Tag Archive for: Pentagon

U.S. military bases in Europe put on heightened alert, jihad attacks on personnel or installations ‘likely’

Not that any Biden regime officials mentioned “jihad,” of course, but that’s why the bases are on heightened alert. Contrary to all the rhetoric from regime top dogs, the threat isn’t coming from “right wing extremists.”

Europe Military Bases Go on Heightened Alert as Pentagon Officials Cite Olympics, Euro Cup

by Konstantin Toropin, Military.com, July 1, 2024:

U.S. military bases across Europe were put on heightened alert over the weekend due to concerns that terrorist activity or attacks on personnel or installations are “likely,” according to an Army explanation of the threat level.

However, Pentagon officials said Monday that the move to put all Europe bases on the second-highest alert status was not done out of any specific threat but rather an abundance of caution, given several major public events happening over the summer on the continent, including the Euro Cup soccer tournament and the Olympics.

“It was due to a combination of factors potentially impacting the safety and security of service members stationed in the European theater,” Sabrina Singh, Pentagon spokeswoman, told reporters Monday. “I’m not going to get into more specifics on the intelligence itself, but it’s not a single threat — it’s a combination of different factors.”

Stars and Stripes was the first outlet to report that over the weekend U.S. European Command ordered bases on the continent to force protection condition “Charlie” — the second-highest state out of five.

Army websites say that that condition is imposed when there is intelligence that suggests “some form of terrorist action or targeting against personnel or facilities is likely.”…

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Army, Marines Barreling Toward One Of The Deadliest And Costliest Years For Aviation Accidents

Incidents of the costliest and most deadly aviation accidents among Army and Marine Corps surged in the past year, data reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation shows, as the Pentagon maintains it is making progress toward minimizing the most serious mishaps.

Both the Army, including Guard and Reserve units, and Marine Corps have experienced historically high rates of so-called “Class A mishaps” and are at risk of enduring the most expensive and fatal aviation year in recent history, the data shows. The military defines Class A mishaps as aviation accidents resulting in loss of airframe, loss of life or at least $2.5 million in damages.

The spike in accidents comes as the force has shrunk overall, putting increased strain on pilots and aircraft maintainers, while the average number of years of experience across the aviation community has also fallen, according to experts and media reports.

Army Accidents Skyrocket

The Army has already seen 11 Class A mishaps resulting in 9 fatalities through the second quarter of fiscal year 2024, which began in October, exceeding the total class A mishap number for all of fiscal year 2023, according to data reported in the April issue of FlightFax, an Army newsletter for aviators. That year, there were 10 Class A mishaps killing 14 aircrew.

Moreover, fiscal year 2023 had a Class A mishap rate of 1.08, significantly higher than the five-year average of 0.85, according to FlightFax. However, that number pales in comparison to the current fiscal year mishap rate of 2.95 per 100,000 flight hours.

“You have the worst record over the past 18 months,” Democratic California Rep. John Garamendi told Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James Mingus at a Tuesday hearing in reference to the rash of flight accidents. “What are you doing about it?”

Two fatal Army National Guard AH-64 Apache crashes in February drove leaders to block all helicopter units from flying, a process known as a stand-down, according to a press release. Aviators could resume flight operations once they had completed required training, spokesperson Maj. Jennifer Staton explained to the DCNF.

Then, in March, a UH-72 Lakota helicopter crashed, killing two National Guard soldiers and a U.S. Border Patrol agent, and wounding another soldier.

As of Tuesday, 90% of the units had returned to flight, Gen. Mingus said Tuesday.

More than 12 Army aviators died in helicopter crashes in the first six months of fiscal year 2023, prompting a service-wide aviation stand down that was eventually lifted. But accidents kept happening, and the service ended the fiscal year with 14 dead soldiers in 10 Class A mishaps, more than double the average fatality numbers and the highest since the U.S. withdrew from Iraq in 2011, Defense News reported, citing data from the Army Combat Readiness Center.

A year later, the service is looking at a year with the most frequent Class A mishaps in recent history and quickly approaching the deadliest, according to FlightFax and an Army Combat Readiness Center annual report.

Most of the most serious accidents in 2023 happened with AH-64 Apache helicopters, according to the 2023 review.

Army budget documents show an increased allotment of funds for flying hours between fiscal year 2020 and fiscal year 2023, but the Army Combat Readiness Center’s annual assessment shows total flight hours dropped in 2020. Class A through Class C mishap rates also increased during that period.

The Army requested funds for flight hours in 2024 that are the same as 2021 levels, the documents show. The Army only requested funds to allow crews 8.7 hours of flight time for fiscal year 2025, the lowest in the previous five years.

The lower number probably stems from an overall limited budget forcing the Army to make difficult trade-offs, retired Lt. Gen. Thomas Spoehr, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the DCNF.

“In order to execute flying hours, a lot of things have to come together: aircraft have to be available in sufficient quantities and readiness, crews and pilots have to be trained and available, and sufficient numbers of maintenance personnel must be present. Especially in the case of the National Guard, bringing all those factors together has proven to be hard,” Spoehr said.

Most of the mishaps in fiscal year 2023, just as in previous years, are attributable to “human error,” Army spokesperson Jason Waggoner told the DCNF.

“Human error is typically reduced when pilots and crews are able to fly more hours and get more repetitions in. Increasing the number of hours flown by crews is not as simple as just budgeting more money for operations,” Spoehr said.

“Spatial disorientation,” a condition when a pilot misjudges the distance between the aircraft and the ground or other objects, is the primary human error responsible for aviator fatalities, according to the March issue of FlightFax. Shortfalls in existing spatial disorientation prevention measures sparked an ongoing review of training.

When the Army investigated the cause of increasing aviation accidents during the 2023 stand-down, officials found that pilots and aviation warrant officers were significantly less experienced than they were during the period of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Defense News. Mishaps tend to occur when a lower-ranking non-commissioned officer is in charge, compounded with changes to the training environment that rendered even regular training flights more risky.

Spatial disorientation got worse in 2023, with the major accidents in that year and early 2024 all taking place in the more challenging environments, such as flying at night using night-vision devices, flying in formation and over snow or water, Defense News reported. Pilots are getting fewer hours of practice time as well, the Army found. Units are unable to use up all the flight hours Congress has budgeted for due to other limitations, including not having enough crew members.

“Regular Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve aviation formations are suitably manned according to Army manning guidance to meet mission requirements for maintenance and support of Army aircraft,” Waggoner told the DCNF.

In April, the Army rolled out an aviation “stand-up” across the force, Gen. Mingus said Tuesday. The extra training was intended to boost crew member training and awareness without grounding them and further cutting into opportunities to get into the air.

A Bad Year For The Marine Corps

Flight incidents among Marine Corps aviators also appeared to take place at an alarming frequency in recent months.

In fiscal year 2024, Class A mishaps have already struck far above average, Naval Safety Command statistics show. As of April 9, the Marine Corps sustained a sharp increase in Class A mishaps for the first and second quarters of 2024 with a rate of 4.31 per 100,000 flight hours, compared to a 10-year average of 2.24.

Data provided to the DCNF from Naval Safety Command showed the V-22 was involved in 3 Class A mishaps, more than any other manned air platform. However, incidents involving the H-53 Super Stallion helicopter incurred the most fatalities during the same time period — five Marines died in February when a CH-53E went missing in California and was later discovered; the data was still inconclusive as to what went wrong to produce the accident.

In August 2023, three Marines died and 20 more were injured when an Osprey crashed during a multinational training exercise in Australia. Another pilot died after his FA/18 Hornet crashed amid a training flight near Air Station Miramar, California, that month.

The Marine Corps’ Ospreys have returned to flight again through a tiered approach, with modified procedures intended to prevent the same kind of accidents leading to Marine deaths, Capt. Alyssa Myers, a Marine Corps spokesperson, told the DCNF. After finishing emergency procedures training, pilots and crew members are conducting warm-up flights to regain familiarity with the craft, Myers explained. Then squadrons will work with their experienced instructor pilots and crew and conduct flights with copilots before delving into more mission-specific skills training.

Service leaders grounded MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft — a blend between a helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft — across multiple services in December after one of the Air Force’s units crashed. The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps each operate versions of the Osprey.

“Due to the size of the fleet and number of units, the Marine Corps implemented a tiered approach to deliberately return capability to squadrons,” Myers said. “This process ensures the Marine Corps is able to deploy fully capable units in support of all assigned global mission requirements, while simultaneously ensuring non-deploying units can regain currency and conduct the necessary training to overcome training delays incurred by the 90-day grounding.”

Stopping flights is not an option, however.

“​The MV-22’s unique capabilities, such as its long-range operational reach and air refueling capabilities, render it an indispensable asset for crisis response and force-projection and sustainment missions,” Myers said.

The Marine Corps was also hundreds of pilots short at the end of 2022, manning a force of less than half of what it needed to operate its F-35s and other aircraft, former Commandant Gen. David Berger told Congress in April 2023.

“The Marine Corps utilizes highly reliable maintainers and aircrew, conducts exhaustive maintenance, extensively trains pilots, and at every step puts in place safeguards and precautions to ensure a high degree of aviation safety. Marine Corps aviation support units are sized and manned at levels equivalent to historical levels with regard to the number of aircraft in each squadron,” Myers told the DCNF.

The Pentagon Says It’s Trying To Turn Things Around

The cycle of deterioration underlying aviation accidents has been ongoing for years.

A 2020 commission organized by Congress found that experience levels among aviators and maintainers had fallen. Pilots were spending too much time on outdated simulators instead of getting in the air, and they were forced to focus on administrative duties amid a relentless speed of operations.

“Junior pilots and maintainers are starting their careers a lap behind, and then never catching up, all while their units buckle under the initial stress of getting them up to speed,” the report stated. Then, the cycle repeats.

The final report contained 25 recommendations on ways to improve flight safety, including giving pilots more flight hours, finding ways to reduce strain on maintenance personnel and creating a Joint Safety Council to synchronize mitigating efforts across the services.

Efforts to implement most of the recommendations are ongoing, a Pentagon spokesperson told the DCNF. A Joint Safety Council first met in August 2022 and ” is already paying dividends in how the Department tracks and collaborates on joint mishaps,” the spokesperson added.

For example, after the Air Force Osprey crash in Japan that killed eight aviators in November 2023 and contributed to the decision to ground all V-22s, the council met to gain perspective, coordinate communication efforts and discuss what the services should do in the short term, the spokesperson told the DCNF.

Mingus, the Army vice chief, said the service plans to increase flight hours from 202,000 to 225,000 in the 2025 budget.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

AUTHOR

MICAELA BURROW

Investigative reporter, defense.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Military Could Hit Troops With Courts-Martial For Refusing To Use Preferred Pronouns, Experts Say

The military could seek to formally punish service members for refusing to use another service member’s preferred pronouns under existing policy, according to military experts.

A 2020 Equal Opportunity law opened the door for commanders to subject someone who refuses to affirm a transgender servicemember’s so-called gender identity to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) for charges related to harassment, Capt. Thomas Wheatley, an assistant professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. Such a move would likely infringe on a servicemember’s constitutional rights to uphold their conscience, but it might not prevent leaders from employing more subtle ways of disciplining service members.

Military experts told the DCNF Congress should step in before it’s too late.

The military “is right to want to protect the rights and welfare of its transgender service members. But it owes the same protection to those who share a different perspective on the issue, especially when that perspective is a deep-seated expression of personal conscience,” Wheatley told the DCNF.

None of the military’s rules explicitly prohibit so-called “misgendering,” when someone uses pronouns to describe a transgender person which do not correspond to the person’s new gender identity, Wheatley explained. However, existing guidance implies that using pronouns rejected by another person violates Military Equal Opportunity (MEO) regulations against sex-based harassment and discrimination.

The UCMJ enforces those regulations.

Service members could conceivably be court-martialed for “refusing to use another person’s self-identified pronouns, even when their refusal stems from principled religious conviction,” Wheatley told the DCNF. “This law applies to service members at all times and in all locations, even when they’re off duty and in the privacy of their off-post residence.”

The UCMJ also prohibits “conduct unbecoming of an officer” under Article 133 and activity that could be seen to discredit the military institution under Article 134 — the same article the military uses to prosecute child pornographers and other acts of sexual deviance, he explained.

“Is it now ‘unbecoming’ and incompatible with service as a commissioned officer to openly hold sincere religious convictions surrounding the act of creation and the nature of human sex?” Wheatley asked.

Wheatley said his interest in the issue was sparked four years ago, when the Army updated its MEO policy stating “violations of MEO and Harassment Prevention and Response policies may result in disciplinary action under the UCMJ.”

The possibility of levying a criminal trial on a servicemember for perceived harassment if that person “misgendered” another service member troubled Wheatley, he said. The Supreme Court had just ruled on Bostock v. Clayton County in favor of the gay and transgender plaintiffs alleging their employers fired them on the basis of their self-described sexual orientation, or gender identity. Conservative justices warned the case could have far-reaching consequences for organizations operating based on religious belief and free exercise of religion in the workplace.

“I knew, given the cultural gap between the civilian world and the military, the issue would be overlooked as it concerned service members. So, I got to work,” he told the DCNF.

In a peer reviewed article recently published in the Texas Review of Law and Politics, Wheatley argued that, despite the existing EO policy, Articles 133 and 134 of the UCMJ are not strong enough to prosecute troops for spurning another’s preferred pronouns.

Under a legal doctrine that “obligates military courts to avoid interpreting the UCMJ in a way that brings it into conflict with the Constitution if possible, that would normally be the end of the analysis,” he wrote. But, the national security imperatives inbuilt with military service often justify curtailing a servicemember’s constitutional rights — for example, the UCMJ’s Article 134 “indecent language.”

Wheatley countered in the article that the military’s special mission can inform judicial analysis but does not require a separate standard.

“A court that applies a standard lower than strict scrutiny would be placing not just a thumb on the scale in the government’s favor, but an anvil — one which virtually guarantees victory for the government in every case where a service member asserts his or her First Amendment rights,” he wrote. It would be “tough” for the military to prove it had a strong enough mission-related argument to mandate gender-pronoun usage.

Arguments that might be considered, such as preserving harmony within military units and safeguarding transgender troops’ emotional and psychological well-being, are certainly important, he wrote. But the former relies too heavily on the vicissitudes of individual interpretation to survive judicial review, while the latter does not take into account the health of the servicemember seeking to live out their religious convictions.

“Preserving unit cohesion and safeguarding the mental and emotional health of transgender service members, though compelling government interests, do not justify the sweeping prior restraints on speech,” made possible in the Army policy, Wheatley wrote.

Previous case law shows that even in military contexts, the standard for what may be prohibited compelled speech is strong, he found.

Looking at previous cases of public employment law governing speech, where free speech has been more frequently challenged than in military-specific case law, he likewise found no strong case for mandating pronoun use.

“The use of one pronoun over another reflects the speaker’s private views on human sex and gender” and isn’t conditioned on the person’s employment, Wheatley argued.

The Pentagon referred the DCNF to the services, which did not respond to requests for comment by deadline.

Wheatley’s research highlights ongoing concerns about the military’s respect for matters of conscience.

Pentagon leaders have pushed diversity and inclusion as an indispensable component of warfighting effectiveness. Opponents say the focus focus on race, gender and sexual identity has distracted the military from more important issues and unfairly privileged minorities. DEI priorities have now overtaken matters of conscience in multiple domains. 

In lawsuits over the slow-rolling of religious waivers to the COVID-19 vaccine, for example, victims argued the services issued blanket denials rather than considering each request individually, as they are legally required to do.

Defense Department documents, including the 2022 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Strategic Plan, discuss the freedom to “speak candidly” about issues as a “readiness imperative,” ensuring troops feel included as part of a whole.

“The military policy and legal infrastructure clearly exist to wage war on Americans with deeply-held traditional beliefs about man and woman,” William Thibeau, director of the Claremont Institute’s American Military Project, told the DCNF. Wheatley’s article “should be a red flag to policy makers and elected officials to end this tyranny of liberalism before it is formally levied against American Soldiers preferring to live in reality.”

Experts were not aware of any incidents where a branch of the armed services had attempted to use the UCMJ to punish a servicemember for refusing preferred pronouns.

Commanders do have a wide berth to discipline servicemembers in ways that do not involve a criminal trial but can still have serious implications for a servicemember’s career, possibly including separation from the military under less than honorable circumstances, Wheatley said. Such measures resolve more quickly, have a lower burden of proof than “are almost always shielded from public scrutiny.”

Instead of leaving it to chance, Congress could force the military to establish a servicemember’s “unqualified” right to use pronouns consistent with their religious convictions, a one-pager provided by Claremont suggested. The experts advocated stronger measures too, including decriminalizing unspecified MEO violations and to narrow its scope so that it only applies to activities a servicemember performs while on normal duty hours or contributing to an official military mission.

Congress should develop a public record of incidents in the military where religious freedom is seen to come under threat, the document stated.

Claremont suggested the military conduct regular training on the importance of religious freedom throughout the armed forces and study ways to strengthen protections on service members’ religious expression.

Wheatley also said service chiefs could consider demands for a service member to speak in violation of his or her religious convictions as harassment.

AUTHOR

MICAELA BURROW

Investigative reporter, defense.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

‘It’s Bullsh*t’: Marine At Center Of New Afghanistan Probe Accuses Pentagon Of Covering Up Evidence

A Marine at the center of a supplemental probe into the deadly suicide bombing during the 2021 U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan accused the Pentagon of concealing information showing it could have been prevented.

Former Sgt. Tyler Vargas-Andrews caused a stir after he testified in March 2023 that he had sights on an individual he and others on the ground believed to be the suicide bomber while in the guard tower next to Abbey Gate, but was denied permission to engage. After CENTCOM opened up a new probe into the incident to address his allegations and found nothing to corroborate them, the former sniper told the Daily Caller News Foundation he agreed the bomber suspect at the time was a “separate individual” from the man the Pentagon just identified as the perpetrator but stood by his testimony.

“That is the truth. For anyone to say that this wasn’t preventable when we had on the ground intel passed to us stating the threat, it’s bullshit. We were told that the bomber was headed to Abbey Gate in real time, we all knew that,” he told the DCNF.

“I believe that a lot has been covered up,” he added.

Vargas-Andrews lost two of his limbs in the bombing, which took the lives of 13 U.S. service members and killed and wounded dozens of Afghan civilians.

Marines stationed in and around the watchtower near Hamid Karzai International Airport’s Abbey Gate may have confused formal intelligence with “spot reports” made by service members in real time that had not been vetted, the secondary review found, according to The Washington Post.

“Over the past two years, some service members have claimed that they had the bomber in their sights, and they could have prevented the attack,” a U.S. official on the supplemental review team said on Friday, according to CNN. “But we now know that is not correct.”

While Vargas-Andrews disputed the finding, he did not dispute that the person Marines at the time believed to be the prime threat was not the eventual bomber, he told the Post.

The first investigation completed in November 2021 concluded a lone suicide bomber managed to bypass Taliban checkpoints but contained nothing to suggest the perpetrator had been identified or that a request to shoot traveled up the chain of command, interview logs show.

Investigators, “although as thorough as they could be,” told Vargas-Andrews and his team during the course of the secondary probe that photos of the bomber, which were taken while the sniper team was tracking threats, could not be retrieved from any facility in the Pentagon or a U.S. intelligence agency.

“They stated they combed through everything high and low,” he told the DCNF. “So what happened to those hundreds of photos, which are potential intelligence? That is a failure.”

Many photos Vargas-Andrews’ sniper team collected, and photos taken by other units, vanished during the course of the chaotic evacuation in August 2021, a person familiar with the investigation told the Post. Those included two individuals the snipers requested to shoot.

One individual nicknamed the “man in black,” due to his black headscarf and shaved head, was thought to be the suicide bomber, CNN reported.

Vargas told the DCNF the photo of the suspect referenced in the report came from a cell phone and was taken from the display on his team’s camera

CENTCOM’s secondary report identified the bomber as Abdul Rahman Al-Logari, an Islamic State (ISIS) operative whom the Taliban had recently released from prison, according to CNN. Cross-comparison of the figures in each photo — CENTCOM obtained al-Logari’s prison mugshot — “received the strongest negative possible rating” they depicted the same person, officials said.

Vargas-Andrews maintained he still had an opportunity to engage the bomber.

“I will stand by my testimony and what we experienced till the day I die,” Vargas-Andrews told the DCNF.

CENTCOM did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

AUTHOR

MICAELA BURROW

Investigative reporter, defense.

RELATED ARTICLE: Pentagon Won’t Respond To New Research Casting Doubt On Studies Supporting Military’s DEI Push

RELATED VIDEO: The Bridge – The true story about the Evacuation of Kabul, Afghanistan with Tyler Vargas-Andrews

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

EXCLUSIVE: ‘A Huge Blow’: Decline In White Recruits Fueling The Military’s Worst-Ever Recruiting Crisis, Data Shows

Each U.S. military service saw a notable decline in white recruits over the past five years, according to data obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation, likely factoring into the military’s crippling recruiting crisis.

The Army, Navy and Air Force missed their recruiting objectives by historically large margins in fiscal year 2023, which ended on Sept. 30, as the broader American public has grown wary of military service, according to Department of Defense (DOD) statistics, officials and experts who spoke to the DCNF. Since 2018, however, the number of recruits from minority groups has remained steady — or, in some cases, increased — while the number of white recruits has declined, according to data on the demographics of new recruits obtained by the DCNF.

The data “reveals the decline of white recruits is almost entirely responsible for the recruiting crisis,” Will Thibeau, director of the American Military Project at the Claremont Institute, told the DCNF.

“A smaller proportion of white Americans serve now than ever before. This is fundamental, because complimentary increases in black and Hispanic recruits have not taken place,” he added.

U.S. troops are under attack in the Middle East, maintaining a heightened posture against a belligerent Russia in Europe, and bolstering deterrence against the People’s Republic of China. The U.S. military is weakening, unable to respond to some of the most pressing challenges to U.S. national security, according to a report released by the Heritage Foundation.

“This is a huge blow as the recruiting crisis is the worst in the history of the all volunteer force,” Robert Greenway, director of the Allison Center for National Security at Heritage, told the DCNF, referring to the plummeting numbers of white recruits since 2018.

A Dramatic Decline In White Recruits

Other demographic groups have fluctuated over those five years, but none consistently tumbled over time like the white demographic.

In fiscal year 2018, 44,042 new recruits to the Army — or 56.4% of the total — were white, according to data obtained by the DCNF. That number collapsed to a low of 25,070 — or 44.0% of the total — in fiscal 2023.

Over the same time period, black Army recruits increased from 19.6% of the total in 2018 to 23.5% in 2023, and Hispanic Army recruits rose from 17.2% to 23.5%. However, the real number of recruits from the remaining non-white demographic groups also dipped from fiscal 2018 to 2023, as the total number of new personnel the Army signed on each year fell dramatically, the data shows. None of these groups saw the same degree of decline as white recruits, however.

Military.com first reported the precipitous drop in the number of Army soldiers recruited in fiscal year 2023 from five years prior.

“What we’re seeing is a reflection of society; what we know less of is what is driving all of these things,” an Army official told Military.com. “There is no widely accepted cause.”

Click here for Army New Recruits By Race infographic.

The Army implemented new race categories in fiscal year 2023 that split Asian or Pacific Islander into individual categories and introduced multiple options combined under “Two or More” in the data obtained by the DCNF. For visual aid purposes, the DCNF re-combined Asian and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander in 2023.

While the Army may have experienced the worst of the military’s recruiting woes, the data obtained by the DCNF shows that a similar pattern exists across all branches of the armed services. White people are joining the military in lower numbers than before as other racial or ethnic groups do not demonstrate the same shortfalls.

Data for the Air Force shows that Asian recruits increased from 1,110 — or 3.7% of a total 29,831 recruits — in 2018 to 1,471 — or 6.1% of a total of 23,967 recruits — in 2023. While the number of black Air Force recruits was nearly identical during this period — 5,144 in 2018 and 5,155 in 2023 — they comprised a larger percentage of the incoming force in 2023, at 21.51%, than they had in 2018, at 17.2%, as the Air Force’s incoming classes shrunk.

White Air Force recruits, by contrast, dipped from 21,593 in 2018, or 72.4% of the total, to 15,068, or 62.9% of the total, in 2023, the data shows.

Hispanic recruits were tracked as a separate, binary measure of ethnicity. The number categorized as non-Hispanic dropped from 24,204 in 2018 to 17,913 in 2023 — a decline of 6,291. At the same time, the number of Hispanic recruits increased only slightly — from 5,627 in 2018 to 6,054 in 2023.

It was unclear precisely how many white Air Force recruits also selected Hispanic as their ethnicity, or how many Hispanic recruits selected the “white” or “multiple” race category. Data for the Space Force was not included in the DCNF’s analysis.

Click here for Air Force New Recruits By Race infographic.

In the Navy, the number of white recruits fell from 24,343 in fiscal year 2018 to 18,205 in fiscal year 2023, accounting for some of the overall drop of about 9,000 new recruits over the same time period, the data shows. The numbers of black and Asian Navy recruits increased over the same period, with black recruits increasing from 6,798 in 2018 to 7,947 in 2023 and Asian recruits increasing from 1,518 to 2,075 over the same period.  As with the Air Force data, Hispanic recruits were not included in the dataset as a category.

The ethnicity of 10% Navy recruits in 2018 was listed as “none-unknown,” but that number dropped to nearly zero by 2021, potentially clouding any true comparison of data between years. There were also small drops in recruits listed as American Indian or Alaskan Native, “multiple races” and Native Hawaiian-Other Pacific Islander.

As in the Air Force, a separate measurement of ethnicity for Navy recruits included only two categories: Hispanic and Non-Hispanic. The proportion of Hispanic recruits grew from 18% in 2018 to 25% in 2023, while the real number of Non-Hispanic recruits actually dropped from 31,977 to 22,746.

Click here for Nave New Recruits By Race infographic.

Unlike with the Air Force and Navy, the Marine Corps calculated race and ethnicity together, placing Hispanics in a separate category alongside white, African American and “other” recruits. It also included specific data for officers and enlisted recruits, further complicating any comparison between the services. However, this data appears to suggest that, although the Marine Corps has not struggled to meet recruiting objectives like the other services have, any decline in overall numbers of new recruits has been driven by a smaller pool of white Marines in the new cohort.

White enlisted Marine Corps recruits dropped from 21,455 — 58% of the total — in fiscal 2018 to 14,287 — 43% of the total — in fiscal 2023. Hispanic recruits climbed from 9,984 — 27% of the total — to 12,859 — 39% of the total. The number of black recruits did not change appreciably: 3,708, or roughly 10%, in 2018 to 3,603, or roughly or 11%, in 2023.

The “other” category for enlisted Marine recruits jumped from 1,765 to 2,574.

The largest drop in white enlisted Marines occurred between 2021 and 2022, when they declined by 3,090, accounting for most of the overall decline of 3,214.

Combining both enlisted personnel and officers, there was an overall 32.2% decline in the number of white Marines joining. In 2018, there was a combined total 22,699 white enlisted personnel and officers recruited; in 2023 it was 15,387. The number of African American Marine recruits decreased marginally — from 3,708 to 3,603 — while recruits categorized as Hispanic increased from 9,984 to 12,859, as did recruits categorized as “other” — 1,765 in 2018 to 2,574 in 2023.

Click here for the Marine Corps Recruits By Race infographic.

Behind The Decline In White Recruits

Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps officials could not explain why there has been a decline in whites recruited to serve.

“Factors influencing recruitment demographics can be complex and multifaceted,” an Air Force spokesperson told the DCNF.

Spokespeople for each of the services cited various reasons recruitment overall has fallen dramatically in the past three years.

For example, only 23% of 17-to-24-year-old Americans meet the minimum physical and academic standards for joining without a waiver and even fewer — about 10% — express a desire to join, according to an Army press release. The civilian job market may present more attractive opportunities with better benefits, while fewer members of the younger generation are familiar with the military at all, officials say.

Young Americans are also losing trust in institutions in general, including the U.S. military, the Army has said.

In a 2022 survey the Army commissioned, young people cited safety concerns and the stress of Army life as inhibitors to enlisting and also said they didn’t want to steal time away from pursuing other careers.

“Additionally, recognizing that Generation Z represents the newest cohort of service members, it is essential to meet their expectations for an inclusive workplace. As we engage with youth, a fundamental principle remains steadfast – the recruitment of qualified Americans who mirror the society the Department of the Air Force serves,” the Air Force spokesperson said.

Army officials attributed factors including drug use, obesity and a drop in white male representation in the labor market in comments to Military.com. They also blamed Republicans’ partisan attacks against perceived left-wing infiltration of the military, saying an excessive focus on “wokeness” had presented the military as an institution hostile to white people, according to Military.com.

Conservative lawmakers and media highlighting the Army’s preoccupation with diversity could contribute to the problem, some Army officials told Military.com.

“No, the young applicants don’t care about this stuff,” one Army official told Military.com. “There’s a level of prestige in parts of conservative America with service that has degraded.”

The Army did not respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment on the data.

Experts cast doubt on the Pentagon’s talking points about problems with eligibility to serve.

“All of that historically has been a challenge, and it is no different today. Those aren’t the reasons why they’re not getting recruits,” Greenway told the DCNF.

And, they don’t explain why the numbers of white recruits are falling.

“Fewer white Americans see the military as a righteous way to serve their country, but it is readily apparent the military is trying to recruit fewer white Americans in order to meet various policies of race composition in place throughout the Armed Forces. For every diversity objective, there is an imperative to reduce the proportion of white recruits. Since 2018, that’s exactly what has happened,” Thibeau said.

Race-Focused Recruiting

The military for years has prioritized reaching out to women and minority racial or ethnic groups, adding new initiatives each year aimed at increasing the proportion of underrepresented groups among the total ranks.

Pentagon officials and official documents outline the military’s goals to increase the proportion of minority ethnic and racial groups in the total ranks.

The military does not have explicit quotas for representation in the ranks. But, the Pentagon’s guiding strategic plan through 2026 sets year-over-year targets for “increased representation of racial/ethnic minorities and women” in military career fields where the breakdown is seen as out of balance. It also sets goals of having more minorities included in the pool of applicants eligible for promotion to higher ranks.

The Pentagon’s top military officer has stated that he hires “for diversity.”

“We focus on recruiting the best and brightest of America,” a Navy spokesperson told the DCNF.

“Though faced with a challenging recruiting environment, the Navy has and continues to provide several opportunities to all who choose to wear the uniform, and we will continue to build pathways for all qualified individuals to serve.”

The Air Force “seeks to reflect the broader population to ensure a well-rounded force,” the spokesperson told the DCNF.

A Marine Corps spokesperson explicitly denied the service follows diversity-focused recruitment policies.

“Marine Corps Recruiting Command does not have diversity-oriented policies. Applicants must be morally, medically and physically qualified in order to serve,” the spokesperson told the DCNF.

A shift in emphasis to criteria aside from performance, such as race, ethnicity or gender, “is going to impact the groups that would be disadvantaged by that for the perception that that they would be disadvantaged by that,” Greenway told the DCNF.

“The services are prioritizing racial goals, and when you pursue racial goals and composition, you’re going to change your recruiting policy,” Greenway told the DCNF. It also contributes to declining trust in the military as white young people who would otherwise be eligible and interested in service lose confidence they would be evaluated and promoted based on their qualification, he added.

Complaints about the military’s diversity-oriented policies emanating from Congress are more likely reflective of feedback lawmakers receive from constituents, Greenway said.

The Worst Recruiting Crisis In 50 Years

The size of the active-duty force fluctuated between 2018 and 2023, but reached dramatic lows at the end of 2023, data shows.

The DOD maintained an estimated 1,314,000 active-duty troops out of an authorized end strength of 1,322,500 at the end of fiscal year 2018, according to department statistics. The Army missed its active duty recruiting goal by 6,528 troops, while the other services slightly exceeded theirs, data shows.

Congress’ fiscal year 2024 defense policy bill capped military end strength at 1,295,700 active-duty personnel, down from an authorized 1,316,944 in 2023, when it achieved only an estimated 1,296,271, data shows.

“This fiscal year was without a doubt the toughest recruitment year for the Military Services since the inception of the all-volunteer force. The Marine Corps (active and reserve components) and the Space Force are the only Services to achieve their FY recruitment goals. The Department continues to work collaboratively to develop innovative ways to inspire service and mitigate recruiting shortfalls,” DOD said in a statement announcing the fiscal year 2023 recruitment numbers.

The Army fared worst, achieving just 76.61% of its target — 50,181 out of 65,500, according to DOD data. Only the Marine Corps and Space Force met their goals.

The Army had 485,000 active-duty troops in 2021, but it finished out 2023 with just 452,000, the smallest full-time force since before WWII. Sweeping reforms to the Army’s recruiting structure announced in October have yet to materialize.

Some steps the Army has taken so far appear to be successful. The Army’s Future Soldier Prep Course, which provides academic tutoring or physical fitness training for prospective soldiers who don’t quite meet entrance standards, has graduated nearly 9,000 Army recruits since implementation in August 2022.

The U.S. Navy missed active duty recruiting objectives for 2023 by about 20%, despite rolling out a score of initiatives aimed at relieving pressure on recruiting — including offering bonuses up to $75,000 for enlistees in certain highly technical occupations and raising the maximum age to join from 39 to 41.

It also pushed the limit of the congressionally-mandated maximum percentage for recruits who score between the 10th and 30th percentile on the Armed Forces Qualification Test, according to the statement.

Seeking to recreate the Army’s success in boosting the test scores of potential future soldiers, the Navy also implemented “Future Sailor Preparatory Courses” at boot camp to help possible recruits meet the Navy’s academic and physical standards, the statement said.

The Navy strove to take on a total of 40,232 active-duty officers and enlisted personnel, but only achieved 32,316 in fiscal year 2023, according to a press release.

The Air Force achieved only 24,923, or 89%, of its goal 27,851 new active-duty officers and enlisted troops for the fiscal year, while the Air Force Reserve fared even worse.

The Marine Corps reached its recruiting goal, Commandant Gen. Eric Smith announced on social media on Sept. 28. “I’m mindful of how challenging an environment this is and want to publicly give credit to our professional recruiters and all our Marines who uphold our rigorous standards 24/7,” he said.

In addition, the Space Force had obtained more than 99% of its proportionally small accessions goal by July.

“The Marine Corps recruits the best this country has to offer who reflect our culture and values in every demographic which is reflective of the American population,” the Marine Corps spokesperson told the DCNF.

AUTHOR

MICAELA BURROW

Investigative reporter, defense.

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All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Five Marines Dead After Helicopter Crash, Military Confirms

Five Marines missing since early Wednesday morning died in a helicopter crash during training, the military confirmed in an emailed statement on Thursday.

Authorities located the remains of a CH-53E Super Stallion heavy lift helicopter near Pine Valley, California, on Wednesday after initiating a search when the aircraft did not arrive at its destination on time. Recovery efforts are still underway for the remains of the five Marines and equipment lost in the crash Tuesday night, the Marine Corps’ 3 Marine Aircraft Wing said in the statement.

“It is with a heavy heart and profound sadness that I share the loss of five outstanding Marines from 3d Marine Aircraft Wing and the ‘Flying Tigers’ while conducting a training flight last night,” Maj. Gen. Michael J. Borgschulte, the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing’s commanding general, said in the statement.

“These pilots and crewmembers were serving a calling greater than self and were proud to do so. We will forever be grateful for their call to duty and selfless service,” Borgschulte said.

The deceased Marines were assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, Marine Aircraft Group 16 with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, according to the statement. The service will not release the names of the fallen troops until 24 hours after notifying their closest family members, the statement read, citing the military’s usual policy.

The service has initiated an investigation into the incident, the statement read.

The accident “is yet another reminder that across our nation and the world our selfless service members put their lives on the line every day to keep our country safe,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement mourning the loss.

A CH-53E Super Stallion heavy lift helicopter departing from Creech Air Force Base in Clark County, Nevada, on Tuesday was overdue on Wednesday morning at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, the Marine Corps said in a statement Wednesday.

The Marine Corps requested help from local officials around 2 a.m. Wednesday, saying the aircraft’s last known location was Cleveland National Forest near Pine Valley, California, according to local news outlet ABC 10.

Authorities found the helicopter in Pine Valley, California, at 9:08 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.

President Joe Biden said he was “heartbroken” by the news and thanked local, state and federal agencies, including the Civil Air Patrol and San Diego County Sheriff’s department, for assisting in the search.

“As the Department of Defense continues to assess what occurred, we extend our deepest condolences to their families, their squadron, and the U.S. Marine Corps as we grieve the loss of five of our nation’s finest warriors,” Biden said in the statement.

Poor weather conditions limited the search, ABC 10 reported. Heavy rain bombarded the area overnight from a massive storm passing through the area, and San Diego remains under a flood warning , according to the National Weather Service.

AUTHOR

MICAELA BURROW

Investigative reporter, defense.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

GOP Reps Mock DOD Special Ops Office For Hosting Talk On ‘Far-Right’ Domestic Terrorism

  • GOP lawmakers said the Pentagon shouldn’t be focusing on domestic terrorism while an alleged Iranian influence agent holds a high-ranking position in an exclusive statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation Thursday.
  • The DCNF previously reported the DOD agency overseeing special operations held a book talk on “far-right” domestic terrorism in the U.S.
  • The office “is supposed to be focused on deterring future attacks by Iranian-backed terrorist proxies, not employing an acolyte of the regime,” Republican Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Elise Stefanik of New York told the DCNF.

Two prominent GOP representatives mocked the Pentagon for hosting a book talk on domestic right-wing extremism in the same office where an alleged Iranian influencer holds a high-ranking position, according to a statement provided exclusively to the Daily Caller News Foundation on Thursday.

The Department of Defense (DOD)’s Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC) office, which oversees global special operations, invited two experts to discuss their new book on far-right terrorism in the U.S. for all staff who wanted to join on Tuesday, screenshots obtained by the DCNF reveal. The event highlighted the DOD’s unfounded focus on far-right extremism while ignoring other threats, Republican Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Elise Stefanik of New York told the DCNF.

“Joe Biden’s woke Department of Defense (DoD) wasted $900,000 of taxpayer dollars on a baseless witchhunt to root out ‘Far Right extremism’ in the military and paid Leftist professors to speak on the subject yet took no action against an employee who is a known agent of Iranian extremism,” they said.

Ariane Tabatabai, the chief of staff in SO/LIC, was recently investigated for ties to an Iranian influence network. Tabatabai served as a founding member of the Iran Experts Initiative, a group of U.S. analysts who reportedly cooperated with the Islamic regime to promote Tehran’s preferred perspective of the threatening nuclear program while negotiations on a nuclear deal were ongoing.

“SO/LIC is supposed to be focused on deterring future attacks by Iranian-backed terrorist proxies, not employing an acolyte of the regime. Enough with the woke politics – the DoD should focus on deterring future attacks against American troops,” they said.

The invitation for Tuesday’s event appeared to go out via email to “all” staff of SO/LIC, the screenshots show. Bruce Hoffman, a professor at Georgetown University and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and Jacob Ware, a research fellow at CFR, were scheduled to present their book, which purports to trace right-wing domestic terrorism through U.S. history, characterizing the Ku Klux Klan and some groups involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots seeking to reverse the 2020 election as part of the same narrative.

The KKK was a vehicle for southern Democrats to resist the Republican Party reconstruction policies, according to History.com. None of the Jan. 6 rioters have been convicted on domestic terrorism laws.

“Serious acts of terrorism have erupted from violent American far-right extremists in recent years, including the 2015 mass murder at a historic Black church in Charleston and the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol,” the book synopsis, which was also included in the email, read.

The Pentagon initiated a stand-down after the Jan. 6 riots and ordered a review of extremism present within the ranks of U.S. military personnel.

But a DOD-funded study released in December found no evidence that the number of violent extremists in the military was disproportionate to the number in the general population, and most of the few service members charged for engaging in prohibited extremist activity included evidence of violent action or plans for violent action. Despite two years of work, the Pentagon failed to understand domestic extremism and likely inflated the issue, to the possible detriment of cohesion within the ranks.

The office said the event was the first in what was intended to be a series of events featuring guest speakers on a variety of topics, the screenshots show.

The Pentagon did not respond to the DCNF’s previous request for explanation of how approved the event and why. It did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment Thursday on the lawmakers’ statements.

AUTHOR

MICAELA BURROW

Investigative reporter, defense.

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All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Pentagon’s Special Ops Office Holds Book Talk On ‘Far-Right’ Domestic Terrorism

  • A Department of Defense office overseeing special operations invited two terrorism experts to discuss their new book on far-right terrorism in the U.S., screenshots obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation show.
  • The invitation appeared to go out via email to “all” staff of SO/LIC, the acronym for the Pentagon’s office overseeing special operations and irregular warfare.
  • “Serious acts of terrorism have erupted from violent American far-right extremists in recent years, including the 2015 mass murder at a historic Black church in Charleston and the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol,” the book’s synopsis, which was also included in the email, reads.

A Department of Defense (DOD) office invited two experts to discuss their new book on far-right terrorism in the U.S. as part of a new series featuring guest speakers, the Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

The invitation appeared to go out via email to “all” staff of SO/LIC, the acronym for the Pentagon’s office overseeing special operations and irregular warfare, according to screenshots obtained exclusively by the DCNF. Bruce Hoffman, a professor at Georgetown University and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and Jacob Ware, a research fellow at CFR, were scheduled Tuesday to present their book, which traces right-wing domestic terrorism through U.S history, including the Ku Klux Klan and groups involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots seeking to reverse the 2020 election. 

“Reminder to please join us at 1200 tomorrow morning via Teams (link below) for this virtual brown bag book talk event — renowned terrorism scholars Dr. Bruce Hoffman and Jacob Ware. Their new book, God, Guns, and Sedition: Far-Right Terrorism in America was released earlier this month,” the invitation, dated Jan. 29 at 9:51 a.m., reads.

“This is the first of what we hope will be a series of brown bag events featuring internal and external speakers,” it said, and was signed by the “FO Team.”

The reminder included a brief description of the book and links to the author’s biographies in documents on the internal office drive.

“Serious acts of terrorism have erupted from violent American far-right extremists in recent years, including the 2015 mass murder at a historic Black church in Charleston and the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol,” the book synopsis, which was also included in the email, read.

“They are the latest flashpoints in a process that has been unfolding for decades, in which vast conspiracy theories and radical ideologies such as white supremacism, racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, and hostility to government converge into a deadly threat to democracy,” it said. “This talk, derived from the speakers’ new book, God, Guns, and Sedition (Columbia Univ. Press) discusses the rise of far-right terrorism in the United States, the impact of U.S. domestic terrorism on our foreign policy and our allies, and policy recommendations to counter far-right terrorism.”

The email did not explain why domestic terrorism, a problem outside of the DOD’s purview, was selected as the topic for the first book talk or who approved it. The DOD didn’t respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

Hoffman and Ware have engaged in presentations and other media to promote their recent release, according to a DCNF review.

The Pentagon initiated a stand-down after the Jan. 6 riots and ordered a review of extremism present within the ranks of U.S. military personnel. Fewer than 100 service members were identified as having participated in extremist activities, but the Pentagon’s focus on right-wing views may have worsened a polarization problem.

Despite two years of work, the Pentagon failed to understand domestic extremism and may have inflated the issue, to the possible detriment of cohesion within the ranks, according to a DOD-funded study released in December.

“God, Guns and Terrorism” opens with a description of an anti-government group in 2020 advocating for the overthrow of the U.S. government, spurred by former President Donald Trump’s social media incitement, a sample of the book on Amazon.com shows. It then describes the “accelerationist” ideology, which the authors say motivates many right-wing anti-government groups, as a “white power strategy to foment violence and chaos as a means to seize power.”

The two recently co-authored an editorial arguing that far-right threats of violence in support of the MAGA agenda is splintering the Republican party. GOP support for Trump could inspire a repeat of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, they said.

“The violent far-right extremist movement is neither loyal to the GOP nor concerned about protecting its own candidates or elected officials. It is an anti-government underground fueled by election denialism and driven by the worst authoritarian impulses,” they wrote.

Ware and Hoffman didn’t respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

AUTHOR

MICAELA BURROW

Investigative reporter, defense.

RELATED ARTICLE: Biden Pentagon’s Efforts To Crack Down On ‘Extremism’ May Have Harmed Military, DOD Study Finds

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


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Three U.S. Troops Killed In Drone Attack Near Syrian Border

Three U.S. troops were killed in a drone attack in Jordan near the border of Syria, where Iran-backed militias have conducted more than 150 attacks on bases hosting U.S. troops in recent months, the military said Sunday.

A one-way attack drone crashed into the Jordanian base Saturday night, killing the three U.S. service members and injuring 25 more, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement. One of the Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq carried out the attack, but the facts of the incident were still being assessed, the White House also said.

“Today, America’s heart is heavy,” President Joe Biden said in the statement.

The attack signifies a major escalation, as it’s the first time U.S. service members have been killed. A Dec. 25 attack on a base in Iraq critically wounded a service member, who is recovering in the hospital. At least 70 U.S. troops have sustained minor or concussive wounds, a senior military official said on Jan. 25.

CENTCOM is withholding the names of the fallen troops until their family members have been notified, which typically happens within 24 hours of the incident.

Biden called the attack “despicable and wholly unjust.”

“We will carry on their commitment to fight terrorism. And have no doubt — we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing,” Biden said.

The attack signifies a major escalation, as it’s the first time U.S. service members have been killed. A Dec. 25 attack on a base in Iraq critically wounded a service member, who is recovering in the hospital. At least 70 U.S. troops have sustained minor or concussive wounds, a senior military official said on Jan. 25.

CENTCOM is withholding the names of the fallen troops until their family members have been notified, which typically happens within 24 hours of the incident.

Biden called the attack “despicable and wholly unjust.”

“We will carry on their commitment to fight terrorism. And have no doubt — we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing,” Biden said.

The Saturday incident also appears to be the first to impact Tower 22 in Jordan, where U.S. forces are advising and assisting Jordanian troops, since the attacks on U.S. and coalition bases began Oct 17, CNN reported.

The primary groups behind the attacks have said they want to punish the U.S. for supporting Israel as it seeks to eliminate the Hamas terrorist group from Gaza.
Biden has instructed the secretary of defense to order several retaliatory attacks against the militias, most recently on Jan. 23 when U.S. forces executed airstrikes in Iraq against three facilities used by Iran-backed militias south of Baghdad. Those were in response to multiple ballistic missile and rocket attacks Iranian-backed militias launched at al-Assad Airbase, injuring at least four.

AUTHOR

MICAELA BURROW

Investigative reporter, defense.

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All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

U.S. Navy Shoots Down 24 Houthi Drones And Missiles In Biggest Attack So Far

U.S. destroyers shot down 24 drones and missiles fired by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, constituting the largest attack on commercial shipping in the Red Sea since tensions escalated in October, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed Tuesday.

The Department of Defense is operating a panoply of naval assets in the region as part of Operation Prosperity Guardian, a U.S.-led coalition to defend critical waterways from repeated threats by the Houthis. Three guided-missile destroyers, the USS Mason, USS Gravely and USS Laboon, and F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier engaged the mix of drones and missiles fired Tuesday, CENTCOM said in a statement.

 An initial assessment showed no damage or injuries to either the U.S. warships engaged in the firefight or any of the dozens of commercial vessels in the vicinity, according to CENTCOM.

The U.S. intercepted 18 Iranian-made one-way attack drones, two anti-ship cruise missiles and one anti-ship ballistic missile in a combined effort at around 9:15 p.m. local time, the statement added.

CENTCOM reiterated a Jan. 3 warning from the U.S. and partners against the Houthis launching further attacks. “The Houthis will bear the responsibility for the consequences should they continue to threaten lives, the global economy, or the free flow of commerce in the region’s critical waterways,” the statement said.

Over the weekend, the Laboon shot down a single explosive-laden drone in “self-defense,” CENTCOM said. It was the first time the military had characterized an engagement as taking place in self- defense, although it has said that previous one-way attack drones were inbound before the warships neutralized them.

Prior to Tuesday, the largest single onslaught took place on Dec. 16, when the USS Carney shot down 14 attack drones that came at the destroyer in a wave without any sign of commercial vessels nearby.

U.S. military assets in the Red Sea now include 130 aircraft and the vessels assigned to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, carrying about 4,000 sailors and Marines, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said at a briefing Wednesday.

“As the president has made clear, the United States does not seek conflict with any nation or actor in the Middle East, nor do we want to see the war between Israel and Hamas widen in the region,” Kirby said. “But neither will we shrink from the task of defending ourselves, our interests, our partners, or the free flow of international commerce.”

Members of Congress have raised concerns in recent days over Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s unannounced hospitalization, during which top national security leaders and the president were unaware he had been hospitalized for at least three days. While Austin’s deputy performed some routine operational duties, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle worried the apparent breakdown in chain of command could hinder the U.S.’ ability to respond to global tensions.

AUTHOR

MICAELA BURROW

Investigative reporter, defense.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Here Are All The Times US Troops Have Shot Down Drones And Missiles Launched By Iran-Backed Groups Since October

  • U.S. forces in the Middle East have shot down at least 50 drones and 11 missiles since the Oct. 17 escalation in attacks by Iran-backed militias, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation tally.
  • U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria have come under attack at least 106 times, a Department of Defense official told the DCNF.
  • Meanwhile, naval forces in the Red Sea have defended against 46 attack drones and saved commercial shipping vessels from ballistic missiles the Yemen-based Houthi rebel group fired.

U.S. troops in the Middle East have engaged more than 50 drones and at least 11 missiles, including ballistic missiles, fired by Iranian proxy groups, since the Oct. 17 escalation in attacks, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation tally.

The Iran-backed militias conducting drone and missile attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria and on commercial shipping in the Red Sea have framed their activities as a means of opposing Israel in its war on the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza, and Washington’s alleged underwriting of the conflict that began Oct. 7. In the process of defending against those attacks, U.S. forces have downed dozens of drones and missiles targeting or nearing American personnel, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) statements, media reports and claims by the militia groups show.

The Pentagon says it aims to prevent a wider war from cascading across the Middle East and has moved to bolster air defenses at bases throughout the region.

A Department of Defense (DOD) official told the DCNF on Friday afternoon the Pentagon has counted at least 106 attacks on U.S. forces Iraq and Syria since Oct. 17. CENTCOM has confirmed only six drones successfully intercepted during those attacks, but media reports suggest the number could be much higher.

The Islamic Resistance of Iraq, a coalition of various Iran-backed militant groups, through its semi-official Iraq War Media social media channel issued another claim on Friday accompanied by footage of rocket launches.

The first attack took place on Oct. 17, when the U.S. military and coalition forces fended off three explosive-laden drones bearing down on U.S. troops stationed in Iraq in two different incidents, CENTCOM said in a press release. The next day, two sites in Syria hosting American and partner troops came under attack; one of the drones was shot down before it could cause damage, while the other one caused minor injuries to personnel at the al-Tanf coalition garrison.

Kataib Hezbollah, a powerful Iran-backed Iraqi militia, had threatened to attack U.S. military bases with missiles, special forces and drones if the U.S. intervened militarily in support of Israel, Reuters reported.

Rockets and drones pummeled the Ain al-Asad air base near Baghdad later on Oct. 19. On Oct. 23, U.S. troops shot down two more kamikaze drones in Syria with unspecified defensive systems, Pentagon officials confirmed. Rockets rained down at Iraq’s Ain al-Asad again on Oct. 24, Reuters reported, citing two Iraqi security sources.

The Pentagon warned Iran and its proxy militias in the Middle East intended to further escalate conflict by attacking U.S. troops based in the region.

Dozens of troops have sustained minor injures, and one American contractor died during a false alarm.

On Oct. 25, one attack was recorded at a location in northern Syria on Wednesday, The Washington Post reported, citing U.S. officials. Three rockets were aimed at the outpost and one landed inside, although no troops were injured.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq has claimed dozens of attacks, not all of which have been verified as successful. They continued through November and December.

Christmas day saw the most significant casualty of all the attacks when an explosive drone apparently crashed into Erbil Air Base in Iraq, wounding two American service members and leaving a third in critical condition, the Pentagon said. In retaliation, President Joe Biden ordered airstrikes on “Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated groups focused specifically on UAV activities,” damaging facilities used to make drones and likely killing or wounding multiple militants.

It was the fourth round of airstrikes Biden ordered on facilities associated with the militant groups and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which oversees Tehran’s proxy operations, since Oct. 27.

Additionally, U.S. and coalition forces have defended bases as militants were planning or in the process of conducting strikes, recording casualties.

Separately, U.S. Naval forces in the Red Sea have downed at least 46 attack drones and 11 missiles the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have launched, according to a DCNF tally. The USS Carney guided-missile destroyer intercepted three land-attack cruise missiles and eight drones that appeared intended to strike Israel on Oct. 19, USNI News reported, citing a preliminary Pentagon after-action report.

Since then, CENTCOM has documented 23 attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea, according to a statement. U.S. destroyers and fighter jets from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier scrambled to respond.

In the latest incident, Houthi rebels on four small boats fired small arms and crew-served guns at U.S. helicopters while attempting to board a Maersk container ship early Sunday, the first time the Pentagon has confirmed Houthi militants directly targeted American military personnel. U.S. helicopters fired back, killing militants and sinking three of the skifs, the military said.

Saturday night, the Gravely shot down two more anti-ship ballistic missiles fired by the Houthis, according to CENTCOM.

The Pentagon is documenting attacks on international shipping on a case-by-case basis, the DOD official told the DCNF.

“Often times if multiple munitions are fired in quick succession, that would count as once ‘incident.’ However, it really depends on the timing and sequence of events during a period of time,” the official said.

U.S. warships downed drones twice in November and responded to an attempted strike on commercial ship with anti-ship ballistic missiles, CENTCOM has said. Incidents increased in frequency in December; on one occasion, the USS Carney shot down 14 attack drones that came at the destroyer in a wave, without any evidence of warship nearby.

Dec. 3 proved an especially tense day as the UUS Carney guided-missile destroyer responded to three separate distress calls as the commercial ships came under attack from an onslaught of drones and ballistic missiles from areas occupied by the Iran-backed militant group, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement. In the process of rendering support to the ships, the Carney downed three Houthi drones but CENTCOM said it was too early to determine whether a U.S. Navy vessel was also a target.

“These attacks represent a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security. They have jeopardized the lives of international crews representing multiple countries around the world. We also have every reason to believe that these attacks, while launched by the Houthis in Yemen, are fully enabled by Iran,” CENTCOM said in the statement.

U.S. naval assets downed a dozen suicide drones, three anti-ship ballistic missiles and two land-based cruise missiles the Houthis fired toward the Red Sea over a 10-hour period on Dec. 26, the military said in a statement.

In a statement, the Houthi military spokesperson affirmed the group’s “continued support and support of the Palestinian people as part of their religious, moral and humanitarian duty” and reiterated intentions to attack any commercial vessel tied to Israeli owners or destined for Israel.

Shipping in the Red Sea has decreased dramatically to the Houthi threat, as successful strikes have sparked fires on board merchant vessels and tankers, while U.S. forces continue to take down missiles.

The Pentagon announced Operation Prosperity Guardian, a multinational task force aimed at safeguarding shipping through the critical waterway, on Dec. 18. Major freight companies say they still plan to reroute around Cape of Good Hope, CNN reported.

So far, the Pentagon has not confirmed whether the Houthis aimed for any drones heading directly for U.S. warships to impact on those ships, reportedly to avoid provoking further tensions as the region is simmering over the war between Israel and Gaza. The Biden administration has also refrained from directly targeting Houthi launch sites.

“President Biden’s perceived weakness by our enemies is leading to escalating attacks against our servicemembers and lawful commercial shipping. These attacks will continue until these terrorists understand that their actions will have severe consequences.” Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement.

AUTHOR

MICAELA BURROW

Investigative reporter, defense.

RELATED ARTICLES:

US-Led Coalition To Defend Shipping Against Houthi Attacks Doesn’t Hold Water, Experts Say

US Troops Kill Houthi Militants In Red Sea Firefight After Rebels Attempt To Board Commercial Ship

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Air Force Academy Privately Fretted The End Of Race-Based Admissions Would Hamstring ‘Diversity’ Goals

The Air Force Academy’s top official worried the Supreme Court’s decision that race-based admissions were unconstitutional would set back the service’s “warfighting imperative” of building a racially diverse military, according to emails obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

On June 30, 2023, Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, the Air Force Academy’s superintendent, wrote a preview of the consequences that the Supreme Court’s decision striking down affirmative action could have for service academies’ abilities to judge candidates on the basis of race, according to emails the DCNF obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Although the justices did not overtly apply the decision to military schools, the records show how the Air Force Academy scrambled to minimize the impact of the June 29 decision on racial diversity goals.

“If we lose our limited window to reshape the racial diversity of each incoming class, it would affect our ability to meet the warfighting imperative of fielding a diverse, inclusive force,” Clark wrote.

The names of recipients of Clark’s email were redacted.

Clark noted that the Air Force Academy itself has limited discretion over the composition of each year’s incoming class. Congressional appointments, when U.S. senators and representatives nominate young members of their constituencies for attendance, determine more than half of entrants, with another 25% or so allotted to athletic recruitment.

After that, the academy is only able to “shape” the remaining 10% to 20% of officer candidates, Clark said. The academy could consider a variety of factors, including their potential to become pilots — for which the Air Force is experiencing a severe shortage — socio-economic status, gender and race.

“If [the U.S. Air Force Academy] were to voluntarily comply with the Supreme Court decision, our ability to shape a diverse class would become more limited,” Clark wrote.

Two candidates presenting similar overall qualifications might be judged based on those factors, he wrote, allowing for the possibility that a candidate’s race could be the determining factor. He noted that the Air Force Academy has outperformed other services in terms of racial and ethnic diversity.

“These factors are used to design a class of diverse backgrounds in accordance with [the Department of the Air Force’s] broad definition of diversity and operational needs,” Clark wrote. “As such, not being able to consider race in a holistic review would further hinder DAF diversity, moreso than civilian universities.”

The Air Force’s definition of diversity includes race, ethnicity, gender, personal life experience, cultural knowledge, prior education, work experience and “spiritual perspectives,” department guidance states.

Chief Justice John Roberts punted the question of whether the Supreme Court’s ruling on race-based admissions should apply to service academies to a later date, noting that the military may have “potentially distinct” reasons related to national security for considering race as a factor in admissions.

Following the court’s decision, Students for Fair Admissions sued the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the Naval Academy at Annapolis to prove their race-based admissions policies are discriminatory. In mid-December, a federal judge blocked an injunction that would have put a temporary stay on the Naval Academy’s use of race in admissions.

Department of Defense (DOD) service academy officials argued in July that the military does not entertain illegal racial quotas but does angle recruiting efforts at specific populations to meet racial, ethnic and gender diversity goals.

An email to Clark, dated Oct. 31, 2022, the day after oral arguments began, noted that the academy had worked extensively with the unnamed solicitor general, likely referring to U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar on the case to furnish her with the military’s perspective on the importance of considering race in admissions decisions. Representatives from the academy and members of other federal agencies attended two practice debates with the solicitor general, the records show.

The sender’s list was redacted, but language in the email suggests the sender was affiliated with the Air Force Academy.

“If what you’re asking me is whether we think the military has distinctive interests in this context, I would say yes,” Prelogar told the Supreme Court in October, a transcript shows. “And I think it’s critically important for the Court in its decision in these cases to make clear that those interests are, I think, truly compelling with respect to the military.”

The Air Force Academy would endeavor to remain in lockstep with its Army and Navy counterparts as well as guidance from the Secretary of Defense, Clark said in the June email.

Prior to a decision on the outcome of the case, however, the Air Force seemed confident the ruling would not meaningfully impact the Academy “since they do admission differently from Harvard/UNC,” an unnamed sender wrote in a June 29 email to Clark. That is, “as long as it didn’t ban targeting recruiting efforts.”

However, the sender noted that the Department of Defense and the academy would need some time to fully parse out the ramifications of whatever the Supreme Court decides.

The Air Force said it withheld some records from the DCNF’s request “as it is considered privileged in litigation” per United States Code, Title 5, Section 552 (b)(5) covering documents “which would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency.”

The Air Force Academy did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

AUTHOR

MICAELA BURROW

Investigative reporter, defense.

RELATED ARTICLE: EXCLUSIVE: Here’s What They’re Teaching In The Naval Academy’s Gender And Sexuality Class

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Trump-Appointed Judge Halts Removal Of Confederate Monument At Arlington Cemetery

A Trump-appointed federal judge has temporarily halted removal proceedings for the Confederate memorial at Arlington National Cemetery that began Monday, the Associated Press reported.

Defend Arlington filed a lawsuit in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, on Sunday for a temporary restraining order, the AP reported. Work had already begun to remove the bronze elements of the memorial in accordance with recommendations in the Congressionally-mandated Naming Commission’s final report to scrub Department of Defense (DOD) assets of any symbolism that could be seen to honor the Confederacy.

A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, according to the AP. The memorial has not been dismantled.

“Safety fencing was installed around the Memorial yesterday, Dec. 17 and the deliberate deconstruction process is currently underway,” cemetery spokesperson Rebecca Wardwell told the Daily Caller News Foundation earlier on Monday.

The Army previously said it anticipated the removal process to take place over four days.

Defend Arlington sued the Army and the Department of Defense (DOD) in a district court in February to halt the removal. The district judge dismissed the case on Dec. 12.

The cemetery claims removing the memorial is required by Congress and that doing so will comply with environmental regulations and leave the 400 Confederate graves encircling the monument undisturbed, according to the AP. However, Defend Arlington’s lawsuit argues the Army unlawfully bypassed certain regulations.

“The removal will desecrate, damage, and likely destroy the Memorial longstanding at ANC as a grave marker and impede the Memorial’s eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places,” the lawsuit states, according to the AP.

A Department of Defense spokesperson referred the DCNF to Arlington National Cemetery. The cemetery did not immediately respond to a renewed request for comment.

U.S. District Judge Rossie Alston, who issued the restraining order, said the parties should be prepared to discuss Defend Arlington’s prior, dismissed case at the court date, saying it could affect his decision whether or not to extend the stay beyond Wednesday, the AP reported.

Alston wrote that he “takes very seriously the representations of officers of the Court and should the representations in this case be untrue or exaggerated the Court may take appropriate sanctions,” AP reported.

The new lawsuit differs from the previous one in that the plaintiffs now have concrete evidence the removal efforts are disturbing the graves, David McCallister, a spokesperson for the advocacy group Save Southern Heritage Florida, told the AP.

“The Memorial represents a symbol of reconciliation aimed at healing a country divided during a brutal sectional war and reconstruction,” Defend Arlington wrote in the prior lawsuit.

Congress created the Naming Commission in 2021, which was tasked with identifying and removing names, bases and other DOD assets honoring the Confederate States of America. The final report recommended removing the bronze upper and leaving the granite base intact to avoid disturbing graves.

“The elaborately designed monument offers a nostalgic, mythologized vision of the Confederacy, including highly sanitized depictions of slavery,” Arlington National Cemetery’s web page reads.

AUTHOR

MICAELA BURROW

Investigative reporter, defense.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Former Senator Makes Plea To Save Arlington Cemetery’s Confederate Monument

‘Covers Up History’: Retired Army Rangers Hammer The Pentagon For Purging Confederates From The Ranger Memorial

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Here’s How Biden Could Embroil America In Yet Another Foreign War

  • The Biden administration could put U.S. troops on the ground in Guyana to defend the threatened democracy against a Venezuelan invasion, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
  • Although an invasion is unlikely, recent U.S. actions send a signal to Venezuela that America is prepared to intervene if Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro acts on his pledge.
  • “The U.S. should work to create strong disincentives for Venezuela to carry out any aggression, including helping to establish stronger military deterrence. It remains to be seen how compelling these disincentives will be and how Maduro will respond to them,” Daniel Batlle, an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute and a former State Department official, told the DCNF.

The Biden administration could be compelled to put U.S. military boots on the ground to defend Guyana, a democratic South American country with a history of cooperation with the U.S., from a potential Venezuelan invasion, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has threatened to annex by force large swaths of oil-rich territory in neighboring Guyana following a manufactured referendum as troops mass on both sides of the border in a bid to consolidate support for the country’s 2024 elections. A full-scale invasion resembling Russia’s attempt to conquer Ukraine is unlikely, but possible, placing pressure on the U.S., and international partners, to respond in defense of a democratic country, the experts told the DCNF.

The Biden administration would want to intervene to show it will “credibly defend its friends against external aggression,” just as it has done with Israel and Ukraine, Evan Ellis, a research professor of Latin American studies at the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, told the DCNF. “Once we make that commitment, it sends a very strong signal that we can’t just walk away from.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has pledged “unwavering support” for Guyana’s sovereignty.

Other experts questioned the administration’s commitment to defending democratic partners in light of sweeping sanctions relief Biden offered Venezuela in the fall of 2023 in exchange for yet-unfulfilled promises to conduct legitimate elections and free political prisoners — which could further embolden Maduro.

“It is unclear what precisely is motivating the current administration in its policy toward Venezuela, but it is clearly not democracy, human rights, or electoral freedom. I do not see how anyone, including the Maduro regime, will take American threats seriously when they offer sanctions relief under such insane conditions,” former Deputy Special Representative for Venezuela Carrie Filipetti told the DCNF.

U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) has made conspicuous shows of force as Maduro carried out a national referendum on the annexation question. Such displays are “firm, clear signals” from the U.S. that if Venezuela takes action, “it will not be unopposed,” Ellis told the DCNF.

SOUTHCOM and the Guyana Defense Force (GDF) conducted flight operations in country on Dec. 7, according to the U.S. Embassy in Guyana.

“This exercise builds upon routine engagement and operations to enhance security partnership between the United States and Guyana, and to strengthen regional cooperation,” the embassy said in the statement.

In an unusual step, U.S. Air Force special operations later showed several videos of an AC-130J Ghostrider gunship, equipped with precision-guided missiles and cannons capable of “measured, but ruinous fire” that can rip people and armored vehicles to shreds, training against targets.

Guyanese President Irfaan Ali and Maduro met Thursday to hash out an agreement on where the border line should be drawn, and both sides agreed not to use force, the Associated Press reported. But they did resolve the issue.

“I have made it very clear that on the issue of the border controversy, Guyana’s position is non-negotiable,” Ali said in a national broadcast, indicating that any negotiations over the territory are likely to be fraught.

Maduro claimed sovereignty over the territory encompassing two-thirds of Guyana, which also includes the coastline near two massive offshore oil deposits, according to The New York Times. The claim depends on a referendum held to shore up his control over domestic politics and built on an internationally-unrecognized pretext of historical control over Essequibo.

On Dec. 5, Maduro ordered state-owned oil companies to begin granting licenses and doing exploration in Essequibo, the Financial Times reported.

He likely won’t order an invasion, experts told the DCNF. The Venezuelan military is afraid of revealing systemic deficiencies, but more importantly, Maduro could put his regime at risk by becoming embroiled in protracted fighting through inhospitable jungles against guerilla forces.

And, there’s the possibility of U.S. involvement, most likely alongside other countries.

“Maduro could essentially stumble into hostilities, whether it’s sending troops to the border or something that sparks military action, and that’s always a risk,” Ellis told the DCNF.

“The U.S. has to be careful of portraying the image that it is acting unilaterally in South America, especially in a militarized manner,” Aileen Teague, a professor at Texas A&M University who studies U.S. history and relations with Latin America, told the DCNF. “Working through diplomatic channels is the United States’ best option for success. ”

Any American-led intervention would not take place without extensive coordination with regional and global partners, including Brazil, which has massed troops on the border to ward off Venezuelan aggression, the experts said.

The GDF comprises of just 3,000 troops compared to Venezuela’s estimated 130,000 active duty and 1.6 million paramilitary troops.

But the U.S. can “wreak havoc on those Venezuelan forces within that jungle environment by  taking advantage of the ability to control the air and do select targeting,” Ellis explained, to “essentially make the few roads that are there impassable” for the Venezuelan military and supply lines.

“You basically turn an occupying force very quickly into a lot of Venezuelans trapped in a jungle,” he said.

AUTHOR

MICAELA BURROW

Investigative reporter, defense.

RELATED ARTICL: EXCLUSIVE: Illegal Venezuelan Migrants Continue To Pour Into US Despite Biden Admin Beginning Deportation Flights

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Beware of the Pentagon’s New ‘UFO Whistleblower’ Digital Form

The Pentagon has failed its 6th annual audit at a cost of $180 million tax payer dollars to process.

Once again the Pentagon cannot account for billions of tax payer dollars. But is this money really missing ?

Perhaps it is buried in the so called black programs funneled to contractors like the Skunk Works (Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs) (ADP) or even the Area 51 contractor EG&G thus the money is still hidden from Congress.

Don’t forget the salary of the pilots and the jet fuel used for flying the Janet flights into Area 51 every day. Let’s see that flight crew and passenger log book list and monthly expenditures. It’s classified higher than Jeffery Epstein’s flight logs.

But with that said the Pentagon has initiated a digital form (see link below) authorizing current or former government employees, contractors or military service members like myself to blow the whistle (ie) report knowledge of any U.S government programs related to “Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena”.

Or as we call them in Florida UFO’s.


All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO)

Now let’s analyze this new so called UFO transparency whistleblower form created by the Pentagon via the AARO.

This department under various names over the last 60 years plus have been hiding from the American people the location of advanced extra terrestrial technology, alien bodies and back engineered space craft since 1947 or earlier. My opinion.

This new government whistleblower form is pure fecal propaganda and is a massive red herring to keep Congressional investigators and Senators like the honorable Marco Rubio off their backs.

It’s also a form created to test those folks holding this UFO knowledge to see who can and who cannot keep these secrets.

The Pentagon running this program is called the AARO and they state that classified information cannot be submitted through this whistleblower portal.

They also state filing false information can be punished by big fines and or imprisonment or both.

Now remember all UFO technology and it’s residual back engineered knowledge is classified way above Top Secret. It’s even classified higher than our Nuclear Weapons technology at Los Alamos laboratory’s in New Mexico.

That means this form is totally useless and if anyone does file an accurate report let’s say about the UFO incident in Roswell NM in 1947 or Kingman Arizona it will be immediately designated as a false report and off to jail you go after the government dismantles your life branding you a nut case fines you and suspends your passport.

Ask Physicist Bob Lazar about his experience after he reported to the media in Las Vegas when he back engineered a propulsion system on a UFO at S4 in Nevada in 1989.

But this digital form satisfies the wants and needs of the July Congressional House Oversight Committee investigating UFOs. I mean UAPs.

If members of Congress or the US Senate really want to expose the truth about this Extraterrestrial advanced technology they should all charter a plane and fly to Area 51 in Nellis AFB Nevada then ride the bus south to S4 for 15 miles and take a tour of the UFOs being held there. My opinion again.

If you don’t hear from me again after sending out this useful information which hopefully protects my friends who are in the “know” then so be it. Then you know I was right.

When I left the US Navy in 2002 I signed a non disclosure agreement regarding my security clearance thus I will not disclose what I know.

I like my life the way it is. But I do warn folks who work on this advanced technology do NOT fill out this digital Pentagon form. There are other ways you can report your UFO knowledge and stay alive and or out of jail.

©2023. Geoff Ross. All rights reserved.

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