Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘war aftermath’ Category

I can figure out how the next pre-emptive war of Israel on Syria and Lebanon will unfold.

Since 2008, and for 33 days, Israel with the planning and total support of USA and Saudi Kingdom, launched an 8th pre-emptive war on Lebanon.  The plan decided for September was advanced in June 22 after Hezbollah managed to capture Israeli prisoners and kill 8 more in a hurried counter-attack by a tank commander.

Ever since, Israel is totally wary to contemplate another foolish and devastating military defeat, agreed by most world community observers. Israel had to beg Bush Jr to desist pressuring it to continue the fight and UN resolution 1701 was voted on for a cease fire.

The next day thousands of Lebanese refugees, fleeing war, returned to their homes. They discarded the warnings of the government and threw makeshift bridges to cross destroyed bridges and bombed highways. It took the Israelis 6 months to return to their homes.

Every year, Israel spend plenty of money in military maneuvers to convince Hezbollah that it is ready for another match of revenge. Most Israeli commentators agree that Israel internal readiness is Not prepared for any such kinds of long-protracted war and the army itself don’t want any such adventure: the soldiers are still in shock and receiving treatment for the surprises they were Not warned of them.

No, Israel, on its own volition will Not attempt another pre-emptive war, but since USA considers Israel as its land fighter carrier, the possibility that Israel will be dragged manu-military to engage in another war on Lebanon and Syria if USA decided to frighten Iran by a “Chock and Awe” massive bombing tactics.

There will be no short war and matter will deteriorate.

Pressured by US for military support in a critical pre-emptive war in the Persian Gulf, Israel will lukewarmly launch a massive airstrike in the neighboring States, hoping that it would be a short-term war for face saving initiative and a divergence tactic for the real US engagement on Iran.

Hezbollah reaction will be to target all Israel airfields and communication centers and ignite monster fires everywhere in Israel. The next missile strikes will target the electrical and energy grids.

If Iran decides to prolong the war, it will order Hezbollah to fall back on the plan of effective incursions inside Israel.

Then the third missile launch will focus on Israel military and logistic centers, civilian and military, in Israel central region, to disturb transportation and movement of troops.

The fourth missile strikes will target the essential ports and submarines concentrated in Eshkelon and in central Israel.

Hezbollah navy commandos will land on the seashore in central Israel, capture a few ports and towns around them. This attack will divide Israel into two parts and pressure Israel to decide where to focus its army.

If Israel transfer troops from the north by the Golan Heights, Syria army will launch a counter-offensive to re-conquer the Hights, all the way to the Houla city.

If Israel transfer troops from around Gaza, Hamas and Jihad Islamic militias will attempt to link with the West Bank.

From then on, all possibilities are open to be contemplated.

If the West Bank Palestinians managed to acquire and store weapons, strategic settlements around West Jerusalem will be first attacked and massive fleeing of Israeli to East Jerusalem and Tel Aviv will be underway.

Settlers would prefer to vacate the lands in West Jerusalem, hoping that a negotiated cease fire will allow them to return to a few settlements.

Hopefully, Hezbollah has a plan to move and capture Nablus up north, re-take a few strategic settlements around this city and start transferring weapons and foodstuff to Palestinians in that region for a protracted defensive resistance.

The cease fire will ensure that Israel Parliament rescind its law that Israel is Only for the Jews and that West Jerusalem is the Capital of the Palestinian Homeland State.

The defunct British mandated law of administrative detention will be cancelled.

Palestinian refugees will be allowed to return.

Note: This narrative is based on current situation. If the monarchy in Jordan is deposed in the blood, the longest border with Israel will become the coup-de grace for Israel existence. Palestinians in Jordan will infiltrate and occupy settlement along the Jordan river.

No land mines or massive bombing will prevent the stampede on existing settlements for the Return Home and witnessing the mass fleeing of Israelis.

Once The Palestinians in Jordan link up with the West Bank, a totally new scenario will be negotiated at the UN for a new status of Palestine and Israel.

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French secret report of 300 pages: Casualties of Israel pre-emptive war on Lebanon in June 2006

Axis of logic center in Massachusetts divulged the report.

  1. Israel lost 2,300 soldiers and 700 seriously injured (And Not 119 as claimed)
  2. Hezbollah lost 49 fighters, but Israel bombing for 33 days killed many Lebanese civilians and almost destroyed our infrastructure. About 130,000 houses were destroyed and most of the bridges, airport and gasoline stations.
  3. Israel navy lost 24 on its destroyed Saer destroyer (And Not 4 as claimed)
  4. Israel lost 160 tanks, many of the Merkava type
  5. Israel assassinated Lebanon Rafic Hariri PM (All indicate that Bush Jr. and France Chirac gave the green light to Germany and Israel to execute the order)
  6. The pre-emptive war was planned way in advance, but the timing was forced upon Israel
  7. The US and Britain poured in all kinds of weapons and ammunition to sustain the war, among them internationally prohibited weapons, like cluster bombs (still Lebanon is de-mining them after 2 decades), phosphorous bombs and depleted uranium bombs…

Note: Immediately after the cease fire, all displaced Lebanese returned to their towns within a couple of days. Displaced Israelis needed 6 months to return to their settlements. The citizens in the south didn’t wait for the government to tell them when it is safe to return, and devised make-shift bridges over the destroyed bridges.

تقرير فرنسي سري يكشف بعض حقائق عدوان تموز 2006!!!

🖊مركز ‘axis of logic في ماساشوستس يكشف النقاب عن تقرير فرنسي سري من 300 صفحة يتضمن أسرارا غير
معروفة عن الحرب الإسرائيلية ـ الاميركية على حزب الله الصيف الماضي وأسبابها الحقيقية:
ـ الموساد هي الجهة التي اغتالت الحريري.
ـ خسائر إسرائيل الحقيقية خلال الحرب مذهلة :
2300 قتيل و 700 جريح
وليس 119 كما ادعت الحكومة الإسرائيلية.
ـ 24 جنديا قتلوا في المدمرة البحرية ساعر ، وليس أربعة.
ـ عدد الدبابات الإسرائيلية التي دمرت تجاوز الـ 160 دبابة ، منها 65 بشكل كامل ، و الباقي بشكل شبه كامل.
ـ 65 جنديا قتلوا بطريقة مرعبة من خلال تدمير مخابئهم على رؤوسهم بالصواريخ المضادة للدبابات !
ـ مصادر استخبارية روسية زودت إسرائيل بمعلومات خادعة و مضللة عن مواقع حزب الله وقواته.

ماساشوستس (الولايات المتحدة):

كشف مركز axis of logic في ماساشوستس بالولايات المتحدة الأميركية عن تقرير رسمي فرنسي حول الحرب الإسرائيلية على لبنان الصيف الماضي وأسبابها المباشرة وغير المباشرة.
وقال موقع المركز في الملخص الذي نشره عن الموضوع إن الباحث والصحفي الأميركي الشهير المتخصص في الشؤون الأمنية، برايان هارينغ Brayan Harring ، حصل على نسخة من التقرير الفرنسي الرسمي، الذي يقع في حوالي 300 صفحة ويتضمن صورا وخرائط ومخططات بيانية ، خلال مروره مؤخرا في باريس في طريقه إلى موسكو في رحلة عمل .

وبحسب الملخص الذي ترجمه الباحث هارينغ نفسه عن التقرير الفرنسي الأصلي فإن جهاز الاستخبارات الإسرائيلي ـ ‘موساد’ هو الذي اغتال رئيس الوزراء اللبناني الأسبق رفيق الحريري.

ويتضح من التقرير ، كما ظهر لاحقا في تقارير إعلامية عديدة ، لعل أشهرها ما كتبه سيمور هيرش ، أن الحرب الإسرائيلية الأخيرة على لبنان لم تكن رد فعل
مباشر على إقدام حزب الله على أسر جنديين إسرائيليين في 12 تموز/يوليو الماضي بقدر ما كانت وليدة خطة إسرائيلية مدبرة وتفاهم أميركي ـ إسرائيلي مسبق على الأمر .

ويشير التقرير في هذا الإطار إلى أن الولايات المتحدة أخبرت
إسرائيل بأنها لن تكون قادرة على مدها بالقوات الأرضية نظرا لورطتها في العراق ، وإنما ‘ ستزودها بالتأكيد ( خلال حملتها القاصمة على حزب الله )
بمختلف أنواع السلاح والذخائر، بما في ذلك القنابل التقليدية والعنقودية والذخائر الحربية اللازمة للعملية المخطط لها ‘ .
وفيما يتعلق بوقائع الحرب ، وبعد أن يقدم التقرير ملخصا يوميا لوقائعها ، يشير التقرير إلى أن خسائر إسرائيل الحقيقية هي أقرب إلى الخيال إذا ما قورنت بما صرحت عنه الحكومة الإسرائيلية رسميا .
ويؤكد في هذا السياق ، بالاستناد إلى مصادر إسرائيلية رسمية ،
على أن خسائر إسرائيل من العسكريين بلغت 2300 ( ألفين وثلاثمئة قتيل ) ، وليس 119 فقط ، منهم 600 توفوا في المشافي نتيجة إصاباتهم البليغة . أما عدد الجرحى العسكريين ذوي الجروح البالغة ، والذين ظلوا على قيد الحياة ، فقد بلغ 700 جريح . كما أن 65 منهم قتلوا بطريقة مرعبة تحت الأنقاض من خلال تدمير البيوت اللبنانية التي لجأوا إليها على رؤوسهم بالصواريخ المضادة للدبابات . ويظهر التقرير في هذا
السياق أن حزب الله استهدف مشفى عسكريا إسرائيليا في صفد خلال الحرب يعتقد أنه تسبب في مقتل العديد من الجنود الجرحى المصابين .

أما خسائر حزب الله ، بحسب التقرير الذي يستند في معلوماته إلى مصدرين هما الأمم المتحدة والحكومة اللبنانية المناهضة لحزب الله ، فبلغت 50 مقاتلا (حسب مصدر الأمم المتحدة) و 49 مقاتلا (حسب مصدر الحكومة اللبنانية).
وأشار التقرير إلى أن مجموع الدبابات وناقلات الجنود الإسرائيلية التي دمرت تدميرا كاملا في الحرب بلغ 65 دبابة وناقلة جنود دمرت بشكل كامل ، منها 38 من طراز ميركافا دمرت بالصواريخ المضادة للدروع ،بينما دمرت 15 دبابة بالعبوات الناسفة المزروعة في الأرض .
أما عدد الدبابات وناقلات الجنود التي كانت إصاباتها بالغة جدا فبلغ 93 دبابة وناقلة جنود .
وفي الوقائع التفصيلية لبعض مجريات الحرب ، يشير التقرير إلى أن حزب الله قتل 18 جنديا دفعة واحدة في بنت جبيل بتاريخ 27 تموز / يوليو .
وفي 27 من الشهر نفسه ، ومن خلال كمين محكم نصبه مقاتلو الحزب ، قتل 41 جنديا إسرائيليا في بنت جبيل ، بالإضافة إلى
تدمير 12 مدرعة وثلاث ناقلات جنود و8 أصيبت بشكل بالغ .
وفي 9 آب تمكن مقاتلو الحزب من قتل 23 جنديا من خلال تدمير المنزل الذي لجأوا إليه على رؤوسهم .
و في 12 آب / أغسطس تمكنوا من قتل 24 جنديا خلال اشتباك
واحد ، فضلا عن خمسة آخرين في طائرة الهيلوكبتر التي أسقطها الحزب في اليوم نفسه .
وبشأن المدمرة البحرية ساعر 5 التي أصابها مقاتلو الحزب بتاريخ 14 تموز ، فقد ذكر التقرير أن عدد الضباط والجنود الذين قتلوا فيها بلغ 24 ضابطا وجنديا ، وليس أربعة فقط كما ذكر في حينه .
وبشأن الذخائر التي استخدمتها إسرائيل خلل الحرب، كشف
التقرير عن أن الطيران الإسرائيلي نفذ 12 ألف غارة جوية .
أما القوات البحرية الإسرائيلية فقد استخدمت 2500 قذيفة وصاروخ ، بينما استخدمت القوات البرية مائة ألف قذيفة .
وأشار التقرير إلى أن خسائر لبنان كانت في أغلبيتها الساحقة ذات طبيعة مدنية ، حيث بلغت نسبة الأطفال الذين قتلوا ، ممن هم دون سن الـ 13 عاما ، ما نسبته 30 بالمئة من مجموع الضحايا.
ودمرت إسرائيل أيضا ما
مجموعه 400 ميل ( حوالي 600 كم ) من الطرق ، و 73 جسرا ، و 31 هدفا مدنيا مثل مطار بيروت والموانىء ووحدات معالجة المياه العادمة(الصرف الصحي) و 25 محطة وقود و 900 محل تجاري و 350 مدرسة ومشفيين و 15 ألف منزل ، بينما تضرر 130 ألف منزل بأشكال مختلفة .
تبقى الإشارة إلى أن التقرير الفرنسي ، وبحسب الملخص المنشور ، كشف عن ان الإسرائيليين تعرضوا لعملية خداع كبرى ، حيث كانوا يتلقون معلومات مضللة وخادعة من مصادر في المخابرات الروسية عن مواقع حزب الله وقواته العسكرية !
بعد هذا التقرير، هل يبقى هناك من عذر لمن يصف كلام قائد المقاومة حيث قال “نعتقد بأننا الجيل الذي سيصلي في القدس” بالمبالغة؟

مجموعة اعرف عدوك

On modern warfare weapons: Actual testing on many pre-emptive wars around the world

Back in 1997, Barbara Ehrenreich went after the human  attraction to violence in her book Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War.

In it, among other brilliant insights, she traced the beginnings of our  modern blood rites not to Man, the Aggressor, but to human beings, the  prey (in a dangerous early world of predators).

In an updated,  adapted version of an afterword she did for the British edition of that book, she turns from the origins of war to its end point, suggesting in her usual provocative way that drones and other warrior robotics may, in  the end, do us one strange favor: they may finally bring home to us that war is Not a human possession, that it is not what we are and must  be.

(To catch Timothy MacBain’s latest TomCast audio interview in which  Ehrenreich discusses the nature of war and how to fight against it,  click here, or download it to your iPod here.) Tom

War Without Humans Modern Blood Rites Revisited By Barbara Ehrenreich

For a book about the all-too-human “passions of war,” my 1997 work Blood Rites ended on a strangely inhuman note: I suggested that, whatever  distinctly human qualities war calls upon — honor, courage, solidarity,  cruelty, and so forth — it might be useful to stop thinking of war in  exclusively human terms.

After all, certain species of ants wage war  and computers can simulate “wars” that play themselves out on-screen  without any human involvement.

More generally, we should define war as a self-replicating  pattern of activity that may or may not require human participation.

In  the human case, we know it is capable of spreading geographically and  evolving rapidly over time — qualities that, as I suggested somewhat fancifully, make war a metaphorical successor to the predatory animals  that shaped humans into fighters in the first place.

A decade and a half later, these musings do not seem quite so airy  and abstract anymore. The trend, at the close of the twentieth century,  still seemed to be one of ever more massive human involvement in war —  from armies containing tens of thousands in the sixteenth century, to  hundreds of thousands in the nineteenth, and eventually millions in the  twentieth century world wars.

It was the ascending scale of war that originally called forth the existence of the nation-state as an administrative unit capable of maintaining mass armies and the infrastructure — for taxation, weapons manufacture, transport, etc. — that they require.

War has been, and we still expect it to be, the most massive collective project human beings undertake. But it has been evolving quickly in a very different direction, one in which human beings have a much smaller role to play.

One factor driving this change has been the emergence of a new kind of enemy, so-called “non-state actors,” meaning popular insurgencies and loose transnational networks of fighters, none of which are likely to field large numbers of troops or maintain expensive arsenals of their own.

In the face of these new enemies, typified by al-Qaeda, the mass armies of nation-states are highly ineffective, cumbersome to deploy, difficult to maneuver, and from a domestic point of view, overly dependent on a citizenry that is both willing and able to fight, or at least to have their children fight for them.

Yet just as U.S. military cadets continue, in defiance of military reality, to sport swords on their dress uniforms, our leaders, both military and political, tend to cling to an idea of war as a vast, labor-intensive effort on the order of World War II.

Only slowly, and with a reluctance bordering on the phobic, have the leaders of major states begun to grasp the fact that this approach to warfare may soon be obsolete.

Consider the most recent U.S. war with Iraq.

According to then-president George W. Bush, the casus belli was the 9/11 terror attacks.  The causal link between that event and our chosen enemy, Iraq, was, however, imperceptible to all but the most dedicated inside-the-Beltway intellectuals.

Nineteen men had hijacked airplanes and flown them into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center — 15 of them Saudi Arabians, none of them Iraqis — and we went to war against… Iraq?

Military history offers no ready precedents for such wildly misaimed retaliation. The closest analogies come from anthropology, which provides plenty of cases of small-scale societies in which the death of any member, for any reason, needs to be “avenged” by an attack on a more or less randomly chosen other tribe or hamlet.

Why Iraq?

Neoconservative imperial ambitions have been invoked in explanation, as well as the American thirst for oil, or even an Oedipal contest between George W. Bush and his father.

There is no doubt some truth to all of these explanations, but the targeting of Iraq also represented a desperate and irrational response to what was, for Washington, an utterly confounding military situation.

We faced a state-less enemy — geographically diffuse, lacking uniforms and flags, invulnerable to invading infantries and saturation bombing, and apparently capable of regenerating itself at minimal expense.

From the perspective of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his White House cronies, this would not do. (Meaning from Israel point of view or the “christian” Evangelical Zionists)

Since the U.S. was accustomed to fighting other nation-states — geopolitical entities containing such identifiable targets as capital cities, airports, military bases, and munitions plants — we would have to find a nation-state to fight, or as Rumsfeld put it, a “target-rich environment.

Iraq, pumped up by alleged stockpiles of “weapons of mass destruction,” became the designated surrogate for an enemy that refused to play our game.

The effects of this atavistic war are still being tallied: in Iraq, we would have to include civilian deaths estimated at possibly hundreds of thousands, the destruction of civilian infrastructure, and devastating outbreaks of sectarian violence of a kind that, as we should have learned from the dissolution of Yugoslavia, can readily follow the death or removal of a nationalist dictator.

But the effects of war on the U.S. and its allies may end up being almost as tragic.

Instead of punishing the terrorists who had attacked the U.S., the war seems to have succeeded in recruiting more such irregular fighters, young men (and sometimes women) willing to die and ready to commit further acts of terror or revenge.

By insisting on fighting a more or less randomly selected nation-state, the U.S. may only have multiplied the non-state threats it faces.

Unwieldy Armies

Whatever they may think of what the U.S. and its allies did in Iraq, many national leaders are beginning to acknowledge that conventional militaries are becoming, in a strictly military sense, almost ludicrously anachronistic. Not only are they unsuited to crushing counterinsurgencies and small bands of terrorists or irregular fighters, but mass armies are simply too cumbersome to deploy on short notice.

In military lingo, they are weighed down by their “tooth to tail” ratio — a measure of the number of actual fighters in comparison to the support personnel and equipment the fighters require. Both hawks and liberal interventionists may hanker to airlift tens of thousands of soldiers to distant places virtually overnight, but those soldiers will need to be preceded or accompanied by tents, canteens, trucks, medical equipment, and so forth.

“Flyover” rights will have to be granted by neighboring countries; air strips and eventually bases will have to be constructed; supply lines will have be created and defended — all of which can take months to accomplish.

The sluggishness of the mass, labor-intensive military has become a constant source of frustration to civilian leaders. Irritated by the Pentagon’s hesitation to put “boots on the ground” in Bosnia, then-Secretary of State Madeline Albright famously demanded of Secretary of Defense Colin Powell, “What good is this marvelous military force if we can never use it?”

In 2009, the Obama administration unthinkingly proposed a troop surge in Afghanistan, followed by a withdrawal within a year and a half that would have required some of the troops to start packing up almost as soon as they arrived. It took the U.S. military a full month to organize the transport of 20,000 soldiers to Haiti in the wake of the 2010 earthquake — and they were only traveling 700 miles to engage in a humanitarian relief mission, not a war.

Another thing hobbling mass militaries is the increasing unwillingness of nations, especially the more democratic ones, to risk large numbers of casualties. It is no longer acceptable to drive men into battle at gunpoint or to demand that they fend for themselves on foreign soil.

Once thousands of soldiers have been plunked down in a “theater,” they must be defended from potentially hostile locals, a project that can easily come to supersede the original mission.

We may not be able clearly to articulate what American troops were supposed to accomplish in Iraq or Afghanistan, but without question one part of their job has been “force protection.” In what could be considered the inverse of “mission creep,” instead of expanding, the mission now has a tendency to contract to the task of self-defense.

Ultimately, the mass militarist of the modern era, augmented by ever-more expensive weapons systems, place an unacceptable economic burden on the nation-states that support them — a burden that eventually may undermine the militaries themselves.

Consider what has been happening to the world’s sole military superpower, the United States. The latest estimate for the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is, at this moment, at least $3.2 trillion, while total U.S. military spending equals that of the next 15 countries combined, and adds up to approximately 47% of all global military spending.

To this must be added the cost of caring for wounded and otherwise damaged veterans, which has been mounting precipitously as medical advances allow more of the injured to survive.  The U.S. military has been sheltered from the consequences of its own profligacy by a level of bipartisan political support that has kept it almost magically immune to budget cuts, even as the national debt balloons to levels widely judged to be unsustainable.

The hard right, in particular, has campaigned relentlessly against “big government,” apparently not noticing that the military is a sizable chunk of this behemoth.

In December 2010, for example, a Republican senator from Oklahoma railed against the national debt with this statement: “We’re really at war. We’re on three fronts now: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the financial tsunami  [arising from the debt] that is facing us.” Only in recent months have some Tea Party-affiliated legislators broken with tradition by declaring their willingness to cut military spending.

How the Warfare State Became the Welfare State

If military spending is still for the most part sacrosanct, ever more spending cuts are required to shrink “big government.”  Then what remains is the cutting of domestic spending, especially social programs for the poor, who lack the means to finance politicians, and all too often the incentive to vote as well.

From the Reagan years on, the U.S. government has chipped away at dozens of programs that had helped sustain people who are underpaid or unemployed, including housing subsidies, state-supplied health insurance, public transportation, welfare for single parents, college tuition aid, and inner-city economic development projects.

Even the physical infrastructure — bridges, airports, roads, and tunnels — used by people of all classes has been left at dangerous levels of disrepair. Antiwar protestors wistfully point out, year after year, what the cost of our high-tech weapon systems, our global network of more than 1,000 military bases, and our various “interventions” could buy if applied to meeting domestic human needs. But to no effect.

This ongoing sacrifice of domestic welfare for military “readiness” represents the reversal of a historic trend. Ever since the introduction of mass armies in Europe in the seventeenth century, governments have generally understood that to underpay and underfeed one’s troops — and the class of people that supplies them — is to risk having the guns pointed in the opposite direction from that which the officers recommend.

In fact, modern welfare states, inadequate as they may be, are in no small part the product of war — that is, of governments’ attempts to appease soldiers and their families. In the U.S., for example, the Civil War led to the institution of widows’ benefits, which were the predecessor of welfare in its Aid to Families with Dependent Children form. It was the bellicose German leader Otto von Bismarck who first instituted national health insurance.

World War II spawned educational benefits and income support for American veterans and led, in the United Kingdom, to a comparatively generous welfare state, including free health care for all.

Notions of social justice and fairness, or at least the fear of working class insurrections, certainly played a part in the development of twentieth century welfare states, but there was a pragmatic military motivation as well: if young people are to grow up to be effective troops, they need to be healthy, well-nourished, and reasonably well-educated.

In the U.S., the steady withering of social programs that might nurture future troops even serves, ironically, to justify increased military spending. In the absence of a federal jobs program, Congressional representatives become fierce advocates for weapons systems that the Pentagon itself has no use for, as long as the manufacture of those weapons can provide employment for some of their constituents.

With diminishing funds for higher education, military service becomes a less dismal alternative for young working-class people than the low-paid jobs that otherwise await them. The U.S. still has a civilian welfare state consisting largely of programs for the elderly (Medicare and Social Security). For many younger Americans, however, as well as for older combat veterans, the U.S. military is the welfare state — and a source, however temporarily, of jobs, housing, health care and education.

Eventually, however, the failure to invest in America’s human resources — through spending on health, education, and so forth — undercuts the military itself. In World War I, public health experts were shocked to find that one-third of conscripts were rejected as physically unfit for service; they were too weak and flabby or too damaged by work-related accidents.

Several generations later, in 2010, the U.S. Secretary of Education reported that “75 percent of young Americans, between the ages of 17 to 24, are unable to enlist in the military today because they have failed to graduate from high school, have a criminal record, or are physically unfit.”

(Wonderful news: Drop the Gendarme notion of controlling the world)

When a nation can no longer generate enough young people who are fit for military service, that nation has two choices: it can, as a number of prominent retired generals are currently advocating, reinvest in its “human capital,” especially the health and education of the poor, or it can seriously reevaluate its approach to war.

The Fog of (Robot) War

Since the rightward, anti-“big government” tilt of American politics more or less precludes the former, the U.S. has been scrambling to develop less labor-intensive forms of waging war. In fact, this may prove to be the ultimate military utility of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: if they have gained the U.S. no geopolitical advantage, they have certainly served as laboratories and testing grounds for forms of future warfare that involve less human, or at least less governmental, commitment.

One step in that direction has been the large-scale use of military contract workers supplied by private companies, which can be seen as a revival of the age-old use of mercenaries.  Although most of the functions that have been outsourced to private companies — including food services, laundry, truck driving, and construction — do not involve combat, they are dangerous, and some contract workers have even been assigned to the guarding of convoys and military bases.

Contractors are still men and women, capable of bleeding and dying — and surprising numbers of them have indeed died.  In the initial six months of 2010, corporate deaths exceeded military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan for the first time. But the Pentagon has little or no responsibility for the training, feeding, or care of private contractors.

If wounded or psychologically damaged, American contract workers must turn, like any other injured civilian employees, to the Workers’ Compensation system, hence their sense of themselves as a “disposable army.”  By 2009, the trend toward privatization had gone so far that the number of private contractors in Afghanistan exceeded the number of American troops there.

An alternative approach is to eliminate or drastically reduce the military’s dependence on human beings of any kind.  This would have been an almost unthinkable proposition a few decades ago, but technologies employed in Iraq and Afghanistan have steadily stripped away the human role in war. Drones, directed from sites up to 7,500 miles away in the western United States, are replacing manned aircraft.

Video cameras, borne by drones, substitute for human scouts or information gathered by pilots. Robots disarm roadside bombs. When American forces invaded Iraq in 2003, no robots accompanied them; by 2008, there were 12,000 participating in the war.

Only a handful of drones were used in the initial invasion; today, the U.S. military has an inventory of more than 7,000, ranging from the familiar Predator to tiny Ravens and Wasps used to transmit video images of events on the ground.  Far stranger fighting machines are in the works, like swarms of lethal “cyborg insects” that could potentially replace human infantry.

These developments are by no means limited to the U.S. The global market for military robotics and unmanned military vehicles is growing fast, and includes Israel, a major pioneer in the field, Russia, the United Kingdom, Iran, South Korea, and China.

Turkey is reportedly readying a robot force for strikes against Kurdish insurgents. (Not likely. The Kurds have advanced robots)

Israel hopes to eventually patrol the Gaza border with “see-shoot” robots that will destroy people perceived as transgressors as soon as they are detected. (Will Not need much programming: whoever you detect, shoot to kill)

It is hard to predict how far the automation of war and the substitution of autonomous robots for human fighters will go. On the one hand, humans still have the advantage of superior visual discrimination.  Despite decades of research in artificial intelligence, computers cannot make the kind of simple distinctions — as in determining whether a cow standing in front of a barn is a separate entity or a part of the barn — that humans can make in a fraction of a second.

Thus, as long as there is any premium on avoiding civilian deaths, humans have to be involved in processing the visual information that leads, for example, to the selection of targets for drone attacks. If only as the equivalent of seeing-eye dogs, humans will continue to have a role in war, at least until computer vision improves.

On the other hand, the human brain lacks the bandwidth to process all the data flowing into it, especially as new technologies multiply that data. In the clash of traditional mass armies, under a hail of arrows or artillery shells, human warriors often found themselves confused and overwhelmed, a condition attributed to “the fog of war.”

, that fog is growing a lot thicker. U.S. military officials, for instance, put the blame on “information overload” for the killing of 23 Afghan civilians in February 2010, and the New York Times reported that:

“Across the military, the data flow has surged; since the attacks of 9/11, the amount of intelligence gathered by remotely piloted drones and other surveillance technologies has risen 1,600 percent. On the ground, troops increasingly use hand-held devices to communicate, get directions and set bombing coordinates. And the screens in jets can be so packed with data that some pilots call them “drool buckets” because, they say, they can get lost staring into them.”

When the sensory data coming at a soldier is augmented by a flood of instantaneously transmitted data from distant cameras and computer search engines, there may be no choice but to replace the sloppy “wet-ware” of the human brain with a robotic system for instant response.

War Without Humans

Once set in place, the cyber-automation of war is hard to stop.  Humans will cling to their place “in the loop” as long as they can, no doubt insisting that the highest level of decision-making — whether to go to war and with whom — be reserved for human leaders. But it is precisely at the highest levels that decision-making may most need automating.

A head of state faces a blizzard of factors to consider, everything from historical analogies and satellite-derived intelligence to assessments of the readiness of potential allies. Furthermore, as the enemy automates its military, or in the case of a non-state actor, simply adapts to our level of automation, the window of time for effective responses will grow steadily narrower. Why not turn to a high-speed computer? It is certainly hard to imagine a piece of intelligent hardware deciding to respond to the 9/11 attacks by invading Iraq.

So, after at least 10,000 years of intra-species fighting — of scorched earth, burned villages, razed cities, and piled up corpses, as well, of course, as all the great epics of human literature — we have to face the possibility that the institution of war might no longer need us for its perpetuation.

Human desires, especially for the Earth’s diminishing supply of resources, will still instigate wars for some time to come, but neither human courage nor human blood-lust will carry the day on the battlefield.

Computers will assess threats and calibrate responses; drones will pinpoint enemies; robots might roll into the streets of hostile cities. Beyond the individual battle or smaller-scale encounter, decisions as to whether to match attack with counterattack, or one lethal technological innovation with another, may also be eventually ceded to alien minds.

This should not come as a complete surprise. Just as war has shaped human social institutions for millennia, so has it discarded them as the evolving technology of war rendered them useless. When war was fought with blades by men on horseback, it favored the rule of aristocratic warrior elites. When the mode of fighting shifted to action-at-a-distance weapons like bows and guns, the old elites had to bow to the central authority of kings, who, in turn, were undone by the democratizing forces unleashed by new mass armies.

Even patriarchy cannot depend on war for its long-term survival, since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have, at least within U.S. forces, established women’s worth as warriors. Over the centuries, human qualities once deemed indispensable to war fighting — muscular power, manliness, intelligence, judgment — have one by one become obsolete or been ceded to machines.

What will happen then to the “passions of war”?

Except for individual acts of martyrdom, war is likely to lose its glory and luster. Military analyst P.W. Singer quotes an Air Force captain musing about whether the new technologies will “mean that brave men and women will no longer face death in combat,” only to reassure himself that “there will always be a need for intrepid souls to fling their bodies across the sky.”

Perhaps, but in a 2010 address to Air Force Academy cadets, an under secretary of defense delivered the “bad news” that most of them would not be flying airplanes, which are increasingly unmanned.

War will continue to be used against insurgencies as well as to “take out” the weapons facilities, command centers, and cities of designated rogue states. It may even continue to fascinate its aficionados, in the manner of computer games. But there will be no triumphal parades for killer nano-bugs, no epics about unmanned fighter planes, no monuments to fallen bots.

And in that may lie our last hope. With the decline of mass militaries and their possible replacement by machines, we may finally see that war is not just an extension of our needs and passions, however base or noble.

Nor is it likely to be even a useful test of our courage, fitness, or national unity. War has its own dynamic or — in case that sounds too anthropomorphic — its own grim algorithms to work out. As it comes to need us less, maybe we will finally see that we don’t need it either. We can leave it to the ants.

Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of a number of books including Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America and Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. This essay is a revised and updated version of the afterword to the British edition of Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War (Granta, 2011).  To listen to Timothy MacBain’s latest TomCast audio interview in which  Ehrenreich discusses the nature of war and how to fight against it,  click here, or download it to your iPod here.

Copyright 2011 Barbara Ehrenreich

 

Putting America’s Defense Spending into Perspective

Wouldn’t it be a strange world to live in if 50% of military spending was paid for by just 5% of the population?

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Every year, the United States government spends the equivalent of $3,300 for each working citizen on its military budget.

In aggregate, this grand total of $610 billion in defense spending amounts to about half of the dollars globally spent on the military.

With $216 billion spent per year, China has the next largest budget by far.

But, to get to a number even close to U.S. spending, the military budgets of China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, Japan, United Kingdom, and France would have to be added together.

From another perspective, the amount of annual defense spending per working person in the U.S. is higher than the income per capita of 70 countries, including places such as Morocco, Nigeria, Nicaragua, India, and Ukraine.

This means that if somehow the people of Nicaragua were taxed 100% with all money going to defense, it would only amount to a budget 1.8% of the size of America’s.

Original graphic by: BofAML, Business Insider

Note: Saudi Arabia spend on its military budget as much as Russia, with far less potency.

India and Japan come close to France and England

Visual Capitalist shared this link
This map shows global defense spending by country –
visualcapitalist.com

How Many Bombs Did the United States Drop in 2015?

by Micah Zenko . January 7, 2016

The primary focus—meaning the commitment of personnel, resources, and senior leaders’ attention—of U.S. counterterrorism policies is the capture or killing (though, overwhelmingly killing) of existing terrorists. Far less money and programmatic attention is dedicated to preventing the emergence of new terrorists.

As an anecdotal example of this, I often ask U.S. government officials and mid-level staffers, “what are you doing to prevent a neutral person from becoming a terrorist?” They always claim this this is not their responsibility, and point toward other agencies, usually the Department of State (DOS) or Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where this is purportedly their obligation internationally or domestically, respectively. DOS and DHS officials then refer generally to “countering violent extremism” policies, while acknowledging that U.S. government efforts on this front have been wholly ineffective.

The primary method for killing suspected terrorists is with stand-off precision airstrikes.

With regard to the self-declared Islamic State, U.S. officials have repeatedly stated that the pathway to “destroying” the terrorist organization is by killing every one of its current members. (And the newer recruits from the refugee camps?)

Last February, Marie Harf, DOS spokesperson, said, “We are killing them and will continue killing ISIS terrorists that pose a threat to us.”

Then in June, Lt. Gen. John Hesterman, Combined Forces Air Component commander, stated, “We kill them wherever we find them,” and just this week, Col. Steve Warren, Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman, claimed, “If you’re part of ISIL, we will kill you. That’s our rule.”

The problem with this “kill-em’-all with airstrikes” rule, is that it is not working.

Pentagon officials claim that at least 25,000 Islamic State fighters have been killed (an anonymous official said 23,000 in November, while on Wednesday, Warren added “about 2,500” more were killed in December.)  (Excluding the number killed by the progressing Syrian army?)

Remarkably, they also claim that alongside the 25,000 fighters killed, only 6 civilians have “likely” been killed in the seventeen-month air campaign.

At the same time, officials admit that the size of the group has remained wholly unchanged. In 2014, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimated the size of the Islamic State to be between 20,000 and 31,000 fighters, while on Wednesday, Warren again repeated the 30,000 estimate. To summarize the anti-Islamic State bombing calculus: 30,000 – 25,000 = 30,000.

Given there is no publicly articulated interest by Obama administration officials in revisiting this approach, let’s review U.S. counterterrorism bombing for 2015.

Last year, the United States dropped an estimated total of 23,144 bombs in six countries.

Of these, 22,110 were dropped in Iraq and Syria. This estimate is based on the fact that the United States has conducted 77 percent of all airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, while there were 28,714 U.S.-led coalition munitions dropped in 2015.

This overall estimate is probably slightly low, because it also assumes one bomb dropped in each drone strike in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, which is not always the case.

Sources: Estimate based upon Combined Forces Air Component Commander 2010-2015 Airpower Statistics; Information requested from CJTF-Operation Inherent Resolve Public Affairs Office, January 7, 2016; New America Foundation (NAF); Long War Journal (LWJ); The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ).

Sources: Estimate based upon Combined Forces Air Component Commander 2010-2015 Airpower Statistics; Information requested from CJTF-Operation Inherent Resolve Public Affairs Office, January 7, 2016; New America Foundation (NAF); Long War Journal (LWJ); The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ).

 

How come we were happier during the war?

Here’s 10 reasons why?

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It’s horrible and I hate myself for it. But I always ask myself this question.

How come we were happier during the war?

I also feel guilty towards those who lost someone. yet, this is a fact, even the days and nights spent hidden underground are happy moments in our memories.

Here’s 10 reason why…

1- FINANCIAL SITUATION: That’s the easiest one… (All these cash funding to various militia groups to sustain the ugly civil war. The Lebanese currency was 2 pounds for the dollar, now at 1,500 for 1$. And the Palestinian movement had plenty of liquidity to entertain the sub-economy)

2- HOPE: Everyone was thinking that this war will end one day and we will be living in peace sooner or later.

Today we lost hope, we know nothing can be done.

3- DIVISION: It’s horrible to admit it, but we live better divided, I believe we are not mature enough to live united, and as much as I believe we are fantastic people, I am loosing hope in our ability to live together as one.

4- SINGLE ENEMY: During the war we had one enemy each: One enemy at a time for each period in the war. Actually, no two parties stayed united during the war, and everyone fought his yesterday allies.

Today we lost count, we don’t know who is a friend and who is an enemy, we just look around and feel danger everywhere.

5- SAFETY: What I mean by this is the domestic safety, our home security, it’s amazing how we used to live with our doors open, danger was never in the building or in the street, it was behind enemy lines.

6- NOSTALGIA: It’s not exactly the Stockholm syndrome, we did not fell in love with war, but even bad times are emotional when they are in our memories.

7- TOGETHERNESS: We use to live together, stay together… fear and war brings people together, they seem to make us forget all the stupid things and go back to what matters most, families and friends.

8- POLITICAL LEADERS: We had leaders, now we have egos. We had heroes, now we have criminals. (Militia War leaders became peacetime leaders after the war)

9- AGE: Its a fact, we get older, we loose our optimism, and our innocence and with it, happiness…

10- WHO SAID WAR IS OVER? for everyone war started in 75 and ended up in 90… seriously… we must be delusional?

 

Got to stare at ugly pictures of handicapped soldiers and civilians “collateral damages”

It’s impolite to stare.

But when it comes to severely injured soldiers, maybe we don’t look enough; or maybe we’d rather not see wounded veterans at all.

That’s the message you get from photographer David Jay’s Unknown Soldier series.

Jay spent three years taking portraits of veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but before that — for nearly 20 years — he was a fashion photographer.

His stylish, artful images appeared in magazines like Vogue and Cosmopolitan.

“The fashion stuff is beautiful and sexy — and completely untrue,” he says.

Truth became the focus of Jay’s work for the first time about 10 years ago, when he started The SCAR Project, a series of portraits of women, naked from the waist up, with mastectomy scars.

Around the time he was taking those photos, he was also trying to comprehend the news coming from Iraq and Afghanistan.

May 25, 2015 3:43 AM ET

“We hear about ‘this number of men were killed’ and ‘this many were injured,'” Jay says, “and we think of them — maybe they got shot — or we don’t really picture what these injured men look like.”

So Jay visited Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington, D.C., and one of the first injured soldiers he met there was Capt. Nicholas Vogt.

In 2011, an explosive device detonated under Vogt’s feet in Afghanistan, nearly killing him. His legs had to be amputated.

(Thousands around the world are being exploded every day by cluster bombs and land mines, furnished by the US and England. England provided cluster bombs to Israel, 3 days before cease fire in 2006, in order to prevent people from returning home. 10 years later, the UN are still demining south Lebanon))

“I had never seen anything like it,” Jay says. “It appeared that he ended at his waist.”

He asked Vogt if he would be willing to be photographed.

“And Nicholas was very kind and said, ‘Listen, I understand what you’re doing but I don’t think I can take part in that, certainly [not] right now,'” Jay recalls.

About a year later, Jay was back at Walter Reed and from across the room he heard someone yell, “Hey, photographer!”

This time, Vogt wanted to participate. He’d been working hard at his recovery and seeing results. He was swimming a lot and he had a girlfriend (a nurse at Walter Reed who is now his fiancé). Vogt gave Jay permission to take his picture, but he had some parameters.

“I wanted to make sure there was action, it was movement,” Vogt says. “Because I didn’t want to portray myself as someone that’s just waiting for medical retirement and going to be stationary for the rest of my life.”

David Jay delivered. In his portrait of Vogt, he captures that sensation of jumping into a swimming pool and feeling your body descend to the bottom. Vogt’s arms are stretched out and his eyes are tightly shut. Beneath his black swim trunks, there is nothing.

Vogt doesn’t know how other people will react to the portrait, but he’s glad he did it. “I just know I felt fulfilled afterwards,” he says. “I felt like it represented me as a person. Yeah, I was happy with the result.”

Army Spc. Jerral Hancock sits for a portrait with his son Julius. It is believed that Hancock was trapped under the wreckage of his Army tank in Iraq for half an hour before he was rescued. Courtesy of David Jay/Unknown Soldier hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of David Jay/Unknown Soldier

Army Spc. Jerral Hancock sits for a portrait with his son Julius. It is believed that Hancock was trapped under the wreckage of his Army tank in Iraq for half an hour before he was rescued.

 

Other portraits in Jay’s Unknown Soldier series are more graphic.

Take Army Spc. Jerral Hancock: On his 21st birthday, a roadside bomb hit the tank Hancock was driving in Iraq. The explosion sent shrapnel into his spine, paralyzing him.

Jay’s photographs of Hancock show him with his young son — in one, their eyes are fixed on each other; in another, they’re looking at the camera.

In both, the veteran is bare-chested, revealing his tattoos and the mangled skin and bone where his left arm was amputated.

Then there’s Sgt. Joel Tavera: When a rocket hit his Humvee in Iraq, he received third-degree burns across two-thirds of his body, including almost all of his face.

Jay believes these wounds belong to all of us: “You can imagine how many times each of these men and women have heard a parent tell their child, ‘Don’t look. Don’t stare at him. That’s rude.’

I take these pictures so that we can look; we can see what we’re not supposed to see. And we need to see them because we created them.”

Jay believes seeing is one step closer to understanding.

The Library of Congress has acquired images from his Unknown Soldier collection as part of its visual documentation of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Patsy Z shared this link

As our lives go on as usual today, lets remember our vets, who’s lives are changed forever– and often lost.

Photographer David Jay says, “I take these pictures so that we can look;
we can see what we’re not supposed to see. And we need to see them because we…
npr.org

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