Surprise! America Is Getting Another Psycho For Secretary Of State

Bloomberg and The New York Times are reporting that the incoming presidential administration has chosen longtime Biden advisor Tony Blinken for the role of Secretary of State. Blinken is a liberal interventionist who has supported all of the most disgusting acts of US mass military slaughter this millennium, including the Iraq invasion which killed over a million people and ushered in an unprecedented era of military expansionism in the Middle East. So needless to say he will fly through the confirmation process.

“Blinken was a key adviser to Biden when the senator voted to authorize the use of force against Iraq,” Nonzero reports. “Blinken has tried to recast the vote as merely ‘a vote for tough diplomacy,’ but post-invasion remarks by Biden make that claim implausible. In a recent Washington Post op-ed that Blinken co-authored with Robert Kagan, one of the chief architects of neoconservative foreign policy doctrine, he implied that the problem with the Iraq War was poor execution (‘bad intelligence, misguided strategy and inadequate planning for the day after’) rather than the very idea of invading a country in violation of international law even after it had admitted weapons inspectors to assess the claims motivating the invasion.”

How true can Biden’s claim be that he regrets his pivotal role in facilitating that unforgivable act of mass military butchery if he’s continued employing the man who advised him about it as an advisor ever since, and is now appointing him to Secretary of State? If someone advises you to do something that you truly regret, do you continue seeking out that person’s advice on the same subject and give them even more power and control over it?

Keep reading

Pentagon Investigators Fired For Exposing Cover Up Of Military Sexual Assaults

Three Pentagon officials who were tasked with investigating sexual assault in the military say that they were either fired or suspended for reporting on cases of sexual assault and exposing attempts to cover up these crimes. They were essentially fired for doing what they were hired to do.

The three women spoke to CBS News this week, about their work with the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, and how they faced retaliation for properly investigating the crimes that were taking place within the military’s ranks, just as the victims themselves were facing retaliation.

Keep reading

Pentagon Fails Another Audit, Will Likely Get Budget Increase From Congress Anyway

The third time wasn’t the charm for the Pentagon, which has once again failed to successfully complete an audit.

Thomas Harker, the Pentagon’s comptroller, told Reuters that it could be another seven years before the department can pass an audit—something that it has never accomplished. Previous attempts in 2018 and 2019 turned up literally thousands of problems with the Pentagon’s accounting system and millions of dollars’ worth of missing equipment.

In a statement, the Pentagon lauded the fact that auditors had “cleared” more than 500 issues identified in previous audits. That serves as compelling evidence that the effort is worth it, even if a clean review is still impossible. The Pentagon had resisted being audited for years. Though Congress passed a law in 1990 requiring all federal departments to be audited every year, it still took nearly two decades for the first Pentagon audit to be attempted. The department now says it is benefiting from the process.

A full report on this year’s audit, which covered more than $2.7 trillion in military assets, is expected to be released in January.

Before that, Congress is likely to sign off on a boost in military spending. As part of a new $1.4 trillion discretionary spending bill expected to be passed during the upcoming lame-duck session, the Pentagon is expected to get about a $10 billion boost in funding. That will happen in spite of another failed audit and regardless of the fact that America’s budget deficit has soared to record highs in the past year as the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll.

Keep reading

Pentagon School To Focus Half Its Curriculum On China, Esper Announces

The National Defense University is a higher-learning facility run by the Pentagon that offers graduate programs mostly to members of the US military. “I also tasked the military services to make the People’s Liberation Army [China’s military] the pacing threat in our professional schools, programs and training,” the Pentagon chief said.

Esper also warned of the threat China and Russia pose to US global hegemony. “Our strategic competitors China and Russia are attempting to erode our hard-earned gains,” he said.

The former Raytheon lobbyist also touted a new plan to increase the fleet of the US Navy that Esper has dubbed “Battle Force 2045.” The plan calls for the Navy to have a 500 ship fleet by 2045. Currently, the US Navy has just under 300 battle-ready ships.

The Pentagon released its annual report on China’s military in September. The report says China has the world’s largest navy and has “an overall battle force of approximately 350 ships and submarines.”

Despite having more ships, China’s navy is vastly smaller than Washington’s in terms of tonnage. One example of this is the number of aircraft carriers each nation has, with the US having eleven aircraft carriers, while China only has two.

Keep reading

Hundreds of Millions in Tax Dollars Meant for COVID Supplies Went to Private Defense Contractors Instead

Instead of adhering to congressional intent by building up the nation’s inadequate supply of N95 masks and other equipment to combat the Covid-19 crisis, the Pentagon has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars in appropriated taxpayer funds to private defense contractors for drone technology, jet engine parts, Army uniform material, body armor, and other purposes not directly related to the pandemic.

As the Washington Post reported Tuesday morning, the Department of Defense—headed by former Raytheon lobbyist Mark Esper—”began reshaping how it would award the money” just weeks after Congress in March approved a $1 billion fund under the Defense Production Act to help the nation “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.”

“The Trump administration has done little to limit the defense firms from accessing multiple bailout funds at once and is not requiring the companies to refrain from layoffs as a condition of receiving the awards,” the Post noted. “Some defense contractors were given the Pentagon money even though they had already dipped into another pot of bailout funds, the Paycheck Protection Program.”

As the U.S. still faces major shortages of testing supplies and N95 masks six months into the pandemic, the Post reported that the Pentagon has used congressionally approved funds to dish out $183 million to luxury carmaker Rolls-Royce and other companies to help “maintain the shipbuilding industry,” tens of millions for “drone and space surveillance technology,” and $80 million to “a Kansas aircraft parts business.”

A subsidiary of Rolls-Royce also received $22 million from the Pentagon “to upgrade a Mississippi plant,” according to the Post.

Keep reading

Pentagon’s Top Spy Agency Turns To AI for Targeting and Operations Planning

The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is getting ready for the “next battlefield” and counting on the expertise of private concerns, like Booz Allen Hamilton, to implement what it calls Machine-assisted Analytic Rapid-repository System, or MARS for short. MARS is a critical data management system for “military targeting” and operation planning.

MARS is currently the DIA’s top priority, and according to DIA director Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley Jr., the aim is to replicate “the commercial Internet that everybody uses every day,” with the added functionality of providing a “foundational intelligence picture […] at speed and at scale.”

Terry Busch, chief of DIA’s integrated analysis and methodologies division, highlights the difference between the MARS program he manages and the old “stovepipe” data management technologies it is meant to replace: “What comes out of MARS at the end is not data, it’s analysis. It’s finished intelligence.”

Which kind of intelligence, specifically, will be assessed dynamically by the machine’s algorithms in a new kind of database management system using AI functionality. It will revolutionize the way data is received and acted-upon. As it scours and collects vast datasets and volumes of foreign intelligence that support U.S. military operations around the world, MARS will be equipped to handle both large amounts of data, like the storage-intensive images and videos collected by the National Reconnaissance Office and also analyze the information to produce actionable leads in the battlefield.

It is nothing less than the 1983 sci-fi classic “WarGames” come to life. A ‘machine’ that decides when to go to war based on the information it is fed. In the movie, a military drill of a surprise nuclear attack on the United States accidentally goes live after a hacker, played by Matthew Broderick, “unwittingly” puts the world on the brink of nuclear war.

MARS program manager Terry Busch doesn’t discount the possibility. “On the machine side,” Busch stated, “we have experienced confirmation bias in big data,” adding that it was a “real concern” given that they’ve had “the machine retrain itself to error”.

COVID-19, however, has given the top military intelligence department the opportunity to “prove [its] ability to deliver the capabilities of MARS”, as DIA chief of Staff, John Sawyer, said at a National Security Summit that concluded Friday. The “assumptions about the nature of our work,” he claims were challenged during the pandemic, were especially fruitful in regards to the MARS program, which can now benefit from a new modality of military intelligence propagation that will be “the future of how we are going to understand fighting”.

Keep reading

House passes Ben McAdams’ ban on nuclear weapons testing

The House on Monday moved to prohibit the resumption of nuclear weapons testing by passing Rep. Ben McAdams’s amendment to a bill funding the Department of Defense.

The amendment, which bars the use of any funding to test nuclear weapons, passed nearly along partisan lines 227-179, with one Republican and one independent supporting the amendment.

Utah GOP Reps. Rob Bishop, John Curtis and Chris Stewart opposed the effort to halt nuclear tests.

Keep reading