200 US troops are headed to Jordan, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced today. Their stated purpose is to help contain violence spilling over from the Syrian conflict, and according to Mohammad al-Momani, Jordan’s Minister of State for Information, they should be arriving “in the next few weeks.” This is a significant announcement, but we’re betting it’ll get buried under all the news today about gun control legislation and the Boston explosion. And that’s a shame. source
Most Americans see the establishment center as an empty, decaying void that commands neither their confidence nor their love. It is the establishment center that has led us into the stupidest and cruelest war in all history. That war is a moral and political disaster — a terrible cancer eating away the soul of the nation. … It was not the American worker who designed the Vietnam war or our military machine. It was the establishment wise men, the academicians of the center.
— George McGovern on war and the politics that produce war, from a campaign speech in April 1972. (via Reason)
Statements like this have earned McGovern huge respect among progressives even to this day.
I’ve been throughout that whole country… the fact is we went there for one reason, to get those people who killed Americans. Al-qaeda. We have decimated al-qaeda central, we have killed Osama bin Laden.Joe Biden, finally name dropping Osama bin Laden in the debate’s Afghanistan segment. Biden and Ryan clashed earlier over looming defense cuts forced by last year’s sequestration deal – Biden advocated for a “leaner” military with more special forces, while Ryan denounced the deal’s mandatory cuts, despite having voted for them in congress.
» An Afghan soldier opened fire on members of the U.S. military, from a nearby rooftop, killing one soldier and the local interpreter who was accompanying him. The gunman managed to wound three more soldiers before being killed by return fire. Three United States soldiers were also killed in eastern Afghanistan, all victims of a bombing, as were three Afghan women after the house they sought shelter in was hit by a Taliban mortar shell. Details on all of the deceased were released under the condition of anonymity by U.S. officials.
The U.S. and China Have Been conducting Cyber War Games, designed to prevent the sudden escalation of military force should either country suspect it’s being targeted, according to a new report in the Guardian. In the first of two simulated exercises, officials from each side were asked to describe how they would respond should their country fall victim to a massive cyber-attack similar to Stuxnet. In the second, they were asked how they would respond if they knew the attack had originated from the opposing side. Unsurprisingly, China’s obviously-capable performance in the games left several officials worried. source
POLITICO: Five members of the U.S. military stationed in Colombia violated curfew and may have been involved in inappropriate conduct.— Stefan Becket (@stefanjbecket) April 14, 2012
Some breaking news from Colombia, where the President is attending the Summit Of The Americas. Politico quotes General Douglas Fraser as saying he’s “disappointed by the entire incident and that this behavior is not in keeping with the professional standards expected of members of the United States military.” This ties in uncomfortably with yesterday’s news regarding prostitution use by some members of the Secret Service – it all took place in the same hotel, which also happens to be where President Obama himself is staying. All in all, this is becoming a major black eye for the United States.