Those Pesky Headaches

In retaliation for the death of the Iranian general a rocket attack on US bases in Iraq…..

Fortunately there were no casualties…..but Trump has made it clear that all that happened were some headaches for US troops…..

Additional US troops who were identified as having potential concussions tied to the Jan. 8 Iranian missile attack have been taken to Germany for treatment, defense officials said Tuesday. While the AP says no troop count was provided, the reportedly small group adds to the 11 who were removed from Iraq and sent to medical facilities abroad last week. While giving a news conference in Davos on Wednesday, President Trump was asked by a reporter about why he’d previously maintained that he was told no troops were injured in the attack. “I heard that they [had] headaches and a couple of other things, but I would say and I can report it is not very serious,” he replied, per the Hill. The reporter pushed: “So you don’t consider a potential traumatic brain injury serious?”

Trump’s reply: “I don’t consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I’ve seen. I’ve seen what Iran has done with their roadside bombs to our troops. I’ve seen people with no legs and with no arms. I’ve seen people that were horribly, horribly injured in that area, that war. … No, I do not consider that to be bad injuries, no.” CNN shares the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center’s stance, which is that most traumatic brain injuries are mild, though they can affect cognitive function in the long run. Mild TBIs can be tougher to spot because there may be no external sign of injury, and the symptoms can mirror that of PTSD, it notes.

Appears those “headaches” are a bit more serious than first announced…

Iran’s retaliatory strike on US troops injured more Americans than thought. The Pentagon on Friday said that 34 service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries, reports the AP. Of those, 17 are still under medical observation. Eight of that group were shipped back to the Walter Reed Medical Center in the US for treatment, while the other nine are receiving treatment in Germany, per NBC News. The injuries came after Iran fired missiles at an Iraqi air base in retaliation for the US strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

The injury issue has been in the news because President Trump said in the immediate aftermath of the attack that no US troops were hurt. Then, after a Pentagon update said 11 troops had concussion-like injuries, Trump described them as “not very serious” and as “headaches,” adding, “No, I don’t consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I’ve seen.” He compared them to troops who had lost limbs in roadside bombs. Of the 34 initially diagnosed, 16 are now back on active duty in Iraq.

Brain injuries are serious……it may be a long time before the final results are in….

Anyone making such a comment was never in the military and spent their time chasing skirts while others fought and died so they could be a coward.

After writing this draft more news has come to light…..the VFW weighs in on the “not serious” head injuries…..

The Veterans of Foreign Wars has demanded an apology from President Trump over recent comments in which he downplayed the seriousness of traumatic brain injuries suffered by American troops in an Iranian missile attack.

“The Veterans of Foreign Wars cannot stand idle on this matter,” William “Doc” Schmitz, VFW National Commander, said in a statement Friday, noting TBI is a serious injury known to cause depression, memory loss, severe headaches and other symptoms in the short and long-term.

“The VFW expects an apology from the president to our service men and women for his misguided remarks,” Schmitz added.

“And, we ask that he and the White House join with us in our efforts to educate Americans of the dangers TBI has on these heroes as they protect our great nation in these trying times. Our warriors require our full support more than ever in this challenging environment.”

https://taskandpurpose.com/vfw-demands-apology-from-trump-over-comments-calling-headaches

I Read, I Wrote, You KNow

“lego ergo scribo”

US Troops In West Africa

The Pentagon has shown a lean toward removing troops from West Africa and redeploy…https://lobotero.com/2020/01/16/closing-thought-16jan20/

After that news a lawmakers disagree with the SecDef……

Defense Secretary Mark Esper has been publicizing his intention to cut troops from Africa and send them to the areas around Russia and China for great power competition for some time. He is facing some pushback from Congress.

Efforts in recent years to brand the substantial US military position in Africa as being core to the global war on terrorism apparently stuck in the minds of a lot of lawmakers of both parties, who now say that the US can’t afford to withdraw those troops.

This increases the likelihood that Esper’s Pacific pivot will never happen. Already, his plans to cut troops from Iraq and send them seems dead, with President Trump bound and determined not to cut Iraq troop levels because Iraq wants them to.

The arguments on both sides are paper thin, either that the US needs to keep troops in Africa to be in Africa, or that they need to move them to China to do more to China. As Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) warned, if the US pulls troops out of Africa “then they will not be there.”

(antiwar.com)

I bet that the M-IC had a cow and paid dearly for the lawmakers to oppose….and then news that will help our troops stay in West Africa……

The Defense Department has remained relatively tight-lipped regarding the brazen Jan. 5 raid on a military base at Manda Bay, Kenya, but a new report from the New York Times provides a riveting account filled with new details about how the hours-long gunfight played out.

The attack, carried out by the Somalia-based al Shabaab terror group, killed a U.S. service member and two defense contractors and prompted the Pentagon to deploy its East Africa Response Force (EARF) to secure the base’s crucial airfield.

Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of U.S. Africa Command, pledged that the U.S. military would “harden our resolve” in the aftermath of the attack, stating that the U.S. “remain[s] committed to preventing al Shabaab from maintaining a safe haven to plan deadly attacks against the U.S. homeland, East African and international partners.”

https://taskandpurpose.com/kenya-manda-bay-attack-report

Yes I know Kenya is in East Africa so do not try to use that……troops will remain now that the threat is more pronounced.

Makes One Think.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Afghanistan

Going on 19 years of troop deployments and conflict and what have we got to show for it?

The American people have lied to for at least 15 years on the progress of our exercise in regime change (a post on that coming)…..

So let us consider what exactly they are hiding from us. It began with last year’s announcement that the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) – the congressionally mandated watchdog on all aspects of this war – would no longer report Afghan Security Force (ASF) casualty data. It’s now classified. I wonder why. Could it be that the US trained and equipped (to the tune of some $70 billion) Afghan military is suffering unsustainable casualties, is losing troops faster than it can recruit? Maybe its because Washington finds it inconvenient to admit that the ASF is nowhere near its target personnel strength, that desertions and absence without leave are rampant in the ranks, and that the Afghan GDP is insufficient to pay for its own security forces.

After all, every president from Bush to Obama to Trump has told us that advising the ASF is America’s number one priority and the key to a successful exit. Given that, one would think it rather important to face the truth about the utterly insufficient Afghan military and police force. Instead it’s classified. You’re no longer allowed to know that discomfiting truth.

Classifying Defeat: Hiding Data on the Losing Afghan War

This country has spent billions on the training of the Afghan police and military and for damn near two decades and what is the prognosis?

“The Afghan military – and particularly the Afghan police – has been a hopeless nightmare and a disaster,” Sopko told lawmakers on Wednesday. “And part of it is because we rotate units through that aren’t trained to do the work, and they’re gone in six-to-nine months. I don’t blame the military, but you can’t bring in a Black Hawk pilot to train an Afghan policeman on how to do police work. And that’s what we were doing — we’re still doing.”

Sopko testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday following the Washington Post’s publication of the “Afghanistan Papers,” a series of interviews that SIGAR has conducted in which top U.S. officials have privately conceded that the war in Afghanistan has provided few — if any — tangible successes.

https://taskandpurpose.com/afghan-troops-police-disaster-sopko

So we have got NOTHING in return for our money spent…is that about right?

It is time to cut our losses on a hopeless endeavor….and I am not alone with this feeling…..

Even conservative veterans are now calling for an end to Afghanistan…..

Those two voices were among five unveiled Thursday in a 30-second television ad that will air in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, urging voters to demand their lawmakers put an end to “endless wars.” As part of that effort, the first order of business for the sponsor of the ad, Concerned Veterans of America, is to get America out of Afghanistan.

“We would like to see a full withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan as soon as possible,” said Nate Anderson, an Army Green Beret and executive director of CVA, a conservative veterans’ group.

“The reality for us is that leaving our forces there only puts them at further risk in a country where we don’t have a strategic objective that we have not already met,” Anderson said, recalling the death of Osama bin Laden, punishing the Taliban for harboring al Qaeda, and largely uprooting the terror group from the country. “All those things happened,” he said.

And yet, 18 years, 3 months, and 9 days after Operation Enduring Freedom officially launched, the war continues to grind on, albeit under a different name. This past weekend, two American service members were killed and two others were wounded after their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. Their deaths were the first in the new year.

https://taskandpurpose.com/cva-ad-endless-wars

A new ally for the call to end our endless wars……slowly but slowly the antiwar movement is gaining popularity….

Yes, Conservative Vets Want Out of Afghanistan, Too

The question is….is anyone listening?

I Read, I Wrote, 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”

Sanctions For Iraq

We know that Trump’s favorite tool is economic sanctions…..easy to install and have very little effect…..that sums up his presidency.

I bring up sanctions because it seems to be the next step in the battle with Iraq.

Yes I said Iraq.

Recently the Iraqi government passed a non-binding solution to have US troops leave the country.

The Trump administration has started drafting sanctions against Iraq over its push to expel US troops from the nation, a White House official who requested anonymity confirmed to Business Insider on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump first threatened economic penalties over the weekend after the Iraqi parliament passed a nonbinding resolution to urge the US military to leave, a rebuke of the lethal drone strike that targeted a top Iranian general in Baghdad late Thursday. Along with Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, an Iraqi militia official was also killed in the escalation.

The Washington Post reported late Monday that senior administration officials had initiated preliminary talks on the potential sanctions, which the US has not yet decided to move forward with.

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/trump-administration-preparing-economic-sanctions-against-iraq-military-withdrawal-iran-2020-1-1028801079

Sanctions and now the idea of cutting military aid to Iraq……

In addition to bankrupting Iraq by seizing the entirety of their oil revenue account, the Trump Administration is now also threatening to cut military aid to Iraq, if the Iraqi government formally asks the US to leave.

The US State Department and Pentagon have discussed the matter, with the State Department working on cutting all $250 million from the 2020 military aid budget already approved, and asking the budget office to cut $100 million from the 2021 request.

While US officials insist they have no intention of leaving Iraq, the continued threats to punish Iraq with sanctions and cuts suggest that they are taking seriously the possibility that Iraq will actually order them out, and that the US may not be able to just ignore it.

While $250 million in aid is substantial, it is likely well down Iraq’s priority list with the oil revenue account containing 90% of Iraq’s annual budget. Iraqi officials haven’t indicated what their intentions are since the threats began, but parliament already voted 170-0 to expel all foreign troops, US included, as soon as possible.

(antiwar.com)

What will all this chest thumping do with ISIS waiting in the shadows?

https://lobotero.com/2020/01/10/isis-in-the-shadows-2/

Now Iraq is worried about a total economic co;;apse if sanctions and such go into effect….

Iraqi officials are warning that they would face almost immediate economic collapse if President Trump follows through on sanctions against them for asking US troops to leave. Iraq’s parliament voted on January 5, 170-0, to order the government to expel all foreign troops.

President Trump has threatened massive sanctions against Iraq, and more recently, suggestions are that the US would freeze Iraq’s bank account at the New York Federal Reserve, where all of Iraq’s oil revenues go.

Which is also 90 percent of Iraq’s budget. Iraqi officials have confirmed “threatening calls” from the US over the troops, insisting that they have no intention of leaving Iraq just because Iraq is asking.

The collapse of their entire economy, while still theoretical at this point, isn’t a healthy thing to have hanging over Iraq going forward. Siemens CEO Joe Kaesar warned he believes that “putting sanctions on something just because you don’t get your will is maybe also not always helpful.

Siemens has a $15 billion electricity development contract for Iraq. While they say they don’t intend to scale back the project, there is a risk for them, like everyone else, that the US will just take all of Iraq’s money and leave them unable to pay.

(antiwar.com)

So just to retaliate Trump will econ0mically ruin a country like Iraq…..someone that is suppose to be a “friend”…..someone who is a “partner” in the war on ISIS……

Sorry do not see the logic in all this ignorance.

A country swimming in oil and yet it could face economic collapse…..funny but that would be because the oil belongs to corporations and not the Iraqis……if problems then a case for nationalization of the oil could be waiting for a test run.  And that would mean more war….after all oil is why we are there in the first place.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–14Jan20

Should the US Troops be used to protect a foreign dictatorship?

Why would I ask that question?

Trump said in an interview with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham the day before that he had pressured Riyadh to compensate the U.S. for a recent deployment to the Middle East. 

“We have a very good relationship with Saudi Arabia. I said, listen, you’re a very rich country. You want more troops? I’m going to send them to you, but you’ve got to pay us. They’re paying us. They’ve already deposited $1 billion in the bank,” he said.

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/477837-amash-accuses-trump-of-selling-military-support-to-saudi-arabia

Seriously?

Should our troops be used to protect another country?

What happened to all the training and weapons paid for by the Saudis?

If the Saudis cannot defend themselves then where did that money go that was suppose to bem for weapons and training?

Our military has enough on their plate to launch into a mercenary force at the whim of a president.

This is bullshit….and a large pile of steaming BS…..

But let’s be real…most Americans have NO use for the Saudis…..

Everything that happens in the US-Iran relationship is profoundly structured by America’s longtime alliance with Saudi Arabia, a major regional rival of Iran.

That US-Saudi alliance has long been an unquestioned priority of the Washington foreign policy community, though in recent years elite support for Saudi Arabia has come under strain because of the humanitarian disaster in Yemen and the Saudis’ murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, whose children are American citizens. But even by the standards of American presidents, Donald Trump has clung unusually tightly to the Saudis while sharing nothing with the public about his financial relationship with the Saudi government.

It’s also worth noting that while a strong alliance with Saudi Arabia has long been a mainstream position for American foreign policy elites, it’s very unpopular with the American public.

https://www.vox.com/2020/1/6/21050019/saudi-arabia-poll-unpopular

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

I Want American Troops Home

I am one of those shameless antiwar people that thinks diplomacy should replace bullets and drones as a foreign policy tool.

I also like so many others are weary of the troops being used to police the world……our troops are stationed all over the globe and not one of them is there to protect the US homeland…..they are there to protect regimes and such….

The military of the United States is deployed in more than 150 countries around the world, with approximately 170,000 of its active-duty personnel serving outside the United States and its territories.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/06/us-military-bases-around-the-world-119321

Just in the Middle East we have approaching 100,000 troops…..

The U.S. has maintained a costly presence in the Middle East for decades, with at least 60,000 troops currently stationed around the region, according to United States Central Command

https://www.axios.com/where-us-troops-deployed-middle-east-5e96fdb2-c7ba-4f26-90b4-7bf452f83847.html

But an article by John Whitehead says it better than my puny attempts…..

It’s time to bring our troops home.

Bring them home from Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Bring them home from Germany, South Korea and Japan. Bring them home from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Oman. Bring them home from Niger, Chad and Mali. Bring them home from Turkey, the Philippines, and northern Australia.

That’s not what’s going to happen, of course.

The U.S. military reportedly has more than 1.3 million men and women on active duty, with more than 200,000 of them stationed overseas in nearly every country in the world. Those numbers are likely significantly higher in keeping with the Pentagon’s policy of not fully disclosing where and how many troops are deployed for the sake of “operational security and denying the enemy any advantage.” As investigative journalist David Vine explains, “Although few Americans realize it, the United States likely has more bases in foreign lands than any other people, nation, or empire in history.”

Don’t fall for the propaganda, though: America’s military forces aren’t being deployed abroad to protect our freedoms here at home. Rather, they’re being used to guard oil fields, build foreign infrastructure and protect the financial interests of the corporate elite. In fact, the United States military spends about $81 billion a year just to protect oil supplies around the world.

Come Home, America: Stop Policing the Globe and Put an End to Wars-Without-End

Enough is enough!

Time to use our resources to rebuild this country and let others worry about their problems.

This election will do NOTHING to stop them march of endless wars…..because the voter will pick the candidate that has his/her hands deep into the M-IC pockets.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

I Read I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”