Category Archives: Military

Stories about the US or other militaries and their soldiers, civilians and equipment or policies

Two US Spec Operators KIA in Afghanistan….

With more American Spec Operations mounted in that country ?

Increased causalities are going happen….

And THAT IS gonna be put in the public’s eyes, something President Obama tried hard to NOT have on his plate…

The Pentagon said two U.S. service members were killed Wednesday night during an operation against Islamic State’s affiliate in eastern Afghanistan, near where an 11-ton bomb was dropped earlier this month.

Their identities, military branch and unit affiliations are being withheld pending next-of-kin notification, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said Thursday.

They are they second and third U.S. service members to die fighting Islamic State in Afghanistan in 2017. There have been 1,835 American troops killed in action since U.S.-led invasion in late 2001….

LA Times …..

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The Mike Flynn story has just gotten more legs…Pentagon has a probe running…

…drip...Drip...DRIP...

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Documents released by lawmakers show President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was warned when he retired from the military in 2014 not to take foreign money without ‘‘advance approval’’ by Pentagon authorities.

Also, the Defense Department inspector general’s office confirms in a separate document that it is investigating whether Flynn failed to obtain prior approval….

President Donald Trump fired Flynn in February for misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other top administration officials about Flynn’s postelection conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the United States…

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image…brietbart.com

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The F-35 Fighter Jet continues to cost MORE money…

The jet has had a major problem with keeping its cost’s down and has some US  military service considering keeping their legacy Fighter Jets in service for decades more and requesting less F-35’s….

The ‘one size fits all’ thing has been expensive…

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The F-35’s development program will wrap up one year late in May 2018 and require $1.7 billion more than planned, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

A full-year delay poses a risk to the U.S. Navy’s timeline to declare initial operating capability (IOC) on its F-35C carrier variant and the program’s full-rate production decision planned for April 2019, the government watchdog wrote in an April report. GAO urged the Pentagon to finish development before making “significant new investments” in the aircraft.

GAO’s estimate is a significant departure from the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO). The JPO estimates development will be delayed just five months, wrapping up in October 2017, and require only $530 million extra.

The JPO took issue with the GAO’s estimate for the cost and timeline of the F-35 development program….

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image…alsakaf35s.com

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There is a place and time for American Spec Ops…That isn’t Everyplace

The New York Times feature’s a thoughtful piece that explains the increased use of Special Ops American troops by President Obama isn’t the be all to end all….

The combats units ARE highly trained and self reliant..

Image result for spec ops troops

Obama used them because they tend to operate in ‘drop in and get out’ combat missions that afford them low causality rates…

But as the NY Times piece points out?

Special Operators are NOT the troopers you use to hold ground….

As the US AGAIN ramps up military action in the Ira, Afghjanstain and Syria along with sveral Africa nations?

Special Operator ‘s will called into action…

But if the mission will be take ground and hold it?

The Army and Marines would be a better choice….

Trump’s general’s are veterans of Middle East conflicts….

One hopes they stay reluctant to get dragged into an escalation of America boots on the ground in the region….

When special operations forces have succeeded tactically — as they so frequently and impressively have — they rarely have produced strategic success on their own. Presidents Bush and Obama hoped that precision strikes by special operators would decapitate the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the insurgents endured so long as they controlled territory and population. The killing of Osama Bin Laden did not cripple Al Qaeda, and it produced a strategically damaging backlash in Pakistan. With the notable exception of the defeat of the Taliban in 2001, strategic victory has required the integration of special operations forces with both conventional forces and civilian national security agencies.

It’s also uncertain how relevant special operations forces will be in the next war. Although Mr. Trump may not be interested in fighting a major war, he may be left with little choice. Lyndon Johnson sent American troops into Vietnam in 1965 after campaigning as the peace candidate in 1964. George W. Bush became enmeshed in counterinsurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq despite a vow to keep the nation out of such quagmires.

America’s special operations troops can hunt down a terrorist or train an elite unit better than anyone. But they can’t destroy a Russian armored division or occupy a North Korean city….

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image….businessinsider.com

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Govt Shutdown on the line …Trump backs away from the ‘Wall’…Open Thread for April 24, 2017…

Coming up being stuck between an rock and hard place?

Donald Trump appears to have blinked….

No ONE want’s his monstrasity of a wall build between Mexico and the American border states…

There is no apitite for it from Democrats or Republicans….

Image result for ryan /schumer

There is no need for it with border aprehesions dropped by 60% since Trump started lowering the hammer on illegals at the border and around the country…

And there is NO money for this campiagn dream project either…

So it appears that Trump has signalled that he will withdrawn his demand that a ‘new beautiful 30 foot wall be constructed and settle for some drone’s and smart technology to add to the border effort ….Thus helping his adopted party solve one of the two major obstacles in the way of getting a budget….The other is the idea of Repealing Obamacare…THAT isn’t gonna happen the way he wants either…

And…

The Mexicans where NEVER gonna  pay for the thinbg and smart lawmakers aren’t gonna have Americans anti up the money either….

(Of course Trump is still bullshitting outloud about the wall..But lawmakers aren’t paying much attention to his tweets )…

….Republicans were working to define Trump’s campaign promise down, arguing that any form of border security would fulfill it.

“There will never be a 2,200-mile wall built, period,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a supporter of immigration reform who challenged Trump in the 2016 primaries. “I think it’s become symbolic of better border security. It’s a code word for better border security. If you make it about actually building a 2,200-mile wall, that’s a bridge too far — but I’m mixing my metaphors.”

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a key appropriator and member of Senate leadership, said that “there could be a wall in some places and technology in other places,” implying that there would not be funding for the wall sketched out in campaign rhetoric. “I think you’re going to get a down payment on border security generally,” he said….

Among other guarantees, Democrats want assurances that insurance subsidies through the Affordable Care Act will continue to be funded. There have been discussions among Republicans that Democrats could agree to provide money for the construction of the wall in exchange for those health funds, but Democrats have refused.

Sunday morning, congressional Democrats submitted to Republicans a compromise spending plan, which included some new money for border security but only if it did not go toward a wall. Democrats also asked for assurances that the health insurance subsidies would continue to be funded, language that would shore up benefits for coal miners and a change that would expand Medicaid benefits to people in Puerto Rico, according to a senior Democratic congressional aide.

image of ….House Speaker Ryan, Trump and Senate Minority leader Schumer…nymag.com

 

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Republicans begin to worry if Trump will cost them in next years MidTerm elections…

Again?

The word has been that Republicans would have the political advantage in keeping and even increasing their majorities in the US House and Senate….

But?

That isn’t what a LOT of of people beginning to think with Donald Trump running high disapproval numbers, slow government startup and his issistance on trying to get stuff passed that isn’t gonna happen…

Republicans say President Donald Trump needs to turn things around fast — or the GOP could pay dearly in 2018.

With the party preparing to defend its congressional majorities in next year’s midterms, senior Republicans are expressing early concern about Trump’s lack of legislative accomplishments, his record-low approval ratings, and the overall dysfunction that’s gripped his administration.

The stumbles have drawn the attention of everyone from GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, who funneled tens of millions of dollars into Trump’s election and is relied upon to bankroll the party’s House and Senate campaigns, to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Adelson hasn’t contributed to pro-Trump outside groups since the inauguration, a move that’s drawn notice within the party, and McConnell is warning associates that Trump’s unpopularity could weigh down the GOP in the election.

Potential GOP candidates whom party leaders want to recruit are afraid of walking into a buzz saw, uncertain about what kind of political environment they’ll be facing by the time the midterms come around — and what Trump’s record will look like….

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The Pentagon and White House ain’t on the same page…

Remember that part about the Mother of all Bomb’s use in Afghanistan?

Or?

The part about the Aircraft Carrier group sailing TO North Korea when it was going the opposite direction 5,000 mile away?

People?

The Pentagon KNOWS what the MOAB can do….

The Pentagon also KNOWS where its ships are EVERY second….

But…

The politicians over at the White House who talk to the media and seek to drive policy an the political narrative to fit their boss?

They can only go on what the Pentagon tells them…

And right now?

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The Defense Department is understaffed and led by a guy who runs his own show and isn’t much worried about politics….

To boot?

All of the top Trump General’s?

Are NOT political animals having  ALL worked for Obama and Bush II…Both THOSE Administrations made sure they stayed in the loop with their Defense Departments, which had guys running things who where civilians …Not generals…

On two separate occasions this month, the military has sent out information that was either misleading or unauthorized.

In the first instance, the Defense Department failed to correct claims from the White House and runaway media reports that an aircraft carrier strike group was headed toward North Korea in a show of force after that country tested a new missile.

In the second instance, U.S. Central Command walked back unusually blunt statements to The Hill about the use of a Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAB) in Afghanistan.

The breakdowns threaten to become a political problem for the administration, with the CENTCOM flap in particular catching the attention of liberal MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.

“We’re not sure who to trust when we get an explanation about it,” she said April 14 on “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

On Wednesday, Maddow argued in a series of tweets that CENTCOM “never explained who it was that gave that statement as if they were a spokesman.”

She also pointed out that the command’s release of unauthorized statements was not on the usual site where CENTCOM posts its press announcements.

“Now we’ve got a DOD statement that someone said things to a reporter that DOD disavows, but we don’t know who the person was … nor do we know the circumstances of why or how someone was pretending to be a CENTCOM spokesman for a day.”

While some turbulence is typical for any new administration, it is possible that understaffing and miscommunication between the White House and various departments are making life tougher for the Pentagon under President Trump.

“It appears that DOD is trying to work out the kinks in collaborating on messaging with the White House in real time,” said Owen Daniels of the Atlantic Council.

“DOD is in the position of reacting to the news cycle and White House statements, which could be a side effect of understaffing. It’s also possible that DOD is trying to minimize its contradiction of the [White House] where possible to project unified, consistent messaging to both partners and adversaries.”

More….

image…cnn.com

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South Korean’s (And others) are NOT happy about Trump’s Carrier bluff…

Turns out that all that talk about sending an American Carrier group to buttress any action the North Koreans might take if the US did a premptive strike against a nuclear bomb test last week was just that…

Bluffing….

Carrier Strike Group  One was actuall more like 5,000 miles away going AWAY from the Korean pensulia….

Image result for Carl vinson carrier group

I for one, do NOT belive for one momnet, that the American Sec of Def didn’t know where one of his  aircraft carrier’s and it’s accompanying ships where at anytime….

The South Korea’s (And probabaly a whole American military people IN Korea) are NOT happy with a gamble involvoing their butts….

Just 10 days ago, when news broke that the Trump administration was sending the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson to the Korean Peninsula, many South Koreans feared a possible war with North Korea. Others cheered for Washington, calling the deployment a powerful symbol of its commitment to deterring the North.

On Wednesday, after it was revealed that the carrier strike group was actually thousands of miles away and had been sailing in the opposite direction, toward the Indian Ocean, it left South Koreans feeling bewildered, cheated and even manipulated by the United States, their country’s most important ally.

“Trump’s lie over the Carl Vinson,” read a headline on the website of the newspaper JoongAng Ilbo on Wednesday. “Xi Jinping and Putin must have had a good jeer over this one.”

“Like North Korea, which is often accused of displaying fake missiles during military parades, is the United States, too, now employing ‘bluffing’ as its North Korea policy?” the article asked.

The episode raised questions about whether major allies of the United States, like South Korea and Japan, had been informed of the carrier’s whereabouts, and whether the misinformation undercut America’s strategy to contain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions by using empty threats.

American aircraft carriers regularly visit waters near the Korean Peninsula as part of annual military exercises with South Korea and Japan. But when the United States Pacific Command said on April 9 that the Carl Vinson had been ordered to leave Singapore and return to the Western Pacific, the decision was considered highly unusual, as it had been in exercises off the Korean Peninsula just last month.

“We’re sending an armada,” President Trump said 10 days ago….

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image of the Carl Vinson Carrier group…..hanfortsentinel.com

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With North Korea..A rerun of the Cuban Missle Crisis?

Our kids where not around to worry  thru President Kennedy vs The Soviet Union’s Nikta Kruschev  on misslies that could reach the US going to Cuba….

It was ascary gambit by a young American President that worked…

Fast forward to this past time period….

We are ALL waiting to see if North Korea leader Kin Jong-un will back down, or will get into a pissing match that will spiral out of control….

What is playing out, said Robert Litwak of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, who tracks this potentially deadly interplay, is “the Cuban missile crisis in slow motion.” But the slow-motion part appears to be speeding up, as President Trump and his aides have made it clear that the United States will no longer tolerate the incremental advances that have moved Mr. Kim so close to his goals.

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson has said repeatedly that “our policy of strategic patience has ended,” hardening the American position as Mr. Kim makes steady progress toward two primary goals: shrinking a nuclear weapon to a size that can fit atop a long-range missile, and developing a hydrogen bomb, with up to a thousand times the power of the Hiroshima-style weapons he has built so far.

While all historical analogies are necessarily imprecise — for starters, President John F. Kennedy dealt with the Soviets and Fidel Castro in a perilous 13 days in 1962, while the roots of the Korean crisis go back a quarter-century — one parallel shines through. When national ambitions, personal ego and deadly weapons are all in the mix, the opportunities for miscalculation are many.

So far, Mr. Trump has played his hand — militarily, at least — as cautiously as his predecessors: A series of Situation Room meetings has come to the predictable conclusion that while the United States can be more aggressive, it should stop just short of confronting the North so frontally that it risks rekindling the Korean War, nearly 64 years after it came to an uneasy armistice.

Still, the current standoff has grown only more volatile. It pits a new president’s vow never to allow North Korea to put American cities at risk — “It won’t happen!” he said on Twitter on Jan. 2 — against a young, insecure North Korean leader who sees that capability as his only guarantee of survival….

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Turns out Trump Needs China after all….

After ALL the chest thumping AGAINST China to get votes is over….

Anybody with some smarts saw thru that….

Now that Trump & Co. has jawboned the North Korea’s into holding up on the nuclear tests by offering China most favored trading status, which of course is the OPPOSITE of throwing a trade wall at them ?….We get a failed missile test …That’s all…

Front the jump you HAD to know the Trump simply was NOT gonna  fight economically or militarily with China…

You had to know when the crew he hired for Goldman Sach’s and the General’s BOTH explained the REAL WORLD to the guy ?

He had to descend from the Alternate Universe he lived in…

He’s the President now for worst…

He’s growing up…

President Donald Trump explained the decision to not label China a currency manipulator, which reversed a promise he made during the election campaign, as a function of receiving Beijing’s help in reining in North Korea.

“Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem? We will see what happens!” Trump said in a tweet early Sunday to his 28 million followers.

The comment was Trump’s first in response to a failed missile test by North Korea overnight. Spending the weekend at his Florida estate, Trump also wished a “Happy Easter to everyone!”

The U.S. on Friday stopped short of branding China a currency manipulator in an annual foreign-currency report from the Treasury while urging the world’s second-largest economy to let the yuan rise with market forces and embrace more trade….

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North Korea show’s new missile’s…But does NOT do nuke bomb test…

With the US and China warning the North Korea’s to hold up….

They do their annual military parade for their young leader…..

But only show transport’s with casing’s for supposedly new intercontinental ballistic missile that could conceivably reach the American West Coast…

But there was NO additional testing of a nuclear device as was thought to be coming….

We’ll see how this plays out…

Both countries need to back down….

As the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, watched from a platform, long columns of goose-stepping soldiers, accompanied by a fleet of tanks, missiles and rocket tubes, marched through a large plaza in the capital, Pyongyang, that was named after Mr. Kim’s grandfather Kim Il-sung, the country’s founding president.

Saturday was the 105th anniversary of Kim Il-sung’s birth and the North’s most important holiday, called the Day of the Sun. The United States, China and other regional powers had feared that North Korea might mark the occasion by conducting its sixth nuclear test or by launching an intercontinental ballistic missile. The United States sent a naval strike group to the area in a show of force.

But no seismic tremor emanated on Saturday morning from the North’s nuclear test site, where recent satellite photographs have shown what appeared to be preparations for an underground detonation….

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China urges Trump Admin to cool it against North Korea….

With a message from the Trump Admin that they are moving assets into place that could launch missile attacks against North Korea’s possible nuclear weapons facilities ….

And Soeul, South Korea being suspeptical to attack by Nortyh Korea and China, Japna and other nations being drawn into a military situation…

China is telling the US to calm down….

They also want North Korea to stop provoking the US ….

Trump has with his threats looked to China to handle the North Korea’s , threatening to go it alone againat them if China doesn’t do something…

China issued a stern warning Friday to both the United States and North Korea, urging them not to push their recriminations to a point of no return and allow war to break out on the Korean Peninsula.

In comments carried by China’s official Xinhua news agency, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said “storm clouds” were gathering, an apparent reference to North Korean preparations to conduct a new nuclear test and the United States’ deployment of a naval strike force to the waters off the peninsula. In addition, the U.S. military has been conducting large-scale exercises with South Korean forces, drills that the North considers provocative.

“The United States and South Korea and North Korea are engaging in tit for tat, with swords drawn and bows bent,” Wang said at a news conference after meeting with visiting French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, Xinhua reported. “We urge all parties to refrain from inflammatory or threatening statements or deeds to prevent irreversible damage to the situation on the Korean Peninsula.”

Trump administration officials describe the situation as more dangerous than in the past, both because of the progress North Korea has made in its nuclear and missile programs and because of the hostility on both sides. But U.S. officials said no decision has been made about how to respond to any new test — nuclear or ballistic — by North Korea….

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Conservatives point to Trump efforts to balance media focus on his gaffs and loses…

 

Image result for trumpThe American Conservative media tries to find some sunshine in the Trump & Co. cloudy and stormy days…(and increasing numbers of campaign promises …REVERSED)

Trump’s supporters actually LIKE that the guy is a ‘hot mess’ learning on the job with strong losses on his major tries, but progress on his executive actions, a court choice and military action so far…

They knew all along that they were not voting for a man with concrete convictions. And they continue to see that lack of rigidity — his preference for the transactional over the dogmatic — as a quality they want in a chief executive.

So while much of the country sees the swerving on policy as another sign of White House dysfunction, many conservatives shrug it off as esoteric jockeying over foreign alliances, currency manipulation and economic policy. They are focused more, they say, on what they see as a litany of recent victories.

Illegal border crossings are down sharply, a development that Mr. Sessions promoted in a visit to Arizona this week. The Department of Homeland Security just closed its process for accepting bids for construction of a border wall. A new Supreme Court justice adored by conservatives, Neil M. Gorsuch, joined the court this week. And Mr. Trump signed legislation on Thursday aimed at cutting off federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

“All of these things that people think are just minor issues, for people like me are huge,” said Joyce Kaufman, a conservative radio host in West Palm Beach, Fla., who dismisses the cries of hypocrisy from others on the right. “They can wring their hands all they want,” she scoffed.

As Mr. Trump’s policy reversals and other contentious moves draw scrutiny from the news media and criticism from his political adversaries, many Trump supporters seem to be rallying around him in the face of what they see as a relentless onslaught.

“That does tend to bond them to him — every day they see him attacked,” said Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, which is backed by the billionaire Koch brothers. The group has been canvassing voters recently in the suburban Atlanta district that will hold a special congressional election next week that many see as a bellwether for Mr. Trump’s popularity….

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image…ccn.com

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Military Power has got this country into problems…Open Thread for April 13, 2017

I just saw something that I think is crazy and dangerous….

There are reports that the Trump Admin is ‘leaking’ threats to attack North Korea attempts to put together a nuclear ballistic missile test…

Yes …ATTACK , like the Israeli’s did back in the day in the Middle East…

I hope this isn’t a game of chicken…

North Korea is country that has a huge military…

Soeul, The main city in South Korea is only 30 miles from the DMZ, which has tens’s of thousands of US and South Korean soldiers….

A strong push by more than 100,000 communist troops is gonna be a problem…

Trump and the General’s have surely been emboldened by their Syrian and Afghanistan military actions…

But neither country is anywhere close to the ability of the North Korean military which is thought to have simple nuclear weapons and military in the millions…

I hope cooler heads prevail….

America does NOT need to go back to World War II fighting two military actions on both sides of the planet…

In a statement Thursday, North Korea issued a warning to the U.S. — should it take action — of a “merciless retaliatory strike.”

“By relentlessly bringing in a number of strategic nuclear assets to the Korean peninsula, the US is gravely threatening the peace and safety and driving the situation to the brink of a nuclear war,” North Korea’s statement said.

South Korea foreign minister Yun Byung said U.S. officials have “repeatedly reaffirmed that” the U.S. “will closely discuss with South Korea its North Korea-related measures.”

“In fact, the U.S. is working to reassure us that it will not, just in case that we might hold such concerns.”

President Trump on Thursday tweeted that he has “great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea.”

“If they are unable to do so, the U.S., with its allies, will! USA,” the president tweeted….

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The NY Times has a detailed look at the on the ground action by the North Korea’s that has alarmed American Intelligence and military people...Here…

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CNN announces the use of 21,000lb massive MOAB bomb in Afghanistan..

CNN’s Barbara Star  breaks out that the bomb was dropped  in Nangahar Providence, Afghanistan by a US Air Force Spec Ops C-130….

The main effect of the weapon is the concussive air blast….

The effect of the bomb is widespread…(Up to a mile)

It has not been used in combat previously….

The target was a remote ISIS or other base or training camp close to Pakistan…

The Trump Admin led by the General’s are moving to be more aggressive military….

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB pronounced /ˈm.æb/, commonly known as the Mother of All Bombs) is a large-yield conventional (non-nuclear) bomb, developed for the United States military by Albert L. Weimorts, Jr. of the Air Force Research Laboratory.[1] At the time of development, it was touted as the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever designed.[2] The bomb was designed to be delivered by a C-130 Hercules, primarily the MC-130E Combat Talon I or MC-130H Combat Talon II variants….

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Trump Budget Director looking for a ‘skinny’ Government …

Under the guise of lifting the Trump hiring freeze?

The Trump Budget Director Mick Mulvaney is proposing a Trump Admin that runs like a lean business….

And THAT would be achieved thru DEEP budget cuts…

Reminder?

Budgets ARE proposals….

They are political….

And the American Government’s checks are paid by Congress NOT the President…

One HAS to assume that there WILL be cuts….

But those cuts will NOT be of the magnitude proposed right now….

Such massive cuts would effect Congressional Districts across the country and THAT would not play well….

So we’ll have to wait…

But bear in mind?

The Trump Admin is behind in hiring at last count about 2,000 people….

Some of those jobs that are open may NEVER be filled…

The White House on Wednesday will direct federal agencies to make deep personnel cuts over the next year, according to the White House budget chief and documents provided to POLITICO.

Agency heads will receive a 14-page memorandum outlining changes. The memo, which replaces the federal hiring ban Trump enacted in January, outlines cuts based on Trump’s “skinny” budget, released last month. The budget proposal called for deep cuts to domestic programs and an increase in military spending.

The memo tells agencies to “begin taking immediate actions to achieve near-term workforce reductions.” It also instructs agencies to develop by June 30 a plan to “maximize employee performance” — i.e., take steps to reward employees deemed effective while working to improve or dismiss weak performers. The memo also calls for delivery by September of an agency reform plan to shrink personnel to accommodate long term budget reductions outlined in the skinny budget.

Speaking to reporters, budget chief Mick Mulvaney said the end result will likely take effect in about 11 months. The executive branch will be dramatically different, Mulvaney said, with agencies operating more like private businesses. Mulvaney downplayed the cuts, saying the focus was on making agencies more efficient, not just smaller.

“Really what you’re talking about doing is restructuring Washington, D.C.,” Mulvaney said. “That is how you drain the swamp.”…

The White House’s latest instructions to the agencies would appear to bear the fingerprints of chief strategist Steve Bannon, who pledged himself publicly to “deconstruction of the administrative state.”….

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