Will Washington Inflict More Harm to Its Self

In the upcoming days the United States government will implement budget cuts known as sequestration. These cuts will go into effect on March 1, 2013. Now we would think that maybe Congress, the Senate, and the President would be able to come up with a bipartisan deal. However, to think of this happening is like believing that the Dallas Cowboys will make it to the playoffs next season. It’s bad enough that I myself am a Cowboys fan and I doubt them as much as I doubt our government.

From the finger pointing to the blame game we are now seeing a new argument forming around the sequestration. Who is to own the creation of theses budget cuts. Lets call a spade a spade both the President as well as House Republicans are to take ownership of the bill. This all originated in 2011 over the debit ceiling negotiations. Originally the sequestres were schedule to take into effect the beginning of the new year. However, as typical Washington it just kicked the can down the road. Now the can lays on March 1.

Both sides of the aisle say that they do not want the automatic cuts to take affect but some may feel that they are getting what they want. Republicans get the cuts that they are looking for as well as Democrats in regards to defense cuts. So maybe both sides are getting what they want. Now I truly believe that the government should make cuts to the defense budget. I also believe that there are domestic programs that need to be cut if they are not serving the greater American public.

However, when you hear Republicans say that we cannot cut defense spending but we must cut spending that help fund education. Or funds that can be used to help states increase their hiring in the law enforcement departments. Even going as far as to invest in the infrastructure of our country. Military spending in this country is outrageously high compared to other nations. The projection for 2013 in military spending will be 868.1 billion dollars. Now when we look at the projections for protection such as police, fire, etc…the government will only spend 58.1 billion dollars. How is it that we are focusing more of our protection outside of our country instead of whats going on in our nation. If we were to increase the amount of spending from military budget and increase the spending in the protection budget we can help promote more safer neighborhoods for young children. Allowing parents to feel safe that they can send their daughter or son to school because there is an abundance of police officers patrolling their streets and neighborhood.

Cuts are already being implemented in one of the most important programs to our nation, education. Already 44,000 teachers have been fired from the educational field. We can not let the number one foundation of a strong government that is an education be placed on the cutting block. All sides of Washington have to cease in kicking this can down the road and get to a package that will do what is required to promote growth and make cuts where needed. Both can be done together however, neither can be done individually.

If we go into the age of austerity we will shrink an economy that is seeing some form of improvement. Look around the world and see what is going on in nations which have instilled stronger austerity measures with out any investment into the nation. Spain has seen an unemployment of 26% the highest in their nation. Riots occasionally are breaking out of Greece and leading industrial nations such as Germany have seen a slowing down in their GDP. If we implement the same measures as overseas countries have done and we shall see a decline in this nations economy and more people applying for food stamps and unemployment.

However, I do not see any movement from Washington to overt these cuts. True leaders of our nation have longed and past. What we have now are a group of men who act like children and are not willing to come to the table and hash out their differences and working together for a nation that is in need of their guidance to lead them out of a time where critical decisions have to be made.



Cyber Attacks New Form of Espionage

Recently the media has mentioned on an event that has been ongoing since 2006. It involves a rapid growing economic country, China. Recently a private company named Mandiant conducted an investigation for the New York Times resulting in the discovery of the source of cyber attacks to their employees. The sources were linked to have originated off the Datong Road where a military unit known as Unit 61398 resides. Now with the last post I talked about how the advancement of technology is changing the strategy for not only war as well as the domestic side.

Even-though China is a foreign nation, their cyber attacks are targeting companies crucial to the operation of our infrastructure. As stated in the New York Times article by DAVID E. SANGER, DAVID BARBOZA and NICOLE PERLROTH “What most worries American investigators is that the latest set of attacks believed coming from Unit 61398 focus not just on stealing information, but obtaining the ability to manipulate American critical infrastructure: the power grids and other utilities.” So the question asked now is What actions can we take against these attacks?

It is bad enough that the Chinese government is the number one target for companies to outsource their businesses because of the cheap labor. Or the fact that they are stealing American based companies private documents to their economic advantage and how they manipulate their currency to devalue our American dollar. Now they are targeting the very operational systems that provide the necessities for the everyday American. The fact that this has been going on since 2006 is also appalling. Seven years and yet this government has yet to create a comprehensive bill to punish the Chinese for their actions.

When questioned the Chinese Foreign Ministry stated the following:‘‘Making unfounded accusations based on preliminary results is both irresponsible and unprofessional, and is not helpful for the resolution of the relevant problem,’ said Hong Lei, a ministry spokesman. ‘China resolutely opposes hacking actions and has established relevant laws and regulations and taken strict law enforcement measures to defend against online hacking activities.’’ This would be believable if majority of these attacks did not originate from the area where Unit 61398 is stationed.

Many say that we must pursue this with caution because of the relations we have with the government of China. They are also major backers when it comes to the sanctions we place on Iran. China also has played a critical role in the UN when it comes to passing resolutions against Syria. And we cannot forget the current situation playing out in North Korea with their current missile testing as well as their nuclear testing. So we see why the President or even Congress pass strict sanctions on the Chinese government.

We cannot place business infront of our national security. If the Chinese are allowed to continue their cyber hacking ways the more vulnerable the United States becomes. I’m not saying that the China plans to invade America but we can never be so comfortable with that idea. President Obama has passed thru executive action the following “..the government plans to share with American Internet providers information it has gathered about the unique digital signatures of the largest of the groups, including Comment Crew and others emanating from near where Unit 61398 is based.” However, more must be done. We must include steep fines, reduction in trade, and seek to fund the creation of a stronger cyber security system in America.

The countries the United States has some form of agreement involving money have a way of threatening in some way shape or form. But sitting by is not what we need to be doing action must be taken to show the Chinese government that their game espionage will no longer be tolerated.

‘‘Preserving American Privacy Act of 2013’’ My Response.

Recently a bill has been brought to Congress in relation to my last two post. This new piece of legislation deals with the use of unmanned drones used on American soil. Prior to this introduction of the bill, unmanned drones were being used without any law in regulating its use. Even though I am not a huge fan of the use drones we must understand that we live in a time and age where technology is consistently changing.
The drones used on American soil are not equipped with any weaponry so do not confuse these unmanned aircraft to those used in oversea operations. The bill now requires that a government entity that wishes to use an unmanned drone to file for warrant with a judge within the jurisdiction the operation will take place. In section 3119a.Definition Section 1Aii it states “‘‘(i) has jurisdiction over the offense being investigated; ‘‘(ii) is in a district in which the public unmanned aircraft system is located or where the public unmanned aircraft system is being or sought to be operated..” Congress is moving in the right direction in attempting to oversee the use of drones.
Deep in the body of the bill it states the following:
“If a court or appropriate department or agency determines that a governmental entity has violated any provision of this Act,and the court or appropriate department or agency finds that the circumstances surrounding the violation raise serious questions about whether or not an officer or employee of the United States acted intentionally with respect to the violation, the department or agency shall, upon receipt of a true and correct copy of a decision or findings of the court or appropriate department or agency,promptly initiate a proceeding to determine whether disciplinary action against the officer or employee is warranted. If the head of the department or agency involved determines that disciplinary action is not warranted, such head shall notify the Inspector General with jurisdiction over the department or agency concerned and shall provide the Inspector General with the reasons for such determination.”
However, I believe that the bill doesn’t go far enough. I would prefer that there be a limit to the usage of the unmanned drone. I do not believe that law enforcement agencies need to use it every time they are conducting an investigation. Ever since the “Patriot Act” was autopen by President Obama law enforcement have been given a cushion in conducting surveillance in the form of wiretaps and receiving warrants to conduct such operation. So the law enforcement entities should be limited to the use. I do believe that if the use of the aircraft can deter potential harm or danger aimed at individuals or towards events which will have a huge populace. Another scenario where I have no issue on the use of the aircraft would be in a search and rescue missions or a missing child however the warrant issued must include a timeline of how long the operation can last with the use of the drone.
Times are changing as well as technology and we cannot look at it as an invasion of privacy when the government will have an oversight oh how it will be conducted however, like i said the bill needs to go a bit further and limit its use to the ones listed above.

The Pick and Choose Game

Last night I began my blog talking about the Cuban Missile Crisis and then talked briefly about the United States Foreign policy. I also gave a mention to the drone program this nation has been using in order to combat militants on the Pakistani border. Now I brought those examples up because I want to illustrate how the United States picks and choose its combat military operations.
The country of Pakistan has been aiding the United States as it conducts its military operation in Afghanistan. However, there have been times when that country closed its borders used by NATO to supply its forces. This all resulted from the drone strikes we have conducted and also because of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
As and American I celebrated the day we took down bin Laden. I live in New Jersey 15 min away from New York and where the World Trade Center was in my view every morning I woke up. So as many Americans it was a personal beef we had with this Al Qaeda leader. However, as the months went by, I began to listen to the Pakistani side of the raid. They repeated on saying that we violated their sovereignty in the raid.
Then we shift over to the drone strikes where we are using armed drones in order for us to conduct military operations against terrorist networks in the region. What makes it difficult for the United States in using boots on the ground to take down these networks is the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. These terrorist networks use the border of Pakistan to launch attacks against I.S.A.F forces.
Some of these attacks have led to the deaths of innocent civilians and I do understand that in war lives even those of innocent ones are lost. But do we not realize that these civilian casualties hurt our cause in having success against these terrorist networks. I say this because we are giving them the propaganda they need to gain more supporters. Even citizens of this country have turned against our nation in support of these extremists.
Now the way that this becomes a pick and choose game is this, as much as Pakistan has shut down its border to NATO forces and even critiquing the United States on TV we allow them to sit back ideally and do nothing against the terrorist networks in their country. A main reason why we did not inform the Pakistani government of the raid before it took place was because we do not trust the intelligence agencies known as the I.S.I. To give you an example why we don’t trust them is because after the raid they arrested the doctor who helped identify that the man living in the military city of Islamabad was Osama bin Laden.
To add to the irony we still give them billions of “military aid” a year. Yet they sit back and do nothing to crack down from a Counter Terrorism aspect. Every time the Pakistani government gets mad and shut down their borders we pay them off to re-open the border. We are basically paying a country that is playing both sides of the board. They say that they cannot engage the militants in the region we are using drones so my question is where is the money going then.
The United States will never dare in sending troops into that country because of the one weapon we almost went to war with, Russia. That’s right the “N” word and no it’s not a racial slur but material used for a variety of things such as power and even as medicine for cancer patients. The nuclear weapon stockpile Pakistan has will make any world leader shake and now we must choose to maintain those payments. Have we not learned that the people we hand money to in an attempt to have “friends” will hurt us in the end. Perfect example when the Soviet Union was in Afghanistan who do you think provided the weapons and training to the Taliban to fight off the Soviet occupation. You guessed right US and look those very same Taliban fighters used what they learned and now we are entrenched in a battle that in all honesty can be related to the War on Drugs it will never claim a victory. So I will leave you all with that I hope you enjoy and look forward to my next post.

The Beginning

February 12, 2013

As I lay her watching CNN news I am also listening to John F. Kennedys inaugural speech. The man who is known as Camelot to the world was a president before my time. However, as I learned about the Cold War I learned of President Kennedy. The moment I admire from President Kennedy involved in a time where America and Russia were on the cusp of entering a nuclear war with one another. However, as the days went by and hours ticked away Kennedy was adamant in looking for a peaceful end to the nuclear confrontation we faced. The moment in our country’s history became to be known as The Thirteen Day Cuban Missile Crisis. The president faced a strong group of military generals urging him to invade Cuban as Russian armamants were entering the country. With the aid from Russia, Castro and his military were building launch pads and loading mid-range missiles able to hit the United States.
Now if this situation happened in 2013 I strongly believe that the United States would have engaged Cuba with no chance of diplomacy to take its course. We see a nation which has strongly invested into its military and has been involved in multiple operations around the globe. As John F. Kennedy stated “The graves of young Americans surround the globe.” That is true to this day, with Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom we have lost a estimated number of 7,000 U.S troops. After 9/11/01 we immediately invaded Afghanistan and two years later Iraq.
Now 15 of the 19 hijackers originated from Saudi Arabia and yet we invade two countries who we deemed possessed Al Qaeda militants. To this day we are still involved in Afghanistan, the longest military operation this country has ever been a part of. The United States has become the Soviets of the 1970s. This perceptive is held by those who live in Afghanistan as we see more green on blue attacks on I.S.A.F forces. People who we say we are helping are turning around and killing our men and women as the assit them into a transition crucial to a Democratic state. The billions of dollars we pump into Afghanistan has yet to produce any results that have turned that nation to a true Democratic state.
To add on to the problems we face in Afghanistan we see its neighbor Pakistan having internal problems within their government. As militants attack coalition forces from the border we use drones to kill those combatants who intend to harm our men and women. However, as we use our new form of warfare innocent civilans are being caught into the crossfire of our drone attacks. So we wonder why the United States and Pakistani relations have been on icy waters. However, can we blame our government for using this new style of warfare? Can we justify the violation of sovereignty of Pakistani soil? I have rambled on but I will answer those questions and more on my upcoming blogs.