Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Did President Trump 'Cross A Line' When He Asked Active-Duty Personnel To Lobby Congress?

Andrew Exum, The Atlantic: The Dangerous Politicization of the Military

By asking active-duty personnel to lobby Congress in their own self-interest, President Trump crossed an important line.

Last week, the head of the French armed forces angrily resigned after disagreements with his new president, Emmanuel Macron, over the defense budget.

This was the first resignation of its kind in France in six decades, but it was enough to remind me how much Americans take healthy civil-military relations for granted. Unlike the French, for example, who have had some terrible episodes between their civilian and military leaders over the years, Americans have never had to disband a parachute infantry regiment because it literally threatened to drop onto the nation’s capital and depose the elected government.

That’s not to say we haven’t had our issues, but aside from Douglas MacArthur’s repeated (and successful) attempts to embarrass himself and his profession, Americans have rarely had to worry about the U.S. military and its leadership as a threat to the Republic.

Current and former U.S. military officers take great pride, in fact, in the way in which the active-duty officer corps is seen as being above politics.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: OMG!!!!! .... a politician acting as as politician when he is in the company of military personnel. For as long as I can remember every U.S. President has tried to use the military to promote his political agenda .... sadly but not surprising .... President Trump is doing the same thing. As to U.S. military personnel now running out and obeying President Trump by calling their elected representatives by saying that he told them to do so .... please .... I am willing to bet that when all was said and done, these military personnel were more interested in going home to their loved ones and then calling their Congressman/woman.

Washington Filled With Rumours Of Major Changes In The Trump Administration

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (left) and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. REUTERS

Washington Post: New communications director moves toward possible staff purge at White House

Anthony Scaramucci, the flashy financier President Trump hired to overhaul the White House communications operation, is exercising a broad mandate from the president and intends to follow through on threats to purge aides he believes are disloyal to Trump and leaking to the press, officials with knowledge of the fast-moving effort said Monday.

Just four days into the job, Scaramucci has moved into Trump’s inner sanctum and is now described by some colleagues as almost family to the president — in contrast to his predecessor, outgoing press secretary Sean Spicer, who was described more like the help.

In consultation with confidants inside and outside the administration, Scaramucci has begun undertaking an audit of the White House’s dozens of press and communications staffers. He is meeting one-on-one with aides in an effort to understand each person’s contributions and weed out those he determines are not working hard enough to defend the president through the crises besieging the White House, according to several of the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal issues.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There is zero evidence that President Trump is on the verge of replacing some key cabinet members of his administration, but it is not stopping the press corp and punditry class from speculating on who is staying and who is going ....

Trump shames Sessions amid shake-up speculation (Politico)
Cruz being considered to replace Sessions: report (The Hill)
Unrest bubbles among Trump's key foreign policy aides: sources (Reuters)
Could Rex Tillerson quit as Secretary of State just months into job? Friends from 'outside Washington' claim he is on the brink (Daily Mail)
A chill emanating from the White House reaches State Department (CNN)

As to what is my take .... it is hard to run a government when you are the outsider .... and the people who you choose at the beginning to be in your administration may not be the ones you want a few months later. I experienced this once in a business venture .... and I suspect that President Trump is experiencing this in government right now..

China's Anti-Corruption Drive Claims Its First Victim From The Politburo

The Chinese Communist Party's anti-graft watchdog is investigating Sun Zhengcai (pictured), who was once seen as a contender for a top leadership post, a report said

Daily Mail: Chinese President Xi Jinping's 'possible successor' is removed from his party post and investigated by anti-corruption watchdog

* Sun Zhengcai, 53, was once seen as a contender for a top leadership post
* The high-ranking official is being investigated for 'serious discipline violation'
* He was the party chief in Chongqing, the same position of disgraced Bo Xilai

The Chinese Communist Party's anti-graft watchdog has launched an investigation into a Politburo member who was once seen as a contender for a top leadership post, state media reported Monday.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is investigating Sun Zhengcai, who until a week ago was party chief in the major city of Chongqing.

Sun, 53, is being investigated for 'serious discipline violation', Xinhua news agency said in a report on July 24.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: In China .... these types of charges will end a career, and the person who is facing these charges almost always end up facing hard time.

More News On China's Anti-Corruption Drive Claiming Its First Victim From The Politburo

China rising political star facing corruption probe -- BBC
Rising Chinese politician under investigation for corruption -- AP
China anti-graft watchdog probes Politburo member -- AFP
From Political Star to ‘a Sacrificial Object’ in China -- NYT
Beijing probe seen removing potential Xi successor -- Nikkei Asian Review
Chinese Politician Sun Zhengcai is Under Party Investigation -- The Diplomat

Video Of The Attack In Jordan That Killed Three Green Berets Has Been Leaked (Video)

SOFREP: Eagle Down: The murder of three Green Berets, the video Jordan doesn’t want you to see.

On November 4th 2016 Green Berets Matthew Lewellen, Kevin McEnroe, and James Moriarty assigned to 5th Special Forces Group based out of Ft. Campbell, KY approached the Prince Faisal Airbase in Jordan in their vehicle along with one Jordanian military officer. They were assigned the IA mission, meaning inter-agency, as a part of the CIA’s Timber Sycamore covert operation to train and arm so-called moderate Syrian rebels. At the gate there was an exchange of gunfire which Jordanian authorities have described as a, “chain of unfortunate events.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: To say that it is a disturbing video is an understatement .... and from what I can tell .... it looks like this attack was premeditated and the sole purpose was to kill as many Americans as possible.

Tweets For Today

Is Venezuela On The Brink Of Civil War?

Max Brooks, The Hill: Could Venezuela be on the brink of a civil war as bloody as Syria?

We Americans are really good at getting sucker-punched. From Pearl Harbor to Sputnik to 9/11 and the Syrian civil war, we constantly ask ourselves, “Hey, how’d that happen, and why didn’t we prepare for it?”

Well, a new fist is hurtling out of the not-too-distant future. It's the Venezuelan civil war.

Recently, a stolen police helicopter attacked the Venezuelan Supreme Court with grenades and automatic weapons. While no one was hurt, the incident should serve as a wake-up call for the entire Western Hemisphere, including the United States. The attack demonstrates a quantum escalation of the hunger-fueled conflict that has consumed the country for close to a year. Hunger is the key word. Hunger is the most basic of human suffering. Remember that rising food prices helped fuel the Arab Spring, which has left the world with a chaotic, fractured, refugee-hemorrhaging Middle East.

Read more ....

Update: Is Venezuela on the verge of civil war? (Francisco Toro, Washington Post).

WNU Editor: I have been covering and studying wars and conflicts for years .... 10 years with this blog. I can only say this .... this is how a country collapse .... this is how civil wars start. Venezuelan President Maduro is now governing against the will of the people, and the government that he leads is not going to back-down or compromise in any way with the opposition. The opposition itself is also now at a point where they do not want to negotiate with President Maduro .... too much blood has been spilled. I have been saying for over a year that the Venezuelan crisis is going to get worse .... and sadly .... I can easily see it spiralling into a situation where today's unrest will be seen as pale in comparison.

The Unrest In Venezuela Continues To Grow

Bloomberg: ‘They All Deserve to Die’: Caracas Militants Vow to Take Up Arms

* Signs of initial stirrings of an urban guerrilla movement
* Mainstream opposition worries about dangers of ‘radical boys’

It was quiet in the dank basement in northwest Caracas, where dozens of young men and women sat on the floor and assembled their weapons. They poured asphalt, gasoline and paint into beer and pop bottles, tying knots in strips of fabric to fashion wicks.

Molotov cocktails are cheap and easy to make. Whether they’re doing the job is at the core of a bitter debate in Venezuela. After months of relentless demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro, many militants are frustrated. The crew in the basement talked about it in hushed voices -- they didn’t want anyone in the middle-class neighborhood to find them out. It was clear, though, that many had reached their limit.

Read more ....

More News On The Growing Unrest In Venezuela

Maduro vows Venezuela vote will go ahead -- Euronews
Venezuela crisis enters pivotal week, Maduro foes protest -- Reuters
Venezuela Opposition Calls for 48-Hour General Strike This Week -- Bloomberg
Venezuela congress going ahead despite 'imperial' threat: Maduro -- Reuters
Venezuela's Opposition, and Its Famous Protesting Violinist, Vow to Fight On -- Kevin Lui, Time
"We Are Tired Of Being Killed" Venezuelan Opposition Vows Violent Response To Maduro Power Grab -- Zero Hedge
In Venezuela today the nightmare of imposed equality and the horror of human misery is on full display -- Herb London, FOX News
Venezuelan Bonds Extend Selloff as Maduro Rejects Trump Warning -- Bloomberg
Aggressive U.S. Oil Sanctions Could Bankrupt Venezuela -- Nasdaq
Venezuela Will Be The First Sovereign Oil Producer To See An "All-Out Collapse" -- Zero Hedge
Aggressive U.S. Oil Sanctions Could Bankrupt Venezuela -- Nick Cunningham, OilPrice.com

Picture Of The Day

Ships from the Indian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and the US Navy sail in formation, July 17, 2017, in the Bay of Bengal as part of Exercise Malabar 2017.(US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cole Schroeder)

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo gallery .... 15 photos of Malabar 2017: US, India, and Japan's war games held amid China's growing influence (Business Insider).

Will The U.S. Air Force's B-2 Bombers Work During A Nuclear War?

People without security clearances aren’t going to learn what the winning design for the Long Range Strike Bomber looks like anytime soon, but the Northrop Grumman B-2 bomber probably bears some resemblance. The lack of a fuselage or tail makes it much harder to track with radar; unfortunately, its stealth coatings and other “low-observable” features are a nightmare to maintain. (Wikipedia)

Kris Osbron, National Interest: Would America's B-2 Stealth Bombers Work During a Nuclear War?

Air Force engineers explain that UHF connectivity, which is able to send and receive voice and data beyond line of sight, is recoverable in the event of a nuclear detonation but could be substantially degraded. Such a scenario underscores the need to build in strengthened communications links and redundancies to ensure connectivity in extremely high-risk or challenged environments such as those caused by nuclear explosions.

The Air Force is upgrading computer and communications technology for its B-2 stealth bomber so the aircraft is prepared to execute attack missions in the event of nuclear war.

The service is integrating more resilient receivers, processors and waveforms better able to function in an environment where there has been a nuclear detonation - a circumstance called high-altitude electro-magnetic pulse environment.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Apparently the answer is yes. But if it is a full-out nuclear exchange, where will the B-2 land?

Monday, July 24, 2017

President Trump Authorising The US Navy To Conduct More Freedom To Carry Out Patrols In The South China Sea

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

South China Sea: Trump signs off on plan to allow US Navy more freedom to patrol in South China Sea, report says

Operations in disputed waters could become ‘very regular, very routine’, Breitbart News quotes US official as saying

US President Donald Trump has ­reportedly approved a plan to give the United States Navy more freedom to carry out patrols in the South China Sea – a move analysts say will add to uncertainties over Sino-US relations and regional security issues.

The plan, submitted to the White House in April by Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, outlines a full-year schedule of when US navy ships will sail through contested waters in the South China Sea, the far-right Breitbart News website cited a US official as ­saying yesterday.

Such a move could be seen as a challenge to China’s maritime claims in the disputed waters.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: China failed to deliver on North Korea .... hence we now have this.

More News On President Trump Authorising The US Navy To Conduct More Freedom To Carry Out Patrols In The South China Sea

EXCLUSIVE: Trump’s Pentagon Plans to Challenge Chinese Claims in South China Sea -- Breitbart
Trump signs off on plan to give US Navy more freedom in S. China Sea – report -- Asian Correspondent
Trump Just Approved A Plan For The US Navy To Check Beijing In The South China Sea -- Task & Purpose/Business Insider
Donald Trump puts pressure on China, allows US Navy to patrol South China Sea -- News Nation
China under pressure as Donald Trump gives US Navy more freedom in South China Sea -- Economic Times

Chinese Spy Ship Off The Coast Of Australia (Update)

A Chinese spy ship was spotted off the Queensland coast monitoring Australia and US military exercises. (ABC News)

ABC News Online: China's state media warns of further warship deployment to Western waters

An influential Beijing-controlled news outlet has warned the recent deployment of a Chinese spy ship close to the Queensland coast is just the "beginning of China's future operations".

The ABC revealed on Saturday that the high-tech Auxiliary General Intelligence (AGI) vessel was sighted by the Defence Force just outside Australian territorial waters during this month's Talisman Sabre military exercises.

Senior military officials have privately described the People's Liberation Army (PLA) move as "provocative" and "unfriendly", but the Defence Department has insisted the incident did not affect the war games between Australian and US forces.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Yup .... Chinese military ships are popping up everywhere—and highlighting an embarrassing double standard (Steve Mollman, Quartz).

More News On The Chinese Deploying A Spy Ship Off The Coast Of Australia During Recent U.S.-Japan-Australia Naval Exercises

Chinese intel-gathering ship spotted near US-Australia exercise -- Defense News
Chinese spy ship acted within international law -- The Australian
Are Chinese Navy Spy Ships Within Exclusive Economic Zones Soon to Be a Fact of Life? -- The Diplomat
China's intelligence gathering at sea: Some implications -- The Interpreter
China's naval surveillance off Australia: Good news and bad -- The Interpreter

China Warns India Over Border Dispute

The Australian: Don’t push it, China warns India amid Himalayas stand-off

China’s Defence Ministry has warned India not to “push your luck” amid a tense confrontation over a strip of land high in the Himalayas.

Colonel Wu Qian yesterday told a press conference about next Tuesday’s 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army: “China’s resolve to safeguard its sovereignty and security interests is unshakeable”, adding it would do so “at whatever cost”.

The PLS spokesman said he wanted to “remind India: do not push your luck and cling to any fantasies”.

The “reminder” was an implied reference to the last major border confrontation between the two great Asian powers, in 1962, also in the Himalayan region, which China effectively won, after the deaths of 1383 Indian troops and 722 Chinese.

“Shaking a mountain is easy, but shaking the PLA is hard,” ­Colonel Wu said.

Read more ....

More News On China Warning India Over Their Border Dispute

China warns India of its ‘resolve’ amid border standoff -- Washington Post/AP
China warns India not to harbour illusions in border stand-off -- Reuters
China will protect border with India ‘at all costs’ -- SCMP
China demands India pulls back troops in border dispute -- Al Jazeera
China Urges India to 'Immediately' Withdraw Troops From Disputed Himalayan Area -- Sputnik
China warns India not to ‘push its luck’ amid border stand-off in Himalayas -- Newsline/RT
Armed conflict 'inevitable' if Doklam standoff continues: Chinese media -- Business Standard
War between India, China not completely impossible: Chinese expert -- National Herald

Vietnam Halts Drilling In The South China Sea After China Warned That They Would Attack Vietnamese Island Bases If They Did Not

Image: The Economist

BBC: South China Sea: Vietnam halts drilling after 'China threats'

Vietnam has reportedly terminated a gas-drilling expedition in a disputed area of the South China Sea, following strong threats from China.

A source in the south-east Asian oil industry has told the BBC that the company behind the drilling, Repsol of Spain, was ordered to leave the area.

It comes only days after it had confirmed the existence of a major gas field.

Those reports have been corroborated by a Vietnamese diplomatic source.

According to the industry source, Repsol executives were told last week by the government in Hanoi that China had threatened to attack Vietnamese bases in the Spratly Islands if the drilling did not stop.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, including reefs and islands also contested by other nations.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Vietnamese got scared.

More News On Vietnam Halting Its Drilling In The South China Sea After Chinese Threats

Vietnam Calls Off Drilling In South China Sea -- OilPrice.com
Vietnam stops drilling for energy in South China Sea after Beijing threatens to attack bases -- International Business Times
Vietnam stops drilling in South China Sea after threats from Beijing -- The Globe
Alarming Escalation in the South China Sea: China Threatens Force if Vietnam Continues Oil Exploration in Spratlys -- The Diplomat

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- July 24, 2017

Laurel Miller, New York Times: A Peace ‘Surge’ to End War in Afghanistan

President Trump has no easy options in Afghanistan. An abrupt United States military exit would probably provoke the collapse of an Afghan state deeply dependent on American backing, while a major reinforcement — a reprise of the Obama administration’s initial approach — would be tough to support given that it didn’t work last time.

The modest increase of a few thousand troops widely reported to be under consideration promises to do little more than buy time by arresting the downward security slide.

President Barack Obama conducted a “surge” of American military resources in Afghanistan in a bid to turn the corner on the war. But Mr. Obama didn’t complete the subsequent scheduled military withdrawal because the closer the deadlines came, the less tolerable the danger of security collapse became. His administration only tepidly tried to negotiate a political settlement of the conflict.

President Trump could do the opposite: move boldly to negotiate peace, while making a limited additional military investment to deny the Taliban military victory.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- July 24, 2017

As Syria Crumbles, Only Iran Is a Sure Winner -- Tobin Harshaw, Bloomberg

US seeks Syrian solution, but Assad doesn't have to go first -- Deb Reichmann & Bassem Mroue, The Associated Press

America's Future Is with India and Israel -- James Jay Carafano, National Interest

Ten Lessons from North Korea’s Nuclear Program -- Richard N. Haass, Project Syndicate

The China-India clash that could lead to nuclear war -- Peter Hartcher, Sydney Morning Herald

India is running out of time in Doklam dispute with China -- Zhou Bo, SCMP

AP Explains: India and China face off in border standoff -- Ashok Sharma and Christopher Bodeen, AP

Beware the Illusion of South China Sea Calm -- The Diplomat

Afghanistan's Young Liberal Elites Challenge the Taliban -- Susanne Koelbl, Spiegel Online

Why is Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe so unpopular? -- BBC

Venezuela: Latin America's Ticking Time Bomb -- Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes

China and the Venezuela Crisis -- The Diplomat

Venezuela’s getting a new constitution whether the people want it or not -- Laura Gamboa & Raul Sanchez Urribarri, The Conversation

New U.S. Sanctions on Russia Are a Mixed Bag -- Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg

Why the Germans Blew It at Dunkirk -- James Gibney, Bloomberg

World News Briefs -- July 24, 2017 (Evening Edition)

CNN: 29 dead in Kabul car bomb attack claimed by Taliban

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN)The Taliban have claimed responsibility for a car bombing in Kabul that left at least 29 people dead, as the Islamist fundamentalist group ratchets up an offensive across Afghanistan.

The blast happened at around 6:40 a.m. Monday (10:10 p.m. ET Sunday) when a Toyota Corolla exploded in the city's west, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish told CNN.

It is the latest in a string of attacks in recent days by the Taliban, which said it had captured two districts in northern and central Afghanistan at the weekend.

Read more ....


Israeli embassy staff in Jordan returned to Israel.

Israeli embassy compound in Jordan hit by deadly attack. 2 Jordanian men killed, Israeli hurt at Israel's embassy in Amman. Two killed in shooting at Israeli embassy in Jordan.

Israel, Jordan deal with diplomatic crisis after embassy attack. Israel and Jordan in diplomatic standoff after embassy deaths. Jordan seeks to question Israel guard over embassy shooting.

Pan-Islamic body to meet over Jerusalem crisis. ‘Israel is playing with fire’: Arab League chief warns amid Jerusalem tensions.

Israel says Jerusalem mosque metal detectors to stay.

Israel strikes Gaza after missile across border: army.

After Mosul victory, Iraq mulls future of Shiite militias.

Lebanon's Hezbollah says Syria border assault 'nearing end'.

Hay'et Tahrir al-Sham take control of Syria's Idlib.

Erdogan in Qatar for talks on Gulf crisis.

Red Cross: Yemen cholera cases could exceed 600,000.

Saudi crown prince in charge as king heads on holiday.

Turkish journalists go on trial accused of supporting terrorism.


Dengue outbreak kills 300 in Sri Lanka, hospitals at limit.

Taliban suicide car bomber kills dozens in Afghan capital.

Deadly explosion rocks Pakistani city of Lahore.

At least 35 killed in Taliban attack on central Afghan hospital.

Pakistan Army captures strategic mountain top in Rajgal.

China demands India pulls back troops in border dispute. China to 'step up' troop deployment in India border row.

China's state media warns of further warship deployment to Western waters.

Philippines' Duterte vows unrelenting drug war.

South China Sea: Vietnam halts drilling after 'China threats'.

Philippines pokes China with intent to drill for oOil in disputed Sea.


Kenyan president fails to show up for election debate.

IDP camps in Nigeria 'hit by suicide bombers'.

Nigeria's President Buhari seen in London.

Sudan clashes kill up to 10 in Darfur: tribal chiefs.

UN-backed Libya PM to meet eastern strongman near Paris.

ISIL fighters executed by Haftar's forces in Libya.

UN: Moroccan peacekeeper killed, three wounded in CAR.

114 Somali prisoners released from Ethiopia arrive in Mogadishu.

Maldives parliament shut down to stop speaker's removal.


NATO offers to broker compromise in Turkish-German stand-off.

Just as German election heats up, Merkel takes holiday break.

Poland's President Duda vetoes judicial reforms after protests. Polish leader Duda vetoes pair of judiciary reform laws.

Poll shows France no longer so sweet on Emmanuel Macron.

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras: 'The worst is clearly behind us'.

Catalan independence movement hurts Spanish economy, companies claim.

Germany: Turkey withdraws request for info on 700 firms.

Russians protest state censorship of the internet.

Eurozone growth projections revised up by the IMF.

Man with chainsaw wounds 5 in Swiss city; manhunt on for him.


Trump: ‘Obamacare is Death’. Trump pleads with Republicans to keep their promise, roll back Obamacare.

U.S. judge allows Trump election commission to seek voting data.

Trump son-in-law Kushner denies collusion with Russia. Jared Kushner details contacts with Russians, denies collusion.

Trump open to signing Russia sanctions legislation: official.

Venezuela opposition calls 48-hour general strike this week.

Defense minister issues threat before protests in Venezuela.

Mexico's bloody drug war is killing more people than ever.

Rio de Janeiro: Police protest over rising Brazil violence.

IMF raises outlook for economic growth in Canada, expected to be tops for G7.

Flow of asylum seekers crossing into Canada from U.S. rises in June.

ICE chief lists worst sanctuary cities: Chicago, NYC, San Francisco, Philadelphia.

Nearing 400, homicides in Chicago continue to outpace last year.


ISIS sets its sights on Europe after Iraq, Syria losses.

New al-Shabab video calls Trump ‘brainless billionaire’.

German jihadi schoolgirl found in Iraq 'just wants to come home'.

First Al Qaeda suspect extradited to the US under the Trump administration.


Nasdaq, tech shine as earnings pick up; Dow, S&P lag.

Russia calls for tighter compliance with oil output cuts.

Uber rival Grab to raise $2.5bn in fresh investments.

IMF: 'Economic recovery on firmer footing'. IMF downgrades UK and US growth forecasts.

Chinese Fighter Jets Intercept US Surveillance Plane Over The East China Sea

Reuters: Chinese jets intercept U.S. surveillance plane - U.S. officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two Chinese fighter jets intercepted a U.S. Navy surveillance plane over the East China Sea at the weekend, with one jet coming within about 300 feet (91 meters) of the American aircraft, U.S. officials said on Monday.

The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said initial reports showed one of the Chinese J-10 aircraft came close to the U.S. EP-3 plane on Sunday, causing the American aircraft to change direction.

One of the officials said the Chinese jet was armed and that the interception happened 80 nautical miles (148 km) from the Chinese city of Qingdao.

The Pentagon said that the encounter between the aircraft was unsafe, but added that the vast majority of interactions were safe.

Read more ....

More News On Chinese Fighter Jets Intercepting US Surveillance Plane Over The East China Sea

Chinese fighter jets intercept US surveillance plane -- The Hill
Navy surveillance plane dodges Chinese jet with ‘evasive action’ -- Washington Post
U.S. Military Plane Intercepted by Chinese Fighter Jets -- NBC
Chinese jets buzz U.S. plane in near-collision over East China Sea -- UPI
2 Chinese fighter jets buzz US Navy spy plane in East China Sea -- FOX News
Chinese fighter jet performed 'unsafe' intercept of US Navy plane -- CNN
Chinese fighter jets intercept U.S. spy plane in latest close encounter between two militaries -- Japan Times

Iran Tries To Take Credit For The Victory Over The Islamic State In Mosul

(Click on Image to Enlarge)
Soleimani meeting Guard Corps cadets

Long War Journal: IRGC tries to appropriate Mosul victory

The Islamic Republic of Iran and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are running a propaganda campaign to appropriate victory in Mosul and the broader war against the Islamic State as their own, and omit US military support, which has been critical in the campaign.

The Guard Corps and the US at times coordinated directly or indirectly during the war, but Iran continues to reject the US’ presence in the Middle East.

Addressing the Revolutionary Guard’s Imam Hossein Guardianship Training and Officer University, Qods Force chief Qassem Soleimani this week again peddled the conspiracy theory that the US and Israel created the Islamic State and fanned the Iraqi and Syrian wars to “bring Iran to its knees” and “destroy the Islamic revolution.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This "taking credit" appears to be working .... Iran And Iraq Sign Deal To Boost Military Ties (July 23, 2017).

The Battle For The ISIS Stronghold Of Raqqa Will Be Far More Different Than The Battle For Mosul

SKY News: The different battles for Raqqa and Mosul

The forces attempting to liberate Raqqa do not have the modern weapons and training which were necessary in the battle for Mosul.

The city of Mosul was declared as "liberated" from Islamic State two weeks ago, but a very different and challenging fight is looming 231 miles to Mosul's west in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

Mosul's liberation from Islamic State came at great cost both to civilians and to members of the Iraqi Security Forces who fought an urban war on a scale which hasn't been seen since World War Two.

The ten months of continuous battle for Mosul lasted longer than the Battle of Stalingrad, and the ISF suffered close to 1,000 killed and more than 6,000 wounded.

The cost of civilian lives is also believed to be very high, though the exact numbers are still to be determined.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A good analysis on why the battle for Raqqa will be different .... and probably longer to accomplish when compared to Mosul.