Thursday, April 26, 2018

The U.S. Is Not Going To Confront China Over The South China Sea

Mark J. Valencia, The Diplomat: The South China Sea: Reality Is Slowly Sinking In

It’s finally clear that the United States is not willing to confront China in the disputed waters.

China continues to militarize the South China Sea features it occupies and to assert its questionable maritime claims versus other claimants. U.S. rhetoric has sharply criticized China’s behavior and implied dire consequences if it persists. But China has persisted and it has become clear that America is not going to rescue the other claimants from perceived intimidation and coercion. The realization that the United States will not be coming to the rescue is belatedly beginning to sink in throughout the region and misplaced hope is being replaced by bitter disappointment and even despair. However to seasoned observers, this development was not a surprise.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The problem is not that the U.S. is unwilling to confront China in the South China Sea .... the problem is that the countries in the region do not want to, and were hoping that the U.S. would do the dirty work for them. And instead of being angry at the U.S. these countries should direct their anger at the country that has caused this crisis in the first place .... China. But they will say nothing .... trade with China is far more important to them than protecting their sovereignty.

Hat tip to Fred for this link.

Canadian Government Wants To Extinguish The Centennial Flame That Burns In Front Of Parliament Hill

The federal government is looking at options to replace natural gas as a fuel source for the Centennial Flame - among them, LED lights. (Philippe Turgeon/CBC)

Toronto Star: 'Greening' project could end use of fossil fuel for Centennial Flame

Carbon-offset deal for Centennial Flame monument costs about $20,000, but longer-term solution sought.

Will the Centennial Flame monument on Parliament Hill, with its dancing fires lit by natural gas, become the Centennial LED?

The federal government has launched a study of options to cut the flow of natural gas from Western Canada to the popular monument, and replace it with a more eco-friendly energy source.

Natural gas piped from the West has been bubbling through the fountain in the centre of the monument for 50 years, ever since it was unveiled by then-prime minister Lester Pearson on the eve of July 1, 1967, Confederation's 100th birthday.

Read more ....

Update: Canada may swap 50-year-old flame for LED lights in quest to cut carbon (The Guardian)

WNU Editor: When I bring people to Ottawa .... one of my traditions is to take pictures in front of the Centennial Flame. It is a part of Canada's history, and more important .... a part of Parliament Hill. To replace the flame with LED lights .... you gotta be kidding me. It is like replacing President John F. Kennedy eternal flame at Arlington Cemetery with LED lights .... sorry .... but the effect will be completely lost.

And They Say President Trump Is A Narsicist


WNU Editor: A photographer taking a picture of a photographer taking a picture of Prime Minister Trudeau signing a picture of himself. And the funny part .... many Liberals think this is cool.

Canada Expecting Another Massive Wave Of Migrants At The Border



Toronto Star: Quebec preparing for up to 400 asylum seekers a day at the U.S. border this summer

Between Jan. 1 and April 14 of 2018, 6,074 asylum seekers have arrived in Quebec — three times more than the number of people that crossed the border in 2017.

MONTREAL—Quebec government is demanding that Ottawa come up with a new plan for handling asylum seekers with projections that up to 400 people each day could begin crossing into Canada this summer.

“Last year, we peaked at about 250 a day and that was considered massive,” said Quebec Immigration Minister David Heurtel. “Right now, there are projections on the table saying that we could go in the neighbourhood of 400 people per day.”

The province says it wants the federal government to investigate a suspected trafficking network that is helping refugee claimants — most of them Nigerian — to travel to the United States and sneak across the border into Canada at Roxham Road, which connects New York State with Quebec.

Read more ....

WNU editor: The above Toronto Star article was written over a week ago .... but it is already out of date. I follow this issue very closely because I have helped a number of people over the years who wanted to immigrate to Canada. But what I have seen in just the past week is shocking .... particularly in my part of Montreal. I live a few blocks away from a row of appartment buildings that has always been used a dumping ground for migrants .... and it has been packed since last year. But in the past few weeks a few hundred migrants .... all from Africa and almost all of them men .... have just being dumped in this place. It is an understatement to say how surreal life has become for many who live near these appartments .... to all of a sudden seeing groups of a dozen or more grown men who cannot speak your language just hanging out in front of your home with nothing to do. This is not the Canada that I know .... and there will be political repercussions, starting with the defeat of the Quebec provincial Liberals when they face the voters later this year, and eventually Prime Minister Trudeau whose support in this province is in decline. Blaming this migrant crisis on the opposition party is also not impressing anyone (see above video).

Update: I have been asked what other issues will be impacting Canadian politics this year. That is an easy one .... the explosion in energy prices because of government policies is going to turf out some governments. I know in Ontario (Canada's main province), the Liberal government is going to be exterminated when people go to the polls in June, and the main rason will be sky-high electricity prices .... and yes .... gas prices. In Quebec .... besides migration .... energy prices. Case in point .... I live in Montreal and when Justin Trudeau was elected Prime Minister two and a half years ago the price for a liter of gas was less than a dollar. Tonight .... it is $1.42/liter. The expectation is that it will be over $1.50 by next year. So yeah .... try to win an election on that track-record.

Tweets For Today







French President Macron Believes President Trump Will Withdraw From The Iran Nuclear Accord



Bloomberg: Macron Says He Thinks Trump Will Pull Out of Iran Nuclear Deal

* U.S. president may quit accord ‘for domestic reasons’: Macron
* Trump has set May 12 deadline for strengthening nuclear accord

French President Emmanuel Macron said he thinks U.S. President Donald Trump will withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord, dealing a blow to the six-nation agreement reached in 2015 and endorsed by world powers.

“My view — I don’t know what your president will decide — is that he will get rid of this deal on his own for domestic reasons.” Macron told journalists Wednesday in Washington, adding that he encouraged the American president to stay in the accord during his three-day visit to the U.S. capital.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The above video is French President Macron's address to a joint session of Congress. As for his remarks that he believes President Trump will withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord .... he is stating his own opinion, but one thing that I have learned about French President Macron is that his political instincts are very good, and he definintely does not see the Iran nuclear deal holding together in the forseable future.

Picture Of The Day

The "Ingosstrakh Exclusive Classic Day" car rally kicked off by the Metropol Hotel in Moscow's center. © Sputnik / Iliya Pitalev

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... Vintage Car Rally in Moscow (Sputnik). On a personal note .... before the revolution my great-grandfather was a car enthusiast and he opened a factory in Moscow to build cars .... but the revolution changed everything. Wikipedia's post on Russia's car industry is rather good, and the link is here .... Automotive industry in Russia (Wikipedia).

The State Of The Arab World In One Picture

Arab leaders pose for a photo during the 29th Arab League Summit in Dhahran city, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday April 14, 2018. press photo

Simon Henderson, The Hill: Awaiting change: State of the Arab world is captured in photo from Saudi summit

It is going to be a long, hot summer in the Middle East — continuing civil wars in Syria and Yemen, tension on the Israel-Gaza border, the Iran nuclear deal being extended or ending, the opening next month of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, and who knows what else will happen. Some of this turmoil may be self-inflicted, but all are challenges for U.S. policy.

How will it all work out? The recent Arab summit in the Saudi city of Dhahran provides an opportunity for assessing the state of the Arab world, which includes several important American allies, and the extent to which Washington can hope for help as the summer progresses.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: My gut is telling me that five to ten years from now most of these leaders will be gone.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

US State Department Breaks Into Russian Consulate Residence In Seattle



RT: US authorities break into closed Russian consulate residence in Seattle (PHOTOS)

US authorities broke into the locked residence of the Russian consul-general in Seattle, Washington. The building was evacuated on US orders as part of the mass expulsion of Russian diplomats.

Video from the scene shows State Department personnel in plainclothes entering the yard and attempting to break the lock on the door of the residence. A later attempt appears to have been successful, as a locksmith could be seen opening the door and entering the premises. The Russian flag is still flying over the building.

“US authorities breaking into the consul-general’s residence in Seattle is a gross violation of diplomatic conventions,” the Russian Embassy in the US told RIA Novosti. Russia did not agree to remove diplomatic immunity from the property, and the attempted break-in is an “unfriendly step,” the embassy added.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Nice home. Meanwhile a gloomy assessment on U.S. - Russia relations from the Kremlin .... Russia: We don’t see real steps from US towards normalising relations (Middle East Monitor). More here .... Moscow Sees No US Steps Which Would Lead to De-escalation in Relations (Sputnik).

More News On The US State Department Breaking Into The Russian Consulate Residence In Seattle

US officials drill out locks at former Russian consul residence in Seattle's Madison Park -- Seattle Times
Russia cries foul after US inspectors enter shuttered Seattle consulate -- ABC News
US officials inspect Russian consular home in Seattle -- AP
US Authorities Enter Premises of Closed Residence of Russian Consul General -- Sputnik
Moscow Blasts US for Trying to Enter Closed Russian Consul General's Residence -- Sputnik
Russian diplomats leave Seattle after consulate closed — senior consul -- TASS

Afghan Taliban Reject Peace Overtures. Announces Start Of Spring Offensive



Reuters: Taliban announce spring offensive, dismiss peace overtures

KABUL (Reuters) - The Taliban announced the start of their annual spring offensive on Wednesday, dismissing an offer for peace talks by President Ashraf Ghani but pledging to focus on U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

The announcement of the Al Khandaq campaign, named after the so-called Battle of the Trench, fought by the Prophet Mohammad to defend the city of Medina in the early days of Islam, marks the symbolic start of the fighting season.

But heavy fighting has been going on in different parts of the country and hundreds of people have been killed and wounded in a series of high profile attacks in Kabul since the beginning of the year, despite Ghani’s offer in February for peace talks “without preconditions”.

The Taliban, in their statement on Wednesday, dismissed the peace overtures as a “conspiracy”.

“Their main effort is to deviate public opinion from the illegitimate foreign occupation of the country, as the Americans have no serious or sincere intentions of bringing the war to an end,” the Taliban said.

Read more ....

More News On The Taliban Rejecting Peace Overtures

Taliban announces onset of ‘Al Khandaq Jihadi operations’ -- Long War Journal
Afghanistan's Taliban announce annual spring offensive -- ABC News/AP
Afghan Taliban announce fresh offensive in apparent snub to peace efforts -- AFP
Afghan Taliban Announces Launch Of Spring Offensive -- RFE
Afghan Taliban Launches New Spring Offensive -- VOA
The Taliban just rejected peace talks and partly blamed Trump -- VICE News
Taliban camp in Baghlan emphasizes tenuous security situation in Afghan north -- Long War Journal
'Capture or Kill': Taliban Threatens to Attack US Forces in Afghanistan -- Sputnik
Is Peace with the Taliban Possible? -- Mohammad Shoaib Haidary, Asia Foundation

North Korea's Elite Are Abandoning Facebook And Other Western Internet Sites

Reuters: North Korea's elite quitting Facebook, concealing internet activity: researcher

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea’s ruling class has in recent months abandoned Western social media sites such as Facebook (FB.O), Instagram and Alphabet’s Google (GOOGL.O) and dramatically increased its use of tools that cloak internet activity, according to cyber security research published on Wednesday.

The reclusive country’s small percentage of internet-connected leaders is preferring to use Chinese services such as Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu, U.S.-based cyber intelligence firm Recorded Future said in a report.

Between December 2017 and March 15 this year, North Korea’s elite increased by 1,200 percent its use of services such as virtual private networks and the Tor anonymity used to obfuscate internet activity, the firm said. Recorded Future said it analyzed internet protocol ranges associated with North Korea and other open-source information in its research.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: In a Stalinist regime like North Korea, the elite could do whatever they want. This abandonement of Western web sites has more to do with masking their activities from foreign intellignce services, than what is happening internally.

More News On North Korea's Elite Abandoning Facebook And Other Western Internet Sites

North Korea’s internet elite has abandoned Facebook, Google and Instagram for Chinese alternatives in just six months -- Alphr
North Korea elite drop western websites to avoid online scrutiny -- Financial Times
North Korea's elite are quitting Facebook, Instagram -- New York Post
North Korean Internet Users Shun Facebook and Google for Chinese Alternatives -- Foreign Policy
Even North Korea's Elites Are Ditching Facebook -- Forbes
Why are internet users in North Korea abandoning Western social media? -- Ellen Tannam, Silicon Republic

Chinese Scientists Are Warning That North Korea's Nuclear Test Site Has Collapsed, Putting China And Nearby Nations At Risk Of Radioactive Fallout


SCMP: North Korea’s nuclear test site has collapsed ... and that may be why Kim Jong-un suspended tests

The mountain’s collapse after a fifth blast last fall has led to the creation of a massive ‘chimney’ that could leak radioactive fallout into the air, researchers have found

North Korea’s mountain nuclear test site has collapsed, putting China and other nearby nations at unprecedented risk of radioactive exposure, two separate groups of Chinese scientists studying the issue have confirmed.

The collapse after five nuclear blasts may be why North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declared on Friday that he would freeze the hermit state’s nuclear and missile tests and shut down the site, one researcher said.

The last five of Pyongyang’s six nuclear tests have all been carried out under Mount Mantap at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea’s northwest.

One group of researchers found that the most recent blast tore open a hole in the mountain, which then collapsed upon itself. A second group concluded that the breakdown created a “chimney” that could allow radioactive fallout from the blast zone below to rise into the air.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: If the site has collapsed and is releasing radioactivity, I feel sorry for these troops .... 300 Troops Left Behind at N.Korea's Nuke Test Site (Chosun Ilbo).

More News On Chinese Scientists Issuing A Warning That North Korea's Nuclear Test Site Has Collapsed

Report: North Korea nuclear test site largely unusable -- The Hill
China says North Korea ended nuclear tests because their underground test site collapsed -- Daily Telegraph/AFP
North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Unusual Activity Observed -- 38 North
North Korea's mountain mystery: Is Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site still functional? -- Washington Post
That's One Reason To Suspend Nuclear Tests: North Korea's Most Recent Blast Collapsed a Mountain -- Fortune

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- April 25, 2018





Thomas Henriksen, The Hill: Kim's concessions seem too good to be true; they may be just that

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," goes an old Wall Street proverb. It is also apt when mentally processing North Korea’s latest burst of apparent “free” concessions.

Kim Jong Un, the country’s chairman of the Korean Workers Party and the Central Military Commission, has been busy of late, standing down the two weapons systems that have unnerved the United States, South Korea and other countries for decades and walking away from other previously non-negotiable demands.

In recent days, North Korea’s supreme leader announced that his secretive and isolated nation no longer needed to test long-range missiles and nuclear weapons. What caused this transformation is less certain.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- April 25, 2018

Impossible dream? Unification less of a priority as Korean leaders prepare to talk -- Josh Smith, Reuters

A unified Korea? Leaders bring contrasting visions to summit -- Eric Talmadge, AP

North Korea: What you need to know about the high-stakes inter-Korean summit this week -- Christina Zhou, ABC News Online

Korea talks: What does China have to gain or lose from a potentially reunified Korean Peninsula? -- Michael Walsh, ABC News Online

Goodbye DMZ? What an End to the Korean War Would Mean -- David Tweed, Bloomberg

How Trump Should Define Success in Syria -- Jack Keane and Danielle Pletka, National Interest

Saudi belligerence on Iran threatens US -- Bruce Riedel, Al-Monitor

Disgruntled Kurds emerge as potential kingmakers in Turkey’s polls -- Sibel Hurtas, Al-Monitor

Trump and Macron Aren’t Really an Odd Couple -- Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, Bloomberg

New Russian Missiles May Be Aimed East -- Norman Friedman, RCD

Beating Moscow at its Main Game: Espionage -- Richard Boucher, The Cipher Brief

Sometimes Armenian Protests Are Just Armenian Protests -- Thomas de Waal, Foreign Policy

An Early Look At Mexico's Presidential Elections, And What A Populist Win Means For NAFTA -- Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes

Mexico City Is Always Either Too Wet or Too Dry -- Justin Fox, Bloomberg

Anzac Day and the Matter of Meaning -- Rodger Shanahan, The Interpreter

World News Briefs -- April 25, 2018 (Evening Edition)

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani delivers remarks at a news conference during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, U.S. September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

Reuters: European powers say nearing plan to save Iran nuclear pact

WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron called on the United States on Wednesday not to abandon the Iran nuclear deal as Western envoys said Britain, France and Germany were nearing a package that seeks to persuade U.S. President Donald Trump to save the pact.

Trump has described the 2015 accord, under which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of economic sanctions, as the worst deal ever negotiated and has threatened to wreck it by re-imposing U.S. penalties next month unless the three European allies agree to fix its “flaws.”

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Iran nuclear deal: Rouhani says West has no right to make changes.

Trump warns: Iran will pay if it restarts nuclear program.

Exclusive: Russian civilians helping Assad use military base back home - witnesses.

Chemical weapons team gathers more samples from Syrian town.

Syria regime retakes new region outside capital.

Bring Syria to peace talks, EU tells Russia, Iran.

Trump backtracks on Syria after talks with French leader.

Russia hints it may provide advanced air defenses to Syria.

In power for 15 years, Iraq's Shi'ites split ahead of crucial vote.

In southern Iraq, drought tightens its grip.

ASIA

In northern Myanmar, forgotten Kachin conflict intensifies.

Exclusive: U.S. team in refugee camps investigating atrocities against Rohingya.

UN team to visit Myanmar's Rakhine next week: official.

Afghan Taliban announce fresh offensive in apparent snub to peace efforts. Taliban announce spring offensive, dismiss peace overtures.

Koreas hold rehearsal for historic summit between Moon, Kim.

White House: Trump 'not naive' on North Korea's denuclearization claims.

In big shift, Trump assesses Kim Jong Un as ‘very honorable’.

South Korea, U.S. expected to hold summit in mid-May: South Korean official. Moon, Trump to hold summit before U.S.-North Korea talks.

U.S. Pacific Command chief nominated as Seoul ambassador.

In northern Myanmar, forgotten Kachin conflict intensifies.

Australians mark Anzac Day on France's Somme, 100 years on.

AFRICA

Weapons stolen from UAE training facility in Somalia, sold on open market.

Mozambique says no criminal charges yet over debt.

Sixteen people killed in Nigerian church attack: police.

UN says Canada needs more helicopters to fully meet its peacekeeping commitments in Mali.

Sierra Leone's police officers deployed in southern Somalia.

South Sudan president rejects opposition calls to quit post.

DRC's new opposition leader strives to unite party.

South African unions protest over minimum wage is test for Ramaphosa.

European nations urged to stop Libya's trafficking gangs.

EUROPE

'Without World Cup, no economic growth' in Russia.

Armenians protest as acting leader suggests new elections. Acting Armenian PM calls for snap parliamentary elections. Serzh Sargsyan: Protesters return after talks fail in Armenia.

Pro-mining party doubles support in Greenland vote, coalition talks near.

Don't turn your back on us, Albania PM tells EU.

Jewish leader warns against wearing yarmulkes in German cities.

Madrid leader Cifuentes resigns over supermarket 'theft video'.

Danish inventor sentenced to life in prison for murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall.

EU wants 28-nation bloc to invest $24b in AI by end 2020.

Croatian police arrest suspect behind global cyber attack platform.

AMERICAS

40 years on, US man arrested for 'Golden State' murders, rapes.

Trump’s travel ban likely to be upheld, justices indicate.

Judge deals big setback to Trump on ‘Dreamers’ program.

Trump travel ban is focus of Supreme Court’s last argument.

Chevron evacuates Venezuela executives following staff arrests.

Nicaragua unrest: Dozens of held protesters released.

Venezuelan schools emptying as Chavez legacy under threat.

WHO: Venezuela malaria cases jump by 69 percent.

Migrant caravan from Central America arrives at US-Mexico border.

Mexico: dismembered corpse dumped after presidential candidate says 'cut off hands'.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

More than 70 nations hold talks on terror financing in Paris.

Germany wants to deport alleged former bin Laden follower.

Islamic State spokesman says 'new phase' of Jihad has begun.

US-led coalition: ISIS may be resurgent on Russia’s turf, but not ours.

Germany cannot deport Osama bin Laden's former bodyguard.

Deported to Libya, ex-Gitmo detainees vanish. Will others meet a similar fate?

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Stocks close mixed; Dow industrials end a losing streak.

Apple poised to pay Ireland billions in back taxes as appeal looms.

One of the world's longest gas pipelines from Russia to China almost complete.

Sky receives £22bn formal takeover offer from Comcast.

Kremlin Comments On Political Situation In Armenia

Photo: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

TASS: Kremlin comments on political situation in Armenia

Peskov stressed that the Kremlin’s position on the matter remains unchanged

MOSCOW, April 25. /TASS/. Russia considers the events in Armenia, where the opposition is continuing protests, as the country’s domestic affair and expects that the situation there will be solved soon based on a consensus decision, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

Peskov stressed that the Kremlin’s position on Armenia remains unchanged. "We still consider that this is a domestic affair (of Armenia) and hope that our Armenian friends will be able to solve this situation and find a stable structure and a consensus decision soon," he said.

"We are very carefully monitoring this situation," Peskov noted.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Even though Russia has a major military base in the country, the Kremlin has made it clear that they want to keep their distance on what is happening in Armenia .... Peskov: Putin called neither Sagsyan, nor Karapetyan yet (News.am).

More News On The Kremlin Commenting On The Unrest In Armenia

Kremlin: We don't regard tumult in Armenia as Ukraine-style revolution -- Reuters
Russia: Developments in Armenia are Yerevan's 'domestic affair' -- Pan Armenian
Kremlin hopes consensus will be found in Armenia -- Republic Radio Of Armenia
Kremlin: Inappropriate to draw parallels between events in Armenia and Ukraine -- News.AZ
Kremlin hopes Armenia maintains order, stability after power change -- New China

Antigovernment Protests Restart In Armenia



The Guardian: Armenian protesters take to streets again as talks break down

Supporters of Nikol Pashinyan gather in Republic Square after forcing PM’s resignation.

Opposition protests have resumed in the Armenian capital after talks broke down between the ruling Republican party and the opposition, forcing the prime minister, Serzh Sargsyan, to resign on Monday.

Thousands of people descended on Republic Square in the capital, Yerevan, on Wednesday morning after a call from the opposition leader, Nikol Pashinyan, to return to the streets until the government agreed to a transition of power.

Drivers beeped their horns in support of the demonstrations and opponents of the government shouted demands for an election.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The ruling party wants new elections. The opposition leading these protests want a transfer of power. There is no common ground between the two sides.

More News On The Growing Unrest In Armenia

Armenian opposition bloc to nominate protest leader Pashinyan as PM -- Reuters
Thousands Protest in Armenia as Political Talks Called Off -- US News and World Report/AP
Tens of thousands protest as Armenia crisis deepens -- AFP
Protests Erupt Anew in Armenia Amid Political Deadlock -- New York Times
Armenians protest as acting leader suggests new elections -- Reuters
Armenian Party Quits Ruling Coalition As Pashinian Leads New Protests -- RFE
Armenian Opposition to Boycott Election to Prevent Acting PM From Keeping Power -- Sputnik
Mass protests grip Armenian capital despite PM Sargsyan’s resignation (PHOTOS, VIDEO) -- RT
Protest Actions in Armenia Spread Across Center of Yerevan (VIDEO, PHOTO) -- Sputnik
Political scientist says opposition MP Pashinyan, supporters are not ready for snap elections proposed by acting PM -- Armen Press

The U.S. Military Strikes On Syria Was The First Time That U.S. Air Force Space Experts Were Directly Involved In A Military Operation

Lockheed Martin


Popular Mechanics: How a Syrian Airstrike Got Help From Space

A glimpse at the early days of a new kind of space war, where 30-somethings are rewriting the rules from a command center in Qatar.

* On April 14, the U.S. and allies attacked chemical weapons plants in Syria, in retaliation for that country using chemical agents against its own citizens.
* The airstrike was different in one important way: Air Force space experts used satellites in tactical ways to plan and execute the attack, something the military has just started doing.
* This kind of teamwork makes airstrikes more accurate, resulting in more effective targeting with fewer civilian casualties.

It's early April, and the U.S. and its allies at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar are planning an air strike—retaliation against the Bashar al-Assad regime after another chemical attack on Syrian civilians. This particular planning mission will have two unusual participants.

Col. Dewitt Morgan, the director of spaces forces at U.S. Air Force Central Command, tasks two of his officers join the team crafting an attack plan. Space electronic warfare Capt. Andrew "Ghost" Harris and space weapons officer Capt. Ryan "Pippin" Foster have an urgent task—to make sure the coming allied strike takes full advantage of U.S. satellites in orbit.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is where warfare is heading .... and in the event of a war between the major powers, a certainty that space assets will be targeted.

U.S. And Russia Conducting Electronic Warfare Against Each Other Over The Skies Of Syria

An EC-130H Compass Call receives maintenance at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, August 30, 2017. Russian electronic weapons have been targeting the planes over Syria. Jonathan Hehnly/U.S. Air Force

Newsweek: Russia Is Attacking U.S. Forces With Electronic Weapons in Syria Every Day, General Says

American forces in Syria are increasingly facing attacks from Russian and Syrian electronic warfare weapons, as Moscow uses the conflict to test its future arsenal.

General Raymond Thomas, head of the U.S. Special Operations Command, said that Syria has become “the most aggressive electronic warfare environment on the planet,” Breakingdefense.com reported.

Speaking at a geospatial intelligence conference in Florida, Gen. Thomas said that Russian and Syrian regime forces “are testing us everyday, knocking our communications down, disabling our [EC-130 aircraft].”

Read more ....

Update #1: Russia Widens EW War, ‘Disabling’ EC-130s In Syria (Breaking Defense)
Update #2: Why Syria may be the most aggressive electronic warfare environment on Earth (C4ISRNet)
Update #3: Russia’s Evolving Electronic Warfare Capability: Unlocking Asymmetric Potential (Eurasia Daily Monitor)

WNU Editor: Syria is a warzone .... this type of warfare should not surprise anyone as the Warzone/The Drive accurately explains .... The Russians Are Jamming US Drones in Syria Because They Have Every Reason To Be (Warzone/The Drive).