A Craigslist ad posted eight days ago by defense contractor Foreign Language Services Simulation, LLC, (FLSS) seeks “actors” and “role players” who will be made up with fake wounds and mock injuries to “support military in instructional exercises in a nearby location.”
The drill, which will include “various scripted situations with realism to assist military training,” will run from July 26th through the 31st, overlapping the dates of the Democratic National Convention, which takes place July 25ththrough the 28th.
Participants must be “physically capable of working in extreme weather conditions” and “must be sufficiently fit to participate in training.”
NATO revealed last month that it would be sending around 4,000 troops to Poland and the former Soviet countries in the Baltic.
Now Moscow has hit back by announcing its own plans to expand its military presence.
“The Defense Ministry is taking a series of measures in order to counter the expansion of NATO forces in direct proximity to the Russian border,” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday on state television.
“By the end of the year two new divisions will be formed in the western military district and one in the southern military district.”
In a joint piece for The Atlantic magazine, Biddle, an adjunct senior fellow for defense policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Shapiro, professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton, lay out why the war against the jihadist group isn’t likely to end in the neat and clean way that American officials might have hoped it would.
The reason for this, they suggest, stems from the nature of the war: “Civil wars of the kind in which the US conflict with the Islamic State is embedded are notoriously hard to terminate and typically drag on for years. Datasets vary slightly, but most put the median duration of such conflicts at seven to 10 years; and an important minority drag on for a generation or more.”
“When they do end, it’s rarely because an empowered, victorious army marches into the enemy capital, pulls down the flag, and governs a newly stable society.”
Like neighboring Syria, Iraq, the authors suggest, is likely to remain embroiled in civil conflict because, as is typical in civil wars, there are outside interests which prefer instability and chaos to a decisive victory for their opponent.
“Civil wars like today’s conflict in Syria and Iraq are often complex, multi-sided proxy conflicts in which a variety of local combatants have ties to outside backers who fund, equip, train, and advise allies’ forces. This outside support enables fighters to weather setbacks and hang on in the face of military adversity. Outside backers usually have geopolitical reasons of their own to support local proxies.”
A top House Republican criticized the Department of Veterans Affairs Tuesday for persistently misleading the public and Congress on the amount of time veterans must wait to receive health care.
House Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller, Florida Republican, said the VA is still manipulating its records and failing to hold employees accountable for inaccurate record keeping, two years after a scandal hit the agency over phony waiting lists and veterans who died awaiting care.
Systems for accessing health care from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs do not “effectively oversee newly enrolled veterans’ access to primary care,” according to a new US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.
The GAO found that VA scheduling practices often leave veterans seeking primary care from the VHA with weeks- to months-long waits for appointments with the medical agency.
“This report proves what we’ve long known: wait-time manipulation continues at VA and the department’s wait-time rhetoric doesn’t match up with the reality of veterans’ experiences,” said Rep. Jeff Miller (R) of Fla., the Veteran Affairs committee chairman, according to USA Today. “I am not at all surprised these problems persist,” he added.
On March 24, the Department of Justice indicted seven Iranian hackers for two cyber-crimes. The charges result from the individuals’ attacks on U.S. bank websites and the breach of a New York dam’s control systems.
Even though the indictment was just released to the public, it had originally been announced but then immediately sealed the same week the U.S. and Iran were implementing agreements regarding Iran’s nuclear program—in addition to negotiating the release of four American prisoners and compensation of $1.7 billion back to Iran.
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch stated last week that “the Department of Justice is sending a powerful message: that [they] will not allow any individual, group, or nation to sabotage American financial institutions” and that the charges illustrate cyber-hacking or attacks of any sort will not be tolerated by the U.S. government.
While that may be true, it also appears that the Department of Justice wanted to keep the public in the dark on Iran’s cyber-crimes while the administration pursued building a relationship with the regime. If the Justice Department truly desires to make its point known on cyber-hacking, it should shine a light on Iran’s misdoings—not delay the truth as a favor to the administration.
Meanwhile, Iran’s cyber-capabilities have been growing exponentially for the past six years. Victims of past Iran-based cyber-attacks include not only U.S. military and private sectors, but also international allies.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard launched several ballistic missiles in recent days as part of a military exercise showing off the rogue nation’s power, the official IRNA news agency reported on Tuesday.
The missiles launched today appeared to have a short range of 180-250 miles, not viewed as the same threat as the November launch of medium-range ballistic missiles, first reported by Fox News late last year.
Today’s launch would not violate Iran’s nuclear deal signed with the U.S. but does breach a U.N. security council resolution, officials tell Fox News. That resolution bars Iran from working on any ballistic missiles