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5 NatSec Things - 13 Feb 2018

Today's things are a little bit different. A little less random. And I'm not sure if this will be a c
February 13 · Issue #31 · View online
5 NatSec Things
Today’s things are a little bit different. A little less random. And I’m not sure if this will be a continuing thing or not. But over the last couple of days of looking at articles to talk about this coming week, got to thinking about themes. 
I know, it’s a weekday headline newsletter. And those, by their very nature, are random things. Those of us that curate just pull things in from the feeds and drop them in here.
So maybe this only lasts this one issue.
This one’s about perceptions: some of them mine, some of them what I think society has going on right now. And it starts with how #MeToo is hitting the military. And needs to hit it harder.

DoD losing a war it can't afford to
The US military has been on a losing streak ever since Vietnam. Probably earlier. Because Uncle Sam’s Traveling Interventiongasm is (sometimes) good at blowing shit up. It’s not so great at protecting its own.
That’s true whether an Army doctor sewed a towel into you during surgery (what started the Feres Doctrine…fun read), or how it handles itself when you report that you’ve been sexually assaulted. 
As a veteran (hold on, I’m not done yet), I thought this was something my past employer was better at. I was wrong. Turns out that #MeToo and all that goes with that is a problem for the military, too.
I’d recommend reading the article…it’s a longer one, but damn is it good. And hard as hell to get through. The biggest issue? If you report an assault, your chain of command gets to decide whether the accused is guilty of anything. 
Congress is trying to change that. Other people in Congress are trying to stop that. Oddly enough, the Congress types with the penises think it’s not something the military needs. 
Syria (yeah, that Syria) sets standard for feminism
In contrast to the American Misogynist-in-Chief, there’s a movement on the other side of the world to put women on more equal footing with men. And we’re not looking to Europe to be the beacon on the feminist hill. The bright light in the darkness that is the patriarchy? 
Well, northern Syria anyway, where the Kurdish all-women People’s Protection Units (YPJ) are leading the way toward a revolution after the revolution. The one where Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF - for the record, they’re the good guys, at least today. I’d check back in on Thursday to be sure, because these things change) fought off ISIS. With a lot of YPJ help. 
Because they want things to be different this time around. 
“We took lessons from revolutions that happened in other parts of the world,” says Ilham Ahmed, co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council and a longtime political activist in the region. “Women took part in the revolution and after that they had to go back to their kitchens. For that reason we put freedom of women at the center of our document.”
In the region they’re putting laws on the books outlawing polygamy and child marriage. Meanwhile, America the Hypocritical backs pedophiles for the Senate. It’s a weird world when Syria’s kicking our ass in the equality department. 
Lemmon writes good. I had some thoughts a few years back on her book Ashley’s War about the Cultural Support Teams. Since then the US military’s opened up combat arms jobs to women. So we don’t need CSTs, or at least how they were then. So at some point maybe we’ll catch up to the YPJs.
Mattis to Dreamers: Enlist before it's too late
Trump sees the ‘Dreamers’ as a threat to the American way of life. So long as that American’s a rich white dude who may or may not have had an affair with a porn star. But the SecDef is drawing a line in the sand on those 'Dreamers’ serving in the military.
I wanted to applaud this, except for one thing: the only 'Dreamers’ with any kind of guarantee (and it’s debatable Mattis could do fuck all about it if ICE tried to detain them) that they can stay in the country are those in uniform. 
They serve. They took the oath. They want to defend their country. 
Dreamers, here’s your options then:
  1. Get sent back to a country you’ve never seen before
  2. Sign up for a job that could get you killed
And if things go poorly doing that second thing, you’ll die knowing that the same country that let you get killed for it, really wanted to kick you out.
Not the whole country, though. Just the people running it right now. And the people that voted for them. And the over-camoed dudes who would have kicked in your door to send you back “home.”
US ISIS returnees aren't the problem as it turns out
In case you’re worried that that guy running the falafel truck who keeps showing you pictures of his summer spent washing dishes for ISIS is mixing up some fertilizer to send that food truck into orbit, don’t. 
I don’t know why I said “falafel truck.” Could be a Korean taco truck. And he’s from Somalia. And just wanted to be part of something bigger than himself. And believes that ISIS had some good ideas.
Maybe they’re a little misguided when it comes to how you should treat humans, but other than that? Maybe agree to disagree. 
Whatever his deal is, he’s probably not going to bring jihad home to the US. What the study found, though, and this is neat: the most violent extremists in America are homegrown. Not immigrants.
People whose families identify as Americans. Not the hyphenated versions, though to be fair, “Neo-Nazis” is hyphenated. So stop worrying about Falafel Guy, and keep an eye on Cletus, the assistant manager at Center Valley Lawn Care and U-Haul.
Battlefield acupuncture is a thing now
Because the American defense department can’t fucking help itself, it will acronymize (not a word) anything. Include acupuncture. And they’ll somehow weaponize it. 
Which brings us to Battlefield Acupuncture (BFA). I know: battlefield is one word (Thanks, L. Ron Hubbard), but calling it “BA” would confuse both the A-Team fans and those trying to figure out why they started going to college in the first place.
BFA is a trimmed down version of acupuncture, and the military’s trying it out because it’s tired of seeing service members strung out on painkillers. 
Plus, if you gets the acupuncture, then you don’t have to worry about side effects. ‘cuz you can go ahead and operate heavy machinery right afterward. 
Never thought I’d see a world where acupuncture was part of the pain management process in the US military. Never thought I’d be impressed by that. Used to think of it as so much tomfoolery.
I’m not so old that “tomfoolery” is a word I use normally, so ease up. 
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