There are actually three different levels of armed forces in Venezuela;
The official armed forces of the nation
The National Guard, effectively a national police force
The National Bolivarian Militia of Venezuela, popularly known as the “Colectivos”
It’s clearly understood that the Cubans are firmly in control of the official armed forces, but there are others on the ground in Venezuela calling the shots. As reported by VOANews.com, there are an estimated 20,000 Cubanos already in-country and essentially running the show;
Communist-run Cuba has been a key backer of the Venezuelan government since the Bolivarian Revolution that began under former leader Hugo Chavez in 1998.
Maduro retains the backing of Russia and China and control of Venezuelan state institutions, including the security services.
President Trump will be winging his way to Europe next week, reportedly to demand that the leaders of the majority of NATO member nations start kicking-in their previously agreed upon 2 percent of their GDP to their NATO commitment.
To date, only the United States, the United Kingdom, Greece and Estonia have paid their dues in full.
In fact, it’s been the US that’s been doing all the heavy lifting.
Despite the US being just a single member, American taxpayer pays between one-fifth to one-fourth the total operating costs to protecting Europe from a possible Russian invasion.
Just in Fiscal Year 2010 alone, the United States dropped nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars on NATO ($711.8 million).
Even our stalwart British allies, who voted to leave the EU not all that long ago, have verified they’ll saddle-up with Team Euro Excitement Squad (or whatever the hell they’re called).
In spite of the EU swearing up and down they have no intention of starting a standing army for the European, there are 18 “Battlegroups”. Examples include;
The Nordic Battlegroup (Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Ireland and Norway)
Battlegroup 42 (United Kingdom, Lithuania, Latvia, Sweden and the Netherlands)
The Balkan Battlegroup (Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus and Ukraine)
Visegrád Battlegroup (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine)
Speaking strictly for myself, if the member nations of the EU so desire to create their own armed forces, that’s their call. But for the life of me, I just don’t understand why we continue to pump billions of dollars for the defense of Europe, especially in light that the Berlin Wall came down decades ago.
Maybe President Trump will fix that once and for all.
Perhaps it’s time to pull the plug on our permanent military bases in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Bulgaria, Norway, Portugal, and Italy.
After all, they won’t even kick-in their fair share (and previously agreed upon) two percent of their GDP to their defense budgets.
To add insult to injury, American troops from the US Air Force detachment at Lajes Airbase in the Azores Islands, Portugal, to the soldiers and sailors assigned to the US Army Garrison in Stuttgart, Germany, to the US Marines stationed at the Royal Norwegian Air Force base in far-off Værnes, our servicemen stationed in Europe
are literally dropping millions of dollars worth of their paychecks every month in to above named nation’s economies.
As noted in a May, 10, 2018 report by the AtlanticCouncil.org, the official who’s been naughty and nice list is as follows;
Aside from the United States, only five allies met or exceeded the 2-percent guideline in 2017: Estonia, Greece, Poland, Romania, and the United Kingdom. Moreover, of NATO’s “big five” European allies, only the United Kingdom pipped the 2-percent post and only barely at that, with 2.14 percent of GDP.
The others are well below that: France at 1.79 percent; Germany at 1.22 percent; Italy at 1.13 percent, and Spain at a miserable 0.92 percent. Only Belgium (0.91 percent) and Luxembourg (0.44 percent) did worse than Spain, though Luxembourg can be forgiven as it has virtually no army and thus tends to provide cash as its main support to the military operations of NATO as well as the EU.
Just when it seems the entire Western World is slouching towards Gomorrah and America is without a single friend, along comes Poland.
#Poland wants a permanent #US military presence — and is willing to pony up as much as $2 billion to get it, according to a defense ministry proposal obtained by Polish news portal Onet.https://t.co/UJwAK9RotO
As reported by The Daily Caller, the Warsaw government would very much like for the Americans to stay on a permanent basis, and their willing to pay quite a bit of money to prove it;
Poland is willing to pay the U.S. up to $2 billion for the installment of a permanent American military base in the nation, according to a document Polish news portal Outlet obtained.
“This proposal outlines the clear and present need for a permanent U.S. armored division deployed in Poland, Poland’s commitment to provide significant support that may reach $1.5-2 billion by establishing joint military installations and provide for more flexible movement of U.S. forces,” the Polish defense ministry states in the document.
The ministry goes a step further in trying to coax the U.S. into agreeing to the terms, adding it is willing “to share the burden of defense spending, make the decision more cost-effective for the U.S. government and allay any concerns for Congress in uncertain budgetary times.”
When President Trump recently awarded the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy to the Black Knights of the US Military Academy’s (West Point) football team, he seemingly caught the attendees and guests by surprise when he made mention of a possible fifth branch to the Department of Defense, the US Space Force.
In spite of the news wonks all opining that The Donald seemed to have made-up the notion of a Space Force on the spot, Fox News via the “Greg Gutfeld Show” (video seen below) acknowledge that certain members of Congress last summer have voiced the apparent need for a new military service.
Much akin to how the US Marine Corps and the US Navy are co-equals within the civilian-led Department of the Navy, the Space Force (also being considered to be tagged the Space Corps) would saddle-up as a co-equal with the US Air Force under the civilian Secretary of the Air Force.
In the meantime, the Business Insider notes of five rather bizarre weapons systems that our potentially newest branch of the armed forces;
First up is the Air Force’s extra hush-hush X-37 Orbital Test Vehicle. In light that the government has never made public as to exactly what the X-37 does, it’s speculated that craft could be used either as a spy satellite or as a weapons platform, maybe even a combination of the two.
The good folks over at DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) have sent the pilotless “space plane” into orbit only a handful of times. There have been five different flights since first introduced in 2010 – the shortest duration at eight months, the longest time clocking-in at a solid two years.
Pretty much the only thing the Pentagon has admitted to the public is that the reusable craft has been testing “an advanced propulsion system.”
In joint US-Israeli venture, the THEL reportedly is capable of destroying “incoming munitions as they fly through the air.” Does the Business Insider (BI) mean inter-continental ballistic missiles?
Drone strikes launched from space? Not just any drones… we’re talking entire swarms of miniature drones.
While the BI reported on the X-37 as the drone in question, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility of the space plane being its own micro-aircraft carrier carrying hundreds, if not thousands of high explosive suicide drones.
Either remotely piloted or pre-programmed, the mini-drones could conceivably attack anything from mass troop formations, to destroying everything from command, control, and communication (C3) systems, to possibly even anti-air or anti-ship weapons.
It may be misspelled, but the MAHEM system is just that.
According to BI, “[The MAHEM] warhead can be placed on something as large as an ICBM or as small as an RPG and shoots an ‘explosively-formed jet’ of chemically molten metal into (and probably right through) any reinforced or armored structure.”
Development on Excalibur began in the 1970s, but kicked into high gear when President Reagan advanced the Strategic Defense Initiative, better known to the public as “Star Wars”.
Long story short, the Excalibur Project consisted of focusing the output of a nuclear explosion into X-rays. A single Excalibur laser could attack multiple missile targets up to thousands of miles distant.
As Coffey noted in his book;
He [Tiller] planned to place Excalibur in high orbit. As enemy missiles left the atmosphere, the Excalibur controller would pick-up the bright plumes of the missiles’ rocket engines. Excalibur’s hydrogen bomb would then detonate, its x-ray lasers would flash for a few milliseconds, and the Soviet missiles, warheads still inside, would disappear.
As most Americans are unaware, by federal law those serving in the nation’s military are suppose to receive a yearly pay raise in accordance with a formula utilized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The House of Representatives traditionally uses whatever figure the BLS sends them to factor into any given Fiscal Year Budget to be sent to the Commander-in-Chief. Continue reading “Again, Obama cuts military pay”→
As most Americans are unaware, by federal law those serving in the nation’s military are suppose to receive a yearly pay raise in accordance with a formula utilized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The House of Representatives traditionally uses whatever figure the BLS sends them to factor into any given Fiscal Year Budget to be sent to the Commander-in-Chief.
Yet as reported by the Alabama Media Group (The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times, the Mobile Press-Register) on Aug. 31, 2015, members of the Armed Forces will see a barely visible 1.3 percent increase in their proverbial pay envelopes starting New Year’s Day. But as reported by the Heritage Foundation on Aug. 7, 2015, Barack Obama has again decided to use an emergency loophole in the US Code to keep the lawful pay raise of 2.3 percent from the troops.
With the Family Obama still shaking the sand out of their shoes from yet another taxpayer subsidized Cape Cod vacation, Obama used the Chief Executive’s “economic emergency” provision to bypass the BLS formula, the House of Representatives, and Title 5 U.S.C., sections 5303(b) and 5304 (a) to cut military pay. Citing multiple sources here, Obama used the same excuse to slash the legally mandated pay raises from Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015.
As cited by USmilitary.about.com, the highest pay raise the military received between 1976 and 2009 was during the Reagan presidency, the 1982 pay raise was the highest ever at 14.3 percent. During Reagan’s administration, the smallest military pay raise he ever approved was 2.0 percent in 1988. During the Obama years, the pay raise approvals for the Uniformed Services have seen a steady decline:
2009 – 3.9%
2010 – 3.4%
2011 – 1.4%
2012 – 1.6%
2013 – 1.7%
2014 – 1.0%
2015 – 1.0%
2016 – 1.3%
While those serving in the Armed Forces are available and considered subject to immediate recall at any time, the lower pay increase translates to a Pay Grade E-4 (Corporal, Petty Officer 3d Class, Specialist 4, Senior Airman) will earn less than $3.00 an hour. Under the 2016 pay scale, a Pay Grade E-1 undergoing recruit training will be paid roughly $2.15 an hour.
Barack Obama‘s done a number of things that more than a few conservatives consider impeachable offenses. From the Benghazi Cover-Up, to his IRS targeting American citizens, to the Colombia Hooker Scandal where the lead investigator was ordered “to withhold and alter certain information in the report of investigation because it was potentially embarrassing to the [Obama] Administration” just to name a few, the list of crimes or misdemeanor are many.
Ever since the end of the Second World War it’s consistently been the policy of the United States civilian leadership that our nation’s armed forces be capable not only of fighting two wars simultaneously, but also to win. However, in the advent of the Obama budget cuts in the past, as well as those scheduled for next year, real questions remain if America’s military could even successfully conduct a winning strategy in just one theater of war.
“With the advent of women actually killing them on the field of battle, that may have crippled more than a few ISIS fighters both below and above the belt line…”
With the White House and Pentagon’s brain trust somehow missing this, possibly the best way to get inside the collective psyches of the ISIS terrorists may have already gotten off the ground by way of Middle Eastern Arabs themselves, or more to the point, by way of Middle Eastern Arab women. With Major Miriam Al Mansouri of the United Arab Emirates Air Force seeing both name and photo splashed all over the Western press and social media, the 35-year-old Squadron Commander as become a modern-day folk heroine in the fight against the global Islamic Jihaadists, as evidenced by the report from ABC News on Sept. 25, 2014. And that very same accolades for Maj. Mansouri of a woman standing up to, fighting back, and beating Islamist Jihaadists could hurt them in ways the West may have never considered.
It’s not everyday that a young lady makes an NFL franchise’s cheerleading squad, or earns an Officer’s Commission in the United States Army, or even delivers a baby in an Afghan mud hut during a raging snowstorm.
“This is the worst kind of example of a shady, backroom deal.” — Col. Michael Barron US Army (Ret.)
The recent proposed federal budget deal cut by the former Republican vice presidential candidate will be payed for out of the flesh of uniformed retirees, as reported by the right-of-center news portal Breitbart.com on Dec. 16, 2013.
Citing CNN Money’s Jennifer Liberto, Matthew Boyle of Breitbart News notes that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) brokered a deal with Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) that ensured a mere handful of years worth of governmental spending would come at the expense of the annual COLA (Cost of Living Allowances) increases for those retired from the Uniformed Services, to include NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps) and the PHS (Public Health Service Commissioned Corps).