www.RogerWendell.com
Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM
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Military
UK tank crossing...
Military Madness

How can we maintain a strong, effective military without
wasting tax dollars, resources, and the lives of our personnel?

I, myself, believe in my country, our troops, and a strong and efficient military. However, what's always been disappointing is the extraordinary amount of waste associated with military spending and adventurism. And, to be fair, most government spending is wasteful and inefficient - overpaid and underworked bureaucrats have cost us a lot of national treasure for everything from social and welfare programs to needless projects and foreign giveaways. And, unfortunately, those kinds of spending habits crept into our military's mindset long ago - even President Eisenhower warned us about it his 1961 farewell address. As citizens we need to keep pressuring our government, at all levels, to stop the waste and abuse. The military is no exception...
- Roger J. Wendell

 

 

Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my page on War and Terrorism...

Some thoughts from our troops:

Karl Momeau
Karl Momeau
T. J. Carnes
T. J. Carnes
"Military Sservice is not for everyone. It's for that 1% that believe in this country and are willing to give the ultimate sacrifice to defend its principals." - Sgt 1st Class Karl Momeau, Iraq War

"There are no political parties in a foxhole, just Americans with a common belief worth fighting for: each other." Capt T. J. Carnes, Iraq War and Afghan War

CNN.com 11-08-2013

 

Some thoughts from others:

Cold War Certificate of Roger J. Wendell
My Cold War Certificate
"Exploiting our fears is what defense contractors do for a living." p. 82

"The uncomfortable truth concerning the arms manufacturers and their partners in the Defense Department is that what they do, and what they sell, really has very little, if anything, to do with countering the terrorist enemy. No knowledgeable person could honestly make the case that more F-22 fighters or B-2 bombers would be effective in rooting out stateless terrorists." p. 84

- Robert Scheer
The Pornography of Power

 

"The topic today is an adversary that poses a threat, a serious threat, to the security of the United States of America. This adversary is one of the world's last bastions of central planning. It governs by dictating five-year plans. From a single capital, it attempts to impose its demands across time zones, continents, oceans and beyond. With brutal consistency, it stifles free thought and crushes new ideas. It disrupts the defense of the United States and places the lives of men and women in uniform at risk."

"Perhaps this adversary sounds like the former Soviet Union, but that enemy is gone: Our foes are more subtle and implacable today. You may think I'm describing one of the last decrepit dictators of the world. But their day, too, is almost past, and they cannot match the strength and size of this adversary."

"The adversary's closer to home. It's the Pentagon bureaucracy."

- Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
The venue was the Pentagon, September 10, 2001.

 

"'... Get your goddamned helicopters out of my backyard. The noise is driving me and my dog insane.' 'That's the sound of freedom, Mr. Lightcap.' 'No, it's the sound of tyranny, Major Fleming. The same noise you hear in Russia, Poland, Afghanistan. Tyranny, I say.'"

- Edward Abbey
The Fool's Progress, p. 67

 

Air Force Chief of Staff Moseley and Secretary Wynne - 2008 Air Force officials ousted over nuclear gaffes
CNN.com - June 05, 2008
"The top military and civilian leaders of the U.S. Air Force were forced out Thursday over the handling of nuclear weapons, the Defense Department secretary said."

"Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley, left, and Secretary Michael Wynne have stepped down.

"Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley and Secretary Michael W. Wynne resigned over the department's concern over two incidents, including the August flight of a B-52 bomber that flew across the country with nuclear weapons.

"'Focus of the Air Force leadership has drifted' in terms of handling nuclear weapons and equipment, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.

"In August, a B-52 bomber flew from North Dakota to Louisiana with the crew unaware that six nuclear-tipped missiles were on board. Four officers were relieved of duty afterward, including three colonels.

"Gates also cited this year's discovery that components designed to arm and fuse nuclear warheads were accidentally shipped to Taiwan in 2006.

"Critics also cite last month's news that the Air Force's 5th Bomb Wing failed a defense "nuclear surety" inspection -- despite having months to prepare and being under close scrutiny after the previous incidents. The inspection found deficiencies in the wing's ability to protect its part of the nation's nuclear stockpile."

 

Air Force Missile Launch Crew Falls Asleep on the Job
FoxNews.com - Thursday, July 24, 2008

Minuteman 3 Launch USAF
 
 
 
 
 
 
WASHINGTON - "Three ballistic missile crew members fell asleep while holding classified missile launch codes two weeks ago in North Dakota, the Air Force said Thursday.

"The error triggered a military investigation, which found the codes were not compromised."

"But the July 12 incident comes on the heels of a series of missteps by the Air Force that already had put the service under intense scrutiny.

"In this case, officials said the crew members reported themselves for the violation of procedure. The crew members apparently were leaving the control center at the end of their shift and took a set of old codes, which are typically replaced after every shift, to a rest area in the facility. Rather than proceeding back to Minot Air Force Base to dispose of the codes, they fell asleep.

"Air Force officials said the deactivated codes were not at risk of being lost or stolen and that they were always contained at a secure facility.

"But the Air Force did not initially make the incident public, and on Thursday the Project on Government Oversight issued a report saying the Air Force base was on "security lockdown" after discovering a "nuclear weapon launch code" missing.

"The Air Force denies the base ever was locked down."

 

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Global Military Expenditures
  • According to Global Security GDP data for the period of 1996 to 2006 shows average annual defense budget growth of over 11 percent (inflation adjusted) compared with average annual GDP growth of over 9 percent for China
  • Wikipedia stated (in April '08) that The Chinese government's published 2008 military budget was US$59 billion, an increase of over 17% from the previous year. This figure would mean that for 2008, China's military expenditure as a percentage of GDP would be 1.7%, with per capita expenditure of US$45. Total active duty personnel as of March 2006: 2,255,000 (army 71.0%, navy 11.3%, air force 17.7%).

 :

Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation:
(February 22, 2008)

  • The United States spends more than the next 45 highest spending countries in the world combined.
  • The United States accounts for 48 percent of the world's total military spending.
  • The United States spends on its military 5.8 times more than China, 10.2 times more than Russia, and 98.6 times more than Iran.
  • The United States and its strongest allies (the NATO countries, Japan, South Korea and Australia) spend $1.1 trillion on their militaries combined, representing 72 percent of the world's total.

 

Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my page on War and Terrorism...
Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my page on Spooks, Spies, Thugs and Bureaucrats...

 

U.S. Military Spending "The runaway military budget, that now stands at one trillion dollars a year, has been swelled by something called 'The War on Terror.'" p. 8

"The United States maintains over a thousand overseas military bases, most of which serve no purpose other than maintaining a megalomaniac fiction of American military superiority. They are often resupplied by private contractors whose procurement operations rely on the domestic civilian economy. As long as the economy is intact, they can bring three flavors of ice cream to an air-conditioned tent in the middle of the desert, but once the economy collapses, they will collapse with it, and the military may turn out to lack even the resources to truck in water. Overseas military bases should be dismantled and the troops repatriated." pp. 111-112

- Dmityr Orlov forecasting American economic collapse in his book,
Reinventing Collapse Soviet Example and American Prospects (from his 2008galley)

 

The U.S. Dominates Global Military Spending
www.moblogic.tv - April 2008

"The numbers might vary a little as new reports come out, but one thing is clear. The U.S spends a ton of cash on the military. According to The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, we spend 'more than the next 45 highest spending countries in the world combined.' Wow."

 

U.S. deficient against Muslim insurgents, study says
CNN - February 11, 2008

"The U.S. military is seriously deficient in meeting 'the threat of Islamist insurgencies,' says a Pentagon-commissioned study released Monday."

"The Rand Corp. report characterizes 'U.S. military intervention and occupation in the Muslim world' as 'at best inadequate, at worst counter-productive, and, on the whole, infeasible.' The Pentagon asked the nonprofit research organization to review strategies to thwart insurgents."

"The United States should instead focus its priorities on improving 'civil governance' and building 'local security forces,' according to the report, referring to those steps as 'capabilities that have been lacking in Iraq and Afghanistan.'

'Violent extremism in the Muslim world is the gravest national security threat the United States faces,' said David C. Gompert, the report's lead author and a senior fellow at Rand. 'Because this threat is likely to persist and could grow, it is important to understand the United States is currently not capable of adequately addressing the challenge.'"

 

Patriotism

Roger J. Wendell at the Secretary of Defense' office in the Pentagon - 04-18-2007
Me and the Secretary of Defense!
Okay, I'm a good American who has served our country, pays taxes, and observes most of the rules (My driving habits are a bit poor...). That being said, I'm growing more skeptical of our military with each passing year. Just think, President Bush proposed a 7 (seven!) percent increase in military spending for FY 2009 when more money was already being spent on our armed forces than most of the world's other countries combined - not to mention the American economy was going down the porcelain convenience at the time as well!

What the heck is going on here? Overpaid contractors, waste, fraud, abuse, and a budget so bloated it would make a king blush! It's gotten so out of hand and is not only hurting taxpayers but making America's military a slow, sluggish responder just about everywhere on the globe...

So, what can we do about it? First the obvious; our so-called "representatives" need to be pressured into reigning in the military pork and insisting on efficiency as opposed to largesse. Secondly, we, as citizens, need to be more critical about the ways in which our military is being used. Do we really need a thousand bases around the world (at the time of this writing) or is there a more efficient way to protect our interests (like making Europe pay for some of their security?). Speak up - America's bloated social and military budgets are draining our tax dollars and weakening us in the long run - it's up to the citizens to provide our government with leadership and guidance!!
- Roger J. Wendell
Golden, Colorado - winter 2007/08

 

"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government."
- Edward Abbey

"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."
- Mark Twain

 

Yellow Arrow Pointing Right  
 
 
 
 
Click Here to download and hear a 4mb MP3 audio clip about the USS Enterprise. Author Barrett Tillman was a guest on the Mike Rosen show January 9th, 2013 to talk about his recent Weekly Standard article about the USS Enterprise's final voyage in 2012.I called into the show to mention my own experience as a brief visitor aboard "Big E" and asked the guest to describe how huge a vessel it actually was.

 

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Links:

  1. America!
  2. Anti-Colonial war
  3. Bad Guys
  4. CIA World Factbook - United States
  5. Constitution, Bill of Rights and other Amendments
  6. Dan Poresky's Hornet's Nest from the 2003 Invastion of Iraq
  7. David Rovics Lyrics - Who would Jesus bomb?
  8. Iraq Body Count
  9. Military Expenditure totals for the entire planet!
  10. No Nukes
  11. NWTRCC - Natiaon War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee
  1. Overpressure radii generated by a ground-level nuclear detonation
  2. Peace and Justice page
  3. Politics
  4. Signs of Protests
  5. Space 4 Peace Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
  6. Spooks and Spies
  7. Stolen Valor - Heroes and Partiots. Or are they?
  8. United Nations
  9. Wounded Warrior Project
  10. Waging Peace and Dr. Robert Muller
  11. Z Communications - The Spirit of Resistance Lives

 

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