August 21, 2019

Trump Threatens ‘Fire and Fury’ to N. Korea

FY18 Defense Authorization

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President Donald Trump warned Tuesday that the US is ready to use force if need be to stop North Korea’s weapons ballistic missile and nuclear programs, Reuters reports. President Trump said that country would be met with “fire and fury” the likes of which this world has never seen if it threatens the US.

The Washington Post reports North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, crossing a key threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power.

Japan, South Korea, and US plan an international push to denuclearize North Korea, reports Japan Times. The three ministers affirmed that greater pressure, rather than simply more talks, is needed to force North Korea toward denuclearization. China accounts for about 80 percent of North Korea’s trade and can play an important role in dissuading them from further provocations.

The Pentagon is considering allowing US military airstrikes on ISIS in the Philippines, reports NBC News. In a separate story, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US was providing the Philippines government with “intelligence capabilities,” prompting Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte to call Tillerson “my humble friend.” Tillerson said ongoing US help to the Philippines includes “some recent transfers of a couple of Cessnas and a couple of UAVs to allow to them to have better information with which to conduct the fight down there.”

The US is in talks with Japan to address its concerns about the continued operation of US MV-22 Ospreys over Japan following a crash in Australia, according to Military Times. The country, particularly Okinawa, has been wary of the tilt-rotor aircraft and repeatedly voiced concerns since the aircraft were deployed in 2012 about Osprey flights over its population. The Osprey wreckage was found by Australia’s naval ship HMAS Melville and recovery is underway, Deutsche Welle reports.

A new policy allows military bases to shoot down trespassing drones, reports Military Times. The classified policy outlines the rules of engagement when a private or commercial drone is encroaching upon a base’s airspace. Instructions have been sent to each of the services as to how to communicate with local communities about the issue.

Up to 1,100 chiefs face involuntary return to sea duty, Navy Times reports. “Our number one priority is to keep the fleet properly manned,” said VADM Robert Burke, chief of naval personnel. “We are aggressively using all force shaping levers to do just that.” At the crux of the problem for the senior enlisted ranks are 25 ratings that are overmanned ashore. Navy personnel officials estimate that the bulk of those being sent back to sea will come from these ratings. New orders could be handed down within the next few months. The pursuit of combat readiness is no longer tenable without getting our supervisory-level enlisted force where we need.

Tillerson says the US will respond to Russia’s expulsion of US diplomats by Sept. 1, Politico reports.

The US is sending dozens more Marines to Afghanistan, reports NBC news. The Marines will deploy from the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Crisis Response Central Command, already based in the region and will number less than 100.

Pentagon health care providers failed to perform critical follow-up for many troops diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome who also were at high risk for suicide, according to a new study just released by the RAND Corp, reports USA Today. Only  30 percent of troops with depression and 54 percent with PTSD received appropriate care after they were deemed at risk of harming themselves.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions pledged to clamp down in government leaks that he said undermine American security, taking an aggressive public stand after being called weak on the matter by Trump, reports Federal Times. “No one is entitled to surreptitiously fight to advance their battles in the media by revealing sensitive government information.” reports the long awaited debut launch of the triple barreled Falcon Heavy rocket is set for this year, says SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk, who acknowledges the high risk and released a stunning launch and landing animation.


CORRECTION from the Dept. of Defense: The multiple-contract award announced on Aug. 4, 2017, regarding technical development, technical and operational integration, inadvertently omitted one company that will share in that contract – Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Virginia (W911NF-17-D-0012). All other contract information was correct.  That contract, announced Aug. 4, 2017, should have read: Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio (W911NF-17-D-0011); Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Virginia (W911NF-17-D-0012), CACI Inc.-Federal, Chantilly, Virginia (W911NF-17-D-0013); Envistacom LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (W911NF-17-D-0014); Fulcrum IT Services LLC, Centreville, Virginia (W911NF-17-D-0015); Harris Corp., Herndon, Virginia (W911NF-17-D-0016); Janus Research Group Inc., Appling, Georgia (W911NF-17-D-0017); Leidos Inc., Reston, Virginia, (W911NF-17-D-0018); Manufacturing Techniques Inc., Kilmarnock, Virginia (W911NF-17-D-0019); and WinTec Arrowmaker, Fort Washington, Maryland (W911NF-17-D-0020), will share in a $480,000,000 order-dependent contract to provide technical development, technical and operational integration. Bids were solicited via the Internet with 15 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 3, 2022. US Army Contracting Command, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, is the contracting activity.

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