THE U.S. WILL INVADE WEST AFRICA IN 2023 AFTER AN ATTACK IN NEW YORK — ACCORDING TO PENTAGON WAR GAME

Nick Turse
The Intercept

WHEN THE PENTAGON peers into its crystal ball, the images reflected back are bleak.

On May 23, 2023, in one imagining from the U.S. military, terrorists detonate massive truck-bombs at both the New York and New Jersey ends of the Lincoln Tunnel. The twin explosions occur in the southern-most of the three underground tubes at 7:10 a.m., the beginning of rush hour when the subterranean roadway is packed with commuters making their way to work.

The attack kills 435 people and injures another 618. Eventually, we’ll come to know that it could have been much worse. The plan was to drive the trucks to “high profile targets” elsewhere in Manhattan. Somehow, though, the bombs detonated early.

This spectacular attack, which would result in the highest casualties on U.S. soil since 9/11, isn’t the hackneyed work of a Hollywood screenwriter — it is actually one of the key plot points from a recent Pentagon war game played by some of the military’s most promising strategic thinkers. This attack, and the war it sparks, provide insights into the future as envisioned by some of the U.S. military’s most important imagineers and the training of those who will be running America’s wars in the years ahead.

The “5/23” terror attack was a small but pivotal part of a simulated exercise conducted last year by students and faculty from the U.S. military’s war colleges, which are the training grounds for prospective generals and admirals. Sprawling and intricate, the 33rd annual Joint Land, Air and Sea Strategic Special Program (JLASS-SP) brought together 148 students from the U.S. Air Force’s Air War College, the Army War College, the Marine Corps War College, the Naval War College, the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, the National War College, and the National Defense University’s Information Resources Management College. They collaborated for several weeks of remote war-gaming conducted via “cyberspace tools, telephones and video teleconferencing,” according to Pentagon documents obtained by The Intercept. It culminated in a five-day on-site exercise at the Air Force Wargaming Institute at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.

The materials used in JLASS-SP — obtained via the Freedom of Information Act — detail the chaotic tenure of an imaginary 46th president, Karl Maxwell McGraw, and offer a unique window into the training of the Armed Forces’ future leaders. The documents consist of hundreds of pages of summary materials, faux intelligence estimates, fictional situation reports, and updates issued while the exercise was in progress — The Intercept is publishing one of these fictional situation updates here. They are highly detailed and, at a time when the press and lawmakers are increasingly asking questions about U.S. military involvement in Africa, offer a stark assessment of the potential perils of armed action there. While it is explicitly not a national intelligence estimate, the war game, which covers the future through early 2026, is “intended to reflect a plausible depiction of major trends and influences in the world regions,” according to the files.

SH-Map-war-game-theintercept-1508513985

Attacks in the Pentagon’s JLASS-SP simulated exercise.

 

Map: The Intercept

MCGRAW, A FORMER independent Arizona senator who rode his populist “America on the Move” campaign to victory in the 2020 election, ushers in a wave of equally independent congressional candidates and the promise of “TRUE change” in Washington. His presidency is, instead, buffeted by a seemingly endless string of crises.

Just after entering office, in February 2021, a cyberattack shuts down the control system of the Susquehanna nuclear power plant in Berwick, Pennsylvania, “shaking the confidence of the American people in the government’s ability to protect critical infrastructure.” For the next two years, while dealing with the fallout from an Asian economic crisis, state-sponsored cybercrime, and the rise of new anti-globalism and right-wing extremist groups, the McGraw administration claims success in thwarting numerous overseas terror attacks, including a plot to bomb a number of U.S. embassies and consulates throughout Europe. But in West Africa, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is expanding its presence and building on long-running failures of U.S. anti-terrorism efforts in the region, including U.S. support for French and African military operations that began in 2013 and now appear more or less permanent.

By 2021, according to the war game’s scenario, AQIM boasts an estimated 38,000 members spread throughout Algeria, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, and a network of training camps in Mauritania, as well as outright bases in Western Sahara. At the same time, AQIM strengthens its ties with the terror groups al Shabaab in Somalia and Boko Haram in Central Africa’s Lake Chad Basin to create a “network of synchronization across the African continent and beyond,” including shared funding, training methods, and IED-making materials. As this pan-African Islamist terror cartel grows, so does AQIM’s global reach, eventually allowing it to carry out the devastating attack on the Lincoln Tunnel and another, that same day, on the Canadian Embassy in Nouakchott, Mauritania’s capital, killing 135 people including the Canadian Ambassador and his staff.

With near-complete congressional backing and the assent of the government of Mauritania, President McGraw joins forces with Canada to launch Operation Desert Strike. A major U.S. and Canadian ground force, backed by air and sea power, lands in Mauritania on June 15, 2023 with McGraw promising the American people a “well-planned, rapid, and efficient operation that would conclude in three years.” As with so many other American wars and interventions since 1945, however, U.S. military operations do not go as planned and instead seem to follow the well-worn path of America’s many other forever wars.

“WE ARE FACING a tough and adaptive enemy,” Major General Roger Evans, the commander of Operation Desert Strike, tells the press in January 2026. “But this coalition is tougher and more adaptive.” Even in wargames, however, there’s a credibility gap between what imaginary generals say about fictitious wars and the (made up) facts on the ground. Exercise documents offer a more pessimistic assessment of the three-and-a-half-year-old war. “A steady increase in violence in northern Mauritania and Mali continues to frustrate Operation Desert Strike commanders as they struggle to counter a stubborn enemy,” reads a report. According to the fictional files, during December 2025 attacks are up a staggering 90% over November’s numbers.

Mounting terrorist strikes — like the Christmas Eve bombing outside a Canadian base in eastern Mauritania that kills eight coalition troops and wounds another 15, an assault on a U.S. military convoy that claims the lives of seven American soldiers, and an ambush that kills one Green Beret and sees another reportedly captured by al Qaeda-allied militants – are just one indicator of the rapidly deteriorating situation in the Maghreb. As the conflict enters its fourth year, weapons and militants continue to freely pour into the war zone. “We’re doing our best to work with the nations in the region to control the flow of enemy fighters and weapons into Mali, Mauritania, and Algeria, but there are not enough forces to be everywhere,” coalition spokesman Colonel Byron Scales admits.

That coalition, too, is frequently a problem in and of itself. In November 2025, the United States is slated to begin transferring responsibility for the war to the African Union and decrease its military footprint. But that deadline comes and goes as the AU demands more money and fails to adequately scale up its efforts. That, coupled with Canadian Prime Minister Richard Baker beginning to withdraw his forces on April 1, 2026 and NATO rebuffing President McGraw’s request for additional support, makes it clear that the war would become ever more American and grind on far beyond McGraw’s own withdrawal deadline of December 2026.

Despite – or perhaps, increasingly, because of – the presence of 70,000 U.S. forces and their Canadian allies, civilians in the region continue to suffer mightily. In 2025, the terror group Boko Haram, reinvigorated by the war, carries out 12 suicide bombings in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, alone. That December, the group rampages through the Nigerian town of Damaturu, killing more than 100 people in a series of coordinated bombings and gun attacks. Days later, AQIM’s Christmas Eve bombing of the Canadian military base in Mauritania claims the lives of 83 civilians shopping in the nearby marketplace.

“WE WILL CONTINUE to work with our partners to root out and destroy al Qaeda. We are making progress, but it will take time,” Major General Evans tells the public in early 2026. Just how much time and how much progress, however, is only offered in a private assessment sent to the head of U.S. Africa Command on March 8, 2026. In that communique, Evans catalogues the many setbacks plaguing Operation Desert Strike: the resilience of AQIM, the upcoming loss of Canadian forces, the weakness of Malian and Mauritanian troops, and the African Union’s reluctance to provide soldiers, among them. Even a decade into a fictional future, however, the recommendations for another failing, forever war-in-the-making sound far less like futuristic thinking and far more like the predictable solutions to America’s present-day military adventures:

I recommend that we delay our pullout from Mauritania and Mali for a minimum of 12 months. Additionally, given the loss of the Canadian forces, and the desire not to “give-back” the gains we have made in their sector, I recommend a surge of three additional Army [brigade combat teams], or [U.S. Marine Corps] Regiments, for a period of 12 months. While this is a difficult scenario given the competing global demand for forces, the mission will fail if some adjustment is not made to keep forces on the ground here in Northwestern Africa.

Evans’ message is the last issued for the Operation Desert Strike segment of the war game, so we don’t know the AFRICOM commander’s response or what President McGraw eventually decides when presented with the options to either double down on the war to avenge the deaths of a devastating terror attack, or to “fail.” Given the range of responses over the last decade-plus to setbacks in Afghanistan and Iraq, Syria and Somalia, Yemen and Libya, you don’t need a crystal ball, or to attend a U.S. military war college, to have a pretty good idea of President McGraw’s decision. It seems safe to assume that America’s fictitious war in West Africa will continue into the 2030s, just as its wars of the 2000s have staggered into the late 2010s. One can almost imagine the fictional military officers of President McGraw’s fantasy world conducting their own wargames, charting out their own fictitious forever wars that grind on without end into distant fictional futures.

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Americans Are Retiring Later, Dying Sooner and Sicker In-Between

Ben Steverman
Bloomberg

The U.S. retirement age is rising, as the government pushes it higher and workers stay in careers longer.

But lifespans aren’t necessarily extending to offer equal time on the beach. Data released last week suggest Americans’ health is declining and millions of middle-age workers face the prospect of shorter, and less active, retirements than their parents enjoyed. Continue reading

The Men Taking Classes to Unlearn Toxic Masculinity

Olivia Campbell
The Cut

For some time, Stephen Hicks had felt like something was off. “My relationship ended, then a lot of things started collapsing in front of me,” Hicks says. He began attending therapy, which made him realize that he needed to make a bigger change: “I wasn’t doing really terrible things, but I also wasn’t being the most ideal Stephen I could be,” he says. “The bar is really lowered for cisgender guys.”

So earlier this year, Hicks signed up for the pilot Rethink Masculinity class, a partnership between the Washington, D.C., Rape Crisis Center, Collective Action for Safe Spaces, and ReThink, an organization that works to prevent sexual assault. Continue reading

Pope Francis commits the church to protect children from abuse in the digital world

Gerard O’Connell
America Magazine (Jesuit Owned)

Pope Francis today committed the Catholic Church to work “effectively and with genuine passion,” in close association with lawmakers, police authorities, technological giants in the field of social communications and other actors in civil society, for “the effective protection of the dignity of minors in the digital world.”

He offered this commitment in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall when he addressed the 140 participants from the first world congress on “Child Dignity in the Digital World” that was held at the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University, Oct. 3 to 6.

Continue reading

Pope denounces porn and corruption of kids’ minds, bodies

AP

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Friday denounced the proliferation of adult and child pornography on the internet and demanded better protections for children online — even as the Vatican confronts its own cross-border child porn investigation involving a top papal envoy.

Francis met with participants of a Catholic Church-backed international conference on fighting child pornography and protecting children in the digital age. He fully backed their proposals to toughen sanctions against those who abuse and exploit children online and improve technological filters to prevent young people from accessing porn online.

Francis said the Catholic Church knew well the “grave error” of trying to conceal the problem of sexual abuse — a reference to the church’s long history of having priests who rape and molest children and bishops who cover up for them. Several well-known cases have involved priests having child porn, or photographing their victims.

Francis said an international, cross-disciplinary approach was needed to protect children from the dark net and the “corruption of their minds and violence against their bodies.”

Using terms that are certainly new to papal lexicon, Francis denounced “extreme pornography” on the web that adults, and increasingly children consume, and the increasing use of “sexting” and “sextortion” among the estimated 800 million minors who navigate the internet.

“We would be seriously deluding ourselves were we to think that a society where an abnormal consumption of internet sex is rampant among adults could be capable of effectively protecting minors,” he said.

The conference was planned some two years ago, but it unfolded precisely at the time when the Vatican is facing back-to-back child sex scandals: One of Francis’ top advisers, Cardinal George Pell, recently took leave to face old abuse charges in his native Australia, while in August the Vatican recalled a senior diplomat from its embassy in Washington who got embroiled in a child porn investigation.

Canadian police have issued an arrest warrant for Monsignor Carlo Capella, accusing him of accessing, possessing and distributing child pornography during a visit to an Ontario church over Christmas. He is now in the Vatican, where prosecutors have opened an investigation.

The Vatican in 2013 criminalized child porn possession, distribution and production, with sanctions varying from up to two years and a 10,000-euro fine ($11,170) to 12 years and a 250,000-euro fine.

Some U.S. church officials and critics balked at the recall, saying the Vatican should have waived diplomatic immunity and let Capella face charges in the U.S. or Canada. Vatican officials have defended the recall as consistent with common diplomatic practice and suggested that Capella will face a criminal trial in the Vatican if the evidence warrants it.

Participants at the congress offered sobering statistics about the problem: Last year, Interpol identified five child victims of online abuse every day, while the Internet Watch Foundation identified more than 57,000 websites containing child sexual abuse images.

The conference, which drew leading researchers in public health, Interpol, the U.N., government representatives as well as executives from Facebook and Microsoft, issued a 13-point call to action that it presented to Francis on Friday. Their declaration demands that:

—Lawmakers and governments improve laws to protect children online and punish perpetrators of child porn production

—Technology companies develop better ways to block redistribution of porn and attack the proliferation of child porn images already on the web

—Law enforcement agencies improve information sharing and ensure help for young victims of online exploitation

—Health professionals enhance training to recognize signs of abuse and increase research into the effects of viewing porn on young minds

—Faith leaders, governments and civil society to increase awareness about the problem.

Francis said he wanted each of them to remember that children look to adults, with light in their eyes and trust in their heart, to protect them.

“What are we doing to make sure they are not robbed of this light, to ensure that those eyes will not be darkened and corrupted by what they will find on the internet?”

The Pontifical Gregorian University drew plaudits for hosting the conference and bringing together a remarkable spectrum of specialists to discuss a little-reported issue. Victims’ advocates and other groups nevertheless pointed to the church’s many cases of priests convicted of having child porn, and church authorities who covered up for them.

“It is astonishing that those problems were not only swept under the rug at this conference, but treated as qualifications for sponsoring the event,” said Terence McKiernan of BishopAccountability, an online resource of the abuse scandal.

The victims group SNAP concurred: “The Vatican should not be leading this summit. They should be the target of this summit.”

UN Showcases Lessons to Brainwash Children

Alex Newman
Freedom Project Media

The United Nations, often ridiculed as the dictators club, has just released lessons to help indoctrinate people around the world into accepting the UN’s so-called “Agenda 2030,” also known as the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. While the propaganda targets humanity as a whole, the UN acknowledges that it is specifically aimed at youth, described in the SDGs as “critical agents of change.” 

The latest UN scheme to brainwash people into supporting its radical agenda for globalism, socialism, and technocracy is a free course dubbed “Introduction to the 2030 Agenda: A New Agenda for a Sustainable World.” According to promotional materials, it is “designed to improve general awareness about the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals for policy-makers and the general public, especially youth.” 

The course, developed with public money by the UN “Institute for Training and Research” (UNITAR) and the “Global Goals Educator Task Force,” also created other materials aimed at spreading the UN’s totalitarian ideology of “sustainable development.” It includes modules dealing with the UN’s sanitized version of the origins of the SDGs, “a call for transformative action,” “policy integration and synergies,” the “leveraging of resources” (aka your money), and much more. 

The UN has also developed propaganda materials and lesson plans to indoctrinate children as young as kindergarten all the way through 12th grade. “The Task Force is also developing a database of global educators who are responding to a call to action within education to meet the SDGs, and creating a database of open and accessible resources, lesson plans and global projects aligned with the SDGs,” according to Lynn Wagner, the Group Director of “SDG Knowledge” for the tax-funded “International Institute for Sustainable Development.” 

Also being recommended is the development of a “comprehensive curriculum of high quality lessons/resources for students grades K-12,” the IISD said. It called for a “professional development program” to help brainwash teachers and educators so they can “bring the SDGs into their instruction” and brainwash their impressionable young students. 

And finally, the UN System Staff College (UNSSC) is offering and promoting what is touted as “a foundational course on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” Other UN tentacles are developing and delivering “a series of activities, e-learning courses, face-to-face workshops, webinars, learning sessions/conferences etc.” “This Agenda will require all countries and stakeholders to work together to implement the global goals at national, regional and global levels,” it says. 

A key goal of all the propaganda and indoctrination being pumped out by the UN under the guise of “education” is “mainstreaming” the Agenda 2030. That will presumably take some serious effort, though, considering the extreme ideology being promoted—an ideology completely at odds with liberty and Judeo-Christian values

Far from being harmless, the UN Agenda 2030 being touted in these “courses” is essentially a road map to global socialism and technocracy. The mass-murdering Communist Chinese dictatorship boasts that it played a “crucial role” in developing the scheme, which top UN leaders have referred to as a “masterplan for humanity” and a “Declaration of Interdependence.” The plan calls for national and international wealth redistribution, government control over consumption and production, more centralized power at the global level, and more. 

And ironically, the UN itself has made clear that real education threatens its radical agenda. “Generally, more highly educated people, who have higher incomes, consume more resources than poorly educated people, who tend to have lower incomes,” explains a UN “toolkit” for global “sustainable” education, which is still posted online at UNESCO’s website. “In this case, more education increases the threat to sustainability.” 

The UN brags that it is coming for your kids. In fact, in Agenda 2030, the UN specifically says that “all” children must learn not just to accept or tolerate this totalitarian ideology known as “sustainable development,” but to promote it. Fortunately, the U.S. Senate has not ratified Agenda 2030. It is time for policymakers in the United States to protect the American people from this insanity.        

Villains in Upcoming Video Game are White Christian Right-wing Extremists from Montana

Adan Salazar

A graphic for the latest installment of the video game series Far Cry indicates white Christian Americans from Montana will be the antagonists.

Far Cry 5 will tell the story of a militant Christian cult, if a piece of artwork released today by publisher Ubisoft is any indication,” reports gamer site Polygon.

A shocking promotional illustration features a group of flannel-wearing bearded rednecks sat around a table in poses similar to that of “Jesus’ Last Supper.”  Continue reading

MTV Movie Awards shatters gender barriers one trophy at a time

AP

LOS ANGELES — Film hit “Beauty and the Beast” and Netflix newcomer “Stranger Things” were the night’s big winners with two trophies apiece as MTV partied with its Movie & TV Awards show.

For this, the 26th edition of what was formerly known as the MTV Movie Awards, TV was added to the mix. “Stranger Things” was decreed the Show of the Year, and its cast member, Millie Bobby Brown, was named Best Actor in a Show.

“Beauty and the Beast” was the Movie of the Year, with its star, Emma Watson, the Best Actor in a Movie.

But the awards had another trick up its sleeve, introducing a policy of breaking down gender barriers, as men and women competed jointly in the acting categories. Continue reading

Drinking Alcohol Makes Straight Men More Sexually Fluid: ‘Beer Goggles’ Boost Physical Attraction To Same Sex

Source

Many of us are all too familiar with the “beer goggles” effect: friends and strangers alike become more attractive after a drink or two. Undoubtedly, drinking alcohol lowers our inhibitions and makes us more open to experimentation with the same sex. In a new study, published in The Journal of Social Psychology, straight men were found to be more physically attracted to other men after a few drinks.

“Most notably, alcohol intake was related to increased sexual willingness of men with a same-sex partner, suggesting a potential shift in normative casual sexual behavior among heterosexual men,” wrote the authors in the study.

Read More: Straight Women Turned On By Attractive Women Are Either ‘Bisexual Or Gay,’ Says Study

Researchers recruited a total of 83 straight men and women who were bar hopping in the Midwest at night. The participants were asked to complete a survey about how many drinks they’d had that night. In addition, they had to watch a 40-second video of either a physically attractive man or woman drinking at a bar and chatting with the bartender. Then, the participants rated their sexual interest in the person in the video, from buying them a drink to going home together to have sex.

Unsurprisingly, men showed high interest when the attractive woman was on the screen; women naturally were more attracted to the man. Moreover, men were more likely to make sexual comments about the woman after the video. Overall, they expressed more sexual interest in the women, regardless of how much they had. This coincides with previous research that concedes men tend to be more lax about casual sex with strangers.

However, the researchers noted an interesting observation: the more alcohol men drank, the more interested they became in the man in the video. Men who had nothing to drink showed no interest. Those who consumed over 10 alcoholic drinks were more likely to entertain the idea of gay sex just as much as having sex with a woman.

The more straight people drink, the more likely they’ll entertain the idea of gay sex. Photo courtesy of Pixabay, Public Domain

Sexual willingness was only influenced by alcohol intake and perceived attractiveness of a same-sex prospective partner,” the authors wrote.

In women, the more alcohol they drank, the more interested they were in other women, and the opposite sex.

This suggests sexuality for men and women does not fall under straight and gay, but instead is fluid. A 2016 study found women have been evolutionarily designed to have same-sex encounters. The researchers proposed women’s sexuality has evolved to be more fluid than men’s as a mechanism to reduce conflict and tension among co-wives in polygynous marriages.

In men, studies have found a large number of straight men watch gay porn and even have gay sexual fantasies. Researchers believe homosexuality has evolved in humans because it helps us bond with one another. In other words, sexual behavior is not a means to an end of reproduction, but it can also be used to help form and maintain social bonds.

It’s no surprise drinking alcohol leads to sexual behavior, and even makes us sexually fluid, and less inhibited. Alcohol’s influence on specific brain circuits has led us to feel euphoric and less anxious. It makes us more empathetic and leads us to see other people — even the same sex — as more attractive.

Alcohol may allow us to freely express our sexual side, without judgment or reservations.

Untold Numbers of Canadians Are Streaming Live Online Without Their Knowledge

Jordan Pearson
Motherboard

Daycares, churches, cops—it’s all streaming live.

If there’s an internet-connected security camera in your home, office, or at your children’s daycare—or hell, even if you’re just at the mall—you may be streaming live over the internet and not even know it.

On Thursday, that students at an elementary school in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, were being broadcast on a site that streams cameras that haven’t been properly secured. But it’s not just one school. Unsecured cameras are an old-as-time blight on the internet, so much so that art projects have been made using them. And right now, churches, daycares, and places of business across Canada are live and online.

One notorious site is called Insecam, which the CBC focused on, but there are others. A quick dive into the selection of Canadian cameras on these sites quickly turned unsettling.

In a few short hours on Thursday morning, I found two publicly viewable streams that appeared to be coming from daycares or kindergartens in Canada. In one, children were clearly visible eating and napping. (Many daycares offer a webcam service to parents who want to check in on their kids, usually available for a sign-up fee.)

Another stream showed a parish while mass was in progress, with people’s faces clearly visible. Another featured employees at an autobody shop drinking coffee. Another was stamped “UQAT MOCAP STUDIO”—likely for the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue—and showed a motion-capture experiment in progress. A stream on another site allowed me to watch people amble around a shopping mall. I’m not even going to talk about the many bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens streaming live.

It is easy to track down most of these locations, based on the stream. I was able to locate the church based on an IP address search and some partly-visible signage. The mall was easy—a large banner in frame was emblazoned with its name. The university stream had its name stamped on it, so it was a no-brainer.

I couldn’t confirm the exact body shop I peered into online today, but a car emblazoned with “Brantford Landscaping” gave me a clue. A police vehicle was in the shop, so I called the Brantford police, who confirmed that it was their vehicle.

“I appreciate you bringing this to our attention,” Sargeant Keith Tollar of the Brantford police wrote me in an email. “I will speak to the auto body shop.”

Neither UQAT nor the church responded to Motherboard’s request for comment in time for publication. The mall confirmed they use a webcam to stream events, but weren’t aware that it was live outside of their site.

It’s long been known that security cameras (if they aren’t password-protected, or if the operator doesn’t change the factory password) can be spied on by almost anybody with a little know-how and an internet connection. But, as the CBC’s article showed, most people still aren’t aware of this. This poses privacy risks not just for the people who set up the camera, but in the case of businesses like the auto-body shop, for employees who may be aware that their boss is watching them, but not some schmoe like me.

All this is to say: Secure your damn cameras, you hosers.