Wednesday, January 23, 2019

TheList 4909

The List 4909 TGB

To All,
 
I hope that your week has started well.
 
Regards,
Skip
 
This Day In Naval History
 
Jan. 22
§  1800—Capt. Thomas Tingey is ordered to duty as the first Superintendent of the Washington Navy Yard.
§  1862—During the Civil War, the side-wheel steamer Lexington conducts a reconnaissance up the Tennessee River and exchanges long-range fire with Fort Henry in Tennessee.
§  1870—USS Nipsic, commanded by Cmdr. Thomas O. Selfridge, sails on an expedition to survey the Isthmus of Darien at Panama to determine the best route for a ship canal.
§  1941—During World War II, USS Louisville (CA 28) arrives at New York with $148,342.212.55 in British gold brought from Simonstown, South Africa, to be deposited in American banks.
§  1944—Operation Shingle, the Allied landing at Anzio and Nettuno, Italy, begins. While the landings are flawless and meet with little resistance from the Germans, USS Portent sinks during the invasion. 
 
 
Thanks to CHINFO
 
Executive Summary:
Leading national news headlines today are reports that Teachers in the nation's second-largest school district in Los Angeles are expected to strike for a sixth school day today, and continued reports on a video that went viral over the weekend that appears to show high school students mocking a Native American elder. Over the long weekend, the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea published an address reflecting on 2018 and developments in the Korean Peninsula with regard to the U.S.-ROK Alliance. "Our alliance is built on a long history of shared values and mutual sacrifice… For more than 60 years now, our countries have stood together to deter aggression globally and set the conditions for stability and prosperity on the peninsula and in the region." Fox News Reports that U.S. and British Navy ships conducted joint drills in the South China Sea last week in what is called a sign of shared emphasis on regional peace and stability amid ongoing tensions with China. Additionally, local news out of Washington state reports that USS Carl Vinson arrived with its 3,000 person crew to Bremerton's Puget Sound Naval Shipyard over the weekend.
 
 
·         January 22
1689

England's "Bloodless Revolution" reaches its climax when parliament invites William and Mary to become joint sovereigns.
1807

President Thomas Jefferson exposes a plot by Aaron Burr to form a new republic in the Southwest.
1813

During the War of 1812, British forces under Henry Proctor defeat a U.S. contingent planning an attack on Fort Detroit.
1824

A British force is wiped out by an Asante army under Osei Bonsu on the African Gold Coast. This is the first defeat for a colonial power.
1863

In an attempt to out flank Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, General Ambrose Burnside leads his army on a march to north Fredericksburg, but foul weather bogs his army down in what will become known as the "Mud March."
1879

Eighty-two British soldiers hold off attacks by 4,000 Zulu warriors at the Battle of Rorke's Drift in South Africa.
1905

Russian troops fire on civilians beginning Bloody Sunday in St. Petersburg.
1912

Second Monte Carlo auto race begins.
1913

Turkey consents to the Balkan peace terms and gives up Adrianople.
1930

Admiral Richard Byrd charts a vast area of Antarctica.
1932

Government troops crush a Communist uprising in Northern Spain.
1939

A Nazi order erases the old officer caste, tying the army directly to the Party.
1943

Axis forces pull out of Tripoli for Tunisia, destroying bases as they leave.
1944

U.S. troops under Major General John P. Lucas make an amphibious landing behind German lines at Anzio, Italy, just south of Rome.
1971

Communist forces shell Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for the first time.
1979

Abu Hassan, the alleged planner of the 1972 Munich raid, is killed by a bomb in Beirut.
1982

President Ronald Reagan formally links progress in arms control to Soviet repression in Poland.
 
 
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Thanks to Carl
 
Top Tips to Avoid Medical Injury - Colonoscopy tip
 
(Just part of article included.  NOTE warning below about colonoscopy equipment cleaning!!)
Do your due diligence before undergoing endoscopy —If you're having a colonoscopy or any other procedure using a flexible endoscope done, you can significantly reduce your risk of contracting an infection by asking the hospital or facility how the scope is cleaned, and which cleaning agent is used.
Some esophagoscopes and bronchoscopes have sterile sheaths with disposable air-water and biopsy channels, but many others do not, and must be cleaned between each use. If the hospital or clinic uses glutaraldehyde, or the brand name Cidex, cancel your appointment and go elsewhere.
About 80 percent of clinics use glutaraldehyde because it's a less expensive alternative; however, it does not do a good job of sterilizing the equipment. If they use peracetic acid, your likelihood of contracting an infection from a previous patient is slim.
 

Medical Errors Are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the US

While I've focused a lot of attention on vaccines and the necessity for educating yourself about their risks in this article, vaccines are by far not the only hazard presented by the medical industry. In fact, medical errors in general are the third leading cause of death, killing an estimated 250,000 Americans each year,14,15 an increase of about 25,000 people annually from data published in 2000.16
Side effects from drugs, taken as prescribed, account for the vast majority of iatrogenic deaths, but unnecessary surgeries, medication errors in hospitals, hospital-acquired infections and other medical errors occurring in hospitals also claim their fair share of lives.
Research17 published in 2013 estimated that preventable hospital errors kill 210,000 Americans each year — a figure that comes very close to the latest statistics. However, when deaths related to diagnostic errors, errors of omission, and failure to follow guidelines were included, the number skyrocketed to 440,000 preventable hospital deaths each year.

10 Tips to Avoid Medical Harm

How can you avoid becoming one of these statistics? Aside from educating yourself on the risks and benefits of vaccines, here are several additional suggestions:
Ask your doctor whether a recommended test and/or treatment is really necessary, and do your own homework — According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, an estimated 30 percent of all medical procedures, tests and medications may be unnecessary,18 any one of which can put you at risk for a potentially serious or lethal side effect.
An investigation19 by the Mayo Clinic published in 2013 also revealed between 40 and 78 percent of the medical testing, treatments and procedures you receive are of no benefit to you — or are actually harmful — as determined by clinical studies. To learn which tests and interventions may do more harm than good, browse through the Choosing Wisely website.20
Avoid hospitals unless absolutely necessary — According to 2011 statistics, 1 in 25 patients in the U.S. end up contracting some form of infection while in the hospital,21 and 205 Americans die from hospital-acquired infections each and every day.22
Do your due diligence before undergoing endoscopy — If you're having a colonoscopy or any other procedure using a flexible endoscope done, you can significantly reduce your risk of contracting an infection by asking the hospital or facility how the scope is cleaned, and which cleaning agent is used.
Some esophagoscopes and bronchoscopes have sterile sheaths with disposable air-water and biopsy channels, but many others do not, and must be cleaned between each use. If the hospital or clinic uses glutaraldehyde, or the brand name Cidex, cancel your appointment and go elsewhere.
About 80 percent of clinics use glutaraldehyde because it's a less expensive alternative; however, it does not do a good job of sterilizing the equipment. If they use peracetic acid, your likelihood of contracting an infection from a previous patient is slim.
To learn more about this, see my interview with David Lewis, Ph.D., in "How Improper Sterilization of Endoscopes Could Put Your Health at Risk."
Enlist a health care advocate — Once hospitalized, you're at risk for medical errors, so one of the best safeguards is to have someone there have someone there with you. It's important to have a personal advocate present to ask questions and take notes.
For every medication given in the hospital, ask questions such as: "What is this medication? What is it for? What's the dose?" Most people, doctors and nurses included, are more apt to go through that extra step of due diligence to make sure they're getting it right if they know they'll be questioned about it.
To learn more, listen to my interview with Dr. Andrew Saul in "What Hospitals Won't Tell You — Vital Strategies That Could Save Your Life," or pick up a copy of his book, "Hospitals and Health: Your Orthomolecular Guide to a Shorter Hospital Stay."
In it, he discusses the dangers of hospital stays, the type of patient that tends to get killed most frequently, and how you can protect your health and life in the event you have to be hospitalized. For example, reminding nurses and doctors to wash their hands and change gloves before touching you can go a long way toward avoiding contamination with potentially lethal microbes.
Do your own prep for surgery — If you or someone you know is scheduled for surgery, print out the WHO surgical safety checklist and implementation manual,23 which is part of the campaign "Safe Surgery Saves Lives." The checklist can be downloaded free of charge here. Print it out and bring it with you, as this can help you protect yourself, your family member or friend from preventable errors in care.
Know the most effective protocol for sepsis — Sepsis is a progressive disease process initiated by an aggressive, dysfunctional immune response to an infection in the bloodstream, which is why it's sometimes referred to as blood poisoning. Each year, an estimated 1 million Americans get sepsis24,25 and up to half of them die as a result.26,27,28
Symptoms of sepsis are often overlooked, even by health professionals, and without prompt treatment, the condition can be deadly.
Unfortunately, conventional treatments often fail, and most hospitals have yet to embrace the use of intravenous (IV) vitamin C, hydrocortisone and thiamine,29 a treatment developed by Dr. Paul Marik, which has been shown to reduce sepsis mortality from 40 to a mere 8.5 percent.30,31Common signs and symptoms of sepsis to watch out for include:32
·         A high fever
·         Inability to keep fluids down
·         Rapid heartbeat; rapid, shallow breathing and/or shortness of breath
·         Lethargy and/or confusion
·         Slurred speech, often resembling intoxication
Should a few or all of these be present, seek immediate medical attention to rule out sepsis. Also inform the medical staff that you suspect sepsis, as time is of the essence when it comes to treatment, and urge them to use Marik's protocol (currently the standard of care for sepsis at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where Marik works). You can learn more about this protocol by following the hyperlink provided above.
Optimize your vitamin D instead of getting the flu vaccine — Research33,34 shows vitamin D optimization is a more effective flu prevention strategy than flu vaccination, reducing respiratory infections such as influenza by 50 percent in those with vitamin D blood levels below 10 ng/mL. People with higher vitamin D levels at baseline may reduce their risk by about 10 percent, which the researchers stated was about equal to the effect of flu vaccines.
Aside from vitamin D, loading up on vitamins B1 and C may go a long way toward keeping you healthy through the flu season and beyond. Influenza has also been successfully treated with high-dose vitamin C.35 Taking zinc lozenges at the first sign of a cold or flu can also be helpful.
Avoid antibiotics — Drugs are vastly overprescribed and misused, and this is particularly true for antibiotics. Avoid using them unless absolutely necessary, and remember they don't work for viral infections. Unnecessary use of antibiotics is one of the driving causes of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
Turn a deaf ear to drug ads — While drug makers are required to inform consumers about potential side effects in their ads, they've perfected drug ad narration to make them less frightful.36
Avoid drugs, unless absolutely necessary — As mentioned, drugs — taken as prescribed — account for a majority of the 250,000 people who die from medical mistakes in the U.S. each year. A great many, if not most, diseases can be effectively addressed using simple lifestyle changes.
Key factors include diet, exercise and nonexercise movement, sleep and stress reduction. To investigate your options, you can search my database of tens of thousands of articles simply by entering your condition in the search engine.
Among the most lethal drugs right now are the opioids, which need to be used with extreme care and only in the short term. For treatment options, see "Treating Pain Without Drugs," and "Study Reveals Previously Unknown Mechanism Behind Acupuncture's Ability to Reduce Pain," which also provides a long list of other drug-free pain relief strategies.
 
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H-017-1: U.S. Navy Operations in Vietnam, January–March 1968
H-Gram 017, Attachment 1
Samuel J. Cox, Director NHHC
27 March 2018
On 21 January 1968, a force of well over 20,000 North Vietnamese Army (NVA) troops laid siege to the U.S. Marine combat base near the isolated village of Khe Sanh, located about seven miles from the Laotian border and about 15 miles south of the "Demilitarized Zone" (DMZ) on the border between North and South Vietnam in the far northwest corner of South Vietnam. From then until the siege was finally lifted in April by a U.S. Army over-land operation, the 6,000 Marine defenders endured near constant rocket and artillery attacks, sometimes over 1,000 rounds per day, with a one-day peak of 1,307 on 23 February. Although the NVA force never launched an all-out assault, smaller-scale ground attacks and infiltration attempts were frequent. The only way to resupply the Marines was by air-drop or high-risk landings by C-130s and helicopters at the airfield.
The situation at Khe Sanh had a superficial similarity to the 1954 siege of Dien Bien Phu in North Vietnam, then part of French Indochina, when a major French force was surrounded and forced to surrender to the Viet Minh. This subsequently resulted in Vietnam gaining its independence from France and then being split in two, North and South. The press and even high-ranking U.S. military played up the resemblance and, as a result, Khe Sanh became a "must win" for the United States. The NVA, on the other hand, could have easily bypassed it if they chose, which was pointed out by senior U.S. Marine commanders in Vietnam who questioned the wisdom of occupying and holding Khe Sanh. However, General Westmoreland believed that drawing the NVA into a set-piece battle in an isolated area, where the risk of civilian and collateral damage was minimal, would enable the full application of U.S. power to pin down and destroy what had been to that point a mostly elusive enemy (i.e., a "Dien Bien Phu in reverse"). In addition, President Johnson had ordered that Khe Sanh must not be allowed to fall. So, the Marines were stuck, defending an otherwise insignificant piece of ground against an enemy whose rockets outranged the Marines' artillery. The result was the one of the largest and most intense air-to-ground bombardments in history. Over the next several months, U.S. Air Force, Marine, and Navy aircraft would drop more bombs around Khe Sanh in "Operation Niagara" than had been dropped in the entire Korean War or against Japan in 1945.
At the time of the NVA attack on Khe Sanh, U.S. Navy aircraft launching from aircraft carriers on "Yankee Station" in the Gulf of Tonkin were flying daily strikes—weather permitting—on targets in North Vietnam as part of Operation Rolling Thunder, ongoing since 1965. The Navy suffered increasing losses throughout 1967 as North Vietnam's new surface-to-air missile and radar network and increasingly dense antiaircraft artillery coverage became more effective—thanks to Soviet and Chinese equipment brought into North Vietnamese ports, where the U.S. rules of engagement prohibited U.S. strikes. (See H-017-3 for more on the Navy's participation in Rolling Thunder. Note, too, that about 61 U.S. Navy air wing commanders, squadron commanders, and executive officers were lost during the course of the Vietnam War, a significant loss to naval aviation leadership at the time.)
Normally, three carriers were assigned to Rolling Thunder: two on Yankee Station, each covering a 12-hour period of flight operations, and a third undergoing replenishment and some R&R, usually at Subic Bay in the Philippines. (Until 1966, a carrier also operated on "Dixie Station" off South Vietnam to provide close-air support to U.S. Army and Marine forces in the South while the Air Force built up its base structure in Thailand and in South Vietnam. The area had been subject to Viet Cong mortar and rocket attacks.) During the siege of Khe Sanh and the Tet Offensive, sometimes four and even five carriers operated from Yankee Station, including USS Ticonderoga, USS Ranger, USS Kitty Hawk, USS Coral Sea, and later USS Enterprise (after concluding response to the seizure of the intelligence collection ship USS Pueblo by North Korea. Ticonderoga and Ranger were also drawn off Yankee Station briefly in reaction to the Pueblo capture.) The carrier force operating in support of Rolling Thunder was designated Task Force 77 and was under the operational control of the U.S. Seventh Fleet.
During the northeast monsoon season, which resulted in heavy cloud cover North Vietnam, Navy aircraft from Yankee Station would fly close-support missions over South Vietnam, which was generally clear (the situation reversed during the southeast monsoon.) In January 1968, monsoon conditions prevailed over North Vietnam, so the Navy all-weather A-6 Intruders flew the great majority of strikes into North Vietnam. Other Navy carrier aircraft contributed to the defense of Khe Sanh with over 5,300 sorties delivering almost 8,000 tons of bombs. By comparison, the Air Force flew almost 9,700 sorties—but few into North Vietnam at that time—and Marine air flew over 7,000 sorties in support of Marines on the ground. On a typical day, there would be 350 tactical aviation strike sorties from all services and 60 B-52 bomber strikes by the Air Force, sometimes within 100 yards of the Khe Sanh perimeter. The result was very high NVA casualties in the thousands and a major reason the NVA didn't mount a major ground assault on Khe Sanh, although it did deploy armor for the first time in the South in one assault on South Vietnamese forces in a nearby village. The air operations in the vicinity of Khe Sanh also renewed and exacerbated an inter-service fight over whether air operations should be commanded by a single commander (as the Air Force wanted) or remain under the command of their own service (as the Marines, Navy, and most of the Army wanted). In this case, General Westmoreland agreed with the Air Force, despite vociferous objections by the Marines in particular. This food fight continued all the way to Desert Storm and beyond.
Significant U.S. Navy contributions to the defense of Khe Sanh were acoustic/seismic sensors dropped by specially modified OP-2E Neptune aircraft of the Special Naval Observation Squadron, VO-67. Marine defenders at Khe Sanh credited the sensors dropped by the Neptunes for providing 40 percent of the actionable intelligence, enabling artillery fire and air strikes against NVA movements around Khe Sanh. For many years, VO-67's operations were kept secret and so are not mentioned in many accounts. VO-67 was a clandestine Navy squadron based in Thailand, flying P-2 Neptune ASW aircraft that had been modified to conduct armed ground-attack reconnaissance and delivery of seismic and acoustic intrusion detectors, which were based on ASW sonobuoy technology and could detect troop and vehicle (and elephant) movement on the ground. The program was "Muscle Shoals," which later became Operation Igloo White.
In January 1968, VO-67 was engaged in development and testing of the sensors, deploying them on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos, which provided early warning of increased NVA reinforcement and supply activity before the attack on Khe Sanh and the Tet Offensive. Once the attack on Khe Sanh commenced, the VO-67 aircraft were immediately pressed into full operational service, delivering 316 sensors around Khe Sanh in the first month commencing on 22 January. Accurate sensor placement required a low altitude delivery, making the planes easy targets. Over the course of the next year, three OP-2E aircraft would be shot down with the loss of 20 aircrewmen. One of the lost aircraft was piloted by CDR Paul Milius, who remained at the controls of the aircraft until his crew successfully bailed out (one was mortally wounded when the plane was hit, but the seven who bailed out were rescued.) Milius then bailed out but was never seen again, and his body has never been recovered. Milius was promoted to captain while missing in action and awarded the Navy Cross. The Burke-class destroyer USS Milius (DDG-69) is named in his honor. The secret squadron would be awarded a Presidential Unit Citation in 2008.
Another significant Navy contribution to the defense of Khe Sanh was the role of Task Force (TF) Clearwater on the Cua Viet and Perfume Rivers in northern South Vietnam. Although all the supplies to the Marines at Khe Sanh were airlifted (or dropped) in, the vast majority of those supplies were first shipped up the Cua Viet River by landing craft and other small vessels to a staging area, where they were loaded aboard aircraft. Armored monitors and other vessels of TF Clearwater successfully defended the transport of supplies on the river from Viet Cong ambushes. During the Tet Offensive, fighting along the river was at times intense. The commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Vietnam, Rear Admiral Kenneth Veth, initially resisted allocating forces for TF Clearwater because they would come at the expense of forces operating in the critical Mekong delta, but he was convinced by intelligence reports of the NVA build-up (many provided by U.S. Navy reconnaissance aircraft flying in southern North Vietnam), and he detached some of his forces from the delta, including a Seabee Battalion. The establishment and arrival of Task Force Clearwater proved to be "just in time."
In the end, the Marines at Khe Sanh held, at a cost of 274 dead (the U.S. Army also suffered numerous casualties during Operation Pegasus, the relief force that broke the siege). General Westmoreland, commander of all U.S. forces in Vietnam, was so fixated on the defense of Khe Sanh that he initially believed the subsequent Tet Offensive was actually a diversion for a major attack on Khe Sanh. The reality was almost certainly the exact opposite. With the arrival of U.S. Army reinforcements in April, the NVA temporarily withdrew, and the U.S. claimed victory. In July, the last Marines withdrew from Khe Sanh, destroying all the facilities, and the North Vietnamese then claimed victory. USS Peleliu (LHA-5), commissioned in 1980 and decommissioned in 2015, was originally to be named USS Khe Sanh (and then USS Da Nang) before the name "Peleliu" (a World War II battle) was agreed upon.
 
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'FROM LAST YEAR
 
Thanks to THE Bear -
 
 
Dutch... good pix with a brief summary of a historic case of what happens when you 
send out lone patrols to fend for themselves... easy pickin's for our many enemies... 
 
Begin forwarded message:

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

Written by
Steve Mollman - January 21, 2018
There's only one active-duty vessel of the US Navy being held captive by a foreign government. It's a North Korean tourist attraction.
On Jan. 23, 1968, North Korea attacked and seized the USS Pueblo, a barely armed spy ship that had been operating in international waters off its coast. Sent to gather intelligence on the secretive nation's military, the vessel was unimpressive but did feature sensitive encryption equipment and intelligence documents. One American crewmember was killed in the seizure, and the 82 others were imprisoned and mistreated for nearly a year.
The 50th anniversary of ship's capture serves as a reminder that relations between Washington and Pyongyang were tense long before Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un traded insults like "little rocket man" and "dotard." It also offers lessons for today.
While the two countries have been at odds for over half a century, some periods have been worse than others. The year 1968, even by today's standards, was particularly bad. Then as now, the two sides exchanged strongly worded demands. Right after the ship's capture, the US Navy insisted the crew be returned and that North Korea apologize, adding the US could demand compensation under international law.
Pyongyang wasn't exactly cowed. The past few years had been marked by heightened tension and small skirmishes between the US and North Korea. Days earlier North Korean special forces had nearly succeeded in assassinating South Korea's president at the Blue House, the equivalent of the White House in the US.
Major general Pak Chung-kuk said the USS Pueblo had been operating in North Korean waters, not international ones. Pyongyang demanded the US admit this, apologize, and promise that such intrusions would never happen again—in a signed document. Washington scoffed at the idea, but in December 1968 it finally went along, capping a year of deep diplomatic embarrassment.
In the intervening months, the US, embroiled in the Vietnam war, built up a large military presence around South Korea, deploying several aircraft carriers. The Soviet Union, a key North Korean ally, sent warships into the Sea of Japan. The stage was set for a serious conflict.
Meanwhile the imprisoned crew were not treated well, being starved, interrogated, beaten, and psychologically tortured by their captors. Commander Lloyd M. Bucher was put through a mock firing squad, and finally "confessed" to his crew's transgressions when the captors threatened to kill his men in front of him.
For the North Koreans, the captured ship was a treasure trove of spy goodies, including intelligence machines and operating manuals. The US crew managed to destroy some of it, but experts believe much of value fell to North Korea and, through it, KGB officers in the Soviet Union.
Once the men were released—in time for Christmas, in a welcome bit of positive news—the US retracted the admissions, apologies, and assurances it made to Pyongyang. But the damage was done: North Korea had humiliated the US and achieved a propaganda victory. Today the Cold War prize sits on the Potong River as part of a war museum in Pyongyang.
Throughout 1968, US president Lyndon Johnson faced heated calls for America to retaliate against North Korea. Various plans were put before him, including one involving nuclear strikes (pdf, p. 2). But Johnson showed restraint, opting instead for diplomatic efforts and secret talks with Pyongyang. Jack Cheevers, who wrote a book on the Pueblo incident, recently wondered if the Trump administration would show such restraint if faced with a similar provocation.
The Pueblo incident is a reminder that the Kim family regime—now in its third generation of authoritarian rule—is an unpredictable entity that doesn't follow international norms. During the Cold War the US and Soviet Union had a gentleman's agreement regarding spy ships: don't interfere with ours and we won't do so with yours. The US wrongly assumed that Pyongyang would play by the same rules. It did not.
Such assumptions could also prove dangerous today.
 
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Russia—Moscow Confirms Existence Of Missile But Denies It Violates INF Treaty  Reuters | 01/22/2019 Russia has denied that a new cruise missile system violates the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, reports Reuters.  Washington says that the SSC-8/9M729 cruise missile system violates the treaty, which bans the signatories from operating systems with a range between 310 miles (500 km) and 3,420 miles (5,500 km).  On the sidelines of the U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament, Russian diplomat Alexander Deyneko said that his country would not give in to U.S. demands to destroy the system.  Moscow, which had not previously recognized the weapon's existence, says the system's range is below the threshold mandated by the accord.  President Donald Trump says that the U.S. will begin withdrawing from the pact on Feb. 2 if Russia does not verifiably decommission its SSC-8 missiles and launchers  
Israel—Arrow 3 Successfully Shoots Down Ballistic Missile Target  Times of Israel | 01/22/2019 The Israeli Defense Ministry says it has successfully completed a test of the Arrow 3 missile defense system, reports the Times of Israel.  On Tuesday, the system successfully intercepted a target designed to simulate a long-range ballistic missile, said the ministry. This was the first time that the latest configuration of the Arrow 3 successfully intercepted a target, noted Haaretz (Israel). The test of the joint U.S.-Israeli system was conducted with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency in central Israel.  The Arrow 3 system was declared operational in January 2017 and last tested in July 2018. It represents the outer layer of Israel's multilayered missile defense system.  The system is designed to intercept long-range ballistic missiles above the atmosphere.
 
North Korea—Researchers Reveal Key Ballistic Missile Site  Nbc News | 01/22/2019 Analysts have identified a new North Korean ballistic missile site, one of as many as 20 undisclosed facilities, according to a new report cited by NBC News.  North Korean officials have not revealed the existence of the Sino-ri Missile Operating Base, according to the report released on Monday by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) (Washington, D.C.).  Sino-ri, about 130 miles (210 km) north of the demilitarized zone with South Korea, is believed to be a ballistic missile launch site. It is the headquarters of the Korean People's Army's Strategic Rocket Forces missile brigade, which is one of the units responsible for ballistic missile development. Satellite imagery of the site shows defensive measures, including an entrance to an underground bunker, hardened shelters and shielding to protect from artillery fire and airstrikes.  Sino-ri was used to launch Pyongyang's first Scud missiles and its No Dong medium-range ballistic missile, reported USA Today. It may have also played a role in developing the Pukkuksong-2 (KN-15) medium-range ballistic missile, which debuted in February 2017.  The report reveals six other new sites not included in a November CSIS report. Researchers at the think tank have identified a total of 20 suspected nuclear missile sites around the country that Pyongyang has attempted to keep hidden.  The secrecy is likely an effort to enhance the North Korean bargaining position, said the report.  
Venezuela—27 Guardsmen Arrested Following Coup Attempt  Cable News Network | 01/22/2019 The Venezuelan government says it has foiled a coup by a group of National Guard troops, reports CNN.  On Monday, a small group of guardsmen attacked an outpost in the Cotiza neighborhood, about 0.6 miles (1 km) from the president's Miraflores palace, reported Reuters.  The attackers stole two military vehicles, weapons and kidnapped two officers and two other guardsmen, reported Venezuelanalysis.com. The guardsmen hoped to steal more weapons and spark a wider insurrection, said Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez.  The government blamed the attempt on far-right forces  Twenty-seven guardsmen were arrested for their involvement in the plot, reported the Guardian (U.K.). Following the arrests, dozens of residents demonstrated in support of the guardsmen, setting up barricades and destroying government symbols. Security forces employed tear gas and rubber bullets to quell the protests and made several arrests. The opposition-controlled legislature has encouraged members of the military to turn against President Nicolas Maduro and offered amnesty to those who do. 
China—Military Modernization Shifts Focus From Ground Forces  South China Morning Post | 01/22/2019 Ground forces now make up less than half of the Chinese military, reports the South China Morning Post.  The remaining four forces -- the navy, air force, rocket force and strategic support force -- make up the majority of the People's Liberation Army, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. The reforms have also reduced the number of officers by 30 percent and eliminated nearly half of the military's non-combatant units.  The reductions in ground units represents a move away from territorial defense and towards greater force projection capabilities, said analysts.  The changes may also alter the political dynamics of the military, which is influential politically and has traditionally been dominated by the army.  President Xi Jinping announced major reforms in 2015, which aimed to cut end-strength by 300,000 troops and enhance force projection capabilities.  The changes led to the creation of the independent rocket force and the strategic support force, which handles cyber, electronic and space warfare.   
Serbia—Military Set To Get New Russian Transport, Attack Choppers  Tass | 01/22/2019 The Serbian government says it will order 10 Russian-made transport and attack helicopters, reports the Tass news agency (Russia). Belgrade has agreed to purchase three Mi-17 transport and seven Mi-35 attack helicopters, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Jan. 18. Details of the order, including cost and delivery timeline, were not disclosed. Vucic made the announcement following a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Belgrade earlier in the day.  The leaders discussed strengthening defense ties, including cooperation in the defense industry and continuing joint military training, reported Defence Blog.  Burkina Faso—Cabinet Quits Amid Growing Violence 
Afghanistan—Scores Of Casualties In Taliban Attack On Military Base Near Kabul  Al Jazeera | 01/22/2019 The Taliban has launched a deadly attack on an Afghan military facility in the central Wardak province, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar). On Monday, Taliban fighters detonated a stolen Afghan military Humvee at the National Directorate of Security (NDS) compound and police training center in Maidan Shahr, 27 miles (44 km) outside of Kabul, reported the Guardian (U.K.). At least two gunmen continued the attack before being killed, using a tactic the group has employed in many previous assaults, said an interior ministry spokesman. There were several accounts of casualties. An unnamed defense official told Al Jazeera that 126 people were killed in the blast. A member of the Wardak provincial council said that at least 35 security personnel had been killed. A spokesman for the provincial governor said 12 were killed and 12 injured. A senior NDS official said there were at least 50 casualties.  The Taliban has increased activity in Afghanistan in recent months. Some analysts say the move is part of efforts to expand its influence and gain leverage in peace talks.  
 Germany—Rheinmetall Mulls Legal Action Over Saudi Arms Ban  Deutsche Presse-Agentur | USA—Another Batch Of Viper Attack Helos Ordered For Marines  U.S. Department Of Defense | 01/22/2019 The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Bell Helicopter Textron, Fort Worth, Texas, a contract modification for additional attack helicopters for the Marine Corps, reports the Dept. of Defense. The $440 million deal covers 25 Lot 16 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters and 25 stores control units, said a Pentagon release on Jan. 18. Work is expected to be completed in January 2022.
 


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