5:25 PM

The Katrinization
of Our Military

(Editors note: O.K., this post just barely falls within the theme of aviation, but since nuclear warheads are launched atop rockets, and rockets fly through our airspace, I'm giving myself a pass.)

There has been an overwhelming amount of bad news flowing around the Internets today and yesterday, and that doesn't even begin to get into what is happening in the Iraq war. But the most shocking news of all is this from Associated Press:

The Bush administration selected a design Friday for a new generation of atomic warheads, taking a major step toward building the first new nuclear weapon since the end of the Cold War nearly two decades ago. The decision to move ahead with the warhead, which eventually would replace the existing arsenal of weapons, has been criticized as sending the wrong signal to the world at a time when the United States is assailing attempts at nuclear weapons development in North Korea and
WTF? We're telling the world to stop even THINKING about developing nukes or we'll parking lot their geography while W and his pals toy around with our own arsenal. Now I'm all for defending our borders, so maybe there might be some sort of legitimate reason why we need to upgrade to Nukes v2.0. I'm just freaked about who is doing the upgradin' because for the past six years, it's been “shoot first and ask questions later” up at the ol' White House.

It's been a particularly embarrassing week for The Decider's U.S. Army, with their top civilian official, Secretary of the Army, Francis Harvey, resigning amid an increasingly deplorable scandal at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, a Department of Defense (Pentagon) facility. That comes on the heels of Major General George W. Weightman, former Commander of Walter Reed, being fired and then immediately being issued a subpoena by the House Oversight Committee.

The people running our country are asleep at the wheel when it comes to our Armed Forces readiness, and the more I read, the more I know that to be true:
The Washington Post recently reported that Lt. Gen. James R. "Ron" Helmly, the head of the Army Reserve, sent a sharply worded memo to other military leaders expressing "deepening concern" about the continued readiness of his troops, who have been used heavily in Iraq and Afghanistan, and warning that his branch of 200,000 soldiers "is rapidly degenerating into a 'broken' force."

Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell has also warned that the US army is "almost broken" and cast doubt on a plan George Bush is reportedly considering to increase troop numbers in Iraq.

And lastly, the Army Times reports in a headline screaming “Military readiness down, top general says” that the nation’s top military officer, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is throwing red flags all over by saying “strained by the demands of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is a significant risk that the U.S. military won’t be able to quickly and fully respond to yet another crisis, according to a new report to Congress”.
Are these the people you want building the next generation of our nukes? Now that we know their cronies have screwed up Walter Reed so badly, do you feel safer knowing those same people are going to build the new warheads without testing them:
Thomas P. D'Agostino, acting head of the DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees the nuclear weapons programs, said that both the Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore designs were contingent on not requiring nuclear testing. If tests were required in a design, "We were not going to go forward," he said.
If that doesn't scare the crap out of you, you are in serious Red State denial. Now back to my usual aviation programming...

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