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WAR 08-10-2019-to-08-16-2019___****THE****WINDS****of****WAR****
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    3 08-10-2019-to-08-16-2019___****THE****WINDS****of****WAR****

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    Hong Kong Protesters Defy Beijing Warnings, as Police Fire Tear Gas

    By Andrew Higgins, Katherine Li and Ezra Cheung

    Aug. 10, 2019

    HONG KONG — Defying warnings from China of a crackdown if they continued more than two months of protests, young demonstrators blocked a vital tunnel under Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor on Saturday, barricaded a traffic intersection and set fires outside a police station in a shopping district popular with tourists....

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    Armed Forces of Liberia Sixth Batch of Peacekeepers Complete Training, Heads for Mali

    By Press Release Last updated Aug 8, 2019

    Monrovia – A contingent of the Armed Forces of Liberia is expected to be deployed in Mali as part of the ongoing United Nation Peacekeeping Mission in that West African State. The troops to be deployed have completed pre-deployment training at the Camp Sande Ware Barracks located in Careysburg, that have prepared them for any circumstances that they may encounter while on the mission in Mali.

    The training which was conducted by French and British trainers focused on imparting skills to personnel in order to enable them detect and defuse Explosive Ordinate Disposal (EOD) and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which are commonly used by terrorists .

    This batch of personnel will be replacing returning Liberian Peacekeepers that are expected to end their duty in September after a year of service on the mission.

    Speaking during the closing ceremony, Armed Forces of Liberia Chief of Staff, Maj/Gen. Prince C. Johnson III, stressed the importance of the training for the men that are to be deployed in Mali. He said the training has prepared the soldiers both mentally and physically to meet up with challenges that they may face doing the mission in Mali.

    Maj/Gen. Johnson said the Armed Forces of Liberia is grateful for the high level training provided by the French and British counterparts ahead of their deployment, and lauded their governments for the support and expertise provided to the Armed Forces of Liberia.
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    The Liberian Army Chief of Staff said the training gives the soldiers the experience to handle any risky situation on the mission, adding that it will help to build the morale of the men ahead of their deployment.

    David Belgroves, British Ambassador to Liberia also in attendance, expressed satisfaction over the involvement of his government and the French government in helping the Armed Forces of Liberia in its pre-deployment training. Ambassador Belgroves said the joint cooperation was necessary before going on the mission.

    For his part, French Charge d’ Affairs, Huge Nagy, said he was impressed with the level of training the current batch of soldiers received. “From the opinion of the trainers the current batch of soldiers from the AFL are one of the best units ever trained here, we have high expectations for them when they reach Mali,” he said.

    The Armed Forces of Liberia currently has a company-size in Mali and the deployment in September will be Liberia’s sixth rotation of peacekeepers in Mali.

    Liberia joined the mission in 2013 and became full peacekeeping nation in July 2019 following a Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations and Liberia.

  3. #3
    Accidental Blast In Russia Involved Nuclear Cruise Missile: US Scientists
    World Reuters
    The Russian Ministry of Defense, quoted by state-run news outlets, said that two people died and six were injured on Thursday in an explosion of what it called a liquid propellant rocket engine.
    Updated : August 10, 2019 11:39 IST
    Nuclear experts suspected an accidental blast and radiation release in northern Russia

    Washington: U.S.-based nuclear experts said on Friday they suspected an accidental blast and radiation release in northern Russia this week occurred during the testing of a nuclear-powered cruise missile vaunted by President Vladimir Putin last year.
    The Russian Ministry of Defense, quoted by state-run news outlets, said that two people died and six were injured on Thursday in an explosion of what it called a liquid propellant rocket engine. No dangerous substances were released, it said. Russia's state nuclear agency Rosatom said early on Saturday that five of its staff members died.

    A spokeswoman for Severodvinsk, a city of 185,000 near the test site in the Arkhangelsk region, was quoted in a statement on the municipal website as saying that a "short-term" spike in background radiation was recorded at noon Thursday. The statement was not on the site on Friday.

    The Russian Embassy did not immediately respond for comment.

    Two experts said in separate interviews with Reuters that a liquid rocket propellant explosion would not release radiation.

    They said that they suspected the explosion and the radiation release resulted from a mishap during the testing of a nuclear-powered cruise missile at a facility outside the village of Nyonoksa.

    "Liquid fuel missile engines exploding do not give off radiation, and we know that the Russians are working on some kind of nuclear propulsion for a cruise missile," said Ankit Panda, an adjunct senior fellow with the Federation of American Scientists.

    Russia calls the missile the 9M730 Buresvestnik. The NATO alliance has designated it the SSC-X-9 Skyfall.

    A senior Trump administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he would not confirm or deny that a mishap involving a nuclear-powered cruise missile occurred. But he expressed deep skepticism over Moscow's explanation.

    "We continue to monitor the events in the Russian far north but Moscow's assurances that 'everything is normal' ring hollow to us," said the official.

    "This reminds us of a string of incidents dating back to Chernobyl that call into question whether the Kremlin prioritizes the welfare of the Russian people above maintaining its own grip on power and its control over weak corruption streams."

    The official was referring to the 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, in the former Soviet republic of Ukraine, which released radioactive airborne contamination for about nine days. Moscow delayed revealing the extent of what is regarded as the worst nuclear accident in history.

    Putin boasted about the nuclear-powered cruise missile in a March 2018 speech to the Russian parliament in which he hailed the development of a raft of fearsome new strategic weapons.

    The missile, he said, was successfully tested in late 2017, had "unlimited range" and was "invincible against all existing and prospective missile defense and counter-air defense systems."

    Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Non-Proliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, said he believed that a mishap occurred during the testing of the nuclear-powered cruise missile based on commercial satellite pictures and other data.

    Using satellite photos, he and his team determined that the Russians last year appeared to have disassembled a facility for test-launching the missile at a site in Novaya Zemlya and moved it to the base near Nyonoksa.

    The photos showed that a blue "environmental shelter" - under which the missiles are stored before launching - at Nyonoksa and rails on which the structure is rolled back appear to be the same as those removed from Novaya Zemlya.

    Lewis and his team also examined Automatic Identification System (AIS) signals from ships located off the coast on the same day as the explosion. They identified one ship as the Serebryanka, a nuclear fuel carrier that they had tracked last year off Novaya Zemlya.

    "You don't need this ship for conventional missile tests," Lewis said. "You need it when you recover a nuclear propulsion unit from the sea floor."

    He noted that the AIS signals showed that the Serebryanka was located inside an "exclusion zone" established off the coast a month before the test, to keep unauthorized ships from entering.

    "What's important is that the Serebryanka is inside that exclusion zone. It's there. It's inside the ocean perimeter that they set up. It's not there by accident," he said. "I think they were probably there to pick up a propulsion unit off the ocean floor."

    Lewis said he didn't know what kind of radiation hazard the Russian system poses because he did was unaware of the technical details, such as the size of the nuclear reactor.

    But he noted that the United States sought to develop a nuclear-powered missile engine in the 1950s that spewed radiation.

    "It represented a health hazard to anyone underneath it," he said.

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    Vigilantes, mob justice grow as violence mounts in Mexico


    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Vigilante attacks and mob justice appeared to be on the rise in Mexico this week as violence mounted, more than two dozen bodies appeared along roadsides and the government ruled out any new crackdown on criminal gangs.

    Prosecutors in the northern state of Sinaloa said Thursday five young men have been murdered in recent days, and in all five cases toy cars were carefully placed atop their corpses. The men were apparently car thieves, and the toys indicated both the reason they were killed and served as a warning to other thieves.

    The latest such murder came Wednesday. Prosecutors said the victim had been identified as the same man seen on security camera footage earlier that day stealing a pickup truck at gunpoint from a woman outside her home in the state capital, Culiacan.

    That same day, a total of seven suspected kidnappers were killed by townspeople in the largest mass lynching in recent memory in the central state of Puebla. Some were beaten, some hanged.

    The National Human Rights Commission said 43 people have been killed in lynchings so far this year, and 173 injured. That was up from the already-record year for mob justice in 2018.

    “Those who take justice into their own hands commit acts of barbarism, not justice,” the commission said.

    Vigilantes say they have to act because authorities won’t crack down on criminal gangs, which have become more brazen and have begun returning to the grisly mass executions that marked Mexico’s 2006-2012 drug war.

    On Thursday, the notoriously violent Jalisco cartel killed 19 people whose bodies — in some cases dismembered — were left hanging from an overpass and strewn along a highway in the western state of Michoacan. Another set of four dismembered bodies were found in plastic garbage bags the same day on a highway in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, and a few hours later, five more bodies were found wrapped in garbage bags elsewhere in the state.

    It was in Michoacan that Mexico’s last big anti-gang offensive was launched in 2006; and it was also in Michoacan where the country’s biggest vigilante movement was started in 2013. Back then, farmers and ranchers rose up in arms to drive the Caballeros Templarios drug cartel out of the state with the help of the army and federal police.

    Elements of those government forces have now been merged into the National Guard, a force that, under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has been loath to confront residents and criminals, in part because López Obrador discourages the use of force.

    In July, villagers protecting fuel thieves in Puebla shoved aside armed National Guard forces and burned two of their patrol vehicles. In May, an armed gang in Michoacan abducted five soldiers to demand their army unit return illegal weapons soldiers had seized from the gang. López Obrador later personally congratulated the unit for avoiding violence.

    Hipólito Mora, one of the founders of the 2013 Michoacan vigilante movement, said such tactics appear unlikely to work against violent, heavily armed cartels.

    “The authorities should give the armed forces more leeway, not limit them, not allow organized crime gangs to throw stones at them and burn their vehicles,” said Mora, who now has returned to working his lime orchards but still has the weapons he used in the vigilante movement.

    “They (the cartels) grow when they are not stopped and the armed forces don’t defend themselves,” Mora said. “They say, ‘We can do whatever we want.’”

    But López Obrador said Friday he won’t be drawn into the kind of army offensive that then-President Felipe Calderon launched against the cartels in 2006, when he sent troops to Michoacan. Over 100,000 homicides occurred in the next several years.

    “We are not going to fall into the trap of declaring war like they did before,” López Obrador. “That is what led us to this situation of crime and violence.”

    Instead, the president vowed to continue with programs to give youths jobs, training and education programs so they won’t be recruited by drug cartels.

    “We are going to continue treating the root causes of the violence,” he said. “Peace and tranquility are the products of justice, and that may take time, but it is the best strategy.”

    López Obrador said he’s well aware of the historical parallels.

    “It was precisely there, in Michoacan, where they declared war on drug trafficking, and they kicked a hornets’ nest, and that caused a lot of suffering and damage for the people of Mexico.”

    Mexico is still grappling with the lingering tragedy of the last drug war: the search for over 40,000 people who disappeared, never to be seen again. Relatives and activists have taken up the search themselves, digging in clandestine grave sites used by drug and kidnapping gangs.

    On Thursday, activists declared they had closed the largest, longest such excavation carried out to date, a total of 156 burial pits excavated over three years that contained at least 298 bodies and thousands of bone fragments.

    Relatives expressed certainty that no bodies remained in the vast burial field known as Colinas de Santa Fe in Veracruz state.

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    Afghan leader rejects foreign interference as talks advance


    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan’s president on Sunday rejected foreign interference as the United States and the Taliban appear to be closing in on a peace deal without the Afghan government at the table.

    President Ashraf Ghani spoke during the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Adha and as U.S. and Taliban negotiators continue their work in the Gulf nation of Qatar, where the insurgents have a political office.

    Speaking after the Eid prayers, Ghani insisted that next month’s presidential election is essential so that Afghanistan’s leader will have a powerful mandate to decide the country’s future after years of war.

    “Our future cannot be decided outside, whether in the capital cities of our friends, nemeses or neighbors. The fate of Afghanistan will be decided here in this homeland,” he said. “We don’t want anyone to intervene in our affairs.”

    U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is seeking a peace deal by Sept. 1, weeks before the vote. The two sides are expected to agree on the withdrawal of some 20,000 U.S. and NATO troops in return for Taliban guarantees that Afghanistan would not be a base for other extremist groups.

    Few details have emerged, but Khalilzad and the lead Taliban negotiator, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, have been traveling in recent days to brief several countries involved in the process on the latest developments.

    “I hope this is the last Eid where #Afghanistan is at war,” Khalilzad said on Twitter, adding that negotiators were working toward a “lasting & honorable peace agreement and a sovereign Afghanistan which poses no threat to any other country.”

    The Taliban spokesman in Qatar, Suhail Shaheen, who has said a deal is expected at the end of this round of talks, also issued an Eid message expressing the hope that Afghanistan “will celebrate future Eids under the Islamic system, without occupation, under an environment of permanent peace and unity.”

    No major violence was reported in Afghanistan on Sunday.

    The Taliban have refused to negotiate with the Afghan government, dismissing it as a U.S. puppet, and on Tuesday they declared the Sept. 28 election a “sham.” They warned fellow Afghans to stay away from campaign rallies and the polls, saying such gatherings could be targeted. A day later the group claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that targeted security forces in Kabul. The attack killed 14 people and wounded 145, most of them civilians.

    The Taliban control roughly half of Afghanistan and are at their strongest since the U.S.-led invasion toppled their five-year-old government in 2001 after the group had harbored al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. More than 2,400 U.S. service personnel have died in Afghanistan since then.

    Ghani, stung by being excluded from the peace talks, on Sunday pleaded for national unity.

    “Peace is the desire of each Afghan and peace will come, there shouldn’t be any doubt about it,” he said. “But we want a peace in which each Afghan has dignity. We don’t want a peace in which Afghans wouldn’t have dignity. We don’t want a peace that would cause people to leave their country. We don’t want brain drain and we don’t want investment drain.”

    A peace deal would be followed by intra-Afghan talks, but it is not clear whether the Taliban would agree to talk to Kabul government members in their official capacity or only as ordinary Afghans, as in the past.

    The U.S. and NATO formally concluded their combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014. The American and allied troops that remain are conducting strikes on the Taliban and the local Islamic State affiliate, and working to train and build the Afghan military.

    President Donald Trump has publicly expressed his exasperation with America’s continued involvement in Afghanistan and a desire to bring troops home.

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    UN: Car bomb kills 3 UN staff outside mall in Libya


    BENGHZI, Libya (AP) — A bomb-laden vehicle exploded Saturday outside a shopping mall in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi, killing at least three U.N. staff members, a spokesman for the United Nations secretary-general said. The attack came even as the country’s warring sides said they accepted a cease-fire proposed by the U.N. aimed at halting combat in the capital Tripoli during an upcoming Muslim holiday.

    Health officials said the blast took place outside Arkan Mall in the Hawari neighborhood, where people were gathering for shopping a day before the Eid al-Adha holiday begins. The Benghazi municipal council said the attack targeted a convoy for the U.N. Support Mission in Libya.

    The site of the attack is close to offices of the mission in Libya. Two of the dead hailed from Libya and Fuji, and the blast wounded nine people, according to health officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

    Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, said in a statement that three U.N. workers were among the wounded.

    “The Secretary-General extends his deepest condolences to the bereaved families and wishes a swift recovery to all the injured. He calls on the Libyan authorities to spare no effort in identifying and swiftly bringing to justice the perpetrators of this attack,” Dujarric said.

    He also said the secretary-general urged “all parties to respect the humanitarian truce during Eid al Adha and return to the negotiating table to pursue the peaceful future the people of Libya deserve.”

    The U.N. special envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame, condemned what he called a “cowardly attack.”

    “This attack will not discourage us, nor will it prevent us from carrying on with our duties to bring about peace, stability and prosperity to Libya and its people,” he said in a statement.

    Salame said the commitment of the parties of the U.N.-proposed cease-fire in Tripoli “sends an irrevocable message that the blood of Libyans, and UN staff, ... was not shed in vain in this heinous explosion.”

    The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting late Saturday afternoon on the situation.

    Assistant Secretary-General for Africa Bintou Keita told members the attack took place in an area “supposedly under full security control” of the Libyan National Army of Gen. Khalifa Hifter.

    She said the attack “highlights the continued danger of terrorism across the country,” and it confirms that the latest hostilities are creating a vacuum “easily exploited by radical elements that strive on chaos and violence.”

    Keita said the U.N. doesn’t intend to evacuate from Libya and she expressed hope that both sides will abide by their commitment to the Eid cease-fire.

    Footage circulated online shows what appears to be burnt U.N.-owned vehicles as thick smoke bellows into the sky.

    No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which came just a month after two bomb-laden vehicles went off in Benghazi, the stronghold for the self-styled LNA. The July attack killed at least four people and wounded 33 others.

    If it takes place, the upcoming cease-fire would be the first since the LNA launched a surprise military offensive on April 4 aimed at capturing Tripoli, ushering in fierce battles with militias loosely allied with a U.N.-supported but weak administration in the capital.

    The battle for Tripoli has killed over 1,100 people, mostly combatants, and has displaced more than 100,000 civilians. Thousands of African migrants captured by Libyan forces supported by the European Union are trapped in detention centers.

    In recent weeks, the battle lines have changed little, with both sides dug in and shelling one another in the southern reaches of the capital. Fighters have also resorted heavily to airstrikes and attacks by drones. An airstrike on one facility early last month killed more than 50 people — many of whom were migrants who died when a hangar collapsed on top of them.

    Libya slid into chaos after the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed long-ruling dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Armed groups have proliferated, and the country has emerged as a major transit point for migrants fleeing war and poverty for a better life in Europe.

    The LNA is the largest and best organized of the country’s many militias, and enjoys the support of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia. But it has faced stiff resistance from fighters aligned with the U.N.-recognized government, which is aided by Turkey and Qatar.


    Magdy reported from Cairo. Edith M. Lederer contributed reporting from New York.

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    U.S. Army discloses ground-launched hypersonic weapon development

    Aug 11, 2019
    in Army, Missiles & Bombs, News

    The Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) has disclosed initial details of a new ground-launched missile during the 22nd Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville this week.

    The new weapon system is called the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon, or LRHW. The RCCTO is charged with delivering the Army’s LRHW, working in close coordination with PEO Missiles and Space and the Long Range Precision Fires Cross Functional Team.

    Going faster than the speed of sound, the LRHW is a strategic weapon that will introduce a new class of ultrafast, maneuverable, long-range missiles with rockets that can launch from ground platforms.

    The LRHW system is a universal solid-propellant medium-range All-Up Round, or AUR, ballistic missile, equipped with a universal maneuverable and therefore, unpredictable, the hypersonic warhead of the Common Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) in the execution of Block 1.

    Both of these system components are developed by the Sandia National Laboratory of the United States Department of Energy with the participation of the United States Missile Defense Agency. The C-HGB hypersonic warhead is being developed as a whole to equip weapons systems of three types of the U.S. armed forces (Army, Air Force, and Navy). The AUR missile will also be used by the U.S. Navy.

    The AUR missile has a case diameter of 34.5 inches (887 mm). The missile will be launched from a transport and launch container with a length of about 10 m from a ground-based towed two-container mobile launcher with an Oshkosh M983A4 tractor unit (8×8). The launcher semi-trailer is a modified M870 semi-trailer of the Patriot SAM launcher. The missile system will use the standard American fire control system for missile forces and artillery AFATDS in version 7.0. The battery of the LRHW system will include four dual-container launchers and one Battery Operation Center.

    According to RCCTO officials, the U.S. Army expected to develop and deliver one experimental prototype Long Range Hypersonic Weapon battery by FY2023.

  8. #8


    Heads up...
    Quote Tweet

    Elizabeth McLaughlin
    · 1h
    Heads up DC: @NORADCommand will conduct an air defense exercise in the National Capital Region beginning tomorrow morning b/t 12:30-2:30am. "Some portions of the exercise may involve flights at approx. 2,500 feet and may be visible from the ground...There is no cause for alarm."
    6:31 PM · Aug 12, 2019

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by danielboon View Post
    Heads up...
    Quote Tweet

    Elizabeth McLaughlin
    · 1h
    Heads up DC: @NORADCommand will conduct an air defense exercise in the National Capital Region beginning tomorrow morning b/t 12:30-2:30am. "Some portions of the exercise may involve flights at approx. 2,500 feet and may be visible from the ground...There is no cause for alarm."
    6:31 PM · Aug 12, 2019

  10. #10
    Global: MilitaryInfo

    5m5 minutes ago
    There was a close encounter between NATO F-18 jet fighters and SU-27 jet fighters over the Baltic Sea. The NATO F-18s were reportedly attempting to approach the Russian Defense Minister's aircraft. (Likely a NATO identify and intercept mission) - Interfax.

  11. #11
    Alex Kokcharov

    3h3 hours ago
    #BREAKING! Russian media report that residents of Nyonoksa, near #Severodvinsk, #Arkhangelsk region, north #Russia, location of last week's nuclear engine incident, are to be evacuated tomorrow. Nyonoksa's population is some 450 people:

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by danielboon View Post
    Alex Kokcharov

    3h3 hours ago
    #BREAKING! Russian media report that residents of Nyonoksa, near #Severodvinsk, #Arkhangelsk region, north #Russia, location of last week's nuclear engine incident, are to be evacuated tomorrow. Nyonoksa's population is some 450 people:
    Talk about delayed response....

  13. #13
    In largest-ever drill, Israeli Navy prepares for massive, devastating quake
    Representatives from 9 foreign countries and NATO participate in naval exercise ‘Mighty Waves 2019,’ simulating aftermath of tremor
    Today, 7:27 pm 1

    Thousands dead, over 100,000 injured, hospitals destroyed and national infrastructure in shambles following a powerful earthquake in northern Israel — this was the scenario simulated in a first-of-its-kind multinational exercise held by the Israeli Navy this week.

    “Mighty Waves 2019” brought representatives from 10 navies and NATO to the Haifa port on Israel’s northern coast, in what Israeli officials said was its largest naval exercise ever. This was also the Israeli Navy’s first exercise dedicated solely to earthquake response.

    “The goal was to learn how to give the best response possible under complicated circumstances,” Maj. Amichai Rachamim, the head of the Navy’s exercises department, told The Times of Israel last week.

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    “We have created an infrastructure that makes us feel comfortable that we could do this in the real world, if need be,” he said over the phone on Thursday. “There are lacunae, but the fact that we’re doing this kind of exercise is good. We need to find the problems and train around them.”

    The United States, France, and Greece fully participated in the exercise, sending ships and personnel to Haifa to take part in drills alongside their Israeli counterparts. Representatives from Cyprus, Chile, Italy, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom and NATO observed and took part in non-physical aspects of the drill.

    US Commander Kelley Jones speaks with an Israeli naval officer as part of the ‘Mighty Waves 2019’ naval exercise in August 2019. (Israel Defense Forces)
    The naval drill had two main goals: to practice setting up a “sea gate,” through which the majority of the humanitarian aid Israel would need in the aftermath of a massive earthquake would pass, and, more generally, to learn how to more efficiently work with the various national and international organizations that would be involved in the disaster relief work.

    In addition, the various navies taking part in the exercise also simulated search and rescue operations at sea.

    Some aspects of Mighty Waves have been tested in the past, including the creation of a “sea gate” in Ashdod port as part of an exercise several years ago. But never before have the naval-related after-effects of an earthquake been simulated at this level, Israeli naval officials said.

    One of the fundamental assumptions of Mighty Waves is that in the case of an earthquake or other large-scale natural disaster, the majority of humanitarian aid would come from the sea, not from the air, as even the largest cargo planes can only carry a fraction of what ships can.

    The Israeli Navy trains with foreign navies in response to a simulated massive earthquake that strikes northern Israel in the ‘Mighty Waves 2019’ naval exercise in August 2019. (Israel Defense Forces)
    Safely and quickly moving that amount of aid throughout the country, whose roads and infrastructure would presumably be damaged in the tremor, would require a massive effort by the Israeli Navy, the ports, and a number of other national emergency response services.

    In order to develop the scenarios simulated in last week’s exercise, the Israeli Navy and Israel’s National Emergency Management Authority — known by its Hebrew acronym Rachel — studied the earthquakes that hit Haiti in 2010 and Japan in 2011, Rachamim said.

    Israel lies along an active fault line: the Syrian-African rift, a tear in the earth’s crust that runs the length of the border separating Israel and Jordan. The last major earthquake to hit the region was in 1927 — a 6.2-magnitude tremor that killed 500 people and injured 700 — and seismologists estimate that such earthquakes occur in this region approximately every 100 years.

    Brig. Gen. Gil Agnisky meets with visiting naval officers as part of the ‘Mighty Waves 2019’ naval exercise in August 2019. (Israel Defense Forces)
    “So we’ve got about eight more years,” Brig. Gen. Gil Aginsky, the commander of the Haifa Base, where the exercise took place, told journalists last week, quickly adding, “I’m just kidding.”

    Mighty Waves simulated a 7.5-magnitude quake striking the Beit Shean Valley in northern Israel, killing 7,000 people, injuring thousands more, damaging hundreds of buildings and leaving over 150,000 homeless.

    “The [simulated] earthquake caused damage to national infrastructure, including power grids, water supply, communications, roads and hospitals,” the army said.

    Following such an event, Israel would declare a state of emergency and request assistance from foreign governments. For the purposes of Mighty Waves 2019, the US, France, and Greece agreed to provide this humanitarian aid, but in the case of an actual earthquake, many other countries in the Mediterranean and surrounding area would be expected to help as well, Israeli officials said.

    “We have a number of friends who will stand at our side when we need it,” Rachamim said.

    In the first hours after an earthquake, the navy and other relevant bodies would assess the damage to the country’s ports — the largest being Haifa and Ashdod — and determine which was in the best shape to receive the incoming humanitarian aid.

    “Rachel would determine what is needed [in humanitarian aid], whether it’s tents, water, medicine, or something we haven’t even thought of, like train tracks because we don’t have enough of them,” Rachamim said.

    As warships are typically much faster than commercial shipping boats, the initial humanitarian aid would likely be brought in on military vessels, Aginsky said.

    We have a number of friends who will stand at our side when we need it

    For Mighty Waves, the US Navy 6th Fleet’s USS Donald Cook, French FREMM Auvergne and Greek HS Aigaion filled the role of incoming aid ships.

    In order to manage the relief effort, Israel would establish the Naval Coordination Center made up of representatives from the navy, Rachel, police, the ports authority, medical services and the foreign navies.

    According to Rachamim, who helped plan and manage the exercise, the operation of this NCC was one of the most important aspects of Mighty Waves.

    “We learned to speak a common language,” he said. “We are in a different place than we were before. We’re not in a place where we’re uncertain. We know who to speak with and how.”

    He gave an example of a rescue operation at sea from the exercise that demonstrated this inter- and intra-national cooperation.

    The Israeli Navy trains with foreign navies in response to a simulated massive earthquake that strikes northern Israel in the ‘Mighty Waves 2019’ naval exercise in August 2019. (Israel Defense Forces)
    “The person who rescued the victim from the water was in an Israeli inflatable boat. An Israeli doctor on an Israeli ship gave first aid. Then a Greek inflatable boat arrived and took them to an American ship. Finally, a French helicopter transported them to an Israeli hospital,” he said.

    In addition to the multi-national coordination, this rescue exercise also required the Israeli military to work with Haifa’s civilian Rambam Medical Center.

    “I think we’re the first to have done this,” Rachamim said.

    The naval officer said he believed that nine foreign navies and NATO decided to participate since they understood that this type of exercise is beneficial not only to the country running it — Israel, in this case — but to all nations, as there is no telling when and where disaster will strike.

    This is a shared issue. Only God — if you believe in God — or destiny knows where a natural disaster will happen,” he said.

    While he acknowledged that there were still gaps in Israel’s preparedness for an earthquake — indeed a 2016 comptroller report highlighted several glaring ones that are still in effect — Rachamim expressed satisfaction with Mighty Waves.

    “The increased awareness is the real achievement of this exercise. I hope [what we’ve learned] won’t be needed, but if it is, we’re ready,” he said.

  14. #14

    I guess God only knows

    Revelation 11:13
    “And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.”

    King James Version (KJV)

    Mid tribulation when 2 witness are killed

    Revelation 11:13 Context

    10And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 13And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. 14The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. 15And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. 16And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Fact One: We will see the Chinese military openly murder up to 50,000 Hong Kong protesters.

    Fact Two: Kashmir is now in free fall and Pakistan is now on PERMANENT NUCLEAR ALERT.

    Fact Three: The open corruption and incompetence of the US political system is easily visible to the entire world via the Epstein "suicide,"

    Fact Four: The rest of the world is tired of US bs, power plays, fiat notes as global reserve currency et al based on a political system based on raping children and teenagers by our mutant elite.

    Fact Five: I don't see how, after the brazen Epstein murder/suicide the system can stay intact until the end of the year.

    And yeah, the Deep State will unleash as many mass shooters as it takes to keep the pedophiles in power.
    Doomer Doug, a.k.a. Doug McIntosh now has a blog at
    My end of the world e book "Day of the Dogs" is available for sale at the following url

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Doomer Doug View Post
    Fact One: We will see the Chinese military openly murder up to 50,000 Hong Kong protesters.

    Fact Two: Kashmir is now in free fall and Pakistan is now on PERMANENT NUCLEAR ALERT.

    Fact Three: The open corruption and incompetence of the US political system is easily visible to the entire world via the Epstein "suicide,"

    Fact Four: The rest of the world is tired of US bs, power plays, fiat notes as global reserve currency et al based on a political system based on raping children and teenagers by our mutant elite.

    Fact Five: I don't see how, after the brazen Epstein murder/suicide the system can stay intact until the end of the year.

    And yeah, the Deep State will unleash as many mass shooters as it takes to keep the pedophiles in power.
    You forget the big nuke leak from the accident in Russia that there trying to bury under a rug yep I agree can't be much longer.

  17. #17

    Numerous IDF jets being reported over Ashdod Israel
    3:55 PM · Aug 13, 2019·

  18. #18
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    ISIS: Forgotten But Not Gone

    by Megan O'Dwyer | Tue, 08/13/2019 - 9:38am | 1 comment

    Despite complete territory loss in recent months, ISIS still has plenty of life left, and its predecessors have recovered from far more difficult situations in the past. ISIS has more manpower, money, and reliable networks than it ever had before it began controlling territory. Considering how successful the group became with less resources, its current status should still be very worrisome. Combine these factors with diminishing interest from policymakers, impending critical infrastructure shortages in Iraq, inadequate reconstruction funds to Sunni-dominated areas, and ISIS’s history of co-opting civil unrest, and suddenly an ISIS resurgence doesn’t seem so far-fetched.

    The group originally emerged as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in 2003 after capitalizing on sectarian tensions and conflict brought on by the U.S invasion. However, a series of AQI bombings in 2005 targeting civilian Muslims alienated its key demographic, and the U.S.-funded Awakening Movement — an initiative which armed Sunni tribes frustrated with AQI’s brutal tactics and attempts to govern — nearly destroyed the group in the late 2000s. Despite near annihilation and a fraction of the support that the group has today, AQI reemerged as the Islamic State (IS) with shocking success in 2014.


    Inside Syria and Iraq, ISIS has vastly more members than its predecessor in the late 2000s. As of March 2019, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) officials reported over 29,000 ISIS members surrendered from ISIS’s last pocket of territory, just four square kilometers in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province. The total membership of ISIS's predecessor AQI during the group’s height before the Awakening Movement was estimated at just 15,000. Regardless of ISIS's reduced stature by this time, it had almost twice as many members in four square kilometers in Syria than it had in all of Iraq at its height in the mid-2000s. Although those four square kilometers were undoubtedly home to an above-average density of ISIS members compared to anywhere else in Iraq and Syria, the numbers are still staggering.


    The group likely has far more money than it did prior to 2014. Coalition Forces have cut ISIS’s oil revenue by over 90% — which sounds very promising — but as of late 2017 that still left the group with a monthly income of approximately $4 million. While it’s true to say this is a dramatic drop in funding compared to the estimated $50 million of monthly oil revenue at its peak, it’s also true that ISIS‘s expenses have dropped exponentially. The funds from these oil fields enabled the group to govern its new territory, but was not instrumental in its initial capture. The Islamic State swept over huge swaths of territory in 2014 with the money it made from criminal activities — such as kidnapping for ransom, extortion, and illicit smuggling — reaping the benefits of the oil fields only after achieving military success. ISIS today will certainly continue making money through criminal means, but this time it’ll be able to combine that revenue with reserves it stored at its height, which some estimate at $500 million, giving it an extra leg-up compared to its previous resurgence efforts.

    International Networks

    ISIS’s command and control (C2) within Syria and Iraq has always been an enabler for its success, and it's no different when it comes to ISIS’s growing network of affiliates around the world. The ability of current ISIS leaders to direct and coordinate its affiliate’s activities in pursuit of strategic goals is a huge advantage over its predecessors. Take for example ISIS's recent attack campaign, Revenge for the Blessed al-Sham. As depicted in the graphic below, not only did activity in Syria and Iraq increase in the week after April 8th, global affiliates also participated.

    Data derived from the Armed Conflict Location and Events Database. Islamic State affiliates include the group’s officially recognized counterparts in Afghanistan, Egypt, Greater Sahara, India, Libya, Pakistan, Russia, Somalia, and Yemen.

    Because the announcement of the campaign came on April 9th after the first series of attacks, some reporting suggests that this campaign is an “opportunistic branding” of a particularly successful but uncoordinated string of attacks. However, the implications of ISIS's claims are too dangerous to ignore. If true, the C2 involved in carrying out a highly sophisticated, international attack campaign is staggering. The benefits of having affiliates that are well-organized, responsive, and willing to prioritize strategic goals over local initiatives are numerous, but include advantages such as providing alternative safe havens for leadership and redundant facilitation nodes, relieving pressure on the core group through diversion tactics, and even the opportunity to declare a caliphate elsewhere should conditions allow.

    Civil Unrest

    Given ISIS’s history of co-opting peaceful protests and morphing them into a catalyst for its insurgency, all the group needs to resurge is an event causing widespread instability. The recent unrest in Basra potentially foreshadows what may come in Sunni-dominated Northern and Western Iraq: the Iraqi government’s chronic struggle to provide basic services during the summer months will now be amplified by huge amounts of destruction brought on by previous counter-ISIS operations. In addition, ISIS media has recently released publications encouraging the burning of crops, possibly in an effort to undermine food security and further inflame the situation. As has happened previously, ISIS may be able to use this crisis to drum up legitimate local support through non-ideological means. Whether or not the civilian population is aligned with ISIS is moot if ISIS is the only institution that can be relied on for consistent, basic services.

    Where Do We Go From Here?

    While the U.S. can’t directly solve Iraq's critical infrastructure shortages and reconstruction fund allocation issues, frank discussion of this bleak situation may help reverse diminishing interest from U.S. policymakers and keep resources allocated to the counter-ISIS mission. Mainstream rhetoric around the group’s alleged defeat doesn’t acknowledge that ISIS is much better situated to resurge now than it was leading up to 2014, tempting policymakers to shift focus to more enticing inter-state tensions. Military action on the part of the U.S. will not lead to ISIS’s lasting defeat, but continued counter-ISIS efforts are critical to allowing the Iraqi Government the time and space necessary to address systemic issues that feed into ISIS’s resurgence efforts.
    Categories: Islamic State - ISIS - insurgency - terrorism - information operations - counterinsurgency - counterterrorism

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    About the Author(s)
    Megan O'Dwyer

    Megan O'Dwyer has spent the past three years as analyst covering counter-terrorism issues for both U.S. military and national defense agencies. Prior to transitioning to an analytic role, she served as a foreign liaison officer on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security.

  19. #19
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    Posted for fair use.....

    Deterring and Defeating Chinese Neo-Imperialism

    by Gary Anderson | Tue, 08/13/2019 - 8:37am | 1 comment

    China and the New Imperialism

    China is waging a small war for control of the South China Sea (SCS) under the guise of protecting a ridiculous definition of its territorial waters in a manner designed to turn the SCS into a Chinese lake. She has militarized the area by using her Coast Guard to harass ships exercising the right of innocent passage and has built artificial islands in areas of disputed ownership. Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Republic of the Philippines have had vessels destroyed, detained, and otherwise intimidated. If a real large-scale shooting war breaks out, China has developed an anti-access/ access denial (AA/AD) anti-navy capability built around precision strike guided by unmanned aircraft and space-based assets, submarines, and massive land-based air attack to keep the United States out of the SCS. To date, the United States has responded with freedom of navigation (FON) operations, but what is needed is a proactive and integrated approach including all elements of US national power to include diplomatic, information, military, and economic (DIME) actions. China has opened a new era of imperialism through its actions in the SCS and in its predatory Great Belt Road initiative. This article suggests an Indo-Pacific anti-imperialist strategy designed to counter China’s overreach.

    Any such strategy should address itself in four key areas:

    Diplomatic. From a diplomatic standpoint, the United States needs to support our current allies, and bring new ones into the fold. American grand strategy in the Pacific region has -since World War II- been a pragmatic blend of bilateral agreements. Nations such as Japan and South Korea which don’t necessarily like each other are bound to us for purposes that serve their own national interests.

    The Republic of the Philippines is the only nation currently aggrieved by Chinese bullying in the SCS with a bilateral military agreement with us, but China seems dead set on driving Malaysia and Vietnam into our arms as well. We should welcome that embrace. By crafting anti-aggression, access assurance treaties with both states, we could lay down the diplomatic framework for a political-military strategy aimed at denying China hegemony in the SCS.

    Taiwan is a separate case. Both China and Taiwan currently maintain the fiction that both are part of a greater China, and a Taiwanese declaration of independence would be a red line for Beijing. However, a Red Chinese attempt to forcibly occupy Taiwan would likely result in a major regional conflict with the United States. Finding a way to ensure Taiwanese democracy and security short of instigating a declaration of independence should be part of any anti-imperialist strategy.

    President Xi is making a huge mistake in retreating to the traditional policy of regarding his regional neighbors as tributaries rather than potential allies. This represents a strategic opportunity that the United States should exploit.

    Information. China’s misbehavior in the SCS along with its exploitive actions in its Great Belt Road initiative which are bankrupting several African and West Asian nations also provides us with an unprecedented propaganda opportunity. This can be done world-wide by actively highlighting China when it acts as a regional and international bully as opposed to an even-handed American policy of recognizing law of the sea and non-exploitation of weaker and less prosperous nations. China is currently blaming the US for its missteps against Hong Kong, Taiwan, and its own Muslim population.

    This should be contrasted with American handling of disagreements with neighbors and friends such as Mexico, Canada, and NATO allies. We have had serious disagreements, but they have been handled diplomatically rather than threats of military violence. Regarding Muslims, unlike China’s handling of indigenous Muslim populations, the United States Constitution allows elected Muslim-American officials to make statements critical of the nation and its government without fear of being arrested or muzzled. The president may criticize them, but free speech is assured. We need to highlight that difference in our information operations.

    Military. The detailed military actions required to develop an anti-Imperialist strategy regarding China will be discussed later in this essay, but General David Berger in his guidance to the Marine Corps upon becoming its Commandant summed up what is needed when he stressed that America should shape the emerging strategic environment rather than merely reacting to it. One of the ways to shape that environment would be in pursuing a concept of Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO) which should be the military basis for the grand strategy of Asia-Pacific anti-imperialism. General Berger also mentioned EABO in his guidance document.[1]

    Economic. Many experts believe that China will overtake the United States as the world’s great economic superpower in the next few decades. If that happens through fair competition, so be it; but of late, China’s economic approach has been both unfair and predatory. The Trump administration has addressed this, and successor presidents of whatever party would to well to continue to push back when China plays unfairly in the economic realm. China’s slowing growth, housing bubble, aging workforce, and non-transparent legal and banking systems may well work to impede eventual economic dominance. It is not America’s job to block China’s economic growth, but it is in our nation’s best interest to help ensure that China plays well with the other children in the world’s economic sandbox.

    Crafting an Anti-Imperialist Strategic Approach

    The charge of imperialism has usually been leveled at the United states and its European allies due to Nineteenth Century colonialism and US support for anti-Communist regimes during the Cold War. Asian states -with the notable exception of World War II era Japan- have usually been painted along with Africa and Latin America as victims of imperialism. China was one of the primary targets of European and Japanese imperial aspirations before the Communist takeover; since then, she has portrayed herself as the leader of the anti-imperialist movement in the emerging world. But the rise of Chinese President Xi Jinping, all that has changed.

    Under Xi, China has become an international bully. The aforementioned misconduct in the SCS and along the Great Belt Road have combined with intimidation in Hong Kong and Taiwan to make China the first 21st Century neo-imperialist power. Preventing Chinese imperial overreach should be a key national security interest of the United States.

    In many ways, the “new China” resembles a juvenile. She is just realizing her own potential, but she is not yet mature enough to realize how to productively employ it. Like all teenagers, if limits are not set, trouble will follow. As the leader of the free world, the United States should be the primary actor in setting those limits with a firm but fair counter-imperialist doctrine. The Trump Administration has taken actions across all elements of DIME to impose limits on China. Economic sanctions against predatory actions were a good first step in imposing such limits, but those boundaries should be formalized into a Trump Doctrine that includes all elements of DIME in an integrated approach.

    One of China's most egregious forms of bullying in the SCS is her building -and then militarizing- artificial Islands around shoals barely above sea level in disputed places such as French Frigate Shoals and the Spratly Islands. This would appear to be done under the theory that presence is none-tenths of the law. In essence, they have created -to use a Cold War paraphrase- an " artificial island gap". The US could counter this by assisting our bi-lateral partners in building and defending such edifices of their own. This has problems and opportunities.

    The problem is that several of our potential partners have competing claims to the same real estate. The opportunity is that, if we can help them to agree to joint use, we can set a diplomatic precedent that will further delegitimize the Chinese approach.

    The Military Component of an Anti-Imperial Strategy

    A good peacetime military deterrent strategy must be credible enough to successfully transition to war if peace fails. That credibility is actually critical in avoiding war. If shooting does occur, China believes that her AA/AD approach will keep the US out of the SCS giving Beijing effective control of the sea in the region by keeping vulnerable US ships -particularly aircraft carriers and amphibious vessels- at arm’s length. This is where EABO can become critical.

    The precursor of EABO has been around since the turn of the Twentieth century when the Navy and Marine Corps developed an advanced base concept. During the Cold War, some naval thinkers advocated placing Marine Corps Air Ground Task Forces (MAGTFs) at key choke points as unsinkable aircraft carriers to bottle up Soviet fleets from deploying to the open ocean.[2]

    Today’s EABO concept is an updated version of the advanced base concept. It would would use forward deployed MAGTFs to defend and reinforce advanced bases using precision strike in addition to the existing assets of MAGTFs of varying sizes combined with joint forces to assist in neutralizing adversary AA/AD capabilities. This would assist in maintaining sea control while enabling follow-on offensive operations. The joint EABO concept is still a work in progress, and would likely see the MAGTF as the naval component protecting a joint forward deployed precision strike complex.

    Advanced Naval Base Operations in World War II; Some Lessons. Some critics argue that an EABO approach leaves such forward advanced bases vulnerable to being isolated and overwhelmed if they cannot be quickly reinforced by mobile naval forces. There is some justification to this as demonstrated by the fate of Wake Island early in the Pacific theater during World War II; but the later battles of Midway and Guadalcanal demonstrate the other side of the risk coin.

    America had advanced bases in the Pacific prior to World War II in the Pacific, and they should have been useful early in the war. They included Guam, the Philippines, Midway, and Wake Island. The assumption was that these outposts would slow and damage Japanese naval forces enough soften them up for and American battle fleet deploying from Pearl Harbor and the west coast to defeat the Japanese in the great naval battle envisioned by the Orange plan for a Pacific War.

    That assumption failed for two reasons. The first was obviously Pearl Harbor where the bulk of the American battleship force was destroyed. The second is not so self- evident. In late 1941 and early 1942, the US Navy was inferior to the Japanese in naval aviation, gunnery and torpedoes. It is quite possible that if the two fleets had met in a battleship-heavy Pacific version of Jutland in early 1942 that the US force would have lost. Pearl Harbor may well have been a blessing in disguise for our navy.

    In addition, the execution of advanced base defense proved to be inept in several cases. General MacArthur’s preparations for the defense of the Philippines were inadequate and he allowed his air force to be destroyed on the ground even after having had fair warning flowing the Pearl Harbor fiasco. Guam was never adequately garrisoned and fell quickly. Wake Island proved to be a tough nut for the Japanese to crack; but lacking reinforcement, it eventually fell.

    Despite those setbacks, the advanced base concept did prove decisive in two major campaigns early in the war. When the Japanese finally did get around to attacking the advanced naval base at Midway, the Americans were able to scrape up enough carrier strength to fight the decisive naval battle that the Orange Plan envisioned. Midway did not end the war, but it stopped Japanese westward expansion and crippled the Japanese aircraft carrier capability. Midway was the end of the beginning in the Pacific. However, it was a close-run thing that could have gone either way had it not been for some excellent intelligence work on the part of the American side. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.

    In the Southwest Pacific, what we would now call a MAGTF successfully captured the weakly held island of Guadalcanal and established an advanced naval and air base aimed at blocking the Japanese thrust toward Australia. What resulted was a grinding naval campaign of attrition as described by Benjamin Jensen and Brigadier General William J. Bowers USMC in a recent article as a “cost imposition” campaign in which the Japanese lost invaluable naval and aviation assets in attempting to remove the American roadblock. Japan never recovered from Midway and Guadalcanal.[3] Although these two were naval campaigns, they involved elements of all services in a joint effort.

    What is Needed to Make EABO Work?

    Without the ability to protect and reinforce them, modern advanced base forces would suffer the same fate as the Philippines, Guam and Wake island in World War II in an SCS conflict with China. Unless the Chinese believe that such bases can be adequately defended, their deterrent value becomes negligible. The current Marine Corps Commandant has committed his service to making the MAGTF component of EABO truly capable, but the concept will need the support of the entire defense establishment to make it a truly credible deterrent to Chinese imperial expansion. This must include the following:

    Credible Defense of Artificial Islands. Artificial Islands -if and when built- are obvious targets for precision strike. However, once built, they must be credibly defended as a deterrent in peace and to keep the SCS free from Chinese control in the event of war. Because they will be necessarily small, such bases will have to be heavily fortified. Cramming a lot of defensive troops onto a small island as the Japanese did in places like Tarawa, Eniwetok, and Iwo Jima in WWII is no longer viable; if it ever was. A MAGTF built to defend such artificial constructs would likely be heavily automated with both unmanned ground systems (UGVs) and unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in order to minimize human casualties under the threat of precision strike attack and to defend against an attempted amphibious landing. General Berger alluded to wider use of such systems in his Commandant’s Planning Guidance.[4] The extensive use of unmanned systems also offers intriguing possibilities for self-reinforcement. The advent of 3-D manufacturing opens up the possibility of replacing unmanned battle assets on-site.[5]

    In addition, the reinforcement and resupply of these mini advanced bases will be a part of any joint and naval sea control campaign. Avoiding a repeat of our failure to reinforce Wake Island will be a key to success in any future SCS naval campaign, but the advantages of forcing the Chinese to expend a large amount of their AA/AD munitions on fixed installations rather than on aircraft carriers and amphibious shipping early in a conflict has enormous potential. It would prepare the battle space for more conventional naval operations as the war progresses. Reinforcement and resupply will likely require the innovative use of smaller robotized vessels and submersibles.

    Making Artificial Islands the Centerpiece of a Precision Strike System. Artificial islands would also lessen the burden on places such as Guam, Okinawa and mainland Japan for basing our strike assets in a potential SCS conflict. At the present time, too much of our naval and air power in the region resides on bases in those areas as well as on aircraft carriers as guided missile combatants and submarines. Adding an additional layer of basing would greatly complicate the Chinese AA/AD problem and give us arsenal space which will be badly needed to degrade the Chinese AA/AD complex.

    Quick Reinforcement of Taiwan. Permanent US basing on Taiwan in the absence of a clear Chinese provocation would obviously be a red line that Red China could not ignore. However, the rapid reinforcement of Taiwan if China gives unambiguous signs of attack -or actually launches an invasion- is a capability that would increase both deterrence and warfighting capacity, not to mention protecting a vibrant democracy. Here again; smaller, heavily automated MAGTFs and stealthy, robotized means of reinforcement/resupply would greatly increase the challenge to mainland Chinese AA/AD and power projection capabilities.


    A robust anti-imperialist strategy as a deterrent to Red Chinese aggressiveness in the SCS would serve two purposes. First, it would help deter the worst angels of mainland China’s nature. Second, it would send a strong signal to other potential maritime bad actors (read here Russia and Iran) that the United States remains a strong supporter of freedom of the sea.

    End Notes

    [1] Commandant’s Planning Guidance, General David Berger, 38th Commandant of the Marine Corps

    [2] The author wrote several articles in the 1980s advocating using MAGTFs to block Soviet naval forces at choke points in the event of war for the MARINE CORPS GAZETTE and NAVAL INSTITUTE PROCEEDINGS

    [3] World War II Battle Holds Key Lessons for Modern Warfare, Benjamin Jensen, American University School of International Service and Brig. Gen. William J. Bowers, U.S. Marine Corps, NAVY TIMES, July 25th, 2020

    [4] Obviously, the primary responsibility for defense of a shoal expanded into and artificial island would rest with the nation that claims it, but none of the nations involved would have the military capability for serious defense against a Chinese attack without US support

    [5] Something similar to this was recently suggested by Marine Corps LtCol Dave Pinion in this publication jrnl/art/marine-corps- postmortem

    Categories: South China Sea - China

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    About the Author(s)
    Gary Anderson

    Gary Anderson is a retired Marine Corps Colonel who has been a civilian advisor in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is an adjunct professor at the George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs.

  20. #20
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    Intermediate-Range Missiles Are the Wrong Weapon for Today’s Security Challenges

    Tom Countryman and Kingston Reif
    August 13, 2019

    On Aug. 2, the United States formally withdrew from the landmark 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, heralding the end of an era and the beginning of a new, potentially more perilous one.

    Russia’s breach of the INF Treaty is unacceptable, and the United States and NATO should ensure Russia doesn’t gain any military advantage from its violation. The Trump administration’s decision to terminate the agreement and plan to develop new ground-launched intermediate-range missiles may be justifiable as a response to Russia’s violation. But “justifiable” is not the same as “smart.” The costs and risks of building new missiles would outweigh the benefits. Without the treaty, there needs to be a more serious arms control plan to avoid a new missile race in Europe.

    Negotiated by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the INF Treaty required the two sides to “eliminate and permanently forswear all of their nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.”

    Unfortunately, the treaty went on life support in 2014, when the United States first accused Russia of violating the agreement by acquiring the nuclear-capable “9M729” ground-launched cruise missile. Since then Russia is believed to have deployed four battalions of the missile.

    With the treaty gone, attention has turned to how the United States and NATO should approach a world without the agreement. The Defense Department has announced plans to test, beginning later this month, two types of mobile, conventionally armed, ground-launched missiles with ranges that exceed the treaty’s limits. The department requested nearly $100 million in its fiscal year 2020 budget to develop intermediate-range missile systems.

    Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters that he would like to see the deployment of intermediate-range missiles in Asia, ideally as soon as possible, and that the end of the INF Treaty would allow “proactive measures to develop the capability that we need for” Europe as well.

    Other administration officials have stated that any deployments are likely years away. Eric Sayers, a leading advocate of leaving the INF Treaty, told Politico Pro, “I think Esper got a little ahead of his skis in saying he wants to get things out there quickly, in months if it was up to him. This will take a few years to consider options, concepts of operation and to do the testing and integration.”

    Regardless, supporters of pursuing the missiles argue that the weapons would provide the United States with additional military options against Russia and especially China, which is not a party to the treaty and has deployed large numbers of missiles with ranges that Washington and Moscow were long prohibited from deploying. As one recent study published by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments puts it, such missiles “could arrest, if not reverse, the erosion of longstanding American military advantages, enhance warfighting, shore up the U.S. competitive position, and ultimately strengthen deterrence, the cornerstone of U.S. global strategy.”

    But the push for new missiles has been controversial in Congress. The Democratic-led House versions of the fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and defense appropriations bill eliminated the Pentagon’s funding request for the missiles. Given the Republican-led Senate’s support for developing the weapons, the issue is likely to be a contentious one when the two chambers try to reconcile their versions of the defense authorization and appropriations bill in the coming weeks.

    Where’s the Strategy?

    The Trump administration has yet to answer repeated congressional calls for information on its decision to withdraw from the treaty or a strategy to prevent Russia from deploying additional and new types of prohibited missiles in the absence of the agreement. The Defense Department’s budget request for new intermediate-range missiles lacks key details about the types of missiles the Pentagon plans to develop, justification of the need for the missiles, or plan to base them.

    Indeed, the House version of the NDAA would require the Pentagon to do some important things before providing funding for these missiles: present a detailed arms control proposal to replace the INF Treaty; demonstrate what military requirements will be met by new intermediate-range missiles; and identify a country in Europe or Asia willing to host the missiles (and in the case of Europe, the legislation requires that any deployment has the support of NATO). The bill also requires the Pentagon to conduct an analysis of alternatives that considers other ballistic or cruise missile systems, including sea- and air-launched missiles, that could meet current capability gaps due to the restrictions formerly imposed by the INF Treaty.

    Without such information, it’s hard to see how accelerating development of these missiles would deny Russia the offensive military advantage it seeks. New ground-launched, intermediate-range weapons would need to be deployed on the territory of NATO members to be of meaningful military value against Russia. Russia would undoubtedly see any U.S. intermediate-range missile deployments, particularly in eastern Europe, as a provocative threat. NATO’s eastward expansion in theory allows these weapons to be placed on Moscow’s doorstep, where they could hit key targets deep inside Russia within minutes. Russia has warned that it will respond to U.S. deployments by deploying more intermediate-range missiles, possibly including ballistic missiles, pointed toward Europe. If all this comes to pass, Europe will be less secure and the risk of a military incident or miscommunication leading to military conflict with Russia will increase.

    Perhaps, then, we should not be surprised that no country has said that it would be willing to host such missiles. Several countries, including Poland, have made it clear that any deployment of the missiles in Europe would have to be approved by all NATO members. A unilateral U.S. attempt to force the alliance to accept them would be a significant source of division within NATO, one Russia would be eager to exploit.

    NATO defense ministers met in Brussels on June 26 to discuss defense and deterrence measures “to ensure the security of the alliance” if Russia fails to resolve U.S. allegations of treaty noncompliance. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance is considering several military options, including additional exercises, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, air and missile defenses, and conventional capabilities. Stoltenberg has repeatedly stated that NATO does not intend to deploy new nuclear missiles in Europe, but he has been silent on whether the alliance is considering the deployment of conventional variants. NATO is likely to decide on which options to pursue during the next head-of-state summit scheduled for early December.

    Fortunately, there is no military need for the United States to develop a new and costly intermediate-range missile for deployment in Europe. Even some proponents of the administration’s decision to withdraw from the INF Treaty admit as much. The United States can already deploy air- and sea-launched systems, which were not covered by the INF Treaty, that can threaten the same Russian targets that new ground-launched missiles could. If additional military measures are required, such as additional deployments of land-based missiles with a range up to 500 kilometers, air- and sea-launched cruise missiles, and cruise missile defenses, these can be pursued with less controversy and risk than the deployment of longer-range ground-based missiles.

    The China Angle

    While Russia was the administration’s primary rationale for withdrawing from the treaty, proponents of developing ground-launched, intermediate-range missiles see the greatest utility for them in Asia. They insist that China, which is not a party to the treaty, is gaining a military advantage in East Asia by deploying large numbers of the missiles, which can easily target U.S. and allied military bases in the region. Fielding similar U.S. missiles in the region along the first island chain capable of hitting high-value targets in China, and in the South and East China Seas, they claim, would help to reverse the growing regional imbalance and make a Chinese effort to overrun vulnerable U.S. allies in the region more difficult.

    But it remains to be seen whether the Pentagon could find a place to base intermediate-range missiles in East Asia outside the U.S. territory of Guam. Despite concerns about China’s growing military power and more assertive behavior in the region, allies such as Australia, Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines aren’t exactly rushing to host them. Following Esper’s comments, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated that basing intermediate-range missiles has “not been asked of us,” is “not being considered,” and has “not been put to us.” “I think I can rule a line under that,” he added. And a South Korean defense ministry spokesperson said, “We have not internally reviewed the issue [of basing U.S. intermediate-range missiles] and have no plan to do so.”

    Efforts to base the missiles in the region would face significant opposition domestically and from China. Following the U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty, Fu Cong, director general of the arms control department at China’s foreign ministry, warned China’s “neighbors to exercise prudence and not to allow the U.S. deployment of intermediate-range missiles on their territory.” Securing basing agreements would require a major investment of political capital from Washington at a time when the Trump administration has done significant damage to several of these alliance relationships.

    Meanwhile, Guam, unlike the Pacific Ocean around it and the air above it, is small and more than 3,000 kilometers from the Chinese coast. Land-based missiles on Guam, even if mobile, would be vulnerable to Chinese attack, thereby increasing crisis instability. Moreover, deploying INF Treaty-range missiles in East Asia would likely increase China’s threat perceptions. Fu said that “If the U.S. deploys [intermediate-range] missiles in this part of the world, at the doorstep of China, China will be forced to take countermeasures.” Esper maintained that China “should be unsurprised” by talk of possible U.S. intermediate-range missile deployments. Clearly the United States and its allies shouldn’t demur from taking actions to confront China simply because China objects to them. But if U.S. deployments prompt China to accelerate its own deployments over its vast land area, U.S. security and the security of its allies would suffer.

    It is also unclear why new intermediate-range missiles are essential, in the words of Elbridge Colby and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), to help to deny China’s “ability to quickly overrun America’s most vulnerable allies.” For example, land-based missiles with a range of 499 kilometers, such as the Army’s Precision Strike Missile, currently under development, would be able to strike some disputed and Chinese-held islands in the East China and South China seas from bases in Japan and the Philippines. But such missiles would not be able to strike targets inside of China. Longer-range air- and sea-based missiles that were never restricted by the treaty could hit the Chinese mainland, though doing so in a limited conflict (for example, one designed to deny China the ability to overrun Taiwan or disputed territory such as the Senkaku Islands) would be escalatory.

    Mindful of the basing challenge, some analysts argue that intermediate-range missiles need not be permanently deployed on the territory of allies and instead could be rapidly deployed from the United States during a crisis. But this too would be problematic. In fact, allies are likely to be even more skittish about accepting missiles during a crisis than in peacetime, since doing so could escalate the crisis.

    Finally, purchasing INF Treaty-range missiles, especially longer-range ballistic missiles, would not be cheap, and every dollar spent on them is a dollar that can’t be spent on more flexible air and sea alternatives. As former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy James Miller has noted, “For the Asia-Pacific theater, there’s a great advantage to both undersea where U.S. has dominance … and to airborne systems. …Particularly long-range stealthy systems that can deliver munitions and provide a more capable and credible counter to Chinese capabilities.”

    Options to augment U.S. air and sea power in the region include: increasing the number of attack submarines; pursuing more agile, resilient, and distributed airpower capabilities; and strengthening the survivability of naval strike systems through unmanned surface and subsurface systems and long-range unmanned aerial platforms.

    An Arms Control Approach

    Could developing land-based intermediate-range missiles in Europe convince Russia to return to the negotiating table to discuss new arms control approaches in the same way that the U.S. deployment of nuclear missiles in Europe during the early 1980s convinced Moscow to agree to the INF Treaty? Such an approach is unlikely to be successful for a number of reasons.

    Unlike during the Cold War, when several NATO leaders urged the United States to deploy the missiles despite strong public opposition, and the Soviet military threat was much greater, it is far from clear that NATO would agree to such deployments today. And then there is the fact that Donald Trump is not Ronald Reagan and Vladimir Putin is not Mikhail Gorbachev.

    Fanning the flames of a missile race with Russia and China will not enhance U.S. security or the security of allies. The maintenance of appropriate military readiness must be paired with dialogue and regional confidence-building and arms control measures.

    Rather than spur Russia to deploy more missiles by deploying missiles America and its allies do not need, the United States and NATO should more aggressively pursue arms control options to mitigate the risks of the collapse of the treaty. One option would be for NATO to declare as a bloc that no alliance members will field any intermediate-range missiles in Europe so long as Russia does not deploy them where they could hit NATO member territory. Moscow has said that it won’t deploy such missiles so long as NATO members do not.

    But this proposal would require Russia to dismantle or move at least some currently deployed 9M929 missiles, namely those believed to be deployed within range of NATO member-state territory. As the United States and Russia dispute the range of that missile, they could agree to bar deployments west of the Ural Mountains. The agreement could take the form of an executive agreement and be verified through national technical means of intelligence, monitoring mechanisms available through the Open Skies Treaty and Vienna Document, and new on-site inspection arrangements as necessary.

    This approach should allay Russian concerns that the United States could place offensive missiles in the Mk-41 missile-defense interceptor launchers currently deployed in Romania and that will soon be deployed in Poland as part of the European Phased Adaptative Approach. If additional assurances are required, the United States and NATO could agree to modify the Mk-41 missile-defense launchers that Russia believes could be used for offensive purposes in a way that allows Russia to clearly distinguish them from launchers that fire offensive Tomahawk missiles from U.S. Navy ships, or agree to other transparency measures to allay Russian suspicions that the launchers contain offensive missiles.

    Another possible option would be to negotiate a new agreement, perhaps as part of a follow-on to the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), that verifiably prohibits ground-launched, intermediate-range ballistic or cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads.

    As bad as the collapse of the INF Treaty is for European security and the future of arms control, the situation could get even worse. Following the U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty, New START, which is slated to expire in February 2021, will be the only remaining bilateral agreement constraining the size of the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals. If New START disappears, there would be no legally binding limits on the two countries’ nuclear arsenals for the first time in nearly half a century.

    The treaty can be extended by up to five years until 2026 if both Trump and Putin agree. But the administration has shunned talks on an extension, raising concerns that New START could soon go the way of the INF Treaty and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, both of which have been discarded without a viable plan to replace them.

    Russia’s violation of the INF Treaty is a serious matter. But the U.S. pursuit of new ground-launched intermediate-range missiles is militarily unnecessary, would divide NATO, and would lead Russia to increase the number and type of intermediate-range missiles aimed against NATO targets. Congress would be wise to withhold its support for a new Euromissile race.

    Tom Countryman is chairman of the board of directors at the Arms Control Association and a former acting undersecretary for arms control and international security with the State Department and former assistant secretary for international security and nonproliferation. Kingston Reif is director of disarmament and threat-reduction policy at the Arms Control Association.

    ETA: From the past....

    Rocket With Army Weapon Explodes After Launch - Kodiak, Alaska 8/25

    Lt Col John R. London III, USAF
    Published Airpower Journal - Summer 1993
    Last edited by Housecarl; 08-14-2019 at 12:34 AM.

  21. #21
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    Jul 2004
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    Posted for fair use.....

    East Asia Pacific
    As China Looms, Vietnam Aims to Develop a More Modern, Skilled Navy

    By Ralph Jennings
    August 12, 2019 09:26 AM

    TAIPEI - A Vietnamese military official advocates developing a more modern, better skilled navy that can hold off complex threats, mainly what experts believe to be increasing pressure from China.

    A rear admiral and political commissar in Hanoi told the official Viet Nam News August 6 that the navy could not be “taken by surprise at any development.

    “In this complicated situation that poses many threats to the country’s defense and security, given the Navy’s role as the key defender of the country’s sovereignty, the Viet Nam People’s Navy must do more to build a strong, developed, skilled and modern naval force that can fulfill all assigned missions,” said the commissar, Phạm Văn Vững.

    The commissar’s words follow the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing vessel in March — Vietnam says at the hands of China.

    More recently, Chinese coast guard boats have approached a Vietnamese undersea energy exploration site near Vanguard Bank in the South China Sea. China and Vietnam vie for sovereignty over tracts of the sea where these two incidents have occurred. These two upsets are just the latest between the territorial rivals dating back centuries.

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    East Asia Pacific
    As China Looms, Vietnam Aims to Develop a More Modern, Skilled Navy
    By Ralph Jennings
    August 12, 2019 09:26 AM
    Vietnam Navy ships barely visible inside Cam Ranh Bay (D. Schearf/VOA)
    FILE - Vietnam Navy ships barely visible inside Cam Ranh Bay (D. Schearf/VOA).

    TAIPEI - A Vietnamese military official advocates developing a more modern, better skilled navy that can hold off complex threats, mainly what experts believe to be increasing pressure from China.

    A rear admiral and political commissar in Hanoi told the official Viet Nam News August 6 that the navy could not be “taken by surprise at any development.

    “In this complicated situation that poses many threats to the country’s defense and security, given the Navy’s role as the key defender of the country’s sovereignty, the Viet Nam People’s Navy must do more to build a strong, developed, skilled and modern naval force that can fulfill all assigned missions,” said the commissar, Phạm Văn Vững.

    The commissar’s words follow the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing vessel in March — Vietnam says at the hands of China.

    More recently, Chinese coast guard boats have approached a Vietnamese undersea energy exploration site near Vanguard Bank in the South China Sea. China and Vietnam vie for sovereignty over tracts of the sea where these two incidents have occurred. These two upsets are just the latest between the territorial rivals dating back centuries.
    Map of South China Sea Territorial Claims
    South China Sea territorial claims

    Naval improvements would help Vietnam deter China, analysts believe, though Vietnamese naval firepower is unlikely to come near equaling that of China.

    “I think all they can think of doing is being a bit of a deterrent,” said Murray Hiebert, deputy director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “Neither Vietnam nor China wants somebody to fire the first shot. That would be pretty serious. So, Vietnam sends in vessels to sort of block China.”

    Navy, present and future

    Today’s Vietnamese navy has 65 vessels including six submarines and six frigates, according to research database It needs a “mastery of modern weapons” and “careful planning” of logistics issues, the commissar said earlier this month via Viet Nam News.

    China today has one of the world’s most powerful navies at 714 vessels including 76 submarines, 33 destroyer and an aircraft carrier, says.

    China claims about 90 percent of the disputed sea, overlapping Vietnam’s smaller claim as well as tracts that four other governments call their own. The other claimants are Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan.

    Chinese maritime activity alarms particularly Vietnam because China controls the full Paracel archipelago, a South China Sea tract vehemently claimed by Hanoi. Much of Vietnam’s population resents China over the maritime dispute.

    “Vietnam realized that they had to modernize their navy to cope with the harassment from the Chinese coast guard,” said Trung Nguyen, international relations dean at Ho Chi Minh University of Social Sciences and Humanities.

    Foreign help

    The Vietnamese navy should work with foreign governments, the commissar was quoted saying. It “must effectively coordinate with other military forces and civilian forces to build a whole-nation defense and people-based defense, while at the same time, maintaining diplomatic efforts, especially in terms of exchanges with naval forces from other countries,” he said.

    The Southeast Asian country acquired six U.S. patrol boats this year. It normally taps Russia for weaponry, such as missile stealth frigates, Hiebert said.

    Washington may eventually push to send its aircraft carriers to Vietnam once a year, Thayer said. The U.S. government has been massing allies in Asia over the past two years to help contain China’s maritime expansion.

    More spats ahead?

    China and Vietnam are used to conflicts over maritime sovereignty, and new ones come up despite diplomatic moves to solve previous ones.

    They had already gotten into “confrontations” over fuel exploration near Vanguard Bank in the 1990s, said Carl Thayer, Southeast Asia-specialized emeritus professor with the University of New South Wales.

    Vietnam backed away from the site last year but never agreed to stay away in the long term, Thayer said. This time, he said, Chinese vessels reached Vietnam’s continental shelf.

    “So, now we have the arrival of this Chinese ship this year, and it’s operating on the Vietnamese side of the exclusive economic zone,” Thayer said.

  22. #22
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    Jul 2004
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    Posted for fair use.....

    Putin’s Private Army Is Trying to Increase Russia’s Influence in Africa


    Central African Republic (CNN) — There’s nothing secret about Russia’s presence in the Central African Republic. The streets are plastered with propaganda posters proclaiming “Russia: hand in hand with your army!” A local radio station churns out Russian ballads and language lessons. New recruits to the army are being trained in Russian, using Russian weapons.

    But the Russian campaign in this war-torn country is anything but straightforward, drawing on a mix of guns-for-hire and clever PR to increase Moscow’s influence, outmaneuver its rivals and re-assert itself as a major player in the region.

    A months-long CNN investigation has established that this ambitious drive into the heart of Africa is being sponsored by Yevgeny Prigozhin -- an oligarch so close to the Kremlin that he is known as President Vladimir Putin’s “chef.” He was sanctioned by the US for funding the Internet Research Agency that meddled in the 2016 presidential election.

    Prigozhin’s conglomerate includes a company called Lobaye Invest that funds the radio station in the Central African Republic (CAR). It also finances the training of army recruits in the CAR by some 250 Russian mercenaries, with more on the way. The dividend for Lobaye Invest: generous concessions to explore for diamonds and gold in a country rich in mineral wealth.

    Prigozhin is no stranger to the world of mercenaries, or private military contractors (PMCs) as they are known in Russia. He’s thought to be the driving force behind Wagner, a secretive contractor whose soldiers of fortune played a role in Syria and eastern Ukraine. One of his veteran accomplices heads the company.

    Our road to the CAR starts with a witness thousands of miles away in a drab Soviet-era apartment.

    A Russian mercenary sits in the gloom, chain-smoking and preparing to talk for the first time about his life in a secret army that officially doesn’t exist.

    He has fought in Chechnya against separatist rebels and in Syria to support the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

    He asked for his identity to be concealed, afraid of reprisals for speaking about the shadowy force that is helping to extend Russian power and influence in unstable areas of the world.

    He was paid, he says, by Wagner.

    “It’s just a fighting unit that will do anything that Putin says,” he adds.

    It is a charge the Kremlin denies. In June, Putin said of military contractors in Syria: “These people risk their lives and by and large this is also a contribution in fighting terrorism … but this is not the Russian state, not the Russian army.”

    But analysts say it’s inconceivable that Wagner would exist without Putin’s approval. Indeed, its training camp in Molkino in southern Russia is attached to a Russian special forces base, guarded by regular soldiers who do not welcome visitors.

    Prigozhin has previously denied being connected to Wagner. Neither he nor anyone from his companies would talk to CNN, but after mixed fortunes in Ukraine and Syria the oligarch appears to have turned his attention to Africa, with various subsidiaries at work in Libya, Sudan and the Central African Republic.

    In the CAR, the mercenaries’ headquarters are on the grounds of a now dilapidated former presidential palace at Berengo, a two-hour drive from the capital Bangui.

    In 2017, the UN Security Council approved a Russian training mission, but other governments did not expect Prigozhin’s men to fill the void. Not surprisingly, the trainers covered their faces and refused to speak to us.

    The one man who is interviewed is Valery Zakharov, a cheerful and florid former military intelligence officer who spent time in Chechnya in the 1990s and is now in charge of the training.

    He views his role simply, telling CNN: “Russia is returning to Africa.”

    “We were present in many countries during the time of the Soviet Union, and Russia is coming back to the same position. We still have connections and we are trying to re-establish them,” he said.

    Zakharov describes the instructors as “reservists.” But neither he nor anyone else could explain who sent them and who pays them. And his own role in the country is somewhat unclear.

    Zakharov told CNN he works as a security adviser for the Central African Republic’s President Faustin-Archange Touadéra.

    “He pays me a salary, therefore, I work for him,” Zakharov said.

    He added that he had never met Prigozhin and insisted Wagner did not operate in the CAR.

    “Let’s be clear again what we mean by Wagner -- if we mean the composer?” he joked. “Legally it does not exist and therefore we are going to consider that it does not exist. As regards the Central African Republic at the current time, there is no PMC (Private Military Contractor) Wagner.”

    Prigozhin’s complex

    network of companies

    Yevgeny V.


    Ties to Putin’s

    inner circle


    Vladimir V. Putin



    Listed as 50%

    owned by Prigozhin

    Shares email / domain name with Concord


    Parent company

    for a group of



    in Russia


    Part of /

    subsidiary of

    Evgeny Khodotov has

    run both companies

    Accused by US

    of backing Internet

    Research Agency (IRA)

    Owned or controlled

    by Prigozhin











    Dmitry V. Utkin is head of Wagner. A man of the same name was listed as Director General of Concord


    Part of /

    subsidiary of


    Accused by US of

    influencing the 2016

    Presidential Election

    Under US

    treasury sanctions






    Notorious group

    of mercenaries

    But CNN has obtained documents showing Zakharov has been paid by a Prigozhin company, M-Finans, at least once, in July 2018.

    He lives at the headquarters of Lobaye Invest, in a walled compound outside the capital, Bangui. A solitary Russian flag flutters nearby; an ammunition box with Cyrillic script sits atop the wall.

    Zakharov’s employer, President Touadera, told CNN there was no link between the support Russia provided in military training and “other sectors.”

    But CNN obtained documents showing that Lobaye Invest had won exploration rights at seven sites to look for diamonds and gold.

    English translation "Awarding of a semi-mechanized artisanal permit of exploitation for gold and diamond to the company Lobaye Invest Sarlu."

    English translation "Situated in the zone of Yawa, in the underprefecture of Boda, for a period of 3 years, renewable."

    And a trip to a mining site near Yawa -- an arduous two-day journey from Bangui -- suggested a close connection between the mercenaries and minerals.

    A teenage villager there named Rodriguez told CNN the Russians started arriving 18 months ago, the same time the military trainers began to arrive. And he said the Russians had come from Berengo, the mercenaries’ headquarters.

    The only people digging through sand and stone for a precious fragment during our visit were local youths. Rodriguez explained that hundreds of people in the area now work for the Russians. Anything they find, he said, must be handed to the Russians’ local agents.
    Young men work at a goldmine in Yawa.

    After leaving Yawa, we saw a 4x4 vehicle with no license plate and four men inside, an unusual sight in that area. The car drove off when we approached, and three of the four men hid their faces from our camera.

    The car appeared again close to our base in a nearby town, and again left hurriedly when we spotted it.

    The local police chief told us he had questioned the men and confirmed they were Russian.

    From photographs of the one man we did see, we were able to identify him as a translator with a Prigozhin firm.

    With the help of the London-based Dossier Center, run by exiled Russian billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky, we established the man had been in contact with one of Prigozhin’s senior executives who had been indicted in the US for his part in running the Internet Research Agency.

    As CNN prepared to publish this report, a site linked to Prigozhin released a 15-minute propaganda video about our trip to the CAR, featuring surreptitiously filmed video of the team at our hotel and false accusations that we bribed locals to say bad things about Russians.

    The Dossier Center funded an investigation last year by three Russian journalists into the activities of Russian mercenaries and specifically Wagner in the CAR.
    CNN spotted a vehicle with no license plates tracking our team’s movements. Upon approaching the vehicle, three of the men traveling within tried to hide their faces. Police later confirmed they were Russian. - Credit: CNN

    The three men were ambushed and killed on their way to a huge gold mine in a remote and volatile part of the country. No one has yet been charged in their murder. The country’s justice minister told us that investigations were continuing.

    Both the US and France, the CAR’s former colonial master, have expressed concern at Russian activities in this part of Africa.

    The new head of US Africa Command, General Stephen Townsend, describes the mercenaries at Berengo as “quasi-military” and closely linked to the Kremlin.

    “They are using them to train some of the local armed forces,” Townsend told a US congressional hearing in April. “Some of that could be benign. Some of that is probably less than benign.”

    However, the US is reducing its troop presence on the continent while Russia deploys a unique hybrid of the Kremlin’s clout and an oligarch’s pursuit of profit to spread its influence.

    Moscow now has some 20 military agreements with African countries. And where the opportunity arises, Prigozhin provides the mercenaries and funding to deepen Russia’s presence and in return wins access to unexploited riches.

    MoscowUkraineSyriaLibyaSudanCentral African Republic

  23. #23
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    Posted for fair use.....

    Home News U.S.
    Hackers just found serious vulnerabilities in F-15 fighter

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    By JOSEPH MARKS | The Washington Post | Published: August 14, 2019

    LAS VEGAS — In a Cosmopolitan hotel suite 16 stories above the Def Con cybersecurity conference, a team of highly vetted hackers tried to sabotage a vital flight system for a U.S. military fighter jet. And they succeeded.

    It was the first time outside researchers were allowed physical access to the critical F-15 system to search for weaknesses. And after two long days, the seven hackers found a mother lode of vulnerabilities that — if exploited in real life — could have completely shut down the Trusted Aircraft Information Download Station, which collects reams of data from video cameras and sensors while the jet is in flight.

    They even found bugs that the Air Force had tried but failed to fix after the same group of hackers performed similar tests in November without actually touching the device.

    "They were able to get back in through the back doors they already knew were open," Will Roper, the Air Force's top acquisition official, told me in an exclusive briefing of the results.


    The hackers lobbed a variety of attacks — including injecting the system with malware and even going at it with pliers and screwdrivers. When I saw it, the metal box that's usually secure on the aircraft had wires hanging out the front.

    The hackers briefed Roper on the findings on Saturday afternoon. He was surrounded by discarded pizza boxes, iced coffee drinks — and the hotel's drinking glasses filled with screws, nuts and bolts removed from five fully dismantled TADS devices, which run about $20,000 a pop.

    He'd expected the results to be about this bad, Roper told me on a private tour of the hacking event. He pinned the weaknesses on decades of neglect of cybersecurity as a key issue in developing its products, as the Air Force prioritized time, cost and efficiency.

    He's trying to turn that around, and is hopeful about the results of the U.S. government's newfound openness to ethical hackers. He'd come straight from Def Con's first-ever Aviation Village, which the Air Force helped establish, and was wearing a gray T-shirt with the words "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to hack," emblazoned on the front — a riff on a classic line from the 1964 James Bond film "Goldfinger."

    This is a drastic change from previous years, when the military would not allow hackers to try to search for vulnerabilities in extremely sensitive equipment, let alone take a literal whack at it. But the Air Force is convinced that unless it allows America's best hackers to search out all the digital vulnerabilities in its planes and weapons systems, then the best hackers from adversaries such as Russia, Iran and North Korea will find and exploit those vulnerabilities first, Roper told are millions of lines of code that are in all of our aircraft and if there's one of them that's flawed, then a country that can't build a fighter to shoot down that aircraft might take it out with just a few keystrokes," he said.

    Roper wants to put his military hardware where his mouth is.

    During next year's Def Con conference, he wants to bring vetted hackers to Nellis or Creech Air Force bases near Las Vegas where they can probe for bugs on every digital system in a military plane, including for ways that bugs in one system can allow hackers to exploit other systems until they've gained effective control of the entire plane.

    He also wants to open up the ground control system for an operational military satellite for hacker testing, he said.

    "We want to bring this community to bear on real weapons systems and real airplanes," Roper told me. "And if they have vulnerabilities, it would be best to find them before we go into conflict."

    Those hacking challenges will also be useful for the private sector because military planes and satellites share many of their computer systemswith the commercial versions of those products, Roper said, and the Air Force can share its findings.

    The seven hackers probing the TADS devices were all brought to Vegas by the cybersecurity company Synack, which sells the Pentagon third-party vulnerability testing services, under a contract with the Defense Digital Service, a team of mostly private-sector technology stars who try to solve some of the Pentagon's thorniest technology problems during short-term tours.

    The Defense Digital Service started by organizing large-scale hacking competitions in 2016, with names such as "Hack the Pentagon" and, eventually, "Hack the Air Force." These were open to almost anybody — but included only public-facing hacking targets such as military service websites and apps.

    Shortly after, they also began opening more sensitive systems to a smaller number of vetted hackers who sign nondisclosure agreements.

    DDS has run about a dozen of those more sensitive hacking competitions so far, but this is the first time it has offered up the same system for hacking twice, said Brett Goldstein, DDS's director, who earned a reputation in technology as Open Table's IT director and chief data officer for the city of Chicago.

    "That's important because security is a continuous process," he told me. "You can't do an exercise and say, 'Oh, we found everything' and check the box. You need to constantly go back and reevaluate."

    They also allowed the hackers to be more aggressive this time and to physically disassemble the TADS systems to get a better idea of what kinds of digital attacks might be effective, Goldstein said. That meant the hackers could simulate a cyberattack from adversaries that had infiltrated the vast network of suppliers that make TADS components and had sophisticated knowledge about how to compromise those elements.

    They could also advise the Air Force about flaws in how the TADS hardware was built that make it more susceptible to digital attacks.

    Moving forward, Roper told me, he wants to start using that knowledge to mandate that Air Force vendors build better software and hardware security controls into their planes and weapons systems upfront so the Air Force doesn't have to do so much cybersecurity work on the back end.

    He's up against an arcane and byzantine military contracting process, however, that's going to make those sorts of fundamental reforms extremely difficult, he acknowledged.

    In some cases, the company that built an Air Force system owns the software embedded in that system and won't let the Air Force open it up for outside testing, he says. In other cases, the Air Force is stuck with legacy IT systems that are so out of date that it's difficult for even the best technologists to make them more secure.

    "It's difficult to do this going backward, but we're doing our best," Roper told me. "I can't underscore enough, we just got into the batter's box for what's going to be a long baseball game."
    Thoughts are things. Thus I'm careful of the thoughts I think, & the company I keep.

  24. #24


    WED AUG 14, 2019 / 8:57 PM BST
    Russia flies nuclear-capable bombers to region facing Alaska
    Andrew Osborn

    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Wednesday it had flown two nuclear-capable TU-160 bombers to a far eastern Russian region opposite Alaska as part of a training exercise that state media said showed Moscow's ability to park nuclear arms on the United States' doorstep.

    The Tupolev TU-160 strategic bomber, nicknamed the White Swan in Russia, is a supersonic Soviet-era aircraft capable of carrying up to 12 short-range nuclear missiles and of flying 12,000 km (7,500 miles) non-stop without re-fuelling.

    Russia's Ministry of Defence said in a statement that the planes had covered a distance of more than 6,000 km (3,728 miles) in over eight hours from their home base in western Russia to deploy in Anadyr in the Chukotka region, which faces Alaska.

    The flight was part of a tactical exercise that would last until the end of this week, it said, and was designed to rehearse the air force's ability to rebase to operational air fields and to practise air-to-air refuelling.

    Footage released by the Defence Ministry showed the planes taking off in darkness and landing in daylight at an airfield set amid flat grassy terrain in the Russian far east.

    The flight comes amid heightened tensions over arms control between Moscow and Washington. The United States withdrew from a landmark nuclear missile pact with Russia this month after determining that Moscow was violating that treaty, an accusation the Kremlin denied.

    The U.S. ambassador to Moscow said earlier on Wednesday that another arms treaty, the last major nuclear pact between Russia and the United States, was outdated and flawed and could be scrapped when it expires in 2021 and replaced with something else.

    And on Tuesday, the Kremlin boasted that it was winning the race to develop new cutting-edge nuclear weapons despite a mysterious rocket accident last week in northern Russia that killed at least five people and caused a brief spike in radiation levels.


    Russian government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta said on its website on Wednesday that the TU-160s' flight showed Moscow's ability to base nuclear bombers within 20 minutes flight time from U.S. territory.

    "The distance from Anadyr to Alaska is less than 600 km (372 miles) - for the TU-160 that takes 20 minutes including take-off and gaining altitude," it said.

    "Moreover the capabilities of the missiles which the plane carries would allow it to launch them without leaving Russian airspace. If necessary, the bombers' first target could be radar stations and the positions of interceptor missiles which are part of the U.S. missile defence system."

    TU-160s, codenamed Blackjacks by NATO, have flown in the past from bases in Russia to Syria where they have bombed forces opposed to President Bashar al-Assad, one of Moscow’s closest Middle East allies.

    The Defence Ministry said a total of around 10 TU-160 bombers and TU-95MS and IL-78 planes were involved in the exercise, suggesting it covered other areas too.

    Russia is in the process of modernising the TU-160. President Vladimir Putin last year praised the upgraded version after watching it in flight, saying it would beef up Russia’s nuclear weapons capability.

    Ten of the modernized TU-160M nuclear bombers are due to be delivered to the Russian Air Force at a cost of 15 billion roubles ($227 million) each between now and 2027.

    Tupolev, the plane’s manufacturer, says the modernised version will be 60 percent more effective than the older version with significant improvements to its weaponry, navigation and avionics.

    A similar flight was made a year ago to Anadyr, where state media say the local air field has been modernised to be able to receive bigger planes like the TU-160.

    ($1 = 66.0275 roubles)

    (Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Toby Chopra and Gareth Jones)

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    For links see article source.....
    Posted for fair use.....

    Adding Strategic Nonviolence to the Unconventional Warfare Doctrine

    by Thomas Doherty | Fri, 08/16/2019 - 1:13pm | 1 comment

    The United States has been involved in the unconventional warfare (UW) business since the nation’s inception. As a result, there is an immense amount of literature discussing UW. This literature predominantly focuses on insurgents, such as the Kalashnikov-touting Mujahidin of the second Soviet-Afghan War or the ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. Famous leaders commonly associated with UW include Washington, Mao, Che, Castro, Ho Chi Minh, and Osama bin Laden, all of whom utilized violent resistance strategies. However, there are leaders—such as Mahatma Gandhi— who accomplished the same goals without the use of violence as the primary means for regime change. This article argues that United States Special Operations Forces (SOF) should expand its understanding of doctrine and incorporate the use of strategic nonviolence to accomplish the objectives of a UW campaign.

    There is an increasing body of research that argues that nonviolent resistance movements are more effective than violent resistance movements. According to a study conducted by Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan, nonviolent resistance movements (NvRM) are nearly twice as effective as violent resistance movements (VRM) in accomplishing significant shifts in power. The United States, however, has predominantly sponsored insurgencies that use violent forms of resistance that Chenoweth and Stephan argue has only resulted in success 26 percent of the time. In comparison, the same study argues that NvRMs are successful 53 percent of the time. The increased effectiveness indicates that NvRMs utilize a more effective stratagem. Although, U.S. military doctrine does include many components of nonviolent techniques to aid a violent campaign, sometimes referred to by the military as nonlethal targeting, these techniques are regulated to a supporting role.[i]

    The newest U.S. military manual detailing how to conduct UW — ATP 3-18.1 Special Forces Unconventional Warfare — is the most recent version and was released in March of 2019. This manual demonstrates SOF's increased awareness of NvRM tactics by including items like Genes Sharp’s “198 methods of nonviolent action.”[ii] Nevertheless, on the very first page of chapter one, the manual explicitly states that violence is mandatory for the conduct of UW.[iii] It does this by only recognizing two forms of warfare, conventional and irregular. Using this construct the military states that UW is a form of irregular warfare. Which the military states is "characterized as a violent struggle."[iv]

    Additionally, the ATP 3-18.1 demands that U.S. military forces utilize a guerrilla force while conducting UW. In a highlighted subsection of the manual titled “Resisting the ‘Guerrilla Force’ in the Army Unconventional Warfare Doctrine Definition,” the manual takes a page and a half to fight against any effort to make the use of a guerrilla force optional.[v] Specifically, it argues against changing the definition of UW making a guerrilla force optional. At one point, the UW manual states:

    The attempt to force a change from “A, B, and C” to “A, B, or C” is illogical because it weakens, not strengthens the explanatory power of the doctrinal concept. “A, B, and C” means that all three functions are required for the concept and the commander or planner analyzing their assigned case should anticipate seeing the specific indigenous examples of these modeled functions. For example, one should expect to find the resistance armed element (guerrilla or armed force). [vi]

    I argue, however, that making a guerrilla force optional does not weaken the model but instead allows for a less restrictive view of how to accomplish the ends of UW, which are to “coerce, disrupt, or overthrow a government or occupying power.”[vii] Although the U.S. military is famous for not knowing its doctrine, purposely building in, a page and a half to restricting and even demanding that the means to be used in a UW strategy ensure institutional restrictions are placed on commanders. Instead, space should be left in the definition allowing a commander to choose strategic nonviolence as a means to achieve the ends of a UW strategy.

    To its credit, the ATP 3-18.1 specifically points out that doctrine is not dogma. While attempting to make this argument, the ATP undercuts its own argument that a guerrilla force is required. The manual goes on to state, "Is it possible that a specific resistance can be successful without a “guerrilla force?” Of course."[viii] This statement counters the previous argument that a guerrilla force is mandatory.

    Adding to the authoritative nature of doctrine is its use in professional education. Military schools and observer trainer controllers (OTC) at combat training centers are supposed to teach, advise, and evaluate based on doctrine. If the doctrine explicitly states there must be violence, then military leaders will be taught and therefore institutionalize that concept. This institutionalization has second and third order effects as subordinated commanders attempt to gain mission approvals.

    The first step to acknowledging that NvUW has existed for a while is looking at what constitutes UW. According to the DoD dictionary, unconventional warfare constitutes “activities conducted to enable a resistance movement or insurgency to coerce, disrupt, or overthrow a government or occupying power by operating through or with an underground, auxiliary, and guerrilla force in a denied area.”[ix] It is irrefutable that Mahatma Gandhi was instrumental in “overthrow[ing] a government or occupying power” when he forced Britain to abandon India. But part of the definition of UW is “and guerrilla force.”[x] This restriction limits the ability of Special Forces (SF) —the proponent for UW—to officially forgo a violent strategy for a nonviolent strategy as a form of UW.

    The first part of the definition of UW states that there must be “a resistance movement or insurgency.”[xi] The DoD dictionary states that a resistance movement is “An organized effort by some portion of the civil population of a country to resist the legally established government or an occupying power and to disrupt civil order and stability.”[xii] Gandhi clearly met every requirement in this definition. For example, the British were the legally established government in India when Gandhi became the leading figure in the Indian independence movement. Gandhi mobilized the population to expel what he viewed as an occupying power and repeatedly disrupted civil order and stability. Therefore, by the DoD’s definition, he was a leader of a resistance movement—albeit an NvRM.

    Gandhi and others have accomplished the ends of UW in that they did “coerce, disrupt, or overthrow a government or occupying power.”[xiii] But he failed to use the prescribed means detailed in the UW doctrine. Specifically, Gandhi failed to utilize a guerrilla force. The DoD defines a guerrilla force as “a group of irregular, predominantly indigenous personnel organized along military lines to conduct military and paramilitary operations in enemy-held, hostile, or denied territory.”[xiv] A creative think could attempt to argue that the guerrilla force could be used nonviolently. This argument, however, ignores how the military understands what a guerrilla force is.

    When a military commander reads “personnel organized along military lines to conduct military and paramilitary operations,”[xv] all of the training the commander has received is going to lead to the conclusion that he or she is to use violence. Reinforcing this concept is the DoD definition of paramilitary forces as an, “armed forces or groups distinct from the conventional armed forces of any country, but resembling them in organization, equipment, training, or mission.”[xvi] Therefore, the commander knows that the force is to be armed, trained, and used to conduct missions similar to any military unit.

    Moreover, there is the commander’s understanding of the enemy. If friendly forces have a guerrilla force, then it can be safely assumed that the enemy will conduct counterguerrilla operations. To a military commander, counterguerrilla operations are “activities conducted by security forces against the armed paramilitary wing of an insurgency.”[xvii] Again, the terms used include paramilitary and armed, leading the commander to conclude that if ordered to conduct UW, he or she must have an armed group using violence to achieve their objectives.

    Since Gandhi led a resistance movement that achieved the ends associated with UW, I assert that he was a successful UW leader. Nonetheless, the Army does not widely study leaders such as Gandhi. This lack of recognition may be because Gandhi’s strategy involved nonviolence. The Success of Gandhi and others prove unquestionably that nonviolent strategies can succeed. The popularity of Che and Castro is disproportionate when one considers that nonviolence has been successful multiple times, whereas the foco form of insurgency accredited to Castro and Che, has only been successful once in all of history. Yet, foco is still taught in the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC).

    Why then have we not already incorporated nonviolence as a strategy? After all, if an ammunition company offered bomb A with a hit rate of 26 percent, or a cheaper bomb B, with a hit rate of 53 percent, the debate would last seconds. A shift in institutional thinking is not that simple in any organization, especially in the service components that hinge their existence to kinetic warfare. Adding to this is a misunderstanding of what constitutes nonviolence. People commonly associate images of pacifists or Tiananmen Square with NvRMs. However, nonviolence can be extremely aggressive. Gene Sharp —a foundational scholar on the subject of nonviolence — identifies 198 methods of nonviolent action.[xviii] Among the methods are categories such as pressures on individuals, ostracism of persons, psychological intervention, and physical intervention. Many of these forms of resistance are aggressive and often deliberately antagonistic.

    Strategic nonviolence is a strategic decision to avoid deliberately inflicting physical harm on your opponent. Stephan and Chenoweth define nonviolent resistance as “a civilian-based method used to wage conflict through social, psychological, economic, and political means without the threat or use of violence.”[xix] A part of the concept is the decision on strategy. Therefore a religious pacifist and a former guerrilla fighter can both execute NvUW.

    The removal of the threat or use of violence and where that limit lies is contentious. For example, there is disagreement if sabotage is violent or not. My proposed answer to this dilemma is directly related to a legal definition of causation. Therefore, NvRMs are not responsible for death or injury if the NvRM’s actions were not the operative and substantial cause of the injury or death. That is to say, as long as the NvRM was not the primary cause of the injury. For example, if an NvRM is blocking a bridge with a protest and the resulting traffic delayed medical service to a car accident or if the government forces shot into the crowd, then the NvRM did not cause the injuries.

    There is sometimes the impression that a successful NvRM will mean no one will be hurt or killed. Unfortunately, nonviolent resistance often results in injuries and death. Additionally, an NvRM’s most effective weapon is bodily injury or death of its members by either the regime or its allies. Regime oppression often causes a phenomenon known as ‘backfire.’ Michael Gross published an article about ‘backfire’ called “Backfire: The Dark Side of Nonviolent Resistance” in which he described ‘backfire’ as,

    How protesters successfully employ nonviolent tactics to provoke a brutal and disproportionate response from their adversary to solidify domestic support, encourage defections among state military and law enforcement personnel, and swing international opinion to their side.[xx]

    Whether an NvRM provokes the violent response or not an NvRM must be ready to make use of violence if it occurs. Creating ‘backfire’ is how an NvRM uses nonviolence to combat violence.

    There are several benefits inherent in an NvUW strategy. First is the ability of regime security forces to shift sides since there is no threat to their lives by an NvRM. Second, there are arguments that an NvRM is more acceptable to other governments and nongovernmental organizations. Third, regime members are theoretically more likely to give in to demands if they know the resistance leaders will not physically harm or kill them.[xxi] Fourth, the pool of resistance member is also much larger since pacifists, the old, and the infirmed are still able to participate actively. A nonviolent resistance member does not have to be a young, fit, or a barrel-chested freedom fighter to go on strike or participate in boycotts. Finally, sponsoring a NvUW campaign would theoretically be cheaper since there is no need to purchase weapons, explosives, and ammunition. There is, however, a gap in the literature regarding cost analysis.

    NvUW is not suitable for every situation. Given the depth of the literature to date, this article cannot hope to touch on every situation. There will be times when a VRM is more appropriate. Additionally, a hybrid warfare (HW) campaign simultaneously utilizing both a VRM and an NvRM is possible. If an insurgency employs this form of HW, then the insurgency will have to prevent cross-contamination of the movements. A regime is very likely to attempt to group them under a common umbrella of violent insurgents.

    When choosing what form of UW to conduct against a targeted country, the intelligence analysis will point to the efficacy of using a VRM, NvRM, or HW. In some circles, this would be referred to as COA (Course of action) 1, 2, and 3. An example of states that may be NvUW resistant is oil-rich states. Oil-rich states are more likely to be successful in suppressing NvRMs.[xxii] Reasons for this include international reliance on the continued flow of oil, the ability to maintain an income stream, and possession of larger more loyal militaries.[xxiii] Never the less as a command develops courses of action adding NvUW to the list may allow a better success rate than always going kinetic.

    This article could not hope to cover all the arguments for and against the use of NvUW. However, given the reported success rates of NvRMs verse, VRMs further study may increase the effectiveness of future UW campaigns. Additionally, it opens options that policymakers may not have considered. For example, the political situation in a Mideast or South American country may not allow for sponsorship of a VRM, but an NvRM would be politically acceptable. In other situations, a partially occupied country in Europe could conduct a conventional military campaign in one part of the country and sponsor a NvUW campaign in the occupied part of the country effectively conducting HW.

    Current U.S. doctrine is already on the cusp of being able to absorb nonviolent strategies. U.S. unconventional warfare doctrine argues that commanders should customize their courses of action to the situation that presents itself stating, “Special Operations Commanders must understand UW theories, principles, and tactics, and adapt them based on circumstance, the resistance, the opposition, and the desired end state.”[xxiv] Consideration, therefore, should include an analysis of what types of resistance are best suited to the political situation and the existing resistance movements available within the targeted area.

    Additionally, conducting UW campaign using strategic nonviolence does not violate the principles of UW. As seen in figure 1, the ATP 3-18.1 lists out the principles of UW and states that principles are "fundamental rule[s] or an assumption[s] of central importance."[xxv] As can be seen from the principles in Figure 1, conducting UW nonviolently only violates the definition but not the principles of UW. If principles are fundamental, then changing definitions within the principles should not be overly burdensome.

    Figure 1: Principles of Unconventional Warfare, as seen in the ATP 3-18.1 Special Forces Unconventional Warfare.[xxvi]

    There are other reasons for changing the definition and not creating a separate format. Words have meaning there is a reason we have the tactical mission tasks of defeat, neutralize, and destroy. They give the commander guidance on the specific results a subordinate is to achieve. So, adding a new set of words such as Nonviolent Unconventional Warfare would help separate the methodology from the ends. There are a few reasons to maintain both under the same umbrella.

    First, unlike defeat, neutralize, and destroy NvUW and UW have the same ends state. They only differ in methodology, which under mission command theory is supposed to be a decision by the commander conducting the mission. Second, creating an entirely separate element would result in a much more significant intuitional shift with drastically increased resistance. Questions about who will be the proponent command, new doctrine and manuals would have to be developed, new schooling, new human resources demands, etc. This level of change will meet its own resistance movements within the military. The alternative is to change a word here and there within the dictionaries used by the military, add some professional reading, and possibly add a few pages to existing UW doctrine.

    Further proof that the US military doctrine already allows for the concept of NvUW. The Army’s training circular Unconventional Warfare Mission Planning Guide for the Special Forces Operational Detachment–Alpha Level lists out what it calls the Unconventional Warfare Golden Bullets.

    UW is not about the U.S. Soldier; it is about leveraging the indigenous partners.
    UW is not about U.S. processes and resources; it is about leveraging indigenous resources.
    If a Soldier cannot articulate how he plans to win “through and with” the indigenous partners, he has failed to demonstrate that he is proficient in UW.
    If a Soldier cannot articulate how UW can be conducted successfully without the U.S. Soldier ever firing a single round in combat, he has failed to demonstrate that he understands UW.[xxvii]

    Therefore, the Army’s own golden bullets for a UW campaign fits within the scope of a NvUW.

    In the era of great power competition, the United States can ill afford to ignore nonviolent resistance as an offensive strategy employable by ourselves, our allies, and also our enemies. The ability to achieve UW end states using strategic nonviolence will increase the options and capabilities available to policymakers and allow us to understand it when utilized against U.S. interests. Strategic nonviolence does not employ an armed guerrilla force; instead, it uses a nonviolent resistance movement to form an action arm that achieves the same UW objectives. Thus, strategic nonviolence is effectively nonviolent unconventional warfare (NvUW). By adopting NvUW strategies, the US will be able to achieve the same end states as traditional UW without causing the same level of escalation.

    End Notes

    [i] Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan, “Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict,” International Security 33, no. 1 (Summer 2008): 8. The Chenoweth and Stephan numbers are still in dispute within the literature. With arguments including not accounting for movements that are suppressed quickly and benefits of having a radical flank.

    [ii] Department of the Army Headquarters, ATP 3-18.1 Special Forces Unconventional Warfare (Washington DC: Department of the Army, 2019), E-2–E-8.

    [iii] Ibid., 1-1.

    [iv] Ibid.; In discussions with doctrine writers I was told this may change that the word "violent" is recommended for removal from the definition. At the time the manual was produced and this article written violent is still part of the official definition. If changed a change to the manual may occur.

    [v] Ibid., 2-19–2-20.

    [vi] Ibid., 2-20.

    [vii] Joint Chiefs of Staff, DOD Dictionary, 243.

    [viii] Department of the Army, ATP 3-18.1, 2-19.

    [ix] Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms (Washington DC: The Joint Staff, 2018), 243.

    [x] Ibid.

    [xi] Ibid.

    [xii] Ibid., 202.

    [xiii] Ibid., 243.

    [xiv] Ibid., 102.

    [xv] Ibid.

    [xvi] Ibid., 181.

    [xvii] Ibid., 55.

    [xviii] A complete list can be found on the Albert Einstein Institutions website at:

    [xix] Chenoweth and Stephan, “Civil Resistance Works,” 9.

    [xx] Michael L. Gross, “Backfire: The Dark Side of Nonviolent Resistance,” Ethics & International Affairs 32, no. 3 (December 2018): 317.

    [xxi] Chenoweth and Stephan, “Civil Resistance Works,” 11-13.

    [xxii] Desha M. Girod, Megan A. Stewart, and Meir R. Walters, “Mass protests and the resource curse: The politics of demobilization in rentier autocracies,” Conflict Management and Peace Science 35, no. 5 (September 2018): 504.

    [xxiii] Girod, Stewart, and Walters, “Mass protests,” 505.

    [xxiv] United States Army Special Operations Command, UW Pocket Guide V1.0 (Fort Bragg NC: U.S. Army Special Operations Command, 2016), 3-4.

    [xxv] Department of the Army, ATP 3-18.1, 1-2.

    [xxvi] Ibid.

    [xxvii] Department of the Army Headquarters, TC 18-01.1: Unconventional Warfare Mission Planning Guide for the Special Forces Operational Detachment–Alpha Level (Washington, DC: Department of the Army, 2016), 1-14.

  26. #26


    Germany Bolsters Iodine Supply in Case of Nuclear Incident
    By The Associated Press
    Aug. 22, 2019, 12:21 p.m. ET

    BERLIN — German authorities are increasing their stockpile of iodine tablets as a precaution for the possibility of a nuclear incident.

    Germany's Federal Office for Radiation Protection confirmed Thursday it has ordered 189.5 million iodine tablets "to ensure a safe and widespread distribution in case of a radiological or nuclear emergency."

    Public broadcaster WDR, which first reported the story, said the amount ordered is almost four times the current stockpile.

    After the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan, Germany revised its guidelines for handling problems at nuclear power plants.

    While Germany plans to phase out all of its nuclear plants by 2022, several neighboring countries including Belgium, France, Switzerland and the Czech Republic continue to operate nuclear reactors.

    Iodine tablets can help reduce instances of thyroid cancer if taken soon after a nuclear incident.


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