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Kurds and Jews

On your December 2003 edition you state that Iran was responsible for the chemical attack on Halabja and other Kurdish cities, using a New York Times article as your evidence. However, that article (and viewpoint) has been refuted:

Aside from your views concerning Israel and the Iraq War, I think you have an awesome site though, with very good ideas regarding how the military should be transformed.


Ed: Many people were upset that the "New York Times" or I wrote that Saddam Hussein never gassed the Kurds.  I must point out that neither made such a claim, we just published the comments from someone who states:  " the Central Intelligence Agency's senior political analyst on Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, and as a professor at the Army War College from 1988 to 2000, I was privy to much of the classified material that flowed through Washington having to do with the Persian Gulf. In addition, I headed a 1991 Army investigation into how the Iraqis would fight a war against the United States; the classified version of the report went into great detail on the Halabja affair."

That link was one of many that sprung up to refute this expert.  They claim that some "new documents" provided by Kurds prove otherwise.  Since the Kurds have wanted the USA to intervene for years, I would not be surprised they forged documents. 

I have written nothing about Israel, although I do post links to articles about Israel's continual expansion into Arab lands.  For example, since the 1978 Peace Accords in which Israel agreed to halt more Jewish squatter camps on Arab land, the number of "settlers" has grown from 4000 to 230,000, mostly fueled by one billion dollars a year in subsidies made possible by billions of dollars in US aid.  These camps are established whenever a group of Jews from Israel (often born in the USA or Russia) grab their weapons and locate some Arab land they like and run off the Arab families who have lived there for generations.  

This is the basic cause of conflict in the West Bank, and has been denounced by every nation on Earth, even the US government, yet the American media is so tightly controlled that very, very few Americans are aware of this ongoing ethnic cleansing.  In the latest land grab scheme, thousands of Arabs are being kicked off their land to make room for a "security fence" which somehow requires 51 square miles of Arab land.  President Bush acts upset about this, but has done nothing, except withhold a few million dollars in aid while allowing billions of US dollars to continue flowing to Israel.

Now I have to endure an onslaught of irate hate mail from religious nuts who think that a book thousands of years old serves as a land deed which allows Jews from New York or the Ukraine to claim land in the West Bank, Syria, Jordan, and even parts of Iraq and Egypt. All Arabs and even one-third of  Israeli citizens reject this idea of Jewish eminent domain with zero compensation, and so do all nations on Earth, the Bush administration, and myself.

Gassing the Truth at Halabja

I can't really get the point why Halabja is so important to the US. Middle Easterners killed Middle Easterners. No US people involved, neither on perpetrator nor on the side of the victims. So why all the outrage?  Sure, Saddam was a brutal tyrant - but the US also ignored the butchery in Rwanda, they stood and watched hundreds of thousands being butchered without intervening to "rid the world of the evildoers". This selective outrage doesn't contribute to the US international credibility. But Halabja sure is a good crowd puller where people have rarely ever heard of Rwanda.

At the time of the Iraq-Iran war, with more or less active support by the US, Saddam enjoyed not only intensive intelligence support by the US, he also got candy like Anthrax and, according to some sources, old US chemical munitions (cheaper to let Saddam use them against Iranian human wave attacks than to dismantle them) and he had the privilege, also shared by Israel, to be allowed to kill US sailors unpunished, that was when one of his missiles hit the USS Stark and killed some 30+ US sailors. The US administration was quite supportive until Saddam attacked Kuwait, and even then it took them quite a while to take offence on Saddam's adventure: .... National Security Council's first meeting after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait was equally low key. As one participant reportedly put it, the attitude was, "Hey, too bad about Kuwait, but it's just a gas station-and who cares whether the sign says Sinclair or Exxon?.....

And then again the Iraq-Iran ended 1988. So for me the question: "Cui bono?" remains unanswered. Why should Iran attack a Kurdish village in March 1988, using gas? And why are the Kurds, the victims, so persistent in that it was Saddam? If anyone should know who did it, they should.  But unfortunately the Kurds also had an eager interest to demonize Saddam. So that makes their testimony somewhat tainted, even more in face of the more recent accusations of US administration officials adopting defectors tales unchecked and sell them as intelligence (Seymour Hersh's "The Stovepipe" in The New Yorker is highly recommended:  

Iran had switched to the defensive in 1988, and Iraq to the offensive again. Probably Iran had more urgent problems to deal with rather than butchering Kurds. Also the Ayatollahs viewed CW as an evil that maybe could be used against the devil Saddam, because he used it too, but I have my doubts that they would use it against civilians. It wouldn't fit their mindset as I understand it. Very different in the case of Iraq: It would have reduced the troops needed for repression, freeing them for war against Iran - that would make much more sense from a utilitarian point of view.  There still is the possibility of a "friendly fire accident" that Iranians fired CW at suspected Iraqi positions around the village of Halabja that was according to some reports battled at that time and that the salvo went astray, or drifted back.

However, there is another possibility: It could well be that the US took the diffuse incident of Halabja and recognized it as a very good incident to demonize Saddam in the Gulf-War I propaganda, which also included the fairytale of Iraqi soldiers taking babies out of their boxes and leaving them on the cold floor to die .... gassing civilians was a perfect gruesome, and emotionally appalling, mosaic piece to portray Saddam as the psychotic Butcher of Baghdad.  That tactic worked well, and was still in use with Bush Jr.'s administration. I saw Richard Perle live on German TV, when he, being told that an invasion was illegal, responded "How can you defend a butcher like Saddam? He gassed his own people!" Not that that really was an argument, much less a reply ... but it is a good mace-on-the-head type response to silence dissent and inconvenient questions. And it tells quite a hit about how the current US administration sells things, in the time where doubt is "aiding the enemy" and dissent on the sense and risks of invading Iraq gets allies denounced to side "with the enemy".

I really see the actual deterioration of US-international relations with sadness. In my time in the army I used to train with US troops in NATO exercises, and both sides got along quite well, and professionally -a few weeks ago, almost a decade later, I found the German Leopard 2, a tank used by NATO allies (and "rogue states" like Finland, Switzerland and Sweden) alone, as a threat system on a site of a US Navy helicopter squadron. Really saddening.  The US pummeling on NATO, like: Let's strain the alliance until it breaks, and when it does it wasn't worth it anyway" is IMO quite a stupid thing to do, just like Bush's pissing on international law.

Senator J. William Fulbright also said something very insightful about international law: ".... Law is the essential foundation of stability and order both within societies and in international relations. As a conservative power the United States has a vital interest in upholding and expanding the reign of law in international relations. Insofar as international law is observed, it provides us with stability and order and with a means of predicting the behavior of those with whom we have reciprocal legal obligations. When we violate the law ourselves, whatever short-term advantage may be gained, we are obviously encouraging others to violate the law; we thus encourage disorder and instability and thereby do incalculable damage to our own long-term interests." A great article by Jim Lobe on him, here:

But back to topic, I would be careful in accusing Iran of CW use in the case of Halabja. It could well be that, in the article quoted, you see the resurrection of an old propaganda piece, as it fits the agenda: The US and Iran are on confrontation course again, so why not readjust the old tale that worked so well against Saddam? The same is tried with Syria: Harboring terrorists, having a WMD program, being truly evil and wicked ... you get my point.

Old stories die hard, and so I bet that in two decades quite a couple of people will remain convinced that there was a link between Saddam and Al Quaeda - because otherwise the President wouldn't have attacked Iraq, right?  No pun intended.

                                                                                         Norbert Schulz, Germany

Ed: Colin Powell visited Halabjah a couple months ago during the recent "Saddam is Evil" effort, which began when the WMD lie was exposed.  Powell must know the truth, so I watched to see if he would lie during his speech.  He did not, he just noted it happened during Saddam's reign, but failed to correct the numerous false stories in the press.  This past month, I continued to see the "Saddam Gassed His Own People" story reported on corporate television as an undisputed truth.

From what I've read, the US didn't provide Iraq with chemical munitions, except thousands of 155mm white phosphorus rounds.  These are supposed to be used to mark targets, but it is simple to remove the phosphorus bag and insert a deadly chemical.  American military aid to Iraq was paid for with two billion dollars in agricultural loans funneled through the Atlanta branch of BCCI.

I find the debate about old Iraqi loans humorous.  The US is pressuring other nations to formally write them off.  One might ask why the American puppet government doesn't simply declare them "Saddam's loans", and refuse to pay?  Well the USA would never allow a precedent to arise in which an impoverished nation is allowed to refuse to payback billions of dollars loaned to and squandered by their former dictator.

The next question is if Syria will be invaded as part of the 2004 election campaign.  Insider Gore Vidal says it has already begun, citing the demonizing stories flowing from that great imperial voice called the NY Times.  Bush recently announced that two additional combat brigades will go to Iraq next year.  And why are all those US tanks and that artillery still sitting around in Iraq?

Anti American Trash

I find it hard to believe someone would publish such anti-American sentiments in the garbage editorial comments you make, and claim to be a 'patriotic' veteran. You are obviously well into the John Kerry camp.  And equally dangerous, when you abuse the liberties that this country affords such as free speech.  Luckily, your poison only affects a weak minded few (who, unfortunately are as vocal as you).  Let the next election be the mandate for our just actions in the Mid-east, not the sitting on the hands and partying of the Clinton administration. 

You are obviously poisonously anti-Bush, why? And then you quote the NY Times hahahaha. What a fooool, and his foolish left wing cronies! They indiscriminately gassed a residential area...would they have done this in a Baathist area??? Can you answer that honestly?  Doubt it. How dare you defend Saddam and deny proven allegations about him.  He has been a world wide supporter of terrorism, and encourages and funds attacks against Americans.  He pays these criminals to slaughter innocent civilians.  The Taliban and al Qaida and their terrorist cohorts declared UNRESTRICTED War on the US and it's private citizens.  I had 3 friends and 20 associates killed on September 11.  I want these murderers and plotters kept in a dark frigging hole, until there hell freezes over.  How could you even support otherwise?  You forget to mention here that he had was found carrying a map of the cellblocks and a list of detainees. These are not uncommon for a chaplain? Maps? Put all the co-conspirators, whether military or not, in the same rotting hole.  And oh poor babies, unrelieved tension and about my friends and associates families whose family member is....DEAD.

Finally, as far as Cheney and Halliburton, $20mm severance pay is small for an outgoing CEO of a major corporation. Also, what other companies in the world can take on a project of this scope? We keep it at home, and reap the tax revenues to offset the money we are putting into Iraq.  Sorry to attack you, but please start showing some objectivity.  I really don't like public one-dimensionality.


Ed: That letter provides good example of how Americans are poorly informed about the world.

Saddam Never Gassed His Own People

That Saddam gassed 5,000 of his people is a favorite chestnut that is still occasionally trotted out whenever a talking head gets desperate for some talking points. Only one journalist that I know of caught this one and provided this CIA link -- now I have no attachment to Saddam Hussein mind you, however we have all heard the Bush Administration and Cable News [like the Israeli owned Fox News] endlessly tell us how Saddam gassed 5,000 of his own people at Halabja back in 1988 -- now check out the below Oct 2002 CIA Report and you will find that the CIA says the gassing deaths of the Kurds/Iranians were in the HUNDREDS NOT MULTIPLE THOUSANDS -- Folks this is the kind of Kosher approved reporting that makes Baghdad Bob's stuff look reputable in comparison and begs the question; why do our media goofs feel so compelled to go along with spinning the numbers by a factor of 20 or whatever "HUNDREDS" means compared to 5,000 -- and in who's interest is it, and what else are they exaggerating??? Check out the number of deaths for Halabjah in 1988 at the bottom of this table --

Oct 2002 WMD CIA Report

                                                                                              Ken Wadd

The Prisoners at Gitmo

The Gitmo POW thing is tricky, and you leave out some critically relevant information in forming your view.  What the ICRC claims is by no means the definitive say on the Geneva Convention - all they are doing is serving as the default "Protecting Power" to monitor humanitarian problems with the prisoners.  They hold no legal authority to define who does and does not fall into the category of POW.  The notion that the prisoners at Gitmo are POWs is a pretty cut and dried affair - under the GC, they aren't covered regardless of whether or not they should be.  Article 43 of Protocol I lays it out pretty clear...unless you are prepared to make the claim that these international terror groups are "subject to an internal disciplinary system which, inter alia, shall enforce compliance with the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict." then the members of these terror groups in no way meet the legally defined criteria of the GC of combatants.  

There is no definition within the GC into which international terrorists really fall.  The closest is arguably mercenary but that requires material compensation so that is pretty questionable as well.  The ICRC assertion that the prisoners are POWs is also a default assumption of the GC - unless determined otherwise by a competent tribunal, the prisoners are assumed to be POWs but this doesn't mean that the government cannot make the case that they are not POWs.  You also have the issue that any of the prisoners who engaged in actions of trying to hide amongst civilians, a common terrorist tactic, specifically forfeit their right to POW status per Article 44.  This whole mess is supposed to be sorted out by a specified Protecting Power but because this "war" is not against another UN member state, there is no Protecting Power to sort this crap out.  Other concerns with that segment include:

1 - Military tribunals in no way violate the Geneva Convention - unless these folks committed a crime here in the US, they aren't entitled to traditional legal services.  Here, the best reference would be the POW trials following WWII which were virtually all military tribunals.  Not fair and not right, but it doesn't violate the GC from anything I've read within the GC.  I could be wrong but I haven't seen it.

2 - Every torture and mistreatment claim has come from outside third parties - where is any evidence from the members of the ICRC who have been at Gitmo or any of the other groups who have inspected the facility?  The standards defined in GC are related to preventing medical problems and malnutrition and such - if even a fraction of the claims of some were true, there would be a massive body of physical evidence to support these claims when in actuality, there is none.  Yes, a substantial quantity have attempted suicide but given the fact that some of these folks train to kill themselves anyways, its rather difficult to explain why they wouldn't be predisposed to this.

3 - The age cut-off for minors in the GC is 15, not 16 (Article 77).  The fact that there are three boys under 16 is immaterial unless they are younger than 15 which is pretty unlikely as if this were the case, whoever raised the issue would've specified it for maximum effect.   Even if they ARE under 15, they can still legally be held under the GC with special accommodations.

4 - The fact that chaplains are even being provided to the prisoners at taxpayer expense goes completely against your argument.  The US is under no obligation to provide these services to prisoners and it is only an example of the US attempting in some way to do the right thing.

5 - You imply that Baccus was removed solely for assuring compliance with the GC which is a complete fabrication.  Whether or not he irritated Dunleavy, Baccus was relieved of his command in the National Guard  for other reasons, one specific example being a supposed failure to notify higher commands of troop well-being.  It is rather ironic that the same military going apeshit over a senior general invoking God in a religious setting had no problem with Baccus referencing God when addressing Islamic prisoners.

6 - Unless the person is being held on a criminal charge, that prisoner is not entitled to any form of legal representation under GC nor are they obligated to be released until the end of the conflict.  Their supposed claim to POW status virtually guarantees they'll never get a lawyer and ultimately be released when they die of old age.  You are doing them no favors by asserting that they are POWs.

7 - This whole thing is nothing but a red herring - as long as we all are outraged over Gitmo, we won't concern ourselves with investigating the REAL abuses of the administration with regards to international law.  Namely our practice of intensive torture at forward facilities (including at least two claimed deaths from blunt force trauma) as well as the practice of sending prisoners to foreign nations to be tortured for information (they say that one senior al Qaeda member had his fingernails ripped out in Jordan on our behalf). The gist of what you are saying has merit - you just entirely missed the real problem although you do mention the US citizens being held without charges but this isn't entirely without precedent either (internment of Japanese during WWII).

As for the tired Halliburton accusations, the best explanation that can be given comes from the editorial page of the NY Times, hardly a group supportive of either Bush or Halliburton (another article addresses some of the political aspects and follows the NYT piece).  LOGCAP is a long-term, open ended contract that commits a civilian contractor to provide logistics support to the DOD for any major projects that come up during the duration of the contract - essentially, whoever wins LOGCAP is on-call to the DOD for a variety of support missions, there isn't even a set duration on the contract.  They handle everything from food and sanitation to construction and transportation to security and maintenance, with nearly all of the work being subcontracted out.  Essentially, the winner of LOGCAP serves as my proposed Department of Logistics.  This is the same contract that handled base construction in Bosnia, Saudi, and other nations over the years ie the LOGCAP contract going to Halliburton had nothing to do with plans for Iraq as it covers any and all conflicts we engage in, including OOTW and humanitarian missions, it's a guaranteed cash cow whether there is a war or not.  They supported operations in Haiti, Somalia, Rwanda, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Afghanistan as well with virtually all of the work coming under the LOGCAP program.  Halliburton won the first LOGCAP before Cheney ever joined them (1992), they lost the only LOGCAP while Cheney was with them (1997, went to DynCorp), and they won again after he left (2001). 

It's a screwed up system but attacking the current administration misses the point - the problem is the system.  There are fewer than a handful of companies on the entire planet capable of doing what the LOGCAP program calls for, and in most regards, Halliburton's KBR subsidiary is the best of them, DynCorp was absolutely horrendous.  Until the DOD grows a brain and ends LOGCAP altogether, we're still going to be seeing these problems.  But complaining about KBR doing work under LOGCAP is like complaining about Newport News getting a carrier construction contract or Boeing getting a large aircraft contract - who the hell else is going to get it?  I don't know of any companies in the US other than KBR, DynCorp, and Bechtel that could even attempt to meet the requirements of LOGCAP and all three are as corrupt as the day is long.  But KBR was also heavily involved in the creation of LOGCAP so it stands to reason that they will have a better chance of winning than the others.

Just because something stinks doesn't make it a conspiracy - sometimes its just a pile of shit.


Ed: It barely made news in the USA, but three US Senators, including former POW John McCain, recently demanded the Bush administration do something about the Gitmo prisoners; conduct trials or let them go.  During the US military's preliminary hearing to prosecute US Army Captain Yee's case, it became apparent that prosecutors had "mishandled classified information" by providing details to unauthorized persons. The hearing was postponed, yet those Army officers were not taken away in chains to a Navy brig.  Hearings for another American GI "terrorist" at Gitmo have been postponed after Air Force investigators raided the office of his Air Force lawyer.  Another odd incident just happened at Gitmo.  In addition to a soldier who "disappeared" last year, a soldier was found shot in the head.

I didn't complain about the LOGCAP contracts, just that they were awarded years before Americans were informed that Iraq suddenly became a serious threat.  I am also disturbed as to why our Vice President, who is an aging multi-millionaire, continues to accept deferred compensation from Halliburton.  Does he really need that $150,000 a year, especially when that company is making huge profits off the invasion of Iraq?

Eliminate State Air Forces

Right on!  No state or governor needs an air force. If snowed-in cattle need hay dropped to them, a call to the White House should suffice. Here is where a cogent and flexible contingency plan needs to incorporate FEMA and the active and reserve forces. Big problem is the political patronage involved with the Army Guard and the Air Guard. I worked with the Puerto Rico Air Guard when they were a crackerjack outfit (1976-1979) but the politics involved were really something.

                                                                                            Walt BJ  

The Air Guard is Critical

 I would like to take the opportunity to correct some misperceptions and incorrect facts that are cited.  There are numerous statements in your article which are hasty generalizations at best and simply incorrect at worst.  I will address a few of the most misleading.  First of all, the actual roots of the Air National Guard do not  trace to the National Security Act of 1947 and "11 musical bands" as stated in your article, but are much older than that.  In fact, the first United States military aviation unit was the New York Army National Guard's 1st Signal Company, which purchased and operated the National Guard's first aircraft in 1910 with funds they raised on their own.

The early history of aviation is liberally dosed with National Guard individuals and units who flew significant missions and achieved many of the milestones we are celebrating during this 100th anniversary of aviation.  (see Secondly, you state that the "The Air Guard has no State function whatsoever."  This is patently false.  It is true that an F-15 or F-16 cannot directly perform State support, (although one could argue that the air patrols flown over home cities by the Guard are a significant deterrent and local political statement) but the wings from which these aircraft fly are composed of many other support units that are frequently involved in State missions.  Our security, food service, engineering, medical, and other support units participate in State emergencies whenever needed.  

These units, like their Army National Guard counterparts, maintain combat mission and mission support capability which simultaneously allows them to maintain proficiency and be able to support State missions.  I would suggest this dual-capability is a great deal for the American taxpayer, and is especially important in this new age of homeland security.  On a higher plane, our Guard aircraft do indeed have a significant impact on State missions, the latest example of which were the C-130's of the California National Guard's 146th Airlift Wing at Channel Islands.  These aircraft were the first "military" aircraft to respond and did so in State Active Duty status;  they were not federalized.  Tell the people of San Diego that their Air National Guard doesn't have a State mission.  Many other examples can be cited from my own home state; ice storm relief, rescue missions from Long Island, and 9/11 itself.   

 Third, our Reserve counterparts are far more difficult to access for State missions than the Air and Army National Guard.  In order for a Governor to employ such forces, a federal disaster must have been declared and the approval of the Secretary of Defense must be obtained for the use of these 10 USC forces.  The Guard, on the other hand, is immediately available when tasked.  As an example, here in Colorado two summers ago, the C-130's from the AF Reserve at Peterson AFB sat on the ramp while the Hayman Fire burned over 100,000 acres only 20 miles away. Had they been National Guard instead of AF Reserve, they could have been used immediately by the Governor.  

Furthermore, contrary to your statement, there are indeed Naval Militias, and my own home State of New
York made extensive use of theirs during 9/11.  In fact, before there was a Naval Reserve, there were only naval Militias.  Interestingly, the New York Naval Militia members (about 4,000) are mostly also members of the Naval, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserves but were employed by the State in State Militia status simply because of the time lags and difficulties involved accessing 10 USC Reserve forces.  See 10 USC section 311 for Militia law that implements the Naval Militias.  

The headquarters overhead, base support costs, and aircraft aging problems you cite are not isolated to the Guard.  The active AF and the Reserves are experiencing the same pressures and issues.  However, if you had checked the facts, you would discover that of all the Air components, the Air Guard is the cheapest way for America to maintain combat air power, primarily because our base costs are far cheaper than the AF and AFR.  We do not burden ourselves with unnecessary base infrastructure you find on every AF and AF Reserve base.  We do not own the hospitals, commissaries, BX's, libraries, schools, and other services that exist in the active military and the Reserves; our citizen soldiers live in the local economy and we generally operate off a civil airport with a highly favorable cost sharing and operating budget.  These facts would seem to argue that Reserves should be absorbed into the Guard, not the other way around.      

Finally, you briefly gloss over the most important reason for having a robust and well funded National Guard.  In order to understand the mindset of the statesmen and visionaries who wrote our Constitution, it is useful to read about the debates in which they engaged both for and against a central federal government.  The Federalist Papers and their lesser known but just as illuminating counterparts, the Anti-federalist Papers, provide keen insight in this area.  The reason we have a Militia is not simply for military purposes, or as a force in reserve, but more importantly when taken in the context of the debates during the Constitutional Convention, as a balance against intrusive and despotic federal power.  This is purely a political issue, and in that sense, the true nature of the Guard.

The points I raise above are just of the few that counter the notion that the Air Guard does not add value for our nation and citizens.  In addition, the issues you raise are far more complex then mere turf wars, which are admittedly are a factor, but which are always a factor when resources are scarce.  The true measure of merit is hard to gauge, but I maintain that the Air Guard more than meets any standard:  readiness, effectiveness, responsiveness, flexibility, cost, and political impact.  Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

                                                                                         Colonel Carl C Crum, ARNG

Ed: I agree that reserve components are valuable, yet I disagree with the need for 54 state air guard headquarters for a separate Air Force reserve component.  Modern technology (like the telephone) and the new full-time CONUS defense command (NorthCom) should allow instant nationwide disaster response without the complexity of coordinating with the numerous state Air Guard headquarters.  I doubt the Secretary of Defense would object to delegating authority for mobilization of Air Force Reserve transport squadrons to the commander of NorthCom. And I'm sure states would prefer more useful helicopters for their Army National Guard, whose history you borrow for the Air National Guard.  

Air Guard assets would cheaper to maintain if they utilized existing USAF bases as squadrons in the USAFR.  A direct comparison will show that an Air Guard wing sharing a civilian airport is cheaper than an reserve wing requiring an Air Force Base.  However, given that the Air Force base already exists, it is far cheaper for that Air Guard unit to operate from the Air Force base.  

All other coastal states seem to function without a redundant "naval militia" that exists in New York.  As for the political origins of the Guard, I hope you are not suggesting that Louisiana needs an F-15 squadron to deter despotic federal power.  Since the despotic Feds provide for the salaries and retirement for Guardsmen, we all know where loyalties lie.  Eliminating the redundant Air Guard will free some 1000 full-time airmen now lounging around state headquarters each day, as well as a few blue suiters there at NorthCom.

Gun Launched Decoys

If the projectile had snap-out wings it would increase the range considerably. A simple vibrating rod gyro activated by setback would give it course-maintaining capabilities. Since the old VT prox fuses were much more complicated than solid state electronics some off-the-shelf components could give the thing a programmed flight path.  I wrote a friend of mine - a defense advisor in a friendly country - that decoys could be used to exhaust the supply of air defense missiles such as the S300 series.

Decoys cunningly designed and programmed mixed with real attacks (cruise missiles or aircraft) could drive a defense commander crazy.

                                                                                               Walt BJ

Ed:  The Army and Marines would find them very valuable to test areas for air defense responses before slow moving helicopters arrive.