WAR/DRAFT/VETERAN AFFAIRS | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


WAR/DRAFT/VETERAN AFFAIRS

Oct 23 12:46

NATO Sends 50,000 Troops to Largest Exercise Since Cold War

US Marines are landing in Iceland and warplanes are flying overhead in Scandinavia, just days ahead of the kickoff of Trident Juncture. The annual exercise, focused on the Arctic Circle and Scandinavia, is set to be the largest operation since the Cold War.

31 countries are involved, 29 NATO members and Finland and Sweden. They will overall be sending 50,000 troops, 10,000 vehicles, 150 warplanes and 65 ships. Starting Thursday, the exercise will last a month.

And while officials insist it’s not strictly along the Russian border, Russian military officials say it is close enough, and clearly targeted at growing Russian interests in the Arctic Circle, as warmer temperatures open up new route.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF EVER, in its history, this country needed a Department of Peace, to determine how peaceful, hard won negotiations could win the day, rather than through war, it needs such a department right NOW!!

Oct 23 12:41

Poking the Russian Bear With the NATO Umbrella

Some terrible foreign policy ideas seem to have eternal life. One example is the proposal to expand NATO yet again by offering membership to Georgia and Ukraine. That campaign has gone on for more than a decade and is a significant factor in the West’s deteriorating relations with Russia.

Despite the intra-Alliance resistance to the Bush administration’s campaign to offer MAPs to Kiev and Tbilisi, though, the outcome of the Bucharest summit was not a total defeat for U.S. ambitions. The summit’s final declaration stated that “NATO welcomes Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euro Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. We agreed today that these countries will become members of NATO.” There was no timetable but the ultimate outcome seemed clear.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Pushing NATO into a war with Russia, and particularly at this juncture in history, is a terrible, terrible mistake.

Unfortunately for the US, just because something would be the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing the US government could do, is utterly no guarantee that the US will not do it.

Oct 23 12:34

UN humanitarian chief: 8.4 million Yemenis need urgent aid

The U.N. humanitarian chief says the conflict in Yemen has left 8.4 million people dependent on emergency food assistance and 75 percent of its 22 million people requiring some form of aid.

Mark Lowcock warns in an analysis obtained Monday night by The Associated Press that humanitarian officials "estimate that 3.5 million to 4 million more people could become severely food insecure in the months ahead."

The analysis, which is to be the subject of a briefing to the Security Council on Tuesday, says 3 million Yemenis are malnourished, including 1.1 million pregnant women "and more than 400,000 severely acutely malnourished children."

In a worst case scenario, Lowcock warns that if current trends continue, food needs could increase "by as much as 62 percent."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Martin Lowcock, a word, please.

Because the Saudis and their US allies have blockaded Yemeni ports, the aid you describe will never be allowed to be delivered; that's just the first hard reality here.

You have to understand; from the Saudi perspective, the more Yemeni children assassinated; malnourished, and water-sickened who die under this siege, the happier the House of Saud is with this death and destruction: that is the second hard reality with which you will have to deal.

And all the above, coupled with your grievances, makes the UN look impotent to do anything to stop the carnage in Yemen. There is no international "muscle" in this organisation which can make the aid delivery happen. And here's what this looks like from the Yemeni perspective:

Images: Yemeni children killed or maimed for life from Saudi bombing runs

Images: starving Yemeni kids, dying of malnutrition, courtesy of US-enabled port blockades

Images: Yemeni children dying of cholera, courtesy of Saudi-destroyed water infrastructure plus a possibly weaponized version of the pathogen added to Yemeni water system

Folks, I know that there has been a great deal of attention placed on the assassination of Khashoggi recently. But where were the US politicians when these horrific war crimes against the Yemeni people were, and are continuing to be, perpetrated?!?

They have been no where; and why?!? Because our country's Merchant of Death in Chief, President Trump, believes that the bomb sales this country has done, plus other weapons of war we have sold the Saudis are "good for business."

Economically, of course, he is quite right; people don't want to buy GMO-laced food, or products that break down one day after the product warranty expires, which is pretty much all we have to offer; except for the bombs and bullets we make reasonably well (next to those of China and Russia, of course), and supply them to the highest bidders.

I wish I did not live in a country whose government commits war crimes with impunity, and I wish, by making people aware enough of these war crimes, some peaceful, and reasonable change in the status of how this government does business, and with whom, might happen.

But that is going to take a national movement, which represents us all, for real change to invigorate a national dialogue which is way above party skirmishes; I sincerely hope that this can be accomplished.

Oct 23 07:46

Comparing the Russian Su-33 and Chinese J-15 fighters: Which one’s better?

The National Interest magazine compared the fourth generation Su-33 Russian fighters and the Chinese J-15 analogue.

>>>

Oct 22 13:54

Trump threatens to build up US nuclear arsenal until Russia, China 'come to their senses'

US President Donald Trump threatned Russia and China that Washington intends to build up its nuclear arsenal until “people come to their senses.”
The president said his words were directed towards Moscow and Beijing, as he prepared to unilaterally leave the Intermediate Nuclear Forces in Europe (INF) treaty. The US president implied China should be part of any new nuclear arms control treaty.

“Russia has not adhered to the agreement,” neither in form or in spirit, Trump told reporters outside the White House on Monday, before departing for a campaign rally in Texas.

Until people come to their senses, we will build it up

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US already has the world's largest nuclear arsenal!

Oct 22 12:51

Putin Announces New Hypersonic Weapon Will Be Deployed In "Months"

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Moscow would deploy new Avangard hypersonic glider warheads in the "coming months," adding that Russia's hypersonic program is the most advanced in the world, according to a new report from the Financial Times.

"We are improving our attack systems in response to the construction of a missile defense system by the United States. Some of them are already in service, and some will be supplied in the near future," said Putin, who was speaking at the Valdai Discussion Club in the Black Sea resort of Sochi Thursday, adding that Moscow's hypersonic weapons program was well ahead of China and the US.

"The Avangard system [will be deployed] in the next few months."

Oct 22 09:10

US Leaving INF Will Put Nuclear Non-Proliferation at Risk & May Lead to ‘Complete Chaos’

If the US ditches the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), it could collapse the entire nuclear non-proliferation system, and bring nuclear war even closer, Russian officials warn.

By ending the INF, Washington risks creating a domino effect which could endanger other landmark deals like the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and collapse the existing non-proliferation mechanism as we know it, senior lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev said on Sunday.

The current iteration of the START treaty, which limits the deployment of all types of nuclear weapons, is due to expire in 2021. Kosachev, who chairs the Parliament’s Upper House Foreign Affairs Committee, warned that such an outcome pits mankind against “complete chaos in terms of nuclear weapons.”

Oct 22 07:37

The War Just Got Serious: US General Also Wounded in Kandahar Incident

The officials in the US Department Defense, Pentagon, have confirmed that a US General had also sustained injuries during last week’s deadly incident in Southern Kandahar province.

Oct 21 10:01

"Complete Chaos": Russia Slams "Dangerous" U.S. Pullout Of INF Treaty As "Blackmail"

Washington’s planned withdrawal from the international Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, announced by President Trump on Saturday, has been slammed by Russia as "a very dangerous step" which is ultimately part of "continuing attempts to achieve Russia’s concessions through blackmail" in statements made by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Sunday.

And Russian lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev, who chairs the Russian Parliament’s Upper House Foreign Affairs Committee, warned the move could create a domino effect endangering other landmark deals like the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). The lawmaker said such an outcome pits mankind against “complete chaos in terms of nuclear weapons.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Before President Trump goes ahead with this, I want to see irrefutable evidence that the Russians have actually been creating weapons which the treaty was supposed to have prevented both the US and Russia from creating.

Post President Bush, statements coming from a sitting president, do not mean that those statements are in any way correct in fact; anyone beside me remember Bush's charges about "Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction"?!?!?!?

Just saying, President Trump!!

Oct 21 09:55

Germany Suspends Arms Sales To Saudis Weeks After $500 Million Deal

Less than a month after Germany authorized a shipment of arms to Saudi Arabia and several of its allies, in violation of an arms-sales ban approved by lawmakers from the country's ruling coalition earlier this year, Germany has once again decided to "punish" the Saudis by putting future arms shipments on hold pending the results of an investigation into the death of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In late September, Germany violated its promise not to supply Saudi Arabia with arms and instead approved a 416.4 million euros ($477 billion) shipment to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Jordan. Though German economy minister Peter Altmair wrote a letter to parliament members explaining why Germany's government had approved the sales, the decision was still heavily criticized by the country's opposition, per Bloomberg.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Expect for this sound and fury against the Saudi government to dwindle in the coming weeks.

Countries selling them weapons with which they assassinate Houthi rebels, will ultimately feel the need to feed their economic "fix" of the money Saudi Arabia pays for their weapons from the UK, Germany, and the United States.

No matter how ridiculous the concept of a 60 year old guy getting into a "fistfight" with a number of Saudi intel people is, it will ultimately the narrative which the Saudis will "successfully sell",. particularly to those countries selling them weapons, like the US.

Oct 21 09:54

Itch for ‘better INF deal’? Trump’s treaty ‘withdrawal symptom’ destabilizes global order

By scrapping the crucial Cold War era nuclear agreement Trump is destabilizing global security, even if his ultimate goal is to negotiate a ‘better deal’ and to include other parties like China, geopolitical experts have told RT.

“The United States would rather pull out because of China. Right now it cannot develop new intermediate-range missiles to confront China, even though China is not a signatory to that agreement,” former Pentagon official Michael Maloof said, after Donald Trump announced the US intention to scrap the INF treaty.

“The US is engaged in an arms race with China in the Pacific Ocean, and China has a whole bunch of those missiles that are not covered,” Iranian political scientist Kaveh Afrasiabi added, calling Trump's announcement a “giant leap backward to the Cold War era.”

Oct 21 09:50

UK Ready to Back US Plans to Exit INF Treaty to Send 'Clear Message' to Russia

On Friday, The New York Times reported that the Trump administration was preparing to exit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty as soon as next week.

Speaking to The Financial Times, British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson has made it plain that London will support Washington's decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the US and Russia.

"Our close and long-term ally, of course, is the United States, and we will be absolutely resolute with the United States in hammering home a clear message that Russia needs to respect the [INF] Treaty obligation that it signed," Williamson pointed out.

Oct 21 09:48

'If Bolton Could Nuke Russia, He Would, But He Works for Trump' - Journo

Moscow's offer to Washington to exchange written guarantees about non-interference in each other’s affairs earlier this year was rejected by the US. That’s what the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department of North America Georgy Borisenko told Sputnik in an interview. Sputnik discussed it with independent political analyst Stephen Ebert.

Oct 21 09:47

What’s INF & why does it matter? Trump wants to kill pivotal nuclear treaty that calmed the Cold War

The White House administration, which is pursuing a quite aggressive nuclear arsenal modernization strategy, has already authorized plans to develop what it initially called an ‘INF-compliant’ medium-range missile as outlined in the Trump Nuclear Posture Review, and now seems to look for excuses to pull out of the cornerstone nuclear arms agreement.

READ MORE: US defense bill authorizes development of ‘INF treaty-compliant’ mid-range missile

Claiming the move is crucial to counter the alleged growing threat from both Russia and China, US President Donald Trump stressed the situation was “unacceptable” and that the US will “have to develop those weapons.” Announcing his intention to scrap the INF commitments, Trump boasted:

“So we have a tremendous amount of money to play with our military.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"We just end Social Security, Medicare, Infrastructure maintenance, and the education system and we can pay for these new nukes!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Oct 20 12:44

This Is The Worst Case Scenario If Investors Dump Saudi Arabia

So many Wall Street CEOs and other titans of investing and industry have pulled out of next week's "Davos in the Desert" conference that even the Ritz-Carlton, owner of the Riyadh venue hosting the conference (as it did last year), has been slammed by human rights groups over its continued support for Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and his brutal regime. In perhaps the biggest blow to the conference's clout, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has opted not to attend, eve as President Trump has insisted that Saudi Arabia's story about the circumstances surrounding the (now confirmed) death of critical journalist (and former government insider) Jamal Khashoggi is "credible". To deflect blame away from MbS, the Saudi leadership has orchestrated a purge of the country's senior intelligence apparatus and arrested 18 other Saudi nationals for their "involvement" in orchestrating and carrying out the killing.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This response reminds me of a line from the Gilbert & Sullivan Operetta, "The Mikado", where the principal states: "I'm very sorry, but it's an unjust world, and virtue is triumphant only in theatrical performances."

And in the coming weeks, we will continue to see the "theatrical performances" of countries and corporations kowtowing to the Saudi royal family and their minions, all for the sake of the money they represent; no crime too horrific, no horrors too excessive, that's just fine!!

And Saudi Arabia will be allowed explain every criminal offensive and repulsive thing that they have done, with the most utterly illogical way possible, like the excuse that Khashoggi died in a fistfight, and the Saudi royal family will expect the rest of the world to collectively swallow this codswallop, as though it were the nectar of the gods.

And we swallow; because... that's the cost of doing business with these people.

We will continue to see horrific human rights prosecutions in Saudi Arabia, particularly those of non-Muslims, enthusiastically pursued, with hands and limbs and throats cut. Christian persecution in Saudi Arabia

We will continue to see female genital mutilations performed in Saudi Arabia,
Female Genital Mutilation, Saudi Arabia

And we will continue to see the US-government-enabled Saudi war against the Houthi rebels in Yemen continue as though it is the most normal thing in the world, because for the US Merchants of Death, and their Merchant of Death in Chief, Donald Trump, war is good for business. After all, who do the Saudis buy their weapons from?!?

Well, folks, here is a birdseye view of this war from the Yemeni side (caution: painfully graphic images): and if you loose your lunch upon viewing these images, good; that means that there is some degree of humanity left in you.

Images: Yemeni kids murdered or maimed for life, courtesy of Saudi bombing runs

Yemeni children dying from starvation, courtesy of US/Saudi blockages of Yemeni ports

Images: Yemeni children dying of cholera, possibly weaponized

But we are so addicted to Saudi oil and Saudi money, we can turn our heads away from horrors this country inflicts on its own people, and the people of other countries, and just collectively shrug our shoulders and simply say to ourselves, "it's just the cost of doing business with these people".

what's wrong with this picture?!?

Bloody everything!!

Oct 20 11:13

Bolton heads to Moscow for high-stakes meeting with Russians

National security adviser John Bolton is traveling to Russia for talks early next week with top Russian officials that are likely to cover a variety of high-priority issues for the administration.

The trip is Bolton’s first to Moscow since he went to broker the details of the now infamous Helsinki summit between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin last July.

The visit comes amid high tensions with Moscow on several fronts, including the conflict in Syria and the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Britain earlier this year.

Bolton is expected in his meetings with Russian officials next week to further discussions on issues that Putin and Trump discussed in July, including Syria, where Moscow says it has delivered a S-300 missile defense system — in defiance of warnings from the Trump administration and Israel.

The talks are also likely to cover Iran, efforts to denuclearize North Korea, Israeli security and nuclear arms treaties.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Whenever this thoroughly unhinged, and very vocal, gentleman racks up the "frequent flyer miles" in behalf of this government, I get very nervous.

And these charges against Elena Khusyaynova?!?

Spybosses warn of foreign interference as Feds unseal new Russia Charges

The NPR article goes on to state: Khusyaynova was charged in a criminal complaint in the Eastern District of Virginia on Friday. She, like the other Russians who have been charged in separate federal criminal cases, is not expected to stand trial in the United States.

"The government has chosen to use legal documents to lay out the case against the people who attacked the 2016 presidential election and have kept up a war of disinformation against the West."

And yet, she, and her alleged accomplices, will not be tried in the US. So what is this nonsense?!?

More Russia bashing, pure and simple. The US government both doesn't have a case, other than putting on a lengthy "show trial" here, upon which it will lavishly spend millions of taxpayer dollars on this sheer foolishness, all in the name of Russia bashing.

And where, please, has the evidence from, to accuse her of "...having kept up a war of disinformation against the West." ?!?!?

Don't the American people have the right to know what specifically she did, which so damaged the American reputation at home and abroad?!?

Or is that, also, "sealed" away from the prying eyes of the people she allegedly dishonored, citizens of the Unhinged, Surveilled State of Amerika?!?

The place Bolton should be visiting right now, rather than Moscow, is Tel Aviv, to ask about the continued pressure from Jewish groups, both in Tel Aviv, and Washington, to keep a very tight wrap on American elections, and insure that only people Tel Aviv and AIPAC-centric will receive the nomination to highest office here in the US.

Of course, that will happen... when pigs discover they are aerodynamic.

Oct 20 10:44

China on notice as America’s next big enemy, right after Russia

One wonders what went on in Russian minds during last month’s spectacle of US President Trump raking Beijing over the coals on accusations of meddling, in the upcoming US midterm elections, to try to undermine his trade policies.
Certainly the Chinese, who evidently didn’t expect it, were shocked and outraged, but it was behavior to which Moscow was accustomed to being on the receiving end of – this time aimed at someone else for a change.

Geng Shuang, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, called Donald Trump’s claims “totally far-fetched and fictional,” and advised the “US side to stop its unwarranted accusations and slander against China and refrain from wrong words and deeds that might hurt our bilateral relations and fundamental interests.”

Oct 20 10:12

10 percent of American F-22 fighter jets damaged by Hurricane Michael

Part of the reason the F-22’s were left in the path of the storm is that they were broken and too expensive to fix or fly.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Hurricane Michael qualifies as an enemy ace!

Oct 20 10:08

Escobar: What Sanctions On Russia And China Really Mean

A crucial Pentagon report on the US defense industrial base and “supply chain resiliency” bluntly accuses China of “military expansion” and “a strategy of economic aggression,” mostly because Beijing is the only source for “a number of chemical products used in munitions and missiles.”

Russia is mentioned only once, but in a crucial paragraph: as a – what else – “threat,” alongside China, for the US defense industry.

Oct 20 08:41

The Insidious Wiles of Foreign Influence: Trump, Bin Salman, and Netanyahu

Even if the Saudi monarchy or Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in particular did not murder journalist Jamal Khashoggi, that regime is an especially evil one in both its domestic and international conduct. To see that, one need only consider the horrendous Saudi war against the people of Yemen, which has been backed by the U.S. government since Barack Obama was in office. That war, with its merciless killing of defenseless thousands, spread of disease, and inevitable benefits to al-Qaeda, is just the latest in a series Saudi atrocities.

Oct 19 14:53

Ex-US Navy Captain Charged for Sending Millions in Contracts to Her Own Business

Fired US Navy Capt. Heather E. Cole was charged with criminal conspiracy earlier this year after she failed to disclose her active-duty military status while negotiating high-priced contracts for her manufacturing firm.

Charge sheets recently obtained by the Navy Times state that contracts brokered by the servicemember between 2002 and 2015 for her Oklahoma-based firm, Worksaver Material Handling Equipment Company, Inc., amounted to some $635,000. At issue are five US Marine Corps contracts, two Defense Logistics Agency deals and one US Air Force order secured by the firm from 2002 to 2013.

Cole previously pleaded not guilty to the charges on June 26 after being ordered to a general court-martial. The matter is set to go to trial later this year in December.

Oct 19 13:21

Bolton Pushing Trump to Exit Nuclear Arms Treaty With Russia - Reports

Neither the White House, nor Bolton himself has commented on the reported recommendation letter.

John Bolton, US President Donald Trump’s third national security adviser, has issued a formal recommendation for withdrawal from the 1987 intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty referred to as INF, according to sources briefed on the initiative and cited by The Guardian.

Bolton reportedly said Russia has been violating the treaty by developing a new cruise missile.

Meanwhile, neither the White House, nor John Bolton has commented on the issue yet.

Oct 18 15:00

French Forces to Set Up Military Base in Raqqa

The Arabic-language Baladi News website affiliated to the terrorists reported on Thursday that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are busy with drilling operations in an area stretching from the Brigade 17 region to Sahlat al-Banat region in Northeast of Raqqa city and from Sahlat al-Banat region to the North of the Sugar plant in Northern Raqqa.

It added that operations to build the walls and construction of buildings in the area will start after drilling operations, noting that a military base is due to be set up for the French forces with the aim of supporting the SDF in Raqqa.

According to the report, the US military troops are in talks with the SDF to further equip al-Tabaqah airbase in Western Raqqa and turn it into their new military base in the region next year.

Sources in the past few months said that the French army has sent weapons, military equipment and forces to Raqqa.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

OK, let me get my head around this: The US military has invited the French military to further invade and disrupt life in Syria, and will not hesitate, against the will of the Syrian government, and their Russian and Iranian counterparts, to establish a permanent military base in Raqqa, in order to engage in military actions against all of them, as they see fit?!?

Folks, given that Russia is still very active here, and Israel has threatened to take out the newly installed S-300 self-defense systems, we may be a lot closer to war in Syria than many of us had wanted to believe

Oct 18 14:20

Putin: Russia Will Use Nukes Only if Someone Launches Strike on Its Territory

Russia's nuclear doctrine does not stipulate a preemptive strike, but Moscow is determined to respond to any first strike by a potential aggressor, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

"…about whether we are ready, whether I am ready, to use the weapons at our disposal, including weapons of mass destruction, to protect our interests. I will remind you what I said, and I said that in our concept of nuclear weapons use there is no notion of a preemptive strike," Putin said speaking at the Valdai Discussion Club forum.

Oct 18 14:00

USAF Frantically Stole Parts From One RC-135 To Get Another Airborne To Spy On A Missile Launch

t’s no secret that the U.S. Air Force’s aging, but vital RC-135 spy planes have been breaking down at an increasingly a worrisome rate for years now, often forcing the cancellation of important missions. Now, information from a declassified official unit history provides an especially clear example of how these problems can have cascading impacts on operational readiness and put the U.S. military’s ability to gather critical intelligence at risk when it matters most.

Oct 18 11:54

China To Unveil Next-Generation Stealth Bomber In 2019 

Last week, the Global Times confirmed that the Hong-20, China's newest long-range stealth bomber was ready for imminent trial flights.

Now, it seems Chinese media, as per Defense Blog, has indicated that the stealth bomber will be unveiled during a massive military parade in 2019.

Oct 18 11:10

Col. Larry Wilkerson: Unnecessary Wars Hurting Readiness to Fight Existential Wars

Given the array of really big threats out there, and the way we have spent our military on the peripheries of our empire, doing things less than existential — and in some cases, less than approved by the American people — can we do this or are we going to get caught short, and either have 10 or 15 or 20 times the casualties we should have?

“Or maybe, maybe even lose? That’s the ultimate question about what we’re doing today, and we aren’t ready yet to confront that question,”

Oct 17 15:08

Strike back Against Alt-Media Purge, 21’st Century Inquisition

Some 800 anti-establishment accounts and pages have been yanked from Facebook in a sweeping crackdown the social media giant framed as a fight against spammers. Among the hundreds of pages and accounts Facebook and Twitter took down were those both on the political left and right, ranging from conspiracy theorists and police brutality watchers, to news outlets with non-mainstream angles, While their content could be at times described as controversial, the bulk of the banished pages boasted large followings and outreach.

Oct 17 12:44

Royal Navy carrier jets will land differently than their American counterparts.

The Royal Navy is currently testing a landing system that will allow its F-35B Joint Strike Fighters to fly farther and with greater payloads. The shipborne rolling vertical landing will allow F-35Bs to land on the U.K.’s new carriers with larger payloads, eliminating the need to jettison expensive stores just to land on ships.

Oct 17 11:51

Jeff Bezos chides rivals, says Amazon will continue to work with Pentagon

While some tech companies are backing away from working with the Pentagon, Jeff Bezos says Amazon.com Inc. won’t be one of them.

Speaking in San Francisco at an event for Wired’s 25th anniversary Monday, Amazon’s chief executive said he was baffled that some companies have cut Pentagon ties after employee dissent.

“We are going to continue to support the DoD, and I think we should,” said Bezos. “One of the jobs of senior leadership is to make the right decision, even when it’s unpopular.”

Oct 17 11:50

NATO cyber command to be fully operational in 2023

A new NATO military command centre to deter computer hackers should be fully staffed in 2023 and able to mount its own cyber attacks but the alliance is still grappling with ground rules for doing so, a senior general said on Tuesday.

Oct 17 11:49

Is the new US drone base in Niger worth the cost?

For decades, large parts of Africa have been home to local radicals and militants. But these local radicals do not present a direct threat to U.S. national security — so does their mere existence justify the construction of a new drone base that has a price tag of $100 million?

The cost of operating the facility, located in the middle of the Sahara desert in Agadez, Niger, is estimated at $30 million a year. By the end of the 10-year agreement for the use of the site in 2024, named Nigerien Air Base 201, the U.S. will have spent around $280 million.

Oct 17 11:40

MILITARY OFFICIALS AREN’T SUPPOSED TO ASSOCIATE WITH HATE GROUPS. SO WHY ARE THESE GENERALS SPEAKING AT FRANK GAFFNEY’S CONFAB?

OVER THE PAST decade, the Center for Security Policy has emerged as one of the most notoriously bigoted and conspiratorial think tanks in Washington, D.C. Under its founder and president, Frank Gaffney, the organization regularly found itself in the news for promoting anti-Muslim conspiracies — including farcically paranoid ones. Yet, unlike similar organizations that remain on the political fringes, the Center for Security Policy is remarkably close to the halls of power — not just to President Donald Trump, for whom Gaffney was an informal adviser during the campaign, but also to the traditional power brokers of the defense establishment.

Oct 17 10:43

Jam-Resistant US Military Communications Satellite Lifts Off in Midnight-Hour Launch

An advanced U.S. military communications satellite soared into space in the midnight hour Wednesday (Oct. 17), lighting up the sky over Florida as it launched into orbit.

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket launched the satellite, known as Advanced Extremely High Frequency 4 (AEHF-4), at 12:15 a.m. EDT (0415 GMT) from a pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. AEHF-4 is an advanced jam-resistant and nuclear-hardened satellite designed "to provide survivable, global, secure, protected and jam-resistant communications for high-priority military forces," according to a U.S. Air force mission description.

Oct 17 10:32

SOCOM solicitation for ‘reverse engineered’ foreign weapons sparks Russian anger, warnings

the Russian firm renowned for designing the AK-47 assault rifle — was caught off guard by U.S. Special Operations Command’s desire to “reverse engineer” and “domestically produce” Russian-styled weapons.

In statements through state-controlled media, Russian leaders and industry officials warned the U.S. military not to copy its coveted weapon designs.

One problem: the solicitation is more than a year old and portions of the contract have already been awarded.

Oct 16 17:55

Khashoggi Family Had Deep Connections to Lockheed Martin, Saudi Power Struggles

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who is feared murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, was much more than just a Washington Post columnist: he was a figure connected to some of the highest echelons of power in the US and Saudi Arabia.

Whitney Webb, staff writer at MintPress News and author of a recent piece on the disappeared Saudi journalist, joined Radio Sputnik's Fault Lines on Tuesday to flesh out Khashoggi's personal and family history and his deep connections to the military-industrial complex in the United States, as well as the highest levels of the Saudi state, in an effort to understand why the US is reacting so strongly to his presumed death at Saudi hands.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF this info proves true (and it is going to take a lot of effort, to reconstruct this forensically, if even possible), with no body, then it is possible that Khashoggi was a spook.... for someone, and it is hard for whom at this point.

The evidence is now being managed by the Turkish authorities, and one has to wonder of the hold-up on its release, almost as some kind of blackmail against the Saudi Royal Family, to be "sprung" at the most damaging time.

Or, was his assassination ordered by other members of the House of Saud who felt that Ben Salman had been thrust into power at far too young an age?

But regardless of the motivations driving this abduction/assassination, this has happened at one of the most critical junctures possible for the House of Saud, and the potential for its continued leadership either waxing...or waning, if the outcome was to engineer an unceremonious dumping of Prince Salman under the proverbial bus.

We will see, shortly, where the Saudi military are placing their bets in this poisoned environment of claims, and counterclaims, and this support (or lack thereof) may show us where Saudi Arabia is ultimately headed.

Oct 16 13:41

American Mercenaries Were Hired To Assassinate Politicians In The Middle East

Cradling an AK-47 and sucking a lollipop, the former American Green Beret bumped along in the back of an armored SUV as it wound through the darkened streets of Aden. Two other commandos on the mission were former Navy SEALs. As elite US special operations fighters, they had years of specialized training by the US military to protect America. But now they were working for a different master: a private US company that had been hired by the United Arab Emirates, a tiny desert monarchy on the Persian Gulf.

On that night, December 29, 2015, their job was to carry out an assassination.

When they arrived at 9:57 at night, all seemed quiet. The men crept out of the SUV, guns at the ready. One carried the explosive charge toward the building. But just as he was about to reach the door, another member of the team opened fire, shooting back along the dimly lit street, and their carefully designed plan went haywire.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Extrajudicial assassinations are non-Constitutional. I don't care how much the legal eagles around President Obama wanted to spin these as legally justifiable in US law, but these hits are not.

The country of Yemen has not attacked us; they have done nothing to cause any distress to the American people. But because President Obama was so close to the Saudi royal family, which wants to see every man woman and child in Yemen dead, he ordered the hit, and ordered it in precisely this manner.

And having these mercs hired by a private firm, so that "plausible deniability" can be created, covering the US and it's military, does not make this right, either.

Targeted assassinations, ultimately ordered by a foreign government, to be carried out by private mercs, consisting of former US military?!?

That was the way Obama loved to do this things; as covertly as possible, and "discouraging" news outlets from covering them at all.

The "cool factor" in his persona, was purely manufactured; and the damage he did, both to this country's reputation, and his personal reputation, will continue to linger and fester for a long time to come.

That, my friends, was the reality under the "Obama Years" in the White House; extrajudicial assassinations overseas, all wrapped up in a pretty American flag.

Oct 16 13:19

ISRAEL, US SECRETLY TRAINED AGAINST RUSSIA’S MISSILE SYSTEM IN UKRAINE

Israel and the US sent secret military delegations to Ukraine to train against the Russian S-300 missile defence system which was shipped to Syria last month.us

The Israeli and US delegations arrived in Ukraine, where members of the Ukrainian military allegedly instructed them on “the capabilities of the [S-300] system, as well as running through various possible scenarios,” the Times of Israel reported.

The claim was first reported by Israel’s Hadashot TV yesterday, which cited Syrian and Russian news outlets as its source. The Times of Israel added that “one Russian report said F-15 planes are training in Ukraine against the S-300 as part of an international exercise that includes Israeli pilots.” Neither Israel nor the US were willing to comment on the reports.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF, in fact, this actually happened, then the war for Syria is by no means over for the US and Israel

Oct 16 12:56

US weapons sales surge by one-third under Trump’s policies

The United States has sold over $55 billion of weapons during the 2018 fiscal year, a sharp year-on-year increase in the wake of President Donald Trump’s push to encourage more US arms sales.

That’s 33 percent more than fiscal year 2017, Trump’s first year in office, when the Pentagon contractors managed to sell almost $42 billion in weapons and military services around the globe, according to the latest report by the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

According ding to the report, the Pentagon funded $4.42 billion of the 2018 foreign purchases while an additional $3.52 billion in arms sales was funded by the State Department. The buyers paid for the rest of the sales themselves.

The deals included the sales of a significant number of aircraft and equipment, including Boeing deals to sell surveillance aircraft in Asia and Europe.

Oct 16 12:32

U.S. Responsible for 3,300 Civilian Deaths in Syria, Supporting Genocide in Yemen

A new report finds that the U.S is responsible for more than 3,300 civilian deaths in Syria since 2014. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continues to back Saudi caused genocide in Yemen.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And by not standing up against this genocide, and simply accepting it as "the cost of doing business, because of the huge profits US weapons sales the military industrial complex is making from their sales to the Saudis", every single one of our alleged Congressional representatives are telling us that We the People do not matter; it's only the huge corporations, which "purchase" them though contributions to their campaigns, which do.

I have to wonder what a forensic audit of all of our Congressional Representatives would reveal, as to who has pocketed the most from the military industrial complex; if that were allowed to happen, I think we'd all be collectively gobsmacked by the numbers.

Oct 16 09:54

Few Democrats Offer Alternatives to War-Weary Voters

Chants of "No More War" from delegates at the 2016 Democratic National Convention gave voice to sentiments that still resonate through the base of the party and the broad U.S. public, notably in communities with higher rates of military sacrifice.

While Trump’s 2016 victories in swing states may well have been aided by his posing as a foe of protracted war, his administration’s Mideast policies have largely exposed that masquerade. Unfortunately, the weak and confused positions of Democratic leaders on endless war and bloated military spending offer little alternative to war-weary voters.

Oct 15 12:17

On US Naval Blockades and a Hard Days War. Economic Warfare against Russia is not Working

The blockade’s objective was to force the USSR to withdraw nuclear weapons from Cuba that it had placed there in order to guarantee Cuba’s security from American attack. Fortunately the crisis ended a few days later with the missiles being withdrawn in exchange for the US withdrawing similar missiles from bases in Turkey that threatened the USSR, and a US pledge not to invade Cuba. The blockade proved to be not only a dangerous provocation but also a humiliating fiasco for the US. A year later President Kenned was assassinated.

But today the US leadership is threatening another blockade, this time of Russia, as well as threatening pre-emptive strikes to neutralise Russian cruise missiles, not located in Cuba, but in Russia itself. And the same fleet that conducted the Cuban blockade, that took part in the invasion of Grenada in 1983, the 2nd Fleet, has once again been reactivated with all the ships necessary to attempt just such a blockade.

Oct 15 11:11

THE PENTAGON’S PUSH TO PROGRAM SOLDIERS’ BRAINS

The Biological Technologies Office, created in 2014, is the newest of DARPA’s six main divisions. This is the office headed by Justin Sanchez. One purpose of the office is to “restore and maintain warfighter abilities” by various means, including many that emphasize neurotechnology—applying engineering principles to the biology of the nervous system. For instance, the Restoring Active Memory program develops neuroprosthetics—tiny electronic components implanted in brain tissue—that aim to alter memory formation so as to counteract traumatic brain injury. Does DARPA also run secret biological programs? In the past, the Department of Defense has done such things. It has conducted tests on human subjects that were questionable, unethical, or, many have argued, illegal. The Big Boy protocol, for example, compared radiation exposure of sailors who worked above and below deck on a battleship, never informing the sailors that they were part of an experiment.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF DARPA actually achieves these goals, how will it not be sought to "pacify" an angry public, sick and tired of wars, manipulated events and information, and the offshoring/outsourcing of American jobs, all created in order that the monied become even more wealthy?!?

We cannot forget that there is a very dark, ethical "underbelly" of this kind of research, and the implications may well lead to a very dystopian future for all citizens of this country.

Oct 15 10:49

Yemen on brink of 'world's worst famine in 100 years' if war continues

UN warns that famine could overwhelm country in next three months, with 13 million people at risk of starvation.

If war continues, famine could engulf the country in the next three months, with 12 to 13 million civilians at risk of starvation, according to Lise Grande, the agency’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen.

She told the BBC: “I think many of us felt as we went into the 21st century that it was unthinkable that we could see a famine like we saw in Ethiopia, that we saw in Bengal, that we saw in parts of the Soviet Union – that was just unacceptable.

“Many of us had the confidence that would never happen again and yet the reality is that in Yemen that is precisely what we are looking at.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Ms. Grande is obviously naive enough to believe that the war will stop, just upon the wails and screams of various human rights organisations and NGOs around the world.

What she refuses to understand, is that this is precisely the outcome the Butcher of Yemen (aka, Prince Mohammed bin Salman) wishes to see happen.

I think of another way of putting it is "Victory by Attrition", which means the Butcher doesn't care HOW the people of Yemen die, he just wants them to die, either by starvation; direct bombing runs; destroying the water infrastructure; and poisoning Yemeni people with potentially weaponized cholera.

And the Unhinged, Surveilled State of Amerika, lead by its Merchant of Death in Chief, is doing everything it can do, particularly selling him arms with which to massacre as many children, women, and medically fragile elderly as possible.

THIS, friends, is why the "Khasshogi Incident" will be forgotten; anything which gets in the way of selling American weapons will be obliviated, as I believe you will see in the coming days, possibly as soon as the end of the week.

That's why Pompeo is headed Riyadh this week, President Trump says Mike Pompeo going to Saudi Arabia this Week to "stategize conformities" as to how this assassination will be spun, and to not let one scintilla of logic, or real evidence, dare to rear its ugly head, to combat the soon to be well-crafted spinning of this story.

Oct 15 10:29

DID SAUDIS, CIA FEAR KHASHOGGI 9/11 BOMBSHELL?

The macabre case of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi raises the question: did Saudi rulers fear him revealing highly damaging information on their secret dealings? In particular, possible involvement in the 9/11 terror attacks on New York in 2001.

Even more intriguing are US media reports now emerging that American intelligence had snooped on and were aware of Saudi officials making plans to capture Khashoggi prior to his apparent disappearance at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week. If the Americans knew the journalist’s life was in danger, why didn’t they tip him off to avoid his doom?

Jamal Khashoggi (59) had gone rogue, from the Saudi elite’s point of view. Formerly a senior editor in Saudi state media and an advisor to the royal court, he was imminently connected and versed in House of Saud affairs. As one commentator cryptically put it: “He knew where all the bodies were buried.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Watch this "disappearance" be spun down the rabbit hole of dysfunction and menial ordinariness by the collective US "alphabet soup" agencies.

Khashoggi's absence will be relegated to that of a very minor situation, not worthy of the notice of the US corporate presstitutes and warrespondents very soon.

I would almost be willing to bet, as soon as this Friday, stories about him wil vanish, poof! - as though they had never existed at all.

Oct 15 10:29

SPECTACULAR Soviet Mikoyan MiG-29 OVT VECTORED THRUST Demo

Oct 15 10:09

Hurricane Cost May Skyrocket As Billions In Stealth Fighter Jets Unaccounted For; Tyndall AFB “Complete Loss”

After Hurricane Michael rendered Tyndall Air Force Base a “complete loss” from “widespread, catastrophic damage” – questions remain over nearly two-dozen F-22 Stealth Fighters which are unaccounted for.

According to the New York Times, Tyndall is home to 55 stealth fighters, “which cost a dizzying $339 million each.” Before Michael hit, the Air Force evacuated at least 33 of the planes to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, however they would not comment on the status of the remaining 22 fighters.

Air Force officials have not disclosed the whereabouts of the remaining 22 planes, other than to say that a number of aircraft were left at the base because of maintenance or safety reasons.

An Air Force spokeswoman, Maj. Malinda Singleton, would not confirm that any of the aircraft left behind were F-22s.

Oct 15 10:02

Russell Napier: Mike Pence Announces Cold War II

While the world watched the Kavanaugh confirmation drama in Washington DC last week, there was something even more important happening at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. In a speech at the Hudson Institute, the Vice President of the United States of America clearly spelled out why his country’s disputes with the People’s Republic of China go far beyond the realm of trade. If you think US relations with China can return to where they were eighteen months ago, then it is time to think again. The US has China in its sights and even a compromise on trade will not be a sufficient compromise for this administration.

While a bit of sabre rattling ahead of midterm elections is to be expected, this speech, in the opinion of your analyst, changes the world. It changes not just the world of finance and money but, very probably, the world of geopolitics.

Only by watching this speech can you get a true sense of the belligerence and conviction with which it was delivered.

Oct 15 09:37

Mark Zuckerberg Just Stole $315,000 From A Triple-Amputee Vet

Over the years, Kolfage invested $315,000 to grow brands on Facebook. Facebook requested admins of pages to invest tons of money to grow and reach larger audiences for the brands he managed. Zuckerberg had no problem taking Brian’s money. But now Zuckerberg & Facebook decided they couldn’t allow the popular conservative page to get in the way of the 2018 midterm elections after it became a pivotal part of President Trumps 2016 upset to Hillary Clinton. Facebook headed up by Zuckerberg used a well-planned opportunity to take out actual bad pages and lumped in Airman Kolfage’s conservative network.

Oct 15 08:44

Watchdog exposes Pentagon's cyber struggles

Defense experts are seizing on a stunning federal report highlighting cyber vulnerabilities in U.S. weapons systems, calling it an embarrassing wake-up call for the Pentagon.

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released this week found that nearly all of the weapons systems it tested had extensive cyber flaws. The report warned that the Department of Defense (DOD) “likely has an entire generation of systems that were designed and built without adequately considering cybersecurity.”

Experts said the alarming report was shining a light on the Pentagon's systematic failure to consider cyber threats in building the country's most powerful weapons.

Oct 15 07:29

THE PENTAGON’S PUSH TO PROGRAM SOLDIERS’ BRAINS

DARPA’s developing capabilities still hover at or near a proof-of-concept stage. But that’s close enough to have drawn investment from some of the world’s richest corporations.

Oct 14 10:12

UP TO 22 F-22 RAPTOR JETS OF US AIR FORCE COULD BE DAMAGED BY HURRICANE MICHAEL

According to US media, out of the 55 F-22 jets stationed at the air base, 33 had been moved prior to the storm’s arrival. Thus, 22 were left at Tyndall. Considering the level of destruction, all of them could be damaged. One F-22 jet costs about $339m.

Oct 14 09:14

US-SAUDI COALITION IN YEMEN ATTACKED ANOTHER 2 BUSES OF REFUGEES AS THEY FLED AIRSTRIKES

The international Saudi-led Coalition against Yemen attacked another two buses full of internally displaced people as they fled the Coalition’s airstrike campaign in Hodeidah. Today’s attack makes it clear the Coalition has a policy of targeting anyone who attempts to flee the U.S.-backed Saudi and Emirati aggression along the west coast.

19 were killed and at least 30 were injured in today’s attack. Even hours later, first responders and reporters ran into trouble entering the scene due to the Saudi planes continuous circling. It’s common for Saudi Arabia to conduct “double-tap” airstrikes which maximize the casualty count in each attack while targeting ambulances and the press.

According to a United Nations team of experts, these double-tap strikes indicate that the Coalition makes conscious decisions to attack civilian targets by quite literally doubling down.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This war being waged by the Saudi, the US, and Emirate Governments against the people of Yemen, has crossed a line into broad-spectrum assassination and genocide against all Yemeni people whose apparent "crime" was their desire to get their families to safety; and that was what made these murders "legitimate" in the eyes of the US government, the Saudi Government, and the U.A.E. government.

In looking at this, I think I have uncovered the core reason as to why President Trump's two BFFs n the Middle East are Israel's Netanyahu, and Saudi Arabia's Prince Bin Salman.

both do what they do (assassinations, torture), and stand just to the right of Attila the Hun when it comes to potential human rights of those people they consider "collateral damage only": they do this evil with impunity, and never expect any consequences will come back and bite them in a very sensitive portion of the human anatomy.

President Trump would love to do this, both here and abroad, but he is still, in the Unhinged, Surveilled State of Amerika, bound by certain laws, which constrain him to some degree.

This is why we hear, and see, so little about the 3 year old war against Yemen, will looks to drag on indefinitely, unless Bin Salman gives the order to carpet bomb the place, which may well happen if he remains as head of the royal family.

And to our "alleged" Congressional representatives; take back your Constitutional power to make war; you have, morally, sacrificed its original intent, from Bush Jr, thorough Obama, and now through President Trump, to make these wars against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and now, God help us, in Yemen happen.

And unless World War III sounds like a great idea to you (because you've got your bunkers, your hard assets, and protective places for your families to stay), the operative word for this is, NOW!!!

This country, collectively, appears to be sleepwalking into wars against China; Russia; and Iran; and heaven knows who else; let's stop this trend before the US finds itself enmeshed in a world war, with no way out, which is precisely where these developments have been leading this country.

Oct 14 08:27

CANADA IS 'CONCERNED' WITH KHASHOGGI'S FATE BUT WILL SELL ARMS TO SAUDIS ANYWAY – TRUDEAU

Ottawa will keep its $15bn arms deal with Riyadh despite concerns over Saudi involvement in the disappearance of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the diplomatic row over human rights, Prime Minister Trudeau said.
"We respected that contract," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on Friday, adding that his cabinet has put forward measures to make the arms sales more transparent.

"We are making sure Canadians' expectations and laws are always being followed," he said.

The contract was signed in 2014 by the previous conservative government, and has since been upheld by Trudeau. The specifics of the sales were originally not disclosed by the parties.

According to documents obtained by CBC News last month, a Canadian company is to ship 742 LAV-6 light armored vehicles to Riyadh. The same outlet revealed in March that hundreds of the LAV-6s will be outfitted as "heavy assault" and "anti-tank" types.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When ever a country wants to put on a great face, smelling mounds of bovine excrement in their excuses to allow arms sales to continue to flow,and wants to keep on taking another unhinged country's money for weapons, this is precisely the word the word that government uses, and that's "concerned".

How it translates, in diplospeak, to the leadership of that unhinged country is: we know you're assassinating non-combatants, killing infants, children, toddlers, and the medically infirm with the weapons you have purchased from us, but we really don't care, as long as the money keeps flowing to our weaponry manufacturers.

Trudeau is just as much a piece of revolting work on this issue as has been President Trump.

Oct 13 11:19

Pentagon Reveals Cyber Breach of Travel Records

The Pentagon on Friday said there has been a cyber breach of Defense Department travel records that compromised the personal information and credit card data of U.S. military and civilian personnel.

According to a U.S. official familiar with the matter, the breach could have affected as many as 30,000 workers, but that number may grow as the investigation continues. The breach could have happened some months ago but was only recently discovered.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the breach is under investigation, said that no classified information was compromised.

Oct 13 10:41

Global Boycott Of Saudi Investment Summit Accelerates After Journalist's Disappearance

What the mass slaughter of civilians and even bombing a school bus full of children in Yemen couldn't do, the murder of one of their own did: a growing list of major media companies have declared they are pulling out of a high profile investment summit in Riyadh set to start on October 23rd over the alleged Saudi state murder of Washington Post columnist and Saudi "insider" critic Jamal Khashoggi.

So far the list of media sponsors declaring their withdrawal from the Saudi-hosted Future Investment Initiative (FII) event include the Financial Times, Bloomberg, CNN and CNBC, as well as president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, who indicated on Friday he would not be attending, according to The Guardian.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Apparently, His Majesty, the Butcher of Yemen, has never had to learn that negative actions can have their own negative consequences; he just may learn that, starting from right now.

Oct 13 10:23

Outside In: The Trump administration’s plan to remake the Middle East

The only promise that is new about the promised peace plan is the way it will be forced on the Palestinians: no one has promised that the plan itself will be new. With Saudi Arabia and Egypt—the outside—brought onside with the promise of continued military aid despite their crimes against humanity and violations of international law and the Palestinians weakened by being silenced, economically crushed and stripped of any friends to help them, the United States and Israel are now free to attempt to impose a peace plan on the Palestinians.

Oct 13 10:14

Rights group criticizes US-led coalition for Raqqa deaths

The U.S.-led coalition's failure to adequately acknowledge and investigate civilian deaths in the Syrian city of Raqqa is "a slap in the face for survivors" trying to rebuild their lives a year after the offensive to oust the Islamic State group, a prominent rights group said Friday.

At a news conference in the Lebanese capital, Amnesty International said 2,521 bodies from the battle for Raqqa have been recovered in the city, the majority killed by coalition airstrikes. It cited a small unit known as the Early Recovery Team working with U.S.-backed predominantly Kurdish forces to recover bodies and bury them. They expect to recover at least 3,000 more bodies.

There are "more bodies underneath the ground than living souls," said Anna Neistat, Amnesty International's senior director of global research, who
in 2017 with the coalition playing a supporting role recently returned from Syria.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Remember the line from a television interview, during Viet Nam, when a soldier made the statement "We had to destroy the city in order to save it", right after the Tet Offensive in Viet Nam?!?

It appears that the same tortured thinking applies here, including the extensive assassinations of civilians.

Oct 13 09:16

US OFFICIALS SAY RUSSIA TO "SEIZE" SYRIA'S OILFIELDS AS MOSCOW PRESSES EUROPE ON RECONSTRUCTION

Russia is attempting to woo European countries like Germany into a program of reconstruction cooperation in Syria, where broad swathes of the country have been destroyed through seven years of grinding proxy war; however, Pentagon officials have charged Russia with wanting to "seize" Syria's oil and gas resources.

This comes as the United States has resolved to keep its over 2,000 troops in the east of Syria while vowing zero reconstruction aid so long as Iranian troops and advisers are present in the country. This week a top US military official even went so far as to accuse Russia of seeking "to take advantage in any way they could" and that a "great power competition" for Syria will continue to shape its post-war future.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is absolutely absurd, and sounds like desperation on the cusp of madness; because after all, had the US-backed forces successfully created regime change in Damascus, wouldn't the seizing of Syria's oil resources be the first thing it would do, post-occupation?!?

There is no logical reason for the US to have 2,000 troops in Syria, as this is an invasion of a sovereign nation.

And if you will look at recent history, Syria invited Russia and Iran to assist it in getting rid of the Jihadis; the US was not, because it had funded, armed, and trained the very people which Al-Assad's forces were fighting.

With Russian S-300 defensive systems now in place, and operational, there is no fighter system the US has that these weapons most probably cannot see coming.

One has to wonder what the next move the US government and military are plotting here; could it be an "October Surprise", in an attempt to "flatten" any Iranian posts in Syria?!?

One has to wonder what the Iranian/Syrian/Russian response would be to such an act?!?

Oct 13 07:59

YEMEN’S MILITARY ADOPTS MORE AGGRESSIVE STRATEGY, CAPTURES SAUDI MILITARY SITES IN JIZAN

JIZAN, SAUDI ARABIA — The media branch of Yemen’s Ansar Allah military released footage on Friday showing the moment that strategic Saudi military locations were captured in the eastern al-Doud mountains and al-Reqa’h military bases deep inside of Saudi Arabia. The bases are located in the southwestern region of Jizan, some 900 kilometers (559 miles) south of the Saudi capital of Riyadh. Saudi Arabia has not yet commented on the recent attacks.

Yemen’s army launched two ballistic missiles at a gathering of Saudi military forces, including mercenaries, just east of al-Doud. A group of Saudi-allied mercenaries south of al-Khobeh in Jizan was also targeted. Later in the day, Yemen’s army struck a Saudi military base in the kingdom’s Jizan region with two ballistic missiles, killing a number of Saudi soldiers, according to two military sources in Yemen’s army.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF, in fact, these reports are true, I would bet you that you won't see anything from the US corporate presstitutes about how this Yemeni militia, adapting a very different strategy than what they have used before, managed to infiltrate critical pieces of infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.

One has to wonder; is the House of Saud (and their American cohorts) losing their grip in their attempted genocide in Yemen?!? Only time will tell.

Oct 12 12:32

YEMEN’S NAVY USES NEW MISSILE TO DESTROY SAUDI MILITARY VESSEL NEAR HAJJAH

Yemen’s navy targeted a military vessel belonging to Saudi Arabia off of the northwestern coast of Hajjah on Wednesday, reportedly killing all aboard the vessel. The boat, which was in the Medi port, was carrying out attacks on the residential districts of Heiran and Medi in Hajjah when it was hit, according to a statement from Yemen’s navy.

A source in Yemen’s navy confirmed to MintPress News that it targeted the Saudi vessel with a new type of domestically-manufactured missile, but did not name the missile.

The Saudi-led coalition has not yet commented on the attack, which occurred during an increase in coalition airstrikes on the residential area of Hajjah and other provinces — strikes that have killed and injured more than 50 civilians over the past 72 hours in the strategic Red Sea port.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Please note: these Saudi attacks, enabled by the US military, were attacking civilian areas; not military targets. But of course, the Butcher of Yemen, AKA Prince Salman and his minions, will argue until they are blue in the face, that killing civilians, particularly infants, children, women, and the medically fragile elderly, is completely justified, under a tortured logic that is most difficult to understand by us mere mortals.

I would like to politely remind President Trump that collective punishment of a people is a war crime; by enabling the Saudi slaughter in this genocide, the US government has chosen to become a war criminal.

As long as I can breathe, as a Christian pacifist activist, I will continue to peacefully witness to this slaughter in Yemen, and hold my government accountable for its horrific involvement, and enabling, which has caused the fighting to go on long after it should have ended, via a diplomatic solution.

Of course, our Merchant of Death in Chief, President Trump, doesn't want this to happen, because it would put a huge dent in the profits of those members of the military industrial complex who are selling these weapons to the Saudis like hotcakes, and ... we just cannot do this, can we Mr. President?!?

So the war grinds on... the sales are completed... and we will continue to see thousands more Yemeni deaths that We the People, personally, and morally, have a moral obligation, peacefully, and logically, to attempt to stop.

Oct 12 12:07

UN REPORTS OVER 8,000 AFGHAN CIVILIANS KILLED IN 2018, MOSTLY WOMEN AND CHILDREN

Adding to a growing list of UN reports released recently all showing a surge in Afghan civilian casualties in different manners, a Wednesday report was released showing that civilian deaths are surging from US and Afghan government airstrikes.

This has been ongoing through the year, with a decrease in US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria leading to more warplanes committed to bombings in Afghanistan. More US strikes means more civilians getting hit, meaning the casualty figures are at multi-year highs.

The UN figures show 649 civilian casualties in the US and Afghan airstrikes in 2018’s first nine months. This is 39% more than the same period in 2017, as well as more than the whole of last year. 60% of the casualties are women and children.

All these reports on all these different sorts of civilian casualties caused by the war show a general increase in violence against civilians on all fronts, with no signs of the violence slowing down any time soon.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

17 years in Afghanistan, which have brought about nothing but more violence and misery for the Afghani people.

But the US government will not leave, because if our and NATO's military stay, we haven't lost this war.

This ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid rationale for keeping our military in Afghanistan will cost one hell of a lot more lives, both US and Afghani, until we finally get someone into the White House who realizes what an abysmal failure this war has been, and makes the right, moral decision.

That decision would be to evacuate US and NATO troops just as quickly as is safely possible, then negotiate with whatever government is left standing in Kabul for the pipeline rights; the rare earth mineral rights; and the rights to the opium poppy trade, which has skyrocketed since the inception o the US/UN invasion and occupation.

And I will assure you that, no, the images I am sharing below, have not been photoshopped.

Images: US military guarding Afghan poppy fields

Oct 12 11:24

20 QUESTIONS YOU HAVE TO ASK U.S. POLITICAL CANDIDATES BECAUSE NOBODY ELSE WILL

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With this brilliantly assembled series of questions, Mr. Swanson has become my "hero du jour" for peace and human rights; and that is a title I rarely give ANYONE (except, of course, for my husband, Michael, who earns it on a daily basis:-))

Oct 12 11:04

Israel fines New Zealand women $18,000 for urging Lorde concert boycott

An Israel court has ordered two New Zealand women to pay damages for harming the “artistic welfare” of three Israeli teenagers after the pop star Lorde cancelled a planned performance in Tel Aviv.

Judge Mirit Fohrer ruled that Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab of New Zealand must pay damages to Israeli teenagers Shoshana Steinbach, Ayelet Wertzel and Ahuva Frogel totaling more than NZ$18,000 for writing a letter urging the singer to cancel her concert in Tel Aviv, the Jerusalem Post reports.

It is believed to be the first effective use of a 2011 Israeli law allowing civil lawsuits of anyone who encourages a boycott of Israel.

The Israeli teenagers claimed their “artistic welfare” was damaged because of the cancellation and that they suffered “damage to their good name as Israelis and Jews”.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Artistic Welfare", MY ASTROLABE!!

I am hoping that the New Zealand judicial system is bright enough to realize what this truly is; an attempt to squash any artistic freedom on the part of anyone who cancels a concert in Israel, due to Palestinian human rights issues.

I sincerely hope that artists around the world will back Lourdes, with all the moral integrity possible, and never book gigs in Israel ever again, in protest of their treatment of Palestinians.

If they are asked, that they will tell event promoters that until Israel stops its wretchedly apartheid treatment of Palestinians, they cannot, in good conscience, perform in this country, ever again.

Oct 12 10:48

US "INVESTIGATES" GENOCIDE IN MYANMAR, COMMITS GENOCIDE IN YEMEN

Rarely is US hypocrisy so cynical and overt as a recent US State Department investigation into ongoing violence in Myanmar, all while the US continues its full spectrum support of Saudi Arabia's genocidal war on Yemen.

In addition to Washington's role in Yemen, the US also occupies Afghanistan and Syria while carrying out drone strikes and covert military interventions in territory stretching from North Africa to Central Asia.

In Myanmar specifically, the US has openly and for decades funded and supported groups and individuals involved directly on both sides of ongoing ethnic violence. Now, it is leveraging that violence to single out obstacles to US influence in Southeast Asia and in Myanmar specifically.

Reuters in their article titled, "U.S. accuses Myanmar military of 'planned and coordinated' Rohingya atrocities," would claim:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I used to have a great deal of respect for this country,my birthplace, the United States of America.

But when your eyes are open to the horrific atrocities this country has committed, and is still committing against foreign populations, that respect transmogrifies into an horrific awareness, that this country is run by the monied, for the monied, and of the monied.

Elections change nothing; we simply get a glorified Kabuki like performance of people who have been pre-vetted by the monied and the US Deep State, and will only serve their interests, no matter if their interests are in sync with those of We the People, or not.

This is from indexmundi.com, which, for some unfathomable reason, still calls the country Burma:

The Natural Resources of Burma

The article goes on to state:

"Natural resources: petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, hydropower, arable land

Definition: This entry lists a country's mineral, petroleum, hydropower, and other resources of commercial importance, such as rare earth elements (REEs). In general, products appear only if they make a significant contribution to the economy, or are likely to do so in the future."

And of course, as with every other country the US has invaded/pacified/conquered, which it wants here, is the following: a US-Centric government, well-kept with a lot of hush money for its top leadership, which does not mind the expropriation of its resources, and with those resources not being allowed benefit to the citizens of those countries, and all to be sold only for the US dollar.

The only thing left is to peacefully witness to the reality that in both Myanmar and Yemen, the mind-set of the US government and
Deep State, is that the people of these countries are only "collateral damage", to be disposed of in the most expeditious way possible, because that... is the US government's and Deep State's "Final Solution" for dispersing whatever wealth these countries do have in resources to US-friendly companies.

Oct 12 10:15

VIRGIN’S BRANSON HALTS TALKS ON $1 BLN SAUDI INVESTMENT IN SPACE VENTURES

British billionaire Richard Branson said on Thursday that his Virgin Group would suspend its discussions with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund over a planned $1 billion investment in the group’s space ventures, in light of the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Reuters reports.

“What has reportedly happened in Turkey around the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, if proved true, would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi government,” Branson said in a statement.

Branson also said he would suspend his directorship in two Saudi tourism projects around the Red Sea, citing Khashoggi’s disappearance. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Branson did the right thing, and I applaud his decision.

But I sincerely wish he had done it for the right reason, and that would be to turn the world's attention to the slaughter of innocents in Yemen, in which the US military and government is aiding and abetting the Saudi military in their war crimes. Warning: very graphic images.

Images: Yemeni children dead and maimed for life, due to Saudi bombings.

Images: Yemeni children, dying of starvation, because of US-enabled Saudi port blockades

images: Yemeni children dying of cholera (potentially weaponised, as was used during World War II by the American troops against the Japanese), due to Saudi Arabia destroying water infrastructure

Oct 12 09:54

Pentagon Report Points To US Preparations For Total War

Over the past two weeks, with next to no media coverage, the United States has moved substantially closer toward open military confrontation with both Russia and China, the second- and third-ranked nuclear powers in the world.

On October 3, the United States threatened, for the first time since the Cold War, to directly attack the Russian homeland. UN Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison accused the country of violating the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty by developing a nuclear cruise missile and said that Washington was preparing to “take out” the weapon with a US strike.

This statement came just three days after a Chinese warship set a collision course with a US destroyer carrying out a so-called “freedom of navigation” operation in the South China Sea, forcing the American ship to maneuver to avoid a collision and the potentially deadliest military clash in the Pacific in decades.

Oct 12 09:26

'Trident Juncture 2018' About To Kick Off: NATO's Big War Games Near Russia's Borders Never End

The NATO-led Trident Juncture 2018 (TRJE18) exercise that is to be held in October and November is the largest coordinated show of force since the Cold War. It will primarily be hosted by Norway. The training event will largely take place in the central and eastern parts of this Nordic country that neighbors Russia, as well as over the skies and in the seas of Sweden and Finland. The maritime component will be conducted in the surrounding areas of the North Atlantic and in the Baltic Sea. TRJE18-related activities will take place as far away as Iceland. Russia has been invited to send observers to watch the exercise.

Oct 12 09:18

Pentagon grounds F-35 fleet after crash

US, the UK and Israel to carry out a fleet-wide inspection of a fuel tube within the engine of the F-35 aircraft.

Oct 12 09:12

Russia tests its NUKES in large-scale drillsPublished time: 11 Oct, 2

The Russian military has tested components of its nuclear deterrence, including land-launched nuclear missiles, nuclear-armed submarines and strategic aircraft with nuclear bombs, intended for retaliation against enemy attack.

All three components of the Russian nuclear triad were involved in the exercise on Thursday.

Oct 12 09:02

U.S & Israel Use Ukraine To Get S-300 Secrets

A joint US-Israeli delegation visited Ukraine to seek information on several important weapons, including the Russian S-300 complexes recently established in Syria, since after the fall of the USSR, Kiev inherited about 250 units of the S-300.

In response to the supply of the S-300 air defense systems to Syria, the United States sent 18 fourth-generation F-15C Eagle fighters to participate in military drills in Ukraine, while Israel dispatched several F-16 fighter pilots to try to “test” the S-300, reported Khang Minh, the author of the article published in Soha News .

According to the media, the analysis of the S-300’s capabilities in collaboration with the Ukrainian side has convinced the Israeli military command of the invulnerability and supposed advantage of fifth-generation F-35 fighters if they encounter the S-300 positioned missiles in Syria.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

But again, those are older model S-300s.

Oct 12 09:01

MAJOR: Embarrassed U.S Military Forced To Ground ALL F-35 Jets

The grounding order apparently affects all variations of the expensive but unreliable fighter jet, including the Air Force’s F-35A and the Navy’s F-35C. The engines of the aircraft will also be checked for suspected faulty tubes and replacements made where deemed necessary.

However, the project has been marred from the start, with experts and test pilots from early stages revealing the numerous problems with the jet.

Oct 12 08:45

In US' Footsteps: Britain Grounds Entire F-35 Fighter Jet Fleet

The most expensive weapons system around, the F-35 has been plagued by a flurry of problems which have sent the costs spiraling upward.

The UK grounded its fleet of £120 million per plane ($158.5 million) F-35 stealth fighters following the crash of a US jet in September.

Britain’s current fleet of 15 F-35fighter jets that arrived in the country in June, is being examined to determine if last month’s mishap with a US Marine Corps F-35B in South Carolina was caused by a faulty fuel tube.

“Safety is our paramount concern, therefore the UK has decided to pause some F-35 flying as a precautionary measure while we consider the findings of an ongoing inquiry,” a Ministry of Defense spokesman said.

Oct 11 12:57

Why do countries want to buy the Russian S-400?

During Vostok-2018, Russia showed off the S-400 surface-to-air missile, one of the country's most advanced and marketable weapons systems in recent years.

The S-400 is a massive upgrade to the S-300, its predecessor which was recently sent to Syria.

Because of its capabilities, several countries including China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, India and Qatar have said they are willing to buy the S-400.

Several countries including China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, India and Qatarhave said they are willing to buy the S-400. [ Vadim Savitsky/AP ]
Almost every government that announced it was planning to buy the system was threatened with some kind of diplomatic retaliation from the US, NATO or adversaries.

Oct 11 12:50

Air Force hopes to train 1,500 new pilots each year by 2022 to help solve shortage

The Air Force hopes to be able to train 1,500 new pilots each year by fiscal 2022 as part of its effort to solve its troubling shortage of aviators.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said at a Senate Armed Services readiness and management support subcommittee hearing Wednesday that the Air Force trained 1,160 new pilots in fiscal 2017, and expects to train 1,311 in fiscal 2019, before expanding further.

The Air Force has taken several steps to try to improve air crew’s quality of life and quality of service, and solve problems that might be leading some to choose to leave the Air Force. Wilson highlighted efforts to reduce operating tempos, revitalize squadrons and restore support staffs so air crew can concentrate on flying, as well as generous incentive pay and bonuses.

Oct 11 12:47

So Patriot and THAAD will talk. What does that really mean?

The Army decided earlier this year to drastically accelerate its plans to get the Patriot medium-range air-and-missile defense system and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system to communicate.

The service has since seen an influx of cash in its fiscal 2018 and 2019 budgets approved by Congress to move forward with the effort.

But what does it really mean for Patriot and THAAD to be interoperable, and why is it seen as an urgent need on the Korean peninsula?

The Army announced in March, through its Air-and-Missile Defense Cross-Functional Team, formed to bring forward AMD modernization efforts rapidly under Army Futures Command, that it was planning to tie its two most critical AMD systems together within two years, which is key to establishing a more effective, layered approach to AMD.

Oct 11 12:41

‘You’re on your own’: US sealift can’t count on Navy escorts in the next big war

In the event of a major war with China or Russia, the U.S. Navy, almost half the size it was during the height of the Cold War, is going to be busy with combat operations. It may be too busy, in fact, to always escort the massive sealift effort it would take to transport what the Navy estimates will be roughly 90 percent of the Marine Corps and Army gear the force would need to sustain a major conflict.

That’s the message Mark Buzby, the retired rear admiral who now leads the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, has gotten from the Navy, and it’s one that has instilled a sense of urgency around a major cultural shift inside the force of civilian mariners that would be needed to support a large war effort.

“The Navy has been candid enough with Military Sealift Command and me that they will probably not have enough ships to escort us. It’s: ‘You’re on your own; go fast, stay quiet,’” Buzby told Defense News in an interview earlier this year.

Oct 11 12:40

The US Army is preparing to fight in Europe, but can it even get there?

With Russia’s reemergence as a menace in Europe, the U.S. Army has been laying the foundations to fight once again on the continent it defended through most of the 20th century. But if war were to break out tomorrow, the U.S. military could be hard-pressed to move the number of tanks, heavy guns and equipment needed to face off with Russian forces.

And even if the Army could get there in numbers, then the real problems would start: how would the U.S. sustain them?

The U.S. sealift capacity — the ships that would ultimately be used to transport Army equipment from the states to Europe or Asia — is orders of magnitude smaller than it was during World War II. Combine that with the fact that the commercial shipbuilding industry in the U.S. is all but gone, and the U.S. can’t launch the kind of massive buildup of logistics ships it undertook during wartime decades ago.

Oct 11 12:16

US planes warned about Russian jamming threat in eastern Mediterranean

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a warning to U.S. planes flying in the eastern Mediterranean region due to the increased threat of Russian electronic warfare systems disrupting their flights, IHS Janes reported today.

According to the IHS Janes report, the FAA posted a notice to airmen (NOTAM) on October 9th, warning them to “be aware of possible loss of GNSS [global navigation satellite system] signal within Beirut FIR [flight information region] due to unforeseen reason”.

The report added that the threat was posed after the Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu announced on October 2nd that his military was deploying their electronic warfare systems in Syria again.

Oct 11 12:09

F-16 jet ‘destroyed’ after catching fire at Belgium military base (PHOTOS)

An F-16 aircraft has been completely destroyed after exploding at a Belgian military base, according to the country’s Air Force. Two people have reportedly been injured, and a second plane was damaged.

“A fire was declared during maintenance work on an F-16” in Florennes, the Air Force wrote on Twitter, adding that the plane was completely burned. “A second plane suffered collateral damage.”

Oct 11 11:02

S-300 Vs. F-35: Stealth And Invincible Are Not Exactly Synonyms

How effective is the S-300 PMU-2 "Favorit" that Russia has just delivered to Syria? Especially when employed against the F-35 stealth fighters that Israel intends to make more use of when attacking targets in Syria? Who has the edge?

This is truly a hot topic for the press right now. It would be better, of course, to avoid the military hostilities and leave this as a theoretical, unanswered question, because no definite answer is possible until a real shootout takes place. Stealth technology includes both active and passive measures that reduce visibility and the chance of detection. Some of those are classified, as are the specifications and capabilities of the S-300. This makes it much more complicated to offer predictions or conclusions. But the known facts can be considered impartially and objectively.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

More confirmation about low frequencies overcoming stealth.

Oct 11 10:47

Outlook for stability uncertain as Pentagon migrates to the cloud

In March, the Defense Department released a draft solicitation for a program known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI). This solicitation provides private-sector firms a preliminary invitation to submit proposals for a new Pentagon initiative in cloud computing. (In April, an updated solicitation was released.) The department plans to spend up to $10 billion in the coming years to establish and maintain JEDI, a project that will involve both infrastructure and platform services and cover an as-yet-undetermined span of the Defense Department’s digital landscape. According to Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, the contract represents a major technological advancement for the department. “It’s not that the cloud’s really cool,” Shanahan says. “[Cloud computing] creates for you the opportunity to have more security, have better access at data, [and] get at lower costs.”

Oct 11 10:36

RUSSIA’S NEW MARITIME DOCTRINE AND ISSUES WITH THE SURFACE FLEET

Current changes to the global geopolitical map are being fueled by struggles between world powers for control over strategically important logistical communications, corridors, staging areas, and potential markets. One important arena of this struggle are the planet’s oceans, and the key competitors are the United States, China, and Russia. These state actors are reassessing the competition, rethinking military doctrines, and establishing new responsibilities for their armed forces. Of special importance is the development of naval capabilities equal to the tasks set before them. Each of the three main competing powers have their own aims which come from their specific geopolitical position, economic potential, and unique considerations of national security and cultural strategy. In the last several years following Russia’s return to the world stage as a power to be reckoned with, Moscow has significantly revised its approach to challenges and threats.

Oct 11 10:33

So instead of this we ended up with the F-35?

Oct 11 07:59

Defense Intel Chief Worried About Chinese ‘Integration of Human and Machines’

Chinese efforts to teach machines to think — through emerging technologies like neural nets, a form of artificial intelligence — represent phases of a process that concludes with “the next step, the integration of human and machines,” Ashley said. This, he said, could result in “cognitive advances not just in how we think, but [also] think about the stamina of the individual soldier; think about the ethical impacts of those kind of technologies and how they would be applied? And how does a democracy view those type of technologies? How will Russia and China leverage those?”

Oct 11 07:58

US GREENLIGHTS MORE THAN $54 BILLION IN MILITARY EQUIPMENT TO FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS

The U.S. sold more than $54 billion in military equipment to foreign governments in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the Pentagon’s top financial officer told a small group of reporters.

“We’ve had a 62 percent increase in foreign military sales, over $54 billion,” David Norquist, the Defense Department’s comptroller, said alongside Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan on Oct. 3.

“I don’t know if it’s a record, but if it is, and it’s close to that, that matters. It matters, not only because it helps our industrial base, … it helps our economy,” Norquist explained, adding that the foreign military sales forge closer relationships with key allies.

“Those are folks buying equipment that’s interoperable, and those are allies that we’re now working with on a close and more regular basis,” Norquist said.

Oct 11 07:58

US Defense Secretary Mattis wants 80% of key fighter jets ready for war

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has called on the Pentagon to bring at least 80 percent of its key fighter jets to combat readiness. For a country always at war with someone, surprisingly few of its warplanes are kept sky-worthy.

Consistent with Washington’s increasingly saber-rattling rhetoric, the world’s largest military is putting its money where its mouth is. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has ordered the Air Force and Navy to increase their mission-capable rates for four major aircraft to 80 percent over the next twelve months, throwing the spotlight on the lamentable state of the nation’s airborne fleet. The mid-September memo was seen exclusively by Defense News.

The planes in question – the F-35, F-22, F-16 and F-18 – are currently in a dismal state of air-readiness. Last year, fewer than half the Air Force’s F-22s were mission-capable, and the notoriously expensive F-35 saw its first crash last month, just days after the fleet took to the air for the first time.

Oct 11 07:57

US military grounds its entire fleet of F-35 fighter jets in the wake of South Carolina crash

The entire fleet of F-35 fighter jets has been grounded to inspect the aircraft for suspected faulty fuel tubes, the US military said. The decision comes in the wake of a Marine Corps’ F-35B crash in South Carolina last month.

The grounding order affects all variants of the advanced fighter jets, including the Air Force’s F-35A and the Navy’s F-35C. The engines of the aircraft will be checked for suspected faulty tubes and replacements made where necessary.

Oct 11 06:48

Scientists: Pentagon’s Plant-Virus Research Could Endanger World’s Food Supply

European geneticists and legal scholars last week accused the U.S. military of funding research that could help adversaries develop biological weapons. But Defense Department officials say their work is necessary to protect crops, and is proceeding with appropriate safeguards and oversight.

The controversial two-year-old program, called Insect Allies, seeks “plant transformation technologies” — essentially, bespoke viruses that can be spread by insects to change plant genes on an unprecedented scale.

“Plant viruses hold significant promise as carriers of gene editing circuitry and are a natural partner for an insect-transmitted delivery platform,” officials of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, wrote in a 2016 broad agency announcement. Since then, the program has awarded $27 million in research grants.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA