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US-S. Korea war games prompt Pyongyang declaration: Ready for final battle

August 26, 2012

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un says Seoul and Washington are really trying his country’s patience with an unceasing caravan of joint military drills. This summer the Korean Peninsula has already witnessed two major US-led war games.

­Overall more than 30,000 US troops, practically all the American military contingent in South Korea, reinforced by 3,000 troops from overseas, are taking part in joint war games with the South Korean army that started on August 20.

Despite the stated defensive nature, the annual drill known as Ulchi Freedom Guardian has predictably roused the attention of ever-wary Pyongyang.

The new North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, believed to be in his late 20s, acknowledged the great threat to his country and claimed the war games are in fact training for a preemptive nuclear attack.

The leader assured North Korean army is ready to meet “deadly blows” in “an all-out counter-offensive” in case the country’s territory is violated or even a single shell falls on North Korean soil …

The two countries exchange threats of military action quite often, fortunately thus far avoiding a full-scale conflict. Pyongyang has proven nuclear capabilities while the US military bases in South Korea are rumored to possess nuclear weapons stockpiles, which means a military conflict between Pyongyang and Seoul could escalate into a local nuclear war.

In full: http://rt.com/news/north-korea-war-threat-585/

NATO: 202 Afghan bases closed, more to come

U.S. News & World Report
By Deb Riechmann, Associated Press
August 26, 2012

NATO has closed more than 200 bases in Afghanistan and transferred nearly 300 others to local forces, a concrete step toward its 2014 target of handing over security responsibility, NATO officers said Sunday.

All 202 closed facilities were small, ranging from isolated checkpoints to bases of a dozen to 300 soldiers, said Lt. Col. David Olson, a NATO forces spokesman. Most of the closures have been along the country’s main highways, spread across nearly every province, Olson said.

Another 282 bases of the same size have been handed over to the Afghan government, he said.

That means international forces now operate about half as many bases in Afghanistan as in October of 2011, when they ran about 800 bases.

The closures are part of the large-scale drawdown over this year and next as international forces prepare to transfer security tasks to the Afghan government at the end of 2014. …

Read on: www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2012/08/26/nato-202-afghan-bases-closed-more-to-come

Afghan rocket hits US army chief’s plane

August 21, 2012

A rocket fired on a US airbase in Afghanistan has damaged the aircraft of America’s top military officer and wounded two maintenance crew.

Two rockets fired by insurgents struck the vast Bagram airfield early on Tuesday, with one causing damage to the C-17 used by General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, who left the base using another plane, his spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said.

Shrapnel from the rocket struck the door of the plane while it was parked on the runway, with two American maintenance crew suffering minor injuries in the attack, Lapan said.

The attack posed no threat to the safety of Dempsey or his staff, who were asleep in their quarters at the time of the incident, officers said.

Although sporadic shelling of Bagram is not uncommon, Taliban insurgents rarely manage to inflict serious damage or casualties at the base, according to military reports. …

The attacks are unprecedented in US military history and they have spawned so much mistrust that foreign troops have been ordered to be armed at all times, even within bases, officers said. …

Read in full: www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1684543/Afghan-rocket-hits-US-army-chief%27s-plane

US Troop Deaths Top 2,000 in Afghanistan

Voice of America (blog)
August 22, 2012

The number of U.S. military members killed in the war in Afghanistan has surpassed 2,000, with more than half the deaths coming in the past 27 months.

The increased casualty rate came after U.S. President Barack Obama sent thousands of extra troops into the country to intensify the U.S.-led NATO coalition’s battle against insurgents.

Those troops are withdrawing, along with their international counterparts, as Afghan forces take increasing security control ahead of a 2014 deadline for foreign combat troops to leave Afghanistan.

The Afghan army and police have endured a larger number of casualties since the war began in 2001. Statistics dating back to 2007 show more than 6,500 Afghan security forces have been killed.

The United Nations has reported that more than 13,000 Afghan civilians have also died as a result of the conflict since 2007.

U.S. military officials have expressed concern about a recent series of attacks by Afghan forces on international troops that have killed 10 service members, mostly Americans. At least 39 coalition members have been killed in such attacks this year. …

read on: http://blogs.voanews.com/breaking-news/2012/08/22/us-troop-deaths-top-2000-in-afghanistan/

A pointless hopeless war. CAAB supports the call to bring home all the US military and other troops involved/their Agencies/corporations before more lives are lost.

U.S. military tests hypersonic Waverider aircraft over Pacific

By Alex Dobuzinskis
August 15, 2012

The U.S. military conducted an unmanned test flight of its hypersonic Waverider aircraft, designed to move at six times the speed of sound using technology that bridges the gap between planes and rocketships, a military official said.

A B-52 bomber launched the remotely monitored, nearly wingless experimental aircraft, officially known as the X-51A, between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. (1700 and 1800 GMT) on Tuesday, John Haire, a spokesman for the 412th test wing at Edwards Air Force Base in California, said in a statement. Results of the brief test flight will be released on Wednesday, he said.

The plan had been to conduct the test flight over the Pacific Ocean after a staging at Edwards, said Deborah VanNierop, a spokeswoman for Boeing Co, which was involved in constructing the craft, said in a statement.

The Waverider is designed to reach speeds of Mach 6 or above, fast enough to zoom from New York to London in less than an hour. But rather than commercial air travel, the military has its eye on a more readily achievable application – using it to develop high-speed cruise missiles. …

Read on: www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/15/us-usa-hypersonic-flight-idUSBRE87E0J420120815

US starts landmark cleanup of Agent Orange in Vietnam

Associated Press
By Mike Ives
August 8, 2012

Fifty years after American planes first sprayed Vietnam’s thick jungles with Agent Orange to destroy enemy cover, the United States began for the first time cleaning up dioxin left from the chemical defoliant.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Thursday at a former U.S. air base in Danang.

Dioxin, a chemical linked to cancer, birth defects and other disabilities, has seeped into Vietnam’s soils and watersheds, creating a war legacy that remains a thorny issue between the former foes nearly four decades after the Vietnam War ended.

Washington has been slow to respond. Since 2007 it has given about $60 million for environmental restoration and social services in Vietnam, but this is its first direct involvement in dioxin cleanup. …


Poland Wants to Build Missile Defense System with France, Germany

RIA Novosti
August 11, 2012

Poland wants to cooperate with France and Germany on the establishment of its own missile defense system, Polish Press Agency reported on Saturday, quoting Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak as saying.

“We want it [creation of the missile defense system] to happen in cooperation with France, Germany and other our allies. NATO welcomes the initiatives of the countries to build up their joint defense capabilities. This is so-called smart defense,” Siemoniak told the agency.

The minister estimated the planned Polish missile defense system at $3-6 billion.

In early August, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said that Warsaw needed s its own missile defense shield which would be a part of the NATO missile defense system, along with the U.S. elements of the European Missile Defense that will be deployed on the Polish territory by 2018.

The United States scrapped plans in September, 2010 for an anti-ballistic-missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland. Moscow welcomed the move, and Russia’s then-President Dmitry Medvedev said later that Russia would drop plans to deploy Iskander-M tactical missiles in its Kaliningrad Region, which borders NATO members, Poland and Lithuania.

Last year, however, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Washington’s plans to deploy the U.S. new-generation ballistic missile defense interceptor site in Poland by 2018.


US Missile Defense staff put security on the line – to watch porn

August 3, 2012

Employees of the Missile Defense Agency have been warned to quit using their workplace computers to watch porn online. Their actions do not only waste time, but could also put defense networks at risk of malware infection.

The agency’s executive director, John James Jr., wrote in a memo obtained by Bloomberg News that a number of employees and contractors were caught “engaging in inappropriate use of the MDA network.”

“There have been instances of employees and contractors accessing websites, or transmitting messages, containing pornographic or sexually explicit images,” James wrote in the July 27 memo. “These actions are not only unprofessional, they reflect time taken away from designated duties, are in clear violation of federal and DoD and regulations, consume network resources and can compromise the security of the network though the introduction of malware or malicious code.”

James warned that staff members caught breaking the rules could risk losing their security clearance and could eventually end up getting suspended or fired from federal service.

He also reminded personnel that the agency’s network systems were subject to monitoring “at all times.”

“Inappropriate usage will be detected and reported to supervisors for appropriate disciplinary action,” he added. “The seriousness of the potential breach to operations cannot be overstated.”

The memo was written after a few employees downloaded material from websites with known virus or malware issues, MDA spokesperson reported in an e-mail.

Read on: http://rt.com/usa/news/missile-defense-porn-employees-744/

Op-Ed: US nuclear carrier group base in Perth? Real possibility in play

Digital Journal
By Paul Wallis
August 1, 2012

The reconfiguration of US military assets is getting very interesting. The proposal for a US carrier group based at HMAS Stirling in Perth is particularly intriguing, because it does relate to a comprehensive reworking of US deployment profiles.
The three basic options for a new US carrier group base are very different. The choices have been narrowed down to three places which have little in common apart from being on the same planet. The strategic issues are different for each, the operational capabilities are different, and the structural contexts are different. Apart from that, it’s a pretty easy problem that US military thinkers are pondering.
Now consider for yourself the ramifications of a naval base in either:

A US carrier group is basically capable of fighting a reasonable size war on its own. It’s also quite capable of knocking out opposing navies and air forces.

The proposed group is indicative of a lot of strike power:

The strike group would include a nuclear powered aircraft carrier, a carrier air wing of up to nine squadrons, one or two guided missile cruisers, two or three guided missile destroyers, one or two nuclear powered submarines and a supply ship.

Read in full: www.digitaljournal.com/article/329805

The Bomb and the Drone: The Grim Reaper Keeps Taking Its Toll

By Ed Kinane
August 6, 2012

The lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki belong always before us. The agony of those two cities must remain our dark beacon.

Hiroshima/Nagasaki wasn’t so much about targets as about audiences. We – or rather, the very highest reaches of the US government – annihilated a couple hundred thousand nameless, unarmed, undefended human beings to warn the world: “Don’t mess with us; we run things now.”

Thanks to its atomic prowess –-showcased at Hiroshima and Nagasaki – for over 65 years the United States has been able to hold the planet hostage. …

Every August 6, letters to editors perpetuate the last century’s most enduring myth: the Bomb forced the fanatic, loathsome Japs to surrender. Japan would not have to be invaded. Thousands of G.I. lives were thereby saved. Thank God for the Bomb! …

Read on: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/10389-the-bomb-and-the-drone-the-grim-reap