Tag Archives: Pentagon

What Should Be Spent On US Armed Forces?

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates raised the issue of what are we spending in order to have a powerful military force, and are we focusing on real issues. He told a Kansas audience that given economic problems, and an inflation rate of about 2%, “It is highly unlikely that we will achieve the real growth rates necessary in order to sustain the current force structure.” He went on to pinpoint getting rid of redundant bases or top heavy command structures and appeared to indicate reducing minor costs would deal with the real issue of our military. Since 1950, the only president who reduced military spending in a significant manner was Dwight Eisenhower, the famous general of WWII. Eisenhower understood any military organization can readily be reduced by a factor of 15% without impairing any military ability.

The real issues in 2010 are: does the US need a massive jet plane force? Does the US need aircraft carriers or can some be eliminated? And, so on. Which current branches of the military can be dramatically reduced without impairing military ability is the question?

Investigate No Evil Says Pentagon

The Pentagon once again has turned down requests from lawyers defending the treatment of Omar Khadr, a Canadian boy, who was accused of engaging in terrorism in Afghanistan. Khadr’s lawyers insist there is sufficient evidence their client was suffocated, physically assaulted, denied pain medication, threatened with rape and forced to stand for hours with his hands handcuffed to the top of a cell. Kahdr was wounded in Afghanistan and was brought to the interrogation room even while still recovering from his wounds. Navy Commander William Kuebler, who has been defending Khadr, claims initial findings about treatment of Khadr support his contention that torture occurred.

The Pentagon denied that any mistreatment took place and insists the entire matter has been “thoroughly investigated.” Kuebler believes the Pentagon is engaging in a whitewash and refusing to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence of torture and abuse inflicted on a boy by American military interrogators.

Betrayal Of American Veterans By Bush Administration

Two important groups representing American war veterans charge the Bush administration is betraying the rights of those who have served in the armed forces and been wounded. The Disabled American Veterans and the Afghanistan Veterans of America sent letters to every member of Congress saying, “we need your immediate assistance to help end the deliberate, systemic betrayal of every brave American” who has fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. At issue is the definition of what constitutes “combat related” injuries. Kerry Baker of the Disabled American Veterans insists there are cases in which a veteran received $30,000 severance pay and used it for medical care and education only to be compelled to repay the money, even though he may have been awarded a 100% disability rating. The veteran groups claim the Pentagon is taking a narrow interpretation of the law and only classifying disability if the person was in a combat zone.

A soldier who is injured during training for combat does not fit the Pentagon definition of what constitutes being injured in the service of their nation. Baker cites the case of a female soldier who dove for cover into a pile of rocks during a mortar attack and was informed the injury was not combat related. A diagnosis of PSTD is now not classified as combat related. It is time for Americans to share the fury of those who served their nation and are now being denied medical treatment.

Senator Clinton Blasts Failure To Halt Sex Intimidation

Senator Hillary Clinton called for an investigation into the Pentagon’s efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assaults. “I am deeply concerned by the Pentagon’s inadequate response to sexual assaults on our troops and the administration’s unwillingness to answer questions about this important issue. She asked for the Senate armed Services Committee to hold hearings that would “allow us to identify the necessary reforms to protect our service members from sexual assault.

The GAo found that nearly half of those who alleged sexual assaults at the 14 installations visited by auditors did not report the assaults for reasons ranging from fear of harassment to a sense the command would be unresponsive. The lack of effort to ensure such conditions would be dealt with in an appropriate manner suggests failure of leadership in the Pentagon and by the president.

Cyber War–Is Star Wars In Our Future?

A conference in London was told NATO now regards the threat of cybe warfare s among the greatest risks societies are facing. Online esionage and Internet-based terrorism now represent some of the most important componenents of present and future wars. Suleyman Anil, who heads NATO’s program to deal with cyberwar, says “we have seen more of these attacks and we don’t think this problem will disappear soon.” An important factor in cyber terrorism are attempts to shut down online communication networks or use the Internet to attack official institutions He warned there are rogue nations which are fostering cyber terrorism. Last year, a gang of hackers, believed to be from China, infiltrated computer systems at the Pentagon and launched attacks on government networks in Britain, Germany, and Australia.

The United States government has currently allocated $6 billion to combat cyber terrorism. Of course, we are still in the infant stage of cyber terrorism and few can grasp what lies in the future. Could cyber terrorists foster a star wars type campaign by gaining control of computers?

China Furious At US Attack On Its Military

The Chinese govenment reacted with anger to a Pentagon statement questioning the rationale for an increase in the Chinese military budget. According to the Pentagon, “The lack of transparency in China’s military and security affairs poses risks to stability by increasing the potential for misunderstanding and miscalculation.” The American government expressed its concern an increase in China’s military may upset the balance of power in Asia. Qin Gang, speaking for the Chinese government responded to the Pentagon comments by noting, “It is also an interference in China’s internal affairs and violates norms in international relations.”

The Chinese government apparently has yet to get the message, the Bush government has a right to invade nations, bomb nations, interfere in other governments because it alone stands for world peace and order. Since the 1960s, the United States fought a long war in Vietnam, bombed the neutral nation of Cambodia and completely destabilized its government, has sent large amounts of arms to Indonesia, given military equipment to Taiwan, and is actively engaged in fighting in Pakistan. The United States military budget is larger than all world military budgets combined, but the Bush government is upset when another nation increases its military budget!!

As for the charge that America doesn’t know the “motivation” behind China’s increased military budget, does this mean the Bush administration told the world it was going to bomb Somalia last week? Perhaps, the day America reduces its military budget to a reasonable figure, it might have the right to lecture other nations about their military spending. If hypocrisy was a virtue, the Bush administration would be composed of saints.