Just Plug Me In

My weekend begins with a call from a friend in Lebanon who needs to get out and asked if I could help…..I will do what I can but I am too far away to be much help.

Enough of life…..

I recently watch an episode of Dr. Who about a guy that could plug his brain into a computer and get info that is needed.  I thought then how long before that in not fiction but reality?

I then read a post that seem to confirm what I was asking……

The U.S. military is disclosing a super soldier project, revealing to have allocated funding of $65 million dollars for a program to develop a ‘Brain-Computer Interface’ that would allow participants to plug into a computer like the movie The Matrix. No this isn’t science fiction Neo, this is the future that the MIC wants for its soldiers.

Earlier last year in January, DARPA launched Neural Engineering System Design to research technology that could turn soldiers into cyborgs.

The military wants to use these programs to “give soldiers supersenses and boost brainpower.” Four teams will be responsible for increasing vision and two on hearing and speech. The military adds that this will help develop “new treatments for patients with sensory disorders.”

Source: DARPA Commits $65M to Brain Implant Program for Super Soldier Project

I am still in the process of confirming this….but I do not doubt that the government would sink to this level….do you?

All this money being spent to make war “better”….and so little spent looking for a way to make it unnecessary….I guess it is all about priorities, huh?

My day is going well….now just waiting for the time that I can sit among the grape vines and have some wine and a bit of Brie and crackers……

Hope your day is as enjoyable and I will be back tomorrow…see ya….chuq

Closing Thought–14Jul17

Today the French celebrate Bastille Day, their equivalent to our 4th of July, the day when France became a republic and not a monarchy.

Also our president has traveled to France to help celebrate the day and the arrival of American troops to participate in World War One….

That is where I want to pick up this post….World War One…..some of the bloodiest battles ever fought were fought 100+ years ago in what was called the “Great War” that became known as World War One…….

World War I will be remembered as one of the bloodiest wars in human history.  Millions of soldiers died on both sides, and whole generations of young men were wiped out.  Armies were bogged down in impenetrable trenches, resulting in thousands dying in futile assaults against fortified enemies.  The war also introduced new and terrible weapons, such as the machine gun, which made the war even more horrific and bloody.  There are many terrible battles, but this is a list of the worst.

Source: Top 10 Deadliest Battles of World War I – Toptenz.net

The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I was more than 38 million: there were over 17 million deaths and 20 million wounded, ranking it among the deadliest conflicts in human history.

The total number of deaths includes about 11 million military personnel and about 7 million civilians. The Triple Entente (also known as the Allies) lost about 6 million military personnel while the Central Powers lost about 4 million. At least 2 million died from diseases and 6 million went missing, presumed dead. This article lists the casualties of the belligerent powers based on official published sources. About two-thirds of military deaths in World War I were in battle, unlike the conflicts that took place in the 19th century when the majority of deaths were due to disease. Nevertheless, disease, including the 1918 flu pandemic and deaths while held as prisoners of war, still caused about one third of total military deaths for all belligerents.  (thanx to wikipedia)

That is enough for today…go out and enjoy your weekend for I shall….see you guys tomorrow and thanx for all the visits and replies…..you are much appreciated……chuq

Closing Thought–11Jul17

I Hate These Posts!

Posts where I report on the deaths of US soldiers…..this time it is in my state and not from some armed conflict in an international hell hole……

A US military plane crashed into a field in rural Mississippi on Monday, killing at least 16 people aboard and spreading debris for miles, officials said. Leflore County Emergency Management Agency Director Frank Randle told reporters at a late briefing that 16 bodies had been recovered after the KC-130 spiraled into the ground near Itta Bena, about 85 miles north of Jackson in the Mississippi Delta. Marine Corps spokeswoman Capt. Sarah Burns said in a statement that a KC-130 “experienced a mishap” Monday evening but provided no details. The KC-130 is used as a refueling tanker.

Andy Jones says he was working on his family’s catfish farm just before 4pm when he heard a boom and looked up to see the plane corkscrewing downward with one engine smoking, the AP reports. “You looked up and you saw the plane twirling around,” he says. “It was spinning down.” Jones says the plane hit the ground behind some trees in a soybean field, and by the time he and other reached the crash site, fires were burning too intensely to approach the wreckage. The force of the crash nearly flattened the plane, Jones says. “Beans are about waist-high, and there wasn’t much sticking out above the beans,” he says.

My sympathies go out to the families of those troops that perished in the place crash.

Just a short reminder to my loyal readers…..tomorrow may be a short day for I have to get a battery of tests and I have no damn idea how long it will take….never fear there will be a few posts but not sure how many…..chuq

Another War Death

Sad day when I have to write another post on the death of a US soldier in combat…..this time it is in Afghanistan……

A 19-year-old American soldier has died in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province from wounds received in an attack, the Pentagon has announced.

Private First Class Hansen Kirkpatrick of Wasilla, Alaska, died on Monday when he was struck by “indirect fire,” a military term that usually encompasses rockets, mortars, or artillery, the US military command in Kabul said in a statement. Kirkpatrick was assigned to the US Army’s 1st Armored Division, which is based in Fort Bliss, Texas.

Two other American soldiers were also wounded but their injuries were not expected to be life threatening and they were receiving medical treatment, the statement said.

Sadly this will not be the last for The Trump administration is considering adding several thousand troops, largely in a training and support capacity. A delegation of senators visited Kabul on Tuesday and called for a new strategy ahead of an expected Trump review later in July on the United States’ longest war, now in its 16th year.

They, the Pentagon, thinks that a surge won the war once before so let’s try it again…….

Source: Another Surge in Afghanistan Would Be Folly. I Should Know—I Was Part of the Last One. – Mother Jones

Einstein has a quote that fits here.

House Committee Votes to Repeal AUMF

Holy Crap!

I never thought that I would live to see the day when a GOP led House Committee voted to repeal AUMF……

House Committee Votes to Repeal AUMF, Ruled ‘Out of Order’| Republican leaders argue vote cripples terror war, shouldn’t count.

In a stunning move, the House Appropriations Committee today approved an amendment to the massive military spending bill offered by Rep. Barbara Lee (D – CA). The amendment, passed in a voice vote, and would repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF).

Source: House Committee Votes to Repeal AUMF, Ruled ‘Out of Order’ – News From Antiwar.com

It is still NOT a done deal….but one helluva step forward.

What Is The Real Course For Syria?

We have been fighting in Syria for a couple of years (were we ever invited into this conflict?) and slowly we have expanded our participation in the conflict…..to what end?

Its is a creeping invasion of Syria all under the guise of fighting ISIS…..

There was always going to be a reckoning. When President Obama began the American war against ISIS in 2014 — a belated and necessary step to stop ISIS’s blitzkrieg across Iraq — there was a lingering question: Then what? If and when we defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria, what comes next? Ideally, American allies would defeat the world’s most vicious terrorists, the warring parties in Syria would then have the space to reach a political settlement, and a genocidal civil war would finally end.

Source: Syrian Conflict — Our Fight with ISIS Pits Us against Assad | National Revie

For us IR analyst this appears a rush to war…..but under the guise of fighting terrorism…..we have attacked a Syrian air base, shot down a Syrian plane and attacked an Iranian drone….all the while expanding our military footprint in the country.

The downing of a Syrian fighter jet by the United States – and, more recently, of an Iranian drone – augurs a confrontation that could take us down the road to World War III. The US media is echoing the Pentagon’s explanation, which is that the Syrian jet bombed (or was threatening to bomb) units of the US-supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) around the town of Tanf. The Syrians say they were attacking forces aligned with ISIS, which both the US and the Syrian government are supposedly fighting.

The reality is that there is no such entity as the “Syrian Democratic Forces.” There are only loosely aligned groups, factions and splinters of factions, which proliferate seemingly on a daily basis in a mosaic of ethno-religious-ideological conflicts that reflect the chaos that has enveloped that country. The failure of the US to unite these various factions into the so-called Free Syrian Army – large units of which kept defecting to the various radical Islamist groups, including ISIS and al-Qaeda – led to an explosion of smaller groups centered around local, tribal, ethnic, and religious affiliations. The SDF is an attempt to solder these groups together in a military force capable of fighting and defeating the “Caliphate” established by ISIS – an effort that is far less successful than it seems.

Source: Our Rush to War in Syria – Antiwar.com Original

This is starting to sound like an attempt to poke Iran in the eye with the hope of a response……more than a fight against ISIS…..

Over the past several weeks, US military actions within Syria have been less and less ISIS-centric, with a handful of operations targeting Shi’ite militias in southern Syria, and even shooting down a Syrian government aircraft over the weekend.

This isn’t just the US idly getting into one-off fights in the course of a war they’re already fighting in Syria, but rather is reflective of a push by White House officials, with multiple National Security Council members looking at the Syrian War less as a fight against ISIS and more as a chance to pick a fight with Iran.

The Pentagon has made clear they object, with Defense Secretary James Mattis personally rejecting multiple proposals related to this. Still, attacks on Shi’ite militias whenever they got sort of close to a US-backed rebel base, and a public narrative presenting the militias as necessarily in league with Iran, have found the US heading down that path anyhow.

This isn’t a new battle. The Pentagon has been battling the CIA in recent years in a rather public fight over the war, with the CIA keen to make the war about regime change, and by extension fighting Iran, while the Pentagon has sought to keep the focus on fighting ISIS.

(antiwar.com)

The US is now poking Russia, Iran and Syria over some “alleged” gas attack in the making.

This situation needs to be handled carefully…..defeat ISIS and let the Syrians sort out their own problems after that.  Poking Iran in the eye will not lead to a peaceful region with ISIS gone.

Then There Is Mosul

The war in Iraq is still raging…..we just do not hear much about it thanx to the media and its fascination with political chicanery.

ISIS is losing ground around and in the Iraqi city of Mosul….the Iraqis have said that the fall of ISIS in Mosul is only days away…..

The battle to wrest full control of the Iraqi city of Mosul from Islamic State will be over in a few days, the Iraqi military said on Monday, as elite counter-terrorism units fought militants among the narrow alleyways of the historic Old City.

An attempted fight-back by militants failed on Sunday night and Islamic State’s grip on the city, once its de facto capital in Iraq, was weakened, a senior commander said.

“Only a small part (of the militants) remains in the city, specifically the Old City,” Lieutenant General Abdul Ghani al-Assadi, commander of the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) in Mosul, told Reuters.

“From a military perspective, Daesh (Islamic State) is finished,” Assadi said. “It has lost its fighting spirit and its balance. We are making calls to them to surrender or die.”

As CTS units battled militants in the densely-populated maze of tiny streets of the Old City, which lies by the western bank of the Tigris river, Assadi said the area under Islamic State control in Mosul was now less than two sq kms.

Mosul will fall “in very few days, God willing,” he added.

(Reuters)

Let’s say that the prediction is factual…..what will be the events following the fall?

The U.S.-led military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria appears to be nearing its end. In Mosul, Iraqi military forces are now pushing into ISIS’s last pocket of resistance in the Old City as allied militias cut off ISIS forces near Tal Afar. In Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have encircled the ISIS “capital” in Raqqa and pushed into the city proper with U.S.-led coalition support.

However, as ISIS’ territorial footprint shrinks, a new battle for control over liberated areas is brewing. Forces aligned with the U.S.-led coalition are not the only players fighting ISIS. Russia, Turkey, the Syrian government, the Iraqi central government, Iran-backed militias, and a mix of Kurdish militias are just some of groups angling to stake their claim to the lands ISIS leaves behind.

Two strategic areas along the Iraqi-Syrian border – Sinjar in northwestern Iraq and the regions of Raqqa and Deir al Zour in eastern Syria – are set to play a vital role in this burgeoning power struggle. As these disparate forces operate in ever closer proximity, who stands to gain after ISIS’ fall, and how far is the U.S. willing to go to assert its interests in eastern Syria and northwestern Iraq?

Source: As ISIS Falls, Border Battles Loom | The Cipher Brief

The aftermath will be the battle for territory….the Kurds, Sunnis and Shia…all will want their piece of the newly liberated pie.

Where will this put the US troops that in country?  What part will they play on the ensuing battles?

The one constant will be the US fighting unwinnable wars…how long will the American people allow this to continue?