U.S. kills al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula leader in Yemen 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States had killed Qassim al-Raymi, the leader of Islamist group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), in a counterterrorism operation in Yemen.

“Under Rimi, AQAP committed unconscionable violence against civilians in Yemen and sought to conduct and inspire numerous attacks against the United States and our forces,” Trump said in a statement.

“His death further degrades AQAP and the global al-Qa’ida movement, and it brings us closer to eliminating the threats these groups pose to our national security,” the president said. He did not say when Raymi was killed.

The United States regards AQAP as one of the deadliest branches of the al Qaeda network founded by Osama bin Laden.

Reports in Yemen have suggested in recent days that Raymi had been killed in a drone strike in Marib. Reuters was unable to verify the reports.

One Yemeni government official told Reuters there had been a drone strike in Marib but it was not Raymi who had been killed.

M240B Medium Machine Gun

The current M240 is a slightly modified version of the FN-MAG , which is derived from the FN Model-D BAR, which is a modified version of the Ye Olde BAR designed right at the end of World War 1 by His Royal Highness of Gun Design, John Moses Browning hisself.

Interesting that two of the action types he designed, the M2 and the BAR are still being used as standard issue over a century after they were taken from the drafting desk and put into production.

In my experience the M240 beats all other man portable medium caliber belt fed mgs hands down in reliability and accuracy. In the decades I worked on, and shot them, I never had one fail on me or have to code one out due to simple wear. And as long as my guys didn’t treat it like it was one of their Mini-guns, or try some half-baked idea on dry lubrication because they didn’t like having to clean them everyday in the desert, it would always work when they needed it to.

One Step Closer to a Batsuit for Soldiers

If they name it Nemourlon, then add it onto a powered exosuit………..

Researchers announce new military funding in search for body armor skin that could be 300 times stronger than anything we’ve seen before.

In Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, there’s a scene where inventor Lucius Fox, played by Morgan Freeman, explains that Wayne Enterprises has created a prototype body armor for the U.S. infantry that’s as light as kevlar but bullet and knife proof. Bruce Wayne asks why it never went into production. “The bean counters figured a soldier’s life wasn’t worth the 300 grand,” Fox replies.

In real life, and with Defense Department money, researchers from Florida Atlantic University, or FAU, are using advanced polymers and carbon nanotubes to engineer a new type of body fabric that could eventually prove to be 300 times as strong as today’s state of the art, but just as light.

Hassan Mahfuz, the lead investigator on the project at FAU, says that “the whole idea is to absorb the energy and be able to dissipate very quickly so it doesn’t concentrate,” and pierce the fabric and the person inside of it.

How do you do that? As Mahfuz and several colleagues from different institutions point out in this paper, you need to create an entirely new type of treatment for nylon fabric, a hybrid mixture of a polymer that Mahfuz describes as similar to Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene and carbon nanotubes. The former has been around since the 1950s, the latter was only discovered in 1991. They’re hollow cylinders of carbon molecules, a product of nanotechnology, or the manipulation of objects at a billionth of a meter in size.

Carbon nanotubes are so strong and light (roughly 100 times stronger than steel but one-sixth of the weight) that researchers have proposed they may play a role in super springsdrug delivery, and future hypersonic weapons. Getting them to interact with ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene will be key to realizing ever higher levels of strength.

The Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office has provided about $569,000 in funding for the effort according to a release on Wednesday from the University.

“My first attempt is to increase [strength] by 25 percent” above the current state of the art within a year, said Mahfuz, who expressed confidence that he would eventually reach a 300 percent strength increase but couldn’t speculate on the timing, since research is ongoing. “As we publish, we’ll know,” he said

Army Rangers Conducted the Most Successful Rescue Mission in U.S. History 75 Years Ago

After the end of the war when all the PW records could be correlated with the lists of the still missing in action, it was determined that a great uncle was one of those who had died on the Bataan Death March.

Seventy-five years ago a company of Army Rangers and Filipino guerrilla fighters conducted the most successful rescue mission in U.S. military history, freeing over 500 prisoners of war being held by the Japanese.

The raid took place at Cabanatuan prison camp, located about 65 miles north of Manila, in the Philippines.

Most of the POWs in the camp were survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March, which took place in the spring of 1942………

In early January 1945, U.S. forces landed on Luzon island and began the push toward Manila.

By this time, most of the American POWs had been transported back to Japan or Manchuria to work as slave laborers.

However, among those remaining were over 500 being held at Cabanatuan.

When one of MacArthur’s top generals, Sixth Army commander Gen. Walter Krueger, learned of the camp, he green-lit a mission to rescue the POWs, knowing they were in danger of being killed by the Japanese as American forces drew near……

Charlie Company of the 6th Ranger Battalion, beefed up with an extra platoon to be 120 strong, was chosen for the perilous mission to slip 30 miles behind enemy lines, undetected, liberate the camp and lead the POWs back to freedom.

They would be supported on the mission by 200 Philippine guerrilla fighters.

Opposing them would be approximately 250 Japanese guards and other troops housed at Cabanatuan, with nearly 1,000 Japanese soldiers positioned less than a mile from the camp.

Only four miles away, at Cabanatuan City, were an additional 9,000 Japanese forces……

Armed with intelligence provided by Filipino guerrillas and the 6th Army’s Alamo Scouts, Mucci and his men crossed into enemy-held territory on the morning of Jan. 28…….

The Rangers launched the raid of Cabanatuan on the evening of Jan. 30.

A P-61 Black Widow fighter plane flew low over the camp creating a diversion, so the U.S. troops could draw in close to the fence-line undetected.

Suddenly, at 7:44 p.m. local time, the night sky lit up with a fusillade of gunfire as Rangers took out the Japanese guards in their assigned sectors.

The Americans quickly broke through the front gate and fanned out into the camp.

The frenetic scene during the liberation was depicted in the 2005 film “The Great Raid.”

All the POWs were directed to go to the front gate if they could walk (or Rangers carried them). There, they were met and escorted to a nearby riverbed.

The most fragile among them were then loaded onto caraboa (ox) carts provided by the local Filipinos.

Meanwhile, less than a mile from Cabanatuan, 200 Philippine guerrillas under the leadership of Captain Juan Pajota held off nearly a thousand Japanese soldiers.

Pajota’s men managed to partially blow a bridge over the Cabu River, which ran between Cabanatuan and the Japanese forces, which prevented tanks and other heavy vehicles from crossing.

The liberated POWs, guarded by the Rangers and guerrillas, marched through the night toward the American lines, only encountering some light Japanese resistance along the way……..

 

Iran rocket attack on Iraqi military base injured 11 US service members, official reveals

Inter-cranial brain injury, ‘TBI’, due to explosive shock wave concussion has been a major trademark of the war. Maybe it’s been that way since – maybe – WW1, but our medical technology has finally caught up with being better able to diagnose, and we hope, treat it.

Eleven U.S. service members were flown out of Al Assad Air Base in Iraq and treated for concussion symptoms after Iran‘s rocket attack targeting two Iraqi military bases earlier this month, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command revealed Thursday night.

President Trump and U.S. officials had said earlier that no Americans were killed or injured in the Jan. 8 attack.

Several U.S. troops “were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed. As a standard procedure, all personnel in the vicinity of a blast are screened for traumatic brain injury, and if deemed appropriate are transported to a higher level of care,” Capt. Bill Urban, the Central Command spokesman, said Thursday.

He said that although no U.S. service members were killed in the attack on Al Assad Air Base, “in the days following the attack, out of an abundance of caution, some service members were transported… to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, others were sent to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, for follow-on screening. When deemed fit for duty, the service members are expected to return to Iraq following screening. The health and welfare of our personnel is a top priority and we will not discuss any individual’s medical status. At this time, eight individuals have been transported to Landstuhl, and three have been transported to Camp Arifjan.”

Pensacola military base shooting confirmed as jihadi terrorism, AG Barr says

U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr announced the results of an investigation into the motives of the Saudi flight student who carried out a deadly Dec. 6 shooting attack at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. The conclusion: the shooting was an act of terrorism.

Barr said the gunman, identified as 2nd Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, was “motivated by jihadist ideology.” In a Department of Justice transcript of his statements, Barr cited various anti-American and anti-Israeli social media comments as well as a comment on Sept. 11 of last year in which Alshamrani said “the countdown has begun.”

“This was an act of terrorism,” Barr said. “The evidence shows that the shooter was motivated by jihadist ideology.”

U.S. sending home 21 Saudi cadets, NAS Pensacola shooting an ‘act of terrorism.’

We don’t have to treat the Saudis with kid gloves anymore now that our technology is able to better process our own massive petroleum reserves

WASHINGTON – Attorney General William Barr said Monday that the Saudi Arabian shooter at Naval Air Station Pensacola was “motivated by Jihadist ideology.”

Barr says 21 Saudi military students are being removed from the US training program and returning home.

Barr and FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich announced the findings of the criminal investigation in a press conference at the Department of Justice.

Many of the 21 cadets being sent home had contact with child pornography and possessed jihadist or anti-American material, Barr said. None is accused of having advanced knowledge of the shooting, which Barr said was motivated by “jihadist ideology” and has been classified as an act of terrorism.

Appeals Court Allows Use of $3.6 Billion in Military Funds for Border Wall

A federal appeals court allowed the administration to use a certain set of Defense Department funds for the construction of the border wall after a lower court blocked the administration from dipping into them last month.

The ruling marks a victory for President Donald Trump, who has sought to shore up funds for his signature border wall. The money is separate from other funds that the Supreme Court allowed to be used last year.

In a 2-1 ruling, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay of a Texas judge’s order, which the administration had appealed. The case is still ongoing.

The use of Defense Department funds for the President’s border wall has received pushback from numerous groups and states, which have argued the administration circumvented Congress to shore up wall funds.

The latest ruling applies to the military construction funds. Last September, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper authorized diverting $3.6 billion in the construction funds for 11 wall projects on the southern border with Mexico. The Pentagon said at the time that half the money was coming from deferred projects overseas, and the other half was planned for projects in the US.

The ruling doesn’t apply to the use of other funds, including counter-drug and Treasury Forfeiture Funds, that have been designated for wall construction.

Missile attacks target US forces in Iraq

Talk about sucking all the oxygen out of the news cycle. If the President orders the strikes as promised, this is going to be 99% of what we’ll hear for the next whatever.

Iran fired “more than a dozen ballistic missiles” into Iraq, targeting U.S. military and coalition forces early Wednesday, Pentagon officials said, in a major retaliation by the rogue regime after the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian Quds Force Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week.

The missiles launched by Iran targeted military bases in Al-Assad and Erbil, the Pentagon added.

Initial assessments showed “no U.S. casualties,” a U.S. military official in Baghdad told Fox News, adding that the U.S. was continuing to look into possible damage.

President Trump did not immediately respond, and the White House eventually said he would not make an address to the nation or other on-camera statement Tuesday.


Update:

Ten missiles hit Al-Assad Air Base, one missile hit a military base in Erbil and four missiles failed to hit their targets, according to a U.S. military spokesman for Central Command, responsible for American forces in the Middle East.
The attacks unfolded in two waves, each about an hour apart.

U.S. service member, 2 contractors killed in attack on base in Kenya

This bunch is Sunni moslem, as opposed to the Iranians being Shite moslem, so it’s hard to say if this was a coordinated attack, or was something already planned. That being said, there’s the old thing about them considering the U.S. a common enemy. Of course, the solution for one sect is the same for all of them.

Al-Shabab, a Somali terror group linked to al-Qaeda, attacked a military base Sunday morning in Kenya, killing one U.S. service member and two Defense Department contractors, and wounding two others, U.S. African Command said.

Al-Shabab is a Sunni Muslim group and is not linked to Shiite Iran. Last Friday, a U.S. drone strike killed Iran’s top military commander, and Iran has vowed to retaliate.

Six civilian aircraft were damaged at Manda Bay Airfield, which is on an island in the coastal region of Lamu near the border with Somalia, AFRICOM said.

Initially, the U.S.-led coalition said there were no casualties in the attack but several hours later AFRICOM released an updated statement.

https://twitter.com/USAfricaCommand/status/1213780265560092679

New U.S. Airstrikes North of Baghdad – Three Vehicle Convoy of Iran-backed Shia Militia Leaders…

Reports of new late-night U.S. airstrikes north of Baghdad are starting to be confirmed.  According to developing reports a convoy of two or three vehicles carrying Iran-back Shia Militia leaders was targeted near Taji in Northern Baghdad.

The strike is reported to have killed Qais Khazali, one of the people the US named as responsible for storming of US Embassy in Baghdad.  Also Shibl al-Zaydi is now confirmed to have been killed. Shibl was the leader of Kata’ib al-Imam Ali or the Imam Ali Battalions.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Air strikes targeting Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces umbrella grouping of Iran-backed Shi’ite militias near camp Taji north of Baghdad have killed six people and critically wounded three, an Iraqi army source said late on Friday.

Two of the three vehicles making up a militia convoy were found burned, the source said, as well as six burned corpses. The strikes took place at 1:12 am local time, he said. (link)

It would appear the U.S. has ongoing excellent intelligence on the movements of key Iranian militia leadership operating in Iraq, and are now working through a list of those targets as they attempt to move around.

https://twitter.com/HeshmatAlavi/status/1213232018370285568

Statement by the Department of Defense

Iran forgot that Barack Hussein Obammy is no longer President.

At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.

General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27th – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.

This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.

Baghdad rocket attack kills Iranian military leaders including Gen. Qassim Soleimani

Soleimani is the military mastermind whom Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had deemed equally as dangerous as Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In October, Baghdadi killed himself during a U.S. raid on a compound in northwest Syria, seven months after the so-called ISIS “caliphate” crumbled as the terrorist group lost its final swath of Syrian territory in March.

In April 2019, the State Department announced Iran was responsible for killing 608 U.S. troops during the Iraq War. Soleimani was the head of the Iranian and Iranian-backed forces carrying out those operations killing American troops. According to the State Department, 17 percent of all deaths of U.S. personnel in Iraq from 2003 to 2011 were orchestrated by Soleimani.

As recent as 2015, a travel ban and United Nations Security Council resolutions had barred Soleimani from leaving Iran.

Iran’s Gen. Soleimani killed in airstrike at Baghdad airport

What was this Iranian General doing going to Baghdad anyway?
whatever….Rest In Pieces.

Baghdad (AP) — Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was killed in an airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport Friday, Iraqi television and three Iraqi officials said.

The strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, or PMF, the officials said……….

The PMF blamed the United States for an attack at Baghdad International Airport Friday.

There was no immediate comment from the U.S. or Iran.

A senior Iraqi politician and a high-level security official confirmed to the Associated Press that Soleimani and al-Muhandis were among those killed in the attack. Two militia leaders loyal to Iran also confirmed the deaths, including an official with the Kataeb Hezbollah, which was involved in the attack on the U.S. Embassy this week.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said al-Muhandis had arrived to the airport in a convoy to receive Soleimani whose plane had arrived from either Lebanon or Syria. The airstrike occurred as soon as he descended from the plane to be greeted by al-Muhandis and his companions, killing them all.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject and because they were not authorized to give official statements.

US should attack Iran in response to attack on our embassy in Iraq

Once again, a U.S. embassy has come under an attack orchestrated by Iranian terrorists – but this time it is our embassy in Baghdad in Iraq rather than in the Iranian capital of Tehran as in 1979, when Iranian revolutionaries captured the U.S. Embassy and held 52 American hostage for 444 days.

Several dozen Iraqi Shiite militia members forced their way into the U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad Tuesday setting fires and causing other damage, angered by weekend U.S. airstrikes that killed members of an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq.

We must maintain control of our embassy in Baghdad. A U.S. official told Fox News that 100 Marines are being sent to the embassy to increase security.

President Trump is wisely standing firm, tweeting Tuesday to explain the American airstrikes and to deliver a sharp warning to the governments of both Iran and Iraq: “Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many,” the president tweeted. “We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!”

The president’s tweet is a welcome display of U.S. resolve, but more than a tweet is needed to show Iran it cannot attack the U.S. embassy with impunity. It’s time for an American military response.

 

Looking Back at Afghanistan, The ‘War of Necessity.’.

“The Ten Ships,” which was written ten years ago, argued that Afghanistan had no intrinsic geographical value in the War on Terror.

One of the reasons the Navy opposed a Southwest Pacific campaign during the Pacific War was the shrewd appreciation that once bureaucracy started on a task it would grow with it like a cancer whatever its original purpose. Admiral King wasn’t against an action in the Solomons. He was just afraid that it would take on a life of its own. The passage of time has not changed this tendency.
The campaign in Afghanistan began in 2002 with a specific purpose. But by the time Barack Obama was running for President its chief attraction was the fact that it was an alternative to the campaign in Iraq.
A 2009 article in the Wall Street Journal covering his speech before the VWF captured his thinking: Afghanistan was a “war of necessity”, unlike Iraq, which was a “war of choice”. Of all the “false choices” the President was fond of rhetorically raising, this was perhaps the falsest choice of all.
By asserting that Afghanistan, not oil or the Middle East or radical Islam was the center of gravity of the enemy, President Obama completely misframed the strategic choices.

Time has been kind to that assessment.  Attempts to remake Afghanistan into something moderately Western through nation-building has wound up feeding the Taliban. “Families of almost 150 U.S. service members and civilians who were killed or wounded in terror attacks in Afghanistan sued a group of Western contractors involved in the nation’s reconstruction for allegedly bribing the Taliban for protection for years.”

The alleged payments ultimately helped finance a Taliban-led insurgency that led to the attacks in Afghanistan between 2009 and 2017, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in Washington. The suit seeks unspecified damages for the families under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
“Defendants were all large Western companies with lucrative businesses in post-9/11 Afghanistan, and they all paid the Taliban to refrain from attacking their business interests,” according to the complaint. “Those protection payments aided and abetted terrorism by directly funding an al-Qaida-backed Taliban insurgency that killed and injured thousands of Americans.”

The Ten Ships argued — ten years ago — that one denies the jihad money, not give it to them…………

For all of its defects the campaign in Iraq was at least in the right place: at the locus of oil, ideology and brutal regimes that are the Middle East.
Ideally the campaign in Iraq would have a sent a wave of democratization through the area, undermined the attraction of radical Islam, provided a base from which to physically control oil if necessary.
That the campaign failed to attain many of objectives should not obscure the fact that its objectives were valid.
It made far more strategic sense than fighting tribesmen in Afghanistan.
Ideology, rogue regimes, energy are the three entities which have replaced the “ten ships” of 70 years ago.
The means through which these three entities should be engaged ought to be the subject of reasoned debate, whether by military, economic or technological means. But the vital nature of these objectives ought not to be. Neutralize the intellectual appeal of radical Islam, topple the rogue regimes, and ease Western dependence on oil and you win the war. Yet their centrality, and even their existence is what the politicians constantly deny.

If the War on Terror seems largely won today, or at least less desperate than September 2001, it is because radical Islam has discredited itself, the strongmen of the Middle East have self-immolated themselves through their own dysfunction, and entrepreneurs have eased American dependence on foreign oil through fracking and other innovations.

Report: Trump held private, enlisted-only Afghanistan war meetings – ‘No generals or officers, only enlisted guys that have been there’.

Since taking office, President Donald Trump has been meeting with enlisted troops to get a better understanding of how they feel the war in Afghanistan has been progressing.

Trump did not want to meet with higher ranking officers, instead choosing to meet with enlisted troops to get a more candid assessment of the America’s longest-running war, Business Insider reported.
“I want to sit down with some enlisted guys that have been there,” Trump reportedly told advisers, according to Peter Bergen, author of “Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos.”

“I don’t want any generals in here. I don’t want any officers,” he added.

Enlisted members of the military may have been seen as better able to critique the war effort as their roles tend to place them closer to combat and the consequences of a command. Enlisted members are also less concerned with the day-to-day politics that might affect higher ranking officers.

Trump reportedly compared the opinions of senior military officers to those of a restaurant consultant. Rather than taking the advice of the consultant, who would suggest expanding a kitchen for renovations, Trump argued it would be more prudent and cost effective to ask the advice of the waiters who see the day to day operations and can identify the most basic problems in a restaurant’s functions.

One of the first groups Trump reportedly met with were enlisted Navy SEALs who criticized the war and said the war in Afghanistan is “unwinnable.”

“NATO’s a joke. Nobody knows what they’re doing,” the SEALs reportedly told Trump. “We don’t fight to win. The morale is terrible. It’s totally corrupt.”

On another occasion on July 18, 2017, Trump held a White House meeting with four more Army and Air Force senior enlisted service members.

“I’ve heard plenty of ideas from a lot of people, but I want to hear it from the people on the ground,” Trump said at a press conference for the July 2017 meeting.

Following that meeting, Trump reportedly gathered senior military officials to the White House situation room, where he then warned that the enlisted members he spoke with know “a lot more than you generals,” and said that “we’re losing” the war in Afghanistan.

Today in History, 22 December 1944, Bastogne Belgium

To the U.S.A. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne.

The fortune of war is changing. This time the U.S.A. forces in and near Bastogne have been encircled by strong German armored units. More German armored units have crossed the river Our near Ortheuville, have taken Marche and reached St. Hubert by passing through Hompre-Sibret-Tillet. Libramont is in German hands.

There is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation: that is the honourable surrender of the encircled town. In order to think it over a term of two hours will be granted beginning with the presentation of this note.

If this proposal should be rejected one German Artillery Corps and six heavy A. A. Battalions are ready to annihilate the U.S.A. troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two hours term.

All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well-known American humanity.

The German Commander.

 

To the German Commander.

NUTS!

The American Commander.

U.S. Army Investigates Cadets Over OK Hand Gestures, Finds No Wrongdoing

The U.S. Military academy has concluded its investigation into cadets who flashed the “OK sign” during a live broadcast of an Army-Navy football game.

The findings of the West Point investigation were that “the cadets were playing a common game, popular among teenagers today, known as the ‘circle game’ and the intent was not associated with ideologies or movements that are contrary to the Army values.”