Saturday, July 30, 2016

Russia Also Has A Computer Hacking Problem

A general view shows the headquarters of the Federal Security Service (FSB) (L) in central Moscow, Russia, November 10, 2015. REUTERS/SERGEI KARPUKHIN

Reuters: Russia says spyware found in state computer networks

Russia's intelligence service said on Saturday that the computer networks of 20 organizations, including state agencies and defense companies, have been infected with spyware in what it described as a targeted and coordinated attack.

The Federal Security Service, the FSB, said the malware and the way the networks were infected were similar to those used in previous cases of cyber espionage found in Russia and other countries. The agency did not say who it suspected of being behind the attacks.

"Information technology resources of government agencies, scientific and military institutions, defense industry companies and other entities involved in crucial infrastructure have been infected," the FSB said in a statement on its website.

Read more ....

Russia Says Malware Found in 20 of Country’s Computer Networks (VOA)

WNU Editor: Hacking. Spyware. Malware. This is a global problem affecting every computer network in the world .... down to little old me. Because of what I do .... I sweep and clean my computers 2 times a day using 3 different programs. You will be surprised with what I find sometimes.

Heavy Fighting Reported Between Turkish Military Forces And Kurdish Fighters

AA Photo

BBC: Turkey-PKK conflict: Dozens killed in south-east clashes

The Turkish military has killed 35 Kurdish militants who tried to storm a base in the south-east, officials say.

The overnight attack, in the Cukurca district of Hakkari province near the Iraqi border, came hours after clashes between soldiers and militants left eight soldiers dead in the area.

A ceasefire between Turkey's military and the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) broke down in July last year.

The army is reeling from a huge purge following a coup attempt two weeks ago.

Read more ....

More News On Heavy Fighting Being Reported Between Turkish Military Forces And Kurdish Fighters

Turkey kills 35 militants after they try to storm base, officials say -- Reuters
Turkey: PKK fighters killed in attempt to storm base -- Al Jazeera
35 PKK terrorists killed in operations in Turkey's southeastern Hakkari province -- Daily Sabah
Turkey: 35 Kurdish militants killed trying to storm base -- The Hill
Turkey says eight soldiers killed, claims killing 35 Kurd fighters -- Europe Online

Turkey's President Erdogan Tells The West To 'Mind Their Own Business'

Al Jazeera: Erdogan to West: 'Mind your own business'

Turkey's president criticises Western countries for failing to show solidarity with Ankara over failed coup attempt.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lashed out at Western leaders for failing to show solidarity with Ankara over a failed coup attempt, saying countries who worry more about the fate of the perpetrators than democracy cannot be Turkey's friends.

Speaking at the presidential palace in Ankara late on Friday, Erdogan said Western leaders who were criticising the Turkish government's reaction to the July 15 coup attempt should "mind their own business".

"When five-10 people die in a terror attack, you [Western countries] set the world on fire," he said.

Read more ....

More News On Turkey's President Erdogan Telling The West To 'Mind Their Own Business'

Turkish leader condemns West's lack of 'solidarity' amid continuing coup crackdown -- ABC News Online
Turkey's Erdogan slams West for failure to show solidarity over coup attempt -- Reuters
Turkey President Erdogan lashes out at West, says it should 'mind its own business' -- IBTimes
Erdogan tells West 'mind your own business' over crackdown criticism -- Telegraph
Erdogan tells West 'mind your own business' as journalists jailed -- 7 News

China Pushes Its South China Sea Claims In New York City's Times Square (Video)

Breitbart: Pro-Beijing South China Sea Propaganda Video Appears in Times Square

A three-minute propaganda video promoting Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea has begun playing in New York City’s Times Square, raising immediate objections from a British politician who says she was deliberately misquoted in the film.

China Daily describes the video as showcasing “the beauty of South China Sea and the Nanhai Zhudao” and detailing the “history of the region” before stressing that China “is the first to have discovered, named, explored and exploited the islands and relevant waters.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Do Americans really care about China's South China Sea claims .... not really. But the Chinese do care about making their claims known to a U.S. audience ... hence this propaganda video (which is actually very good).

The Chinese Military Is Training Hard To Win Wars

Times of India/PTI: Amid South China Sea tensions, Chinese army training hard under Xi Jinping to win wars

BEIJING: Undergoing radical transformation to increase its combat capability amid rising tensions over the disputed South China Sea, President Xi Jinping is pushing China's 2.3 million-strong PLA (People's Liberation Army) which turns 89 on Sunday to train hard to win wars as it expands its high tech arsenal.

Reorganised from top to bottom by Xi in the last four years, the PLA - the world's largest - is bracing for major showdowns in its increasingly volatile neighbourhood triggered by the international tribunal verdict quashing China's expansive claims over the resource-rich South China Sea.

Reform is a comprehensive and revolutionary change, and obstacles and policy issues that may hold back reform measures must be addressed so as to build a strong armed forces commensurate with China's international status, Xi has said as he consolidated his hold over the military to emerge as the most powerful Chinese leader in recent times.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This ominous .... China Will Hold its Fire in the South China Sea — Until September (Harry J. Kazianis, National Interest)

Chinese State Media Calls For Launching Strikes Against Any Australian Ship That Enters The South China Sea

A destroyer flotilla under the South China Sea Fleet of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducts an anti-submarine training recently. ( Xingjian, Li Zhanglong)

Business Insider: Major Chinese state paper calls for a military strike on Australian ships that enter the South China Sea

China’s state-run Global Times has published an editorial attacking Australia for supporting the recent international ruling on China’s activities in the South China Sea and called for strikes on any Australian ships which might undertake “freedom-of-navigation” activities in the region.

The editorial said Australia “is not even a ‘paper tiger’, it’s only a ‘paper cat’ at best”. It says that even though “Australia calls itself a principled country… when it needs to please Washington, it demonstrates willingness of doing anything in a show of allegiance”.

As a result, the Global Times says (our emphasis):

China must take revenge and let it know it’s wrong. Australia’s power means nothing compared to the security of China. If Australia steps into the South China Sea waters, it will be an ideal target for China to warn and strike.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Such an action would result in one thing .... embargoes, sanctions, and an arms buildup by every country in Asia that will match the military build-up during the Cold War. China may be the world's second largest economy ..... but it is an economy built on trade, and if that trade is curtailed, the internal repercussions within China itself will be felt quickly and profoundly.

A Look At The U.S. Marines Next Generation Helicopter

(Illustration courtesy Bell)

DoD Buzz: Marines’ Future Helicopter Will Be Optionally Manned: General

As the Marine Corps enters the final stages of preparing to receive the CH-35K King Stallion, its new heavy-lift workhorse helicopter, aviation officials are already looking forward to the Corps’ next generation of rotorcraft.

Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, the Marine Corps’ deputy commandant of aviation, told reporters Friday at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., that the Corps had asked for optionally manned capability for the Pentagon’s future vertical lift plan, which aims to develop replacement choppers for the Army and other services.

“We’ve told them it’s what we want,” Davis said. “Why wouldn’t we want it?”

Davis said he envisioned a vertical lift platform that might be operated unmanned to deliver cargo and manned for more sensitive or technically complex missions.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A manned and unmanned capability .... we shall see.

Is Terrorism A Real Threat Or Just Global Theatre?

The men who attacked the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris. Photograph: REUTERS TV/Reuters

The Guardian: The Theatre Of Terror

Terrorists have almost no military strength so they create a spectacle. How should states respond? The author of Sapiens, a history of humanity, reflects on the past, and alarming future, of the fear factor

As the literal meaning of the word indicates, terror is a military strategy that hopes to change the political situation by spreading fear rather than by causing material damage. This strategy is almost always adopted by very weak parties, who are unable to inflict much material damage on their enemies. Of course, every military action spreads fear. But in conventional warfare, fear is a byproduct of material losses, and is usually proportional to the force inflicting the losses. In terrorism, fear is the whole story, and there is an astounding disproportion between the actual strength of the terrorists and the fear they manage to inspire.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A thought provoking analysis .... looking at how terrorism was perceived in the past, and how it is viewed today. I also concur with what happens when we face the ultimate terror attack .... nuclear/biological .... the world will again change, and how we define and perceive terrorism will be totally different from what it is today.

Hat tip to Jay for this article.

World's Fastest Jet Crew Are Reunited With The Supersonic SR-71 Blackbird Spy Plane

In 1976, reconnaissance officer George Morgan, left, and pilot Eldon 'Al' Joersz set the world aviation speed record in an Air Force SR-71 Blackbird spy jet. Their record -- 2,193 mph -- still stands.

Daily Mail: World's fastest jet crew are reunited with the supersonic SR-71 Blackbird spy plane - which is still the fastest plane ever built, 40 years later

* Pilot Al Joersz and reconnaissance system officer George Morgan reunite with SR-71 spy plane
* On July 28, 1976, Joersz and Morgan flew faster than a speeding bullet
* The Blackbird reached 2,193 miles per hour - one mile every 1.64 seconds
* Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia, is hosting a weekend celebration honoring the crew
* Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird was built in the 1960s by engineers in California
* Long-range strategic reconnaissance aircraft was made for US Air Force
* Held world record for the fastest manned aircraft since 1976

For 40 years it has been the fastest plane ever built, and now the crew who flew the record-breaking, speed-shattering mission have been reunited with the aircraft they once commanded, and climbed back into the cockpit.

It was 1976 when U.S. Air Force pilot Maj. Gen. Eldon 'Al' Joersz and Lt. Col. George 'GT' Morgan flew a jet faster than a speeding bullet. They flew faster than anyone had done before, or since.

On July 28, 1976, the two men flew a SR-71 Blackbird spy plane for more than a thousand kilometers at 2,193 miles per hour, covering one mile every 1.64 seconds, a record that still stands today.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I suspect that this is  a record that is going to stand for a very long time.

Watch The U.S. Air Force Drop 8 Armored Humvees Out Of A Plane From 5,000 Feet

The Air Force recently conducted a training exercise in which it dropped eight armored Humvee vehicles over Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

It was conducted by US airmen from the 16th Airlift Squadron at Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina as part of Operation Crescent, which is an annual training exercise designed to test the Air Force's ability to mobilize quickly in response to a crisis.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: These drops sometimes go wrong .... U.S. Air Force Drop Goes Wrong .... Terribly Wrong. Results In 'Raining Humvees' (April 22, 2016).

A Falling Out Between Wikileaks And Edward Snowden?

Daily Mail: ‘Opportunism won’t earn you a pardon’: Wikileaks hits back at Edward Snowden after whistleblower blasted the website for ‘leaking ordinary people’s emails’

* WikiLeaks released DNC emails over the weekend causing chair to resign
* But the data also included sensitive information of DNC donors and guests
* Snowden tweeted that their 'hostility to even modest curation is a mistake'
* The group hit back: 'Opportunism won't earn you a pardon from Clinton'

National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden and transparency website WikiLeaks are clashing over how best to handle the publication of sensitive data, in a public spat played out over Twitter.

WikiLeaks has come under increasing criticism over what it publishes, particularly following the release of what the website advertised as emails from Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party.

When a large numbers of emails turned out to be little more than messages from ordinary citizens, critics said WikiLeaks should have exercised better discretion to protect innocent people's privacy.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Edward Snowden is not going to get a pardon from Hillary Clinton .... and maybe Wikileaks should edit their info more closely before releasing it to the public. But my guess is that they do not have the manpower to do so.

Who Wins In A Match-Up Between Nazi Germany's Battleship Bismarck vs. America's Iowa Class

USS Missouri arrives in Pearl Harbor, 1998. Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Navy

Kyle Mizokami, National Interest: Nazi Germany's Battleship Bismarck vs. America's Iowa Class: Who Wins?

A World War II showdown that never was.

Despite the vast scope of the Second World War, the navies of the United States and Nazi Germany fought few, if any, direct surface engagements. By the time of America’s entry into the war the Royal Navy had already sunk or neutralized the lion’s share of Hitler’s Kriegsmarine, with only Hitler’s U-boats remaining a substantial German threat.

But what if the UK’s Royal Navy hadn’t been as successful as it was, and the U.S. was forced to hunt down the German Navy’s major surface combatants? What if the Iowa-class fast battleships had been sortied into the Atlantic to square off against their counterparts, the Bismarck-class battleships?

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I guess the same outcome would happen if the Japanese battleship Yamato was pitted against America's Iowa Class.

Tweet For Today

Marines' F-35 Fire An 80-Round Burst From Its Gun Pod For The First Time (Video)

Business Insider: Watch the Marines' F-35 fire an 80-round burst from its gun pod for the first time

On July 6, at the Naval Air Station at Patuxent River, Maryland, US Marines carried out the first successful test of the F-35B's GAU-22 gun pod, Business Insider has confirmed.

Five days later, the gun pod fired it's first 80-round burst. Both tests were resoundingly successful, and the video is posted below.

Business Insider previously reported on the first test of the F-35A's integrated gun, but the gun pod, which will be used on the F-35B and C variants, is an entirely different animal.

Instead of the integrated design of the US Air Force's F-35A, the Marine Corps' F-35B and the US Navy's F-35C will feature a 220-round, 25 mm gun in a modular pod.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This gun may shoot straight, but there  are only 220 rounds available for each mission.

Picture Of The Day

Libyan forces allied with the U.N.-backed government fire weapons during a battle with Daesh terrorists in Sirte, Libya. © REUTERS/ GORAN TOMASEVIC

Does Russia Have A Manifest Destiny?

How an obscure academic and a marginalized philosopher captured the minds of the Kremlin and helped forge the new Russian nationalism. AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Foreign Policy: The Unlikely Origins of Russia’s Manifest Destiny

It would be extremely unpleasant for Sir Halford Mackinder, a bespectacled and slightly aloof Edwardian academic, to witness the use to which his life’s work has been put in post-communist Russia.

Best-known for a lecture entitled “The Geographical Pivot of History,” which he delivered to the Royal Geographical Society in 1904, Mackinder argued that Russia, not Germany, was Britain’s main strategic opponent. This he illustrated with a colorful theory that came to be known as “geopolitics.” The timing of his prediction, prior to two world wars against Germany, subsequently did not do his theory any favors. However, Mackinder was finally vindicated in the last year of his life by the start of the Cold War, the epitome of his teachings. He saw the world arrayed in pretty much the shape he had foreseen in 1904: Britain and America, whose navies ruled the world’s oceans, against the Soviet Union, the world’s predominant land power, whose vast steppe and harsh winters had defeated Napoleon and Hitler — all but impregnable behind a land fortress, the “Heartland” of Eurasia.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The concept of empire holds little sway in today's Russia .... but the dream of all Russian communities being together in one large federation/country does. Hence the worries in places like the Baltics and Ukraine.

Friday, July 29, 2016

U.S. Air Force Wants New Land-Based And Air-Launched Nuclear Missiles

An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) streaks through the sky of Vandenberg in California, August 25, 2005. The U.S. test fired its second ICBM in a week on Thursday. REUTERS

Defense News: Air Force Kicks Off Competitions for Two Critical Nuclear Programs

WASHINGTON — The Air Force moved ahead with two critical nuclear modernization programs on Friday, releasing requests for proposals for its intercontinental ballistic missile replacement and a nuclear cruise missile.

The Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), which replaces the 1960s-era Minutemen III ICBM, and the Long Range Standoff (LRSO) weapon, which will supersede the AGM-86B Air Launched Cruise Missile, are seen by the service as pivotal for maintaining the nuclear triad and an effective strategic deterrent.

However, both programs have come under fire by lawmakers and analysts who assert that the the weapons are too costly, duplicative or even that they could add to global instability.

Read more ....

UpdateAir Force seeks new land-based and air-launched nukes -- AP

WNU Editor: Here is an easy prediction .... these new programs are going to be very expensive.

A Trump Doctrine?

Donald Trump. Reuters

Zalmay Khalilzad, National Interest: The Emerging Trump Doctrine?

Trump's fundamental critiques of U.S. foreign policy have merit. Now they must be matched with wise solutions.

Recent presidential campaigns have not focused on foreign policy. This year could be different. The volatility of the international system has increasingly become intertwined with the domestic issues that tend to dominate presidential elections.

The civil war within Islam has produced the worst international terrorist threat of the modern era: ISIS, or Daesh. This conflict, as well as instability in Africa, has already pushed millions of migrants into Europe, which has given rise to greater nationalism and threatens the European project. Increasing terrorist attacks in the West—including the United States—call into question current counterterrorism strategies.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A Trump Doctrine?!?!?! I am still trying to figure out the Obama Doctrine.