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EXCLUSIVE: Budget cuts, errant B1 bomber blamed in deadly ‘friendly fire’ accident in Afghan war
Washington Times ^ | 30 Oct 14 | Rowan Scarborough

Posted on 10/30/2014 7:49:19 AM PDT by SkyPilot

The “friendly fire” airstrike that killed five American soldiers in Afghanistan on June 9 is the first known case of a battlefield catastrophe that can be linked to automatic defense spending cuts that greatly curtailed prewar training.

A review of the worst American fratricide in the long Afghanistan war also shows that the military’s official investigation faults a Green Beret commander, an Air Force air controller and the four-man crew on the B-1B bomber that conducted the errant strike.

PHOTOS: Top 10 U.S. fighter jets

But the investigation, headed by an Air Force general, does not question the use of a strategic bomber for close air support, even though experts say the tragedy illustrates why the big plane is misplaced in that role.

The Washington Times has reviewed the investigation and interviewed knowledgeable sources to compile a picture of the doomed operation in southern Afghanistan’s Zabul province, as well as the political and military missteps that precipitated it. Key among them, according to defense experts, was the use of the strategic bomber.

The B-1B’s sheer size required it to fly a wide orbit of five miles for optimum bombing as it made right turns over the nighttime battle site. This put it outside the range of night vision goggles. The goggles were the only equipment the bomber had to identify the infrared strobe lights worn by U.S. troops to distinguish them from the enemy and to keep them safe.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: afghanwar; airforce; budget; defensebudget; friendlyfire; military; sequestration
Veteran military reporter Rowan Scarborough is correct. Many people here won't like it, but it is true that the military was singled out for massive budget cuts, even before Sequestration pushed it to the breaking point. The decision to retire the A-10 was budgetary, and the Air Force is still planning on eliminating the entire KC-10 fleet. Eliminating entire fleets of weapons systems is one of the few ways they can save enough money to meet the huge budget caps that have been foisted upon the DoD. Meanwhile, we are giving away Billions for Illegals to bring infectious diseases into our schools and communities, while EBT cards are handed out by the truckload.

The B-1 is a strategic bomber, it was never intended to fill a Close Air Support (CAS) role.

We cannot continue to ask our military to fulfill every mission that Washington dreams up, while we gut its budgets to cut muscle and tissue.

1 posted on 10/30/2014 7:49:19 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: SkyPilot

Ditto what you said.

2 posted on 10/30/2014 7:51:02 AM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Ebola and Enterovirus-D68. Proud members of Viruses Without Borders.)
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To: SkyPilot
...... singled out for massive budget cuts, even before Sequestration pushed it to the breaking point

I beg to differ on this point. Sequestration (suggested by OBAMA BTW to get his bloated budget passed) amounted to $85 billion total across the ENTIRE federal budget. Frankly, that amounts to squat piss, IMO, given the bloated entitlements and gibsmedat expenditures that occur every day! $85 billion against an $85 billion dollar a month prop-up expenditure by the FED for 5-6 years?

Please! Don't try to put any of this off on sequestration....its specious BS and Democrat trickery and "squirrel". Frankly, it does us a disservice to give credence in the Democrat "Sequestration" lexicon.

The DoD may have received more cuts of the share across sequestration, but the attitude against the military, our preparedness and our willingness to combat terror (in the mind of Imam Obama) was the root cause.

3 posted on 10/30/2014 8:01:19 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: SkyPilot

How can we afford weapons systems like the A-10 and B-1 when the money is so desperately needed to make navy ships and submarines female and homo friendly, and to restructure all branches to provide special recruitment, training and accommodations for transsexuals, homos, lesbians, ignoramuses, weaklings and muslims, along with well connected democrats and other unemployables?


4 posted on 10/30/2014 8:01:47 AM PDT by Iron Munro (Legacy of 'Obama The Divider' - Racial Revenge)
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To: SkyPilot

This story is nuts.

This country is Afghanistan. High tech military weapons are not necessary, as any “enemy” we find there has NO modern military.

In turth, our soldiers are in Afghanistan protecting the production of opium.

Our country is run by the world’s elite drug lords / financiers who want to burden the world’s sheeple with crushing taxes.

They love taxes because they largely legally avoid paying them.

And - gubmint tax dollars are largely spent on the elites’ businesses, like defense and healthcare.

So we see stories like this published, pushing for ever increasing military spending.

On liberal websites, we see pushing for ever more social spending.

Different path, same purpose: keep the sheeple enslaved.

5 posted on 10/30/2014 8:16:10 AM PDT by PieterCasparzen (We have to fix things ourselves)
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To: SkyPilot

We bombed some folks.

6 posted on 10/30/2014 8:16:29 AM PDT by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: SkyPilot
From the article:

In addition, The Times review found that the Air Force Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC), a critical player who made a major miscalculation that night, had a checkered career.

Upon arriving June 1 in Afghanistan, he had been told before the operation that he had been selected for “involuntary separation,” meaning his Air Force career was over.

This JTAC also had been demoted in rank for misconduct. On another occasion, he was kicked out of a special unit because he twice called in close air support directly over friendly positions during training. Yet he was allowed to participate in the operation on relatively short notice.

The Times has learned the JTAC showed a lack of basic knowledge about close air support when interviewed afterward by investigators.

This friendly fire incident was not due to budget cuts or sequestration. It was due to incompetence and IMHO criminal negligence on the part of the controller.

7 posted on 10/30/2014 8:38:32 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: Yo-Yo

The JTAC was a contributing factor. The fact that the pilots were forced to fly this mission in the first place, using a Strategic Bomber to perform a mission it was not designed for (Close Air Support) was the primary cause. Any accident investigation will determine the Primary cause, coupled by contributing factors (i.e. fatigue, communication, equipment failures, etc).

8 posted on 10/30/2014 8:50:49 AM PDT by SkyPilot ("I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6)
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To: Gaffer
Please! Don't try to put any of this off on sequestration.

Beg to disagree with you. Sequestration was forced upon the military, and it punished the military.

The DoD was already reeling from two previous budget cuts (supposed to be enacted over 10 years), in 2010 and 2012. Sequestration in 2013 took another $600 Billion through 2021, with $37 Billion coming directly from the DoD Operations and Maintenance budget for FY13. When the law took effect in Jan 2013, the government was already 1/3rd through the Fiscal Year, and the cuts enacted devastated our military, their morale, and readiness.

The DoD was forced to "pay for" almost half of the Sequestration "bill" - while entitlements (including all welfare and giveaway programs) were exempt.

Anyone who fails to see that Sequestration devastated our military and its readiness is not dealing with reality.

Sequestration Cuts Leave Army With Only 2 Brigades Ready To Fight: CSA Odierno

Sequestration Cuts Endanger the Air Force

Military civilian medical workers quit after furloughs

Amos: With sequester, USMC will ‘cut into bone'

US Navy Secretary: 'Hollow' Force Coming If Sequestration Goes Unchecked

9 posted on 10/30/2014 9:03:31 AM PDT by SkyPilot ("I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6)
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To: PieterCasparzen

Ah, you have also noticed that the government we see has little to do with the government who rules...

10 posted on 10/30/2014 7:46:23 PM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ([CTRL-GALT-DELETE])
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To: Mr. Jeeves

I was blind as a bat until a few years ago.

Then a big bucket of ice cold water hit me in the face.

Things like, why would a bunch of Wall Street guys pretend to be a Red Cross mission and go meet with a bunch of guys called Bolsheviks trying to overthrow the Tsar - and then supply them with financing ?


The heirs to the UK/US slave-trading opium lords of the 19th century are still running the UK and America today.

Dang, that hurts, the self-realization of a sheeple that they be nuffin but a sheeple.

11 posted on 10/31/2014 1:37:50 AM PDT by PieterCasparzen (We have to fix things ourselves)
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