Tag Archives: Mullen

The Wounds Of War Last Forever!

George Bush is chopping wood in Texas, Dick Cheney roams the streets at night seeking to uncover evidence of terrorism, and Don Rumsfeld is standing tall for his performance. But, for thousands who fought in wars that never should have been initiated, the aftermath is dealing with the demons of warfare. They are returning home with post traumatic stress, mental health problems and brain injuries. Adm. Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, describes the treatment of these gallant warriors in this manner. “Shame on us if we don’t figure it out this time around to make sure that (homelessness) doesn’t happen.”

Thousands of veterans face daunting challenges attempting to recover their careers due to being forced on one deployment after another. Too many saw the hell of combat and returned to civilian life before they had obtained medical and psychological treatment. As Mullen put it, “they are alone, they have no structure and they don’t have that support, and they’ve got a lot to work through.”

Mullen-US Not Doing Job With Muslim World

Barack Obama has been president eight months, he has given a wonderful speech addressed to the Muslim world, but according to Admiral Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the US continues to bungle its relations with Muslims. Those who hoped Obama would usher in a new era must confront the reality that not much has changed. Obama continues Bush rendition policies, he refuses to allow establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission which might prove to Muslims Americans are ready to confront their mistakes. According to Mullen, “We hurt ourselves more when our words don’t aligh with our actions.”

Why hasn’t Barack Obama grasped the importance of confronting mistakes in the Middle East and letting the world know we acknowledge errors? Mullen made a perceptive remark by noting: “Most strategic communication problems are not communication problems at all. They are policy and execution problems.”

An inspiring speech is wonderful, but if it is not followed up by ACTIONS, then the momentary uplift will be lost.

Afghanistan Fight Getting Better Says Mullen

Eight years ago, several thousand American troops along with Muslim allies swept through Afghanistan and defeated the Taliban. Fast forward until today and there are now 58,000 US troops in the country with thousands more on the way. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
and Chief of Staff Mike Mullen told Senators the situation is improving and they hope to have even more positive results in eighteen months. “It’s very important for us to be able to show the American people that we are moving forward,” said Mullen. Actually, the issue is not telling the American people things are improving, the issue is actually having a plan to defeat the Taliban.

Mullen and Gates insist the Pakistan army is now on the offense against the Taliban and American and other European troops are finally doing something to clear out the Taliban. The only way the Taliban will be defeated is for the Afghanistan government to create an armed force and instill the nation to defeat the enemy. Will that be true ten years after the invasion of Afghanistan? Check with use eighteen months from now.

Gay Rights, Low Priority Say Mullen

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the military is confronted with a host of issues, including two wars, which must be the major focus of their attention. He indicated the need to give additional study to implications of how the “military culture” woudl be impacted by overturning the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Mullen says he is aware President Obama wants to change the policy at some point, but any change requires an act of Congress so it is not up to the military. General James Jones, the White House national security adviser noted, “we have a lot on our plate now.”

General Jones is correct there is a lot on the plate right now, but among the most important needs is for additional soldiers. The key issue can be simply stated as — the military needs more soldiers and there are thousands of gays and lesbians who want to serve their nation. Why deny this valuable resource?

Admiral Mulllen Mulls About Afghanistan

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is frustrated and determined at the same time. He made clear in a speech given at the Brookings Institution this year is critical in the fight to destroy the Taliban, and each example of mistakes made in bombing enemy sites only results in the enemy gaining a victory, not American forces. “I believe each time we do that(bomb and kill civilians) we put our strategy in jeopardy. We cannot succeed… in Afghanistan by killing Afghan civilians.” The episode at the beginning of the month which resulted in the deaths of over a hundred Afghans including women and children is frustrating Mullen because such mistakes increase the difficulty in defeating the Taliban.

Admiral Mullen is correct– this and next year are critical in defeating the Taliban. If in 2011 the situation is like 2009 the Taliban will have won a major victory. The problem that Mullen refuses to acknowledge is lack of sufficient men on the ground due to the limited number of those serving in the American military. The reality is America needs a modified form of the draft to provide sufficient forces to do the job in Afghanistan.

Rush Limbaugh-Listen To Admiral Mullen!

For years right wing conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and Lou Dobbs have ranted on about “liberals” who besmirched the name of America with their complaints concerning mistreatment of prisoners. Admiral Mike Mullen, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently commented: “that’s why images of prisoner mistreatment at Abu Ghraib still serve as recruiting tools for al-Qaida.” He insisted the only way to win in Afghanistan was to capture the hearts of its people, a goal that liberals have been urging for years and have been ignored by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the right wing conservative media. “We can send more troops. We can kill or capture all the Taliban and al-Qaida leaders we can find–and we should. We can clear out havens and shut down the narcotics trade. But, until we prove capable, with the help of our allies and Afghan partners, of safeguarding the population, we will never know a peaceful prosperous Afghanistan.”

There is no doubt this soft headed liberal who is in charge of America’s military forces would never succeed on the 24 show because he doesn’t think torturing or killing will solve anything. As Mullen put it in his own liberal point of view, “lose the people’s trust, and we lose the war.” Are you listening Rush and Lou?

US To Iran- Let’s Jaw, Jaw, Not War, War!

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, urged the US to at least attempt to enter into dialogue with Iranian leaders. “to the degree we are able to dialogue with them, find some mutual interests, there is a potential there for moving ahead together.” He was pessimistic anything would come of attempts to have a dialogue although he noted both Iran and the United States seek to have stability in Afghanistan and the Iranian government dislikes the Taliban. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made clear “there is a clear opportunity for the Iranians… to demonstrate some willingness to engage meaningfully with the international community.”

The real issue is how does the United States and other nations initiate the dialogue that must eventually occur. Perhaps, if the president apologized for the CIA overthrow of the Mossadegh government in the 1950s, it would indicate a willingness on the part of America to acknowledge it has made mistakes toward the government of Iran.

Admiral Mullen Believes Stress Impacting Military

Seven long years ago, American military forces went into combat in Afghanistan and five years ago, they entered Iraq in a war that supposedly would be over in a few weeks. Year after year, troops have been under fire, been blown up by roadside bombs, and never have known a moment’s peace. Admiral Mike Muller, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made clear his concern about stress. “we see extraordinary stress and pressure,” but insisted “we’re not about to break.” He does not see any possibility tours of duty will be reduced from 12 months.

Former general barry McCaffrey, who recently retired, visited troops in combat and discovered there simply were not enough troops in Afghanistan to maintain high levels of operational efficiency. At some point, the question must be raised, when is enough, not enough? Are American troops to be asked to continue fighting another seven years?

Pentagon Seeks PSTD Screening For All Returnees

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is calling for all returning combat troops, from privates to generals, to undergo screen ing for post-traumatic stress with a mental health professional, a move intended at stemming an epidemic of psychological issues among veterans. There is growing concern many soldiers are hesitant to seek psychological assistance. Mullen believes “I’m at a point where I believe we have to give(mental health) screening to everybody to help remove the stigma of raising your hand.” There is no doubt many veterans fear being identified with PTSD as though it somehow reflects on their ability as a soldier

Experts are aware many veterans know how to avoid being classified with PTSD because of their fears. The only solution is having individuals be with a psychologist for more than a five minute interview.

Admiral Mullen Predicts Future Incidents With Pakistan

Even as Admiral Mike Mullen was telling a Pentagon press conference on Friday that he has received assurances from Pakistani military leaders there would not be any further firing on American soldiers or helicopters, the Pakistan army was firing on American forces. “I’ve been given assurances by the senior military leadership in Pakistan that that there is certainly no intent or plan to fire on our forces.” For some reason Pakistani promises did not filter down to their troops who are stationed on the border of Afghanistan. Mullen insists both sides do communicate and draw away when each comprehends the situation, but American concerns about the growing power of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in tribal regions tend to take precedence over agreements with Pakistan.

At the core of current problems is lack of any comprehensive strategy on how to conduct the war in Afghanistan. Bush failure to maintain a high military presence in Afghanistan in 2001 and 2002 allowed the insurgency a new lease on life and since that date it has grown ever more powerful. But, American over reliance on military action is not working. No plan to deal with infrastructure needs of Afghanistan are in place nor are work projects such as rebuilding roads and bridges or bringing electricity to rural areas in place. Lack of work opportunities results in high unemployment rates at a time when the Taliban can pay decent wages to anyone who wants to fight the “occupiers.”