Forrestal Memorial Sat, 18 Sep 2021 16:03:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Forrestal Memorial 32 32 US Navy destroyer crosses the strait Sat, 18 Sep 2021 16:00:00 +0000

The same day the USS “Barry” crossed the strait, Taiwan ended its Han Kuang military exercises, while China said it had conducted an exercise near Taiwan.

A U.S. Navy ship crossed the Taiwan Strait on Friday, marking the ninth time a U.S. military ship has passed through the strait since U.S. President Joe Biden took office in January.

USS Barry, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, made a “routine” transit through the strait, the US Navy said in a statement, adding that the voyage in international waters was made “in accordance with international law.” .

“The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the US Navy said. “The US military flies, sails and operates wherever international law permits. “

Photo: AFP

The Department of National Defense yesterday confirmed the transit, saying the US destroyer had sailed north to south across the strait.

The ministry said it has an understanding of the situation and uses joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tools to monitor the waters and airspace around Taiwan.

The situation was “normal” as the ship crossed the strait, he added.

The destroyer was in the strait on the same day that 10 Chinese military planes entered Taiwan’s air defense identification area.

It was the 15th day in a row that Chinese military planes entered the region.

The military maneuvers are seen by some as a way for Beijing to express its displeasure with Taipei and warn of actions it sees as endangering its hopes of annexing Taiwan.

Taipei considers such movements to be military threats.

On August 27, the USS Kidd, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, accompanied by the USCGC Munro, carried out what the US Navy called “routine transits” through the strait.

USS John S. McCain crossed the strait on February 4 and April 7; the USS Curtis Wilbur February 24, May 18 and June 22; the USS John finn March 10; and the USS To fold July 28.

The most recent passage came as Taiwan was completing its annual Han Kuang military exercises and China was conducting military exercises in waters near the southwest coast of Taiwan.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted a military exercise on Friday in the waters off southwestern Taiwan and in the skies of the region, the PLA’s official newspaper reported yesterday, citing Shi. Yi (施 毅), spokesperson for the Eastern Theater of the PLA. Order.

Shi did not provide specific information regarding the location of the exercise, claiming only that the PLA had deployed warships, early warning planes and bombers.

The National Defense Ministry said Taiwan has “a deep understanding and assessment” of China’s military exercises.

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native of Kearney helped build US Space Command | Local News Sat, 18 Sep 2021 14:30:00 +0000

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Straatmann initiated and developed the Joint Command Ethics Program, its Privacy Act, and its Civil Liberties Program.

“Ethics are an integral part of every command. Having an operational ethics office to get information from our commanders is really essential for what they do, ”he said.

The importance of Straatmann’s legal work was not lost on military leaders. He was named Space Command’s Reservist of the Quarter for the second quarter of 2021.

US Space Command logo


This honor had never been given to a reservist.

Straatmann said he was selected because of his major role in the “turnaround” of two programs. In addition, he was the main legal advisor for a global exercise.

Straatmann has been an army reservist for 12 years.

Prior to Space Command, he was assigned to Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base. He was a reservist for three years with Stratcom. In 2012-13, he served in an infantry division of the Army in Georgia and in support of the war on terror Operation Enduring Freedom.

Colorado Springs Peterson Air Force Base is the headquarters of the Space Force and Joint Space Command. The name of the facility has been changed to Peterson Space Force Base.

The Joint Space Command is made up of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines. The mission is to defend national interests, deter aggression and support American allies and partners. He says: “If deterrence fails, the combat power generated by our combined and joint force will allow us to win. “

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A flood of drugs is the biggest threat Sat, 18 Sep 2021 14:10:43 +0000

EDITOR – Your editorial rightly touches on the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, but is the account of its threat to become a base for global terrorism of most concern?

Is the Taliban or an obscure “ISIS-K” the main threat, or isn’t Afghanistan’s potential to increase its already massive source of dangerous drugs a greater danger to the citizens of the world?

Freezing some $ 9 billion from the Afghan central bank and foreign reserves held in the United States, ending access to World Bank and IMF funding, and withdrawing much of the funding from the Help can all help to justify the Taliban’s turning to opium drug derivatives as their source of income.

Trump’s US deal with the Taliban that secured the withdrawal did not involve his allies and remains a US state secret.

Obviously, the United States has not understood the ramifications of the sudden withdrawal, but does it expect the withholding of Taliban aid and assets to do anything other than generate an influx of drugs on? the world market?

Is their need to promote and prioritize fear of terrorism motivated more by the needs of an arms industry threatened by withdrawal from regime change wars than by the more likely threats of an influx of terrorism? opioids on the market?

Bob upstairs,


Reminder that the rights can be deselected

EDITOR – Texas sees the most extreme abortion laws in the United States come into effect. This shocking disregard for human rights and access to health care puts women’s lives at risk. Not in an abstract way, but in a real and meaningful way, right now.

However, what is also worrying is how these new laws empower individuals to sue abortion providers. This power imbalance is damaging the very fabric of humanity, allowing extremists to suppress access to safe health care.

The world is seeing reproductive rights drastically curtailed in Texas. In Ireland, we have started to take steps in the right direction – repealing the 8th Amendment has improved access to abortion services, but what is happening in Texas shows how much these steps can be. fragile.

Steps in the right direction can be tracked down and undone through a campaign of fear, hate and discrimination.

Texas is a stark reminder that reproductive choices are always the first target of those who refuse to accept bodily autonomy.

Without strong protections and comprehensive supports for those seeking abortions, what has been achieved here in Ireland remains an easy target.

It also shows the importance of promises that have been made to strengthen these rights – such as exclusion zones. We have to make sure that the forays we have made are protected and that we stand up against what is happening elsewhere in the world. Next weekend, I will be in front of the Dáil at 2 p.m. with other pro-choice supporters.

Marie Mullholland,


Patients have lost great allies

EDITOR – We are shocked, but not surprised, at the resignation of key Slainte Care staff, Professor Tom Keane, chair of the Slainte Care Implementation Advisory Board and Laura Magahy, Executive Director of Slainte Care.

Slainte Care has been the ‘hope’ for a fairer healthcare system for Irish patients, one based on fairness, safety, accountability and governed by a two-party / multi-party process. Until evidence is established to prove otherwise, these developments declare the failure, to date, of a much-touted multi-stakeholder health care reform agenda.

Current and future patients need a full explanation from government and other state agencies so that “urgent” lessons can be learned from these disturbing developments.

Irish patients have lost great allies.

Stephen McMahon,

President, Irish Patients’ Association,

Killiney, County Dublin.

What is really “barbaric”?

EDITOR – I doubt anyone who voted for the repeal in Ireland would agree with your recent writer Doris Murphy of Rebels for Choice that the Texas restriction of the abortion law to the point where the unborn child shows audible signs of humanity is “barbaric”.

Many voted to give women a choice, unrestricted by the Constitution.

But what choice do they have when the Irish State’s “care” for pregnant women in crisis and their unborn child is only abortion?

Isn’t that “barbaric” both for women and also for their unborn child?

Conchita Legorburo,

Dalkey, Co Dublin.

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US Navy ship crosses Taiwan Strait, 9th transit since start of year Sat, 18 Sep 2021 04:29:00 +0000

Taipei, Sep 18 (ANC) A U.S. Navy ship crossed the Taiwan Strait on Friday, marking the ninth time a U.S. military ship has passed through the strait after President Joe Biden took office in January.

In a statement, the US Navy said the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry made a “routine” transit through the Taiwan Strait on Friday.

The US Navy said the transit in international waters was “in accordance with international law”.

“The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the US Navy added. “The US military flies, sails and operates wherever international law permits.”

The Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense (DND) also confirmed the transit of the US destroyer through the Taiwan Strait on Saturday, saying it was sailing from north to south.

The Department of National Defense said the department had a full understanding of the situation and had used joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tools to monitor movements at sea and in the air around Taiwan.

He also described the situation in the skies and waters around Taiwan as “normal” during the transit period of the US warship.

The U.S. destroyer’s presence in the strait occurred the same day 10 Chinese fighter jets landed in Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Friday.

The presence of Chinese planes marked the 15th consecutive day that Chinese planes had entered ADIZ. These zones are established by countries to help them identify, monitor and control aircraft, but are not recognized by international law and are considered international airspace.

China’s military maneuvers are seen by some analysts as a way for Beijing to send its message to Taipei and warn of actions it sees as jeopardizing its hopes for unification with Taiwan. The government of Taiwan considers these measures to be military threats.

The latest entry came as Taiwan wrapped up its annual Han Kuang military exercises that began on Monday, the ministry said.

This year, Taiwan launched the Han Kuang military exercises by mobilizing fighter jets stationed in the western part of the main island to fly to the eastern part, in apparent response to China’s frequent entries into Taiwan’s ADIZ.

Prior to the transit of the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Barry on Friday, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd and the legendary US Coast Guard Munro-class conducted the “routine transits” through the Straits of Taiwan. August 27.

Earlier this year, the USS John S. McCain sailed the waters on February 4 and April 7; USS Curtis Wilbur on February 24, May 18 and June 22; USS John Finn on March 10; and the USS Benfold on July 28.

(By Chung Yu-chen and Frances Huang)

Final element / cs

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American war in Afghanistan, corruption and other loopholes – Prensa Latina Sat, 18 Sep 2021 04:11:55 +0000

The US debacle in Afghanistan has brought to light other issues plaguing them: corruption and other stories about the existence of a shadow government that pulls the strings of power and gets richer.

Billions of dollars from the public treasury are spent in private hands, in the military-industrial complex and unscrupulous politicians, in a filthy way.

A recent article by journalist Juan William in The Hill daily dealt with the thorny issue that is constantly present in the American media; but the answers never appear. How many former generals went to work for companies looking for military contracts? This is a question that, if answered, could reveal corruption, the latest example of which was the war in Afghanistan.

How many of these generals spurred the continuation of “eternal war” in this country, wrapped in the flag while enriching American defense contractors, themselves and corrupt Afghan government officials? asked Guillaume.

The problem is not new and, according to USA Today, for nearly a decade, the Special Inspector General for the Reconstruction of Afghanistan warned in numerous reports that “fraud, waste and abuse” part of the $ 145 billion US taxpayers would have spent on reconstruction. the Asian nation which is nevertheless trapped in total chaos.

The newspaper cited evidence, including “the squandering of $ 43 million in an unnecessary gas station and $ 28 million in uniforms with adequate camouflage for Afghan soldiers in a small part of the country.”

William pointed out that journalist Craig Whitlock’s new book, The Afghanistan Papers, documents in detail how defense and government officials lied to the public about the mission in Afghanistan to keep the war going and that their checks continued to fall. ‘pouring in, which goes way beyond the Pentagon.

But it’s not just in Afghanistan where corruption is prevalent. There are countless cases. Many of them recall that the then presidential candidate Donald Trump, an expert swimmer in these troubled waters, had looked into the issue to encourage American fervor in order to gain support for his bet.

However, he came down the slope that suited him best and there were people who even sought to get their hands in government wallets, staying at Trump’s hotel in Washington. The former head of state even advanced the initiative that his administration paid for a summit of international leaders in his Florida resort.

Trump, William pointed out, entertained his political supporters by promising them to clean up corruption from the federal government, as he cynically used it for his own profit.

According to the Pentagon, total military spending in Afghanistan from October 2001 to September 2019 reached $ 778 billion. Some of that money has been wasted on fraud and abuse over the years.

The tip of the iceberg is an increase in the profits of the military industrial complex during the war, in which Lockheed Martin stood out with 1,236% return, followed by Northrop Grumman (1,196), Boeing (975), General Dynamics (625) and Raytheon (331).

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VFW article commemorating WWII US Army soldier in New Bern on POW-MIA National Day – WNCT Fri, 17 Sep 2021 22:49:19 +0000

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Why France has just withdrawn its ambassadors from the United States and Australia Fri, 17 Sep 2021 21:47:04 +0000

It’s hard to overstate the blow to France, and France’s anger, of the torpedoed submarine deal. France reacted with outrage on Thursday to announcements that the United States and Britain would help Australia develop submarines and that Australia was pulling out of a $ 66 billion deal to buy pennies. -ships of French construction.

France has suffered a hard blow. Its sophisticated defense industry cannot survive on domestic sales alone. In 2015-1019, France made a huge 72% gain in arms sales, fueled in part by sales of submarines to India and Brazil like what it just lost to the ‘Australia. But France’s arms sales abroad fell in 2020, largely due to the global health crisis. France has a vital role in global policing, particularly in the former French Northwest Africa, which the United States largely leaves to French forces. Without arms sales, the French military-industrial partnership has less power to make such an African police force.

The United States consistently demonstrates the importance of arms sales abroad, including naval sales. In February 2020, Trump demonstrated this with a trip to India to announce a $ 3.5 billion sale of mostly Seahawk naval helicopters. U.S. gunmakers tout overseas sales both for their own bottom line and for foreign influence, especially at a time when nation-building funding is somewhere between controversial and impossible. .

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France cancels reception in Washington, tone down celebrations for US-France War of Independence victory amid underwater spat Fri, 17 Sep 2021 12:08:00 +0000 The embassy said the celebrations had been made “more sober” and the reception scheduled for Friday at the ambassador’s residence to mark the 240th anniversary of the Battle of the Caps was called off. A reception on a frigate in Baltimore was also cut back, a senior French official told CNN, who said the changes were “to make people more comfortable.”

“It’s not anger. We’re not happy, but it’s the practical way to cope,” the official said. “In context, we took some things from the program, kept some things so that we kept the celebrations but don’t want people to have to be together.”

Other parts of the celebration will continue, including a wreath laying in Annapolis on Saturday and a visit by a French destroyer in Baltimore harbor on Monday.

The move comes a day after the United States announced a trilateral security deal with the Australians and the British focused on the Indo-Pacific region. Under the deal, the United States will help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines, which will cost Paris a multibillion-dollar submarine contract.
In a Tweeter French Ambassador to the United States Philippe Etienne noted on Wednesday: “It is interesting to note that exactly 240 years ago the French navy defeated the British navy in Chesapeake Bay, paving the way. victory at Yorktown and independence from the United States.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken sought Thursday to minimize the divide between the United States and France, stressing their importance as a “vital partner” in the Indo-Pacific and around the world.

“I want to stress that there is no regional division separating the interests of our partners in the Atlantic and the Pacific,” he told the State Department on Thursday.

The senior American diplomat said the United States welcomed “European countries playing an important role in the Indo-Pacific”, adding that “France in particular is an essential partner on this issue and on so many others that go back several generations, and we want to find every opportunity to deepen our transatlantic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and around the world. “

French officials on Wednesday expressed their anger at the new deal, with French foreign and defense ministers saying in a joint statement that “the decision is contrary to the letter and spirit of the cooperation that prevailed between France and Australia, based on a relationship of trust and on the development of a very high level defense industrial and technological base in Australia. “

“The American choice to exclude a European ally and partner like France from a structuring partnership with Australia, at a time when we are faced with unprecedented challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, whether in terms of our values ​​or in terms of respect for multilateralism. based on the rule of law, shows a lack of coherence that France can only observe and regret “, they declared.

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The US Air Force adds floats to the C-130s. They could come in handy in a war with China. Fri, 17 Sep 2021 12:00:00 +0000

The US Air Force Special Operations Command is developing removable floats for its MC-130J Commando II transports. Bolt the floats together and the normally land-based MC-130 becomes a seaplane capable of taking off and landing in any reasonably smooth body of water.

The idea is to free SOCOM’s transports from concrete runways and dirt airstrips so that they can drop off and retrieve commandos in places that lack land. He is. Rugged coasts. River deltas.

But there is another, arguably less exciting, app that, in a major war, could actually be far more important than any dramatic commando raid. The C-130s with MAC floats – which stands for “MC-130J Commando II Amphibious Capability” – could supply island bases.

The US military once operated a large number of seaplanes. During World War II, the US Navy’s Catalina seaplanes patrolled to spot enemy ships, chased submarines, and rescued downed airmen.

Seaplanes fell out of favor in the navy after the war. America’s vast network of major air bases – and the advent of the helicopter – seemed to make fixed-wing amphibians obsolete.

But the environment is changing. In the part of the world where the United States might be most likely to wage a major war – the Western Pacific – the Pentagon in fact lack plinths.

At the same time, an emerging doctrine of war with China calls on the United States Marine Corps – with support from the Navy and the US Air Force – to occupy small island outposts within missile range. Chinese.

Marines at those outposts would launch drones to track Chinese ships – and launch missiles at them – while also supplying US planes heading for targets closer to the Chinese mainland.

Some of the outposts could be large enough to include a short airstrip which, in addition to supporting fuel-hungry F-35s and V-22s, could accommodate KC-130 Marines carrying troops and supplies.

Smaller outposts could not have an airstrip. Helicopters and tiltrotors can get in and out of almost any base, but they typically lack range and payload compared to fixed-wing aircraft.

This is where seaplanes could come in. Equip the Marine KC-130s with floats and they could resupply any outposts they could safely reach.

AFSOC Chief Technology Officer Lt. Col. Josh Trantham hinted at the possibility. “We believe that MAC can be used by our sister, allied and partner services on various C-130 platforms,” ​​he said.

If anything, AFSOC is behind the curve. The Japanese Navy flies a small number of US-2 seaplanes for rescues and emergency supply runs. And Chinese industry is developing a new seaplane, the AG600, which Beijing could deploy to resupply its own island outposts.

AFSOC plans to fly a C-130 equipped with floats for the first time within 17 months. If the design will work, well, we’ll see. But the usefulness is obvious.

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Experts say China’s trade sanctions on AUKUS deal unlikely, but point to long-term concerns Fri, 17 Sep 2021 08:14:33 +0000

China’s scathing reaction to Australia’s nuclear submarine deal is unlikely to translate into short-term trade sanctions, experts say.

A day after Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom unveiled a new trilateral security partnership called AUKUS, China lambasted the alliance, calling it an “extremely irresponsible” threat that “seriously undermines the peace. and regional stability and intensifies the arms race ”.

This is the latest incident in a deteriorating relationship between Australia and its largest trading partner.

Previous tensions have led China to impose trade restrictions and sanctions on industries such as lobster, barley, wine and beef.

Dr Jeffrey Wilson said China was unlikely to respond with trade sanctions.(

ABC News: James Carmody


Perth US-Asia Center research director Dr Jeffrey Wilson said the latest spat was unlikely to lead to further action.

“Most of the ammunition has already been fired [because] China has applied trade sanctions to almost all of Australia’s major exports where it can, ”he said.

“In many [impacted] industries, especially here in Western Australia, trade is effectively suspended [so] it’s not likely to be much worse than that. “

Collins class submarines HMAS Dechaineux, HMAS Waller and HMAS Sheean
Australia’s Collins-class submarines are aging and in need of replacement. (

Automatic document feeder


Other potential sanctions targets could include international students and tourism, Dr Wilson said, but iron ore was probably not on the table just yet.

“The trade in iron ore (…) has not been affected largely due to its systemic importance to China,” he said.

“It would require an extraordinarily bad deterioration in relations – down to a ‘on the brink of war’ type scenario – before that starts to change.”


Repairing relationships won’t be easy

China’s previous trade sanctions were mainly in response to unilateral decisions, such as pressure from Australia for an independent investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

Lowy Institute China expert Natasha Kassam said this time there is strength in unity.

“China will hesitate to single out any of these [AUKUS] partners for reprisals and therefore maybe he will hold his own until another unilateral decision, “she said.

Potential future problems in Australia-China relations could include the upcoming review of Chinese ownership of Darwin’s port.

China would also be angry if the new powers of the Commonwealth were used to shut down Confucius Institutes at Australian universities.

Meanwhile, Ms Kassam said there was little Australia could do to mend the icy relationship.

“Australia looks like it only responded to China’s coercive actions, but it is clearly not in the interests of both countries to have this level of animosity.”

This was in part because while Australia’s iron ore industry seemed untouchable at the moment, it wouldn’t be forever, Ms Kassam said.

A salvager at Fortescue's Port Hedland facility picks up and mixes iron ore from a large pile.
Experts say China is looking to wean itself off Australian iron ore in the long term.(

ABC News: Rachel Pupazzoni


“It is very clear that Beijing is planning to wean itself off from iron ore in the long term,” she said.

“There is very little incentive from Beijing to try to improve the relationship.”

The future development of Chinese demand for iron ore is not the only issue affecting the future of the Australian economy.

“Much of Australia’s coal and gas exports go to countries that have set net zero [targets] for 2050 or 2060, ”Ms. Kassam said.

“The iron ore industry needs to worry about China as a market, but it also needs to worry about climate change, carbon taxes and other restrictions.

“Ultimately, a sustainable approach will require significant changes in Australia and China is only part of that story.”

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