Saturday, February 28, 2015

Warbirds Of America



WNU Editor: From Theo Spark .... Some remarkable footage. Twelve minutes of WWII aircraft. Pix of beautifully restored aircraft from that era.

Is The U.S. Heading Into Another War?

LOADING OSPREYS
Marines board MV-22 Ospreys before they take off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island off the coast of Camp Pendleton, Calif., Feb. 23, 2015. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Ronald Gutridge

Paul R. Miller, National Interest: Are Americans Sliding Into Another War?

The current U.S. administration has wrapped up U.S. involvement in a mistaken war in Iraq (albeit on a schedule set by the previous administration, and with subsequent reintroduction of some U.S. military personnel into Iraq), has wound down U.S. involvement in a war in Afghanistan that had metamorphosed from a counterterrorist operation into a nation-building attempt (albeit only after an Obama-era “surge” and now with apparent second thoughts about how much longer the 13-year-old U.S. military involvement will continue), and has resisted pressure to throw U.S. troops into the civil war in Syria (albeit while employing other forms of U.S. military involvement, including airstrikes).

WNU Editor: The U.S. is currently involved in dozens of conflicts around the world .... so the U.S. is at war. But what makes the current situation unique is that most of these wars are low intensity .... albeit they do have the potential of exploding into a far more serious conflict.

Jumping Out Of An Airplane While Saluting

EXIT SALUTE
A U.S. soldier salutes his fellow soldiers while jumping from a C-130 Hercules aircraft over a drop zone in Germany, Feb. 24, 2015. The soldier is assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group. U.S. Army photo by Jason Johnston

WNU Editor: A definite picture of the day.

The Incredible Story Of A Soldier Who Was Hit With An Unexploded RPG And The Medical Team Who Saved His Life

Pfc. Channing Moss was impaled by a rocket-propelled grenade in Afghanistan on March 16, 2006, while riding in a convoy with the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team,10th Mountain Division. Explosive disposal team members and the medical staff at FOB Organ E saved Moss, removing the live explosive from his body despite the Army protocol of sandbagging victims with live explosives embedded and considering them "expectant." Here he was photographed near Walter Reed Medical Center last summer. JAMES J. LEE / STAFF

Matt Farwell, Vanity Fair: A True Story About R.P.G.s and the Reality of the Battlefield

The harrowing tale of a truth stretched to save a fellow solider.

When, recently, I asked a helicopter pilot friend of mine what he thought about Brian Williams, the venerable NBC nightly news anchor, suspended after an apparent lie about his helicopter being forced down by a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq, he couldn't believe it.

“Why would you freaking lie about something like that?” the pilot asked.

He liked Brian Williams, even nodded off to sleep on his last deployment to Afghanistan while listening to the NBC nightly news podcast. I was more cynical. In 2003, who wasn’t lying about the war, and why wouldn’t you? There were no real consequences for the liars—then or now—and so I kept thinking about it.

There is one R.P.G. story I know that is incredible and all true. I first heard about it as a soldier in Afghanistan in 2006, when this happened to another company in my battalion. There’s some lying in this tale. Not all soldiers are saints. But the lying here is done to save a life, rather than aggrandize or pad a life story. It’s been reported before, but I thought it worth revisiting in the weeks after the Williams scandal.


WNU Editor: I did a post on this story three years ago .... but it is still well worth the read.

Are U.S. Satellites Threatened By China's Space Weapons?

Admiral Cecil Haney speaking at Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, Nebraska in 2013. Photo: U.S. Stratcom

Washington Free Beacon: China’s Space Weapons Threaten U.S. Satellites

Stratcom worried by antisatellite missiles, satellite weapons, lasers.

China is developing significant space warfare capabilities that threaten U.S. strategic satellite systems, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command told Congress on Thursday.

“We’ve seen very disturbing trends in space, particularly from nation states like China, as well as Russia, who have been public about their counterspace endeavors and ambitions,” Adm. Cecil Haney, Stratcom commander said. Counterspace is the military term for space warfare capabilities and weapons.


WNU Editor: Adm. Cecil Haney is also concerned about Russian anti-satellite capabilities .... US Concerned by Growing Expertise of China, Russia Space Capabilities (Sputnik). He is also worried that space is now becoming very crowded .... US Stratcom Uneasy About Debris Threat from SmallSats (ViaSatellite).

Japan's Surviving Kamikaze Pilots Speak Out On Japan's Shift In Military Policy

Chiran high school girls wave farewell with cherry blossom branches to departing kamikaze pilot in a Ki-43-IIIa Hayabusa. Wikipedia

Bloomberg: In the Cockpit With Japan's Kamikaze Pilots

(Bloomberg) -- Hisashi Tezuka knew his life had been spared when he heard the Emperor’s voice crackling through the wireless.

As Hirohito announced Japan’s wartime surrender on Aug. 15, 1945, the young kamikaze pilot was on a train to the island of Shikoku to carry out his sacrificial mission. He received his orders just two days earlier at a base about 1,150 kilometers (715 miles) to the north.

The crawling speed of the locomotive kept him alive.

WNU Editor: The survivors may be old now .... but what they have to say still resonates very strongly.

Drone Footage Gives A Rare Bird's-Eye-View Of One Of Russia's Plane Museums Near Moscow


WNU Editor: Quoting from Sputnik .... Located near Moscow, the Central Air Force Museum near Moscow is one of the world's largest aviation museums, and certainly the largest one for Russian aircraft. This footage offers you a rare opportunity to take a free tour of it and see some of the most iconic planes of the Soviet air force.

The Destruction Of Donetsk Airport (Photo Gallery)


The Atlantic: A Year of War Completely Destroyed the Donetsk Airport

In Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, the Sergey Prokofiev International Airport has been reduced from a modern transportation hub to piles of scorched rubble in less than a year of warfare. As recently as last May, the airport was still operating and in good condition, though international flights had slowed due to the growing unrest. On May 26, Russian-backed separatist forces of the Donetsk People's Republic seized the airport, losing it to Ukrainian government forces after a brief fight. For months after, battles raged as both sides struggled to hold or retake the facilities, their bombs and rockets destroying practically everything, from buildings and aircraft to roads and trees. This week, as a cease-fire held, rebels (now in control of the ruins) brought Ukrainian war prisoners to the airport to recover bodies of their fellow troops from the rubble, and photojournalists were able to come along and document the scene.

WNU Editor: A depressing photo gallery on what war can do to a modern airport.

Speculation Abounds In Russia On Who Murdered Putin Critic Nemtsov

People come to lay flowers at the site where Boris Nemtsov was killed. (Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters)

Washington Post: Russian opposition leaders see Kremlin links to Nemtsov slaying

MOSCOW — Russian opposition leaders on Saturday accused the Kremlin of being behind the death of a towering figure of post-Soviet politics, Boris Nemtsov, as they struggled to come to grips with the highest-profile assassination of President Vladimir Putin’s 15 years in power.

Nemtsov was gunned down late Friday, steps from the Kremlin and underneath the swirling domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral — the heart of power in Russia and one of the most secure areas in the nation. The slaying of one of Putin’s most biting critics swept a wave of fresh vulnerability over those in the opposition, and some expressed new fears for their lives.

WNU Editor: This is the number one news story in Russia today .... and trust me on this one .... people are going to talk about it for a long time .... more so if the perpetrators of this crime are not caught.

WNU Editor: Here are some good pictures and videos of the Nemtsov murder scene .... Boris Nemtsov’s murder resembles past Russian contract hits (Quartz).

There Has Been No U.S. Combat Casualties Since December 12, 2014

Army Pfc. Jose Vazquez places an American flag in front of a gravestone at Arlington National Cemetery for Memorial Day weekend in 2012. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coffee/ U.S. Army)

Washington Post: This is the longest period without a U.S. military combat-zone death since 9/11

At the end of an hour-long panel discussion in Washington on Wednesday, a middle-aged man raised his hand. Fred J. Boenig, the father of a U.S. airman who died in Afghanistan, had a question for Rep. Adam D. Kinzinger, who called himself “hawkish” on using U.S. military power against the Islamic State.

“This is no disrespect, but when you said that, the only thing I can hear is a knock on my door again,” said Boenig, dressed in a red tie and blue blazer with a Gold Star pin on it. “I have one question: Do know how many days it has been since the last U.S. casualty? The last military casualty?”

Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said that he wasn’t sure, and estimated that it had been a month or so. Boenig interrupted, and said it had been 75 days — the longest since 2001.

WNU Editor: This is a trend that I hope will continue for a very long time.

Bitterness And Cynicism Is Growing In The Ukraine Army

The retreat continues: Ukrainian servicemen approach Artemivsk after withdrawing from the key town of Debaltseve. Photograph: Gleb Garanich/Reuters

Scott Peterson, CSM: Ukraine troops bitterly question their leaders as Kiev pulls back in east (+video)

Today's withdrawal of heavy weapons in accordance with the Minsk cease-fire marks a major reversal for Kiev. For many soldiers, cynicism about commanders is weighing heavily.

Soledar, Ukraine — Haggard Ukrainian Army soldiers withdrew 15 heavy artillery guns Friday, their armored convoy part of a delayed cease-fire agreement with Russian-backed separatists to ease a conflict that has taken nearly 6,000 lives.

With blue and yellow Ukrainian flags flying on an unseasonably warm day, the soldiers hauled their mud-splattered 100mm guns – some of them painted white for camouflage in snow – behind armored personnel carriers. Rebel forces also removed four Grad rocket launchers from front-line positions, the Associated Press reported, and have claimed other pullbacks in recent days.

But the fact that these first steps are being taken 12 days later than agreed – with rebel forces in the meantime capturing the strategic railway hub of Debaltseve – illustrates how separatist units that faced losses last summer have been transformed into a more capable force now making battlefield advances.


WNU Editor: There are many other reasons why morale within the Ukraine military is suffering. The growing number of conscripts who do not want to fight .... including Russian Ukrainians who have no desire at all. Hostility from the local populations, coupled with a lack of leadership and direction from Kiev certainly does not help. But it is also the realization that you are battling a well organized and determined foe .... it is hard to feel motivated when you realize that the other side is not only more motivated, but their weapons and leadership are far more determined to win.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Boris Nemtsov, Prominant Putin Critic, Assassinated Near The Kremlin



BBC: Russia opposition politician Boris Nemtsov shot dead

A leading Russian opposition politician, former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, has been shot dead in Moscow, Russian officials say.

An unidentified attacker in a car shot Mr Nemtsov four times in the back as he crossed a bridge in view of the Kremlin, police say.

He died hours after appealing for support for a march on Sunday in Moscow against the war in Ukraine.


WNU Editor: Many in the Western press are calling him the Russian opposition leader .... this is incorrect .... Gennady Zyuganov head of the Communist Party came in second in the last Presidential election , and he is regarded by many to be the "unofficial" leader of the opposition. But it is true that Boris Nemtsov was a prominent and vocal Putin critic, and while he may not have held an elected position for years, his supporters and the attention that the Russian media gave him over the years did succeed in putting him in the spotlight. As to who killed him .... I do not know. It was my cousin in Moscow who called to tell me that he was assassinated .... and when I heard the news I said to myself that the authorities who are going to investigate his murder are going to find that they have a long list of possible suspects. Over the years he made a lot of people angry ... especially his exposes on corruption .... but who knows .... it could have been a personal matter that got him killed. I will admit that later I started to speculate that maybe a pro-Russian separatist wanted to silence him because of his opposition to Russia' participation in the Ukraine war, and then a part of me was wondering if this was maybe a false-flag operation instituted by the someone in Kiev who wanted to embarrass Putin and to put the blame on the separatists. Each and everyone of these "theories" have their supporters and critics .... and I am sure that this debate is going to go on for the next weeks. As to the theory that Putin or someone in his inner circle ordered the hit .... I really doubt that. You would only create a martyr, and on top of that Boris Nemtsov was in no position to be a threat to Putin .... he was a minor politician who suffered numerous electoral defeats since the 1990s. But it is also true that Boris Nemtsov did expose some of the corruption that has flourished under Putin .... and because of that he may have made some enemies who got their revenge today.

But there is one thing about this case that is bothering me .... Boris Nemtsov was murdered within sight of St. Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin .... this is within the security perimeter of the Kremlin. Security within Moscow is incredibly intense .... but more so within sight of the Kremlin.You just do not kill somebody and be able to drive away .... but on the possibility that this is exactly what happened .... this is then a huge security failure .... or something very deliberate.

On a personal note .... Boris Nemtsov was murdered at 11:30 PM walking with a female friend (Ukrainian model Anna Duritskaya, 23) crossing the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky bridge ... I have done that same walk many times in the past ... and yes ... with a female friend. Across the bridge there are a number of late night cafes and bars .... I can easily see them walking over there to end the night.

More News On The Murder Of Boris Nemtsov

Russian opposition leader Nemtsov shot dead in Moscow -- Reuters
Boris Nemtsov, outspoken Putin critic, shot dead in Moscow -- CNN
Russian Opposition Member Boris Nemtsov Was Killed in Moscow -- Bloomberg
'Nemtsov was an outspoken critic of Russia's involvement in Ukraine' -- Deutsche Welle
Boris Nemtsov, leading Putin critic, shot and killed in Moscow -- FOX News
Murdered Putin critic Boris Nemtsov did not pose any threat: Kremlin -- IBtimes
Several Cars Checked After Drive-By Murder of Boris Nemtsov - Source -- Sputnik
Funeral March to Replace Moscow Opposition Rally After Nemtsov Murder -- Sputnik
Nemtsov was no threat to Russian govt - presidential spokesperson -- RT
Boris Nemtsov: Who was the Russian opposition leader? -- ABC News (Australia)
Profile: Boris Nemtsov -- BBC
Russia robbed of a brave, authentic and distinctive voice -- Luke Harding, The Guardian
Boris Nemtsov Exposed Putin's Corruption—And Paid With His Life -- Michael Weiss, Daily Beast

Update: This is a good summary .... Who is Mr. Nemtsov and Why He Was Killed (Sputnik).

Remembering Leonard Nimoy And Mr. Spock



WNU Editor: Like many of my generation .... we grew up on Star Trek. The above video is the pilot for Star Trek and the first appearance of Mr. Spock. The bottom two videos are a reflection on his life.



Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- February 27, 2015



Virginia Postrel, Bloomberg: How Spock Became a Sex Symbol

When "Star Trek" debuted in 1966, showing a beautiful black woman and a dashing Asian man as bridge officers was an idealistic political statement. Turning someone who looked like Leonard Nimoy into a sex symbol, however, was entirely unintentional.

Before he played Spock, Nimoy, who died today at 83, played a surprising number of parts as Indians and Mexicans in the Old West. With his long, thin face, prominent nose and deep smile lines, he looked like The Other.


Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- February 27, 2015

Why Did Israel Decide to Support Syrian Rebels? -- Jacky Hugi, US News and World Report/Al-Monitor

The Guardian view on Libya: more diplomacy, not bombs, required -- The Guardian editorial

America is the ally that Egypt needs -- David Ignatius, Washington Post

China's Fertile Ground for Islamic State -- Adam Minter, Bloomberg

As Abe pushes for more robust military, Japanese push back -- Peter Ford, CSM

Somalia's 'pirate capital' is its best kept secret -- Hamza Mohamed, Al Jazeera

After year of conflict, Ukrainians believe they’re fighting for survival -- Matthew Schofield, Stars and Stripes/McClatchy Foreign Staff

Did This Russian Oligarch Come Up With Putin’s Ukraine Strategy? -- Joshua Keating, Slate

The horror of ‘Jihadi John’ and the ‘Jihadi Janes’ coming to join him -- John Lloyd, Reuters

Transformation of 'Jihadi John' — from quiet Briton to suspected killer -- Alexandra Zavis, Stars and Stripes/Los Angeles Times

MI5 and Mohammed Emwazi: agency must answer serious questions -- Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian

Mecca debate challenges Obama narrative: ‘The terror we face … is religiously motivated’ -- Douglas Ernst, The Washington Times

In Cuba, home of future U.S. Embassy has stories to tell -- Tracy Wilkinson, Stars and Stripes/Los Angeles Times

Saudis’ Oil Price War Is Paying Off -- Grant Smith and Anthony Dipaola, Bloomberg

World News Briefs -- February 27, 2015



Reuters: Russian opposition leader Nemtsov shot dead in Moscow

(Reuters) - Boris Nemtsov, a Russian opposition politician and former deputy prime minister, has been shot dead in central Moscow, the Interior Ministry said early on Saturday.

Nemtsov, 55, an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin, had been due to take part on Sunday in the first big opposition protest in months in the Russian capital.


MIDDLE EAST

Eight killed in Baghdad bombs and rocket fire.

U.S. begins vetting Syrian rebels for military training: Pentagon.

Islamic State statue-smashing in Iraq was 'war crime', UN says.

Islamic State aims to eradicate Iraq minorities: rights groups.

Kurdish fighters rout IS militants from town near Iraq.

Iran nuclear talks advancing, no deal likely next week: U.S. official. Iran, six powers to hold nuclear talks in Switzerland on March 5: EU.

Rebels accuse Saudis of fueling unrest to divide Yemen.

Saudi ambassador in Yemen resumes duties from Aden.

ASIA

5 Philippine soldiers killed in communist rebel ambush.

Obama to meet with Afghan president in March.

Indian PM riles China.

North Korea steps up threats over drills; U.S. Congress advances sanctions bill.

Desperate Afghan avalanche survivors await rescue on roofs.

US-Bangladesh blogger Avijit Roy hacked to death.

Brutal 'ISIS-inspired' teenager’s killing shocks Japan.

Clashes in Maldives as thousands call for president to quit.

AFRICA

Congo army drives rebels from eastern hills in fierce fighting.

US bank regulators may destroy Somalia’s economy.

Libyan PM says Turkey supplying weapons to rival Tripoli group.

Libyan aircraft crashes near Tunisian border: state news agency.

Boko Haram raid villages after Chadian offensive: residents.

China questions U.S. threat of U.N. sanctions on South Sudan.

Robert Mugabe admits Zimbabwe's land reform flaws.

Lesotho prepares for early vote in bid to ease political crisis.

EUROPE

Prominent Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov shot dead. Putin condemns opposition leader's killing, says may be contract killing.

Ukraine government forces, rebels withdraw heavy weapons.

Three Ukrainian servicemen killed in past 24 hours: Kiev military.

Ukraine said to risk losing support for aid if war escalates.

Spain arrests eight nationals for fighting with pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine.

Russian President Putin cuts staff's salaries by 10%.

Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov shot dead in Moscow. Russia opposition politician Boris Nemtsov shot dead.

Greek debt crisis: German MPs back bailout extension.

Nearly half of Greeks would back Syriza in new election: poll.

Fears for Macedonia's fragile democracy amid 'coup' and wiretap claims.

Unmasking of 'Jihadi John' as a London lad shocks Britain.

Italian coast guard, humiliated, demands weapons for Islamic State defense.

AMERICAS

John Boehner seeks extension, leverage with Homeland Security funding plan.

U.S., Cuba say progress made in talks; no date for diplomatic ties.

Terror list status complicates second round of US-Cuba talks.

Mexico captures Knights Templar drug lord Servando 'La Tuta' Gomez. Mexico official: Police capture top capo 'La Tuta' Gomez.

Teacher denies radicalizing Canadian teens headed to Syria.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

U.K. Jihadists first drawn to al-Shabaab in Somalia.

Pentagon revokes order telling military judges to move to Guantánamo Bay. Pentagon pulls order relocating military judges to Guantanamo.

Different countries, different ways of countering terrorism.

Osama bin Laden aide found guilty of 1998 U.S. embassy bombings.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Carl Icahn got whacked by the oil crash.

Oil up sharply, posts first monthly gain since June.

US growth revised down to 2.2%.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- February 27, 2015


Business Insider: Russia's military exercises are WAY bigger than NATO'

If military strength and ability was determined solely by the number of soldiers participating in military exercises, Russia would be able to steamroll through NATO without much of a second thought.

Since 2013, Russia has launched a number of military exercises with troop numbers regularly surpassing the 100,000 personnel mark. In comparison, the largest NATO member exercise during the same time frame took part in Norway in 2014 and had 16,000 personnel.

The following chart from The Atlantic Council sums up the vast numerical difference between Russian and NATO exercises.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- February 27, 2015

The NATO-Russia Exercise Gap -- The Atlantic Council

Nato defence spending falls despite promises to reverse cuts -- Jonathan Beale, BBC

This is how much NATO member states spend on their military -- Business Insider

Ukraine crisis prompts German debate on restocking military -- Reuters

Russia secures military deal to use Cyprus' ports despite EU concerns -- RT

Russia’s Bear: The old-fashioned plane still thriving -- BBC

U.S. Military Plan For Looming ISIS Offensive Takes Shape -- Time

DIA director skeptical of timeline for Mosul mission to oust Islamic State -- Washington Times

How the Military Will Fight ISIS on the Dark Web -- Next Gov

Pentagon using experimental deep web tool to ‘scoop up’ data on Islamic State -- Washington Times

Pentagon Speeds Shipment of M-16s and MRAPS to Iraqi Army -- DoD Buzz

Iran test-fires ‘new strategic weapon’ to battle ‘Great Satan’ US -- RT

China’s Air Force Sets Up in High Schools to Train Teen Top Guns -- Bloomberg

Myanmar military wins rare praise in war with ethnic Chinese rebels -- Reuters

Draft Chinese law paves way for counter-terror operations abroad -- Reuters

Japan's defense capability should not be underestimated: expert -- Want China Times

Indonesia’s New Military Commands: A South China Sea Focus? -- Prashanth Parameswaran, The Diplomat

'Jihadi John': British Prime minister defends security services -- BBC

NATO Commander Glad to Have A-10s Back In Europe -- Defense Tech

Gibraltar's vital role for the US Navy's operations is underlined -- Merco Press

Small Diameter Bomb II Completes Live Fire Test Destroying T-72 Tank -- Defense Tech

Navy's New Maritime Strategy Includes More Destroyers to Pacific -- Military.com

New Index of U.S. Military Strength: The Cyber Threat -- The Daily Signal

James Clapper: Half the world’s stable countries ‘at risk of instability’ -- Washington Times

‘Military-Grade’: Alleged Arms Traffickers Extradited to US -- ABC News

Why the New Bomber is a Good Investment -- Robert Haddick, War On The Rocks

Effort to get Chris Kyle the Medal of Honor under fire by veterans -- Washington Post

Prince Harry to Leave the Military -- ABC News

'Jihadi John' Does Not Fit The Typical Profile For A Terrorist (Or Does He?)



Peter Bergen, CNN: 'Jihadi John': The bourgeois terrorist

(CNN)This is how top national security reporters Souad Mekhennet and Adam Goldman of the Washington Post, who broke the story that Mohammed Emwazi has been identified as the notorious ISIS terrorist known as "Jihadi John," describe him: "a Briton from a well-to-do family who grew up in West London and graduated from college with a degree in computer programming."

They go on to say that Emwazi "was raised in a middle-class neighborhood in London" and attended the University of Westminster, which is a university in London that was founded in the early 19th century.

Emwazi poses something of a problem for the Obama administration's narrative about who becomes a terrorist and why. Last week, the administration hosted a three-day conference on "Countering Violent Extremism," which is a government euphemism for how best to deal with Islamist terrorism.


Update: Revealed, the face of the world's most reviled killer: First picture of Jihadi John as an adult before he flew to Syria to become ISIS executioner -- Daily Mail

WNU Editor:The debate on what made Mohammed Emwazi into a "blood-thirsty" terrorist is just beginning.

New York City Terror Trial Reveals Osama Bin Laden's Secret Ties To Iran?

Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011 when Navy SEALS raided his secret lair in Pakistan. STR/REUTERS

Weekly Standard: New Docs Reveal Osama bin Laden's Secret Ties With Iran

Show availability of Iran for al Qaeda training, plotting.

This week, prosecutors in New York introduced eight documents recovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan as evidence in the trial of a terrorism suspect. The U.S. government accuses Abid Naseer of taking part in al Qaeda’s scheme to attack targets in Europe and New York City. And prosecutors say the documents are essential for understanding the scope of al Qaeda’s plotting.

More than 1 million documents and files were captured by the Navy Seals who raided bin Laden’s safe house in Abbottabad, Pakistan in May 2011. One year later, in May 2012, the Obama administration released just 17 of them.

WNU Editor: What I found fascinating about this story is the revelation that over one million documents were seized from Osama Bin Laden's compound by Navy SEALS when they launched the raid that killed him .... but only 17 of the one million have ever been released.

Makes you wonder what the other 999,983 documents contain.

Update: This is interesting .... FBI agent testifying in trial of accused Al Qaeda terrorist says he saw body of Osama bin Laden (New York Daily News).

Leonard Nimoy 'Mr. Spock' Dead At 83

Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock in "Star Trek." Paramount Television

My Comment: Live long and prosper Mr. Nimoy.

Corruption Is China's Biggest Military Weakness

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L, front), also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, meets with delegates of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) attending a seminar on Party building, in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 6, 2013. (Xinhua/Li Gang)

Business Insider/Reuters: Corruption in China's military is so bad that it might undermine their ability to wage war

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's military can only achieve its modernization goals if it respects the law, the Central Military Commission said on Thursday, offering a warning to the armed forces which have reeled from a series of graft scandals.

The government has announced investigations into more than a dozen senior military officials on serious corruption charges.

Many of those implicated have ties to a scandal involving former top military officer Xu Caihou, who retired as vice chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission in 2013.

Previous Post: Corruption In The Chinese Military

WNU Editor:This is going to be an uphill battle.

Many Of China's Neighbors Prepare For War



Boys Toys vs. Geography -- Alessio Patalano, The Diplomat

Wall Street Journal: China’s Neighbors Bulk Up Militaries

Despite Beijing’s efforts to cool tensions, many nations prepare for potential conflict

MANILA—China’s neighbors are moving forward with the modernization of their militaries with new fighter jets, submarines and other hardware, even as Beijing has tried to tamp down territorial tensions in the region.

The military buildup is an indication that many Asian countries see little reason to adjust their long-term preparations for potential friction with China, despite Beijing’s diplomatic and economic charm offensive.

China made a dramatic shift in its diplomatic approach at a summit in Beijing in November, adopting a more conciliatory tone. This included the first face-to-face meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe since both took power in 2012.

WNU Editor: China has territorial disputes with all of its neighbors .... and the Chinese have made it very clear that they have no interest in "backing down". Faced with such a position .... China's neighbors are getting nervous.

Are The U.S. And China Destined For War?


Harry J. Kazianis, National Interest: The Ultimate Nightmare: Are the U.S. and China Destined for War?

Will the eagle and the dragon meet on the battlefield?

There is no geo-strategic relationship of more importance than that of the U.S. and China. Yet, tensions between Washington and Beijing over the last few years have been building. Over the last few weeks I have been exploring on these pages some of the pathways the unthinkable could happen: a U.S.-China war. We have also been exploring the various paths to victory both sides could utilize. While all of this is important, it is also important to take a step back and look at the U.S.-China relationship from another viewpoint of equal and possibly even greater value—a dilemma in the relationship that is creating its own set of tensions: the budding high-tech security dilemma pitting Washington and Beijing against one another.


WNU Editor: The short answer is no .... the U.S. and China are not destined for war. But what I fear is more likely is a Chinese war with one of our allies in the region .... and that is the crux of the problem.