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Mattis Shuts Down The Idea Of Privatizing The War In Afghanistan
Breaking from his usual detachment, Defense Secretary James Mattis called bullshit on Erik Prince's scheme to hand over the Afghanistan war to mercenaries.
- “When the Americans put their nation's credibility on the line, privatizing it is probably not a wise idea,” Mattis said when asked Tuesday if there were any advantages to using a private army in Afghanistan.
- Prince founded the private security firm Blackwater, which became infamous in September 2007 when the company’s contractors killed 17 Iraqi civilians and wounded another 20 in Baghdad's Nisour Square.
- For more than a year, Prince has been trying to whisper into President Donald Trump’s ear that his legion of contractors could do a better job fighting the Taliban than American and coalition troops.
- Prince is now making another push to privatize the war amid recent Taliban successes, hoping to find a more receptive audience in Trump.
- Mattis argued valiantly on Tuesday that the U.S. military is successfully applying pressure on the Taliban to move toward peace negotiations with the Afghan government. He got into a heated exchange with one reporter, who asked why Afghan troops and police were unable to stop the Taliban from occupying the city of Ghazni.
- “First of all, I would not say they fell apart because there were six military objectives in Ghazni,” Mattis said. “They [the Taliban] did not achieve a single one. Now, could they go in and shoot up the residential neighborhood, chase the police out where they outnumbered them, outgunned them? This is not an easy fight. We’ve never said it was. I wouldn’t jump to a larger conclusion about this being emblematic. The fact is: innocent people are vulnerable to terrorism, whether they be in Brussels or New York City or Ghazni.”
'Assistance was essential' — Pentagon leaders advised Trump against freezing aid to Ukraine, senior official testifies
A senior Pentagon official told impeachment investigators that President Donald Trump's freeze on nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine posed a strategic nightmare for the Defense Department and put the American-allied country in a deeply dangerous position, according to impeachment inquiry testimony released Monday.
A former British paratrooper explains how he prepared '1917' actors to fight WWI's most devastating battles
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Creating a realistic battle scene — whether it's from World War II or the Napoleonic Wars — demands technical know-how and precise attention to detail.
Paul Biddiss, the military technical adviser on the upcoming World War I movie 1917, taught the actors everything they needed to know, from proper foot care to how to hold a weapon, "which allows the actor to concentrate on his primary task. Acting!" Biddis told Insider.
Biddiss has worked on projects from a variety of time periods — "large Napoleonic battles through to World War I, World War II, right up to modern-day battles with Special Forces," Biddiss said.
Read on to learn about how Biddiss prepared 1917 performers for the gruesome, grueling warfare of World War I.
Two military bases in Florida and one in Arizona will see heat indexes over 100 degrees four months out of every year if steps aren't taken to reduce carbon emissions, a new study warns.
This Veterans Day, two post-9/11 veterans-turned congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation to have a memorial commemorating the Global War on Terrorism built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Between 500 and 600 U.S. troops are expected to remain in Syria when all is said and done, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley said on Sunday.
Milley's comments on ABC News' "This Week" indicate the U.S. military's footprint in Syria will end up being roughly half the size it was before Turkey invaded Kurdish-held northeast Syria last month.