By NWV News writer Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
August 10, 2010
© 2010 NewsWithViews.com
A NewsWithViews.com reporter recently participated in a Pentagon teleconference regarding Obama Administration plans for future military operations.
The Russian air force and the North American Aerospace Defense Command will conduct their first cooperative air defense exercise, according to Pentagon officials during a recent teleconference with Internet journalists and bloggers.
But not everyone with an expertise in military strategy and tactics is enthusiastic about these joint operations. Some experts believe this program smacks of International governance, especially with nations that have questionable motives.
“Why can we not understand that our military is for national security, defending our country and defeating our enemies before they bring havoc and harm our citizens? Why can we not understand how important our resources are in terms of our trained Armed Forces and assets of our country and not to drain them across the globe in futile nation building operations but to leverage the military to counter threats to our country?” asks Major General Paul Vallely (U.S. Army-Ret.).
“I have the removed the terms “liberal,” “conservative,” “Democrat,” “Republican,” “left” and “right” from my vocabulary, as they have little meaning in today’s battle for our Country.
Incompetence and Dishonesty of officials now come into play as relates to our National Security and Economy and is the rationale for resignations and a change of government,” said Gen. Vallely.
Russia’s Federal Air Navigational Service and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration also will be involved in the exercise, officials said, along with the military air operations centers at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, and Khabarovsk, Russia.
The exercise, named Vigilant Eagle, will take place next week, and it involves Russian, Canadian and U.S. personnel operating from command centers in Russia and the United States. It’s authorized under a cooperative military agreement that tasks NORAD — a binational U.S. and Canadian command — and the Russian air force to conduct a “live-fly” exercise for up to five days, officials said.
It will consist of two international flights: one originating in Alaska and traveling to the Far East, followed by one originating in the Far East and traveling to Alaska. Both flights will follow the same route, officials said.
In the exercise scenario, a U.S.-flagged commercial air carrier on an international flight has been taken over by terrorists, and the crew will not respond to communications. The scenario creates a situation that requires both the Russian air force and NORAD to launch or divert fighter aircraft to investigate and follow the airliner.
The exercise will focus on shadowing and the cooperative hand-off of the monitored aircraft between fighters of the participating nations, officials explained. Airborne warning and control aircraft from Russia and the United States will be involved, along with fighter-interceptor aircraft and refueling aircraft from both countries.
While most news media outlets and the American people are engulfed in news coverage regarding the economy, the 2010 elections, the Gulf oil spill and other stories, little if any news coverage exists about two major actions being considered by President Barack Obama and progressive lawmakers.
“News of a increased role for the military within the United States is being totally ignored or suger-coated by the media, according to conservative observers. And second, apparently the United States will sign-on to an International Gun Control Plan, backed by Secretary Hillary Clinton,” said political strategist Mike Baker.
RETURNING TO A COLD WAR STRATEGY?
Returning the National Guard to its Cold War-era strategic reserve posture is not the answer when Defense leaders discuss the future, the Army’s chief of staff said here yesterday.
“No one wants to go back to the Guard being just a strategic reserve,” Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr. said during a visit to the 2010 National Guard Family Program Volunteer Workshop. “We have come way too far. Half of the Guard are combat veterans. That’s a fundamentally different force and, as a result, it’s a fundamentally different Army.”
The United States is in an era of persistent conflict, Casey said, adding that he anticipates a significant operational tempo for the next decade. That follows nine years of war in which the National Guard has already played a crucial role.
“We are actively working through a study that will answer the question for us: ‘What should the role of the Guard and Reserve be in an era where we’re likely to have to rely on them continuously for a long period of time?'” he said.
The Army could not have accomplished what it has over last nine years without the National Guard, Casey said. “It’s Minutemen and women that are holding this force together,” he told the group. “Thank you for what you have done to support this Army and this country.”
“There’s always more work to do, but I think it’s been very well-received,” Casey said.
The Caseys have a noncommissioned officer son on active duty with the Army Reserve, making Sheila Casey both a soldier’s wife and a soldier’s mother. Meeting with volunteers to whom she can relate not just through empathy but also by first-hand experience, she emphasized self-care.
“Part of the problem that caregivers have is that they don’t take care of themselves,” she said.
“Everybody else comes first. What I end up seeing is people who after extended deployments …
Her husband briefed Guard family program volunteers on the Guard’s transformed role since September 11, 2001, and Defense Department leaders’ goals for a future of more predictable deployments and more time at home between deployments.
Standing in front of a chronological chart displaying the Guard’s contributions in the more than 60 years since World War II, the general explained how a decision made from lessons learned from the Vietnam War transformed the Guard.
“The general conventional wisdom coming out of that period … that we had to rely on the draft and could not rely on the Guard and Reserve broke the active Army,” Casey said. “That’s too simplistic, … but … that led [to] the total force policy, and they said, ‘We will never again go to war without the Guard and Reserve.'”
The Guard’s role increased in the early 1990s following Operation Desert Storm, and notably shifted in the days after the 9/11 attacks. It has not diminished since.
“From Desert Storm, there has been relatively consistent reliance on the Guard and reserve,” Casey said. “Since Sept. 11, we have relied on the Guard and Reserve for a duration and a scope that really has been unprecedented in the last 60 years.
“We are pretty close to being one Army,” he continued. “We have purposely integrated the Guard into everything that we do. We have made a huge change with the Guard over the last nine years. … None of us want to go back to having the Guard as just a strategic reserve.”
“My emphasis will be a continued plea for Americans to demand the resignation of these officials by the people of this country. We are even at a point that if the demanded resignations and elections do not happen to the degree needed to save the country then we must proceed to Impeachment and a serious transfer of Power at the highest levels of government,” said General Vallely.