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Showing posts from January 17, 2017

The Utter Stupidity of the New Cold War

by GARY LEUPP





Photo by Jedimentat44 | CC BY 2.0





It seems so strange, twenty-seven years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, to be living through a new Cold War with (as it happens, capitalist) Russia.

The Russian president is attacked by the U.S. political class and media as they never attacked Soviet leaders; he is personally vilified as a corrupt, venal dictator, who arrests or assassinates political opponents and dissident journalists, and is hell-bent on the restoration of the USSR.

(The latter claim rests largely on Vladimir Putin’s comment that the dissolution of the Soviet Union was a “catastrophe” and “tragedy”—which in many respects it was. The press chooses to ignore his comment that “Anyone who does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart, while anyone who wants to restore it has no brain.” It conflicts with the simple talking-point that Putin misses the imperial Russia of the tsars if not the commissars and, burning with resentment over the west’s triumph in the Cold War, plans …

The Future of Warfare: Micro-drone Swarm Thinks for Itself to Complete the Mission

The drones are built to think on their own with advanced capabilities including 'collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying, and self-healing,' according to the DoD.


The U.S. Department of Defense's once secret Strategic Capabilities Office, partnered with Naval Air Systems Command, announced a successful demonstration of a new autonomous system known as a micro-drone swarm at the Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake, California.
The demonstration consisted of 103 Perdix drones launched from three F/A-18 Super Hornets. The drones are built to think on their own with advanced capabilities including "collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying, and self-healing," according to the Department of Defense, which spends $3 billion annually on autonomous systems development. 
Originally designed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineering students, "Every Perdix communicates and collaborates with every other Perdix, the swarm has no le…

At Least 82 Killed in Clashes Between Syrian Army and ISIS

The fighting has been the heaviest in the city for a year, a monitoring group reported.




Rebel fighters rest near a hole in the wall by a fire on the outskirts of the northern Syrian town of al-Bab, Syria January 15, 2017. Khalil Ashawi, Reuters


Fighting between ISIS and the Syrian army has killed dozens since Saturday in Deir al-Zor, where the militant group has launched an assault to capture a government enclave in the city, a monitoring group reported.

At least 82 people have been killed in the fighting, which is the heaviest in the city for a year, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday.

The dead comprised 28 from the army and allied militia, at least 40 ISIS fighters, and 14 civilians, the British-based monitoring group said.

Syrian state news agency SANA said the army had killed dozens of ISIS fighters in attacks on the group's positions around Deir al-Zor.

ISIS has held most of Deir al-Zor and the surrounding area since 2015, but the government has retained con…

NATO Is Obsolete - Donald Trump Sets Out Foreign Policy Goals

Brexit is going to be a great thing”, Germany’s Angela Merkel is Europe’s most important leader and the lifting of sanctions against Russia could happen.

These are the views of US President-elect Donald Trump who has been giving details of his foreign policy goals in an interview with British and German newspapers, The Times and Bild.

On the Brexit issue Trump said Britain was smart in getting out of the EU and that he’d work hard to get trade deal with the UK.

“I think Brexit’s going to end up being the great thing. And I predicted it – but the heat I took was unbelievable. And I said – it’s because people don’t wanna have other people coming in and destroying their country. I thought the UK was so smart in getting out.”

Trump’s own way to deal with immigration into the US is well known. He intends to build a wall on the US-Mexican border. In the interview he said uncontrolled immigration had been Chancellor Angela Merkel’s achilles heel.

“I have great respect for her (Merkel), I felt she…

SYRIAN ARMY DELIVERS DEVASTATING BLOW TO MILITANTS IN WADI BARADA

The Syrian army, the National Defense Forces (NDF), and Hezbollah have liberated the village of Ayn Khadra in the Wadi Barada area northwest of the Syrian capital of Damascus.

Government forces have also gained control over the Ras al-Sira hill overlooking Ayn al-Feejah and Deir Meqrin. Considering that government forces are already in control of a notable part of Ayn al-Feejah, the village will be soon fully liberated from militants.

Reports say that the Syrian army, the NDF, and Hezbolalh are set to continue the military operation in the area until the total defeat of militant groups operating there.

On January 12, government forces liberated from militants the village of Baseemah. On January 13 and 14 reports appeared that Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, Ahrar al-Sham, and other militant groups were ready to make a ceasefire agreement with the government and to withdraw from the Wadi Barada region to save their lives.

However, militants killed a negotiator from the Syrian military, Brigadier Gen…

EXPLOSION KILLS 1 POLICE OFFICER, INJURES 3 OTHERS IN TURKEY’S DIYARBAKIR

Click to see the full-size map

An explosion has targeted police unit near Dicle University campus in Diyarbakır’s historic Sur district, killing 1 police officer and injuring 3 others.

UPD: 3 officers were killed, according to DailySabah.

According to reports, the explsoion took place while a police vehicle was passing near an area next to the campus.

The Sur district was heavily damaged in armed clashes between Turkish security forces and members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in December 2016. The PKK activity is still high in the area.

The Turkish Interior Ministry said in a statement on January 16 that security forces detained 419 suspects and “neutralized” 20 members of the PKK and Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) in a perioud between January 9 and and January 15.

Hurriyetdailynews reports:

RUSSIA IS CHANGING TACTICS IN SYRIA?

By Valentin Vasilescu; Translated by Alice Decker; Submited via Algora Blog

By January 10, 2017, Russia had deployed more Su-25 SM3 fighter bombers in Syria and withdrawn four Su-24 Ms. This is a signal that Russia is changing tactics in combating Islamist terrorism. [SF editor: The Russian naval battle group led by Admiral Kuznetsov heavy aircraft-carrying missile cruiser has been also withdrawn] The Su-25 has been modernized in multiple stages, resulting in the models Su-25 SM/SM2/SM3, with the latest modernization taking place beginning in 2013. The Russian Air Force has about 150 of the upgraded Su-25 aircraft (SM3/UBM2), along with another 120 non-upgraded Su-25s. The aircraft is powered by two RD-195 engines, with a thrust of 4,500 kgf, and has a maximum speed of 975 km/h.



Interestingly, at the time they attempted to impose a ceasefire in Syria, on February 27, 2016, Russia withdrew from Syria almost all the fifteen Su-25SM3s. As the fighter jets were over 20 years old and had eac…