Friday, July 25, 2014

These Are The Lethal Weapons That The Russian Army Will Field In The Event Of War With Ukraine

Image: Flickr/Dmitry Terekhov/CC by-sa 2.0

Russia's Five Most Lethal Land Weapons of War -- Michael Peck, National Interest

Should direct conflict erupt between Russia and Ukraine, or between NATO and Russia, the Russian Army will be fielding some powerful weapons.

Purists may argue whether they are better or worse than comparable U.S. or NATO equipment. In many cases, we can't and won't know unless there rival weapons meet in battle. But what is clear is that the Russian Army has weapons far more sophisticated than anything the West has encountered in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. It has been decades since even the Israelis fought advanced Russian tanks.

What lethal weapons can Russia bring to bear in Ukraine? Here are five:

Read more ....

My Comment: The Russian RPG-30 anti-tank rocket is a system that can defeat Israel's Trophy system (see previous post). As for the other weapons .... they are just as good as what Western armies can field .... and just as effective.

Forget About Israel's Iron Dome, The Weapon That Has Got Everyone's Attention Is Israel's Trophy Missile Defense System

We’ve Read About Israel’s Iron Dome Missile Defense System. What About This New Weapon? -- Extra Good Shit

Thursday, July 24, the 17th day of the IDF’s Gaza operation, Israeli ministers were discussing a possible “humanitarian ceasefire” in IDF-Hamas hostilities, which could last up to five days. According to debka’s military sources, it is Hamas which, behind its tough stance, is keen on a pause – and not just out of sudden concern for Gaza’s civilians. Its tacticians are desperate to find a chink in the Chariot-4 tank’s Armored Shield Protection-Active Trophy missile defense system, known as the Windbreaker. The 401st armored brigade is the only IDF unit with this armor.

Hamas has tried to stop these tanks with two kinds of advanced guided anti-tank missiles, the Russian Kornet-E, and the Concord. But Windbreaker repels them and blows them all up.
Wednesday July 23 the IDF deliberately placed brigade commander Col. Sa’ar Tzur, one of the outstanding commanders in Operation Protective Edge, before TV cameras, while standing in front of a Chariot-4 tank.

He spoke at length about the brigade’s unstoppable performance under anti-tank missile fire. Those missiles are blown up without penetrating the tanks’ armor, he said, and are powerless to slow their advance.

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My Comment: I have been searching the web for more information on this system .... not surprising .... there is very little out there with the exception of the above video. For more info .... I suggest this post from Wikipedia.

Iconic Photos Of The Vietnam War (Photo Gallery)

From CNN: 1960s photojournalists showed the world some of the most dramatic moments of the Vietnam War through their camera lenses. LIFE magazine's Larry Burrows photographed wounded Marine Gunnery Sgt. Jeremiah Purdie, center, reaching toward a stricken soldier after a firefight south of the Demilitarized Zone in Vietnam in 1966. Commonly known as Reaching Out, Burrows shows us tenderness and terror all in one frame. According to LIFE, the magazine did not publish the picture until five years later to commemorate Burrows, who was killed with AP photographer Henri Huet and three other photographers in Laos.

WNU Editor: The Photo gallery is here.

Hat Tip: Good Shit

Thursday, July 24, 2014

China Wants To Exploit The Resources In The Arctic

China Explores Arctic Ocean to Develop Its Resources -- RIA Novosti

MOSCOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti) - Chinese scientists are seeking the possibility for mineral resources extraction in the Arctic Ocean, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Geography at Lomonosov Moscow State University Sergei Dobrolyubov told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

“First and foremost, China is doing a research that serves China’s interests. They are building a new research icebreaker. They are exploring ice conditions in the eastern Arctic region in particular. It’s a matter of mineral resources: if they find a rich area of the sea floor and create a technology to develop it, they will do so,” Dobrolyubov said.

Read more ....

Update #1: China’s strategic Arctic interests -- IISS
Update #2: Chinese army think-tank says Arctic energy would help economy -- Reuters

Previous Post: China Wants To Lay Claim To The Arctic

My Comment: My comment from a previous post on this story still holds .....

.... This is not the first time that China has made such claims. I actually had such a conversation with my Chinese friends a few years ago .... they were trying to convince me that the Arctic belongs to the world, and those who have the means should exploit it (i.e. to look for oil and natural resources). That claim is (in my opinion) ridiculous and dubious .... but that is what they are preaching in Beijing.

Top U.S. Commander Of Air Force Space Command Worries About Jammers, Nukes, And Lasers In Space

Gen. William Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command, speaks about space and cyberspace at the Air Force Association Air Warfare symposium, on February 21, 2014. Scott M. Ash. U.S. Air Force photo

America’s Top Threats in Space Are Lasers and Nukes -- Defense One

The U.S. thought it won the space race long ago, but no victory lasts forever. On Tuesday, Gen. William Shelton, the commander of Air Force Space Command, speaking at the Atlantic Council, said that U.S. dominance in space will be confronted by some real threats in the years ahead. When Defense One asked what those threats might consist of specifically, he replied jammers, lasers and tactical space nukes.

The nature of these threats hasn’t evolved much since the publication of this 2001 report by the Commission to Assess Untied States National Security Space Management and Organization, chaired by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. One of the chief findings of the commission was that U.S. reliance on space was going to grow—making U.S. satellites and space assets an increasingly attractive target for those who mean us harm.

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My Comment:He should be more worried about his diminishing budget.

New EU Sanctions Will Target State-Owned Russian Banks And Billionaires

Proposed EU Sanctions May Target Russian Billionaires -- Newsweek

Hard-hitting European Union sanctions would target state-owned Russian banks and the export of sensitive military goods to Russia, as well as some of Russia's richest people, according to proposals set forth by European leaders today. EU ministers are meeting to discuss further measures against Russia as a response to the crisis in Ukraine and downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 last week. If implemented, it would be the first time European nations have targeted the Russian economy and gone beyond asset freezes and visa bans, according to Reuters.

While European leaders appeared initially hesitant to impose harsh sanctions against Russia, they seem emboldened by the downing of the Malaysia airliner, particularly because the majority of the 298 people killed on board were from The Netherlands. The EU has been threatening Russia with sanctions unless it ensures a full international investigation, and stems the flow of weapons to pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Read more ....

More News On New EU Sanctions That Will Target State-Owned Russian Banks And Billionaires

EU targets state-owned Russia banks in sanctions plan -- Reuters
EU adds 15 people, 18 firms to sanctions list over Ukraine crisis -- RT
EU sanctions on Russia to be adopted next week --
Europe Narrows Divide Over Russian Sanctions -- WSJ
Canada to impose sanctions on range of Russian firms and banks -- Reuters
MH17 crash: sanctions against Russia are illegal, ambassador claims -- The Guardian
Western Sanctions 'Illegal' Says Russian Ambassador to Britain -- IBTimes
Sanctions will hurt West and inflame global financial crisis, warns Russian ambassador -- Daily Mail
Russia threatens to hit British companies in 'retaliation' for sanctions -- The Telegraph
Which Russian companies could benefit from sanctions? -- Alexei Lossan, RBTH
Why Europe is wary over Russia sanctions -- CNN
Things to know about Russia and sanctions -- Ray Sanchez, CNN

My Comment: The oligarchs are getting nervous .... but for the average Russian on the street .... they are not worried. What's my take .... Russians should be concerned on the long term impact of sanctions .... it will hurt everyone .... Europeans, Ukrainians, and Russians.

Ukraine Civil War News Updates -- July 24, 2014

US Says Russian Military Has Fired Artillery Into Ukraine -- ABC News

Russian military forces have fired artillery rounds into eastern Ukraine targeting Ukrainian military positions and plans to send even more heavy multiple rocket launchers to Russian separatists, U.S. officials said for the first time today.

A Pentagon official labeled the Russian activity as “a clear escalation” of the conflict in that region that has drawn worldwide attention since Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down.

“We have new evidence that the Russians intend to deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers to the separatist forces in Ukraine, and have evidence that Russia is firing artillery from within Russia to attack Ukrainian military positions,” said Marie Harf, a State Department spokeswoman.

Read more ....

Ukraine Civil War News Updates -- July 24, 2014

US says evidence shows Russia fired artillery into Ukraine -- BBC
Russian military fires artillery into eastern Ukraine -- USA Today
U.S. has 'evidence that Russia is firing' into Ukraine -- CNN
Obama administration: Russia firing artillery at Ukraine military targets -- FOX News
State Dept. accuses Russia of firing artillery into Ukraine, refuses to provide any evidence -- RT News
NATO sees signs weapons still moving from Russia to Ukraine -- Reuters
NATO commander: Equipment movement points to Russian role in plane crash -- Stars and Stripes
Russia continues to build up its military presence along border with Ukraine - NSDC -- Interfax-Ukraine
Ukraine says 2 fighter jets may have been shot down by missiles from Russia -- FOX News
Russia Denies Shooting Down Ukrainian Fighter Jets -- WSJ
Luhansk Republic announces voluntary mobilization -- ITAR-TASS
Luhansk hopes for direct Russian gas supplies in coming heating season -- ITAR-TASS
Artillery fire echoes in east Ukraine's Donetsk -- Reuters
Eerie silence as train pulls out of besieged city of Donetsk --
Ukraine President Orders Hotline for Soldiers' Wives and Mothers -- Moscow Times
Ukrainian Prime Minister Resigns -- Moscow Times/Reuters
Ukraine's PM resigns amid deadly rebellion -- SKY News

Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 News Updates -- July 24, 2014

Officials: Rebels Hinder Effort To Recover Bodies From MH17 Crash Site -- CNN

(CNN) -- The transfer from Ukraine to the Netherlands of remains of victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shootdown is expected to be completed by Saturday, the Dutch prime minister said Thursday.

Two military cargo planes landed in the Netherlands with dozens of coffins Thursday evening, a day after the same planes made the first delivery from Ukraine.

While 203 body bags have been transferred from the crash site in war-torn eastern Ukraine, "that doesn't really tell us that much about the exact number of victims that have been collected," Prime Minister Mark Rutte said a news conference Thursday evening.

"The chance is still very great that there are still victims at the crash site," Rutte said.

Read more ....

Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 News Updates -- July 24, 2014

MH17 crash: More bodies transferred to Netherlands -- BBC
Dutch take control of MH17 investigation, but deal with rebels remains uncertain -- The Australian
MH17 crash: Dutch take charge, first step in bodies search begins -- Sydney Morning Herald
Dutch sending 40 military police to Ukraine to help search for Flight 17 victims -- FOX News/AP
Dutch may deploy troops to MH17 crash site -- Irish Times
How did it take so long to find? MH17 wreckage and more bodies discovered in woodland as Dutch investigators take responsibility for the crash site -- Daily Mail
Dutch ministry: 194 Dutch citizens killed in MH17 disaster -- XInhua
Russia says will cooperate with MH17 probe led by Netherlands -- Reuters
Russia: Flight MH17 Crash Resulted From Ukraine’s Disregard of ICAO Regulations -- RIA Novosti
Shrapnel Damage Is Found on Debris From Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 -- WSJ
MH17 disaster: few hard facts so far -- Deutche Welle
MH17 Bodies: Hearses In Netherlands Carry Malaysia Airlines Victims [PHOTOS] -- IBTimes

Taking 'Smiling Bomb Shelter Selfies' And Posting It In Social Media Is The Latest Trend In Israel

Hundreds of Israelis have documented their experiences when they take cover with a bizarre set of smiling selfies which they have posted on Facebook

Bizarre Trend Of 'Bomb Shelter Selfies' Takes Off In Israel As Under-Siege Tel Aviv Residents Vow To 'Keep On Smiling' -- Daily Mail

* Hundreds of Israelis have documented their experiences on Facebook
* 'There’s a selfie for everything so why not bomb shelters?' said creator
* Many show Israeli citizens smiling and laughing as they pose for the photos
* 16-day conflict has claimed lives of 718 Palestinians and 32 Israel soldiers

When the air-raid sirens ring out across Israel, hundreds of thousands of people scramble to the safety of shelters.

Taking cover in safe rooms, bomb shelters, and stairwells can be a terrifying experience for many Israeli citizens, but dozens of teenagers and adults have posted smiling selfies on Facebook to document their experiences.

Sara Eisen, a resident of Beit Shemesh in central Israel, set up one of the group's called 'Bomb Shelter Selfies.'

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My Comment: It's a strange strange world.

Hamas Militants Rounded Up Chain Gang-Style By Israeli Soldiers

Chained up: This photo shows suspected Hamas militants who have been rounded up chain-gang style by Israeli soldiers during the Israel-Gaza conflict. They were captured after the Army entered the Gaza strip

Suspected Hamas Militants s Rounded Up Chain Gang-Style By Israeli Soldiers During Gaza Offensive -- Daily Mail

* Suspected Hamas militants captured by Israeli soldiers during offensive
* One photo shows them chained together in two lines with hands on heads
* Another picture depicts four of them walking in chains while blindfolded
* Since the conflict began in Gaza, nearly 790 Palestinians have been killed
* Philip Hammond today expressed 'concern' for rising civilian death toll

Chained together in two lines, they raise their hands to their heads under the watchful eyes of armed soldiers.

These photos show suspected Hamas militants who have been rounded up chain-gang style by Israeli soldiers during the Israel-Gaza conflict.

The alleged rebels were captured after the Army entered the Gaza strip in a bid to put an end to deadly Hamas rocket attacks.

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My Comment: No official number on how many prisoners Israel now has ... but I suspect that the number is high (1,000+).

Israel - Hamas War News Updates -- July 24, 2014

The War In Gaza: No One Is Winning — Yet -- The Economist

As the death toll soars, both sides claim success, while mediators flounder

TWO weeks into the Israeli campaign against Hamas in Gaza, more than 700 Palestinians have been killed, at least 4,000 injured and 150,000 displaced, according to the UN. The Israelis have lost at least 32 soldiers and three civilians. Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, who has been trying in vain to mediate, said that this round of war has been worse than the Israelis’ previous biggest effort to knock out Hamas, in 2008-09, because Palestinian civilians this time have “no way out”. Gazan schools run by the UN’s refugee agency, where at least 140,000 Palestinians have sought shelter, have been hit.

Read more ....

Israel - Hamas War News Updates -- July 24, 2014

Gaza Blog Live -- Al Jazeera
LIVE UPDATES: Operation Protective Edge, day 17 -- Haaretz

Shelling of UN Gaza Shelter Kills 16 as Truce Talks Stall -- Bloomberg
UN shelter in Gaza 'struck by Israeli shells' -- Al Jazeera
At least 15 killed by shelling of Gaza school; toll exceeds 760 -- Reuters
Gaza UN school shelter hit, 'killing 13' -- BBC
Ban Ki-Moon Condemns Israeli Attack on UN School in Gaza -- RIA Novosti
Gaza death toll approaches 800, no sign of ceasefire -- APA
Israel Says That Hamas Uses Civilian Shields, Reviving Debate -- NYT
Hamas rejects Gaza truce unless blockade ends -- Al Jazeera
Hamas resists Kerry's attempts at Gaza cease-fire deal -- FOX News
Kerry presents new cease-fire proposal. Hamas, Israel to respond Friday -- Haaretz
Kerry says gaps remain as he presses Gaza truce -- AFP
Israel surprised by number, sophistication of Gaza tunnels -- FOX News
Israel determined to destroy Gaza tunnel system -- CBS
The U.S. should push for the disarming of Hamas in Gaza-Israel cease-fire -- Washington post editorial
In Israel-Hamas Conflict In Gaza, No Clear Target Set For Victory -- Erin Banco, IBTimes
Five reasons this Israel-Hamas war is different -- Oren Dorell, USA TODAY

Chaos In West Bank As Thousands Of Palestinians Riot

Massive West Bank Clashes Reportedly Leave 2 Palestinians Dead -- Jerusalem Post

Thousands protest against IDF's Gaza operation, throwing rocks, firebombs and fireworks at Israeli security forces near Kalandia checkpoint.

Violence broke out Thursday night near the Kalandia checkpoint, located in the West Bank between Jerusalem and Ramallah, as residents of the West Bank village clashed with police in protests against the IDF's operation in the Gaza Strip.

Some 10,000 Palestinians protested near the checkpoint, throwing rocks, firebombs and fireworks at Israeli security forces, and setting tires ablaze. The IDF forces and Border Police were using crowd dispersal means on the masses.

Read more ....

More News On Today's Palestinian Riots In The West Bank

Israeli soldiers kill three Palestinian demonstrators in West Bank protest -- The Guardian
Three Palestinians Killed In West Bank Protest -- SKY News
Two Palestinians killed in W. Bank clashes with Israeli security forces -- Haaretz
2 Palestinians said killed in rioting outside Jerusalem -- Times of Israel
Israel kills two men in West Bank clashes -- Al Jazeera
Security: Israeli forces kill Palestinian in massive W. Bank clash -- Al Arabiya
10,000 Palestinian protesters have marched on an Israeli checkpoint, sparking clashes with the military --
West Bank clashes as Gaza solidarity protests stepped up -- Middle East Eye
Gaza conflict stirs anger and violence in West Bank -- The Guardian
Spectators to War, West Bank Residents Hail the Hamas Fight Against Israel -- NYT

My Comment: The start of another Palestinian intifada?

Apparently The Earth Missed A Disaster Two Years Ago

How A Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused A Catastrophe On Earth -- Washington Post

On July 23, 2012, the sun unleashed two massive clouds of plasma that barely missed a catastrophic encounter with the Earth’s atmosphere. These plasma clouds, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), comprised a solar storm thought to be the most powerful in at least 150 years.

“If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,” physicist Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado tells NASA.

Fortunately, the blast site of the CMEs was not directed at Earth. Had this event occurred a week earlier when the point of eruption was Earth-facing, a potentially disastrous outcome would have unfolded.

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My Comment: Life will be tough for a few years .... but we will survive. But the geopolitical and economic impact of such an incident will be felt for decades.

Editor's Note

Taking care of some friends from overseas today. Blogging will return later tonight.

World News Briefs -- July 24, 2014

Algeria Airliner Feared Crashed On Flight From Burkina Faso -- BBC

A passenger plane carrying 116 people is feared to have crashed on a flight from Burkina Faso to the Algerian capital Algiers.

Contact with the Air Algerie flight was lost over the Sahara as it crossed Mali in bad weather, officials said.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the plane, which has 50 French citizens aboard, "probably crashed".

He said French Mirage fighter planes were scouring the area for the aircraft.

Contact with Flight AH 5017, chartered from Spanish airline Swiftair, was lost about 50 minutes after take-off from Ouagadougou, Air Algerie said.

Read more ....


Israeli shells hit UN shelter in Gaza.

Fears grow other groups may join Hamas fight vs. Israel after Kerry peace effort fails.

Europe lifts ban on flights to Tel Aviv airport.

Attack on Iraq prisoner convoy kills dozens.

UN: Islamic State orders female circumcision. ISIS reportedly orders women and girls of Mosul to undergo ‘genital mutilation’.

Purge of minorities re-draws Iraq map.

Almost 32% of Syrian chemical weapons destroyed - OPCW.

Boeing becomes first US company to strike deal with Iran since 1979 – Reports.

US warns Americans in Yemen to leave now.


Taiwan launches inquiry into plane crash that killed 48.

China and Taiwan express grief over crashed TransAsia plane.

Afghan vote recount moves at snail's pace, rival sides far apart.

Finnish aid workers shot dead in Afghanistan.

Myanmar Muslims in remote Rakhine suffer worsening health crisis.

U.N. panel tells Japan to compensate 'comfort women'.

Viral video of North Korea's Kim Jong-un dancing angers supreme leader.


Air Algérie flight AH5017 wreckage found in Mali. Algeria confirms crash of passenger airliner. Air Algerie plane 'crashes' with 116 on board after going missing over Mali: live.

Nigeria, Cameroon, others deploy 2,800 troops against Boko Haram.

South Sudan blames rebels ‘intransigence’ for stalled peace talks.

Central African Republic factions announce ceasefire.

Libya’s rogue general, an ex-CIA asset, vaunts his anti-extremism services.

Tourist killed in Mombasa, second in July: police.

Sudan 'apostasy' woman Meriam Yahia Ibrahim meets Pope.


Ukraine's claim of Russia downing attack aircraft 'hogwash' - Defense Ministry source.

Ukraine PM resigns amid parliamentary turmoil. Ukrainian PM tenders resignation, election looms.

MH17 crash: More bodies transferred to Netherlands.

EU targets state-owned Russia banks in sanctions plan.

Poland 'helped in CIA rendition', European Court rules.

Thousands attend tense pro-Gaza march in Paris.

Norway warned of imminent security threat. Islamists planning imminent attack in Norway: police.

Mediterranean boat people numbers soar to near 100,000 this year.


House moves to halt illegal immigration by deploying U.S. forces to Central America.

Obama administration sends military advisers to assess Mexican border needs.

Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez on trial.

Venezuela just mortgaged another $4 billion of its oil exports to China.

Squatters move out of Venezuela's 'Tower of David' super slum in Caracas.

Argentina President says country will not default.

Arizona execution: Governor orders review after death takes nearly 2 hours.


Terror threat enters danger zone (Commentary).

‘We’re coming for you, Barack Obama’: Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL.

ISIS is `worse than Al Qaeda`: US officials.

Document details procedure for placing terrorist suspects on government watch list.


China explores Arctic Ocean to develop its resources.

GM profits sink following biggest car recall in history.

IMF announces weaker global growth prospects as US economy slugs.

Fake vintage wine dealer Rudy Kurniawan to be sentenced.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- July 24, 2014


Administration Official: ISIL 'No Longer A Terrorist Group,' Now A 'Full-Blown Army' -- Defense News

WASHINGTON — Obama administration officials made clear Wednesday the White House remains reluctant about launching a new military intervention in Iraq.

The US State Department’s Brett McGurk told a House panel that only a political solution featuring a new government that includes Shia, Sunnis and Kurds will allow Iraq to defeat a violent Sunni group that controls much of its north.

“Our combined focus must be on isolating [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)] from the broader population and empowering tribes and other local actors to effectively combat it,” McGurk told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- July 24, 2014

ISIS now ‘full-blown army,’ officials warn -- The Hill

The march of ISIS in Iraq: Can Pentagon advisers help stop it? -- Anna Mulrine, CSM

Anatomy of a deadly personnel carrier strike in Gaza -- Washington Post

Pentagon Supports Emergency $225M for Israel's Iron Dome -- Defense News

Gaza Shows Worth in Laser Missile Defense Systems -- DoD Buzz

Answering a different call: Americans who fight for Israel -- Dan Simon, CNN

Australia To Build F-35 Air Combat Facilities For $1.5 Billion -- Defense World

China Conducts Successful Ballistic Missile Defense Test -- RIA Novosti

The military isn’t giving up China’s airspace, no matter how many flight delays it causes -- Quartz

PLA plans unmanned battle tanks, vehicles -- Asian Age

NATO Poland base may be prepared for blitz against Russia -- RIA Novosti

Ukraine Asks US and NATO for Elecronic Warfare Equipment - Reports -- RIA Novosti

Russia Is Using Crimea To Expand And Modernize Its Black Sea Fleet -- AFP

US: Transfer of French Warships to Russia 'Inappropriate' -- Defense News/AFP

Shelton: Russia's Doubt Over US Satellite Capabilities Shows 'Desperation' -- Defense News

Time for U.S. Forces to Leave South Korea -- Christopher Lee, War On The Rocks

What NATO Needs to Do in the Wake of the Ukraine Crisis -- John Deni, Defense One

Enlisted women to serve on U.S. attack submarines after 2020 -- Military Times

Army Hates To Take Guard Apaches, But It ‘Must Happen’: Under Secretary Carson -- Breaking Defense

Boeing: We can fix Air Force tanker problems without new technology -- Business Journal

Air Force refocuses on training as wars wind down -- USA Today

Bringing up the rear: The 5 worst bases in the Air Force -- Air force Times

Military Dogs' Advocates Say The Canines Aren't Pets — They're Vets (Audio) -- NPR

Congress wants military K9s to retire on U.S. soil with handlers -- Seattle Times/McClatchy News

Childhood Traumas More Common in Military Members -- AP

Stolen valor? Video shows two Marines confronting suspected imposter in military uniform -- FOX News

Plagiarism Raises Ethical Alarm at Military School -- New York Times

New Military Gear Doesn’t Have to Cost a Fortune -- Dan Ward, War Is Boring

The Shadow Wars of the 21st Century -- David Barno, War On the Rocks

Times Change—Warriors Should, Too: Arguments for and against a new warrior code -- David Axe

Astronaut Photographs Gaza War From The International Space Station

‘Saddest Photo Yet’: Astronaut Photographs Gaza Offensive From Space -- RT

A German astronaut managed to capture the Gaza war zone from space while aboard the International Space Station. He called it his “saddest photo yet.”

Alexander Gerst, a German flight engineer, geophysicist and volcanologist, spread the news with a short tweet on Wednesday, as the ISS was on a flyby over Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. The image went viral.

Read more ....

My Comment: At least the lights are still on.

Why Is Afghanistan Sending It's Aid Money To Gaza?

Photo: A money changer holds a stack of Afghan currency on a street in central Kabul. Reuters.

Why Is Afghanistan Sending Aid to Gaza? -- Ali M Latifi, Vice News

When the Afghan government announced last week that it was sending $500,000 “in a show of sympathy to the people of Gaza,” many here and abroad wondered if a nation still reliant on aid — and suffering rising civilian casualty rates — should be providing financial assistance to others.

For some, the announcement was a positive step, showing that Kabul was ready to do its part to help others in need. Hasan, a middle-aged Kabul resident, was supportive of the decision taken by a senior committee headed by President Hamid Karzai.

“They need the help. They are suffering,” Hasan said of the hundreds of Palestinians killed since Israel began its latest air and ground assault earlier this month.

Hasan, a white-bearded man who makes $300 a month doing odd jobs around the capital, said the government wouldn’t give away funds that it didn’t have. “They have hundreds of millions coming in, let them use some of that for good,” he said.

According to World Bank estimates, Afghanistan received more than $6.7 billion in foreign aid in 2012, the bulk of which came from the US.

Read more ....

My Comment: Stories like this one always makes me want to tear my hair off.