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The military is not the place for social engineering

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Transgender Military

Recently, President Trump told the military to discontinue Barack Obama’s proposal allowing transgendered individuals to be recruited into the military. And, right on queue, came screams of bigotry and discrimination. Shocking.

My only concern regarding the transgender ban is that any obligations already made be honored. This is non-negotiable to me. If we make a promise to a servicemember, we must uphold it. period.

The politicians and media can fight over the specific rule and whether it is discrimination or not.

We the people will once again be the adults and have the necessary discussion – whether the military is strengthened or weakened by the integration or ban of transgendered service members.

The only thing that matters in the military is that our squads are the best they can possibly be.

A couple years ago, there was controversy over another military integration proposal. It was the question of whether women could be in combat roles.

As a man, putting women into combat roles makes me uneasy. It feels morally wrong to knowingly put a woman in harm’s way. Whether it is my toxic masculinity, my white privilege, my male privilege, or my cis privilege, something feels morally wrong.

But feelings alone aren’t enough to pass a judgment. Facts don’t care about my feelings, either. So let’s look at some facts.

There was a yearlong comparison between an all-male and mixed male and female units. It looked at varying situations that could occur in combat and assessed the effectiveness of both groups.

From NPR’s article summarizing the study, “all-male squads performed better than mixed groups in 69 percent of the tasks evaluated.” It also showed that men had more speed, more lethality, and were less prone to injuries.

The full study also stated that “all-male squads, teams and crews and gender-integrated squads, teams, and crews had a noticeable difference in their performance of the basic combat tasks of negotiating obstacles and evacuating casualties.”

They continue, “during casualty evacuation assessments, there were notable differences in execution times between all-male and gender-integrated groups” with the exception of “casualty evacuation as a one-Marine fireman’s carry of another (in which case it was most often a male Marine who “evacuated” the casualty).”

Feel free to look through the study yourself and see what you find.

While this is just one study, it doesn’t ease my concern. This study gives reason to doubt the effectiveness of gender-integrated combat units. I can only imagine the effectiveness of a gender-integrated combat unit where some of the men identify as women and women identify as men. How do you even study that?

How do you even study that? Are male-to-female transgenders counted as females and vice versa? If every female in the previous study was a male-to-female transgender, they would still have had the benefits of increased testosterone levels. It would be an absolute nightmare to figure out.

To pretend none of this matters, that the ends of equality justify the means, is objectively immoral. One small mistake and someone can die. If our combat units are slightly less efficient than they could be, more lives will be lost. One is too many.

Until a change in the makeup of our military services is shown to be as effective or more effective than an all-male squad, then I support prohibiting it. (Note: Defense Secretary Mattis has postponed the “transgender ban” pending studies for implementation.)

Call it discrimination, I don’t care. Call me a bigot, I don’t care. I’ll gladly trade being called names if it will save just one life.

This isn’t a matter of personal opinion on transgenderism or feminism. It is literal life and death.

The battlefield is not the place for social experimentation. The risks are too high and the reward of good feelings can never outweigh the risk of losing another American in war.

If we knowingly send out a sub par combat unit, then we are leaving Americans behind before they even see an enemy.

And we don’t leave anyone behind.

To all those who serve in our military, thank you.

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Foreign Affairs

Venezuela is colluding with Russia while America is distracted by Trump not colluding with Russia

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Venezuela is colluding with Russia while America is distracted by Trump not colluding with Russia

Two Russian jets carrying troops and equipment landed in Caracas, Venezuela, as part of a mission to “fullfil technical military contracts,” according to Russian media. But it’s almost certain this is part of Russia’s play on Venezuela to prop up socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro just as they did with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Meanwhile, most Americans who follow the news cycle were bombarded with perspectives on Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the Robert Mueller investigation report. In it, President Trump and his 2016 campaign were found to not have colluded with the Russians in their election hacking endeavors.

My Take

While most were focused on fake Russian collusion, the real thing was happening in one of the world’s hottest spots, Venezuela.

Russia’s play here is simple: keep Maduro in power at all costs. They got the drop on any actions the United States may have been planning, though it’s unlikely those plans included military intervention. Still, Russia isn’t taking any chances. By getting troops and equipment on the ground, they’ll be able help Maduro by offering cover from outside actions while bolstering his support internally.

Any defections or coup attempts will be much less likely with Russia directly involved.

The opposition leader who America and over 50 other nations consider to be the rightful interim president, Juan Guaido, has been trying to get international support while maintaining domestic support, but Maduro’s move may have prevented that from happening.

In essence, the battle over Venezuela is now over. It’s unfathomable to conceive of action by the United States or any other’s who support Guaido other than diplomatic efforts that will accomplish nothing. Venezuela is doomed to retain their socialist dictator now.

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Foreign Affairs

Israel suffers another rocket attack from Hamas

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Israel suffers another rocket attack from Hamas

A confirmed rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on Israeli homes near the border in the Kfar Saba area outside Tel Aviv. Sirens were heard prior to the rocket explosion and posted by the IDF Twitter account.

Six people were injured in the attack.

My Take

The conflict between Hamas and Israel has been getting old for years, but now is not the time to blow off the news. Hamas is having internal strife as its citizens protest living and economic conditions in the Gaza Strip. To garner international support and save face for failing to help their own people, Hamas is trying to start another war.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is caught between a contentious election at home and the need to get his own international support, particularly from the United States. He’s in Washington DC now to meet with President Trump, who has offered his support and endorsement for the long-time Prime Minister.

Hamas would love nothing more than for Netanyahu to be gone, replaced by a leftist who will wheel and deal for “peace” with the Palestinians regardless of the cost. If that happens, the toll will be great on Israel and the world.

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Military

With fall of the Islamic State’s last stronghold, the real war against them begins

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With fall of the Islamic States last stronghold the real war against them begins

The Islamic State was always destined to fall in the way that it has. If they ever got big enough to demand a more direct response from the military forces of the world, that would have happened. Instead, they were only able to become a regional power that caused widespread chaos and despair before the various forces pitted against them were able to back them into the final corner.

That corner just fell.

Now the real war against them begins.

What most Americans don’t know is that the Islamic State was never really about military conquest for land. That was the focus for most, including many within the ranks of the failed militant organization, but those in the know have realized for years the real threat they pose is on the ideological front. While it’s a great thing that they’ve been eliminated militarily according to most reports, there’s an unfortunate effect this will have. The final stronghold falling will inspire the expansion of their other fronts, most notably the terrorist activities of the various groups loosely affiliated with the Islamic State around the world.

Cyberterrorism, physical terrorism, and persecution against non-Muslims in Islamic majority regions will increase. This has been anticipated for over a year now by members of law enforcement in the United States and possibly in other nations. Now that the end is finally here for their direct military wing, the other factions, groups, and lone wolves are suddenly much more dangerous.

I’m keeping this short to get to the point before losing too many people. Now is not the time for much celebration. Let’s pat each other on the back and then move on to the next phase of the battle, one that has been raging for some time but has been overshadowed by the military successes and recent failures. Now, they’ll become top priority. Lest we forget, most of the top leaders of the Islamic State are still out there and active.

Don’t let your guard down for a moment. Remain diligent. Look for signs, such as those that preceded the San Bernardino terrorist attack. Be mindful that with the ISIS military gone, other threats are only going to be elevated.

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