Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Has President Trump Already Won The 'Trade War' Against China And The EU?

Kevin Drum, Mother Jones: Europe and China Have Surrendered to Trump

Why does President Trump feel “liberated” just because he’s done a few dumb things lately? Dan Drezner has the right idea: “Trump has such a short-term worldview that if something calamitous does not happen immediately after he does something, it bolsters his assumption that he’s bulletproof.” So if Trump levies tariffs on steel and aluminum and the world is still spinning on its axis a week later, he figures that all the Chicken Littles were wrong yet again.

Oddly enough, the rest of the world seems willing to confirm this worldview. Here’s Europe:

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Kevin Drum and Mother Jones admitting that maybe President Trump pulled it off? I thought I would never see this day. As to what is my take .... still to early for anyone to claim victory.

China Sends Its Aircraft Carrier Through The Taiwan Strait

Taiwan’s defence ministry said the carrier group, led by China’s sole operational aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, entered the waterway late on Tuesday. (File Photo)

Indian Express/Reuters: Taiwan shadows China carrier group after Xi Jinping’s warning against separatism

Taiwan's defence ministry said the carrier group, led by China's sole operational aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, entered the waterway late on Tuesday but kept on its western side.

Taiwan has sent ships and aircraft to shadow a Chinese aircraft carrier group through the narrow Taiwan Strait, its defence ministry said on Wednesday after Chinese President Xi Jinping offered his strongest warning against Taiwan separatism to date. China claims Taiwan as its sacred territory and considers the self-ruled island a wayward province, which Xi said on Tuesday would face the “punishment of history” for any attempt at separatism.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Chinese President Xi makes his big speech directed at Taiwan .... Chinese Nationalism On Full Display With Chinese President Xi Jinping's Closing Speech At The National People's Congress (March 20, 2018) ....  24 hours later we have this aircraft carrier showing up.

More News On China Sending Its Aircraft Carrier Through The Taiwan Strait

China's aircraft carrier sails past Taiwan as tensions rise -- AFP
China dispatches aircraft carrier through Taiwan Strait after warning by Xi: report -- The Japan Times
Taiwan Military Tails Chinese Aircraft Carrier -- Wall Street Journal
US affirms Taiwan support after Chinese carrier enters Taiwan Strait -- Financial Times

Islamic State Suicider Bomber Kills 31 In Afghan Capital

VOA: Suicide Bombing Kills 31 in Afghan Capital

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN — Afghan officials say a suicide blast has killed at least 31 people and wounded more than 65 others in Kabul.

Officials and witnesses say the bomber targeted a crowd during celebrations to mark the Persian new year, Nowruz, Wednesday near a Shi'ite Muslim neighborhood.

Islamic State claimed responsibility, according to the SITE Intelligence Group that monitors global jihadist threats. The terrorist group identified the bomber as a Pakistani man, saying he detonated his suicide vest amidst the gathering in the Kart-e-Sakhi area.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Maybe one day this insanity will stop.

More News On Today's Terror Bombing In Kabul, Afghanistan

The Latest: Afghan official says 31 dead in suicide bombing -- AP
IS Suicide Bomber Kills 33 as Afghans Celebrate New Year -- US News and World Report/AP
Suicide bomber kills more than 30 near shrine in Afghan capital -- Reuters
Blast kills 29 near Sakhi shrine in Kabul, Afghan officials say -- CNN
Islamic State suicide bomber kills 29 as Afghans celebrate new year -- Los Angeles Times

The Pentagon Wants To Use Lasers As Non-Lethal Weapons

Defense One: The US Military Is Making Lasers Create Voices out of Thin Air

Within three years, the Pentagon's non-lethal weapons lab hopes to have a direct energy weapon that can produce an effect like a haunted walkie-talkie or the biblical burning bush.

Watch the video above and listen carefully for what sounds like a human voice during the second spin. That’s not an audio recording or a broadcast transmitted over radio…it’s not human at all. It’s an auditory effect that’s created by military scientists who manipulated the air with lasers — and it’s the Pentagon’s most interesting idea for stopping people charging checkpoints, or just scaring the crap out of them.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Pentagon wants a workable device in three years.

Who Leaked President Trump's Briefing Papers To The Press?

CNN: Trump furious over leak of warning to not congratulate Putin

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump was infuriated after it quickly leaked that he had been directly instructed by his national security advisers in briefing materials not to congratulate Russian President Vladimir Putin on his recent election victory during their call Tuesday morning, a source familiar with the President's thinking said.

Trump was fuming Tuesday night, asking his allies and outside advisers who they thought had leaked the information, noting that only a small group of staffers have access to those materials and would have known what guidance was included for the Putin call, the source said.

According to the source, the incident resurfaces his long-held belief there are individuals inside his administration -- especially in the national security realm -- who are actively working to undermine him.

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WNU Editor: Someone in National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster's staff leaked this. This is serious .... there will be repercussions. As for President Trump congratulating President Putin and his election win .... every U.S. President has congratulated the winner of the Russian Presidency since Boris Yeltsin. No surprises here.

Facebook Facing Backlash On How It Handles Its Data

Washington Times: Trump campaign’s use of Facebook data routine, first employed by Obama

The near-hysterical reaction to the Trump campaign’s reported use of personal Facebook data in 2016 ignores a fact of life about social media: businesses, platforms and political campaigns have been collecting users’ personal preferences for years through a variety of online tools to reach their target audiences.

This alleged data “breach” from Facebook accounts is not identity theft, in which hackers try to steal your credit card information, Social Security number or bank account. The accusation leveled against the voter-profiling research firm Cambridge Analytica involves the exploitation of Facebook users’ personal choices and “likes” — expressed online voluntarily for their friends to see — that let researchers and analysts make educated guesses about a person’s political leanings and susceptibility to advertising.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A personal confession. I have always been interested in using social media as a marketing/networking tool .... and I have worked with people who do just this. That is why much of what I am reading now is not a surprise to me. As for how it can be used by political parties and or special interest groups .... again .... no surprises there. This has been known for a very long time .... case in point .... President Obama's campaign team was praised in 2012/2013 for using social media in their election campaign, and the people behind it boasted about it .... Ex-Obama Campaign Director: It's 'Unfair' Facebook Let Us 'Ingest Entire Social Network of US' (IJR). As for Facebook .... make no mistake about it .... they are not innocent. They know what they have, and they know how to use it. This is why they are a multi-billion dollar company, and this is how they monetize their platform. The personal data that you give to them is theirs .... not yours. And they have used (and are using) that data to enrich themselves. So why is the mainstream media acting in the matter that they are now? Why all the political demands for hearings and investigations? And more importantly .... why are many members of the public upset? As I said .... this is nothing new .... but what is new is that it appears that some smart people in the Trump campaign found out a way to do the same thing that their opponents have been doing for years .... but being more sophisticated about it. And while the denials are coming in that this is not the same .... No, Obama Didn’t Employ the Same Strategies as Cambridge Analytica (Washington Monthly) .... the means to have access to a Facebook user's friend list is the same .... and that is what this issue is all about. As for the future .... Facebook has a huge problem right now. In Canada the privacy commissioner is now involved, and I know too well on how that organization works (I was involved in a case dealing with security cameras being used in the public 15 years ago) .... and I can say with confidence that they will be telling Facebook that no one can have access to a user's Friend list. In the U..K., the EU, and in the U.S. there are now going to be hearings and investigations .... and I can tell by their rhetoric that there is going to be a push to change the status quo. Here is an easy prediction .... social media as we know it is now going to change .... expect government involvement and regulation and all that it will entail.

Update: I would not be surprised if he is right .... Academic behind Facebook breach says political influence was exaggerated (Reuters).

More News On The Backlash That Facebook Is Now Facing On How It Handles Its Data

US FTC probing Facebook data scandal: media -- AFP
Lawmakers zero in on Zuckerberg -- The Hill
Cambridge Analytica: Facebook ‘outraged’ over misuse of user data -- DW
British MPs summon Mark Zuckerberg, saying Facebook misled them -- The Guardian
UK investigates Facebook over Cambridge Analytica data breach -- Al Jazeera
Alexander Nix, Cambridge Analytica CEO, suspended after data scandal -- The Guardian
Cambridge Analytica bosses claimed they invented 'Crooked Hillary' campaign, won Donald Trump the presidency -- ABC News Online
Cambridge Analytica execs boast of role in getting Donald Trump elected -- The Guardian
Owners of Cambridge Analytica Accused of Caribbean Election Meddling, Bribery -- Sputnik
Facebook data row: Cambridge Analytica academic a 'scapegoat' -- BBC
Facebook scandal: I am being used as scapegoat – academic who mined data -- The Guardian
Academic says he’s being scapegoated in Facebook data case -- AP
Facebook investors may want to quiz Mark Zuckerberg -- Nils Pratley, The Guardian
Here's everything you need to know about the Cambridge Analytica scandal -- CNBC
Psychometrics: How Facebook data helped Trump find his voters -- AFP
How to protect your personal data from Facebook profiteering -- NBC
Facebook's biggest challenge yet -- Amol Rajan, BBC
This Is the Personal Data that Facebook Collects—And Sometimes Sells -- Fortune

In Its First Public Comments, North Korea Takes Credit For Thaw In Relations With The U.S.

The Guardian: 'Peace-loving' North Korea claims credit for thaw with US

State media hits out at suggestions rapprochement on the peninsula is a result of sanctions and Donald Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign

North Korea has commented for the first time on the recent rapprochement on the peninsula, saying warming relations with Seoul and Washington are thanks to its “proactive measure and peace-loving proposal”.

North Korea also dismissed suggestions international sanctions were the cause of improved ties in a commentary published by the country’s official Korean Central News Agency, instead saying diplomatic efforts were a sign of Pyongyang’s strength and confidence.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: One has to ask the question .... if President Trump was not so insistent on sanctions, would we be where we are today? Considering North Korea's behavior under Kim Jong-un for the past few years, I would say no. On a side note, the speculation is now on where will this summit be held .... DMZ? Sweden? Washington? Trump-Kim summit site rumors swirl (AP)

More News On North Korean Denying That Sanctions Forced It To Seek Talks

North Korea says sanctions did not push it to seek US talks -- BBC
N. Korea breaks silence on diplomatic thaw, denies sanctions drove it to dialogue -- Stars and Stripes/LATimes
Trump Had Nothing to Do With Korea Peace Talks, Says North Korea -- Newsweek
North Korean media lashes out at skeptics, softens tone on Seoul, U.S. -- UPI
N. Korea denies sanctions prompted diplomatic thaw -- AFP
NKorea says its diplomatic moves are not a sign of weakness -- AP
North Korea warns its detractors, notes an 'atmosphere for reconciliation' ahead of talks -- Washington Post
Kim Jong Un's “warm compatriotism” is responsible for thawing tensions, says Kim Jong Un -- VICE News

Update: South Korean President Moon wants trilateral talks ....

South Korea's Moon says three-way summit with North Korea, U.S. possible. -- Reuters
Moon: Trilateral summit with Seoul, U.S., North possible -- UPI
South Korea's Leader Floats 3-Way Talks With Trump and Kim Jong-un -- New York Times

Israel Admits To Destroying A Nuclear Reactor In Syria In 2007

BBC: Israel admits striking suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007

Israel has for the first time confirmed that it destroyed a suspected nuclear reactor being built in Syria in 2007.

The military said fighter jets bombed the al-Kibar facility in Deir al-Zour province, 450km (280 miles) north-east of Damascus, as it neared completion.

Syria's government has repeatedly denied that it was building a reactor.

The Israeli defence minister said the public acknowledgement of the strike after more than 10 years of secrecy was a message to his country's enemies.

"The motivation of our enemies has increased in recent years, but the strength of our army, our air force and our intelligence capabilities have increased compared with the capabilities we had in 2007," Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement.

"This equation should be taken into account by everyone in the Middle East."

Read more ....

More News On Israel Admitting To Destroying A Nuclear Reactor In Syria In 2007

Israel admits bombing suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, warns Iran -- Reuters
Israel defence minister says 2007 Syria strike message to enemies -- AFP
Israel confirms it carried out 2007 airstrike on Syrian nuclear reactor -- The Guardian
Declassified: How an Israeli operation derailed Syria’s nuclear weapons drive -- Defense News
Israel admits it bombed Syrian 'nuclear site' in 2007 -- DW
Israel admits to 2007 bombing of suspected Syrian nuclear site as 'message' to others -- ABC News Online
Israel confirms bombing 'Syria nuclear reactor' in 2007 -- Al Jazeera
Israel Finally Owns Responsibility For Syrian Nuclear Facility Bombing, After a Decade -- International Business Times
Israel officially admits striking ‘Syrian nuclear reactor’ in 2007 -- RT
WATCH Israeli Defense Forces' Destruction of Syrian Nuclear Reactor -- Sputnik
Israel Finally Tells All About Its Top-Secret Strike on Syrian Nuclear Reactor -- Daily Beast
Why Did Israel Destroy A Syrian Nuclear Reactor? -- Newsweek
Israel just warned Iran it won't tolerate another nuclear power in the region -- VICE News

The News From Israel

Israel's bombing of Syrian reactor proves it won't accept existential threats -- The Jerusalem Post
Liberman says 2007 Syria nuclear facility strike 'a message to enemies' -- i24NEWS
The Intelligence Failure: It Took Years for Israel to Discover Syria's Reactor -- Haaretz
No Longer a Secret: How Israel Destroyed Syria's Nuclear Reactor -- Haaretz
Engineers of Syrian nuclear reactor strike hail it as 'historic' and 'brave' -- The Times of Israel
Has IDF Intelligence learned the lessons from the Syrian reactor strike? -- The Jerusalem Post
'The Atmosphere Was Tense': Inside the First Briefings About Syria's Secret North Korean Nuclear Reactor -- Haaretz

World News Briefs -- March 21, 2018

Al Jazeera: Afghanistan: Dozens killed in ISIL attack near Kabul University

At least 29 people killed, 52 others wounded when suicide bomber detonated himself in a crowded area in Afghan capital.

At least 29 people have been killed and 52 others wounded in a mid-day explosion in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Tolo News reported that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) claimed responsibility for Wednesday's attack, which happened close to Kabul University and Ali Abad hospital.

News reports quoted the interior ministry as saying that a suicide bomber had detonated his explosives while walking among a group of people.

Read more ....


Israel confirms it carried out 2007 airstrike on Syrian nuclear reactor.

Syria's White Helmets: 56 people killed in Eastern Ghouta.

Syrian rebels reach evacuation deal in eastern Ghouta: sources.

Syrian Kurds bitter over West turning a blind eye to Afrin.

US denies reaching deal with Turkey over Syria's Manbij. Turkey says understanding, but no deal, with U.S. on Syria's Manbij.

Turkish air strike 'neutralizes' 12 Kurdish militants in Iraq: military.

Yemeni minister resigns after calling for President Hadi's return.


Kabul Sakhi shrine: 'Dozens dead' in New Year attack. Kabul suicide bombing: Heavy casualties in New Year's blast. Suicide bomber kills at least 29 near shrine in Afghan capital.

South Korea's Moon says three-way summit with North Korea, U.S. possible.

China's aircraft carrier sails by Taiwan as tensions rise.

China activists fear high-tech crackdown in Xi's 'new era'.

China to reorganise propaganda efforts at home and abroad.

Htin Kyaw, Myanmar president and Aung San Suu Kyi confidante, resigns.

Maldives ex-leader Gayoom charged with terrorism.


Executions, torture and slave markets persist in Libya: U.N..

Burundi on brink again as president wants to rule until 2034.

Sierra Leone: Violence fears as tense election reaches runoff.

Boko Haram returns some of the girls it kidnapped last month. Nigeria: Kidnapped schoolgirls 'freed' by Boko Haram.

South Sudan: Drought and war devastating economy.

DR Congo jails former anti-graft chief for life over rebellion.

Armed gangs cream off 'taxes' on river traffic in C. Africa.


Nicolas Sarkozy: ex-president faces second day of questioning over Libya case.

Kremlin: Putin & Trump agree that arms race is ‘undesirable’.

Germany proposes Ulm as NATO logistics hub against Russia.

Trump and Juncker under fire for hailing Putin election victory.

Russia threatens to block Telegram app.

Spain refuses to back withdrawal deal over Gibraltar concerns.

Poland accuses EU of 'double standards' on democracy as standoff deepens.

Anger over ruling that British army did not use torture in Northern Ireland.

EU executive unveils plan for digital tax on tech giants.


Austin bombing suspect blows himself up as SWAT moves in. Texas bombing suspect blows self up as police close in, official says.

Senators press Trump officials on safeguarding 2018 ballots.

US Fed to hike interest rates for first time in 2018.

Venezuelans launch new currencies amid economic crisis.

China stays on the sidelines as Venezuela spirals downward.

U.S. ties 'super important' says Mexican leftist's pick to lead NAFTA talks.

Obama in New Zealand for meetings, golf, but no public talks.

Canada introduces new gun control measures.


US military will not pursue Taliban into Pakistan.

Families of IS India victims learned of deaths on television.

Iraq holds more than 19,000 on Islamic State, militant links.


Bayer wins EU approval for $62.5 billion Monsanto buy.

White House plans China trade crackdown Thursday.

Trump trade war biggest risk to world economy: German experts.

WhatsApp co-founder says it is time to delete Facebook.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 21, 2018

Business Insider: Trump showed off Saudi Arabia's massive US military buys in giant charts — here's everything that's on them

President Donald Trump met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman at the White House on Tuesday and boasted of massive defense deals signed between the kingdom and the US.

The president had several charts with him that showed the type of weapons, vehicles, and equipment being bought by Saudi Arabia. The charts showed how much money the deal were worth, and which US states were going to benefit the most from them.

One of the charts showed off eight purchases the Saudis have finalized, worth $12.5 million dollars. Another chart featured four sales that were still pending, but will be worth nearly $20 billion.

Here are some of the US products the Saudi's are buying:

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 21, 2018

Trump praises U.S. military sales to Saudi as he welcomes crown prince -- Rreuters

Lebanese army appeals for international assistance -- Al-Monitor

Chinese state media tout ‘world’s fastest’ wind tunnel to boost hypersonic weapons capability --

Taiwan shadows China carrier group after Xi warning -- Reuters

Taiwan Military Tails Chinese Aircraft Carrier -- Wall Street Journal

Russian Aerospace Forces take delivery of 'new' Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missile -- Jane's 360

Russian Copter-Based Electronic Jammer Spotted in Syria for the 1st Time (PHOTO) -- Sputnik

Russian Nukes: Facts vs. Fiction -- The Diplomat

Here’s how Army soldiers in Europe are doing mobile electronic warfare -- C4ISRNet

1 killed in British air force crash of Red Arrows jet -- AP

UK army investigators under fire as bullying trial collapses -- The Guardian

Lockheed Martin to support F-35 programs in U.S., U.K. -- UPI

Pentagon Chief Says Open to Cooperation With Russia After Putin's Re-Election -- Sputnik

Ghana, US seek closer military ties -- News24/AFP

‘US forces are needed here.’ After 15 years, fight in Iraq not over -- Military Times

Nuclear warhead manager seeks FY19 funding for new nuke designs -- Defense News

Lockheed awarded contract for Trident II production, support -- UPI

Boeing KC-46 delays are frustrating Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson -- Defense News

Navy, Newport News Taking Steps Towards Two-Carrier Buy -- USNI News

US Army to demo precision strike, hypersonics, ramjet capabilities in just a few years -- Defense News

US Army Close to Fielding Howitzers Firing Hypersonic, Precision-Strike Shells -- Sputnik

High-power microwaves and lasers defeat multiple drones during US Army exercise -- SUASNews

U.S. Army Forges Ahead With Its Railgun As Navy's Commitment To The Tech Is Questioned -- The Warzone/The Drive

The US Military Is Making Lasers Create Voices out of Thin Air -- Defense One

The Air Force May Switch To Army Camo Sooner Than Expected — For An Insane Price -- Task & Purpose

DoD and interagency group looking to step up collaboration on space technology -- Space News

The NSA Worked to “Track Down” Bitcoin Users, Snowden Documents Reveal -- The Intercept

Trump originally planned to put Cohn at CIA, but changed his mind -- Politico

A family affair: Susan Pompeo's active role raising debate within the CIA -- CNN

Paul Ryan: 'Hollowed out' US military needs spending boost following recent crashes -- FOX News

Southern California teacher who called military 'lowest of the low' is fired -- FOX News

Air Force secretary: Let’s change how we talk about women troops -- Military Times

The Future of War May Be Virtual -- US News and World Report

Austin Bomber Blows Himself Up As Police Tried To Arrest Him - A News Roundup

Daily Mail: Austin bomber, 24, blows himself up with seventh device as cops swoop in to arrest him - after releasing CCTV of the white man posting two devices at FedEx office targeting people of color

* The Austin bomber, a 24-year-old white man, blew himself up as police tried to arrest him on Wednesday
* Police do not yet have a motive for the attacks, but say the man was not previously known to them
* Public are warned more bombs could still be out there as they do not know the bomber's final movements
* Death comes after CCTV emerged showing suspect posting two packages at a Austin FedEx office on Sunday
* Two people were killed and six injured in series of bombings that began on March 2

The Austin bomber is dead after blowing himself up as police and FBI agents tried to arrest him in the early hours of Wednesday.

The bomber, a 24-year-old white male who lived locally, killed himself and injured an officer when he detonated a bomb inside his car as police surrounded him several miles north of the city around 3am.

Despite the death police have warned that more bombs could still be out there because they do not know where the bomber has been in the last 24 hours.

President Donald Trump, who was earlier criticized for failing to speak out over the shootings, tweeted 'Austin bombing suspect is dead' on Wednesday morning. 'Great job by law enforcement and all concerned,' he added.

Read more ....

Austin Bomber Blows Himself Up As Police Tried To Arrest Him - A News Roundup

The Latest: Trump praises law enforcement in bomber’s death -- AP
Police: Suspect in Austin bombing attacks blows himself up -- AP
Texas bomber suspect kills self as police close in, officials say -- Reuters
Suspect in Austin Bombings Blew Himself Up, Police Say -- New York Times
Austin bombing suspect dies after detonating explosive as SWAT team closed in, police say -- Washington Post
Austin bombing suspect, 24-year-old man, dies as police close in, chief says -- Statesman
Austin serial bombing suspect killed in dramatic confrontation; ID'd as 24-year-old man -- FOX News
Austin bombings suspect kills himself as police close in -- CBS
Austin bombing suspect dead after blowing himself up in confrontation with police -- NYDaily News
Austin bombings: Suspect dead after detonating device, police say -- BBC

Germany Wants To Cut-Off Its Reliance On Russian Gas

Houston Chronicle/Bloomberg: Germany looks to LNG to cut reliance on Russian gas

Angela Merkel's government is seeking to build a liquefied natural gas industry in Germany basically from scratch to reduce the nation's dependence on supplies arriving by pipeline from Russia and Norway.

With gas reservoirs depleting from the U.K. to the Netherlands, Germany is becoming increasingly reliant on Russia for its energy needs at a time when political tensions are mounting with Vladimir Putin's government in Moscow.

That's prompting Merkel to think again about LNG as an option, building terminals on the North Sea and Baltic Sea that could import the fuel and bypass facilities in the neighboring Netherlands, Poland and Belgium. Her newly formed coalition has a " coalition contract" that among other policies sets out an energy agenda including LNG for the next four years.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It's too late. Any shift is going to take years .... and it is not going to cheap. I thought renewable energy was going to solve Germany's energy needs .... I guess it is not enough.

Who Would Win A Russian vs. Chinese Tank Battle?

The T-14 Armata, Russia’s latest tank. (Wikimedia Commons photo by Vitaly V. Kuzmin)

Harold Hutchison, Task & Purpose: Here's who would win a Russian vs. Chinese tank battle

Russia and Communist China have worked together a lot since the fall of the Soviet Union. Back in the 1990s, Russians sold the Chinese a lot of military technology, including the Su-27/30/33 Flanker family of multi-role fighters and Sovremennyy-class guided missile destroyers.

This wasn’t the first instance of Eurasian collaboration — the Soviet Union and Communist China were close in the 1950s, when Russia shared a number of jet, tank, missile, and ship designs. The two countries had a falling out in the 1960s, which culminated in the 1969 Sino-Soviet border conflict. As a result, Communist China turned to the West for some military technology, including designs for the 105mm main gun used on the M60 Patton and on early versions of the M1 Abrams. However, the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre quickly severed any Western connections, leading, eventually, to this latest round of acquisitions from Russia.

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WNU Editor: China would win. For every tank that Russia fields .... China will have ten. This is a conventional war that Russia will not be able to win.

China's Growing Submarine Force Is 'Armed To The Teeth'

Chinese sailors on a submarine during the fleet's review of a joint China-Russia naval exercise in the Yellow Sea, April 26, 2012. REUTERS/China Daily

Business Insider: China's growing submarine force is 'armed to the teeth' — and the rest of the Pacific is racing to keep up

* Countries in East Asia, led by China, have been pursuing a military buildup for years.
* Submarines, flexible platforms with strategic uses, have been a particular focus.
* Uncertainty about the balance of power in the region has stoked countries' pursuit of military hardware.

In October 2006, a Chinese Song-class diesel-electric submarine capable of carrying torpedoes and antiship missiles surfaced within firing range of the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk.

"Some navy officers interpreted it as a 'Gotcha!' move," journalist Michael Fabey wrote in his 2018 book, "Crashback." It was "a warning from China that US carrier groups could no longer expect to operate with impunity."

Almost exactly nine years later, China again demonstrated its growing naval prowess, when a Kilo-class diesel-electric attack sub shadowed the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan near southern Japan.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: China now has the means to build these subs quickly .... The World's Largest Submarine Factory Is Being Built In China (April 30, 2017).

Is The Cold War 'Gentlemen’s Agreement' Between Russian And U.S. Spies Now Over?

Fox video

Jonathan Masters, Council on Foreign Relations: Are Cold War Spy-Craft Norms Fading?

A growing list of brazen foreign operations signals that there are few constraints on Russian intelligence under Vladimir Putin’s leadership.

The poisoning of a Russian former double agent, Sergei V. Skripal, and his daughter with a rare nerve agent in England has raised new concerns in NATO capitals about Russia’s willingness to escalate intelligence operations beyond established norms. The British and U.S. governments have blamed Russia for the attack, which follows a series of unexplained deaths of Russians in the United Kingdom in recent years. For longtime CIA veteran Jack Devine, it appears that some of the unwritten conventions of spy-craft with Russia no longer apply. “Russia today seems unconstrained by any norms,” says Devine in a written interview, citing assassination campaigns, meddling in foreign elections, and bombing civilians in Syria.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A lot of things have changed in the past few years .... so why not an understanding on how spies operate.

President Trump And The Pentagon Do Not See Eye-To-Eye On Iran

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks as he welcomes Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, March 20, 2018.

VOA: Trump Hints He May Break With His Generals on Iran

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump appears increasingly willing to defy some of his top generals, as his administration grapples with how best to deal with Iran.

Trump is facing a May deadline to recertify the Iran nuclear deal, and signaled again Tuesday that he is not afraid to pull the U.S. out of the agreement unless other signatories are willing to make major changes.

"A lot of bad things are happening in Iran," the president said during a visit to the White House by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"The deal is coming up in one month, and you will see what happens," he added.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Absent a better alternative .... I am willing to bet that President Trump will recertify the Iran nuclear deal, albeit reluctantly.

Tweets For Today

Commander of U.S. Strategic Command: Would Not Recommend An Immediate Response If Russian Nukes Were Heading To The U.S.

Gen. John Hyten, Head of the U.S. Strategic Command. C-Span

Washington Examiner: Top US commander says he would not recommend an immediate response if Russian nukes were heading to US

If the U.S. detected one or two incoming ballistic missiles that could be nuclear-armed, the Air Force general in charge of America’s nuclear arsenal told Congress Tuesday that he would recommend the U.S. hold its fire until the missiles landed or were shot down.

Gen. John Hyten, the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, was answering a question during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee about whether a low-yield weapon launched from a U.S. submarine might spark an all-out nuclear war because an adversary would not be able to tell if it was carrying a larger warhead.

Hyten said an adversary would have only 30 minutes to react, and would likely not launch an immediate counterstrike.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Gen. John Hyten qualifies his answer by saying that it is only if there is one or two missiles heading to the U.S. that he would not recommend an immediate response. Hmmm .... if there is a missile or two coming from Russia directed at the U.S., I can say with confidence that in the next few minutes there will be a few dozen and then a few hundred heading to the U.S.. This talk of a limited nuclear war is a dangerous path to believe in .... because it will not be limited.