Did you know 6 women got their EIB?

Revue
 
Today's things: Save the who now?; Indonesian snake eaters; rapists > terrorists; 6 women earn EIB
 
January 26 · Issue #21 · View online
5 NatSec Things
Today’s things: Save the who now?; Indonesian snake eaters; rapists > terrorists; 6 women earn EIB; Patriots for Sweden.

How will they save the children when they can't save themselves?
Classic case of Western “do as I say” hubris in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, as staff of Save the Children couldn’t save themselves when the gunmen came through the door. Probably a bunch of sheeple who had the insane notion that by doing the most good for the worst off they’d be spared the ire of the Islamic State. Sounds like someone needs to talk to a sheepdog or two.
Not sure how you can expect to save anyone else when you’re an unarmed non-government agency (NGO) working in some of the most contested territory in the graveyard of humanitarians. I mean outside of their plan to “work to make a healthy and safe environment where children can learn and grow.” Guess it’s time to go to plan “B” which at this point for the organization means you close up shop and GTFO. 
Organizations like this one used to be off limits. There used to be red lines in places like Afghanistan. Except today’s insurgents don’t see color very well. They just see the headlines. Because if you’re talking ROI, for just a few bullets a day, you can rely on the world’s media to run your PR campaign for you.
That’s what this is about, is about the publicity. The press. Not some bullshit excuse that there’s a war and you’re repelling invaders. These fuckers killed people who were in Afghanistan to help other people. That’s all. 
Snakes protest torture by Indonesian SF Snakes protest torture by Indonesian SF
What happens when you cross Cirque du Soleil, Snakes on a Plane, and Rin Tin Tin? You get an Indonesian Special Forces demo for the visiting American Secretary of Defense. Rest assured, the Kopassus are certified badasses if your enemies are piles of flaming bricks or cobras.
The first one they headbutt, the second they eat. After ripping their heads off and drinking their blood. Which is a step up from what they used to do, which was torture people. 
But that was the 90s. Lots of questionable choices being made: neon was a thing, crack was just starting to be wack, and if you wanted to keep East Timor from getting too uppity? You let the Kopassus loose. Which has led to the US not being able to work with them at all. 
But these are different times. Stonewashed jeans and cocaine are back in, while flannel and crack are out. And if we can’t forgive human rights abuses committed by a potential ally again China that happened last century, how American would we be?
Indonesia’s a valuable security partner in the region, helping to bolster the response to China’s incursions via naval power. The Kopassus are part of that calculus, and if the US wants to sell more F-16s to Indonesia, increased cooperation with the former Bad Boys of Bacau might be on the table. And they stand ready to teach the Americans all about how to get you some sushi grade snake. 
If we stop paying the rapists, the terrorists win
Wrap your head around this:
On 5,753 occasions from 2010 to 2016, the United States military reported accusations of “gross human rights abuses” by the Afghan military, including many examples of child sexual abuse. If true, American law required military aid to be cut off to the offending unit. Not once did that happen.
Nearly 1,000 reports a year. And because someone decided that Afghan military aid trumps pedophilia, well, no one’s turning off the spigot anytime soon. And because bacha bazi usually involves someone paying someone else for the privilege of violating their child, US government money is at least indirectly financing kid rapers. 
I need us all to think about that for a second. Forget for a minute how much money has been pumped into Afghanistan, and it’s still one of the least secure countries on the planet. Forget how many Afghan lives have been lost since the US invasion in 2001. Don’t think about how many other lives in the US and other supporting nations have been forever changed by the place. 
Let’s be clear on one thing, and one thing only: our nation’s leadership thinks it’s OK to rape kids. Because they’re brown kids. Not our kids. And if a whole bunch of boys have to suffer trauma for few years until they get too old for whoever bought them last, well, they’re Afghans, right? 
If the kid rapers were better at what they did, maybe, somehow, there could be some kind of sick logic to this. If the men molesting boys were making Afghanistan a safer place for, I guess, anyone but the boys they’re raping, then we could see how this works.
But it’s not working. None of it is. 
Not the raping, not the money, not the lives. 
Might be time to find our way back to the moral high ground.
6 women earn EIB, keep mouths shut about it
Someday we’re going to hear from the ones who were first. The first women through Ranger school. The first ones to earn their EIB. First ones to pass Selection and slap that long tab over their left shoulder. 
Until then, the women who are first through the blue door (that’s…well, that’s an infantry reference…little inside baseball, and I"m sorry) are acting like the professionals they’ve been trained to be. And quietly going about the business of obliterating prejudice with every new milestone. 
There’s work to be done, yet, and in an age where every single “operator” that ever shot someone in the face feels compelled to write a book about it, there’s hope that maybe these women can bring some of the quiet professionalism back to the force. 
Or, maybe they’re just afraid if they tell anyone, they’ll get blasted.
Like I said, work to be done. But to those who did it first? Nicely done.
Sweden learns that missiles are pricey
This one’s way down at the bottom here because it’s another in a series of articles I’ve run across lately that cover how non-American allies are dealing with shrinking defense budgets, and increased concerns about Moscow. 
Which is only part of the equation for Stockholm, and the editorial slant of this article is a little suspect, but everyone’s having to tighten the belt. Because staying prepared for decades for threats that never materialize costs money. And when there are cheaper (non-American) systems out there that might do the same for less? Governments like that. 
The US still sells a lot of really big guns to people. And part of that is the extortionate nature of relations among “friendly” countries. Because if you want American help if/when that war hits your borders, it’s much more likely to be on its way if you bought US equipment first.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Thumbs up 1ae5a7bdfcd3220e2b376aa0c1607bc5edaba758e5dd83b482d03965219a220b Thumbs down e13779fa29e2935b47488fb8f82977fedcf689a0cc0cc3c19fa3c6bb14d1493b
Carefully curated by Your War Editor with Revue.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here.