Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Fw: TheList 4685

The List 4685


To All,
I hope that you all had a great weekend.
Regards,
Skip
This Day In Naval History – March 26, 2018
March 26
1942During World War II, Adm. Ernest J. King becomes Chief of Naval Operations and also Commander, U.S. Fleet, holding both positions through the rest of the war, guiding the Navy's plans and global operations.
1942Task Force 39, commanded by Rear Adm. John W. Wilcox, Jr., sails from Portland, ME, for Scape Flow, Orkeny Islands, Scotland, to reinforce the British Home Fleet due to the British Fleet's involvement in Operation Ironclad, the British invasion of the Vichy French controlled Madagascar. The following day, Rear Adm. Wilcox, while taking an unaccompanied walk on his flagship, USS Washington (BB 56), is washed overboard and disappears in the heavy seas.
1943During the Battle of Komandorski Islands, Task Group 16.6, commanded by Rear Adm. Charles H. McMorris, prevents Japanese reinforcements from reaching Kiska, Aleutian Islands. USS Salt Lake City (CA 25) is damaged by gunfire from Japanese heavy cruisers, but damages one with return fire.
1945USS Halligan (DD 584) is sunk by a mine off Okinawa. Also on this date, USS Balao (SS 285) sinks Japanese army stores ship No.1 Shinto Maru.
1966 - Operation Jackstay in Navy's first amphibious assault in Vietnam's inland waters
1968 - Operation Bold Dragon III began in Mekong Delta
 
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
Top national news includes coverage of CBS's "60 Minutes" interview with Stormy Daniels and her alleged affair with President Trump; and continued reporting following Saturday's student-fueled March for our Lives gun protest. On Friday, the U.S. launched F-35Bs from the deck of the USS Wasp in the waters around Okinawa in the aircraft's first show of force at sea reports Reuters. "This is a historic deployment. For the first time we take a marine stealth fighter F-35B. We pair it with a navy amphibious ship," said Rear Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of the U.S. Navy's Expeditionary Strike Group 7. "And together this represents what I believe is the most significant leap in war fighting capability of our lifetime." The Charleston Post and Courier reports that the USS Ralph Johnson was commissioned on Saturday morning in front of a crowd of thousands. Additionally, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran posted a blog highlighting NAVADMIN 065/18, which addresses aviation retention bonuses and incentive pay, and Sailors' feedback about desiring greater autonomy, mastery and purpose.
 
2016 Today in History March 26
1517
The famous Flemish composer Heinrich Issac dies.
1799
1804
Congress orders the removal of Indians east of the Mississippi River to Louisiana.
1804
The territory of New Orleans is organized in the Louisiana Purchase.
1827
German composer Ludwig Van Beethoven dies in Vienna. He had been deaf for the later part of his life, but said on his death bed "I shall hear in heaven."
1832
Famed western artist George Catlin begins his voyage up the Missouri River aboard the American Fur Company steamship Yellowstone.
1885
Eastman Film Co. manufactures the first commercial motion picture film.
1913
The Balkan allies take Adrianople.
1918
On the Western Front, the Germans take the French towns Noyon, Roye and Lihons.
1938
Hermann Goering warns all Jews to leave Austria.
1942
The Germans begin sending Jews to Auschwitz in Poland.
1950
Senator Joe McCarthy names Owen Lattimore, an ex-State Department adviser, as a Soviet spy.
1951
The United States Air Force flag design is approved.
1953
Eisenhower offers increased aid to the French fighting in Indochina.
1953
Dr. Jonas Salk announces a new vaccine against polio.
1954
The United States sets off an H-bomb blast in the Marshall Islands, the second in four weeks.
1961
John F. Kennedy meets with British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in Washington to discuss increased Communist involvement in Laos.
1969
The Soviet weather Satellite Meteor 1 is launched.
1969
Writer John Kennedy Toole commits suicide at the age of 32. His mother helps get his first and only novel, A Confederacy of Dunces, published. It goes on to win the 1981 Pulitzer Prize.
1979
The Camp David treaty is signed between Israel and Egypt.
1982
Ground is broken in Washington D.C. for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
1989
The first free elections take place in the Soviet Union. Boris Yeltsin is elected.
1992
An Indianapolis court finds heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson guilty of rape.
 
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With our thanks to THE Bear at http://www.rollingthunderremembered.com/
 
ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… 26 MARCH 1968… THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM… COUNTDOWN TO 4 APRIL…
March 26, 2018   Bear Taylor  
RIPPLE SALVO… #751… THE LAST DAYS OF MARTIN LUTHER KING. Nobody saw it coming. With the benefit of hindsight Humble Host has been archiving the news coverage of MLK's last month as a force for good. The Vietnam war and the bombing of North Vietnam were a part of the story. As a Civil Rights Leader Dr. King was in non-violent company. Unfortunately, the anti-war causes he brought under his umbrella in April 1967 necessarily altered Dr. King's original track. While he always disavowed violence, his 4 April 1967 speech in Riverside Church in Manhattan, "Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence," brought together forces that burst into waves of unrestrained violence upon his assassination on the first anniversary of his Riverside speech.
In the Riverside speech Dr. King challenged American foreign and domestic policy. He charged that the Vietnam war was an imperialistic enterprise and was being fought at the expense of the poor in Vietnam and the poor in America. He said: "…we shall surely be dragged down the long dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight."… At a time when unity was required, Dr. King saw war, poverty and racism as conjoined issues that demanded resolution in favor of the poor in deference to other national priorities. He held that the war in Vietnam– and the bombing of North Vietnam– diverted money from the President's Great Society and the civil rights initiatives already underway. He also preached that the losses in Vietnam were disproportionately borne by the poor and Negroes. His arguments were persuasive and making headway until the day he died on a motel balcony in Memphis. That was the first day of "the year the dream died." That was also the day any chance for calm in America was lost. Perhaps forever.
RTR will remain true to it's charter–a remembrance of the events and participants of Operation Rolling Thunder. The inclusion of major American historical events, such as the King Assassination, are too interrelated to be passed over. The last ten days of Dr. King's life are a part of the RTR story… but first…
 
 
 
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Thanks to THE Bear
 
Pinkie, and all...
...and, on this day 50 years ago the New York Times reported: the two day —23-24 March— total of incoming mortar, rocket and artillery fire on Khesanh topped 1,200 rounds... casualties were described as light... the Marines had a lot of support... The USAF B-52s flew 13 waves of 3 to 9 Buffs each packing 30,000 to 50,000 pounds of bombs on the two days along with 400+ FAC controlled fighter-bomber sorties from the combined tactical air forces of AF, NAVY and Marines... all dropped on the 20,000 North Vietnamese surrounding Khesanh... They never recovered and would withdraw well beaten over the next week... the victory was ours... unfortunately, Walter Cronkite went on the air to call it a resounding defeat for LBJs Vietnam policies and American support for the war evaporated... 
 
Call it the original "fake news"...  "and that's the way it was" (to borrow from Cronkite) 50 years ago... . daily updates on Khesanh and the Vietnam war continue on my RTR website... #750 (consecutive) of 1,000 blogs on the board this morning... 
OOHRAH, grunts...   Bear
 
Begin forwarded message:
From: "Joe Tranchini" 
Subject: 3/26/1945 : Iwo Jima
Lest we forget...
 
 
From: Steve 
On March 26th,1945, Iwo Jima was declared "secured." The Marines handed the island over to the Army so the Army Air Corps could use the air fields. Then many of the Marines sailed off to another conflict on Okinawa.

February 19th was the start of the invasion of Iwo. For the Marines and sailors who assaulted Iwo, every one of the 36 continuous days of that battle seemed nearly that long.

About 77,000 US Marines from the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Marine Divisions converged on tiny Iwo Jima in late February. LtGen Tadamichi Kuribayashi had fortified Iwo Jima for a full year before the invasion, and had an estimated 22,000 troops dug in under the island. US forces began bombing Iwo in June 1944, 8 full months before the invasion. Naval bombardments then shelled the island mercilessly around the clock for four consecutive days prior to the invasion.

Iwo set a number of "firsts":

It was the longest concentrated bombardment of any target in the history of mankind up to that date.

It was the largest total tonnage of bombs and artillery ever delivered on a single target to that date.

It was the largest armada of ships ever assembled for an invasion up to that date (about 700 ships).

It was the largest number of invaders to ever invade any island up to that date (each of those new records was broken by the invasion of Okinawa in April 1945).

It was the first (and last) time Seabees accompanied Marines in the first waves of a beach invasion (they swore they'd never do THAT again!).

It was the first and last time any Marine unit landed on D-Day and served an entire campaign without being relieved by another unit.

And it was the only time in Marine Corps history when the number of invading casualties exceeded the number of defending casualties. More than 19,000 Marines were wounded on Iwo, and 6,821 died there. As such, it remains the costliest battle in Marine Corps history.

One-third of all Marines killed during WWII died on Iwo Jima.
All but about 200 Japanese defenders died on Iwo.

Marine LtGen Harry Schmidt and LtGen H. M. Smith led Task Force 56. It made up V Corps, composed of the 3rd MarDiv (MGen Erskine), 4th MarDiv (MGen Clifton Cates), and 5th MarDiv (MGen Rockey). The 5th Division had been formed expressly for the battle of Iwo Jima. It was disbanded following the battle.

Among the participants were names of distinction:
· Son of the sitting Commandant LtCol AA Vandergriff Jr (3/24)
· Future Commandant 1stLt Robert E Cushman, Jr (2/9)
· Future Commandant Clifton Cates (CG 4thMarDiv)
· Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal
· LtGen "Howlin' Mad" Smith
· And the first enlisted Marine Medal of Honor recipient of WWII, "Manila John" Basilone. Basilone had received his MOH from Chesty Puller for action on Guadalcanal. He was KIA on Iwo.

The invasion planners felt confident the battle would take 7-10 days. It took 36. LtGen Kuribayashi's body has never been found.

The final two Japanese defenders surrendered 4 years after the battle. In January of 1949, two Japanese soldiers surrendered themselves to the occupying US Army garrison on Iwo. They had hidden in the 11 miles of tunnels and bunkers under Iwo, successfully raiding the Army supplies for food and water at night.

They had found a Stars and Stripes newspaper which showed pictures of GIs celebrating New Year's Eve in downtown Tokyo, 1948-49, and knew Japan had lost the war.

They reported in full uniforms, well fed, and surrendered clean, fully-functional weapons.

Iwo Jima stands as an icon for every Marine who has earned the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor since 1945. The men who fought there are true heroes to our nation and our Corps. We can never thank them enough for what they went through for us on that small patch of hell. I've stopped often today and thought about them.

THANK YOU, Marines. Because of what you did, I grew up a safe, healthy kid in comfort and freedom speaking English instead of Japanese.

Semper Fidelis.
 
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Thanks to Carl
 
 
5G: Harmful effects of a new technology
 
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Item Number:1 Date: 03/26/2018 AFGHANISTAN - NATO COMMANDER SAYS MOSCOW AIDING TALIBAN (MAR 26/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- The top NATO commander in Afghanistan has charged Russia with supporting and supplying the Taliban, reports BBC News.   "We've had weapons brought to this headquarters and given to us by Afghan leaders and [they] said this was given by the Russians to the Taliban," Gen. John Nicholson said in a taped interview broadcast on Sunday.   Russian weapons, including night-vision goggles, medium and heavy machine guns and small arms, are smuggled across the Tajik border, according to Afghan officials.   The Russian embassy in Afghanistan dismissed the allegations as "gossip."   Russian officials insist that they maintain minimal contact with the Taliban and are only concerned with fostering peace and protecting Russian citizens.   U.S. and Afghan officials have both called on Russia to stop supporting the Taliban, noted NPR.   A commander of the Afghan army's 207th Corps said in October that Russia was "actively meddling in Farah" province.   Taliban officials say they have had significant contacts with Moscow since at least 2007, reported Reuters.   The group denies that Russian support extends beyond "moral and political support."  
Item Number:2 Date: 03/26/2018 BURKINA FASO - UNKNOWN GUNMEN KIDNAP FORMER MUNICIPAL OFFICIAL IN NORTH (MAR 26/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- A former municipal councilor in Burkina Faso has been abducted in the northern part of the country, reports Agence France-Presse.   Troops searched Lassa village, Soum province, after the kidnapping on March 21.   The man was reportedly grabbed by five armed individuals on motorcycles, according to a security ministry statement.   Located near Burkina Faso's border with Mali, the area has witnessed a number of attacks by militant groups.   A similar incident occurred in the region in April 2017, when two civil servants were abducted in Ina-Bao. Both were later released.  
Item Number:3 Date: 03/26/2018 COLOMBIA - NEW BILATERAL CEASE-FIRE SOUGHT WITH ELN (MAR 26/CR)  COLOMBIA REPORTS -- The Colombian government and rebel National Liberation Army (ELN) have announced that they are seeking a new bilateral cease-fire, reports Colombia Reports.   On March 22, negotiators from the Colombian government and the ELN announced their intention to meet with representatives from the U.N. and Catholic Church on March 26.   Gustavo Bell, negotiating on behalf of the Colombian government, and ELN negotiator Pablo Beltran said the group would review the most recent cease-fire, which ended in January.   Observers from the U.N. and Catholic Church, which monitored the cease-fire, reported violations but also an improved humanitarian situation in areas under rebel control.   Representatives from both parties said they would review proposals from residents of Choco province, which has suffered under the 50-year conflict.  
 Item Number:4 Date: 03/26/2018 EGYPT - POLICE CHIEF ESCAPES ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT; 2 OFFICERS DIE IN BLAST (MAR 26/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- A car bomb meant for a local police chief has missed its target but killed two people in Alexandria, Egypt, reports the Wall Street Journal.   The explosion ripped through the northern Egyptian city on March 24.   The bomb was placed under a parked car and exploded when the city's security chief was passing in a convoy, said the Interior Ministry.   He survived the attack, but two police officers were killed. Five others were wounded.   Six men accused of planning the attack died in a shootout with security forces in Egypt's northern Beheira province, the Ministry of Interior said on Sunday.   The ministry said the men belonged to Hasm, an Egyptian group tied to multiple assassination attempts.   The attack came as the country was preparing for this week's presidential elections.  
  Item Number:5 Date: 03/26/2018 GERMANY - SINGAPORE ARMORED UNIT JOINS LIVE-FIRE DRILLS AT OBERLAUSITZ RANGE (MAR 26/STIMES)  STRAITS TIMES -- A contingent of Singapore troops has been training with the Bundeswehr in Germany, reports the Straits Times (Singapore).   About 220 Singapore personnel from the 3rd Company, 48th Battalion, Singapore Armored Regiment, joined a battalion from the German 10th Panzer Division for the drills at the Oberlausitz Military Training Area.   The joint drill was part of Exercise Panzer Strike 2018. The annual exercise, now in its 10th year, involves around 750 Singapore soldiers in the spring, with another 500 to participate in the fall.   Taking part in the drills were German Leopard 2A6 tanks and Singapore Leopard 2SG tanks and Bionix infantry fighting vehicles.   
  Item Number:6 Date: 03/26/2018 NIGER - BOKO HARAM KILLS 5 IN MARKET ATTACK (MAR 26/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- At least five civilians have been killed in an attack on a crowded market in southeast Niger, reports Agence France-Presse.   On March 23, gunmen opened fire on a market in Toummour, part of the southwest Diffa region, and fled with stolen food, said witnesses.   Five civilians were killed in the attack, said a local official.   The governor of Diffa blamed Boko Haram in a speech after the attack, reported local media
Item Number:7 Date: 03/26/2018 SAUDI ARABIA - HOUTHI MISSILE BARRAGE KILLS 1 IN RIYADH (MAR 26/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- One person has been killed in a barrage of missiles fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels into Saudi Arabia, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   The Houthi rebel group launched seven missiles from Yemeni territory on Sunday.   Saudi officials said their air defenses intercepted all incoming missiles, three of which were bound for Riyadh, the Saudi capital.   An Egyptian man was killed in Riyadh by shrapnel from one of the missiles, said the spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels in Yemen. Two others were wounded, reported Bloomberg News.   Saudi officials said the missiles were "launched indiscriminately to target civilian areas and populations," reported Al Arabiya (Dubai).   In a statement on the Houthi-operated Al Masirah TV, the group said they fired missiles at airports in the southern Saudi cities of Abha, Jizan and Najran.   The group's leader, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, promised on Sunday to increase missile attacks on Saudi Arabia.   Saudi Arabia launched an operation in March 2015 to oust the rebels after they overran much of the country and forced out its internationally-recognized president, Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi
Item Number:8 Date: 03/26/2018 SAUDI ARABIA - TOW ANTI-TANK MISSILES SOUGHT FROM U.S. (MAR 26/DSCA)  U.S. DEFENSE SECURITY COOPERATION AGENCY -- The U.S. State Dept. has approved a potential sale of anti-tank missiles to Saudi Arabia, reports the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency.   The proposed US$670 million deal covers up to 6,600 TOW 2B missiles and 96 TOW 2B fly-to-buy lot validation missiles.   The weapons will support Saudi Arabia's efforts to develop an integrated ground defense capability, said a DSCA release on Thursday.   The missile sale is part of a US$1 billion deal that includes replacement parts and maintenance support for military helicopters and tanks, reported NBC News.   
  Item Number:9 Date: 03/26/2018 SOMALIA - CAR BOMBER TARGETS GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS IN MOGADISHU, KILLING 4 (MAR 26/GAROWE)  GAROWE ONLINE -- Four people have been killed in a car bombing near the Somali Parliament in the capital, Mogadishu, reports Garowe Online (Somalia).   The blast occurred Sunday afternoon at a police checkpoint at the Saydika junction, a busy road filled with government buildings and hotels, reported Raido Shabelle (Somalia).   The bomber rammed his car into the security checkpoint, near the Ministry of Interior and Parliament house, killing himself and three others.   Five other people were injured in the blast, reported the New York Times.   At least two soldiers were among the dead, reported Al-Jazeera (Qatar).   The Al-Shabaab terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack. A spokesman for the group said that 13 government troops were killed in the bombing, reported Mareeg (Somalia).   
  Item Number:10 Date: 03/26/2018 TAIWAN - FIGHTERS SCRAMBLED TO ESCORT CHINESE JETS IN BASHI CHANNEL (MAR 26/REU)  REUTERS -- Taiwan scrambled fighter jets after Chinese military aircraft flew through the Bashi Channel that separates the Philippines and Taiwan, reports Reuters.   Chinese Xian H-6 bombers, Su-30 fighter jets and Y-8 transport aircraft flew through the channel on Monday, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said.   The Taiwanese fighter jets followed the Chinese aircraft into the western Pacific Ocean and back to their base in mainland China, said the ministry.   Tensions between Taipei and Beijing have increased as of late, with Chinese Premier Xi Jinping publicly warning against any changes to the status quo or further moves towards Taiwanese independence.   China has also increased military exercises and patrols near Taiwan, including flights around Taiwanese airspace.   
  Item Number:11 Date: 03/26/2018 TURKEY - TALKS CONTINUE WITH U.S. FOR PATRIOT AIR DEFENSE SYSTEMS (MAR 26/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- The Turkish government continues to discuss the potential purchase of Patriot air defense systems with Washington, reports Turkey's Anadolu Agency.   The possible procurement is part of Turkish efforts to create a NATO-integrated air defense system, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said in Ankara on Friday.   As part of the program, Ankara is also holding talks with the Franco-Italian Eurosam consortium, the spokesman said.   Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Umit Yalcin could visit Washington as soon as next week to discuss the matter along with other issues as part of bilateral working groups set up by the two NATO allies.  
  Item Number:12 Date: 03/26/2018 UNITED KINGDOM - BAE SYSTEMS TAPPED TO FIX DARING-CLASS DESTROYER PROPULSION ISSUES (MAR 26/UKMOD)  U.K. MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- The U.K. Ministry of Defense has announced a contract with BAE Systems to address propulsion issues with the Royal Navy's Daring-class destroyers.   The 160 million pound (US$226 million) Power Improvement Project (PIP) involves the installation of additional power generation sources in each ship, the ministry said in a release on March 21.   The PIP will replace two existing generators with three larger units that will support ship propulsion.   The contract covers the design and integration of the technical solution, supply of equipment and installation in all six Daring-class destroyers.   The deal is part of Project Napier, launched in 2014, which started with improving the reliability of existing equipment.   The first destroyer is scheduled to complete installation in 2021. The remainder of the class is to be finished in the early 2020s, the ministry said.   The advanced integrated electric propulsion system has proven problematic since the Daring entered service in 2009, noted the Warzone blog.   
  Item Number:13 Date: 03/26/2018 USA - ANOTHER ARLEIGH BURKE-CLASS DESTROYER COMMISSIONED IN CHARLESTON (MAR 26/DOD)  DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The U.S. Navy has commissioned its newest Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, reports the Dept. of Defense.   The Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) was commissioned on Saturday in Charleston, S.C.   The destroyer honors Marine Pfc. Ralph Henry Johnson, who was killed in Vietnam while shielding a fellow Marine from a grenade blast in 1968. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.   The Ralph Johnson, the 65th ship in the Arleigh Burke class, will be capable of conducting a variety of offensive and defensive air, surface, and subsurface missions.   
  Item Number:14 Date: 03/26/2018 USA - CONGRESS ORDERS COMPETITION FOR ARMY GROUND MOBILITY VEHICLE COMPETITION (MAR 26/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- U.S. lawmakers have included a provision in the fiscal 2018 budget that requires the Army to conduct a competition for its Ground Mobility Vehicle (GMV) program, reports Defense News.   The language in the omnibus spending bill, which was released on March 21, ends speculation that the Army might simply continue to buy the General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems Flyer 72.   The program calls for a vehicle capable of transporting nine troops that can be carried by a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.   The Army decided to delay a competition and field an interim solution, the Flyer 72, after years of evaluating several commercial-off-the-shelf options.   The Boeing Phantom Badger; Lockheed Martin High-Versatility Tactical Vehicle, based on the British HMT-400 Jackal; Polaris DAGOR; Hendrick Dynamics Commando Jeep; and Vyper Adamas Viper took part in a 2014 competition with General Dynamics.   U.S. Special Operations Command has already purchased 295 General Dynamics Flyer 72s. The second phase of the program aims to procure 1,700 GMVs.   Congress has appropriated $41 million in the omnibus for the GMV program.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 03/26/2018 USA - PLUTONIUM PRODUCTION MUST RESUME IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN NUCLEAR ARSENAL, SAYS PENTAGON (MAR 26/NEWEEK)  NEWSWEEK -- The U.S. Dept. of Defense says that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) must restart plutonium pit production at its Los Alamos facility, reports Newsweek.   The plutonium cores are used to trigger nuclear weapons. They degrade over time and can be destroyed during evaluation, according to military officials.   The Pentagon has urged the NNSA to produce 30 plutonium pits per year by 2026 and 80 per year by 2030 to sustain existing nuclear weapons.   The majority of existing plutonium pits were produced between 1978 and 1989.   The new pits are needed to keep pace with the maintenance and modernization requirements of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.   At the same time, studies by two U.S. nuclear labs suggest that the pits for most nuclear weapons have a minimum operational lifespan of 85 years, noted the Washington Post.   Production of the pits at the Los Alamos National Laboratory has just resumed after safety concerns shut down production nearly two decades ago.   A significant enlargement of production capabilities would be needed to meet the Pentagon's goals.  
  Item Number:16 Date: 03/26/2018 USA - TALIBAN RECONCILIATION ON AGENDA OF TALKS WITH SAUDI CROWN PRINCE (MAR 26/MILTIMES)  MILITARY TIMES -- U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman have discussed ways to support safe havens for moderate Taliban leaders interested in negotiating with the Afghan government, reports the Military Times.   The leaders discussed the matter on Thursday at the Pentagon, a Defense Dept. spokesman said. The talks did not address where a safe haven might be located or how it might be protected, he said.   Riyadh recognized the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan prior to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, potentially making it a credible interlocutor.   Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has presented a peace offer, but the Taliban has so far not demonstrated any interest in it.   The Taliban has previously insisted that peace talks occur in Washington. U.S. officials are pushing for the Taliban to negotiate with the Afghan government in Kabul
 
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