Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Progressive Congressional Democrats Remove $1BN Funding For Israel's Iron Dome From US Spending Bill

The push to remove funding for Israeli defense from the stopgap spending bill reportedly comes from Squad members Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez  

Daily Mail: AOC and 'The Squad' force Dems to REMOVE $1BN funding for Israel's Iron Dome from spending bill: Republicans say they have 'capitulated to antisemitic influence of radical members' 

* The stopgap spending bill was supposed to keep the government funded and running through 2022 with a provision to suspend the debt ceiling 

* The progressive lawmakers took issue with funds for Israel's defense 

* Republican lawmakers are already lambasting Democrats for the abrupt call 

* House Democrats are still aiming to get the bill to the floor later today 

House Democrats removed a provision to give Israel $1 billion toward its Iron Dome defense system from the continuing resolution to keep the government open and funded past September 30 after opposition from the Squad. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan are leading the blockade, according to Politico. 

Funding for the Iron Dome will instead be included in Congress' bipartisan fiscal year 2022 defense bill, House Appropriations Chair Rep. Rosa DeLauro said on Tuesday.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Democrats yank $1B for Israeli missile defense from doomed shutdown and debt patch​ (Politico)  

Update #2: Democrats to nix $1B for Israel's Iron Dome from bill to avert shutdown (The Hill)  

WNU Editor: This breaks a promise that President Biden had made to Israel that the U.S. would replace the Iron Dome missiles that were used to intercept Hamas rockets in May .... $1B Iron Dome fund stripped from new continuing resolution (Defense News).

U.S. Navy Launches A New Drone Task Force That Incorporates Airborne, Sailing And Underwater Drones

In this handout image from the U.S. Navy, an MQ-9 Sea Guardian unmanned maritime surveillance drone flies over the USS Coronado in the Pacific Ocean during a drill April 21, 2021. The U.S. Navy's Mideast-based 5th Fleet said Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, it will launch a new task force that incorporates airborne, sailing and underwater drones after years of maritime attacks linked to ongoing tensions with Iran. (U.S. Navy/Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon Renfroe, via AP)  

Bloomberg: The Navy Gets Its Drone Fleet Into the Water 

Will proving the capabilities of unmanned systems in the Gulf spur the Pentagon to budget more for smaller, nimbler weapons? 

U.S. Navy recently stood up a seagoing task force that it hopes will sail into not just the Arabian Gulf but also the future. The question is whether the service, and the Pentagon as a whole, can put its focus and money into the weapons of tomorrow and not those of the past.

Instead of the traditional collection of destroyers and cruisers, Task Force 59 is outfitted with unmanned vehicles powered by artificial intelligence.

It is commanded by Captain Michael “Brasso” Brasseur, whom I met in the days after the Sept. 11 attacks in the Pentagon, which still reeked of smoke and jet fuel. 

I was a recently promoted rear admiral, in charge of a small group of officers chosen to create new ways of thinking about how to use marine forces in what we would come to call “the global war on terror.” 

Known as Deep Blue, our team worked on new alignments of land-attack forces built around amphibious ships; alternating crew arrangements that allowed the Navy to keep ships forward in combat far longer; and integrating naval special forces with our conventional capabilities to fight in a landlocked country, Afghanistan.  

Read more ....  

Update: US Navy launches Mideast drone task force amid Iran tensions (AP)  

WNU Editor: I have mentioned it more than once. These drone platforms are the wave of the future.

Space Force Unveils its New Uniforms

Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond unveiled the Guardian Service Dress prototype during the Air Force Association’s Air, Space, and Cyber conference on Sept. 21, 2021. (Twitter)  

Military.com: The Space Force Unveils its New, Sci-Fi Worthy Uniform 

The Space Force finally has its own service dress uniform -- one worthy of the Starship Enterprise. 

The U.S. military's newest service unveiled its prototype dress uniform at the Air Force Association's Air Space & Cyber conference in National Harbor, Maryland, on Tuesday -- prompting commenters to share images and jokes online. 

The uniform is a marked departure from the dress blues of the Air Force, from which the Space Force was spun off in 2019. 

It has a dark navy coat that buttons on the right-hand side, unlike the Air Force coat that buttons in the middle, and gray pants.  

Read more .... 

More News On Space Force's Uniform And Enlisted Ran Insignia  

Space Force Uniform Prototype Has Diagonal Buttons, PT Uniforms Are Black and Gray -- Air Force Magazine  

US Space Force unveils new uniform prototypes -- CNN  

Space Force unveils dress uniforms for guardians -- Space News  

The Space Force leans into ‘Galactic Empire’ chic with new dress uniform design -- Task & Purpose  

The Space Force enlisted rank insignia are here, and they look a lot like ‘Star Trek’ -- Task & Purpose  

To insignia and beyond: Space Force rolls out new designs for enlisted sleeves -- Air Force Times

Will China Accelerate Its Military Efforts In Response To The U.S.-U.K.-Australia Submarine Deal?

A nuclear-powered Type 094A Jin-class ballistic missile submarine of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy is seen during a military display in the South China Sea April 12, 2018. Picture taken April 12, 2018. (REUTERS)  

CNBC: China could accelerate military efforts in response to U.S.-Australia submarine deal, analyst says 

* As China’s military presence grows in the Indo-Pacific region, the U.S., U.K. and Australia last week announced a new security partnership that seeks to strengthen stability in that region. 

* As part of the deal, the U.S. and U.K. will assist Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines, which will allow Australia’s navy to help counter Chinese nuclear-powered vessels in the region. 

* “I think that right now, certainly the military balance of power is going to grow more contested,” Ali Wyne, senior analyst at Eurasia Group, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday. 

China has denounced a nuclear submarine deal among the U.S., the U.K. and Australia — and tensions in the Indo-Pacific region will likely continue to rise, said an analyst at consultancy firm Eurasia Group. 

“Given the geography of the region and given the security stakes in the region, one would hope that prudence would prevail,” says Ali Wyne, senior analyst at Eurasia Group. 

 “I think that right now, certainly the military balance of power is going to grow more contested,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The U.S.-U.K.-Australia Submarine deal is a response to China's accelerating its military efforts, not the other-way around. 

China probably will continue pushing the "military envelope", but I do not see a massive acceleration that will freak-out China's neighbors. 

Come to think about it. China's neighbors are already freaking out.

Hundreds Of U.S. Navy SEALs Will Not Be Deployed If They Do Not Get The Covid Vaccine

U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Emily Pierce, left, from Bremerton, Washington, assigned to the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Information Systems Technician 1st Class Correy Bushman, from Rochester, Minnesota, assigned to the John C. Stennis, during a Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic led vaccination effort in conjunction with Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. US Navy Photo  

Human Events: Navy SEALS Told They Won’t Be Deployed Without COVID Vaccine 

Hundreds of Navy SEALS are risking being blocked from deployment after failing to get vaccinated, according to a lawyer and pastor counseling them. 

As reported by Just the News, the number of SEALS involved in the dispute with the Pentagon amounts to as many as a quarter or more of all active members, a loss that could impact military readiness. 

Some SEALS were given a deadline to get the vaccine and have sought a religious exemption.  

Read more ....  

Update: Sidelined? Hundreds of Navy SEALS told they won't be deployed if they refuse COVID vaccine (Just The News) 

WNU Editor: This will impact military readiness.

A Jordan - Syria Rapprochement?

Syrian Gen. Ali Ayoub (L) and Jordanian Gen. Yousef Huneiti met in Amman on Sunday. (File/AFP)  

Middle East Eye: Syrian defence chief makes rare visit to Jordan to discuss border issues 

During the meeting officials discussed mutual border concerns, the situation in Daraa, cross-border drug smuggling and terrorism 

Syria's defence minister made a trip to Jordan on Sunday to discuss stability on their mutual border, the first such meeting since the Syrian conflict erupted a decade ago, officials said. 

The meeting comes after Syria's army reestablished control this month over Daraa, a city south of Damascus, in a Russian brokered deal that averted an all-out military assault.  

Read more .... 

More News On Syria's Defense Chief Making A Visit To Jordan 

Syria’s defense chief meets Jordan’s army commander in Amman -- Arab News/AP  

Syria military chief makes rare visit to Jordan to discuss border issues -- Jerusalem Post/Reuters  

Syrian military chief makes rare visit to Jordan -- Al Jazeera  

Syria's defense chief visits Jordan to discuss border security -- Al-Monitor

Massive Heroin Haul From Afghanistan Seized At Indian Port


Daily Mail: Enormous three-tonne haul of heroin from Afghanistan worth £2BILLION is seized at Indian port after it arrived via Iran 

* Two Indians were arrested after the heroin was found by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) at Mundra Port in the western Indian state of Gujarat 

* The heroin was kept in two containers marked as carrying talc which originated from Afghanistan and was shipped from a port in Iran to Gujarat 

* The shipment of heroin was estimated to be worth 200 billion rupees (£2 billion) 

Nearly three tonnes of heroin with a street value of £2 billion from Afghanistan have been seized from a western Indian port in a major bust, officials said. 

Two Indians were arrested after the heroin, which was kept in two containers marked as carrying talc, was found by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) at Mundra Port in the western state of Gujarat, the anti-smuggling government agency said. 

The consignment - with one container carrying nearly 2,000 kilograms of heroin and another holding nearly 1,000 kilograms - originated from Afghanistan and was shipped from a port in Iran to Gujarat, the DRI said.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: India seizes $3.7 billion Afghan heroin haul amid Kabul takeover chaos (ABC News Australia) 

Update #2: India seizes $3.6b Afghan heroin haul amid Kabul takeover chaos (The Straits Times/Reuters) 

WNU Editor: It looks like the smugglers are trying to take advantage of the chaos in Afghanistan.

Sudanese Authorities Say Coup Attempt Failed


BBC: Sudan failed coup: Government blames pro-Bashir elements 

Sudan says that "forces of darkness" linked to the ousted President Omar al-Bashir were behind Tuesday's failed coup attempt. 

"Remnants from the previous regime" were "intent on aborting the civilian democratic transition", said Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in a separate message. 

He described it as an "orchestrated coup attempt". 

Bashir, who had been in power for three decades, was toppled two years ago. 

The current administration - involving the military, civilian representatives and protest groups - was then established as part of a power-sharing agreement. 

Reuters news agency quotes the Sudanese military as saying 21 officers and a number of soldiers had been detained in connection with the failed putsch, and are continuing to search for the rest of the culprits.  

Read more .... 

More News On Sudanese Authorities Saying Coup Attempt Failed  

Sudanese officials say coup attempt failed, army in control -- AP 

Sudan state media report 'failed' coup attempt -- France 24  

Sudanese government official says failed coup plotters were from Bashir regime -- CNN  

Sudan coup attempt has failed, government says -- The Guardian Sudan’s PM says coup plotters were military, non-military -- Al Jazeera

Sudan says thwarted coup attempt linked to Bashir regime -- Middle East Eye 

Sudan thwarts military coup attempt, officials say, after soldiers reportedly tried to seize army HQ and state radio (VIDEO) -- RT

U.S. President Biden Addresses The United Nations General Assembly


Daily Mail: Biden DOUBLES US climate change fund to $11BN a year and commits $10BN to feed poor people across the world as he assures China 'we're not seeking a new Cold War' in major speech to the United Nations 

* President Joe Biden is set to deliver his first speech before the United Nations General Assembly as president on Tuesday 

* He arrived with an entourage of aides to the U.N. Tuesday morning and did not take questions 

President Joe Biden made his first major address before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday - announcing new financial commitments as he tried to reestablish the U.S.'s place in the global community. 

Biden said he'd ask Congress to double the amount of money for public climate financing - to about $11 billion a year - while also devoting $10 billion to curb hunger. 

'We are not seeking a new Cold War,' Biden also assured the delegates, after the U.N.'s secretary- general expressed concerns about the U.S.'s deteriorating relationship with China.  

Read more .... 

More News On U.S. President Biden Addressing The United Nations General Assembly  

UN: Joe Biden urges leaders to confront ‘decisive decade for our world’ – live -- The Guardian  

Biden declares world at ‘inflection point’ amid crises -- AP  

Biden says US entering an 'era of relentless diplomacy' in first UN address since taking office -- France 24 

World faces decisive decade - Biden -- BBC  

Biden seeks to rally countries to confront urgent threats in UN speech -- The Hill

CIA Director's Team Member Suffers Havana Syndrome Symptoms During India Trip


CNN: Member of CIA chief's team reported Havana syndrome symptoms on recent trip to India 

Washington (CNN)When CIA Director Bill Burns traveled to India earlier this month a member of his team reported symptoms consistent with Havana syndrome and had to receive medical attention, according to three sources familiar with the matter. 

The incident set off alarm bells within the US government and left Burns "fuming" with anger, one source explained. Some officials at the CIA viewed the chilling episode as a direct message to Burns that no one is safe, including those working directly for the nation's top spy, two sources said. 

The event marks the second time in less than a month that reported cases of the mysterious illness have impacted the international travel of top Biden administration officials. Last month Vice President Kamala Harris's visit to Vietnam was slightly delayed when multiple US personnel reported symptoms consistent with the syndrome just ahead of her visit, and at least two of them had to be medevaced.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: It looks like someone is sending a message. 

More News On A CIA Director Team Member Suffering Havana Syndrome Symptoms During India Trip 

U.S. intelligence officer traveling with CIA chief in India reported "Havana Syndrome" symptoms -- CBS 

CIA director's team member reported Havana Syndrome symptoms during India trip -- NBC  

CIA chief team member reported 'Havana syndrome' symptoms during trip to India: report -- The Hill  

CIA Chief Team Member Got 'Havana Syndrome' Symptoms in India: CNN -- Business Insider  

CIA official who traveled with director to India experienced Havana syndrome symptoms: Report -- Washington Examiner  

Reports: CIA director's team member reported Havana Syndrome symptoms -- Axios

CIA officer suffers 'Havana syndrome' symptoms on India trip – reports -- RT