Sunday, November 12, 2017

Fw: TheList 4586

The List 4586
To All
Tomorrow is Veterans Day
Thanks to A
(Editor's note:  This MMH is a bit long but well-deserved recognition for our veterans and their families.)

Veterans' Day is Saturday, November 11

An excerpt from the Department of Veterans Affairs--"While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor 
ALL those who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime," officials write. "In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served - not only those who died - have sacrificed and done their duty."

     Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye. Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg-or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's alloy forged in the refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can't tell a vet just by looking.  So, what is a vet?
  • He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.
  • He is the bar room loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.
  • She-or he-is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.
  • He is the POW who went away one person and came back another-or didn't come back AT ALL.
  • He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat-but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.
  • He is the parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.
  • He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.
  • He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb of the Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.
  • He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket-palsied now and aggravatingly slow-who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.
  • He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being-a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.
  • He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.
So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say 'Thank You'. That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.

Submitted by Lauree McKeown:

A tribute to those who are serving or have served

Submitted by Patty Krause:

The "other veterans" are the families of those who have served.  I invite you to read this article and appreciate what military families have to go through during periods of global conflict. This article really struck a chord with me as this was pretty much how things went during the Vietnam era. All the military wives knew what "The Knock" meant. My heart aches for loved ones who have had to answer to "The Knock"'.

Submitted by Mike Bolier:

May I Salute You? by Patricia  Salwei
     I approached the entrance to Ft Belvoir's medical facility last year as an old veteran puttered towards me. Easily over 80 years old, stooped and slow, I barely gave him a second glance because on his heels was a full bird colonel.
     As they approached, I rendered a sharp salute and barked, "Good morning,Sir!" Because they were heel to toe, I began my salute as the old veteran was about two paces from me.  He immediately came to life!
     Transformed by my greeting, he rose to his full height, returned my salute with pride, and exclaimed, "Good morning captain!" I was startled, but the full bird behind him was flabbergasted. The colonel stopped mid-salute, smiled at me and quietly moved on.
     As I entered the clinic, the utter beauty of the encounter preoccupied me.  What prompted the old man to assume that I was saluting him? Perhaps he just thought, "It's about time!" After all, doesn't a WWII vet outrank us all?
     I turned my attention to the waiting room taking a moment to survey the veterans there. Service people rushed around, loudspeakers blared, the bell for the prescription window kept ringing. It was a whir of activity and the older veterans sat quietly on the outside seemingly out of step, patiently waiting to be seen.  Nobody was seeing.
     My old friend stayed on my mind. I began to pay attention to the military's attitude towards its veterans. Predominately, I witnessed indifference:
     Impatient soldiers and airmen plowing over little old ladies at the commissary; I noticed  my own agitation as an older couple cornered me at the Officer's Club and began reminiscing about their tour in Germany.
     To our disgrace, I have also witnessed disdain: At Ramstein AB terminal, an airman was condescending and borderline cruel with a deaf veteran flying Space A; An ancient woman wearing a WACS button was shoved aside by a cadet at the Women's Memorial dedication in D.C.; A member of the Color Guard turned away in disgust from a drunk Vietnam vet trying to talk to him before the Veterans Day Ceremony at the Vietnam Wall.
     Have you been to a ceremony at the Wall lately? How about a Veteran's Day Parade in a small town?   The crowds are growing faint.  Why do we expect the general public to care if we don't? We are getting comfortable again.
     Not many of us around that have been forced to consider making the ultimate sacrifice. Roughly 60% of today's active duty Air Force did not even participate in Desert Storm. I always lament about the public's disregard for the military. I do not count all the days I stayed in bed instead of going to a ceremony or parade. It was my day to be honored and I deserved to sleep in.
     It's just like a 28-year-old, whose weapon was "Microsoft PowerPoint Slide Presentation" during the last conflict, to complain about recognition.
     Sometimes I wonder who is going to come to our parades in 20 years; will anybody look me up in the Women's Memorial Registry? The answer lies in the present.  We will be honored as we honor those who have gone before us.
     The next generation is watching. It is not my intention to minimize the selfless service of our modern military; my comrades are the greatest people I know (and frankly should be treated better).  But, lately I'm wondering if the public's attitude towards the military isn't just a reflection of the active duty military's  attitude towards its own veterans. It's time to ask - do we regard them, do we consider them at all? How does our attitude change when the hero is no longer wearing a uniform? I was proud to wear my uniform. Can I admit that I thought I was cool? There is no denying that there is something about our profession, combined with youth, that feeds the ego a little.
     We have all seen a young pilot strut into the Officer's Club with his flight suit on.  He matters; he takes on the room; he knows he can take on the world.  But, one day he will leave his jet for a desk, and eventually he will have to hang up that flight suit. A super hero hanging up his cape.
     How will we measure his value then? He will no longer look like a pilot, an officer, a colonel. He'll just look like an old man coming out of the clinic with his prescription. But, is he less of a hero? Will anybody remember or care about all the months he spent away from his newborn daughter while making peace a possibility in the Balkans? Probably not. Our society has a short memory. Maybe it is not for the protected to understand.  Rather, it is my hope that when a young lieutenant walks by him they will each see themselves reflected in the other - one's future, the other's past. In that moment, perhaps, the lieutenant will also see the hero, now disguised as an old man, and thank him.
     The truth is there are heroes in disguise everywhere.  I use to wonder why people would want to chat with me when I was in uniform - telling me about their four years as a radio operator in Korea.  So what?  I wasn't impressed relative to my own experiences. Now I understand that they were telling me because nobody else cared. Proud of their service, no matter how limited, and still in love with our country, they were trying to stay connected.  Their stories were code for:  "I understand and appreciate you, can you appreciate me?"  The answer is 'yes'.
     I separated from the Air Force in February.  I'm out of the club. Still, I want you to know that I'll attend the parades, visit the memorials, and honor you.  All this while my kids and your kids are watching.  Then, maybe, someday when I'm an old woman riding the metro, a young airman will take a moment of her time to listen to one of my war stories.   I, in turn, will soak in her beauty and strength, and remember.
     Today as I reflect on my adventures in the Air Force, I'm thinking of that ancient warrior I collided with at Ft Belvoir.   I'm wondering where he is, if he's still alive, if it's too late to thank him. I want to start a campaign in his honor - Salute a veteran. What a great world this would be if all our elderly veterans wore recognition pins, and we would salute them even if we were out of uniform and saw them coming out of a 7-11.
     Yes, this started out as a misunderstanding on my part. But, now I get it. That day was the first time in my life that I really understood what it meant to salute someone.  Dear Veteran, I recognize and hail you!  I do understand what I have and what you have given to make it possible. So I'm wondering if we meet on the street again - may I salute you?

I Am the American Sailor
     Hear my voice America! Though I speak through the mist of 200-years, my shout for freedom will echo through liberty's halls for many centuries to come. Hear me speak, for my words are of truth and justice, and the rights of man. For those ideals I have spilled my blood upon the world's troubled waters. Listen well, for my time is eternal.....yours is but a moment. I am the spirit of heroes past and future.
     I am the American Sailor. I was born upon the icy shores at Plymouth, rocked upon the waves of the Atlantic, and nursed in the wilderness of Virginia. I cut my teeth on New England codfish, and I was clothed in southern cotton. I built muscle at the halyards of New Bedford whalers, and I gained my sea legs high atop the mizzen's of Yankee Clipper Ships.
     Yes, I am the American Sailor, one of the greatest seamen the world has ever known. The sea is my home and my words are tempered by the sound of paddle wheels on the Mississippi and the song of whales off Greenland's barren shore. My eyes have grown dim from the glare of sunshine on blue water, and my heart is full of star-strewn nights under the Southern Cross. My hands are raw from winter storms while sailing down around the Horn, and they are blistered from the heat of cannon broadsides while defending our nation. I am the American Sailor, and I have seen the sunset of a thousand distant, lonely lands.
     I am the American Sailor. It was I who stood tall beside John Paul Jones as he shouted, "I have not yet begun to fight!" I fought upon Lake Erie with Perry, and I rode with Stephen Decatur into Tripoli Harbor to burn the Philadelphia. I met Guerrriere aboard Constitution, and I was lashed to the mast with Admiral Farragut at Mobile Bay. I have heard the clang of Confederate shot against the sides of the Monitor. I have suffered the cold with Perry at the North Pole, and I responded when Dewey said, "You may fire when ready, Gridley," at Manila Bay. It was I who transported supplies through submarine infested waters when our soldier's were called "over there." I was there as Admiral Byrd crossed the South Pole. It was I who went down with the USS ARIZONA at Pearl Harbor, who supported our troops at Inchon, and patrolled dark deadly waters on the Mekong Delta.
     I am the American Sailor, and I wear many faces. I am a pilot soaring across God's blue canopy and I am a Seabee atop a dusty bulldozer in the South Pacific. I am a Corpsman nursing the wounded in the jungle, and I am the torpedoman in the nautilus deep beneath the North Pole. I am hard and I am strong. But it was my eyes that filled with tears when my brother went down with the Thresher, and it my heart that rejoiced when Commander Shepherd rocketed into orbit above the Earth. It was I who languished in a Viet Cong prison camp, and it was I who walked upon the moon.
     It was I who saved the USS STARK and the USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS in the mine infested waters of the Persian Gulf. It was I who pulled my brothers from the smoke filled compartments of the USS BONEFISH and wept when my shipmates died on the USS IOWA and USS WHITE PLAINS. When called again, I was there, on the tip of the spear for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
     I am the American Sailor. I am woman, I am man, I am white and black, yellow, red and brown. I am Jew, Muslim, Christian and Buddhist. I am Irish, Filipino, African, French, Chinese, and Indian. And my standard is the outstretched hand of liberty. Today, I serve around the world; on land, in the air, on and under the seas. I serve proudly, at peace once again. But I was called again right after September 11, 2001, a different war this time, against fanatical terrorists who attacked out beloved country, killing several thousand innocent civilians. But, fear not, for I have spread the mantle of my nation over the oceans of the world, and I will guard her forever.
     I am her heritage and yours. I am the American sailor!

Submitted by Skip Leonard:

A tribute to Vietnam veterans at

Welcome home, Vietnam veterans
     As we honor the fine men and some greatly appreciated women who served in Vietnam on this Veterans' Day, it may be time to reassess the conventional wisdom that led Congress in 1973 to betray their sacrifice and caused generations since to believe the Vietnam War was a "senseless" and "unwinnable" war. Put simply, we need to revisit the debates that so divided and traumatized this country four decades ago.
     The protesters got it wrong.  I was more than a little amused earlier this year when PBS ran a rather one-sided view of the events by Ken Burns.  Many who protested do not want to visit both sides of the debate.  This is in reality a common theme among prominent anti-Vietnam activists.
     In 2000, we sought to "recycle" the old constitutional and international law debates about the war in connection with a conference at the University of Virginia Law School on the 25th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, and we were turned down by at least a dozen of the top scholars who once had vehemently opposed the war.
     Arthur Schlesinger Jr., for example, responded to our invitation with a brief handwritten note: "I never said the war was illegal. I said it was stupid!" (Of course he did, repeatedly, say the war was unconstitutional.) Like many of the anti-Vietnam leaders of decades ago, he had no stomach to revisit the debate. For anyone who has kept up with events in - and modern scholarship about - the war, the reticence of the Schlesingers and Haydens to debate is more than understandable. After the war ended in 1975, Hanoi, through both its public statements and its actions, repeatedly has undermined the mythology upon which the protests were founded.
     For example, in the May 1984 issue of Vietnam Courier, Hanoi bragged about the once "absolute secret" decision on May 19, 1959, to open the Ho Chi Minh Trail and secretly start pouring countless tons of supplies, weapons and troops into South Vietnam for the purpose of overthrowing its government by armed force. That was more than five years before the U.S. responded seriously with U.S. forces. The biggest differences between our actions in Korea in 1950 and Vietnam 15 years later were that the communist armed aggression was covert and Hanoi ran a truly brilliant political-warfare campaign to mislead the American people into believing our cause was dishonorable.
     A central element in anti-Vietnam rhetoric was that our South Vietnamese allies were violating "human rights." When the protesters got their way, tens of millions of innocent people were consigned to Stalinist tyranny, and millions of others were murdered or died as a direct result of the policies of the new regimes. In Cambodia alone, the Yale Cambodian Genocide Program estimated that more than 20 percent of the entire population was killed in three short years after communist "liberation."
     Was Vietnam "winnable"?  Perhaps the greatest myth of the entire war was that it was "unwinnable."  To the contrary, as many scholars and experts have long recognized, by 1971 or 1972, the war was essentially won in South Vietnam, and by December 1972, Hanoi's will was broken in the North. The 1968 Tet Offensive, portrayed by most of the media as a great communist victory, in reality was a disastrous blunder that even the North Vietnamese defense minister, Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, admitted was a major communist defeat. It cost the communists virtually the entire Viet Cong infrastructure and most of their guerrilla forces: An estimated 14 communist soldiers died for each American or South Vietnamese soldier killed during the offensive. Thereafter, almost all of the major fighting had to be done by North Vietnamese regulars.
     When Congress in August 1964 - by a combined vote of 504-2 (a 99.6 percent margin) - enacted a law authorizing the president to use military force in Southeast Asia, it did not even mention "South Vietnam" but rather authorized the use of armed force to defend any "protocol state" of the 1955 SEATO treaty requesting assistance. Those protocol states were [South] Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Thus, when U.S. forces were ordered into Cambodia in 1970 to attack North Vietnamese and Viet Cong sanctuaries, that action was fully consistent with the congressional authorization.
     Like the Tet Offensive, the Cambodian incursion was, in military terms, a tremendous U.S. and South Vietnamese success. It ended serious communist military activity in most of the Mekong Delta. Put simply, American forces were not defeated on the battlefields of Vietnam. Indeed, we won every major battle. But in May 1973, misinformed and angry congressional liberals snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by making it unlawful for the president to expend any Treasury funds on combat operations "in or over or from off the shores of North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia." When North Vietnam's Premier Pham Van Dong learned of that, he remarked: "The Americans won't come back now even if we offered them candy," and Hanoi sent virtually its entire army behind columns of Soviet-made tanks to conquer its neighbors. By then, U.S. combat forces had been withdrawn, and they deserve none of the blame for the ultimate defeat. That was the work of Congress.
     It was a necessary war.  But there is still the issue of why we went to Vietnam in the first place, and was it really necessary? And as we pause to give thanks (finally) to those who served - two-thirds of whom were volunteers - I submit that the answer to that question is a resounding "Yes!"
     After the Korean War, President Eisenhower cut back military manpower and served notice on Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev that future communist aggression would result in massive retaliation - threatening to use our nuclear arsenal to keep the peace in the event of another Korea. It worked with Moscow - at least until the Soviets developed their own deliverable nuclear force and the question became whether America would risk nuclear attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., in order to preserve Saigon.
     "Comrade Mao" in China was not so easily deterred, and he argued that while in appearance the "imperialists" were indeed very fierce, in reality it was the "people" who were powerful. By using "people's warfare" (aka "wars of national liberation") the communists could send in trainers with money and weapons and promote internal revolutions around the Third World in which guerrillas would live, eat and work among the people. Nuclear bombs would be useless in countering this unconventional and asymmetric warfare, and "armed struggle" could continue despite American nuclear power.
     Vietnam became the "test case" of whether America's counterinsurgency tactics could defeat Mao's strategy of people's warfare. As Chinese Communist Party Vice Chairman Lin Biao observed in his 1965 pamphlet "Long Live the Victory of People's Wars," Vietnam was a "testing ground," and once America was defeated there, "The people in other parts of the world will see still more clearly that U.S. imperialism can be defeated, and that what the Vietnamese people can do, they can do, too."
     Cuba's Che Guevara echoed this sentiment, declaring as early as Nov. 20, 1963, that the Vietnam battlefield "is most important for the future of all America," and "the victorious end of this battle will also spell the end of North American imperialism."
     Keep in mind that in 1965, China was providing advisers, money and weapons for guerrilla movements in South Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and as far away as Mozambique in Africa. Thailand and Indonesia were vulnerable political and economic "basket cases" then and easily might have fallen to communist forces had the United States simply walked away from its solemn promise to defend the non-communist countries of former French Indochina. By staying the course, we bought time for Thailand and Indonesia (two very important countries) to become stronger - and during the war, China went through the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and turned inward. By the time Congress actually threw in the towel, China was no longer actively exporting revolution.
     No one can be certain what might have happened had we abandoned our promises earlier. But it is not difficult to envision a rather alarming scenario in which an American withdrawal would have been followed by communist military victories in neighboring countries and even by non-communist groups throughout the Third World turning to China, Cuba and other communist states for assistance in gaining political power.
     Non-communist Third World leaders might well have concluded America was an unreliable ally and sought to cut the best deal possible with their communist opponents. The Free World might soon have found itself facing a dozen or more "Vietnams" in Asia, Africa and Latin America - left with the choice of watching them fall one by one or responding with nuclear weapons.
     The story would not likely have had a happy ending for America or the cause of human freedom around the globe.
     So if you encounter a Vietnam veteran today, at the Mall or elsewhere, take a moment to say, "Welcome home," and, "Thanks for your service." It is an expression of gratitude that is long overdue.

Submitted by Mark Logan:

     Here's a story that occurred just before Christmas 2014 ~ The idea started near Christmas 2013, when Bennett and Vivian Levin were overwhelmed by sadness while listening to radio reports of injured American troops. "We have to let them know we care," Vivian told Bennett. So they organized a trip to bring soldiers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital to the annual Army-Navy football game in Philly, on Dec. 3. The cool part is, they created their own train line to do it. Yes, there are people in this country who actually own real trains.
     Bennett Levin - native Philly guy, self-made millionaire and irascible former L&I commish - is one of them. He owns three luxury rail cars. Think mahogany paneling, plush seating and white-linen dining areas. He also has two locomotives, which he stores at his Juniata Park train yard.
     One car, the elegant Pennsylvania, carried John F. Kennedy to the Army-Navy game in 1961 and '62. Later, it carried his brother Bobby's body to D.C. for burial. "That's a lot of history for one car," says Bennett.  He and Vivian wanted to revive a tradition that endured from 1936 to 1975, during which trains carried Army-Navy spectators, around the country directly to the stadium where the annual game is played. The Levins could think of no better passengers to reinstate the ceremonial ride than the wounded men and women recovering at Walter Reed in D.C. and Bethesda, in Maryland . "We wanted to give them a first-class experience," says Bennett.  "Gourmet meals on board, private transportation from the train to the stadium, perfect seats - real hero treatment."
     Through the Army War College Foundation, of which he is a trustee, Bennett met with Walter Reed's commanding general, who loved the idea. But Bennett had some ground rules first, all designed to keep the focus on the troops alone:
     No press on the trip, lest the soldiers' day of pampering devolve into a media circus.
     No politicians either, because, says Bennett, "I didn't want some idiot making this trip into a campaign photo op."
     And no Pentagon suits on board, otherwise the soldiers would be too busy saluting superiors to relax.
     The general agreed to the conditions, and Bennett realized he had a problem on his hands. "I had to actually make this thing happen," he laughs.
     Over the next months, he recruited owners of 15 other sumptuous rail cars from around the country - these people tend to know each other - into lending their vehicles for the day. The name of their temporary train? The Liberty Limited.
     Amtrak volunteered to transport the cars to D.C. - where they'd be coupled together for the round-trip ride to Philly - then back to their owners later.
     Conrail offered to service the Liberty while it was in Philly. And SEPTA drivers would bus the disabled soldiers 200 yards from the train track to the football stadium for the game.
     A benefactor from the War College ponied up 100 seats to the game - on the 50-yard line - and lunch in a hospitality suite.
     And corporate donors filled, for free and without asking for publicity, goodie bags for attendees:
From Woolrich, stadium blankets.
From Wal-Mart, digital cameras.
From Nikon, field glasses.
From GEAR, down jackets.
     There was booty not just for the soldiers, but for their guests, too, since each was allowed to bring a friend or family member.
     The Marines declined the offer. "They voted not to take guests with them, so they could take more Marines," says Levin, choking up at the memory.
     Bennett's an emotional guy, so he was worried about how he'd react to meeting the 88 troops and guests at D.C.'s Union Station, where the trip originated. Some GIs were missing limbs. Others were wheelchair-bound or accompanied by medical personnel for the day. "They made it easy to be with them," he says. "They were all smiles on the ride to Philly. Not an ounce of self-pity from any of them. They're so full of life and determination."
     At the stadium, the troops reveled in the game, recalls Bennett. Not even Army's loss to Navy could deflate the group's rollicking mood. Afterward, it was back to the train and yet another gourmet meal - heroes get hungry, says Levin - before returning to Walter Reed and Bethesda. "The day was spectacular," says Levin. "It was all about these kids. It was awesome to be part of it."
     The most poignant moment for the Levins was when 11 Marines hugged them goodbye, then sang them the Marine Hymn on the platform at Union Station.
     "One of the guys was blind, but he said, 'I can't see you, but man, you must be beautiful!' " says Bennett. "I got a lump so big in my throat, I couldn't even answer him."
     It's been three weeks, but the Levins and their guests are still feeling the day's love. "My Christmas came early," says Levin, who is Jewish and who loves the Christmas season. "I can't describe the feeling in the air." Maybe it is hope.
     As one guest wrote in a thank-you note to Bennett and Vivian, "The fond memories generated last Saturday will sustain us all - whatever the future may bring."
     God bless the Levins.  And bless our troops!!

To all veterans, current service members, and those who supported them in many vocations, and their families, please accept my sincere gratitude,

Item Number:1 Date: 11/10/2017 FRANCE - DEFENSE EXPERT WARNS PARIS AGAINST DEPENDENCY ON WASHINGTON (NOV 10/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- French troops in Africa rely too heavily on U.S. forces, says a top expert who is the author of a new French defense report, as reported by Defense News.   Arnaud Danjean, the author of France's Strategic Review of Defense and National Security, says that French forces fighting in the Sahel have become too dependent on their American counterparts, undermining Europe's ability to pursue its security autonomously.   France continues to rely on American ISR capabilities in Mali and Niger, something that could be solved by budgeting for these activities Danjean told journalists this week in Paris.   Danjean, who is chairman of the subcommittee on Security and Defense in the European Parliament, predicted that further entanglement with the U.S. could tie Paris into operations that undermine long-term French interests.   The strategic review was published last month.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 11/10/2017 FRANCE - EXPERTS DISCOUNT DANGER OF RADIOACTIVE TRACES; LEAK PROBABLY CAME FROM RUSSIA OR KAZAKHSTAN (NOV 10/INDEP)  INDEPENDENT -- A radioactive cloud that drifted over Europe in September and October likely originated in Russia or Kazakhstan, reports the Independent (U.K.), citing French nuclear authorities.   Officials from France's official Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety Institute (ISRN) said on Thursday the accident that likely caused the cloud occurred between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains in the last week of September.   Scientists in several countries detected ruthenium-106 particles in the air during that time. The levels were not considered dangerous to human health, said ISRN. Noticeable amounts disappeared from France in mid-October, the agency said.   Russia officials said they were not aware of any incident in their territory during the time period, ISRN's director told Reuters.   The director said the leak likely came from a fuel-treatment site or center for radioactive medicine – not a nuclear reactor. It might pose an "extremely low" risk of contaminating mushrooms imported into France.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 11/10/2017 GERMANY - BERLIN LOOKS FOR NEW FIGHTER JETS; LOCKHEED PUSHES F-35 (NOV 10/REU)  REUTERS -- Lockheed Martin's top official says the company is going to coordinate with the U.S. government during talks with Germany about Berlin's planned replacement for its Tornado fighter jets, reports Reuters.   Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed's chief executive, told the news agency on Thursday that she believes the company's F-35 represents the "best choice" for Germany's air force. Berlin has previously expressed interest in the aircraft.   Germany wants to replace 85 Tornado jets by 2030.   The Luftwaffe issued a request for information (RFI) abour the F-35 last month, as well as Boeing's F-15 and F/A-18E/F and the European Eurofighter Typhoon, noted Reuters.   The chief of staff of the German air force said Wednesday that his country needs a "fifth-generation" replacement for its Tornados that can evade enemy radar and strike targets from a distance.  
Item Number:4 Date: 11/10/2017 ISRAEL - 8 NATIONS FLY IN BLUE FLAG EXERCISE; GERMANY, FRANCE, INDIA ARE NEWCOMERS (NOV 10/HA)  HAARETZ -- Military aircraft from eight nations are participating in the biannual Blue Flag air exercises in Ovda base in southern Israel, reports Haaretz (Israel).   This year's drills, which began on Nov. 2 and run through Nov. 16, are the largest in the country's history, with more than 70 aircraft taking part.   This is the first time that either France or Germany has trained in Israel. India is also participating in the exercise for the first time.   Over 1,000 personnel from Italy, India, France, the United States, Poland, Germany and Greece are taking part.  
  Item Number:5 Date: 11/10/2017 LIBYA - ICC PROSECUTOR HITS HAFTAR FOR NOT TURNING OVER LIBYAN WAR CRIME SUSPECTS (NOV 10/MEM)  MIDDLE EAST MONITOR -- The top prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has publicly criticized a key Libyan leader for failing to turn over accused war criminals for prosecution, reports Middle East Monitor (U.K.).   On Thursday, Fatou Bensoudam, the court's head prosecutor, said the Libyan National Army was blocking international efforts to prosecute accused war criminals, including deposed leader Muammar Qaddafi's son Saif Al-Islam, Mahmoud Warfali and internal intelligence chief Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled.   She made her comments at the U.N. Security Council.   The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Warfali in August. Khalifa Haftar, who leads the LNA that supports the rival government in Tobruk, has reportedly refused to hand over the major. Warfali is accused of summarily executing dozens of prisoners and sharing videos of the killing on social media.   Saif al-Islam is currently being held by militias in Tripoli, noted the Libyan Herald
Item Number:6 Date: 11/10/2017 NETHERLANDS - IRANIAN SEPARATIST LEADER DIES AFTER BEING SHOT IN THE HAGUE (NOV 10/NLT)  NL TIMES -- A prominent Iranian activist has been shot dead in The Hague, say police as reported by the NL Times (Netherlands).   Ahmad Mola Neissi, the leader of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASMLA), was killed Wednesday night, said a spokesperson for the separatist movement. He fled Iran in 2005.   One man who was trying to flee the scene was detained, said police cited by Reuters. Authorities said his involvement was being investigated.   ASMLA represents Arabs in the region of Ahwaz who seek independence or autonomy within Iran. Tehran considers the movement a terrorist group
Item Number:7 Date: 11/10/2017 PAKISTAN - MMA ALLIANCE TO BE REVIVED (NOV 10/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- Six Pakistani religious political parties have decided to revive an alliance ahead of next year's general election, reports Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency.   The formal announcement bringing back the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) alliance will be made in December, the head of the largest party, Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, said on Thursday, as reported by the Nation (Pakistan).   The alliance was formed in 2002 in opposition to then-President Pervaiz Musharraf. It scored major victories before disbanding in 2007, noted AFP.   Pakistan's next general elections are scheduled for September 2018.  
  Item Number:8 Date: 11/10/2017 RUSSIA - MAIDEN FLIGHT OF UPGRADED TU-160 VARIANT EXPECTED WITHIN MONTH (NOV 10/TASS)  TASS -- A prototype of Russia's Tu-160M2 strategic bomber is expected to fly for the first time during the Kazan Aviation Enterprise in February 2018, reports Russia's state-run Tass agency.   On Thursday, a source in the defense industry told Tass that testing was likely to begin in November.   President Vladimir Putin announced the Tu-160 upgrade program in 2015 due to delays in the country's next-generation strategic stealth bomber project, notes the Diplomat (Tokyo
  Item Number:9 Date: 11/10/2017 SAUDI ARABIA - RIYADH TELLS CITIZENS TO LEAVE LEBANON 'AS SOON AS POSSIBLE' (NOV 10/SAUDIPA)  SAUDI PRESS AGENCY -- With tensions between the nations on the rise, Saudi Arabia has told its citizens in Lebanon to leave that country immediately, reports the state-run Saudi Press Agency.   "Due to the situation in the Republic of Lebanon…Saudi nationals visiting or residing in Lebanon are asked to leave the country as soon as possible," the agency reported Thursday, citing the Saudi Foreign Ministry.   The statement also advised against any travel to the country.   Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have also followed suit in issuing similar warnings, reports Al Arabiya, an outlet based in the United Arab Emirates.   Late last week, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri unexpectedly resigned in a speech from Riyadh.   Saudi-backed Hariri cited alleged threats to his life and the expansion of Iranian influence in the region. Hariri's party alleged Thursday that the former prime minister was being held against his will, reported Reuters.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 11/10/2017 SYRIA - ISIS FIGHTS BACK, RETAKES MUCH OF STRATEGIC TOWN ALONG BORDER WITH IRAQ (NOV 10/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Islamic State fighters have retaken nearly half of the eastern Syrian town of Abu Kamal, just one day after the town was declared liberated by government forces, reports Agence France Press, citing a monitoring group.   The terrorist group "started counter-attacking on Thursday night and retook more than 40 percent of the town," said the leader of the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.   The town in Deir Ezzor province lies on the Iraqi border. Syrian state media said on Thursday that government and allied forces had liberated ISIS' final stronghold in the country.   ISIS militants have retaken neighborhoods in the town's north, northeast and northwest, said the monitor.  
Item Number:11 Date: 11/10/2017 SYRIA - ISIS LEADER SPOTTED IN CONTESTED SYRIAN TOWN, CLAIMS HEZBOLLAH MEDIA (NOV 10/REU)  REUTERS -- A Hezbollah-run media unit say Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was seen during the fight for Abu Kamal in eastern Syria, reports Reuters.   In its claim on Friday, the Hezbollah unit did elaborate, identify its sources or give other details.   The town in Deir Ezzor province was captured by Syrian government and allied forces on Thursday and parts were retaken the next day by ISIS.   The U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State said on Friday that it did not have any "releasable information" on Baghdadi's current whereabouts
  Item Number:12 Date: 11/10/2017 TURKEY - SYRIAN ACTIVIST SHOT DEAD IN FRONT OF HIS HOME (NOV 10/ZAMANWASL)  ZAMAN AL-WASAL -- A well-known Syrian media activist has been shot dead outside of his home in southern Turkey, reports Syrian opposition news agency Zaman Al-Wasl.   Mahmoud Orabi was killed when an unknown assailant on a motorbike opened fire Thursday afternoon, his brother said. He was taken the local Osmaniye  hospital, where he was pronounced dead.   Orabi was arrested by the Damascus government at the beginning of the Syrian war and had been threatened numerous times, his brother said.   A mother and daughter, both media Syrian media activists, were killed in Istanbul in September.  
  Item Number:13 Date: 11/10/2017 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - POTENTIAL PURCHASE IN THE AIR FOR GOWIND CORVETTES SUGGESTS FRENCH PAPER (NOV 10/DEFAERO)  DEFENSE-AEROSPACE -- The United Arab Emirates is considering the purchase of two French Gowind 2500 corvettes, reports Defense-Aerospace, citing a French financial newspaper.   La Tribune reported on Nov. 6 that the UAE had entered discussions with France over the possible sale of two anti-submarine warfare corvettes produced by Naval Group that match the description of the Gowind 2500.   A deal of such magnitude could be worth US$465 million.   The Gowind 2500 is currently in service with Egypt, an Emirati ally
Item Number:14 Date: 11/10/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - ACCUSED MAN SAYS HE DOWNLOADED BOMB-MAKING INSTRUCTIONS OUT OF 'CURIOUSITY' (NOV 10/BURTMA)  BURTON MAIL -- A Sudanese immigrant accused of planning a terrorist attack in the U.K. has told police that he did download bombmaking instructions from the internet but only out of curiosity, reports Burton Mail (U.K.).   Munir Mohammed, 37, admitted to watching videos on how to make a detonator circuit but thought no crime had been committed because he found them on Facebook and YouTube. He denied planning an attack.   The accused man's interviews with police were read to the jury, the paper reported on Friday.   Police accuse Munir, who lives in Burton in the West Midlands, and his girlfriend, Rowaida el-Hassan, of planning a terrorist attack. The pair are on trial in London. Munir has admitted to living illegally in Britain.   Prosecutors charge that Munir acquired two of the three necessary components to make triacetone triperoxide (TATP), which has been dubbed "Mother of Satan" for its destructive power and ease of evading traditional bomb-detection techniques.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 11/10/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - E.U. NEGOTIATORS PUSH TO KEEP N. IRELAND IN CUSTOMS UNION (NOV 10/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- The European Union is demanding that Northern Ireland remain part of the bloc's customs union if Britain wishes to avoid cumbersome border check points after Brexit, reports Agence France-Presse.   E.U. negotiators are demanding that Northern Ireland obey the rules of the E.U. single market and customs union if it wishes to keep free movement with the Republic of Ireland. An update of the negotiations circulated on Wednesday was seen by the Financial Times (U.K.).   The border that divides the island into Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, an independent state, has become a point of contention in the Brexit negotiations.   The U.K. said that it intends to leave the customs union by 2019
  Item Number:16 Date: 11/10/2017 USA - AIR FORCE PILOT SHORTAGE BECOMING SEVERE, SAY LEADERS (NOV 10/AFT)  AIR FORCE TIMES -- U.S. Air Force leaders have warned that the ongoing pilot shortage is getting worse.   The shortage has reached 2,000, roughly one in 10, says Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, as reported by the Air Force Times.   Wilson and Gen. Dave Goldfein, the service's chief of staff, told reporters Thursday at the Pentagon that a shortage of that size can "break the force."   Figures from October showed a shortage of 1,500 pilots, including about 1,300 fighter pilots. The most recent figures did not include fighter pilots.   The Air Force needs about 20,000 pilots across the active-duty, Guard and Reserve components, noted the paper.   Wilson said the largest reason for the shortfall is that "we are too small for all the missions we are being asked to carry out," as quoted by the Business Insider.  
  Item Number:17 Date: 11/10/2017 USA - LAWMAKERS AGREE ON $700 BILLION BILL FOR MILITARY; SPACE CORPS DOESN'T MAKE CUT (NOV 10/MILTIMES)  MILITARY TIMES -- Congressional negotiators have agreed on a $700 billion bill for the Pentagon. The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would raise pay for U.S. personnel and boost military end strength by more than 20,000, reports Military Times.   The agreement on Wednesday omitted funding for a proposed Space Corps and focused instead on bureaucratic changes intended to enhance the existing program, reports CNN.   The Pentagon and White House have both called the Space Corps proposal premature.   The included changes would include enhanced acquisition authority, a reduction in red tape and an emphasis on a single space-focused unit within the Air Force.   The collaborative bill will be reviewed by the full House and Senate in coming weeks.   The NDAA promises a 2.4 percent pay raise for troops, 90 new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and 13 new ships for the Navy, above what the administration requested.  
  Item Number:18 Date: 11/10/2017 USA - LOCKHEED LANDS CONTRACT TO SUPPORT USAF ICBM RE-ENTRY SYSTEM (NOV 10/USDOD)  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE -- Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $386 million contract for re-entry system/re-entry vehicles subsystem support, says the U.S. Defense Department.   Wednesday's announcement expands on a 2014 contract for the U.S. Air Force covering land-based Minuteman III ICBMs.   Work will be performed in King of Prussia, Pa., and Hill Air Force Base, Utah, with an expected completion date of June 4, 2022.  
Item Number:19 Date: 11/10/2017 USA - MARINE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATORS GET NEW PISTOLS, DUBBED M007 (NOV 10/USMC)  UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS -- U.S. Marines serving as criminal investigators are being equipped with new concealed pistols, the service said on Thursday.   The Glock 19M is replacing the M9 Beretta. The 19M has a smaller frame and can be provided at a lower cost to service members. The Corps calls the Glock 19 the M007.   Marine criminal investigators, both civilian and military, are required to carry a concealable pistol while on duty in civilian attire.   The FBI adopted the weapon in 2016.   The Corps made the change earlier this year. Dozens of Marines will carry the Glock 19M when they deploy to Afghanistan next year, the Marine Times reported this week.  
  Item Number:20 Date: 11/10/2017 USA - ONLY 1 IN 3 NAVY SUPER HORNETS READY TO FIGHT NOW, SAYS TOP COMMANDERS (NOV 10/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- The lead of the Naval Air Forces says just a third of the Navy's F/A-18 Super Hornets are fully mission-capable and ready for immediate deployment, reports Defense News.   Vice Adm. Troy Shoemaker told the House subcommittee on Readiness on Friday that half of the service's 542 Super Hornets were flyable as of October.   The admiral blamed the current shortfall on increased operations after 9/11 and budgetary uncertainty.   The commanders said more funding would help, but a complete plan to update the force is necessary to fully resolve the issue.

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