RevolutionResource.org

Agitate, Educate, and Organize ~OO~

America’s secret military is a massive ticking time bomb

07-groucho-marx-mustache
America’s secret military
is a massive ticking time bomb.

U.S. special forces are deployed
in 134 countries around the world

— providing 134 separate chances
for disaster.

 



This piece originally appeared on TomDispatch, and is republished for your
enjoyment and edification at The Portland Alliance:  “Disturbing the PDX Elite for Decades”

http://www.theportlandalliance.org/solomon


Nick Turse, TomDispatch.com 

Topics: U.S. Special Forces, Special Ops, TomDispatch.com, U.S. Military, SOCOM, News

               sugar-skulls-312America’s secret military is a massive ticking time bomb

U.S. Navy SEALs conduct immediate action drills
during predeployment training at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi Oct. 25, 2010. Navy SEALs are the maritime component of U.S. Special Operations Command and are trained to conduct a variety of operations from the sea, air and land. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Scorza/Released) (Credit: Mass Communication Specialist 2n)


They operate in the green glow of night vision in Southwest Asia and stalk through the jungles of South America. They snatch men from their homes in the Maghreb and shoot it out with heavily armed militants in the Horn of Africa. They feel the salty spray while skimming over the tops of waves from the turquoise Caribbean to the deep blue Pacific. They conduct missions in the oppressive heat of Middle Eastern deserts and the deep freeze of Scandinavia. All over the planet, the Obama administration is waging a secret war whose full extent has never been fully revealed — until now.

ttdSince September 11, 2001, U.S. Special Operations forces have grown in every conceivable way, from their numbers to their budget. Most telling, however, has been the exponential rise in special ops deployments globally. This presence — now, in nearly 70% of the world’s nations — provides new evidence of the size and scope of a secret war being waged from Latin America to the backlands of Afghanistan, from training missions with African allies to information operations launched in cyberspace.

In the waning days of the Bush presidency, Special Operations forces were reportedly deployed in about 60 countries around the world. By 2010, that number had swelled to 75, according to Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe of theWashington Post. In 2011, Special Operations Command (SOCOM) spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told TomDispatch that the total would reach 120. Today, that figure has risen higher still.

In 2013, elite U.S. forces were deployed in 134 countries around the globe, according to Major Matthew Robert Bockholt of SOCOM Public Affairs. This 123% increase during the Obama years demonstrates how, in addition to conventional wars and a CIA drone campaign, public diplomacy and extensive electronic spying, the U.S. has engaged in still another significant and growing form of overseas power projection. Conducted largely in the shadows by America’s most elite troops, the vast majority of these missions take place far from prying eyes, media scrutiny, or any type of outside oversight, increasing the chances of unforeseen blowback and catastrophic consequences.


Growth Industry

Formally establishEdvard Munch-886497ed in 1987, Special Operations Command has grown steadily in the post-9/11 era. SOCOM is reportedly on track to reach 72,000 personnel in 2014, up from 33,000 in 2001. Funding for the command has also jumped exponentially as its baseline budget, $2.3 billion in 2001, hit $6.9 billion in 2013 ($10.4 billion, if you add in supplemental funding). Personnel deployments abroad have skyrocketed, too, from 4,900 “man-years” in 2001 to 11,500 in 2013.


A recent investigation by TomDispatch, using open source government documents and news releases as well as press reports, found evidence that U.S. Special Operations forces were deployed in or involved with the militaries of 106 nations around the world in 2012-2013. For more than a month during the preparation of that article, however, SOCOM failed to provide accurate statistics on the total number of countries to which special operators — Green Berets and Rangers, Navy SEALs and Delta Force commandos, specialized helicopter crews, boat teams, and civil affairs personnel — were deployed. NBC-Revolution-Promo-Preview-1x01-042“We don’t just keep it on hand,” SOCOM’s Bockholt explained in a telephone interview once the article had been filed.  “We have to go searching through stuff. It takes a long time to do that.” Hours later, just prior to publication, he provided an answer to a question I first asked in November of last year.   “SOF [Special Operations
forces] were deployed to 134 countries” during fiscal year 2013, Bockholt explained in an email.


 

Globalized Special Ops

Last year, Special Operations Command chief Admiral William McRaven explained his vision for special ops globalization. In a statement to the House Armed Services Committee, he said:

“USSOCOM is enhancing its global network of SOF to support our interagency and international partners in order to gain expanded situational awareness of emerging threats and opportunities. The network enables small, persistent presence in critical locations, and facilitates engagement where necessary or appropriate…”

headlessWhile that “presence” may be small, the reach and influence of those Special Operations forces are another matter. The 12% jump in national deployments — from 120 to 134 — during McRaven’s tenure reflects his desire to put boots on the ground just about everywhere on Earth. SOCOM will not name the nations involved, citing host nation sensitivities and the safety of American personnel, but the deployments we do know about shed at least some light on the full range of missions being carried out by America’s secret military.

Last April and May, for instance, Special Ops personnel took part in training exercises in Djibouti, Malawi, and the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean. In June, U.S. Navy SEALs joined Iraqi, Jordanian, Lebanese, and other allied Mideast forces for irregular warfare simulations in Aqaba, Jordan. The next month, Green Berets traveled to Trinidad and Tobago to carry out small unit tactical exercises with local forces. In August, Green Berets conductedexplosives training with Honduran sailors. In September, according to media reports, U.S. Special Operations forces joined elite troops from the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations — Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), and Cambodia — as well as their counterparts from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, China, India, and Russia for a US-Indonesian joint-funded coun­terterrorism exercise held at a training center in Sentul, West Java.

Iaca4n October, elite U.S. troops carried out commando raids in Libya and Somalia,kidnapping a terror suspect in the former nation while SEALs killed at least one militant in the latter before being driven off under fire.  In November, Special Ops troops conducted humanitarian operations in the Philippines to aid survivors of Typhoon Haiyan. The next month, members of the 352nd Special Operations Group conducted a training exercise involving approximately 130 airmen and six aircraft at an airbase in England and Navy SEALs were wounded while undertaking an evacuation mission in South Sudan. Green Berets then rang in the new year with a January 1st combat mission alongside elite Afghan troops in Bahlozi village in Kandahar province.

Deployments in 134 countries, however, turn out not to be expansive enough for SOCOM. In November 2013, the command announced that it was seeking to identify industry partners who could, under SOCOM’s Trans Regional Web Initiative, potentially “develop new websites tailored to foreign audiences.” These would join an existing global network of 10 propaganda websites, run by various combatant commands and made to look like legitimate news outlets, including CentralAsiaOnline.com, Sabahi which targets the Horn of Africa; an effort aimed at the Middle East known as Al-Shorfa.com; and another targeting Latin America called Infosurhoy.com.

stevesaccone.comSOCOM’s push into cyberspace is mirrored by a concerted effort of the command to embed itself ever more deeply inside the Beltway. “I have folks in every agency here in Washington, D.C. — from the CIA, to the FBI, to the National Security Agency, to the National Geospatial Agency, to the Defense Intelligence Agency,” SOCOM chief Admiral McRaven said during a panel discussion at Washington’s Wilson Center last year. Speaking at the Ronald Reagan Library in November, he put the number of departments and agencies where SOCOM is now entrenched at 38.

134 Chances for Blowback

Although elected in 2008 by many who saw him as an antiwar candidate, President Obama has proved to be a decidedly hawkish commander-in-chief whose policies have already produced notable instances of what in CIA trade-speak has long been called blowback. While the Obama administration oversaw a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq (negotiated by his predecessor), as well as a drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan (after a major military surge in that country), the president has presided over a ramping up of the U.S. military presence in Africa, a reinvigoration of efforts in Latin America, and tough talk about a rebalancing or “pivot to Asia” (even if it has amounted to little as of yet).

TalkingThe White House has also overseen an exponential expansion of America’s drone war. While President Bush launched 51 such strikes, President Obama has presided over 330, according to research by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Last year, alone, the U.S. also engaged in combat operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. Recent revelations from National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden have demonstrated the tremendous breadth and global reach of U.S. electronic surveillance during the Obama years. And deep in the shadows, Special
Operations forces are now annually deployed to more than double the number of nations as at the end of Bush’s tenure.


 

In recent years, however, the unintended consequences of U.S. military operations have helped to sow outrage and discontent, setting whole regions aflame. More than 10 years after America’s “mission accomplished” moment, seven years after its much vaunted surge, the Iraq that America helped make isin flames. A country with no al-Qaeda presence before the U.S. invasion and a government opposed to America’s enemies in Tehran now has a central government aligned with Iran and two cities flying al-Qaeda flags.

be_afraid_be_very_afraid_dog_tshirtA more recent U.S. military intervention to aid the ouster of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi helped send neighboring Mali, a U.S.-supported bulwark against regional terrorism, into a downward spiral, saw a coup there carried out by a U.S.-trained officer, ultimately led to a bloody terror attack on an Algerian gas plant, and helped to unleash nothing short of a terror diaspora in the region.

And today South Sudan — a nation the U.S. shepherded into being, has supported economically and militarily (despite its reliance on child soldiers), and has used as a hush-hush base for Special Operations forces — is being torn apart by violence and sliding toward civil war.


 

The Obama presidency has seen the U.S. military’s elite tactical forces increasingly used in an attempt to achieve strategic goals. But with Special Operations missions kept under tight wraps, Americans have little understanding of where their troops are deployed, what exactly they are doing, or what the consequences might be down the road. As retired Army Colonel Andrew Bacevich, professor of history and international relations at Boston University, has noted, the utilization of Special Operations forces during the Obama years has decreased military accountability, strengthened the “imperial presidency,” and set the stage for a war without end. “In short,” he wrote at TomDispatch, “handing war to the special operators severs an already too tenuous link between war and politics; it becomes war for its own sake.”

sghm2Secret ops by secret forces have a nasty tendency to produce unintended, unforeseen, and completely disastrous consequences. New Yorkers will remember well the end result of clandestine U.S. support for Islamic militants against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan during the 1980s: 9/11. Strangely enough, those at the other primary attack site that day, the Pentagon, seem not to have learned the obvious lessons from this lethal blowback. Even today in
Afghanistan and Pakistan, more than 12 years after the U.S. invaded the former and almost 10 years after it began conducting covert attacks in the latter, the U.S. is still dealing with that Cold War-era fallout: with, for instance, CIA drones conducting missile strikes against an organization (the Haqqani network) that, in the 1980s, the Agency supplied with missiles.

Without a clear picture of where the military’s covert forces are operating and what they are doing, Americans may not even recognize the consequences of and blowback from our expanding secret wars as they wash over the world. But if history is any guide, they will be felt — from Southwest Asia to the Mahgreb, the Middle East to Central Africa, and, perhaps eventually, in the United States as well.

policeaccountabilityIn his blueprint for the future, SOCOM 2020, Admiral McRaven has touted the globalization of U.S. special ops as a means to “project power, promote stability, and prevent conflict.” Last year, SOCOM may have done just the opposite in 134 places.

Nick Turse is the managing editor of TomDispatch.com and a fellow at the Nation Institute. An award-winning journalist, his work has appeared in theNew York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Nation, on the BBC andregularly at TomDispatch. He is the author most recently of the New York Times bestseller Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam (just out in paperback). You can catch his conversation with Bill Moyers about that book by clicking here.
To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com here.

Nick Turse is the managing editor of TomDispatch.com and a fellow at the Nation Institute. An award-winning journalist, his work has appeared in theLos Angeles Times, the Nation, and regularly at TomDispatch. He is the author/editor of several books, including the just published The Changing Face of Empire: Special Ops, Drones, Spies, Proxy Fighters, Secret Bases, and Cyberwarfare (Haymarket Books). This piece is the final article in his serieson the changing face of American empire, which is being underwritten byLannan Foundation. You can follow him on Tumblr.


norman solomon 2: thera.gblog.blogspot.comAmerica’s secret military is a massive ticking time bomb


CIA Evidence from Whistleblower Trial
Could Tilt Iran Nuclear Talks

By Norman Solomon

A month after former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling was convicted on nine felony counts with circumstantial metadata, the zealous prosecution is now having potentially major consequences — casting doubt on the credibility of claims by the U.S. government that Iran has developed a nuclear weapons program.

With negotiations between Iran and the United States at a pivotal stage, fallout from the trial’s revelations about the CIA’s Operation Merlin is likely to cause the International Atomic Energy Agency to re-examine U.S. assertions that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons. …


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on April 17, 2015 by in .

Navigation

Archives

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 895 other followers

Recent Posts: RevolutionResource.org

Chump Trump in Charge

Chump Trump in Charge

Trump is too stupid to be president.

chump Trump is in charge…

chump Trump is in charge…

The gist of my remarks about Trump are that he is untrained, unschooled, refuses debriefings, and is a delusional narcissist who currently runs a nation by spending trillions to kill millions for billionaires like himself.

The American Empire’s “Multi-Organ failure”

The American Empire’s                   “Multi-Organ failure”

Abby Martin sits down with Dr. Stein to look at how her career in medicine helped her diagnose the United States’ “multi-organ failure,” and why her ideas pose such a threat to Empire.”

Changing Sadness into Joy

Changing Sadness into Joy

In America today, federal, state and local governments are dysfunctional.

Portlandia Unchained…

Portlandia Unchained…

Multiple Rallies Today!

Behind the Headlines

Hours & Info

1-503-697-1670
Most Anytime 10am-4pm
at the International Peace Resource Center Library
Follow RevolutionResource.org on WordPress.com

ThePeaceresource.wordpress.com: The Peace Resource

Revolution is the cure!

Corporate wars and profiteering have already bankrupted the nation. If we continue down this road, a global recession will occur and we will be in full retreat from 800 military bases while dying oceans flood all shores. 
 We need a Green New Deal

Funny Business…

The United States Government has been run like a branch of organized crime: a special sort of American business… Funny business that ain’t so funny.

“Nothing to fear but fear itself”

Voting for war has not been working for 36 years. When voting for Democrats or Republicans advocating war, you better think about the consequences of your actions.

Imagination is the Cure…

If we invest in alternative energy, we can establish colonies on the moon and explore the stars. We are a young civilization, we humans beings… and it is too early to write us off.

Truth is…

“All of us are more than fed up with mediocrity, hypocrisy, lesser-evil, trickle-down, less-than-perfect settling for spending trillions and killing millions for munitions firms and billionaires who pay no taxes and steal what we pay.

This is more than “less than perfect.” This shakedown is organized crime, committed in our names and on our dime because we let it happen and it comes from both sides of the corporate aisles.

The Political Circus

While stepping back from governing to politic, look pretty and tell lies… Obama allowed the CIA, the Pentagon, profiteers and criminals to attack dozens of nations who have not attacked us for destruction, extraction, exploitation and extortion. This shameful display of aggression, in our name, has made America a pariah state.

Obama’s Legacy: Rule of Law is suspended

“Obama said his rule without law gave him the right to murder at will. Trump agrees. It is critical to wake up everyday people before we lose the rest of our civil rights.”

Permalink: https://thepeaceresource.wordpress.com/2017/01/05/there-is-no-rule-of-law-in-america/

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 895 other followers

July 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Archives

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 895 other followers

Recent Posts: RevolutionResource.org

Chump Trump in Charge

Chump Trump in Charge

Trump is too stupid to be president.

chump Trump is in charge…

chump Trump is in charge…

The gist of my remarks about Trump are that he is untrained, unschooled, refuses debriefings, and is a delusional narcissist who currently runs a nation by spending trillions to kill millions for billionaires like himself.

The American Empire’s “Multi-Organ failure”

The American Empire’s                   “Multi-Organ failure”

Abby Martin sits down with Dr. Stein to look at how her career in medicine helped her diagnose the United States’ “multi-organ failure,” and why her ideas pose such a threat to Empire.”

Changing Sadness into Joy

Changing Sadness into Joy

In America today, federal, state and local governments are dysfunctional.

Portlandia Unchained…

Portlandia Unchained…

Multiple Rallies Today!

Behind the Headlines

Hours & Info

1-503-697-1670
Most Anytime 10am-4pm
at the International Peace Resource Center Library
Follow RevolutionResource.org on WordPress.com

ThePeaceresource.wordpress.com: The Peace Resource

Revolution is the cure!

Corporate wars and profiteering have already bankrupted the nation. If we continue down this road, a global recession will occur and we will be in full retreat from 800 military bases while dying oceans flood all shores. 
 We need a Green New Deal

Funny Business…

The United States Government has been run like a branch of organized crime: a special sort of American business… Funny business that ain’t so funny.

“Nothing to fear but fear itself”

Voting for war has not been working for 36 years. When voting for Democrats or Republicans advocating war, you better think about the consequences of your actions.

Imagination is the Cure…

If we invest in alternative energy, we can establish colonies on the moon and explore the stars. We are a young civilization, we humans beings… and it is too early to write us off.

Truth is…

“All of us are more than fed up with mediocrity, hypocrisy, lesser-evil, trickle-down, less-than-perfect settling for spending trillions and killing millions for munitions firms and billionaires who pay no taxes and steal what we pay.

This is more than “less than perfect.” This shakedown is organized crime, committed in our names and on our dime because we let it happen and it comes from both sides of the corporate aisles.

The Political Circus

While stepping back from governing to politic, look pretty and tell lies… Obama allowed the CIA, the Pentagon, profiteers and criminals to attack dozens of nations who have not attacked us for destruction, extraction, exploitation and extortion. This shameful display of aggression, in our name, has made America a pariah state.

Obama’s Legacy: Rule of Law is suspended

“Obama said his rule without law gave him the right to murder at will. Trump agrees. It is critical to wake up everyday people before we lose the rest of our civil rights.”

Permalink: https://thepeaceresource.wordpress.com/2017/01/05/there-is-no-rule-of-law-in-america/

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 895 other followers

July 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  
Site Title

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” — Maya Angelou

Life Is Color

By Strawberryindigo

Site Title

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” — Maya Angelou

Consult Hardesty

Strategy ~ Implementation ~ Results

The Accidental Optimist

From the Office of The Casual Optimist

R.L.B.

Be the content you wanna see in the world

eats shoots 'n leaves

Armaments, universal debt and planned obsolescence — those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. — Aldous Huxley

Deconstructing Myths

Social justice is built one idea at a time...

Good work ongoing

A Piece of Work

sebastianwhitewrites

Challenging, Provocative, Innovative, and at times... just a dash of Humour!

kelzbelzphotography

My journey - The good, bad and the ugly

Justice Resource

Peace, Justice, Revolution, Liberation, & Freedom

The Portland Alliance

Speaking Truth to Power Since 1981

scotthammers

Just another WordPress.com site

hastingsnonviolence

Just another WordPress.com site

RevolutionResource.org

Agitate, Educate, and Organize ~OO~

Consult Hardesty

Agitate, Educate, and Organize ~OO~

Justice for Keaton Otis & Fred Bryant

Action Group, "Coalition of the Willing"

Adhesive Comics

Online cartoons since 1995 ● Cartoons Weekly ● Sometimes Comics

%d bloggers like this: