Monday, October 20, 2014

World News Briefs -- October 20, 2014 (Evening Edition)



Turkey To Let Iraqi Kurds Reinforce Kobani As U.S. Drops Arms To Defenders -- Reuters

(Reuters) - Turkey said on Monday it would allow Iraqi Kurdish fighters to reinforce fellow Kurds in the Syrian town of Kobani, while the United States air-dropped arms for the first time to help the defenders resist an Islamic State assault.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington had asked Ankara to help "get the peshmerga or other groups" into Kobani so that they could help defend the town on the Turkish frontier, adding that he hoped the Kurds would "take this fight on".

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Kerry: U.S. told Turkey arms drop to Syrian Kurds 'momentary' response to crisis.

Islamic State insurgents advance into Iraqi town of Qara Tappa.

Turkey to let Iraqi Kurds reinforce Kobani as U.S. drops arms to defenders. Islamic State: Turkey to let Iraq Kurds join Kobane fight.

US launches new strikes against ISIS in Kobani, activists say.

Deadly car bombings hit Iraq's Karbala. Bombings hit Baghdad Shi'te mosque, military convoy in northern Iraq.

Iraq crisis: MPs complete anti-IS government.

Sunni Arabs feel sting of discrimination in northern Iraq.

UN sanctions 'to target high-profile Yemenis'.

Al Qaeda attacks kill at least 33 people in Yemen. Scores of rebels killed in Yemen fighting.

UN nuclear chief: Progress slow in Iran investigation. Iran acts to comply with interim nuclear deal with powers: IAEA.

Hamas leader's daughter received medical treatment in Israel: sources.

Saudi Arabia steps up beheadings; some see political message.

ASIA

China boosts efforts to help Afghan, regional stability.

In Japan, two female ministers quit, dealing a blow to Abe and ‘womenomics’.

Kerry in Indonesia seeks Asian support against Islamic State. Kerry urges Asia to boost anti-Islamic State push.

Afghan officials: Attacks by insurgents on army, police checkpoints kill at least 4 troops.

At least 22 people are reported killed in attack at a market in western China.

China Communist Party plenum begins in Beijing.

After clashes, Hong Kong students, government stand their ground before talks.

Joko Widodo sworn in as Indonesian president.

Marine accused in Philippine killing tests US ties.

Amnesty International: South Korea abuses migrant workers.

Sri Lanka calls early presidential elections.

AFRICA

No plan for Egyptian military action against Islamic State in Iraq, Syria.

Ebola crisis: Nigeria declared free of virus.

EU seeks $1.27 billion in Ebola aid for W. Africa.

West Africa 'could lose an entire generation'.

At least 30 killed in northeast Nigeria clashes despite 'truce'.

Nigeria Boko Haram blamed for raids despite truce claim.

Libya violence: Western powers urge cessation.

Libya's parliament allies with renegade general, struggling to assert authority.

Second massacre in days leaves 20 dead in east DR Congo.

EUROPE

Swedish military claims three credible sightings of undersea activity in search for suspected Russian submarine. Mysterious ‘Russian sub’ off Sweden may be Dutch – Defense Ministry source.

Dutch deny link to mystery submarine off Sweden.

Finland says not planning to assist Sweden in search for alleged submarine.

Blast rocks chemical plant in Donetsk, claims of tactical missile.

Ukraine crisis: Amnesty deplores abuses by both sides.

Ukraine’s Euromaidan reforms reveal deep divisions.

Hope and obstacles as Russia and Ukraine seek gas deal.

US-Russian relations ‘close to bottom, to remain low a long time’ – Lavrov.

Dutch battle surge of desperate, violent Muslim refugees.

AMERICAS

Up to 34 MILLION blank 'green cards' and work permits to be ordered ahead of Obama illegal immigrant 'amnesty'.

U.S. hospitals gird for Ebola panic as flu season looms.

Dallas officials: 120 still on Ebola monitoring. Ebola fear ends for dozens on U.S. watch lists.

Polls: Opposition has slight lead in Brazil Presidential runoff. Brazilian poll shows Rousseff gaining momentum as election nears.

Venezuela's Maduro approval rating drops to 30 percent, poll says.

Chile ex-mayor arrested for Pinochet-era human rights crimes.

Federal police take control of 13 towns in Mexico.

Mexico finds many corpses, but not lost 43.

Fed chief rips widening gap between rich, poor Americans.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Denmark tries a soft-handed approach to returned Islamist fighters.

ISIS releases training guide on 'how to tweet safely, without giving out your location to NSA'.

Senior al Qaeda leader reported killed in US airstrike in eastern Afghanistan.

Benghazi attack suspect Khatallah pleads not guilty to 17 new charges.

France struggles to cope with terrorism on its home turf.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

CIA analyst: Next Great Depression 'about to strike'.

Plunging oil prices have unpredictable impact on politics, economics.

Is the oil price fall more than just a coincidence?

Lufthansa says strike results in 1,511 canceled flights.

Poll: Majority Of Americans Believe That Events In The U.S. Are 'Out Of Control'


POLITICO Poll: Alarm, Anxiety As Election Looms -- Politico

An overwhelming majority of voters in the most competitive 2014 elections say it feels as if events in the United States are “out of control” and expressed mounting alarm about terrorism, anxiety about Ebola and harsh skepticism of both political parties only three weeks before the Nov. 4 midterms.

In a POLITICO poll testing the hardest-fought states and congressional districts of the year, two-thirds of likely voters said they feel that the United States has lost control of its major challenges. Only 36 percent said the country is “in a good position to meet its economic and national security” hurdles.

Read more ....

My Comment: The focus is on President Obama .... but both parties are receiving negative reviews from the electorate. As to what is my take .... this is just one poll, but I am surprised that the electorate is more inclined to vote Democrat rather than Republican in the upcoming Congressional elections. If the numbers are accurate .... the Democrats will retain control of the Senate, and may even pick up a few seats in the Congress.

Update: Politico Poll: 64% Believe America Is 'Out of Control' -- Breitbart

Russian Foreign Minister -- US-Russian Relations ‘Close To Bottom, To Remain Low A Long Time’

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (Reuters / Carolyn Kaster / Pool)

US-Russian Relations ‘Close To Bottom, To Remain Low A Long Time’ – Lavrov

Moscow does not expect its relations with Washington to get better anytime soon, but on the other hand they won’t plunge any deeper, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov believes.

“We have gone down pretty deep. I really hope this downward movement of the level of our cooperation has reached some kind of a bottom,” he said on Monday in Moscow in an open lecture on Russia’s foreign relations.

Lavrov said the cold does not amount to a new Cold War, but the period is likely to be a long one.

“Of course it’s not a Cold War. The right question is: where do these relations go now?” he said. “Let’s leave it to historians. Certainly someone sometime will describe this period for the textbooks with a colorful term.”

He described the situation as “abnormal” and said Washington is the side that chose to escalate the tension.

Read more ....

Update: Russian foreign minister sees no quick fix to U.S. ties -- Reuters

My Comment: My prediction .... U.S. - Russian relations will be in the deep freeze until the next U.S. Presidential election in 2016.

Russia Denies Having A Submarine In Swedish Waters. Speculates That it May Be A Dutch Sub



Mysterious ‘Russian Sub’ Off Sweden May Be Dutch – Defense Ministry Source -- RT

Swedish authorities reportedly searching for a Russian submarine in its waters are probably looking in the wrong direction. The sub is probably Dutch, a source in the Russian Defense Ministry told RT.

Earlier Swedish media reported that the nation’s navy is looking for a submarine in the Baltic Sea, possibly belonging to Russia.

Russia said there was no substance in reports of the Russian connection in the story.

“On Sunday the Russian Defense Ministry provided whatever aid it could to the Swedes in their futile search,” the source commented.

Read more ....

More News On Russian Denials Of Having A Submarine Operating In Swedish Waters

Russia denies submarine is in trouble in Swedish waters -- South China Morning Post/Reuters
Russian Submarine in Swedish Waters 'Belongs to Dutch Navy' Claims Pro-Kremlin Media -- IBTimes
Mysterious submarine near Stockholm might be Dutch: Russian source -- Asia One/AFP
Russia denies submarine incident off Sweden -- BBC
Russia: Submarine in Swedish waters was Dutch, not ours -- Haaretz

My Comment: By the sounds of it .... I get the impression that the Russians are mocking the Swedes.

Update: The Dutch are denying Russian reports that they have a sub in Swedish waters:

Dutch deny link to mystery submarine off Sweden -- RTE
Dutch deny Russian claims that mystery submarine off Sweden is theirs -- Voice of Russia
Dutch Defense Ministry Says ‘Suspicious Object’ Sought by Sweden Not Dutch Submarine -- RIA Novosti

Sweden Widens Its Search For A Foreign Submarine In Its Territorial Waters



Sweden Widens 'Mystery Sub' Hunt Off Stockholm Waters -- BBC

The Swedish navy has widened its search in the waters off Stockholm amid suspicions that a Russian submarine might be in trouble there.

The military has asked civilian vessels to evacuate the area between Nattaro island and Danzinger Gatt.

A Swedish source told the BBC an underwater vessel was spotted in waters about 25km (16 miles) from Stockholm.

Russia's defence ministry denied any "irregular situation" involving its ships.

It said a Dutch submarine might have triggered Sweden's alert after carrying out exercises in the area.

However, this theory has been dismissed by the Dutch defence ministry.

"It was definitely not a Dutch submarine," a ministry spokeswoman in The Hague told the BBC.

Read more ....

Previous Post: Sweden Steps Up Search For 'Foreign' Submarine


More News On Sweden Widening Its Search For A Foreign Submarine In Its Territorial Waters

Pic Of Mystery 'Foreign Vessel' As Search Goes On -- SKY News
Sweden says credible reports of foreign submarine in its waters -- Reuters
Suspicious submarine sighting off Sweden’s coast prompts ‘Hunt for Red October’ comparisons -- Washington Post
Sweden Extends Maritime Checks for Underwater Intrusion -- Bloomberg Businessweek
Sweden launches hunt for underwater intruder; Russian sub suspected -- L.A. Times
'Russian submarine spotted' by Swedish military off coast of Stockholm -- The Independent
Sweden’s Submarine Hunt Evokes Cold War Memories -- WSJ
Sweden searches for mysterious Russian sub -- Irish Times
Why would a Russian submarine enter Swedish waters? -- The Telegraph

Chinese And Russian Aircraft Are Testing Japanese Air Defenses

A Japanese F-15J allegedly buzzing a Chinese Tu-154 in June.

Japan Intercepted Record Number of Chinese and Russian Military Aircraft -- USNI

Japan intercepted a record number of Russian and Chinese aircraft close to its territorial waters over the past six months.

The country’s military flew 533 intercepts during the first half of fiscal year 2014, according to a Jane’s Defence Weekly report. Compared to that same period in 2013, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), as the Japanese air force is known, flew 308 sorties.

The increasing number of intercepts is part of a growing trend. The JASDF has flown an increasing number of air intercepts since 2011. In fiscal year 2011, there were 425 intercepts, 567 in 2012 and 810 in 2013. If the trend continues, the number of intercepts could rise to Cold War-era levels.

Read more ....

My Comment: Russia is testing Japan's new air defenses, and China is now feeling confident to stake it's territorial claims over Japanese objections.

A Look At Libya's Decline

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Libya On The Edge -- The Economist

North Africa's top oil producer is dangerously divided

ON THE third anniversary of the death of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, Libya’s former ruler, the country is violently split. It has two governments and two parliaments. Both the capital, Tripoli, and the second city, Benghazi, are controlled by Islamist militia groups of various stripes. The internationally recognised government has fled to Tobruk, in the east of the country, and is operating from a hotel. Libyan Dawn, a militia now in control of Tripoli, has established a “National Salvation Government”, and is promising aid for families.

Read more ....

Update: Libya: Chronology of a collapsing state -- Deutsche Welle

My Comment: The numbers do not lie .... and the sad part of this story is that Libya's decline and the accompanying violence is probably only going to accelerate in the months/years ahead.

Libya Continues Its Slide To Another Civil War



Three Years After Gadhafi's Death, Libya Slides Into Civil War As Death Toll Rises In Benghazi -- IBTimes

Three years ago on Monday, Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was captured and killed by a rebel militia in his hometown of Sirte, an event that was supposed to mark the beginning of a new, democratic era in the country. But today, Libya is far from stable. The country is sliding further and further into all-out civil war, with pro-government forces battling Islamist militias for power in the eastern city of Benghazi, where the revolution that ousted Gadhafi started in 2011.

Read more ....

More News On The Crisis In Libya

75 killed in five days of fighting in Libya's Benghazi -- AFP
Death Toll Hits 65 in Libya's Eastern Strife -- AP
Toll in Libya clashes rises to 75 -- Zee News
Benghazi violence kills 75 people in five days -- Middle East Online
Toll rises as clashes continue in Libyan city -- Al Jazeera
United forces to regain Tripoli: Libya PM -- Al Arabiya/AFP
Rival Governments Dispute Control of Libyan Oil -- WSJ
Libya's parliament allies with renegade general, struggling to assert authority -- Reuters
Libya violence: Western powers urge cessation -- BBC
US, European Allies Condemn Violence in Libya, Threaten Sanctions -- RIA Novosti
In Libya's Benghazi, Mood of Resignation Over War -- AP
Libya: The war nobody can win -- Al Jazeera

Heavy Fighting Reported Throughout Yemen As Sectarian Conflict Spreads



Scores Of Rebels Killed In Yemen Fighting -- Al Jazeera

Fighting between Houthi rebels and Sunni tribesman leaves 67 Houthis dead, as clashes rage for control of territory.

Renewed fighting between Sunni tribesmen and Shia Houthi rebels advancing into a town in central Yemen has killed dozens of people, as part of a growing struggle over territory and influence between the two sides.

Sources told Al Jazeera on Monday that clashes between Houthi fighters and Sunni tribes backed by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) killed 67 Houthis in the Radaa district of Bayda province, 130km south east of Sanaa.

An attack on a Houthi gathering killed 23 Shia fighters, 15 were killed in a suicide car bombing and 29 others were killed by shelling and an attack at two posts.

Intense fighting erupted overnight, with the town rocked by explosions, rocket-propelled grenades and artillery by both sides.

Read more ....

More News On The Growing Crisis In Yemen

Yemen's Shiite Rebels Take Town South of Capital -- AP
Yemen's Houthis push south into Ibb -- Al Jazeera
Qaeda kills 20 Shiite rebels in fresh Yemen clashes -- AFP
Qaeda insurgents kill 18 Houthis as Yemen sectarian conflict spreads -- Reuters
Dozens dead in Yemen as Shiite rebels fight Sunnis -- AFP
Yemen's Houthi rebels storm governor's house -- Al Jazeera
Yemen unravels -- Salt Lake Tribune/Washington Post
Yemen could become the next Syria and Iraq -- RT

Violence Reported Throughout Iraq



At Least 15 Die In Baghdad Suicide Blast -- Deutsche Welle

A suicide bomber has killed at least 15 people and injured many more at a funeral in Baghdad. Separately, Iraqi forces are fighting for control of a key town near a major oil refinery.

A suicide bomber has killed at least 15 people and wounded 30 others outside a Shiite mosque in western Baghdad where people were attending a funeral service, according to security and health officials.

"The attacker approached the entrance of the mosque and blew himself up among the crowd," a police officer said about the attack in the affluent neighborhood of Harthiya.

There was no immediate claim for the attack but suicide bombings are mainly carried out by Sunni jihadists in Iraq - including those belonging to the so called "Islamic State" ("IS") which has seized large parts of Syria and Iraq since June.

Read more ....

More News On The Crisis In Iraq

Suicide, car bombings in Iraq kill at least 33 -- Bloomberg Businessweek/AP
At Least 33 Killed In Attacks Targeting Shi'a In Iraq -- Radio Free Europe/AP/AFP
Deadly car bombings hit Iraq's Karbala -- Al Jazeera
Iraq rocked by wave of fatal blasts -- Irish Times
17 killed in Baghdad mosque bombing -- Gulf News/AP
Deadly Suicide Attacks Hit Baghdad, Baiji -- Radio Free Europe
Iraq crisis: Baghdad Shia mosque hit by suicide attack -- BBC
At least 21 killed in Baghdad suicide bombing -- CNN
U.S. reports 12 air strikes against Islamic State in Syria, Iraq -- Reuters
Airstrikes hit ISIS targets in Syria, Iraq -- CNN
U.S. Steps Up Airstrikes in Iraq’s Anbar Province -- WSJ
Iraq PM rules out foreign boots on the ground -- Times of India/AFP
Iran forces inside Iraq as Abadi rules out foreign ground intervention! -- Middle East Online
Iraq's PM to Visit Iran, Seeking Help in Fight Against IS -- Payvand Iran News
Iraq approves Australian anti-Islamic State forces -- BBC
ADF to deploy 200 special forces troops into Iraq after Julie Bishop signs deal -- The Guardian
Iraq crisis: MPs complete anti-IS government -- BBC
Iraq Parliament confirms PM Abadi's nominees for Ministers of Defense and Interior -- UPI
Ayatollah Sistani Backs Iraqi Government -- FARS News Agency

Turkey To Let Iraqi Kurds Reinforce Kobani. U.S. Continues Air Strikes And Supply Air Drops For Kurdish Forces In The City



Islamic State: Turkey To Let Iraq Kurds Join Kobane Fight -- BBC

Turkey is to allow Iraqi Kurdish fighters to cross the Syrian border to fight Islamic State (IS) militants in Kobane, in what is being seen as a policy reversal.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said talks on the subject were continuing.

Tens of thousands of people have fled months of fighting in Kobane between IS forces and Syrian Kurd defenders.

The announcement came shortly after the US carried out air drops of weapons to the town's Kurdish fighters.

Meanwhile the US-led coalition has carried out its first air strike of the day, on the south-west of the town, says the BBC's Kasra Naji on the Turkish border.

Read more ....

More News On Turkey Letting Iraqi Kurds Reinforce Kobani As U.S. Continues Air Strikes And Supply Air Drops For Kurdish Forces In The City

Turkey to let Iraqi Kurds reinforce Kobani as U.S. drops arms to defenders -- Reuters
Turkey to let Iraqi Kurds use its territory to reinforce Kobani -- CNN
Turkey helping Kurdish fighters cross into Kobani -- AP
Turkey helping Iraqi Kurds join Kobane battle -- Al Jazeera
Turkey to Allow Iraqi Kurds to Reinforce Kobani -- VOA
Kobane: Turkey to allow some Kurds to help defend city against Islamic State -- CSM
Turkey says it is now helping Kurds in fight against ISIS -- The Hill
Battle for Kobani: Turkey Clears Way for Kurdish 'Peshmerga' Fighters -- NBC
Turkey to help Kurdish 'peshmerga' fighters reach besieged Syrian town -- Reuters
U.S. reports 12 air strikes against Islamic State in Syria, Iraq -- Reuters
U.S. Airdrops Weapons and Supplies to Besieged Syrian Kurds in Kobani -- WSJ
US airdrops arms to Kurds in Syrian town of Kobani -- AP
U.S. airdrops 27 bundles of weapons on Syrian town -- Washington Times
Large quantity of ammunition, weapons reach Syria's Kobani, Kurds say -- Reuters
Kerry: 'Irresponsible' not to aid Kurds against IS -- AP
US Airdrops in Syria May Strain US-Turkish Relations -- Defense News
Obama’s decision to aid Kobani puts him squarely at odds with Turkey’s Erdogan -- Roy Gutman, McClatchy Washington Bureau (MCT)

World News Briefs -- October 20, 2014



2 African Countries Freed Of Ebola; Monitoring Period Over For 43 Texans -- CNN

(CNN) -- Forty-three people who came into contact with Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan are now officially cleared after not demonstrating any symptoms during a 21-day monitoring period, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Monday.

One more will be cleared later Monday, and four others will complete their 21-day monitoring period soon, he said.

"Thankfully, they are all asymptomatic, and it looks like none of them will get Ebola," said Jenkins, who is overseeing response efforts in Dallas.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Turkey to let Iraqi Kurds reinforce Kobani as U.S. drops arms to defenders. Islamic State: Turkey to let Iraq Kurds join Kobane fight.

US launches new strikes against ISIS in Kobani, activists say.

Deadly car bombings hit Iraq's Karbala. Bombings hit Baghdad Shi'te mosque, military convoy in northern Iraq.

Iraq crisis: MPs complete anti-IS government.

Sunni Arabs feel sting of discrimination in northern Iraq.

Scores of rebels killed in Yemen fighting.

UN nuclear chief: Progress slow in Iran investigation.

Hamas leader's daughter received medical treatment in Israel: sources.

ASIA

Kerry in Indonesia seeks Asian support against Islamic State. Kerry urges Asia to boost anti-Islamic State push.

Afghan officials: Attacks by insurgents on army, police checkpoints kill at least 4 troops.

At least 22 people are reported killed in attack at a market in western China.

China Communist Party plenum begins in Beijing.

After clashes, Hong Kong students, government stand their ground before talks.

Joko Widodo sworn in as Indonesian president.

Marine accused in Philippine killing tests US ties.

Amnesty International: South Korea abuses migrant workers.

Sri Lanka calls early presidential elections.

AFRICA

Ebola crisis: Nigeria declared free of virus.

EU seeks $1.27 billion in Ebola aid for W. Africa.

West Africa 'could lose an entire generation'.

Nigeria Boko Haram blamed for raids despite truce claim.

Libya violence: Western powers urge cessation.

Libya's parliament allies with renegade general, struggling to assert authority.

Second massacre in days leaves 20 dead in east DR Congo.

EUROPE

Swedish military claims three credible sightings of undersea activity in search for suspected Russian submarine. Mysterious ‘Russian sub’ off Sweden may be Dutch – Defense Ministry source.

Blast rocks chemical plant in Donetsk, claims of tactical missile.

Ukraine crisis: Amnesty deplores abuses by both sides.

Ukraine’s Euromaidan reforms reveal deep divisions.

Hope and obstacles as Russia and Ukraine seek gas deal.

US-Russian relations ‘close to bottom, to remain low a long time’ – Lavrov.

Dutch battle surge of desperate, violent Muslim refugees.

AMERICAS

Dallas officials: 120 still on Ebola monitoring. Ebola fear ends for dozens on U.S. watch lists.

Polls: Opposition has slight lead in Brazil Presidential runoff. Brazilian poll shows Rousseff gaining momentum as election nears.

Federal police take control of 13 towns in Mexico.

Mexico finds many corpses, but not lost 43.

Fed chief rips widening gap between rich, poor Americans.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

ISIS releases training guide on 'how to tweet safely, without giving out your location to NSA'.

Senior al Qaeda leader reported killed in US airstrike in eastern Afghanistan.

Benghazi attack suspect Khatallah pleads not guilty to 17 new charges.

France struggles to cope with terrorism on its home turf.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

CIA analyst: Next Great Depression 'about to strike'.

Plunging oil prices have unpredictable impact on politics, economics.

Is the oil price fall more than just a coincidence?

Lufthansa says strike results in 1,511 canceled flights.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- October 20, 2014

An F-22 Raptor taxis in the Middle East prior to strike operations in Syria on Sept. 23. Concern over possible civilian casualties has limited the airstrikes approved over Iraq and Syria. (Tech. Sgt. Russ Scalf / US Air Force)

California-Based Military Units Take Lead In U.S. Airstrikes On Islamic State -- L.A. Times

Military units based in California have now been given the lead in the U.S.-led campaign of bombing Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria.

On Saturday, the Navy announced that the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, based at North Island Naval Air Station in Coronado, has relieved the carrier George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf to continue the airstrikes that began Aug. 6.

Aboard the Vinson is Carrier Air Wing 17 from Naval Air Station Lemoore near Fresno, with 67 aircraft. The Bush and its air squadrons will now depart for Norfolk, Va.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- October 20, 2014

One Month In, Mixed Reviews on Iraq, Syria Airstrikes -- Defense News

Pentagon preparing for long war in Iraq, Syria -- AP

Turkey Helping Kurdish Fighters Cross Into Kobani -- NYT/AP

Turkey to let Iraqi Kurds reinforce Kobani as U.S. drops arms to defenders -- Reuters

U.S. drops weapons, aid to Kurds fighting Islamic State in Syria -- Washington Post

Kurds Say New Weapons Not Enough to Beat Islamic State in Kobani -- NYT/Reuters

Australia to deploy 200 special forces in Iraq -- AP


Iran vows to aid Lebanese military -- Washington Post/AP

Forces: Ukrainian Volunteers Versus The Spetsnaz -- Strategy Page

Sweden’s Military Scours for Possible Russian Submarine in Its Waters -- Time

Mysterious ‘Russian sub’ off Sweden may be Dutch – Defense Ministry source -- RT

China's Navy Chief Conducted An 'Unprecedented' Survey Of The Disputed Spratly Islands -- Business Insider

India, China to Set Up Hotlines Between Military Headquarters -- NDTV

The Italian Military to the Rescue! -- Beppe Severgnini, NYT

Girls in the army: Norway passes bill on mandatory military service for women -- RT

F-16 Upgrade: Problems With S. Korea-BAE Deal Could Open Door to Lockheed -- Defense News

Spain gives US go-ahead to use bases against Ebola -- AP

USAF Strike Chief Urges B-52 Engine Replacement -- Defense News

Marines: Marines Make The Best Of A Bad Idea -- Strategy Page

Training for electronic warfare? Navy plan not flying in Washington state -- Seattle Times

Pentagon Orders 30-Member Ebola Response Team -- ABC News

Gen. Joseph Dunford takes over as new top Marine Corps general -- Washington Post

Marines engage in tweeting war over TWT report on commandant -- Washington Times

7 top-secret spy things the NSA will reveal to you -- CNBC

Murphy's Law: Politicians Who Want Women In The Infantry -- Strategy Page

VA explores alternative therapies -- Stars and Stripes/Washington Post

Ex-soldier returns to fight substance abuse in military -- USA Today

Marine conquers rock wall-climbing challenge without his legs -- Washington Post

Expelled Nazis paid millions in Social Security -- AP

Report faults Pentagon efforts to find MIAs -- Great Falls Tribune

The NSA's Moonlighting Problem -- Allen McDuffee, The Atlantic

CIA’s new generation of killer queens comes to the fore -- Toby Harnden, The Australian/The Times

An Analysis On The Ukraine Military

Ukraine soldiers put tape on their arms to identify themselves as comrades in the fight against pro-Russia separatists. (Sergei L. Loiko / Los Angeles Times)

Ukraine Troops Struggle With Nation's Longtime Neglect Of Military -- L.A. Times

Militia commander Yuri Bereza and his 150 Ukrainian irregulars were closing in on pro-Moscow separatists in their last stronghold in this eastern city when Russian troops and armor thundered in out of nowhere to cut them off in the suburb of Ilovaisk.

No satellite or drone surveillance detected the sudden movement of the Russian columns. No word of the impending attack had been radioed from the border guard base the invaders had to have passed. Neither did any of the allied soldiers who were supposed to be bringing up the rear inform Bereza's fighters that they had been cut off. In fact, the 700-strong contingent of government recruits had deserted en masse.

The unit's calls to Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, to say it was surrounded brought promises of a reinforcements, food and ammunition, none of which came to the rescue of the men, who survived on grass and rainwater as they braved five days of incessant sniper fire, "like game at a hunting range," Bereza said bitterly of the battle two months ago.

Read more ....

My Comment: This is a bleak analysis on the Ukraine military .... but my sources are telling me that the structural problems are even worse. But while the focus has been on the military, the real big failure has been political. For some reason the Poroshenko government believed that they could win a war in a region that has a long history of guerrilla warfare and resisting military forces. Throw in Russian forces to complement these local rebel forces .... a disaster was then in the making .... which bore out in August.

The Taliban Prepares The Next Generation For War

Indoctrinated: The boy (right) lives in the Tangi Valley, just an hour's drive from the Afghan capital Kabul

The Taliban Boy Aged Just THREE Being Trained For War Who Says He's 'Going To Shoot People' -- Daily Mail

* Film obtained by BBC shows young child playing with gun in Afghanistan
* Boy lives in Tangi Valley, where Taliban has grip on schools and courts
* Another pupil says of hopes for future: 'To serve my country and Islam'

Barely three years old and holding a gun, this little boy is terrifying proof of how the Taliban is reasserting its grip on Afghanistan.

As Western troops prepare to leave the country after 13 years of war, sinister footage has emerged from one of the fanatics’ strongholds.

In the film, obtained by the BBC, the three-year-old boy declares: ‘I’m going to shoot people.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The BBC report is here.

Is India-Pakistan Heading For A Nuclear Confrontation?


ICYMI: India-Pakistan Head For Nuke War -- Bruce Riedel, Daily Beast

A crisis is brewing between nuclear armed India and Pakistan that could be their most dangerous ever.

India and Pakistan have fought four wars since 1947 and had several crises that went to the brink of war. Both tested nuclear weapons in 1998. Now tensions are escalating between the two again.

It began in May, when a heavily armed squad of Pakistani terrorists from Lashkar e Tayyiba (Army of the Pure) attacked India’s consulate in Herat, in western Afghanistan. They planned to massacre Indian diplomats on the eve of the inauguration of India’s new Hindu nationalist prime minister, Narendra Modi. The consulate’s security forces killed the LeT terrorists first, preventing a crisis.

Read more ....

My Comment: They came close once before .... so why not again. 

Iraq's Third-Largest Military Base Is In Danger Of Falling To The Islamic State

Iraqis Desperate For Air Cover As U.S. Moves Warplanes To Kobani -- McClatchy News

IRBIL, Iraq — With the U.S. seemingly focused on helping Kurdish militias fight off an Islamic State advance at Kobani on the Turkey-Syria border, Islamist militants this week have seized one key military base in Iraq’s Anbar province and have laid siege to another, with no major increase in U.S. air support for the beleaguered Iraqi security forces.

Reports from Kobani indicate that intense U.S. airstrikes there have driven back Islamic State fighters, while in Anbar the militants’ advance has been unrelenting. On Tuesday, the Islamic State captured heavy artillery and an unknown number of weapons including machine guns and ammunition when it overran an Iraqi base outside the city of Hit. Now the group has surrounded the Ain Asad air base, northwest of Hit, the country’s third largest military facility.

Read more ....

Update: Iraq's Third-Largest Military Base Is In Danger Of Falling To ISIS -- Business Insider

My Comment: The blows against the Iraqi army just keeps on coming.

Kurdish Fighters Near Kobani Are Now Receiving U.S. Air-Drops Of Weapons

Smoke and flames rise over Syrian town of Kobani after an airstrike, as seen from the Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province, October 18, 2014.Credit: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

U.S. Military Says Air-Drops Weapons For Kurdish Fighters Near Kobani -- Reuters

(Reuters) - U.S. military aircraft air-dropped weapons, ammunition and medical supplies for Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State militants near the Syrian border town of Kobani on Sunday night, the U.S. Central Command said.

In multiple airdrops, U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft "delivered weapons, ammunition and medical supplies that were provided by Kurdish authorities in Iraq and intended to enable continued resistance against ISIL's attempts to overtake Kobani," it said in a statement, using an acronym to refer to Islamic State.

The statement said 135 U.S. air strikes near Kobani in recent days, combined with continued resistance against Islamic State on the ground, had slowed the group's advances into the town and killed hundreds of its fighters.

Read more ....

More News On Kurdish Fighters Near Kobani Now Receiving U.S. Air-Drops Of Weapons

US airdrops arms to Kurds in Syrian town of Kobani -- AP
Kobane: US drops arms and aid to Kurds battling IS -- BBC
US Drops Supplies to Help Kurdish Fighters in Syria -- VOA news
U.S. Airdrops Weapons, Supplies to Besieged Syrian Kurds -- WSJ
U.S. Planes Drop Weapons, Ammunition to Kurds in Kobani -- Bloomberg Businessweek
U.S. planes airdrop arms to besieged Syrian town -- USA Today
US airdrops arms, ammunition to Kurds fighting ISIS in Kobani -- FOX News

My Comment: The Turks are not going to be happy with these air-drops .... Turkey Will Not Cooperate With The U.S. In Aiding The Kurds Who Are Fighting The Islamic State.

Why Is U.S. Aid Going Directly To The Islamic State?

Workers load humanitarian aid from United Nations onto a plane for Syrian families, in Arbil airport, about 350 km (220 miles) north of Baghdad, December 15, 2013. Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

U.S. Humanitarian Aid Going to ISIS -- Jamie Dettmer, Daily Beast

Not only are foodstuffs, medical supplies—even clinics—going to ISIS, the distribution networks are paying ISIS ‘taxes’ and putting ISIS people on their payrolls.

GAZIANTEP, Turkey — While U.S. warplanes strike at the militants of the so-called Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq, truckloads of U.S. and Western aid has been flowing into territory controlled by the jihadists, assisting them to build their terror-inspiring “Caliphate.”

The aid—mainly food and medical equipment—is meant for Syrians displaced from their hometowns, and for hungry civilians. It is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, European donors, and the United Nations. Whether it continues is now the subject of anguished debate among officials in Washington and European. The fear is that stopping aid would hurt innocent civilians and would be used for propaganda purposes by the militants, who would likely blame the West for added hardship.

The Bible says if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him something to drink—doing so will “heap burning coals” of shame on his head. But there is no evidence that the militants of the Islamic State, widely known as ISIS or ISIL, feel any sense of disgrace or indignity (and certainly not gratitude) receiving charity from their foes.

Read more ....

My Comment: To say that the U.S. strategy to combat the Islamic State is in disarray is an understatement ... but to give aid to the enemy .... this is outright criminal. In another time such people would be condemned as traitors .... and dealt with severely. Today .... they have well paying jobs courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer.

Is This The Future Of Battlefield Robotics?

Roboteam

This Could Be the Future of Battlefield Robotics -- Patrick Tucker, Defense One

The floor of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., was an obstacle course this week, as the Association of the United States Army convention brought together, among other defense contractors, various robot makers from around to demo their goods to military leaders and the curious.

Piloting systems were a big draw.

Despite the drawdown in Afghanistan and the end of the war in Iraq, the military still needs robotic systems to detect improvised explosive devices as well as provide tactical intelligence or to look around the next corner, so to speak.

In the up-and-coming category is a young Israeli firm called Roboteam, which markets a variety or robots, the coolest of which is the Micro Tactical Ground Robot, or MTGR. The two-year-old MTGR made some news last summer as Israeli Defense Forces deployed them to search out Hamas tunnels in Gaza.

Read more ....

My Comment: Robotic systems have proven their value to the military consistently in the past few years. I do not see this trend changing in the future.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

An Argument For CIA Covert Aid

The CIA’s Wrong: Arming Rebels Works -- Christopher Dickey, Daily Beast

President Obama has weighed the options and concluded America does more harm than good when it sets out to topple regimes. OK. But don’t pretend that’s the CIA’s fault.

PARIS, France—What could be more cynical than a covert operation? Sure, there’s always a lot of talk about fighting for freedom, defeating tyranny. What was it Ronald Reagan called the Contras and the Afghan mujahedin? “They are the moral equivalent of the Founding Fathers.”

Actually some of the Contras whom I knew were the moral equivalent of pathological killers. They were so out of control that the CIA, which had armed them and trained them, finally had two of their commanders hunted down and executed.

As I say, covert ops: cynical business.

Read more ....

Previous Post: Does CIA Covert Aid Ever Work?

My Comment: A must read.

A Look At 5 Places Where World War Three Can Start

5 Places Where World War Three Could Break Out -- James Hardy, National Interest

Where the unthinkable could happen.

It seems these days the world is literally on fire. Conflict continues on and off in Ukraine, there are tensions throughout the Asia-Pacific, Ebola is on the rampage, ISIS continues its bloody war of attrition throughout Syria, into Iraq and on and on. Yet, could something even worse be on the horizon—a conflict with more-severe global ramifications?

Before we begin this foray into the five places where World War Three could break out, I should note a few qualifiers and weasel words.

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My Comment: China's territorial disputes with its neighbors is on the top of my list.