Tag Archives: troops

Will U.S. Troops Fire On American Citizens?

Will U.S. Troops Fire On American Citizens?

The Intel Hub
By Avalon & Shepard Ambellas

Who would believe that in the year 2012, one would have to ask if the U.S. Military would fire on American Citizen’s?

The question of troop involvement in an upcoming Martial Law scenario that is being predicted is no imaginary possibility – nor is it a ‘conspiracy theory’.

Other tough questions are being discussed such as, “Will the U.S. government confiscate Gold and Silver in an economic collapse?” and “Will there be a round-up of American Citizens to be put into FEMA Camps?”

Many believe that the United Nations will be tasked to step in to keep the peace in any civil unrest or economic collapse – this is a strong possibility.

Readers should be familiar with the term ‘Hidden In Plain Sight’. How this applies to the United Nations is simple.

The United Nations purpose is to be the World Government that will control nearly every aspect of the global population.

For years, their military strength has increased and they are often tasked with upholding law and order in conflicts around the world.

Research into the U.N and prove to yourself that this is the case. The U.N. is the governing body of The New World Order – Hidden In Plain Sight.

Investigate their corporate operation and the number of sites and you will discover they now even have the World Weather Service. An update to this article will list the number of organizations that the United Nations has established – you will be amazed.

A recent Senate Armed Services Committee conference with Sen. Sessions and the Pentagon’s Leon Panetta clearly shows that the United Nations would be involved in authorizing Military Action in Iran, similar to the Libya and Iraq invasions.

Two of the most widely known United Nations programs are Agenda 21 and Codex Alimentarius.

These are beyond the scope of this article, but one other program is of significance which is the U.N. Rapid Deployment Police.
The United Nations Rapid Deployment Police and Security Force Act of 2001

(House Resolution 938) Status of H.R. 938 Cosponsors

The United Nations Rapid Deployment Police and Security Force (H.R. 938) was introduced on March 8, 2001 by Representatives James McGovern (D-MA) and Amo Houghton (R-NY) in the House of Representatives. The legislation calls upon the President to use the United States’ “voice, vote, and influence” to urge the UN:

to establish a United Nations Rapid Deployment Police and Security Force (Police and Security Force) that can be quickly dispatched under the authority of the UN Security Council; to recruit volunteer personnel for the force; and to provide equitable and reliable funding for the Police and Security Force.

Additionally, the legislation calls upon the President to:

urge UN member nations to enter into regional partnerships for the purpose of forming Rapid Deployment Brigades, made up of on-call units of national forces, capable of deploying within 30 days of a Security Council resolution;
and direct the Secretary of Defense to undertake a study to determine the availability of and feasibility of using U.S. forces as part of the rapid deployment brigades.

What would the Police and Security Force do? It would:

be able to deploy within 15 days of a Security Council resolution to establish international peace operations, with a limited deployment of no more than six months for any given mission;
only be deployed when the Security Council determines that violations of human rights and/or breaches of the peace require a rapid response to ensure adherence to negotiated agreements to prevent or end hostilities;
consist of at least 6,000 volunteers employed directly by the UN, who train together and are appropriately equipped expressly for international peace operations, including civilian policing; and
be given the authority to protect itself, execute negotiated peace accords, disarm combatants, protect civilians, detain war criminals, restore the rule of law, and to carry out other purposes as detailed in Security Council resolutions.

Many readers will recall the survey given to U.S. Marines at the 29 Palms Marine Corps base in California.

The survey asked the respondents to consider the following statement: “I would fire upon U.S. citizens who refuse or resist confiscation of firearms banned by the United States government.”

The current situation is even more alarming, for example:

The passing of the NDAA, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, which THEBLAZE covers in an article titled, “Can the ‘Indefinite Detention’ Bill Send Americans to Military Prison Without Trial?” (12-08-11) has caused even the most skeptic to be concerned for their personal safety – especially those fighting for liberty.

The National Defense Resources Preparedness: Comparing Previous Executive Orders article that theintelhub.com posted online is another example of the emergence of a Fascist Police State – taking complete control.

Lastly, the purchase by the DHS Department of Homelnad Security of 450,000,000 rounds of ammunition over a five year period should be warning enough that something is definitely wrong.
Who are these rounds to be used on? Even at 80,000,000 rounds per year, that’s one bullet for every dissenter at a minimum.

The fact that the United Nations is the unelected yet-to-be Global Government should be warning enough that the United States of America is in great peril. The only intelligent thing to do is… PREPARE.

There is also the chance that the powers that be will play out a pandemic type scenario, in which military will except orders from headquarters quarantine US citizens during martial law.

This scenario is the most probable, let’s entertain it. It would likely go something like this;

A loudspeaker (megaphone) attached to a UN (United Nations) van passing through a middle-class neighborhood resinates a pre-recorded message,

“This neighborhood has been declared a pandemic zone… Pandemic level 6 martial law is now in place… Please stay in your homes as a quarantine has been imposed… If you are found in violation of this order you can be fined, imprisoned, or even shot… Food will eventually be dropped at your doorstep” (message repeating)

Essentially at one point people will get hungry, then chaos will ensue.

Shepard Ambellas host of The Intel Hub Radio Show once asked a military caller on air what they would do in a pandemic situation (like the one laid out above).

The caller replied;

“That would be a tough one.”

Obama Admin Cites ‘Int’l Permission,’ Not Congress, As ‘Legal Basis’ For Action In Syria

Uploaded by SenatorSessions on Mar 7, 2012

WASHINGTON, March 7—Under question from Sen. Sessions at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey indicated that “international permission,” rather than Congressional approval, provided a ‘legal basis’ for military action by the United States.

Selected Executive Orders on National Security

RESEARCH SOURCE

Is the Soros-Sponsored ‘Agenda 21’ a Hidden Plan for World Government? (Yes, Only it Is Not Hidden)

What is Agenda 21? If you do not know about it, you should.

Agenda 21 is a two-decade old, grand plan for global ’Sustainable Development,’ brought to you from the United Nations. George H.W. Bush (and 177 other world leaders) agreed to it back in 1992, and in 1995, Bill Clinton signed Executive Order #12858, creating a Presidential Council on ‘Sustainable Development.’ This effectively pushed the UN plan into America’s large, churning government machine without the need for any review or discussion by Congress or the American people.

‘Sustainable Development’ sounds like a nice idea, right? It sounds nice, until you scratch the surface and find that Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development are really cloaked plans to impose the tenets of Social Justice/Socialism on the world.

At risk from Agenda 21;

Private Property ownership
Single-Family homes
Private car ownership and individual travel choices
Privately owned farms

The Agenda 21 plan openly targets private property. For over thirty-five years the UN has made their stance very clear on the issue of individuals owning land;

Land… cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. The provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interest of society as a whole.

Source: United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat I),Vancouver, BC, May 31 – June 11, 1976. Preamble to Agenda Item 10 of the Conference Report.

There are two more, very good reasons to be wary of Agenda 21 and the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) that supports it: George Soros and the United Nations. Soros money has been tracked to funding parts of ICLEI ;

In 1997, George Soros’s Open Society gave ICLEI a $2,147,415 grant to support its Local Agenda 21 Project

Creating a Force for Peace Operations: Ensuring Stability with Justice

The Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC®)

Creation of a US force for stability is consistent with statements by senior officials in the Bush Administration and expressions of congressional interest in creating effective US forces to handle peacekeeping missions. Even before

taking office, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said the incoming Administration would “think hard” about developing forces to perform police functions and might replace soldiers with international police to perform peacekeeping missions.

7 Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told European defense ministers in Brussels on 18 December 2001 that NATO forces in Bosnia should be replaced by an armed European constabulary unit that would deal with organized crime.

8 Such Administration thinking seems to parallel similar thoughts in Congress. The United Nations Rapid Deployment Act of 2001 (HR 938), which was introduced by Representative James McGovern with 17 cosponsors, calls for the

President to help establish aUNRapid Deployment Police and Security Force, utilizing the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams as part of Rapid Deployment Brigades.

DoD Memorandum, June 4, 2004, signed by Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense

http://www.un.org/en/peace/index.shtml

DPKO provides political and executive direction to UN Peacekeeping operations around the world and maintains contact with the Security Council, troop and financial contributors, and parties to the conflict in the implementation of Security Council mandates.

United Nations Peacekeeping Group Chart

Troop and police contributors

Our military and police personnel are first and foremost members of their own national services and are then seconded to work with the UN.

UN Summary of Military and Police Contributions 2005 – 2012

Peacekeeping operations

A peacekeeping operation is led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), and works to create the conditions for lasting peace in a country torn by conflict.
The following survey was given to U.S. Marines at the 29 Palms Marine Corps base in California:
DD Form 3206 (Rev 2/96)JOINT SERVICES TRAINING COMBAT ARMS SURVEYPart A (Confidential when filled in)This questionnaire is to gather data concerning the attitudes of combat trained personnel with regard to non-traditional missions. All responses are confidential and official. Write your answers directly on the form. In Part II, place an “X” in the space provided for your response.Date:_____________Part 1. Demographics.1. Branch of Service: Army ( ) USAF ( ) Navy ( ) Marines ( ) ANG ( ) NG ( ) USCG ( ) Other: ( )

2. Pay Grade: (E-6, O-4, etc) ( )

3. MOS, AFSC or Specialty Code and Description: ( )

4. Highest level of education: Less than 12 ( ) 13 ( ) 14 ( ) 15 ( ) (16) ( ) More than 16 ( )

5. How many months did you serve in Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield?( )

6. How many months did you serve in Somalia? ( )

7. Where did you spend most of your childhood?

City: ( ); County: ( ) State: ( )

Part II. Attitude:

Do you feel that U.S. combat troops should be used within the U.S. and bordering countries for any of the following missions?

(Strongly Disagree) (Disagree) (Agree) (Strongly Agree) (No Opinion)

8. Drug enforcement

9. Disaster relief (e.g. hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes)

10. Security at national events (e.g. Olympic Games, Super Bowl)

11. Environmental disaster clean-up including toxic and nuclear

12. Substitute teachers and school workers in public schools

13. Community assistance programs (e.g. landscaping, environmental clean-up,road repair, animal control)

14. Federal and State prison guards and auxiliary police

15. National emergency police force/international security force

16. Advisors to SWAT units, the FBI, or the BATF

17. Border Patrol (e.g. prevention of entry of illegal aliens into U.S. territory)

18. Drug enforcement and interdiction

19. Disaster relief in bordering countries (e.g. hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes, etc.)

20. Environmental disaster clean-up in bordering countries including toxic and nuclear.

21. Peace keeping and local law enforcement and internal security forces

22. National building (reconstruct civil governments, develop public school system, develop or improve public transportation system, etc.)

23. Humanitarian relief (e.g. food and medical supplies, temporary housing and clothing and domestic care).

Do you feel that U.S. combat troops should be used in other countries, under command of non-U.S. officers appointed by the U.N. for any of the following missions?

24. Drug enforcement.

25. Disaster relief (e.g. hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes)

26. Environmental disaster clean-up including toxic and nuclear.

27. Peace keeping including local law enforcement and internal security forces

28. National building (reconstruct civil government, develop public school system, develop or improve public transportation system, etc.

29. Humanitarian relief (e.g. food and medical supplies, temporary housing and clothing and domestic care)

30. Police action (e.g. Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm but serving under non-U.S. officers)

31. The U.S. runs a field training exercise. U.N. combat troops should be allowed to serve in U.S. combat units during these exercises under U.S. command and control.

32. The U.N. runs a field training exercise. U.S. combat troops under U.S. command and control should serve in U.N. combat units during these exercises

33. The U.N. runs a field training exercise. U. S. combat troops should serve under U.N. command and control.

34. U.S. combat troops should participate in U.N.missions as long as the U.S. has full command and control.

35. U.S. combat troops should participate in U.N. missions under U.N. command and control.

36. U.S. combat troops should be commanded by U.N. officers and non- commissioned officers at battalion, wing and company levels while performing U.N. missions.

37. It would make no difference to me to have U.N. soldiers as members of my team.

38. It would make no difference to me to take orders from a U.N. company or squadron commander.

39. I feel the President of the U.S. has the authority to pass his responsibilities as Commander-in-Chief to the U.N. Secretary General.

40. I feel there is no conflict between my oath of office and serving as a U.N. soldier.

41. I feel my unit’s combat effectiveness would not be affected by performing huminatarian and peace keeping missions for the U.N.

42. I feel a designated unit of U.S. combat soldiers should be permanently assigned to the command and control of the U.N.

43. I would be willing to volunteer for assignment to a U.S. combat unit under a U.N. commander.

44. I would like U.N. member countries, including the U.S., to give the U.N. all the soldiers necessary to maintain world peace.

45. I would swear to the following code:

“I am a United Nations fighting person. I serve in the forces which maintain world peace and every nation’s way of life. I swear and affirm to support and defend the Charter of the United Nations and I am prepared to give my life in its defense.”

46. The U.S. government declares a ban on the possession, sale, transportation, and transfer of all non-approved firearms. A 30-day amnesty period is established for these firearms to be turned over to the local authorities. At the end of this period, a number of irregular citizen groups and defiant individuals refuse to turn over their firearms to authority.

Consider the following statement:

“I would fire upon U.S. citizens who refuse or resist confiscation of firearms banned by the United States government.”

End of Survey

Witness: Multiple, NOT just one, US soldiers involved in civilian massacre

‘Several drunk troops behind bloodbath, laughed on shooting-spree, burned corpses’

Gruesome new details are surfacing after 16 Afghan villagers including nine children were shot in their houses by at least one US serviceman. Witnesses to the atrocity now say that several drunken American soldiers were involved.

­Neighbors at the village where the killings took place said they were awoken past midnight by crackling gunfire:

“They were all drunk and shooting all over the place,” Reuters cites Agha Lala, a villager in Kandahar’s Panjwayi district.

Lala’s neighbor Haji Samad lost all of his 11 relatives in the rampage, including children and grandchildren. He claims Marines “poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them.”

Twenty-year-old Jan Agha says the gunfire “shook him out of bed.” He was in the epicenter of the horrible shooting, witnessing his father shot as the latter peered out of a window to see what was going on.

“The Americans stayed in our house for a while. I was very scared,” the young man told reporters.

Lying on a floor, Agha says, he pretended to be dead.

He added that his brother was shot in his head and chest. His sister was killed as well. “My mother was shot in her eye and her face. She was unrecognizable,” he said.

The Afghan parliament said the incident was barbaric and demanded justice. Both NATO and US officials condemned the violence, promising a swift investigation.
­US ‘fundamental strategy’ in Afghanistan won’t change – Pentagon

­The Pentagon’s chief spokesman, George Little, said on Monday that there was “every indication” that the perpetrator, whose name he refused to disclose, had not been accompanied by any other soldiers. He also said that the mass killing would not change the “basic war strategy” in Afghanistan.

“Despite what some are saying, we’re not changing our fundamental strategy,” Little said.

Also on Monday NATO reacted to the massacre of Afghan villagers, with spokeswoman Oana Lungescu saying the shooting was an “isolated incident.” She emphasized it would not affect the timeline of the previously discussed withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

Earlier a preliminary official report said the unnamed culprit, identified as a member of the US army staff, had acted alone and is now in custody after turning himself in at an American base.

US troops in Afghanistan have been put on high alert as the Taliban has issued a threat vowing “to take revenge from the invaders and the savage murderers for every single martyr.”

The statement published on the group’s website said that the US is “arming lunatics in Afghanistan who turn their weapons against the defenseless Afghans.”

Afghan officials, fearing possible violent demonstrations, have deployed extra police and troops in and around Kandahar.

The incident was one of the worst of its kind since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. It comes just weeks after copies of the Koran were burned at a US military base, provoking mass riots in Afghanistan.
­Slaying of 16 Afghan civilians ‘absolutely tragic and heartbreaking’ – Barack Obama

­US President Barack Obama has said during an interview with Denver TV Station KCNC that the killing of 16 Afghan civilians by a US soldier was “absolutely tragic and heartbreaking” but also noted that he was “proud generally” of what US troops had accomplished in Afghanistan while working under strenuous conditions.

In another interview, this time with Orlando-based WFTV, the president reiterated his stance in favor of a pullout from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. He said the incident “does signal the importance of us transitioning in accordance with my plans that Afghans are taking more of the initiative in security.”

Asked whether the incident could be compared to the infamous 1968 My Lai Massacre, in which US troops murdered up to 500 civilians in South Vietnam, Obama responded by saying it was not comparable. “It appeared you had a lone gunman who acted on his own,” he noted.

US defense secretary Leon Panetta said that the death penalty was a possible punishment against the soldier who perpetrated the massacre. He noted that officials will use the military justice system to try the soldier and that the shootings must not derail the military mission in Afghanistan.

In the meantime, Reuters quoted an anonymous US official who said that the accused soldier had been treated for traumatic brain injury after being in a vehicle that rolled over in Iraq in 2010.

SOURCE

White House Won’t Say What Will Happen to Troops Who Burnt Korans

White House Won’t Say What Will Happen to Troops Who Burnt Korans

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By Fred Lucas

(CNSNews.com) – In the face of Afghan President Hamid Karzai;s call for the U.S. troops who burned Korans to be tried and punished, the White House won’t say what will happen to those troops.

A reporter asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney at Thursday’s briefing what would be done with them.

“I think there is an investigation into that,” Carney responded. “You surely understand that I would not make any statements about the disposition of that investigation or how it should turn out.”

The Korans were mistakenly burnt on Bagram Air Force Base.

Obama spoke with Karzai earlier Thursday, Carney said.

As CNSNews.com reported, three days after Obama issued an apology to Karzai for the burning of the Muslim holy book, Karzai responded on Afghan TV that the soldiers should be tried.

In late February, Karzai, according to a BBC translation of his remarks, told the Afghan people, “We call on the US government to bring the perpetrators of the act to justice and put them on trial and punish them.”

At the same time Karzai was demanding the prosecution and punishment of U.S. troops involved in the Koran-burning incident, he conceded that the U.S. government had indicated that the Koran burning “was not deliberate.”

“We all know that regrettably some days ago an American soldier burnt our Holy Koran,” Karzai said, according to the BBC translation. “We condemn this vicious act in the strongest terms. The government and the people, scholars, tribal dignitaries, spiritual figures of Afghanistan, the educated people of our country all share the people’s feelings… Our people’s sensitiveness is right and is laudable.

“The US government says that such act was carried out because of ignorance and lack of knowledge,” Karzai said. “This incident happened as a result of the ignorance of the US military officer about our vision about Islam and not recognizing the Koran. It was not deliberate.”

SOURCE

Obama Plans to Dramatically Cut Healthcare Benefits for Troops!

Trashing Tricare

BY: Bill Gertz –

The Obama administration’s proposed defense budget calls for military families and retirees to pay sharply more for their healthcare, while leaving unionized civilian defense workers’ benefits untouched. The proposal is causing a major rift within the Pentagon, according to U.S. officials. Several congressional aides suggested the move is designed to increase the enrollment in Obamacare’s state-run insurance exchanges.

The disparity in treatment between civilian and uniformed personnel is causing a backlash within the military that could undermine recruitment and retention.

The proposed increases in health care payments by service members, which must be approved by Congress, are part of the Pentagon’s $487 billion cut in spending. It seeks to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system in the fiscal 2013 budget, and $12.9 billion by 2017.

Many in Congress are opposing the proposed changes, which would require the passage of new legislation before being put in place.

“We shouldn’t ask our military to pay our bills when we aren’t willing to impose a similar hardship on the rest of the population,” Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and a Republican from California, said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. “We can’t keep asking those who have given so much to give that much more.”

Administration officials told Congress that one goal of the increased fees is to force military retirees to reduce their involvement in Tricare and eventually opt out of the program in favor of alternatives established by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

“When they talked to us, they did mention the option of healthcare exchanges under Obamacare. So it’s in their mind,” said a congressional aide involved in the issue.

Military personnel from several of the armed services voiced their opposition to a means-tested tier system for Tricare, prompting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey to issue a statement Feb. 21.

Dempsey said the military is making tough choices in cutting defense spending. In addition to the $487 billion over 10 years, the Pentagon is facing automatic cuts that could push the total reductions to $1 trillion.

“I want those of you who serve and who have served to know that we’ve heard your concerns, in particular your concern about the tiered enrollment fee structure for Tricare in retirement,” Dempsey said. “You have our commitment that we will continue to review our health care system to make it as responsive, as affordable, and as equitable as possible.”

Under the new plan, the Pentagon would get the bulk of its savings by targeting under-65 and Medicare-eligible military retirees through a tiered increase in annual Tricare premiums that will be based on yearly retirement pay.

Significantly, the plan calls for increases between 30 percent to 78 percent in Tricare annual premiums for the first year. After that, the plan will impose five-year increases ranging from 94 percent to 345 percent—more than 3 times current levels.

According to congressional assessments, a retired Army colonel with a family currently paying $460 a year for health care will pay $2,048.

The new plan hits active duty personnel by increasing co-payments for pharmaceuticals and eliminating incentives for using generic drugs.

The changes are worrying some in the Pentagon who fear it will severely impact efforts to recruit and maintain a high-quality all-volunteer military force. Such benefits have been a key tool for recruiting qualified people and keeping them in uniform.

“Would you stay with a car insurance company that raised your premiums by 345 percent in five years? Probably not,” said the congressional aide. “Would anybody accept their taxes being raised 345 percent in five years? Probably not.”

A second congressional aide said the administration’s approach to the cuts shows a double standard that hurts the military.

“We all recognize that we are in a time of austerity,” this aide said. “But defense has made up to this point 50 percent of deficit reduction cuts that we agreed to, but is only 20 percent of the budget.”

The administration is asking troops to get by without the equipment and force levels needed for global missions. “And now they are going to them again and asking them to pay more for their health care when you’ve held the civilian workforce at DoD and across the federal government virtually harmless in all of these cuts. And it just doesn’t seem fair,” the second aide said.

Spokesmen for the Defense Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff did not respond to requests for comment on the Tricare increases.

The massive increases beginning next year appear timed to avoid upsetting military voters in a presidential election year, critics of the plan say.

Additionally, the critics said leaving civilian workers’ benefits unchanged while hitting the military reflect the administration’s effort to court labor unions, as government unions are the only segment of organized labor that has increased in recent years.

As part of the increased healthcare costs, the Pentagon also will impose an annual fee for a program called Tricare for Life, a new program that all military retirees automatically must join at age 65. Currently, to enroll in Tricare for Life, retirees pay the equivalent of a monthly Medicare premium.

Under the proposed Pentagon plan, retirees will be hit with an additional annual enrollment fee on top of the monthly premium.

Congressional aides said that despite unanimous support among the military chiefs for the current healthcare changes, some senior officials in the Pentagon are opposing the reforms, in particular the tiered system of healthcare.

“It doesn’t matter what the benefit is, whether it’s commissary, PX, or healthcare, or whatever … under the rationale that if you raise your hand and sign up to serve, you earn a base set of benefits, and it should have nothing to do with your rank when you served, and how much you’re making when you retire,” the first aide said.

Military service organizations are opposing the healthcare changes and say the Pentagon is “means-testing” benefits for service personnel as if they were a social program, and not something earned with 20 or more years of military service.

Retired Navy Capt. Kathryn M. Beasley, of the Military Officers Association of America, said the Military Coalition, 32 military service and veterans groups with an estimated 5 million members, is fighting the proposed healthcare increases, specifically the use of mean-testing for cost increases.

“We think it’s absolutely wrong,” Beasley told the Free Beacon. “This is a breach of faith” for both the active duty and retiree communities.

Congressional hearings are set for next month.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars on Feb. 23 called on all military personnel and the veterans’ community to block the healthcare increases.

“There is no military personnel issue more sacrosanct than pay and benefits,” said Richard L. DeNoyer, head of the 2 million-member VFW. “Any proposal that negatively impacts any quality of life program must be defeated, and that’s why the VFW is asking everyone to join the fight and send a united voice to Congress.”

Senior Air Force leaders are expected to be asked about the health care cost increases during a House Armed Services Committee hearing scheduled for Tuesday.

Congress must pass all the proposed changes into law, as last year’s defense authorization bill preemptively limited how much the Pentagon could increase some Tricare fees, while other fees already were limited in law.

Tricare for Life, Tricare Prime, and Tricare Standard increases must be approved, as well as some of the pharmacy fee increases, congressional aides said.

Current law limits Tricare fee increases to cost of living increases in retirement pay.

SOURCE

Gone but not forgotton. Well, not really gone either.

U.S. Planning Troop Buildup in Gulf After Exit From Iraq

By THOM SHANKER and STEVEN LEE MYERS

MacDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — The Obama administration plans to bolster the American military presence in the Persian Gulf after it withdraws the remaining troops from Iraq this year, according to officials and diplomats. That repositioning could include new combat forces in Kuwait able to respond to a collapse of security in Iraq or a military confrontation with Iran.
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The plans, under discussion for months, gained new urgency after President Obama’s announcement this month that the last American soldiers would be brought home from Iraq by the end of December. Ending the eight-year war was a central pledge of his presidential campaign, but American military officers and diplomats, as well as officials of several countries in the region, worry that the withdrawal could leave instability or worse in its wake.

After unsuccessfully pressing both the Obama administration and the Iraqi government to permit as many as 20,000 American troops to remain in Iraq beyond 2011, the Pentagon is now drawing up an alternative.

In addition to negotiations over maintaining a ground combat presence in Kuwait, the United States is considering sending more naval warships through international waters in the region.

With an eye on the threat of a belligerent Iran, the administration is also seeking to expand military ties with the six nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. While the United States has close bilateral military relationships with each, the administration and the military are trying to foster a new “security architecture” for the Persian Gulf that would integrate air and naval patrols and missile defense.

The size of the standby American combat force to be based in Kuwait remains the subject of negotiations, with an answer expected in coming days. Officers at the Central Command headquarters here declined to discuss specifics of the proposals, but it was clear that successful deployment plans from past decades could be incorporated into plans for a post-Iraq footprint in the region.

For example, in the time between the Persian Gulf war in 1991 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the United States Army kept at least a combat battalion — and sometimes a full combat brigade — in Kuwait year-round, along with an enormous arsenal ready to be unpacked should even more troops have been called to the region.

“Back to the future”
is how Maj. Gen. Karl R. Horst, Central Command’s chief of staff, described planning for a new posture in the Gulf. He said the command was focusing on smaller but highly capable deployments and training partnerships with regional militaries. “We are kind of thinking of going back to the way it was before we had a big ‘boots on the ground’ presence,” General Horst said. “I think it is healthy. I think it is efficient. I think it is practical.”

Mr. Obama and his senior national security advisers have sought to reassure allies and answer critics, including many Republicans, that the United States will not abandon its commitments in the Persian Gulf even as it winds down the war in Iraq and looks ahead to doing the same in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

“We will have a robust continuing presence throughout the region, which is proof of our ongoing commitment to Iraq and to the future of that region, which holds such promise and should be freed from outside interference to continue on a pathway to democracy,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in Tajikistan after the president’s announcement.

During town-hall-style meetings with military personnel in Asia last week, the secretary of defense, Leon E. Panetta, noted that the United States had 40,000 troops in the region, including 23,000 in Kuwait, though the bulk of those serve as logistical support for the forces in Iraq.

As they undertake this effort, the Pentagon and its Central Command, which oversees operations in the region, have begun a significant rearrangement of American forces, acutely aware of the political and budgetary constraints facing the United States, including at least $450 billion of cuts in military spending over the next decade as part of the agreement to reduce the budget deficit.

Officers at Central Command said that the post-Iraq era required them to seek more efficient ways to deploy forces and maximize cooperation with regional partners. One significant outcome of the coming cuts, officials said, could be a steep decrease in the number of intelligence analysts assigned to the region. At the same time, officers hope to expand security relationships in the region. General Horst said that training exercises were “a sign of commitment to presence, a sign of commitment of resources, and a sign of commitment in building partner capability and partner capacity.”

Col. John G. Worman, Central Command’s chief for exercises, noted a Persian Gulf milestone: For the first time, he said, the military of Iraq had been invited to participate in a regional exercise in Jordan next year, called Eager Lion 12, built around the threat of guerrilla warfare and terrorism.

Another part of the administration’s post-Iraq planning involves the Gulf Cooperation Council, dominated by Saudi Arabia. It has increasingly sought to exert its diplomatic and military influence in the region and beyond. Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, for example, sent combat aircraft to the Mediterranean as part of the NATO-led intervention in Libya, while Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates each have forces in Afghanistan.

At the same time, however, the council sent a mostly Saudi ground force into Bahrain to support that government’s suppression of demonstrations this year, despite international criticism.

Despite such concerns, the administration has proposed establishing a stronger, multilateral security alliance with the six nations and the United States. Mr. Panetta and Mrs. Clinton outlined the proposal in an unusual joint meeting with the council on the sidelines of the United Nations in New York last month.

The proposal still requires the approval of the council, whose leaders will meet again in December in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, and the kind of multilateral collaboration that the administration envisions must overcome rivalries among the six nations.

“It’s not going to be a NATO tomorrow,”
said a senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss diplomatic negotiations still under way, “but the idea is to move to a more integrated effort.”

Iran, as it has been for more than three decades, remains the most worrisome threat to many of those nations, as well as to Iraq itself, where it has re-established political, cultural and economic ties, even as it provided covert support for Shiite insurgents who have battled American forces.

“They’re worried that the American withdrawal will leave a vacuum, that their being close by will always make anyone think twice before taking any action,”
Bahrain’s foreign minister, Sheik Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, said in an interview, referring to officials in the Persian Gulf region.

Sheik Khalid was in Washington last week for meetings with the administration and Congress. “There’s no doubt it will create a vacuum,” he said, “and it may invite regional powers to exert more overt action in Iraq.”

He added that the administration’s proposal to expand its security relationship with the Persian Gulf nations would not “replace what’s going on in Iraq” but was required in the wake of the withdrawal to demonstrate a unified defense in a dangerous region. “Now the game is different,” he said. “We’ll have to be partners in operations, in issues and in many ways that we should work together.”

At home, Iraq has long been a matter of intense dispute. Some foreign policy analysts and Democrats — and a few Republicans — say the United States has remained in Iraq for too long. Others, including many Republicans and military analysts, have criticized Mr. Obama’s announcement of a final withdrawal, expressing fear that Iraq remained too weak and unstable.

“The U.S. will have to come to terms with an Iraq that is unable to defend itself for at least a decade,
” Adam Mausner and Anthony H. Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies wrote after the withdrawal announcement.

Twelve Senators demanded hearings on the administration’s ending of negotiations with the Iraqis — for now at least — on the continuation of American training and on counterterrorism efforts in Iraq.

“As you know, the complete withdrawal of our forces from Iraq is likely to be viewed as a strategic victory by our enemies in the Middle East, especially the Iranian regime,
” the senators wrote Wednesday in a letter to the chairman of the Senate’s Armed Services

Thom Shanker reported from MacDill Air Force Base, and Steven Lee Myers from Washington.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: October 31, 2011

An earlier version of this article incorrectly described twelve senators who requested hearings on the negotiations that led to the withdrawal. Eleven of them were Republicans, not twelve. (Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut is an independent.)

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Army Preps for ‘Complex Catastrophes’ Stateside

Army Preps for ‘Complex Catastrophes’ Stateside

Army News Service|by Sgt. Maj. Eric Lobsinger

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas — Were an earthquake to occur along the 150-mile-long New Madrid Fault System— which has in the past produced quakes in Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana — Army North is ready to assist.

Department of Defense resources stand ready to provide defense support to civil authority in the case of any man-made or natural disaster, said Dr. Paul Stockton, the assistant secretary of defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs.

“The Department of Defense will always be in support of the lead federal agencies that are responsible for such domestic events,”
said Stockton. “We’re in terrific shape in the Department of Defense to support FEMA and DHS for what I call normal disasters — the kind of disasters that happen every year or every couple of years.”

Stockton said the DOD is also honing its skills for the possibility of facing complex catastrophes, such as what was practiced in the recent National Level Exercise 11, in which Northern Command and Army North both were key participants.

The exercise scenario featured a 7.7 earthquake along the New Madrid fault, which falls along the Mississippi River. The 7.7 earthquake typifies what Stockton terms as the challenges of complex catastrophes.

“First, the magnitude,” he said, because “it’s so much bigger than anything we’ve faced — way beyond Hurricane Katrina — over 100,000 casualties in the scenario.

Stockton said such an earthquake would be a complex catastrophe due to the effects of cascading failures of critical infrastructure.

Army North is situated to provide assistance through its 10 direct coordinating elements, which are co-located within the 10 FEMA regions, said the commanding general of U.S. Army North, while speaking before a packed house, July 29, during the Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colo.

“We are embedded with FEMA across the country,”
said Lt. Gen. Guy C. Swan III. “So this time of the year, especially with hurricanes, we’re joined at the hip with our team of partners.

Swan said units such as Army North, and its military partner units throughout Northern Command and the Department of Defense, bring a wealth of knowledge to the fight.

“The conflicts that we’ve been involved in over the past 10 years have built up a knowledge base within our armed forces on planning, training and equipping for a variety of threats,
” Swan said. “We often find ourselves in a capacity-building role with our federal partners. We play an advise and assist role, just as we do overseas, with our own federal partners.”

During the security conference, Swan served as a member of a three-person panel discussion titled: “The war abroad and the threat at home.” Among the highlights was a discussion on the Department of Defense’s, Army North’s and U.S. Northern Command’s role in homeland security.

The general was joined on the panel by Stockton and retired Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, who serves as a special assistant to the president for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

During the discussion, Swan also touched on another concern he has for the United States.

“Mexico is something that we ought not to take our eye off of,
” Swan said.”The strength of the transnational criminal groups, the cartels, is very disturbing — and even more so because it’s on our southern border. Part of our military-to-military mission within the command is to work with our military counterparts and other security forces in Mexico to compliment what we do with the border patrol, the (Center for Domestic Preparedness) and others.”

Among Army North’s responsibilities are providing the land component support to Northern Command for homeland defense and homeland security responsibilities, and providing military support to other federal agencies, such as FEMA, in a disaster. The command also provides military support to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Border Patrol for border security, and it provides training and assistance support to the security forces of Mexico in the fight against transnational criminal organizations and drug cartels.

Other aspects of the command’s responsibilities include maintaining trained and ready response forces for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosive weapons-of-mass-destruction attacks or disasters, in addition to defending the homeland against missile attacks, providing maritime and air defense of North America, and various other missions.

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Half a Million Troops Could Seal the Southwest Border

Half a Million Troops Could Seal the Southwest Border, Says Border Protection Chief

By Penny Starr

(CNSNews.com) – Sealing the border between the United States and Mexico completely is “theoretically” possible, but Americans would not want to pay “the costs that would be involved,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner Alan Bersin said Thursday.

He was speaking at an event to release a report by the liberal Center for American Progress (CAP), claiming the southwest border is safer than it ever has been.

“We would need on the order of about four or five hundred thousand border patrol agents to seal the border,” Bersin said, adding that such a plan would involve having agents stationed “25 yards” apart along the entire length of the border.

Bersin’s remarks came after he was questioned about sealing the border by CAP immigration policy director Marshall Fitz. Bersin and Fitz joined Doris Meissner, who served as commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service during the Clinton administration, to discuss border security and release the CAP report, Safer Than Ever, A View from the U.S.-Mexico Border: Assessing the Past, Present and Future.

Fitz said he wanted to ask Bersin “about the impossibility of an absolute seal,” and what he characterized as unrealistic intent of 2006 legislation mandating a fence be built along the southwest border.

Fitz said for “the average American, who doesn’t think a lot about this and considers the United States the most powerful country in the history of the world,” it might not seem “unrealistic to think that we could actually seal the border.”

He said that the U.S. Congress, in passing the Secure Fence Act of 2006, “suggests that that is viable.”

Bersin responded by saying most Americans understand that a “zero crime rate” is not possible, adding that the border issue is more a political than a practical one.

“The difficulty is not that the American people wouldn’t understand it, it’s that there’s a volatility of border politics,” he said. “So that any particular incident gets blown into this conflagration that somehow things are out of control in ways that people are quite used to in their neighborhood.

“The occurrence of a crime in the community doesn’t lead people to believe that their entire community is lawless,
” Bersin said.

He said he favored the “satisfactory control of the border that I think we are moving toward.”

Doris Meissner, commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service in the Clinton administration, said told the event her agency had changed the model of immigration enforcement. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

Meissner credited the Clinton administration, and the agency she headed in particular, with changing the model of enforcing immigration law from strictly a personnel issue to a strategy that includes a “mix of resources,” including personnel, technology and other support infrastructure.

All three panelists argued that a reduction in apprehensions along the border suggests a more secure border. The CAP report authored by Fitz shows striking differences in apprehension rates between 2000 and 2010.

In the Tucson, Arizona sector – the area all agreed has the highest number of illegal crossings – 616,346 people were taken into custody in 2000, compared with 212,202 in 2010. In the El Paso, Texas, sector the number dropped from 285,781 in 2000 to 12, 251 in 2010.

Meissner accused critics of the Obama administration’s immigration policies of “stirring the pot,” although she also admitted that in Arizona “there is not yet the level of control that you want.”

In his report, Fitz targeted Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, calling him and his allies “restrictionists.”

“The unreasonable position advanced by the restrictionists is that 100 percent of the border must be subject to the most stringent standard, i.e. controlled,”
he wrote.

“Rep. Smith is effectively demanding an absolute seal of the border – an unattainable objective – as a precondition to discussion of broader immigration reforms.”

Smith’s office did not immediately respond to a CNSNews.com request to comment on the report.

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