Bob Unruh – March 15, 2018
United Nations officials are publicly berating the United States for not paying more than its fair share of costs for a refugee program after President Trump curbed support to motivate Palestinians to be serious about negotiating for peace with Israel.
WND reported the president hasn’t been pleased with the Palestinians’ refusal to consider compromises to achieve Middle East peace, so he’s withholding tens of millions of dollars from funds that support Palestinians.
His efforts were met days ago with the threat of terrorism from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Bloomberg reported.
Abbas told the U.N. Security Council he will not meet with U.S. officials until Trump reverses his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
He went far beyond that, though.
“He finished his address with a warning – which others may read as a threat – of violence unless the U.S. restores funds that were cut to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which administers to millions of Palestinian refugees,” the report said.
Tyler Durden – March 13, 2018
While mystery still surrounds the statement by now-former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who on Monday – when he already knew he was fired – said that Moscow is “clearly” behind the poisoning of Russian double-agent Skripal in the UK and that the Russian action would “trigger a response”, and whether this was a tacit defiance of Trump as he no longer had anything to lose, it is clear that relations between Russia and the US, if not so much Trump, are once again at rock bottom, if not worse.
Confirming this, one week after the WaPo reported that the US is considering new military action against Syria over Assad’s alleged chemical weapons attacks (as on every other prior occasion), the Russian military threatened action against the U.S. if it strikes Syria’s capital city of Damascus. The threat, by Chief of Russia’s General Staff Valery Gerasimov, was reported by Russia media sites such as state news agencies RIA and Tass, according to CNBC.
The General also said Russia had “reliable information” about militants preparing to falsify a government chemical attack against civilians.
Anna Ahronheim – March 13, 2018
Hundreds of Israeli soldiers and US Marines trained shoulder-to-shoulder Monday in southern Israel as part of Juniper Cobra 2018, drilling on close urban combat and tunnel warfare.
While the two-week-long joint Israeli/American military exercise drills on various scenarios adapted to Israel’s operational reality such as missile threats in various sectors simultaneously, the Marines have not directly participated in the missile drills which comprised the majority of Juniper Cobra.
Instead the 650 Marines trained with Israeli troops at the Tzehelim army base in several operational scenarios, including live fire and artillery drills, in order to enhance interoperability and cooperation between the two allies.
Calling the training with the Israelis “incredible,” Lt. Col. Marcus Mainz, Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, told reporters that this year’s Juniper Cobra is the largest that the Marine Corps and navy have participated in for the last six years.
Newsmax – March 11., 2018
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the diplomatic push to solve the North Korean nuclear weapons crisis was at such a delicate stage that he won’t publicly discuss the talks or related issues such as U.S.-South Korean military exercises.
Mattis was among advisers who were in the White House when President Donald Trump on Thursday decided to accept the offer by North Korean leader Jong Un Kim to meet by May. The offer was relayed to Trump by a South Korean government delegation that briefed the president on their meeting with Kim last week in the North Korean’s capital.
“I do not want to talk about Korea at all. It’s that delicate,” he said in an interview as he flew to the Mideast, landing in Oman on Sunday.”
When you get in a position like this, the potential for misunderstanding remains very high,” he said, explaining his unwillingness to talk about any aspect of the diplomatic efforts.
RT – MaRCH 8, 2018
The US Army has started a massive artillery exercise, involving thousands of troops from NATO nations as well as heavy howitzers, multiple launch rocket systems and mortars.
Some 3,700 troops from 26 NATO member states, including the US, the UK, France and Germany, have arrived at Grafenwoehr range (in Germany) along with their heavy weapons, according to US Army Europe’s (USAEUR) training command. The exercise Dynamic Front 18, which will last until March 10, has a stated goal to “develop the capabilities of US and allied fires units to operate side-by-side, from identifying targets at a multinational, theater-level command to tactical units.”
NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, American 1st Infantry Division and German 10th Armored Division, as well as live batteries and close-air support from the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, the United Kingdom and the US are also said to be in attendance.
TruNews – March 7, 2018
In an interview with the Associated Press, Russian President Vladimir Putin once again broached the subject of nuclear warfare in yet another warning to the U.S. military-industrial complex and its NATO allies.
In response to questions about the weapons arsenal he revealed during his state of the nation speech last week, Putin said:
“The decision to use nuclear weapons can only be made if our early warning system not only detects a missile launch but clearly forecasts its flight path and the time when warheads reach the Russian territory. If someone makes a decision to destroy Russia, then we have a legitimate right to respond.
“Yes, it will mean a global catastrophe for mankind, for the entire world. But as a citizen of Russia and the head of Russian state I would ask: What is such a world for, if there were no Russia?”
Sputnik News – March 5, 2018
“If America pulls out of the deal… Iran could resume its 20 percent uranium enrichment in less than 48 hours,” Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, told the state-owned al-Alam TV on Monday.
Under the JCPOA, Iran may only enrich uranium up to 3.67 percent, which has no military applications. They gave up the 432 pounds of “medium-enriched” uranium they possessed that sat near 20 percent enrichment, along with all but 661 pounds of the 15,772 pounds of low-enriched uranium they had.
Tehran also put two thirds of their gas centrifuges and all of their more advanced Zippe centrifuges into storage as part of the deal. In exchange, they received relief from severe international sanctions that caused a crippling economic recession in the Islamic Republic.
Kamalvandi said that the deal was not up for renegotiation, which has been the demand of Washington since the ascension of US President Donald Trump, who has referred to the JCPOA as “the worst and most one-sided transaction Washington has ever entered into.
TruNews – March 5, 2018
Citing U.S. intelligence officials’ threat assessments that determined a “shadow group” within Turkey that is plotting attacks on the American embassy in Ankara, Turkey and other places where U.S. citizens might gather, the State Department has closed the embassy.
The statement announcing the closure also urged Americans traveling to Turkey to avoid crowds and the embassy, and to be cognizant of their surroundings when visiting popular tourist destinations. Embassy security has been increased, and all visa interviews and regular business meetings have been cancelled as a precaution.
The statement also announces that only “emergency services” will be provided at the embassy in Ankara. It coincides with a report in the state-run Anadolu news agency that announced the arrests of 12 people and the indictments of eight others related to terrorist activity in the Turkish capital city.
Ties between the U.S. and its NATO ally have been strained to the breaking point in recent weeks, in particular over U.S. support for YPG Kurdish fighters in Syria, and over the refusal to turn over a former ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is suspected of organizing an attempted coup. Turkish military leaders have warned their American counterparts that any U.S. soldier armed and working alongside YPG fighters will be considered “targets.”
RT – March 3, 2018
North Korea has threatened to “counter the US” if Washington holds joint military exercises with Seoul while still enforcing sanctions against Pyongyang.
“If the US finally holds joint military exercises while keeping sanctions on the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea], the DPRK will counter the US by its own mode of counteraction and the US will be made to own all responsibilities for the ensuing consequences,” North Korea’s official KCNA news agency said in a commentary on Saturday. “The US should clearly understand this and exercise prudence.”
The US is due to begin joint exercises with Seoul in early April, a South Korean presidential security adviser said earlier this week, as quoted by Yonhap news agency. The plan has angered North Korea, which has long seen joint drills as a threat.
The KCNA commentary referred to the scheduled drills as an intention by America “to bring dark clouds of a war to hang over the Korean Peninsula.” It also called for the US to be denounced by the international community, accusing Washington of aiming to “aggravate the situation on the Korean peninsula at any cost.”
Sandra Erwin – February 24, 2018
ORLANDO, FLA. — Gen. David Goldfein’s speech on Friday represented the strongest rhetoric yet on space warfare as an area that deserves special attention from the U.S. Air Force.
Goldfein, the Air Force’s chief of staff, told a large audience of active-duty airmen that they have to start thinking about outer space the same way they think about airspace.
In a keynote speech at the Air Force Association’s air warfare symposium, the general said it is “time for us as a service, regardless of specialty badge, to embrace space superiority with the same passion and sense of ownership as we apply to air superiority today.”
It is not a question of if but when airmen will be fighting in space, warned Goldfein. And he insisted that the Air Force has to become more attuned to what is happening in space and look upon space as a key battlefront.
“I believe we’re going to be fighting from space in a matter of years,” he said.