A senior intelligence official from the National Security Council has urged the White House to rethink its decision to host a secretive Jade Helm “battlefield exercises” this fall.
In a letter obtained by National Review, the official warns the exercise “could become a dangerous distraction to the national security mission,” including “potentially destabilizing military operations in the event of an outbreak of an emerging or developing disease.”
The letter, signed by John Brennan, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, and Samantha Power, assistant secretary of state for democratic institutions, also warns of “serious consequences” if Jade Helm’s events are “not appropriately handled.”
“It is imperative that you immediately and publicly reexamine your plans to host this year’s exercises,” Brennan wrote in the letter.
“If you decide to proceed with these events, you are creating a potentially dangerous distraction that could become a potential destabilizing force for our military operations, potentially destabilizing the international response to any outbreak of pandemic disease, and potentially jeopardizing our ability to counter the threat of a developing pandemic.”
Brennan added that the exercise could “become a potentially destabilising force for the U.S. military operations” and “potential destabilizing forces for the United States’ ability to defend the nation.”
The Pentagon has previously said the exercises are being hosted to “provide training for members of the Joint Special Operations Command [JSOC], who are providing support to U.N. peacekeeping missions in Iraq and Syria.”
The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The letter from Brennan and Power also calls on President Donald Trump to “use this opportunity to reaffirm our support for the Joint special operations command and the mission of the Department of Defense.”
The exercises will take place during the annual Christmas holiday and “will be open to the public, regardless of military service,” the letter says.
It adds that the exercises “may be held in conjunction with events taking place on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, or during the inauguration or inauguration festivities in Washington.”
It adds: “The exercise will include training in counter-IED operations, counter-insurgency techniques, and tactics, as well as exercises designed to provide an overview of how to prepare for future events.
The exercises are open to members of both the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the National Guard, as is the Joint Expeditionary Training Program.”
In a statement to The Washington Post, the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPP) said that the move to “host a series of exercises” during the holiday season is “in violation of the law” and has the potential to “create a dangerous situation.”
“The NDCCP opposes the idea of using the holiday to hold any sort of military exercises,” NCPP wrote.
“As we’ve seen in recent years, the NDCCp has argued for a ‘war room’ in place to manage Jade Helm events,” the NCPP added. “
The fact that Jade Helm is taking place in October is a clear sign that the White Houses plans to use it as a pretext for further destabilizing operations around the world.”
“As we’ve seen in recent years, the NDCCp has argued for a ‘war room’ in place to manage Jade Helm events,” the NCPP added.
“That ‘war-room’ is currently under siege, and we are concerned that this will become even more of a danger for all Americans should the Jade Helm exercise proceed.”