Sunday, April 23, 2006

Texas! Or about Remembering history

Nice day in Texas today. After the coldness of the spring in Japan this year, its nice to be where its warm. Did business yesterday and took it easy last night. Ordered Pizza, drank some 12 ounce sleeping pills and went to sleep early. Up early today and out and about. I forgot how spread out everything is here! I've put a lot miles on the rental car.

Sometimes on trips like this, I think about what it would be like to work and live here. I don't think about it too long, especially when I watch couples out in clubs and all the crap that guys have to put with just to close the deal. Yes its uncrowded but........

Have been reading more about the controversy of the retired generals on other blogs and news articles. I think it would be useful to remember that this is not the first time this type of thing has happened.

Let us remember the late Les Aspin...........

LES ASPIN, then Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, discomfited the Bush Administration in 1992 when he berated it for failing to come to terms with the end of the Cold War. The Bush Administration's "Base Force," he argued, represented nothing more than an across-the-board reduction of the American military, not a thorough rethinking of America's defense needs for a new world. The criticism stung, and for good reason. The Base Force had indeed shrunk the Cold War military, rather than recast it.

Ironically, when Aspin recently issued a "Bottom Up Review" he attracted the same criticism, and with no less cause. This 17-page document(including pictures and graphics) projected a force of ten active and five reserve Army divisions, eleven active aircraft carriers and other warships, twenty active and reserve Air Force fighter wings, and a three-division Marine Corps. Somewhat smaller than the Bush Administration's Base Force in some areas (e.g., Army divisions) and larger in others (most notably, Marines Corps end strength), the Bottom Up Review structure satisfied no one.

Does this seem familiar?

Defense Secretary Les Aspin PhD `68 said Friday that U.S. combat troops will stay in Somalia until calm has returned to its capital, ``real progress" has been made in disarming rival clans and
``credible police forces" are up and running in major cities.
In a speech here, Aspin offered the most specific explanation yet of the Clinton administration's decision to step up military operations against fugitive warlord Mohamad Farah Aideed, whose forces have been waging war on U.S. and other foreign troops in the capital of Mogadishu. He avoided any discussion of a withdrawal timetable, emphasizing that the decision to bring home the troops would depend on their effectiveness in achieving the goals he described.
``When these three conditions are met ... then I believe the U.S. quick-reaction force can come back," Aspin said in describing what he termed the ``endgame" of U.S. involvement in Somalia.
This week, the administration dispatched 400 Army Rangers to augment U.S. the 1,400 infantry soldiers and 3,100 logistics troops in Mogadishu, prompting criticism that U.S. policy-makers had embarked on a path toward deeper involvement in Somalia's factional violence without presenting a clear rationale. Aspin sought to answer that criticism Friday, saying the United States has little choice but to go after Aideed and his militia in south Mogadishu. Pentagon officials privately acknowledge that the Ranger team includes a covert element that will try to capture Aideed.

I'm suprised no one goes back to talk about this time in the current debate. Aspin resigned and was replaced by William Perry. Aspin died on May 21, 1995 in Washington, DC , of a stroke.


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