WAR/DRAFT/VETERAN AFFAIRS | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

WAR/DRAFT/VETERAN AFFAIRS

Mar 10 07:36

Project Force: Hypersonic weapons and the new space race

In the never-ending quest to find weapons that will give a country the power it needs to knock out its adversaries, a new type of weapon has emerged: ultra-fast “hypersonic” missiles that can change targets anywhere on Earth within an hour.

Our modern life and its increasing reliance on an ever-expanding network and array of satellites mean that, once again, space has emerged as a new arena for warfare.

Mar 10 07:22

THE FINANCIAL CONSEQUENCES OF THE  WAR

The British and French Treasuries were called upon during the first year of the Great War to finance not only their only their own armies, also the else the armies of their poorer allies. Towards the end of 1915 France was obliged to pledge all her gold withdrawn from circulation and all her best shares, both French and foreign, at New York in order to pay the United States for goods furnished. The British Treasury was then forced to shoulder the whole burden: it too, became exhausted and in March 1917 was unable to meet a call of 50 millions.

Mar 10 07:19

U.S. Army helicopters arrive at northern French port of Dunkirk

The U.S. Army 21st Theater Sustainment Command has reported that military helicopters and equipment from the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, arrived March 6, 2021, at the Port of Dunkirk, France.

According to a recent news release, the aviation brigade is home-stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas and its equipment arrived aboard the Endurance, a commercial vessel chartered by the U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command.

The brigade is deploying to Europe in support of Atlantic Resolve, and will conduct bilateral and multinational training events with more than a dozen NATO allies and partner nations. These exercises build readiness and strengthen relationships between U.S. forces and our allies and partners.

Mar 10 06:45

U.S. plans to deploy long-range missiles in Asia to deter 'our greatest strategic threat'

The U.S. military plans to deploy long-range missiles in Asia capable of threatening China as part of efforts to deter a conflict with Beijing, the commander of American military forces in the Pacific said Tuesday.

Adm. Philip S. Davidson, who soon will be retiring as the four-star commander of the Indo Pacific Command, also told a congressional hearing his most pressing defense need is a ground-based missile defense system on the U.S. island of Guam to provide 360-degree defense from a potential Chinese attack.

With the Biden administration still formulating its diplomatic and security strategy for East Asia, Adm. Davidson told the Senate Armed Services Committee that “the greatest long-term strategic threat to security in the 21st century [is] China.” The Pentagon is pressing for a major increase in funding for the theater.

Mar 09 13:28

Remote C.I.A. Base in the Sahara Steadily Grows

Deep in the Sahara, the C.I.A. is continuing to conduct secret drone flights from a small but steadily expanding air base, even as the Biden administration has temporarily limited drone strikes against suspected terrorists outside conventional war zones, such as Afghanistan, while it weighs whether to tighten Trump-era rules for such operations.

Soon after it set up the base in northern Niger three years ago, the C.I.A. was poised to launch drone strikes from the site.

But there is no public evidence that the agency has carried out anything but surveillance missions so far. The base was added to a small commercial airport largely to pay closer attention to southwestern Libya, a notorious haven for Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and other extremist groups that operate in the Sahel region of Niger, Chad and Mali.

The expanding capabilities at the base indicate that the C.I.A. would be ready to carry out armed drone strikes if the high-level review permits them.

Mar 09 12:14

Dr. Seuss Made World War II Cartoons That Definitely Aren't for Kids

Theodor Geisel wrote dozens of beloved children's books under his pen name of Dr. Seuss. "The Cat in the Hat," "Green Eggs and Ham," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "The Lorax" are just the highlights from a collection that has remained popular for several generations.

Many people don't realize that the good doctor had a long and successful career as a commercial illustrator and political cartoonist before he became famous for his kids' literature. The Dartmouth College grad was approaching 40 when he joined the U.S. Army in 1943. He was put in command of the animation department of the 1st Motion Picture Unit, which was created out of the Army Signal Corps.

Mar 09 12:10

XVIII Airborne Corps Requests Letters for WWII Paratrooper, 97, in ‘Rough Shape’

Kenneth “Rock” Merritt is a legend in the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

He’s a World War II paratrooper whose battle resume reads like a history book of the U.S. Army: Operation Overlord, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge, Korea, Vietnam and more. He served in the Army for 35 years and is the only soldier to be the corps’ command sergeant major twice.

Today, he’s in what the XVIII Airborne Corps calls “rough shape.’’ Through its Facebook page, the corps is asking the veteran community (or anyone who wants to help an old soldier get well) to send him a letter.

Mar 09 12:07

Xi Alerts Military "Be Prepared To Respond" In Current "Unstable & Uncertain" Situation

During the major annual legislative session in Beijing on Tuesday President Xi Jinping addressed top leaders of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), telling the military it must be "prepared to respond" in increasingly difficult and complex security challenges facing the nation.

"The current security situation of our country is largely unstable and uncertain," Xi said in the address which comes two days after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi gave his own fiery warning to the same assembly saying the US is "crossing lines" and "playing with fire" on Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan.

Mar 09 08:45

China Stole The Designs Of The F-22 Stealth Fighter (And More)

In late December 2019, the Russian military defense conglomerate Rostec accused China of unauthorized acquisition of Russian military hardware intellectual property (IP), which resulted in increased tensions between the two partners. Between 2014 and 2018, Russia had been China’s biggest arms supplier and accounted for seventy percent of Beijing’s arms imports.

While it is unlikely that Russia would cut back on the sales, reverse-engineering of the military hardware has become a major concern for Moscow, which has accused China of copying everything from aircraft engines to air-defense systems. Instead of an embargo, Russia has responded by insisting that weapons are purchased in bulk to combat the likelihood of reverse-purchases that come when Beijing only bought a few samples. Moreover, Russia has largely come to accept Chinese IP theft as a cost of doing business, while at the same time Moscow could maintain a technological edge.

Mar 09 08:29

What Was World War II About?

World War II Has many origins. For Germany the war originated in the Versailles Treaty that stripped Germany of territory and imposed reparations for World War I in violation of President Wilson’s Fourteen Points. Hitler wanted German territory returned from France, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, and Poland, and to unify the German people.

For Japan it was desire for colonies or empire like the Europeans and the need for raw materials and energy.

For the British disturbed by revanchist Germany the concern was maintaining British hegemony over Europe. For Churchill war was the road to power and an opportunity to be a great war leader like his famous ancestor, the Duke of Marlborough.

For Stalin it was an opportunity to expand communism once Britain, France, and Germany had exhausted themselves in another war.

What was the American agenda?

Mar 09 07:28

Air Force Base Prepping for EMP Vulnerability Tests

The Joint Base San Antonio in Lackland, Texas, is preparing to test its infrastructure against an EMP attack, which consists of an electromagnetic pulse. The base is also seeking to conduct preliminary site surveys to design future tests. The base is seeking an EMP tailored survey of the Petroleum, Oil, and Lubrication complex, which makes up multiple buildings in two areas of the base. The test is being conducted in accordance with a Trump administration executive order that requires the military to devote more resources to defend against EMP attacks.

Mar 08 15:04

The Army’s New Goggles Let Soldiers See Right Through Walls

The U.S. Army’s new goggles can help soldiers see right through the walls of combat vehicles, which means infantry troops will have unparalleled situational awareness.

The Army is developing its Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) goggles for close-combat forces, including mounted and dismounted troops, particularly infantry. The service hopes to field tens of thousands of the goggles, which can also help soldiers see in the dark, check around corners, and even project digital maps and other data onto the lenses.

Mar 08 13:41

9 Signs That Chess Pieces Are Being Moved Into Place For A Major War In The Middle East

The American people are really going to regret putting the warmongers back in control.  Joe Biden has been in the White House for less than two months, and the warmongers that Biden has surrounded himself with have been feverishly setting the stage for the next war in the Middle East.  I do not believe that it will start within the next week, but I do believe that it is inevitable.  While President Trump was in the White House for four years, the U.S. didn’t start any new conflicts, but now the Biden administration is quite determined to start projecting “American influence” all over the globe once again.  Most Americans don’t understand the bigger picture, but the truth is that this is going to have very serious implications over the next few years.

Mar 08 08:47

Joe Biden waves the white flag on the Pentagon budget

It appears that the U.S. military has dodged a bullet. Defense officials reported last week that rather than cut the Pentagon budget, the Biden White House will “flatline” military expenditures, postponing a reset of defense spending priorities.

A senior Pentagon official confirms the report, first headlined in Breaking Defense, telling me that the Biden defense budget (due for release on May 3), will come in at just over $696 billion (total national security outlays, including those to the Department of Energy, could total more than $735 billion), a figure comparable to the base funding provided to the Pentagon in 2021. Put simply, the new Biden administration will keep in place the lavish spending on defense that was a hallmark of the Trump years — a decision likely to spur howls of protest from Biden’s progressive supporters.

Mar 08 08:46

Capitalizing on conflict: How defense contractors and foreign nations lobby for arms sales

Defense companies spend millions every year lobbying politicians and donating to their campaigns. In the past two decades, their extensive network of lobbyists and donors have directed $285 million in campaign contributions and $2.5 billion in lobbying spending to influence defense policy. To further these goals they hired more than 200 lobbyists who have worked in the same government that regulates and decides funding for the industry.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

" What can the world, or any nation in it, hope for if no turning is found on this dread road? The worst to be feared and the best to be expected can be simply stated. The worst is atomic war. The best would be this: a life of perpetual fear and tension; a burden of arms draining the wealth and labor of all peoples; a wasting of strength that defies the American system, or the Soviet system, or any system to achieve true abundance and happiness for the peoples of this earth.

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

"This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

"This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Mar 08 08:40

The British Army Is Shrinking: Smallest In 400 Years

Despite having an “empire” on which the sun never set, the British Army wasn’t exactly large in numbers. Yet, prior to the First World War, Great Britain had the only true “professional” army in Europe in that it was a small volunteer force made up of about 400,000 soldiers. Of those about 247,000 served in the Regular Army while another 145,000 served in the Territorial Force.

It wasn’t until after the introduction of conscription, which began in January 1916, that the British Army reached its peak of strength. By the end of 1918, there were more than four million soldiers and seventy divisions serving for King and Country.

That was then.

Mar 08 07:42

What Does It Say When The White House Itself Boasts About Working To Limit Biden's Powers?

In a very odd admission from the White House about their own President's powers, press secretary Jen Psaki revealed on Friday that the current administration is “committed” to working with Congress to replace the Presidential War Power with “a narrow and specific framework,” to ensure the government both protects Americans and stops endless wars.

“We are committed to working with Congress to ensure that the authorizations for the use of military force currently on the books are replaced with a narrow and specific framework that will ensure we can protect Americans from terrorist threats while ending the forever wars,” Psaki tweeted.

Psaki went on to praise Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who co-sponsored a bill to repeal the current presidential war power, noting that Kaine has been a leader on questions of war powers, helping to build a strong bipartisan coalition that understands the importance of Congress’s constitutional rights.

Mar 08 07:40

US to build anti-China missile network along first island chain

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. will bolster its conventional deterrence against China, establishing a network of precision-strike missiles along the so-called first island chain as part of $27.4 billion in spending to be considered for the Indo-Pacific theater over the next six years, Nikkei has learned.

Mar 08 07:39

How the US military is preparing for a war with China

Admiral James Stavridis was 16th Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and 12th Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He spent the bulk of his operational career in the Pacific, and is author of "2034: A Novel of the Next World War."

The Atlantic Council's publication of The Longer Telegram, which lays out a sweeping blueprint for a U.S. strategy to face China, provides significant clues about a new lay-down of American forces around east Asia.

Whether the new Biden administration fully embraces the paper's aggressive stance remains to be seen, but elements are under serious consideration. Certainly, the new team at the National Security Council, led by highly respected Asia hand Kurt Campbell and a deep bench of Asia experts, will be looking at a wide variety of options for the military component of a new overall strategic posture.

Mar 04 09:34

US Indo-Pacific Command Seeks $27 Billion To Face China

With US foreign policy increasingly focused on Asia to counter Chain, the US military’s command in the region is looking for more money. In a new report delivered to Congress on Monday, US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) calls for about $27 billion in additional spending between 2022 and 2027, so it can better confront Beijing.

The report, prepared by INDOPACOM chief Adm. Philip Davidson, is similar to a proposal the command issued last year, although it has some key changes. Last year’s report was required by what is called the Pacific Deterrent Initiative (PDI), which was included in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The PDI was also included in the 2021 NDAA. It was inserted into the military spending bills to ensure INDOPACOM has what it needs to counter Beijing and fulfill the 2018 National Defense Strategy, which outlines the military’s shift away from counterterrorism in the Middle East towards so-called "great power competition" with Russia and China.

Mar 04 09:33

US Marines Commandant Wants to Dump All Tanks & 12K Troops as He Switches “Focus” From Russia to China

The Marine Corps commandant has for the first time put Russia alongside Iran, North Korea, and extremist groups as areas that will “continue to pose threats,” while elevating China to the undisputed top of threats facing US policy makers.

“China will remain the pacing threat for the next decade,” Berger wrote in the memo obtained by Breaking Defense, a point he has made before while usually including Russia as a close second.

The ordering of the Marine Corps’ threat picture over the next decade marks a major downgrade for how the Corps sees Russia, though Gen. David Berger’s Feb. 23 memo to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin largely maintains the major internal reforms he’s pushed over the past two years. Those efforts, which include divesting of the Corps’ inventory of Abrams tanks and shedding 12,000 Marines, has been aimed at reinventing the Corps for operations across the expanses of the Pacific.

Mar 03 12:32

Philippines Signs Agreement to Buy Russian-Indian BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missiles

BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture by India and Russia, is on a marketing drive for its powerful anti-ship supersonic cruise missiles in south-east Asia and the Middle East, in a total of 14 countries. The missile is considered the world’s deadliest and can hit a target at speed of around Mach 3 (ie, three times the speed of sound).

In a major development that could change the power dynamics in south-east Asia, the Philippines signed an agreement for a potential supply of BrahMos cruise missiles on Tuesday, the country's Department of National Defence revealed.

Present at the signing ceremony, held at Camp Aguinaldo - the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines - were Raymundo Elefante, Undersecretary at the Department of National Defence, and India’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Shambhu Kumaran.

“We are buying the BrahMos missiles,” Defence Secretary of the Philippines, Delfin Lorenzana, said after the signing ceremony without giving any further details.

Mar 03 12:30

FLASHBACK - Russian Warships Arrive in Philippines as Manila Distances Itself From U.S.

Three Russian ships docked in Manila, the Philippines for a five-day port call on Monday aimed at improving navy-to-navy relations amid heightened tensions in the South China Sea.

The arrival of two anti-submarine ships Admiral Tributs and Admiral Vinogradov and a tanker ship is the sixth visit by the Russian navy under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte who has distanced himself from treaty ally U.S. and sought closer ties with Russia. The Philippines and China have both laid claim to large portions of the South China Sea, with China building militarized artificial islands across the important shipping lane.

The Russian warships will hold goodwill exercises including joint drills on navigation and communication as well as trainings with the Philippines’ quick response forces, the Philippine News Agency reported.

The Russian visit comes in the middle of U.S.-Philippine military drills involving 7,500 troops that wrap up on April 12, according to CNN.

Mar 03 12:29

FLASHBACK - As US Military Moves Into Palau, China Watches Intently

The United States is stepping up its military presence and activity in and around the small island nation of Palau in the Philippine Sea, a strategic location coveted by Pentagon planners as the US looks to expand its footprint in the region.

The past two months have seen visits by both the secretaries of Defense and the Navy, where commitments were offered about more US attention to the country, according to meeting notes seen by Breaking Defense.

The president of Palau, Tommy Remengesau, recently handed letters to the two US officials in which he asked the US to consider building a new base in his small nation of 17,000 inhabitants.

The letter, passed to Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite, said the archipelago boasts “port facilities, secondary airfields, law enforcement training grounds and maritime enforcement and surveillance facilities,” which can be used as “opportunities to strengthen US military readiness.”

Mar 03 11:05

A THIRD of all military personnel are refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine with alarmed commanders aiming to make the shot mandatory 'as soon as possible'

Some personnel are reluctant to receive the vaccine due to backlash from the military's rushed rollout of an anthrax vaccine back in the 1990s.

In 1997, the government made it mandatory for personnel to receive the jab, but 'huge numbers of service members complained of debilitating side effects' and a lengthy legal battle ensued.

Mar 03 10:49

The Pentagon, First, Last, and Always

This country is in a crisis of the first order. More than half a million of us have died thanks to Covid-19. Food insecurity is on the rise, with nearly 24 million Americans going hungry, including 12 million children. Unemployment claims filed since the pandemic began have now reached 93 million. Given the level of damage to the less wealthy parts of this society, it’s little wonder that most Americans chose pandemic recovery (including the quick distribution of vaccines) as their top priority issue.

Mar 03 10:39

Russia’s Policy of Peace Is Encouraging War

On February 25 the election thief ordered a US air attack on Syria that killed 17 Iranians. US and Israeli attacks on Syria have been ongoing for years with no consequences other than Syrian and Russian denunciations of the US and Israeli violations of international law. Clearly, the US/lsraeli agenda takes priority over international law. One would think that after all these years, the Kremlin would have noticed that and cease sounding like an ineffective broken record.

After years of hesitation, Russia finally permitted Syria to obtain S-300 missiles, which, if they are permitted to be used, are capable of preventing US and Israeli attacks. As the missiles are never used, Washington regards them as just another bluff by a cowardly Russian government that won’t fight.

Mar 03 07:29

U.S. Inspectors Have Examined Russia's Imminently Operational Hypersonic Missile

Russia says that a U.S. team has had a chance to inspect one of its new silo-launched Avangard hypersonic missiles under the terms of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START. This comes as there are mounting questions about the future of that bilateral agreement, which could sunset in 2021 unless American and Russian officials agree to an extension.

The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that the inspection had occurred in a statement on Nov. 26, 2019. American personnel had first arrived for the visit two days earlier. Previous reports said that Russia had placed the first two operational examples of Avangard in silos sometime earlier in the month and that the weapon system would reach its initial operational capability in December.

Mar 02 07:25

Open note to those who voted for the Dems

If you voted for the Dems, then

This act of international aggression, and all those which will now follow, are on YOU!

Yes, you. There is simply *no way* that you could argue that “oh I did not know” or “but, but, Biden promised to be a good president“. Sorry, because for the past 4 years thousands of us have been trying to warn you, to explain to you in detail what would happen if the Neocons fully took control of the USA. We predicted it all, we gave you all the evidence, but you refused to listen. Now it is too late.

Mar 02 07:20

The Navy Plans To Launch Swarms Of Aerial Drones From Unmanned Submarines And Ships

The U.S. Navy has handed a contract to Raytheon for versions of its Coyote small unmanned aerial vehicle configured as loitering munitions, also known as "suicide drones." The service says that it specifically wants them to support the development of unmanned surface and underwater vehicles as platforms to launch drone swarms, which could offer a slate of game-changing capabilities.

The Pentagon announced the deal, valued at up to almost $33 million if all the options were to be exercised, in its daily contracting notice on Feb. 26, 2021. The announcement said that the contract, which the Office of Naval Research (ONR) awarded to Raytheon, was for "Coyote Block 3 (CB3) Autonomous Strike" drones to support work on "Autonomous Swarm/Strike – Loitering Munitions."

Mar 02 07:19

The Air Force Is Having To Reverse Engineer Parts Of Its Own Stealth Bomber

In a surprising turn of events, the United States government is calling upon its country’s industry to reverse engineer components for the Air Force’s B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. An official call for this highly unusual kind of assistance was put out today on the U.S. government’s contracting website beta.SAM.gov.

Mark Thompson, a national-security analyst at the Project On Government Oversight, brought our attention to the notice, which seeks an engineering effort that will reverse engineer key parts for the B?2’s Load Heat Exchangers. While it is not exactly clear what part of the aircraft’s many complex and exotic subsystems these heat exchangers relate to, the bomber has no shortage of avionics systems, for example, which could require cooling.

Mar 01 07:49

World War Hair: U.S. Army Switches Sides

The Army, which is increasingly dependent on female soldiers, has issued new regulations that allow women to wear lipstick and no longer limits their hair to a tight, disciplined bun.

Capt. Jawana McFadden said that wearing her hair in a bun pushed her helmet forward over her eyes.

Mar 01 07:00

Keep the Space Force off the International Space Station

Two hundred and twenty miles above your head orbits a science laboratory called the International Space Station. This football field–sized marvel of engineering orbits Earth every 90 minutes—its six inhabitants witness 15 sunrises and 15 sunsets per day. Their view of our planet is wholly unique.

In 1984 the United States proposed building the station with other countries—Russia, Canada, the European Space Agency, China, and Japan—and soon after, an international agreement was reached. NASA had previously tried its hand at a space station with Skylab in 1973, which operated for two years in orbit, and the Russian Mir space station operated for 15 years starting in 1986. But neither of these attempts could touch the size, capacity, and goals of the International Space Station, which has now been home to humans in orbit for 20 years.

Feb 28 09:24

Healing bombs? CNN’s love affair with airstrikes continues, as network gushes over Biden attack on Syria

Joe Biden’s Syrian airstrikes were hailed by CNN as a masterstroke of diplomacy, delivered with “a scalpel instead of a sledgehammer.” Strangely enough, it sang the same song when Donald Trump launched his own strikes.

Delivered on Thursday by two F-15 fighter jets, Biden’s airstrikes knocked out several facilities the Pentagon says were used by Iranian-backed militias in Syria. The Pentagon described the strikes as “defensive” in nature, and as a response to rocket attacks on US and coalition troops in Iraq. A militia spokesman said one fighter was killed and several wounded.

Feb 28 09:23

Tara Reade: As the American hawk bombs overseas, the rot of corruption and bigotry plucks at its underbelly at home

The Biden administration’s decision to bomb Syria is not surprising, nor is the complete reversal of media tone compared to when Trump did it. It’s all a reflection of the bigotry eating away at the country from the inside.

From my time as a volunteer at a raptor rescue, I know doves and pigeons sometimes manage to fight back against hawks. When it happens the dove usually makes little cuts in the hawk’s underbelly, only visible if the bird is turned over. But eventually, the hawk spirals to the ground, dead.

If you have ever done any falconry, then you know the power in the bird’s grip. In fact, special gloves are required to withstand the claws of hawks or falcons, as they could cut you to the bone just by squeezing.

I imagine both allies and foes wish they had these special gloves while doing diplomacy with America.

I believe America, like that hawk, has little cuts of greed and corruption slicing away at any semblance of Democracy. And it is in a spiral.

Feb 28 08:25

Biden’s First Foreign Policy Speech Vows Forever Wars

US foreign policy has clearly continued in the same direction, without missing a beat. Unlike in previous transitions in the White House, this time US President Joe Biden has not even really tried to promise even the faintest hope that it wouldn’t.

There were a few glimpses of remote hope – particularly regarding the possibility the US wouldn’t abandon its last arms treaty with Russia, New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) – and Biden’s promise of returning to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal.

However, in Biden’s first speech regarding foreign policy since taking office, now posted on the White House’s official website and titled, “Remarks by President Biden on America’s Place in the World,” reveals that, if anything, US belligerence on the global stage is set to only expand.

Feb 28 07:35

Soldiers Exposed to Blasts at Greater Risk of Alzheimer’s: Study

Soldiers exposed to shock waves produced by military explosives are at a higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, a study funded by the US Army revealed recently.

The affected persons may not display overt signs of brain injuries but suffer from “persistent neurological symptoms, including depression, headaches, and memory problems,” said Dr. Ben Bahr, professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, in a statement.

The finding further explains how the injury remains undetected, saying the blow to the brain alters connections between neurons in the hippocampus — the major component of the brain responsible for memory encoding and social behavior.

Feb 28 07:20

War Mongering For Artificial Intelligence

The ghost of Edward Teller must have been doing the rounds between members of the National Commission on Artificial Intelligence. The father of the hydrogen bomb was never one too bothered by the ethical niggles that came with inventing murderous technology. It was not, for instance, “the scientist’s job to determine whether a hydrogen bomb should be constructed, whether it should be used, or how it should be used.” Responsibility, however exercised, rested with the American people and their elected officials.

The application of AI in military systems has plagued the ethicist but excited certain leaders and inventors. Russian President Vladimir Putin has grandiloquently asserted that “it would be impossible to secure the future of our civilization” without a mastery of artificial intelligence, genetics, unmanned weapons systems and hypersonic weapons.

Feb 28 07:07

“WHERE THE F**K ARE THE CHECKS? THEY WENT TO RAYTHEON SO THEY CAN BOMB MY COUNTRY”

British-Syrian journalist Richard Medhurst responded to Joe Biden’s missile strike on Syria by demanding to know, “Where the f**k are the checks? They went to Raytheon so they can bomb my country.”

Biden ordered the attack yesterday, claiming it targeted Iranian-backed militias in eastern Syria while the Pentagon spun the move as a “defensive precision strike.”

Many observers pointed to the bombing as yet another sign that despite the administration’s obsession with flaunting its “diversity” and supposedly progressive virtues, the military-industrial complex is still in control.

“People that are starving who can’t pay their rent, you’ve got millions of Americans that are uninsured, they got no health care, they lost their jobs, where the fuck are the checks? Oh I know, they went to Raytheon so they can bomb my country,” said Medhurst.

Feb 28 07:04

The Air Force is using virtual reality to fight its suicide epidemic

Airman Mike is having a real bad day. He’s in a tough spot at work, his wife left him and took the kids, and he’s posting a lot of worrisome stuff on Instagram. Unfortunately, there are a lot of Mikes in the Air Force, and now you’re at his house, trying to check in on him. What do you do?

That’s exactly the question the Air Force’s new suicide prevention virtual reality simulator is trying to help airmen answer. The 30-minute training session being demoed at Scott and Travis Air Force Bases puts trainees in the shoes of airmen checking in on their virtual buddies at a rough time in their lives.

Feb 27 08:12

China Mocks Biden Syria Bombing: ‘America Is Back’

China’s state-run Global Times newspaper mocked President Joe Biden on Friday, quoting his declaration, “America is back,” in a headline about his decision to bomb Syria on Thursday evening.

Biden made the remark in a speech about foreign policy in early February, in which he vowed to limit American military engagement.

“And they know when you speak, you speak for me,” Biden told diplomats at the State Department. “And so — so is the message I want the world to hear today: America is back. America is back. Diplomacy is back at the center of our foreign policy.”

On Thursday, 36 days into his presidency, Biden took unilateral action in Syria, ordering what the Pentagon dubbed a “defensive precision strike” on members of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), a legal wing of the Iraqi armed forces.

Feb 26 10:31

Secretly, Biden's Foreign Policies Are Trump's Foreign Policies

Biden’s foreign policies are putting Democratic Party lipstick onto the Republican Party’s pig. That’s his 'change', on US foreign policies. Though President Joe Biden is publicly critical of Trump’s foreign policies, he’s continuing almost all of them and is changing only minor ones. The changes are almost entirely in rhetoric, not in actual policies, as will be documented here.

Feb 26 08:13

‘The war machine is back’: Biden reminded of previous criticism of Trump’s ‘escalation’ in Syria after he orders new strike

President Joe Biden drew praise from hawks and accusations of hypocrisy from critics after he authorized a reprisal airstrike on Syria, claiming that by bombing “Iran-backed militia” infrastructure, he is deescalating tensions.

The Biden administration, which has publicly stated its intention to return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and back away from its predecessor’s war-mongering approach, has been panned for seemingly following in Donald Trump’s footsteps on Thursday with an airstrike on Syria.

Feb 26 07:52

Heating the Planet Through a New Cold War

It began with fire. It ended with ice. In between, there were the storms and floods. And the extremity of it all should have caught anyone’s attention.

First, of course, there was that burning season that set staggering records across California— four million acres incinerated, double the previous high — Oregon, and Washington. Those devastating burns spread as far east as Colorado at a moment when the Southwest may well have entered a climate-change-induced “megadrought.”

Then, of course, there was that Atlantic hurricane season: a record fifth-straight above-normal season with 30 named storms stretching across two alphabets, 12 of which “landed” with often devastating effect in this country. Let’s not forget those floods either, one of which set a record in Michigan.

Feb 26 07:42

US Brings Israel into CENTCOM, The US Military’s Command in the Middle East

he move formalizes regular military exercises among the US, Israel and Arab states, which is “crucial for developing effective theater missile defenses, as well as boosting readiness and interoperability in cyber, counterterrorism, special operations, and maritime security.”

Though the move will take some time to go into effect, the Pentagon’s recent decision to relocate Israel to the area of responsibility (AOR) of the US military’s Central Command (CENTCOM, which operates in the Middle East) is a direct operational reflection of the Abraham Accords, in which Israel normalized relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, with Saudi support.

The head of CENTCOM, General Kenneth F. McKenzie, recently told the Middle East Institute,

“We do a lot of business with Israel now just as a practical matter of fact because their threats generally emanate from the east. In a certain way, this is just a natural recognition of that at the operational level.”

Feb 26 07:31

US Sends Another Warship Through Taiwan Strait

A US warship sailed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, the second such passage under the Biden administration. The US Navy’s Seventh Fleet said the guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur made the provocative maneuver.

Beijing denounced the provocation. “The move artificially creates risk factors in the Taiwan Strait, deliberately undermines regional peace and stability, we are firmly opposed to this,” a spokesperson for China’s People’s Liberation Army said.

Earlier this month, the USS John McCain, another guided-missile destroyer, steamed through the Taiwan Strait. After sailing through the Strait, the McCain conducted what the US calls a Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) near the Chinese-claimed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

Feb 25 12:12

What Planet Is NATO Living On?

The February meeting of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Defense Ministers, the first since President Biden took power, revealed an antiquated, 75-year-old alliance that, despite its military failures in Afghanistan and Libya, is now turning its military madness toward two more formidable, nuclear-armed enemies: Russia and China.

This theme was emphasized by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in a Washington Post op-ed in advance of the NATO meeting, insisting that “aggressive and coercive behaviors from emboldened strategic competitors such as China and Russia reinforce our belief in collective security.”

Using Russia and China to justify more Western military build-up is a key element in the alliance’s new “Strategic Concept,” called NATO 2030: United For a New Era, which is intended to define its role in the world for the next ten years.

Feb 25 07:59

What about student loans, water or the homeless? Outrage follows report $1.7 trillion F-35 program is now considered a failure

A tacit admission by the US Air Force that the F-35 has failed its main mission has triggered an outpouring of outrage from Americans who think the stealth fighter’s gargantuan budget could have been better spent on other things.

Frustration with Lockheed Martin’s fifth-generation stealth jet flooded Twitter on Wednesday, after Forbes magazine published a story about how USAF commissioning a study into a new, cheaper and lighter fighter amounts to “a tacit admission that the F-35 has failed.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I hate to say I told you so, but ... no, actually I rather enjoy it! :)

Feb 25 07:21

Norway May Become Battleground Between U.S. and Russia, Says Expert

Colonel Tormod Heier highlighted that strengthening the U.S. military presence in Norway would have negative consequences for the Scandinavian country. According to Norwegian state-owned media NRK in an article titled “Can Joe Biden become dangerous for Norway?” Colonel Heier, a professor at the Norwegian Defence College, said Norway could turn into a battlefield if tensions broke out between the U.S. and Russia.

“Norway is part of the great power rivalry between the United States and Russia. The probability increases that Norway will become a battlefield in the event of a conflict or a crisis becoming out of control between the Russians and Americans,” he said.

Feb 24 11:42

US to Retire a Warship Commissioned 6 Years Ago

Last week, the U.S. Navy formally announced that it will soon begin to retire the first four of its Littoral Combat Ships, two of the Freedom class and two of the Independence class. The vessels have long faced technical, operational, and logistical hurdles to fulfilling their originally envisaged role. The retirement of the four LCS vessels amounts to a tacit acknowledgement by the Navy that the Freedom and Independence class vessels are effectively a failed concept. The downsizing will come even as the U.S. Navy continues to work toward a nominal 355-ship fleet.

Feb 24 09:22

75% Of US Troops Refused Taking COVID-19 Vaccine Says Pentagon Report

According to a Pentagon report almost 75% of US troops refused taking the COVID-19 vaccine. Addressing the allegation of a cover-up, the spokesperson for the agency, John Kirby informed the news outlets about the reason for the lack of exact data.

75% Of US Troops Against Getting COVID-19 Vaccine Says Pentagon Report
According to the latest reports issued by the Pentagon, one-third of the US troops have refused to take the vaccination to shield themselves from the coronavirus.

The statement issued by the Pentagon on 17th Feb 2021 points to the low acceptance rate of the virus.

Major General Jeff Taliaferro, the top official in the US military has indicated the two-third acceptance rate of the virus.

Feb 23 13:23

American Pop Culture Feeds the War on Peace

The old cliché about a fish not knowing it’s in water has survived for a reason. Our cultural currents can drive us toward normalizing or, worse, glorifying what we might otherwise find objectionable. This can take shape in blatant or subtle ways, but there can be no doubt that by underscoring certain narratives and opinion to the exclusion of others, culture is a powerful forger of both material conditions and psychology. As Americans we swim in cultural waters that glorify war.

The U.S. honors its military and reinforces warrior behaviors with holidays, ceremonies, parades, Hollywood movies, TV shows, and memorials to soldiers, wars, and wartime presidents. Individual military members/veterans enjoy medals, promotions, vanity license plates, tax exemptions, free admissions, reserved parking spaces, airline boarding preferences, veteran discounts, and other privileges. These honors and privileges reinforce militarism in the U.S.; no other group of citizens is as revered.

Feb 23 11:03

The U.S. Air Force Just Admitted The F-35 Stealth Fighter Has Failed

The U.S. Air Force’s top officer wants the service to develop an affordable, lightweight fighter to replace hundreds of Cold War-vintage F-16s and complement a small fleet of sophisticated—but costly and unreliable—stealth fighters. The result would be a high-low mix of expensive “fifth-generation” F-22s and F-35s and inexpensive “fifth-generation-minus” jets,...

Feb 23 09:50

Navy Will Make All Sailors Reaffirm Oath to the Constitution in Extremism Stand-Down

When the Navy holds its daylong stand-downs to address the extremist ideologies that leaders say have infiltrated the military ranks, sailors across the fleet will be required to reaffirm the oath they took to the U.S. Constitution.

All Navy personnel -- uniformed and civilian -- will have to repeat the oath of enlistment or office and discuss what actions betray that promise during the virtual or in-person learning sessions that must be held by April 6. The stand-downs will focus on the "damaging effects of extremism" and how to eliminate it, Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. John Nowell wrote in a service-wide message.

"As public servants, we took an oath to the Constitution and we will not tolerate those who participate in actions that go against the fundamental principles of the oath we share, particularly actions associated with extremist or dissident ideologies," Nowell wrote.

Feb 23 08:48

Supposedly Retired, F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Jets Spotted Over Los Angeles

Defense Blog reports a pair of Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk stealth attack aircraft were spotted above Los Angeles last Friday. The F-117s are supposedly retired but were spotted flying with a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker.

AP Freelance photographer Matt Hartman tweeted a picture of the stealth aircraft on Sunday. He said:

"So one day at ? @flyLAXairport ? I get a tip about something special… I look up ……. USAF KC-135R in-flight w/ 2 F-117 Stealth Fighter’s! Well I guess they're NOT retired after all?? 02-19-21 2."

Feb 23 08:35

Defense Firms Unveil New Weapons At IDEX 2021 

The International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX 2021) kicked off on Sunday and runs through the 25th of the month at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. All sorts of new weapons are being featured at the first COVID-era defense show.

According to Breaking Defense, IDEX 2021 features more than 900 exhibitors from 59 nations with 35 national pavilions.

"84% of companies exhibiting will be internationally based, while 16% will be UAE based entities which demonstrate the vast international interest in IDEX and NAVDEX," said Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, managing director and group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), the shows' organizers.

Feb 23 08:33

Russia Says Jihadists Are Planning "Simulated" Chemical Attack In Idlib To Get Biden's Attention

In what feels like a throwback scenario to 2017 which marked the first time Trump bombed Syria over al-Qaeda's unverified claims of a government chemical attack on a "rebel"-held town in Idlib province, Russia's military is now warning that anti-Assad jihadists are planning a new "false-flag operation against civilians" involving chemical weapons in Idlib.

The allegation of a major 'provocation' in the works originated in official comments days ago from the deputy chief of the Russian de-escalation mission in Syria, Rear Admiral Vyacheslav Sytnik. The statements are being featured predominantly in Russian and Iranian state media sources, which say the incident will be blamed on Damascus, ultimately in order to gain the attention of the newly in office Biden administration.

Feb 23 08:10

US B-1 bombers arrive in Norway in historic first

U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers from Dyess Air Force Base in Texas arrived in Norway on Monday as part of a training mission in Europe, marking the first time U.S. bombers have operated out of the Scandinavian country.

The U.S. Air Force said in a statement that since 2018, strategic bomber missions have involved "U.S. integration with NATO allies and regional partners."

Gen. Jeff Harrigian, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander said training with Norwegians "enables us to hone our deterrence and defense capabilities while also enhancing regional stability."

Feb 23 07:51

‘Extremists’ – or is that conservatives? – are cognitively deficient: Guardian pumps up pseudoscientific assault on wrongthinkers

Using ‘conservative’ to overlap with ‘extremist,’ Cambridge University scientists claim they’ve found this elusive category of people to be cognitively deficient. The Guardian took these tentative conclusions and ran with them.
Donald Trump may be gone, but his supporters are still hanging around, gumming up the works and interfering with returning both halves of the American uni-party system to their proper anti-populist, war-loving baseline. This means playing whack-a-mole with the “wrongthinkers” on the Right, whether it’s knocking them off social media, smearing them as racists, ‘extremists,’ and xenophobes (oh my!), or just lobbing playground-level insults their way.

The Guardian seems to have embraced its role performing the latter, delivering a writeup of a Cambridge University study that takes the researchers’ already shaky conclusions and reduces them to the equivalent of ‘conservatives are big dum-dum poopy-heads.’

Feb 22 09:17

Weapons Biz Bankrolls Experts Pushing to Extend Afghan War

Earlier this month, a study group established by Congress recommended that President Joe Biden extend the May 1 deadline for withdrawing troops from America’s longest war. It’s a strategy that many experts say runs the risk of abrogating the U.S.-Taliban agreement and potentially setting back the potential peace process in Afghanistan — or even dooming it to failure.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is a striking similarity in the backgrounds of the individuals involved in these critical recommendations, which are likely to influence whether Biden maintains a “conditions based” U.S. military footprint in Afghanistan. Two of the group’s three co-chairs and nine of the group’s 12 plenary members, comprised of what the group refers to as “members,” have current or recent financial ties to major defense contractors, an industry that soaks up more than half of the $740 billion defense budget, and stands to gain from protracted U.S. military involvement overseas.

Feb 22 07:54

Watch: US Army Conducts First Autonomous Vehicle Test At New Facility Near Baltimore 

US Army researchers began experimenting with autonomous vehicles at a new testing facility within Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) in Middle River, Maryland.

APG allotted Army Research Laboratory (ARL) with 200 acres to prove and refine autonomous vehicles' performance. The facility has been home to the service for nearly a century, where munitions and weapons have been tested.

"The one-of-its-kind research campus was established to advance Army knowledge of autonomy and intelligent systems through basic and applied research of unmanned technologies that integrate artificial intelligence, autonomy, robotics and human teaming elements in complex environments," Jeffrey Westrich, an ARL program manager said.

Feb 22 07:49

Russian Stealth Jet Tests Realistic Mockup Of New "Intra-Fuselage Hypersonic Missile"

The superpower rivalry, sparked by the Cold War between the US and Russia, continues to this day. If that's in stealth fighter jets or hypersonic weapons, there's a race between both countries to field these weapons. Russia appears to be ahead in hypersonic weapon development as the US has yet to field these weapons. Still, the US is ahead of Russia when it comes to fielding stealth jets.

The ultimate fighter jet is a fifth-generation fighter with a weapon bay that can carry hypersonic missiles. Both the US' Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II and Russia's Sukhoi Su-57 weapon bays are too small to carry hypersonic missiles.

Feb 22 07:08

Neocon Robert Kagan: Americans Opposing Forever Wars Is An 'Example Of Their Intolerance'

Americans who don't support "forever wars" in the Middle East in service of the "liberal world order" are simply showing their "intolerance," so says PNAC co-founder Robert Kagan in Foreign Affairs magazine.

From Foreign Affairs, "A Superpower, Like It or Not," subheadline, "Why Americans Must Accept Their Global Role":
That Americans refer to the relatively low-cost military involvements in Afghanistan and Iraq as "forever wars" is just the latest example of their intolerance for the messy and unending business of preserving a general peace and acting to forestall threats. In both cases, Americans had one foot out the door the moment they entered, which hampered their ability to gain control of difficult situations.
Shame on you, America!

Opposing the wars in Afghanistan is also an attack on women's rights, as the Washington Post noted last week:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Okay; I'm intolerant!

Feb 21 07:43

Joe Biden is already breaking his promise to end the US’ ‘forever wars’ in the Middle East

Prior to his inauguration, President Joe Biden had proclaimed that he wished to end the “forever wars” the US is fighting, just as former president Trump had claimed he would. But once you’re in office, it’s a different story.

NATO has decided to expand its footprint in Iraq, following a rocket attack in the city of Erbil that killed one American contractor and injured six more people. This, as the US State Department has threatened consequences for all those involved.

Feb 21 07:35

US Army Prepares To Equip Unit With Hypersonic Capability

Following conflicts over trade, technology, and capital markets, rising political tensions between the US and China will continue under the Biden administration.

For instance, the US Army is expected to equip its first unit with hypersonic equipment this fall. The Pentagon is far behind in the hypersonic races with China and Russia.

A hypersonic unit within the Army will begin training with all the equipment it needs to launch these new weapons, according to Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood, director of the Army's Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, who spoke with Defense News.

Feb 19 21:44

Neocon Robert Kagan: Americans Opposing Forever Wars Is An 'Example Of Their Intolerance'

Americans who don't support "forever wars" in the Middle East in service of the "liberal world order" are simply showing their "intolerance," so says PNAC co-founder Robert Kagan in Foreign Affairs magazine.

Feb 19 11:40

Marines Will Stay, Train in Norway After Big Military Exercise Canceled

About 1,000 Marines who arrived in Norway last month -- only to have their military exercises canceled due to the pandemic -- will remain in the country for arctic training.

The Marines will be in Norway's high north region until spring, continuing "valuable arctic and mountain warfare training," Maj. Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway, a Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa spokesman, said Thursday.

While a small number of Marines headed back to the U.S. after Norwegian officials canceled a pair of multinational exercises there last month, most of the members of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, who arrived in the country last month stayed put, he said.

Feb 18 08:34

New COVID Levels Slump To Lowest In Months, 1/3rd Of US Troops Reject Jabs

Across the US, Europe and most of the world, new COVID cases and deaths continue to decline as New York State announces more summertime reopening plans for summer camps, indoor family-entertainment centers and amusement parks and the EU strikes a major deal for more COVID jabs.

Worldwide, total case numbers are nearing 110MM, as total deaths are on the verge of breaking above 2.25MM as of Wednesday. In the US, new daily cases and deaths have plunged to their lowest levels since the fall, as projections show numbers falling even more quickly than academic projections used by the CDC had anticipated.

Feb 18 08:16

Washington’s Foreign ‘Democratic’ Clients Become an Embarrassment Again

One of the U.S. foreign policy establishment’s favorite propaganda themes is that the United States promotes liberalism and democracy around the world. However, several of the supposedly democratic foreign factions that Washington has backed proceeded to establish corrupt, quasi-authoritarian regimes when they gained power. Two cases highlight that depressing reality. One was the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and the government that insurgency spawned after the United States and its NATO allies launched an air war against Serbia to wrench its restless province from Belgrade’s control. The other is the "reformist" Ukrainian government that Washington helped bring to power in the so-called Maidan revolution in 2014.

Feb 17 09:15

Air Force F-35 Stealth Fighters Are Now Operating From Guam’s Austere Airfield

For the first time, the U.S. Air Force has introduced fifth-generation F-35A stealth fighters to its concept of austere airfield operations in the Pacific. The exercise took place on the island of Guam where the Joint Strike Fighters were joined by F-16s in operating from an austere airstrip at the northwest end of the island. The exercise was a major component of a larger emerging initiative that looks to provide dispersed operating locations that can be accessed by Air Force combat aircraft during a crisis. The new strategy is largely a result of the growing threat posed by ballistic missile attacks in the Pacific theater.

Feb 17 09:06

General Atomics Plan Flights of Its New Drone in UK – Safety Fears Rerouted Previous Flights in the US

General Atomics is to bring a company-owned SkyGuardian drone to the UK in the summer to undertake “a series of operational capability demonstrations” for the UK and other NATO members. The RAF’s soon to be acquired Protector drone is a version of the SkyGuardian with a range of UK modifications. The aircraft is being shipped into the UK rather than flying in (possibly due to the controversy around a previous flight to the UK) and will be based at RAF Waddington.

Similar demonstration flights, planned by the company to fly over San Diego last year, did not go ahead apparently after objections on safety grounds from airspace regulators. The flights took place instead well away from populated areas in the desert between Palmdale, California, and Yuma, Arizona.

Feb 17 09:02

Biden’s First Directive to the War Machine

In his first presidential visit to the Pentagon yesterday, Joe Biden announced the creation of an anti-China task force. This team will review the Pentagon’s policy towards the country in areas such as strategy, technology, military and diplomacy with neighboring countries. During the visit Biden pledged to “meet the China challenge … and win the competition of the future.”

Career politician and long-time Biden aide Ely Ratner has been tapped to lead the task force targeting China. Ratner has continually advocated for bipartisan aggression against China in his roles at the pro-war Center for New American Security, the State Department, and elsewhere.

Feb 16 09:47

The Biden Era Is Witnessing a Return of the Military-Industrial Complex

One of the top national security think tanks backing the Biden administration, the Center for a New American Security, has been taking money from every major defense contractor while pumping out a steady stream of research supporting those companies’ interests. It’s yet another sign that Biden’s promised “return to normal” has, unfortunately, arrived.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Feb 16 09:31

U.S. enters NATO meetings as China and Russia threats loom and war in Afghanistan drags on

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will meet with members of the world’s most powerful military alliance on Wednesday for the first time since joining the Biden administration.

NATO meets Wednesday and Thursday to discuss an array of challenges facing the 30-member group. The virtual meetings will be a glimpse into President Joe Biden’s foreign policy agenda and comes on the heels of his calls to stand “shoulder to shoulder” with America’s closest allies.

“When we strengthen our alliances we amplify our power as well as our ability to disrupt threats before they reach our shores,” Biden said during a speech at the State Department. “America cannot afford to be absent any longer on the world stage,” he added.

Biden’s message broke sharply from his predecessor’s “America First” policy, which on occasion seemed to vex NATO members.

Feb 16 08:50

COVID fuelling risk of recruitment and use of children in conflict

More children could be pushed into the joining armed forces and armed groups due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, senior United Nations and European Union (EU) officials said on International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers, observed on Thursday.

In a joint statement EU High Representative Josep Borrell and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba also warned that very few among those released by armed forces and groups are able to access reintegration programmes or support.

“Armed forces and armed groups continue to recruit and use children, tearing them away from their families and communities, cruelly stripping away their dignity and destroying their lives and their future”, they said.

Feb 16 08:47

NATO’s new fleet of surveillance drones is deemed mission-ready

NATO’s top general in Europe has declared initial operational capability of the alliance’s five-strong fleet of surveillance drones stationed in Sicily, Italy.

The unmanned aircraft and associated ground equipment make up the NATO Allied Ground Surveillance program. Started nine years ago, its goal is to provide all member countries with an aerial picture of worldwide threats, especially in locations close to alliance borders.

The mission-ready proclamation comes after NATO received its fifth and final aircraft for the fleet of modified Northrop Grumman RQ-4D Gobal Hawks at Sigonella Air Base last November. There are also enough trained personnel assigned to the program for initial operations to commence, according to a NATO spokesman.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters, the supreme allied commander Europe, called the fleet’s completion “a significant milestone towards improved sensing of the environment.”

Feb 16 06:49

Naval exercise starts off Karachi at the AMAN-2021 multinational drills, attended by Russia & several NATO countries (VIDEO)

The naval phase of the AMAN-2021 drills has started in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Pakistan. The multinational exercise brings together over 40 countries, including Russia, China and several NATO nations.

The two-day maritime maneuvers began on Monday. Apart from the Pakistani Navy, combat vessels of the Russian Navy and the ships of some six other nations are taking part in the maritime module of the drills.

The stated goal of the drills is to strengthen cooperation between the navies of different nations, as well as to exchange experience in combating maritime piracy in waterways with busy traffic.

Feb 16 06:09

The Woke Force: Biden Pentagon Pursues Leftist Domestic Agenda

The Pentagon, in the three weeks that Joe Biden has been president, has turned the department’s attention from outside threats towards potential threats from inside the military.

Former President Donald Trump’s first military priorities were to rebuild the military, defeat the Islamic State, and focus on the threat from China. For this, he chose retired Marine Gen. Jim Mattis as his first defense secretary. Trump’s first military-related executive orders were to rebuild the armed forces and to establish new vetting measures to keep “radical Islamic terrorists” out of the U.S. — which critics panned as a “Muslim ban.”

Feb 15 09:37

New NORAD Warfare Strategies and Canada’s Role in the “Great Game” Revisited

As relations between the USA and Russia continue to fall ever deeper into the abyss, and as China’s Belt and Road Initiative continues to evolve deep into the Eurasian Arctic via the Polar Silk Road, a new era of potential for cooperation as well as nuclear war awaits humanity. The decisions made over the coming months will determine which of those two opposing destinies are selected.

For the time being, things are looking bad.

On February 5, 2021 the Canadian press was lit abuzz with the headline NORAD Modernization to Dominate Agenda of Canada-U.S. Defence Relations citing various military think tanks and ivory tower game theorists who should be kept as far from any actual policy making circles if the world is going to survive beyond the coming decade.

Citing the recent Biden-Trudeau meeting which featured a long discussion about Russian-Chinese aggression and Arctic defense, Andrea Charron (head of Manitoba’s Centre for Defence and Security Studies) states:

Feb 15 09:36

Biden Revving Up His War Machine?

As US senator and vice president for nearly half a century, Biden supported US aggression against invented enemies.

He partnered with Obama’s preemptive wars on nonbelligerent Libya and Syria, continued inherited wars on Afghanistan and Yemen.

Their troop drawdown from Iraq was head fake deception. The country remains occupied by unwelcome Pentagon forces.

Along with orchestrated coups in Honduras, Paraguay and Brazil, they replaced democracy in Ukraine with Nazi-infested fascist tyranny.

They supported multiple Israeli wars on Occupied Palestine, along with war by other means on nations free from US control.

As selected, not elected, president, Biden’s geopolitical team is stacked with hawks.

Are plans afoot for escalated warmaking ahead?

Was pledging “to bring a responsible end to wars that have dragged on for far too long” polar opposite of what his hardline geopolitical team intend?

Feb 15 09:07

The drone defense dilemma: How unmanned aircraft are redrawing battle lines

First there was the video from Libya of a Turkish drone destroying a Russian Pantsir missile defense system.

Next came the veteran S-300 air defense system — also Russian — being taken out in Nagorno-Karabakh by an Israeli-built Harop loitering munition.

In the conflicts in Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh last year, unmanned platforms often made short work of the ground-based systems designed to neutralize them, paving the way for easy attacks on vulnerable troops.

What is more, experts say, is that the balance of power between drones and air defense systems is shaping up to be a key to global wars in the near future.

“Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh and also Syria have just showed us that if a fielded force cannot protect its airspace, then the large scale use of UAVs can make life extremely dangerous,” said Justin Bronk, an air force research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in England.

Feb 15 09:07

An engine shortage is the newest problem to hit the F-35 enterprise

The F-35 joint strike fighter program is grappling with a shortage of the jet’s Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, and it could be months before the situation starts to improve, a defense official said Friday.

The problem, according to the F-35 joint program office, is twofold. First, the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., has not been able to process engines through scheduled depot maintenance as quickly as projected.

Second, maintainers are discovering “premature distress of rotor blade coatings” in a “small number” of engine power modules, creating more repair work and contributing to the backlog.

A defense official who spoke to Defense News on background called the issues a “serious readiness problem.” By 2022, roughly 5 to 6 percent of the F-35 fleet could be without engines due to scheduled depot maintenance as well as unscheduled engine removals caused by F135s in need of repair.

Feb 15 08:36

White troops, especially women, tend to have more mental health concerns, report finds

While civilians and troops have similar behavioral health concerns across racial, ethnic, gender and sexual-orientation groups, a recent RAND study found that white service members are more likely to have behavioral health troubles than their non-white counterparts, the opposite of what civilian research shows.

The DoD-sponsored study sought to compare the behavioral health of minority service members to the majority, as well as compare any disparities to civilian groups, at a time when the Defense Department is reviewing a host of policies to actively support diversity and an inclusive culture.

“Whereas the U.S. military has recognized the behavioral health needs of service members in general, the specific needs of racial/ethnic, gender, and sexual minority groups are not well understood,” according to the report.

Feb 15 07:40

Washington Should Put the American People First: No One Has the Right To Be a US Ally

Opposing war is a lonely task in Washington, D.C. Possessing the world’s largest and most powerful military encourages US administrations to use it. And use it they do – often.

This attitude was captured by Madeleine Albright, then America’s UN ambassador, when she accosted Gen. Colin Powell: "What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?" Casualties obviously don’t matter much to ivory tower warriors as long as someone else is doing the dying. (The amazing Albright was responsible for multiple idiotic aphorisms illustrating the defects of US foreign policy.)

The problem is not just the willingness of American policymakers to go to war for no good reason, which is why "endless wars" entered the political lexicon. It is officials’ willingness to risk war without thinking. Especially by expanding military alliances.

Feb 15 07:04

Renaming Forts Begins

The U.S. military has named many bases and other institutions after individuals with ties to the Confederacy.

For example, Fort Buckner in Okinawa is named after Lt. Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr., who was killed in combat on that island in 1945. Buckner Jr. wasn’t a Confederate, but his father Simon Bolivar Buckner Sr. was a famous Confederate general who later served as a pallbearer for the coffin of Ulysses S. Grant, along with Union generals Sherman and Sheridan and Confederate general Johnston. But what did Ulysses S. Grant ever do to fight systemic racism?

Feb 14 08:14

British Lawmakers Call to Ban China From Buying 'Financially Fragile' UK Defence Companies

British lawmakers underlined that foreign investments in the UK defence supply chain should be restricted to companies from NATO countries or London's allies outside the North Atlantic Alliance.

Beijing may snap up more UK aerospace companies in order to obtain access to their technology and increase its military buildup, the UK House of Commons Defence Committee has warned in a report.

According to the study released on Sunday, venture capital funds "represent an avenue for hostile foreign investors to gain entry into the UK defence supply chain".

Feb 13 08:58

Philippines’ Duterte Tells US ‘You Have to Pay’ For Troop Deal

On Friday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said the US “will have to pay” to keep the agreement that allows US troops to be stationed in the Philippines on a rotational basis, known as the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

Duterte made the comments during a speech to Philippine troops. “I’d like to put on notice if there is an American agent here, from now on, you want the Visiting Forces Agreement done? You have to pay,” he said. “It is a shared responsibility, but your share of responsibility does not come free, after all, when the war breaks out we all pay.”

Duterte was ready to scrap the VFA and kick the US out of his country last year but reversed the decision citing tensions with Beijing in the South China Sea. On Friday, the Philippine president made it clear that he was still reluctant to allow the US military in his country.

Feb 13 08:56

Former NSA director, retired top officers ask Supreme Court to declare military draft unconstitutional

The former National Security Agency director and nine prominent retired general and flag officers have signed on to legal brief asking that the U.S. Supreme Court rule that the military draft is unconstitutional.

Their filing is in support of a petition that argues the Selective Service System is unconstitutional because it applies only to men ages 18 to 26 and not women.

Former Director of the National Security Agency Michael Hayden, a retired Air Force four-star and retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal top the list of supporters on the legal brief.

The group’s attorneys filed their brief Wednesday to support the petition filed by the National Coalition for Men, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union against the Selective Service System on Jan. 8.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

A military draft is a violation of the 13th Amendment.

Feb 13 08:41

Navy Will Make COVID-19 Vaccination Mandatory 'As Soon as We Can:' 3-Star Admiral

Thousands of Navy personnel are about to receive the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine ahead of an upcoming deployment -- and while sailors aren't required to take the shot yet, they soon could be.

Members of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group will get the option to receive the first dose of the vaccine for COVID-19, the sometimes-fatal illness caused by the coronavirus, on Saturday. So far, about 80% of the crew -- roughly 5,000 strike group members -- say they intend to get the shots, Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, U.S. Second Fleet commander, told reporters Friday.

"We cannot make it mandatory yet," Lewis said. "I can tell you we're probably going to make it mandatory as soon as we can, just like we do with the flu vaccine."

Feb 13 08:32

UK Army Target Could Lose 10,000 Troops in Defence Review, Media Claims

The upcoming integrated review on UK defence and foreign policy has been described by the British Cabinet as the most serious re-evaluation of the nation's place in the world since the days of the Cold War

The British army is facing a massive reduction to meet the target number of 72,500 as part of the Cabinet's defence review that will be published next month, The Times reported, citing sources.

According to the newspaper, General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, the chief of the general staff, told ministers that he could reduce the target size of the service by 10,000 personnel, so that the Army would be able to spend more money on technology. This means that some battalions could be disbanded to boost the remaining ones.

Feb 12 13:01

Military Struggles to Answer How Many Extremists Are in Ranks

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin faces an early test as he races to advance a major initiative targeting far-right extremism in the ranks, a challenge that officials acknowledge is complicated by the Pentagon’s lack of clarity on the extent of the threat following the U.S. Capitol riot.

Austin’s highly unusual order for a military-wide “stand-down,” slated to pause normal operations in coming weeks so troops can discuss internal support for extremist movements, underscores the urgency of the task ahead for the former four-star general, who last month became the nation’s first African American Pentagon chief.

Feb 12 12:59

Scores for the Army’s new fitness test may not end up ‘gender-neutral’ after all

Three years after unveiling its new fitness test as gender-neutral, the Army is considering a change to the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) that would score soldiers on a service-wide percentile separated by gender, Task & Purpose has learned.

“We had this big thing of inclusion but this is one of the biggest eyesores that goes against inclusion,” an Army official said of the ACFT on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution. “They didn’t think about it. It was mostly men that ran it and it’s mostly men who are going to take it, and it’s mostly men who are just refusing to take the L.”

Feb 12 12:48

Queen of Chicken Hawks: Victoria Nuland Had A Hand in Every US Intervention in the Past 30 Years

President Joe Biden’s nomination of Victoria Nuland for Under Secretary for Political Affairs, the third-highest position at the State Department, is a dangerous sign. Nuland exemplifies the neoconservatives who have led American foreign policy from one disaster to another for the past 30 years, all while evading any shred of accountability.

As a top-level appointee, Nuland must still be confirmed by the Senate. And while pro-peace groups have waged a campaign to stop her confirmation, reflecting on her career in public service makes clear why she is incompetent, highly dangerous, and should not be confirmed.

Feb 12 12:42

A Group Of Israelis Secretly Built And Tested Suicide Drones For An Unknown Asian Customer

Agroup of more than 20 Israelis, among them former defense officials, are under investigation for allegedly illegally designing, producing, and selling “armed loitering missiles,” also known as “suicide drones,” to an unnamed Asian country. The news comes less than two weeks after the announcement of three legitimate sales of these kinds of weapons by the Israeli arms industry, including to unnamed Asian countries.

Feb 12 08:15

BIDEN’S PUSH TO “CHALLENGE CHINA”

This news could give you a reason to stay up at night. Joe Biden’s administration is getting more aggressive against China. Biden has unveiled a Pentagon “China task force” to deal with the “challenges” China poses.

As the Asian nation has over one billion in population, a war with the CCP would end badly for the United States. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows that a war with China is already all but lost. Maybe everyone except Joe Biden. Because he’s flexing muscle he doesn’t have toward the Chinese. Biden has launched a military task force to assess US policy toward Beijing, vowing to confront the “China challenge” as he continues his predecessor’s naval deployments in the country’s backyard, according to numerous reports.

Feb 11 08:33

US-China Confrontation is Disaster for Entire World, Xi Jinping Tells Joe Biden

Chinese President Xi Jinping, in a phone conversation with US President Joe Biden, said cooperation was the only choice for the two countries because a clash would lead to a disaster for the entire world.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed the need for cooperation between Washingon and Beijing after discussing bilateral issues with his American counterpart, calling their first telephone conversation a positive signal for the entire world.

"Sino-American cooperation is in many ways beneficial both for the United States and China and for the entire world. A confrontation between China and the United States is absolutely a disaster for the two countries and for the entire world", China Central Television quoted Xi as saying.

Feb 11 08:17

Black Hawks Down - does a slew of fatal chopper crashes indicate a larger crisis with US military procurement and effectiveness?

The recent loss of five of iconic UH-60 helicopters reveals the difficulties of maintaining an ageing aircraft at the tail end of its life expectancy, but may also be a catalyst towards using more ‘disposable’ weapons of war.

Military flight operations are inherently dangerous, whether conducted in peacetime or during actual operations. As the child of a career US Air Force aircraft maintenance officer, and later as a Naval Aerial Observer with the US Marines, I have experienced the life and death consequences of operating aircraft during war and peace.

Feb 11 07:15

Who Are the Ultimate War Profiteers? A U.S. Air Force Veteran Removes the Veil

While war corporations, or so-called “defense contractors,” make billions in profits, Wall Street is the ultimate beneficiary of today’s nonstop wars. The prosaic nature of war profiteering—far from the work of a shadowy cabal—is precisely why the collusion is so destructive and should be outlawed.

The U.S. ruling class deploys the military for three main reasons: (1) to forcibly open up countries to foreign investment, (2) to ensure the free flow of natural resources from the global south into the hands of multinational corporations, and (3) because war is profitable. The third of these reasons, the profitability of war, is often lacking detail in analyses of U.S. imperialism: The financial industry, including investment banks and private equity firms, is an insatiable force seeking profit via military activity.

Feb 11 06:53

Why Victoria Nuland Is Dangerous and Should Not Be Confirmed

Victoria Nuland exemplifies the neocons who have led US foreign policy from one disaster to another for the past 30 years while evading accountability. It is a bad sign that President Joe Biden has nominated Victoria Nuland for the third highest position at the State Department, Under Secretary for Political Affairs.

As a top-level appointee, Victoria Nuland must be confirmed by the US Senate. There is a campaign to Stop her confirmation. The following review of her work shows why Victoria Nuland is incompetent, highly dangerous and should not be confirmed.

Afghanistan and Iraq

From 2000 to 2003, Nuland was US permanent representative to NATO as the Bush administration attacked then invaded Afghanistan. The Afghan government offered to work with the US remove Al Qaeda, but this was rejected. After Al Qaeda was defeated, the US could have left Afghanistan but instead stayed, established semi-permanent bases, split the country, and is still fighting there two decades later.

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