Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 17) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said the United States should enforce the mutual defense treaty (MDT) with the Philippines in the wake of maritime tension in the South China Sea.
"I'm calling now America. I am invoking the RP-US pact, and I would like America to gather their Seventh Fleet in front of China. I'm asking them now," he said during a TV interview with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.
Bryan, Chris, and Melanie take on a new report by Chris Dougherty that argues that, unless America changes how it fights wars to more closely align with the priorities laid out in the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS), it is in real danger of losing the next war to China or Russia. Has the thinking in the NDS become conventional wisdom? Is Dougherty’s assessment overly pessimistic? Is there sufficient political will to follow through with expensive, long-term changes? Are American military planners up to the intellectual challenge? Finally, Bryan gives us the rundown on his much-anticipated staycation, Chris has some love for the U.S Women’s Soccer Team, and Melanie hopes we can do a better job learning our history.
Read more .... WNU Editor: An interesting podcast.
A member of the Afghan National Civil Order Police wears a bomb suit as he begins an explosive ordnance disposal, or EOD, culminating training exercise, July 4, 2013, in eastern Afghanistan, which was coordinated by U.S. EOD advisers with the 731st EOD Company, out of Fort Stewart, Ga. Afghan security forces continue to grow as they prepare to take full responsibility for security ahead of the U.S. Forces scheduled drawdown. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Elvis Umanzor, 4th IBCT, 3rd Inf. Div. Public Affairs)
WASHINGTON — The Army has failed to adequately train and equip the military bomb technicians and infantry troops who are increasingly accompanying American commandos on high-risk missions in war zones, according to interviews and documents obtained by The New York Times.
As the Pentagon draws down the number of troops in combat, including in Afghanistan and Syria, it is largely relying on Special Operations forces to keep up the fight. Those American commandos depend on support from remaining conventional troops for extra firepower, security and logistics.
But the documents and interviews with seven military officials show that the backup forces — including explosive ordnance disposal, or E.O.D., soldiers — often do not have the necessary gear for protection nor the same level of training as the commandos they join on Special Operations raids and patrols.
“There is a difference between conventional and S.O.F. support equipment requirements for E.O.D. personnel,” concluded one of the documents from October 2017, which reviewed the performance of an Army bomb disposal unit after it returned from Afghanistan.
“We need to be able to shoot, move, and communicate as effectively as our supported unit in order to remain an enabler, not a liability,” the document said.
One bomb disposal soldier was killed last month, and another in March, while accompanying Special Operations forces on missions. They were among the 10 American troops who have died in combat in Afghanistan so far in 2019.
The full extent of the destruction to Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris was laid bare on Wednesday as French culture minister Franck Riester visited to look at renovation efforts.
Walking beneath the melted and burned scaffolding from the cathedral's original renovation before the fire, Riester inspected the damage with Philippe Villeneuve, chief architect of historic buildings and current head of the Notre-Dame renovation efforts.
The high-tech wannabees of Asia are going through a bit of a rough patch lately. India has to postpone its Chandrayaan-2 moon mission just an hour before launch, due to a “technical snag.” Japan is imposing controls on the transfer of certain technologies to South Korea, which could impair the latter’s smartphone and semiconductor sectors.
A bit more obscure but just as critical a development is affecting China’s fighter jet business. The Pakistanis have announced that they will start building a more advanced version of its JF-17 combat aircraft, for deployment in 2020.
With these new “Block III” versions, Pakistan will by the middle of the next decade operate up to 200 JF-17 fighters. And each JF-17 it purchases means one less opportunity for China to sell its own fighter jets to its best customer.
The senator pitched the idea during a recent round of golf with the president.
Over a round of golf this past weekend, Sen. Rand Paul asked President Donald Trump’s blessing for a sensitive diplomatic mission.
Paul proposed sitting down with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to extend a fresh olive branch on the president’s behalf, according to four U.S. officials. The aim: to reduce tensions between the two countries. Trump signed off on the idea.
"We categorically reject the AP’s characterization of FM Zarif’s comments to NBC News that "if the US wants to talk about missiles, it should stop selling weapons, including missiles, to regional states” as meaning that Iran is willing to negotiate on its defensive missile program at some point. Iran’s missiles and its missiles are absolutely and under no condition negotiable with anyone or any country, period,” tweeted Alireza Miryousefi, head of Media office at Iranian Mission to the United Nations.
Pakistani authorities have detained Hafiz Saeed, the leader of a militant group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The radical cleric is a designated terrorist in the US, where there's a $10-million bounty on his head.
Hafiz Saeed was arrested Wednesday in Pakistan's northeastern Punjab province on charges of financing terrorism, authorities said.
The cleric is the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamist militant group accused of orchestrating the 2008 attacks in the Indian financial hub of Mumbai that killed more than 160 people.
Saeed is designated a terrorist by the United Nations and the US, which has offered a $10-million (€8.9-million) reward for his capture.