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When President Trump Tweets, Here's What North Korea Sees
As Donald Trump prides himself on being unpredictable, he may well be pleased with a new New Yorker report from Evan Osnos that found North Korea couldn't make heads or tails of the U.S. president.
Pak Song Il, the North Korean tasked with interpreting U.S. politics, statements, and military posture, told Osnos during a trip to Pyongyang that Trump had thrown him for a loop.
"When he speaks, I have to figure out what he means, and what his next move will be," Pak said. "This is very difficult."
"He might be irrational — or too smart. We don’t know," Pak said.
Of particular interest in North Korea was Trump's "fire and fury" comment, when he seemed to offhandedly suggest that further threats from North Korea would prompt its nuclear annihilation by the United States. According to Osnos, Pak figured Trump was employing a deceptive strategy "like the Chinese 'Art of War.'"
But other times are more frustrating, as Osnos describes in the New Yorker:
On the morning of August 17th, I awoke and found a new tweet from @realDonaldTrump: “Kim Jong Un of North Korea made a very wise and well reasoned decision. The alternative would have been both catastrophic and unacceptable.” What decision was the President referring to? After poking around online, I discovered that Trump had picked up on Kim’s comment that he “would watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees” before deciding whether to fire missiles at Guam. To Trump, this was Kim standing down. He was pleased. (A few days later, Trump told a rally in Phoenix, “He is starting to respect us.”) But, it seemed, Trump was misreading the signals. “He only read one-half of the statement,” Pak said, in frustration.
But, it seemed, Trump was misreading the signals. “He only read one-half of the statement,” Pak said, in frustration.
North Korea acknowledges that unlike its own system, the U.S. relies more on consensus than whims of the leader.
"Is the American public ready for war?" Pak asked Osnos. "Does the Congress want a war? Does the American military want a war? Because, if they want a war, then we must prepare for that."
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The Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) is the largest official database of U.S. military media available for public consumption. It is also an occasional source of unexpected laughs, like this gem from a live fire exercise that a public affairs officer simply tagged 'Fire mortar boom.' In the world of droll data entry and too many acronyms, sometimes little jokes are their own little form of rebellion, right?
But some DVIDS uploads, however, come with captions and titles that cut right to the core, perfectly capturing the essence of life in the U.S. military in a way that makes you sigh, facepalm, and utter a mournful, 'too real.'
The US military does not need Iraqi permission to provide close air support or evacuate wounded troops in 'emergency circumstances'
The U.S. military does not need Iraqi permission to fly close air support and casualty evacuation missions for U.S. troops in combat, a top spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS clarified on Tuesday.
Army Col. James Rawlinson clarified that the Iraqis do not need to approve missions in emergency circumstances after Task & Purpose reported on Monday that the U.S. military needed permission to fly CAS missions for troops in a fight.
It all began with a medical check.
Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.
It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.
Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.
Thousands of U.S. service members who've been sent to operate along the Mexico border will receive a military award reserved for troops who "encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action."
The Pentagon has authorized troops who have deployed to the border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) since last April to receive the Armed Forces Service Medal. Details about the decision were included in a Marine Corps administrative message in response to authorization from the Defense Department.
There is no end date for the award since the operation remains ongoing.