Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Category: Military

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 :)

Traitor Caught

Hang ’em high (if he’s guilty)

(CNN)A former Army Green Beret has been charged with providing information about US national defenses to Russian agents, the Department of Justice announced on Friday.

Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins was arrested for allegedly releasing details to Russian intelligence operatives about the chemical and Special Forces unit he was a part of before and while serving in the US Army.
Prosecutors with the Eastern District of Virginia say Debbins met with Russian operatives on multiple occasions from 1996 to 2011 and was even assigned a code name, “Ikar Lesnikov,” by Russian intel agents. Debbins is also accused of signing a statement allegedly affirming that he wanted to serve Russia.
The FBI alleges that “Mr. Debbins knowingly provided information to self-proclaimed members of Russia’s Intelligence Service, the GRU,” said James A. Dawson, acting assistant director in charge of the FBI Washington field office.

West Bend Army National Guard Being Deployed

Godspeed.

WEST BEND, Wis. — Approximately 35 Soldiers from the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s G Company, 2nd Battalion, 104th Aviation will deploy to the Middle East this summer.

Based in West Bend, the unit will mobilize in support of Operations Spartan Shield and Inherent Resolve.

The Wisconsin National Guard continues to maintain a high operations tempo with hundreds of Citizen Soldiers and Airmen deployed overseas including approximately 200 Red Arrow Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry currently serving in Afghanistan and approximately 160 Red Arrow Soldiers from the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team headquarters who deployed to Ukraine in fall 2019 where they are overseeing a group of multinational “partner and advise training teams” – or PATTs – based at the International Peacekeeping Security Center in western Ukraine. Approximately 150 Soldiers from the 829th Engineer Company and another 20 Soldiers from the 924th Engineer Facilities Detachment remain deployed to the Middle East. The 1967th Contracting Team also deployed to the Horn of Africa in the winter.

US and Taliban Move Toward Peace

Let’s hope it holds.

The US and the Taliban have signed an agreement aimed at paving the way towards peace in Afghanistan after more than 18 years of conflict.

The US and its Nato allies have agreed to withdraw all their troops from the country within 14 months if the militants uphold the deal.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Taliban leaders attended the signing ceremony in Doha in Qatar.

Talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban are due to follow.

Under the agreement signed in Doha, the militants also agreed not to allow al-Qaeda or any other extremist group to operate in the areas they control.

 

Russia Threatens U.S. Spy Satellite

One wonders how often this happens.

A top Space Force official has lashed out at Russia for trailing a US spy satellite with two spacecraft.

Gen John Raymond, the chief of space operations for America’s newly-minted Space Force, said the two Russian satellites began pursuing the multi-billion dollar US satellite in November and have at times flown within 100 miles it.

‘This is unusual and disturbing behavior and has the potential to create a dangerous situation in space,’ Raymond said in a statement to Business Insider.

‘The United States finds these recent activities to be concerning and do not reflect the behavior of a responsible spacefaring nation.’

The US has raised concerns about the matter to Moscow through diplomatic channels, Raymond told Time magazine, which first reported the stalking on Monday.

The confrontation marks the first time the US military has publicly identified a direct threat to a specific American satellite by an adversary.

Chinese Military Accused of Hacking Equifax

Cyber-warfare is real.

Four members of the Chinese military have been charged with breaking into the networks of the Equifax credit reporting agency and stealing the personal information of tens of millions of Americans.

The 2017 breach affected roughly 145 million people, with the hackers successfully stealing names, Social Security numbers and other personal information stored in the company’s databases.

The Justice Department on Monday blamed China for one of the largest hacks in history.

The four – Wu Zhiyong, Wang Qian, Xu Ke and Liu Lei – are members of the People’s Liberation Army, which is an arm of the Chinese military.

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