By Patrick Tucker • Defense One
LAS VEGAS — The Russian military is inside hundreds of thousands of routers owned by Americans and others around the world, a top U.S. cybersecurity official said on Friday. The presence of Russian malware on the routers, first revealed in May, could enable the Kremlin to steal individuals’ data or enlist their devices in a massive attack intended to disrupt global economic activity or target institutions.
On May 27, Justice Department officials asked Americans to reboot their routers to stop the attack. Afterwards, the world largely forgot about it. That’s a mistake, said Rob Joyce, senior advisor to the director of the National Security Agency and the former White House cybersecurity coordinator.
“The Russian malware is still there,” said Joyce.
On May 8, cybersecurity company Talos observed a spike in mostly Ukrainian victims of a new malware attack. Dubbed VPN Filter, the malware used code similar to the BlackEnergy tool that Russian forces have used (in modified form) to attack Ukrainian infrastructure. The U.S. intelligence community believes the culprits are the hackers known as APT 28 or Fancy Bear, Russian military operatives who were behind information attacks against Continue reading
Historically, most illusions have existed to disappoint. Western illusions that economic development and increased prosperity would somehow liberalize both politics and the economy in the People’s Republic of China have not fared better. The Sino-optimist in chief President Clinton envisioned in one of his frequent speeches that free enterprise would result in political freedom in the post-Mao China. Wexing almost poetic he predicted that the people “will demand a greater say.” His successor President George W. Bush also opined that China’s WTO entry would bring political benefits by enhancing “more open contacts with the world of freedom.” Not to left behind, self-described “citizen of the world” President Obama saw his mission in delivering rousing speeches about the burgeoning friendship between the two countries without ever developing a coherent China policy.
Initially, the optimism of successive American presidents appeared to be warranted. Mao Zedong, the incorrigible visionary with his belief in world revolution against Western domination and with his disastrous economic and social policies was replaced at the end of the 1970s by the cat and mouse pragmatist Deng Xiaoping. Having encouraged more economic freedom for a starter to his reforms, Deng had to quickly realize the potential political threats to the monopoly of Communist Party of China in the shape of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. He died a disappointed and embittered man, for his reforms failed to change iota the unworkable and rigid political system. After his death, he was followed by two faceless party bureaucrats, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. Their policies consisted of protecting the monopoly of the party, while taking advantage of China’s low cost manufacturing capabilities.
Three months after President Trump pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal on August 6, 2018, he unilaterally reinstated sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran. On this occasion he stated: “Our policy is based on a clear-eyed assessment of the Iranian dictatorship, its sponsorship of terrorism, and its continuing aggression in the Middle East and all around the world.”
Predictably, the foreign ministers of NATO expressed their collective “deep regret” over the President’s executive order. To further demonstrate their collective miscomprehension of reality, the European Union issued a “blocking statute” to protect European businesses from the renewed sanctions. To add insult to injury, European foreign policy guru Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of Great Britain, France, and Germany stated that they are committed to the “preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran, and the continuation of Iran’s export of oil and gas.” On the other hand, just a week ago, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel prevented Iran from lifting $400 million in dollar reserves kept in Frankfurt am Main. Indeed, the European Union’s policies toward Tehran are an exact reflection of its discombobulated state of affairs inside the organization itself. For good measure, quoting an unnamed senior American administration official, the Associated Press noted that the United States of America is “not particularly concerned” by such efforts to shield the European firms for American reprisals.
by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon
U.S. officials are fighting against a recently filed lawsuit by Iran in the International Court of Justice, or ICJ, that seeks to block the imposition of harsh new sanctions on Iran by the Trump administration, according to multiple U.S. officials who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.
Iranian officials launched a formal complaint with the ICJ, a legal body established by the United Nations to adjudicate disagreements between member nations, against the United States earlier this month, alleging the reimposition of harsh new sanctions on Iran by the Trump administration violates international treaties created as a result of the landmark nuclear agreement.
Iran’s lawsuit is reportedly gaining traction at the ICJ, which sent an official letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier this week urging him and the Trump administration to hold off on new sanctions amid an economic collapse in Iran that has ignited popular protests across the country. Continue reading
By Conor Beck • Washington Free Beacon
Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the carry ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii Wednesday night to mark the arrival of what is expected to be the remains of 55 American service members who died during the Korean War.
“We are gathered here at this honorable ceremony to receive 55 flag-draped cases which we trust include the remains of American heroes who fell in the Korean War,” Pence said at the beginning of his remarks. “Some have called the Korean War the forgotten War, but today, we prove these heroes were never forgotten. Today our boys are coming home.”
The North Korean government claims the remains of 55 fallen service members were returned, but the U.S. will now begin the work of identifying the remains. The gesture comes after the historic summit in Singapore between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. After the summit, Trump announced North Korea would return the remains of fallen U.S. soldiers from the Korean War back to the United States.
by Jack Heretik • Washington Free Beacon
Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials announced this week that coalition strikes have killed six Islamic State leaders in Iraq and Syria since April 24.
On April 24, Syria-based Munawwar al-Mutayari was killed by a coalition strike. He was believed to be working on terrorist attacks against Saudi Arabia.
Belgian Soufiane Makouh was killed in Syria on June 2 while he was planning attacks against the United States.
ISIS intelligence official Simak was killed on June 12. He was working with a terror cell plotting attacks in Sweden. Two other ISIS members who were working on the Sweden plot, Abu Awf and Abu-Quddamah, died soon after on June 24. Another member of the cell, Sharif al-Ragab, was killed on June 26. Continue reading
Eighteen months after the 2016 presidential elections, the United States of America finds itself in the throat of a most destructive existential crisis. The over two hundred forty years old Republic has been placed in this dangerous situation by the illegal manipulations of the political and legal systems of the extremely politicized Obama appointed political elite, in cohut with the entrenched Republican establishment, and not by the actions of the Trump Administration. These two political groups have been afraid of being exposed as conspirators to overturn the verdict of the majority of the American people against their steadily growing bureaucratic dictatorship. Hence the unending barrage of baseless allegations and outright lies to paralyze and ultimately overthrow the legitimately elected President of the United States of America.
The glaring contradictions between the constitutionally guaranteed freedoms and the gross abuses of bureaucratic powers by the Obama Administration have caused too many hatred and fears across all elements of American society. This toxic mix of hatred and fears has obscured the very real difference between right versus wrong, has made a mockery out of the rule of law, has introduced insanity as the new normal in the general discourse, and has destroyed basic morality in public life.
Having been elected President on November 8, 2016, among others on the strength of his fierce opposition to former President Barack Hussein Obama’s politically motivated and largely lawless immigration policies, Donald J. Trump has promised the American people to make the United States of America “safe again” from illegal immigration. While as President he has proceeded to forcefully implement his campaign promise, his opponents have steadily disregarded one of the cardinal rules of politics, namely that the sovereignty of the people in a democracy cannot be violated with impunity. Indeed, when their country has been invaded by an ever-growing crowd of uneducated and unskilled laborers, mostly unaccompanied minors – including some ruthless criminals – the vast majority of the citizenry have unified and became monster-like protectors of the laws, customs, and culture of the republic that they believed has been threatened by the unwanted foreigners. Moreover, sick of the chaos and anarchy caused by his predecessor’s ubiquitous incompetence, the majority of the citizenry voted for a strong leader who they believed will act upon his declared intentions and not let anybody step over his self-imposed red line.
From the beginning of the 21st century the world has lived through the confusing years of violent counter revolutions against freedom, the rule of law, and the republican/democratic form of government across the globe. Adding the insult of lies, distortions and dishonesty to the injury of boundless intellectual stupidity, the inhabitants of the earth have been subjected simultaneously to international instability and chaos coupled with rapidly escalating domestic political and social upheavals.
Since the terrorist attack of 9/11, the tragedy of the United States of America has been the relentless fight of a globalist minority to force a pseudo- communist, so-called liberal/progressive agenda on the majority, and the majority’s desire to preserve and develop the democratic promise of America both at home and abroad. The former want Americans to believe that ubiquitous happiness could only be achieved through an omnipotent government empowered by high taxes, unilateral disarmament, intellectual despotism through the suppression of free speech and the banishment of religion, lawlessness through the promotion of open borders, illegal immigration, the sheltering of criminals, sexual permissiveness — all in the name of the God of social justice and fake individual freedom.
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
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.”
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
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
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
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