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Posts Tagged ‘Inaugural’

White House Web Site Lays Out National Security Agenda

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 21, 2009

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2009 – As President Barack Obama and the first family began moving into the presidential residence here yesterday, the administration unpacked a new presidential agenda on the White House’s official Web site.

Shortly after Obama took the oath of office, the president’s agenda, including Obama’s strategy for defense and Middle East policy, was uploaded to

According to the agenda, the administration supports the effort begun in 2007 to increase the size of the Army by 65,000 soldiers and the Marine Corps by 27,000 to help units retrain and re-equip properly between deployments and decrease the strain on military families.

The new commander in chief also plans to create a Military Families Advisory Board to make senior policymakers and the public more aware of military families’ concerns. Meanwhile, a vignette on the site about first lady Michelle Obama states that supporting military families is an issue “close to her heart,” and an issue on which she intends to focus her efforts.

Many of the policies cited online mirror the items Obama and Vice President Joe Biden endorsed on their campaign and transition Web sites.

An issue affecting both military members and their families is the policy of “stop-loss” that requires selected troops to remain in uniform after their service contracts expire. The president has promised to cease these mandatory extensions.

“Obama and Biden will end the stop-loss policy and establish predictability in deployments so that active duty and reserves know what they can and must expect,” the site states.

Another piece of Obama’s defense agenda is building defense capabilities for the 21st century by fully equipping troops — including members of the National Guard and reserves — for their missions, and balancing conventional and counterinsurgency weapons systems. The president also advocates reforming a corruptible contracting process while maintaining aerial and naval capabilities, and supporting a pragmatic and cost-effective missile defense system.

Obama and Biden have vowed to build up special operations forces, civil affairs, information operations, and other units and capabilities that are in chronic short supply; to invest in foreign language training, cultural awareness, human intelligence and other needed counterinsurgency and stabilization skill sets; and to create a more robust capacity to train, equip and advise foreign security forces.

This agenda item dovetails with the administration’s pledge to develop “whole-of-government” initiatives to spur global stability, in which military and civilian efforts are linked and a 25,000-strong Civilian Assistance Corps consisting of doctors, lawyers, engineers and police is formed as a deployable unit available in times of domestic or international need.

On foreign policy, the site describes the incoming administration’s plans for U.S. force posturing in the Middle East: “Barack Obama and Joe Biden will responsibly end the war in Iraq so that we can renew our military strength [and] dedicate more resources to the fight against the Taliban and [al-Qaida] in Afghanistan.”

With regard to U.S. force levels in Iraq, a newly enacted agreement between Washington and Baghdad sets the legal framework for a timeline of withdrawal. The status-of-forces agreement, which became effective Jan. 1, stipulates that American combat forces pull back from cities and villages to major bases by June 30, 2009.

The deal also calls for all American troops to vacate Iraq by the last day of 2011, though officials point out that a withdrawal timeline is subject to change according to political circumstances.

In Afghanistan, the Pentagon is expected to add about 25,000 additional troops over the next 12 to 18 months, according to defense officials. Some 32,000 American forces currently are deployed there.

Both Obama and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who replaced Donald H. Rumsfeld as then-President George W. Bush’s defense secretary and whom Obama has retained as Pentagon chief, have spoken about the need to push for stronger commitment from NATO allies in Afghanistan.

During a news conference last month in the Afghan capital of Kandahar, the secretary said that some NATO allies believe they and their Afghan counterparts are holding their own in some areas of fighting.

“But I think everybody would agree that holding your own isn’t good enough,” Gates said. The Obama White House, meanwhile, said it “will increase our troop levels in Afghanistan [and] press our allies in NATO to do the same.”

“America’s traditional alliances, such as NATO, must be transformed and strengthened, including on common security concerns like Afghanistan, homeland security, and counterterrorism,” the Web site states.


Posted in Afghanistan, Iraq, Military, Obama, US Forces | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Administration Sets Agenda for Veteran Care

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 21, 2009

By Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2009 – President Barack Obama has promised to deliver the care and benefits the nation’s military veterans deserve while transforming the Department of Veterans Affairs into a 21st century organization, according to an administration agenda posted on the White House Web site.

“Keeping faith with those who serve must always be a core American value and a cornerstone of American patriotism,” Obama said during a speech April 2007 in Kansas City, Mo. “Because America’s commitment to its servicemen and women begins at enlistment, and it must never end.”

Obama, who served on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, plans to reverse the 2003 ban on enrolling modest-income veterans into the VA system, allowing all veterans the opportunity for care, according to the agenda on veterans. The administration also plans to continue the fight to end employment discrimination for Guardsmen and Reservists.

Additionally, the administration aims to improve the process of transitioning from active duty to civilian life for military members leaving the service or returning from deployment. To improve the benefit decision system, the administration will look at hiring additional claims workers with an improved accountability and training criteria, according to the agenda.

Also, the administration plans to launch new programs and expand proven programs to prevent homelessness among veterans, as well as to explore the possibility of a national “zero tolerance” policy to ensure no veterans end up on the streets.

As they works to make VA a national leader in health care reform, the agenda says, administration officials will explore ways to improve mental health studies, polytrauma care, prosthetics development, spinal cord injury treatment and women’s health.

Posted in Military, Obama, US Forces, Women | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mullen Shares Force Concerns of Coming Year

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 21, 2009

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2009 – Afghanistan, “dwell time” at home stations between deployments and the health of the force are at the forefront of concerns the Defense Department must address, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The United States will deploy between 20,000 and 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan in the coming year, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said in a Jan. 16 Pentagon Channel interview.

The number is tied to the combatant commanders’ needs. “We’re working hard to move as many of the forces needed into Afghanistan as quickly as possible,” he said.

Any additional deployments to Afghanistan are tied directly to force levels in Iraq, he said. The number of U.S. troops in Iraq has dropped over the past year, and Mullen said he expects the number to continue to reduce “based on the recommendations of the commanders on the ground.”

“I hope we can make that happen,” he said. The security situation has improved in Iraq, with Iraqi forces now in the lead. With improved security, infrastructure improvements and development projects under the Iraqi government’s direction can move ahead.

The same cannot be said of Afghanistan. Mullen said before Congress last year that while the United States is not losing the war on terror in Afghanistan, it is not winning it, either. Commanders in Afghanistan have asked for more forces to implement the counterinsurgency strategy.

While U.S. and other NATO forces can clear areas, more troops are needed to hold the areas once they are clear of extremists. U.S. forces also will be needed to train Afghan security forces.

“The force has performed extraordinarily well — has really made a difference,” Mullen said. “We still seek success in Iraq and are shifting focus to Afghanistan.” But he emphasized that success in Afghanistan is not going to be measured in military force.

“We’ve also got to get things going with respect to the development, the economics, [and] the political side of Afghanistan as we move forward,” he said.

The United States must look at the fight in Central Asia as part of a regional strategy, military officials have said. As success continues in Iraq and forces shift to Afghanistan, U.S. officials will continue to work with Pakistani leaders to deny the Taliban and other extremist groups safe havens in that country.

Meanwhile, the chairman said, defense officials are looking for opportunities to increase dwell time over the next 12 to 18 months to take some of the pressure off the force.

The next two years will be a delicate time for the U.S. military, Mullen acknowledged. He said he is worried about the force and the stress that repeated deployments place on service members and their families, and that he will continue to monitor dwell time, the ability to recruit and retain the force and ways to maintain the balance of the military.

Defense officials must focus on programs for families, and on “making sure we take care of the wounded in such a way to put them in a position to succeed for the rest of their lives,” he said. They also must “make sure we have the right emphasis on those who sacrificed the most: the families of the fallen,” he added.

“People ask me about evolution into the 21st century and the things we have to get right,” the chairman said. “If we get it right for our people, we will ensure we have got it right for the 21st century, and that includes all the support we have to put in place for our families.”

The chairman also spoke about President Barack Obama’s stated intent to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.

“The military’s mission is to run the facility, and they have done that exceptionally well,” Mullen said. “If that guidance comes [to close the facility], we will move expeditiously and in accordance with his guidance.”

But it is a challenging issue, with a “significant number of individuals there who have hurt us badly in the past,” he said.

Mullen noted that he spoke out two years ago in favor of closing the Guantanamo facility.

“I think our challenge will be to figure out how we will handle the individuals who are currently there,” he said.

Posted in Afghanistan, Comedy, Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Military, Obama, Pentagon, US Forces | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

President Directs Suspension of Guantanamo Bay Commissions

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 21, 2009

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2009 – Responding to a presidential directive, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates yesterday ordered a suspension of active military commission proceedings at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a senior Pentagon official said here today.

President Barack Obama, who had called for the Guantanamo facility’s closure during his campaign, directed Gates to pause legal proceedings involving alleged terrorists being held and tried there, pending further guidance from the White House, spokesman Bryan Whitman told Pentagon reporters.

The president directed the secretary, who then directed the Office of Military Commissions, to cease referring any new cases through the military-commissions process at Guantanamo and to request 120-day continuances on all ongoing active cases there, Whitman said.

Whitman said he anticipates that further White House guidance regarding Guantanamo Bay will follow.

“The president has clearly made his intentions well known” regarding activities at the detention center, Whitman said.

Gates has recommended shutting down the Guantanamo detention center since he was appointed defense secretary more than two years ago. In December, Gates requested a proposal for closing the facility.

Gates has stated that requirements for closing Guantanamo include constructing legislation that provides statutory framework for housing detainees outside the confines of Guantanamo Bay, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters during a Dec. 18 news conference.

The defense secretary “has asked his team for a proposal on how to shut it down [and] what would be required specifically to close it and move the detainees from that facility, while at the same time ensuring that we protect the American people from some very dangerous characters,” Morrell said.

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 established procedures governing the use of military commissions to try alien unlawful enemy combatants engaged in hostilities against the United States for violations of the law of war and other offenses that can be tried by military commission, according to a military-commissions fact sheet.

The detention center at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay has housed nearly 800 suspected terrorists captured in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places since the start of the global war on terrorism that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

About 250 people are being held at Guantanamo today, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

Posted in Afghanistan, Bush, Comedy, Detainees, GITMO, Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Pentagon, Stupid People | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bush: 8 Years in 8 Minutes. Olbermann 1/19/09

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 21, 2009… Friday 16 Janu…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

UBERHACK, eight minutes of BDS and lies.

Tripe and lies couched as news. Mindless drivel passing as substance, worse than reducing substance to a sound bite. It is sound bites compiled to simulate substance. I am ashamed that i allowed my self to be lured in by the biggest lie, it was over eight minutes.

The word is petty UBERHACK, it’s in the dictionary. Look it up.

Posted in Afghanistan, Bush, Comedy, Detainees, Gaza, GITMO, Hamas, Harry Reid, Iraq, Israel, Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Obama, Palistine, Pelosi, Pentagon, Sons OF Iraq, Stupid People, United Nations, US Forces | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Barack Obama Has Taken The Oath

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 20, 2009

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Barack Obama has taken the oath of office and been sworn in as America’s 44th president.

Evoking Lincoln he has promised an open hand and a closed fist. The most important part, I believe is his promise to the world that America will remain involved in their affairs.

The estimated two million people the Mall endured paitently one of the shortest speeches I have ever heard in mild winter weather.

The news has followed the lead of Rush Limbaugh and called the speech reminiscent of a campaign.
He his vow to begin the work of “remaking America” comports to his personal belief that America is a failing enterprise.

Martin Luther King Jr’s desire that men be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin is belittled by the constant reference to the scale of his achievement at being the first black American elected to the White House. I long for the day when a “person” achieves, and not a skin color.

“Know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more”, should be decried by the left as American Imperialism. It will not be, now Imperialism is good. We all know there is no end to doing good.

“The challenges we face are real,” the new president said. “They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time.”

Invoking the memory of the US’s Founding Fathers, Mr Obama said he would strive to rebuild his nation’s standing in the world, saying: “We are ready to lead once more.”

The new president also address the world’s poor and the Muslim world, much of which angrily opposed the actions of the previous administration.

From now on, Mr Obama said, the US would seek “a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect”.

And, closing his speech to wild cheers yet wearing a serious expression, Mr Obama told his country that while America faces new and different challenges, its people must now enter “a new era of responsibility”.

Posted in Bush, Comedy, Harry Reid, Iraq, Israel, Obama, Pelosi, Pentagon, Sons OF Iraq, Stupid People, US Forces | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Lincoln, Obama Debate

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 20, 2009

We now have a president in the fashion of Lincoln. An open hand and a closed fist.

We are Americans. We are here to help, the open hand. If you stand in our way, we will pound you into the dust, the fist.

Posted in Bush, Comedy, Obama, Stupid People | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment » – NewsBusted 1/13/09

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 13, 2009

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about " – NewsBusted 1/13/09", posted with vodpod

Posted in Afghanistan, Comedy, Harry Reid, Iraq, Uncategorized, United Nations, US Forces | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Kucinich Documents Israel’s War Crimes On The Record!

Posted by Larry Barnes on January 13, 2009 09, 2009 C-SPAN

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Posted in Afghanistan, Bush, Comedy, Harry Reid, Iraq, Israel, Obama, Pelosi, Stupid People, US Forces | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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