Strategic Command Relates NYE Ball Drop and Dropping Bombs, Causes Mass Uproar

US military apologizes for tweet about dropping bombs
GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/KEVORK DJANSEZIAN
KRISTINA WONG

U.S. Strategic Command (Stratcom), the military command in charge of the nation’s global strike and nuclear capabilities, and deterring other countries from using them, caused an online uproar on Monday after tweeting a video of a stealth bomber dropping conventional bombs on a testing range.

It tweeted, “#TimesSquare tradition rings in the #NewYear by dropping the big ball…if ever needed, we are #ready to drop something much, much bigger. Watch to the end!”

The tweet also included the hashtags, “#Deterrence #Assurance #CombatReadyForce #PeaceIsOurProfession.”

Military combatant commands and services typically create these videos of their forces training as tools to inform the public of what they do. The video was actually released earlier this year, in October, and is available on DVIDS, the military repository for all military-created videos, photos, and other public materials.

However, it seemed that people were shocked at the sight of seeing how Strategic Command trains for its all-too-serious mission defending the nation, and the suggestion that “if ever needed” it would be ready.

A former Obama national security official-turned-CNN analyst asked how the intelligence community assesses the U.S.’s “enemies will react to escalatory videos.”

After becoming the target of a Twitter mob, the combatant command deleted its video and posted an apology:

The spokesman for U.S. Strategic Command, Navy Capt. Brook DeWalt, explained in a statement:

This post, which has since been deleted, was part of our Year in Review series meant to feature our command priorities — strategic deterrence, decisive response and combat-ready force. It was a repost from earlier in the year, dropping a pair of conventional Massive Ordnance Penetrators (MOP) at a test range in the United States. We admittedly erred in connecting it to New Year’s Eve festivities, and we apologize. We remain dedicated to the security of America and our allies.

However, not all felt the tweet was in bad taste.

John Noonan, staffer for Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), pointed out that the command responsible for “blowing stuff [up]” tweeted something about doing it and “people got the vapors.”

Defense journalist Joseph Trevithick pointed out that similar things have been tweeted out in the past from military accounts, to little uproar:

Professor Tom Nichols pointed out the mundane intention behind the tweet, saying, “They’re on duty and ready to execute their mission”:

The “People for Bernie” account applauded Stratcom deleting its tweet, and said, “Now, we keep fighting to delete the entire military industrial complex”:

Several hours, later, the People for Bernie account returned to its normal tweets and retweets calling for revolution:

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