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Defending Freedom

Next Gen Air Force Jet Trainer Must Be American Designed and Made

The U.S. Air Force is closing in on awarding a contract for its new two-seat jet trainer. The average age of the existing trainer fleet is more than 50 years old. So this upgrade is none too soon. The new trainer, dubbed the T-X, must meet a long list of requirements to help prepare American pilots for a wide variety of complex missions over the next 50 years — including preparing our pilots to fly cutting edge jet fighters like the F-18 Super Hornet, F-22 Raptor, and F-35 Lightning II.

Two of the three major competitors are foreign firms — from Italy and South Korea. They have partnered with two different American companies to bump up their ties to America.

The one American firm, Boeing, is America’s most well-known aerospace company, and has designed and built from the ground up a new jet to specifically meet all of the Air Force’s training requirements and insure that costs — especially operational costs over the life of the jet — are low. Continue reading


The STOP Act Would Strengthen the Postal Service and Protect Public Safety 

By Frontiers of Freedom

This week, the House Ways and Means Committee, led by Chairman Kevin Brady released a new bipartisan bill to help tackle grave concerns that have persisted surrounding the nation’s opioid epidemic. The Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act would begin to help address the staggering vulnerabilities within U.S. Postal Service for delivering packages from overseas. 

For years, drug traffickers have been able to successfully ship deadly opioids into the U.S. through the Postal Service due to agency’s inadequate procedures which have omitted key practices to collect advance electronic data and thus have failed to properly identify threats. 

Currently, the agency does not thoroughly trace senders and receivers or even electronically track packages sent through foreign postal services. Even dating back to 2014, former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder said he was gravely concerned about the number of people sending illegal drugs through the USPS.

Now, thanks to Chairman Brady, as well as Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Representatives Mike Bishop (R-MI), Dave Reichert (R-WA), and John Faso (R-NY) we appear to have a fully viable plan to mitigate the Postal Service’s deficiencies that have contributed to this epidemic.

Frontiers of Freedom president George Landrith stated, “It is time the U.S. Postal service began putting the public safety of Americans first. Right now the Postal Service’s security standards are not up to code. This allows for unsafe products, food, other hazardous materials, and drugs to enter into the United States.

“We must support legislation that will help stop a national crisis and force the U.S. Postal service to get in line with best practices in shipping and thoroughly adopt the readily available technologies for targeting the potential threats that have persisted in inbound packages.”


Our War Fighters Deserve the Best Equipment and Information

By George LandrithMorning Consult

Americans understand the importance of arming our military with the best equipment and information. Whether it is a fighter jet, armored vehicle or an information platform, Americans want the brave men and women who defend our nation and our freedom to have every possible advantage in any conflict they may face.

Information technology is finally getting the attention it deserves. The Defense Department is working on an important effort to update and modernize its cloud information capabilities. The program, Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, is designed, for example, to make sure that when our special forces raid a compound, they can receive and transmit updated information in real time. They could get almost immediate translations of documents that are found in the compound which could warn them of immediate dangers and save lives because of the speed with which they would receive vital information and analysis.

JEDI holds tremendous potential to give our war fighters real time access to not only data but high tech analytics. Just as we want our soldiers to have the best equipment, we also want them Continue reading


US Air Force’s New KC-46 Pegasus Tanker is Good News for Military and Taxpayers

By George LandrithAmerican Military News

Boeing plans to begin delivering the new high-tech KC-46 Pegasus Tanker to the U.S. Air Force in the very near future.

There have been exhaustive tests, and the data from those tests has been turned over to the FAA and the Pentagon for final certification. Depending on how long it takes the government to review the data and provide the required certifications, the new tanker will be flying and refueling soon. This is great news because the planes that the new tanker will be replacing are on average 55 years old and many date back to the Eisenhower Administration.

It may surprise some to hear that the KC-46 Pegasus Tanker is a good news story on many different levels. Why a surprise? Because some treat every development challenge as a failure — even when those challenges are overcome and the final product is spectacular. Additionally, some contract bureaucrats inside the Pentagon Continue reading


Secure the Homeland and Ignore the Jones Act Blame Game

By George LandrithTownhall

While Puerto Rico is still recovering from last year’s severe hurricane damage, the all too predictable push to blame the tragedy on the Jones Act appears to have passed — for now. But almost like clockwork, this false blame game will be replayed whenever opponents of the Jones Act think they can spread falsehood during times of tragedy to gain a political advantage. When that next moment comes, the tired, oft-repeated, and baseless arguments will be trotted out once again.

The Jones Act, or more precisely, the “Merchant Marine Act of 1920,” simply requires goods shipped between U.S. ports to be shipped on American vessels crewed by Americans. It does not limit foreign vessels from bringing goods to US ports. It only prevents foreign ships from carrying cargo between two or more US ports. This has a number of homeland security benefits as well as ensuring that our military has a robust merchant marine sea lift capability and ship repair industry.

Some may assume that Americans are burned out on debating the Jones Act’s merits every time there’s a hurricane or some other event that supplies the pretext to blame the nearly 100 year old law. But when I recently spoke at a public policy conference, I saw Continue reading


The Iran deal is dead — Iran killed it

By Kenneth R. Timmerman • Fox News

Security expert Ryan Mauro comments on ‘Fox & Friends First.’

The Iran nuclear deal is dead – and the mullahs who rule the Islamic Republic have only themselves to blame.

There is no need for President Trump to even announce that the United States is pulling out of the deal. Iran killed the agreement through its own willful actions and blatant lies, even before the deal was officially implemented on Jan. 16, 2016.

President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry – who negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran and the European Union, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – heaped praise on the agreement when it was reached in July 2015, ignoring its fatal flaws.

The premise of the deal, which was designed to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, was simple: Iran agreed to restrictions on its nuclear activities and said it would provide Continue reading


Pentagon Confirms Chinese Fired Lasers at U.S. Pilots

By Bill Gertz • Washington Free Beacon

The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that Chinese nationals fired lasers near a military base in east Africa against U.S. military aircraft in the region, injuring several pilots.

Pentagon Press Secretary Dana White said the U.S. government made diplomatic protests to the Chinese government over several recent incidents of laser firings near China’s first overseas military base at Djibouti.

“These are very serious incidents. There have been two minor injuries. This activity poses a threat to our airmen,” White told reporters.

“We have formally demarched the Chinese government, and we’ve requested that the Chinese investigate these incidents,” she added.

The number of incidents is “more than Continue reading


U.S. Air Force to Ramp Up Commitments to Space Amid Chinese Threat

By Natalie Johnson • Washington Free Beacon

The United States Air Force is accelerating investment in space as Chinese advancements threaten to penetrate American systems in the previously uncontested domain, top service officials said during a congressional hearing Tuesday.

Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Air Force secretary Heather Wilson and chief of staff General David Goldfein both identified China’s space innovation and “rapid growth” in military capabilities among their top concerns facing the service in the coming years.

“Some of the work they’re doing in space, it’s very aggressive,” Goldfein said. “We built our space architecture in an era when space was a rather benign domain, so … we’re very focused on taking some bold moves in this budget to increase our ability to defend what we have in space.”

Continue reading


Iran Continues to Hide Past Nuclear Weapons Work

by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Iran continues to hide key work it undertook on nuclear weapons development while perfecting ballistic missile technology that could carry such a weapon, according to a new report from a senior Israeli military official that has fueled calls from Trump administration insiders and Congress to nix the deal ahead of a May deadline.

Significant flaws in the original nuclear deal reached by the Obama administration with Iran has enabled Iran’s ballistic missile program and permitted the Islamic Republic to obfuscate ongoing work on nuclear enrichment and possible weaponization technologies, according to Jacob Nagel, the former head of Israel’s National Security Council.

Loopholes in the original agreement have allowed Iran to continue working on advanced nuclear centrifuges that can enrich uranium—the key component in a nuclear weapon—at least 15 to 20 times faster than original models of these devices, according to Nagel, who is serving as a visiting fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, or FDD. Continue reading


Satellite spat reveals commercial industry priorities

By George LandrithThe Hill

This month on the brink of another deadline, Congress passed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill to fund the government for the remainder of fiscal year 2018, including hundreds of billions in critical funding for the U.S. military. As with any 2,322 page bill, some of the most interesting consequences are the ones you haven’t read about yet.

Included in the spending bill was $600 million for two additional Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) satellites badly needed by the U.S. Air Force. The WGS system is the backbone of our military’s global satellite communications, currently providing the vast majority of the global high-data-rate communications capability for marines, soldiers, sailors, airmen, the White House Communication Agency, the U.S. State Department, and some of our key international partners. As you might imagine, secure and dependable satellite communications are vital for the global security missions we demand of our military every day.

WGS satellites provide excellent value for the taxpayer. Boeing and the Air Force have been able to increase capability on each successive WGS, while at the same time reducing the per-satellite cost. WGS satellites also have unique military features that allow it to operate in contested, warfighting environments. Continue reading


Party Directive Reveals Increased Chinese Theft of U.S. Technology

by Bill Gertz • Washington Free Beacon

China’s Communist Party recently authorized an aggressive program of stealing U.S. science and technology information by recruiting Americans in the tech sector with access to trade secrets, according to an internal Party directive.

The directive outlines a secret program authorized by the general office of the Communist Party of China (CCP) Central Committee of stepped up technology collection beginning in late 2016 and carried out by an intelligence unit called the United Front Work Department.

The document is an approval order from the Central Committee for a “working plan on strengthening the intensity of United Front Work in the area of science and technology of the United States in 2017.”

“The united front work targeted on the areas of science and technology of the United States is an important measure of our party to deeply divide western hostile forces, to maintain social stability, to ensure national security, to comprehensively advance the rapid development of our own science and technology and economy, to accelerate the construction of national defense modernization, and to consolidate the overseas united front,” the document states. Continue reading


U.S. Sanctions Russian Intelligence Services

by Bill Gertz • Washington Free Beacon

The Trump administration on Thursday imposed economic sanctions on 19 Russians and two Russian intelligence agencies for their role in the 2016 election meddling and costly cyber attacks and penetrations.

The Russian spy agencies included the Federal Security Service and the GRU military intelligence service, along with six GRU officers.

No FSB officers were named in the Treasury Department list of sanctioned Russians, although 13 Russians indicted last month in a separate action, were named.

The Russians are linked to the Internet Research Agency, a St. Petersburg operation that used social media to interfere with the presidential election.

Government officials did not say whether the Internet Research Agency was a front organization for the Russian government.

Officials also revealed that Russian cyber actors conducted reconnaissance into industrial control systems related to the U.S. electrical grid in a bid to obtain sensitive information that could be used in future attacks aimed at shutting down power networks. Continue reading


So Long to the Iran Deal

by Matthew Continetti • Washington Free Beacon

Almost immediately after the news broke that President Trump intends to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA director Mike Pompeo, media figures speculated that the decision was about Russia. The argument went like this: Tillerson was fired because he had recently criticized the Russian government for its attack using a nerve agent on a former spy living in the United Kingdom. He thereby endangered détente with Russian president Vladimir Putin and so, the critics said, Trump sacked him.

Yet the rumor was exposed as false almost as soon as it was aired. For one thing, Tillerson had been informed that he would be removed days before he made his entirely justified condemnation of Russian behavior. For another, the Trump administration soon came out hard against the assassination attempt. Nikki Haley lambasted Russia at the United Nations. President Trump signed a joint statement with the British prime minister, French president, and German chancellor assigning responsibility to Russia. The Treasury Department announced further sanctions against Russian cyber-warfare.

It was Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon who first reported the real story. Tillerson had been engaged in a months-long defense of the Iran nuclear deal that finally reached an impasse when he took Europe’s side in debates over the agreement. Continue reading


Iranian Supreme Leader Demands Americans Disarm

By Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is calling on America to “make guns illegal” in light of deadly shootings that have taken place across the United States, according to comments made by the Iranian leader over the week.

Khamenei, who has instructed his government to spend billions of dollars on military hardware and ballistic missiles, lashed out at the United States over the weekend, calling on America to ban all guns in light of a series of domestic shootings.

“No one dares apply the clear solution to the promotion of guns and homicide in America. What’s the solution? It’s to make guns illegal,” Khamenei wrote on Twitter. Continue reading


Putin Unveils Nuclear-Powered Cruise Missiles, Drone Submarines for Attacking U.S.

By Bill Gertz • Washington Free Beacon

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in language suggesting the start of a new Cold War, revealed Russia is building nuclear-powered cruise missiles, drone submarines, and other strategic arms designed to attack the United States.

During an annual address, the Russian leader boasted the new cruise missile was tested in December and utilizes small nuclear reactor technology recently developed by Russian weapons designers.

Videos shown during the speech showed a model of the new missile and other high-tech arms, including one that simulated a Russian nuclear strike on the United States. Continue reading