Yossi Cohen, head of Israel ''s Mossad, has learned a very interesting lesson over the recent weeks: It is easier to ”steal ” the Iranian nuclear archives and transfer them to Israel than to procure medical ventilators and bring them to Israel ''s hospitals. Cohen, who orchestrated in 2018 the unbelievable operation in which Mossad agents went off with the Iranian files under the noses of the regime in Tehran, now heads the unprecedented effort to bring to Israel ventilators, medical equipment and more in the war against the coronavirus. Cohen now heads a secret undercover operations room that was created in the Sheba hospital. Hundreds of his people are combing every corner of the globe for vital equipment and technology. They don ''t have a limit on their budget, and the order they received was to do everything and anything to guarantee that Israel will be able to cope with the virus under optimal conditions. Israel correctly responded to the coronavirus early in the game. The initial decisions to close Israel ''s airspace and limit entrance to people from China and other places were made just in time. This gave the country some breathing space before the virus actually erupted. But almost nothing was done with regard to anti coronavirus equipment until the virus inhabited the country and began to spread. The Israeli health system was caught unprepared; it had been subject to ongoing budget cutbacks, as well as general neglect, in the last decade. The Israeli health system as a whole is viewed as successful and efficient. Israel has a National Health Insurance Law that provides free health coverage to all its citizens and a network of family and community clinics that are among the world ''s most developed. On the other hand, the numbers of nurses and intensive care beds per capita are among the lowest in the West. The rates of death from infection within the hospitals are increasing and viewed as one of the highest in the West. The coronavirus caught Israel with less than 2,000 ventilators and a chronic shortage of protective clothing, surgical masks, N95 masks, coronavirus test kits, special swabs and more. The Health Ministry ''s worst case scenario talks about a million coronavirus carriers in the month of May; this translates into about 10,000 patients in serious condition who will need ventilators. Netanyahu ''s nightmare is to see thousands of coronavirus patients die due to a lack of ventilators.The prime minister, who has an anxious temperament and often exaggerates threats and invents worst case scenarios, is afraid of Israel becoming the Mediterranean version of Italy where the health system collapsed in light of the plethora of people in serious condition. He knows that pictures of Israeli coronavirus sufferers dying due to a lack of ventilators would mark the end of his political career. That #39;s why it was inevitable that he appointed Cohen to the job of procuring the necessary equipment. The Mossad is Netanyahu ''s secret weapon mdash; it is very popular in the Israeli public. In addition, as opposed to the defense system and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) mdash; which are under Defense Minister Naftali Bennett mdash; the direct commander in chief of the Mossad is Netanyahu. This allows him to take public and political credit for the Mossad ''s success.
This is a sweeping and dangerous attempt by the far left to weaponize the FCC against conservative media outlets and elected officials. They want to turn the FCC into a roving speech police empowered to go after the left s political opponents,; says FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr.While the requests are extreme, Free Press has previously taken far left views about government control of the media and turned them into orthodox Democratic Party positions. The group successfully lobbied the FCC under President Obama to regulate the internet via Title II "net neutrality " rules, later repealed by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who has described Free Press as "a spectacularly misnamed Beltway lobbying group. "
Normally, they are everywhere, on your news channels, sending out press releases and videos, making announcements, getting interviewed, holding press briefings or getting themselves photographed in self promotional activities. Ever since the coronavirus crisis hit India two months ago, they have vanished from public view. Social distancing was meant for the public, not for ministers in charge of crucial ministries to practice public distancing. In this hour of what is probably the greatest crisis the country, and the world, has ever faced, we should logically be hearing more from the health minister, the finance minister, the home minister and above all, the prime minister. In America, President Donald Trump, who hates the press (barring Fox News) holds a daily press briefing where he is asked some probing questions about his government s response to Covid 19. In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a daily press briefing as well till the virus infected him as well. Subsequently, the health secretary and other medical experts have replaced him. In Spain and Italy, their leaders and health ministers are speaking daily to the public, informing them of what steps are being taken and what the public should avoid. In contrast, Narendra Modi has appeared twice since the outbreak began to address the public, once to announce the janta curfew and the other time to announce the lockdown. Mann ki Baat did not require him to face a camera. No one has seen the Health Minister, who happens to be a qualified doctor, speak to the public except on a Town Hall video conference hosted by NDTV which, in any event, was in English. He has tweeted, again in English, about demonizing health care workers but as Union health minister it is his moral and ethical duty to be speaking to the public more often and answering questions from a public entrapped in fear and panic, preferably via regular press conferences. The Home minister who plays such a crucial role in the imposition of law and order and discipline has not been seen at all, despite the agonising sight of thousands of migrants crowding bus stands and walking in large groups on our highways. As The Telegraph noted, The lockdown is on but the bid to break the chain of transmission has not succeeded in containing one question. Where is Union home minister Amit Shah, the country s new Iron Man ? The question hangs in the corridors of power amid the Covid 19 pandemic, with Shah s absence from the frontline leaving many wondering about his role in the battle against the virus. Shah the second most powerful leader in the ruling dispensation after Prime Minister Narendra Modi has so far been engaged in merely tweeting to hail the measures taken by the government or sending advisories to states. If the coronavirus disaster has taught us one thing it is this: there is no bigger weapon to combat a national crisis and show that the government is doing everything in its power to help its citizens, than transparency. Without transparency there is no trust, something which many governments have learnt to their everlasting regret. Many countries refer to transparency not only as the right to access information, but also as a tool for enhancing government efficiency and accountability. In a time of national crisis, that is required more than ever. Talking of information, we have seen precious little of the minster in charge of dispensing it, Prakash Javdekar. Maybe he is following his own advice which he tweeted last week, saying that watching Ramayana during the shutdown of the country is the way forward
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip the world, so does another contagion, this one spread by political profiteers, opportunists, and grandstanders cashing in on a familiar trade. Whenever a bodily virus hits, a cultural virus tags along: the impulse to scapegoat an entire race, ethnicity, or nationality. They did it is the favorite refrain of fearmongers when contagion strikes, and the resulting violence is all too real. Partisan point scoring is a predictable aspect of any outbreak, and the incentive is clear. A virus s origin story is yours if you can frame it especially if you can label it: the Wuhan Virus. A Twitter fight and media shouting match have erupted over what to call this contagion after GOP Rep. Paul Gosar named it Wuhan Virus and got hammered for labeling it after the Chinese city where the coronavirus emerged. The battle over naming hasn ''t stopped there. Republican lawmakers continue to fix blame by labeling it Wuhan Virus, Chinese Coronavirus, and "foreign virus, " ascribing fault to geography despite health experts insistence that these labels are inaccurate and dangerously divisive. On Thursday, Sen. Tom Cotton called it Wuhan Virus " in announcing his DC office was closing just two days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agreed with a reporter that it s absolutely wrong and inappropriate " to use that label and Cotton was accused of lending credibility to the conspiracy theory that China released the coronavirus as a bioweapon.
The incident occurred at around 3.30pm at the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise when two prisoners mdash; one armed with a weapon mdash; took another inmate hostage.It is understood that they then barricaded themselves into a cell and a five hour stand off commenced.
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The ODIN laser isn''t the first to be deployed on a US Navy warship. That honor goes to the Office of Naval Research''s (ONR) Laser Weapon System (LaWS), which was deployed on the USS Ponce (LPD 15) in 2014. However, this experience by the team behind LaWS at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren Division provided the expertise needed to complete the development of ODIN.Unlike other laser weapons that are designed to destroy targets with blasts of concentrated laser light, ODIN is what is known as a dazzler laser. That is, it''s one of a class of lasers that are intended to blind or distract rather than destroy. Though the legality of using such lasers against human pilots restricts them to only distracting the person by acting like the glare of oncoming headlamps, such lasers can also disable or destroy delicate optical sensors on drones.
The security arrangements for US President Donald Trump''s maiden visit to India are underway on a war footing basis. Trump''s visit begins on Monday and all the security checks including the President''s private chopper, Trump''s private cars have been imported from US, and a seven tier security circle are in place to make the safety foolproof. Anti drone system
Human rights groups said Wednesday that a cargo ship could soon dock in France to pick up weapons for Saudi Arabia;s offensive in Yemen, urging French officials to ensure the arms will not be used to target civilians.NGOs had succeeded in preventing the same Bahri Yanbu vessel from docking in France last May when it was set to receive a weapons shipment for Riyadh that sparked an outcry among activists.
Skydance Interactive has released a new video for the upcoming virtual reality game The Walking Dead: Saints amp; Sinners. The development team goes over the many different ways of approaching and killing zombies and other random people. Taking place in New Orleans, players will fight, scavenge and survive the apocalypse with unprecedented detail. Whether you use melee weapons, assault rifles or shotguns, there are many different ways to take care of business in this VR experience. The Walking Dead: Saints amp; Sinners will be available on January 23 for Oculus Rift, Rift S, Quest (via Link cable only), HTC Vive, Cosmos, Valve Index and various WindowsMR headsets. Check out the video below.
Key point: For the time being, the MLRS still provides an effective rocket system for U.S. armored units. On February 24, 1991, the ground phase of Operation Desert Storm began. Over the next four days, the soldiers of an international coalition, formed to eject the Iraqi army of Saddam Hussein from the neighboring nation of Kuwait, carried out a whirlwind offensive that quickly overwhelmed their foe. During this time, tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers were taken prisoner. Many of them, arms thrust upward in a sign of surrender, said one thing when they were taken into custody: No more steel rain. For weeks before the ground attack, these men had been systematically pummeled by the entire range of weaponry available to their opponents B 52 bombing strikes, air attacks using tons of precision smart weapons, plus many more thousands of tons of traditional unguided bombs and rockets. Added to this was the close air support of fighter bomber aircraft and attack helicopters. Artillery barrages dropped down on them by the dozens and hundreds, adding yet another level to the pounding they received. The cries of no more steel rain applied to none of these, however. Instead, it was the nickname of a deadly new artillery weapon seeing its debut in combat: the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System, or MLRS. Batteries of these weapons had been deployed to the Gulf with U.S. and British forces, who used them to blanket their target areas with hundreds of rockets releasing thousands of explosive submunitions, or bomblets, that devastated armored vehicles, trucks, equipment, and men. Volleys of rockets pounded the hapless Iraqi troops and paved the way for the sweeping infantry and armor assaults that followed. The MLRS proved itself alongside such other late Cold War weapons as the M1 Abrams tank, M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and AH64 Apache helicopter. Like these weapons, the MLRS had its origins in the 1970s development programs of the post Vietnam era. The MLRS Concept Takes Shape During the late 1960s and early 1970s, America s involvement in the Vietnam War drew most of the focus away from the traditional enemies of the time, the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies. As the United States gradually withdrew from the conflict in Asia, its attention once again returned to Eastern Europe, and the U.S. Army was not happy encountering the Russians new claws. The Soviets had taken advantage of America s distraction to build up its conventional forces to unprecedented levels. The Warsaw Pact now sat across the Iron Curtain with tens of thousands of new tanks, armored vehicles, cannons, and rocket artillery pieces. Artillery had always weighed heavily in Soviet planning, and they now had new, longer ranged cannons than most comparable American weapons. The disparity in rocket artillery was even more one sided. Soviet tactics used barrages of thousands of rockets fired from truck mounted multiple rocket launchers (MRLs) such as the BM 21. American artillery was only scantily supplied with rocket launchers, many of them left over from World War II. With some exceptions, U.S. planners heavily favored cannon artillery, primarily for its relative accuracy. Rockets at that time were considered area fire weapons; that is, they were fired en masse at an area of ground where the enemy was thought to be, rather than at a point target such as a bunker or trenchline. Existing rockets simply were not accurate enough for such pinpoint work, although they packed quite a punch and tended to have a terrifying psychological effect on the enemy. The Soviets were willing to saturate a target area with rockets, figuring that some, at least, would find their mark. For American artillerists, weaned on the concepts of accuracy and economy of expenditure in ammunition, large scale use of indiscriminate rockets simply was not palatable. A number of occurrences changed that mindset. In 1973, the Arab Israeli War broke out. Attrition rates in that conflict were far higher than expected, greater than any possible rate of replacement for lost armor and aircraft. One of the more effective Israeli tactics had been to hit enemy Surface to Air Missile (SAM) sites with MRLs. The American military establishment noted this. It also noted that in the event of war in Europe, NATO would have to fight outnumbered against a well equipped enemy in intense, destructive combat. After long debate, the U.S. Army finally wrote a requirement for a new rocket launcher in March 1974, calling it the GSRS, or General Support Rocket System. It would be used to engage enemy air defenses and for counterbattery fire, neutralizing opposing artillery. The new launcher would have long range and massive firepower, freeing the cannon units to provide close support to the infantry and armor. Several NATO allies, including the United Kingdom, France, and West Germany, were consulted and agreed to collaborate on the project. Since the Europeans already had looked at a similar system independently, their name was adopted, changing GSRS to MLRS. Design and Development Actual development began in September 1977, undertaken by the Boeing and Vought Aerospace companies, which beat out three other competitors for the contract. Development continued into the 1980s and eventually became the highest priority for the Field Artillery School, which considered it the Army s most spectacular new weapons system. After initial testing proved successful, the MLRS was adopted, with the first production models, designated M270, arriving at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in August 1982. The first operational battery of M270s was formed in March 1983, and the new unit was sent to West Germany the following September. These batteries were composed of three platoons of three launchers each, a total of nine launchers per battery. By 1987, 25 such batteries were in service. The basic M270 was a self propelled armored vehicle that mated two main subcomponents: the Launcher Loader Module (LLM) containing the rocket pods and the hardware needed to load and unload them and the carrier vehicle, essentially an enlarged version of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle chassis. The vehicle was not quite 23 feet long, 9.5 feet wide, and 8.5 feet high. It weighed 52,990 pounds ready for combat. The three man crew sat in a cab above the engine compartment. This cab was armored to protect against small arms fire and artillery fragments. The engine was a Cummins 8 cylinder diesel developing 500 horsepower for a top speed of 40 miles per hour and a range of 483 kilometers. Directly behind the cab was the LLM, which carried two pods of six rockets each, one next to the other. For firing, the LLM raised and rotated to point to the vehicle s side. It could fire single rockets or any number up to its full load of 12 within 60 seconds. The crew consisted of a crew chief, gunner, and driver. The crew chief commanded the vehicle, oversaw firing operations, and performed checks of the other two crewmen. The gunner operated a firing panel to aim and fire the rockets at selected targets. The M270 s computer calculated the data for the rocket s direction of fire, point of impact, and range; these calculations were based on information received digitally via radio or entered manually by the gunner. The driver operated the M270 and performed maintenance. The heart and purpose of the M270 were its munitions. The basic rocket was the M26, with a range of 32 kilometers. It carried 644 grenade sized submunitions. A single M270 could blanket a 600 square meter area with 7,728 bomblets, devastating to men, material, and light vehicles, with a limited effect on armored vehicles. One battery of MLRS firing a complete volley of 108 rockets had the equivalent firepower of 33 battalions of cannon artillery. These rockets were packaged in pods of six rounds each. Rockets were only part of the picture, however. The M270 also fired the M39 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missile, each launcher carrying two missiles in place of the normal 12 rockets. The ATACMS carried 950 bomblets and had a range of 165 kilometers, giving MLRS the ability to range deep in enemy territory, hitting command posts, logistics depots, air defenses, and assembly areas for advancing units. ATACMS started development in 1985 and was rushed into service for Desert Storm. The MLRS Doctrine The doctrine for the use of MLRS sought to take advantage of its mobility and firepower. To avoid the expected Soviet counterbattery fire, M270s would spread out individually and hide themselves until needed for a mission. The launcher would then move to a firing position, launch its rockets, and immediately move away, hopefully before the Soviets could calculate the launch point using radar and fire on it. The M270 crew would then proceed to a reloading point, load fresh rocket pods, and move to a completely new hiding position near a different firing point. This would prevent the enemy from destroying the valuable launchers as they poured volley after volley into the advancing Soviet armored hordes. Fortunately for all concerned, such combat never happened before the Cold War came to an end. Instead, the MLRS would be called upon in the deserts of the Middle East. When the Iraqi Army conquered Kuwait in 1990, hundreds of thousands of American troops were sent to Saudi Arabia, first to defend against further Iraqi aggression and then to free Kuwait from its occupiers. They took with them 89 MLRS launchers. The baptism of fire for the M270 came on January 17, 1991. That day, Battery A of the 6th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery was traveling west on a highway called Tapline Road, en route to an assembly area. At 1620 hours, an order came to fire its ATACMS missiles at SAM sites that posed a danger to planned B 52 air strikes. Although it took several hours to coordinate clear airspace for the missile s trajectories, at 0042 on January 18, two missiles roared from their launchers, destroying both SAM sites. Battery A fired six more missiles that day targeting more of the Iraqi air defense network. 1 2 Next View the discussion thread. copy; Copyright 2019 Center for the National Interest All Rights Reserved
In the pantheon of American military commanders, Curtis LeMay stands out as one of the more controversial individuals. His gruff, no nonsense, yet pragmatic approaches to strategic bombardment and airpower leave most people either admiring his aptitude or loathing his methods. The author of the Japanese fire raids in the closing months of World War II, LeMay s actions provide one of the clearest examples of total war and unrestricted bombing. His ability to get the most out of his command became a hallmark of his leadership acumen. General Curtis LeMay (A.Y. Owen Getty) With the dropping of the atomic weapons from strategic bombers, many believed warfare had entered a new age rendering conventional military operations obsolete or at least a very distant secondary to air centric campaigns. Subscribing to this new vision, LeMay took charge of Strategic Air Command (SAC) in 1948 and served as its commander for an unprecedented nine years until 1957. During this time, he oversaw Strategic Air Command s growth not only in terms of size and numbers but also in increased lethality and capability. Commanding the most destructive military force ever assembled, LeMay functioned as the catalyst and the fulcrum, which made Strategic Air Command a primary symbol of American military might. With this view of the future, LeMay calculated that the very nature of warfare in the atomic age had to be based on offensive actions with no room for defensively based policies. Trevor Albertson s Winning Armageddon addresses how and why LeMay viewed an atomic preemptive attack as a viable strategy in the emerging Cold War environment. Following the war, a new paradigm developed, which argued the initiator of an atomic aerial assault had a distinct advantage over the defender or a retaliatory strike. Fearing Strategic Air Command s fleet of bombers might be caught on the ground and vulnerable to a Soviet attack, LeMay believed the same risk existed regarding American national infrastructure and its cities. Given this possibility, LeMay insisted the only good defense was a good offense. However, LeMay fortunately failed to convince the nation s leadership to change the stated policy regarding nuclear weapons. In this vein, Albertson s main argument addresses LeMay s quest for a preemptive attack policy and his advocacy of it to the nation s leadership. In this vein, the author comprehensively addresses the Strategic Air Command commander s push for preemption despite resistance from other elements of the defense establishment and the Federal government. From LeMay s cold warrior perspective, a preemptive policy was the only viable method to ensure Strategic Air Command s combat capability while guaranteeing the nation s safety before the Soviets possibly destroyed them both, most worryingly in a kind of surprise attack akin to Pearl Harbor. Albertson, a former Air Force intelligence officer and former Air Command and Staff College instructor, demonstrates a full understanding of Strategic Air Command, the Air Force, and their roles in the early cold war years in the work s 227 pages. His technical discussion in five well constructed chapters makes for not only a fast read, but an entertaining one. With well annotated endnotes and extensive bibliography, Alberston shows a mastery of the topic only a few academics in this field can match. The work is largely a collection of the Strategic Air Command commander s actions and words encouraging a preemptive policy in both public and classified venues. Loaded with quotes, speeches, and references by LeMay advocating this policy, the author makes a clear and well documented assessment of the Strategic Air Command commander s viewpoint regarding nuclear preemption. Using primary source material, Albertson sets a high bar for works of this nature. Instead of using well trodden secondary sources, the author dug extensively in various archives to support his argument. Albertson also provides new insights into LeMay s offensive mindset. While addressing LeMay s strategic imperative, the author also delves into his effective leadership focusing on troop welfare, quality of life, and realistic training a point many treatises on LeMay fail to address. LeMay consistently demonstrated his concern for the people in his command even if it was only a way to increase performance. Albertson does a credible job of addressing what some might see as the Strategic Air Command commander s use of a softer side to foster the best performance possible. As the book addresses LeMay s advocacy for preemptive strategy almost singularly, the detour regarding troop welfare initiatives is a welcome addition. Given the work s focus on LeMay s push for a preemptive strategy, the author might have addressed more of the challenges Strategic Air Command faced early under LeMay s tenure. When LeMay took over in October 1948, the command lacked much of an atomic capability. Although the book subtly hints via the subtitle this is a treatise of the command, a discussion regarding the development of Strategic Air Command s capability quickly falls to the wayside. Instead, the book maintains its focus on preemption and LeMay s drive for its acceptance. While the author mentions this in his preface, the singular thrust regarding preemption omits discussion of the myriad of problems LeMay had to fix in addition to troop morale. Early on, Strategic Air Command suffered from a lack of ready airframes, maintenance efforts, training, and competence at almost every level. Inclusion of these efforts might have underscored and even highlighted LeMay s efforts to build a preemptive capable force. Despite this omission, the book is an excellent contribution to the historiography of the early Cold War, Strategic Air Command, and LeMay, making it a must for any student of the cold war. Albertson helps provide more insight into Strategic Air Command leadership during LeMay s tenure while illustrating the commander s thought process and quiet, yet aggressive, style of leadership. The author s excellent use of primary sources adroitly illustrate his thesis and fills a void in the current historiography. The book is a worthy and needed addition to the current historiography regarding the Cold War and strategic nuclear bombardment. John M. Curatola is a professor of history at the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies. The views expressed in this article are the author s alone and do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. This article first appeared at Real Clear Defense. Image: Flickr. View the discussion thread. copy; Copyright 2019 Center for the National Interest All Rights Reserved
At a news conference in Harrisburg, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, standing with Gov. Tom Wolf, said he issued a legal opinion Monday to the State Police to clarify that 80% receivers should be considered firearms when it comes to enforcing state laws on illegal firearms possession. My office is taking the initial step of clarifying through my official, legal opinion that under Pennsylvania law, 80% receivers are firearms and can be treated, regulated, and enforced as such, Shapiro said during the news conference, held in the Governor s Reception Room at the state Capitol and live streamed online. The proliferation of these untraceable weapons strikes at the heart of our public safety, hindering law enforcement s ability to protect our communities. Today we take the first step in addressing this problem.