"Hey remember that time we told Congress this war was a stalemate? Ha ha!"
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro
The flaks in the Pentagon's press office seem to be working overtime to convince you that everything is fine, remain calm over in the dumpster fire that is the War in Afghanistan.
Exhibit A comes from a Defense.gov story from a few days ago:
That lead sentence certainly took my fucking breath away.
And then just one day later, "reporter" Jim Garamone, who works for the Pentagon's official DoD News, knocked out this even higher-quality bullshit from a forward operating base in Afghanistan.
The propaganda piece notes that "Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford told reporters traveling with him 'that from a military dimension, I am enthusiastic about the prospects for 2018.'"
Oh boy, you're right, Joe. If you look at the Afghan War purely from a military dimension, it really hasn't been a miserable failure for over a decade.
Speaking of Dunford, he testified last October alongside Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to the Senate Armed Services Committee, where they both argued that relaxed rules of engagement and an increase in airstrikes would help to do the trick.
I, for one, think we should definitely increase our bombing of North Vietna... I mean the Taliban.
And Dunford went on to tell a skeptical panel of congressional leaders that the U.S. military drew down in Afghanistan "too far and too fast" from a high of 100,000 troops in 2011 down to roughly 10,000 in 2016.
Apparently for Dunford, reducing the number of U.S. troops by about 18% each year over a five-year period seems to be at the speed of NASCAR. And the four-star general was intimately involved in that drawdown as the commander of the International Security Assistance Force there from 2013 to 2014.
"The Afghans no longer need much help fighting the Taliban — they can do that on their own," Dunford wrote in July 2014.
Now in 2018, perhaps we should let them handle things. From a military dimension.
The Marine Corps has tapped a new Silicon Valley defense firm to develop a "digital fortress" of networked surveillance systems in order to enhance the situational awareness of security forces at installations around the world.
Marine Corps Installations Command on July 15
announced a $13.5 million sole source contract award to Anduril Industries — the two-year-old defense technology company and Project Maven contractor founded by Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey and several former Palantir Technologies executives — for a new Autonomous Surveillance Counter Intrusion Capability (ASCIC) designed to help secure installations against "all manners of intrusion" without additional manpower.
This is no standard intrusion system. Through its AI-driven Lattice Platform network and 32-foot-tall autonomous Sentry Towers, Anduril purports to combine the virtual reality systems that Luckey pioneered at Oculus with Pentagon's most advanced sensors into a simple mobile platform, enhancing an installation's surveillance capabilities with what Wired
recently dubbed "a web of all-seeing eyes, with intelligence to know what it sees."
"This was a defensive action by the USS Boxer in response to aggressive interactions by two Iranian UAS [unmanned aerial systems] platforms in international waters," CENTCOM spokesman Army Lt. Col. Earl Brown said in a statement. "The Boxer took defensive action and engaged both of these platforms."
On July 17, Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard Stayskal briefly met with President Donald Trump at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina to discuss the eponymous legislation that would finally allow victims of military medical malpractice to sue the U.S. government.
A Green Beret with terminal lung cancer, Stayskal has spent the last year fighting to change the Feres Doctrine, a 1950 Supreme Court precedent that bars service members like him from suing the government for negligence or wrongdoing.
The new trailer for
Top Gun: Maverick that dropped last week was indisputably the white-knuckle thrill ride of the summer, a blur of aerial acrobatics and beach volleyball that made us wonder how we ever lost that lovin' feeling in the decades since we first met Pete "Maverick" Mitchell back in 1986.
But it also made us wonder something else: Why is Maverick still flying combat missions in an F/A-18 Super Hornet as a 57-year-old captain after more than 30 years of service?