Thursday, October 21, 2021

In Defense Of Funding Our Defense

Thought For Today

WNU editor: This is what lack of leadership looks like.

Tweets Of The Day

Picture Of The Day

A new submarine-launched ballistic missile is seen during a test in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency on October 19, 2021. KCNA via REUTERS 

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... In pictures: North Korea's missiles (Reuters).

NATO Defense Ministers Agree To A Master Plan To Deter Russia

Flags of Alliance members flap in the wind outside NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)  

Reuters: NATO to agree master plan to deter growing Russian threat, diplomats say 

BRUSSELS -- NATO defense ministers are set to agree a new master plan on Thursday to defend against any potential Russian attack on multiple fronts, reasserting a bid to deter Moscow despite the alliance's new focus on China, diplomats and officials said. 

The strategy, which is confidential, goes beyond existing regional defense plans and aims to prepare for any simultaneous attack in the Baltic and Black Sea regions, possibly including nuclear weapons, hacking of computer networks or from space. 

Officials and diplomats say no such attack is imminent. Russia denies any war-like intentions and says it is NATO that risks destabilizing Europe with such preparations. 

But U.S. officials, NATO diplomats and former officials say the "Concept for Deterrence and Defence in the Euro-Atlantic Area" - and its strategic implementation plan - is needed as Russia develops advanced weapon systems and deploys troops and equipment closer to allied borders.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: NATO is looking for a mission.

Little Is Known About Mossad's New Boss

David Barnea Spy Talk: Mossad’s New Boss is a Gadget-Loving Killing Machine  

David Barnea warned Iran the “long arm of Mossad” isn’t finished with it.  

David Barnea is going to walk softly and carry a big stick—or so he’s been saying to Mossad’s workforce and alumni. 

The new head of Israel’s storied foreign intelligence agency recently sent a stern directive to its former senior intelligence officials: Keep your mouths shut until I say you can open them. 

According to Yossi Melman, a veteran intelligence reporter for the independent Israeli daily Haaretz, Barnea warned former senior Mossad officials that he would punish anyone who speaks to the media, either on or off the record, about current or past Israeli spy operations without his prior permission. 

“Which he probably won’t grant,” Melman told SpyTalk.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: There is very little information on Mossad chief David Barnea. He has been at the job for five months, and he is still a mystery.

Lebanon Braces For More Violence

 

 Startfor: After a Bloody Day in Beirut, Lebanon Braces for More Violence 

In the Lebanese capital of Beirut, a deadly gun battle between militias has raised the risk of future violence. On Oct. 14, unidentified assailants opened fire on Hezbollah and allied al Amal protesters who were marching to Lebanon's Palace of Justice to demand the removal of the judge investigating the August 2020 Beirut port explosion. The shooting reportedly started when the mostly Muslim demonstrators marched through a largely Christian neighborhood in the Lebanese capital, leaving at least six people dead, including members of al Amal and Hezbollah. The attack then triggered hours of intense sectarian clashes in downtown Beirut, marking the worst day of sectarian violence in the city in more than a decade. The military eventually moved in to make arrests and secure the area. But while it appears this latest round of violence has ended, there are a number of possible triggers that could easily incite the next flare-up.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Violence accelerates Lebanon’s descent into state failure (Financial Times)  

Update #2: Lebanon quickly sinking in more ways than one (Gwynne Dyer, Bangkok Post)  

WNU Editor: The last thing that Lebanon needs right now is another civil war. But Lebanon is almost a failed state, and like all failed states, they always descend into some form of conflict.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

How Much Does China Spend On Its Military?

Alex Hollings, Sandboxx: How does China’s defense spending really stack up against the US? 

The Chinese military’s rapid expansion and modernization efforts in recent years are certainly expensive, but somehow, China claims to devote less than a third of America’s defense budget to their own military endeavors. 

In 2020, China’s Defense budget was a claimed 1.268 trillion yuan, or about $196 billion. America’s, on the other hand, was a hearty $778 billion. 

Despite this significant disparity in spending, over the past two decades or so, China has managed to field the largest naval force on the high seas, maintain the largest standing army on the planet, close the gap in stealth aircraft technology, and field hypersonic weapons America has yet to match.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: A good review on China's real military spending. 

The U.S. also omits certain funding from its defense budget. The US intelligence community has its own budget. Department of Energy handles nuclear programs. Etc..

Facebook Admits It Doesn't Ban Information That Helps Illegal Immigration And Smuggling

 

Daily Mail: Facebook admits users can share information on illegal immigration and being smuggled: Arizona Attorney General calls for investigation into tech giant for 'facilitating human and sex trafficking' 

* Facebook admitted allowing such content in a response to AZ's Mark Brnovich 

* Brnovich wrote to Facebook following a report into advertisements of trafficking 

* Facebook said it does not allow adverts, but it does allow information about how to enter illegally or request information about how to be smuggled 

* Brnovich passed the response on to Merrick Garland, calling for federal action 

Facebook has admitted that it allows users to share information about how to enter countries illegally, along with how to be smuggled, on its social media platforms.

In a letter responding to the Arizona Attorney General, the company said that while offers to provide or facilitate people smuggling are banned on the platform, Facebook does allow information to be shared freely between users about how to enter the US illegally, and request information about people smuggling.   

Read more .... 

 Update #1: Facebook says users can share advice on immigrant smuggling -- Washington Times  

Update #2: Facebook Admits It Doesn't Ban Info Facilitating Illegal Immigration, Smuggling -- Sputnik  

WNU Editor: I am willing to bet that Facebook also does not prohibit information that helps illegal immigration and smuggling in Africa/Europe/and else where.

US President Biden Says He's Concerned About Recent Chinese Hypersonic Missile

President Biden said that he is concerned about the China's reported test of a hypersonic missile. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst 

NYPost: Biden concerned over China missile, after Psaki welcomed ‘competition’ 

President Biden said Wednesday that he’s concerned about a possible Chinese hypersonic missile test — after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki turned heads saying the US was “concerned” but that “we welcome stiff competition.” 

Biden was asked under the wing of Air Force One if he was concerned about the rocket that reportedly circled the globe before narrowly missing its target, which would be a big advance for China’s nuclear weapon capabilities. 

“Yes,” Biden said, according to a pool report, as he headed to Scranton, Pa., to deliver a speech on his stalled social spending legislation.  

Read more ....  

Update: Biden says he's concerned about Chinese hypersonic missiles (Reuters)  

WNU Editor: So much for welcoming the competition (see below):