National Security

French: The World Is Too Comfortable with Terror

Make no mistake, there is an emerging bipartisan consensus that a certain amount of terrorism is just the price we have to pay to live the way we want to live. Now, to be clear, very few people will come out and say this explicitly, and national-security establishments do their best — within certain, limited parameters — to stop every single terror attack, but more than 15 years after 9/11 it’s clear that there are prices our societies aren’t willing to pay. And neither our nation nor any of our European allies is willing to pay the price to reduce the terror threat to its pre-9/11 scale. Consequently, an undetermined number of civilians will die, horribly, at concerts, restaurants, nightclubs, or simply while walking on the sidewalk. It almost certainly won’t be you, of course, but it will be somebody. And they’ll often be kids. While it’s impossible to predict any given terror attack, there are two laws of terrorism that work together to guarantee that attacks will occur, and they’ll occur with increasing frequency. First, when terrorists are granted safe havens to plan, train, equip, and inspire terror attacks, then they will strike, and they’ll keep striking not just until the safe havens are destroyed but also until the cells and affiliates they’ve established outside their havens are rooted out. Second, when you import immigrants at any real scale from jihadist regions, then you will import the cultural, religious, and political views that incubate jihad. Jihadist ideas flow not from soil but from people, and when you import people you import their ideas.

Exactly!!  To read the rest of this excellent op/ed by attorney, and Army Reserve officer (Major), David French, click on the text above.

North Korea attack drones carrying biological, chemical weapons can strike Seoul within 1 hour

North Korea’s military has 300 to 400 attack drones capable of carrying biological and chemical weapons that could reach the South Korean capital of Seoul within one hour, according to a high-level defector from the isolated regime ruling Pyongyang. The claim from a 42-year-old former third secretary who fled Kim Jong-un’s regime in 2015 coincides with heightened international concern over a different threat from North Korea: mobile, medium- to long-range missiles that Pyongyang has tested with increasing frequency. After successfully launching one of the solid-fuel missiles Sunday, North Korean leaders said they are ready to begin deploying and mass-producing the Pukgukson-2 projectiles, which Pyongyang says are capable of reaching major U.S. military bases in Japan. The Sunday launch was the latest of more than 70 North Korean missile tests since 2009, resulting in a U.S. and regional focus on countering the ballistic missiles. An equally urgent drone threat may be emanating from Pyongyang, according to an interview with an individual using the alias Jin-myeong Han that the Sekai Nippo newspaper in Japan published last week. North Korea has been running a clandestine program since the late 1990s that includes preparations to mount biological and chemical weapons on drones for aerial attacks, according to Mr. Han, whom Sekai Nippo described as a former third secretary once stationed in Vietnam. The newspaper also described Mr. Han has having begun his career in the North Korean air force and having once been involved in managing the regime’s drone activities. “My guess is that it has 300 to 400 drones,” Mr. Han said, adding that the drones are stored underground because U.S. and other reconnaissance satellites are “intensively conducting surveillance” near the Demilitarized Zone that separates the Koreas. The drones often are moved to different sites and “are in the stage of battle deployment in term[s] of technology,” he said. “In an emergency situation, drones can reach Seoul airspace in about one hour.” Pyongyang’s drone fleet has been known for some time. Speculation surged in 2014 when three North Korean drones crashed in South Korean territory. Military officials in Seoul said the unmanned vehicles were mounted with cameras and were believed to be surveillance drones. Mr. Han said the South Korean military may have a system that uses electronic jamming to prevent drone incursions from the North, but he maintained that Pyongyang is capable of flying the vehicles at low altitudes to avoid detection by radars such as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system that the U.S. recently deployed to the South. He said he was assigned during the late 1990s to an air force facility in North Korea’s North Pyongan province, where he worked on radio communication for attack drones. “I was surprised to see that people from the Korean Workers’ Party came and mounted something that appeared to be biological and chemical weapons on the drones,” said Mr. Han. “They conducted an experiment to spray chemical or biological agents over the mountains and fields nearby. I went to the mountain afterward to check and found all animals dead, although plants survived. “Information about the specific type of agents was kept secret,” said Mr. Han, asserting that the North has since developed a process in which “a 1,200-liter tank is mounted on the drone, and it can carry biological and chemical weapons in the tank.” The specter of such threats hung in the backdrop Monday as world powers scrambled to respond to North Korea’s latest missile test and Pyongyang’s vow to begin mass producing the Pukgukson-2. The weapon is a land-based version of a submarine-launched missile, and its successful test advances North Korea’s weapons capabilities because solid-fuel missiles can be fired faster and more secretly than those using liquid fuel, which must be added separately and transported to launch sites with trucks that can be seen by satellites. U.S. officials said the Pukgukson-2 traveled more than 300 miles toward the Japanese coast and reached a height of nearly 350 miles on Sunday before crashing into the East Sea/Sea of Japan. Kim Jong-un ordered the launch and watched from an observation post, according to state media reports, which cited the North Korean leader as saying he had “approved the deployment of this weapon system for action” and that it should “be rapidly mass-produced.” The missile is seen to pose the greatest threat to South Korea and Japan and the 80,000 U.S. troops positioned in the two nations.

U.S. Airstrikes Hit Syrian Military Vehicles for Violating ‘De-Confliction Zone’

American airstrikes targeted a group of Syrian militia vehicles after they ignored U.S. warnings and violated a “de-confliction zone” on Thursday. CNN reports that the strike occurred near a base American forces use to train allied Syrian opposition fighters. A convoy of twenty vehicles approached the town of An Tanf on Wednesday night, evidently searching for opposition fighters and raising concerns among the U.S. coalition. A total of thirteen vehicles penetrated the de-confliction zone, but the U.S. did not take action until five of them came with 29 kilometers of the base. When five Syrian military vehicles persisted in approaching the base, the U.S. conducted a “show of force” with two warplanes to persuade them to halt. When the Syrians insisted on proceeding into the area, the U.S. planes were cleared to fire. Although one of CNN’s sources said it remained unknown whether the American planes only fired warning shots, a second U.S. defense official said an airstrike “did hit the convoy after the vehicles continued toward the base.” According to ABC News, U.S. officials said several of the Syrian vehicles were destroyed in the strike. Voice of America News reports the decision to launch the airstrike was made by a commander on the ground, and does not reflect a broader change in U.S. policy. According to these sources, militia forces loyal to the regime of Bashar Assad crewed the vehicles, not regular Syrian army troops. Military Times quotes officials describing the targeted militia as “pro-regime” but “not directly associated with the Syrian government.” The Associated Press quotes officials who said the targeted vehicles included “a tank and a bulldozer,” which pro-regime militia were apparently using to set up fighting positions inside the protected area. Ominously, the Syrian regime has its own base fairly close to the one American forces are using to train opposition fighters, and the Syrian base is said to be ready to support “about a battalion’s worth of troops.”

U.S. Military Warns ‘Space Is Now a Warfighting Domain’

The U.S. Air Force considers “maintaining space superiority” one of its “core missions,” high-ranking American military officials told lawmakers Wednesday, warning that “space is now a warfighting domain.” In jointly written testimony submitted to the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces Wednesday, top officials in charge of America’s military space program told lawmakers: “For decades the United States has enjoyed unimpeded freedom of action in space. This benign environment allowed us to operate satellites for intelligence collection, missile warning, weather monitoring, communications, and precision positioning, navigation, and timing in support of all military operations for all of the services, without thinking about how to protect these systems. That environment no longer exists. Space will be contested in any conflict… Clearly, freedom to operate in space is not guaranteed. In fact, space is now a warfighting domain, similar to the more familiar air, land, and maritime domains our men and women are fighting in today. We must ensure the reliability of our current systems and we must modernize. Our modernization will focus on our ability to deter potential adversaries, and to fight in a contested, degraded, and operationally limited environment should deterrence fail.” The warnings came from Heather Wilson, secretary of the U.S. Air Force; Gen. David Goldfein, chief of staff of the Air Force; Gen. John Raymond, commander of U.S. Air Force Space Command; and Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, commander of the U.S. Air Force Command’s Space and Missile System Center. “Our potential adversaries understand the advantage we derive from space and view our reliance on space as a vulnerability they can exploit,” they noted. “Near-peer competitors will offset any U.S. military advantage derived from our space systems and continue to pursue capabilities to degrade or destroy them.” In its latest World Threat Assessment, issued last week, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats identified Russia and China as America’s primary rivals in space. “We assess that Russia and China perceive a need to offset any US military advantage derived from military, civil, or commercial space systems and are increasingly considering attacks against satellite systems as part of their future warfare doctrine,” pointed out the assessment. “Both will continue to pursue a full range of anti- satellite (ASAT) weapons as a means to reduce US military effectiveness.”

UN agency helps North Korea with patent application for banned nerve gas chemical

For more than a year, a United Nations agency in Geneva has been helping North Korea prepare an international patent application for production of sodium cyanide — a chemical used to make the nerve gas Tabun — which has been on a list of materials banned from shipment to that country by the U.N. Security Council since 2006. The World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO, has made no mention of the application to the Security Council committee monitoring North Korea sanctions, nor to the U.N. Panel of Experts that reports sanctions violations to the committee, even while concerns about North Korean weapons of mass destruction, and the willingness to use them, have been on a steep upward spiral. Fox News told both U.N. bodies of the patent application for the first time late last week, after examining the application file on a publicly available WIPO internal website. Information on the website indicates that North Korea started the international patent process on Nov. 1, 2015 — about two months before its fourth illegal nuclear test. The most recent document on the website is a “status report,” dated May 14, 2017 (and replacing a previous status report of May 8), declaring the North Korean applicants’ fitness “to apply for and be granted a patent.” During all that time, however, the U.N.’s Panel of Experts on North Korea “has no record of any communication from WIPO to the Committee or the Panel regarding such a serious patent application,” said Hugh Griffiths, coordinator of the international U.N. expert team, in response to a Fox News question. The Panel of Experts has now officially “opened an investigation into this matter,” he said. “This is a disturbing development that should be of great concern to the U.S. administration and to Congress, as well as the U.S. Representative to the U.N.,” William Newcomb, a member of the U.N. Panel of Experts for nearly three years ending in 2014, said..

Indeed!!  To read the rest of this “disturbing” story, click on the text above.

Officials dispute report Trump revealed classified information to Russians

Top Trump administration officials pushed back against a published report Monday that accused President Trump of revealing classified information about the Islamic State to Russian diplomats in a White House meeting last week. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said Mr. Trump did speak with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about “the nature of specific threats” from the terrorist group, “but they did not discuss sources, methods or military operations.” He said the Oval Office meeting covered “a broad range of subjects,” including “common efforts and threats regarding counterterrorism.” The Washington Post, citing anonymous current and former U.S. government officials, published a report Monday afternoon saying the president disclosed highly classified information to the Russians that jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State. The article alleged that Mr. Trump relayed information to the Russian diplomats that had been provided by a U.S. partner, and was considered so sensitive that details had been withheld from allies and restricted within the U.S. government. The meeting last week occurred in the Oval Office with Mr. Trump, Mr. Lavrov and Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak. It was Mr. Lavrov’s first visit to Washington in four years. White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who attended the meeting, said late Monday the story was “false.” “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly,” Mr. McMaster said. He added that Mr. Trump and Mr. Lavrov “reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation.” In a hastily arranged statement on camera Monday night outside the West Wing, Mr. McMaster also told reporters that there’s nothing the president takes more seriously than the country’s safety. He said the article, “as reported, is false.” “I was in the room. It didn’t happen,” Mr. McMaster said. He took no questions from reporters. Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell, another participant in the meeting last week, also said the story “is false.” “The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced,” she said in a statement. Mr. McMaster said that his on-the-record account of the meeting, together with those of Mr. Tillerson and Ms. Powell, “should outweigh the accounts of anonymous sources.”

Agreed!!

Intel Report: Iran Refining Nuke Delivery System in Flagrant Violation of Ban

Iran continues to make critical technological strides in its efforts to perfect an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering nuclear weapons over great distances, efforts that violate international prohibitions, according to the director of national intelligence, who informed Congress this week that the Islamic Republic “would choose ballistic missiles as its preferred method of delivering nuclear weapons.” The disclosure comes just days after Iranian leaders announced the upcoming launch of two new domestically produced satellites. Iran has long used its space program as cover for illicit missile work, as the know-how needed to launch such equipment can be applied to long-range ballistic missile technology. Daniel Coats, America’s top spymaster, informed Congress this week in an intelligence briefing that Iran’s ballistic missile work continues unimpeded and could be used by the Islamic Republic to launch a nuclear weapon, according to unclassified testimony. Iran’s ballistic missile work, particularly its focus on ICBMs, runs counter to United Nations resolutions barring such activity, though it remains unclear if the Trump administration plans to pursue new sanctions on Iran. Iran continues to perform key research and development on nuclear missile capabilities despite the landmark nuclear agreement with Western powers, according to the last U.S. intelligence assessments. “Iran is pursuing capabilities to meet its nuclear energy and technology goals and to give it the capability to build missile-deliverable nuclear weapons, if it chooses to do so” Coats wrote in his written testimony to the Senate intelligence committee. U.S. officials are unsure if Iran will build nuclear weapons, but it is likely this intention would dictate Tehran’s future adherence to the nuclear deal, which the administration of former President Barack Obama framed in such a way as to leave out the issue of ballistic missiles. The United States assesses that Iran remains about a year away from a functional nuclear missile if it decides to build one in violation of the nuclear deal. Iranian military leaders claim their missile work is unrelated to the nuclear agreement and permissible under it. The country’s refusal to abandon this work has caused concern on Capitol Hill, as well as among U.S. national security insiders who view the work as related to Iran’s aspirations for regional dominance. The U.S. intelligence community maintains that Iran—which has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East—likely would use this technology to launch a nuclear weapon. “We judge that Tehran would choose ballistic missiles as its preferred method of delivering nuclear weapons, if it builds them,” according to Coats. “Iran’s ballistic missiles are inherently capable of delivering WMD, and Tehran already has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East.” “Tehran’s desire to deter the United States might drive it to field an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM),” Coats wrote, referring to Iran’s covert missile work. “Progress on Iran’s space program could shorten a pathway to an ICBM because space launch vehicles use similar technologies.” Iran “continues to leverage cyber espionage, propaganda, and attacks to support its security priorities, influence events and foreign perceptions, and counter threats—including against U.S. allies in the region,” Coats testified. This includes cyber attacks “directly against the United States,” such as in 2013, when an Iranian hacker penetrated the computer systems of a U.S. dam. Iran also is pursuing a massive buildup of its military, which observers have described as unprecedented. The U.S. intelligence community has confirmed that Iran is developing “a range of new military capabilities to monitor and target U.S. and allied military assets in the region, including armed UAVs [drones], ballistic missiles, advanced naval mines, unmanned explosive boats, submarines and advanced torpedoes, and anti-ship and land-attack cruise missiles,” according to Coats.

And this is the Iran that Obama so foolishly gave BILLIONS of our hard-earned tax dollars, as well as the ok to enrich uranium and so on.  Thanks a lot, Obama!…moron..