Memorial Day – Bugler’s Holiday

 

We remember all those who have given so much so that we may have a day with friends and family. It seems fitting to honor the humble “Bugler Boy.”

Here is presented “Bugler’s Holiday” by Leroy Anderson, composed in 1954. This is the original version played by Leroy Anderson and the Boston Pops Orchestra’

 

 

Wishing everyone a wonderful day.

Back to Chinese Checkers

Back to Chinese Checkers

by Mustang

A few interesting developments among the so-called China watchers.  There is nothing for you to do about this, of course, but I thought it would provide at least some amusement.  So, there is this fellow named Sandeep Dhawan who writes advice to the US State Department suggesting what they ought to do about China.  I’m sure the State Department appreciates this advice — the Lord knows if anyone needed advice, it’s the US State Department.  Sandeep’s bona fides include the fact that he’s a former commander in the Indian navy.  I found this curious, so I did a few minutes of G-searching and could not find one single incident where the Indian Navy ever distinguished itself in a combat role at sea.  Well, it may not matter. 

Russia India and ChinaMeeting between leaders of Russia, India and China • President of Russia

Sandeep is concerned because, as the United States withdraws from its foreign outposts, China is moving in to “fill up the vacuum.”  Moreover, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s latest visit to the Middle East seems to indicate (to Sandeep) that China is definitely “moving in.”  Now, maybe it’s just me, but … so what?  Yi’s vow to “work with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, UAE, Bahrain, and Oman to “help protect their core interests against foreign interference” doesn’t bother me in the least.  More to the point, if Iran invaded Saudi Arabia tonight at midnight, I couldn’t care less.  Remember, I have long advocated that the solution to the petty tyrants in the Middle East is to convince the Saudis that the Iranians are good to eat.  Sorry, my friends, but I don’t care if China spends all of its silver taels on Algeria, Egypt, Palestine, Eritrea, or on Huey, Dewey, and Louie.  In fact, I think China should spend all their money in the Middle East.  We American taxpayers need a break.

Note:  I wonder if China realizes that all those countries hate each other almost as much as they hate us?

What does concern me, however, is that given America’s hunger for Chinese-made plastic bowls, it will be OUR spending at Wal-Mart that will actually fund China’s mischief in the Middle East.  Painfully, we all know that the average female shopper at Wal-Mart would trade in her first born son for a set of eight plastic storage bowls if they come in multiple colors.  Yeah, patriotism is important, so long as it doesn’t interfere in plastic storage ware.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Putin and China’s Xi are forming a mutual support arrangement.  They didn’t do this when Trump was president, of course … they know what a war hungry maniac Trump was.  But now that Joe Biden’s in the White House … well, off come the gloves.  Truly, this IS the danger of electing a nitwit to the presidency, and a former prostitute as his Vice … do you think anyone in the old country will respect America’s leadership, or will they take advantage of the opportunities handed to them by the American voter?

Note:  I don’t know for a fact that Kamala Harris ever was a prostitute, but that’s what Peter, who comments here, said — and it may all boil down to how one defines prostitution, but for the record I trust Peter, and this should go a long way toward reducing what I owe him.

But let’s be optimistic … even assuming that China and Russia “divide the world” among them, so what?  At some point in the future, the American dim-bulbs who voted for Biden will be called away and we’ll end up with a president with cajones.  After this new president nukes everyone one who is friends with China or Russia, the world will belong to us.  Then we can start fighting among ourselves, which is what we like to do almost better than anything (except Wal-Mart shopping).

Mustang’s take on the post Chinese checkers in the Middle East: Play or Perish

Joe Biden and his China strategy – feminize the U.S. military

 

It’s important that pregnant women are able to drop into enemy territory. Imagine a pregnant woman pilot with air sickness. Imagine a pregnant American woman captured by an enemy.

Imagine Joe Biden is President.

China is on a tear with a massive increase in Navy ship building. First we have Tucker Carlson giving us an update on China. Joe himself comes next with his military strategy and then our intrepid Mustang throws out some thoughts on the China matter for us think about.

 

 

China Joe himself with the necessary improvements to our fighting forces that will carry us to victory. Note his ever present minder Harris waiting in the wings prepared to pull the plug should Biden go off script or need direction to get off stage.

 

The Enemy of My Enemy

An Introduction to Chinese Checkers

by Mustang

 

 

Recently, Mr. Schweizer wrote about China’s Dragon Ships — a massive increase in Chinese navy shipbuilding. Despite Wikipedia’s warning about Peter Schweizer — that he’s a contributor to the far right media organization Breitbart News — I enjoy his articles.  They are well-researched and convey useful information in a well-organized and highly articulate manner.

Among his pearls are — 

  • The Chinese Navy has replaced the USN as the world’s largest 
  • China’s goal, in developing such a large navy is (a) to intimidate and threaten the economic security of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia, and (b) lay claim to the entire South China Sea as a Chinese sovereign territory
  • China’s push for nuclear powered ships reflects a longer-term goal of challenging the US and other navies around the world
  • China’s shipbuilding behavior will only get worse unless the US challenges China through diplomatic and economic penalties.

I think Mr. Schweizer did a good job in his article up until his final point.  Economic and diplomatic penalties imposed on China have never worked.  This bears repeating.  There is nothing more useless than a law that cannot be enforced, or a foreign policy that has no effect.  

So if we agree that the imposition of trade restrictions on China — or diplomatic consequences (and I cannot imagine what these might entail) — have no effect, why bother?  It makes you wonder, “Well, then, what else could the US do to challenge China?”

Beyond my reading of Chinese history and the product of the so-called China Watchers for a few decades, I am no expert.  I can say that Chinese frequently demonstrate their craftiness, and more often than not to the detriment of US foreign and trade policies (which reflects more the ineptness of American diplomats than it does on the cleverness of Chinese thinking).  As but one example, America’s involvement in the Vietnam War was entirely the brain-child of Chou En-Lai … whose trap we walked into with both eyes open.

All that aside, what could the Americans do to challenge China?

  • We could increase our naval construction program.  This is easier said than done, particularly since the US cannot bank on revenues if it intends to keep the American economy in lockdown mode.  China could more or less assure our continued lockdown by introducing yet another virus into the United States — which shouldn’t be too hard since every week, 3,881 flights arrive in the US from China.  Snap!  A robust US naval construction effort would entail more sailors (more financial outlays), but of course we cannot do that and provide unrestrained and un-budgeted-for economic stimulus programs to the American people.

 

  • The balance of power in East Asia may involve more than issues of naval supremacy; Japan, for example, purchases most of its rice from Vietnam.  We might encourage our Asian allies to pursue a more robust naval construction program — but that would only work if our Asian allies perceived the Chinese navy as a significant threat to their economic interests.  Otherwise, from their perspective, there would be no justification for increasing their spending on naval/military hardware.  Note: looking back in time, maybe FDR should have backed Japan against China in the 1930s.

 

  • I suppose the US could simply stop trading with China, although the fact is that if the US did impose an embargo on all Chinese made goods, it would only account for $106-billion (annually)… a drop in the bucket as a percentage of China’s GDP.  Plus, should we really send Wal-Mart into bankruptcy?

 

  • There is always the option of not challenging China’s naval activities at all.  Should the US really care about this — enough to spend billions we don’t have on naval construction — when China’s strategy may very well be the exact same thing we did to the former-Soviet Union, which was to drive the Soviets into economic oblivion?

 

  • Finally, the US might consider an ambitious campaign to convince Americans that Chinese noodles are deliciously nutritious.   

 Greg Poling, Director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies organization seems to agree with me, recently stating, “The South China Sea isn’t a military problem and has no military (naval) solutions.  All the force investments in the world won’t matter if the US fails to impose enough diplomatic and economic costs to alter Chinese behavior.”  

Of course, Mr. Poling probably has more confidence in America’s diplomatic corps than I do.  I cannot find one single “clever” thing the US State Department has done in the past 120 years that didn’t end up costing the American people needless loss of life or an increase in the loss of disposable income.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend is a concept suggesting that other governments who live in fear of China might become worthwhile American allies.  I laugh. 

 Our “friends” would expect that the USA subsidize their naval construction efforts, while at the same time increasing our trade deficits with them as part of the bargain.  It makes me want to question the wisdom of wasting time trying to create any worthwhile anti-Chinese alliances.  

By the way, the title expression originated in India in the fourth century before the common era.  It may not actually apply to this perceived Chinese threat since the US has no worthwhile friends and all of our former allies should have learned their lessons by now. 

Still, I wonder … what do the commenters at Bunkerville think? 

 

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

The Ever Elusive Peace on Earth

 

The unlearned lessons of history condemns present and future generations.

by Mustang

On the eve of America’s full involvement in the Vietnam War, a great soldier was laid to rest.  The 84-year old Douglas Arthur MacArthur served in uniform for 52 years.  Within that time, he participated in the United States occupation of Mexico, at Veracruz, served with distinction in World War I, led with distinction in World War II, and commanded United Nations troops in the opening days of the Korean War (1950-51).  

Between the two great wars, MacArthur served as the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, as Chief of Staff of the U. S. Army, and upon retirement, was appointed to serve as Field Marshal of the Philippine Army.

On 26 July 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt federalized the Philippine Army and recalled Douglas MacArthur to active duty in the U. S. Army as a major general and appointed him Commander, U. S. Army Forces Far East (USAFFE).  On 27 July 1941, Roosevelt advanced MacArthur to the rank of lieutenant general.  In that capacity, MacArthur commanded 22,000 troops, of which 12,000 were Philippine Army scouts.

The United States plan for the defense of the Philippine Islands called for the massing of troops on the Bataan Peninsula where they could “hold out” against the Imperial Japanese Army until an American relief force could arrive.  Of course, this decision suggests that the U. S. Government knew far more about Japanese intentions than they admitted publicly — the Japanese never attacked the United States until early December 1941.  It causes one to question Japan’s sneak attack.  The US government had to know in advance.

Washington’s “stop gap” plan for the Philippines was a result of America’s demobilization following World War I.  General MacArthur was ordered to hold out against the Imperial Japanese until reinforced — knowing that there would be no reinforcements.  The Washington plan for American and Philippine troops in the Philippine Islands was an overwhelming defeat — a sacrifice in order to garner the support of the American people for the United States’ entry into World War II.

But by then, on 7 December 1941, World War II had been in progress since 1 September 1939, when Germany invaded Poland and Great Britain and France declared war.  Before General MacArthur was recalled to active duty from retirement, Germany invaded the Soviet Union.  It was a long and bloody war.  Tens of millions of people died — those serving in uniform, and the hapless civilians who simply got in the way of the belligerents.  When the war was over, ending on 2 September 1945 with Japan’s unconditional surrender, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur stated succinctly:

“Men since the beginning of time have sought peace. Various methods through the ages have been attempted to devise an international process to prevent or settle disputes between nations. From the very start workable methods were found in so far as individual citizens were concerned, but the mechanics of an instrumentality of larger international scope have never been successful. Military alliances, balances of power, Leagues of Nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war.

The utter  destructiveness of war now blocks out this alternative. We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature, and all material and cultural developments of the past 2000 years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.”

But the world’s politicians — and those “free men” who elected them — did not heed these words.  How could they?  These politicians, most of whom have never once placed themselves in harm’s way, had no frame of reference to the utter chaos of bloody confrontations.  And so, following the second great war, the protectors of human liberty throughout the world, the victors of World War II, demobilized their armies and navies, and went back to sleep.

It is true that, as with those who preceded them in earlier decades, the leaders of the “free world” gaped at the ghastly developments in Europe by the Soviet Union — and opted to do nothing.  No one wanted another war.  And once more, the ugly stain of appeasement was the United Nation’s only plan of action.  Should they ignore these developments long enough, perhaps they would go away.  When war came again in 1950, everyone was looking in the wrong direction.

Who knows what was going through Harry S. Truman’s mind during these critical moments in history, when global communists decided that the time was right to strike — while everyone, so weary of war, slept peacefully at home.  

In 1948, Mr. Truman was tightly focused on winning the Presidency on his own terms — to demonstrate that he was much more than President Roosevelt’s vice president; he was a man of the people.  After his success in 1948, Truman refocused his attention on his presidential legacy.  There would be no more war; he would not stand for it — and at Truman’s insistence, the American military was once again dismantled.

But war did come and it was the incompetence of the Truman Administration that made it possible.  Once again, Douglas MacArthur was taken down from the shelf, dusted off, and put into the field with an army that could not even defend itself let alone an entire Peninsula the size of Korea.  

Many young Americans died unnecessarily because of Truman’s incompetence.  Worse, Truman’s petty arrogance led him to dismiss the good advice he received from the man he commissioned to clean up the mess he created.  By 1951, MacArthur’s patience had become thin and in his frustration, he began to speak critically about Truman’s incredible ineptness.  Under such circumstances, there was no other choice for the President — as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States — than to relieve MacArthur of his duties.

Soon after, during an invitation to address a joint session of Congress, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur spoke directly to America’s politicians.  And he told them …

“… Once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end.  War’s very object is victory, not prolonged indecision.  In war there is no substitute for victory.”

“There are some who, for varying reasons, would appease Red China.  They are blind to history’s clear lesson, for history teaches with unmistakable emphasis that appeasement but begets new and bloodier war.  It points to no single instance where this end has justified that means, where appeasement has led to more than a sham peace.  Like blackmail, it lays the basis for new and successively greater demands until, as in blackmail, violence becomes the only other alternative.”

“‘Why,’ my soldiers asked of me, ‘surrender military advantages to an enemy in the field?’  I could not answer.  Some may say to avoid spread of the conflict into an all-out war with China; others, to avoid Soviet intervention.  Neither explanation seems valid, for China is already engaging with the maximum power it can commit, and the Soviet will not necessarily mesh its actions with our moves.  Like a cobra, any new enemy will more likely strike whenever it feels that the relativity in military or other potential is in its favor on a world-wide basis.”

“The tragedy of Korea is further heightened by the fact that its military action is confined to its territorial limits.  It condemns that nation, which it is our purpose to save, to suffer the devastating impact of full naval and air bombardment while the enemy’s sanctuaries are fully protected from such attack and devastation.  Of the nations of the world, Korea alone, up to now, is the sole one which has risked its all against communism. The magnificence of the courage and fortitude of the Korean people defies description.” […]

“I have just left your fighting sons in Korea. They have met all tests there, and I can report to you without reservation that they are splendid in every way.  It was my constant effort to preserve them and end this savage conflict honorably and with the least loss of time and a minimum sacrifice of life.  Its growing bloodshed has caused me the deepest anguish and anxiety.  Those gallant men will remain often in my thoughts and in my prayers always.”

These politicians too, along with Truman, failed to listen — failed to learn.  They opted, instead, to involve the United States in yet another war of attrition, the defense of a nation that wanted neither their own freedom nor America’s version of it.  They chose for the American people a defensive war that could not, from its very first day, be won.  

Once more, young Americans gave up their lives — for nothing.  This too was part of Harry Truman’s world view.  He had the opportunity to engage in a productive discussion with Vietnamese nationalists in 1945 and opted instead to reimpose upon them French colonialism, paid for, at first, by the American taxpayer — adding later, American blood — at the direction of yet another Democrat who not only refused to allow the American military to win that Indochina war (noting that wars are not won through defensive strategies), but also a man who enriched himself from that war.

Now, forty-six years later, these lessons remain unlearned.  The sheer ineptitude of a succession of presidents (of both political parties) have led us to this point in world history.  We are, as a nation, no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave — we are, we have become, the land of appeasers.

The state of war that existed between the United States and North Korea in 1950 was never settled — so a state of war continues to exist with North Korea.  In this context, we are only removed from extreme violence by mere seconds.    

Next door, China proceeds to expand its influence in the South China Sea, creating island naval bases and declaring them sovereign territories of China.  Chinese agents have infiltrated the United States — our corporations, universities, and our Congress.  

Chinese diplomats have brokered deals with many, if not most, Central and South American countries, throughout the African nations, and made lucrative arrangements among our so-called Middle Eastern “friends.”  Once again, as danger lurks, American politicians — and the American people — are looking in the other direction.

What are America’s national interests in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia?  What is it about any of these “nations” that is worth a pint of American blood?  But if there were bona fide national interests, why have American politicians elected not to achieve them?  Are our politicians so dense that they cannot understand that victory delayed or denied becomes even more ghastly and expensive over time?

We should also ask, “What are America’s domestic interests?”  Shall we desire peace at home as much as we desire peace around the world?  Are we doing anything worthwhile to achieve domestic peace and maintain it?  In my judgment, the answer is no.  Peace eludes us at home and abroad because we have not learned the lessons of history.  

We have not learned how to employ wisdom in choosing the men and women who chart the course of our nation.  We have not learned the basics of human behavior.  For instance, an enemy always seeks to advantage themselves by discovering our weaknesses.  Why must we insist on helping our enemies to achieve their goals?

Yes, we must seek peace — but we must do so through strength.  Whoever does not understand this has no business in Congress or any executive administration.  Whoever does not understand this has no business voting in national elections.

I have hope for the future — but I do not delude myself about its prospects.  A peaceful world is not an entitlement — it must be paid for, and like the price of freedom, the cost of peace is high.  We have, in the past, been willing to pay that price, but we have not been willing to protect and preserve that which has cost us dearly.  We Americans, and I am speaking now about all of us, must be vigilant, we must be resolved, and our wisdom, if we ever find it, must be virtuous.

The Police: Warriors or Peacekeepers?

Good Copping

by Mustang

As a general notion, I think it is healthy when our society examines “the way things are,” and imagines how “things might improve.” Were this not true, then we would probably not have the Food and Drug Administration and still suffer from the poor state of food processing industries in the early 1900s.

On the other hand, not everything about our society is broken or needs fixing. As a case in point, writing for the Wall Street Journal, Karl Marlantes suggests that our problem with police is that they tend to view themselves as warriors, rather than peacekeepers, and see criminals as “the enemy,” rather than as mis-directed citizens. For the present time, I’ll ignore the illogical conclusion that a person who is trying to kill you, or do you harm, isn’t an enemy.

Marlantes argues that police officers who see themselves as warriors incorporate three behaviors that are inappropriate in community policing: (a) choosing a side, (b) dehumanizing the enemy, and (c) reacting rather than thinking when threatened.

Well, what to say?

Norman Rockwell: The Runaway

Police officers do choose sides. They do that when they take their oath of office. They swear to uphold the Constitution and laws of the state and municipality whom they serve. As for dehumanizing citizens and “reacting when threatened,” we should make a few assumptions. We should:

Assume that police departments select the best candidates for police positions, rather than striving to meet affirmative action mandates that gives precedence for employment to people grouped according to skin color, ethnic or religious preferences, or gender. It would be interesting (and helpful) to know, of the officers indicted or fired for egregious behaviors, the percentage having no business wearing a badge to begin with.

It is not likely we will ever know this because municipalities always hide information that places them in a poor light, or which may subject them to high dollar lawsuits.

Presume that police academies and agencies, which undergo recurring formal evaluations for agency certification, adequately train their officers to deal with a myriad of confrontations (understanding that there is no one solution to every conceivable problem), and how to relate to a wide range of individuals, from the drug-induced moron wielding a knife to the obnoxious judge who was pulled over for driving erratically.

Assume that police agencies promote experienced officers to supervise and guide younger, less experienced officers in the performance of their duties.

Assume that since police officers are human beings, they will occasionally make errors in judgment, no matter how well academies and departments train them, and that police errors will continue receiving scrutiny in the press, in the courts, and by citizen review boards.

Mr. Marlantes argues that the “warrior mentality” is emphasized when police departments incorporate combat-style clothing and equipment. He cites “military style vehicles” and weapons used in Ferguson, Missouri. He attributes this to a Pentagon program.

I’m not arguing with his point (with caveat), but this wasn’t a Pentagon program; it was an Obama initiative. On the other hand, the caveat, we do no favors for our communities when criminals show up better armed and better protected than our frontline police officers. In mentioning Ferguson, Mr. Marlantes failed to note that in Michael Brown’s death, the police officer (dressed in normal clothing and armed with a standard sidearm) was fighting for his life with a 300-pound man.

If we are going to have this conversation, it needs to be an honest discussion.

Mr. Marlantes is a former (highly decorated) combat arms officer. I cannot speak to his experiences in the Vietnam War, but I can say that while an infantryman will occasionally “get spooked,” the American infantry emphasizes fire discipline. Combat isn’t for Neanderthals. Success in combat requires men and leaders who can think through the problem, remain calm, and impose their will on a determined enemy.

When Mr. Marlantes suggests that our warriors are trigger-happy, unthinking reactionaries, he unacceptably diminishes our military men and women, their NCOs, and their combat leaders —and he also paints with too broad a brush our thousands of fine police officers, all of whom place their lives on the line every single day, and thousands of whom have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Are our police officers at war with the people they serve? The answer must depend on where they serve. I cannot imagine any Chicago cop who reports for work at the start of watch who realistically thinks that he’ll be able to retire someday. Who in their right mind would want to be a cop in Detroit, Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Miami, St. Louis, Houston, or any of a dozen or so other American cities?

This is an important conversation to have—and have had in the past. That such a topic has garnered our attention in the past is why we no longer have Texas Rangers extra-judicially hanging horse thieves.

But if we intend to have this conversation, let’s be honest with one another in the discussion. I wasn’t present, but it is possible that the young fellow who died while in police custody in Minneapolis shouldn’t have been placed in dire straits for such an extended period. The truth of what happened will be revealed to us from court proceedings. But in all honesty, the young man was no community hero. For starters, let’s stop creating unwarranted perceptions.

Yes, we do need good policing; we also need good citizenship. If a police officer tells you that he’s placing you into custody, the best possible advice is to submit to his authority. You’ll have your day in court. That’s the time and place to argue, not before. Meanwhile, let’s stop bashing police who probably don’t deserve it.

 

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

Flashback: Iran paid $1000 for each U.S. soldiers death

 

I am confused. Washington D.C. is rattling again with Russia Russia Russia over a “leak” about Russia paying a bounty on U.S. soldiers. What am I missing? Isn’t war suppose to be about killing one another? Didn’t we run this scenario once before back in 2010. Let’s see who was President then? Hmmm. I don’t recall everyone having their knickers in a knot and how Obama must have Iran pay. Instead Iran got a boatload of cash.

msnbc.com staff and news service reports
9/5/2010:
Image

Iran is paying Taliban fighters $1,000 for each U.S. soldier they kill in Afghanistan, according to a report in a British newspaper.

The Sunday Times described how a man it said was a “Taliban treasurer” had gone to collect $18,000 from an Iranian firm in Kabul, a reward it said was for an attack in July which killed several Afghan government troops and destroyed an American armored vehicle.

The treasurer left with the cash hidden in a sack of flour, the newspaper said, and then gave it to Taliban fighters in the province of Wardak. In the past six months, the treasurer claimed to have collected more than $77,000 from the company.

The Sunday Times said its investigation had found that at least five Kabul-based Iranian companies were secretly passing funds to the Taliban.

The newspaper’s correspondent, Miles Amoore, said he met and interviewed the treasurer, who he said had been an illiterate farmer who was taught to read and write, plus basic accountancy, by the Taliban last winter.

‘For jihad’
“Iran will never stop funding us because Americans are dangerous for them as well. I think the hatred is the same from both us and Iran. The money we get is not dirty. It is for jihad,” the treasurer told Amoore.

In addition to the $1,000 bounty on U.S. troops, the unnamed man said Iran paid $6,000 for the destruction of a U.S. military vehicle. From.  NBC News

Notes from September 2010 clip:

A report in the UK’s Sunday Times alleges that an unnamed man called the “Taliban Treasurer” has received over $70,000 dollars in payments from the Iranian government as a bounty for the attacks carried out against American forces in Afghanistan.

Has everyone forgotten when the U.S. was paying the Mujahideen to kill Russians? Or when Obama, Hillary and Panetta were paying al-Qaeda to kill Libyan’s and Syrian army?

Everything just fine in the swamp.

Victor Davis Hanson With Dobbs: Will The Generals Attempt A Coup When Trump Wins In November?

 

Am I the only one who has been wondering what is going on with the top echelon of the military brass opining about Trump, both former and present, unsure if Trump is the Commander in Chief? Not sure if they want to be present at certain events and happy to voice publicly their opinion. Then we have Biden talking about the military possible actions.

Lou Dobbs sums the matter up with Victor Davis Hanson. Well worth the time. Am I the only one that recalls what happened to MacArthur?

(CNN)Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden sounded an alarm Wednesday about GOP moves to limit voting access, saying his “single greatest concern” is that President Donald Trump will “try to steal this election.”

But, the former vice president said, he is “absolutely convinced” the military would escort Trump from the White House if he loses the election but refuses to leave office.

Asked by Trevor Noah on “The Daily Show” if he’s ever considered what would happen if Trump would not leave the White House if he loses, Biden responded,
“Yes, I have.”
Biden pointed to Trump’s history of spreading false conspiracy theories about voter fraud, including a recent series of lies about mail-in voting leading to widespread voter fraud — which Republican and Democratic-led states are increasingly embracing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Move it up to about 4:45 to miss the setup in the interview.

 

In his distinguished army career, General MacArthur has known defeat as well as victory. Now, he is stripped of his commands – and the President says why

 

Other than that all is well in the swamp.

 

Nuggets of Madness from the Revolution

Not much to add to the madness overtaking the country. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, here are some pictures that if I had not seen them I would say it was not possible. Then we have cities disbanding police forces? No doubt Sharia will come in and take care of everything. I have no more words. Soldiers and police kneeling and prostrating themselves.

Image
Image

Bonus. The usual suspects.

Thats it folks. Tales from the swamp.

Robotics and War

 

Robotics and War

By Mustang

Given our history (World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq), the American people no longer trust their government to make proper decisions, moral decisions —but the decision to go to war isn’t up to the American people; the issue is always decided by those whom the American people choose to lead them, or represent them in Congress.  Hmmm.  Maybe voting responsibly is the key to this problem.

We are at a place now where America’s antiquated electrical grids are significantly vulnerable to enemy targeting.  If an enemy shuts down our electrical power, they shut down America.  Totally.  Yet, there is now in our country a developing strategy for the employment of robotic/autonomous technology to improve our national defense structure.  One that relies exclusively on electrical systems.

In fact, the United States has been using these technologies for quite a few years now —mostly aeronautical drones that rely on global positioning systems controlled through high altitude satellite systems.  We have used these devices to bomb enemy targets, including human targets.

Darpa unmanned ship

Today, the Navy is in the process of developing autonomous ships that can resupply guided missile destroyers no matter where they are in the world, and unmanned submarines that can conduct undetected coastal reconnaissance.

America’s use of autonomous vehicles demands a national discussion about the ethics of programing computers to make life and death decisions.  The discussion has been ongoing for the past 25 years.

Despite any of our concerns, the military services continue with robotic development—as they must.  Sadly, after Iran shot down one of our aeronautical drones, they sent the wreckage to Russia for reverse engineering.  Now that the “enemy” have acquired our technology, our own countrymen are in danger of the use of such weapons.

But autonomous weapons are here and we must confront two possibilities: we are either doomed to suffer harm by an enemy who does not hesitate to use such weapons, or in using them ourselves we relinquish our humanity, the principles that have long set us apart from the enemy (whomever that is).

Given the danger robotic technology imposes on ourselves, the United States has no choice but to proceed with technological development.  Better them, than us … but we must proceed with the understanding that mistakes will be made, and innocent people will suffer from them.  Unintended civilian casualties occur in every conflict, so our planners, programmers, technicians, and controllers must do all that they can to minimize inadvertent carnage.

Two questions arise: (1) Will lethal robotic systems be more or less likely to make mistakes than human operated systems?  (2) Are civilian casualties at the hands of human operators less reprehensible than those imposed by a computer?

The answer to the first question must be “no,” since computer systems are designed by humans.  The issue becomes one of the ability to discriminate between legitimate targets and unintended ones.  Over time, automated systems will improve in this area, and of course, computers are able to process information quickly, never gets fatigued, and doesn’t let emotions interfere with judgment.

In answer to the second question, there is no real difference between unintended collateral damage caused by human or computer error, but some will argue that computers will become a better safeguard for innocent life.  Beyond this, social attitudes change over time.  With more young people playing computerized war games, it is likely that with the passage of time, there will be less objections to autonomous warfare—not more.

It is doubtful that fully autonomous systems will run the show in any near-future conflicts.  Robotics will remain a human-machine collaboration: significant autonomy with humans making the final “go-no go” decision.  But we should make no mistake about the interest in robotic warfare in China and Russia, two significant US adversaries.  The new age is here.  We either shape it in our own interests, or we suffer the consequences of falling behind our enemies.

If robotic technology makes our forces more lethal, if it increases their survivability rate, if it gives American troops an edge on the battlefield, then I’m in favor of autonomous systems.  My opinion may not matter because this is the direction our military leaders are taking us.  Questions do remain, however.

When the United States develops a robust robotic defense system, when our warriors can inflict more damage to the enemy while remaining relatively isolated from an enemy response, when or if we get to the point where we can send robots to kill the enemy and keep our young people home, will our president or congressional leaders be more or less likely to take our nation to war?

One point of view regards warfare as immoral.  Its opposite is that in self-defense, warfare is a necessity, obligatory, and moral.  But there are many levels to these kinds of arguments.  We assume that the individual with the responsibility and authority to commit our nation to war is the President of the United States, or collectively, the Congress of the United States.

But under what circumstances is a presidential or congressional decision for war justified?  Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted war so badly that he did everything within in his power to provoke the Japanese into attacking the United States.

Harry S. Truman’s inept foreign policy invited the North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950 and set into motion the firsts and second Indochina wars (1946-1954, 1960-1975).  Lyndon Baines Johnson wanted a war in Southeast Asia so badly that he lied about the circumstances that prompted his decision to commit the United States to war in South Vietnam and against North Vietnam.  Ours is not a fail proof system.

Meanwhile, our nation’s ability to protect our access to electrical power remains a concern.

What is your opinion?

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

Other than that, all is well in the swamp.

Trump takes Macron to task over NATO- NATO Defense Expenditure chart

Despite all of the chaos and controversy, Trump’s demands have resulted in more countries sharing NATO’s financial burden. In 2017, five countries met the goal of spending 2 percent of their GDP on defense and that has now increased to nine according to the alliance’s latest budgetary data.

The U.S. is set to spend over $730 billion on its military this year and it’s joined above the 2 percent threshold by Bulgaria (3.25 percent), Greece (2.28 percent), the United Kingdom (2.14 percent), Estonia (2.14 percent), Romania (2.04 percent), Lithuania (2.03 percent), Latvia (2.01 percent) and Poland (2 percent).

Despite the improvement, Trump still isn’t happy with spending levels and before he left for London, he reiterated his views that the U.S. is contributing too much, calling other alliance members “delinquent”. America’s allies fear the president’s stance could pose a threat to NATO’s survival and in September, then National Security Advisor John Bolton said that Trump could take America “full isolationist” if he wins a second term next November.

Statista

The time has come for others to do the heavy lifting in Europe and elsewhere. As if that is not enough, Europe refuses to take back their ISIS fighters retained in Syria. No doubt they figure we will take care of that as well. Good for Trump. His reward is to have the Democrats run their impeachment circus today.

For full size chart go to Statista

nato

Trump And Macron Hold Tense Meeting At NATO Summit 2019: ‘Let’s Be Serious’

This is a short clip of the Macron meeting. The full twenty minutes or so video is out there and well worth it. First time probably ever we see how the sausage is made in real time. Trump does not spare Macron.

Other than that all is well in the swamp.

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