YEHWEH - ADD


John 14:6 (KJV) 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.





~~~~THERE IS NO ONE GREATER THAN THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY; JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD~~~~

IF ANY ABOVE LINKS ARE BROKEN, PLEASE LEAVE MESSAGE IN COMMENT!




Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I will guard those with a childlike heart.


365promises.com


Posted: 26 Jan 2015 09:01 PM PST
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Psalm 116:6 (WEB)
Yahweh preserves the simple.
I was brought low, and he saved me.


Early Bird Brief



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Defense News
COMPILED BY THE EDITORS OF DEFENSE NEWS & MILITARY TIMES


January 27, 2015

THE EARLY BIRD BRIEF
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TODAY'S TOP 5

1. Kurd Militia Says ISIS Is Expelled From Kobani
(New York Times) Kurdish militias regained full control of the northern Syrian town of Kobani on Monday, driving Islamic State militants out with the help of American-led airstrikes, Kurdish activists on the scene said. 
2. Hagel: Stress Of 'Nonstop War' Forcing Out Good Soldiers
(National Public Radio) Outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, speaking to NPR's Morning Edition, says he's concerned about retaining qualified U.S. military service members amid the "stress and strain" of more than 13 years of continuous warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq. 
3. Female guards file discrimination complaints against Guantanamo judges
(Miami Herald) Some female soldiers at the prison's secret lockup for former CIA captives have filed gender discrimination complaints against two military judges who are forbidding women from handling prisoners to and from legal meetings. 
4. Spain: Death count rises to 11 in military jet crash at base
(Associated Press) The death toll from the crash of a Greek F-16 at a Spanish military base rose to 11 Tuesday after one of the French airmen who suffered serious burns died at a Madrid hospital, Spain's Defense Ministry said. 
5. Exclusive: Freed Al Qaeda Agent Was Part of Proposed Swap for Jailed Americans
(Daily Beast) Before the Qatari government freed an imprisoned American couple, they asked for a jailed terrorist in return. That al Qaeda agent was recently released from the Supermax prison. 

CONGRESS

McCain: More US Boots on Ground in Iraq, Syria
(Defense News) A powerful US senator is pushing President Barack Obama to put more American boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria. 
House Dem: Sanctions can be 'ready to go' if Iran talks fail
(The Hill) Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman (Calif.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is expressing support for legislation that would impose new sanctions on Iran if talks fail to reach a deal curbing its nuclear program. 
Blizzard Delays House Border Security Bill
(Defense News) As a winter storm grips the east coast and snarls air travel, House leaders are delaying votes on a border security bill calling for increased aircraft patrols. 
Democrat assails GOP leader of House Benghazi committee
(Associated Press) Democrats on a special House committee investigating the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, have complained that the panel's Republican chairman has excluded them from crucial steps in the investigation while Republicans meet with witnesses. 
Iran Sanctions Showdown Is Drawing New Battlelines in Congress
(DefenseOne) The real fight over Iran sanctions isn't between the White House and the new Republican majority in Congress - it's a no-holds-barred, intra-party battle that, until now, has largely been fought behind closed doors and between the lines of statements to the press in the U.S. Capitol and capitals worldwide. 
NJ lawmakers warn against new base closings round
(The Hill) A bipartisan group of New Jersey House members is urging the Defense Department to avoid proposing a new round of military base closures in its next budget request. 

INDUSTRY

Raytheon Files 3DELRR Suit Against Air Force
(Defense News) Raytheon has filed a suit against the US Air Force in hopes of blocking a service decision to reevaluate a major radar contract awarded to the Massachusetts-based company. 
Super Hornet infrared system gets green light
(C4ISR & Networks) An infrared search and track (IRST) system for the F/A-18 Super Hornet has been green-lighted for low-rate initial production, according to a Lockheed Martin announcement. 
ULA's Tory Bruno Takes to Twitter
(Intercepts, Defense News) When Tory Bruno took over as CEO of the United Launch Alliance (ULA) in August, analysts predicted a change in how the launch company did business. But maybe not at this level. 
Bulgaria may switch MiG support from Russia to Poland
(IHS Jane's 360) Bulgarian MiG-29 'Fulcrum' combat aircraft may in future be serviced and maintained in Poland rather than Russia. 
Lockheed delivers first of Navy's automated aircraft test systems
(Defense Systems) Lockheed Martin has delivered to the Navy the first of 36 Electronic Consolidated Automated Support Systems, or eCASS, an upgrade to the CASS test system that has been in use aboard naval vessels and ashore since the early 1990s. 
Turkey Expects $1.2B-$1.6B Procurement Boost
(Defense News) Turkey expects to raise US $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion in extra funds to finance procurement through a fee men can pay to avoid conscription, officials said. 
Russia's amphibious UAV almost in production
(C4ISR & Networks) Russia is developing an unmanned hovercraft capable of landing on water. The prototype is now operational and ready to begin testing, 
U.S. to Aid India in Building Aircraft Carriers
(DoDBuzz) Tucked away in a new defense deal with India was an agreement for the U.S. to aid India in fielding aircraft carriers that China views as a threat 
Chinese Carrier-On-Land Facility Adds Destroyer
(USNI News) China has made several additions to its so-called carrier-on-land facility, including a mock-up of the People's Liberation Army Navy's (PLAN) planned next generation guided missile destroyer, according to recent satellite imagery. 
Germany to delay potential arms deals to Saudi Arabia
(IHS Jane's 360) The German government is delaying any potential sales of arms to Saudi Arabia, German newspapers reported on 25 January. 
Defense contractor to pay feds $2M to settle claims it inflated prices
(Associated Press) A Northern California defense contractor will pay the federal government $2 million to settle claims about its manufacturing of parts for remote-controlled aircraft. 
Defense News Unveils New Apps
(Defense News) Defense News has new apps for iPhone, iPad and Android phones and tablets, all available via the App Store or Google Play. 

VETERANS

New simplified map for Veterans Affairs
(Military Times) Veterans Affairs Department officials who promised to simplify the agency are touting major progress after settling on a single map of the United States. 
Reduced tuition for vets' dependents proposed in Maine
(Associated Press) The University of Maine System is considering a proposal to reduce tuition for military veterans' dependents living outside the state. 
Texas clause limiting veterans' tuition benefits struck down
(Houston Chronicle) In a ruling that could add to Texas universities' financial challenges, a judge on Monday struck down a clause in a state law limiting veterans' tuition benefits to those who enlisted in the military while living in Texas. 
Labor Department takes data-driven approach to veteran hiring
(Washington Post) Contractors will have to start collecting annual data on their veteran hiring practices in 2015, according to an updated Labor Department regulation. 
Aberdeen veteran gracious for the hand up from Helping a Hero
(Fayetteville Observer) New homes are old news in bustling housing communities like Legacy Lakes. But one that's planned on Legacy Lakes Way drew 150 or more people to the pine-covered lot Thursday afternoon, despite the chilly air and threat of rain. 
Military women group essay contest offers scholarship
(Virginian-Pilot) Military Women Across the Nation is holding an essay contest that offers a $1,500 scholarship to a relative of a woman who has served or is serving in the armed forces. 
WWII vet returning to scene of bloody battle
(Associated Press) A World War II combat veteran from upstate New York is returning to the scene of a bloody Pacific island battle as an army of one. 
Survivors Mark Anniversary Of Nazi Death Camp Liberation
(Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) A ceremony will be held at the site of the former Nazi death camp at Auschwitz in Poland to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of prisoners still alive there when Red Army soldiers arrived. 
VA Secretary says he will investigate Tomah medical center
(Associated Press) Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald announced Monday that he will launch an investigation into a Tomah VA medical center that came under scrutiny for overprescribing opiates after a Marine died there. 
Amid Libya turmoil, a renewed call to return early US sailors' remains home
(The Philadelphia Inquirer ) Their homecoming has been long awaited. Every time the remains of Navy Master Commandant Richard Somers and the crew of the USS Intrepid get the attention of leaders in Washington, world events intervene. 
Texas woman will never forget her days as a World War II flygirl
(Austin American-Statesman) On Dec. 7, 1941, Susie Winston Bain was returning to her University of Texas dormitory after a sorority meeting when she heard about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. 
Vets study links PB pills, genetic variations to Gulf War illness
( Pittsburgh Tribune) A government-issued pill intended to protect troops from nerve agents may have made some troops more vulnerable to a chronic condition marked by headaches, cognitive problems, pain and fatigue, researchers say. 
SORCC sued by Commission for the Blind
(Mail Tribune) Oregon's Commission for the Blind has filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for allegedly failing to comply with the Randolph-Sheppard Act at its facility in White City. The 1936 law gives preference to blind people to run vending machines on government properties. 
Delaware Veteran Understands Power of the Pen
(Newsworks.org) It used to be soldiers could only receive mail specifically addressed to them, until a Delawarean wrote a letter to Dear Abby that changed all of that. It was 1967 when 19-year-old Private First Class David Rice was in Vietnam. He was drafted. 

DEFENSE DEPARTMENT

More bases use visitor background checks
(Military Times) Bases stateside will be seeing tighter security for non-Defense Department visitors this year as more resources become available for bases to conduct background checks. 
US Special Ops Build Bridges in Africa
(Defense News) US Special Operations forces in Africa are preparing for one of their biggest exercises of the year, a multinational event that spans several West African countries and serves as one of the premiere partnership events for US forces in Africa. 
On Point: 20 Questions with Rear Admiral John Kirby
(Medium.com) Elevated to the position of Pentagon Chief Spokesman, Admiral Kirby became the person behind the microphone, standing in front of the blue Pentagon curtain, delivering the news of the day straight from the deeply-varnished oak walls of the E-Ring. 
Martin Dempsey seeks essay contest to honor late Saudi king
(Politico) The National Defense University plans to establish an essay and research competition focused on the Middle East in honor of Saudi Arabia's late King Abdullah - a memorial directed by America's top uniformed military leader. 
Cybersecurity Now Key Requirement For All Weapons: DoD CIO
(Breaking Defense) Cybersecurity - it's not just for networks anymore. What's come to be known as the Internet of Things means targets cane be almost anywhere. 
Defense hearings: Pre-budget release rush
(Military Times) Congress boasts a full slate of hearings this week, with the Armed Services and Veterans' Affairs committees tackling major topics before the release of the federal budget the following week. 
Gary Sinise tells off Howard Dean: The 'American Sniper' flaps still haven't ended
(Washington Post) The latest flap erupted following comments by former Gov. Howard Dean (D.-Vt.) on Friday night. They came on "Real Time with Bill Maher," in which the show's host ripped the movie for its lack moral ambiguity and Kyle for writing previously that he didn't care about Iraq and hated the "savages" there. 
Did the White House Use Drone Killing Technology?
(DefenseOne) The White House won't comment on whether or not they took any special steps to bring down the small UAV. But the White House may have employed the same anti-drone technology that the military is trying to perfect to protect ships and planes from future drone swarms. 

ARMY

Europe at front of Army's new 'Complex World' concept, general says
(Stars & Stripes) If the Army's new operating concept is about preparing to fight in an increasingly complex security environment, forces in Europe are in some ways on the leading edge, said the Army's top general in charge of training. 
McHugh: Job-based fitness test report coming this year
(Army Times) Plans for job-specific fitness tests could reach Army Secretary John McHugh's desk this summer, and McHugh told Army Times on Wednesday what the service is doing to create and study those requirements - and what might happen to soldiers who can't meet them. 
Former 82nd chief of justice convicted of rape, assault
(Army Times) An officer who previously served as the chief of military justice for the 82nd Airborne Division was convicted Sunday of rape, forcible sodomy, assault and disobeying an order from a superior officer. 
Cobra Strike: Patriot battalion learns sports psychology skills to improve readiness, performance
(El Paso Times) Cobra Strike soldiers will learn "sports psychology skills, mental skills that high-performing athletes and high-performing teams have been using for 30 years," Henke said. These skills include how to breathe and visualizing success. 
Applications open: Be a general's enlisted aide
(Army Times) Applications are being accepted for a program that prepares noncommissioned officers in the ranks of promotable sergeant through master sergeant to serve as enlisted aides to general officers. 
March board to recommend new Vet Corps chief
(Army Times) Most active-component colonels of the Veterinary Corps will be evaluated by an advisory board March 25 that will recommend to the secretary of the Army candidates for possible appointment as the service's next senior veterinarian. 

NAVY

Crew bids farewell to frigate Rodney M. Davis
(Navy Times) Friends and families were joined by plankowners as sailors strode off the frigate Rodney M. Davis for the last time Friday at a ceremony in Everett, Washington. 
Container ship still stuck on coral off Okinawa
(Navy Times) The maritime prepositioning ship that ran aground off Okinawa Thursday unloaded most of its military personnel over the weekend, but the Navy is no closer to freeing the stricken vessel. 
USS Green Bay Ships Out for Japan
(USNI News) Amphibious warship USS Green Bay (LPD-20) left Naval Station San Diego, Calif. on Monday to join the U.S. Navy's forward deployed forces in Sasebo, Japan, according to the service. 
New SAPR reporting rules boost response time
(Navy Times) Each time a sailor files an unrestricted sexual assault report, it sets off a chain of responses from the victim's command, counseling services and legal support. To ensure that every resource is made available in a timely manner, the Navy is implementing a new progress report for the first eight days after an allegation is filed. 

AIR FORCE

U.S. Air Force personnel treated for minor injuries after F-16 crashes into flight line
(Associated Press) A Greek F-16 fighter jet crashed into other aircraft on the ground during NATO training in southeastern Spain Monday, killing at least 10 people, Spain's Defense Ministry said; Based on initial reports, there were no U.S. personnel killed but an unknown number were treated for minor injuries, said Air Force Lt. Col. Vanessa Hillman, a Pentagon spokeswoman. 
IG investigating two-star's 'treason' comments
(Air Force Times) The Air Force Inspector General's Office is investigating allegations that a two-star general told a group of officers they were committing treason if they worked with lawmakers against the service's own contentious plans to retire to the A-10. 
Academy cadet killed in skiing accident
(Air Force Times) A freshman Air Force Academy cadet was killed in a skiing accident Saturday, the academy said. 
400 recruits arrive for revamped basic training
(Air Force Times) The first major overhaul to basic military training in years begins Tuesday when a group of 400 recruits embark on the 8-1/2 week course that will culminate with five full days of classroom instruction focused on character development. 
Kunsan-based airman fined for posting revenge porn
(Stars & Stripes) A 25-year-old Kunsan-based airman has been fined for posting a sex video online after recording it without his partner's permission. 

MARINE CORPS

New agreement expands military training with Dominicans
(Marine Corps Times) Leaders from the U.S. and Dominican Republic signed a deal to boost its military partnership, which could leave troops regularly training in the small Caribbean country as both nations battle transnational organized crime. 
Marines' planning guidance highlights cyber, tech
(C4ISR & Networks) Guidance calls for a review of plans for live, virtual and constructive training across the MAGTF, 
Corps buys hyper-realistic virtual marksmanship sims
(Marine Corps Times) The Corps' next-generation simulated marksmanship trainers are now on their way to the fleet, and they'll thrust Marines into realistic training scenarios that mimic the complexities of the battlefield. 

COAST GUARD

Coast Guard shows video of plane splashing into the Pacific by parachute
(Washington Post) The Coast Guard took part in two rescues after aircraft went down near Hawaii on Sunday - including one in which the service captured video of a pilot's small plane descending to the Pacific Ocean by parachute. 

AFGHANISTAN/PAKISTAN

Afghan economic crisis looms as foreign aid dollars depart
(Associated Press) Afghanistan's fragile economy has lost around a third of its value in the past year as international aid organizations that poured in cash for more than a decade have drastically scaled back after Western forces effectively ended their 13-year war against the Taliban. 
"Marg" Group formed against Taliban and ISIS in northern Afghanistan
(Khaama Press) A new group calling themselves "Marg" or "Death" announced its existence in northern Afghanistan. 
USAID suspends awards to US contractor working in Iraq, Afghanistan
(Associated Press) The main U.S. foreign assistance agency on Monday suspended awards to a non-governmental organization that has received more than $1 billion for its work in Afghanistan and Iraq the past nine years. 

MIDDLE EAST

U.S. drone strikes resume in Yemen despite turmoil
(Associated Press) A U.S. drone strike targeted al-Qaida in Yemen on Monday, signaling Washington's determination to keep fighting the militants despite political paralysis brought on by a Shiite power grab. 
Obama Leading a High-Powered Delegation to Saudi Arabia
(New York Times) President Obama left here on Tuesday after a three-day visit to India and headed to Saudi Arabia, where he and a bipartisan delegation of prominent current and former officials will offer condolences for the death of King Abdullah and pay respects to his successor. 
Israeli C4I Network Extends Special Ops Reach
(Defense News) As Israel grapples with an arc of threats that emanate up and around the Arabian Sea, an Internet Protocol (IP)-supported communications network is augmenting its ability to command complex operations at its borders and far beyond. 
Mubarak's two sons reportedly freed from Egyptian prison
(Al Jazeera America) The two sons of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak were released from prison Monday, nearly four years after they were first arrested along with their father, authorities said. 
AP Interview: Iraq 'sleeper cells' fight Islamic State group
(Associated Press) "Sleeper cells" made up of former Iraqi police officers and soldiers are tipping off authorities to Islamic State group positions in the northern city of Mosul, a prominent lawmaker has told The Associated Press. 
Disowned, under threat, Iraqi musician seeks new life in U.S.
(McClatchy) Ahmed Abdulateef's gift for music made him a target in his hometown of Baghdad, where his father smashed his guitar and militants held a gun to his head for daring to follow a passion that has no place in their rigid brand of Islam. 
Islamic State calls on Muslims to attack West
(Associated Press) The spokesman for the Islamic State group is calling on Muslims living in Western countries to carry out more attacks, saying any loyalist who has the opportunity to "shed a drop of blood" should do so.Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, in an audio recording released Monday, praised recent attacks in Australia, Belgium and France - where gunmen killed 12 people in an assault on the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo magazine. 
Saudi Succession Hints at Shift in Foreign Role
(New York Times) Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the interior minister of Saudi Arabia, arrived at a meeting of security chiefs from across the Arab world in Marrakesh, Morocco, last March to deliver a call to arms: It was time, he declared, for a concerted effort to eradicate the Muslim Brotherhood, according to two Arab officials briefed on the meeting. 
Criticism of Netanyahu's planned U.S. speech mounts in Israel
(McClatchy) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing growing criticism in Israel for a planned speech to the U.S. Congress about Iran, accused by his political rivals of damaging ties with Washington to promote his election campaign. 
In Iraq, like anywhere, it's hard to find good morgue workers
(Los Angeles Times) There was blood on the white tile floor, on the eight metal gurneys and on the hands of the worker using coarse black thread to sew up an autopsy incision on the latest body to arrive at the moldering central morgue. 
Canadian troops involved in 2 more Iraq firefights
(Associated Press) Canadian special forces in northern Iraq have engaged in two more firefights against Islamic State group militants, but Canada's government denies they're involved in combat. 
'Lone soldiers' from U.S. serve in Israel's army
(Kansas City Star) It started as a vacation: Israel. Jake Fichman had never been there. Though Jewish, the former Barstow School and Park University graduate from south Kansas City concedes that, other than being bar mitzvahed and attending temple, he hadn't for most of his life been deeply immersed in his faith or the militarized politics of the Middle East. 
Female terrorists finding their place in Islamic militants' ranks
(Los Angeles Times) From bikini-clad beachgoer to veiled jihadist fugitive, the partner of Paris gunman Amedy Coulibaly underwent a startling metamorphosis that illuminates the dangerous potential behind militant groups' efforts to increase their recruiting of female terrorists. 

EUROPE

UN: deadly attack on Ukraine city could be war crime
(Associated Press) Deadly rocket attacks on the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol this weekend that "knowingly targeted civilians" violated international humanitarian law and could amount to war crimes, the U.N. political chief said Monday. 
Greek Election Reflects a Deep Divide in Europe
(New York Times) The Greek election not only strengthened opponents of austerity, it also highlighted a fundamental tension at the heart of Europe's six-decade-long push to forge a closer union of democratic states: what to do when voters in different countries have different, even opposite, demands. 
Russia defiant after more threats from West over Ukraine
(Associated Press) Russian officials struck a defiant note Monday after Western leaders threatened to further punish Moscow for escalated fighting in eastern Ukraine over the weekend, arguing that the Ukrainian government is responsible for the latest increase in violence. 
NATO Says Training Center In Georgia To Open Soon
(Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) A top NATO official says the alliance and Georgia are working to open a joint training center in Georgia. 
War in Ukraine threatens to worsen HIV crisis
(Al Jazeera America) Kiev has cut off delivery of opioid substitutes to rebel-held east, which could undo years of progress combating HIV. 
Azerbaijan, Armenia Trade Accusations Of Cease-Fire Violations
(Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) Azerbaijani and Armenian officials have exchanged fresh accusations of violations of a 1994 cease-fire. 
Ukraine conflict: Putin 'foreign legion' remarks nonsense - Nato
(BBC) Nato's chief has dismissed as "nonsense" a claim by Russia's Vladimir Putin that the Ukrainian army operates as a "foreign legion" for the alliance. 
Robot stick insect will soon see, feel
(Reuters/Washington Post) A robot at Germany's Bielefeld University is modeled after a stick insect, with six limbs that it can move independently. Researchers are working to give the robot feelers and a camera system that would allow it to see. 
OSCE Condemns Raid On Crimean Tatar TV Channel
(Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) The headquarters of the only television channel broadcasting in the Crimean Tatar language on the annexed Black Sea peninsula are being searched by representatives of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) and Investigative Committee. 
Police raid southern French town with strong jihadi network
(Associated Press) French security forces have raided a small town in the south that is known as a center for the jihadi recruiting networks that have sent hundreds of French youths to fighting in Syria and Iraq. 

ASIA-PACIFIC

Japan envoy hopeful about release of ISIL hostages
(Al Jazeera America) A Japanese envoy in Jordan expressed hope that both a Japanese hostage and a Jordanian pilot held by Islamic militants will return home "with a smile on their faces," as criticisms mounted Tuesday over the government's handling of the crisis. 
Friend Of Japanese Hostage Starts 'I Am Kenji' Facebook Campaign
(Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) A friend of Kenji Goto, the Japanese journalist held hostage and threatened with execution by the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria, is waging a campaign on Facebook and Twitter calling for his release. 
Abandoned as a child bride, wife of Narendra Modi hopes he calls
(Washington Post) She's waiting for him, as she has been all her life. But when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi dined with Barack and Michelle Obama at a glittering banquet Sunday night, his wife wasn't by his side. 
Obama urges religious tolerance, human rights in India
(Los Angeles Times) President Obama urged support for religious tolerance and human rights in a speech Tuesday in New Delhi, India, drawing on the American experience and his own personal ones to soften a message with the potential to give offense to his Indian hosts, especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

AFRICA

Former Lord's Resistance Army Commander Appears at War Crimes Court
(New York Times) A captured Ugandan rebel commander made his first public appearance Monday at a hearing before the International Criminal Court, where he stands accused of crimes including murder and enslavement. 
Ebola crisis: Oxfam calls for recovery Marshall Plan
(BBC) Oxfam has called for a multi-million dollar Marshall Plan-type scheme to help the three West Africa countries worst affected by Ebola to recover. 
A Nigerian City, Long Under Siege, Survives an Audacious Militant Assault
(New York Times) It was the kind of onslaught many feared. This city of more than two million, the most important in northern Nigeria, has endured many fierce assaults from Boko Haram militants during the course of their uprising, which began here nearly six years ago. 
Gunmen at Libyan luxury hotel take hostages; 3 guards dead
(Associated Press) A Libyan security official says gunmen have stormed a luxury Libyan hotel popular with foreigners and have taken hostages after killing at least three guards. 

THE AMERICAS

Drone crashes at White House; hobbyist says it's his
(Associated Press) A two-foot-long drone apparently flown by a hobbyist crashed on the White House grounds Monday in an extraordinary, if unintended, breach that raised fresh questions about the president's security - and a growing threat from the sky. 
U.N. Security Councils ends 'informative' visit to Haiti
(Miami Herald) The United Nations Security Council wrapped up a three-day mission Sunday urging Haiti's warring politicians to work together to stage elections as quickly as possible while remaining mum on whether it will move ahead with plans to reduce the presence of its 7,100-strong peacekeeping mission beginning in March. 
US announces charges in New York Russian spy ring case
(McClatchy) An alleged Russian spy ring was busted up and one man arrested in New York City following an extended investigation, Justice Department officials said. 
Fidel Castro writes statement on shift in Cuba-US relations
(Associated Press) Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro ended his long silence over his country's decision to restore diplomatic ties with the United States, writing that he backs the negotiations even though he distrusts politics in Washington. 

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS

What Dempsey Wants In New War Powers To Fight ISIS
(Micah Zenko in Council on Foreign Relations) Bearing those concerns in mind, it was troubling to read portions of a new interview with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. First, Dempsey endorsed the passage of a new authorization bill but made clear that it should be a blank check for which the military can do whatever it wants. 
How an ISIS Beheading Might Change Japan
(Matt Schiavenza in The Atlantic) The prime minister has argued that the clause has become anachronistic in a world where China, a longtime adversary, has greatly improved its military capacity. Following the elections in December, Defense Minister Gen Nakatami explained the rationale. 
The New Commandan'ts Way Forward
(Bryan McGrath in War On The Rocks) No Service has a relationship with its chief like the Marines, and while the Service Chiefs do not exercise operational command of forces, no force is more impacted operationally by the priorities of its chief than the Marines. 
Guns, Lies, and Videotape: The War in Eastern Ukraine Is Back On in Full
(Foreign Policy) The last such meeting of ambassadors from NATO and Ukraine occurred in August, when fighting between Kiev and Russian-backed rebels spiked. By the second week of September, the conflict's cumulative casualties reached 3,517 deaths and 8,198 injuries. The violence in eastern Ukraine had died down after a Sept. 5 cease-fire agreement, but in recent days the war has returned in full force. 
Editorial: Cooperating To Cut Reaper Costs
(Defense News) This week in Paris, the NATO nations that operate General Atomics' Reaper remotely piloted aircraft will gather to share lessons to improve interoperability and reduce cost. 
How the Government Collapse in Yemen Could Interfere with One of Obama's Political Priorities
(National Journal) The administration said it temporarily won't send Guantanamo Bay detainees back to Yemen. And that might be the nail in the coffin for closing the prison in the next two years. 
Commentary: Ash Carter's Dilemma
(Harlan Ullman in Defense News) When Ash Carter takes the oath of office as the US secretary of defense, he will be caught on the horns of an excruciating dilemma.  
Is Sri Lanka Ready Yet For Postwar Reconciliation?
(Kate Cronin-Furman in Cicero Magazine) Sri Lanka's January 8 presidential election shocked the world. The removal of strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa from office and peaceful transfer of power have triggered an outpouring of optimism about Sri Lanka's democratic future. But on one key set of issues it's not clear that regime change heralds progress: post-war reconciliation and accountability for international crimes committed during Sri Lanka's long civil war. 
Commentary: Set Minimum Qualifications for Acquisition Leadership
(Terry Marlow in Defense News) After 45 years as a defense acquisition practitioner, policy developer and senior adviser to the US Air Force secretary, I have seen and been involved in numerous studies and other efforts to improve the defense acquisition process.  
Coleman: Cyber fears dampen World Economic Forum
(Kevin G. Coleman, SilverRhino) Business and industry leaders, government organizations, military and intelligence organizations and prominent individuals are all experiencing the uncomfortable feeling that comes with being hacked and the need to address cyber security. This topic made it to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with an early morning hotel meeting where business leaders are trying to address this threat proactively. 
Editorial: Air-Sea Battle, Jointness and Wargames
(Defense News) The United States has always employed novel operational concepts to overcome what appear to be insurmountable military problems. 
MCRMC 101, The Future of the All-Volunteer Force
(Jeremy Hilton in USMClife.com ) The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC) is set to release its findings Thursday, January 29, 2015. Our nation will have to grapple with the commission's conclusions and the implications to our All-Volunteer Force (AVF). 
Malaysia Airlines' Latest Woe: An Attack by the 'Cyber Caliphate'
(Justine Drennan in Foreign Policy) In a statement on Facebook, Malaysia Airlines said, "At this stage, Malaysia Airlines' web servers are intact." It assured customers that the "temporary glitch does not affect their bookings and that user data remains secured." 
US-Belgian initiative is blueprint for Muslim engagement
(Tara D. Sonenshine and Tom C. Korologos in The Hill) Belgium, a small country of 11 million that likes to refer to itself as the capital of Europe, stands at the intersection of a global struggle against extremism. As Belgian troops mobilize on public streets, and police raids continue against suspected terror sites, the world observes how this European nation deals with the problem of deepening radicalism facing many societies, including our own. 
Amid turmoil at home, Yemenis remain stranded at Guantanamo
(Al Jazeera America) Congressional anxiety over releasing the Yemenis appears to be political fueled by the growth of ISIL and recent attacks in Paris, but drawing such link "is not even apples and oranges, it's apples and crocodiles," said Ramzi Kassem, a law professor at the City University of New York who also represents Guantanamo prisoners. 
Inside the White House Fight Over the Slaughter in South Sudan
(Colum Lynch in Foreign Policy ) Many in the administration believe an arms embargo is essential to stopping South Sudan's bloodshed. Why had Susan Rice been blocking it? 
Five Rules for Defense Spending
(Douglas Macgregor in Breaking Defense) In 1796 Thomas Jefferson said there were two types of American political parties, "One which fears the people most, the other fears the government." In domestic politics the contemporary American political divide is equally wide and Americans should not expect their elected leaders to change course one iota. 
State of Disunion: America's Lack of Strategy is its Own Greatest Threat
(Cicero Magazine) Following last week's State of the Union address, the headlines were filled with discussions of a gridlocked and ineffectual Congress, a "lame duck" presidency, and what direction America should be headed. This includes talk of what threatens America's position in the world and what American national strategy should be. Before strategy comes vision and goals. Vision can be equated to an "endstate"-the final situation or circumstance one wishes to be in following a concerted pattern of actions devised to achieve that goal-the "strategy." It is the picture of where, what, or how one wants to be after achieving goals through executing the strategy. Strategy is simply the way and means selected in the attempt to achieve goals to reach that vision or endstate. 
Iraqi security: It's not quite as simple as Colonel Núñez seems to think it is
(Foreign Policy) Colonel Nu��n��ez is exactly right in his suggestion that we get beyond the blame game and on to actions that increase the probability of success in the coming Iraqi counter offensive to restore their national border and eliminate ISIS as a threat to their sovereignty. He is also right in saying that the collapse of the portion of the Iraqi Army that fell apart in early 2014 has more than a single cause. But his analysis of the problem and his recommendations that flow from that analysis are incomplete. 
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COMPILED BY THE EDITORS OF DEFENSE NEWS & MILITARY TIMES


January 26, 2015

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TODAY'S TOP 5

1. Chuck Hagel eyes the exits on his own terms
(Politico) Chuck Hagel is going out like he came in: on his own. When the White House invited him to the ceremony where President Barack Obama nominated his successor, he didn't go. As members of Congress schedule their hearings about the Pentagon's new budget, they're getting his successor, not him. 
2. 2 Marines identified in deadly California helo crash
(Associated Press) Two Marine Corps officers killed when their helicopter crashed during a training exercise in the Southern California desert were remembered Sunday as talented pilots. 
3. Army looking to store tanks, equipment in Eastern Europe
(Stars & Stripes) U.S. Army Europe will soon dispatch a survey team to eastern Europe to scout locations for tanks and other military hardware as part of a broader effort to bolster the U.S. military presence in a region rattled by Russia's intervention in Ukraine. 
4. Obama: Counterterrorism operations in Yemen not affected
(Associated Press) President Obama defended his counterterrorism strategy in tumultuous Yemen Sunday, as influential lawmakers from both parties suggested the U.S. may need to turn to special operations forces to root out terrorists from the Middle Eastern nation and elsewhere in the region. 
5. DoD Business Panel Proposes $125B in Savings
(Defense News) The Pentagon's Defense Business Board (DBB) issued a series of recommendations on Jan. 22 calling on the Defense Department to slash $125 billion in spending over the next five years by reducing services from contractors, implementing early retirements, reworking contracts and reducing administrative costs. 

DEFENSE NEWS WITH VAGO MURADIAN

Preserving Naval History
(Defense News) James Kuhn, deputy director of the Naval History and Heritage Command, discusses the importance of naval history. 
Implications of the Sony Hack
(Defense News) Jason Healey, Atlantic Council Cyber Statecraft Initiative, on the recent cyber attack on Sony. 
Warrior Diplomat: A Green Beret's Battles
(Defense News) Michael Waltz discusses his book "Warrior Diplomat." 
Vago's Notebook: Preserving Historic Ships
(Defense News) It's time for a long-term national plan to preserve historic Navy ships. 

CONGRESS

Lawmakers push to keep detainees in Gitmo after Yemen's collapse
(The Hill) The collapse of Yemen's Western-backed government has raised new concerns in Congress about President's Obama plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. 
White House, Congress Stall on ISIS Sanction
(Defense News) The debate around a formal authorization of America's fight against the Islamic State is starting to resemble a game of political chicken. And though the president called for just that during his State of the Union address, a key lawmaker called it the "strangest" part of the speech. 
Senators: More US special ops troops may be needed in Yemen
(Associated Press) Two influential senators are calling on President Barack Obama to send more U.S. ground troops to hotspots around the Middle East. 
Menendez could delay Iran sanctions measure until March
(The Hill) Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) is considering delaying the introduction of his Iran sanctions bill until March, which would give him more time to gather support from wavering Democrats, according to a recent interview. 
Cruz, Paul, Rubio spar on Cuba policy at desert forum
(Desert Sun) Three likely contenders for the Republican presidential nomination shared a stage in Rancho Mirage, Calif. on Sunday night, where they outlined similar visions for helping the middle class but differed sharply on foreign policy, including Cuba. 

INDUSTRY

SpaceX Enters Satellite Business
(Defense News) SpaceX, the upstart company led by Elon Musk, has already upended the space launch market. Now the company has its eyes turned toward the creation of a massive new satellite constellation, one that would have major repercussions for the commercial and military communications market. 
MIL takes Navy satellite contract
(C4ISR & Networks) MIL Corporation has been awarded a $57.3 million satellite communications contract. 
Northrop Focused on Future Production
(Defense News) As Northrop Grumman begins 2015, its aerospace division is preparing for a series of major airframe competitions while keeping one eye on requirements for a future fighter program. 
Taiwan commissions 20,000-tonne combat support ship
(IHS Jane's 360) The Republic of China Navy (RoCN) took delivery of a newly completed fast combat support ship. 
DCNS Loss To Trim Thales Profits €100M
(Defense News) Defense electronics company Thales said Friday it would take a €100 million (US $112 million) hit on 2014 operating profits due to an expected net loss of €300 million at naval shipbuilder DCNS. 
U.K. Contracts Boeing For Chinook Digital Flight Control Upgrade
(Aviation Week) The U.K. defense ministry has signed a £150 million ($224 million) deal to further upgrade the Royal Air Force's (RAF) fleet of Chinook helicopters, this time with a Digital Automatic Flight Control System (DAFCS). 
SpaceX, US Air Force Settle Lawsuit
(Defense News) SpaceX has reached an agreement with the US Air Force and will drop its lawsuit against the service, the company and Pentagon announced in a joint statement Friday evening. 
Communications Networks a Top Priority for U.S. Military in Asia-Pacific
(National Defense) Thousands of U.S. soldiers train alongside troops from Southeast Asian countries as part of a larger strategy to strengthen alliances in the region and secure U.S. access to key seaports, airfields and bases during a crisis. 
NATO Reaper Users Cooperate To Cut Costs
(Defense News) Air force officers from Britain, France, Italy and the US will meet in Paris this week in what could lead to joint MQ-9 Reaper training and other burden-sharing issues. 
F-35's Gen-3 Helmet Display In Final Test Stages
(Aviation Week) Eliminating the head-up display and relying instead on a helmet-mounted display (HMD) was only one of the bolder design decisions for the Lockheed Martin F-35.  
JF-17 Presses On After News of Egypt's Plans
(Defense News) News that Egypt may acquire the UAE's Mirage fighters is likely to scupper Pakistan's hopes of selling the JF-17, especially since Cairo is also reportedly negotiating for 20 Rafale fighters, and shown interest in the MiG-35. However, brisk development of the JF-17 continues alongside sales efforts. 
Czech Republic seeks MRAPs
(IHS Jane's 360) The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) has launched a requirement for up to 62 mine resistant, ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles for the Army of the Czech Republic (ACR). 
Canada Kicks Off Arctic Patrol Ship Program
(Defense News) Canada is finally moving ahead on building a fleet of Arctic patrol ships to provide a naval presence in the resource-rich north. 
Turkish Jammer Program Indicates 'Urgent' Need
(Defense News) Although a local Turkish company has engaged in talks with foreign aircraft manufacturers to build a stand-off jammer (SOJ) system, the procurement office has launched a parallel program to procure similar systems from a foreign supplier. 

VETERANS

VA health summit draws lawmakers' attention
(Military Times) When officials from Concerned Veterans for America hold their summit on veterans health care next month, lawmakers will be listening. 
Proposed center honors actions by nisei
(Honolulu Star-Advertiser) To preserve the firsthand accounts and memories of the villagers of Bruyeres liberated by Japanese-American soldiers more than 70 years ago, French tourism officials have taken the first step in what they hope will be a $12 million visitor center. 
New charity aids military families' homes
(San Diego Union-Tribune) On Monday afternoon, Barry and Cheryl Barton will come home to a house that's been completely transformed over the past month by a new San Marcos charity for needy military families. 
Corvias education grants available for military spouses
(Fayetteville Observer) The Corvias Foundation is offering education grants for military spouses looking to pay for additional schooling. 
Macy's to save forgotten WWII plaque for Hudson's vets
(Detroit Free Press ) It was September 1947 when the J. L. Hudson Co. erected a large silver-toned plaque to honor its employees - its "Hudsonians" - who served their country in the military during World War II. 
Army event honors fallen Hawaii soldier
(Honolulu Star-Advertiser) Ten years after a sniper's bullet killed his son in Iraq, Allen Hoe says the loss doesn't get easier. 
70 years after WWII: Elegy of Japanese internment in Siberian labor camps
(The Yomiuri Shimbun (Tokyo)) This year marks the passage of 70 years since about 600,000 Japanese were taken to Siberia by the Soviet Union after the end of World War II and detained in labor camps. 
Bill to prevent vets' suicides raises questions about funding
(McClatchy) Supporters of the legislation - among them Republican Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and Roy Blunt of Missouri - say extra funds aren't necessary to consolidate and improve the Department of Veterans Affairs' suicide prevention programs. 

DEFENSE DEPARTMENT

US Nukes Cost $348B Over Next Decade
(Defense News) The US government will spend an estimated $348 billion over the next decade to maintain, upgrade and operate its nuclear arsenal, according to a new estimate by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). 
Hagel worries about morale in today's force
(Military Times) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he is worried about low morale in today's military and believes it may take years to fully tackle the problems affecting the overall mindset and outlook of the force. 
US-Saudi Military Relations Expected To Persist Under King Salman
(DefenseOne) King Abdullah's death and in Saudi Arabia should not alter the strong defense ties between the United States and the kingdom, a key American ally in a volatile region. 
New US Concept Melds Air, Sea and Land
(Defense News) New US Concept Melds Air, Sea and Land 
Commissary hours would be cut under draft budget proposal
(Military Times) Many commissaries would have to cut their hours and days of operation - as much as two days a week, in some cases - under a draft Defense Department budget document that details proposed reductions in the commissary budget for fiscal 2016. 
Frustration ahead? Subcontractor parts ways with military car shipper
(Belleville News Democrat) For the second time in a month, a key subcontractor for the company that ships military members' cars overseas has parted ways with the firm because of a payment dispute. 
The US Military Is Building Gangs of Autonomous Flying War Bots
(DefenseOne) For the Pentagon, drones are cheaper to buy and to operate than regular fighter jets. An armed MQ-9 Reaper drone runs about $14 million, compared to $180 million or more for an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.  
Pentagon agency wants drones to hunt in packs, like wolves
(Washington Post) The U.S. military is preparing for a series of meetings that could shake up how the Pentagon flies its fleet of drone aircraft and move them toward hunting together in packs. 

ARMY

Report: Hood shooter showed no early warning signs
(Army Times) An Army investigation into the April shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, did not find anything in the assailant's background, medical or military profiles that might have provided an early warning for potential violence, according to findings released Friday, however the soldier was undergoing treatment for several medical conditions. 
Policy will force-out enlisteds slated to deploy
(Army Times) Involuntary separations of up to 12 months ahead of a soldier's ETS have been authorized for certain Regular Army enlisted soldiers who are assigned to units scheduled for deployment or deactivation, and who decline to re-enlist or extend as the Army draws down. 
Fort Stewart MP charged with murder
(Army Times) A Fort Stewart, Georgia, soldier turned himself into authorities to face murder charges Monday, making him the third person charged in the murder of a 21-year-old found on Dec. 23. 
More female drill sergeants help change cadence at Fort Leonard Wood
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch) The platoon of 70 greenhorn soldiers rested on the barracks tile floor during a recent evening of Army basic combat training, while their drill sergeant, Megan Slone, gave a final lesson for the day about how to sight a rifle. 
Hood shooter to police: "You better kill me now."
(Army Times) As the military police soldier approached him, Spc. Ivan Lopez-Lopez took a few steps forward. 
E-9s can compete for new fellowship, earn master's
(Army Times) The Army is launching a new fellowship program that allows qualified sergeants major to compete for scholarships to earn a master's degree through Pennsylvania State University. 
On-the-spot bonus cap doubles; payouts up to $500
(Army Times) Army Secretary John McHugh has approved a policy change that doubles the top-tier payout for "on-the-spot cash awards" to $500. 
I Corps commander on Pacific strategy: 'Army is not trying to be Marine Corps'
(Stars & Stripes) The Pacific rebalance requires all the military services and their capabilities, and the Army has increased its presence in the Pacific "exponentially" in the past year. 
New radios to boost data capacity for dismounted troops
(Army Times) The Army plans to give more dismounted leaders better mapping, GPS and communications tools at their disposal in battle. 
Rules updated for officer selection, assignments
(Army Times) The professional development guide for officers and warrant officers of the active and reserve components, DA Pamphlet 600-3, has been updated to reflect several recent changes to the Officer Personnel Management System, including the actions listed below. 
Fort Lee course teaches service members to handle explosives
(The (Petersburg, Va.) Progress-Index ) Ever wondered how explosive devices are handled and destroyed? The students in Fort Lee's Explosive Ordnance Disposal course, part of the post's Ordnance School, learn how to safely identify and dispose of explosive devices in a highly challenging course. 

NAVY

New 'air boss' takes over Navy aviation
(Navy Times) Newly minted Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker assumed command Thursday as the head of Naval Air Forces board the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis, whose strike group he once commanded. 
Navy wants to increase use of sonar-emitting buoys off Pacific Coast
(Associated Press) The Navy is seeking permits to expand sonar and other training exercises off the Pacific Coast, a proposal raising concerns from animal advocates who say that more sonar-emitting buoys would harm whales and other creatures that live in the water. 
EOD command master chief fired for fraternization
(Navy Times) The command master chief of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 12 was fired Jan. 23 for fraternization that occurred at a previous duty station. 
Navy struggles with 4G LTE at sea
(C4ISR & Networks) Almost a year after its first successful pilot of a ship-to-ship high-bandwidth, high-speed telecommunications network, the Navy continues to explore a range of challenges in taking 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) afloat. 
Navy reveals new recruiting ad
(Navy Times) The Navy debuted its latest recruiting commercial to TV and web audiences Friday night, but it's likely to take viewers a few moments to figure out what's going on in the arresting spot. 
Undersea Technologies Are Threat, Opportunity
(Defense News) A new generation of technologies is emerging with the potential to change the nature of undersea warfare, warns one naval analyst, and the US Navy needs to not just develop and employ the new tools, but also needs to change its operational concepts. 

AIR FORCE

62 airmen selected for supplemental promotion
(Air Force Times) The Air Force has selected 62 airmen for supplemental promotion, the Air Force Personnel Center said Jan. 21. 
Red Flag training exercise to begin at Nellis Monday
(Air Force Times) Aircraft from 21 Air Force and Marine Corps squadrons, as well as aircraft from the United Kingdom and Australia, will take part in three weeks of combat training exercises beginning Monday at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. 
Air Force cadets gobble up vegetables as academy moves to healthier meals
(Colorado Springs Gazette) The restaurant describes its main course portions in ounces. All 40,000 of them. That's a ton and a quarter of a light lunch, not counting the side dishes and salad. 
43rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron commander relieved of command
(Air Force Times) The commander of the 43rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron was relieved of duty Thursday based on investigators' findings regarding a July training accident that left one squadron member dead. 
Former staff sergeant gets Purple Heart after 45 years
(Air Force Times) Former Staff Sgt. John C. Campbell will finally receive his Purple Heart on Sunday, 45 years after he was wounded in Laos. 

MARINE CORPS

Marines to kick off month-long exercise with Japan
(Marine Corps Times) On Monday, Marines will begin a month-long exercise in Southern California with Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force. The event is designed to test Japan's command and control capabilities while improving one of the strongest military relationships in the Pacific. 
CMC's planning guidance emphasizes regional missions
(Marine Corps Times) Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford released his long-awaited planning guidance Friday, emphasizing development of the Marines' noncommissioned officer ranks, and new missions for each of the three Marine expeditionary forces that operate worldwide. 
Marine Prowler officers will soon operate drones
(Marine Corps Times) As the EA-6B Prowler flies into retirement and the Corps takes a new approach to electronic warfare, Marines who spent their careers in the radar-jamming aircraft will be transferred to other military occupation specialties. 
Sexual assaults dominate caseloads aboard Lejeune
(Jacksonville Daily News‎) On any given weekday morning, the size of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River combined could swell to about 100,000 people, making it roughly the size of a city, according to base officials. 
Next Marine rotation Down Under to include more helos
(Marine Corps Times) The next rotation of Marines to deploy to Australia's Northern Territory will include the largest aviation combat element to date, equipped with attack and utility helicopters. 
Corps buys hyper-realistic virtual marksmanship sims
(Marine Corps Times) The Corps' next-generation simulated marksmanship trainers are now on their way to the fleet, and they'll thrust Marines into realistic training scenarios that mimic the complexities of the battlefield. 

AFGHANISTAN/PAKISTAN

Afghan Air Force to receive additional MD warrior helicopters
(Khaama Press) The Afghan Air Force is expecting to receive additional MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters from United States by the end of this year. 
Pakistani airstrikes kill 35 militants in tribal region
(Associated Press) Pakistani warplanes pounded militant sanctuaries near the northwestern Afghan border Sunday, killing 35 militants, the army said; Elsewhere in Pakistan, thousands of protesters from a conservative religious movement rallied Sunday in the cities of Lahore and Karachi against the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.  

MIDDLE EAST

White House Gaffe Outs American Held by the Islamic State
(Foreign Policy) U.S. officials routinely ask media outlets to keep the identity of the 26-year old American woman held hostage by Islamic State a secret. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough mistakenly ignored the administration's own policy Sunday morning when he mentioned her first name on national television. 
AQAP releases infographics detailing attacks
(Long War Journal) A Twitter account affiliated with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has released two infographics detailing the terror group's activity for the first quarter of 1436, the current year according to the Islamic or Hijri calendar. Being that the current Islamic year began on October 25, 2014, these infographics purportedly represent terrorist attacks carried out by AQAP in the three months since. 
World leaders in Saudi Arabia to pay tribute to late king
(BBC) World leaders have gathered in Saudi Arabia to pay their respects following the death of King Abdullah on Friday. 
At Least 18 Die in Egyptian Violence
(New York Times) At least 18 people were killed in political violence on Sunday, the fourth anniversary of the Arab Spring uprising, a reminder of the ruthless crackdown the military-backed government has used to silence any echoes of that revolt. 
In the Mideast, Chaos and Questions
(Defense News) The leadership crisis in Yemen and the death of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has raised alarms all over Middle Eastern capitals concerning the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC's) security setting. 
Saudis Expand Regional Power as Others Falter
(New York Times) The rulers of Saudi Arabia trembled when the Arab Spring revolts broke out four years ago. But far from undermining the Saudi dynasty, the ensuing chaos across the region appears instead to have lifted the monarchy to unrivaled power and influence.  

RUSSIA-UKRAINE

Ukraine conflict: Poroshenko vows to 'calm' Mariupol fighting
(BBC) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has vowed to "calm" fighting with pro-Russia rebels in east Ukraine after 30 people were killed there on Saturday. "This attack, unfortunately, was made by terrorists supported by Russia" he said. 
Ukraine Holds Day Of Mourning After Mariupol Attack
(Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) Ukraine is holding a day of national mourning on January 25, following a series of rocket attacks in the southeastern city of Mariupol that killed 30 people and injured more than 90 others. 
Russian ruble tumbles after violent weekend in east Ukraine
(Associated Press) The Russian currency has fallen by more than 3 percent after escalated fighting in eastern Ukraine over the weekend. 
Duma Speaker Says Russian Court Must Decide Ukrainian Pilot's Guilt
(Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) Sergei Naryshkin, the speaker of the State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, told reporters in Strasbourg that the decision whether to free detained Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko would be made by a Russian court. 
The Chilly Fallout Between Putin and His Oligarch Pals
(Bloomberg) Vladimir Putin isn't just angering leaders from Berlin to Washington. He's irking some of his richest friends, too, by snubbing their pleas to end the conflict in Ukraine and ostracizing all but a handful of hardliners. 
UN Security Council faces Ukraine, Yemen emergency meetings
(Associated Press) Diplomats say the U.N. Security Council will hold emergency meetings Monday on the crises in Yemen and Ukraine. 
Obama 'deeply concerned' about latest violence in Ukraine
(Associated Press) President Obama says his administration is "deeply concerned" about the latest deadly flare-up in eastern Ukraine, but he says he won't change how he's handling the situation. 

EUROPE

Greece Chooses Anti-Austerity Party in Major Shift
(New York Times) Greece rejected the harsh economics of austerity on Sunday and sent a warning to the rest of Europe as the left-wing Syriza party won a decisive victory in national elections, positioning its tough-talking leader, Alexis Tsipras, to become the next prime minister. 
Helicopters Power French Security Operations
(Defense News) The key role of military helicopters in underpinning French national security was highlighted in the police assault on the two brothers who killed the journalists at the Charlie Hebdo weekly, with four helicopters assigned to the deadly task. 
Paris attacks: Amedy Coulibaly buried near Paris
(BBC) An Islamist militant shot dead by French special forces two weeks ago after he attacked a Jewish supermarket has been buried near Paris. 
France Scales Back Military Job Cuts by 7,500
(Defense News) France will scale back by 7,500 a planned cut of 34,000 military personnel as the government announced plans to recruit security and surveillance staff to counter terrorist attacks, the president and prime minister said. 
Suspected jihadists held in Spanish territory
(BBC) Four suspected members of an Islamist militant network have been arrested in the Spanish territory of Ceuta, which borders Morocco. 
Will Russia's Sub-Building Boom Matter?
(Defense News) The Russian Navy's submarine force is on a roll. 
New far-right anti-immigrant sentiment hits German streets
(Washington Post) Ahmed, a 36-year-old Moroccan, hoped to find a better life in Europe's economic powerhouse, Germany. But these days in Dresden, he said, he is afraid to walk the streets. 

ASIA-PACIFIC

Two Japanese Hostages, as Different as Can Be, Linked by Fate in Syria
(New York Times) The fates of the the two Japanese hostages held by Islamic State militants became even more tightly bound over the weekend, when an image was released showing one holding what appeared to be a photograph of the other's decapitated body, and the Islamic State announced on its Al Bayan radio station that it had killed one of the men. An Islamic State-affiliated radio station confirmed late Sunday that one of the hostages had been murdered. 
Obama makes history at India's Republic Day festivities
(USA Today) President Obama became the first American leader to be honored as chief guest at India's annual Republic Day festivities Monday, taking in a grand display of military parades and elaborately-dressed camels under an overcast sky. 
US sends its most senior visitor to Thailand since coup
(Associated Press) The Obama administration is sending its highest-level diplomatic visitor to Thailand since last year's military coup, although a return to democracy there remains a distant prospect. 
Chinese Spies Expand Operations in Taiwan
(Defense News) As relations continue to expand between China and Taiwan since the election of Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou in 2008, so does espionage. 
Retrieval of more than 30 slain Filipinos commandos underway
(Associated Press) Philippine police have recovered at least 21 bodies of the dozens commandos who were mowed down by Muslim rebel gunfire in a far-flung southern village where they moved in over the weekend to hunt down one of southeast Asia's most-wanted terrorists, officials said Monday. 
Obama and Modi announce nuclear 'breakthrough' during India visit
(Al Jazeera America) U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a deal on Sunday aimed at unlocking billions of dollars in nuclear trade, a step that both sides hope will help establish an enduring strategic partnership. 
Malaysia Airlines site hacked by 'Cyber Caliphate'
(USA Today) Malaysia Airlines officials were trying to restore the carrier's website Monday after it was hacked by a group calling itself "Lizard Squad" and "Cyber Caliphate." 

AFRICA

Boko Haram launches offensive on Nigeria's Maiduguri
(Al Jazeera America) As Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Nigeria for talks, Boko Haram also attacks northern town of Monguno. 
Reserve mobilization canceled for Ebola mission
(Military Times) Military officials said Friday that the mission to help contain the Ebola virus in West Africa will not require the mobilization of several hundred reservists who had been on tap to deploy. 
Libyan extremist group Ansar al-Shariah says leader has been killed
(Associated Press) Benghazi-based extremist Islamic militant group Ansar al-Shariah said Saturday its leader Mohammed al-Zahawi has been killed. 
First batch of Ebola vaccine set to arrive in Liberia
(Al Jazeera America) New drug aimed at preventing spread of virus shipped to West Africa amid hopes that disease could be waning. 
Boko Haram releases photos showing children in training
(Long War Journal) A media organization linked to Boko Haram, al Urwa al Wuthaqa, has released two images purporting to show children training somewhere in northeastern Nigeria. 

THE AMERICAS

High-value Guantanamo detainees call home for the first time in nearly a decade
(Washington Post) The prison's most dangerous are allowed to speak with their families in heavily monitored calls. 
Obama's renewed push to close Guantanamo prison is seen as promising
(Los Angeles Times) President Obama has recharged his campaign for closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center with a strategy legal experts say holds out new hope of achieving that signature objective of his presidency. 

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS

Sarah Palin probably doesn't want this photo to go viral
(DeadState) A reader of the news site Mediaite shared an interesting photo of Sarah Palin taken during her recent trip to Las Vegas. In the photo, Palin and Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer hold up a sign that reads, "Fuc_ You Michael Moore," with the two Os in Moore's name replaced with crosshairs. 
President Obama's 'successful' counterterrorism strategy in Yemen in limbo
(Thomas Joscelyn & Bill Roggio in Long War Journal) When announcing the US strategy to "degrade and ultimately destroy" the Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, President Barack Obama said he would model it after America's counterterrorism strategy in Somalia and Yemen, "one that we have successfully pursued...for years." 
Column: Flexing Their Muscles
(Defense News) President Barack Obama, with his forceful State of the Union address, won the week. At least according to Official Washington's pundit class. 
Pentagon tweaks the 15-ton Massive Ordnance Penetrator amid Iran talks
(James Drew in War is Boring) If diplomatic efforts to halt Iran's nuclear program fail, the country's underground nuclear facilities could expect a surprise package delivery from Uncle Sam and his stealthy B-2 bomber. 
DOD cutbacks in Europe boost case for domestic BRAC
(Steven Beardsley in Stars & Stripes) One motive behind the Pentagon's plan to close more European installations is to strengthen the case for similar closures in the U.S., which officials say could save billions of dollars over time. 
News Analysis: How Best To Help Ukraine Is The $50 Billion Question
(Robert Coalson in Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) The one thing it seems that everyone can agree on is that Ukraine is in a lot of trouble. Economic output is expected to decline by 10 percent in 2015, public debt will rise to 100 percent of GDP, and the currency has been devalued by over 60 percent. 
American Snipers are No Cowards
(Matt Victoriano in Cicero Magazine) As a U.S. Marine and former Scout/Sniper, I have trained, operated, and learned in turn from America's best warriors. These include Navy SEAL's, U.S. Marines Force Reconnaissance, U.S. Army Rangers, Delta, Green Berets, among others. The recent portrait of Chris Kyle in Clint Eastwood's American Sniper, along with the controversy surrounding it, has been fueled by comments on the morality or even intestinal fortitude of military professionals such as me. 
Stay Scary, America
(Whitney Kassel in Foreign Policy) When it comes to the U.S. response to extremists abroad, it is far better for America to be feared, and to be loved. 
This Is America's Best Shot To Fix the Relationship With Saudi Arabia and Fight Terrorism
(Sarah Chayes in DefenseOne) President Obama flies to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, cutting short a visit to key democratic ally India, which recently organized the largest free and fair election in human history.  
Watch A Ridiculous Action Figure Hilariously Explain Marine Corps Culture
(Task & Purpose) When someone asks you why you joined the military - do you ever just want to slap them in the face? If the answer is no, you're reading the wrong article. This article lives in a ridiculously motivated fantasy world where the right answer sounds like this. 
Haqqani Network and Jamaat-ud-Dawa: Banned or not?
(Bill Roggio in Long War Journal) It is very rare that I read an editorial on a subject that I am deeply vested in and agree with every point made. Dawn, the Pakistani newspaper, hit the nail square on the head with an editorial, titled "Banned or not?". 
What the Ayatollah's Letter to Western Millennials Was All About
(Esfandyar Batmanghelidj in Quartz) A few days ago, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, announced on Twitter that he had written-in English-a letter addressed "To the youth in Europe and North America." 
Greece's Hope and Change Moment
(Yiannis Baboulias in Foreign Policy) The charismatic, far-left Alexis Tsipras is poised to take back parliament and stick it to the Germans. And Greeks are loving it. 
Vets Who Want To Fight ISIS Can Learn Something From Old Fights In The African Bush
(Task & Purpose) Many foreign volunteers see combating ISIS as simply an extension of the missions they were tasked with in Iraq and Afghanistan. But this isn't the first time American veterans left their country to fight outside the purview of the military. Decades ago, after the end of the Vietnam War, a few American servicemen found themselves on the battlefields of a tiny former African nation: Rhodesia. 
The Dilemma of an African Soldier
(Jeffrey Meiser in War On The Rocks) Two days before the world entered 2015, a handful of former officers from the Gambian Armed Forces attacked the State House in Banjul, The Gambia. Published accounts call Lamin S. Sanneh, a former Gambian military officer, the ringleader of the aborted coup. Accounts vary, but 3-4 of the dissidents were killed, including Sanneh. He was my friend, and as I write these words, I still can't believe that he is dead. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Reports: ISIL video claims Japanese hostage beheaded
(USA Today) The Islamic State reportedly released a new video Saturday claiming one of the two Japanese captives had been beheaded and issuing new demands for the other hostage's release. 
Rockets kill 21 in Ukraine city as rebel offensive begins
(Associated Press) Indiscriminate rocket fire slammed into a market, schools and homes Saturday in the eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, killing at least 21 people, authorities said 
Jetliners examined over security concerns
(USA Today) The incidents came a day after bomb threats targeted two jets on Saturday bound for Atlanta, prompting F-16 fighter jets to escort the planes. 
Kerry meets with Iran's foreign minister on nuclear talks
(McClatchy) Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif late Friday on the sidelines of the annual World Economic Forum to try to advance efforts to secure a final nuclear deal ahead of a new July 1 deadline. 
Army: Fort Hood lacked system to ID threat of 2014 rampage
(Associated Press) The Army's tools for identifying troubled soldiers would not have flagged the man who shot to death three people and wounded 16 others before killing himself at Fort Hood last year, despite previous signs of instability, a U.S. Army report said Friday. 
The latest for the F-35: A Pro Bowl flyover
(Intercepts, Defense News) The game planned for the first-ever F-35 joint strike fighter flyover of a sporting event. 
Mosul airstrikes are start of new effort against Islamic State
(Associated Press) An uptick in airstrikes in northern Iraq this past week marks the beginning of a broader effort to disrupt Islamic State supply lines ahead of an expected operation later this year to take back the city from militants, U.S. military officials said Friday. 
Canadian pleads not guilty in terror case that killed 5 US soldiers
(Associated Press) A Canadian man pleaded not guilty Saturday to U.S. charges that he sent money and provided other long-distance support to Tunisian jihadists believed responsible for a 2009 suicide attack in Iraq that killed five American soldiers. 
Army boxers make U.S. semis, miss Olympic trial berth
(Army Times) Two of the four active-duty soldiers participating in the 2015 USA Boxing Elite National Championships came within a victory of an automatic spot in the Team USA Olympic trials, falling in semifinal action Friday night. 
Pentagon: Training for Iraqi, Syrian forces moving ahead
(Associated Press) The Pentagon says U.S. efforts to train Iraqi forces and moderate Syrian rebels to fight Islamic State militants are moving forward, but that insurgents still control about 21,000 square miles of Iraq. 
Navy working to free grounded container ship off Japan
(Navy Times) The maritime prepositioning ship Sgt. Matej Kocak, which ran aground six miles off the coast of Okinawa, was still stuck despite several high tides early Saturday morning, Japan time, leaving Navy officials puzzling over how to best free the 49,000 ton vessel. 
Colonel behind Marine Corps Marathon dies
(Marine Corps Times) James L. Fowler, who saw a marathon as a way to bridge the gap between civilians and the military following the divisive Vietnam War, died of heart failure on Tuesday. He was 84. 
Fort Sill dedicates new air defense training facility
(Associated Press) Officials at Fort Sill have dedicated the post's new Terminal High-Altitude Air Defense training facility. 
Anne Hathaway cast as drone pilot in play
(Flightlines) Actress Anne Hathaway, who won the 2012 Academy Award for her supporting role in "Les Miserables," is going to star in an off-Broadway one-woman play about an Air Force fighter pilot who is reassigned to fly a drone. 
Former JBER soldier sentenced to 62 years for killing wife
(Associated Press) A former Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson soldier was sentenced to 62 years in prison for the murder of his wife in their Anchorage home. 
Kosovo police fire teargas in anti-government protest
(Reuters) Kosovo police fired teargas on Saturday evening to disperse thousands of protesters throwing stones at a government building in a demonstration called by ethnic Albanian opposition parties. 
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