Pentagon’s Silent Killers | New Eastern Outlook


13-05-20 08:27:00,


In light of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, which has caused rapid and substantial harm to many nations and lives of their citizens, analysts are reluctantly starting to look at the possibility that certain countries may resort to the use of biological weapons capable of causing mass deaths. Germ warfare is the use of biological toxins or infectious agents, such as bacteria, viruses, insects, and fungi, that are biological in origin with the intent to kill people, animals and plants. Designing microorganisms that cause disease and means of spreading them among target populations are all part of biological warfare.

In the military, the concept of weaponizing germs has existed for a long time. After all, epidemics that happened during wars resulted in substantial losses of troops, and this, in turn, had a significant impact on the way the conflict unfolded as well as its outcome. For example, during the Vietnam War, US troops lost more (approximately 3-fold) servicemen to disease than during military operations (injuries and deaths). Epidemics among civilian populations away from battlefields also had very negative consequences, resulting in serious issues in manufacturing and logistics sectors and, overall, problems in governance.

Hence, it is not surprising that the United States — responsible for unleashing more armed conflicts than any other country in recent years and for launching numerous military interventions in regions all over the world — has been constantly ramping up its research into biological warfare, mainly through the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). One of the key aims of its biological technologies branch is to conduct studies on germs.

It is worth reminding our readers that the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BWC) was open for signature on 10 April 1972. It entered into force on 26 March 1975 when twenty-two governments deposited their instruments of ratification of this Convention with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. To date, 163 nations signed the BWC, thus agreeing not to develop, product or stockpile biological weapons. Although the United States ratified the Biological Weapons Convention in 1972, it did not sign an internationally binding verification protocol to the BWC from 2001. Hence, there are no mechanisms in place to check whether the USA is complying with the convention.

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Meet ‘Salus’ – The Pentagon’s New COVID-Hotspot, Panic-Buying Predicting AI


29-04-20 07:42:00,

A new predictive technology developed by the Pentagon can anticipate product shortages could help military personnel move supplies to retailers or hospitals with geographical precision before a shortage develops during a public health crisis. 

The Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) developed the new prototype artificial intelligence tool that predicts and addresses shortages of food, water, medicine, and other essential goods in a geographical region during crisis times. “You have to be looking a little in the future,” said Nand Mulchandani, chief technical officer at the JAIC, who recently spoke with Defense One

Called Salus, the new tool combines data from the Census Bureau, Medicare, hospitals, and can forecast community spreading of a virus in a geographical region, as well as pulling data from retailers and warehouses of product inventories, and develop a predictive model of where shortages could potentially be seen, right down to specific zip codes or even stores. 

The military is working toward a “common view and a predictive capability to truly understand where the next problem sets are going to be and bringing to bear all of the logistical capability,” said Mulchandani, who spoke with Roll Call in early April. 

The new tool has already been field test with communication systems of Northern Command and National Guard, which are both supporting FEMA’s efforts in combating the coronavirus spread. 

Mulchandani told Defense One that the AI tool is flexible in determining different types of problems that could occur by altering the data that is piped in. 

He said Salus was first tested by determining and developing a model of where shortages of ventilators, masks, and other medical supplies could be seen. 

“The next question really was resource allocation like food,” he said

It’s a given that JAIC is working on a predictive model to determine where food shortages could develop because our reporting over the last month suggests shortages could start in May.

The tool gives the Pentagon and the government the ease of mind that during a public health emergency, supply disruptions could be addressed quickly and even preemptively. All in the effort to contain or completely mitigate the consequences of what disruptions can trigger,

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The Pentagon’s “Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB) Dropped on Afghanistan (2017): Devastating Health Impacts, Ruined Farmland – Global Research


02-12-19 04:30:00,

Almost two and a half years after the United States dropped the “mother of all bombs” onto a Daesh hideout in eastern Afghanistan, locals say they have been afflicted by “many diseases” and agricultural lands are not yielding crops.

TOLOnews reporter Abdulhaq Omeri interviewed residents of Mohmand Dara village, in the Achin district in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

Omeri witnessed many children and teenagers suffering from skin problems and listened to many residents speak of the bomb’s lasting effects.

In April 2017, US Forces dropped a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) on a Daesh stronghold of caves and tunnels in eastern Nangarhar province.

The bomb, nicknamed the “mother of all bombs” is one of the most powerful conventional (non-nuclear) weapons in the US arsenal, according to the US Department of Defense.

MOAB is a concussive bomb, meaning it detonates above ground rather than penetrating hardened defenses.

Anyone within 300 meters will be vaporized, experts say, while those in a one kilometer radius outside ground zero will be left deaf.

Nangarhar residents said the bomb has had a lasting effect on the area.

“The ‘mother of all bombs’ was dropped here,” said Pacha Shinwari, a local resident. “You can see that the stones can be broken easily, the plants are dry, the trees are dry, the nearby houses are all destroyed–40 or 50 of them.”

“The government evacuated the people (before the bomb was dropped), but when we came back, we saw that the houses were destroyed,” local resident Mohammadullah said.

Some teenagers are suffering from skin problems following the bomb explosion.

“Many diseases have emerged in this area after the bomb was used. Most of them have skin problems such as acne and skin irritations,” local resident Jam Roz said.

“The agricultural yields are not the same as in the past. The harvests are lesser than in the past,” said Aminullah, another resident.

Medical doctors and analysts interviewed by TOLOnews said the use of such bombs leaves an impact on areas where it is dropped.

“There are some concerns about the emergence of diseases after the use of the mother of all bombs in Achin,

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The Privatization of US Led Wars. The Pentagon’s Private Contractors – Global Research


11-10-19 05:50:00,

The economic logic has driven the increasing dependency on mercenaries and private contractors ever since the beginning of the “war on terror” in 2001.

First, a few statistical indicators:

75% of all western military personnel in Afghanistan are now private contractors. There are over 150,000 Pentagon-financed contractors in Afghanistan today.

2012 was the first year that more contractors than regular US Army personnel were killed in Afghanistan, and that trend has continued since then.

The Pentagon now spends over $300 billion annually on private contracts. That’s equivalent to 8% of all US federal expenditure, and over three and a half times the entire defence-budget of the United Kingdom, for example.

When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, of the $87 billion earmarked for the first year of the campaign, $30 billion was budgeted for private contractors. That’s 34% of the entire invasion-budget. Over the course of the 8-year US occupation of Iraq, the largest private recipient of Pentagon contracts was Kellogg Brown and Root, an engineering and construction company, which grossed $40.6 billion from the occupation. According to a 2011 report by the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, at least $60 billion in Pentagon expenditure on private contractors over the period 2001-2011 could be classified as “fraud” or “waste.” This report estimated the level of “waste” at the time of publication at $12 million per day.

Also, as these statistics show, while US dependency on private contractors (including armed mercenaries) was quite pronounced during the occupation of Iraq, it is even more pronounced in the ongoing occupation of Afghanistan. However, we see a very similar pattern being repeated in every conflict-zone where the United States decides to establish a military presence, including in the conflict-zones of sub-Saharan Africa. US wars everywhere are now increasingly fought by mercenaries rather than regular army soldiers, and this pattern has steadily intensified ever since the beginning of the “war on terror” in 2001.

One of the reasons for using mercenaries instead of regular army is the maintenance of deniability. Mercenaries occupy a legal “grey zone” which positions them to perform the kinds of operations which governments must deny. Another factor is that fatalities among mercenaries are not counted in the US Army’s official casualty-figures,

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The Pentagon’s Map of Afghanistan: An Eldorado of Mineral Wealth and Natural Resources – Global Research


31-08-19 08:06:00,

Of relevance to an understanding America’s military and economic agenda in Afghanistan. First published in August 2012

Curious information surfaced in the media [2012] – based on space reconnaissance, the US Department of Defense put together a map of Afghanistan showing in detail the country’s mineral riches which, as it transpired, may be quite impressive.

The fact that Afghanistan sits on lucrative natural resources was recognized indirectly back in 2010 when the Afghan ministry of mines rolled out a $1b (!) estimate of what the country might have, and The New York Times quoted a source in the US Administration as saying that Afghanistan’s list of reserves included copper, gold, cobalt, and even lithium on which the present-day industry is heavily dependent. A Pentagon memo actually described Afghanistan’s potential lithium holdings as big enough to make it the “Saudi Arabia of lithium”. Somehow, the news flew below the radars of most watchers worldwide.

It must be taken into account in the context that the areas used for poppy cropping in Afghanistan expanded by a factor of magnitude since the Western coalition invaded the country with an anti-terrorist mission and brought down the Taliban rule. At the moment, millions of Afghans are involved in poppy farming and processing or in heroin trafficking. A year after the advent of the Western coalition, Afghanistan entered the world stage as a heroin monopoly, outputting over 60% of the global supply. It is an open secret that the farmlands given to poppy in Afghanistan far exceed in proportions the cocaine plantations in Columbia, Peru, and Bolivia combined. The US-British explanation is that farmers in Afghanistan – an underdeveloped country supposedly having no natural resources – have to cultivate drugs for survival.

Citing the above claims, in the 2000ies Washington dropped Afghanistan from the narcotics blacklist and lifted the pertinent sanctions. The US President said the step was in the US national interests, while in no time the Afghan “farmers” confronted the neighboring countries, Russia in particular, with the nightmare of a permanent drug Jihad.

Actually, Soviet scientists discovered decades ago that the soils of Afghanistan contained ample mineral resources. Among those, for example, are precious and semiprecious stones: samples of the Sar-e-Sang District Lazurite,

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Pentagon’s Next Dystopian Surveillance Exercise Will Launch Spy Balloons Over These States


07-08-19 09:50:00,

The Guardian reported Friday that the US military is conducting a surveillance exercise across six midwest states using surveillance radars attached to high-altitude balloons.

Sierra Nevada Corporation, an aerospace and defense company, filed for a Special Temporary Authorization (through July 12 to Sept. 01) with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to fly 25 solar-powered spy balloons, will be launched from South Dakota and will drift 250 miles through an area covering Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Missouri, before landing in central Illinois.

The Defense Department’s Southern Command (Southcom) approved the exercise in mid-July, which is being supervised by Sierra Nevada.

The spy balloons will travel with wind currents, expected to reach altitudes of up to 65,000 feet, will “provide a persistent surveillance system to locate and deter narcotics trafficking and homeland security threats,” the FCC filing said.

The balloons are carrying next-generation radars, designed for the modern battlefield to track vehicles day or night, through any weather.

Arthur Holland Michel, the co-director of the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College in New York, told The Guardian, “What this new technology proposes is to watch everything at once. Sometimes it’s referred to as ‘combat TiVo’ because when an event happens somewhere in the surveilled area, you can potentially rewind the tape to see exactly what occurred, and rewind even further to see who was involved and where they came from.”

Southcom, which is responsible for security and intelligence operations in the Caribbean and Central and South America, could roll out these spy balloons across the Mexico-US border to identify and intercept drug shipments headed for the US.

Civil liberties advocates were shocked at what they read in the FCC filing:

“The deployment of this kind of surveillance capability in the United States is incredibly alarming,” Mana Azarmi, policy counsel for the Center for Democracy and Technology, told Common Dreams.

“Persistent government surveillance, such as that facilitated by this technology, raises many civil liberties concerns and should not be permitted in the absence of a warrant.”

Mass surveillance doesn’t make us safer

Mass surveillance doesn’t make us safer

Mass surveillance doesn’t make us safer

Mass surveillance doesn’t make us safer

Mass surveillance doesn’t make us safer

Mass surveillance doesn’t make us safer

— Fight for the Future (@fightfortheftr) August 2,

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US Army Colonel: Pentagon’s Latest China Report A “Budget Ploy” To Bleed The Taxpayer


11-05-19 08:55:00,

A former US Army Colonel has blasted Department of Defense’s (DOD) latest report on China’s military capabilities as a “budget ploy”. 

“You’re looking at a situation where the only thing [the DOD] can ask for, in terms of fixing any of this, is money — more and more money” retired Colonel Lawrence “Larry” Wilkerson said of the DoD’s annual report prepared for Congress entitled, “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2019”.

US Navy in the Pacific Ocean, via US Navy/Reuters

Wilkerson, who served as former chief of staff to US Secretary of State Colin Powell, described in an interview with The Real News that hyping the China threat taps into a well-trodden American pastime of fear-mongering in order to squeeze more precious taxpayer dollars towards inflated budgets. 

The Pentagon report focused heavily on President Xi’s plans for rapid modernization of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), especially China’s ambitious plans for the region’s “largest navy”  which has lately included ongoing construction of the country’s third aircraft carrier (the first full-sized one), with plans for seven total by 2025.

Watch the interview with Army Col. (ret.) Larry Wilkerson below.

Col. Wilkerson dismissed the idea that China’s aircraft carrier or latest much reported naval modernization initiatives were real causes for concern:

We’ve got a dozen [aircraft carriers]. They’ve got one at sea, one… about to come out, and another one perhaps, and ours are so far ahead of theirs that it’s 10, 15, 20 years before they even achieve the kind of capacity we have.

He explained that “aircraft carriers are extraordinarily vulnerable and we’re going to find that out when one of them with 5,000 hands and $14bn worth of taxpayer money is sunk in less than 30 minutes, whenever we get engaged in something real.”

Now a military analyst who teaches at The College of William & Mary in Virginia, Wilkerson addressed the familiar Pentagon cycle of threat inflation in the interview:

The [US] army could not expand; it could not take on a real enemy today without massive conscription and full mobilization.

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The Pentagon’s “Ides Of March”: Best Month To Go To War


05-03-19 11:27:00,

Authored by Prof Michel Chossudovsky via Global,

There are ongoing military threats against Venezuela. Is a US sponsored war contemplated for March 2019?

Various scenarios are envisaged by Washington. Sofar there is no firm evidence regarding the nature or timeline of a US sponsored military operation directed against Venezuela.

National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have confirmed their intent to wage war on Iran.

* * *

Is it a mere coincidence?

In recent history, from the Vietnam war to the present, the month of March has been chosen by Pentagon and NATO military planners as the “best month” to go to war.

With the exception of the War on Afghanistan (October 2001) and the 1990-91 Gulf War, all major US-NATO and allied led military operations over a period of more than half a century –since the invasion of Vietnam by US ground forces on March 8, 1965– have been initiated in the month of March.

The Ides of March (Idus Martiae) is a day in the Roman calendar which broadly corresponds to March 15. The Ides of March is also known as the date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC.

Lest we forget, the month of March (in the Roman Calendar) is dedicated to Mars (Martius), the Roman God of War.

For the Romans, the month of March (Martius) marked “the time to start new military campaigns.”

As in the heyday of the Roman Empire, the US Department of Defense has a mandate to plan and implement a precise “timeline” of military operations.

Does the month of March –identified by the Romans as a “good time” to initiate new military undertakings–, have a bearing on contemporary military doctrine?

Throughout history, seasons including the transition from Winter to Spring have played a strategic role in the timing of military operations.

Do Pentagon military planners favor the month of March?

Do they also –in some mysterious fashion– “idolize” Mars, the Roman God of War?

March 23 (which coincides with the beginning of Spring) was the day “Romans celebrated the start of the military campaign and war fighting season.”

“Homage was paid to Mars the god of war with festivals and feasting.

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The Pentagon’s insect army, by Manlio Dinucci

The Pentagon’s insect army, by Manlio Dinucci

14-10-18 08:38:00,

The Pentagon is busy pursuing all sorts of research. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is studying the possibility of using insects to infect crops, while the Office of Naval Research hopes to use other insects as sensors, capable of detecting explosives. This is not science-fiction.

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Swarms of insects, transporting genetically modified infectious viruses, attack the agricultural crops of a country and destroy its food production – this is not a science-fiction scenario, but a plan that is actually being prepared by DARPA, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Five scientists from one French and two German universities have revealed this information in Science, one of the world’s most prestigious scientific revues [1]. In their editorial, published on 5 October, they cast serious doubt on the idea that DARPA’s research, entitled « Insect allies », was intended only for the use declared by the Agency – the protection of US agriculture against pathogens by using insects as the vectors of genetically modified infectious viruses. These viruses are transmitted to plants and modify their chromosomes. This capacity – as declared by the five scientists – appears to be « very limited ».

However, within the scientific milieu, the programme is « widely perceived as an effort to develop biological agents for hostile purposes and their means of delivery », in other words « a new form of biological weapon ». This violates the Biological Weapons Convention, which came into effect in 1975, but which has remained inactive mainly due to the refusal of the USA to accept inspections of their own laboratories.

The five scientists specify that « easy simplifications could be used to generate a new class of biological weapons, weapons that would be extremely transmissible to susceptible crop species due to insect dispersion as the means of delivery ».

This scenario of an attack on agricultural cultures in Russia, China and other countries, led by the Pentagon with swarms of insects transporting the virus, is not a science-fiction fable. DARPA’s programme is not the only one to use insects as a weapon of war. The US Office of Naval Research has asked for research from Washington University in St Louis [2] in order to transform locusts into biological drones [3].

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