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Army sexual assault awareness/prevention material saying "I am the force behind the fight. I am committed to stopping sexual harassment and sexual assault. I am living the Army values. I am protecting the members of my team."
Thanks to congressional Republicans, the Army's fight against sexual assault may be weakened.
Two recent stories are colliding as the Army tells Congress that sequestration may force cuts to sexual assault prevention and response:
In a written statement submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee on April 23, Army Secretary John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno said the across-the-board budget cuts mandated as part of the sequester could hurt their Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program “from slowing hiring actions, to delaying lab results which hinders our ability to provide resolution for victims.”
It's particularly important that the Army be able to invest in dealing with sexual assault since it's had the highest rate of reported sexual assault in the military in recent years; as of April, "the Army planned to add 829 full-time military and civilian sexual assault response coordinators and victim advocates to combat the problem within the branch." While an Army spokesman says that "the Army will continue provide care, support and treatment for" sexual assault victims, it's clear that a greater investment is sorely needed to ensure that there aren't so damn many victims to support and treat. If the sequester prevents that, then military rape is yet another damage Republicans have caused by insisting on cuts over closing corporate tax loopholes.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:23 AM PDT.

Also republished by Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ah....something tells me they were just looking (11+ / 0-)

    for an excuse.

    SOS - Save Our Sigs!

    by blueoregon on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:29:29 AM PDT

  •  It is appalling with so much fat and waste (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burlydee, shann, Mannie, Samulayo

    in the Pentagon budget that the sequester is used for political purposes when single digit reductions could easily be absorbed by any half-competent mangers.

    •  Not necessarily. (0+ / 0-)

      Over the past few years, most managers' budgets have been squeezed of all fat. I'm one of those managers. This year, thanks to sequestration I'm being forced to cut a half dozen contractors. If I'm to "keep the lights on" I have no other choices. The ripple effect spreads far and wide from these cuts, and my entire organization is feeling the impact.

      "The President is trying to make it tough on members of Congress. It's just sick." -- John Boehner (R-WATB)

      by OldSoldier99 on Fri May 10, 2013 at 09:13:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You must be kidding! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mannie
        Over the past few years, most managers' budgets have been squeezed of all fat.
        •  ? (0+ / 0-)

          I can guarantee that's the case with my budget, and with the budgets of those in similar positions throughout my agency.

          One thing I would caution against is looking at government in the same way Republicans do: "Any spending I dislike or that I don't understand must be slashed."

          "The President is trying to make it tough on members of Congress. It's just sick." -- John Boehner (R-WATB)

          by OldSoldier99 on Fri May 10, 2013 at 11:57:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Think ya'll r talking bout 2 different things. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Square Knot

            Most gov, even defense, agencies are run pretty tight.  Most management actually repsects that its not their money and their budgets are justified by what they do with it, so better not waste it.  And, like any good manager, I am sure most have been improving efficiency as spending has tightened since Thugs decided to punish America for electing (and re-electing!) 'That Kenyan'.

            OTOH, there is a lot of unnecessary spending in defense.  Problem is its in areas the 5% across-the-board sequester cuts don't reach, and Congress actually often directly interfered to mandate continued wasteful spending.  Like not allowing BARC savings, mandating we keep C5As and other obsolete craft sitting on runways in various Congressional Districts, that we keep buying stuff the Pentagon doesn't want and won't really be able to use, etc.

    •  i don't think that it will be easy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie

      But I do think that they are trying to make cost cutting look bad.  I mean how much does it really cost to give a soldier a bad conduct discharge or a dishonorable discharge compared to what we would have to pay to give the rapist full veteran benefits for a lifetime?
      And really this is what it is all about.  No one wants a swell guy,a football player, a fighter pilot, to suffer just because some chick decided after the fact that she regretted having sex with a cool guy. It is easy and cheap enough to send a signal to everyone in the military that even fraternization is not tolerated, but it would result in lots of swell guys losing benifits.

      •  The solution is for the military to have explicit (0+ / 0-)

        protocols for sexual relations.  No one can have sex with someone without military contractual permission.  If anyone has non-contractual sex, those parties will be immediately dismissed from the military.  Let civilian courts try for rape.
        The military has to realize that healthy people in their prime will have sex.  There must be a legitimate path to engage in it through military protocol and permission.
        If a guy rapes or seduces a woman for whom he and she has not been reviewed, and granted permission, he and his victim or lover must be dismissed from the military.  Both must immediately leave the military.
        Think about this easy solution.

  •  Military Industrial Complex....you betcha. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burlydee, corvo, Mannie
  •  Yeah, because the Military Industrial Complex (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldSoldier99, corvo, Mannie

    doesn't have enough money flowing through it.  Screw their excuses and screw their blackmail.  If they made this issue a priority, they could find the money.  Aren't we building like 100 tanks the Pentagon doesn't want or need?  But they can't hire a couple of counselors and investigators to take complaints? Bull.  

  •  At every morning formation, this announcement (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nailbanger, OldSoldier99, corvo, Mannie

    Every day.

    "If you even attempt it, you are in deep SHIT!"
    And then follow through.

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:55:55 AM PDT

  •  Next thing you know they will say (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Mannie, Samulayo

    that the troops in Afghanistan will have to wear rags on their feet and eat hardtack.

    •  Reminds me of the days of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mannie

      Operashun Eyerackie Freedumb when soldiers had to buy their own body armor.

      Priorities, folks, priorities!

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Fri May 10, 2013 at 10:04:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Historically, ALL over extended wars resulted in (0+ / 0-)

      deprivation of the troops.  
      The government is being starved and dismantled by the corporations and the function of soldiering is becoming privatized at many times the cost.  Better for the war profiteers to pay off our politicians.

  •  Gosh, the money they had before the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Mannie, qofdisks

    sequester didn't seem to help much to solve the problems with their "Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Programs."

    Sexual brutality, bestiality and assault is nothing you solve with kabuki programs within the military. You change the laws.

    May be they should outsource dealing with those cases to the civilian world, it might save them some money ... wow ... ridiculous... from top to bottom.

  •  This will backfire. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie
  •  WHAT program? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaraJones, Mannie, qofdisks, Matt Z

    The sequester could hurt their Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program? what program, you mean the program that put in charge the air force officer recently arrested for sexual assault?

    Frankly given the news we've been hearing of late I've been under the impression that sexual assault was part of the training program in our military /snark

  •  As long as our Hallowed Flights (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, qofdisks

    arrive on time.

    I'm amazed by people's courage and kindness in the face of everything and life.

    by LaraJones on Fri May 10, 2013 at 12:00:38 PM PDT

  •  Sorry, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, qofdisks

    there's plenty of things to be cut in the military including unnecessary weapons, crap, crap and other crap -- but basic stuff that is already the law and there are already military lawyers is utter bullshite.

    I don't mind using other things as poster thingies for what the sequestration means.  But don't the fuck use sexual assault as a vehicle to keep funds which you aren't fucking going to use for prosecuting or preventing sexual assaults.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:40:14 PM PDT

  •  So its a Thug win-win, eh? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie

    Most Thugs think women shouldn't be in military (as other than clerical and eye candy, of course) but home barefoot, preggers and/or free domestic service.

  •  A notion on the Army's part that's unintentionally (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie

    yet fully calculated to make even the most naive among us to utter that timeless expression:

    "Oh, brother."

    "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

    by Wildthumb on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:44:14 PM PDT

  •  Wasn't the Sequester the President's idea? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks

    Nevertheless, there is plenty of money. Someone just needs to find it.

    Maybe start with some of money dedicated to weapon systems the Army doesn't even want anymore but the Congress is forcing them to buy.

  •  It's amazing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WheninRome, qofdisks

    how any time a tiny slice is cut from the defense budget, they decide to cut important things that affect the troops, especially deployed troops, and yet they can't just make the cuts from fat cat contractors.

    This was a 1.6% cut, right? And the defense budget has doubled since Bush took office.

    But as soon as anyone cuts a penny from it, they start with the threats to cut things that will really hurt troops instead of taking a little bit away from the war profiteers.


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:50:28 PM PDT

  •  From everything I've read recently, I guess (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks

    I missed a lot, but I wasn't aware that this was a priority with them:

    "Army warns sequester could weaken fight against sexual assault"
    Meaning it was already weak or non-existent.  
  •  bupkis (0+ / 0-)

    "Say little, do much" (Pirkei Avot 1:15)

    by hester on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:59:45 PM PDT

  •  I wonder if this will (0+ / 0-)

    transfer itself to other serious crimes such as murder within the ranks. Are they going to cut down on investigation overall, or just for sexual assault? If women [and men] know they won't get justice, they might make it for themselves.

    The General's Daughter comes to mind.

  •  Shameless (0+ / 0-)

    behavior from sheisters that are sucking from the teat of our tax dollars. A new low from the "best military on the planet" that hasn't won a war since WW II. Eisenhower warned us many years ago.

  •  At what point does America wake up? (0+ / 0-)

    Militarization is inherently destructive.  Military operations should be the very last resort, when all else fails and every man, woman and child must be mobilized.

    Our current culture - including nearly every left/progressive voice, blog and web site (the means Daily KOS), hold up military service as "honorable" and "respected".

    It is not.

    The truth of this is in the unprecedented level of service suicides, fratracides and sexual abuse.  Recruits who have seen nothing but honorifics about returned and deceased soldiers find out ultimately that their actions are immoral and that they are mere pawns.

    Soldiering is about killing, especially and ultimately killing the spirit both of the enemy and the friendly.

    The United States has NOT been militarily threatened.  We do NOT need every man woman and child.  Our military operations are invasion, occupation and exploitation.

    The politicians  obscure this.  The media ignores this.

    We are no longer a nation of laws.  We no longer have the moral high ground.

    The nation is weakened and disgraced by this.

    I am sorry for every soldier that has been sexually assaulted.  I am sorry for every soldier that has been wounded.  I am sorry for every solder that has been killed.   and their families.

    But they have played themselves.

    If there was no volunteers to pull the triggers, the direct the drones, to drop the bombs, then there would be no war.

    Our enemies are criminals and should be prosecuted by legal action.  They are not armies.  They are not military targets.

    Woe is us for believing it otherwise.

  •  Good to see (0+ / 0-)

    they've managed to prioritize.  Should promote harmony, goodwill.

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