Written by John Tutten on May 9, 2015

You may be hearing in the media about something called Jade Helm. No, this is not the fem fatale in the latest James Bond flick. Jade Helm 15 is a joint U.S. military Special Forces exercise beginning on U.S. soil in mid July. The Pentagon formally describes it this way: JH is a challenging eight-week joint military and inter-agency (IA) Unconventional Warfare (UW) exercise…to improve the Special Operations Forces’ UW capability as part of the National Security Strategy”.

This “Realistic Military Training” is going to be conducted outside the federally controlled land typically used for such training. Instead, maneuvers are scheduled on public and private land across the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. Some reports though indicate that Colorado may be out and Mississippi and Florida may be now involved.

About 1200 members of our Special Ops Forces will be involved in this realistic training. Representatives from the Marines, SEALs, the 82nd Airborne, along with other Special Op and Inter-agency personnel will all be participating.

Our military has been very up front with the communities where these exercises will take place and has provided very detailed explanations of the maneuvers. However, while it seems legit, given the totalitarian bent of our government in Washington, the operation is making many patriots nervous.

The published map of the states involved with the exercise has somewhat provocative labeling. States included are labeled hostile, permissive, leaning hostile, and leaning friendly. There is some correlation with these labels with real life political leanings. For instance, Texas, a Republican red state, is labeled as hostile territory while California, a Democratic blue state, is labeled permissive. Is this just a coincidence and nothing to do with politics?

The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has added to the concern by staging his State Guard to closely monitor what will be taking place to insure it is indeed training and not some prelude to marshal law. Does he know something we don’t? Time will tell.

I’m inclined though to buy what we are being told by the Pentagon. Clearly the nature of our enemies and therefore the strategy to combat them has changed since the Cold War. We don’t need to roll out dozens of tanks and artillery pieces with tens of thousands of foot soldiers to go against today’s threats. The areas in this country used for these exercises are similar to what our Special Ops personnel would have to operate in given the nature and location of today’s potential conflicts.

However, given this president’s disdain for the military and his clear desire to pull American military involvement in the world back, an exercise of this size and scope seems kind of inconsistent, doesn’t it? Our overseas strategy now seems to be “go drone and go home”. Why then such an exercise of boots-on-the-ground given our president’s bunker mentality?

It’s possible that this indeed may be legitimate military training but that it really isn’t about training for operations outside our country. Maybe the areas the military is conducting exercises in are precisely the areas where they believe they will be engaging our enemies. This could be a sign that they expect a wide scale terrorist event on our soil soon.

This should not be surprising to anyone. The borders are wide open and terrorists can easily slip into this country unnoticed. There are legitimate reports that ISIS has camps close to our border in Mexico. We know that ISIS has hooked up with Mexican drug cartels on many fronts. The cartels can provide ISIS with easy access to many cities in the U.S. It would not be that farfetched that ISIS could have slipped a few thousand operatives into the country and has them positioned in teams ready for an order to begin their jihad.

While Jade Helm 15 is most likely the training exercise the Pentagon claims it to be (whether for foreign or domestic threats), it still produces an unsettling intimidation factor for politically aware citizens. This exercise conducted on both public and private lands, showcasing how the military can very effectively deal with their adversaries, gives me great pause. What if we were the adversaries?

We already know that Homeland Security labels people that go to gun shows or write pro-Constitution articles or who store more than a month’s worth of food as potential terrorists. Even though the NSA’s data gathering has been ruled illegal this week, the government has all it needs on each of us to make such a classification.

There’s never been a time that required more vigilance and maybe, more courage.

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John Tutten
John Tutten holds degrees in both engineering and business management. He is veteran of thirty-three years in the high technology business world where he spent time in development engineering and technology management predominantly in the area of custom semiconductor circuits. He recently retired to the mountains of north Georgia where he devotes his time to the study of Christian Apologetics and writing in defense of the Christian worldview.