Strange Bedfellows

I’ve been debating on whether to post this link, as it is likely to ruffle feathers, but I believe the author has a very valid point. I also believe that we need India as a political ally, not just an economic one. The history of the relationship between the US, Pakistan, and India is founded in bitterness and old grudges, and it is high time that we re-evaluate who we view as ideological partners and who is diametrically opposed to our values and way of life. The answer is India, and NOT Pakistan. Pakistan’s current regime is duplicitous at best, and at worse, an active enemy working to undermine our efforts to create an open and free society in Afghanistan.

Cheering Pakistan’s missile test | The Acorn.

…But the point is that even Saudi Arabia will be a little more worried than it already is. Now imagine if Pakistan’s missiles were capable of reaching Japan, Russia, Western Europe and, err, the continental United States.

India’s leaders have been scared of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons for three decades now. They are already beyond the point where they can be further scared. But the more Pakistan’s behaviour scares the leaders of other countries, not in indirect ways like a subcontinental war or through the export of terrorism, but in direct ways, the more they will see a need to tackle the military-jihadi complex that lies at its source. Few countries of the world, whether they admit it or not, are oblivious to military-jihadi complex’s use of nuclear weapons to shield its jihadi terrorists. If a direct nuclear threat is a high threshold risk, a nuclear blackmail has a relatively lower threshold of probability. (See That’s Washington’s problem)

The effect of all the stockpiling and all the launching by Pakistan will be to spread the risk among a wider group of nations. The quantum of risk India faces doesn’t change…but it will have others sharing similar risks albeit at a lower level. If the men in khaki in Rawalpindi think scaring the important powers of the world is in their interests then, to use a phrase I heard from Arun Shourie (but attributed to Napoleon) we must not interrupt the enemy when he is making a mistake.

So let’s join them in cheering the Pakistani military-jihadi complex on the successful launch of Hatf-4/Shaheen1A missile—incidentally a gift from the Clinton Administration—and encourage them to acquire missiles with ever greater ranges. (There’s a small question of whether China will sell them this stuff, but let’s not be curmudgeonly and discredit the scientific talent in Pakistan.)

 

Recently the third US-India Strategic Dialogue took place, and the relationship between India and Pakistan will be a key part of that dialogue, although I doubt anything of substance will result, as they are as likely to cooperate as the Palestinians and the Israelis. Then again, why should they? How can you cooperate with an opponent whose only goal is the absence of you, in the universe? As with most conflicts, it isn’t the populace that pose a threat, it is those in control: the religious extremists, the military, and the autocracy. Whether it is Iran, North Korea, or Pakistan, the people do not have freedom of knowledge, much less freedom of speech. Pakistan is notorious for allowing its religious minority to make policy and control the direction of the country, and that direction veers farther and farther from representative government of the people, for the people, and by the people.

India has had numerous incidents of terrorist activities, and most are attributed to Pakistan. We, the US and India, both have a vested interest in seeing Pakistan’s militant extremist removed from power and discredited. There is a small but vocal group of expatriate Pakistanis who desperately want to see Pakistan become a modernized and free country. I believe it should be the goal of every nation, but then I am an idealist.

Horse. Barn. Door.

There are times when I start believing the conspiracy theorists who speak of the military-industrial complex as pulling the strings on politicians. Then my alarm goes off, reminding me to take my happy pills. This article is discussing the British Forces, and their “efforts” to improve force protection, but the heart of the matter goes to the delays in implementing a technology that has apparently been around since before I was born. Why not just screen-print the flag on the uniforms, as it will save money on coffins?

This is disgraceful, but not (unfortunately) surprising.

EU Referendum.

The tragedy, says Cavanagh, is that it has come five years too late. But the even greater tragedy is that the Army had recognised the need for mine protected vehicles in Bosnia in 1996 when it had bought six vehicles for the NATO implementation force mission, only to dispose of them in 2004.
Even more ironically, the Army had pioneered mine protected vehicles in Aden in 1966, which were then used in Omanbetween 1970 and 1973, making the British world leaders in the field. The technology was copied by the Rhodesians, then the South Africans, re-acquired by the British and then exported to the United States.Forty-six years later, mine-protected vehicles are back on the British Army inventory in force. With their arrival, defence secretary Philip Hammond said: “this Government has spent £270m on 300 of these hi-tech, British-built vehicles to help keep our troops properly protected. Our servicemen and women deserve the best protection we can get them”.

Positively Military

Makin Island Sailors, Marines Volunteer at Hong Kong Animal Shelter during Port Visit

A group of 24 Sailors and Marines from amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) and embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) spent a day at a local dog shelter as part of a community service project in Hong Kong, May 27.

Sailors and Marines volunteered to bathe dogs and perform yard work at the Hong Kong Dog Rescue Center during the ship’s May 25-28 port visit.

Airmen advise Afghan women officers, instill hope

The Afghan air force Kabul Wing was the first to graduate six female Afghan maintenance officers in 2012.

“We are here to give oversight and support along with technical expertise,” said Maj. Jennifer Bradley, 440th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron flightline maintenance adviser, who is deployed from Detachment 510 at the University of New Mexico as an Air Force ROTC instructor.

“We show them new aircraft and how to maintain it,” Bradley added.

But, it is not only about learning the job, but showing the women there is someone they can look up to and see they have succeeded, said Capt. Vanessa Vanden Bout, 439th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, gender integration adviser and force support squadron adviser, who is deployed from 3rd Air Force, Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

“Bradley has shown them they are not just females but individuals,” continued the Vermilion, Ohio native. “She is giving them both courage and hope to serve their country. It’s plain and simple mentorship. That’s what she’s teaching them.”

The major wanted to show the Afghan female officers the capabilities of women.

 

Texas National Guardsmen Inspired by Burundi Soldiers

MUDUBUGU, Burundi (May 14, 2012) — It was the first time U.S. Army Sgt. Idalissa Hernandez set foot into a Burundi national defense forces training center. For the soldiers she helped mentor there, it was the first time a female Soldier came to share best practices with them.

Hernandez and Staff Sgt. Michael Easdon, Task Force Raptor, 3rd Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment, Texas National Guard, were invited by the Burundi Peoples National Defense Forces to participate in a Peace Support Operations Soldier Skills Field Training course held here from April 9 to May 11, 2012.

“When I first was asked to go up in front of the group to share what I knew, I was nervous and didn’t know how they would receive me as a female,” said Hernandez, squad leader, 702nd Military Police Company, Task Force Raptor. “Once they realized that I knew what I was talking about, they quickly accepted me as a mentor and a Soldier, regardless.”

Hernandez is a military police instructor at the Texas National Guard Regional Training Institute, back home at Camp Swift, near Bastrop Texas. She noticed many similarities between mentoring U.S. and Burundi Soldiers.

Lots of good photos of Burundi troops getting trained by US Soldiers. I know our forces regularly train with other nations, but this is the first that I’ve heard of it occurring in a non-South African nation. I’m not surprised by it, though. It is likely that it has been going on for quite a long time, probably since Somalia.

You should read each of the articles, as I only post highlights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rules of Engagement

Afghan Women and Equal Rights

NATO tv video at link (Sorry about that, WordPress won’t let me embed it)

This would not be occurring if not for our forces fighting to destroy the Taliban regime. Women and children could hope for a future that did not include rape, sex trafficking, slavery, and opium trade. We’ve been actively involved in undermining the Taliban since 1994.  Although they first appeared to be a movement that intended to bring order and stability. The CIA (and our government) backed this organization, possibly hoping it would actually be a force for peace. Obviously, they backed the wrong horse.

Afghanland.com

In mid-2000 the Taliban split into 3 separate groups. One group became a sub army of Osama Bin Laden who began to pay the leaders of the Taliban and directly influenced the Taliban movement. This group has a Wahabi belief and is set to bring strict Islamic rule in Afghanistan. This group enforced the strict dress code while Taliban were in power, undermining women’s rights, disallowing music and film. Basically they imported Saudi Arabian culture into Afghanistan in the name of Islam.The Second group of Taliban are paid by Pakistan’s Intelligence agency (ISI). This group is made up Pakistani ISI agents, Pakistani army soldiers and Punjabi and Sindi militants dressed in Afghan clothing set to destroy Afghanistan national identity, it’s art and culture, and infrastructure so Afghanistan can be under the influence of Pakistan. This group is the one who destroyed the Bamian Buddhas, The Afghan TV archives, and cultural sites. This group is the force behind continuing the war between Taliban and US, because the benefactor would be the Pakistani Government via US Aid to Pakistan. Every time there are talks of peace between a mainstream Taliban leader and the Afghan government, The ISI Taliban perform an act of violence against the Afghan and US government to derail these talks. And every time these mainstream Taliban are immediately arrested or assassinated upon their announcements for peace. The August 8th 2011 shooting of the US Helicopter is the work of the Pakistani ISI backed Taliban group. Though the mainstream Taliban are afraid of voicing any opinions in fear that their location will be identified via computer use, GPS cell phones and more. The Pakistani ISI Backed Taliban freely claim any act of violence via tweeter, facebook, text messages deep within Pakistan and they are never identified or targeted.The third group is the actual Taliban (students of Islam) who see Jihad as a pillar of their religion and fight to preserve their faith and fight foreign invaders. They are indifferent to cultural beliefs, music, and dress codes. This group fought hard to keep the Bamian Buddhas from destruction. They are for women’s right to education, and are against the Wahabisim of Afghanistan and prefer the mainstream Cairo Islamic Schools. Judging from the cash flow of these three groups. The Pakistani ISI backed Taliban are indirectly funded by the US funds to Pakistan and in essence, the US is funding their own enemies, the Second strongest group is the Wahabi Taliban funded by the oil rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Third group (Islamic Students) are fighting for a cause rather than money.

So why am I bringing this up? Why am I re-visiting old history?

Because of this:

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On the Measure of Man

While searching around the Intertubes for positive stories, about US Military and Allies forces service-personnel, I am (more often than not) confronted by a verbal avalanche about the true nature of man (i.e. people who serve in the military). Hell, there was a particularly hilarious episode of Community that dealt with this subject.  Matthew Modine waxed poetic about the duality of man in Full Metal Jacket, and I, myself, was prone to a sense of superiority what with the internal monologue on the dichotomy dwelling within my own psyche. I’m not quite as pleased with myself now, as I was when I was 20 going on immortality.

I suppose this blog can be seen as a way to make peace with the dichotomy that I’ve never been able to parse. Then again, if the gods can’t be happy with just one facet, why should I have to be?  The two-faced Roman god, Janus, represents opposites in the nature of the Universe, and the multiple aspects of Shiva, a Hindu god is both destruction and creation, along with chaos and balance. The Christian god is equally contentious in aspect and demeanor; historically wars have been fought over The Truth; some would have him vengeful, others loving, and many more debate whether he is a god of justice or apathy. While, I refuse to turn this article into a religious debate (and no I am not interested in what your personal beliefs are), we are currently fighting a war with an enemy who believes that winning this war is a path to righteousness and paradise. They don’t have a monopoly on that belief, but then there-in lies the contradiction, and finally leads to my point.

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