Wednesday, April 22, 2015

MSgt's Epic Post Should Be the New SNCO Charge

An Air Force SNCO just said far more eloquently what I've been saying all along;

"And that’s what the US Air Force was supposed to be, and is about. And if you’re not onboard, and you care more about your own EPR than the SrA who’s wife is leaving him, get the fuck out. If you care more about the next Top 3 Meeting than your SSgt who’s work productivity suddenly plummetted for no discernable reason, get the fuck out. If you care more about impressing the wing commander than what your Staff Sergeants and airmen are saying amongst themselves, get the fuck out."  Amen!

Read the rest here;

MSgt's Epic Post Should Be the New SNCO Charge

Purges produces nuanced idiots

About eighteen months ago, Mr. Obama made headlines for firing nine general officers (not including Petraeus).  Some were relieved for inappropriate relations, others for gambling and some for reasons not disclosed (in the case of Carey).  But what caught the eye of many military officers were the alarming number of generals and admirals who had combat records and were challenging the Obama administration.  It seemed as though the Obama administration were purging those combat-proven leaders by charging them with allegations of misconduct (which conveniently surfaced in-time for Obama to divest himself of them at the beginning of his second term).  Now this is all supposition, thus far nothing has come out to support this view and frankly we may never know if this was a truly a purge.

What has happened is senior military leaders became more quiet for fear their career may be summarily ended.  If this isn't the case, then I challenge you to find the equivalent of a Patton or LeMay amongst today's senior military leaders.  The field grade officers (majors through colonels) who have the combat experience and aren't afraid to speak their minds are too disillusioned by what they see and get out or they are deemed too politically incorrect to be brought into the flag officer ranks.

Generals and admirals walk a tight rope at the best of times.  They are beholding to the higher ups (usually Washington but sometimes contractors as well) while trying to maintain good order and discipline of those under them.  Wartime leaders often find themselves in front of cameras explaining why their troops were killed or how innocent bystanders were killed.  It makes risk-taking for the senior leader or want-to-be senior leader a perilous undertaking.  One wrong move and your hopes for a star come crashing down.

The effect too often creates the ultimate yes-man (or yes-woman) who has been taught from their earliest years in uniform not to stray too far from the path lest one ends up on the outside looking in.  It is why we see the USAF allowing the A-10 to go out of the inventory with no viable replacement in site.  It is why the US Navy nuclear fleet is running out of fuel with no hopes of being refueled any time soon.  It is why the US Army is hellbent on making their shit even bigger and heavier despite dwindling airlift and sealift assets to move it.  It is why even the US Marine Corps has fallen into the trap of lowering their infantry officer course in order for women to pass it.

Stalin purged (murdered) anyone he thought didn't agree with him or MAY not agree with him.  The result of Stalin's purges was to setback the Soviet Air Force 20 years by the start of World War II.  Stalin ordered so many aeronautical engineers purged that the Soviets were flying vintage 1920s style fighter against the Luftwaffe.  Obama's purges is having a similar effect.

This rant was courtesy of an article that is out today about the apology Army General Martin Dempsey had to make after casually remarking the city of Ramadi "The city itself is not symbolic in any way. It hasn’t been declared the caliphate or central to Iraq."  Debbie Lee did not see it that way.  Her son, US Navy SEAL Marc Lee, was the first Navy SEAL to die in Iraq (2006).  Ms. Lee did not take well General Dempsey's remark and he has had to apologize as a result.

On paper, Dempsey is the kind of warrior you want in charge.  He is both a Persian Gulf and Iraqi Freedom vet.  However, he is also a four-star under the Obama administration meaning while he may look good on paper he is very much in keeping with Obama's preference for what I term a "nuanced idiot".  (Mari Harf is the posted child for 'nuanced idiot".)  Obviously Dempsey wasn't trying to disrespect the sacrifice of Marc Lee, he was trying to appease his handlers by naysaying the importance of Ramadi (translated, either Ramadi is too hard or to strategically insignificant to waste forces on).  But as a general officer, especially one who is the Chairman of the JCS, how the hell could you not have recognized "Ramadi" and got up to give a speech calling it basically insignificant to the fight with ISIS?

Dempsey may be the latest nuanced idiot guilty of "Harfing" but he is not the last.  Obama has attracted an incredible number to his fold.  Former US Secret Service director Julia Pierson was another (who was hand-picked for the job by Obama).  DEA Chief Michelle Leonhart is another.  (Secretary of State Kerry isn't a nuanced idiot, he is just a plain idiot).

What is alarming about Obama's preference for and tolerance of nuanced idiots is given the situations in the Middle East and with Russia, eighteen more months of their bumbling could lead us into armed conflict.  No, that this theater level stuff we've been seeing since Desert Storm.  No, armed conflict on a global scale could very likely be the result.

Friday, April 17, 2015


The limiting factor for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been, and continues to be, it is only looking at the potential terrorist attempting to board an aircraft or train as a passenger.  If any other type of scenario is used, TSA screeners are not trained nor utilized in such a way as to be able to do anything about it.

Worse, the way TSA tries to use manpower as a way to justify its existence creates mind-numbing conditions for the screeners.   Imagine day-in and day-out having to look at thousands of people who are not happy to see you, who are late for their flights or are just in a lousy mood.  Now you get to rifle through their personal belongings (something even a sworn police officer couldn't do without probable-cause) because the supposed high-tech scanner just returned another false positive.

TSA is not seen by passengers as helping to make them safe, the screeners are seen as a nuisance causing the passenger to be late.  Unfortunately, having a large number of screeners touching passengers inevitably leads to this;

"Former TSA Agent: Groping Scandal Is Business as Usual"

The pat-down is the default setting when all else fails.  If a scanner is malfunctioning or down, then pat downs are the only recourse.  Even though TSA utilizes agents training to note behaviors indicative of a suspected terrorist, the fall back position of "better safe than sorry" forces many more passengers through pat downs then is necessary.

At the end of the day, the question is how many potential terrorist attacks has TSA stopped?  The answer is the majority of TSA doesn't even know.  TSA screeners receive no feedback whatsoever on their interdiction efforts so they continue to go to work without any idea on whether or not they have stopped the next 9/11.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hillary and World Events

The weekend saw the inevitable announcement that Hillary would run for President.  At 67, her handlers have decided to down-play the ambitious career woman side of Hillary and instead play up the  grandmother who will be the people's champion.  It is an odd strategy to take given the situations in the Middle East, Northern African and Ukraine (not to mention her unrealized pivot to Asia).  A grandmother who wants to be your champion doesn't seem to be the right casting call.

Russian warships are keeping tabs on the Royal Navy.  Prior to Hillary's announcement, a Russian fighter cut off an Norwegian F-16.  This was followed by another Russian jet coming within 20 yards of a US RC-135 surveillance jet north of Russia (the US has protested this latest but instead of sounding like it superpower, it just sounded whiny).

Hillary has another problem in regards to foreign policy.  As a staunch Marxist liberal, she was never a fan of Israel but that stances softened once she need pro-Israeli backers to win the Senate seat in New York.  Hillary is now beholding to these same backers who don't' want to see Iran develop nuclear arms.  Russia on the other hand has no reason to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and so long as Obama and company keep sanctions in place, Russia will continue to sell Iran the missile technology is needs to launch nuclear warheads.  If she becomes President, Hillary has no bargaining chips left in this situation.

Now Hillary supporters will downplay this and say that her vast experience as Secretary of State makes her vastly more capable to lead the country than any of her opponents.  However, this line of rationalizing ignores the obvious elephant in the room, Obama.  Obama and his cronies, especially Valerie Jarrett and Michelle, despise the Clintons to a pathological level.  Do not put is past them to intentionally exacerbate matters in the Middle East or relations with Russia just to prevent Hillary from getting elected.  After all, how else do you think we learned about Hillary's emails if not from Camp Obama?

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Arab Army

The Arab League wants to create an Army consisting of all 22 countries in response to Daesh.  The U.S. and Europe did the same thing with NATO in response to the Soviet Union.  NATO was a self-protection alliance, much as the Arab Army will be.  The question though is what happens when Daesh is no longer a threat but you still have s large standing Army?

In the case of NATO, you start to become an expeditionary force and travel outside your theater to create some sense of purpose for the money it costs to keep you in existence.  Of course that's not what NATO was envisioned to be so now the EU wants to form its own military.

An EU Army would have two potential advantages over NATO.  One is it would be a way to formalize the participation of France (the only other European nuclear power besides the UK). Second is it would not be driven by the U.S. unlike the case with NATO.  The down sides is without the U.S. all of the costs of the proposed EU Army would fall to the European countries, many of whom are balking at paying to participate in NATO.

The question for the EU is will the creation of an EU Army make the Kremlin even more concerned with Russia's border with Europe?

Similarly, the creation of an Arab Army is unlikely to call the already jittery nerves in Tel Aviv.  Make no mistake, despite Mr. Obama's and Mr. Kerry's assurances to the contrary, the U.S. has much less to fear from Iran's nuclear program than does Israel.  Israel is by most assessments considered to have nuclear although they officially remain undeclared.  If the potential for Iran to become nuclear is enough for Israel to strike, what happens if at some future date the Arab Army decides to conduct exercises simulating a hostile Israel?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What is the goal in Iran based on recent history?

Let's review a little history.  In 2003, then President Bush sent the US military into Iraq because Saddam Hussein (who the US supported with his war with Iran) had "weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)" that posed a clear and present danger to the US.  Saddam Hussein supposedly also supported Al Qaeda (unsubstantiated) and was going to use those WMDs agains the US (even though after almost 12 years of economic sanctions and no-fly zones, Saddam was in no position to do anything but try to rebuild his infrastructure).  By taking out Saddam, the US would be safer and democracy would be restored in Iraq.  Now 12 years later we are still flying missions and have quietly increasing the number of ground troops and Iraq is pretty much in chaos (and Mr. Obama and his administration have done nothing but continued this atrocity).

After 9/11, we had to do something so former President Bush invaded Afghanistan in 2002 supposedly to hunt down Al Qaeda/Osama bin Laden (even though when the CIA worked with UBL during the 1980s, he was always in Pakistan.  Imagine the surprise when we "found" Osama bin Laden in Pakistan during the 2011 raid!).  US troops were supposed to eliminate the Taliban (who were not the same Al Qaeda supposedly responsible for 9/11 but were close enough for government work).  By inference, by eliminating the Taliban democracy would replace Islamic tyranny.  Under that guise, 16 airplanes bought for Afghanistan to the tune of $500 million which we then summarily sold for scrap (around $32 thousand) when the US pulled out.  Now Mr. Obama has quietly agreed to slow the withdrawal of the remaining 10,000 US troops AND has requested $3.8 billion to fund as many as 352,000 Afghan forces through 2017 (DW).

Obama and Clinton wanted Qaddafi out of the way, again inferring that democracy would replace tyranny in Libya.  Instead anarchy has flourished.  Likewise, they hoped the same thing would happen once Asad fell that would allow them to position the next domino to fall, Iran.  But when that didn't happen, Obama and now Kerry playing the part of Hillary had to fall to plan B.

Plan B seems to be negotiating a nuclear arms agreement with Iran (who is supposed to pose some long range threat to the US).  The grandiose initiative though keeps getting overshadowed by the ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh mass executions and now threats against US troops at home.  (Working a deal with Iran is actually nothing new for the US, however, if one remembers a nasty little episode called the Iran-Contra Affair.  Basically sell arms to Iran to get several US hostages released and in-turn use the money to fund the Contras in Nicaragua.)

Giving these attempts to send in troops to eliminate tyranny/terrorism and install democracy, one wonders what the real goal is with Iran?  The US has been wanting regime change there for at least 35 years and so far, things are now different then when the Shah was chased out of Tehran.  Syria shows no signs of losing Asad and at this point, it would allow Daesh to seize control of Damascus.

To all of this, here is the real question.  Unless O'Malley manages a Jimmy Carter or if Ted Cruz usurps Jeb Bush, we are most likely to see Clinton and Bush running in 2016.  If that happens, what are the chances that any of things going on now will change for the better?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Iran behind the scenes

I find this quote from the BBC extremely telling, "The Shia militia's relationship with Iran is a worry for Washington, which sees it as potentially destabilising and deepening Iraq's sectarian divide."  (BBC News)  No wonder Mr. Obama and his mentor Valerie Jarrett are so keen on playing nice with Tehran. Not only does Iran provide a means for Obama to look tough on foreign policy, more importantly Iran provides valuable weapons and support to Iraq in the fight against Daesh.