans….now news has come out that the Pentagon got stim cash to help fight the virus in the military….instead they do what they do best…pissed it away.

Back in March, Congress gave the Pentagon $1 billion to combat coronavirus and build up the country’s medical supplies. But instead, the Pentagon diverted most of the money to defense contractors to make things like jet engine parts, body armor, uniforms, and other military equipment.

The money was part of the Cares Act, a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. It was allocated to the Pentagon under the Defense Production Act, which allows the president to direct companies to manufacture certain products.

The funds were given to the Pentagon to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” The Washington Post reported that shortly after the stimulus was passed, the Pentagon began funneling hundreds of millions of dollars to defense contractors.

Some of the awards the Pentagon handed out were disclosed by the Post. $183 million went to companies including Rolls Royce and ArcelorMittal to maintain shipbuilding. $80 million went to a Kansas aircraft parts business, tens of millions went towards satellite, drone, and space surveillance technology, and $2 million went to a domestic manufacturer of US Army uniforms.

Some companies that accepted this hand out from the Pentagon also received money from another bailout fund, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The Post found that at least 10 of the 30 companies that received money from the Pentagon also received PPP money.

Portions of the money were dolled out to smaller firms, including a group of companies that work on drone technology. But larger firms also received bailout money, like GE Aviation, a subsidiary of General Electric, that received $75 million in June.

(antiwar.com)

More reading…..https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/09/22/2-million-funds-earmarked-covid-19-went-buy-army-greens-uniforms.html

The Pentagon should have the money returned from their budget……and then the generals making the decisions should be jailed for misappropriation of funds.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–21Sep20

Those hated immigrants!

DoD cost cutting program…..

I am always going on and on about the money that is wasted by the Pentagon in the name of national security….but I never considered this as a way to do so…..

A Democratic lawmaker wants the Pentagon to buy American when it comes to its Military Working Dog program.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut included an amendment in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act that would require the U.S. Air Force, which oversees the Pentagon’s program, to conduct a business case study on what it would take to purchase dogs from U.S. breeders instead of European sources.

“I was surprised to learn from the Air Force that the vast majority of our working dogs are actually born and bred in Europe, which raises costs and puts us in competition with other countries,” Blumenthal said in a statement to Military.com on Wednesday. Bloomberg News was first to report the story.

“I wanted to do what I could to help establish a strong program to breed working dogs here at home, where we already have an expert training program. Our provision in this year’s NDAA takes the first step toward that goal by assessing what resources are necessary for the Department of Defense to meet increasing demands for military working dogs by supporting American breeders,” he said.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/09/18/us-military-working-dogs-should-be-american-born-senator-says.html

You know I have a better idea and it will save a lot more cash than worrying about the immigrant status of our canine soldiers.

Try ending all these goddamn useless wars that we have been fighting for two decades…..this would save trillions not some piddling amount in the millions.  But as usual when it comes to the Pentagon it is chump change and not real cost cutting.

Just A Thought!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

In Defense (Sort Of)

I have been a critic of Trump since he was elected….there is very little about him or his policies that I can agree with on any occasion.

But pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable….I am about to do something that I seldom do….

But I have agree with him on some issues like ending our endless wars…I agree with the promise but not the actions that he has taken.

He opens his mouth and spouts crap almost daily. Most of it is either exaggeration or lies…..but on occasion he does say something that is accurate or almost accurate….like his most recent statement that has the media crapping on themselves to discredit his words.

What could he have said that I would jump to defend him over?

Let’s see shall we?

President Donald Trump blasted the Pentagon’s leadership on Monday for allegedly caring about the defense industry more than U.S. service members.

“I’m not saying the military’s in love with me – the soldiers are,” the president said at a White House news conference. “The top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.”

Trump also said that his desire to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria now that the Islamic State no longer holds any territory has put him at odds with military leaders.

“I said: That’s good; let’s bring our soldiers back home,” Trump said. “Some people don’t like to come home. Some people like to continue to spend money.”

A Pentagon spokeswoman referred questions about the president’s remarks to the White House. The Joint Staff declined to comment for this story.

(Task & Purpose)

Think about it……if there is not a revolving door at the Pentagon then why are most retired generals and such working for Halluburton, Raytheon or Lockheed-Martin?

Old soldiers don’t retire….they just move location and continue to do what they do…..and war is what they do.

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“lego ergo scribo”

 

Battle Of The Pentagon

As most Americans are aware of, at least not those that read IST, the Pentagon gets money it does not need.

I have written before that as long as the people are calling for defunding this or that….why not start looking more closely at the budget of the Pentagon….I mean the waste there out stretches the imagination and they get away with it.

Maybe just defund out endless wars would be a better place to start.

Arguments for “ending endless war” dovetail seamlessly with the M4BL invest-divest framework. Indeed, M4BL has issued a call to cut military expenditures and reallocate funds to domestic infrastructure and community wellbeing. But the similarities go beyond shared demands to shift funding priorities. The call to end America’s permanent war footing involves a transformative vision of its own: abandoning a posture of American military dominance.

Rethinking U.S. military primacy is a necessary corollary to ending state-sanctioned violence at home because America’s wars abroad sustain and feed into militarized and racialized domestic policing. Beyond the conveyor belt of equipment, training, and manpower that circulates between America’s wars – within our borders and overseas – lie massive vested interests in what today is best understood as the military-industrial-policing complex. And this complex profits from and entrenches the very forms of racialized state violence that protesters oppose.

Defund America’s Endless Wars

Recently the Progressives tried to introduce a b ill that would cut the Pentagon’s budget by 10%…….centrists Dems went hand in hand with Repubes to defeat the idea of the cut……but the idea is gaining popularity and has a good chance of winning this debate…

This comes on the heels of two major votes in the House and the Senate to cut the Pentagon budget by 10 percent. Both amendments were soundly defeated.

Yet while the picture may look bleak, there is cause for optimism about reducing the Pentagon budget. In fact, conditions look more favorable today than they have at any time for at least a decade. That’s owed to organizing inside of Congress, an energized progressive foreign policy movement, and a new national reckoning over budget priorities propelled into the nation’s consciousness by the national uprisings over systemic white supremacy and the coronavirus crisis.

Comparing the recent votes to cut the Pentagon budget with a similar vote in 2017 illustrates the point. Three years ago, the House voted on an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill to cut the Pentagon budget by one percent, or just $7 billion. That year, 35 percent of House Democrats supported the cut. Contrast that with today’s House effort, led by Representatives Barbara Lee and Mark Pocan, which sought to chop 10 percent, or $74 billion, off the Pentagon’s topline. Today, 40 percent of House Democrats supported the amendment, despite the fact that members of their own party wrote the bill. And in a parallel Senate effort, led by Senators Bernie Sanders, Ed Markey, and Elizabeth Warren, nearly half of the Democratic Caucus voted for the amendment, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has not been known to be supportive of such measures.

Why we will win the fight to cut the Pentagon budget

Not to worry…the M-IC machine will hit back and help keep any cuts from happening….this piece gives good sound reasons for not cutting the Pentagon budget….

It’s election season. Politicians at both the federal and state levels are looking for ways of bolstering their reelection prospects. One way of doing this is to stage public spectacles, the modern version of ancient Rome’s gladiatorial games, designed to gain support for politicians from average voters. The most recent example of this strategy in action has been a campaign of attacks on so-called Big Tech: companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google.

There have been antitrust investigations and even calls to break up these tech giants. Whether it is lawsuits by state attorneys general or hearings before congressional committees, the goal is to demonize these companies primarily for their success. The trouble is that in seeking to score near-term political points, these politicians are not only maligning great American companies but threatening the nation’s economic health and national security.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2020/08/01/election-year_attacks_on_big_tech_will_undercut_peace_and_prosperity_115513.html

Did you see where they say that these acts will threaten our economic health and national security?

That is M-IC speak that actually means it will cut our profits and that is unacceptable.

Finally there is a push to defund the Pentagon and it has bi-partisanship…..plus it will help defund the police as well…..

Many liberals and progressives in the Democratic Party have been loudly calling for the defunding of police departments around the country after the tragic death of a black man, George Floyd, at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer. While defunding the police — not to be confused with disbanding the police — means different things to different people, most advocates propose redirecting a portion of city and county police budgets to social programs, mental health intervention, combating homelessness, and affordable housing programs.

Conservatives and Republicans have generally pushed back against calls to defund the police. They typically maintain that the level of police misconduct is overstated, that police departments just need to be reformed, and that violent crime and property crime will increase if police department budgets are cut. In response to some major cities calling for defunding the police, Donald Trump simply said, “We won’t be defunding our police. We won’t be dismantling our police. We won’t be disbanding our police. We won’t be ending our police force.” Certainly the president knows that funding levels for police departments are decided on the local level without any input whatsoever from the federal government?

Defund the Pentagon

Just thinking out loud!

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“lego ergo scribo”

Defund Afghanistan

These days there is lots about defunding this or that…from the police to the Pentagon……check what was written about this…….

https://lobotero.com/2020/06/09/de-fund-the-pd/

As long as we are calling for all this defunding….why not defund the US longest and costliest war…Afghanistan?

As the coronavirus pandemic overwhelmed the Afghan health system in June, doctors rallied in Kabul, calling upon the International Monetary Fund to rescind a recently granted $220 million emergency loan to the Afghan government to help with the COVID-19 crisis. In support, Sayed Ekram Afazali, head of Integrity Watch Afghanistan, a local group fighting corruption, said that such “monopolization in the spending of the aid . . . creates severe vulnerabilities and it removes the trust” in the government owing to embezzlement and mismanagement. The Kabul rally is just one of many protests against government corruption in Afghanistan. Doctors in Herat, for instance, protested against unpaid salaries. In remote Ghor Province, security forces killed six protesters angry at the distribution of food aid.

These and other similar actions acknowledge a counterintuitive but simple truth: Aid to Afghanistan is accelerating state collapse because it is channeled through a government that is dysfunctional and corrupt. John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, said the Taliban and other insurgents draw attention to government corruption and use it to “undermine public support for the government, garner recruits to their cause and weaken the government’s bargaining position during future peace negotiations.” We believe that the current system of centralized government is the cause of systemic injustices that drive this current conflict. After 20 years of this system, there are no technical fixes to corruption that could win public trust. Rather, the entire government must be defunded, dismantled, disbanded, and rebuilt anew by the Afghan people. The coming intra-Afghan dialogue will be an opportunity to do just that.

https://www.mercatus.org/bridge/commentary/defund-afghanistan

This makes perfect sense….Trump is trying to end this costly war and the Congress and Hawks are fighting that tooth and nail…..

Time for the US to come home and save the cash spent on Afghanistan….this country needs the money to repair itself and yet those idiot warmongers are looking for other spots for their expansionism.

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“lego ergo scribo”

How About Defunding The Pentagon

We have lots of talk these days about defunding the police…..but for me the debate should be about defunding the Pentagon……why? So much of the problems we face revolves around a department in government that is out of control….it is wasteful and corrupt.

Yes I said corrupt!

Because the defense industry owns our Congress, both Houses, it is obvious when a bill came up that would cut just 10% of the budget….read my thoughts on this……https://lobotero.com/2020/07/22/2021-ndaa/

Now to the meat of the post…..there has been calls for the defunding the Pentagon (something I can agree with but that would be another post)………

n just the past few months, Congress has appropriated nearly $3 trillion dollars to fight the economic and public health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is on top of a terrible budget deal last year that blew through spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act. With little end in sight to the pandemic and its associated recession, Congress is likely to spend even more in the months to come.

With resources more limited than ever, areas of the budget that were off-limits for years should now be more closely scrutinized. At the top of that list should be the single largest part of the federal discretionary budget, an entire category of spending that has long been off the table: the Pentagon.

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/07/16/defund-the-pentagon-the-conservative-case-366066

I agree that the Pentagon could use some tweaking and scrutiny….it has gotten away with wasting taxpayer money for decades….time for it to tighten up……

To be fair……something more bloggers need to try…..I will give the rebuttal to the defunding call…..

Recently Politico published two opinion pieces claiming that it’s time to “defund” national defense: “Defund the Pentagon: The Conservative Case by Andrew Lautz and Jonathan Bydlak, and “Defund the Pentagon: The Liberal Case by Sen. Bernie Sanders. A provocative suggestion, but both pieces lack some information that would contribute to a richer, more informed discussion of this critically important topic.

Although sharing similar headlines, the articles advance different arguments for why defense spending should be reduced. The self-described “conservative case” argues Pentagon spending has become “bloated” and “wasteful” and that Americans can no longer afford national security at the level currently funded. The other, “liberal view” proposes that instead of funding national defense, America should focus inwardly and take care of pressing internal problems.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2020/07/25/what_the_defunding_the_pentagon_articles_dont_tell_you_115494.html

I am with those that are calling for the defund…..put of control M-IC has given us endless war and wasted money…..and unless we voters pay attention and vote these toads out of control we will continue to have endless wars and pissed away cash.

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“lego ergo scribo”

 

That 2021 Pentagon Budget

I think that the Pentagon Budget is way too high and that it makes for waste…..the new budget for 2021 was up for a vote and there was a movement to cut 10% out of the budget…..a move that I agreed with but thought it should be higher)….

Not to worry…..the M-IC owns Congress so the deal to cut the budget was defeated….and after that 37 Dems voted to approve the wasteful budget……..

Hours after the Republican Party released a coronavirus relief proposal including $0 for election assistance funding and no additional funding for cities and states as the country continues to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act on Thursday, allocating $740.5 billion to the Pentagon.  

The annual military budget bill was passed with a vote of 86-14, with 37 Democrats joining the Republicans in supporting the proposal. View the full roll call here. 

Progressives including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.),and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) voted against the bill.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/23/day-after-voting-down-10-pentagon-cut-37-senate-dems-join-gop-approve-740-billion

Not worry those VP picks are right on target…the Progressive voted “No” and the  sell out voted “yes”…..

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, two leading contenders for the 2020 Democratic vice presidential nomination, voted opposite ways Wednesday on an amendment to slash the Pentagon budget by 10% and invest the savings in healthcare, housing, and education in impoverished U.S. communities.

Warren, a co-sponsor of the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), voted in favor of the measure while Harris voted against. The amendment, led by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), was defeated by a margin of 23-77, with 24 Democratic senators voting no. See the full roll call here.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)—one of more than a dozen potential vice presidential picks being vetted by the Biden campaign—also voted against the amendment, which would have reduced the proposed $740.5 billion Pentagon budget for fiscal year 2021 by $74 billion.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/22/top-vp-contenders-diverge-warren-votes-yes-and-harris-votes-no-slashing-pentagon

There you have it……Biden who is a centrist sell out and two of his picks for VP Duckworth and Harris….and now we know who owns those Senators.

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“lego ergo scribo”