Despite campaign-trail overtures to progressives, a Joe Biden presidency seems to spell a return to normalcy in the most time-honored American way: by placing the military-industrial complex in charge of the country’s defense.
Joe Biden’s campaign message focused almost entirely on Donald Trump, and on Biden’s supposed ability to “unify” a polarized electorate and “restore the soul of America.” Since he claimed victory last week, Biden’s prospective administration has begun to take shape, and the reality behind the rhetoric has started to emerge.
On matters of defense, restoring America’s “soul” apparently means placing weapons manufacturers back in charge of the Pentagon.
Biden announced his Department of Defense landing team on Tuesday. Of these 23 policy experts, one third have taken funding from arms manufacturers, according to a report published this week by Antiwar.com.
Nearly two decades following 9/11 and the initial invasion of Afghanistan which ostensibly had as its objective the removal and destruction of the hardline Islamist Taliban government, the United States military is providing covert support to the same “outlawed” Taliban with the latest aim of booting ISIS from the country.
A report in The Washington Post on Thursday details that this secret assistance focuses on the Pentagon providing air power to the Taliban as the group wars against against ISIS in Afghanistan’s northeastern Kunar Province.
That’s right, the very terrorist group that for years has waged a campaign to kill and maim large numbers of American troops in Afghanistan (not to mention many thousands of local civilians) is now being covered by US air power.
The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to review two controversial immigration policies from the Trump administration – the construction of a southern US border wall using diverted funds from the Pentagon, and a requirement that those seeking asylum at the border wait in Mexico while their cases are considered.
The justices will hear an appeal from the Department of Justice regarding a 2019 lower court ruling which found that the latter policy likely violated federal immigration law, according to Reuters.
The program, called Migrant Protection Protocols, remains in effect because the Supreme Court in March put the lower court’s decision to block the policy on hold while the legal battle continues. – Reuters
The US military has partnered with more than a dozen companies for “large-scale experimentation” with 5G technology, including efforts to enhance the “lethality” of certain systems, in what’s slated to be a $600 million project.
Dubbing 5G tech a “foundational enabler for all US defense modernization,” the Pentagon announced the massive research initiative on Thursday, which will hand hundreds of millions to 15 private contractors to conduct testing at five US military installations.
“Today, the Department of Defense announced $600 million in awards for 5G experimentation and testing at five US military test sites, representing the largest full-scale 5G tests for dual-use applications in the world,” the Pentagon said in a statement, adding that it would bring together experts from several industries and disciplines.
Projects will include piloting 5G-enabled augmented/virtual reality for mission planning and training, testing 5G-enabled Smart Warehouses, and evaluating 5G technologies to enhance distributed command and control.
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YouTuber DUTCHSINSE captures what appears to be directed energy weapons on satellite imagery.
Within days of the occurrence, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper revealed China and Russia have satellites equipped with “directed energy weapons and more.”
The Pentagon is defending its use of military aircraft to conduct surveillance on the large crowds of demonstrators and in some cases riots which enveloped multiple cities connected with George Floyd’s death.
A new investigation has exonerated the National Guard after allegations it illegally gathered intelligence on Americans.
It was previously revealed that the National Guard used reconnaissance planes to fly over at least four US cities in order to gather data on growing protests in late May and early June, crucially at a moment President Trump was urging greater action in ensuring law and order in the protest and vandalism-hit cities.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he never personally approved of the program to fly the reconnaissance aircraft over the protests, but National Guard officials say they didn’t need higher approval given it was just for observing crowd sizes and to probe if any emergencies such as large fires were unfolding, according to their account.
The US House Armed Services Committee voted for the amendment to the annual defence policy bill that envisages stripping Confederate names off of military bases and other property within one year.
The amendment, offered by Representatives Anthony Brown and Don Bacon, was approved 32-23. The latter, along with Rep. Paul Mitchell, crossed the party line to support it.
Earlier, US President Donald Trump tweeted that would veto the defence authorisation bill if it contains an amendment calling for changing the Confederate-related names of US military bases.
Commenting on the voting results, Brown said that the changes are supported by “vast majority of Americans” and are being made because “the history and cause of the Confederacy is centered on slavery and oppression”.
National Guardsmen deployed to Washington D.C. have been ordered not to use firearms or ammunition by Defense Secretary Mark Esper – who also ordered home active-duty troops that the Trump administration requested in recent days, according to The Washington Post.
Esper made the decision to disarm without first consulting the White House, which was not involved in the decision to disarm the Guard, according to two senior officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The move comes as activists gear up for a massive demonstration in the nation’s capitol on Saturday in the ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd – a black man who died after a white police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck for over eight minutes. An estimated 100,000 – 200,000 protesters are expected on Washington on Saturday.
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As unrest spread across dozens of American cities on Friday, the Pentagon took the rare step of ordering the Army to put several active-duty US military police units on the ready to deploy to Minneapolis, where the police killing of George Floyd sparked the widespread protests.
Soldiers from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York have been ordered to be ready to deploy within four hours if called, according to three people with direct knowledge of the orders.
Soldiers in Fort Carson, in Colorado, and Fort Riley in Kansas have been told to be ready within 24 hours.
The people did not want their names used because they were not authorized to discuss the preparations.
Any applicant who has survived the COVID-19 coronavirus will be barred from enrolling in the US military, unless they can obtain a waiver from the branch they would like to join, according to a new Pentagon memo.
“During the medical history interview or examination, a history of COVID-19, confirmed by either a laboratory test or a clinician diagnosis, is permanently disqualifying…” the US Military Entrance Processing Command (MEPCOM) memo reads.
According to the Washington Times, over 4,000 US troops have tested positive for COVID-19, while nearly 1,000 crew members of USS Theodore Roosevelt were confirmed to have been infected, as well.