Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Fw: TheList 3918

The List 3918
To All,
I hope your week has started well.
 This Day In Naval History - June 16
1898 - U.S. squadron bombards Santiago, Cuba
1965 - Navy Department schedules reactivation of hospital ship Repose (AH-16), first hospital ship activated for Vietnam Conflict
On this day in history (June 16):
1910: The first Father's Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington.
1929: Otto E. Funk, 62 years old, ended a marathon walk from New York City to San Francisco. He traveled 4,165 miles in 183 days, playing his violin all the way.
1963: Soviet cosmonaut Velentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space, even though Ralph Cramden kept promising Alice that she would go right to the moon!
1974: Homer Simpson & Marge Bouvier wed.
Thanks to Chuck
The OPM Hacking Scandal Just Got Worse

by 20committee

The other day I explained in detail how the mega-hack of the Office of Personnel Management's internal servers looks like a genuine disaster for the U.S. Government, a setback that will have long-lasting and painful counterintelligence consequences. In particular I explained what the four million Americans whose records have been purloined may be in for:

Whoever now holds OPM's records possesses something like the Holy Grail from a CI perspective.  They can target Americans in their database for recruitment or influence. After all, they know their vices, every last one - the gambling habit, the inability to pay bills on time, the spats with former spouses, the taste for something sexual on the side (perhaps with someone of a different gender than your normal partner) - since all that is recorded in security clearance paperwork.

Do you have friends in foreign countries, perhaps lovers past and present? They know all about them. That embarrassing dispute with your neighbor over hedges that nearly got you arrested? They know about that too. Your college drug habit? Yes, that too. Even what your friends and neighbors said about you to investigators, highly personal and revealing stuff, that's in the other side's possession now.

The bad news keeps piling up with this story, including reports that OPM records may have appeared, for sale, on the "darknet." Moreover, OPM seems to have initially low-balled just how serious the breach actually was. Even more disturbing, if predictable, is a new report in the New York Times that case "investigators believe that the Chinese hackers who attacked the databases of the Office of Personnel Management may have obtained the names of Chinese relatives, friends and frequent associates of American diplomats and other government officials, information that Beijing could use for blackmail or retaliation."

We can safely replace "may" in that quote with "almost certainly did" since for Chinese intelligence that would be some of the most valuable information in any of those millions of OPM files. Armed with lists of Chinese citizens worldwide who are in "close and continuing contact" (to cite security clearance lingo) with American officials, Beijing can now seek to exploit those ties for espionage purposes.

This matters because, while many intelligence services exploit ties of ethnicity to further their espionage against the United States -- Russians, Cubans, Israelis, even the Greeks -- none of the major counterintelligence threats to America are as dependent on blood ties as the Chinese. Simply put, in its efforts at recruiting spies abroad, Beijing is often uncomfortable operating outside its ethnic milieu. Spies run by Beijing who are not ethnic Chinese are very much the exception. This poses less of a problem for them that it might seem, however, as there are something like fifty million "overseas Chinese" worldwide, including about four million living in the United States.

Nearly every espionage case in the United States involving Beijing comes down to the ethnic angle, somewhere. To cite only a few examples, among many, Larry Wu-Tai Chin, a CIA translator/analyst, passed highly classified information to Beijing for over thirty years. Katrina Leung managed to severely damage FBI intelligence against China for years, in a complex and messy operation that confounded the Bureau. Then there's the messy case of Wen Ho Lee, a scientist employed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, whom U.S. counterintelligence believed passed significant amounts of classified nuclear information to Beijing. Most recently was there was the case of Xiafen "Sherry" Chen, a Federal worker who was caught having unreported meetings with a Chinese regime official.

It should be noted that all the persons mentioned in the previous paragraph were born in China (Lee was born in Taiwan) then immigrated to the United States. They seem to have been persuaded to betray their adopted country on behalf of their native land. Ms. Chen, against whom serious charges were recently dropped, has alleged ethnic bias in the FBI's pursuit of her, as did Wen Ho Lee. Members of Congress and ethnic activists have joined that chorus too. Interestingly, Beijing has sung the same tune, with regime outlets alleging that anti-Chinese prejudice is at the root of U.S. counterintelligence efforts. However, whatever blame here lies in Beijing, not Washington, DC, since it is China that is exploiting its nationals abroad to further their espionage.

Beijing also uses its citizens abroad to facilitate espionage. An interesting recent case in Hawaii, which is something of a hotbed of Chinese spying, given the large number of U.S. military commands housed on Oahu, involved a retired U.S. Army officer and defense contractor working at U.S. Pacific Command who apparently got honey-trapped by a fetching young Chinese student (this is being a common Chinese tactic). Benjamin Bishop has been sentenced to more than seven years in jail for stealing classified information from work and passing it to a Chinese woman less than half his age, who was in the United States on a student visa.

The modus operandi of Chinese intelligence and its operations abroad are understood by the FBI and the Intelligence Community. However, the extent of the information loss in the OPM hack is so vast that all the counterintelligence awareness in the world may not be able to offset the advantage in the SpyWar that Beijing has won with this vast data theft. If you are (or have been) employed with the Federal government and have listed Chinese persons in any way on your SF86, it's time to be vigilant.
Thanks to Carl
Friday, June 12, 2015
Sometimes we forget that we are surrounded by those who served.

We hear plenty about those who did not serve, but claim they had for psychological, monetary, or professional gain - but we often miss the order of magnitude more that served yet go about their lives more or less keeping it to themselves.

Service was part of what make them what they are, but does not define them. Most had standardesque service, some exceptional - but most do keep it to themselves unless it comes out in context of a conversation.

A perfect example is the man who, after a great and full life, recently passed on to his reward; Sir Christopher Lee.

Let's go to BadAssOfTheWeek for the right vibe:
He's also a 6'5" tall world champion fencer, speaks six languages, does all of his own stunts, has participated in more on-screen sword fights than any actor in history, served for five years defending democracy from global fascism as a British Commando blowing the shit out of Nazi asses in World War II, and became the oldest person to ever record lead vocals on a heavy metal track when, at the age of 88, he wrote, performed on, and released a progressive symphonic power metal EP about the life of Charlemagne ...
Christopher Lee was born somewhere in England in 1922. His mother was an Italian Countess who was actually descended from the line of Charlemagne, and she was so important that she was allowed to wear the royal seal of Frederich Barbarossa and so MILF-y she had her portrait painted by something like a half-dozen famous Italian artists. One of Lee's ancestors on that side was the Papal Secretary of State who refused to attend the coronation of Napoleon and is buried in the Pantheon in Rome next to Raphael (the painter not the ninja turtle), which seems like kind of a big deal. Lee's father, meanwhile, was a distant relative of Robert E. Lee and was multi-decorated war hero who'd served as a Colonel in the 60th King's Royal Rifle Corps during World War I and the Boer War. Growing up, Lee studied Classics at Wellington College, where he was also a champion squash player, a ridiculously-badass fencer, and spent his spare time playing on the school hockey and rugby.
... in 1939 when Christopher Lee quit his day job, caught a boat to Finland, and decided to enlist in the Finnish Army to help them fight off the Soviet invasion of Finland. Lee got geared up to kick some commie asses up and down the frozen wastes of mid-Winter Finland, but didn't see much action, returning home in 1940 to deal with a much bigger and more England-centric problem: Nazis.

Christopher Lee enlisted in the Royal Air Force in 1940, where he worked as an intelligence officer specializing in cracking German ciphers ... In North Africa he was attached to the Long Range Desert Patrol, the forerunner of the SAS, ... After working with the LRDP, Lee was assigned to the Special Operations Executive – better known as Winston Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare – a group that did shit like lead a twelve-man assault that destroyed the German top secret nuclear weapons development facility in Norway and assist brave Eastern European partisans and rebels sabotage Nazi supply lines to prevent them from bringing reinforcements up to fight the Soviets. ... Lee doesn't talk much about his service (when pressed on the subject, he reportedly asks his interviewer, "Can you keep a secret?". When they excitedly say yes, he leans in close and says, "So can I."), but we do know that by the time he retired as a Flight Lieutenant in 1945 he'd been personally decorated for battlefield bravery by the Czech, Yugoslavian, English, and Polish governments and was good friends with Josip Broz Tito, so draw your own conclusions.
Well played, sir. Well played and well done.
Thanks to Fred
Watch this 4 minute video
Thanks to Carl

Father's Day – Are Dads Obsolete?
GrassTopsUSA Exclusive Commentary
By Don Feder
June 16, 2015

       In his new autobiography, "The Wright Brothers," David McCullough says of the pioneers of aviation, "Like their father, they were always perfect gentlemen, naturally courteous to all." 

       Of the many adjectives one might choose to describe the youth who rioted in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, "perfect gentlemen" and "courteous to all" don't immediately come to mind. To demonstrate that "black lives matter," the Baltimore mob caused $9 million in damages (mostly to minority businesses), set 144 vehicles on fire and injured 113 police officers. 

       If you want to understand urban anarchy, the place to start is with fatherless families – a topic the establishment media studiously ignores. According to The Marriage & Religion Research Institute, only 16% of Baltimore teens, 15- to 17-years old, were raised in an intact family. 

       The mother who went to the scene of the Baltimore riot and smacked her son around (because she didn't want him to "become another Freddie Gray") was praised for tough-love. No one asked why it wasn't the father laying down the law – perhaps because she's a single-parent with six children. 

       The evidence of the impact of fatherless families is overwhelming: 

       • A 2008 study showed that 44% of families without a father end up in poverty, compared with only 12% of two-parent families. 

       • The National Fatherhood Initiative estimates that a 1% increase in single-parent families in a neighborhood leads to a 3% increase in teen violence. 

       • Children in fatherless families have a 71% drop-out rate. 

       • 70% of juvenile delinquents were raised by mothers alone, as were 85% of children with behavioral disorders and 63% of youth who commit suicide. 

       • An African American girl who grows up in a home with her biological father is 44% less likely to have sexual intercourse before the age of 18. 

       On every single index of social pathology (including under-age smoking and drinking, drug abuse, and early sexual activity) children from fatherless families are far more vulnerable than their parents-married counterparts. The greatest gift a child can get is to grow up in an intact family. This is true in cities and suburbia, and cuts across income and education levels. 

       And yet, except for family activists, few are talking about this phenomenon. America celebrates fathers one day a year. Our culture denigrates them every day. 

       TV sitcoms are particularly toxic. From "Father Knows Best" and "The Cosby Show," it's been a steady slide into the abyss of "Married With Children," "The Simpsons," and the latest crop of dysfunctional dads on Prime Time TV. 

       In "The Atlantic," not known as a bastion of conservative thought, stay-at-home dad Alexis C. Madrigal writes: "And while it may seem harmless to get in a few cheap shots at dads' expense, these characters, and their hilarious incompetence, form the cultural backdrop for our society's larger discussion about the roles fathers play in families." 

       If that weren't enough, dads get another drubbing in commercials (hundreds are aired by each of the networks every day). It only takes 15 seconds to show dumb old pop being outwitted by his kids, unprepared to handle the simplest situation, and treated with smug condescension by his all-knowing ("that's-right-dear") spouse. 

       In, Seth Stevenson discloses: "From the moment I started writing about advertising, I've fielded complaints – always from men – about how fathers and husbands are portrayed in TV commercials. Ad after ad makes the doltish dad the butt of all jokes." The clueless father (stupefied by any task) is our era's politically correct blonde joke. 

       Okay, commercials and sitcoms aren't the reason so many men fail to father the children they've fathered. But they may be one reason why so many of us, especially the political/cultural elite, care so little about it. 

       And the message is getting through. Fox News contributor Suzanne Venker notes that while the percentage of women who consider marriage important is growing, men are moving in the opposite direction. "According to Pew Research Center (in 2012), the share of women 18 to 34 that say having a successful marriage is one of the most important things rose 9 percentage points since 1997 – from 28% to 37%. For men, the opposite occurred. The share voicing this opinion dropped from 35% to 29%." 

       Consequently, the marriage rate has reached its lowest level in the past century, while cohabitation is fast becoming the norm rather than the exception. The fertility rate – the number of children the average woman will have in her lifetime – is the lowest since we started keeping track in 1920. 

       Some women choose not to have children with men who may not be around when the going gets tough – say around age 15, when boys often tower over their mothers. More men choose the allure of the bachelor life – sans diapers and college tuition payments, among other joys. 

       The treatment of dads is also one front in the war on men. For feminists, empowering women has always been about eviscerating men. 

       The war on women is a fraud. If I don't want to pay for a single coed's birth control or seek to end late-term abortions, supposedly, that makes me part of the war on women. This equates rejection of feminist ideology with hostility toward women per se. 

       The same forces that push the mythical war on women wage a relentless war on men. It's feminists who control what comes out of Hollywood, Madison Avenue and the mainstream media, not patriarchal males. The message is everywhere: Men are stupid, selfish, overbearing and insensitive – a bunch of beer-guzzling brutes who beat their wives and children during half-time in the Super Bowl, start wars and don't recycle. 

       "Men Are Obsolete," read the headline in a 2014 commentary in Time magazine by feminist Hanna Rosin. 

       "Are men obsolete? Of course not. For one thing, we haven't found a way to harvest sperm without them being, you know, alive," Rosin wrote. But men "as we've historically come to define them (historically defined by whom?)– entitled to power, destined for leadership, arrogant, confused by anything that isn't them….They are obsolete." 

       This is as much a caricature of masculinity, as calling women ("as we've historically come to define them") whiny, manipulative, vain and shallow ("Does he look like Brad Pitt?") is of femininity. 

       We need to start talking about masculinity and femininity seriously. Actress Kristen Dunst set off a firestorm last year when she said "I feel like the feminine has been undervalued. We all have to get our own jobs and make our own money, but staying at home, nurturing, being a mother, cooking – it's a valuable thing my mom created." 

       If that weren't outrageous enough, Dunst added that at times women "need a knight in shining armor" and "You need a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman. That's why relationships work." I'm surprised she wasn't burned at the stake at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. 

       But society rolls merrily along scoffing at dads and sneering at men in general. Dissident feminist Camille Paglia warns, "What you're seeing is how a civilization commits suicide." 

       The fate of fatherless families suggests that men are good for more than harvesting their sperm. In the inner cities, sperm-harvesting (consciously or unwittingly) has been going on for some time. It's filtering down to suburban and small-town America. The result isn't "perfect gentlemen" who are "naturally courteous to all," but too often savages and the spiritually maimed.
Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website,
Item Number:1 Date: 06/16/2015 AFGHANISTAN - NO FORMAL PEACE TALKS PLANNED IN OSLO BETWEEN KABUL, TALIBAN (JUN 16/NBC)  NBC NEWS -- High-ranking Taliban members and Afghan government officials are in Norway to attend an international conference, reports NBC News.   The Norwegian government said no formal peace talks were planned.   Three Taliban representatives arrived in Norway on Monday to participate in the Oslo Forum, an invitational event for peace mediators, said a Taliban spokesman in Qatar.   Afghanistan sent a six-member delegation to the conference, which is being held at Losby, 20 km (12 miles) east of Oslo, reported Reuters.   The Taliban spokesman also ruled out peace talks, saying that its representatives "will express their views regarding the turmoil and problems in Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan."   A spokesman of the Afghan government's High Peace Council, the group responsible for negotiating for an end to the Taliban insurgency, did not rule out informal meetings.   Some council members might have been invited in a personal capacity, but no official representatives are present at this meeitng, said the spokesman.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 06/16/2015 AFGHANISTAN - STAY OFF OUR TURF, SAYS TALIBAN LETTER TO ISIS (JUN 16/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- The Taliban has warned the Islamic State (ISIS) against operating in Afghanistan, reports Agence France-Presse.   A letter addressed to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Tuesday carried a warning not to wage an insurgency in Afghanistan.   "Jihad against the Americans and their allies must be conducted under one flag and one leadership," said the letter, which was signed by the Taliban deputy, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor.   "In order to defend its achievements the [Taliban] will be forced to react," said the letter -- which was published on the Taliban website in Pashto, Urdu, Arabic and Dari.   Taliban fighters have been defecting to ISIS of late and the groups have clashed in the south.  
Item Number:3 Date: 06/16/2015 AFGHANISTAN - TALIBAN SHADOW GOVERNOR AMONG THOSE KILLED IN AIRSTRIKE, SAY OFFICIALS (JUN 16/NNI)  NETWORK NEWS INTERNATIONAL -- The Afghan government says an airstrike has killed a Taliban shadow governor in the eastern Kunar province, reports News Network International (Pakistan).   The attack on Sunday in the Dangam district killed Omar Zadran, two other senior Taliban commanders and 12 fighters, according to a statement released by the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan's intelligence agency.   The other commanders were identified as Mawlawi Asghar, who led a terrorist attack in the district a few months ago, and Mawlawi Shahabuddin, another prominent Taliban chief.   The attack was conducted by a coalition unmanned aircraft using intelligence from Afghan forces, said a provincial security official.   The U.S.-led coalition did not immediately confirm that it carried out the raid, reported Reuters.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 06/16/2015 CHINA - GRAFT PROBE ENSNARES 2 MORE TOP COMMANDERS (JUN 16/REU)  REUTERS -- The names of two more former senior Chinese officers being investigated for graft have been made public, reports Reuters.   The Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that Kou Tie, the former commander of the Heilongjian military region in northern China, and Liu Zhanqi, a former communications division commander for the paramilitary People's Armed Police were under investigation for "serious discipline violations."   The term is often used as an euphemism for graft.   Both were transferred to military prosecutors in May, said the ministry.   This is the first time the cases have been reported
  Item Number:5 Date: 06/16/2015 CHINA - NEW ZEALAND DEFENSE CHIEF SEEKS MORE COOPERATION WITH ARMY (JUN 16/XIN)  XINHUA -- The head of the New Zealand military is in China this week to enhance cooperation between their respective militaries, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   The visit was expected to strengthen New Zealand's engagement with the Chinese People's Liberation Army, said Lt. Gen. Tim Keating in a statement on Monday.   The goal is to improve understanding as well as to increase joint activities and cooperation, he said.   When Keating became defense chief last year, he said that building relations with China would be a priority for him.   He told Xinhua last year that his emphasis would be areas where the two armed forces could work together in the South Pacific, such as medical support, engineering and disaster relief.  
Item Number:6 Date: 06/16/2015 FRANCE - NAVY ACCEPTS DELIVERY OF PROVENCE MULTI-ROLE FRIGATE (JUN 16/DCNS)  DCNS -- The DCNS Shipyard says it has delivered a second multi-mission frigate (FREMM) to the French navy.   The Provence was handed over on Friday in Brest on France's Atlantic coast, according to a DCNS release.   The ship is the second in the Aquitaine class to be delivered. The former Normandie, which was originally to be the second in the class, has been sold to Egypt and will be delivered later in the summer.   DCNS is building eight of the frigates for the French navy. The next, Languedoc, is due to begin sea trials in the fall. The Auvergne is scheduled to be launched in September. The Bretagne is currently under construction
Item Number:7 Date: 06/16/2015 INDIA - JAGUAR FIGHTER JET CRASHES; PILOTS EJECT SAFELY (JUN 16/PTI)  PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -- An Indian air force fighter jet has crashed near the city of Allahabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh, reports the Press Trust of India.   The Jaguar aircraft went down Tuesday during a training sortie after taking off from the air force's Central Air Command at Bamruali.   The two pilots ejected safely, said the air force. No casualties were reported on the ground. The plane hit the wall near a food warehouse, according to Rediff News (India).   The pilots reported a major technical issue before the aircraft went down, reported NDTV.   This was the second crash of a Jaguar this year. In March, an aircraft crashed near Shahbad in Haryana state; the pilot ejected safely.  
Item Number:8 Date: 06/16/2015 JAPAN - UPGRADES TO AEGIS-EQUIPPED WARSHIPS WILL PROTECT HOMELAND, U.S. SHIPS (JUN 16/NAR)  NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW -- The Japanese Defense Ministry has decided to modernize its destroyers equipped with Aegis combat systems, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.   The plan calls for building two new destroyers with an upgraded version of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system. The system will be able to simultaneously shoot down high-altitude ballistic missiles and low-altitude anti-ship missiles.   Two existing destroyers will also receive the modernized system, according to the ministry.   The enhanced missile defense capabilities will help to assist with the defense of U.S. ships in collective self-defense scenarios, officials said.   The new Aegis BMD system will also enable just two destroyers to protect all of Japan, increasing the flexibility of the fleet.   The Defense Ministry also plans to introduce the cooperative engagement capability (CEC) that will allow warships and aircraft to share data on targets and more effectively conduct anti-aircraft and anti-missile operations.   The two new destroyers will be equipped with the system. The first is expected to be commissioned in fiscal 2020, according to officials
Item Number:9 Date: 06/16/2015 NEW ZEALAND - FRIGATE SEIZES HEROIN DURING TASK FORCE OPERATION IN INDIAN OCEAN (JUN 16/NZH)  NEW ZEALAND HERALD -- A New Zealand navy frigate has made a huge heroin bust during a counter-piracy mission near the Horn of Africa, reports the New Zealand Herald.   About 257 kg (566 lbs) of heroin, worth about US$164.4 million, was seized by the Te Kaha from two boats over the past week, according to New Zealand officials.   A spokesman for the defense force said that on June 8, a boarding party from the Te Keha found a shipment of 139 kg (306 lbs) on a dhow. Another dhow was raided on June 13 after being spotted by a New Zealand air force P-3K2 Orion; it was found with 118 kg (260 lbs) of drugs.   Both vessels and their crews were released after the narcotics were seized.   The drugs were likely to be headed to Africa before being shipped to Europe, according to a New Zealand navy commander in a military press release.   The mission is part of the U.S.-led Combined Maritime Forces counter-piracy effort.   A total of 981 kg of heroin has been seized since May. The Australian frigate Newcastle earlier found 724 kg (1,596 lbs) of drugs, worth about US$461 million
Item Number:10 Date: 06/16/2015 NIGERIA - ONLY MILITARY WILL BE ALLOWED TO WEAR CAMOUFLAGE UNIFORMS, SAYS NEW DIRECTIVE (JUN 16/PREM)  PREMIUM TIMES -- The Nigerian government has banned the wearing of camouflage uniforms by agencies other than the armed forces for security reasons, reports the Premium Times (Abuja).   Nigerian police will be permitted to wear camo during joint operations with the military or for specific operations, such as anti-riot work, said a defense spokesman last week.   The move, which has been approved by the National Security Council, is in response to the proliferation of camouflage uniforms, according to officials.   The growing use of such camouflage uniforms by criminals and others has raised concerns about security.   The military has been ordered to adopt only two forms of camouflage for the three armed services, the spokesman said.   All paramilitary agencies must eliminate camouflage uniforms by January 2016.  
  Item Number:11 Date: 06/16/2015 NORTH KOREA - STATE MEDIA ACCOUNTS SUGGEST APPOINTMENT OF NEW DEFENSE CHIEF (JUN 16/YON)  YONHAP -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been seen accompanied by a four-star army general who may be the country's new defense chief, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang listed the top military figures who attended a military art performance with Kim, naming Pak Yong Sik just after Hwang Pyong So, director of the general political department of the Korean People's Army (KPA).   The report provides more ammunition to the speculation by North Korea watchers that Pak might have been promoted to the defense chief post, succeeding Hyon Yong Chol, who was likely purged, said experts.   Hyon was apparently purged due to his disloyalty to Kim and was widely reported to have been executed with an anti-aircraft gun in front of hundreds of people, according to South Korea's intelligence agency last month.   There has been no official confirmation by the North on the fate of Hyon or his successor. Analysts cited by UPI have noted that images of the presumably purged defense chief have been either removed altogether or scenes with him were snipped.   Pak would be the sixth North Korean defense minister since Kim came to power in 2011
  Item Number:12 Date: 06/16/2015 PAKISTAN - ISLAMABAD SHOWS OFF JF-17 FIGHTER AT PARIS SHOW, ANNOUNCES EXPORT SALE (JUN 16/FI)  FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL -- Pakistani air force officials have confirmed an export sale of the joint Chinese-Pakistan-developed JF-17 fighter, reports Flight International.   "A contract has been signed with an Asian country," said Air Commodore Khalid Mahmood, the Pakistani air force officer who is the head of sales and marketing for the JF-17.   The announcement of the first export customer was made Sunday at the Paris Air Show, reported the Diplomat (Tokyo).   Mahmood did not identify the customer or the number of jets to be purchased. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2017, he said.   Sales of the fighter have been held up by the political turmoil in several Middle Eastern countries, said the officer.   Pakistan brought three JF-17s to this week's show in Paris, where the aircraft will make its first flying display.   There are currently 11 potential customers for the jet, said Mahmood.   The Diplomat has suggested that Burma is the most likely buyer
Item Number:13 Date: 06/16/2015 PHILIPPINES - PRESIDENT ATTENDS SYMBOLIC MILF DECOMMISSIONING CEREMONY (JUN 16/PDI)  PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER -- A major Muslim separatist group in the Philippines has started decommissioning its weapons, reports the Philippine Daily Inquirer.   The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) turned in a total of 75 weapons on Tuesday in Maguindanao on Mindanao island, including 50 high-powered firearms and 25 crew-served weapons.   The weapons will be deactivated by an independent body as a symbolic gesture of the MILF's commitment to peace, reported the BBC.   About 145 of the total 10,000 members of the MILF's armed faction were returned to civilian life. The government will give each US$555 for education and training, reported the Philippine Star.   President Benigno Aquino attended the event, saying: "We are not talking of just one or a couple or a dozen firearms. These are high-powered firearms, modern and have not aged. These arms can deal and have dealt extreme suffering."   The ceremony is an attempt to push lawmakers to support more autonomy for Muslims living in the south under the terms of a 2014 peace agreement, reported AFP
Item Number:14 Date: 06/16/2015 RUSSIA - NUCLEAR FORCE TO RECEIVE 40 ICBMS THIS YEAR, SAYS PUTIN (JUN 16/REU)  REUTERS -- President Vladimir Putin says dozens of intercontinental ballistic missiles will beef up Russia's nuclear arsenal this year, reports the Independent (U.K.).   "More than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles able to overcome even the most technically advanced anti-missile defense systems will be added to the make-up of the nuclear arsenal this year," said Putin on Tuesday.   He made his remarks during the opening address at the Army-2015 Expo, an international military event held near Moscow.   The previous day, the Kremlin blasted announced U.S. plans to store heavy weapons in Poland. Russian officials have said Moscow will retaliate if the U.S. goes ahead with such a move
  Item Number:15 Date: 06/16/2015 SOMALIA - 3 TROOPS DIE IN ROADSIDE EXPLOSION; AL-SHABAAB CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY (JUN 16/REU)  REUTERS -- Security officials say three Somali soldiers have been killed and three injured in a roadside bomb attack near the capital of Mogadishu, reports Reuters.   The attack took place on Tuesday near the village of Hawaabdi, about 17 km (10 mi) southwest of the capital, said a military officer.   A military pick-up truck was hit by the blast, which was apparently detonated remotely. Casualties may well rise, said the officer.   The Islamist Al-Shabaab group claimed responsibility for the attack
  Item Number:16 Date: 06/16/2015 SOUTH KOREA - CONSTRUCTION OF U.S. MILITARY BASE GET CAUGHT UP IN FINANCIAL PROBE (JUN 16/YON)  YONHAP -- The national police in South Korea have raided a construction company and one of its work sites on a U.S. military base seeking evidence of financial crimes, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   Accounting books and computer disks were seized from the Seoul offices of SK Engineering & Construction and its site at the U.S. Forces Korea base in Pyeongtaek in Gyeonggi province, said police on Tuesday.   A subcontractor has been accused of keeping US$890,000 in a slush fund before giving it to a U.S. military official in 2010. The subcontractor is now defunct.   The investigation is aimed at determining whether SK E&C was involved.   The company signed a deal in 2008 with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build the base at Pyeongtaek for US$410 million. The base is slated to be finished by 2016.  
 Item Number:17 Date: 06/16/2015 SUDAN - WITH PRESIDENT BEING HELD IN SOUTH AFRICA, SUDANESE TROOPS SURROUNDED SOUTH AFRICAN PEACEKEEPERS (JUN 16/NEWS24)  NEWS24 -- When Sudan's president faced possible arrest in South Africa several days ago, Sudanese troops were holding South Africans as hostages in Sudan.   South African peacekeepers were essentially hostages to gain the release of President Omar al-Bashir, reports News 24.   About 1,400 South African troops in the Darfur military bases of Kutum, Mellit and Malha were surrounded by Sudanese troops from Saturday until Monday, according to an exclusive report by News 24.   South African troops were said to be in a state of combat readiness.   Al-Bashir arrived in South Africa on Saturday for an African Union summit meeting. He cut his meeting short and returned to Khartoum on Monday as South Africa's High Court was debating whether to comply with an arrest order from the International Criminal Court at The Hague.   The ICC has issued long-standing genocide charges against Al-Bashir.   The Sudanese troops were withdrawn after Al-Bashir touched down, said the South African battalion commander. "Our nerves were shot and we were very relieved when the militants withdrew on Monday evening. We knew we were sitting ducks," said one soldier.   Al-Bashir is wanted on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide during the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan.  
  Item Number:18 Date: 06/16/2015 SYRIA - KEY TOWN SEIZED BY KURDISH FIGHTERS (JUN 16/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- Syrian Kurdish fighters and their rebel allies say they have taken the strategic town of Tal Abyad from the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   Tal Abyad, which is about 100 km (62 mi) north of Raqqa, was "under complete control," said a spokesman for the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) on Monday.   Backed by Syrian rebels and airstrikes from the U.S.-led coalition, the YPG began its offensive against the border town on June 11.   More than 20,000 have been displaced in the fighting, with most fleeing to Turkey, according to various news agencies.   Tal Abyad sits on a major supply route leading to the ISIS capital in Raqqa as well as to Turkish territory.   The YPG will now be able to link up to other areas near the border with Turkey that are already under its control
Item Number:19 Date: 06/16/2015 UKRAINE - TALKS IN BRUSSELS AIM AT FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT WITH EUROPEAN DEFENSE AGENCY (JUN 16/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- The Ukrainian government has begun negotiations with the European Defense Agency (EDA) for a framework agreement, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia).   The talks, which began on June 11, "will determine the main principles, areas, and mechanisms of further interaction between Ukraine and the EU in improving defense capabilities and military-technological cooperation," said a release from Ukroboronprom, the state-owned conglomerate responsible for Ukraine's defense industry.   The talks are being held in Brussels, noted   The accord is expected to provide the legal basis for cooperation between Ukrainian defense firms and EDA members as well as for Ukrainian participation in EDA projects, said Ukroboronprom
Item Number:20 Date: 06/16/2015 USA - AIR CAV UNIT AT LEWIS-MCCHORD WILL HAVE 24 APACHE HELICOPTERS (JUN 16/TACNT)  TACOMA NEWS-TRIBUNE -- Beginning this week, the 4th Squadron, 6th Cavalry, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., will be re-equipped with AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, reports the Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune.   The unit was temporarily disbanded last year as part of plans to phase out Kiowa Warrior scout helicopters.   The squadron is being supplied with 24 Apaches from Fort Carson, Colo. It will serve under the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade.   With the addition, Lewis-McChord will accommodate 48 Apaches
Item Number:21 Date: 06/16/2015 USA - ALLIES SHIPS IN EUROPE TO CARRY U.S. MARINES (JUN 16/MCT)  MARINE CORPS TIMES -- Within months, U.S. Marines will serve aboard the ships of European allies in an effort to fill the sea-basing gaps in the region, reports the Marine Corps Times.   As part of the Allied Maritime Basing Initiative, the Marines will serve aboard Dutch, French and Spanish ships, said Brig. Gen. Norm Cooling, the deputy commander of Marine Forces Europe and Africa.   Those countries "all have ships that that could potentially carry an alert force with" an MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, he said.   The goal is to offset the shortage of U.S. amphibious ships, a situation that currently limits the ability of the Marines from responding rapidly to crises in Europe and Africa, said Cooling.   The presence of the Marines is also seen as greater reassurance against Russian provocations.   Officials said the concept will be tested for the first time in September aboard an Italian ship as part of the month-long Trident Juncture exercise. The exercise will be hosted by Italy, Portugal and Spain.   Prior to the exercise, the Marines will test the ability of the Italian aircraft carrier Cavour to accommodate the MV-22B Osprey, said a Marine spokesman in Europe. Similar testing is scheduled for the British helicopter carrier Ocean in November.  
Item Number:22 Date: 06/16/2015 USA - CIA EYES REVAMPED ORGANIZATION AS BETTER WAY TO COUNTER ISIS (JUN 16/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- Top officials with the Central Intelligence Agency say the agency is reorganizing to improve its efforts against the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group and other threats, reports the Wall Street Journal.   Field personnel, analysts, scientists and economists are being formed into new teams as part of a broad effort to break down the agency's longstanding "stove pipes."   Critics said the existing setup isolated field agents from other personnel, including religious experts, hackers, linguists and other analysts.   As analysts "gain better insight" into the ISIS operations, that "will inform the efforts" of those in the field responsible for collecting additional intelligence, said CIA Deputy Director David Cohen in an interview.   The agency has set up 10 mission centers, with five (Near East, Europe and Eurasia, South and Central Asia, and Global Issues) focused on combating ISIS, according to officials.   ISIS has not been as easy to compartmentalize as Al-Qaida and more coordination is needed among the agency's various elements, say officials
  Item Number:23 Date: 06/16/2015 USA - COUNTER-DRUG OPERATIONS TO TAKE HIT AS LAST OF FRIGATES LEAVE SERVICE (JUN 16/NTIMES)  NAVY TIMES -- The pending retirement of the final frigate in the U.S. Navy's Oliver Hazard Perry class is expected to hurt counter-drug operations since replacements will not be immediately available, reports the Navy Times.   Kauffman, the last of the warships, is scheduled to be decommissioned in October. The frigates in the class seized 98 percent of the 164 metric tons of cocaine, worth about $3.2 billion, that the Navy captured over the last five years.   Service planners are working to assemble a variety of auxiliary ships to perform the mission until the new littoral combat ships are available in sufficient numbers, officials said.   The littoral ships are not expected to be able to provide a sustained presence until late 2016 or 2017.   In the interim, the job will fall to joint high-speed vessels and mobile landing platforms, which can carry boarding teams, helicopters and troops, said Navy officials
Item Number:24 Date: 06/16/2015 YEMEN - DRONE STRIKE TAKES OUT AQAP LEADER, AL-QAIDA'S NUMBER 2 (JUN 16/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- A senior leader of Al-Qaida has been killed in an apparent U.S. drone strike in Yemen, say Yemeni officials cited by CNN.   A report by the BBC and other outlets said Nasir al-Wuhayshi was killed Friday in Mukalla, the capital of the southeastern Hadramawt province. However, U.S. officials confirmed to Reuters that the attack occurred on Tuesday.   He was the leader of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a post he assumed in 2009, noted Reuters.   Al-Wuhayshi was the second-in-command of Al-Qaida and a former personal secretary to Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.   The U.S. State Dept. had offered a US$10 million reward for information leading to Al-Wuhayshi, who was "responsible for approving targets, recruiting new members, allocating resources to training and attack planning, and tasking others to carry out attacks."   The death was confirmed by AQAP in a Tuesday video statement. He will be succeeded by AQAP's military chief, Qasm al-Rimi, also known as Abu Hureira al-Sanaani.   The AQAP leader was the sixth major figure in the group killed this year in a suspected U.S. drone strike. 


No comments:

Post a Comment