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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #450 on: November 04, 2013, 09:43:26 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/02/us/politics/2-democrats-split-on-tactics-to-fight-military-sex-assaults.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20131102&_r=0
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #451 on: November 04, 2013, 10:31:43 AM »

second post

https://medium.com/war-is-boring/dfad249c4dfc
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #452 on: November 05, 2013, 10:50:32 AM »

SEAL's Navy Jack Flak
The First Navy Jack with the words "Don't Tread On Me" has flown on naval ships since the time of the American Revolutionary War. However, according to our colleagues at NavySeals.com, "Senior personnel from within WARCOM and Naval Special Warfare are putting out instructions and memos stating that Navy SEALs are no longer authorized to wear the 'Don't Tread on Me' patch on their combat uniforms." Of course, those words also appear on the Gadsden Flag, which is associated with the Tea Party movement. Indeed, we confirmed this order from NSW: "All personnel are only authorized to wear the matching 'AOR' American Flag patch on the right shoulder. You are no longer authorized to wear the 'Don't Tread On Me' patch."
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objectivist1
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« Reply #453 on: November 08, 2013, 08:16:22 AM »

Purging and Transforming Our Military

Posted By Matthew Vadum On November 8, 2013 @ frontpagemag.com

President Obama hasn’t just been hollowing out the military since taking office, he’s been gutting it, purging it of ideologically hostile personnel, and fundamentally transforming it into something other than a war-fighting force, military experts say.

Although few with military ties are willing to say it openly, it seems the administration is leading an orchestrated effort to seriously undermine the readiness of the military. Some reports indicate that Obama has purged 197 senior military officers since moving into the White House and that many of the retired officers have been harassed at their new civilian jobs for criticizing the president’s policies. The effects of these purges will be felt long after Obama leaves office.

This is, of course, the same through-the-looking-glass administration that goes out of its way not to label actual Islamic terrorists as terrorists, that calls terrorist attacks “man-caused disasters,” and refers to the Global War on Terror as the “Overseas Contingency Operation.”

A retired senior military officer and combat veteran who remains involved in national security affairs, told FrontPage in an interview that President Obama is involved in social engineering of the United States military.

“Having women in combat is bad,” he said. “It is changing the social complexion of the infantry and we now have this epidemic of sexual assaults.”

Soldiers are told not to be mean to gays, he said. “Do you really think the individuals who are joining the all-volunteer force will be joining to pull triggers or to get sensitivity training?”

The former officer said that President Obama is getting rid of experienced war fighters for no apparent reason.

The “poster child” for such firings is James Mattis, a real soldier’s soldier and four-star general in the Marine Corps who retired unexpectedly this past May at age 63. As a brigadier general Mattis led a brigade into Kandahar in fall of 2001 and a Marines division into Iraq during the invasion in 2003.

“Mattis should have been the next chairman of the joint chiefs of staff but mysteriously he gets retired,” the officer said. Mattis had been asking questions about Obama’s policy toward, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran, that the powers that be didn’t want asked, he said.

In early 2009 Obama cashiered David McKiernan, the general in charge of the Afghanistan war. He was replaced by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, whom he also fired. Obama canned his intelligence chief, Gen. David Petraeus. Gen. John Allen, another key figure in the Afghanistan war, resigned unexpectedly, according to an analysis by the “Vernuccio/Allison Report,” a radio show carried by WVOX 1460 AM in New Rochelle, N.Y.

Gen. Carter Ham fell on his sword soon after the White House denied permission for a rescue mission to save officials trapped at the besieged U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. Admiral David Gaurette, who oversaw an aircraft carrier group in the Middle East, also had retirement thrust upon him, as did Marine Gen. James Cartwright.

Vice Admiral Tim Giardina and Major Gen. Michael Carey, military commanders involved with the nation’s nuclear defenses, have also been shown the door by the president.

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady told WND that President Obama has forced out so many military leaders who have doubts about his policies that the nation’s armed forces no longer feel prepared to fight or to try to win armed conflicts.

“There is no doubt he is intent on emasculating the military and will fire anyone who disagrees with him” over such issues as “homosexuals, women in foxholes, the Obama sequester,” said Brady, a recipient of the military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor.

“They are purging everyone, and if you want to keep your job, just keep your mouth shut,” another top retired officer told WND.

“Not only are military service members being demoralized and the ranks’ overall readiness being reduced by the Obama administration’s purge of key leaders, colonels – those lined up in rank to replace outgoing generals – are quietly taking their careers in other directions,” the media outlet reports.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin said four-star generals are being retired at an alarming rate under Obama. “Over the past three years, it is unprecedented for the number of four-star generals to be relieved of duty, and not necessarily relieved for cause.”

“I believe there is a purging of the military,” he said. “The problem is worse than we have ever seen.”

Retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Oliver North weighed in on the issue on Mark Levin’s radio show last night.

Although “there’s a lot of dead wood wearing flags and stars … [who] wouldn’t know how to fight their way out of a paper bag,” a suspicious number of flag officers have been given walking papers by the Obama administration, he said. He continued:

There’s a group of people, and I don’t think it’s anything close to a hundred, but there’s probably several dozen who tried to do the right thing and they weren’t promoted by this administration because it was contrary to their policy whether it was the administration’s stated narrative that we’ve ended al-Qaeda, therefore we’re safe in the world, or whether it’s the stated narrative that we’re doing a pivot toward Asia which is total baloney because there’s no money to do it with, or it’s the people who want to defend America with a real serious ballistic missile defense and they were fired because they said, “hey gosh, we’re not doing what we need to do to protect the American people.”

Generals and admirals who “feel strongly that something has gone wrong and something isn’t being done right, you have a moral obligation to know, first of all, your career is probably over anyway, so have the courage to stand up at a podium, take off your stars, throw ‘em down [on] the podium, and tell the truth to the American people on your way out the door.”

This “has not happened yet and it should have happened a long time ago,” North said, adding:

The military is being turned into a laboratory for radical social engineering experiments. They’re wrecking the finest military force the world has ever known — brighter, better educated, trained, led, and now the most combat-experienced military force in the history of the world. And they’re not standing up and saying, “stop wrecking it.” This administration is intent on wrecking it.

The president has also taken some steps that seem aimed only at harming morale. Obama plans to force Marines of both sexes to don unisex headwear that critics mock as “girly hats.”

According to former Navy SEAL Carl Higbie, ranking SEAL commanders have banned their subordinates from wearing the Navy’s traditional “don’t tread on me” insignia. The patch depicting a coiled rattlesnake ready to strike is typically worn by SEALs and is a variation of the Gadsden flag, a Revolutionary era vexillological device that has been used by the U.S. Marines and Navy since 1775. In 2002 the secretary of the Navy ordered that a variation of the flag, the Navy Jack, be flown on all U.S. Navy ships for the duration of the Global War on Terror.

The Left abhors the Gadsden because it is carried at Tea Party rallies and has been used as a symbol of resistance to Obama’s authoritarianism.

Leftist influencer and all-purpose crackpot Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center describes the Gadsden flag as a symbol of hate that in “contemporary society [is] the flag of the militia movement.” The flag says “Don’t mess with us,” and implies, “Don’t mess with us at the point of a gun,” says Potok.

Since taking office in 2009, the Obama administration has been on a relentless drive to stigmatize and delegitimize opposing points of view. The administration has instructed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials to treat conservatives and libertarians as potential terrorists. Obama’s IRS targets conservative and Tea Party groups for harassment and special investigations.

Americans ought to be alarmed that the administration is now using the same heavy-handed, un-American tactics to turn members of the nation’s armed forces against its domestic political adversaries.

We know, for example, that a January 2013 Department of Defense (DoD) diversity training center “student guide” entitled “Extremism” instructs soldiers that conservative organizations are “hate groups” and Tea Party supporters are potentially dangerous extremists.

The DoD materials not only take aim at modern conservative groups but label America’s Founding Fathers as extremists who would be unfit to serve in today’s military. The teaching guide advises that instead of “dressing in sheets,” radicals today “will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place.” American patriots who fought for Independence from the United Kingdom in the 1700s are identified as adhering to “extremist ideologies.”

“In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements,” the document states. “The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”

The materials advise soldiers to rely on the Alabama-based neo-Marxist Southern Poverty Law Center as a resource in identifying hate groups. A 2006 report from the SPLC, essentially an anti-conservative attack machine funded by George Soros, claimed improbably that “large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces.”

This is what happens when you make a radical left-wing community organizer Commander-in-Chief of America’s armed forces.
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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #454 on: November 12, 2013, 10:50:36 PM »



Navy Ship Plan Faces Pentagon Budget Cutters
Littoral Combat Ship, Troubled in Early Tests, May Have Scaled-Back Future
By Dion Nissenbaum
WSJ
Nov. 12, 2013 10:31 p.m. ET

The LCS was supposed to be the U.S. Navy's battleship of the future. But the prototypes have been plagued with problems.

SAN DIEGO—When the USS Freedom's report card came in last week from Singapore, it didn't provide great news for Navy brass trying to keep Pentagon budget cutters away from the experimental warship.

The U.S. Navy had sent the vessel to Asia this spring, hoping the innovative Littoral Combat Ship would prove its detractors wrong and live up to the Navy's belief that it can be the backbone of America's future fleet.  Instead, the narrative was marred by generator meltdowns, burst pipes and propulsion troubles that delayed the Freedom's participation in international war games.

When Navy leaders were given an expedited assessment on the ship's performance last week, they found the scope of those problems to be "a little stunning," says Rear Adm. Tom Rowden, the Navy's director of surface warfare.


It was an unwelcome review for the Navy, at a particularly bad time. The service is running into mounting high-level Defense Department resistance to the Navy's plan for a ship that Navy Secretary Ray Mabus says "represents the future of the Navy—and the future of warfare."

The littoral-combat ship was supposed to be a sure sell: a fast-moving, high-tech and low-budget vessel with a lean crew, which the Navy could quickly reconfigure for missions such as fighting pirates or nimbly plying coastal, or "littoral," waters.  Instead, Navy leaders now find themselves waging a campaign to protect the ship from within the Pentagon itself.  Defense Department budget planners in recent weeks have suggested that the Navy buy as few as 32 of the vessels instead of the 52 it plans to buy for $40 billion, Pentagon officials say.  The idea of scaling back is gaining interest at high levels in the department, these officials say. "We're not canceling the LCS," says one senior defense official familiar with the discussions. "We're looking to reduce the numbers."

The Pentagon's primary motivation is a military budget that is shrinking faster than in any era since the Korean War. Military planners, looking for ways to cut budget billions without undermining national security, have identified potential cuts in major weapons programs in all services.

A ripe target at the Navy in recent months has been the evolving littoral-ship class.

They join skeptical lawmakers who had already urged the Pentagon to slow construction of the ships until the Navy can demonstrate that they will live up to their promise. "We need to slow down a little bit until the Navy truly figures out what its needs are," says Rep. Duncan Hunter (R., Calif.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
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The USS Freedom at Changi Naval Base in Singapore in May. Reuters

Next week, the Navy could face more political flak when the Senate is expected to take up the National Defense Authorization Act, during which Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) is looking at proposing tighter controls for the program, an aide to Mr. McCain says.

Navy officials are looking to insulate the ships from budget cuts that would undermine the Navy's plans to make them the single biggest class in the fleet.

From the outset, the Navy has said the littoral ships will revolutionize the way the military neutralizes minefields, detects submarines and battles swarms of small boats like those Iran uses in the Persian Gulf.

The ships promise two unusual traits: an ability to quickly swap major parts—something like a "Transformer" toy—to change missions, and a reliance on small, unmanned submarines and helicopter drones to carry out missions.

They also sport an advanced propulsion-and-steering system that uses water jets rather than propellers and rudders. The hulls are lightweight steel or aluminum, designed for speed and nimbleness. One variation has an angular shape that evokes Klingon warships from "Star Trek."

Cost is a big selling point. Navy officials say they are confident they will be able to buy each basic model for no more than $440 million—twice the original cost estimates, but far less than the price of a new destroyer (about $1.9 billion) or carrier (about $13 billion).

The Navy's current plan would make the littoral ship a third of the Navy surface-combat force by 2028.

The Navy has begun testing the first four ships, but they won't be able to do all they are designed to do for years, Navy officials say—a result of an approach that involves building them while testing continues, as a way to get them into the fleet quickly.

The ships faced intense scrutiny almost from the beginning of the program a decade ago. Early critics said the Navy's specifications sacrificed combat power for cost-effectiveness. Internal Navy reports over the past two years raised concerns that the ships needed more weapons and better protection, Navy officials say.

Lawmakers began questioning the value of the new ship as costs rose and expectations wavered.

When the Freedom sailed for Singapore this March, the Navy hoped to use the trip to damp congressional criticism. Vice President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel paid visits to the ship in Singapore.

But the Freedom's continued troubles have provided more fodder for skepticism. In July, the Government Accountability Office urged lawmakers to scale back plans for the littoral fleet until more testing assured that it would meet expectations. "There are still many, many questions about their capabilities," says Michele Mackin, director of Acquisition and Sourcing Management at the GAO. "They continue to build, but at what cost?"

The Freedom's test in Asia was important because the Pentagon envisions the littoral ships at the forefront of the U.S. military's greater emphasis on the region. The Navy has said it plans to station four of them in Singapore by 2016.

News of the Freedom's troubles in Asia began dribbling in over the summer. But Navy leaders got a much clearer picture last week.

The Navy had requested an expedited assessment of the Freedom's performance. The results, about which top Navy leaders were briefed last week, surprised officers like Rear Adm. Rowden.

He says he was taken aback by persistent maintenance problems that forced the ship to delay its participation in international war games, created temporary blackouts that left it dead in the water and undermined crew morale.

"That is an unsatisfactory situation," says Rear Adm. Rowden, who concludes that "there were some errors made in the execution of maintenance."

Despite the maintenance problems, he says, the Freedom has been performing well in Asia. The breakdowns haven't fundamentally altered the Navy's support for the ships, Navy officials say.

More problems hit in recent weeks. A propulsion-system breakdown hobbled the ship in late October. And the Freedom was delayed earlier this month because of a steering malfunction as it made plans to join exercises with Brunei, Navy officials say.

The mechanical problems have exposed weaknesses in the Navy's attempts to establish a new way of taking care of the ship, Navy officials say.

The Navy is funding two versions: the Freedom line, built by Lockheed Martin Corp. LMT +0.06% in Wisconsin, and the Independence version—the "Star Trek" variation—built by Australia's Austal Ltd. ASB.AU -0.41% in Alabama in partnership with General Dynamics Corp. GD -0.50%

While other ships typically carry sailors with maintenance expertise and immediate access to spare parts, the littoral ship is designed to rely more heavily on private contractors on shore to handle many problems.

That model has faced strains during the Freedom's current deployment, Navy officials say. Along with the Navy crew, the Freedom has had as many as four Lockheed contractors on board to help troubleshoot problems, according to a report earlier this year by the House Appropriations Committee, which warned that long-term reliance on contractors was "inefficient and uneconomical."

Joe North, vice president of Lockheed's littoral-ship program, says the company has kept pace with Freedom's maintenance issues and that small "speed bumps" in development haven't hurt the ship's central attributes.

"This deployment model is brand new to the Navy and this was an opportunity to learn the best process," he says. "We will use these lessons learned going forward and will incorporate for future deployments."

The Navy says it has made more than 150 design changes to the Freedom class, in part to address problems that have emerged since testing began. Lockheed added nine feet to the length of the second ship in the class, for example, to make room for more ballast.

Austal has also incorporated design changes but says it has kept overall costs within budget. "We believe this benefits the Navy and taxpayers by providing an extremely capable warship at relatively low cost," the company says.

The Navy also found that the Freedom's lean crew sometimes needed help. The Navy initially set the core crew size at 40. But in war games, Navy officers who participated in the exercises say, the lean crew was sometimes unable to juggle responsibilities.

In war games last year, the Freedom seemed to struggle with multiple tasks and appeared overwhelmed, says Petty Officer Manuel Navarro, a combat leader aboard the USS Sampson, a 500-foot destroyer that took part in the exercises. "From a combat perspective, from what I can see, they did horribly," he says.

A Navy official says the sailor's pessimistic perspective wasn't widely shared, but says the Navy is working to address concerns that the ships need more people on board.

The sometimes overwhelming demands on the crew are one reason the Navy is moving toward boosting the core crew size to as many as 50, say Rear Adm. Rowden and other Navy officials.

Aside from the Freedom's disappointing Singapore record, some of its other pioneering features are facing delays.

Among the original design goals was an ability to quickly swap weapons systems. If sailors needed to shift from repelling small enemy boats to clearing minefields, they could replace some equipment with unmanned submarines and helicopters. To hunt submarines, they could unload mine-hunting drones and install sub-searching drones.

"This is the direction we're going: not to put battleships on the line and slug it out with each other, but to put these kinds of vehicles that can be mother ships, to some degree, for the autonomous, the unmanned vehicles," says Capt. Ken Coleman, the littoral-ship requirements officer for the U.S. Pacific Fleet's Naval Surface Force.

But the submarine-hunting concept won't be ready for years, and Navy drones have had difficulty detecting mines, Navy officials say. And, three years after the original missile system for the surface-warfare version was canceled, the Navy is still searching for a better alternative to help defend the lightly armed ships.

Some Navy officials have distanced themselves from one original selling point: the ability to shift between missions in 72 hours. "I'm not sure that I ever bought into that concept at all," says Vice Adm. Richard Hunt, who led a council created last year to review the littoral-ship program.

The Navy is still trying to define how to use the ships. Vice Adm. Hunt says one option would be to prepare each ship for specific missions and operate them in groups. "The jury is out until we experiment," he says.

The U.S. Marines and elite special-operations forces are considering ways to use the ships as transports, says Mr. Mabus, the Navy Secretary.

The littoral ships do have believers. Sailors leading the Navy's testing rave about the propulsion system and boast that they cruise much faster than most other Navy ships.

"I'm pretty well convinced that either version is going to be more efficient than throwing a billion-dollar destroyer out there to shoot pirates in open-hulled speed boats," says Cmdr. Dave Back, commanding officer of the Independence.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #455 on: November 13, 2013, 05:05:52 PM »

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/10/31/pentagon-training-manual-white-males-have-unfair-advantages/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #456 on: November 16, 2013, 05:19:05 PM »

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/foreign-policy/item/16954-communist-chinese-troops-on-u-s-soil-for-exchange-mission

Arguably there is some hyperventilating here, but given our current CiC and the vast firings of many of our generals and admirals, this bears watching.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2013, 05:21:11 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #457 on: November 16, 2013, 05:47:21 PM »

second post

http://allenbwest.com/2013/11/bonuses-cant-keep-air-force-pilots-stay/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #458 on: November 18, 2013, 05:29:32 AM »

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303755504579204141223865178?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStories
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« Reply #459 on: November 18, 2013, 06:51:53 AM »

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/foreign-policy/item/16954-communist-chinese-troops-on-u-s-soil-for-exchange-mission

Arguably there is some hyperventilating here, but given our current CiC and the vast firings of many of our generals and admirals, this bears watching.


The New American is a John Birch society magazine if I recall correctly. Apply a 50 pound bag of rock salt.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #460 on: November 18, 2013, 06:56:03 AM »

Ah, I did not know that.  Thank you.

Anyway, here's my second post of the morning in this thread.  Not really sure where to put it, but here seems reasonable:

Blackwater's Founder Blames U.S. for Its Troubles
Erik Prince Releases Memoir as He Writes His Next Chapter as Investor
By Dion Nissenbaum
Nov. 17, 2013 8:13 p.m. ET

After years of controversy, Erik Prince feels betrayed by the Obama administration – and he's looking to start a new chapter.

MIDDLEBURG, Va.—Blackwater founder Erik Prince personifies the hidden hand in America's terror wars. His company secretly armed and maintained drones in Pakistan, trained CIA hit teams, and collected $2 billion as a government security contractor.

Mr. Prince said he looks back on that adventure as "13 lost years." The billions of dollars are gone now, and he blames the U.S. government.

After a series of federal investigations, government contract battles and critical congressional hearings, Mr. Prince sold Blackwater in 2010. Following continued controversy over his most recent pursuits while based in Abu Dhabi, Mr. Prince has returned to Virginia to write a new chapter of his life—as an entrepreneur buying oil, land and minerals in Africa

On Monday, he is also releasing a memoir, "Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror." It is his attempt to defend his work, challenge public perceptions of Blackwater and settle scores with a government he says made him a scapegoat when things went badly overseas.
Enlarge Image

After founder Erik Prince sold Blackwater in 2010, he served as an adviser on efforts to set up security forces in Somalia and Abu Dhabi. Melissa Golden for The Wall Street Journal 

Mr. Prince's rise-and-fall became emblematic of the shifting political currents since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

When al Qaeda struck the U.S. in 2001, Mr. Prince was a 32-year-old former Navy SEAL running a modest security training business he had built with family money in Moyock, N.C.

In his memoir, published by Penguin Random House's Portfolio Penguin, Mr. Prince says he provided the Central Intelligence Agency with links to Afghan warlords who helped the U.S. topple the Taliban and drive al Qaeda fighters into hiding. From there, Blackwater's business grew exponentially.

In interviews, Mr. Prince and former Blackwater officials provided previously unreported details of the company's dealings with the CIA and its former director, Leon Panetta. Blackwater's fortunes, which dimmed as the Iraq war dragged on, sank markedly when President Barack Obama took office in 2009 and sought distance from President George W. Bush's war policies.

A chief target of Mr. Prince's ire is Mr. Panetta, who in 2009 shut down the covert training operation for CIA "hit teams" that former Blackwater officials said took place on Mr. Prince's Virginia property.

The CIA had been sending officers for training at Blackwater's North Carolina training facility. But it wanted something closer to its Langley, Va., headquarters, former company officials said. So they asked Mr. Prince to build a small shooting range on his rural Virginia land.

"They needed a place that was only 35 minutes away from work," said Gary Jackson, the former Blackwater president. "Erik was OK with that, and he has the property, and we had the money." The trainings, including live-fire exercises, drew some complaints over the years from neighbors, Mr. Jackson said.

The CIA declined to comment on Mr. Prince's work for the agency.

At the time, former Blackwater officials said, the company also was working on America's clandestine drone program. Former company officials said that a few dozen Blackwater employees, taking the place of American military forces, maintained drones armed with Hellfire missiles in Pakistan. The company didn't fly them, but prepared them to launch attacks.

"I didn't have any drone pilots," said Mr. Jackson, in his most detailed comments yet on the company's covert work. "We loaded them, we protected them in secret bases, and we were hanging Hellfires on them."

When that information became public in 2009, right after Mr. Panetta canceled the Blackwater hit-team training, the CIA director ended the company's role in maintaining the drones.

Mr. Prince said he is convinced that Mr. Panetta outed him as a CIA "asset" at a closed congressional hearing that year, adding that it was unthinkable for a CIA director to reveal the real name of a covert operative to lawmakers.

A representative for Mr. Panetta said the former CIA director was required to brief Congress on covert operations and wasn't responsible for how others handled that information.

Last month, Mr. Prince said, he finally had a chance to confront Mr. Panetta when the two unexpectedly met at a small dinner in Washington. "He was unapologetic," Mr. Prince said. "He said, 'Well, we were taking a lot of guff for you guys.' That was the best he could come up with. At that point [in 2009], the company was doing everything his organization was asking for. Exactly everything."

"No one was out to scapegoat anyone in the relationship with Blackwater, but there were some issues that arose that prompted a serious look at contracts with the company," said one former CIA official involved in the discussions. "There was a perception that they were trying to run some of their own operations untethered from agency oversight."

Mr. Prince disputed allegations that Blackwater ever had "gone rogue." Indeed, he said two of his men might be alive if they had disobeyed the CIA in December 2009 at a base in Khost, Afghanistan. At Camp Chapman, Two Blackwater guards were among 10 killed when a Jordanian posing as a valued informant was able to get on the base without being searched and detonated a suicide vest.

"I wish our guys at Khost had gone rogue, because the Khost bombing probably wouldn't have occurred," he said. "They followed instructions, unfortunately, and didn't search the asset in violation of all those agency protocols. I wish they had."

Along with its clandestine work, Blackwater had a much more public role providing security for American diplomats and CIA spies in Iraq and Afghanistan. Blackwater guards were caricatured as war-zone cowboys. Blackwater convoys were feared in Iraq. The drivers were under State Department orders to do everything necessary to protect the agency's workers—directives that Mr. Prince alleges forced Blackwater to use aggressive tactics.

The State Department didn't comment on the allegation.

The company's first high-profile client in Iraq was Paul Bremer, the American diplomat who oversaw the U.S. government's early reconstruction efforts in Iraq. "Their job was to keep me alive," said Mr. Bremer. "I can say they never fired a shot in my presence, so they weren't a bunch of cowboys running around shooting at people."

Blackwater guards were involved in a series of deadly shooting incidents that alienated Iraqi citizens and the government. In September 2007, they killed 17 Iraqis in Baghdad's Nisour Square while protecting a State Department employee.

Last month, the Justice Department renewed the prosecution of four Blackwater guards involved in the shooting. A federal grand jury returned voluntary manslaughter charges in the case, which still generates anger in Iraq.

"On balance, I think [Blackwater] operated in irresponsible ways which led to a lot of hostility toward our country," said Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat and former chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who grilled Mr. Prince during a 2007 hearing. "They were overpaid for their work, and there was little, if any, accountability to the U.S. or the Iraqi governments."

Following the Nisour Square shooting, the U.S. tightened its oversight and training of contractors to try to prevent another such incident, said Alex Gerlach, a State Department spokesman.

Mr. Prince faulted the State Department for canceling its work with Blackwater in 2009. And he argued that Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans killed in Benghazi, Libya, two years ago would be alive if the State Department still used Blackwater guards.

"If we had been doing security in Benghazi, it wouldn't have happened," he said. "I mean, there would be four Americans alive. Having done almost 100,000 movements in different areas over a period of nine years in Iraq and Afghanistan, I can say with pretty high assurance that that wouldn't have happened to us."

After the Obama administration cut most ties with Blackwater, Mr. Prince sold the company and moved to Abu Dhabi, where he quickly became embroiled in further controversy. Mr. Prince said he served as an adviser in setting up a privately trained antipiracy security force in Somalia that was accused of violating a U.N. arms embargo. And he was a consultant on a failed effort to set up a security force in Abu Dhabi made up largely of former Colombian soldiers.

Now, Mr. Prince says, he is done working for t he U.S. government. He has invested millions in setting up Frontier Resource Group, a private-equity firm that operates in more than a dozen African countries. The firm is building an oil refinery in South Sudan, owns a cement factory in the Democratic Republic of Congo, conducts aerial gas and oil surveys across the continent, and is looking at taking over idle oil wells damaged by insurgents in Nigeria, he said.

Mr. Prince says he knows he won't persuade many Americans that Blackwater wasn't an evil war profiteer. The people who matter, he says, are those Blackwater saved around the world.

"The people we helped in the field, they know what the legacy is," he said. "The 40% or so of Americans that really can't stand the name of Blackwater, that's fine, I'll never really win them over anyway. And I really don't care."
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« Reply #461 on: November 18, 2013, 07:16:06 AM »

http://www.westernjournalism.com/the-problems-of-women-in-combat-from-a-female-combat-vet/

The Problems of Women in Combat – From a Female Combat Vet
Jan 26th, 2013 @ 04:19 pm › Jude Eden

For public releaseCol. Robert M Olivier USMCIMEFDM G-3 Information Operations

It’s not all about qualification. I’m speaking as a female Marine Iraq war vet who did serve in the combat zone doing entry checkpoint duty in Fallujah, and we worked with the grunts daily for that time. All the branches still have different standards for females and males. Why? Because most women wouldn’t even qualify to be in the military if they didn’t have separate standards. Men and women are different, but those pushing women into combat don’t want to admit that truth. They huff and puff about how women can do whatever men can do, but it just ain’t so. We’re built differently, and it doesn’t matter that one particular woman could best one particular man. The best woman is still no match for the best man, and most of the men she’d be fireman-carrying off the battlefield will be at least 100 lbs heavier than her with their gear on.

Women are often great shooters but can’t run in 50-80 lbs of gear as long, hard, or fast as men.  Military training is hard enough on men’s bodies; it’s harder on women’s.  And until women stop menstruating, there will always be an uphill battle for staying level and strong at all times.  No one wants to talk about the fact that in the days before a woman’s cycle, she loses half her strength, to say nothing of the emotional ups and downs that affect judgment. And how would you like fighting through PMS symptoms while clearing a town or going through a firefight?  Then there are the logistics of making all the accommodations for women in the field, from stopping the convoy to pee or because her cycle started to stripping down to get hosed off after having to go into combat with full MOP gear when there’s a biological threat.

This is to say nothing of unit cohesion, which is imperative and paramount, especially in the combat fields. When preparing for battle, the last thing on your mind should be sex; but you put men and women in close quarters together, and human nature is what it is (this is also why the repeal of DADT is so damaging). It doesn’t matter what the rules are. The Navy proved that when they started allowing women on ship. What happened? They were having sex and getting pregnant, ruining unit cohesion (not to mention derailing the operations because they’d have to change course to get them off ship.)

When I deployed, we’d hardly been in the country a few weeks before one of our females had to be sent home because she’d gotten pregnant (nice waste of training, not to mention taxpayer money that paid for it). That’s your military readiness? Our enemies are laughing – “Thanks for giving us another vulnerability, USA!”

Then there are relationships.  Whether it’s a consensual relationship, unwanted advances, or sexual assault, they all destroy unit cohesion.  No one is talking about the physical and emotional stuff that goes along with men and women together.  A good relationship can foment jealousy and the perception of favoritism.  A relationship goes sour, and suddenly one loses faith in the very person who may need to drag one off the field of battle.  A sexual assault happens, and a woman not only loses faith in her fellows, but may fear them.  A vindictive man paints a woman as easy, and she loses the respect of her peers.  A vindictive woman wants to destroy a man’s career with a false accusation (yes, folks, this happens too); and it’s poison to the unit.  All this happens before the fighting even begins.

Yet another little-discussed issue is that some female military members are leaving their kids behind to advance their careers by deploying. I know of one divorced Marine who left her two sons, one of them autistic, with their grandparents while she deployed.  She was wounded on base (not on the front lines) and is a purple heart recipient. What if she’d been killed, leaving behind her special needs child? Glory was more important than motherhood. Another case in my own unit was a married female who became angry when they wouldn’t let both her and her husband deploy at the same time. Career advancement was the greater concern.

I understand the will to fight. I joined the Marines in the hopes of deploying because I believe that fighting jihadists is right. And I care about the women and children in Islamic countries where they are denied their rights, subjugated, mutilated, and murdered with impunity; and where children are molested and raped with impunity (not to mention defending our own freedom against these hate-filled terrorists who want to destroy freedom-loving countries like America.) Joining the Marines was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life, and I’m glad I got to deploy.  It not only allowed me to witness the war, but to witness the problems with women in combat.

Women have many wonderful strengths, and there is certainly a lot of work for women to do in the military.  But all the problems that come with men and women working together are compounded in the war zone, destroying the cohesion necessary to fight bloody, hellish war.  We are at war; and if we want to win, we have to separate the wheat from the chaff. And the top priority should be military readiness and WINNING wars, not political correctness and artificially imposed “equality” on the military.

Read more at http://www.westernjournalism.com/the-problems-of-women-in-combat-from-a-female-combat-vet/#6RXGO4rAS7XMKvML.99

======================================

The Problems of Women in Combat – Part 2
January 31, 2013 by Jude Eden 13


For public releaseCol. Robert M Olivier USMCIMEFDM G-3 Information Operations

(Editor’s note: read part 1 here. The views expressed in this column are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect our views as an organization.)

In continuing the discussion of opening combat roles to women, we have the argument that women are already there, deploying and fighting in hot zones.  This is true, and it gives us a record of the problems we are already experiencing as a result.

Wasted:  Valuable Time, Training, and Resources

I talk about several of the female-only issues for which extra accommodations have to be made in my previous article.  We are not equal except in our rights under Constitutional Law.  Nature has no regard for equality, and each one of us is born differently from each other.  We are diverse and dissimilar in our talents, physical aspects, intellect, and emotions; and the sexes are inherently different.  We know, for example, that women are much more prone to certain types of infections.  For a woman on patrol, setting up an ambush (or, as the infantry do, living in abandoned buildings with no running water), hygiene is a constant problem.  A urinary tract infection can quickly become a kidney infection (debilitating in itself) and then kidney failure if left unchecked.  Suddenly, a woman needs to be evacuated for a problem that has nothing to do with combat and to which men are not susceptible.

Then there’s pregnancy.  Margaret Wente writes: “One study of a brigade operating in Iraq found that female soldiers were evacuated at three times the rate of male soldiers – and that 74 percent of them were evacuated for pregnancy-related issues.”

It costs approximately a million dollars per individual to get trained through bootcamp and to be made ready for deployment.  Those are taxpayer dollars spent on someone who has to turn around and leave the combat zone to have a baby (for which our tax dollars also pay), having nothing to do with combat.

Changing Our Best Instincts: Protecting Women, Mothering Children

We know that rape is a tool of torture for the already savage enemy we’re fighting.  In one TV interview, a woman suggested that if women are willing to take that risk, we should let them.  She also absurdly claimed that men are raped as much as women when captured, which is patently false.  But the idea that men shouldn’t worry any more about women in battle goes against the very best primal male instinct.  In every country from Canada to Israel where women are in combat (and in American units where women are in theater), the men will tell you they are more protective of the women.  It’s different from men’s protection of each other, and it distracts from mission completion.  The pro-WICs would have men thwart this wonderful and thoroughly ingrained instinct. A world in which men don’t feel a strong need to protect women when they’re in the most dangerous and hostile of environments would be a nightmare.  We would rightly call those men brutes.

We’re also thwarting mothers’ nurturing instincts.  Women are already training to kill and leaving their children to deploy, even when they are the sole caregiver (turning care over namely to grandparents).  This sets a bad precedent and hurts children.  There will always be war, and it’s bad enough for fathers to leave their children to fight necessarily; but to allow mothers to choose this path over motherhood is bad for everyone.  There are many noble capacities in which women with children can fight for this country, such as administrative jobs stateside.  We don’t need to deploy mothers to battle; we shouldn’t.

The Career-Hungry

A small handful of high-ranking females have instigated this policy change in order to advance their own careers.  In this interview, Anu Bhagwati, a former Captain, complains about women not being able to be promoted to certain ranks, claims that women aren’t getting proper recognition for action in combat (a claim also made here), and claims that it’s harder for them to get combat-injury-related benefits from the VA.  Regarding the latter, I know females who are receiving combat-injury-related benefits; so if there are some who are not receiving them but should, the bureaucratic, inefficient, fraud-riddled VA should be confronted.  Administrative changes could certainly be considered to take care of veterans as we should – regardless of sex – for injuries sustained in battle thus far.  As for recognition of action, this is also a bureaucratic aspect that can be addressed through the chain of command without changing the policies on women in combat units.  And finally, as to rank, cry me a river.  The military is about preparing for and executing war, not advancing your career at the cost of readiness for war.

The careerists are also on the hook for the double standard that we currently have for the sexes, which inherently lowers the standards overall.  Even if one standard is imposed, it’s likely it will be an overall lower standard.  As the Center for Military Readiness points out, “The same advocates who demand ‘equal opportunities’ in combat are the first to demand unequal, gender-normed standards to make it ‘fair.’”  Enormous pressure from Washington is already on the military brass to fill quotas of race and sex; and the higher they get, the more politically motivated the brass’ decisions.  Whereas imposing one higher standard would in fact result in fewer women serving in these roles, the political pressure to prove diversity will result in more unqualified women (and men) attaining positions for which men are more qualified.  But go against the diversity status quo dictated by Washington, and you can kiss your rank and career goodbye.  The purges have already begun.

The word “discriminate” has several meanings, including “to distinguish particular features, to be discerning; showing insight and understanding.”   We should absolutely be discriminating in our criteria for war preparation, and the lives of our men in uniform depend on us taking an honest, discerning look at who adds to military readiness and who detracts from it.  We should absolutely not open the combat units to the myriad problems we face already with women deploying to the theatre of war.

Read more at http://www.westernjournalism.com/the-problems-of-women-in-combat-part-2/#bfdmU74JhMZECzIt.99
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« Reply #462 on: November 18, 2013, 07:56:14 AM »

Politicize and destroy institutions is what the left does.
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« Reply #463 on: November 21, 2013, 10:59:38 AM »

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/nov/20/donnelly-ordering-women-into-the-combat-grinder/

DONNELLY: Why would Obama send American girls into combat?
‘Gender-normed’ fitness standards put women on the front lines
By Elaine Donnelly
Wednesday, November 20, 2013


In a recent editorial cartoon, President Obama is portrayed as a football coach telling a suited-up female player, “Good news! We want you on the front lines.” Don’t laugh. “Coach Obama” really does intend to send unwilling women into ground combat infantry teams, which face far more violence than pro football.

Under Defense Department mandates, the armed forces are implementing incremental plans to order (not “allow”) women into Army and Marine infantry and special operations forces that attack the enemy. Acquiescent generals insist that training standards will be “the same” for men and women, but the fine-print “catch” is hidden in plain sight.

Footnotes in a June Marine Corps report to Congress stated that physical fitness and combat fitness Test standards would be “gender-neutral” with “gender-normed” scores that “account for physiological differences between the genders.” In the Marines’ new physical fitness test — recently postponed owing to “potential risks” — women will have to complete three pull-ups. Five more will earn 100 points, but men will have to do 20 to get the same score.

An NFL team could achieve “gender diversity” in the same way — training energetic, football-savvy female cheerleaders on linebackers’ training-facility machines that are adjusted for “physiological differences between genders.” Cheerleaders would succeed in the gender-normed gym, but on the gridiron “battlefield,” none would last beyond the referee’s first whistle.

Ten spirited female volunteers have attempted the grueling Infantry Officer Course at Quantico, Va., since 2012. Nine women (and some men) washed out on the first day. A few women reportedly will succeed in a similar experiment at the less-demanding enlisted Marine Infantry Training Battalion at Camp Geiger, N.C., but an information brief stated that gender-normed physical fitness and combat fitness tests would be part of the “baseline” research.

In January, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey admitted that high standards beyond the abilities of women will be questioned and modified to achieve a “critical mass” of women in the combat arms. Servicewomen historically have been promoted at rates equal to or faster than men, but this hasn’t dissuaded feminists from attacking high, male-oriented standards as “barriers” to women’s careers.

The military can justify gender-specific allowances to improve fitness in basic and entry-level exercises, but not in training for infantry combat, where lives and missions depend on individual strength, endurance, team cohesion and trust for survival. The same elements are needed in Navy riverine units, which engage in land combat from small boats. Navy officials are “validating” coed riverine training with physical readiness tests that are gender- and age-normed with a “sliding scale” of easier requirements. Media-conscious instructors effusively praise female trainees, but women are being set up for debilitating injuries both in training and violent combat.

In 2011, a Marine official admitted that on average, women have 47 percent less lifting strength, 40 percent less muscle strength, and 20 percent less endurance capacity. Female attrition, injury and discharge rates are twice those of men. Generals who ignore these facts are dissembling shamelessly.

Enter Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, who wants women in elite Ranger training, field artillery and armor units by July 2014, and infantry positions by July 2015. To achieve “gender-neutral standards” and “gender diversity metrics” (quotas), a few exceptional women might be retained in the combat arms along with marginal men. This is a surefire way to drive resentment up and tough standards down.

Courageous military women have served in contingent combat, coming under fire “in harm’s way.” However, requirements are different in “tip of the spear” infantry fighting teams that seek out and attack the enemy. Thirty years of studies have confirmed that in this environment, women do not have an equal opportunity to survive, or to help fellow soldiers and Marines survive.

When unsuitable assignments increase female injuries, necessary career changes will drain morale and shrinking military funds. Exceptions are unlikely, since Mr. Obama soon will appoint new leaders who will enforce the quotas. Promoting group rights over individual merit will not improve military combat effectiveness.

Congress, unfortunately, is AWOL on oversight. The pending defense authorization bill contains two-dozen measures focused on sexual harassment and assault, but nothing to prevent extension of those problems into the combat arms. No one noticed a recent Defense Department study finding that women who were exposed to combat reported twice as many sexual assaults.

To truly honor and respect military women, Congress should codify women’s exemptions from direct ground combat, stipulating that the policy may not change without an affirmative vote of Congress. If military standards are degraded for political reasons, national security will be endangered, and there will be no going back.

Elaine Donnelly is president of the Center for Military Readiness and a former member of the 1992 Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces.

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« Reply #464 on: November 21, 2013, 08:10:07 PM »

http://spectator.org/articles/56698/kirsten-curses-commanders
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« Reply #465 on: November 22, 2013, 04:09:19 AM »

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/11/20/no_more_easy_wars_army_strategy

From the article:

In the acolytes' telling, overcoming anti-access can only be accomplished by the technical services -- that, is the Air Force and the Navy -- fighting through sophisticated defenses, which requires massive investments. They then assume away any chance of ground operations. Precision strikes and distant blockades will spare us the mess of combat. The conclusion is to slash the Army, freeing up money for Big Navy and Air Force. Risk is minimal since the Army is easily expandable.

The story is tight and marketable and has just one shortfall: It does not work. Shock and Awe substitutes problems that can be solved by a target list for the thorny questions that U.S. global security interests naturally pose. It appeals to our natural desire for a quick-fix solution that keeps us arm's length from strategic entanglement. It makes us feel good, even if it is totally inadequate and unaffordable in the long run.
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« Reply #466 on: December 01, 2013, 06:21:49 PM »

http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20131130/NEWS/311300008/Army-drops-number-paratroopers



FORT CAMPBELL, KY. — The legendary Pathfinders have taken their final jump and the Red Devils aren’t too far behind.

The two paratrooper units — formally known as the 5th Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division and the 508th Infantry Regiment — are closing out long histories as a result of the U.S. Army’s reconfiguration and budget cutting. Among the changes being made is a reduction in the number of parachute positions across the service.

“You have to make the best use of resources across the Army to make sure we’re using tax dollars as best we can,” said Jim Hinnant, a former 1st lieutenant and paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg and spokesman for U.S. Army Forces Command.

The military is capping parachute positions at 49,000 as part of the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance, a plan detailing the development of military forces through 2020. The plan calls for some units, including paratrooper units, to change their focus.

Lt. Col. Don Peters, the team chief for Operations, Intelligence and Logistics with Army Public Affairs, told The Associated Press the reductions are being made in part because of reduced budgets and to reach the mandated maximum number of paratrooper slots 49,000. Peters said 24 units accounting for 2,600 soldiers across the country were removed from jump status. That includes 12 units with the 18th Airborne Corps and the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, N.C., and the Company F (Pathfinder), 4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 159th Aviation Brigade at Fort Campbell, Ky.

“However, paratroopers continue to train and maintain readiness to execute airborne operations should a mission arise, and the impact on the reduction of paid parachute positions will not degrade the capability of the Army,” Peters said.

The Army kept three standing pathfinder companies: Company F (Pathfinder), 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); and Company F (Pathfinder), 4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 159th Aviation Brigade, both at Fort Campbell, Ky.; and Company F (Pathfinder), 2nd Battalion, 82d Aviation Regiment at Fort Bragg, N.C.

The Pathfinder units are dropped into place in order to set up and operate drop zones, pickup zones, and helicopter landing sites for airborne operations, air resupply operations, or other air operations in support of the ground unit commander. They also handle rescues of downed pilots and helicopters.

In the case of the Pathfinders at Fort Campbell and the Red Devils at Fort Bragg, their units trace their history back to being among the first to drop into Nazi-occupied France at Normandy on D-Day during World War II, helping set the stage for the allied siege that eventually drove the Germans out of the country.

Current soldiers are aware of that history and what the loss of jump status means to their roles in the Army’s future. Some are dismayed by the changes, but generally believe the units can still carry out the missions.

“History is history. Being on jump status is history. It’s out of my control,” said Sgt. 1st Class Bryan Beville of Cheyenne, Wyo., a member of the Pathfinders. “We’ll continue to fine-tune what we do.”

Staff Sgt. Ryan Savage, an Elk Rapids, Mich., native and Pathfinder member, said soldiers prepare for every scenario imaginable and while no longer jumping in ahead of ground troops, they’ll be ready to tackle their duties without helicopters.

“It’s a real fancy and pretty way to do it,” Savage said of jumping from helicopters. “But, for every soldier, you still have to train and prepare to do the same mission.”

The cutbacks have some airborne alumni worried about the future of paratroopers at various posts. Kenneth “Rock” Merritt, a retired command master sergeant major with the 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, N.C., said the military’s focus on special forces could be detrimental to units such as the one he served with until retiring in 1977.

“My big concern is ... I just wonder how long they’re going to keep the 82nd Airborne on airborne status,” Merritt said. “I’m wondering if some day, somebody’s going to get the bright idea and the 82nd Airborne is going to go back to the 82nd Infantry.”

Army officials haven’t publicly spoken about pulling units from airborne status. Current soldiers hope one day they’ll be allowed to return to making air jumps.

“We’re ready for anything,” said Sgt. Shea Goodnature of Clarksville, Tenn.
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« Reply #467 on: December 06, 2013, 01:25:17 PM »

https://medium.com/war-is-boring/2a5cd0edf210

From the article:

Russian engineers have devised what could be the world’s deadliest air-to-air missile. And the U.S. military doesn’t have anything like it … or adequate defenses.
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« Reply #468 on: December 06, 2013, 02:06:02 PM »

 shocked shocked shocked
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« Reply #469 on: December 10, 2013, 05:59:44 PM »

John Lehman: More Bureaucrats, Fewer Jets and Ships
More than half of our active-duty servicemen and women serve in offices on staffs.
By John Lehman
Dec. 9, 2013 6:31 p.m. ET

As we lament the lack of strategic direction in American foreign policy, it is useful to remember the classic aphorism that diplomatic power is the shadow cast by military power. The many failures and disappointments of American policy in recent years, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Russia and Iran are symptoms of the steady shrinkage of the shadow cast by American military power and the fading credibility and deterrence that depends on it.

Although current U.S. spending on defense adjusted for inflation has been higher than at the height of the Reagan administration, it has been producing less than half of the forces and capabilities of those years. Instead of a 600-ship Navy, we now have a 280-ship Navy, although the world's seas have not shrunk and our global dependence has grown. Instead of Reagan's 20-division Army, we have only 10-division equivalents. The Air Force has fewer than half the number of fighters and bombers it had 30 years ago.

Apologists for the shrinkage argue that today's ships and aircraft are far more capable than those of the '80s and '90s. That is as true as "you can keep your health insurance."

While today's LCSs—the littoral-class ships that operate close to shore—have their uses, they are far less capable than the Perry-class frigates that they replace. Our newest Aegis ships have been upgraded to keep pace with the newest potential missile threats, but their capability against modern submarines has slipped.

Air Force fighter planes today average 28 years old. Although they have been upgraded to keep pace with the latest aircraft of their potential adversaries, they have no greater relative advantage than they had when they were new. There are merely far fewer of them in relation to the potential threat. In deterrence, quantity has a quality all its own.

There is one great numerical advantage the U.S. has against potential adversaries, however. That is the size of our defense bureaucracy. While the fighting forces have steadily shrunk by more than half since the early 1990s, the civilian and uniformed bureaucracy has more than doubled. According to the latest figures, there are currently more than 1,500,000 full-time civilian employees in the Defense Department—800,000 civil servants and 700,000 contract employees. Today, more than half of our active-duty servicemen and women serve in offices on staffs. The number of various Joint Task Force staffs, for instance, has grown since 1987 from seven to more than 250, according to the Defense Business Board.


The constant growth of the bureaucracy has resulted from reform initiatives from Congress and by executive order, each of which established a new office or expanded an existing one. These new layers have accumulated every year since the founding of the Department of Defense in 1947. Unlike private businesses—disciplined by the market—which require constant pruning and overhead reduction to stay profitable, each expansion of the bureaucracy is, to paraphrase President Reagan, the nearest thing to eternal life to be found on earth.

The Pentagon, like Marley's ghost, must drag this ever-growing burden of chains without relief. As a result something close to paralysis is approaching. The suffocating bloat of overstaffing in an overly centralized web of bureaucracies drives runaway cost growth in weapons systems great and small. Whereas the immensely complex Polaris missile and submarine system took four years from a draft requirement until its first operational patrol in February 1960, today the average time for all weapons procured under Defense Department acquisition regulations is 22 years.

The latest Government Accountability Office report, released in October, estimates that there is $411 billion of unfunded cost growth in current Pentagon programs, almost as much as the entire 10 years of sequester cuts if they continue. The result has been unilateral disarmament.

What is to be done? As with most great issues, the solution is simple, the execution difficult. First, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel must be supported in his announced intention to cut the bureaucracy of uniformed and civilian by at least 20%. Each 7,000 civilian reductions saves at least $5 billion over five years. Second, clear lines of authority and accountability, now dissipated through many bureaucratic entities, must be restored to a defined hierarchy of human beings with names. Third, real competition for production contracts must be re-established as the rule not the exception. Fourth, weapons programs must be designed to meet an established cost and canceled if they begin to exceed it.

While sequester is an act of desperation that adds more uncertainty to an already dysfunctional system, it does seem to be acting as a spur to focus Congress on the urgent need to stop our unilateral disarmament by making deep cuts in bureaucratic overhead throughout the Pentagon, uniformed and civilian.

The way forward for Republicans is not to default to their traditional solution, which is simply to fight sequester cuts and increase the defense budget. Instead, Republicans should concentrate on slashing and restructuring our dysfunctional and bloated defense bureaucracy. With strong defense chairmen on House and Senate committees already sympathetic to the overhead issue, and a willing secretary of defense, this Congress can do it. That will place the blame for the consequences of sequester and the earlier $500 billion Obama cuts squarely where it belongs, on the president and the Democrats.

The way will thereby be prepared for Republican victory in the 2016 elections based on a Reagan-like rebuilding mandate that can actually be carried out by a newly streamlined and more agile Defense Department.

Mr. Lehman was secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration and a member of the 9/11 Commission.
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« Reply #470 on: December 12, 2013, 06:54:18 PM »

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/air-force-being-downgraded-to-air-persuasion-task-force.htm
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« Reply #471 on: December 13, 2013, 02:58:57 PM »

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/12/12/probe-launched-over-500m-spent-on-afghanistan-planes/
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« Reply #472 on: December 18, 2013, 10:37:45 AM »

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/us-embassy-bangkok-us-soldier-running-rogue-operation.htm
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« Reply #473 on: December 31, 2013, 09:48:52 PM »



http://townhall.com/tipsheet/christinerousselle/2013/12/31/marines-delay-pullup-requirement-for-women-n1770393
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« Reply #474 on: January 02, 2014, 02:08:20 PM »

http://www.westernjournalism.com/the-problems-of-women-in-combat-from-a-female-combat-vet/
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« Reply #475 on: January 03, 2014, 08:28:26 AM »


Israel, US conduct successful joint test of Arrow 3


 


Click here to watch: Israel, US conduct successful joint test of Arrow 3
A successful test flight of the Arrow 3 interceptor missile was conducted Friday in a joint operation by the Israel Missile Defense Organization and the US Missile Defense Agency. According to a statement released by the Ministry of Defense, the missile was launched over the Mediterranean Sea, and flew in an exo-atmospheric trajectory, reaching space The successful test flight, the missile’s second, was said to be a major milestone in the joint American-Israeli development of the advanced weapon system.
The Arrow 3 is able to target incoming nuclear or conventional missiles at a higher altitude than its shorter-ranged predecessor, the Arrow 2, Col. Aviram Hasson told reporters several months ago. “We’re thinking mostly about the nuclear threat,” he said. The Arrow 3′s high-altitude capability makes it an ideal counter to nuclear missiles, since the altitude minimizes the threat of fallout from the missile’s destruction. Hasson described Israel’s four-layered missile defense strategy: Iron Dome, which protects against smaller, short-range threats up to 70 kilometers; David’s Sling, covering mid-range threats from 70-200 kilometers; Arrow 2, for long-range attacks; and Arrow 3, for incoming missiles from up to 2,500 kilometers away. The shorter-range systems are mostly meant to counter attacks from the Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Syria.
The shorter-range systems are mostly meant to counter attacks from the Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Syria. In November 2013, Israel conducted its first successful interception of a target missile by the new David’s Sling missile defense system, which is expected to come online in 2014. On the offensive end, Israel has reportedly also been testing the Jericho 3, an intercontinental ballistic missile said to have a range of over 10,000 kilometers. In November 2011, the Defense Ministry test-fired a ballistic missile at the Palmachim air base, the site of Friday’s launch.
WATCH HERE


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« Reply #476 on: January 27, 2014, 06:35:04 AM »

Congress Handcuffs Pentagon Cost-Cutters
Bases that can't be closed, weapons that can't be retired, benefits that can't be touched. What's left? The essentials.
By Todd Harrison And Mark Gunzinger
Jan. 26, 2014 5:20 p.m. ET

While the budget battles in recent years have been difficult for many parts of the federal government, they have forced the Pentagon into a perpetual state of crisis management, limping from one budget showdown to the next. This fiscal chaos is not conducive to carrying out the nation's defense.

If military spending must decline as part of an overall reduction in federal spending, Congress should abide by three simple rules: (1) a gradual decline in military spending rather than a sharp drop; (2) a greater degree of budgetary certainty for the coming years; and (3) the flexibility necessary for the Pentagon to make smart, strategically informed reductions.

The Ryan-Murray budget agreement, passed by Congress late last year, conforms to two of these rules. It reduces the cuts required in 2014-15 so that spending reductions are phased in gradually. It also gives the Defense Department more certainty in its future funding because both the House and Senate passed the two-year deal in a bipartisan manner. While Congress must still pass appropriations bills that conform to the budget caps, Ryan-Murray allows Pentagon planners to do something they haven't done in several years—prepare a realistic defense budget that has a chance of passing.

One important task remains. Congress needs to give the Pentagon greater flexibility to make smart reductions informed by strategy. This requires more than passing an annual appropriations bill and avoiding sequestration. It means Congress must set aside parochial political interests and allow the Pentagon to make tough decisions that are likely to be unpopular with some constituencies.

For example, the Defense Department has repeatedly asked Congress for another Base Realignment and Closure Commission so it can shed excess bases and facilities, which the military estimates is about 20% of its existing infrastructure. Yet current law prohibits the Pentagon from closing these unneeded bases and facilities, forcing it to waste billions of dollars every year. While no private company would tolerate such waste, key members of Congress have blocked efforts to close bases because this wasteful spending supports jobs in their districts.

The Pentagon has also asked for sensible reforms to rein in its growing personnel costs, such as raising the fee working-age military retirees pay for health insurance by a few dollars per month. Congress has repeatedly blocked these reforms, and as a result the cost per service member for pay and benefits grew by 57% from 2001 to 2012 when adjusted for inflation and excluding war-related costs. This growth was due to a number of factors, including rising health-care costs, higher than requested pay raises, and new and expanded benefits such as Tricare for Life, a Medicare supplemental policy provided free of charge to military retirees 65 and older.

If Congress will not allow the Pentagon to change military compensation to slow this growth, it will have little choice but to cut the number of military personnel. And if compensation costs continue growing while the overall budget declines, the Pentagon will have to continue cutting people to the point where the military may be too small to protect all of our nation's global security interests.

The Pentagon also needs greater freedom to retire legacy weapons. The Air Force has said it needs to retire some older aircraft—including the A-10 ground-attack aircraft and the KC-10 aerial refueler—to fit within Congress's budget constraints. Both planes have been incredibly valuable in the past, and the A-10 in particular has proven its worth in Iraq and Afghanistan. If resources weren't constrained both aircraft would be worth keeping. But the budget is constrained, and the Air Force has determined it has other aircraft that can do the same jobs. Because the Defense Department is now more focused on countering threats in the Asian-Pacific region than preparing for major ground wars, the A-10, whose primary mission is providing close air support for ground forces, is understandably a lower priority.

Yet some members of Congress are already working to prevent the Air Force from making financially smart and strategically informed reductions. The other military services have similar issues, with Congress repeatedly blocking the Navy from retiring older ships and forcing the military to keep production lines open for legacy weapons it no longer wants to buy.

With all of these constraints layered on top of one another—not being able to close bases, reform compensation or retire legacy weapons—the Pentagon has few degrees of freedom left. If the nation wants effective and efficient government, it has to start making smart decisions. It is time for Congress to set aside politics and give the Defense Department the flexibility to do what is best for the nation, both fiscally and strategically.

Messrs. Harrison and Gunzinger are senior fellows at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, D.C.
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« Reply #477 on: February 06, 2014, 01:07:15 PM »

Politicians Endanger Military Readiness
 

Although providing for the common defense is a task explicitly assigned to the federal government by the Constitution, the Department of Defense continues to suffer from the Obama regime's inability to connect ends, ways and means and implement a coherent national security strategy. In particular, our service men and women and veterans have become a favorite bill-payer for Democrats' other, unconstitutional priorities. Take for example Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) stating that maintaining various income redistribution schemes is more important to him than cost-of-living increases for veterans. That's why he isn't keen on Sen. Kelly Ayotte's (R-NH) effort to offset $6 billion for veterans by preventing illegal aliens from claiming a child tax credit.

Compounding the top line cuts, the White House and Congress ignore the Pentagon's requests and place scoring political points ahead of operational requirements, particularly when it comes to weapons procurement. From buying tanks the Army says it doesn't need to keeping planes the Air Force says it can't afford, politicians' pursuit of self interest over national interest puts strategic priorities, and ultimately our national security, at risk.

Although the demand for aircraft carriers has rarely been stronger, the politicians' re-election driven budget decisions will preclude maintaining the number recommended by most strategic analysts. As then-acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning noted, "This will entail a budget with cuts that none of us likes and each of these cuts will have a constituency both in [the Pentagon] and on Capitol Hill. If something's restored to the budget we present to the Hill, something else will have to go." Given the way Barack Obama flaunts the Constitution on domestic issues, it shouldn't come as a big surprise that he ignores the Heritage Foundations' warning that he "should remember his constitutional responsibility as commander-in-chief."
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« Reply #478 on: February 06, 2014, 10:37:26 PM »

WASHINGTON—The Pentagon has dropped a plan to retire one of its nuclear-powered aircraft carriers after the White House intervened to head off a brewing political fight.

The military had proposed an early retirement of the USS George Washington, reducing the U.S. carrier fleet to 10, as part of plan to deal with cost cuts imposed by Congress. That touched a nerve among a bipartisan group of lawmakers, who called on Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a letter last week to block the move and preserve what they argued is a potent symbol of American power.

The behind-the-scenes battle illustrates how politics often complicates the task of wringing savings from the U.S. military budget. Lawmakers, facing pressures from defense contractors and local communities, often oppose proposed cuts to military bases, aircraft and shipbuilding programs and weapons systems.

Last year, a strategic review by Mr. Hagel on the impact of the mandated across-the-board spending cuts found the U.S. could reduce the carrier fleet to eight or nine—still enough to equal the number of carriers operated world-wide by seven other nations.

But as the controversy began to build about taking the first step in that process, it became clear that any proposal endorsed by the White House to retire an aircraft carrier likely would have been blocked by Congress, opening Democrats to election-year criticism, officials familiar with the discussions said.

White House officials headed off the issue by telling defense officials in recent days that they would provide extra money—in effect raising the military's proposed budget—to allow the Navy to extend the life of the George Washington, commissioned on July 4, 1992. While actual spending levels are set by Congress, requests such as these from the White House generally are backed by lawmakers.

Nuclear-powered aircraft carriers can have a 50-year life span, but require midlife refueling and refurbishing that can take three to five years. The George Washington—whose flight deck is 1,092 feet long and 275 feet wide, covering 4.5 acres—is due for its midlife refueling and overhaul in 2016, at a cost of about $4.7 billion, according to Navy officials.

Defense Department officials currently are negotiating final elements of the Pentagon budget with the White House Office of Management and Budget, ahead of next month's release of the administration's budget proposal for fiscal 2015. The offer of additional money to pay for the refueling in 2016 came as part of those discussions, though it wasn't clear where White House officials planned to get the extra funds. Caitlin Hayden, the National Security Council spokeswoman, declined to comment.

The Budget Control Act of 2011, which included a provision for across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration that went into effect last year, called for the Pentagon to cut nearly $1 trillion from its budget over a decade. Last year's budget deal reduced this year's portion of the cuts by about $30 billion, but the relentless search for military cost savings continues.

That makes the cost of maintaining and operating aircraft carriers and their sizable strike groups—consisting of support vessels and warships—a tempting target for cuts to Pentagon officials. Retiring older carriers and reducing operating costs would free up money to invest in modernized weapons and ships, officials said.

Four Washington think tanks that examined the Pentagon budget recommended reducing the size of the carrier fleet, arguing at a briefing this week that money would be better spent modernizing the U.S. submarine fleet. Both the conservative American Enterprise Institute and more liberal Center for a New American Security backed carrier reductions.

Bryan Clark, a defense analyst at the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said it makes sense to reduce the fleet by one or two carriers and invest in new submarines or stealthy aircraft and bombers. But he said far more money could be saved by slowing procurement of new Ford-class carriers, which require fewer crew members and can launch planes more quickly, rather than retiring the George Washington 25 years early.

Current plans call for the Navy to build one of these new carriers every five years, at a cost of about $13 billion each.

The first, the USS Gerald Ford is being built in Newport News, Va., by Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., HII +0.29% the only company building nuclear-powered carriers. Its costs have risen about 22% over original estimates. Initial work has begun on a second, the USS John F. Kennedy.

Other defense analysts believe the Pentagon should allow the overall size of the fleet to shrink through the retirement of older carriers, but continue to build more modernized carriers. "Once you break the production of carriers, you will not have a carrier industrial base," said David Berteau, a defense analyst with the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The George Washington differs in one key respect from other weapons programs slated by the Pentagon for cuts but defended by Congress: Some in the Pentagon wanted to keep the George Washington in service. One military official said the carrier could have been placed into dry-dock under the original Navy proposal with the hope that Congress would ease some of the spending cuts, eventually allowing it back into service.

In Congress, carriers have fierce defenders on both sides of the political aisle—especially in Virginia, where carriers are built.

"The aircraft carrier remains the centerpiece of American sea power and is fundamental to a national security policy based on forward deployed presence and power," said Rep. Randy Forbes (R., Va.). Added Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, also from Virginia: "A decision to go from an 11 to 10 carrier Navy would be seen by our allies and potential opponents around the globe as a kind of retrenchment that would not be helpful."

During the Reagan administration's defense buildup, the Navy grew to 15 aircraft carriers. The number of carriers was reduced to 14 in 1992 and stood at 12 between 1994 and 2007. In 2007, the number of ships was reduced to 11 with the decommissioning of the first USS John F. Kennedy.

Currently, the Navy carrier fleet technically stands at 10 ships, because the USS Enterprise was retired in 2012 and the Gerald Ford won't begin operations until next year.

Retiring the George Washington also would be expensive—about $1.2 billion. But the Navy would still have saved $3.5 billion in refueling and overhaul costs and would have saved millions more in operating costs.

According to the Navy, operating an older Nimitz-class aircraft carrier costs $402 million a year, not including its air wing or escort ships. Much of the expense, $250 million, is the cost of staffing the ships.

Some defense officials have argued that carriers aren't nearly as important as they once were. The development of antiship missiles has made aircraft carriers more vulnerable, and reduced their utility.

At the same time a new generation of big-deck amphibious ships, the America class, function much like medium-size carriers. While they can't do everything that the nuclear-powered supercarriers can do, the development of new unmanned aircraft and tilt-rotor aircraft has the promise of making the smaller ships more versatile.

"We can project power from smaller ships," said Nora Bensahel, a defense analyst at the Center for a New American Security.
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« Reply #479 on: February 10, 2014, 01:19:56 PM »

WSJ

By
Michelle Obama
connect
Feb. 9, 2014 5:57 p.m. ET

On Monday, more than 100 construction companies—many of whom are direct competitors—are coming together to announce that they plan to hire more than 100,000 veterans within the next five years. They made this commitment not just because it's the patriotic thing to do, and not just because they want to repay our veterans for their service to our country, but because these companies know that it's the smart thing to do for their businesses.

As one construction industry executive put it, "Veterans are invaluable to the construction industry. Men and women who serve in the military often have the traits that are so critical to our success: agility, discipline, integrity and the drive to get the job done right."


This is a sentiment I have heard again and again since Dr. Jill Biden and I first launched Joining Forces—a nationwide initiative to honor and support our veterans, troops and military families—in 2011. Back then, we issued a simple challenge to American businesses: Hire as many of these American heroes as you can.

Since then, we have been overwhelmed by the response. From household names like Disney, DIS +1.80% Starbucks, SBUX +1.20% UPS, Wal-Mart WMT -0.35% and the Blackstone Group BX +0.51% ; to coalitions like Veterans on Wall Street and 100K Jobs Mission; to regional businesses and mom-and-pop shops and restaurants in tiny towns, American businesses have hired nearly 400,000 veterans and military spouses.

The CEOs we've spoken to have been consistently impressed with their hires, reporting that veterans are some of the highest-skilled, hardest-working employees they've ever had. Current research supports these claims: A report from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University states that veterans are resilient, adept at building and leading teams, comfortable with diversity, and able to handle uncertainty.

These traits come as no surprise given the training and experience the members of our Armed Forces get during their time in uniform. They master some of the most advanced information, medical and communications technologies in the world. They run complex operations, from distributing supplies to hundreds of locations to moving tons of equipment across the globe. They oversee dozens, even hundreds of their colleagues, inspiring servicemembers from diverse backgrounds to succeed.

Yet their qualifications aren't always obvious from their résumés. Take the example of Glenn Tussing, who currently works at Disney. Glenn is an Air Force veteran who served as chief of future joint manpower requirements. In that role, he was responsible for figuring out the exact numbers and types of troops—from the pilots, to the engineers, to the medical personnel—needed for a mission to succeed. He would then locate those troops and help send them where they needed to go.

When Disney was looking for someone to oversee the menus at Disney properties around the world, it would have been easy for them to overlook Glenn since the link between manpower planning and menu management isn't exactly intuitive. But Disney has trained its HR specialists to translate military experience into civilian qualifications. So when they were looking for someone who could determine the exact quantities and types of ingredients for every meal they served—and get that information anywhere in the world it needed to go—they knew Glenn was their guy. In fact, today at Disney, Glenn uses the same types of databases and programs he used in the military.

There are so many veterans just like him. There are medics who've saved lives on the battlefield and could save lives as EMTs in their communities. There are tank commanders who've driven armored vehicles through combat zones and are more than capable of driving semis down our highways. There are engineers, welders, technicians and others who have skills that our businesses desperately need here at home, particularly in fast-growing industries like construction and health care. And with the Iraq war over and the war in Afghanistan winding down, hundreds of thousands of these qualified veterans are returning home, hanging up their uniforms and looking for good civilian careers.

My husband's administration is working hard to connect these veterans to good jobs by creating an online veterans jobs bank; by streamlining credentialing processes so veterans can apply their military training toward civilian certifications; by providing extensive career and education counseling for veterans; by allowing veterans to use their Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to pay for training and apprenticeship programs, and more.

And while we've made some progress on veterans' unemployment, my husband and I won't be satisfied until every single veteran in this country who wants a job has one. So in the coming years, I hope that more businesses will go the extra mile to hire veterans. To get started, businesses can turn to one of the Labor Department's 2,600 American Job Centers across the country where trained staff can provide plenty of resources and expertise.

By hiring veterans, businesses won't just be giving American heroes the chances they deserve to keep serving our country. And they won't just be giving veterans' families the security that comes with a steady paycheck. These businesses will also be ensuring that they have the qualified employees they need to keep growing and creating new jobs and strengthening our economy for decades to come. And they will be sending a clear message that we honor those who've sacrificed for us, and are determined to serve them as well as they have served our country. America's veterans deserve no less.

Mrs. Obama is the first lady of the United States.
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« Reply #480 on: February 25, 2014, 07:49:39 AM »



As I have been pushing for quite some time and as we have discussed on the Foreign Affairs thread,  America lacks a sense of what our strategy is.  Bush's incoherence and substantial errors in execution have been compounded by Baraq incompetence and/or anti-Americanism.  People rightly doubt the competence of our government.

The cuts proposed by Hagel look to be quite terrible.  Will the Reps and honorable Dems do anything about them?
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« Reply #481 on: February 25, 2014, 09:48:44 AM »



As I have been pushing for quite some time and as we have discussed on the Foreign Affairs thread,  America lacks a sense of what our strategy is.  Bush's incoherence and substantial errors in execution have been compounded by Baraq incompetence and/or anti-Americanism.  People rightly doubt the competence of our government.

The cuts proposed by Hagel look to be quite terrible.  Will the Reps and honorable Dems do anything about them?

Doubtful. Lots of high fives in Beijing right now. Australia better double down on the Americans it's recruiting for their military.
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« Reply #482 on: February 25, 2014, 10:32:40 AM »

This is a "Profile in Courage" moment for those who believe that Peace comes through Strength.  Let's see who speaks up , , , and who does not.
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« Reply #483 on: February 25, 2014, 11:56:42 AM »

"The cuts proposed by Hagel look to be quite terrible."

Peace through weakness, when did that work?  Hagel showing why he was chosen.

Unilateral disarmament, even if you believed in it, why wouldn't you try to get reduction commitments from your adversaries as you risk the consequences? 


"This is a "Profile in Courage" moment for those who believe that Peace comes through Strength.  Let's see who speaks up , , , and who does not."

Two predictions:  Marco Rubio will rise up and oppose this.  Rand Paul will embrace the strategy.
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« Reply #484 on: February 25, 2014, 02:44:35 PM »

RP's strategy or MR's?
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« Reply #485 on: February 25, 2014, 07:23:49 PM »

Clarifying, I hope:
Two predictions:  Marco Rubio will rise up and oppose this [Obama and Hagel gutting the military].  Rand Paul will embrace [Hagel's cuts] and perhaps want to cut further. 
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« Reply #486 on: March 01, 2014, 05:02:31 AM »

http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=3872bad904308135ca41de823&id=284052f258&e=a2a99480ae

Obama’s Dangerous Defense Cuts

Obama’s gutting of our armed forces could make us vulnerable to the greatest
disaster for the U.S. military in half a century.

The Obama administration announced this week that it would shrink the Army to its
smallest size since before World War II. This is a dangerous decision that projects
weakness to our enemies and our friends alike.

We should not be fooled into thinking there is some great savings in this reduction.
We may cut spending by a modest amount in the short term (money which will surely be
wasted elsewhere), but we risk a long term cost that is much greater--one counted in
lives as well as in dollars.

Indeed, as Americans we know too well the cost of unpreparedness. More than 2,300
Americans died at Pearl Harbor. Another 12,000 Americans and more than 60,000
Filipinos were immediately taken prisoner in Bataan following that attack, and an
estimated 10,000 ended up dying.

We paid the price of weakness again nine years later in 1950, when 75,000 North
Koreans came barreling over the 38th parallel unexpectedly and killed tens of
thousands of South Koreans who were unprepared and poorly armed). More than 36,000
Americans lost their lives in that war.

The advocates of decline believe we cannot afford our current armed forces. But what
we really cannot afford is weakness. Our struggles in Iraq and Afghanistan proved
that the need to sustain two wars at once is not a crazy hypothetical.

For half a century, American defense policy has been based on the principle that
being strong is safer than being week.

American strength has produced a much safer and more stable world. With the
exception of the September 11 attacks (which were conducted by zealots determined to
die for their cause), the threat of overwhelming force has worked to keep Americans
safe--not to mention the hundreds of millions of people in allied countries around
the world whose safety is guaranteed by our strength.

But to be effective, the threat of deterrence must be credible. Obama's plan to cut
the Army signals American weakness virtually everywhere. Obama is setting the stage
for potential defeats on a scale America has never seen before.

And make no mistake. We will be tested. Our enemies will probe us to see what they
can get away with. Our men and women in the military will be put at risk.

President Obama’s decision to shrink the military is rooted in naiveté and a
delusion about the world--that all the big military threats disappeared with the
Soviet Union. That is wishful thinking. If anything, the world today is more chaotic
and less predictable. Today we have less understanding of the threats against us
than we did during the Cold War.

We do know that the unexpected can happen. Watch Ukraine and Russia this weekend.
Ask yourself. Do you really want America to be as weak as President Obama has
proposed? If not, call your Congressman and Senators and let them know.

Your Friend,
Newt
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« Reply #487 on: March 01, 2014, 08:28:01 AM »

Wait, I thought Obama's election guaranteed a new era of peace...
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bigdog
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« Reply #488 on: March 02, 2014, 06:55:25 PM »

I have no words for how cool this is:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/bennyjohnson/inside-the-armys-spectacular-hidden-treasure-room
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« Reply #489 on: March 02, 2014, 07:05:15 PM »


Very cool indeed.
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« Reply #490 on: March 06, 2014, 04:26:26 AM »

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/dgreenfield/obama-hiring-military-chaplains-from-muslim-brotherhood-group-committed-to-grand-jihad/
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« Reply #491 on: March 06, 2014, 05:42:00 AM »


What could go wrong?
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« Reply #492 on: March 13, 2014, 08:23:33 AM »

Consider the source when reading the following

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/13/us/how-a-military-sexual-assault-case-foundered.html?emc=edit_th_20140313&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193&_r=0
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« Reply #493 on: March 13, 2014, 09:24:33 AM »

A long time ago I had a patient who had a daughter who was raped by a Navy-man.   He threatened her not to "mess with the Navy".  She was not military.   He stated he sent letters all over demanding justice.   He said he was taken seriously.  The last time I spoke to him he said his daughter decided she couldn't go through with all the continuing psychological trauma to pursue justice and decided it was simply less stressful to just move on.  He was very disappointed and felt like he failed to protect his daughter.  I couldn't convince him otherwise.

Apparently there were at least some in the Navy who were willing to cover for this guy.  But I don't know details beyond this.

I don't know if rape is more frequent among military personnel than the general population or if it is harder to obtain justice when it occurs.

I don't think it wrong for the civilian justice system to at least review what is going on though I would prefer they fix any problems within the military system then let the politicians make political fodder for this.

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« Reply #494 on: March 13, 2014, 09:43:04 AM »

Bottom line, if in the case covered by the slimes, if your victim loses credibility, your case is done.

In the case CCP mentioned, if the victim isn't interested in going through the lengthy and traumatic legal process, nothing can be done.
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« Reply #495 on: March 20, 2014, 01:31:50 PM »

http://www.oafnation.com/the-op/2014/3/17/women-in-the-infantry-a-common-sense-analysis
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« Reply #496 on: March 24, 2014, 06:40:34 PM »


http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/03/24/obama-moves-to-kill-tomahawk-hellfire-missiles/

Also see NATO's military decline:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303802104579449571957045910?mod=Opinion_newsreel_1
« Last Edit: March 24, 2014, 06:53:03 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #497 on: March 25, 2014, 07:28:55 AM »

If obama was trying to destroy us, what would he be doing differently?
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« Reply #498 on: April 29, 2014, 06:02:59 AM »

Don't Slay the 'Dragon Lady'
The U-2 spy plane has unparalleled capabilities, but it's endangered by Pentagon cost-cutting.
By Michael Auslin
April 28, 2014 7:03 p.m. ET

Congress this week may kill one of America's most iconic, and still vital, airplanes. First introduced in the mid-1950s, the U-2 high-altitude intelligence-gathering plane has played a pivotal role since the Cold War. Now, it is on the chopping block, slated to become another casualty in Washington's defense-budget Kabuki. Recent congressional testimony and number-crunching make the case that Congress should preserve the U-2, and with it America's continuing dominance of aerial reconnaissance.

The U-2 has survived nearly six decades of service. Designed by legendary Lockheed LMT +0.17% engineer Clarence " Kelly " Johnson —who founded the company's equally legendary "Skunk Works" advanced aircraft-development division—the first U-2s were delivered by Lockheed in July 1955, just eight months after the final approval of the project.

The technological feat of creating a single-engine glider-like aircraft that could fly at 70,000 feet, nearly half-again as high as any existing airplane, remains one of the most impressive accomplishments in U.S. aeronautical engineering. Today's budget hawks, however, would be even more impressed to know that Lockheed delivered the original batch of U-2s for 15% less than the agreed-upon price of $22.5 million for the first 20 planes.

Operated by the CIA, the U-2 flew with impunity over the Soviet Union and China until May 1, 1960, when on the very last planned overflight of the U.S.S.R. Francis Gary Powers was shot down and captured, provoking a crisis in U.S.-Soviet relations. Two years later, Air Force Maj. Rudolph Anderson was shot down and killed over Cuba during the missile crisis.

While it easily could have become obsolete in an era of spy satellites, the U-2 over the decades has evolved to remain one of the most precise intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms in the U.S. arsenal. Now operated by the Air Force, the 27 operational U-2s maintain unparalleled cameras and optical sensors. The Air Force has also modernized the U-2's electronic-warfare capabilities and data links since 2001, as well as other imagery systems. Its airframe is expected to be usable until 2040. The "Dragon Lady," as it is nicknamed, is able to reach transcontinental targets on short notice, unlike satellites, which is why it remains a favorite of the intelligence service and combatant commanders alike.

In the current round of budget cuts, the Air Force initially favored keeping the U-2 and instead retiring 18 of its mid-level RQ-4 Global Hawks, given that those highly touted drones did not have as powerful an optical sensor, cost more than the U-2 to fly, and cannot be flown in adverse weather. This year, however, under congressional pressure, the Air Force did an about-face, offering up all the U-2s in exchange for upgrading the Global Hawks.

It is time to go back to the original plan. From a strategic perspective, the U-2 wins out over Global Hawk. The Dragon Lady still can fly at least 10,000 feet higher than the drone and maintains superior cameras and optical systems. That is why Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee last month that the U-2 provides better early warning of a potential North Korean threat. So if it is a matter of avoiding strategic surprise during tense crisis situations, such as in Ukraine or North Korea, the U-2 comes out on top.

What about cost savings? It will take at least $1.77 billion over 10 years, under current plans, to convert all the Global Hawks to carrying current U-2 sensors. Since the cost savings of mothballing the U-2 fleet is estimated at $2.2 billion, that's a savings of only $430 million.

The Global Hawk's base flying cost may have come down and it may be able to fly longer than the U-2, but it cannot fly better. If Ukraine has reinforced any lesson, it is to be as prepared as possible to mitigate risk around the globe and avoid surprise. Undoubtedly, one day the U-2 will no longer be able to do its mission better than remotely piloted drones. But that day is not here yet, and it is more cost effective and operationally wise to use the best airplane for the job.

Mr. Auslin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., and a columnist for WSJ.com.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #499 on: May 08, 2014, 10:14:08 AM »

Long, detailed article.  Read it all.

Five Chinese Weapons of War America Should Fear

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/five-chinese-weapons-war-america-should-fear-10388
...
DF-21D Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile

The most dangerous weapon to U.S. forces in the Asia-Pacific region is the Dong Feng-21D anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM). Somewhat prematurely dubbed “the Carrier Killer”, the DF-21D is a medium-range ballistic missile specifically designed to attack American aircraft carriers, skirting the defenses of a U.S. naval task force to attack ships from above at hypersonic speeds.

http://www.jamestown.org/programs/recentreports/single/?tx_ttnews[tt_news]=40962&tx_ttnews[backPid]=63&cHash=58a1431157b7cdaf1fa05e53957cbcf7#.U2uc3VOJVld
...
Chengdu J-20 Fighter
China’s first fifth-generation fighter, the J-20 is a large, twin-engine aircraft currently in the demonstrator phase. The J-20’s mission set is unknown, but the aircraft’s robust design seems to support it going in a number of different directions. The aircraft promises to be long-range, fast- and low-observable—if not outright stealthy. China has built three prototypes, the latest flew in early March 2014. The aircraft is projected to enter service some time around 2020.
...
Anti-Satellite Weaponry

For decades, American space-based military assets have given U.S. forces a considerable advantage on the battlefield. Satellites are essential to the American way of war. This is especially true in the Asia-Pacific, where distances from the continental United States are measured in thousands of miles.  China has at least an operational weapon, the SC-19. A derivative of the DF-21, the SC-19 ballistic missile is equipped with the KT-2 (a kinetic kill vehicle). Launched into space, the KT-2 is guided to target by infrared sensors. The KT-2 does not have an explosive warhead but destroys enemy satellites by colliding with them. ...

Chinese ASAT weapons could target a variety of American satellites, including intelligence collection, communications, and navigation satellites. The loss of such satellites would make it difficult to perform reconnaissance missions over China. It would also interfere with air, land and sea navigation, slow communications, and prevent the use of GPS-guided weapons.
...
Type 071 Landing Platform Dock

Power projection is becoming increasingly important to China, particularly to enforce territorial claims in the East and South China Seas. China’s ability to land amphibious troops on some island chains such as the Senkaku, Paracel and Spratly islands could embolden the leadership to do exactly that.

China has three amphibious assault ships of the Type 071 class, Kunlunshan, Jinggangshan and Changbaishan. The three ships are what western naval observers would call China’s “Gator Navy”: ships designed to transport and land marines on hostile shores. Three more Type 071s are expected, as well as six amphibious ships with full-length flight decks like the American Wasp-class.
...
Offensive Cyber Operations

The People’s Liberation Army believes establishing “electronic dominance” early on is critical to their success in a future conflict. Of the five Chinese weapons that America fears the most, the most enigmatic is China’s ability to mount offensive cyber operations.
(Much more at link)

« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 08:22:43 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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