organization:department of defense

  • Who Is Paying for the War in Yemen? - The Atlantic
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/12/pentagon-refueling-controversy-saudi-led-war-yemen/577666

    The Pentagon says that “#errors_in_accounting ” mean Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have not been properly charged for  refueling.

    President Donald Trump, who repeatedly complains that the United States is paying too much for the defense of its allies, has praised Saudi Arabia for ostensibly taking on Iran in the Yemen war. It turns out, however, that U.S. taxpayers have been footing the bill for a major part of the Saudi-led campaign, possibly to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.

    The revelation—detailed in a Defense Department letter obtained by The Atlantic—is likely to raise further ire among senators who have grown ever-more critical of Saudi conduct in the war, which has resulted in a growing number of civilian casualties, and U.S. support for it.

    Since the start of the Saudi-led intervention, in March 2015, and up until last month, the United States provided mid-air refueling for Saudi-led coalition aircraft that then flew missions related to the Yemen campaign. Getting heavy U.S. tankers into the air and carrying out this job is enormously expensive. The recipient country is required by law to pay the costs, but that isn’t what happened here. In a mea culpa of sorts, the Pentagon’s November 27 letter states that while the Defense Department “believed” Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates “had been charged for the fuel and refueling services, they in fact had not been charged adequately.” How inadequately, the Pentagon will not yet say; it is “currently calculating the correct charges,” the letter states.

    #erreur_comptable !


  • Exclusive: The Pentagon’s Massive Accounting Fraud Exposed
    https://www.thenation.com/article/pentagon-audit-budget-fraud

    Now, a Nation investigation has uncovered an explanation for the Pentagon’s foot-dragging: For decades, the DoD’s leaders and accountants have been perpetrating a gigantic, unconstitutional accounting fraud, deliberately cooking the books to mislead the Congress and drive the DoD’s budgets ever higher, regardless of military necessity. DoD has literally been making up numbers in its annual financial reports to Congress—representing trillions of dollars’ worth of seemingly nonexistent transactions—knowing that Congress would rely on those misleading reports when deciding how much money to give the DoD the following year, according to government records and interviews with current and former DoD officials, congressional sources, and independent experts.

    “If the DOD were being honest, they would go to Congress and say, ‘All these proposed budgets we’ve been presenting to you are a bunch of garbage,’ ” said Jack Armstrong, who spent more than five years in the Defense Department’s Office of Inspector General as a supervisory director of audits before retiring in 2011.

    The fraud works like this. When the DoD submits its annual budget requests to Congress, it sends along the prior year’s financial reports, which contain fabricated numbers. The fabricated numbers disguise the fact that the DoD does not always spend all of the money Congress allocates in a given year. However, instead of returning such unspent funds to the US Treasury, as the law requires, the Pentagon sometimes launders and shifts such moneys to other parts of the DoD’s budget.


  • Google Drops Out of Pentagon’s $10 Billion Cloud Competition
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-08/google-drops-out-of-pentagon-s-10-billion-cloud-competition

    Alphabet Inc.’s Google has decided not to compete for the Pentagon’s cloud-computing contract valued at as much as $10 billion, saying the project may conflict with its corporate values. The project, known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud, or JEDI, involves transitioning massive amounts of Defense Department data to a commercially operated cloud system. Companies are due to submit bids for the contract, which could last as long as 10 years, on Oct. 12th. Read more : Why (...)

    #Alphabet #Google #Amazon #algorithme #bénéfices #cloud #profiling #USDepartmentOfDefense


  • C.I.A. Drone Mission, Curtailed by Obama, Is Expanded in Africa Under Trump

    The C.I.A. is poised to conduct secret drone strikes against Qaeda and Islamic State insurgents from a newly expanded air base deep in the Sahara, making aggressive use of powers that were scaled back during the Obama administration and restored by President Trump.

    Late in his presidency, Barack Obama sought to put the military in charge of drone attacks after a backlash arose over a series of highly visible strikes, some of which killed civilians. The move was intended, in part, to bring greater transparency to attacks that the United States often refused to acknowledge its role in.

    But now the C.I.A. is broadening its drone operations, moving aircraft to northeastern Niger to hunt Islamist militants in southern Libya. The expansion adds to the agency’s limited covert missions in eastern Afghanistan for strikes in Pakistan, and in southern Saudi Arabia for attacks in Yemen.

    Nigerien and American officials said the C.I.A. had been flying drones on surveillance missions for several months from a corner of a small commercial airport in Dirkou. Satellite imagery shows that the airport has grown significantly since February to include a new taxiway, walls and security posts.

    One American official said the drones had not yet been used in lethal missions, but would almost certainly be in the near future, given the growing threat in southern Libya. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the secretive operations.

    A C.I.A. spokesman, Timothy Barrett, declined to comment. A Defense Department spokeswoman, Maj. Sheryll Klinkel, said the military had maintained a base at the Dirkou airfield for several months but did not fly drone missions from there.

    The drones take off from Dirkou at night — typically between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. — buzzing in the clear, starlit desert sky. A New York Times reporter saw the gray aircraft — about the size of Predator drones, which are 27 feet long — flying at least three times over six days in early August. Unlike small passenger planes that land occasionally at the airport, the drones have no blinking lights signaling their presence.

    “All I know is they’re American,” Niger’s interior minister, Mohamed Bazoum, said in an interview. He offered few other details about the drones.

    Dirkou’s mayor, Boubakar Jerome, said the drones had helped improve the town’s security. “It’s always good. If people see things like that, they’ll be scared,” Mr. Jerome said.

    Mr. Obama had curtailed the C.I.A.’s lethal role by limiting its drone flights, notably in Yemen. Some strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere that accidentally killed civilians, stirring outrage among foreign diplomats and military officials, were shielded because of the C.I.A.’s secrecy.

    As part of the shift, the Pentagon was given the unambiguous lead for such operations. The move sought, in part, to end an often awkward charade in which the United States would not concede its responsibility for strikes that were abundantly covered by news organizations and tallied by watchdog groups. However, the C.I.A. program was not fully shut down worldwide, as the agency and its supporters in Congress balked.

    The drone policy was changed last year, after Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director at the time, made a forceful case to President Trump that the agency’s broader counterterrorism efforts were being needlessly constrained. The Dirkou base was already up and running by the time Mr. Pompeo stepped down as head of the C.I.A. in April to become Mr. Trump’s secretary of state.

    The Pentagon’s Africa Command has carried out five drone strikes against Qaeda and Islamic State militants in Libya this year, including one two weeks ago. The military launches its MQ-9 Reaper drones from bases in Sicily and in Niamey, Niger’s capital, 800 miles southwest of Dirkou.

    But the C.I.A. base is hundreds of miles closer to southwestern Libya, a notorious haven for Al Qaeda and other extremist groups that also operate in the Sahel region of Niger, Chad, Mali and Algeria. It is also closer to southern Libya than a new $110 million drone base in Agadez, Niger, 350 miles west of Dirkou, where the Pentagon plans to operate armed Reaper drone missions by early next year.

    Another American official said the C.I.A. began setting up the base in January to improve surveillance of the region, partly in response to an ambush last fall in another part of Niger that killed four American troops. The Dirkou airfield was labeled a United States Air Force base as a cover, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential operational matters.

    The C.I.A. operation in Dirkou is burdened by few, if any, of the political sensitivities that the United States military confronts at its locations, said one former American official involved with the project.

    Even so, security analysts said, it is not clear why the United States needs both military and C.I.A. drone operations in the same general vicinity to combat insurgents in Libya. France also flies Reaper drones from Niamey, but only on unarmed reconnaissance missions.

    “I would be surprised that the C.I.A. would open its own base,” said Bill Roggio, editor of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Long War Journal, which tracks military strikes against militant groups.

    Despite American denials, a Nigerien security official said he had concluded that the C.I.A. launched an armed drone from the Dirkou base to strike a target in Ubari, in southern Libya, on July 25. The Nigerien security official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the classified program.

    A spokesman for the Africa Command, Maj. Karl Wiest, said the military did not carry out the Ubari strike.

    #Ubari is in the same region where the American military in March launched its first-ever drone attack against Qaeda militants in southern Libya. It is at the intersection of the powerful criminal and jihadist currents that have washed across Libya in recent years. Roughly equidistant from Libya’s borders with Niger, Chad and Algeria, the area’s seminomadic residents are heavily involved in the smuggling of weapons, drugs and migrants through the lawless deserts of southern Libya.

    Some of the residents have allied with Islamist militias, including Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which operates across Algeria, Mali, Niger and Libya.

    Dirkou, in northeast Niger, is an oasis town of a few thousand people in the open desert, bordered by a small mountain range. For centuries, it has been a key transit point for travelers crossing the Sahara. It helped facilitate the rise of Islam in West Africa in the 9th century, and welcomed salt caravans from the neighboring town of Bilma.

    The town has a handful of narrow, sandy roads. Small trees dot the horizon. Date and neem trees line the streets, providing shelter for people escaping the oppressive midday heat. There is a small market, where goods for sale include spaghetti imported from Libya. Gasoline is also imported from Libya and is cheaper than elsewhere in the country.

    The drones based in Dirkou are loud, and their humming and buzzing drowns out the bleats of goats and crows of roosters.

    “It stops me from sleeping,” said Ajimi Koddo, 45, a former migrant smuggler. “They need to go. They go in our village, and it annoys us too much.”

    Satellite imagery shows that construction started in February on a new compound at the Dirkou airstrip. Since then, the facility has been extended to include a larger paved taxiway and a clamshell tent connected to the airstrip — all features that are consistent with the deployment of small aircraft, possibly drones.

    Five defensive positions were set up around the airport, and there appear to be new security gates and checkpoints both to the compound and the broader airport.

    It’s not the first time that Washington has eyed with interest Dirkou’s tiny base. In the late 1980s, the United States spent $3.2 million renovating the airstrip in an effort to bolster Niger’s government against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, then the leader of Libya.

    Compared with other parts of Africa, the C.I.A.’s presence in the continent’s northwest is relatively light, according to a former State Department official who served in the region. In this part of Niger, the C.I.A. is also providing training and sharing intelligence, according to a Nigerien military intelligence document reviewed by The Times.

    The Nigerien security official said about a dozen American Green Berets were stationed earlier this year in #Dirkou — in a base separate from the C.I.A.’s — to train a special counterterrorism battalion of local forces. Those trainers left about three months ago, the official said.

    It is unlikely that they will return anytime soon. The Pentagon is considering withdrawing nearly all American commandos from Niger in the wake of the deadly October ambush that killed four United States soldiers.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/09/world/africa/cia-drones-africa-military.html
    #CIA #drones #Niger #Sahel #USA #Etats-Unis #EI #ISIS #Etat_islamique #sécurité #terrorisme #base_militaire

    • Le Sahel est-il une zone de #non-droit ?

      La CIA a posé ses valises dans la bande sahélo-saharienne. Le New-York Times l’a annoncé, le 9 septembre dernier. Le quotidien US, a révélé l’existence d’une #base_de_drones secrète non loin de la commune de Dirkou, dans le nord-est du Niger. Cette localité, enclavée, la première grande ville la plus proche est Agadez située à 570 km, est le terrain de tir parfait. Elle est éloignée de tous les regards, y compris des autres forces armées étrangères : France, Allemagne, Italie, présentes sur le sol nigérien. Selon un responsable américain anonyme interrogé par ce journal, les drones déployés à Dirkou n’avaient « pas encore été utilisés dans des missions meurtrières, mais qu’ils le seraient certainement dans un proche avenir, compte tenu de la menace croissante qui pèse sur le sud de la Libye. » Or, d’après les renseignements recueillis par l’IVERIS, ces assertions sont fausses, la CIA a déjà mené des opérations à partir de cette base. Ces informations apportent un nouvel éclairage et expliquent le refus catégorique et systématique de l’administration américaine de placer la force conjointe du G5 Sahel (Tchad, Mauritanie, Burkina-Faso, Niger, Mali) sous le chapitre VII de la charte des Nations Unies.
      L’installation d’une base de drones n’est pas une bonne nouvelle pour les peuples du Sahel, et plus largement de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, qui pourraient connaître les mêmes malheurs que les Afghans et les Pakistanais confrontés à la guerre des drones avec sa cohorte de victimes civiles, appelées pudiquement « dégâts collatéraux ».

      D’après le journaliste du NYT, qui s’est rendu sur place, les drones présents à Dirkou ressembleraient à des Predator, des aéronefs d’ancienne génération qui ont un rayon d’action de 1250 km. Il serait assez étonnant que l’agence de Langley soit équipée de vieux modèles alors que l’US Air Force dispose à Niamey et bientôt à Agadez des derniers modèles MQ-9 Reaper, qui, eux, volent sur une distance de 1850 km. A partir de cette base, la CIA dispose donc d’un terrain de tir étendu qui va de la Libye, au sud de l’Algérie, en passant par le Tchad, jusqu’au centre du Mali, au Nord du Burkina et du Nigéria…

      Selon deux sources militaires de pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest, ces drones ont déjà réalisé des frappes à partir de la base de Dirkou. Ces bombardements ont eu lieu en Libye. Il paraît important de préciser que le chaos existant dans ce pays depuis la guerre de 2011, ne rend pas ces frappes plus légales. Par ailleurs, ces mêmes sources suspectent la CIA d’utiliser Dirkou comme une prison secrète « si des drones peuvent se poser des avions aussi. Rien ne les empêche de transporter des terroristes de Libye exfiltrés. Dirkou un Guantanamo bis ? »

      En outre, il n’est pas impossible que ces drones tueurs aient été en action dans d’autres Etats limitrophes. Qui peut le savoir ? « Cette base est irrégulière, illégale, la CIA peut faire absolument tout ce qu’elle veut là-bas » rapporte un officier. De plus, comment faire la différence entre un MQ-9 Reaper de la CIA ou encore un de l’US Air Force, qui, elle, a obtenu l’autorisation d’armer ses drones (1). Encore que…

      En novembre 2017, le président Mahamadou Issoufou a autorisé les drones de l’US Air Force basés à Niamey, à frapper leurs cibles sur le territoire nigérien (2). Mais pour que cet agrément soit légal, il aurait fallu qu’il soit présenté devant le parlement, ce qui n’a pas été le cas. Même s’il l’avait été, d’une part, il le serait seulement pour l’armée US et pas pour la CIA, d’autre part, il ne serait valable que sur le sol nigérien et pas sur les territoires des pays voisins…

      Pour rappel, cette autorisation a été accordée à peine un mois après les événements de Tongo Tongo, où neuf militaires avaient été tués, cinq soldats nigériens et quatre américains. Cette autorisation est souvent présentée comme la conséquence de cette attaque. Or, les pourparlers ont eu lieu bien avant. En effet, l’AFRICOM a planifié la construction de la base de drone d’Agadez, la seconde la plus importante de l’US Air Force en Afrique après Djibouti, dès 2016, sous le mandat de Barack Obama. Une nouvelle preuve que la politique africaine du Pentagone n’a pas changée avec l’arrivée de Donald Trump (3-4-5).

      Les USA seuls maîtres à bord dans le Sahel

      Dès lors, le véto catégorique des Etats-Unis de placer la force G5 Sahel sous chapitre VII se comprend mieux. Il s’agit de mener une guerre non-officielle sans mandat international des Nations-Unies et sans se soucier du droit international. Ce n’était donc pas utile qu’Emmanuel Macron, fer de lance du G5, force qui aurait permis à l’opération Barkhane de sortir du bourbier dans lequel elle se trouve, plaide à de nombreuses reprises cette cause auprès de Donald Trump. Tous les présidents du G5 Sahel s’y sont essayés également, en vain. Ils ont fini par comprendre, quatre chefs d’Etats ont boudé la dernière Assemblée générale des Nations Unies. Seul, le Président malien, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, est monté à la tribune pour réitérer la demande de mise sous chapitre VII, unique solution pour que cette force obtienne un financement pérenne. Alors qu’en décembre 2017, Emmanuel Macron y croyait encore dur comme fer et exigeait des victoires au premier semestre 2018, faute de budget, le G5 Sahel n’est toujours pas opérationnel ! (6-7) Néanmoins, la Chine a promis de le soutenir financièrement. Magnanime, le secrétaire d’Etat à la défense, Jim Mattis a lui assuré à son homologue, Florence Parly, que les Etats-Unis apporteraient à la force conjointe une aide très significativement augmentée. Mais toujours pas de chapitre VII en vue... Ainsi, l’administration Trump joue coup double. Non seulement elle ne s’embarrasse pas avec le Conseil de Sécurité et le droit international mais sous couvert de lutte antiterroriste, elle incruste ses bottes dans ce qui est, (ce qui fut ?), la zone d’influence française.

      Far West

      Cerise sur le gâteau, en août dernier le patron de l’AFRICOM, le général Thomas D. Waldhauser, a annoncé une réduction drastique de ses troupes en Afrique (9). Les sociétés militaires privées, dont celle d’Erik Prince, anciennement Blackwater, ont bien compris le message et sont dans les starting-blocks prêtes à s’installer au Sahel (10).


      https://www.iveris.eu/list/notes_danalyse/371-le_sahel_estil_une_zone_de_nondroit__


  • Pentagon Moves to Support War in the “Grey Zone” – Federation Of American Scientists
    https://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/2018/08/dod-grey-zone

    The Department of Defense issued a directive this month based on new authority granted by Congress last year to engage in “low-visibility, irregular warfare” operations.

    In the FY2018 defense authorization act (PL 115-91, sect. 1202) Congress specifically authorized the Secretary of Defense “to provide support to foreign forces, irregular forces, groups, or individuals engaged in supporting or facilitating ongoing irregular warfare operations by U.S. Special Operations Forces (#SOF).”

    The new authority was needed, Congress said, in order to fill a perceived gap in the US military’s ability to fight in conflicts that are below the threshold of war.

    #Pentagone #etats-unis


  • Bomb in #Yemen school bus strike was US-supplied - CNN
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/17/middleeast/us-saudi-yemen-bus-strike-intl/index.html

    Working with local Yemeni journalists and munitions experts, CNN has established that the weapon that left dozens of children dead on August 9 was a 500-pound (227 kilogram) laser-guided MK 82 bomb made by Lockheed Martin, one of the top US defense contractors.

    Qu’en dit la porte-parole des #Etats-Unis à l’#ONU Nikki Haley ?
    https://seenthis.net/messages/652281

    Via @tparsi sur twitter


  • Tomgram : Nick Turse, A Grim Inheritance | TomDispatch
    http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176456/tomgram%3A_nick_turse%2C_a_grim_inheritance

    Le site TomDispatch est bloqué par le département de La Défense pour « racisme et incitation à la haine » alors que les sites d’extrême-droite Breitbar et Infowars sont libres d’accès....

    It looks like #TomDispatch may have a few less readers from now on. Perhaps it will surprise you, but judging by the mail I get, some members of the U.S. military do read TomDispatch — partially to check out the range of military and ex-military critics of America’s wars that this site publishes. Or rather they did read TomDispatch. No longer, it seems, if their computers are operating via Department of Defense (DoD) networks. The DoD, I’ve heard, has blocked the site. You now get this message, I’m told, when you try to go to it: “You have attempted to access a blocked website. Access to this website has been blocked for operational reasons by the DOD Enterprise-Level Protection System.” Oh, and the category that accounts for it being blocked? “Hate and racism.” Mind you, you can evidently still read both Breitbart and Infowars in a beautifully unblocked state via the same networks.

    #Etats-Unis


  • Trump’s ‘America First’ Policy Could Leave U.S. Defense Industry Behind – Foreign Policy
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/07/18/trumps-america-first-policy-could-leave-u-s-defense-industry-behind
    #America_Last (appel de une…)

    Signs that President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy could harm U.S. businesses and curb the United States’ clout around the world surfaced this week in an unexpected place—a small town outside London, during the world’s largest civil and military air event.

    The biennial gathering at the #Farnborough International Airshow in the United Kingdom brings together military officials, diplomats, and arms dealers from around the world for plane-watching and deal-making. In other years, the United States has sent the Defense Department’s top weapons buyers, and top-end American products, such as the F-35 stealth fighter jet, have taken center stage.

    But this year’s event is being held in the shadow of Trump’s most controversial policies: his erratic approach to foreign affairs and his economic protectionism, including steep tariffs he has imposed on steel and aluminum.

    Those measures and the resulting uncertainty are prompting some European countries to go their own way on major industry projects, including the development of a next-generation fighter jet, potentially leaving U.S. firms behind.

    I think it is forcing Europe together in ways that have unanticipated consequences for the U.S. defense industry,” said Byron Callan, an analyst with Capital Alpha Partners.
    […]
    So it came as no surprise when the Trump administration announced the decision to send a large delegation to help sell U.S. products at Farnborough, including top officials such as Navarro. The administration also used the opportunity to roll out the Conventional Arms Transfer (CAT) Policy, also known as the “Buy America” plan, an initiative to improve U.S. arms transfer processes and increase the competitiveness of U.S.-made products.

    But the U.S. government showing at Farnborough was disappointing from the start of the weeklong exhibition Monday. Navarro pulled out at the last minute, as did Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer; Heidi Grant, the U.S. Air Force’s head of international affairs; and other U.S. government officials. At the show itself, only five U.S. military aircraft appeared on static display in the Defense Department corral that normally showcases products built for the armed services by Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and other U.S. defense giants.
    […]
    It’s the lowest number of aircraft in the U.S. corral I’ve ever seen,” said Joel Johnson, an analyst with the Teal Group. “There’s this huge push in theory to go sell American … but the U.S. government [showing] in all its majesty is the smallest I’ve seen in all my years at trade shows.


  • Trump Orders Establishment of Space Force as Sixth Military Branch - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/18/us/politics/trump-space-force-sixth-military-branch.html

    WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Monday that he would direct the Pentagon to establish a sixth branch of the armed forces dedicated to protecting American interests in outer space, an idea that has troubled lawmakers and even some members of his administration, who have cautioned that the action could create unnecessary bureaucratic responsibilities for a military already burdened by conflicts.

    During a speech at a meeting of the National Space Council, Mr. Trump announced plans to protect American interests in space through monitoring commercial traffic and debris, initiatives he said would be “great not only in terms of jobs and everything else, it’s great for the psyche of our country.”

    With his interest in space, Mr. Trump appears to be taking a more protective stance than his modern predecessors, who over the years have wrestled with ways — and with rival governments, including Russia and China — to keep military conflicts in space at bay while still protecting American interests, including commercial operations and the current satellite system.

    “At best this is simply the creation of an additional D.O.D. bureaucracy,” Daryl G. Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association, said in an interview, referring to the Department of Defense. “At worst, it is the first step in an accelerated competition between the U.S., China and Russia in the space realm that is going to be more difficult to avert without direct talks about responsible rules of the road.”

    The creation of a sixth branch of the military to join the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard would require congressional authorization and approval. Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, who is on the Senate Commerce Committee overseeing the nation’s space program — and who once spent six days in space — said that the president’s order lacked the support of the generals who would be required to carry it out.

    #Militarisme #Espace #Fin_des_communs #Etats_Unis #Guerre


  • Top Climate Scientist: Humans Will Go Extinct if We Don’t Fix Climate Change by 2023
    https://gritpost.com/humans-extinct-climate-change

    In a recent speech at the University of Chicago, James Anderson — a professor of atmospheric chemistry at Harvard University — warned that climate change is drastically pushing Earth back to the Eocene Epoch from 33 million BCE, when there was no ice on either pole. Anderson says current #pollution levels have already catastrophically depleted atmospheric #ozone levels, which absorb 98 percent of #ultraviolet rays, to levels not seen in 12 million years.

    Anderson’s assessment of humanity’s timeline for action is likely accurate, given that his diagnosis and discovery of Antarctica’s ozone holes led to the Montreal Protocol of 1987. Anderson’s research was recognized by the United Nations in September of 1997. He subsequently received the United Nations Vienna Convention Award for Protection of the Ozone Layer in 2005, and has been recognized by numerous universities and academic bodies for his research.

    #climat #extinction

    • The good news is there are a relatively small amount of culprits responsible for the vast majority of carbon emissions, meaning governments know who to focus on. As Grit Post reported in July of 2017, more than half of all carbon emissions between 1988 and 2016 can be traced back to just 25 fossil fuel giants around the world. 10 of those 25 top emitters are American companies, meaning the onus is largely on the United States to rein in major polluters like ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Marathon Oil. Other offenders include Chinese companies extracting and burning coal, and Russian oil conglomerates like Rosneft, Gazprom, and Lukoil.

      However, the bad news for humanity is that as long as Donald Trump is President of the United States, swift action to combat climate change seems unlikely prior to 2020, given that Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords and refuses to even acknowledge the threat of climate change despite warnings from U.S. government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.


  • Trump White House Seeking Public Comment on Which Maritime Regulations to Remove – gCaptain
    http://gcaptain.com/trump-white-house-seeking-public-comment-on-which-maritime-regulations-to-

    Si vous sentez la fibre dérégulatrice, n’hésitez pas ! (adresse du site où vous pouvez poster dans l’article)
    Bon, c’est sur le transport maritime et aux États-Unis, mais, bon…

    The White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is seeking public input on how the federal government can reduce the regulatory burdens imposed on the maritime sector as part of the Trump Administration’s broad plan to deregulate American industries.

    The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) posted the public Request for Information (RFI) last week.
    […]
    Federal agencies involved in regulating the U.S. maritime industry include the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), the Department of Transportation and U.S. Maritime Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, which includes the U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Defense, the Department of Labor, the Department of Commerce, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Council on Environmental Quality, and the Department of the Interior.


  • More people have died in schools than military service members in 2018: report | TheHill
    http://thehill.com/homenews/news/388375-more-people-have-died-in-schools-than-service-members-in-2018-report

    A new analysis by The Washington Post found that more people have been killed at schools so far in 2018 than have been killed while serving in the U.S. military, based on data from Defense Department news releases.

    #Etats-Unis #écoles #armes


  • Open Letter in Support of Google Employees and Tech Workers
    https://www.icrac.net/open-letter-in-support-of-google-employees-and-tech-workers

    As scholars, academics, and researchers who study, teach about, and develop information technology, we write in solidarity with the 3100+ Google employees, joined by other technology workers, who oppose Google’s participation in Project Maven. We wholeheartedly support their demand that Google terminate its contract with the DoD, and that Google and its parent company Alphabet commit not to develop military technologies and not to use the personal data that they collect for military purposes. The extent to which military funding has been a driver of research and development in computing historically should not determine the field’s path going forward. We also urge Google and Alphabet’s executives to join other AI and robotics researchers and technology executives in calling for an international treaty to prohibit autonomous weapon systems.

    Lettre ouverte de chercheurs et universitaires en soutien aux travailleurs de chez Google contre le projet d’IA militaire Project Maven

    #guerre #intelligence_artificielle #Google #robots


  • Google fait la « guerre algorithmique » pour l’armée américaine
    https://www.sciencesetavenir.fr/high-tech/google-fait-la-guerre-algorithmique-pour-l-armee-americaine_121923

    Google met au service de l’armée américaine ses technologies d’intelligence artificielle pour analyser la grande quantité de vidéos produites par ses drones espions. Une collaboration qui soulève un vif mécontentement au sein de la firme. Dans la Silicon Valley, la “peace attitude” vient de prendre un mauvais coup. Une enquête menée par le site américain Gizmodo révèle que Google collabore avec le département de la Défense américaine (DOD) dans un projet d’intelligence artificielle (IA). La nouvelle a (...)

    #Alphabet #Google #Tesla #USDepartmentOfDefense #algorithme #CCTV #drone #reconnaissance #aérien #surveillance #vidéo-surveillance (...)

    ##ProjectMaven


  •  » MOH : “Army Kills Eight Palestinians, Injures At Least 512 In Gaza” IMEMC News - May 14, 2018 2:00 PM
    http://imemc.org/article/moh-army-kills-eight-palestinians-injures-at-least-512-in-gaza

    The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that Israeli soldiers killed, on Monday morning until 1 in the afternoon, seven Palestinians, including two children, with live fire, and injured at least 512, in several parts of the coastal region.

    Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesperson of the Health Ministry in Gaza said the soldiers injured 512 Palestinians, including at least 165 with live fire, near border areas in northern Gaza Strip, Gaza city, the Central District, Khan Younis and Rafah in the southern parts of the coastal region.

    He identified the slain Palestinians as:

    1 Anas Hamdan Qdeih , 12. East of Khan Younis)
    2 Mos’ab Yousef Abu Leila , 28. (East of Jabalia)
    3 Obeida Salem Farhan , 30.
    4 Mohammad Ashraf Abu Sitta , 26.
    5 Ezzeddin Mousa Sammak , 14.
    6 Ezzeddin Nahedh al-‘Oweiti , 23.
    7 Bilal Ahmad Abi Doqqa , 26.
    8 Jihad Mofeed al-Farra , 30. (live round in the chest, east of Khan Younis)

    In addition, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate has reported that six of the wounded Palestinians are journalists.

    It is worth mentioning that, at the time of this report, the Health Ministry said that two more Palestinians were also killed, but there names have not been made public yet.

    #marcheduretour #Palestine_assassinée

    ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““
    Updated : “Israeli Soldiers Kill 18, Injure 918, In Gaza”
    May 14, 2018 2:44 PM IMEMC New
    So far, sixteen of the slain Palestinians have been officially identified as :
    9 Fadi Hasan Abu Salma , 30.
    10 Ahmad Awadallah , 24.
    11 Mo’tasem Fawzi Abu Louli , 20.
    12 Mohammad Mahmoud Abdul’al , 50.
    13 Fadi Hasan Abu Silmi , 30.
    14 Ahmad Fawzi at-Tatar,
    15 Ahmad Adel Mousa Sha’er , 16.
    16 Mohammad Abdul-Rahman Miqdad . (live round in the back)

    ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““

    MOH : “Army Kills 41 Palestinians In Gaza”
    May 14, 2018 4:22 PM - IMEMC News
    http://imemc.org/article/moh-army-kills-37-palestinians-in-gaza

    Updated: The Palestinian Health Ministry has confirmed that Israeli soldiers killed, Monday, 41 Palestinians, including children and four officers of the Ministry of Interior and National Security, in the Gaza Strip, and injured more than 1700.

    The Ministry of Interior and National Security said among the slain Palestinians are four of its officers, identified as:

    Mousa Jaber Abu Hassanein, 36 – medic, Civil Defense Department.
    Mo’taz Bassam an-Nuno, 30 – Internal Security Department.
    Mos’ab Yousef Abu Leila, 30 – Military Intelligence Department.
    Jihad Mohammad Mousa, 30 – Internal Security Department.

    It said the slain officers were performing their duties and national services when the soldiers shot them dead.

    “““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““

    MOH : “Army Kills 52 Palestinians In Gaza”
    May 14, 2018 4:22 PM IMEMC News
    http://imemc.org/article/moh-army-kills-37-palestinians-in-gaza

    Updated: The Palestinian Health Ministry has confirmed that Israeli soldiers killed, Monday, 52 Palestinians, including children and four officers of the Ministry of Interior and National Security, in the Gaza Strip, and injured more than 2410.


  • What Happens When Your Bomb-Defusing Robot Becomes a Weapon - Defense One
    https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/04/what-happens-when-your-bomb-defusing-robot-becomes-a-weapon/558758

    To Greiner, Purdy, and the DOD, there’s a critical ethical distinction between a robot deciding to kill somebody, and a robot being ordered to kill somebody. There’s something dehumanizing, they think, about a robot determining who lives and who dies. That type of decision should be left up to whoever is pulling the trigger—even if they’re thousands of miles away.

    It all feels a bit anamorphic: Robots can kill, so long as they don’t make what the military calls a “kill decision.” Meanwhile, engineers are working on technology that takes soldiers further and further out of the field. Viewed from some angles, that’s lifesaving.

    But from others, it’s not. One of the strangest things about the world we’ve created is when, and how, we allow one person to kill another. At the heart of those rules—in war, in policing—is the idea that when someone is trying to kill you, you have a right to kill her. But in a fight where one side can’t die or even feel pain, those rules become unclear. When should a robot be directed to disarm, or to kill?

    #robots #militaire #Etats-Unis



  • Pentagon reports number of contractors employed in Syria for first time
    https://www.militarytimes.com/news/2018/04/17/pentagon-reports-number-of-contractors-employed-in-syria-for-first-ti

    The Pentagon is employing 5,508 contractors in Iraq and Syria — 2,869 of whom are U.S. citizens, 760 of whom are locals and the rest of whom are third country nationals — according to a quarterly report released in April.

    This is the first time the Pentagon has reported contractor numbers for Syria, according to past reports within the archives of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics & Materiel Readiness.

    “As the mission has grown and continued in Syria, [the DoD] is including those numbers in regular reporting, as well,” Heather Babb, a Pentagon spokeswoman, told Military Times.

    #syrie #mercenaires #contras


  • À cette riche actualité militaire, il manquait la cerise d’un énième épisode du feuilleton du F-35…

    F-35 delivery pause indicative of more stringent Pentagon standards, Lord says
    https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/04/13/f-35-delivery-pause-indicative-of-more-stringent-pentagon-standards-lor

    Both the Defense Department and Lockheed Martin had become too relaxed in ensuring deliveries of new F-35s met requirements, but recent pause on F-35 deliveries exemplifies how the department will now hold Lockheed to stricter standards, the Pentagon’s top acquisition official said Friday.

    On Wednesday, Lockheed Martin confirmed that the Pentagon had stopped accepting deliveries of some F-35s due to a disagreement over whether the government or the company should pay for repairs for more than 200 F-35As with fastener holes that were not treated with the appropriate corrosion-preventing primer.

    The issue itself is well on its way to being resolved,” Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters during a roundtable.

    However, the debacle establishes the “department’s point of view” that Lockheed had gotten sloppy in meeting the specified manufacturing requirements — and that the Pentagon got not been rigorous enough in enforcing them, she said.

    The department, in an effort to move forward with the program, has perhaps not been as thoughtful as we want to be from this point forward in terms of what we consider acceptable performance,” she said. “I think this corrosion issue is one example where we have expectations for workmanship, and at this point we’re not seeing those workmanship levels being achieved.


  • Syrie : ce que l’on sait des frappes américaines, françaises et britanniques
    http://www.lemonde.fr/ameriques/article/2018/04/14/donald-trump-annonce-des-frappes-contre-la-syrie-en-coordination-avec-paris-

    L’opération a visé des sites militaires et un centre de recherche soupçonnés d’héberger le programme chimique du régime, à Damas et près de Homs.

    Je prends ce (joli) titre du Monde pour (essayer de) répondre à l’interrogation de @nidal : J’aimerais savoir si les missiles français ont violé, cette nuit, le territoire libanais
    https://seenthis.net/messages/686728

    Bon, inutile de suivre le lien vers l’article, on n’apprend pratiquement rien de plus détaillé que dans le chapeau, si ce n’est – au cas où l’ignorerait – que la frappe, #lourde_mais_proportionnée, a eu lieu en représailles à l’utilisation d’armes chimiques par le grand méchant Assad.

    On appréciera l’image (vignette, plutôt) associée à l’article bien qu’absente de la page web (elle figurait aussi en une électronique avec l’appel vers l’article), copie d’écran, j’imagine, d’un expert discourant doctement sur une carte de la région présentant un positionnement fantaisiste des forces des gentils frappeurs.

    • WP fournit une carte des lieux frappés (élaborée par le gentil DoD des gentils États-Unis)


      https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardements_de_Barzé_et_de_Him_Shinshar

      Comparons avec cette carte des frontières maritimes publiée en 2015 dans le Diplo (à propos du litige gazier libano-israélien, carte que je découvre à l’occasion)


      https://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/cartes/litigegazmediterranee

      D’où il ressort qu’il n’est guère aisé d’atteindre la banlieue de Damas en provenance de la mer. Compte tenu des capacités de navigation des missiles, dits justement de croisière, voyons les différentes routes possibles.
      • la plus directe passe par le Liban. Oh, juste un petit bout. C’est la plus probable car la distance (beaucoup) plus courte s’accompagne de la propriété bien venue de minimiser le parcours au dessus du territoire syrien et donc l’exposition aux mesures anti-missiles
      • au prix d’un (léger) détour, les missiles peuvent survoler Israel qui, bien que probablement tout content de voir une bordée destinée à son voisin, préférerait sans doute que ça passe pas au dessus de chez lui. De plus, la route conduit au dessus du Golan dont une expérience récente a montré que l’activité anti-aérienne pouvait produire quelques résultats concrets
      • un détour plus grand encore par la Turquie ne fait qu’aggraver ces deux désavantages : susceptibilité de l’état de transit (Coucou, Recep !) et le temps de survol au dessus de la Syrie
      • le respect strict (?) des susceptibilités nationales (et des lois internationales) qui mènerait à tirer à partir de la façade maritime de la Syrie peut-être éliminé a priori, d’une part pour des raisons relatives à la psychologie des gentils frappeurs, d’autre part parce les missiles terre-mer ont déjà – et depuis longtemps – fait preuve d’une certaine efficacité
      • pour être complet, restent encore Jordanie et Irak, totalement exclus : la longueur du détour augmentant le délai de réaction de la défense anti-aérienne à partir de la détection. À moins que le(s) méchant(s) n’ai(en)t pas penser à regarder dans cette direction…

      Quant aux deux cibles à l’ouest de Homs, on est quasiment dans le coin nord-est du Liban (à quelques dizaines de kilomètres), donc approche libanaise très probable

    • Détails abondants chez Challenges

      Frappes en Syrie : quel a été le rôle de la France ? - Challenges.fr
      https://www.challenges.fr/entreprise/defense/frappes-en-syrie-quel-a-ete-le-role-de-la-france_580816

      Paris revendique quant à lui 12 engins tirés, dont 9 Scalp depuis des chasseurs Rafale, et 3 missiles de croisière navals (MdCN) depuis des frégates FREMM. On peut donc estimer à 10% environ la proportion de de frappes françaises dans l’opération de cette nuit.

      SI le chiffre peut paraître modeste, il s’agit indéniablement d’une opération de grande ampleur pour les forces françaises. Côté armée de l’air, selon le blog le Mamouth, pas moins de 17 avions de l’armée de l’air ont participé au dispositif : une dizaine de chasseurs (5 Rafale, accompagnés de 4 Mirage 2000-5), mais aussi 6 ravitailleurs. Il faut rajouter deux avions E-3F AWACS, des avions de détection et de commandement. Les appareils étant partis des bases françaises, il a fallu les ravitailler, cinq fois par chasseur selon le Mamouth. Soit le chiffre impressionnant de 50 ravitaillements.

      La Marine nationale a aussi largement participé à l’opération : elle a dépêché sur théâtre trois frégates FREMM, soit les trois quarts de la flotte de frégates multi-missions en service. Ces navires ont été soutenus par une frégate anti-aérienne, une frégate anti sous-marine, un pétrolier-ravitailleur et probablement un sous-marin nucléaire d’attaque pour protéger le dispositif. Trois missiles de croisière navals (MdCN) ont été tirés depuis les FREMM, une première pour ce nouvel armement livré en 2017 par l’industriel MBDA.

      Donnant lieu à ce satisfecit (ou encore #cocorico) mitigé par le manque de moyens budgétaires…

      Quelles conclusions tirer de la participation française ? Le raid massif de 10 heures de l’armée de l’air, effectué depuis la France, est une performance réservée à une poignée de forces aériennes dans le monde : il prouve que l’armée de l’air reste en première division. Cette performance a été rendue possible grâce à l’investissement continu de la France dans la dissuasion, qui permet de conserver les compétences sur des opérations longues et complexes. Côté marine, l’utilisation du couple FREMM/MdCN prouve que l’opération de modernisation du porte-avions Charles de Gaulle n’a pas obéré les capacités de frappes de la Royale. Le faible stock de MdCN, que l’on peut estime à 50-60 missiles, est en revanche un vrai facteur limitant

       : ce stock équivaut à la moitié des missiles américains tirés cette nuit.

    • Pour info, WP donne une portée de
      • 1000 km pour le MdCN (ex-SCALP Naval), 3 exemplaires tirés
      • 400 km pour le SCALP EG emporté par les Rafale, 9 exemplaires français, puisque les Tornado britanniques ont aussi expédié leur lot de missiles

      Il semblerait que la France et le R.-U. se soient limités aux objectifs de la région de Homs, laissant la banlieue de Damas aux états-uniens.

    • Précision sur les cibles et le stock de MdCN mais aussi incertitude (pour moi…) sur la composition de la force navale, la frégate ASM mentionnée peut aussi être une FREMM (en version FREDA…)

      Frappes en Syrie : La France utilise pour la première fois ses missiles de croisière navals - 14/04/2018 - ladepeche.fr
      https://www.ladepeche.fr/article/2018/04/14/2780283-frappes-syrie-france-utilise-premiere-fois-missiles-croisiere-nava

      La France a tiré 12 des 100 missiles de croisière à sa disposition pour mener à bien la frappe de la nuit dernière sur des «  sites de production d’armes chimiques  » syriens, selon l’Elysée et le ministère des armées. Le bombardement a été réalisé avec l’aide des Etats-Unis et de la Grande-Bretagne.

      Parmi les 12 missiles utilisés, 3 sont des missiles de croisière navals MdCN, d’une portée de 1 000 km et d’une précision de l’ordre du métrique. Ils ont été tirés par l’une des trois frégates multimissions (FREMM) déployées pour l’opération. Sur les 5 FREMM disponibles, la France a choisi de mettre en service une frégate anti-sous-marine, une anti-aérienne ainsi qu’un pétrolier destiné au ravitaillement.

      Les cinq rafales mobilisés sur le front aérien sont à l’origine des autres projectiles tirés, 9 missiles Scalp tirés une demi-heure après la première offensive.

      Les deux zones visées dans la région de Homs sont des lieux de stockage et de fabrication d’armes chimiques selon le ministère des armées. Paris n’a pas participé au troisième raid aérien qui avait pour cible un lieu stratégique de la production d’armement chimique syrien.

    • Syrie : ce que l’on sait... et ce que l’on tait
      https://www.legrandsoir.info/syrie-ce-que-l-on-sait-et-ce-que-l-on-tait.html

      Depuis la soi-disant attaque chimique du 7 avril, le festival de mensonges sur la crise syrienne atteint une sorte de paroxysme. « Ce que l’on sait des frappes américaines, françaises et britanniques » titre le Monde... Apparemment, le Monde ne sait pas grand-chose. De leur côté, les médias russes fournissent quelques précisions qui ont malheureusement échappé au quotidien du soir. Et qui remettent en perspective la victoire rapide, facile et incontestable que l’on veut nous vendre.

      Une fois retombée la poussière et la fureur on apprend... que la majorité des missiles lancés sur la Syrie ont été abattus par la défense anti-aérienne syrienne ! Laquelle se compose de vieux systèmes S120 et S200 remontant à l’époque soviétique... Rien à voir avec le bilan calamiteux des Patriots ultramodernes dont on entendit monts et merveilles dans les années 90 et qui ne réussirent à intercepter qu’un Scud sur la quarantaine de missiles obsolètes et trafiqués par les Irakiens, qui avaient une fâcheuse tendance à se disloquer en vol...

      Les frappes (chirurgicales) contre la Syrie n’ont fait que trois victimes : la logique, la vérité et l’intelligence
      https://www.legrandsoir.info/les-frappes-chirurgicales-contre-la-syrie-n-ont-fait-que-trois-victime

    • ’No release of chemicals is best proof there were none’ – employee of bombed Syrian research site — RT World News
      https://www.rt.com/news/424228-syria-strike-civilian-research-facility

      An engineer at the now-bombed-out research facility north of Damascus, which the US claims was the heart of Syria’s chemical weapons program, says the labs were making medicine and testing toys for safety.

      C’est exactement la remarque que je me suis faite en regardant les vidéos des ruines. On entend tout plein de voix qui gazouillent autour. De deux choses l’une, ou je suis sous emprise de VVP, ou bien ce sont des staged up ruines…

      De mon intervention, il y a bien longtemps, bien avant la réglementation dite Seveso, dans une usine (dans le sud de la France) où le chlore était l’élément de base, j’ai surtout retenu les avertissements écrits en ÉNORME au dessus des ÉNORMES flèches : si vous entendez la sirène, vous avez 1 minute pour vous rendre à la salle de confinement où vous attendrez qu’on vienne vous chercher

    • Caught in a lie, US & allies bomb Syria the night before international inspectors arrive — RT Op-ed
      https://www.rt.com/op-ed/424186-us-allies-syria-lie

      In the same Pentagon briefing, General Joseph Dunford specified the US and allies’ targets in Syria, alleging they were “specifically associated with the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons program.” One target, at which 76 missiles were fired, was the Barzeh scientific research centre in heavily-populated Damascus itself, which Dunford claimed was involved in the “development, production and testing of chemical and biological warfare technology.

      This ‘target’ is in the middle of a densely-inhabited area of Damascus. According to Damascus resident Dr. (of business and economy) Mudar Barakat, who knows the area in question, “the establishment consists of a number of buildings. One of them is a teaching institute. They are very close to the homes of the people around.

      Of the strikes, Dunford claimed they “inflicted maximum damage, without unnecessary risk to innocent civilians.

      If one believed the claims to be accurate, would bombing them really save Syrian lives, or to the contrary cause mass deaths? Where is the logic in bombing facilities believed to contain hazardous, toxic chemicals in or near densely populated areas?

    • Le point sur les frappes occidentales en Syrie
      https://www.latribune.fr/economie/international/le-point-sur-les-frappes-occidentales-en-syrie-775396.html

      Les Etats-Unis, la France et le Royaume-Uni ont lancé au total 105 missiles.Un chiffré corroboré par le haut commandement de l’armée syrienne qui a parlé de « environ 110 missiles [tirés] sur des cibles à Damas et ailleurs » dans le pays, mais affirmé en avoir intercepté « la plupart. »

      « Nous sommes sûrs que tous nos missiles ont atteint leur cible », a assuré le général McKenzie, qui a démenti les affirmations de Moscou selon lesquelles 71 des missiles occidentaux auraient été interceptés
      Selon le Pentagone, le centre de Barzé a été atteint par 76 missiles, dont 57 Tomahawk et 17 [lire 19, probable coquille] JASSM (Joint air to surface stand-off missiles), un nouveau type de missiles de croisière furtif que les Etats-Unis utilisaient pour la première fois en situation réelle.

      Le deuxième site a été visé par 22 missiles tirés par les trois pays : 9 Tomahawk américains, 8 Storm Shadow britanniques, et 3 missiles de croisière navals MdCNet et 2 missiles air-sol Scalp pour la France. Le troisième site a été atteint par 7 missiles Scalp, a précisé Washington.

      Le ministre américain de la Défense Jim Mattis a précisé que les forces américaines avaient employé deux fois plus de munitions que pour la frappe américaine d’avril 2017 sur la base militaire d’Al-Chaayrate, près de Homs.

      Les Etats-Unis ont engagé le croiseur USS Monterey qui a tiré 30 Tomahawk, et l’USS Laboon, un destroyer de la classe Arleigh Burke, qui en a lancé 7. Les deux bâtiments de guerre se trouvaient en mer Rouge. Depuis le Golfe, le destroyer USS Higgins a tiré 23 Tomahawks supplémentaires. Dans la méditerranée, un sous-marin, le John Warner, a tiré six Tomahawk. Deux bombardiers supersoniques B-1 ont en outre été utilisés, pour lancer 19 missiles JASSM.

      La France a engagé cinq frégates de premier rang et neuf avions de chasse dont cinq Rafale. Elle a annoncé avoir tiré pour la première fois des missiles de croisière navals, 3 sur les 12 missiles qu’elle a lancés parmi la centaine ayant visé la Syrie au total.

      Le Royaume-Uni a utilisé quatre avions de chasse Tornado GR4 de la Royal Air Force, équipés de missiles Storm Shadow. Londres a indiqué avoir frappé un complexe militaire - une ancienne base de missiles - à 24 kilomètres à l’ouest de Homs « où le régime est supposé conserver des armes chimiques ».

    • Toujours le même journaliste plusieurs articles dans le marin (papier) daté du 19 avril. Dans l’un d’entre eux, il cite une lettre « confidentielle » (la Lettre A) et le commandant du Sirpa marine.

      Les MdCN prévus ne sont pas partis…
      Pourquoi seulement trois missiles de croisière navals (MdCN) ont-ils été tirés, alors qu’une dizaine étaient disponibles en mer à bord de trois frégates multi missions (Fremm) ? Et pourquoi seulement de la frégate Languedoc, remplaçante de la doublure (Auvergne) de l’Aquitaine ? Panne, contre-temps, manque des conditions opérationnelles nécessaires pour tirer ?

      La Lettre A explique que la Marine est allée de Charybde en Scylla. L’Aquitaine prévue pour le premier tir, n’a pas pu s’exécuter, pas plus que l’Auvergne. L’origine de ces imprévus n’est pas précisément connue, mais un tir de MdCN est un alignement de lunes. Dans le cas contraire, le missile ne part pas.

      Pour l’état major des armées, «   l’effet militaire a été obtenu  », assure un porte-parole, qui ne répond pas sur cette chronologie. Sans se prononcer sur cette dernière ou le nombre d’armes embarquées, le capitaine de vaisseau Bertrand Dumoulin, commandant du Sirpa Marine, a expliqué au marin le mardi 17 avril que «  certains missiles ne sont pas partis dans la fenêtre très étroite, il a fallu se reconfigurer, ce qui a été fait  ».

      La Fremm Languedoc a alors tirés ses trois MdCN. «  Quand les missiles [manifestement des deux autres Fremm] ont pu être tirés, cela n’a pas été requis. En termes de planification, les cas non conformes sont pris en compte, c’est le rôle des planificateurs que nous sommes. Il y a eu un aléa technique dans la fenêtre. Ce la ne remet pas en cause l’arme  », insiste l’officier supérieur.

      À ce stade persistent donc deux inconnues : combien de MdCN devaient être tirées au total ? Et quelles sont les causes du retard sur les deux premiers navires ?

      Pour les missiles de croisière aérolargués, les opérationnels expliquent qu’il faut deux missiles pour traiter un objectif. Les trois MdCN français étaient réservés au site de stockage d’Him Shinshar, avec neuf Tomahawk, les huit missiles de croisières britanniques de la Royal Air Force, et deux autres tirés par les Rafale de l’armée de l’air. Avec des MdCN supplémentaires, le résultat aurait-il été meilleur ?

    • Et, toujours JMT, dans un article sur la même page :

      Syrie : les navires ont tiré deux fois plus de missiles que les avions
      […] Afin de saturer les défenses syriennes et éventuellement russes, les Français, Britanniques et Américains avaient décidé de tirer depuis la Méditerranée orientale, la mer Rouge et le golfe Persique. La seule direction de tir qui ne semble pas avoir été exploitée est la Turquie.

      Au final, les navires ont titré deux fois plus de missiles (60) que les avions (36). Les Américains se taillent la part du lion, avec 85 missiles tirés au total, sans doute des vieux T-Lam (Tomahawk Land attack missile) qui n’ont pas la précision des engins actuels. Résultat, il faut en tirer plus. Ils ont par contre dégainé leur nouveau JASSM-ER tiré à partir de bombardier B1 pour la cible la mieux défendue.

      La Royal Navy est absente cette fois-ci […] Sans doute une façon de limiter la facture économique, mais aussi politique : Theresa May n’était clairement pas soutenue par son opinion publique. Pas sûr non plus qu’elle avait à portée le sous-marin idoine. Que la presse britannique a dit traqué par deux sous-marins russes de classe Kilo.
      […]
      La présence de la marine française est solide avec au moins six navires (et très probablement un sous-marin nucléaire d’attaque) : trois Fremm (les Aquitaine, Auvergne, Languedoc), le Cassard, le Jean de Vienne et le pétrolier ravitailleur Var. Une telle concentration de frégates sans un porte-avions au milieu est historique. Mais illustre bien la portée nouvelle constituée par le MdCN.

      et en encadré :

      La France n’a commandé que 150 missiles de croisière navals, ce qui l’oblige à surveiller sa consommation de feu. Alors qu’elle possède bien plus de missiles de croisières tirés des airs.

      Aucun des missiles de croisières actuels (JASSM-ER américains, Scalp-EG et MdCN franco-britanniques, Kalibr russe) n’est supersonique ; ils peuvent donc être interceptés.


  • Pentagon official says America must join an arms race in weaponry with artificial intelligence | Center for Public Integrity
    https://www.publicintegrity.org/2018/04/12/21670/pentagon-arms-race-artificial-intelligence

    He called for more serious work by the Pentagon, saying “there might be an artificial intelligence arms race, but we are not yet in it.” America’s adversaries, he said, “understand very well the possible utility of machine learning. I think it’s time we did as well.”

    (…) A report from the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College Monday said the Defense Department’s proposed 2019 budget for unmanned systems and technologies includes a 25 percent increase over 2018 funding, which would allow it to reach $9.39 billion. That proposal includes funding for 3,447 new air, ground and sea drones. In 2018, the budget called for only 807 new #drones, according to the report.

    #AI #armements



  • A Peace Movement Blooms at Google | Alternet
    https://www.alternet.org/peace-movement-blooms-google

    Three-thousand Google employees have signed a letter protesting the internet giant’s contract with the Defense Department to develop artificial intelligence in order to analyze imagery collected by drones.

    The employees are calling on Google CEO Sundar Pichai to cancel the project immediately and to “enforce a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology.”

    Google is collaborating with the Pentagton’s Project Maven, which was established in April 2017 “to deploy computer algorithms to war zones by year’s end, “according to one Defense Department press release. The focus of the project is “38 classes of objects that represent the kinds of things the department needs to detect, especially in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.”
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    The protest is a signal moment in the global campaign against lethal autonomous weapons, otherwise known as killer robots. The increasingly plausible of specter of warfare in which machines automatically target and kill people without human control has given rise to an international movement to ban such weapons. The Google antiwar letter shows the movement has arrived in Silicon Valley.

    Since 2014, the nations that have signed the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) have convened biannual conferences of experts to study the issue. Academics, policymakers and activists have found widespread agreement on the importance of controlling autonomous weapons, yet failed to reach consensus on how to do it.

    #Google #Guerre #Warfare #Techno_manifestation


  • Trump’s sending troops to the border to take on 200 kids and parents

    According to President Donald Trump, the mightiest, richest country in the world is under a threat so huge and scary that it will require the deployment of military forces — as many as 2,000 to 4.000, Trump said Thursday — along its 2,000-mile southern border. The danger consists of a ragtag caravan formed by several hundred impoverished people, many of them children from tiny Central American nations. Yes, the time has come to protect America from marauding youngsters and their parents.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2018/04/05/opinions/trump-has-no-shame-on-immigration-fernandez-kelly-opinion/index.html?sr=twCNN040518trump-has-no-shame-on-immigration-fernandez-ke
    #Trump #frontières #armée #militarisation_des_frontières #USA #Etats-Unis

    • The cost of 2 National Guard border arrests would help a homeless vet for a year

      President Donald Trump’s decision to send #National_Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border has drawn a mixed response. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey welcomed the move, while California Gov. Jerry Brown’s National Guard said it would “review” the request.

      Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., had a specific complaint: He said it was a poor use of tax dollars.

      “Using the National Guard to do border security is very expensive,” Gallego tweeted April 3. “For what it would cost the Guard to make just TWO arrests at the border, we could give a homeless veteran permanent housing for an entire year.”


      http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2018/apr/05/ruben-gallego/arizona-rep-cost-2-national-guard-border-arrests-w
      #USA #Etats-Unis #coût #économie #prix #surveillance_des_frontières

    • Guard border deployment creates issues for Pentagon

      Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) have now sent two requests for assistance to the Pentagon’s new Border Security Support Cell, which was hastily established to help coordination between the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Homeland Security.

      It’s estimated that it will cost $182 million to keep 2,093 guardsmen at the border through the end of September, which represents just more than half of the personnel approved.

      The amount covers $151 million in pay and allowances for the 2,093 personnel, as well as $31 million for 12,000 flying hours for 26 UH-72 Lakota helicopters, according to a defense memo on the amount.

      http://thehill.com/policy/defense/386617-guard-border-deployment-creates-issues-for-pentagon

      #CBP #gardes-frontière #frontières

    • The Cal. National Guard Is Working At the Mexican Border, But Mostly Behind The Scenes

      In California - a state with strong differences with the White House on immigration policy - about 400 troops are on border duty. But they’re keeping a low profile.


      http://tpr.org/post/cal-national-guard-working-mexican-border-mostly-behind-scenes

      Signalé par Reece Jones sur twitter, avec ce commentaire:

      What are US National Guard troops doing at the border? Analyze intelligence, work as dispatchers, and monitor cameras “but not cameras that look across the border into Mexico”

    • L’armée américaine mobilisée pour défendre la frontière

      En campagne pour les élections américaines de mi-mandat, le président Trump a focalisé son discours sur la caravane de migrants d’Amérique centrale qui fait route à travers le Mexique. Il a promis de tout faire pour empêcher ces demandeurs d’asile de pénétrer sur le territoire américain (“Personne n’entrera”), y compris de déployer “entre 10 000 et 15 000 soldats” en plus de la police aux frontières et de la police de l’immigration.

      L’armée estime que seuls 20 % des migrants, soit 1 400 selon les estimations les plus hautes, iront jusqu’à la frontière qui se trouve encore à quelque 1 300 kilomètres et plusieurs semaines de marche, rapporte le Los Angeles Times. Le chiffre de 15 000 hommes correspond à peu près au nombre de soldats déployés en Afghanistan, observe le même quotidien. Les militaires envoyés à la frontière peuvent se poser des questions sur le sens de cette mission, comme l’illustre ici le dessinateur Chappatte.


      https://www.courrierinternational.com/dessin/larmee-americaine-mobilisee-pour-defendre-la-frontiere

    • U.S. Troops’ First Order at the Border: Laying Razor Wire

      Soldiers fill local hotels, joke about finding ways to keep busy.
      On Monday morning in this border town, about a dozen U.S. Army soldiers unfurled reams of razor wire on top of a wrought-iron fence alongside a bridge to Mexico.

      The soldiers from the 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Riley, Kan., who wore helmets but didn’t appear to be armed, are among thousands of troops deployed in recent days to the southwest U.S. border as part of Operation Faithful Patriot.

      Around border crossings throughout Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, military personnel have filled up hotels and delivered trucks packed with coils of razor wire as they begin to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.
      The personnel were sent in advance of the anticipated arrival of thousands of Central Americans, including children, traveling in caravans currently several hundred miles south of the nearest U.S. border crossing.

      At the DoubleTree Suites Hotel in McAllen, Texas, the bar did brisk business Sunday night as soldiers who had changed into civilian clothes chatted over drinks. Some joked about needing to find ways to keep soldiers busy during their deployment.

      The Anzalduas International Bridge, where the Kansas-based troops were working, is used only for vehicle traffic to and from the Mexican city of Reynosa. The wire was placed on top of fences at least 15 feet high along each side of the bridge that sat several dozen feet above an embankment.

      Outside the port of entry where vehicles from Mexico are stopped after crossing the bridge, shiny razor wire recently placed around the facility glistened in the afternoon sun.

      Migrants seeking asylum who cross the border illegally generally don’t come to the port, but swim or wade across the Rio Grande and turn themselves in to Border Patrol agents.

      Near another bridge connecting Hidalgo, Texas, to Reynosa, a concertina wire fence was recently erected along the river edge, a placement more likely to impede illegal migrants who arrive on foot.

      U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have determined where the military placed razor wire, Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters Monday during a briefing.

      It is part of an effort previously announced by Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, commander of the U.S. Northern Command, to “harden the points of entry and address key gaps.”

      Near the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge about 22 miles southeast of McAllen, troops on Monday were working on what looked to be a staging area to prepare for coming work. Two armed military police officers stood guard, opening and closing a gate as flatbed trailers carrying heavy military trucks and transports with troops inside arrived. At least one tent apparently intended to house troops was in place Monday.

      President Trump ordered the deployment last month after the first caravan made its way into Mexico. He had described the impending caravan’s arrival as an “invasion.”

      The Pentagon said Monday that more than 5,000 troops are at or would be on their way to the U.S.-Mexico border by the end of the day, with about 2,700 in Texas, 1,200 in Arizona and 1,100 in California. Eventually, nearly 8,000 will be deployed, according to a U.S. official. Officials from the Department of Homeland Security have said the troops won’t be used to enforce immigration laws but will provide backup for Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection officers.

      At the Vaquero Hangout, an open-air bar within eyesight of the Anzalduas bridge, a flag declaring support for the U.S. military hung from the rafters. It was business as usual on Sunday evening. Some patrons watched the Houston Texans’ NFL game, while others were focused on a live band, George and the Texas Outlaws.

      A few folks briefly took notice of flashing lights from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection vehicle parked on the bridge as the soldiers lay down razor wire, an effort they would continue the next day.

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-troops-first-order-at-the-border-laying-razor-wire-1541509201
      #fil_barbelé #barbelé

    • Pentagon to begin drawdown of troops at border: report

      The Pentagon is planning to begin a drawdown of troops at the southern border as soon as this week, the Army commander overseeing the mission told Politico on Monday.

      Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan told the news outlet that the 5,800 active-duty troops sent to assist Customs and Border Protection at the U.S.-Mexico border should be home by Christmas.
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      “Our end date right now is 15 December, and I’ve got no indications from anybody that we’ll go beyond that,” said Buchanan, who is overseeing the mission from Texas.

      Buchanan said engineer and logistics troops, which make up the largest parts of the deployment, will begin returning home soon.

      According to Politico’s report, some troops will begin leaving the area before the so-called migrant caravan arrives at the border.

      The news of the troops’ return comes as critics call President Trump’s request to send thousands of troops to the border a “political stunt.”

      Trump before Election Day stoked fears over an approaching group of Central American migrants heading towards the southern border, which he referred to as an “invasion.” He requested the deployment of thousands of troops to the border in a support mission just before Nov. 6.

      Some lawmakers have accused Trump of wasting resources and manpower on the mission, as reports have emerged that the troops are restless and underutilized.

      Thousands of participants in the caravan over the weekend reached Tijuana, Mexico, where they were met with vast protests. Some of the protesters are echoing Trump’s language, calling the group a danger and an invasion, The Associated Press reported.

      Most of the members of the caravan are reportedly escaping rampant poverty and violence in their home countries.

      https://thehill.com/policy/defense/417503-pentagon-to-begin-drawdown-of-troops-at-border-report

      –-> commentaire sur twitter:

      Just 3 weeks after deployment, Trump’s Pentagon is sending the military home from the border. They’ve served their purpose as the GOP’s 11th hour campaign force. Now we’re stuck with a hundred miles of trashy concertina wire and a $200 million bill.

      https://twitter.com/LaikenJordahl/status/1064644464726048768

    • Troops at U.S.-Mexican border to start coming home

      All the troops should be home by Christmas, as originally expected, Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan said in an interview Monday.

      The 5,800 troops who were rushed to the southwest border amid President Donald Trump’s pre-election warnings about a refugee caravan will start coming home as early as this week — just as some of those migrants are beginning to arrive.

      Democrats and Republicans have criticized the deployment as a ploy by the president to use active-duty military forces as a prop to try to stem Republican losses in this month’s midterm elections.

      The general overseeing the deployment told POLITICO on Monday that the first troops will start heading home in the coming days as some are already unneeded, having completed the missions for which they were sent. The returning service members include engineering and logistics units whose jobs included placing concertina wire and other barriers to limit access to ports of entry at the U.S.-Mexico border.

      All the troops should be home by Christmas, as originally expected, Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan said in an interview Monday.

      “Our end date right now is 15 December, and I’ve got no indications from anybody that we’ll go beyond that,” said Buchanan, who leads the land forces of U.S. Northern Command.

      The decision to begin pulling back comes just weeks after Trump ordered the highly unusual deployment.

      In previous cases in which the military deployed to beef up security at the border, the forces consisted of part-time National Guard troops under the command of state governors who backed up U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other law enforcement agencies.

      But the newly deployed troops, most of them unarmed and from support units, come from the active-duty military, a concession the Pentagon made after Trump insisted that the deployment include “not just the National Guard.”

      Buchanan confirmed previous reports that the military had rejected a request from the Department of Homeland Security for an armed force to back up Border Patrol agents in the event of a violent confrontation.

      “That is a law enforcement task, and the secretary of Defense does not have the authority to approve that inside the homeland,” Buchanan said.

      The closure earlier Monday of one entry point along the California border near Tijuana, Mexico, was only partial and did not require more drastic measures, Buchanan said.

      “About half of the lanes were closed this morning, but that’s it,” he reported. “No complete closures.”

      Other ports might be closed fully in the future, he said, but he did not anticipate any need to take more drastic measures.

      “If CBP have reliable information that one of their ports is about to get rushed with a mob, or something like that that could put their agents at risk, they could ask us to completely close the port,” Buchanan said. “You understand the importance of commerce at these ports. Nobody in CBP wants to close a port unless they’re actually driven to do so.”

      The troop deployment should start trailing off as engineer and other logistics troops wind down their mission of building base camps and fortifying ports of entry for the Border Patrol.

      Army and Marine engineers have now emplaced about 75 percent of the obstacles they planned to, including concertina wire, shipping containers, and concrete barriers at ports of entry. “Once we get the rest of the obstacles built, we don’t need to keep all those engineers here. As soon as I’m done with a capability, what I intend to do is redeploy it,” Buchanan said. “I don’t want to keep these guys on just to keep them on.”

      Logistics troops, too, will be among the first to head home. “I will probably ask to start redeploying some of our logistic capability,” Buchanan predicted. “Now that things are set down here, we don’t need as many troops to actually build base camps and things like that, because the base camps are built."

      Among the troops who will remain after construction engineers and logisticians start departing are helicopter pilots, planners, medical personnel, and smaller “quick response” teams of engineers who can help Border Patrol personnel shut down traffic at their ports of entry.

      In contrast to the speed of the deployment in early November and the fanfare surrounding it, the withdrawal promises to be slower and quieter — but Buchanan expects it to be done before Christmas.

      “That doesn’t mean it’s impossible,” he added. “But right now, this is a temporary mission, and we’re tasked to do it until the 15th of December.”

      https://www.politico.com/story/2018/11/19/troops-us-mexico-border-come-home-1005510

    • Trump’s Border Stunt Is a Profound Betrayal of Our Military

      The president used America’s military not against any real threat but as toy soldiers, with the intent of manipulating a domestic midterm election.

      A week before the midterm elections, the president of the United States announced he would deploy up to 15,000 active duty military troops to the United States-Mexico border to confront a menacing caravan of refugees and asylum seekers. The soldiers would use force, if necessary, to prevent such an “invasion” of the United States.

      Mr. Trump’s announcement and the deployment that followed (of roughly 5,900) were probably perfectly legal. But we are a bipartisan threesome with decades of experience in and with the Pentagon, and to us, this act creates a dangerous precedent. We fear this was lost in the public hand-wringing over the decision, so let us be clear: The president used America’s military forces not against any real threat but as toy soldiers, with the intent of manipulating a domestic midterm election outcome, an unprecedented use of the military by a sitting president.

      The public debate focused on secondary issues. Is there truly a threat to American security from an unarmed group of tired refugees and asylum seekers on foot and a thousand miles from the border? Even the Army’s internal assessment did not find this a very credible threat.

      Can the president deny in advance what could be legitimate claims for asylum, without scrutiny? Most likely, this violates treaty commitments the United States made as part of its agreement to refugee conventions in 1967, which it has followed for decades.

      The deployment is not, in the context of the defense budget, an albatross. We are already paying the troops, wherever they’re deployed, and the actual incremental costs of sending them to the border might be $100 million to $200 million, a tiny fraction of the $716 billion defense budget.

      Still, we can think of many ways to put the funds to better use, like improving readiness.

      It’s also not unusual for a president to ask the troops to deploy to the border in support of border security operations. Presidents of both parties have sent troops to the border, to provide support functions like engineering, logistics, transportation and surveillance.

      But those deployments have been generally in smaller numbers, usually the National Guard, and never to stop a caravan of refugees and asylum seekers.

      So, generously, some aspects of the deployment are at least defensible. But one is not, and that aspect is the domestic political use — or rather, misuse — of the military.

      James Mattis, the secretary of defense, asserted that the Defense Department does not “do stunts.” But this was a blatant political stunt. The president crossed a line — the military is supposed to stay out of domestic politics. As many senior military retirees have argued, the forces are not and should not be a political instrument. They are not toy soldiers to be moved around by political leaders but a neutral institution, politically speaking.
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      Oh, some might say, presidents use troops politically all the time. And so they do, generally in the context of foreign policy decisions that have political implications. Think Lyndon Johnson sending more troops to Vietnam, fearing he would be attacked for “cutting and running” from that conflict. Or George W. Bush crowing about “mission accomplished” when Saddam Hussein was toppled. Those are not the same thing as using troops at home for electoral advantage.

      Electoral gain, not security, is this president’s goal. Two of us served in the military for many years; while all troops must obey the legal and ethical orders of civilian leaders, they need to have faith that those civilian leaders are using them for legitimate national security purposes. But the border deployment put the military right in the middle of the midterm elections, creating a nonexistent crisis to stimulate votes for one party.

      When partisan actions like this occur, they violate civil-military traditions and erode that faith, with potentially long-term damage to the morale of the force and our democratic practice — all for electoral gain.

      The deployment is a stunt, a dangerous one, and in our view, a misuse of the military that should have led Mr. Mattis to consider resigning, instead of acceding to this blatant politicization of America’s military.


      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/19/opinion/president-trump-border-military-troops.html

    • The Military Is ’Securing’ a 1,900-Mile Border with 22 Miles of Razor Wire

      #Operation_Faithful_Patriot” is nothing more than a very expensive, politically motivated P.R. campaign.
      Skim through the Pentagon’s media site for Operation Faithful Patriot—the fittingly ridiculous name for the deployment of some 7,000 American troops to various spots along the Mexican border—and you’ll see lots of razor wire.

      There are photos of American troops laying razor wire (technically known as concertina wire) along the California-Mexico border. Of wire being affixed to the top of fences and to the sides of buildings. Everywhere you look on the Pentagon’s site, you find wire, wire, and more wire. Photos of soldiers carrying rolls of unused wire, snapshots of forklifts bringing more of the stuff to the border, and even videos of wire being unrolled and deployed. It’s thrilling stuff, truly.

      The message is not subtle. President Donald Trump might not have convinced Congress to blow billions for a fully operational border wall, but good luck to any immigrant caravan that happens to stumble into the thorny might of the American military’s sharpest deterrents.

      The focus on concertina wire isn’t just in the Pentagon’s internal media. The Wall Street Journal dedicated an entire Election Day story to how troops in Granjeno, Texas, had “unfurled reams of razor wire on top of a wrought-iron fence alongside a bridge to Mexico.” Troops stringing wire also appeared in The New York Post, The Washington Post, and elsewhere.

      There is so much concertina wire deployed to the southern border that if it were all stretched out from end to end, it would reach all the way from Brownsville, Texas, on the Gulf Coast to....well, whatever is 22 miles west of Brownsville, Texas.

      Yes. Despite the deluge of photos and videos of American troops are securing the southern border with reams of razor wire, Buzzfeed’s Vera Bergengruen reports that “troops have deployed with 22 miles of the wire so far, with 150 more available.”

      The U.S.–Mexico border is roughly 1,950 miles long.

      The wire doesn’t seem to be getting strung with any sort of strategic purpose, either. That WSJ story about the troops in Texas hanging wire from a bridge says that the “wire was placed on top of fences at least 15 feet high along each side of the bridge that sat several dozen feet above an embankment” while the bridge itself remains open to vehicle traffic from Mexico. If there is a goal, it would seem to be making the border look more prickly and dystopian while not actually creating any sort of barrier.

      It’s no wonder, then, that the troops deployed to the border are confused about why they are there. On Wednesday, when Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited some of the troops stationed near McAllen, Texas, he was met with lots of questions and provided few answers.

      “Sir, I have a question. The wire obstacles that we’ve implanted along the border....Are we going to be taking those out when we leave?” one of the soldiers asked Mattis, according to Bergengruen. Another asked Mattis to explain the “short- and long-term plans of this operation.”

      “Short-term right now, you get the obstacles in so the border patrolmen can do what they gotta do,” Mattis responded. “Longer term, it’s somewhat to be determined.”

      Even at a time when most American military engagements seem to be conducted with a “TBD” rationale, this feels especially egregious. Mattis did his best on Wednesday to make the effort seem like a meaningful attempt to secure the border, while simultaneously admitting that he does not expect the deployed troops to actually come into contact with any immigrant caravans. Lately he’s been talking about how the deployment is supposedly good training for unconventional circumstances.

      It’s becoming increasingly obvious that Operation Faithful Patriot—a name so silly that the Pentagon has decided to stop using it—is nothing more than a very expensive, politically motivated P.R. campaign. Of the 39 units deployed, five of them are public affairs units. There seems to be no clear mission, no long-term objective, and no indication that the troops will add meaningful enforcement to existing border patrols.

      As for all that wire? It doesn’t really seem to be working either.

      https://reason.com/blog/2018/11/19/the-military-is-securing-a-1900-mile-bor
      #Faithful_Patriot #barbelé


  • U.S. Navy Chaplain Fired Over Sex Act Caught on Camera at New Orleans Pub – gCaptain
    http://gcaptain.com/u-s-navy-chaplain-fired-sex-act-caught-camera-new-orleans-pub

    The U.S. Marines have fired a long-time Navy Chaplain who was caught on video having sex with a woman a New Orleans bar, USA Today reported Wednesday.

    On March 20, the Marines fired Navy Capt. Loften Thornton due to “loss of trust and confidence,” a spokesman for Marine Reserve said in a statement to the media. Thornton, a Navy Chaplain since 1992, had been chaplain for Marine Forces Reserve based in New Orleans.

    According to media reports, Thornton was captured on video having sex with a woman at a British pub across the Mississippi River from the French Quarter. DoD officials are in the process of reviewing the tape, reports said.

    The pub is about a five-minute drive from the Marine Reserve base.

    The U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps consists of clergy who are commissioned naval officers with the purpose to “promote the spiritual, religious, moral, and personal well-being of the members of the Department of the Navy,” including Marine Corps.