Information operations · Information Warfare · North Korea · Russia

Russia / Strategy Ad Hoc Media Update (57)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

</end editorial>



Major themes include the EU Army proposal, Russia’s descent into the abyss, the ongoing DPRK and China problems, Great War centenary, discord in Europe, capability topics, some most interesting IW/IO reports, and US domestic fallout from midterms.


NATO / EU / Russia Reports


China SLAPS DOWN Macron’s EU Army plot ‘We’ve NEVER been a threat to Europe’ | World | News | Express.co.uk
CHINA has denied being a threat to Europe in a furious response to French President Emmanuel Macron who has called for the European Union to create a “real” army to defend itself against the likes of China, Russia and the United States.
Spanish Defence Minister Backs Idea of Creating European Army – Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Madrid supports French President Emmanuel Macron’s push for creating a European army, Defense Minister Margarita Robles said on Thursday.
An EU army to replace Nato? It would give in before you could say ‘Macron’
TRUMP can be a bit coarse from time to time, but there’s something rather wonderful about Donald Trump’s ability to speak the truth about Macron’s desire for an EU army, with no frills attached. And he added that if it wasn’t for the Americans, the French would be speaking German by now. Quite right.
Macron’s ‘Euro-army’ is an idea whose time has come | TheHill
Alexander G. Markovsky says NATO has exhausted its usefulness and lost its purpose.
Merkel Echoes France’s Call For Europe To Create Its Own Army
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling for the eventual creation of a European army, echoing a suggestion by French President Emmanuel Macron that recently angered the U.S. president.
Macron, Merkel, and why international order remains the American preserve
President Emmanuel Macron of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany earned media adoration for the “internationalist” tone of their speeches this weekend commemorating the centenary of the armistice ending World War I. But their vision of global order is vapid, built on nothing but platitudes.
Merkel Joins Macron in Calling for a European Army ‘One Day’ – The New York Times
After another strained meeting with President Trump, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany calls for a European army to reduce dependence on the United States.
Merkel calls for creation of ‘European army,’ backing Macron in spat with Trump | Fox News
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday backed French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in his call for a grand, European army — a move that President Trump has called “insulting” as he urged the countries to fulfil their NATO commitments instead.
Merkel calls for creation of ‘real, true European army’ | TheHill
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday called for the creation of a “real, true European army” at a meeting of the European Parliament.
Merkel Calls for ‘a Real True European Army’ as Trump Slams Macron Over Plan for Continental Force
The German chancellor’s support of French President Emmanuel Macron’s calls for a unified European force came as U.S. President Donald Trump criticized the idea, mocking France’s loss to the Nazis in World War II.
Why “America First” Needs a European Union Military | The American Conservative
Neutral Austria Says No to Participation in EU Army as NATO Rift Deepens – Sputnik International
Although France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel are calling on their EU allies to unite and create a joint European army, Austria, which isn’t a member of NATO, has voiced that it would opt out.
‘Unconstitutional’: Neutral Austria wants no part of European army proposed by Macron, Merkel — RT World News
If Germany and France get their wish of developing a European army, Austria wants no part of it. The defense minister’s office said it would opt out, as it would conflict with Vienna’s constitution and neutrality.
Ukraine struggles for future of Europe – Mitchell – 16.11.2018 11:03 — Ukrinform News
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell said this in Washington on Thursday, according to an Ukrinform correspondent. “Ukraine is at the center of a geopolitical struggle for the future of Europe,” he said in his speech at the Forum in Commemoration of the 85th Anniversary of the Holodomor Genocide in Ukraine 1932-1933. Mitchell said that the United States stands “with Ukrainians in their struggle for a brighter future, free from vassalage, free from corruption, the government that is accountable to its people.” According to him, “the North Star of our Ukrainian policy will remain our support for the Ukrainian nation-state, its sovereignty, self-determination and territorial integrity within internationally recognized borders.” The Forum in Commemoration of the 85th Anniversary of the Holodomor Genocide in Ukraine 1932-1933 was held at the premises of the Heritage Foundation in Washington.
British troops lead ‘battle’ at massive NATO war games that’s seen 31 countries take part amid tension with Russia
A MASSIVE military training exercise began with British forces leading a simulated battle in Norway. The war games – named Trident Juncture – were designed to ready NATO forces as relations with Russia reached their worst level since the Cold War.
Norwegian frigate sinks after it was rammed by a tanker
Rear Adm. Nils Andreas Stensoenes, the head of Norway’s navy, said several of the wires used to stabilize the KNM Helge Instad snapped Tuesday, causing the vessel to sink further into the fjord.
Norwegian NATO frigate which smashed into a tanker before running aground SINKS | Daily Mail Online
Pictures released of the KNM Helge Instad on Tuesday, which had been part of a NATO fleet in the Atlantic, showed the frigate almost completely submerged in the water after sinking overnight.
Trump rips Macron after landing in France over ‘insulting’ call for European army | Fox News
As President Trump flies to Paris to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, he is facing the possibility of a tense encounter with embattled French President Emmanuel Macron — who has taken recent swipes at his brand of nationalism and just this week talked up a “European army” amid concerns about security ties with the U.S. 
Trump, arriving in Paris, lashes out at Macron over defense remarks – AOL News
Trump said it was “very insulting” for Macron to suggest Europe should create its own army to protect itself from potential adversaries.
Trump: I agree we need a strong Europe – YouTube
CNN Published on Nov 10, 2018 President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron hold a bilateral meeting in Paris shortly after the US President tweeted that Macron’s remarks on European defense were “very insulting.”
What’s in the backpack of a Norwegian sniper? – YouTube
NATO Premiered Nov 14, 2018 Among the thousands of NATO troops during exercise Trident Juncture in Norway, there was a platoon of Norwegian snipers. This piece profiles Senior Sergeant Stian from that platoon, as he reveals what kit he carries. In his bag is everything needed for a sniper to survive out in the cold for at least seven days. During Trident Juncture 18, around 50,000 personnel from 31 NATO Allies and partner countries tested their ability to operate together in NATO’s biggest exercise in recent years. Held in Norway, the exercise ran from 25 October until 7 November.
Trump Gets NATO Backwards – Defense One
The U.S. defends Europe out of self-interest.

Russia / Russophone Reports


The Week In Russia: War, Peace, And A Presidential Back-Pat In Paris
Perhaps no “bromance,” but Vladimir Putin shared a bit of a “broment” with President Donald Trump in Paris — and lost an important round in his struggle against opposition leader Aleksei Navalny.
The Week In Russia: The ‘Daring’ GRU, Cesspit Deaths, And Elections Across The Ocean
Vladimir Putin doubles down over the missions and missteps of the GRU, hailing its officers as examples to emulate, while accidents on land and at sea point up deep-seated problems in Russia and Kr…
Member of Hungarian party Jobbik was observer at Donbas elections – 112.international
A member of the Hungarian political party Jobbik and a representative of Bekes regional council in the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe Tamás Samu Gergő visited the Donbas occupied territories of Ukraine to observe the “elections” held by militants. Ambassador of Ukraine to Hungary Liubov Nepop reported this on Facebook. The diplomat noted that she had addressed the party leader of the politician, regional authorities and the Hungarian Foreign Ministry over the visit of Tamás Samu to the occupied Donbas. “We highly value Hungary’s support in the restoration of territorial integrity and peace in Ukraine. However, such actions of some “politicians” have to be condemned, adequately reacted to and prevented. Such behaviour is a pursuit of popularity, despite almost daily losses from the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukrainian citizens, including those of Hungarian nationality. It not only violates Ukrainian laws and international legal norms but is simply deeply immoral,” Nepop said. As is known, the so-called elections took place in the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions on Sunday, November 11. The voters elected the leaders of ‘people’s republics’ and their representatives in the parliaments of the ‘republics’. During the day, the Russian mass media reported that the elections take place “calmly” and “without violations”. According to the so-called “Central Election Commissions” of the militants, the voter turnout as at 18:00 made 72,5% in the LPR and 76,2% in the DPR.
Sole Communist Candidate Wins ‘Runoff’ In Russian Regional Election
Valentin Konovalov, a Communist who ended up being the sole candidate in the runoff for governor in Russia’s Khakasia region, has won.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin Russifying Russia Step by Step, Telegram Channel Says
Paul Goble Staunton, November 9 – Many Russian nationalists have long been upset that the Kremlin isn’t doing more to make Russia Russian even to the point of accusing its denizens of being Russophobic, the Terem Teremok Channel says. But they wouldn’t if they considered what Moscow in fact has been doing. “Without hurrying or rocking the boat and only as circumstances allow,” the channel says, “the Russian government is step by step doing away with various dangerous manifestations of multi-nationality,” including a decade ago eliminating the regional component in the schools and earlier this year the obligatory study of national languages.” “Now,” it continues, the center is taking up migration policy “and it is already obvious that in this direction too things will be Russified completely. And ahead looms the doing away with the national autonomies This pattern reflects the composition of the people in the Kremlin (t.me/terem_teremok/2866). There, the Terem Teremok channel continues, “sit chekist-nationalist-anti-Soviets who well understand why the Union disintegration and who cover the mausoleum during the Victory Parade.” To the extent that this interpretation is correct or is accepted as such, that means that Russians and non-Russians will divide on how they evaluate any development however small. Today, for example, it was reported that the share of parents in Tatarstan declaring Tatar as the native language of their children fell over the last year from 69 percent to 68 percent (idelreal.org/a/29590325.html). Ethnic Russians are thus likely to view this as a move in the right direction, however small, while non-Russians will see it as an indication that the Kremlin really does want to russify them but that the threat is not immediate and therefore there is no need to protest, exactly the conclusions the Telegram Channel suggests the Kremlin wants to the two groups to draw.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Soviet-Style Nomenklatura System has Been ‘Reborn’ in Putin’s Russia, Rostovsky Says
Paul Goble Staunton, November 9 – In 1984, Soviet émigré Michael Voslensky published his now classic study of the Soviet ruling class under the title, Nomenklatura, a term which refers to the system by which those higher up the chain of command in the Soviet system selected, protected and/or disciplined those below them. Most people had assumed that with the passing of the Soviet Union, so too the nomenklatura had been consigned to the dust heap of history. But Moskovsky komsomolets commentator Mikhail Rostovsky says that in fact the old-style nomenklatura has been “reborn” (mk.ru/politics/2018/11/08/nomenklatura-atakuet-kuda-ukhodyat-otvergnutye-gubernatory.html). The commentator says that he well remembers “the flaming slogans of perestroika” calling for “the end of the nomenklatura,” and that most Russians he knows assumed that system is no more. But the ways in which politicians who have lost elections quickly find high level posts elsewhere shows that “the nomenklatura is immortal.” In Soviet times, the selection of cadres for the regions was made in Moscow and then imposed on the regions to “the stormy prolonged applause” of people there. “What kind of system of appointing leading regional cadres exists now in Russia?” Rostovsky asks rhetorically. And he answers that it is “mixed” or to be fashionable a “hybrid” one. But “with each month in our hybrid system, ever more clearly expressed is the stress on the practice of the Soviet nomenklatura.” Personal initiative from below has been reduced to a minimum, he says. Officials are supposed to “sit and wait the important telephone call from the bosses.” They will decide where you will serve. Another sign of the rebirth of this system, however, is contained in the formula “’we do not throw over our own.’” That is, once someone becomes a member of the nomenklatura elite, those above him may remove him from this or that office, but they will find another and not too horrible place for him to continue to enjoy a certain status and income. “Is this a bad thing?” Rostovsky asks. “For members of the nomenklatura, it is even a very good one. It is nice to recognize that you will be taken care of and not left alone to face your own problems.” But is this bad for the country? The answer in that case is “more complicated and more debatable.” There are clearly both positive and negative aspects to it. Because Khrushchev was allowed an honorable retirement as he had not shot his opponents, things got better for ordinary Soviet citizens. “But as the example of Brezhnev who replaced Khrushchev showed, the elimination of competition from the political sphere can be mortally dangerous for the country.” According to Rostovsky, “politics always presupposes a large element of struggle, competition and discomfort.” When these are removed, it can have a negative impact on the abilities of those who are able to relax a bit. “And in part this is already happening in Russia today.” As political scientist Abbas Gallyamov has pointed out, the Moskovsky komsomolets observer says, it means that those the Kremlin has been naming to regional posts aren’t so much technocrats as many assume but simply people who do not have any political experience – and that lack almost always shows itself quickly. These people, Gallyamov says, are like those who have been thrown into a pool but don’t know how to swim. And that means that there is a real risk that they will drown and take others with them all so that the regime will not suffer any immediate discomfort of politics. But in the longer term, Russia is likely to suffer from them even more.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: On Arctic and Pacific Shelf, Russia Caught Between Western Sanctions and Chinese Aspirations
Paul Goble Staunton, November 9 – Western sanctions have already forced Russia to stop work on the development of existing oil and gas fields on the Arctic and Pacific shelf and to give up on plans to start others, and they have even led Moscow to think about inviting China to come into this area, something that would give Beijing another lever on Russia now and in the future. At the government hour yesterday in the Federation Council, Natural Resources Minister Dmitry Kobylkin said that his ministry “was losing hope for the rapid mastery of the Russian shelf under conditions of sanctions” even though developing it remains the priority Vladimir Putin has declared (interfax.ru/russia/636808). As long as sanctions are in place, the minister said, there is no possibility that Russia will be able to reverse this situation on its own. It lacks the technology and the investment funds to go after often difficult to access oil and gas on the shelf floor – and this at a time when exporting petroleum is key to the development of the country’s economy. In order to escape these restrictions, some Moscow officials are considering inviting China to take over many of the fields so that production can come on line, continue or expand. But many fear what this will mean, given China’s aspirations in Siberia and the Far East (censoru.net/30760-v-otchajanii-rossija-hochet-zapustit-kitaj-na-svoj-arkticheskij-shelf.html). But it is a measure of just how desperate Russia now is to develop these fields, that it appears ready to move ahead with a dramatically expanded Chinese role in an area the Kremlin has repeatedly said is Russia’s patrimony. Now the big question is whether the Chinese will agree – and on what conditions. “There are no guarantees,” Censor.net reports, “that China will cross the US on sanctions question.” It may simply say no to Moscow, something that would be embarrassing as a confession of Russia’s weakness as a result of sanctions and its increasing dependence on China for help. And “if China does agree to such cooperation,” the portal says, it is quite likely that Beijing will insist on conditions extremely favorable to itself and thus extremely unfavorable to Russia. But that may not be the worst thing about all this, the analysts at this portal suggest. Chinese ambitions with regard to Russian territory east of the Urals are well-known. This will give Beijing even greater leverage not just on the Russian shelf but on Russian lands.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russian Educational System Threatened by Privatization, Underfunding
Paul Goble Staunton, November 15 – The explosive growth of private for-profit higher educational institutions and mounting anger in the regions about the costs of public schools at the primary and secondary level are threatening the quality of the Russian educational system, a system on which the future of that country heavily depends. If the first of these problems has gained national attention, the second has so far has not but it may prove just as fateful by depriving schools of the resources they need to prepare pupils not only for higher education in the best institutions of that country but also for leadership in the economy after graduation. As the Project research center has pointed out, “Russian officials frequently have complained that we have too many higher educational institutions,” the result of the rise of for- profit schools in the past. As a result, the government is increasingly monitoring them and shutting some (echo.msk.ru/blog/proekt_media/2315583-echo/). The situation is not pretty. Twice as great a share of students in private higher educational institutions than in state ones are not in residence, 78 percent to 36 percent. Only three of the private schools rank high among the best universities of the country or the world. And many are far more concerned about making money than providing an education. Some have been deprived accreditation and shut down, but many, especially those with owners who are connected to the Kremlin elite, have not. Students are being given credentials but they are not receiving the kind of education in many cases that such credentials are supposed to represent. An even more serious problem, albeit one that has not received much attention, is that many local governments, hard pressed by Moscow’s extraction of resources and increasingly tight budgets given the economic situation of their regions, are beginning to go after funds for public education, the largest component in many local budgets. Aleksandr Kolesnikov, head of the Yekaterinburg Duma’s commission on the economy and land use, for example, has called for cutting spending on education. He says that the funds which he describes as horrifically high would be better spent on other needs or perhaps retained by the population (general-ivanov1.livejournal.com/165364.html). “With us,” he says, “55 percent of the budget goes for education.” That is too much and it isn’t contributing to the development of the region or the country. In many ways, these twin Russian problems mirror trends in the United States. On the one hand, the increasing power of market fundamentalists in government means that there is ever less money coming from the state to finance public higher education and ever more support for privatization of educational institutions at all levels. And on the other, because US schools are in most cases supported by property taxes which are the only taxes most Americans get to vote on directly, support for public education at the primary and secondary levels has always been a tough sell, one harder now because political leaders seem less interested in the development of young people than in making money now. Russia and the US are thus in their different ways becoming outliers from other advanced countries where education is a far higher priority and where public schools and public universities are financed out of general tax revenues rather than on local ones people feel the biggest pinch as in Russia or can vote down as in the US.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: More than Half of All Russians Don’t Believe Poll Results, New Poll Finds
Paul Goble Staunton, November 14 – In a delicious example of what philosophers refer to as the logical paradox manifested by Epimenides the Cretan who famously declared that “all Cretans are liars;” but since he too is one, that means that he is a liar as well, over half of all Russians now tell pollsters that they don’t trust poll results. According to a VTsIOM poll just reported, 53 percent of Russians say that poll results are “fabricated” and that they are published in the media in order to manipulate society. Thirty-seven percent say the results do not reflect the opinions of those surveyed, up from 22 percent who said that in 2016 (rbc.ru/rbcfreenews/5bebefb29a7947ceb2084bf4). Analysts suggested that, polls were still needed even though ever fewer Russians believe in the results, almost certainly yet another indication of the declining faith ever more Russians have in any kind of official statements whatsoever (thinktanks.by/publication/2018/11/15/vtsiom-u-rossiyan-rastet-nedoverie-k-sotsiologam.html and ruskline.ru/news_rl/2018/11/14/valerij_fyodorov_oprosy_nuzhny_no_ih_rezultatam_my_verim_slabo/). But such skepticism should also serve as a guide for outside observers who are remarkably quick to fasten on to any poll result they think significant, even if the people standing behind the reported numbers don’t believe them.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Chukotka and Kamchatka More Isolated from Moscow than Crimea or Kaliningrad, Khramchikhin Says
Paul Goble Staunton, November 14 – From the perspective of military defense, Russia has problems with two enclaves in the West, Crimea and Kaliningrad, Aleksandr Khramchikhin says; but it greatest problems are in two large eastern territories, Chukotka and Kamchatka, which are part of the Russian mainland but not connected to the rest by reliable highway and rail links. Moreover, the Moscow military analyst says, they aren’t likely to be so connected at any point in the foreseeable future. One can reach these two places only by air or by sea, and adjoining them are the real islands, Sakhalin and the Kuriles (ng.ru/armies/2018-11-12/8_7436_frontier.html). In peacetime, such transportation links may be expensive and restrict the flow of goods and people; but in wartime, Khramchikhin continues, “the supply of these islands will be possible only by sea and air,” something that the center cannot guarantee, especially because rail roads and highways are so sparse in the Russian Far East as a whole. The entire region “’hangs’ on the single Trans-Siberian line, which after Chita passes critically close to the border and after Khabarovsk close to the sea.” And the Russian military presence and the supplies needed to maintain it for a significant period in the event of a conflict are clearly insufficient. Khramchikhin provides a detailed order of battle for the entire region and concludes that the Russian forces are not large enough, well-armed enough, or provided with supplies to fight “under conditions of prolonged isolation from supplies from the mainland.” He says that the defense ministry has recently begun efforts to rectify the situation but so far little has changed.
Putin: For Donbas conflict to be settled, Ukraine must change its leadership | UNIAN
Russian President Vladimir Putin says that in order to resolve the conflict in Donbas, Ukraine must change its leadership. It is also pretty much meaningless to hold talks in the Normandy format until Ukraine elections are held, the Russian leader believes.
Underground Uprising: Petersburg Activists Take Guerrilla Message To Russian Masses
Young Russians are looking for new ways to get their opposition political message out to wider audiences.
“Putin is a Thief:” Students in Russia launch anti-Kremlin challenge (Photos) | UNIAN
Students of colleges and universities in Russia have launched an anti-Kremlin “Putin is a Thief” challenge in support of a tenth-grader from Krasnoyarsk Krai after his history teacher threatened to call police for his writing “Putin is a Thief” on the blackboard. New participants continue joining in the challenge. Students of colleges and universities in Russia have launched an anti-Kremlin “Putin is a Thief” challenge in support of a tenth-grader from Krasnoyarsk Krai after his history teacher threatened to call police for his writing “Putin is a Thief” on the blackboard. The challenge started in the StalinGulag group of Vkontakte, a Russian Facebook-like social media, where a picture made at school No. 4 in Gusinoozersk in Buryatia, a mountainous Russian republic in eastern Siberia, appeared, Russia’s Snob online magazine reported.
Russian Student Swallows Poison After Bringing Ax, Gasoline, Knives To School
A Russian teenager who brought an ax, several knives, and a canister of gasoline to his school has been hospitalized after swallowing rat poison, media reports and officials in the Volgograd region say.
Obedience School: Russian Teacher Reminds Naughty Students Of Stalin’s Approach To Dissent
An elderly history teacher gives Putin-bashing students a lesson on Stalin-era executions.
European Court Rules Navalny’s Arrests ‘Unlawful,’ ‘Politically Motivated’
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that Russia violated opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s rights over numerous arrests and jailings, calling them “unlawful and arbitrary…
Five reasons why Russians just donated 25.4 million rubles to save an independent news magazine — Meduza
On October 26, Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court imposed a fine of 22.3 million rubles ($329,150) on The New Times for late paperwork (plus an additional 30,000 rubles, or $490, on chief editor Yevgenia Albats), after the magazine didn’t report its foreign funding to Russia’s media regulator on time. Editors at The New Times say the fine — the biggest in the history of Russian media regulation — is politically motivated, and lawyers for the outlet will challenge the ruling in appellate court on November 20. The magazine also announced a crowdfunding initiative to raise the money needed to pay the fine. Four days later, at 8:31 a.m. EST, Albats announced that supporters had donated 25,443,090 rubles ($376,293). Meduza recalls the stories over the years that made The New Times one of Russia’s top independent news outlets.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on Twitter: “Russians are protesting much more these days – and the pension reform is largely to blame.… “
European Court of Human Rights acknowledges that Russia persecuted Alexey Navalny for political reasons. Rulings like this one are very rare. — Meduza
Alexey Navalny has won another European Court of Human Rights case against the Russian government. This time, the court’s 17-judge Grand Chamber not only upheld an ECHR ruling from February 2017, but it also acknowledged the political motives behind Navalny’s persecution. The court determined that Russia violated Article 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects individuals’ “rights and freedoms.” The ECHR only rarely invokes Article 18.
European Court: Russia Arrested Navalny For Political Reasons
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled that Russian authorities’ repeated arrests of opposition leader and anticorruption activist Aleksei Navalny have been politically motivated. According to the decision announced on November 15, Russia violated the European Convention on Human Rights of which it is a signatory — mainly its Article 18 stating that a citizen’s rights should never be restricted for other than legal purposes.
On Second Try, Navalny Leaves Russia For European Court Ruling
Opposition politician Aleksei Navalny has managed to leave Russia to attend a ruling in his case at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), a day after he was barred from boarding a flight out.
Navalny Barred From Leaving Russia Ahead Of ECHR Ruling
Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny says authorities have barred him from leaving the country to attend a ruling in Strasbourg by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Russian Activist Sentenced To Five Days In Jail For Publicly Challenging Conditions In Prisons
Olga Shalina, an activist of an ultraleftist unregistered political party who publicly challenged conditions in Russian prisons, has been sentenced to five days in jail.
Amnesty International Declares Three Russian Activists ‘Prisoners Of Conscience’
Amnesty International has recognized three Russian activists arrested over protests in the city of Rostov-on-Don in 2017 as prisoners of conscience.
Ukrainian Man Charged With Abetting Terrorism Refuses To Testify At Russia Trial
A 20-year-old Ukrainian man charged with abetting terrorism has refused to testify at his trial in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.
EU To Sanction Five People Over Ukraine Separatist Vote
The European Union is set to add five individuals involved in the organization of the weekend elections in the areas controlled by Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine to its sanctions list…
In Russia, Feminist Memes Buy Jail Time, but Domestic Abuse Doesn’t – Foreign Policy
A year after the country decriminalized domestic violence, women feel the consequences.
Russian Duma Approves Bill Softening Punishment For First-Time Hate-Crime Offenders
Russia’s lower house of parliament has approved the first reading of a bill softening the punishment in some cases for inciting hatred, amid concerns over prison terms handed down to people for “liking” or reposting memes on the Internet.
Veterans To Ask Hague Court To Probe Russia’s Use Of Mercenaries
Reuters is reporting that Russian military veterans will ask the International Criminal Court to investigate Russia’s alleged secret deployment of civilian contractors to fight in Syria, Ukraine, a…
Russia-Installed Head Of Crimea’s Capital Removed
The Russia-installed mayor of the capital of the annexed Ukrainian region of Crimea has resigned at the request of the head of the region’s Russian administration.
Russian Researcher Held On Treason Charges Rejects Deal With Investigators
A 75-year-old researcher at a Russian rocket and spacecraft design facility who is charged with treason has rejected a deal with investigators and will remain in custody, his lawyer says. A 75-year-old researcher at a Russian rocket and spacecraft design facility who is charged with treason has rejected a deal with investigators and will remain in custody, his lawyer says. Ivan Pavlov wrote on Facebook on November 14 that his client, Viktor Kudryavtsev, refused to plead guilty and testify against an unidentified colleague in exchange for being released from pretrial detention. According to Pavlov, despite his age, ill health, and desire to be with his loved ones, Kudryavtsev had chosen to stay in Moscow’s Lefortovo jail with “a clear conscience.” Kudryavtsev, who worked with the Central Research Institute for Machine Building, was arrested in July on suspicion of passing classified data on hypersonic technology to a research group in Belgium. The case is one of several in recent years in which Russian citizens have been accused of treason or disseminating classified or sensitive information.
Russia Threatens To Boycott Davos Meeting If Tycoons Kept Away
Russia says it will consider boycotting the upcoming World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, if Russian tycoons are kept out of the prestigious gathering.
BUS-ted — Protesting Pedestrians In Russian Low-Speed Chase
Four men dressed up in a yellow cardboard bus costume to protest a pedestrian ban on a bridge in the Russian city of Vladivostok. Amateur video showed the men being pursued by police on foot on November 10 as they attempted to cross the Golden Bridge. The span opened in 2012 but only permits vehicles to cross despite protests by local pedestrians.
In Russian Village Swallowed by Sand, Life’s a Beach. Just Not in a Good Way. – The New York Times
Shoyna, a fishing village in the frigid far north, is slowly vanishing under dunes that engulf entire houses. For children, home is now a giant sandbox. Adults have to “say goodbye to my high heels.”
WADA To Keep Probing Charges It Bullied Opponents Of Russian Reinstatement
The World Anti-Doping Agency says it will continue its investigation into accusations that agency officials bullied prominent athletes who opposed its recent reinstatement of Russia.
Russia Needs More Prisons For Convicted Police Officers, Official Says
A top official of Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) says the country needs more prisons to hold police officers and other law enforcement agents who have been convicted of crimes.
Organizers, Participants In Deadly 2016 Moscow Cemetery Brawl Get Lengthy Prison Terms
A court in Moscow has sentenced several men to lengthy prison terms in a deadly 2016 cemetery brawl case.
Swiss court bans any payments by operators of Nord Stream to Gazprom | UNIAN
A Swiss court has banned any payments by Nord Stream AG the owner of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, and Nord Stream 2 AG, the operator of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction, to Russia’s gas monopoly Gazprom at a lawsuit filed by NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine. The decision was taken as a temporary interim measure on Naftogaz’s claim.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kazakhs and Russians Don’t Believe Fake News — But Want Ever More of It, Scholars Say
Paul Goble Staunton, November 13 – In Kazakhstan’s Central Asian Monitor, Saule Isibayeva says that Kazakhs and Russians don’t really believe the fake news that Moscow puts out but want ever more of it, a reflection of the unusual common cultural-political matrix that the two nations share. She begins her analysis by citing the observation of Moscow sociologist Aleksey Levinson who observes that the Russian case with regard to the use of “the Big Lie” is very different than that of the Germans under the Nazis (camonitor.kz/31924-kak-rossiyskie-feyki-vliyayut-na-kazahstanskoe-obschestvo.html). Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels favored using the big lie as an instrument to influence the masses, Levinson says. “But he had in mind that people would believe in it. Repeat something 100 time and they’ll believe you.” But the situation in Russia and Kazakhstan as well is very different. “In our case,” Levinson continues, “the mechanism is different: repeat something 100 times but don’t expect that people will believe you. Instead, the people will demand that you ‘repeat it 101 times.’ That is the form of socialization” people in both nations have experienced. Her if you want is the social contract, but only in the most bestial of forms.” Kazakhstan political analyst Talgat Mamyrayymov says that the situation is very similar in Kazakhstan to what it is in Russia in this regard. Kazakhs like Russians have never had the independent standing to allow them to pass the kind of judgments one might expect and thus accept propaganda claims as givens they can’t challenge even when they do not believe them. What is striking, the political analyst continues, is that Kazakhs react to Kazakhstan media the same way they do to Russian media largely uncritically but without much belief. The problem is that Russian media is better produced, more timely, and thus more effective than its Kazakhstan counterpart. Diana Okremova, head of the Kazakhstan’s Media Center says that most Kazakhs choose the Russian First Channel by habit rather than by design. She adds that in her view, few Kazakhs recognize fake news and thus are not in a position to evaluate it. They really do accept it, something that is likely less true of Russians, and that can represent a serious threat to the state. Few Kazakhs know foreign languages other than Russian and so can’t compare what they are told, other media specialists say. And most mouth what they hear because they have neither comparisons nor reasons not to do so. For them, it is just a given neither true nor false. “Who is to blame for this, the media or the authorities, is a separate question,” Isibayeva concludes.
Massive Fire In Russian Supermarket; No Deaths Reported
A massive fire engulfed a supermarket of Russia’s Lenta food retailer in central St. Petersburg on November 10. The roof collapsed, but there were no casualties, Russian news agencies reported. Rescue services evacuated people from a shopping mall that housed the supermarket after the fire was reported. The blaze was brought under control a few hours later.
Russian Anti-Doping Chief Says May Miss Deadline, Risking Suspension Again
The Russian government risks missing a deadline next month to allow access to the Moscow laboratory at the center of the country’s doping scandals, the head of the country’s anti-doping agency has …
Russian Bill Advances To Allow Seizure Of Property For Government Projects
The lower house of the Russian parliament has approved a bill that would allow authorities to seize private lands to construct new infrastructure and buildings without prior negotiations with residents.
Christmas Lights And Pitchforks: Terrified Russian Villagers Try To Keep Encroaching Wolves At Bay
Wolves have been a growing problem in remote parts of Russia’s Pskov Oblast. Already this year, dozens of dogs have been killed, and villagers are afraid to leave their homes after dark.
Four Russian Prison Guards Jailed For Killing Inmate
Four guards at a penitentiary in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk have been handed prison terms for beating an inmate to death.
Russian Man Gets 14 Years In Prison For Cutting Off Wife’s Hands
A Russian man was sentenced to 14 years in prison after cutting off his wife’s hands with an ax.
Russia’s Crimea Bridge Rom-Com Panned By Critics
A Russian rom-com set during the construction of a bridge linking Crimea to Russia has been panned by critics and a box-office disappointment.
Sleepless In Siberia: Air France Passengers Endure Three Unexpected Days In Irkutsk
An Air France flight from Paris to Shanghai made a precautionary landing in Russia’s Irkutsk after smoke was detected onboard. And then things got worse.
Dozens of construction workers at a Russian military installation outside Kamchatka have been threatened and marooned without pay — Meduza
Dozens of construction workers came to the closed town of Vilyuchinsk to build military facilities. Now they aren’t being paid, and they’re not allowed to leave. In September 2018, an electrician living in Kazan named Ruslan Shamsutdinov came across an online job posting from a company called “Buildings and Structures Construction Management” (SUZS) looking for electricians to work on a project in the town of Vilyuchinsk in Kamchatka, offering 80,000 rubles ($1,180) a month. Shamsutdinov applied for the job and got it. He arrived in Kamchatka on October 12. Situated on the Krasheninnikov Cove, Vilyuchinsk is restricted-access territory and homebase to several nuclear submarines and attached military units. You’re supposed to enter the town through staffed checkpoints, but Shamsutdinov says he was brought in on a boat, without the proper documents. He soon got to work, and on October 25 he was supposed to receive his first paycheck, but nobody paid him. So Shamsutdinov spoke to some of his colleagues and learned from another construction worker that no one on staff has been paid as promised in months, despite their work building two military facilities designated by the numbers “720” and “3002” (workers declined to give Meduza any further details about the construction). These people can’t leave Vilyuchinsk, either, because they were brought in illegally, and could be arrested at any checkpoint.
Twice Shy: Instagram Deletes Suspected Kadyrov Account As Chechen-Created Clone App Sputters
Instagram has deleted an account widely believed to have been run by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who has been sanctioned for suspected human rights abuses. The move comes a year after Kadyrov be…
Ryan Gosling’s fans in Siberia take him on a birthday tour of their city. (They dressed his plastic cut-out in a fur coat and scarf.) — Meduza
Ryan Gosling turned 38 on November 12. The Tyumen-based news outlet Moi Portal says it wanted to gift the actor something memorable for his birthday. “We decided that the best gift Ryan Gosling could get on his birthday is a stroll through the best city on Earth,” Moi Portal editors told Meduza, referring to Tyumen.
Meduza Editor In Chief Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Accusations
Latvia-based Russian news website Meduza says its editor in chief, Ivan Kolpakov, has resigned amid accusations of sexual harassment.
Pavel Bazhov International? Russians Vote To Name Airports After Historical Figures
The Russian Public Chamber and other state-connected bodies are holding an online vote to rename nearly 50 regional airports after prominent figures in Russian history.

Central Asia / Caucasus Reports


‘How Can We Stay Silent?’ Kazakh Mother Mourns Daughter Killed After Joining Islamic State
A mother in Kazakhstan tells how she lost her teenage daughter to Islamic State militants in Syria.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Kremlin Would Be ‘Insane’ to Allow a War Between Chechnya and Ingushetia, Mutsolgov Says
Paul Goble Staunton, November 14 – On the day that the Russian Constitutional Court agreed to hear the appeal by Yunus-Bek Yevkurov about the Chechen-Ingush border accord on November 27 (interfax.ru/russia/637887), Ruslan Mutsolgov, a leader of the protests against the accord said that the Kremlin would be “insane” to allow the conflict to spark a war. In an interview with the New Caucasus portal, the head of the Ingush section of the Yabloko Party said that neither Chechens nor Ingush want such a war and were it to occur, it would be as a result of outside interference, perhaps over oil (newcaucasus.com/politics/17098-ruslan-mutsolgov-kreml-soydet-s-uma-esli-dopustit-voynu-na-severnom-kavkaze.html). Mutsolgov says that Russian oil companies have an interest in the oil field that underlies the borders of the two republics. Nineteen wells have been drilled but 16 have been capped as not economically viable now. The three that are productive have been shifted from Ingushetia to Chechnya as a result of Yevkurov’s deal with Ramzan Kadyrov. While oil may have been a factor in the accord, the activist continues, he says that he believes that the decision to sign it has more to do with the re-appointment of Yevkurov to a third term and to arrangements of various kinds that would profit people close to Vladimir Putin in Moscow. And Mutsolgov stresses that the Ingush opposition didn’t protest the accord because of oil but rather because “for us, any violation of the territorial integrity of Ingushetia is unacceptable.” That remains true, he says. As for Yevkurov, the opposition leader says, the republic head “has always conducted himself as an official of the federal center. For him, fulfilling directives of the center is always more important than the interests of the republic. [He] is one of those people and now this has become obvious who doesn’t listen to the opinion of the population but tries to impose his own.” Yevkurov’s dismissal is one of the main demands of the opposition, Mutsolgov says, adding that it hopes to pursue the restoration of the election of the head of the republic in the future. The Russian Constitutional Court said that it would consider Yevkurov’s appeal on November 27. Sergey Mavrin, the deputy head of the court, will serve as the justice in this case, which will be held in open session (interfax.ru/russia/637887). The World Congress of the Ingush People has asked that it be allowed to take part in the hearing (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/327913/). Meanwhile, in a transparent effort to provide support for the embattled Yevkurov, the Rusisan government has announced that it will increase its transfer payments to the republic by 967.7 million rubles (17 million US dollars) next year as compared to this (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/327905/).
Armenia’s Russia-Owned Gas Operator Accused Of Tax Evasion
Tax authorities in Armenia have accused the South Caucasus country’s national gas distribution company, which is owned by Russia’s Gazprom giant, of evading millions of dollars’ worth of taxes.
UAWire – Armenia may buy Su-30 fighters from Russia
Acting Armenian Defense Minister David Tonoyan announced on Monday, November 12, at a press conference in Yerevan that his country is negotiating the purchase of Russian fighter jets. “Yes, these will be Su-30s,” he responded when asked which fighters were being discussed. Tonoyan also said that no decision has been made to buy Swedish multipurpose Saab JAS-39 Gripen fighters for the Armenian Air Force, despite reports in the media. However, he did note that Yerevan has received an offer “from another [foreign] partner”. Shortly before the change in government in Armenia, the country’s Defense Ministry postponed the possibility of buying Russian multipurpose Su-30SM fighters until 2024. The project, which envisages the sale of at least one squadron of the fighters to the Armenian Air Force, was signed in 2012, but has not yet been brought into effect due to financial difficulties on the buyer’s side. This was reported by the Russian news outlet Kommersant, which also noted that Russia is expecting to implement the agreement ahead of schedule with Armenia’s new leaders. On June 17, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan took a photograph from the cockpit of a Su-30SM, which he later uploaded to Facebook. “In the cockpit of one of the best fighters in the world. I’m already in Yerevan,” the Armenian leader wrote. The photograph was taken at the Erebuni Airport, which houses the Russian 3624th Air Base where the Armenian Prime Minister returned to after visiting the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

Belarus Reports


Window on Eurasia — New Series: Belarusian Villagers Quietly Beginning to Protest against Lukashenka Regime, Satsuk Says
Paul Goble Staunton, November 15 – Analysts of Belarusian politics have long assumed that Alyaksandr Lukashenka, the Belarusian dictator who began his career as a collective farm head, is an unbreakable hold on the rural population of his country and that he can withstand any challenge in the cities because of that. But there is growing evidence that Belarusians in the villages are beginning to protest, blogger Serhi Satsuk says, still quietly and without fanfare but to protest. And that requires those who want to understand Belarus to revisit the question of Lukashenka’s base outside the major cities (ej.by/blog/sergey-satsuk/2018/11/15/pochemu-nikto-ne-zametil-tihiy-protest-sela.html). The blogger admits that he would not have taken notice of this development had “one grandmother not opened [his] eyes.” The story begins with the unprecedently good harvest of apples in Belarus, a harvest so bountiful that Minsk was certain it could displace Poland as the supplier of apples to the Russian Federation. But Minsk made a fateful mistake: it offered the Belarusian villagers only four or five kopecks per kilogram, an amount that it viewed as generous but they do not. Minsk television played up both the harvest and its offer to the peasantry, but on one program, a woman threw down the money because such an amount was an insult to those who grew the apples. The reporters did a voice over, but many Belarusians heard her cri de coeur. But despite that, “few understand what this means.” The blogger again admits he didn’t until he visited a local farmers market and asked how much a woman selling apples wanted for them. She said she was asking a ruble but “take as many as you want – it is all the same better than giving them to [the Belarusian state purchasing agency] for kopecks” and having it braf about how generous Minsk is. And then Satsuk noticed that people were putting out buckets in front of their houses filled with apples because “many residents of the country like the grandmothers in the television program viewed the price offered by the government organization as an insult to them. They decided that it’s better to give apples away for free than sell them to the state for five kopecks.” “What is this,” he asks rhetorically, “if not a protest against the system?” To be sure a still “quiet” one and perhaps not completely recognized as such by those engaged in it. But it is “already a protest of the main electoral base of the president.” Most have ignored this because they are so sure the peasants will vote for Lukashenka no matter what. But perhaps, Satsuk concludes, they are wrong.
Belarusian Opposition Party Spokeswoman Ordered To Leave Country
The press secretary of an opposition party in Belarus, a Russian citizen, says she has been ordered to leave the country.
Ceiling Collapses In Minsk Shopping Center
At least one person was injured after the ceiling of a shopping mall collapsed in the center of Belarus’s capital, Minsk, on November 12.

Transnistria / Moldova Reports


Law enforcers detain illegal paramilitary group linked to Donbas militants in Moldova, 112.international – Paramilitary formation connected with Donbas militants detained in Moldova – 112.international
Moldavian law enforcers frustrated an illegal paramilitary formation linked to the militants of the terrorist organization Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, as Moldova’s Information and Security Service reports. The members of the group were covering its activity with military tactical plays. The Moldavian law enforcers have been tracking the suspicion grouping for more than a year. Its members were dealing with military tactical plays, regular training. At the same time, they had close ties with the mercenaries and militants of the occupied Donbas and Luhansk regions. The special service conducted 13 searches in Chișinău and its suburbs. They found various elements of military weapons, military equipment, shells and grenade launchers, eight F1 shells; 260 5,45mm bullets, 39 cartridges, GPS-trackers, hand-made explosive device. Besides, during the search, the law enforcers found flags, stripes and insignia used by the militants in the East of Ukraine.
Moldova security forces neutralize armed group with ties to Donbas militants | UNIAN
An illegal paramilitary group, which operated under the guise of the so-called military-tactical games, was neutralized just outside the capital city of Chisinau, the press center of the Information and Security Service of Moldova wrote. During searches, military uniforms and insignia were found, used by Russian-backed militants in the occupied parts of eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia to create platform for studying Russia’s influence on population in occupied territories – 14.11.2018 15:20 — Ukrinform News
Vice Prime Minister for Reintegration of the Republic of Moldova Cristina Lesnic, Minister for the Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine Vadym Chernysh and State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality of Georgia Ketevan Tsikhelashvili agreed on this issue during a trilateral meeting in Chisinau, the press service of the Embassy of Ukraine in Moldova reported. “The parties reached an agreement on creating a Ukraine-Moldova-Georgia platform to develop common approaches to study and analyze hybrid methods of influence of the Russian Federation on the population in the occupied territories and to develop mechanisms to counter this influence,” the report reads. As reported, Minister for the Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine Vadym Chernysh paid a visit to Moldova on November 12-13.
European Parliament Slams Moldova As A ‘State Captured By Oligarchic Interests’
The European Parliament has overwhelmingly passed a resolution highly critical of Moldova, saying it has become a “state captured by oligarchic interests” that exert their influence over most p…
EU Cuts Moldova Funding Amid Rule-Of-Law Concerns
The European Commission has said it is cutting its financial assistance to Moldova by 20 million euros ($22.7 million) per year for both 2017 and 2018 amid concerns about the rule of law and the de…
 

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


Netherlands Sends Pakistani Embassy Staff Home After Receiving Threats
The Netherlands says it has recalled staff from its embassy in Pakistan after receiving threats for providing shelter to the lawyer of a Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy.
Mike Pence tells Aung San Suu Kyi Rohingya violence inexcusable | News | Al Jazeera
US Vice President Mike Pence joins chorus of criticism over Nobel laureate’s indifference to plight of Muslim minority

DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports


Undeclared North Korea: The Sakkanmol Missile Operating Base – Beyond Parallel

Sakkanmol (삭간몰) is an undeclared operational missile base for short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs). It is one of 13, out of an estimated total of 20, undeclared North Korean missile operating bases identified by Beyond Parallel research.1 Sakkanmol currently houses a unit equipped with SRBMs but could easily accommodate more capable medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs). The base is also one of the closest to the demilitarized zone (DMZ) and Seoul, giving it the shortest flight time. North Korea’s decommissioning of the Sohae satellite launch facility, while gaining much media attention, obscures the military threat to U.S. forces and South Korea from this and other undeclared ballistic missile bases.
In North Korea, Missile Bases Suggest a Great Deception – The New York Times
President Trump says the nuclear threat from North Korea is over. New satellite images of 16 hidden ballistic missile bases suggest that it has worsened since his summit meeting.
Amid stalled talks, North Korea keeps developing secret ballistic missile sites – ABC News
The U.S. says North Korea has promised to dismantle its missile bases.
North Korea keeps undeclared missile bases up and running: US think tank
A U.S. think tank said it had identified at least 13 of an estimated 20 undeclared missile operating bases inside North Korea.
Opinion | North Korean Nuclear Shell Game – The New York Times
Kim Jong-un keeps building his arsenal. And President Trump keeps deceiving himself about it.
The U.S. Is ‘Once Again Playing Catch-Up’ with North Korea
While Trump plays a waiting game on North Korea’s nukes, the chances for peace are growing slimmer by the day.
Trump says reports of North Korea’s secret missile bases are ‘inaccurate, just more fake news’ | Fox News
President Trump on Tuesday pushed back on reports that North Korea has secret, smaller missile bases stashed in its reclusive mountains, calling the claims “inaccurate” and “just more fake news.”
Donald Trump rejects North Korea ‘undeclared’ missile site report – Washington Times
President Trump on Tuesday dismissed reports that North Korea is operating more than a dozen “undeclared” missile sites, suggesting the development won’t derail a potential second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that administration officials say they hope can occur early next year.
Stalled talks with North Korea indicate larger unravelling of progress | TheHill
The cancelation of a highly anticipated meeting between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean officials has experts worried the quest for Pyongyang’s denuclearization is quietly unraveling.
North Korea tests new ‘tactical weapon’
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the successful testing of a “newly developed ultramodern tactical weapon,” state media reported Friday.
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un tests ‘high-tech’ weapon in message to the US – CNN
North Korea has tested a “newly developed ultramodern” weapon in an event supervised by leader Kim Jong Un, state media said Friday, amid faltering nuclear disarmament negotiations with the United States.
‘Ghost boats’ believed from N. Korea wash up on Japan shores – ABC News
95 rickety boats sometimes carrying skeletonized bodies have arrived this year.


World War 3: China President Xi Jinping orders army preparations vs Trump’s USA | World | News | Express.co.uk
CHINESE President Xi Jinping has ordered his country’s military to “concentrate preparations for fighting a war” as the People’s Army announces plans to “break the passive situation and completely control warfare” by adopting a more aggressive posture.
Pence says he personally challenged China with a South China Sea flyby – INSIDER
Vice President Mike Pence is traveling through Asia with a strong message for China — that the US “will not be intimidated.”
Mike Pence Says Trump Administration Won’t Budge to Avoid Cold War with China
“We really believe we are in a strong position either way. We are at $250 billion [in tariffs] now; we can more than double that,” the vice president said.
Pence: It’s up to China to avoid a cold war – The Washington Post
Xi Jinping’s meeting with Trump in Argentina is China’s best and last chance to avoid escalation and pain.
Mike Pence: No place for ’empire and aggression’ in Indo-Pacific | News | Al Jazeera
Mike Pence’s comments at Asia summit seen alluding to China and its aggressive claims over the disputed South China Sea.
Pence says ’empire and aggression’ have no place in Indo-Pacific | Reuters
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told leaders of Southeast Asian nations on Thursday that there is no place for “empire and aggression” in the Indo-Pacific region, a comment that may be widely interpreted as a reference to China’s rise.
U.S. military edge has eroded to ‘a dangerous degree,’ study for Congress finds – The Washington Post
Commission evaluating defense strategy warns United States “might struggle to win, or perhaps lose, a war against China or Russia.”
US could lose a war with China or Russia as global dominance wanes: report | Fox News
A lack of innovation, insufficient resources and overall complacency is threatening to upend the once undisputed strength of the U.S. military to the point where “it might struggle to win, or perhaps lose, a war against China or Russia,” a newly published report from a bipartisan commission analyzing President Trump’s national security strategy warned.
A ‘crisis of national security’: New report to Congress sounds alarm
America’s military superiority has “eroded to a dangerous degree,” leaving the U.S. in crisis if faced with more than one conflict at once, a new congressionally-mandated report concluded.
‘Eroded’ U.S. Military Could Lose War Against Russia Or China, Report Finds
The United States military has “lost its edge” and could potentially lose a war against Russia or China, a report by a bipartisan panel established by Congress says.
U.S. military might “struggle to win, or perhaps lose” war with China or Russia, report says – CBS News
&quot;America's ability to defend its allies, its partners and its own vital interests is increasingly in doubt,&quot; report's authors write. On the &quot;Intelligence Matters&quot; podcast this week, National Defense Strategy Commission co-chair talks with Michael Morell
China vs. America: Who Wins a Naval Clash in 2020? | The National Interest
It won’t be easy for either nation. That much is certain. 
Russia-China War: 5 Weapons China Would Strike With | The National Interest
Thinking through what seems impossible. 
US presses China to halt militarization of South China Sea
Top U.S. officials urged their Chinese counterparts on Friday to halt militarization of the disputed South China Sea, drawing a rebuke from the Chinese for sending U.S. warships close to islands claimed by Beijing.
The Case for Pushing Back Against China
Editor’s Note: A version of this article was originally published by The Interpreter, which is published by the Lowy Institute, an independent,
Bolton Warns China Against Limiting Free Passage in South China Sea – WSJ
National security adviser John Bolton said the U.S. would oppose any agreements between China and other claimants to the South China Sea that limit free passage to international shipping, and that American naval vessels would continue to sail through those waters.
Pompeo presses Beijing on South China Sea policies | TheHill
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that the administration harbors significant, ongoing concerns over China’s military activity in the South China Sea.
U.S. presses China to halt militarization of South China Sea | Reuters
Standing side by side, top U.S. officials urged their Chinese counterparts on Friday to halt militarization of the disputed South China Sea, drawing a rebuke from the Chinese for sending U.S. warships close to islands claimed by Beijing in the strategic waterway.
The South China Sea is fabled for its hidden energy reserves and China wants to block outsiders like the US from finding them | Business Insider
China is preparing to lock down potential oil and gas assets in the resource-rich, but hotly contested South China Sea by effectively banning exploration by countries from outside the region.
Xi Jinping starts goodwill tour of the Pacific amid rise in South China Sea tensions – CNN
Chinese President Xi Jinping kicked off a packed itinerary in Papua New Guinea Friday at the start of a tour which marks Beijing’s latest diplomatic foray into a region once considered outside of China’s sphere of influence.
U.S. Panel Warns China Tech Prowess Threatens U.S. Security – WSJ
A commission of security and economic experts convened by Congress warned that China’s technology-manufacturing strength threatens U.S. national security and advised U.S. government agencies to be mindful of Chinese attempts to compromise government systems.


James Andrew Lewis | Responding to Chinese Espionage | Center for Strategic and International Studies
The announcement that 10 Chinese intelligence officers have been indicted for espionage, the most recent in a series of actions, highlights three uncomfortable truths: We are in a massive, undeclared espionage battle with China, by China’s choice. The traditional remedies to manage espionage will not work in this battle. The response most likely to be effective requires new partnerships with allies such as Germany, Japan, and Canada, something this Administration can find difficult to do. Chinese espionage against the United States has reached unprecedented levels, greater than anything seen in the Cold War. China, despite loud claims to the contrary in its government-controlled media, is still reliant on Western technology. Stealing jet engine technology is a long-standing goal for the Chinese, part of a larger effort to use the stolen intellectual property, massive government subsidies, and heavy-handed trade tactics to launch a domestic airline industry to challenge Western companies. These tactics have been used in many other industries—from solar power to high-speed trains—and prompted the recent ban on the Chinese company Fujian Jinhua for the likely theft of U.S. semiconductor technology.
U.S., China Resume Talks to Cool Trade Tensions – WSJ
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has resumed discussions with his Chinese counterpart, Vice Premier Liu He, about a deal that would ease trade tension, ahead of a meeting of the leaders of China and the U.S. set for the end of the month.
Navarro tells Wall Street ‘globalist billionaires’ to end ‘shuttle diplomacy’ in U.S.-China trade war – POLITICO
Navarro said Wall Street should butt out of the U.S.-China discussions and instead focus on investing in America.
White House clash: Kudlow-Navarro dispute not a win for China in trade
Peter Navarro, U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade advisor and a hardliner on China, has been sidelined by the White House — but prospects of a trade deal between the world’s two largest economies remain bleak, experts told CNBC.
Trade war: China makes opening offer to US ahead of Trump-Xi meeting – CNNPolitics
The Chinese government has presented an offer to the Trump administration in an effort to restart stalled talks between the two super-economies, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Trump aides clash: Kudlow says Navarro’s China comments are ‘way off base’
President Trump’s top economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, disavows comments from White House trade advisor Peter Navarro. 
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Chinese trade official are speaking ahead of G20 summit
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Vice Premier Liu He have reportedly resumed discussions about a possible deal that would ease trade tension, just weeks before President Trump and President Xi are set to meet in Argentina for the G20 summit. 
China is said to be recruiting an elite group of ‘patriotic’ kids to help develop AI weapons | Business Insider
An elite group of “patriotic” students in China have been selected to begin training for new artificial intelligence weapons development program.
William C. Pacatte III | Be Afraid? Be Very Afraid?—Why the United States Needs a Counterstrategy to China’s Belt and Road Initiative | Center for Strategic and International Studies
Although rhetorically grounded under the rubric of a “win-win” philosophy, Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) poses a significant long-term strategic threat to U.S. interests that now spans across the globe. Now in its fifth year of implementation, there is enough evidence to suggest that BRI is much more than a liberal economic development plan.
ROHAN FOX, MATTHEW DORNAN. China in the Pacific: Is China engaged in “debt-trap diplomacy”? | John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations
Recent media coverage has touted the rise of Chinese aid and lending as a threat to Pacific nations’ sovereignty and to the West’s influence in the Pacific. China, so the narrative goes, is aggressively lending to smaller nations who do not have the capacity to pay back the loans. Some commentators have even described such lending as…


Young Marxists are going missing in China after protesting for workers – CNN
Fear is sweeping through the campuses of China’s elite universities following a nationwide government crackdown aimed at silencing left-wing student activists, who had been campaigning for greater rights and protections for ordinary workers.
Young Activists Go Missing in China, Raising Fears of Crackdown – The New York Times
The Communist Party appears to be redoubling efforts to quash a movement for workers’ rights that has spread across Chinese campuses.
Student activists detained in China for supporting workers’ rights | World news | The Guardian
Protesters describe themselves as fervent Marxists and Maoists, presenting a unique problem for Communist party
It’s Time to Get Loud About Academic Freedom in China – Foreign Policy
American schools should pull out of partnerships with schools that persecute students.


China tells US to back off after planned legislation looks to sanction Beijing over imprisoning Muslims | Business Insider
Exclusive: In rare coordinated move, Western envoys seek meeting on Xinjiang concerns | Reuters
A group of 15 Western ambassadors in Beijing, spearheaded by Canada, are seeking a meeting with the top official in China’s restive, heavily Muslim Xinjiang region for an explanation of alleged rights abuses against ethnic Uighurs.
How China is tearing thousands of Uyghur families apart in Xinjiang – CNN
Every day, US-based Uyghur journalist Gulchehra Hoja tries to call her family in the Chinese region of Xinjiang. Sometimes she tries up to 20 different numbers, just hoping that someone will pick up.
Ex-Detainee Describes Torture In China’s Xinjiang Re-Education Camp : NPR
“They made me wear what they called ‘iron clothes,'” the man tells NPR, describing a 50-pound metal suit he was forced to wear for 12 hours. When he returned home, people were afraid to speak to him.
US legislators to urge China sanctions over Xinjiang crackdown | News | Al Jazeera
Proposed bill will urge Trump to condemn crackdown on Uighurs, press for ban on sale of surveillance technology.


Germany’s Schroeder warns against demonizing China | Reuters
Weighing into Germany’s debate about its ties with China, former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder warned Berlin against demonizing Beijing, saying the two economic powers should work more closely together in the face of Donald Trump’s trade threats.
US, Japan and Indonesia set their sights on the Indo-Pacific region 
Before the Trump administration began calling for unimpeded commerce and an end to authoritarianism in the Indo-Pacific, both Japan and Indonesia already had their own policy ideas for the critically important region.
Minister in Charge of Japan’s Cybersecurity Says He Has Never Used a Computer – The New York Times
Yoshitaka Sakurada appeared not to know what a USB drive was, and told lawmakers that when it was necessary to use a computer, “I order my employees or secretaries” to do it.
US Air Force KC-135 damage in Australia interrupts bomber training mission
A tug was pushing a KC-135R aircraft from its parking bay when one of the tanker’s nose landing gear doors was damaged by the tug.
Victoria bows to pressure to release Belt and Road deal with China | Australia news | The Guardian
State government’s decision to sign up to initiative could be unconstitutional, experts warn
Confront China’s harassment of Australia, Mr. President
Reflecting its pursuit of regional hegemony, China is now harassing America’s second-closest ally, Australia.
Verdict On Khmer Rouge Leaders Is First To Officially Acknowledge Regime’s Genocide : NPR
Nuon Chea, 92, who was the No. 2 leader of the Khmer Rouge from 1975-1979 and Khieu Samphan, the 87-year-old former head of state of the brutal regime, were found guilty of genocide and other crimes.
Khmer Rouge leaders found guilty of genocide in landmark ruling – CNN
Almost four decades on from the collapse of Pol Pot’s tyrannical communist regime, an international tribunal has ruled that the Khmer Rouge committed genocide, a landmark verdict that is hoped will bring closure to millions of Cambodians.
Asia’s Oldest Democracy Takes a Hit – Foreign Policy
Political maneuvering by Sri Lankan President Sirisena won’t end well.

Foreign Policy Reports


Trump wields his energy weapon
The tip of the spear when it comes to President Trump’s diplomacy is not the tongue of the diplomat, but the power of the pipeline.
U.S. Energy Secretary Warns Czechs Against Cooperating With Russia
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has warned the Czech government not to choose Russia as a partner for a lucrative nuclear-energy plan.
Oil pucks and pellets; Canada eyes new ways to move stranded crude | Reuters
Canada’s biggest railroad says it is attracting interest from oil producers in its effort to move crude in solid, puck-like form, as clogged pipelines divert more oil to riskier rail transport.
Merkel in Strasbourg: Ukraine should remain gas transit country – 14.11.2018 10:50 — Ukrinform News
Ukraine should remain a transit country for Russian gas, but the European Union needs to get rid&nbsp;of its energy dependence on Russia.


Toxic: Oxford Dictionaries sums up the mood of 2018 with word of the year – CNN
2018 was toxic.


The World Has Come Full Circle—And Taken a Turn For The Worse
The guns of war at last fell silent at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. The Great War was over. The Armistice took effect. The war had lasted more than four years; it had caused the death of close to ten million combatants and more than half as many civilians. An entire generation of European youth, supported by comrades from the United States and around the world, had met the fate foreseen by the young New Yorker Alan Seeger, who had enlisted in the French Foreign Legion even before the formation of the American Expeditionary Force: “I have a rendezvous with death / At some disputed barricade / … It may be he shall take my hand / And lead me into some dark land / And close my eyes and quench my breath.” Seeger was killed in action on July 4, 1916.
Jeffrey Mankoff | A Century after the Armistice, the World is Still Coping with the End of Empires | Center for Strategic and International Studies
A century after the Armistice that ended World War I on the Western Front, much of the world remains haunted by the legacies of that conflict. Apart from the deaths of more than 9 million soldiers and an untold number of civilians, the most lasting impact of the First World War may be the collapse of the old empires that dominated Europe and Eurasia until 1918. From Poland to Syria, states that emerged from the peripheries of the old empires struggled to reconcile nationalist ideologies, the principle of self-determination, and the reality of diversity.
GEORGE BROWNING. Nationalism: the world’s greatest threat | John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations
We owe President Emmanuel Macron a debt of gratitude for yesterday’s speech in Paris. “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” the French leader said. “In saying ‘Our interests first, whatever happens to the others,’ you erase the most precious thing a nation can have, that which makes it…
100 Years Later: Reflecting on the Lessons of World War I
On November 11, 1918, Allied leaders signed an armistice agreement with Germany, effectively ending World War I. The conflict is estimated to have left more than seventeen million soldiers and civilians dead, wreaking havoc on most of the European continent. The United States entered the war in 1917. Among the dead were 116,708 American soldiers.
Opinion | The War That Never Ended – The New York Times
World War I officially concluded a century ago. But its aftershocks reverberate even today.
World War I posters offer unique glimpse into soldiers’ stories 100 years after the Armistice | Fox News
The armistice that came into effect at 11 a.m. local time on Nov. 11, 1918, silenced the guns of World War I, ending one of the bloodiest conflicts in modern history.
MICHAEL MULLINS. The politicisation of remembrance | John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations
In Australia there is a highly selective regime of remembrance that chooses to exclude the Frontier Wars that killed large numbers of indigenous Australians, and also the many unsavoury aspects of war such as the mistreatment of women by our ‘heroes’. My view is that communal war remembrance should be more nuanced. It needs to…
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Key Features of Today’s World Rooted in World War I, Shelin Says
Paul Goble Staunton, November 11 – World War I, the centenary of whose end the international community is marking today, continues to define the shape of the international system and even set the agenda of its key players, Sergey Shelin says, raising the question as to whether the world can escape that legacy or will continue to live by it. The Rosbalt commentator says this inheritance is visible almost everywhere one looks. First of all, the majority of countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East emerged during and immediately after the war as the result of the collapse of overburdened empires during it (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2018/11/11/1745054.html). Not everyone accepts this redivision of the world and some are even nostalgic for parts of the earlier one, such as the Austro-Hungarian empire, Shelin continues; but while some “corrections” to the post-1918 map may occur, any “restoration” of the past will not. Second, the United States assumed a global role in World War I. It provided enormous material aid to the anti-German coalition and some modest military assistance. Its contribution “didn’t look enormous, but its support proved decisive.” The US retreated into isolation afterwards but then resumed its position in World War II. That position has lasted at least until the emergence of Donald Trump, Shelin says. “He has become the first American president in many decades who has openly expressed isolationist ideas, but in practice this too is only a correction and not a revision” of the role the US began playing a century ago. Third, the first world war gave rise to modern pacifism in the broadest sense, undermining those who viewed war as a legitimate means of national assertiveness. Now, as a result of that conflict, even aggressive countries have to pose as peacemakers rather than celebrating their militancy as was true of many powers up to 1914. Talking about war is no longer good tone, Shelin argues; and “in this sense, the head of Russia with his increasing discussions about universal nuclear destruction looks like an innovator ideologically, someone who is working on the revision of notions that have not been questioned for a century. Fourth, the first world war led to the civic emancipation of women; and, fifth, it opened the way to mass government intervention in the economy During the war, this was true everywhere; but even afterwards, governments had overall a much larger role in economic life than ever before. Given all these generally positive developments, Shelin says, one might even call that conflict “progressive” were it not for the direct costs of the war and other trends it caused or accelerated, including totalitarian revolutions, revanchist wars, primitive radicalism, and the manipulation of public opinion as a near constant phenomenon. But the fact that all these things continue to define international life means that the world still lives in a post-World War I world: it has not yet found a way to go beyond that.
Why Nov. 9 is the most important day in German history – The Washington Post
The four Nov. 9ths that remade the nation.
World War I centenary: Why Germans won’t be commemorating landmark date – CNN
When the clock strikes 11 on Sunday it will mark 100 years since World War I ended. For Germany, the landmark date has raised difficult questions about how the country remembers its wartime past.
Never Forget That World War I Was Also Racist – Foreign Policy
It wasn’t just nationalism that fueled the 20th century’s first great tragedy.


Trump’s Visit Highlights Threads of Increasing Global Disorder – Defense One
France’s Macron, who had wooed the new U.S. president, now decries “the selfishness of countries that regard only their own interests.
Emmanuel Macron On Donald Trump: ‘I Do Not Do Policy Or Diplomacy By Tweets’ | HuffPost Australia
The French president was responding to taunting tweets from Trump, calling the U.S. president’s words “American politics.”
Macron to Trump: ‘I do not do policy or diplomacy by tweets’ – POLITICO
French president responds to US counterpart’s Twitter broadsides.
France fires back at Trump’s lack of “common decency” – ABC News
Trump launched a Twitter salvo on the anniversary of the Paris terror attacks.
France slams lack of ‘common decency’ after Trump mocked Macron on the Paris attacks anniversary | Business Insider
The French government sharply criticised President Donald Trump for mocking French President Emmanuel Macron earlier this week on the three-year anniversary of the Paris terror attacks.
Macron Warns Trump France Will Not Be U.S. Vassal State: ‘Respect Is Due’
“I don’t think the French expect me to respond to tweets,” the country’s president said.
Trump refuses to acknowledge the fraught history of nationalism – The Washington Post
Nursing a grudge after a public shaming in France, the president lashes out.
Trump vs. Macron: What the French president doesn’t understand about nationalism | Fox News
Much can be lost in translation, even in our modern world. Perhaps the latest incident is French President Emmanuel Macron launching his obvious, if sloppy, criticism of President Trump this week in Paris while ostensibly trying to honor the fallen soldiers from World War I on the 100th anniversary of the end of that conflict.
Why and how Emmanuel Macron seeks to lead Europe – Macron’s long march
ALONGSIDE DOZENS of their peers, today’s leaders of France and Germany—Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel—walked in moving spectacle to the Arc de Triomphe on November 11th, a century after their countries’ murderous guns fell silent.
Macron Hosts Trump, Putin, Merkel On 11th Hour, 11th Day, 11th Month
French President Emmanuel Macron is hosting some 70 world leaders in Paris to commemorate the centenary of the armistice that brought an end to World War I on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the…
In World War I remembrance, France’s Macron denounces nationalism as a ‘betrayal of patriotism’ – The Washington Post
The French president’s remarks at a solemn ceremony in Paris could be viewed as a rebuke to President Trump’s worldview.
With Trump sitting nearby, Macron calls nationalism a betrayal | Reuters
French President Emmanuel Macron used an address to world leaders gathered in Paris for Armistice commemorations on Sunday to send a stern message about the dangers of nationalism, calling it a betrayal of moral values.
Macron’s pyrrhic victory over Trump – The Washington Post
The French president decried President Trump’s nationalism, but his own bid for international leadership could fail.
Trump Largely Alone As World Leaders Take Aim At Nationalism | HuffPost
French President Emmanuel Macron warned that the “ancient demons” that caused World War I and millions of deaths were once again making headway.
Macron totally missed the point when condemning nationalism
French President Macron denounced nationalism and slapped President Trump at Sunday’s ceremony on the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World…
Trump torches allies, threatens NATO pullout after tense WWI memorial trip to Paris
President Donald Trump on Monday unloaded on the U.S.’s European allies, and appeared to threaten to pull out of NATO
Trump spars with Macron as Air Force One lands in France – CNNPolitics
President Donald Trump picked a fight with French President Emmanuel Macron over European defense just as Air Force One landed in France on Friday.
Trump and Macron paper over differences in Paris meeting
President Donald Trump met with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday amid new tensions in one of the closest relationships he’s forged with a world leader since taking office.
Trump Meets With Macron Amid Tension Over European Security – The New York Times
President Trump sat down with President Emmanuel Macron of France in Paris before ceremonies commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
Trump slams Macron for low approval ratings, French surrender to the Nazis | Fox News
President Trump on Tuesday ripped into French President Emmanuel Macron in a series of tweets — hitting him on everything from his low approval ratings, to the French surrender to the Nazis in World War II, and suggesting U.S. wine is on par with French product.
Twitter Explodes After Donald Trump Hits Emmanuel Macron With Learning German Taunt | HuffPost Australia
“They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along,” tweeted Trump, who drew comparisons with Hitler for the post.
Trump goes on the attack against Macron – POLITICO
&quot;MAKE FRANCE GREAT AGAIN!&quot; Trump tweeted.
Leaders of France and Germany in poignant show of unity 100 years after WW1 | Reuters
One hundred years after the guns of World War One fell silent, the leaders of France and Germany held hands and rested their heads against one another in a poignant ceremony to mark the signing of the Armistice peace agreement.
The Aviationist » Clouds with Drizzling Rain Prevented “Marine One” From Flying Trump To U.S. cemetery near Paris
Trump cancels visit to US cemetery in France because of bad weather. On Saturday Nov. 10, 2018, President Trump was scheduled to travel to Belleau Wood, 55 miles northeast of Paris, as part of the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI. Belleau Wood is where the US troops had their breakthrough battle by stopping a German push for Paris shortly after entering the war in 1917. “The battle of Belleau Wood proved America’s mettle to allies and foes alike, and by the time the war ended U.S. forces were at least an equal to any of the other major armies, which were exhausted and depleted. The Aisne-Marne American Cemetery at Belleau contains the graves of 2,289 servicemen and commemorates 1,060 others who fell at Bealleau Wood,” Metro reported. Although it had been planned for months, the trip was canceled because, according to the White House, bad weather “grounded” his helicopter, “considered ill-equipped to make the short journey because of the clouds and drizzle”. The cancellation drew much criticism: someone said the VH-3 and VH-60 flown by the U.S. Marine Corps HMX-1 (Marine Helicopter Squadron One) should be able to fly in rain and moderate bad weather; others say the president should have had a back-up plan that foresaw a different way to travel to Aisne-Marne regardless of the weather. According to the Washington Post, the Secret Service determines when it’s safe to fly “Marine One“: when President of the U.S. travels aboard the VH-3D or any other chopper operated by HMX-1, the helicopter uses the radio callsign “Marine One” by which the aircraft is known). Paris was covered in clouds with drizzling rain through most of Saturday.


Merkel’s time is running out. Now Germany’s ‘mini-Merkel’ is stepping up to save the chancellor’s legacy. – The Washington Post
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is vying to become the nation’s next leader, with Merkel’s tacit blessing.
German Police Investigate Suspicious Item Found Near Russian Embassy
German police late on November 14 cleared the area around the Russian Embassy in Berlin for hours after finding a suspicious object in a car parked near the embassy on Berlin’s famed Unter den Lind…
German Foreign Office urges Ukraine to delete “Myrotvorets” database as Schröder was put on it – 112.international
Earlier ex-Chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schröder was put on the “Purgatory” section of “Myrotvorets” database
Merkel warns of modern racism on Kristallnacht 80th – The Boston Globe
Germany’s chancellor and its main Jewish leader warned against tolerating modern-day anti-Semitism and racism as they marked the 80th anniversary Friday of the Nazis’ anti-Jewish Kristallnacht, or “Night of Broken Glass,” pogrom.
Kristallnacht Anniversary: 80 Years Later, I Call Berlin Home – Bloomberg
There are powerful reasons to mistrust Germany when you’re Jewish, but even better ones to believe in it.
Eighty years after Kristallnacht, why my family has become German again | Robin Lustig | News | The Guardian
The former senior Observer journalist says he’ll never use his new German passport – but getting it is an important atonement for Nazi crimes


If Theresa May clings to this Brexit deal, she is doomed | News | The Times
“It’s too early to say,” says the BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, “if this morning’s storm will be a hurricane that will sweep the policy and maybe the prime minister away.”One of the many good reasons why I’m not the BBC’s political editor is that I suspect that it is not “too early to sa
UK PM May stares into Brexit abyss as domestic opposition mounts | Reuters
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit strategy came under attack from all sides on Monday, putting in doubt her ability to steer any agreement through parliament and raising the risk of a disruptive “no-deal” exit from the European Union next March.
The Guardian view on May’s Brexit: a meaningless deal will not pass a meaningful vote | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian
Editorial: The prime minister is inviting chaos with a Brexit proposal that cannot command a majority in parliament
May Fighting to Keep Brexit Proposal Alive as Opposition Mounts – Bloomberg
Theresa May enters another week battling to keep her Brexit plan alive.
‘Cautious optimism’ over UK-EU Brexit deal talks – BBC News
But the PM, who is currently addressing her cabinet, says the negotiations are “immensely difficult”.
National Action: The new parents and the neo-Nazi terror threat – BBC News
How police closed in on the banned far-right group National Action and several of its members.
Couple who named baby after Hitler found guilty of membership of neo-Nazi group – CNN
Adam Thomas and Claudia Patatas have been convicted for being part of the banned terrorist group, National Action, in England on Monday.
Donald Trump gives Theresa May a tongue-lashing over Iran and Brexit | News | The Times
Theresa May was berated by President Trump over Iran and Brexit after she tried to congratulate him on the midterm elections, according to reports in the United States. The prime minister telephoned Mr Trump on Friday as he was flying to France on Air Force One for a weekend of Armistice commemorati
Donald Trump ‘berated Theresa May in Air Force One phone call’ 
Donald Trump reportedly berated Theresa May in a phone call while he was on Air Force One.
Trump berated British Prime Minister May during call on Air Force One: report | TheHill
President Trump engaged in a tense conversation with British Prime Minister Theresa May, berating her over the phone while flying to Paris last Friday, according to the
Filing indicates indictment was prepared for Julian Assange
A court document filed by mistake has revealed that the Justice Department is preparing to criminally charge WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
U.S. Is Optimistic It Will Prosecute Assange – WSJ
The Justice Department is preparing to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and is increasingly optimistic it will be able to get him into a U.S. courtroom, according to people in Washington familiar with the matter.
U.S. Documents Suggest Charges Filed Against WikiLeaks Founder Assange
U.S. court documents suggest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been criminally charged by prosecutors in a case that could be related to the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the U.S. el…


EU’s Tusk likens Polish govt to contemporary ‘Bolsheviks’ | Fox News
European Council head Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister, on Saturday denounced the euroskeptic populists governing Poland as “contemporary Bolsheviks” who threaten the nation’s independence, but can be defeated. WARSAW, Poland – European Council head Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister, on Saturday denounced the euroskeptic populists governing Poland as “contemporary Bolsheviks” who threaten the nation’s independence, but can be defeated. Tusk, seen as a likely contender in Poland’s 2020 presidential election, spoke in the city of Lodz on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the country regaining its statehood at the end of World War I after 123 years of foreign rule. He honored the statesman who restored Polish independence and then as chief of state went on to defeat the Bolsheviks’ Red Army in 1920, Marshal Jozef Pilsudski. He also paid homage to Lech Walesa, the Solidarity trade union founder who challenged Poland’s Soviet-backed communist rule during the 1980s and went on to become president from 1990 to 1995. “Jozef Pilsudski was facing a more difficult situation than we have today when he was conquering the Bolsheviks and in fact, defending the Western community against political barbarians,” Tusk said during an independent anniversary forum. “Walesa had a more difficult situation when he was conquering the Bolsheviks in a symbolic way, when he was bringing out the European, the freedom, the national values in us. But he managed,” he continued. “Why shouldn’t you be able to defeat the contemporary Bolsheviks?” Tusk said to great applause. He appealed for Poles to defend their rights, freedom and to “defend Poland’s independence.” He criticized the government led by the conservative Law and Justice party, which has repeatedly clashed with European Union leaders, as a threat to Poland.
E.U. President: Nationalism Will Lead to ‘Fundamental Threat’ | Time
European Union President Donald Tusk warned that nationalist sentiment will lead to a “fundamental threat” in the European Union.
More than 200,000 marched to celebrate Poland’s independence – YouTube
Daily Mail Published on Nov 12, 2018 The event in Warsaw, Poland was the largest Independence Day march ever. It included demonstrations from nationalist groups who lit firecrackers and burned flares. It included demonstrations from nationalist groups who lit firecrackers and burned flares. President Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and the leader of the conservative ruling party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, led the march through the streets fronted by soldiers carrying a huge flag emblazoned with the words ‘For You Poland.’ Pictured: Nationalist groups and their supporters burned firecrackers and flares in Warsaw at the Polish Independence Day celebrations. Pictured: People bearing Polish flags participate in the March of Independence.
Fascist Flags on Poland’s 100th Birthday Show a Fractured Europe – Bloomberg
Centenary commemorations in Paris and Warsaw on Sunday exposed the widening divisions within Europe.
Poland’s Leaders March With Far-Right Groups on Independence Day – The New York Times
The president said the 100th anniversary of Polish independence was “for everyone.” The march included the far right and omitted opposition leaders.
Poland bans entry of ultra-right radicals from Russia, Sweden ahead of Independence Day events | UNIAN
Polish authorities say they have banned entry to ultra-right radicals, including from Sweden and Russia, on the eve of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the restoration of Poland’s independence. Earlier, the Embassy of Ukraine in Poland warned that radical movements intended to carry out in Warsaw provocations under the guise of allegedly “Ukrainian nationalists.”
Poland banned from entry 400 neo-fascists, “banderists” before Independence Day – 112.international
However, the radicalized individuals stated Russia and Sweden as countries from where they came


All Quiet on the Eastern Front?
Russia is trying to foment a clash between Hungary and Ukraine over the territory of Zakarpattia in a potential crisis overlooked by EU leaders. By James Wilson BRUSSELS, Today, 07:41 It is time for Europe to wake up to an emerging threat on its eastern flank. Russia is actively sponsoring Europe’s right-wing and populist movements, creating across the EU a network of allies sympathetic to Russia. Moscow’s main goal is to create new regions of instability along the EU’s borders, and to split EU unity on the policy of maintaining sanctions against Russia. A key strategic target for Russian sponsored actions is Hungary. Europe’s leaders appear to be blind to what is happening, and are failing to recognise the potential threat to civilised democracy. Viktor Orban, the Hungarian conservative, together with Italian and Czech populists, are campaigning to lift sanctions imposed against Russia for military aggression in Ukraine. But this is only part of the unfolding hybrid war tactics being employed by Russia against the West. Hungarian right-wing radical organisations are being funded by Russia to aggressively campaign against Nato and the EU and to spawn confrontation with Ukraine. The Russian Special Services are actively working with organisations like the New Hungarian Guard (UJ Magyar Garda), the Sixty-Four Counties Youth Movement (Hatvannegy Varmegye Ifjusagi Mazgalom), the Army of Lads (Betyarsereg) the Hungarian Self-Defense Movement (Magyar Onvedelmi Mozgalom), and the Wolves (Farkasok). They organise military training of the organisations’ members, often with the involvement of Russian troops or Russian military diplomats as instructors. They employ activists from these bodies to organise demonstrations in favour of Russian interests, such as stirring up ethnic conflict in Zakarpattia in Ukraine. They also draw on their membership as recruitment material for military operations, such as the Russian-led aggression in eastern Ukraine, where they take part in hostilities on the side of pro-Russian militants, with the aim of “blood-binding” them and building Slavic solidarity. Propaganda messages are distributed through the online news portal hidfo.ru, which is the key communication resource of the pro-Russian forces in Hungary. It publishes disinformation reports coming from Russia which are then spun across social media networks. Russian grooming
Czechs protest against PM Babis, coalition partner may quit government – media | UNIAN
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s hold on power appeared weaker on Thursday evening as thousands of protesters demanded his resignation in Prague’s main square, while his coalition partners debated whether to quit the government. In Prague’s Wenceslas Square, several thousand chanted “resignation” and “shame”. Some waved Czech and EU flags and carried slogans including “Down with Babis.”
Calls For Czech PM’s Resignation As Scandal Flares Over Son’s ‘Abduction’ Claim
Six opposition parties have called for Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s resignation and proposed a no-confidence vote following a report in which the leader’s son said he was held against his will in Crimea amid scrutiny over accusations that his father embezzled European Union funds. The parties, which hold 92 seats in parliament while 101 votes are necessary to oust a prime minister, also beseeched the Communists to withdraw their support for Babis. Their move came hours after the Internet TV network Seznam issued a report on November 13 that included a brief interview in which Babis’s son, who is also named Andrej, said he was coerced into traveling to Crimea on a vacation that turned into an “abduction.” The elder Babis said that his son was mentally ill and denied he was abducted, writing on Facebook that he had “left the Czech Republic of his own will” and that “police have investigated the case and concluded that there was no abduction.” Babis, a former finance minister who became prime minister in December 2017, said in March 2016 that his two children from his first marriage, Andrej and daughter Adriana, were owners of a farm and a convention center outside Prague called Stork’s Nest. He spoke after he was accused of illegally obtaining 2 million euros ($2.25 million) in EU small-business subsidies by concealing his ownership of Stork’s Nest.
Czech prime minister Andrej Babis allegedly kidnapped his own son in a fraud scandal — Quartz
A controversial rightwing billionaire leader is in political turmoil over an scandal involving his son, whom he named after himself. Sound familiar?
Czech PM’s son claims he was forcibly detained in Crimea by his father’s associates | UNIAN
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s younger son claims he was forcibly detained in Crimea by his father’s associates at the time of the investigation of the Stork’s Nest affair in which the prime minister is suspected of EU subsidy fraud. Babiš Jr. told the news site seznam.cz that he had been given the option of “taking an extended holiday” in Crimea or being locked up in a mental home, according to Radio Praha. He said he had spent some time in a psychiatric institution in the past. Babiš Jr. also revealed that he had signed some papers, but had no idea what he was signing. The opposition parties are demanding an immediate explanation from the prime minister and have threatened to call a vote of no-confidence in his government over the matter.
Czechs join other EU states rejecting U.N. migration pact | Reuters
The Czech Republic on Wednesday joined the growing ranks of European Union countries that reject a United Nations pact to regulate the treatment of migrants worldwide.
Slovak national charged in home country for fighting alongside Putin’s proxies in Donbas | UNIAN
For the very first time, Slovakia’s National Criminal Agency (NAKA) has brought charges against a Slovak for his involvement in the military conflict in eastern Ukraine. This is the first time such charges have been brought.
Romania ‘Backtracking’ On Rule Of Law, EU Report Warns
Not only has Romania stalled in its fight against corruption, but it’s also falling back on judicial reforms, the European Commission says, urging Bucharest to immediately reverse anticorruption mo…
The Latest: Bulgaria says it won’t sign UN migration pact | Fox News
The Latest on Europe’s migration crisis (all times local): 6:50 p.m. Bulgarian officials are signaling the country will not sign a global pact to promote safe and orderly migration, saying that it would harm national interests.
OF SUITORS AND SCOUNDRELS – Russia, the West, and the Limits of Geopolitics in Serbia – To Inform is to Influence
Robert Swanson 6 November 2018 The long-term security of the transatlantic Alliance cannot be ensured without the integration of the Western Balkans. While the majority of governments from ex-Yugoslavia have publicly called for alignment with Brussels, lingering domestic frailties, third-party challenges, and ineffective Western responses have sustained the region’s status as an ideological battlefield between East…
French Ambassador Offers Apology To Serbia Over WWI Ceremony
The French ambassador in Belgrade has offered an apology to Serbia after President Aleksandar Vucic expressed frustration about the way he was treated during World War I commemorations in Paris. The French ambassador in Belgrade has offered an apology to Serbia after President Aleksandar Vucic expressed frustration about the way he was treated during World War I commemorations in Paris. Ambassador Frederic Mondoloni issued the apology on November 12, a day after Vucic joined dozens of world leaders in Paris to attend a ceremony commemorating the centenary of the armistice that ended the war in 1918. At the November 11 gathering, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci was placed behind the leaders of France, Germany, Russia, and the United States, while Vucic was in a separate stand on the opposite side. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing before me, knowing the sacrifice that the Serb people made in World War I,” Serbian media quoted Vucic as saying following the event. Historians say that Serbia suffered more losses as a proportion of its population in the war than any other country embroiled in the conflict. Tensions remain high between Pristina and Belgrade, 10 years after Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians unilaterally declared independence from Serbia.


Bolton Is Building a Confrontational Latin America Strategy – Foreign Policy
The Trump administration is right to call out the region’s rogues for their destabilizing behavior.
Kosovo’s President Says Agreed With Trump On Need For Comprehensive Agreement With Serbia
Kosovar President Hasim Thaci says he agreed with U.S. President Donald Trump on the need to reach a final and comprehensive peace agreement between Kosovo and Serbia.
Chile’s Caravan of Death: Ex-army chief Cheyre convicted for Pinochet-era crimes – BBC News
Juan Emilio Cheyre is the most senior figure held accountable so far for Pinochet-era abuses.

Capability / Strategy / History Publications


Artificial Intelligence and National Security: The Importance of the AI Ecosystem | Center for Strategic and International Studies
Artificial intelligence (AI) has profound potential to affect the balance of power in both the global economy and in military competition. While AI has a long history, AI has begun to deliver results within the last decade, particularly with the recent rapid progress in machine learning and the increased availability of data and computing power. As impactful as the recent progress has been, AI remains highly problem-specific and context-dependent. It has proven extremely challenging to translate the progress in some fields to others, even those that are closely related. Enthusiasm in both the public and private sectors has obscured the importance of building the robust supporting capabilities for AI—an AI ecosystem—that are crucial to successful AI adoption. The AI ecosystem includes a skilled workforce and knowledgeable management; the digital capability for capturing, handling, and exploiting data; the technical foundation of trust, security, and reliability; and the investment environment and policy framework needed for AI to flourish. The government retains role in pursuing the harder areas of technology that do not deliver rapid returns on investment for the private sector; developing the tools required to establish AI reliability (including trust, explainability, validation, verification, and security) for critical government and national security applications; and developing and strengthening the AI ecosystem. This study presents the key steps to be taken to facilitate the successful integration of AI into national security applications based on an accurate understanding of where the AI field currently stands and what key factors are involved in successful AI adoption and management.
Are Killer Robots the Future of War? Parsing the Facts on Autonomous Weapons – The New York Times
Under what circumstances should militaries delegate the decision to take a human life to machines? It’s a moral leap that the international community is grappling with.
State Department Relaxing Rules on Transfer on Drone, Chip Technology – Defense One
The rules will pave the way for 5G cellphones — and even drones that talk to each other in midair.
Air Force to wrap up electronic warfare study by January
The review will help the Air Force figure out how to defeat high-end threats as far out as 2040.
To understand autonomous weapons, think about electronic warfare
When remote piloting becomes difficult or impossible, autonomy will still let uncrewed vehicles operate.
The Secret History of Plasma Weapons
After decades of promise and failure, a new plasma weapon emerges.
The U.S. Navy Has Forgotten What It’s Like to Fight – Foreign Policy
The U.K.’s defeat at Jutland is a reminder of how a victorious force can get lazy.
Does the U.S. Military Really Need More Strategists? – War on the Rocks
Former National War College dean and retired Brig. Gen. Paula Thornhill should be commended for kicking off a vigorous round of debate on professional military education institutions in July. Many of my objections to her argument have been ably expressed by others, notably my Marine Corps University colleague Tammy Schultz as well as Richard Andres of the National War College. But none have questioned Thornhill’s central premise: that professional military education needs to produce more strategists. Indeed, several, most notably Tino Perez, have amplified it. The U.S. military doesn’t need to produce thousands of strategists a year, which is a good thing because it cannot. Further, while the professional military education system is a vital part of educating strategic thinkers, the primary obstacle to producing strategic leaders is a personnel system that bases promotions on tactical competence over the first quarter century of an officer’s career. Thornhill cites retired Maj. Gen. Robert Scales, who lamented that “those who rise to the top of the strategic decision-making pyramid are too often poorly qualified for the task.” Further, while she acknowledges their importance, she contends that “overview courses in strategy and policy, the international system, and key domestic actors in the national security arena” — which, in full disclosure, are my remit — “only tangentially prepare officers for future responsibilities as senior commanders and strategists.” She’s right. But the radical overhaul of professional military education she suggests wouldn’t fix that problem and would create new ones. While we tell ourselves that the staff colleges transform tactical thinkers into operational leaders, and the war colleges are there to create strategic thinkers, the reality is quite different. Thornhill wants intermediate level institutions like my own to “focus more on the challenges facing service chiefs and military department secretaries.” Yet, while a handful of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College’s 220-or-so graduates a year go on to a four-star or secretarial staff, the overwhelming number of them will retire without ever serving above the regimental level.
Pentagon Wants More Money for Lasers To Defend Against Missiles, Drone Swarms – Defense One
Directed-energy weapons are with a factor of two or three to being militarily useful, the Pentagon’s top scientist said.
Supersonic Bizjets May Attract Pentagon Interest – Defense One
Three teams are pursuing latter-day SSTs. The U.S. military might have use for them.


歼10B使用国产推力矢量发动机进行超机动展示 -2018珠海航展 | J-10B aerobatic demo (WS-10 TVC engine) – 2018 China Air Show – YouTube
 
China’s J-20 Stealth Fighter Stuns By Brandishing Full Load Of Missiles At Zhuhai Air Show – The Drive
Beijing’s stealth fighter shows its full set of teeth for the very first time.
China shows J-20 jet’s missiles for the first time at airshow: Global Times | Reuters
China has shown the missiles in its advanced J-20 stealth fighter jet to the public for the first time at its largest airshow, the Global Times newspaper reported on Monday.
China Military Shows Off New Stealth Fighter Jet Missiles to Stunned Onlookers
For the first time, the public got a look at four missiles equipped to the Chengdu J-20 stealth fifth-generation fighter jet.
China’s stealth fighters show off missile payload – CNN
The Chinese air force saved the big guns for last at its biennial Zhuhai air show, flying its new stealth fighters with full missile loads Sunday for the first time in a public display.
F-22s and F-35s Just Might Be the Ultimate Weapon (Unless this Fails) | The National Interest
Without proper maintenance of their skin, the signature of those advance stealth jets degrade over time—rendering them vulnerable to enemy radar.
We Just Got Shafted On The F-35 | The Wentworth Report
We Just Got Shafted On The F-35 by David Archibald 16 November 2018   Daily on Defense has reported that: BIG F-35 BUY: Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $22.7 billion contract for 255 F-35 aircraft for both the U.S. and its international partners. Significantly, the contract commits to combine Lots 12, 13 and 14…
US Air Force moves to fortify F-35 weak points against hacking
Experts fear the fully computerized combat jet is vulnerable to hacking, as capabilities for cyber attacks proliferate globally.
With nukes in mind, French officials stake out must-haves for Franco-German warplane
The futuristic weapons program is turning into something of a test case on Europe’s ability to execute a common defense vision.
Are the air defense systems that Russia supplies abroad effective?
In the international markets of armaments and military equipment, including in the segment of deliveries of air defense assets (AD), competition is intensifying at the present time. This trend is particularly noticeable in the regional arms market in the Middle East and North Africa. Exporters of the Russian Federation use all means to remain one of the leaders in the supply of military equipment to the countries of this region, including anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM). Russia places particular emphasis on the sale of the S-300 (9K81) and “Buk” air defense missile systems, as well as the provision of appropriate services for their maintenance, repair and upgrading. The military-technical cooperation of Russia with such countries as Algeria, Iran, and Syria makes it possible to strengthen Russian geopolitical influence in this region rich in oil and gas resources and, at the same time, to obtain substantial foreign exchange earnings. At the same time, often sold samples of Russian military equipment, which are becoming obsolete and are being removed from service in the Russian army, but are still in demand from countries in the region. C-300 The purchase of air defense systems is characterized by long-term cooperation in the implementation of contracts, because this special military equipment requires special handling skills, therefore, trained service personnel, and subsequent maintenance of contracts in other areas. It is clear that competitors in the regional arms business are extremely undesirable for Russian special exporters. However, the situation is changing dramatically. So, for example, the S-300 air defense complex, which was developed in the early 70s of the last century, does not guarantee, in its characteristics, to hit modern fifth-generation air attacks. This has already been understood in Russia, where the last modified S-300 air defense system for the Russian army was already made back in 1994. Since then, Russia has produced these air defense systems only for sale abroad. The export version has even worse, compared with the basic version of the C-300, the characteristics and capabilities. For example, the number of types of missiles used has been reduced to a minimum, radar equipment has been simplified, and reliable operation of the airborne target recognition system according to the “friend-foe” principle is not guaranteed. This was openly acknowledged by the representative of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, Major General Igor Konashenkov: “Exported samples of military equipment from the Russian Federation have never been equipped with a“ friend-foe ”system . The collapse of the Russian Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft over Syria in September 2018 only confirms this sad fact. After much speculation, the Kremlin admitted that the Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft was shot down by the fire of the Syrian air defense system of Russian-made air defense systems. Everybody was shocked by the launches of Russian anti-aircraft missiles in Syria – Russian-Syrian anti-aircraft gunners and Russian pilots sent to the region. And Israel’s Minister for Regional Cooperation, Tsachi Hanegbi, directly and without unnecessary political correctness, said that the Russian air defense system could not significantly counteract the latest F-35 fighters . In turn, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Russian-Syrian unfortunate anti-aircraft gunners that the Israeli Air Force flew and will fly, launching rocket-bombing attacks on Hezbollah and Iran in Syria. It is clear that the Russian Federation has nothing left to do but to “make a good mine in a bad game” and continue to try to sell outdated Russian military air defense equipment to its dependent satellite allies. Thus, it is obvious that the Russian air defense missile systems, including the vaunted S-300, are not effective in real combat conditions, so all the judgments of Russian exporters about their “high” combat qualities are based solely on the declared promotional tactical and technical characteristics. Risky relationship with the Russian Federation As for the Buk air defense system, after the crash of a passenger airliner Boeing-777 shot down over Ukraine in July 2014 following the flight MH17, it became clear that the launcher radar is not able to distinguish a passenger plane from a military one, and in general cannot reliably determine type of flying object. Regarding reliability, a recent tragicomic event during the launch of the Soyuz-FG launch vehicle with a Russian cosmonaut and an American astronaut aboard is a typical example of the reliability of the Russian rocket technology in general . After this rocket was assembled by Russian “craftsmen” with the help of a “nano-sledge hammer”, an inevitable accident occurred. Even experts confirm that the astronauts are very lucky that they survived at all. As for the continuation of the launch program for Soyuz-FG rockets, insurance companies refuse to insure launches of this type of missiles. What to speak about ordinary air defense systems, which are often sold abroad after long-term storage in warehouses and arsenals? Today, cooperation with Russian arms exporters is in a high-risk zone due to the growing tensions between the US and the Russian Federation due to non-compliance by the Russian leadership with the provisions of the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, as well as international sanctions for armed aggression against Ukraine and the use of chemical weapons in the UK. This problem is recognized even by the high-ranking leadership of the Russian Federation, which accuses the United States of putting pressure on potential customers and threatening to impose sanctions on them if they buy military equipment from Russia. At the same time, more modern counterparts, for example, SAM systems of foreign manufacturers “SAMP-T” (France), “Patriot” (USA) and “HQ-9” (PRC) are increasingly available on the world arms market. The Russian leadership understands these objective negative trends in Russian special exports. Therefore, in order not to lose partners and be held among the leaders in the supply of military equipment, Russian exporters are actively using, among other things, unfair competition methods to destroy the reputation of competing suppliers. For this, potential competitors are unfoundedly accused of allegedly disclosing some unknown and “secret” information about Russian export armaments, including its weak points, closed equipment operating modes and features of combat use in general. Consumers are persuaded to say that “only in the Russian Federation” there is an important design and technical documentation and competent engineers, which means that the purchase of weapons and their servicing by other countries can be a “huge risk”, as the quality is “not guaranteed”. The absurdity of such statements is obvious, because, for example, the S-300 air defense system at various times was and is in service with many countries of the world, including Iran, China, Vietnam, CSTO countries and even NATO member countries, and repair of this technique is in many countries. The use of S-300 air defense missile systems and its characteristics were widely advertised during numerous exhibitions and trials, both in the Russian Federation and abroad. In particular, in 1995, during tests at the Kapustin Yar test site, delegations from 11 countries of the world were present. Therefore, the tactical and technical characteristics of the complex have long been known to everyone and clearly do not represent secrets. Thus, Russian-made air defense systems are unreliable, outdated and even pose a threat to those countries that have inadvertently acquired them, having believed in advertising brochures and convictions of Russian special exporters. Russia, in turn, continues to loudly blame the competitors for their own failures and in the near future we will most likely have to witness another fake scandal inflated by the Russian side, which would not only hide the consistency of its military-industrial complex, but also that Russian military power is a colossus with feet of clay! Information resistance


U.S. Air Force awards contract to Lockheed Martin for next-generation anti-ship missiles – Defence Blog
Lockheed Martin is awarded a $172 million contract for next-generation long range anti-ship missiles (LRASM) Lot 2 production. In a statement made Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Defence said that the contract allows for the production of 50 LRASMs. Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2021. According to the Lockheed Martin, LRASM is a long range, precision-guided anti-ship missile leveraging off of the successful JASSM-ER heritage, and is designed to meet the needs of U.S. Navy and Air Force warfighters. Armed with a penetrator and blast fragmentation warhead, LRASM employs precision routing and guidance, day or night in all weather conditions. The missile employs a multi-modal sensor suite, weapon data link, and enhanced digital anti-jam Global Positioning System to detect and destroy specific targets within a group of numerous ships at sea. Lockheed Martin is currently executing on the Accelerated Acquisition contract for the LRASM Deployment Office. This contract is further maturing the technologies that will be delivered as an early operational capability in LRASM for the USAF B-1B and USN F/A-18E/F in 2018 and 2019 respectively. This operational capability will provide warfighter with the solution to their anti-surface warfare capability gap. Lockheed Martin also noted that the company has begun the integration efforts onto the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
UK MoD: Other bidders didn’t have a chance against Boeing Wedgetail
A proposal to acquire a fleet of Boeing Wedgetail airborne early warning aircraft for the Royal Air Force was so far in advance of a rival Saab/Airbus offering that the British Ministry of Defence felt it would be a waste of time and money to hold a competition. LONDON — A proposal to acquire a fleet of Boeing Wedgetail airborne early warning aircraft for the Royal Air Force was so far in advance of a rival Saab/Airbus offering that the British Ministry of Defence felt it would be a waste of time and money to hold a competition, according to Defence Procurement Minister Stuart Andrew. “In considering the E-7 Wedgetail , there was such a clear distinction over any other options it was felt that running any type of competition would unnecessarily consume MoD and industry resources, whilst the gap between U.K. capability and the evolving threat would be expected to widen,” Andrew said in a letter to Parliamentary Defence Select Committee Chairman Julian Lewis MP. The letter, dated Nov. 1, but only released Nov. 14, was the MoD’s response to concerns raised by Saab in a letter to Lewis in mid-October refuting claims by the ministry that marrying the Airbus A330 airframe with the Swedish company’s Erieye radar presented a significant risk.
Australia makes its pick for drone fleet
The 12-16 air vehicles are expected to cost between one and two billion Australian dollars (U.S. $730 million to $1.45 billion).
James Stavridis | Today’s Armies Are Still Fighting World War I – Bloomberg
A century ago, millions died. The strategic, technological and medical breakthroughs live on.
How History Proves Cheap Diesel Submarines Can Take on Any Navy | The National Interest
And we do mean any.
Stiletto Systems announces radical rethink of high power bullet technology – Defence Blog
Stiletto Systems has announced that it is implementing a multi-stage plan to a radical rethink of high power bullet technology. According to a company’s statement, bullet technology today has been surpassed by the technology of personal body armour and that of vehicle armoured plate. It is time for released a new generation of high power systems that will change current defense paradigms through performance, range and accuracy. In general, the effectiveness of small arms ammunition depends on the armour-piercing core of ammunition: the quality of core material, its form and importantly the kinetic energy being delivered. The operating principle of the improved bullet is identical to existing ammunitions except for the fact that it is developed with new bullet design and included new materials for producing. Stiletto Systems states that developing a new generation of bullets that have a 3 part designed to revolutionize how bullets impact and pierces targets protected by to 20.5 mm armour plate. The company has demonstrated the ability to penetrate modern body armour using small calibre weapons and the ammunition’s abilities against heavy armoured plates, indicating that the future soldier may be more than capable of engaging an armoured vehicle without recourse to heavy weapons or artillery. What this means in practical terms is that a NATO’s soldier can carry a smaller andlighter payload of equipment and ammunition, but is still be able to perform as if they were carrying significantly heavier equipment. This improves agility yet reduces fatigue and ensures greater stamina and effectiveness in even the most strenuous and demanding of situations. Operatives can also carry a variety of different ammunition for different applications to suit the circumstances. An infantry soldier can convert his rifle into a weapon capable of stopping an armoured fighting vehicle with a single shot and then switch back to standard ammunition. To date, Stiletto System products have successfully completed extensive certification with independent testing bodies and have been certified by the Defence Academy of the UK and, ABAL, Brussels as well as major ammunition producers including General Dynamics and Orbital ATK in the USA.
Report: Pilot error cause of deadly military plane crash | Fox News
Investigators say the cause of a military plane crash that left nine people dead outside Savannah, Georgia, was pilot error.
This Photocell Generates Both Power and Hydrogen – IEEE Spectrum
A novel hybrid photocell produces both power and hydrogen, providing a tool that could accelerate the transition to carbon-free power
NATO looks to hi-tech startups to tackle emerging threats | UNIAN
NATO is developing new hi-tech tools, such as the ability to 3D-print parts for weapons and deliver them by drone, as it scrambles to retain a competitive edge over Russia, China and other would-be battlefield adversaries. NATO is focused on areas such as artificial intelligence, connectivity, quantum computing, big data and hypervelocity, also seeking to improve the logistics of moving weapons and troops.


George Washington, William T. Sherman and Viking Marauders – The New York Times
Lessons about war from the American Revolution, the Civil War, medieval Britain and West Africa.
A WWII hero returns to Germany to meet his enemy – CNN
He was a legendary tank commander in WWII who returned to the scene of a battle 68 years later to meet a former enemy and answer one question about a woman he encountered in a battle: Did she live?

IW/EW/IO/Cyber/Social Media Reports


The Untold Story: How China Rerouted Web Traffic to Steal U.S. Secrets | Newsmax.com
Chinese operatives have surreptitiously rerouted vast swathes of U.S. internet traffic into China so they can copy or alter it before forwarding it on to its proper destination, sources confirm.
The US Military Just Publicly Dumped Russian Government Malware Online – To Inform is to Influence
RUSSIAN HACKERS | By Joseph Cox | Nov 10 2018, 11:24pm US Cyber Command, a part of the military tasked with hacking and cybersecurity operations, says it is releasing malware samples as an information sharing effort. Usually it’s the Russians that dump its enemies’ files. This week, US Cyber Command (CYBERCOM), a part of the military…
France to embed ‘regulators’ at Facebook to combat hate speech
French President Emmanuel Macron announced a plan on Monday to combat hate speech on Facebook by embedding regulators on the social site.
Mob burned to death two men falsely accused of child organ trafficking, report says | Fox News
A false rumor spread via the messaging application WhatsApp led to the brutal beating and murder of two men by a mob in a central Mexican town earlier this year, reports say.
Harnessing Blockchain for American Business and Prosperity | Center for Strategic and International Studies
10 Use Cases, 10 Big Questions, 5 Solutions
DHS-Funded Tech Could Help Calculate the Costs of Cyberattacks – Defense One
The agency awarded $1.3 million to research helping organizations weigh the benefits of different cyber tools.


Russian accused of online fraud arrested in Bulgaria on warrant issued by the United States – CNN
A Russian citizen accused of online fraud involving millions of dollars has been arrested in Varna, Bulgaria, on a warrant issued by the United States and is awaiting extradition proceedings, according to a statement by the Varna District Court issued Thursday.
Ukraine’s neo-Nazis ‘believed’ to have trained US white supremacists – FBI — RT US News
Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov battalion is “believed to have participated in training and radicalizing” US-based white supremacists, the FBI said in a recent indictment of several California men involved in the Charlottesville violence.
FBI: Neo-Nazi Militia Trained by US Military in Ukraine Now Training US White Supremacists
Several American white supremacists were allegedly radicalized by and received training from Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion

US Domestic Policy Reports


Pence confronts Putin: Vice president seen starring down the Russian president  | Daily Mail Online
Vice President Mike Pence starred down Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit in Singapore, where the U.S. says he entreated the foreign leader not meddle in America’s elections. Vice president starred down Vladimir Putin at a summit in Singapore, where the U.S. says he entreated him not meddle in American elections. Said in an interview that Trump has also told Putin that America will vigorously defend the sanctity of its ballot box. Putin and Trump are set to meet in two weeks at the G20 summit in Argentina. Relations are at their lowest ebb after the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. But the pair appeared amiable at the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day in Paris. The pair shook hands on camera and Putin gave Trump a thumbs up.
Pence: Trump administration has ‘defended the freedom of the press on the world stage’ | TheHill
Vice President Pence on Thursday insisted the Trump administration has defended the freedom of the press globally, and dismissed comparisons between the White House’s decision to revoke CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass and Pence’s cr
Poll: Trump has little support for reelection bid – POLITICO
US president’s approval rating stands fairly steady, but most surveyed don’t want to see him win in 2020.
With Democrats Controlling The House, Military Likely To Get Greater Scrutiny : NPR
The Trump administration’s military operations in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq have been relatively free of congressional oversight. That will change in the House when Democrats take control next year.
U.S. Holds Off on Russian Sanctions for Now – Barron’s
The State Department says it will wait to consult with Congress on how to address an ex-Russian spy’s poisoning in the U.K. Russian shares still can’t overcome poor U.S. relations. Two harsh anti-Russian bills introduced in the Senate earlier this year, known by the acronyms Daskaa and Deter, may also languish for now. “Those may not be enacted into law unless some new development occurs,” says William Courtney, a former top diplomat now with RAND. But “unless” and “for now” are the operative terms here. Russian stocks barely reacted to Washington’s sanctions punt, and for good reason. U.S.-Russia relations continue to tread through global trip wires—Idlib and the Russian navy’s apparent harassment of Ukrainian merchant ships in the Black Sea—as well as domestic—Robert Mueller’s pending report on Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election, or its suppression by Trump’s new acting attorney general. Analysts view the Democrats’ recapture of the House of Representatives as broadly negative for Russia. “The Republicans seem to have switched to China as enemy No. 1, but Democrats still see Russia,” says Tatiana Orlova, founder of research group Emerginomics. “Juicy real yields” on so-far unsanctioned Russian government bonds, which pay close to 9% in rubles over inflation of less than 3%, may tempt tactical investors, she notes. Longer-term players will likely wait for clearer political skies.
Trump Denies Discussing Russia Probe With Whitaker
U.S. President Donald Trump has denied discussing the ongoing Russia investigation with Matthew Whitaker before appointing him as acting attorney general this week.
Democrats Say They May Tie Legislation To Protection Of Russia Probe
A leading Democrat says his party is looking at introducing a bill to Congress that would protect the probe investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and any possible collusio…
Pompeo Faces a World of Challenges. Add House Democrats to the List. – The New York Times
The treacherous political environment ushered in by a new House Democratic majority comes as the administration’s foreign policy strategies are under strain around the world.
Mira Ricardel forced out of White House – CNNPolitics
The White House, after a day of uncertainty, confirmed Wednesday that deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel is leaving her position after first lady Melania Trump’s office issued an unprecedented public statement calling for her ouster.
Acting U.S. Attorney General To ‘Consult’ About Recusing Himself From Russia Probe
Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will consult with ethics officials about whether his past criticism of a special investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election requires him to recuse himself, the Justice Department said.
The sniper shortfall: Why the Corps could lose its next urban fight
The Corps says it only has 150 sergeants and below holding the coveted 0317 scout sniper job field.
U.S. Senate Leader Blocks Bipartisan Bill To Protect Russia Probe
The Republican leader of the U.S. Senate has blocked a bipartisan effort to pass legislation to protect the special counsel investigating ties between Russia and President Donald Trump’s election c…
Rumored-dead professor embroiled in Russia investigation wants to testify before Senate
A lawyer for Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese professor who told former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos that the Russians had thousands of Hillary Clinton’s emails, says his client is willing to testify in the Senate.
Missing Professor at Center of Trump-Russia Probe Wants to Testify Before the Senate: Lawyer – The Daily Beast
Joseph Mifsud allegedly told ex-Trump aide George Papadopoulos about Russian “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
Here’s the FBI’s Warning Signs of a Mass Shooter – Defense One
A prior arrest. Unmarried. A history of abusive behavior. Oh, and 94% are men.
POUTUS: Not tough on allies, Trump is just petulant and unlikeable | Salon.com
Donald Trump only pretended to honor the dead last week in France
Why American Oil Hasn’t Been a Total Game-Changer – Foreign Policy
The U.S. is now the world’s top producer, but Saudi Arabia still holds the key to crude prices.
U.S. Gives Russian Aluminum Tycoon More Time To Comply With Sanctions
The United States has once again postponed the enforcement of sanctions against Russian aluminum giant Rusal and two other companies to allow their top shareholder time to carry out a plan to pare …
DEA and ICE are Hiding Surveillance Cameras in Streetlights – Defense One
So far, the public doesn\’t know where or how the cameras are being installed.
US panel warns against government purchase of Chinese tech
In its annual report on Wednesday, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission warns of dangers to the U.S. government and private sector from a reliance on global supply chains linked to China, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of information technology equipment.


The US military’s top officer says Russia and China present different challenges — but they both can rival US power | Business Insider
In September, Russian armed forces, joined by Chinese and Mongolian troops, gathered in the country’s east for Vostok-18, an “unprecedented” military exercise that Russia said was the largest since 1981.
The Wrong Time to Cut Defense
Last month, when the Treasury Department reported that the fiscal year 2018 deficit was a staggering $779 billion, President Trump made an announcement.
Nukes, the New Congress, and the Lost Art of Political Compromise – Defense One
In the past, arms controllers and deterrence boosters compromised on deals that ultimately reduced nuclear dangers. No more.
Senior Defense Officials Offer Dueling Pricetags for Space Force – Defense One
Hours after the Pentagon’s No. 2 floated a sub-$5 billion figure, the Air Force secretary stood by her $13-billion estimate.
Trump’s Space Force Faces an Uncertain Fate – Defense One
Congressional lawmakers, including Republicans, were skeptical of the idea long before the midterms.
Military Sway at Pentagon Undermines Tenet of Civilian Control, Study Finds – WSJ
The Pentagon’s military staff is dominating critical deliberations to such an extent that it is undermining the principle of civilian control of the armed forces, according to a study by former high-ranking national-security officials
And Miles to Go Before I Sleep: The Air Force’s Stratification Problem
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. -Robert Frost When
The A-10 Warthog’s biggest advocate lost her bid for the Senate, but does it actually matter?
Rep. Martha McSally’s loss of the Arizona Senate seat could have big implications for the future of the Air Force’s famous close-air support plane.
Pentagon task force not a ‘quick-fix’ to protect critical technology
A Pentagon task force to prevent the swiping of American secrets and improve supply chain cybersecurity will include representatives from at least seven agencies and is expected to have a long-term vision.
Decorated Navy SEAL is Accused of War Crimes in Iraq – The New York Times
Prosecutors say Edward Gallagher turned bloodthirsty on his eighth deployment, shooting civilians and stabbing a captive. His lawyer called the charges baseless.
SEAL allegedly texted photos holding ISIS fighter’s head – Business Insider
Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher allegedly killed the wounded fighter in Iraq. Defense attorneys say the charges are “payback” attempts from fellow SEALs.

 

Advertisements