Af/Pak & Other News (12/23/2020)

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Dec 23, 2020, 10:23:58 PM12/23/20
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Due to X-mas/New Year's vacation, my net access will range from spotty to non-existent for the next few days/weeks. Happy Holidays everyone!




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Fire From the Sky: The Afghan Taliban’s Drones

https://thediplomat.com/2020/12/fire-from-the-sky-the-afghan-talibans-drones/



US, UN Slam Targeted Killings of Prominent Afghan Civilians

https://www.voanews.com/south-central-asia/us-un-slam-targeted-killings-prominent-afghan-civilians



Assassins silence another ‘voice of Afghan democracy’ in Kabul killing

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/yusof-rashid-assassination-afghanistan/2020/12/23/df92f860-44e4-11eb-ac2a-3ac0f2b8ceeb_story.html



Dutch prosecutors asked to check whether Dutch soldiers killed Afghan civilians

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-netherlands-afghanistan-prosecutors/dutch-prosecutors-asked-to-check-whether-dutch-soldiers-killed-afghan-civilians-idUSKBN28X1E0



How the Taliban’s Rivalry With ISIS Is Shaping the Afghan Peace Talks

https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/29309/to-understand-the-afghan-taliban-s-tactics-in-peace-talks-look-to-isis









India successfully test fires medium range surface to air missile off Odisha coast

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-successfully-test-fires-medium-range-surface-to-air-missile-off-odisha-coast/articleshow/79924185.cms



India’s New Maritime Theater Command: A Quantum Leap

https://thediplomat.com/2020/12/indias-new-maritime-theater-command-a-quantum-leap/









U.S. says it has "highly credible" information Iranians created website threatening U.S. election officials

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-elections-iran/u-s-suspects-iranians-created-website-threatening-u-s-election-officials-idUSKBN28X2M4



Illicit Iranian Oil Shipment Shut Down at Sea

https://freebeacon.com/national-security/illicit-iranian-oil-shipment-shut-down-at-sea/









Why the US Bases in Iraq and Afghanistan Continue to be Targeted

https://sofrep.com/news/why-the-us-embassy-in-iraq-airbase-in-afghanistan-continue-to-be-targeted/



A Quantum Leap Forward: Chinese Influence Grows in Iraq’s Oil Market

https://thediplomat.com/2020/12/a-quantum-leap-forward-chinese-influence-grows-in-iraqs-oil-market/



Top U.S. officials discuss options to protect Americans in Iraq -senior official

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-iran-iraq/top-u-s-officials-discuss-options-to-protect-americans-in-iraq-senior-official-idUSKBN28X2F7



Trump pardon of Blackwater killers sparks outrage in Iraq

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-12-23/trump-pardons-blackwater-killers-sparking-outrage-in-iraq-and-elsewhere









The Forgotten Deterrent: Kuwait’s Luna-M ’FROG-7’ Artillery Rockets

https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2020/03/kuwaits-little-known-9k52-luna-m-frog-7.html




Qatar’s NH90 helicopter variants take to the skies for first time

https://defbrief.com/2020/12/23/qatars-nh90-helicopter-variants-take-to-the-skies-for-first-time/




Royal Saudi Air Force Chinese-made CASC CH-4 Drone Allegedly Shot Down By Houthi Rebels Over Marib

https://fighterjetsworld.com/latest-news/aircraft-crash/royal-saudi-air-force-chinese-made-casc-ch-4-drone-allegedly-shot-down-by-houthi-rebels-over-marib/24151/









How Hezbollah Profits from Black Cocaine

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2020/12/ep-37-how-hezbollah-profits-from-black-cocaine.php









Israeli submarine transits Suez Canal in show of force against Iran

https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2020/12/23/Israeli-submarine-transits-Suez-Canal-in-show-of-force-against-Iran/4631608751119/









Turkish parliament extends law for troop deployment to Libya

https://apnews.com/article/turkey-africa-troop-deployments-libya-tripoli-6ab4fe69a89a5bcd0ffa6fbb5b9caf0c




Nigeria: Road Warrior Woes

https://www.strategypage.com/qnd/nigeria/articles/20201223.aspx



Nigerian Air Force Set To Induct The First Batch Of Pakistan-made JF-17 Thunder Fighter Jets

https://fighterjetsworld.com/air/nigerian-air-force-set-to-induct-the-first-batch-of-pakistan-made-jf-17-thunder-fighter-jets/24140/




Gunmen kill more than 100 in dawn attack in western Ethiopian region

https://www.france24.com/en/africa/20201223-gunmen-kill-dozens-in-western-ethiopian-region-of-benishangul-gumuz




America's East Africa Military Hub Sees Spike In Activity As Somalia Withdrawals Continue

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/38382/americas-east-africa-military-hub-sees-spike-in-activity-as-somalia-withdrawals-continue




Russia’s Naval Base in Sudan Opens a Long-Sought Gateway to the Red Sea

https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/29311/for-russia-naval-base-in-sudan-opens-a-long-sought-gateway-to-the-red-sea




Central African Republic: UN helps retake town seized by rebels ahead of elections

https://www.france24.com/en/africa/20201223-un-retakes-rebel-held-town-in-run-up-to-election-in-central-african-republic



US Calls For Transparency As Russians Enter C.Africa

https://www.barrons.com/news/us-calls-for-transparency-as-russians-enter-c-africa-01608756305?tesla=y









Russia’s Oldest Bomber Now Controls Drones — Here’s What It Might Do With Them

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidhambling/2020/12/23/russias-oldest-bomber-now-controls-drones-heres-what-it-might-do-with-them/



Russia's sixth-generation MiG-41 fighter to make maiden flight in 2025

https://www.blogbeforeflight.net/2020/12/russias-sixth-generation-mig-41-fighter.html



First Unmanned Helicopter Drones Delivered to Russian Aerospace Forces

https://www.defenseworld.net/news/28623/First_Unmanned_Helicopter_Drones_Delivered_to_Russian_Aerospace_Forces



Interview: Russia Blocking Visas For U.S. Diplomatic Staff, Forcing Closure Of Consulates, U.S. Ambassador Says

https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-us-ambassador-sullivan-interview-diplomat-visas-cyberattack-whelan/31015928.html



State Department says US believes Russian FSB used a Novichok nerve agent to poison Navalny

https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/23/politics/state-dept-navalny-statement/index.html



"If it Hadn't Been for the Prompt Work of the Medics": FSB Officer Inadvertently Confesses Murder Plot to Navalny

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2020/12/21/if-it-hadnt-been-for-the-prompt-work-of-the-medics-fsb-officer-inadvertently-confesses-murder-plot-to-navalny/



Russian lawmakers vote for jail penalties for online slander

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-politics-law-defamation/russian-lawmakers-vote-for-jail-penalties-for-online-slander-idUSKBN28X1RX



Russia’s New Territory

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/12/russias-new-territory/#slide-1




Europe At The Forefront of Hypersonic Missile Defense

https://thedebrief.org/europe-at-the-forefront-of-hypersonic-missile-defense/




U.S. Approves Possible Sale of of King Air B300ER Scorpion ISR Aircraft to Kazakhstan

https://defpost.com/u-s-approves-possible-sale-of-of-king-air-b300er-scorpion-isr-aircraft-to-kazakhstan/




It’s a Bird, It’s a What, It’s a UAV

https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htairfo/articles/20201223.aspx




Leonardo Hack Allegedly Targeted Details Of nEUROn UCAV Program

https://theaviationist.com/2020/12/24/leonardo-hack-allegedly-targeted-details-of-neuron-ucav-program/



Leonardo hacked by its own employees, files on nEUROn stolen

http://alert5.com/2020/12/23/leonardo-hacked-by-its-own-employees-files-on-neuron-stolen/



First Two T-345 Trainers Delivered To The Italian Air Force

https://theaviationist.com/2020/12/23/first-two-t-345-trainers-delivered-to-the-italian-air-force/




You Can Buy The Royal Air Force's Impressive Sentinel Radar Planes, But Only In Pieces

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/38395/you-can-now-buy-the-uks-impressive-sentinel-spyplanes-but-only-in-pieces









Big Antarctic Stakeholders Get Ignored As China’s New Antarctic Gear Gets Hyped

https://www.forbes.com/sites/craighooper/2020/12/23/big-antarctic-stakeholders-get-ignored-as-chinas-new-antarctic-gear-gets-hyped/



Why China’s Amphibious Assault Ships Are a Really Big Deal

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/why-china%E2%80%99s-amphibious-assault-ships-are-really-big-deal-175039



Tech Giants Are Giving China a Vital Edge in Espionage

https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/12/23/china-tech-giants-process-stolen-data-spy-agencies/



China reportedly demanded that big Chinese tech companies like Alibaba and Tencent process stolen US data for the nation's top spies

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/china-reportedly-demanded-that-big-chinese-tech-companies-like-alibaba-and-tencent-process-stolen-us-data-for-the-nations-top-spies/ar-BB1cb7s0



The Chinese Navy Has A Command Problem

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2020/12/23/the-chinese-navy-has-a-command-problem/



China aims for commercial race with at least 20 Long March-8 rocket launches a year

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3115067/china-aims-commercial-race-least-20-long-march-8-rocket



China Used Exoskeletons to Recover Lunar Material

https://thedebrief.org/china-used-exoskeletons-to-recover-lunar-material-exoskeleton-companies/



China's Chang'e-5 orbiter embarks on new mission to gravitationally stable spot at L1

https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Chinas_Change_5_orbiter_embarks_on_new_mission_to_gravitationally_stable_spot_at_L1_999.html



Casinos, COVID or Drugs? Why China Is Building a Fence on Myanmar Border

https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/casinos-covid-or-drugs-why-china-building-fence-myanmar-border



The Era of Biotechnology, Mass Surveillance, and Government Control

https://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2020/12/21/conflict-in-the-biosphere-n1221036



Action Needs to Be Taken to Avoid Accidental U.S.-China Conflict in Taiwan Strait: Report

https://www.newsweek.com/action-avoid-accidental-us-china-conflict-taiwan-strait-1556941





With Rival American And Chinese Naval Transits Through The Taiwan Strait, The Advanced F-16s Taiwan Is Buying Will Come In Handy

https://www.forbes.com/sites/erictegler/2020/12/23/with-american-and-chinese-naval-transits-through-the-taiwan-strait-the-advanced-f-16s-taiwan-is-buying-will-come-in-handy/





Japanese air force jets scramble to intercept Russian and Chinese bombers

https://defence-blog.com/news/japanese-air-force-jets-scramble-to-intercept-russian-and-chinese-bombers.html





South Korea: Raytheon offers multiple-intelligence aircraft solution to meet RoKAF's ISTAR requirement

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/raytheon-offers-multiple-intelligence-aircraft-solution-to-meet-rokafs-istar-requirement










Video Taken By Pilots Of What Could Be The Elusive Los Angeles Jet Pack Guy Emerges

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/38403/video-taken-by-pilots-of-what-could-be-the-elusive-los-angeles-jet-pack-guy-emerges



Biden says the Pentagon isn't briefing his team on the suspected Russian cyberattack

https://news.yahoo.com/biden-says-pentagon-isnt-briefing-214014408.html



Wide-reaching hack has defense firms on their toes

https://www.c4isrnet.com/2020/12/23/wide-reaching-hack-has-defense-firms-on-their-toes/



Uncertainty prevails over US cyber strategy shift towards ‘persistent engagement'

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/uncertainty-prevails-over-us-cyber-strategy-shift-towards-persistent-engagement



Combatting Terrorist Financing in the Age of Crypto: Opportunities for the Biden Administration

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2020/12/23/combatting_terrorist_financing_in_the_age_of_crypto_opportunities_for_the_biden_administration_654237.html



200th 'Narco Submarine'

http://www.hisutton.com/200th-Narco-Submarine-in-Covert-Shores-Database.html



Navy Releases Fourth Round of USS Thresher Inquiry Documents

https://news.usni.org/2020/12/23/navy-releases-fourth-round-of-uss-thresher-inquiry-documents



After Fort Hood, the U.S. Army Will Succeed or Fail on Trust

https://warontherocks.com/2020/12/after-fort-hood-the-u-s-army-will-succeed-or-fail-on-trust/



Drones: The Next IED

https://www.forbes.com/sites/vikrammittal/2020/12/23/drones-the-next-ied/



Fighter Pilots Are Taking Full Advantage Of The Air Force's Lifted Ban On Custom Helmet Art

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/38402/fighter-pilots-are-taking-full-advantage-of-the-air-forces-lifted-ban-on-custom-helmet-art



Why future fighter designs will retain human pilot

https://www.flightglobal.com/flight-international-opinion/why-future-fighter-designs-will-retain-human-pilot/141740.article



The Secret History of the First Microprocessor, the F-14, and Me

https://www.wired.com/story/secret-history-of-the-first-microprocessor-f-14/



Congress provides $130 million for hypersonic missile warning satellites

https://www.c4isrnet.com/battlefield-tech/space/2020/12/23/congress-provides-130-million-for-hypersonic-missile-warning-satellites/



U.S. Army will use AI to develop chemical-biological defense systems

https://defence-blog.com/news/army/u-s-army-will-use-ai-to-develop-chemical-biological-defense-systems.html



DroneShield’s counter-drone tech supports U.S. Army exercise

https://dronedj.com/2020/12/23/droneshields-counter-drone-tech-supports-u-s-army-exercise/



Early Christmas Present: Army Receives Potentially Revolutionary Unmanned Ground Vehicles

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/38394/early-christmas-present-army-receives-potentially-revolutionary-unmanned-ground-vehicles



US Army Stryker Vehicles Being Prepared for Laser Combat Competition

https://www.thedefensepost.com/2020/12/23/us-army-stryker-laser-combat/



‘Squadcopter’ market for U.S. combat units tops $1 billion

https://verticalmag.com/news/us-military-quadcopter-market/



F-16V to test counter Cruise Missile Defense role

http://alert5.com/2020/12/24/f-16v-to-test-counter-cruise-missile-defense-role/



Tyndall AFB replaces T-38's with new aircraft to simulate realistic air-to-air combat

https://www.newsherald.com/story/news/2020/12/21/tyndall-air-force-base-bay-county-get-new-aircraft-training/3990280001/



U.S. Air Force’s Hypersonic Cruise Missile Fails in Test

https://www.defenseworld.net/news/28619/U_S__Air_Force___s_Hypersonic_Cruise_Missile_Fails_in_Test



U.S. Air Force uses cutting-edge SAR mapping technology in bomb hit assessment

https://defence-blog.com/news/u-s-air-force-uses-cutting-edge-sar-mapping-technology-in-bomb-hit-assessment.html



Air Force Global Hawk Drone May Fly to 2040 With New Sensors, More Autonomy

https://defensemaven.io/warriormaven/air/air-force-global-hawk-drone-may-fly-to-2040-with-new-sensors-more-autonomy-M19xEaHPzkynyRAgtZmypQ



Florida-based F-22 instructor pilots got to fire live Sidewinder missiles for the first time

https://www.yahoo.com/news/florida-based-f-22-instructor-142302660.html



L3Harris scores award for Navy’s Next Generation Jammer

https://www.c4isrnet.com/electronic-warfare/2020/12/22/l3harris-scores-award-for-navys-next-generation-jammer/



Biden Defense Team Inherits Navy Robotic Warship Research Aimed At Deterring/Defeating China

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2020/12/23/biden-defense-team-inherits-navy-robotic-warship-research-aimed-at-deterringdefeating-china/



Congress guts funding for cruiser replacements

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2020/12/23/congress-guts-funding-for-cruiser-replacements/



Navy to Field First New Torpedo in Decades

https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2020/12/23/navy-to-field-first-new-torpedo-in-decades



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