Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Tweets For Today

Picture Of The Day

Ethiopians who fled the ongoing fighting in Tigray region, carry their belongings from a boat after crossing the Setit river on the Sudan-Ethiopia border in Hamdayet village in eastern Kassala state, Sudan, November 22, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah 

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... Thousands flee fighting in Ethiopia, cross border to Sudan (Reuters).

Recent U.S. Army Exercise In Romania Sends A Message To Russia That Their Bases In Crimea Are Within Range Of U.S. Rockets

Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment unload their HIMARS from 352nd Special Operations Wing's U.S. Air Force MC-130J Commando II as part of Exercise Rapid Falcon in Romania on Nov. 19, 2020. U.S. ARMY PHOTO BY SPC. RYAN BARNES 

The U.S. Army sneaked a pair of long-range rocket launchers near Russia’s Black Sea outpost on Thursday, fired off a few rockets then hurried the launchers back to the safety of their base in Germany. All within a few hours. 

The one-day mission by the Army’s new Europe-based artillery brigade was practice for high-tech warfare. It clearly also was a message for Moscow. The U.S. Army in Europe has restored its long-range firepower. And it wants the Russians to know. 

The Nov. 19 mission began at Ramstein air base in Germany. Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade loaded two wheeled High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, each with three crew, onto U.S. Air Force MC-130J transports. Read more .... 

WNU Editor: To send a message to the Kremlin the U.S. decides to fly to Romania (from Germany) a pair of U.S. long-range rocket launchers. They then fire a few rockets into the Black Sea, and after accomplishing that they then pack-up and fly back to Germany all within a few hours. 

I do not know what the Kremlin is thinking, but I would not be surprised if they were underwhelmed. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

U.S. Hypersonic Weapons Development -- News Roundup November 23, 2020

Artist's impression of hypersonic weapons. (Raytheon) 

This kind of technical focus seeks to build upon fast emerging progress in the area of autonomy. 

The Pentagon is looking to engineer self-guiding hypersonic weapons with emerging levels of autonomy to quickly adjust course in flight as needed, adapt to emerging targets, avoid defensive threats and accelerate the so-called “kill chain.”

Of course, humans would make the necessary command and control decisions when it comes to the use of lethal force, per existing Pentagon doctrine, yet enabling missiles traveling at hypersonic speeds to draw upon advanced sensors and guidance technology could, for instance, enable an attack to rapidly adjust to an enemy countermeasure, destroy an approaching interceptor or even alter its trajectory to avoid any impediments to attack. 

Read more .... 

 U.S. Hypersonic Weapons Development -- News Roundup November 23, 2020 

Joe Biden Nominates Former CIA Deputy Director Avril Haines To Be The Next Director Of National Intelligence


US News and World Report: Biden to Nominate Avril Haines for DNI 

A former Obama administration national security legal counsel and deputy adviser, Avril Haines becomes the first woman to oversee the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. 

PRESIDENT-ELECT Joe Biden on Monday announced he intends to nominate former CIA Deputy Director Avril Haines to become the next director of national intelligence, the first woman elevated to the position.

The announcement also confirmed prior reports Biden plans to nominate former top aide and close confidante Antony Blinken as secretary of state, career foreign service officer Linda Thomas-Greenfield as ambassador to the U.N. and Obama administration veteran Jake Sullivan as national security adviser. 

The moves come as Biden faces increased pressure both inside and outside his transition team to appoint candidates who will appease the more progressive elements of the Democratic Party while also ensuring they could receive confirmation from a Senate that may retain its Republican majority. 

Read more .... 

 More News On Joe Biden Nominating Former CIA Deputy Director Avril Haines To Be The Next Director Of National Intelligence 

Expect Side Effects From The Covid-19 Vaccine

A volunteer is injected with a vaccine as he participates in a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination study at the Research Centers of America, in Hollywood, Florida, September 24, 2020. Marco Bello, Reuters 

 * The CDC must be transparent about the side effects people may experience after getting their first shot of a coronavirus vaccine, doctors urged during a meeting Monday with CDC advisors. 
 * Dr. Sandra Fryhofer said that both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccines require two doses and she worries whether her patients will come back for a second dose because of potentially unpleasant side effects after the first shot. 
 * Both companies acknowledged that their vaccines could induce side effects that are similar to symptoms associated with mild Covid-19, such as muscle pain, chills and headache. 

Public health officials and drugmakers must be transparent about the side effects people may experience after getting their first shot of a coronavirus vaccine, doctors urged during a meeting Monday with CDC advisors as states prepare to distribute doses as early as next month. 

Dr. Sandra Fryhofer of the American Medical Association noted that both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccines require two doses at varying intervals. As a practicing physician, she said she worries whether her patients will come back for a second dose because of the potentially unpleasant side effects they may experience after the first shot. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: No one said this was going to be easy.

Why Has The U.S. Deployed B-52s To The Middle East?

A U.S. B52 plane (R) flies during Exercise Eager Lion at one of the Jordanian military bases in Zarqa, east of Amman, Jordan, May 24, 2016. (photo credit: MUHAMMAD HAMED / REUTERS) 

The shake-up and the deployment of the strategic heavy bombers, changes in Iraq, and in Afghanistan as well as question marks about the US role in Syria. 

American B-52s, the massive strategic bombers, arrived in the Middle East on Saturday. They are part of the Fifth Bomb Wing at Minot AFB in North Dakota. 

These veteran, giant aircraft were last deployed in the region in May 2019 and the US Central Command says they are here to “deter aggression and reassure US partners and allies.” 

The B-52s have been sent to the region as the US appears to be drawing down forces in Iraq. The Pentagon has said that hundreds of troops are leaving Iraq and Afghanistan. 

As the US seeks to end twenty years of involvement in Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Taliban officials this weekend, an interesting change of US policy from years ago, when the US was at war with them. But the US may soon be claiming to work with Taliban “moderates” against Afghan extremists, or hand Kabul back to the Taliban. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: This is all for show. To reassure allies and to warn adversaries.

Mozambique And Tanzania To Launch Joint Operations To Combat An Islamist Insurgency In Mozambique's Cabo Delgado Province

Reuters: Mozambique, Tanzania to launch joint operations against insurgents 

MAPUTO, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Mozambique and Tanzania are to launch joint operations to combat an Islamist insurgency under an agreement that will also see some 500 suspected insurgents extradited, Mozambique’s state-owned newspaper Noticias said on Monday. 

The three-year-old insurgency is concentrated in Mozambique’s northernmost province of Cabo Delgado, separated from Tanzania by the Rovuma River and home to gas developments worth $60 billion.

In October, however, it spilled across the border when some 300 insurgents attacked a Tanzanian village. 

Many of the insurgency’s recruits are also thought to come from Tanzania. 

Read more .... 

 More News On Mozambique And Tanzania Agreeing To Launch Joint Operations To Combat An Islamist Insurgency In Mozambique's Cabo Delgado Province 

US Secret Service Members Asked About Protecting Soon-To-Be-Former President Trump Full Time In Florida

President Donald Trump holds a 'Make America Great Again' cap while arriving to board Air Force One as he departs Florida for campaign travel to North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin at Miami International Airport in Miami, Nov. 2, 2020. Carlos Barria/Reuters 

Agents in Trump's detail have been asked about relocating to West Palm Beach. 

As states begin to certify election results that seal a victory for President-elect Joe Biden, even though Donald Trump hasn't conceded there is one clear sign his post-presidency life is taking shape: Secret Service agents in the president's detail are being asked whether they're interested in transferring to Palm Beach, Florida, sources have told ABC News. 

The Secret Service's Miami field office also has begun looking at physical reinforcements to Mar-a-Largo, the president's club to which he refers as "the winter White House," the sources added. These moves are considered unofficial as Trump has yet to concede to Biden. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: Palm Beach is a better (and nicer) place to stay than Washington D.C..

Ethiopia - Tigray War News Updates -- November 23, 2020


ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - Ethiopian federal forces were encircling the Tigray region’s capital from around 50 km (30 miles) on Monday, the government said, after giving the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) a 72-hour surrender ultimatum.

“The beginning of the end is within reach,” government spokesman Redwan Hussein said of the nearly three-week-old offensive that has destabilised Ethiopia and spilled into some Horn of Africa neighbours. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has told the TPLF, which had been ruling the mountainous northern zone of 5 million people, to lay down arms by Wednesday or face a final assault on Mekelle, a highland city of half a million people. TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael denied that Mekelle was surrounded and told Reuters the ultimatum threat was a cover for government forces to regroup after what he described as defeats on three fronts. Reuters could not verify the latest statements. 

Read more .... 

 Ethiopia - Tigray War News Updates -- November 23, 2020 

UK, France And Germany Want The Biden Administration To Lift Sanctions On Iran

The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany Dominic Raab, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Heiko Maasy. (@DominicRaab) 

Foreign ministers hope US will lift sanctions in effort to revive 2015 agreement with Tehran 

European foreign ministers from Germany, France and the UK have met to discuss a joint approach with the incoming Joe Biden administration on reviving the Iranian nuclear deal. 

The three nations, whose ministers met in Berlin, are hoping Tehran can reach an agreement under which the US would lift its crippling sanctions in return for Iran ending its non-compliance with the 2015 agreement constraining its nuclear activities. 

WNU Editor: There were many flaws in the original 2015 agreement with Tehran. From an inspection regime that was deeply flawed and inadequate, to omitting Iran's ballistic missile program from the agreement. There is also the time duration of the agreement .... ten years .... of which almost six years have already passed. And then there is the evidence of Iran's non-compliance of the agreement to begin with. And now these foreign ministers want to return to that arrangement?!?!?

The Biden-Harris Administration Want A Middle East Policy Overhaul

President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to re-engage with allies to tackle the challenges in the Middle East 

US President-elect Joe Biden has signaled his intention to re-engage with the global community to tackle the Mideast's greatest challenges. Experts say he will need to confront the risks posed by Russia, Iran and Turkey. 

Months before Joe Biden's electoral victory, his campaign team unveiled a new vision to restore US clout on the global stage. 

"The Biden foreign policy agenda will place the United States back at the head of the table, in a position to work with its allies and partners to mobilize collective action on global threats," the document said. 

But the plan's vague language and changing conditions on the ground have left political analysts wondering whether Biden will reiterate the policies of his presidential predecessor Barack Obama — or chart his own path. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: I love how the above commentator makes the claim that the incoming Biden administration hopes to reverse President Donald Trump's destabilizing foreign policy maneuvers in the Middle East.

Having three Arab countries sign peace deals with Israel, removing US military forces from the forever wars in Syria and Iraq, and putting Iran on notice that their efforts to sow mayhem in the Middle East will not go unchallenged is .... according to Noah Agily .... destabilizing. 

And how will the Biden-Harris administration address this "destabilization"? 

To get even more involved in the quagmire of Middle Eastern politics and conflict by dictating to countries like Russia, Syria, Turkey, and Iran to behave because the US is back. 

If this is Biden's approach to the Middle East, here is an easy prediction, it is not going to end well for everyone. 

It is no wonder that Israeli PM Netanyahu went to Saudi Arabia yesterday .... Netanyahu Made Secret Trip To Saudi Arabia, Met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman And US Secretary Of State Pompeo. Everyone in the Middle East knows where this policy shift is heading.

China Wants The World To Adopt A Passenger Tracking System For Global Travel

Beijing has faced widespread doubts and criticism over its use of artificial intelligence to monitor its citizens amid the coronavirus pandemic. Travellers are pictured on Sunday scanning a QR code that tracks their itinerary history at Beijing Capital International Airport
Daily Mail: China pushes for a worldwide COVID-19 QR code system to reopen global travel amid fears that the method could be used for 'political monitoring' 

 * Chinese President Xi proposed the 'global mechanism' during the G20 summit 
 * The system involves internally-accepted QR codes based on COVID-19 results 
 * Mr Xi urged other countries to join China's plan to open up cross-border travel 
 * Critics warn it could be used for 'broader political monitoring and exclusion' 

Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the world to set up and use a global QR code system to help establish travellers' health status and open up international travel amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

During the virtual G20 summit on Saturday, the Chinese leader called for a COVID-19 'global mechanism', which involves international recognition of health certificates in the form of QR codes to allow people travel freely, according to state media. 

But the system has been slammed by international human rights groups who warn that the codes could be used for 'broader political monitoring and exclusion'. 

WNU Editor: No! No! No! 

 More News On China Pushing For A Worldwide COVID-19 QR Code System

Michèle Flournoy Will Be Joe Biden's Nominee For U.S. Secretary Of Defense

© Provided by Washington Examiner 

Flournoy is expected to become the first woman secretary of defense. She’s ready. 

Not pictured in the famous photo of Obama administration officials watching the raid to kill Osama bin Laden, but standing just out of frame, was Michèle Flournoy. The Pentagon’s policy chief and third-highest civilian at the time, Flournoy played a pivotal but behind-the-scenes role to greenlight the operation. Yet her name is unknown to most outside the Washington foreign policy community. 

Flournoy may soon step out of obscurity and into the proverbial picture. That’s because President-elect Biden is expected to nominate her to be his secretary of defense. If confirmed, the 59-year-old would become the first woman ever to lead the Pentagon. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: I have lost count since the weekend on the number of puff pieces that I have been reading from the media on the soon to be nominated US Defense Secretary Michèle Flournoy. The above post from VOX is a typical one. I expect her nomination will be overwhelmingly approved by the US Senate.

Joe Biden Announces His National Security Team

Politico: Biden reveals national security team stacked with Obama veterans 

His picks for DHS secretary and director of national intelligence would become the first Latino and woman to serve in those roles, respectively. 

President-elect Joe Biden formally announced a slate of Cabinet nominations on Monday, stacking his incoming foreign policy and national security team with experienced public servants and veterans of former President Barack Obama’s administration. 

Biden’s selections include Alejandro Mayorkas as secretary of Homeland Security, Avril Haines as director of national intelligence and John Kerry as special presidential envoy for climate. 

The transition team’s announcement also confirmed reports from over the weekend that Biden had chosen Antony Blinken as secretary of State, Jake Sullivan as national security adviser and Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. 

Mayorkas, who was born in Cuba and moved to the United States when he was a year old, was the former deputy DHS secretary in the Obama administration. He is currently a partner at the law firm WilmerHale. 

More News On Joe Biden Announcing His National Security Team 

Prior To U.S. Admiral's Unannounced Visit To Taiwan There Were 5 US Spy Planes And Two Tankers Spotted South Of Taiwan

SCS Probing Initiatve Image 

7 US military aircraft spotted flying along southern edge of Taiwan's ADIZ 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Prior to the unannounced arrival of a U.S. Navy (USN) admiral on Sunday (Nov. 22), seven U.S. military aircraft were spotted flying just south of Taiwan. 

On Sunday evening, a C-37A Gulfstream V was spotted landing at Taiwan's Songshan Airport, reportedly carrying Rear Admiral Michael Studeman, who oversees regional military intelligence for the U.S. military’s Indo-Pacific Command. Prior to his arrival, five reconnaissance aircraft and two tankers were detected by aircraft spotters flying south of Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ). 

The Beijing-based South China Sea (SCS) Probing Initiative at 10:59 p.m. on Sunday posted a tweet claiming that prior to Studeman's arrival, five U.S. reconnaissance aircraft including one U.S. Air Force (USAF) Boeing RC-135, two USN Boeing P-8 Poseidons, one Northrup Grumman MQ-4C Triton, and one Bombardier Challenger 604, along with two aerial tankers flew just to the south of Taiwan. 

WNU Editor: This cannot be coincidence. Something is happening.

U.S. Navy Admiral Makes Unannounced Visit To Taiwan

A U.S. charter plane at Taipei Songshan Airport. CNA photo Nov. 22, 2020 

TAIPEI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A two-star Navy admiral overseeing U.S. military intelligence in the Asia-Pacific region has made an unannounced visit to Taiwan, two sources told Reuters on Sunday, in a high-level trip that could vex China. 

The sources, who include a Taiwanese official familiar with the situation, said the official was Rear Admiral Michael Studeman. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity. According to the Navy’s website, Studeman is director of the J2, which oversees intelligence, at the U.S. military’s Indo-Pacific Command. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: China is promising to respond .... China says it will respond to U.S. admiral visit to Taiwan (Reuters). More here .... China vows 'legitimate' response to US admiral's visit to Taiwan (The Hill) .

This US admiral is a senior intelligence officer. These senior officers do not make an unannounced visit unless they are carrying some serious news and intelligence.

 More News On Yesterday's Visit Of A US Admiral To Taiwan 

President Trump Is Making It Impossible For A Biden - Harris Administration To Restore Ties With China

Zero Hedge: White House Planning Unprecedented Trade Alliance To Retaliate Against China 

As Trump considers next steps in his ongoing crusade to challenge the election results, he appears increasingly set on unleashing a "scorched earth" policy in the already dismal relations China, if only to make any hope for a quick detente between Beijing and the pro-China Biden as difficult as possible. 

Overnight, Reuters reported that the Trump admin is close to issuing a list of 89 Chinese aerospace and other companies that would be unable to access U.S. technology exports due to their alleged links to the PLA. Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd., or Comac, and Aviation Industry Corp. of China Ltd. are among the firms named, Reuters reported, citing a draft copy of the list from the U.S. Commerce Department. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: Aside from Washington DC, there is no public support for better relations with China (see above graph). The pandemic. Intellectual theft. US jobs being outsourced to China. Beijing threating the US and its allies. Good luck to the Biden team if they think they can change this.

Joe Biden Will Name His Cabinet Tomorrow


 * Tony Blinken, 58, is currently Joe Biden's foreign policy adviser 
 * Blinken was the deputy Secretary of State under Barack Obama from 2015 
 * On Sunday night Bloomberg reported Blinken will be Biden's Secretary of State 
 * His appointment makes another longtime Biden aide with a foreign policy background, Jake Sullivan, the top candidate to be U.S. national security adviser 
 * Speculation is also mounting that Michele Flournoy will be Secretary of Defense 
 * Flournoy, 59, served in the Clinton White House as deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy, and was secretary of defense policy under Obama 
 * Linda Thomas-Greenfield, an expert on Africa, may well be UN ambassador 

Joe Biden is expected to nominate his close confidant Antony Blinken as Secretary of State and longtime Democrat Michele Flournoy as the first female Secretary of Defense, sources said Sunday. 

In nominating Blinken and Flournoy, Biden would be turning to familiar faces for his cabinet. 

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs from 2013-17, is being touted as his UN ambassador. Blinken, 58, is currently Biden's foreign policy adviser. He served as deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration and has close ties with Biden. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: We will know officially on who are Joe Biden's cabinet nominees tomorrow .... President-elect Joe Biden to announce Cabinet picks Tuesday (CNN). 

 More News On Joe Biden's Cabinet Picks 

Biden's team takes shape as Trump's hopes of overturning election fade -- Reuters

Shanghai Airport Closed Down When Thousands Are Forced To Be Tested For Covid-19


 * Hazmat suit-clad airport staff were filmed pushing against a massive crowd 
 * Were being forced into basement area inside Shanghai's international airport 
 * But, amid fears of mandatory 14-day quarantine, the group tried to escape 

An airport in China was plunged into chaos last night after a worker tested positive for Covid-19 prompting officials to order airport-wide testing, witnesses claim. 

Hazmat suit-clad staff were filmed herding a huge crowd into a basement area inside Shanghai Pudong International Airport in the country's financial hub. 

But, amid fears of mandatory 14-day quarantine, the group staged a mass bid for freedom. 

WNU Editor: The reaction among thousands wanting to get out when they learned that they were going to get tested is quite a sight to see.

 More News On Shanghai Airport Closed Down When Thousands Are Forced To Be Tested For Covid-19 

Beijing-Controlled English-Language Newspaper Paid US And Canadians Newspapers Millions To Publish Propaganda This Year

Daily Caller:
Beijing-Controlled News Outlet Paid US Newspapers Millions To Publish Propaganda This Year 

 An English-language newspaper controlled by the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda department paid U.S. media companies nearly $2 million for printing and advertising expenses over the past six months, even amid heightened scrutiny over Beijing’s disinformation efforts in the West. 

China Daily paid The Wall Street Journal more than $85,000 and the Los Angeles Times $340,000 for advertising campaigns between May and October 2020, according to a disclosure that the propaganda mill filed this week with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). 

China Daily also paid Foreign Policy magazine $100,000, The Financial Times, a U.K.-based newspaper, $223,710, and $132,046 to the Canadian outlet Globe & Mail for advertising campaigns, according to the filing. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: Its always about the money.

Is Ukraine Souring On President Volodymyr Zelenskiy?

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks at news briefing last month. Valentyn Ogirenko Pool via Reuters file 

“They feel his lack of experience and use it against him,” Oleksandr Danylyuk, Ukraine’s former national security chief, said. “I want Ukraine to be independent,” Mykola Mykytenko wrote on Instagram, hours before he set himself on fire in Kyiv’s central Maidan Square. 

The 49-year-old died Oct. 14, three days after his extreme protest in the heart of the country’s capital, where months of massive anti-government demonstrations took place at the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014. His daughter Yulia told reporters at a memorial event shortly after his death that he was protesting against Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. 

WNU Editor: Ukrainians are not tired of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. They are worried about their future, the economy, the pandemic, and the war in the east, and wished that all of this was over. Ukraine President Zelenskiy also has the advantage that his opponents are the same old crowd that everyone hates.

Netanyahu Made Secret Trip To Saudi Arabia, Met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman And US Secretary Of State Pompeo


 * Israeli PM and spy chief met crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, reports say 
 * Saudi Arabia denied the reports today but Netanyahu was more circumspect 
 * It would be the first known encounter between senior Israeli and Saudi officials 
 * Israel has already normalised relations with Bahrain and the UAE during 2020 

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Saudi Arabia for a secret meeting with its crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, Israeli media said today, but the Gulf kingdom denied the claims. 

Netanyahu and his spy chief Yossi Cohen met the prince on Sunday after flying to the city of Neom where Prince Mohammed had been holding talks with US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, reports claimed. 

If confirmed, it would mark the first known encounter between senior Israeli and Saudi officials and a major step towards the Jewish state's acceptance in the Arab world. 

WNU Editor: The Saudi foreign minister is denying such a meeting taking place .... Saudi Foreign Minister denies Crown Prince meeting with Israelis (Gulf News). 

 More News On Netanyahu Making A Secret Trip To Saudi Arabia To Meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman And US Secretary Of State Pompeo 

U.S. Navy Commits To A Massive Drone Program

U.S. Navy studies using drones for long-range ship cargo resupply. Credit: U.S. Navy

Kris Osbourne, National Interest: Why the U.S. Navy Is Going All in on Drone Ships 

A real ghost fleet could help the overall Navy reach the goal of 500 warships. 

Will the arriving Biden administration want a 500 ship Navy? Maybe. Perhaps if you include drones. 

Recently departed Defense Secretary Mark Esper outlined the clear goal to reach 500 in his recently discussed Battle Force 2045 report. “This new force-level goal calls for achieving a fleet of more than 500 manned and unmanned ships by 2045, including 355 manned ships prior to 2035,” Esper told reporters, according to a Pentagon transcript. 

Will Biden’s Pentagon embrace this 500-ship approach? If the Obama administration is any guide, the answer may likely be no, meaning Biden may well adopt his previous administration’s position that technological superiority was a far more pressing and impactful emphasis than purely increasing ship numbers. 

Read more .... 

 More News On The U.S. Navy Drone Program 

Israeli Tank Turns Upside Down While Boarding Transport Truck (Video)

Sputnik: Israeli Tank Turns Upside Down While Boarding Transport Truck 

A video of the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) Merkava tank flipping over during a routine drill emerged on social media on Sunday, garnering swift attention. The Israeli army was informed of the accident, and later stated that no one suffered injury. 

As can be seen in the video, the IDF tank was slowly driving onto a transport truck during a military drill in the Jordan Valley, when suddenly, while boarding it began to accelerate and then flew over the side of the vehicle, next landing upside down, presumably activating the tank's fire suppression system. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: Ouch!!!

Tweets Of The Day

Should U.S. Intelligence Agencies Make Detecting And Responding To Future Pandemics A Greater Priority?

President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence during a March press briefing with members of the Coronavirus Task Force at the White House. PHOTO: YURI GRIPAS/REUTERS 

After years of underplaying soft threats like disease and climate change, national-security establishment faces calls for a new approach 

WASHINGTON—U.S. intelligence agencies have long failed to make detecting global pandemics a priority, current and former U.S. officials say, posing a challenge for the incoming Biden administration, which has pledged to step up the government’s ability to prepare for biological dangers. 

In the wake of a global pandemic that has killed more than 250,000 Americans, there is growing support among President-elect Joe Biden’s advisers for broadening the definition of national security within spy and defense agencies and upgrading their ability to detect, analyze and respond to pandemics. 

 “We are looking at whether our intelligence resources are appropriately focused on something that’s very important,” said a senior foreign-policy adviser to Mr. Biden. 

Congress, which is likely to hold hearings next year on the U.S. response to the pandemic, is also taking a closer look at the intelligence agencies’ role. 

A House Intelligence Committee report in September found that U.S. spy agencies pay insufficient attention to so-called soft national-security threats, such as infectious diseases and climate change. It recommended a review of the $85 billion intelligence budget and said the Central Intelligence Agency and other spy agencies should increase support to U.S. public-health agencies. 

On paper, the intelligence community has acknowledged that infectious diseases present a significant threat. A report in 2000 by the National Intelligence Council said that new and re-emerging diseases could endanger U.S. forces deployed overseas and pose a risk for the American population. 

WNU Editor: Lies and deceit from China in the beginning on the severity of the Covid-19 coronavirus, thereby delaying a response by six to eight weeks. The slow and incomprehensible response from WHO on the dangers of this disease at the beginning of this outbreak. 1.4 million people dead and counting. Economic costs running in the trillions. Instability on a global scale. No arguments from me. Pandemics are a security threat. Unfortunately, I think this crisis will be used to prioritize the intelligence agencies to focus more on climate change and other issues that are important to the incoming Biden administration, rather than on pandemics

Picture Of The Day

People take selfies in snowy Red Square in Moscow. © SPUTNIK / ILIYA PITALEV 

WNU Editor: Darn! I feel homesick when I see pictures like this one. The first snowfall in Moscow is always magical. The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... PHOTO New Year's Coming: Views of Snow Covered Moscow (Sputnik).

Growing Chorus Of Democrats Call For Prosecuting President Trump When He Leaves Office

The Hill: Biden faces politically thorny decision on Trump prosecutions 

One of the biggest tests awaiting President-elect Joe Biden after he takes office is how his Justice Department will handle calls from some Democrats to investigate and prosecute President Trump. 

Trump will lose expansive legal protections after Jan. 20, and the new administration will have to decide whether to follow up on congressional and local law enforcement investigations or try to turn the page on the Trump era and avoid the political risks that could come with such an unprecedented court case. 

No former president has ever been charged with a crime after leaving office, but Trump is already the subject of a number of probes. In New York, the state attorney general and the Manhattan district attorney are conducting fraud investigations into his past business practices. 

WNU Editor: Prosecute him for what? After four years where we saw a special prosecutor, multiple investigations, etc. .... they still have nothing. But if they choose to go down this path. You can take this to the bank. The U.S. will be even more fractured than what it is today. 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

A Republican Explains Why The Democrats Are Well Positioned To Win Two U.S. Senate Seats In Georgia This January, And Control Of The U.S. Senate In 2021

Matt Towery, Real Clear Politics: A Realistic Primer on Georgia’s Senate Runoffs 

In the classic movie “The Godfather,” Michael Corleone travels to a small restaurant in the Bronx to meet with a rival Mafia boss. At the table the boss tells a corrupt policeman who is there to serve as a third-party witness that he is going to “speak to Michael in Italian.” In the movie they switch languages to keep the policeman in the dark. 

So I’m going to speak “Georgian,” not to keep anyone out, but to hopefully add context to two situations that the media has been conflating. 

First the recount. Despite assertions by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and in the local media, the effort has been disingenuous. There was a failure to properly authenticate ballots. Finding thousands of uncounted ballots in the process doesn’t help create confidence in what Georgia officials claim to be a smooth process. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: US stock markets, investors and bankers, corporations large and small, pundits and the media .... everyone is expecting a Republican senate sweep in Georgia's run-off election in January thereby guaranteeing Republican control of the US senate, divided government, and a stop to Democrat progressives and their agenda. 

But what happens if everyone is wrong? 

What happens if the Democrats do win these two Senate seats and thereby control of the Senate? 

Matt Towery just made the case in the above post on why this may happen. And yes .... it will be due to mail-in ballots.

Can President Trump Succeed In His Efforts To Overturn The Election Outcome?

Anthony Zurcher, BBC: US election results: Can Trump overturn the outcome? 

Almost two weeks after Joe Biden was projected as the winner of the US presidential election, Donald Trump is still refusing to concede. Does he have a plan to overturn the outcome? 

The president's legal strategy to challenge the election results seems to be falling on deaf ears in courtrooms across the country. Trump's team has yet to notch a meaningful victory, or present evidence of widespread voter fraud, after filing dozens of lawsuits. 

His top lawyer, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, said on Thursday that the campaign was dropping its legal challenges in Michigan, which Biden won by more than 160,000 votes. 

In Georgia, the state has certified its election tabulations, which give Biden just over a 12,000 vote lead after the state conducted a hand recount of nearly 5 million ballots. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: President Trump's legal options are becoming more and more limited. And the probability of his legal team being successful in throwing out the votes from Philadelphia, Pittsburg, and Atlanta (to name a few) are now almost zero even though (IMHO) the results from these cities are suspicious. 

So why do I believe President Trump will ultimately fail in his efforts. 

My gut tells me that the Democrats were very successful in the harvesting of mail-in ballots. They have successfully done this before and it was predicted by some Republicans before the 2020 election that it was going to be done again but on the Presidential level and in certain key swing states .... Ballot harvesting -- California's model to steal 2020 (Jason Chaffetz, FOX News). 

It looks like these warnings were right. 

Mail-in ballots in certain conditions can be very difficult to verify, and with the lack and/or absence of Republican scrutineers in places like Philadelphia to examine these ballots, a temptation for abuse. 

Did this type of abuse occur? 

All that I know is that when these mail-in ballots were counted on Thursday morning, I personally noticed and observed the following. In Pennsylvania for every Trump vote there was 12 for Biden, and in Georgia for every Trump vote there were 8 for Biden. 

Some are saying that this discrepancy is because Democrats pushed their supporters to vote by mail and Republicans pushed their supporters to vote on election day. 

However the data does not support this position. In most states the mail-in ballots count closely mirrored what people voted on election day. And in the case of New York State. Mail-in ballots actually helped Republican candidates. 

But there were 6 big exceptions to this voting pattern. And the exceptions were the states of Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. 

But because there are exceptions does not mean that there was fraud. 

And unfortunately for the Trump campaign .... because many of these ballots were not scrutinized and verified before they were counted, it is now too late. 

So what is next? 

You can count and recount these ballots, but it is not going to change anything. It will only show that in certain counties people voted in numbers that have never been seen before, and they mostly voted for Biden (81% in Philadelphia county). . 

I am sure President Trump knows that, and knows that his options are limited. I also think he figured all of this out two weeks ago.

I expect President Trump will make an announcement in the coming weeks or in the New Year that for the good of the country he will leave the White House under protest and with the firm belief that Biden won the election through mail-in ballot fraud. 

He will not attend the inauguration. 

As or me. Two weeks ago I promised that I was going to examine the statistical differences (if any) between the 2020 Presidential campaign and the 2016 campaign, and to pinpoint the counties where the vote tallies do not make any sense. 

It has been a challenge, and my focus is now on these six states .... Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. 

I am still waiting for certain results to be made public (i.e. how many votes came from mail-in ballots). When this is made public .... which I expect will be soon .... I will post my conclusions. 

I think this type of analysis is important because this was an incredibly close Presidential election. If only 25,000 votes had switched from Biden to Trump in Georgia, Arizona, and Wisconsin, President Trump would have been re-elected .... If 25,000 Votes Had Switched From Biden To Trump In Arizona, Georgia, And Wisconsin, President Trump Will Be On The Verge Of Being Re-Elected (November 10, 2020).

How Can Covid-19 Lockdowns Work To Stop The Spread Of The Coronavirus If Open Borders Are Permitted?

Monica Showalter, American Thinker: It begins: The Biden border surge, and too bad about the COVID lockdowns

Migrants, and more important, the people who traffic and profit from migrants, are like the stock market: They're forward-looking. They make decisions now based on what they see coming down the pike. 

So surprise, surprise, the media's crowning of Joe Biden president, along with many world leaders congratulating him and conducting their affairs of state with him, even as legal challenges are going on, has sent a message to Central America's gangs and Mexico's cartels, who control migrant smuggling routes to the U.S. It's time to profit. It's time to go. A new border surge has begun, in anticipation of a Biden open-borders presidency, which comes just as Democrat-run states and Biden himself are prescribing new COVID lockdowns. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: My friends and readers in the Americas are all telling me that the pandemic and the economic disaster that it has brought is making everyone dream of fleeing to the US and Canada. Elections have consequences, and I do not think most Americans really appreciate the flood of humanity that is going to show up at its borders in 2021 and beyond.