WAR/DRAFT/VETERAN AFFAIRS | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

WAR/DRAFT/VETERAN AFFAIRS

Jan 22 14:15

The Capitol under guard

Photojournalists document a massive peacetime buildup of troops in the nation’s capital.

Jan 22 08:28

Peering Into a Forever-War Crystal Ball

More than 19 years ago, the U.S. launched the air war that would become the ground invasion and “liberation” of Afghanistan. More than 17 years ago, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared “major combat” over in that country with just 8,000 US troops still stationed there. Approximately nine years after that, at the end of an Obama-era “surge,” US troop levels would reach around 100,000 (not counting contingents of NATO allies, as well as private contractors, CIA agents, and those involved in the American air war in that country). Today, those troop levels are finally down to 2,500 (plus, of course, those private contractors and that air power, which actually ramped up significantly in the Trump years). That, in other words, is how Donald Trump “ended” the American war in Afghanistan.

Jan 22 08:27

Biden Administration Seeking Five-Year Extension of New START

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that President Biden is seeking a five-year extension of New START, the last nuclear arms control treaty between the US and Russia that is set to expire on February 5th.

The report cited two senior US officials, and Biden himself has previously said that he favors the extension. Russia’s stance on New START is that they are ready to make the five-year extension with no preconditions. Washington and Moscow appear to be able to be prepared to make an agreement, but they have to work quickly.

New START limits the number of missiles, bombers, and nuclear warheads each power can have deployed. If the treaty lapses, there will be no constraints on either country’s nuclear arsenal, and it could spark a new nuclear arms race.

Jan 22 08:14

The Army’s next-generation body armor plates don’t currently get the job done

The Army’s new Soldier Protection System has been billed as a lighter and more powerful replacement for the service’s existing personal protective equipment, but a recent evaluation from the Defense Department’s top weapons tester suggests the next-generation system has a long way to go before it can be trusted to reliably protect soldiers downrange.

According to a new analysis from the Pentagon’s operational testing and evaluation arm published in January, the Army spent the 2020 fiscal year testing the lightweight Generation III Vital Torso Protection (VTP) armor plate inserts that, when added into the system’s new Modular Scalable Vest, will offer the first line of protection for soldiers against ballistic threats.

Jan 22 07:20

‘Back Into Wars on the First Day’: Trump Jr Blasts Biden Amid Reports US Could Beef Up Iraq Presence

Baghdad was rocked by twin terrorist attacks on Thursday, with at least 32 people killed and 110 injured. Daesh (ISIS)* claimed responsibility. In its final days in office, the Trump administration made good on a longstanding commitment to draw US troop numbers in Iraq down from about 5,800 to 2,500 troops total.

Donald Trump, Jr. has taken aim at President Joe Biden over a news report suggesting that the new administration may treat Thursday’s Baghdad bombing as a pretext to scale up America’s military footprint in Iraq.

“Getting back into wars on the first full day. The Swamp/War Inc. is thrilled right now,” Trump wrote, referring to the ‘the Swamp’ of Washington, DC corruption, and the US military-industrial complex.

Jan 21 14:07

That $2.6 Trillion Stimulus Was One Heck of a Holiday Bonus to Defense Contractors

The dysfunctional budgeting process was on full display during the last week of 2020 when lawmakers crammed through a $740 billion defense funding deal as part of a massive $2.3 trillion spending bonanza. This included $696 billion for the Pentagon, and the rest for non-DoD spending like the nation’s nuclear weapons program under the Department of Energy. Members of Congress didn’t have all that much time to speed read through the bill’s more than 5,500 pages, allowing special interests to insert massive giveaways to the military-industrial complex. One government watchdog called the overstuffed stimulus package “a sweetheart deal for defense contractors.”

Washington needs to ramp up accountability, not goodies to contractors with clout.

Jan 21 11:51

Biden to reverse transgender military ban imminently, White House says

President Joe Biden will soon reverse the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Wednesday.

While the reversal was not one of the 15 actions the new administration announced it would take Wednesday, Day One of the Biden presidency, Psaki said it would be among the “additional executive actions” that will be taken “in the coming days and weeks.”

Biden had previously vowed to reverse the Trump administration’s transgender military policy “on Day One” of his administration. However, his nominee for secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin, is still going through the confirmation process, though it is not known whether this is the reason the reversal is not part of the president’s Day One agenda.

Jan 21 11:29

Blinken: Biden Will End US Involvement in Yemen War in ‘Short Order’

President Biden’s secretary of state-nominee, Antony Blinken, said on Tuesday that the Biden administration will work quickly to end US involvement in the war in Yemen.

“The President-elect has made clear that we will end our support for the military campaign led by Saudi Arabia in Yemen, and I think we will work on that in very short order,” Blinken said during his Senate confirmation hearing.

Blinken also said during the hearings that the Biden administration will “immediately” review the Trump administration’s designation of Yemen’s Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization. Calls are growing for President Biden to reverse the designation, and the UN and aid groups are warning of the mass starvation it will cause.

Jan 21 11:24

Militants target non-Kashmiris amid tensions over land laws

It seemed like any other cold December evening at the sleepy market of Sarai Bala in Jammu and Kashmir's capital, Srinagar, when Satpal Nischal was killed by militants. Most of the shopkeepers had returned home and the crowds were beginning to thin out.

A young man then suddenly burst into a jewelry shop and brandished a handgun, aiming at Nischal. "I was horrified," said Aijaz Ahmad, who has run a jewelry shop right across from Nischal's store for 20 years. "It's always been peaceful here until the shooting, the gunman shot and ran off. We all hid behind our desks," Ahmad said.

"We don't know why it happened. We don't have animosity with anyone. No one ever harassed us here in 50 years, not even militants," Nischal's son Rakesh told DW. "His death has left deep emotional scars. I felt rage and anger, and so many emotions that I did not know what to do," he added.

Nischal, a 70-year-old goldsmith from the Indian state of Punjab, had lived in Kashmir for almost 50 years.

Jan 21 11:19

War Propaganda: The Cult of Militarism

War Propaganda Runs Through Our Culture

Jan 21 11:04

This Ain’t Your Grandfather’s Conservative Military Anymore

With the inauguration of Joe Biden as nominal head of the Globalist American Regime, the Military-Industrial Complex is now firmly back in power. Their first order of business is a return to the “War on Terror” policies of the Bush-Obama years. Woke ideology dictates that Muslims can be longer be a target though. Instead, the Deep State regime will now turn its attention to normal, patriotic Americans. Obviously a military that was itself made up of normal, patriotic Americans would be hesitant to go along with such a directive. Therefore, the American security regime is initiating a purge.

Jan 19 16:04

The Unwelcome Return of the Real Purveyors of Violence

With the mainstream media still obsessing about the January 6th “violent coup attempt” at the US Capitol Building, the incoming Biden Administration looks to be chock full of actual purveyors of violent coups. Don’t look to the mainstream media to report on this, however. Some of the same politicians and bureaucrats denouncing the ridiculous farce at the Capitol as if it were the equivalent of 9/11 have been involved for decades in planning and executing real coups overseas. In their real coups, many thousands of civilians have died.

Jan 19 09:07

‘Peace Through Strength’ – Mike Pence Proud Trump White House Avoided New Wars

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence used a series of meetings with troops over the weekend to declare his pride that America entered no new wars during President Donald Trump’s administration.

“I’m proud to say, with just a few days left in this administration, this this is the first administration in decades not to get America into a new war,” Pence said as he spoke to sailors at Naval Air Station Lemoore on Saturday, about 38 miles south of Fresno.

Clad in a Navy green fighter pilot jacket, the vice president told the crowd of about 80 sailors Trump fought for the largest increases in defense spending “since the days of Ronald Reagan.”

“We’ve restored the arsenal of democracy,” Pence said. “Our military is now more equipped than ever before.”

Jan 19 08:54

US withdraws last troops from Somalia

The US has completely withdrawn its troops from Somalia, US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced yesterday.

"The repositioning of the troops was completed ahead of the deadline in a presidential directive last December ordering the troop removal by mid-January," AFRICOM Spokesperson Christopher Karns told Russia Today (RT), noting that there was still a "very limited" US presence in Somalia.

He pointed out that his country would continue to engage with Somali forces and maintain pressure against Al-Shabaab militant group.

"Our focus very much remains fixed and focused on Al-Shabaab," Karns asserted, adding that it would "not be wise for them to test us."

Jan 19 06:40

Pentagon Begins Process to Purge Confederate Names from Military Bases, Property

The Pentagon is moving forward to satisfy a congressional directive in the 2021 defense policy bill that will result in the renaming of at least 10 Army bases and possibly two Navy ships that honor the Confederacy.

On Friday, Acting Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller appointed four members of what will eventually be an eight-member congressionally mandated panel: the lengthily named Commission on the Naming of Items of the Department of Defense that Commemorate the Confederate States of America or Any Person Who Served Voluntarily with the Confederate States of America.

Jan 18 10:18

DEMOCRACY IN DEEP SPACE: U.S. SPACE FORCE TO GET NUCLEAR REACTORS

US President Donald Trump can be considered guilty of many things, but he can’t be considered guilty of not attempting to preserve the fruits of his labor.

This can be seen in the maximum pressure campaign against Iran, his endless antagonism of China, the unstoppable crusade against the Nord Stream 2, and most recently, and one would say most notably – the premier product of his presidency: the US Space Force.

It is no secret that under the guidance of Trump and Co., the United States has advanced rapidly in terms of space exploration (move aside Elon Musk), and especially militarily.

The largest leap so far, is an Executive Presidential Order on promoting small modular nuclear reactors for Space Exploration (and National Defense). After all, the US was the first country to develop nuclear energy and use it, back in 1951 in Arco, Idaho.

Jan 18 08:05

Media Reveal How British Nuclear Bombs Could Blow Up a Big Chunk of the World

During the Cold War, the UK’s powerful nuclear arsenal was one of the key sticking points in disagreements between Moscow and Washington regarding the deployment of intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe. In 1987, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to US demands and signed a treaty banning them. The US scrapped the agreement in 2019.

Although the UK’s nuclear arsenal is dwarfed by that of its principal ally, the US, to the point where President Donald Trump reportedly didn’t even know the country was a nuclear power at one point, Britain’s nukes are nevertheless a potent deterrent that can “devastate even the largest of countries”, The National Interest contributor Kyle Mizokami writes.

Jan 18 01:06

What Actually Happens When Fighter Pilots Take off Their Masks?

Movies like Independence Day and Top Gun portray it as a final act of desperation that’s strictly against regulation. But is this true? Before we get to the answer, let’s first look at the purpose of the mask.

A fighter pilot’s mask is primarily used to prevent the pilot from getting hypoxic, which is the lack of oxygen to the brain. As part of our training, we’ll go into an altitude chamber where the atmosphere is reduced to one-third of what it is at sea level. The purpose of the training is to recognize our symptoms so that we can take emergency action should we experience it while flying.

For most people, their symptoms start off as tingling in their fingers, followed by light-headedness and mild euphoria. Left unchecked, this can quickly lead to confusion and eventually to losing consciousness, which can be catastrophic in a single seat aircraft. Modern masks also have several additional features to aid the pilot.

Jan 16 07:00

RUSSIA ADVANCES IN THE FIELD OF AUTONOMOUS COMBAT ROBOTIC PLATFORMS

Russia has been testing autonomous combat robotic platforms.

The experimental robotic platform “Marker” completed a trek of approximately 30 kilometers, entirely in autonomous mode, the Advanced Research Fund (FPI) reported on December 30th. The tests were carried out in the Chelyabinsk region.

The route of the vehicle was laid through an unprepared territory – a forest-steppe with a snow cover. The autonomous platform motion control system, having received a route assignment with the coordinates of a given point, ensured the platform’s arrival at the finish line in an hour and a half. The vehicle relied on the data of the technical vision system built on new neural network algorithms.

The autonomous control system of the platform movement provides autonomous laying and adjustment of the route of movement in the event of obstacles – trees, rises, ravines, bushes, etc.

Jan 14 08:03

Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney: World War III has started

Today, The Two Mikes again were lucky enough to have another chance to talk with Lt. Gen. Tom McInerny about the China-backed war being waged against the American republic by the Beijing-suborned Democrat Party, much of the Republican Party, the media, and most of the Congress.

The General described some new information about the manipulation of the 2020 election in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Nevada which shows with great precision the voting machines that were manipulated by the Democrats, their U.S.-citizen allies, and their Chinese and other foreign paymasters. The new information also shows instances of an exact number of Trump votes being sent from voting machines to China, Pakistan, and other countries, and then being sent back and placed in Biden’s totals.

Jan 13 07:16

Top military leaders remind troops of limits of free speech

Amid worry about renewed violence on Inauguration Day, the military's top leaders issued a written reminder to all service members Tuesday that the deadly insurrection at the Capitol last week was an anti-democratic, criminal act, and that the right to free speech gives no one the right to commit violence.

A memo signed by all members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also reminded military members that Joe Biden was duly elected as the next president and will be sworn in to office on Jan. 20.

Jan 13 07:15

In Search of Enemies. Joe Biden’s Foreign Policy and National Security Team

What occurred at the United States Capitol last week was surely reprehensible, but to my mind the real enduring damage that was done to our form of government took place in a basement in Wilmington Delaware where president-designate Joe Biden was putting together some of the final pieces of his foreign policy and national security team.

Hopes that the Democrats would accommodate their progressive wing to some extent by backing off of the aggressive “American first” policies pursued by Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo were extinguished with the elevation of Wendy Sherman and Victoria Nuland to the number two and three senior positions at the State Department, to back up Secretary of State designate Tony Blinken.

Jan 13 07:04

The Pentagon won’t say how many COVID-19 vaccines it’s given to troops

Millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine have shipped out around the country, including to more than 100 military installations, but the Defense Department has declined to share how many service members have received it.

At the same time, hundreds of thousands of doses have gone unused nationwide, according to reports from states like California, New York, Texas and more. While DoD announced in December that 44,000 inoculations would go out in its first round, the Pentagon has not released figures on how many troops have been vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccination tracking site shows that 376,150 doses have gone out across installations, and 139,439 have been administered.

Jan 13 06:53

F-35 Stealth Jet Still Has 871 Flaws Including Some "Potentially Serious Issues"

The Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jet has 871 software and hardware flaws that could affect combat operations, according to Bloomberg, citing a report from the Pentagon's testing office.

"The F-35 continues to have many flaws. Many of those flaws have already been discovered during the development and testing phase, which ended with 941 flaws in April 2018," Robert Behler, the director of operational testing, said in a new assessment seen by Bloomberg.

The assessment outlines the long list of flaws - down two from 873 that Behler reported last year.

Ten out of the 871 unresolved deficiencies found by Boehler are "potentially serious issues," Bloomberg writes. These "Category 1" issues could endanger the pilot or aircraft safety or diminish combat effectiveness against Chinese or Russian stealth fighters.

Jan 11 08:52

China's laser weapon capable of destroying Indian and US satellites, say analysts

The Indian and US satellites are vulnerable to China’s ground-based lasers as according to some analysts China has acquired the full capability to destroy the enemy's satellite sensors through its lasers. China can cause great damage to Indian and US satellites during wartime. In January 2019, the Pentagon's Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), in a report on space threats, had disclosed and warned that China's military is expected to deploy a laser weapon capable of destroying or damaging US military satellites in low earth orbit next year (2020).

Jan 11 07:20

Space Force becomes 18th member of US intelligence community

The U.S. Space Force became a member of the U.S. intelligence community on Friday, meaning that the intelligence element of the newest branch of the U.S. military is also the country’s 18th spy agency.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond announced that the section of the Space Force specializing in intelligence would join the spy community during an afternoon ceremony.

“This accession reaffirms our commitment to securing outer space as a safe and free domain for America’s interests,” Ratcliffe said. “American power in space is stronger and more unified than ever before. Today we welcome Space Force to the Intelligence Community and look forward to the power and ingenuity of a space security team unrivaled by any nation.”

Jan 11 07:18

Biden Nominates Victoria “Cookies” Nuland for #3 at State Department

President-elect Biden announced a number of new additions to his national security team this week. As with his earlier choices, these names are worth considering for what they tell us about the direction of national security for the next four years.

It was widely reported that Wendy Sherman, the undersecretary of state for political affairs under Barack Obama and John Kerry, will receive a promotion and become the department’s No. 2 under Antony Blinken, Biden’s choice to serve as secretary of state. Sherman was widely and rightfully hailed for her role as the lead American negotiator of the Iran nuclear accord. Biden also announced his plan to name Jon Finer, the former head of policy planning at State, as deputy national security adviser. These are, by the low standards set by the Biden transition, sensible appointments. The same however, cannot be said for Biden’s nominee for Sherman’s old job, undersecretary for political affairs. We come now to the infamous Victoria Nuland.

Jan 11 03:32

Situation Update, Dec. 3rd – Trump invokes foreign interference provision of his 2018 executive order, authorizing military response to cyber warfare, see NSPM 13

And under the 2018 EO, each of the entities engaging in this behavior will have all their assets seized by the U.S. Treasury. Translated into plain language, this means that Twitter, Facebook, CNN, the Washington Post, Google, MSNBC, etc., are all now able to be completely seized, shut down or taken over by the Trump administration, as they all engaged in the defined behaviors outlined in the 2018 EO, which Trump just cited. (12/4/20)

Jan 10 08:31

Biden's Choice of 'Hawkish' Victoria Nuland for State Department Position is Ominous, Analyst Warns

As fears of a New Cold War between the United States and the Russian Federation persist the incoming administration of Joe Biden appears to be signalling that it won't be changing course from the well-travelled path of an aggressive foreign policy, a geo-political documentary filmmaker tells Sputnik.

Victoria Nuland, notorious or her pro-militaristic and interventionist policies, may find herself in yet another US government position helping to shape her country's foreign policy. According to recent news reports, president-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate Nuland to the highly influential position of Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

Jan 08 07:04

A Glimpse Of China's Mysterious Stealth Bomber Shown In Video

The evolution of the pandemic and economic crash and President Trump's' push for deglobalization by slapping China with tariffs resulting in the fracturing of supply chains have heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing.

In response to soaring tensions, China has rapidly modernized its forces with stealth fighters and hypersonic weapons.

Late last year, China was expected to unveil the Xian H-20 supersonic stealth bomber, effectively doubling its country's striking range.

However, that didn't happen, but this week, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force gave the first glimpse of the stealth bomber's design in the service's 2021 recruitment video released on Tuesday, according to Global Times.

Jan 08 06:48

Insane Russian Super Burst Gun Firing Off 10,000 Rounds Per Minute – Sounds Like A Damn A-10 Warthog

Jan 08 06:44

Envoy sees Democrats targeting US military aid to PH under Biden presidency

Legislation in the US Congress calling for an end to US military aid to the Philippines could emerge under the leadership of President-elect Joe Biden, according to Manila’s top diplomat in Washington on Thursday (Nov. 19).

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez said a bill was filed recently by a Democrat in the US House of Representatives seeking to suspend military and police aid to the Philippines “on the issue of human rights.”

It was “something that could come into play under the administration of President-elect Biden,” Romualdez said at an online forum of the Rotary Club.

Jan 07 07:22

New US Navy Strategy Calls to Confront Russia and China in the Arctic

On Tuesday, the US Navy released a report titled “A Strategic Blueprint for the Arctic” that calls for a regular US Navy and Marine Corps presence in the northern waters to counter Russia and China.

The strategy fits in with the US military’s focus away from counterterrorism in the Middle East towards so-called “great power competition” with Russia and China, as outlined by the 2018 National Defense Strategy. The document says melting sea ice will create more navigable waters in the Arctic and “create new challenges and opportunities off our northern shores.”

“Without sustained American naval presence and partnerships in the Arctic Region, peace and prosperity will be increasingly challenged by Russia and China, whose interests and values differ dramatically from ours,” the strategy reads.

Jan 07 06:48

China's "Unrestricted War" On The United States

In 1999 Colonel Qiao Liang and Colonel Wang Xiangsui wrote a book called Unrestricted Warfare. In this book, these officers, who were both active-duty officers in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) discussed the lessons learned from the Gulf War action in 1990. The book was published by the PLA Literature and Arts Publishing House in Beijing, which suggests official approval by the PLA Command.

Liang and Xiangsui recall the CNN broadcast of the dead American soldier in Mogadishu and how that broadcast caused an American pullout of Somalia, changing the world’s strategic situation.

This and other examples caused these officers to postulate another type of warfare they called unrestricted warfare, which crossed all of the spectrums of society and involved no rules. The authors listed 15 types of new warfare to be used in order to avoid the standard military conflict.

Jan 07 06:46

China Makes It Harder For US Spy Satellites To Spot Hypersonic Missiles

China's transporter erector launcher (TEL), which carries and fires DF-17 hypersonic missiles, has received a stealth camouflaged cover that makes it more challenging for the US and allies to identify via reconnaissance satellites, according to state-run newspaper Global Times.

TEL is a ground-based vehicle with an integrated prime mover (tractor unit) that can carry and elevate a DF-17 into a firing position.

The upgraded TEL was spotted in a video celebrating the founding of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Force last week and was published initially on the Chinese website 81.cn.

According to the video, the camouflaged missile transporter has a hypersonic missile encased inside a shell as it traverses desert terrain.

Jan 06 07:14

Chinese Soldiers Outfitted With Digital Combat Device That Has "Self-Destruction Mode"

New Delhi Television has revealed that Chinese soldiers in the Tibet Military Region will soon be equipped with new digital systems embedded in their combat gear.

Chinese soldiers will be outfitted with satellite antennas on the helmets, new night-vision goggles, and a digital control terminal on the arm. They will also receive advanced body armor, a new navigation device, personal radio, camera module, audio converter, information processing, and power supply module.

While the upgrades sound nothing out of the ordinary, there was mention that the new combat gear would be outfitted with "self-destruction mode."

"More importantly, this system is equipped with a self-destruction device. If a soldier is seriously injured but does not want to be captured, activating the self-destruction device will not only maintain the dignity of the soldier, but the enemy will not be able to obtain any information about this system."

Jan 05 11:04

Israel and Greece to sign largest ever security deal

Israel and Greece are set to sign the largest ever security agreement between the two countries, worth up to $1.68 billion, the Times of Israel has reported.

The deal to be signed by the respective defence ministries, approves the establishment and operation of a flight school for the Hellenic Air Force by Elbit Systems, Israel's largest private arms company.

Elbit is said to have supplied 85 per cent of the drones used in the war on Gaza in 2014, when over 2,200 Palestinians – 500 of them children – were killed in only 50 days. The Israeli arms company has ten sites across Britain.

The Greek government will also purchase training aircraft from Israel, as well as simulators, training and logistic support. The agreement will cover more than 20 years, the Israeli Defence Ministry announced.

Jan 04 11:28

Extraordinary warning to Trump by 10 former Pentagon chiefs

In an extraordinary rebuke of United States President Donald Trump, all 10 living former secretaries of defence cautioned Sunday against any move to involve the military in pursuing claims of election fraud, arguing that it would take the country into “dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory”.

The 10 men, both Democrats and Republicans, signed on to an opinion article published in The Washington Post that implicitly questioned Trump’s willingness to follow his constitutional duty to peacefully relinquish power on Jan 20. Following the Nov 3 election and subsequent recounts in some states, as well as unsuccessful court challenges, the outcome is clear, they wrote, while not specifying Trump in the article.

“The time for questioning the results has passed; the time for the formal counting of the electoral college votes, as prescribed in the constitution and statute, has arrived,” they wrote.

Jan 04 10:43

Did the US Navy Lose a Light Aircraft Carrier to Attack in 2020?

The Navy has decided to scrap the USS Bonhomme Richard, the amphibious assault ship that caught fire over the summer in San Diego, officials announced Monday.

Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite said the decision was made after officials determined the damage was too extensive and the cost of repair too high to justify salvaging the vessel. …

The fire broke out July 12 and took four days to extinguish. The ship, which works to deploy elements of Marine landing forces, was based at Naval Base San Diego after having spent six years in Japan.

Jan 04 09:29

Russia to test 15,000mph missile that can beat any defence and destroy Texas

Jan 03 10:25

Soldier, 16-year-old charged in death of Fort Drum corporal found shot, buried under snow

An Army soldier and a 16-year-old boy have been charged in the murder of Hayden Harris, a corporal at Fort Drum, New York who was found dead in New Jersey.

Jamaal Mellish, 23, and the unidentified teenager face felony murder, kidnapping and second-degree weapons charges, according to the Sussex County Prosecutor's Office.

Mellish was also charged with third-degree suppression of evidence.

Harris, 20, was found shot to death and buried under snow in a wooded area of Byram Township on Dec. 19. Shortly before his death, Harris had been reported missing.

Dec 31 07:27

Majority of Cadets Implicated in West Point Cheating Scandal Are Athletes

The majority of Cadets who are reported to have been apart of the cheating scandal which has rocked West Point are athletes.

According to a report from USA Today, 55 of the 73 cadets implicated in the scandal are athletes. Twenty-four of the 55 are members of the Army Black Knights football team and, as of Wednesday, 17 were still in uniform.

While implication in a cheating scandal would have meant automatic suspension in prior years, West Point Superintendant Lt. General Darryl suspended the school’s policy of preventing cadets who violate the West Point honor code from representing the school in public.

The West Point honor code states: “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.”

Dec 30 08:53

US Future Military Robots - DARPA Boston Dynamics - SKYNET TODAY

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Definitely not as cool as the dancing robots below.

Dec 30 08:52

3 Cool Military Robots You Didn't Know Existed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Not as cool as the dancing robots below.

Dec 29 15:50

America’s Ongoing Imperial Scam

The latest army and air force recruiting approach involves convincing economically-insecure parents to encourage their kids to get out of their basements, and pursue dreams of playing soldier in the woods or flying video game-like drones.  In an era where more young people live at home for longer, this approach may appeal to parents, but it’s also a tell. 

Dec 29 09:23

House Votes to Increase Stimulus Checks to $2,000, Override Trump Veto of Defense Bill

The House on Monday voted to override President Trump’s veto of a $740.5 billion defense policy bill, sending the bill to the Senate and putting it on track to be the first legislation to become law over Mr. Trump’s objections.

Mr. Trump had rejected the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act over provisions that remove base names honoring Confederate officers and set troop levels abroad, as well as the legislation’s lack of language revoking internet platforms’ broad immunity for the content they publish from users on their sites.

The override vote, which required a two-thirds supermajority, was 322 to 87, with a majority of Republicans joining most Democrats in breaking with the president. The GOP-controlled Senate is expected to consider the bill as soon as Wednesday.

Dec 29 08:22

Warfare Evolved: Quantum Radar

When it was first introduced by the US armed forces toward the end of the Cold War, stealth technology represented a major shift in the conduct of military operations. Low radar observability – a more appropriate term for ‘stealth’ – allowed American aircraft to safely penetrate into heavily defended areas without being detected by enemy sensors; and it demonstrated its operational value for the first time during the 1991 Gulf War. It then became an integral part of US military operations, one that was gradually applied to other platforms, including ships. While today it is no longer a US monopoly, since other powers like Russia and China have also deployed hardware with purported low-observability features, the technology remains the exclusive domain of advanced militaries and provides a significant operational advantage.

Dec 29 07:38

House Votes to Override President Trump’s NDAA Veto

The House convened on Monday for an override vote of President Trump’s veto of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). In a vote of 322 to 87, the House secured well over the two-thirds majority needed for the override, and the bill now moves onto the Senate.

The Senate is expected to convene for the override vote on Tuesday. Before President Trump’s veto, the NDAA passed through the Senate by a vote of 84 to 13, well over the two-thirds majority needed for the override. But the bill could be delayed if a senator chooses to drag out procedural hurdles. If the vote is delayed past January 3rd, Congress will have to restart the NDAA from scratch.

Dec 29 07:38

Joe Biden Calls For ‘Modernizing’ US Defenses to Face Russia and China

In a speech on Monday, Joe Biden stressed the need for “modernizing” US defense capabilities in the face of threats from China and Russia. Biden also addressed the recently discovered hack of the software company SolarWinds that affected several government agencies.

Biden said he spoke with a member of his transition team about the “different strategic challenges we’re gonna face from both Russia and China and the reforms we must make to put ourselves in the strongest possible position to meet those challenges.” He said those reforms include “modernizing our defense priorities to better deter aggression in the future.”

“We have to be able to innovate, to reimagine our defenses against growing threats in new realms like cyberspace,” Biden said. “We’re still learning about the extent of the SolarWinds hack and the vulnerabilities that have been exposed. As I said last week, this attack constitutes a grave risk to our national security.”

Dec 29 07:37

Australian Senator Predicts War Between US and China in ‘Three to Five Years’

With US-China relations at their lowest point in decades, one of Washington’s closest allies in the Pacific is gearing up for a potential war between the two superpowers. In an interview with Australia’s Seven News, Australian Senator Jim Molan said he expects a conflict to break out soon.

“We are likely in the next three to five years or in the next five to ten years to be involved in a war between China and the United States,” Molan said. The senator made the comments while discussing the budget and capabilities of Australia’s military. “The ADF (Australian Defense Forces) has never been better than it is now,” he said.

Molan voiced his concern over Washington’s current military capabilities, particularly the size of the US Navy. “In 1991, the US Navy was 600 warships strong. Now it’s less than 300,” he said.

Dec 29 06:42

While giving Americans $600, Congress sets aside $600 MILLION to fight Russia & China

The omnibus spending bill US President Donald Trump eventually agreed to sign gives Americans a pittance, but over $600 million to “counter the influence” of Russia and China and “promote democracy” in Europe and Asia.
The 5,593-page legislation bundled the coronavirus “stimulus” with general 2021 spending. It faced heavy criticism from across the US political spectrum last week, for funding all sorts of pet projects while giving Americans only a $600 individual payment. That’s half of what they got in April, and the only direct assistance to mitigate the economic damage of state-imposed lockdowns.

Dec 28 08:45

Trump vetoes defense bill over Congress' refusal to repeal Section 230

US President Donald Trump vetoed the annual defense spending bill Wednesday, after it was passed by Congress two weeks ago. Trump had threatened to veto the bill if Congress didn't use the legislation to repeal Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, a law that protects online platforms from liability for content posted by users.

The $740.5 billion defense bill, however, was passed by a large enough bipartisan majority in the House to override Trump's refusal to sign it. The annual defense spending authorization bill helps decide troop levels and new weapons systems, as well as other national defense issues.

Dec 28 08:09

Russia's Sniper Rifles Are Downright Scary

Here's What You Need To Remember: The SVDK's 9.3mm cartridge was originally intended to hunt big game - but it works just fine against body armor, too.

The Russian involvement in Syria and Ukraine has provided a wealth of experience to the Russian military. One of the hallmarks of these engagements is the continued use of sniper tactics. As a result, the modern Russian sniper has evolved far beyond the relatively primitive technology used during the Cold War. Most notably, significant attention has been given to sniper systems that have the ability to penetrate body armor. There are currently three sniper systems in current use by the Russian military that pose a significant threat to American troops wearing body armor. Taken together, these systems cover all possible ranges in an engagement: the SVDK, various .338 Lapua systems and the ASVK.

Dec 28 07:33

The cheering section for World War III

America repeatedly elects and re-elects champions of “regime change” in nations abroad (George W. Bush in 2000, Barack Obama in 2008, Donald Trump in 2016, and Joe Biden in 2020), such as in Iraq in 2003, and in Afghanistan in 2001, and in Libya in 2011, and in Syria in 2011-2020, and in Yemen in 2015-2020, and in Ukraine in 2010-2014; and, in all instances, has destroyed those nations while claiming to be supporting ‘human rights’ and ‘democracy’ and to be ‘opposing corruption’ in all of those nations that it was actually destroying.

Dec 28 07:20

Increased NATO activity near Russian borders may one day lead to a ‘serious incident’, top Moscow defense official says

Moscow has warned that increasing Western military activity near Russian borders may ultimately have dangerous consequences. This year has seen more NATO vessels and planes coming close to the country's territory.

Speaking to government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Russia's Deputy Minister of Defense Alexander Fomin recalled some recent close calls, and accused the US and its allies of also using "aggressive rhetoric."

"In 2020, the activity of the air and naval forces [of NATO] has increased significantly, and situations that can lead to serious incidents are increasingly emerging," Fomin said, "These actions were openly provocative. The incidents were avoided only thanks to the high level of professional training of Russian pilots and sailors."

Dec 28 07:16

Russia vows retaliatory moves if US deploys missiles in Europe

Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin has criticized US refusal to extend the New START arms control treaty as well as its plans to deploy missiles in Europe, vowing to take “proportionate retaliatory measures.”

"Russia invited the United States to prolong the New START (Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms) and simultaneously get down to joint work to draft a new agreement that would take into account all factors influencing strategic stability,” Fomin said in an interview with local daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta on Sunday.

“In the light of the current political situation in the United States, we do not rule out that the US stance on this issue may change," Fomin added, while insisting that the American side has different priorities, for which reason it has shown little interest in extending the treaty that will expire on February 5, 2021.

Dec 28 06:44

Democracies Don’t Start Wars. But U.S. Democrats Do.

It may have been President Bill Clinton who once justified his wrecking of the Balkans by observing that liberal interventionism to bring about regime change is a good thing because “Democracies don’t start wars with other democracies.” Or it might have been George W. Bush talking about Iraq or even Barack Obama justifying his destruction of Libya or his interventions relating to Syria and Ukraine. The principle is the same when the world’s only superpower decides to throw its weight around.

Dec 28 06:31

Israeli Military Says Iran Could Attack From Iraq or Yemen

Since Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in an apparent Israeli plot, Israel has been hyping the threat of Iranian retaliation and warning that an attack could happen anywhere. Adding to the hysteria, a spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said Israel expects that an Iranian attack could come from Iraq or Yemen.

In an interview with the Saudi newspaper Elaph, IDF Spokesman Hidai Zilberman said Israel is monitoring Iran’s activity in Iraq and Yemen, calling the two countries Iran’s “second circle” after Lebanon and Syria.

The US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia falsely label Yemen’s Houthis as an Iranian proxy. Houthi attacks inside Saudi Arabia are often framed as Iranian operations despite the five-year US-backed Saudi-led siege on Yemen that has killed hundreds of thousands.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

False flag alert!

Dec 25 08:49

Two desperate men, Trump and Netanyahu, are trying to provoke conflict with Iran

Mainstream media reports on how unhinged Donald Trump is becoming concentrate on his efforts to overturn the U.S. election and on his pardons, but don’t pay enough attention to his threats toward Iran. And the mainstream continues to ignore the fact that a desperate Benjamin Netanyahu keeps trying to provoke a conflict between the U.S. and Tehran.

Trump’s latest warmongering came in a two-part tweet last night. First he claimed that rockets “from IRAN” hit the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Sunday, and he included a photo of 3 of them that he said had “failed to launch.” Then:

…Some friendly health advice to Iran: If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible. Think it over.

Dec 24 07:57

US Army Hits Target 43 Miles Away With Long-Range Cannon 

The Army's Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) system hit a target 43 miles away last week, military officials told Defense News, which marks yet another successful demonstration of a powerful cannon that can fire smart projectiles at long-ranges across the modern battlefield.

ERCA's latest demonstration took place at Arizona's Yuma Proving Ground. The Army fired a Raytheon-made Excalibur extended-range smart artillery shell from a 30-foot gun tube gun that hit its intended target 43 miles away.

"I don't think our adversaries have the ability to hit a target on the nose at 43 miles," Brig. Gen. John Rafferty, director of the Army's Long-Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team, told Defense News.

Even though it took ERCA three shots to hit the target successfully, the cannon still has to be tweaked before operational use is slated for 2023.

Dec 23 18:23

Former US Envoy To Syria Admits Misleading Trump To Keep Troops In Syria

By Brandon Turbeville

In a recent interview with DC-based al-Monitor, former U.S. envoy to Syria, James Jeffrey, revealed what many of us already knew and had been writing about long ago. Namely, that American foreign policy is not directed by the President, but by the military industrial complex and the Deep State itself.

In the interview, Jeffrey, who is supposed to work at the behest of the President, stated that he and his team misled the Trump administration during the course of the war in terms of which direction their “strategy” should take.

Dec 23 09:47

Netanyahu hints Israel won't shy away from military action against Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted that Israel would not shy away from military action against Iran when he spoke at the graduation ceremony for IDF pilots on Wednesday.

"We will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons," Netanyahu said.

"We do not take lightly the threats made against us, nor do we shy away from them," Netanyahu said.

"Our policy is clear and consistent: whoever tries to harm us will suffer a crushing blow.

Dec 23 09:40

Russian and Chinese bombers fly joint patrol over Pacific

Russian and Chinese bombers flew a joint patrol mission over the Western Pacific Tuesday in a show of increasingly close military ties between Moscow and Beijing.

The Russian military said that a pair of its Tu-95 strategic bombers and four Chinese H-6K bombers flew over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that the joint mission was intended to “develop and deepen the comprehensive Russia-China partnership, further increase the level of cooperation between the two militaries, expand their ability for joint action and strengthen strategic stability.”

The ministry added that the patrol flight “wasn't directed against any third countries.”

Dec 22 10:33

America’s New Ford Carrier Class Is Flawed Junk That Will Be Impossible to Rely On

The Navy has, essentially, stopped releasing any data or information on the Ford, even to DOT&E which has noted that the Navy is no longer providing EMALS (Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System) and AAG (Advanced Arresting Gear) performance and reliability data.

That leaves us to infer the state of the Ford so … let’s do some inferring!

EMALS

How is EMALS coming along? Well, you’ll recall that the last data we had from DOT&E, before the Navy stopped providing data – which should, itself, infer something negative about the system – , showed that the system was failing at a staggering rate.

Dec 22 08:25

US Army Moves Step Closer to ‘Drone Tank’ Development

The US Army on Friday released its request for proposals to develop an Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV), a potentially unmanned ground combat vehicle to hopefully replace the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

This new “drone tank” will have the option of being remotely operated, in this way comparable to aerial combat drones under deployment by the US military for the last 20 years.

Friday’s request sets a deadline of April 18 next year for the submission of defense contractor’s proposals.

With a list of general requirements for the new vehicle, the army is relying on industry partners to design next-generation solutions for the challenges of the 21st-century battlefield.

Dec 22 08:15

Air Force Tests Drone-Killing Microwave Weapon In Africa 

The Air Force is testing a high-energy microwave weapon system in Africa to combat armed drones operated by terrorists.

In April, we first reported the Air Force would test a new prototype drone-killing microwave weapon overseas for a 12-month assessment. At the time, there was no mention by the service of where the testing would be conducted until now.

Dec 22 07:47

US, Japan, and France Hold Naval Exercise in Philippine Sea

Last week, a US Navy guided-missile destroyer held anti-submarine warfare drills with a French submarine and a Japanese carrier in the Philippine Sea. The drill was a rare joint exercise with France in the Pacific and is a sign of things to come as both the US and its European allies are looking to counter China in the region.

“Although one of the US’s long-standing allies, it is a rare opportunity for US Navy maritime forces to conduct operations with their French Navy counterparts in the Seventh Fleet area of operations,” The US Navy’s Seventh Fleet said in a statement. The fleet is based out of Japan and operates across the Indo-Pacific region.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported that the US, Japan, and France will hold their first joint land and sea military exercises in May 2021. In comments to Japan’s Sankei newspaper, a French naval leader made it clear that the future exercises are aimed at Beijing.

Dec 22 07:36

States must take the lead to get U.S. out of pointless and endless wars

While President Trump was negotiating yet another peace agreement this week — this time between Israel and Morocco — his enemies beat the drums of war in their ongoing effort to overthrow the America First foreign policy.

It’s sad that throughout the entirety of Mr. Trump’s presidency, the swamp has worked around the clock to dismantle his efforts toward peace. Even worse, with the passage of the disastrous, $740.5 billion 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), it appears the neocons and pro-war left will soon regain the levers of federal power, plunging America into another four years of stupid, pointless, endless wars abroad.

Dec 22 07:35

Congress races to pass $2.3T spending deal, with $696B for Pentagon

Congress is rocketing to pass a massive $2.3 trillion spending package by Monday at 11:59 p.m. that includes pandemic relief and federal spending, with $696 billion for the Pentagon.

The full-year Pentagon spending bill released Monday morning as part of the mega package represents a $2.6 billion increase over the 2020-enacted level but $2.1 billion less than President Donald Trump’s 2021 budget request.

It shakes out to $627.3 billion in base funding and $68.7 billion in wartime overseas contingency operations funding.

The deal includes $1.4 trillion in regular federal government spending for 2021 and $900 billion in coronavirus relief. One of the largest relief packages in modern history, it includes an extension of a reimbursement program for federal contractors under Section 3610 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Dec 21 11:14

GUARDIANS OF SPACE CAMELS

In a revelation that should have happened on April 1, but actually happened on December 18, the United States Space Force finally revealed the name with which its troops are to be referred as: Guardians.

Now, the Space Force not only has the logo taken from Star Trek, but is also testing its luck with playing with the superhero film “Guardians of the Galaxy”. According to the Pentagon, it took an entire year’s worth of thinking to come up with a name that’s directly taken from a movie that came 6 years ago, back in 2014.

Guardians of the Galaxy features Chris Pratt in the role of “Starlord” whose humorous adventures and misadventures lead him to saving some parts of the galaxy, but not really the entire galaxy. Contrary to its prototype, the US Space Force hasn’t had any adventures yet, and it is questionable if it will anytime soon. Especially if incoming President Joe Biden cancels the entire thing.

Dec 21 08:30

Preparing For War? Greece Increases Military Spending 57% Amid Row With Turkey

Greece has increased military spending by 57% to 5.5 billion euros, amid increased tension with Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean, a new report has revealed.

To strengthen their forces, Greece intends to complete the purchase of 18 French-made Rafale fighters, and to acquire new frigates, helicopters and drones.

Greece also intends to modernize its old fleet of F-16 fighters and increase its troop numbers by 15,000, Reuters reported last week.

Dec 19 08:35

Troop deployment to certain states?

Dec 18 12:41

Senators Liken Hack To "Russian Invasion" As Biden Vows Retaliation

Despite the lack of evidence that Russia was behind a massive hack that appears to have targeted several US government agencies, US senators are calling for retaliation against Moscow, even likening the cyberattack to an "invasion".

"This is virtually a declaration of war by Russia on the United States and we should take that seriously," Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday. On Thursday, Durbin called for a response against Moscow on the Senate floor, describing the hack as a "virtual invasion."

"No, I’m not calling for an invasion myself or all-out war. I don’t want to see that happen, but it’s no longer a buddy-buddy arrangement between the United States and Vladimir Putin," he said on Thursday. "When adversaries such as Russia torment us, tempt us, breach the security of our nation, we need to respond in kind."

Dec 18 12:22

Joe Biden to Stacey Abrams: "If We Had 10 Of You, We Could Rule The Whole World"

President-elect Joe Biden at a Georgia Senate runoff campaign event on Tuesday: "What about the one and only Stacey Abrams? Stacey if we had 10 of you we could rule the whole world. God love you. You’re doing an incredible job. And here is there anyone in America who has done more to protect the right to vote in this election, is there anyone who’s done more to make sure the voice of every Georgian is heard? I don’t think so."

Dec 18 12:04

VA to Give Nonwhites Higher Priority Access to Vaccine

The Department of Veterans Affairs is going to give priority to black and Hispanic veterans over white and Asian veterans when administering the vaccine for COVID-19. This racial preference is unconstitutional.

The VA is doing this because it thinks blacks and Hispanics are at greater risk. But these minorities are not inherently at greater risk of contracting the virus. There is nothing special about their genes that puts them in danger.

Dec 18 11:51

Pentagon Abruptly Halts Biden Transition Briefings, Leaving Officials "Stunned"

Axios' Jonathan Swan reports a bombshell potential major disruption in a key part of the presidential transition before President-Elect Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20: the Pentagon has without warning or explanation halted Biden's intelligence transition briefings.

Reports Swan: "Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller ordered a Pentagon-wide halt to cooperation with the transition of President-elect Biden, shocking officials across the Defense Department, senior administration officials tell Axios."

Biden's team has so far maintained that it's unaware of the directive while Pentagon officials are said to be stunned and in the dark: "Administration officials left open the possibility cooperation would resume after a holiday pause," the breaking Axios report notes. "The officials were unsure what prompted Miller's action, or whether President Trump approved."

Dec 18 09:22

Air Force Veterans of Plutonium Dust Disaster Win Class Action Standing

Air force veterans exposed to plutonium after a first-ever US nuclear weapons disaster in Spain have won extremely rare recognition as a class in a lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs.

On Jan. 17, 1966, an air force B-52 bomber exploded over the village of Palomares, Spain during a routine airborne refueling. Seven airmen were killed and the bomber’s four hydrogen bombs were thrown to the earth. Conventional explosives (not the nuclear warheads) in two of the bombs detonated in massive explosions, one right in the village, gouging massive, plutonium-covered craters and spewing as much as 22 pounds of pulverized plutonium dust over houses, streets and farm fields.

Dec 18 08:27

Pentagon lost track of over HALF of ‘sensitive’ equipment provided to Afghanistan’s military – watchdog

The US military has failed to keep track of assorted “sensitive” devices such as night-vision devices, surveillance systems, and other kit it provided to the Afghan government, a US watchdog has found.

The severe lack of accounting of the military toys provided to Kabul was exposed in a new report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).

The Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A) tasked with providing so-called end-use monitoring (EUM) needed to ensure the provided equipment was utilized exactly as agreed, but failed to track more than half of the items it should have checked on during the latest 365-day period.

“We determined that CSTC-A did not inventory 60 percent of enhanced EUM-designated defense articles – those considered to contain sensitive technology – between May 2019 and April 2020 because of security constraints and travel limitations,” the report reads.

ALSO ON RT.COM

Dec 18 08:24

Who is provoking who? US Navy says Russia ‘threat to peace’ as Moscow switches on system designed to spot NAVAL INVASIONS

Relations between Russia and NATO are in choppy waters with two Western capitals accusing Moscow of threatening ‘global peace.' But will the bloc's plans to send more warships to the Black Sea help pull things back from the brink?

On Thursday, the US Navy’s new strategy document pointed the finger at “increasingly aggressive” Russia along with China as “the two most significant threats to this era of global peace and prosperity.” It gave a stark warning about Russia’s growing technological capabilities, including “nuclear and advanced missile systems” and “state-of-the-art air defenses.”

Dec 18 08:12

Neocons want us to belly up for one more round of war

The Foundation for the Defense Democracies has just issued a collection of (mostly warmed over) essays that carries the title “Defending Forward: Securing America by Projecting Military Power Abroad.” But it’s the subtitle that tells the tale: The volume’s overarching purpose is to argue against any reevaluation of the existing U.S. global military posture.

Reevaluation apparently risks the possibility of retrenchment which ostensibly implies isolationism which inevitably leads to bad people like Nazis trying to take over the world. As everyone knows, history itself definitively proves this. Needless to say, in a collection like this, opportunities to quote Winston Churchill abound.

Dec 18 08:11

America’s Ongoing Imperial Scam

One week after the most attention-demanding election of our lifetimes, another Veteran’s Day came and went. For the occasion, presumed President-elect Joe Biden laid a wreath at the Korean War Memorial in Philadelphia; whilst yet-to-conceded incumbent President Donald Trump held a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

Both channeled and invoked the great reverence Americans still hold for veterans of the bygone Second World War and more complicated Korean conflagration. Only some 300,000 of the men, and women, who fought in the former are still living. No doubt we will continue to hear how many succumbed to Covid-19 in the past year, and whose fault that is.

Dec 18 07:44

AI TAKES AUTONOMOUS CONTROL TO FLY U-2 SPY PLANE MISSION

On December 15, the United States Air Force successfully flew an AI copilot on a U-2 spy plane in California, marking the first time AI has controlled a U.S. military system. In this Popular Mechanics exclusive, Dr. Will Roper, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, reveals how he and his team made history.

For Star Wars fans, an X-Wing fighter isn’t complete without R2-D2. Whether you need to fire up converters, increase power, or fix a broken stabilizer, that trusty droid, full of lively beeps and squeaks, is the ultimate copilot.

Teaming artificial intelligence (AI) with pilots is no longer just a matter for science fiction or blockbuster movies. On Tuesday, December 15, the Air Force successfully flew an AI copilot on a U-2 spy plane in California: the first time AI has controlled a U.S. military system.

Dec 17 13:36

Space Command Says Russia Just Tested Another Anti-Satellite Missile, Blasts "Hostile Act"

It appears the US Space Force already has some justification for its existence as Russia has this week test-fired a new anti-satellite missile, according to US officials.

Chief of the Space Command, Army Gen. James Dickinson, condemned what he called Russia's making space a "warfighting domain" by its provocative actions in statements issued Wednesday, a day after the Russian test. While details of the alleged test were not immediately given or confirmed by the Russian side or in state media, US Space Command described it as a ground-launched "direct-ascent" missile, as opposed to one fired from orbit.

"Russia has made space a warfighting domain by testing space-based and ground-based weapons intended to target and destroy satellites," Gen. Dickinson said. "This fact is inconsistent with Moscow’s public claims that Russia seeks to prevent conflict in space."

Dec 17 13:23

Pandemic Leaves More Military Families Seeking Food Assistance

Fort Bragg, the largest military base in the United States, has all the trappings of a small American city: shopping centers, a barber shop and social clubs. In a sign of the times, it also has a food bank.

This spring, the Y.M.C.A. on base — which started a food pantry last year to respond to the growing food insecurity among military families — saw a 40 percent increase in requests for groceries. During the same period, grocery requests to AmericaServes, a network that helps military families, jumped to the biggest service request in the organization’s history.

The story is much the same around the country, hunger groups say, for the lowest-income families in the military, who have a specific set of challenges, and different from civilians whose economic fortunes have also been damaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

Dec 17 13:14

Taiwan Says US Has Approved Key Submarine Technology Sale

The United States has issued an export permit for a digital sonar system critical to Taiwan’s indigenous submarine project, a top defense official said Wednesday.

Taipei was notified by Washington on Tuesday that the permit has been granted, vice defense minister Chang Che-ping said during a parliament session.

The digital sonar system and an integrated combat system are two key components Taiwan needs to build its own modern submarines. Chang did not elaborate on the status of the combat system.

Taiwan began construction on a fleet of indigenous submarines last month, the latest move by the out-gunned island to bolster its defenses against an increasingly bellicose Beijing.

Dec 17 07:09

Aussie Officer Guzzling Beer From Dead Taliban Fighter’s Prosthetic Limb Mentored Troops on 'Ethics'

After a November report by New South Wales Supreme Court Judge and Army Reserve Major General Paul Brereton, that found "credible information" about Australian soldiers being involved in the alleged killing of civilians and prisoners in Afghanistan, the army fired 13 servicemen in connection with the four-year probe.

An Australian senior Special Forces soldier pictured drinking beer out of a killed Taliban fighter's prosthetic leg in a bar in Afghanistan is reported to have recently lectured troops on army ethics and integrity, writes the Daily Mail.

A 50-year-old veteran of overseas deployments, Warrant Officer Class 1 John Letch, Command Sergeant Major of the Special Operations Command, voluntarily retired after a pixelated copy of the controversial photograph, believed to be showing a scene from an unofficial pub set up inside Australia’s special forces base in Tarin Kowt in 2009, was leaked at the start of the month.

Dec 16 07:22

Trump Weighs Executive Order for Ill Veterans Who Served at Toxic 'Black Goo' Base

President Donald Trump is considering an executive order to help veterans who became ill after they deployed to a toxic base in Uzbekistan after the 9/11 attacks.

Thousands of service members deployed to Karshi-Khanabad, Uzbekistan, or K2, living in tents above ground that was saturated with solvents and fuels that formed a “black goo” under their feet. A year ago, McClatchy exclusively reported on the illnesses now facing K2 veterans, who have had difficulty getting the Department of Veterans Affairs to recognize and cover their medical costs.

The executive order would help those veterans by adding Uzbekistan to the VA’s registry of locations with known burn pit exposure, according to two sources familiar with the order. It would also allow K2 veterans to get access to depleted uranium screenings as they seek medical care from the VA for a variety of illnesses they now face, the sources said.

Dec 16 07:21

Army CID is burned out and mismanaged by military police leadership, special agents say

Army Criminal Investigation Command has been dealing with inexperienced and overworked investigators at large Army posts for years, according to four career special agents who’ve served at a mix of domestic and overseas CID offices.

Many of the problems stem from CID’s subordination to military police officers, who lack backgrounds in felony investigations but influence priorities. Equally troubling are the security details to protect senior Pentagon officials, which steal away a large number of investigators in their prime, said the four agents, who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect their current and future jobs.

Newly minted agents are routinely dispatched to large bases, like Fort Hood, Fort Bragg or Fort Lewis, where they make up a significant portion of investigators assigned there, according to the agents.

Dec 16 06:54

France Says Its Developing Bionic Supersoldiers Because "Everyone Else Is Doing It"

A report published Tuesday by the French Military Ethics Committee has indicated that the country has begun to develop technology for bionically enhanced soldiers. The report discussed conditions in which devices like implants can be used to improve soldier performance on the battlefield.

“Human beings have long sought ways to increase their physical or cognitive abilities in order to fight wars. Possible advances could ultimately lead to capacity enhancements being introduced into soldiers’ bodies,” the report said, according to the BBC.

The report said that maintaining clear ethical lines would be important in the development of bionic soldiers.

The report called for eugenic or genetic applications of the technology to be banned, as well as anything “that could jeopardise the soldier’s integration into society or return to civilian life”.

Dec 16 06:50

US Navy's New Shipbuilding Plan Wants To "Achieve Maritime Supremacy" Amid Rising China

The Trump administration recently announced a new long-term shipbuilding plan that will boost the Navy's fleet as it confronts a rising China in the South China Sea.

According to Bloomberg, citing a senior admin official, the Navy's shipbuilding budget for fiscal 2022 would increase by 33% to $27 billion over this fiscal year. By 2023, it would increase to $28.5 billion, reaching $38.5 billion in fiscal 2026.

The ambitious plan to rebuild the Navy after decades of cuts to shipbuilding comes as the fleet has been stripped down to a size barely larger than it was nearly a century ago.

Dec 16 06:36

Eastern [African] Exposure: Ethiopia, Ethnicity, and other Kindling for Tigray’s Backstory

There’s a whole mess of bloody messes around the world that few Americans care about. In fact, they could form a whole category of conflict labeled: "Top Ten Violent Hot Spots You’ve Never Heard Of (But Should Have)." The list might include, for starters, Nigeria’s resource war between herders and farmers (six times deadlier than the country’s well-publicized Boko Haram conflict in 2018); South Sudan’s dormant – for now – civil war (400,000 killed from 2013-18); and the Indo-Pakistani contest for Kashmir (70,000 dead in just the internal conflict over 30 years). Recently, I wrote four columns about another prime candidate – the Armenian-Azerbaijani war for Nagorno-Karabakh that isn’t so likely to be thrown back in the ice box with the other “frozen conflicts” this time around.

Dec 16 06:28

John Pilger: The most lethal virus is not Covid. It is war.

Britain’s Armed Forces Memorial is a silent, haunting place.
Set in the rural beauty of Staffordshire, in an arboretum of some 30,000 trees and sweeping lawns, its Homeric figures celebrate determination and sacrifice.

The names of more than 16,000 British servicemen and women are listed. The literature says they “died in operational theatre or were targeted by terrorists”.

On the day I was there, a stonemason was adding new names to those who have died in some 50 operations across the world during what is known as “peacetime”. Malaya, Ireland, Kenya, Hong Kong, Libya, Iraq, Palestine and many more, including secret operations, such as Indochina.

Not a year has passed since peace was declared in 1945 that Britain has not sent military forces to fight the wars of empire.

Dec 15 08:39

Trump Repeats Threat to Veto NDAA, Says the Bill Is a Gift to China

On Sunday, President Trump repeated his threat to veto the $740 billion 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) after the massive spending bill was passed through both chambers of Congress.

The president wrote on Twitter: “THE BIGGEST WINNER OF OUR NEW DEFENSE BILL IS CHINA! I WILL VETO!”

It’s not clear what aspect of the NDAA Trump thinks is a gift to China. The 4,517-page bill includes multiple sections that call for evaluations of Beijing’s activities in Taiwan, Xinjiang, the cyber-realm, space, and other areas. Members of Congress were quick to point out how “tough” the bill is on China.

“President Trump clearly hasn’t read the bill, nor does he understand what’s in it,” Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) said in response to Trump’s tweet. “There are several bipartisan provisions in here that get tougher on China than the Trump Administration has ever been.”

Dec 15 08:36

Missing sailor from the USS Theodore Roosevelt declared dead

Asailor from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, who has been missing since Dec. 10, has been declared dead, Navy officials announced.

Search and rescue efforts ended on Dec. 12 after failing to locate the sailor, according to U.S. 3rd Fleet.

“The loss of our sailor is felt deeply by all on board,” Capt. Eric Anduze, the Theodore Roosevelt’s commanding officer, said in a statement. “The entire Theodore Roosevelt team sends our deepest condolences to the family of our missing shipmate.”

During more than 55 hours, the Theodore Roosevelt along with other Navy and Coast Guard ships and aircraft searched more than 607 square nautical miles for the sailor, whose name has not been officially released by the Navy, a 3rd Fleet news release says.

Dec 15 08:00

Imperialism 2.0: Notes from the Edge of the Narrative Matrix

The new imperialism doesn’t look like old-school ground invasions, it looks like multi-front cold wars, economic warfare, blockades and starvation sanctions, drone strikes, arming proxy militias, CIA-backed coups, sprawling tech surveillance networks, mass psyops of unprecedented sophistication and narrative management systems to facilitate them. Peace activists need to be looking in this direction, especially as the US gets a new Secretary of State who advocates this exact approach to imperialism.

Imperialism 2.0 is designed to operate so invisibly we don’t even notice it’s happening. No mass troop deployments, no flag-draped bodies flying home in planes, and (they hope) no potent antiwar movement in response to it.

Dec 15 07:20

Intelligence and military researchers want to merge facial recognition with other biometric methods to identify people from long distances and steep angles

The intelligence community wants to put biometric identification technology on drones but has hit a wall when it comes to the most widely used biometric: facial recognition.

Federal programs experimenting with facial recognition technology have found the reliability depends greatly on lighting, camera position and other environmental factors—elements that are almost impossible to control at long range. But improvements in computer vision and techniques that take a subject’s entire body into account are increasing the possibilities.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, or IARPA, issued a broad agency announcement solicitation for its latest attempt to improve biometrics at range, the Biometric Recognition and Identification at Altitude and Range, or BRIAR, program.

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Even with those Covid masks on every face?!?

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