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'There's a degree of mistrust': a third of US military personnel refuse Covid vaccine

Mistrust in military as one third refuse vaccineReluctance to be vaccinated for Covid-19 is now rife in the US military, with about a third of troops on active duty or in the national guard refusing to be administered the vaccine.

Soldiers have previously been given approved vaccines on a mandatory basis but because the vaccines for the coronavirus have only been given an emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration, members of the military are able to opt out.

Many are choosing to do so, with military officials recently telling Congress that a third of service members have declined the shots, the New York Times reported. At the large Fort Bragg military base in North Carolina, acceptance rates for the vaccines are below 50%.

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Pentagon, stumped by extremism in ranks, orders stand-down in next 60 days

Sec. Defense AustinThe U.S. military on Wednesday acknowledged it was unsure about how to address white nationalism and other extremism in its ranks, and announced plans for military-wide stand-downs pausing regular activity at some point in the next 60 days to tackle the issue.

The decision to a hold a stand-down was made by Lloyd Austin, who made history by becoming the military’s first Black defense secretary after a long career rising in the ranks of the Army. In his confirmation hearing, Austin underscored the need to rid the military of “racists and extremists”.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Austin ordered the stand-down after a meeting with the U.S. military branch leaders, who are under pressure to show progress in combating extremism after current and former military servicemembers were found to have participated in the siege of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

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The Army is searching for another missing Fort Hood soldier

Fort Hood: another soldier missingAuthorities are asking for the community’s help in locating Sgt. Elder Fernandez, a Fort Hood soldier who was last seen Monday.

Fernandez, 23, is a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist assigned to Fort Hood’s 1st Cavalry Division, officials said. He was last seen Monday when his staff sergeant dropped him off at his Killeen home, police said. Fernandez’s family contacted police on Wednesday.

Russia reportedly paid Taliban-linked militants bounty money to kill American troops

Putin paid bounties for killing of US soldiers in Afghanistan

US intelligence officials assessed that Russia's military intelligence agency paid bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill NATO troops in Afghanistan — which include American forces, according to a New York Times report on Friday.

US officials discovered information about the bounties earlier this year. Some of the bounty money was collected by either Islamist militants or those associated with them, The Times reported.

In 2019, 17 US troops were killed in combat in Afghanistan, according to the Defense Department.

Interrogations of Afghan militants and criminals yielded the information indicating that Taliban-linked militants were offered bounties from Russian forces, The Times reported. The intelligence officials believe the bounties involve Unit 29155, a branch of Russia's GRU military intelligence agency.

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'Mass Arrest' of US Marines on Camp Pendleton

Mass arrests of marines at Camo Pendelton

U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested Lance Corporals Byron Law II and David Salazar-Quintero on July 3 in east San Diego County. The agents reportedly saw three undocumented immigrants jump into the Marines’ car on Interstate 8, just north of the border.

According to a federal complaint obtained by NBC 7, the undocumented immigrants told border agents they had agreed to pay the Marines $8,000 to take them north from the border to Los Angeles, eventually intending to head to New Jersey.

A USMC spokeperson said the arrested Marines could be charged in military court or federal court. None of the Marines in question served in support of the Southewest Border Support mission.

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Navy SEALs Were Warned Against Reporting Their Chief for War Crimes

Navy SEALS warned about reporting chief for war crimes

Stabbing a defenseless teenage captive to death. Picking off a school-age girl and an old man from a sniper’s roost. Indiscriminately spraying neighborhoods with rockets and machine-gun fire.

Navy SEAL commandos from Team 7’s Alpha Platoon said they had seen their highly decorated platoon chief commit shocking acts in Iraq. And they had spoken up, repeatedly. But their frustration grew as months passed and they saw no sign of official action.

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U.S. Hackers Helped UAE Spy On Al Jazeera Chairman, BBC Host

Giselle KhouryA group of American hackers who once worked for U.S. intelligence agencies helped the United Arab Emirates spy on a BBC host, the chairman of Al Jazeera and other prominent Arab media figures during a tense 2017 confrontation pitting the UAE and its allies against the Gulf state of Qatar.

The American operatives worked for Project Raven, a secret Emirati intelligence program that spied on dissidents, militants and political opponents of the UAE monarchy. A Reuters investigation in January revealed Project Raven’s existence and inner workings, including the fact that it surveilled a British activist and several unnamed U.S. journalists.

The Raven operatives — who included at least nine former employees of the U.S. National Security Agency and the U.S. military — found themselves thrust into the thick of a high-stakes dispute among America’s Gulf allies. The Americans’ role in the UAE-Qatar imbroglio highlights how former U.S. intelligence officials have become key players in the cyber wars of other nations, with little oversight from Washington.

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