Monday, January 31, 2022

Pentagon Press Secretary Denies The U.S. Military Is Becoming 'Woke'

FOX News: Pentagon spox John Kirby dismisses concerns about 'wokeness' in the military: 'ridiculous'  

Kirby called the concerns a 'straw man' argument 

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby dismissed concerns about "wokeness" in the U.S. military as "ridiculous" on Sunday when Fox News' Dana Perino pressed him on it. 

Perino noted "some criticism in the U.S. military that perhaps there's too much of a left-ward tilt or a wokeness in our military when we face really determined adversaries, committed adversaries in China, Russia, Iran, who maybe don't have those same kind of pressures." 

"How do you respond to those criticisms?" she asked.  

Read more .... 

Pentagon Press Secretary Denies The U.S. Military Is Becoming 'Woke' 

Pentagon spokesman hits back at claims of ‘wokeness’ in US military -- The Independent  

John Kirby Calls Criticisms Of ‘Wokeness’ In US Military ‘Ridiculous,’ Sen. Cotton Disagrees -- Daily Caller  

‘Ridiculous’: Pentagon Spox John Kirby Bristles at Question From Fox’s Dana Perino About ‘Wokeness in the Military’ -- Mediaite  

Pentagon Spox Kirby: Claims About Wokeness in the Military ‘Ridiculous’ -- Breitbart

US Seeks Talks With North Korea After Latest Missile Launch


The Hill: US pushes for talks with North Korea after latest missile launch 

The U.S. is pushing for talks with North Korea after its latest ballistic missile test on Sunday, which was reportedly its longest such test since 2017. 

A senior administration official on Sunday said the U.S. is still committed to pursuing a diplomatic path forward with North Korea, despite describing the recent spate of missile tests as destabilizing, a threat to U.S. and allied forces in the region and a violation of resolutions from the United Nations Security Council, according to Bloomberg. 

The official said the U.S. has still not heard from Pyongyang regarding a proposal to begin discussions.  

Read more .... 

US Seeks Talks With North Korea After Latest Missile Launch  

US urges North Korea to join direct talks after latest missile test by Pyongyang -- The Guardian  

Biden admin condemns North Korea missile launch, seeks 'serious and sustained diplomacy' with DPRK -- FOX News  

White House still eager for talks with North Korea, but sees missile tests as destabilizing -- CNN 

U.S. worried North Korea could return to nuclear and ICBM tests, urges dialogue -- Reuters  

US Seeks Direct Discussions With North Korea After Most Powerful Ballistic Missile Test In Years -- Zero Hedge

Will The Kremlin Order The Cutting Of Undersea Internet Cables If The Ukraine Crisis Worsens?

More than 97 per cent of the world's communications are transmitted through sub sea optical fibre cables surrounded by armouring wire and a Polyethylene cover  

Atlantic Council: Cord-cutting, Russian style: Could the Kremlin sever global internet cables? 

As the world watches the Kremlin’s military build-up along the Ukrainian border, the Irish military is worried about Russian naval activity in its own backyard. That’s where Russian exercises are set to take place dangerously close to strategic undersea communications cables that represent an overlooked element of a potential Russian escalation: an effort to blind the world to events unfolding in Ukraine. 

Armed with a sophisticated set of cyber capabilities, the Russian government has long relied—even compared to a cyber power like China—on destructive attacks that degrade or destroy systems, such as the one that shut off power grids in Ukraine in 2015. Not to mention the large network of actors, from state agencies to front companies to recruited cybercriminals, who conduct a range of cyber and information operations against the Putin regime’s enemies. But Russia’s weaponization of tech isn’t just about code and keyboards: If attackers can damage, destroy, or merely cut power to physical internet infrastructure, such as undersea cables, they can disrupt internet communications in a target area to cause public panic and unrest, undermine economic activity, and disrupt the flow of government and citizen communications.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Talk of Russia cutting undersea cables has been making the news rounds for the past month .... Undersea Cable Connecting Norway With Arctic Satellite Station Has Been Mysteriously Severed (January 11, 2022).

George Soros Says China's Economic Crisis And Covid May Topple President Xi


Bloomberg: Soros Says China’s Real Estate Crisis, Omicron Threaten Xi’s Rule 

(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire philanthropist George Soros said China’s Xi Jinping may fail to extend his rule of the country later this year in contrast to what most observers expect. 

“Given the strong opposition within the Communist Party, Xi Jinping’s carefully choreographed elevation to the level of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping may never occur,” Soros, 91, said in remarks prepared for delivery Monday at an event sponsored by the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. 

Soros, speaking days before the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, cited Xi’s enemies within the party, a real estate crisis, ineffective vaccines and a falling birthrate as factors working against him.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: George Soros warns China is facing an economic crisis (CNN) 

Update #2: George Soros says Xi could be toppled (Financial Review)  

WNU Editor: I do not see President Xi being toppled anytime soon.

President Biden Names Qatar As A Major Non-NATO Ally As A European Energy Crisis Looms


Politico: Biden to designate Qatar a ‘major non-NATO ally’ 

The announcement comes amid discussions on a European energy contingency plan should Russian troops invade Ukraine. 

President Joe Biden said on Monday that he intended to designate Qatar as a “major non-NATO ally,” during a meeting with the country’s head of state, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, at the White House. 

“I am notifying Congress that I will designate Qatar as a major non-NATO ally to reflect the importance of our relationship," Biden said. 

"I think it’s long overdue.” Bahrain and Kuwait are the only other non-NATO allies in the Gulf.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Another episode of the press being chased out of the room .... Biden GRIMACES as staffers rush shouting press out of the Oval Office after telling Qatar's emir he will become a major non-NATO ally in bid to defend European gas supplies (Daily Mail). 

President Biden Names Qatar As A Major Non-NATO Ally  

Biden names Qatar major non-NATO ally as energy crisis looms -- AP 

Biden tells emir he will make Qatar major non-NATO ally -- Reuters  

Biden receives emir of Qatar, strengthens alliance amid fears Russia will close gas spigot to Europe -- FOX News  

Biden says he will designate Qatar as major non-NATO ally -- The Hill

Russia, US Exchange Harsh Words Over Ukraine At UN Security Council Meeting


Daily Mail: Biden's Ambassador to UN claims Russia's military buildup shows 'intentions to' attack Ukraine and warns Monday's Security Council meeting is last chance to find 'diplomatic way out for the Russians' 

* U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Russia wouldn't have amassed 100,000 troop at the Ukraine border if they did not intend to use them 

* Also said Monday's Security Council meeting is last chance to find 'diplomatic way out for the Russians' 

* Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Sunday NATO is trying to 'drag' Ukraine into the alliance 

* Lavrov also claims that Russia wants a 'good, equal, mutually respectful' relationship with the U.S. 

* Comes after Biden said he would unilaterally deploy troops to Eastern Europe if NATO does not back the decision 

* A fourth shipment of millions in. American military aid landed in Ukraine Friday 

The top U.S. official for the United Nations said Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin's build-up of troops at the border with Ukraine proves he has 'intentions to use them'. 

President Joe Biden's Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield also told ABC's This Week program that Monday's U.N. Security Council meeting could be the last chance to find diplomatic avenues for Russia as the world waits to see if they will invade Ukraine.  

Read more .... 

 Russia, US Exchange Harsh Words Over Ukraine At UN Security Council Meeting  

Russia, US exchange harsh words over Ukraine at UN -- AP 

Russia and US square off at UN Security Council over Ukraine crisis -- France 24  

Russia, U.S. clash at U.N. over Russian troop build-up near Ukraine -- Reuters 

UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine crisis ends in standoff between US and Russia -- CNN  

Russia, US face off over Ukraine at UN Security Council -- DW  

U.S. and Russia clash over Ukraine at UN Security Council -- Axios  

Moscow warns Ukraine may ‘destroy itself’ as Russia and US clash at UN -- The Guardian  

Kremlin accuses US of stoking 'hysteria' over Ukraine, as UN Security Council meets -- CNN

Japanese F-15 Fighter Jet Goes Missing After Takeoff

Photo shows F-15 fighters at the Air Self-Defense Force base in Komatsu, Ishikawa Prefecture, in 2011. (Kyodo) 

 Kyodo News: Japan F-15 fighter apparently crashes into Sea of Japan 

An Air Self-Defense Force F-15 fighter jet apparently crashed into the Sea of Japan on Monday shortly after taking off from Komatsu Air Base in Ishikawa Prefecture, central Japan, the ASDF said. 

Part of the fighter, which went missing while on its way for training with a crew of two aboard, and lifesaving equipment were found on the sea surface about 5 kilometers west-northwest of the base, the ASDF said. 

If confirmed, it will be the first time an ASDF plane has crashed in Japan since April 2019 when an F-35A stealth fighter belonging to Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture, northeastern Japan, went down in the Pacific.  

Read more .... 

Japanese F-15 Fighter Jet Goes Missing And Presumed Crashed In The Sea Of Japan  

Search After This Fighter Jet Disappears From Radar -- AFP  

F-15 fighter apparently crashes into Sea of Japan -- Japan today  

Search underway for missing ASDF F15 fighter -- NHK

Japanese F-15 Fighter Jet Goes Missing After Takeoff -- Sputnik

Is The U.S. Military Ready To Handle Multiple Crisis?

Defense News: US military readies to ‘walk and chew gum’ as multiple crises loom 

WASHINGTON — As roughly 100,000 Russian troops amass around Ukraine, a series of emerging crises around the world — the Middle East, China, North Korea — are demanding the full attention of NATO, and particularly its most powerful member, the United States. 

Now, there’s a growing sense among national security experts that the crisis in Ukraine is just one of many conflicts on the precipice, putting pressure on the alliance and its member countries to address this threat and at the same time brace for the next one. 

Indeed, China this week flew 39 warplanes toward Taiwan. And consider the United Arab Emirates reported this week it had intercepted multiple ballistic missiles aimed at Abu Dhabi. 

Julianne Smith, the U.S. ambassador to NATO, described the ongoing dispute between Russia and Ukraine as a “microcosm” of the types of threats Western analysts were expecting all along. “All of this is becoming very real,” she said this week at a panel in Brussels sponsored by the German Marshall Fund of the United States.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I am sure the US military is ready. The question that should be asked is America's political leaders and it's allies are ready to work together to handle these multiple crisis.

Is The Kremlin And The Russian Military Masters At ‘Decision-Centric' Warfare?

Tanks during an exercise in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod Region, March 2021. © Alexey Kudenko/Sputnik  

Defense One: Russia Is Teaching a Master Class in ‘Decision-Centric' Warfare  

Pentagon leaders should take notes. 

America may be back, but its geopolitical antagonists are not putting out the welcome mat. During the last year, Chinese warplanes regularly darkened the skies over Taiwan, North Korea restarted ballistic and hypersonic missile testing, and Iran intensified drone attacks around the Middle East. The approach of “integrated deterrence” planned by Pentagon officials for their upcoming defense strategy does not seem to be resonating with its target audience. 

Although provocations from Beijing, Tehran, and Pyongyang cannot be ignored, the most immediate challenge facing U.S. leaders is the Russian army poised at Ukraine’s doorstep and threatening invasion. The Biden administration’s promised economic sanctions and military equipment are making little obvious impact, and NATO allies are reluctant to support more aggressive responses like isolating Russia from the global financial system that could lead Moscow to cut off Europe’s natural gas in the dead of winter.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I disagree with the above author's statement that "America's back". The Afghan debacle happened almost 6 months ago, and the consequences of that disaster are still being felt. And as for the Pentagon learning something from Russia when it comes to "decision-centric" warfare. I suspect that they and the US intelligence community are very good at that. The ones who need an education is Washington's political class.

World News Briefs -- January 28, 2022


Daily Mail: Russia accuses US of 'whipping up hysteria' over Ukraine and wanting to make 'heroes out of people who fought on Hitler's side' at UN showdown: Biden threatens 'swift and severe' response against Putin as Kiev claims 112,000 troops are on the border 

* US officials have put together 'specific sanctions packages' targeting Putin's cronies and their families 

* Meanwhile Washington made its highest-profile appeal to Moscow yet at Monday's United Nations Security Council meeting in New York City, after weeks of diplomatic discussions in Europe 

* Russia tried to call off the meeting via vote, but failed with only China agreeing and three countries abstaining 

* Moscow's UN ambassador Vasily Nebenzya accused the US of trying to 'whip up hysterics' and denounced 'the myth of Russian aggression' in searing remarks at the heated meeting, while denying troops near Ukraine 

* He compared the US's warnings of a Russian invasion to former Bush Defense Secretary Colin Powell's infamous 2003 speech before the United Nations before invading Iraq 

* Nebenzya also compared Ukraine's Zelensky government to 'nazis' and said the US was behind their rise 

* It comes as US, UK intelligence reports indicate an 'imminent' or near-certain plot by Russia to invade Ukraine 

Russia accused the United States of 'whipping up hysterics' by calling for Monday's United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss Ukraine and claimed the West wants to make 'heroes out of people who fought on the side of Hitler' in order to divide the two former Soviet states. 

Across his roughly 15-minute remarks Russia's Ambassador to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya issued adamant denials about Moscow's intentions while making blistering accusations about the West's true intentions. 

The US called for the 15-nation meeting in New York City, which took place earlier on Monday, as the world tensely watches Russian President Vladimir Putin's aggressive military buildup on Ukraine's border and various intelligence reports indicate an incursion is all but certain.  

Read more .... 


Syria intercepts Israeli missiles near Damascus - state media. 

Syrian Kurdish forces end mop-up operations in IS-hit jail. 

Israel president on 1st visit to UAE amid regional tension. 

UAE intercepts Yemen rebel missile as Israeli president visits. 

UAE summons people for sharing videos of missile attack interception. 

Tax 'haven' UAE to impose corporate taxes for the first time in its history. 

Kuwait suspends flights after attack at Baghdad airport

COVID: Iran’s parliament suspended amid rapid spread of Omicron

Jordan: Critics denounce reforms ‘enlarging king’s authority’. 


North Korea releases space images of recent missile launch, its most significant test in years

US calls for direct talks as North Korea confirms largest missile test since 2017

Beijing locks down another TWO districts of the city under its Zero Covid policy putting thousands of people under restrictions with four days to go to Olympics. 

China sees COVID-19 surge as Olympics approach. 

China: Media freedom declining at 'breakneck speed' - report. 

Myanmar: US imposes fresh sanctions on coup anniversary. 

Indian forces kill five suspected rebels in Kashmir. 

UN: Over 100 Ex-Afghan forces, officials slain since August

New Zealand defends strict Covid quarantine after pregnant journalist ‘had to turn to Taliban’ for help

COVID: India's economy battles widespread unemployment, inflation

Pakistani police widen manhunt after priest shot and killed. 

Asian nations welcome lunar new year -- or Year of the Tiger. 


Burkina Faso restores constitution, names coup leader president. 

African Union suspends Burkina Faso following military coup. 

Weekend attacks kill dozens in north Nigeria. 

Sudan security forces kill protester in crackdown on anti-coup march. 

After years of war, South Sudanese still live in fear of landmines. 

Congo sentences 51 to death over UN killings

Mali's military rulers say French ambassador has 72 hours to leave the country. 

Rwanda reopens land border with Uganda. 

S.Africa's Zuma in fresh bid to drop graft trial prosecutor. 


Russia and US square off at UN Security Council over Ukraine crisis. 

Inside Ukraine, ordinary citizens are preparing for possible invasion by Russia. 

Kremlin accuses US of stoking 'hysteria' over Ukraine, as UN Security Council meets. 

EU trade commissioner says Nord Stream 2 'on pause' pending review of compliance with European laws

UK to ramp up Russian sanctions over ‘aggression’. 

More splits appear in NATO as Hungary says it doesn't want UK troops 'for now' and leader Viktor Orban travels to Moscow for one-on-one talks with Vladimir Putin. 

Portugal re-elects socialist prime minister as far right gains ground

 Boris Johnson says sorry after report slams lockdown parties. 

Sergio Mattarella elected to rare second term as Italian president

Eurozone growth slowed in final 3 months of 2021 as Omicron hit. 

Storm Malik sweeps through northern Europe: Strong winds kill 78-year-old woman in Denmark and man dies in Germany as homes and cars are destroyed and thousands are left without power. 

18 rescued after cargo ship collides with oil tanker off Dutch coast. 


US to pressure Russia at UN Security Council over Ukraine as Moscow says it wants 'respectful' ties. 

Biden to host Qatar ruler at White House amid gas concerns tied to Russia-Ukraine crisis. 

White House wants to REPLACE Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra over his handling of the pandemic, chaos over testing and confusion over isolation policies. 

Weekend-long Canada anti-vax protest riles Ottawa. 

Justin Trudeau says he WON’T meet ‘Freedom Convoy’ because of their ‘hateful rhetoric’ and would rather go to a BLM rally: Covid-positive PM speaks from undisclosed location as truckers blockade US border in Alberta. 

Chileans protest against Venezuelan migrants. 

Mexican army: Troops attacked by pro-cartel residents. 

1 in 4 Americans say violence against the government is sometimes OK. 


US-allied Syria force says it foiled major ISIS comeback plot. 

Woman accused of leading female ISIL unit to appear in US court. 

US has taken FARC off its terrorist list, giving insight into Biden’s foreign policy. 


Stocks end higher, still log worst month since March 2020. 

US-China trade relations in 'difficult' stage: Tai. 

Top oil producers to meet amid record crude prices. 

Sony buys 'Halo' creator Bungie as gaming fight heats up.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- January 31, 2022


The Economist: A war in Ukraine could have global consequences 

Human suffering, economic shock and a geopolitical realignment SELDOM IN THE field of human conflict did so much hang on the whims of one man. 

Is Vladimir Putin about to invade Ukraine, as the massing Russian troops on its borders suggest? Or is he bluffing, to extort concessions from his neighbour and the West? 

No one can be sure of Mr Putin’s intentions. 

Even his own foreign minister seems to be kept guessing. 

But, if fighting is about to break out, the world needs to understand the stakes. 

Read more .... 

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- January 31, 2022 

NATO's on notice in Ukraine crisis: What's next? -- Teri Schultz, DW  

The Russia-Ukraine Crisis Need Not Spiral Into War -- Thomas Graham and Rajan Menon, Breaking Defense 

The case of Ukraine, looking back and looking forward -- Robbin Laird, Breaking Defense  

Putin’s Wager in Russia’s Standoff with the West -- Michael Kofman, War On The Rocks  

Can the UN Security Council do more than just talk about the Russia, Ukraine crisis? -- ABC News Australia  

Putin’s NATO power play stirs disquiet among Russia’s security elite -- Kyle Wilson, The Strategist  

Hungary's Viktor Orban eyes favors from Vladimir Putin amid Ukraine crisis -- Priyanka Shankar, DW

How China Views the Ukraine Crisis -- Minxin Pei, The Strategist

China’s Real Challenge Is Not Military -- National Interest  

Deterring Eastern Storms -- Keith B. Payne, RCD 

Is it Time for the U.S. to Engage with the Taliban? -- James Durso, SLDinfo  

After Oslo talks, what’s next for Afghanistan? -- Asad Hashim and Mohsin Khan Momand, Al Jazeera  

Myanmar: What has been happening since the 2021 coup? -- BBC  

Why democracy in Africa needs a rethink -- Abu-Bakarr Jalloh, DW  

Tigray conflict: What do we know about drone strikes in Ethiopia? -- Peter Mwai, BBC  

Why lockdown parties in Downing Street are such a big deal -- Analysis by Rob Picheta, CNN  

How Realpolitik 2.0 Can Prevent a Global Conflict -- L. Gibson & E. Elkins, The Diplomat

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- January 31, 2022


19FortyFive: Spetsnaz: What Are Russian Special Forces Doing in Ukraine? 

The vaunted Russian special forces ops group Spetsnaz have disrupted Ukraine once during Moscow’s operation in Crimea in 2014. 

Now the Spetsnaz are reportedly inside Ukrainian territory again working with Russian intelligence operatives to destabilize the Ukrainian opposition, according to British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace. 

The Spetsnaz are expected to conduct rearguard operations to disrupt Ukrainian forces if war breaks out. They could blow up bridges, perform deep reconnaissance missions, lead attacks on airfields, perpetuate electronic warfare, snipe important officers, plus attack radar and command and control centers.  

Read more .... 

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- January 31, 2022  

Vladimir Putin’s Amphibious Gambit Demonstrates Value Of New USMC Ship Design -- Forbes  

Turkish drones boost Ukrainian spirits amid fears of Russian invasion -- Al-Monitor 

‘We Can Hurt Them in Ways They Don’t Understand’: Ukraine on Russia Cyber-War -- Vice News  

Why Intermediate-Range Missiles Are a Focal Point in the Ukraine Crisis -- Brennan Deveraux, War On the Rocks  

US readies Russia sanctions as Guardsmen train Ukraine military -- NYPost  

New Pentagon report censors details on weapons programs’ performance, flaws -- Breaking Defense  

US Navy adopts new strategy prioritizing ‘the building blocks’ of unmanned tech -- Defense News  

Navy Says Aircraft Carrier Supply Chain Improving; USS Gerald R. Ford to Deploy by Fall -- USNI News  

Navy’s problems with the Zumwalt may be hurting its hypersonic weapon efforts -- Breaking Defense 

US military receive newest spy plane -- Defence Blog  

Faster, cheaper, greener — How the Air Force wants to cut fossil fuels out of its jets -- Task & Purpose 

Lockheed, Airbus Say They Would Build New Air Force Tankers in Alabama, Georgia -- Breaking Defense  

New F-35 Lot 15-17 Deal Hung Up on Inflation, COVID-19 Mitigation Costs -- Air Force Magazine  

Pentagon’s New Space Acquisition Arm to Take Shape in 2022 -- Air Force Magazine  

Space Force’s troubled space-tracking system is officially shut down -- Space News 

 'Space Force? Is that Real?' Guardians Still Struggling with an Unconvinced Public -- The Guardian  

Empower our Space Force, just as we do for the other armed services -- Gen. Kevin Chilton (ret.), Defense News  

The Army has an artillery problem (and some high tech solutions) -- SandBoxx  

Pentagon’s cybersecurity tests aren’t realistic, tough enough: Report -- Breaking Defense  

US cancels military aid for Egypt after major arms sale -- DW 

 Lawmakers Ask Biden To Make Sure DOD Follows Climate Rules -- Breaking Defense  

US Army e-Bikes? Motorcycles Have a Long Military History, so Why Not? -- Clean Technica  

NATO Command of USS Harry S. Truman Sends Signal to Russia, Says Secretary General Stoltenberg -- USNI News  

UK eyes ‘biggest possible’ military support to NATO over Ukraine -- Politico  

The British navy still celebrates a famous WWII aircraft carrier that gave Hitler fits -- Business Insider 

N. Korea confirms test of missile believed to be able to strike US territory -- RT  

North Korea tests more missiles in January than all of 2021, including most powerful one in years -- FOX News  

China and Saudi Arabia Hint at Expanded Military Ties -- National Interest  

Beyond War and Peace: The PLA’s “Non-War Military Activities” Concept -- Kevin Bilms, Modern War Institute  

Toughing it out at a boot camp for Taiwan's most elite navy unit -- DW  

Myanmar’s military turns to Buddhism in bid for legitimacy -- Al Jazeera

UN Security Council Discuss Russian Military Forces On Ukraine's Border

Previous Post: US to Russia: Explain Your Military Buildup to the UN (Defense One)

U.S. Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland On The Current Ukraine Crisis

US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland  

CBS Face The Nation: Transcript: Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland on "Face the Nation," January 30, 2022 

MARGARET BRENNAN: We go now to Victoria Nuland, the State Department undersecretary for political affairs. Good morning to you, ambassador.  

AMBASSADOR VICTORIA NULAND: Good morning, Margaret. Good to be with you. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: We heard from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs this week that Russia has given itself the capability if it wanted for a full invasion, not just an incursion. What is the US assessment at this point? Has Vladimir Putin made a decision on what to do next?  

AMB. NULAND: Margaret, we don't believe he's yet made a decision, but as he has done in the past, he's given himself every option, including, as the chairman said, a massive potential invasion of all of Ukraine, including cyber attacks, including incursion from Belarus, where he is moving up to thirty thousand troops there as well. So we have to be prepared for all options.  

MARGARET BRENNAN: So there is no sign yet of any kind of de-escalation.  

AMB. NULAND: On the contrary, he's moved more forces since we've been encouraging him to de-escalate. That said, Margaret, as you know, we did send our diplomatic proposal to Russia, as did NATO this week. We've heard some signs that the Russians are interested in engaging on that proposal, including the fact that Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Lavrov will likely speak this week. So again, here's, here's where we are. We want to settle these issues through diplomacy, through arms control. Putin's given himself that option, but he's also given himself the option of a major invasion. So we have to be ready for that, too.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: This is the Russian media's take on Victoria Nuland's interview .... US has secret weapon against Russia – Nuland (RT). More here .... Blinken, Lavrov likely to have talks next week — US under secretary of state (TASS).

US Cancels $130 Million Military Aid For Egypt After Major $2.5 Billion Arms Sale

The US sold Egypt 12 Super Hercules C-130 transport aircraft on Tuesday 

DW: US cancels military aid for Egypt after major arms sale 

The US State Department has said Egypt has not met the conditions to receive the $130 million in military aid. Earlier this week, the US and Egypt concluded an arms sale to the tune of $2.5 billion. 

The United States is canceling $130 million (€117 million) in military aid to Egypt over human rights concerns, the State Department said on Friday. 

The announcement comes just days after US President Joe Biden's administration approved a $2.5 billion arms sale to Egypt on Tuesday. 

This included 12 Super Hercules C-130 transport aircraft and air defense radar systems.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The U.S. approves a $2.5 billion arms sale to Egypt, and then a few days later cancels a $130 million military aid package. Talk about sending mix-signals. 

US Cancels $130 Million Military Aid For Egypt After Major $2.5 Billion Arms Sale  

US cancels military aid for Egypt after major arms sale -- Jerusalem Post/Reuters  

Biden admin blocks military aid to Egypt over human rights concerns -- Politico  

US to block millions for Egypt over human rights -- CNN  

US cancels $130m military aid for Egypt over rights concerns -- Al Jazeera  

‘Major non-NATO ally’ loses US military aid -- RT

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau Says He's In Isolation With COVID

Daily Mail: Canadian PM Trudeau says he's in isolation with COVID after fleeing Ottawa when 'Freedom Convoy' rolled in: Truckers vow to stay and 'create chaos' until he reverses vaccine mandates as Twitter trends with #whereisTrudeau? 

* Justin Trudeau announced Monday that he has tested positive for COVID-19 

* Trudeau, 50, is isolating at an undisclosed location after fleeing protest-torn Ottawa with his family 

* Tensions are high in the Canadian capital on Sunday as protesting truckers brought the city to a standstill 

* The angry truckers are demanding Trudeau end vaccine mandates in Canada 

* Ottawa police said on Sunday said they were investigating reports of the desecration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and attacks on police 

* Ottawa residents are furious at the disruption and angered by protesters flying swastikas through their city 

* Trudeau had called the truckers headed for the city a 'small fringe minority' before the convoy of hundreds of vehicles grew up to 45 miles long 

* Protestors carried copies of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and signs reading 'Make Canada great again,' and 'we are here for our freedom' 

* Protesters say they are in it for the 'long haul' - 'We don't have a time limit' one of the organizers said 

Justin Trudeau announced Monday that he has tested positive for COVID-19, after fleeing his hometown of Ottawa over the weekend as thousands of truckers descended on the Canadian capital to protest the country's vaccine mandate and COVID lockdowns. 

'This morning, I tested positive for COVID-19,' the Canadian Prime Minister wrote on social media Monday. 

 'I’m feeling fine – and I’ll continue to work remotely this week while following public health guidelines. Everyone, please get vaccinated and get boosted.'  

Read more .... 

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau Says He's In Isolation With COVID  

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tested positive for COVID-19 -- CBC News  

Prime Minister Trudeau tests positive for COVID-19 -- CTV News  

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tests positive for Covid -- CNBC/AP  

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau tests positive for COVID -- FOX News  

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tests positive for Covid-19 -- CNN

Majority Of Canadians (54%) Now Say It's Time To End Covid Restrictions

WNU Editor: So much for labeling these Canadians as a fringe minority. Do not be surprise if in the coming weeks the political and media narrative in Canada starts to change.  

Count me as one of those who believes Covid restrictions should change, and that our focus should shift to protecting the vulnerable. My mother is 95 and she is suffering from dementia. We are taking care of her at my home, and I have no problems in restricting my life to protect her.

Update: The political and media narrative that this weekend's truck protests were racists is falling short (see below). 


More here .... After the blizzard, Sikh truckers caught in political maelstrom in Canada (Times of India)  

Update #2: Truck protests in Europe? .... The “Freedom Convoy” is being prepared in Europe (French Daily News). 

 Update #3: Elon Musk is clued in on what is happening in Canada.

More here .... Update #4: Zero arrests all weekend at Freedom Convoy in Ottawa, despite warnings from PM Justin Trudeau and countless journalists who predicted violence. Update #5: I witnessed the same thing on Saturday. Update #6: What is not being shown on Canada's main stream media (see below). Update #7: The Freedom Convoy 2022 GoFundMe page has crossed $9 million (link here).

The Uses Of Nihilism By Today's Political Leaders

Victor Davis Hanson, American Greatness: Joe Biden and the Uses of Nihilism  

America is battling an epidemic far worse than the Omicron plague.  

Chaos is the new, the intentional, normal. A pandemic of nihilism has been unleashed upon the land. As in Lord of the Flies, when laws, rules, protocols, traditions, and customs are mocked and dismantled, primitive human nature in the raw is unleashed. 

Madness now reigns in every quarter, from the iconic to the irrelevant to the fundamental. Statues of Lincoln, Douglas, and Jefferson are toppled or defaced. The rules of capitalization have been altered. We are told that 1619, not 1776, was our founding date—and this by a “civil rights” activist-journalist who had no idea of the date that the Civil War began. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This is a pretty good analysis on what is happening in the U.S. right now. This can also be applied to Canada.

This Is Why This Democrat Spokesperson Supports President Biden

WNU Editor: It is always great to start the week with some humor. In this case, watching someone in complete denial with what is happening.

How Europeans Get Their Electricity, And Why Importing Russian Natural Gas Is Necessary

Startegic Culture: How Europeans Get Their Electricity 

As Europe's energy crisis continues to ebb and flow - with the US-Ukraine-Russia war-mongering barely able to hide its obvious implications on the continent's heating, cooking, and transportation fuels - knowing which countries will be more (or less affected) by potential sanctions (or sanctions retaliation) is critical. 

Additionally, as EIA notes, the desperate virtue-sigaling efforts to de-fossilize any and all energy sources in Europe as soon as possible has come back to bite many nations... at exactly the wrong time...  

“Worldwide efforts to address climate change is leading to the rapid electrification of numerous end-users from transport to industry, driving a massive increase in power demand as well as the need to generate as much of it as possible from renewable sources. The result is a dramatic transformation of power systems globally.” –  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: It is not only Russian natural gas that Europe is dependent. Russia is one of the world's top oil producers. Any disruption in its supply will have a profound global impact on oil supply and prices.

Are Coups Making A Comeback?

Axios: Coups are making a comeback 

Coups, which had seemed almost on course for extinction, are making a comeback.

By the numbers: Between 2015 and 2020, the world never saw more than two successful coup attempts in a year. But there have now been eight coups in the past 12 months — most recently in Burkina Faso, where soldiers seized power last Monday. 

* There were five successful coups in 2021, the most in any year since 1999, according to research from Clayton Thyne of the University of Kentucky and Jonathan Powell of the University of Central Florida.  

The big picture: Coups are now for the most part "limited to the poorest countries in the world" and tend to happen where there are severe security threats or civil wars, as well as a past history of coups, Powell tells Axios. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor:The pandemic has shaken much of the world and it has created stress points in society that were not there before. I expect more coups and unrest in the coming year.

Tweets Of The Day

From Ukraine To Yemen, The US Arms Industry Reaps The Spoils Of War (Video)


WNU Editor: Andrew Cockburn, Washington editor of Harper’s Magazine and author of "The Spoils of War: Power, Profit and the American War Machine," discusses the US arms industry’s role in promoting and profiting from today’s global conflicts, from Ukraine to Yemen to Syria. (Zero Hedge).

Elon Musk On Canada's Trucker Protests - 'It Would Appear That The So-Called “Fringe Minority” Is Actually The Government

WNU Editor: Yup!

Picture Of The Day

People take part in a military exercise for civilians conducted by veterans of the Ukrainian National Guard Azov battalion, in Kyiv, Ukraine January 30. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich  

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... Ukrainian civilians train in case of combat with Russia (Reuters).

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Can Russia Wipe Out Ukraine's Military In Just 48 Hours?

Members of the Ukrainian army training to use British NLAW anti-tank missiles at the Yavorovsky training ground  

Daily Mail: Putin ally says Russia will wipe out Ukraine's military in just 48 hours as Ukrainians practise with British anti-tank missiles and Putin's force build-up hits 130,000 troops - the biggest since the Cold War 

* A new video shows Ukrainian army soldiers learning to use British NLAW anti-tank weapons for the first time 

* It comes as an ally of Vladimir Putin has claimed invading 'outnumbered' Ukraine would take just 48 hours 

* Top US general Mark Milley has called the Ukraine border force build up the biggest since the Cold War 

* The US Defense Secretary also expressed concern that Putin could utilise other means beyond an invasion 

* But Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky accused the West of creating a 'panic' around the tensions 

A new video shows Ukrainian soldiers training with British NLAW anti-tank weapons for the first time. 

The drills in Lviv region come as Russia continues to tighten its military noose around Ukraine while officially denying any intention to invade. 

But one close Vladimir Putin ally claimed it would take a maximum 48 hours to invade Ukraine because Kyiv is so outnumbered.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I have been seeing and hearing this talk among some Russians that the Ukraine army will collapse within 48 hours. 

I disagree. 

When is invading a country ever easy or simple. 

While most Ukrainians will rather stay out of a war should it happen, some will not. And with Western support I can easily see a quagmire in Western Ukraine that the Kremlin and many Russians will regret.

Can You Spot The Problem With The Picture The White House Released Of The Phone Call That President Biden Had With Ukraine President Zelensky?

Red State: There's a Glaring Problem With a Pic Biden Released of His Call With Zelensky 

As I reported Thursday night, there were a lot of questions raised on Thursday about the call that Joe Biden had with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. CNN reported that it did not go well and that Biden told Zelensky to brace for impact, the Russian invasion was coming, and that Kyiv might be “sacked.” 

But then, the White House and Ukraine denied that that call had gone badly and that Biden said “sacked.” As I noted, the problem was that both the White House and Ukraine have cause to not say if the call didn’t go well or if Biden said bad things because the White House doesn’t want the gaffes out there, and Ukraine doesn’t need more panic or the White House cutting off their support. 

So, Republicans and others began calling to release the transcript of the call, to clarify just what had been said.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Green leaves on the trees in the window outside the Oval Office in the middle of winter?!?!?!?

Turmoil In Mossad? Another Top Commander Resigns

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Mossad chief David Barnea meet at the Prime Minister’s Office last June. (photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO) 

 Israel National News: Mossad officer resigns after clashing with Israel's spymaster 

A difference of opinions with Mossad director David Barnea brought the Mossad's special operation commander to tender his resignation. Channel 13 News reports that due to significant differences of opinion with Mossad director David Barnea, the leader of the Mossad's 'Cesarea' special operations unit will be leaving his position.

According to the report, due to the difficulties involved in employing Israeli agents in countries around the world in the modern era, the head of the Mossad, Barnea, informed the commander of the unit that he intended to make significant changes in the way the Cesarea unit operates.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Top Mossad Commander Quits Over Dispute With Agency's Chief, Report Says (Haaretz)  

Update #2: 4th Mossad commander resigns in under a year - media (RT)  

WNU Editor: Even with all of these resignations, former Mossad chiefs are saying the environment is better than under Netanyahu .... Bennett better than Netanyahu, still room to improve - ex-Mossad chiefs (Jerusalem Post).

Portugal's Socialist Party Wins Majority In Snap Election


Politico: António Costa wins big in Portugal’s general election 

Socialist Party wins absolute majority, but far right makes gains. LISBON — Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa pulled off a stunning victory in Sunday’s general election, winning a third consecutive term with his Socialist Party securing an absolute majority in parliament. 

“This is a special night for me,” Costa told cheering supporters. 

“The Portuguese have confirmed that they want a Socialist Party government for the next four years … they want stability, certainty and security.” 

With almost all votes in, the Socialists (PS) had won 41.7 percent, ahead of the center-right Social Democratic Party (PSD) on 28 percent.  

Read more .... 

Portugal's Socialist Party Wins Majority In Snap Election  

Socialists win reelection in Portugal, eye major investments -- AP 

Portugal's PM Costa Stuns With Majority Win in Snap Election -- Reuters  

Portugal's Socialists land parliamentary majority -- DW  

Socialists set to keep power in Portugal after snap general election -- The Hill  

Portugal’s ruling Socialist party on course to win snap general election -- The Guardian 

Portugal election: Three takeaways as Socialists cement power -- Euronews

UAE Shoots Down Missile Fired By Yemen's Houthis During Visit By Israel's President


Daily Mail: Abu Dhabi shoots down MISSILE fired at the emirate during visit by Israeli president a week after Yemeni rebels launched deadly drone attacks 

* Abu Dhabi's air defence system intercepted the ballistic missile on Sunday 

* The missile had been reportedly fired by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels 

* Emirati Defense Ministry said the attack did not cause any injuries or damage 

Abu Dhabi today shot down a ballistic missile reportedly fired by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, as the Israeli President conducted an official visit to the United Arab Emirates. 

The capital city's air defence systems intercepted the missile which had been fired at the emirate on Sunday. 

The Emirati Defense Ministry told the Jerusalem Post that the attack did not cause any injuries or damage as the fragments of the missile fell in an unpopulated area.  

Read more .... 

 UAE Shoots Down Missile Fired By Yemen's Houthis During Visit By Israel's President  

UAE intercepts Yemen missile as Israeli president visits -- AP  

UAE intercepts ballistic missile during Israeli President's visit -- CNN  

UAE shoots down missile fired by Yemen's Houthis as Israeli president visits -- The Hill  

Israel's Herzog to continue UAE visit as planned despite Houthi missile -- SKY News  

UAE foils new Houthi ballistic missile attack -- Arab News  

Israel: President vows support for UAE amid Houthi attack -- DW

Israel president on 1st visit to UAE amid regional tension -- AP

Has Putin Split NATO?

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and French President Emmanuel Macron, pictured in 2020, spoke over the phone on Friday and agreed to meet with the Normandy Format in Berlin in two week, which excludes the US and NATO, to discuss the crisis in the Ukraine  

Daily Mail: Putin splits NATO and cuts out Biden: Russian president agrees to hold talks with Germany, France and Ukraine as squabbling NATO countries fail to decide joint troop deployment and Joe says he'll go it alone 

* Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to meet with Germany, France and Ukraine over the Ukraine-Russian border crisis 

* The European-led talk, which will be held in two weeks in Berlin, is said to focus on ''de-escalation' and excludes NATO and the US 

* Joe Biden on Friday evening said that he would be moving some troops to Eastern Europe - but 'not too many' - as tensions mount in Ukraine 

* Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops around Ukraine after a steady buildup in the region and may be planning an invasion in February 

* Chairman of Joint Chiefs Gen Milley warned of 'horrific' consequences if Russia put its 100,000-plus force to work on an invasion 

* Hours earlier Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, said that the world was overreacting to the threat of a Russian invasion of his country 

* Zelensky chided world leaders for their public statements, saying 'we don't need this panic' and condemning the withdrawal of diplomats 

* UK intelligence source suggested Putin will continue massing forces for 'two or three weeks' before attacking 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to hold talks with Germany, France and Ukraine as NATO fails to take action on the rising conflict in Easter Europe and President Joe Biden's announcement on Friday that he would deploy troops 'in the near term' without backing from NATO. 

The blow to NATO and exclusion of America in negotiation talks on the Russian-Ukraine crisis came after Putin accused the U.S. and NATO of ignoring the Kremlin's 'fundamental concerns' over NATO's growth during a call with French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday. 

During the call, Putin argued that the West had refused Russians demands of 'preventing NATO expansion, refusing to deploy strike weapons systems near Russian borders' and withdrawing allied forces to positions they held in 1997, prior to NATO's expansion into Eastern Europe, Politico reported.   

Read more  .... 

WNU Editor: I have been a NATO watcher for decades. 


NATO is split. 

But this should not surprise anyone. NATO needs a mission, and they are lacking one that will keep them focused and unified.