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Exclusive: Biden Announces $1 billion In Military Aid To Ukraine Despite Rumors Of Waning Western Support

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Biden Announces $1 billion In Military Aid To Ukraine Despite Rumors Of Waning Western Support

#Biden #Announces #billion #Military #Aid #Ukraine #Rumors #Waning #Western #Support

President Biden announced a $1 billion military aid package to Ukraine, including shipments of additional howitzers, ammunition, and coastal defense systems. This announcement comes after brutal fighting in the Donbas region sparked concerns from some that the war is unwinnable if it does not turn in Russia’s favor.

Initially, ‘experts’ like Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said Ukraine would “…fall within 72 hours” of invasion. But, as we sit more than 100 days since the invasion, we hear a different tune from the Pentagon.

What Do The ‘Experts’ Say Now?

Intelligence officials believe the war is at a ‘critical stage.’ Essentially what happens in the Donbas region will determine the future of this war.

If Russia can take the two regional cities, it will be positioned to push further into Ukraine and toward victory.

If Ukraine can push Russia back, it may be positioned to continue rallying support.

If Ukraine is only able to hold the line, well, then who knows what happens next.

General Milley, now being more cautious with his predictions, said of the current situation and appearance that Russia has the upper hand:

“There are no inevitabilities in war. War takes many, many turns. So I wouldn’t say it’s an inevitability.”

Although he did add the obvious that “…the numbers clearly favor the Russians.”

RELATED: Congress Sends More Weapons To Ukraine, While Trying To Disarm The American People

Meeting Requirements? 

The details of the recent military aid include 18 howitzers, 36,000 rounds of howitzer ammunition, and two harpoon coastal defense systems. Since February, more than $5 billion in security assistance has gone to Ukraine.

Part of what has gone over for the fight and is also slotted for the future are radios, ammunition, and night vision goggles. In addition, high Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems known as HiMARS are on the way as well.

HiMARS provide close and long-range rocket and missile range precision support. Sounds great and very useful. However, it will take three weeks of training for the Ukrainian military to be able to use them.

This begs the question, is all of this equipment even useful? According to Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malair, they’ve only received about 10% of the requested assistance. 

That runs counter to what Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in Brussels that the United States and Ukraine are :

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“…working in lockstep to meet Ukraine’s requests for new capabilities, especially its need for long-range fires, armor and coastal defense.”

So Where Is It All Going?

Honestly, we aren’t entirely sure where the weapons are going or how they are being used. U.S. officials admit that they don’t clearly understand where the weapons are going pr how effectively they are being used.

This makes it challenging to make intelligence predictions on what is coming next in the war, which would then feed into policy decisions. There is some speculation that Ukraine isn’t using some of the western specific systems due to the required training.

For example, Switchblade drones are not used as much as commercial drones that are retrofitted with explosives. Given that Ukraine isn’t known for its ability to secure weapons from the illegal arms trade, this should cause concern for any American.

But the biggest concern for many in the national security sphere is how we will keep up our own war-fighting capabilities. With tensions rising just about everywhere on the globe, the need to be prepared at home is on the minds of many.

RELATED: Russia’s Economic Resilience Begs The Question: Who Is Biden Really Sanctioning; Russia Or The American People?

Running On Empty

Of the $1 billion promised, a third of it will be from the Presidential drawdown authority. This is a fancy way of saying it will come from our military stockpile. 

The other two-thirds will be purchased by the United States from the defense industry and then sent to Ukraine. So there is a genuine concern that we are depleting our own supply of weaponry.

One-third of our inventory of Javelins is gone. One-quarter of our Stingers which are shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, are gone. 

The Army has forged a contract with Raytheon, who makes the Stingers, to restart production at a cool $625 million. Good for Raytheon, I suppose, bad for us since they say it will take a year to restart that production. 

As it stands now, at the rate at which we are plowing through our stockpile, we will start to run out of certain critical assets by next year. That’s hard to swallow, especially if the rumors are true that the Ukrainian forces aren’t utilizing all of the equipment in the first place.

Further Complications

While the United States, England, and many eastern European countries are still steady in support of Ukraine, there are plenty of significant players who are starting to grow weary

French President Emmanuel Macron has said that Ukraine will need to negotiate with Russia at some point. In line with France, Germany and Italy have all pressed for a cease-fire and peace talks.

The waning support isn’t the only thing that is causing complications. The U.S. State Department is looking into reports that Russian-backed separatists have captured two American veterans fighting for Ukraine. 

While not confirmed if it is true, that will surely be difficult for the Biden administration to navigate. Especially given that a court in Donetsk under separatist control sentenced two British citizens to death by firing squad.

Is History Repeating Itself?

White House spokesman John Kirby told CNN that the United States would “…do as much as we can for as long as we can” to support Ukraine. The question is, how long could that be?

A war that was supposed to be over within days has turned into months and looks more and more like what is known as a ‘war of attrition.’

Suppose that is true, that no side will win this war begs the question of when it will end.

According to British Brigadier Chris King:

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“It’s not going to be months, I think we’ll be here for a number of years.”

Sounds very familiar to those of us who fought the last forever war in Afghanistan.

RELATED: Has Our Government Learned Its Lesson From The Afghan Withdrawal?

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Exclusive: Today in Supreme Court History: January 26, 1832 – TalkOfNews.com

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Today in Supreme Court History: January 26, 1832

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1/26/1832: Justice George Shiras Jr.’s birthday.

Justice George Shiras Jr.

The post Today in Supreme Court History: January 26, 1832 appeared first on Reason.com.

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Exclusive: Liberals Are Mad That McCarthy Named MAGA Republicans to Subcommittees on COVID and Government Weaponization – Good – TalkOfNews.com

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Liberals Are Mad That McCarthy Named MAGA Republicans to Subcommittees on COVID and Government Weaponization – Good

#Liberals #Mad #McCarthy #Named #MAGA #Republicans #Subcommittees #COVID #Government #Weaponization #Good

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced members named to two select subcommittees – one investigating the origins of COVID and another looking into the weaponization of the federal government – and Democrats are livid over the addition of certain MAGA lawmakers.

“The government has a responsibility to serve the American people, not go after them,” McCarthy said in a statement.

“The Members selected to serve on these subcommittees will work to stop the weaponization of the federal government and will also finally get answers to the Covid origins and the federal government’s gain of function research that contributed to the pandemic,” he added.

McCarthy notes that the weaponization subcommittee is necessary because congressional Democrats and the Biden administration engaged in a “dangerous pattern of the government being used to target political opponents while they neglected their most basic responsibilities.”

RELATED: Conservative Victory: Dan Crenshaw Loses Race To Chair Homeland Security Committee to Freedom Caucus Member Green

MAGA Members Named to House Select Subcommittees

A couple of names that showed up on the House select subcommittees raised the ire of Democrats, particularly those associated with the MAGA movement.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) continued reaping the fruits of a kinship with McCarthy that would make Frank Luntz blush, being named to the COVID-19 subcommittee.

Greene celebrated the appointment, stating her intention to investigate the role of gain-of-function research, the Democrat “authoritarian” lockdowns, the ineffective vaccines forced on the American people, and Dr. Anthony Fauci’s role.

Greene will also be sitting on the House Homeland Security and Oversight Committees.

Also named to the COVID subcommittee is former White House physician Ronny Jackson (R-TX), who has consistently challenged President Biden to undergo a mental fitness evaluation.

Jim Jordan (R-OH) will chair the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government after being rejected by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve on the January 6th panel.

RELATED: White House Terrified of MAGA Republicans Being Named to Committees Investigating Biden Administration

Liberals Aren’t Happy

Liberals on social media responded with outrage over MAGA Republicans representing their constituents on the select subcommittees.

Because see, it would be better to have completely partisan sham committees like the January 6th debacle.

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Democratic Congressman Don Beyer dismissed both panels as “devoted to conspiracy theories.”

This is fine by us, since these days “conspiracy theories” mostly just means “the media hasn’t admitted it yet.”

House Judiciary Democrats lambasted McCarthy for having “sold out our democracy to empower MAGA extremists.”

Richard Stengel, a former Obama administration official, also took the dismissive ‘conspiracy theory’ path.

The ‘Weaponization’ subcommittee, Stengel claims, is “a body that creates rather than investigates conspiracy theories and which will eventually undermine itself.”

We literally just watched the January 6th sham create highly directed and produced filmography rather than evidence, doctored actual evidence, created conspiracy theories, and admitted they wanted to tell people what they should believe.

If Democrats are mad about MAGA Republicans serving on committees to provide a counterpoint to Democrat and media lies, then McCarthy is most definitely doing the right thing.

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Exclusive: Why older mass shooters like the California gunmen are so rare – TalkOfNews.com

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Why older mass shooters like the California gunmen are so rare

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The gunmen in both of the recent shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, California, had an unusual profile compared to most perpetrators of violent crime: They were both senior citizens.

The Monterey Park gunman, who killed 11 and injured nine before fatally shooting himself, was 72. The Half Moon Bay gunman, who killed seven people before he was arrested in what police have characterized as an act of workplace violence, is 66.

Mass shooters of that age are rare, especially those with no prior criminal record, as was the case with the Half Moon Bay gunman. (The Monterey Park gunman had one arrest in 1990 for illegal possession of a firearm.) According to data from the National Institute of Justice, mass shooters between 1966 and 2021 were on average 34 years old, and those over the age of 60 accounted for a little over 3 percent of all mass shootings, which are defined as shootings in which four or more people are killed.

The notion that people “age out of crime” is one of the most well-documented phenomena in the field of criminology. The California shootings should be seen as exceptions to that principle, not as nullifying examples, according to Ashley Nellis, co-director of research for the Sentencing Project, which advocates for criminal justice reform.

“The predictability of age is probably the most reliable point of data that we have about people who commit violent crime. Young people are just substantially more likely, and by extension, older people are substantially unlikely, to commit crime,” Nellis said. “It’s certainly a cautionary note to anybody who would be jumping to make policy based on these two events.”

Research has repeatedly shown that criminal activity increases throughout teen years, reaches its highest point at age 17, the oldest that someone can be charged with a juvenile crime, and subsides thereafter throughout life. Property crime peaks at a slightly younger age than violent crime. But even chronic offenders would be statistically likely to stop committing crime by around the age of 40, Nellis said.

There are a lot of theories as to why that might be. Typical milestones associated with getting older, like graduating or getting married, may put people on a trajectory that veers away from criminality. Brain development isn’t complete until the mid-20s, hindering decision-making that might lead to crime and risky behavior. Young people have less financial security, and people in poverty are more likely to commit crimes. Some crimes might be physically demanding, and older people just might not have the strength to carry them out.

But both gunmen in the California shootings buck the archetype of a violent criminal, and their motives still aren’t entirely clear. Investigators have said that the Monterey Park shooter frequented the dance studio where he killed his victims and that the Half Moon Bay gunman, who lived and worked as a forklift driver at a mushroom farm, was angry at the coworkers he shot. Previously, there have been mass shooters as old as 70, including a gunman who opened fire at a church in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, and killed three people last June.

Though age can sometimes factor into the decision to impose a less harsh sentence on young offenders, the Half Moon Bay shooter’s advanced age won’t have any bearing on the length of his sentence, as is standard practice in the US.

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He will be charged with seven counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, with a special circumstance allegation of multiple murder and sentencing enhancements for each count because of his use of a firearm, the San Mateo County district attorney announced Wednesday. If convicted on those charges, he could be facing up to life in prison without the possibility of parole. (He won’t face the death penalty, given that California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, placed a moratorium on executions in the state in 2019.)

Life sentences without parole have become increasingly common in the US over the last few decades. But Nellis argues the age of older offenders like the Half Moon Bay shooter should be considered a mitigating factor when making sentencing decisions — especially given that the use of executive clemency to release them early has become nonexistent, as she writes in a 2022 report.

“Regardless of age, somebody who does commit an act of violence like this is likely to be rehabilitated, be reformed, be ready to return to society within 10 years,” she said.

Recidivism is unlikely among older people, according to data from the US Sentencing Commission, and keeping them in prison comes at a high taxpayer cost, which includes health care bills that balloon at the end of life. It’s difficult to say how much those who’ll decide the fate of the Half Moon Bay suspect will take that data into account; his initial arraignment is Wednesday.

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