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Monday, June 18, 2018

Fw: TheList 4748

The List 4748     TGB


To All,
I hope that you all had a great weekend.
Regards,
Skip
This day in Naval History
June 18
1812—The United States declares war on Great Britain for impressment of Sailors and interference with commerce.
1814—The sloop of war Wasp, commanded by Johnston Blakely, captures and scuttles the British merchant brig Pallas in the eastern Atlantic. 
1875—The side-wheel steamer, USS Saranac, wrecks in Seymour Narrows, off Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
1957—Adm. Arleigh A. Burke, Chief of Naval Operations, approves the ship characteristics of the Fleet Ballistic Missile submarine.
1983—USS Florida (SSGN 728) is commissioned at Electric Boat Division, Groton, CT. The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine is the first submarine to be named after the 27th state, but the sixth vessel in the Navy.
 
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
National news continued to be dominated by the debate over the Trump Administration's family separation policy for undocumented immigrants. Reuters reports that the U.S. and South Korea are set to announce this week a suspension of "large-scale" exercises, with the provision that they could resume if North Korea fails to live up to commitments to denuclearize. The Associated Press reports that 41 migrants that were rescued by the U.S. Navy in the Mediterranean have been transferred to Italy. Additionally, the Associated Press also reports that the U.S. Navy has accepted the delivery of the future USS Hudner.
 
 
Today in History June 17
362
Emperor Julian issues an edict banning Christians from teaching in Syria.
1579
Sir Francis Drake claims San Francisco Bay for England.
1775
The British take Bunker Hill outside of Boston, after a costly battle.
1799
Napoleon Bonaparte incorporates Italy into his empire.
1848
Austrian General Alfred Windisch-Gratz crushes a Czech uprising in Prague.
1854
The Red Turban revolt breaks out in Guangdong, China.
1856
The Republican Party opens its first national convention in Philadelphia.
1861
President Abraham Lincoln witnesses Dr. Thaddeus Lowe demonstrate the use of a hot-air balloon.
1863
On the way to Gettysburg, Union and Confederate forces skirmish at Point of Rocks, Maryland.
1872
George M. Hoover begins selling whiskey in Dodge City, Kansas--a town which had previously been "dry."
1876
General George Crook's command is attacked and bested on the Rosebud River by 1,500 Sioux and Cheyenne under the leadership of Crazy Horse.
1912
The German Zeppelin SZ 111 burns in its hangar in Friedrichshafen.
1913
U.S. Marines set sail from San Diego to protect American interests in Mexico.
1917
The Russian Duma meets in secret session in Petrograd and votes for an immediate Russian offensive against the German Army.
1924
The Fascist militia marches into Rome.
1926
Spain threatens to quit the League of Nations if Germany is allowed to join.
1930
The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Bill becomes law, placing the highest tariff on imports to the United States.
1931
British authorities in China arrest Indochinese Communist leader Ho Chi Minh.
1932
The U.S. Senate defeats the Bonus Bill as 10,000 veterans mass around the Capitol.
1940
The Soviet Union occupies Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
1942
Yank a weekly magazine for the U.S. armed services, begins publication.
1944
French troops land on the island of Elba in the Mediterranean.
1950
Surgeon Richard Lawler performs the first kidney transplant operation in Chicago.
1953
Soviet tanks fight thousands of Berlin workers rioting against the East German government.
1963
The U.S. Supreme Court bans the required reading of the Lord's prayer and Bible in public schools.
1965
27 B-52s hit Viet Cong outposts, but lose two planes in South Vietnam.
1970
North Vietnamese troops cut the last operating rail line in Cambodia.
1972
Five men are arrested for burglarizing Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C.
1994
Millions of Americans watch former football player O.J. Simpson--facing murder charges--drive his Ford Bronco through Los Angeles, followed by police.
1812
 
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Thanks to ted
 
The War of 1812 : All it wants is a little respect
Time to recognize lasting consequences of a 'weird little episode'?
·  
 
By Patrick HrubyThe Washington Times  
 
The Revolutionary War has its own national holiday. World War II has spawned countless books and movies. The Civil War boasts costumed re-enactors and a signature chess set.
And the War of 1812? It has re-enactors, too. The country can't get enough of them. The country of Canada, that is. "The demand for them right now is so great that it's actually driving up the price," said John Stagg, a University of Virginia history professor and author of "The War of 1812: Conflict for a Continent." "They may even have to resort to the desperate tactic of importing a few from the United States.
"The situation is different in Canada. They take the war very seriously in a way that Americans don't."
Currently enjoying its bicentennial — What, you haven't pre-ordered the Postal Service's forthcoming commemorative stamp? — the War of 1812 occupies a musty, forgotten junk drawer in America's collective cultural consciousness, stuffed somewhere between the liberation of Grenada and the time Will Smith punched that extraterrestrial fighter pilot in the face.
No memorial on the Mall.
No memorial, buy-one, get-one-free mattress sales.
The only war in the history of the United States referred to by its year.
The only war in the history of the United States in which — yes, really — Canada won.
A three-year, continent-spanning conflict against the British Empire that gave us Dolley Madison (the heroic first lady, not the snack cakes), the Capitol rotunda (built after a humiliating defeat, but still), the Kentucky Rifle (overrated, according to historians), the 1959 song "The Battle of New Orleans" (less accurate than a Kentucky Rifle, according to historians) and the "Star-Spangled Banner" (ironically sung to the tune of an old English drinking song — whatever), and yet is lucky to receive more than a few throwaway paragraphs in the average American history textbook.
"I think it's more like two sentences," said Stephen Budiansky, author of "Perilous Fight: America's Intrepid War with Britain on the High Seas, 1812-1815."
"The War of 1812 has gotten no respect over the years."
Dissed and dismissed
Don Hickey concurs. The nation's pre-eminent War of 1812 historian, he began a lifelong love affair with the topic as a University of Illinois student in the late 1960s, writing his senior honors thesis on New England's opposition to the conflict.
(Fun fact: Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island refused to lend their state militias to the federal war effort, and a number of New England congressmen who voted for the war were subsequently booted from office. In other words, the War of 1812 was unpopular before it even started.)
"It turned out to be a real academic backwater, along with the entire early national period," said Mr. Hickey, a history professor at Wayne State University in Detroit and the author of "The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict, Bicentennial Edition.""It was tough to find a university job."
Most schools at the time, Mr. Hickey said, carried Revolutionary War and Civil War experts on staff, and perhaps an Andrew Jackson scholar as well.
However, few academics paid the War of 1812 much mind. No less a historian than Richard Hofstadter best summed up the prevailing sentiment by describing the conflict as "ludicrous and unnecessary," the climax of an "age of slack and derivative culture, of fumbling and small-minded statecraft" and "terrible parochial wrangling."
"War of 1812 historians are in a bit of a ghetto," Mr. Stagg said. "When Theodore Roosevelt wrote a history of the war, he wrote a naval history. He basically said he wasn't going to study the land campaigns because they were so ludicrous."
For nearly a decade, Congress has entertained the notion of creating an official War of 1812 bicentennial commission; time and again, the same body of lawmakers that regularly honors things like craft beer and the University of Texas swimming and diving team has said thanks, but no thanks.
Don't imagine their constituents care: A recent poll by a Canadian research firm found that 36 percent of Americans could not name a significant outcome to the war.
"There's an American tendency to think the war was some sort of joke, pathetic and not significant," Mr. Stagg said. "There are a lot of memorials to the War of 1812, but they're all local, not national."
What about the District's memorial to James Madison, president and commander in chief during the war?
"It's inside the Library of Congress," Mr. Stagg said. "A lot of people don't even know it's there. And, of course, it talks about [Madison] as a bookish man learning to write the Constitution. It doesn't talk about the War of 1812."
Win, lose, draw?
Why the antipathy? Start with the nature of the conflict. Fed up with British bullying and conscripting of American sailors and a Royal Navy-imposed embargo of trade with France — an offshoot of Europe's Napoleonic Wars — Congress voted to declare war on Britain in June of 1812.
The vote itself was bitterly divided, and came a few days after the British had decided to lift their embargo, the whole reason for the war in the first place.
"The causes of the war don't resonate with modern readers," Mr. Hickey said. "Nobody today goes to war over maritime rights."
The American battle plan was simple — and in retrospect, bizarre: conquer British-controlled Canada, then press for nautical concessions. The United States enjoyed a 15-1 population advantage over its northern neighbor. Brimming with confidence, Thomas Jefferson predicted that victory was a "mere matter of marching."
Oops.
Poorly trained and badly led, the American army was not greeted as liberators. It was embarrassed. By Canada. In epic, Homeric struggles like the Battle of Beaver Creek. (Never heard of it? That's because you're not Canadian.)
Case in point: In the Battle of Detroit, General William Hull was tricked into surrendering his 2,000-militiamen force to a smaller group of British Canadians and Native Americans without firing a single shot, thereby losing the entire Michigan territory.
"I would put that in my personal top 10 most humiliating defeats for the American Army," Mr. Budiansky said. "There was a lot of truly incompetent generalship and institutional problems handicapping the army. Terrible logistics. No overall command structure. Militias refusing to serve outside U.S. territory."
Following a failed invasion of Canada from New York, feuding American generals Peter Buell Porter and Alexander Smyth actually engaged in a duel — of which historian John R. Elting later quipped, "unfortunately, both missed."
Perhaps America's most memorable defeat came in August of 1814, when 4,000 Royal Marines marched into Washington and set the nation's capital ablaze, famously forcing Dolley Madison to save George Washington's portrait from a burning White House.
Perfect pyrotechnic fodder for a Michael Bay movie, right?
"It wasn't the entire city in flames," Mr. Budiansky said. "The British thought in the classic mold of superpowers dealing with much smaller adversaries that all they needed to do was stage a show of force. So they only burned public buildings — the White House, the Capitol, the State and Treasury departments. Some of the most serious damage was to the Navy Yard."
Those dastardly Redcoats!
"Actually, the Navy Yard was set on fire by evacuating Americans to keep supplies and almost-completed warships from falling into British hands," Mr. Budiansky said.
Ineffective on land, America's military proved surprisingly adept at sea, frustrating and humiliating the much larger Royal Navy. Ultimately, the two sides reached a peace accord in which neither nation made concessions and territorial boundaries returned to their pre-war state.
Though the accord was signed Christmas Eve of 1814, word of the peace treaty didn't reach the United States until after the Battle of New Orleans in early 1815 — an Andrew Jackson-led rout of the British that stands as America's greatest victory in the war.
"The conventional wisdom is that the war ended in a draw, because it was a draw on the battlefield," Mr. Hickey said. "But if you look at policy objectives, the United States didn't force the British to make maritime concessions, while the British achieved their objective of keeping Canada.
"One of the [anti-war] Federalists predicted that America would spend $180 million, have 30,000 casualties and not achieve its objectives. We actually spent $158 million, lost about 20,000 people and didn't achieve our objectives. I would call it ill-advised."
No matter. Over time, Mr. Hickey says, Americans became happy with the War of 1812 because they thought they won. Canadians were happier because they knew they won.
And the British? Happiest of all — because they forgot the whole thing.
"The British were preoccupied with Napoleon, and the Canadians can live with the fact that they owe their survival to the Americans messing up monumentally," Mr. Stagg said. "For the Americans, the war was rather embarrassing."
Shifting attitudes?
Not always. In the years following the war, books, plays and paintings celebrated the conflict, seen by Americans as both an honorable stand against British harassment and a consolidation of the Revolutionary War's gains.
American naval captains — the successful ones, anyway — even became household names.
"If you were a boy in the 1820s, this is what you grew up with," Mr. Budiansky said. "There were ceramic plates of naval heroes like Stephen Decatur and Isaac Hull."
Mr. Budiansky laughed.
"Many of those plates were made in England. They were never one to shy away from cashing in on a potential market."
Battlefield glories — real and imagined — also influenced politics. According to Mr. Stagg, the war helped propel both Mr. Jackson and William Henry Harrison to the presidency, the latter man running on a slogan, "Tippecanoe and Tyler too," that referred to an 1811 battle in the Indiana territory that presaged the War of 1812.
In Kentucky alone, Mr. Stagg said, the war produced three governors, three lieutenant governors and four United States senators — not to mention future Vice President Richard Johnson.
"It was common to use your war record as part of your claim to office," Mr. Stagg said. "Johnson supposedly killed Shawnee leader Tecumseh in 1813. He never claimed that himself, but someone did, and he never denied it. He dined out politically on that for the rest of his career."
The trauma and scale of the subsequent Civil War changed attitudes, transforming the War of 1812 into a historical afterthought. However, an ongoing bicentennial has dragged the conflict at least partially back into public consciousness.
New York lawmakers have appropriated money for commemorative events. The Canadian government is spending an estimated $30 million on the same. As part of a larger, $12 million-plus public relations push, the U.S. Navy is parading the USS Constitution and other ships through Boston, New York, Baltimore, New Orleans and Norfolk.
In Maryland — where cars have War of 1812 license plates and Gov. Martin O'Malley has participated in re-enactments — the state is holding a three-year celebration, which kicked off with a June ceremony at Baltimore's Fort McHenry that featured recorded messages from President Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
"I must admit, when I visited the White House earlier this year, I was a bit embarrassed that my ancestors had managed to burn the place down 200 years ago," Mr. Cameron joked during his message.
Beyond "The Star-Spangled Banner" — composed by Francis Scott Key during the Battle of Baltimore — the War of 1812 resulted in Jacksonian democracy, a long-term Anglo-American alliance, the birth of Canadian national identity, America's emergence as a naval power and a crushing defeat of Native Americans that paved the way for Manifest Destiny.
It's time, Mr. Stagg believes, the much-maligned conflict got a little more respect.
"Because it seemed to have no clear, decisive winner, people assume it has no decisive consequences," he said. "I think that bit is wrong. It shaped the remainder of 19th-century American history. We should look at is as such, rather than saying it's this weird little episode we can't explain or understand."
© Copyright 2012 The Washington Times, LLC.
comment:
The United States won the War of 1812. In the early 19th century
the British were claiming the entire West Coast of North America, including
Alta California and Baja California.
In order to press these claims, they needed to prevent the U.S. from expanding
westwards into the Louisiana Purchase. The British planned to gain control
of the Mississippi River from the Great Lakes to New Orleans.
The British were defeated on the Great Lakes and at the Battle of New Orleans.
Some historians try to make the case that the U.S. was attempting to seize
Canadian territory, and thus, as no Canadian land was lost to the U.S.,
it was a Canadian victory.
However, the U.S. never made any claims on any part of Canada. The
issue was the westward expansion of the United States into territory which
had been considered to be Spanish and French colonies. After the War
of 1812, the U.S. expanded westward to the Pacific.
Sincerely,
John Lepant Brighton CO
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Thanks to Mike
Flying the Hump…….These are the pilots who flew across the Himalayas Mountains between India and China to bring supplies and personnel China in WWII
 
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With our thanks to THE Bear at http://www.rollingthunderremembered.com/  
 

ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… 18 JUNE 1968… "THE WAR THAT NEVER SEEMS TO GO AWAY"…

 
18 June 1968…PRESIDENT'S DAILY BRIEF (CIA TS/SI) NORTH VIETNAM: Bombing Effects. The Communist head of Italy's biggest labor union recently returned from a trip to Hanoi and described North Vietnam as suffering "gravely" from US bombing, but determined to fight on for another 10 to 20 years if necessary…also told a news conference that the bombings had not weakened the North Vietnamese spirit. He said, "While the North Vietnamese do not expect any immediate results from the current talks, fruitful peace talks could begin when the Americans halt the bombing of the North."
 
18 JUNE 1968… OPERATION ROLLING THUNDER… New York Times…No coverage of the air ops north of the DMZ… VIETNAM: AIR LOSSES (Chris Hobson) There was one fixed wing aircraft lost in Southeast Asia on 18 June 1968…
(1) MAJOR G. J. BUTLER was flying an F-100D of 615th TFS and 35th TFW out of Phan Rang when hit by small arms fire as he was taking off. He was able to get enough altitude and airspeed to eject from his burning Super Sabre about 10 miles from the air base. He was rescued to fly and fight again…
SUMMARY OF ROLLING THUNDER LOSSES (KIA/MIA/POW) ON 18 JUNE THE FOUR YEARS OF THE OPERATION OVER NORTH VIETNAM…
1965… NONE…
1966… NONE
1967… NONE…
1968… NONE… oohrah…
Humble Host flew #190. Enterprise on the midnite to noon schedule. Took wingman on an O-Dark-Thirty night strike on the Cam Lam ferry (Located at "the cxxx") and we air delivered 6,000 pounds of Mk-82s on the ferry landing in exchange for the gunners return-fire of 8,000 pounds of 37/57-mm steel into our airspace, and that was just the tracers… Another memorable one tenth of an Air Medal… Also flew a maintenance test flight to bag another day trap…
 
RIPPLE SALVO… #835… George C. Herring's books on the Vietnam War have been quoted here before (America's Longest War and LBJ and Vietnam). This Salvo is from an essay he contributed to a book of essays under the cover, THE WAR THAT NEVER ENDS: New Perspectives on the Vietnam War, edited by Anderson and Ernst.  This is quoted from Herring's essay, "The War That Never Seems to Go Away"… Pages 340-342….
"With the exception of our own Civil War, where Americans were shooting at each other, Vietnam was also our most divisive war. I should inject a caveat here. Dissent in wartime is as American as cherry pie., and among all of our wars only World War II and the relatively brief Spanish-American and Persian Gulf wars have enjoyed near universal support, the latter, I would add, only after success was certain. Still, the Vietnam War did arouse more widespread and passionate opposition than other U.S. wars, and there are reasons for this. It occurred in a time of social upheaval, a time when Americans were questioning their own values and institutions as at few other periods in their history. It occurred in a time of generational strife. It occurred when the verities of the Cold War were coming under challenge. And, in the face of rising opposition, neither the Johnson nor the Nixon administrations could ever make a convincing argument that the war was either just or necessary in terms of U.S. national security. And, in a case where the world's greatest power was fighting what Johnson himself once contemptuously dismissed as that 'raggedy ass little fourth-rate country,' the methods used, especially the bombing of North Vietnam, came under increasing criticism.
"The war thus divided Americans as nothing since the debate over slavery a century earlier. It divided neighbors, colleagues, and churches. Campus protests became a way of life, even in time at quiet, conservative institutions like the University of Kentucky. It divided class against class. It divided father against son, even among the families of top policymakers such as Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and Secretary of State Dean Rusk. I have seen no more poignant example of this than in James Carroll's prizewinning book American Requiem: God, My Father, and the War That Came between Us, the story of a close-knit Irish Catholic family torn apart by the war: the father an air force general, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency; three sons who went very different ways, the author an anti-war priest, a follower of the Berrigan brothers; one brother an exile to Canada; the other an FBI agent whose job was to pursue draft dodgers and infiltrate the Catholic Left, in short, go after those like his two brothers. The father and the author-son split over the war and were not reconciled, even on the father's deathbed. 'A noble man,' Carroll concludes. 'I loved him. And because I was so much like him, I had broken his heart. And the final truth was…he had broken mine.'
"The war spurred various kinds of group and individual protest. By the early 1970s, street demonstrations were a common occurrence in most American cities. There were the so-called teach-ins on campuses and lie-ins at military induction centers. The folk singer Joan Baez refused to pay that portion of her income tax that went to the military budget. The heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali refused induction by the draft and thereby forfeited his title. Numerous Americans burned draft cards as symbolic acts of protest. As many as fifty thousand fled to Canada to avoid military service in the war. Some young men, like a Lexington, Kentucky acquaintance of mine, went to prison rather than fight in a war they considered immoral. Five Americans, emulating Vietnamese Buddhist acts of protest, burned themselves to death in public places, the Quaker Norman Morrison in November 1965 below McNamara's Pentagon window.
"As the war dragged on, the protest mounted, and the divisions deepened, the internal turmoil itself contributed to a war-weariness that came to pervade the nation and fed a desire, even among some who approved the war, to end it regardless of the consequences. The protest and disharmony weighed heavily on policymakers as well, pushing them to extricate the nation from Vietnam. The very divisiveness of the war contributed to its lingering impact. The divisions still exist today."…   End Herring quote…
RTR quote for June 18: President Lyndon B. Johnson: "I don't give a damn about the pinkos on the campuses: they're just waving their diapers and bellyaching because they don't want to fight."…
Lest we forget…        Bear…
 
 
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Item Number:1 Date: 06/18/2018 AFGHANISTAN - TALIBAN REJECTS CEASE-FIRE EXTENSION; KABUL PLANS ANOTHER 10-DAY TRUCE (JUN 18/DEWELLE)  DEUTSCHE WELLE -- The Taliban has rejected a government offer to extend a cease-fire deal, reports Deutsche Welle.   On Sunday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced that the government's ongoing cease-fire would be extended by an additional 10 days. It had been scheduled to end on Wednesday. It was hoped that the Taliban would similarly extend the truce.   The rebel movement rejected the offer, confirming that its three-day cease-fire would end at midnight on Sunday.   "Mujahideen throughout the country are ordered to continue their operations against the foreign invaders and their internal puppets as before," read the Taliban statement.   On June 7, President Ghani announced a unilateral cease-fire. The Taliban responded on June 9 with a three-day cease-fire, coinciding with the Eid holiday.   Some have questioned Ghani's decision to extend the cease-fire, with a few local officials saying the move allows Taliban fighters to move freely. A Western diplomat called the decision "a bold move," reported Reuters.   Meanwhile, two weekend attacks killed at least 54 people in the eastern Nangarhar province. One attack was claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS), while the perpetrator of the second attack was not immediately known
  Item Number:6 Date: 06/18/2018 IRAQ - AIRSTRIKES TARGET PKK LEADERS, SAYS GENERAL STAFF (JUN 18/HUR)  HURRIYET -- The Turkish military says it has attacked a major meeting of leaders of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, reports Hurriyet Daily News (Istanbul).   On June 15, Turkish jets struck PKK targets in the Qandil mountains, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement. Thirty-five militants were "neutralized," a term used to denote those captured, injured or killed.   During a June 16 interview with a Turkish television station, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the strikes hit a gathering of PKK leaders, though he declined to elaborate.   Ten important terror targets were hit in the strikes, Erdogan said, as cited by the Daily Sabah (Istanbul).   Turkey is considering a new offensive in the area, but will wait to see the outcome of ongoing coalition negotiations following Iraq's elections in May.   The PKK confirmed the strikes but denied that there were any casualties, reported Rudaw (Erbil). The Kurdish militant group said it launched retaliatory strikes that killed at least one Turkish soldier.   The PKK has maintained fighters in the Qandil mountains since May 2013 as part of then-ongoing peace talks. Turkey began attacking PKK positions in the area in July 2015 as part of operations against militants and terrorists in Syria.   Turkey has increased the pace of strikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq over the last few weeks, noted Hurriyet. Turkish military officials said they have deployed troops up to 20 miles (30 km) within Iraqi territory, reported Reuters
Item Number:11 Date: 06/18/2018 NIGERIA - AT LEAST 32 KILLED IN SUICIDE ATTACK TARGETING EID CELEBRATION IN BORNO STATE (JUN 18/VANGUARD)  VANGUARD -- At least 32 people have been killed and 48 injured in a suicide attack in northern Nigeria, reports the Vanguard (Nigeria).   On June 16, six female suicide bombers infiltrated celebrations of the Islamic holiday Eid in Damboa, Borno state, detonating their devices among the revelers, said police.   The bombings appeared to be coordinated and aimed at the greater Damboa community, said police cited by CNN.   Some residents accused the military of exacerbating the death toll by firing into the crowd. The army denied claims that some of the deaths were caused by military artillery.   The militants may have fired rocket-propelled grenades at crowds who responded to the first blast, an anonymous source told the Punch (Nigeria).   There were no immediate claims of responsibility. Boko Haram was suspected in the attack, reported Al Jazeera (Qatar). Damboa is near the Sambisa Forest, long a Boko Haram stronghold, noted the Premium Times (Abuja
Item Number:14 Date: 06/18/2018 SYRIA - AIRSTRIKE KILLS 40 MEMBERS OF PRO-DAMASCUS MILITIAS IN EAST (JUN 18/SOHR)  SYRIAN OBSERVATORY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS -- About 40 non-Syrian fighters loyal to the government in Damascus have been killed by an airstrike near the Syrian-Iraqi border, reports the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.   On late Sunday, airstrikes hit positions in the Deir Ezzor desert occupied by Hezbollah and other militias friendly to the government of Bashar Assad.   The exact nationalities of the fighters were not known. Fighters from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Lebanon have been known to fight on behalf of Damascus.   Government-allied forces have been fighting remnants of the Islamic State (ISIS) in the towns of Al-Boukamal and Al-Mayadeen, both in the area, noted the U.K.-based watchdog group.   Syrian state media accused the U.S. of carrying out the strikes, reported Reuters. "No member of the U.S.-led coalition carried out strikes" in the area, a U.S. Central Command spokesman told the news agency.   The U.S.-led coalition later said that "it was aware of reports of a strike near Albu Kamal, Syria, that killed and wounded several Katai'b Hezbollah members," while emphasizing that there were no U.S. or coalition strikes in the region, reported the Jerusalem Post. Katai'b Hezbollah is an Iraqi paramilitary group linked to Iran
Item Number:15 Date: 06/18/2018 USA - BOEING AWARDED $1.5 BILLION FOR F/A-18 SUSTAINMENT, UPGRADES (JUN 18/DOD)  DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., has awarded Boeing a major contract for the modernization of F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft, reports the Dept. of Defense.   The US$1.5 billion contract covers system configuration sets and associated services in support of the lifecycle upgrades of U.S. Navy and Foreign Military Sale customers jets.   The U.S. Navy portion of the contract is worth $1.8 billion. Foreign Military Sales account for the remaining $334 million.   The contract provides FMS-unique system configuration sets; system improvement and demonstration products; laboratory upgrades; studies and analysis; system configuration sets; software integration laboratory; and on-site engineering.   Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo., (88 percent) and China Lake (12 percent) and is anticipated to be completed by June 2023
 
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