Monday, December 28, 2009

Ramped up US airport security deepens holiday travel misery

The additional security measures will discourage not only attackers but holiday travelers as well. The increased security measures will just be another reason for travelers (as well as terrorists) to chose options other than air travel. The beleaguered airlines can't withstand much more in the way of reduced air travel.

DHS has never taken a look at their procedures to determine what is effective and what isn't. Any coach will change plays and strategies to thwart his opponents strategy. DHS and TSA follow a standardized set of procedures based more on personnel policy than any counter-terrorism methodology. Standardized procedures allow for easier assessment of personnel performance and to set standards for promotions. The dirty little secret about TSA is they can only screen for what they are trained to detect. If you have a new means of assembling a bomb or explosive that doesn't appear on the TSA training documents, screeners won't recognize it as a weapon. In other words, TSA is about rote memorizing not critical thinking. Even if TSA were trained to use critical thinking, they can only screen outbound passengers at American terminals. They have no ability to screen incoming passengers from outside the United States. They must rely on the security of foreign agencies and airlines to screen out potential terrorists and to detect weapons.

Terrorists are not limited to a particular type of attack and can freely change their methods to suit the target or circumstances. Secretary Napolitano also seems to be contradicting herself; if there is no sign of a larger plot why ramp up security?

Ramped up US airport security deepens holiday travel misery - Yahoo! News

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Immunity for INTERPOL

No hint of this was covered by the media, it was signed with no discussion or fanfare. The United States was founded on breaking away from the monarchies of Europe. Why does the United States - with hundreds of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies - need to extend INTERPOL (a European police force) immunity?

Executive Order -- Amending Executive Order 12425 | The White House

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Army pregnancy ban

MAJ GEN Cucolo is under fire for his ban on pregnancy by female soldiers getting ready to deploy or currently in the battlefield. Female soldiers failing to adhere, as well as the father of the children, could face court martial and jail time.

In all of the discussion about women being allowed the same rights as males, the one thing that doesn't get discussed is pregnancy. Men don't get pregnant necessitating a leave of absence. The issue of pregnant military women and the impact to mission readiness first occurred during Desert Storm. Women who were pregnant or that subsequently became pregnant were not allowed to deploy. These women held key positions in their respective units requiring a backfill from another unit. This created a cascading effect on mission readiness in other units. Ten tears after Desert Storm, the US military goes to war again without addressing the implications of pregnant military women.

Young women in the military are no different than their civilian counterparts. They may choose to have a child as a single parent. As long as they are in the United States, this doesn't present a problem. However, single mothers giving birth in the Middle East face local laws that may not recognized their mother's right to their child. This happened to a female sailor while I was in the Middle East. She was going to give birth in Bahrain and under their laws, an unmarried woman forfeits her child to the government for adoption. The young sailor had to be evacuated out of the theater to prevent her child from being seized by the Bahrain government.

Women and men are different and too often the federal government pretends laws can overcome physiology. Or physics. For example, a 5'5" woman weighing 120-140lbs does not have the same mass as a man at 5'10" and weighing 190lbs. Those additional 50;70lbs consists of denser muscles and thicker bones. A bomb blast will cause more severe injuries to a female versus male (assuming the same distance from the blast and wearing similar protective gear). The female will have less body mass to absorb the trauma. The physics doesn't care about regulations or policies that say men and women are to be treated the same.

The next problem is society still places high value on a woman's appearance. Women vets for the first time in history are walking around with missing body parts or disfigurements. No one knows how these disfigurements will effect the female veteran.

I've wondered about how training woman to become killers will affect these veterans once they get out. We've studied for years the effect of battle on male soldiers and watched as the mental health community has gone from first shell shock, to battle fatigue to finally post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to describe the effects of war AFTER the warrior is now longer in the service. Military personnel are being diagnosed with PTSD earlier but the truth is the worst symptoms won't show until much later in their lives.

Imagine your daughter or younger sister being in combat. She may be the only female in the unit and the unit engages in regular firefights or the constant threat of roadside bombs. The same young woman has to over come all of her feminine tendencies to nurture and resort to shooting enemies before they can shoot and kill her or her fellow soldiers. The young woman does this for 3 or 4 tours, each lasting a year. She then leaves the military and goes back to her family or tries to start one. Conflict most certainly will arise in her psyche as she tries to justify how a cold blooded killer can be deserving of her children's love. She will most certainly be conflicted about her children following in her footsteps to become a soldier who may be forced to go into combat one day. These conflicts could manifest in ways that we can't begin to imagine.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Everlasting Scars/Wounds Of Third Reich Personalities

I'm no fan of the Third Reich, however this article reminds me of what a bunch of wimps we've become in the last half of the 20th Century. Men and women have no sense of self-determination, rather we look to third parties (usually the courts) to settle our disputes. In our pursuit of tolerating each others differences, we've been left with a less polite society than ever. In turn, this has left our nation more vulnerable than ever before to attack. The local news is filled with stories of people being attacked over the smallest offense, or sometimes none at all. The police can't be there all of the time and even if they could, city budgets are being cut to miniscule levels. People need to be able to protect themselves and their families for I don't see any other options in the face of shrinking police forces and a lack of resolve to deal with threats to our society.

Axis History Forum • View topic - Everlasting Scars/Wounds Of Third Reich Personalities

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Scotland Yard Warns London of Possible Mumbai-Style Attack

A small, well trained group armed with assault rifles would be difficult to detect and interdict. It is not a question of if such an attack will happen, merely when. West Coast gangs have their members enlist into the Marines or Army to learn close quarter combat and MOUT (military operations urban terrain) tactics. These gang members come back to the neighborhood and train other gang members. They use either assault rifles or automatic shotguns; regardless of the weapon the tactics are devastating. Police are not trained to deal with adversaries trained in small unit tactics. Imagine a large scale attack with such a force. It isn't all about airliners or weapons of mass destruction.

Scotland Yard Warns London of Possible Mumbai-Style Attack - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News -

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

White House threatening Sen. Nelson with military base closures

The Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process is supposed to save the Department of Defense money by closing older or under-utilized facilities. The BRAC is supposed to be an objective look but often turns into a very political process. As politics overcomes other considerations, closures rarely accomplish the intended goal of trimming excess capacity and instead becomes affirmation of political clout. The question no one is asking, where are the savings from the BRAC 2005 recommendations? For those not familiar with the last round of closures, many Air National Guard units were identified for closure or re-missioning. Had the recommendations been followed to the letter, the original recommendations would have left some states without any ANG flying units. The ANG can operate their units for less money than active duty units as the ratio of full-time personnel in the ANG is much smaller. However, BRAC criteria was created to show ANG bases as being seized too small to handle new missions. Interesting as ANG bases were by law required to occupy no more space than necessary to operate their respective mission. The real reason for the BRAC? The military, and the USAF in particular, had maintained such a high operational rate that aircraft were being flown into the boneyard. The solution? Use the BRAC to cull newer airframes from the ANG and Reserves and bring those tails into the active inventory. Not true? Look at where the former tails numbers of ANG F-16 and C-130 aircraft went.

The history lesson was to show how even more outrageous this story of Rahm Emmanuel threatening a Nebraska senator with closing Offutt Air Force base. The last BRAC was supposed to have eliminated excess capacity, why do we need another round of closures when we still have forces deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan with the very real possibility of Iran becoming more aggressive in the future? We need bases to train and stage our military, closing any more bases at this time is more about the politics and not saving money.

Source: White House threatening Sen. Nelson with military base closures in Neb. | Washington Examiner

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Americans Turning Off on Climate Change

I'm not really surprised, it is hard to worry about the climate when you are laid off or about to be laid off. The denial by some of the information contained in the leaked emails doesn't help either. It is a given that the government and media try to manipulate our perceptions either by design or omission. To have such overwhelming evidence of at least one effort to create evidence of climate change that was manufactured not create a decrease in support would be unusual.

Newsmax - Zobgy: Americans Turning Off on Climate Change

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Illinois Prison to Get Some Gitmo Detainees

Newsmax - Illinois Prison to Get Some Gitmo Detainees

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The British Government ran into problems with the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) when the government rounded up all suspected terrorists and put them in the Maze outside of Belfast. Terrorists and non-terrorists were concentrated at the prison. The terrorists were able to recruit and train from these supporters. Instead of reducing the presence of the PIRA, the Maze actually increased the number of members and activities of the terrorist groups. The Bush Administration started to repeat this mistake with Gitmo. Now the Obama Administration is about to make it worse by taking suspect from outside the United States and putting them into our penal system. Either these individuals will recruit American prisoners to their cause or the prisoners will recruit these individuals to their gangs. In either way, terrorism will not be stopped but most likely increased.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

University of Cincinnati

It took Brian Kelly and the UC Bearcats just three years to become the undisputed Big East champions. They ran the table, 12-0. They lost Tony Pike for while but found Zack Collaros. Tony Pike came back and the string of wins continued uninterrupted. After defeating Oregon State, West Virginia and a Big Ten team in the form of Illinois, it came down to the lost game of the season against another river town, Pittsburgh. Fitting, the Ohio River is formed by the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers at Pittsburgh. If you watched yesterdays game, the Bearcats in the first half did not look like themselves. Pittsburgh knew what they were up against and used their outstanding running back Diona Lewis to keep the ball out of Tony Pike's hands. Even when the Bearcats got the ball, they couldn't work their usual magic. Score going into the half was 31-10. The impossible was happening, the phenomenal UC Bearcats were losing and they were beginning to lose heart. One lone warrior stood and seemed to say "No!" we aren't going down like this. Then much like in the Charlie Daniels song, Mardy seemed to say "Let me show you how it's done!" Thank you Mardy, thank you for remembering what it means to never give up!!!


Friday, December 4, 2009

Current Affairs

The President decides to bring Sheik Khalid Mohammed back to New York to stand trial. The message seems to be a de-emphasis on the war on terror and going back to treating terrorists as criminals.

The President then calls for calm when a Army Major Hasan shot 30 soldiers, 2 civilians in addition to killing 13. The President asked us not to jump to conclusions.

Four US Navy SEALs opted to face court martial rather than a captain's mast over punching Ahmed Hashim Abed. Why? I suspect because some higher echelon officer is worried of the public relations the Navy will get because the SEALs punched Abed while in custody. SEALs and other elite troops are just that, troops not peace officers. If someone is being difficult, the choices basically come down to shooting the terrorist or punching him.

Now Der Spiegel posted an article noting the lack of sincerity in the President's speech on Tuesday sending 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. The troops will be out in 18 months. From everything I studied, you don't announce your timelines to your enemy (unless it is part of a deception plan).

American culture seems to be hellbent on coddling terrorists while persecuting troops. We desperately try to understand criminals while ignoring the victims of the crime. A young lady here in Cincinnati lost an eye when her ex-boyfriend threw a glass at her new boyfriend. The attacks on her character from readers posted on the Cincinnati Enquirer were shameful. While some condemned the actions of the ex-boyfriend, many others criticized the young lady for being out late at a bar concluding that she was in part at fault.

Some day, a sociologist or social-psychologist will write about all of the factors that contributed to American culture arriving as this abysmal points. I will simply posture that all of the excuses we've made for excessive, aberrant behaviors has produce the greatest generation of wimps and cry-babies the world has ever seen.