You Think You Are Retired?

Closing Thought–03Apr20

For all those recently retired folk from the military…..keep an eye on the news for you are only retired if the military says you are retired…..

Covid-19 may be the straw that broke the retired camel’s back……

What the Hell could the old professor be blabbing about, right?

Glad you asked……

The Pentagon will call back a number of retired and reserve troops to help fight the pandemic, after President Trump issued an executive order Friday night. He did not say if anyone would be returned to service who didn’t agree to it, the Washington Post reports. The order covers retirees, though, and Trump said some of them have “offered to support the nation in this extraordinary time of need.” Under the order, Defense Secretary Mark Esper is to return units and members of the National Guard and Reserves, as well as some Individual Ready Reserve members, to active duty, per the Military Times. “Decisions about which individuals may be activated are still being reviewed,” a Pentagon spokesman said in a statement issued after midnight.

No one said how many troops will be brought back, but an Army spokesman said roughly 15,000 veterans have shown interest. Recalls of Ready Reserve forces are rare, per Stars and Stripes. Trump’s order says returned troops could be kept on active duty for as long as 24 months. Those brought back would mostly fill headquarters jobs and medical roles, the Pentagon said. The Army had asked some veterans who were medical care providers last week if they were interested in returning to duty. “When the Nation called — you answered, and now, that call may come again,” Lt. Gen. Thomas C. Seamands wrote to them.

So if you are recently retired…..DO NOT get too comfortable in that retirement…..your recall may be in the mail….

On March 29, the Army’s Human Resources Command sent messages to nearly 10,000 soldiers in the IRR asking for volunteers to put the uniform back on, Lt. Col. Emanuel OrtizCruz, an Army spokesman, confirmed to Military.com. The messages went out to those who had served in military occupational specialties including family nurse practitioner; critical care nursing; emergency nursing; nurse anesthetists; generalist nurse; and respiratory specialist, he said.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/03/31/army-asks-10000-recently-separated-soldiers-come-back-virus-fight.html

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Nukes Make A Comeback

I realize that virus news is on everybody’s minds and lips these days….but sadly there are other situations and issues that this country must face as well.

Not long ago our president decided not to honor our commitments that we agree to in the INF treaty of the 1980s……so apparently the nuclear arms race is once again heating up.

But to give my reader a little background…..plus some of the history behind the Treaty……..https://lobotero.com/2018/10/30/the-inf-in-the-rear-view-mirror/

https://lobotero.com/2020/03/16/what-happened-to-the-arms-race/

Now the Pentagon has taken up the baton for bigger and better nukes…..

The Trump administration’s proposal to begin work on a new nuclear warhead program to modernize the nation’s aging stockpile is expected to be hotly contested.

For fiscal year 2021, President Donald Trump requested $28.9 billion for the Pentagon’s nuclear enterprise. He requested an additional $15.6 billion for efforts by the National Nuclear Security Administration, which manages the stockpile, including $53 million for NNSA work on a new warhead, dubbed the W93.

The Pentagon’s budget blueprint includes $480 million for work on the weapon system over the future years defense program, with $32 million slated for 2021.

https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2020/3/17/political-battle-brewing-over-new-nuclear-program

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

What Is The Fourth Estate?

I know you have heard the term “Fourth Estate”, right?

In case you are ignorant of the term…..let me assist you…..

The term “fourth estate” is used to describe the press. Describing journalists and the news outlets for which they work as members of the fourth estate is an acknowledgment of their influence and status among the greatest powers of a nation, the author William Safire once wrote.

The term goes back centuries when it applied to any unofficial group that wielded public influence, including a mob.

https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-the-fourth-estate-3368058

Now that you have the background on the term “Fourth Estate”….that is NOT what this post is about.

The Fourth Estate is a term used within the Pentagon to mean any thing other than military ……..

The term “Fourth Estate” — first popularized as a way to describe the press as a non-governmental actor in society — has in recent decades been appropriated as shorthand for the Defense Department’s agencies and activities that are not part of the military branches: the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

The distinction between these “DOD Components” and the “military components” is laid out in DoD Instruction 7730.64. As a 2018 GAO report put it, the “DOD has defined Fourth Estate organizations as DOD organizations, other than the
military services, that have DOD manpower resources.”

These organizations include the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, DOD field activities, and the combatant commands. The list also includes more than two dozen defense agencies, including the: Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Defense Contract Management Agency, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Missile Defense Agency, and more.

https://www.defenseone.com/news/2020/02/what-pentagons-fourth-estate/162939/

Now you know something that does not mean a damn thing to you….but at least you can say you learned something thanx to the old professor….

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–16Jan20

I read a post by a fellow blogger and friend John about the troops in West Africa and thought I would expand on his thought.  https://linesbyliming.com/2020/01/15/islamist-militants-threaten-africa/

After several deaths of US troops in West Africa and the scandals of Americans killing Americans in drunken stupors the Pentagon is considering pulling US troops from West Africa…..

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper is interested in seeing a substantial reduction in troops and operations ongoing in Western Africa, with the troops being redeployed to areas closer to Russia and China.

This comes, ironically, amid speculation about the Islamist factions in the Sahel, and suggestions this might be a growing priority for the US. Esper, however, has made much of wanting to have more troops directly lined up against Russia and China for “Great Power” competitions.

Among the pullouts in West Africa would be ending US operations in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso. The end of US involvement in Niger would include abandoning the $110 million drone base that the US just got finished building and bringing into operation.

After West Africa, the plan is that the US will also draw down forces in Latin America, and subsequently then cut troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, all as part of a new pivot to Eastern Europe and the Pacific.

Exactly how many troops are going to be involved isn’t clear, and indeed how many troops are in some of these areas is not publicly known any longer, given the Pentagon’s recent opacity on such figures.

The eagerness to make such moves at all represents Esper having only recently taken over the Defense Secretary post, and wanting to put his stamp on it.

(antiwar.com)

I thought this was just wishful thinking but now a top general is calling for the same thing…..

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told reporters on Monday that the US intends to reduce its military presence within Africa, saying its possible the troops could either return to the continental US or be shifted to the Pacific.

Shifting troops to the Pacific is a long-standing goal of the US military, but has tended to get derailed as plans to draw down forces elsewhere fall apart. It’s not clear exactly how many troops the US have in Africa, but Milley is just the latest to say they could end up in the Pacific.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper talked about drawdowns in Africa, Afghanistan, and Iraq to get troops to send to the areas near China and Russia. The US, however, is resisting the Iraq pullout now, since Iraq wants it.

France is opposed to the US drawdown, since they are increasingly committed militarily to the Sahel, and are keen to have the US participate in those open-ended operations.

(antiwar.com)

I would like to see these troops come home but for the reasons I have mentioned many times before…..but just a passing thought to gain some attention is not the way to position one self as a person of power and knowledge.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Military Tech of 2019

I write a lot about war and the need for us to find another way of dealing with international situations…..I am not naive enough to think that war will end overnight….but at least we should try to find a cessation point.

But since we still have war let’s look at the tech of 2019…

PUTTING ASIDE our personal feelings on the nature of war and what it is or isn’t good for, the fact is that it’s a terrible reality of life. It’s also, often, where technological development advances at several paces beyond every other sector even remotely like it. These are some of literature’s best (and most dystopian) ideas, fully realized. And 2019 especially boasted some of the most mind-bending military tech the world’s ever seen.

From an invisibility cloak to a sonic gun that vibrates a target’s brain, military researchers really pushed the limits of what we thought was scientifically possible this year, no doubt at least partly thanks to their sometimes astronomically high budgets — looking at you, America.

Without further ado, here is The Coolest (and Scariest) Military Tech of 2019. 

https://futurism.com/coolest-scariest-military-technology-2019

We have another year of wars and conflict to look forward to….but there is a possibility the Trump will do something about war because of the election in November…..he may need to find a whole new batch of voters to help him win.

I read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

US Military–The Collapse

Most of us have our opinions on what climate change will do or not do to the planet……but has anyone really considered what it could possibly do to our military?

About here someone is thinking that I am losing my ever loving mind….am I right?

The Climate and the military?

All you Neocons that are also climate deniers….then maybe you need to pay attention…

The idea looks feasible if you read a report by the Pentagon…..

Faced with the challenges of global climate change as well as the refugee crisis and armed conflicts it will create, the U.S. military may very well collapse.

That’s the dire conclusion of a Pentagon-commissioned report about the future of the military, first published online in August with little fanfare and recently surfaced by Motherboard. The takeaway is clear: if humanity continues to destroy the environment, American infrastructure could collapse and the military would be so ill-equipped to respond that it too would fall apart.

In a cruel twist of irony, the U.S. Department of Defense was recently shown to have the largest carbon footprint in the world — the military does more to exacerbate climate change than do entire developed nations.

“Most of the critical infrastructures identified by the Department of Homeland Security are not built to withstand these altered conditions,” reads the report. It says that increased energy demands caused by increased heat waves and droughts could destroy the power grid, which it describes as “an already fragile system.”

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/mbmkz8/us-military-could-collapse-within-20-years-due-to-climate-change-report-commissioned-by-pentagon-says

The report paints a frightening portrait of a country falling apart over the next 20 years due to the impacts of climate change on “natural systems such as oceans, lakes, rivers, ground water, reefs, and forests.”

Current infrastructure in the US, the report says, is woefully underprepared: “Most of the critical infrastructures identified by the Department of Homeland Security are not built to withstand these altered conditions.”

It is just not the temperatures that will be effected…..every part of the economy/society will face a bleak future if the next 20 years do not find a cure.

Just thought you should know.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

More Control Over The News

These days we can find “news” almost anywhere across the internet……you can find any interpretation that suits your fancy.

I read something that took me aback.  The Pentagon is looking for more control over the news…..you saw that right …the military wants to control you news…..

If there’s a worse idea than the Pentagon becoming Editor-in-Chief of America, I can’t remember it. But we’re getting there:

From Bloomberg over Labor Day weekend:

Fake news and social media posts are such a threat to U.S. security that the Defense Department is launching a project to repel “large-scale, automated disinformation attacks,” as the top Republican in Congress blocks efforts to protect the integrity of elections.

One of the Pentagon’s most secretive agencies, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is developing “custom software that can unearth fakes hidden among more than 500,000 stories, photos, video and audio clips.”

Once upon a time, when progressives still reflexively distrusted the military, DARPA was a liberal punchline, known for helping invent the Internet but also for developing lunatic privacy-invading projects like LifeLog, a program to “gather in a single place just about everything an individual says, sees, or does.”

DARPA now is developing a semantic analysis program called “SemaFor” and an image analysis program called “MediFor,” ostensibly designed to prevent the use of fake images or text. The idea would be to develop these technologies to help private Internet providers sift through content.

The Pentagon Wants More Control Over the News. What Could Go Wrong?

I have written several times about the loss of the Freedom of the Press……..read it for yourself…..https://lobotero.com/2018/08/16/censorship-by-any-other-name/

Since Clinton the Pentagon through the defense lobbyists control the news for the most part…..why?  Most outlets are owned by corporations that are heavily invested in the M-IC.

They, the Pentagon, has been controlling the news coming out of our endless and countless wars…..no more unlimited access that they had in Vietnam now they can only report what the Pentagon says they can report.  And that is called censorship.

Not to worry….just make shit up and say it enough times and then it becomes believable….that describes the Trump technique to a tee.

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“Lego Ergo Scribo”