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'Spec Ops: The Line' Is The Most Brutal War Game Ever Made
Spec Ops: The Line was one of the most brutal U.S. military war games to ever released, but you don't find out until it's too late.
The plot of the game involves a massive sandstorm burying Dubai. You play the officer in charge of a group of Delta Force operators searching for not only signs of life in the disaster-stricken city, but also a missing U.S. Army battalion, the Damned 33rd, that ended up marooned in Dubai while evacuating the city.
No, this game is not a commentary on climate change (mostly). Rather, it's a mirror for the violence unleashed in the Middle East and the idea that moral choices can possibly guide us in conflicts. While the early stages of the game are spent fighting armed refugees who survived the sandstorm, the script flips very quickly — and your team of Delta operators finds itself fighting the very U.S. soldiers they came to save.
Indeed, the most memorable sequence in the game involves Delta operators debating taking out a squad of U.S. soldiers with white phosphorus mortar rounds. The mortar devastates the U.S. troops and allows the Delta team to advance, only to discover that the soldiers were guarding civilians trying to hide from the fighting between the brigade and the insurgents in the city. All that is left are charred remains of men, women, and children.
The sequence is hauntingly paced. During the mortar set up, you are told frequently that you have a choice; the choice, though, is to quit the game, a completely outside-the-box answer from the creators.
The only way to not commit a heinous war crime is to not play. There is no other way to win.
Your orders, detailed in the beginning of the game, are to see if there are survivors and report back. Your squad learns there are survivors in the first five minutes. The mission was accomplished. But you, the player, kept playing the game until you were killing refugees turned insurgents, rogue U.S. soldiers, and finally, civilians.
This game is not an evolution in third person shooters. What it actually represents is debatable, but it truly feels like a morality test disguised as a video game. There is an easy way to test this out, too: Have a friend play and see how they feel once they are killing U.S. troops who moments before were talking about home-cooked meals.
The answer, I think, is telling.
The U.S. government failed to effectively account for nearly $715.8 million in weapons and equipment allocated to Syrian partners as part of the multinational counter-ISIS fight, according to a new report from the Defense Department inspector general.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), has long been seen as an apologist for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, whom she met during a secret trip to Damascus in January 2017.
Most recently, a video was posted on Twitter shows Gabbard evading a question about whether Assad is a war criminal.
Since Gabbard is the only actively serving member of the military who is running for president — she is a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard — Task & Purpose sought to clarify whether she believes Assad has used chlorine gas and chemical weapons to kill his own people.
The Army is almost doubling its purchase of new bolt-action Precision Sniper Rifles as its primary anti-personnel sniper system of choice, according to budget documents.
Air Force gunsmiths recently completed delivery of a new M4-style carbine designed to break down small enough to fit under most pilot ejection seats.
NEWPORT -- The Office of Naval Inspector General has cleared former Naval War College president Rear Adm. Jeffrey A. Harley of most of the allegations of misconduct claimed to have occurred after he took command of the 136-year-old school in July 2016, The Providence Journal has learned.
Harley, in one of a series of interviews with the The Journal, called the findings "deeply gratifying." He said many of the most sensational allegations -- "offers of 'free hugs' and games of Twister in his office" -- reflected a misunderstanding of his sense of humor, which he describes as "quirky," but which he says was intended to ease tensions in what can be a stressful environment.
The allegations, reported last year by the Associated Press, prompted a national controversy that led to Harley leaving the college presidency after almost three years in office.