Category Archives: US Military

Urge Passage of the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics, PACT Act

from Buzz Davis,

Save Our VA – Vets for Peace in Tucson
813 S. Deer Meadow LoopTucson, AZ 85745

How burn pits may have raised veterans’ risk of rare cancers and respiratory illnesses

Twenty-five Republican senators who previously supported a bipartisan bill to expand health care for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits reversed their stance on Thursday.

Background:  Honoring our PACT Act of 2021


Another vote is scheduled in Senate – this week 

SEND YOUR SENATORS A MESSAGE TO VOTE YES

DAV | Contact your Senator to Vote “YES” on S. 3373, the Honoring Our PACT Act (quorum.us)

Whether it is Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan or on US base water supplies (PFAS) across America, the generals at DOD and many politicians in America do not seem to care if we kill both our own soldiers and their families along will millions of other humans


From: Andrew Marshall, DAV National Commander and Lynn Prosser, Auxiliary National Commander To: Mr. Buzz Davis

Sent: Sat, Jul 30, 2022 8:59 am

Contact your Senator to Vote “YES”

on S. 3373,

the Honoring Our PACT Act

Dear Buzz,

The PACT Act will provide health care and presumptive benefits for veterans exposed to hazardous environments. After years of fighting, we are close to comprehensive toxic exposure legislation. We need your help again to keep the pressure on the Senate to get it passed.

On June 16, the Senate passed the Honoring Our PACT Act 84-14. Unfortunately, due to a procedural issue, the House returned it to the Senate. On June 24, the Senate tried to pass the corrected version; however, that was blocked by one Senator.

The House introduced the Senate version of the PACT Act and on July 13, they passed it out of the House with a vote of 342-88. The bill then went to the Senate. However, on Wednesday July 27, the bill was stopped from going to the Senate floor. Twenty-five Senators who voted to pass the PACT Act on June 16, voted on Wednesday to stop the bill, which has not been changed since the June 16 passage.

The Senate will be voting on the PACT Act on Monday and veterans suffering from illnesses and diseases related to burn pits, radiation exposure and Agent Orange cannot afford to wait. Urge your Senator to vote “YES” on the PACT Act.

Thank you for your support of America’s service-disabled veterans and their families.


Take Action through DAV, Disabled American Veterans 
and contact your elected officials, especially your Senators

Contact – Ron Johnson Senator from Wisconsin (senate.gov)

Contact | U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (senate.gov)

Open Secrets Tracks the “Racket”

Sheila Krumholz, Executive Director Open Secrets
“You follow OpenSecrets because you want to cut through the noise — pushing past rhetoric to find the money and influential actors aligned on an issue.

We don’t always provide the easiest read, but you’ll always receive unadulterated analysis, steeped in reliable data that has been meticulously maintained for decades. We do this because, as you know, the devil is often in the details.

[ Also check out… POGO.org  ]

A recent example is our Capitalizing on Conflict report series that examines the defense industry’s multi-pronged influence machine. While the defense industry plays an outsized role in Washington — note the $840B 2023 National Defense Authorization Act budget just passed in the House of Representatives — it’s hard to visualize the industry’s influence in its totality.

To start unraveling the influence network, our researchers pulled data on all inputs (read $$$) from defense firms and contractors to elected officials, PACs and lobbyists. So far, we’ve revealed that:

 

 

Our investigation has not gone unnoticed. With OpenSecrets data used as a catalyst, a Public Citizen report in early July shows that defense company investments in Congress have produced a 450,000% return.”

Tax Week ~ #StopLockheedMartin ~ Stop the Machine

Tax week of action! April 23 at the Dane County Farmer’s Market – Sign the Petition! | Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice (wnpj.org)

 

In conjunction with the War Industries Resisters Network Week of Action and World Beyond War’s Global Mobilization to #StopLockheedMartin, Safe Skies Clean Water Wisconsin,  Veterans for Peace Madison, and Interfaith Peace Working Group will be asking people how they want their tax dollars to be spent. Come to the corner of King Street and the State Capitol Saturday, April 23rd – and distribute your “beans” where you want your income tax to go. Begins around 9am.

Weapons & War

Health Care

Education

Infrastructure

Food & housing

Can’t make it? SIGN THE PETITION or Endorse as an organization

Communication Tools for this action. 

“Lockheed Martin is by far the largest weapons producer in the world. From Ukraine to Yemen, from Palestine to Colombia, from Somalia to Syria, from Afghanistan and West Papua to Ethiopia, no one profits more from war and bloodshed than Lockheed Martin.

We call on people around the world to join the Global Mobilization to #StopLockheedMartin starting on April 21, the same day that Lockheed Martin holds its Annual General Meeting.

Individuals and organizations everywhere — we invite you to call for protests in your towns and cities, wherever Lockheed Martin produces weapons or profits from violence we must mobilize to #StopLockheedMartin.”


 


 

 

 

 

 

“For U.S. arms makers, however, the greatest benefits of the war in Ukraine won’t be immediate weapons sales, large as they are, but the changing nature of the ongoing debate over Pentagon spending itself.

Of course, the representatives of such companies were already plugging the long-term challenge posed by China, a greatly exaggerated threat, but the Russian invasion is nothing short of manna from heaven for them, the ultimate rallying cry for advocates of greater military outlays. Even before the war, the Pentagon was slated to receive at least $7.3 trillion over the next decade, more than four times the cost of President Biden’s $1.7 trillion domestic Build Back Better plan, already stymied by members of Congress who labeled it “too expensive” by far.  And keep in mind that, given the current surge in Pentagon spending, that $7.3 trillion could prove a minimal figure.

Indeed, Pentagon officials like Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks promptly cited Ukraine as one of the rationales for the Biden administration’s proposed record national-security budget proposal of $813 billioncalling Russia’s invasion “an acute threat to the world order.” In another era that budget request for Fiscal Year 2023 would have been mind-boggling, since it’s higher than spending at the peaks of the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam and over $100 billion more than the Pentagon received annually at the height of the Cold War.

Despite its size, however, congressional Republicans — joined by a significant number of their Democratic colleagues — are already pushing for more. Forty Republican members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees have, in fact, signed a letter to President Biden calling for 5% growth in military spending beyond inflation, which would potentially add up to $100 billion to that budget request. Typically enough, Representative Elaine Luria (D-VA), who represents the area near the Huntington Ingalls company’s Newport News military shipyard in Virginia, accused the administration of “gutting the Navy” because it contemplates decommissioning some older ships to make way for new ones. That complaint was lodged despite that service’s plan to spend a whopping $28 billion on new ships in FY 2023.

Who Benefits?

That planned increase in shipbuilding funds is part of a proposed pool of $276 billion for weapons procurement, as well as further research and development, contained in the new budget, which is where the top five weapons-producing contractors — Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman — make most of their money. Those firms already split more than $150 billion in Pentagon contracts annually, a figure that will skyrocket if the administration and Congress have their way. To put all of this in context, just one of those top five firms, Lockheed Martin, was awarded $75 billion in Pentagon contracts in fiscal year 2020 alone. That’s considerably more than the entire budget for the State Department, dramatic evidence of how skewed Washington’s priorities are, despite the Biden administration’s pledge to “put diplomacy first.”

The Pentagon’s weapons wish list for FY 2023 is a catalog of just how the big contractors will cash in. For example, the new Columbia Class ballistic missile submarine, built by General Dynamics Electric Boat plant in southeastern Connecticut, will see its proposed budget for FY 2023 grow from $5.0 billion to $6.2 billion. Spending on Northrop Grumman’s new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, will increase by about one-third annually, to $3.6 billion.  The category of “missile defense and defeat,” a specialty of Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin, is slated to receive more than $24 billion.  And space-based missile warning systems, a staple of the Trump administration-created Space Force, will jump from $2.5 billion in FY 2022 to $4.7 billion in this year’s proposed budget.

Among all the increases, there was a single surprise: a proposed reduction in purchases of the troubled Lockheed Martin F-35 combat aircraft, from 85 to 61 planes in FY 2023.  The reason is clear enough. That plane has more than 800 identified design flaws and its production and performance problems have been little short of legendary.  Luckily for Lockheed Martin, that drop in numbers has not been accompanied by a proportional reduction in funding.  While newly produced planes may be reduced by one-third, the actual budget allocation for the F-35 will drop by less than 10%, from $12 billion to $11 billion, an amount that’s more than the complete discretionary budget of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since Lockheed Martin won the F-35 contract, development costs have more than doubled, while production delays have set the aircraft back by nearly a decade. Nonetheless, the military services have purchased so many of those planes that manufacturers can’t keep up with the demand for spare parts. And yet the F-35 can’t even be properly tested for combat effectiveness because the simulation software required is not only unfinished, but without even an estimated completion date. So, the F-35 is many years away from the full production of planes that actually work as advertised, if that’s ever in the cards.

A number of the weapons systems which, in the Ukraine moment, are guaranteed to be showered with cash are so dangerous or dysfunctional that, like the F-35, they should actually be phased out.  Take the new ICBM.  Former Secretary of Defense William Perry has called ICBMs “some of the most dangerous weapons in the world” because a president would only have minutes to decide whether to launch them in a crisis, greatly increasing the risk of an accidental nuclear war based on a false alarm. Nor does it make sense to buy aircraft carriers at $13 billion a pop, especially since the latest version is having trouble even launching and landing aircraft — its primary function — and is increasingly vulnerable to attack by next-generation high-speed missiles.

The few positives in the new budget like the Navy’s decision to retire the unnecessary and unworkable Littoral Combat Ship — a sort of “F-35 of the sea” designed for multiple tasks none of which it does well — could easily be reversed by advocates from states and districts where those systems are built and maintained.  The House of Representatives, for instance, has a powerful Joint Strike Fighter Caucus, which, in 2021, mustered more than one-third of all House members to press for more F-35s than the Pentagon and Air Force requested, as they will no doubt do again this year. A Shipbuilding Caucus, co-chaired by representatives Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Rob Wittman (R-VA), will fight against the Navy’s plan to retire old ships to buy new ones.  (They would prefer that the Navy keep the old ones and buy new ones with more of your tax money up for grabs.) Similarly, the “ICBM Coalition,” made up of senators from states with either ICBM bases or production centers, has a near perfect record of staving off reductions in the deployment or funding of those weapons and will, in 2022, be hard at work defending its budgetary allocation.”

The New Gold Rush

How Pentagon Contractors Are Cashing in on the Ukraine Crisis

By William D. Hartung and Julia Gledhill

 


An excellent documentary.  We might consider having a showing. 

The Pentagon and CIA Have Shaped Thousands of Hollywood Movies into Super Effective Propaganda – World Beyond War . . .


 

Peace in Ukraine

Find an event.  Let them know about an event you are part of.

Peace in Ukraine

 


 

New Reporting Details Corporate Media’s War Industry Pundits (commondreams.org) PHAWKER.COM – Curated News, Gossip, Concert Reviews, Fearless Political  Commentary, Interviews….Plus, the Usual Sex, Drugs and Rock n' Roll » Blog  Archive » thanks-corporate-news

“This type of revolving-door behavior should be prohibited for military officials to serve in a private capacity representing military contractors…:


 

World Beyond War Projects

Milwaukee Billboard [Democratic Party Convention]


Veterans for Peace Madison
Clarence Kailin, Chapter 25 

website… https://madisonvfp.org/

facebook… https://www.facebook.com/groups/madisonvfp

twitter… https://twitter.com/MadisonVfp

@MadisonVfp

Stop the Destruction of Our VA Medical System – Please Sign/Share

— > Sign On to Stop the Assault on Veterans Healthcare

As of 2022…

  1. Over one-third of all veterans’ medical visits have already been sent outside of the VA system
  2. And more than 25% of VA healthcare dollars have already been diverted to the private, for-profit sector as a result of the VA MISSION Act.
  3. One-third of the union jobs at the VA that the AIR commission would destroy are held by veterans themselves.

This fiasco must be stopped.

Petition to #SaveMyVA from AIR Commission Closures – Action Network

Thank you very much for reading these articles, signing the petition and sharing this information to your veteran and non-veterans friends and asking them to help you by signing on.

Peace

Buzz Davis, Vets for Peace in Tucson

 

 

More information:

Veterans for Peace – Save Our VA Campaign


These 17 Medical Centers Would Close and More Than 30 Built or Replaced Under VA Plan | Military.com

“The Department of Veterans Affairs has unveiled a plan that calls for closing 17 aging or underused medical centers, while shifting services to more than 30 new or rebuilt hospitals. In some cases, it would rely on private care.

Under the nearly $2 trillion proposal released Monday, the department would lose a net of three medical centers and 174 outpatient health clinics but would gain 255 health care facilities, including new clinics, stand-alone rehabilitation centers and nursing homes.

Medical centers in areas with diminishing veteran populations are among those slated to close, while others would be built in growing urban centers, the West and the South — areas where veteran populations are growing…”


Blog | VHPI (veteranspolicy.org)

“The Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization that studies the provision of healthcare and other services to the those who served in the US military as well as their families and communities.”


The VA Needs More Funding, Not More Privatization (jacobinmag.com)

Joe Biden touted himself as friend of veterans while on the campaign trail. But now he’s overseeing the continued privatization of the VA and backing nominees that brag about being venture capitalists.” 


Biden’s VA Secretary Proposes Shutting Down Dozens of Facilities

It’s both bad politics and bad policy.

BY SUZANNE GORDON MARCH 21, 2022. Prospect

 

“On March 14th, the Department of Veterans Affairs VA) released some deeply flawed proposals for reorganizing the nation’s largest and only publicly funded, fully integrated health care system.

Rather than building back better at the VA-run Veterans Health Administration (VHA), VA Secretary Denis McDonough’s blueprint embraces, rather than rejects, further outsourcing of care for more than nine million veterans, and proposes VHA downsizing that will dramatically accelerate that trend.

It’s not often that national unions representing around 250,000 VHA workers and right-wing Republicans like South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Staten Island Rep. Nicole Malliotakis issue simultaneous denunciations of privatization. But that’s what happened in the wake of McDonough’s facility-closing recommendations to the VA Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission, a panel just nominated by President Biden.

Adding to the political confusion was the outraged response of Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), who co-sponsored the VA MISSION Act of 2018, which created the AIR Commission. During Joe Biden’s first year in office, the MISSION Act also helped divert $18 billion from the VHA’s direct-care budget to the private health care industry, whose providers now consume 20 percent of the VHA’s budget..”