‘France will strike’ if proven chemical bombs used in Syria: Macron

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a Trianon Council meeting (Conseil de coordination du dialogue de Trianon) aiming to strenghten the links between France and Russia at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Febuary 9, 2018. REUTERS/Ludovic Marin/Pool

 

PARIS (Reuters) – President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that “France will strike” if chemical weapons are used against civilians in the Syrian conflict in violation of international treaties, but that he had not yet seen proof this was the case.

Macron said last May that the use of chemical weapons would represent a “red line”. In a telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday expressed concern over signs that chlorine bombs had been used against civilians in Syria. Continue reading

The Pentagon’s controversial plan to hire military leaders off the street

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Lateral entry, if approved, could open a door for civilians to join the military’s senior officer ranks. Some leaders want to explore this idea for enlisted military jobs, too.(Photo: John Harman/Staff)

 

Defense Secretary Ash Carter wants to open the door for more “lateral entry” into the military’s upper ranks, clearing the way for lifelong civilians with vital skills and strong résumés to enter the officer corps as high as the O-6 paygrade.

The idea is controversial, to say the very least. For many in the rank-and-file military, it seems absurd, a bewildering cultural change that threatens to upend many assumptions about military life and traditional career paths. But while it’s not universally embraced, there is interest in Congress and among some of the military’s uniformed leaders — even, they say, in exploring how the services could apply this concept to the enlisted force.

This is a key piece of Carter’s “Force of the Future” personnel reform. Unveiled June 9, it aims to help the military bring in more top talent, especially for high-tech career fields focused on cyber warfare and space. Advocates say it will help the military fill important manpower shortfalls with highly skilled professionals and, more broadly, create greater “permeability” between the active-duty military and the civilian sector. Continue reading

Ukraine’s Poroshenko warns of ‘full-scale’ Russia invasion

President Petro Poroshenko has told MPs the military must prepare to defend against a possible “full-scale invasion” from Russia, amid a surge of violence in eastern Ukraine.

Russia has denied that its military is involved in Ukraine, but Mr Poroshenko said 9,000 of its troops were deployed.

Clashes involving tanks took place in two areas west of Donetsk on Wednesday.

There was a “colossal threat” that large-scale fighting would resume, the president told parliament in Kiev. Continue reading

Israel practices national preparedness for war, mass evacuations

The IDF “Exercise Turning Point 15” was launched across Israel Sunday with the accent on the functioning of national infrastructure services including, water, power, gas and food supplies for populations affected by a multi-front and/or massive terrorist attack Continue reading

ISIS claims gains, takes control of Iraq’s largest hydroelectric dam

(CNN) — Fighters with the militant group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria reached the triangle border between Iraq, Syria and Turkey, it said in a message posted on Twitter on Sunday.

ISIS took control of Iraq’s largest hydroelectric dam on Iraq’s Tigris River, which provides power to the city of Mosul about 50 kilometers (31 miles) to the south, the commander of the Peshmerga Kurdish fighters who had been defending the facility said Sunday.

The dam workers remained inside the facility, which fell after a 24-hour battle, Lt. Col. Herash said. Continue reading

Socom seeks system to control AM, FM transmissions in emergency

In future natural disasters or battlefield operations, U.S. Special Operations Command would like to be able to take over local AM and FM radio transmissions to broadcast its own message.

To do that, the MacDill Air Force Base headquartered command “is seeking sources to provide a radio broadcast system capable of searching for and acquiring every AM and FM radio station in a specific area and then broadcasting a message(s) in the target area on all acquired AM and FM radio station frequencies,” according a solicitation posted Monday on the Federal Business Opportunities website.

The solicitation doesn’t offer any cost estimates or timetables, nor does it include any specifics on how or when the system would be used. Continue reading

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