US Military – 20th CVETSMEM http://20thcvetsmem.org/ Thu, 17 Nov 2022 08:53:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://20thcvetsmem.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/default1.png US Military – 20th CVETSMEM http://20thcvetsmem.org/ 32 32 Chinese companies buying land near US military base pose security threat https://20thcvetsmem.org/chinese-companies-buying-land-near-us-military-base-pose-security-threat/ Thu, 17 Nov 2022 08:53:37 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/chinese-companies-buying-land-near-us-military-base-pose-security-threat/ Chinese companies buying land near the US military base could be part of the sub-national surveillance and espionage scheme by Chinese companies, American Military News reported. Several Chinese companies have purchased or begun efforts to purchase large plots of land near key US military bases in recent years. Fufeng Group, a China-based company, is one […]]]>

Chinese companies buying land near the US military base could be part of the sub-national surveillance and espionage scheme by Chinese companies, American Military News reported. Several Chinese companies have purchased or begun efforts to purchase large plots of land near key US military bases in recent years. Fufeng Group, a China-based company, is one of the companies that has purchased 300 acres of farmland near Grand Forks, North Dakota, a rural area about a 90-minute drive from the Canadian border.

The United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) report, released in May, states that the Fufeng Group’s new factory would be located on a 370-acre site in approximately 12 miles from Grand Forks Air Force Base. Purchasing land near the US military base could be “particularly convenient for monitoring air traffic flows into and out of the base, among other security concerns”, according to the report.

Alarmed after the Fufeng Group bought the land near the US Air Force base, 30 US lawmakers in a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) asked the agency to know the extent and the trends in foreign investment in agricultural land. It also called for a review to determine whether current filing standards accurately capture the origin of the investment, Nikkei Asia reported. Prior to the Fufeng Group’s efforts to buy land near Grand Forks Air Force Base, another Chinese company had begun buying about 140,000 acres of land located about 70 miles from Laughlin Air Force Base. China’s Guanghui Energy Company Ltd wanted to build a massive wind farm known as the Blue Hills Wind Project, American Military News reported.

According to American Military News, the US Air Force base is home to some of America’s best intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. The base is home to the 319th Reconnaissance Wing, which is a primary operator of the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicles. The base will also host a new space networking center that will facilitate US military communications around the world. Recently, foreign ownership and investment in US farmland nearly doubled between 2010 and 2020 and has alarmed lawmakers as well.

In a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the 130 US lawmakers asked the agency to know the extent and trends of foreign investment in farmland. It also called for a review to determine whether current filing standards accurately capture the origin of the investment, Nikkei Asia reported. The US Air Force base is home to some of the best intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. The base is home to the 319th Reconnaissance Wing, which is a primary operator of the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicles. The base will also host a new space networking center that will facilitate US military communications around the world.

Guanghui Energy Company is owned by Sun Guangxin. Sun is a Chinese billionaire believed to have ties to the ruling Chinese Communist Party, according to American Military News. Guanghui Energy Co’s efforts to buy land near Laughlin Air Force Base have caught the attention of state and federal lawmakers.

Texas statehouse lawmakers passed a law last year, known as the Lone Star Infrastructure Protection Act, that prohibits all contracts or agreements in Texas with foreign companies tied to critical infrastructure in the Texas. Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX), a lawmaker in the U.S. House of Representatives, also sponsored legislation with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to shut down the Blue Hills Wind Farm and all Chinese, Russian, Iranian or North Korean property purchases on US lands within 100 miles of a US military installation or 50 miles from areas of military operations. The legislation was introduced in the House in April last year but has yet to be voted on, American Military News reported. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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US military weighs funding for mining projects in Canada amid rivalry with China https://20thcvetsmem.org/us-military-weighs-funding-for-mining-projects-in-canada-amid-rivalry-with-china/ Sun, 13 Nov 2022 09:00:00 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/us-military-weighs-funding-for-mining-projects-in-canada-amid-rivalry-with-china/ The U.S. military has quietly solicited applications for Canadian mining projects that want U.S. public funding as part of a major national security initiative. It’s part of an increasingly urgent US government priority: reducing dependence on China for critical minerals that are vital in everything from civilian goods such as electronics, cars and batteries. to […]]]>

The U.S. military has quietly solicited applications for Canadian mining projects that want U.S. public funding as part of a major national security initiative.

It’s part of an increasingly urgent US government priority: reducing dependence on China for critical minerals that are vital in everything from civilian goods such as electronics, cars and batteries. to arms.

This illustrates how Canadian mining becomes the nexus of a colossal geopolitical struggle. Ottawa just pushed Chinese state-owned enterprises out of the sector, and the United States is now considering moving public funds into it.

The US military has a new kitty to help private companies inaugurate new mining projects; it is to finance feasibility studies, factory renovations, battery recycling and worker training.

President Joe Biden invoked the 1950s Defense Production Act to develop the national mining sector, and the army received hundreds of millions of dollars to implement it.

This whirlwind of activity was sparked by a White House study last year, warning that reliance on certain foreign-made products poses a national security risk to the United States, and he cited semiconductors, batteries, drugs and 53 types of minerals.

US President Joe Biden, featured during a virtual roundtable in Washington in February, invoked the US Defense Production Act in March to fund critical mining projects needed for technologies such as electric vehicles. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

This week, an official from the US Department of Defense gave a presentation on the program at a cross-border conference, and he made one thing clear about the funding: Canadians are eligible.

It is because Canada has, for decades, belonged to the US military industrial base and has just as much right to the money as American mining projects.

“It’s really, really simple. It’s a matter of law,” said Matthew Zolnowski, portfolio manager for the Defense Production Act program, addressing a gathering of Canada-United States Law Institute in Washington, D.C.

“So an investment in Alberta or Quebec or Nova Scotia would be no different than it would be in Nebraska or anywhere else in the United States. In law.”

The Canadian government provides a list of 70 projects

Zolnowski said the United States is actively reaching out to companies to explain the process, as many have no relationship with the US government and may not realize how it works.

“We are actively involving these companies, he said, describing a flurry of recent activity, citing a old movie line“It’s a duck on a pond. It looks calm on the surface, but there’s a lot going on.”

The Canadian government has also been active. Canadian officials say they have already provided the United States with a list of 70 projects that could justify US funding.

Both countries describe this as a generational initiative still in its infancy: Canada, for now, still a little playful in the production of these minerals, including lithium, cobalt and manganese.


But a Canadian official said that could change. Jeff Labonté, assistant deputy minister at Natural Resources Canadatold the conference that Western democracies are now engaged in industrial policy in a way they haven’t been in decades.

“We have this resource potential… We also have enormous capacity,” he said, touting 200 mines and 10,000 potential products in the exploration phase.

“We have a skill set in this area. We have capital markets, we have engineering expertise, we have companies that operate across the country and around the world.”

Canada will also provide billions of dollars in public funds to the sector over the next few years through federal and provincial programs.

If it opens on time next March, the La Corne mine in Quebec will be one of the only functional lithium mines in North America. Electric vehicles rely heavily on minerals like lithium. (Sayona Quebec)

What is driving this sudden mineral rush?

The transition to electric cars is a key driver of this challenge. They rely heavily on minerals like lithium, and current production is not close to meeting anticipated demands.

Make it more complicated, it’s China market dominance; for example, it controls two-thirds of the world’s lithium processing capacity.

Beijing has already revealed its desire to cut rivals mineral exports, as it did a few years ago in the midst of a fishing dispute with Japan.

The United States most recently suspended semiconductor exports to China in an emerging digital cold war in which Canada is more and more involved.

A worker in Inner Mongolia stokes pots of lanthanum in 2010, the year China halted exports to Japan in a sea access dispute. China dominates the critical minerals sector. (David Gray/Reuters)

In his speech, Zolnowski said countries had spent decades leaving themselves in this vulnerable position; Solving it will not happen overnight.

He said the US government has a four-part strategy for this.

Part 1 consists of stimulate domestic demand for these assets by designing new sustainability initiatives around these materials.

Part 2 stimulates supply by financing new production and recycling, while Part 3 builds up stocks. The final component is to work with allies.

Zolnowski noted that in 1984, Robert Gates, then a US intelligence official who became defense secretary to two presidents, expressed concern in a speech that companies funded by foreign governments would come to dominate. industry.

This worries the Pentagon for security reasons, both economic and military. Zolnowski called these minerals the building blocks of a thriving economy.

two men talking
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, talks to a worker during a tour of Motrec International, a heavy electric vehicle production plant in Sherbrooke, Quebec, in July. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

And in times of war, he said, industrialized nations that do not have safe and reliable access to these materials have suffered greatly:[They] suffered significant performance compromises, which contributed to their defeat.”

He said civilian goods will dominate the market and receive the lion’s share of Pentagon funding. Indeed, the wording of the Defense Production Act states that the funds may be used for non-military purposes, including general economic well-being.

Main role of the Pentagon: boosting market confidence?

Zolnowski said the United States was primarily looking to offer grants, not loans, and was willing to fund projects at various stages of implementation because they view this as a long-term project.

An investment firm associate at the conference said the Pentagon’s role is not to become a major investor.

What the private sector wants, he said, is help in building trust: once you’ve demonstrated that a project has the imprimatur of the Pentagon, he said, it is easier to reassure investors, it is a safe bet.

One participant said there were still gaps to be addressed in the program design of Canada’s own Critical Minerals Strategy, including its 30% tax credit.

Jonathan Garbutt, a Calgary-based tax lawyer, cited industry estimates that lithium extracts from brine deposits in western Canada could produce hundreds of thousands of tonnes per year, but, under the wording current Income Tax Act, the credit would not apply. to these extracts.

Another speaker at the conference noted that this new conversation about cross-border cooperation has historical echoes.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, second from left, Winston Churchill and William Lyon Mackenzie King—leaders of the United States, Britain, and Canada, respectively—are pictured at the Quebec Conference in September 1944. At the At the time, military cooperation between Canada and the United States was built around aluminum. (The Canadian Press)

Toronto-based international trade lawyer Lawrence Herman noted that the precursor to the countries’ current military-industrial partnership was a 1940 agreement between American and Canadian leaders.

At the time, American funding discreetly contributed to transform Quebec aluminum into a world power.

Since then, Quebec aluminum has mainly been used for civilian purposes. He also helped the United States build its arsenal for the World War II.

Canada was sufficiently involved in this effort for Quebec to become the site of the conference of allied wartime leaders.

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Russia’s hopes of a Republican landslide to hurt Ukraine are fading fast https://20thcvetsmem.org/russias-hopes-of-a-republican-landslide-to-hurt-ukraine-are-fading-fast/ Wed, 09 Nov 2022 11:07:00 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/russias-hopes-of-a-republican-landslide-to-hurt-ukraine-are-fading-fast/ Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (center) meet soldiers during a visit to a military training center in the Western Military District for mobilized reservists, outside the city of Ryazan, October 20, 2022. Mikhail Klimentiev | AFP | Getty Images As the results of the midterm elections in the United States […]]]>

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (center) meet soldiers during a visit to a military training center in the Western Military District for mobilized reservists, outside the city of Ryazan, October 20, 2022.

Mikhail Klimentiev | AFP | Getty Images

As the results of the midterm elections in the United States arrive and indicate a much tighter race than expected between Republicans and Democrats as they vie for control of Congress, the vote is closely watched in Ukraine and in Russia, both assessing the impact of the election. war and geopolitics.

Although he hasn’t commented publicly, Moscow is seen as favoring a Republican midterm victory in hopes that a significant power shift could lead to a shift in US foreign policy toward the US. Ukraine – and could deepen rumblings of discontent among Republicans. on the massive financial support that the United States gives to Kyiv to fight Russia.

Nine months into the ongoing conflict and the Biden administration has now committed more than $18.9 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, according to the latest Defense Department figures.

However, there are signs that bipartisan support for such immense and continued aid may be waning, with prominent Republicans beginning to question how long US largesse can continue, especially in the face of inflation. , potential recession and increased cost of living.

On the one hand, prominent Republican Kevin McCarthy said in an October interview that there would be no “blank check” for Ukraine if Republicans won a majority in the House of Representatives mid- mandate.

Change of power… and support from Ukraine?

Russia may well be hoping that a change of power after the midterm elections could herald a colder attitude towards Ukraine. But analysts say Moscow could be disappointed unless former leader Donald Trump can return to power, after signaling he could announce a plan next week to run for president again in 2024.

“There is no significant downward pressure on U.S. military support for Ukraine through the end of 2023,” Ian Bremmer, founder and chief of consultancy Eurasia Group, said in comments by email this week.

“Furthermore, most Republicans remain staunchly committed to supporting Ukraine, despite House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s announcement of ‘no blank check’ for Ukrainians under a led House. The position of the GOP Congress, at least in the short term, will be ‘The United States is giving military aid, the Europeans are giving financial aid,’ which changes little on the ground,” he said. he adds.

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens as then-US President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference in Helsinki, Finland, in 2019.

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

The bigger question comes from Trump announcing his presidential run, Bremmer said, adding that he expected such an announcement imminently.

This, he added, will likely be accompanied by Biden’s blaming the war with populist opposition to the billions of taxpayer dollars being spent on Ukraine, a stance that “will gain momentum with MAGA supporters.” in Congress and undermine longer-term U.S. alignment with NATO allies, he noted.

The United States has sought to calm nerves in Kyiv over a change in Washington’s attitude toward the country with Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, making clear “that the United States’ commitment United for Ukraine is unwavering” when she met with Ukraine’s president on Tuesday.

Moscow’s Bad Reputation

Moscow has earned a dubious reputation when it comes to American democratic processes, known for interfering in the 2016 election and suspected of continuing to sow political and domestic discord.

Russia has done little to dispel doubts about its involvement in a range of nefarious activities in recent years, ranging from alleged cyberattacks to disinformation campaigns aimed at influencing US voters and elections.

Putin’s close confidant Yevgeny Prigozhin, an increasingly powerful oligarch who heads a state-backed private military group fighting in Ukraine known as the Wagner Group – as well as several companies implicated in US election interference of 2016 – openly alluded to interference in the US midterm elections this week.

“We interfered [in U.S. elections], we are interfering and we will continue to interfere. Carefully, precisely, surgically and in our own way, as we know how to do,” Prigozhin said in comments posted by the press service of his catering company Concord on the Russian equivalent of Facebook, VKontakte.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian businessman and close ally of Vladimir Putin. He recently admitted to establishing the Wagner Group, a private military company fighting in Ukraine, in 2014.

Mikhail Svetlov | Getty Images

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Monday that the Biden administration was not surprised by Prigozhin’s admission, telling a briefing that “his bold confession, if there is a, only seem to be a manifestation of the impunity enjoyed by crooks and cronies under President Putin and the Kremlin.”

Prigozhin did not say whether the election interference was aimed at propelling Republican candidates to power, but Russia was found to have interfered in the 2016 U.S. election to undermine Hillary Clinton’s campaign while bolstering that of Trump, under whose presidency relations between the United States and Russia have thawed.

For its part, the Kremlin said Wednesday that the midterm elections would not improve “poor” relations between Moscow and Washington and dismissed allegations that Russia was meddling in the vote.

“These elections cannot change anything essential. Relations are still and will remain bad,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, according to Reuters.

Bipartite support cabinet, for now

Analysts tend to agree that what we could potentially see is a reduction in financial support, but by no means a complete withdrawal of aid – for now at least.

“We consider it highly unlikely but not entirely impossible that the new US Congress could reduce US military and financial support for Ukraine over time,” Berenberg Bank’s chief economist said Wednesday. Holger Schmieding in a note.

“If so, it could impact the situation on the battlefield, prolong the war, harm Ukraine’s ability to meet the costs of the war, and trigger a new wave of refugees into the country. ‘EU.’

For now, however, time—and the American political establishment—seems to be on Ukraine’s side.

“So far, a strong bipartisan consensus has underpinned US support for Ukraine,” Schmieding noted, adding that despite some recent grumbling from the fringes of both US political parties, Berenberg Bank expects that consensus holds, “at least as long as no Trump-like ‘America First’ populist occupies the White House.”

“The potential signal that an American shift could send to China regarding American commitment to defending a beleaguered democracy (Ukraine – or Taiwan?) from aggression should be a strong argument for staying the course. Yet, we have to monitor tail risk,” he said.

Timothy Ash, senior sovereign emerging markets strategist at BlueBay Asset Management, said it was in the United States’ interest to continue supporting Ukraine, given that it is eroding Putin’s regime.

“The war in Ukraine must provide the United States with the best chance to change the regime in Russia, to eliminate Putin. He is weakened militarily, economically, diplomatically. And yes, the United States would absolutely like to see Putin removed from power – the calculation will be the next Russian leader cannot be as bad as Putin.”

Europe is watching

Analysts noted that the military situation on the ground in Ukraine may well determine how much and for how long US support for Ukraine will continue as Kyiv struggles to show its allies it can win the war. and will win it, as long as Western military aid continues to flow to it.

“Judging by conversations with military experts, time is currently on the side of the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” Schmieding noted.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his news conference at the Rus Sanatorium, October 31, 2022, in Sochi, Russia.

Contributor | Getty Images

“A steady supply of advanced Western weapons and Ukraine’s will to resist will likely shape the situation on the ground more than Russia’s forced mobilization of ever more – often unmotivated – manpower. However, this does not only so long as the western world stands squarely behind Ukraine.”

He noted that in the unlikely event that the United States reduces its support for Ukraine, the impact on Europe could be significant, with the region forced to do more for Kyiv, while finding it almost impossible “to compensate entirely a reduced flow of American weapons”. (and money) to Ukraine.”

That could encourage President Vladimir Putin to hold on longer, waiting for Western support for Ukraine to crumble further, he noted. “In turn, anything that prolongs the war and its impact on energy and food prices could hamper Europe’s recovery from the looming winter recession,” he warned.

“Russia poses the only significant military threat to Europe for the foreseeable future. By degrading the Russian military machine, Ukraine is currently making Europe safer month by month. But if the war ends in a way that Putin can count as at least a partial success, Europe would have to spend far more than otherwise to guard against Russian aggression in the future.”

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‘American Valor: A Salute to Our Heroes’ will feature top talent https://20thcvetsmem.org/american-valor-a-salute-to-our-heroes-will-feature-top-talent/ Mon, 07 Nov 2022 01:10:00 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/american-valor-a-salute-to-our-heroes-will-feature-top-talent/ “American Valor: A Salute to Our Heroes” returns to American airwaves on Veterans Day – Nov. 11 – with Emmy nominee Rob Riggle as this year’s host. The multi-talented actor is a Marine Corps veteran with film and television credits ranging from 2022’s “The Curse of Bridge Hollow” to the adult comedy series “American Dad!” […]]]>

“American Valor: A Salute to Our Heroes” returns to American airwaves on Veterans Day – Nov. 11 – with Emmy nominee Rob Riggle as this year’s host. The multi-talented actor is a Marine Corps veteran with film and television credits ranging from 2022’s “The Curse of Bridge Hollow” to the adult comedy series “American Dad!”

The TV special is a collection of dozens of stories about American heroes from military history told by celebrities like Bradley Cooper, Tom Cruise, Gayle King, Edward Norton, Sarah Paulson, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt and Hilary Swank , among others.

Presented by Northrop Grumman and Veterans United Home Loans, the program is expected to be syndicated nationally to more than 100 million homes and broadcast to U.S. troops around the world and at sea. The live event was filmed on 5 November at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC

“We are honored to bring these stories to Americans across the country,” said “American Valor” producer Tim Holbert, who is also executive director of the American Veterans Center. “It’s a gathering of our shared history, one we’ll never see again and a reminder of what brings us all together as Americans.”

Highlighted stories include heartbreaking tales like that of Lt. Emily J.T. Perez, the first female minority brigade command sergeant major in the history of United States Military Academy West Point and the first African-American female officer to be killed in action. Emily’s parents, Daniel and Vicki Perez, were present at the event in her honor.

The veterans whose legacies are highlighted cover the past 80 years of history, dating back to World War II. Frank Emond, now 104, was among those honoured, as he consistently broke the Guinness World Record as the ‘world’s oldest bandleader’ at the helm of the US Air Force Band . The retired Navy musician survived Pearl Harbor and World War II and has since devoted the rest of his life to the prestigious ensemble.

“American Valor: A Salute to Our Heroes” will debut on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CW stations across the United States. For more information, go here.

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It was an elite female unit of the Afghan army. Now they’re fighting to stay in the United States https://20thcvetsmem.org/it-was-an-elite-female-unit-of-the-afghan-army-now-theyre-fighting-to-stay-in-the-united-states/ Wed, 02 Nov 2022 13:54:32 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/it-was-an-elite-female-unit-of-the-afghan-army-now-theyre-fighting-to-stay-in-the-united-states/ Alisa Reznick/KJZZ A spent a day crammed at Kabul airport waiting for an evacuation flight out of the country last fall. Now she and other members of the platoon are spread across the United States. Crammed into a crowd waiting for an evacuation flight outside Kabul airport, a young woman thought of her family. “I […]]]>

Alisa Reznick/KJZZ

A spent a day crammed at Kabul airport waiting for an evacuation flight out of the country last fall. Now she and other members of the platoon are spread across the United States.

Crammed into a crowd waiting for an evacuation flight outside Kabul airport, a young woman thought of her family.

“I called my parents and said, ‘I’m sorry, because I didn’t [see] you guys, and I’m getting ready to leave, I’m leaving Afghanistan, she said.

That was August 2021. She had then been in the Afghan army for five years, three of them with an elite all-female unit called the Women’s Tactical Platoon, known as the FTP.

His parents found it difficult to accept his work. She had dropped out of college to pursue her studies, and they were worried about her. This call from the airport was the first time she had heard her father cry.

Speaking now, in a Tempe apartment she shares with other ex-soldiers, A’s brown eyes are bright too. Emotion grabs him by the throat.

“I’m sorry,” she said, “And he said, I love you.”

It has been more than a year since some 80,000 people were evacuated from Afghanistan after US troops withdrew and Taliban forces took control of Kabul.

Alisa Reznick/KJZZ

A holds a mug made by Richardson commemorating the soldiers of the Women’s Tactical Platoon, or FTP, and the Cultural Support Team, or CST – a predominantly female unit within the US Army who worked with the FTP.

After hours of rushed messages, a long wait at the airport, and then weeks at US military bases, A arrived in Tempe. We only use his initial because part of his family is still in Afghanistan. They are the Hazara, a minority ethnic and religious group that faces an even greater threat under Taliban rule. She says talking about her work could put them in even more danger.

“I was in love with my job,” she said. “It was my dream job, being a soldier, helping my country.”

A little over five feet tall, with a round face and straight hair pulled back in a bun. As an FTP, she joined US and Afghan special forces on high-intensity nighttime missions, interviewing Taliban fighters and people suspected of being linked to them.

The female platoon did what male soldiers culturally could not do: seek out and talk to women and children. This made her a specific target when the Taliban took control last year.

“We assumed the FTPs would be part of the evacuation operation,” said Bill Richardson, a Navy veteran and retired police detective in Phoenix. “But then we found out they weren’t part of the discussion, there was no mention of them, they weren’t on anyone’s radar.”

Alisa Reznick/KJZZ

Bill Richardson is a Navy veteran and retired police detective in Phoenix. A and other members of the platoon first lived with him and his wife in Tempe after arriving in the United States.

Richardson’s daughter worked alongside A and other platoon members as a member of the United States Army. So he was part of a disparate, months-long effort to get them out.

“A lot of it came down to the friendships that people had, the relationships by serving friends of friends together,” he said. “Or in my case, friends of friends of friends or call people cold and say, ‘Would you please help me?'”

He and other defenders helped bring out 39 women last year. Now they are spread across the United States, including some in the Phoenix area.

They are safe, but also stuck. Like thousands of other Afghan evacuees, the women are here on a temporary immigration status called humanitarian parole, which offers protection from deportation and a work permit for two years, but no path to US citizenship.

A wants to join the US Army now. Another platoon member who lives next door to her in Tempe wants to go back to school to become a nurse.

These aspirations are made difficult or impossible without permanent status. Richardson says he’s seen A apply for nearly a dozen different jobs, from packing groceries to working in fast food. She hasn’t been hired yet.

“You know, this is the land of opportunity, and they get the door slammed in their faces,” he said.

Alisa Reznick/KJZZ

A laptop, book and pink soldier figurines sit on a desk inside the Tempe apartment where some former platoon members live. Richardson’s family gave A a book by Amelia Earhart after hearing about her plans to become a pilot herself one day.

Some Afghan evacuees are applying for special immigrant visas, known as SIVs, which are available to those who have worked for the US government, as interpreters, security guards and in other roles. A US State Department spokesperson said more than 18,000 SIVs had been issued by September this year.

But because the women’s platoon was part of the Afghan army, they are not eligible. They apply for asylum, but the process could take years.

A bill that could change that was tabled earlier this year. If passed, the Afghan Adjustment Act would expedite access to green cards for evacuees with additional screening, and could also allow people like A to apply for an SIV by expanding eligibility for the program.

It has since stalled in Congress.

Rebekah Edmondson, a U.S. Army veteran who worked alongside the Afghan platoon, says it’s a strange pattern of waiting that’s especially difficult for these servicewomen.

“You know, the fact that they’ve gone from pushing out helicopters under night vision to doing these high-profile operations. Now they are here, labeled as refugees,” she said.

Edmondson had long feared that day would come. She helped form the first class of platoon more than 10 years ago as part of the Cultural Support Team, a unit within the U.S. military made up mostly of women that served as the U.S. counterpart to the Afghan platoon. . She continued to work with them on her four tours to Afghanistan.

“In general, we have the same access to things, unlike these women,” she said. “But they took, you know, a very, very unique opportunity and a very dangerous opportunity and they rose to the challenge and thrived in that position,” she said.

Edmondson now works with the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, which helps fund English classes and other training for women in the platoon. She says she wants to make sure women have a way forward in the United States

But she also knows that it won’t happen right away. Beyond the legal uncertainty they face, she says many women struggle with being the only ones in their families who left Afghanistan.

“Essentially all the money they make is in turn sent back to their families, some of whom are starving,” she said. “And so it’s very hard to expect someone who’s going through all this mental and emotional anguish to thrive immediately, even if they’re logging into a job and all these resources, the majority really have to. wrong with that fact.”

A quit studying English at Arizona State University earlier this year. Funding has tightened. Plus, she says, the news from Afghanistan grabbed her.

She has a collection of framed photos of her family and work at home that she keeps in her closet, as well as a neatly folded Afghan flag. She says taking them out just brings a rush of painful memories.

“My job was to take care of people, to work for my country and to help my country, and unfortunately when I think about it, it makes me very sad and very angry because I can’t do anything for the people in Afghanistan, especially women,” she says.

Still, she says she’s moving on. She will resume English classes next year. And she wants to get her pilot’s license one day, she says it’s the closest thing to the job she once loved.

It won’t be easy, but she says she knows she can rise to the challenge. She’s done it many times before.

More KJZZ Stories

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US Army Wants Ultium Battery Prototype From GM Defense https://20thcvetsmem.org/us-army-wants-ultium-battery-prototype-from-gm-defense/ Wed, 26 Oct 2022 12:35:00 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/us-army-wants-ultium-battery-prototype-from-gm-defense/ The US Department of Defense is serious about doing its homework on the shift to battery electric vehicles. The Army has purchased a Canoo electric van and a GMC Hummer EV for analysis as part of its Light Electric Reconnaissance Vehicle (eLRV) program. Earlier this month, the Army placed an order for two Volcon Stag […]]]>

The US Department of Defense is serious about doing its homework on the shift to battery electric vehicles. The Army has purchased a Canoo electric van and a GMC Hummer EV for analysis as part of its Light Electric Reconnaissance Vehicle (eLRV) program. Earlier this month, the Army placed an order for two Volcon Stag battery-electric side-by-sides. Now, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), created to accelerate the military’s incorporation of commercial technology, has asked GM to develop a prototype Ultium battery “for testing and analysis on Department of Defense platforms” for garrison and operational environments. No one has mentioned the battlefield specifically for any of these tests yet. In military parlance, an operational environment means the various conditions in which a soldier or squad must work, covering everything from time and weather to local infrastructure and enemy weapons.

The DIU wants a robust and scalable power source for tactical vehicles. The evolutionary part seems licked; GM has developed the Ultium system of battery cells and chemistries, battery sizes and layouts, vehicle architecture and software to be modular enough to serve its own line of electric vehicles across its line of brands. GM Defense will also have a head start on the review of tactical applications. The automaker won the contract to supply the Army’s latest infantry squad vehicle, based on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, and shortly thereafter introduced a battery-powered version for military brass. GM Defense boss Steve duMont has already said his team will develop a prototype military electric vehicle based on the new Hummer.

The military is considering hybrid-electric battlefield vehicles alongside these pure-electric efforts. The branch has awarded BAE Systems a contract to develop two Abrams Hybrid Main Battle Tanks (MBTs). The MBTs, which can “operate in silent mode for approximately six hours” and display improved weapon performance over their traditional counterparts, are undergoing a years-long prototype testing phase that will conclude later this year. The same branch awarded Gale Banks Engineering a contract to develop a hybrid Humvee and awarded Matbock a contract to develop a hybrid joint light tactical vehicle. Both transports will begin testing next year. Whichever vehicles win, they’ll all need batteries, which could give GM Defense and Ultium a big enough opening to get a tank through no matter what happens with the Hummer EV.

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Russian Shoigu holds second call with US Secretary of Defense in three days https://20thcvetsmem.org/russian-shoigu-holds-second-call-with-us-secretary-of-defense-in-three-days/ Sun, 23 Oct 2022 20:10:00 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/russian-shoigu-holds-second-call-with-us-secretary-of-defense-in-three-days/ Oct 23 (Reuters) – Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke to U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Sunday for the second time in three days and held a series of calls with three others counterparts from NATO countries. Moscow did not provide any details of the conversation with Austin, which took place after the pair […]]]>

Oct 23 (Reuters) – Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke to U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Sunday for the second time in three days and held a series of calls with three others counterparts from NATO countries.

Moscow did not provide any details of the conversation with Austin, which took place after the pair spoke on Friday for the first time since May. His readings on the other calls indicated that Shoigu said the situation in Ukraine was getting worse.

“They discussed the rapidly deteriorating situation in Ukraine,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said of Shoigu’s call with French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu. “It tends towards a further uncontrolled escalation.”

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Shoigu spoke separately with Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Britain’s Ben Wallace.

The Shoigu ministry said it had told its French, Turkish and British counterparts about Moscow’s fear that Ukraine could detonate a “dirty bomb” – a device containing radioactive material. Russia has provided no evidence to support such a claim.

Previous Russian claims that Ukraine may resort to the use of banned weapons such as biological weapons have raised concerns in the West that Moscow may be preparing to stage ‘false flag’ attacks and blame them on Kyiv.

The Pentagon’s reading of the call said Austin told Shoigu he “rejects any excuse for Russian escalation.” Austin also “reaffirmed the value of ongoing communication.”

The White House National Security Council said in a statement that it rejected Shoigu’s false claims that Ukraine was preparing to use a dirty bomb on its own territory.

“The world would see through any attempt to use this allegation as a pretext for escalation, he said.

COMMUNICATION CHANNELS

There was no indication from the Russian side that the talks had produced any positive results. They showed, however, that Russia and members of the US-led NATO alliance are actively maintaining channels of communication at a time when the international community is growing increasingly concerned about a possible nuclear escalation.

As Russia reels from successive defeats in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has declared that he will resort to nuclear weapons if necessary to defend his “territorial integrity”. US President Joe Biden has said the world is closer to “Armageddon” than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

NATO launched its annual nuclear deterrent exercise last week and said it expects Russia to hold drills soon to test the readiness of its own nuclear forces.

A senior Russian diplomat was quoted after the Shoigu-Austin call on Friday as saying that “misunderstandings must be cleared up so that there are no accidents.”

Lecornu after Sunday’s call said he had reaffirmed France’s desire for a peaceful resolution to the war in Ukraine, and that Paris refused to be drawn into any form of escalation.

Britain said Wallace had “refuted” Shoigu’s claims that Western countries were facilitating a plan by Kyiv to escalate the conflict.

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Reuters reporting; Editing by Gareth Jones and Mark Porter

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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The impact of sanctions and export controls on the Russian Federation https://20thcvetsmem.org/the-impact-of-sanctions-and-export-controls-on-the-russian-federation/ Fri, 21 Oct 2022 08:52:23 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/the-impact-of-sanctions-and-export-controls-on-the-russian-federation/ FACT SHEET SPOKESPERSON’S OFFICE OCTOBER 20, 2022 Since Russia launched its unjustified and unprovoked total war against Ukraine in February 2022, the United States has worked with Allies and partners around the world to impose an unprecedented range of sanctions and export controls on Russia for its brutal aggression. Moreover, we will continue to impose […]]]>

Since Russia launched its unjustified and unprovoked total war against Ukraine in February 2022, the United States has worked with Allies and partners around the world to impose an unprecedented range of sanctions and export controls on Russia for its brutal aggression. Moreover, we will continue to impose costs on the Kremlin as long as its war of aggression continues.

Sanctions and export controls have significant and lasting consequences for Russia’s defense industrial base. Since February 2022, the United States and our partners and allies have coordinated to use export controls and sanctions to restrict Russia’s access to advanced technologies who has degraded the ability of the Russian arms industry to produce and stockpile weapons to replace those destroyed during the war.

Some effects include:

  • Significant supply shortages for Russian forces in Ukraine are forcing Russia to look to less technologically advanced countries, such as Iran and North Korea for supplies and equipment.
  • Russia is struggling to import semiconductors and other key components. Export controls have forced Russia to cannibalize parts of existing airlines that they can no longer access overseas.
  • Russian production of hypersonic ballistic missiles has almost ceased due to the lack of necessary semiconductors used in the manufacturing process.
  • Russia’s military aviation program has been cut off from the resupply provided by the global aviation trade.
  • Russian media reports that production of their next-generation airborne early warning and control military aircraft has stalled due to lack of foreign components, including semiconductors.
  • Mechanical factories, including those producing surface-to-air missiles, were closed due to shortages of foreign-sourced components.
  • Russia reverted to Soviet-era defense stocks because our measures disrupted the ability of Russian companies to replenish domestic supply chains.
  • Exports of certain goods and services, including dollar-denominated banknotes, accounting, management consulting, quantum computing, and trust and business establishment services to persons located in the Russian Federation are now prohibited.

Additionally, since February 2022, the U.S. government has:

  • all denied [U.S.] exports, re-exports and transfers of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations for military end uses or end users in the Russian Federation and Belarus.
  • Targeted Russian and Belarusian military end-users through their addition to the Ministry of Commerce’s Entity List, which effectively cut off these end-users from almost all items subject to export administration regulations.
  • Refusal to export, re-export and transfer within Russia and Belarus of items necessary for oil refining. Also imposed additional licensing requirements to further limit Russia’s petroleum sector by restricting the export, re-export, and transfer of additional items needed to refine petroleum.
  • Targeted items useful for Russia’s chemical and biological weapons production capabilities and other advanced manufacturing by imposing export controls.
  • Luxury goods targeted to impose costs on certain Russian oligarchs who support the Russian government by imposing licensing requirements and denying licenses for the export and re-export of luxury goods to all end users in Russia.
  • Using new foreign direct product rules targeting Russia to prevent exports of foreign-sourced items produced with advanced US technology, tools and software. This prevents these items from being transferred to support Russia’s military capabilities.
  • Formed a coalition of 37 countries that amplified the impact of US actions by enforcing controls substantially similar to those imposed by the United States. This robust global coalition bolsters US efforts to isolate Russia from the products, technologies and software needed for Putin’s war.

Furthermore, the sanctions (administered and enforced by the US Treasury Department) have a significant impact on Russia’s ability to wage its unjust war against Ukraine. Specifically, sanctions implemented by the United States with its allies and partners and allies have tied up approximately $300 billion in Russian Central Bank assets, limiting the central bank’s ability to support the effort to war and mitigating the effects of sanctions. Sanctioned Russian oligarchs and financial institutions have been forced to divest themselves of long-held assets outside Russia. Moreover, the sanctions prompted banks in several countries to sever their ties with the Russian financial sector. Despite benefiting from high energy prices, the IMF still expects Russia’s economy to contract by more than 3% this year. Lost investments, export controls and constraints on Russia’s real economy will dampen Russia’s growth prospects for years to come. Significantly, US sanctions and export controls have cut off Russia’s access to key technologies and industrial inputs that erode its military capability. Since February 2022, the United States has published approximately 1,500 new sanctions lists and 750 amended lists, including:

  • State Corporation Rostec, the cornerstone of Russia’s defense industrial base which includes more than 800 entities within the Russian military-industrial complex, such as Sukhoi, MiG and Kalashnikov Concern.
  • Joint Stock Company Mikron, the largest Russian manufacturer and exporter of microelectronics.
  • Tactical Missiles Corporation JSC, a Russian state-owned company that produces missiles used by the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine.
  • Individuals and entities outside of Russia who have sought to procure goods and technology for the Russian military-industrial complex and intelligence services
  • Russia’s largest financial institutions and limited relationships with banks accounting for 80% of Russian banking sector assets.
  • Rosoboronexport, which is Russia’s only state-controlled intermediary agency for the export and import of the full range of military, defense and dual-use products, technologies and services.
  • Issued guidance emphasizing sanctions and export control risk for individuals and entities inside and outside Russia who provide material support to Russia’s bogus referendums and the alleged annexation of the Ukrainian regions of Kherson, Zaporizhzhya, Donetsk and Lugansk.

For more information, visit www.state.gov.

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October 18, 2022 Russia-Ukraine News https://20thcvetsmem.org/october-18-2022-russia-ukraine-news/ Wed, 19 Oct 2022 01:29:00 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/october-18-2022-russia-ukraine-news/ Brittney Griner (L) and Paul Whelan.Reuters The Biden administration has had communications with Russia as part of ongoing efforts to secure the release of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan “as recently as the past few days,” a senior administration official said, speaking to to CNN on Griner’s birthday, which she will spend in Russian prison. […]]]>

The Biden administration has had communications with Russia as part of ongoing efforts to secure the release of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan “as recently as the past few days,” a senior administration official said, speaking to to CNN on Griner’s birthday, which she will spend in Russian prison.

The United States first put a prisoner swap offer on the table with Russia in June — the details of which CNN exclusively reported — and “conversations haven’t been static since then, the official said. responsible.

Despite ‘pretty persistent’ pace of talks between US and Russia to secure Americans’ release, official says Biden administration has yet to receive a serious counter-offer from Russia .

“We’ve worked hard to try to demonstrate the kinds of things that may well be the basis for solving this problem and each time we’ve explained that there hasn’t been a serious counter-offer,” the official said.

They said the Russians responded with “something not in our control, not in our ability to deliver”, but did not go into further detail.

“They are not insensitive. I would say they keep responding with something they know is not feasible or available,” the official said of the Russian response.

The official said the United States used multiple channels to engage with the Russians and conversations took place both in person, over the phone and “in other forms.” The United States has dangled multiple ideas of “things that might be at stake” to induce the Russians to react seriously.

As Griner spent her 32nd birthday in a Russian prison, the official said “every day is too long” for her to remain wrongfully detained by Russia.

“I would like you not to spend this anniversary in Russian detention. I wish you wouldn’t spend the weeks and months there,” the official said, speaking to Griner. “As far as we are concerned, every day is too long and we will continue to work until we solve it and bring her home. Unfortunately, the other side gets a vote on this. They are the ones who created this horrible situation. They are the ones we unfortunately have to deal with to solve it.

Next week, Griner will appeal his nine-year prison sentence in a Russian court. It is unclear whether the passing of this court date will bolster ongoing efforts to bring her home.

“To the extent that the various phases of this decidedly flawed system pass and open the possibility for the other side of real negotiations, we would welcome it. But the most blunt answer is that we don’t know,” the official said.

President Joe Biden said last week that he would consider meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 in November if he wanted to discuss Griner. When asked if there had been any discussions between the United States and Russia about this possible Griner meeting, the official said they would let Biden’s remarks “speak for themselves. “.

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US and Canada sent armored vehicles to Haiti to help fight gang: NPR https://20thcvetsmem.org/us-and-canada-sent-armored-vehicles-to-haiti-to-help-fight-gang-npr/ Sun, 16 Oct 2022 05:23:54 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/us-and-canada-sent-armored-vehicles-to-haiti-to-help-fight-gang-npr/ Protesters calling for the resignation of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry run after police fired tear gas to disperse them in the Delmas neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, Oct. 10, 2022. Odelyn Joseph/AP hide caption toggle caption Odelyn Joseph/AP Protesters calling for the resignation of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry run after police fired tear […]]]>

Protesters calling for the resignation of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry run after police fired tear gas to disperse them in the Delmas neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, Oct. 10, 2022.

Odelyn Joseph/AP


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Odelyn Joseph/AP


Protesters calling for the resignation of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry run after police fired tear gas to disperse them in the Delmas neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, Oct. 10, 2022.

Odelyn Joseph/AP

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The United States and Canada sent armored vehicles and other supplies to Haiti on Saturday to help police battle a powerful gang amid a pending request from the Haitian government for the immediate deployment of foreign troops.

A statement from the US State Department said the equipment was purchased by the Haitian government, but it did not provide further details of the supplies being flown by military aircraft to the capital of Port-au-Prince.

A US Army Southern Command spokesman said he could not provide further details on the supplies being sent, although he added that it was a joint operation involving the US Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force.

“This equipment will assist (the Haitian National Police) in its fight against criminal actors fomenting violence and disrupting the flow of much-needed humanitarian aid, hampering efforts to halt the spread of cholera,” the Department of Health said. ‘State.

The Pan American Health Organization said there were more than 560 suspected cases of cholera, some 300 hospitalizations and at least 35 deaths, with experts warning the figures are likely much higher than reported.

The equipment arrived more than a month after one of Haiti’s most powerful gangs surrounded a fuel terminal and demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry. Demonstrators also blocked roads in major cities to protest a sharp rise in fuel prices after Henry announced in early September that his administration could no longer afford to subsidize fuel.

Since then, gas stations have closed, hospitals have reduced services, and banks and grocery stores have opened on a limited basis as fuel, water and other supplies dwindle across Haiti.

Owners of the fuel terminal announced on Saturday that gunmen attacked their facility for the second time and made off with more than 28,000 gallons of petroleum products after overpowering the facility’s surveillance and emergency personnel.

It was the second time this week that gunmen broke into the terminal, which stores more than 10 million gallons of gasoline and diesel and more than 800,000 gallons of jet fuel.

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