Sunday, August 14, 2016

Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti Survival Guide: Part II

In this part of the Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti Survival Guide, we will talk about creating a routine for your time here. Why is this important? Because the camp/galley rules, heat, frequent walking, and work requirements mean you need to be smart and efficient to avoid making multiple trips across camp. Also, I know many people are always deploying here so its nice to hear about a typical day at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.

So what is the right routine? The one with the fewest trips or takes the least amount of time that meets all of your needs. Everyone's routine is a little different based on their needs and personal situation.

The Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti Survival Guide: Part I

Congratulations! You just found out you are coming to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. What do you really need to survive in Djibouti? Not really anything. Everything you absolutely need is provided by the camp. That includes bedding, food, gym, and entertainment.

The bigger question is what do you need to be comfortable here? What do you need to bring from home? What can you order on Amazon? And what can you pick up second-hand through the swap shop?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

How to Sign Up for the Thrift Savings Plan

The smartest thing you can do when you join the military is invest in the Thrift Savings Plan.

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is the government version of a 401(k) retirement account. The Thrift Savings Plan offers both a regular retirement account and a Roth retirement account.

The Thrift Savings Plan is preferred over civilian retirement accounts because of the low fees associated with the plan options. Every retirement account invests your retirement money into different funds selected by you, these funds charge a management fee for invested money. The lower the fees, the more money comes back to you instead of going to the fund managers.

Investing in the TSP also takes advantage of the tax benefits of military service. Because Basic Allowance for Housing and Basic Allowance for Sustenance are not taxed, military members often have a lower taxable income than they would if they were in a civilian position.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Holocaust Denial, Intelligence Analysis, and Assessments

The intelligence analysts responsibility is to sift through vast amounts of information and understand the ground truth of a situation and inform the commander.

What does this have to do with holocaust denial? The arguments used by holocaust deniers represent how political objectives can influence the interpretation of information by intelligence sources and potentially their decision to spread that information. The analyst must always be aware of the biases of information sources as well as their own biases when interpreting information.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

United Nation's Post-Gulf War Sanctions on Iraq

Written in November 2012

Prior to the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq was a powerful player in the Middle East because of the economic potential of its natural resource reserves, religious and cultural significance, strategic location within the region, and aggressive foreign policy. After Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, the United Nations (UN) implemented wide-ranging sanctions against Iraq under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

The UN sought to end Iraq’s long-term threat to international peace and security. The sanctions placed restrictions on Iraq’s export of oil, import of non-humanitarian goods, required the elimination of Iraq’s long-range ballistic missile capabilities, weapons of mass destruction programs, and held Iraq financially liable for the damage caused by the invasion. The sanctions effectively destroyed Iraq’s economy and ability to act as a sovereign nation.

Faced with the prospect of complying with the sanctions or ending his authoritarian regime, Saddam Hussein implemented multiple domestic and international policies to evade sanctions and maintain power in Iraq. UN sanctions against Iraq were ineffective as a non-violent means of coercion and resulted in massive human suffering among the Iraqi people.