Sunday, July 24, 2016

Picture Of The Day

Offloading A Helicopter
U.S. and NATO troops participate in Advanced Casualty Sustainment Care Medical Training, a course the International Special Training Center hosted in Pfullendorf, Germany, July 20, 2016. The multinational students received the training to enhance their medical skills to support NATO troops. Army photo by Jason Johnston

Canadian Soldiers Will Keep Kurdish Flags On Their Uniforms. U.S> Soldeirs Cannot

CTV News cameras capture a Canadian soldier wearing a Kurdish flag on his uniform in Iraq.

CTV: Defence chief opts to keep Kurdish flag on Canadian uniforms in Iraq

OTTAWA -- Canada's top soldier has decided special forces troops in Iraq will continue to wear the Kurdish flag on their uniforms in addition to the Maple Leaf, despite questions about the practice.

National Defence says Gen. Jonathan Vance recently approved the flag patches in part to show solidarity with "a region facing existential threats," but that they should not be construed as support for an independent Iraqi Kurdistan.

That may be wishful thinking, say experts, one of whom compared it to a foreign military force wearing the Quebec flag in Canada.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The U.S. order for their soldiers to not wear the Kurdish flag on their uniforms is still standing .... Pentagon Orders U.S. Special Operations Forces in Syria To Remove Their Kurdish Patches (May 27, 2016).

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Comparing NATO Military Forces vs. Russia (In One Graph)

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

WNU Editor: Russia is outgunned in every-way .... but the narrative is that the Russians are the ones who will start a war. What's my take .... I agree with the general Western analysis that Putin is an aggressive leader when it comes to Russian affairs. But to start World War III .... I doubt it. Putin is many things but he is not suicidal.

Former Top NATO General: Russia Could Start World War 3 Overnight!

This is a map of how a US military think tank believes Russia could overrun NATO to take the Baltic States in just 36-60 hours. Even with a week's notice, NATO's 12-strong fleet would be no match against Putin's 27. Daily Mail

Sunday Express: NATO ON EDGE: Top military chief warns Putin is ready to start World War Three ‘OVERNIGHT’

VLADIMIR Putin could spark World War Three at any time by deciding to invade Poland in a matter of HOURS, a top NATO figure has warned tonight.

The Russian leader already has troops ready to launch a lightning takeover of eastern Europe in a move which would unleash a devastating global conflict on Europe’s doorstep.

And if NATO nations fail to respond to the threat with stronger resolve a future conflict could have “fatal consequences” for the decades-old alliance.

The chilling warning from NATO’s former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, General Sir Richard Shirreff, comes amid icy tensions between Moscow and the West.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The pro-NATO Atlantic Council report that is making this prediction is here .... Arming for Deterrence (General Sir Richard Shirreff and Maciej Olex-Szczytowski, Atlantic Council) As to what is my take .... its not going to happen. As for the General's prediction .... he is (after-all) pushing his new book .... 2017: War with Russia by General Sir Richard Shirreff - review (Evening Standard).

New CBS 'Star Trek' Series Is Called 'Star Trek: Discovery'

CNET: 'Star Trek: Discovery' is name of new Trek series, featuring a new ship, the USS Discovery

The title of the 2017 CBS TV series is revealed at Comic-Con, along with a new spacecraft for the Trek crew.

The future of the Star Trek universe will be full of Discovery...the USS Discovery that is.

The ship was unveiled as part of the Star Trek 50th anniversary panel Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con, where the name of the 2017 CBS TV series was also unveiled: "Star Trek: Discovery."

Showrunner Bryan Fuller said at a later event that the new series will take place in the "prime" timeline, which is the one broken away from by the 2009 "Star Trek" film.

"I feel like what the new series has to do is continue to be progressive, continue to push boundaries," Fuller said to the packed Hall H crowd.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I know that this is not war/defense/intelligence/politics/etc. related story .... but I just read this and I am Star Trek fan .... and this is BIG NEWS!!!!

The U.S. Air Force's Plan To Replace The A-10 Warthog Is 'Incoherent'

Loren B. Thompson, National Interest: The U.S. Air Force's Incoherent Plan to Replace the A-10 Warthog

When the Air Force separated from the Army to become an independent military service after World War Two, it was understood that airmen would continue to provide vital combat support to soldiers on the ground. Army aviation ended up consisting mainly of helicopters, but there are plenty of combat situations where only a well-armed jet can give soldiers the life-saving fire support they need.

The most dangerous mission the Air Force flies in delivering firepower to soldiers on the ground is called "close air support." As the phrase indicates, it requires attacking hostile targets in close proximity to friendly forces (and sometimes noncombatants), which puts both the soldiers and the airmen at risk if operations are not carefully coordinated. Close air support can sometimes be provided from heavy bombers using satellite-guided bombs, but the most effective approach often is to come after the enemy low and slow.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Loren B. Thompson is CEO of the Lexington Institute .... an organisation that is (IMHO) friendly to the defense industry. This is why this post is noteworthy .... even he has figured out that the U.S. Air Force's new initiative to find a replacement for the A-10 is a scam .... it will never be built, but it will be used as the excuse to shut down the A-10 program.

Colombia Facing A Massive Migrant Crisis From People Fleeing Venezuela

Venezuelans carrying groceries cross the Simon Bolivar bridge from Cucuta in Colombia back to San Antonio de Tachira in Venezuela, on July 17, 2016 (AFP Photo/George Castellanos)

AFP: Venezuelans fleeing crisis flood into Colombia: UN

Bogota (AFP) - Venezuela's economic crisis has sent a huge but largely ignored wave of people into Colombia, and many more could be on the way, a senior UN refugee official said.

"It's a silent arrival of a lot of people who are crossing the border and staying illegally on the Colombian side," said Martin Gottwald, the United Nations Refugee Agency's representative in Colombia.

No exact figures are available, but the number of Venezuelans fleeing to Colombia is already "quite large," and Colombia should prepare itself for more, Gottwald told AFP in an interview.

"The avalanche is probably going to increase, with or without the reopening of the border," he said.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro closed the countries' border in August 2015 after an attack on an army patrol. He blamed right-wing paramilitaries from Colombia.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I have friends who live in neighbouring Guyana .... they tell me that they are now seeing Venezuelans everywhere, and these people have no interest in going back home. In a country (Guyana) with a population of only 800,000 .... they are not prepared for the possible migration of hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans. But it is Colombia that is going to face the brunt of these migrants, and they are not projecting a crisis situation by next year.

Leaked DNC Emails Reveal Extensive Media Collusion

Zero Hedge: Leaked DNC Emails Confirm Democrats Rigged Primary, Reveal Extensive Media Collusion

There are three key findings to emerge from yesterday's dump of leaked DNC emails released by Wikileaks:

* There had been a plot designed to smear Bernie Sanders and to hand the Democratic nomination to Hillary on a silver platter
* There has been repeated collusion between the DNC and the media
* There has been questionable fundraising for both Hillary Clinton and the DNC

First, a quick recap for those who missed the original report, yesterday Wikileaks released over 19,000 emails and more than 8,000 attachments from the Democratic National Committee. This is what the whistleblower organization reported:

WikiLeaks releases 19,252 emails and 8,034 attachments from the top of the US Democratic National Committee -- part one of our new Hillary Leaks series. The leaks come from the accounts of seven key figures in the DNC: Communications Director Luis Miranda (10770 emails), National Finance Director Jordon Kaplan (3797 emails), Finance Chief of Staff Scott Comer (3095 emails), Finanace Director of Data & Strategic Initiatives Daniel Parrish (1472 emails), Finance Director Allen Zachary (1611 emails), Senior Advisor Andrew Wright (938 emails) and Northern California Finance Director Robert (Erik) Stowe (751 emails). The emails cover the period from January last year until 25 May this year.

Subsequently, the Romanian hacker known as Guccifer 2.0 (who has denied he works with the Russian government), who has already released hundreds of hacked DNC emails previously, told The Hill he leaked the documents to Wikileaks.

Read more ....

Previous Post: Wikileaks: Leaked DNC Emails Reveal Secret Plans To Defeat Bernie Sanders And To Assist Hillary Clinton

WNU Editor: It is the extensive media collusion that alarms me .... it appears that many in the main stream media are working to shape a certain narrative, and are definitely not interested on reporting the news. Will all of these revelations derail the Democrat convention this week .... my prediction is that it will not even be reported on.

Update: It's not going to happen .... Bernie Sanders Campaign Chief Says Someone Must Be 'Accountable' for What DNC Emails Show (ABC news).

Update #2: WikiLeaks’ DNC Email Leak Reveals Off The Record Media Correspondence (CBS News).

U.S. Special Forces To Get A New 'Missile Sub' To Deliver Soldiers Into Combat

It will carry two pilots and six passengers, have a depth rating of 328 ft (100 m), a lock-out depth of 98 ft (30 m), and a top speed of 5 knots (6 mph, 9 km/h).

Daily Mail: The $166m 'missile sub' set to take Special Forces soldiers silently into combat

* Lockheed Martin awarded $166m to build the new craft
* Called the Swimmer Delivery Vehicle, can hold six soldiers and two pilots
* Will carry soldiers close to their target and release them underwater

For Special Forces scuba divers, getting into battle can be uncomfortable, often having to travel in open top submersibles.

However, a new 'missile sub' promises to deliver to battle underwater far more easily - and keep them dry when they travel.

Called the Swimmer Delivery Vehicle, it will be built by Lockheed Martin and Submergence Group after winning a US$166 million contract to supply the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) with a new class of combat submersibles.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: My scuba diver friend tells me that this is a definite improvement over current systems.

China Has Completed Assembling The World's Largest Amphibious Aircraft

Reuters: China completes world's largest amphibious aircraft: Xinhua

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China has completed production of the world's largest amphibious aircraft after seven years of work, which it plans to use to perform marine rescue missions and fight forest fires, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The AG600, which is about the size of a Boeing 737 and was developed by state aircraft maker Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), rolled off a production line in the southern city of Zhuhai on Saturday, Xinhua said quoting the firm.

AVIC deputy general manager, Geng Rugang, said the plane was "the latest breakthrough in China's aviation industry." A plan for the development and production of the AG600 received government approval in 2009.

Read more ....

Update #1: World's largest amphibious aircraft comes off production line in China (CRIEnglish)
Update #2: China completes massive amphibious aircraft (Xinhua)

WNU Editor: Such a project was unthinkable only 20 years ago. Not the case anymore.

China Launches Cyber Attacks After The South China Sea Ruling Rejected Their Territorial Claims

Image Credit: Keyboard and Chinese flag via

Anni Piiparinen, The Diplomat: China's Secret Weapon in the South China Sea: Cyber Attacks

After the South China Sea ruling, China throws another digital tantrum.

Despite China’s great power aspirations, its cyber warriors threw a fit after losing a legal battle to the Philippines in The Hague. Within hours of the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s unanimous rebuke of China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea last week, at least 68 national and local government websites in the Philippines were knocked offline in a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. This is not the first time the landmark legal dispute over the South China Sea has flared up in cyberspace. Last summer, Chinese hackers allegedly breached the court’s servers during a hearing on the territorial dispute, leaving anyone interested in the landmark legal case at risk of data theft. Last fall, Jason Healey and I predicted that “the Philippines (and its U.S. allies) should […] start preparing now for a massive digital tantrum by Chinese patriot hackers if the ruling […] goes against the Middle Kingdom.” And while the Philippine government has not yet publicly assigned blame for the most recent attacks, context and timing serve as damning evidence.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is not going to endear good relations with its neighbours .... but it looks like the Chinese are now going to play "hardball" on their claims.

Update: This initiative has already failed .... Kerry to urge ASEAN to find diplomatic ways to ease South China Sea tensions (Reuters)

Is The Era Of 'Super Soldiers' Upon Us?

Jon Harper, National Defense: How Technology Could Create 'Super Soldiers'

Popular culture has long been fascinated by the idea of enhancing human beings. From the 1970s TV show “The Six Million Dollar Man” to this year’s latest “Captain America” film, sci-fi writers have imagined what it would be like to give individuals extraordinary powers.

In the real world, scientists and engineers are working on a number of cutting-edge technologies to make U.S. troops faster, smarter and more resilient than their normal selves.

Paul Scharre, a former Army Ranger and the director of the 20YY Future of Warfare Initiative at the Center for a New American Security, said performance-enhancers that are being explored could offer tremendous operational advantages for warfighters.

“What if we had an ‘on’ switch right before pilots were about to go into a dogfight and we could turn that switch on? Or right before infantry soldiers were about to go into combat we could turn that switch on? That would have profound … implications for warfare,” he said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I give it 10 years before these "enhancements" become standard.

What Is The Role Of NATO Today?

Robin Wright, New Yorker: What Does NATO Do, Anyway?

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or nato, the largest and most powerful military alliance in history, is not usually fodder for election-year politicking. But in an interview with the Times earlier this week, Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump said that the United States should not automatically honor nato’s core principle of mutual defense, specifically if Russia invaded several newer members of the alliance, the three strategic Baltic states and former Soviet republics—Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. In a sharp rebuke, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Thursday that the principle of mutual defense is “ironclad.” He told reporters, “There should be no mistake or miscalculation made about this country’s commitment to the transatlantic alliance.”

nato’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned, “We defend one another. . . . Two world wars have shown that peace in Europe is also important for the security of the United States.” Solidarity among allies is “a key value for nato,” he said, in a statement. Trump’s comments came under fire from fellow-Republicans, too. “Statements like these make the world more dangerous and the United States less safe,” Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, tweeted.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Donald Trump has been raising this issue during this election cycle .... and the media/pundits/ and many in Europe have condemned him for it. But as the above New Yorker post reveals .... the debate on what should be the role of NATO is starting.

Turkey's President Has Ordered The Closure Of Thousands Of Private Schools, Charities And Other Institutions

Reuters: Turkey's Erdogan shuts schools, charities in first state of emergency decree

President Tayyip Erdogan tightened his grip on Turkey on Saturday, ordering the closure of thousands of private schools, charities and other institutions in his first decree since imposing a state of emergency after the failed military coup.

A restructuring of Turkey's once untouchable military also drew closer, with a planned meeting between Erdogan and the already purged top brass brought forward by several days.

The schools and other institutions are suspected by Turkish authorities of having links to U.S.-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, who has many followers in Turkey. Erdogan has accused Gulen of orchestrating the July 15 coup attempt in which at least 246 people were killed. Gulen denies the accusation.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Turkey's deputy prime minister has said the following (see above video) .... that these detentions are just the 'tip of the iceberg'. Europe has voiced their disapproval of the continuing crack-down in Turkey, but no word yet from the White House .... Obama administration mum as Turkey's post-coup crackdown expands (FOX News)

More News On The Crack-Down In Turkey

Turkey extends detention without charge to 30 days -- BBC
Turkey Issues First Emergency Decree After Failed Coup -- WSJ
Turkey Decree to Close Gulen-Linked Institutions Is Enforced -- Bloomberg
Decree further curtails rights in Turkey -- DW
Turkey seizes over 2,250 institutions in post-coup crackdown -- US News and World Report
Turkey's president orders closure of 1,000 private schools linked to G├╝len -- The Guardian
Turkey: Erdogan moves to shutter 2,340 institutions -- Al Jazeera
Fear grows as Turkey introduces state of emergency -- Al Jazeera
Nightly demonstrations follow failed coup in Turkey -- DW
Turkey's economy after the coup -- Al Jazeera
How people in Turkey feel about the failed coup one week on -- Ian Lee, CNN

German Police Claim Munich Shooting Was Not Inspired From Islamist Militancy

Reuters: Munich gunman fixated on mass killing, had no Islamist ties

A German-Iranian teenager who shot dead nine people in Munich was a deranged lone gunman obsessed with mass killings who drew no inspiration from Islamist militancy, police said on Saturday.

The 18-year-old, born and raised locally, opened fire near a busy shopping mall on Friday evening, triggering a lockdown in the Bavarian state capital.

Seven of his victims were themselves teenagers, who police said he may have lured to their deaths via a hacked Facebook account on what was the fifth anniversary of twin attacks by Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik that killed 77 people.

The Munich shooting, in which a further 27 people were wounded, some seriously, was the third act of violence against civilians in Western Europe - and the second in southern Germany - in eight days.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: How could the German police .... less than 24 hours after this mass shooting .... make the claim that "he was a deranged lone gunman obsessed with mass killings who drew no inspiration from Islamist militancy"? The investigation is just starting .... and even though he was screaming "allah hu akbar" during the shooting, it looks like the judgement on why this shooting occurred was made even before the bodies were brought to the morgue. It makes you wonder on why the rush to judgement. Is it because of her? .... Merkel Vows to Protect Germans as Terrorism Ruled Out in Munich (Bloomberg).

More News On German Police Claims That The Munich Shooting Was Not Inspired From Islamist Militancy

Munich Killer Was Troubled, but Had No Terrorist Ties, Germany Says -- New York Times
Munich gunman obsessed with mass shootings, sent out invitations to mall before rampage, cops say -- FOX News
Munich shooting: Attacker researched rampage killings, police say -- CNN
Police: Munich shooter fascinated by mass killings -- USA Today
Munich shooting: Gunman was a shy teen with depression and an obsession with mass shootings, police say -- The Independent

South Sudan Facing A New Refugee Crisis

DW: UN: Tens of thousands fleeing violence in South Sudan

Recent fighting in South Sudan has forced over 26,000 people to flee the country into neighboring Uganda, said the UN refugee agency. The UN warned that the rising influx has stretched the capacity of reception centers.

Over 26,000 South Sudanese refugees displaced by violence crossed the border into Uganda this month, reported the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) on Friday.

"Since fighting erupted on July 7 … 26,468 people have crossed into Uganda's northern region," UN refugee agency spokesman Andreas Needham wrote in a statement.

He added that 24,321 of the refugees had arrived in the previous six days alone.

Read more ....

More News On The Crisis In South Sudan

South Sudan Armed Opposition Claims to Remove Vice President -- AP
S. Sudan: Kiir gives Machar ultimatum to return to Juba -- Al Jazeera
Machar's Return to Juba Unlikely, Spokesman Says -- VOA
Split appears in South Sudan opposition, threatens more turmoil -- Reuters
Cholera Outbreaks Confirmed in South Sudan -- VOA
26,000 flee South Sudan to Uganda, says UN -- AP
Number of people fleeing South Sudan violence hits one-day record, officials say -- Reuters
Who Will Save South Sudan As It Teeters On the Verge of Civil War, Again? -- Newsweek
Is There Any Hope for Peace in South Sudan? -- New York Times
South Sudan Crisis: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know -- Heavy

Zimbabwe War Veterans Turn On 'Dictator' Mugabe

Reuters: Zimbabwe threatens "traitorous" war veterans after Mugabe attack

Zimbabwe's government denounced leading independence war veterans as traitors on Saturday for an unprecedented attack on ageing President Robert Mugabe and vowed to identify its unnamed authors and put them on trial.

Veterans who fought against white minority rule in the former British colony turned on their long-time ally and commander on Thursday, calling him a dictator in a jolting rebuke highlighting political maneuvering over his succession and mounting anger over economic woes.

Mugabe abruptly canceled a hastily arranged news conference on Friday evening meant to respond to the veterans.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: After over 40 years of misrule .... these war veterans have finally "seen the light"?!?!? I am sceptical, and (not surprising) after reading the above Reuters post .... their ire is more directed at Mugabe's wife and not on him and the policies that have destroyed the economy in Zimbabwe. But there is a new protest movement now growing in Zimbabwe, and it appears that the people who have ruled that country for decades are now running scare.

More News On Zimbabwe War Veterans Turning On 'Dictator' Mugabe

Zimbabwe war veterans turn on 'dictator' Mugabe, exposing rifts -- Reuters
Zimbabwe's Powerful Veterans Withdraw Support For President Mugabe -- NPR
Zimbabwe says probing 'treasonous' censure of Mugabe by veterans -- AFP
Zimbabwe calls veterans’ statement on Mugabe traitorous -- AP
Zimbabwe Accuses War Veterans of Treason for Denouncing Mugabe -- Bloomberg

Islamic State Are Claiming Credit For Today's Suicide Attack In Kabul That Killed 80

Voice of America: IS Attack Kills 80 During Protest in Kabul

ISLAMABAD—The so-called Islamic State terror group claimed credit for a bomb attack in Kabul Saturday that killed at least 80 people and wounded hundreds of others during a mass protest rally.

A website linked to the Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the violence. A statement said the attack was meant to warn Afghanistan's ethnic Hazaras, who are mostly Shiite, to stop joining the Syrian government in its fight against the terror group.

An Afghan interior ministry statement says three suicide bombers assaulted the peaceful demonstrators. It said one of them detonated his device among the protesters, one mistakenly killed only himself while a third was shot dead by security forces guarding the rally.

Read more ....

More News On The Islamic State Claiming Credit For Today's Suicide Attack In Kabul That Killed 80

Kabul explosion: Islamic State 'admits attack on Hazara protest' -- BBC
80 dead in Islamic State suicide bombing in Kabul -- USA Today
Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly Kabul attack -- Reuters
Witnesses: Deadly blast strikes demonstration in Kabul -- AP
ISIS claims Afghanistan explosion that kills at least 61 -- CNN
Islamic State Group Claims Responsibility For Deadly Kabul Attack -- RFE
Islamic State claims suicide bombings at Kabul protest -- Long War Journal