From Afghanistan with sorrowful results – Ep 29

It’s been WAY too long since we’ve done headlines, so we do our best to catch you up.  I break down the current situation in Yemen and discuss some updates, including the American contractors working as mercenaries there while Danny takes us back to the seventeen year old war in Afghanistan, showing the headlines missed during the week while the media was focused on a photo of the senior commander in Afghanistan carrying his rifle.


America Is Headed For Military Defeat in Afghanistan – Danny Sjursen – The American Conservative

Tank plant in Ohio that Trump “saved” – nothing in piece suggested he actually “saved” it.

1.3 million Iraqi children displaced by war with Islamic State

Al Qaeda commander gets numerous emergency surgeries while held at GITMO.

US exempts Iran’s Chabahar Port from sanctions – helpful to Afghanistan’s economy.

Iraq asks US to consider how sanctions will affect Iraq’s economy / etc.

Marine veteran protests Leupold at Blazers game

Think Progress on Leupold protest

Second Saudi journalist tortured and murdered by Saudi authorities

The Ministry of Defense in the UK is being petitioned to stop recruiting 16 and 17 year olds.

Low IQ draftees were chosen after Vietnam leaders couldn’t make numbers.

Rust costs 21 billion per year

Statistical connections between veterans and mass shooters

Army secretary says NCOs should visit barracks on weekends to prevent suicide

Hypertension linked to Agent Orange exposure

VA moving hundreds of docs from union admin spots back to providing care for veterans

1 in 5 generals couldn’t deploy for medical reasons in 2016

There’s a strong possibility that several of the northern Marianas Islands will become bombing ranges for the US Navy – ep from Chapo Traphouse

The Trump administration is demanding the Supreme Court immediately rule on the ban on transgender people serving in the military.

VA isn’t providing benefits correctly to veterans with ALS

85k children under believed to have died in the war in Yemen – CNN

Trump may declare the Houthis a terrorist organization

Finland and Denmark have joined Germany in ceasing all weapons sales to Saudi Arabia over their war crimes in Yemen, along with the continuing fallout from the assassination of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi

Yemenis killed in assassination by American contractors


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Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

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A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh, Will Ahrens, Gage Counts, and Fahim Shirazee!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you so much!!!

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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Thanks to Nate Bethea from What A Hell of a Way to Die for editing and mixing this episode

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Death from above and apathy from below – US drone warfare – Ep 17

Drones are quickly becoming a crucial part of many US military and government toolboxes in order to deal with specialized situations.  This morning, I saw that the FAA granted a special exemption to allow drones to help fight massive forest fires happening in Idaho. Police departments are using drones for building searches and crisis situations at a minimum.  And our military uses drones for a wide variety of functions, not the least of which is to be used as an instrument of assassination.

Something important to remember here is that not all drones are armed.  One surveillance drone, Global Hawk, surveillance drone, has a 150 ft wingspan and is half the size of a 747.  It can fly at much higher altitudes and can fly longer than most armed drones. The kinds of intelligence it gathers are certainly magnitudes of order above armed drones or small surveillance drones.  Do we believe it’s acceptable to share this kind of intelligence with our foreign partners? Should the info a Global Hawk gets from surveilling Yemen be given to the SA government for us in their proxy war against the Houthti’s?  Should surveillance of Syria and Palestine be given to Israel? These are important questions in this discussion.

Danny and I bring you our breakdown of drone warfare.  We’ll be taking a break for the next few weeks from the podcast to attend the About Face – Veterans Against the War convention and create some new content to share with you.  See you soon!!

00:35 – President Trump’s remarks in Helsinki

15:04 – The Air Force replacing older generation Predator / Reaper control stations

24:26 – US drone warfare

The Islamic State Is Pioneering a New Type of Drone Warfare – Ben Sullivan – Vice

What The Intercept Found in “The Drone Papers”—And What I Found In Them – Quinta Juricec – LawFare

Navy contracts Raytheon for LOCUST prototype – Brooke Baitinger – UPI

Army to Buy Raytheon’s Coyote Expendable UAS for Drone-Killing Mission – Oriana Pawlyk – Military.com

Recommendations and Report of the Stimson Task Force on US Drone Policy – The Stimson Center


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.  We might even play it on the podcast!!!

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh and Will Ahrens!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you both so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

Twitter – Fortress On A Hill

Soundcloud – Fortress On A Hill

FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Keagan Miller interview – former Navy – NSA intel analyst – Ep 15.5 – Part 2

We bring you part 2 of our sitdown with Keagan Miller.  Keagan is a former CTT (Cryptologic Technical Technician) who served in the Navy from 2009-13. He worked at NSA Georgia in support of 5th fleet and intelligence agency operations in North Africa and Middle East such as the Libya mission in 2011, the anti-piracy mission in Somalia, as well as other intelligence support given to operations in Yemen and Syria. Since getting out of the military he has been working with homeless veterans in the non profit and at the county level as a Case manager for Supportive Housing programs.

 


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.  We might even play it on the podcast!!!

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh and Will Ahrens!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you both so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

Twitter – Fortress On A Hill

Soundcloud – Fortress On A Hill

FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Keagan Miller interview – former Navy-NSA intel analyst – Ep 15.0 – Part 1

Military operations grind to a halt without intelligence.  Both the human side (HUMINT) and the electronic side (SIGINT for signal intelligence) must be pursued relentlessly to give military operational forces their picture of the battlespace.  Yes, it’s a lot of jargon and bullshit to say intelligence speaks to people and gets info from them, along with listening to cell phones and other electronic devices.

Today, we’re going to focus on the analyst side and speak with Keagan Miller.  Keagan is a former CTT (Cryptologic Technical Technician) who served in the Navy from 2009-13. He worked at NSA Georgia in support of 5th fleet and intelligence agency operations in North Africa and Middle East such as the Libya mission in 2011, the anti-piracy mission in Somalia, as well as other intelligence support given to operations in Yemen and Syria. Since getting out of the military he has been working with homeless veterans in the non profit and at the county level as a Case manager for Supportive Housing programs.

Here’s part 1.  Enjoy!!!


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.  We might even play it on the podcast!!!

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh and Will Ahrens!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you both so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

Twitter – Fortress On A Hill

Soundcloud – Fortress On A Hill

FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

To whom does our military belong? Donald Trump? Secretary Mattis? Beetle Bailey?

I’ve mentioned a few times on the podcast that I feel strongly in the idea that veterans are not the only owners of the ‘military’ story.

Veterans often carry a notion of protection and awareness towards the identities they project to others about their time in service.  Almost daily, I pass a news article or friend’s post on Facebook regarding stolen valor and the comment section is usually foaming at the mouth to discredit ‘fake’ veterans, lest they not distance themselves from the idea that any part of their own service be seen as illegitimate.  I’m not trying to discredit the idea of suppressing and restricting those who say they’ve served when they clearly haven’t (my favorite one roaming around is the guy in USMC dress blues with a SEAL trident sitting below his ribbons.)  My point is that everything about the military experience can be experienced by those who have never served.  Fighting in combat, participating in drill and ceremony, and even the knowledge and training received by Special Operations Forces such as advanced marksmanship and combatives can be experienced and obtained by ordinary people.  The combination of these elements certainly makes the military experience a unique one, but not unknown outside of its ranks.

Further more, the stories that ordinary citizens share about their experiences with service members of all nations and stripes belong to them as much as any veteran.  Veterans are simply people who have survived extraordinary circumstances under the flag of our government.  And the extraordinary circumstances through which service members are sent and have survived are debated and chosen politically.  The military is far more politicized that my 18 year old self would ever have fucking believed, both within its ranks and outside of it.  And the reality is that in our type of democracy, our main avenue to affect foreign policy and thereby overall military policy is through elections.  But we seldom make that connection; that our politicians, through the ‘power of the purse’ can help dictate policy.  We’re now at a trillion dollar defense budget.  And what the military does under the banner of ‘protecting our freedom’ have direct and indirect consequences for all Americans, let alone the dead brown people from ‘shithole’ countries that we’ve left in our wake.

So, don’t ever give yourself the chance to let a news alert of a dead service member go by without asking yourself, “What was that servicemember’s mission?” and “What aspect(s) of that mission did not go as planned?”  Granted, that should just be your first two questions, but I think you get the idea.  “Thank you for your service” needs to become “tell me about your service.”  And we need to lose the reverence to which we’ve ascribed to veterans.  Veterans have been through some harsh shit; don’t get me wrong.  I’m walking living proof of that harsh shit.  But my experience is not above other kinds of suffering that people have experienced.  I believe my government owes a significant debt to all veterans and needs to be held accountable in repaying that debt.  However, and if you’ve only skimmed to this point, let me be crystal fucking clear: defending our nation and the rights of its citizens, while repaying our debt to veterans is not mutually exclusive with ceasing the arming of terrorists or stopping the brutal massacre of innocent civilians in actions we support like in Yemen.  We can do all those things together and still maintain the defense of our country.  I want the opportunities to create veterans like Danny and myself to be few and far between.

For now, we’ll continue to wage war in every continent in one way or another.  Those fucking penguins in Antarctica have had it coming.  And we’ll mourn our lost service members as the cost of ‘freedom,’ all the while the only actual people whose freedom it actually affected are already dead, maimed, or displaced into a refugee black hole somewhere.  Many veterans will continue to have meme fights on Facebook and disparage others’ attempts at ‘stolen valor,’ while ignoring the war and chaos still being made by their former employers.

Please speak out about the topics Danny and I cover on the podcast,  Don’t let any of these stories stagnate and become forgotten.  And share new ones we’ve never considered.  We’ll be fucking all ears.

Today is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.  At least for me, it would be less painful to consider the history of Auschwitz if our country wasn’t still creating widows and orphans in the wake of its imperialism.  If we weren’t, at least we could look at survivors and relatives of Auschwitz and tell them that we’ve really learned the lessons that their ancestors’ lives gave us.  For now, all we have is ‘sympathy for the devil.’

Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
I’ve been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man’s soul to waste
And I was ’round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

 

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

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Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.