The War Budget

Every year we hear abut the defense budget and every year it gets larger and larger…..sucking up more and more of much needed revenue for the country.

I have been saying for decades that the Pentagon is destroying the capabilities of this country all the while making defense contractors richer and richer…..war is big business…..

Imagine. It cost America more to fight a ragged band of insurgents and terrorists than the Red Army, Red Guards, Viet Cong, Khmer Rouge, Korean People’s Army, and the rest of communism’s many axes of evil. And real military outlays today remain well above even Reagan’s enhanced levels.

Corporate America quickly seized its opportunity for gain. Hartung quoted Boeing Vice President Harry Stonecipher warning politicians not to get between the companies and the cash: “the purse is now open . . . any member of Congress who doesn’t vote for the funds we need to defend this country will be looking for a new job after next November.” Boeing’s PAC was experienced at winning votes for the Export-Import Bank, a fount of corporate welfare nicknamed Boeing’s Bank for munificently underwriting the company’s airline sales. Boeing also added to the horde of lobbyists, an estimated 700-plus for the infamous merchants of death alone. Many of these agents of influence served in either the Pentagon or Congress, putting their career contacts to profitable use.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/war-is-big-business/

Let’s be honest…..the Pentagon budget should be called what it truly is…..a War Budget.

The misleading first name of the Defense Department doesn’t justify using “defense” as an adjective for its budget. On the contrary, the ubiquitous use of phrases like “defense budget” and “defense spending” – virtually always written with a lower-case “d” – reinforces the false notion that equates the USA’s humongous military operations with defense.

In the real world, the United States spends more money on its military than the next 10 countries all together. And most of those countries are military allies.

What about military bases in foreign countries? The U.S. currently has 750, while Russia has about two dozen and China has one. The author of the landmark book “Base Nation,” American University professor David Vine, just co-wrote a report that points out “the United States has at least three times as many overseas bases as all other countries combined.” Those US bases abroad “cost taxpayers an estimated $55 billion annually.”

Stop Calling the Military Budget a ‘Defense’ Budget

The problem is that even Progressives for all their big talk cannot step back from the M-IC and its cash……

Military contractor campaign donations, propaganda, and patriotism account for much of the support for our endless wars and preparation for them, costly in economic, environmental, and human ways. In addition, a multitude of interests sustains the military and its budget, and encourages silence about its wars of aggression and other activities.

The antiwar movement must contend with the many ordinary citizens who may have no desire to kill people, destroy the environment, or overthrow governments. They are trying to earn a living, fund their charitable organizations and schools, or save their communities from economic devastation. At present, without a national budget devoted to human needs, they see no other choice but to slip under the wings of the lush military budget.

The military contracts for almost everything. Along with other government enterprises, such as prisons and highways, this further ensures their survival while contributing to booming regional economies where unemployment levels are low.

https://covertactionmagazine.com/2021/10/04/addicted-to-military-keynesianism-why-cant-even-our-most-progressive-politicians-break-with-the-military-industrial-complex/

Our country needs to repair itself….both socially and internationally and spending billions on war will do neither.

But as usual the people sleep through all the destruction…..and yet pretend they care.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Closing Thought–14Sep21

Now that the US has pulled out of Afghanistan…there should be funds that will not be needed to prolong that war any further ….if you thought that then you would be mistaken…..

House Armed Services Committee voted to increase President Biden’s military budget for 2022 by almost $24 billion.

The effort was led by Republicans who don’t think Biden’s $753 billion request is enough to face China and Russia. The panel passed the $23.9 billion increase in a vote of 42 to 17, with 14 Democrats voting in favor.

In July, the Senate Armed Services Committee passed a similar increase of $25 billion that also had bipartisan support. The budget will ultimately be decided by appropriations bills, but the fact that both House and Senate panels passed such measures means the increase has a good chance of passing.

Biden’s $753 billion budget request breaks down into two categories: $715 billion for the Pentagon and $38 billion for military-related spending for other agencies, such as the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons programs. The panel’s increase would apply to the Pentagon’s share, bringing its total budget to about $740 billion and overall military spending to a whopping $778 billion.

(antiwar.com)

Regardless the defense industry will get their pound of taxpayer flesh….

A look at how this worked in Afghanistan….

Weapons firms and defense contractors consume over half of the Pentagon’s $740 billion budget and the end of the 20-year war in Afghanistan poses a threat for their share-holders and executives. 

That concern was laid bare in a new investigative report by In These Times’ Sarah Lazare on CACI International, a Pentagon contractor currently two years into a five-year $907 million contract to provide “intelligence operations and analytics support” for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. CACI’s CEO warned investors in an August 12 earnings call, “we have about a 2 percent headwind coming into FY 2022 because of Afghanistan,” referring to a negative impact on profits from the withdrawal.

Lazare points out that CACI is a corporate sponsor of the Institute for Study of War, a hawkish think tank whose experts argued in an August 20 paper that “Russia, China, Iran, and Turkey are weighing how to take advantage of the United States’ hurried withdrawal.” ISW’s board chair, Jack Keane, a former General Dynamics board member and current chairman of Humvee manufacturer AM General, has been making the rounds of Fox News shows, blasting the Biden administration’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan.

ISW has not disclosed the financial conflict of interest between its criticisms of Biden’s withdrawal and its corporate sponsor’s financial ties to the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan.  Fox News does not disclose Keane’s role as chairman of a Pentagon contractor or ISW’s funding from defense contractors including CACI and General Dynamics.

How the defense industry helped prolong the war in Afghanistan

As Yogi once said…”It ain’t over ’til it’s over”

New enemies will magical appear and the funds will follow the BS.

We cannot depend on Dems for sanity in defense spending for they are owned as much as the GOP by defense industry….

By a 42-17 vote on Wednesday, 14 Democrats joined with Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee to add nearly $25 billion to the 2022 defense budget, Politico’s Connor O’Brien reported. That brings the total in Pentagon spending to $740 billion, up from the $715 billion that had been requested by the White House.

For 20 years this country pissed away trillions on war….

Brown University’s Costs of War Project released a new report Monday detailing post-9/11 spending by the Pentagon. The study found that of the over $14 trillion spent by the Pentagon since the start of the war in Afghanistan, one-third to one-half went to private military contractors.

The report, authored by William Hartung of the Center for International Policy, said $4.4 trillion of the total spending went towards weapons procurement and research and development, a category that directly benefits corporate military contractors. Private contractors are also paid through other funds, like operations and maintenance, but those numbers are harder to determine.

Out of the $4.4 trillion, the top five US weapons makers — Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman — received $2.2 trillion, almost half. To put these huge numbers into perspective, the report pointed out that in the 2020 fiscal year, Lockheed Martin received $75 billion in Pentagon contracts, compared to the combined $44 billion budget for the State Department and USAID that same year.

Pentagon Paid the Arms Industry at Least $4.4 Trillion Since 9/11

They, Dems, can cooperate with the GOP on war but not on the needs of the people of this country.

Can you now see why I have no use for Dems….they are worthless and gutless.

I still hold that we need new thinking in our foreign policy apparatus.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The False Narrative

Afghanistan the jewel of the US War in Terrorism has fallen on its face with a horrendous splat.

The media is taking the chaos to heart and reporting every hint of bad behavior by the Taleban.

I will agree that it is a disaster but one of our own making….

The major story should be the money spent in Afghanistan, the billions upon billions and the country could not last 10 days.  That was cash that could have been used to feed our hungry, clothe our poor….give shelter where needed….but instead we spent it on luxury apartments for corrupt officials, soldiers that did not exist, etc

Explain why the Pentagon gets every dime they want and the best it bought was an army that cut and run and a president that scrammed with $169 million in cash in bags.

Explain why the Congress was so willing to throw money at a hopeless cause.

Explain why the generals and planners got it so damn wrong.

Now the Congress wants answers…..

Democratic lawmakers have largely avoided directly criticizing President Biden’s administration over events in Afghanistan—but they still have a lot of questions about how the Taliban were able to seize control with stunning speed, leading to a chaotic evacuation from Kabul’s airport. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner says the committee will hold hearings on why the US wasn’t more prepared for a “worst-case scenario,” CBS reports. Sen. Bob Menendez, chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, says the committee will investigate both the Trump administration’s negotiations with the Taliban and the Biden administration’s withdrawal plan. “We are now witnessing the horrifying result of many years of policy and intelligence failures,” the Democrat said Tuesday, per Reuters.

House lawmakers also plan investigations. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meek says he has asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to testify as soon as possible about the administration’s Afghan policy. He says Congress needs to know more about plans to evacuate Americans, vulnerable Afghans, “and to understand our broader counterterrorism strategy in South Asia following the collapse of the Ghani government.” In an interview with KPIX Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised Biden for his “decisive” action but acknowledged that the situation is in “disarray.” She told the station that the “highest level” administration officials would be at a hearing early next week. “That is Congress’ role, the role of oversight,” she said

Really?  After decades of inspector general reports that were never glowing and these tools want to waste time and resources to find the ‘answers’….

What good are answers without solutions?

Yes the chaos in Afghanistan is troubling but how different is it from any of our other recent wars…..and yet our leaders have no answers or solution to keep this from happening over and over.

Maybe the first place to look is the unbridled funds that are thrown at the Pentagon with no oversight or adequate solutions.

One last thing….stop thing the word ‘democracy’ around like it is the answer to all problems…..we have proven that it is not the answer for all occasions…..and stop the influence of an industry that sole purpose is profit not democracy.

This chaos would not need the endless reporting if we would stop all the adventurism that creates the problems.

You want answers then look no further than the Pentagon…the agent of the M-IC.

Not to worry there will be a wealth of lame ass excuses with NO viable answers….the Pentagon is going into CYA mode for the chaos that they gave birth to in the past.

The truth is that they, the Pentagon, pissed away cash with NO oversight…..and that is the fault of the White House and the Congress….and that is where the blame should fall squarely on their shoulders….but it will not.

Time for a serious re-think of our foreign policy and a serious cut in their ability to create these scenarios year after year.

What better way to change the dialogue than tying this monumental screw up to the Covid virus….

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Why The Defense Budget Never Goes Down

As you know I believe the US spend way too much taxpayer money on weapons and so-called defense.

The Pentagon is a problem….a problem we refuse to solve.

A sad indictment of the system…..we spend over $700 billion a year on the Pentagon and they seldom ever pass an audit of their practices and expenditures…..

When the Pentagon launched its first-ever independent financial audit back in 2017, backers of accountability in government welcomed it as a major step for a department with a track record of financial boondoggles.

But the Defense Department failed that audit – and the next two as well. Now lawmakers are introducing a bipartisan bill that would impose a penalty for any part of the department, including the military, that fails to undergo a “clean” audit.

“The Pentagon and the military industrial complex have been plagued by a massive amount of waste, fraud and financial mismanagement for decades. That is absolutely unacceptable,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who co-sponsored the bill with Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, along with Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Mike Lee, R-Utah.

Despite having trillions of dollars in assets and receiving hundreds of billions in federal dollars annually, the department has never detailed its assets and liabilities in a given year. For the past three financial years, the Defense Department’s audit has resulted in a “Disclaimer of Opinion,” meaning the auditor didn’t get enough accounting records to form an assessment.

https://www.npr.org/2021/05/19/997961646/the-pentagon-has-never-passed-an-audit-some-senators-want-to-change-that

And yet they get increasingly more and more cash…..

If the taxpayer truly wants to know where their money is spent and wasted….then  look no further than the Pentagon.

I have written many times about the extreme money that the US throws at the Pentagon…..after the fall of the Soviet Union one would think that without a major competitor on the international stage we could save some cash and lessen the cash thrown at the Pentagon….but that has not happened…..why is that?

It is not rocket science….the M-IC needs an enemy and the government will create a threat as needed….

Strange, isn’t it? Our secretary of state emphatically claims that China has been acting “more aggressively abroad” and behaving “increasingly in adversarial ways.” No, he insists, we’re not exactly at the edge of a new cold war or planning, in the style of the last century, to “contain China.” All this country is doing is “uphold[ing] this rules-based order — that China is posing a challenge to. Anyone who poses a challenge to that order, we’re going to stand up and — and defend it.” Ah, you remember that “rules-based order,” don’t you? The one this country has sponsored in this century with an endless series of losing wars across the Greater Middle East and Africa, right?

Our secretary of defense, mentioning no country by name (cough, cough, but you know which one he has in mind), recently said: “I’ll never forget the valor that I saw and the lessons that I learned as a commander in Iraq and CENTCOM. But the way we’ll fight the next major war is going to look very different from the way we fought the last ones.” (The assumption being, of course, that such a war will indeed be fought.) And the Pentagon is already focusing its energy on just such a possible future war against “near-peer competitors” from the Arctic to the South China Sea. Even President Biden, addressing Congress and the nation, emphasized that “we’re in competition with China and other countries to win the twenty-first century.”

Why the Pentagon Budget Never Goes Down

There you have it…..what was once the USSR is now China…..

Just think what this country could do with $700 billion it would save with some reduction to the funds at the Pentagon…..

Just a thought!

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Time To Cut Defense Budget

The Pentagon is bloated and needs to be knocked down a notch.

Really?

Yes the defense budget is $740 billion only the Social Security has a larger budget……

We have endless wars and endless military waste…it is beyond time for the Pentagon get a haircut.

The devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout provide ample reason to reconsider what truly constitutes national security.

Such a reassessment is long overdue. Despite the trillions of dollars Congress and successive administrations have lavished on the Pentagon since the turn of the century, the massive U.S. arsenal and fighting force deployed worldwide are powerless against grave, nonmilitary threats to national security—from a raging pandemic to the fact that tens of millions of Americans breathe foul air, drink tainted water, and struggle to pay for food, housing and health care.

When it comes to U.S. spending priorities, the numbers seem especially misguided in an era of tight budgets to come. By the Department of Defense’s own accounting, taxpayers spent $13.34 trillion on the U.S. military from 2000 through fiscal year 2019 in inflation-adjusted 2020 dollars. Add to that another $3.18 trillion for the Veterans Administration, and the yearly average comes to a whopping $826 billion.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/its-time-to-rein-in-inflated-military-budgets/

Of course the Pentagon will issue reports that point to the need for more and more cash….the cycle never stops and their budget gets more and more bloated….

Many of the steps that can be taken to reduce the Pentagon budget now are contained in a new letter to key members of Congress from a coalition of over two dozen groups from across the political spectrum (my organization, the Center for International Policy, is a signatory of the letter). The letter outlines roughly $80 billion in proposed savings in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget, including cancelling additional purchases of the F-35 combat aircraft ($11.4 billion in savings); eliminating the Space Force ($500 million to $2.5 billion in savings); reducing service contracting by 15% ($28.5 billion in savings); canceling the Pentagon’s new ICBM program, formally known as the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent, or GBSD ($400 million to $2.4 billion in savings); and eliminating the Pentagon’s slush fund, the Overseas Contingency Operations account ($20 billion in savings).

https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamhartung/2021/03/24/theres-plenty-of-room-to-reduce-the-pentagon-budget/

This waste needs to be curtailed…..and it can be but it will take guts to stand in opposition to the Pentagon…..

Reducing the Pentagon budget – once a non-starter in official Washington – has a growing constituency in Congress and with the broader public, and for good reason. The greatest challenges we face as a nation – pandemics, climate change, racial and economic injustice, white supremacy, and the rise of global authoritarianism – are not military in nature and overspending on the Pentagon won’t help resolve them. It’s time to rethink what constitutes security rather than relying on the same old arguments for sustaining the status quo of a militarized foreign policy and a bloated Pentagon budget.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamhartung/2021/02/16/three-reasons-to-reduce-pentagon-spending—now/

This country needs a lot of work and we need to stop our continuing adventurism internationally……time to shutdown out of control military spending.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Sunday Space (Redux)

I had a post ready for my traditional Sunday Space News and then I had a brain fart and hit the publish button instead of draft….so in case you missed it….https://lobotero.com/2020/12/10/sundays-space/

But that is not all there is…..in case you missed (and most did)…..the Trump Boyz released their space policy plan….and as I have been saying the whole time….it reads more like a recipe for the invasion and occupation and exploitation of space for the corporate heads.

The Trump administration released a new national space policy Dec. 9 that articulates U.S. goals in civil space exploration, commercial growth and national security. The document recognizes the U.S. Space Force as the primary organization responsible for defending the nation’s interests in space.

The previous version of the national space policy was issued by the Obama administration in 2010.

The Pentagon in a statement said the new policy document “highlights the Department of Defense as a key agency in implementing and achieving the nation’s goals in this important domain.”

Trump administration’s national space policy formalizes Space Force role

As usual…..do not take my word for it and if you like you can read the plan for yourself…..

Click to access National-Space-Policy.pdf

I realize that there are limited amount of time for some of us on-line….so let me jump to a synopsis for those with the limited time…..

It has five major headings with several bullet points each.  The following excerpts provide a snapshot.

“AMERICA FIRST AMONG THE STARS: President Trump’s National Space Strategy works within his broader national security policy by putting America’s interests firsts.”  It “emphasizes dynamic and cooperative interplay between the national security, commercial, and civil space sectors,” and “ensures that international agreements put the interests of American people, workers, and businesses first.”  It also “prioritizes regulatory reforms that will unshackle American industry….”

“SPACE PREEMINENCE THROUGH THE AMERICAN SPIRIT: President Trump’s National Space Strategy harnesses the American spirit and continues the American tradition of pioneering and exploration.”  It lays “the groundwork for the next generation of American exploration in space” and “establishes forthrightly that securing the scientific, commercial and national security benefits of space is a top priority for this Administration.”

“PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH: President Trump’s space strategy builds on the National Security Strategy emphasizing peace through strength in the space domain.”  It ensures “unfettered access to, and freedom to operate in space”; “affirms that any harmful interference with or attack upon critical components of our space architecture … will be met with a deliberate response at a time, place, manner, and domain of our choosing”; “recognizes that our competitors and adversaries have turned space into a warfighting domain”; and the “United States will seek to deter, counter, and defeat threats in the space domain that are hostile to the national interests of the United States and our allies.”

“FOUR PILLARS FOR A UNIFIED APPROACH: President Donald J. Trump’s new National Space Strategy drives a “whole-of-government” approach to United States leadership in space, in close partnership with the private sector and our allies, and is based on four essential pillars.”  They are: “transform to more resilient space architectures”; “strengthen deterrence and warfighting options”; “improve foundational capabilities, structures, and processes”; and “foster conducive domestic and international environments.”

“A NEW DIRECTION FOR U.S. SPACE: President Trump has already taken significant steps to reorient American space policy and set it on the right path for the future.”  It identifies those steps as recreating the National Space Council and signing Space Policy Directive-1.

White House Releases Fact Sheet on New National Space Strategy – Updated

Nothing about this plan says that it is for the peaceful exploration of space for the good of all mankind (reference Outer Space Treaty of 1967).

Nothing has changed my opinion of the course for our newest military service, the Space Force.

Did you know the there was a US Office of Space Commerce?

This is the website only under Trump it is accessible…….https://www.space.commerce.gov/  This mission statement

The Office of Space Commerce is the principal unit for space commerce policy activities within the Department of Commerce. Its mission is to foster the conditions for the economic growth and technological advancement of the U.S. commercial space industry.

Not to worry Biden has plans for space as well…..

Biden has already signalled that he sees NASA’s role as having a greater focus on addressing the global challenge posed by climate change. That would certainly mean investing more in new satellites and scientific research to monitor changing weather patterns and rising sea levels and to deal with climate-change-induced extreme weather. A more ambitious, parallel approach would be to invest in establishing a permanent human presence in space, including on and around the moon, to support the development of space-related renewable energy technology, such as space-based solar power.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2020/12/11/bidens_space_policy_boldly_going__where_652752.html

To Infinity And Beyond”!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

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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I Read, I Write, You Know

“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”