Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The U.S. Is Not Ready To Respond To A Radio-logical Terrorist Attack On American Soil

Jana Winter, Daily Mail: Why America Can’t Spot Dirty Bombs

As Trump preps a new executive order to stop would-be terrorists before they enter the country, a government report finds the threat could come from within—and we aren’t prepared.

While President Trump doubles down on the hypothetical threats of incoming terrorists posing as refugees, he might be ignoring a very real concern here at home: The U.S. is largely underprepared to detect or respond to the threat of a radiological terrorist attack on American soil.

A so-called Red Team from the U.S. federal agency charged with evaluating domestic capabilities to defend against dirty bomb and weapons of mass destruction attacks found gaping holes in domestic nuclear detection and defense capabilities and massive failures during covert testing. That’s according to the most recent annual report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is one of those stories where everyone is talking about it .... but no one in Washington is seriously doing anything about it.

The Russian Military Is Building A Replica Of The German Parliament For Cadets To Practice Storming

The photo of the Reichstag building in Berlin with the Soviet flag raised above it is one of the most iconic from World War II and considered by many to be the ultimate symbol of Russia’s victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. @Wikipedia

An earlier, temporary model of the Reichstag at Patriot Park, which will be replaced by a permanent building (с) Oboronstroy

Washington Post: The Russian military is building a mini-Reichstag at its amusement park so that kids have ‘a real building to storm’

MOSCOW — What happens when you combine a military targeting the next generation of soldiers and the sacred memory of World War II in Russia?

“We're building a Reichstag in Patriot Park,” Sergei Shoigu, Russia's defense minister, announced during a parliamentary address Wednesday. “Not to full size, but so our 'youth army soldiers' can storm not just any building, but a concrete place.”

A quick rundown of terms. Patriot Park is the Russian army's amusement park (sometimes called “military Disneyland"), which opened last year near Moscow. The “youth army” is a network of youth groups across Russia created by the military to instill patriotism in children and teach them military skills, like how to assemble and disassemble an automatic rifle. And the Reichstag is the neo-Baroque building in Berlin that housed parliament under the German empire and the Weimar Republic. And it has been the seat of the German parliament since 1999.

Read more ....

More News On The Russian Military Building A Replica Of The German Parliament For Cadets To Practice Storming

Russia builds Reichstag replica for teens to attack at a patriot theme park near Moscow amid heightened tensions with the West -- Daily Mail
Russia to Build Reichstag Model for Youths to Storm at Park -- AP
Russia to build replica of the Reichstag for cadets to practise storming -- DW
The Russian military is building a replica of the German parliament for kids to storm at a patriotic theme park -- Quartz
Russia builds replica Reichstag so children can recreate 1945 victory -- The Guardian
Russian Military Builds Reichstag Replica as Training Ground for Teenagers -- Sputnik
Russia building Reichstag replica for schoolchildren’s military exercises -- RT

Russia's Military Has Mobilised A Cyber Army To Wage Information Warfare

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu © Sputnik

Reuters: Russia sets up information warfare units - defence minister

Russia's military has created a force tasked with waging information warfare, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday, in a move likely to heighten the West's concerns about what it sees as Moscow-sponsored "fake news".

Russian military planners, like their counterparts elsewhere, see the spreading of propaganda as a crucial part of modern warfare.

Moscow's activities in this area are under intense scrutiny after U.S. intelligence agencies accused the Kremlin of mounting an "influence operation" to help Donald Trump win the U.S. presidential election last November.

European intelligence agencies have also said Moscow is seeking to destabilise governments and influence elections in Europe with cyber attacks and fake news. Moscow has denied interfering in other countries' elections.

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More News On The Russian Military Mobilising A Cyber Army To Wage Information Warfare

Russia's defense chief to mobilize new cyber army -- TASS
Russia military acknowledges new branch: info warfare troops -- AP
Russia adds 'information warfare' troops -- The Hill
Russia Military Power: Moscow Reveals Hacking Army To Expose West's 'Lies' -- International Business Times

Pentagon Admits That U.S. Soldiers Have Been Wounded On Mosul's Front Lines


CNN: US troops wounded on the front lines in Mosul

Washington (CNN)US troops operating around Mosul have come under fire from ISIS and some have been wounded in the last six to eight weeks as they have moved closer to the front lines in Iraq, military officials acknowledged Tuesday.

"Yes, they have been under fire at different times," Col. John Dorrian, a coalition spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve said at a Pentagon news conference.

A US defense official later told CNN that some number of troops had been wounded and medevaced off the battlefield but declined to say how many have been wounded.

The US forces in the area are providing advice and assistance to Iraqi units battling to retake Mosul. One of their key tasks is to help Iraqi units targeting ISIS strongholds.

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Update #1: US forces have come under fire in Mosul fight: official (AFP)
Update #2: US troops have come 'under fire' in and around Mosul, official says (FOX News)

WNU Editor: No numbers are being posted .... but I suspect that as the fighting intensifies within Mosul itself .... expect more U.S. casualties.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- February 22, 2017



Jamie Dettmer, VOA: Mosul: What's Next?

The battle for Mosul has been bloody and slow — for Iraqi soldiers and civilians alike.

Since Iraqi forces launched an assault to retake the city, Islamic State’s last major urban stronghold in the country, last October, Iraqi troops have had to endure rockets and mortars, suicide-bombings and sniper fire, as well as unconventional small drone attacks.

With Iraqi forces now focused on the western half of the city after a months-long slog to secure east Mosul, questions about what will happen to the city after IS fighters have finally been ousted are becoming more urgent.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- February 22, 2017

A Fiercer Fight to Come in Mosul: Analysis -- Stratfor

Mosul: Winning the Battle and the War -- General Jack Keane, Cipher Brief

U.S. Troops Don't Belong In Syria: America Should Stay Out Of Another Middle Eastern Ground War -- Doug Bandow, Forbes

Syria peace talks: is there any hope for an end to six years of war? -- Patrick Wintour, The Guardian

Groundhog day in Geneva: old questions haunt Syria talks -- Tom Miles and John Irish, Reuters

How America Can Avoid a War with China -- Joe Renouard, National Interest

China’s Weapons of Trade War -- Keyu Jin, Project Syndicate

NATO, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe -- George Friedman, Geopolitical Futures

Markets Are Right to Take a Le Pen Presidency Seriously -- Mark Gilbert, Bloomberg

The Dutch Election Is About More Than Nationalism -- Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg

Trump’s China challenge -- Brahma Chellaney, The Strategist

Trump and Russia: Confusion at the Top -- John E. Herbst, American Interest

Trump Is Beating the Media at Its Own Game -- George Neumay, Spectator

How McMaster Could Change the Way the US Goes to War -- Patrick Tucker, Defense One

Fighting Irregular Wars Well -- C. Anthony Pfaff, The Strategy Page

World News Briefs -- February 22, 2017 (Evening Edition)


AFP: UN needs $4.4 bn for famine relief in four countries

UN aid agencies need $4.4 billion in emergency funding to address famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday.

More than 20 million people face starvation in the four countries and action is needed now to avert a humanitarian disaster, Guterres told a news conference at UN headquarters.

"We need $4.4 billion by the end of March to avert a catastrophe," he said.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

US forces have come under fire in Mosul fight: official.

Iraqi forces moving toward Mosul Airport after taking strategic hill.

Syria opposition seeks 'direct negotiations' with regime.

Syrian army takes district near Aleppo: monitor, media unit.

Arab and Kurdish fighters close in on 'IS' Syria stronghold Raqqa. US-backed alliance enters Deir Az Zor province.

Syria's Geneva talks: 'Expectations pretty low'.

Lavrov: Russia waiting for US to provide ‘details’ on proposed safe zones in Syria.

Iran ready to give U.S. 'slap in the face': commander.

Second-in-command of Yemen's army killed by Houthi missile attack.

Yemen president says $10 bn Saudi aid for reconstruction.

Benjamin Netanyahu took two-hour flight detour to avoid Indonesian airspace.

Iran sends team to Saudi Arabia for hajj talks.

ASIA

Pakistan launches nationwide anti-militant offensive.

Malaysian police seeking diplomat in connection with Kim Jong-nam murder.

Kim Jong-nam's body targeted in morgue break-in, say police.

China's state tabloid warns South Korean company over THAAD.

Philippines to move forward with investigation of Duterte's ties to 'death squad'.

Australia may not take refugees in Costa Rica in U.S. deal.

‘Trump has a very big personality’: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reflects on heated phone call.

Uzbek journalist Muhammad Bekjanov freed after 18 years.

South Koreans to live longest among developed nations by 2030, researchers project.

AFRICA

Somali president says no quick fix for nation's woes.

Rapes, killings still blight Darfur: UN.

Famine threatens lives of nearly half a million Nigerian children, says Unicef.

Boko Haram recruited 2,000 child soldiers in 2016: UNICEF.

US demands independent probe of alleged civilian massacre in DRC.

Mohamed Abdullahi inaugurated as new Somali president.

North African diplomats seek solution for chaotic Libya.

Growing support for Libya’s powerful army chief amid new peace drive.

Libya's eastern authority freezes women's travel ban.

Gambia dreaded former spy chief Yankuba Badjie arrested and held in custody.

Court rules that South Africa cannot withdraw from ICC.

Uganda gold refinery raises alarm over conflict minerals.

EUROPE

Irish PM says will deal with issue of his leadership next month: sources.

Ukrainian right-wing groups stage anti-government rally in Kiev.

Amnesty International reports warring sides in eastern Ukraine ‘enjoying impunity’.

Russia involved in attempted coup, Montenegro prosecutor says.

Azerbaijan's breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh holds 'illegal' referendum.

Sweden probes riot in mainly immigrant Stockholm suburb.

French police detain key Le Pen aides over EU 'fake jobs' probe.

Ukrainian billionaire faces extradition to U.S., Austrian court rules.

Bavaria approves ban on full-face veil.

Iceland's president forced to clarify views on pineapple pizza ban.

AMERICAS

Mexico fumes at 'hostile' Trump immigration rules as U.S. talks loom.

Brazil prison slaughter exposes gang war, banality of evil.

US senators say Raul Castro eager to maintain US relations.

Trump to unveil first budget 'mid-March'.

Trump administration expands social media checks to cover Chinese visitors.

Trump administration widens net for immigrant deportation.

Poll: Majority of Americans worried about war, feel favorably toward NATO.

Protests over Morales expose divisions among Bolivians.

Mexican kidnappers pile misery on to Central Americans fleeing violence.

Mexico to extradite cocaine cartel member 'El Gordo' to U.S..

Haitian prison rife with malnutrition and disease.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Blind sheikh buried in Egypt after dying in US jail. Thousands mourn 'blind sheikh' convicted in 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

New trauma unit to help former Islamic State sex slaves.

German intel agency notes dramatic increase in Islamic extremism.

British Isis suicide bomber 'was former Guantanamo Bay inmate paid £1m compensation'.

It's official: Our enemy is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Dow notches another record high helped by DuPont; S&P slips.

US Fed officials say they may need to raise rates 'fairly soon'.

WTO's new global trade deal comes into force.

Saudi Aramco recruits JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley for IPO, HSBC a contender: source.

Russia returns to gold market, buys tons more precious metal.

Ukraine News Updates -- February 22, 2017



CNN: Ukraine ceasefire: No sign of weapons withdrawal, official says

(CNN)Peace in Eastern Ukraine remains tenuous as a spate of violations of a newly implemented ceasefire continued overnight into Wednesday.

A day after the head of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) warned the ceasefire had failed, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel urged Kiev and Moscow to hold fast to the agreement.

Despite assurances given by both parties, he said, the "ceasefire is not holding."

"We can only urgently appeal to both sides to implement the agreements we have reached -- otherwise, we will risk an intensified military escalation with many other civilian victims and a continuation of the standstill in the political process," Gabriel said in a statement.

"Even the most intense negotiating efforts are in vain when there is no political will to implement them."

Read more ....

Ukraine News Updates -- February 22, 2017

Monitor Says Ukraine Cease-Fire, Weapons Withdrawal Not Being Honored -- RFE
Ukraine ceasefire holding despite ‘violations -- BRICS Post
No cease-fire takes hold in Russia’s war on Ukraine -- Kyiv Post
Amnesty International reports warring sides in eastern Ukraine ‘enjoying impunity’ -- TASS
Poroshenko says war in Donbas kills 2,608 Ukrainian soldiers -- Kyiv Post
2,608 soldiers dead in eastern Ukraine, president says -- APA
Kiev to Restore Air Defense System, Spend $333Mln on Arms Procurement in 2017 -- Sputnik
Poroshenko: Russia could use military contingent in Transdniester to attack Ukraine -- Kyiv Post
Poroshenko says Ukraine refuses mobilization, retains military conscription -- Kyiv Post
Ukrainian right-wing groups stage anti-government rally in Kiev -- Reuters
Ukraine nationalists demand purge of government on the third anniversary of the Maidan uprising -- Euronews
Kiev’s military op in E. Ukraine ‘crime against own people’ – ex-Ukrainian President Yanukovich -- RT
Ukraine's former president says he never asked Russia to send troops to Ukraine in 2014 -- TASS
Russia, Ukraine clash over tribute to UN ambassador -- AFP
Two U.S. Lawmakers Back Lethal Weapons For Ukraine -- RFE
Ukraine lawmaker who met Trump associates faces treason probe -- CBS/AP
Corruption Tops War as No. 1 Hurdle to Ukrainian Investments -- Bloomberg

Germany To Boost Its Army To Almost 200,000 Troops

© AFP 2016/ CHRISTOF STACHE

The Independent: Germany to boost army to 200000 troops amid growing concern over Donald Trump's commitment to Nato

Germany is to increase the size of its armed forces amid growing concerns over the security of Europe.

Troop numbers in the Bundeswehr will be raised to almost 200,000 over the next seven years, under new plans announced on Wednesday.

The move comes days after Mike Pence, the US vice-president, called on Nato’s European members to increase military spending.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly demanded Europe pay more towards the cost of its own defence.

The move also comes amid growing concern in European capitals over Mr Trumps’ commitment to Nato, after he described the alliance as “obsolete”.

Under the new plans, Germany will recruit 20,000 more troops by 2025, bringing its total service personnel to 198,000.

Read more ....

More News On Germany Boosting Its Army To Almost 200,000 Troops By 2024

Germany to expand Bundeswehr to almost 200,000 troops -- DW
Germany to expand army and send tanks to Lithuania as Nato-Russia buildup continues -- The Independent
Europe Military Power: Germany Troops To Increase By 20000 After US Calls For Greater NATO Commitment -- International Business Times
Germany Plans to Expand Armed Forces Up to 198,000 Soldiers Till 2024 -- Sputnik
Germany announces plan to expand national army -- Xinhua
Germany to boost defence spending, but legacy also important: Gabriel -- Reuters
German Army Bulks Up, But Can the Bundeswehr Defend Europe? -- Sputnik

Iranian Revolutionary Guards General: 'Iran Ready To Give U.S. Slap In The Face'

Head of Iran's Revolutionary guards ground forces Mohammad Pakpour (C) attends a funeral ceremony in Tehran October 20, 2009. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

Reuters: Iran ready to give U.S. 'slap in the face': commander

The United States should expect a "strong slap in the face" if it underestimates Iran's defensive capabilities, a commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday, as Tehran concluded war games.

Since taking office last month, U.S. President Donald Trump has pledged to get tough with Iran, warning the Islamic Republic after its ballistic missile test on Jan. 29 that it was playing with fire and all U.S. options were on the table.

"The enemy should not be mistaken in its assessments, and it will receive a strong slap in the face if it does make such a mistake," said General Mohammad Pakpour, head of the Guards’ ground forces, quoted by the Guards' website Sepahnews.

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Update: Iran Concludes War Drills Promising US ‘Slap in the Face’ (Sputnik)

WNU Editor: Israel is also being targeted .... Israel in no position to attack us, Iranian commander gloats (Times of Israel).

MSNBC Host: “Our Job” To “Control Exactly What People Think”



RCP: MSNBC's Brzezinski: Trump Thinks He Can "Control Exactly What People Think," But That's "Our Job"

The hosts of MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' comment on President Trump's efforts to "undermine the media."

Co-host Mika Brzezinski commented Wednesday morning that she is upset to see President Trump has moved in on the media's turf when it comes to the area of mind control.

"He is trying to undermine the media and trying to make up his own facts," she said about Trump. "And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think."

"And that, that is our job," she noted, referring to the media.

Read more ....

Update: Mika Brzezinski: Media’s Job Is to ‘Control Exactly What People Think’ (Washington Free Beacon).

WNU Editor: Mika Brzezinski has since backtracked her comments .... but that is the role that many in the media see themselves as something that they must do .... pushing an agenda or message .... and the news .... well that is an after-thought.

The Battle For The Iraqi City Of Mosul -- News Updates February 22, 2017

Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) take part during a battle with Islamic State militants, west of Mosul,Iraq February 22, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

FOX News: US troops have come 'under fire' in and around Mosul, official says

U.S. troops have come "under fire" and have "returned fire" in and around Mosul as allied forces try to retake the city from ISIS, a U.S. military spokesperson said on Wednesday.

“When someone is shooting at you, that is combat,” said Col. John Dorrian, the Baghdad-based spokesman, to Pentagon reporters.

While Dorrian said U.S. troops are operating “very close” to the front lines, he also added they do their best to avoid it, although circumstances can change where exactly the front lines are.

The news comes days after the U.S. commander of American and allied forces in Iraq and Syria told Fox News' Jennifer Griffin and other traveling press in Baghdad that U.S. troops were operating closer than ever to the front lines.

Read more ....

The Battle For The Iraqi City Of Mosul -- News Updates February 22, 2017

US advisers engaged ‘closer & deeper’ with Iraqi forces’ operation to retake western Mosul -- RT
Iraqi Shiite Militias Push to Take Villages West of Mosul -- AP
Iraqi forces moving toward Mosul Airport after taking strategic hill -- UPI
Iraq, US bomb airport as Mosul advance continues -- Middle East Monitor
Iraqi forces advance to retake western Mosul from IS -- DW
Iraqi Troops Close In on Mosul’s Southern Border -- VOA
Mosul offensive: Iraqi army seizes key town of Abu Saif -- BBC
Islamic State fires cluster bombs at Iraqi government forces -- L.A. Times
Australian bombers and medics playing key role in the battle for Mosul -- Sydney Morning Herald
Civilians start fleeing homes after west Mosul offensive begins -- Reuters
750,000 people trapped in Mosul are 'on brink of starvation' as Iraqi forces advance -- The Telegraph
UNHCR readies for fresh Mosul exodus as battle moves west -- UNHCR

Saudi Foreign Minister: Saudi Arabia Ready To Send Special Forces To Syria

King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz attends a Shura Council meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia [Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Royal Council / Handout/Anadolu]

Middle East Monitor: With US support, Saudi Arabia ready to send special forces to Syria

In cooperation with the United States, Saudi Arabia is “ready to send ground troops” to Syria to fight against Daesh, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir announced on Tuesday.

In an exclusive interview with Sueddeutsche Zeitung German newspaper on Tuesday, Al-Jubeir said: “The Kingdom and other Gulf countries said it was ready to allocate forces to fight on the US side.”

He noted that discussions with the US forces are underway to “find out what the plan is and what you need to implement it.” He explained that the plan would be announced “soon”.

The foreign minister affirmed that the liberated territories from Daesh, must be handed over to the Syrian opposition. “The basic idea is to free the region from the IG [Daesh] and not to allow their controlled Hezbollah, Iran or the Syrian regime,” he said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This deployment will result in a Syrian/Iran - Saudi clash in Syria .... and after that who knows what else.

Syria War News Updates -- February 22, 2017

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) gather in northern Deir al-Zor province ahead of an offensive against Islamic State militants, Syria February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said

Reuters: U.S.-backed alliance enters Syria's Deir al-Zor province: Kurdish military source

The U.S.-backed Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance has crossed into Deir al-Zor province for the first time as part of an offensive against Islamic State, a Kurdish military source said on Tuesday.

The advance into the province, most of which is under the control of the ultra-hardline group, is part of an operation to encircle and ultimately capture its de facto Syrian capital of Raqqa in the north of the country.

One aim of the campaign is to cut IS's supply lines from Raqqa to Deir al-Zor province.

Read more ....

Syria War News Updates -- February 22, 2017

Syria war: Arab-Kurdish fighters enter IS-held Deir al-Zour province -- BBC
Arab and Kurdish fighters close in on 'IS' Syria stronghold Raqqa -- DW
US-backed alliance enters Deir Az Zor province -- AL Jazeera
US-backed fighters advance on IS in Syria's east -- Middle East Eye
Syrian rebels clash with ISIL in northern Syria -- Euronews
Seizing Control of Syria's Al-Bab Important to Push for Raqqa: Turkish Official -- Reuters
Turkey says only 100 militants left in IS-held Syria battleground -- AFP
In surprise attack, IS affiliate captures land near Israeli-Syrian border -- The Times of Israel
Isis-affiliated fighters seize Syrian territory near Israeli border in surprise attack -- The Independent
Lavrov: Russia waiting for US to provide ‘details’ on proposed safe zones in Syria -- RT
Moscow Awaits Clarification on US Safe Zone Proposal in Syria -- Sputnik
Russian Aerospace Forces Have Eliminated Over 3,000 Militants in Syria in 2017 -- Sputnik
Russian defense minister happy with results of Syria mission -- AP
Defense chief praises Russian military's success in Syria -- TASS
Russian Defense Chief Says New Weapons Tested In Syria Campaign -- RFE
Russia and US might launch joint operations against terrorists in Raqqa — minister -- TASS
Turkey Envisions Joint Operation With US to Rid Syria of ISIS -- Newsweek/Reuters
Armed Opposition in Syria Receives Weapons From Abroad - Moscow -- Sputnik
CIA-backed aid for Syrian rebels frozen after Islamist attack -- The Independent
Who's Fighting In Syria? US Cuts CIA Rebel Aid After Attacks -- International Business Times
Russia asks Syria to halt bombing during UN peace talks -- AFP
U.N. mediator not expecting quick breakthrough in Syria peace talks -- Reuters
Syria peace talks: UN special envoy plans to give it 'a serious try' -- The Guardian
Syria's Geneva talks: 'Expectations pretty low' -- Al Jazeera
Long road ahead for justice and accountability in Syria -- AP
Dem senator asks for 'top to bottom' review of Syria policy -- The Hill

Top U.S. General For The Middle East: 'More U.S. Troops May Be Needed Against ISIS In Syria'

Commanding General of U.S. Special Operations Command Gen. Joseph Votel. Army.mil

New York Times: More U.S. Troops May Be Needed Against ISIS in Syria, a Top General Says

AMMAN, Jordan — More American troops may be needed in Syria to speed the campaign against the Islamic State, the top United States commander for the Middle East said on Wednesday.

“I am very concerned about maintaining momentum,” Gen. Joseph L. Votel, the head of the United States Central Command, told reporters accompanying him on a trip to the region.

“It could be that we take on a larger burden ourselves,” he added. “That’s an option.”

The current American strategy is to press the Islamic State from multiple directions by moving ahead with the offensive to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa even as Iraqi forces carry on their operation to take western Mosul.

Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters backed by the United States are to play the principal role in seizing Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State’s professed caliphate.

Read more ....

More News On The Top U.S. General For The Middle East Believing That 'More U.S. Troops May Be Needed Against ISIS In Syria'

More U.S. troops may be sent into Syria to fight ISIS -- CBS
US commander: 'Perhaps' more troops will be sent to Syria -- The Hill
More American troops could be heading to Syria: Top general says the US may 'take on the burden' to help speed up the fight against ISIS -- Daily Mail
More American troops may be sent to Syria – US commander -- RT

World News Briefs -- February 22, 2017


BBC: Syria war: Arab-Kurdish fighters enter IS-held Deir al-Zour province

A US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab rebels has advanced into territory held by so-called Islamic State (IS) in Deir al-Zour province, eastern Syria.

Kurdish military sources said the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had captured some 15 villages from IS.

Unidentified air strikes killed 11 people in one IS-held village, though it was unclear if this was linked.

The SDF hopes to cut IS's supply lines from the oil-rich province to the group's stronghold Raqqa, in the north.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Iraqi forces moving toward Mosul Airport after taking strategic hill.

Syrian army takes district near Aleppo: monitor, media unit.

Arab and Kurdish fighters close in on 'IS' Syria stronghold Raqqa. US-backed alliance enters Deir Az Zor province.

Syria's Geneva talks: 'Expectations pretty low'.

Lavrov: Russia waiting for US to provide ‘details’ on proposed safe zones in Syria.

Iran ready to give U.S. 'slap in the face': commander.

Second-in-command of Yemen's army killed by Houthi missile attack.

Benjamin Netanyahu took two-hour flight detour to avoid Indonesian airspace.

ASIA

Malaysian police seeking diplomat in connection with Kim Jong-nam murder.

Kim Jong-nam's body targeted in morgue break-in, say police.

China's state tabloid warns South Korean company over THAAD.

Philippines to move forward with investigation of Duterte's ties to 'death squad'.

Australia may not take refugees in Costa Rica in U.S. deal.

‘Trump has a very big personality’: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reflects on heated phone call.

Uzbek journalist Muhammad Bekjanov freed after 18 years.

South Koreans to live longest among developed nations by 2030, researchers project.

AFRICA

Famine threatens lives of nearly half a million Nigerian children, says Unicef.

Boko Haram recruited 2,000 child soldiers in 2016: UNICEF.

US demands independent probe of alleged civilian massacre in DRC.

Mohamed Abdullahi inaugurated as new Somali president.

North African diplomats seek solution for chaotic Libya.

Growing support for Libya’s powerful army chief amid new peace drive.

Libya's eastern authority freezes women's travel ban.

Gambia dreaded former spy chief Yankuba Badjie arrested and held in custody.

Court rules that South Africa cannot withdraw from ICC.

EUROPE

Amnesty International reports warring sides in eastern Ukraine ‘enjoying impunity’.

Russia involved in attempted coup, Montenegro prosecutor says.

Azerbaijan's breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh holds 'illegal' referendum.

Sweden probes riot in mainly immigrant Stockholm suburb.

French police detain key Le Pen aides over EU 'fake jobs' probe.

Ukrainian billionaire faces extradition to U.S., Austrian court rules.

Bavaria approves ban on full-face veil.

Iceland's president forced to clarify views on pineapple pizza ban.

AMERICAS

Trump administration expands social media checks to cover Chinese visitors.

Trump administration widens net for immigrant deportation.

Poll: Majority of Americans worried about war, feel favorably toward NATO.

Protests over Morales expose divisions among Bolivians.

Mexican kidnappers pile misery on to Central Americans fleeing violence.

Mexico to extradite cocaine cartel member 'El Gordo' to U.S..

Haitian prison rife with malnutrition and disease.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

German intel agency notes dramatic increase in Islamic extremism.

British Isis suicide bomber 'was former Guantanamo Bay inmate paid £1m compensation'.

It's official: Our enemy is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

WTO's new global trade deal comes into force.

Saudi Aramco recruits JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley for IPO, HSBC a contender: source.

Russia returns to gold market, buys tons more precious metal.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- February 22, 2017

The RT-2PM Topol ballistic missile © Alexandr Kryazhev / Sputnik

RT: 96% of Russian ballistic missile launchers ready for immediate use – defense minister

Ninety-nine percent of Russia’s intercontinental ballistic missile launchers are combat-capable, while 96 percent are ready to be used on short notice, ensuring an efficient strategic deterrent, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told MPs.

“The intercontinental ballistic missiles launchers are being maintained in a way that allows to ensure a nuclear deterrent,” Shoigu told Russian MPs at a State Duma session on Wednesday.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- February 22, 2017

Russia’s strategic nuclear forces to be 90% armed with modern weaponry by late 2020 -- TASS

Planes, tanks, ships: Russian military gets massive upgrade -- AP

Russian tech giant develops material to camouflage military equipment from smart weapons -- TASS

State-of-the-Art Defense: One Russia's S-400 Worth Four US Patriot PAC-3 -- Sputnik

Over 80% of Russian Land Force's Missile Units Already Armed With Iskander-M -- Sputnik

Russia Has Its Own A-10 Warthog (And It Was Meant to Be a NATO-Killer) -- National Interest

Russia's defense chief to mobilize new cyber army -- TASS

Russia military acknowledges new branch: info warfare troops -- AP

Defense chief praises Russian military's success in Syria -- TASS

Russia and US might launch joint operations against terrorists in Raqqa — minister -- TASS

Turkey Envisions Joint Operation With US to Rid Syria of ISIS -- Newsweek/Reuters

US commander: 'Perhaps' more troops will be sent to Syria -- The Hill

More American troops may be sent to Syria – US commander -- RT

Trump will get Pentagon’s strategy to defeat Islamic State next week -- Washington Times

US San Diego carrier begins closely watched patrol of the South China Sea -- Navy Times

China close to finishing buildings on South China Sea islands that could house missiles, US says -- The Guardian

China displays trimaran frigate design -- Defense News

Blackwater founder is reportedly working to set up a private army in China -- CBS

Turkey lifts military ban on Islamic headscarf -- The Guardian

Germany to expand army and send tanks to Lithuania as Nato-Russia buildup continues -- The Independent

NATO Promises Increase in Tempo of Air, Naval Patrols on Black Sea -- Eurasiannet.org

Tragedy of the Public Good: Why the U.S. Shouldn't Quit NATO -- Megan McArdle, Bloomberg

The Truth About Europe Paying Its ‘Fair Share’ For NATO -- Terrell Jermaine Starr, Fox Trot Alpha

Iraq Wants, But Can’t Get, US Drone Zapper -- Defense Tech

US Army Ground Troops Urgently Seek Protection From Drones -- Sputnik

USAF's F-22 Raptors begin combined training with RAAF's F/A 18 Hornets -- AirForce-Technology

US Air Force ‘Urgently’ Needs Funds By April -- Defense One

SAIC Delivers First Amphibious Combat Vehicle to Marine Corps -- DoD Buzz

Poll: 80% of Americans view NATO as good for U.S. -- UPI

Military branches drafting expansion plans as Trump vows to rebuild 'depleted' force -- FOX News

McMaster needs Senate vote to retain military rank -- The Hill

Kremlin stays mum on new U.S. national security adviser -- AP

The Death Drones: People Working as UAV Operators 'Cease to Be Humans' -- Sputnik

Does The Military Really Use Saltpeter To Kill Troops’ Libidos? -- Sarah Sicard, Task & Purpose

Russia's Defense Minister Tells UK Defense Secretary Fallon: ‘Don’t Tell A Bear What To Do’



RT: ‘Don’t tell a bear what to do’: Russia brushes off UK warning not ‘to stick paws in’ Libya

The Russian defense minister has warned against telling “a bear what to do,” as he was commenting on his British counterpart, describing Russia as “a bear” and saying the West does not need it “sticking its paws in” Libya.

“While on the ‘animal’ topic… What do they [UK] have on their coat of arms? A lion, I guess. There is an old saying: all lions are felines, but not all felines are lions. Let everyone mind their own business. I don’t think that there is an animal in their zoo that can tell a bear what to do,” Sergey Shoigu said while answering questions from students at a conference held by the Moscow State Institute of International Relations on Tuesday.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Russia's involvement in Libya is increasing .... Russia and Libya sign new oil deal (Middle East Monitor). More here .... As Haftar Moves Closer To Russia, Will Libya Become The Next Syria? (OilPrice.com).

More News On The Russian Defense Minister's Remarks

Russian defence minister tells UK it cannot 'tell our bear what to do' -- The Independent
Moscow on Fallon's 'Bear Paws' Remarks: 'Not Every Cat is a Lion' -- Sputnik
Defense minister warns 'no animals in Western zoos able to boss the bear around' -- TASS

Why U.S. Ground Troops In Syria Is A Very Bad Idea

US Special Troops Battalion (Reuters / Peter Andrews)

Stephen D. Bryen and Shoshana Bryen, American Interest: US Ground Troops for Syria: A Really Bad Idea

The president is being asked by the Pentagon to provide U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS in Syria. If the president is wise, he will run as fast as he can the other way.

There are four potential traps here:

* The cost in American lives;
* The nature of the Syrian civil war that encompasses the fight against ISIS, which means we may find ourselves on the battlefield with Russia, Iran, and the genocidal government of Syria;
* Finding ourselves with the Turks against the Kurds; and
* Finding ourselves with the Kurds against the Turks.

Syria is a quagmire – ask the Russians. The late 2016 battle for Aleppo required heavy bombing; massive artillery; and even, allegedly, chemical weapons. In Aleppo overall, there were 31,000 casualties – 22,633 men, 2, 849 women, and 4,548 children. Overall, 76% of the casualties were civilian. Most were caused by Russian bombing and Syrian government and allied troops – Hezb'allah and Iran – on the ground.

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WNU editor: For the U.S. to intervene in Syria beyond their current level of  intervention .... there has to be some clear political objectives alongside their military ones. I understand that the destruction of ISIS is the military objective .... but what comes after that .... the political process .... is still unknown and it has certainly not been defined by the Trump administration. Until that is done ... any military intervention will probably end up as a quagmire, and one that will involve facing foes (i.e. Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, Syria, Islamic militants and the remnants of ISIS, etc.) that the U.S. is not politically or with its military ready to face.