I collect conspiracy theories; it’s a sort of hobby. Did Prince Philip really send MI6 to murder Diana and Dodi al Fayed? (No; Paris drivers are quite capable of killing people all by themselves). Was Lee Harvey Oswald’s barrage at JFK an impossible feat of marksmanship? (Not at all. Any reasonably decent shot could do it). Was RMS Titanic secretly swapped with a damaged sister ship in a huge, lethal insurance scam? (Unlikely, but there are some intriguing photos that don’t match up). So I’m following the uproar around Exercise Jade Helm 15 with more than a little interest, because this has all the conspiracies you could ask for.
In case you’ve spent the last month hiking in the Gobi desert, Jade Helm 15 is a major exercise aimed at letting special operations troops practice operating in a range of terrains and environments. The southern USA is a perfect place for this sort of training, thanks to its amazing range of terrain types – everything from cities and coastal forests to desert. As a former British soldier, I’m actually really envious; our training areas offered a choice of wet English forests, wet German forests, wet Polish forests or very wet Scottish bogs. The exercise is being run across Texas, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado and southern California, which is a pretty large area, but it’s not very manpower intensive; about 1,200 troops will be exercising, mostly from various special forces units, with small contingents of line units as enablers and playing the role of friendly troops.
It’s hard to say exactly what’s got Chuck Norris and the tinfoil hat crowd so wound up about Jade Helm. Some think it’s an exercise map that designates a couple of states, and the bottom end of California, as “hostile” territory. If so, clearly these are people who don’t know much about the military except maybe a couple of years checking ID cards at an air base gate in the 1950s. Exercises are rehearsals for warfighting. Warfighting involves an enemy. And the enemy has territory. It’s perfectly normal for exercise maps to rename large parts of your own country as “Redland” or something like that.
Then there’s the clothing issue. Special Forces often operate in civilian clothes, and they’ll be doing that during Jade Helm. Some people find this intensely suspicious. After all, someone dressed in typical American clothes would stand out in the Middle East, right? Therefore they can’t be training to operate abroad; therefore, this is all part of a plot by the USA to invade Texas.
The thing about the exercise troops wearing typical American clothes is this: They’re not training in how to get dressed. They’re Special Forces troops, meaning they’re adults, and they already learned how to put clothes on. What they’re practicing is how to operate covertly among a civilian population, without being noticed. I’ve done that on exercises; I’ve covertly met members of the “Anglian Liberation Army” in supermarket cafes. I’ve walked around English cities with a hidden radio earpiece, a pistol stuffed down my jeans and an HK53 in my bag. And I did it all wearing typical British clothes, because the ones I’d be wearing in the Balkans might just have stood out a bit. If the troops taking part in Jade Helm wore what the average conspiracy nut thinks Arabs wear, or even what Arabs really wear, they’d be pretty conspicuous on their travels around the southern USA. That, obviously, is not a good thing when you’re trying to be covert.
Back in reality, the troops probably have the skills to put on different clothes when they deploy to the Middle East (or Ukraine, the Baltic states, North Africa, Latin America…), but wearing US clothes for Jade Helm will let them blend in with the civilian population and get the training value they’re looking for. Obviously, the idiotic decision to send the Texas State Guard to interfere with the exercise won’t help, but I’m pretty sure the Green Berets and SEALs will be able to evade detection. On the bright side, the Guard members are likely to end up hanging around chatting to the uniformed troops who’ll be involved, and building closer links between regular and reserve units is always a good thing.
It’s OK to not trust the government. No government in history has ever been trustworthy. But, it’s a gross insult to the US armed forces to accuse them of being part of some sinister plan to occupy their own country, and to send state troops to screw around with their training. If people don’t understand how the military works they should ask a soldier or veteran, not splatter wild rubbish all over the internet.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.