Archive for March 2, 2018

The US is Accelerating Development of Its Own ‘Invincible’ Hypersonic Weapons

March 2, 2018

By Patrick Tucker Technology Editor 3-02-2018 Defense One

Source Link: The US is Accelerating Development of Its Own ‘Invincible’ Hypersonic Weapons

{American ingenuity will prevail. – LS}

Russia isn’t the only country looking to build invincible hypersonic weapons. Here’s the latest on the U.S. efforts to send missiles and even aircraft five times faster than sound.

Last spring, representatives from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, came to the office of then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work and laid out some hard truths about U.S. development of hypersonic weapons — the ones meant to travel more than five times faster than sound. The message from the military scientists: U.S. hypersonics aren’t keeping up with Russia and China.

Early on Thursday, national-security professionals across Washington, D.C., awoke to news that Russian President Vladimir Putin was claiming to have created an air-defense-beating, “invincible” hypersonic missile — though offering no particular proof. New DARPA director Steven Walker declined to comment on Putin’s assertion but told defense reporters that his teams are working as they can to test a hypersonic missile before 2020 — and that they need more help.

“Most of our programs at DARPA [related to hypersonic research] are testing at one facility,” Walker said: NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia, where research and testing is happening around the clock.

He says he needs more testing infrastructure.

“If you look at some of our peer competitors, China being one, the number of facilities that they’ve built to do hypersonics… surpasses the number we have in this country. It’s quickly surpassing it by 2 or 3 times. It is very clear that China has made this one of their national priorities. We need to do the same,” he said.

DARPA and the U.S. Air Force are working on two hypersonic weapon concepts. One is the Tactical Boost Glide weapon. A rocket accelerates the craft to very high speeds and altitudes, then glides back to earth. The other is the hypersonic air-breathing weapon concept, or HAWC, whose scramjet engine takes in air at supersonic speeds, compresses it, and pushes it through a nozzle out the back.

The military is requesting a lot more money for hypersonic research following some technological breakthroughs within the last few years. The trend began in 2010 with the achievement of 200 seconds of supersonic combustion in the air, on the X-51 Waverider experimental aircraft.

Current efforts, Walker said, are keenly focused not just on achieving new research breakthroughs, but on putting those into weapons and figuring out how much those weapons will cost.

“Things are moving,” he said. “This is becoming not just [a science and technology] thing. The services are interested in moving forward with real capabilities.”

The military will increase spending for testing and for secondary (or “follow-on”) programs as part of its FY 19 budget request, which includes some $14.3 million for the Tactical Boost Glide effort.

Walker announced on Thursday that the fruits of the research will also further the development of long-range precision weapons for the Army. The military is requesting $53 million for that, part of a program called Operational Fires. And it’s requesting another $50 million to demonstrate a ground-launched hypersonic system that incorporates tech from the Tactical Boost Glide program.

There’s growing support and interest from the leadership as well, said Walker, who reported that Michael Griffin, the new undersecretary of defense for research and engineering and a former NASA administrator, was making hypersonics one of his “top priorities.”

The Air Force program for the boost-glide system is focused on “an operational prototype in the 2022 period,” Walker said. There’s also work on a $140 million program to create a hypersonic craft capable of multiple flights, using tech that has come out of the HAWC.

“We have a program we are working with NASA … called the advanced full range engine. It’s basically developing the combined cycle propulsion system you would need for a reusable platform. We’re making good progress on that. We expect to test the engine in [2019] or [2020] on the ground” at a NASA facility that boasts a 100-square-foot wind tunnel. “Whether we actually go to a flight demo, that’s not part of the program right now,” he said.

The goal is to get a conventional turbine engine that can get up to Mach 2 and then transition seamlessly to a scramjet engine to transition to higher speeds. “You can actually take off like an airplane, fly up to Mach 6, do your mission, and come back down,” said Walker.

In hypersonics, optimism and disappointment are in a constant push and pull, just like the physical forces that act on airplanes flying faster than sound. It’s nearly impossible to predict how a bunch of interconnected metal and electronica are going to behave moving at those speeds. The laws of physics still apply, but at that point, you start getting into the laws’ very fine print.

Why Designing Hypersonic Aircraft Is So Hard

“The tricky thing about hypersonics is that equilibrium flows become non-equilibrium,” said Walker, referring to the effects of air pressure on the physical structure of solid objects at high speeds.

“Lots of friction [and] separation, potentially in the flows [of air, energy and physical materials]” happen in such a way that very good calculations about the material effects become “more guesses than actual reality,” he said.

Different mathematical tools and techniques can make that guesswork easier, such as the Reynolds-Averaged Navier Stokes, or RAND, formula, which allows you to predict what will happen as air moves across object surfaces.

Nicholas Bisek, a research aerospace engineer at the hypersonic sciences branch of the Air Force Research Lab’s Aerospace Systems Directorate, says that Navier Stokes is one of many different mathematical models you can use to figure out solid material interaction at high speeds. But when you apply those formulas to something as big as an aircraft, you have to do it again and again, chewing over the problem millimeter by millimeter to better calculate the effects of air, pressure, and other phenomenon at the most minute level.

“We have to move away from even RAND to particle-based methods that allow us to model individual particles as opposed to fluid treated as a continuum,” he says.

The Air Force is looking toward supercomputers to help with those tiny but numerically herculean math problems. In February, it awarded some $57 million to Hewlett Packard Enterprise, or HPE.

It’s a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle with highly complex equations. Getting everything to fit together is beyond what humans can do with Sharpies and blackboards, according to Kevin Newmeyer, chief of staff for the high-performance computing modernization program for defense at HPE. “Instead of modeling a single aircraft, you have to model the surface and air in blocks as small as centimeters, millimeters. You join these calculations together in a cascading set of calculations,” he said.

But even here, at the cutting edge of big data and big computing, you still get a very small and very brief window into how air and solid surface are interacting. “One of these calculations may take days or even up to a couple of weeks to model,” Newmeyer said. That model will run 15 to 20 seconds, “if it goes that long.”

Supercomputers are useful; but physical testing facilities are essential, said Walker.

“Another complicating factor in hypersonics is you can only simulate so much on the ground. It’s hard to get the velocity, the temperature, the Mach number all correct as the vehicle would experience [them] in the air. We do component testing on the ground. We’ll do this engine testing on the ground. With hypersonics, you really have to fly,”

Fly they will. In 2019, he says, expect “lots of tests.”

Russia prevents Iran from setting up base in Syria

March 2, 2018

Russia reportedly prevented Iran from setting up a military base in the port of Tartus. Israel welcomed the move.

Elad Benari, 02/03/18 03:45

Syria Reuters

Russia prevented Iran from setting up a base in the port of Tartus, which is located in western Syria, Israeli public broadcaster Kan reported on Thursday.

According to the report, Israel expressed its satisfaction with the Russian move in the hope that it sent a clear message to the Tehran regime.

Earlier this week, Fox News reported that satellite images taken by ImageSat International’s Earth Remove Observation Satellite showed evidence of a new Iranian military facility at Jabal ash Sharqi, eight miles northwest of Damascus.

Two hangars are visible in the images, and are likely used to store short and medium range missiles.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said in response that “not all information in the media should be treated as absolute.”

In an interview on Reshet Bet public radio, he explained that “we are attentive and monitor all the goings on, and we have the true and complete picture.”

At the same time, the defense minister said that “we will not agree to Iranian consolidation in Syria and certainly not to the deployment of missiles directed at Israel. It’s not just one base or another, but an Iranian attempt to establish itself with many actions and directions, and there will be concessions on this issue.”

“There is nothing new under the sun. We are not going to deteriorate the situation and we are also not forgetting Israeli interests. We will also act in the international arena and do everything possible,” Liberman said.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has repeatedly stated that Israel will not tolerate an Iranian foothold on its northern border.

Earlier this month, an Iranian unmanned aircraft operating out of Syria violated Israeli airspace before being shot down by Israeli forces.

Israel Air Force fighter jets responded with a series of airstrikes on Syrian and Iranian military targets around Damascus, including a site used to operate the downed Iranian drone. Syrian human rights observers claimed at least six Syrians and foreign nationals – likely Iranians – were killed in the Israeli strikes.

Column One: There is no there here 

March 2, 2018

Source: Column One: There is no there here – Opinion – Jerusalem Post

So the case that spells Netanyahu’s doom is no case at all. It’s a policy dispute.

 MARCH 1, 2018 20:53
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's

 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

One of the distressing aspects of the police probes against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is that police seem to be attributing criminality to normal policy-making.

To date, the Bezeq-Walla investigation, dubbed Case 4000 by the police, is being presented as the mother lode – the probe that will sink Netanyahu.

Case 4000 exploded last week with pre-dawn arrests of some of the most powerful people in Israel. Telecommunications giant Bezeq’s owner Shaul Elovitch, his wife, Iris, and their son Or were nabbed in their beds. So was Netanyahu’s former communications chief Nir Hefetz and former director-general of the Communications Ministry and Netanyahu confidante Shlomo Filber.

The headlines screamed “Bribery!” And the reports were no calmer.

The media reported that the police have hard evidence Netanyahu and Filber colluded to give Netanyahu’s crony Elovitch hundreds of millions of shekels in tax and regulatory breaks for Bezeq. In exchange, Elovitch, who also owns the popular Walla Internet site, agreed to give positive coverage of Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, on Walla’s news site.

Before we could consider the evidence, Netanyahu’s fate was sealed. He was a goner.

But when the smoke cleared, it became apparent that there isn’t anything there.

Netanyahu and Filber did give Bezeq and its subsidiary, satellite television provider Yes, regulatory and tax breaks.
On the regulatory side, the Communications Ministry agreed to end the forced separation between the two commonly owned corporations.

As Eli Zippori noted last Friday in Globes, far from being a criminal conspiracy, the move was perfectly sound policy. By allowing the two companies to work together, the government improved the lot of consumers. Together they could offer the public discounted service bundles that include landlines, Internet service and television service.

Moreover, in exchange for permitting them to work together, Bezeq agreed to permit private Internet providers to operate off of its communications infrastructure. Today, Zippori noted, 550,000 Israelis receive Internet through such services.

Would another policy move have brought better results for the public? Maybe. But that doesn’t mean this policy was wrong or criminal.

As for the tax breaks, it is true that Yes received hundreds of millions in tax relief. Yet as Zippori noted, Yes’s corporate losses topped a billion shekels. The Income Tax Authority routinely gives tax relief to corporations that lose money. And the higher the losses, the higher the tax break.

Would it have been better for the government to discriminate against Yes? Maybe. But that doesn’t mean this policy was wrong or criminal.

So the case that spells Netanyahu’s doom is no case at all. It’s a policy dispute. It isn’t surprising that the police are trying to criminalize Netanyahu’s policies in Case 4000. They’re doing the same thing in Case 1000 and in Case 3000.

Case 1000 involves Netanyahu’s support for amending the so-called Milchan law. The law, passed in 2008 under the Olmert government, provides a 10-year income tax and reporting exemption for overseas income. The law was passed to encourage wealthy expatriates and immigrants to move to Israel. It is called the Milchan law because businessman Arnon Milchan pushed very hard to get it passed.

In 2013, Milchan sought to extend the law’s exemptions to 20 years. Netanyahu supported its extension.

The police allege that Netanyahu’s support for the law’s extension owes to the fact that Milchan gave him free cigars for a decade or so. The problem with the police’s claim is that Netanyahu’s position reflects the same economic positions he has held for decades. Moreover, his position was shared by the Immigration and Absorption Ministry, which like him, supported the law and the proposed amendment because it encouraged immigration of wealthy individuals and capital flows into Israel.

Then-finance minister Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid is the star witness against Netanyahu. Although like Netanyahu, Lapid and Milchan are old friends, and Lapid met with Milchan twice about the proposed amendment, Lapid eventually bowed to his ministry’s position that the law induced money laundering and is therefore problematic.

Was Netanyahu’s position wrong? Did the Finance Ministry’s position serve the public’s interest better? Maybe. But that doesn’t mean his policy was wrong or criminal.

In Case 3000, Netanyahu is accused of basing his support for Israel’s purchase of German submarines on his cronies’ monetary interests. Netanyahu’s attorney and cousin David Shimron represented the German shipyard.

The problem with this claim is that Netanyahu has publicly supported expanding and modernizing Israel’s submarine fleet for 20 years.

True, some senior officials in the IDF and the Defense Ministry oppose expanding Israel’s submarine fleet. Their position is not without merit. But that doesn’t mean that Netanyahu’s position was wrong or criminal.

Yet in all of these cases, the police leakers are telling the media that Netanyahu’s policy positions were criminal acts. Rather than reject these claims as absurd on their face, and recognize that they contradict the basic values of a free society, the media have been mindlessly parroting them.

Which brings us to Case 2000 and the second half of Case 4000.

These investigations revolve around the premise that Netanyahu engaged in criminal activity when he sought to receive less hostile coverage from the Yediot Aharonot media group and from Walla news portal.

Yediot publisher Arnon Mozes and Elovitch are accused of offering bribes to Netanyahu in the form of better coverage in exchange for governmental support for their business interests. In Mozes’s case, he asked Netanyahu to act against Israel HayomYediot’s primary competitor. In Elovitch’s case, Netanyahu allegedly agreed to provide Bezeq/Yes with regulatory and tax breaks in exchange for supportive coverage in Walla.

There are two problems with these allegations. First, Yediot’s implacably hostile coverage of Netanyahu never improved. And, as an inquiry at Mida website this week demonstrated, like Yediot, Walla’s coverage of Netanyahu is relentlessly negative.

Investigations 2000 and 4000 are predicated on a draconian premise that rejects the very notion of freedom of speech and expression. The premise is that any time a reporter writes about a public figure, he is offering that public figure a bribe. His expectation in writing his article is that at some point, the politician will pay him back for his work.

Conversely, if a reporter writes negatively about a public figure, he is extorting him. Under this premise, Mozes and Elovitch gave Netanyahu bad coverage because that gave them a bargaining chip against him. In exchange for better coverage, they could expect him to do something for them.

In other words, these probes assume that all reporting is inherently corrupt and criminal.

All of the police probes suffer from another problem – they all scream out selective law enforcement.

As Zippori notes, whereas Case 4000 is premised on the notion that a pro-business regulatory environment is inherently criminal, investigators never probed an even larger tax break the Communications Ministry conferred on Yes’s top competitor, the HOT cable television provider.

According to Zippori, HOT received tax breaks totaling more than a billion shekels over several years. It received these tax breaks despite the fact that it failed to abide by its obligation to provide cable service throughout Israel.

During the period HOT received the tax breaks, Mozes and his partner Eliezer Fishman were major shareholders in the company. The tax breaks continued when Mozes’s close friend Patrick Drahi bought their shares.

In other words, Netanyahu and Filber are being treated like Al Capone for giving standard tax breaks to Yes, which is owned by his friend Elovitch. Fliber’s predecessor Avi Berger gave tax breaks to Netanyahu’s nemesis Mozes, and the media is treating him like a principled professional.
This brings us back to Case 2000. Netanyahu is accused of accepting a bribe of good coverage from Mozes and in exchange working to curtail the operations of Israel Hayom, Mozes’s chief competitor. Never mind that Netanyahu did no such thing, and preferred to bring down his own government in 2014 rather than harm Israel Hayom.

Forty-three members of Knesset voted in favor of the “Israel Hayom bill” that would have shut down Mozes’s competitor. They are not under investigation.

Lapid, the star witness against Netanyahu in the Milchan law probe, met twice with his old friend Milchan to discuss the law during his tenure as finance minister. Lapid never reported his meetings.

And he’s the star witness against Netanyahu, not the subject of a probe.

Lapid’s Yesh Atid party went out of its way to advance Mozes’s financial interests. Not only did more than half of Yesh Atid lawmakers vote for the “Israel Hayom bill.” Lapid’s ministers – then-education minister Shai Piron, then-minister of social affairs Meir Cohen and then-science minister Yaakov Peri, paid Yediot millions of shekels from their ministries’ budgets for advertising.

And they all received fantastic coverage.

And none of them is under investigation.

The final problem with the investigations of Netanyahu is that as we saw this week, the police’s openly obsessive desire to “get” Bibi is corrupting the law enforcement and judicial community.

This week Channel 10 published text messages sent between magistrate’s court judge Ronit Poznansky-Katz and Israel Securities Authority investigator Eran Shaham-Shavit. In their text exchange, the two discussed and agreed on the length of continued confinement of suspects detained in Case 4000.

It is possible to read their exchange, in which they discuss the police investigators’ obsession with keeping the suspects remanded to jail, as friendly banter. It is also possible to interpret their text exchanges more critically. Shaham-Shavit wrote: Police investigators “almost beat me up or arrested me.” He angered them because he supported releasing the suspects earlier than the police investigators did. Poznansky-Katz’s responded sympathetically, “I think there is nothing scarier than that.”

It’s easy to read this as two colleagues commiserating about out of control police investigators ready to run over anyone who stands between them and their prey – Prime Minister Netanyahu.

However you interpret their exchange, the fact is that their messages were a crime. They coordinated Poznansky-Katz’s rulings before the defendants were allowed to present their cases. Yet, whereas Netanyahu’s advisers and friends are treated like mafia bosses for advancing legal policies, Poznansky-Katz and Shaham-Shavit were let off with administrative slaps on their wrists.
And we’re supposed to believe in the justice system.

It is easy to get swept away in the flood of prejudicial leaks and biased reporting that have already indicted, tried and pronounced Netanyahu’s guilt. But when you analyze the actual cases being assembled against him, it becomes clear that not only is there nothing there, these probes themselves represent an unprecedented assault on the basic norms of Israel.

When the Government Fails In Its Primary Duty, The People Will Defend Themselves

March 2, 2018

Written by John Guandolo, President/Founder of Understanding the Threat (UTT)

Source Link: When the Government Fails In Its Primary Duty, The People Will Defend Themselves

{Well written. A must-read for everyone.   – LS}

100% of Islamic Law (sharia) mandates warfare against non-muslims, and obliges stoning, crucifixion and beheading for certain crimes.  Islam’s prophet – a “beautiful pattern of conduct” for all muslims for all times – himself tortured, killed, took sex slaves, waged war on non-muslims, lied, and commanded war until the earth was under Islamic rule.  Yet, the President’s National Security Advisor, Herbert McMaster tells the public the actions of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State have nothing to do with Islam.

Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama all told the American people Islam is not a threat, but a peaceful religion.

They were wrong.  What they said is factually untrue and can never be true.

President Clinton’s Islamic Advisor, who also created the Muslim Chaplain Program for the Department of Defense and, as a “Goodwill Ambassador” for the State Department participated in the Middle East peace process on behalf of the United States, was actually a financier for Al Qaeda (Abdurahman Alamoudi), who is now in federal prison.

The U.S. government modeled the “Countering Violent Extremism” program after the British program of the same name which was handed to the Brits by the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK.  The FBI and DHS dragged that trojan horse into the U.S. national security apparatus, and put senior Muslim Brotherhood operatives in advisory roles across the government to implement it.

Numerous members of Congress and other government officials publicly support known leaders of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which the U.S. Department of Justice identifies as a “Member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee” which is Hamas in the United States.

Members of Congress to include nearly all Democrats, as well as John McCain, Scott Brown, Marco Rubio, John Boehner, Paul Ryan and others have consistently failed to identify the threat from the Islamic Movement, and have attacked those who speak truth about it, like former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

U.S. military generals and admirals created rules of engagement, policies on training, and wartime strategies all based on a counter-factual understanding of the enemy.  This is why the military’s “win the hearts and minds” crap got thousands of our men and women killed on the battlefield, frustrated our war-fighters, and got some of them put in jail for killing Al Qaeda jihadis outside the bounds of those same rules of engagement.

The FBI investigated:  the Boston Marathon bombers; the Orlando and San Bernadino jihadis; Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, who killed Private Andy Long at a recruiting depot in Little Rock, Arkansas; the Ft Lauderdale jihadi; and so many others.  Yet in all of these cases, the FBI took no action to deter these attacks or kill/capture the men and women who perpetrated them before the attacks.

Why?  Because the U.S. federal government has catastrophically failed in its most basic duty:  to wield the sword and defend this nation and the the inalienable rights given to the American people by God.

We are at war and our government is certainly not acting like it.  They treat it like it is a crime spree.

In my time doing counter-jihad work, I have been physically threatened numerous times.  It is the nature of the business.  Just ask Geert Wilders, Robert Spencer, Pam Geller, and anyone else who speaks truth about Islam.

Ask Theo van Gogh.  Oh wait, you can’t.

I have contacted my old employer, the FBI, many times and filed reports about threats to me from jihadis.  There has been zero follow up by the FBI.

2016 was the first time the FBI followed up on real threats against me.

The FBI’s Oklahoma office opened investigations on two specific threats against me in the fall of 2016.  One of the threats just happened to come immediately after I testified in the Oklahoma State House that  two muslim leaders sitting in the hearing room are jihadis.

They are:  Dr. Imam Imad Enchassi, the Imam of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City; and Adam Soltani, the leader of Hamas in Oklahoma doing business as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

The FBI classified the case, so when they did not prosecute, state and local prosecutors could not use information because it was classified.  By the time the case was declassified, the subject of the investigation fled the country.  See an article here about this incident.

Here is the point:  The United States government has demonstrated since 9/11/01 it is not capable of protecting its citizens, primarily because it refuses to identify Islam/sharia as the doctrinal driver of the jihadis, organizations, and nation states waging war against the West.

Apparently, our leaders are also incapable of reading 1400 years of Islamic history or reading what America’s founders wrote about Islam and the threat it poses to Western civilization.

American leaders are still discussing nuanced strategies, outreach, and interfaith dialogue, while nations have been and are being overthrown, hundreds of thousands of Christians lay dead overseas, and Europe is being overrun by Islamic jihadis (sharia adherent muslims).

America’s leaders play the violin while Rome burns.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Attorney General of the United States have shown no sign of taking any productive action.  No domestic plan has been formulated to strategically deal with this real threat.

The answer resides, as it always does, in the hands of the American citizens.

Citizens must work to ensure local police/sheriffs get smart on the threat and take action.  Citizens must positively support police in developing aggressive investigative strategies to identify jihadis and their organizations at the local level and shut them down.  Citizens must organize to meet this enemy along every line of operation the enemy has created to stop their forward progress.

This can be done.  It is why Understanding the Threat does what we do, and we are the only ones doing it.

Local media, businesses, and leaders who protect these terrorists/jihadis and minimize the threat, must pay for their actions.  There are local and state laws on the books for individuals (like reporters) aiding and abetting seditious actors and terrorists.  Businesses should be boycotted and shut down if they support jihadi organizations.  Local elected officials should be jailed for propagandizing for, defending, or providing material support to individuals and organizations working to overthrow the state and federal Constitutions.

Many states have RICO statutes which cover many of these violations of the law.  Mostly, Americans must stop being so tolerant of those who support enemies of this nation, and begin taking affirmative actions.

Speak truth boldly IN love and WITHOUT fear.

Get involved in your local school district, local politics, and with your local police and sheriff’s office.  Force them to learn this information and act on it to protect the community, or get new people in positions of authority who will.

Take the fight to the enemy.  Do not wait in a defensive posture.  Put freedom on the offensive where it belongs.

It is late August 1939 in Warsaw, Poland.  As the darkness grows, will you sit and wait or will you do your best to thin the enemy’s ranks here in the U.S. before the larger war begins?

{One more thing to consider……. – LS}