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— This Month —
Defense Policy Outlook
Where Are We Anyway?
Is Japan Nothing More Than A Paper
America Needs Combat Partners, Should Japan Be One Of Them?
Lessons Never Learned Are Lessons To Be Repeated
Who Needs Ground Troops, Surely These Bombers Will Do
- - - - -
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and Enlisted OCS cadre who are in need, and c) to archive for
posterity the stories and history of all of the Signal Corps OCS
Officers who served this great country. We are open to ALL
former Army Signal Corps OCS graduates,
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Please, come join us. For more information about our Association, to
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Defense Policy Outlook
Former Secretary Of Defense Robert Gates Tells
Congress What It Doesn't Want To Hear...
...that as far as
military commanders are concerned, both the
White House and Congress are doing a lousy job.
We don't usually do this... toss you to yourself
on our Home Page and tell you to make your own
entertainment. Usually we ply you with our
best wit and humor, or our most strident
criticism of Washington. And
when we don't do either of those, likely as not we will
have for you a fully researched article or
two on a
Signal Corps Success from the past, or an hour
long story for you to read on some historic aspect of the Signal
Corps and its men.
Not this month though. This month, instead of giving you lots
of stuff to read, this month we're going to ask
you to spend 2 1/2 hours watching a video...
well, actually 2 hours, 25 minutes and 51
You see, the video we want you to watch covers
entirety of former
Defense Secretary Robert Gates' testimony to
Congress this past October, on current U.S. defense policy and
America's strategic military posture overseas.
With all of you being military aficionados, we
would be remiss if we did not provide you with
this incredible video showing exactly
what is going on with respect to our
government's military policies, intentions,
commitments and plans.
As for why the whole 2.5 hours of his testimony,
it's because this is the first time we have seen
someone in the know actually tell it
like it is... whisky, snake oil
and all. In this remarkable footage Gates takes
Congress on directly, telling them not only what
they are doing right but what they are doing
wrong. Covering dozens of topics from Congress'
budget challenges, to the idiocy of running a
military based on the concept of sequestration,
the problem with Defense Department–Veterans
Affairs, troop morale, and ongoing missions,
such as those in the Middle East, Gates tells it
like it is.
So take a little time... now that the grand kids
are all back at school and the wife is out
playing canasta... to sit back, grab a cigar and a
beer, and find out what's really
going on in that military world you so recently
Run time: 02:25:51
Is Japan Nothing More Than A Paper Tiger?
Tough Times Are Ahead With China. America Is Looking For
Military Allies To Help It Stand Up To Beijing. Is Japan
Ready To Step Up To The Plate, Or Is It Nothing More Than A
What a mess America is in.
We’ve got a leader in the White House that
doesn’t have a clue about how to use the
military force we gave him to pursue world peace
and stability with, coupled with military
leaders who are afraid to speak truth to power
and tell the guy to either develop a workable
policy and strategy to guide the military, or
they’re going to resign and publicly disgrace
him for being as dim-witted as he is. Fifty
Special Ops men to Syria? Are you serious? Add
to all of this the dithering that caused our
President to take 6 years before he let
the Navy navigate through the disputed waters of
the South China Sea (within 12 miles of China’s
claimed sovereign islands), and you
have a real mess… as things stand now, our
country is in trouble.
Then there’s the “let’s repeat
Vietnam” strategy that Obama seems hell bent on imposing on
Iraq and Afghanistan. What policy is that you ask? It’s the
one that says “we’re tired of fighting… let’s just go home
and leave it to the indigenous people we’re leaving behind
to figure out how to get themselves out of the mess we
created for them.”
With a policy like that, it’s no
wonder that ISIS stepped into the void we created when we
prematurely packed up our pup tents and went home a few
years back; setting the stage for a scramble to power that,
in the end, has turned Iraq into little more than a footnote
in history... while at the same time our vacuum helped
assure the continued rule of Assad, left the Middle East to
Iran to watch over, and invited Putin to take up residence
for good measure.
What a mess that part of the world is
in right now, and we created it.
Let’s face facts, because of America’s
profoundly inept leadership Iraq as a governing entity no
longer exists. It is dead. A nation that was once the
cradle of civilization has
now been reduced to a state of sectarian driven corruption,
underwritten by a fractured populous that doesn’t trust
anyone, with a military that runs from fights. Chaos rules
in what used to be called Iraq.
Woe the ancient kings of
Mesopotamia, if they could only see what America
has done to their once proud homeland… all because we got
tired of fighting in the war that we
started. Yea you readers, watch this space… because the same
thing is about to happen to Afghanistan… unless we quickly
realize that along with winning a war comes the obligation
of rebuilding the nation we destroyed in the first place.
Not sure about this nation building
thing? Check your reference notes on the states of Germany,
South Korea and Japan, and you will see what we mean.
This page last updated 1 November 2015. New
content is constantly being added. Please check back
18 October 2015–
At this year's Reunion the Board held a meeting to
determine how to handle the challenge of a declining
membership, as our members get older. The Board
passed a resolution regarding a "Contingency Plan
for Future USASCOCS Dissolution". The document is
available at the top of our
Association page. All members should read it,
and if there are any questions contact the Chairman.
1 September 2015– Max Holt, the Association's Chaplain sent us a link
to a fascinating website. It pinpoints on a map of
Vietnam all of the firebases and U.S. war facilities
of the Vietnam War. The site claims: "THIS
IS A FULL Collection of 4 pages of FIRE BASES, AIR
FORCE BASES, Naval and Medical, BROWN WATER Naval,
and any and all bases DOD during the Vietnam War
1963 to 1975". You may want to check it out... but
be forewarned that it's still a work in progress,
and so clicking on some of the bases will send you
to a dead link. Be patient, the webmaster for this
interesting site is still working on it. Click here to the website.
Continued from left column...
Japan. Ah, Japan. A shining example of
America’s nation building brilliance, even it is not without
rebuke. Such a great thing we did when we helped rebuild it
and get it back on its feet after WWII. Such a great thing
we did by forcing down its throat a constitution that forbid
it to develop and maintain a standing military.
Thanks to our requiring that their Constitution contain what
is commonly referred to as Article 9, something we wrote for
them, Japan seems to have forever renounced war as a means
of resolving differences between nations. It’s not that the
Japanese are not allowed to fight because of Article 9, mind
you, it’s that they aren’t allowed to maintain “the
potential for war”.
Such a strange clause… one could hardly argue with America
propagandizing a people—as in this case Japan—towards
embracing pacifism; but to go as far as prohibiting the use
of their military in causes that seek to maintain world
peace? Did someone overreact somewhere along the way when we
set about rebuilding war torn Japan, by saddling them with
And so we find ourselves today—we,
America—with the world having abandoned us when it comes to
forming military coalitions (because of the ham-fisted way
we have wound down the wars they did help us in) to solve
the world’s ills, with Japan, one of the most capable of
potential military partners for America, wanting to help but
being constrained from doing so because of a bright idea
Douglas MacArthur had back in his heyday.
Fortunately, all is not lost. Japan’s new leaders are trying
to rewrite history. They are trying to bring Japan into the
modern age, by allowing it to use the Self Defense Forces
(SDF) they have to partner with us, and actually take to the
battlefield and fight those wars we both deem worthy of
fighting… like possibly stopping China from branding the
Pacific Ocean its own sovereign territory.
The question is, is the SDF up to fighting a real war, or is
it nothing more than a toothless tiger? Let’s look and see.
Lessons Never Learned Are Lessons To Be Repeated
With all of the talk these days of the cost of war and what
it will take to win in Syria, it might be useful to consider
what it cost to fight the Vietnam War.
Looking at just one battle in that war, the siege of Khe Sanh—an
engagement about the size of what's going on in Syria
today—will serve our purpose. The siege of Khe Sanh saw the U.S. Air Force drop
5 tons of explosives for
every 1 North Vietnamese soldier that surrounded the base at Khe Sanh. Take note of this, because just as today
where people seem to think that wars can be won through the
use of air power alone, back then things weren't much different.
One wonders, should we blame those who today want to solely
fight drone and bomber wars, from afar, with no boots on the
ground, for being ignorant, or should we just shake our
heads in dismay and marvel at how few of the people that
fight today's wars pay any attention to the lessons of
Vietnam, but our more recent wars too?
The Khe Sanh bombing campaign saw a staggering 100,000 tones
of ordnance dropped on that spot of land… and it did not end
the siege. For that one battle alone, U.S. tax payers
shelled out approximately $1 billion.
What did win the battle, you ask? As it turned out, the
battle was not meant to be a battle at all. Instead, what
the NVA was doing was rolling out a mere holding action;
something they conjured up for the purpose of tying down
nearly 45,000 US troops, so that the NVA could focus their
interests elsewhere… like on Saigon.
How many NVA did it take to tie down the 45,000 U.S. troops
at Khe Sanh, you ask? Roughly 17,000. The tactic worked
perfectly. In the battle for Khe Sanh the NVA sucked in not
only the 45,000 troops we mentioned earlier, but also half of the US
air mobile’s reaction force of nearly 20,000 men.
Best of all, they did all of this while focusing their main
combat efforts on Saigon and the dozens of other cities that
made up South Vietnam's political and government regions…
all under the semblance of what the world would eventually
come to call
the Tet Offensive.
As for Khe Sanh, once the Tet Offensive hit its stride the
NVA surrounding Khe Sanh melted back into the jungles, and
headed off on their little donkey trails to find some poor hamlet
or town to harass.
As most of our readers know, while the Tet Offensive lasted
almost 8 months, thus allowing the NVA to claim a propaganda
victory, it did little in the way of advancing the war's
aims in North Vietnam's favor. In the end all of the NVA’s
land gains were retaken, with heavy losses being inflicted
on both the NVA and the Viet Cong. All of which merely makes
our point: Putin’s recent introduction of Russian air force
bombers into Syria will not win the war going on in that sad
little country; nor will the 50 Special Ops forces President
Obama sent as a counterweight to Putin's bombers.
Join 2, 3 and 4 word answers together
as one complete word.
answer key to this month's puzzle,
see icon at bottom of page
 The current
Constitution of Japan was promulgated on November 3, 1946,
and came into effect on May 3, 1947. One of the
Constitution’s distinctive features is its embracing of
pacifism. Article 9 of the Constitution, which renounces
war, is considered unique. Japan is allowed Jieitai,
the Self Defense Forces (SDF), the Air SDF, the Maritime SDF
and the Ground SDF. They cannot be called land, sea and air
forces (gun) because Article 9 prohibits Japan from
maintaining military forces. - To return to your place above,
Douglas MacArthur’s idea of having a “no military” clause in
Japan’s Constitution has caused some damage over the years,
it has been nowhere near as damaging as Paul Bremer’s idea
that Iraq’s military should be disbanded. The idiocy of
that decision boggles the mind. How could Bremer and his
boss… President Bush… not have foreseen the consequences of
firing and then letting loose 2,800,000 trained soldiers,
with their rifles? Does the phrase “insurgent force” ring a
bell to anyone? How about “well trained, fully armed
guerilla fighters, now free to turn their attention on you”? - To return to your place above,
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