Saturday, November 18, 2017

Another U.S. Navy Ship Collision In The West Pacific

ABC News: US warship collides with Japanese tug boat, latest mishap for the Navy's 7th Fleet

A U.S. warship collided with a Japanese commercial tug boat in Japan's Sagami Bay on Saturday, marking the fifth time this year that a ship in the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet in the Pacific has been involved in a crash.

The Japanese tug boat lost propulsion and drifted into the USS Benfold during a towing exercise. The U.S. guided-missile destroyer sustained minimal damage, and there were no reported injuries on either vessel, according to a press release from the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet.

The USS Benfold, which is awaiting a full damage assessment, remains at sea under its own power. The incident will be investigated, the 7th Fleet said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is the fifth time this year that a ship in the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet has been involved in a crash. And while it appears that the Japanese tug is to blame for this collision, I am sure that this is small comfort for the commanders and admirals in the Navy.

More News On Another U.S. Navy Ship Collision In The West Pacific

USS Benfold collides with Japanese tugboat during towing exercise; no injuries reported -- Stars and Stripes
Destroyer USS Benfold Damaged After Collision with Japanese Tug -- USNI News
Navy Destroyer Collides with Tugboat off Japan, No Injuries Reported --
Japanese tug slightly damages US destroyer -- UPI
US warship collides with Japanese tug boat -- The Hill
US Navy ship suffers minor damage in scrape with Japanese tug boat -- Fox News
USS Benfold slightly damaged in collision with tug off Japan as naval mishaps continue -- The Japan Times
US Navy destroyer involved in collision with Japanese tug boat, sustains minor damage -- Washington Examiner

Search Intensifies For Missing Argentine Submarine With 44 Crewmen (Update)

CNN: Argentina searches for missing navy submarine

(CNN)An Argentine navy submarine with 44 crew members has been missing for three days after the navy lost contact with it off the country's Atlantic coast, the military service says.

The ARA San Juan submarine was last spotted Wednesday in the San Jorge Gulf, a few hundred kilometers off the coast of southern Argentina's Patagonia region, the navy said.

Crews are searching for the vessel by air and sea, navy spokesman Enrique Balbi told reporters Friday.

The submarine had been traveling from a base in far southern Argentina's Tierra del Fuego archipelago to its home base in Mar del Plata, a city hundreds of miles to the northeast. The sub's last known location in the San Jorge Gulf is nearly midway between the bases.

Read more ....

More News On The Search Intensifying For A Missing Argentine Submarine With 44 Crewmen

Argentina missing navy submarine: Search stepped up -- BBC
Powerful Winds and Waves Hinder Search for Argentine Submarine -- US News and World Report/Reuters
Argentina steps up search for missing submarine -- FOX News/AP
Argentina's navy searches for missing submarine with 44 crew on board -- The Guardian
Argentina navy loses contact with submarine with 44 crew on board -- DW
A submarine has vanished, launching a frantic search for 44 people on board -- Washington Post
Argentine navy steps up search for missing submarine ARA San Juan carrying 44 people -- ABC News Online
Argentine Navy diesel sub disappears, NASA plane joins in search -- Ars Technica
U.S. Navy to join search for missing Argentine submarine with 44 crew members -- USA Today

Pressure Builds For Zimbabwean Leader Robert Mugabe To Resign As Thousands Protest In The Streets For His Ouster

The Guardian: Zimbabwe’s ruling party expected to sack Robert Mugabe on Sunday

Reports say Zanu-PF will also dismiss president’s preferred successor Grace Mugabe as protesters gather in Harare

Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party is expected to meet on Sunday to sack Robert Mugabe and reinstate the vice-president he dismissed, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

A party central committee meeting scheduled for 8.30am UK time would also dismiss the president’s preferred successor, his wife, Grace, from her role as head of the party’s women’s league, Reuters reported.

Mugabe’s 37-year rule has in effect been at an end since the army seized control in the early hours of Wednesday, confining him to his residence.

Shortly after news of Sunday’s meeting emerged, a convoy left Mugabe’s official residence in Harare to the jeers of onlookers, although it was unclear if he was inside.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I cannot believe that he is still refusing to quit .... Robert Mugabe refuses to quit as Zimbabweans march for his ouster (CNN), even with his own political party telling him to leave .... Mugabe Era Winds Down as Ruling Party Backs His Ouster (Bloomberg).

More News On The Pressure Building For Zimbabwean Leader Robert Mugabe To Resign

The Latest: Mugabe, army commander to meet again Sunday -- AP
Zimbabwe: What's happening? -- Al Jazeera
Giddy Zimbabweans gather in capital to march against Mugabe -- AP
Party set to sack Mugabe, Zimbabweans celebrate expected downfall -- Reuters
Robert Mugabe 'to be sacked by his Zanu-PF party on Sunday' -- SKY News
Zimbabwe crowds rejoice as they demand end to Mugabe rule -- BBC
Zimbabweans say Mugabe must quit now, but more talks planned -- Miami Herald
Zimbabweans elated at prospect of Robert Mugabe downfall -- DW
Robert Mugabe: Thousands take to streets of Harare in protest against Zimbabwe President -- ABC News Online
Zimbabweans demand Mugabe's resignation at Harare rally -- Al Jazeera
Zimbabwe: Mugabe's grip on power appears close to collapse -- The Guardian
Zimbabwe: A guide to what’s happened so far in Mugabe drama -- AP

Former Lebanese PM Saad Hariri Arrives In Paris. Will Explain Why He Resigned When He Returns To Lebanon In The Coming Days

BBC: Saad Hariri, Lebanon PM, to return to Beirut 'in coming days'

Lebanese PM Saad Hariri has said he will return to Beirut in the coming days, and will then clarify his shock decision to resign.

He quit two weeks ago during a visit to Saudi Arabia, but President Michel Aoun refused to accept the resignation.

Mr Hariri denied being held in Riyadh against his will, amid speculation the Saudis had forced him to quit as part of a regional power struggle with Iran.

Mr Hariri was speaking after meeting France's president in Paris.

Mr Hariri said: "I will go to Beirut in the coming days. I will participate in the independence celebrations, and it is there that I will make known my position on these subjects after meeting President Aoun."

Read more ....

More News On Former Lebanese PM Saad Hariri Arriving In Paris

The Latest: France Not Worried 2 Hariri Children Left Behind -- AP
Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Hariri says he will return home for independence celebrations as he arrives in Paris -- SCMP/AFP
After Macron meeting, Hariri says will clarify position in Lebanon -- Reuters
Lebanon’s PM Hariri says he will be in Beirut within days -- AP
Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Hariri arrives in France, says he wasn't Saudi prisoner -- ABC News Online
Lebanon's Hariri says he will return to Beirut -- DW
Saad Hariri will be in Lebanon 'by Wednesday' -- Al Jazeera
Hariri Says Will Clarify Position on Lebanese Crisis on His Return to Beirut -- US News and World Report/Reuters
Lebanese PM Saad Hariri returning to Beirut despite his resignation -- CNN

Lebanese Prime Minister Meets Macron After Mysterious Saudi Stay -- New York Times

Venezuela Is On The Verge Of Creating A Syrian Style Refugee Crisis

Miami Herald: Venezuela is close to unleashing a Syria-like refugee crisis in Latin America

As Venezuela’s financially strangled dictatorship and the opposition prepare for a possible new round of talks Dec. 1 on whether they can agree on rules for credible 2018 presidential elections, there are reasons to fear that Venezuela’s collapse will escalate into a regional refugee crisis.

Unless Western democracies step up their diplomatic and financial sanctions against President Nicol├ís Maduro’s regime over the next few weeks, there will be a bigger mass exodus of Venezuelans. Many U.S. and Latin American officials fear a Syria-like situation, in which millions more Venezuelans will flee to other Latin American countries, much like Syrian refugees have flooded European countries.

Many Venezuelans will see no alternative but to emigrate:

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I have friends who live in neighboring Guyana, and the influx of refugees for that country from Venezuela is now very real. They are telling me that it will only be a matter of time before the government imposes strict controls. The infrastructure of Guyana is built to accommodate its population of about 800,000 .... it cannot accommodate an influx of 500,000 (or more) that is now expected.

Venezuela Opposition Leader Ledezma Escapes House Arrest And Flees To Spain

DW: Ousted Venezuelan opposition leader escapes house arrest, flees to Spain

Ousted Caracas mayor Antonio Ledezma has likened his escape to a film. He plans to take the fight against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro abroad.

The ousted opposition mayor of Caracas arrived in Spain on Saturday after orchestrating a daring escape from house arrest in Venezuela.

Antonio Ledezma landed in Madrid from Bogota, Colombia, where he arrived a day earlier after slipping across the border. He was greeted by his wife and two daughters who live in Spain.

Ledezma said he planned to organize resistance from abroad to President Nicolas Maduro, under whose rule millions of Venezuelans have suffered from shortages of food and other basic supplies.

"I am going to travel the world to spread the hope of all Venezuelans to escape this regime, this dictatorship," Ledezma said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: He will be far more effective abroad than locked up in his home in Caracas.

More News On Venezuela Opposition Leader Ledezma Escaping House Arrest And Fleeing To Spain

Venezuela opposition leader Ledezma flees to Spain -- Reuters
Ousted Caracas mayor arrives in Madrid after fleeing house arrest -- Strait Times/AFP
Fugitive Caracas mayor flees house arrest for Spain, Venezuela’s Maduro says ‘they can keep him’ -- SCMP
Ousted Caracas mayor flees house arrest, arrives in Colombia in 'movie-like' escape -- Los Angeles Times
Caracas Mayor Escapes House Arrest, Crosses Into Colombia -- Bloomberg

German Coalition Talks Going Nowhere. Strong Possibility Of Germans Going Back To The Polls

Reuters: German parties regroup for last-ditch coalition push

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s would-be coalition partners met on Saturday for a last-ditch round of weekend talks aimed at finding common ground in the divisive fields of climate and migration policy, in the hope of staving off a possible early election.

For German Chancellor Angela Merkel, an awkward three-way conservative-liberal-Green alliance is her best hope of securing a fourth term, but the parties are still far apart after four weeks of talks.

The biggest sticking points are over climate change, where the Greens want emissions cuts that the other parties see as economically ruinous, and immigration, where Merkel’s arch-conservative allies in Bavaria insist on stricter rules.

“The next two days are going to be decisive,” said Volker Kauder, parliamentary leader of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) as he arrived for the talks.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Even though most Germans favor another election .... for German Chancellor Angela Merkel this would be a disaster. Her support has gone downhill since the last election, and if there is another vote, she would probably be ousted as Chancellor. My prediction .... she will cave in to the Greens on climate change and will accommodate her allies in Bavaria on immigration.

More News On German Coalition Talks To Form A New Government

Crunch time for Merkel to build coalition or face new polls -- AFP
German parties seek compromise on migrants, climate change -- Washington Post
Germany's CSU/CDU Might Compromise Further On Climate Policies To Foster Coalition Deal With Greens, Reportedly -- CleanTechnica
German coalition talks miss deadline; parties still at odds -- Business Insider
German Coalition Negotiations At A Standstill -- EU Policies

U.S. And Poland Agree To A $10.5 Billion Missile Defense System Deal

Reuters: Raytheon gets OK for $10.5 billion Patriot sale to Poland: Pentagon

(Reuters) - The U.S. State Department approved a possible $10.5 billion sale of Raytheon Co’s (RTN.N) Patriot missile defense system to Poland, the Pentagon said on Friday.

NATO member Poland has sped up efforts to overhaul its military following Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014 and in response to Moscow’s renewed military and political assertiveness in the region.

Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said in March that Poland expected to sign a deal with Raytheon to buy the Patriot missile defense system by the end of the year.

Patriot missile defense interceptors are designed to detect, track and engage unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), cruise missiles and short-range or tactical ballistic missiles.

Read more ....

More News On The U.S. And Poland Agreeing To A $10.5 Billion Missile Defense System Deal

Raytheon gets OK for $10.5 billion Patriot sale to Poland: Pentagon -- Reuters
US and Poland agree $10.5bn missile defence deal -- Financial Times
White House to notify Congress of planned Patriot deal with Poland -- Radio Poland
US Approves $10.5Bln Patriot Missile Defense System Sale to Poland -- Sputnik
State Dept authorizes sale of $10.5bn missile defense system to Poland -- RT
US Weapons Sales to Poland Fuel Tensions in Europe – Russian Lawmaker -- Sputnik International

Israel Is Worried About President Trump's Middle East Strategy

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump meeting at the Trump Tower in New York, September 25, 2016. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

Brian Katulis & Yoram Schweitzer, Foreign Policy: Israel Is Growing Increasingly Worried About the Trump Administration

As Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Russia rush to fill the vacuum of leadership in the Middle East, the United States is AWOL.

Israel’s reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump’s Iran speech last month was best summed up by a former senior official we recently met in Tel Aviv: “It sounds very nice, and I like it very much, but what’s next?”

What we heard last month in Israel on Iran was less focused on the fate of the nuclear deal and more concerned about glaring gaps in U.S. strategy to deter Iran’s destabilizing actions and support for terrorist groups in the wider Middle East.

If and how the Trump administration addresses these gaps in its regional strategy will have implications for America’s security and its allies for years to come — and what we heard in Israel is a growing worry that Trump lacks any operable plan at all on Iran.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I love reading comments like this one from Foreign Policy when it comes to President Trump's foreign policy in the Middle East ....

.... Making matters worse, Trump and his incoherent foreign policy have alienated America’s partners and shredded U.S. credibility as a trustworthy global leader.

President Obama's fulfilling his pledge to withdraw US military forces from Iraq and his secret talks with Iran on negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran is what "shredded U.S. credibility as a trustworthy leader" with its allies in this part of the world .... not President Trump who only been President for less than 10 months.

As for Israeli concerns on the Trump administration. President Trump was not elected to satisfy Israeli concerns. The U.S. and Israel are strategic allies, but their foreign policies and priorities are sometimes different. In regards to Iran .... both countries have the same view, the difference is on what to do about it.

On a side note .... and that is because I know some of the people who work there .... Foreign Policy has gone 100% anti-Trump. It was bad enough to read analysis and commentaries from people who I respected suffering from Obama derangement syndrome when he was President, but this Trump derangement syndrome has gone to a completely different level. In turn .... for this blog .... covering the debate, analysis, and commentary on U.S. politics has become more and more difficult with each passing month. And sadly .... my prediction from earlier this year still holds ..... it is going to get worse.

Are U.S. Special Forces Being Stretched To A Possible Breaking Point?

In this photo released by the U.S. Army on March 9, 2017, U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers observe as Nigerien armed forces service members fire their weapons with the assistance of illumination rounds during Exercise Flintlock 2017 in Diffa, Niger.

VOA: US Officials Warn Special Ops Forces Being Stretched to Possible Breaking Point

Add U.S. lawmakers to the ranks of those worried the country's special operations forces are being stretched to a possible breaking point.

Pentagon officials raised the issue months ago, telling lawmakers in May the continuous, heavy reliance on the most elite U.S. forces was threatening to erode their capabilities.

Since then, such concerns have only grown, highlighted by a series of high-profile incidents, including a probe into whether two members of the Navy's SEAL team may have been involved in the death of an Army Green Beret member in Mali this past June, and the death of four special operation soldiers in an ambush in Niger last month.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: You cannot successfully fight multiple conflicts on the backs of 50,000 or 60,000 special forces (or less) that are deployed in the field. There are too many places and too few boots on the ground to make a real difference in a short period of time. The best that you can hope for is that with time, the forces that the US Special Forces are training and working with will make a difference.

What Is The U.S. Strategy In Afghanistan?

© U.S. Army

Gerald F. Hyman, National Interest: Trump's New Afghanistan Strategy Isn't Really a Strategy

Principles guiding a strategy are no substitute for an actual strategy whether developed by Washington or by field commanders.

To much anticipation, on August 21 President Donald Trump announced “our new strategy” for Afghanistan. Unfortunately, it revealed neither a succinct strategy nor even anything new. It was instead a list of a dozen pronouncements defining various U.S. policies tied to Afghanistan. Leaving aside their wisdom, they describe almost perfectly the policy of President George W. Bush and the initial policy of President Barack Obama.

More importantly, the announcements form not even the semblance of a strategy. A strategy is a plan for the deployment of (limited) resources in support of a set of objectives and in the face of obstacles (like adversaries), as President Trump said himself, it is “a plan for victory.” President Trump elucidated none of the elements.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The White House and the Pentagon have not publicly articulated what they will be exactly doing in Afghanistan, but if I was to guess on what is the Afghan strategy, it will be something like what was done in Iraq during the Obama administration and refined by the Trump administration under the guidance of US Defense Secretary of Defense Mattis. First things first .... stabilize the situation, and this has been somewhat successful. Taliban and ISIS gains have been limited in the past few months, and this was been done by changing the rules of engagement, and conducting far more airstrikes. Second .... build up the Afghan security forces, and like in Iraq .... put together a division of elite soldiers that will storm enemy strongholds. This rebuilding  took approximately 2 years in Iraq to accomplish, and I expect the same in Afghaistan. Three .... when these Afghan forces are ready, launch military offensives with U.S. special forces embedded to order in air and artillery strikes. Four .... make sure the Afghan Army does the fighting .... this is their country, and they are the ones who will have to fight for it.

If this is the strategy .... will it work? I honestly do not know. Afghanistan is not Iraq, and the conditions on the ground are different in both countries. But I do know that the Afghan conflict is a war of attrition, and it will not surprise me if it will take decades for some semblance of peace to return to this country. The hope is that the Afghan government will be able to sustain this conflict by itself .... and the sooner they can achieve that, the better that it will be for all of us.

More News On The U.S. - Afghan Strategy

The Convoluted Arguments Underlying U.S. Afghanistan Strategy -- Lawrence Sellin (Retired Colonel, U.S. Army Reserve), Daily Caller
Afghanistan's Chief Executive Is Hopefull For U.S. War Strategy -- NPR
Abdullah Upbeat About New US War Strategy -- TOLO News
Afghanistan: New US Strategy Proves Popular -- IWPR
Trump's Afghan policy causing a rethink on both sides in conflict -- Scott Peterson, CSM
News Analysis: Taliban downplays U.S. new strategy on Afghanistan, pushes for war: Afghan observers -- Xinhua
The Marines Returned To Helmand Province. Is Their Mission A Blueprint For Trump’s Afghanistan Strategy? -- Shashank Bengali, Task & Purpose/Los Angeles Times

Pentagon's Troop Surge To Afghanistan Has Reached 14,000 Soldiers

A 3rd Infantry Division soldier gives a thumbs-up as he boards a plane to deploy to Afghanistan on Aug. 3, 2017. The Pentagon says a recent surge has boosted the number of U.S. troops on the ground to 14,000. Staff Sgt. Candace Mundt/Army

DoD Buzz: Troop Surge in Afghanistan Completed; 14,000 Now on Ground

President Donald Trump’s troop surge in Afghanistan has essentially been completed, boosting the number of service members on the ground from 11,000 to 14,000, the Pentagon said Thursday.

“We’ve just completed a force flow into Afghanistan,” Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the Pentagon’s Joint Staff Director, said at a news conference.

“The new number for Afghanistan is now approximately 14,000 — might be a little above that, might be a little below that, as we flex according to the mission,” he said.

“With the additional forces that the commander has identified as needed, and that [Defense Secretary Jim Mattis] and the president have approved, the new approximate number for Afghanistan is 14,000,” McKenzie said.

Read more ....

More News On The Pentagon's Troop Surge To Afghanistan Reaching 14,000 Soldiers

Pentagon: About 3000 more troops have deployed to Afghanistan -- Stars and Stripes
Trump's Afghanistan Troop Surge is Complete, Raising Total Number of US Servicemen to 14000 -- Newsweek
Pentagon Says 3000 More US Troops In Afghanistan Since August -- Radio Free Europe
3000 More US Troops Arrive In Afghanistan, Pentagon Says -- TOLOnews
Around 3000 Additional US Troops are Stationed in Afghanistan -- Novinite

U.S. Troops In Afghanistan Were Told To Ignore Child Sexual Abuse

The Hill: Watchdog: Troops say they were told to ignore Afghan child sex abuse

A new inspector general report released Thursday found that while the Pentagon did not have formal guidance discouraging the reporting of child sex abuse in Afghanistan, several troops say they were still informally told to ignore it.

“Following a review of DoD Instructions, Command Policy and Service guidance, we did not identify any guidance or policy that expressly discouraged personnel from reporting incidents of child sexual abuse,” according to the unclassified version of the Department of Defense inspector general report.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Inspector General's report is here .... Implementation of the DoD Leahy Law Regarding Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse by Members of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (Inspector General/US Department of Defense).

More News On U.S. Troops In Afghanistan Being Told To Ignore Child Sexual Abuse

US Forces Told to Ignore Child Sex Abuse By Afghan Forces -- Code & Dagger
Report: U.S. troops told to ignore child rape by Afghan security forces -- UPI
The DoD Has Barely Made A Dent In Afghan Security Forces’ Child Sex Abuse Problem -- Task & Purpose
US troops taught sexual abuse was 'culturally accepted practice' in Afghanistan -- RT
Were Any U.S.-Backed Afghan Troops Punished for Raping Kids? That’s Classified. -- Daily Beast

North Korea Strengthens Ties with Cuba

North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho leaves a bilateral meeting with his China's counterpart Wang Yi, at the sidelines of the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in Vientiane, Laos July 25, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Newsweek: New Cold War? North Korea Strengthens Ties with Cuba After Threatening Nuclear Attack on U.S.

Pyongyang hopes to rekindle a Cold War-era friendship.

Korean Central News Agency announced Friday that North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and his delegation will be traveling to Cuba, in hopes of revamping international support amid sanctions and widespread condemnation of Pyongyang’s nuclear missile tests.

The Washington Post reported that North Korea’s visit to Cuba occurs as Pyongyang’s largest trading partners announced they would halt trade with the isolated nation. Singapore—North Korea’s seventh largest trading partner–indicated it would sever its trade with the country Thursday, while the Philippines—Pyongyang’s fifth largest trading partner—is following suit.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The North Koreans are looking for allies, and customers for their military products. Cuba has a history of buying North Korean arms .... N Korean ship seized with Cuban weapons returns to Cuba (BBC).

China Says Will Work With North Korea. North Korea Sends A Different Message

This picture taken on November 17, 2017 and released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency shows Song Tao attending a meeting with Choe Ryong-Hae (2nd R)

Reuters: China says will work with North Korea to boost ties as envoy visits

BEIJING/SEOUL (Reuters) - Traditional friendship between China and North Korea represents “valuable wealth” for their people, China said after its special envoy met a high-ranking North Korean official, but there was no mention of the crisis over North Korea’s weapons.

Song Tao, who heads the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s international department, is visiting Pyongyang to discuss the outcome of the recently concluded Communist Party Congress in China, at which President Xi Jinping cemented his power.

In a brief statement dated Friday but reported by Chinese media on Saturday, the international department said Song, who is there representing Xi, reported to North Korean official Choe Ryong Hae the outcome of the congress.

Song and Choe also talked about relations between their parties and countries, the department said.

Read more ....

Update #1: China stresses steady development of friendly ties with N.K. (Korea Herald, Yonhap)
Update #2: Chinese, N.Korean envoys discuss regional concerns: state media (AFP)

WNU Editor: The Chinese sent their senior bureaucrat in their foreign affairs office to North Korea, and the North Koreans sent a close aide to North Korean leader Jim Jong-un. The person the North Koreans should have sent to such a meeting is their foreign minister or their deputy foreign minister .... this would have helped cement future talks between the two ministries (foreign ministries rarely conduct their two way communications with a personal aide of the leader .... they will talk with their counterpart). My impression of this meeting is that the Chinese are trying to establish a dialogue .... and the North Koreans are responding by giving the Chinese their due respect, but they are not interested in continuing a discussion. The above photo is also very revealing ... the Chinese have a big delegation, the North Koreans have an interpreter, and someone writing down notes. No lower rank North Korean officials present to talk with their lower-rank Chinese counterparts.

Tweets For Today

Turkey's Purchase Of Russia's S-400 Means That They Will Now Not Be Permitted To Plug Into NATO Systems

S-400 Triumph © Sergey Malgavko / Sputnik

Defense News: US official: If Turkey buys Russian systems, they can’t plug into NATO tech

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — If Turkey moves forward with its buy of a Russian air defense system, it will not be permitted to plug into NATO technology, and further action may be forthcoming that could affect the country’s acquisition or operation of the F-35, a top Air Force official said Wednesday.

Turkey has reportedly finalized a deal with Russia for the S-400, an advanced anti-aircraft missile system. According to a Nov. 12 Reuters report, Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli claimed that it had made an order for the missiles and further terms of the agreement were “just details now.”

Read more ....

Update #1: S-400 purchase will restrict Turkey's access to NATO technology, US official says (Daily Sabah)
Update #2: Purchase of Russian S-400 system creates issues for Turkey’s use of F-35 – top US Air Force official (RT)
Update #3: If Turkey buys the Russian S-400 missile system, it can't be allowed to buy the F-35 fighter jet (Washington Examiner)

WNU Editor: It is no longer an if Turkey buys Russian systems .... Turkey finalized the purchase last week .... Turkey has completed purchase of Russian missile defense: defense minister (Reuters).

Update #4: Ambassador to NATO unsure if US will impose sanctions on Turkey for S-400 buy (Defense News).

Picture Of The Day

Servicemen of the Collective Security Treaty Organization’s rapid response force are seen during the opening ceremony of the joint anti-terror drill at the Khairmaidon base in Tajikistan on November 14, 2017. © Sputnik/ Alexey Kudenko

WNU Editor: The above picture can from this photo gallery .... This Week in Pictures (November 11-17) (Sputnik).