Pentagon to deploy additional 2,100 troops to U.S.-Mexico border

If they’re just going to watch and make supply runs; geez, anybody can do that.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon said on Wednesday it would send an additional 1,000 Texas National Guard and 1,100 active duty troops to the border with Mexico, the latest deployment in support of President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown.

Major Chris Mitchell, a Pentagon spokesman, told Reuters that acting Defense Secretary Richard Spencer had approved the additional troops on Tuesday night, and they would be assisting with tasks like logistical support and aerial surveillance.

There are currently about 4,500 active duty and National Guard troops on the border with Mexico……….

The Trump administration on Monday unveiled a new rule to bar almost all immigrants from applying for asylum at the southern border, requiring them to first pursue safe haven in a third country through which they had traveled on the way to the United States.

Green Berets train Polish, Latvian resistance units in West Virginia

Former ‘client’ states of the defunct Soviets and we’re teaching them how to run a guerrilla operation if Putin gets froggy.
Suuuure we’ve got a Rooshian Puppet for President.

U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers completed the first irregular and unconventional warfare training iteration for members of the Polish Territorial Defense Forces and Latvian Zemmessardze as a part of the Ridge Runner program in West Virginia, according to service officials.

The Green Berets, who are with 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group and the West Virginia Army National Guard, use the Ridge Runner exercise to offer U.S. troops and NATO allied forces training in asymmetrical warfare.

This summer, Latvia and Poland traveled to West Virginia for the program. Both nations have newly invigorated homeland defense forces capable of pushing back against an invading force and opposing a potential occupation.

The units are trained to provide response during the early stages of a hybrid conflict. Their tasks could include slowing the advancing units of an aggressor nation by destroying key transportation infrastructure such as bridges, attacking enemy forces at choke points and potentially serving as forward observers for NATO aircraft responding with airstrikes.

Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher acquitted of murder in ISIS fighter case

Having a picture made of you standing next to a dead terrorist is a UCMJ crime now? Sheee.

A decorated Navy SEAL was found not guilty of murder and attempted murder Tuesday by a military jury in San Diego.

Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, 40, was accused of fatally stabbing a young wounded ISIS fighter, posing for a picture with the corpse and shooting two civilians from a sniper’s perch in Iraq in 2017.

Gallagher was found guilty on the charge involving the photo with the corpse.

After the verdict was read, Gallagher, his wife and the whole defense team stood up and began hugging. Gallagher and his wife Andrea, who was crying, touched foreheads and held each other’s faces.

Gallagher’s sentencing for wrongful posing for photos with a human casualty is scheduled for later on Tuesday, but his attorneys expect Gallagher will be freed afterwards.

“We have a sentencing to do, but the maximum sentence of what they’re about to sentence him on is much less than the time that they’ve already had him in the brig,” defense attorney Tim Parlatore said after Tuesday’s verdict. “So he is going home.”

The jury of five Marines and two sailors — one of whom is a SEAL — had to decide if the boy was stabbed to death, or died from wounds sustained during an airstrike with Gallagher’s being falsely accused by disgruntled subordinates. The jury began deliberations Monday in the court-martial at Naval Base San Diego.

The Trump Doctrine.

“Perhaps the problem with the Trump Doctrine — that it leaves the future of other countries in their own peoples’ hands — is also one of its strengths.”

When the U.S. launched cyberstrikes at Iran’s missile control systems in response to an Iranian shoot down of a U.S. drone near the Gulf of Oman, it surprised pundits. Donald Trump was widely expected by the press to bomb something in return.

The political left was unprepared for the possibility that Trump would not run true to their stereotype. The Gulf of Oman was already being compared to the Gulf of Tonkin. “From the U.S.S. Maine in Havana Harbor in 1898 to the U.S.S. Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964, maritime incidents, shrouded in the fog of uncertainty, have lured the United States into wars on foreign shoals.” Members of Congress had already geared up in anticipation to block the war that was sure to come. “As the prospect of a confrontation with Iran continues to rise, an increasing number of members of Congress have a new objective: ensuring President Trump does not launch a war without their approval.”

The problem is that in contrast to the straightforward brutalities of old-school war this approach may result in a stalemate. Indeed the real weakness of the new Trump Strategy is not that it lacks an Exit but that it lacks an Entry. As Tanya Goudsouzian pointed out in Le Monde it has proved extremely difficult to effect regime change using “war by other means” alone. “Over the years, the preferred US weapon has been economic and financial sanctions. When used against North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and others, they succeeded only in punishing economies and people.”

So far hybrid warfare has proved capable of devastating their countries but not toppling its leaders. Despite ration lines in Cuba, a Venezuelan economy so bad even Russian arms dealers are wary of selling to them, a North Korea heading for another starvation winter the brutal regimes in these countries rule in perfect safety, willing if necessary to stay in power to the death of their last wretched citizen. Reuters paints the haunting picture of towns in a socialist Venezuela reduced to a “primitive isolation” that may well be eventual fate of Iran.

 

Pentagon secretly struck back against Iranian cyberspies targeting U.S. ships

I am unable to confirm, or deny, that Nitro Zeus is still in operation.
, and I can neither confirm, nor deny that Ich Bin had a very small part in it.

WASHINGTON — On Thursday evening, U.S. Cyber Command launched a retaliatory digital strike against an Iranian spy group that supported last week’s limpet mine attacks on commercial ships, according to two former intelligence officials.

The group, which has ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, has over the past several years digitally tracked and targeted military and civilian ships passing through the economically important Strait of Hormuz, through which pass 17.4 million barrels of oil per day. Those capabilities, which have advanced over time, enabled attacks on vessels in the region for several years.

Though sources declined to provide any further details of the retaliatory cyber operation, the response highlights how the Persian Gulf has become a staging ground for escalating digital — as well as conventional — conflict, with both the United States and Iran trying to get the upper hand with cyber capabilities.

The retaliatory cyber response follows several weeks of mounting tension in the region, which appeared set to boil over after last week’s attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf. U.S. officials blamed Iran for the attacks and threatened to strike back if U.S. interests in the region were harmed. Then, on Thursday, Iranians shot down a $240 million U.S. military drone.

In response, President Trump initially authorized — but then decided against — targeted military strikes on Thursday night. He said in a series of tweets Friday morning that he pulled back before any missiles were launched when he learned 150 Iranians might die.

Meanwhile, multiple private U.S. cyber intelligence firms have reported attempts by Iranian hackers in recent weeks to infiltrate American organizations. U.S. officials told the Wall Street Journal they fear heightened escalations not only in physical space but in cyberspace as well.

The National Security Council declined to comment on the Iranian cyber group or the U.S. Cyber Command response. The National Security Agency, U.S. Central Command and the Navy all directed Yahoo News to U.S. Cyber Command for comment. Cyber Command did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Heather Babb, a Pentagon spokeswoman, told Yahoo News that “as a matter of policy and for operational security, we do not discuss cyberspace operations, intelligence or planning.”

Iran’s cyber capabilities are not the most sophisticated, at least compared to the United States’, but they are getting better. Tehran’s ability to gather information and unleash offensive operations have developed significantly in the last decade or so, particularly after Iranian centrifuges at the Natanz uranium enrichment plant were struck by a malicious computer worm created by U.S. and Israeli intelligence and first revealed in 2010.

“After the Stuxnet event, Iran really cranked up its capability,” said Gary Brown, who served as the first senior legal counsel for U.S. Cyber Command and is currently a professor on cyber law at the National Defense University. Brown cited Iran’s cyberattacks on global financial institutions, Saudi Aramco and the Sands Casino. While unfamiliar with current activities, Brown told Yahoo News that Cyber Command has long been interested in Iranian cyber capabilities and “undoubtedly they’re continuing to track them.”

Navy won’t drop murder charges against SEAL Edward Gallagher despite bombshell testimony

Wierd.

Navy prosecutors are still pursuing murder charges against Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher even after bombshell testimony Thursday by a Navy colleague who confessed that he was the one to kill the teenage Islamic State fighter.

Special Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, a SEAL Team Seven medic, testifying for the prosecution under an immunity agreement, told the court that he held his “thumb over his TT tube until he quit breathing,” admitting that he asphyxiated the captive, despite saying that he saw Gallagher stab the boy in his neck.

When cross-examined by the defense, Scott said he killed the fighter because he knew “he was going to die anyways.”

“I wanted to save him from what was going to happen to him next,” Scott said, referring to alleged torture by Iraqi captors.

Gallagher served nine months in prison awaiting trial in the fatal stabbing of the 15-year old ISIS fighter in Iraq in 2017. He has also been accused of shooting two civilians in the same year, and opening fire on crowds, all claims he has vociferously denied.

Gallagher’s attorney Tim Parlatore, said at a news conference he is “expecting a not-guilty verdict” after Scott’s testimony.

Prosecutors are now treating Scott as a hostile witness, saying that he did not disclose that he was the one to asphyxiate the ISIS fighter in his pre-trial interviews and is only doing so now because he has an immunity deal and doesn’t want to see his colleague go to prison.

Court allows a class-action lawsuit against VA for the first time

A federal court for the first time will allow a class-action lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs to move ahead, a move that legal experts said opens the doors for a host of similar cases against the bureaucracy.

The decision, which could affect thousands of veterans, came late last week in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Last August, the same court for the first time ruled that class-action lawsuits would be allowed against VA in “appropriate cases,” but no such claims met court standards until now.

This case — Godsey v. Wilkie — sought relief for veterans facing lengthy waits for the department to certify their disability benefits appeals claims. The case was originally filed in 2017 on behalf of four veterans facing lengthy delays, but lawyers argued it should be broadened to include an entire class of individuals waiting for their benefits.

U.S. Navy releases smoking gun video of Iran removing unexploded limpet mine from oil tanker’s hull 

If there were any doubts Iran is responsible for the attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, a new report should put those doubts to rest. The United States has video of Iran removing unexploded mines from the side of one of the ships that was hit. The Iranian ship can be seen pulling alongside one of the tankers and removing what appears to be a limpet mine while believing they were not being watched. The video, released by the United States Navy, shows the actions by the Iranians.

Trump to Make Major US, Poland Security Announcement

U.S. President Donald Trump and his Polish counterpart will make “a significant announcement on the future security partnership” Wednesday at the White House, according to senior administration officials.

“We believe it is going to significantly enhance our military-to-military relationship, but also enhance the defense and deterrence posture in Europe and our commitment to NATO,” the officials said, speaking to reporters ahead of Trump’s meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda.

Another official, who spoke to VOA on condition of anonymity, said the agreement will involve hundreds of additional “rotational” U.S. forces.

No further details have been provided by U.S. sources, with some stressing that they did not want to get ahead of the announcement.

Medal of Honor announced for soldier who fought through three floors of insurgents in Fallujah

RTWT. HooAH!

The president will award the Medal of Honor on June 25 to a soldier who fought through a nest of insurgents during the second Battle of Fallujah in 2004, the White House officially announced Monday.

Then-Staff Sgt. David G. Bellavia originally received the Silver Star for his actions, but his citation was revisited as part of a review of valor awards and determined worthy of the nation’s highest combat award.

The award will give Bellavia one of now seven Operation Iraqi Freedom Medals of Honor, and make him the only living recipient from the Iraq War.

During the battle, Bellavia single-handedly killed multiple insurgents, including one during hand-to-hand combat.

 

 

Lest we forget
75 years ago the men of the United States, Great Britain, France and the Allied nations stormed the Normandy beaches of France in the beginning of the western front to defeat Nazi Germany. It would take another 11 months to finish them off.

Robert Capa Omaha Beach June 6 1944

 

Why the world can thank American exceptionalism for successful D-Day.

General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower commanded the battle for Europe — and for the soul of Western civilization — that unfolded over France’s Cotentin Peninsula 75 years ago this morning.

But it was Henry Ford who won it.

For it was America’s Ford-inspired assembly lines — the nation’s vast industrial capacity — that pumped out the ships, planes, guns and gear that made victory in Normandy and beyond not only possible but virtually inevitable.

Nothing like D-Day had ever been seen before and never will be seen again — a righteous undertaking that probably would have been unnecessary had European leadership not quailed before Adolf Hitler’s malign rise in the 1930s.

But when the invasion came, it was awesome.

It has been said, often only half-jokingly, that on June 6, 1944, a man might have hopped across the English Channel on the decks of the 6,939 warships, landing craft and combat-support vessels arrayed before the five invasion beaches as the predawn fog lifted on that historic morning.

By June 6, Allied air forces had long since swept the Luftwaffe from the skies over Western Europe — no invasion would have been possible had they not done so — but 11,500 US and British warplanes went aloft on that day anyway, delivering some 17,000 tons of bombs and reducing key defensive strong points to smoldering ruins.

There were 1.5 million US soldiers stationed in England as the battle began; 156,000 US and British soldiers either crossed the beaches or parachuted into Normandy on the first day — the vanguard of armies of millions that would effectively clear France of Germans by early fall.

This outcome, in retrospect, was preordained, but it surely didn’t seem so on June 6. The Wehrmacht was legendarily ferocious in defense — and thus Eisenhower had prepared a terse statement acknowledging an invasion failure and taking full, personal responsibility for it.

Certainly, very heavy casualties were anticipated.

In the event, “Saving Private Ryan” notwithstanding, the D-Day butcher’s bill was relatively modest — with some 10,000 Allied soldiers killed, wounded or missing. There were 4,500 fatalities — 2,500 of whom were American — but it is no dishonor to Normandy veterans to note that this would have been considered a day off on the Eastern Front.

And it was, in very fundamental ways, the Eastern Front that was at issue on June 6. The Soviet Union had been hemorrhaging blood since Germany’s invasion three years earlier — and Joseph Stalin had been demanding a second front in Western Europe to take pressure off his gravely wounded nation almost as soon as Hitler declared war on the US on Dec. 11, 1941.

Today is Memorial Day, once more commonly called Decoration Day
This day we particularly pay our respects and honor the military service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice to the nation.

While we’re all bar-be-queing, and for those not yet retired, taking an extra day off from work, don’t forget how we got here.

The Pentagon Finally Admits it Investigates UFOs

UFO – Unidentified Flying Object – is just that and something flying that’s unidentified. Of course the military is going to be checking things out when someone can’t ID something flying around.

The Pentagon has finally uttered the words it always avoided when discussing the possible existence of UFOs — “unidentified aerial phenomena” — and admits that it still investigates reports of them.

In a statement provided exclusively to The Post, a Department of Defense spokesman said a secret government initiative called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program “did pursue research and investigation into unidentified aerial phenomena.”

And while the DOD says it shut down the AATIP in 2012, spokesman Christopher Sherwood acknowledged that the department still investigates claimed sightings of alien spacecraft.

In the United States, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May.

That’s today.

First observed on 20 May 1950, Armed Forces Day was created on 31 August 1949, to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches following the consolidation of the military services in the U.S. Department of Defense. It was intended to replace the separate Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Days, but the separate days are still observed, especially within the respective services.

Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) is expected in June to start a five-month Caribbean deployment to provide humanitarian and medical assistance to the region, notable to refugees flooding into Colombia from neighboring Venezuela.

Comfort’s departure will mark the seventh deployment to the Caribbean since 2007 and is the second planned deployment to South America in the last six months. Last fallComfort sailed to Colombia, at the request of the government, to provide medical care to Venezuelan refugees.

“U.S. Southern Command is committed to the region in support of our Caribbean and Latin American partners, as well as displaced Venezuelans who continue to flee the brutal oppression of the former Maduro regime and its interlocking, man-made political, economic and humanitarian crises,” Adm. Craig Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) said in a statement Tuesday about June’s deployment.

Comfort is a 250-bed hospital that can accommodate several hundred Navy medical staff onboard, including pediatricians, surgeons, nurse practitioners, surgical technicians and various support personnel, according to the Navy.

Statement from the National Security Advisor Ambassador John Bolton
NATIONAL SECURITY & DEFENSE

Issued on: May 5, 2019

In response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings, the United States is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force. The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces.

 

 

May, marked officially as Military Appreciation Month, is a special month for both those in and out of the military.

Not only do we pause on Memorial Day to remember the sacrifice and service of those who gave all, but the month also holds several other military anniversaries and events, including Military Spouse Appreciation Day and Armed Forces day.

Congress designated May as National Military Appreciation Month in 1999 to ensure the nation was given the chance to publicly show their appreciation for troops past and present.

What is Military Appreciation Month

Each year the president makes a proclamation, reminding Americans of the important role the U.S. Armed Forces have played in the history and development of our country. May was chosen because it has many individual days marked to note our military’s achievements, including Loyalty Day, established in 1921, Victory in Europe (VE) Day commemorating the end of WWII in Europe in 1945, Children of Fallen Patriots Day and the anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden.

Trump says sending ‘armed soldiers’ to US-Mexico border

Washington (AFP) – President Donald Trump said Wednesday the US is sending armed soldiers to the southern border after Mexican soldiers recently “pulled guns” on US troops.

Trump appeared to be referring to an April 13 incident in which Mexican troops reportedly questioned and pointed their weapons at two US troops conducting surveillance on the border.

“Mexico’s Soldiers recently pulled guns on our National Guard Soldiers, probably as a diversionary tactic for drug smugglers on the Border. [*gasp* Horrors! Say it isn’t so!] Better not happen again!” he tweeted.

“We are now sending ARMED SOLDIERS to the Border. Mexico is not doing nearly enough in apprehending & returning!”

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said his government would analyze the incident, take into account Trump’s comments, and act “in keeping with law within the framework of our sovereignty.”

Today, April 19 1775, 244 years ago, the Battles of Lexington and Concord (The Shot Heard ‘Round The World)  kicked off the American Revolutionary War (1775-83). Tensions had been building for many years between residents of the 13 American colonies and the British authorities, particularly in Massachusetts. Troops of the British Army began a mission to confiscate arms and powder from units of the Massachusetts Militia, ran into a hornet’s nest and finally set off a powderkeg .

At dawn on April 19, some 700 British troops arrived in Lexington and came upon 77 militiamen gathered on the town green. A British major yelled, “Throw down your arms! Ye villains, ye rebels.” The heavily outnumbered militiamen had just been ordered by their commander to disperse when a shot rang out. To this day, no one knows which side fired first. Several British volleys were subsequently unleashed before order could be restored. When the smoke cleared, eight militiamen lay dead and nine were wounded, while only one Redcoat was injured.

The British then continued into Concord to search for arms, not realizing that the vast majority had already been relocated. They decided to burn what little they found, and the fire got slightly out of control. Hundreds of militiamen occupying the high ground outside of Concord incorrectly thought the whole town would be torched. The militiamen hustled to Concord’s North Bridge, which was being defended by a contingent of British soldiers. The British fired first but fell back when the colonists returned the volley. This was the “shot heard ‘round the world” later immortalized by poet Ralph Waldo Emerson

An acquaintance had a thought in passing;
“One can make the argument that the American Revolution did not start at Lexington and Concord. It began at a place called Meriam’s Corner where the British troops had to make a turn on their retreat to Boston. That is where the local militias of all the surrounding villages, which had not been attacked, arrived to help their neighbors who had been attacked and fought the Brits all the way back to Boston and there besieged them.”