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President Obama is GAME ON!…….He is in Afghanistan visiting Karzai and the Troops….

Continuing a remarkable week……

The President of the United States of America further displays his bona fides but traveling to Afghanistan instead of being at Camp David…to visit the troops and to talk to the President of that country Hamid Karzai……

The trip a la’ George Bush feint…The Commander in Chief left for a 13 hour flight that has him in there at night….

He will be leaning on Karzai to pitch in and help get things rolling within his own country by providing support for military gains his troops along the Americans and NATO have made……

Those military gains will not hold unless the population feels safe and the country provides basic services  to its population…..

Air Force One landed at nighttime at Bagram Air Base after a 13-hour nonstop flight for a visit shrouded in secrecy for security reasons; Mr. Obama quickly boarded a helicopter for the trip to Kabul, landing at the presidential palace for talks with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan.

Mr. Obama’s trip caps a high-profile week for the president in which he coupled a singular domestic policy victory — the signing of a health reform bill — with the foreign policy achievement: reaching an arms control agreement with Russia in which the two agreed to slash their nuclear arsenals to the lowest levels in half a century.

Coming on top of that, the Palm Sunday visit to American combat troops by their commander in chief could project the image of a president keeping on top of a number of issues at once.

General James L. Jones, the National Security adviser, told reporters aboard the flight to Bagram that Mr. Obama would try to make Mr. Karzai “understand that in his second term, there are certain things that have not been paid attention to, almost since day one.” Gen. Jones said those things included “a merit-based system for appointment of key government officials, battling corruption, taking the fight to the narco-traffickers,” which, “provides a lot of the economic engine for the insurgents.”

More……..

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Travel, Updates | , , , , | 9 Comments

President Obama's speech at Fort Hood honoring those who suffered in the tragedy there….

From Politico and NBC……..

November 10, 2009

Obama’s Best Speech Ever

President Obama’s speech at Fort Hood may go down as one of his best ever.

The president was able to balance his duties as Commander in Chief while consoling a nation in the aftermath of a terrible tragedy. That he was able to do this while taking away the focus on the shooter’s religion was even more impressive.

It was one of those speeches that makes you especially proud to be an American.

Marc Ambinder: “I guarantee: they’ll be teaching this one in rhetoric classes. It was that good. My gloss won’t do it justice. Yes, I’m having a Chris Matthews-chill-running-up-my-leg moment, but sometimes, the man, the moment and the words come together and meet the challenge. Obama had to lead a nation’s grieving; he had to try and address the thorny issues of Islam and terrorism; to be firm; to express the spirit of America, using familiar, comforting tropes in a way that didn’t sound trite.”

Here’s the link for the video…..

Here’s the transcript……..

Remarks of President Obama

Memorial Service at Fort Hood
November 10, 2009

We come together filled with sorrow for the thirteen Americans that we have lost; with gratitude for the lives that they led; and with a determination to honor them through the work we carry on.

This is a time of war. And yet these Americans did not die on a foreign field of battle. They were killed here, on American soil, in the heart of this great American community. It is this fact that makes the tragedy even more painful and even more incomprehensible.

For those families who have lost a loved one, no words can fill the void that has been left. We knew these men and women as soldiers and caregivers. You knew them as mothers and fathers; sons and daughters; sisters and brothers.

But here is what you must also know: your loved ones endure through the life of our nation. Their memory will be honored in the places they lived and by the people they touched. Their life’s work is our security, and the freedom that we too often take for granted. Every evening that the sun sets on a tranquil town; every dawn that a flag is unfurled; every moment that an American enjoys life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – that is their legacy.

Neither this country – nor the values that we were founded upon – could exist without men and women like these thirteen Americans. And that is why we must pay tribute to their stories.

Chief Warrant Officer Michael Cahill had served in the National Guard and worked as a physician’s assistant for decades. A husband and father of three, he was so committed to his patients that on the day he died, he was back at work just weeks after having a heart attack.

Major Libardo Eduardo Caraveo spoke little English when he came to America as a teenager. But he put himself through college, earned a PhD, and was helping combat units cope with the stress of deployment. He is survived by his wife, sons and step-daughters.

Staff Sergeant Justin DeCrow joined the Army right after high school, married his high school sweetheart, and had served as a light wheeled mechanic and Satellite Communications Operator. He was known as an optimist, a mentor, and a loving husband and father.

After retiring from the Army as a Major, John Gaffaney cared for society’s most vulnerable during two decades as a psychiatric nurse. He spent three years trying to return to active duty in this time of war, and he was preparing to deploy to Iraq as a Captain. He leaves behind a wife and son.

Specialist Frederick Greene was a Tennessean who wanted to join the Army for a long time, and did so in 2008 with the support of his family. As a combat engineer he was a natural leader, and he is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Specialist Jason Hunt was also recently married, with three children to care for. He joined the Army after high school. He did a tour in Iraq, and it was there that he re-enlisted for six more years on his 21st birthday so that he could continue to serve.

Staff Sergeant Amy Krueger was an athlete in high school, joined the Army shortly after 9/11, and had since returned home to speak to students about her experience. When her mother told her she couldn’t take on Osama bin Laden by herself, Amy replied: “Watch me.”

Private First Class Aaron Nemelka was an Eagle Scout who just recently signed up to do one of the most dangerous jobs in the service – diffuse bombs – so that he could help save lives. He was proudly carrying on a tradition of military service that runs deep within his family.

Private First Class Michael Pearson loved his family and loved his music, and his goal was to be a music teacher. He excelled at playing the guitar, and could create songs on the spot and show others how to play. He joined the military a year ago, and was preparing for his first deployment.

Captain Russell Seager worked as a nurse for the VA, helping veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress. He had great respect for the military, and signed up to serve so that he could help soldiers cope with the stress of combat and return to civilian life. He leaves behind a wife and son.

Private Francheska Velez, the daughter of a father from Colombia and a Puerto Rican mother, had recently served in Korea and in Iraq, and was pursuing a career in the Army. When she was killed, she was pregnant with her first child, and was excited about becoming a mother.

Lieutenant Colonel Juanita Warman was the daughter and granddaughter of Army veterans. She was a single mother who put herself through college and graduate school, and served as a nurse practitioner while raising her two daughters. She also left behind a loving husband.

Private First Class Kham Xiong came to America from Thailand as a small child. He was a husband and father who followed his brother into the military because his family had a strong history of service. He was preparing for his first deployment to Afghanistan.

These men and women came from all parts of the country. Some had long careers in the military. Some had signed up to serve in the shadow of 9/11. Some had known intense combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and some cared for those did. Their lives speak to the strength, the dignity and the decency of those who serve, and that is how they will be remembered.

That same spirit is embodied in the community here at Fort Hood, and in the many wounded who are still recovering. In those terrible minutes during the attack, soldiers made makeshift tourniquets out of their clothes. They braved gunfire to reach the wounded, and ferried them to safety in the backs of cars and a pick-up truck.

One young soldier, Amber Bahr, was so intent on helping others that she did not realize for some time that she, herself, had been shot in the back. Two police officers – Mark Todd and Kim Munley – saved countless lives by risking their own. One medic – Francisco de la Serna – treated both Officer Munley and the gunman who shot her.

It may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy. But this much we do know – no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor. And for what he has done, we know that the killer will be met with justice – in this world, and the next.

These are trying times for our country. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, the same extremists who killed nearly 3,000 Americans continue to endanger America, our allies, and innocent Afghans and Pakistanis. In Iraq, we are working to bring a war to a successful end, as there are still those who would deny the Iraqi people the future that Americans and Iraqis have sacrificed so much for.

As we face these challenges, the stories of those at Fort Hood reaffirm the core values that we are fighting for, and the strength that we must draw upon. Theirs are tales of American men and women answering an extraordinary call – the call to serve their comrades, their communities, and their country. In an age of selfishness, they embody responsibility. In an era of division, they call upon us to come together. In a time of cynicism, they remind us of who we are as Americans.

We are a nation that endures because of the courage of those who defend it. We saw that valor in those who braved bullets here at Fort Hood, just as surely as we see it in those who signed up knowing that they would serve in harm’s way.

We are a nation of laws whose commitment to justice is so enduring that we would treat a gunman and give him due process, just as surely as we will see that he pays for his crimes.

We are a nation that guarantees the freedom to worship as one chooses. And instead of claiming God for our side, we remember Lincoln’s words, and always pray to be on the side of God.

We are a nation that is dedicated to the proposition that all men and women are created equal. We live that truth within our military, and see it in the varied backgrounds of those we lay to rest today. We defend that truth at home and abroad, and we know that Americans will always be found on the side of liberty and equality. That is who we are as a people.

Tomorrow is Veterans Day. It is a chance to pause, and to pay tribute – for students to learn of the struggles that preceded them; for families to honor the service of parents and grandparents; for citizens to reflect upon the sacrifices that have been made in pursuit of a more perfect union.

For history is filled with heroes. You may remember the stories of a grandfather who marched across Europe; an uncle who fought in Vietnam; a sister who served in the Gulf. But as we honor the many generations who have served, I think all of us – every single American – must acknowledge that this generation has more than proved itself the equal of those who have come before.

We need not look to the past for greatness, because it is before our very eyes.

This generation of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen have volunteered in a time of certain danger. They are part of the finest fighting force that the world has ever known. They have served tour after tour of duty in distant, different and difficult places. They have stood watch in blinding deserts and on snowy mountains. They have extended the opportunity of self-government to peoples that have suffered tyranny and war. They are man and woman; white, black, and brown; of all faiths and stations – all Americans, serving together to protect our people, while giving others half a world away the chance to lead a better life.

In today’s wars, there is not always a simple ceremony that signals our troops’ success – no surrender papers to be signed, or capital to be claimed. But the measure of their impact is no less great – in a world of threats that no know borders, it will be marked in the safety of our cities and towns, and the security and opportunity that is extended abroad. And it will serve as testimony to the character of those who serve, and the example that you set for America and for the world.

Here, at Fort Hood, we pay tribute to thirteen men and women who were not able to escape the horror of war, even in the comfort of home. Later today, at Fort Lewis, one community will gather to remember so many in one Stryker Brigade who have fallen in Afghanistan.

Long after they are laid to rest – when the fighting has finished, and our nation has endured; when today’s servicemen and women are veterans, and their children have grown – it will be said of this generation that they believed under the most trying of tests; that they persevered not just when it was easy, but when it was hard; and that they paid the price and bore the burden to secure this nation, and stood up for the values that live in the hearts of all free peoples.

So we say goodbye to those who now belong to eternity. We press ahead in pursuit of the peace that guided their service. May God bless the memory of those we lost. And may God bless the United States of America.

 

November 11, 2009 Posted by | Crime, Government, Men, Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

President Obama’s speech at Fort Hood honoring those who suffered in the tragedy there….

From Politico and NBC……..

November 10, 2009

Obama’s Best Speech Ever

President Obama’s speech at Fort Hood may go down as one of his best ever.

The president was able to balance his duties as Commander in Chief while consoling a nation in the aftermath of a terrible tragedy. That he was able to do this while taking away the focus on the shooter’s religion was even more impressive.

It was one of those speeches that makes you especially proud to be an American.

Marc Ambinder: “I guarantee: they’ll be teaching this one in rhetoric classes. It was that good. My gloss won’t do it justice. Yes, I’m having a Chris Matthews-chill-running-up-my-leg moment, but sometimes, the man, the moment and the words come together and meet the challenge. Obama had to lead a nation’s grieving; he had to try and address the thorny issues of Islam and terrorism; to be firm; to express the spirit of America, using familiar, comforting tropes in a way that didn’t sound trite.”

Here’s the link for the video…..

Here’s the transcript……..

Remarks of President Obama

Memorial Service at Fort Hood
November 10, 2009

We come together filled with sorrow for the thirteen Americans that we have lost; with gratitude for the lives that they led; and with a determination to honor them through the work we carry on.

This is a time of war. And yet these Americans did not die on a foreign field of battle. They were killed here, on American soil, in the heart of this great American community. It is this fact that makes the tragedy even more painful and even more incomprehensible.

For those families who have lost a loved one, no words can fill the void that has been left. We knew these men and women as soldiers and caregivers. You knew them as mothers and fathers; sons and daughters; sisters and brothers.

But here is what you must also know: your loved ones endure through the life of our nation. Their memory will be honored in the places they lived and by the people they touched. Their life’s work is our security, and the freedom that we too often take for granted. Every evening that the sun sets on a tranquil town; every dawn that a flag is unfurled; every moment that an American enjoys life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – that is their legacy.

Neither this country – nor the values that we were founded upon – could exist without men and women like these thirteen Americans. And that is why we must pay tribute to their stories.

Chief Warrant Officer Michael Cahill had served in the National Guard and worked as a physician’s assistant for decades. A husband and father of three, he was so committed to his patients that on the day he died, he was back at work just weeks after having a heart attack.

Major Libardo Eduardo Caraveo spoke little English when he came to America as a teenager. But he put himself through college, earned a PhD, and was helping combat units cope with the stress of deployment. He is survived by his wife, sons and step-daughters.

Staff Sergeant Justin DeCrow joined the Army right after high school, married his high school sweetheart, and had served as a light wheeled mechanic and Satellite Communications Operator. He was known as an optimist, a mentor, and a loving husband and father.

After retiring from the Army as a Major, John Gaffaney cared for society’s most vulnerable during two decades as a psychiatric nurse. He spent three years trying to return to active duty in this time of war, and he was preparing to deploy to Iraq as a Captain. He leaves behind a wife and son.

Specialist Frederick Greene was a Tennessean who wanted to join the Army for a long time, and did so in 2008 with the support of his family. As a combat engineer he was a natural leader, and he is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Specialist Jason Hunt was also recently married, with three children to care for. He joined the Army after high school. He did a tour in Iraq, and it was there that he re-enlisted for six more years on his 21st birthday so that he could continue to serve.

Staff Sergeant Amy Krueger was an athlete in high school, joined the Army shortly after 9/11, and had since returned home to speak to students about her experience. When her mother told her she couldn’t take on Osama bin Laden by herself, Amy replied: “Watch me.”

Private First Class Aaron Nemelka was an Eagle Scout who just recently signed up to do one of the most dangerous jobs in the service – diffuse bombs – so that he could help save lives. He was proudly carrying on a tradition of military service that runs deep within his family.

Private First Class Michael Pearson loved his family and loved his music, and his goal was to be a music teacher. He excelled at playing the guitar, and could create songs on the spot and show others how to play. He joined the military a year ago, and was preparing for his first deployment.

Captain Russell Seager worked as a nurse for the VA, helping veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress. He had great respect for the military, and signed up to serve so that he could help soldiers cope with the stress of combat and return to civilian life. He leaves behind a wife and son.

Private Francheska Velez, the daughter of a father from Colombia and a Puerto Rican mother, had recently served in Korea and in Iraq, and was pursuing a career in the Army. When she was killed, she was pregnant with her first child, and was excited about becoming a mother.

Lieutenant Colonel Juanita Warman was the daughter and granddaughter of Army veterans. She was a single mother who put herself through college and graduate school, and served as a nurse practitioner while raising her two daughters. She also left behind a loving husband.

Private First Class Kham Xiong came to America from Thailand as a small child. He was a husband and father who followed his brother into the military because his family had a strong history of service. He was preparing for his first deployment to Afghanistan.

These men and women came from all parts of the country. Some had long careers in the military. Some had signed up to serve in the shadow of 9/11. Some had known intense combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and some cared for those did. Their lives speak to the strength, the dignity and the decency of those who serve, and that is how they will be remembered.

That same spirit is embodied in the community here at Fort Hood, and in the many wounded who are still recovering. In those terrible minutes during the attack, soldiers made makeshift tourniquets out of their clothes. They braved gunfire to reach the wounded, and ferried them to safety in the backs of cars and a pick-up truck.

One young soldier, Amber Bahr, was so intent on helping others that she did not realize for some time that she, herself, had been shot in the back. Two police officers – Mark Todd and Kim Munley – saved countless lives by risking their own. One medic – Francisco de la Serna – treated both Officer Munley and the gunman who shot her.

It may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy. But this much we do know – no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor. And for what he has done, we know that the killer will be met with justice – in this world, and the next.

These are trying times for our country. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, the same extremists who killed nearly 3,000 Americans continue to endanger America, our allies, and innocent Afghans and Pakistanis. In Iraq, we are working to bring a war to a successful end, as there are still those who would deny the Iraqi people the future that Americans and Iraqis have sacrificed so much for.

As we face these challenges, the stories of those at Fort Hood reaffirm the core values that we are fighting for, and the strength that we must draw upon. Theirs are tales of American men and women answering an extraordinary call – the call to serve their comrades, their communities, and their country. In an age of selfishness, they embody responsibility. In an era of division, they call upon us to come together. In a time of cynicism, they remind us of who we are as Americans.

We are a nation that endures because of the courage of those who defend it. We saw that valor in those who braved bullets here at Fort Hood, just as surely as we see it in those who signed up knowing that they would serve in harm’s way.

We are a nation of laws whose commitment to justice is so enduring that we would treat a gunman and give him due process, just as surely as we will see that he pays for his crimes.

We are a nation that guarantees the freedom to worship as one chooses. And instead of claiming God for our side, we remember Lincoln’s words, and always pray to be on the side of God.

We are a nation that is dedicated to the proposition that all men and women are created equal. We live that truth within our military, and see it in the varied backgrounds of those we lay to rest today. We defend that truth at home and abroad, and we know that Americans will always be found on the side of liberty and equality. That is who we are as a people.

Tomorrow is Veterans Day. It is a chance to pause, and to pay tribute – for students to learn of the struggles that preceded them; for families to honor the service of parents and grandparents; for citizens to reflect upon the sacrifices that have been made in pursuit of a more perfect union.

For history is filled with heroes. You may remember the stories of a grandfather who marched across Europe; an uncle who fought in Vietnam; a sister who served in the Gulf. But as we honor the many generations who have served, I think all of us – every single American – must acknowledge that this generation has more than proved itself the equal of those who have come before.

We need not look to the past for greatness, because it is before our very eyes.

This generation of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen have volunteered in a time of certain danger. They are part of the finest fighting force that the world has ever known. They have served tour after tour of duty in distant, different and difficult places. They have stood watch in blinding deserts and on snowy mountains. They have extended the opportunity of self-government to peoples that have suffered tyranny and war. They are man and woman; white, black, and brown; of all faiths and stations – all Americans, serving together to protect our people, while giving others half a world away the chance to lead a better life.

In today’s wars, there is not always a simple ceremony that signals our troops’ success – no surrender papers to be signed, or capital to be claimed. But the measure of their impact is no less great – in a world of threats that no know borders, it will be marked in the safety of our cities and towns, and the security and opportunity that is extended abroad. And it will serve as testimony to the character of those who serve, and the example that you set for America and for the world.

Here, at Fort Hood, we pay tribute to thirteen men and women who were not able to escape the horror of war, even in the comfort of home. Later today, at Fort Lewis, one community will gather to remember so many in one Stryker Brigade who have fallen in Afghanistan.

Long after they are laid to rest – when the fighting has finished, and our nation has endured; when today’s servicemen and women are veterans, and their children have grown – it will be said of this generation that they believed under the most trying of tests; that they persevered not just when it was easy, but when it was hard; and that they paid the price and bore the burden to secure this nation, and stood up for the values that live in the hearts of all free peoples.

So we say goodbye to those who now belong to eternity. We press ahead in pursuit of the peace that guided their service. May God bless the memory of those we lost. And may God bless the United States of America.

 

November 11, 2009 Posted by | Crime, Government, Men, Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

President Obama will give his answers on the Afghan troop moves by the end of next week….

According to the Cable /Foreign-Policy site notifications are being made to the other foreign stakholderrs in the action, and NATO…in addition, National Security Advisor Jim Jones, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have begun to advise their people of how things will go…..There is no mention of the State Department in the piece…but I’m sure that Secretary of State Clinton is doing her bit in the process….

It appears that all the players will be in Washington by the end of the week if  President Obama (the nation’s Commander-in Chief ) wants to do the rollout then……

Note:…..I’m waiting for the leaks…….

Update:…..I’m off by a week…the president, it is now reported, will atend a service at Fort Hood on Wednesday, then fly to Toyko for a week long Asian trip…..The target date for the annoucemenet is around, Monday November 16th, when he returns to DC…..stay tuned……

November 7, 2009 Posted by | Government, Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

President Obama doing his duty as the Commander-in-Chief….

The President made a trip to Dover Air Force Base in Deleware this morning to greet the families and bodies of the  fallen soldier’s and Drug Enforcement Agents that perished in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan earlier this week……

It was a perfectly staged event…but one that helps to put the CIC in tune with his military that carries out the war campaign..

……One must never forget their troops……. Never…….

Note:….the CIC went to Dover in the VH-60 BlkackHawk…maybe the Marines don’t trust the older VH-3A to make the longer trip to Deleware….The House needs to stand up for the funds for the new Martine One AW101…….

October 29, 2009 Posted by | Media, Military, Politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Afghanistan is not Iraq……General Patreaus's strategy dropped……….

General Patreaus’s counterinsurgency strategy of sending the troops out to the boonies to meld with the population, and take the fight to the enemy was successful in Iraq, combined with the ‘surge’……but not so in Afghanistan ( several local bases have been overrun, with casualties ). And so, the White House, seeing headlines of these situations, and the causality reports (which are very sensitive to the US media) , has decided that instead of bolstering up that policy… they will begin to go to the century’s old ‘castle and protect the population one’…….

It has become evident that the President ( echo’s of Viet Nam?) really has no choice but to increase the troop level in the country. McChrystal has been successful in pushing the Pentagon, and the White House in that direction……but the Commander-in-Chief…ever the organizer and compromiser (and politician ) seems to be moving towards a middle ground between Vice President Biden’s call for a smaller footprint and an aggressive ‘hunter killer’ units in the bushes strategy, and McChrstal’s original do the ‘whole 9 yards’ scenario……..

Wel….after all……Patreaus was Bush’s favorite…wasn’t he?

October 28, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Afghanistan is not Iraq……General Patreaus’s strategy dropped……….

General Patreaus’s counterinsurgency strategy of sending the troops out to the boonies to meld with the population, and take the fight to the enemy was successful in Iraq, combined with the ‘surge’……but not so in Afghanistan ( several local bases have been overrun, with casualties ). And so, the White House, seeing headlines of these situations, and the causality reports (which are very sensitive to the US media) , has decided that instead of bolstering up that policy… they will begin to go to the century’s old ‘castle and protect the population one’…….

It has become evident that the President ( echo’s of Viet Nam?) really has no choice but to increase the troop level in the country. McChrystal has been successful in pushing the Pentagon, and the White House in that direction……but the Commander-in-Chief…ever the organizer and compromiser (and politician ) seems to be moving towards a middle ground between Vice President Biden’s call for a smaller footprint and an aggressive ‘hunter killer’ units in the bushes strategy, and McChrstal’s original do the ‘whole 9 yards’ scenario……..

Wel….after all……Patreaus was Bush’s favorite…wasn’t he?

October 28, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A replacement Marine One helicopter is still on the table…….

Over at Politics One the guys know how I feel about replacing the current fleet of Marine One helicopters….But I’ll repeat my argument because I am overjoyed that the  House has held on, and kept money in the budget to go on with replacing the current aging helicopters…….

The Current Marine One helicopter fleet is made up of several aircraft, of which only two types of choppers actually carry the president. The primary one is the Sikorsky VH-3D, that was put into service starting in 1962 thru 1978……The newer choppers are  Sikorsky VH-60, acquired beginning in 1989…….As you can see these airframes have been in service for almost 30 years!

While the helicopter’s that carry the Commander – in – Chief are kept in pristine condition…the fact remains that the airframes are old, labor intensive and tired……no other aircraft with the service life of these helo’s would be allowed to transport the President of the United States……The President’s plane, Air Force One is  almost 19 years old…and plans are being made to replace those two VC-25\’s which are Boeing 747-200B type aircraft, in the future ( they will be replaced with the new B-747-800 series aircraft).

About two years ago the Marines had a competition for a new Helo between the Sikorsky S-92 and the Lockheed/Augusta-Westland AW101……the L/AW101 won the competition walking away…..With three engines instead of the S-92’s two…..The AW101, a bigger, and roomer air craft,  flew farther and faster , and has an added safety factor of an additional engine. In addition, while the S-92 was a completely new program…the AW Merlin, the English version, had a good number of air hours under its belt when it was picked…….

From the start Sikorsky reverted to a’ buy american’ rational to try to derail the winning choice…..Even while the United States was pushing the American made F-35 against other foreign fighter jets around the world  to countries looking to buy new generation fighters…….

The bad guys in this was the White House Military Office..the place that controls anything military that transports the president, and the Secret Service. Both developed  ‘mission creep’ on the Marine One airframe…..The new Helo , which would only be used to transport the CIC no more than 15 minutes anywhere, was asked to have an executive wash room, an Air Force One comparable communications suite, and other amenities. Of course,  this stuff adds weight to the aircraft…..and weight means a sturdier airframe, which means more weight…bigger rotor blades, stronger engine, etc…all of this stuff means more money…..I will repeat, that these add on’s came from the White House Military Office, and the Secret Service…..not the manufacture (this scenario has been confirmed by the Navy)……so the cost of the contract balloons to $400 million a helo!……

Well, the buy american people now scream that there is a cost over run…….

People…… I like Sec Gates…And I like the President…but on this one they are wrong……..

To cancel this program is asinine…..and clearly wrong…..

The CIC is riding around in a chopper that is almost as old as he is……The Lockheed helo’s are clearly superior to the Sikorsky model’s…..and the government already owns six choppers right now…..the choppers are received in Upstate NY form Europe, and then American workers outfit the AW101’s which have been renamed, the VH-71 Kestrel, by the Marines, and the Navy…

Finally…the Navy will rebid the WHOLE CONTRACT soon because guess what?……The president needs new helicopters!

The last straw is some knuckleheads think that the new bids will be cheaper than keeping the six choppers…….. They already have …….And adding six more to complete the fleet!

Am I missing something here?????

Or is this a round about way of saying we’re going to give the president the loser and the clearly inferior chopper because it’s built by Sikorsky (hint, hint)……

If the President and Sec of Defense veto this …they are doing the American taxpayer, and themselves, a great disservice……..

Note:……for a more in-depth analysis of the situation I have described please check this link to Rotor and Wing……I don’t think I missed the boat, er helicopter here at all…something simply doesn’t make sense on this….

October 16, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics, Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A serious look at the long term Aftgan and region's stratergy…….

If you’ve been following me here, you know that I believe that the only way the  United States can ‘win’ in that country is to surge now as Gen. McChrystal has requested, and then, under that protection do nation building to preserve any gains……..

Two things have occurred within the last 24 hours for me that have made me think that Obama is taking a longer time then expected,tenets because some basic tenets of my  above argument stand on wobbly legs…..I did an earlier post in which I said Aftghanistan is just too darn backwards to ever have the US declare ‘victory’……and that view should not be discarded….

First of all Yesterday I have a look discussion with a guy who regularly travels to India……he’s an American now but he was born and lived his youth in India…..And he’s been to Afghanistan….

His point to me on the subject was that , in agreement with my feelings, Afghanistan was a hard sell for anybody to ‘win’…he felt that the people of that country simply did not want anybody coming in to change their way of life, and their country…and that the political system of ‘forced democracy’ was flawed and corrupt. He was emphatic…the country was simply not capable of changing due to economic, political and religious constraints ……

In the case of Pakistan…my friend argued correctly that the bad guys in Afghanistan were put there by the Pakistani’s to work against India, their arch enemy…….He pointed out that it was inconceivable for the Pakistani’s to remain in a fight against these forces…why?…because in the end..when the US leaves the area, they, The Pakistani’s, will still have to deal with India….and that was their principal concern……not the United States problem with terrorism….

I also just go finished reading a strategic paper from the Democratic Strategist which is biased in one way, but which clearly lays out the argument my friend gave me yesterday……which is that any counterinsurgency campaign must deal with the three constraints I have laid out above…..

The piece, as does my friend..and my prior post,  repeats, loud and clear, the reason why no  has been able to hold, as their own, that region…..

The Aftgan’s don’t want anybody to, never have, and it seems, never will…..

But we now know this…..the United States and NATO are moving the troop levels above the 68,000 troops they have been saying are in country…..President Obama, the Commander-in -Chief is going to have to decide (take your time, Sir) WHAT HE WANTS?, WHAT CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED?……and the DEFINITION of a win, victory or just a get out point…….

This one is a problem  that may not have  solution….. A true Kobarishi Maru…….

October 13, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A serious look at the long term Aftgan and region’s stratergy…….

If you’ve been following me here, you know that I believe that the only way the  United States can ‘win’ in that country is to surge now as Gen. McChrystal has requested, and then, under that protection do nation building to preserve any gains……..

Two things have occurred within the last 24 hours for me that have made me think that Obama is taking a longer time then expected,tenets because some basic tenets of my  above argument stand on wobbly legs…..I did an earlier post in which I said Aftghanistan is just too darn backwards to ever have the US declare ‘victory’……and that view should not be discarded….

First of all Yesterday I have a look discussion with a guy who regularly travels to India……he’s an American now but he was born and lived his youth in India…..And he’s been to Afghanistan….

His point to me on the subject was that , in agreement with my feelings, Afghanistan was a hard sell for anybody to ‘win’…he felt that the people of that country simply did not want anybody coming in to change their way of life, and their country…and that the political system of ‘forced democracy’ was flawed and corrupt. He was emphatic…the country was simply not capable of changing due to economic, political and religious constraints ……

In the case of Pakistan…my friend argued correctly that the bad guys in Afghanistan were put there by the Pakistani’s to work against India, their arch enemy…….He pointed out that it was inconceivable for the Pakistani’s to remain in a fight against these forces…why?…because in the end..when the US leaves the area, they, The Pakistani’s, will still have to deal with India….and that was their principal concern……not the United States problem with terrorism….

I also just go finished reading a strategic paper from the Democratic Strategist which is biased in one way, but which clearly lays out the argument my friend gave me yesterday……which is that any counterinsurgency campaign must deal with the three constraints I have laid out above…..

The piece, as does my friend..and my prior post,  repeats, loud and clear, the reason why no  has been able to hold, as their own, that region…..

The Aftgan’s don’t want anybody to, never have, and it seems, never will…..

But we now know this…..the United States and NATO are moving the troop levels above the 68,000 troops they have been saying are in country…..President Obama, the Commander-in -Chief is going to have to decide (take your time, Sir) WHAT HE WANTS?, WHAT CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED?……and the DEFINITION of a win, victory or just a get out point…….

This one is a problem  that may not have  solution….. A true Kobarishi Maru…….

October 13, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment