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Military Industrial Complex: Sucking the Life out of Society
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Southpark Fan



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sad commentary for sure Peter

This F-35, a classic example of technological junk is actually being considered for purchase by Canada. Maybe let all the testing take place first? Or even better, if you insist on tossing money away on war machines, at least buy a proven technology like the F/A-18 Super Hornet. Add to this the screwing over of the men and women you use and then abandon.

:: Canadian veterans fight second battle for benefits

:: Injured Afghan Veterans Continue To Speak Up, Calling Into Question Conservative Government Claims About How Well They Are Taking Care of The Troops


Quote:


F-35A Test Fires Live Air-to-Air Missile

Mike Hoffman | November 1, 2013 | Defense Tech

'The F-35 Lightning II took another step toward its first dog fight Wednesday when it test fired its first live guided air-to-air missile over a California test range.

The F-35, piloted by Air Force Capt. Logan Lamping, fired an AIM-120 advanced medium range air-to-air missile at the F-35 Integrated Test Facility at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Lamping fired the missile at an aerial drone target.

Systems inside the F-35A appropriately “identified and targeted the drone with its mission systems sensors, passed the target “track” information to the missile, and launched the AIM-120 from the aircraft to engage the target drone,” according to an Air Force release. Right before, the missile hit the target, it self destructed to keep the drone whole for future tests.
...'

***

More war machines sucking away your hard earned $$:

Related: Hypersonic Successor to Legendary SR-71 Blackbird Spy Plane Unveiled

Related: DARPA Plans to Arm Drones With Missile-Blasting Lasers

Related: Navy Flies First Flight of New Fire Scout

Related: Contracts Awarded to Develop Laser Pods that Shoot Down Missiles

Related: Bath Iron Works Launches First Zumwalt Class Destroyer

Related: Commando Select 90mm Direct Fire Armored Vehicle Unveiled

Related: Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) Demonstration

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Last edited by Southpark Fan on Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:54 am; edited 4 times in total
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Fintan
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.....Yes indeed..



Be assured your government knows
what it is doing with the taxes(loot):

Just three days ago....

Quote:
Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is
being awarded a $422,063,723 modification with cost-plus-incentive-fee line items

to a previously awarded advance acquisition contract (N00019-12-C-0004) for recurring
sustainment support for F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

http://www.defense.gov/contracts/contract.aspx?contractid=5155


The definitive expose of the
F-35 Techno-Junk Scam :

Quote:
Will It Fly?

The Joint Strike Fighter is the most expensive weapons system
ever developed. It is plagued by design flaws and cost overruns.

It flies only in good weather. The computers that run it lack the software
they need for combat. No one can say for certain when the plane will work
as advertised
.
Until recently, the prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, was
operating with a free hand—paid handsomely for its own mistakes.

Looking back, even the general now in charge of the program can’t
believe how we got to this point. In sum: all systems go!

READ:
http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/2013/09/joint-strike-fighter-lockheed-martin

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Southpark Fan



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you hear that Fintan? That is the sound of silence coming from the bottomless money pit we fondly know as the F-35.

Food stamp cuts in US overwhelm anti-hunger agencies
Thomas Gaist | 12 November 2013 | WSW


Quote:

As of November 1, the US government began implementing massive cuts—at least $11 billion over three years to the nationwide Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), popularly known as food stamps.

SNAP, which provides federal funding for nutrition assistance to low-income families, has seen a 70 percent surge in participants needing food aid since 2007. The reduction in assistance comes under conditions of mass unemployment and levels of social misery not seen since the Great Depression, with record numbers of Americans living in poverty. Even before the cuts were implemented, the food assistance provided through SNAP was not sufficient to fully meet the needs of low-income households, which rely on extra assistance from emergency food pantries and soup kitchens during the final week of every month. Now, taking the cuts into account, the average SNAP enrollee will receive less than $1.40 per meal during 2014.

Tens of millions of US families depend on emergency food pantries to survive. The pantries are charities, which are able to provide last-resort assistance on the basis of voluntary contributions.

Reporters from the World Socialist Web Site spoke with Janet Warren, manager at Open Hands Food Pantry in Royal Oak, Michigan—a suburb of Detroit—about the food crisis facing working class families. “Every food pantry around is swamped. We are seeing lots of new people. Since the crash in 2008, there has been no recovery. This is the worst I have seen it and it’s getting worse. There is no letup in sight. At the same time, food pantries are closing. “Most of the people who come in here are the working poor. They have employment but cannot afford food anyway. We are seeing many more families with children than before. Children are going hungry. We used to give out food two days a month. Now we do three weeks, because the need has gone up so much. “We’re seeing veterans come in, senior citizens, and many more homeless than before. Congressmen spend more on a lunch than people out here spend in a month on food.”

According to statistics presented in the Washington Post (“Feeding families made more hungry by Congress” ), the November 1 SNAP cuts slashed the equivalent value of the current food supplies at all of the soup kitchens and food pantries in the US combined. The Post reported that the five percent cut to SNAP payments will require food charities to double their stocks to fill the gap.


Related (In a way): Millions face desperate plight in Philippines

Related: Navy Tests X-47B on Another Carrier
The Navy says the aircraft relies on precision GPS navigation, a high-integrity network connection and advanced flight control software to guide itself. Developed by Northrop Grumman under a 2007 contract at a cost of $1.4 billion (ahh let's multiply that by X10), the X-47B is capable of carrying weapons and is designed to be the forerunner for a drone program that will provide around-the-clock intelligence, surveillance and targeting, according to the Navy, which has been giving updates on the project over the past few years.


Related: USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Set for Saturday Christening
November 10, 2013-The USS Gerald R. Ford, which has been plagued by huge cost overruns at a time of growing budget pressures, is due to begin service in 2016. The 13-billion-dollar (ahh let's multiply that by X4) nuclear-powered carrier, which is equipped with an array of technological wizardry, was christened with a bottle of champagne on Saturday at a ceremony in Newport News, Virginia, near the sprawling Norfolk Naval base.

Related: Air Force Reaper Crashes Over Lake Ontario

Related: DARPA Works On New Anti-Ship Missile

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Southpark Fan



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Detroit bankruptcy ruling paves way for nationwide attack on pensions
Jerry White | 4 December 2013 | WSW


Quote:

Federal bankruptcy court judge Steven Rhodes on Tuesday gave the go ahead for the city of Detroit to proceed with the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history.

In his ruling supporting Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, Rhodes explicitly sanctioned the gutting of the pensions of the city’s 23,500 retired municipal workers, overriding prohibitions against such cuts in the Michigan Constitution. Reading out a 90 minute summary of his ruling from the bench, Rhodes provided a pseudo-legal framework for a nationwide attack on the pensions of millions of firefighters, teachers, transit workers, and other public employees.

Rhodes crafted his ruling to serve as a precedent for city and state governments across the country to carry out a similar conspiracy against the working class as has been carried out in Detroit, using the federal bankruptcy courts to override state and local laws, and strip workers of retirement benefits earned in the course of years of public service.

It is no accident that only hours after Rhodes issued his ruling, both chambers of the Illinois legislature voted to impose a pension “reform” that will rob Illinois state workers of thousands of dollars in retirement income.

Rhodes’ ruling marks a turning point in class relations in the US comparable to President Ronald Reagan’s firing of the striking PATCO air traffic controllers in 1981. That action signaled a government-backed attack on the unions in which the strike-breaking methods of the first decades of the 20th century were revived in order to impose mass layoffs and brutal cuts in wages and benefits. With the collaboration of the union leadership, struggles of workers against concessions were isolated and defeated, ushering in an assault on working class living standards that has continued ever since and has been intensified since the Wall Street crash of 2008.

Rhodes’ ruling signals a new stage in the ruling class offensive, in which pensions, medical benefits, safety and health regulations—in short, every limitation on the exploitation of the working class—will be eliminated. This nationwide assault has the explicit backing of the Obama administration, which filed a brief supporting the bankruptcy process.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the bankruptcy courts were used to destroy the pensions of workers in steel, the airlines and other industries. They are now being used to shred the rights of public sector workers, 78 percent of whom still have pensions.

The bankruptcy process will aid Orr—an unelected front-man for the banks—in selling off city assets, privatizing services, and reorganizing the city in the interests of the corporate and financial elite. The entire operation is aimed at maximizing the amount the banks, bond insurers and other financial institutions will extract from the looting of the city and its working class inhabitants.

After the ruling, Orr told reporters that “some very hard decisions regarding pensions” would be included in the adjustment plan he will release in early January. He added that Christie’s auction house would finish its appraisal of the “500 or so highest value pieces of art” at the Detroit Institute of Arts over the next two weeks. He reiterated his intention to “monetize” (i.e., sell off) the publicly owned art collection “in some fashion.”


Related: More than 1 million in US scheduled to lose unemployment benefits

Related: P-8A Makes First Deployment to Okinawa

Related: New warships to cost more than $100-billion, Ottawa estimates

Related: Lockheed Martin: F-35 Cancellation Would Mean Canada Out $10.5 Billion

Great book: The Ultimate Daily Show and Philosophy More Moments of Zen, More Indecidion Theory

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

U.S. Bomber Planes at $81 Billion Seen 47% More Than Plan
Tony Capaccio | Dec 6, 2013 | Bloomberg


Quote:

The U.S. Air Force’s new long-range bomber may cost as much as $81 billion for the 100 planes planned, 47 percent more than the $55 billion sticker price the service has listed.

The Air Force based its estimate of $550 million per plane on the value of the dollar in 2010, and it represents only the production costs for an aircraft that won’t be deployed for at least 10 years. Including research and development, the bomber would cost as much as $810 million apiece in this year’s dollars, according to calculations by three defense analysts.

The cost of the new bomber will draw close scrutiny in an era of declining defense budgets, as the Pentagon faces $500 billion in reductions over nine years under the budget process called sequestration. The Air Force’s track record also is being questioned after soaring costs for the aging B-2 stealth bomber the new plane would replace and the F-35 fighter jet, the most expensive U.S. weapons system, that’s now being built.

“The Air Force has zero credibility on start-of-program cost estimates unless and until it ponies up real details about the bomber and its acquisition plan,” Winslow Wheeler, a former Government Accountability Office defense analyst now with the Project on Government Oversight in Washington, said in an e-mail. “It is a fool’s errand, or worse, to pretend the cost stated now is anything but a bait-and-switch buy-in gambit.”


Related: Obama prepared to drop jobless benefits as part of budget deal

Related: Nelson Mandela, George H.W. Bush, and the crushing of hope in the early nineties

Related: Congressman Hunter Says U.S. Should Attack Iran with Tactical Nukes (This guy should stripped of all government appointments/offices, then imprisoned for inciting hate speech, blind folded and waterboarded until he succumbs to his torture; eventually to the point where he wonders where his imagination went)

Related: CIA Psychologist's Notes Reveal True Purpose Behind Bush's Torture Program

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

US Congress passes $633 billion military spending bill
Kate Randall | 21 December 2013 | WSW


Quote:

The US Senate voted Thursday night to authorize nearly $633 billion in military spending. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation, which provides $552.1 billion for the regular military budget and $80.7 billion for the war in Afghanistan and other overseas contingency operations (OCO).

The 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorizes spending for the fiscal year that began October 1. It is the 52nd consecutive year that Congress has passed such legislation, and represents a minimal reduction from the $643 billion authorized for fiscal year 2013.

To put these expenditures into perspective, the budget for all of fiscal year 2013 for food stamps, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), was $76.4 billion, only 12 percent of the figure designated for the military in 2014. A Republican proposal in the Farm Bill, which Congress has yet to pass, would cut $39 billion over the next decade from this vital nutrition program.

Some 1.3 million Americans will lose their sole income at the end of this month when the federal government ends extended unemployment benefits. The $25.6 billion spent on these benefits in 2013 is dwarfed by the massive spending on the military apparatus and its destructive weaponry slated for fiscal year 2014.

The Senate voted 84-15 to pass the Pentagon spending bill, and the US House approved similar legislation last week in a 350-69 vote. The bill’s passage demonstrates the overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress for the continued US presence in Afghanistan and other acts of military aggression across the globe. The legislation covers combat pay, ships, aircraft and military bases, as well as providing a 1 percent pay raise to military personnel.


Related: We’re Not in Kansas Anymore, This is Dark-America

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FAA Picks 6 Drone Testing Sites
Mike Hoffman | December 31, 2013 | Defense Tech


Quote:


Photo: Fire Scout
Credit: Defense Tech


The Federal Aviation Administration announced the first six organizations that will be able to conduct research and development of drones.

FAA officials announced Tuesday that the state of Nevada, New York’s Griffiss International Airport, the North Dakota Department of Commerce, Texas A&M University and Virginia Tech and the University of Alaska will be the first to be allowed to conduct drone testing.

FAA administrator Michael Huerta called the announcement of the testing sites a major milestone toward integrating drones into U.S. airspace. The FAA has been working to determine the manner in which it wishes to mix drones into the U.S. air picture. Plenty of officials are still nervous about mixing drones with manned aircraft.

The six winners were picked from 25 different applicants. The authorizations granted by the FAA are good through 2017.


Related: Pentagon Plans to Weaponize More Drones

Related: Experts to Study F-35 Software Delays

Related: Israel Passes U.S. Military Technology to China

Related: Military-Industrial Complex and Impacts on the World

Related: WSU Researcher Links State of US Welfare to Growth of Military-Industrial Complex

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big money behind war: the military-industrial complex
Jonathan Turley | 11 Jan 2014 | Al Jazeera


More than 50 years after President Eisenhower's warning, Americans find themselves in perpetual war.

Quote:

The new military-industrial complex is fuelled by a conveniently ambiguous and unseen enemy: the terrorist. Former President George W Bush and his aides insisted on calling counter-terrorism efforts a "war". This concerted effort by leaders like former Vice President Dick Cheney (himself the former CEO of defence-contractor Halliburton) was not some empty rhetorical exercise. Not only would a war maximise the inherent powers of the president, but it would maximise the budgets for military and homeland agencies.

"A massive counterterrorism system has been created employing tens of thousands of personnel with billions of dollars to search for domestic terrorists."
This new coalition of companies, agencies, and lobbyists dwarfs the system known by Eisenhower when he warned Americans to "guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence… by the military-industrial complex". Ironically, it has had some of its best days under President Barack Obama who has radically expanded drone attacks and claimed that he alone determines what a war is for the purposes of consulting Congress.

"Investment in homeland security companies is expected to yield a 12 percent annual growth through 2013 - an astronomical return when compared to other parts of the tanking economy"


Related: US Congress unveils austerity budget as Senate delays extension of jobless benefits

Related: U.S. Military Begins Testing $27 000 a Pop ‘Smart’ Rifles

Related: Hundreds drown fleeing continued fighting in South Sudan

Related: French presidential address: A call for austerity and militarism

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

F-35 fighter 'hit by software and reliability problems'
Ben Farmer | Jan 2014 | The Telegraph


Britain's costly new F-35 stealth fighter is struck by computer and reliability problems says the Pentagon

Quote:

Britain’s new £70 million F-35 fighter is struggling with “unacceptable” software problems and is less reliable than hoped a new report has warned.

The Pentagon’s chief weapons tester has warned the new stealth fighter being bought by the British and the US militaries is facing more delays and remains vulnerable to fires.

British MPs said the findings raised concerns over the future costs of one of the country’s most expensive military projects, with the Ministry of Defence committed to buying dozens of the aircraft.

The 25-page report to be delivered to the US government is the latest to contain sharp criticism of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter project.

The fighter programme from Lockheed Martin is the costliest and most sophisticated ever and Britain has said it will buy at least 48 “jump jet” variants to replace the retired Harrier fleet.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Report: F-35 Cracks in Tests, Isn’t Reliable
Brendan McGarry | January 29, 2014 | Defense Tech


The money pit is hard at it. Sucking in, redirecting and wasting societal wealth - our hard earned dollars while this most expensive piece of junk circles the bowl.
Quote:

The U.S. Defense Department’s most expensive fighter jet has cracked during testing and isn’t reliable for combat operations, the Pentagon’s top weapons tester said in new report.

The entire F-35 fleet was grounded last February after a crack was discovered in a turbine blade of an F-35A. While the order was subsequently lifted, more cracks have been discovered in other areas and variants of the Lockheed Martin Corp.-made plane, according to the latest annual report by J. Michael Gilmore, director of Operational Test and Evaluation.

Durability testing of the F-35A, the Air Force’s version of the plane designed to take off and land on conventional runways, and the F-35B, the Marine Corps’ model that can take off like a plane and land like a helicopter, revealed “significant findings” of cracking in engine mounts, fuselage stiffeners, and bulkhead and wing flanges, according to the document. A bulkhead actually severed at one point, it states.

Lockheed has reassigned more engineers to improve the software, and the Pentagon has assembled an outside team of experts to study the issue.


Meanwhile in the real world filled with real people...

US House of Representatives votes to slash $8.7 billion from food stamps
Andre Damon | 30 January 2014 | WSW


Quote:

The US House of Representatives voted Wednesday to slash the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) by $8.7 billion over ten years, cutting food benefits by an average of $90 per month for 850,000 of the country’s most vulnerable people.

The vote, 251-166, came only two days after bipartisan negotiators released the bill Monday, and the vote passed after only one hour of debate on the House floor.

The Senate is expected to take up the bill Thursday, and to approve it by Friday. White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday that when the bill reaches Obama’s desk, “he would sign it.” The assault on nutritional assistance comes one day after Obama’s State of the Union speech, which was billed as a major address on social inequality but in fact sets the framework for a deeper attack on the working class.

The cuts are part of the so-called farm bill, a five-year omnibus measure that deals with programs administered by the United States Department of Agriculture.

The measure had the full support of the House Democratic leadership, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer. Democrat Collin Peterson told The Hill that Pelosi was key in the bill’s passage, saying, “She really worked the bill."

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lockheed Martin Shows Off High-Power Fiber Laser Weapon
Prachi Patel | 7 Feb 2014 | IEEE Spectrum


Quote:


Photo: The U.S. Navy's Laser Weapon System, temporarily installed aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey
Credit: U.S. Navy


The US military dreams of a small but powerful laser weapon that can zap enemy rockets and drones from a safe distance. But weapons that have been demonstrated so far have been too big and heavy to fit on-board humvees and fighter jets. They’re also notoriously difficult to cool.

So key players in the defense industry have turned to fiber lasers to make the military's dream a reality.

Lockheed Martin said last week that it has demonstrated a 30kW fiber laser. In May 2013, Lockheed was able to shoot down rockets with a portable 10kW fiber laser from about 1.5 km. The company claims in a press release that this latest achievement is “the highest power ever documented while retaining beam quality and electrical efficiency” and that the fiber laser consumes half the power of more conventional solid-state laser.

MBDA Systems, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman have all reported their own high-power fiber laser weapon feats in the past couple years. In October 2012, MBDA Systems’ German subsidiary used its 40kW system to shoot down airborne artillery from a distance of 2 km. The 40kW system was built with four 10kW sources provided by industrial fiber laser maker IPG Photonics. Northrop Grumman is also busy developing high-power fiber lasers through various military contracts, including the Army’s Robust Electric Laser Initiative.

Fiber lasers use a special type of optical fiber as the light-emitting material, as opposed to the neodymium-doped crystals used in conventional solid-state lasers. Because the fiber can be coiled, developers can pack more power into a compact system. They can be up to two times more efficient than traditional solid-state lasers, and the larger surface-to-volume ratio of the fibers makes them much easier to cool.

They do have a power limitation, though. Single-fiber lasers can’t achieve high power and beam quality. So most high-power systems, including Lockheed Martin's, combine beams from multiple fiber laser beam modules into a single high-quality beam. Some believe that the military's 100-kW benchmark power output for a laser weapon could be challenging to reach with fiber lasers.


Related: Will We 'Droid Our Economy To Death?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rumsfeld: US Going Into Decline Due to 'Weakness' in Military
Drew MacKenzie and John Bachman | 18 Feb 2014 | News Max


This War Criminal should be rotting in a jail cell before his meeting with the Hangman. Not spewing his twisted views from some podium. Also, severe mental illness is not a defense. Read every word the War Criminal says, he is definitely a nutter.

Quote:

"The greatest security threat [to America] is the fact that the United States is behaving in a way that is sending a signal of future weakness," he said. "In the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson administrations, we were spending 10 percent of gross domestic product on defense. Today, we're spending less than 4 percent and the entitlements have ballooned."


Credit: Stuart Wilde

"There's no way we can keep on spending trillions of dollars we don't have. So that vacuum we're creating is going to be filled, and it'll be filled by countries that don't have our values and clearly are adverse to our interests."

Rumsfeld, who was secretary of defense from 1975 to 1977 under President Gerald Ford, and from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush, said Iran's ayatollahs are determined to build a nuclear weapon, which will set off a dangerous Middle East arms race.

"You very likely are going to end up seeing other countries in the region develop nuclear weapons," Rumsfeld said. "And there are other countries that are perfectly capable of it, and there are countries around the world that are willing to assist them with nuclear programs. And that is not a good thing for the world."

Rumsfeld warned that Saudi Arabia and Egypt would soon want to arm themselves with nuclear bombs.

The former defense secretary also attacked the Obama administration for announcing that it was pulling out all its troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, sending a message to Taliban terrorists that the war-torn country is ripe for another takeover.

"The president never should have said we'll be leaving on a certain date because it tells the Taliban, wait a while and then you can come in and take over," he told Newsmax TV, adding that the country was "on a good path forward and it has been placed in jeopardy unnecessarily."

He also warned of what life could be like in Afghanistan if the Taliban gains power again. "They used the soccer stadiums to cut off people's heads. Women couldn't go out in the street without a male member of their family, they couldn't go to school. They were a vicious government."

Rumsfeld also said the United States should not have offered to give aid to the Syrian rebels fighting the Assad regime and then gone back on its promise. "Either you keep your mouth shut, [and] if you say something then by golly you'd better live up to it, and we did exactly the wrong thing."

Syria may be a no-win situation because Iran is helping to fight the rebels by supplying fighters to President Bashar Assad's forces while the Russians are selling them arms, he said. "The implication that, when it was over Assad could still be there, is obviously a deterrent to anyone opposing Assad."

But Rumsfeld said the United States can bounce back and become a world leader once again.

"We do not need to go into decline," he said. "I expect that what we'll see is self-correction taking place because we ought not to leave a vacuum that is filled by people that fundamentally don't have our values and are against our interests."

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