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Thursday, August 9, 2018

TheList 4786

The List 4786    
TGB


To All,
I hope that your week has been going well.
Regards,
Skip
This day in Naval History
Aug. 9
1842—The Webster-Ashburton Treaty is signed. In the treaty, the United States and Great Britain agree to cooperate in suppressing the slave trade.
1867—One officer and 46 Marines and Seamen from the steamer, USS Wachusett, land at Shanghai, China, to assist in fighting a fire.
1942—A Japanese force runs through the Allied forces guarding Savo Sound, sinking three American heavy cruisers, USS Quincy (CA 39), USS Vincennes (CA 44), and USS Astoria (CA 34), along with other damaged Allied vessels. As a result of the loss, the sound gains the nickname, "Iron Bottom Sound."
1943—TBF aircraft from Composite Squadron One (VC 1) based onboard USS Card (CVE 11) sink German submarine (U 664), 570 miles west of Fayal, Azores.
2008—USS Sterett (DDG 104) is commissioned at Baltimore, MD, the birthplace of the ship's namesake: Master Commandant Andrew Sterett, who fought in the Quasi-War and Barbary Wars for the Navy.
 
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
Top national headlines include continued coverage on the Ohio congressional special election, the U.S. imposing new sanctions on Russia for the UK nerve attack, and a state of emergency being declared in Charlottesville on the anniversary of the 'Unite the Right' protests. Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer told reporters that "we're a more ready and lethal force than we were last year," reports Seapower Magazine. Spencer cited improvements in aviation readiness and approximately $4 billion in savings achieved through multi-year procurements deals. According to Military.com, Secretary Spencer also stated that the Navy may soon commission cyber officers as mid-grade officers rather than ensigns and second lieutenants in order to attract talent to the Navy. Additionally, Stars and Stripes reports that the USS Wasp strike group has departed Sasebo, marking the second time F-35B Lighting II stealth fighters have embarked aboard the Wasp.
 
 
Today in History August 9
480 BC

The Persian army defeats Leonidas and his Spartan army at the Battle Thermopylae, Persia.
48 BC

1483

Pope Sixtus IV celebrates the first mass in the Sistine Chapel, which is named in his honor.
1549

England declares war on France.
1645

Settlers in New Amsterdam gain peace with the Indians after conducting talks with the Mohawks.
1805

Austria joins Britain, Russia, Sweden and the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia in the third coalition against France.
1814

Andrew Jackson and the Creek Indians sign the Treaty of Fort Jackson, giving the whites 23 million acres of Creek territory.
1842

The Webster-Ashburton treaty fixes the border between Maine and Canada's New Brunswick.
1859

The escalator is patented. However, the first working escalator appeared in 1900. Manufactured by the Otis Elevator Company for the Paris Exposition, it was installed in a Philadelphia office building the following year.
1862

At Cedar Mountain, Virginia, Confederate General "Stonewall" Jackson repels an attack by Union forces.
1910

The first complete, self-contained electric washing machine is patented.
1930

First appearance of the animated character Betty Boop ("Dizzy Dishes").
1936

Jesse Owens wins four gold medals in track and field events at the Berlin Olympics.
1941

President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill meet at Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. The meeting produces the Atlantic Charter, an agreement between the two countries on war aims, even though the United States is still a neutral country.
1944

Fictional character Smokey Bear ("Only you can prevent forest fires") created by US Forest Service and the Ad Council.
1945

The B-29 bomber Bock's Car drops a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.
1965

Singapore expelled from Malaysia following economic disagreements and racial tensions; becomes independent republic.
1969

Charles Manson's followers kill actress Sharon Tate and her three guests in her Beverly Hills home.
1971

Le Roy (Satchel) Paige inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame.
1974

Gerald Ford is sworn in as president of the United States after the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
1975

First NFL game in Louisiana Superdome; Houston Oilers defeat New Orleans Saints 13-7.
1979

England's first major nude beach established, at the seaside resort of Brighton.
1992

Twenty-fifth Olympic Summer Games closes in Barcelona, Spain.
1999

Russian president Boris Yeltsin fires his prime minister and, for the fourth time, fires the entire cabinet.
1999

The Diet of Japan establishes the country's official national flag, the Hinomaru, and national anthem, "Kimi Ga Yo.".
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Thanks to Carl…Looks Like a problem
 
 
Senate Has 'Serious Concerns' With Blue Water Navy Bill After Recent Hearing
By: Lt. Col. Aniela Szymanski, USMCR - AUG 07, 2018
 
 
 
VA Rips 'Blue Water' Agent Orange Bill, Urges Senate To Sink It
By: Tom Philpott  AUG 03, 2018
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Thanks to Paul
 
The Bubbas may be interested in this recently released interview from Air Force Capt. Joni Marquez who was aboard the AC-130 given orders to fly close-in air support during the Extortion 17 mission
 
"Her testimony details how the government covered up evidence in the 2011 downing of a Chinook helicopter gunship that k****d a total of 38 military personnel in Afghanistan…"
 
 
Deuce
Original source--Sara Carter at Circa
 
 
Deuce
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ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… 9 AUGUST 1968… LEADING FROM THE FRONT–"FOLLOW ME!"…
 
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H-020-4: The Fog of War—Lieutenant John Foster and AL-2 Versus UB-65, 10 July 1918
H-Gram 020, Attachment 4
Samuel J. Cox, Director NHHC
July 2018 
(Back to H-Gram 020 Overview) 
Given the limited communications, acoustic, and "identification, friend or foe" technology of the 1917–1918 period, it wouldn't seem like a "good idea" to operate Allied submarines in waters infested with German U-boats, due to the risk of fratricidal engagements. That did not stop either the Royal Navy or the U.S. Navy from doing so. The advantage of using submarines was that U-boats would generally see Allied destroyers and escorts long before they could see the submarine periscope or conning tower, enabling the U-boats to avoid being attacked. In theory, the low freeboard of a submarine would enable it to approach a U-boat undetected and conduct a surprise attack. In June 1917, the Commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Europe, Vice Admiral William S. Sims, recommended that U.S. Navy submarines be deployed to the European Theater. On 2 July 1917, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral William S. Benson ordered 12 submarines be readied for deployment. L-2 was one of the submarines deemed most capable of making the transatlantic crossing. It took until December 1917 for the submarines to be trained and ready to deploy.
On 4 December, eight submarines under tow departed Melville, Rhode Island, for European waters via the Azores, in company with the submarine tenders USS Fulton (AS-1)* and USS Bushnell (AS-2), with the commander of the submarine flotilla embarked, Captain Thomas C. Hart—future four-star commander of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet at the start of World War II. L-2, under the command of Medal of Honor awardee Lieutenant Paul F. Foster, was under tow by the tug USS Conestoga (AT-54), which would later disappear without a trace with her crew of 56 after departing San Francisco Bay in 1921—and was found in 2015. A gale caused the force to scatter, and it regrouped in Bermuda on 13 December. After repair work in the Azores and several patrols near the Azores, L-2 departed and arrived at Queenstown, Ireland on 27 Jan 1918. Due to the number of destroyers and other ships operating out of Queenstown, the submarine's base was moved to Berehaven on Bantry Bay, further to the west, but still on the south coast of Ireland. Since the British already had L-class submarines, L-2 was renamed AL-2 and a large "A" painted on her.
On 25 May 1918, AL-2 got underway from Bantry Bay for a patrol, and the next day sighted what was believed to be a German submarine. Throughout the day, AL-2 made multiple attempts to get in firing position, eventually doing so, but because the identity of the submarine could not be confirmed, and because batteries were running low, AL-2 broke off the attempt.
On the morning of 10 July 1918, AL-2 was returning from a patrol south of Ireland when she encountered the destroyers USS Parker (DD-48) and USS McCall (DD-28). Despite sending blinker and smoke bomb recognition signals, one of the destroyers opened fire on AL-2, getting off five rounds, with no hits, before finally recognizing AL-2 as friendly.
AL-2 continued toward Berehaven and, at 1755 local, sighted what was initially thought to be a nun buoy. At 1830, a submarine fired a torpedo at AL-2 that detonated 200 feet from her engine room, according to Lieutenant Foster's later report. The periscope of the submarine was clearly visible on the starboard quarter at a range of 80 yards, which would have put her not far from the explosion. Her skipper took her down to 70 feet and listened, detecting sounds of what the crew evaluated as two submarines. AL-2 attempted to chase one of the submarines while submerged via sound. Foster then attempted to ram the closest submarine, according to his after-action report. Foster than gave chase to one of the two U-boats, but eventually lost her, and spent two hours circling around trying to regain contact.
Foster eventually surfaced and reported to Bushnell in Bantry Bay about the explosion and the possibility that the U-boat had sunk. The log entries and after-action reports depict an extremely confusing picture of using the technology of the time to try to track submerged submarines while submerged. In reality, there almost certainly was no second submarine present, although some accounts have postulated that UB-65 was torpedoed by a second German submarine that was trying to hit AL-2—or thought UB-65 was an Allied submarine. However, this does not comport with German records or British intelligence which had a very good handle on which German submarines were on patrol and their general patrol area—thanks to breaking the German codes—and the Germans' propensity to communicate frequently on the radio (a liability they continued into WWII).
The British gave AL-2 credit for sinking UB-65, and for many years the engagement was reported as follows; "The AL-2 on the surface was torpedoed by UB-65 submerged, but turned and crash-dived steeply in an attempt to ram UB-65 and thereby forced the German submarine to crushing depth and the bottom – from which it never arose. This action was described by Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy as follows: "…had the AL-2 struck the enemy submarine, both boats would have been lost, but Lieutenant Paul F. Foster, the commanding officer, did not hesitate because of the risk, and heroically offered himself, his crew, and his boat as a sacrifice in an endeavor to destroy the enemy – Lieutenant Foster's daring as a submarine commander formed one of the most thrilling chapters of the war." Later accounts suggested that some of Foster's crew were less than "thrilled" about his zeal to ram another submarine while submerged. There was no doubting Foster's courage: He had been awarded a Medal of Honor for valor under fire ashore—disembarked from the battleship USS Utah (BB-31) at Vera Cruz, Mexico, in 1914—and would later be awarded a Navy Cross for his actions during a turret explosion and fire aboard the light cruiser USS Trenton (CL-11) an event in which Ensign Henry Clay Dexter and Boatswains Mate First Class George Cholister would be awarded posthumous Medals of Honor and 12 other Sailors would die.
This all made for a good war story, award citation, and great press, but it turned out it wasn't true, at least the part about UB-65 sinking. In 2004, an expedition by the British "Channel 4 Wreck Detectives" dove on an unidentified sunken U-boat that had been located off Padstow, England the year before during a routine survey by the Royal Navy. Based on design features, and the big help of identification numbers stamped on a propeller, the wreck was positively identified as UB-65, many miles from the site of the engagement with AL-2. There were no external signs of damage, although aft hatches were open, suggesting an escape attempt. The Germans had initially concluded that UB-65 had been sunk by the premature detonation of her own torpedo during the engagement with AL-2, but in 1930 the Germans had reassessed it to be lost due to accidental causes off Padstow, England, on or after 14 July 1918. Exactly how the Germans figured this out in 1930 is unclear, but presumably was based on the previously unexplained loss of a Portuguese vessel off Padstow on 14 July (the presumption being that UB-65 had sunk it before further radio contact was lost).
It actually turns out that determination of U-boat losses in World War I is a very imprecise science, and there are widely differing accounts of the time, place and means of loss of a number of sunken U-boats. There are also wildly varying accounts of the loss of UB-65. I have tried to remain as close to the original AL-2 logs and after-action reports as possible, even though they are confusing. However, UB-65's reputation as a "haunted" ship has resulted in embellished, and probably even fabricated, accounts. Whether UB-65 was haunted or not, is obviously dubious, some of her crew supposedly believed she was haunted and even reported seeing ghosts. The submarine also suffered a long string of accidents, a number of them fatal, which does appear factual.
While UB-65 was under construction in 1917, three crewmembers were asphyxiated by diesel fumes in the engine room, and two more crewmen (some accounts say workers) were crushed by a falling girder. During sea trials, a crewman was washed overboard and never recovered. During a test run, a ballast tank fracture caused water to reach the batteries, resulting in toxic gas that killed two crewmen. On the first test dive, UB-65 suffered another ballast tank fracture and the sub sank to the (apparently shallow) bottom, where the crew was trapped for 12 hours until they finally found a way to get the submarine to the surface. As the submarine was being loaded with torpedoes prior to its first patrol, one of the torpedoes exploded, killing the ship's second officer (executive officer) and killing several other crewmen (some sources say four, others eight, and some none) and wounding several others, and requiring extensive repairs to the submarine.
It was supposedly the ghost of the executive officer that haunted the ship, but it appears the "ghost stories" are actually traceable to a British journalist, Hector Charles Bywater, who wrote about the numerous sightings of ghosts aboard the ship after the war. There appear to be no other accounts prior to Bywater's, suggesting fabrication. In the 1920s, Bywater also wrote two books about a future war between the United States and Japan. The Great Pacific War, which he wrote in 1925, fairly accurately depicted the actions by the U.S. and Japanese navies during World War II—and was popular in Japan— although contrary to some accounts it did not predict the attack on Pearl Harbor. Foreign agents on both sides were known to plant false rumors in an attempt to degrade enemy morale, and this could be the origin of ghost stories, although I could find no evidence of this in this case.
UB-65's first skipper was replaced, by some accounts because of his inability to control his spooked crew, but more likely because of loss of confidence in his command abilities due to all the accidents. UB-65 went on to conduct six patrols under the command of Kapitänleutnant Martin Shelle, sinking six Allied merchant ships and the sloop HMS Arbutus, and damaging six others. It's possible that the encounter with AL-2 resulted in some kind of internal (or not visible) damage that resulted in the loss of UB-65 several days later, and not during the encounter with AL-2. However, given UB-65's accident-prone history, it's entirely plausible she sank all by herself. All that is known for sure now is her location, and the fact that all 37 of her crew were lost, and probably had nothing to do with ghosts.
The Spruance-class destroyer USS Paul Foster (DD-964), in commission from February 1976 until March 2003, was named in honor of Paul F. Foster, who retired as a vice admiral in 1946, after being recalled to active duty at the start of World War II. He served as assistant Navy inspector general, and inspector for President Franklin Roosevelt.
Sources include; Naval History and Heritage (NHHC) Command Dictionary of American Fighting Ships entry for L-2, updated in Jun 2018 from official U.S. Navy records by NHHC Historian Christopher B. Havern, Sr., and "The Haunted U-boat" by Commander Richard-Compton-Hall (director, Royal Navy Sub Museum), U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, March1990. The internet is full of the various undocumented "ghost story" versions.
*Note: The system of two-letter codes to denote ship types was not implemented until after World War I. So, in 1918, the submarine tender USS Fulton would have been designated "Submarine Tender No. 1," not AS-1. The USS Utah would be "Battleship No. 31," not BB-31. However, for the sake of brevity, I used the more modern system
 
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Item Number:1 Date: 08/09/2018 AFGHANISTAN - ROADSIDE BOMB KILLS 8 IN BALKH PROVINCE (AUG 09/RFE/RL)  RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY -- Eight civilians have been killed and six injured in an explosion in northern Afghanistan, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.   A vehicle struck a roadside bomb planted by the Taliban in the Shulgar district in Balkh province on Wednesday, said a police spokesman.   No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, noted the Khaama Press (Afghanistan).   According to a U.N. report published last month, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are the leading cause of civilian deaths in Afghanistan, accounting for nearly 45 percent. At least 1,692 civilians were killed in the first six months of 2018, according to the U.N. Assistance Mission In Afghanistan (UNAMA).   Separately, eight security forces were killed on Wednesday when Taliban militants attacked a police checkpoint in the western Herat province. Six militants were also reportedly killed.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 08/09/2018 AFGHANISTAN - STRIKES TARGETING TALIBAN DRUG TRADE HAVING LIMITED SUCCESS (AUG 09/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- Efforts to curtail the opium trade in Afghanistan have not achieved the desired results, reports the Wall Street Journal.   Nine months of airstrikes on opium production facilities have deprived the Taliban of about US$46 million worth of revenue, according to figures provided by U.S. officials.   That figure represents less than a quarter of the Taliban's estimated income from the illegal drug trade.   The Taliban gets about 60 percent of its revenue from the drug trade, said American officials.   The U.S. has hit about 200 drug sites over the last nine months, about half of them in the Helmand southern province.   Despite these and other efforts, poppy production -- from which opium is made -- hit a record high of between US$1.5 billion and US$3 billion last year.   The strategy of targeting the insurgent group's drug revenues is part of a push to bring the 17-year war to an end.   These figures were reported after Tuesday's announcement by Defense Secretary James Mattis that peace talks with the Taliban were underway.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 08/09/2018 AUSTRALIA - 5 STRIPPED OF CITIZENSHIP FOR INVOLVEMENT WITH ISIS (AUG 09/AAP)  AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS -- Five Australians have been stripped of their citizenship for their alleged involvement in the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS), reports the Australian Associated Press.   The five people betrayed their country by traveling to the Middle East to fight with group and will not be allowed to return to Australia, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said on Thursday.   Dutton did not disclose their identities but said the individuals were in their 20s or 30s, reported Asharq Al-Awsat (London).   Australian law allows the government to rescind the citizenship of dual-nationals who engage in terrorism. It does not apply to Australians who claim no other citizenship.   Khaled Sharrouf was the first from Australia to be stripped of his citizenship in 2014. He was also a Lebanese citizen and left for Syria in 2013.   The government has become increasingly concerned about Australian nationals returning after fighting with ISIS and has passed tougher national security laws in response, noted Agence France-Presse. 
 
  Item Number:5 Date: 08/09/2018 ISRAEL - 3 KILLED IN RENEWED GAZA VIOLENCE (AUG 09/HA)  HAARETZ -- At least three people have been killed and 11 injured in the latest round of violence between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants in Gaza Strip, reports Haaretz (Israel).   On Wednesday, Hamas fired rockets from the Gaza Strip into the southern Israeli town of Sderot. Eleven Israelis were wounded, one of them seriously.   More than 180 rockets were fired, with six hitting Sderot. The Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted more than 30 rockets, officials said.   A statement from the military wing of Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack, reported Agence France-Presse.   The fighting reportedly followed the killing of two Hamas fighters by Israeli troops on Tuesday. Hamas said the fighters were taking part in a training exercise when they were shot. Israeli media later reported that the military had acknowledged that a mistake had been made and the militants had not been firing into Israel.   Israeli forces responded by striking 150 targets in Gaza, a spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces said on Thursday.   Three Palestinians were killed and six wounded in the Israeli strikes, said the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza. Among them were a woman, her child and man believed to be the son of a Hamas military commander.   Aerial defenses are being strengthened along the border to prevent future attacks, said Israeli defense officials.   Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would convene a meeting of the security cabinet on Wednesday to discuss the Gaza escalation.   Hamas reportedly convened a rare meeting last week that included senior members from across the organization.   Reports have suggested that a comprehensive cease-fire mediated by Egypt may be in the works but no such deal has yet materialized
Item Number:8 Date: 08/09/2018 MALI - 11 FULANI KILLED IN ETHNIC ATTACK IN MOPTI (AUG 09/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- At least 11 people have been killed in an ethnically motivated attack in central Mali, reports Agence France-Presse.   On Tuesday, a group of Fulani civilians were kidnapped in the Mopti region, said residents.   On Wednesday, families received evidence of their deaths, said the head of a Fulani association.   The number of people killed differed. Local groups said that 11 were killed. Another official put the figure at 14.   The attackers came from the Dogon community, who are primarily hunters.   Ethnic violence has been growing in Mali and other countries in the Sahel, with more than 300 killed in the region in 2018, according to U.N. figures.   The primarily pastoral Fulani community has come into conflict with other groups, with whom they compete for land and resources.  
  Item Number:11 Date: 08/09/2018 SYRIA - ASSAD AIMS TO BUILD STRONGER MILITARY, SAYS ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER (AUG 09/TOI)  TIMES OF ISRAEL -- Syrian President Bashar Assad is rebuilding his armed forces with plans to expand beyond its size at the start of the civil war in 2011, says Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, as reported by the Times of Israel.   "We see the Syrian army, which is not satisfied with taking control of all the Syrian territory, but is clearly building a new, large-scale land army that will return to its previous dimensions and beyond," Lieberman said on Tuesday after watching an Armored Corps exercise in the Golan Heights.   Major defections in the first years of the civil war significantly limited the military's capacity, noted Pakistan Today. In 2015, Assad acknowledged that the army lacked the forces to fight effectively on all fronts.   Russia, Iran and Hezbollah have each deployed troops and provided assistance to the Syrian army.   The Assad regime is now regaining control of lost Syrian territory and working to build a large ground army.   With the increased military capacity, Israel has expressed concern that Syria could violate the Golan demilitarization deal. The accord was signed in 1974 following Israel's capture of part of Golan Heights from Syria in 1967.   In addition to its ground forces, the Syrian military has also improved its air defenses with Russian help, Assad said in a May interview.  
  Item Number:12 Date: 08/09/2018 SYRIA - OPERATIONS TO RETAKE IDLIB COULD DISPLACE UP TO 700,000, SAYS WHO (AUG 09/SPUTNIK)  SPUTNIK -- An attempt by the government in Damascus to recapture the rebel-held province of Idlib could displace up to 700,000 people, reports Russia's Sputnik news agency.   Military operations to push rebels from the northwestern province would displace between 200,000 to 700,000 people, the World Health Organization said in a report issued Wednesday.   The number of people in need of health services in Syria increased by 700,000, reaching 12 million people by June 2018, said the world health body.   Much of this expansion comes from people moving into the rebel-held province as the government steps up operations to retake rebel areas in the south and southeast.   The relocations have roughly doubled the population in Idlib to about 2.5 million, noted the New Arab (London). The province has become a "dumping ground" for evacuees, said the U.N.   In February, Damascus launched operations, supported by Russian and Iranian forces, to reclaim rebel-held territory.   Many of these offensives have ended in agreements granting rebels and their families safe passage to Idlib and other rebel-controlled provinces in exchange for their surrender.   President Bashar Assad has vowed to retake the entirety of Syrian territory
  Item Number:13 Date: 08/09/2018 USA - AIR FORCE SEES SUPER TUCANO, WOLVERINE AS BEST OPTIONS FOR POSSIBLE LIGHT ATTACK AIRCRAFT BUY (AUG 09/MIL)  MILITARY.COM -- The U.S. Air Force has notified the top competitors for a potential light attack aircraft purchase that it plans to issue a request for proposal later this year, reports Military.com.   The service shared a draft request for proposal with Sierra Nevada/Embraer, which builds the A-29 Super Tucano, and Textron Aviation, which produces the AT-6 Wolverine, the Air Force announced on Monday.   The Super Tucano and Wolverine were identified as the most viable for Air Force requirements after extensive testing. The bidding will be open to other firms, the service said.   The Air Force will begin soliciting bids in December, with a contract award to follow in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019.   In November 2017, lawmakers allocated $400 million to fund additional experiments. The fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act includes $300 million for the procurement of light attack aircraft and associated long-lead material
Item Number:14 Date: 08/09/2018 USA - ARMY EYES INTERIM CAPABILITY TO DEFEND AGAINST CRUISE MISSILES (AUG 09/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- The U.S. Army's air-and-missile defense cross functional team (AMD CFT) is working to rapidly field a cruise missile protection capability for ground forces, reports Defense News.   The announcement, made on Aug. 7 by AMD CFT chief of staff Col. William Darne at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Ala., represents a shift from earlier this year, when the Army said the capability would be fielded around 2023.   The team made the Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 program one of its priorities earlier this year. Originally focused on rockets, artillery and mortars, the service later decided to focus on cruise missiles and counter-unmanned aircraft missions, since the C-RAM threat was being met through a different system.   Lawmakers have also pressed for interim cruise missile defense capability in the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bills. The House specified that the Army should experiment with the Israeli Iron Dome system.   The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act allocates $87 million in additional funding for the interim solution
  Item Number:15 Date: 08/09/2018 USA - MORE RUSSIAN SANCTIONS ON THE WAY AFTER POISONINGS IN U.K. (AUG 09/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- The U.S. will impose new sanctions on Russia in response to the poisoning of a former Russian agent and his daughter in the U.K. earlier this year, reports CNN.   The U.S. has determined that Russia used the nerve agent novichok to poison Sergei Skripal in March, the State Dept. said on Wednesday, as reported by NPR.   State has notified Congress of the first rounds of potential sanctions under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.   If specific steps are not taken by Russia, another round will follow.   The first round of sanctions will take effect on Aug. 22 and target U.S. exports to Russia with potential military applications, also known as dual-use technologies.   Some exceptions will likely be allowed, including those for civil society, humanitarian relief and U.S.-Russia space cooperation.   A second round would target Russian exports to the U.S. and could include a downgrade of relations with Moscow, said a former Defense Dept. official.   The Trump administration has been criticized for downplaying assessments by allied intelligence agencies that implicated Russians in the Skripal poisoning
  Item Number:16 Date: 08/09/2018 YEMEN - SAUDI AIRSTRIKE HITS BUS CARRYING CHILDREN, KILLING DOZENS (AUG 09/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- An airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition has killed dozens of civilians, many of them children, in northern Yemen, reports the Guardian (U.K.).   The attack hit a bus traveling near a market in Dahyan, Saada governorate, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday, citing local medical sources.   Saada is a Houthi stronghold.   Casualty counts varied. The ICRC estimated that scores of people were killed and more injured, most of them children. At least 43 people were killed and 61 injured, according to a local health official cited by Reuters. The Houthi-run Al Masirah media outlet reported 39 deaths and 51 injuries.   "Under international humanitarian law, civilians must be protected during conflict," said the ICRC.   The Saudi-led coalition said the strikes targeted missile launchers used to attack Jizan in southern Saudi Arabia, according to a statement published by the state-run Saudi Press Agency. A coalition spokesman said the attack met international and humanitarian legal requirements and accused the Houthis of using the children as human shields.   The coalition fighting the Houthi rebels has been criticized by rights groups for its attacks on population centers that have led to a high number civilian casualties. 
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