Saturday, June 24, 2017

Israel Launches Air Strikes On Syrian Positions After Spillover Fire In Syria Hit The Golan Heights

A picture taken from the Golan Heights on September 10, 2016, shows smoke rising from the Syrian village of Jubata al-Khashab. Israeli aircraft struck Syrian army positions after fire from its war-torn neighbor hit the Golan. (AFP/Jalaa Marey)

Times of Israel: Syrian shells land in Golan Heights, sparking IDF strikes

Syrian shells land in Golan Heights, sparking IDF strikes

Israel complains to UN, hits back at Assad regime tanks and post, after apparent errant fire from fighting near the border

Several mortar shells exploded in an open area in the Golan Heights near the border with Syria Saturday afternoon, the army said, leading to retaliatory air strikes.

The army said the mortars appeared to be errant fire from Syrian factions fighting each other across the border. Around 10 impacts were identified in Israeli territory, around the Quneitra area.

Read more ....

More News On Israel Launching Air Strikes On Syrian Positions After Spillover Fire In Syria Hit The Golan Heights

IDF strikes Syrian targets in response to Golan crossfire -- The Jerusalem Post
Israel attacks Syrian tanks in response to wayward projectiles -- Ynetnews
Israel launches air raid on Syria in return for fire: Army -- Daily Star/AFP
Spillover fire from Syria reaches northern Israel -- Jerusalem Online
Israel tells civilians to steer clear of Syria border -- ABC News/AP
Israeli warplanes target 2 Syrian tanks over spillover cross-border fire -- RT
Several Syrian Projectiles Fall on Israeli Part of Golan Heights – IDF -- Sputnik

Two U.S. Military 'Doomsday Planes' Damaged By Tornado

The Boeing E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post © Keith Allison / Wikipedia

NBC: U.S. Military’s Vital ‘Doomsday Planes’ Damaged in Tornado

WASHINGTON — Two of the U.S. Military's E-4B planes — commonly called the "Doomsday Plane" — were damaged and knocked out of service recently in a tornado at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, according to two U.S. military officials.

The E-4B is the military's National Airborne Operations Center and if there is a national emergency or attack, the plane would serve as the command and control hub for the president, secretary of defense and joint chiefs.

The planes were damaged on June 16, the officials said. The military has four E4-Bs in the fleet so now half of the fleet is not operational.

The officials said the mission can still be accomplished with the two aircraft grounded.

Read more ....

More News On Two U.S. Military 'Doomsday Planes' Being Damaged By A Tornado

Two USAF E-4B "Doomsday Planes" Damaged In Tornado At Offutt Air Force Base -- The Drive
Air Force Says Tornado Damaged 2 'Doomsday' 747s -- and Stripes
Air Force 'doomsday' planes damaged in tornado -- CNN
Tornado damaged two U.S. Air Force E-4B 'doomsday' planes -- UPI
Pentagon’s nuke-proof ‘Doomsday’ planes damaged by tornado -- Japan Times/AFP
Heavy tornado cripples 2 US ‘Doomsday Planes’ -- RT
Tornado damaged at least 10 jets as it tore through Offutt Air Force Base -- Omaha World Herald

A Look At Why Canada Produces Some Of The Best Snipers In The World

Washington Post: How Canada’s small military produced deadly, record-breaking snipers

Canada is not known, at least not in popular culture, for its military might. Fewer than 70,000 active soldiers serve in the country’s armed forces, whose size and strength have been mocked over the years by American and Canadian commentators alike. The United States, by comparison, has about half a million active soldiers in the Army alone, and hundreds of thousands more across the other branches. By American standards, Canada’s roughly $20 billion defense budget is minuscule.

But don’t let those numbers fool you.

Despite its small size, Canada is known for producing well-trained, highly skilled soldiers, who have long fought alongside American and British counterparts in major world conflicts, including the current fight against Islamic State militants.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Just a correction in the above BBC tweet. The Canadian sniper killed he ISIS militant in Iraq not Afghanistan.

China Fears That Special Counsel Robert Mueller Will Soon be Focusing On Them

Washington Times: Beijing fears anti-China sentiment in U.S. from Mueller investigation

The political hysteria sweeping Washington over allegations of Russian meddling in the presidential election is reverberating in China. The communist government is worried that a similar wave of anti-China sentiment will take hold in the United States.

According to China watchers in and out of government, what Beijing fears most is that special counsel Robert Mueller, the former FBI director, will add White House dealings with China to his investigation of Russian election meddling.

One main effort of the Chinese government is trying to tamp down the fallout from news reports that first surfaced in March revealing a company owned by the family of President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was planning to sell a stake in a Manhattan skyscraper to the Chinese state-connected insurance company Anbang for $400 million.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I am sure that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will be looking at the role that Russian money may have had in influencing President Trump or members of his team .... especially in New York City real estate. But the real money is not Russia .... its China .... and in my opinion it is probably one of the most under-reported stories (Chinese finance and investment in real estate) in American business today. My prediction .... the Chinese have every right to be concerned that the focus will soon be shifting to them.

Russia Destroyed And Removed Materials That Could Have Been Useful In Russian Probe

A Russian compound, which was ordered to be closed and vacated, is seen in Upper Brookville, Long Island, New York, on Dec. 30, 2016. REUTERS/RASHID UMAR ABBASI

CBS: Russians destroyed and removed material from shuttered compounds, officials say

WASHINGTON -- When U.S. officials entered shuttered Russian compounds in Maryland and New York last December, they found damaged materials that could have been used in intelligence gathering and that former officials say could have been useful in the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The compounds, which had been used for decades as retreats for Russian diplomats, were shut down by the Obama administration as part of a package of punitive measures in response to Russia's meddling in the election. The White House expelled 35 diplomats, saying at the time they were targeted because of ongoing harassment of U.S. personnel in Russia.

Read more ....

Update: Material useful to Russia probe destroyed in US compounds: report (The Hill)

WNU Editor: How can the media make the claim that the destroyed equipment and empty filing cabinets at these former Russian compounds could have helped in the Russian probe is beyond me .... but they are making it.

President Obama Under Fire From Both President Trump And Democrats For Doing Nothing About Russian Election Meddling

Daily Mail: 'Why didn't he do something about it?' Trump twists knife into Obama following claim former president KNEW Russia was trying to hack the election but was too fearful to act

* Trump has criticized Obama's handling of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election
* President told Fox & Friends Weekend in an interview to air Sunday that he had only just learned Obama may have known about Russian hacking attempts
* Trump appeared to be referring to a Washington Post story that claimed the CIA had intelligence last August that Putin had ordered the hack
* He hit out at Obama saying 'should have done something about it'
* Report claimed Obama was worried that taking measures against Russia would make it look like he himself was manipulating the election
* He decided to deliver warnings to Moscow but left countermeasures until after the November election

Donald Trump has hit out at Barack Obama following claims the former President had knowledge of Russia trying to hack the US election but allegedly failed to do anything about it.

The Washington Post reported on Friday that the CIA had top-level intelligence last August that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered an operation to help Trump win the US presidential race.

Trump has now spoken out about the claims and questioned why Obama refused to act in an interview that is set to air Sunday on Fox & Friends Weekend.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The media narrative now is that President Trump is admitting that the Russians tried to influence the election .... Trump appears to admit Russia interfered in the US election in a tweet criticizing Obama (Business Insider). I see it differently .... I see President Trump as someone who cannot resist poking at President Obama and telling him that he basically "chocked". As for the Democrats who do believe that the Russians were successful in influencing the election results .... they must be beyond livid .... and that probably includes Hillary Clinton.

More News On President Obama Under Fire From Both President Trump And Democrats For Doing Nothing About Russian Election Meddling

Trump slams Obama for doing 'nothing' about Russia before the election -- The Hill
Trump questions Obama's response to 'election meddling by Russia' -- ABC News
Frustrated Dems say Obama botched Russia response -- The Hill
Democrats Back Trump Assertion That Obama Administration Is Responsible for Failing to Halt Russia Election Meddling -- Newsweek

The U.S. Navy Wants More Aircraft Carriers

(Click on Image to Enlarge)
The aircraft carriers USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), USS Enterprise (CVN 65), USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) are in port at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., the world’s largest naval station. Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ryan J. Courtade, Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ernest R. Scott, and Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin J. Steinberg

San Diego Union Tribune: Navy struggles with shortage of aircraft carriers

Spun up as a training command in 2014 and armed with increasingly advanced software to simulate combat at sea, Carrier Strike Group 15 toils to teach warships how to fight and win wars in the Pacific.

But it can’t always overcome an ongoing global gap in American flattops.

In fact, the Navy might be forced to extend the planned tour for the carrier Nimitz and its escorts — the cruiser Princeton and destroyers Kidd, Shoup, Howard and Pinckney — to eight months, at least a month longer than expected.

That was the message from the group’s skipper, Rear Adm. Ross Myers, and his boss, Third Fleet commander Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, during a presentation in Point Loma before the San Diego Military Advisory Council on Thursday.

“The day the Nimitz deployed, the discussion started about extending the Nimitz,” said Tyson, referring to the carrier’s departure on June 5 from North Island for a deployment to the Indian Ocean.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Too many missions .... not enough ships .... this was all predicted a long time ago .... Who's Responsible For The Navy's Carrier Shortage? (Mark Cancian, War On The Rocks).

The Aircraft Carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Performs High-Speed Turns In The Atlantic Ocean (Video)

WNU Editor: Wow .... those are some incredible zig-zags.

A History Of U.S. Navy Ship Collisions

Popular Mechanics: A Brief History of U.S. Navy Ship Collisions

Collisions involving U.S. ships are more common than you might think.

U.S. Navy ships operate in close proximity to other ships all the time, from steaming in formation with supply ships to sailing in busy sea lanes. Inadvertent contact between ships, no matter how thorough the precautions, is inevitable.

Today's New York Times includes a list of collisions involving U.S. Navy vessels at sea. The list includes the famous USS John F. Kennedy/USS Belknap collision, which resulted in the guided missile cruiser's superstructure being virtually sheared off. It also lists the sinking of the Spanish fishing boat Barcona, which accidentally snagged the attack submarine USS Houston and was dragged underwater.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The above video accurately represents how tense and confrontational the Cold War really was.

National Geographic Documentary 2016 - Future Fighter Planes (Video)

F-35B To resume Flying After Software Glitches Grounded The Jet For A Day

USNI News: UPDATED: F-35B Operations in Yuma Resume After Temporary Halt Due to Software Update Issues

Flight operations in Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 resumed after a temporary one-day suspension to fix a problem related to a software update with the aircraft’s Autonomic Logistics Information System, the Marine Corps announced.

“Maj. Gen. Mark Wise, Commanding General of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, made the decision to temporarily suspend VMFA-211 flight operations pending fixes to a recent ALIS software upgrade within version 2.0.2 that has presented some anomalies,” 3rd Aircraft Wing spokesman Maj. Kurt Stahl said in a Thursday afternoon statement, noting that those anomalies “are related to maintenance codes not being reflected properly in the system.”

Read more ....

Update: U.S. Marine Corps to Resume F-35 Operations a Day After Suspension at Arizona Base (Reuters)

WNU Editor: For an explanation of the above video and the role that software has in the F-35 program, go here .... Lockheed Made A Three Minute Long Cartoon Just To Explain F-35's ALIS (The Drive).

Chinese Deploys Sub-Hunting Aircraft To The South China Sea

© DigitalGlobe

Defense News: China deploys new anti-submarine aircraft to fringes of South China Sea

MELBOURNE, Australia — China has deployed its newest anti-submarine aircraft and stepped up unmanned aircraft deployments to Hainan island on the fringes of the South China Sea, according to satellite imagery obtained by Defense News.

Satellite photos taken on May 10 and May 20 by commercial satellite imagery company DigitalGlobe showed four Shaanxi Y-8Q turboprop aircraft with its distinctive magnetic anomaly detector boom parked on the ground at Lingshui Air Base in the southeastern part of China’s Hainan island.

Read more ....

Update: Chinese Sub-Hunting Aircraft, Drones Now Patrolling South China Sea (Sputnik)

WNU Editor: Apparently the Chinese are developing some impressive tech on detecting submarines .... Has China developed the world’s most powerful submarine detector? (South China Morning Post)

Russia's Next-Generation Main Battle Tank Can Fire Missiles At Twice The Range Of America's Abrams Tank

T-14 tanks with the Armata Universal Combat Platforms. © SPUTNIK/ EVGENY BIYATOV

Popular Mechanics: Russia's T-14 Tank Can Outshoot America's by Miles

The T-14 Armata will kill tanks from three times as far, but does it matter?

Russia's next-generation main battle tank can fire an anti-tank missile at targets more than seven miles away. That gives the T-14 Armata tank, set to begin testing with the Russian Army in 2019, nearly twice the range of the America's latest version of the venerable Abrams, the M1A2 SEP V3. Whether this extended range is all the useful is another matter.

The T-14 is a formidable-looking beast. Armed with a new 125-millimeter main gun, an unmanned turret, modular armor, and an active protection system designed to shoot down incoming missiles, the vehicle has caused a stir within NATO's tank community. One particularly dangerous feature is the Armata's ability to destroy targets at ranges of up to 12 kilometers, or 7.4 miles.

Read more ....

WNU editor: If the enemy has the ability to fire at you at a range that you cannot .... that never ends well for the one who cannot fire back.

Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Has Been Barred From Running In Next Year's Presidential Election

BBC: Alexei Navalny barred from Russia presidential poll

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been formally barred from standing in next year's presidential election.

The Central Electoral Commission has ruled he may not stand because he was found guilty of embezzlement and given a suspended sentence.

Mr Navalny has said the case against him was politically motivated.

The anti-corruption campaigner led mass street protests against Vladimir Putin in the winter of 2011-12.

Mr Putin is eligible to stand again for president next year - it would be his fourth term in office - though he has not yet announced his decision.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: His anti-corruption campaign against Putin and his political party are resonating with the Russian public .... and the Kremlin is worried. But barring him is only going to enhance his support and make his followers more determined.

More News On Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Being Barred From Running In Next Year's Presidential Election

Russia's election commission says Navalny can not run for presidency -- Reuters
Navalny barred from Russia's presidential election -- DW
Russian Commission Rules Navalny Can't Run For President -- RFE
Putin critic Alexei Navalny banned from presidential election -- SKY News
Russian Opposition Figure Navalny Not Entitled to Be Elected - Commission -- Sputnik

An Inside Look At The Secret Lives Of Young Islamic State Fighters

BBC: The secret lives of young IS fighters

Three young IS militants lie dead on the banks of the River Tigris.

They left behind personal photos and documents which reveal the extraordinary story of their private lives.

Warning: Disturbing content

Mohammed is giddy with excitement as he films the discovery of three IS fighters on his mobile phone.

“Shoot him,” he shouts, gesturing at one of them.

His nervousness gives him away as the unit’s cook. He’s unarmed, but his fellow soldiers from the Iraqi police special forces - known as the Emergency Response Division - are armed to the teeth and are not taking any chances.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A look at what life was like for young ISIS fighters. A must read.

Tweet For Today

Are There Any Options For The U.S. And The International Community In Afghanistan?


Bennett Seftel, Cipher Brief: U.S. Running Out of Options in Afghanistan

The U.S. war in Afghanistan has entered into its 16th year with no end in sight. With the battle against the Taliban essentially mired in a stalemate and the Afghan government failing to address endemic corruption and countrywide economic woes, there appear to be no good options for moving forward.

“Today the Trump Administration faces the choice of losing quickly by withdrawing from Afghanistan, losing slowly by staying at the current, clearly inadequate levels of commitment, or not losing by increasing that commitment enough to maintain a stalemate on the battlefield,” says Cipher Brief expert and former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Jim Dobbins.

Read more ....

WNU editor: A sobering analysis .... read it all.

Hat tip to Fred for this link.

Picture Of The Day

Revelers watch the sunrise as they celebrate the pagan festival of Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England on June 21. © AFP 2017/ CHRIS J RATCLIFFE

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... This Week in Pictures (Sputnik)