Friday, December 15, 2017

This Is How The U.S. Military Attacks, Defeats And Destroys Its Enemies In Battle



Kris Osborn, National Interest: 10 Ways America's Military Attacks, Defeats and Destroys Its Enemies in Battle

Composed of the Army’s best green berets as well as operators from around the Department of Defense, Delta Force takes on high-stakes missions far ahead of the rest of the military. It was Delta Force that led the hunt for Osama Bin Laden in the Tora Bora mountains in 2001.

When America needs to break its way into an enemy country, these are the people who slip, kick, or explode their way past the defenses and blaze the way for follow-on forces.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The U.S. is unmatched when it comes to winning battles. The problem they have is winning wars.

Commentaries, ANalysis, And Editorials -- December 15, 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow on December 14, 2017. Photo: Reuters/ via Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin

M.K. Bhadrakumar, Asia Times: Moscow senses Trump’s travails could be ending

Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to think Donald Trump may still be president in the coming months when the Mueller probe into Russia's alleged interference in the US election will reach its conclusion

The ongoing investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Special Counsel Robert Mueller over Russia’s alleged interference in the US election is sputtering. The role of the FBI and the Justice Department in boosting Hillary Clinton’s election prospects last November can no longer be shoved under the carpet.

The email correspondence between top FBI agent Peter Strzok and a bureau lawyer Lisa Page, who were working on the 2016 election (besides having an extramarital affair), suggests that they were fired up with messianic zeal to ensure that somehow Hillary won – and, importantly, that Trump lost. And they probably had ‘in-house’ meetings with then-No. 2 in the FBI Andrew McCabe, presently acting director, who subsequently handpicked Mueller as special counsel.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- December 15, 2017

President Moon’s China state visit spirals into PR disaster -- Andrew Salmon, Asia Times

While world watches North Korea, China builds in the South China Sea -- David Brunnstrom, CSM/Reuters

What Is The United States Doing In The South China Sea? -- Peter Pham, Forbes

Is China's Era of Cheap Labor Really Over? -- Dmitriy Plekhanov, The Diplomat

Exclusive video: South Sudan, a cursed land -- FRANCE 24

Who is going to replace South African President Jacob Zuma as ANC party leader? -- Subry Govender, DW

Europe's Leaders Watch Populism Rise -- Anne-Sylvaine Chassany & Guy Chazan, Financial Times

Europe Is Not Ready For the Next Migration Surge -- Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg

Honduran democracy is under assault -- Steven Levitsky & Carlos Flores, L.A. Times

Islamic Jihad pushes Hamas into a corner -- Shlomi Eldar, Al-Monitor

Is America Negotiating with the Islamic State? -- Daniel R. DePetris, National Interest

What Will ‘Actually Solve’ Terrorism Problem? -- James Kitfield, Breaking Defense

The Left’s Nuclear Delusions Die Hard -- Noah Rothman, Commentary

Have Trump and Tillerson Made the Secretary of State Irrelevant? -- Abigail Tracy, Vanity Fair

Tonight's Movie Is 'Tripoli Action' (1950)

World News Briefs -- December 15, 2017 (Evening Edition)



Reuters: Tillerson urges long halt to North Korea weapons tests before any talks

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday urged North Korea to carry out a “sustained cessation” of weapons testing to allow the two countries to hold talks about Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs.

“North Korea must earn its way back to the table. The pressure campaign must and will continue until denuclearization is achieved,” Tillerson told a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on North Korea’s weapons programs. He did not specify how long the lull should last.

He told reporters after the meeting that the United States would not accept any preconditions for talks with North Korea.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

White House signals Western Wall has to be part of Israel.

Pentagon alarmed by uptick in close calls with Russia jets in Syria.

US plans Middle East peace push after 'cooling off' over Jerusalem.

Over half Syrian refugees in Lebanon in 'extreme poverty': UN.

Yemen air strikes, clashes kill 51.

Jerusalem: Three Palestinians killed in fresh clashes with Israel. 4 Palestinians killed in latest Jerusalem fallout clashes.

US calls for global 'coalition' to counter Iran.

UN 'shocked and appalled' at mass-execution in Iraq.

Yemeni army pushes Houthis from outpost in southern Yemen.

Erdogan says Turkey seeking to annul Trump decision on Jerusalem at U.N..

ASIA

Rex Tillerson: China and Russia's North Korea ties undermine peace efforts.

Deadly earthquake strikes Indonesian island of Java.

China and South Korea united over North Korea threat.

US negotiator says direct diplomacy needed on North Korea.

Japan imposes new sanctions on North Korea. Japan to assess defence capabilities as it expands harsh sanctions on North Korea, freezing assets on 19 more firms.

South Korea criticized over treatment of North Korean defectors.

Pakistan reports rare progress in tense ties with Afghanistan.

China has warned Australia to keep out of the South China Sea dispute. China says Australia disrupting 'stability and peace' in South China Sea; build-up on islands continues.

Rohingya 'rather die' than return to oppression in Myanmar.

AFRICA

UN reports grim childhood for South Sudan's kids.

South Sudan's Kiir promotes three generals facing U.N. sanctions.

UN peacekeeping chief visits Goma after deadly attack.

Ethiopia 'Red Terror' aide Alemu jailed for war crimes.

Warlord Thomas Lubanga ordered to pay $13 million to child soldiers in landmark ruling.

Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa seeks end to Western sanctions.

Zimbabwe's Emmerson Mnangagwa calls for ZANU-PF unity.

Exclusive: Italy plans big handover of sea rescues to Libya coastguard.

EUROPE

Austria shifts to the right as new coalition deal is struck.

Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron set eurozone reform plan deadline.

EU to force firms to reveal true owners in wake of Panama Papers.

EU leaders formally approve second Brexit phase.

EU sees new ‘dramatically difficult’ phase in Brexit talks.

SPD's Martin Schulz announces preliminary German coalition talks.

EU compromise on migrants 'very hard': Tusk.

NATO concerned Russian missile system breaks Cold War pact.

Russian ex-minister Ulyukayev gets eight years for bribery.

Putin looks for quick win, but voter apathy worries Kremlin.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to wed on 19 May.

AMERICAS

Some Canada exporters say NAFTA talks impacting business: survey.

Mexican senate votes to keep troops in police role despite outcry from rights groups.

Republicans finish tax bill, will release details later in day.

Trump criticizes FBI and says no pardon for Flynn 'yet'. Trump blasts FBI leadership but says he’s loyal to police.

Venezuela first lady's nephews jailed for drugs.

Brazil's president pushes for pension reforms.

Odebrecht scandal: Peru president Kuczynski resists pressure to quit.

Protesters block roads in Honduras as electoral crisis rumbles on.

Mexico enshrines army's role in drug war with divisive law.

Canada spy agency settles lawsuit alleging homophobia, racism.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Sahel force funding shows Saudi 'serious' on terrorism fight: analysts.

Bitcoin: US prosecutors rush to millions of dollars worth of digital currency seized in drug bust.

Partner forces kill ISIS fighters near small US garrison in Syria.

German girl imprisoned for Isis role has fleeting family reunion.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Wall Street closes at records with tax overhaul in sight.

Bitcoin hits new record high as warnings grow louder.

As Disney swallows Fox, a new era dawns for Hollywoo.

In first, SpaceX launches recycled rocket and spaceship.

Amazon backs down in Google streaming spat.

RAND Study: U.S. Military Could Lose The Next War

U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships steam in formation during their military manoeuvre exercise known as Keen Sword 15 in the sea south of Japan, in this November 19, 2014 handout provided by the U.S. Navy. REUTERS/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chris Cavagnaro/U.S. Navy/Handout

Bill Gertz, Washington Times: Dire warning: U.S. military ‘poorly structured,’ vulnerable to China, Russia threats

A new study by the Rand Corp. is warning that U.S. military forces are poorly structured to meet the threats posed by China, Russia and other states, as well as the continuing war against Islamic terrorism.

The study, “U.S. Military Capabilities and Forces for a Dangerous World,” presents the stark conclusion that the American military needs to reform its structure and war fighting plans to better deal with military challenges.

“Put more starkly, assessments in this report will show that U.S. forces could, under plausible assumptions, lose the next war they are called upon to fight, despite the United States outspending China on military forces by a ratio of 2.7 to 1 and Russia by 6 to 1,” the report said. “The nation needs to do better than this.”

Read more ....

WN Editor:  People are now raising red flags.

Relations Between China And Australia Are Becoming Increasingly Strained On The Issue Of Political Interference



The Diplomat: Australia and China Spat Over Foreign Interference Escalates

China summons the Australian ambassador for increasingly strained ties.

Relations between Australia and China have become increasingly strained recently.

On December 14, the Chinese foreign ministry admitted that it had summoned Jan Adams — the Australian ambassador to China — recently for “an important talk” with a top Chinese official.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang emphasized at the regular press briefing that “Australia should be very clear about China’s position on the relevant issue of our bilateral relations.”

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WNU Editor: China is now directly threatening Australia .... China scolds Australian navy chief amid fears tensions could worsen (The Australian). More here .... Top Chinese commander takes aim at Australia over South China Sea military moves (South China Morning Post).

More News On Tensions Between China And Australia Over Chinese Political Interference In Aussie Affairs

Australian ambassador summoned to China's foreign ministry as row over political interference intensifies -- South China Morning Post
China summons Australia's ambassador over influence row -- Deutsche Welle
Meddling row: China summons Oz envoy -- Asian Age/AFP
‘The Australian People Stand Up’: PM Turnbull Rebukes Beijing for Meddling in Domestic Politics -- Epoch Times

China And South Korea Agee To Mend Ties And To Find Common Ground On North Korea



VOA: South Korea, China Make Amends, But THAAD Dispute Lingers

BEIJING — For his first state visit to China, South Korean President Moon Jae-in came with an entourage of more than 300 business people, an actress who is wildly popular here and heartthrob boy band EXO, which sings in both Korean and Chinese.

The charm offensive was aimed at helping get frosty trade relations back on track, analysts said.

While the liberal-leaning South Korean leader is in sync with China and its approach toward North Korea - leaning heavily against military action - he hasn’t given ground to Beijing on his country’s deployment of the U.S.-made Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system.

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WNU Editor: Both countries are in complete sync on the issue of North Korea. Both countries do not want a war on the Korean peninsula, and both realize that they must work together to contain North Korea. This meeting was also a message to President Trump that both China and South Korea are on top of North Korea. But I noticed some inconsistencies in this summit .... specifically on the part of China .... South Koreans fume over perceived diplomatic snubs by China (Nikkei Asian Review). Yup .... China was belittling South Korea on a few occasions .... and this lack of respect has been noticed by everyone in the region, especially when this happened .... Chinese Security Guards Beat South Korean Journalists In Shocking Footage From Beijing Trade Fair (Newsweek).

More News On China And South Korea Agreeing To Mend Starined Ties And To Find Common Ground On North Korea

'Moon-Xi summit showed willingness to mend strained ties' -- The Korea Herald
China and South Korea Hail 'New Start' Amid Scuffle -- The Diplomat
China says war must not be allowed on Korean Peninsula -- The Japan News
South Korean President Says Pyongyang's Nuclear Program Threatening China -- Sputnik International
South Korean President Moon Jae-in stresses understanding, communication between Seoul and Beijing -- The World On Arirang

Some Interesting Stats On North Korea

Kim Jong Un looks at an Arirang smartphone in 2013./KCNA

Korea Times: 14% of North Koreans have cellphones

Fourteen out of 100 North Koreans have cellphones. The country's economy grew 3.9 percent last year, marking the highest growth since 1999.

According to a Statistics Korea report on North Korea released Friday, North Korea's population totaled 24.9 million as of last year, which is less than half that of South Korea at 51.2 million. When combined, the population on the Korean Peninsula totals 76.1 million.

North Korea's gross national income (GNI) was 36.4 trillion won last year, which is 2.2 percent of South Korea's 1,639.1 trillion won. The North Korean economy grew 3.9 percent last year, while South Korea marked 2.8 percent growth.

North Korea's per capita income was 1.46 million won. Their brothers in South Korea had 22 times bigger per capita income at 32 million won.

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WNU Editor: On a side note .... Mattis: North Korea short of posing imminent missile threat (AP). Also .... Lindsey Graham Says There’s a 70 Percent Chance Trump Orders a Strike on North Korea If They Do Another Nuclear Test (NYMag).

In The Event Of War Will North Korean Troops 'Fight Like Tigers'?

Images from an April 15 military parade in Pyongyang show what appear to be North Korean 'commandos' carrying AK-47 assault rifles with attached grenade-launchers. But they are really 'helical' magazines designed to store bullets in a spiral shape

USA Today: In case of war, North Korean troops 'will fight like tigers,' some to the death

North Korea may have short soldiers who look hungry. Their equipment may be antiquated. And some troops have intestinal parasites. But the fourth-largest military in the world still poses a formidable threat, analysts say.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday told the United Nations Security Council that while the U.S. does not want war with North Korea, it will “use all necessary measures to defend itself against North Korean aggression.”

The door is open for U.S.-North Korea talks, but “a sustained cessation of North Korea’s threatening behavior must occur before talks can begin,” Tillerson said. “North Korea must earn its way back to the table."

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WNU Editor: This will be a war between Koreans. Will the North Korea soldiers "fight-like tigers" against their southern cousins? I suspect that many will .... I also suspect that many will not.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Calls On Russia And China To Pressure North Korea



Foreign Policy: Tillerson Backtracks on Overture to North Korea, Slams China and Russia

"North Korea must earn its way back to the table," Tillerson told U.N.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson scrapped an offer to talk without preconditions to North Korea from the text of his high-level U.N. speech delivered Friday, marking a further retreat from the diplomatic outreach to Pyongyang he made just three days ago.

The reversal by America’s top diplomat, which followed pressure from the White House, marked an extraordinary turn of events that raises questions about President Donald Trump’s willingness to look for a diplomatic answer to North Korea’s quest for nuclear weapons.

In remarks before the U.N. Security Council on Friday, Tillerson said “we will never accept a nuclear North Korea.” While saying that Washington favored a peaceful outcome to the crisis, he made clear this week’s offer to negotiate is apparently no longer valid.

Read more ....

More News On U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's Remarks On North Korea

Tillerson calls on Russia and China to pressure North Korea -- Politico
Tillerson Demands Russia, China Cut Off North Korean Regime -- Bloomberg
Tillerson, in Apparent U-Turn, Says North Korea Must 'Earn' Its Way to Talks -- New York Times
Tillerson Urges Long Halt to North Korea Weapons Tests Before Any Talks -- U.S. News & World Report

Infighting In The Kremlin?



L.A. Times: Conviction of ex-minister in Russia points to Kremlin infighting

A Russian court Friday sentenced a former economy minister to eight years in a high-security prison on accusations that he took a $2-million bribe from a Kremlin aide close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The trial against Alexei Ulyukayev points to what many analysts think could be signs of internal power struggles in the Kremlin. Putin, 65, will face reelection next year, and by all expectations, he will win and rule for another six years until 2024. That will make him the longest-serving Russian leader since Stalin.

But who will replace him remains unanswered, and analysts think the case against Ulyukayev may indicate that the Kremlin’s inner circle already is working to fill Putin’s chair after his departure.

Ulyukayev, 62, is the highest-ranking Russian official to stand trial in post-Soviet Russia. Prosecutors said Ulyukayev extorted a bribe from state oil firm Rosneft to give his approval on the purchase of another oil company. He was arrested in November 2016 at Rosneft’s headquarters during a sting operation orchestrated by the Federal Security Service, the successor agency to the Soviet KGB.

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WNU Editor: Being sentenced to a Russian penal colony for eight years is no picnic. And at his age (62) .... an open question on what will be the state of his health when it is over. As to reports of Kremlin infighting .... this started about a year or two ago, and I expect it to intensify until Putin is officially gone .... which will be by 2024.

More News On Reports Of Political Infighting In Putin's Inner Circle

Ex-minister's harsh jail sentence sends shockwaves through Russian elite -- The Guardian

ancy Sausages and a $2 Million Bribe: A Trial Uncovers Kremlin Infighting -- New York Times

Two Russian Power Brokers Dueled. Putin Stayed Out - Bloomberg
Guilty verdict for Russian ex-economy minister Ulyukayev 'groundless' - Putin adviser -- Reuters
Alexei Ulyukayev trial: Kremlin airs its dirty laundry in rare public display of division -- The Independent

Over One Million Have Fled Venezuela

Photo from Miko

USA Today: Flood of Venezuelans are fleeing depressed country. Here's where they're seeking refuge

LIMA, Peru — It is 8 a.m. and the line of Venezuelan refugees outside the Interpol office already stretches to the end of the block.

Most have just arrived in Lima with not much more than the clothes on their back and are here applying for a certificate to show they have no criminal record, a requirement for a work permit in Peru.

“Leaving was tough, but staying would have been tougher,” said Andrea Sequiera, 29, as she waits at the back of the line with her husband Luis, 31, and 8-year-old son Fabian. ”We know lots of people who would like to get out of Venezuela but can’t afford the ticket.”

Although Venezuelans for years have been fleeing the “socialist revolution” first launched by the late Hugo Ch├ívez in 1999, in recent months the trickle has turned into a flood as living conditions become ever more dire — from hyperinflation to acute shortages of food and medicine to one of the worst homicide rates in the world.

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WNU Editor: Here is an easy prediction .... these numbers are going to explode in 2018.

World News Briefs -- December 15, 2017



Reuters: Israeli troops kill four Palestinians, wound 160 in protests over Jerusalem

GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli troops shot dead four Palestinians and wounded 150 others with live fire on Friday, medical officials said, as protests over U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital entered a second week.

Most of the casualties were on the Gaza Strip border, where thousands of Palestinians gathered to hurl rocks at Israeli soldiers beyond the fortified fence. Medics said two protesters, one of them wheelchair-bound, were killed and 150 wounded.

In the occupied West Bank, another area where Palestinians are seeking statehood along with adjacent East Jerusalem, medics said two protesters were killed and 10 wounded by Israeli gunfire.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Over half Syrian refugees in Lebanon in 'extreme poverty': UN.

Yemen air strikes, clashes kill 51.

Jerusalem: Three Palestinians killed in fresh clashes with Israel. 4 Palestinians killed in latest Jerusalem fallout clashes.

US calls for global 'coalition' to counter Iran.

UN 'shocked and appalled' at mass-execution in Iraq.

Yemeni army pushes Houthis from outpost in southern Yemen.

Erdogan says Turkey seeking to annul Trump decision on Jerusalem at U.N..

ASIA

China and South Korea united over North Korea threat.

US negotiator says direct diplomacy needed on North Korea.

Japan imposes new sanctions on North Korea. Japan to assess defence capabilities as it expands harsh sanctions on North Korea, freezing assets on 19 more firms.

South Korea criticized over treatment of North Korean defectors.

Pakistan reports rare progress in tense ties with Afghanistan.

China has warned Australia to keep out of the South China Sea dispute. China says Australia disrupting 'stability and peace' in South China Sea; build-up on islands continues.

Rohingya 'rather die' than return to oppression in Myanmar.

AFRICA

South Sudan's Kiir promotes three generals facing U.N. sanctions.

UN peacekeeping chief visits Goma after deadly attack.

Ethiopia 'Red Terror' aide Alemu jailed for war crimes.

Warlord Thomas Lubanga ordered to pay $13 million to child soldiers in landmark ruling.

Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa seeks end to Western sanctions.

Zimbabwe's Emmerson Mnangagwa calls for ZANU-PF unity.

Exclusive: Italy plans big handover of sea rescues to Libya coastguard.

EUROPE

EU leaders formally approve second Brexit phase.

EU sees new ‘dramatically difficult’ phase in Brexit talks.

SPD's Martin Schulz announces preliminary German coalition talks.

EU compromise on migrants 'very hard': Tusk.

NATO concerned Russian missile system breaks Cold War pact.

Russian ex-minister Ulyukayev gets eight years for bribery.

Putin looks for quick win, but voter apathy worries Kremlin.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to wed on 19 May.

AMERICAS

Republicans finish tax bill, will release details later in day.

Trump criticizes FBI and says no pardon for Flynn 'yet'. Trump blasts FBI leadership but says he’s loyal to police.

Venezuela first lady's nephews jailed for drugs.

Brazil's president pushes for pension reforms.

Odebrecht scandal: Peru president Kuczynski resists pressure to quit.

Protesters block roads in Honduras as electoral crisis rumbles on.

Mexico enshrines army's role in drug war with divisive law.

Canada spy agency settles lawsuit alleging homophobia, racism.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Sahel force funding shows Saudi 'serious' on terrorism fight: analysts.

Bitcoin: US prosecutors rush to millions of dollars worth of digital currency seized in drug bust.

Partner forces kill ISIS fighters near small US garrison in Syria.

German girl imprisoned for Isis role has fleeting family reunion.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

As Disney swallows Fox, a new era dawns for Hollywoo.

In first, SpaceX launches recycled rocket and spaceship.

Amazon backs down in Google streaming spat.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- December 15, 2017

Image: Rostec.

Economist: Military robots are getting smaller and more capable

Soon, they will travel in swarms

ON NOVEMBER 12th a video called “Slaughterbots” was uploaded to YouTube. It is the brainchild of Stuart Russell, a professor of artificial intelligence at the University of California, Berkeley, and was paid for by the Future of Life Institute (FLI), a group of concerned scientists and technologists that includes Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Martin Rees, Britain’s Astronomer Royal. It is set in a near-future in which small drones fitted with face-recognition systems and shaped explosive charges can be programmed to seek out and kill known individuals or classes of individuals (those wearing a particular uniform, for example). In one scene, the drones are shown collaborating with each other to gain entrance to a building. One acts as a petard, blasting through a wall to grant access to the others.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- December 15, 2017

Missiles and missile defence in a nuclear Asia -- Policy Forum

Rocket Men: The Team Building North Korea's Nuclear Missile -- New York Times

North Korean Nuclear Reactor Safety: The Threat No One is Talking About -- 38 North

Chinese Navy begins live-fire drills near N. Korea as S. Korea & US escalate activity -- RT

China's Navy Is Holding Drills Off The Coast Of North Korea -- But Who Are They Meant To Impress? -- Forbes

Forget Stealth Fighters: This Is the Plane China Needs to Take on America -- National Interest

As tensions ease, China keeps building on disputed islands -- Military Times/AP

What Could Threaten Indian Military Modernization? -- Aviation Week

Russia Could Attack Underwater Internet Cables, Warns British Military Chief -- Radio Free Europe

German military kicks off heavy lift helicopter competition: source -- Reuters

Three Things the US Military Needs to Fight in Europe -- Defense One

US Army may send larger deployments to Europe -- Defense News

Combat Mission Sets New B-52 Smart Bomb Record -- Oriana Pawlyk, DefenseTech

United Technologies awarded $6.7B contract for F-22 engine -- UPI

US Military's New Missile Can Kill Chinese and Russian Ships With Stealth, Precision -- Newsweek

Why America's Nuclear Aircraft Carriers Need a Mission Adjustment -- Angus Ross & Andrew Savchenko, National Interest

New Navy secretary report criticizes service culture and top brass decisions -- Navy Times

A New Report Reveals Why the U.S. Navy Is in Big Trouble (And Offers a Solution) -- Dave Majumdar, National Interest

Boeing tapped to sustain Space-Based Space Surveillance system -- UPI

US military orders new investigation after report that special operations killed Somali civilians -- ABC News

Four companies advance to build Army’s equipment transport ground robot -- Defense News

American exodus? 17,000 US defense suppliers may have left the defense sector -- Defense News

We Don't Want Another Titanic.' 1,000 Icebergs Drifted Into Shipping Lanes in 2017, Coast Guard Says -- Time

Nuclear Deterrence In a New Age -- Keith B. Payne, National Institute for Public Policy

A huge military buildup is underway in Qatar. But who will man the systems? -- Chirine Mouchantaf, Defense News

Why the A-10 Warthog Will Fly Forever -- Jared Keller, National Interest/Task & Purpose

US Army Study Finds Flaws With Military's Pivotal Assault on Mosul -- Wall Street Journal

Report: Trump's Military Buildup Will Cost Additional $295 Billion over Next 4 Years -- The National Interest

U.S. Military Could Lose Next War -- Bill Gertz, The Washington Time

US National Security Adviser HR McMaster: Qatar and Turkey Are New Sponsors Of Extremist Islamist Ideology

Joshua Roberts / Reuters

The National: US national security adviser: Qatar and Turkey are new sponsors of radical ideology

General HR McMaster attributed the rise of the Justice and Development party in Ankara to Turkey's growing problems with the West.

US national security adviser HR McMaster condemned Qatar and Turkey for taking on a “new role” as the main sponsors and sources of funding for extremist Islamist ideology that targets western interests.

“Radical Islamist ideology is a grave threat to all civilised people,” Gen McMaster said.

The US national security adviser said this threat has been identified “myopically” in the past.

“We didn’t pay enough attention to how it’s [radical Islamist ideology] being advanced through charities, madrassas and other social organisations."

While Gen McMaster made reference to Saudi Arabia's support for some of these organisations decades ago, he singled out Qatar and Turkey as main supporters at present. “[It] is now done more by Qatar, and by Turkey," he said.

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WNU Editor: Qatar has been on everyone's sights in the past few years for being a supporter of extremist groups .... its support of radical Syrian rebel groups comes to mind. But the case of Turkey is slightly more complicated. That country is being run more on the whims of Turkish President Erdogan .... especially on foreign policy.

Iran Has A Weird-Looking .50-Caliber Sniper Rifle



War Is Boring: The Heidar Is Iran’s Weird-Looking .50-Caliber Sniper Rifle

Look at that grip.

Iran regularly over-hypes its military technology, and in some cases, shows off bogus equipment for propaganda purposes. Iran’s military industry is also resourceful and produces interesting weapons which the Islamic republic then proliferates into very real conflicts.

As a latter example, Iran in April 2017 revealed the .50-caliber, semi-automatic Heidar sniper rifle to coincide with the annual Iran Army Day, an event for showcasing new hardware. The odd-looking weapon is an anti-material rifle primarily designed to destroy equipment and vehicles.

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WNU Editor: It appears to work .... and that is what counts.

Second Investigation Into U.S. Somalia Raid That Killed 10 Civilians

Gen. Thomas Waldhauser speaks after assuming command of U.S. Africa Command during a ceremony at U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart, Germany, July 18, 2016. U.S. AFRICA COMMAND

The Hill: General requests second investigation into Somalia raid

The general in charge of U.S. Africa Command (Africom) has requested a second investigation into an August raid in Somalia after reports that U.S. soldiers killed 10 civilians, a spokeswoman confirmed Thursday.

“Subsequent media reports alleged misconduct by U.S. personnel who participated in the operation,” Africom spokewoman Robyn Mack said in a statement. “As a result, Marine Corps Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, commander, U.S. Africa Command, referred the matter to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service to ensure a full exploration of the facts given the gravity of the allegations.”

Read more ....

More News On A Second Investigation Being Ordered Into A U.S. Somalia Raid That Killed 10 Civilians

US commander orders new probe into Somalia raid -- AP
U.S. military orders additional probe into August Somalia raid -- Reuters
US Africa Command orders second probe into Somalia attack -- iol
AFRICOM seeks probe into civilian deaths in Somalia raid -- Stars and Stripes

Professor Niall Ferguson’s Take On The Current Global Situation


Policy Exchange: Niall Ferguson compares balance of power to Congress of Vienna at Policy Exchange’s Anglo-American conference

Professor Niall Ferguson, who spoke at the launch of Policy Exchange’s new Anglo-American project, argued that the best historical analogy for the current balance of powers is with the pentarchy of five great powers that dominated European (and hence world) affairs for a century after the Congress of Vienna of 1814-15. A modern pentarchy was created in the form of the permanent members of the UN Security Council. Professor argues that “Whether or not these five great powers can make common cause once again is the great geopolitical question of our time.”

Professor Ferguson’s full remarks are given below:

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WNU Editor: I love reading this stuff. Kudos to the Policy Exchange for making this happen .... New Anglo-American project launched with high-level conference in Washington (Policy Exchange).

Hat tip to Gabriel for the above link.