Yep, More Battlefront News

First, I have written that I think that we should re-establish the draft….it would make society face all these wars head on and a full compliment of troops would always be available……

But that is looking less likely……

The military draft may be headed for the scrap heap.

The House Armed Services Committee will include instructions to examine the Selective Service program’s viability and possible “alternatives” as part of its review of the annual defense authorization bill next week, staffers confirmed on Friday.

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers — several of whom sit on the committee — has already offered legislation to abolish the Selective Service System, calling it an outdated vestige of military history.

Committee officials said the authorization bill language is not geared toward keeping or eliminating the Selective Service system, but reviewing the cost and operation of a program that hasn’t been used to fill the ranks since 1973.

To me it sounds like the wealthy and our politicians want to make sure that their children do not have to fight in any war….so eliminate the possibility….

Seems like almost every week a new story is out there about more troops being deployed to the Middle East…..a nothing has changed…..

Speaking to the BBC today, President Obama “ruled out” sending ground troops to Syria, even though he’s already sent 50 troops to the country, and has been reported for months to be planning a major escalation of that.

And the escalation didn’t take long, for even as Obama’s comments were being publicized, US officials confirmed that Obama is planning to send another 250 ground troops into Syria to join the troops already there. This was said to have been on the upper end of the proposals being pushed by the Pentagon.

This only adds to the farce surrounding the ISIS war, which started with President Obama vowing “no boots on the ground,” and now covers not just the 300 troops that will be in Syria after this escalation, but over 5,000 US ground troops in Iraq, including some participating in direct combat operations.

I guess some promises are just not worth keeping….

Yep, we promise to defend anybody that has a thick wallet that we can use……

During his visit to Saudi Arabia to attend the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit, President Obama provided the GCC member nations with a personal guarantee that the United States would defend their nations against “Iranian aggression.”

The comments were intended to placate the GCC member nations, particularly Saudi Arabia, as they are all openly angry about the US involvement in the P5+1 nuclear deal. Obama insisted that despite the deal, the US has “serious concerns about Iran’s behavior.”

Is there a line that we will not cross when it comes to war?

The War Without End

That’s right….I will keep harping on this war thing until someone realizes how pathetic and unnecessary it all really is……

Remember back in 2003 when there was this huge banner hung for all the world to see….”Mission Accomplished”…..

And since that day we have been up to our collective butts in conflict in Iraq…..I will not mention Afghanistan, that will be for another day…..we have pulled our troops out and almost immediately started sending them back in to the conflict……

This is becoming truly a war without end…..

Below is an interview about the war that the US cannot move beyond…..

The U.S. is at war with the same extremist group it claimed to have defeated five years ago, and it’s relying on sectarian extremists to “win” again.

Source: The Iraq War Never Ended: An Interview with Anand Gopal | Opinion | teleSUR English

Some Americans felt optimistic when the US started bringing our troops home….but that was just a momentary thing…..and Obama returned our troops into the sandbox……and there is NO relief in sight……

In a press conference during his visit to Saudi Arabia, President Obama talked up the idea of keeping the US military presence in Iraq, which continues to grow, deployed in the country for the long term, citing the country’s instability as proof that America needs to be more involved.

Iraq’s parliament is in a state of crisis over the past week, with a proposed cabinet leading to fist-fights on the parliament’s floor and the sacking of the speaker. Since then, Iraq’s parliament has not successfully had a single session.

Obama called on Iraq to immediately finalize a new cabinet so they could focus on the war, and suggested that increases in US funding for the Iraqi government were to be based heavily on Iraq’s ability to get a new cabinet in place.

It would appear that our attempt at nation building did not go as well as some had thought.  Not even a bribe of massive amounts of cash has brought about any stability……so see  money cannot buy everything.

This situation will not end well….no amount of promises and slogans will see this thing to a calmer conclusion…..

Our society is fragmented, our economy is rigged and the only thing my granddaughter has to look forward to is more war and more frequent wars….our children deserve better.

And Yet More News From The Battlefront

I know today is the big day…the New York Primary and that all eyes will be on the Big Apple….I wish I could muster a little enthusiasm but sadly it eludes me about now…..

I like to keep my readers focused when I can…..our many wars is a point that needs a lot more focus…..and that is why I am here…..

“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity”  Eisenhower

I recently reported about the troops increases that have gone under the MSM radar…..more troops for Syria and Iraq…..and it appears that my reports were just the tip of the poison spear……

Over the weekend, US officials reiterated that the Obama Administration has designs on dramatic escalation of the ground wars in Iraq and Syria, with near-term plans to send as many as 200 more ground troops into northeastern Syria to “train” the Kurds.

There are also plans for a significant escalation in Iraq, though the timing of this is less certain because of the ongoing political row over Prime Minister Hayder Abadi’s cabinet. The US and Iraq made a deal to cap ground troops in Iraq at 3,870, and the US is believed to be “closer to 5,000” at this point, with more coming all the time.

A “dramatic escalation”?  Those words would weigh over on the American mindset.  But will it?

After reporting that more troops were headed to the Middle East……it has been dismissed as “advisers”……and that is a lie!

The US will deploy more than 200 additional troops to Iraq—upping the number from 3,870 to 4,087—and send Apache helicopters for the first time into the fight against ISIS in Iraq, the first major increase in US forces in nearly a year. The uptick in US forces—and the decision to put them closer to the front lines—is designed to help Iraqi forces retake the key northern city of Mosul, and help retake Raqqa, the extremist’s group self-proclaimed capital in Syria, the AP reports. Last June the Obama administration announced hundreds of troops would be deployed to help the Iraqis retake Ramadi—a goal accomplished at the end of the year. Of the extra troops, most will be Army special forces, who’ve been used throughout the anti-ISIS campaign to advise and assist the Iraqis. The remainder will include some trainers, security forces for advisers, and maintenance teams for the Apaches.

The advise-and-assist teams—made up of some dozen troops, each accompanied by security forces—will embed with Iraqi brigades and battalion, likely putting them closer to the front lines. The proximity to the battlefront will allow the US teams to provide more tactical combat advice as Iraqis move toward Mosul, still under ISIS control. Until now, US advisers have worked with the Iraqis at the headquarters level, well back from the front lines. A senior defense official told reporters that while Iraqi leaders have been reluctant to have a large number of US troops in Iraq, they also need certain capabilities that only more American or coalition forces can provide. Iraqi leaders back the addition of more US troops if their work is coordinated with Iraqis and directed toward retaking Mosul. Anonymous US officials have said that the number of special operations forces in Syria would be increased at some point, but Defense Secretary Ash Carter, speaking to US troops in Baghdad, didn’t mention that.

And ….so it begins! (again)

Back in the 1990’s the USA took its forces out of the Philippines…all army, navy and air force….all gone….now that China is flexing its muscle in the South China Sea the US is returning to the island nation……

US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter today announced the US will be escalating its “regular rotations” of troops and warplanes into the Philippines, though despite a growing number of troops in the country at any given time, he insisted this was not an increased “permanent footprint.”

300 Air Force commandos, along with a number of additional US combat aircraft are heading to the Philippines this go around, with an eye on escalating tensions with China over maritime claims in the South China Sea.

Despite officials making no secret that the deployments directly target China, Carter insists they aren’t meant to provoke any sort of conflict with China, and that his policy is to “tamp down” tensions with them.

Oh goody…a further expansion on a limited amount of troops…..that should work out good, huh?

The big news over that last year…..even tough the media tries hard not to notice it….is the war between Saudis and the Yemen Houthi rebels…..the country is bombed into the dark ages….but wait it may not be over……

Already involved in the Saudi war in Yemen, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Obama Administration are in talks to launch a completely separate conflict in Yemen, this time focused against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Details are still scant, and US officials declined to offer specifics because of “operational security,” but the UAE has apparently sought US air support and logistics help for the offensive, knowing the administration is eager to go after AQAP.

Cool….yet more action for our troops.  BTW, what does “backing” actually mean?

Finally, in my last report I told my readers that the Taleban had issued its warning of a massive Spring offensive….and……..

Armed militants in Afghanistan staged a coordinated assault on a key government security agency in Kabul Tuesday morning, killing at least 28 people. The Taliban has claimed responsibility. The attack appears to have targeted an agency similar to the US Secret Service, providing personal protection for high-ranking government officials, the AP reports. Kabul Police Chief Gen. Abdul Rahman Rahimi told reporters that another 327 people were wounded in the assault, which began with a powerful suicide car bomb attack on the agency compound gates. A group of armed militants then entered the compound and waged a prolonged battle with government security forces, which officials say has now ended.

Dozens of civilian apartment buildings, houses, and shops, as well as several government buildings, were damaged by the car bomb blast. Taliban insurgents have stepped up their attacks since announcing the start of their spring offensive last week, though the Guardian notes that the winter was unusually violent, with multiple attacks in the capital and elsewhere. President Ashraf Ghani issued a statement condemning the latest attack, saying it “clearly shows the enemy’s defeat in face-to-face battle with Afghan security forces.” (The Taliban claimed to have just missed John Kerry with a rocket attack during his recent visit to Kabul.)

Afghanistan is America’s forgotten war….but if you would like an inside look at what we cab expect from the Taleban this Spring then I offer…….

Source: Afghanistan Partial Threat Assessment: April 12, 2016 | Institute for the Study of War

Finally….in the category of…..Ya Think?

A bipartisan pair of lawmakers are worried that President Obama’s recent decision to deploy 217 more forces to Iraq is mission creep.

“Yesterday’s announcement that the U.S. will deploy more than 200 additional troops to Iraq to assist in the fight against ISIL is textbook mission creep,” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said Tuesday.

Lee was Congress’ lone dissenter in granting then-President George W. Bush authority to go to war in Afghanistan.

Source: Lawmakers see ISIS war ‘mission creep’ | TheHill

Sorry to say……none of our wars are looking like a success in any stretch of the imagination……

 

Words About War Matter

Today for some reason I seem to be fixated on the subject of war…..a fascinating subject not from the point of view of some Rambo BS but what it takes for people to accept the obscenity of war.

It is election time so chest thumping is at a premium…..especially from those that think going to war will solve all problems……

I realize that many do not want to think about the consequences of any of our massive amount of interventionism……but they should.

Sorry but I do not believe that going to war is the answer to every problem we face internationally…..it is the easy answer but not the most prudent one.

Originally posted at TomDispatch. At the moment, there are a maximum of 3,870 U.S. military personnel (or 7,740 actual boots on the ground) in Iraq supporting the war against the Islamic State. That’s the “official cap” imposed by the Obama administration, because everyone knows that the president and his top officials are eager to end […]

Source: Words About War Matter – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

Please think about this situation before you cast your vote……remember these people are not “boots on the ground”….they are someone’s husbands, wives, brothers, sisters and children……they deserve more consideration that some blind emotional response to every situation……or every mindless slogan.

The Middle East: Let’s End America’s Hopeless War

Our country’s longest war is unwinnable, and we have more important things to do.  It is time to end these massive wastes of personnel and money….It has been 15 years and 13 years respectively and the US is NO closer to the original intent in to which we entered into these conflicts.

At what point will the American people realize what a waste all these wars are and just what could be accomplished in this country with the funds that we waste daily.

A hundred years ago, the armies of World War I fought to a bloody stalemate on the Western Front and desperately searched for ways to break it and gain an edge. They field-tested tanks and poison gas, rolling barrages and storm-trooper tactics. Today, the United States is stuck in an analogous stalemate in the Middle East and Islamic world in general. And we are field-testing all manner of novelties, much like the great armies of Europe mired in the trenches: the so-called Revolution in Military Affairs and counterinsurgency, precision-guided munitions and unmanned aerial vehicles, not to mention such passing fancies as “overwhelming force,” “shock and awe,” and “air occupation.”

Yet as was the case a century ago, the introduction of some new battlefield technique does not necessarily signify progress. On the contrary, it only deepens the stalemate.

Source: The Middle East: Let’s End America’s Hopeless War – POLITICO Magazine

I am an unashamed anti-war supporter and the longer these conflicts continue the more US troops will die and the more money that will be wasted on them, the wars not the troops…..it is time to wash our hands of these conflicts and come home and do the right things for the people of this country.

 The Fallacy of Troop Worship

Anyone that reads my blog knows that I am a staunch critic of the way this country treats our veterans…….we asked them to do their best and when they do we turn our backs on them the first chance we get……

Every candidate and every politician has nothing but support for the vets…..but most of it is hollow words with absolutely NOTHING of substance done on their behalf.

Then there is the “Support The Troops” movement….it raises lots of money and does little to nothing to assist the veterans in getting what the country owes them.

There is a pervasive idea in today’s American society that regardless of political philosophy or party affiliation, one must never criticize the members of the United States military. Conventional wisdom holds that we must appreciate the sacrifice soldiers have made to “fight for our freedom,” and even if one is against the war, they must always “support the troops.” This line of thinking is not coming solely from the pro-war crowd; many of those who consider themselves antiwar (or at least oppose a specific war or conflict) have the utmost regard for those who fight in them. But is this canonization of those who take up arms in the name of the United States government truly just? Or is it a falsehood based on propaganda, emotion, and a lack of critical thinking?

Source: No Thank You for Your Service: The Fallacy of Troop Worship – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

Our veterans deserve so much more than this country is willing to give them……a cute little flag or a “special” sticker does NOTHING to repay them for their service.

We have a tendency to wrap our faux support for the troops in some obscure BS about patriotism…….

A U.S. ranger who served in Afghanistan and a Marine who was in Iraq put light on the dangerous myth that America has built around its “warriors.” Now, in acts of civil disobedience, they are determined to right the wrongs of war.

Source: Chris Hedges: The Lie of Patriotism – Chris Hedges – Truthdig

Patriotism is another one of those slogans that generates applause…..but very little else.

As a Viet vet I can tell you first hand just how unfeeling this country can be.

I see it all happening once again.

More Battlefront News

Since the election is all consuming for the media I have taken it upon myself to keep my readers abreast of what is happening in our many wars….since few others seem to care…….

First, our attempt to train “moderate” rebels in Syria was a dismal failure…the Pentagon has decided in their infinite wisdom to double down….

You know the old saying: if at first you don’t succeed, keep trying the same dumb thing over and over and wonder why you are still not succeeding. Well, at least that’s the Beltway version of that old saying.

We know what happened last time the Pentagon launched a program to train rebels to fight ISIS (and overthrow Assad) in Syria: they spent half a billion dollars and ended up with five fighters.

Source: They’re at it Again: Pentagon Training New Syrian Rebels « Antiwar.com Blog

Second, things are going so well with the Iraqi military that the US is proposing opening more bases and sending more troops into Iraq…..

Rear Admiral Andrew Lewis talked up a single significant new base, to be operated similarly to the existing Firebase Bell, near Mosul, and also would consider other, smaller outposts to provide more artillery support in the fighting around Mosul.

Lewis downplayed the move to ground troops in Iraq, a war in which President Obama repeatedly ruled out the introduction of “boots on the ground,” insisting that the ground troops are no different than war planes conceptually, and that they’re just conducting surface-to-surface strikes instead of air-to-surface strikes.

It’s hard to tell, indeed, if such bases aren’t already happening, as Firebase Bell was operating for quite some time before the Pentagon was forced to admit to its existence when ISIS attacked the site and killed a Marine. They insisted they were planning an official announcement later that week.

The US has a treaty with Iraq capping the number of ground troops in the country at 3,870, though the Pentagon has conceded that they usually have in excess of 5,000 troops in Iraq at any given time.

Back about a year or so ago the US deployed some Marines to Iraq in the days when the Iraqi military was not up to speed (as if they are today)……their deployment was a temporary one……but then……

Under a negotiated deal with Iraq, the US is allowed to deploy a maximum of 3,870 ground troops in the nation at any given time. In spite of this, the Pentagon has conceded that they have closer to 5,000 troops inside Iraq. They insist this isn’t technically a violation, because those extra troops are just “temporary.”

Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren today conceded that the 200 US Marines at Firebase Bell are all “temporary,” but that there is no scheduled end date for their operation, saying they are just going to stay until there is an “enduring solution.”

That potentially means a deployment lasting years on end, of course, and means that the “temporary” troops are no more temporary than any other US troops deployed anywhere else, staying as long as the Pentagon figures they need to.

Not so temporary?  Go figure.

Now you know what the media does not want you to know….