Feb 04

Spreading freedom and democracy.

The Golden Age of Black Ops – In Fiscal 2015 U.S. Special Forces Have Already Deployed to 105 Nations

The Golden Age of Black Ops – In Fiscal 2015 U.S. Special Forces Have Already Deployed to 105 Nations (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Feb 2, 2015):

During the fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2014, U.S. Special Operations forces (SOF) deployed to 133 countries — roughly 70% of the nations on the planet — according to Lieutenant Colonel Robert Bockholt, a public affairs officer with U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM).  This capped a three-year span in which the country’s most elite forces were active in more than 150 different countries around the world, conducting missions ranging from kill/capture night raids to training exercises.  And this year could be a record-breaker.  Only a day before the failed raid that ended Luke Somers life — just 66 days into fiscal 2015 — America’s most elite troops had already set foot in 105 nations, approximately 80% of 2014’s total.

Despite its massive scale and scope, this secret global war across much of the planet is unknown to most Americans…”We want to be everywhere,” said Votel at Geolnt.

– From Nick Turse’s article in the Huffington Post: The Golden Age of Black Ops

The following article is one I’ve wanted to highlight for over a week, but the news has been so overwhelming I simply haven’t had a chance. Until now.

As someone who spends much of his time trying to understand the world around him, I’m always astounded to be floored by something I read. While regular readers of this site are well aware of how aggressively and irresponsibly the U.S. empire deploys military assets abroad, I think some of the following information will still shock you. Continue reading »

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Apr 23

Related info:

U.S. Navy SEALs Ordered To Remove ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ Symbol From Uniforms (Video)

Ex-Navy SEAL On FOX News: US Government Is Creating Conditions To impose Martial Law (Video – Oct 15, 2013)

US Special Ops forces committing suicide in record numbers

US Special Ops forces committing suicide in record numbers (RT, April 19, 2014):

US special forces have been committing suicide at record levels for the last two years, the head of the US Special Operations Command (SOCom) admitted in a speech on Thursday. He blamed the high numbers on the length and difficulty of combat.

“There is a lot of angst. There’s a lot of pressure out there. My soldiers have been fighting now for 12, 13 years in hard combat. Hard combat,” Adm. William McRaven, the head of SOCom, said at a conference in Florida. “And anybody that has spent any time in this war has been changed by it. It’s that simple.”

Since the beginning of the wars in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, military troops – including special forces units like Navy SEALs and Army Rangers – have endured multiple deployments. Military suicides increased across the board during that time, to the point that suicides (349) outpaced combat deaths (311) in 2012, according to a Guardian analysis in 2013.

Continue reading »

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Nov 26

Commandos attack during an exercise at Fort Bragg in April 2012.

Silent but deadly: Special forces seek quiet, subsonic bullets (CNN/Wired, Nov 21, 2012):

Most bullets make small sonic booms when flying through the air, which to our ears sound like a loud, distinct “crack!” For the Pentagon’s special forces, that makes it hard to be sneaky about what they’re shooting. Now the commandos want to be sneakier with slower, quieter bullets.

In its latest round of small-business solicitations, the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command, or SOCOM, is seeking out subsonic ammunition. The reason, according to the solicitation, is to “provide superior covert and stealth capabilities” for not only the military, but police forces and the Department of Homeland Security.

In theory, and for rifles in the 5.56, 7.62 and .338 calibers, the bullets will travel at low enough velocities to avoid breaking the sound barrier, thus creating no “crack” noise. Breaking the sound barrier also pretty much negates the use of a sound suppressor, or “silencer,” which the special forces would likely want to use against militants in Afghanistan and around the world.

Continue reading »

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Jun 29

Why is SOCOM Lying About Domestic Drone Activities? (Public Intellibence, June 27, 2012):

An April 2012 list of potential basing locations for DoD drone activities inside the U.S. includes Portland, Oregon as a proposed site controlled by U.S. Special Operations Command. A spokesman for USSOCOM told the Willamette Week last week that it “does not have nor will it have” a drone base in Portland.

Public Intelligence

A spokesman for U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has provided statements to publications in New Hampshire and Oregon indicating that information regarding domestic drone activities provided by Public Intelligence is inaccurate, despite confirmations from the offices of two U.S. Senators.  Following our publication last week of a map of current and proposed Department of Defense drone activities within the U.S., several journalists with local publications around the country wrote articles regarding drone activities that were listed in their area.  David Brooks of the Nashua Telegraph wrote about the listing of New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington as the site of a USSOCOM drone activity involving small unmanned aerial vehicles including the Raven and Wasp.  Corey Pein of the Willamette Week wrote about a planned USSOCOM drone activity in Portland that was listed as utilizing the same types of drones.

Continue reading »

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May 10

Military training in the middle of Miami jolts residents out of bed (Miami Herald, May 8, 2012):

No, there was no smell of napalm in the morning.

But there was the thunderous whump whump of low-flying helicopters, and even the jarring blast of explosions at the abandoned Grand Bay Hotel in Coconut Grove early Tuesday during a military training exercise that jolted many unsuspecting residents from their beds.

“It was quite a shocking experience,” said Jane Muir, who was awakened around 1:45 a.m. by the sound of military choppers that later dropped rappelling soldiers onto the Grand Bay’s rooftop. “It was kind of that bizarre feeling that you were surrounded by wind.”

From her third-floor balcony, Muir then watched the soldiers fire off flares and smoke bombs before searching floor by floor through the darkened hotel, their paths marked by flashlights and the pop-pop-pop of gunshots. “The show of force was so overwhelming,” she said.

The maneuvers were part of a “realistic urban training” exercise for about 100 military personnel, and organized by the U.S. Special Operations Command, said Maj. Michael Burns, a U.S. Army spokesman. The exercise also included three military helicopters, and the use of simulated explosions and gunfire to mimic real-life military scenarios.

“They have to train in a realistic environment,” Burns said. “We didn’t use any real bullets,” he added reassuringly.

Continue reading »

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May 08

Commandos Now Play Digital Brain Games as War Prep (Wired, May 8, 2012):


U.S. special operations forces carry out some the military’s toughest, most high-stakes missions. To pull them off, the commandos need speed, agility and swift perception skills akin to those of top-tier professional athletes. That might explain why the military’s latest commando training program will rely on a virtual-reality system already employed by pro sports teams.

The system, called “NeuroTracker,” was designed by CogniSens, a company spun out of the neurophysics lab of Dr. Jocelyn Faubert, a researcher at Canada’s University of Montreal. NeuroTracker has until now been deployed almost exclusively for athletic training: It’s used by several teams in the NFL and NHL, as well as at Olympic training centers in a handful of European countries.

Now commandos are going to get the NeuroTracker treatment as well. According to an announcement released last week, U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) plans to purchase the NeuroTracker system in an effort to “improve situational awareness, multiple target tracking and decision-making efficiency” among operatives.

As the system’s name suggests, “NeuroTracker” won’t rely on bicep curls and wind sprints to get commandos into tip-top shape. Instead, NeuroTracker is designed to prep the brain for fast-paced, confusing situations — like those that occur in combat or on a sports field. And to do it, the system relies almost entirely on balls.

Continue reading »

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Aug 05

A Secret War in 120 Countries: The Pentagon’s New Power Elite (Counterpunch, August 4, 2011):

Somewhere on this planet an American commando is carrying out a mission. Now, say that 70 times and you’re done… for the day. Without the knowledge of the American public, a secret force within the U.S. military is undertaking operations in a majority of the world’s countries. This new Pentagon power elite is waging a global war whose size and scope has never been revealed, until now.

After a U.S. Navy SEAL put a bullet in Osama bin Laden’s chest and another in his head, one of the most secretive black-ops units in the American military suddenly found its mission in the public spotlight. It was atypical. While it’s well known that U.S. Special Operations forces are deployed in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, and it’s increasingly apparent that such units operate in murkier conflict zones like Yemen and Somalia, the full extent of their worldwide war has remained deeply in the shadows.

Last year, Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post reported that U.S. Special Operations forces were deployed in 75 countries, up from 60 at the end of the Bush presidency. By the end of this year, U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told me, that number will likely reach 120. “We do a lot of traveling — a lot more than Afghanistan or Iraq,” he said recently. This global presence — in about 60% of the world’s nations and far larger than previously acknowledged — provides striking new evidence of a rising clandestine Pentagon power elite waging a secret war in all corners of the world.

The Rise of the Military’s Secret Military

Continue reading »

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