Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Fw: TheList 4352



The List 4352
To All,
Happy New Year to all of you and especially to our band of Bubbas whose friendship and comradery forged on the flight deck of Aircraft carriers starting in the 60s and the regular gatherings at the Bubba Breakfasts over the last 30 plus years is personally treasured.
Skip
 
To All,
I wish you all a Most Happy and prosperous New Year
Skip
 
This Day In Naval History - December 31
1862 - USS Monitor founders in a storm off Cape Hatteras, NC.
1941 - Admiral Chester W. Nimitz assumes command of U.S. Pacific Fleet.
1942: USS Essex (CV 9), the first of a new class of aircraft carriers, is commissioned at Norfolk, Va. Her designation is changed to CVA 9 in October 1952 and eight years later Essex is converted to an anti-submarine warfare support aircraft carrier and redesignated CVS-9. In 1969, Essex is decommissioned and scrapped in 1975.
 
1948 - Last annual report by a Secretary of the Navy to Congress and the President filed by SECNAV John L. Sullivan. Thereafter the Secretary of Defense would report annually to Congress.
 
This Day In Naval History - January 1
1950 - Mary T. Sproul commissioned as first female doctor in Navy
1959 - U.S. Naval Observatory introduces system of uniform atomic time using cesium beam atomic oscillators. This measurement has been adopted as standard by the International Committee on Weights and Measures.
1962 - Navy SEAL teams established
 
 
December 31
1775
George Washington orders recruiting officers to accept free blacks into the army.
1852
The richest year of the gold rush ends with $81.3 million in gold produced.
1862
Union General William Rosecrans' army repels two Confederate attacks at the Battle of Murfreesboro (Stone's River).
1910
John B. Moisant and Arch Hoxsey, two of America's foremost aviators, die in separate plane crashes.
1911
Helene Dutrieu wins the Femina aviation cup in Etampes. She sets a distance record for women at 158 miles.
1915
The Germans torpedo the British liner Persia without any warning killing 335 passengers.
1923
The Sahara is crossed by an automobile for the first time.
1930
Brewery heir Adolphus Busch is kidnapped.
1941
General MacArthur reports that U.S. lines in Manila have been pushed back by the Japanese.
1942
After five months of battle, Emperor Hirohito allows the Japanese commanders at Guadalcanal to retreat.
1944
Hungary declares war on Germany.
1965
California becomes the largest state in population.
1977
Cambodia breaks relations with Vietnam.
 
 
 
 
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Happy New Year ladies
Thanks to Mike
Why Women Are So Special.

Mum and Dad were watching TV when

Mum said, "I'm tired, and it's
Getting late. I think I'll go to bed."
She went to the kitchen to make sandwiches for the next day's
Lunches. Rinsed out the popcorn bowls, took meat out of the
Freezer for supper the following evening, checked the cereal box
Levels, filled the sugar container, put spoons and bowls on the
Table and started the coffee pot for brewing the next morning.
She then put some wet clothes in the dryer, put a load of clothes
Into the washer, ironed a shirt and secured a loose button. She
Picked up the game pieces left on the table, put the phone back on
The charger and put the telephone book into the drawer.

She yawned and stretched and headed for the bedroom.
She stopped by the desk and wrote a note to the teacher, counted
Out some cash for the excursion and pulled a text book out from
Hiding under the chair. She signed a birthday card for a friend,
Addressed and stamped the envelope and wrote a quick note for the
Grocery store. She put both near her bag.
Mum then washed her face with 3 in 1 cleanser, put on her Night
Solution & age fighting moisturizer, brushed and flossed her teeth.
Dad called out, "I thought you were going to bed."
"I'm on my way," she said. She put some water into the dog's dish
And put the cat outside, then made sure the doors were locked and
The patio light was on.. She looked in on each of the kids and
Turned out their bedside lamps and radios, hung up a shirt, threw
Some dirty socks into the hamper, and had a brief conversation
With the one up still doing homework.
In her own room, she set the alarm; laid out clothing for the next
Day, straightened up the shoe rack. She added three things to her
6 most important things to do list. She said her prayers, and
Visualized the accomplishment of her goals.
About that time, Dad turned off the TV
And announced to no one in particular. "I'm going to bed." And he
Did...without another thought.
Anything extraordinary here? Wonder why women live longer...?
'CAUSE THEY ARE MADE FOR THE LONG HAUL.........
(and they can't die sooner, they still have things to do!!!!)
Send this to five phenomenal women today...they' ll love you for it!
And Forward this to as many men as you can so that they know why
Women are so special :) ..........!
God's very own creation! :)
 
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Thanks to Lurch
 
The Donkey's just don't get it.
 
Subject: The Angry Man
 
 
 
The Angry Man
For all the interest group pandering that shapes modern American politics, the group that may well have decided the election has come down to the demographic of "The Angry Man."
The Angry Man is difficult to stereotype. He comes from all economic backgrounds, from dirt-poor to filthy rich. He represents all geographic areas in America , from sophisticated urbanite to rural redneck, Deep South to Yankee North, Left Coast to Eastern Seaboard.
No matter where he's from, Angry Men share many common traits; they aren't asking for anything from anyone other than the promise to be able to make their own way on a level playing field. In many cases, they are independent businessmen and employ several people. They pay more than their share of taxes and they work hard. Damn hard, for what they have and intend to keep.
He's used to picking up the tab, whether it's the Christmas party for the employees at his company, three sets of braces, college educations or a beautiful wedding or two. Not because he was forced to, but because it's the right thing to do.
The Angry Man believes the Constitution should be interpreted as it was written. It is not as a "living document" open to the whims and vagaries of appointed judges and political winds.
The Angry Man owns firearms, and he's willing to pick up a gun and use it in defense of his home, his country and his family. He is willing to lay down his life to defend the freedom and safety of others, and the thought of killing someone if necessary to achieve those goals gives him only momentary pause.
The Angry Man is not, and never will be, a victim. Nobody like him drowned in Hurricane Katrina. He got his people together and got the hell out. Then, he went back in to rescue those who needed help or were too stupid to help themselves in the first place. He was selfless in this, just as often a civilian as a police officer, a National Guard soldier or a volunteer firefighter. Victimhood syndrome buzzwords; "disenfranchised," "marginalized" and "voiceless" don't resonate with The Angry Man. "Press 'one' for English" is a curse-word to him.
His last name, his race and his religion don't matter. His ancestry might be Italian, English, African, Polish, German, Slavic, Irish, Russian, Hispanic or any of a hundred others. What does matter is that he considers himself in every way to be an American. He is proud of this country and thinks that if you aren't, you are whole-heartedly encouraged to find one that suits you and move there.
The Angry Man is usually a man's man. The kind of guy who likes to play poker, watch football, go hunting, play golf, maintain his own vehicles and build things. He coaches kid's baseball, soccer and football and doesn't ask for a penny. He's the kind of guy who can put an addition on his house with a couple of friends, drill an oil well, design a factory or work the land. He can fill a train with 100,000 tons of coal and get it to the power plant so that you can keep the lights on while never knowing everything it took to do that. The Angry Man is the backbone of this country.
He's not racist, but is truly disappointed and annoyed, when people exhibit behavior that typifies the worst stereotypes of their ethnicity. He's willing to give everybody a fair chance if they're willing to work hard and play by the rules. He expects other people to do the same. Above all, he has integrity in everything he does.
The Angry Man votes, and he loathes the dysfunction now rampant in government. It's the victim groups being pandered to and the "poor me" attitude that they represent. The inability of politicians to give a straight answer to an honest question. The tax dollars that are given to people who simply don't want to do anything for themselves. The fact that, because of very real consequences, he must stay within a budget but for some obscure reason the government he finances doesn't. Mostly, it's the blatantly arrogant attitude displayed implying that we are too stupid to run our own lives and only people in government are smart enough to do that.
The Angry Man has reached his limit. When a social justice agitator goes on TV, leading some rally for Black Lives Matter, safe spaces or other such nonsense, he may bite his tongue but, he remembers. When a child gets charged with carrying a concealed weapon for mistakenly bringing a penknife to school, he takes note of who the local idiots are in education and law enforcement.
But when government officials are repeatedly caught red-handed breaking the law and getting off scot-free, The Angry Man balls-up his fists and readies himself for the coming fight. He knows that this fight, will be a live or die situation, so he prepares fully. Make no mistake, this is a fight in which he is not willing to lose and he will never give up.
Obama calls him a Clinger
Hillary Calls him Deplorable
Bill calls him Redneck
BLM calls him a Racist
Feminists calls him Sexist
ISIS calls him an Infidel
Donald Trump calls him an American
 
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Thanks to Rhino…This scenario went on a lot during the Vietnam War. Some were successful some not so much.
I think the "Buds" might enjoy the following:
 
This video and it's audio chronicle the ejection from an F-8 Crusader of USN Lt. W. D. Sharp over North Vietnam.
00:13:22
Added on 10/19/13
A great story from the Crusader archive!
 
In roughly 1996, I flew a trip on the 757 with Willie.  I had never heard of him.  On the trip, he told me about this experience.  Critical is that the squadron XO had given the wives a lecture.  In it he told them it might be wise to send your husband a small hand gun to keep inside his flight suit.  It surely saved Willie's life.  Small note: Willie said there were three bad guys on the junk.  When the AD came in for a gunnery run they ran to the back of the boat.  Willie turned his back to them and pulled out the small 22.  When the first guy came back, he shot him in the face three times.  The other two guys jumped in the water.  Then the helo rescued him.  I asked him if it was difficult to shoot him.  He said no.
 
 
Rhino
 
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From the Archives. This is worth reading again and hopefully we can see changes in the future
 
Thanks to Shadow -
 
As a Marine… You have to know there'd be a lot of back and forth between rotor heads and Fighter/Attack Types. Especially when you had separate bases right close to each other. One year, 3rd MAW was having a rash of accidents. Wing Commander called a meeting at the base theater for all Group and Squadron C.O.'s… Plus all the Safety Officers and Assistants.
 
Our Skipper was fearless… his name was Mike Gehring. The General gave a collective "ass chewing" to all… In fact he went on so long; his audience was getting pissed, instead of getting the "message". Lots of groans and sniffs about. Finally the General concludes with… "Is there anyone out there who doesn't understand what I said or has any questions". Total silence… and then I see Gehring's right arm starting to ascend!? WTF?
 
The General sees it and says, "State your name and question". Mike doesn't miss a beat… "LtCol. Mike Gehring Sir… I'm sick of all the preferential treatment the helicopter pilots are getting around here… Something needs to be done about it". The General, along with all the others present were stunned! Finally the General comes back with; "What the hell are you talking about"? Mike never skipped a beat… He says, "General, YOU might not have noticed… but believe me the rest of us do. Anywhere we go on base… Every Primo parking spot is reserved for Helicopter Pilots! The Club, the Exchange, the Dispensary, even the Wing Headquarters"! The best, closest parking spot is always reserved for the Helo Drivers! You have to have seen them General… They're clearly marked… Handicapped"!
 
For about 5 seconds there was total silence… then total pandemonium! Cheers, jeers and catcalls, all over... as the theater emptied. General never said another word.
 
Mike had balls, he did!
 
Shadow
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Thanks to TR and Dick
Google Skip West for his bio. An interesting warrior and prolific author. He should be in the Donald's short list. TR.
 
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Richard Cavicke
Subject: Fw: A Nation Adrift
To:
Very credible analysis.
Disturbing to read again of how the current ROE is limiting our air-strike program.  Does the F/A-18 max-trap weight restrict it from coming aboard with any significant bomb-type ordnance?

Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 8:32 AM
Subject: A Nation Adrift

The essay below is worth the time to read, but it deserves a comfortable chair and a reasonable amount of time to think about the author's words. Reward yourself with both, and maybe a single malt "neat".



STANFORD UNIVERSITY  HOOVER INSTITUTE


Dec 10, 2015

How We Fight in the Twenty-first Century: Winning Battles While Losing Wars
By Bing West


(A former assistant secretary of defense and combat Marine, West has written nine books about the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.)

This essay addresses why America is performing poorly in 21st Century warfare. Our enemies do not fear us, and our friends do not trust us. America is fighting a war without direction or leadership.

Policy Planning.
We invaded both Afghanistan and Iraq with inchoate plans and inadequate forces to establish post-war security and governance. After winning the first battle in both countries, President George W. Bush offhandedly decided to build democratic nations, a task for which our State Department and USAID had no competence or interest. By default, the mission fell to our military, also without competence but with unflagging devotion and determination.

In both countries, our true enemies were rabid warriors determined to win or die. For us, the wars were limited—fought with few forces and many restraints. When the Islamists proved dedicated to an unlimited struggle, we reversed course and withdrew. True, President Bush did increase US forces in Iraq in 2007 and that stabilized the country. However, in 2008 he agreed with the sectarian, serpentine Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to withdraw all American troops by 2011. He threw away his success.

When 2011 arrived, President Barack Obama went against the recommendations of the intelligence community, the Pentagon, and the State Department. Instead of politically maneuvering to keep a residual force to check al-Maliki's dark instincts, Obama pulled out all our troops. He fulfilled Bush's foolish promise. Al-Maliki then proceeded to oppress the Sunnis, leading to the reemergence of the extremists now called the Islamic State. Obama quit, but Bush made it easy for him to do so.

Mr. Obama claimed Afghanistan was the war that had to be won. But as in Iraq, he headed for the exit. To avoid a humiliating collapse before he departs the White House, he will keep perhaps eight thousand US troops there in 2016.

On balance,  the results in Iraq or Afghanistan were not worth the costs in American casualties, money, and global influence. Several policy lessons may be drawn.

First, the Pentagon should project for the president the length of time to achieve a desired post-war end state. In Iraq and Afghanistan, that meant staying for twenty or more years. From the start, Bush failed to explain this to the public. He did not even try to set the conditions in Congress and in the press for a long-term presence, as in South Korea.

Second, if our troops are killing and dying because the indigenous troops are not capable enough to stand on their own, then our commanders have the right and the obligation to select the leaders of those local forces. American diplomats chose Karzai and Maliki behind the scenes. Both choices were disasters. Yet due to unthinking allegiance to the word "democracy," we allowed those solipsistic, incompetent "elected" leaders to promote whom they chose within the ranks of the police, military, and other government agencies. Like Great Britain before us, we were a colonial power. Unlike the Brits, we did not select the commanders of the indigenous armies we were training, equipping, and paying.

Third, we granted sanctuaries to the enemy. Our military after Vietnam had vowed never again to fight such a war. But we forgot that vow. We invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to destroy al-Qaeda. In December of 2001, the core of that organization and its top leaders were trapped in a mountainous region called Tora Bora. Rather than employ a nearby Marine brigade and special operations forces, the American commander, General Tommy Franks, relied upon Afghan warlords whose motley troops allowed the al-Qaeda force to move across the border into Pakistan. That was a grave, unforced military error. Then, in a triumph of legalism over common sense, Bush decided not to cross the border in hot pursuit to destroy the fleeing terrorists.

Afghanistan steadily deteriorated after that. Yet we persisted for fourteen years in fighting an enemy while giving him a 1,500-mile-long sanctuary. Similarly, we knew where the al-Qaeda safe houses were in Syria, just across the border from Iraq. But we didn't bomb them. We granted our enemy sanctuary.

Fourth, in such countries we should influence the politics through covert means, just as we did in Europe after World War II and occasionally during the Cold War. This includes channeling money, communications channels, and ease of transportation. Politics determines who gets what, when, and why. We fight wars to shape political ends. Influencing indigenous politics during a war should be a goal, not an out-of-bounds marker.

Fifth, we decided not to capture our enemy. In the twentieth century, many more combatants were captured than killed. Today, we don't capture anyone. The gross pictures from Abu Ghraib, the political storm over water-boarding and Obama's pledge to close Guantanamo and prosecute terrorists as criminals forced our military to turn over all captured enemies to corrupt Iraqi and Afghan officials. Most of those once in prison are now free, while the wars continue. Our troops call it "catch and release." America has no comprehensible judicial system for war in the twenty-first century.

Sixth, we remain at war rhetorically, while refusing to fight with determination. How do we fight? The administration launches one or two drone strikes each month. White House spokesmen have bragged that the president routinely reviews dossiers and selects those to be killed. A commander in chief deciding upon a war fighting tactic calls into question management priorities. It also signals an incapacity to think strategically, illustrating that he views war as a set of morally wrenching discrete decisions to kill about one hundred enemies each year.

Occasionally, the White House will supplement the drone strikes with a raid by our special operations forces, especially the SEALs. This garners huge favorable press, projecting an image of American superstar invulnerability. No wonder each SEAL vies to receive the most publicity. Distributing photos of the entire National Security Council mesmerized by the video of a squad raid encapsulates a strategic instinct to focus on the capillaries.

War is the act of relentlessly destroying and killing until the enemy is broken physically and morally, and no longer resists the advancement of our policy objectives. By that definition, Obama eschews war. He has declared the Islamic State will be destroyed. But his actions belie his words.

Seventh, our feckless war fighting policies over the past seven years have gravely diminished the respect of our adversaries and the trust of our friends. We refused to provide Ukraine with weapons after the Russians invaded. After declaring a "red line" if Assad used chemical weapons, Obama asked Russia to help him out. Now Russian aircraft in Syria are bombing the rebels Obama armed in the hope of overthrowing Assad. In Iraq, Iranian troops have replaced American troops. Obama's retort is that both Iran and Russia won't achieve anything more than he did. At the same time, Obama signed a nuclear agreement with Iran and lifted sanctions, without submitting a treaty to the Senate. In sum, Russia and Iran have undermined American credibility and military power in the Middle East, while China steals on a gigantic scale in cyberspace and exerts control over the South China Sea.

Currently, America has ceased to be the major power-player in the Middle East. Unless confronted by an absolute disaster, Obama will finish out his presidency without applying any more force than occasional bombing against the Islamic State. Russia and Iran will remain the more dominant military actors, along with the Islamic State.  Under Iranian influence, Iraq will remain at war, divided between the Shiite and Sunni areas.

Fighting the War
We have done a miserable job at policy planning. But how are we doing on the battlefield? How do we fight that is really different from the twentieth century?

The most obvious difference is our overwhelming conventional superiority. That was clear when we took back Kuwait in 1991. It was reinforced in the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and of Iraq in 2003. The world has never seen the likes of it. Yes, Alexander, Caesar, Genghis Khan, Napoleon … there have been numerous victorious armies and conquests. But none like this, none with such global reach and so few casualties.

What happened here, and why? In the twentieth century, the major wars were fought on an industrial scale. The combatants on opposing sides possessed the same sets of conventional weapons—machine guns, artillery, tanks, ships, vehicles, and aircraft. In the opening decade of the twenty-first century, only America could quickly, and at low cost, destroy all those weapons possessed by any other country.

Why? Because for a brief period—two or three decades?—our military technology had outstripped the rest of the world. The Soviet Union had collapsed, China had not caught up, and no other hostile nation was remotely in our technological league. Most telling was our leap forward in air-to-ground surveillance, detection, and destruction. Militaries cannot move or be supplied without vehicles. Every artillery tube, every internal engine, every human face emits heat that shines like a spotlight.  Use any computer or cell phone, walk outdoors, drive down a road—and someone above is watching, electronically or physically. Our air-to-ground surveillance and firepower are astonishing.

Yet we did not win the battles, much less the wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why? Simple: the enemy adapted. He took off his uniform and used our morality and befuddlement as jiu-jitsu to overcome our technological advantages. By hiding among the people, he was safe from our firepower. The enemy lived in the cities and villages, or hid across the border, coming together in small groups and choosing when and where to initiate contact against our patrols. The Vietnam-era tactic of fire and maneuver has gone away. Our troops wear armor and gear weighing about ninety pounds. They cannot run a hundred meters without being exhausted. So when the enemy shoots, a patrol gets down and returns a vicious volume of aimed fire. Except you rarely see a target, because the enemy isn't stupid. He has selected a covered position before opening fire. Most firefights last less than fifteen minutes, because once a gunship or aircraft comes overhead, the enemy is doomed. So he shoots and scoots. Thus the war goes on and on, because the enemy will not commit suicide by massing or wearing uniforms.

The Islamists in Iraq and Afghanistan did not fight fiercely and stand their ground against our troops. Our training, shooting skills and firepower were overwhelming. The enemy may have been a farm boy, a terrorist from Yemen, a former Iraqi soldier, a youth from a Pakistani madras, a Taliban from Kabul—whomever. They all learned to stay about four hundred meters away from American troops, because every grunt now has a telescopic sight and most are qualified as expert riflemen.

The suicide bomber was a threat to our vehicles and fixed outposts. But it never expanded into an enormous threat. The YouTube videos posted by the Islamic State from the 2015 battles in Iraq suggest an exponential growth. From anecdotal evidence, it appears the suicidal truck bomber is as much a threat as was the kamikaze during the Okinawa campaign in 1945.

There was no solution to the improvised explosive device (IED). There were hundreds of thousands of them, because mixing fuel and fertilizer and packing them into a plastic jug is too easy ever to be stopped. IEDs have to be tolerated on a battlefield just as is a rifle. It's a simple tool and therefore commonplace. We shouldn't forget that in Vietnam, we lost over 10,000 killed to mines and booby traps—20 percent of all our fatalities.

What was new in our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was not the profusion of the IED/land mine; instead, it was the reduction in the number of American fatalities.  Much has been written about "the magic hour," meaning: get every wounded to an aid station within sixty minutes. True, the ratio of killed to injured dropped from 4-to-1 in Vietnam to 7-to-1 in Iraq. The underlying reason was better training in life-saving drilled into every squad, along with the tourniquet. Most wounded die from exsanguinations. They bleed out because the tourniquet is inadequate. Not anymore. The modern tourniquet with its twist and snap is as much a breakthrough for the grunt as was the stirrup for the horse rider.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the doctrine of counterinsurgency prevailed. Practically, this meant our troops patrolled by walking about three miles a day in heavy gear in formations of fifteen to twenty men. The idea was to clear a populated area of the enemy by walking around repeatedly. Once the enemy pulled out or was killed, the friendly platoon or company would hold that area until Iraqi or Afghan forces were capable of holding it on their own. The local forces, in conjunction with local officials, were then to use American funds to build projects in order that the people would see a material reason for supporting their government.

Militarily, the goal was to win over the people. Thus, rules of engagement were designed to place severe limits upon the use of indirect firepower (mortars, artillery, rockets, or bombs). Even one civilian casualty caused bitter complaints, although the Islamists were responsible for three out of four killed or wounded.

On our side, there was a yin and yang to a war that had no endpoint. Over the last four years in Afghanistan, it became common for a platoon commander to say, "My mission is to get every one of my men back home in one piece." Why risk your men when no one could tell you what defined victory? Why go across a field after taking some fire to check out the compound, when you could call in indirect fire? The incentive at the patrol level was to call in indirect fire.

On the yang side, the incentive of the senior commanders was not to allow indirect fire.  The longer we stayed, the more frustrated the top command became with the lack of population cooperation. Every civilian casualty translated into some official complaining. So the more rigorous became the rules, especially in Afghanistan. It finally got to the point that the word of the forward air controller (FAC) on the ground was not good enough. The pilot was required to cross-examine the FAC before executing the mission, and a lawyer and/or another pilot back in an operations center miles away also had to authorize the strike.

Today, eight out of ten US attack aircraft return from missions over Islamic State territory without striking any target. To do so, the pilot needs the permission of a senior American officer in an operations center hundreds of miles away. This enormous caution—and expense—to protect the lives of every civilian is unprecedented in history. The richest country in the world can only do it. However, it gravely slows down the pace of a war and allows the enemy to recuperate indefinitely.

These rules of engagement cannot be sustained when we again fight an enemy who can and does kill us. So far in the twenty-first century, our helicopters and aircraft have been almost invulnerable. Our losses have been very, very small. Similarly, our forces on the ground have not been under pressure. They are not attacked by doughty infantry in full battalions like the North Vietnamese, supported by heavy artillery. When we again fight heavy, sustained battles on a large scale, some commanders claim we can change these highly restrained rules of engagement at the snap of the fingers. More likely, the rules have sapped the aggressive spirit the high command must share with the warriors on the battlefield.

Lastly and regrettably, I must mention the growing trend of victimhood. Our society does not celebrate and single out the heroes. Instead, it tries to compensate those who psychologically or physically did not return home able to fully cope. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides some level of health care for less than half of our veterans. A minority of veterans use the VA. If all who had served turned to the VA for medical assistance, the VA system would collapse.

Yet the VA is now reporting that more 40 percent of all individuals getting out of the service after four years—and the wars essentially are over—apply for compensation for mental or physical injury. During the Vietnam War, the VA had five injury categories; today, it has seventeen. The more free money is available, the more will apply for that money. What does that do to the internal morale of a service when some in every squad put in claims, and others do not?

Summary.
In summary, our enemies do not fear us and our friends do not trust us. Sensible steps can turn that around, but that depends upon the next commander in chief. So far in the twenty-first century, due to our vast wealth and technologies, we have not been sorely tested. Our beloved nation does not have a martial spirit, and perhaps does not need one. It does need a military inculcated with a warrior spirit.

Our largest deficit is national will. Consider our actions over the past decade. In 2004, we destroyed the Iraqi city of Falllujah in order to root Islamist terrorists. Then in 2011, we pulled our troops out of Iraq, despite predictions that Iraq would fall apart. In 2009, we demanded Assad leave power in Syria, but did not use military force to accomplish our demand. In the resulting civil war partially caused by our blunders, Islamist terrorists seized half of Syria and Iraq.

In November of 2015, the Islamists - now called ISIS or ISIL - massacred 130 civilians in Paris. But the American political system was unable to unite behind committing forces, as we did in Fallujah a decade ago. Why? Our commander-in-chief has rejected deploying Americans in ground combat, because he believes eternal war is the nature of the Muslim Middle East. He refuses to utter the word 'Islamist terrorist.' So does the Democratic contender to be our next commander-in-chief. The Republican candidates are divided. Our Congress will not even debate a resolution to authorize the use of ground forces, for fear of how the vote would affect re-election.

President Bush rashly overstepped in extending war to include nation-building. President Obama ideologically retreated by imposing restraints that encouraged our enemies. Congress proved irrelevant, lacking the cohesion to play its Constitutional role in declaring for - or against - war. As 2015 ends, a leaderless America is drifting. That should scare us all.
We all hope that 2017 will bring the real change we have been searching for these many years
 
 

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