“As of now, there’s no discussion of adjusting our current naming policy,” Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters on Wednesday.
His comments came amid calls across the U.S. to remove the Confederate flag from public places. The massacre at a Charleston, South Carolina church carried out by Dylann Roof, an avowed white supremacist, sparked a national debate on the Confederate flag. Nine African-Americans were killed in the attack.
Reporters asked Col. Warren about the Army naming several bases in the South after Confederate generals.
Brig. Gen. Malcolm B. Frost, chief of Army public affairs, said in a statement that those bases were named “in the spirit of reconciliation, not division.”
“Every Army installation is named for a soldier who holds a place in our military history. Accordingly, these historic names represent individuals, not causes or ideologies,” he added.
Various news outlets note that there are 10 U.S. Army bases named after Confederate leaders.
Category Archives: Military
The long run has ended. We are losing the war in Iraq for the same reason we lost the war in Vietnam: we are fighting one war, while the insurgents fight another. In both campaigns, we understood neither our enemy nor our friends. In both campaigns, American lives and treasure were thrown into a fight we could not win. So, in both campaigns, we didn’t.
The actions of the Iraqi Army in Ramadi—fleeing at the first sign of trouble—are uncomfortably familiar. Again, our allies fail. Again, our allies ensure American lives in more than a decade of active war were lost in vain. Again, we leave holding a handful of ashes.
There is nothing quite so startling, and refreshing, inside the Pentagon as when the most senior officials say out loud what everyone knows. Ash Carter and General Dempsey, to their great credit—and to the unanimous acclaim of the people who work for them—refused to walk back these quotes. In the Washington press corps, the quotes above are called a “gaffe.” In the regular world, they are called “the truth.”
The Iraqi soldiers of today look an awful lot like the South Vietnamese soldiers of 50 years ago. This average soldier is a conscript, either de facto or de jure, fleeing a wasteland of poverty and low-level corruption in the countryside or urban slums. These young men are either dragooned into service or reaching for their only way out of poverty—a distinction without a difference. Such a young soldier is likely illiterate, innumerate, and incapable of following the most basic of orders due to either incompetence or self-preservation.
An insurgent succeeds because he has a sanctuary: the Ho Chi Minh Trail through Laos and Cambodia provided the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong a secure, safe lifeline of supplies from North to South; the Federally Administered Tribal Areas border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan hides Taliban and al-Qaeda in friendly defiles. In Iraq, ISIS has a sanctuary right out in the open, in the villages and slums they control through intimidation and in which government forces are afraid to patrol.
ISIS does not have to defeat the Iraqis. ISIS, just as al-Qaeda and the Taliban maneuvering right now on the other side of Iran, has only to wait out the Americans. They know the airstrikes will end. They know we will not put Americans back on the ground.
We now know what happened in Iraq in the long run. It is clear to Carter, Dempsey, and every American general, and every soldier and Marine and intelligence analyst and diplomat. The bad guys are winning. We cannot know when they have won. But we will know when we have lost.
Clint Eastwood’s hit movie American Sniper has brought home to Americans the trauma that many veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars bring back with them. An astonishing 22 veterans commit suicide every day, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. A disturbing and growing number are younger vets, many haunted by their experiences and poorly reintegrated into civilian life. In a 2014 survey of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, half said they knew another veteran who had attempted suicide.
Investigator James O’Keefe, whose previous undercover videos have exposed scandals involving ACORN, PBS, and voter fraud, has interviewed people who raise disturbing questions about the VA’s inability to treat the underlying causes of veterans’ emotional problems, as it falls back on a regime of drug therapies that often mask the problems or have serious side effects that make matters worse. A video from his group Project Veritas asks why an increasing number of military graveyards are being filled with people who died at their own hands rather than in combat.
During a recent visit to National Review, former senator Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) told me that the VA continues to suffer from poor patient care, unreasonably long wait times, and data failures. The medical records are often horribly kept and inadequate. Dr. Maureen McCarthy, deputy chief patient-care-services officer at the VA, told a congressional hearing last year that she had no faith in the numbers her own department provides, so she couldn’t provide an estimate of how long veterans wait for mental-health appointments. Retired Army sergeant Josh Renschler, who has suffered from traumatic brain injury, told the same hearing that he would become confused or lost in chaotic VA facilities and couldn’t find a friendly staff member to help direct him.
A great country can’t ask its young people to serve bravely on battlefields and then too often treat them like bothersome discards when they return home.
We live in an age of narratives, not news. The narrative in the mainstream media is that Hillary Clinton is “inevitable” as the Democratic nominee, with supporting polling data from the New York Times (that oversamples Democrats and under-samples Republicans) manufactured to support the narrative. But the real news, what people need to know, is that Hillary looks like a disaster-in-the-making, with very poor campaign skills and an indefensible record overseeing foreign policy disasters that have exploded in the face of Obama.
But some in the mainstream media are beginning to shed their reluctance to say that the empress has no clothes. Check out this editorial from the Miami Herald (hat tip: Jerry Schmitt)
The aura of inevitability in which Hillary Clinton basked for so long has smacked up against the reality of the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign. And both she and the Democratic Party are worse off. (snip)
…it’s no longer too early for Mrs. Clinton to make the case that she’s hungry for this job, that she’s the better choice for the position. So far, though, she hasn’t really moved the needle of her poll numbers since declaring her candidacy. And despite the intimate, unrecorded chats Mrs. Clinton has held with small groups of voters, her 27-day silence let others fill the void and tell the public who she is, and mostly in negative terms. (snip)
…Mrs. Clinton comes with baggage, the contents of which should be examined, explained. The dubious sources of donations to the Clinton Foundation, for instance, are fair game.
The problem is:
…the Democratic bench isn’t very deep, and that stands to cause enduring damage to the rich mix of ideas and ideology that has propelled American politics for centuries now.
If tomorrow Mrs. Clinton decided, “You know, maybe I don’t want to be president after all,” who would step into the void? So far, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has a large, cultish following that could translate into a credible, popular campaign. Joe Biden? Experienced and personable, but like Mrs. Clinton, and even Jeb Bush on the Republican side, there’s a freshness lacking, though it’s not a deal-killer.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is in there pitching, and former Maryland Gov. Mike O’Malley is exploring. But where the country is only benefiting from the scrappy fighters on the Republican side, from the credible to the far-out, Mrs. Clinton and her party lack that “oomph.” They must keep in mind that inevitability is hardly a winning strategy.
The recepients were Jake Sullivan, Deputy Chief of Staff to then-Secretary of State Clinton, Cheryl Mills, an adviser to Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and Counselor and Chief of Staff to the Secretary, and Victoria Jane Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.
“Cheryl told me the Libyans confirmed his death. Should we announce tonight or wait until morning?” Clinton says in the email, time stamped 11:38 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2012.
The email had as its subject line: “Chris Smith.” The murdered ambassador was Chris Stevens.
The Secretary of State didn’t even know the name of the U.S. ambassador to Libya — even after terrorists stormed an American compound and killed him.
Kayce M. Hagen is a pen name assumed by an active duty enlisted airman. She wrote the following words to capture her thoughts after attending mandatory annual training given by her base’s Sexual Assault Response Coordination (SARC) office. I’m publishing her letter here not just because it captures in visceral form a sentiment I’ve heard repeatedly from airmen who are frustrated by increasingly tone-deaf and overwrought approaches to this issue, but also because I believe her input raises (or renews) two important questions. First, what is the current Sexual Assault Prevention program doing for the Air Force? Second, what is it doing to the Air Force? Kayce’s input explores these questions in a powerful way. Enjoy and respond. -Q.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I got up this morning as an Airman in the United States Air Force. I got up and I put on my uniform, I pulled back my hair, I looked in the mirror and an Airman looked back. A strong, confident military professional stared out of my bathroom mirror, and I met her eyes with pride. Then I came to your briefing. I came to your briefing and I listened to you talk to me, at times it seemed directly to me, about sexual assault. You talked about a lot of things, about rivers and bridges, you talked about saving people and victimization. In fact you talked for almost a full ninety minutes, and you disgusted me.
You made me a victim today, and I am nobody’s victim. I am an American Airman in the most powerful Air Force in the world, and you made me into a helpless whore. A sensitive, defenseless woman who has no power to protect herself, who has nothing in common with the men she works with. You made me untouchable, and by doing that you made me a target. You gave me a transparent parasol, called it an umbrella and told me to stand idly by while you placed everything from rape to inappropriate shoulder brushes in a crowded hallway underneath it. You put my face up on your slides; my face, my uniform, my honor, and you made me hold this ridiculous contraption of your own devising and called me empowered. You called me strong. You told me, and everyone else who was listening to you this morning that I had a right to dictate what they said. That I had a right to dictate what they looked at. That I had a right to dictate what they listened to. That somehow, in my shop, I was the only person who mattered. That they can’t listen to the radio because they might play the Beatles, or Sir Mix-A-Lot, and that I might be offended. That if someone plays a Katy Perry song, I might have flashbacks to a night where I made a bad decision. I might be hurt, and I’m fragile right? Of course I am, you made me that way.
You are the reason I room alone when I deploy. You are the reason that wives are terrified that their husbands are cheating on them when they leave, and I leave with them. When I walk into a room and people are laughing and having a good time, you are the reason they take one look at me and either stop talking or leave. They’re afraid. They’re afraid of me, and it’s because of you. They are afraid that with all of this “power” I have, I can destroy them. They will never respect me or the power and the authority I have as a person, or the power I have as an Airman, because I am nothing more than a victim. That I as a victim, somehow I control their fate. With one sentence, I can destroy the rest of their lives.
“He sexually assaulted me.”
I say enough. He didn’t assault me, you did; and I say enough is enough. If you want to help me, you need to stop calling me a victim. If you want to save me, you need to help me to be equal in the eyes of the people I work with. If you want to change a culture, you need to lessen the gap between men and women, not widen it. Women don’t need their own set of rules: physical training scores, buildings, rooms, raters, sponsors, deployment buddies. When I can only deploy with another woman ‘buddy’ you are telling me and the people around me that I can’t take care of myself. When you forbid me from going into my male friends room to play X-Box on a deployment with the other people on my shift, you isolate me. When you isolate me, you make me a target. When you make me a target, you make me a victim. You don’t make me equal, you make me hated. If I am going to be hated, it will be because of who I am, not because of who you have made me. I am not a victim. I am an American Airman, I am a Warrior, and I have answered my nation’s call.
Help me be what I am, or be quiet and get out of my way.
The eight women who remained in the first gender-integrated class of Army Ranger training will not move onto the next round of training, Fort Benning announced on Friday.
That means all 19 women who began the training in April have washed out in the first phase.
The eight women, together with 101 men who washed out of the Darby phase, will retry the first part of the Army’s most elite training course beginning May 14, the release said.
Nineteen women and 381 men began the first integrated Ranger Course in April. Three women and 78 men washed out after the first day’s physical assessment consisting of 49 pushups, 59 situps, a 5-mile run in under 40 minutes and 6 chin-ups.
Following that, soldiers must complete a land navigation test, a swim test and a 12-mile foot march with a 35-pound rucksack in under three hours. Eight women and a 119 men failed to complete this portion of the course.
How long before the Army is forced to lower the requirements, hm? This administration wants equality by lowering standards.
If you are a Bible-believing Christian, there is no place for you in Barack Obama’s version of the U.S. military. Christian service members all over the nation are being disciplined for reading their Bibles, talking about their faith publicly and encouraging others to live a moral lifestyle. And just saying the name of “Jesus” at the wrong place or the wrong time while serving in the military is enough to spark a national controversy. We live at a time when political correctness in America is wildly out of control, and thanks to Obama the U.S. military has become one of the most politically correct institutions in our society. Things have gotten so bad that dozens of top officers that did not agree with Obama’s views have been forced out of the military in recent years. The U.S. military is being transformed into an overtly anti-Christian institution, and for those of us that are Christians that is a very chilling development.
Perhaps you think that the title of this article is a bit of an exaggeration.
Perhaps you think that there is no way things could have gotten that bad.
Well, I grew up as a military kid. In those days, the U.S. military was actually quite welcoming to Christians. But now things have completely and totally changed.
In the old days, Christians loved the military and the military loved Christians.
But now they are being set directly at odds with each other, and for those of us that are Bible-believing Christians that has a very ominous ring to it.
“Israel has nuclear weapons,” she told the suddenly-interested class, “and we aren’t afraid to use them if we have to.” She looked around, aware that they were quieter than they had been, “Does that frighten you?” she asked.
Several nodded and she added, “good.”
Israel has nuclear weapons. Unlike the United States, which has had nuclear weapons for more than 70 years and betrayed our trust by releasing documents that confirm this, we’ve never used nuclear weapons to kill anyone. Unlike Iran, which doesn’t have nuclear weapons (yet), Israel has never threatened to blow a nation off the face of the map.
For the past 24 hours, after hearing that the United States, under the leadership of Barack Hussein Obama, deliberately stabbed Israel in the back by releasing documents that confirm what most of the world has known or suspected for decades, I was rendered mute with anger. Every post I thought of making usually included at least one four letter word and often many of them.
And so I waited and thought and then I remembered my mother speaking before the Austrian kids who then decided rather than visit Italy, they would take their senior class trip to Israel.
When the world is a bit condescending, antagonistic and certainly against Israel in so many ways, perhaps the United States unwittingly did us a favor. The word is out. Israel has nuclear weapons.
Does that scare you?
Sources Say, Erik Prince was hired by crown prince of Abu Dhabi to put together a 800-member battalion
According to the New York Time, Erik Prince billionaire founder of Blackwater was hired by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi to put together an 800-member battalion of foreign troops for the U.A.E., according to former employees on the project, American officials and corporate documents obtained by a reputable source.
The force is intended to conduct special operations missions inside and outside the country, defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from terrorist attacks and put down internal revolts, the documents show. Such troops could be deployed if the Emirates faced unrest in their crowded labor camps or were challenged by pro-democracy protests like those sweeping the Arab world this year.
The U.A.E.’s rulers, viewing their own military as inadequate, also hope that the troops could blunt the regional aggression of Iran, the country’s biggest foe, the former employees said. The training camp, located on a sprawling Emirati base called Zayed Military City, is hidden behind concrete walls laced with barbed wire. Photographs show rows of identical yellow temporary buildings, used for barracks and mess halls, and a motor pool, which houses Humvees and fuel trucks. The Colombians, along with South African and other foreign troops, are trained by retired American soldiers and veterans of the German and British special operations units and the French Foreign Legion, according to the former employees and American officials.
In outsourcing critical parts of their defense to mercenaries — the soldiers of choice for medieval kings, Italian Renaissance dukes and African dictators — the Emiratis have begun a new era in the boom in wartime contracting that began after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. And by relying on a force largely created by Americans, they have introduced a volatile element in an already combustible region where the United States is widely viewed with suspicion.
The United Arab Emirates — an autocracy with the sheen of a progressive, modern state — are closely allied with the United States, and American officials indicated that the battalion program had some support in Washington.