Action Man: Battlefield Casualties is a disturbing spoof toy commercial in a campaign by Veterans for Peace UK to raise the military recruitment age from 16 to 18. Warning: autoplaying video with graphic violence.
Many American, Canadian, and British military veterans opposed to the actions of ISIS in Iraq have been, individually, going over to fight with the Kurdish Peshmerga for some time now, bringing thousands of dollars of military gear and irreplaceable training. There have been so many of them fighting that the Peshmerga are now actively recruiting military veterans online. Not to be internet-outdone, military veterans have begun investigating forming units of their own to fight ISIS -including notable and controversial science-fiction author John Ringo, who suggested trying to crowdfund for 'a brigade of soldiers'. [more inside]
It's debatable whether the troubled World War Z signals the end of the ongoing zombie craze, but the film that started it all is much more clear: Danny Boyle's bleak, artful cult horror-drama 28 Days Later, which saw its US premiere ten years ago this weekend. From its iconic opening shots of an eerily abandoned London (set to Godspeed You! Black Emperor's brooding post-rock epic "East Hastings") to the frenzied chaos of its climax, Boyle's film -- a dark yet humanist tale of a world eviscerated by a frighteningly contagious epidemic of murderous rage -- reinvented and reinvigorated the genre that Romero built (though many insist its rabid, sprinting berserkers don't really count). And while sequel 28 Weeks Later with its heavyhanded Iraq War allusions failed to live up to the original (despite boasting one of the most viscerally terrifying opening sequences in modern horror), and 28 Months looks increasingly unlikely, there remains a small universe of side content from the film, including music, short films, comics, and inspired-by games. [more inside]
Chagos Islanders Lose the European Court Battle but the Struggle Continues Former residents of the Chagos Islands have lost their latest legal bid for the right to return following a European ruling. What next for the islanders? James Wan recaps the decades long struggle and the implications of the latest ruling on the fate of the former residents of Diego Garcia. Previously in 2002, 2003 2006 and some archives.
100 Firefights, Three Weeks: Inside Afghanistan's Most Insane Fight
"In its first three weeks in Afghanistan’s Sangin district, the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines got into more than 100 firefights and sustained 62 casualties. The insurgents managed to negate the Marines’ night-vision gear, and rendered their traditional close-combat tactics useless. Things got so bad, the 3/5’s superior officers even suggested pulling their troops back. That didn’t happen. Instead, the 3/5 went after the militants, hard. When the 3/5 came home, they told counterinsurgency historian Mark Moyar all about their deeply unconventional approach to what was already an unconventional war."This is an excerpt in Wired of Moyar’s 74-page after action report. (pdf) [more inside]
Robert F. Gallagher served in the United States Army's 815th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Third Army) in the European Theater during WWII. He has posted his memoir online: "Scratch One Messerschmitt," told from numerous photos he took during the war and the detailed notes he made shortly afterwards. [more inside]
That was too close. RAF Tornado comes within 30ft of mid-air collision.
Britain may pull out of the JSF program. Multinational defense programmes are becoming more common, and the JSF is indicative of particularly close ties between the U.K. and the U.S. Representatives Hyde and Hunter have opposed the transfer of technology to Britain. Even with the Rueda Report (pdf) concluding that the embargo against China not be lifted, eventual third-party sales to China still appear a concern.
Devil and the deep blue sea. A devil-worshipping non-commissioned officer in the Royal Navy has become the first registered Satanist in the British Armed Forces. Chris Cranmer, a naval technician serving on the Type 22 frigate Cumberland, has been officially recognised as a Satanist by the ship's captain. That allows him to perform Satanic rituals aboard and permits him to have a funeral carried out by the Church of Satan should he be killed in action. A spokesman for the Royal Navy insisted that Mr Cranmer's unconventional beliefs would not cause problems on board ship. "We are an equal opportunities employer and we don't stop anybody from having their own religious values". Followers of the Church of Satan live by the Nine Satanic Statements, which include Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek”
The British find WMDs, evidence of gruesome experiments on human guinea pigs. This, plus recent shipments of the chemical precursors needed to produce sarin and other chemical weapons to countries such as Libya, Iran, Syria, and Sudan should pretty much wrap things up, no?!
Britain's Small Wars since 1945. India, Palestine, Malaya, Korea, Suez Canal Zone, Kenya, Cyprus, Suez 1956, Borneo, Vietnam, Aden, Radfan, Oman, Dhofar, etc. Iraq and East Timor not featured, as yet.
MOD Selects The Carlyle Group as Preferred Bidder for QinetiQ. In a move that seems to be going ahead with very little coverage, Britain's military research agency is being sold off to a foreign company. Given the important role Qinetiq plays in Britain's Defense, and the type of business The Carlyle Group is, this is perhaps surprising...
This might be taking the war on terrorism a little to far. Royal Marines get lost or should I say vamos. (Parden my french).
"Britain to install early warning bases in Oregon." These will be sited on US air bases in areas of protected wilderness, but will be leased out to the UK and solely answerable to HM Govt, with no state or Congressional accountability. If you protest outside, you'll be prosecuted on trumped-up charges. Oh, and they'll be tapping your phones and emails as well. (more inside...)