Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Category: Military

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.

Another Terrorist Killed

Excellent.

The United States has killed the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), President Donald Trump said.

Qasim al-Raymi, who has led the jihadist group since 2015, was killed in a US operation in Yemen, the White House said.

The jihadist leader had been linked to a series of attacks on Western interests in the 2000s.

He took over the leadership after his predecessor was killed by a US drone strike.

West Bend Teacher Wins Teacher of the Year from VFW

Mindel’s work to honor veterans is truly wonderful. This is well deserved. Congrats.

Honoring veterans is one of the things that Scott Mindel has chosen to spend much of his time doing. It was just a matter of time before he received the recognition he deserves.

Mindel, a West Bend East High School social studies teacher, was named teacher of the year for the state of Wisconsin by the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Saturday. He received the award in Green Bay due to the amount of time that he has spent recognizing local veterans throughout the years. Tonight, at the school board meeting, time has been set aside for John Kleinmaus of the VFW Post 1393 in West Bend to recognize Mindel for his work and award him with the District 6 level of the award.

Most WBHS students will remember the Veterans Day assembly that Mindel organized last November. While this is the primary reason that Mindel was nominated for teacher of the year, there are many other things that Mindel has accomplished that went into him receiving this award.

“The award is not just for that, it’s a combination of things starting in 2015, with the West Bend High School veterans tribute video that plays downstairs in the main hallway,” Mindel said when asked what the award is for. “It’s for what happened on November 1st, it’s for things that I have done for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July parade, it’s for the national Signing Day that we have for students that are going into the military. So, it’s a combination of things that have happened since 2015.”

Ukrainian Plane Probable Downed by Iranian Missle

Given the timing, I doubt was intentional, but I bet Iran had a hand in it.

Evidence suggests an Iranian missile brought down a Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed near Tehran, possibly in error, Western leaders say.

The leaders of Canada and the UK called for a full and thorough investigation into the crash, which killed all 176 people on board.

Iran has ruled out a missile strike by its air defences.

The crash came just hours after Iran carried out missile strikes on two airbases housing US forces in Iraq.

Looking East

The news out of Iraq is disturbing, if not unexpected. Pray for the safety of our people and our allies.

Also, be very cautious about reacting to the news of the moment. We will know more tomorrow and even more next week. This could be a relatively empty show of force by Iran’s leaders for the benefit of domestic concerns. It could be the beginning of a full-scale attack (unlikely). It could be a hasty reaction with no clear strategic direction. It could be a lot of things. Time will tell. Right now, prayers and sober, thoughtful consideration is the order of the day.

U.S. Hits Back

Boom.

Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Soleimani, the powerful head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, has been killed in an airstrike at Baghdad International Airport, Iraqi TV and three Iraqi officials officials said Friday.

The officials said the strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, which were responsible for the recent attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

An official with the PMF blamed the U.S. military for the strike. ‘The American and Israeli enemy is responsible for killing the mujahideen Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Soleimani,’ said Ahmed al-Assadi, a PMF spokesman.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that strikes had been carried out against two targets linked to Iran in Baghdad on Thursday but declined to give any further details.

American officials have made no public comments on the strike yet. The Pentagon and the White House did not immediately respond to inquiries from DailyMail.com. Soon after news of the strike spread, President Donald Trump tweeted an image of an American flag, offering no remarks or explanation.

The audacious airport strike is a potential turning point in the Middle East as U.S.-Iran relations teeter on the brink, and is expected to draw severe retaliation from Iran and and its Shiite allies against Israel and American interests.

Experts say that the killing of Soleimani will be viewed by Iran as a massive military provocation. ‘The pressure to retaliate will be immense,’ tweeted Middle East scholar and John Hopkins professor Vali Nasr.

‘Soleimani had cult hero status within IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) and among Shia militias in the region, and was personally the most popular regime figure in Iran,’ said Nasr.

Confirmed.

The Pentagon confirmed he was killed “at the direction of the president”.

It comes after reports of a strike at Baghdad’s international airport, which is said to have killed a number of people.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards also confirmed Gen Soleimani was dead, blaming an attack by US helicopters.

Iran has been escalating the pressure for a couple of years. This time, they pushed too hard by attacking American people on American soil… and we pushed back.

U.S. Beefs up Embassy Security After Attack

Things in the Middle East are not always as they seem and I am not convinced that we know the whole story here. It is exceedingly strange for Iranian militants to operate in Iraq as the Iraqis look on, but that appears to be what happened. Why? Who is really behind it? What was the purpose? What reaction are they trying to get out of the U.S.? In any case, beefing up security to make it clear that we will defend our people is a prudent course of action.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Charging that Iran was “fully responsible” for an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, President Donald Trump ordered about 750 U.S. soldiers deployed to the Middle East as about 3,000 more prepared for possible deployment in the next several days.

No U.S. casualties or evacuations were reported after the attack Tuesday by dozens of Iran-supported militiamen. U.S. Marines were sent from Kuwait to reinforce the compound.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Tuesday night that “in response to recent events” in Iraq, and at Trump’s direction, he authorized the immediate deployment of the infantry battalion from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He did not specify the soldiers’ destination, but a U.S. official familiar with the decision said they will go to Kuwait.

“This deployment is an appropriate and precautionary action taken in response to increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities, such as we witnessed in Baghdad today,” Esper said in a written statement.

Additional soldiers from the 82nd Airborne’s quick-deployment brigade, known officially as its Immediate Response Force, were prepared to deploy, Esper said. The U.S. official, who provided unreleased details on condition of anonymity, said the full brigade of about 4,000 soldiers may deploy.

Another observation.

Tuesday’s crowds, which included militia leaders and Shiite politicians, did not breach the embassy compound itself, but they did make it past an outer wall, charging up to the embassy security gates, staring U.S. security personnel in the face and smashing and torching property outside.

How was that possible?

“Because it was planned,” said Ganyard. “Look at the overhead views of the protest. Carefully abiding by set limits. … It was staged and had the approval of the Iraqi government.”

“The Iraqi government was never going to let Iranian proxies take over the U.S. embassy,” he added. But they had to let them get far enough to let off steam and to dissipate some of the anger in those ranks.

Iran, however, doesn’t want things to go so far that the U.S. has a reason to strike its personnel.

Michigan Makes Bid for F-35s if Wisconsin Doesn’t Want Them

Good for them. The military should put their resources in communities that welcome them.

A bipartisan majority of Michigan’s congressional delegation members have signed a letter to Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett, urging her to select Selfridge Air National Guard Base as one of the locations to host the Air National Guard’s next F-35A operational bases after the completion of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

In December 2017, the Harrison Township base lost a bid to be one of two preferred alternative locations for the F-35s.

Bases in Alabama and Wisconsin were selected instead of Selfridge, which was among five National Guard bases across the country competing to be one of the two homes to the new fighter aircraft. The aircraft are to go to the new bases beginning in 2023.

But there has been concern in Madison, Wisconsin, from officials and residents about the F-35s going to Truax Field Air National Guard Base, which is about 6 miles northeast of the city.

“We understand that last month, the City of Madison submitted a letter with 22 pages of public comments, tasking the Air Force with 25 questions to be resolved in the Final EIS, and requesting that if those questions are not satisfactorily answered, you, as Secretary of the Air Force, reconsider listing Truax Field as a preferred location,” according to the Michigan delegation’s letter dated Monday. “In addition to numerous complaints about the F-35 mission from individual Madison residents, the Madison Common Council also passed a resolution raising the community’s substantial concerns with basing the F-35A mission at Truax Field.”

It continued: “Macomb County, Michigan’s residents and elected officials welcome a potential F-35 mission and have consistently offered community support to Selfridge and its tenants. Selfridge offers the capabilities and facilities ideally suited to sustain F-35 operations.”

al-Baghdadi Dead

This is a man who perpetrated a terrorist regime and a genocide of non-Islamists. Thanks to our Special Forces for getting this job done.

The fugitive leader of the Islamic State (IS) group has been killed in a US military operation in northwest Syria, President Donald Trump has said.

Speaking from the White House, Mr Trump said Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi detonated his suicide vest after being caught at the end of a tunnel by special forces.

Baghdadi came to prominence in 2014, when he announced the creation of a “caliphate” in areas of Iraq and Syria.

10% Responsible for Genocide

What a fascinating case.

The Dutch supreme court has upheld a ruling that the Netherlands was partially responsible for 350 deaths in Bosnia’s Srebrenica massacre.

The court said the state had 10% liability, as this was the probability that its soldiers could have prevented the killings.

Bosnian Serb forces killed a total of 8,000 Muslim men in the town of Srebrenica in 1995.

The Dutch had been guarding a UN safe zone when it was overrun.

It is rare for a state to be held responsible for failures in UN peacekeeping work, but the court emphasised that the Netherlands bore “very limited liability”.

[…]

The court ruled that if Dutch forces had given 350 men hiding in the UN compound the chance to stay, there was just a 10% chance they would not have fallen into the hands of the Serbs, and so the Dutch state should be liable for only that proportion of the damages suffered by the bereaved.

The ruling did not give details on how it calculated the 10% chance of survival.

The final verdict draws a line under years of legal battles between the Dutch state and the plaintiffs – a group of victims’ relatives known as the Mothers of Srebrenica.

The case was escalated to the highest court because the state wanted to be cleared of responsibility, while the Mothers of Srebrenica wanted it to be held accountable for all 8,000 deaths in the genocide.

An appeals court had previously set the liability at 30%, but the supreme court’s ruling has drastically reduced that figure.

This is the Dutch court system ruling that their own people were partially responsible for failing in a UN peacekeeping mission that resulted in a genocide. While noble, war is incredibly ugly and I question the rationale of lawyers assigning percentages of blame decades after it happened – particularly for a NOT doing something. These soldiers didn’t commit a war crime. They merely failed to act to prevent one when they might have been able to.

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