Sunday, October 22, 2017

U.S. Air Force May Recall 1,000 Retired Pilots To Address 'Acute Shortages'

USA Today: Air Force could recall as many as 1,000 retired pilots to address serious shortage

WASHINGTON — President Trump signed an executive order Friday allowing the Air Force to recall as many as 1,000 retired pilots to active duty to address a shortage in combat fliers, the White House and Pentagon announced.

By law, only 25 retired officers can be brought back to serve in any one branch. Trump's order removes those caps by expanding a state of national emergency declared by President George W. Bush after 9/11, signaling what could be a significant escalation in the 16-year-old global war on terror.

"We anticipate that the Secretary of Defense will delegate the authority to the Secretary of the Air Force to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots for up to three years," Navy Cdr. Gary Ross, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

Read more ....

More News On Reports That The U.S. Air Force May Recall 1,000 Retired Pilots To Address 'Acute Shortages'

Air Force may recall up to 1,000 retired military pilots to address 'acute shortage' -- ABC News
Trump signs order allowing Air Force to bring 1000 retired pilots back to active duty to help tackle shortage -- Daily Mail
Air Force could recall up to 1,000 retired pilots after Trump order -- FOX News
Trump order could recall 1000 retired pilots to active duty: report -- The Hill
The Air Force now has the power to recall up to 1000 retired pilots to address its personnel crisis -- Business Insider
Air Force Can Recall Up To 1000 Retired Pilots Under New Executive Order -- Task & Purpose

When It Comes To Selling Weapons It Is All About Marketing

Orin Julie modeling a handgun designed for women. (Courtesy of Say Talent)

Times of Israel: A female Israeli combat soldier proudly models for weapons companies

At home, some see Orin Julie as a symbol of female empowerment; US fans think she and the guns are 'sexy'; on Instagram, she's been called a 'baby killer'.

JTA — When it comes to women posing with firearms, the United States is fully loaded. Lithe models can be found showing off weapons at gun shows, in rifle magazines and on dedicated social media pages.

Orin Julie may look like just another “gun bunny,” as such models are sometimes called, but she is the industry’s secret weapon. She is a former Israeli combat soldier who is trained to discharge the weapons she poses with.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: She knows how to handle these weapons .... and she is definitely photogenic. Her Instagram account is here.

Israeli Woman Soldier Uses Martial Arts Skills To Fight Off An Ultra-Orthodox Mob

Daily Mail: Female Israeli soldier uses martial arts to fight off crowd of ultra-Orthodox demonstrators as they call her a 'wh***'

* Female soldier fights off a crowd of Jewish ultra-Orthodox anti-draft protesters
* Comes after two yeshiva students arrested after military service disagreement
* Footage shows Nomi Golan fending off the baying crowd with karate kicks
* The clip has sparked a major discussion in Israel in mainstream media channels

A fearless female soldier put her martial arts training to good use when she fought off dozens of Jewish ultra-Orthodox anti-draft protesters during a rally in Jerusalem.

Off-duty soldier Nomi Golan fended off a baying crowd of protesters, demonstrating against the arrest of two yeshiva students who refused to show up to the military recruitment office.

Using a series of expert karate kicks and chops, Golan held back the violent rabble who were preventing a car from driving up a street.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: She has no fear.

Video Of The Day

WNU Editor: From the DOD .... Just like human warriors, military working dogs need care on and off the battlefield. The Military Working Dog Hospital at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland is the Defense Department’s premier facility for veterinary care.

Words Of Wisdom From William Defoe

William Defoe (Wikipedia)

The Guardian: Willem Dafoe: ‘I’ve thought about murder many times’

The actor, 62, on actors’ fear, being happy in nature, the false freedom of technology and being mistaken for Mick Jagger

Nobody ever talks about how most actors are full of fear, because the target is always moving. If you’re smart you keep on playing the same, doing the same shtick. If you really put yourself out there… It’s always risky.

Some people think I’m quite odd looking. Some think I’m handsome. Some people think I’m ugly. What can I say?

I was born in 1955, in Appleton, Wisconsin – primarily a paper mill town. I grew up with Eisenhower. It was a Republican kind of area. It wasn’t a bad upbringing. People were hardworking and good, but I always had the sense there was a bigger world out there that I would feel more comfortable in. I knew, even as a child.

I’m happiest when I’m in nature. I mean, deeply in nature. It allows you to forget and join the bigger picture. My favourite landscape is jungle down to water. My dream is to wear flipflops, boxer shorts and a vest all day.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I have always enjoyed his films. It is good to see that he is still active.

Tweets For Today

This New Weapon Will Destroy Russia's New Tanks

Charlie Gao, National Interest: NATO Is Building a 'Silver Bullet' to Destroy Russia's New Tanks

The technology sounds like a lethal Rube Goldberg machine: an electrical circuit generates high voltage pulses, that ignites a plasma cartridge that then triggers explosives to propel projectiles at extreme velocity. But this technology, referred to as an Electro-Thermal Chemical (ETC) gun, might be NATO’s silver bullet when it comes to penetrating the next generation of advanced Russian tanks. ETC guns could also be employed in a naval role to allow more accurate and longer ranged naval fires than possible with conventional munitions, at far lower costs than the railgun. The roots of ETC guns are based in Cold War studies for methods to counter the ever-increasing levels of protection that were expected to be found on future Soviet tanks. According to threat reports at the time, the protection levels of Soviet tanks that were expected to be fielded in the mid 1990s would outclass all fielded anti-tank projectiles.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This tech has been around for a long time .... and from what I am reading, it has the potential to be very effective. It will also be more mobile than a rail-gun.

Picture Of The Day

The forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) joins Republic of Korea Navy ships for an exercise with the aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Stethem is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region. (Specialist 2nd Class Jeremy Graham/Navy)

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... Frontline Photos: Oct. 20, 2017 (Military Times).

Is The Iranian Government Cracking Down On The The Power And Influence Of The Iranian Revolutionary Guards?

New York Times: Iran Saps Strength of Revolutionary Guards With Arrests and Cutbacks

TEHRAN — From its nine-story headquarters in an upscale neighborhood of Tehran, a giant construction company directs its operations across Iran, building mosques, airports, oil and gas installations, hospitals, and skyscrapers.

Armed guards stand watch at the doors, and small posters on its exterior walls honor Iranians who have died in the current wars in Syria and Iraq.

But this is not just any company. Khatam-al Anbiya, whose name means “seal of the prophet,” is the most important economic arm of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. It employs nearly 1.5 million people, including subcontractors, and is led by a military commander.

Yet the company’s outward signs of strength belie the powerful currents of change that are eroding its business. A crackdown is being led by Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, who ran for office promising to unleash economic growth by completing a nuclear deal and freeing the country from international sanctions.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I can only hope that this New York Times report is accurate. But Iran's Evolutionary Guards have a lot of supporters, and they have a lot of influence throughout the country. Curtailing its power and influence is not going to be easy.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Catalonia's Leaders Reject Spain's Plan To Impose Direct Rule On The Region

Daily Mail: 'The worst attack since Franco': Catalan leader slams Spain's PM after he sacks regional government to crush 'rebellion' as 450,000 take to streets to demand independence amid fears of new civil war

* Catalan protesters took to streets of Barcelona today as Mariano Rajoy announced plans to impose direct rule
* Spanish Prime Minister wants to sack autonomous region's government and call election within six months
* Also wants central government ministers to assume powers of Catalan officials to thwart independence bid
* Catalan president Carles Puigdemont branded the central government's plans an 'attack on democracy'
* And its parliament speaker Carme Forcadell accused the central authorities in Madrid of carrying out a coup

Nearly half a million protesters poured onto the streets of Barcelona today as Spain's Prime Minister outlined plans to impose direct rule over Catalonia and remove its leaders.

Mariano Rajoy wants to sack the region's government and call an election within six months in a bid to thwart a break away by the autonomous region.

But his strong stance, which includes a threat to arrest the region's president if he declares independence, led to Catalan President Carles Puigdemont accusing the Spanish leader of the worst attack on the region 'since Franco'.

Read more ....

More News On The Spain - Catalonia Crisis

Catalonia's leaders fight off direct rule from Madrid -- Reuters
Catalonia independence: Puigdemont 'will not accept' Rajoy plan -- BBC
Spain Staging a ‘Coup’ in Catalonia, Parliament Official Says -- NBC/AP/Reuters
Catalonia leader Carles Puigdemont: Removing powers 'worst attack since Franco dictatorship' -- Sky News
Catalan leader: Madrid's steps toward direct rule are 'worst attacks' since Franco's dictatorship -- RT
Hundreds of thousands join pro-Catalan independence rally -- FRANCE 24
Spain Says It Will Remove Catalonia's Leaders -- Voice of America
Spain's Prime Minister is sacking Catalonia's president and holding new regional elections, in an unprecedented move -- Business Insider
Spain Moves to Fire Catalonia's Leadership, Strip Region's Autonomy -- New York Magazine
How Madrid Plans to Oust Separatists and Run Catalonia -- Bloomberg
Catalan separatists prepare for war of attrition against Madrid -- The Guardian
Factbox - How will Spain's central government take control of Catalonia? -- Reuters

The Cost Of The Super Secret B-21 Program Will Still Remain A Secret

A rendering of the B-21 Raider, the Air Force's newest bomber, built by Northrop Grumman. (U.S. Air Force)

Defense One: B-21 cost info to stay secret despite new Air Force leadership

AASHINGTON — Don’t hold your breath waiting for the contract value of the B-21 Raider to be revealed. While the U.S. Air Force’s top general reviews the bomber program every few months to see whether new details can be released, it will be “some time” before the service divulges more cost information, the Air Force undersecretary said Oct. 12.

Out of the Air Force’s top three acquisition priorities, the B-21 Raider is its most secretive, with only a few details disclosed to the public, such as the estimated price per aircraft and a list of the major contractors.

The service has taken a hard line against releasing the value of the development contract awarded to Northrop Grumman in 2015, with officials saying that doing so would give adversaries information that would allow them to extrapolate on the bomber’s design.

Read more ....

Update: US Air Force Official Flips Position, Opposes Disclosing B-21 Raider Costs (Sputnik).

WNU Editor: Everyone knows that the B-21 program is happening .... so why the secrecy on its costs? All that I can say is that the U.S. Air Force has a lousy history when it comes to procurement .... and they have certainly not won anyone's trust when it comes to cost. But for the moment .... the Pentagon, White House,  and the Congress are one on this program, and there will be no release on what this program has cost right now.

Russian President Putin Fears A 'Srebrenica-like' Massacre In Ukraine

Newsweek: Vladimir Putin Says He Fears 'Srebrenica-like' Massacre in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin has defended the decision to keep his country’s porous border with war stricken regions of Ukraine open, saying the move was aimed at avoiding a Srebrenica-like massacre.

The conflict in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions began after weeks of mass protests against pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in the capital Kiev. Russia continues to deny that the insurgents, who have held Ukraine’s army at bay near the Russian border for three years, are commanded or sponsored by the Russian military.

According to Putin, Moscow’s decision not to close the border with the rebel-occupied areas was based on humanitarian concerns and compared the situation to one of the biggest acts of ethnic cleansing in Europe since World War II.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Russian President Putin has only started to voice these concerns recently .... and he has cause to be concerned. The conflict in Ukraine has been ongoing now for almost 3 and a half years .... and there is no resolution in sight. If what I am being told by my family and friends in Ukraine is half true .... bitterness and frustration in the eastern half of the country is deep and pervasive ... especially in the regions where Russian-Ukrainians are dominant and there is a huge Ukrainian military presence. But it is not the civilian population that I am worried about, the big fear that I have always had with this conflict is the state of morale in the Ukraine army. This is a conscript army where many are not happy to be where they are today, even with a pay raise .... Poroshenko: Servicemen in war zone to get Hr 1,000-3,000 in bonuses in October (Kyiv Post). I have also heard that of these soldiers are growing increasingly frustrated that they are in a quagmire that shows no sign of a resolution .... and what makes it even worse is that there is a great deal of resentment directed at them from the local Russian Ukrainian population. In this toxic environment anything is possible, and all that it will take is one stupid incident where Ukrainian soldiers are killed, and they take their revenge on a local town. A My-Lai type massacre would be a political earthquake in the Russian dominated regions of Ukraine and throughout Europe, but the biggest impact will be in Russia itself. Russian President Putin will not be able to stop the outcry for a direct military intervention .... even if he knows that this would only explode into a major war that may result in the biggest migration of people in Europe since the Yugoslav civil wars. So yes .... Putin has reason to be worried. As for  Ukrainian President Poroshenko, he had a window when he was elected to find a compromise, but he chose a military solution that failed. And now .... his focus is to frame the conflict on his terms and conditions, but the problem with this approach is that it avoids the reason why this war started in the first place .... Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko aims to redefine eastern conflict (DW).

Why The Lack Of Coverage From The U.S. Media On The Liberation Of Raqqa From The Islamic State?

Joe Concha, The Hill: We are finally beating ISIS, but media won't give Trump credit

ISIS — and particularly its expanding caliphate — used to be a major news story in this country. Defeating the terror army that largely stretched across Syria and Iraq was a major campaign topic in 2016.

So one would think, after the ISIS de facto capital of Raqqa was liberated from the terror group by U.S-backed Syrian and Kurdish forces on Tuesday, that the story would dominate news coverage.

But it didn't. Not even close.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I have mentioned it before .... but one of my pet peeves with the U.S. main stream news media is not the stories that they cover, but what they choose to not recover. The capture of the Islamic State's capital is a big story .... something that this blog covered extensively .... and still is. But when it came to finding links and videos on this story .... especially in the past 2 months ....  the majority either came Europe, the Middle East, or the wire services. The U.S. media was simply notr there. Is it because the U.S. media does not want to give credit to President Trump .... I do not know. But for someone like myself who always sources from the U.S. news and the international news media for this blog .... this lack of coverage has been surprising.

How North Korea Could Start A War Between China The The U.S.

National Interest: How North Korea Could Start the Unthinkable: War Between America and China

War on the Korean Peninsula is almost too horrible to contemplate.

Nuclear-armed adversaries, fighting in densely populated urban terrain, could cause humanitarian disaster on a scale that the world has never seen. But the scenario might grow even worse. The last time that the United States fought North Korea, the People’s Republic of China intervened with destructive effect. The war lasted for three years, with heavy casualties on both sides. While both China and the United States have worked hard to prevent a recurrence of this catastrophe, the two great powers remain at odds over the fate of North Korea, a disagreement that might yet lead to war.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Here is another take on how a U.S. - China war may break-out .... Is China marching towards the worst world war in history? MAX HASTINGS examines how the new superpower became emboldened AND embittered - and how its leaders' desire for global domination may lead to a conflict with America (Daily Mail). As to what is my take on all of these scenarios .... I do not see it happening. There may be a lot of differences between the U.S. and China .... even over North Korea. But is it enough to cause a war .... we are far from that right now.

The Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan Is In South Korean Waters

The Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and the forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Stethem steam alongside ships from the Republic of Korea Navy in the waters east of the Korean Peninsula on October 18, 2017. Picture taken on October 18, 2017. Courtesy Kenneth Abbate/U.S. Navy

Daily Mail: U.S. carrier USS Ronald Reagan patrols off Korean peninsula in warning to Pyongyang as tensions with North Korea continue to rise

* The nuclear powered aircraft carrier the USS Ronald Reagan has been patrolling of the east Korean peninsula, warning North Korea of military action
* The Reagan's presence comes ahead of Trump's first official visit to Asia
* North Korea has slammed the warship gathering as a 'rehearsal for war'
* The ship entered port in South Korea today in a regular visit to the country

The USS Ronald Reagan, a 100,000-ton nuclear powered aircraft carrier, is patrolling in waters east of the Korean peninsula, in a show of sea and air power designed to warn off North Korea from any military action.

The carrier sailed into the port of Busan in southern South Korea on Saturday in a regular visit to the country as tensions stemming from North Korea‘s missile and nuclear provocations simmer.

The U.S. Navy's biggest warship in Asia, with a crew of 5,000 sailors, sailed around 100 miles launching almost 90 F-18 Super Hornet sorties from its deck, in sight of South Korean islands.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Russia is warning that North Korea has the capability to hit these U.S. aircraft carriers .... North Korea 'Has the Missile Technology to Destroy US Carriers Near Its Shores' (Sputnik).

More News On The USS Ronald Reagan In South Korean Waters

USS Ronald Reagan Enters South Korean Port as North Korea Tensions Simmer -- Epoch Times/Reuters
USS Ronald Reagan visits S. Korean port after weeklong joint naval drills -- Stars and Stripes
US commanders stress ‘ironclad’ commitment to defend SKorea -- Washington Post/AP

US Military's Biggest Warship in Asia Patrols Near North Korea As Warning to Kim Jong Un -- Yahoo News UK

Two Japanese Fighter Pilots Run For Their Lives When Their Jet Catches Fire On Take-Off (Video)

Daily Mail: The dramatic moment two fighter pilots battle to unstrap themselves from their burning jet and then run for their lives after it catches fire on take-off in Japan

* The airman and his co-pilot had to leap out of the cockpit when plane caught fire
* They were about to go on a training flight from Hyakuri Air Base in Ibaraki, Japan
* A clip shows them sprinting across the runway away from the burning wreckage

A fighter pilot had to run for his life when his jet burst into flames just before takeoff.

The airman and his co-pilot had to leap out of the cockpit when the plane caught fire on the runway at a Japanese air force base.

They were just about to go on a training flight from Hyakuri Air Base in Ibaraki Prefecture in eastern Japan.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This could have ended very badly for the pilots.

More News On This Week's Fighter Jet Fire In Runway Accident

Japanese fighter jet catches fire before takeoff from base in Ibaraki Prefecture -- Japan Times
ASDF fighter catches fire at Ibaraki base -- Japan News/JiJi Press
Japanese F-4EJ Kai Phantom II Heavily Damaged in Runway Accident, Crew Escapes Fire -- The Aviationist
Two fighter pilots jump out of burning supersonic jet - and one goes back to save pal -- Mirror

Anti-Corruption/Anti-Euro Parties Win Big In Czech Elections

AFP: 'Czech Trump' clinches election victory, eurosceptics boosted

Prague (AFP) - With voters upset over traditional parties and orders from Brussels, billionaire populist Andrej Babis, dubbed the "Czech Trump", clinched victory in the Czech Republic's election on Saturday, while eurosceptics and an anti-Islam group backed by France's National Front made strong gains.

State election officials citing results from 99.6 percent of polling stations said Babis's anti-corruption and anti-euro ANO (Yes) movement was ahead with 29.7 percent support (78 parliament seats) followed by the eurosceptic right-wing ODS party on 11.3 percent. Turnout was at 60 percent.

Despite the country's economic success, analysts say many Czechs who are heavily in debt or working long hours for low wages feel they have been left behind and are turning to populist, eurosceptic and far-right anti-EU parties to vent their ire.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: One more nail in the EU - Euro project.

More News On Today's Czech Election

Populist billionaire’s party wins big in Czech Republic -- AP
Czech Election Won by Anti-Establishment Party Led by Billionaire -- New York Times
Czech election: Billionaire Babis wins by large margin -- BBC News
Billionaire Babis scores big in Czech election -- Reuters
Czech billionaire's ANO party set to win elections -- The Guardian
Czech election runner-up says no talks with winner ANO on government -- Reuters
Czech Mogul Faces Tough Cabinet Talks After Dominating Elections -- Bloomberg
Political scientist: It is difficult to imagine a prime minister who faces criminal charges -- Radio Prague

Report: NATO Not Ready For A Russian Attack

DW: NATO report casts doubt on ability to defend against Russian attack on eastern flank

A confidential NATO report has questioned the alliance's ability to defend against a Russian attack. Eastern European members of the alliance fear Russian aggression.

NATO would be unable to repel a Russian attack on its Eastern European members, according to an internal alliance document cited by the German magazine Der Spiegel (German language) in its Saturday edition.

The internal document, titled "Progress Report on the Strengthened Deterrence and Defense Capability of the Alliance," questioned the ability of the NATO Response Force to "react rapidly and – if necessary – sustainably."

Read more ....

Update: Report: NATO Insufficiently Ready In Case Of Russian Attack (RFE).

WNU Editor: NATO countries do not only spend tens of billions of dollars each year on their defense .... but they spend far more than Russia. So this question begs an answer .... what is NATO spending their money on?

Japan Goes To The Polls Tomorrow Where Expectations Are That Prime MInister Abe Will Win Another Big Majority

DW: Japan: New term likely for Shinzo Abe and Liberal Democrats

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's coalition is expected to comfortably win Sunday's parliamentary elections. He is benefiting from a thriving economy and a weak opposition. Martin Fritz reports from Tokyo.

The latest opinion polls show that Japan's ruling coalition, made up of Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito, is on track to take two-thirds in the lower house of parliament. Even though the bloc will likely lose several seats, it is expected to continue to control two-thirds of the legislature. As a result, the nationalist Abe would be able to extend his reign beyond 2020's Tokyo Olympic Games — making him the longest-ruling prime minister in Japan's history.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: It appears that Japanese Prime Minister Abe is heading for another big political win .... Polls indicate Japanese PM Abe headed for easy victory (AP). If he does win, it will because of his strong stance against North Korea, and his unambiguous support of President Trump on this policy. There is also now speculation that he has a very good chance of winning a super-majority .... Win for Abe's LDP expected in Japan election, but will it achieve a 'supermajority'? (The Straits Times).

More News On Tomorrow's Elections In Japan

Japan Voters Poised to Give Abe Fresh Mandate -- Bloomberg
Japan election: Abe on track to win despite popularity drop -- ABC Online
Shinzo Abe lurches to the right with bid to rewrite post-war constitution ahead of election -- The Telegraph
Here's What You Need to Know About the Upcoming Election in Japan -- Yahoo News
Why 'unpopular' Japanese PM Abe is expected to win Sunday's polls -- FRANCE 24

Tens Of Thousands Continue To Flee Venezuela

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro poses for a picture with new elected governors after a news conference at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela October 17, 2017. The placard reads, "Popular victory, 54%, we are joy, we are majority". REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

L.A. Times: Driven by unrest and violence, Venezuelans are fleeing their country by the thousands

As Ana Linares ambled around Lima’s sprawling and historic Plaza San Martin, holding aloft a tray of pastries, her shouts pierced the rush hour traffic roar: “Donuts, fresh donuts!!” She earns about $15 a day — more than she made in a month in her native Venezuela.

“It’s enough to live on and even send a little cash back to my family in Barquisimeto,” Linares said between sales. She buys the pastries from a Venezuelan neighbor and hustles downtown to the plaza. “I don’t leave until I’ve sold them all.”

Linares arrived in Lima last May after enduring a six-day bus trip from central Venezuela, her 8-month-old son on her lap, to join her husband who came months before. Life in Venezuela had become intolerable, with millions struggling with hyperinflation, food shortages, lack of work and lawlessness.

“Everything there has turned ugly. There’s hunger and crime. You can’t leave your house after 5 p.m. because you’re going to be robbed or killed,” Linares said, adding that she now earns enough to afford three meals a day, an impossibility for many these days in Venezuela.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: In another sign on how insane the situation has become in Venezuela .... Venezuela Maduro warns of repeat elections in states won by opposition (Reuters).

Update: Here is a sweet explanation on how corrupt the election process has become in Venezuela, a country where 93 per cent of the people now say they can’t afford to buy enough food for their family .... Venezuela’s democracy is fake, but the government’s election win was real (Francisco Toro, Gulf News).

The Media And Political Push To Use Gold Star Families To Attack President Trump

John Kelly in the Oval Office. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

David Smith, The Guardian: Firefights and blowback: Trump’s week of military misadventures

The deaths of four US soldiers killed in Niger were at the centre of a political storm this week. The row, sparked by the president’s remarks, drew in bereaved families, Gen John Kelly, and military veterans

It was a crisp autumnal day in Washington: perfect for an impromptu press conference in the White House rose garden. Reporters hastily gathered to see Donald Trump and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell try to muster a united front. At first all was going swimmingly. Then, not entirely unsurprisingly, the US president tossed a verbal grenade that blew up the week.

Asked why he had not spoken personally about soldiers killed in an ambush in Niger 12 days previously – the deadliest combat incident of his presidency so far – Trump replied peevishly: “If you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls – a lot of them didn’t make calls.”

Former attorney general Eric Holder tweeted that it was time for Trump to “stop the damn lying”. Alyssa Mastromonaco, a deputy chief of staff in the Obama administration, went further, tweeting that Trump’s claim was “a fucking lie” and calling the president a “a deranged animal”.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: President Trump's assertion that most Presidents do not make calls is true, and for good reason as I outlined here .... Should A U.S. President Call A Grieving Family When A Loved One Has Been Killed In Action? (October 19, 2017). But the politicization of Gold Star families has been around for a long time .... Cindy Sheehan comes to my mind during the Bush administration. But using Gold Star families to make a political point definitely reached a new level during the Democrat convention last year when the Khan family used the death of their son to attack then candidate Trump .... resulting now in this very public war between Gold Star families who support President Trump .... and those who do not. So what's the end game? As much as the critics of President Trump would like to think that this very public fight will benefit them, I do not see that happening at all. On the contrary .... I sense that many are not happy that this media and political push to use Gold Star families to score political points has reached the level where it is now, and blaming this trend on President Trump is not convincing many .... myself included.

Hat tip to Fred for the above post.

President Trump To Release Classified JFK Assassination Documents

Washington Post: Trump plans to release JFK assassination documents despite concerns from federal agencies

President Trump announced Saturday morning that he planned to release the tens of thousands of never-before-seen documents left in the files related to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination held by the National Archives and Records Administration.

“Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened,” Trump tweeted early Saturday.

Kennedy assassination experts have been speculating for weeks about whether Trump would disclose the documents. The 1992 Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act required that the millions of pages — many of them contained in CIA and FBI documents — be published in 25 years, by Oct. 26. Over the years, the National Archives has released most of the documents, either in full or partially redacted.

Read more ....

More News On President Trump's Decision To Release Classified JFK Assassination Documents

Trump has no plan to block scheduled release of JFK records -- AP
Trump Says He Will Release Final Set of Documents on Kennedy Assassination -- New York Times
Trump to release JFK files, subject to 'further information' -- Reuters
Trump says he'll allow release of Kennedy assassination files -- AFP
Trump plans to release classified JFK documents -- CNN
Trump says he intends to allow release of classified files on Kennedy assassination -- Fox News
Trump says he will allow scheduled release of JFK files -- BBC News
Trump to allow release of classified JFK assassination files -- RT
Trump says he'll allow the release of more than 3000 classified JFK files — here's what you need to know -- Business Insider

World Health Organization Names Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe Goodwill Ambassador

CNN: WHO is under fire after naming Robert Mugabe a goodwill ambassador

(CNN)The World Health Organization is under fire after it selected Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador.

The public health agency announced the decision this week, saying the African leader will focus on noncommunicable diseases such as heart attacks and strokes on the continent.

Mugabe has long been criticized for corruption and abuse of power, and the decision to name him a goodwill ambassador for WHO stunned health experts and rights activists.

"The government of Robert Mugabe has brutalized human rights activists, crushed democracy dissidents, and turned the breadbasket of Africa -- and its health system -- into a basket case," said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, which monitors the performance of WHO, a UN agency that focuses on international public health.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Aside from the fact that he is a racist .... 'White farmers' killers should not be prosecuted,' Mugabe declares (News24) .... before Mugabe assumed power Zimbabwe was the bread-basket for this part of Africa .... no more now. High infant mortality rate. HIV and other diseases endemic. Hunger wide spread. And when Robert Mugabe needs medical treatment .... he gets it in Singapore .... Zimbabwe's Mugabe in Singapore for medical treatment- paper (Reuters). This is why this appointment (among many other reasons) is a travesty.

More News On The World Health Organization Naming Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe Goodwill Ambassador

Robert Mugabe's WHO appointment condemned as 'an insult' -- BBC
WHO criticized for naming Robert Mugabe as 'goodwill ambassador' -- DW
UK ‘disappointed’ as Robert Mugabe becomes WHO goodwill ambassador -- The Guardian
WHO cites Zimbabwe record as outrage grows over Mugabe honour -- AFP

Militants Slaughter Egyptian Security Forces 185 Miles South West Of Cairo. 59 Killed In Planned Ambush

Daily Mail/Reuters/AFP: More than 50 Egyptian police and conscripts are killed in deadly rocket and bomb ambush by Islamic militants near desert oasis

* Islamic terrorists ambushed security forces with rockets, bombs and guns
* The security forces were on the way to raid a suspected jihadi desert hide out
* Officials claimed the attack took place some 185 miles south west of Cairo
* The oasis is located in the Western Desert which is not known for jihadi violence

At least 52 Egyptian police and military have been killed with six wounded following an ambush by Islamic militants in the country's Western Desert.

The security forces were planning to raid a suspected jihadi hideout when the terrorists launched their attack using rockets, bombs and machine guns.

A number of the jihadis were also killed although officials have not released the number.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The survivors were executed. This was a massacre.

More News On Militants Slaughtering Egyptian Security Forces 185 Miles South West Of Cairo

Desert Ambush in Egypt on Security Convoy Kills at Least 59 -- New York Times
54 Egyptian police killed in ambush, say officials -- AP
Egypt police suffer scores of casualties in ambush -- Al Jazeera
Death toll from Egypt gun battle rises to 52 killed: sources -- Reuters
Militants kill Egyptian security forces in desert shoot-out -- BBC
Egypt: Hasm militants kill dozens of police after botched raid -- DW

Spain To Remove Catalan Leader And Impose Direct Rule

New York Times: Spain Will Remove Catalan Leader, Prime Minister Announces

MADRID — In a first for Spain, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced on Saturday that he would remove the separatist government of the independence-minded region of Catalonia and initiate a process of direct rule from Madrid.

The announcement, made after an emergency cabinet meeting, was an unexpectedly forceful attempt to stop a yearslong drive for secession in Catalonia, which staged a highly controversial independence referendum on Oct. 1, even after it was declared illegal by the Spanish government and courts.

Mr. Rajoy took the bold steps with broad support from Spain’s main political opposition, and will almost certainly receive the required approval next week from the Spanish Senate, where his own conservative party holds a majority.

But the moves were immediately condemned by Catalan leaders and thrust Spain into uncharted waters, as the prime minister tried to put down the gravest constitutional crisis his country has faced since embracing democracy after the death of its dictator Gen. Francisco Franco in 1975.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The shit has hit the fan. Support for Catalan independence has just been given another boost.

More News On Spain Imposing Direct Rule On Catalonia

Spain will sack Catalan government, call regional election -- Reuters
Catalonia independence: Spain pushes to remove leaders -- BBC News
Spanish PM seeks Senate backing to take over Catalonia govt -- AP
Spain takes dramatic step to assert control over Catalonia -- CBS News
Spain starts Article 155 process to curb Catalan autonomy -- DW
Catalonia: Spanish government to impose direct rule -- The Guardian
Catalonia: Spain's Mariano Rajoy says he will sack Catalan government, call regional elections -- ABC News Online
Catalonia crisis: Rajoy urges removal of region's leaders, new elections -- CNN
Spain to suspend Catalonia's leaders, call elections -- Al Jazeera
Spanish government moves to take control of Catalonia -- The Hill
Spanish PM: Powers of Catalan administration will be transferred to central government -- RT

Is John Kelly's Defense Of Gold Star Sanctity Like A 'Military Coup'

Masha Gessen, New Yorker: John Kelly and the Language of the Military Coup

Consider this nightmare scenario: a military coup. You don’t have to strain your imagination—all you have to do is watch Thursday’s White House press briefing, in which the chief of staff, John Kelly, defended President Trump’s phone call to a military widow, Myeshia Johnson. The press briefing could serve as a preview of what a military coup in this country would look like, for it was in the logic of such a coup that Kelly advanced his four arguments.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I read the 4 points that Masha Gessen outlines .... and I said to myself .... what does any of this have to do with a military coup? The answer is nothing. All that John Kelly talked about was the honor of the men and women in the military and the respect we should all have for their service, and why he was not happy with how this has all become politicized starting with the Gold Star parents Khizr and Ghazala Khan appearing on the last day of the Democrat convention last year. And as expected .... the press is now piling on using the Khan family as their shield to go after John Kelly, a Gold Star father .... Gold Star father Khizr Khan says Trump's chief of staff needs to stop 'mopping up' the President's mess (The Independent). More piling on John Kelly from here .... General John Kelly's Credibility Takes A Hit (MSNBC).

Should Special Counsel Robert Mueller Resign?

James Comey, left, and Barack Obama applaud outgoing FBI director Robert Mueller, right, June 21, 2013. Photo credit: NEWSCOM

FOX News: Mueller team criticized by fellow attorneys for history of questionable tactics

Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team running the Russia collusion probe are being accused by fellow attorneys of employing aggressive and questionable tactics in past cases, potentially putting a dent in his straight-shooter image.

As the investigation heats up and key players like former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and press secretary Sean Spicer are interviewed by investigators, several attorneys with experience in federal cases spoke out with their concerns this week.

Harvey Silverglate, a criminal defense attorney in Massachusetts, wrote an opinion piece accusing Mueller of once trying to entrap him when Mueller was acting U.S. attorney in Boston.

“I have known Mueller during key moments of his career as a federal prosecutor,” Silverglate wrote for WGBH News. “My experience has taught me to approach whatever he does in the Trump investigation with a requisite degree of skepticism or, at the very least, extreme caution.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is very damning .... Silverglate: How Robert Mueller Tried To Entrap Me (Harvey Silverglate, WGBH). On Thursday I had to visit my lawyer's office pertaining to a contract, we always talk politics and international law and I asked him as an attorney (he is licensed to practice law in both Quebec and New York state) what was his take on the Mueller Commission. His answer surprised me .... my lawyer is a hard-core liberal who despises Trump, but he told me that he and many of his fellow attorneys believe that Mueller should resign because he is hopelessly compromised by his relationships with Comey, the Clintons, and the Uranium One scandal. Wow .... he was the last person that I thought would ever say that. I could be wrong .... but people are getting impatient .... they want results, and they want it to be done professionally and without any taint of impropriety. But if professional lawyers are talking like this .... Special Counsel Mueller and his team are definitely not giving the impression that they are the right people for the job. As to what is my take .... I give the Mueller Commission 6 more months .... if they do not hand down indictments by then that lawyers can look at and say that they have a made a case .... and yes .... it pertains to the Russian collusion investigation .... this Special Counsel will be in trouble.

Iran Tells Visiting Hamas Delegation That Their Support Is Contingent On Them Continuing The Fight Against Israel

Leader’s Aide Velayati received Hamas’s Deputy Political Chief Saleh el-Arouri on Saturday in Tehran and restated Iran’s support for Palestinian people. Mehr News Agency

AFP/Times of Israel: Senior Hamas delegation arrives in Tehran for talks

Discussions said to focus on Palestinian unity deal, while Iran says support depends on continued fight against Israel.

A high-ranking Hamas delegation began a visit to Iran on Friday to inform its backers in Tehran about reconciliation efforts with rival Palestinian faction Fatah, an official from the terror group said.

The group led by deputy chief Salah al-Arouri will meet senior Iranian officials over the next several days, the representative said on condition of anonymity, after Israel insisted it will not recognize any unity Palestinian government unless Hamas cuts off ties with Tehran.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I can hear the sales pitch right now. We will continue to give you support, diplomatic recognition, money and weapons .... but the condition is that you must continue to wage war against Israel. And in turn we will help you to defeat Israel by putting enough pressure on them to make concessions that will place us in a more advantageous position to continue the fight against Israel.

More News On A Delegation From Hamas Visiting Iran

Senior Hamas Official in Iran for Official Talks -- Tasnim News (Iran).
Iran, main supporter of Palestinian cause: Hamas official -- Mehr News Agency (Iran)
Senior Hamas officials visit Iran to improve relations --
Hamas ignores Israel, sends delegation to Iran -- Arutz Sheva
Hamas delegation visits Iran -- Middle East Online

Do You Know Anybody In The Military?

Justin Fox, Bloomberg: Why You Don't Know Anybody in the Military

Getting rid of the draft has something to do with it, but not everything.

There were a lot of complicated things going on in White House Chief of Staff John Kelly's statement Thursday about the combat deaths of servicemen and women and how the nation (and his boss) responds to them. But along the way he made one very simple assertion:

Most of you, as Americans, don’t know them. Many of you don’t know anyone who knows any one of them.

That sounds ... about right. Active-duty military now make up just 0.4 percent of the U.S. population, down from 1.8 percent in 1968 and 8.7 percent in 1945. Military personnel also tend to come from certain parts of the country more than others. Here, from the Defense Department's most recent annual report on population representation in the military services, are the states with the most military recruits in fiscal year 2015 as a percentage of the population aged 18 through 24:

Read more ....

WNU Editor: In Russia ..... every male I know has served in the military. Living in Canada .... the GF's father served in the Canadian military, but aside from him .... and if it was not for this blog .... I would know no one. And this has been the biggest reward (for me) in doing this blog .... it has given me the opportunity to meet and know a lot of people who have served and who are serving. Words cannot adequately express how grateful I am that this has happened .... and I will admit .... it is something that I never expected.

The World’s Largest Defense Contractor Is Putting Its Money Into These New Technologies

Lockheed Martin's concept art reflects its belief in the potential for directed-energy weapons against unmanned systems. (Lockheed Martin)

C4ISRNet: Inside the ‘foundational’ future technologies of the world’s largest defense company

WASHINGTON ― Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest defense contractor, a company with more than $47 billion in revenue in 2016. But if the company intends to stay relevant, it needs to develop new capabilities ― and its top technology expert has identified the key pots of money in which he wants to invest.

Keoki Jackson, Lockheed’s chief technology officer, laid out to reporters the “foundational” technologies in which his firm will be investing over the next two to three decades when he spoke at an Oct. 11 roundtable.

The technologies fall into three broad categories, with the first being what Jackson called “strategic technology thread areas,” areas that “go across pretty much anything Lockheed Martin will do, all these domains whether from undersea to outer space.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: In short, Lockheed Martin is focusing on this .... autonomy, directed energy, signal processing and communications, sensor technology and exploitation, hypersonic systems, and advanced cybersecurity.

Video Of The Day

WNU Editor: The above video is from this link .... This Slo-Mo Video Of MH-60M Spec Ops Helicopters Refueling At Sunset Is Glorious (Video)

Tweets For Today

Russian President Putin Says Trusting The West Was A Big Mistake

Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks during a session of the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi, Russia October 19, 2017. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS

FOX News: Putin says trusting the West was biggest mistake, report says

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday reportedly said that the worst mistake he’s made in the last 15 years was in trusting the West.

Putin spoke with a Germany-based academic during a televised discussion in southern Russia. The academic asked about what mistakes Moscow may have made when dealing with the West, and Putin responded, “We trusted you too much. You interpreted our trust as weakness and you exploited that.”

Reuters reported that Putin appeared visibly angry at times when talking about post-Soviet leadership.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Russia has made many mistakes since the break-up of the Soviet Union .... trusting the West was not one of them. If there is a mistake .... it was the expectation among many Russians that life would be better once the Soviet Union was gone. Unfortunately .... and I lived in Russia during this period of time .... that did not happen. And when times got really tough, many expected the West to give a helping hand .... but that also did not happen. So why the harsh remarks from Putin on the past .... my guess is that it is the present that is bothering him the most, and he is telegraphing that he does not want to repeat the past. To defuse the situation he needs to have a summit with President Trump .... but President Trump has been completely neutered by Congress to work with Putin since the imposition of sanctions. Is this a healthy situation .... definitely not .... but that is the mindset of the U.S. Congress today.

More News On Russian President Putin's Remarks That Trusting The West Was A Big Mistake

Putin says excessive trust in Europe is Russia’s key mistake in past years -- TAS
Putin dials up anti-U.S. rhetoric, keeps mum on re-election -- Reuters
Putin Harangues West for Lack of Respect, Broken Trust -- Bloomberg
Putin Takes Aim at U.S., West; Threatens New Arms Race, U.S. Media In Russia -- RFE
Putin Slams US: "The Biggest Mistake Russia Ever Made Was To Trust You" -- Zero Hedge

Picture Of The Day

Artillery salute during the Indian Navy's INS Satpura's arrival in Vladivostok for the Indra 2017 Russia-India joint land, naval and air force exercise. October 19. © Sputnik/ Ildus Gilyazutdinov

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... This Week in Pictures: October 14-20 (Sputnik).

A Look At The Growing Role That Iranian Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani Is Playing In Iraq

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Qassem Soleimani (L) stands at the frontline during offensive operations against Islamic State militants in the town of Tal Ksaiba in Salahuddin province March 8, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

Reuters: Iranian commander issued stark warning to Iraqi Kurds over Kirkuk

SULAIMANIA/BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A senior Iranian military commander repeatedly warned Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq to withdraw from the oil city of Kirkuk or face an onslaught by Iraqi forces and allied Iranian-backed fighters, Kurdish officials briefed on the meetings said.

Major-General Qassem Soleimani, commander of foreign operations for Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, traveled to Iraq’s Kurdistan region to meet Kurdish leaders at least three times this month before the Baghdad government’s lightning campaign to recapture territory across the north.

The presence of Soleimani on the frontlines highlights Tehran’s heavy sway over policy in Iraq, and comes as Shi‘ite Iran seeks to win a proxy war in the Middle East with its regional rival and U.S. ally, Sunni Saudi Arabia.

Soleimani met leaders from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of the two main Kurdish political parties in northern Iraq, in the city of Sulaimania the day before Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered his forces to advance on Kirkuk, according to a PUK lawmaker briefed on the meeting.

His message was clear: withdraw or risk losing Tehran as a strategic ally.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: So much for those who hoped that two years ago the spirit of the Iranian nuclear deal would result in an era of cooperation and better understanding between Iran and the rest of the Middle East. From my vantage point .... and I hate to say it to those who still support that deal .... but the Iranians are working from an entirely different agenda.

More News On The Role That Iranian Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani Is Playing In Iraq

Iranian General Helped Iraqis Seize Kirkuk From U.S. Allies -- NBC
Iranian General Reportedly Played Key Role In Swift Takeover Of Iraq's Kirkuk -- RFE
CIA Director Confirms Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander Was In Kirkuk -- Daily Caller
Why is Iranian master terrorist Qassem Soleimani distributing photos of himself in Iraq? -- Michael Rubin, Washington Examiner

Friday, October 20, 2017

Iraqi Forces And Shiite Militias Have Seized Most Of Kirkuk From The Kurds

Reuters: Iraqi forces complete Kirkuk province takeover after clashes with Kurds

BAGHDAD/ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi forces on Friday took control of the last district in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk still in the hands of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters following a three-hour battle, security sources said.

The district of Altun Kupri, or Perde in Kurdish, lies on the road between the city of Kirkuk - which fell to Iraqi forces on Monday - and Erbil, capital of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq that voted in a referendum last month to secede from Iraq against Baghdad’s wishes.

A force made up of U.S-trained Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service units, Federal Police and Iranian-backed fighters known as Popular Mobilisation began their advance on Altun Kupri at 7:30 a.m. (0430 GMT), said an Iraqi military spokesman.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Iran's fingerprints are all over this new conflict .... Iran's Guards flex muscle in Middle East despite Trump warning (Reuters). More here .... Don't sacrifice our Kurdish allies to Iranian hegemony (Rebeccah L. Heinrichs, The Hill).

More News On The Growing Fight Between Iraqi Forces And Shiite Militias Against The Kurds

Iraq Kurds: Army claims full control of Kirkuk province -- BBC
Clashes as Iraq army takes last Kurd-held area of Kirkuk province -- AFP
Rising tensions escalate into combat between Iraqi and Kurdish forces, allies in the fight against Islamic State -- L.A. Times
Iraqi and Kurdish forces exchange fire over shared border as tensions rise -- The Telegraph
Iraqi forces clash with Kurdish fighters in town north of Kirkuk -- CNN
Iraqi forces clash with Kurds moving closer to regional capital Erbil (VIDEO) -- RT

The World's Tech Companies And The G7 Agree On Plan To Counter Jihadi-Islamist Content Online

DW: G7, Facebook, Google, Twitter agree on plan to counter Islamist terror

G7 countries and leading technology companies including Google, Facebook and Twitter have agreed to work together to combat online terror propaganda. The accord is aimed at blocking jihadi content online.

The Group of Seven (G7) countries and some of the world's biggest technology firms agreed on Friday on a plan to remove jihadi material from the web within two hours of being posted.

"These are the first steps towards a great alliance in the name of freedom," Italian Interior Minister and host Marco Minniti said after a two-day meeting on the Italian island of Ischia off Naples.

Security experts have been warning about the manner in which extremist groups around the world have been efficiently using the internet to radicalize, recruit and train new members.

Read more ....

Update #1: G7, tech giants agree on plan to block jihadist content online (AFP)
Update #2: Tech firms to remove extremist posts within hours (BBC)

WNU Editor: The goal is to spot and remove jihadist or extremist posts within two hours. I do not know how they are going to do it that fast .... considering how huge the web is and the limits on resources .... but at least that is the goal.

Was There A 'Massive Intelligence' Failure In Niger That Caused The Deats Of Four U.S. Special Forces Soldiers?

A US Army Special Forces weapons sergeant observes a Niger army soldier during marksmanship training as part of Exercise Flintlock 2017 in Diffa, Niger, February 28, 2017. US Army/Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Klutts

NBC: Niger Ambush Came After ‘Massive Intelligence Failure,’ Source Says

WASHINGTON — A senior congressional aide who has been briefed on the deaths of four U.S. servicemen in Niger says the ambush by militants stemmed in part from a "massive intelligence failure."

The Pentagon has said that 40 to 50 militants ambushed a 12-man U.S. force in Niger on Oct. 4, killing four and wounding two. The U.S. patrol was seen as routine and had been carried out nearly 30 times in the six months before the attack, the Pentagon has reported.

The aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly, said the House and Senate armed services committees have questions about the scope of the U.S. mission in Niger, and whether the Pentagon is properly supporting the troops on the ground there.

Read more ....

Update #1: Niger ambush that left 4 US soldiers dead related to 'massive intelligence failure': Report (Washington Examiner)
Update #2: Niger raid highlights US forces' growing Africa role (AFP)

WNU Editor: The region where these US Special Forces soldiers were killed has had its share of violence this year .... At least 46 attacks in area of Niger where U.S. troops killed: U.N. (Reuters). But when I think of how these soldiers were killed .... the huge force that was waiting for them .... how the ambush went down .... my gut is my telling me that these U.S. soldiers were sold out by an informer or someone who supports the militants. Not surprising, the Pentagon is also beginning to draw this conclusion .... The Pentagon is investigating whether US soldiers in Niger were lured into ambush (Business Insider).