Tag: US military

Too Much Tolerance in Afghanistan

What the actual hell?

In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.

“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”

Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan, particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural landscape and can bully the population. The practice is called bacha bazi, literally “boy play,” and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene — in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and court records.

You can read the whole thing if you have the stomach. It’s appalling. The Obama Administration, of course, is saying they just found out about it from the news.

Look, I’m all in favor of cultural tolerance. If our soldiers are guests in an Islamic country, I’m OK with not having booze or something. But this is WAY beyond that kind of cultural tolerance, especially when it’s happening on an American military base.

As Jazz Shaw pointed out over at Hot Air, this isn’t really a partisan issue, despite my snarking. For all we know, this policy has been in place for many years. But whatever the origin, this needs to stop. It’s not as if letting militia leaders rape boys is going to win hearts and minds in Afghanistan.

Painting A Life

Time to change gears. I got the US Open on my TV and am streaming the RNC convention, but I found something that brought a tear to my eye and re introduced me to my humanity. I am finding that as the years go by I find it harder and harder to write posts about our fallen military heroes, not only for the obvious reasons that when good men die we all are diminished to a degree, but the doubts of policy, of how on earth our protectors are protecting us half way around the world, I can’t rationalize it any more.

Meet Ken Pridgeon:

You can view Ken’s gallery here.

I wrote a post a few years back about this group of elderly folks who lived in Bangor Maine, their mission for whatever days left they have on this earth is to greet the troops coming back from Iraq. They greet every plane, every day, until they can’t anymore.

We need heroes to make us better people and God knows we can all do better.

Glimpse of the future?

One of the contractors working for me send me a link to a Reuters story about how India is scrambling to update its military capability out of fear of Chinese expansionism. Here is an excerpt:

(Reuters) – India’s 1.3 million-strong armed forces, hobbled by outdated equipment and slow decision-making, are undergoing an overhaul as defence priorities shift to China from traditional rival Pakistan.

And like a refit of the imposing but dilapidated defence ministry on Delhi’s grand South Block, it’s a plodding process.

Defence chiefs are hurrying to modernise ageing weaponry as China reinforces a 3,500-km (2,200-mile) shared but disputed border through the Himalayas.

It took 11 years to select France’s Rafale as the favoured candidate for a $15 billion splurge on 126 new combat jets to replace a Soviet-era fleet of MiGs dubbed “flying coffins” for their high crash rate.

At the same time, feeling encircled as China projects its fast-growing naval power from Hormuz to Malacca, India is rushing to firm up friendships the length and breadth of the Indian Ocean.

India is the world’s largest arms importer with plans to spend $100 billion on weapons over the next decade.

“The Indian military is strengthening its forces in preparation to fight a limited conflict along the disputed border, and is working to balance Chinese power projection in the Indian Ocean,” U.S. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper told the U.S. Senate this week.

That “balance” includes a strategic alliance with Washington that in turn has stoked Chinese fears of containment. It is due to test-fire its nuclear capable Agni V rocket in the next few weeks, with a strike range reaching deep into China.

Now I could focus on the angle that India is trying the incredulously difficult task of rebuilding all three of her military branches – Navy, Air Force, and Army – to deal with this threat, basically abandoning 3 decades of concern about what that backwards shithole Pakistan meant security wise to them. Pakistan militarily is a joke. Save for the nukes and their terrorists their military is in an abysmal shape. Hopefully the US will cut off the $1 billion we give Pakistan’s military off and let them implode, but that’s a different discussion, and India certainly has surmised that a war with Pakistan won’t be their big problem anymore, likely because they would pound Pakistan into the ground.

Basically India is joining all the South East Asian countries that are waking up to the reality of what a more modern Chinese military capability means for them all. And that’s what I want to talk about. How often do you hear India, or for that matter anyone but those nations where tyrants with crazy ambitions of genocide, complain about the size or modernity of the US military, let alone spend some $100 billion to upgrade their armed forces to be better prepared? For all the talk about how America isn’t either exceptional or the peace that American military superiority provides as great a thing as many of us see it to be, it sure looks to me that India, or any of those neighboring the area, doesn’t expect a rising China to mean anything good for them.

Maybe that Pax Americana your average leftard college professors so cavalierly love to dismiss as either soft colonialism or just empire building isn’t as bad as what’s to follow it, huh? The Indians get it. The world in which America no longer is a super power and the guarantor of security isn’t going to be a friendly, nice, or better one. They are pretty convinced of that too if a country like India, with a growing but still relatively small economy, is willing to spend $100 billion in the coming decade to modernize their armed forces, while at the same time seeking alliances with the US, and others that share the vision that a Chinese surge isn’t going to be anything but bad for them, in that corner of the world. Wish our liberals would get this too.