Archive for the ‘American Army’ Category

Trans Turnaround: Trump Restores Sanity to the Military

Man who predicted Trump victory makes next surprising prediction…

Yes, he says a lot of stupid things… but all of these people say incredibly stupid things. I’m putting my money on Trump for winning the election. Not my ideal choice, but by far the best choice that we have.”

-Doug Casey, April 21, 2016

One year ago, Doug Casey, a libertarian philosopher and multi-millionaire speculator, predicted Donald Trump’s victory.

In fact, he was so confident of the outcome, he even placed two separate personal bets on the election.

A $500 bet where he won 5-to-1, and another with a leading investor where he won 100 ounces of silver.

But now Casey is issuing an even more shocking prediction about Trump’s presidency

It involves the U.S. dollar and a controversial new law the Federal Reserve may be forced to enact.

In fact, according to my source, Fed members just wrapped up a special “behind-closed-doors” meeting to discuss one of the most dramatic changes to the U.S. dollar in the last 100 years.

A change that not only affects how we spend, save, and earn…

But that will also transform the very nature of “money” itself.

To uncover the story, I flew down to Aspen, Colorado to meet Doug Casey in person.

Casey is one of the most connected men in the financial world:

He’s debated presidential candidates… He’s met with (and spoke at the same national conference as) former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan… And he’s also been invited by the leaders of twelve different countries to discuss monetary reform. Some even credit Casey with introducing the concept of “economic citizenship,” where individuals can become citizens of a country simply by making an investment.

In the interview that follows, you’ll hear Casey’s strong warning to Americans regarding the consequences of a new potential money plan by the Fed that could start in the next 6 months.

You’ll also hear the four steps he’s personally taking today to prepare himself and protect his savings.

Seriously, thank God for Donald Trump. We can’t think of three other Republicans in that entire field of candidates who would have had the guts to buck the SOCIAL JUSTICE agenda of the left and do what Trump did on Wednesday in service of our military. And those that would have could have never convinced enough Americans to vote for them in a contest against Hillary Clinton. It just goes to show how wrong the NeverTrump conservatives are and how wise this nation’s evangelicals were in choosing to overlook some of Trump’s less-attractive qualities in the election run-up. This guy is firing on all cylinders.

On Wednesday, Trump announced that he was putting an end to the social experiments of Barack Obama and Ash Carter.

“After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

As the New York Times so rightly put it, the announcement “reverses the gradual transformation of the military under President Barack Obama.” You’re damn right it does. The military isn’t meant to be a playground for activists to push their LGBT agenda; it’s meant to be a well-oiled killing machine who’s sole focus is the fighting of war (with some tangential issues like peacekeeping, rescue, and containment being part and parcel of that). Obama’s edicts were worse than a distraction, they threatened to weaken our military in service of the extreme left. In service of a bunch of people who would just as soon spit on a soldier as look at them. It was a disgrace.

But it wasn’t even bad enough that Obama allowed transgender individuals to serve in the military; he actually went further, implementing a system whereby Pentagon money was to be used to FUND sex-change operations and other trans-related medical treatments! As though we have defense money to waste on this abject nonsense!

Of course, the liberal media is going to do its thing, and we notice that out of eight separate quotes reacting to Trump’s announcement, ALL EIGHT were negative to the decision. Now consider how many conservatives are applauding this move and then think about that. This is supposed to be an objective paper, but they couldn’t find a single person to support the decision? No, all they can do is quote Carter, who is defending his own legacy, the always-ready-to-bash-Trump Senator John McCain, and a bunch of gay activism groups. It’s pathetic.

Oh well, the important thing is that the right decision was made. Transgenderism is, by definition, a mental illness, and our military is now better off because we have a president with some actual courage.


In Afghanistan, we’re the Redcoats. And for a substantial portion of the country’s ethnic-Pashtun majority, the Taliban, however cruel and odious we find them, are the Minutemen.

The stock response you’ll get from any US general is that “the Afghans hate the Taliban.” If that is so, how is it that, after 16 years of US and NATO expenditure of blood and treasure, the ragtag Taliban, backed only by Pakistan, dominate or contest half the country?

Even our politically correct counterinsurgency doctrine — which has not achieved enduring success anywhere — acknowledges that insurgencies require the support of the population to succeed. Since 2001, the Taliban have faced as many as 140,000 US and NATO troops (the peak number in 2011). And no one supplied the Taliban with helicopters, artillery, armored vehicles and training, as we did for the Afghans.

Yet, the Taliban continue to defeat the Afghan National Army, on which we have lavished so much money and training. They could not do this without active support and passive tolerance from the population. Nor can we insist that the population only cooperates because they’re afraid.

Pashtun sons still join the Taliban, despite the heavy casualties we’ve inflicted.
One of our most-revered generals has told me repeatedly over the years that the Taliban are inept on the battlefield. Mimicking his Vietnam-era counterparts, he misses the point. No, Taliban fighters can’t compete one-on-one with US troops. Yet, they keep on fighting, against terrible odds, while the Afghan forces we back seek to avoid battle.

Isn’t it time to stop lying to ourselves?
Now President Trump must decide whether to send several thousand more US troops to Afghanistan to serve as trainers and facilitators (we currently have 8,400 troops in the country). Shouldn’t we ask ourselves how a total of 14,000 US troops (plus a few thousand allies) will achieve what 140,000 US and NATO troops could not?

Consider just a few of the problems we face:
* Our military leadership clearly doesn’t grasp the principle of “sunk costs,” that you can’t redeem a failed investment by investing more.

* While fighting the Taliban we continue to raise the prospect of bringing Taliban elements into a unity government. Is that what our troops died for over 16 bloody years? We’re failing, and we’re desperate.
* Then there’s the complaint that “If we leave, we’ll have to go back.” Well, going back and whacking terrorists every decade or so would have proven a lot cheaper than trying to turn Kabul into Denver. Strategic raids work — precisely what we initially did in Afghanistan in 2001. Nation-building in traditional cultures doesn’t work — what we tried from 2002 on.

* Knowing the risks, young Afghans volunteer to fight for the Taliban but are reluctant to serve in the Afghan National Army — where officers sell ammunition to the enemy and steal the money intended to feed their troops. Meanwhile, we defend a shamelessly corrupt elite whose thieving of billions we enabled out of expedience. Why would Afghans fight for a government that robs them?

* If Afghans won’t unite to save their own country, we cannot do it for them, no matter how many troops we send, how much we spend or how long we stay.

* Horrid though the Taliban are to us, we must accept that many Afghans just don’t want what we want them to want. We won’t accept that people choose to live in devotional squalor and torture their women, but they do.

Sending a few thousand more troops to Afghanistan sounds like small change, but it would tie down many more. That matters because Afghanistan is strategically worthless to us, even as we face a grave challenge from North Korea, an all-but-inevitable clash with the Revolutionary Guards holding Iran and the Middle East hostage, and a civilizational threat from Russia’s reinvigorated barbarism.

What should we do? A reasonable compromise would be to reduce US troop numbers in Afghanistan to those essential for targeting Islamic State in Khorasan (the local ISIS franchise) and al Qaeda. Use contractors to train Afghan forces. Continue to equip those forces — but under strict anti-corruption guidelines.

And if Afghans won’t fight for their own country, be ready to leave completely.
During our Revolution, the wealthy Tories of Manhattan supported the Crown because it served their interests. Today, corrupt Afghans in Kabul whom we have enriched support our presence and tell us everything we want to hear. But the ill-armed, shabby rebels are out there, determined to win.

Because I am a “lifer” in the military, I’ve seen the impact of a president more than many of you can imagine

by George Roof, Chief Master Sergeant (Retired), USA

Because I am a “lifer” in the military, I’ve seen the impact of a president more than many of you can imagine. I enlisted with LBJ and saw just what a Democrat clusterflock was all about. I went to Vietnam and saw how we were constantly and incessantly bombarded with micromanagement from Washington that got thousands of military people killed. I sometimes wonder if I’ll get to heaven, but if I go to hell, I’m sure I’ll still be a few hundred floors above that bastard Robert McNamara , LBJ, John Kerry, Jane Fonda, and yes, even the “hero” John McCain.

After Johnson “abdicated” rather than having his ass waxed, I lived through Nixon who was hawkish but allowed the generals (and there WERE a few real generals back then versus now) run the show. He was so out of touch that he never knew North Vietnam was about to surrender when the Paris Accord was presented.

Only God could help us after Gerald Ford was beaten by Jimmy Peanuts who’d been funded by Saudi money. The military was turned into Section 8, and even the Whitehouse suffered the austerity.

Then the light began to shine and Ronald Reagan swept into the fray. He notly loved the country and the military, they loved him back. Esprit d’corps was off the scale during his presidency. The Liberals were slowly turning into socialists, however, and about this time all the draft dodgers of the 1960’s who’d been given amnesty by Jimmy Peanuts were turning out college graduates with degrees in socialism.

Bush 1 was an enigma from the CIA, and though he never did much either way, he NEVER DID MUCH EITHER WAY.

Welcome to Bill Clinton. Clinton spent most of his two terms wagging the dog and creating the Oral Office, sending a bomber to blow up Quaddafi’s tent and killing a goat or two, while allowing the UN to set up the infamous Black Hawk Down situation. He made history by becoming only the second president to be impeached.

I actually felt sorry for Bush 2. He was doomed to infamy from the start. He thought most of America was still the rah rah patriots of WWII when they were simply socialists waiting to feed him to the sharks.

Then there came the Manchurian Candidate with a faked (OK Democrats, let’s say “of questionable origin” to assuage your PC brains) birth certificate, who’d gotten a free ride through college under a foreign student exemption, and whose college records and complete life history had been sealed. (We know more about Thomas Jefferson’s bastard children than we do about Obama, Michelle, OR their two kids.) >From his inaugural address, he slandered America and within days had begun to encourage dissention of the races as well as slandering police who “acted stupidly.” That was mild to the crap that would come in doubling the national debt from what had been built by ALL THE PREVIOUS PRESIDENTS COMBINED, feeding us bullspit about how Muslims built this country, and nationalizing American industries. Fueled by George Soros’ money and using the Air Force fleet as his personal charters, he appointed malcontents and traitors into positions of authority. He trashed the Constitution by installing “czars” (interesting he chose a title like that) to bypass Congressional authority. By that time, Congress was completely corrupt on both sides of the aisle. No one had balls to impeach this charlatan.

Mysteriously, the lone outspoken conservative Supreme Court Justice suddenly dies in his sleep at an Obama pal’s hunting lodge and the Supreme Court is evenly split. Finally, Congress shows some balls and rejects Obama’s nomination. The Libtards aren’t worried because the fix is in. Soros has paid demonstrators to cause turmoil at all the Republican gatherings, Obama concedes that illegal aliens should vote as they won’t be prosecuted, and Soros-manufactured voting machines are caught switching votes in certain precincts. Hillary has cheated her way to the nomination and her lies are completely ignored by the brainwashed minions of sycophants who follow her.

But a shocking thing happened on the way to the forum

Middle America had had enough and although the pollsters and the pipers tried to convince them not even to bother to vote, they were fed up with the denizens of the swamp. It was time. Florida was designated a “swing” state ignoring that all those old retirees living in St. Petersburg, and the fed up Cuban Americans of Miami weren’t interested in their platform. Ohio and Pennsylvania, where coal production was blacklisted and where Obama had ridiculed them for “clinging to their Bibles and their guns,” lay awaiting this supposed “landslide” Hillary vote and creamed it.

The Socialist world of the Democratic Party disintegrated. An American who expressed unbridled love of country and respect for police, firemen, and military steamrolled across the heartland and the liberals realized their scheme was trashed. A CONSTITUTIONALIST would be nominated to the Supreme Court and if the hag who’d claimed to retire if Trump were elected would actually leave, the Supreme Court would have a massive majority of CONSTITUTIONALISTS for the next 40-50 years.

Now, the same party who’d ridiculed Trump on his comments about the election being rigged, started screaming that the election was rigged. They even advocated having the election repeated. They created mobs that burned and pillaged, stopped traffic, threatened murder, battery and rape of Trump supporters, and became the anarchists that the socialist dream thrives upon. They run like castrated pigs for safe zones and use diaper pins as their national symbol.

This is exactly what happens when political correctness takes over and participation trophies are awarded to everyone. They can’t conceive how disgusting and subservient they have become. Donald Trump may NOT be the best person for the job, but he’s such a welcome respite from the candy-assed whimps who’ve been running the swamp that it’s refreshing to see. At the very least, Donald Trump derailed the Socialist train and bought us precious time. If he only does half of what he’s promised, we’ll still be legions ahead of where Obama has dragged us. Already countries who held us in contempt are lining up to be found in the favor of America.

So for you liberal lurkers and you half-assed fence-sitters, kiss off. You had your big hurrah and now your party is over. For you staunch Republicans in office, don’t gloat so much yourselves. You’ve been put on notice by the American people that we’re fed up with ALL YOU BASTARDS and if you don’t start putting America first, you do so at your own peril. You might want to buy a copy of George McGovern’s autobiography and see how shocking and humbling it can be for a professional politician to have to try to find legitimate work once he falls from grace. This election was pure, unadulterated AMERICAN. Hillary got beaten and AMERICA WON THE ELECTION. You can claim he’s not “your president” all you want, but unless you forfeit your American citizenship, YES HE IS!!!! Go cry a river some place they need water.

Marine Spends 214 Days In Mexican Prison… Then Gets Paper With Donald Trump’s Signature On It

Remember Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, the former Mexican prison inmate who spent 214 days in custody after accidentally crossing the border into Mexico with several legal firearms in his possession?

Though President Barack Obama made zero efforts to aid Tahmooressi, who eventually earned his release due in large part to the work of several noted congressional members, the same cannot be said about current GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

According to Fox News, only days after Tahmooressi finally made it back home in November of 2014, billionaire candidate Donald Trump decided to bless the beleaguered Marine with a $25,000 check.
“I really want this money to go to him, not his lawyers,” he said at the time.
The front-runner reportedly felt inspired to take action after he observed Tahmooressi speaking with Fox News host Greta Van Susteren about all that he had endured as a captive of the Mexican government — and about how hopeless he had sometimes felt.
“I kept on thinking it’s going to be this month,” he said. “It’s going to be really soon. It’s going to come really soon. I kept on getting my hopes up, you know, and it just kept on dragging on and dragging on.”

That Trump forked over some of his own money to help Tahmooressi rebuild his life spoke volumes about his kind heart and charitable spirit.

It also inadvertently highlighted one of the fundamental differences between him and our current president: Unlike Obama, Trump actually cares about our military. Instead of just giving lip service to his support, he put his money where his mouth is and demonstrated via his actions that the concern he feels is real.
A lot of people talk a big game, but Trump did an awful lot more than that for Sgt. Tahmooressi.

VETERANS ARE DYING AND Veterans Affairs Drops $20 million on Art Collection

by NEIL W. MCCABE30 Jul 2016Burr Ridge, Ill.2,294

The federal Department of Veterans Affairs blew through at least $20 million during a decade when the veterans seeking care, including aging veterans of World War II and military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, were shunted aside and performance audits were altered and forged, so that VA employees qualified for performance bonuses.
“Included in the expenditures is a 27-foot artificial Christmas tree for $21,500 delivered to Chillicothe, Ohio and two sculptures costing $670,000 for a VA facility in California that serves blind veterans,” according to the report produced by the government spending watchdog Open the Books. Open the Books was established as a legacy of Dr. Tom Coburn’s vigilance over government spending during his Senate career.

Other examples of the VA’s art spending spree include $6.3 million in taxpayer funds expended at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. There, $483,000 went for a large decorative rock and $807,000 was for the site preparation for the rock outside the building. Inside the center, the VA built a $330,000 half arc in the lobby of the mental health clinic, spent $365,000 for a sculpture at the entrance to the pool, and $305,000 for a sculpture in the center’s main lobby. Maybe, the most ambitious of the health center’s art programs was the $285,000 spent for the wall of dozens of rocks that light up to spell out quotes by President Abraham Lincoln and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt–in Morse Code.

At a facility in nearby San Francisco, Veterans Affairs spent $32,000 on 62 framed photographs from the local area, roughly $500 per photo.

A VA facility in Puerto Rico spent $610,000 on artwork and one in Alaska spent $100,000 on a sculpture.

In his July 26 letter to Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert A. McDonald and Sen. Mark Kirk (R.-Ill.) pointed out that one year ago, the VA issued a moratorium on art purchases, and then went ahead to spend $1.8 million on artwork. At the same time, the VA is sandbagging billions of dollars in unpaid invoices associated with the Veterans Choice Program. The program is a recent reform that allows veterans to use private sector medical services to mitigate long waiting times and distances between residences and facilities.

VA spends millions on artwork instead of vets health care – I’m demanding accountability

— Mark Kirk (@SenatorKirk) July 26, 2016

“I question the priorities of the Veterans Affairs for art purchases, while veterans want for care and call on you to block further spending on art by the Veterans Affairs and formalize processes, which instead uses veterans’ artwork instead,” wrote Kirk, who is the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Military Constuction, the Department of Veterans Affairs and related agencies, the committee where the Senate’s VA budget is written.

US Military Eases Uniform Rules to Accomodate Shariah Law

New US military guidelines have opened the way for service members to wear religious clothing such as turbans or skullcaps while on duty, the Department of Defense has announced.

The guidelines, published on Wednesday, also allow for facial hair, body art and other expressions of religious belief. It is not a blanket permission, however; requests for dispensation from stated uniform policy are to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

The military counts thousands of Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Wiccans and members of other religious groups among its ranks. The groups have protested against the exclusion of religious apparel, saying it forces them to choose between their religious beliefs and a desire to serve


Hard to believe -- but all true. This really is FUBAR.

Fubar copy
Political Correctness Has Destroyed The Army’s Readiness And Morale

By Ray Starmann


The U.S. Army is facing its greatest danger as an institution since the 1970’s. Stricken with morale and readiness problems, it is also under attack from leftist social engineers who are determined to remake the Army, even if they have to destroy it.

In the 1980’s, men who carried the burden of terrible lessons learned in Vietnam rebuilt the U.S. Army. They created a spectacularly professional force that annihilated Saddam’s legions in a defeat not seen since Agincourt.

That Army is nearly extinct.

During the Clinton administration, the Army was under pressure to open all military occupational specialties to women and to change the culture of the institution. Army policy soon included stress cards, coed basic training, ability group runs and sensitivity classes.

These changes accelerated rapidly under both Obama administrations. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed in 2011 and two years later, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta removed the ban on women in direct combat roles. Recently, the Army announced it would soon allow transgendered people to serve in its ranks.

You would think that these seismic cultural shifts would cause the Army to finally put its foot down.

Not a sound has been heard from the Pentagon.

Where are leaders with intestinal fortitude like Colonel David Hackworth, who in 1971 went on ABC’s Issues and Answers, and told the world that the U.S. would never win in Vietnam?

The brass is more worried about their retirement checks than an institution that has been around since the Massachusetts boys went live in 1775. The current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, sits calmly on the bridge of the U.S. Army Titanic, sipping Pentagon coffee as the Army collides head on with an iceberg.

Under Dempsey, whom Senator John McCain called “An echo chamber of the Obama Administration,” the Army has become a repository for every crackpot feminist fantasy conceived in a Berkeley coffeehouse.

Two weeks ago, male Army ROTC cadets were ordered to parade around several college campuses in red high heels, in order to show their concern for sexual abuse. Current Army training involves classes that portray the Bible, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as sexist documents.

The Army has been ordered to allow women into the combat arms and special operations. Previously, women were denied these jobs because women do not possess the upper body strength that the combat arms requires. Women are also more prone to injuries and there are hygienic concerns as well.

Logic means nothing to the Obama administration. President Obama doesn’t understand that the Army exists to defend the nation. It’s not Valerie Jarrett’s pet social engineering project.

As reports filter in that women are 0-26 at Marine Infantry Officers’ School, Dempsey has already stated that the standards need to be “reviewed.” In Pentagon double-speak, this means that the standards will be dropped so much that Betty White could pass.

Currently, there are a handful of women attending the hardest training the U.S. Army has to offer, Ranger School. This grueling 62 day course destroys men with the speed of a hotel power flush.

Men who survive endless days of almost no sleep, limited food, parachute jumps with 100 pound packs and patrols through swamps, crawl out of Ranger School with 1,000 yard Guadalcanal stares.

Have no doubt, there will be a female graduate of Ranger School this summer if she has to be carried around Fort Benning like a camouflage-clad character in “Weekend at Bernie’s.”

The warrior culture is slowly being strangled to death by political correctness. A few real leaders still survive, but they’re relics of a bygone era, who will be swept aside like chimney soot in the vast cultural revolution that has engulfed the Army.

Anyone suspected of not complying with sexism training or whispering comments that are thought to be politically incorrect is purged with the speed and finality of a Soviet commissar’s rubber stamp.

Under the Obama administration hundreds of high-ranking officers from every service have retired or have been forced to retire because they didn’t fit in with the current climate.

What kind of a military does political correctness produce? Look no farther than our half-hearted air campaign against ISIS and its kind and gentle spokesman, Rear Admiral Kirby.

According to Kirby, the 25 daily sorties we’re flying against ISIS is really giving them hell. Shock and awe has metastasized into slap, scream and run.

The wave of political correctness besieging the Army has had predictable results. Last week the American public was informed that despite a $278 million program to make everyone in the Army feel good, morale is down to post-Vietnam levels. The troops have spoken. They want to be in the Army, not a Gloria Steinem encounter group.

Last month, General Odierno warned Congress that Army readiness is at “historically low levels.” Only a third of the Army’s brigades are fit for combat and sequestration can only do more damage to the Army’s fighting capability.

The Army must once again rebuild itself. Women in the Army aren’t the problem. Political correctness is. Women can do 80 percent of the jobs in the Army and do them magnificently.

Bring back the warrior culture by discharging the feather merchants and perfumed princes. In the 1970’s, the Army repaired itself from the bottom up. This time the problem is at the top.

LET'S TELL THEM WHAT WE WILL DO SO THEY CAN PREPARE -U.S. plans large-scale offensive to take Mosul, Iraq, from Islamic State militants

By Maggie Ybarra – The Washington Times – Thursday, February 19, 2015
The U.S. is planning to join a large-scale air and ground coalition offensive to free Mosul, Iraq, from the clutches of Islamic State militants in coming weeks, but analysts fear the effort will lack the resources to succeed — most notably U.S. boots on the ground.

The plan, part of a larger undertaking dubbed Operation Inherent Resolve, will be the first challenge for Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in trying to balance the expectations of the White House with the needs of the military. Many policy analysts say the choices Mr. Carter makes in the Iraq operation will be indicative of his style of leadership at the Pentagon.

In June, the Islamic State — also known by the acronyms ISIL and ISIS — took the northern city of more than 1 million people, Iraq’s second-largest, after waging a violent assault that prompted Iraqi police to flee their posts. The size of the Islamic State’s presence in the region was estimated to be as high as 14,000, although U.S. officials say they don’t have a good current estimate.

The U.S. military has spent months preparing for the large-scale operation, which will depend largely on the tactical strength of Iraqi security forces, Kurdish fighters, tribal police and warplanes belonging to various members of the 40-nation coalition, which includes Jordan and Britain.

International forces have been trying to isolate Mosul by cutting off communication lines between members living within the city and outside forces.
Pentagon officials say the effort to reclaim Mosul is likely to launch the spring, soon after Mr. Carter has been brought up to speed on the coalition’s strategy and operational needs.

An official for U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, told reporters Thursday that a force of 20,000 to 25,000 Iraqi security forces, Kurdish fighters and regional police will be tapped to defeat the 1,000 to 2,000 Islamic State militants who are camped out in Mosul.

That attack depends on whether international forces are able to quickly train Iraqi and Kurdish fighters. The military may change its plans if the delivery of pertinent combat equipment is delayed or if more training is needed, the official said.

“The mark on the wall that we are still shooting for is the April-May time frame,” the official said. “There’s still a lot of things that need to come together, and as we dialogue with our Iraqi counterparts, we want them to go in that time frame because if you get into Ramadan in the summer in the heat, it becomes problematic if it goes much later than that.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told BBC News this week that Iraqi government forces were “planning an offensive on Mosul in the next few months,” with help from the U.S.

Mr. al-Abadi ruled out the need for U.S. ground troops in the campaign. He said his country needs other forms of help, such as weapons and training, and anticipates the city could be retaken in as little as a few months with minimal casualties.

In an unusual show of military strategic planning, the official laid out for reporters a detailed plan of the multipronged, international assault on Mosul.

“What we know as of right now is that in the attack force there will be five Iraqi army brigades,” the official said. “There will be three smaller brigades that will comprise a reserve force. There will be three [Kurdish fighter] brigades that will help contain from the north and isolate from the west, and then there will be what we’re calling a ‘Mosul fighting force,’ which will be comprised of largely police and tribals that are being put together right now of mostly former Mosul police. And then, finally, a brigade equivalent of counterterrorism service forces.”

Security analysts are not as optimistic.

The U.S. military has steadily led its partner nations in the region into a “onesie, twosie whack-a-mole” airstrike campaign that has had only incremental success, said Doug Birkey, executive director at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies in Virginia.

If the U.S. doesn’t alter its strategy and continues to conduct only a small cluster of airstrikes, then the Islamic State has a good chance of prolonging its reign in Iraq and Syria, Mr. Birkey said.

“If we just do very small operations in a low-level fashion, they have all the room in the world to adjust their approaches and they have elasticity,” he said.

In the past week though, multiple polls have found public opinion shifting on the matter of the Islamic State, even on the long-taboo matter of using U.S. ground forces.

A CBS News poll released Thursday reported that a 57 percent majority “favor sending ground troops into Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS.” That figure is up from a 47 percent plurality in October and a distinct minority of 37 percent in September, against a 55 percent majority opposed.

A Fox News poll released last week showed similar sentiment, with 60 percent saying the Islamic State could not be defeated without U.S. ground forces.

Pentagon officials have remained vague about whether U.S. special operations forces will be sent to Mosul to battle Islamic State militants alongside Iraqi government forces. Government officials say they expect the military will continue its trend of providing air support.

On Mr. Carter’s first day in office, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, briefed him on the overall progress of the campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, said Rear Adm. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman.

Although the Pentagon chief now has a broad view of the sprawling war, he has yet to speak with Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander of U.S. Central Command, about specifics of the operation.

In advance of the planned counteroffensive, international troops are training 3,400 Iraqi security forces at five sites in Iraq. About 1,800 of those forces have completed six- or eight-week training courses, said Army Capt. John Moore, a spokesman for the Combined Joint Task Force.

International troops also have put hundreds of Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq on a fast-track course of about four weeks, according to military data.

Given Mr. Carter’s position, he may have limited input on the Iraqi operation, but his official stance will say much about how he intends to spend his time at the Pentagon, said Steve Bucci, a former Army Special Forces officer and top Pentagon official who is now at The Heritage Foundation.

If Mr. Carter aligns himself with Gen. Dempsey, who has suggested using special operations forces in Iraq, it would be significant because the White House has been reluctant to embrace that stance, Mr. Bucci said.

Others view the Iraq operation as a litmus test of whether Mr. Carter is willing to stand up to his boss.

“Mr. Carter is quite aware that as the Obama administration’s fourth defense secretary, he can afford to be more vocal about his opinions and throw his weight around in the political wrestling pen,” said the Mitchell Institute’s Mr. Birkey. “He’ll be able to go to the mat a little more aggressively, because it would not be politically opportune to go find another secdef.”

Mosul often has been a thorn in the side of U.S. operations. During the Iraq War, the U.S. military dubbed it the last stronghold of al Qaeda in Iraq. The city also served as an entry point for Syrian fighters.

The U.S. military eventually took control of the city and set up an operational base to provide stability. In 2004, insurgents tried to retake the city, leading to a suicide attack that killed 14 U.S. soldiers, four U.S. contractors and four Iraqi soldiers. Mosul has been war-torn ever since.

Many of the city’s Sunnis faced discrimination from Iraq’s Shiite-controlled government and welcomed Islamic State invaders last summer. After taking control of the city, the terrorists seized vast arsenals of U.S.-supplied arms and ammunition and hundreds of armored vehicles.

The U.S. hasn’t had combat troops in the region since 2010, when the final team crossed the Iraq border into Kuwait.

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US Soldiers Get 4 hours of Ebola Training Before Shipping Out to West Africa

American soldiers are being placed in the path of the Ebola epidemic with only a couple of hours training in how to avoid contracting the disease.


by Rick Moran
Daily Beast:

Soldiers preparing for deployment to West Africa are given just four hours of Ebola-related training before leaving to combat the epidemic. And the first 500 soldiers to arrive have been holing up in Liberian hotels and government facilities while the military builds longer-term infrastructure on the ground.

For soldiers at Fort Campbell and Fort Bragg preparing for their deployments to West Africa, Mobile Training Teams from the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), based out of Fort Detrick, have been tasked with instructing them on Ebola protocols.

A team of two can train as many as 50 personnel over that four-hour time frame, USAMRIID told The Daily Beast. The training includes hands-on instruction on how to put on, remove, and decontaminate personal protective equipment, followed by a practical test to ensure that soldiers understand the procedures.

“All training is tiered to the level of risk each person may encounter,” said USAMRIID spokeswoman Caree Vander Linden.

The training process sounds daunting: One USA Today report described soldiers being told that Ebola “basically causes your body to eat itself from the inside out” and that Ebola is “worse” than what soldiers encountered in Afghanistan. Others reportedly heard that the disease is “catastrophic” and “frightening… with a high fatality rate,” though the chances of contracting it are low.

“I’ll be honest with you,” one soldier told the newspaper. “I’m kind of scared.”

The military maintains that the risk of contracting the virus is minimal. Ebola is not an airborne disease, and there are no plans for U.S. service members deployed to West Africa to have any contact with sick patients.

While military personnel will not be treating Ebola victims directly, uniformed members of the Public Health Service will staff an Ebola hospital, according to The Hill:

The commander in charge of the U.S. response to Ebola in Africa said Thursday that 65 U.S. uniformed personnel would soon staff a 25-bed hospital in Monrovia that will directly treat Liberian healthcare workers if they are infected.

“They will actually be involved in the care and feeding of health care workers who have been infected with the Ebola virus,” said Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams, commander of Operation United Assistance Joint Force, at a Pentagon briefing Thursday.

Although the team members are uniformed personnel, they are not considered “troops” because they serve as part of the U.S. Public Health Service under the Department of Health and Human Services, not the Pentagon.

“The U.S. Public Health Services are actually providing support to healthcare workers … if they unfortunately are stricken with the disease,” Williams said.

“That’s what their purpose is, that 65. The 25-bed hospital, I hope we never have to put anybody in it, but that’s the purpose of the U.S. Public Health Services,” he said.

The Pentagon has repeatedly said that with the exception of several dozen highly skilled troops who will man mobile testing laboratories in Liberia and could handle Ebola samples, no troops would come into contact with Ebola patients.

The assertion was restated on Thursday.

“I want to emphasize again that no U.S. military personnel will be providing direct patient care to the local population,” Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said Thursday at a State Department briefing.

I don’t think anyone knows how serious the risk is to our people. Four hours is not enough time to completely familiarize oneself with the many protocols and safety procedures necessary to significantly reduce the chances of catching the virus. Hopefully, there will be frequent reviews of those procedures while our people are in the hot zone.

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