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Make America great again!
(ANTIWAR) Reports from earlier this month that Pentagon has been increasing deployments of special forces around the Middle East and Africa appears to be continuing apace, with the most recent reports suggesting that President Trump has expanded the deployments into Central Africa, and is continuing the policy across the region.
The use of small-scale special forces as an alternative to larger deployments of regular combat soldiers became popular in the Obama Administration as a way to keep official troop levels comparatively low while getting into more and more military operations around the world.
U.S. Special Operations Command launched a raid in Yemen’s Baida Province on Jan 29, targeting Qassim al-Rimi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The first high-profile special forces operation of Trump’s presidency, the raid resulted in the deaths of at least 14 Al Qaeda fighters, 20 civilians and Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens. Three other Americans were reportedly wounded and an Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft was destroyed by U.S. forces after it was heavily damaged in a forced landing. Over the past few days, it has emerged that al-Rimi survived the raid and he has subsequently released an audio message taunting President Trump.
As The Burning Platform’s Jim Quinn notes, special forces operations like the one in Yemen are nothing new. America’s elite troops have found themselves on the frontlines constantly since 9/11, conducting operations everywhere from the dusty back alleys of North Africa to the snow-capped mountains of Afghanistan. Even though they have made headlines for high-profile operations like the prison break near Hawija in Iraq or the raid on Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound in Afghanistan, the vast majority of special forces missions across the world involve training friendly soldiers to fight, mainly so Americans don’t have to.
You will find more statistics at Statista
Although US elite troops typically only appear in the media when an event of particular relevance (such as the capture and murder of Osama bin Laden in 2011), this does not mean that they are not active. As this infographic above shows, elaborated by Statista, these forces were present in 138 States last year or 70% of the world’s countries according to official Special Operations Command data published by TomDispatch. 55.29% of deployments were in the Middle East, a 35% decease since 2006. In Africa, deployments of elite U.S. forces skyrocketed 1,600 percent during the same timeframe.
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The heroes’ bravery has not been officially acknowledged as Tory ministers lean on defence chiefs not to acknowledge the secret ground war
Three elite British troops were hurt under fire from Islamic State thugs during a top-secret mission in Iraq.
But the heroes’ bravery has not been officially acknowledged as Tory ministers lean on defence chiefs not to acknowledge the secret ground war being fought by our special forces in Iraq and Syria .
Aside from ISIS’ ‘caliph’ Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Georgian ex-commando Omar al-Shishani might be the most recognizable and popular of the powerful militant group’s leaders.
Sporting a recognizable red beard and happy to pose for photos, Shishani has acted as a very public face for some of ISIS’ most notorious successes.
It was Shishani who posed with the stolen US Humvees that ISIS had seized from Mosul and brought back into Syria.
– British SAS Special Forces ‘Dressed Up As ISIS Rebels’ Fighting Assad in Syria
With the Russians on the ground at Latakia shoring up the Assad regime and with tensions between Washington and Moscow at a fever pitch over the Kremlin’s involvement, the Pentagon now says US boots are officially on the ground in Syria – you know, to help fight ISIS…
BREAKING: Defense officials tell NBC News that US special ops. forces are on ground in Syria assisting Kurdish forces in fight against ISIS
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) September 16, 2015
Of course, if true, the whole “assisting Kurdish forces” won’t go over well with Turkey’s Erdogan, the US’s brand new coalition partner against ISIS who has made no secret of his distrust for the YPG.
– Deadly SAS march in scorching heat went ahead to ‘avoid paperwork,’ inquest hears (RT, June 1, 2015):
A training exercise in which three highly fit special forces recruits died from overheating went ahead in dangerously high temperatures because canceling it would have meant a lot of paperwork, one casualty’s mother told an inquest.
Speaking on the first day of an inquest into the deaths, Mary Roberts, mother of reservist paratrooper Craig Roberts, who died July 2013, said when she asked an officer why the march, known in the military as a “tab,” went ahead she was told: “There would be too much paperwork to postpone it.”
“We were so angry at that … we were being told the march had not been cancelled to save paperwork.”
– Texas Governor Calls Up State Guard To Counter Jade Helm “Federal Invasion” Fears (ZeroHedge, April 30, 2015):
We’ve mentioned the upcoming Jade Helm military exercises on a few occasions lately (here and here). In short, Jade Helm is an eight-week joint military and Interagency Unconventional Warfare exercise conducted throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado. Here’s the official press release:
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, March 24, 2015) – Members of U.S. Army Special Operations Command will train with other U.S Armed Forces units July 15 through Sept. 15 in a multi-state exercise called Jade Helm 15.
USASOC periodically conducts training exercises such as these to practice core special warfare tasks, which help protect the nation against foreign enemies. It is imperative that Special Operations Soldiers receive the best training, equipment and resources possible.
While multi-state training exercises such as these are not unique to the military, the size and scope of Jade Helm sets this one apart. To stay ahead of the environmental challenges faced overseas, Jade Helm will take place across seven states. However, Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) will only train in five states: Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. The diverse terrain in these states replicates areas Special Operations Soldiers regularly find themselves operating in overseas.
I’m always amazed at how people can be programmed by the mainstream media to ignore the obvious reality happening right in front of their eyes. Right now, America is being lulled into a hypnotic sense of denial while military training for martial law is happening right in their own neighborhoods and city streets. Yet, strangely, no one is allowed to refer to this exercise as training for martial law… even though that’s obviously what it is.
Most Americans remain totally unaware of the fact that a massive military drill spanning 10 U.S. states will soon put military troops, helicopters, armored transports and military weapons directly on the streets of communities across the nation. “Operation Jade Helm begins in July and will last for eight weeks,” reports the Daily Mail. “Soldiers will operate in and around towns in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado where some of them will drop from planes while carrying weapons loaded with blanks in what military officials have dubbed Realistic Military Training.”
– JADE HELM 15: Military Drill Identifying “Hostile” US States Sparks Alarm (The Daily Sheeple March 29, 2015):
Editor’s Post: Is this why so many people, especially in the below-mentioned states, are reporting such a heavy increased military presence in the skies over their homes?
A massive U.S. military drill dubbed “Jade Helm 15” lists Texas, Utah, and part of California as “hostile” or “insurgent pocket” territory. The unclassified information about this drill is causing widespread alarm nationwide, with more than a few analysts suggesting it may be some sort of exercise practicing to impose martial law on Americans fed up with an out-of-control federal government. During the exercises, which will take place over the summer, Special Forces from various branches of the military will work with local law-enforcement in scenarios that, to critics at least, sound suspiciously like they are aimed at subduing rebellious American civilians and states amid a civil war or large-scale unrest. The federal government issued a response dismissing the concerns and saying that the training is to help U.S. forces prepare for overseas missions, but not everyone is convinced.
– Special forces set to swarm Southwest and operate undetected among civilians in massive military exercise (Daily Mail, March 29, 2015):
Seven Southwestern states will soon be infiltrated by 1,200 military special ops personnel as part of a controversial domestic military training in which some of the elite soldiers will operate undetected among civilians.
Operation Jade Helm begins in July and will last for eight weeks. Soldiers will operate in and around towns in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado where some of them wil drop from planes while carrying weapons loaded with blanks in what military officials have dubbed Realistic Military Training.
But with residents of the entire states of Texas and Utah dubbed ‘hostile’ for the purposes of the exercises, Jade Helm has some concerned the drills are too realistic.
– Leaderboards (12160):
Video: FLORIDA Martial Law Drills – JADE HELM
HUGE MILITARY EXERCISE IN FORT LAUDERDALE FLORIDA #JADEHELM 2015
public liaison said one of the reasons the jade helm op was being conducted was to judge ‘how efficiently they could maneuver through the public without being detected.’
Spreading freedom and democracy.
– 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.
British Special Forces hunting the killer of James Foley are using an array of sophisticated equipment to track him down – and possibly free other hostages being held.
The Mail on Sunday has been given a detailed account of how elite troops from the SAS and the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) are conducting high-tech operations inside Syria and Iraq, which could lead to the capture of the extremists within days.
– US commandos get permanent Eastern European foothold (RT, June 11, 2014):
American special operations units permanently deployed in Eastern Europe are no longer just on the Pentagon’s wish list. About 100 instructors are set to train spec ops teams in former Soviet bloc states to ‘message’ Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine.
The latest statements from the US European Command (EUCOM) once again prove that Washington is using the crisis in Ukraine to revitalize the NATO alliance and bolster its military presence in Europe in order to tie it to the US.
EUCOM said in a statement that its Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) “increased the size and scope of its planned exercises” following the bloody developments in Ukraine to send a “message to Moscow.”
– 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.