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Did you ever regret being a soldier when on the battlefield?

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My answer to Did you ever regret being a soldier when on the battlefield?

Answer by Ken Larson:

No.

I had the best training and the best crew I had ever worked with.

We covered each other’s backs and we did well for the two tours I was in country.

The regrets I had came much later, when I began to realize in attempting to adjust to civilian life that my psyche had been dramatically affected by the experience.

In 1968, I came home from serving two US Army tours in Vietnam, having been awarded five medals, including a Bronze Star. During my second tour I acquired Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Depression. Treatment would not become available for either ailment until the mid to late 70's. Returning to the University of Minnesota at Morris, I found that most of my former classmates were either facing the military draft or were violently against the war. I was not their favorite person.

Feeling isolated and alone, I was unable to relate to my family due to untreated Depression and PTSD. Disillusioned with school, I moved to Minneapolis Minnesota and began a career in the Defense Industrial Complex that would span over three decades from 1969 through 2005. I thought that through working on defense systems, I could contribute to the quality and quantity of weapons that the next generation would take to war. Given a clearly defined mission and the best armaments and systems in the world, I believed that another Vietnam could be avoided for the American Soldier. In pursuit of this goal, I participated in the design, development and production of 25 large scale weapons systems under Federal Government and Foreign Military Sales Contracts. I worked in several different disciplines for the companies that produced these weapons, negotiating and controlling the associated contracts with procurement agencies in the US Armed Forces and in 16 allied countries.

By the time treatment for PTSD and Depression became available, I had such high security clearances that had I been treated for these disorders, the US Government would have revoked my clearances and my career would have ended or would have been sharply curtailed. This quandary led to my journey through the Defense Industrial Complex. I found that accepting extreme challenges and succeeding at them became a way to displace PTSD and elevate depressive moods. For extended periods of time this method of self-management led to a satisfying, although somewhat adventurous and diversified life. However, down periods always occurred, especially after the latest challenge had been met. A new challenge was then required. Family, friends and acquaintances were often puzzled by the frequent changes in my job sites and locations. Two marriages fell by the wayside.

In early 2005, approaching age sixty, I found myself unable to self-manage an extremely deep depressive episode. The journey had simply wound down. This situation nearly resulted in an end to my life. Recovering with help from my family and the US Veteran's Administration, I now reside in a veteran's home, volunteering to Small, Veteran-Owned, Women-Owned and Minority-Owned businesses that are pursuing contracts with the Federal Government. I provide advice, alternatives and business examples based on my experiences. It is refreshing to witness the successes of small, motivated and flexible companies. I believe they deserve every special consideration they have achieved under our system of government.

My odyssey was driven by a need to manage illnesses acquired in warfare. I found a way to deal with the maladies for years by spreading myself thin and accepting every new challenge. I thrilled at success and moved on after defeat, pursuing a misguided goal. Out of necessity I have now been forced to look inward, wind down to a smaller perspective, take care of my health – begin serving the little guy.

Perhaps it is time for our country to consider a similar transition.

Odyssey of Armaments – A free on-line read.’

Image: Rose Covered Glasses ODYSSEY OF ARMAMENTS

Did you ever regret being a soldier when on the battlefield?

Why do you want to be a soldier?

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My answer to Why do you want to be a soldier?

Answer by Ken Larson:

I had finished 2 years of college and could not decide on a major course of study. In short, I did not know what I wished to do professionally.

I joined the military to pursue some options in that regard and because I would be drafted if I left school to do the same thing by going to work in civilian life.

I had the good fortune to have assignments in military intelligence, base development planning and weapons systems that allowed me to find out what I was good at and how to apply it.

I used those skills later after I left the military, but paid a price for the experience in PTSD and related depression.

Odyssey of Armaments

Why do you want to be a soldier?

Why can’t the US put soldiers in Iraq instead of just using air strikes and drone strikes?

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My answer to Why can't the US put soldiers in Iraq instead of just using air strikes and drone strikes?

Answer by Ken Larson:

The U.S. will change its battle plans when they do not work. The Pentagon has found that boots on the ground in Iraq was a fruitless endeavor and took too many soldiers lives.

Our government is very sensitive to the echos of Vietnam, where 58,000 died, the American citizen made it clear the carnage must stop and a President departed the scene.

Technology has made other approaches available, although it certainly remains questionable as to their validity as well. In my view, military victory in this era is dead.

Military Victory is Dead

Why can't the US put soldiers in Iraq instead of just using air strikes and drone strikes?

Why is invasion always appear to be legit when it’s done by the US?

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My answer to Why is invasion always appear to be legit when it's done by the US?

Answer by Ken Larson:

Wars, incursion, and battles these days are not as clearly defined as they were during the WWI and WWII era. The geopolitical forces, motives, communications and technology are a challenge for any government to deal with.

“Legit” therefore becomes a matter of perspective and the term is usually applied after the fact.

The U. S. and may of its allies, both Western and Middle East, have struggled to achieve peaceful objectives in the Middle East. Prior to the wars that have broken out over the last 15 years the peace was basically maintained by balancing foreign aid weapons sales and power between strong dictators.

With the Gulf War , 911 and Arab Spring the emphasis shifted to all out incursions and and warfare. The past 15 years, in particular have not been at all peaceful and the rise of ISIS continues to make peace impossible.

We must grasp the historical series of cause and effect events and relationships that have led to the present state of affairs, learn from them and not allow them to be repeated:

CAUSE: The US fights a just and honorable war assisting many Middle East allies and other countries free Kuwait.

EFFECT: Saddam Hussein is driven from Kuwait and the country is returned to its rightful government.

CAUSE: The US does not leave the Middle East after rescuing Kuwait, but rather, stays in peripheral countries militarily “To Protect Our Interests” with an imperialist attitude resented by cultures that have an ingrained,religious hatred for that type of presence by foreigners.

EFFECT: The rise of Bin Laden and many more like him today and the deaths of 3,000 Americans on our soil, attacked in our homeland because we did not leave the Middle East.

CAUSE: The US reacts to 911 by setting up an elaborate Homeland Security apparatus and beefing up the National Security Agency by orders of magnitude, technologically, while putting in place a carefully concealed legal apparatus to counter terrorism.

EFFECT: The US has no outside terrorist incidents of a 911 magnitude since the Twin Towers fell in 2001 but Americans develop real concerns about our government and its role in controlling our lives as whistle blower disclosures regarding the apparatus of intelligence operation reveal potential constitutional issues.

CAUSE: The US invades Iraq fed by false, intentionally staged intelligence, fronted by agencies and industries bent on economic gain. The US sets about war fighting and nation building programs that seek to displace a culture that had evolved through conflict and war lords for hundreds of years and is tied to the absolute requirement that religious practices be part and parcel of government, a principle the US has rejected as unworkable since our Constitution was written.

EFFECT: Failure to build anything substantial in the form of a nation over a 15 year period. The deaths or crippling of our finest soldiers, dramatic increases in our national debt and a cynicism among our citizens with respect to the $Billions that have gone into the pockets of corporations supporting our huge Military Industrial Complex (MIC) and wasteful USAID Programs by companies that spend more lobbying Congress than they pay in taxes.

CAUSE: The present Middle East unrest due to ISIS/ISIL and other splinter groups we thought had been scattered to the winds.

EFFECT: UN Security Council meets with many nations talking and less than a half dozen nations carefully and selectively participating in an air war against terrorism while the remainder watch the outcome. Our military and corporate defense establishment (MIC) shout, “Sequestration to reduce military spending must end!” and estimates two years will be required with more American boots on the ground to train an Iraq force that we had already trained for a decade before the Iraq government disbanded it.

CAUSE (PROJECTED): A political battle like none seen in recent times driven by concerned American citizens and their view of the US role in the Middle East, our burgeoning national debt approaching $20 Trillion and the fact that the culture in that part of the world has had a very difficult time figuring out how we can help them over the last two decades while we near energy independence from oil and require some nation building of our own in the homeland.

EFFECT (PROJECTED): A leader and a political climate that will permit prudence, tough decisions, carefully avoidance of bad intelligence and overreaction so that we do not continue to sink into the oil and blood soaked desert of Middle East cultural revolutions as global corporations consuming the MIC and USAID tax payer dollars prosper, parking their assets overseas while our young become indebted for generations.

Why is invasion always appear to be legit when it's done by the US?

What benefits are available to veterans from the Veteran’s Administration?

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My answer to What benefits are available to veterans from the Veteran's Administration?

Answer by Ken Larson:

Kudos to Bruce for his answer. In addition, please consider the following:

“MILITARY TIMES”

“The SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development works to formulate, implement and promote policies and programs that equip members of the military community with counseling, training and education, as well as access to capital to start their own businesses and assist them with contracting opportunities.
 
Since 2013, 50,000 transitioning service members and military spouses have participated in the Boots to Business program as part of the Defense Department’s Transition Assistance Program. B2B provided — for the first time since World War II — a strong, visible pipeline of potential veteran business owners.
 
Boots to Business provides free entrepreneurship training in more than 200 military installations and military communities. Graduates of these programs are 53 percent more likely to start a business, and 91 percent are still in business after a year, according to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families.
 
Resources like the Veterans Business Outreach Centers provide entrepreneurial development, counseling and mentoring, and referrals for eligible members of the military community. The Service-Disabled Entrepreneurship Development Training Program supports organizations that deliver entrepreneurship training to service-disabled veterans, and the Veterans Institute for Procurement is an accelerator-like program that focuses on procurement.
 
In addition to the resources listed above, female veterans, active duty, and military spouses can also access resources through Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship, or V-WISE.

SBA executive: How more veteran-owned small businesses can keep America strong

What benefits are available to veterans from the Veteran's Administration?

Marines Rush 50 Technologies To Field Test In 9 Months

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Marines-with-armed-MUTT-robot-160709-M-KA224-012-768x513

Marines work on armed MUTT robot in the MIX-16 experiment.

“BREAKING  DEFENSE”

Marines at Camp Pendleton will get to field-test more than 50 different new technologies next month ranging from palmtop mini-drones to self-driving amtracs, from wireless networks to precision-guided mortar shells.

(The name of April’s exercise, in classically military fashion, is — [take a]deep breath — the Ship To Shore Maneuver Exploration and Experimentation Advanced Naval Technology Exercise 2017, or S2ME2 ANTX).

Plus there will be plenty of classified systems the Marines can’t talk about, including cyber and electronic warfare gear. Technologies that do well may graduate to a more formal Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL) or to further testing in the Marines’ big Bold Alligator wargame on the East Coast this fall, Col. Dan Sullivan, chief of staff at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory here, told reporters today.

That’s a lightning pace for the Pentagon. It normally takes 18 to 24 months to set up a technology demonstration on this scale, and this one is happening in nine, said Aileen Sansone, an official with the Navy’s Rapid Prototyping, Experimentation, & Demonstration (RPED) office. The project launched last summer, when Col. Sullivan’s boss, Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh — in charge of future warfare concepts — reached out to deputy assistant secretary John Burrow — in charge of R&D, testing, and evaluation.

It was only in October that the project team put out its special notice inviting industry proposals. Well over 100 operators and engineers from different Navy and Marine Corps organizations evaluated the 124 (unclassified) submissions and whittle them down to 50 that would ready for the field by April, said Navy Capt. Chris Mercer, Burrow’s director of RPED. (Another 50 technologies, not quite as ready, will be on display for visiting dignitaries but won’t be used in the exercise).

“It drives the analysts crazy. Analysts don’t like to go fast,” Sullivan chuckled to reporters. “Are you accepting risk? Yes, you are.”

The project has high-level support to take that risk, including the enthusiastic backing of acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley, who used to head Navy Department Research, Development, & Acquisition (RDA).

“This exercise provides a unique opportunity for warfighters to assess emerging technologies and innovative engineering in support of amphibious assault operations,” Stackley said in a statement to Breaking Defense. “We are grateful to the government and industry vendors who participate and bring their expertise to assist in supporting our nation’s security.”

“SecNav’s committed to (1) really accelerating the rate of our innovations and (2) using the new authorities that have been coming to use since about 2015 to really rapidly prototype and rapidly field,” said Mercer. But even as you go fast, he added, you have to make sure “you’ve got the rigor in the process that allows us to use the new authorities.”

Six Missions

So what kinds of capabilities will this project deliver to the field? Almost all of them rely on rapid advances in information technology, and many are outright robotic, like the various drones and self-driving Amphibious Assault Vehicle. There’s no single silver bullet, Sullivan and co. said, and the real tactical payoff comes from combining technologies. That’s why the Marines organized the experiment not by technical categories — e.g. one team handles all unmanned aerial vehicles, another unmanned watercraft, another networks — but by mission, which required experts in different fields from different agencies and companies to integrate disparate technologies towards a single purpose.

The team defined six mission areas and gave them nifty codenames:

  • Shield: “early intelligence (and) reconnaissance,” using, for example wide-ranging swarms of robotic scouts in the air, sea, and land, which would allow Marines to identify far more landing sites and potentially bypass defenders by coming ashore in unexpected places. Instead of landing en masse at an obvious 1,000-meter-wide beach, said the Warfighting Lab’s Doug King, “I want to go through a gap in the mangroves.”
  • Spear: “threat identification,” e.g. covert drones coming in for a closer look with high-powered sensors and sending detailed data back using hard-to-intercept transmissions.
  • Dagger: “(follow-on) reconnaissance & threat elimination,” e.g. more drones and manned platforms marking obstacles and mines.
  • Cutlass: “maneuver ashore,” e.g. unmanned boats carrying Marines ashore at high speed or unmanned amtracs swimming in on their own power, with expendable decoy drones.
  • Broadsword: “combat power ashore,” e.g. battlefield 3D printing of spare parts and unmanned ground vehicles providing fire support or carrying supplies.
  • Battleaxe: “amphibious C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, & Reconnaissance),” e.g. high bandwidth networks, resisting to jamming and hacking, that can tie the whole operation together.

Because of the laser focus on amphibious landings, the Ship to Shore Maneuver task force deliberately didn’t look at other promising technologies, such as, well, lasers. For operations at sea, the Navy already has a drone-killing laser aboard a ship in the Persian Gulf, while the Marines are developing a truck-mounted laser for air defense ashore. Likewise, Sullivan said, the “Sea Dragon” effort with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment is focused more on smaller technologies that a Marine squad can carry with it once it’s landed ashore.

“Our generation grew up in an environment where we were the only ones who had precision guided munitions. We were the only ones who had UAS (drones). Air supremacy was guaranteed; maritime supremacy was taken for granted,” Sullivan said. That’s changed.

“For a long time, we were talking about countering shore-based defenses by standoff, but anti-ship cruise missiles (are) just going to continue to extend the range, so we’re going to have to get and persist within that envelope — and if you look at the totality of the capabilities that we’re experimenting, it’s giving us the ability to do that,” Sullivan said.

“At some point, we’ve got to dismantle the A2/AD integrated defense system,” said Sullivan. “To be considered a great power, you have to be retain a forcible entry capability.”

http://breakingdefense.com/2017/03/marines-rush-50-technologies-to-field-test-in-6-months/

 

How successful has the U.S. been in making the Middle East a more peaceful place over the last 30 years?

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My answer to How successful has the U.S. been in making the Middle East a more peaceful place over the last 30 year…

Answer by Ken Larson:

The U. S. and may of its allies, both Western and Middle East, have struggled to achieve peaceful objectives in the Middle East. Prior to the wars that have broken out over the last 15 years the peace was basically maintained by balancing foreign aide weapons sales and power between strong dictators.

With the Gulf War , 911 and Arab Spring the emphasis shifted to all out incursions and and warfare. The past 15 years, in particular have not been at all peaceful and the rise of ISIS continues to make peace impossible.

We must grasp the historical series of cause and effect events and relationships that have led to the present state of affairs, learn from them and not allow them to be repeated:

CAUSE: The US fights a just and honorable war assisting many Middle East allies and other countries free Kuwait.

EFFECT: Saddam Hussein is driven from Kuwait and the country is returned to its rightful government.

CAUSE: The US does not leave the Middle East after rescuing Kuwait, but rather, stays in peripheral countries militarily “To Protect Our Interests” with an imperialist attitude resented by cultures that have an ingrained,religious hatred for that type of presence by foreigners.

EFFECT: The rise of Bin Laden and many more like him today and the deaths of 3,000 Americans on our soil, attacked in our homeland because we did not leave the Middle East.

CAUSE: The US reacts to 911 by setting up an elaborate Homeland Security apparatus and beefing up the National Security Agency by orders of magnitude, technologically, while putting in place a carefully concealed legal apparatus to counter terrorism.

EFFECT: The US has no outside terrorist incidents of a 911 magnitude since the Twin Towers fell in 2001 but Americans develop real concerns about our government and its role in controlling our lives as whistle blower disclosures regarding the apparatus of intelligence operation reveal potential constitutional issues.

CAUSE: The US invades Iraq fed by false, intentionally staged intelligence, fronted by agencies and industries bent on economic gain. The US sets about war fighting and nation building programs that seek to displace a culture that had evolved through conflict and war lords for hundreds of years and is tied to the absolute requirement that religious practices be part and parcel of government, a principle the US has rejected as unworkable since our Constitution was written.

EFFECT: Failure to build anything substantial in the form of a nation over a 15 year period. The deaths or crippling of our finest soldiers, dramatic increases in our national debt and a cynicism among our citizens with respect to the $Billions that have gone into the pockets of corporations supporting our huge Military Industrial Complex (MIC) and wasteful USAID Programs by companies that spend more lobbying Congress than they pay in taxes.

CAUSE: The present Middle East unrest due to ISIS/ISIL and other splinter groups we thought had been scattered to the winds.

EFFECT: UN Security Council meets with many nations talking and less than a half dozen nations carefully and selectively participating in an air war against terrorism while the remainder watch the outcome. Our military and corporate defense establishment (MIC) shout, “Sequestration to reduce military spending must end!” and estimates two years will be required with more American boots on the ground to train an Iraq force that we had already trained for a decade before the Iraq government disbanded it.

CAUSE (PROJECTED): A political battle like none seen in recent times driven by concerned American citizens and their view of the US role in the Middle East, our burgeoning national debt approaching $20 Trillion and the fact that the culture in that part of the world has had a very difficult time figuring out how we can help them over the last two decades while we near energy independence from oil and require some nation building of our own in the homeland.

EFFECT (PROJECTED): A leader and a political climate that will permit prudence, tough decisions, carefully avoidance of bad intelligence and overreaction so that we do not continue to sink into the oil and blood soaked desert of Middle East cultural revolutions as global corporations consuming the MIC and USAID tax payer dollars prosper, parking their assets overseas while our young become indebted for generations.

How successful has the U.S. been in making the Middle East a more peaceful place over the last 30 years?

Is the USA fatally addicted to war?

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My answer to Is the USA fatally addicted to war?

Answer by Ken Larson:

The U.S. is not fatally addicted to war but a vast portion of its economy has run on war for the last 15 years.

We have dramatically downsized after major war efforts in the past. We did so after WWII, Vietnam and more recently as our physical role in Middle East has receded. It is possible to re-deploy our industrial strength and manpower to infrastructure and peace time efforts. We have done so in the past.

But there are factions in the Military Industrial Complex that lobby and create war-like threat scenarios exercising power in Congress that must be monitored closely by the American people so it does not get out of hand, particularly the economic cost of this behemoth.

Retention of jobs at Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and General Dynamics while the executives of these companies make millions has become a huge motivator for the defense lobby.

Image: Home – SodaHead

“ROSECOVERDGLASSES”

Aside from the threat of another 911 and the fact that we have lost over 4,000 young soldier’s lives, the real reason for this is the money in it for big business. War can become a racket. So can occupying under the guise of democracy. People make big money at it and an entire Military Industrial Complex can thrive on it.

The details of exactly how this occurs were in a warning by President Eisenhower as he left office. His words were very prophetic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?fe…

Video You Tube RobUniv

The Military Industrial Complex (MIC) consists of both the Pentagon and the contractors that serve it, their lobbying firms and the politicians who promote weapons systems, incursions and services to the government for profit and gain.

The MIC has tremendous power, even though it is presently being tested by Sequestration. For further details and specific example of how the MIC has influenced our decision makers and contributed to the deaths of our finest youth, please see the following:

ABOUT THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

It is corrupt and driven by corporate influence:

http://www.vanityfair.com/politi…

http://www.vanityfair.com/politi…

It is broken and riddled with incompetence:
http://rosecoveredglasses.blogsp…

http://rosecoveredglasses.blogsp…

The beat goes on today with the KBR's the Lockheed Martins and the other huge corporations supplying and supporting wars.

Every major aerospace company from IBM to Lockheed Martin and Boeing has totally stand-alone divisions that serve as cost centers and pursue monumental interests in the politics of government and the billions in service contracts that are outsourced there. This has gone on for years. I watched it for 3 decades on the inside of these companies.

Odyssey of Armaments (A free download in Adobe).

These companies routinely spend more in lobbying expenses than they pay in income taxes each year.

http://www.ibtimes.com/30-major-…

The interests of these firms is now changing slightly with Sequestration and many are making acquisitions and marketing services in the Health Care sectors or escalating their interests in civil aviation, education and other fields.

If it was too costly to do business with the government, 302,315 companies and some of the largest corporations in the world would not be involved in it. See below the contract awards and amounts in 2010 to large enterprises:

“USA SPENDING .COM”

Top 10 Contractors FY 2010

1. LOCKHEED MARTIN CORPORATION – $34,288,619,722
2. THE BOEING COMPANY 19,358,512,809
3. NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORPORATION 15,472,742,729
4. GENERAL DYNAMICS CORPORATION 14,903,216,900
5. RAYTHEON COMPANY 14,880,453,061
6. L-3 COMMUNICATIONS HOLDINGS, INC. 7,629,644,919
7. UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION 7,330,023,190
8. OSHKOSH CORPORATION 7,197,520,183
9. SAIC, INC. 6,595,330,339
10. BAE SYSTEMS PLC 6,587,705,335″

Why is the US Spending So Much Money on Fighting a War that has Claimed so Few US Victims?

Is the USA fatally addicted to war?

Nation’s First Graduate Program in Military Ethics

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Case Western Reserve Military Ethics Program

Image: Case Western Reserve University

“CLEVELAND .COM”

“Case Western Reserve University has established the nation’s first graduate program in military ethics.

The Master of Arts in Military Ethics program formalizes a field of study that contends with questions of how advancing military technologies relate to the common humanity of both enemy and ally, the university said.

While the study of military ethics has long supported humanitarian goals, such as preventing unjust wars, war crimes, and other atrocities, students in the program will be trained in emerging areas of ethical consideration, such as cyberwarfare, human enhancement, and the use of new weaponry, including drones.

The college is accepting applications for classes that begin this fall. The deadline to apply for full consideration for fall admission is April 10; however, applications will continue to be accepted on an ongoing basis for rolling admission.

Designed to prepare students for career advancement or teaching in military ethics, law, foreign affairs, veterans affairs and other fields, the program is taught by faculty experts in an array of topics, including international relations, public policy, journalism, history and others.

Shannon French, the Inamori Professor in Ethics and director of its Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, will lead the program. The university recently became the host institution for the International Society for Military Ethics.

Here are the basics:

  • Students can complete the degree in one year or at their own pace.
  • Graduates will earn a specialized degree that stands alone, pairs with a law or other advanced degree or serves as a stepping stone to a doctorate program.
  • The curriculum is designed for students seeking to enter government, policy and foreign affairs. That includes humanities and social sciences undergraduates; mid-rank military officers who often pursue a graduate degree to achieve senior rank; military chaplains, who act as ethical advisors to those in command; as well as law students and professional students whose future careers may intersect with military issues.
  • Coursework includes military ethics, international and humanitarian law, international relations, military bioethics, human rights, comparative religion and wartime journalism.
  • The degree program is based in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Philosophy and is offered in partnership with the School of Law, College of Arts and Sciences’ Departments of Art History and Art, Classics, Political Science and Religious Studies, and the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence.”

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2017/03/case_western_reserve_establish.html

 

Does 9/11 still touch a nerve?

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My answer to Does 9/11 still touch a nerve?

Answer by Ken Larson:

It did – for a time – We thought we were untouchable and we were touched – big time. It took awhile to deal with the grief. I knew several at the Pentagon that died.

Then we began to morph our disbelief and our grief into a mammoth effort to strike back without considering what we were striking and with motives that became greedy and profiteering in nature.

For me it was very reminiscent of the Vietnam era in which I served and in retrospect I feel badly about the many weapons systems on which I worked for years that are currently in use today to kill so dramatically from the sky.

We must grasp the series of Cause and Effect Events that created 911 and subsequent carnage and insure that it does not happen again. The U.S. and its allies (many in the Middle East) were involved. We must understand theses events and learn from them.

Military Victory is Dead

CAUSE: The US fights a just and honorable war assisting many Middle East allies and other countries free Kuwait.

EFFECT: Saddam Hussein is driven from Kuwait and the country is returned to its rightful government.

CAUSE: The US does not leave the Middle East after rescuing Kuwait, but rather, stays in peripheral countries militarily “To Protect Our Interests” with an imperialist attitude resented by cultures that have an ingrained,religious hatred for that type of presence by foreigners.

EFFECT: The rise of Bin Laden and many more like him today and the deaths of 3,000 Americans on our soil, attacked in our homeland because we did not leave the Middle East.

CAUSE: The US reacts to 911 by setting up an elaborate Homeland Security apparatus and beefing up the National Security Agency by orders of magnitude, technologically, while putting in place a carefully concealed legal apparatus to counter terrorism.

EFFECT: The US has no outside terrorist incidents of a 911 magnitude since the Twin Towers fell in 2001 but Americans develop real concerns about our government and its role in controlling our lives as whistle blower disclosures regarding the apparatus of intelligence operation reveal potential constitutional issues.

CAUSE: The US invades Iraq fed by false, intentionally staged intelligence, fronted by agencies and industries bent on economic gain. The US sets about war fighting and nation building programs that seek to displace a culture that had evolved through conflict and war lords for hundreds of years and is tied to the absolute requirement that religious practices be part and parcel of government, a principle the US has rejected as unworkable since our Constitution was written.

EFFECT: Failure to build anything substantial in the form of a nation over a 15 year period. The deaths or crippling of our finest soldiers, dramatic increases in our national debt and a cynicism among our citizens with respect to the $Billions that have gone into the pockets of corporations supporting our huge Military Industrial Complex (MIC) and wasteful USAID Programs by companies that spend more lobbying Congress than they pay in taxes.

CAUSE: The present Middle East unrest due to ISIS/ISIL and other splinter groups we thought had been scattered to the winds.

EFFECT: UN Security Council meets with many nations talking and less than a half dozen nations carefully and selectively participating in an air war against terrorism while the remainder watch the outcome. Our military and corporate defense establishment (MIC) shout, “Sequestration to reduce military spending must end!” and estimates two years will be required with more American boots on the ground to train an Iraq force that we had already trained for a decade before the Iraq government disbanded it.

CAUSE (PROJECTED): A political battle like none seen in recent times driven by concerned American citizens and their view of the US role in the Middle East, our burgeoning national debt approaching $20 Trillion and the fact that the culture in that part of the world has had a very difficult time figuring out how we can help them over the last two decades while we near energy independence from oil and require some nation building of our own in the homeland.

EFFECT (PROJECTED): A leader and a political climate that will permit prudence, tough decisions, carefully avoidance of bad intelligence and overreaction so that we do not continue to sink into the oil and blood soaked desert of Middle East cultural revolutions as global corporations consuming the MIC and USAID tax payer dollars prosper, parking their assets overseas while our young become indebted for generations.

Does 9/11 still touch a nerve?