Putin is doing what Obama only has been pretending to do for over a year. Has it ever been more clear which side Obama is actually on?
The Navy’s operations, on which the sun never sets, are the nation’s nerve endings, connecting it with the turbulent world. Although the next president may be elected without addressing the Navy’s proper size and configuration, for four years he or she will be acutely aware of where the carriers are. Today they are at the center of a debate about their continuing centrality, even viability, in the Navy’s projection of force. Far out into the South China Sea, China is manufacturing mini-islands out of reefs, many of which used to be underwater at high tide. China is asserting sovereignty above and around these militarized specks in the congested cauldron of this sea. Through it and adjoining straits pass half the world’s seaborne tonnage; five of America’s most important 15 trading partners are in this region. Until President Trump launches his many trade wars, those partners include China, which is America’s third-largest export market and largest source of imports. The Obama administration has rejected challenging China’s audacity by not sailing through its claimed territorial waters — within twelve miles — around the new reef-islands. RELATED: The U.S. Navy Needs to Radically Reassess How It Projects Power Henry J. Hendrix of the Center for a New American Security argues that, like the battleships which carriers were originally designed to support, carriers may now be too expensive and vulnerable. China has developed land-based anti-ship missiles to force carriers to operate so far from targets that manned aircraft might become less useful than unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) operating from smaller, less expensive carriers. The newest carrier, the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford, to be commissioned next year, cost $12.8 billion. Add the costs of the air wing, the support of five surface-combat ships and one attack submarine, and 6,700 sailors. The bill for operating a carrier group: $2.5 million a day. China, says Hendrix, could build more than 1,200 of its premier anti-ship missiles for the cost of one Ford carrier, and one of the 1,200 could achieve “mission-kill,” removing the carrier from the fight for months. The bad news is that America’s entitlement state is devouring the federal budget. The good news might be this axiom: As money gets scarcer, people get smarter.
Charles Martland acted Honorably and was treated like a criminal.
This is very disturbing that our country is so afraid that it sides with the enemy? Where is America going politically? When I read the story about our men and women in the Military being ordered to turn a blind eye to Child sex abuse and Rape I dismissed the thought, I even stated in a post if it were seen by one of our troops someone would end up dead. Now I run across this video. People Speak up! Post, call the Army, let us be a voice to bring the reckoning day to all these corrupt entities that are in our Government! This is Bull Shit. -Islamacide
WASHINGTON — Soldiers in Iraq will soon have a new shoulder sleeve patch to signify their service in the fight against the Islamic State.
All told, there are about 3,335 troops in the region training Iraqi troops, providing security and conducing bombing missions on Islamic State targets in Iraq and neighboring Syria.
The Army’s patch features crossed scimitars, a palm wreath and stars. The scimitars, short swords with curved blades, are meant to symbolize the twin goals of the U.S.-led coalition: to defeat the Islamic State, also referred to as ISIL, and to restore stability in the region, according to Army documents.
The palm wreath is symbol of honor. While the stars and the buff-and-blue colors on the patch indicate the three-star command and the land, air and sea forces involved in the fight.
Scimitars and palm wreaths have appeared on patches from previous periods of war in Iraq. Saddam Hussein also favored the look, building a grand sculpture called the Arc of Triumph to commemorate the Iraq-Iran War in the 1980s. It became a favored back drop for soldiers, contractors and journalists to snap photos after the invasion in 2003.
The current round of conflict there, referred to as Operation Inherent Resolve, by the Pentagon, began in August 2014. ISIL fighters swept through northern Iraq, seizingMosul, its second largest city, threatening the Kurdish region and ultimately advancing toward Baghdad.
U.S.-led airstrikes stemmed the advance to a degree. However, ISIL fighters retain control of Mosul and in May seized the Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar in western Iraq. They continue to hold those cities and a broad region stretching west into Syria despite daily airstrikes.
Since August 2014, there have been more than 7,000 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, destroying thousands of buildings and hundreds of tanks and Humvees the fighters seized from fleeing Iraqi troops. It cost U.S. taxpayers nearly $10 million per day to fly combat missions and train local troops. All told, the bill for the current fight is nearly $4 billion.
“Unit insignia is important because it fosters esprit de corps,” said Army Col. Steve Warren, the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve. “The CJTF-OIR headquarters is made up of men and women from all services, many nations and many different units in the Army. This insignia will be worn by all of the Army members of the CJTF and may be authorized for wear by other services and nations according to their regulations.”
In some cases, analysts also were urged to state that killing particular ISIS leaders and key officials would diminish the group and lead to its collapse. Many analysts, however, didn’t believe that simply taking out top ISIS leaders would have an enduring effect on overall operations.
“There was the reality on the ground but it was not as rosy as [the leadership] wanted it to be,” a defense official familiar with the complaint told The Daily Beast. “The challenge was assessing whether the glass was half empty, not half full.”
Some analysts have also complained that they felt “bullied” into reaching conclusions favored by their bosses, two separate sources familiar with analysts’ complaints said. The written and verbal pressure created a climate at CENTCOM in which analysts felt they had to self-censor some of their reports.
Some of the analysts have also accused their bosses of changing the reports in order to appeal to what they perceived as the Obama administration’s official line that the anti-ISIS campaign was making progress and would eventually end with the group’s destruction.
Lawmakers and even presidential candidates seized on the allegations of politicizing intelligence as the White House tried to distance itself from the very strategy it has been pursuing.
Army Gen. Lloyd Austin came under withering bipartisan criticism on Wednesday when he testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that after spending at least $43 million over a 10-month period, the U.S. had trained only nine fighters to confront ISIS in Syria.
Senators were dumbfounded that the nearly year-long effort had produced such paltry results, calling it “a joke” and “an abject failure.”
Asked whether he had ever ordered changes to intelligence reports, Austin replied, “Absolutely not.”
The Obama administration is now considering modifying the Syrian train-and-equip program, while the White House attempts to portray the president as having always been skeptical of it.
“There was the reality on the ground but it was not as rosy as [the leadership] wanted it to be. The challenge was assessing whether the glass was half empty, not half full.”
Meanwhile, Pentagon investigators are examining the back-and-forth between the intelligence bosses at CENTCOM and the analysts, which created a paper trail. Favorable reports had fewer comments written on them, and requests that were more critical showed heavy questioning, the two officials said.
The altering of intelligence led to reports that overstated the damage that U.S. strikes had on specific ISIS targets. For instance, strikes on oil refineries and equipment were said to have done more damage to the group’s financing of operations through illicit oil sales than the analysts believed. Also, strikes on military equipment were said to have set back the group’s ability to wage combat operations, when the analysts believed that wasn’t always the case.
The altered reports made ISIS seem financially weakened and less capable of launching attacks, the analysts allege.
The New York Times has a bombshell report out tonight alleging that U.S. soldiers and Marines serving in Afghanistan have been told to cover up rampant child abuse and sexual assault of young boys by Afghan police officers.
Here’s the opener:
KABUL, Afghanistan — In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.
“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”
Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan,particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural landscape and can bully the population. The practice is called bacha bazi, literally “boy play,” and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene — in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and court records.
The policy has endured as American forces have recruited and organized Afghan militias to help hold territory against the Taliban. But soldiers and Marines have been increasingly troubled that instead of weeding out pedophiles, the American military was arming them in some cases and placing them as the commanders of villages — and doing little when they began abusing children.