Soldiers from the Chinese Army, called the “People’s Liberation Army,” are now in Hawaii for what the local news outlet, the Star Advertiser, referred to yesterday as “disaster relief exercises,” coinciding with the little reported Grid Ex II exercises.
Michelle Tan of the Army Times reported today that this will be the first time ever that the Chinese Army will be teaming with American forces.
“The Hawaii-based portion of the exercise is a continuation of an annual — and growing — exchange between the Army and the People’s Liberation Army, said Col. John Lee, strategy and plans officer for security cooperation and policy at U.S. Army Pacific.”
Last year, Russian “Airborne Assault Forces” arrived in Colorado for similar drills, as reported by Alex Newman of the New American. He wrote that Cmdr. Wendy L. Snyder, U.S. Defense Press Officer for policy, said
“This is the first time that American and Russian special operations troops have participated in a bilateral exercise.”
There seem to be quite a few “firsts” with communist military forces teaming up with American forces.
Neither article mentions Grid Ex II. But as Timothy Whiteman of the Examiner points out,
“…the Department of Defense official website quietly noted rather generically that Chinese troops were invited to ‘attend next year’s Rim of the Pacific multilateral naval exercise.’”
The DoD website also noted that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Chang Wanquan announced that they “agreed to expand the current system of defense exchanges and joint exercises.”
Steven Kenniff of American Live Wire summed up the stated purpose of the Grid Ex II drill.
“The basic purpose behind the Grid EX II training exercises is to gain the cooperation of government, military, and corporate entities in a joint exercise to simulate the effects of a widespread attack on the US Power Grids, as well as on our digital infrastructure.”
As previously reported by the Examiner, many officials in the federal government have warned of the impact of cyber-attacks. Most of these warnings come with pleas to Congress for funding. Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, for example, said that a “cyber-attack perpetrated by nation states or extremist groups” could be “as destructive as the terrorist attack on 9/11.”
Former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said
“A massive and ‘serious’ cyber attack on the U.S. homeland is coming, and a natural disaster [due to global warming] – the likes of which the nation has never seen – is also likely on its way.”
But some are skeptical of the Grid Ex II exercise, as Kenniff wonders,
“Is the purpose of Grid EX II to bring about social chaos and instill martial law on the US?”
His question, of course, seems outlandish.