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Old 09-09-2014, 15:42   #226
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Re: Ebola Fears in the Canary Islands

We're talking a hospital here, for the treatment of infected medical care workers. I'd think that some Medical Corps people would be highly interested to help out with that. Do remember, they will be learning more and more about how to not get infected. This knowledge will be useful when/if some plague strikes the US. Protection for such an operation might easily appeal to some service people. Furthermore, they'll have the option, if they become ill, of treatment in the US, which has so far been effective.

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Old 09-09-2014, 16:14   #227
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Re: Ebola Fears in the Canary Islands

Ann-
No one is yet sure that any of the treatment that was given in the US is really effective, other than life support and hydration which can improve the survival rate to something like 50% even without any specific treatment.

The problem is, do you remember the outright bizarre news report, about three weeks, where an Ebola clinic was raided? And the raiders stole the contaminated mattresses and other material?

Now what happens, perhaps in a city of ten million, when word gets around that "that secret American hospital can cure you!" ??

What happens when a couple of hundred or even a thousand people who are afraid of dying from the disease, or who have family dying of the disease, charge that perimeter fence?

What happened in Iraq anytime a vehicle didn't stop far enough away from a roadblock? Right, one more black eye for the military.

No matter what is done, where it is done, how it is done, any aid response will be an exercise in walking on eggshells. They need medical aid, and that would best be arranged without a military presence of any kind. Which of course only increases the danger for the medics.

I'm a bit surprised that the latest Pope hasn't come forward to set an example.

But then again, he runs a 501(c)3, not a conventional government. [sic]
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Old 09-09-2014, 19:47   #228
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Re: Ebola Fears in the Canary Islands

I can assure everyone that the US, UK, French, German, Ausie and several other military organizations have medical people trained for exactly this kind of operation. They are brave and dedicated men and women not "cannon fodder". The problem is that sending in troops to that region of the world is fraught with issues of culture, international law and a myriad of other issues. But lack of willing willing men and women in uniform is not one of the problems. There would be very few that would even second guess and even fewer still that would refuse to go. They know that sometimes they are called to a job where they might sacrifice their lives in the service of their country and still they go by the tens of thousands to places where neither you are I would go in a thousand years. These are not a bunch of brainwashed mental incompetents who weigh the risk of prison over death. They do it because they love something...their families and their countries.

I travel around the world and meet citizens and in some cases troops from various countries. They are people like you and me with the same aspirations and hopes. Seldom are they as depicted on the news or in movies.

In west Africa the lack of decent governments has created a centuries long cycle of poverty and survivalist mentality. Education is limited intentionally and so those hungry for it are given some truly bizarre things to believe. If any good can come from this tragedy it would be my hope that most of the people of that region become educated about concepts we take for granted. That's how these tragedies can be prevented or at least contained quickly. But it will take a lot of will power to remove corrupt government officials and find dedicated honest people to stand for office. It will take several generations for the people of that region to pull themselves out of the poverty they are in now. In the mean time we can't let ignorance and corruption destroy the rest of the region. If troops are the answer then so be it but I think that's not a given.

There was a belief by the infectious disease community ten or twenty years ago that an Ebola outbreak would burn itself out quickly and so would not spread far and wide. We are finding out now whether that theory is correct or not. Sadly it appears not.
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Old 10-09-2014, 15:49   #229
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Re: Ebola Fears in the Canary Islands

dan, you make the common mistake of reading a criticism for the military/political establishment and thinking it is a denigration of the troops.

That is totally off base.

Cannon fodder are what the brass throw out, expecting heavy casualties. They can be morons, draftees, SEALs, or whatever else is handy. They can be Medal Of Honor recipients. They are still all cannon fodder when someone upstairs, in their own chain of command, uses them that way.

And sometimes that's a valid command decision and good math, but it is still an abuse of the troops--by their own ommanders.

I don't mean to get political here, just to clarify that you totally misread what I wrote and in doing so, you disrespect the troops.

Sure, there are plenty of medical personnel. But as with most US military actions since WW2, this is not a war. It is politics and international relations, and troops are not diplomats or police, no matter how the government has tried to blur that line and remake them.

I don't care what type of hospital or base you set up, it will need strong military force to create and hold a protective perimeter around it. And some desperate locals are going to force the perimeter, at which point either the medics die, or they get infected, or the perimeter force does their job and opens up on the locals with automatic weapons fire.

No matter how you figure it, there is no good outcome in that situation. If the hospital is overrun, good people die from ebola--with or without medevac and advanced care, the expected fatality rate is still high. If the hospital is not overrun, the locals trying to enter it will die. Another diplomatic relations mass fail for the US, which in turn leads to more people dying somewhere and sometime else.

There is NO way to put US or "allied" boots on the ground, without it becoming a loss for everyone.

And for the brave loyal folks who might be told they are going to be sent there? The correct response is "Sir, NO SIR." until someone can explain how the mission is expected to succeed.

There is nothing that can be accomplished by US or allied boots on the ground, that cannot be accomplished by locals on their own turf, receiving materials by airdrop, and instructions and consults by telepresence.
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Old 10-09-2014, 19:06   #230
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Old 10-09-2014, 22:30   #231
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Re: Ebola Fears in the Canary Islands

Hellosailor,

About the only thing we agree on is that sending troops to west Africa is a huge problem and there is a chance it may not help the locals much. But their plight is heartbreaking to any right thinking person. They will not solve this problem themselves IMO. Eventually someone will have to step in either there or when it comes to a town near us.

Otherwise, I think you don't know much about how the modern military works based on what you have said. The leadership and service men and women are nothing like what you think. Let's just agree to disagree.
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Old 10-09-2014, 23:04   #232
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Re: Ebola Fears in the Canary Islands

I am getting too old for this and alarm bells keep ringing something is right.

1. It is text book operation to scare the public to gain support prior to big troop movements.

2. Canada is being far more actively calling for military to support efforts.

3. The White House has been holding Canada hostage for years on Keyston. They had the power to push that project long ago.

4. What kind of group would stab a US air marshall and inject saline solution. If point was to transfer virus to US this is odd.

5. Yes, efforts to setup 25, a few hundred or a thousand beds sounds like someone does't pay attention to how fast this is expanding. Whole cruise ships could fit tens of thousands.

6. Why the West? Unless goal of West is more.
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Old 10-09-2014, 23:55   #233
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Re: Ebola Fears in the Canary Islands

You are right that alarm bells are ringing We are witnessing right now how the world might evolve without significant western power projection. Since many (most) of us don't like western intervention in any part of the world this is a very interesting time. It appears we are going to find out what a world with less western intervention looks like within a generation. It is surprising almost everyone the rapid changes happening after just a decade of continual reduction in western influence.

China has invested a lot of money and time in Africa for the past 20 years or so. It will be interesting to see if their values compel them to help the poor people of west Africa.
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:55   #234
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Re: Ebola Fears in the Canary Islands

I predict there will be at least 100k people will die from this outbreak at least. And the only thing sending our troops in will accomplish, is to expose them needlessly to an epidemic that is going to run its course.
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Old 11-09-2014, 12:58   #235
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Re: Ebola Fears in the Canary Islands

dan-
Here's a chunk from FEMA's current guidebook for responders, "Emergency Planning for the first responder and their families" which is available as a PDF but seems to lack the usual GPO number to identify it.

It isn't a study of the military, but of police and fire AND the Medical Reserve Corps, and all of them are trained and targeted to this type of scenario more so than warriors. Especially the Medical Reserve Corp.

"
The Center for Homeland Defense and Security also conducted a series of enlightening surveys in the area of organizational preparedness. In 2005, Staff Inspector Tom Nestle conducted a survey of 75 police officers, of which:
• 55-66% indicated that they would refuse recall during a response that was posed from National Planning Scenarios.
• 73-91% believed their city and/or department were not prepared.
• However, 72-82% said the establishment of shelters for employees and their families would be helpful. Potential solutions included providing the requested sheltering along with education and training regarding threats and existing plans.
In 2006, Captain Nancy Demme conducted a focus group of 40 police officers, who revealed a number of concerns that were based on response to a biological incident, including their own health and safety, as well as the lack of family plans, departmental preparedness, information from the department, and proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Solutions included developing a family support unit, developing and sharing a departmental plan, conducting training, and educating responders and the public.
A 2007 study by John Delaney that focused on firefighters in the National Capital Region (NCR) revealed that family preparedness and safety were the determinant factors in firefighters’ ability and willingness to report for assignment in a pandemic incident.4 A study by Shelley Schechter, published in 2007, shows that one of the barriers to Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) personnel’s willingness and ability to fulfill operational roles in a disaster was family responsibilities.5 "

So if over 50% of trained responders would refuse to be called up to service...Anyone in the chain of command who didn't anticipate problems deploying troops into a plague zone, would be by definition unfit to command.

A 50% potential casualty rate, to "defend" some foreign nation, is unacceptable by pretty much all standards.

Sure, the gung-ho's who are patriots and macho men would still line up to go. But the finest warriors are the ones who can think. And stand up to say "Sir, NO SIR" when it is indeed legal, proper, and appropriate for them to do so.

You can't find one plain and simple legal basis for any of them to be ordered out on a "foreign aid" mission of this kind. Volunteers? Sure. Orders? Nope.

And now WHO and CDC have apparently just determined that even in "cured" Ebola survivors, the virus can remain active, lethal, and capable of being transmitted for an additional seven weeks in semen. Which means the necessary quarantine period has just gone up to 10-12 weeks, minimum. Unless they find it remains active in other reservoirs for even longer.

We forget, the "West" has dealt with plague before. Cholera, Spanish Flu (1917), smallpox, yellow fever, polio, typhoid (Typhoid Mary ring a bell?)...there's a long litany in the past hundred years, and quarantine and forced quarantine were the norm. Children were literally taken from their families and sent into quarantine wards.

Sympathy and good intentions do not make for effective or practical quarantine and aid. There's no reason for any of the affected nations to ask for boots on the ground, that just ensures we'll be taking mass casualties alongside them.

And one tiny thing our government has learned after losing 9/11, is that wasting first responders doesn't help anyone. The entire DHS/FEMA infrastructure emphasizes repeatedly "Do not endanger the responder." Congress just might apply the same logic. By all means, send gloves, suits, linens, saline, bleach...but there is no reason to endanger troops, or medics. That serves no one's best interest.
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Old 11-09-2014, 13:43   #236
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Re: Ebola Fears in the Canary Islands

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Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
...

China has invested a lot of money and time in Africa for the past 20 years or so. It will be interesting to see if their values compel them to help the poor people of west Africa.
Weeks ago, the Chinese said they were shipping medical supplies to Africa. It took weeks more for the US to say we would help. Who knows when our help will arrive. The Chinese are investing in Africa to get the minerals they need and I just read that they have sent soldiers to two areas in Africa as part of UN peace keeping operations. It just so happens that the two areas where the PLA is going happen to have security problems impacting Chinese business interests.

The Chinese are not so well liked by the locals from what I have read but the people in power in Africa like the Chinese investments.

Later,
Dan
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Old 11-09-2014, 16:04   #237
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Re: Ebola Fears in the Canary Islands

You know, Hellosailor, Jim's first reaction to the announcement that the US would send materials and troops was, "Will they be volunteers?"

Your reasoning behind the "Sir, NO SIR!" makes a lot of sense.

However, for some individuals, the desire to personally offer humanitarian aid (the support of re-hydration, some nutrition, and a safe place to try and heal) runs pretty strong. Those are the ones I'd think would both understand the risks and be willing to face them for the sake of caretaking individuals who are unlikely to survive without that care, and with an eye to undermining the epidemic's spread. Whether or not that is a worthy goal is an individual choice, and I think the role of the soldier guards would then fall into a patriotic caretaking of OUR caretakers.

As you suggest, I may be wrong in this thought--time will tell--but if you remove the humanitarian element from our character, then we're little but another opportunistic omnivore.

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Old 11-09-2014, 17:15   #238
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Re: Ebola Fears in the Canary Islands

Those that have never served may not understand. You give up a lot when you do, like innocent until proven guilty etc. You gain things that may or may not offset what you give up.
But really and truly if you serve, yours is not to reason why, but to do and die.
In the US it's been an all volunteer Army for a long time, none were made to do it, none were drafted.
I didn't expect this to be honest, but I think Obama understands that Africa is a huge tar baby, once your there, (militarily) how do you leave?
Army is structured, equipped and trained to kill people and break things, we simply don't do humanitarian missions well, the training and equipment just wasn't up to it. For that the Army is simply the wrong tool for the job
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Old 11-09-2014, 17:21   #239
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Re: Ebola Fears in the Canary Islands

Quote:
As you suggest, I may be wrong in this thought--time will tell--but if you remove the humanitarian element from our character, then we're little but another opportunistic omnivore.
If you are truly interested in this subject I strongly suggest "the Social Conquest of Earth" by E.O. Wilson. I found it changed my perspective on humanity greatly. That and "The World Until Yesterday" by Jared Diamond. Read in tandem, while listening to the news of today is, or was for me, quite an experience.
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Old 15-09-2014, 23:03   #240
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Re: Ebola Fears in the Canary Islands

Obama To Send 3,000 Military Forces To Fight Ebola In West Africa
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