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Defending Freedom

U.S. Adversaries Closing Gap With American Aircraft Capabilities

by Natalie Johnson • Washington Free Beacon

U.S. adversaries are rapidly catching up to America’s fifth generation fighter aircraft capabilities—a risk that has exacerbated given ongoing cyber vulnerabilities in the F-35 fighter jet program, according to an Air Force major general.

Maj. Gen. Jerry Harris Jr., the vice commander of Air Combat Command at the Langley, Va., base, said Thursday that while the United States maintains an advantage in the stealth and weapons capacities inherent in fifth generation fighter aircraft models, adversaries are “quickly closing the gap.”

“We are trying to maximize our ability to procure fifth generation airplanes and go from a 100 percent fourth generation fleet to a significant mix of fifth generation [planes] so that we have the opportunity to operate in these hostile environments against these threats that are catching us faster than we thought they would,” Harris testified before the House Armed Services Committee. Continue reading


Russian Jets Buzzed U.S. Destroyer

by Bill Gertz • Washington Free Beacon

Four Russian military aircraft conducted low passes against a U.S. destroyer in the Black Sea last week, the first such military provocation since the new Trump administration took office.

The incident took place Feb. 10 and involved the USS Porter, a guided missile destroyer, fending off low flights by what the commander of the ship regarded as potentially dangerous flybys.

“There were several incidents involving multiple Russian aircraft,” said Navy Capt. Danny Hernandez, spokesman for the European Command. “They were assessed by the commanding officer as unsafe and unprofessional.”

The first buzzing involved two Russian Su-24 jet fighters followed by a single Su-24 and, in a third incident, an IL-38 transport aircraft. Continue reading


Afghan Government Lost 15% of Its Territory Last Year

by Morgan Chalfant • Washington Free Beacon

The government of Afghanistan lost almost 15 percent of its territory last year, as Taliban insurgents continued to launch attacks amid declines in U.S. and allied military personnel.

The figure is included in a government watchdog’s latest assessment of the security situation and reconstruction effort in Afghanistan. The assessment comes as the Donald Trump administration grapples with how to move forward in what has become America’s longest war.

“Analysis of the most recent data provided by U.S. Forces in Afghanistan (USFOR-A) suggests that the security situation in Afghanistan has not improved this quarter,” states the latest quarterly report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR. “The numbers of the Afghan security forces are decreasing, while both casualties and the number of districts under insurgent control or influence are increasing.” Continue reading


CIA Veteran: Europe a ‘Launching Pad’ for ISIS to Attack the U.S.

by Natalie Johnson • Washington Free Beacon

Europe serves as a “launching pad” for ISIS jihadists to initiate attacks against the United States due to the absence of a cohesive information-sharing strategy among Western nations, former acting CIA director John McLaughlin said Wednesday.

McLaughlin, a 30-year CIA employee who served as acting director under the George W. Bush administration, warned that the absence of effective coordination between European intelligence agencies exposes the United States to greater risk of attack.

Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, McLaughlin said the Trump administration must work with European allies to establish an intelligence-sharing platform that coordinates Europe’s extensive network of security services. Continue reading


Trump Admin: Iran in Breach of Nuke Deal

by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

In a vast departure from the Obama White House, the Trump administration went on record Wednesday to accuse Iran of being in violation of the landmark nuclear agreement as a result of its recent test of ballistic missile technology, according to a senior White House official, who said that Iran has officially been put “on notice.”

Retired Gen. Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, accused Iran of breaching international accords governing the nuclear agreement. He lashed out at the Islamic Republic for threatening American military assets in the Persian Gulf region.

Flynn’s remarks represent a break with the previous administration, which worked to hide Iranian transgressions and declined to publicly state that Iran’s behavior violated the nuclear deal. Continue reading


Army’s Ground Combat Systems Risk Being Surpassed by Russia, China

by Morgan Chalfant • Daily Caller

The U.S. Army’s ground combat systems risk being surpassed by those being developed by foreign countries such as Russia and China, according to a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

The Army is currently using main battle tanks, tracked infantry fighting vehicles, tracked self-propelled artillery, and multiple launch rocket systems developed during the Soviet era. Billion-dollar plans to modernize the force’s ground combat systems have been cancelled over the last decade.

Meanwhile, potential adversaries have prioritized funding new weapons systems and technologies for their forces, raising concerns among American experts about the shrinking capability gap between the United States and other nations. Continue reading


Joint Chiefs Warn of Increased Cooperation of Terrorist, Criminal Networks

by Morgan Chalfant • Washington Free Beacon

Criminal and terrorist networks are evolving “out of view” of U.S. intelligence and increasingly cooperating to achieve their goals, according to a new document from the U.S. military that calls for a better coordinated effort between the Pentagon and other government agencies to counter threat networks.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for the United States to deter threats from transnational networks such as terrorist organizations and groups trafficking illicit goods, according to the document from the Joint Chiefs of Staff published in late December.

The Joint Publication 3-25, which was recently highlighted by the Federation of American Scientists, evaluated the United States’ efforts to counter networks threatening U.S. interests at home and abroad, calling for more interagency work and partnerships with international organizations and allies to deter them. Continue reading


Sanctioned Iranian Airlines Ferrying Illicit Weapons to Tehran

by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Two airlines sanctioned by the United States for enabling Iran’s global terrorist operations appear to have played a central role in moving illicit missile components from Ukraine to the Islamic Republic, according to information obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Ukrainian authorities confirmed this week they had seized a shipment of missile system components bound for Iran, which could put the Islamic Republic in violation of international bans prescribed under the nuclear agreement.

Video of the seizure show Ukrainian authorities uncovering 17 boxes of missile parts bound for Iran and meant to be used in its Fagot anti-tank guided missile system.

Sources familiar with the incident told the Free Beacon that the airlines involved in this illicit activity have long been sanctioned by the United States for providing support to Iran’s global terror network. Continue reading


Spiteful Obama Lashes Out at Netanyahu and Putin (and Trump) But Hits America Too

by Dimitri K. Simes and Paul J. Saunders • National Interest

One need not admire Benjamin Netanyahu or Vladimir Putin or, for that matter, approve of Israeli or Russian conduct, to see Barack Obama’s recent efforts to punish the two states for what they really are. Indeed, Mr. Obama’s efforts seem directed more at his successor than at any serious U.S. foreign policy objective. The outgoing president’s efforts to tie President-Elect Donald Trump’s hands in both domestic and foreign policy appear particularly un-presidential after his petulant complaints that America should have only one president at a time—a rule he apparently sees as applying in only one direction as he defiantly disregards the deference typically shown to an incoming commander-in-chief.

On Israel, Mr. Obama had to know that America’s abstention in voting on a United Nations Security Council Resolution critical of Israel would neither change Israeli settlement policy nor undermine Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political standing in his country. Continue reading


The Rape of Syria

By Dr. Miklos K. Radvanyi

Poor Syria. Strategically located at the northern edge of the Middle East on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, with its archeological finds dating back nearly eight thousand years, is perhaps the oldest continually inhabited place of the world. Its two most important cities Aleppo and Damascus had been the capitals of numerous empires dating back at least to the thirtieth century BC. Throughout its history, ancient Syria was blessed with productive agriculture, profitable trade as well as thriving urbanized culture that created religions and philosophies, and invented the very first alphabet. On the other hand, ancient and modern Syria had been also cursed and shaped by never ending cycles of religious and sectarian violence.

The roots of the civil war that started in the beginning of 2011 go back to the mid-9th century when Ibn Nusayr declared himself the “Bab” – the “gateway to truth.” Proclaiming his teachings to be the only true religion, Ibn Nusayr preached the Holy Trinity of Muhammad, his cousin and son in law Husayn ibn Ali, and Salman al-Farisi, a freed Persian slave of Muhammad’s. Ali was also elevated to be the Jesus-like incarnation of divinity. Borrowing further from Christianity, he made the symbolic presentation of bread and wine an integral part of religious services, in which wine represents God himself. Moreover, the Nusayris, also called Alawis or Ansaris, celebrate almost all Christian festivals and holidays, and worship most of the Christian saints. Finally, Ibn Nusayr denied the five pillars of Islam and rejected the Shari’a in its entirety.

Continue reading


White House On Defense After Being Exposed as Architect of Anti-Israel U.N. Action

by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Senior Obama administration officials are scrambling to provide explanations after multiple reports, including in the Washington Free Beacon, identified the White House as being a chief architect of a recent United Nations resolution condemning the state of Israel, according to conversations with multiple former and current U.S. officials.

On the heels of the hotly contested resolution, which condemned Israel for building homes in its capital, Jerusalem, senior Obama administration officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden, have been identified as leading the charge to ensure the anti-Israel measure won approval by the U.N. Security Council.

The administration’s denials of this charge broke down during the past several days as multiple reporters confirmed the Obama administration worked behind-the-scenes to help shape and forward the resolution. Continue reading


Congress Moving to Cut U.S. Funding to U.N. in Wake of Anti-Israel Vote

by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Congress is already setting the stage to cut off U.S. funding to the United Nations in the wake of a contested vote last week in which the Obama administration permitted an anti-Israel resolution to win overwhelming approval, according to congressional leaders, who told the Washington Free Beacon that the current administration is already plotting to take further action against the Jewish state before vacating office.

Other punitive actions by Congress could include expelling Palestinian diplomats from U.S. soil and scaling back ties with foreign nations that voted in favor of the controversial measure, according to multiple sources who spoke to the Free Beacon about the situation both on and off the record.

The Obama administration is still under bipartisan attack for its decision to help craft and facilitate the passage of a U.N. resolution condemning the construction of Jewish homes in Jerusalem, a move that reversed years of U.S. policy on the matter. Continue reading


The United Nations’ Resolution No. 2334

By Dr. Miklos K. Radvanyi

From time immemorial, human beings had been waging war on common sense for one reason or another. This has been especially true for the discombobulated collection of diametrically opposed socialist theories of the 19th and 20th centuries. While their fundamental demand for ubiquitous egalitarianism has appealed to the democratic notion of many individuals, the practical implementations of these theories in the former Soviet Union, Mussolini’s Italy, and Hitler’s Germany between the two World Wars, and their less dictatorial incarnations in Western Europe, Asia, Africa, and Central and South America after 1945, have proved the utter impracticality and even grotesque senselessness of purely intellectual governmental coercion.

The tired wind of these failed theories has reached its apex in the United States with the election to the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama in 2008. Hailed by his ideologically blinded followers as superhuman both in intellect and morality, the Obama phenomenon has been an intoxicating mixture of radically different traits. Youthful, yet in his nearly religious cadence seemingly mature, lawyerly and human, realist and dreamer, down to earth and rebellious, desirous of peace and harmony, yet ready to wage war against injustice, he has quickly captured the imagination of the war-weary and economically threatened majority of American voters.

For the intellectually less blinded and, therefore, more discerning American and European observers of the 2008 campaign, however, the warning signs have been there all along. From his tormented emotional attachment to his absentee father’s dubious legacy and his tragic demise to his intellectually inferior two books on his poetic life story, and his more than shallow political philosophy, they have sensed Obama’s hidden, yet in unguarded moments present, intense hatred for American society and its white majority. Especially, European writers have been quick to point out the outrightly idiotic elements in Obama’s campaign rhetoric. These and similar objections to Obama’s fishy change and hope message have been dismissed by his adoring supporters as racist manifestations of a bigoted minority. Unfortunately, those who opposed Obama’s candidacy have been proven correct by his policies during his eight year tenure at the helm of the American government.

The chief cause of President Obama’s total failure in domestic as well as foreign policies has been his belief that he is a transformative politician, who has been chosen by history to continually change the world without possessing the intellectual abilities, and the experience to distinguish between positive and negative changes. This unfortunate combination of self-generated delirium and the malicious stubbornness of a maniacal hater will mark Barack Hussein Obama a pseudo-politician and, indeed, an idiot. Moreover, his tragedy has been compounded by the fact that the more failures he has experienced the more hateful he has become. And the more hateful he has become the greater the destruction has been that he has wrought upon the United States and the rest of the world.

The case in point has been his visceral hatred against the Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. Intellectually far superior and incomparably more experienced than President Obama, the Israeli Prime Minister has bested the former whenever they have met in front of the domestic and the international media. Displaying his inherent cowardness and petty-mindedness, President Obama has facilitated and approved the United Nation Security Council Resolution on December 23, 2016, to declare the construction of Israeli settlements on the West Bank of the Jordan River illegal under international law. Not unexpectedly, Resolution No. 2334 has been greeted by most of the Muslim states as binding condemnation of Israel by the entire international community. In the United States the Resolution has been viewed as another manifestation of the decline, corruption, and uselessness of the United Nations.

Generally speaking, this Resolution cannot be viewed in isolation as Secretary of State John Kerry and Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes would like the world to believe. Rather, Resolution No. 2334 is an integral part of a continuing campaign by the member states of the Arab League and other Muslim states to deligitimize the state of Israel, a member of the United Nation. As of 2016, Israel has been condemned by the United Nations General Assembly and its various councils at least fifty times. In particular, the United States Human Rights Council has appeared to be almost exclusively concerned with the state of human rights in the only democratic state in the greater Middle East and beyond. From a Resolution passed by the General Assembly on November 10, 1975, declaring that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination” to the ludicrous Resolution 37/18 of November 16, 1982, calling on Israel to abstain from attacking nuclear facilities in neighboring states, and culminating in several identical resolutions calling on all nations to cut ties with the state of Israel, an unholy alliance of the former Soviet Union, presently Russia, the unified bloc of Muslim states, and an assortment of totally uninterested states eager to dip into the pockets of oil rich Arab states, have misused the United Nations to make a mockery out of international law. Resolution No. 2334 is no exception. Voted on by Russia that since 1945 had illegally occupied the Kuril Islands, invaded and recently annexed two region of the Republic of Georgia and the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, and eastern Ukraine; by the People’s Republic of China that has constructed illegal military facilities across the Pacific and has continuously invaded and threatened sovereign states in Asia; by Venezuela that has been a living political and economic hell since Hugo Chavez seized power; and by other nefarious members of the Security Council, is further proof of the gradual break of the United Nations with its founding objectives and principles.

Legally, however, the Resolution is almost totally meaningless, since it does not contain any sanctions against Israel. The only faintly relevant provision of the Resolution is Paragraph 5 that calls upon all states “…to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.” However, it is highly unlikely that this paragraph would substantially affect existing economic and trade relations between Israel and its partners.

The Obama Administration’s justification of approving the Resolution cannot be taken seriously. John Kerry’s assertion that “Israel’s occupation of the West Bank spawning terrorism” is laughable. Ben Rhodes in his sanctimonious statement emphasized that “We could not in good conscience veto a resolution that expressed concerns about the very trends that are eroding the foundation for a two-state solution.”

In political terms, the Resolution neither provides a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian question nor contributes to peace and stability in the Middle East. On the contrary, it only encourages Muslim radicals to push for the elimination of Israel. Yet, the existence of Israel in the Middle East is in the strategic interest of the United States, Europe, and the rest of the world. The alternative, namely, the abandonment of Israel would only serve the cause of Muslim radicals who view the reconquest of the territories they consider to be a part of the “House of Islam” as a first step in their expansion of Islam throughout the world. For this reason, it is time for the world to decisively reject the misleading propaganda of lies and ahistorical myths, stand up unitedly against the planned destruction of the Judeo-Christian civilization, and defend the political, economic and cultural values of the West.


Marines Eye More Cyber, Information Ops Roles With Troop Increase

by Morgan Chalfant • Washington Free Beacon

The Marine Corps plans to use a troop level increase approved by Congress this week to strengthen its cyber and information operations capabilities.

The Senate on Thursday approved in a 92-7 vote a sweeping defense policy bill that increases the end strength of the active U.S. armed forces, delivering the bill to President Obama’s desk for him to sign.

The Marine Corps will receive 3,000 additional active-duty troops from the current baseline of 182,000 Marines with the passage of the fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine commandant, said Wednesday that the service will use the troop increase to add roles to cyber, information operations, intelligence analysis, and electronic warfare capabilities. Continue reading


Congress Passes New Iran Sanctions, Ignoring Obama Admin Threats

by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Congress unanimously voted on Thursday to level new sanctions on Iran, sending a clear message that lawmakers stand opposed to the Obama administration’s continued concessions to Tehran in the final months before it leaves office, according to comments provided to the Washington Free Beacon.

The Obama administration, including Secretary of State John Kerry, made a final push in recent weeks to convince lawmakers to abandon the new sanctions, but lawmakers remained firm on Thursday, voting 99-0 to approve the new sanctions. Even Democrats who have supported the White House’s diplomacy voted in favor of the sanctions.

Senior Iranian officials have been adamant that new sanctions would violate last summer’s nuclear agreement and have threatened multiple times in recent months to walk away from the deal if the United States does not meet all of its demands under the deal. Continue reading