Category Archives: Military

Stories about the US or other militaries and their soldiers, civilians and equipment or policies

Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster the Trump national security adviser…

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Gen. McMaster WILL take the job…..

President Trump on Monday named Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his new national security adviser, replacing the ousted Michael Flynn — a move meant to help put the White House on firmer footing after missteps on multiple fronts.

Trump called McMaster “a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience” while briefly introducing him to reporters at the president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida before returning to Washington.

In tapping McMaster, Trump turned to a widely respected and fiercely outspoken military strategist who was recognized for his battlefield leadership during both the Persian Gulf War and the Iraq War.

But unlike many officers, McMaster has spent virtually no time at the Pentagon or in Washington, which could prove a challenge in his new role.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who has been serving as acting national security adviser, will return to his role as the National Security Council chief of staff….

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Iraqi Military effort to retake Western Mosul steps off….

Defense Sec Mattis is now the guy to oversee the American and Western efforts (Advisors and some Military air/inelligence and equipment assistance) to help the Iraqi military reclaim Western Mosul from the forces of ISIS as they push ISIS back further from terriotoral gains it had made in its past….

Obama’s military stewardship over th effort had been making staedy gains…

The overall push to free Mosul, once Iraq’s second-largest city, began in October, with local troops pushing from the east into the city’s geographically larger, but more sparsely populated, eastern half. In late January, they reached the banks of the Tigris River, which bisects Mosul, and declared the city’s eastern section liberated.

The operation took longer than expected and took a high toll on civilians and the Iraqi forces, but much of the city’s infrastructure was preserved, and a sense of daily life has returned. That is in contrast to the operations to take back other cities from ISIS, including Ramadi and Sinjar, which were laid waste by airstrikes. More than a year since it was freed, not even the mayor of Sinjar has been able to return.

The fight for Mosul’s western half could be even more protracted than for its east. The west is home to neighborhoods of narrow streets, some so small that it will not be possible for Iraqi troops to enter them in their fortified Humvees. That may make the Islamic State’s signature suicide bomb attacks even more effective….

“Mosul would be a tough fight for any army in the world, and the Iraqi forces have risen to the challenge,” said Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of the American-led effort against the Islamic State, in a news release from United States Central Command that announced the beginning of the long-anticipated operation. Some of the 450 American advisers on the ground in Iraq are helping Iraqi officers plan and execute the offensive in western Mosul….

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Note….

With Trump’s No Enter Muslim Ban stopped Iraqi’s who have helped the American military in the past are again coming to the safety of America after their service …

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Pakistan doubles it’s effort against militants…

Pakistan has been reluctant in the past to go after some of the Taliban militants that go back and forth over their biorders into Afghanistan….

Drone stricks by American aircraft where criticized in that couuntry even though its military rountinly allowed the drone program to go on…

Just hours after a deadly blast killed at least 70 people and wounded more than 150 others at Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Sufi shrine in southern Pakistan Thursday, the country’s military issued a series of tweets vowing “no more restraint for anyone.”

On Friday, about 100 suspected militants were killed and dozens more arrested in raids across Pakistan, according to Major General Asif Ghafoor, Pakistan’s military spokesman.

Pakistan and Afghanistan share a porous border that militants have crossed easily for years. Two major groups have been involved in recent attacks inside Pakistan: The Pakistani Taliban and its offshoots and an ISIS affiliate. The Pakistani Taliban, which takes refuge in Afghanistan, has links to, but is distinct from, the Taliban operating inside Afghanistan. The ISIS affiliate, which claimed Thursday’s attack, is present in Nangarhar, the eastern Afghan province. Pakistan reportedly launched an assault on the area Friday.

Pakistani military authorities also said Friday they handed over a list of 76 militants present in Afghanistan, demanding their extradition. The names on the list weren’t made public, but in the past Pakistan has said members of the Pakistani Taliban, including its chief, Mullah Fazlullah, are in Afghanistan. It’s unclear if the Afghan military can do anything about it. Although the Afghan government controls Kabul and many other large cities, the Taliban and its allies enjoy wide support in more rural parts of the country, and, indeed, control large parts of Afghanistan….

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The Intelligence agancies are holding back on their President?

A couple of reports are out that US Intelligence agencies are hoilding back stuff from going to the White House….

We know they are leaking stuff to the media…

We know that Donald Trump doesn’t trust the comminuty and the feeloing is likewise….

I remember reading something about some intel people resoning that anything said IN the White House has a straight line back to Moscow….

Could be…

With Trump using unsecured cell phones and landline phone EVERYTHING he says IS bound to be scooped up by the Russian’s, Chienese and just about every other foreign country….

U.S. intelligence officials have not been sharing some sensitive information with President Trump, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Current and former officials told the news source that some information was withheld from Trump in fear that that it would be compromised or leaked.

According to the report, some information presented to the president omitted sources and methods used by intelligence agencies during their operations.

The officials said they were not aware of any instance in which crucial national security threats were omitted from intelligence briefings.

A White House official told the publication that “there is nothing that leads us to believe that this is an accurate account of what is actually happening.”

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The Office of the Director of National Intelligence denied on Wednesday reports that intelligence community officials have withheld intelligence from President Donald Trump.

The ODNI statement, released late Wednesday night, comes in response to a Wall Street Journal story reporting that intelligence officials have kept intelligence from Trump over concerns that that information might be leaked or otherwise compromised by a White House reportedly lacking in organization and besieged by internal conflict.

“Any suggestion that the U.S. Intelligence Community is withholding information and not providing the best possible intelligence to the President and his national security team is not true,” the ODNI statement said….

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Pence was keep uninformed about Flynn contacts for two weeks…

While Trump WAS told that intercepts had shown that NSC head Flynn HAD spoken about sanctions to several Russians….

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That was NOT told to Vice President Pence, who found out about the situation from watching the Media….

In a sperate problem for Flynn…

He has interviewed by the FBI about his contacts…

It is unknown if he owned up to the facts ….

If he didn’t ?

He could find himself in legal trouble…..

Vice President Pence first learned that former national security adviser Michael Flynn had misled him about the nature of his contact with a Russian official on Feb. 9, a full two weeks after other White House officials were briefed on the matter, an aide to Pence said on Tuesday.

The timing indicates that Pence would have become aware of the controversy around the same time that a Washington Post report was published, detailing the degree to which Flynn had been in contact with the Russian ambassador to the United States on the issue of sanctions, Pence spokesman Marc Lotter said.

“What I would tell you is that the vice president became aware of incomplete information that he had received on Feb. 9, last Thursday night, based on media accounts,” Lotter said. “He did an inquiry based on those media accounts.”

In a January television interview, Pence said that Flynn had told him the issue of sanctions did not come up in his conversations with the Russian ambassador.

The revelation adds a new layer to the confusion within the White House as it seeks to explain why it took more than two weeks for Flynn to resign his post, even though senior officials, including the president, were aware that he had not told Pence the truth.

President Trump had been aware for “weeks” that Flynn had misled Pence and other officials, but did not act until Monday night, forcing the national security adviser to resign, the White House said on Tuesday.

White House counsel Don McGahn told Trump in a briefing late last month that Flynn, despite his claims to the contrary, had discussed U.S. sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said. Trump was briefed “immediately” after the Justice Department informed McGahn about the discrepancy, Spicer told reporters Tuesday….

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It was the fact that he lied about it to Vice President Mike Pence and other senior members of the Trump administration that caused the president to sack him.

That cover-up may cost Flynn way more than his job if the FBI determines that he lied to its investigators in the same way he misled Pence about his discussions with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition….

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Note….

Kinda makes Pence feel left out, eh?

image…Stuff

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Is Putin really happy with all this?

Donald Trump has been trying start dealing with Putin’s Russia….

That isn’t gonna happen anytime soon…

But Leonid Bershidsky over at Bloomberg thinks that not getting along with Trump by Putin is fine….

President Trump is busy trying to isolate America….

THAT works FOR Putin, who  Leonid Bershidsky thinks is paying the long game of wanting the American President to NOT bother him as he tries  to increase Russia’s footprint in the Middle East and eastern Europe….

Before Trump held his first telephone conversation with Putin last month, a rumor circulated — retweeted by many Washington policy experts, journalists and foreign politicians — that Trump would lift U.S. sanctions against Russia, imposed for its aggression in Ukraine and its alleged interference in the U.S. election. That hasn’t happened, and Putin apparently never mentioned the sanctions to Trump. The official Russian position is that Moscow will not bring up sanctions first because they “do not hinder us from building and continuing a dialog on matters of interest to the Russian Federation.” The more recent rumor, that Russia is considering the handover of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to the U.S. to curry favor with Trump, will likely prove as baseless.

Putin is not looking to offer any gifts to Trump in exchange for any immediate gain. He’s playing a long-term game, in which both Trump and the anti-Russian interests in Washington are now actively aiding him.

As far as Putin is concerned, the biggest problem with the U.S. is its willingness to interfere in situations far away from its borders — in the Middle East, in Europe, in the former Soviet Union. Trump, regardless of what he thinks about Russia, is an isolationist: “America first” is his slogan. Neither he nor his voters appear willing to back direct military interference in any country where Russian interest is strong. Putin is testing Trump’s sincerity by encouraging the flare-up of fighting in eastern Ukraine but making no decisive moves there. The U.S. appears to be relatively unconcerned, except for routine condemnation in the U.N. Security Council. If this pattern holds, Putin — whose understanding of Russian national interests is transparent and predictable — will proceed unilaterally to safeguard those interests as he sees them…

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What did Trump KNOW and When Did he know it?…Open Thread for Feb. 14, 2017…

Why did the head of The National Security Council go on for three weeks  in office after making phone call’s with Russian’s BEFORE Donald Trump actually was sworn in?

Why didn’t the people in the White House?…..and The President?….Act after being told by the Department of Justice that Flynn did talk to the Russians  about a possible deal on sanctions?

Why was the Vice President deceived?

Was Mike Flynn acting on his own?

Or was he just the messenger for others in Trump & Co.?

There are things that ARE going on in the background that seems unsettling ….(And why do we have a President at odds with his Intelligence Community?)

And more than ANYTHING?

WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE RUSSIANS THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP IS HARD UP TO GET TIGHT WITH?

How long can Donald Trump last in office ?

Note….

David Petraeus CAN be given the job if Trump pardons him and is will to take the heat in the media over his past indescreations…

But there are other names in the mix….

Above ALL?

This is puts Defense Sec Mattis as the top National Sec guy in the room…..

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NSC Head Mike Flynn has become politically radioactive…Update…Flynn has stepped down from the NSC

UpdateCNN is reporting Flynn has resigned as the head of the NSC .….

In a piece 24 hours ago we pointed to a NY Times piece that reported that the National Security Council head Ret. Gen Mike Flynn has been outed by NSA intercepts to have spoken on the phone to an Russian offical BEFORE Donald Trump was swore in about sanctions President Obama had leveled against Russia for inteferance in the 2016 elections and their moves in the Crimea….

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THAT could be against the Law….

On top of that ?

Flynn told Vice President Pence that he did NOT bring up sanctions….

On top of that?

Sally Yates, the filling in Attorney General before Jeff Sessions got confirmed is now known to have warned the Trump Chief White House  lawyer of Flynn’s action’s …..She was later fired for refusing to defend the Trump travel ban which has been stopped in its tracks as illegal (Yates made a good call?)…..

The Trump White House has been all over the place with leaks about Flynn’s status and President Trump has been mute in answering questions thrown at him by reporters….

Flyn is currently being investigated by no less than four Congressional panels and the FBI, CIA and NSA….

The man is a walking distarction and is politically radioactive….

Questions are now being whispered as to did Flynn doe this on his own?….or was he instructed to do this from Donald Trump, who has tried his hardest to forge a realtionship with the Russians……

Oh, and their is a Russian file out there known to some with ‘dicey’ stuff on President Trump that could be damaging to him politically….

The latest is that the Trump people maybe looking at ANOTHER Retired General to replace Flynn….

Micheal Petraeus….

And he pleading to mishandling secret stuff back a few years ago…..

Really?

You just can’t make this stuff up…..

Michael T. Flynn, the embattled national security adviser, faced an uncertain future on Monday as White House officials delivered conflicting messages about whether he still enjoys the confidence of President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

The Justice Department had warned the White House that Mr. Flynn had misled senior Trump administration officials about whether he had discussed American sanctions against Vladimir V. Putin’s regime during a phone call with Russia’s ambassador to the United States weeks before the inauguration, and that he could be open to blackmail by Russia, said a former senior official.

At the same time, Mr. Pence has told administration officials that he believes Mr. Flynn lied to him by saying he had not discussed the topic of sanctions on a call with the ambassador in late December. Even the mere discussion of policy — and the apparent attempt to assuage the concerns of an American adversary before Mr. Flynn took office — represents a remarkable breach of protocol.

The F.B.I. has been examining Mr. Flynn’s phone calls as he has come under growing questions about his interactions with Russian officials and his management of the National Security Council. In addition, the Army has been investigating whether Mr. Flynn received money from the Russian government during a trip he took to Moscow in 2015, according to two defense officials….

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Amid this news, the list of possible replacements includes retired Gen. David Petraeus, who’s scheduled to meet with Trump at the White House on Tuesday, according to two people familiar with the plans. Other possibilities: Stephen Hadley, who served as national security adviser under President George W. Bush; Tom Bossert, who also served as a national security aide under Bush and now oversees cybersecurity under Trump; Adm. James Stavridis, dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts; and Department of Homeland Security head John Kelly.

Petraeus was briefly considered for secretary of state during the transition but was passed over in part because of his 2015 conviction for mishandling classified information.

Questions about Flynn’s status were met with conflicting responses by White House officials Monday. “The president is evaluating the situation,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Monday evening. “He’s getting input, he’s looking at the situation.”

Earlier in the day, Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway sent a different message in a television appearance. “General Flynn does enjoy the full confidence of the president,” Conway told MSNBC.

Trump hasn’t addressed questions about Flynn since Friday, when he told reporters on board Air Force One that he would “look into” the reports that Flynn lied about improperly discussing sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration with Russia’s ambassador before Trump’s inauguration….

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The Puzzle Palace of the National Security Council…

The New York Times using what looks like a ton of sources paint a dysfunctional picture of the organization the in normal times would be the President’s ‘go to’ people to deal with National Security policy….

The piece describes how staff members of the group have to check their twitter feeds for policy from the President….How they have considered using unsecured open twitter to get access to Trump, who so far is running the American government like he ran his business, which means that cabinet heads are finding that they are on their own, unless Trump’s guys Bannon or Miller see something they have done in the media and call them out for it….

Changes with a new President are common….

But right now some staff members are moving back to their home agencies of Defense, State, CIA and others because they find working at the NSC is like working in the dark….(The Intelligence agencies seem to NOT trust the President and his guys…It appears the feeling are mutual)

The head of the agency, Michael Flynn, a retired Army General,  is in the media portrayed as in trouble because of his contacts with the Russian’s and implied policy BEFORE Trump was sworn in as President …Flynn led Vice President   to believe he did not talk policy in his calls to the Russian’s , but NSA listening has shown he did  making Pence’s defense of Flynn to the media false…

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Oh, of course there is the fact the Steve Bannon, who has NO experience in national security, but is a political hand , now sits in on the meetings rubs people the wrong way….

All in all?….

A picture of an agency going in several places, while going nowhere right now…

Pointing to an American government ran by three guys in a room…..

Trump, Bannon and Miller….

Stephen Miller, the White House senior policy adviser, was circumspect on Sunday about Mr. Flynn’s future. Mr. Miller said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that possibly misleading the vice president on communications with Russia was “a sensitive matter.” Asked if Mr. Trump still had confidence in Mr. Flynn, Mr. Miller responded, “That’s a question for the president.”

This account of life inside the council — offices made up of several hundred career civil servants who advise the president on counterterrorism, foreign policy, nuclear deterrence and other issues of war and peace — is based on conversations with more than two dozen current and former council staff members and others throughout the government. All spoke on the condition that they not be quoted by name for fear of reprisals.

“It’s so far a very dysfunctional N.S.C.,” Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a telephone interview.

In a telephone conversation on Sunday afternoon, K. T. McFarland, the deputy national security adviser, said that early meetings of the council were brisker, tighter and more decisive than in the past, but she acknowledged that career officials were on edge. “Not only is this a new administration, but it is a different party, and Donald Trump was elected by people who wanted the status quo thrown out,” said Ms. McFarland, a veteran of the Reagan administration who most recently worked for Fox News. “I think it would be a mistake if we didn’t have consternation about the changes — most of the cabinet haven’t even been in government before.”

There is always a shakedown period for any new National Security Council, whose staff is drawn from the State Department, the Pentagon and other agencies and is largely housed opposite the White House in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

….

But what is happening under the Trump White House is different, officials say, and not just because of Mr. Trump’s Twitter foreign policy. (Two officials said that at one recent meeting, there was talk of feeding suggested Twitter posts to the president so the council’s staff would have greater influence.)

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image of Bannon talking to Flynn, DHS Kelly and others….Stephen Crowley NY Times…

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North Korea is making Iran look like a picnic….

President Trump has a problem that Bull Shitting simply is NOT gonna solve….

North Korea…..

This is a Communist  country that HAS nuclear weapons….

This is a country that has succesfully test fired Balistic Missiles that COULD reach the West Coast of THIS country…

This IS a country that President Trump is gonna need China’s help to work on any action that might be taken….

While Trump has talked tough about North Korea….

Actually BEING the President now puts a complexly difficult problem right in his lap….He’s gonna need help….

This IS gonna tough one….

After North Korea threatened on New Year’s Day to test an intercontinental ballistic missile, Donald J. Trump, then president-elect, reacted with characteristic swagger. He vowed to stop the North from developing a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the United States. “It won’t happen!” he wrote on Twitter.

But six weeks later, after North Korea defiantly launched a missile into the sea, Mr. Trump, now president, reacted with surprising restraint. Appearing before cameras late at night on Saturday in Florida with his golfing guest, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, Mr. Trump read a statement of just 23 words that pledged American support for Tokyo without even mentioning North Korea….

“I assume they don’t have a strategy yet, so Trump with Abe by his side was properly taciturn, surprisingly so,” said Jeffrey A. Bader, an Asia scholar at the Brookings Institution who served as President Barack Obama’s Asia adviser. “But that can’t hold. At some point you need to articulate a strategy.”

North Korea challenged Mr. Obama early in his tenure, too, with an underground nuclear blast four months after he took office. The effect was to harden Mr. Obama’s attitude toward North Korea for the rest of his presidency, according to former aides. Rather than try to negotiate, as both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush did, Mr. Obama focused on tightening international sanctions and bolstering alliances with Japan and South Korea.

Three weeks in office, the Trump administration is still trying to find its footing on foreign policy, especially in areas like North Korea that have not been Mr. Trump’s main focus. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson was sworn in on Feb. 1 and does not even have a deputy, much less a full team of trusted advisers, in place….

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President Trump blinks…Backs One China Policy after all….

Showing that he IS LEARNING (And listening to advice) after three weeks in office that Foreign Policy is about what about more that his concept of a fair ‘deal’ , and  is not something he wants to get into serious wrestling match that would destabilize the whole of the South China see and cost Americans TONS of money in products the get from China ?

(China is the second biggest economic power on the planet, fast approaching America…It has everything Russia has and more times multiples…)

Donald Trump has endorsed the firm American policy of a One China….

A LOT of things the American President simply cannot just arbitrarily change…

Oh, and?

The US military can also relax a little….

President Trump just backed down from what could have been a serious fight with China.

On Thursday evening in Washington, he appeared to shy away from confrontation with Beijing by agreeing to honor the one-China policy, during a lengthy telephone call with China’s President Xi Jinping.

The move is set to ease tensions between the world’s two most powerful nations: relations had been inflamed after Trump suggested he would only commit to the one-China policy if Beijing addressed his concerns about trade and currency issues.

Experts had previously noted with concern that Trump had not spoken to Xi since his inauguration, despite speaking or meeting with at least 18 other world leaders — although the two men did talk by phone days after Trump’s election victory.

In a statement issued late Thursday, the White House said the two men had held a lengthy and “extremely cordial” conversation.

“The two leaders discussed numerous topics and President Trump agreed, at the request of President Xi, to honor our one-China policy,” the White House statement said.

In return, Xi said he “appreciated his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, for stressing that the U.S. government adheres to the one-China policy,” which he called the “political basis” of relations between the two nations, state news agency Xinhua reported.

“The development of China and the United States absolutely can complement each other and advance together. Both sides can absolutely become very good cooperative partners,” Xi said.

The one-China policy forms the bedrock of U.S.-China diplomatic ties, established by President Richard Nixon and China’s leader Mao Zedong 1979. It rules out independence and diplomatic recognition for the island of Taiwan….

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There probably will be More American Troops going to advise the Afghan military

The reason?

Russian involvement in the Middle East conflicts…

The commander of the US war in Afghanistan has requested several thousand new troops for America’s longest-ever conflict to break what he described as a stalemate.

In the first indication of the course the 15-year-old war will take under Donald Trump, army Gen John Nicholson told a Senate panel that he was facing a shortfall of troops necessary for training Afghan forces to ultimately replace their US and Nato counterparts.

“They could come from our allies as well as the United States. We have identified the requirement and the desire to advise below the corps level. It would enable us to thicken our advisory efforts across the Afghanistan mission,” Nicholson told the Senate armed services committee on Thursday.

Nicholson acknowledged that the Taliban has gained territory across the country in 2016, and that the Afghans have “tens of thousands” of absent or nonexistent Afghan soldiers on their payrolls. But he described the current situation in Afghanistan as a “stalemate.

One reason for the deadlock, Nicholson said, was the increasing spoiler role of Russia, which has been accused of aiding Trump in the election and with which Trump seeks to reconcile.

Nicholson said Russia was seeking to undermine the US and Nato in Afghanistan, adding that he was “concerned about the increasing level” of unspecified Russian support for Taliban insurgents….

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Trump Army Sec pick drops out due to business connections…

…from CNN…

….’President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of the Army, Vincent Viola, is withdrawing, citing business ties.

“Mr. Viola has informed President Trump that he will be unable to accept his nomination to serve as secretary of the Army as the challenges of separating Mr. Viola from the organizations that he has built over the last thirty-five years have proven insurmountable,” a statement from Viola’s team said’….

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Some more details on the Trump hiring Freeze…..

The exempted list grows….

As Trump noted during his signing of the memorandum, all military personnel are exempt from the freeze. That includes all uniformed officials, including the Coast Guard, Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, and the Commissioned Officer Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

All political positions, including Schedule C appointments and non-career Senior Executive Service vacancies, are exempted. Agencies can fill temporary and seasonal vacancies as necessary to meet “traditionally recurring season workloads,” though they must keep OMB’s Resource Management Office informed. Areas in which Congress has required hiring by law are also exempted from the freeze.

Some agencies have been exempted altogether: positions at the U.S. Postal Service, CIA and Office of the Director of National Intelligence are all exempt. USPS had said it was exempt in previous hiring freezes but was seeking further clarification from the White House.

“Internal career ladder promotions” are not subject to the freeze, nor are appointments made under the Pathways and Presidential Management Fellows programs. Employees onboarded as part of industry exchange programs are exempted so long as the workers hired under that authority do not exceed the total from before the freeze went into place.

Employees detailed between agencies are not affected so long as reimbursements are not being used to “circumvent the intent of the freeze.” Reallocations of current employees within an agency are allowable if they are used to “meet the highest priority needs” such as national security and essential services. Agencies can also accept voluntary transfers of current SES between agencies to “secure the leadership capacity,” subject to OPM approval. Sandy and McGettigan reminded agencies of Trump’s mandate that contractors may not be used to skirt the freeze….

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After action report on that Yemeni Raid…Not Good

It seems that the US Navy SEAL 6 operation into Yemen planned on President Obama’s watch , but held up for better ground conditions?

Went off on President Trump and Advisor Bannon, National Security Council lead Flynn , Defense Sec Mattis and others Ok in less than ideal conditions at the location…

One SEAL was killed in action and reports are that several civilians where also killed…

The Spec Ops people had to destroy one of their MV-22 Osprey, which had a hard landing and injured some of the troops….

It appears that some of the Spec Ops people leaked the problems in the operation to the  Washington Post because of the new Trump Admin aggressive Defense policy….

Mr. Trump’s new national security team, led by Mr. Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency and a retired general with experience in counterterrorism raids, has said that it wants to speed the decision-making when it comes to such strikes, delegating more power to lower-level officials so that the military may respond more quickly. Indeed, the Pentagon is drafting such plans to accelerate activities against the Qaeda branch in Yemen.

But doing that also raises the possibility of error. “You can mitigate risk in missions like this, but you can’t mitigate risk down to zero,” said William Wechsler, a former top counterterrorism official at the Pentagon.

In this case, the assault force of several dozen commandos, which also included elite soldiers from the United Arab Emirates, was jinxed from the start. Qaeda fighters were somehow tipped off to the stealthy advance toward the village — perhaps by the whine of American drones that local tribal leaders said were flying lower and louder than usual.

Through a communications intercept, the commandos knew that the mission had been somehow compromised, but pressed on toward their target roughly five miles from where they had been flown into the area. “They kind of knew they were screwed from the beginning,” one former SEAL Team 6 official said.

With the crucial element of surprise lost, the Americans and Emiratis found themselves in a gun battle with Qaeda fighters who took up positions in other houses, a clinic, a school and a mosque, often using women and children as cover, American military officials said in interviews this week.

The commandos were taken aback when some of the women grabbed weapons and started firing, multiplying the militant firepower beyond what they had expected. The Americans called in airstrikes from helicopter gunships and fighter aircraft that helped kill some 14 Qaeda fighters, but not before an MV-22 Osprey aircraft involved in the operation experienced a “hard landing,” injuring three more American personnel on board. The Osprey, which the Marine Corps said cost $75 million, was badly damaged and had to be destroyed by an airstrike.

The raid, some details of which were first reported by The Washington Post, also destroyed much of the village of Yakla, and left senior Yemeni government officials seething. Yemen’s foreign minister, Abdul Malik Al Mekhlafi, condemned the raid on Monday in a post on his official Twitter account as “extrajudicial killings.”…

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Note….

President Trump unexpectedly flew off to Dover Air base today to honor the Navy SEAL lost in the operation in Yemen…

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Some Fighting breaks out in the Ukraine….

And could make it harder for President Trump to buddy up with Russian President Putin….

The fear for Eastern Europe and some in the US Congress is that Putin would take advantage of his warming with Trump to resume efforts to bring old Soviet satellite states back into the fold…

The war in eastern Ukraine that simmered quietly for months has erupted in a lethal bout of fighting in recent days.

The violence, which killed at least eight Ukrainian soldiers and three on the pro-Russian side, shifted the front lines by only a few hundred yards in several spots, but potentially complicates American efforts to improve relations with Russia.

The United States Army helps to train and equip Ukrainian soldiers, who are fighting Russian-backed separatists in two eastern provinces of Ukraine, in the only active war in Europe today.

In the latest outbreak, the sides vied for control of what are known as “gray zone” territories, areas between the front lines that had previously been in buffer zones.

The Ukrainian Army advanced in at least two places, according to news reports and official Ukrainian accounts, but it said it did so to rebuff rebel attacks. Each side blamed the other for the escalation….

The Trump administration’s maneuvering for better relations with Russia has alarmed Ukrainian officials, who fear that Western pressure could ease on Russia to withdraw its unacknowledged military forces in eastern Ukraine. But Ukraine is not without options in defending itself, including using its army, which showed an ability to fight even before American training began….

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