It came as absolutely no surprise to me the other day when I watched and read breaking news on the horrendous mass shooting at the Pensacola Naval Air Base, Fl, USA.

My heart goes out to the dead and wounded, and their families and close friends.

Green on Blue attacks (as I’m calling it) have been going on for a good few years now in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

It was only a matter of time that this scenario would come about on US soil, while there is training taking place of students from the Greater Middle Eastern countries there.

But thousands of foreign students get training in both the USA and the UK from this Region. Yes, that’s correct, but it only takes one lone wolf…or a small group who have been radicalized with anger and hate by some form to create carnage.

Green on Blue is the reference used when a foreign military individual takes it upon himself to attack and kill a US, UK or coalition instructor/mentor, mainly through radicalization. For years, Blue on Blue has been a reference in conflict when two sub units from the same force strike one another, or one strikes the other, by land, sea or air, normally through miscommunication. One of my fellow callsigns was struck by the US airforce in the first Gulf war for example.

Back in 2006 I had to halt a training course that I was running in Afghanistan, because I found out that at least one of the students had Taliban connections. When I had a meeting of those “heads of departments” who brought the course together, I was shocked to learn from them that no due diligence was conducted with reference to any of the students on the course. The courses ended, as there was no way to realistically conduct due diligence on a foreign student, even in their own country. I had just pulled the plug on my own bread and butter. But even today, I know that had I not done that, I wouldn’t be writing this blog.

Therefore, in the present “hostile” climate that pits Western liberal values against  radicalized Islamist ideologues who seek to destroy the liberal, secular order, I fail to see just how trust can be formed when due diligence clearly cannot be done, except by members of the country that the student comes from.

I just want to remind the reader of the fact that the USA is still a huge ally and major supporter of the Saudi Government. Even given the events of 9/11, the brutal killing of the Saudi journalist, Khashoggi, their dreadful human rights violations, not just in places like Yemen, but also in their own country. Therefore, I just wonder then, exactly what price does the US government actually put on a US citizen?

From here, it looks like the price of present day politics, along with the price of military hardware and military training for the use of that hardware, versus the price of American citizens lives,  is seen as completely one way traffic. Quite obviously there is huge amounts of $$$$$$$$$$ to be made from the former, whereas there is none to be made from the latter.

After many Green on Blue scenarios overseas, leading to the deaths and wounding of Americans, it was deemed necessary to have instructors covered by an armed guard…yet shootings and killings were and are still taking place despite that move.

America as we all know is the land of guns. It’s just been released to the media that this individual went and legally bought himself a Glock semi automatic pistol with extended magazines and ammunition…legally. He then somehow got that weapon onto the base (maybe legally once again, as nothing now surprises me any more), and managed to bring it into the building where the shooting took place.

Heads need to roll (maybe not the best one liner given the scenario)! Politicians and heads of the military and law enforcement concerned with the military base and it’s surroundings need to be held accountable for this.

After every mass shooting in the USA, the same scenario is played out. At the first big press conference with the media, the local Governor, the Mayor, the police chief…and in this case the military base commander, all give their “thoughts and prayers” to all involved. Then they proceed to blow smoke up each and one another’s arses. To say what a wonderful response there was. What a great job everyone had done. Then as the next press conference takes place, followed by the next…the cracks begin to appear…and then the story goes away. The media move onto the next big news story elsewhere. So, there is very little lessons to be learned by all, Federally or even locally.

This is why it’s become every individual for themselves, when it comes to a mass shooting in America. Depending on which law enforcement area that you live in, will depend on the teachings for your reaction to gun violence. From the simple out of date but still used Lock Down only drill by some…to the more in date and proven Run, Hide, Fight, Kill drill. America’s a big country with a big population, but it can actually get on the same page in order to keep Americans safer…if it really wants to.

The US military has been fighting these GME conflicts now for around 20 years…lots and lots of lessons have been learned supposedly over those two decades. Yet an individual from a foreign military can legally buy a high powered semi automatic pistol. He can bring it onto a military base. And he can use it to kill Americans…inside America. Plain crazy in this day and age of the very much ongoing “War on Terror!”

For decades, I’ve watched the British and US military train foreign students. One day we’re supporting them through our government’s foreign policies…the next we’re fighting them. That’s because foreign policy as shown in just the recent past, will forever change.

But the one thing that should never change, the absolute priority for both politicians and  military top brass, should always be to ensure the safety of their people in their own country, above all else.


Published by: bobshepherdauthor

Bestselling author Bob Shepherd has spent nearly forty years operating in conflict areas around the world. A twenty year veteran of Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment with nearly two decades of private security work to his credit, Bob has successfully negotiated some of the most dangerous places on earth as a special forces soldier and a private citizen. Bob comments regularly on security issues and has appeared on CNN International, BBC, SKY News, and BBC Radio. He has also authored numerous articles and books including the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller The Circuit. In addition to writing and lecturing, Bob continues to advise individuals operating in hostile environments. For more of his insights on security and geopolitics visit

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