Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Editor's Note

Blogging will return tomorrow morning.

There Are Currently No Wars In The Western Hemisphere

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos (L) and Marxist rebel leader Timochenko shake hands after signing an accord ending a half-century war that killed a quarter of a million people, in Cartagena, Colombia September 26, 2016. REUTERS/John Vizcaino

Greg Myer, NPR: Guess What? As Of Today, The Western Hemisphere Has No Wars

Fidel Castro and his rag-tag band of fighters assembled on the shores of Mexico, stealthily navigated their overcrowded boat to southeastern Cuba, and unleashed a 1956 insurgency that rocked all of Latin America. That temblor lasted 60 years and ended, more or less, on Monday.

Castro seized power in 1959, and his brother Raul still rules Cuba today. The revolution washed over the entire region, inspiring leftist insurgencies throughout Latin America for decades until the final one effectively came to a close as the Colombian government and the FARC rebels signed a peace deal in the Colombian coastal city of Cartagena.

"Long live Colombia, long live peace," the crowd chanted as Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and rebel leader Rodrigo Londono, both dressed in all white, shook hands on Monday evening.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There may not be any wars right now .... but there is a lot of political unrest occurring right now in many Latin American countries.

OPEC Reaches Deal On Cutting Oil Output

Participants attend the end session of the 15th International Energy Forum Ministerial (IEF15) in Algiers, Algeria September 28, 2016. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

Reuters: OPEC reaches first deal to cut oil output since 2008 - sources

OPEC agreed on Wednesday to cut its oil output for the first time since 2008, with the group's leader Saudi Arabia softening its stance on arch-rival Iran amid mounting pressure from low oil prices.

Two sources in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said the group would reduce output to 32.5 million barrels per day from current production of 33.24 million bpd.

How much each country will produce is to be decided at the next formal meeting of OPEC in November, when an invitation to join cuts could also be extended to non-OPEC countries such as Russia, sources said.

Oil prices LCOc1 jumped more than 5 percent to trade above $48 per barrel as of 1830 GMT after the outcome of OPEC's informal meeting in Algeria took traders by surprise. Still, many said they wanted to see the details of the deal.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: So much for Saudi Arabia's policy of grabbing market share .... they have thrown in the towel. Russia is not part of this deal .... which tells me that the bump in prices that OPEC was hoping for may not happen (at least for now).

More News On OPEC Reaching A Deal To Cut Oil Output

OPEC Agrees on Need to Cut Oil Output -- WSJ
OPEC agrees to limit oil output at 32.5 million barrels per day -- Reuters
OPEC Agrees to First Oil Output Cut in Eight Years -- Bloomberg
Oil Climbs Most in Five Months as OPEC Said to Reach Output Deal -- Bloomberg

World News Briefs -- September 28, 2016

US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) demanded that Russia halt the Syrian regime's assault on Aleppo (AFP Photo/Fabrice Coffrini)

DW: US gives Russia ultimatum to halt Aleppo attacks

Washington has vowed to end coordination with Moscow in Syria in response to an ongoing siege of Aleppo. More than 250 civilians have died since the Syrian army launched a brutal campaign to retake the city.

US State Secretary John Kerry on Wednesday threatened to end Washington's engagement with Russia in Syria following a brutal regime offensive against rebels in Aleppo.

"He informed the foreign minister that the United States is making preparations to suspend US-Russia bilateral engagement on Syria … unless Russia takes immediate steps to end the assault on Aleppo and restore the cessation of hostilities," said US State Department spokesman John Kirby.

Read more ....


Warplanes knock out Aleppo hospitals as Russian-backed assault intensifies. Deadly air strikes hit two Aleppo hospitals. Two Aleppo hospitals bombed out of service in 'catastrophic' airstrikes.

Syrian National Coalition: Political solution 'no longer viable option' in Syria.

McCain and Graham mock Kerry for threatening to call off talks with Russia on Syria.

ISIS no longer controls any Iraqi oil.

Lebanese army faces jihadist threat on Syrian border.

Turkey: 32,000 jailed for links to group 'behind' coup.

Iran atomic chief sees no threat to nuclear deal if Trump becomes U.S. president.

King of Jordan lashes out: 'US thinks it knows Middle East better than us'.

Israel's elder statesman, Shimon Peres, dies at 93. Israel mourns as preparations begin for Peres' funeral.


US air strike reportedly kills 13 Afghan civilians.

EU's secret ultimatum to Afghanistan: accept 80,000 deportees or lose aid.

Pyongyang has 88 pounds of weapons-grade Plutonium - Seoul.

U.S. says probing more China firms for North Korea sanctions breaches.

Philippines' Duterte vows to end joint US military drills.

Muted outrage over Philippine drug killings.

Pakistan humiliated by south Asian countries' boycott of summit.

Amnesty calls off launch of Thai torture report after police warning.

Japanese PM hopes for frank dialogue with Putin in December.


US military: Killed 4 Somali al-Shabab fighters in 'self-defense'. US launches ‘self-defense strike’ against Shabaab in southern Somalia.

Libyan general in east rejects UN-backed government.

Paris to host international meeting on Libya next week.

South Sudan says rebel leader's call to arms 'unacceptable'.

Militant faction vows again to fight S. Sudan government.

Hunger 'deadlier than violence' in Boko Haram-hit northeast Nigeria.

Nigeria trying to muzzle dissenting voices, Amnesty says.

US blacklists DR Congo general, Kabila advisor.

UN Human Rights Council discusses situations in DR Congo, Libya, Ukraine and Burundi.

Egypt arrests owner, crew of shipwrecked migrant boat.

In Egypt's Guantanamo 'abuse is systematic'.

Minister: Agriculture in Sierra Leone 'fully recovered' after Ebola ourbreak.


Investigators: Russian missile downed MH17. Malaysian flight MH17 downed by Russian-made missile: prosecutors.

EU hopes to move 30,000 refugees from Greece by end of 2017.

Almost all EU states 'could follow Britain’s lead and leave the EU' as it is 'moving in the wrong direction', French MP warns.

EU seeks money for joint defense programs.

Croatian president opens formal talks to form government.

Spanish socialist leader faces revolt over refusal to end political deadlock.

Deutsche Bank relief helps European markets regain footing.

Nemtsov murder trial to take place at Moscow court on October 3.

Snowden again fails to win no-extradition pledge from Norway.


Senate overrides Obama 9/11 veto in overwhelming vote. Congress votes to override Obama veto on 9/11 victims bill.

White House lashes out at 'embarrassing' Senate veto override.

CIA's Brennan says it's 'hard to believe' senators defied Obama on Saudi 9/11 bill.

FBI director again defends integrity of Clinton email probe. FBI’s Comey rejects call to reopen Clinton email case, refuses to say she’s truthful.

Clinton campaign in ‘panic mode’ over Florida black voters.

Poll finds 7 percent of U.S. voters have ended friendships over the election.

Nearly 1 million Colombians in U.S. could tip peace deal vote.

California community outraged after officer kills unarmed black man.

California suspends ‘business relationships’ with Wells Fargo.


Two US strikes in Yemen hit al-Qaeda targets, kill four.

Where is ISIS now? Islamic State targets include US, Spain, Belgium, and dozens of other nations.

US Senators press FBI director on response to terrorism threat.


Wall Street rallies as OPEC reaches output deal.

Shareholders approve AB InBev-SABMiller merger.

World Bank chief reappointed amid criticism.

Forbes: Trump’s fortune down $800M.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- September 28, 2016

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

IBTimes: The Battle for Mosul: 3 maps explaining the planned offensive against the Isis stronghold in Iraq

Iraqi army units will push towards Mosul from the south while the Kurds wait in the wings

As Islamic State (Isis) fortifies the outskirts of Mosul with oil-filled trenches, barricades and blast walls, the Iraqi army and Kurdish forces surrounding the city are preparing for a bloody battle to liberate Iraq's second biggest city from the jihadis. After two years of brutal IS rule in Mosul, Baghdad is poised to take the city back with intelligence sources confirming to IBTimes UK on Monday (26 September) that the troops would move in before early October.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- September 28, 2016

US to boost military presence in Iraq ahead of Mosul battle -- France 24

U.S. to send more troops to Iraq ahead of Mosul battle -- Reuters

US-led coalition troops in Iraq reach 8,000: Official -- World Bulletin

Chemical weapon wasn't used near U.S. troops in Iraq -- Military Times/USA Today

ISIS no longer controls any Iraqi oil -- RUDAW

Pyongyang Has 88 Pounds of Weapons-Grade Plutonium - Seoul -- Sputnik

Bombs Away: Russia to Build Unique Mine-Clearing Robot Based on Armata -- Sputnik

Russian nuclear sub test-fired 2 Bulava missiles from White Sea -- TASS

'Black holes' of the Russian Navy -- TASS

Panel: NATO Needs More Capability to Effectively Deter Russia -- USNI News

Azerbaijan To Supply Military With New 'Kamikaze' Drone -- Newsweek

Women in Combat: Female Battalion in Iran Joins Law Enforcement -- Sputnik

Eavesdropping Norway Rolls Out Two New Spy Ships -- Sputnik

UK MI5 Releases Secret Files of Soviet Spies, WW2 Double Agents -- Sputnik

US air strike reportedly kills 13 Afghan civilians -- Al Jazeera

Pentagon Probes Reports of Afghan Civilian Casualties in US Drone Strike -- Sputnik

At least 7 Afghan military students AWOL in US this month, Pentagon says -- FOX News

Carter: Afghanistan War Supplemental Request Coming in November -- Defense News

US Looks to Accelerate Deployment of South Korea Missile Defense -- AP

Greenland's receding icecap to expose top-secret US nuclear project -- The Guardian

McMaster: U.S. Army Must Prioritize Close-Combat Capability -- Defense News

A military aircraft whose cost goes down? Boeing churns out P-8 sub hunters based on 737 -- Seattle Times

Air Force budget woes could scuttle effort to add more airmen -- Air Force Times

House Panel Set to Reform Military Space Operations -- USNI News

So Much for 'The Few': Marines Corps Wants 8,000 New Troops -- Sputnik

Marines May See Future Fights in Mega-Cities, Planners Say --

New Marine Corps Operating Concept Emphasizes Maneuver Warfare -- USNI News

U.S. Believes Hackers Are Shielded by Russia to Hide Its Role in Cyberintrusions -- WSJ

U.S. Air Force Preps a Controversial No-Bid Purchase of Spy Planes -- Defense One

CIA director: 9/11 bill will have 'grave implications' for national security -- The Hill

5 Statements From Top Military Brass That Should Concern You -- Andrew Santora, Daily Signal

Unplug, Soldier! Too Much Online Time is Hurting the Army -- Defense One

Philippine President Duterte: No More Joint Military Exercises And Naval Patrols With U.S. After Next Month

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte © Erik De Castro / Reuters

Wall Street Journal: Philippines Leader to End Joint Military Exercises, Naval Patrols With U.S.

President Rodrigo Duterte wants to avoid upsetting China, with which he wants stronger trade and investment ties.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said joint military exercises scheduled next month between the Philippines and the U.S. will be the last for the longtime allies, as he seeks to avoid upsetting China, with which he hopes to build stronger trade and investment ties.

He also said he would end routine joint naval patrols in the South China Sea.

“I will serve notice to you now that this will be the last military exercise,” Mr. Duterte said to an audience of some 350 Filipinos in Hanoi, where he is on a two-day state visit to Vietnam

Still, the Philippine leader reaffirmed that his country’s cooperation with the U.S. stands. “I will maintain the military alliance—the RP-US pact, which our countries signed in the early 50s,” Mr. Duterte said.

Read more ....

Update #1Duterte declares upcoming Philippines-U.S. war games 'the last one' -- Reuters
Update #2Duterte Calls for End to US-Philippine Military Exercises, Part of Tilt Towards China -- The Diplomat

WNU Editor: They are opening the champagne bottles in Beijing.

US Threatens to End Syria Talks With Russia

(L-R) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov © Andrew Kelly / Reuters

Washington Post: U.S. threatens to suspend all bilateral cooperation with Russia over Syria

The United States is preparing to suspend all bilateral cooperation with Russia over Syria unless Moscow takes immediate steps to end the ongoing assault on the city of Aleppo and moves to restore a collapsed cease-fire, the State Department said Wednesday.

The action would mean the effective end of nearly a year of intensive, bilateral diplomacy, led by Secretary of State John F. Kerry, to wean Russia away from its support for President Bashar al-Assad and persuade it to join forces with the United States in its counterterrorism efforts in Syria against al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

The announcement came amid reports of a ferocious ongoing assault by Syrian and Russian jets and Syrian ground troops on surrounded, rebel-occupied eastern Aleppo, where the United Nations has said more than 250,000 civilians are trapped.

Read more ....

More News On The US Threatening to End Syria Talks With Russia

Kerry threatens Russia with end to joint Syria diplomacy -- AP
US threatens to end cooperation unless Russia stops Aleppo assault -- AFP
US Threatens to End Syria Talks With Russia -- ABC News
Syria: US tells Russia it will end talks if bombing continues -- BBC
US warns Russia it will ‘cut ties’ over Syria unless bombing in Aleppo stops -- The Independent
U.S. Threatens To End Cooperation With Russia Over Aleppo Assault -- RFE
The U.S. Is Threatening to Cut Off Talks With Russia Over Aleppo -- The Atlantic
US Threatens to Suspend Engagement With Russia in Syria Over Aleppo Situation -- Sputnik

Pentagon To Deploy 615 More Soldiers To Iraq

ABC News: Defense Secretary Says 615 More US Troops Will Be Deployed to Iraq

Defense Secretary Ash Carter has announced that 615 additional American troops will head to Iraq to assist the country's military in its future offensive to re-take Mosul from ISIS.

Currently the United States has 4,565 military personnel in Iraq who are training, advising and assisting Iraq's military in the fight against ISIS. With the additional increase, the authorized troop number for Iraq will rise to 5,262.

Carter made the announcement while traveling in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He told reporters traveling with him that the additional troops would "further enable" Iraqi forces engaged in the future offensive on Mosul.

Read more ....

More News On The Pentagon Deploying 615 More Soldiers To Iraq

Officials: US to send more troops to Iraq to help with Mosul -- AP
U.S. to send more troops to Iraq ahead of Mosul battle -- Reuters
US Iraq agree on plan to send more American troops -- CNN
US to send hundreds more troops to Iraq -- FOX News
U.S. Officials: 600 More Troops Heading To Iraq -- NBC News
Pentagon sending 600 more US troops to Iraq -- The Hill
U.S. to send 600 more troops to Iraq for Mosul offensive -- USA Today
Iraq requests more US troops ahead of Mosul battle -- AFP
US to deploy 600 troops to Iraq for Mosul offensive -- Al Jazeera
600 more US troops to be deployed to Iraq to recapture Mosul – Pentagon chief -- RT

U.S. Senate Votes 97-1 To Overturn Obama's Veto Of Bill Allowing 9/11 Victims And Families To Sue Saudi Arabia

NYT: U.S. Senate Votes to Override Obama Veto on 9/11 Victims Bill

WASHINGTON — A sweeping bipartisan majority in the Senate on Wednesday rejected President Obama’s veto of legislation that would allow families of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any role in the plot, all but assuring that Mr. Obama would suffer the first override vote of his presidency.

The vote was 97 to 1, with only Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, siding with the president.

With the House nearly certain to follow the Senate later on Wednesday, the 9/11 bill will become law in a remarkable yet complicated bipartisan rebuke. Still, the measure itself remains contentious, and even some of those who cast a vote against Mr. Obama conceded that they did not fully support it.

Mr. Obama’s greatest allies on Capitol Hill, who have labored for nearly eight years to stop most bills he opposes from even crossing his desk, turned against him, joining Republicans in the remonstrance.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Harry Reid was the only U.S. Senator to vote with President Obama. The House of Representatives will be voting later today.

More News On The U.S. Senate Voting 97-1 To Overturn Obama's Veto Of Bill Allowing 9/11 Victims And Families To Sue Saudi Arabia

Senators vote to override Obama's veto of Sept. 11 bill -- AP
Senate overwhelmingly rejects Obama veto of Saudi September 11 bill -- Reuters
BREAKING NEWS: Senate votes 97-1 to overturn Obama's veto of bill allowing 9/11 victims and families to SUE Saudi Arabia over attacks -- Daily Mail
Senate overwhelmingly votes to override Obama veto on 9/11 bill -- USA Today
Senate votes to override Obama veto on 9/11 bill -- FOX News
Senate overrides Obama 9/11 veto in overwhelming vote -- The Hill
Senate Overrides Obama’s Veto of Bill Allowing Terror Victims to Sue Foreign Governments -- WSJ
Senate Votes to Override Obama Veto of Saudi 9/11 Lawsuit Bill -- Bloomberg
Senate Votes To Override Obama's Veto On Sept. 11 Lawsuit Bill -- NPR

Report: MH17 Missile 'Came From Russia'

BBC: MH17 missile 'came from Russia', Dutch-led investigators say

International prosecutors say Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was downed over eastern Ukraine in 2014 by a Buk missile that had come from Russia.

They also narrowed down the area it was fired from to a field in territory controlled by Russian-backed rebels.

All 298 people on board the Boeing 777 died when it broke apart in mid-air flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

Russia says it cannot accept the findings as the final truth, saying no Russian weapons were taken to Ukraine.

"Based on the criminal investigation, we have concluded that flight MH17 was downed by a Buk missile of the series 9M83 that came from the territory of the Russian Federation," chief Dutch police investigator Wilbert Paulissen told a news conference on Wednesday.

Read more ....

More News On The Dutch MH17 Report

Probe: Malaysian jet downed by missile launcher from Russia -- AP
Malaysian flight MH17 downed by Russian-made missile: prosecutors -- Reuters
Russia Implicated in Shooting Down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Over Ukraine -- New York Times
MH17 shot down by Russian-made missile fired from rebel-held area, prosecutors say -- ABC Online
Dutch investigation: Russian missile brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 -- UPI
Missile From Russia Shot Down MH17, Dutch Officials Say -- Bloomberg
MH17: Missile fired from Russia-backed rebel area -- Al Jazeera
MH17 shot down by rebels using Buk system brought from Russia – int’l investigators -- RT
BUK Missile System That Took Down MH17 'Brought From Russia' - Prosecutors -- Sputnik
MH17 Investigation Says All Evidence Points to Russia, Won’t Give Names -- Moscow Times
MH17: Buk missile finding sets Russia and west at loggerheads -- The Guardian
MH17 crash investigators call not to rush with accusations against Russia -- TASS
A ‘Long Haul’ Still Ahead for Russia and Flight MH17 Crash -- Moscow Times
Bellingcat Vindicated After Latest MH17 Report Blames Russia -- Moscow Times
MH17 report to answer some but not all questions -- Al Jazeera

Russia Reaction To The MH17 Report

Russia Dismisses MH17 Findings As False, Politically-Motivated -- Reuters
Russia ‘Disappointed’ In MH17 Investigation, Dismisses Probe As ‘Biased’ -- RFE
Int’l investigators allowed Ukraine to fabricate MH17 evidence – Russia -- RT
Investigators of MH17 crash fail to match real damage — missile manufacturer -- TASS
Russian defense ministry doubts objectivity of MH17 crash investigators' report -- TASS
Int’l MH17 crash investigation ‘politically deficient, defective by process’ -- RT
MH17 Crash Probe's Data Based on Internet, Ukraine's Intel - Russian MoD -- Sputnik
MH17 int’l probe’s only sources are Ukrainian intel & internet - Russian MoD -- RT

Turkish Tanks Are Being Decimated In Syria

Sebastien Roblin, War Is Boring: Turkish Tanks Take a Pounding in Syria

Rebels armed with guided missiles punish Ankara’s tank force.

Ankara’s tanks have been in the news a lot this year, whether prowling the streets of the Turkish capital in a failed coup attempt, or taking missile fire from rebel fighters on the Syrian border.

Recently, Turkish armor crossed over into Syria and drove the Islamic State terrorist group from its last holdings along the Turkish border — and also fought with U.S.-backed Kurdish rebels, creating a frustrating diplomatic quandary for the White House.

It’s easy to see why Turkey’s tanks are so active. The country is facing one of its worst geopolitical crises in decades, and it also maintains an enormous tank force — more than 2,400 all told, greater than the tank forces of France, Germany and the United Kingdom combined.

But only Turkey’s 354 German-made Leopard 2A4 tanks are modern designs, and even those date back to 1985.

The vast majority of Turkey’s tanks are American-made M-48 and M-60 Patton tanks. The latter type, which entered service the same year as the Cuban Missile Crisis, is rather long in the tooth. But curiously enough, the M-60 has seen the most combat.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The above video .... if those are Turkish tanks .... is very revealing on how vulnerable these tanks are.

Editor's Note

Stuck in meetings this morning. Blogging will return later today. Military and Intelligence News briefs and World News Briefs will be posted at 17:00 EST and 18:00 EST respectively.

Africa's Top Oil Producers Are Unravelling

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Kaitlin Lavinder, The Cipher Brief: Growing Instability in Africa’s Top Two Oil Producers

Africa’s long-time, largest oil producer is wavering. For six months in a row (March-August), Nigeria landed in the number two spot of the continent’s largest producers of crude, falling behind Angola, according to OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) data.

Oil production levels provide insight into the stability – or instability – of the two countries, which are heavily reliant on oil exports for federal revenue. In Nigeria, at least 90 percent of export revenues come from oil, and the oil industry provides the government with more than 70 percent of its income. In Angola, the oil and gas sector accounts for 95 percent of exports and 45 percent of GDP.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This article focuses on Nigeria and Angola .... but one can also add Libya, South Sudan, and Algeria to the mix.

Are We Facing Another 2008 Financial Crisis?

© Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters

RT: Deutsche Bank woes stoking fears of 2008 financial crisis repeat

Europe’s biggest lender Deutsche Bank has lost more than half of its value since January, posing a threat to the stability of other banks across the continent. Some analysts are worried it could invoke a large-scale crisis, bigger than in 2008.

After a massive sell-off on Monday, Deutsche Bank’s market value shrank to €14.5 billion. In dollar terms it is only $2 billion more than the $14 billion penalty the bank faces from the United States Department of Justice over its mortgage-backed securities business before the 2008 global crisis.

Deutsche's problems have raised questions about the health of other big European lenders. The share price of the Royal Bank of Scotland has plunged 13 percent and Italy’s UniCredit is down 12 percent this month. The Bloomberg Europe 500 Banks and Financial Services Index is down 4.2 percent for September. This is the worst result since June, when the Brexit referendum heavily hit the markets.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There is confusion on what the German government is going to do .... Germany 'prepares Deutsche Bank rescue' (BBC) .... or this .... Germany denies preparing Deutsche Bank rescue plan (Reuters). But one thing is certain .... German Chancellor Angela Merkel is racing reelection next year, and this crisis will definitely kill her chances of being re-elected.

Update: A small reprieve (maybe) .... Deutsche Bank is rallying off record lows for a whole bunch of reasons (CNBC).

What Did U.S. Soldiers Think Of Monday's Presidential Debate?

Donald Trump speaks as Hillary Clinton listens. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Nancy Youssef, Daily Beast: Pentagon Cringes at Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s War Talk

The first presidential debate had heads shaking in Arlington, as the candidates oversimplified war, counterterrorism, and cybersecurity.

Troops based at the Pentagon watched Monday’s presidential debate—and grimaced. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump discussed the final days of the war in Iraq, the self-proclaimed Islamic State, and NATO in largely simplified terms. But in the hallways of the Pentagon, those black-and-white depictions didn’t match the thorny global security issues as they saw them—far more complex and in the grey.

And when the candidates weren’t mangling issues, they planted themselves in fantasy worlds.

Take Trump’s assertion that his temperament was best suited for the job. That really captured the military’s attention, particularly at the Pentagon, which is filled with commanders who rose through the ranks, in part, because of their perceived temperament on the battlefield.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I have lived long enough and I have seen enough U.S. elections to know that the U.S. soldier is rarely impressed with the Presidential candidates that are running. This year is no exception.

The U.S. Wants To Deploy Its Missile Defense System In South Korea ASAP

A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched during a successful intercept test, in this undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency. U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency/Handout

Reuters: U.S to deploy anti-missile system in South Korea 'as soon as possible'

The United States will speed up deployment of the THAAD anti-missile system to South Korea given the pace of North Korea's missile tests, and it will be stationed there "as soon as possible," the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia said on Tuesday.

Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asia, also told a congressional hearing the United States was in discussions with international partners, including the European Union, to deny North Korea access to international banking infrastructure after its recent nuclear and missile tests.

Russel told the House subcommittee for Asia the timing of the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system was a Pentagon matter.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The North Koreans must be spooking a lot fo people in Washington for the U.S. to be this eager to deploy its THAAD anti-missile system ASAP.

More News On The U.S. Wanting To Deploy Its Missile Defense System To South Korea ASAP

US looks to accelerate deployment of missile defense system in South Korea -- AP
US plans to deploy THAAD in South Korea 'as soon as possible,' official says -- Stars and Stripes
U.S. official: THAAD to be deployed to deter North Korea threats -- UPI

Former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen: Putin Was Once a Pro-Western Politician

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen © Yves Herman / Reuters

Georgia Today: Former NATO Chief Claims Putin Was Once a Pro-Western Politician

KYIV - Former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen claimed in an interview with independent Ukrainian broadcaster Hromadske that Russian President Vladimir Putin was a pro-Western politician when he first came to power in late 1999, but later soured on his relationship with the West.

“The first time we saw each other was in May 2002. At that time, he was a very pro-Western and pro-European president. I had met him under different circumstances in later years, and each time his attitude become increasingly negative. All this because of the color revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine. He was convinced that the revolutions were instigated and financed by the United States,” said Rassmusen.

Georgia’s 2003 Rose Revolution and Ukraine’s Orange Revolution in 2004 - known as the 'color revolutions' - attempted to overthrow the two countries' post-Soviet governments, which were widely seen as endemically corrupt and staunchly pro-Russian.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I do not think Putin was "pro-West" when he came to power in late 1999. He always struck me as someone who was bitter that the Soviet Union collapsed, and doubly bitter that the Communist Party was too slow and too disorganised to institute the necessary reforms that could have saved it. As for his belief that the U.S. was responsible for the overthrow of pro-Prussian governments in Georgia and Ukraine .... he is not the only one.

On a side note, former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen now wants the U.S. to be the policeman of the world .... Former NATO chief Rasmussen wants US ‘to police the world (RT).

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