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02 August 2010


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To save money now, stop paying the likes of Stephen Hadley, George W. Bush's national security adviser. He was one the crew who gave us the unnecessary war in Iraq, which has burned up a trillion dollars, thousands of lives and most of the equipment on hand.

"counter the rising power of China…" We could start by doing two things:
#1, stop buying things at Walmart
#2 End all tax benefits for investing in China.


Agree with your comment in it's entirety. I made the prediction back around 2005 that the wars in Iraq and AFghanistan were probably ultimately going to have to end for economic reasons.

By coincidence John Mearsheimer is here in Australia at the moment and the message I heard from him yesterday is that China is going to wish to extend its sphere of regional influence in proportion to its economic power. That is inevitable.

The solution, according to Mearsheimer, is for America to engage in more defence cooperation with this region and especially India, although exactly who is going to pay for this is unclear.

One issue you may wish to comment on is the social effects of slashing the U.S. military. Jobs are going to be lost in an already jobless economy. History also suggests that large numbers of demobilised troops, newly unemployed, are not necessarily a stabilising force in society either, especially if there is a Glen Beck around peddling a Dolchstoßlegende.

Daniel Goures comment by the way, is pure sophistry. American defence spending as a percentage of GDP at 4.1% is about double the rest of the world (around 2% GDP), and in monetary terms it is at least 43% of the world total. The sums involved are staggering, as is the distortion of the American economy. 2% GDP invested in education and training, infrastructure investment, or debt repayment, would do a lot for the American economy.

former 11BPH

Very interesting Intelligence news out of The Lebanon

Lebanon better able to catch alleged Israeli spies

A strengthening Lebanese government is helping the militant group Hezbollah bust alleged spy cells, sometimes using tools and tradecraft acquired from Western nations.

Over the last two years, Lebanon's security forces have conducted one of the most extraordinary counterintelligence sweeps in the annals of espionage. Dozens of alleged spies have been arrested in Lebanon on suspicion of sending information to Israel on the whereabouts and movements of Hezbollah and other enemies of the Jewish state.

The motives vary, security officials said. Some of those apprehended have political gripes against Hezbollah.

"There are some political reasons, there are some psychological reasons," the high-ranking security official said. "But mostly it's money and sex."


former 11BPH

in other interesting Intelligence news:

Payoneer, the New York-based company run by former IDF special ops commando, Yuval Tal, is under investigation for possibly supplying funding in the January assassination of a top Palestinian leader in Dubai.



Patrick Lang


Your point is right about de-mobbed people not being stabilizers but in this case IMO we can do this by attrition and by absorbing a lot of people into the Guard and Reserve for which we could reduce recruiting. pl

The Twisted Genius

One of the first things to do in shrinking the force is to reduce the use of contractors to as close to zero as possible. All those functions should return to the active forces. Let's face it. When the rifle companies lost their organic mess teams, it was the first step in the inexorable march to disaster.

Patrick Lang


I was a company mess officer once, even if only in SF. I could not agree more. I tasted everything in my company mess at every meal. I inherited the headquarters company mess as an an additional duty as XO of the company. We were a thousand rations overdrawn. The mess sergeant had been selling food on the economy to restaurateurs. The company commander told me to fix it without charging this black NCO. It took me six months, but I did it. The 8th SF Group mail room had ten bags of mail hidden as well because of a lazy white son of a bitch E-5. We had mobile training teams in every country in Latin America, We sent it all out without charging anyone because Bull Simons (the Group CO) would not have wanted that.

I got this crappy job because I spoke the best Spanish of any officer in the 8th Group. My hired KPs were all San Blas Indians and they did not do English. i had to stand between them and the African American cooks, something I did not want.

When I cleared this up I asked to be re-assigned to a line SF company. pl

The Twisted Genius


Our company mess sergeant was a real character. He was a small, cross eyed Italian who took immense pride in cooking good chow for the troops. Working with a Samoan in my platoon, he often obtained and prepared Kailua pork for us in the field. His imagination and initiative to supplement our rations was truly amazing... and very often legal. About midway through a month of training on the Big Island, our battalion commander came to our company encampment for a visit. During an open question session, our mess sergeant unloaded a series of suggestions to improve our time in the field. When he finished, the battalion commander asked him if had anything else he wanted to get off his chest. Our mess sergeant replied, "No sir, I got a very small chest. That's all I have."

About that time, everything was moving to consolidated dining facilities. What a shame!

I loved my time in SF, but my time as a young lieutenant in the 1/35th Infantry was equally precious to me.


"I was a company mess officer once, even if only in SF."

Does this mean we can call you Cookie?


Walrus--While I understand your concerns about the social problems of mass demobilization, I would just say that I have taught many Iraq/Afghanistan vets and they would certainly rank near the top as mature, thoughtful, and critically thinking students.

Imho, I don't believe they would fall easily to the sway of the likes of Glen Beck.

And, yes, I understand that those individuals voluntarily separated from the military, as opposed to your scenario.

However, a good while back, Colonel Lang posted a link to an AEI (yes, I know) study which indicated that the backgrounds of the enlisted ranks surpassed their non-military peers in terms of education, family income, and various other social indicators.

Just trying to dispel any stereotype that combat vets are wild-eyed yahoos.

Patrick Lang


I was executive officer (second in command) of Headquarters Company, 8th Special Forces Group (Airborne). That made me the man who ran all the admin functions of the company. I had additional duties as; mess officer, postal officer, supply officer, morale officer, voting officer, training officer, motor officer (maintenance) and a few more. The company was a mess when a new CO and I took over. I stayed in the job for eight months until i got it sorted out and then asked to go to a different assignment in the Group. The cooks are called "cookie." i was not a cook. pl



Thanks for sharing that story, it was pretty entertaining.

You make a good point, TTG. We had our cooks in Afghanistan, and we were able to go out and do battalion level ops in the field, something we wouldn't have been able to do with KBR. Whether or not we should have been doing battalion level ops in that country is another matter (we shouldn't have), but we could do them.

When in Iraq, after we went up to Tal Afar, there was a small outpost out at Sinjar that some elements from HHC were rotating through at to watch the border.

I had a near miss ass chewing because when we were there for lunch, I picked up a cold cut that looked funny, took a whiff, and gagged when the smell hit me. Apparently the mess sergeant didn't like that and had some words for me when Top walked over and asked him why there were maggots in the turkey.

I heard later on he got relieved for cause because the entire outpost went down to E.Coli.


Yes, sir.

Patrick Lang


Ah... Pulling my leg, eh? pl


It was too tempting, Colonel.

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