Thursday, January 25, 2018

TheList 4641

To All
A bit of history and some tidbits
This Day In Naval History – January 24, 2018
Jan. 24
§  1942—During the Battle of Makassar Strait (Balikpapan), destroyers John D. Ford, Parrott, Pope, and Paul Jones attack the anchored Japanese invasion force in the harbor of Balikpapan, Borneo, sinking four of 12 transport ships.
§  1945—Submarine Blackfin (SS 322) sinks the Japanese destroyer Shigure in the Gulf of Siam.
§  1956—USS Jallao (SS 368) becomes the first U.S. Navy submarine to transit the Suez Canal traveling from the Mediterranean to Massawa, Eritrea, Ethiopia.
§  1991—Desert Shield/Desert Storm SEAL platoons from USS Leftwich (DD 984) and USS Nicholas (FFG 47) recaptures the island, Jazirat Qurah, the first Kuwaiti territory from Iraqis. 
January 24

Shortly after declaring himself a god, Caligula is assassinated by two Praetorian tribunes.

Matthias Corvinus, the son of John Hunyadi, is elected king of Hungary.

Representatives from three Connecticut towns band together to write the Fundamental Orders, the first constitution in the New World.

Czar Peter the Great caps his reforms in Russia with the "Table of Rank" which decrees a commoner can climb on merit to the highest positions.

Gold is discovered by James Wilson Marshall at his partner Johann August Sutter's sawmill on the South Fork of the American River, near Coloma, California.

U.S. Secretary of State John Hay and British Ambassador Herbert create a joint commission to establish the Alaskan border.

U.S. Cavalry is sent to preserve the neutrality of the Rio Grande during the Mexican Civil War.

The German cruiser Bl├╝cher is sunk by a British squadron in the Battle of Dogger Bank.

British expeditionary force of 12,000 is sent to China to protect concessions at Shanghai.

The League of Nations rebukes Poland for the mistreatment of a German minority in Upper Silesia.

A German attempt to relieve the besieged city of Budapest is finally halted by the Soviets.

The UN establishes the International Atomic Energy Commission.

Indian leader Nehru demands that the UN name Peking as an aggressor in Korea.

Winston Churchill dies from a cerebral thrombosis at the age of 90.

In a rebuff to the Soviets, the U.S. announces intentions to sell arms to China.

A draft of Air Force history reports that the U.S. secretly sprayed herbicides on Laos during the Vietnam War.
Another warrior called home.  Rest well Marine!
Marine Master Sgt. Catherine G. Murray, the first female enlisted Marine to retire from active duty in 1962, died Dec. 20 at age 100. (Women Marines Association/Women Marines Association)
 January 23 at 7:00 PM
The forecast had called for rain, possibly strong thunderstorms to roll through the region. But as 50 or so people gathered at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday afternoon to say goodbye to retired Marine Master Sgt. Catherine G. Murray, not a single drop of rain fell.
Some may have called the clearing skies a miracle. But Murray, the first enlisted female Marine to retire from active duty, would have described it using her favorite word: "providential."
"Everything that would happen, she would say, 'That's providential,'" said Mark Adkins, Murray's caretaker and companion of 22 years. "She believed that God was looking out for her."
Murray, who lived to be 100 years old, died Dec. 20 at her home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with Adkins by her side. She was a fierce supporter of the Marines until the day she died, Adkins said. Murray served for nearly 20 years after enlisting in 1943.
"I thought it was the best," Murray said in a February 2015 YouTube video filmed by Adkins. "I still do."
Members of the Marine Corps Body Bearers raise the American flag Tuesday from the casket of retired Marine Master Sgt. Catherine G. Murray at Arlington National Cemetery . (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)
As the youngest of three children and the only girl, Adkins said, Murray was determined to defy gender norms and "create her own identity."
She was driving home from church on Dec. 7, 1941, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the attack on Pearl Harbor. Without telling her family, Murray decided then to enlist in the Marines, Adkins said.
In the 2015 video, Murray said she passed both physical and aptitude tests, and "before you knew it," she was on a train headed for boot camp in New York.
"I didn't ask my mother, or my brother or my aunt what they thought; I went ahead and did it," Murray said. "After the die was cast, I called them and I said, 'Momma, I am now a United States Marine.' "
Murray was one of 50 women who were retained on active duty after World War II, said Eileen Skahill, Murray's friend and national chaplain with the Women Marines Association.
During her career, Murray was stationed in 15 duty stations, including London, Hawaii, the District and Quantico, Va., Adkins said. Her tasks ranged from secretarial duties to driving five-ton trucks, he said.
At Quantico, Skahill said Murray was responsible for writing many of the directives and manuals for training female Marines.
Although she was surrounded by men, many of whom were her superiors, Adkins said Murray never stopped championing women's rights and equality.
In another YouTube video posted in May, Murray recounted listening to two male colonels talking about the Marines' achievements and giving all the credit to men.
"Finally, I had it up to here in their conversation," Murray said.
She told them to remember there were 18,000 female Marines, adding that "as a matter of fact, you wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for some woman."
In the 2016 presidential election, Adkins said, Murray voted for Hillary Clinton, saying it was "high time for a woman to be president."
Murray was an avid volunteer who made sacrifices to help not only her family but also strangers, Adkins said.
"She felt that was the way you served God, by serving one another and by contributing to the world," he said.
During Tuesday's ceremony, Murray was remembered for her unyielding service, most notably her work at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, where she logged more than 48,000 hours as a volunteer.
On her way to the hospital, Adkins said, Murray would pick up people waiting at the bus stop and drive them where they needed to go.
Maria Curran, 60, who took her first steps in Murray's Florida home, said the retired Marine never turned down any opportunity presented to her.
"If you asked her to do anything, she was like, 'Let's go,' " said Curran, who traveled from Richmond to attend the service.
Despite a century's worth of life experiences, Adkins said, Murray's career in the Marines was the "highlight of her life." She wanted to be buried at Arlington alongside her fellow Marines and others who served the country instead of with her family because "Marines were her family too," Adkins said.
Murray had outlived all of her biological family, but on Tuesday both active and retired Marines gathered to say farewell. Adkins wiped tears from his eyes while he watched the woman he had come to regard as his best friend laid to rest in a position of honor and respect.
"We did her proud," Skahill said. "I am so pleased that we were able to make the presence that we did today."
Grade Point newsletter
News and issues affecting higher education.
Sign up
While attendees milled about after the service, chatting among themselves or paying their final respects, Adkins continued to care for Murray as he quietly rearranged the roses atop her blue-grey casket after gusts of wind knocked some to the ground.
"The last act of kindness that I can do is to walk through this journey with her until the end," Adkins said.
As cars departed the cemetery and Murray's casket was left alone under a tent, the first drops of rain began to fall.
Thanks to THE Bear -
Dutch... good pix with a brief summary of a historic case of what happens when you 
send out lone patrols to fend for themselves... easy pickin's for our many enemies... 
Begin forwarded message:

50 years ago North Korea seized a US spy ship and humiliated Washington

Written by
Steve Mollman - January 21, 2018
There's only one active-duty vessel of the US Navy being held captive by a foreign government. It's a North Korean tourist attraction.
On Jan. 23, 1968, North Korea attacked and seized the USS Pueblo, a barely armed spy ship that had been operating in international waters off its coast. Sent to gather intelligence on the secretive nation's military, the vessel was unimpressive but did feature sensitive encryption equipment and intelligence documents. One American crewmember was killed in the seizure, and the 82 others were imprisoned and mistreated for nearly a year.
The 50th anniversary of ship's capture serves as a reminder that relations between Washington and Pyongyang were tense long before Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un traded insults like "little rocket man" and "dotard." It also offers lessons for today.
While the two countries have been at odds for over half a century, some periods have been worse than others. The year 1968, even by today's standards, was particularly bad. Then as now, the two sides exchanged strongly worded demands. Right after the ship's capture, the US Navy insisted the crew be returned and that North Korea apologize, adding the US could demand compensation under international law.
Pyongyang wasn't exactly cowed. The past few years had been marked by heightened tension and small skirmishes between the US and North Korea. Days earlier North Korean special forces had nearly succeeded in assassinating South Korea's president at the Blue House, the equivalent of the White House in the US.
Major general Pak Chung-kuk said the USS Pueblo had been operating in North Korean waters, not international ones. Pyongyang demanded the US admit this, apologize, and promise that such intrusions would never happen again—in a signed document. Washington scoffed at the idea, but in December 1968 it finally went along, capping a year of deep diplomatic embarrassment.
In the intervening months, the US, embroiled in the Vietnam war, built up a large military presence around South Korea, deploying several aircraft carriers. The Soviet Union, a key North Korean ally, sent warships into the Sea of Japan. The stage was set for a serious conflict.
Meanwhile the imprisoned crew were not treated well, being starved, interrogated, beaten, and psychologically tortured by their captors. Commander Lloyd M. Bucher was put through a mock firing squad, and finally "confessed" to his crew's transgressions when the captors threatened to kill his men in front of him.
For the North Koreans, the captured ship was a treasure trove of spy goodies, including intelligence machines and operating manuals. The US crew managed to destroy some of it, but experts believe much of value fell to North Korea and, through it, KGB officers in the Soviet Union.
Once the men were released—in time for Christmas, in a welcome bit of positive news—the US retracted the admissions, apologies, and assurances it made to Pyongyang. But the damage was done: North Korea had humiliated the US and achieved a propaganda victory. Today the Cold War prize sits on the Potong River as part of a war museum in Pyongyang.
Throughout 1968, US president Lyndon Johnson faced heated calls for America to retaliate against North Korea. Various plans were put before him, including one involving nuclear strikes (pdf, p. 2). But Johnson showed restraint, opting instead for diplomatic efforts and secret talks with Pyongyang. Jack Cheevers, who wrote a book on the Pueblo incident, recently wondered if the Trump administration would show such restraint if faced with a similar provocation.
The Pueblo incident is a reminder that the Kim family regime—now in its third generation of authoritarian rule—is an unpredictable entity that doesn't follow international norms. During the Cold War the US and Soviet Union had a gentleman's agreement regarding spy ships: don't interfere with ours and we won't do so with yours. The US wrongly assumed that Pyongyang would play by the same rules. It did not.
Such assumptions could also prove dangerous today.
From Fighter Sweep
Today in Aviation History: 1951 First Flight of the Douglas F4D Skyray
January 23, 1951 marked the first flight of the Douglas F4D Skyray carrier based fighter/interceptor jet. The F4D Skyray was the first US Navy and Marine Corps jet that could exceed Mach View More ›
A couple from the List archives…One for the Marines and one  for the Phantom drivers out there
Thanks to John
Quote of the Week
When asked what he thinks about General Mattis being considered for Secretary of Defense, Rob O'Neill (the man who killed Bin Laden) said "General Mattis has a bear rug in his home but it is not dead, it is just afraid to move".
Thanks to the Old Bandit
F-22 jock flies the F-4  I have no idea who wrote this.
This is from a friend, you Phantom Drivers will get a kick out of it.
A colleague who is F22 pilot for the Virginia ANG had honor of flying a Phantom at Eglin. He flew the aircraft we had at the reunion. Here is the F-22 pilot's thoughts on flying the F-4:
I flew your jet a couple days ago (see attached). I had a little trouble getting the engines started, so I climbed out and shoveled some more coal in the back; after that she fired right up.
Ground ops were uneventful, although I couldn't figure out why the cockpit smelled like body odor, Jack Daniels and cigars…and that was BEFORE I got in it! By the way, what's with the no slip crap on top of the intakes, it's like you have permanent icing conditions due to that spray on rhino truck bed liner on top of the aircraft. It's no wonder you needed so much coal (I mean thrust) to get airborne.
Take off scared the sh*t out of me. I lit the burners at brick one and 2 miles and 45 minutes later we were ready to rotate. After barely clearing the tree tops, the gear came up and I climbed away at a VERY impressive 2 degrees nose high. In case you don't remember, "Trim" is your friend in the F-4 (pretty sure it's also a good friend on the ground too).
Once I got her up to speed and a moderate altitude, we were ready for the G-Ex. Two G-turn's later and I'm sinking like a rock…the F-4's energy seems to bleed like Holyfield's ear in the Tyson fight! After the G-Ex it was time to do a little Advanced Handling Characteristics (AHC) and by "advanced handling" I mean the same crap the Wright Brothers were doing back in 1903…just trying to keep it airborne.
The jet flies much like my old man's station wagon used to drive…You turn the wheel (push the stick) a few inches and nothing happens, then all of a sudden the steering kicks in, inertia takes over, and all HELL breaks loose! You're pretty much along for the ride at that point and only gravity has a real say in your lift vector placement.
"Checking 6" was really quite easy…. because you CAN'T! Scratch that off the list of "Sh*t I need to do to keep myself alive in combat today". Breathing, however, was surprisingly easy in the F-4 when compared to that of the F-22 (thank you Lockheed)…LOX works, who knew!
I think I may have burned my legs a bit from the steam pouring out from behind the gauges. Where are my 6 mini-flat screen TV's, I'm lost without my HD jet displays (editors note: actually, I'm an analog guy stuck in a digital world too…I really do like the "steam driven" gauges).
After the AHC, I decided to take her up high and do a supersonic MACH run, and by "high" I mean "where never lark nor even eagle flew"; but not much higher, a foot or two maybe. I mean, we weren't up there high-fiving Jesus like we do in the Raptor, but it was respectable. It only took me the width of the Gulf of Mexico to get the thing turned around while above the Mach.
After the Mach run we dropped to the deck and did 600 kts at 500'; a ratllin' and shakin' we will go…. I though all the rivets were going to pop out. Reference previous station wagon analogy! Very quickly we were out of gas and headed home.
As I brought the jet up initial, I couldn't help but think that the boys who took this thing into combat had to have some pretty big brass you know whats!
[Note: Compared to today's Military]
My first F-4 landing was a little rough; sub-standard really by Air Force measure… but apparently "best seen to date" according to the Navy guys. Did you know that there's no such thing as an aerobrake in the F-4? As soon as the main gear touches down, the nose comes slamming down to the runway with all the force of a meteor hitting the earth….I guess the F-4 aerobrake technique is to dissipate energy via denting the runway.
Despite an apparently "decent" landing, stopping was a whole different problem. I reached down and pulled the handle to deploy the drogue chute…at which point a large solid mass of canvas, 550 cord, metal weights and cables fell out and began bouncing down the runway; chasing me like a lost puppy and FOD'ing out the whole runway. Perfect. I mashed down on the brakes and I'm pretty sure at this point the jet just started laughing at me. Why didn't you warn me that I needed a shuttle landing strip to get this damn thing stopped?
All kidding aside, VERY COOL jet! Must have been a kick to fly back when you were in Vietnam! Just kidding!
"There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war." --George Washington (1793)
Thanks to Carl
(Check out DuckDuckGo or StartPage, excellent alternatives!  Some good comments too.)

Eliminate Google From Your Life

January 24, 2018
By Dr. Mercola
Google, by far one of the greatest monopolies that ever existed, poses a unique threat to anyone concerned about health, supplements, food and your ability to obtain truthful information about these and other issues. And, while not the sole threat to privacy, Google is definitely one of the greatest. Over time, Google has positioned itself in such a way that it's become deeply embedded and involved in your day-to-day life. 
Fun Stuff
Thanks to DP
Thanks to Chuck
Some very interesting tech in this article.
Under surveillance: satellites, cameras, and phones track us
Thanks to Gaucho
"When you see that, in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing, and when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors and when you see that these men get richer by graft and by their pull - not by their work. When your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you and when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice...You may now know that your society is doomed."
- Ayn Rand
Item Number:1 Date: 01/24/2018 AFGHANISTAN - ISIS ATTACK ON CHARITY IN JALALABAD KILLS 2 (JAN 24/TN)  TOLONEWS -- At least two people have been killed after gunmen attacked a charity office in Jalalabad in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, reports Tolo News (Afghanistan).   The spokesman for the provincial governor in Nangarhar said that one security force member and one civilian were killed in the attack Wednesday morning on the local branch of the international charity, Save the Children.   The attack began when a suicide car bomber detonated his vehicle outside the gate of the compound. At least one other gunman then entered the compound and began shooting.   At least 20 people were injured in the attack, the spokesman for the provincial governor said.   Witnesses also said they heard rocket-propelled grenade fire during the initial phase of the assault.   Security services personnel said they killed at least one gunmen, reported CNN. The BBC reported that three gunmen were involved in the attack.   Save the Children suspended its operations in Afghanistan after the attack, reported the New York Times.   The Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility, reported the BBC. The Taliban denied any involvement in the operation.   Paid Military Periscope subscribers can get more information on the Islamic State at
 Item Number:2 Date: 01/24/2018 BRAZIL - AIR FORCE ORDERS ANOTHER C-295 SAR AIRCRAFT (JAN 24/ADAS)  AIRBUS DEFENCE AND SPACE -- The Brazilian air force has ordered an additional C-295 search-and-rescue (SAR) aircraft, reports the manufacturer, Airbus Defense and Space.   The order exercises an option under a 2014 contract and brings the total number of C-295 aircraft ordered to 15, the company said in a release on Jan. 22. Twelve are in the transport configuration and the balance are SAR planes.   The first of the three C-295 SAR aircraft was delivered in 2017. The second is due to be handed over in 2019 and the third in 2020.  
Item Number:3 Date: 01/24/2018 EGYPT - AUTHORITIES ARREST POTENTIAL PRESIDENTIAL CHALLENGER (JAN 24/DNE)  DAILY NEWS EGYPT -- Egyptian authorities have arrested a retired general who announced his intention to run in upcoming presidential elections, reports Daily News Egypt.   The Egyptian military officially summoned Sami Anan on Wednesday, accusing him of running for president without the approval of the armed forces and "inciting against the armed forces" to create divides between the military and the people of Egypt, reported the Guardian (U.K.).   Thirty members of the campaign and some of their family members were also arrested, according to a campaign spokesman.   His campaign said he had been arrested and taken by military prosecutors for interrogation. They added that the campaign was being suspended for the safety of its members.   Anan, a former general and chief of staff from 2005 to 2012, is considered a reservist by the armed forces and thus officially barred from entering politics.   He was considered a favorite to compete against President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi in the elections this March.   Sisi, himself a former general, is favored to win. He has come under fire for human-rights abuses, especially against political opponents and members of the Muslim Brotherhood.   Anan was considered the last serious candidate to oppose Sisi in the election, noted the BBC.   Anan succeeded in cultivating a degree of support among many opposition groups during the brief period before he was arrested, noted the Guardian.   Another would-be contender, Ahmed Shafiq, was deported to the United Arab Emirates earlier this month after declaring his intention to run. Others have said that they do not feel safe running in the current environment.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 01/24/2018 GEORGIA - ARMY TAKES INITIAL DELIVERY OF JAVELIN ANTI-TANK MISSILES FROM U.S. (JAN 24/AGENDA)  AGENDA -- The Georgian army has accepted delivery of an initial batch of Javelin anti-tank missiles from the United States, reports the Agenda (Georgia).   Defense Minister Levan Izoria announced the milestone on Tuesday. He told U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly that the weapons were stored safely.   Georgian soldiers will soon begin training on the system, Izoria said.   On Nov. 21, 2017, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced that the State Dept. had approved a potential US$75 million sale of Javelin missiles and command launch units. Congress approved the sale about a month later.   The Georgian Defense Ministry emphasized that the missiles would be used only for defensive purposes, reported Interfax-AVN (Russia
  Item Number:5 Date: 01/24/2018 INTERNATIONAL - AL-QAIDA LEADER ENCOURAGES FOLLOWERS TO ATTACK JEWS AROUND THE WORLD (JAN 24/ALQUDS)  AL QUDS AL ARABI -- A prominent leader of Al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen has encouraged attacks against Jews, reports Al Quds Al Arabi (London), citing the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist activity.   On Tuesday, SITE reported on a video clip featuring Khaled Batarfi, who is thought to be the number two man in Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).   In the video clip, Batarfi implored followers to stab and run over Jews, reported Reuters.   The 18-minute video also referenced President Donald Trump's recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, warning Muslims everywhere not to surrender any part of the city.   He also called for attacks against Americans, noted the Times of Israel.   Batarfi was one of more than 150 prisoners freed when Al-Qaida took over the Yemeni city of Mukalla in 2015
Item Number:6 Date: 01/24/2018 INTERNATIONAL - AS MANY AS 10,000 ISIS LOYALISTS REMAIN, SAY EXPERTS (JAN 24/NBC)  NBC NEWS -- Despite battlefield setbacks, the Islamic State is not yet defeated and may count some 10,000 loyalists, according to experts cited by NBC News.   Hassan Hassan, an author and analyst, estimates that about 7,000 ISIS-loyalists remain in Syria, many of them Iraqis. They are concentrated in Abu Kamal and Deir Ezzor, he said.   The group now operates as a terrorist and insurgent organization, rather than a conventional fighting unit, said Hassan.   Hisham al-Hashimi, a security analyst and adviser to the Iraqi government for anti-ISIS efforts, said that while the number of fighters is around 1,000, the number of people loyal to the group in Iraq and Syria is over 10,000.   U.S. estimates of ISIS fighters range from 1,000 to 3,000, down dramatically from its peak of 45,000. The number of non-fighting ISIS supporters – those involved in online efforts, for example – is between 6,000 and 8,000, said unnamed U.S. officials
  Item Number:7 Date: 01/24/2018 IRAQ - 21 SUSPECTED ISIS FIGHTERS KILLED IN OPERATIONS NEAR MOSUL (JAN 24/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- At least 21 suspected Islamic State militants have been killed in an ongoing offensive in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, reports Turkey's Anadolu Agency.   "A total of 21 gunmen were killed and six vehicles destroyed in the past few hours," an Iraqi army colonel told the news outlet on Wednesday.   Helicopters conducted 17 strikes against ISIS positions in the Albu-Seif village south of Mosul, said Maj. Gen. Shamil al-Zamli of the Nineveh Operations Command.   Weapons caches around the city were also recovered during the operation, he added.   The operation was launched on Tuesday to clear the area of remaining ISIS fighters and sleeper cells
Item Number:8 Date: 01/24/2018 ITALY - LAST OF 2 AIRBORNE EARLY WARNING AIRCRAFT ORDERED FROM ISRAEL HANDED OVER TO AIR FORCE (JAN 24/JP)  JERUSALEM POST -- The Italian air force has taken delivery of the second and last G550 conformal airborne early warning and control (CAEW) aircraft ordered from Israel in 2012, reports the Jerusalem Post.   Under the reciprocal trade deal, worth about US$1.7 billion, the Israeli air force purchased 30 M-346 jet trainers from Italy, while Rome purchased an equivalent value of Israeli aerospace equipment, including satellites and two G550 CAEW aircraft.   The CAEW aircraft, which was delivered on Jan. 21, provides aerial and maritime situational awareness at all altitudes, over any terrain and in all weather conditions.   The aircraft is equipped with a four-dimensional active electronically scanned array radar that provides 360-degree detection, identification and tracking for air and surface targets.   The first G550 CAEW plane was delivered to Italy in 2017
  Item Number:9 Date: 01/24/2018 JAPAN - ABE PROMISES STRENGTHENED DEFENSE STRATEGY IN POLICY SPEECH (JAN 24/JT)  JAPAN TIMES -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to boost Japan's defense posture in an increasingly challenging security environment, reports the Japan Times.   Abe made his comments on Monday during an annual policy speech before both houses of the Diet.   The prime minister emphasized the need for Japan to strengthen its defensive capabilities due to North Korea's growing military provocations.   He also emphasized that his government will "not follow precedent" in updating Japan's defense program guidelines later this year. The document was last revised in December 2013.   "Based on the premise that our exclusively defense-oriented posture will remain intact, we will calibrate what defense capabilities are truly needed to protect our citizens, instead of just following precedent," said Abe.   In December, Abe's Cabinet approved a record US$46.7 billion draft defense budget, including the acquisition of two Aegis Ashore missile defense systems and Japan's first long-range air-launched cruise missiles
Item Number:10 Date: 01/24/2018 LIBYA - TWIN CAR BOMBS AT BENGHAZI MOSQUE KILL DOZENS (JAN 24/ALSHARQ)  AL-SHARQ AL-AWSAT -- Dozens of people have been killed and wounded in a double car bombing in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, reports Al Sharq Al Awsat (London).   The first bomb detonated near a mosque in the central al-Sleiman neighborhood on Tuesday night after evening prayers. Another explosion followed 30 minutes later, targeting security and health officials who rushed to the scene.   The mosque is frequented by the fighters of Brigade 210, a hardline group that fights with the Libyan National Army (LNA), which is loyal to Khalifa Haftar and the eastern government, noted Al Jazeera (Qatar).   Casualty counts varied. Al Sharq Al Awsat reported 33 killed and 50 wounded. The Libya Herald (Tripoli) reported that 22 had been killed and 33 injured.   Ahmad al-Fitouri, head of the Special Investigation Unit in the LNA, was among those killed, reported the Libya Observer, citing military sources. The Guardian (U.K.) reported that at least 27 people had died and 32 were wounded, citing a local health official.   The LNA claimed control of Benghazi in July 2017 but sporadic fighting continued until December, when it captured its rivals' final stronghold, noted Reuters.   There were no immediate claims of responsibility
Item Number:11 Date: 01/24/2018 PHILIPPINES - STOLEN GOODS HELP FUND ISIS RECRUITING (JAN 24/NEWEEK)  NEWSWEEK -- Militants linked to the Islamic State have been recruiting in the southern Philippines with the proceeds of goods stolen after they captured the city of Marawi in 2017, reports Newsweek.   ISIS-allied fighters from the Abu Sayyaf Group and the Maute group seized large parts of Marawi in the southern Lanao del Sur province in May 2017. They held the city for about five months before being defeated by Philippine security forces.   During that period, the militants stole gold, jewelry and cash worth millions of dollars. These funds are now being used by Humam Abdul Najib, or Abu Dar, a top ISIS-affiliated jihadist leader in the Philippines, to recruit new fighters, reported Reuters.   Philippine authorities estimate that around US$40 million was stolen. Officials have expressed concern that the funds could be used to rebuild the militant groups and launch another offensive on Marawi or conduct attacks elsewhere in the country.   Najib has been using the money to recruit young men in the poor Lanao del Sur province, as well as mercenaries lured by the promise of money
Item Number:12 Date: 01/24/2018 SYRIA - CHLORINE GAS ATTACK TARGETS REBEL-HELD E. GHOUTA; TILLERSON CALLS RUSSIA COMPLICIT (JAN 24/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- The U.S. government has accused the Syrian government of carrying out chemical weapons attacks on a rebel-held area outside of the capital, Damascus, reports the New York Times.   U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday at a conference on chemical weapons in Paris that recent attacks in East Ghouta suggested that the Assad government has not stopped using chemical weapons.   Tillerson also criticized Russia, saying that it had shielded Assad's government from accountability. He accused the Kremlin of reneging on a 2013 accord in which Syria agreed to eliminate its chemical weapons stockpiles. Russia acted as a guarantor in that agreement.   Russia sent a "dangerous message to the world" by disbanding a U.N. probe into Syria's use of chemical weapons, said U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley at the United Nations.   Russia called the allegations baseless.   The alleged chemical weapon attack happened on Monday. Rescuers who arrived on the scene of an attack said they smelled chlorine in the in the air and rescued at least 13 civilians who were struggling to breathe, said a photographer working for Reuters.   At least 13 people were injured, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Other groups reported 21 people sickened in the attack.   East Ghouta, the last major rebel-held zone near Damascus and one of the last in the country, has been under siege for four years. It is home to at least 390,000 people, noted Reuters
Item Number:13 Date: 01/24/2018 SYRIA - TURKS CLAIM 260 KILLED IN AFRIN OP; KURDS SAY FIGURES EXAGGERATED (JAN 24/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- Kurdish militias in northern Syria are pushing back against Turkish claims of success in Operation Olive Branch, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   On Wednesday, the Turkish military said it had neutralized 260 fighters from the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The Turkish military uses the term "neutralized" to indicate militants killed, wounded or captured, noted the Hurriyet Daily News (Istanbul). Three Turkish soldiers had been killed, authorities said.   Kurdish groups denied these figures, saying the numbers were greatly exaggerated.   The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 24 civilians had been killed as well as 54 Syrian fighters, including 19 Turkey-backed rebels, 26 Kurdish fighters and nine unidentified figures. Ankara has denied causing civilian casualties.   The Syrian Democratic Forces, a U.S.-backed group made up mostly of Kurdish fighters, also pushed back against Turkish claims that ISIS fighters were present in Afrin.   The official accused Turkey of lying to bolster its operation.   "The whole world knows [ISIS]) is not present in Afrin," a senior SDF official told Reuters.   Turkey announced Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20. The aim, officials said, is to clear a 30-km (19-mile) buffer zone along the Turkish border of "terrorists" and occupy the area with Syrian rebels friendly to Ankara.   The operation was spurred by a U.S. announcement of an intended border force along the Syrian-Turkish frontier composed mostly of Kurdish fighters loyal to the U.S. Ankara does not distinguish between Syrian Kurdish militants and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a secessionist terrorist group
  Item Number:14 Date: 01/24/2018 UNITED KINGDOM - ARMY RECONSIDERS FULL WITHDRAWAL FROM GERMANY (JAN 24/DTL)  DAILY TELEGRAPH (LONDON) -- The British army is re-evaluating a decision to withdraw from facilities in Germany, reports London's Daily Telegraph.   The potential threat posed by Russia has commanders "actively considering" retaining bases in Germany that the British military planned to leave by the end of the decade, said Gen. Nick Carter, the chief of the General Staff.   Instead of pulling back, the U.K. could leave a forward mounting base that would enable troops to rapidly deploy to Eastern Europe in the event of a conflict with Russia, the general said on Monday at the Royal United Services Institute in London.   The British army is looking at retaining Ayrshire Barracks in Moenchengladbach and a base at Sennelager, he said.   The facilities could be used to store ammunition, fuel, vehicles and equipment that would accelerate any deployment to Eastern Europe. There was unlikely to be a significant quantity of troops stationed at the bases, said unnamed sources.   To deter Russia in the region, the U.K. and its NATO allies need to speed up their ability to recognize what is happening, make a decision on what to do and assemble forces to respond, said Carter.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 01/24/2018 USA - MARINE CORPS EYES UPGRADES FOR INFANTRY (JAN 24/MCT)  MARINE CORPS TIMES -- The U.S. Marine Corps is working on revamping its fundamental units, including updated equipment and new roles and responsibilities, reports the Marine Corps Times.   The move comes as the lines between conventional infantry and special operations forces have increasingly blurred after nearly 17 years of combat operations in the Middle East.   The service has started designating one Marine in each infantry squad as a "marksman" and providing that Marine with an M38 rifle, the marksmanship variant of the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR).   The M38 allows the operator to hit targets at ranges of 330 yards to 660 yards (300 m to 600 m), said a spokeswoman for the Marine Corps Systems Command. The new role is intended for the best marksman in each squad. They will not be snipers, the spokeswoman said.   Full operational capability with the M38 is anticipated by the end of 2018.   All other members of the infantry squad are in line for the M27 IAR in place of the M4 carbine.   The Corps also plans to field a new rifle-mounted laser rangefinder, which will allow squad leaders to call in air and artillery strikes, officials said.   The service is also looking at new night-vision equipment and new daytime optics for Marines.  
 Item Number:16 Date: 01/24/2018 USA - TROOPS MUST MAINTAIN READINESS, INTEROPERABILITY WITH NATO IN FACE OF PEER THREATS, SAYS MARINE GENERAL (JAN 24/MCT)  MARINE CORPS TIMES -- The growing threat of peer competitors highlights the need for the U.S. to maintain readiness and interoperability with its NATO allies, according to the commander of the Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa, as cited by the Marine Corps Times.   "There are peer competitors that are out there that are willing and capable to hand it to us," Maj. Gen. Russell Sanborn told the Amphibious Leader Expeditionary Symposium last week in Arlington, Va.   The illegal annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 has moved Russia back into the top spot of major threats to NATO, he said.   Moscow's investments in long-range cruise missiles pose a significant challenge to U.S. and NATO maritime dominance in the Mediterranean, Baltic and Black seas, the general said.   Experts emphasized the importance of NATO allies working together with all of their assets to confront potential threats.

No comments:

Post a Comment