Our Military Needs to Defend the Country, Not Undermine American Security

I am one of those people that thinks starting wars around the globe is NOT defending the country…..as a matter of fact it is making things worse….at least to our security.

The last couple of presidents have spent a lot of resources and treasure attacking others in different parts of the world….and NO where has it made this country any safer from attack.

But it seems that the presidents cannot stop themselves….they feel the necessity to push those damn buttons to the point that everyone is either “for” us or “against” us……

And yet the American people are oddly silent on the use of military force…..as if they think it is a bloodless sport…..this election will be one where the world will come to the brink….yet again.

As President Obama visits still-communist Vietnam, a former American rival, in his “pivot to Asia” to recruit more countries to shelter against a rising China, the trip only serves to illustrate the global American Empire’s overextension. At the same time, he is opening missile defenses in Europe, quadrupling U.S. military spending there, and deploying more […]

Source: Our Military Needs to Defend the Country, Not Undermine American Security – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

Americans need to pull their heads from the sand…..they need to ask….what are American soldiers dying for?

Professor’s Continuing Battlefront Diary

This is a series that I write to keep my readers up on the conflicts that the US is involved in….most times the media does not report on this stuff….and by media I mean the mainstream media…you know the crap they feed you at 6 p.m.

The US was involved in the humanitarian effort that brought down Qaddafi…..and we have never left….we are handling one of the “leaders” a Col. Haftar through the CIA and now we are sending in more combat troops…..

Adding to the details about the US deployment of special forces into Libya to prepare for a ground invasion of the country, officials today revealed that two “military outposts” have been established in the country since late 2015, each containing “fewer than 25” troops.

Details are scant, but the bases are said to be located near Misrata and Benghazi, respectively. It is noteworthy that neither of these areas are under the control of either of the UN-backed governments, though Misrata is largely aligned with the Tripoli parliament, a third government that the UN doesn’t recognize.

How long will it be before we have a Libyan surge?

A good question and here is the start……

Officially, the US supports the “unity government” in Libya, whose territory includes a single naval base in Tripoli and a few nearby buildings. In practice, the US is seen backing the two other extent would-be governments just a seriously.

That’s becoming more and more obvious as the Pentagon is increasingly open about its ongoing ground operations in Libya, where they are “meeting a variety of Libyans.” Less important that the sight-seeing is that the US has established two bases, one in Misrata and one near Benghazi.

You’ll notice that neither of those places is right next to the naval base in Tripoli. Rather, the Misrata base is in territory held by the Tripoli parliament, a rival government, and the site near Benghazi is in the sphere of the Tobruk parliament, another “UN-backed government.”

Yet another country that we will occupy and not be held responsible….

When do old enemies become new friends?

President Barack Obama appears poised to begin selling weapons to an old enemy and a new friend: Vietnam.

Obama, who will embark this weekend on his first trip to the Communist country, is weighing an end to a United States’ ban on selling weapons that started in 1975 at the close of the Vietnam War, which left nearly 60,000 Americans dead and scarred a generation.

Vietnam has long sought an end to the moratorium. But the request took on a more urgent tone in recent years after its neighbor, China, repeatedly threatened or attacked ships in the disputed waters of the South China Sea and started picking territorial fights with Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan.

US arming an old enemy that killed 60,000 of our countrymen…..will this come back and bite us in the ass?
The New World War 3 will begin May 2017……(so sez a past NATO commander)
Former NATO deputy commander Gen. Sir Alexander Richard Shirreff has published a new book, called 2017 War With Russia, in which he predicts a full-scale nuclear war between NATO and Russia, saying the sides are heading “inexorably” for a nuclear exchange, and that the war will start next May.
The book’s narrative follows the same expectations as other NATO officials who have been angling for bigger budgets and more military buildup, claiming Russian President Vladimir Putin will just randomly invade NATO member nations and start a huge war out of the blue.
Sir Richard says Russia feels “encircled” by NATO, and will invade Latvia in May, and threaten nuclear war if NATO isn’t okay with that. NATO won’t be okay with that, and so the world will basically end with the same nuclear holocaust NATO has hung over our heads for generations.
Is this yahoo trying to sell books or is he prophetic?
Ant then there is Afghanistan….there has been a lot of rhetoric about the US ending its involvement in the country…most of which is BS……
2016 is almost half way over, and the war in Afghanistan is going as bad as ever. Though it’s not as high-profile a topic of discussion at NATO meetings 15 years into the failing occupation, the alliance once again agreed to extend the military operation, which was scheduled to end at the end of 2016.

The US, of course, had no intention of withdrawing at the end of 2016 at any rate, and has already punted their end date to the end of 2017, and later extending it to an indefinite point in the future. The NATO announcement just means they’ll have company from the other nations, at least the ones still willing to throw troops at the war.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also confirmed that the alliance is separately debating a plan to extend the subsidy of Afghanistan’s military beyond the present end date of 2020. After 15 years of occupation, NATO has created a huge Afghan military, but the nation has virtually no economy, no tax base, and no chance of paying for it on their own. Most analysts agree this subsidy is going to continue for decades to come.

All the news that no one will use…..

Downsizing?

I have always disliked that term……

Let’s go back to pre-Cold War….in those days military service was not the “hero” worship it is today……the peacetime military was small, skeletal force whose nain function was to train the civilian population to be used militarily if the need were to arise.

We are getting more and more involved in the situations around the globe…..and we have only a limited amount of troops to carry out the policies of our admins…..and it appears that those troops will lessened even further……we appear to be trying to return to the days of the skeletal force……

In 1940, the head count for active-duty soldiers in the US Army was 269,023, a low that hasn’t been reached since, the Army Times reports. But due to budget cutbacks, a drawdown plan announced last summer to whittle manpower by 40,000 troops has left the Army with its lowest post-World War II count yet: 479,172 soldiers, which is 154 fewer than those on active duty during the previous post-WWII low hit in 1999.

“These are not cuts the Army wants to make, these are cuts required by [the] budget environment in which we operate,” the Army’s vice chief of staff said in July when the plan was first announced, Fox News reports. Per the Defense Manpower Data Center, there are also just over 548,000 soldiers in reserve, bringing the total number of Army troops to 1,027,196. The ultimate goal: to hit a total force number of 980,000 by the end of September 2018.

Back in the day we had the draft to make up the difference in case of dire need…..but the Congress may finally eliminate that fall back position…..

This year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) looks set to decide the question of whether women aged 18-26 will have to register for the military draft in the United States, with a vote likely next week on Rep. Pete Sessions’ (R – TX) legislation attempting to block language that would require women to register.

The debate has happened off and on for decades and came up again with calls from the Army and Marine chiefs of staff calling for women to be brought into the Selective Service system in the name of “equality.” The Selective Service Act requires all men 18-26 to register, though none have been conscripted since 1973.

This led to some bipartisan efforts to satisfy the desire for equality in the more straightforward way, ending the Selective Service outright, though ultimately this didn’t happen and the committee put language into the NDAA forcing women to register. Sessions’ bill would remove that language.

Questions about who is or isn’t eligible for conscription have long been treated as purely academic, and officials have downplayed the money wasted on the unused Selective Service system. Secretary of State John Kerry, however, recently spoke out in support of bringing back the draft, saying he has “deep reservations” about America’s all-volunteer military.

Let’s say we drop the draft….what then when the country needs recruits fast?  Or will we start limiting our international entanglements?  (Raucous laughter…like that will EVER happen)

Veterans And The Choice Program

I have been an outspoken critic of the services that this country is withholding from its veterans…..and as usual Congress, especially the conservatives are looking for a “better” way for the vets to get what we owe them….

The Veterans Choice Program?  What is this?

For Veterans who have faced unacceptable waiting times for needed medical care, or for whom a regular VA medical facility is inaccessible, the Veteran Choice Program (VCP) will make it possible for you to receive the needed care from a non-VA health care provider in your community.

The Veterans Choice Card (Choice Card) has been distributed to all Veterans enrolled for care at VA. Veterans will receive a letter in the mail along with the Choice Card and information about eligibility. The cards were mailed first to those VA believes are in immediate need and meet the eligibility requirements. If you have recently moved or your primary residence has changed, complete VA Form 10-10EZR to update your information and contact your enrollment coordinator at your nearest VA medical facility.

The Choice Card will enhance other treatment options already available at VA and is designed to improve wait times and access. It does not impact existing VA health care or any other VA benefit – it just offers other options for care when VA cannot meet Veterans’ health care needs.

There seems to be a bit of a push back against this program by several veterans groups……

The nation’s largest veterans groups have lined up to oppose any expansion of the Veterans Affairs Choice program that would allow all veterans who are eligible for VA medical care to use it.

The stand, by the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and others, places the groups squarely in the corner of VA Secretary Bob McDonald, who has called proposals favoring private care for veterans over VA facilities, a “dereliction” of department duties, and at odds with seven powerful U.S. senators, including Arizona Republican John McCain, who have proposed legislation to lift restrictions on Choice.

Source: Veterans groups oppose Choice program expansion

There seems to be a gimmick when it comes to the health of our veterans….why is that?

I am not very knowledgeable about this program but if there are any vets out there that would like to shred some light on this for the readers of IST……I would appreciate the help understanding.

When All Else Fails, Sue The Bastard!

I close my posting day with a piece about our continuous wars and how could we stop the insanity…..

Some of us bloggers have been bad mouthing Obama and his predecessor, GW for going to war without getting the approval of the US Congress….personally, I do not think that American troops should be used unless absolutely necessary….going to war is just an easy option….it takes little thought and even less conscience.

It appears that someone has stepped up to make the point…….

It’s not that Army Capt. Nathan Michael Smith doesn’t want to take out the Islamic State. It’s just that he doesn’t think President Obama has the authority to wage war against ISIS without Congress’ OK. That’s the crux of the 28-year-old intelligence officer’s lawsuit filed Wednesday in US District Court in DC, in which he cites his “conscience” and the promise he made as a serviceman to uphold the Constitution, the New York Times reports. “To honor my oath, I am asking the court to tell the president that he must get proper authority from Congress, under the War Powers Resolution, to wage the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” he says in the 53-page document. Smith, who’s currently stationed in Kuwait, lodged his complaint on the heels of the president’s recent announcements that he’s sending more troops to both Iraq and Syria.

Obama has said before that he doesn’t need Congress’ approval because the current campaign falls under the umbrella of 2001’s Authorization for Use of Military Force, put into place to authorize the president (then George W. Bush) to go after any “nations, organizations, or persons” that had something to do with the 9/11 attacks, including al-Qaeda and its affiliates. But it gets sticky with ISIS: Although the group is an al-Qaeda offshoot, it didn’t exist in 2001 and has since been officially cut loose by al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. But a senior analyst with the RAND Corporation said in 2014 that it’s a little more involved than that, and that although ISIS may not be part of al-Qaeda anymore, “they are organizations from the same swamp.” What could make Smith’s case difficult to win, a Harvard Law School professor tells the Times: the fact that Congress has appropriated money to put toward the current ISIS conflict, which could signify it’s on board with the president’s initiative.

It is time to reconsider this damn thing……I feel that anytime that 50+ US troops are deployed in a war zone then there MUST be a congressional approval.

This may sound like a waste of time but at least this will bring some attention to a serious breach of protocol…..but I am not optimistic that much will come out of this lawsuit….but I will give him an “A” for the effort.

When Is a Boot on the Ground Not a Boot on the Ground?

Let me begin by saying that I am f*cking tired of the use “Boots on the ground”……it is a dehumanizing technique to refer to troops that will possibly die in defense of their country…at least do them the honor of treating them with some sort of respect.

Onward!  I have been writing about the use of American troops and then trying to deny that they are being used to the public.  It is a propaganda p[loy to try and lessen the impact of our troops dying to the public.

This article tries to answer the question posed in the title…..

No one disputes that U.S. military forces are fighting in combat in Iraq and Syria — except maybe President Barack Obama and some members of his administration.

The semantic arguments over whether there are American “boots on the ground” muddy the view of a situation in which several thousand armed U.S. military personnel are in Iraq and Syria. Obama has said more than a dozen times that there would be no combat troops in Iraq and Syria as the number of service members in those countries grows; last week, Defense Secretary Ash Carter acknowledged the military personnel there were in combat and “we should say that clearly.”

Source: Q&A: When Is a Boot on the Ground Not a Boot on the Ground? | Military.com

The Battlefront Diary

My final post of the day…..keeping you informed because NO one else will.

Once again I will step up and give you the news that the media would rather you not know…..

First, this is not from the shooting war in the Middle East but from a country that has tasted the terrorism we all so dread…..Belgium

The entire population of Belgium is to be issued with a ration of iodine tablets, months after warnings about the threat of Isil building a dirty bomb.

It emerged following last month’s terrorist attacks that an Isil cell may have been plotting to kidnap a nuclear expert in order to build a “dirty bomb”. Eleven nuclear workers had their passes revoked.

Do they know something we should?  Maybe…….

Though the extremely cautious nature of their statements means they didn’t offer much detail, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is expressing “extreme concern” about the possibility that ISIS is not only using chemical weapons, but is making them.

The “possibility” is just their reluctance to confirm things they haven’t been formally authorized to confirm, as ISIS has bragged about their capacity to manufacture chemical weapons in multiple videos, and they have repeatedly launched such strikes, sickening large numbers of civilians and combatants.

ISIS has captured a large number of empty chemical weapons shells over the course of the war in Iraq and Syria, remnants of those nations’ since dismantled programs, and has developed the capability to produce some more primitive chemicals to deploy in such weapons.

It is permissible to worry?

After years of denying that US troops are in the thick of the fighting in Iraq and Syria……

Speaking today at the Senate Armed Services Committee, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Joe Dunford confirmed that US troops in Iraq are “fighting and dying” in combat operations, confirming that the October 22 death of a Army sergeant was in combat.

That admission is a big one, as US officials have danced around the question of “combat troops” by presenting the troops being deployed to Iraq, and elsewhere in the region, as “trainers” or “advisers” in official comments.

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R – AK) pushed particularly hard on the matter, saying he believes the attempt to present Iraq as “non-combat” diminishes the sacrifices of the soldiers slain in the country, and that it iss important to “level with the American people.”

Finally a little truth from the Pentagon…it is a bit refreshing.

One more LIE from the White House……..

After Pres. Obama announced on Monday that he would deploy 250 additional special operations troops to Syria, State Department spokesperson John Kirby tried to deny that Obama had ever promised not to send “boots on the ground” there.

“There was never this ‘no boots on the ground,’” said Kirby. “I don’t know where this keeps coming from.”

The problem for Kirby was that Obama has repeated the promise at least 16 times since 2013:

For instance, on August 30, 2013, Obama said: “We’re not considering any boots-on-the-ground approach.”

On September 10, 2013, he said: “Many of you have asked, won’t this put us on a slippery slope to another war? One man wrote to me that we are ‘still recovering from our involvement in Iraq.’ A veteran put it more bluntly: ‘This nation is sick and tired of war.’ My answer is simple: I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria.”

On September 7, 2014, he said: “In Syria, the boots on the ground have to be Syrian.”

And on and on and on………

Appears the Brits are going to follow suit of the Americans……

British defense officials are confirming that there is ongoing consideration of a plan to send “hundreds more” troops to Iraq, with the troops to be listed as “trainers.” This would be a substantial addition to the existing 300 troops in Iraq.

Unlike the US, which has been putting its ground troops increasingly on the front lines, the British troops in the nation so far are far away from any combat sites. In addition to training

Another American soldier has died in Iraq…..

ISIS forces attacked and overran the northern Iraqi town of Tel Asqof, near the major ISIS city of Mosul, with a number of suicide vehicle bombers forcing their way in through Kurdish forces, and fighting heavily. Among the slain in what officials are confirming is “direct combat” was a US Navy SEAL, Charles Keating IV.

This is the third US soldier killed in fighting on the ground in Iraq since the latest war began in 2014, despite repeated assurances from the Obama Administration that there would be “no boots on the ground” in Iraq whatsoever.

News from the battlefront that is not important enough for the MSM to waste their time on reporting…..