Boots & Sabers

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Category: Military

China Launched Nuclear-Capable Hypersonic Missile

American intelligence asleep at the switch again. China is reaching parity with America’s technical capabilities and they have five times as many people. As their economy destabilizes, their totalitarian instinct will be to start a war to rally the people. We are in a very dangerous time.

China secretly tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile which orbited the globe in a terrifying display of military strength which left the US stunned.

 

A report from the Financial Times, which cited five unnamed intelligence sources, said the Chinese military launched the Long March rocket in August carrying a hypersonic glide vehicle around the globe before cruising towards its target, which it missed by about two dozen miles.

 

The incident has left US intelligence officials stunned, sources say, as it shows ‘China has made astonishing progress on the development of its hypersonic weapons’.

Spy Caught

They are caught dead to rights. Firing squad for traitors.

The FBI says the scheme began in April 2020 when Jonathan Toebbe sent a package of Navy documents to a foreign government and wrote that he was interested in selling to that country operations manuals, performance reports and other sensitive information.

 

Authorities say he also provided instructions for how to conduct the furtive relationship, with a letter that said: ‘I apologize for this poor translation into your language. Please forward this letter to your military intelligence agency. I believe this information will be of great value to your nation. This is not a hoax.’

 

That package, which had a return address in Pittsburgh, was obtained by the FBI last December through its legal attache office in the unspecified foreign country.

 

That led to a monthslong undercover operation in which an agent posing as a representative of the foreign government made contact with Toebbe and agreed to pay thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency for the information he was offering.

 

In June, the FBI says, the undercover agent sent $10,000 in cryptocurrency to Toebbe, describing it as a sign of good faith and trust.

 

Weeks later, federal agents watched as the Toebbes arrived at an agreed-upon location in West Virginia for the exchange, with Diana Toebbe appearing to serve as a lookout for her husband during a dead-drop operation for which the FBI paid $20,000, according to the complaint.

 

The FBI recovered a blue memory card wrapped in plastic and placed between two slices of bread on a peanut butter sandwich, court documents said.

 

The FBI provided the contents of the memory card to a Navy subject matter expert who determined that the records included design elements and performance characteristics of Virginia-class submarine reactors, the Justice Department said.

National Guard Called out to Bus Kids

I’m beginning to suspect that there is a bit of mission creep in the National Guard.

The National Guard has been mobilized in Massachusetts to ferry kids to and from school amid a nationwide shortage of bus drivers exacerbated by COVID.

 

Up to 250 members of the Guard will be activated to address the shortage, following a direct order from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to deploy the servicemen, as school and state officials across the country have been forced to deal with the dearth of drivers.

The stated mission of the Guard is:

The Army National Guard’s federal mission is to maintain well-trained, well-equipped units available for prompt mobilization during war and provide assistance during national emergencies (such as natural disasters or civil disturbances).

Does a bus driver shortage really meet this threshold? Remember that members of the Guard have day jobs. They have to leave those jobs, travel away from their families, and give up their personal time when they are called into action. I expect that serving members are more than willing to do that to keep a city from being burned by rioters, helping recover from a hurricane, or going to actual war, but to drive kids to school?

Given the personal sacrifices that Guard members make whenever they are called up, we shouldn’t be so cavalier about it. They are not just a bunch of temp employees for the governor to use at will. They have a specific mission.

“Our 20 years of sacrifice worked”

It is unconscionable how we left behind so many people and so much equipment. Joe Biden turned a planned withdrawal into a defeat and armed a terrorist regime in the process. It’s a disgrace.

The Army released an image Monday of the last U.S. soldier to leave Afghanistan as the Pentagon announced the last American forces left Kabul airport 24 hours ahead of schedule.

 

The XVIII Airborne Corps, whose forces go by the Sky Dragons, were among the last to step off Afghan soil as the total withdrawal of U.S. forces concluded Monday ahead of the August 31 deadline.

 

[…]

 

And some 100 to 200 Americans and thousands of Afghan allies left behind must fend for themselves now that the airport no longer offers an escape route.

 

[…]

 

Footage emerged on social media of Taliban fighters apparently making their way through Kabul airport, examining Chinook helicopters left behind by U.S. troops.

 

‘The last five aircraft have left, it’s over,’ Hemad Sherzad, a Taliban fighter stationed at Kabul’s international airport, told the Associated Press.

 

‘I cannot express my happiness in words. … Our 20 years of sacrifice worked.’

Lost American Might

Biden claimed that this was all part of the plan… factored into the cost… so did he intentionally leave all of this firepower in the hands of brutal terrorists?

Billions of dollars of U.S. weapons are now in the hands of the Taliban following the quick collapse of Afghan security forces that were trained to use the military equipment.

 

Among the items seized by the Taliban are Black Hawk helicopters and A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft.

 

Photos have also circulated of Taliban fighters clutching U.S.-made M4 carbines and M16 rifles instead of their iconic AK-47s. And the militants have been spotted with U.S. Humvees and mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles.

Afghanistan Falls

A strategic withdrawal in the face of the enemy is one of the most difficult maneuvers to pull off. We did not succeed.

The Taliban has said they will declare an Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from the Presidential Palace in Kabul as militants posed in the office and the country’s president fled for Tajikistan, with thousands of Afghan nationals now racing to Pakistan to escape Islamist rule.

 

Taliban fighters stormed the ancient palace on Sunday and demanded a ‘peaceful transfer of power’ as Kabul descended into chaos, with US helicopters evacuating diplomats from the embassy in scenes echoing the 1975 Fall of Saigon which followed the Vietnam War.

 

US-backed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country for Tajikistan, effectively ceding power to the Taliban in a move signaling the end of the 20-year Western intervention begun after the September 11 attacks, while thousands of Afghan nationals rushed to the Pakistan border.

I continue to think that ending the war in Afghanistan was the correct policy choice. I do think we could have maintained a force there for some time – like in South Korea or Germany – as a means of keeping active in a global hotspot for our own security. But the absolute debacle of this withdrawal and the speed at which the Taliban took power is the manifestation of bad policy and bad leadership. From the White House to the Chiefs of Staff, they blew it. Completely and utterly. And America bears the shame of a lost war and the sacrifice of our local allies. We will feel the reverberations of this for many, many years to come.

General Refused to Act Even When He Allegedly Thought Trump Would Launch a Coup

Yawn.

The country’s top military officer was so convinced that then-President Donald Trump would attempt a coup after his election loss to Joe Biden that he and other senior generals made plans to stop him, according to a new book.

 

General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his deputies reportedly pledged to resign en masse if they were given an order by Trump that was illegal or unconstitutional.

If it’s true, then Milley is truly a coward for not making his knowledge public when it could have made a difference. In any case, if Milley really did believe that, he was wrong. This is just another political general looking to cash in on Trump hate.

Biden Administration is Abandoning Afghan Allies

This is a travesty and a stain on America. We must protect those who protected us.

Rep Seth Moulton, D-Mass., spoke at a rally on Friday to demand presidential action for American’s Afghan allies, such as interpreters who took great risks to help American troops and now are being left behind as U.S. military forces withdraw from the country.

 

Standing in Lafayette Square in front the White House, Moulton, a former Marine officer with multiple combat tours, said, “I want to thank veterans all across America, veterans of different political parties and different wars, who are coming together today and reminding Americans that we have a promise to uphold.”

 

The rally came one week after the New York Times reported that the Biden administration was notifying lawmakers that the U.S. would soon begin relocating thousands of Afghan allies to third countries while they await processing for their special immigrant visas. However, congressional members on both sides of the aisle have yet to receive details.

Outrage Over Making Military Women March in High Heels

Meanwhile, in Ukraine...

Plans by Ukraine’s defence ministry to have female soldiers march in high heels instead of army boots in a parade next month have caused angry reactions.

Iryna Gerashchenko, an opposition member of parliament, said it was sexism, not equality.

 

Ukraine is preparing to stage a military parade on 24 August to mark 30 years of independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

 

The defence ministry say the shoes are part of regulation-dress uniform.

 

Many in Ukraine expressed shock at the plan, with a group of lawmakers calling on Defence Minister Andriy Taran to offer an apology.

 

“The story of a parade in heels is a real disgrace,” commentator Vitaly Portnikov said on Facebook, arguing that some officials had a “medieval” mindset.

Ms Gerashchenko said she initially thought the pictures of women soldiers rehearsing in combat trousers and black pumps with block heels was a hoax. She said it was sexism, not equality, and wondered why the ministry thought heels were more important than designing body armour tailored to women.

US Exits Bagram

End of an era. I know a number of people who spent time on that base.

The last US and Nato forces have left Afghanistan’s Bagram airbase, the centre of the war against militants for some 20 years.

The pull-out could signal that the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan is imminent.

 

President Joe Biden has said US forces will be gone by 11 September.

But the withdrawal from the sprawling base, north of Kabul, comes as the main jihadist group, the Taliban, advances in many parts of Afghanistan.

China’s New Sub

Interesting.

Why the faceting? Sutton speculates that the fin shape is designed to reduce the submarine’s radar signature. Diesel-electric subs require air for their diesel engines to operate, and so they must remain surfaced or at snorkel depth to operate. Unlike nuclear submarines, which can cruise at depth for weeks at a time, non-nuclear subs often spend a great deal of time on or near the surface, only submerging once at their patrol area or when they expect enemy contact.

 

Many modern anti-submarine aircraft, such as the U.S. Navy’s P-8 Poseidon, utilize long-range radar to detect surfaced submarines or submarine snorkels or periscopes. An airplane with a long-range radar could detect a surfaced submarine from many miles away, before the sub spots it, and then close in for the hunt.

 

A stealthy sail, however, would allow the Type 39C/D to leave port and travel the hundreds of miles to its destination surfaced with less of a chance of being detected. This would save fuel and allow the submarine to patrol even farther. The sail is reminiscent of the A-26 design that’s currently under construction in Sweden, but Sutton says it’s too early to judge the new submarine a copy of the Swedish boat.

Navy Intercepts Iranians Arms Shipment

Iran has been funding and suppling global terrorism and war for decades. These are the people that President Biden wants to make sure has more pallets of cash to fund their global activities.

The U.S. Navy has seized an arms shipment of thousands of illicit assault weapons, machines guns and sniper rifles hidden aboard a ship in the Arabian Sea likely headed for Yemen, officials have said.

 

The U.S. fifth fleet, based in Bahrain, announced on Sunday that the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey discovered the weapons aboard a stateless dhow – a traditional Mideast sailing ship – in an operation that began Thursday in the northern reaches of the Arabian Sea off Oman and Pakistan.

 

An American defense official said the weapons resembled previous shipments which have been intercepted that were bound for Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Biden Takes Tactical Control of Drone Strikes

In other words, Trump gave tactical discretion to trained military officers in the field. They were effective in quashing ISIS and other threats. Now Biden has removed that discretion so that amateur politicians in the White House can decide.

While the Biden administration censored some passages, the visible portions show that in the Trump era, commanders in the field were given latitude to make decisions about attacks so long as they fit within broad sets of “operating principles,” including that there should be “near certainty” that civilians “will not be injured or killed in the course of operations.”

 

At the same time, however, the Trump-era rules were flexible about permitting exceptions to that and other standards, saying that “variations” could be made “where necessary” so long as certain bureaucratic procedures were followed in approving them.

 

[…]

 

The Biden administration suspended the Trump-era rules on its first day in office and imposed an interim policy of requiring White House approval for proposed strikes outside of the war zones of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. At the same time, the Biden team began a review of how both Obama- and Trump-era policies had worked — both on paper and in practice — with an eye toward developing its own policy.

 

The review, officials said, discovered that Trump-era principles to govern strikes in certain countries often made an exception to the requirement of “near certainty” that there would be no civilian casualties. While it kept that rule for women and children, it permitted a lower standard of merely “reasonable certainty” when it came to civilian adult men.

“;l;;gmlxzssaw”

That’s comforting.

The perils of working from home while managing the social media account of a major military power have been thrown into sharp relief after the US Strategic Command tweeted a confusing string of gibberish.

 

Thirteen mysterious characters long, the tweet – “;l;;gmlxzssaw – prompted some on social media to jokingly suggest it was confidential information, for example a password or a nuclear launch code, that had accidentally been leaked.

 

[…]

 

The Strategic Command’s freedom of information officer said in a statement that “the command’s Twitter manager, while in a telework status, momentarily left the command’s Twitter account open and unattended. His very young child took advantage of the situation and started playing with the keys and unfortunately, and unknowingly, posted the tweet.”

The retired US army lieutenant general Mark Hertling summed up a lot of the response by posting: “It’s a pocket tweet from our nuclear headquarters. Everything’s fine,” with a laughing emoji.

SAS Sniper Kills Five Islamists with Single Shot from Over Half a Mile Away

Daaaaang….

An SAS marksman killed five Islamic State fighters (IS) with a single sniper shot from 3,000ft away, according to reports.

 

The highly-experienced special forces sniper is said to have used a Barrett .50 calibre rifle to shoot his jihadist target in the chest – exploding his suicide vest.

 

The bomb blast killed the target and four other IS fighters. Among the five dead was a top jihadist commander, reports the Daily Star on Sunday.

Guardsmen Shoved in Corner of Garage After Being Used as Inaugural Props

Shame.

(CNN)Thousands of National Guardsmen have been moved to a parking garage after they were told they could no longer use space within the US Capitol Complex, including areas like the cafeteria of a Senate office building, as a rest area, multiple Guardsmen told CNN.

Prior to Thursday morning, several areas throughout the Capitol Complex were designated as authorized rest areas where members of the Guard could take breaks from their shifts protecting Capitol. By Thursday morning, all those areas had been cleared out and their designations removed, the Guardsmen said.
“We honestly just feel betrayed,” one guardsman told CNN, noting that a day before, congressmen had come by for photos with the different National Guards units that came to Washington to support security around the inauguration. “After everything went seamlessly, we were deemed useless and banished to a corner of a parking garage.”
Politico was first to report on the guardsmen’s situation.

Armed Occupation

The onset of the new administration has all of the hallmarks of an armed occupation.

D.C. has called in 25,000 National Guard troops to guard the streets in and around the Capitol in the days leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20. They are being joined by patrols by the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, the Capitol Police and law enforcement from cities around the country.

 

There are at least 7,000 troops from dozens of states already on the ground in the nation’s capital with more to arrive in the coming days.

 

Officials have installed a massive security apparatus around the complex where the inauguration is to take place.

 

The FBI has also warned police agencies of possible armed protests at all 50 state capitols starting January 16 through January 20, fuelled by supporters of Trump who believe his false claims of electoral fraud.

 

Michigan, Virginia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Washington are among the states that have activated their National Guards to strengthen security.

Space Force Wins First Battle

Hoorah.

The US Space Force has won a transatlantic video game tournament against teams from other branches of the American and British armed forces.

The American team defeated the Royal Air Force in the final of the Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War tournament, while the British Army and Royal Navy had been eliminated in previous rounds – coming third and fifth in the overall competition.

The tournament, which took place on Friday, was created by the Call Of Duty Endowment charity and funded by the games developer Activision Blizzard to help unemployed veterans find quality careers.

While I support the Space Force and think it was long overdue, I question the need to train on tactical squad combat :)

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