Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sweden Issues Pamphlets To All Homes On What To Do In The Event Of War



Yahoo News: Sweden distributes 4.7 million leaflets on how to prepare for war with Russia

Sweden is reportedly preparing to issue a public information manual on the best way to deal with the prospect of war, as talk rages over an apparent rise in the rest from Russia.

The brochure, which will be sent to 4.7 million households, will tell the public how they can take part in ‘total defence’ during a war and secure food, water and heating.

It is titled ‘If Crisis or War Comes’ and will also provide expert guidance on the best way to deal with threats from cyber attacks, climate change and terrorism.

The brochures comes after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and continued support for Ukrainian separatists, which has sparked deep concerns within Sweden.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Russians are not going to invade. Instead, Sweden should focus on what has become a real problem .... Bring in the military to fight gangs, Sweden's PM told at debate (The Local/SE). More here .... Swedish PM does not rule out use of army to end gang violence (Reuters).

More News On Sweden Issuing Pamphlets To All Homes On What To Do In The Event Of War

Swedes told how to prepare for war as Russia fears grow -- Financial Times
Sweden to issue leaflets on how to prepare for war -- BBC
Sweden sends leaflets to 5m homes on how to prepare for war with Russia -- Telegraph
Sweden to publish leaflets warning citizens over potential war -- CNN
Fearing Russia, Sweden Will Send War Instruction Manuals to Millions of Civilians -- Newsweek
Financial Times: Swedes being told how to prepare for war -- The Hill
Sweden Reissues Millions of Cold War Pamphlets to Tutor Locals in Civil Defense -- Sputnik

World News Briefs -- January 18, 2018 (Evening Edition)



Reuters: Turkey seeks Russian approval for air campaign against Afrin

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey dispatched its military chief to Moscow on Thursday, seeking approval for an air campaign in Syria’s Kurdish-controlled Afrin region, although Damascus warned it could shoot down any Turkish planes in its skies.

Turkey’s foreign minister said the Moscow trip by Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar was part of talks with both Russia and Iran, the two main backers of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, to allow Turkish planes to take part in an Afrin campaign.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

U.S. urges Turkey to remain focused on Islamic State, not attack Syria's Afrin.

Tillerson says U.S. military should stay in Syria and vows diplomatic push to end civil war.

Syria responds to Tillerson's US military engagement pledge.

Turkey says could act in Syria unless U.S. withdraws support for Kurdish force.

Damascus warns it may shoot down Turkish planes attacking Kurds within Syrian borders.

Palestinian killed in fire exchange with Israeli army.

Exclusive: Trump denies U.S. embassy to be moved to Jerusalem within a year.

Pence visit showcases dilemma facing Egypt, Jordan leaders.

ASIA

Survey shows Filipinos more satisfied with Duterte government than any other.

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern pregnant with first child.

North Korea crisis: South to continue talks with 'clear eyes'.

Tillerson says Russia helps North Korea get fuel.

Japan, Australia eye deeper defense alliance.

China's economy grows by 6.9% in 2017.

China testing facial-recognition surveillance system in Xinjiang – report .

52 killed in bus fire in Kazakhstan.

Sunken tanker Sanchi: Four oil slicks seen, says China.

AFRICA

Zimbabwe opposition leader Roy Bennett killed in U.S. helicopter crash.

Egypt, Ethiopia leaders say Nile dam must not ruin relations.

Sudanese authorities detain Reuters, AFP reporters in Khartoum.

Sudan opposition leader vows to 'bury regime'.

Suicide bombing in Borno market causes multiple deaths.

Zimbabwe president promises 'free and fair' election in five months. Zimbabwe to hold first post-Mugabe vote in summer.

Ethiopia frees opposition leader Merera Gudina.

Egypt 2018 elections: Sisi expected to announce bid.

Senegal to revamp logging laws after massacre linked to timber trade.

South Africa: Cape Town slashes water use amid drought. Extreme drought grips parts of South Africa.

EUROPE

Russia accuses Washington of leaking diplomats' bank details.

Merkel and Kurz clash over migrant quota.

UK to pay millions to keep France border agreement.

Russia’s National Guard vows to prevent unauthorized rallies during presidential election.

Russia moves toward creation of an independent internet.

Russia marks 75 years since breaking Nazi siege of Leningrad.

U.S. warns Kosovo against scrapping War Crimes Court.

NATO head urges Macedonia to end dispute with Greece, reform.

Transportation disturbed, flights canceled as storm lashes Europe.

AMERICAS

Crisis-hit Venezuela's oil output plummets in 2017 to decades low.

There are 3.6M DREAMers — a number far greater than commonly known.

Trump wall: President denies changing view on Mexico border plan. Donald Trump tweets: Mexico border 'Wall is the Wall'.

Trump 'very eager' to be interviewed in Russia probe.

U.S. jobless claims plunge to lowest weekly tally since 1973.

Trump admin. moves to bar Haitians from agricultural, seasonal worker visas.

Mexico remittances: Transfers from US hit record high.

Pope lands in Peru as president seeks help in political crisis.

Pope Francis urges end to Chile's Mapuche conflict.

Pope wraps up Chile stop with visit to migrants, on to Peru.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Drone strikes on both sides of Pak-Afghan border kill 2, injure 1 suspected militant.

As ISIS threat fades, fight over who gets credit rises.

U.S. prosecutors charge German man with supporting al Qaeda.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Global stocks pause after rally; U.S. bond yields hit 10-month high.

Wall St. pauses rally as utilities, industrials fall.

Is the US a bigger debt risk than Russia and Botswana? A Chinese rating agency thinks so.

Twitter to notify users who were exposed to accounts run by Russian trolls.

Superjumbo jet future secured by Emirates order.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- January 18, 2018



Reuters: 'Pyongyang Olympics?' Backlash reveals changing attitudes in South Korea

SEOUL (Reuters) - An agreement between South and North Korea to march under a unity flag and field a joint ice hockey team at next month’s Olympics was met by sharp criticism from many in the South on Thursday, highlighting changing attitudes toward the country’s northern neighbor.

The controversy reveals a South Korean public far less wedded to the idea of inter-Korean unity than previous generations, analysts say, a changing dynamic that may shape South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s efforts at reconciliation with the isolated North.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- January 17, 2018

The case for using military force to denuclearise North Korea -- Danny Lam, ABC News Online/The Conversation

Why the Vancouver summit on North Korea was futile -- Gary Mason, globe and Mail

Special Report: The fabulous story of North Korea's fabric made of stone -- Ju-min Park & James Pearson, Reuters

Turkey jeopardises NATO unity -- The Australian editorial

Baghdad Must Seize the Chance to Work With Iraq’s Tribes -- Osama Gharizi and Haidar Al-Ibrahimi, War On The Rocks

Iran's Protests Reveal the Truth About Hassan Rouhani -- Micahel J. Totten, World Affairs

Someone has to ask the Rohingya what they actually want -- Kate Allen, The Guardian

No, the US did not spend $43 million on a gas station in Afghanistan -- Jeff Goodson, The Hill

China's Territorial Disputes -- David Tweed, Bloomberg

How can Tunisia rebuild its economy? -- Jillian Kestler-D'Amours, Al Jazeera

Make Austria Great Again — the rapid rise of Sebastian Kurz -- Elizabeth Schumacher, DW

Has Venezuela Become a Totalitarian Regime? -- Miguel Angel Latouche, RCW

Deciphering US Foreign Policy in the Trump Era -- The Diplomat

The Gathering ‘-Storm’: Trump’s Reality TV Presidency Is Heading for a Cliffhanger -- Judah Grunstein, WPR

The Rise of the Revisionists: What to do about Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran? -- Alex Gallo, Modern War Institute

Terrorists stalk dark web for deadlier weaponry -- The Cipher Brief

Dolores O'Riordan, RIP -- Monica Showalter, American Thinker

North Korea Using Its Expected Participation In Next Month's Olympics To Fuel Its 'Reunification' Propaganda Campaign


Newsweek: North Korea Using Winter Olympics to Fuel Online 'Reunification' Propaganda

North Korea is using its impending participation in next month's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang to bolster its ongoing propaganda campaign that the rogue state and Democratic South Korea should be reunified.

A two-minute clip titled "Reunification is by Korean nation itself" uploaded by the North Korean propaganda site DPRK Today paints the Olympics as part of the rogue state's reunification campaign, reported the South Korea-based newspaper The Chosun Ilbo. The clip shows emotional images of North and South Koreans, including footage of times they've cooperated during past athletic competitions.

The video includes subtitles that state, "We are a homogeneous nation by same blood...Let's resolve all issues by the efforts of our nation itself... thereby opening up a new history of national reunification."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: South Korea's eagerness to engage with North Korea has undercut the international momentum on China and Russia to put pressure on North Korea to rein in its missile and nuclear programs. Am I surprised .... no. For as long as I can remember there has always been a large constituency in South Korea that a policy of appeasement backed with serious economic assistance would temper North Korea's aggressive intentions. The problem is that these policies failed in the past, and I expect them to fail here. But what makes this current situation incredibly dangerous is that North Korea's nuclear and missile program is primarily aimed at the United States. This is not business as usual .... unfortunately .... many in South Korea/China/and Russia believe that it is.

U.S. Considering Measures To Punish Chinese Firms Over Intellectual Property Theft

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an interview with Reuters at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 17, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Reuters: Exclusive: Trump considers big 'fine' over China intellectual property theft

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the United States was considering a big “fine” as part of a probe into China’s alleged theft of intellectual property, the clearest indication yet that his administration will take retaliatory trade action against China.

In an interview with Reuters, Trump and his economic adviser Gary Cohn said China had forced U.S. companies to transfer their intellectual property to China as a cost of doing business there.

The United States has started a trade investigation into the issue, and Cohn said the United States Trade Representative would be making recommendations about it soon.

“We have a very big intellectual property potential fine going, which is going to come out soon,” Trump said in the interview.

While Trump did not specify what he meant by a “fine” against China, the 1974 trade law that authorized an investigation into China’s alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property allows him to impose retaliatory tariffs on Chinese goods or other trade sanctions until China changes its policies.

Read more ....

Update #1: Trump suggests a trade war with China could still happen (Business Insider)
Update #2: Who Would Lose More in a U.S.-China War of Reciprocity? (Forbes/Stratfor)

WNU Editor: Hitting China over intellectual property theft is a no-brainer that should have been done a long time ago. As for the rest of the year .... yup .... U.S.-China trade and investment disputes are going to be the norm .... Prepare for the worst in US-China trade relations in 2018 (ICIS).

China Moves To Challenge The U.S. Navy In Asia



Cipher Brief: China Ramps Up Its Navy To Challenge The U.S.

As part of its ambitious strategy to evolve into a leading global power by 2050, China has spent considerable resources upgrading its naval capabilities. Through such undertakings, China has significantly enhanced its force projection in East Asia, where it has staked claim to disputed islands and waters as a means of expanding its sovereignty and procuring additional resources. China’s emphasis on upgrading its navy represents a worrying trend for the U.S. and its regional allies, as it threatens their territorial integrity and may ultimately enable China to challenge U.S. naval supremacy in the region.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Is the U.S. Navy ready for China? .... 7th Fleet collisions raise questions about U.S. military readiness in the Pacific (NBC)

More News On China's Navy

Chinese Regime Races For Naval Supremacy, Building 8 Cruisers While US Builds None -- Epoch Times
Chinese navy trains more fighter pilots for expanded aircraft carrier fleet -- South China Morning Post
China Inducts 26th Type 054A Guided-Missile Stealth Frigate Into Service -- The Diplomat
China has started building a new aircraft carrier that could rival the US' -- Business Insider
First Djibouti ... now Pakistan port earmarked for a Chinese overseas naval base, sources say -- South China Morning Post
China is a disruptive force, U.S. Pacific military chief says -- Reuters

China's Military Is Ready To Wage War Against Its Neighbours


SCMP: How China’s military is girding for battle, and what it means for neighbours

People’s Liberation Army is taking part in more exercises in a wider range of environments

Wei Shiji “died instantly” while trying to defuse a landmine in a dense forest in China’s Fujian province this month, while two comrades, Li Shoushun and Liu Shangdong, “survived the war”.

The three young men were not playing a computer game, but soldiers with a special People’s Liberation Army (PLA) brigade undergoing combat training as China’s military ramps up the quantity and quality of its exercises.

Li hid in a river to evade a surveillance drone, while Liu hit 24 targets after fixing his broken rifle in a matter of minutes, the army mouthpiece PLA Daily said in a January 11 report on the training, designed to boost the soldiers’ fighting skills and spirit.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: When I read stories like this one .... China's Aircraft Carrier And Other Navy Ships Sail By Taiwan As Tensions Grow (January 17, 2018), and this one .... The Chinese Military Is Accelerating Its Modernization Plans (January 16, 2018) .... it is obvious to me that China wants a military that will not only intimidate its neighbors, but to assert its territorial claims.

U.S. Ambassador To The United Nations Nikki Haley: US Afghanistan Strategy Is Working

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks at UN headquarters in New York, NY, U.S., Jan. 2, 2018.

VOA: Haley: US Afghanistan Strategy Is Working

UNITED NATIONS — A senior U.S. official said Wednesday the Trump administration’s Afghanistan strategy is working.

“They [the Afghan government] are starting to see the Taliban concede, they are starting to see them move towards coming to the table,” said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

Haley made the remarks after returning from a two-day U.N. Security Council mission to the South Asian nation, where diplomats met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and other senior Afghan officials.

Read more ....

Update: US ambassador Nikki Haley says Trump policy in Afghanistan is working (Military Times/AP)

WNU Editor: Too early to make this claim .... a claim that many have repeated since 2002.

Taliban 'Special Forces' Have Become A Serious Threat Against Afghan Security Forces



Asia Times: Taliban’s ‘Red Unit’ poses new threat to Afghan security

In December, US forces in Afghanistan released footage of an operation they conducted in the Taliban-dominated district of Musa Qala, in Helmand province. The grainy, black and white video showed them targeting a compound and blowing it to smithereens, with everyone inside.

An accompanying press statement declared that the “Taliban’s ‘Red Unit’ commander in Helmand province, Mullah Shah Wali, aka Haji Nasir, was killed in a kinetic strike.” The statement added that “one of Wali’s deputy commanders and three other insurgents were also killed.”

Helmand and Kandahar have proven to be the key provinces in the fight against the Taliban following the first wave of withdrawals of foreign troops, in 2014. Operations are being conducted with increasing frequency via NATO’s Operation Resolute Support in those areas.

Read more ....

Update #1:
Taliban’s Well-Armed ‘Red Unit’ Attacks Afghan Forces (Antiwar.com)
Update #2: Taliban Fighters Using High-Tech Gear Kill Afghan Forces (New York Times)

WNU Editor: Joint U.S.-Afghan military operations have been successful in the past month to "decapitate" the leadership of this group. But to me this is just another indication on how resilient the Taliban are, and I predict that in the weeks and months to come these dead Taliban commanders will be replaced by others.

Wave Of Looting By Hungry Mobs In Venezuela Spreads Fear Throughout The Country



Reuters: Wave of looting shutters stores, spreads fear in Venezuela

CARACAS/SAN CRISTOBAL, Venezuela (Reuters) - A wave of looting by hungry mobs across Venezuela has left streets of shuttered shops in provincial towns and pushed some store owners to arm themselves with guns and machetes, stirring fear that the turmoil could spread to the capital Caracas.

Worsening food shortages and runaway inflation have unleashed the spate of pillaging since Christmas in the South American country, in which seven people have reportedly died.

The unrest was sparked by shortages of pork for traditional holiday meals, despite socialist President Nicolas Maduro’s promise of subsidized meat to alleviate shortages.

Looters have ransacked trucks, supermarkets and liquor stores across the nation of 30 million people, which ranks as one of the most violent in the world.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Venezuela's money is now worthless .... Venezuelan Hyperinflation Explodes, Soaring Over 440,000 Percent (Bloomberg).More here .... In Venezuela, money has stopped working (Washington Post).

More News On The Crisis In Venezuela

Protests In Venezuela Lead To Store Closures In Provincial Towns -- International Business Times
Venezuela’s Oil Production Is Collapsing -- WSJ
Venezuelan bishops accused of “hate crimes” -- Catholic News Agency
Families of Those Killed in Raid on Venezuelan Rebel Cop Demand to See Bodies -- Latin American Herald Tribune
Venezuela is inching closer to collapse -- Patrick Gillespie, CNN

India Successfully Conducts Fifth Test of Nuclear-Capable ICBM



VOA: India Conducts Fifth Test of Nuclear-Capable ICBM

NEW DELHI — India conducted the fifth test of its nuclear capable intercontinental ballistic missile on Thursday from the Abdul Kalam Island off Odhisa’s coast in the east.

The country’s most advanced missile, the Agni V, has a range of more than 5,000 kilometers, and will bring all of China within range when it is inducted into the armed forces.

"We have successfully launched nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-V today,” Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. The Defense Ministry called the test a "major boost" to the country's defense capabilities.

Read more ....

More News On India Successfully Conducting A Fifth Test Of It's Nuclear-Capable ICBM

India test-fires nuclear-capable ICBM Agni-V -- Times of India
India Tests Ballistic Missile, Posing New Threat to China -- New York Times
India successfully tests nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile, risking anger from Pakistan and China -- Daily Mail
India tests-fires Agni-V, a nuclear-capable ICBM -- CNN
India successfully test-fires a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile -- CNBC

World News Briefs -- January 18, 2018

A Turkish military tanks arrives at an army base in the border town of Reyhanli near the Turkish-Syrian border in Hatay province, Turkey January 17, 2018. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

Reuters: Turkey says could act in Syria unless U.S. withdraws support for Kurdish force

HATAY, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkey said on Wednesday it would not hesitate to take action in Syria’s Afrin district and other areas unless the United States withdrew support for a Kurdish-led force there, but Washington denied such plans and said “some people misspoke”.

Turkish President Erdogan has repeatedly warned of an imminent incursion in Afrin after Washington said it would help the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), led by the Kurdish YPG militia, set up a new 30,000-strong border force.

The plan has infuriated Turkey, which considers the Syrian YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, which has fought an insurgency in southeast Turkey since 1984. The PKK is considered a terrorist group by the European Union, Turkey and the United States.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Tillerson says U.S. military should stay in Syria and vows diplomatic push to end civil war.

Syria responds to Tillerson's US military engagement pledge.

Turkey says could act in Syria unless U.S. withdraws support for Kurdish force.

Damascus warns it may shoot down Turkish planes attacking Kurds within Syrian borders.

Palestinian killed in fire exchange with Israeli army.

Exclusive: Trump denies U.S. embassy to be moved to Jerusalem within a year.

Pence visit showcases dilemma facing Egypt, Jordan leaders.

ASIA

North Korea crisis: South to continue talks with 'clear eyes'.

Tillerson says Russia helps North Korea get fuel.

Japan, Australia eye deeper defense alliance.

China's economy grows by 6.9% in 2017.

China testing facial-recognition surveillance system in Xinjiang – report .

52 killed in bus fire in Kazakhstan.

Sunken tanker Sanchi: Four oil slicks seen, says China.

AFRICA

Sudan opposition leader vows to 'bury regime'.

Suicide bombing in Borno market causes multiple deaths.

Zimbabwe president promises 'free and fair' election in five months. Zimbabwe to hold first post-Mugabe vote in summer.

Ethiopia frees opposition leader Merera Gudina.

Egypt 2018 elections: Sisi expected to announce bid.

Senegal to revamp logging laws after massacre linked to timber trade.

South Africa: Cape Town slashes water use amid drought. Extreme drought grips parts of South Africa.

EUROPE

Merkel and Kurz clash over migrant quota.

UK to pay millions to keep France border agreement.

Russia’s National Guard vows to prevent unauthorized rallies during presidential election.

Russia moves toward creation of an independent internet.

Russia marks 75 years since breaking Nazi siege of Leningrad.

U.S. warns Kosovo against scrapping War Crimes Court.

NATO head urges Macedonia to end dispute with Greece, reform.

Transportation disturbed, flights canceled as storm lashes Europe.

AMERICAS

Trump wall: President denies changing view on Mexico border plan. Donald Trump tweets: Mexico border 'Wall is the Wall'.

Trump 'very eager' to be interviewed in Russia probe.

U.S. jobless claims plunge to lowest weekly tally since 1973.

Trump admin. moves to bar Haitians from agricultural, seasonal worker visas.

Mexico remittances: Transfers from US hit record high.

Pope Francis urges end to Chile's Mapuche conflict.

Pope wraps up Chile stop with visit to migrants, on to Peru.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Drone strikes on both sides of Pak-Afghan border kill 2, injure 1 suspected militant.

As ISIS threat fades, fight over who gets credit rises.

U.S. prosecutors charge German man with supporting al Qaeda.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Is the US a bigger debt risk than Russia and Botswana? A Chinese rating agency thinks so.

Twitter to notify users who were exposed to accounts run by Russian trolls.

Superjumbo jet future secured by Emirates order.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- January 18, 2018

© Sputnik/ Iliya Pitalev

Sputnik: North Korea Reportedly Plans to Hold Military Parade on Eve of 2018 Olympics

A thaw in relations between North and South Koreas began earlier this month, with the two nations reopening a hotline to discuss the participation of DPRK athletes in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Despite an Olympic thaw between Pyongyang and Seoul, North Korea is planning to hold a military parade on the eve of the world's most well-recognized sporting competition, Yonhap News Agency of South Korea said Thursday, citing an unidentified South Korean government source.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- January 18, 2018

North Korea reportedly plans to hold a military event, one day before the Winter Olympics kick off in South Korea -- Business Insider

S Korea Restores Military Hotline With N Korea - Reports -- Sputnik

How China’s military is girding for battle, and what it means for neighbours -- SCMP

China Ramps Up Its Navy To Challenge The U.S. -- Cipher Brief

The Chinese Are On The Verge Of Dominating A New Domain: Near Space -- Task and Purpose

India test-fires Agni-V ICBM, hails ‘major boost’ to military power -- NBC

India's Most Lethal Nuke Capable Missile Hits Bull's Eye in Pre-Induction Test -- Sputnik

Modi govt saddling India’s military with more bureaucracy -- Asia Times

Japan lodges protest over U.S. military helicopter flying over school again after chopper's window-falling incident -- Xinhuanet

What we’re learning about France’s air special forces as they publicly recruit -- Defense News

Defense Cuts Leave UK Reliant on French, German Militaries - MP -- Sputnik

British submarine HMS Audacious completes first dive -- UPI

Army chief: Future of US troops in Iraq TBD as ISIS crumbles -- Defense News

7th Fleet collisions raise questions about U.S. military readiness in the Pacific -- NBC

Navy Pursues New Amphibious War Strategy With LX(R) -- Warrior Maven

Navy to Deliver 2nd Stealthy Zumwalt-Class Destroyer in March -- Warrior Maven

General Dynamics awarded $33M contract for USS Nimitz upgrade -- UPI

Arctic cold war? Coast Guard prepping to carry cruise missiles on icebreakers amid Russian buildup -- Washington Times

The Army Is Testing A New Rifle With Better Range And Accuracy Than The M4 -- Task & Purpose

Army wants bullets to hit from miles away and its new acquisition office will help -- Federal News Radio

Army Tests Secure Wi-Fi for Future Battlefield -- Defense Tech/Military.com

Which of these leaders will be the next head of Cyber Command? -- Fifth Domain

House Votes to Restore Top Cyber Diplomat’s Office -- NextGov

US Army Rushes to Add Hundreds of Stinger Missile Teams As Threat of Small Drones Evolves -- The Warzone

Latest budget showdown worries Pentagon, risks delaying Trump's military buildup -- CNBC

Military experts beg Congress to quit ‘shenanigans,’ say budget battle hurts readiness -- FOX Business

F/A-18C Hornet crash result of 'below average' pilot’s error and runway lighting -- Marine Times

Marine Stabbed To Death In Fight Between Camp Pendleton Students -- Task & Purpose/The San Diego Union-Tribune

It Wasn’t Just Republicans — Democrats Also Voted to Shut Down Debate on Trump Administration’s Surveillance Powers -- The Intercept

The Pentagon no longer has a leader on space programs. What does that mean? -- Valerie Insinna, Defense News

Don't believe Moby's story about his 'CIA friends' -- Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

Can Mattis makes the National Defense Strategy great again? -- Aaron Mehta, Defense News

China Wants To Deploy Lasers In Space To Destroy Space Junk. Could This Also Be Used As A Weapon?


Popular Mechanics: Could a Chinese Space Junk Laser Double as a Weapon?

A space laser could be useful for dealing with more than just junk.

There are two reactions to a paper regarding space junk that was published this week by researchers at China’s Air Force Engineering University. One, it seems good that the spacefaring nations of the world are considering ways to clean up an increasingly cluttered low Earth orbit. And the Chinese are putting forward a new plan, one that proposes to use a laser to zap the debris. Then there’s the other reaction—maybe it's not just about space junk.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Just a side note, but the biggest creation of space debris came from an anti-satellite missile test by China in 2007 .... 2007 Chinese anti-satellite missile test (Wikipedia).

More News On China Wanting To Deploy Lasers In Space To Destroy Space Junk

Is China Really Planning to Destroy Space Junk With Lasers? -- Gizmodo
China has a plan to clean up space junk with lasers -- Phys.org
Trash-Blasting Lasers Could Help Clean Up Space Junk, China Says -- Live Science
China Plans to Destroy Space Junk With Giant Lasers -- Newsweek
China plans to destroy space debris using giant orbital lasers -- IBTimes

Update: The Chinese Are On The Verge Of Dominating A New Domain: Near Space (Task and Purpose)

North Korea Is Advancing China's Strategic Objectives In The Region And Against The West

Joseph A. Bosco, National Interest: North Korea Is China's Double-Edged Sword

Keeping the Kim family dynasty in power, economically afloat, and technologically capable has significantly advanced China’s strategic objectives toward the West.

The citizens and government of Hawaii should send a big mock congratulatory lei to Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The sheer terror they experienced for the better part of an hour last Saturday morning ultimately came courtesy of China’s longstanding policy of enabling and protecting North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Yes, the immediate cause of the panic was the local government’s erroneous flash warning that the Pacific paradise island was about to be hit by a nuclear missile. Given North Korea’s recent nuclear and missile tests and blatant threats against America, the alert seemed credible.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: North Korea may have served China's strategic interests in the past, but I certainly do not see it now. The North Korean crisis is forcing Japan and South Korea to start an arms build-up while aligning itself more closely to the U.S., and there is now additional pressure on China to rein in its ally via through sanctions or face potential trade restrictions itself.

Russian Warplanes Use A Highway To Perform A Series Of 'Touch-And-Gos'



The Warzone/The Drive: Watch These Russian Su-30 And Su-34 Jets Do Touch-and-Gos on a Highway

The multi-role fighters took part in the rare exercise in the country's southern Rostov region near Ukraine.

Some of Russia's Su-30M2 Flanker fighter jets and Su-34 Fullback fighter-bomber aircraft performed a series of touch-and-gos on a highway, with this reportedly being the first time those two types of aircraft have ever done so. Su-27 Flankers and Ka-27 Helix helicopters also took part in the exercise Rostov region, which included mock air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, as well as simulated combat search and rescue operations.

According to a statement from Russia's Ministry of Defense, "complex weather conditions" prevented pilots from actually landing and then taking off again, but there were no specific details about the conditions. TV Zvezda, the Russian military's official outlet, said it is rare for the country's combat aircraft to practice on roadways during the winter in general. The last such major instance of this type of training occurred during the massive Zapad 2017 drills with Belarus, when Russian Su-27 Flanker and MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jets, as well as Su-25 Frogfoot ground attack aircraft, performed similar maneuvers on a stretch of road near the Belorussian capital Minsk.

Read more ....

WNU Editor:  This is a rare exercise .... especially in winter.

The U.S. Deploys Its Electronic Warfare Plane To South Korea


Popular Mechanics: The U.S. Has an Electronic Warfare Plane and One of Them Is Headed to Korea

The EC-130H is a C-130 Hercules fitted with electronic jamming devices and a crew of 13.

The U.S. Air Force just sent one of its most advanced electronic warfare aircraft to South Korea.

The EC-130H Compass Call, originally designed to jam enemy radio signals, was recently upgraded with the ability to identify and attack enemy wireless networks. The EC-130H was spotted traveling from Yokota Air Base, Japan to Osan Air Base in South Korea and reported on Twitter by @AircraftSpots.

Read more ....

Update #1: US Air Force Sends DOS-Attacking Aircraft to Korean Peninsula (Sputnik)
Update #2: US Deploys Tactical Communications-Scrambling Plane To Korean Peninsula (Zero Hedge)

WNU Editor: If the U.S. was really worried on what was happening on the Korean peninsula, they would not be deploying just one of these aircraft.

Turkey Continues To Prepare To Attack The Syrian Kurdish Enclave At Afrim



BBC: Turkey targets Kurds in Afrin: The short, medium and long story

Turkey says it is getting ready to launch a massive assault on Kurdish forces on the other side of the border with Syria - potentially putting it in direct conflict with its Nato ally, the United States.

This could be a significant new development in the Syrian civil war, which is now almost seven years old. We've boiled down why it matters.

You can choose to read the short, medium or long story below, either by themselves or one after the other.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The U.S. response to Turkey's threats against its only real ally in Syria has been contradictory .... Watch The State Department Respond As US Ally Turkey Attacks US-Backed Forces In Syria (Zero Hedge). In a sign that the Syrian Kurds are becoming desperate as they face an imminent attack from Turkey, they are now appealing to the UN .... Syrian Kurds Appeal to UN as Turkey Prepares to Attack (VOA).