OOOOOOOOOOOO, You just know we're D-O-O-M-ED - DDDOOOOOOMMMMEDDD, I TELL YA - iff our future
"No war-thru-2050-iff-not-2100" OWG-NWO = SPACE GOVT-ORDER DISCOVERS THAT "E.T."s ARMAMENT WAS NOT BASED ON CHOCOLATE M&M'S AS PRESENTLY BELIEVED!
* TOPIX, FREEREPUBLIC > MILITARY WOMEN IN NO RUSH TO JOIN INFANTRY.
They kept the peacetime career box checking system over battlefield performance. We have more generals per soldier today than we had in WWII.
They became political commissars who at most grudgingly, and more often gleefully to fulfill that promotion box, implemented PC over military culture that had worked effectively for generations. It's not a Tea Society, it a brutal killing machine (see Sherman - war is hell).
There's a reason that in the Constitution the writers make a declaration of a separate law governing land and naval forces. It's not civil society.
When the military [like the educational system] became a government 'petri dish' for fairness and equality of outcomes, the outcome was entirely predictable. Proofs can be found in the now long standing Department of the Army Centralized Promotion System and the grooming of legions of senior enlisted to serve in positions within the so-called "enlisted chain of command" as virtual union stewards and diviners. The loss of authority from these two now widely accepted measures, has been devastating to leaders and the good order and discipline of the Army. Following Vietnam and troubles within the ranks [mainly within US Forces Germany] we came to a fork in the road and took it. Unfortunately, I doubt there is any going back.
Unrelated, but with my good ear I am listening to Fox and the Chuck Hagel SECDEF nomination discussions. The argument repeated time and time again is Hagel's voting against Iranian sanctions. Someone please inform me of the success of Iranian sanctions to date ?
The other frequent heard argument against Hagel's nomination is his comment regarding the so-called "Jewish Lobby" in Washington. Am I then to understand there is no large Jewish political influence in Washington, lobby or otherwise ?
Could it be that the Washington power elites are not comfortable with someone so unlike themselves, a warrior leader who clearly speaks his mind ?
Signs we are in deep trouble:
When lawyers in Washington have to be called to determine the acceptability of the ROEs on the battlefield in Iraq or Afghanistan. When you cannot get a decision out of Washington in a timely manner because everyone is weighing the public relations and political correctness consequences. When "hearts and minds" replaces "winning" as the goal of war effort. When the warriors are leaving the military early. When ticket-punching becomes the path to promotion rather than performance on the battlefield. Military budgets are the first budgets to be considered for cutting.
Someone please inform me of the success of Iranian sanctions to date ?
Overall, about 50-60 percent effective. The major problem is a) the number of waivers granted to foreign nations by Washington and b) the number of nations who are willing to ignore or break sanctions. Not exactly a sterling display of American leadership or power.
Am I then to understand there is no large Jewish political influence in Washington, lobby or otherwise ?
No monolithic one, if I understand correctly. Then again it could just be a matter of echoing the Secretary of State's "vast right wing conspiracy". Not accurate, but not exactly endearing to those it's applied to, either.
Could it be that the Washington power elites are not comfortable with someone so unlike themselves, a warrior leader who clearly speaks his mind?
Yes, it's quite an accomplishment to alienate both sides of the Senate aisle, plus a significant portion of the House, plus your supposedly-erstwhile political party (the affiliation to which is being touted by the White House as a display of 'bipartisanship'.)
The pejorative supposedly applied to Senator McCain during his Hanoi Hotel days may not be applicable here. However, it's my experience that one doesn't anger fire-support or the corspmen and expect prompt assistance later.
Beoserker: More-honorable-than-everyone-else unafraid-to-speak-their-minds Warrior-types with chests full of medals were always at the forefront of the sales push for the honorable decision to sell out to the Soviets at the 'end' of the Vietnam War what eventually amounted to three whole countries with a combined population of... if I'm reading this right, about 29 million people.
The thing is, the Israel Lobby is the one that sticks up for Israel, which is what the honourable former Senator claims to object to... but the Israel Lobby has a strong non-Jewish contingent.
The Jewish Lobby spends at least as much time fighting for Progressive issues as it does for Israel, and some Jewish groups, like those J Street asses, lobby hard against Israel.
Dear Mr. Hagel is more than a bit disingenuous when he argues against the Jewish Lobby, given I haven't heard him being described as any kind of conservative. The wonder is that he hasn't gone off about those slimy Neocons *wink, wink*.
But in the end none of that political stuff matters as much as the facts that
1) the gentleman has managed to annoy a large number of his former colleagues in the Senate, by all accounts, and
2) he has a history of poor office management practices. How is he to manage the entire Department of Defence when he couldn't even handle a bunch of political aides and interns?
At the best of times, military manpower totals are a largely meaningless metric. The issue is never whether there are 6,000 men and women or 30,000. The issue is what they are deployed to do, what roles and missions they perform, what combat role they will play if any, how well funded and equipped they are, and how they support an overall strategy, plan, and effort to achieve a real strategic result. In an insurgency, and in an effort to conduct armed nation building in a failed state, military manpower is an even less meaningful metric than usual. The issue is the future size of the civil-military effort, not the military effort alone. Any debate or analysis of the future U.S. role in Afghanistan that does not tie the two together is little more than intellectual and media rubbish.
What really matters, however, is that there are no public U.S. plans that show how the Obama administration will deal with either the civil or military aspects of this transition between now and the end of 2014, or in the years that follow. The few metrics that the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the U.S. government have made public only cover past combat performance, and they show there has been no meaningful military progress since the end of 2010. The State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have never issued a remotely credible report on the progress and impact of the civilian surge or any aspect of the civil aid program. At this point in time, this lack of public and transparent plans and reporting makes it impossible to determine whether there is a real transition plan or a disguised exit strategy. All that is clear is that the United States is likely to spend at least $150 billion more on the war by the end of 2014 and suffer well over a thousand more casualties.
In fairness, to the U.S. military and General John Allen, their recommendations to President Obama almost certainly went far beyond the public debate over the leaks of total military manpower options that have become the focus of far too much of the media and far too many think tanks. Moreover, it is the function of the U.S. military to provide military advice, not overall plans that include the civil and military aspects of the war. The missing civil half of any public plan is the responsibility of the State Department and USAID, neither of which has ever produced a meaningful, detailed, public report on the nature and effectiveness of their civil efforts in either the Afghan or Iraq wars. In spite of the very real efforts and sacrifices of their personnel in the field, neither has shown real leadership in Washington, and their promises to produce plans and effectiveness measures have never been kept.
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BLUF: All of this talk and hand wringing about Afghanistan's ability to get it's act together is meaningless blather. Afghanistan will never be able to get it's shi* together. We are at war with terrorist elements Pakistan and will remain so as long as Pakistan has a nuclear capability. Afghanistan is little more than a very costly operational platform.
It's Iran. They still don't like those Bedouin parvenus running things in Mecca.
[Iran Press TV] Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in their national face... 's latest budget announcement - the biggest in the kingdom's 80-year history - had the world's financial press swooning last week. It came as an almost delirious distraction from the relentless austerity news coming out of the United States and Europe.
USD219 billion is to be pumped into the Saudi economy by the government in Riyadh. In an age of capitalist austerity, the Saudi spending plan may seem like socialism on steroids.
Continued on Page 49
Iraq's and Syria's troubles are closely related--a fact the mainstream media often forgets, choosing instead to stubbornly define the Syrian war as a fight for democracy against a dictatorship and the violence in Iraq as a contained sectarian conflict. This shortsightedness fails to recognize that across the Middle East Sunnis and Shia are engaged in a struggle for political power and religious legitimacy. Sunni rebel groups backed by Sunnis in the Gulf are fighting a Shia regime in Damascus backed by a Shia theocracy in Iran. The same is happening in Iraq, where a Shia authoritarian regime backed by Iran is fighting Sunni groups backed by the Gulf Arabs. Other actors, like the U.S., Turkey, and the Kurds, make this a truly volatile international conflict. And it is Iraq where all of this is going to erupt next, writes Henri Barkey here at the AI:
Today Iraq is held together by a shoestring. . . . The Saudis have not given him [Maliki] much quarter and would like to see him go. He has made an enemy of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as each accuses the other of putting sectarian interests ahead of regional interests and stability. Turks provided refuge to the Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, who escaped following his indictment on charges of helping Sunni death squads to operate in Baghdad. This increasing regional rift may be music to the ears of many Iraqi Sunnis, who have been heard saying, in effect, "the Ottomans are back in Istanbul, the Umayyad are about to re-conquer Damascus, and next Sunni Abbasid power will return to Baghdad."