Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Supporting the Troops?


The Bush White House has repeatedly said that the US military hasn't been stretched too thin by the war in Iraq. That appears to be a false assertion.

Read the story in today's Washington Post on p. A12:

Boosting U.S. troop levels in Iraq by 21,500 would create major logistical hurdles for the Army and Marine Corps, which are short thousands of vehicles, armor kits and other equipment needed to supply the extra forces, U.S. officials said.

The increase would also further degrade the readiness of U.S.-based ground forces, hampering their ability to respond quickly, fully trained and well equipped in the case of other military contingencies around the world and increasing the risk of U.S. casualties, according to Army and Marine Corps leaders.

"The response would be slower than we might like, we would not have all of the equipment sets that ordinarily would be the case, and there is certainly risk associated with that," the Marine Corps commandant, Gen. James Conway, told the House Armed Services Committee last week.

President Bush's plan to send five additional U.S. combat brigades into Iraq has left the Army and Marines scrambling to ensure that the troops could be supported with the necessary armored vehicles, jamming devices, radios and other gear, as well as lodging and other logistics.

Trucks are in particularly short supply. For example, the Army would need 1,500 specially outfitted -- known as "up-armored" -- 2 1/2 -ton and five-ton trucks in Iraq for the incoming units, said Lt. Gen. Stephen Speakes, the Army's deputy chief of staff for force development.

"We don't have the [armor] kits, and we don't have the trucks," Speakes said in an interview. He said it will take the Army months, probably until summer, to supply and outfit the additional trucks. As a result, he said, combat units flowing into Iraq would have to share the trucks assigned to units now there, leading to increased use and maintenance.

Speakes said that although another type of vehicle -- the up-armored Humvee -- continues to be in short supply Army-wide, there would be "adequate" numbers for incoming forces, and each brigade would receive 400 fully outfitted Humvees. But he said that to meet the need, the Army would have to draw down pre-positioned stocks that would then not be available for other contingencies.

Still, U.S. commanders privately expressed doubts that Iraq-bound units would receive a full complement of Humvees.


A few points:

1. It seems that Bush will be sending GIs into war without sufficient levels of equipment. So who's supporting the troops?

2. Shouldn't a supposed superpower have the ability to deploy 21,000 troops anywhere anytime with appropriate equipment? That's not a great number of soldiers.

3. The war in Iraq has left the United States vulnerable. Should US forces have to be used in another theater or for a new crisis or emergency, they will not be ready to roll, equipment-wise.

The Post piece ought to have been a page-one story: President Sending Troops to Iraq Without Full Support. More important, Bush's surge is no way to support the men and women of the armed forces.

Posted by David Corn at January 30, 2007 12:09 PM

29 comments:

capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

"That appears to be a false assertion."


It's okay to still call it a lie.



Thanks for all of your work

Kirk

capt said...

Bush gives White House greater control over agencies



WASHINGTON: President George W. Bush has signed a directive that gives the White House much greater control over the rules and policy statements that the government develops regarding public health, safety, the environment, civil rights and privacy.

In an executive order published last week in the Federal Register, Bush said that each agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee, to supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries. The White House will thus have a gatekeeper in each agency to analyze the costs and the benefits of new rules and to make sure the agencies carry out the president's priorities.

This strengthens the hand of the White House in shaping rules that have, in the past, often been generated by civil servants and scientific experts. It suggests that the administration still has ways to exert its power after the takeover of Congress by the Democrats.

The White House said the executive order was not meant to rein in any one agency. But business executives and consumer advocates said the administration was particularly concerned about rules and guidance issued by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

In an interview on Monday, Jeffrey Rosen, general counsel at the White House Office of Management and Budget, said, "This is a classic good- government measure that will make federal agencies more open and accountable."


More HERE

*****end of clip*****

The crass consolidation of power continues unabated. Nothing to worry about though, I'm sure he is just fixing things up for a Democratic presidency to follow his. Sure, that's it.



capt

capt said...

Bush gives White House greater control over agencies



The FBI appears to have adopted an invasive Internet surveillance technique that collects far more data on innocent Americans than previously has been disclosed.


Instead of recording only what a particular suspect is doing, agents conducting investigations appear to be assembling the activities of thousands of Internet users at a time into massive databases, according to current and former officials. That database can subsequently be queried for names, e-mail addresses or keywords.

Such a technique is broader and potentially more intrusive than the FBI's Carnivore surveillance system, later renamed DCS1000. It raises concerns similar to those stirred by widespread Internet monitoring that the National Security Agency is said to have done, according to documents that have surfaced in one federal lawsuit, and may stretch the bounds of what's legally permissible.

Call it the vacuum-cleaner approach. It's employed when police have obtained a court order and an Internet service provider can't "isolate the particular person or IP address" because of technical constraints, says Paul Ohm, a former trial attorney at the Justice Department's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. (An Internet Protocol address is a series of digits that can identify an individual computer.)

That kind of full-pipe surveillance can record all Internet traffic, including Web browsing--or, optionally, only certain subsets such as all e-mail messages flowing through the network. Interception typically takes place inside an Internet provider's network at the junction point of a router or network switch.

The technique came to light at the Search & Seizure in the Digital Age symposium held at Stanford University's law school on Friday. Ohm, who is now a law professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Richard Downing, a CCIPS assistant deputy chief, discussed it during the symposium.

In a telephone conversation afterward, Ohm said that full-pipe recording has become federal agents' default method for Internet surveillance. "You collect wherever you can on the (network) segment," he said. "If it happens to be the segment that has a lot of IP addresses, you don't throw away the other IP addresses. You do that after the fact."
"You intercept first and you use whatever filtering, data mining to get at the information about the person you're trying to monitor," he added.

On Monday, a Justice Department representative would not immediately answer questions about this kind of surveillance technique.

"What they're doing is even worse than Carnivore," said Kevin Bankston, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who attended the Stanford event. "What they're doing is intercepting everyone and then choosing their targets."

When the FBI announced two years ago it had abandoned Carnivore, news reports said that the bureau would increasingly rely on Internet providers to conduct the surveillance and reimburse them for costs. While Carnivore was the subject of congressional scrutiny and outside audits, the FBI's current Internet eavesdropping techniques have received little attention.

Carnivore apparently did not perform full-pipe recording. A technical report (PDF: "Independent Technical Review of the Carnivore System") from December 2000 prepared for the Justice Department said that Carnivore "accumulates no data other than that which passes its filters" and that it saves packets "for later analysis only after they are positively linked by the filter settings to a target."

More HERE

*****end of clip*****

The wiretaps and invasion of privacy doesn't just continue - it gins up! Again, nothing to worry about I am certain Bunnypants is doing this and the other things for his successor.



capt

David B. Benson said...

I don't dare post what I really think...

capt said...

DB,

Wye knot?


"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
~ Dr. Seuss (1904 - 1991)



capt

Hajji said...

Capt,

This smacks of Communist Russia's policy of placing a "Political Officer" into every agency, business and military unit to ensure that the party values and its iron-fisted control extended into every facet of life.

They will use such positions to quash the voices of non-party-lockstep agencies, especially continuing to change the wording of business and science reports and statistics to reflect neo-con thinking, neo-con "values" and increase neo-con political power.

-T

David B. Benson said...

Don't want another visit from the FBI...

capt said...

Hajji,

You think Bunnypants is putting all that in place for a Democractic or Democratically elected successor?


capt

David B. Benson said...

Capt --- President-for-life?

Saladin said...

"The Post piece ought to have been a page-one story: President Sending Troops to Iraq Without Full Support"

I disagree Mr. Corn. The Post piece, and every major MSM piece in the country ought to be about sending our precious troops to Iraq based on nothing but endless lies starting with 9/11! The waste of life, the endless grief and suffering inflicted on both our people and the innocent Iraqis who did absolutely NOTHING to warrant this invasion. This idiotic continuation of the same bullshit is almost as sick as bushco itself. LET OUR PEOPLE GO!!!

capt said...

Saladin,

I think the NYT's and the WaPo should have been put out of business by angry subscribers.

Both rags have served as the propaganda arm of the GOP and their big dollar corporate masters.

I would throw in Fox News, MSNBC, CNN and the other MSM liars too.

"As long as people will accept crap, it will be financially profitable to dispense it."
~ Dick Cavett


capt

David B. Benson said...

Saladin --- Right on!

capt said...

"President-for-life?"

The 1,000 year rule of the Reich looks beyond the lives of mere mortals.

How about the 100 years plan? Not so much President-for-life as Nazi (er. . um . . GOP) rule for a couple of generations.

Seems like Hagel will be the next dictator.



capt

Saladin said...

Capt, by all accounts the MSM is suffering lost readership by the millions. But not suffering NEARLY enough to suit me. OFF WITH THEIR HEADS! (was that the Queen of Hearts?) Every one who took part in this catastrophe and is now banging the drums against beautiful Iran. The neocons and zionuts first!
Mr. Benson, please don't hold back! We the people are PISSED! They can't throw us ALL in jail!

capt said...

Of course Matt Groening has an accurate take on what I think of the MSM (papers and internet media)


"It takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen."
~ The Simpsons


capt

capt said...

"OFF WITH THEIR HEADS"

Can I help?



capt

David B. Benson said...

Queen of Hearts (Saladin) --- Sentence first, trial afterwards? ;-)

Saladin said...

Mr. Benson, I'm only advocating what they themselves practice!
Capt, there's plenty to do, we need all the help we can get, toot sweet!

capt said...

"You'll get a fair trial followed by a first class hanging."
~ Judge Roy Bean

David B. Benson said...

Bean them! With Roy Beans...

capt said...

Pande,

"Pandemoniac said...

Politics and punditry are two entirely different kettles of fish. Most folks assume they go hand in hand. They don't.
"

I had to take the time to read your post carefully and with the time for all due consideration:

I whole-heartedly agree.

Excellent post - As always


capt

capt said...

I know some readers think quotes are stupid. I think they are very smart.

Here is a good one:

"We must dare to think "unthinkable" thoughts. We must learn to explore all the options and possibilities that confront us in a complex and rapidly changing world. We must learn to welcome and not to fear the voices of dissent. We must dare to think about "unthinkable things" because when things become unthinkable, thinking stops and action becomes mindless."
~ J. William Fulbright (1905 - ), March 27, 1964


capt

David B. Benson said...

Brookings Institute today recommended, even urged, pulling American troops out of Iraqi cities.

They should have left off the last word...

Saladin said...

All this eqivocating is REALLY getting old. No more foreign entanglements, let Israel fight the battles they start, if they are insecure it is due to their own policies and murderous behavior, BRING THE TROOPS HOME! We need them here more than ever. The enemies are within the gates and we are left unprotected.

David B. Benson said...

The enemies are within the beltway.

IMO...

capt said...

"We are the ruling race of the world. . . . We will not renounce our part in the mission of our race, trustee, under God, of the civilization of the world. . . . He has marked us as his chosen people. . . . He has made us adept in government that we may administer government among savage and senile peoples." : Sen. Alfred Beveridge

=
"I firmly believe that when any territory outside the present territorial limits of the United States becomes necessary for our defense or essential for our commercial development, we ought to lose no time in acquiring it." : Sen. Orville Platt of Connecticut 1894.

=
"Between 1898 and 1934, the Marines invaded Cuba 4 times, Nicaragua 5 times, Honduras 7 times, the Dominican Republic 4 times, Haiti twice, Guatemala once, Panama twice, Mexico 3 times and Columbia 4 times," Washington has intervened militarily in foreign countries more than 200 times."

===
"If the people are not convinced (that the Free World is in mortal danger) it would be impossible for Congress to vote the vast sums now being spent to avert danger. With the support of public opinion, as marshalled by the press, we are off to a good start. It is our Job - yours and mine -- to keep our people convinced that the only way to keep disaster away from our shores is to build up America's might." -- Charles Wilson, Chairman of the Board of General Electric and Truman appointee to head the Office of Defence Mobilization, in a speech to the Newspaper Publishers Association, 1950

===

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Gerald said...

We've got problems

capt said...

New thread

Gerald said...

America's three armies in Iraq exceed a quarter of a million. It is a commitment of people and money that is comparable to the Vietnam war. But it has not proved to be enough. The experience of Vietnam showed that adding more troops (or changing the local leadership, which may be the next U.S. policy initiative in Iraq) cannot rescue a doomed mission. America's imperial adventure in Iraq has failed. The choice is now whether the United States will accept defeat and withdraw quickly or, as in Vietnam, become more ruthless, turn against the very people it once claimed to protect, and seek to widen the war. As the violence grows, politics will fall silent and hasten an end that is becoming more pitiless, bloody, and bitter.