Tuesday, February 9, 2016

North Korea's Satellite Is 'Tumbling In Orbit', Thereby Useless



ABC News: North Korean Satellite Tumbling In Orbit, Rendering It Useless

The North Korean satellite launched this weekend is tumbling in orbit, rendering it useless, just like another one of the country's satellites launched in December, 2012.

A U.S. official told ABC News that while the Unha 3 rocket was able to get its payload into orbit, it has been tumbling ever since. While the North Korean satellite may not work, the U.S. official said North Korea considers the launch to have been a success because the payload reached orbit. That is of most concern, said the official, since the same technology used to get a payload into orbit is the same needed for a nuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missile to reach the continental United States.

Read more ....

Update #1: Images emerge of N. Korea booster debris; U.S. official: satellite 'tumbling in orbit' -- CNN
Update #2: North Korea’s “successful” satellite in orbit, but tumbling and useless -- Ars Technica

WNU Editor: The Pentagon is saying the opposite .... that the satellite is in fact not tumbling, but stable .... North Korean satellite 'stable' in orbit after launch, US official confirms (FOX News)

U.S. Intelligence Director: North Korea Has Restarted Its 'Weapons-Grade Plutonium Reactor'

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (center) reacts as he watches a missile launch in North Korea in this photo released Feb. 7, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS/KYODO

Daily Mail: North Korea has restarted its plutonium reactor and could soon have enough for a nuclear bomb, says US intelligence chief, as Kim Jong-un carries out missile tests

* U.S. spy boss warns North Korea will soon begin stockpiling plutonium
* James Clapper told the Senate North Korea had restarted nuclear facilities
* He warned intelligence estimates suggested it would soon have reserves

North Korea has expanded a uranium enrichment facility and restarted a reactor that could see it stockpiling enough plutonium to create a nuclear bomb, a U.S. intelligence chief has warned.

It comes after Pyongyang announced in 2013 its intention to refurbish and restart its nuclear facilities which it had shut down in 2007 - and began testing long range missiles under the guise of 'satellite' launches.

The development marks the pariah nation as one of the main threats facing the U.S. this year, James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, claimed.

Read more ....

More News On North Korea Restarting Its 'Weapons-Grade Plutonium Reactor'

Intelligence Chief: North Korea Restarts Plutonium Reactor -- AP
North Korea has restarted plutonium reactor: US -- AFP
North Korea 'expands plutonium production', says US -- BBC
James Clapper, intel chief: North Korea has restarted plutonium reactor -- Washington Times
US Spy Chief: N. Korea Has Restarted Plutonium Reactor -- VOA
US spy chief: North Korea restarted plutonium reactor -- The Hill
Intelligence Director: North Korea Has Restarted Plutonium Reactor -- Washington Free Beacom
North Korea Nuclear Update: Plutonium Reactor Restarted Days After Kim Jong Un's Long-Range Missile Launch -- IBTimes
North Korea 'restarts' weapons-grade plutonium reactor -- Wired

What Is The Risk Of An Unintended War With Russia?

(Click on Image to Enlarge)
Martin Zapfe and Benno Zogg, Center for Security Studies

Max Fisher, VOX: The risk of an unintended war with Russia in Europe, explained in one map

Russia's aggression in Europe — its invasion of Ukraine, its military flights up the noses of NATO states, its nuclear saber rattling — has faded from the news. But it's still very much a threat, which is why the US is planning to quadruple its military spending in Europe, something NATO's European members have welcomed, to deter Russia.

In other words, the dynamics that brought Cold War–style military tension to Europe in 2015 are still with us. And that tension can be dangerous.

This summer, I wrote about a small but alarmed community of analysts and experts in the US, Europe, and Russia who earnestly worried that the risk of an unintended war had grown unacceptably high. A survey of 100 policy experts yielded an aggregate assessment of 11 percent odds of war and 18 percent odds that such a war would include nuclear weapons. (A subsequent, larger survey backed this up.)

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The risk of a war between Russia and NATO is low. And while the U.S. is boosting its military presence in eastern Europe, when view with the past, we are nowhere the size of the armies that existed in Europe during than the Cold War. Not even close.

U.S. Director of National Intelligence: US And Russia Could Spiral Into A New Cold War

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (R) testifies at a House (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing, September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

AFP: US spy chief: US and Russia could spiral into new Cold War

Washington (AFP) - Russia is "paranoid" about being challenged by NATO and its efforts to rival American power could push it into a new Cold War, the head of US intelligence said Tuesday.

"They're greatly concerned about being contained," the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Clapper said that Russia fears the installation of a missile defense network in Europe could negate the threat posed to the West by its nuclear arsenal.

"I think the Russians fundamentally are paranoid about -- about NATO," he said.

Read more ....

Update #1: US intelligence chief warns on Russian moves -- AP
Update #2: Could a NATO build-up in Europe reignite the Cold War? -- PBS

WNU Editor: Russia's ambassador to the U.S. is also seeing relations at post-Cold War low .... Russian ambassador sees U.S. ties at post-Cold War low (Washington Times). What's my take .... I lived through the Cold War .... we are not even close to the level of hostility and danger that existed at that time.

U.S. And NATO Commit To Building Up Their Military Forces Near The Russian Border

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Bobby McDonald sits in front of a large screen depicting a simulated battle field, to practice calling in precision airstrikes during joint U.S.-Latvian military exercises at a base in Ādaži, Latvia. CBS/CAMI MCCORMICK

CBS: America's "powerful signal to allies" -- and Russia

WIESBADEN, Germany -- At a base in Ādaži, Latvia, U.S. troops are using a sophisticated simulator to train Latvian soldiers to call in airstrikes. But today, it's an American in the hot seat.

Technical Sgt. Jesus Torres, an instructor, challenges Air Force Staff Sgt. Bobby McDonald, who sits in front of a large virtual battleground, to call in strikes while protecting civilians and friendly forces.

"We want him to sweat a little bit," Torres says, before ordering a virtual mortar attack to see how McDonald will respond. A Latvian soldier stands just off to the side, observing the exercise.

There are 175 Americans at this base, training the Latvians for a number of different scenarios. The Latvians, in turn, lead exercises like cold water survival training, which recently had the Americans jumping into a lake through several inches of ice in frigid temperatures.

Read more ....

Update #1: NATO to send more forces east to face Russia threat -- Stars and Stripes
Update #2: Armed with new U.S. money, NATO to strengthen Russia deterrence -- Reuters

WNU Editor: Russia is threatening to respond .... Russian Envoy Warns NATO Buildup Will Prompt Response (RFE).

Mixed News From The Front Lines In Ukraine


Nolan Peterson, Daily Signal: A Real War Going On': Mixed News From the Front Lines in Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine—The two-year-old Ukraine war has hit a grim milestone amid the longest and most durable lull in fighting since the conflict began.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko last week said 2,269 Ukrainian soldiers have died since the conflict in eastern Ukraine began in spring 2014.

That toll almost matches the 2,381 American troops killed during roughly 14 years of combat operations in Afghanistan.

“Ukraine’s KIA [killed in action] rate in such a short amount of time shows how serious the situation is in the country,” Luke Coffey, director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation and a U.S. Army veteran, said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: All my friends, family members, and associates in Ukraine are telling me the same thing about the conflict in their country .... a ceasefire exists in name only. IEDs, snipers, the odd artillery exchange .... that is now the norm on the front. As for the rest of Ukraine .... high unemployment, inflation, monstrous debt, corruption, a collapse of social/government services, etc., etc., etc. .... the war is just one mess on top of many. As for the politicians who run the country starting with President Poroshenko .... 6 months ago their polls numbers were in the toilet .... Polls: Ukrainian Public Dissatisfied With Current Conditions. Ukraine Government And Ukraine President Poroshenko Deeply Unpopular .... if another poll was done today .... trust me on this one .... these numbers would be far worse.

A Russian - Kurd Alliance?

Ariel Ben Solomon, Jerusalem Post: Analysis: Russia, US compete to ally with Kurds in ISIS fight

Russian President Putin appears to be making another shrewd play for power in the Middle East by allying with the Kurds, in a step that undermines United States and Turkish policy in the region.

Russia-Turkey relations have deteriorated since the crisis over the downing of a Russian aircraft in November.

Syrian Kurds announced on Saturday that they would open their first foreign office in Moscow, with a ceremony to be held on Wednesday in a ceremony to be attended by Russian foreign ministry officials as well as representatives from several other countries, according to Abdulsalam Ali, the Syrian Kurdish envoy in Moscow.

“Our ambition is to rally support behind our Kurdish enclave in Syria through this office,” said Ali, according to Rudaw. He is also a member of the Democratic Unity Party (PYD), the main political organization in Syria’s Kurdish administrated areas.

The choice of Moscow and not Washington or Western Europe is telling.

Read more ....

Update: Russia supporting Kurdish groups in Syria to Turkey’s detriment (Washington Times)

WNU Editor: I do not see such an alliance forming. The Kurds want an independent Kurdistan, but Russia's allies in the region (Iran, Syria, etc.) .... have no interest in seeing such a state arise. But the Kurds are providing a means for Russia to annoy and leverage Turkey, and I guess this is serving Russia's short term goals and objectives.

The White House Does An About-Face On Defense Spending


Politico: Republicans gloat over Obama’s about-face on defense spending

The administration will push for some of the same weapons it had earlier dismissed as not needed.

NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Just three months ago, President Barack Obama blasted lawmakers for pumping billions of dollars into weapons the Pentagon hadn’t requested.

Now his administration is touting some of those same weapons as crucial for combating the Islamic State and for deterring a rising China and a resurgent Russia.

The turnabout is causing a major credibility problem for the Defense Department ahead of Tuesday’s release of the president's new budget proposal, key lawmakers told POLITICO. Republican defense hawks spent the last year opposing the department’s efforts to retire the aging A-10 Warthog attack jet and stop buying Tomahawk missiles and F-18 Super Hornet fighters — the very weapons getting praise now from Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

Read more ....

Update: The Great Reversal: Obama's Military Buildup (Dov S. Zakheim, National Interest).

WNU Editor: I guess facts on the ground are telling the Obama administration (and the Pentagon) that they need to shift course and direction.

Syrian Opposition: Arab State's Military Support Needed To Avoid Defeat



The Guardian: Arab states' military support needed to avoid defeat, says Syrian opposition

‘The Russians will kill us all,’ say civilians forced to flee airstrikes in Aleppo but faced with gunfire at border with Turkey

Opposition fighters in Aleppo’s besieged east have said they are counting on the military support of Arab states, which announced they will send ground forces to Syria to save them from defeat at the hands of Russian bombers and pro-Assad militias.

With the war now in a decisive phase, rebel groups said they cannot hold ground without similar weapons and manpower to those of the Assad loyalists who continue to narrow a gap around the north of the city, while thousands more refugees made their way to the Turkish border.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It appears that one of the 3 Arab states that made a commitment to deploy ground forces to Syria is backing off .... Bahrain refutes media reports of plans for ‘boots on the ground’ in Syria (RT)

Islamic State Leader's Widow Charged In The Death Of American Aid Worker Kayla Mueller



The Guardian: Isis widow charged for her role in the death of hostage Kayla Mueller

Umm Sayyaf could face life in prison for conspiring in the death of American aid worker Kayla Mueller, who was abused and raped by Isis leader

US federal prosecutors have filed charges against an Iraqi woman accused of holding American aid worker Kayla Mueller hostage before she was killed in Syria.

In an affidavit released on Monday, FBI special agent William Heaney charged 25-year-old Nisreen Assad Ibrahim Bahar, also known as Umm Sayyaf, with conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State – an offense that officials allege resulted in Mueller’s death in February 2014.

Read more ....

More New On Islamic State Leader's Widow Charged In The Death Of American Aid Worker Kayla Mueller

Widow of Islamic State leader charged in death of American: U.S. Justice Dept. -- Reuters
Iraqi woman charged with role in Kayla Mueller's death -- AP
Widow of Islamic State leader charged over US hostage's death -- BBC
Islamic State widow charged in the death of Kayla Mueller -- UPI
Justice Department charges dead ISIS leader's wife who's held in Iraq with keeping US hostage Kayla Mueller and Yazidi women as sex slaves in Syrian dungeon -- Daily Mail
Wife of ISIS Figure Charged in American Woman Kayla Mueller's Death -- ABC News

World News Briefs -- February 9, 2016



Reuters: U.N. fears for hundreds of thousands if Syria troops encircle Aleppo

Hundreds of thousands of civilians could be cut off from food supplies if Syrian government forces succeed in their offensive to encircle rebel-held parts of Aleppo, the United Nations said on Tuesday, warning of a massive new flight of refugees.

Syrian government forces, backed by Russian air strikes and Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, have launched a major offensive in the countryside around Aleppo, which has been divided between government and rebel control for years.

The assault to surround Aleppo, once Syria's biggest city with 2 million people, amounts to one of the most important shifts of momentum in the five year civil war that has killed 250,000 people and already driven 11 million from their homes.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Report: Car bomb in Syrian capital inflicts casualties.

In Syria, war crimes don't take sides, U.N. report says. UN finds 'extermination' of detainees in Syria.

Iraqi military advance reconnects Ramadi to key army base.

Wave of Aden killings tests Gulf role in Yemen.

Turkey’s Erdoğan threatened to flood Europe with migrants, leak reveals.

Turkey and Germany agree on plan to ease refugee crisis.

Israel's military chief: Stopping Gaza tunnels top priority.

Israel may bank on Obama's successor for future U.S. aid pact: minister.

ASIA

U.S. urges China to increase sanctions pressure on North Korea.

US responses to NKorea nuke, missile tests will upset China.

U.S. troop reinforcements head for embattled southern Afghan province.

Kunduz residents live in fear of Taliban’s return.

Taiwan developer arrested after deadly quake fells building.

Sri Lanka's Tamil leaders call for UN help on 4,000 missing.

Hong Kong clashes as police clear food stalls.

AFRICA

Obama says the US and Italy are working together in Libya.

Sudan army urges civilians to return to clashes-hit Darfur area.

Egypt denies police hand in Italian student's death.

Red carpet for President Sisi's convoy criticised in Egypt.

Zimbabwe lawyer wants probe of Mugabe's ability to hold office.

'Suicide bomber' on Somalia plane was meant to board Turkish flight.

Mauritania Islamist hunger strikers 'risking death': statement.

EUROPE

409 migrants die in Mediterranean in 2016.

Slovak PM says EU will either control migration this year or collapse.

King of Bahrain in Russia for talks with Putin.

Thirty years after Chernobyl, Ukraine doubles down on nuclear power.

Leader of Belarus says Russia has promised to offer financial assistance to his nation.

Fatalities after German train collision.

Swedish prosecutor preparing new application to interview Assange.

Bosnian Serb general Zdravko Tolimir dies in The Hague.

AMERICAS

New Hampshire prepares for crucial US vote. Trump, Sanders look to emerge from New Hampshire with wins.

FBI says Clinton email investigation remains 'ongoing'.

Obama lays out 2017 spending priorities in final White House budget.

Colombia steps up fight against ELN rebels after attack. Rebel attack ups tension in Colombia peace drive.

Santos says referendum will be held on peace deal regardless of FARC.

PM calls for peace on Haiti's first day with no president.

Carnival opens in Rio, defying growing Zika fears. First Zika-linked deaths reported in Colombia. Hondurans mobilize to wipe out Zika.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

UN chief: 34 groups now allied to Islamic State extremists.

7 ISIS members detained in Urals prepared terrorist acts for Moscow, St. Petersburg – FSB.

Putin ally: Chechen spies have infiltrated ISIS.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Nikkei posts biggest drop in three years as global growth fears hit banks.

Iran signs oil deal with Total, deal done in Euros.

U.N. group agrees to aircraft standards to cut CO2 emissions.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- February 9, 2016



Reuters: North Korea rocket launch may spur U.S. missile defense buildup in Asia

North Korea's latest rocket launch might kick off a buildup of U.S. missile defense systems in Asia, U.S. officials and missile defense experts said, something that could further strain U.S.-China ties and also hurt relations between Beijing and Seoul.

North Korea says it put a satellite into orbit on Sunday, but the United States and its allies see the launch as cover for Pyongyang's development of ballistic missile technology that could be used to deliver a nuclear weapon.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- February 9, 2016

U.S., South Korea, Japan military chiefs to consult on North Korea: U.S. officials -- Reuters

US to help South Korea develop missile defence system -- BBC

US Hopes To Send Anti-Missile System to South Korea 'as Quickly as Possible' -- AFP

Saudi Arabia says open to sending special forces into Syria -- Reuters

NATO Hosting Anti-ISIS Coalition Meeting -- Defense News

ISIS airstrikes by Canada to end by Feb. 22, training forces to triple -- CBC

This Is How Canada Is Overhauling Its Fight Against the Islamic State -- Justin Ling, VICE News

War games in Middle East could prepare UK for ‘potential’ Russian war with NATO – report -- RT

UK Dismisses Reports of Preparations for Confrontation With Russia -- Sputnik

‘Unkillable’: Russia Testing New Generation Armored Vehicle -- Sputnik

Armored defense: Russia retains positions on world heavy armor market -- TASS

Mega Sale: Russian Cutting-Edge Fighter Jets Going Global -- Sputnik

Four dead in crash landing of military helicopter in Russia’s Pskov region -- TASS

Russian Troops Put on High Alert as Part of Massive Drills -- AP

Russia-Sweden Conflict? Military Attack Possible Amid Arctic Circle Su-27 Drills, Stockholm Warns -- IBTimes

Russia Modernizes Submarines As NATO Warns Of Activity Levels Not Seen Since Cold War -- IBTimes

Russian Envoy Says Moscow Will Respond to NATO Buildup -- AP

Russian Defense Ministry Says Ready to Address NATO Over Snap Drills -- Sputnik

Defense Think Tank Pushes for New Talks Between Russia and NATO -- WSJ

Israel’s Elbit Unveils USV for Anti-Sub, Anti-Mine Missions -- Defense News

U.S. military seeks to prepare Africa for shifting terror threat -- Reuters

Senators McCain, Reed Blast Littoral Combat Ship Development in Letter to Navy Leaders -- USNI News

US Thousands of Navy jobs to be cut in fiscal 2017, sources say -- Navy Times

US Army strength cut by nearly 5,000 in December -- Army Times

Space, Munitions Among Next Wave of Pentagon Strategic Portfolio Reviews -- Defense News

F-35 vs. LRS-B: Battle Brewing Behind Pentagon’s Closed Doors -- Sputnik

The future of military camouflage may be a cute chameleon robot -- Endgadget

Social media is a rich source for security services - if they can figure out how to use it -- Baltimore Sun

Hackers publish contact info of 20,000 FBI employees -- CNN

Night vision market to reach $7.7 billion by 2020 -- C4ISR & Networks

The Great Reversal: Obama's Military Buildup -- Dov S. Zakheim, National Interest

Everyone Knows the US Military Is Failing—So Why Won’t Washington Bring the Troops Home? -- Tom Engelhardt, The Nation

U.S. Defence Intelligence Chief: The Islamic State Will Increase Its Transnational Attacks In The Coming Year

DIA Director Marine Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, center, testified before the House Armed Services Committee Feb. 3, 2015 about worldwide threats. Stewart joined Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville, Joint Staff director for operations, and Mark Chandler, acting director for intelligence for the Joint Staff, for the open and closed sessions. (Photo by DIA)

Reuters: U.S. defence intelligence chief predicts increased ISIS attacks

Islamic State is likely to step up "the pace and lethality" of its attacks in the months ahead as it seeks to fan the flames of international conflict, the director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency said on Monday.

Speaking to a security conference, Marine Corps Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart linked his warning to the militant group's establishment of "emerging branches" in Mali, Tunisia, Somalia, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

He also said he would not be surprised if Islamic State, which has created a self-proclaimed Caliphate across swaths of Syria and Iraq, extended its operations from the Sinai Peninsula deeper into Egypt.

"Last year, Daesh remained entrenched on Iraqi and Syrian battlefields and expanded globally to Libya, Sinai, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the Caucasus," Stewart said, using a derisive Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Pentagon's intel chief has been around for a long time .... and I have to give him credit .... he has been spot on in his analysis on terror trends. In the case of the Islamic State and the current situation .... it is clear from his testimony yesterday that he is not optimistic that ISIS is being contained.

FBI Confirms For The First Time That They Are Investigating Hillary Clinton's Private Server


MSNBC: FBI formally confirms its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server

In a letter disclosed Monday in a federal court filing, the FBI confirms one of the world’s worst-kept secrets: It is looking into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

Why say this at all, since it was widely known to be true? Because in August in response to a judge’s direction, the State Department asked the FBI for information about what it was up to. Sorry, the FBI said at the time, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any investigation.

Now, in a letter dated February 2 and filed in court Monday, the FBI’s general counsel, James Baker, notes that in public statements and congressional testimony, the FBI “has acknowledged generally that it is working on matters related to former Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server.”

Baker says the FBI has not, however, “publicly acknowledged the specific focus, scope or potential targets of any such proceedings.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Worst kept secret in Washington. What's next .... if the FBI recommends indictments .... time for the Attorney General to appoint a Special Counsel.

Why The Pentagon Wants Swarms Of Unmanned Drones

This artist’s rendering shows how unmanned aerial drones known as “Gremlins” could assist the U.S. military. (Image courtesy DARPA)

Washington Post: Why drone swarms will buzz to the forefront in the new Pentagon budget

When the Defense Department unveils its budget for 2017 on Tuesday, expect a buzzing noise in the background. Unmanned drone swarms appear to be one of the big winners in Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter’s plans for the future.

The Pentagon chief tipped his hand that drone swarms could get a funding boost in a speech last week, predicting they could be used in “all sorts of ways and in multiple ways.” Organizations like the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research have been investigating the possibility for years, and Carter said that another Pentagon organization, the Strategic Capabilities Office, also is involved. That’s a hint: It focuses on commercial equipment that could be adopted for use by the U.S. military quickly.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Instead of using men .... use drones to swarm an enemy. I am not sure if current  technology can deliver such a scenario right now.

President Obama Rrequests $1.8 Billion From Congress To Combat The Zika Virus



Reuters: Obama seeks funds to fight Zika; sees no cause for panic

President Barack Obama will ask the U.S. Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funds to fight Zika at home and abroad and pursue a vaccine, the White House said on Monday, but Obama also said there was no reason to panic over the mosquito-borne virus.

Zika, spreading rapidly in South and Central America and the Caribbean, has been linked to severe birth defects in Brazil and public health officials' concern is focused on pregnant women and women who may become pregnant.

Obama's request to Congress includes $200 million for research, development and commercialization of new vaccines and diagnostic tests for the virus.

Read more ....

Update #1: Obama to ask Congress for $1.8 billion to combat Zika virus (Washington Post)
Update #2: Obama Asks Congress for $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika Virus (Bloomberg)

WNU Editor: In case anyone is hoping that this money will bring quick results .... think again .... U.S. health official: Widespread Zika vaccine not likely to be available for years (Reuters).

Islamic State Continues To Seize Territory In Libya



L.A. Times: Islamic State-linked fighters seizing oil-rich land in Libya

As Islamic State forces lose ground in Iraq and Syria, fighters loyal to the group have seized territory in oil-rich Libya, levying taxes at gunpoint and creating sanctuaries to launch possible attacks in North Africa and Europe, U.S. officials say.

The Pentagon has sent special operations teams to gather intelligence and launched at least one airstrike. But the White House so far has resisted calls from some senior aides to escalate the U.S. military role in another Muslim country to counter the potential threat.

Spy satellites and reconnaissance drones have shown the militants building fortifications around Surt, on the central Mediterranean coast and on training bases for foreign fighters farther inland, the officials said.

Read more ....

More News On The Islamic Satte In Libya

ISIS presence in Libya may have increased up to 5,000 fighters -- CSM
Isil recruiting migrant 'army of the poor' with $1000 sign-up bonuses -- The Telegraph
Ansar al Sharia claims to have downed jet flying over Derna, Libya -- Threat Matrix
Deadly air strike hits hospital in east Libya: medic -- AFP
Libyan warplane crashes after attacking IS jihadists -- AFP
Obama, Italy's Mattarella discuss fight against Islamic State in Libya -- Reuters
Libya Winning Race for Site of Obama’s Next War? -- The American Interest
How likely is international military intervention in Libya? -- AFP
Libya faces hurdles to quick action against ISIS -- Al Arabiya/Reuters
What We Know About ISIS In Libya -- Nick Robins-Early, The Huffington Post
Jihadists in Libya: The next front against Islamic State -- The Economist
Islamic State on rise in Libya: 'Syria all over again' -- Brian Bennett, W.J. Hennigan, Chicago Tribune

A Photo Gallery Of The Vietnam War From The North Vietnamese/Viet Cong Side

June 1972
Militia members sort through the debris of an American plane downed by small-arms fire in the Hanoi suburbs. The pilot had been flying at treetop level to avoid radar detection, but such low-flying planes were more vulnerable to small arms. U.S. planes targeted Hanoi industrial sites, but most industries were relocated to the countryside. IMAGE: DOAN CONG TINH/ANOTHER VIETNAM/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC BOOKS

Alex Q. Arbuckle, Mashale: 1965-1975: Another Vietnam, Unseen images of the war from the winning side

For much of the world, the visual history of the Vietnam War has been defined by a handful of iconic photographs: Eddie Adams’ image of a Viet Cong fighter being executed, Nick Ut’s picture of nine-year-old Kim Phúc fleeing a napalm strike, Malcolm Browne’s photo of Thích Quang Duc self-immolating in a Saigon intersection.

Many famous images of the war were taken by Western photographers and news agencies, working alongside American or South Vietnamese troops.

But the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong had hundreds of photographers of their own, who documented every facet of the war under the most dangerous conditions.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: An interesting (and rare) photo gallery from the North Vietnamese/Viet Cong side during the Vietnam war.

Hat Tip to Jay for this link.