Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Editor's Note

Taking care of some overseas visitors. Blogging will return tomorrow morning.

Will U.S. Special Forces And Kurdish Peshmerga Lead The Fight Into Mosul?

Soldiers from the U.S.-led coalition are seen with Kurdish Peshmerga forces in a village east of Mosul, Iraq, May 29, 2016. Azad Lashkari/Reuters

Florain Neuhof, Daily Beast: Elite U.S. Soldiers and Kurdish Troops Moving on ISIS Near Mosul

With help from U.S. forces, the Kurdish offensive against ISIS in Iraq continues to make gains. But how far will the Kurds go? And with what consequences?

MUFTI, Iraq — The pickup trucks on their way to this village in northern Iraq on Sunday kicked up the dry earth on the dirt track, clouding the air and limiting the visibility for the drivers approaching the hamlet just wrested from the so-called Islamic State with the help of elite American soldiers operating now in both Iraq and Syria.

Engines roared as the cars accelerated to avoid getting stuck in the loose earth, drowning out the drone of coalition warplanes circling above in the gradually building offensive to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, conquered by ISIS two years ago.

Then, without warning, a sharp explosion tore through the air, and a column of smoke billowed upwards. The fighters milling around a school building at the edge of the village barely took note—this was one of nine suicide attacks the Kurds had to fend off during the day’s fighting. Previous engagements had set the arid fields on fire, and pillars of smoke reached for the sky all around Mufti.

Read more ....

WNU editor: The liberation of Mosul will be an Iraqi affair .... but to get there they will need support, and it looks like the Kurds have a high price attached to that support.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- May 31, 2016



Michal Addady, Fortune: Global Slavery Is Still Staggeringly High

A measure of enslaved people has increased by almost 30% since 2014.
Australian human rights group Walk Free Foundation measured the prevalence of slavery in the 167 most populous countries for its 2016 Global Slavery Index.

The index found instances of slavery in every one of the countries looked at, with 45.8 million people enslaved overall—that’s up from 35.8 million in 2014. The forms of slavery included were sex trafficking, debt bondage, and forced labor. This estimate is more than double that of the United Nation’s International Labor Organization, though the U.N. doesn’t consider all forms of slavery.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- May 31, 2016

Evasive Victory: Why Baghdad's Future Depends on Retaking Fallujah -- Sputnik

Iraq may retake Falluja – but to defeat Isis it must win back hearts and minds -- Ranj Alaaldin, The Guardian

Will Israel move from occupation to annexation? -- Uri Savir, Al-Monitor

South Korea, THAAD, and the China Problem -- Phillip Schrank, Diplomat

Abe's Next Step in Japan's Economic Recovery -- Japan editorial

Niger Delta crisis escalates -- Mark Caldwell, DW

America gives Egypt free armored vehicles. Egypt gives America a slap in the face. -- Jackson Diehl, Washington Post

The long road to justice for Chad's Hissene Habre -- Salil Shetty, Al Jazeera

The African surge into Europe -- Margarent Wente, The Globe and Mail

The Resolve Behind Russia Sanctions Is Weakening -- Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg

Violent strikes against labour reforms are causing chaos in France -- The Economist

How the British Army Cooperated with the Murderous Guatemalan Regime -- Phil Miller, VICE

In Venezuela the stage is set for a chaotic exit -- Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez, Financial Times

Scarcity, riots and drought: Venezuela is in trouble -- Bruce Konviser, DW

Can the US combat its enemies in the digital age? -- Mark Pomerleau, The Hill

4 reasons disease outbreaks are erupting around the world -- Julia Belluz, VOX

World News Briefs -- May 31, 2016 (Evening Edition)



L.A. Times: Iraqi forces press on in Fallouja as concerns rise over 'human catastrophe'

As Iraqi forces pressed an offensive Tuesday to dislodge Islamic State militants from Fallouja, conditions are worsening for tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the city, and a leading aid group raised alarm over an unfolding “human catastrophe.”

Islamic State fighters launched a fierce counterattack on the southern edge of the city, slowing the progress of the elite Iraqi counterterrorism troops, and the militants reportedly corralled civilians into a single neighborhood for use as human shields.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Iraqi forces intensify assault against ISIL in Fallujah. Islamic State group hits back as Iraqi army moves into Falluja. Heavy clashes as Iraqi forces push into IS-held Fallujah.

UN: 'Islamic State' using human shields in Fallujah.

Jets bomb Syrian rebel group Ahrar al Sham's main camp, large numbers killed: monitor.

Syria civil war: Russia denies conducting Idlib raids. Air strikes pummel rebel-held city of Idlib.

Turkey counts cost of conflict as Kurdish militant battle rages on.

New Yemen clashes kill 38 rebels, loyalists.

Saudi says intercepts and destroys ballistic missile from Yemen.

Gaza Strip: Hamas executes three as death penalty resumes.

Israel's settlement drive is becoming irreversible, diplomats fear.

ASIA

U.S. urges North Korea to curb actions that raise tensions in northeast Asia.

As North Korean missile launch fails, Pyongyang official visits Beijing.

Philippines president-elect says won't rely on United States.

Taliban overrun Afghan police checkpoints in Helmand Province. Taliban kill 9, abduct 35 in Afghan bus attacks.

Hopes for peace dim with new Taliban leader.

Number of Afghans fleeing war doubles to 1.2 mn, says Amnesty.

New Taiwan leadership takes tough stance on disputed South China Sea.

Malaysia immigration: Officials accused of sabotage are fired.

Multiple deaths in Indian army ammunition fire.

AFRICA

Algerian president fires central bank governor: government sources.


Ivory Coast ex-first lady goes on trial for war crimes.

UN envoy: Libyan forces should fight IS, not each other.

Libyan forces advance in push on Islamic State strongholds.

Roadside bombs kills 6 soldiers in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

Distress signal from EgyptAir flight 804 confirmed by authorities in Cairo and US.

Nigeria: Security forces kill oil militants, separatists. Buhari's crackdown in Nigeria fails to stamp out Boko Haram.

Power struggles stall South Sudan’s recovery from war.

Kenya announces Dadaab refugee camp will close by November.

Kenya covers up military massacre.

Leader of Western Sahara separatist movement dies after illness.

EUROPE

UK voters shift toward 'Out' as EU referendum nears.

Mediterranean death toll has reached more than 2,500 this year, says UN.

Dalai Lama says 'too many' refugees in Europe.

NATO chief says Warsaw summit comes at 'critical time'.

Russia sanctions: Still not clear what EU will decide, German FM says.

Moscow has no plans of recognizing Ukraine's self-proclaimed republics — Lavrov.

Freed pilot Savchenko sworn in as Ukrainian lawmaker.

Survey: Merkel's 'grand coalition' dips under 50 percent.

France labour dispute: Hollande digs in as rail strike looms. French Labor unions call for new strikes ahead of Euro 2016.

AMERICAS

OAS chief calls for emergency meeting to evaluate Venezuela. Maduro calls 'rebellion,' tells OAS to 'shove it'.

Canada PM Trudeau will not be punished for elbowing legislator.

Combative Trump details millions in aid for veterans, attacks media.

Clinton and allies step up California efforts as primary draws near.

Secret Service jump on stage at Bernie Sanders rally amid commotion.

Second minister in new Brazil government quits. Lava Jato: Brazilian anti-corruption minister quits over secret recording.

Haiti election: Commission recommends rerunning election from scratch.

Second airline suspends flights to Venezuela.

Kidnapped Mexican striker Pulido escaped by punching captor: official.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

U.S. men made persistent efforts to join Islamic State: prosecutor.

Islamic State urges Muslims to destroy satellite TV sets.

Military contemplates aging Guantánamo detainees.

Euro 2016 in France could be extremist target, US warns.

ISIS reportedly uses hundreds of families as human shields to protect Fallujah.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Almost 46 million people trapped in slavery with North Korea, India key offenders: global index.

Internet Ad-blocking software use for mobile surges: study.

VW profit tumbles 20% in wake of emissions scandal.

Tech giants back EU hate speech rules.

There Are 46 Million Slaves Living In The World Today



Reuters: Almost 46 million people trapped in slavery with North Korea, India key offenders: global index

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Almost 46 million people are living as slaves globally with the greatest number in India but the highest prevalence in North Korea, according to the third Global Slavery Index launched on Tuesday with Australian actor Russell Crowe.

The index, by Australia-based human rights group Walk Free Foundation, increased its estimate of people born into servitude, trafficked for sex work, or trapped in debt bondage or forced labor to 45.8 million from 35.8 million in 2014.

Andrew Forrest, founder of Walk Free, said the rise of nearly 30 percent was due to better data collection, although he feared the situation was getting worse with global displacement and migration increasing vulnerability to all forms of slavery.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Global Slavery Index is here.

More News On Global Slavery

More than 45 million men, women and children are living as slaves around the world - up 28% on two years ago -- AFP
Modern Slavery Estimated to Trap 45 Million People Worldwide -- NYT
North Korea, India worst offenders in Global Slavery Index report -- UPI
Report: Nearly 46 Million People Are Living in Slavery Worldwide -- Time
Report: Global slavery skyrocketed in 2015 -- SKY News
The world has over 45 million slaves - including 1.2 million in Europe - finds new study -- Telegraph
Study: Nearly 46 million people in modern slavery -- DW
Over 1 Million Russians Are Modern Slaves — Report -- Moscow Times
There are 6,500 slaves in Canada, nearly 46 million worldwide: charity -- Global News
Report: Mauritania is no longer the world's slavery capital -- CNN
Forced Cotton-Picking Earns Uzbekistan Shameful Spot In ‘Slavery Index’ -- RFE
With the most slaves globally, India improves response to the scourge: study -- Reuters
India has 18 million modern slaves—at least five times more than any other country in the world -- Quartz
Global Slavery Is Still Staggeringly High -- Fortune
Where the World’s Slaves Live -- The Atlantic

U.S. - Pakistan Relations Are Now At A New Low

Nicholas Wadhams and Kamran Haider, Bloomberg: Taliban leader's killing exposes deepening U.S.-Pakistan strains

* U.S. more willing to upset Pakistan as it pursues the Taliban
* Congress weighs new restrictions on aid to Pakistan military

The U.S. drone strike that killed the Taliban's top leader as he traveled through Pakistan reflects just how much the United States is willing to disregard an ally it increasingly sees as an obstacle to securing peace in Afghanistan.

The May 21 killing of Mullah Akhtar Mansour was an embarrassment to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government because it highlighted how -- five years after commandos killed Osama Bin Laden near an elite military academy -- a top threat to the U.S. was able to enter and leave the country with impunity. It was also a departure for U.S. strategy because it occurred in Baluchistan province, beyond the tribal areas where drones typically operate.

The strike, which both sides said was carried out without Pakistan's knowledge, was the latest signal by the U.S. of just how much mistrust has deepened as a result of Pakistan's continued, if tacit, support for the Taliban. It also shows how difficult it will be for the U.S. to reach a true end to its longest war.

Read more ....

Update: US urges Pakistan to go after Afghan Taliban leaders (DAWN).

WNU Editor: I have been saying for years that Pakistan has been playing both sides of the fence .... but it looks like that policy is now catching up to them.

Afghanistan War News Updates -- May 31, 2016



VICE/Reuters: Taliban Attacks Have Killed Dozens of Police and Civilians Across Afghanistan in Past Three Days

The Taliban killed nine people and abducted 35 more in a series of bus attacks in the northeastern province of Kunduz on the same day that a leading humanitarian organization released a report revealing that the number of afghans internally displaced has doubled in the last three years to 1.2 million because of fighting and attacks.

Province officials said the gunmen, wearing Afghan army uniforms, forced passengers from several busses that were traveling en route to Kabul to disembark from the vehicles in Aliabad district before killing some and abducting others. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the Aliabad district chief and a spokesman for Kunduz's governor blamed the attacks on Taliban militants, who have been responsible for multiple kidnappings across the country, according to the Associated Press.

Read more ....

WNU editor: No kidding .... Hopes for peace dim with new Taliban leader. (AP)

Afghanistan War News Updates -- May 31, 2016

Taliban overrun Afghan police checkpoints in Helmand Province -- NYT
More than 50 Afghan police killed in Helmand fighting -- Reuters
Afghanistan: More than 50 police killed in Helmand -- Al Jazeera
Afghan Taliban kill nine, kidnap 20 bus passengers, army rescues 140 others -- Reuters
Taliban Said to Kill 16 in Worst Attack Since Leader Named -- Bloomberg
Taliban Gunmen Kill 10 Bus Passengers, Kidnap Dozens -- WSJ
Taliban kills 17 after abducting about 200 at fake Afghan checkpoint -- UPI
People internally displaced by conflict in Afghanistan doubled to 1.2 million in just three years -- Amnesty International
Afghans Displaced by War Doubles to 1.2 Million, Amnesty Says -- Bloomberg
Number of Afghans fleeing war doubles to 1.2 mn, says Amnesty. -- AFP
Number of displaced in Afghanistan doubled since 2013 to 1.2 million, report says -- Washington Post
Taliban chief’s body handed over to heirs in Afghanistan -- Hindustan Times
Al Qaeda branches eulogize Taliban leader Mullah Mansour -- Long War Journal
Analysts: Chances of Taliban's Entering Peace Negotiations Remain Dim -- VOA
In Afghanistan, the Taliban isn’t the only group battling for land -- Washington Post

U.S. Issues Terror Alert For Travellers To Europe This Summer



Time: U.S Warns of Possible Terrorist Attack in Europe

The alert asks U.S. citizens to "exercise vigilance" in public.

Following several terrorist attacks on the continent, the U.S. State Department issued a travel alert for Europe on Tuesday warning Americans of the possibility of a terrorist attack in the summer months.

The grim warning says targets could include restaurants, commercial centers, tourist sites, transportation and major events. It also singled out big events happening in Europe this summer: the European Soccer Championship, the Tour de France and Catholic Church’s World Youth Day in Poland.

Read more ....

U.S. Issues Terror Alert For Travellers To Europe This Summer

U.S. warns of possible Europe attacks, no specific threat -- Reuters
State Department issues alert for Americans traveling to Europe this summer -- CBS
Euro 2016 in France could be extremist target, US warns -- BBC
US Issues Travel Warning for Europe -- VOA
U.S. Issues Travel Alert for Terrorism Risks in Europe This Summer -- WSJ
US issues summer travel alert for Europe warning of 'greater targets for terrorists' -- The Guardian

First U.S. Soldier Injured In Syria. Another U.S. Soldier Injured In Iraq.

U.S. Soldiers with 4th Iraqi Army Division Stabilized Transition Team's security element teach the Iraqi Intelligence Surveillance Recon branch proper procedures when clearing a room in the ISR compound in Tikrit, Iraq, June 10, 2010. DOD

FOX News: Pentagon reports 1st American wounded in Syria campaign

The Pentagon announced Tuesday that for the first time since the U.S. sent special operations forces into Syria last year, an Islamic State attack wounded an American service member there.

The attack unfolded north of Raqqa, ISIS’ de-facto capital in Syria, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said. He added that a separate explosion near Irbil in northern Iraq also wounded one U.S. service member. Both were special operations fighters.

In both cases, Davis said the service members were hit by “indirect fire.” There also were reports that one of the attacks was an ISIS car bomb.

Read more ....

More News On Two U.S. Servicemen Injured Over Memorial Weekend In Syria And Iraq

U.S. troops wounded in Iraq and Syria over Memorial Day weekend -- Washington Post
Two U.S. service members injured in Iraq, Syria: Pentagon -- Reuters
2 U.S. service members wounded in Iraq, Syria -- CNN
Two troops injured in Iraq and Syria during holiday weekend -- Military Times
Two US Service Members Injured in Non-Combat Operations in Iraq, Syria -- Sputnik

Islamic State Halts The Iraqi Army At The Gates Of Falluja



Reuters: Fear for civilians as Islamic State halts Iraqi army at gates of Falluja

Islamic State fighters halted an Iraqi army assault on the city of Falluja with a counter-attack at its southern gates on Tuesday, while the United Nations warned of peril for civilians trapped in the city and used by militants as human shields.

The Iraqi army's assault on Falluja has begun what is expected to be one of the biggest battles ever fought against Islamic State, with the government backed by world powers including the United States and Iran, and determined to win back the first major Iraqi city that fell to the group in 2014.

Read more ....

More News On The Battle For The Iraqi City Of Fallujah

Islamic State group hits back as Iraqi army moves into Falluja -- BBC
Fallujah: Iraqi forces face tough ISIL resistance -- Al Jazeera
Iraqi Forces in Fallujah Face Islamic State Counterattacks -- WSJ
Heavy Clashes as Iraqi Forces Push Into IS-Held Fallujah -- AP
Iraqi forces intensify assault against ISIL in Fallujah -- Al Jazeera
Report: Iraqi forces in Fallujah repel ISIL attack -- USA Today
Iraqi Army Advances Against Daesh Despite Suicide Bombers' Attacks -- Sputnik
Isis in Fallujah: 'Human catastrophe' unfolding in city as civilians used as human shields for Iraqi assault -- Independent
ISIS ‘using civilians as human shields’ in Fallujah -- Al Arabiya
Some 3,700 Civilians Flee Fallujah Amid Iraqi Army Operation Against Daesh -- Sputnik
Residents fleeing Fallujah tell of 'horrific' ISIL rule -- Al Jazeera
'Human catastrophe' unfolding amid battle for Fallujah -- France 24

Remaining Pentagon-Trained Syrian Rebels On The Verge Of Defeat

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Washington Post: The last remaining Pentagon-trained rebel group in Syria is now in jeopardy

REYHANLI, Turkey — Throughout the fiasco of the Pentagon’s $500 million effort to train and equip a force of Syrian rebels to take on the Islamic State, one small group endured.

The New Syrian Army completed the U.S. training course in Jordan, infiltrated into Syria and then, in March, without fanfare or publicity, seized a pinprick of territory from the militants at the remote Tanaf border crossing with Iraq in the far southeast corner of the Syrian province of Homs.

There they have remained, holding their ground without deserting, defecting or getting kidnapped, unlike many of the other similarly trained rebels whose mishaps prompted the temporary suspension of the program last year.

Even this modest success is now in jeopardy, however, following an Islamic State suicide attack this month. An armored vehicle barreled into the rebels’ base shortly before dawn on May 7, killing a number of them, said Lt. Col. Mohammed Tallaa, a Syrian officer who defected and is the group’s commander.

Read more ....

Update: US-Backed Rebels Struggle to Fend Off Islamic State Offensive in Northern Syria (VICE News).

WNU Editor: There is going to be no U.S. cavalry on the horizon for these rebels in this battle.

China's Army Will Now Permit 'Fatter' Recruits

General Mao Xinyu, grandson of Chairman Mao Tse-Tun.

The Telegraph: Chinese army surrenders to flabby recruits as weight criteria loosened

‘Lean, mean, fighting machines' are set to be a thing of the past in China after the army confronted the country’s growing obesity problem by allowing more overweight recruits among its ranks.

Army chiefs announced this week that they would loosen weight criteria limits set for new recruits, signifying a retreat in the long-running war against rising waistlines in China.

Male applicants are now permitted to be 30 per cent above their ideal weight, while female army candidates can be 20 percent above, under new rules outlined by the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Both quotas are five percent higher than those that were in place in 2015.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The above photo is Mao Xinyu, grandson of Chairman Mao Tse-Tun. Hmmm .... I wonder if he had a say in these new guidelines.

World News Briefs -- May 31, 2016



The Guardian: Isis fighting back as Iraqi forces try to take centre of Falluja

Terror group launches counterattack but Iraqi commander says the group of about 100 fighters was eventually repelled

Iraqi forces faced tough resistance from Islamic State fighters as they attempted to enter the centre of Falluja, where there are fears for tens of thousands of trapped civilians.

A day after announcing a push into the city, the last major population centre held by Isis in western Iraq, forces led by Iraq’s elite counter-terrorism service were met by a counterattack in the southern Naimiya district on Tuesday.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Iraqi forces intensify assault against ISIL in Fallujah. Islamic State group hits back as Iraqi army moves into Falluja. Heavy clashes as Iraqi forces push into IS-held Fallujah.

UN: 'Islamic State' using human shields in Fallujah.

Syria civil war: Russia denies conducting Idlib raids. Air strikes pummel rebel-held city of Idlib.

Turkey counts cost of conflict as Kurdish militant battle rages on.

New Yemen clashes kill 38 rebels, loyalists.

Saudi says intercepts and destroys ballistic missile from Yemen.

Gaza Strip: Hamas executes three as death penalty resumes.

ASIA

As North Korean missile launch fails, Pyongyang official visits Beijing.

Taliban overrun Afghan police checkpoints in Helmand Province. Taliban kill 9, abduct 35 in Afghan bus attacks.

Hopes for peace dim with new Taliban leader.

Number of Afghans fleeing war doubles to 1.2 mn, says Amnesty.

New Taiwan leadership takes tough stance on disputed South China Sea.

Malaysia immigration: Officials accused of sabotage are fired.

Multiple deaths in Indian army ammunition fire.

AFRICA

Libyan forces advance in push on Islamic State strongholds.

Roadside bombs kills 6 soldiers in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

Distress signal from EgyptAir flight 804 confirmed by authorities in Cairo and US.

Nigeria: Security forces kill oil militants, separatists. Buhari's crackdown in Nigeria fails to stamp out Boko Haram.

Power struggles stall South Sudan’s recovery from war.

Kenya announces Dadaab refugee camp will close by November.

Kenya covers up military massacre.

Leader of Western Sahara separatist movement dies after illness.

EUROPE

Mediterranean death toll has reached more than 2,500 this year, says UN.

Dalai Lama says 'too many' refugees in Europe.

NATO chief says Warsaw summit comes at 'critical time'.

Russia sanctions: Still not clear what EU will decide, German FM says.

Moscow has no plans of recognizing Ukraine's self-proclaimed republics — Lavrov.

Freed pilot Savchenko sworn in as Ukrainian lawmaker.

Survey: Merkel's 'grand coalition' dips under 50 percent.

France labour dispute: Hollande digs in as rail strike looms. French Labor unions call for new strikes ahead of Euro 2016.

AMERICAS

Combative Trump details millions in aid for veterans, attacks media.

Clinton and allies step up California efforts as primary draws near.

Secret Service jump on stage at Bernie Sanders rally amid commotion.

Second minister in new Brazil government quits. Lava Jato: Brazilian anti-corruption minister quits over secret recording.

Haiti election: Commission recommends rerunning election from scratch.

Second airline suspends flights to Venezuela.

Kidnapped Mexican striker Pulido escaped by punching captor: official.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Military contemplates aging Guantánamo detainees.

Euro 2016 in France could be extremist target, US warns.

ISIS reportedly uses hundreds of families as human shields to protect Fallujah.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Internet Ad-blocking software use for mobile surges: study.

VW profit tumbles 20% in wake of emissions scandal.

Tech giants back EU hate speech rules.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- May 31, 2016



AFP: Pentagon chief heads to Asian summit as nations fret over S. China Sea

Washington (AFP) - US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter will depart Tuesday for an Asian security summit in Singapore, where Beijing's military expansion across the South China Sea likely will once again dominate discussions.

Regional neighbors are fretting over what they see as China's expansionism as it rushes to exert sovereignty over the waterway, a major global shipping route believed to be home to large oil and gas reserves.

China is using dredgers and other tools to convert low-lying ocean features and sandy blips into military bases.

A Pentagon report this month said China has added more than 3,200 acres (1,300 hectares) of land to the seven features it occupies in the Spratly Islands archipelago.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- May 31, 2016

Beijing tears into Pentagon over South China Sea issue -- Economic Times

War Against ISIS: Meet the U.S. Military Spy Plane Known as the Dragon Lady -- ABC news

Syrian Conflict Inspires Russian Tank Capable of Street Combat -- Sputnik

Russia's Black Sea Fleet Receives Last of 6 New Diesel-Electric Submarines -- Sputnik

Russia's Pacific Fleet to Order 6 New Diesel-Electric Submarines - Official -- Sputnik

Futuristic US railgun too expensive to use, similar projects in Russia – senator -- RT

Chinese army surrenders to flabby recruits as weight criteria loosened -- The Telegraph

Japan, South Korea on high alert for possible missile launch -- The Hill

Soldiers die in Indian army ammunition depot fire -- BBC

India Allows Private Companies to Build Rockets -- Defense News

Pakistan Seeks Greater Indigenization for Next Air Force Fighter -- Defense News

Israel’s New Defense Minister Faces Rift With Disgruntled Military -- WSJ

Finland military exercise mistaken for invasion. -- BBC

The Air Force's quiet war on the Latin American drug cartels -- Air Force Times

Congress seeks to strengthen U.S.-Taiwan military alliance as China asserts power -- Washington Times

Pentagon: US Allies Happy About F-35 -- Scout

Air Force chief of staff: 40,000 to 60,000 more airmen needed -- Air Force Times

Pentagon Cautious on Reusable Rocket Boosters -- WSJ

Pentagon is building massive hub of insider threat data -- NextGov

Holder: Snowden performed a 'public service' -- The Hill

US Army and Marine Corps PowerWalk into wearable battery trials -- Gizmag

Tried and True Tomahawk -- James Feldkamp, RCD

Air Force Museum Plans Special Activities for New Building -- AP

An Infantry Squad for The 21st Century -- Jules Hurst, War on the Rocks

The National Intelligence Council: The Upcoming Global Trends 2035 Report -- David T. Miller, Small Wars Journal

The Pentagon's Dark Budget

The Pentagon, headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, taken from an airplane in January 2008. Wikipedia

Salon/TomDispatch.com: The Pentagon’s dark money: Billions of federal dollars are vanishing into thin air

It's not just that its books don't add up. The Department of Defense is actively disguising how it spends its funds.

Now you see it, now you don’t. Think of it as the Department of Defense’s version of the street con game, three-card monte, or maybe simply as the Pentagon shuffle. In any case, the Pentagon’s budget is as close to a work of art as you’re likely to find in the U.S. government — if, that is, by work of art you mean scam.

The United States is on track to spend more than $600 billion on the military this year — more, that is, than was spent at the height of President Ronald Reagan’s Cold War military buildup, and more than the military budgets of at least the next seven nations in the world combined. And keep in mind that that’s just a partial total. As an analysis by the Straus Military Reform Project has shown, if we count related activities like homeland security, veterans’ affairs, nuclear warhead production at the Department of Energy, military aid to other countries, and interest on the military-related national debt, that figure reaches a cool $1 trillion.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The focus is on the Pentagon .... but this is President Obama's Pentagon, and he is sure as hell not going to have these numbers (and where the money is going) published.

U.S. Congressman And The Pentagon Are 'At War' On Where A Military Base Should Be Built


Shane Harris & Nancy Youssef, Daily Beast: Exclusive: Top Congressman Accuses Pentagon of ‘Criminal’ Leaks

An obscure decision over a military base has turned into a Washington knife fight, with a leading congressman accusing the Pentagon of trying to stab him in the back.

Rep. Devin Nunes, the powerful chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has accused the Defense Department of misleading members of Congress about the cost of building a new military intelligence center at a base on a set of idyllic islands in middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

But now, the Pentagon is turning the tables on the congressman, arguing that he’s the one not playing straight and questioning his motives for suggesting an alternative site. The dispute has turned what’s normally a humdrum affair—decisions on where to build military facilities—into an old-fashioned Washington knife fight.

Nunes is even accusing the Pentagon of straying into “criminal territory” and using borderline-racist tactics.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A politician having a preference on where a military facility should be built is nothing new in Washington (or anywhere else). But in this case .... I do not see how building and maintaining a military base on an island that is out of the way can be cheaper than building it in a place like Britain.

North Korea State Media Endorses 'Wise' Donald Trump Over 'Dull' Hillary Clinton

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump holds a rally with supporters in San Diego, May 27, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST

ABC News: North Korean Newspaper Endorses 'Wise' Donald Trump Over 'Dull' Hillary Clinton

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has received his latest endorsement from an unlikely source: North Korea.

Official state-run North Korean newspaper DPRK Today ran an editorial today praising Trump as a “wise politician” and “far-sighted candidate.”

“The president that U.S. citizens must vote for is not that dull Hillary but Trump, who spoke of holding direct conversation with North Korea,” the editorial said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: More fuel to the fire for the anti-Trumpers. But politics aside .... this looks like a major reversal for North Korea on an earlier Donald Trump suggestion. It appears that North Korea is now hinting that they are open to Donald Trump's earlier suggestions that he is willing to talk directly to North Korea .... US election: Donald Trump open to talks with North Korea (BBC), even though they had rejected when it was first made .... North Korean envoy rejects Trump overture to meet leader (Reuters). My advice to Donald Trump .... do not take the bait.

More News On North Korea State Media Endorsing Donald Trump Over Hillary Clinton

North Korean state media offers support for ‘wise politician’ Donald Trump -- Washington Post
North Korea State Media Praises Donald Trump as a ‘Wise Politician’ -- Time
North Korean state paper praises Trump -- Politico
North Korea endorses Donald Trump and rejects ‘dull’ Hillary Clinton -- The Independent

Another North Korean Missile Test Failure



FOX News: North Korea missile launch attempt failed, Pentagon confirms

In the latest embarrassment for the communist nation of North Korea, a ballistic missile thought to have a range of 2,500 miles failed to launch early Monday morning, Pentagon officials confirmed to Fox News.

This medium-range Musudan blew up shortly after takeoff, according to officials briefed on the latest intelligence. The missile had the potential to hit U.S. military bases as far away as Guam.

"They are 0-4" one official said describing North Korea's most recent missile launch attempts. The failures could help calm recent fears that the North was pushing quickly toward its goal of a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the United States.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Apparently the rocket exploded on the launch pad resulting in casualties .... North Korean ballistic missile 'EXPLODES on its launch pad and severely injures staff' during botched test firing – the fourth failed attempt this year (Daily Mail)

More News On Another North Korean Missile Test Failure

North Korea missile test launch off east coast 'fails' -- BBC
North Korea fails again on missile launch, South Korean officials say -- Reuters
South Korea says North Korea missile launch likely failed -- AP
North Korea missile launch failed, says South Korean military -- AFP
North Korea Missile Launch Tuesday Likely Failed -- VOA
North Korea's Test Launch of Musudan Missile Ends in Failure: South -- NBC
North Korea missile launch fails: South -- Al Jazeera
North Korea’s Failed Missile Launch -- The Atlantic