Posts tagged military
Military Times Survey: 75% of Troops Oppose Strikes on Syria
It’s always a good sign for an empire’s fortunes when the commander in chief of the armed forces completely loses the confidence and trust of the troops. While we have all seen various polls demonstrating the general public’s complete opposition to unprovoked military aggression against Syria, I hadn’t seen a survey focused on military members until now. The results are not good for the establishment. From the Military Times:
To the list of skeptics who question the need for air strikes against Syria, add an another unlikely group — many U.S. troops.
“I haven’t heard one single person be supportive of it,” said an Army staff sergeant at Fort Hood who asked not to be identified by name.
A Military Times survey of more than 750 active-duty troops this week found service members oppose military action in Syria by a margin of about three to one.
The survey conducted online Monday and Tuesday found that about 75 percent of troops are not in favor of air strikes in response to reports that the Syrian government used chemical weapons to kill civilians in that country.
A higher percentage of troops, about 80 percent, say they do not believe getting involved in the two-year-old civil war is in the U.S. national interest.
The results suggest that opposition inside the military may be more intense than among the U.S. population at large. About 64 percent of Americans oppose air strikes, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll published Monday.
Full article here.
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Judge Napolitano: Syria Resolution Intentionally Vague So Obama Can Put Boots On The Ground
JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO: It’s a tremendous amount of wiggle room for a couple of reasons. As a practical matter, as your previous guest Aaron just said, when you send missiles into a country, you need boots on the ground to guide the missiles where they’re going to land. So Secretary Kerry may very well shrewdly have been mincing words. The government considers military troops out of uniform, out of uniform, or CIA in their nonuniform garb not to be ‘boots on the ground.’
So I would have asked Secretary Kerry, will the American military or will American intelligence agents be on the ground, whether you consider them boots or not? It’s inconceivable that we can send the type of missiles over there that the president and his Republican allies in Congress now contemplate, Sen. McCain leading the charge, without some American human beings, whether they’re wearing boots or not, to be on the ground. So, Secretary Kerry, in my view, was misleading the Congress.
Now here’s the Constitutional issue. The Constitution says only the Congress can declare war but the president wages it. The president can’t declare war and Congress can’t wage it. What does that mean? That means that once the Congress gives authorization for the president to bring down either the chemical weaponry of the Assad regime, or as Senator McCain wants, the Assad regime itself, the Congress can’t pull the president back. The Congress can’t tell the president how to wage war.
NAPOLITANO: Our conversation now is largely hypothetical. No judge is going to say, ‘oh, the president violated this resolution; I’m going to sign a piece of paper enjoining the president.’ No American judge will do that. But the president, once unleashed by Congress will be free to put all the boots on the ground he wants no matter what the resolution says. John McCain knows that, John Kerry knows that, and the president knows. The American people need to know it.
6 Major Corporations that Profit from U.S. Aid to the Egyptian Military
Our foreign aid programs are big time vehicles for crony capitalism.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of our foreign aid largess (after the ruling classes of the receiving 3rd world countries) is the good old American Military Industrial Complex.
We make a lot of arms in the United States, and the companies which want to sell guns, tanks, and planes make sure countries who want to buy guns, tanks, and planes but can’t afford them are subsidized by the American taxpayer. This is the case in Egypt.
About $1.3 billion is authorized each year to bolster Egypt’s military, one of the most powerful in the Middle East. That aid covers 80% of all of Egypt’s military purchases, according to a recent congressional assessment (pdf). This assistance has totaled nearly $42 billion since 1948, and nearly all of it has gone to buy American weaponry and hardware.
In fact, the appropriated funds never make their way directly to Egypt. “It goes to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then to a trust fund at the Treasury and, finally, out to U.S. military contractors that make the tanks and fighter jets that ultimately get sent to Egypt,”
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
Are These The Last Days Of The U.S. Marine Corps?
Are the current personnel cuts the beginning of the end for the U.S. Marines? Could these actually be the last days of the U.S. Marine Corps? A decade ago, such a notion would have been absolutely unthinkable, but times have changed. The Marine Corps was already in the process of drawing down from a peak of 202,100 Marines to 182,100, and now Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is warning that the sequester cuts may force the Army to be cut down to a size of 380,000 and the Marine Corps to be cut down to a size of 150,000. Unfortunately for the Marines, even larger cuts may eventually be coming. Many in the Obama administration and in the Pentagon are now openly questioning whether there will be an important role for the Marines to play in the future. After all, the U.S. military has not conducted a major amphibious landing since the Korean War.
As our politicians look for even more ways to cut military expenses in the years ahead, the Marines may end up being very tempting “low hanging fruit” that the bureaucrats can’t resist. And unless another major conflict erupts, it seems clear that more cuts are probably coming. In fact, even the New York Times admits that “deep reductions” to the U.S. military have long been an important goal for Barack Obama.
So does Barack Obama plan to go after the Marines? Well, for now Barack Obama is publicly praising the Marines. In fact, Obama made the following promise to the Marines during a recent speech at Camp Pendleton…
“After all you’ve given to our nation, you have to know your nation will always be faithful to you.”
Will Obama keep that promise?
Well, considering his track record perhaps you should not hold your breath.
In any event, the Marine Corps brass is certainly bracing for very deep budget cuts right now. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Jim Amos says that the Marine Corps is going to do “the very best we possibly can” with what they are given…
Amos said he assumes the Corps’ planned shift to more operations in the Pacific will continue, but the size of the force and the number of missions it will be able to undertake will be reduced if the budget cuts stay in place.“We’re going to do less with less,” Amos told the House committee. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to do it poorly or we’re going to do it inadequately. We’ll do it the very best we possibly can.”
Unfortunately for the Marines, they are being given less and less these days.
You see, the cuts to the Marines did not start with the sequester. The truth is that plans to reduce the size of the Marines started very early in the Obama administration. For example, the following are recommendations for cuts that came from the 2010 Force Structure Review Group report…
• A 13 percent drop in ground combat forces, including an 11 percent reduction in infantry, 20 percent reduction in cannon artillery and a 20 percent reduction in armor
•A 16 percent drop in fixed-wing tactical aviation squadrons
• A 9 percent drop in logistics
• A 7 percent drop in Marines assigned to non-operational billets
• And a 12 percent drop in the civilian work force.
“All of the military services have been challenged to find the right balance between preserving what is unique and valuable in their traditions, while at the same time making the changes necessary to win the wars we are in and prepare for the likely future threats in the years and decades to come,” he said. “Looking ahead, I do think it is proper to ask whether large-scale amphibious landings along the lines of Inchon [the Marine’s invasion of the Korea peninsula in 1950] are feasible.”
Of course part of the problem for the Marines is that they are still considered to be a part of the U.S. Navy. The following is from a recent Fiscal Times article…
The Marines, while considered a separate branch of the military, are actually part of the Navy. They’re often referred to as the “infantry of the Navy.”
“The Marines don’t have a separate fiscal existence. They are a wholly owned subsidiary of the Navy,” Adams said.
When it comes time to cut the Navy budget, it is often the Marines that feel the most pain…
But the Navy has authority over the Marine’s personnel budget–expected to be $12.9 billion in 2014. This means that Navy brass can decide how it pays to train, house, feed and maintain readiness of the troops.
Because of this, according to Adams, the Marines often find themselves the victims of Navy spending fights.
And right now the U.S. military is experiencing a spending squeeze that they have not felt in many, many years. In addition to personnel cuts, a whole host of other Marine programs could be cut back significantly because of the sequester…
Fewer F-35B Joint Strike Fighters, MV-22 Ospreys, AH-1 Cobras, and UH-1 Hueys. No Marine Personnel Carrier. Maybe no Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to replace the Humvee. 8,000 fewer Marines on active duty. The Marine Commandant has put all that on the table as part of his proposal to the Defense Secretary’s Strategic Choices and Management Review. If sequester goes into effect in its full 10-year, $500 billion glory – and all signs so far are it will – then Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos stands ready to sacrifice almost everything except the Amphibious Combat Vehicle and combat readiness.
As the size of the U.S. Marine Corps gets whittled away, we need to be very careful that we do not lose a very important part of our culture. The Marines have a very special place in U.S. history, and we should never forget the blood that so many of them shed to defend our liberties and our freedoms.
Unfortunately, our liberties and our freedoms are being eroded at an astounding pace today, and even the Marines themselves are quickly becoming an endangered species.
After surviving the Japanese and the North Koreans, it is a shame that many old vets may have to watch the Marine Corps that they love fall victim to Barack Obama and the bureaucrats.
The few and the proud are rapidly becoming fewer, and it just doesn’t seem right.
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Japan Launches Largest Warship Since World War II
JAPAN – Japan unveiled its largest warship since World War II on Tuesday, an 820-foot-long, 19,500-ton flattop capable of carrying 14 helicopters, according to media reports.
The ship, named the Izumo, is classified as a helicopter destroyer, though its flattop design makes it look like an aircraft carrier. But the Japanese Defense Ministry says the ship is not intended to be used as an aircraft carrier and will not be used to launch fighter jets, state broadcaster NHK reported.
The launch of the $1.2 billion warship at a Yokohama dockyard comes at a time of increased military tensions between Japan and China over disputed islands in the East China Sea. “The destroyer is aimed at better responding to various contingencies in waters near Japan,” NHK reported.
China on Tuesday warned Japan against any moves of military expansion, according to a report from Global Times. Tuesday’s launch also came on the 68th anniversary of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima.
In remembrance ceremonies in Hiroshima on Tuesday, a list of 286,000 atomic bomb victims was presented. In a speech, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on the Japanese people to always remind the world about the consequences of nuclear war, NHK reported.
The U.S. Government Has Awarded Contracts To Al-Qaeda In Afghanistan? This can’t be true.
Let’s just say this is disappointing.
I was going to rant on, but geez, Just leave that place. What a horrible waste.
Supporters of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan have been getting U.S. military contracts, and American officials are citing “due process rights” as a reason not to cancel the agreements, according to an independent agency monitoring spending.
“I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract,” Sopko said.
The 236-page report and Sopko’s summary provide one of the watchdog agency’s most critical appraisals of U.S. performance in helping to build a stable Afghanistan as the Pentagon prepares to withdraw combat troops by the end of next year.
The Important Things We DON’T Have Money For, And The Crazy Things We DO Have Money For…
In an age of “belt tightening” and “budget cuts”, you would think that government officials would be trying to spend our money wisely. Unfortunately, when it comes time to cut spending our politicians tend to do everything that they can to protect their own interests and their own pet projects, but they don’t seem to mind implementing cuts that deeply hurt military families, the poor and the elderly. The facts that you are about to read will likely upset you very much. The federal government and our state governments are wasting money in some of the most ridiculous ways imaginable. Meanwhile, we are being told that we don’t have any money for a lot of really important things. Our hard-earned tax dollars are being horribly mismanaged, and the American people deserve to hear the truth about this gross negligence.
Now before I go any further, I want to make it very clear that I believe that the federal government and our state governments are already taking in more than enough money. They should be able to do everything that they need to do on the money that they are already extracting from all of us. And if we had been living within our means all this time, we would not be drowning in debt as a nation today.
Unfortunately, our politicians did choose to go into tremendous amounts of debt, and the American people did not stop them. So now we are rapidly heading toward a debt crisis unlike anything the world has ever seen before.
And our politicians should be reducing spending. There is no question about that. But what this article is about is priorities, and right now our politicians really seem to have their priorities messed up. What follows are some examples of this…
The city of Detroit says that it is totally broke and has no money for pensions…
…but somehow the city has 444 million dollars to spend on a new hockey arena for the Detroit Red Wings.
…but somehow the federal government is able to spend tens of millions of dollars to fill our skies with surveillance drones.
The U.S. government is so broke that it has had to borrow more than a trillion dollars from China…
…but somehow we have plenty of money to help “modernize China’s energy grid“.
The U.S. Congress has cut $60,000,000 for schools on Indian reservations across the country…
…but somehow the IRS is able to pay out $70,000,000 in bonuses to their workers.
It is being projected that federal budget cuts will cost the U.S. economy 1.6 million jobs through the end of 2014…
…but somehow the federal government has plenty of money to provide many former members of Congress with six-figure annual incomes for life…
Members of Congress receive retirement benefits that are far more generous than those earned by the average worker, according to a recent Bankrate analysis.
Not only do congressional representatives and senators earn the guarantee of a monthly pension check — a benefit that has become increasingly rare for most U.S. workers — they also receive Social Security payments and can opt to pay into the federal Thrift Savings Plan, a 401(k) style-plan with fees that are far lower than most retirement plans.
As a result, longtime members of Congress can easily retire with six-figure annual incomes for life.
The Obama administration is forcing the U.S. Army to reduce the number of active combat brigades from 45 to 33…
…but the Obama administration has no problem finding millions of dollars to send to radical jihadist Syrian rebels that are beheading innocent Christians over in Syria.
Barack Obama says that there simply is not any money available for White House tours…
…but the Obamas are able to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on exotic vacations. In August, Obama and his family will be spending 8 days in a beautiful home on the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard.
The federal government says that there was not enough money for the traditional 4th of July fireworks at many military bases around the country this year…
…but somehow the National Institutes of Health has $509,840 to spend on “a study that will send text messages in ‘gay lingo’ to methamphetamine addicts to try to persuade them to use fewer drugs and more condoms.”
Due to “budget cuts”, swimming pools for military families are being shut down all over the country…
…but Barack Obama felt that it was so important to send $500,000,000 to the Palestinian Authority that he signed a national security executive order last Friday that enabled him to get around an act of Congress that was intended to prevent him from sending that money to them.
The state of California is so strapped for cash that it may have to release thousands of violent criminals back on to the streets…
…but somehow the state of California has plenty of money to provide a multitude of welfare benefits for illegal immigrants.
A total of about 38 million dollars is being cut from “meals on wheels” programs around the nation due to the sequester…
…but somehow the federal government has plenty of money to hassle ordinary citizens with ridiculous amounts of red tape. For example, a small-time magician out in Missouri that does magic shows for kids was recently forced to submit a 32 page “disaster plan” for the rabbit that he uses in his shows.
With priorities like this, is it any wonder that our national debt is completely and totally out of control?
The Pentagon is spending taxpayer dollars on what?
Some will always argue that “defense” is specifically enumerated in the Constitution and therefore a legitimate expenditure. It is a legitimate expenditure.
But it is “defense” which is enumerated. Policing all of the world’s sea lanes was not envisioned by our founders. Nor was maintaining an archipelago of bases in every corner of the world. This is hugely expensive and a drain on our economy back home.
(From The Daily Caller)
The military recently spent $34 million on a construction project in Afghanistan. The money was spent building a headquarters for planning U.S. military operations. Unfortunately, the structure is unoccupied and will most likely never be used. It will either be demolished or handed over to the Afghans.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State received $3.5 million from the Department of Defense to purchase land around the base to protect gophers that inhabit the area. The DOD also gave Eglin Air Force Base in Florida $1.75 million to save a tortoise habitat.*
*For the record I am a big fan of tortoises
Unmarked Military Base Discovered in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS, NV – A stockpile of military vehicles were recently discovered occupying a secluded commercial property on the outskirts of Las Vegas at the address of 5750 Sky Pointe Dr.
It doesn’t seem as if the Humvees and other military-grade vehicles are for sale, even though they are stationed at a former car dealership that has been stripped of its business logo and signs.
A remarkable anti-crony capitalist video manifesto
Like I said I have no idea who this guy is. Saying that, this 12 minute analysis of our current crony capitalist system is damn good. It’s white lightning so be warned. Distilled and powerful.
Published by minivanjack
Notes from the video:
Journalists and political partisans have expressed the mistaken presumption that government is a “balancing force” against the excess powers of corporations. This video explains that most excess power of corporations is provided and granted by government and that government seeks partnership with corporations and shares in the profits. This “public-private partnership” is so advanced that the public interest is no longer a primary concern of government. Government is now a for-profit operation serving itself at the expense of the public interest.