Brazil’s Drug Gangs Are Prepared To Go To War Over Bolsonaro’s Gun Crackdown (HBO)

Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, signed a temporary decree on Tuesday fulfilling a campaign promise to tackle the country’s epidemic of violence by making it easier for Brazilians to buy guns.

“I signed this decree, created by many upstanding people, so that at this first moment, upstanding citizens can have peace inside their homes,” Bolsonaro said at the signing ceremomy in the country’s capital, Brasília.

Bolsonaro, a conservative former Army captain, was sworn in as president on Jan. 1 after sweeping to power last year on a hard-line law-and-order platform, pledging to reduce the countrys record murder rate and booming trade in illegal drugs that fuels it.

On the main highway leading into Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s Federal Highway Patrol or PRF say they’re confiscating record numbers of illegal guns and drugs. The officers patrolling the road seized 18 tons of drugs last year — a more than 300-percent increase from the year before.

“It’s a traditional route for drug traffickers – not just for drugs, but also heavy arms,” Alcino Galvao da Silva, Unit Leader of the Federal Highway Patrol, told VICE News. “Machine guns, bullets, marijuana, and cocaine… It has grown quite a bit, especially in Rio de Janeiro.”

“Johnny,” as he asked VICE News to call him, has been dealing drugs for the Third Command drug gang since he was 16 years-old. Now at 28 he manages all the drugs corners in the neighborhood and isn’t afraid to defend them by force.

“I can tell you that today I’ve got 35 homicides,” “Johnny” told VICE News. “Fear? We don’t have fear. That’s what we’re here for. To kill and die. We’ll die, but die fighting. It’s our war motto: Die fighting.”

Bolsonaros plan to “give guns to good people,” and ramp up the military’s role by giving security forces more power to shoot and kill armed criminals isn’t getting the drug gangs to drop their guns. Third Command says their stockpilling weapons of war.

“He’s going to take the world into an urban war,” “Johnny” told VICE News. “Instead of us killing the Red Command we’re going to go after the guy who is in the police who listened to one of Bolsonaro’s orders.”

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US Army Pilot Tests ALIAS’ Autonomy Capabilities in Demonstration Flight

During an hour-long flight demonstration with DARPA, the U.S. Army and Sikorsky, an Army pilot tested the autonomous capabilities of DARPA’s Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS), conducting a series of realistic missions, including aircrew tasks such as low-level terrain flight, confined area takeoffs and landings, landing zone selection, trajectory planning, and wire-obstacle avoidance. The demonstration took place at Fort Eustis, Virginia, October 2018.

http://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2018-10-29

Trump bestows Medal of Honor on former Army medic

(1 Oct 2018) US President Donald Trump presented the Congressional Medal of Honor Monday to a former Army Special Forces medic who served in Afghanistan. (Oct. 1)

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Mosaic Warfare and Multi-Domain Battle

The U.S. military is beginning to recognize the value of distributed, joint, multi-domain warfighting capability. In the Mosaic Warfare and Multi-Domain Battle keynote and panel session at DARPA’s 60th anniversary symposium, D60, Dr. Timothy Grayson, director of DARPA’s Strategic Technologies Office, explains the concept of mosaic warfare and its path to implementation.

Panelists including senior Army, Navy, and Air Force flag offers provide critical perspectives on the potential game-changing benefits and daunting challenges of mosaic warfare.

Keynote
Dr. Timothy Grayson – DARPA, STO

Moderator
Dr. Dan Patt – Vecna Robotics

Panelists
Gen Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, USAF Retired – National Defense Industrial Association
ADM Scott Swift – USN Retired
Gen David Perkins – USA Retired

D60 took place Sept. 5-7, 2018, at Gaylord National Harbor, Oxon Hill, Maryland.

Mexican Army locates clandestine crystal meth lab

Mexican Army locates a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory near La Rumorosa town in Tecate, Baja California state, Mexico. According to the Army, the lab can produce up to 200 kilograms of crystal meth daily. On the same operation, the Army also destroys two marijuana plantations with a total surface area of 19,000 square meters.

President Trump Awards Posthumous Medal of Honor

US President Donald Trump is presenting the Medal of Honor posthumously to Garlin Conner, a 1st Lieutenant in the Army, for conspicuous gallantry during World War II. (June 26)

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The U.S. Army Is Breaking Its Promise To Foreign-Born Recruits (HBO)

The United States Army has canceled the enlistment contracts of hundreds of foreign-born recruits who joined through the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program (MAVNI), according to a report published Friday by the Washington Post.

MAVNI launched in 2008 as the brainchild of Margaret Stock, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and MacArthur Genius Fellowship winner. Stock and other Pentagon officials had assessed the weaknesses in military readiness post-9/11 and determined that the Army needed more highly skilled language experts. In exchange for military service, the enlistees would have their citizenship process expedited.

The program started small, with a cap of 1,000 recruits, but early successes pushed up targeted recruitment numbers to 5,200 in 2016. Last year, the Army’s target was 62,500 overall new soldiers, which means roughly 8 percent of new enlistees would be immigrants seeking citizenship. Critics of the program, including Army veteran and Oklahoma Congressman Steve Russell, looked at that number and said the program had outgrown its stated purpose and had turned the Army into an immigration processing center.

The Pentagon announced plans to curtail the MAVNI program last September, citing the need for additional security screenings. The Army stopped taking new recruits, but the approximately 1,000 enlistees who had signed their contracts and not yet shipped out were left in limbo. MAVNI requires anyone who signs up to terminate their current immigration status — so the suspension of the program left many without legal status and open for deportation proceedings.

VICE News went to South Bend, Indiana, to talk to two recruits from China as they prepared for the potential cancellation of their contracts.

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Flynn Regretted “Lock Her Up” Speech Almost Immediately (HBO)

The minute Michael Flynn walked off the stage at the Republican National Convention last July, he knew his speech hadn’t gone well, particularly the “Lock her up” part targeting the Democratic nominee. That’s what Flynn — who hasn’t spoken publicly since it emerged that he was under federal investigation — has been telling friends, VICE News has learned.

“He almost immediately wished that he had handled it differently,” said a source close to the former Army general. “He regrets it to this day. It was not at all in character for him.”

VICE News Tonight spoke with more than a dozen friends and former colleagues of Flynn for a segment looking back on Flynn’s career before politics. (Thursday, 7:30 p.m., on HBO.) Many pointed to the moment of Flynn’s RNC speech, when the crowd began a chant of “Lock her up,” as one when they didn’t recognize the man they had admired for so long. Flynn leaned into the microphone and ad-libbed about Hillary Clinton: “Lock her up. That’s right.”

“I never saw that side of him,” said Jim Sisco, a former colleague of Flynn’s from Afghanistan. “But, you know, politics is politics. It does things to people that you wouldn’t expect it to.”

Flynn was national security adviser for Donald Trump for a record-short 24 days, before being fired in mid-February. He is being investigated by the FBI for lying to law enforcement about his communications with Russian officials, and for his post-military-career business dealings with agents of the Turkish government. There have also been reports that he omitted key information from his White House security clearance forms.

Before his turn to politics, Flynn was a highly respected Army officer who had done multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and played a key role in shaping modern-day special operations through his work on the Joint Special Operations Command. “Mike Flynn helped build that machine,” said Phillip Carter, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. “And that machine in many ways is what won the conflict for a few years in Iraq, because it just ripped the heart out of the insurgency.”

The moment at the RNC helped turned Flynn into a symbol — at least among liberals — of the most visceral and partisan aspects of Trump’s campaign. Flynn frequently bashed Clinton and President Barack Obama for, in his view, underestimating the risks posed by Islamist extremism, and in particular the rise of the Islamic State group.

His regrets today may be somewhat self-serving. As recently as last fall, Flynn defended his harsh attacks on Clinton. In his original RNC address, released prior to the speech, Flynn planned to deliver several other acerbic attack lines, saying of Clinton, “We do not need a reckless president who believes she is above the law.” He went on, “I have called on Hillary Clinton to drop out of the race because she put our nation’s security at extremely high risk with her careless use of a private email server. If I did a tenth of what she did, I would be in jail. Crooked Hillary Clinton — leave this race now.”

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