Governor Arnold Schwarenegger wants the Federal government to reduce its seizure of National Guard equipment for use in Iraq because of its effect on California’s needs. “I think it is not fair to the state for the federal government to go into a war situaiton and then to take from us the equipment. Every time our National Guards leave, they take with them equipment but they don’t bring it back. So there’s only so long they can do that.” The governor said his complaints have only resulted in a “sorry about that” attitude, but no assurances have been provided to rectify the situation. There are about 3,000 Guardsmen from California in Iraq and about 600 stationed on the border with Mexico. Governor Schwarzenegger was particularly upset at the loss of Chinook helicopter but was told it would take at least a year to get them returned.
In talks with Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff, the governor discovered only 3,000 of the supposed 6,000 additional Border Patrol staff had actually been hired. The entire use of National Guard men and equipment is a national disgrace. Men and women are being compelled to abandon jobs and families due to the Bush fiasco in Iraq without any sense of a termination to the entire process. Is the drain on the National Guard to go on and on? When will there be an end to this process? Unfortunately, for Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the movies the good guy achieves his goal within two hours. Sorry, Arnold, you are living in Bush America and nothing ever gets done within two years, let alone two hours.
Posted in George Bush, Iraq War, Military, Politics, Republicans, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged California, helicopters, Iraq, national Guard, Schwarzenegger
Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, sharply criticized NATO army chiefs for failure on the part of the European Union to make a substantial commitment to winning the war in Afghanistan. “In Afghanistan, a handful of allies are paying the price and bearing the burden. The failure to meet commitments puts the Afghan mission– and with it, the credibility of NATO at real risk.” There are currently 26,000 American and 23,000 NATO troops fighting in Afghanistan. He questioned why the world’s greatest military alliance is unable to defeat Afghan rebels, and particularly focused on failure of NATO to supply helicopters which has caused great strain on the American air force. His remarks drew little reaction from the generals in the audience who only gave him some polite applause.
Secretary Gates might be in a stronger position if he could explain why American forces were withdrawn from Afghanistan when the opportunity for success was great. He might explain the lack of any overall plan other than fight and fight. On one hand, farmers are having their poppy fields destroyed while, on the other hand, America wants to win them over from favoring the Taliban who allow poppy fields. President Karzai of Afghanistan has asked the Taliban to negotiate with him only to have his request greeted with anger by the Bush administration. Perhaps, NATO forces realize the incoherence of present military operations and are reacting with disdain to any American advice and wondering if they are better off simply leaving the chaos. Is there a coherent plan? What are its timetables? Has it been put together with the cooperation of the Afghan government? After all, it is their country, not ours.
Posted in Asia, Europe, George Bush, Iraq War, Military, Peace, Politics, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Afghanistan, Bush, Gates, helicopters, Karzai, NATO