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Aug 09, 2016    
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Good morning and welcome to the Early Bird Brief.

Please send news tips and suggestions to Early Bird Editor Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory: joprihory@sightlinemg.com. And follow her on Twitter: @jenniferleigho.

Today's Top 5
    1. Sailors, Marines will be able to declare transgender status this fall
(Navy Times) Following the Defense Department's lifting of the ban on transgender service members in June, the Navy Department is preparing to provide medical and administrative support for transitioning sailors and Marines, train personnel on the particulars of serving in a transgender-inclusive force and, by next summer, accept transgender recruits into boot camp.
    2. Pentagon Eyes US Iron Dome To Defend Forward-Based Forces
(Defense News) Israel’s state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Raytheon, its US partner for Iron Dome production, are working to transform the combat-proven Israeli interceptor into a fully American system in defense of forward-deployed US forces.
    3. Edward Lin Defense Team Allege CNO, Fleet Forces Used Unlawful Command Influence to Sway Media
(USNI News) The attorneys for the naval flight officer accused of passing secrets to a foreign government has accused the U.S. Navy and U.S. Fleet Forces of exerting their influence in “an aggressive media campaign,” against their client, according to a late June motion to a military judge to dismiss the case seen by USNI News.
    4. 2 Years of Anti-IS Airstrikes Have Redrawn the Iraqi Map
(Associated Press) Two years ago, the U.S.-led coalition dropped the first airstrikes on the Islamic State group, ushering in a deeper phase of intervention that dramatically changed the fight against the militant group in Iraq. Since then more than 9,400 coalition airstrikes have allowed Iraqi forces to slowly claw back cities, towns, supply lines and infrastructure.
    5. 'Finish the Job': More Than 1 in 3 Western Anti-ISIS Volunteer Fighters Are American, Many Vets
(ABC News) A new report estimates that over 100 Americans, almost all male and many military veterans, have joined up with militia groups in Iraq or Syria to fight ISIS, accounting for more than one-third of all anti-ISIS Western volunteer fighters.
Islamic State Group
    Iraq receives a new batch of F-16 fighter jets from US
(Associated Press) The Iraqi air force has received a new batch of F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft from the United States, bolstering the country's fledging air force amid more than two years of fighting with the Islamic State group, a spokesman said Monday as attacks in and near Baghdad killed six people.
    US-backed Fighters Savor Victory over ISIS in Manbij
(Agence France-Presse) US-backed fighters savoring a momentous victory confidently roam the shattered streets of Manbij in Syria as they hunt down the last remaining Islamic State group jihadists holed up there.
    101st Soldiers Deploying to Bolster Fight Against ISIS in Iraq
(Military.com) About 400 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) soldiers will deploy from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to Iraq this summer to bolster Iraqi Security Forces at a northern base called a "springboard” for the planned offensive to retake Mosul from ISIS.
    U.S. military equipment captured by the Islamic State might have come from Special Operations forces
(Washington Post) Almost two weeks after several U.S. Special Operations troops were wounded fighting Islamic State militants in eastern Afghanistan, the militant group’s media arm has posted photos of American equipment, including weapons and a radio that, they say, were captured from U.S. soldiers fighting in the same region.
    Relief groups prepare for massive refugee flow when Mosul battle starts
(Stars & Stripes) United Nations officials are asking the military to delay the assault so relief workers can prepare for an exodus of a million or more civilians. That will require more time and money to prepare for what some have warned could become a humanitarian crisis that could devastate ongoing relief efforts stretched thin after years of conflict.
    Spies-for-Hire Now at War in Syria
(Daily Beast) It’s not just U.S. troops battling ISIS. Now the Army is sinking millions of dollars into private intelligence contractors for the fight.
    Daesh destroys ancient treasures in Syria’s Tal Ajaja
(Agence France-Presse) Tal Ajaja: When Daesh captured Tal Ajaja, one of Syria’s most important Assyrian-era sites, they discovered previously unknown millennia-old statues and cuneiform tablets, and then they destroyed them.
    What Quetta Bombing Reveals About Islamic State and Pakistani Taliban
(The Diplomat) A vicious attack on a hospital underscores a continued preference for soft targets by jihadists.
    French Teenage Girl Charged Over Suspected Attack Plot
(Associated Press) A judge has handed a 16-year-old French girl preliminary terrorism charges for allegedly supporting the Islamic State group and trying to perpetrate an attack, prosecutors said Monday.
    U.S. urges Russia to halt Syria sieges; Russia slams aid politicization
(Reuters) The United Nations Security Council must not allow civilians on both sides of the Syrian city of Aleppo to be cut off from humanitarian aid, the United States said on Monday as Russia accused Washington of politicizing a humanitarian issue.
    Iraqi, Lebanese militias deploy to Syria's Aleppo
(Associated Press) Iran-backed militant groups from Lebanon and Iraq are deploying hundreds of additional fighters to front lines in the Syrian city of Aleppo, Iranian media and militia officials said Monday, after Syrian rebels breached a government-imposed siege and cut a key government route to the contested city over the weekend.
    MSF Says a Hospital It Supports in Syria Bombed, 13 Killed
(Associated Press) A hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders and specializing in pediatrics in a rebel-held northern Syria province has been destroyed in a series of airstrikes over the weekend that killed 13 people, including four staff and five children, the international medical charity said Monday.
    UN hears details of suffering in Syrian city of Aleppo
(Associated Press) Experts painted a graphic portrait of barrel bombings, attacks on medical facilities, chemical weapons use and the ongoing suffering inside the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo, shaming the international community for its inaction at an informal Security Council meeting Monday organized by the United States.
Defense Industry
    $96M to DS2 for LAIRCM Aircraft Defense System Support
(Defense Industry Daily) Northrop Grumman has been awarded $45 million as part of the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) program.
    Orbis awarded Navy logistics IT contract
(C4ISRNET) Orbis Sibro has been awarded a Navy task order for logistics IT services.
    Who Wants To Replace U.S.’s Aging Nuclear ICBMs?
(Aviation Week & Space Technology) U.S. defense heavyweights are rallying to the U.S. Air Force’s call for a new-generation intercontinental ballistic missile under the banner of Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), with Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman already confirming their candidacy for a three-year technology maturation phase. The request for proposals is the first programmatic step toward delivering the first nuclear-tipped ICBM since the Cold War, replacing the Minuteman III weapon system that has stood sentinel since the 1970s. We take a look at the major players that will likely answer the air branch’s multibillion-dollar GBSD request.
    Will Kuwait Purchase Pakistan’s New Fighter Jet?
(The Diplomat) Pakistan has offered the JF-17 fighter jet and Super Mushshak trainer aircraft to the Kuwait Air Force.
    Air Force awards cybersecurity contract
(C4ISRNET) Charles River Analytics has been awarded a $500,000 Air Force contract to develop a cyber defense toolkit.
    SAKO readies TRG-22 sniper rifle upgrade for Poland
(IHS Jane’s 360) Poland has signed a PLN3 million (USD776.6 million) contract to repair and modernise its TRG-22 medium-range precision rifles. The rifles are manufactured by SAKO, which is now a subsidiary of Beretta Group.
    Leonardo confirmed for MQ-8C radar after Telephonics protest is denied
(IHS Jane’s 360) Leonardo Space and Airborne Systems has been confirmed as maritime search radar supplier for the US Navy's (USN's) MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned air system (UAS) after the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) dismissed a protest lodged by US rival Telephonics.
    A-10 Replacement Recommendations Coming Soon | Russian Drone Evades IDF Patriot Interceptors | Su-30 to Test Fire BrahMos this Month
(Defense Industry Daily) Recommendations for the replacement of the A-10 Warthog are to be expected as soon as September.
    Wounded Warrior Project CEO to focus less on events, more on long-term care
(The Hill) The Wounded Warrior Project is about to get more low-key, but more effective, for veterans, said its new CEO, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Linnington.
    Vitality for Veterans: Sports Camp Challenges, Changes Them
(Associated Press) The veterans ranged in age from their 20s to 80s. The rehabilitation clinic is open to veterans with spinal cord injuries, amputations, vision loss, mental health problems and other disabilities.
    Purple Heart recipients tell of sacrifice: 'They shed blood for their country'
(Chicago Tribune) On Sunday, National Purple Heart Day, Furlong told that story once more, as did seven other local Vietnam War veterans who have received the military award. Transcripts of their interviews are part of an ongoing Library of Congress project to document the personal accounts of veterans from World War I through the Iraq War
    For Army surgeon, Vietnam was 'like Boy Scouts until the bullets started flying'
(Buffalo News) After graduating from NU and then the medical school at University at Buffalo, Maggioli completed an internship at Ireland Army Community Hospital in Fort Knox, Ky. After that, it was on to Fort Devens in Massachusetts. The future was looking good. Then in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson started increasing the country's military commitment to the war. Maggioli found himself on a “three-week cruise” that ended in Vietnam.
    ‘I feel like teaching is the best way I can give back’
(Ledger-Enquirer) He had faced mortal danger during six overseas deployments in 15 years with the U.S. Air Force, but this rookie teacher still was scared the first day he faced the 20 kindergartners in his classroom one year ago.
    World War II veterans remember: Arnol Sellars flew a P-47 fighter on raids over Europe
(Tulsa World) The first time Arnol Sellars flew one in the skies over Europe, he was sold on the P-47 Thunderbolt.
    One-stop shop for veterans: Colorado Springs center with 'no wrong door' brings help
(Colorado Springs Gazette) Lost amid the clamor of the presidential election campaign trail was the recent grand opening of a help center in Colorado Springs that has already assisted 950 veterans in getting their lives on track.
    Former Anniston resident sentenced in cold-case sex crimes
(Anniston Star) When Cooper was arrested on the charges in Calhoun County he was serving 30 years at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, for charges of sexual assault against female victims at Army bases in Washington and Germany, according to the news release.
Election 2016
    America and the World: Why It Matters in this Presidential Election
(Associated Press) How should America use its influence in a world where being a superpower doesn't get you what it once did? As instability and human tragedy in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria have shown, the U.S. alone cannot impose solutions or force the surrender of adversaries like the Islamic State group, which cannot be deterred by the threat of nuclear attack.
    For Kaine, war powers issue shows a break with Clinton — and a push that fell short
(Washington Post) Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia is holding fast to his long-held belief that the current military operation against Islamic State forces has not been properly approved by Congress — a position that puts him at odds not only with President Obama but also with his running mate, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
    Two Benghazi Parents Sue Hillary Clinton for Wrongful Death, Defamation
(NBC News) The parents of two Americans killed in the 2012 terrorist attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court Monday against Hillary Clinton. In the suit, Patricia Smith and Charles Woods, the parents of Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods, claim that Clinton's use of a private e-mail server contributed to the attacks. They also accuse her of defaming them in public statements.
    Trump suggests link between executed Iranian and Clinton emails, bringing ‘many people are saying’ back under scrutiny
(Washington Post) Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump used a familiar turn of phrase Monday evening to suggest without evidence a possible link between the execution of an Iranian nuclear scientist and Hillary Clinton's emails, saying that "many people" were drawing a connection between the two.
    50 G.O.P. Officials Warn Donald Trump Would Put Nation’s Security ‘at Risk’
(New York Times) Fifty of the nation’s most senior Republican national security officials, many of them former top aides or cabinet members for President George W. Bush, have signed a letter declaring that Donald J. Trump “lacks the character, values and experience” to be president and “would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.”
    A former CIA operative is running for president to stop Donald Trump
(VICE News) Anti-Trump Republicans have proved, yet again, that they are nothing if not determined. Republican strategists are putting forth an independent presidential candidate, Evan McMullin, in a last-ditch effort to stop the GOP nominee.
    Lawmaker calls for Donald Trump to be banned from the Philippines
(Washington Post) A lawmaker in the Philippines is calling for Donald Trump to be banned from the country after the U.S. presidential candidate suggested that Philippine immigrants posed a threat to the United States.
Congress & Politics
    Ahmadinejad Presses Obama Over Ruling on 1983 Marine Barracks Bombing
(Associated Press) Iran's former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent a letter on Monday to President Barack Obama, asking him to "quickly fix" a U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing families of people killed in attacks linked to Iran to collect damages from some $2 billion in frozen assets.
    Turkey: US shouldn't 'sacrifice' alliance over Muslim cleric
(Associated Press) Turkey's justice minister says the United States would be sacrificing its alliance with Turkey to "a terrorist" if it were to refuse to extradite a U.S.-based Muslim cleric whom Turkey says is behind the July 15 failed coup attempt.
    Justice Department orders more ethics training for lawyers
(Politico) The Justice Department has ordered a large swath of its attorneys to undergo additional ethics training in response to a judge's findings that he was misled by federal government lawyers handling a high-profile lawsuit over President Barack Obama's immigration policies.
    US Concerned About Extrajudicial Killings in Philippines
(Associated Press) The U.S. government has expressed concern over extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers and users in a bloody crackdown overseen by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and urged his government to ensure law enforcement efforts comply with human rights obligations.
National Security & Intelligence
    Researchers Made the First Quantum Enigma Machine
(Motherboard) The idea for the device was intriguing, but due to technological limitations remained purely theoretical until last May, when a team of researchers managed to create a real quantum enigma machine in their lab for the first time.
    America’s Mayors: ‘We’re Afraid For Our Police’
(Politico) Two years after the unrest in Ferguson, America’s mayors have a newfound fear for their cities’ police officers.
    Why the Zika travel warning in Florida is so narrow. And what it means for rest of U.S.
(Washington Post) A one-square-mile area north of downtown Miami, marked by three streets and a highway, is a Zika hot zone that public health officials say pregnant women should avoid. Many people don't understand how those boundaries were picked as part of an unprecedented travel advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And they want to know why the advisory isn’t broader.
Cybersecurity, Space and Surveillance
    Defense CIO: Cybersecurity Improving But Innovation Lags
(National Defense) Cyber attacks are workaday events at the Defense Department. “We get attacked millions of times a day,” says the Pentagon’s chief information officer Terry Halvorsen. How many of those attempted intrusions are actually successful? Very few, he says. Only about 0.001 percent.
    Missile Defense Agency Sees Its Research Focus Drop
(Defense News) The Missile Defense Agency’s original mission was to conduct long-term research and development to outpace evolving missile threats, but the agency’s research and development account is shrinking and the funding actually going toward true R&D is a tiny sliver within that account, according to a think tank's deep dive into the budget.
Defense Department
    Move 'em out? Service members can face relocation issues
(USA Today) Summer is prime moving season for members of the U.S. armed forces, heading to new units and assignments before fall comes and the kids head back to school. But when it comes to the costs that crop up when relocating, many service members say they are caught off guard.
    Two more companies protest Tricare contract awards worth billions
(Military Times) Two companies have joined UnitedHealthcare in protesting military contract awards worth up to $58 billion to manage the Tricare health program, including one of the winning bidders, Government Accountability Office officials said Monday.
    US, HSBC in deal over service members' car repossessions
(Associated Press) The Justice Department announced Monday that it had reached a $434,500 settlement with HSBC Finance Corporation over the repossession of cars owned by military service members.
    What the U.S. Is Learning From How Israel Treats Transgender Soldiers
(Time) The two forces face different challenges; Israel has a conscript army, in which every man and woman is expected to serve a period of time in the military, while the U.S. has a volunteer army. But many of the issues are similar.
Air Force
    Enlisted drone pilots won't become warrant officers, but they may fly Reapers
(Air Force Times) The Air Force is not planning on bringing back warrant officers anytime soon, including for enlisted airmen flying remotely piloted aircraft, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James told Air Force Times Aug. 3.
    U.S. Air Force refueling missions over Yemen grow by 60 percent
(Air Force Times) The U.S. has executed a handful of air kills against extremist groups like al-Qaida in Yemen since February, but the Saudi-led air war against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels also has U.S. assets contributing to a much quieter mission.
    Tests on F-35 Ejection Seat Modifications to Conclude
(Defense Tech) Two equipment modifications designed to make the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s ejection seat safe for use by lightweight pilots will wrap up testing by the second week of September, a source with knowledge of ongoing efforts told Military.com.
    Some IDs invalid at stateside Air Force bases
(Air Force Times) Beginning Aug. 15, identification cards or driver’s licenses issued by Minnesota, Missouri, Washington state or American Samoa will no longer get people past the gate at Air Force installations.
    Former Air Force Academy cadet faces additional charges in sexual assault case
(Air Force Times) A former Air Force Academy cadet is facing additional charges in a sexual assault case.
    12,300-year-old Fire Pit Found on Military Testing Range
(Associated Press) An ancient tribal fire pit with tools, a spear tip and tobacco seeds that archaeologists say dates back 12,300 years was recently discovered on a military testing range in northern Utah.
    2 soldiers injured in Afghanistan IED blast
(Army Times) Two U.S. soldiers suffered minor injuries in a bomb blast near Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Operation Resolute Support officials reported Monday via social media.
    Man, 19, pleads guilty in Fort Riley shooting
(Wichita Eagle) A 19-year-old man on Monday pleaded guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter for fatally shooting a 16-year-old boy on Fort Riley military base last fall, Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said.
    DoD IG: Problems With Firing Rate, Fire Protection Persist in PIM Program
(Defense News) The Pentagon’s inspector general wants the US Army to address what is perceived by the Defense Department’s test community as deficiencies with the howitzer's maximum rate of fire and problems with the automatic fire extinguisher that could potentially endanger the crew.
    Army shooter misses Olympic final in 10-meter air rifle
(Army Times) A soldier taking his first shots in Olympic competition missed the finals of Monday's 10-meter air rifle event in Rio de Janeiro, but he'll have another chance at the podium.
    Want to work on the general's staff? Enlisted Aide Program is hiring
(Army Times) The Army’s seeking noncommissioned officers interested in broadening their military experience by working for up to three years on the staff of a general officer.
    Archaeological dig lays groundwork for Fort Ligonier expansion
(Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) Fort Ligonier could gain another layer of defenses at its eastern end, and a group of college students is helping to lay the groundwork for the proposed expansion.
    West Point's Class of 2020 makes it through 'Beast Barracks'
(Times Herald-Record) They survived the initial test. Now it’s on to four more years of learning how to be a soldier in today’s Army.
    New dining places, shops opening on Fort Bragg
(Fayetteville Observer) Fort Bragg troops looking for a quick bite on post are gaining new options this week, as the latest AAFES food court opens its doors.
    Osprey continues to prove itself in Navy carrier tests
(Navy Times) It's been a big summer for the CMV-22B Osprey, the tilt-rotor aircraft preparing to replace the Navy's decades-old C-2 Greyhound as the transport vehicle of choice to underway aircraft carriers.
    Navy Ship Will Try to Retrieve Data Recorder from El Faro
(Portland Press Herald) The mission to recover the El Faro's voyage data recorder will be undertaken this week when a remotely operated underwater vehicle will try to retrieve the device from the ship's wreckage, resting 3 miles below the surface of the ocean near the Bahamas.
Marine Corps
    Marine vet wants other injured warriors to stay 'on the move'
(Military Times) Marine veteran Noah Currier wants people who are facing obstacles to stay “Oscar Mike” — or “on the move.”
    Interview: CMC Neller Lays Out Path To Future U.S. Marine Corps
(USNI News) Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller said the service has a lot to be proud of today: amid flat funding levels, the Marines are building back readiness, deploying forces at as high a tempo as any time in recent memory, and replacing nearly all its types of aircraft and some ground vehicles with newer and more capable platforms.
Coast Guard
    Coast Guard looks to raise its band’s national profile
(The Day) When Adm. Paul Zukunft announced at the end of last month that the Coast Guard Band will stay in New London, he also noted that the service will look for more ways to showcase the band's talents at ceremonies and events in Washington, D.C., and across the country.
    Boca man admits he faked his death at sea, agrees to pay $1 million for Coast Guard search
(Sun Sentinel) A Boca Raton financial adviser who faked his death last year, setting off an expensive and pointless U.S. Coast Guard rescue mission, pleaded guilty on Monday to communicating a false distress message.
National Guard
    Son of Air Force Legend Takes Command of National Guard
(Military.com) The new chief of the National Guard Bureau said he plans to focus on its role as an operational force.
    Indiana Guardsmen being deployed to Guantanamo Bay
(Associated Press) About 60 Indiana National Guard soldiers are being deployed to the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba.
Europe, Russia & Ukraine
    Once Foes Over Syria, Erdogan and Putin Look to Patch Things Up
(New York Times) President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, are expected to reconsider their dispute over Syria when they meet on Tuesday in St. Petersburg, with both leaders interested in a public display of affection to show the West that strained ties have not left them isolated.
    Germany: Turkish-Russian thaw welcome, no worries on NATO
(Stars & Stripes) Senior German officials say a thaw in relations between Turkey and Russia is a welcome development, and they don't see a danger of Turkey turning away from NATO.
    Russia's Su-34 set to take up new reconnaissance role
(IHS Jane’s 360) Russian Sukhoi Su-34 'Fullback' strike aircraft will soon begin operating with a new electronic-intelligence (ELINT) system, the Russian Ministry of Defence told state media.
    Tensions High Amid Russian Military Buildup In Crimea
(Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) Tensions are reportedly high among residents of northern Crimea as long convoys of heavy Russian weaponry continue to be sighted not far from the occupied peninsula's border with the Ukrainian mainland.
    Activists, former ICC prosecutor visit Yazidis in Greece
(Associated Press) Yazidi rights activists and a former prosecutor of the International Criminal Court visited Yazidi refugees in a northern Greek camp Monday, hoping to build a case for the Hague-based court.
    Charlie Hebdo Killer's Brother-in-Law Detained in Bulgaria
(Associated Press) The brother-in-law of one of the men who attacked the satirical Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris has been jailed in Bulgaria, and authorities say he is suspected of trying to join extremists in Syria.
Afghanistan & Pakistan
    Airstrikes Barely Holding Off Taliban in Helmand, Afghan Officials Say
(New York Times) The Afghan security forces are struggling to head off an intensified Taliban offensive in Helmand Province in recent weeks, heavily relying on American airstrikes as the insurgents have again tightened the noose around Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital, according to officials and residents.
    Scores of attorneys among the dead in suicide bombing in southwestern Pakistan
(Washington Post) The Khorasan branch of the Islamic State, a regional affiliate of the Mideast-based Sunni Islamist militant group, asserted responsibility for the blast in telephone calls to journalists in Pakistan. But a separate Pakistani militant splinter group, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, issued an online statement claiming it had carried out the bombing.
Middle East & Turkey
    Israeli Probe Backs Russian Claims of Accidental Drone Border Breach
(Defense News) Last month’s violation of Israeli airspace by a Syrian-based Russian UAV was “very likely” the result of human error, according to preliminary findings of an Israeli Air Force (IAF) probe published Monday by Israel’s Ha’aretz daily.
    As Peace Talks in Yemen Crumble, Civilians End Up in Cross Hairs Again
(New York Times) United Nations-brokered peace talks between the Houthis and the government of the ousted president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, collapsed on Saturday after more than three months. A cease-fire was in place for the talks, and despite many violations, it resulted in a significant decrease in coalition airstrikes, especially around major cities like Sana.
    Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen capital resume, airport shut: residents
(Reuters) A Saudi-led military coalition conducted air strikes on the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Tuesday for the first time in five months, residents said, after U.N.-backed peace talks to end the conflict broke down over the weekend.
    Car bombs target pro-government militia in Yemen, 10 dead
(Associated Press) Yemeni security officials say at least 10 fighters from a pro-government militia have been killed when suspected al-Qaida militants targeted their convoy with two car bombs.
    Saudi F-15SA basing and unit plans revealed
(IHS Jane’s 360) The US government has revealed basing and unit plans for the Royal Saudi Air Force's (RSAF's) Boeing F-15SA (Saudi Advanced) Eagle fleet ahead of the commencement of deliveries.
    Turkish jets hit PKK positions in southeast; 13 rebels dead
(Associated Press) Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency is reporting that an aerial operation against Kurdish rebels in the mainly Kurdish southeast of the country has killed 13 Kurdish militants.
    Turkey formally arrested 16,000 people in coup probe: minister
(Reuters) Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Tuesday 16,000 people have been formally arrested and remanded in custody in connection with last month's failed coup attempt, while another 6,000 detainees were still being processed.
    War of words in Boko Haram extremist leadership struggle
(Associated Press) A struggle within Nigeria's Islamic extremist group Boko Haram is playing out in public, with a new leader named by the Islamic State group accusing the longtime leader of killing his own people and living in luxury while fighters' babies starve.
    Uganda to field Huey II helos
(IHS Jane’s 360) Uganda is to receive eight refurbished Bell UH-1 'Huey' utility helicopters under the US government's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme.
    UN support sought for South Sudan regional force
(Associated Press) A proposed U.N. resolution would establish a 4,000-strong regional force to provide security in South Sudan's capital and deter attacks on U.N. sites where over 30,000 civilians have sought refuge from fighting.
    Scores Killed in Crackdown on Protests Across Ethiopia
(Associated Press) Ethiopian security forces shot dead several dozen people in weekend protests across the country as frustration with the government grows, an opposition leader and Amnesty International said Monday, while hundreds staged a rare demonstration in the capital after calls via social media.
    Rebels kill at least 7 civilians in eastern Congo: Official
(Associated Press) A rebel attack in eastern Congo has killed at least seven civilians and wounded three, a local official said Monday.
    Burundi lawyers threatened; UN committee on torture objects
(Associated Press) The U.N.'s committee against torture is expressing "grave concern" after four Burundi lawyers were threatened with disbarment for contributing to its review of the country's recent chaos.
    China Launches a Stealth Invasion in the South China Sea
(Daily Beast) Beijing isn’t fighting for control of disputed waters with missiles and drones—it’s using Chinese coast guard and fisherman instead.
    New Photos Cast Doubt on China’s Vow Not to Militarize Disputed Islands
(New York Times) When President Xi Jinping of China visited President Obama at the White House last September, he startled many with reassuring words about his intentions for the Spratly Islands, a contested area where the Chinese government has been piling dredged sand and concrete atop reefs for the past few years and building housing and runways on them.
    Japan Protests to China Over Ships Around Disputed Islands
(Associated Press) Japan's foreign minister summoned China's ambassador Tuesday and lodged a protest over the increased number of Chinese vessels in waters near disputed islands in the East China Sea.
    6 South Korean Lawmakers Accused of Taking China’s Side Against Antimissile System
(New York Times) A political split in South Korea over the deployment of a United States missile defense system sharpened on Monday, as six opposition lawmakers began a three-day visit to China and President Park Geun-hye accused them of siding with Beijing in a dispute of major national import.
    North Korea launched Musudan IRBM from Kalma Airport in Wonsan, says report
(IHS Jane’s 360) North Korea's test of a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) on 22 June was conducted from an airport on the country's east coast, according to a report published by the 38 North website of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
    Japan mulls issuing open-ended order to intercept North Korean missiles
(IHS Jane’s 360) Japan is considering issuing an open-ended standing order to the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) to shoot down any North Korean missiles heading towards its territory, Kyodo news agency quoted a Japanese government source as saying on 5 August.
    Chinese ambassador warns relations with UK at crossroads
(Associated Press) China's ambassador to Britain has warned that relations are at a crossroads following the new government's decision to delay a decision on the Hinkley Point nuclear project
    Singapore Puts Off Decision on Whether to Buy Lockheed’s F-35
(Bloomberg) Singapore has put on hold a decision to buy as many as 12 of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jets, according to information from the Pentagon’s program office.
    Thailand’s Divisions on Display in Vote Approving New Constitution
(New York Times) Although a proposed constitution drafted by Thailand’s military government has been endorsed by a majority of voters, regional returns show that deep political divides remain, analysts said on Monday.
    Thailand’s Junta Chief Says Elections Will Be Held in November 2017
(Associated Press) Thailand’s junta leader says he will hold elections in November 2017, under a newly approved constitution that will ensure the military’s control over the next government.
    Indonesia, Reforming Defense Policy, Seeks To Cut Corruption
(Aviation Week & Space Technology) For arms imports, Indonesia will insist on dealing through governments.
    India, Indonesia Eye Deeper Maritime Cooperation With Navy Chief Visit
(The Diplomat) Admiral Sunil Lanba is on official tour to Indonesia this week.
    Indian forces arrest more than 1,000 protesters in Kashmir
(Associated Press) Government forces have arrested more than a thousand protesters in Indian-controlled Kashmir in an attempt to stem deadly anti-India demonstrations in the Himalayan region, a top policeman said Monday.
    Ignoring Philippine leader, rebels vow to attack with mines
(Associated Press) Communist guerrillas in the Philippines have vowed to make more explosives and use them in more attacks at the risk of scuttling scheduled peace talks.
    Philippine Navy begins flight deck operations training on third Del Pilar-class frigate
(IHS Jane’s 360) The Philippine Navy (PN) has begun flight deck operations training from onboard its third Del Pilar (Hamilton and Hero)-class frigate in Alameda, California, with assistance from the United States Coast Guard (USCG) ahead of its journey home in the later part of the year.
    Newly public U.S. documents detail struggle over Argentina’s ‘dirty war’
(McClatchy) Hundreds of pages of declassified documents released Monday show efforts by President Jimmy Carter and his top aides to pressure Argentina’s military dictators to ease repression as part of Carter’s broader initiative to push human rights around the globe.
    Peru minister: Strong evidence of police death squads
(Associated Press) Peru's new interior minister says there is strong evidence that police officers ran death squads in 2011-2015 and prosecutors are investigating.
Commentary and Analysis
    What Does Expanding the Definition of War Mean for the U.S. Military?
(Foreign Policy) Increasingly, America’s armed forces are tasked with protecting new battlefronts around the world — from cyberwarfare to post-conflict peacekeeping. And that could be very bad for the United States.
    America is losing its longest war
(Michael Brendan Dougherty in The Week) Obama's strategy in Afghanistan has been confused. He invested in a surge, which made America's operation there an extremely large counter-terrorism force. But he never went all-in for a counter-insurgency strategy or in building up the Afghan government. This meant more American casualties for a time. And it also meant more successes against the Taliban. But almost as soon as these victories started to come in 2012, Obama began withdrawing.
(Maj. Gen. Eric T. Olson (ret.) in War On The Rocks) Has the United States learned from its failed reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan?
    Horrific As Is Quetta's Bombing, The U.S. Has No Choice But Cut $300 Million For The Pakistani Army
(Charles Tiefer, Forbes) It couldn’t be worse. Terror groups cleverly lured a crowd of lawyers and journalists to a hospital in Quetta, Pakistan. They did this by gunning down the bar association president. There, later, a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing at least 67. Both Islamic State, and a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, made the ghoulish claim to the horrific deed.
    Opinion: Littoral Combat Ship Needs Full Congressional Support
(Steven Wills in USNI News) Congress continues to undercut the LCS program by not fully funding the modular systems vital to achieving the full potential capability of the littoral combatant.
    NATO, Stop Expanding Eastward
(Jeffrey Tayler in The Atlantic) The alliance’s growth is doing more harm than good, and other principles of a proposed Détente 2.0.
    Don't take military lessons from Greece
(Dan Caldwell in The Hill's Contributors blog) Flashpoint: The nation’s military needs to spring into action to combat a threat. Unfortunately, the government scarcely has the funding to pay members of the armed forces. Planes remain grounded and tanks are mothballed because of the price of fuel. The response is slowed to a halt, threatening national security in the process.
    Time to Get Serious With South Sudan
(New York Times) Since the founding of the nation of South Sudan five years ago, its citizens have gone from a brief moment of exhilaration and promise to the cruel reality of tribal violence, depredation and despair. Their leaders have failed them, and so has the United Nations Security Council, which is once again scrambling for a solution to end rampant killing and other abuses. One move the Council could make immediately is to impose a long-overdue embargo on arms shipments, especially to the government forces that have been largely responsible for the bloodshed.
    Building on Success
(Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. in Foreign Policy) The next administration will take the reins of American foreign policy in a world that is more complex than at any point in our modern history, including the twilight of the Cold War and the years that followed the 9/11 attacks. But it is also the case that despite the proliferation of threats and challenges—some old, some new—by almost any measure, we are stronger and more secure today than when President Barack Obama and I took office in January 2009. Because of our investments at home and engagement overseas, the United States is primed to remain the world’s preeminent power for decades to come. In more than 40 years of public service, I have never been more optimistic about America’s future—if only we continue to lead.
    Two years ago, Ebola became a public health emergency. Here are 5 lessons for fighting Zika
(Amy S. Patterson in Washington Post's Monkey Cage) Two years ago, on Aug. 8, 2014, the World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) for Ebola. Public health experts have written about the WHO’s slow reaction to Ebola and the weakness of health systems in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the centers of the outbreaks. But there’s a story that hasn’t yet reached the public: How communities mobilized to fight the outbreak. My fieldwork in Liberia this year yields five insights.
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