Monday, March 12, 2018

Fw: TheList 4675

The List 4675

To All,
I hope that you all had a great weekend. The time change still is a pain.
This Day In Naval History – March 12, 2018
March 12
1864During the Civil War, Union screw gunboat Aroostook captures the schooner Marion near Velasco, TX, and the screw steamer Massachusetts captures the sloop Persis in Wassaw Sound, GA.
1904The Marine detachment from USS Cincinnati (C 7) provides protection and assistance during the evacuation of Americans from Chemuplo (Inchon) and Seoul, Korea, when they are endangered by the Russo-Japanese War.
1917 - All American merchant ships to be armed in war zones
1942President Franklin D. Roosevelt designates Adm. Ernest J. King to serve as the Chief of Naval Operations, as well as the Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet (he was appointed on Dec. 30, 1941).
1943USS Champlin (DD-601) sinks German submarine U-130, which had previously sunk 25 Allied vessels, including three U.S. Navy ships during Operation Torch.
1956The first missile firing aircraft squadron, Attack Squadron 83, is deployed overseas aboard USS Intrepid (CVA 11).
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
Top national headlines included a new White House proposal on gun and school safety, and a helicopter crash in New York's East River that killed five. The Wall Street Journal reports that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned the Syrian government and Russia over the use of chemical weapons after reports of chlorine gas being used against civilians. "We have made it very clear that it would be very unwise to use gas against people, civilians, on any battlefield," said Mattis. China's National People's Congress approved a plan to abolish presidential term limits, paving the way for President Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely reports the Washington Post. Additionally, the Guardian reports that the Da Nang port visit by USS Carl Vinson could signal closer ties between the US and Vietnam.
Today in History March12
The Jews are expelled from Syria.
Cesare Borgia dies while fighting alongside his brother, the king of Navarre, in Spain.
The Bermuda Islands become an English colony.
New Jersey becomes a British colony.
The United States Post Office is established.
Great Britain signs a treaty with Persia forcing the French out of the country.
President Jefferson Davis delivers his State of the Confederacy address.
The British Zulu War begins.
Mississippi establishes the first U.S. state college for women.
Coca-Cola is sold in bottles for the first time.
The Czar of Russia issues a decree providing for nominal freedom of religion throughout the land.
British Parliament increases naval appropriations for Great Britain.
Dr. Fletcher of the Rockefeller Institute discovers the cause of infantile paralysis.
Juliet Low founds the Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia.
Russian troops mutiny as the "February Revolution" begins.
Gandhi begins his march to the sea to symbolizes his defiance of British rule in India.
President Paul von Hindenburg drops the flag of the German Republic and orders that the swastika and empire banner be flown side by side.
President Roosevelt makes the first of his Sunday evening fireside chats.
German troops enter Austria without firing a shot, forming the anschluss (union) of Austria and Germany.
Pius XII is elected the new pope in Rome.
Great Britain bars all travel to neutral Ireland, which is suspected of collaborating with Nazi Germany.
Diarist Anne Frank dies in a German concentration camp.
The U.S. House of Representatives joins the Senate in approving the statehood of Hawaii.
Lebanese President Gemayel opens the second meeting in five years calling for the end to nine-years of war.
The United States and the Soviet Union begin arms control talks in Geneva.
The Church of England ordains women priests.
Thanks to Dr. Rich
March 10-11 in aviation history are speed days.
In 1948 – NACA test pilot Herbert Henry Hoover becomes the first civilian to fly faster than the speed of sound, reaching 703 mph (Mach 1.065) aboard the No. 2 Bell XS-1.

In 1956 – The British-built Fairey Delta 2 research aircraft flown by Lt Cdr Peter Twiss sets a new world airspeed record of 1,132 mph, becoming the first plane to exceed 1,000 mph in level flight. The new mark bests the previous record by 300 mph, set a year earlier by a North American F-100 Super Sabre.

In 1957 – The prototype Boeing 707 jet lands after a press demonstration flight from Seattle, Washington to Baltimore, Maryland during which it covers 2,350 miles in a record time of 3 hours 48 minutes, an average speed of 618 mph.
And this notable sunset:
In 1960 – The last flight by a United States Air Force-operated North American B-25 Mitchell takes place, when TB-25 J-25-NC, 44-30854, the last Mitchell in the U. S. Air Force inventory, lands at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, for preservation.
Thanks to Doctor Rich
Yeager won't be happy w. this announcement (below) … or did he change his name …
Actually, I believe a North American test pilot, broke the sound barrier before Yeager … twice I think, before they forbid him to retract his gear during flights until Yeager flew the X-1 … sonic booms heard clearly at Happy Bottom before Yeager made the attempt ...
With our thanks to THE Bear at
March 12, 2018   Bear Taylor   
RIPPLE SALVO… #737… NYT, 11-MAR-1968, PAGE 40: "SUICIDAL ESCALATION"… "If events of the past six weeks in Vietnam prove anything, they demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that the policy of military escalation in Southeast Asia which President Johnson and the Pentagon advisors have followed for more than three years is futile–and worse."… but first…
Good Morning: Day SEVEN HUNDRED THIRTY-SEVEN of a remembrance of a page in world history written in the blood of 58,200 bold, brave Americans who died in the service of our country. A day–12 March– to pause and remember two great warriors–COMMANDER GLENN KOLLMAN and LT JOHN GRIFFITH of VA-35–who flew their last flight 50 Years Ago Today…"glory gained, duty done:…
HEAD LINES from The New York Times on Tuesday, 12 March 1968…
Page 1: "SECRETARY DEAN RUSK TELLS PANEL OF 'A TO Z' REVIEW OF VIETNAM WAR–CONCEDES SERIOUS SETBACKS BUT SAYS U.S. AND SAIGON ARE REGAINING INITIATIVE–SENATORS SCORE VIETNAM POLICY–SECRETARY ASSAILED IN FIRST PUBLIC VIETNAM QUESTIONING BY COMMITTEE IN TWO YEARS"… "The Senate Foreign Relations Committee pressed Secretary of State Dean Rusk today (11th) to disclose whether the Administration was planning to expand the war in Vietnam. The Secretary, however, would go no further than the statement that the Administration was re-examining its policy from "A to Z" and considering 'all alternatives.' Among the alternatives, Mr. Rusk indicated, is an increase in the American military strength in Vietnam. In a day-long nationally televised defense of the Administration policy, Mr. Rusk acknowledged that the United States and South Vietnam had suffered some 'serious setbacks' in the recent enemy offensive. He contended, however, that the military picture was becoming more encouraging because the United States and its allies were 'returning to the initiative.' The war, he declared, has reached a significant 'turning point,' with the outcome dependent upon which side most quickly sizes and retains the initiative. At the same time he cautioned that heavy fighting lay ahead, fighting that would test the will and determination of the United States."…
Thanks to Carl
(This is a classic example of the ignorance of people making our laws!!) 
Rep Diana DeGette ABSURDLY claims high cap mags are 1 time use!
"The number of these High capacity mags is going to decrease dramatically overtime because the bullets would have been shot and there wont be anymore available."
Great bit of WWII history
Carlson's Raid On Makin Island
By Col David W Haughey, USMC(Ret)
Originally published in August 2001 Marine Corps Gazette
The Marine Corps Gazette gratefully acknowledges PRIMEDIA Enthusiast Publications' permission to reprint this article which originally appeared in American History Illustrated, October 1983.
In the true military sense, the Makin raid, as well as the famous Doolittle raid, were insignificant. No one should overlook the fact that the war in the Pacific overtook the need for raider battalions. Their special skills were not needed as the Marine Corps expanded to six divisions. But at the time, America needed something to cheer about, and Makin filled the bill. This bold, offensive action revived national spirits and sent a clear message to the Japanese that they had truly "awakened a sleeping giant."
Thanks to John and Tony

Charles Krauthammer Interesting Take on Mr. Trump
To my friends "of a different persuasion" I'm not trying to sell anything or anyone but I do feel this is an interesting take on our very controversial president who I truly believe is not Republican or Democrat.

A different take on Donald Trump:  (a non-political agenda)
Trump Is Not A Liberal or Conservative, He's a "Pragmatist."
(Definition: A pragmatist is someone who is practical and focused on reaching a goal. A pragmatist usually has a straightforward, matter-of-fact approach and doesn't let emotion distract him or her.)
"We recently enjoyed a belated holiday dinner with friends at the home of other friends. The dinner conversation varied from discussions about antique glass and china to theology and politics.
At one point, reference was made to Donald Trump being a conservative, to which I responded that Trump is not a conservative.
I said that I neither view nor do I believe Trump views himself as a conservative. I stated it was my opinion that Trump is a pragmatist. He sees a problem and  understands it must be fixed. He doesn't see the problem as liberal or conservative, he sees it only as a problem. That is a quality that should be admired and applauded, not condemned. But I get ahead of myself.
Viewing problems from a Liberal perspective has resulted in the creation of more problems, more entitlement programs, more victims, more government, more political correctness, and more attacks on the working class in all economic strata.
Viewing things according to the so-called Republican conservative perspective has brought continued spending and globalism to the detriment of American interests and well being, denial of what the real problems are, weak, ineffective, milquetoast, leadership that amounts to Barney Fife Deputy Sheriff, appeasement oriented and afraid of its own shadow. In brief, it has brought liberal ideology with a pachyderm as a mascot juxtaposed to the ass of the Democrat Party.
Immigration isn't a Republican problem, it isn't a Liberal problem, it is a problem that threatens the very fabric and infrastructure of America. It demands a pragmatic approach not an approach that is intended to appease one group or another.
The impending collapse of the economy wasn't a Liberal or Conservative problem, it is an American problem. That said, until it is viewed as a problem that demands a common sense approach to resolution, it will never be fixed because the Democrats and Republicans know only one way to fix things and the longevity of  their impracticality has proven to have no lasting effect.
Successful businessmen like Donald Trump find ways to make things work, they do not promise to accommodate.
Trump uniquely understands that China's manipulation of currency is not a Republican problem or a Democrat problem. It is a problem that threatens our financial stability and he understands the proper balance needed to fix it.
Here again, successful businessmen like Trump who have weathered the changing tides of economic reality understand what is necessary to make business work, and they, unlike both sides of the political aisle, know that if something doesn't work, you don't continue trying to make it work hoping that at some point it will.
As a pragmatist, Donald Trump hasn't made wild pie-in-the-sky promises of a cell phone in every pocket, free college tuition, and a $15 hour minimum wage for working the drive-through at Carl's Hamburgers.
I argue that America needs pragmatists because pragmatists see a problem and find ways to fix them. They do not see a problem and compound it by creating more problems.
You may not like Donald Trump, but I suspect that the reason some people do not like him is because:
(1) he is antithetical to the "good old boy" method of brokering backroom deals that fatten the coffers of politicians;
(2) they are unaccustomed to hearing a president speak who is unencumbered by the financial shackles of those who he owes vis-a-vis donations;
(3) he is someone who is free of idiomatic political ideology;
(4) he says what he is thinking, is unapologetic for his outspoken thoughts, speaks very straightforward using everyday language that can be understood by all (and is offensive to some who dislike him anyway) making him a great communicator, for the most part, does what he says he will do and;
 (5) he is someone who understands that it takes more than hollow promises and political correctness to make America great again.
Listening to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders talk about fixing America is like listening to two lunatics trying to "out crazy" one another. Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Marco Rubio are owned lock, stock, and barrel by the bankers, corporations, and big dollar donors funding their campaigns. Bush can deny it, but common sense tells anyone willing to face facts is that people don't give tens of millions without expecting something in return
We have had Democrats and Republican ideologues and what has it brought us? Are we better off today or worse off? Has it happened overnight or has it been a steady decline brought on by both parties?
I submit that a pragmatist is just what America needs right now. People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance, but that is common among those who have never accomplished anything in their lives (or politicians who never really solved a problem, because it's better to still have an "issue(s) to be solved," so re-elect me to solve it, (which never happens) and those who have always played it safe (again, all politicians) not willing to risk failure, to try and achieve success).
Donald Trump put his total financial empire at risk in running for president and certainly did not need or possibly even want the job; that says it all. He wants success for the U.S and her citizens because he loves his country!
Item Number:1 Date: 03/12/2018 AFGHANISTAN - SECURITY FORCES BATTLE TALIBAN FOR CONTROL OF ANAR DARA DISTRICT (MAR 12/TN)  TOLONEWS -- Eight Afghan troops have been killed fighting to regain a district capital in the western Farah province, reports TOLO News (Afghanistan).   Government troops were sent to the Anar Dara district on Monday, which fell overnight to Taliban fighters. About 300 militants were involved in the attack, provincial officials told Al Jazeera (Qatar).   Backed by air support, Afghan soldiers pushed Taliban fighters from the district's center. Other parts of the district remained contested, according to a Ministry of Interior statement.   The district police chief was among the dead, said the ministry.   A Taliban spokesman said 15 policemen had been killed and several military vehicles were taken by the group, reported Reuters. The Taliban often inflates casualty reports.   The Defense Ministry said that 36 militants and 27 security personnel were killed and injured in the fighting, reported the Pajhwok Afghan News. Clashes were continuing in the Dehna Bala area of the district, a ministry spokesman said.   U.S. airstrikes and Afghan army operations have increased pressure on the Taliban in the neighboring Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold.   On Friday, at least 15 Afghan soldiers were killed in a Taliban ambush in the Bala Buluk district of Farah province.  
 Item Number:2 Date: 03/12/2018 COLOMBIA - FARC SEES LITTLE SUPPORT IN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS (MAR 12/CR)  COLOMBIA REPORTS -- Conservative parties have come out ahead in Colombia's legislative elections, which were the first to feature representatives from a former rebel group, reports Colombia Reports.   The conservative Radical Change, Conservative and Democratic Center were three of the top four parties in Sunday's elections. The Liberal Party was the only non-conservative party to match their performance.   The Radical Change party was accused of widespread election fraud throughout the race. More than 2.5 million signatures former Vice President German Vargas submitted to register his candidacy were rejected.   The Alvaro Uribe campaign of the Democratic Center party was accused of buying votes.   Public discontent with corruption enabled the Green Party to increase its gains, particularly in the Senate.   The elections were the first for the former rebels, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), now called the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force (also FARC).   The former rebels received 0.4 percent of the total votes, reported BBC News. However, they will receive five seats in each chamber of parliament, as per the terms of the 2016 peace deal.   Both the Radical Change and Democratic Center opposed the peace deal with the former rebels
  Item Number:3 Date: 03/12/2018 DEM REP OF CONGO - ETHNIC CLASHES HAVE KILLED 166 SINCE DECEMBER, GOVERNMENT SAYS (MAR 12/XIN)  XINHUA -- At least 166 people have been killed in inter-ethnic clashes in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo since last December, according to a government report cited by China's Xinhua news agency.   Nine soldiers and three police officers were among those killed in the fighting between the Hema and Lendu tribes, says the military report published on March 11.   About 1,700 houses have been burned in and around Ndjugu in the Ituri province.   Fighting reignited between the pastoralist Hema and agrarian Lendu in December.   From 2000 to 2006, around 60,000 people were killed in fighting between the two groups.   Clashes are reportedly spurred by land rights and alleged preferential treatment by authorities
Item Number:4 Date: 03/12/2018 ETHIOPIA - SECURITY FORCES KILL 10 CIVILIANS IN BORDER TOWN WITH KENYA (MAR 12/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- Ethiopian security forces killed 10 people it says were mistaken for rebels in a town near its border with Kenya, reports the Voice of America News.   Residents say national security forces deployed to the town of Moyale unexpectedly attacked on Saturday, firing into shops and restaurants.   At least 11 people were injured in the attack. Most of the casualties were people in their 20s, locals said.   The mayor of Moyale said the attack began when security forces stopped and shot a young man on his motorbike. It was not immediately clear why he was shot. He may have been a protester, the mayor said.   Soldiers then began shooting randomly, he said.   Security forces had been alerted to possible activity by the rebel Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), said Lt. Gen. Hassan Ibrahim.   The general blamed the civilian deaths on flawed intelligence and poor communication between national and local security forces.   The security detail assigned to Moyale said it is investigating five people in connection with the attack
Item Number:5 Date: 03/12/2018 FRANCE - BREXIT COMPLICATING LAUNCH OF ANGLO-FRENCH COMBAT DRONE DEMONSTRATOR (MAR 12/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- The U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union is complicating a joint program with France to develop a new unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV), according to the head of French aviation firm Dassault Aviaation, as cited by Defense News.   The British decision to depart the E.U. has left the government unwilling to commit funding for larger projects. The U.K. is also dealing with fielding the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter, Eric Trappier said last week in Paris.   Industry partners from both countries have been working on feasibility studies for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) for several years.   The project was expected to be launched earlier this year. Delays have created uncertainty for the program, said the Dassault chief.   British authorities say they are committed to working with the French on the project. Officials have emphasized that the U.K. will continue to cooperate closely with European partners after it leaves the E.U.   A high-level working group is scheduled to meet to discuss the project on March 29.  
  Item Number:6 Date: 03/12/2018 INDIA - CHINESE PRESENCE DISCOURAGED INTERVENTION IN MALDIVES CRISIS, SOURCES SAY (MAR 12/REU)  REUTERS -- A Chinese naval force that entered the Indian Ocean may have prevented Indian intervention in the ongoing political crisis in the Maldives, reports Reuters, citing military sources in New Delhi.   As a political crisis gripped the island nation 250 miles (400 km) south of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered aircraft and ships to its southern bases and put special operations forces on standby, said two unidentified sources in New Delhi.   The Chinese presence pushed Modi to shelve plans for intervention, the sources said.   China maintains that its ships were engaged in routine exercises.   The Indian Defense Ministry denied that the Chinese presence influenced the decision. A naval official said that Chinese warships entered the Indian Ocean, but were thousands of miles away from the Maldives.   While India has historically played a dominant role in the Maldives, China has invested millions of dollars in the Maldives as part of its Belt and Road Initiative.   Last week, Vijay Gokhale, India's top diplomat, made a surprise visit to Beijing to discuss the issue.   The Chinese surface action group deployed to the Indian Ocean in January, the first such deployment since an exercise in 2014 in the eastern Indian Ocean.   The Maldives has been experiencing internal instability since a Supreme Court ruling on Feb. 1 that freed political dissidents and returned power to the opposition. In response, President Abdulla Yameen has shuttered the Parliament and moved to arrest the dissidents
  Item Number:7 Date: 03/12/2018 INDIA - DEFENSE TIES WITH FRANCE BOLSTERED WITH NEW AGREEMENTS (MAR 12/INDX)  INDIA EXPRESS -- India and France have signed agreements to strengthen defense relations during a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron, reports the Indian Express.   On March 10, the two countries signed an accord to allow their militaries to access each other's facilities and extend reciprocal logistic support.   The pact, signed by Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly, facilitates reciprocal provision of logistics support, supplies and services between their militaries during authorized port visits, joint exercises, joint training, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.   The leaders also signed a new confidentiality agreement, replacing a 2008 accord, covering the exchange and protection of classified or protected information.   The parties agreed to establish an annual defense dialogue at the ministerial level and created a joint strategic vision on the Indian Ocean region to counter Chinese activities in the area.  
  Item Number:8 Date: 03/12/2018 IRAQ - FORWARD AIR CONTROLLERS PARTICIPATE IN COALITION LIVE-FIRE DRILL (MAR 12/AFNS)  AIR FORCE NEWS SERVICE -- For the first time, Iraqi forward air controllers have practiced calling in airstrikes from coalition aircraft during an exercise at the Besmaya Range in Iraq, reports the Air Force News Service.   The first coalition live-fire exercise for the Iraqi Forward Air Controller (IFAC) course took place last week, in cooperation with the Coalition Aviation Advisory and Training Team and Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR).   The exercise included the first time that IFACs called in coalition aircraft strikes in a controlled environment and the first time coalition aircraft have employed munitions on the Besmaya range.   The IFAC is coordinated by Task Group Taji, consisting of Australian and New Zealand army personnel, with assistance from U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Control Party joint terminal attack controllers.   The U.S. Army's 449th Combat Aviation Brigade provided an AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter to perform close air support techniques and close combat attack training with IFAC students.   The new controllers will enhance the ability of the Iraqi military to call in airstrikes with domestic and coalition assets
  Item Number:9 Date: 03/12/2018 LATVIA - MAIZITIS TO SERVE 2ND TERM AS SECURITY SERVICE CHIEF (MAR 12/LSM)  LATVIAN PUBLIC MEDIA -- The director of Latvia's Constitution Protection Bureau (SAB) received near-unanimous support from Parliament on Thursday to retain his position for another five years, reports LSM, Latvia's public broadcaster.   The SAB is one of three security and intelligence services within Latvia. The director is not subject to term limits.   The Saeima voted 85-2 in favor of keeping Janis Maizitis as SAB chief for another five-year term.   Maizitis was appointed SAB director in 2013. He previously served as national security adviser to the president and national security council as well as prosecutor general.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 03/12/2018 QATAR - DOHA SUBMITS ALLEGED AIRSPACE VIOLATIONS TO SECURITY COUNCIL (MAR 12/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- Qatar has sent a letter to the U.N. Security Council accusing its neighbors of multiple violations of its airspace, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   Doha alleged at least three violations in the letter submitted to the council on March 9.   Qatari authorities say that a Bahraini military aircraft entered the nation's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) on Feb. 28. The Bahraini aircraft was intercepted by a Qatari fighter jet before being escorted out of Qatari airspace.   The letter also accuses Emirati military aircraft of violating Qatari airspace on Jan. 14 and Feb. 25.   Qatar called the violations "provocative."   Doha sent a similar letter to the Security Council in January, accusing the U.A.E. of "irresponsible and provocative" actions.   Qatar's Gulf neighbors -- Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Bahrain, as well as Egypt -- broke off relations in June 2017. The four countries have imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Qatar.   The countries accuse Qatar of maintaining close relations with Iran and supporting terrorist groups. Qatar denies the accusations.  
  Item Number:11 Date: 03/12/2018 SINGAPORE - ASEAN MILITARY CHIEFS CALL FOR PEACEFUL RESOLUTION OF S. CHINA SEA DISPUTES (MAR 12/RAP)  RAPPLER -- The defense chiefs of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states have called for organization members to avoid actions that risk escalating territorial disputes in the South China Sea, reports the Rappler (Philippines).   The defense chiefs held an informal meeting on March 8 in Singapore.   The military chiefs called for maintaining freedom of navigation in both sea and air, trust-building measures and emphasized the need for restraint by all parties to the disputes.   The meeting also addressed terrorism and disaster response, with the body agreeing to work on the "operationalization of mechanisms to enhance ASEAN responses."  
  Item Number:12 Date: 03/12/2018 SYRIA - GOVERNMENT SPLITS CONTROL OF E. GHOUTA, SURROUNDS MAJOR TOWN (MAR 12/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- Syrian armed forces say they have broken into the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta, seizing two southern towns and surrounding the area's main urban centers, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   On March 10, Syrian forces captured the town of Mesraba, 6 miles (10 km) east of the capital, Damascus.   The government and allied militias captured the neighboring town of Mudeira the following day.   Both towns lie on the southern front of Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus under rebel control since 2013.   Government forces have been able to link up with fellow soldiers on the other side of the enclave, according to Hezbollah media. They now surround Douma, the regional capital and population center, and Harasta.   In statements to the BBC, rebel groups confirmed the advances but denied that the towns were surrounded.   At least 42 people were killed in fighting over the weekend. The Russian military claimed that it managed to evacuate 52 civilians, including 26 children, from Eastern Ghouta, reported Reuters.   Syria has been under a U.N.-mandated cease-fire since Feb. 24, noted CNN. At least 1,000 people have been killed since Syrian forces launched their latest attack on eastern Ghouta on Feb. 18, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.  
 Item Number:13 Date: 03/12/2018 SYRIA - U.S. AIRSTRIKES DROP AS SOME KURDISH FIGHTERS WITHDRAW FROM ISIS FIGHT (MAR 12/MILTIMES)  MILITARY TIMES -- The U.S. has been conducting significantly fewer airstrikes in support of its Kurdish allies in eastern Syria, reports the Military Times, citing military statistics.   Over the last two weeks, reports from Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) indicate that U.S. airstrikes have fallen by about 50 percent compared to January and February.   The Kurdish fighters who formed the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance of militias have withdrawn some forces from the anti-ISIS fight in response to the Turkish operation against the Kurdish-controlled enclave in Afrin in northern Syria, according to Kurdistan 24.   The U.S. Central Command said that the decline in airstrikes was indicative of fewer ISIS targets in the region.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 03/12/2018 UNITED KINGDOM - BUDGET CUTS RISK STATUS AS 'CREDIBLE MILITARY POWER', SAYS FORMER FLEET COMMANDER (MAR 12/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- A former commander of Britain's naval fleet says budget cuts and rising threats endanger the U.K.'s status as a "credible military power," reports the BBC.   The U.K. defense budget should be increased to at least 2.5 percent of gross domestic product, Rear Adm. Alex Burton, who previously led the U.K. Maritime Forces, told the news outlet. Years of budget cuts and growing threats have increased the need for additional spending, he said.   An increase to 2.5 percent of GDP would add about 7.7 billion pounds ($10.7 billion) to the defense budget.   The current target for defense spending is 2 percent of GDP, the goal set for all NATO member states.   Budget cuts have forced the military to scale back operations against the U.K.'s interests, said Burton, who left the armed forces in the fall of 2017 in protest against proposed cuts to the navy, noted the Times of London at the time.   Burton singled out military threats from countries such as Russia, cyber warfare and terrorist attacks as particular concerns.   A Treasury spokesman told the BBC that defense spending was already growing, with around 1 billion pound (US$1.4 billion) increases planned annually over the next three years.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 03/12/2018 USA - EUCOM COMMANDER WARNS RUSSIA WILL THREATEN U.S. MILITARY PRIMACY IN EUROPE BY 2025 (MAR 12/D1)  DEFENSE ONE -- The head of the U.S. European Command says that Russia's military modernization is on track to challenge American forces in less than a decade, reports Defense One.   Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti told lawmakers on March 8 that EUCOM needs to continue to modernize to keep up with Russia's rapid military upgrading.   EUCOM has requested $6.5 billion in the fiscal 2019 budget for the European Deterrence Initiative, $2 billion more than in fiscal 2018.   The increase is needed to "deter aggression and malign influence in Europe by increasing our air, sea and land force responsiveness, and expanding interoperability with multi-national forces."   Vital funding requirements include software and hardware for command and control and more sensors and analysis aids for better intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, said Scaparrotti.   U.S. deterrence in Europe depends on precision munitions and integrated short- and medium-range air and missile defense, he said.   Meanwhile, on March 10, Russia successfully tested its new hypersonic missile, reported BBC News. The Kinzhal missile reportedly has a top speed of Mach 10 and is one of several nuclear-capable weapons announced by the Kremlin earlier this month.  
 Item Number:16 Date: 03/12/2018 USA - REPORTS OF ELECTROMAGNETIC RAILGUN'S DEATH ARE GREATLY EXAGGERATED, SAYS NAVAL CHIEF (MAR 12/MIL)  MILITARY.COM -- The head of the U.S. Navy told lawmakers last week that his service is fully invested in the development of an electromagnetic railgun, reports   On March 7, Adm. John Richardson told the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense that the Navy has demonstrated the weapon at lower firing rates.   Future plans call for more rapid firing at ranges of 80-100 miles (130-160 km), the admiral said.   Congress expressed concerns that China was gaining ground in the area of railgun technology after Business Insider reported in December that the Pentagon had diverted resources away from the railgun program.   The U.S. project has run into several developmental difficulties, including barrel materials that can withstand the forces of firing metal projectiles at such high velocities and powering the weapon on warships. Currently, only the Zumwalt-class destroyer is capable of supplying the power needed for a railgun.   The Navy wants to be able to field railguns on its smaller Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

No comments:

Post a Comment