military

‘Racist’ Incident That Sparked Air Force Viral ‘Bigotry’ Speech Proven a Hoax

Air Force Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria was quick to react in September to allegations of racism at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School in Colorado Springs, Colorado. But now the incident that sparked the general’s reaction has been proven a hoax. Superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria delivered a video on Facebook that quickly went viral after reports of “racism” on campus. In the video the Gen. addressed his cadets, saying, “If you can’t treat someone from another race or different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out”: According to the Washington Post, the message “Go home,” followed by the N-word, was written in black marker on the message boards of five black cadet candidates. The academy pledged to launch a full investigation into the incident. But now, it appears that the incident was a hoax all along. Investigators found that one of the black students himself had written the “racist” message, the Associated Press reported. The cadet who reportedly admitted to writing the obscene message is no longer at the school. Authorities have declined to say whether he was expelled or if he withdrew of his own volition. Officials have also declined to identify the student. Lt. Gen. Silveria defended his widely seen response video by saying the sentiment was still relevant even though the incident has proven to be a hoax. “Regardless of the circumstances under which those words were written, they were written, and that deserved to be addressed,” the general told the Gazette newspaper. “You can never over-emphasize the need for a culture of dignity and respect — and those who don’t understand those concepts, aren’t welcome here.”

Talk about CYA..   Wow…  The whole thing was a hoax, and yet the Superintendent didn’t walk it back one bit upon learning that.  It’s probably the safe, politically correct, thing to do for someone who probably aspires to get his 4th star.   But, it’s poor leadership.  After all, if you’ve seen the video (if not, click on the text above), he reams his people assuming they were part of this “racist” act.  Come to find out, it never happened!  Instead of being stubborn and sticking to the liberal, pc, talking points, the general should have had a team huddle ..and addressed this latest twist, with a little humility.  Maybe say he’s “grateful” to learn that nobody here was part of anything like that, and that the person who was, has left the school.

 

Military Judge: Fines but No Jail for Deserter Bowe Bergdahl

Bowe Bergdahl will not serve more time behind bars, a military judge has decided eight years after he deserted his platoon in Afghanistan. His desertion, to which he pleaded guilty, and the subsequent search for him that led to the deaths of six soldiers did not result in the 14-year sentence prosecutors requested in the case. The judge also ruled that Bergdahl be dishonorably discharged, that his rank be reduced from sergeant to private, and that he be required to pay a $1,000 fine from his salary for the next ten months, CNN reported. “As everyone knows, he was a captive of the Taliban for nearly five years, and three more years have elapsed while the legal process unfolded,” Eugene Fidell, Bergdahl’s civilian attorney, said at a press conference after the sentence was handed down. “He has lost nearly a decade of his life.” But in emotional testimony about the course of the trial, others continue to suffer as a result of Bergdahl’s decision in 2009. One witness, Capt. John Billings, Bergdahl’s platoon leader, said the platoon searched for the then-private first class for 19 days, going without food or water, according to CNN. Retired Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer James Hatch testified that he and his dog came under fire while looking for Bergdahl. He was shot in the leg, and his K-9 partner, Remco, was shot in the face and killed, CNN reported. “I thought I was dead,” said Hatch, who now walks with a heavy limp after enduring 18 surgeries. Dr. Charles Morgan, a forensic psychiatrist and professor at the University of New Haven and Yale University, testified that Bergdahl suffered from numerous mental illnesses, including schizotypal personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Capt. Nina Banks, a defense attorney, said that “Sgt. Bergdahl has been punished enough.” “Sgt. Bergdahl paid a bitter price for the choices that he made,” she said. President Donald Trump was not pleased with the outcome of the trial. “The decision on Sergeant Bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military,” Trump tweeted on Friday. Bergdahl returned to the United States after President Barack Obama traded five detainees held at Guantánamo Bay in exchange for his release from the Taliban in 2014, Fox reported. By the next year, a House Armed Services Committee report revealed that the “Taliban Five” had returned to “threatening activities” upon their release to Qatar, where the Taliban run a “political office.”

President Trump is exactly right.  This “IS a complete and total disgrace..”  The sentence dishonors those who put their lives on the line to rescue this piece of garbage.  Yes, he should get a dishonorable discharge, and be reduced in rank to Private.  Agreed.  And yes, he should have received a fine, although $1 is no where near enough.  But, he should have served 15-20 years MINIMUM for what he did.  He deserted his post and gave “aid and comfort” to the enemy for what he did.  This ridiculously offensive sentence (if you can even call it that) will give more “aid and comfort” to the Taliban and other Islmo-fascist organizations, as they’ll use it for their propaganda efforts.  It also sends a very bad signal to those members of our military who might contemplate similar actions; that if you get caught…you won’t do jail time.  That’s a very dangerous precedent that this judge set.  Shame on Army COL Jeffery Nance, the military judge, for this outrageous sentence.  Justice was NOT served here…

U.S. ramps up air war against Islamic State in Yemen as fight subsides in Iraq and Syria

As the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria comes to a close, U.S. military and counterterrorism officials are setting their sights on the group’s growing presence in the war-torn country of Yemen. The number of U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State’s Yemeni faction has increased in the past several weeks as the mission for American drones and warplanes against the group’s bastions elsewhere in the Middle East ramp down. A trio of deadly strikes this month against Islamic State training camps in Yemen marks a refocus by American counterterrorism forces back onto the Gulf state that has been a regular target of U.S. forces battling the al Qaeda faction known as al Qaeda in the Arabic Peninsula, or AQAP, for the past two decades. But strikes in the country this month are the first time Washington has gone after the Islamic State inside Yemen. The uptick in U.S. operations against the Yemeni-based Islamic State cells began in mid-October with an airstrike against a suspected camp in the country’s al Bayda governorate. The strike, which the Pentagon said was critical to “disrupting the organization’s attempts to train new fighters,” was the first such strike specifically targeting Islamic State in the country. On Wednesday, American forces launched a pair of airstrikes against another suspected target in al Bayda, reportedly killing nine jihadis tied to Yemen’s Islamic State factions. All told, American warplanes killed roughly 60 insurgents from the group during all three strikes, said Central Command officials, according to reports. “ISIS has used the ungoverned spaces of Yemen to plot, direct, instigate, resource and recruit for attacks against America and its allies around the world,” Pentagon officials said after the initial Oct. 9 strike, using an acronym for the group. “U.S. forces are supporting ongoing counterterrorism operations in Yemen against ISIS and AQAP to degrade the groups’ ability to coordinate external terror attacks and limit their ability to hold territory seized from the legitimate government of Yemen,” Pentagon officials added. U.S. forces have launched over 100 airstrikes against al Qaeda in Yemen this year, according to figures compiled by the Washington-based think tank the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. The high rate of airstrikes this year under the Trump administration dwarfs the previous high of 46 strikes in 2016 ordered by President Obama.

Ralph Peters: Bergdahl sentencing isn’t about him — It’s about setting an example for any future traitors

The sentence the military judge will impose on Tali-Bowe Bergdahl isn’t about one self-centered deserter. It’s about our national defense. The judge’s decision will decide the state of discipline on battlefields for decades to come. Bergdahl has been charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. He has pleaded guilty to both charges. There are no mitigating circumstances. He must be punished, for his crimes and to make an example of him. Yet, the American left, which has had only two military heroes since 9/11 (Bergdahl and Chelsea Manning), continues to embrace Bergdahl’s very tall tale that he only meant to stroll a dozen or so miles through hostile territory to the next military base so he could report on conditions in his unit—which Bergdahl found unsatisfactory. Based upon the evidence available to this writer, Bergdahl intended to go over to the enemy, whom he had expected to welcome him. Bergdahl will never be commemorated for his judgment or analytical skills. The left, exemplified by former President Obama’s White House celebration for the Bergdahls after he gave up five terrorists and, reportedly, cash for their traitor-son, has never grasped why anyone would join our military—a domain of brutes, illiterates, psychopaths and “deplorables.” But leftists do understand why soldiers would desert or betray our country by revealing our secrets. It matters not in the least to those who believe this country is not worth defending that honorable service members were gravely wounded in the stop-everything-else search for Bergdahl that paralyzed our war effort in Afghanistan. And it certainly doesn’t matter that those who were on the ground and involved in that hunt believe that as many as six of their comrades died looking for a man whom our military knew from the start was a deserter (a four-star general confirmed it to me within 48 hours of Bergdahl’s desertion, but would not say so publicly—a moral coward who, ironically, got his own comeuppance a few years later). All that matters now for the left is that Bergdahl “suffered enough” during his five years under Taliban control. Of course, those wounded because of him will suffer all of their lives. The dead will never return to those they love. But none of that matters. For the left, that military judge must let Bergdahl go free on humanitarian grounds—thus redeeming Obama’s festive Rose Garden welcome for Ma and Pa Taliban. Certainly, one can make the case that Bergdahl was a feckless, self-absorbed loser unsuited to the brotherhood of arms (another phenomenon the left can’t grasp). But this case isn’t about punk psychology, but about overt and treacherous behavior. Nor was Bergdahl some hapless draftee of the sort mythologized from Vietnam. He volunteered to serve in uniform. And the crime he committed, deserting his post in a tactical combat zone, is the second-worst a soldier can perpetrate—the worst being turning your weapon on your comrades. Even had no one been wounded or killed in our efforts to retrieve Bergdahl, he betrayed a fundamental trust and endangered those who counted on him to do his part in their mutual defense. We cannot defend our country with a military in which soldiers decide to walk away because they’ve had a mood swing. One need feel no personal animus toward Bergdahl to recognize that the proper punishment for his misdeeds would be the death penalty (his behavior condemned better men to death). But we no longer punish deserters that way. The heaviest sentence that could be imposed upon Bergdahl is life in prison—to make the point to all those contemplating such crimes in the future that there will be grave penalties. And the judge can choose that sentence in easy conscience..

Agreed…  SGT Bergdahl is a piece of garbage, and a disgrace to the uniform of the U.S. Army.  Life in prison is far too lenient a sentence for what he did.  He SHOULD get the death penalty.  Unfortunately, that’s not even on the table anymore.  To read the rest of this spot-on analysis by retired Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters, click on the text above.

Afghan troops go AWOL in U.S.; IG says wastes taxpayer money, poses security threat

More than 150 Afghan troops brought to the U.S. for military training have gone AWOL since 2005, with 13 of them still unaccounted for and perhaps living here as illegal immigrants now, an inspector general said in a new report Friday.Part of the problem is that the U.S. never puts the trainees through an in-person interview and exempts them from registering as aliens when they arrive — both steps that other visitors would normally have to go through. In-person interviews and requiring the troops to register beforehand would help the government gauge whether someone is likely to go absent without leave, and would give immigration officers information about relatives in the U.S. as starting points when someone does go AWOL, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said. But the State Department rejected those suggestions. The audit said that while no acts of terrorism have yet been traced to the trainees, immigration agents say they’re worried because a number who go AWOL end up trying to claim asylum in the U.S., stymieing any national security investigation into their behavior. Beyond the potential danger, American taxpayers also miss out on the investment in the troops, the inspector general said. “It is clear that Afghan trainees go AWOL while in the United States at a far higher rate than do trainees from any other country, and we believe that the State Department (as well as other government agencies) should use all the tools at their disposal to reduce these occurrences and ensure that Afghan trainees return to Afghanistan and make use of the substantial U.S. taxpayer investment in training,” the audit concluded. The number of troops going AWOL surged in 2015 and 2016 as security back home deteriorated. Some Afghan troops currently being trained in the U.S. said the Taliban threatened their families back home once it became known they had a relative training here. Many of them said the training made them bigger targets when they returned.

All the more reason NOT to bring the here to train.  As someone who spent some time in Afghanistan personally, I fail to see the point in bringing large numbers of (mostly) enlisted troops to train here in America.  Probably 85+% can be trained at home in Afghanistan.  Those few exceptions who might need to be trained here are more senior officers and/or possibly pilots; those that require highly technical training, etc.  But, that’s a very small percentage of the Afghan military.  Beyond that, they should be trained by our folks IN Afghanistan.  Its far more cost effective AND posses less of a national security threat here.

Gold Star Widow Releases Trump’s Call After Husband Was Killed In Afghanistan

Gold star widow Natasha De Alencar released the audio of a phone conversation she had with President Donald Trump in April about the death of her husband who was killed in Afghanistan. “I am so sorry to hear about the whole situation. What a horrible thing, except that he’s an unbelievable hero,” Trump told her in the call about her husband Army Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, which The Washington Post released. “Thank you. I really, really appreciated it,” she said. “I really do, sir.” Trump also told the widow if she is ever in Washington D.C. that she is welcome in the Oval Office. “If you’re around Washington, you come over and see me in the Oval Office,” he said. “You just come over and see me because you are just the kind of family … this is what we want.” “Say hello to your children, and tell them your father he was a great hero that I respected,” Trump said. “Just tell them I said your father was a great hero.” The phone call was released after White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly pushed back against Florida Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson’s criticism that Trump told a Gold Star widow “he knew what he signed up for.”

A comment that was completely taken out of context.  It was meant as a tribute.  Scroll down two articles to read more, and then below that (three down) is the video of Gen Kelly schooling the press and explaining that comment.

China’s Secret Military Plan: Invade Taiwan by 2020

China has drawn up secret military plans to take over the island of Taiwan by 2020, an action that would likely lead to a larger U.S.-China conventional or nuclear war, according to newly-disclosed internal Chinese military documents. The secret war plan drawn up by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the Chinese Communist Party’s armed forces, calls for massive missile attacks on the island, along with a naval and air blockade that is followed by amphibious beach landing assaults using up to 400,000 troops. The plans and operations are outlined in a new book published this week, The Chinese Invasion Threat by Ian Easton, a China affairs analyst with the Project 2049 Institute, a think tank. The danger of a Taiwan conflict has grown in recent years even as current tensions between Washington and Beijing are mainly the result of U.S. opposition to Chinese militarization in the South China Sea and China’s covert support of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. “Of all the powder kegs out there, the potential for a war over Taiwan is by far the largest and most explosive,” the 290-page book states, adding that the growing likelihood of a war over Taiwan will dominate worries within the Pentagon for years to come. “China has made clear that its primary external objective is attaining the ability to apply overwhelming force against Taiwan during a conflict, and if necessary destroy American-led coalition forces,” the books says. Democratic-ruled Taiwan poses an existential threat to China’s communist leaders because the island, located some 90 miles off the southeast coast “serves as a beacon of freedom for ethnically Chinese people everywhere,” the book states. “Consequently, the PLA considers the invasion of Taiwan to be its most critical mission, and it is this envisioned future war that drives China’s military buildup.” Parts of the PLA invasion scheme were first revealed publicly by the Taiwan Defense Ministry in late 2013. The plan calls for military operations against the island to be carried out by 2020. The invasion program was confirmed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping during the major Communist Party meeting five years ago when Xi committed to “continue the 2020 Plan, whereby we build and deploy a complete operational capability to use force against Taiwan by that year.” Other internal PLA writings that surfaced recently indicate China is ready to use force when it believes non-military means are not successful in forcing the capitulation to Beijing’s demands, and if the United States can be kept out of the battle. Current U.S. law under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act requires the United States to provide defensive weaponry to Taiwan to prevent the use of force against the island. China currently is using non-lethal means—psychological, diplomatic, propaganda, and informational warfare—against Taiwan. Once these are exhausted, the plan for large-scale amphibious assault will be carried out. Any attempt by the Chinese military to take the island will be difficult and costly, the book says. The island has rough, mountainous terrain that has created a wind tunnel effect in the strait that produces very difficult weather for carrying troop and weapons transports, both air and sea. Taiwan is around 230 miles long and 90 miles wide. Taiwanese military forces have been preparing for an invasion since Chinese nationalist forces first took refuge on the island at the end of the civil war with the communists in 1949. However, since the 1980s, China has been rapidly building up its military capabilities for a battle to forcibly unify the island with the mainland. Over 1,000 ballistic and cruise missiles currently are stationed within range of Taiwan. According to the book, China’s invasion plan is known as the Joint Island Attack Campaign.

Definitely something to keep an eye on..   Bestselling author, and veteran defense writer Bill Gertz is responsible for that excellent piece.  Bill is very well connected in the defense community, and is a very credible source of information.  To read more, click on the text above.