Sunday, June 26, 2022

40,000 National Guard Troops Face Unemployment Due To Vaccine Deadline

40,000 National Guard Troops Face Unemployment As Vaccine Deadline Imminent


Up to 40,000 Army National Guard troops - around 13% of the force - could be fired for not getting the mandated COVID-19 vaccine (which has limited efficacy against Omicron, doesn't stop transmission, has been linked to elevated heart problems, and has been mandated for a healthy demographic that rarely dies of the disease).

Guard soldiers have until Thursday to get the jab, according to the Associated Press, which notes that between 20% and 30% of Guard soldiers in six states remain unvaccinated.

"We’re going to give every soldier every opportunity to get vaccinated and continue their military career. Every soldier that is pending an exemption, we will continue to support them through their process," Lt. Gen. Jon Jensen, director of the Army National Guard, told AP. "We’re not giving up on anybody until the separation paperwork is signed and completed. There’s still time."

Last year, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered all service members to get the vaccine, with different branches maintaining different deadlines for the jab. The Army National Guard was given the maximum amount of time, largely because its roughly 330,000 soldiers are scattered throughout the country, including remote locations.

The Army Guard’s vaccine percentage is the lowest among the U.S. military — with all the active-duty Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps at 97% or greater and the Air Guard at about 94%. The Army reported Friday that 90% of Army Reserve forces were partially or completely vaccinated.

The Pentagon has said that after June 30, Guard members won’t be paid by the federal government when they are activated on federal status, which includes their monthly drill weekends and their two-week annual training period. Guard troops mobilized on federal status and assigned to the southern border or on COVID-19 missions in various states also would have to be vaccinated or they would not be allowed to participate or be paid. -AP

Complicating matters is a rule that Guard soldiers deployed on state active duty may not require a vaccination, depending on state-level mandates. 

According to the report, at least seven governors have asked Austin to reconsider, or drop, the vaccine mandate for National Guard members - with some having filed or joined lawsuits to that end.

Austin, apparently following his own special brand of science, told them to pound sand, saying that Covid-19 "takes our service members out of the fight, temporarily or permanently, and jeopardizes our ability to meet mission requirements," adding that troops will either need to get vaccinated or lose their Guard status.

"When you’re looking at, 40,000 soldiers that potentially are in that unvaccinated category, absolutely there’s readiness implications on that and concerns associated with that," said Jenson, adding "That's a significant chunk." 

Ukraine Again Shells Russian Offshore Rig

Ukraine again shells Russian offshore rig

A Russian offshore drilling rig in the Black Sea has been shelled, in the second similar attack in less than a week, a spokesperson for Crimea’s emergency services told TASS on Sunday, blaming the strike on the Ukrainian military.

Earlier, the Baza Telegram channel, citing its own sources, reported that a projectile which had hit the Chernomorneftegaz-owned Tavrida floating drilling rig overnight, left a hole in the platform’s helipad.

This is shelling by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, there are no casualties,” the region’s emergency services spokesman said without providing further details.

On June 20, the head of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, revealed that Ukraine had shelled the Chernomorneftegaz drilling platforms 71km from Odessa.

Three platforms were damaged, including the Tavrida. One of the platforms (BK-1) was completely destroyed. Seven people are missing, and three sustained injuries. In total, there were 109 people on the platform, with the majority of them subsequently evacuated.

The Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case in relation to the June 20 shelling.

Earlier this month, the Ukrainian presidential representative for Crimea, Tamila Tasheva, said Kiev is now relying on military means to ‘return’ Crimea to Ukraine, and that Russia’s military campaign prompted Kiev to largely abandon diplomacy regarding the peninsula’s ‘de-occupation’.

Ukrainian troops have been losing territory to Russia and allied forces in Donbass, even as Western nations supply more sophisticated weapons to Kiev. Several Ukrainian officials have stated that the pledge to not use foreign weapons to attack targets in Russia does not apply to Crimea, which Kiev considers part of its territory.

Belarus Mobilizing For War

Belarus is mobilizing for war after long aiding the Russian invasion

Even before the Belarusian Army began its “mobilization exercises” to ready for the country’s full entry into the Russo-Ukrainian War, President Alexander Lukashenko’s government was aiding Moscow’s invasion from the outset.

The Belarusian Ministry of Defense announced last week that the military would conduct “mobilization exercises” through July 1 in the Gomel region, which shares a border with Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense stated the day before that it saw “no signs of preparations for an offensive with Belarus,” according to Ukrinform. The announcement of mobilization exercises, however, coupled with the bellicose rhetoric from Lukashenko, seems to suggest such an operation is possible.

Belarus has not formally declared war against Ukraine, nor has Russia. But the Lukashenko government has aided the Kremlin by serving as a staging ground for the Russian military in the lead up to and during the war.

Belarus borders Ukraine’s Volyn, Rivne, Zhytomyr, Kyiv, and Chernihiv Oblasts. Russian forces launched initial thrusts toward Kyiv and Chernihiv through Belarusian territory at the war’s outset.

Moreover, the Russians have launched airstrikes and missile attacks against Ukrainian targets countrywide from military installations inside the Russian satellite nation. Russia has established Iskander missile launch sites as far to the west as Brest, situated near the Belarusian border with Poland, according to the Ukrainian General Staff.

Such missile positions have allowed for military action against Ukrainian targets far from the front lines, including the major western region of L’viv, which also shares a border with Poland.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last week met with defense officials and ordered a readiness check for exactly such an attack, per PRM Ukraine, indicating that the highest authorities in Kyiv remain wary of the prospect of a Belarusian intervention.

Amir Tsarfati Mideast Review:

MIDEAST REVIEW w/ Amir Tsarfati: Increase In Violence, Decrease In Strength

Let me begin this news update by encouraging you to watch my Breaking News from Tuesday, 6/20. The information it contains is extremely important covering the falling of the Israeli government, the rapid potential approach of a third world war, and Iran’s upgrading of their centrifuges. I will touch on the information here, but it was covered much more in-depth in the update.

Israel’s government has collapsed. Prime Minister Bennett is out next week, and foreign minister Yair Lapid will step in on an interim basis until elections can be held, likely on October 25. The Israeli people are fed up with the increase in violence and the decrease in strength. The Prime Minister and his crew were focused much more on social issues than protecting the nation’s citizens at home and abroad. Now the government of change will be changed, and it can’t come soon enough. There is a very strong possibility that Benjamin Netanyahu could see another term. Again, please watch my Breaking News update for much more information.

Threats against Israel came from many sides recently. Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel that if they begin gas drilling in the Karish field, they will consider it “a provocation and hostile act” and will respond accordingly. On Friday, a rocket launched from Gaza was intercepted by the Iron Dome system. Israeli jets attacked Hamas targets in Gaza in response. The threats against Israeli citizens by Iranian terror cells continue in Turkey, and now the concern has expanded to Egypt, Jordan, UAE, and Bahrain. So far, the attacks have been thwarted.

We are closer to World War III than we have ever been. This past week, Lithuania declared that it will uphold EU sanctions against Moscow and not allow rail transfer of certain goods across its territory to Kaliningrad, Russia’s only warm water port. 

This amounts to 50% of the goods transferred to this exclave that is separated from its home country by two other nations. Russia is already reeling because of the EU’s recent agreement with Egypt and Israel for natural gas. The question is how will President Putin respond? Lithuania is a NATO nation, so if Russia responds with force the NATO alliance will be drawn into the conflict. The eyes of the world are watching to see who will blink first. Once again, I have more analysis of this crisis in my Breaking News.

Alliances are growing all over. Yesterday, in Tehran, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov met with Iran’s president Ibrahim Raisi. In that meeting, the two men agreed on “a new era of strategic and economic cooperation.” Meanwhile, Turkish president Erdogan welcomed Saudi crown prince Muhammad Bin Salman (MBS) to Ankara. This meeting is particularly interesting. MBS has begun his transition from outcast following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi to prominent world leader. The fact that he is now being sought out by not just Turkey but the US, both countries which accused him of personally ordering the killing of the journalist, demonstrates once again that politics is not about ideology but about interests. Yesterday they cared about human rights. Today they care about oil prices.

As I have been warning for many months, Iran is now increasing the enrichment of uranium to 90%. New generation IR-6 centrifuges have been installed at the underground Fordo nuclear facility, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The only reason to enrich uranium to 90% is for weapons. There are also reports that a large new network of tunnels is being constructed at Natanz, likely also for centrifuges.

A mysterious explosion on Friday in western Tehran has now been identified as a UAV attack on a strategic IRGC military base. Parts of the UAVs were smuggled into the country, then reassembled and launched from 10 kilometers away. The facility that was struck was a very important location that focused on research for the design and manufacture of ballistic and short-range missiles. Besides the damage to the facility, one engineer was killed, and another was wounded. Also on Friday, there was an attack on Iran’s Imam Ali base in Deir a-Zor district in Syria.

6.3 earthquake struck yesterday near the southern Iran city of Mohr, Fars province. Hours later, a 6.1 quake shook eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border.

Russia's Deployment Of Iskander Missiles To Kaliningrad A Major Threat To NATO

Russia’s deployment of Iskander missiles to Kaliningrad is major threat to NATO: Here’s why

By JD Heyes

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Russia, the biggest state in the USSR and around which the alliance was formed, inherited the bulk of weaponry it had arrayed against NATO.

That included a massive amount of ballistic missiles, many of which have remained in service and now form the backbone of Moscow’s A2AD — “anti-access/area denial” strategy for the allied security alliance.

But of course, not all of Russia’s ballistic missile stockpile, the largest in the world, is aged. In fact, many models are fairly new and all are extremely lethal, including the Iskander-M, a short-range ballistic missile (SRBM), which NATO is particularly concerned with.

“The SS-26 Iskander missile has a range of approximately 400 to 500 kilometers, or about 250 to 310 miles,” The National Interest reports. “It can carry a variety of warhead types, including earth penetrator, high explosive or thermobaric.

“Export models have a shorter, 280-kilometer range (about 175 miles), and a smaller 480-kilogram payload (nearly 300 pounds), while the Russian service standard payload is 480 to 700 kilograms (300 to 430 pounds),” the report continued.

In addition, the report noted that the Iskander is also very accurate. It uses a combination of “inertial, GLONASS, and radar terrain correlation guidance, the missile can strike targets within a circular error probable (CEP) of 2 to 5 meters” — GLONASS being Russia’s version of our GPS.

In other words, the missiles have a 50 percent chance of landing some two to five meters away from a target, versus older SCUD-D missiles that have a CEP of 50 meters, making them far less accurate.

What’s also notable about this model is that Iskander transporters are capable of carrying two missiles at one time in a side-by-side configuration. Also, the transporter features an armored roof to protect the cargo inside while the cabin itself also shields occupants from chemical biological, and nuclear hazards. Reloading vehicles that travel with the missile transporters on a battlefield are capable of reloading them quickly via a crane, the National Interest reported.

“The Iskander system is deployed in Russia proper, as well as in Kaliningrad, an important Russian exclave next to Poland and the Baltic Sea. From Kaliningrad, the Iskander can hit targets in Poland, parts of eastern Germany, southern Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus and a great part of the Baltic Sea,” the outlet added.

“Kaliningrad-based Iskanders are an excellent example of Russian coercive diplomacy. From the exclave, Russia can hit targets in most of the Baltic Sea, threatening an important shipping route, and hit NATO targets. Since the Iskander system does not carry a nuclear payload, there is less risk of causing a nuclear confrontation.”

Recently, according to, President Vladimir Putin put his nuclear forces on alert — “a shock for many, but even more so for those just across the Polish border from Kaliningrad where Russian nuclear missiles are stationed, and aimed at European capitals from Warsaw to Berlin.”