« December 2011 | Main | February 2012 »

January 2012

Admiral Obama

Over at the WSJ, the editors take issue with President Obama's short-sighted defense cuts:

The Administration's record to date is undeniable. Defense was targeted from day one in office, and Mr. Obama disguised his latest, steepest retrenchment as part of a new "strategic review" earlier this month. The Pentagon on Thursday previewed the cuts, announcing that the 2013 defense budget due next month will decline for the first time since 1998. As spending on entitlements rises, budget cuts disproportionately hit the Pentagon, which accounts for a fifth of federal spending but over half the deficit reduction.

It's a good summation of why gutting the Navy (and the other branches) instead of smartly enhancing their ships, vehicles and systems, is a tragically bad idea...like Admiral Kimmell bad.

Make no mistake, we ARE in an arms race.  And, unless you want to concede a large part of the world and become isolationist with a nice of dose of huge inflation, we need to be able to project force rapidly and effectively.

Update:  For a somewhat of a counter-argument, Michael E. O'Hanlon of Brookings writes a post in the WSJ advocating for smaller cuts but a one-war front mentality in the SecDef's office:

...Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s new strategic guidance, unveiled Thursday, moves in this direction, stating that the future U.S. military “will be capable of defeating a major act of aggression in one theater while denying the objectives of — or imposing unacceptable costs on — an opportunistic aggressor in a second theater.” Panetta and President Obama are right to reduce the requirements for a second possible war, which in this era would probably not be a ground war in any case...

Obama's call for an Army of the Proletariat

The opening of Great Leader's address to the People's Congress was pretty disturbing. He seems to think Americans should forego their petty desires and get in line with the plan, well his plan anyway, by acting like members of the military.

They’re not consumed with personal ambition.  They don’t obsess over their differences.  They focus on the mission at hand.  They work together.  Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example.  (Applause.)  Think about the America within our reach.

People have thought about that America; they are called fascists. From the definition:

It opposes contemporary bourgeois class-based society and culture for allegedly being based on selfish and hedonistic individualism that results in plutocracy and war profiteering at the expense of the nation.

Just think of the America Obama could build if people put aside all that pesky personal ambition, self-interest and personal liberty. The problem is that is so fundamentally un-American you have to wonder of he is even aware of the Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Does he somehow think we all share his vision of a liberal, politically correct, un-exceptional America? That or maybe he really is a socialist

Article 60. It is the duty of, and matter of honour for, every able-bodied citizen of the USSR to work conscientiously in his chosen, socially useful occupation, and strictly to observe labour discipline. Evasion of socially useful work is incompatible with the principles of socialist society.

Back to Barry O

No one built this country on their own.  This nation is great because we built it together.  This nation is great because we worked as a team.  This nation is great because we get each other’s backs. 

 This nation is great because I don't have to be on Obama's team. It is great because I can fight against the awful ideas Obama has inflicted upon our country and strive mightily to thwart his megalomaniacal ambitions.

Several of our best minds have taken a torch to Obama's draft notice. First George Will.

Well. The armed services’ ethos, although noble, is not a template for civilian society, unless the aspiration is to extinguish politics. People marching in serried ranks, fused into a solid mass by the heat of martial ardor, proceeding in lock step, shoulder to shoulder, obedient to orders from a commanding officer — this is a recurring dream of progressives eager to dispense with tiresome persuasion and untidy dissension in a free, tumultuous society.

Progressive presidents use martial language as a way of encouraging Americans to confuse civilian politics with military exertions, thereby circumventing an impediment to progressive aspirations — the Constitution and the patience it demands.

Next up opposing conscription, Jonah Golberg.

Indeed, Obama is upending the very point of a military in a free society. We have a military to keep our society free. We do not have a military to teach us the best way to give up our freedom. Our warriors surrender their liberties and risk their lives to protect ours. The promise of American life for Obama is that if we all try our best and work our hardest, we can be like a military unit striving for a single goal. I’ve seen pictures of that from North Korea. No thank you, Mr. President.

Friedrich Hayek, a guy who actually deserved his Nobel, took a preemptive axe to Obamunism in the "Road to Serfdom".

Individual freedom cannot be reconciled with the supremacy of one single purpose to which the whole of society is permanently subordinated. To a limited extent we ourselves experience this fact in wartime, when subordination of almost everything to the immediate and pressing need is the price at which we preserve our freedom in the long run. The fashionable phrases about doing for the purposes of peace what we have learned.to do for the purposes of war are completely misleading, for it is sensible temporarily to sacrifice freedom in order to make it more secure in the future, but it is quite a different thing to sacrifice liberty permanently in the interests of a planned economy.

That trifecta of truthtellers dealt a death blow to Obama's misguided, malformed, malodorous, malfeasance...you know, this is too awful and stupid an idea for even aliteration. Mr. President, just because you slid into the chair of the Commander in Chief doesn't mean you command the American people. So don't expect us to salute and move out smartly when you crank up the Internationale and start barking out orders.

This week in US Military History

Better late than never...

Jan. 22, 1944: Allied forces, including the U.S. VI Corps under the command of Maj. Gen. John P. Lucas (of Lt. Gen. Mark Clark’s Fifth Army), begin a series of landings along a stretch of western Italian coastline in the Anzio-Nettuno area. Codenamed Operation Shingle, the Allies achieve complete surprise against – and encounter little initial resistance from – the Germans. But the landings kick off what will become one of the most grueling campaigns of World War II.

Jan. 22, 1954: First Lady Mamie Eisenhower breaks a bottle of champagne across the bow of USS Nautilus in Groton, Connecticut, launching the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine. The following year, Nautilus gets underway, begins breaking numerous sea-travel records, and becomes the first "ship" to cross the North Pole.

Jan. 22, 1969: Operation Dewey Canyon, the Marine Corps' last major offensive of the Vietnam War, begins. Marines under the command of Col. Robert H. Barrow spent 56 days clearing out the North Vietnamese Army's stronghold near the A Shau Valley.

Jan. 25, 1856: Marines and seamen from the sloop USS Decatur land at Seattle to protect settlers from an Indian attack. The Battle of Seattle lasted seven hours and the Indians suffered severe casualties, while only two settlers died.

Jan. 26, 1948: Pres. Harry S. Truman signs executive order 9981, which essentially directs the desegregation of the armed forces.

Jan. 27, 1837: U.S. soldiers and Marines under the command of Col. Archibald Henderson – a serving Marine Corps commandant – defeat a force of Seminole Indians in the running battle of Hatchee-Lustee Creek (Florida). For his actions, Henderson will receive a brevet promotion to brigadier general, becoming the Corps’ first general officer.

Jan. 27, 1862: Pres. Abraham Lincoln issues the first of two war orders. The first, General War Order No. One, directs U.S. Army and Naval forces to move “against the insurgent forces [of the Southern states].” In four days, Lincoln will issue Special War Order No. One, calling for an expeditionary force to seize and hold “a point” along the railroad southwest of Manassas Junction.

Jan. 27, 1942: The submarine USS Gudgeon sinks a Japanese submarine – becoming the first American sub to send an enemy warship to the bottom during World War II. Gudgeon also becomes the first sub to patrol Japanese waters. She will go on to rack up more than a dozen kills. She will conduct rescue missions and special operations. But in 1944, on her 12th patrol, she mysteriously disappears with all hands.

Jan. 27, 1943: American bombers – specifically B-17 Flying Fortresses and B-24 Liberators – of the U.S. Eighth Air Force strike German U-boat facilities at Wilhelmshaven. The bombing raid is the first U.S. Army Air Forces mission over Germany.

Jan. 28, 1915: Pres. Woodrow Wilson signs into law the congressionally approved merger of the “Life Saving” and “Revenue Cutter” services, thus establishing the U.S. Coast Guard. Still, the officially recognized birthday of the Coast Guard is Aug. 4, 1790, the day Congress approved Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton's proposal to “build ten cutters to protect the new nation's revenue.”

Image of the Week: Gen. John J. Pershing awards Brig. Gen. Douglas MacArthur the Distinguished Service Cross as Col. William J. Donovan, the future chief of the OSS, awaits his decoration during World War I.

Adapted (and abridged) in part from “This Week in US Military History” by W. Thomas Smith Jr. at Human Events.

"This Week in US Military History" is a project of the Center for American Military History. See more or submit content here.

That ain't CG

"I'm worried about richochets and everything."

"We'll give you a flack jacket and a helmet.  You'll be fine."


Make no mistake.  There will be no sequel to this film.  You are never going to see this onscreen ever again. 

The defense budget

Here’s a little fact to keep in mind when considering the current cuts to spending at DoD (and let’s be clear, there is nothing wrong with appropriate cuts to defense spending), besides all the other ramifications it promises:

Defense accounts for less than 20 percent of the federal budget but already exceeds 50 percent of deficit-reduction efforts. And for every dollar the President hopes to save in domestic programs, he plans on saving $128 in defense.

And that’s without the looming sequestration cuts (keep in mind, most war fighting costs are not included in the budget) of another half trillion dollars.

Or said another way, the administration has decided that it will attempt to cut spending primarily with cuts to national defense.  There is no serious program afoot to cut back the myriad of other government agencies and branches.  In fact, many are expanding (see EPA, IRS, etc.).

As for sequestration, Democrats are bound and determined to see it through, because, you know, national defense is less important than winning an ideological struggle.

Charles Hoskinson of POLITICO’s Morning Defense reports (btw, if you don’t subscribe to it, you should):

BUT REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS are still far apart on one key issue: taxes. We caught up with SASC Chairman Levin at a breakfast Thursday and he said he's counting on public pressure to push the GOP to accept new tax revenues as part of any solution - something they've so far refused to consider. Meanwhile, Levin and other Democrats won't budge on reversing sequestration except as part of a complete package. "The dam has got to be broken on revenues, and what I believe will break it is the threat of sequestration," he said.

Shorter Levin, “we’re more than willing to hold national security hostage and see it gutted to get our way on taxes”.

It is rather interesting  approach for an administration which is hung up on everyone paying their ‘fair share’.  It seems that the lion’s share of what it will surely tout during the upcoming campaign as serious budget cutting, will come from the one Constitutionally mandated duty it has – national defense.

As for all the programs that have a future funding liability of 200 trillion dollar?



Twitter: @McQandO

Afghan soldiers killing record number of advisors

The number of Afghan soldiers and police attacking their American trainers is becoming a major problem. Even worse, the attacks are now so frequent - 6% of total combat fatalities - that ISAF is no longer reporting details of the fratricide incidents. Instead they leave it up to the country that the fallen service member belongs to.

This would not be a big deal if the home countries publicly disclosed the details, but they don't. And our government will unlikely be doing so as the ugly truth on the battlefield doesn't sit well with the political narrative in Washington. From my piece at The US Report:

Multiple service members have already been murdered by rogue Afghans in 2012, including one US Army soldier, Pfc. Dustin P. Napier, who was reportedly killed while playing volleyball in Zabul Province on January 8.

ISAF's press release reads: “An International Security Assistance Force service member was killed today in southern Afghanistan apparently by a member of the Afghan National Army.”

At least two other US soldiers were injured in the attack.

It takes some investigative journalism to learn whether US service members are killed by their Afghan counterparts. The New York Times determined the name of the fallen soldier from “Afghan officials” – the Pentagon disclosed Napier's cause of death simply as “injuries from small-arms fire.”

Finding out all the grisly details on how our sons and daughters died isn't my point of contention. My problem is that we are sending people into a foreign country to train Afghans to handle their own security - and the Afghans are killing them. I understand that not every Afghan soldier or policeman is the problem, but when one out of every 15 caskets coming home is filled with an American who was killed by the countryman who he or she was helping, that's a major problem.

And when we have to trust the New York Times to find out how our soldiers are dying, that's just as bad.

Pfc. Napier, he is just as much a hero as he would have been if it were a Taliban bullet that killed him, no different than Pat Tillman. But to allow our government to hide the drastic increase in fratricide attacks in Afghanistan would be doing a major disservice to these brave mens' - and womens' - sacrifice.

Happy Australia Day! Raise a Glass to the Diggers!


First, I want to wish all of our dear Aussie friends a Happy Australia Day!

On January 26, 1788, the First Fleet of 11 convict ships arrived from Great Britain at Sydney Cove, establishing the first European colony on the continent of Australia.

In that first fleet were 759 convicts, their Marine guards, some with families, a few civil officers and provisions to keep them alive until they became self-sufficient.

2004_1021_2Sergeant Jason Glen Keightley and Private Daniel Adcock proudly display their Australian flag in Baghdad. The men are members of Australian Defence Force's Security Detachment that is providing protection to the Australian Embassy, Ambassador and staff in Baghdad.Source Australian Department of Defense.



HASC Republicans: A common sense solution to sequestration and national defense

The DoD is presently working through a half trillion dollars in budget cuts which is going to see a much weaker military despite what any of the madly spinning politicians claim. 

But the real meat axe is hanging just over the horizon in what is known as “sequestration” cuts, i.e. cuts which will be made across the board because the debit committee was unable to reach a deal on the cuts in the budget (by the way, Harry Reid, it’s now been 1001 days since you, Mr. Majority Leader, passed a budget out of the Senate) for the future.   That would mean an additional half trillion in cuts to DoD, the result of which, would simply be disastrous to our national security.

Here, in this video, a group of Republican House Armed Services Committee members make a pitch for a common sense solution that would absorb the need for those sequestration cuts.  In short, cut the Federal workforce by 10% – but do it over time and strictly through attrition.

Someone, anyone, tell me we couldn’t get along without 10% of the Federal workforce:


Twitter: @McQandO

Maybe It Is Time To Start My Own Army....

Who's in?

Because this is what happens when you let the Puzzle Palace Douchebags (known to all hackers that pack the gear to serve overseas in a forward area as "PPDs") run the war.

Joshua Waddell, a first lieutenant in the U.S. Marines, appeared on his way to a stellar career as an American military officer. The son of a retired Navy SEAL commander, Waddell was awarded a Bronze Star during his first tour of duty in Afghanistan and had returned for a second.

Then he made a decision in combat that military experts say has severely jeopardized his future in the corps.

But some military experts say the black mark on Waddell's record was undeserved, that he and other young American officers are being put in a difficult, if not impossible, situation by unreasonable rules of engagement foisted upon the military by politically sensitive commanders in the Pentagon.

Unreasonable ROE from the PPDs?  Really?  Hell you say!!!  Now, I suggest you read the story, but it appears that the glittering jewels of colossal retardation that think up the ROE (and then print it on a handy GTA reference card to be carried in your IFAK at all times) have decided it is OK to shoot bad guys (probably with some caveat like "on a Tuesday only when receiving permission from COMSUBLANT only after PSYOPS broadcasts the days of the engagements and the locations to be engaged, and only with 5 rounds fired at 3 hour intervals with watches synchronized to Zulu Time"), but if you kill a vehicle, why, it is the stocks for you young patriot, because we don't want any of that "can do" spirit here.  No, that just won't do... Seems that putting a bullet in a tractor will get you hemmed up for promotion and potentially drummed out of the service.

This is the insanity that I used to listen to my step-dad (101st in Vietnam) tell stories about when he talked about the war.  This is the insanity of fighting wars while paying close attention to the counsel of our fears that we may offend ourselves in the process of killing our foes and God Forbid, the equipment they use. This is also what happens when you put the lawyers and the bureaucrats in charge of fluid and ambiguous situations that have no real solutions other than cover fire and repeated mortar barrages.  This Battalion Commander of his is a real peach; must be an honest-to-goodness incarnation of that mental midget from supply that wanted to be in the Infantry that Gunny Highway had to endure.  What a Douche-bag... 

And I will say it; our OinC has turned up the pussification of this "right war" to a level that history will call him to account for.  Lives hang in the balance and this guy is driving without a license in the biggest, baddest, most advanced car on the planet and he is weaving aroung the lanes with zero clue and no cares as to where it might end up when he is done driving it.

Our enemies don't fear us because they are busy belly laughing themselves into oxygen deprivation over the fact that we worry about perceptions, appearances, and ensuring that we don't say or do scary things to make the villagers not like us; while they are burning down clinics, beheading aid workers, and throwing acid in women's faces.  It is like an episode of "Mean Girls" in Bizarro World....

I don't know how far we are going to free-fall down this rabbit hole, and every morning I wake up hoping I can just take the blue pill and this will all just go back to normal (as in bad guys dead, good guys safe and no one in trouble), but honestly, I never thought grown-ups could be this clueless and stupid....

So really PPDs, leave the fighting to those of us who know how to get it done...