Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Israel 's Netanyahu Warns The U.S. Congress On The Danger Of A Nuclear Deal With Iran

Daily Mail: 'A farewell to arms control': Netanyahu warns Congress Iran deal will make Middle East a 'nuclear tinderbox' and feed its 'tentacles of terror'

* 'The greatest threat against the world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons,' he warned
* It 'could happen if the deal that is being negotiated is accepted by Iran'
* Netanyahu interrupted by applause 41 times, but no member of the Obama administration attended the event
* John Kerry, the US secretary of state, is negotiating that deal in Switzerland
* 'Iran has proven time and time again that it cannot be trusted,' Netanyahu insisted
* Susan Rice admitted Monday that 'some' Israel backers won't get behind an agreement with Iran that doesn't require it to cease its enrichment program
* 'As desirable as that would be, it is neither realistic nor achievable,' she said

More News On Israeli PM Netanyahu's Speech To The U.S. Congress

Complete text of Netanyahu's address to Congress -- YNet News
Israel's Netanyahu warns U.S. against Iran nuclear deal -- Reuters
Netanyahu assails Iran-nuclear talks in Congress address -- AP
Netanyahu warns US Congress of Iran’s ‘march of terror’ -- France 24
Netanyahu, in Speech to Congress, Criticizes 'Bad Deal' With Iran -- NYT
Israel’s Netanyahu Urges Congress to Block ‘Bad Deal’ With Iran -- WSJ
Israel's Netanyahu warns US against 'paving way to Iran bomb' -- BBC
'It's a very bad deal': Benjamin Netanyahu rips possible U.S. nuclear deal with Iran during speech to Congress -- New York Daily News
Netanyahu: Iran Engaged in Deadly 'Game of Thrones' -- ABC News
Netanyahu: Nuclear Deal ‘Paves Iran’s Path To The Bomb’ -- CBS
Netanyahu Tells Congress Iran Deal ‘Paves Path To A Bomb’ -- Time
Netanyahu warns Congress: Deal will lead to Iranian nuclear bomb -- CNN
Netanyahu: Stop Iran's 'march of conquest' -- USA Today
Israeli PM: Iran Nuclear Talks Are 'Very Bad Deal' -- VOA
Netanyahu to Congress: 'We Are Better Off' Without the Emerging U.S. Deal With Iran -- National Journal
Netanyahu warns Obama nuclear deal would pave Iran’s ‘path to bomb’ -- Al Jazeera

Arab Nations Are Said To Be Deeply Worried On An Iranian Nuclear Deal

President Obama shakes hands with Saudi Arabia's King Salman at the start of a bilateral meeting at Erga Palace in Riyadh January 27, 2015. Credit: REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Wall Street Journal: Obama Parries Questions on Iran Deal From Arabs as Well as Israelis

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, others worry about regional arms race; new talk of extending U.S. ‘umbrella’

WASHINGTON—Arab governments are privately expressing their concern to Washington about the emerging terms of a potential deal aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program, according to Arab and U.S. officials involved in the deliberations.

The direction of U.S. diplomacy with Tehran has added fuel to fears in some Arab states of a nuclear-arms race in the region, as well as reviving talk about possibly extending a U.S. nuclear umbrella to Middle East allies to counter any Iranian threat.

Update #1: Arab nations said deeply worried by Iran nuke deal -- Times of Israel
Update #2: Arab Nations Concerned Over "Bad Deal" with Iran -- Breaking Israel News

WNU Editor: I do not know what is in the mind of the Saudi leadership .... but my gut is telling me that if Iran gets the deal that the Saudis think they will get .... I expect the Saudi Arabian government to start pursuing their own nuclear program .... and nuclear nonproliferation .... as we know it .... will be over.

Iran Rejects President Obama's Demand For A Ten Year Nuclear Freeze

BBC: Iran rejects Obama nuclear call before Netanyahu speech

Iran has rejected as "excessive and illogical" a demand by US President Barack Obama that it freeze sensitive nuclear activity for at least 10 years.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was quoted saying Mr Obama spoke in "unacceptable and threatening" terms.

Mr Zarif said talks on Iran's nuclear programme, which are nearing a critical 31 March deadline, would continue.

WNU Editor: There has been no comment from the White House with the exception of stating that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are meeting for a second day in Switzerland to discuss the status of Tehran’s nuclear program.

More News On Iran Rejecting President Obama's Demand For A 10 Year Nuclear Freeze

Obama's remarks unacceptable: Iran foreign minister -- Press TV (Iran)
Iran calls Obama's 10-year nuclear demand 'unacceptable' -- Reuters
Iran Rejects Obama's 'Excessive And Illogical' Demand To Freeze Nuclear Program -- IBTimes
Obama comments on nuke deal ‘unacceptable,’ Iran’s Zarif says -- Times of Israel
Iran Calls Obama’s 10-Year Nuclear Demand ‘Unacceptable’ -- Washington Free Beacon/Reuters
Obama’s 10-year nuclear freeze rejected by Iran: ‘Unacceptable’ -- Washington Times
Tehran plans no concessions to US at talks on nuclear program — foreign minister. -- ITAR-TASS

Former CIA Director Petraeus Will Plead Guilty To Federal Charges

Former CIA director and retired general David Petraeus gives the sign for ''fight on'', the motto of the University of Southern California, speaks as the keynote speaker at the university's annual dinner for veterans and ROTC students, in Los Angeles, California March 26, 2013. Credit: Reuters/Alex Gallardo/Files

New York Times: Petraeus Reaches Plea Deal Over Giving Classified Data to Lover

WASHINGTON — David H. Petraeus, the best-known military commander of his generation, has reached a plea deal with the Justice Department that will allow him to avoid an embarrassing trial over whether he provided classified information to a mistress when he was the director of the C.I.A.

Mr. Petraeus will plead guilty to one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison. Mr. Petraeus has signed the agreement, said Marc Raimondi, a Justice Department spokesman.

WNU Editor: I will be shocked if he has to serve time .... but if it was anyone else .... yes .... prison time would probably be the result. Considering what he did .... he is getting off light.

More News On Former CIA Director Petraeus Pleading Guilty To Federal Charges

DOJ: Ex-CIA chief admits mishandling classified information -- Washington Post/AP
Former CIA director Petraeus pleads guilty to federal charge -- Reuters
David Petraeus to Plead Guilty to Classified-Information Charge -- Bloomberg
Petraeus reaches deal to plead guilty to misdemeanor but will likely not face prison time -- Washington Post
Ex-CIA chief in federal charge plea -- BBC
David Petraeus pleads guilty in deal over passing classified information to lover -- The Guardian
Ex-CIA Chief Petraeus to plead guilty to sharing classified info with mistress -- UPI
Ex-CIA Director Petraeus to Plead Guilty to Misdemeanor Over Mishandling Classified Information -- WSJ
David Petraeus to plead guilty to removing classified information -- Washington Times
Gen. Petraeus expected to plead guilty to federal charges -- CNN
Petraeus pleads guilty to misdemeanor charge in plea agreement over claims he leaked classified info to mistress -- FOX News
Ex-CIA boss Petraeus pleads guilty over giving secret information to lover -- Deutsche Welle
Petraeus to plead guilty for mishandling classified information -- The Hill
Petraeus reaches plea deal with Justice Dept. -- USA Today
Former CIA Director Petraeus Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges -- Sputnik
Disgraced CIA chief David Petraeus signs plea deal admitting to giving classified information to his mistress biographer -- Daily Mail

World News Briefs -- March 3, 2015

Al Jazeera: Iraqi forces ramp up offensive to recapture Tikrit

Al Jazeera reporter says troops have seized towns and villages along the way to Tikrit, capital of Salahuddin province.

Iraqi forces have continued their offensive to retake the city of Tikrit, seized by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) last June, with troops claiming "gains" in the fighting, security forces told Al Jazeera's correspondent.

Citing state media and security sources, Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf, reporting from Baghdad, said an ISIL leader for south Tikrit had been killed and that other ISIL officials had retreated through Huweijah and on into the Hamreen mountains.


Fierce clashes outside Iraq's Tikrit after new offensive.

Iraqi army 'kills ISIS second-in-command in Tikrit' as military begins to force militants from the strategic city.

As Iraqis advance on Tikrit, threat of car bombs, mines loom.

IS says US suicide bomber carried out Iraq attack.

U.S.-led coalition launches 14 air strikes against Islamic State: task force.

Syrian rebels reject U.N. envoy's ceasefire plan.

Tehran plans no concessions to US at talks on nuclear program — foreign minister.


U.S. military says tensions are up on DMZ in Koreas.

North Korea warns U.S. about pre-emptive strike 'if necessary'.

Many killed in Afghan explosion.

Pakistani diplomat: Slowing Afghan drawdown would viewed 'positively.

Pakistan arrests parents for refusing polio vaccination.

U.N. calls for accountability in Sri Lanka rights investigation.

China invites world leaders to military parade to mark WWII.

Exclusive: China investigates second top officer for graft - sources.


5,000 foreign fighters flock to Libya as ISIS call for Jihadists.

Nigeria's Boko Haram releases beheading video echoing Islamic State.

UN Security Council OKs sanctions regime for South Sudan.

Russia, Egypt to sign protocol on military cooperation — Russian defense minister.

Report: As Ebola wanes, other countries remain vulnerable. Ebola: Liberia's Johnson Sirleaf urges 'Marshall Plan'.

Influential Mozambican lawyer Cistac gunned down in taxi.

Tunisia blogger gets 6 months for defaming army.


Ukraine says return of Crimea a must for mending ties with Russia.

Three dead as Kiev accuses Ukraine rebels of shelling.

Ukraine crisis: OSCE monitors 'to be sent to truce violation areas'.

Obama holding video talk with European leaders on Ukraine. Obama, European leaders to discuss Ukraine, global security.

Mourners view body of slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. Crowds of mourners pay respect to slain opposition leader Nemtsov. Russians bid farewell to murdered politician Nemtsov.

Turkey withdraws planned military exercise in Aegean, Greece says.

Greece faces cash crunch as IMF payments come due.


GOP congressman: 'Clean' DHS funding bill 'probably' arrives in House Wednesday. U.S. House to vote on security bill without immigration provisions.

Americans open to U.S. troops for fighting Islamic State.

Venezuela initiates visa requirement for U.S. travelers.

Britain laughs off Argentine Falklands banknote as 'a stunt'.

Villarrica volcano erupts in southern Chile, thousands flee.

Fugitive ex-U.S. spy Snowden in talks on returning home: lawyer.

US considers banning type of popular rifle ammunition.


Syrian war refugees seen by US as terror recruiting targets.

'Attractive jihadists can lure UK girls to extremism'.

Westerners head to Iraq to fight as Christian warriors against Islamic State.

'Europe will face a 9/11 within two years’ – Colonel Gaddafi’s cousin.


Macao's casinos see record revenue fall.

Apple edges out Samsung in global smartphone sales: Gartner.

Exxon's Russia exposure surges as it takes the long view.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 3, 2015

Nancy A. Youssef, Daily Beast: Iraq’s Attack Against ISIS Catches U.S. ‘By Surprise’

The biggest offensive against ISIS so far happened without American help—but with plenty of assistance from Iran.

The Iraqi military launched a major campaign to take back a key city from the self-proclaimed Islamic State over the weekend—a move that caught the U.S. “by surprise,” in the words of one American government official.

The U.S.-led coalition forces that have conducted seven months of airstrikes on Iraq’s behalf did not participate in the attack, defense officials told The Daily Beast, and the American military has no plans to chip in.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- March 3, 2015

U.S. fears Iran military influence growing in Iraq -- USA Today

US intelligence official: Iran involved in fight against IS -- Stars and Stripes/AP

Lloyd Austin, CENTCOM commander: ‘We are making progress’ in Islamic State fight -- Washington Times

General: ISIS campaign has killed 8,500 fighters -- The Hill

Australia to Send More Troops to Train Iraqi Military -- WSJ

Around 70% of Russian strategic aviation to be modernized by 2020 — defense minister -- ITAR-TASS

Major Artillery Drills Begin in Russian Far East – Defense Ministry -- Sputnik

Defense minister: Russian Navy will receive two Borei-class submarines this year -- ITAR-TASS

Does Russia Really Need a Second Aircraft Carrier? -- Ankit Panda, The Diplomat

Russian Black Sea Fleet to get 3 surface ships, two submarines in 2015 — –°aptain -- ITAR-TASS

Second Mistral ship intended for Russia to undergo first sea trials mid-March -- ITAR-TASS

Russia may sanction French companies over Mistral non-delivery – media -- RT

Russia, Egypt to Hold Joint Naval Drills in the Mediterranean in 2015 -- Sputnik

Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption purge takes aim at China’s military -- Financial Times

Red red army: To be a good soldier in China is to be a good Communist -- The Economist

Is India's Defense Budget Adequate? -- Franz-Stefan Gady, The Diplomat

Slovakia Seeks to Ditch Russian Equipment in Army Modernization Plan -- Sputnik

Turkey: Notice on Military Maneuvers in Aegean Was a Mistake -- ABC News

Japan leaders in talks over broadening troops' weapons use overseas -- Stars and Stripes/The Yomiuri Shimbun

US govt issues logistics support tender for 300 military personnel in Ukraine -- RT

White House denies threat to shoot down Israeli jets -- The Hill

Next-gen stealth bomber is secret, but debate over cost is on the radar -- Stars and Stripes/Washington Post

Air Force to move A-10 jets into backup status despite congressional opposition -- Washington Post

Senators say A-10 moves amount to backdoor retirement -- Stars and Stripes

Navy Deploys Drones Under Arctic Ice Ahead of Increased Ship Presence -- DoD Buzz

Army National Guard stands up cyber protection teams -- Army Times

Is The Military Prepared to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance? -- Armed With Science

The U.S. Army Almost Adopted a German Machine Gun -- Joseph Trevithick, War Is Boring

Secret tactics of successful Army recruiters -- Army Times

Reporting Sexual Abuse in the Military Is "Inherently Unfair." Here's Why. -- Jenna McLaughlin, Mother Jones

Russia Tops China as Principal Cyber Threat to US -- Franz-Stefan Gady, The Diplomat

Snowden ready to go to US if he gets fair trial - whistleblower's lawyer -- RT

LIVE: Israeli Prime Minister To Deliver Speech At A Joint Session Of The US Congress

White House Warns Israeli PM Netanyahu To Not Disclose Any Secrets On The Iran Nuclear Talks

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington, March 2, 2015. Credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

CNN: White House warns Netanyahu not to reveal Iran details

Washington (CNN)The Obama administration is bracing for Benjamin Netanyahu to spill secret details of Iran nuclear talks, as both camps traded last-minute political jabs ahead of the Israeli prime minister's controversial address to Congress at 11 a.m. EST on Tuesday.

The White House is uncertain what precise details may come out but aides spent Monday frantically mobilizing after Israeli officials said that the prime minister planned to disclose sensitive details of an agreement taking shape in talks between six world powers and Iran, which has entered a delicate final stage.

Update: Israel's Netanyahu to address Congress on Iran, faces partial boycott -- Reuters

WNU Editor: Or else?

The Afghan Army Is Being Decimated

Newly trained Afghan army recruits (Wikimedia Commons)

New York Times: Figures From U.S.-Led Coalition Show Heavy 2014 Losses for Afghan Army

WASHINGTON — The Afghan Army lost more than 20,000 fighters and others last year largely because of desertions, discharges and deaths in combat, according to figures to be released Tuesday, casting further doubt on Afghanistan’s ability to maintain security without help from United States-led coalition forces.

The nearly 11 percent decline from January to November 2014, to roughly 169,000 uniformed and civilian members from 190,000, is now an issue of deep concern among some in the American military. For example, the former No. 2 American commander in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, called the rate of combat deaths unsustainable before he departed at the end of last year.

Update: Afghan National Army decimated by dwindling personnel -- Washington Times

WNU Editor: This is how you lose wars. What also does not help the situation is that apparently the Afghan Army numbers are inflated .... Report: Afghan National Army Numbers Inflated (UN Tribune). Do I smell corruption .... the U.S. has spent $50 billion in building up the Afghan Army .... and this is the end result?!?!?!

IN an ominous development, guess who is going to make up for this shortfall .... U.S. Army announces new Afghanistan deployments (Army Times).

Update: This is what is wrong with Afghanistan .... these police chiefs were sacked for corruption, but were then given jobs elsewhere .... Afghan President Ghani sacks Kabul police chiefs (BBC).

Former Commander Of U.S. Special Operations In Yemen: 'Counterterrorism Strategy In Yemen A Fantasy'

The Hill: Navy SEAL: Light counterterrorism strategy in Yemen 'a fantasy'

A Navy SEAL captain and former commander of a special operations team in Yemen said in a recent interview that a U.S. counterterrorism approach there reliant on drone strikes and special operations raids is a "fantasy."

"The solution that some people champion where the main or whole effort is drone strikes and special operations raids — is a fantasy," said Capt. Robert Newson in a Feb. 27 piece in the CTC Sentinel, published by the U.S. Military Academy's Combating Terrorism Center.

WNU Editor: The full transcript of this interview is here. What is my take .... Yemen is a significant U.S. counter-terrorism strategy failure .... and no one in the government is acknowledging it.

Hillary Clinton Violated The Law By A Using Personal Email Account For All Government Business When U.S. Secretary of State

New York Times: Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules

WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.

Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

It was only two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, that Mrs. Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. All told, 55,000 pages of emails were given to the department. Mrs. Clinton stepped down from the secretary’s post in early 2013.

Update #1: Experts: Hillary Broke the Law -- Weekly Standard

WNU Editor: She is trouble. This is a serious violation of the law (see the above video) .... now the question is .... will she be held accountable for it. It also makes me wonder on who else has secret email accounts in the Obama administration .... and what are in those emails. On a side note .... General and former CIA Director Petraeus is being investigated by the US Justice Department for doing exactly the same thing. Politically .... in the Democrat field there is probably a growing realization that maybe she is not a lock for the nomination .... so do not be surprised if in the next few weeks we are going to see movement there.

Update #2: There appears to be a Russian connection .... Hillary Clinton's 'hacked' Benghazi emails: FULL RELEASE (RT)

Update #3: The Clinton spokespeople are trying to defend this .... Clinton defends use of personal e-mail at State -- USA Today

More News On Reports That Hillary Clinton Violated The Law By Using A Personal Email Account For All Government Business When U.S. Secretary of State

Clinton had no official State Dept. email address -- CNN
Hillary Clinton used personal email for all government business, says report -- The Guardian
Hillary Clinton may have broken federal record-keeping laws: NY Times -- Reuters
Hillary Clinton's Personal Email Use May Have Violated Federal Requirements: Report -- ABC News
Hillary Clinton Used Only Personal Email Account as Secretary of State: Report -- NBC
Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account for State Department Business -- WSJ
Hillary Clinton's use of private email address while secretary of state draws scrutiny -- FOX News
In email, Clinton office enlists allies to defend foundation -- Politico
New York Times drops bombshell on Hillary Clinton’s use of private email at State Department -- Salon
'Secretary Clinton May Have Jeopardized Preservation of a Full and Accurate Historical Record' -- Adam Chandler, The Atlantic
Hillary Clinton's personal email account looks bad now. But it was even worse at the time. -- VOX News
Hillary Clinton reportedly violated rules by using personal email as Secretary of State -- The Verge
Hillary Clinton's Contempt for Transparency -- Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

U.S. Allies Are Voicing Concerns That The U.S. Is No Longer Sharing Intelligence Details

Bill Gertz, Washington Free Beacon: U.S. Allies Left in the Dark

Ukraine, Syrian rebels, Israel complain about lack of U.S. intelligence sharing, aid

U.S. allies are raising concerns about what they say is unwillingness on the part of the Obama administration to share vital intelligence that could prove decisive in conflicts in Europe and the Middle East.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that U.S. officials degrade satellite images of the positions of Russian-backed separatists before delivering them to Ukrainian forces, delaying their arrival and making them less effective for combating the rebels. The United States also provided the Ukrainian military with short-range counter-artillery radar systems but omitted crucial components that would have enabled the Ukrainians to immediately respond to separatist attacks.

WNU Editor: These are the countries and organizations that are voicing their concerns, it would not surprise me if there are others who are also impacted but are still keeping quiet.

Bunkers & Bunker Busting Bombs (Video)

The F-35 Will Not Be Able To Carry A Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) Load Until 2022

Daily Mail: Pentagon's most expensive fighter ever won't even be able to carry the most advanced weapons because of a design flaw

* Fighter jet F-35B's internal weapons bay is too small for a Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) load
* Though it's mandated that an F-35B hold eight SDB IIs in the bay, only four can reportedly fit
* A F-35 program spokesman has said changes are being made so the fighter jet can be released on schedule
* The SDB II can employ a number of techniques - including imaging infrared, laser, and radar homing - to hit targets
* The F-35 program will cost an estimated $590billion over the next decade
* F-35B is slated to be used by the British Royal Navy on the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier

More News On The F-35 Not Being Able To Carry A Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) Load Until 2022

F-35B Internal Weapons Bay Can't Fit Required Load Of Small Diameter Bomb IIs (Updated) -- Inside Defense
F-35B 'Incapable' Of Carrying Small Diameter Bombs -- Defense World
F-35 Can't Carry Its Most Versatile Weapon Until At Least 2022 -- FoxTrot Alpha
The F-35B can't carry its most advanced weapon until 2022 -- Business Insider

U.S. Military Satellite Explodes In Space

The Telegraph: US military satellite explodes above Earth

A US military satellite exploded after detecting an unexplained “sudden spike in temperature”, sending dozens of chunks of debris tumbling into different orbits around Earth.

Civilian company CelesTrak was first to notice the explosion of the once-secret weather satellite and the US Air Force subsequently confirmed that it had been lost.

The satellite was an ageing component of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program which the US military began developing the in the 1960s to help plan reconnaissance and surveillance missions.

More News On A U.S. Military Satellite Exploding In Space

USAF Weather Satellite Explodes After Thermal Spike -- Aviation Week
Satellite Explodes After 'Catastrophic Event' -- SKY News
U.S. weather satellite explodes into 43 pieces -- UPI
US Military Satellite Explodes, Sending Chunks of Debris Into Orbit -- Sputnik
US military satellite explodes in space after suffering 'catastrophic event' -- IBTimes
Weather satellite used by US military explodes in space -- Weather Network

China's Space Program Is Aimed At Blocking U.S. Military Communications And Destroying Its Ability To Win Conflicts

Bloomberg: New Report Finds China's Space Plans Threaten U.S. Military Ability

(Bloomberg) -- China is developing space technologies aimed at blocking U.S. military communications and destroying its ability to win conflicts, according to a report commissioned by a panel created by the U.S. Congress.

“China’s improving space capabilities have negative-sum consequences for U.S. military security,” the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation said in the report. Its progress requires “the U.S. to prepare to confront an adversary possessing space and counter-space technologies.”

Update #1: US, China space rivalry grows as race for orbital commerce takes off -- Sydney Morning Herald
Update #2: Report: China Believes Space War Is Inevitable, Sets Goal Of Space Supremacy -- Daily Caller

WNU Editor: The report, compiled by the University of California’s Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC), is here.

Iran Is Aiding Iraq In Its Attack On Tikrit. U.S. Support Is Nowhere Seen

Bloomberg: Iraq Starts Attack on Tikrit With Iranian Help, No U.S. Strikes

(Bloomberg) -- Iraq is deploying 27,000 troops to retake the city of Tikrit from Islamic State, in a mission that will test the military’s ability to stage major offensives against the group before trying to capture its stronghold in Mosul.

Shiite militias are backing up police and army soldiers, according to state-run al-Iraqiyah television. Qassem Suleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, arrived two days ago to “review and advise” Iraqi field commanders, the Fars news agency reported on Monday.

WNU Editor: Apparently the U.S. were surprised when the Iraqis announced their offensive to recapture Tikrit .... Iraq’s Attack Against ISIS Catches U.S. ‘By Surprise’ (Daily Beast), and as a result have declared that they will steer clear of this battle .... U.S. Steers Clear of Tikrit, Cites Iran Role in Support of Iraqis (WSJ). U.S. fears on Iran's growing influence in iraq are becoming more and more evident .... U.S. fears Iran military influence growing in Iraq (USA Today)

More News On Iran's Growing Role In Iraq

Iran Backs Iraq Military Campaign to Reclaim Tikrit From Islamic State -- Wall Street Journal
Iranian General Again in Iraq for Tikrit Offensive -- Defense News
Iraqi Parliament Asks Iranian General to Coordinate Joint Assault on ISIL -- Sputnik
Iranian role in Iraq offensive to recapture Tikrit? -- BBC
Tikrit Offensive: Where is the US? -- VOA
Iraq's assault on Isis sparks fears of new atrocities in the Sunni triangle -- The Guardian

Update: The following analysis paints a grim picture on who is leading the Iraq fight to retake Tikrit .... The Sunni-killers leading the assault on Tikrit are bad news for Iraq (Quartz).

Monday, March 2, 2015

U.S. To Deploy National Guard Soldiers To Ukraine

Photo: Col. Michael Foster

Sputnik: US to Deploy Six National Guard Companies to Ukraine This Week

US 173rd Airborne Brigade Commander Michael Foster said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC said the US would deploy personnel by the end of this week to train the Ukrainian national guard.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States will deploy personnel by the end of this week to train the Ukrainian national guard, US 173rd Airborne Brigade Commander Colonel Michael Foster said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC on Monday.

WNU Editor: This is actually old news .... US sending around 600 paratroopers to Ukraine to train troops (FOX News). US 173rd Airborne Brigade Commander Colonel Michael Foster has also made a few other interesting comments on countering the "Russian threat" .... NATO Operation Atlantic Resolve Expands to Bulgaria, Romania - US Colonel (Sputnik), and the following .... Putin Won’t Blitz Baltic States — But NATO Has A Plan…. (Breaking Defense).

The 15 Most Miserable Economies In The World

Bloomberg: The 15 Most Miserable Economies in the World

Consumers in Venezuela are expected to suffer the most in 2015

Inflation is a disease that can wreck a society, Milton Friedman, the late Nobel laureate economist, once said. Add rising unemployment to the diagnosis, and his profession ascribes a rather non-technical term to the debilitating effect on people: misery.

That affliction this year will be most acute in Venezuela, Argentina, South Africa, Ukraine and Greece — the five most painful economies in which to live and work, according to Bloomberg survey data that make up the so-called misery index for 2015. (It's a simple equation: unemployment rate + change in the consumer price index = misery.)

WNU Editor: here is my prediction .... Ukraine will be in competition with Venezuela for the top spot by the end of the year.

President Obama And Israeli PM Netanyahu Differ On What Approach Is Needed To Confront Iran

Netanyahu and Obama. Photo: Jim Young/ Reuters

Reuters: Obama, Israel's Netanyahu clash over Iran diplomacy

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu clashed over Iran nuclear diplomacy on Monday on the eve of the Israeli prime minister’s hotly disputed address to Congress, underscoring the severity of U.S.-Israeli strains over the issue.

Even as the two leaders professed their commitment to a strong partnership and sought to play down the diplomatic row, they delivered dueling messages – Netanyahu in a speech to pro-Israeli supporters and Obama in an interview with Reuters – that hammered home their differences on Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Update: Obama, Netanyahu face off ahead of speech to Congress -- CNN

WNU Editor: They do not see eye-to-eye on how to curtail Iran's nuclear program, and while President Obama is correct when he says the following .... Barack Obama: Iran nuclear deal will not destroy Israel relations (The Telegraph) .... relations between the current White House administration of President Obama and the current Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu are in "the toilet".

President Obama: Iran Must Halt Nuclear Work For At Least A Decade

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during an exclusive interview with Reuters in the Library of the White House in Washington March 2, 2015. Credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Reuters: Exclusive: Obama says Iran must halt nuclear work for at least a decade

(Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday that Iran should commit to a verifiable freeze of at least 10 years on its nuclear activity for a landmark atomic deal to be reached, but said the odds were still against sealing a final agreement.

In an interview with Reuters at the White House, Obama said that a rift over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planned speech to Congress opposing the Iran deal on Tuesday was a distraction that would not be "permanently destructive" to U.S. Israeli ties.

More News From Reuters Interview With President Obama

Video: Obama seeks freeze on Iran's nukes
Video: Obama critical of China's planned tech rules
Netanyahu warns Obama on Iran deal
Obama defends lack of 'Plan B' for Obamacare
Obama hopes for U.S. embassy in Cuba before April
Exclusive: Full text of Reuters interview

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- March 2, 2015

Ruth Margalit, Slate: Why Does Bibi Do It?

The real reason Netanyahu is willing to risk Israel’s relationship with the U.S.

World leaders have long racked up points at home for being antagonistic toward the United States. Hugo Chavez called Barack Obama “a clown” and “an embarrassment.” Vladimir Putin routinely riles against American hypocrisy. Evo Morales has blasted “North American imperialism.” Their approval ratings soared. In Israel, however, this was never the case. Historically, Israel’s bond with the U.S. has always been its most valued strategic asset. Even as relations between the countries’ leaders frayed in recent years, Israelis have been steadfast in their belief that America has their back. Asked this past December about the importance of the country’s relations with the U.S., 96 percent of Israelis deemed it extremely important

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- March 2, 2015

Obama: Dispute with Netanyahu not personal -- David Jackson, USA Today

Foreign talks to Congress often a yawn, but not Netanyahu’s -- Connie Cass, Salon/Associated Press

Netanyahu’s dicey bet -- Jackson Diehl, Washington Post

What Netanyahu Won't Tell Congress -- Bloomberg editorial

Netanyahu, Iran, and what he wants out of his speech to Congress -- Dan Murphy, CSM

On Iran: It’s Not about the Bomb, It’s about the Strategy -- John Hillen, NRO

Iran's Leaders Are Not Suicidal -- Peter Beinhart, The Atlantic

The Costs of Rapprochement with Iran -- Michael Weiss, NOW

Iran's Shah Wanted Nukes, Too -- James Gibney, Bloomberg

How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say -- Lee Keath and Hamza Hendawi, AP

The U.S. Anti-ISIS Strategy’s True Cost -- Aymenn Al-Tamimi, Daily Beast

Fighting ISIS for Saddam's Hometown -- Adam Chandler, The Atlantic

With new confidence, Turkey's Erdogan seeks to expand his influence -- Alexander Christie-Miller, CSM

China and Russia vs. the United States? -- Huiyun Feng, The Diplomat

Conspiracies Swirl Over Moscow Murder -- Jake Rudnitsky, Bloomberg

The Boris Nemtsov Murder Conspiracy Theories -- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick, The Daily Beast/The Interpreter

What would the Dow look like if it included Apple? -- Rodrigo Campos and Chuck Mikolajczak, Reuters