Army begins training for next war – may be much different, bigger: Selective Service reignites registration campaign

Draft US
October 2015 WASHINGTONAre they ready to start thinking about the next war — maybe even The Big One? You hope it wouldn’t be World War III, but you have to prepare for the worst,” said Lt. Gen. Robert B. Brown, commanding General of the Army’s Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth. “We need to be ready to play against the pro teams, not just the amateurs.” By that he means a nation such as North Korea, even Russia. A ‘pro team’ could even be a band of radicals with the means to acquire nation-like resources in a hurry — such as those fighters who call themselves the Islamic State, recruiting through the global reach of the Web. In Army-speak, the training needed to fight that brand of enemy is shifting away from ‘mission-specific’ toward ‘decisive action.’ And that requires the reacquainting of soldiers with epic battle plans featuring tanks, surface-to-air missiles, Apache choppers and military precision exercised over a broad and rugged terrain.
“That skill set has perished,” said Timothy D. Livsey, Fort Riley’s deputy garrison commander. “It’s a paradigm shift for the Army,” Livsey said. “With Iraq and Afghanistan, it was all about COIN — counterinsurgency. We still need to train for that. But we also have to get back to bread-and-butter skills such as precise artillery, precise gunnery. Fort Riley officials say decisive-action training blends yesterday’s emphasis on battlefield prowess with the people skills required of troops more recently focused on counterinsurgency. At a time when U.S. military action has become defined by targeted airstrikes, ships jockeying in the South China Sea and a reluctance to place boots on the ground, the Army is seeking to reassert itself on the strategic stage, experts say. –Military
Sign of the times: About a week ago, Selective Service pamphlets began showing up again in U.S. Post Offices across the country. With conflicts on the rise across the globe, the U.S. program has once again shifted into high gear to register all eligible U.S. males, legal and illegal, between the ages of 18-25 in the event a U.S. military draft becomes necessary. The timing of the move is sure to raise questions about what may be shortly coming down the pipe in terms of an “inevitable” global conflict. –Utopia
Register now: You are not officially registered until your registration information is entered into Selective Service registration file and you have been assigned a Selective Service registration number. Then, you will receive in the mail a registration acknowledgment letter with your card showing the information recorded in your file, your Selective Service registration number, and a change of information form.
If any of the information on your registration acknowledgment card is incorrect, it is important that you correct it and mail the change of information form back to Selective Service. This registration acknowledgment card is your proof of registration with the Selective Service System. Keep this important document in your permanent files for future reference. –U.S. Selective Service
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Putin signs decree drafting 150,000 conscripts into the Russian military

October 2015 MOSCOWRussian President Vladimir Putin’s signing of a degree that will draft 150,000 into the military is likely to fuel further rumors that Russia could be in for a prolonged offensive in Syria in its efforts to prop up Assad’s regime. Even before the world comes to terms with Russia’s entry into the Syrian War theater, President Vladimir Putin has pulled another one, this time by signing a decree that will see the country’s military draft 150,000 conscripts, The Daily Mail reported. The timing of this move could further fuel suspicion that Moscow is prepared to get itself into a prolonged offensive in Syria, if that’s what it will take to prevent the collapse of the Assad regime.
This new decree that will see around 150,000 conscripts get enlisted to serve in the military came the same day when it emerged that the leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, who’s a trusted ally of Putin, had suggested that Moscow should deploy Muslim soldiers to fight against the Islamic State in Syria. “I’m convinced that not only airborne should be used there, but also infantry, because the faster we finish off ISIS, the more peacefully we’ll live across the territory of global community,” said Kadyrov. The Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, was quick to downplay these latest developments, saying that the signing of this new drafting decree by Putin doesn’t have anything to do with the war in Syria, according to Sputnik news. “This… is a regular document which the president signs twice a year. It is not related to Syria in any way, of course, this situation does not concern the draftees in any way,” Peskov said. –HNGN
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UK must prepare for WAR with Russia: Army calls for fleet of battle tanks to take on Putin

Tanks UK
October 2015LONDON It comes as tensions between NATO countries and Moscow continued to mount, with Russia threatening “nuclear counter measures” over a plan to bolster nuclear facilities in Germany. David Cameron is currently trying to find a “compromise deal” with Russian president Vladimir Putin over tackling the IS terror group in Syria. But Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, an increase in NATO air-space incursions by Russian bombers, and the development of a new Russian “super tank” has led senior commanders to admit that the prospects of a conventional ground war In Eastern Europe can no longer be ignored. The British Army has 227 Challenger 2 main battle tanks but, while they are still respected, they are in urgent need of upgrade.
Last year the British Army took part in live-fire NATO exercise in Poland with more than 100 armored vehicles. Operation Black Eagle “highlighted the British Army’s ability to deploy an armored battle-group at short notice anywhere in the world in support of the nation’s allies.” However the Sunday Express has learned that, unlike its NATO allies, Britain not able to deploy a full squadron of 14 tanks plus two in reserve within the regulation 30 -days time limit. Some, according to serving members of the Kings Royal Hussars armored regiment, took more than three months to make ready because they had been mothballed, or cannibalized for parts. Speaking recently General Sir Nick Carter, head of the British Army, confirmed that the future of the Challenger 2 was being considered at the highest levels.
“We have got issues with the tanks we’ve got and if we don’t do something about it we will have issues – what we will do is in discussion,” he said. Senior Army sources confirmed last night that the development of the new Russian T-14 main battle tank, unveiled at the Moscow Victory Day Parade in Moscow in May, had “focused minds” on the issue. Boasting exceptionally think armour and an “unmanned turret”, the T-14 is the first of a new generation of power tanks for the Russia Army, which hopes to have 2,300 of them by 2020. Last week Russia announced that it would be forced to take counter measures to “restore the balance of power” in Europe if the United States carried out upgrade its nuclear presence in Germany by placing 20 B61-12 nuclear bombs at the Büchel Air Base later this year. Speaking last night Maj Gen Patrick Cordingly who, as commander of the “Desert Rats” 7th Armored Brigade, led US and British forces to victory over Iraq forces in 1991, said: “There are 100 nations in the world who have battle tanks – they have them for a reason and for us not to invest in our main battle tank now would go against logic.
“Even in Afghanistan, it would have been usefully to have our own battle tanks. We were forced to rely on the Danish army. “A tank is more than a weapon system – it also makes a statement. And when you’re trying to reign in another country, it helps to be able to make a statement in this way.” The 2010 Strategic and Security Defense Review saw most British battle tanks put into storage as planners focused on “asymmetrical” warfare of the type fought in Afghanistan. So convinced were military planners of this that BAe was allowed to sell off its tank-manufacturing base in Newcastle in 2012, though BAe retained a rump of 60 specialists at its facility in Tidworth. Britain’s armored base in Germany was also earmarked for closure by 2019, though recently there have been moves to reverse this decision. Events since then, including the Russian invasion of Crimea have shown Britain and the rest of NATO “must be prepared to revisit Cold War scenarios, and this includes conventional, symmetric warfare in Eastern Europe,” said a source last night. –UK Express
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Iranian troops and Hezbollah ‘massing in Syria for ground battle against rebels’

Iranian soldiers
October 2015 SYRIAHundreds of Iranian troops have reportedly crossed into Syria ahead of a ground operation supporting Bashar al-Assad against his enemies. Sources in Lebanon claim that the soldiers arrived 10 days ago and will be supporting government forces, alongside fighters from the Shia Islamist group Hezbollah, against rebels in northern Syria. An anonymous official told Reuters the operation was being mounted in conjunction with Russian air strikes and aimed to recapture territory lost by the Syrian regime.
“The (Russian) air strikes will in the near future be accompanied by ground advance by the Syrian army and its allies,” one of the sources said. “It is possible that the coming land operations will be focused in the Idlib and Hama countryside.” Iran is believed to already have troops backing government forces in Iraq, where Shia militias believed to be funded by the Iranian government are also fighting Isis. The Kremlin had already announced the creation of an operations centre in Baghdad where its forces will work with the Iranians and intelligence operatives from Iraq and the Syrian regime. Officials have insisted that no Russian troops will be deployed on the ground but Vladimir Putin has sent fighter jets, artillery, tanks and equipment to Assad.
The Syrian President had asked his Russian counterpart for military assistance to combat “terrorism”, although the term is used by the Syrian regime to refer to anyone opposing it. Activists in territories held by non-Islamist rebels have claimed that they have been targeted by Russian air strikes in Homs and Hama, and American and French officials have accused Russia of targeting President Assad’s rivals. An alliance of extremist groups including Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham made rapid gains in Idlib province earlier this year, completely expelling the government from the area bordering Turkey. Senator John McCain said today that he could “absolutely confirm” that Free Syrian Army rebels who had been funded. –Independent
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Russian Air Force hits 50 ISIS targets in Syria over 3 days, ‘significantly’ damaging militants

SU 34
October 2015SYRIA The Russian Air Force has conducted more than 60 flights and bombed over 50 Islamic State targets in three days, according to Russia’s top armed forces official. He added the strikes have significantly reduced the terrorists’ combat capabilities. “The airstrikes were being conducted night and day from the Khmeimim airbase and throughout the whole of Syria. In three days we managed to undermine the terrorists’ material-technical base and significantly reduce their combat potential,” Lieutenant General Andrey Kartapolov, head of the Main Operation Directorate of the General Staff of Russia’s armed forces, told reporters on Saturday. He added that according to Russian intelligence the militants are fleeing the area that was in their control. “There is panic and defection among them. About 600 mercenaries have left their positions and are trying to reach Europe,” he said.
Washington has notified the Russian Defense Ministry that there were only militants in the areas of Russia’s military operation against IS in Syria, he added. “The Americans informed us during contacts that there was no one except terrorists in this region,” he said. “Over the past 24 hours, Sukhoi Su-34 and Su-24M fighter jets have performed 20 sorties and hit nine Islamic State installations,” Igor Konashenkov, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman, reported. Konashenkov added that yesterday evening Russian aircraft went on six sorties, inflicting strikes on three terrorist installations.
“A bunker-busting BETAB-500 air bomb dropped from a Sukhoi Su-34 bomber near Raqqa has eliminated the command post of one of the terror groups, together with an underground storage facility for explosives and munitions,” the spokesman said. Commenting on the video filmed by a Russian UAV monitoring the assault near Raqqa, Konashenkov noted, “a powerful explosion inside the bunker indicates it was also used for storing a large quantity of munitions. Another bomber on a sortie from Khmeimim has dropped a KAB-500 air bomb on an Islamic State camp near Maarrat al-Numan. It destroyed fortifications, ammunition, fuel and seven units of equipment, Konashenkov said at a media briefing on Saturday. KAB-500 bombs are accurate to within five meters. –RT News
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Russian Air Force destroys ISIS command center, training camp

Russian Migs
October 2015 SYRIA On Thursday, Russian warplanes stationed in Syria attacked a terrorist training camp and a command center, taking it out with a precision strike launched form an altitude of over 5,000 meters, the Russian Defense Ministry reported. The airstrike was one of a dozen conducted by Russia in Syria on Thursday during 18 sorties, Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov, the ministry spokesman, told journalists. Advanced Sukhoi Su-25 and Su-34s were used for strikes. “The targeting systems of those planes allows for hitting ground targets with absolute precision, which was proven yesterday during combat missions targeting ISIS infrastructure,” he said. “We can use this type of aircraft to deliver strikes anywhere in Syria.”
Overnight, the Russian Air Force conducted 10 sorties and hit seven targets in Syria, Konashenkov said. Over the 24 hours the planes bombed a field camp in Aleppo province, a logistics center in Idlib province and a command point at a fortified facility in Hama province. The general reiterated calls to take with a grain of salt reports of alleged Russian strikes on residential areas and targets not belonging to terrorist groups coming from some sources in Syria. “Those sensationalized fakes are complete nonsense and have no factual basis and do not merit any discussions,” he said. “They were prepared even before the operation started.” Russia started airstrikes on terrorist targets in Syria on Wednesday at the request of President Bashar Assad’s government. The goal is to provide air support for Syrian troops fighting Islamic State. –RT
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U.S. President Obama says Syria ‘is not some superpower chessboard contest’

Syrian Dilemma
October 2015 DAMASCUS, Syria President Obama defended his response to the growing crisis in Syria on Friday by pointing to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, cautioning against a commitment that risks drawing the U.S. into a new quagmire in the Middle East. Obama appeared determined to take on critics whom he portrayed as impatient and ignorant of the complexity of the warring factions in Syria. He laughed off suggestions that Russian airstrikes in recent days against fighters opposed to President Bashar Assad, an ally of Moscow’s, have President Vladimir Putin looking stronger than Obama in Syria. “We’re not going to make Syria into a proxy war between the United States and Russia,” Obama insisted during an afternoon news conference at the White House. “This is not some superpower chessboard contest. And anybody who frames it in that way isn’t paying very close attention to what’s been happening on the chessboard.”
He acknowledged that U.S. strategy, particularly his program to train and equip Syrian fighters to counter Islamic State extremists who have taken over parts of the country, has been less successful than he had hoped. But a deeper military engagement won’t necessarily result in success, Obama warned. Once we start something, we’ve got to finish it, and we’ve got to do it well,” Obama said. “Unless we can get the parties on the ground to agree to live together in some fashion, then no amount of U.S. military engagement will solve the problem. “And we will find ourselves either doing just a little bit and not making a difference and losing credibility that way or finding ourselves drawn deeper and deeper into a situation that we can’t sustain.”
Obama attempted to clarify his policy on Syria after days of Russian airstrikes against Syrian groups opposed to Assad, and growing pressure on the president to answer for U.S. shortcomings in Syria. Although Putin has said publicly that he wants to go after the Islamic State terrorists, his aerial campaign seems less focused on them than on territory held by other opposition forces that threaten Assad. Like the Assad government, Putin does not seem to be drawing a distinction among Syrian rebel groups or to steer around any that might be backed by the U.S.-led bombing campaign in Syria. Obama advisors say they take Putin at his word that he wants to stop the spread of the Islamic State extremists and to eradicate their safe havens in Syria. The White House insists that the only way to fight the spread of the Islamic State is for Assad to leave power and to defuse the political turmoil surrounding him.
Though the Obama administration says that the U.S. and Russia generally agree that some kind of political transition must happen in Syria, the two countries disagree about how long Assad would stay and how a change in government would come about. In the hope of bringing Putin into the coalition-led strategy for fighting the Islamic State, Obama is trying to emphasize common ground. But the president said the U.S. would not cooperate with a Russian campaign that he said was designed simply to “prop up” Assad, and insisted that Putin risked further isolating himself through his ever-growing military commitment to support the dictator.
“Iran and Assad make up Mr. Putin’s coalition at the moment. The rest of the world makes up ours,” Obama confidently asserted. Pentagon officials had their first round of military-to-military talks Thursday with Russian counterparts to avoid conflicts between their air forces in the skies over Syria. The hour-long conversation was the first between U.S. and Russian defense officials in nearly two years; talks had been halted after the Russian annexation of Crimea and its continued involvement in the Ukrainian conflict. –L.A. Times
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U.S. group warns a potential conflict is brewing in the South China Sea

China Sea
October 2015 SOUTH CHINA SEAThere is a military storm brewing in the South China Sea and it will involve Taiwan, a U.S. national defense and strategic planning consultancy on Friday told a Washington conference. “China is maneuvering and building up its military forces with clear intent,” Global Strategies and Transformation president Paul Giarra said. Giarra told the Heritage Foundation think tank that Beijing had convinced the U.S. not to consider the nation in the context of geography or military operations. “We are thinking of Taiwan as a political problem that we want to go away,” he said at the conference, titled “Taiwan in the South China Sea.” “The Chinese have convinced us that in order to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, all we have to do is keep Taiwan quiet,” Giarra said.
“The trouble is, the situation in the Taiwan Strait is neither peaceful nor stable,” he said. “Taiwan, in its most appropriate military operational perspective, is a key geostrategic bastion and this is what the Chinese don’t want us to think about.” Giarra said that China wants to minimize the Taiwan issue and Washington to think of the nation as nothing but a distraction. However, in geostrategic and military operational terms, securing Taiwan would be a great advantage, he said. “By virtue of its location, Taiwan challenges the People’s Republic of China’s control of its broad ocean approaches,” Giarra said. He said this “compelling” geostrategic reality had been lost in the propaganda, psychological and political warfare going on between China and the rest of the world.
“Either Taiwan is going to be on our side and an advantage for us or in the blink of an eye political change could make Taiwan an advantage for China,” he said. China is building up its air, naval and missile forces to take control of the South China Sea, he added. “They are trying to convince us that if we will only go along, we will all get rich and it will all be peaceful,” he said. Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Dean Cheng (成斌) said the “first island chain” is a barrier to China in the hands of adversaries, but would be a shield if most of it was controlled by Beijing. “What we do in the South China Sea will affect how Beijing sees us and what China is doing there should affect how we perceive them,” Cheng said.
He said that with the U.S. having not gone within 12 nautical miles (22.2km) of artificial islands being developed by China and having not exerted its sphere of influence, Beijing would interpret the inaction as weakness. “If China believes it can intimidate neighbors or the United States [over] the South China Sea [issue], it has implications for Taiwan,” Cheng said. If Washington was seen as failing to live up to the Taiwan Relations Act by not providing the nation with arms, “that too will be read by Beijing,” he said. “The United States must act and it must act now,” he added. He said the U.S. should send coast guard cutters to the South China Sea to guarantee freedom of navigation. At the same time, U.S. President Barack Obama should sell at least one more package of arms to Taiwan before he leaves office, he said. “At the end of the day, Taiwan is part of the South China Sea issue and the South China Sea relates to Taiwan security,” Cheng said. –Taipei Times
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Mass shooting in Oregon another sign our culture is sick

School Shootings
October 2015OREGONHe asked them their religion. If they said they were Christian, he killed them right there in that classroom in Oregon. And since the news trickled out, slowly, about what was done and how, some of us have been asking ourselves: Would I deny my faith to stay alive? Would I answer? “He said, ‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second.’ And then he shot and killed them.” That comment comes from Stacy Boylan, father of Anastasia Boylan, a student at Umpqua Community College, one of those wounded by Chris Harper Mercer, madman, anti-Christian bigot, killer. Autumn Vicari told NBC News what her brother, J.J., witnessed: The shooter, he told her, told people to stand up before asking if they were Christians or some other religion.
She said her brother told her that anyone who said yes was shot in the head. If they didn’t answer, they were shot in the leg. If what happened in Oregon was as they say — and often eyewitness accounts are incomplete or mangled by fear and shock — the bravery of it all was stunning. Some knew what he would do, and still they held to faith. I’m sure some think that would be an act of supreme foolishness. Or perhaps those who said yes thought they were giving an answer that would save their lives. But to some of us, it was evidence of profound courage. Most news outlets focused on what has become depressingly familiar: the gunman, lonely, a nerd unable to adjust, narcissistic, nihilistic, seeking glory in innocent blood, perhaps a psychosis unknown as yet. –Chicago Tribune
Terrorist targeted Christians: The father of a victim in the Oregon College shooting says the gunman targeted Christians. Stacy Boylan spoke to CNN television Thursday night. He said his daughter described the attack to him at the hospital. He said she told him that the gunman asked people what religion they were. If they answered “Christian,” he shot them, she reportedly told her father. The shooter was identified as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer. His father, Ian Mercer, spoke on camera to the Reuters news service. Mr. Mercer said that he was “shocked.” Carmen Nesnick is the stepsister of Chris Harper Mercer. She said her brother, “even if he was sad or mad, would try to cheer up everybody.”
The shooter reportedly raided a classroom at a small college in rural Oregon. He reportedly shot at teachers and students, killing at least nine people and injuring 20 others. The New York Times reported that neighbors of the suspect described him as reclusive. They said he kept to himself. He often wore military-type clothing, one said, although it was not known if he ever served in the military. He reportedly made comments on social media and added photographs of the Irish Republican Army. He posted a photo of himself and others with weapons. The president said Americans have become numb to mass shootings in the U.S. He said such attacks have become routine. He said that more guns do not make people safer. He said that arguments in support of unregulated guns could not be taken seriously. –VOA

Suspected shooter reportedly died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds
Posted in Acts of Agression, Education Failures, Gun violence, Mass Shootings, Social Crime, Social Meltdown, Violence | Leave a comment

Migrant crisis cripples British trade across Europe as border closures halt freight

October 2015 EUROPEAmid record numbers of migrants in Europe, freight is being disrupted and thousands of drivers are experiencing chaos every day. Germany, Austria and Slovenia have placed controls on borders, while Hungary and Croatia have closed parts of country lines altogether, creating huge diversions for traffic. And now critics have warned that that the problem is likely disrupting businesses in Britain. James Hookham, deputy chief executive of the UK Freight Transport Association, said: “Any delays at borders will inevitably have a knock-on effect for our members in terms of delays and additional costs. He added: “Delays such as those currently experienced at borders outside Europe will always have an effect on our members’ businesses.”
Peter Cullum of the UK Road Haulage Association said that issues could already be affecting trade costs in Britain, but that knock-on effects are hard to calculate. He said costs are added to suppliers when firms realize they are being hit by delays. He said: ‘Once you know there will be problems you will adjust contracts adding extra days for delivery.” The flow of cargo has already slowed in southern countries including Macedonia, Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria. Arpad Vasarhelyi, chief executive of the Hungarian unit of logistics company DB Schenker, said routes through Serbia and to the Balkans were in a “critical” state, with the crisis slowing both road and rail deliveries. He said: “Certain traffic has been diverted to alternative routes, which can be more expensive.” Truck drivers also face penalties for not delivering on time after being caught up in the pandemonium.

Traffic Migrants

British hauliers have already told their businesses are facing closure as migrants in Calais slow cargo down as they make daily attempts to get to Britain. Aleksandar Momcilovic drives a truck carrying sunflower meal and soy meal from Serbia to Italy and usually it takes eight hours to reach his final destination near Genoa. But last week he spent almost three days at the border between Serbia and Croatia. He said: “Who is going to pay for that?”
Teodisiadis Leamis left Greece to take canned olives and olive oil to Germany, but ended up spending three days sleeping in his truck, after border closures. He said: “This is terrible. I am running out of food and water.” In Serbia transport accounts for 15 percent the economy and employs more than 11 percent of the workforce and in Hungary logistics accounts for 6 percent of GDP. Car makers dependent on timely deliveries could be among the hardest hit, with the Volkswagen emissions scandal already casting a shadow over a sector accounting for over a tenth of Hungarian exports. Rail Cargo Hungaria, a member of Austrian Rail Cargo Group, said the closure of the crossing at Magyarboly on the Croatian border meant it had to reroute some trains to another point at Murakeresztur, 200 km (125 miles) northwest. –UK Express
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