A lot has been made of how some NATO allies aren't paying 2% of GDP towards defense that could help keep the the world a safer place. In fact, Belgium spends only .9 percent of it's gross domestic product towards it's military.
But they have one weapon that counts for the other 1.1 percent: That weapon is Jean Claude Van Damme.
The muscles from Brussels, also known as JCVD, has appeared in over 70 slices of cinema. Belgium's Weapon X was shipped covertly to Hollywood as a gift to Ronald Reagan. During his time deployed to Los Angeles, Van Damme managed to star in at least a dozen films where he portrayed a NATO commando willing to go AWOL to kick someone in the face.
Bloodsport, JCVD plays a young U.S. Army captain who goes AWOL to beat up a 43 year-old man in an underground fighting tournament in Hong Kong.
The CIA involvement show in the film may have revealed that he was actually on a black side SOF assignment. His trip into the Hong Kong underworld coincides with the Chinese launch of the
DFH-2A communications satellite. It's possible his real target was a information dead drop at the venue, but the FOIA request submitted to the DoD regarding the Kumite won't be fulfilled until 2083 at the earliest.
Sometime after Desert Storm, JCVD was upgraded to a
Universal Soldierconfiguration thanks to DARPA, but contractor fraud, waste, and abuse led to the untimely end of the project. Then JCVD went down a dark path that eventually led to his stewardship of a mercenary group in The Expendables 2. America was forced to dispatch Sylvester Stallone to reign in the rogue NATO weapon and retire it from the arsenal of the free world.
Yes, Belgium has stayed the course by purchasing a fleet of
F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, but a retired Jean Claude Van Damme is not quite the deterrent he once was to foes such as Russia or Luxembourg. Luckily, much like Reagan, President Trump comes from a Hollywood background.
Procuring another Jean Claude Van Damme should be a top priority of this administration during a renewed period of great power competition.
Up to 1,000 U.S. troops could remain in Syria — more than twice as many as originally announced, according to the Wall Street Journal.
President Donald Trump initially announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but U.S. officials said in February that several hundred troops are expected to remain in Syria to create a "safe zone" along the border with Turkey and to man the al-Tanf garrison, which is located along a supply rote that would allow Iran to supply its proxies in Syria.
On Sunday, Dion Nissenbaum and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported that the U.S. military is considering leaving as many as 1,000 troops in Syria to prevent Turkey from attacking the United States' Kurdish allies. So far, the United States and Turkey have failed to agree on how to secure the proposed safe zone.
U.S. Army Sgt. James R. Moore of Portland, Ore., a logitstics NCO with the 642nd Regional Support Group, shoots at the Fort Pickett rifle range as part of the Mortuary Affairs Exercise Aug. 15, 2018. (U.S. Army/Sgt. 1st Class Gary A. Witte, 642nd Regional Support Group)
White supremacists take part in a march the night before the 'Unite the Right' rally in Charlottesville, VA. (Associated Press photo)
Seven U.S. service members have reportedly been identified as members of Identity Evropa, a white nationalist group founded by a Marine veteran and tied to the 2017 Charlottesville rally, according to leaked online chat logs examined by HuffPost.
Smoke rises from the last besieged neighborhood in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria March 17, 2019 (Reuters)
BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters) - Falling bombs raised smoke over Islamic State's last enclave in east Syria on Sunday, obscuring the huddle of vehicles and makeshift shelters to which the group's self-declared "caliphate" has been reduced.