Finding additional savings in our defense budget: Secular Democratic Nation Building - First Security;Then Secular Democracy
The US military mission should always include: preparing, supervising, evaluating and protecting secular democracy projects. That is the US military mission as well as protection and security. Neither of those functions should be privatized. In fact, much of what has been privatized in the military should be reviewed for cost effectiveness. The US is popular. Immigrants want to come here.
This is what the world wants. Economic opportunity, self-rule, clean democracy, individual freedom, gender equality, sustainable energy resources, health care, and the ability to control reproduction and population. Yes, Choice, educated Choice. Under all the screaming, most people want to control their reproduction and population growth to sustain their resources.
As it is for women in the US, so it shall be there for women in the host country
US women should know that what we win here for women, we export globally and thus all women are connected. If we have planned parenthood clinics teaching birth control, performing abortions and fistula repairs here in every county in the US, Afghan and Congo women will also have them. Women in the military will have that.
If we force religious, abortion prevention, anti-choice so called "clinics" to clearly identify as anti choice in their ads in the US, they will have to do the same in Dafur.
It should be a priority among western feminists to pass the IVAWA in the US, so that the priorities of both State and Defense as well as USAID will reflect US SDNC human rights policy, gender equity, and sustainable energy policy.
What we trade with the world.
We can prosper while bringing SDNC services to other countries. The military will once again become a job training provider for US citizens as well as the citizens of host countries we liberate with the military.
Then, when some obscure guy burns a Koran, instead of making excuses, the military can use the global communication network to teach religious violence is unacceptable and no insult justifies it. You burned our flag and we did not bomb you. Symbols are not reality. The teaching requires resources.
Implementing human rights and economic development projects is the second stage of Secular Democratic Nation Conversion SDNC. First, Security for the non-combatants is established by the military. Afterward, the military involvement in SDNC is critical. Think about our efforts for Germany, Israel and Japan after WWII. The Marshall Plan? Anyone? Right now the military calls this work, reconstruction. Reporters should be embedded with reconstruction projects and charged with following the money. Documentaries could be produced from this journalism for global media.
When the military historians teach SDNC they can start with the after math of WWII through the waste of reconstruction funds in Iraq. Arguably, the halliburton et al., profiteering wasted so much tax money that the US never recovered.
These community uniting, development contracts must be accountable and transparent unlike "Halliburton's" previous conduct in Iraq. The waste of Halliburton in Iraq should be documented from the whistle blowers and avoided. The projects will be supervised by the military's financial experts and congressional accounting units (GAO) to prevent waste and will publish an accountant's bi-annual audit evaluation report.
Thus, the military becomes self sufficient and reduces US financial strain.
SDNC is accomplished by the military under the Sec. of Defense, in cooperation with the State Department under the Sec of State, using non-profit organizations and host government officials, (especially when the host's constitution has quotas for representation by women).The export of sustainableUS product begins with a need of the host country.
Civilians should remind the military that these functions belong to the military and should not ever disappear but should increase. Perhaps defining military policy to include SDNC activities is necessary. Thus we begin to export US secular culture values and utilize the skills of our own US workforce.
The military awards contracts after bids to the cheapest and best qualified, they may or may not work only with US workers. Companies are paid from the host state's resources. The military retains supervisory authority.
The contracts must be self sustaining yet progressive in billing their costs on a sliding scale to restructure the social contract. The arrangement should not place the host nation into debt but rather should be limited by a proportional resource relationship which is reciprocally beneficial to both countries.
Mass communication networks and projects that improve living conditions for everyone are implemented and maintained by wise use of the host nation's natural resources. The US becomes Trustee for the host's economic development.
Job training is economic development, as are the development projects which are used for job training. The military controls economic responsibility and integrity for the projects as well as the host country's resources to pay for the projects. The military monetizes those resources set aside to pay for these services.
Communication with the population and economic development is facilitated by electrification of the entire nation with clean, cheap, sustainable energy programs. Once electrified, through media and computers, the US can explain itself directly to the masses and vice versa as they practice for secular life and equal rights. The military has a beautiful project focused on one hospital below. It should be implemented in every village and hamlet.
The goal is to install energy systems that will not harm the environment during accidents or natural disasters. No exploding pipes or wires; no nuclear or chemical poison.
The next step is water purification projects, protecting water resources. Indoor plumbing and clean water. Solar heated hot water.
Then, the supervision of elections and the development of an election system with integrity.
Because the rebels we support are those that formally accept secular law and gender equality.
They are rebels, under theocracies and autocracies, who formally agree to partner with the US to install a secular democratic governing system, fair elections, minority and gender rights within their own country and who also agree to pay the US military's expenses from their country's resources.
The first project in sustainable energy described at its 2009 implementation below, is now in the evaluation stage. We all should have access to that 2011 evaluation report. We should influence the decision to expand both these programs.
The second project is about Female Engagement Teams (FET). I am sure I don't have to even discuss the perfection of this program. Think battered woman's villages, economic development, family planing women's education groups, woman's police and military units.
Alternative Energy Revitalizes Afghan Hospital
By Army Pfc. Andrya Hill (2009 - Evaluation 4/2011.)
FORWARD OPERATING BASE SHARANA, Afghanistan, June 19, 2009 –
The provincial reconstruction team for eastern Afghanistan’s Paktika province has planned and implemented a concept that uses alternative energy to power the Sharana District Center Hospital.
“It is a benefit, because we can afford something that requires little to no maintenance for them, and little to no operating cost, so it’s much more sustainable than generators,” said Navy Lt. j.g. Ryan Thrun, an engineer with the provincial reconstruction team.
The project is contracted out to Sustainable Energy Sources of Afghanistan, a non government agency that will provide solar and wind alternatives.
“It is going to be two wind turbines, which will produce 7.5 kilowatts an hour,” Thurn said. “There will also be 24 solar panels installed on the top of the roof, which will provide 200 watts each per hour.”
While the additions won’t provide all of the hospital’s power, they will supplement the current energy sources.
“This is equivalent to a 15-kilowatt generator, based on our assessment of the typical efficiency and amount of wind that we anticipate,” Thrun explained. “It will be sufficient to supply lighting power to the hospital. The hospital is still going to require generator use to run heating and cooling, and the cooler for the mortuary.”
Besides offering a low-maintenance solution, the wind and solar generation will considerably reduce monthly overhead costs.
“To run a 10-kilowatt generator each month costs approximately $800,” Thurn said, “so it is at least an $800 per month savings.”
To remedy the typical alternative energy challenges such as lack of wind or sunlight, the provincial reconstruction team plans to use an energy storage system.
“It is not going to operate at maximum efficiency all the time; obviously, at night, they won’t get solar power,” Thurn said. “However, there is a structure that will be installed with power inverters and battery banks to store all the generated electricity that is not being used.”
The project’s results will be used as research to determine whether similar projects should be undertaken throughout Paktika province.
“This will be the first wind and solar project of this size for Paktika,” Thurn said. “It’s a test pilot project. The analysis at the hospital found that it would be a feasible project, and it will be used to support research done on the benefit of [alternative energy] for the rest of the province.”
The provincial reconstruction team and the Paktika government directors expect development and use of these projects to increase over the coming years.
“Anecdotally, looking at the wind and the amount of sunlight here, alternate power should be sought-after and implemented at facilities of this size,” said Navy Lt. David Bennett, the team’s physician assistant, who works alongside Dr. Abdul Mateen, the provincial health director, to assess and improve the health-care situation in Paktika. The director and local residents are excited and enthusiastic about the program, Bennett said.
In addition to the alternative energy solutions, the provincial reconstruction team has focused on several aspects of refurbishment for the hospital.
“We have several projects right now,” Thrun said. “We are redoing the road that goes around the hospital, we repaired the roof structure, we are constructing a kitchen building and a mortuary with all the necessary equipment and furnishing. We are also putting in some apartments for the family members of the patients.”
Bennett said the hospital treats more than 100,000 patients each year.
(Army Pfc. Andrya Hill serves with the 25th Infantry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team public affairs office.)
HELMAND, Afghanistan (April 4, 2011) —
The district governor of Marjah, Abdul Mutalib, met with three female members of Helmand’s Provincial Council and a member of the Department of Women’s Affairs, April 2, to discuss ways local government can help the women of Marjah.
Razia Baluch, Malika Helmandi and Karima, all elected officials with the Provincial Council serving four-year terms, and Sharifa, an employee with the Department of Women’s Affairs, flew to Marjah from Lashkar Gah alongside Marines from the Female Engagement Team (FET) 11-1, II , Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group (Forward).
When 1st Lt. Zoe Bedell, officer-in-charge of Female Engagement Team 10-2, I, Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group (Forward), and her Marines first arrived in Afghanistan in September 2010, Marines and Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) were still freeing Marjah from insurgents.
Over time, coalition forces and the ANSF gained the upper hand. Now, as FET 10-2 prepares to leave Afghanistan and Female Engagement Team 11-1 is poised to take over, Bedell feels confident that Marjah is heading in the right direction.
“This is huge. Out here [in Marjah last year], this would have never happened,” said Bedell, of Markham, Va.
“Seeing the way Marjah is now, with women shuras and the progress women have made here, is amazing.”
Almost immediately after the government officials and FET Marines met, the government officials went to a women’s clinic where three Marjah women were elected as representatives to the local district government.
These women were chosen to stay in contact with Mutalib to discuss concerns the women of Marjah are frequently encountering, to include opportunities for employment.
“It’s hard because the opportunity hasn’t been present for women to open their own businesses,” Mutalib said. “The women are interested in opening an information center, where they can learn skills to work. I want to work to open this center.”
Particular skills proposed for women to learn were cooking, farming, sewing, teaching and nursing.
Mutalib explained that there are currently 30 women in Marjah volunteering as midwives/nurses. Marjah’s government is working on a way to pay these women, hopefully prompting more women to take up the trade.
The group of government officials and Marines also talked about providing general education in literacy.
“The government can play an effective role in this by encouraging women to go to school,” Baluch said. “When they go to school they can learn to read and write. They can also learn about the Koran and Islam.
I think this will work because girls used to go to school in Marjah.
But the Taliban were bad, especially for women. And they scared them out of going.
Now Marjah is much better.
And with an education, the people of Afghanistan can stop the Taliban alone.”
The local Female Engagement Team, consisting of five Marines, two medics and two linguists, will also help women in Marjah by assisting with their needs and desires.
“We’ve been working on getting a lot of face time with the women here,” said Cpl. Hadassah Jurich, a team leader with FET. “We want to let the local populace know we’re here for them to go to for any ideas or problems.
“Right now we’re trying to get 30 sewing machines in Marjah. If the idea gets approved, we’ll give the machines out. It’ll give the women around here a way to make an income,” added Jurich, of Saint Croix, Virgin Islands.
Everyone agreed the day was a huge success.
“It was a big deal to go connect with the district level governments,” said Bedell. “It proves that we’re slowly helping the Afghan populace, and that the lower levels of government can also help these women.”
Eventually Obama will understand we can do the same thing for US citizens through the current domestic weatherization program. Job creation can be meaningful by re-creating the direction of the current US weatherization program. We can train employees while installing and converting to solar, geothermal, air tight windows and doors, repairing the roofs and the residences of the poor throughout the US. In return, the banks must forgive the mortgage principal in the amount the repairs cost the government to provide.
Obama can merge the US weatherization program with the EPA to create a domestic, Eco-Peace Corp which provides member/volunteers in every state with stipend and a marketable apprenticeship in both carpentry, plumbing and alternative energy installation. All training and each installation is under the supervision of a certified US expert who is accountable for certification to both meet the home owner's requests (perhaps to vent cooking fumes outside) and upgrade the skills of the apprentices.
We can train the poor, unemployable, in all forms of sustainable alternative energy installation and maintenance which will become marketable beyond their apprenticeship. Solar electrification, geothermal heat, wind and water purification systems, throughout our county and the world will be done by vocational development funds funded by the host's state resources.
The end goal is local skilled alternative energy maintenance workers, companies and an alternative energy infrastructure. Such infrastructure should be able to provide power to individuals even during natural disasters.
We will thereby develop a US sustainable energy infra-structure for cheap, clean, sustainable energy throughout the US and from the US to the world. Designed deliberately for the poor and benefiting everyone, just as the depression's CCC benefited all.