Trump really didn't like McCain

Today's look at war from the cheap seats

Sycophancy trumps petulance in McCain kerfluffle

So this is a thing that’s probably a bigger deal than that…patch. Because it looks like someone at the White House didn’t want the Toddler-In-Chief pitching a fit if he saw the USS John McCain while he was in Japan. Wait. There are some tweets.

Yeah. During the same news cycle that Mueller stands up and tells Congress that its their ball now, we’ve got all the column inches about whether Trump’s team made sure that he wouldn’t go off about seeing a…ship. Worth noting that the @chinfo account? Hadn’t tweeted since 2014. That tweet above was its first tweet in nearly 5 years.

And it’s coming to the defense of the childish antics of the Trump administration.

No way around that.

Because what the WSJ story says is that at multiple levels in the Navy ahead of the C-in-C visit to Japan (which are always significant emotional events regardless), keeping the McCain out of sight was high on the list of things to do. And that says more about military leadership than it does Trump.

That’s Fred Wellman, a man with a couple of relevant t-shirts in his closet, among them a previous gig working Public Affairs for the US Army. And as part of that thread he had a follow up question.

I had, per usual, a thoughtful, meaningful answer for that.

So yeah, this issue’s gotten a little tweet heavy (I’ve re-discovered the Twitters after a hiatus for various reasons), so to recap:

  1. Trump’s team was worried he’d see a boat and pitch a fit

  2. Said boat is named after an American hero

  3. Trump never denied that this might have happened, just that he wasn’t informed

  4. The Navy’s current official tweeter rushed to the C-in-C’s defense

  5. That current official tweeter is named…not kidding…Charlie Brown

    Had a tweet for that, too.


Shot of the Day

American and French flags wave in front of headstones at the Aisne-Marne Memorial near Belleau, France, May 26, 2019. The ceremony commemorated the 101st anniversary of the Battle of Belleau Wood, which marked the first occasion in World War I for U.S. forces to operate on a large scale against the German Army. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Roxanna Ortiz)

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F-35 training going cold Turkey?

The United States, which is currently training Turkish pilots to fly the 100 F-35s Ankara has on order, might be shutting that training down over Turkey’s planned purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft systems.

“Washington is signalling that while it would rather not break military ties with Turkey, it is ready to do so if Ankara does not change its mind regarding the S-400 purchase.” — Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish programme at the Washington Institute

Lockheed’s cool, though, since Lockmart’s pretty sure that other countries will take the production slots for Turkey’s F-35s.

“It’s not a significant number of aircraft that if there was a sanction that they couldn’t receive those aircraft now or in the future, it will be backfilled. In fact, a lot of countries say: ‘We’ll take their [production line] slots.’ They really [other countries] want the aircraft. I don’t envision that being an impact on us from a Turkey standpoint.” — Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson

So yeah, the military industrial complex is going to be fine. Big sigh, everybody.

It’s jets v. windmills, and the windmills are winning

The military’s not the greenest of organizations on a good day, and now they’re facing a problem Cervantes would be proud of: windmills. Which are making low level flying hard to do.

"We need the space above the ground unimpeded so we can fly low to the ground," says Goana, commander of the 80th Training Wing at Sheppard Air Force Base. "Sort of like drivers’ ed."

Here’s where this gets hard for states that rely on things like defense spending: putting up a wind farm might mean clogging up some vital airspace for low flying aircraft training. Which means that some states are making it harder for wind farm companies to build. And those companies are taking their farms elsewhere.

Particularly for states that need the revenue streams, defense dollars are a safer bet than alternative energy. Particularly with the current administration being about as friendly toward wind as gorillas are to suitcases. Which I know is a dated reference so here’s a YouTube.

Got the PTSDs? There’s an app for that

Called NightWare, the app is loaded onto an Apple watch, where it learns to track the pulse rates and biometric readings of wearers when they have nightmares. Once trained, the app instructs the watch to buzz lightly, rousing sleepers from their nightmares without fully waking them.

That’s one way to deal with PTSD for those that struggle with it. Even though personally I’d prefer the marijuana route since I’m an old and I like to use words like marijuana because it makes me feel hip and with the kids. Still, this is interesting:

Screenings immediately after deployments found PTSD symptoms in nearly 5% of active-duty soldiers but nearly 13% of National Guard and reserve unit soldiers.

Which one study in 2010 attributed to the transition process back to civilian life for members of the National Guard. And it gets worse the longer they’re home.

DSM-IV-diagnosed rates of PTSD with serious functional impairment in the Active Component was 7.7 percent at three months and 8.9 percent after a year. For the National Guard, those numbers were 6.7 percent and 12.4 percent, respectively.

Because it’s harder to figure out how to be a civilian again after doing a war.

Josh Boyle, Taliban groupie and horrible person

Remember Caitlan Coleman and Josh Boyle, that couple that took a walk into Afghanistan in 2012 and were kidnapped by the Taliban? Well, Coleman’s speaking out about the ordeal. Turns out that the worst thing about it? Was her husband.

In an exclusive interview airing tonight on "Nightline," Coleman told ABC News that Boyle was a Taliban sympathizer, and he gave her “no choice” but to accompany him to Afghanistan, where he subjected her to years of “extreme” abuse during their captivity in Pakistan.

“Not only was it psychological, it was physical, it was sexual," Coleman told ABC News. "I was actually more afraid of him than of the captors."