Tag Archives: US military

Exploitative Viral PR Photos Of Military Invaders With Afghan Kids, by Caitlin Johnstone

War is . . . day care. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

Mainstream news and social media cannot get enough photos of imperial invaders posing for photographs with small children in Afghanistan.

Mass media narrative managers and military agencies alike have been spamming these images everywhere, as quickly and enthusiastically as possible. 

That’s right. Invade a nation, kill hundreds of thousands of its inhabitants, stay for decades, accomplish nothing besides making war profiteers wealthy, drop everything and leave, then have your armed goon squad take PR photos with local infants so everyone thinks your military is awesome.

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71% Of Eligible Gen-Zers Don’t Qualify For Military Due To Obesity, Criminal Records And Other Reasons, by Tyler Durden

Let’s face it, the military’s standards aren’t even all that high and they keep lowering them. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Bloomberg is out with a Monday report chronicling the sad state of affairs the US military has found itself in – notably trying to lure eligible recruits from Generation Z with a cartoon series dubbed “The Calling,” which will run on YouTube during May and June.

As Bloomberg notes, “The Army—the U.S. military’s largest service—faces a complex set of problems: the eligible recruiting pool into all military services is small; and the newest generation of prospects, Gen Z, has had almost no contact or knowledge of the military, which has largely fought wars abroad since 2001. The Gen Z cohort grew up with technology, the internet, and social media.”

The videos feature Emma, the self-proclaimed spoiled kid; David, the Hawaiian kid who at first didn’t let himself dream about becoming a pilot; Rickie, who grew up in a religious Haitian family in Florida; Janeen, a singer performing on cruise ships who joined the Reserves with the help of her Vietnam-veteran father; and Jennifer, born to first-generation Dominican immigrants, who worked long hours to make ends meet. -Bloomberg

It gets worse.

According to the report, almost 71% of those aged 17 to 24 – roughly 24 million out of 34 million people – are ineligible to join the military because of “obesity, lack of high school diploma, or a criminal record, according to Pentagon data.

In order to lure the eligible Gen-Z’ers, the Army will be spending $425 million on marketing, with the goal of recruiting 60,000 to 70,000 active-duty soldiers, along with 40,000-45,000 National Guardsmen, and 13,000 to 17,000 members of the reserve. To do this, prospective recruits will be served content on YouTube via 15-second trailer. If a person watches at least 10 seconds of the ad, they will see a two-to-three minute episode of the recruiting cartoon, followed by an invitation to hop over to the Army’s website.

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State Lawmakers Attack Federal Misuse of National Guard, by Brian McGlinchey

This is a trend that should be wholeheartedly encouraged. From Brian McGlinchey at starkrealities.substack.com:

“Defend the Guard” laws would prohibit deployments to war zones without a congressional declaration of war

Fed up after years of relentless National Guard deployments in undeclared wars, state lawmakers across the country are pushing legislation that would prohibit the use of Guard units in combat zones without a formal declaration of war by Congress.

The bills are being promoted by BringOurTroopsHome.US, a self-described organization of “right-of-center” veterans working to end American involvement in “endless wars” and restore congressional authority over war-making. The libertarian 10th Amendment Center is also backing the cause.

The proposed laws would require governors to determine the constitutionality of orders that place Guard units on federal active duty; where they’re deemed unconstitutional, the governor is required to take action to prevent the unit from being surrendered to federal control and sent into harm’s way.

The first “Defend the Guard” bill was conceived and introduced by Air Force veteran and West Virginia state legislator Pat McGeehan. While no state has enacted the law yet, interest is spreading widely, with legislators now pushing the measure in 31 states.

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Our Military Suffers Yet Another Defeat… This Time to Tucker Carlson, by Kurt Schlichter

Perhaps US military brass should spend less time fighting a TV commentator and more time worrying about enemies who might actually kill us. From Kurt Schlichter at theburningplatform.com:

Our Military Suffers Yet Another Defeat… This Time to Tucker Carlson

Here’s a fun fact: Tucker Carlson, over whom a bunch of senior military officers tossed 240 years of non-partisanship out the window in order to chide for pointing out their myriad failures, has won just as many wars as our generals have during the last twenty years. He has also lost fewer wars.

So, basically, Tucker Carlson – who they lambaste for being like the other ~92 percent of Americans who were never in uniform – would have done less damage running our formerly indomitable military than the perfumed princes who run it now. Yet these generals and senior NCOs who got and internalized the SJW memo are utterly clueless. They are more engaged and interested in fighting TV hosts who embarrass them by exposing their failures, and snipe hunting for mystery extremist boogeymen in the ranks, than in preparing to defeat China in high-intensity conventional combat.

Let’s get beyond their utter breach of tradition, and their unpunished breaking of the regulations banning political activity in uniform in general and information operation targeting of U.S. citizens in particular. Let’s instead focus on how crummy a job these generals and senior sergeants and their eager minions did doing it. They completely misunderstood the battlespace.

They thought that all those Gallup polls listing “The Military” as America’s most respected institution would allow them to use their titles and uniforms and stuff leverage the support of the American people against this uppity pundit. But they totally failed, as usual. Citizens were outraged. Vets were livid – especially since we vets would have been handed our walking papers for this kind of garbage in our day.

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Why Are US Troops Fit for Streets of Afghanistan, but Not for Streets of America? by Marko Marjanović

The same politicians who have no problem sending our troops all over the world don’t want them on American streets. From

If it’s distasteful to see them patrolling America’s streets, why should they be inflicted on lands they’re not even from?

58% of Americans want regular military deployed to help police control riots and looting. That still leaves 30% who are opposed.

On the opposed side is also the entire Democrat establishment, the liberal media, the never-Trump Republicans, including George Bush, the retired torturer of Fallujah detainees, Jim Mattis, as well as the National Endowment for Democracy, and presumably Nike and JP Morgan and other corporate entities who have sided with the protest despite its violent and criminal elements. Moreover privately the military establishment itself does not want it.

Just as there are some good reasons why you would want the military to move in, there are also many very good reasons why you would not. The police have largely abandoned shops to the mercy of the looters. If you had the military standing on commercial streets to deter looting that is something many business owners and their patrons would welcome.

On the other hand, that is probably not how the military would be used. Most likely the military would also (or primarily) be used to enforce curfews, and control and limit those protests which are peaceful. They would crack down on looters, but they would also crack down on law-abiding people and usher in a soft occupation and martial law.

This is to say that both sides have valid arguments, and if anything my personal hunch is that those who are opposed are correct in erring on the side of caution. That said the “opposers” are also extraordinarily hypocritical.

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US Military Apologizes For Posting Uncomfortably Honest Tweet, by Caitlin Johnstone

The first rule of government is that you never tell the truth. From Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:

US Strategic Command (or “Stratcom” if you’re trying to make a nuclear-capable arm of the US Defense Department sound cool) has issued an apologyfor a poorly received New Year’s Eve tweet which has since been deleted.

“#TimesSquare tradition rings in the #NewYear by dropping the big ball…if ever needed, we are #ready to drop something much, much bigger,” the offending tweet read, with an attached video featuring B-2 stealth bombers flying all stealth bombery and causing gigantic explosions with bunker buster bombs while words like “STEALTH”, “READY”, and “LETHAL” flashed across the screen. The tweet concluded with the ostensibly unironic hashtag “#PeaceIsOurProfession”.

“Our previous NYE tweet was in poor taste & does not reflect our values,” Strategic Command tweeted. “We apologize. We are dedicated to the security of America & allies.”

This statement is, obviously, a lie. The part about “security” of course, because dominating the globe with nonstop military violence and aggression has nothing to do with security, but also the “does not reflect our values” part. The US military deleted the post and apologized for it because it received an angry backlash from hundreds of commenters and was circulated virally on Twitter for its jarringly creepy message, not because it did not reflect their values. It reflected their values perfectly. The only way you could possibly encapsulate the US military’s values in a 42-second video clip more perfectly than cramming it full of footage of $2,000,000,000 war planes cruising around dropping $3,500,000 GBU-57 bombs would be to also show the human bodies they land on being ripped to pieces. Inflicting death and destruction using unfathomably expensive machinery is the US military’s whole job. Of course it reflects their values.

The real issue here was not values but perception. The US war machine pours an immense amount of energy into perception management, making sure that ordinary Americans either (A) ignore the horrific things that are being done in their name or (B) think that those things are awesome and patriotic. The offending post was clearly attempting to accomplish (B). A team of paid social media propagandists simply did not understand that ordinary human beings wouldn’t resonate with a message that amounts to “Hey I see you’re all preparing to bring in the new year, so watch how good we are at killing large numbers of people!”, and some damage control became necessary when everyone got freaked out. Can’t have people opening their eyes to how insane America’s relentless military expansionism has gotten, after all.

Watching the propaganda arm of the US-centralized war machine is a lot like watching a manipulative sociopath learning how to function in normal society. Sometimes they’ll slip up and fail to react the way someone with a healthy sense of empathy would respond to the death of a pet or someone’s emotions or whatever, and they risk alienating whoever’s around them and losing access to the resources they could exploit them for if they can’t manipulate them out of the creeped-out feeling people get when they’re around someone who doesn’t empathize like a normal human being. I suspect many of the commenters who flooded in telling Stratcom to delete its tweetwere not so much interested in eliminating a violent social media post from the internet, but in eliminating that creeped-out feeling you get when the sociopath’s mask slips a bit.

And that’s understandable. One of the biggest obstacles in getting people to realize how deeply propagandized they are is the cognitive dissonance which comes rushing in when one considers the implications of viewing the world free from the lens of military psychological manipulations. Without the lies about how beneficent and necessary and awesome the military is, all you’ve got is trillions of dollars worth of instruments of death circling the globe to facilitate the daily slaughter of men, women and children to advance agendas of power and profit while ordinary people struggle just to get by in your own country. It can be deeply psychologically uncomfortable to grapple with the reality of what that means for your beliefs about your nation, your society and your very identity, in much the same way realizing you married a manipulative sociopath can be an uncomfortable truth one might feel tempted to compartmentalize away from.

A lot of people got upset about that tweet, but they really shouldn’t have. The tweet was not the problem; it was just a few perception managers for the US military being more honest and straightforward than usual. The problem is that money is being stolen from ordinary Americans to murder strangers on the other side of the planet to advance agendas of power and profit, and everyone’s being propagandized into accepting that as normal. The sociopathic propaganda engine slipping up and stirring the populace from their slumber a bit is nothing to complain about, the actual reality of our actual situation is.

 

Doug Casey on the Migrant Caravan

The 5,000 or so migrants headed towards the US from the south may be the leading edge of a much bigger wave. From Doug Casey at caseyresearch.com via lewrockwell.com:

Justin’s note: Hundreds of migrants have showed up at the U.S.-Mexico border.

They’re part of a “caravan” that includes about 5,000 people from Central America. The rest of the caravan, as far as we know, is still in central Mexico. But make no mistake. They’ll show up at the border any day now.

And no one can agree on what to do with these people. Some say we should just let them into America. Other people, including President Trump, think we should keep the migrants out. In fact, Trump recently called the caravan an “invasion.” Not only that, he deployed thousands of U.S. troops to the border to keep these people from entering.

In short, it’s very controversial. So I called Doug Casey earlier this week to see what he thinks about this…


Justin: Doug, the migrant caravan has captured the attention of the mainstream media as well as Donald Trump. Why’s this such a big deal?

Doug: There are several things going on here. One is that the leftists believe that nation states shouldn’t exist. Now, I’m not a believer in the nation state either. It’s only been around since the 17th century; it’s not inscribed in the cosmic firmament. There are better ways to organize a society.

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Compete, Deter, and Win With Big Guns and Better Chow in the Baltic States, by Brian Cloughley

The US is the biggest and meanest kid on the block, and it will show anyone who doesn’t believe it. From Brian Cloughley at antiwar.com:

The censored version of the 2018 US National Defense Strategy has a motto – and, absurdly, a bumper sticker – proclaiming that the United States must “Compete, Deter, and Win” which is an aggressive declaration of uncompromising military confrontation.

As observed by the Brookings Institution, the Strategy “unveiled a global operating model to help centrally manage posture and make it more ‘lethal, agile, and resilient,’ all in line with facilitating the emphasis on fighting and winning conflicts with China or Russia.”

Brookings just loves General Mattis, the Defense Secretary, and fawns that “The US military, according to the NDS, will sustain its presence in the Middle East, but will aim to focus on Asia and Europe despite it. This tension plagued the previous administration and will surely be difficult to implement short of Secretary Mattis’s personal and deft hand.”

The enemies have been selected and now General Mattis is going to deal with them. This is the the man who declared “You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.”

Stand by, world, for the deft and manly hand of General Mattis who is going to ensure that the United States will devote its vastly expanding military might to achieving Competition, Deterrence and Victory.

The craving for military domination began before Mattis was appointed Top Dog in the Pentagon, and China and Russia have been in the sights of Washington for a long time, but it will be interesting to see how Mattis develops US military provocation from the Baltic to the South China Sea.

A headline in the US military magazine Stars and Stripes last September was eye-catching. It told readers that there were “Big guns, better chow for US soldiers on Russia deterrence mission” in Lithuania. The artillery and nourishing provisions were provided for the “500 173rd Airborne Brigade soldiers that swooped into the Baltics this month on a mission to deter Russian aggression.”

To continue reading: Compete, Deter, and Win With Big Guns and Better Chow in the Baltic States

 

The American Military Uncontained , by William Astore

The world’s greatest military has trouble winning wars and often ends up arming its opponents. From William Astore at tomdispatch.com:

When it comes to the “world’s greatest military,” the news has been shocking. Two fast U.S. Navy ships colliding with slow-moving commercial vessels with tragic loss of life.  An Air Force that has been in the air continuously for years and yet doesn’t have enough pilots to fly its combat jets.  Ground troops who find themselves fighting “rebels” in Syria previously armed and trained by the CIA.  Already overstretched Special Operations forces facing growing demands as their rates of mental distress and suicide rise.  Proxy armies in Iraq and Afghanistan that are unreliable, often delivering American-provided weaponry to black markets and into the hands of various enemies.  All of this and more coming at a time when defense spending is once again soaring and the national security state is awash in funds to the tune of nearly a trillion dollars a year.

What gives?  Why are highly maneuverable and sophisticated naval ships colliding with lumbering cargo vessels?  Why is an Air Force that exists to fly and fight short 1,200 pilots?  Why are U.S. Special Operations forces deployed everywhere and winning nowhere?  Why, in short, is the U.S. military fighting itself — and losing?

It’s the Ops Tempo, Stupid

After 16 years of a never-ending, ever-spreading global war on terror, alarms are going off in Asia from the Koreas and Afghanistan to the Philippines, while across the Greater Middle East and Africa the globe’s “last superpower” is in a never-ending set of conflicts with a range of minor enemies few can even keep straight.  As a result, America’s can-do military, committed piecemeal to a bewildering array of missions, has increasingly become a can’t-do one. 

Too few ships are being deployed for too long.  Too few pilots are being worn out by incessant patrols and mushrooming drone and bombing missions.  Special Operations forces (the “commandos of everywhere,” as Nick Turse calls them) are being deployed to far too many countries — more than two-thirds of the nations on the planet already this year — and are involved in conflicts that hold little promise of ending on terms favorable to Washington.  Meanwhile, insiders like retired General David Petraeus speak calmly about “generational struggles” that will essentially never end.  To paraphrase an old slogan from ABC’s “Wide World of Sports,” as the U.S. military spans the globe, it’s regularly experiencing the agony of defeat rather than the thrill of victory.

To continue reading: The American Military Uncontained