First up I noticed a very interesting article in Stars and Stripes this morning. Apparently General David Petraeus, commander of all U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, is under serious consideration to become the next head of the CIA. I do not know how I feel about this. I like General Petraeus very much and think he has done a remarkable job under very difficult circumstances. I am not sure any other General could have done nearly as well. Therein lays the problem. Who will take over in Afghanistan and will it curtail what little success we have been experiencing there lately?
In my humble opinion, Petraeus would make a fine CIA Director, but is it wise to move a person from one job, where they are almost indispensable, into another? Many large organizations do this all the time and often regret it. Well, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
This is being considered because the current CIA Director, Leon Panetta (who I think has also done a very good job) is being seriously considered as a replacement for Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense. That seems like a good move, but I will be very sorry to see Bob Gates leave, he has done a very good job.
There was another interesting tidbit in Stars and Stripes this morning. A U.S. soldier, who asked the German government for political asylum, has been rebuffed by the German Interior Ministry.
German federal office for migration and refugees ruled that André L. Shepherd failed to satisfy the criteria for being granted political asylum. The judge wrote that Shepherd is in discord with the U.S. military not because of his political beliefs but because of his failure to fulfill his military obligations, particularly for being away without proper leave.
Deserters during the Iraq combat mission receive punishments ranging from 100 days to 15 months.
An Army specialist with the 412th Aviation Support Battalion based in Katterbach, Shepherd had served in Iraq for six months in 2004-05, left for “vacation” in April 2007, knowing that deployment orders for Iraq were pending. Shepherd went into hiding before he could deploy to Iraq. He served as a helicopter mechanic, although he rarely went off base.
Shepherd applied for asylum in Germany. Earlier that year, he wrote his attorney that he did not want to be “an instrument of destruction.”
Personally, I think the German government and the U.S. Army both are handling this case very well. If this guy has decided he does not wish to serve, probably as a result of a simple attack of cowardice, and he only faces up to 15 months for it, this just does not come close to entitling him to asylum, in Germany or anywhere else. It is also nice to see our “allies” supporting us --for a change….
I don't know but what I think my ears are going to start bleeding from all this political fighting in Washington over the budget. I know it is important stuff and I am glad to see the Republicans taking a serious stand to cut spending. What I do not like is the fact that the argument has now transitioned into political maneuvering for the 2012 Presidential election. Ideology has taken command which means the chance for compromise and accomplishment is reduced. It now becomes more important to make a political statement than to actually run the fricking government! This is a perfect example of why so many people hate politicians.
If the government really shuts down today because they can not come to any agreement (and the President says he will veto any short term extension to avoid a shutdown) it will be an unforgivable betrayal of the people. One group that would have been hurt badly is our military -you know, those guys and gals in uniform getting shot at in the Middle East. Remember them? Fortunately Navy Federal Credit Union announced that they will advance service members pay until April 15th -Well done Navy Federal!
Here are some interesting “before and after” shots of the air campaign in Libya. Check out this before and after image of what appears to be a Libyan weapons storage area that was hit pretty hard by allied airstrikes recently. It’s the after-effects of what might have been JDAMs nearly obliterating a bunch of Gadhafi’s weapons bunkers.
Here’s another shot of some burning G-2 Galeb’s on the ramp at Misurata air base, you know, the same type of jet, likely flying out of this base, that was destroyed by French fighters last week.
And here’s another airfield that was apparently one of the targets hit by Air Force B-2 stealth bombers and Navy Tomahawk cruise missiles a couple of weeks ago.
Live Long and Prosper....