SECDEF Austin Is A Strategic Neanderthal; God Help Us All.
M1 Abrams main battle tanks from the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) participate in NATO Exercise DISPLAY DETERMINATION '87.

Neanderthal – “an uncivilized, unintelligent, or uncouth person” 

Something happened to Lloyd Austin between 1997 and 2003. In 1997, he was the brigade commander of 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division. I arrived as a new infantry platoon leader in 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, at that time and by all accounts, infantry officers I respected spoke highly of him. By 2003, he was a BG and the assistant division commander of the 3rd Infantry Division. At the start of OIF, his division had just efficiently destroyed much of the Iraqi Army and reached Baghdad. This was a tactical and operational victory, not a strategic victory. There is a huge difference as the US military would soon find out. He spoke at a press interview after the initial invasion, denying the emerging violence saying, “There is a perception that crime is rampant. It is not.” Crime was not the issue. The power vacuum being filled by the insurgency was. Thousands of US lives and trillions of dollars later, it was clear his judgement was horribly wrong. There is a tremendous difference between operational and strategic skill.

Years later, President Biden selected Austin to serve as SECDEF. In that capacity he presided over the  Afghanistan disaster, vaccine mandate debacle, abysmal recruiting policies, destruction of US military morale, and the introduction of the destructive CRT ideology. Worse, he provided terrible guidance on the war in Ukraine. Beginning as a slow grind, support escalated. Early 2023 saw yet another $40 Billion in military funding for Ukraine (not a lease, no strings attached). For the past year, Austin has not challenged multiple missteps including the President calling Putin a murderer and demanding regime change (presumptive acts of war). This past week, Austin stood proudly behind President Biden at a press conference where Biden stated, “The Secretary of State and the Secretary of the — of the military are behind me. Are — they — they’ve been deeply, deeply involved in this — this whole effort. Armored capability, as General Austin will tell you, spe- — is — has been — has been critical. And that’s why the United States has committed hundreds of armored fighting vehicles to date, including more than 500 as part of the assistance package we announced last Friday. And today — today, I’m announcing that the United States will be sending 31 Abram tanks to Ukraine, the equivalent of one Ukrainian battalion. Secretary Austin has recommended this step because it will enhance the Ukraine’s capacity to defend its territory and achieve its strategic objectives.” During the speech, the President couldn’t remember Austin’s job title.

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Sending M1 tanks is a dangerous escalation in the conflict. The President and mass media have done a great job of hyping the war as a harmless venture for lay citizens to discuss for social status in between viewing TikTok videos and working on pronouns. The reality is that although Russia is not nearly as powerful as they once were as the mighty USSR, they still command more nuclear warheads than the US does. Even at the height of the Cold War, US Presidents never called for regime change and further didn’t call Soviet leaders ‘murderers.’ Proxy wars were fought, but great care was taken to ensure they did not escalate into World War 3. Sending advanced US armor to Ukraine is an escalation. This past week a key German leader even stated that NATO is already at war with Russia. 

Technology and modern society have made the business of starting wars increasingly dangerous. Drones and separation of the US from most battlefields by thousands of miles have made the harsh reality of war invisible to most Americans. Such rhetoric to joyfully embrace war has not been seen for over 100 years when European leaders and populations gleefully marched to war in 1914. Ukraine face paint and flags on Twitter accounts are all the rage. In 20 years of war, less than 1% of Americans served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. The US population is so committed to risking war that the US military cannot even come close to meeting its recruiting goals. Modern America has become increasingly content with a small warrior caste fighting its wars so that its non-military majority can go about their lives, pausing only to wave Ukraine flags and fan the flames of larger conflict. A harsh reality of consequences for misguided policy may await America. Is America prepared to lose millions of US military members’ lives if the Ukraine misadventure escalates to a full scale NATO war? Is America prepared for a draft again? How about entire US cities being reduced to rubble in even a limited nuclear exchange.  Likely not. 

The job of the SECDEF is to advise the president on matters of national security and war. SECDEF Austin, a veteran of war, should know more than most that wars have consequences for nations and for individual soldiers committed to fight. However, he appears to have tipped his hand nearly 20 years ago at a press conference in Iraq in 2003 that he has no grasp of the strategic level of war. Iraq was relatively “cheap” at a loss of approximately 4,000 dead and $2 Trillion in funding. War with Russia will be exponentially higher. As a physician who served in war, however, I view the avoidable loss of even one soldier in battle as too many. 

There seems to have been little thought to outcomes and end states. As is most wars, the root causes of this war are not nice and neat. While Russia should never have invaded, both belligerents have strategic grievances with the security situation in Europe that emerged after NATO and the US failed to consider the implications of post-USSR Europe. Further, there seems to be little consideration for how Russia will fit in to the post-conflict world.  SECDEF Austin is in over his head.

John Hughes, MD

Veteran of Iraq/Afghanistan

Member of

1 Neanderthal

2 The Intercept

3 The White House

"A Lion Of The White Collar Bar"

Screenshot - William Taylor of Zuckerman Spaeder

AFP reported yesterday that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's protocol aide Kathy Chung was the official recommended by Hunter Biden to move TS SCI classified documents through Chinatown for years before they ended up at the Penn Biden Center.

Now we have learned that Kathy Chung has lawyered up with one of the top criminal attorneys in Washington, D.C.

William Taylor at Zuckerman Spaeder is described on the firm's website as "A lion of the white collar bar."

In other words, he is a killer of an attorney for white collar criminals.

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The Kathy Chung situation is bad in itself, but why is she on Secretary Austin's staff?

Has Secretary Austin made a statement on the situation?

Secretary Austin pushed the Covid-19 vaccines on our troops, with deadly consequences.

Naomi Wolf described the connection of the vaccine production to the Chinese Communist Party.

Something is rotten in Denmark.

Kathy Chung who packed the Biden documents and moved them to Chinatown, currently serves as the Deputy Director of Protocol for the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin

Screenshot Maria Bartiroma - Fox News

Maria Bartiromo reported this morning on her show Sunday Morning Futures, that the person who packed then Vice President Biden's classified documents was Kathy Chung, an assistant recommended for the job by Hunter Biden. 

In searching for information about Ms Chung's background, it has come to our attention that she currently serves as the Deputy Director of Protocol for the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and has served a number of Democrat senators in the past, including Senators Ted Kauffman D-Del, and Mark Udall D-Colo.

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More curiously, Ms Chung has turned up in the news on Hunter Biden's infamous laptop.  In 2015, she CC'd Hunter Biden at his Rosemont Seneca Partners firm on an email containing phone numbers for the Clintons, senators, and most of the Obama cabinet.  Why would the assistant to the Vice President sent personal cell phone numbers for top US government officials?

Interestingly, no news agency has been able to obtain a photograph of Ms Chung.

When Maria asked Devin Nunes how it would be possible for someone to move classified documents from the White House, out of the secure locations, through DC, including Chinatown, and ultimately to the Penn-Biden center,  Nunes responded “it’s not possible unless you’re breaking the law.” 

Nunes went on to describe a precise process used to simply move classified documents from the House to the Senate areas of the Capitol.

Soldier Receives Covid Vaccine

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After the Republicans used the passage of defense legislation last month as a means to force Democrats to drop the mandatory Covid-19 vaccine for all military personnel, the Pentagon released a memo from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Tuesday evening that formally repealed the mandate.

Austin’s memo rescinds the mandate for active duty, the National Guard, and the Reserves.

The repeal comes after an order from Austin on August 24, 2021, in which he mandated that all military personnel be full-vaccinated or be discharged from military duty.

Prior to the lifting of the mandate, some 8,400 troops were discharged, with tens of thousands applying for accommodation requests, including for medical, administrative, or religious reasons. Tens of thousands of reservists, allegedly up to 60,000, remained unvaccinated and were set to be discharged as well. The mass discharges came as the military has faced a serious recruiting crisis in recent years.

In an escalation of the battle between the military and leadership, forces successfully sued to temporarily enjoin the Navy, Air Force, and Marines from taking action against individuals who had applied for religious accommodations. The inspector general for the Pentagon also sent a memo to Austin indicating that blanket denials of religious accommodation requests flirted with breaking the law.

Some troops took a different tactic and fought the mandate on the basis that the DOD can only mandate FDA-approved vaccines, which some of the Covid vaccines at the time were not. The claim argued that the military was using a form of the vaccine that was under the Emergency Use Authorization provision and not FDA pre-approved. Then-DOD official, Terri Adirim, replied in another memo the two vaccines were interchangeable.

Despite the repeated challenges from troops and the massive loss of forces, the Biden administration refused to back down and reverse the mandate until House and Senate Republicans used the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes defense spending, to strong-arm the administration into repealing the mandate. In a statement released in conjunction with Austin’s memo, the Pentagon said, “This recession requirement was established by the James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023.”

The Pentagon’s statement continued, “The health and readiness of the Force are crucial to the Department’s ability to defend our nation. Secretary Austin continues to encourage all Service members, civilian employees, and contractor personnel to get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 to ensure Total Force readiness.”

Austin’s memo stated, “No individuals currently serving in the Armed Forces shall be separated solely on the basis of their refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccination if they sought an accommodation on religious, administrative, or medical grounds.”

The memo went on to clarify that the military would also remove adverse actions that were solely associated with denials of accommodation requests for troops, including any letters of reprimand, which could be career-ending.

The memo also noted that the military would stop any current reviews of accommodation requests for service members.

The correspondence did include a section indicating that the DOD would still take action against unvaccinated troops saying, “Other standing Departmental policies, procedures, and processes regarding immunization remain in effect. These include the ability of commanders to consider, as appropriate, the individual immunization status of personnel in making deployment, assignment, and other operational decisions, including when vaccination is required for travel to, or entry into, a foreign nation.”

Austin concluded his memo by noting that the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness would be issuing additional guidance to “ensure uniform implementation” of the memo. Recently, the Coast Guard and Army have both issued guidance only to have it retracted hours later. It just goes to show that the military leadership has never considered any alternatives to the vaccine mandate.

Meanwhile, Republicans have vowed to fight for the reinstatement of discharged troops with backpay in 2023. The question remains though, how many discharged service members will return to a military that denied their civil liberties, attempted to silence their voices, and turned its back on them? Unfortunately, the answer is probably, too few. Austin’s memo is like Biden’s border visit – too little, too late.

On December 4, 2022, AP news reported that the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, is refusing to consider rescinding the Covid-19 vaccine mandate.  In recent days, Republicans in Congress and the Senate have pushed back on the mandate, citing harm it has done to recruiting and retention in the military.  Worse, the military has fallen short of recruiting goals by the tune of tens of thousands.  Republicans have threatened to hold the passage of the Defense spending bill until the White House directs the vaccine to be ended.  White House spokespersons said the Commander in Chief was considering the issue.

SECDEF, Austin, however, has doubled down on the vaccine mandate.  ““I’m the guy” who ordered the military to require the vaccine, Austin added.  “I support continuation of vaccinating the troops.””  Austin triumphantly declared that “A million people died in the United States of America.  We lost hundreds in DoD.  So, this mandate has kept people healthy.”

Austin, a 1975 graduate of the United States Military Academy, has strayed far from his ethical roots.  To date, 96 active-duty deaths have been attributed to Covid-19 since the pandemic began.  This figure has not changed in the past 4 months.   Less than 10 have died of Covid in the past year.  The vast majority of deaths in the  690 figure he likely refers to includes contractors, dependents, and civilian DoD employees.  According to the CDC, less that 0.3% of covid deaths have occurred in Americans 24 and under.   The average age of US military servicemembers is 23.  The DoD has repeatedly made covid statistics by age and comorbidity unavailable, likely to mask the truth that nearly all of the 96 deaths that did occur were in personnel with multiple co-morbidities and that were way over 24 years of age.  

Not surprisingly, 0 cadets at any service academies have died from Covid-19.  Yet, just last week, following Austin’s vindictive guidance, LTG Gilland (USMA Superintendent) gave 5 general officer letters of reprimand to 5 West Point cadets who refused the vaccine on religious grounds.  All 5 face separation any day.  Covid-19 is not a threat to the vast majority of DoD active-duty personnel, particularly the young Americans sorely needed as recruits.

The vaccine does not protect against Covid-19.  In a famous trial in January 2022 at the height of Omicron, 27% of vaccinated and boosted NBA players still contracted Covid-19 despite vaccines, boosters, and daily Covid-19 testing of the NBA workforce to isolate infected personnel.  Keep in mind the average age of NBA players is nearly a decade older than US military members’ average age.  SECDEF Austin, famously vaccinated and boosted, has contracted Covid-19 twice in 2022 so far.  Worse, since April 2022, the majority of deaths from Covid-19 have occurred in vaccinated Americans.

SECDEF Austin is equivocating on the truth.  If he had done that as a cadet, he would have been kicked out of West Point by the Honor Committee.  In addition to setting poor ethical examples for DoD, he is a poor physical example as well.  Overweight Austin daily shows that he doesn’t care about the science of what actually does cause Covid-19 disability – obesity and poor health.  Since early 2020 it was well known by physicians that advanced age, obesity, and co-morbidities were the biggest risk factors for age.  SECDEF Austin is not manifesting any form of leadership.  He should apologize for his mistake, take a math course to understand simple mathematics better, end the mandate, and buy a treadmill or join a gym.

John Hughes, MD
Emergency Physician

Veteran of Iraq/Afghanistan

Member of



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