“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
American Pharoah win the Triple Crown !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ReplyDelete
This is a big deal, and interesting.ReplyDelete
Instead we get stuck with the same old, same old.
At this blog, the USA can't do no right.
5 Reasons the U.S. Cannot Defeat ISISReplyDelete
By Aaron David Miller
On Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama will sit down with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to talk about the strategy to fight the Islamic State. The president will lay out what he wants Iraq to do, including making good on promises to empower Sunni militias and tribes. Indeed, there are many things the United States can do to counter the Islamic State: It can increase the number of special forces deployed in the region; assign U.S. troops as spotters and coordinators with forward-deployed Iraqi units; supply weapons directly to vetted Sunni militias; and increase airstrikes.
But what it cannot do is defeat the Islamic State and eliminate it from Iraq and Syria. Even if we finesse the problem and use Obama's clever turn of phrase, to "ultimately defeat" ISIS, as our goal, we had better get used to a very long war. Even with such a war, victory as conventionally defined may still be elusive. Here is why.
The Islamic State will die only when the Middle East is reborn: This will not happen for years to come, if indeed it ever does. The Islamic State, or more specifically its forerunner, al Qaeda in Iraq, rose as a Sunni insurgency in response to the U.S. invasion of Iraq and to Shiite regional dominance. The group was energized by Shiite triumphalism in Iraq and received a further boost from the rapid U.S. withdrawal from the country. Now it has surged largely as a result of regional dysfunction, and it succeeds in countries where no governance (Syria) or bad governance (Iraq) are the rule, not the exception. The Islamic State's spread to Yemen, Libya, and Sinai is fed by the expanse of empty, uncontrollable spaces, by access to weapons and money, and by the spread of a vicious Islamist ideology that speaks to the grievances of an embattled Sunni community searching for an identity around which to rally. Rooting out the organization would require transformational change in both Syria and Iraq. An important facet of that change would be the rise of good governance that empowers and includes Sunnis as well as Shia.
Defeating ISIS requires a Solution to the Syria Problem: ISIS is an Iraqi organization, and Iraq is where its aspirations lie. But Syria is where its putative caliphate has been established, and as a base for expansion it continues to hold promise. The Assad regime's brutal policies create potential ISIS recruits faster than the West can possibly train Sunnis to oppose the group. Further, most Sunnis want to fight Assad, not ISIS, and ISIS cooperates with the regime at times in order to weaken rival Sunni groups. In this confusion and chaos, ISIS thrives. Indeed, even if the civil war somehow ended, ISIS might well be the beneficiary. As the strongest power on the ground, it might expand further, even threatening to take its first major Arab capital - Damascus. Without a solution to Syria - and none is likely - there is no defeating ISIS.
There is no regional military force capable of defeating ISIS: The solution to ISIS is not a military one. Still, military force could stop ISIS gains and begin to lay the basis for the group's demise. But there is no force, nor combination of forces, willing or able to accomplish this objective. The notion of an Arab state coalition will remain a thought experiment, and the Iraqi military, as seen recently in Ramadi, is not up to the job. Political considerations - largely Shiite pushback - prevent the training and arming of Sunni tribes and militias. The Kurds are too weak, and their peshmerga too localized a force. Even Iran's Shiite militias would have a hard time defeating the Islamic State in Sunni-majority areas, and relying on Iran would threaten the already precarious balance between Sunni and Shiite Iraqis. A fully effective Iraqi national army, with the will and the capacity not just to retake territory but to hold it, would be the answer - but that for now seems a distant dream.Delete
The United States lacks the will for this fight: Americans could defeat the Islamic State on the battlefield - certainly in Iraq, and probably in Syria, too. But the odds of this administration, or even one led by a Republican successor, being willing to make the necessary commitment to both battlefields, seem very small indeed. The American public and the U.S. Congress have grown risk-averse after years of investment in the Middle East that brought no tangible returns. Moreover, at times military force is simply an instrument to achieve sustainable political goals. There is simply no reason to believe that the political end state in Iraq or Syria would turn out any better than it did in Iraq or Afghanistan over the past decade, when the United States deployed tens of thousands of troops and spent trillions of dollars.
Lack of a mandate: The Obama administration turned its attention back toward Iraq after the Islamic State beheaded individual Americans and seemed ready to plan attacks against the United States. A Pew poll in February showed that while there is support for more assertive action against the Islamic State, there is also growing concern that the United States would become too deeply involved in Iraq and Syria. This would seem to give the administration the political space to do more against the Islamic State, but within certain limits. What would that mean? Perhaps more airstrikes, or a greater deployment of special forces positioned more centrally. There is no mandate to pursue anything like the kind of nationbuilding effort we have seen in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.Delete
Trying to determine the right approach toward ISIS, and the right amount of resources to dedicate to the task, remains the central challenge for this administration and for its successor. Perhaps a significant terror attack in the United States would shift that balance toward a more aggressive strategy - but even then, the same constraints would apply. Fourteen years after 9/11, we have yet to defeat the terrorist derivatives that al Qaeda spawned, including the Islamic State. At best, we can degrade ISIS's capabilities; keep it on the defensive; hold the line against further takeovers of Iraqi territory; mobilize local allies against it; and most important, try to prevent and pre-empt its efforts to direct attacks on U.S. soil. But defeating ISIS is for now an unattainable objective - one to ponder during the long war to come.
I don't agree with this. We could unleash the B-52's.
That would do it in short order.
But they haven't attacked The Mall of America yet.
If they do, watch out.Delete
The American Shopper...
>>>>Despite his many years of legal training, Cotton abandoned his work in law, and joined the United States Army with the intent of becoming a commissioned officer, serving both Active duty (2005–2009) and Reserves (2010–2013). On January 11, 2005, Cotton joined the Active duty Armed Forces. According to his recruiter, LTC Roger Jones, commander of Army Recruiting Battalion Houston, Cotton decided not to pursue a commission as an officer at the rank of Captain in the Judge Advocate General's Corps, United States Army – the typical rank and specialty for a person with his education and training. Instead, Cotton chose to enlist under the US Army's Officer/Warrant Officer Enlistment Program, Enlistment Option 9D at the rank of Specialist or Corporal, with the guaranteed opportunity to Officer Candidate School and pursue a commission as a military officer. Cotton's relationship with his enlisted basic training drill Sergeant Master SGT Gordon Norton remained so good that years later Cotton would hire Norton to assist with his political campaign.<<<ReplyDelete
Obviously a real ALL AMERICAN BASTARD according to DEUCE, RUFUS, QUIRK.
Seems like a good fellow to me, though.
Quirk, after all, spend his 'adult years' in advertising, and Rufus sold life insurance.Delete
Rufus even claimed once to have save "uncounted" folks from death by selling them life insurance.Delete
Deuce used to idolize Ayn Rand.Delete
And Quirk has always been a self admitted ad man.Delete
Deuce saw himself as a Marine.ReplyDelete
His papa kept him out of that.
My pappy never said a word.
Never intruded at all.
I stood for the draft lottery after getting an excellent education, with high grades.
I got a high draft number so it was over for me.
Fuck you, Deuce.
Your an idiot and a pervert.ReplyDelete
I was seventeen when I enlisted. It was voluntary. I needed my father’s permission. My father and both his brothers knew war. I did not. I wanted to be a marine. My father would not sign and like a lot of seventeen year olds, I thought six months was forever and took the deal offered to me, the Air Force.
I spent seven years in the military, seeing and doing more than you ever dreamt of doing. After that I got a fine eduction and did not take, want or need financial help from my parents. I did not inherit a farm. I created my own life and still do while you play at being a mythical uncle and put quarters in slot machines eating comped breakfast buffets and dream about bombing and the mass murder of human beings.
You stood for the draft lottery because it was the law. You had no choice. You did have a choice like I had a choice and you chose to demure and delicately tiptoed away why others did the shit work.
Despite your excellent education with high grades, you are still a dolt, an ignorant burlesque parrot of parody, probably your version of serving in the air force, being the big B52 man that you are.
The fact is the closest you ever got to combat and the smell of gunfire is shooting pheasants.
It has been over for you for a long time. You love other young men going off to war, after unnecessary and idiotic war, because you are a clueless asshole. It is your version of military participation.
Stay the fuck away from me. Change your slippers and take more time applying your clown makeup. Wear your glasses when you draw your smiley face.
I don't love young men going off to war.
What I've said is we ought not go back.
Don't put words in my mouth, you asshole.
Kansas is in trouble. After slashing income taxes in 2012, the state faces a revenue gap of more than $400 million. Republican Governor Sam Brownback and state legislators are debating how to make up the shortfall. So far they’ve agreed on one way to control how state money is spent. Starting in July, people on the dole will be limited to a single ATM withdrawal of no more than $25 per day. The law also prohibits spending public-assistance cash at movie theaters, swimming pools, and video arcades. Nail salons and tattoo parlors are out, too.ReplyDelete
“The primary focus is to get people back to work, because that’s where the real benefit is—getting people off public assistance and back into the marketplace with the dignity and far more income there than the pittance that government gives them,” Brownback said when he signed the Kansas bill into law in April.
Kansas is among several Republican-controlled states that have recently cut or limited public-assistance funds. In Arizona, which faces a $1 billion budget shortfall, lawmakers voted on May 18 to limit welfare to a year, the shortest window in the nation. On May 5, Missouri’s Republican legislature overrode Democratic Governor Jay Nixon’s veto to enact a bill that cut thousands of low-income families from aid rolls by reducing how long people can claim cash from five years to fewer than four. Michigan’s GOP-controlled legislature passed a bill on June 2 that strips cash assistance from families with chronically truant children. “During the recession there were lots of blue states, for fiscally driven reasons, that were cutting welfare,” says Liz Schott, a senior fellow at the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington think tank. “This year’s cuts feel more ideologically driven.”
Every Republican US Congressman in each of those Republican states voted for $3.5 billion in aid for Israel, every year they served in Congress. There is no limit on the Israeli ATM card nor restriction on how they spent their dole money. Such thrift and discipline is reserved for Americans, not Israeli settlers. US Congressmen.
CREATING AND INSPIRING NEW INSURGENTSReplyDelete
As the U.S. military focused heavily on the Iraq war in 2006, the general in charge of the secretive Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) noticed something alarming: The Taliban was regrouping in Afghanistan, and the United States didn’t have the manpower there to stop it.
That commander, then-Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, responded by unleashing the Naval Special Warfare Development Group — popularly known as SEAL Team 6 — on a variety of missions in which the unit wouldn’t have typically been involved, according to an investigative report published by the New York Times on Saturday. Some of those operations resulted in civilians being killed, several former SEALs said in interviews, according to the report.
“No figures are publicly available that break out the number of raids that Team 6 carried out in Afghanistan or their toll,” the Times reported. “Military officials say that no shots were fired on most raids. But between 2006 and 2008, Team 6 operators said, there were intense periods in which for weeks at a time their unit logged 10 to 15 kills on many nights, and sometimes up to 25.”
The report, long-rumored in the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence world, details the evolving use for the elite force that is one of America’s most revered but least understood. It also notes the lack of oversight team members receive. Among the details reported:
SEALs and the CIA’s Omega Program
SEAL Team 6 members joined with the CIA in something known as the Omega Program, which hunted down Taliban fighters with fewer restrictions than other military units, the Times reported. Together, they performed “deniable operations” in Pakistan using a model with similarities to the Phoenix Program, a Vietnam-era effort in which Special Operations troops performed interrogations and assassinations, the newspaper reported.
The existence of Omega teams has been reported previously. In September 2011, The Washington Post’s Greg Miller and Julie Tate reported that “omega” units comprising CIA personnel and troops with JSOC were using co-mingled bases in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen. The story noted that on at least five occasions, they had ventured into Pakistan.
Those employed in Afghanistan were “mostly designed against specific high-value targets with the intent of looking across the border” into Pakistan, a former senior U.S. military official said in an interview at the time about the “omega” teams. They wore civilian clothes and traveled in Toyota Hilux trucks, rather than military vehicles, the officials added. That story did not report that SEAL Team 6 specifically was involved.
LITTLE OUTSIDE OVERSIGHTDelete
The Times reported that there are numerous instances in which SEAL Team 6 members have been accused of killing civilians during raids, spawning investigations by JSOC. A “half-dozen” former members of the unit told the Times they were aware of civilian deaths that the team had caused.
“Do I think bad things went on?” one former officer told the newspaper, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified operations. “Do I think there was more killing than should have been done? Sure.”
That same person added that there was a “natural inclination” to kill what were perceived as threats but that he doubted SEALs intentionally killed people who didn’t deserve it.
One example raised was a 2008 operation in Afghanistan’s Helmand province in which a Taliban official identified as Objective Pantera was to be taken out. Numerous allegations were made that civilians in the village involved were killed, prompting a SEAL Team 6 commander, Navy Capt. Scott Moore, to ask for a JSOC investigation, the Times reported.
JSOC cleared the SEALs involved of any wrongdoing in the Pantera operation, the Times reported, citing two unnamed team members. But SEALs were sometimes sent home from deployments when concerns about questionable killings were raised, the story added.
Tomahawks used in combat
Some SEAL Team 6 members used specialized tomahawk axes in raids, and at least one SEAL killed an insurgent with one, the Times reported.
The newspaper quoted one former team member, Dom Raso, who said the tomahawks were used for breaching doors, in hand-to-hand combat and for other roles.
According to the Times, one former senior enlisted SEAL said: “It’s a dirty business. What’s the difference between shooting them as I was told and pulling out a knife and stabbing them or hatcheting them?”
At times, the SEALs cut off fingers or patches of scalp from dead militants so that DNA analysis could be performed, the story adds. It does not specify which weapons were used to do so.
Dan Lamothe covers national security for The Washington Post and anchors its military blog, Checkpoint.
Let’s check and see how exceptionally well things are working out in LibyaReplyDelete
MISURATA, Libya — As the Islamic State scores new victories in Syria and Iraq, its affiliate in Libya is also on the offensive, consolidating control of Moammar Gaddafi’s former home town and staging a bomb attack on a major city, Misurata.
The Islamic State’s growth could further destabilize a country already suffering from a devastating civil war. And Libya could offer the extremists a new base from which to launch attacks elsewhere in North Africa.
The Libyan affiliate does not occupy large amounts of territory as the Islamic State does in Syria and Iraq. But in the past few months, the local group has seized Sirte, the coastal city that was Gaddafi’s last redoubt, as well as neighborhoods in the eastern city of Derna.
A key reason for the Libyan affiliate’s expansion is the chaos that has enveloped this oil-rich nation since the 2011 Arab Spring revolt. The country has two rival governments and is rent by fighting between militias that emerged from the anti-Gaddafi struggle.
Although the Islamic State claims allies in many countries, the Libya branch is especially close to the main organization. Its core fighters in Libya are veterans of the Syrian civil war.
Security experts estimate there are as many as 3,000 fighters loyal to the Islamic State in Libya. The country has become one of the primary locations to train with the group outside of Syria and Iraq. Volunteers from Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other countries have flocked here to fight with the extremists and other jihadist organizations. The Islamic State also has succeeded in pulling away members of other Libyan extremist groups.
In the latest signs of their growing strength, Islamic State fighters last month seized the airport and an adjacent air base in Sirte, where they have controlled most government institutions since February. The militants also took over the nearby headquarters of a mammoth network of pipes that pump fresh water to Libyan cities.
Then, on May 31, the militants dispatched a Tunisian suicide bomber to Misurata, 170 miles west of Sirte. He rammed his vehicle into a major security checkpoint, killing five.
Five days later, Islamic State fighters captured the town of Harawah, 46 miles east of Sirte.
Misurata’s militias gained a reputation as some of the country’s toughest fighters during the 2011 uprising. But the powerful militias have been deeply embroiled in a fight against forces aligned with Gen. Khalifa Hifter, the Libyan army chief who declared war on the country’s Islamists in 2014.
Why don’t we arm up Seal Team 6 with hatchets and send in the B52s?Delete
WELL, AT LEAST WE GOT RID OF GADDAFIDelete
The Misurata commanders have been cautious about taking on the Islamic State, even though the militias clashed with extremist fighters in Sirte. But the recent suicide bombing has prompted the commanders to shift their focus.
“They see the threat, and they are really focused on it now,” said Frederic Wehrey, a Libya expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Misurata’s militia leaders held meetings in Tripoli, the capital, this past week to coordinate a counterattack, according to an official from the city’s military council. Misurata sits along the coast between Tripoli and Sirte.
“The priorities have shifted,” Wehrey said. “Misurata is getting hit [by the Islamic State], and they are just down the road.”
Since the fall of Gaddafi in 2011, this city of about 500,000 — Libya’s third-largest — has enjoyed relative stability. Thanks to advanced infrastructure and the city’s port, Misurata has again established itself as a Mediterranean trade hub.
Advancing in Libya
Gaddafi cracked down on domestic Islamist groups during his four-decade rule. But Islamists became powerful after the 2011 rebellion, with some joining the government and others openly running armed factions.
Still, the Islamic State did not appear in Libya until mid-2014. A group of Libyan militants who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State while fighting in Syria returned home and began to organize in the eastern city of Derna, according to experts and Libyan Islamists.
At the time, Libya’s weak government was fracturing into two entities: an Islamist-led administration in Tripoli, and a Hifter-aligned authority in the eastern city of Tobruk.
Later in 2014, the Islamic State leadership sent a delegation from Syria to Libya to formally receive pledges of allegiance to its self-declared caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The Libyan group set up three caliphate “provinces” in the east, in Tripoli and in the south. Each province has an Islamic State governor, but there is no single spiritual or military leader inside Libya, experts say.
For the Islamic State, Libya is attractive because of its location along the Mediterranean Sea, making it a potential launchpad for attacks on places such as Egypt and Tunisia, analysts say. The country’s vast desert regions and general lawlessness also mean the Islamic State could operate quite freely.
In February, Islamic State fighters drove a convoy of vehicles mounted with heavy weapons into Sirte, capturing a cluster of government buildings and a local radio station.
Soon the militants began enforcing their own brand of strict Islamic law. According to local news reports, militants established checkpoints to inspect vehicles and confiscate items such as CDs and cigarettes, which they say are not Islamic.
“These extremist forces were not so strong a few months ago,” said Mohamed Lagha, a Libyan journalist who has reported from Sirte. But “they have continued to grow” and now control most of the city, he said.
The Libyan Islamic State militants caused an international outcry in February when they released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians who had been abducted in December and January. In April, the group released a similar video in which militants beheaded 15 Ethiopian Christians and shot 15 more in Libya.
The Islamic State also has claimed terrorist attacks in cities such as Tripoli and Benghazi.
Despite the extremists’ advances, there are several factors that will probably hinder their growth, Wehrey said. The country’s 6.2 million people are mostly Sunni, so there are not the kind of sectarian divisions that have allowed the Islamic State to grow in Syria and Iraq.
What a stroke of genius to heap another US intervention in overthrowing Gaddafi onto the ME funeral pyre.Delete
Not only are we exceptional, we are gifted at precision thinking and intervening at the proper moment and exact measure to guarantee exceptional and outstanding outcomes.
The biggest obstacle to the neocon dream is our own incompetence.
Some argue that technology, to be specific air power, CAS, drones, etc. is the future of war in the 21st Century. While I agree it is important, I think given the nature of asymmetric warfare that this is the future
The Secret History of SEAL Team 6: Quiet Killings and Blurred Lines
The unit best known for killing Osama bin Laden has been converted into a global manhunting machine with limited outside oversight.M
Lesson learned from Viet Nam: When the “body count” returns things are not too beaucoup good...ReplyDelete
What an Estimate of 10,000 ISIS Fighters Killed Doesn’t Tell Us
June 4, 2015, 6:02 pm ET by Priyanka Boghani
It’s been more than eight months since the United States mobilized a coalition and launched a campaign of airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Despite the strikes hitting more than 6,200 targets, it has been difficult to measure the coalition’s success against ISIS.
On Wednesday, a senior U.S. official offered one measure of progress when he told a French radio network that airstrikes had killed 10,000 ISIS fighters since the campaign began.
“We have seen enormous losses for Daesh [ISIS],” Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told France Inter. “More than 10,000 since the beginning of this campaign. That will end up having an effect.”
While that number seems substantial — given that estimates released by the CIA in the fall suggested ISIS had between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters — it might not be as significant as it initially appears. Even before airstrikes began, ISIS controlled major cities in Iraq and Syria, but the bombing campaign has yet to substantially slow its ability to launch new assaults and expand its territory. Just as troubling, analysts say, the death toll suggests ISIS is much bigger than Western intelligence first assumed.
“If [10,000 killed] is accurate, then that means all the estimates of ISIS strength from the fall were wildly inaccurate,” said Patrick Skinner, director of special projects at The Soufan Group, a New York-based security intelligence firm. “I’m pretty certain we haven’t gotten rid of either a third or half of their fighters.”
Estimates of the size of ISIS have varied widely. In addition to the CIA’s figures, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has estimated ISIS has 50,000 fighters in Syria alone. Others have put the size of the group’s fighting force as high as 200,000. By comparison, Iraq’s security forces are estimated to have approximately 84,000 between the military and federal police force combined, and Syria’s army is thought to have 125,000 regulars in April, according to The New York Times. But in Syria, ISIS is primarily attacking territory held by a hodgepodge of rebels and the Al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al Nusra, whose numbers are smaller than the nation’s army.
Skinner pointed out that holding the amount of territory that the self-proclaimed Islamic State does requires many people — more than a force within the range of the CIA’s earlier estimates. According to the Syrian Observatory, ISIS currently controls half of Syria. It has held on to Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, which it seized last June, and now controls more than half of Anbar province. And despite a bombing campaign that has cost the U.S. $2.44 billion, according to Defense Department figures, ISIS in recent weeks has also taken Ramadi in Iraq and Palmyra in Syria, and launched an offensive on opposition-held areas in Aleppo province in Syria.
Meanwhile, foreign fighters have continued flocking to ISIS. According to estimates released in May by the United Nations, 25,000 people have travelled to fight in Iraq and Syria, as well as in the conflicts in Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen. That figure includes those who have joined ISIS, Al Qaeda and other militant groups, but the report noted that ISIS “currently attracts most global foreign terrorist fighters.”
The number of fighters killed by the air campaign is an unclear measure of ISIS’ strength for another reason: Because of how broadly defined a fighter targeted by an air strike can be.
“If you consider the Obama administration’s definition of militant versus civilian when it does drone strikes, you are either a militant or a civilian with nothing in between,” said Aaron Zelin, the Richard Borow fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “They define militant as any military-age male in the strike target area. So 10,000 could mean anything if they are transferring the same logic to what they deem [ISIS] fighters.”
The number of fighters killed in the U.S. fight against ISIS has not been publicized often. When the U.S. ambassador to Iraq told an Arabic TV station in January that 6,000 ISIS fighters had been killed, former Defense Secretary and Vietnam War-veteran Chuck Hagel dismissed body counts as a measure of progress, saying, “I was in a war where we did body counts and we lost that one.”
Better ways to measure success, Skinner suggested, would be looking at factors such as what the forces fighting ISIS are actually capable of achieving, or how many lives have been saved, or figuring out what kinds of social and political changes can lead to a long-term solution.
“The military does not want to get into body counts, because that never really works [as a measure],” said Skinner. “It’s kind of disturbing that a year after Mosul, we’re now doing the Vietnam-type body county to show success. When all the other metrics are bad, the last refuge is to show a body count.”
When you have to ask "Are we winning?" you can be pretty sure you're not.
Tell me, if you were a benevolent dictator running the US and you didn't have to worry about the politics, the lobbyists, the people, how would you conduct foreign policy including war?
Replace “In God We Trust” with "Mind Our Own Business".Delete
Bring back the draft for personnel. Over a five year period, close every overseas military base.
Find the most ambitious colonels in the Pentagon and take them to Camp David. Lock them down till they presented a plan to cut the military budget in half, maintaining real security and reducing the number of general officers by 66%.
Limit military careers for enlisted men to five years for 80% of the service. Extend the retirement age to 55 for noncoms and officers.
Eliminate the National Guard
Merge the Air Force and the Navy
Move the US Capitol every ten years to the poorest American City.
Establish a war sales tax directly relating to and fully funding military spending.
Get out of Nato. Dump Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and all other military treaties and cooperation in the Middle East.
Provide refuge for the victims of US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya in the poorest US cities.
Realign free trade within the Americas, the Anglospere, Japan and Europe.
Allow states to issue bonds for infrastructure for sale to the Federal Reserve.
Enter into non-intervention treaties with any willing country and encourage new international bodies of state with shared interests.
Eliminate permanent seats in the UN Security Council.
Absent a declaration of war by Congress and signed by the President allow 2/3 of the state governors to overrule a foreign military adventure.
Return the White House to a non-palace. Reduce its budget by 75%.Delete
Eliminate direct voting for the Senate.The state governors would select one senator for an eight year term, subject to recall and the state hoses would select the other.
Allow 2/3 of state governors to overrule any Supreme Court decision.
Limit election cycles to six months.
All federal elections publicly financed with a surtax on salaries over $1,000,000
Eliminate all charitable deductions and tax exempt organizations.
Register all lobbyists as being either foreign or domestic.
You have been thinking about this a little too much.
I would only add that the only wars we get involved in are defensive ones, actual defensive wars, and when we go to war we go to win.
If it is a country we go to war with, we go in and win. Once we win, we leave, we don't worry about the UN, we don't about pottery barn rules, we don't worry about allies or world opinion. If the same country (or another country) attacks us again, it is wash, rinse, repeat. In Iraq, Bush was declaring mission accomplished after a couple of months but we stayed for 8 years. In Afghanistan, we went in in October and had defeated the Taliban by years end and we are still there going on 14 years later. In both cases, had we left after we had won, our casualties would have been pretty small. Now, these dicks seem to have become comfortable with the idea of never-ending war. The current war in Iraq is an example of one, the WOT is another. End that mindset, make each war discrete and time limited. In and out.
Screw the nation building, screw the pushing of democracy to people who don't want it, just get in and get out. We will get a lot of criticism, the world will not like us, but we will be respected. There are some advantages to being thought of as the biggest baddest swinging dick in the valley and possibly a little crazy.
If we are attacked by non state actors find out who they are and either prosecute them or take them out using whatever means necessary, drones, special forces, the CIA even if it takes years as in the OBL case or decades if necessary. Over time, the world would get the picture that we will fight not to extend our territory but merely to defend ourselves.
Forget the "Shock and Awe" bull and just go in, kick ass and takes names, and leave.
Being the most powerful nation we will never be really liked by most other countries but we can still be respected.
If we are attacked
And forget the coalition building bull, the leading from behind, etc. We don't need a smoke screen, and face it, the US ends up doing the heavy lifting anyway, that and/or paying the tab. All the coalition does is complicate things.
to use another Viet Nam era idiom: “Knowing that.”ReplyDelete
It has been awhile since we did a “No Shit Sherlock Award” but this is deserving:
John Brennan, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, went on “Face the Nation” last Sunday and did something weird: he acknowledged that U.S. foreign policy might sometimes cause terrorism. Of course, he didn’t word it exactly like that, but close enough:
BRENNAN: I think the president has tried to make sure that we’re able to push the envelope when we can to protect this country. But we have to recognize that sometimes our engagement and direct involvement will stimulate and spur additional threats to our national security interests.
You live in a dream world Deuce.ReplyDelete
Get out of NATO.
In the historical scheme of things its been a big success.
You sound like a teenager in 1968.
In fact you are an idiot.Delete
You are the bright bulb that said:
"Iran is fighting for civilization"
You need to grow a new brain.
Are you of the opinion, Quirk, that Iran is fighting for civilization ?Delete
What say ye, you urban petty criminal and pervert.
You super sales man.
(Quirk went to advertising school)Delete
(Deuce's daddy kept him out of the fight)Delete
My father said nothing about it one way or the other.Delete
I stood for the draft.
You stood for the draft, did you? That was very brave of you.Delete
You are really a stupid motherfucker standing or sitting.
The US Air Force was in the Viet Nam you ignorant twerp. I was assigned TDY to Da Nang Air Base in January 1996 from RAF Bentwaters with about 25 others. We were part of the 81st TFW and the USAF was making so many flights in Viet Nam Air Force pilots were making their maximum amount of missions and had to be replaced faster than the flight schools could replace them.
RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge both had F4 Phantoms. Da Nang was attacked on numerous occasions killing marines and USAF Air Policemen.. while you were standing stupid in Idaho
I wasn’t in aircrew. My AFSC was 30450 and 30454. 30454 was for heavy group radio and included ACW equipment used for Ground Radio Approach. I stood more time in a chowline than you stood for the draft.Delete
Every time you open your dumbass mouth, you make yourself look more foolish than the last time you played the fool.
Ground Control ApproachDelete
Heavy Ground RadioDelete
I am hoping for a call from my Niece today.ReplyDelete
Last time she was absolutely giddy with happiness.
She is a total joy !
"I am top of the world now, Uncle Bob"
She rides a bike, lives in a one room flat, and works her heart out at the Max Planck Institute of Brain Research, Dresden, Germany.
She is worth living for...
"I would only add that the only wars we get involved in are defensive ones, actual defensive wars,..."
Ironically that idea lies at the core of the UN agreement.
The UN charter.Delete
I merely stated the ideal, Ash. My ideal. Therefore, you are justified in offering your version of it. Hypotheticals can be fun until reality intrudes. However, just as my ideal goes beyond pollyannish to absurd given the money and the varied interests that profit from war, yours is the same given the structure of the UN.
In reality, of course, that idea is almost laughable. Few countries bother getting U.N. approval before they start launching missiles or firing bullets, and President Obama has made it clear that he's willing to bypass the U.N. when it comes to the conflict of the moment, in Syria. After all, securing a U.N. resolution for military action requires a unanimous vote from veto-wielding members on the Council, or for those countries to at least abstain if they disapprove. And how often are rival powerhouses like America, Russia, and China ever going to be in harmony when it comes to war?
The UN does agree to go to war on occasion, or rather send its members to war. Take Kosovo for instance. But there we have to ask what national interest was the US protecting? There is also Libya but we have seen the disaster that wrought. There have been a few others. The Korean stalemate was one. And then there are the 'peacekeeping' missions which only rarely keep the peace and are sometimes more controversial than helpful.
However, speaking of irony and ideals as we are, I find it rather ironic to assume that the US, arguably the most powerful nation on earth, needs to join a confederation in order to do the right thing.
Turkey’s Ruling Party Appears to Lose Parliamentary Majority, Early Results Show
Turkey's Election a Referendum on Erdogan
ISTANBUL — Partial results in Turkey’s parliamentary election Sunday showed that the ruling Justice and Development Party stood to lose its single-party majority in Parliament after 12 years of being in power, according to TRT, a state-run broadcaster.
With over 90 percent of the votes counted, the A.K.P. has 41 percent of the vote, a result that is likely to deny the party enough seats to form the next government by itself and realize President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ambitions of changing the Constitution to establish an executive presidency.
The pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party, or H.D.P., appears to be on track to surpass the 10 percent threshold needed to secure representation in Parliament for the first time...
Saw Hillary talking on TV about voter rights yesterday. She looked pretty bad. There is something about her eyes, a perpetual squint, maybe it is a medical condition. I remember she had some problems a year or two ago. But it was also her presentation, unsmiling, shrewish, scolding. On the one occasion where she did seem to smile (when the crowd continued a long round of applause) it looked more like a smirk. I can't imagine how anyone so unprepossessing could be elected president. But that is just me.
However, if she doesn't, it won't be due to lack of effort by her friends in the MSM. The attached article speaks of the NYT habit of concentrating on trivia when they think it might help Hillary (Rubio's 'wife's' traffic tickets, questioning every GOP candidate on their views about the new Caitlyn Jenner) but virtually ignoring those things that could potentially hurt her (Bill hanging around with prostitutes and convicted child molesters).