What doesn't actually constitute an OPSEC violation - We Are The Mighty
Intel

What doesn’t actually constitute an OPSEC violation

We live in a world more connected than ever before. Within many of our pockets is a device that can instantly share words, voice, photos, and videos with anyone else connected to the internet. That unprecedented ease of access to information has led many to accidentally share restricted, sensitive information. This is a breach of what’s known within in the military as “operations security” (OPSEC). We all know that loose lips sink ships, but despite that, it seems like lectures have been given on a near-weekly basis in the military to keep information from leaking.


As long as thought is put into what’s posted, no sensitive information is released, and what is posted won’t be used as key puzzle piece for the enemy, no one gives a sh*t.

Here’s what you can share without violating OPSEC. Of course, take all of this with a grain of salt. Take all commands from your superiors and unit’s intelligence analysts. They will always have the final say.

1. Group photos (as long as nothing sensitive is shown)

If you’re deployed to Afghanistan and you want to get a picture to remember the good times, go for it! Post it on Facebook and tag all of your bros so you can reminisce down the road.

Make sure it isn’t taken in a classified location, inside the Ops center, or anywhere else with sensitive information around. Make sure that nothing is shown that hasn’t yet been made public knowledge.

What doesn’t actually constitute an OPSEC violation
I mean, unless you don’t want the enemy to know where your most convenient smoke pit is… (Photo by OF-2 Kay Nissen)

2. General information about yourself

Chances are high that you’re not doing Maverick-level work, so there’s no need to use the “If I told you, I’d have to kill you” line at the bar. If you’re a regular Joe in the formation, it’s not a secret that you’re just rearranging connexes in between the occasional patrol mission.

For the large majority of Uncle Sam’s warfighters, the only real bit of sensitive information about an individual is a social security number — but letting that slip is more of a personal security risk than a national one.

What doesn’t actually constitute an OPSEC violation
Being in the military is already badass enough. You don’t need to inflate your ego to impress someone who’s already interested. (Photo by Spc. Ryan DeBooy)

3. General locations (if it’s public knowledge troops are there)

Obviously, you should never post GPS coordinates along with times of your movements. But if someone asks where you are, you can totally reply with, “I don’t know, some sh*thole in the middle of nowhere.” People don’t really need to know, care, or sometimes understand where you’re at.

Plus, we’ve had troops in Afghanistan for almost seventeen years, so they can probably find the country on a globe, and that’s about it.

What doesn’t actually constitute an OPSEC violation
This is basically how they all see the Middle East anyway. (Photo by Chief Master-at-Arms Tony Guyette)

4. Mailing address (after a certain time)

If you’re out on deployment and someone back home is worried sick about you, it’s completely fine to say where you’re at after the unit allows you to post it.

Deployed mailing addresses are very distinct. The street code is usually the unit, the city and state is “APO, AE,” and the ZIP code starts with a zero. This format is the same for troops in-country, stationed overseas, and at sea. There isn’t much personal information that can be deciphered from a mailing address that can’t be found in hundreds of other ways. “Private Smith is with this unit and isn’t in America” isn’t a shocking discovery.

What doesn’t actually constitute an OPSEC violation
How else are you going to get cookies from your worried mother?

5. Anything already published

“I don’t know how to break this to you guys — and it’s super serious — troops have supplies somewhere in the Middle East!” See how dumb that sounds? Everyone already knows that.

Posting stuff on social media that’s already published doesn’t breach OPSEC. Why would a terrorist go through the effort to find something on your profile they can get from a quick Google search?

What doesn’t actually constitute an OPSEC violation
If the official U.S. Army Facebook page posts something about how it has stuff all around the world in locations that troops are commonly stationed, they probably know what they’re doing. (Image via U.S. Army Facebook)

Intel

Hello, Star Wars: The US military wants to build hover-bikes

Tanks and Jeeps have had a good run, but let’s be honest here — adding hover-bikes straight out of Star Wars to the military’s arsenal would be pretty much the coolest thing ever.


Though it might sound like science fiction, military-grade hoverbikes could become a reality faster than you think. The U.S. Army Research Laboratory has closed a deal with  Survice Engineering and Molly Aeronautics (MA) to begin creating hover-bike tech for the U.S. Department of Defense, an announcement that was released last week at the International Paris Air Show.

Malloy Aeronautics’ existing  hybrid prototype is powered much like a propeller drone, but retains the look of a traditional motorcycle. The lightweight carbon fiber craft has the lift power of a helicopter, and can handle a takeoff weight of nearly 600 pounds. MA also claims that the hoverbike can travel over 90 miles on only one tank of gas, making it an attractive sell for both commercial and military use.

The MA bike is still a work in progress, but it has been tested with a rider aboard, though it was tethered to the ground.

Check out the video below to see the Malloy Aeronautics Hoverbike in action:

DON’T MISS: William Shatner is travelling the U.S. on a crazy-looking motorcycle to promote vets

(h/t CNET)

Intel

Russia had the crazy idea of building an aircraft that would refuel by submarine

During the mid-1950s, the Soviets fooled the U.S. into believing that they had hundreds of Bison bombers ready to deploy, but in reality they still lacked a way of reaching the U.S. mainland.


Their solution to this problem was the Bartini-57, a long-range strategic bomber that could land on water and refuel by submarine mid-way through its mission. The aircraft was the brainchild of Italian designer Robert Ludvigovich Bartini, who built some of Russia’s most advanced aircraft between the 1920s and 1950s.

But Bartini’s bomber was cancelled when Sputnik was launched in 1957 by his protegé, Sergei Pavlovich Korolev. The Soviets would then set their sights on missiles rather than bombers, which triggered the Space Race, according to this video.

Watch:

NOW: These Soviet airplanes were built to fly fast right over the surface of water

OR: The 7 scariest weapons Russia is developing right now

Intel

70 years of Skunk Works innovation in 2 minutes

From the first American jet fighter to the latest unmanned aircraft systems, Skunk Works has been innovating for more than 70 years.


Skunk Works was formed in 1943 by the U.S. Army’s Air Tactical Service Command and Lockheed Aircraft Corporation to counter the growing German jet threat. The organization’s first answer was the XP-80 Shooting Star jet fighter, which was designed and built in 143 days.

Skunk Works is responsible for some of the most famous aircraft designs, including the U-2, SR-71 Blackbird, F-117 Nighthawk and others. This short Lockheed Martin promotional video highlights some of their famous innovations, its culture and some of their latest UAS concepts.

Watch:

Articles

How the Viet Cong managed to avoid being victims of their own booby traps

The booby trap was one of the signature tactics the Viet Cong used against American troops in Vietnam. Punji sticks, snake pits, and hidden grenades are as synonymous with the Vietnam War as the song “Fortunate Son.”

What doesn’t actually constitute an OPSEC violation
Seriously, is it even a Vietnam movie if there’s no CCR?

But even for the Viet Cong, the dense, dark jungle canopy of what is supposed to be their home turf can get confusing and disorienting. So how can a retreating VC know how to find the booby traps they laid for the GIs after a few days or weeks away from that area? It seems impossible, but the VC thought of that.

In order to avoid falling victim to their own simple but effective traps, they created a system to clandestinely mark the traps. So whether it’s the “Grenade in a Can,” “the Mace,” or even a simple snake pit, they developed a way to warn themselves and other VC as well as show them a route to avoid the trap. 

Luckily for American troops, Marine Corps engineers established the Demolitions and Mine Warfare School to use captured mines, bullet traps and other deadly devices captured from the VC to teach soldiers how to avoid them. If possible they might even teach Marines how to rewire them. 

Viet Cong fighters would set traps in the places they believed the American troops would actually walk. If they thought the American GI would notice the trap, the VC would place a secondary trap to get anyone who avoided the first one. These are the lessons taught by the Marines at the Demolitions and Mine Warfare School.

What doesn’t actually constitute an OPSEC violation
Day one of class (…probably)(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Ryan C. Mains/Released)

Markings used by the VC who laid these booby traps would indicate what kind of trap it was, the location of it and which way the trap would explode, where applicable. Some of them were fairly obvious, such as rectangles or pyramids made of bamboo. Others were not as noticeable, such as formations of broken sticks on the ground, bamboo spikes pointed a certain way or palm leaves on the ground, either specially folded or with a stick wound through it. 

Just like they learned about the VC’s secondary booby trap, U.S. engineers eventually picked up on these signals too. Not only did they pick up that special code, they learned how to use it against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese as well. 

Using the code, Americans could change how the VC moved through an area and even make them walk headlong into their own booby traps. 

What doesn’t actually constitute an OPSEC violation
Seriously… the stones on these guys. (U.S. Army)

The VC noted how effective their traps were by returning to the sites where they all were set and noting how many had been triggered. They could adapt the most effective ones to other areas by reusing the styles already triggered. If American GIs got wise to the pit traps, for example, the Viet Cong would just start using arrow traps or cartridge traps instead. 

The booby traps of Vietnam were psychologically difficult for the soldiers and Marines on search and destroy missions in the bush. So even though the VC had the market cornered on hidden booby traps in the jungle, it’s nice to know there were some American troops out there turing the tables on these terrible weapons. 

Feature image: Wikimedia Commons

Intel

Ukraine is ready to join NATO or fight off a Russian invasion

Whatever the future holds, Ukraine is as ready as it’s ever going to be. If the Russians invade the central European country, Ukraine is much better equipped and trained to give them as good a fight as possible. If they are able to join NATO, then a Russian invasion is much more unlikely. 

What doesn’t actually constitute an OPSEC violation
30 countries are currently members of NATO. Will Ukraine be the 31st?

As Russia steps up its military presence on its border with Ukraine, adding around 30,000 troops as of April 2021, Ukraine is getting ready for them. Both sides of the border held military drills in the middle of the month, on their respective sides of the border. 

Ukraine sees the Russian troop presence as a direct threat to Ukraine’s national borders and internal security. Russia says its military buildup is a direct response to possible American intervention in the region, as two U.S. Navy ships entered the Black Sea in the week before Russia’s military exercises. 

In the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution that brought current President Volodymyr Zelensky to power, the Russian military entered the Crimean Peninsula, captured strategic sites in the area, and installed a pro-Russian government there. It then initiated a referendum among its populace that allegedly voted in favor of joining the Russian Federation. 

What doesn’t actually constitute an OPSEC violation
Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal addresses Soldiers of the JMTG-U as TF Illini transfers authority to TF Raven.

Two days after the vote, Russia annexed the peninsula. But that didn’t stop the fighting in the region. In the aftermath of the revolution in Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists rose up in the Donbass region of the country and have been fighting Ukrainian government forces ever since. 

The two areas that comprise the Donbass region, Donetsk and Luhansk, have declared their independence and are being supported financially and militarily by Vladimir Putin’s government in Moscow. 

But that conflict started years ago. When Russian forces entered Crimea, the Ukranian military was largely inexperienced and untrained. After seven years of low-intensity conflict, the military leadership in Kiev believes it fields a battle-hardened army of veterans. 

Russia maintains a large military force, with one million troops on active duty and two million in reserve compared to Ukraine’s army of 255,000 in active service and 900,000 in reserve. The bulk of the Russian military’s combat experience is from the recent actions in Syria, and large portions of the Russian army do not deploy outside the country. 

Still, observers are concerned that the 30,000 Russian troops on Ukraine’s doorstep is the largest buildup of Russian forces since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. 

Ukraine, for its part, has not only been fighting a war for years on end, giving its troops valuable real-world combat experience, it has also strived toward NATO membership. The gains it made in recent years have dwarfed the gains made under its former pro-Russian leaders. 

What doesn’t actually constitute an OPSEC violation
Members of TF Raven, 81st SCBT, Washington National Guard watch the Ukrainian Brigade command lead their forces in a simulated exercise as part of training with the JMTG-U

In the first 18 months of Volodymyr Zelensky’s presidency, the country has met 96 of NATO standards compared to the 196 made by his predecessor over  five years. Zelensky’s government has also increased military spending by 1.4% since 2019, now spending 3.4% of its GDP. 

NATO membership for Ukraine is still a long way off by most expert opinions. Zelensky has called for four-way talks with Russia, Germany, and France  to ease tensions with Moscow and end the military buildup along his eastern border. 

Intel

The Marine Corps of the future will focus on small, agile combat

By 2030, the United States Marine Corps might look a little different from the Marine Corps of today. According to a 180-page document released by Breaking Defense, there’s an aggressive strategy in place to redesign the sea service in less than 10 years. 

Called the “Tentative Manual For Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations,” the Corps is going to be overhauled to focus on the challenges posed by an emerging China and a newly-aggressive Russia. 

The Marine Corps newest iteration, according to the unreleased manual, is going to create small units to focus on individual small unit capabilities, specifically air defense, anti-ship warfare, fighting for control of small, temporary bases all in an “island-hopping” campaign in the Pacific.

What doesn’t actually constitute an OPSEC violation
A fire team of Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 11, 1st Marine Logistics Group, rush toward simulated aggressors during the certification exercise of the Basic Combat Skills Course aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Devan K. Gowans/Released)

If that sounds familiar, that was the strategy used by the United States Marine Corps and Navy during World War II in the Pacific, meant to check the expansion of Imperial Japan. That plan was itself based on Operational Plan 712: Advanced Base Operations in Micronesia, one of the Marine Corps’ foundational doctrines. 

Instead of massive invasions like the ones seen on Iwo Jima and Okinawa, however, the Marines will be called in to capture or construct small bases to launch missiles or use as resupply stations as Marines and Naval forces operate throughout the Pacific Theater. 

“The scale of the problem today cannot be met by merely refining current methods and capabilities,” the manual reads.

The Marine Corps also isn’t limited to the technology of days past, either. The Corps will use precision-guided missiles, unmanned aerial and seaborne vehicles, and any other innovations that would make movement between islands and contesting islands more practical and decisive. 

One of the first signs of developing this newly-oriented, more agile Marine Corps will come in the 2022 defense budget requests from the Marine Corps. The document predicts the Corps will want a hundred Long Range Unmanned Surface Vessels available for use, along with Light Amphibious Warships in Littoral Maneuver Squadrons. 

What doesn’t actually constitute an OPSEC violation
Candidates assigned to Lima Company, Officer Candidate School, navigate through the combat course at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Ezekiel R. Kitandwe/Released)

It will also list Navy-Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System (NMESIS) batteries, hundreds of anti-ship Naval Strike Missiles with a 115-mile range built on the chassis of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. 

This document is said to outline Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger’s very fast timeline to reconstruct the Marine Corps and its combat roles. Combat teams will be roughly battalion-sized, according to Breaking Defense, and will see at least three Marine Littoral Regiments stood up in the Pacific within the coming years. Each will be responsible for multiple versions of these small bases. 

The bases will be “conducting sustained operations to enable fleet operations via sea denial” and be a supply and refueling point for units “conducting major combat operations,” the article says. 

What doesn’t actually constitute an OPSEC violation
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Colin Anderson, rifleman, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, practice urban combat during Weapons and Tactics Instructors (WTI) course 2-19  (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Ashlee Conover)

Marines operating at these “ad hoc” bases will be protected from advanced aircraft and advanced ballistic weapons by Marine air wings, communications, and ground-based air defenses.

One of the reasons the “Tentative Manual For Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations” is being taken so seriously is that unlike many other so-called “concept papers” from military branch leaders, this document is painstakingly detailed over 200 pages, covering everything from joint force interoperability to command and control oversight, as well as the size and roles of individual Marine Corps units.

Read more about the newer, smaller, and more agile Marine Corps from the original at Breaking Defense.

Intel

The US military is using ‘Forensic Files’ technology to identify unknown remains

America is hooked on true crime stories. One of the most engrossing among those true crime stories is “Forensic Files,” the true stories of murder and intrigue solved by scientific professionals who think of creative ways to link a crime with its perpetrator. 

For decades, forensic investigators have used everything from DNA analysis to gas chromatography to determine who killed who and where and with what – like a giant, real-world game of Clue. 

Gas chromatography and similar forensic studies can help identify remains, but it’s much more challenging when scientists have no clue who the deceased individual might be.

Military scientists have been at the same game for around the same amount of time. The only trouble is that these scientists know who killed the dead men and how they died. In the military, they don’t know who the dead men are. For Americans and the U.S. military, that’s the most important puzzle to solve. 

In the days of wars past, the quest to identify America’s honored dead was limited by the technology of the times. This is why the United States has Unknown Soldiers from World War I, World War II and Korea. Only the Unknown Soldier of the Vietnam War could be identified.

But new forensic technology offers hope to scientists who spend their days trying to identify soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, despite the lack of evidence. 

Advanced forensic technology used to catch serial killers along with the rise of publicly available DNA ancestry databases has given them new methods of finding clues that could lead to more positive identifications – even if the dead were killed 70 years ago. 

As the New York Times reported in April of 2021, traditional methods used by the POW/MIA Accounting Agency usually use DNA samples from found remains and try to match them with a known relative. But if there are no known relatives from which to draw a sample, the case quickly runs cold. The agency can’t even exhume remains of unknown war dead unless there is a 50% chance of identification.

This means they have to have a known relative to compare the sample. IF there is no known relative, the remains are unlikely to ever be identified. 

So some analysts believe all the remains should be exhumed, DNA samples taken, and run through every available DNA database, including those used by the public for ancestry identification. 

While this sounds like a good idea, it could also be a massive invasion of privacy. Genetic testing open to the public has done a lot of good, such as finding the true identity of the Golden State Killer. It has also led to the inadvertent discovery of deeply hidden family secrets, such as extra-marital affairs, children who didn’t know they were adopted, and so on. 

In World War II alone, more than 73,000 American service members were unaccounted for by the end of the war. An estimated 41,000 of those are considered to be lost at sea. In the years since, researchers at the POW/MIA Accounting Agency have been able to find and identify 280,000 of the 400,000 who died during World War II. 

What doesn’t actually constitute an OPSEC violation
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier early in the morning at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, August 7, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Elizabeth Fraser / Arlington National Cemetery / released)

There are also more than 7,800 missing from the Korean War, 1,626 missing from the Vietnam War, 126 from the Cold War and six from conflicts fought since 1991. As technology advances, so does the likelihood of finding and identifying the remains of the missing, but there’s still more work to do for those who gave their lives in the great power conflicts of America’s past. 

Intel

World War II’s top general had no previous combat experience

In his 38 years of service before becoming the Supreme Commander of the Allied forces during World War II, Dwight D. Eisenhower had never been in combat.


It was never his plan to avoid combat; in fact, he was considering giving up his commission because he thought he’d hit the glass ceiling of his military career. He felt like he was being held back, but in actuality, he was being groomed. In 1941, he was unproven, but he had the recommendation of great men such as Pershing, Conner, MacArthur, and Krueger, who believed he would make a good commander.

This American Heroes Channel video shows Eisenhower’s rise to the top commanding spot during World War II.

Watch:

American Heroes Channel

Intel

This Israeli special ops vet was the first to fall on 9/11

What doesn’t actually constitute an OPSEC violation


Daniel Lewin was only 31 years old when he boarded American Airlines Flight 11 on September 11, 2001, but he’d already done a lot of amazing things in his life. His family moved from America to Israel when he was 14. Molly Knight Raskin, the author of a new biography called “No Better Time: The Brief, Remarkable Life of Danny Lewin, the Genius Who Transformed the Internet,” said moving to Israel had everything to do with making Lewin into a motivated individual.

“Moving to Israel was like lighting a fire under (his) drive,” Raskin said. “He wanted to squeeze every last drop out of every minute out of every hour out of every day.”

He joined the Israel Defense Forces in his early 20s and tried out for the Sayeret Matkal, the secretive unit known for the famed 1976 rescue raid on Uganda’s Entebbe Airport.  Later he used his love of algorithms and formulas to found Akamai, a tech company that played a big part in making the Internet faster.

Lewin rode the ups and downs of the early days of the Internet’s boom and bust, and on 9/11 he was headed to Los Angeles to sit down with other Akamai execs to discuss ways to cut costs. He was seated in 9B, which put him near the front, in the area where the terrorists were seated.  Before the airplane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center, flight attendants were able to relay that he’d been the first passenger stabbed to death. That fact makes it plausible, based on his understanding of Arabic and his self-defense training, that he was fighting two of the terrorists when he was attacked from behind by a third terrorist he didn’t realize was there.

As Todd Leopold writes at CNN, “Friends have always pondered the what-ifs. Lewin may have finished his Ph.D., something that always nagged at him. Friends thought he could have entered Israeli politics. Or he could have become a high-tech household name, like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.”

“Those who knew him feel like the world was robbed,” says Raskin. “He was always searching for something greater.”

Here’s a video about Lewin’s short but productive and rewarding life:

(Go here to read the entire report at CNN.)

Now: Where were the US fighters on 9/11?

Intel

The Army’s top NCO wants soldiers to design his first tattoo

What doesn’t actually constitute an OPSEC violation


Sgt. Maj. of the Army Dan Dailey is known for responding to soldier concerns. He’s overhauled the Army tattoo policy and encouraged the Army to allow headphones with the physical training uniform.

Now, he’s floated the idea of getting a tattoo selected by soldiers.

“I’m a big morale guy. I’m a positive person,” Dailey told the Army Times. “We’re always trying to raise morale, so I said one day, ‘let’s set up a website and the soldiers get to pick my tattoo; they vote on it.’ Could you imagine?”

See the Army Times article and learn how to submit your own ideas for SMOTA’s ink here.

NOW: 21 amazing tattoos inspired by Navy life

OR: 9 texts from First Sergeant you never want to read

Intel

Why the newest flashpoint for World War III might be in Taiwan

On Mar. 26, 2021, 20 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, making one of the most aggressive moves against the island nation in recent years. The planes flew over the Bashi Channel, which separates Taiwan from the Philippines. 

Taiwanese security planners told Reuters that the formation was likely a training exercise simulating attacks on American warships that traverse the channel. 

China flew four nuclear-capable H-6K bombers and 10 J-16 fighter jets across the waterway as Taiwan’ missile defenses quickly organized in case of an impending attack. 

Taiwan is officially called the Republic of China, and it is where the Chinese Nationalists escaped in the aftermath of the Chinese Civil War. The island was liberated from Japanese rule after World War II, during which Chinese Nationalists and Communists paused their fighting to focus on Japan.

With the defeat of Imperial Japan, the two sides resumed fighting. By 1949, the Communists under Mao Zedong forced the Nationalists led by Chiang Kai-shek to evacuate to the island. Mainland China has claimed it as part of China ever since. 

Democratic Taiwan maintains its independence through its military strength, supported by the United States and other Pacific allies. 

China’s flights across the Bashi Channel are not the only aggressive moves mainland China has made against Taiwan in recent days. Taiwan says the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Forces have been making flyovers across the Taiwan-claimed Pratas Islands in the South China Sea almost daily since 2020. 

The Chinese say the flights were nothing unusual and are a part of routine defense exercises. 

The United States does not officially recognize Taiwan, backing out of the 1954 Mutual Defense Treaty in 1979 in exchange for mainland China’s assistance in checking the threat of the Soviet Union’s worldwide aggression. 

The U.S.maintains close economic and defense ties with the island nation through the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which authorizes the sale of arms to Taiwan. The law also considers military or economic aggression toward the island a grave threat to the national security of the United States. 

In 1982, the Administration of Ronald Reagan offered Taiwan “Six Assurances” that would guide relations between the two countries. The U.S. will not set a date for ending arms sales to Taiwan, will not mediate between the island and the People’s Republic of China, will not force Taiwan to enter negotiations with China, recognizes Taiwan’s sovereignty over the island, will not alter the Taiwan Relations act, and will not consult with Beijiing about what arms are sold to Taiwan.  

The Pratas Islands have no permanent residents, but both China and Taiwan lay claim to the islands. The islands are strategically important, as they lay 170 miles from Hong Kong and Chinese submarines traverse the Bashi Channel on their way to the Pacific Ocean. Control of the Pratas means control over the entrance to the channel.

China sees a U.S. Navy presence in the channel as a direct threat to Chinese sovereignty in the region. The United States fears the islands could be “China’s Crimea,” a land grab similar to Russia’s sudden annexation of the Ukrainian-held Crimea Peninsula in 2014. 

When the U.S. and NATO weren’t willing to go to war over Crimea, experts worried that China’s Xi Jinping would see it as a green light to do the same in the Pratas Islands. If the U.S. allows the Pratas to meet the same fate, it could lose its standing as the protector of the world’s status quo – it’s a red line that could mean war with China. 

Intel

Someone tried to analyze one of the weirdest insults said in ‘Full Metal Jacket’

What doesn’t actually constitute an OPSEC violation


It is perhaps one of the most iconic war movies ever, and certainly one of the best depictions of Marine boot camp, but at least one of the insults to come from Drill Instructor Gunnery Sgt. Hartman’s mouth doesn’t seem to make any sense.

And that’s where the site FilmDrunk comes in, to investigate what in the hell Hartman meant when he would “short-d-ck every cannibal in the Congo.”

I mean, seriously, what the hell is that even supposed to mean? The quote, which comes about halfway into the film, is screamed out by an insanely-annoyed (isn’t he always?) Hartman on top of the obstacle course, as Pvt. Pyle becomes too fearful to get over the top.

“I will motivate you, Private Pyle! If it shortd-cks every cannibal in the Congo!” he says.

You really need to break this one down to root words here. The term “shortd-ck” could mean to short change, and so if Pvt. Pyle becomes motivated he’ll be skinnier, and the cannibals will have less fat to eat. Or another interpretation could be that Hartman is willing to do anything it takes, even so far outside of cultural norms, to motivate the recruit.

Or it could just be drill instructor gibberish that makes no sense whatsoever.

Regardless, FilmDrunk collected up plenty of possibilities for this phrase, and the investigation of it is actually quite hilarious.

Check it all out here.

OR CHECK OUT: The 16 greatest quotes from ‘Full Metal Jacket’

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