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War Watch Day 5: Reports Of A US ‘Armada’ Steaming Towards Syria Are Total BS
As Friday the 13th drew to a close at the Pentagon, the excitement surrounding the possibility of U.S. military strikes against Syria enjoyed a post-coital smoke and went to sleep early.
Five days after President Trump vowed swift justice for an April 7 chemical weapons attack in Syria, cable news had given up waiting for something to happen and moved onto treating former FBI Director James Comey’s book about President Trump as the biggest news since Jesus rose from the dead.
A blip appeared on the Countdown to War Horizon when the New York Post reported Friday that an “armada” of 12 Navy ships was steaming toward the Middle East, representing “the largest US strike force since the 2003 Iraq war.”
Pentagon officials pointed out there are a few issues with the story. Firstly, the U.S. Navy does not have “armadas.” There is no armada forces command. There are no Armada Warfare Officers. The 6th Fleet is not responsible for converting the British to Catholicism. Most importantly, there is no “armada duty service ribbon” or associated special pay for armada deployments.
Although the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group with six U.S. ships and a German frigate left Norfolk, Virginia, on April 11, the deployment had been planned long before the chemical weapons attack and was not a result of the recent events in Syria, Navy officials told Task & Purpose.
The number of ships taking part in the strike group is standard for a routine, planned deployment, said Navy spokeswoman Lt. Liza Dougherty, who is presumably current on her armada quals.
Also, until humanity comes up with a matter transporter a la Star Trek: The Next Generation, U.S. military forces will continue to be subject to the tyranny of time and distance, so the Truman Carrier Strike Group is not expected to be anywhere near Syria for about a week.
The destroyer USS Donald Cook is in the Mediterranean – although not parked off the Syrian coast, as CNN Turk erroneously reported – and another destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill entered the 6th Fleet theater of operations on April 10.
Still, the collection of ships does not come close to the number of Navy ships in both the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, which included the aircraft carriers USS Constellation, USS Theodore Roosevelt, USS John F. Kennedy, USS Enterprise, USS Kitty Hawk, USS Harry S. Truman, USS Abraham Lincoln, USS John C. Stennis, USS Nimitz and the amphibious assault ships USS Bataan and USS Bonhomme Richard.
There may not be a fleet of warships bearing down on Syria, but this Task & Purpose reporter vows to tear his shirt off and paint half of his face blue if any real news happens later on Friday.
The picture will be used for February in the upcoming “Men of Task & Purpose Holiday Calendar.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Thursday tested a conventionally configured ground-launched ballistic missile, a test that would have been prohibited under the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
The United States formally withdrew from the landmark 1987 INF pact with Russia in August after determining that Moscow was violating the treaty, an accusation the Kremlin has denied.
The Taliban may not have breached the walls of Bagram, but they damaged the hell out of its main passenger terminal
Blasts from Taliban car bombs outside of Bagram Airfield on Wednesday caused extensive damage to the base's passenger terminal, new pictures released by the 45th Expeditionary Wing show.
The pictures, which are part of a photo essay called "Bagram stands fast," were posted on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service's website on Thursday.
The Pentagon's top spokesman tried to downplay recent revelations by the Washington Post that U.S. government officials have consistently misled the American public about the war in Afghanistan for nearly two decades.
Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock first brought to light that several top officials acknowledged to the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction that the war was going badly despite their optimistic public statements. The report, based on extensive interviews and internal government data, also found that U.S. officials manipulated statistics to create the public perception that the U.S. military was making progress in Afghanistan.
An Army colonel's alleged abuse saddled his wife with ongoing medical needs. Escaping him could bring that care to a screeching halt.
Katherine Burton was sitting on her couch when she heard a scream.
Though she had not yet met her upstairs neighbors, Army. Col. Jerel Grimes and his wife Ellizabeth, Burton went to investigate almost immediately. "I knew it was a cry for help," she recalled of the August 1 incident.
Above her downstairs apartment in Huntsville, Alabama, Jerel and Ellizabeth had been arguing. They had been doing a lot of that lately. According to Ellizabeth, Jerel, a soldier with 26 years of service and two Afghanistan deployments under his belt, had become increasingly controlling in the months since the couple had married in April, forcing her to share computer passwords, receipts for purchases, and asking where she was at all times.
"I was starting to realize how controlling he was, and how manipulative he was," Ellizabeth said. "And he'd never been this way towards me in the 15 years that I've known him."