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post #2451 of 2541
Thread Starter 

Oh and get ready for Juche Bird! (atmospheric, end-to-end test of a Thermonuclear missile over the pacific.  Named for the US Frigate Bird test, and Juche, because that's North Korea's thing).

 

Lets hope it doesn't hit anything!

post #2452 of 2541

Since September 2001, the United States has spent $1.46 trillion on wars:

 

http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/defense-department-war-terror-has-cost-250-million-day-16-years-2608639

 

Quote:

American taxpayers have spent $1.46 trillion on wars abroad since September 11, 2001.

 

The Department of Defense periodically releases a “cost of war” report. The newly released version, obtained by the Federation of American Scientists Secrecy News blog, covers the time from the September 11th terrorist attacks through mid-2017.

 

The Afghanistan War from 2001 to 2014 and Iraq War from 2003 to 2011 account for the bulk of expenses: more than $1.3 trillion. The continuing presence in Afghanistan and aerial anti-ISIS operations in Iraq and Syria since 2014 have cost a combined $120 billion.

 

The report’s costs include only direct war-related expenses such as operating and maintaining bases, procuring equipment, and paying for and feeding troops. It most notably does not include the expense of veteran’s benefits for troops who serve in these wars or the intelligence community’s expenses related to Global War on Terror.

post #2453 of 2541
Thread Starter 

I really need to work on expatriating.

 

So that bribery scandal with the Malaysian contractor?  It just keeps getting bigger:

 

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/358924-fat-leonard-corruption-probe-expands-to-60-admirals-report

 

It's amazing the pacific command functions at all.

post #2454 of 2541
Thread Starter 
post #2455 of 2541
Thread Starter 

PS.  Exercise in the western pacific with three carrier groups in the next few days:

 

https://twitter.com/W7VOA/status/927645751450132480

 

Even if it is just an exercise, it seems like a dumb provocation.

post #2456 of 2541

The cost of the fuel that exercise will consume could have fixed Flint's water supply problem 20x over.  Or, maybe paid for an entire graduating class for the state of Wyoming to have attended college.  

post #2457 of 2541

Let's hope for no casualties in the inevitable naval collisions.

post #2458 of 2541
Thread Starter 

Possible coup in progress in Zimbabwe:

 

http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKBN1DE1YC-OZATP

post #2459 of 2541
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post

Possible coup in progress in Zimbabwe:

http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFKBN1DE1YC-OZATP

There's a lot of chatter on Twitter that the coup is already complete and Mugabe is in military custody, but nothing that can be sourced reliably.

BBC News is reporting that soldiers have taken over the state radio station and that explosions have been heard around the capital. Zimbabwe's ambassador to South Africa insists that Mugabe is still in power and that claims to the contrary on social media should be ignored.

The US embassy in the capital announced that they will be closed tomorrow due to the uncertain environment outside.
post #2460 of 2541
Military leaders in Zimbabwe have officially announced that they have President Mugabe in their custody. The man himself might be untouchable because he's 93 and is the only head of state the country has had since its independence; the official announcement was that the coup is a purge of "criminals" who have surrounded Mugabe and used their influence to wreck the economy. They're making it sound like the plan is to leave him in power and stand down once the political purge is complete, leaving Mugabe in charge, but it's hard for me to imagine that actually happening. They're not going to disarm and let Mugabe hang them for treason.
post #2461 of 2541
Holy shamoly, that was quick.
post #2462 of 2541
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Military coups are almost never a good thing but that cunt deserves to die in prison for what he did to that beautiful country.

Just hope everything goes peacefully.
post #2463 of 2541

Looks like the Vice-President that Mugabe fired recently has been moving freely around the continent and has just re-entered Zimbabwe. The military is still denying this is a coup and it looks like most of the wings of ZANU-PF are falling into line. My guess is, Mugabe has been taken ill or something, and this is a pre-emptive move against his wife and heir Grace. She was never popular with the military and the vice-president (likely to be the man in charge now) Mnangagwa was very popular with them. Odds on his tour of South Africa was just confirming he had support of the neighbours.

 

Note to dictators: Always keep your generals sweet.

post #2464 of 2541

Oh joy, just reading up on this Mnangagwa chap.

 

Individually lead the Gukurahundi clearances in the 80s. Gukurahundi is an interesting word that describes the first rainfall after the harvest that washes away the chaff. In this sense it's used to describe the massacre of various individuals who did not support the new governments regime. 20,000 of them, whilst he was leading the security services. That's nice.

 

There was an attempted coup in 2007, it was aborted, but pretty much everyone assumed the military was going to put this guy in charge. He of course got away clean, whilst the people actually caught were arrested.

 

Someone tried to poison him in August.

 

His nickname is 'The Crocodile'.

 

This guy is basically a Bond Villain. I suspect we may be wishing for the more peaceful days of Mugabe by the time the year is out.

 

(I'm still not completely clear on how to pronounce his name, which I feel is important, especially if you meet him)

post #2465 of 2541

Apparently, they may be putting in place a transitional government with your Bond villain as President and Morgan Tsvangirai as PM. Which I didn't see coming. I thought he was one of the "good guys".

post #2466 of 2541

When does Kananga/Mr Big assume power?

post #2467 of 2541
Quote:
 not completely clear on how to pronounce his name

That'd be  'm-CUNT !'

post #2468 of 2541

 

Can we take a minute to talk about the shirt this guy is wearing?

 

I would be inclined to see Tsvangarai as one of the good guys, still. If ever a military coup was justified, this would be a case. Involving the man who previously had the presidency stolen from him, and his wife murdered by Mugabe, is good optics if nothing else. 

post #2469 of 2541
Quote:
Originally Posted by flint View Post

(I'm still not completely clear on how to pronounce his name, which I feel is important, especially if you meet him)

"Big Manny G."
post #2470 of 2541
The U.S.-led United Nations Command in South Korea has released this video of a North Korean defector braving the road south in a jeep, fleeing on foot when the jeep got stuck, suffering five gunshot wounds inflicted by pursuing North Korean soldiers, and surviving.

(Warning: the video is graphic, the dude does get shot while the camera is rolling.)



Bradley Brownell, writing for Foxtrot Alpha:

Quote:
The injured soldier was brought down by the bullet wounds, laying against the side of a building for nearly 40 minutes while South Koreans orchestrated an extraction. He was then flown by US Black Hawk helicopter to Anjou Hospital where the surgeon expects him to make a recovery. In addition to the bullet wounds, the soldier was reportedly stricken with intestinal worms, hepatitis B, and blood poisoning. Additionally, he is showing signs of severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Aside from that long list of ails, he is conscious and breathing on his own, but remains in intensive care.
post #2471 of 2541
The U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense has issued a memorandum reversing a 2008 policy to abandon the use of antiquated and unreliable cluster bombs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CNN View Post

Cluster bombs -- which not only deliver an initial explosion on impact but also contain multiple smaller bombs that spread over a wide area -- are largely condemned by the international community due to the risk of civilian casualties when they're used in populated areas.

Over 100 countries, including most members of NATO, have called for a ban on the controversial weapon and human rights groups have expressed concerns over civilian casualties resulting from cluster bombs.

The United States is one of several nations -- including China, Israel, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Saudi Arabia -- that have rejected a ban on the sale or use of cluster bombs.

In 2016, Human Rights Watch accused the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in Yemen of using American-made cluster bombs in civilian areas, an action that not only would have violated US export laws but also would raise further questions as to why lawmakers and military officials condone the sale and use of the weapon.

The Saudi government has denied using cluster bombs in populated areas.

In 2008 then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates ordered the military to cease using older types of cluster bombs by Jan. 1, 2019, and to retain only newer versions of the bombs that explode at least 99% of the time or have advanced safeguards that would automatically defuse unexploded ordnance, reducing the risks of injuring civilians.

Those of us who closely followed then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's televised briefings with the press corps in 2001 and 2002 will remember that these weapons became the subject of scandal immediately following the invasion of Afghanistan, when children were injured or killed trying to pick up unexploded bomblets from American cluster munitions, thinking they were airdropped food rations. The bomblets and the rations came in the same color wrapper.
post #2472 of 2541
Thread Starter 

Why don't they fill 'em up with white phosphorous and sarin while they're at it?

 

So as long as post bad thing in this thread, they don't happen!  I'm going to stick to that delusion, because the "pre-emptive strike" on North Korea talk is gearing up again, and Trump just keeps proving he really is that stupid and reckless.

post #2473 of 2541
The crazy thing is that I don't think cluster bombs were even developed for use as antipersonnel weapons. I'm pretty sure they were invented to ruin enemy airfields by covering the runways with potholes. Dropping them on troops in formation (and weddings, because people organized in rows all look the same in infrared) was a later innovation.
post #2474 of 2541
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post
 

Why don't they fill 'em up with white phosphorous and sarin while they're at it?

 

 

"Gentleman, welcome to Dubai."

post #2475 of 2541

The Pentagon is saying that U.S. forces will remain in Syria indefinitely:

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-to-remain-in-syria-indefinitely-pentagon-officials-say-1512752450

post #2476 of 2541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Maiden View Post
 

The Pentagon is saying that U.S. forces will remain in Syria indefinitely:

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-to-remain-in-syria-indefinitely-pentagon-officials-say-1512752450

 

Along with Iraq, Afghanistan, Niger and how many other countries?

post #2477 of 2541
Thread Starter 

Bad headline, South China Morning Post (China Preparing to Strike Taiwan):

 

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2124829/increased-military-drills-suggest-china-preparing

post #2478 of 2541
Thread Starter 

Rumors again that Trump wants to strike North Korea.  Debate going on weather it's a bluff or not.  Renewed South and North meetings seem positive though.

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/amid-signs-of-a-thaw-in-north-korea-tensions-bubble-up-1515427541

post #2479 of 2541
If there weren't lives at stake, I'd say it was fitting and in character for Trump to start bombing North Korea in the middle of peace talks because he thought it would make the press respect him.
post #2480 of 2541
Don't believe it, gonna at least wait till after the Olympics.
post #2481 of 2541

According to NPR, we've been training thousands more soldiers in how to fight tunnel warefare, buying more bridging equipment to cross rivers during an invasion, and adding more Patriot missiles to the region. I know it is not the same as evacuating US civilians and adding hundreds of thousands of soldiers to South Korea, but little steps like the ones above have me worried that their minds are made up. Or are these kinds of measures just standard for countries we have beef with?     

post #2482 of 2541
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbrother View Post
 

According to NPR, we've been training thousands more soldiers in how to fight tunnel warefare, buying more bridging equipment to cross rivers during an invasion, and adding more Patriot missiles to the region. I know it is not the same as evacuating US civilians and adding hundreds of thousands of soldiers to South Korea, but little steps like the ones above have me worried that their minds are made up. Or are these kinds of measures just standard for countries we have beef with?     

In my experience:  Yes and no.

 

If a flag officer (General/Admiral type) gets a bee in their bonnet about a particular place, they can certainly direct the units they command to focus on planning and training for combat in said place.  Just as an example, I served under a division commander who thought there was a high probability we were going to intervene in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the late 90's.  So for the better part of a year we "gamed" operations in DROC (I was in the division headquarters at the time, so not so much down to the "tunnel fighting" level of training).  It never came to pass.  And most of the rest of the time we were training against simulated versions of Iraq, Iran, or the Balkans.

 

But the caveat here is that the General in question likely got that bee in their bonnet because someone with more stars on their shoulder put it there.

 

I would also say this:  It's not uncommon for troops in Korea to train to fight North Korea...it's technically what they're there for.  They may have ramped up the frequency and intensity of that training, but that would be in keeping with normal saber-rattling.  As you note, the time to really start worrying is if we see large-scale troop and equipment movements towards the region, beyond what would be "normal."

 

Though the additional caveat is that I'm not sure Trump isn't stupid and short-sighted enough to start a conflict before there's any such staging of forces.  Let's not forget how much he likes "surprise attacks...."

post #2483 of 2541
Thread Starter 

Keep an eye on the B-2's at Guam:

 

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/17579/heres-what-the-b-2s-arrival-in-guam-means-for-north-korea-the-olympics-and-more

 

Even if they're just there for training, it's something that could easily be misinterpreted as an attack being imminent.

post #2484 of 2541
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post
 

Keep an eye on the B-2's at Guam:

 

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/17579/heres-what-the-b-2s-arrival-in-guam-means-for-north-korea-the-olympics-and-more

 

Even if they're just there for training, it's something that could easily be misinterpreted as an attack being imminent.


The way that article is written, any movement of any piece of US Military hardware anywhere in the world could be "a sign that an attack is imminent...or maybe not."

post #2485 of 2541

I wish it didn't seem to me like the media is fervently praying/hoping for war.  

post #2486 of 2541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlord View Post

I wish it didn't seem to me like the media is fervently praying/hoping for war.  
The media is always praying for war on some level. War gets them their biggest ratings. War makes careers for up and coming TV Journalists. But it has to be new war. Nobody cares about old perpetual Wars that are still going on.
post #2487 of 2541
Thread Starter 

Yup, the best war is always the next war.

 

Here's a weird one.  A few weeks ago, Russian bases in Syria were attacked.  Two Russian soldiers were reported killed, and there are conflicting reports of aircraft on the ground destroyed.  Russia initially said it was mortar fire, but it looks now like it was incredebly cheap drones:

 

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/01/12/the_poor_mans_airforce/

 

Pretty much just home-made RC planes with bomblets on the wings.  Likely using hard-coded GPS to reach targets.  Also Russia is blaming the US.

post #2488 of 2541
The following alert was pushed out to cell phones in Hawaii earlier today. Officials have said that the alert was sent out by mistake.


post #2489 of 2541

"Haha, sorry guys! Old butter fingers!"

 

Somebody's getting fucking fired for that I hope. 

post #2490 of 2541

It's definitely odd. Also, the "THIS IS NOT A DRILL" thing is weird. When I was in the military, we always laughed when we saw that, because you're supposed to treat every alert as the real thing, no matter what. And if it was meant for the public, wouldn't it say "THIS IS NOT A TEST"?

 

It's all just weird.

post #2491 of 2541
I always get a kick out of it when actors playing soldiers say "I repeat" on the radio, when "Repeat" is the command for artillery to fire again at the last target coordinates. "I repeat" would be a recipe for friendly fire accidents.
post #2492 of 2541
I was literally on The phone with a buddy of mine from Hawaii... setting up my trip to visit him in May.
"Um.... I got to go"
"What's going on"
"Incoming nuke!!!!!"

My heart was racing. Can't imagine what everyone else there was feeling. Troubling times.

I was just texting with him and he says his heart is still racing.
post #2493 of 2541
This could have been a real disaster, even as a false alarm. People on the highway getting the push text message, people with heart conditions, etc.
post #2494 of 2541
Not only texts. The VMS boards on the road were giving these alerts.
I really don't think this was simple as someone hitting the wrong button during shift change.

Videos already of people putting their children down storm drains.

Maybe this will be a wake up call to the public... and how this President and the state he's help create needs to stop. Stupid political dick measuring.... and for what? To make this fuck feel like a man? But knowing the public memory this will be forgotten by Wednesday.
post #2495 of 2541
Thank Christ that the President was incommunicado at his golf resort when this went down, anyways.
post #2496 of 2541
Don't worry guys. Trumps white house just said this was planned. That it was just a test.
Nevermind tests last only 2 minutes. Not 38. Are known before hand and take place on the weekday at the same time evertime (first Monday of the month at 11:45am).

Is Dwight Schrute in charge ?

Worst case scenario imho... their system was hacked. Getting conflicting reports on what happened, and the time it took them to turn it off (they tweeted only 8 minutes after it went off saying it was a class alarm) really raises questions. Wouldn't be the first time NK has hacked the US.
Edited by NickP - 1/13/18 at 12:53pm
post #2497 of 2541

Best response I saw was this

 

 

 

Being hacked it a tempting explanation.  But they broke into the TV stream and all sorts of stuff.  If they were hacked it wasn't a case of sending a few fake tweets.  They must have found the switch to flip that sets the whole thing in motion..

post #2498 of 2541

On Reddit, there was some good news to be found:

 

Quote:
On the bright side, thinking she was going to die, my crush confessed that she also had a crush on me. I just got back from getting post-nuclear panic coffee with her.h
post #2499 of 2541
Pattern recognition in this case is a real motherfucker.

Because I am having a hard time understanding how this particular fuckup, in this particular place and instance, could be isolated from the larger geopolitical situation.

"Sorry, that was a mistake" is about the furthest fucking thing from an acceptable answer as to what happened.

The further we get from that moment without a full accounting the more likely it is that something profoundly fucked up happened yesterday.

What we need clarity on is this: did we narrowly avoid the unthinkable? Or was this just a test-run for it?
post #2500 of 2541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhukov View Post

Pattern recognition in this case is a real motherfucker.

Because I am having a hard time understanding how this particular fuckup, in this particular place and instance, could be isolated from the larger geopolitical situation.

"Sorry, that was a mistake" is about the furthest fucking thing from an acceptable answer as to what happened.

The further we get from that moment without a full accounting the more likely it is that something profoundly fucked up happened yesterday.

What we need clarity on is this: did we narrowly avoid the unthinkable? Or was this just a test-run for it?


This isn't the first time something like this has happened.  It happened at least once during the Cold War, when tensions were even higher than they are now with a nation that unquestionably DID have the capability to strike anywhere in the US and beyond (because it's very questionable just what North Korea's capabilities are right now, in regards to a nuclear exchange).

 

What answer would you prefer to "Sorry, that was a mistake?" if that really IS the answer?

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