This video follows an ISIS recruit's journey to Syria - We Are The Mighty
Intel

This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria

ISIS loves social media. It took the Al Qaeda recruiting manual “A Course in the Art of Recruiting” and put it on steroids with the use of Facebook and Twitter. The terror group is notoriously audacious in luring impressionable young adults to the Middle East and the number of recruits coming from the U.S. and other western countries is alarming.


Also watch: ISIS fighter with a unibrow says they plan to rule the world

This video shows what the path to extremism is like for a recruit. It follows a young man’s journey from civilian to ISIS soldier through the public postings on his Facebook account. These are the same techniques used to lure young men and women from the U.S.

Watch:

Now: Meet the ‘Angel of Death’ who’s trolling and killing ISIS fighters

OR: This former ISIS fighter from New York explains why he quit after only 3 days

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You need to see this incredible B-1B Bomber crash landing

In a 1989 incident, the Air Force crew of a B1-B bomber found itself unable to lower the front landing gear during a training flight and was forced to execute an emergency landing in the dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, California.


The four-person crew was executing a routine training flight without nuclear weapons onboard on Oct. 4, 1989, and realized three hours into the flight that the front landing gear was malfunctioning. Over the next nine hours, the crew worked to get the gear down.

 

This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
(GIF: YouTube/airailimages)

 

Investigators later blamed a hydraulic failure, but the crew in the air just knew that they had to reach the ground safely. The Air Force routed the plane to a dry lakebed in California that was often used for landing the space shuttle.

The dust of the Rogers Dry Lake bed is more likely than most surfaces to allow for a safe skid, reducing the risk to the crew and plane. The full landing is visible from a few angles in this video from airailimages:

Feature image: screen capture from YouTube/Airrailimages

Articles

The Air Force just shut down ISIS drone attacks

Air Force intelligence analysts and operational leaders moved quickly to develop a new targeting combat plan to counter deadly ISIS explosive-laden drone attacks in Iraq and Syria.


In October of this year, ISIS used a drone, intended for surveillance use, to injure troops on the ground. Unlike typical surveillance drones, this one exploded after local forces picked it up for inspection, an Air Force statement said.

The emergence of bomb-drones, if even at times improperly used by ISIS, presents a new and serious threat to Iraqi Security Forces, members of the U.S.-Coalition and civilians, service officials explained to Sout Warrior. Drone bombs could target advancing Iraqi Security Forces, endanger or kill civilians and possibly even threat forward-operating US forces providing fire support some distance behind the front lines.

Related: ISIS has come up with a new, more diabolical way to use drones in Mosul fight

Air Force officials explained that many of the details of the intelligence analysis and operational response to ISIS bomb-drones are classified and not available for discussion.

Specific tactics and combat solutions were made available to combatant commanders in a matter of days, service experts explained.

While the Air Force did not specify any particular tactis of method of counterattack, the moves could invovle electronic attacks, some kind of air-ground coordination or air-to-air weapons, among other things.

However, the service did delineate elements of the effort, explaining that in October of this year, the Air Force stood up a working group to address the evolving threat presented by small commercial drones operated by ISIS, Air Force Spokeswoman Erika Yepsen told Scout Warrior.

Working intensely to address the pressing nature of the threat, Air Force intelligence analysts quickly developed a new Target Analysis Product to counter these kinds of ISIS drone attacks. (Photo: Scout Warrior)

“The working group cuts across functional areas and commands to integrate our best experts who have been empowered to act rapidly so they can continue to outpace the evolution of the threat they are addressing,” Yepsen said.

Personnel from the 15th IS, along with contributors, conducted a 280-plus hour rapid analysis drill to acquire and obtain over 40 finished intelligence products and associated single-source reports, Air Force commanders said.

Commercial and military-configured drone technology has been quickly proliferating around the world, increasingly making it possible for U.S. enemies, such as ISIS, to launch drone attacks.

“Any attack against our joint or coalition warriors is a problem. Once it is identified, we get to work finding a solution. The resolve and ingenuity of the airmen in the 15th IS (intelligence squadron)” to protect our warriors, drove them to come up with a well-vetted solution within days,” Lt. Col. Jennifer S. Spires, 25th Air Force, a unit of the service dealing with intelligence, told Scout Warrior.

While some analysts projected that developing a solution could take 11 to 12 weeks, the 15th IS personnel were able to cut that time by nearly 90 percent, Air Force officials said.

“While we cannot talk about the tactics and techniques that the 15th IS recommended, we can say that in every case, any targeting package sent to the air component adhered to rules that serve to protect non-combatants,” Spires added.

The 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing provides a targeting package in support of the Air Component. (Photo: Scout Warrior)

“The supported command makes the final decision about when and how to strike a specific target. Once the theater receives the targeting package it goes into a strike list that the Combatant Commander prioritizes,” Spires said.

Also, Air Force Secretary Deborah James recently addressed an incident wherein two Air Force ISR assets were flying in support coalition ground operations — when they were notified of a small ISIS drone in the vicinity of Mosul.

“The aircraft used electronic warfare capabilities to down the small drone in less than 15 minutes,” Erika Yepsen, Air Force Spokeswoman, told Scout Warrior.

While James did not elaborate on the specifics of any electronic warfare techniques, these kinds of operations often involve the use of “electronic jamming” techniques to interrupt or destroy the signal controlling enemy drones.

Intel

Congress may soon enact a ‘no first use’ nuclear weapons law

Everyone in the military knows there’s an officer who follows the President of the United States around with a special briefcase known as the “football.” Since John F. Kennedy was in office, the Presidential Aide accompanied the office holder with this briefcase containing everything needed to launch a nuclear strike. 

Now, Congress may be looking to tie the president’s hands in the use of nuclear weapons. At least, it’s looking at tying his ability to launch a first strike.

Democrats from the House of Representatives and the Senate introduced legislation that will formally enact a “No First Use” policy in regard to nuclear weapons. The U.S. military is, predictably, not thrilled about the idea. The law is intended to avert an accidental nuclear war in case the great power rivalry with China or Russia starts to heat up. 

“This bill would strengthen deterrence while reducing the chance of nuclear use due to miscalculation or misunderstanding,” Rep. Adam Smith, chair of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement. “Codifying that deterring nuclear use is the sole purpose of our nuclear arsenal strengthens U.S. national security and would renew U.S. leadership on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament.”

This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, of Washington, a member of the House Armed Services Committee

Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee almost immediately began asking American military leadership what they thought of the bill. They did not warm to the idea.

“I currently support the U.S. position on not adhering to the nuclear no first use policy,” said Gen. Tod Wolters, commander of U.S. European Command in a Congressional hearing in April 2021. 

This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters, commander U.S. European Command, testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington, D.C. April 13, 2021. (DoD photo by EJ Hersom)

He also added that European allies would have mixed feelings about such a policy if they understood the extent of American nuclear strike capabilities and procedures. 

Arms control policy advocates have long wanted such a policy put in place. Derek Johnson, Chief of the anti-nuclear arms group Global Zero released his own statement on the legislation.

“The major risk of nuclear use today comes from the danger that a small or accidental clash or conflict will escalate quickly through confusion or fear and cross the nuclear threshold,” Derek Johnson’s statement read. “America’s decades-long policy of threatening its own possible first use of nuclear weapons only adds to this danger.”

As of July 2020, the United States nuclear stockpile numbered around 5,800 nuclear warheads, with 3,800 in active service and another 2,000 retired and waiting to be disarmed. Under the terms of the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the U.S. is allowed to have a total of 1,550 nuclear warheads, but only 700 can be deployed at any given time. 

This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
Adm. Charles ‘Chas’ A. Richard, commander U.S. Strategic Command,testifies before the House Armed Services Committee, in Washington, D.C. April 21, 2021.

A “No First Use” policy could help the U.S. save money. According to the Brookings Institution, the United States spent more than $5.5 trillion on its nuclear weapons between 1946 and 1996. Through 2028, the U.S. military is scheduled to spend another $494 billion on the weapons it has left, and another $1.2 trillion on renovating that arsenal over the next 30 years. 

During his campaign, President Biden said he supported a “No First Use” policy act from Congress but the bill has a long, hard road ahead of it if it is ever going to make it to the president’s desk.

Intel

Watch a Navy SEAL hilariously critique a video of ISIS ‘Navy SEALs’

ISIS has elite Navy SEALs. Well, at least that’s what they want you to think.


The terror group released a five-minute propaganda video in April showing fighters coming out of the water with AK-47s at the ready and learning martial arts. Then there were the masked men sneaking up and taking out clueless guards using nothing but knives.

A few weeks ago, Independent-Journal Review decided to ask real U.S. Navy SEAL Jonathan T. Gilliam to analyze and critique the video. It turned out to be pretty funny.  We especially like how impressed he was at the “Hollywood carry your knife in the mouth tactic.”

Watch:

NOW: Here’s How US Navy SEALs Take Down A House

Intel

This Israeli special forces unit is their version of Navy SEALs

One of the most secretive units in the whole of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), Shayetet 13 is the naval component of Israel’s special operations forces. Like the U.S. Navy SEALs, Shayetet 13 (or S13 for short) specializes in counter-terrorism, sabotage, intelligence gathering, hostage rescue and boarding ships at sea.


 

This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
Shayetet 13 (Image: Israel Defense Forces)

Unlike other units in the IDF, whose mandatory service requirements are the same 36 months required of every Israeli citizen, S13 volunteers must give at least four and half years to the unit.

The unit is almost as old as the modern state of Israel itself. It was founded by naval forces from the Haganah, the Jewish paramilitary organization under the British Mandate of Palestine, which would later become the modern day IDF.

This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
Relax, America, the IDF has had women soldiers since 1947. And they’re doing just fine. (photo: Haganah Museum)

 

Like the U.S. Navy SEALs, the elite S13 unit had a rough start, with a few failures early on. Once they got going, however, they became the fighting force they were always meant to be. In a joint operation with Sayeret Matkal (think IDF Delta Force), the Israelis took out an Egyptian early warning radar system on Green Island, a base at the mouth of the Suez Canal, just to remind the Egyptian military that no one was safe from Israel.

During the War of Attrition, a yearlong series of artillery shelling, commando raids, and aerial combat between Israel and Egypt, Syria, Jordan, the Soviet Union, and Cuba, Shayetet 13 operators raided ports and destroyed boats in Egypt, destroyed training bases and units in Lebanon, as well as bases in Syria.

During Operation Wrath of God, the Israeli retaliation against terrorists who killed Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972, S13 raided the Lebanese capital of Beirut. Called Operation Spring of Youth, this raid is depicted in the 2005 film Munich.

 

During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, S13 conducted ambushes and guerrilla raids in Lebanon and sunk many Egyptian ships in port during raids there. During the 1982 Israel-Lebanon War, they created beachheads for Israeli armor, captured high-value targets, and decimated Hezbollah fighter units.

The unit isn’t without controversy. They are the unit who raided the Mavi Marmara relief flotilla bound for Gaza from Turkey. The commando claimed they came under attack from activists who were armed, but the activists maintain there were no arms on board. Nine of the Mavi Marmara’s people were killed in the incident.

This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
S13 Insignia (Image: Creative Commons)

The training  for S13 is as grueling as any elite force’s training. 20 months long, the selection process is held only twice every year and starts with intense physical and psychological testing. A six-month basic training and advanced infantry training phase follows before three months of advanced infantry and weapons training, parachute training, maritime warfare, boat operations, forced marches, and demolitions. The next phase includes combat diving and operating in high-risk environments.

This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
Image: Israel Defense Forces

All this leads to a yearlong phase of complete immersive training and counter-terrorism. Trainees raid oil rigs, ships, and coastal structures. They are then divided into three specialized unites based on their interests and skills.

Intel

These American veterans are fighting against ISIS — for very different reasons

As ISIS continues to expand its reach in Iraq and Syria, a small but growing number of U.S. veterans and foreign fighters from around the world have traveled to Iraq and Syria to join the fight against the terrorist group.


Every fighter has their own reasons for joining the fight, but for former Army Ranger Bruce Windorski, 40, and Marine Corps veteran Jamie Lane, 29, the fight is personal. Windorski is fighting to avenge the death of his brother – Philip Windorsky – who was killed when Iraqi insurgents shot down the Army helicopter he was traveling in during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2009.

Lane is fighting to avenge the sacrifices of his fellow Marines and to keep the promise he made to the locals during a previous tour with the Marine Corps, according to this Wall Street Journal video.

The video shows real combat footage from Windorski and Lane’s GoPro mounted cameras.

Watch:

NOW: General briefs Congress that fight against ISIS is a total mess

OR: Bin Laden shooter Robert O’Neill threatened by ISIS as ‘number one target’

Intel

Rare color footage shows the behind the scenes of the Japanese surrender 70 years ago

The official Japanese surrender ceremony took place aboard the USS Missouri anchored in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.  Here’s some amazing B-roll uncovered by the Naval History and Heritage Command that shows behind-the-scenes stuff like the Japanese delegation coming aboard American warships on their way to the ceremony as well as what it looked like to the hundreds of sailors perched above the main deck when it all went down. The ceremony was a veritable who’s who event with military rock stars of the day like MacArthur, Nimitz, and Halsey in attendance. (There’s no sound on the video, but it’s worth the time.)


Intel

This guy made a drone that can fire a handgun, and it’s kinda nuts

Civilian drones have been causing problems since the airborne tech has been made available to the public, with several reports of drones interfering with commercial flights and firefighting missions.


Still, no one was crazy enough to attach a handgun to one of these mini-copters — until now.

The following YouTube footage depicts a home-made drone equipped with a semiautomatic pistol, firing a shot every few seconds while remaining stable.

The drone was reportedly created by Connecticut teenager Austin Haughwout, and is completely illegal under FAA regulations.

Watch:

h/t Daily Mail

NOW:These new mini-drones could revolutionize ground warfare

OR: There’s going to be a ‘Top Gun 2′ — with drones

Intel

Inside the Marine Corps’ new recon sniper course- a visual journey

Yesterday, Coffee or Die Magazine broke the story that the Marines have developed a new course to train snipers for the Corps’ elite Reconnaissance units.

That means we can now reveal that Coffee or Die staffers have been embedded with the Marines of Reconnaissance Training Company on Camp Pendleton off and on for the past month as they train 10 students in the first-ever Reconnaissance Sniper Course. We are following this first class of Recon Snipers all the way through the pilot course, which concludes March 19.

As always, we’re committed to what we do best, which is put boots on the ground to produce detailed multimedia coverage of these types of historical developments and, in this case, provide our readers an intimate view of how some of our most elite warriors are trained.

We have a lot more coverage on the Recon Sniper Course coming, but for now, here’s a taste of some of our best photos so far.

Read Next: How PIGs Become HOGs — A Visual Journey in Marine Corps Scout Sniper Training

This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
A student in the Reconnaissance Sniper Course trains with the .50-caliber M107 Special Application Scoped Rifle (SASR) during known-distance marksmanship training on Camp Pendleton Feb. 11. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
Students in the Reconnaissance Sniper Course get a briefing during known-distance marksmanship training on Camp Pendleton Feb. 11. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
A Reconnaissance Sniper Course student engages targets with the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System (SASS) during marksmanship training on Camp Pendleton Feb. 25. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
Through their extensive training, Recon Marines earn the Combatant Diver insignia and the Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
A student in the Reconnaissance Sniper Course fires the .50-caliber M107 Special Application Scoped Rifle (SASR) during known-distance marksmanship training on Camp Pendleton Feb. 10. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
Reconnaissance Sniper Course students collected spent .50-caliber shell casings after firing the M107 Special Application Scoped Rifle (SASR) during known-distance marksmanship training on Camp Pendleton Feb. 11. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
A student in the Reconnaissance Sniper Course fires the .50-caliber M107 Special Application Scoped Rifle (SASR) during known-distance marksmanship training on Camp Pendleton Feb. 11. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
Reconnaissance Sniper Course students on the range with .50-caliber M107 Special Application Scoped Rifles during known-distance marksmanship training on Camp Pendleton Feb. 11. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
A Reconnaissance Sniper Course student during stalking training Feb. 26. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
Reconnaissance Sniper Course students during stalking training Feb. 26. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
A Reconnaissance Sniper Course student carries his rifle during stalking training Feb. 26. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
RSC students carry equipment while running to the starting point for a stalk during stalking training Feb. 26. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
A student takes instructions from an RSC instructor while gathering vegetation from the surrounding environment to improve his camouflage, or “veg up,” during the early phase of stalking training Feb. 26. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
A Reconnaissance Sniper Course student during stalking training Feb. 26. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
A student prepares for stalking training at the RSC, Feb. 26. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
RSC students carry equipment while running to the starting point for a stalk during stalking training Feb. 26. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
A student during stalking training at the RSC, Feb. 26. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
An RSC student watches an instructor while gathering vegetation from the surrounding environment to improve his camouflage, or “veg up,” during the early phase of stalking training Feb. 26. Photo by Ethan E. Rocke/Coffee or Die Magazine.
This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria

This article originally appeared on Coffee or Die. Follow @CoffeeOrDieMag on Twitter.

Intel

What would happen if the F-35 attacked Russia’s S-400 missile system

The United States’ NATO ally Turkey is in hot water over its purchase of the Russian-made S-400 missile system. Turkey also purchased the U.S. F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which the U.S. has not delivered due to the sanctions imposed as a result of Turkey’s S-400 missiles.

The Turkish Defense Minister recently doubled down on Turkey’s S-400 missiles, saying it would rather not be a part of NATO’s integrated defense if it meant giving up the missiles. But are they getting the better deal? 

A Russian S-400 Triumf. (Image by Vitaliy Ragulin, Wikipedia)
A Russian S-400 Triumf. (Image by Vitaliy Ragulin, Wikipedia)

The Russian S-400 was first designed in the 1990s with many real-world scenarios in mind. But since the F-35 and the F-22 were still years away, how could the Russians be prepared for that kind of technology?

There are a few important things to know about the F-35. The first is that it’s a multi-role attack aircraft. It can be used for reconnaissance and electronic warfare just as easily as making strafing runs. The plane’s avionic collects and shares information with the entire command and control structure. 

Secondly, the major threat behind the F-35 is its stealth ability combined with its heavy weapons payload. The aircraft is designed to enter airspace undetected and clear the way for more U.S. forces. To do this, it needs to enter unseen while being able to strike from long distances. It can attack targets from more than 100 miles away.

While the exact range of its weapons are classified, the F-35 can essentially enter the battlespace undetected, disrupt enemy sensors, and then see and hit targets from more than a hundred miles away. How do you defend against that?

This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
F-35 Lightning II demonstration team members sprint to their positions during the ground show at the Defenders of Liberty Air & Space Show at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., May 17, 2019.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alexander Cook)

The Russian S-400 is an interesting counter to the long ranges of the F-35 for many reasons. First and foremost is that the S-400 missiles aren’t just some missiles fired from the back of a truck. The system is designed to be integrated into existing anti-air radar systems, including ones that were developed in the 1980s.

The S-400 was also designed to be integrated into other aircraft, missile systems, and even armored personnel carriers on the ground. So the addition of the S-400 gives a boost to the capabilities of any surface weapons already in place. 

Another major feature of the Russian missiles is the face that its command post doesn’t need to be near any one of the missile sites, so destroying an S-400 battery isn’t necessarily catastrophic to its integrated air defense system. 

While it’s not known if the Russian S-400 radar can see the F-22 or F-35, the system is designed to react quickly should they detect an incoming attack. The S-400 provides similar electronic warfare and jamming capabilities as the F-35. Each radar site is also capable of using electronic countermeasures to throw anti-radar missiles off course. And if the Russians have to shut down the active radar, there are still passive radar that could provide information from cellphone towers and television and radio broadcast towers, while emitting no radar signals. 

The S-400 is a decentralized system of eyes and missile launchers spread over hundreds of miles, using active and passive radar, target masking, creating false targets and launching missiles that can hit aircraft from more than 150 miles away.

Low-observable – or “stealth” – systems are the biggest issue. The stealth systems of the F-22 and F-35 are designed to reflect incoming radar signals in a different direction, so that radar signals won’t return to the point of origin. With bistatic radar, the signal isn’t supposed to go to a single point of origin – the transmitter and receiver are in two different places. 

While bistatic radar doesn’t negate the advantages of stealth technology, it sure is a pain in the side of an F-35 pilot. 

With so many classified variables in each system, it’s impossible to say for certain what would happen in a fight between F-35s or F-22s and the Russian S-400. The deciding factor will be who sees who first, and what ability they have to fend off the attack. What we can say for certain is that the S-400 is probably the F-35’s most formidable opponent. 

Articles

Beijing tests the waters by reinforcing missile sites in South China Sea

New satellite photography from the South China Sea confirms a nightmare for the U.S. and champions of free navigation everywhere — Beijing has reinforced surface-to-air missiles sites in the Spratly Islands.


For years now, China has been building artificial islands in the South China Sea and militarizing them with radar outposts and missiles.

This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
Soldiers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army 1st Amphibious Mechanized Infantry Division.. (Dept. of Defense photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley/Released)

The latest move seems to have been months in the making, so it’s not in response to any particular U.S. provocation, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies‘ Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative.

China previously deployed close-in weapons systems, which often serve on ships as a last line of defense against incoming missiles, and have toggled on and off between positioning surface-to-air missiles on Woody island in the Paracel Islands chain. But this time it’s different, according to CSIS’ Bonnie Glasser, director of the China Power Project.

Related: China says it will fine U.S. ships that don’t comply with its new rules in South China Sea

China has not yet deployed the actual launchers, but Satellite imagery shows the new surface-to-air missile sites are buildings with retractable roofs, meaning Beijing can hide launchers, and that they’ll be protected from small arms fire.

“This will provide them with more capability to defend the island itself and the installations on them,” said Glaser.

Nations in the region have taken notice. Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay told reporters that foreign ministers of the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) unanimously expressed concern over China’s land grab in a resource-rich shipping lane that sees $5 trillion in commerce annually.

This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
The HQ-9 is a Chinese medium- to long-range, active radar homing surface-to-air missile.

The move is “very unsettlingly, that China has installed weapons ­systems in these facilities that they have established, and they have expressed strong concern about this,” Yasay said, according to the South China Morning Post.

But Chinese media and officials disputed the consensus at ASEAN that their militarization had raised alarm, and according to Glaser, without a clear policy position from the Trump administration, nobody will stand up to China.

Currently, the U.S. has an aircraft carrier strike group patrolling the South China Sea, but that clearly hasn’t stopped or slowed Beijing’s militarization of the region, nor has it meaningfully emboldened US allies to speak out against China.

“Most countries do not want to be confrontational towards China … they don’t want an adversarial relationship,” said Glaser, citing the economic benefits countries like Laos and Cambodia get from cooperating with Beijing, the world’s third largest economy and a growing regional power.

Instead, U.S. allies in the Pacific are taking a “wait and see” approach to dealing with the South China Sea as Beijing continues to cement its dominance in the region and establish “facts in the water” that even the U.S.’s most advanced ships and planes would struggle to overcome.

The HQ-9 missile systems placed in the South China Sea resemble Russia’s S-300 missile defense system, which can heavily contest airspace for about 100 miles.

According to Glaser, China has everything it needs to declare an air defense and identification zone — essentially dictate who gets to fly and sail in the South China Sea — except for the Scarborough Shoal.

This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria
Territorial claims in the South China Sea. (Public Domain | Voice of America)

“I think from a military perspective, now because they have radars in the Paracels and the Spartlys,” China has radar coverage “so they can see what’s going on in the South China Sea with the exception of the northeastern quarter,” said Glaser. “The reason many have posited that the Chinese would dredge” the Scarborough Shoal “is because they need radar coverage there.”

The Scarborough Shoal remains untouched by Chinese dredging vessels, but developing it would put them a mere 160 miles from a major U.S. Navy base at the Subic Bay in the Phillippines.

Also read: China’s second aircraft carrier may be custom made to counter the U.S. in the South China Sea

Installing similar air defenses there, or even radar sites, could effectively lock out the U.S. or anyone else pursuing free navigation in open seas and skies.

While U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly floated the idea of being tougher on China, a lack of clear policy has allowed Beijing to continue on its path of militarizing the region where six nations claim territory.

“For the most part, we are improving our relationships. All but one,” Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, the commander of U.S. 7th Fleet, said at a military conference on Tuesday.

Intel

Sorry, Gen. Mattis won’t be running for President

This video follows an ISIS recruit’s journey to Syria


Marines have long dreamed of the day beloved retired Gen. James Mattis ‘finally’ takes residence in the White House, but they shouldn’t get their hopes up this campaign season.

In true Mattis fashion, the former head of U.S. Central Command gave it to ’em straight during a speech at Columbia Basin College in Washington State, letting his fans know that despite their interest, he would not be competing in the upcoming presidential race.

The Marine Corps Times reports:

While many troops would love to see Mattis go up against the likes of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, he said he’d like to see others take on the challenge.

“[It’s] time for younger people, especially veterans, to run for office,” Mattis told Marine Corps Times.

That could leave many sporting “Mattis for president” T-shirts while drinking from their “Mattis in 2016” mugs disappointed. In 2012, one Marine veteran started a Facebook campaign to get voters to consider writing in Mattis’ name on their ballots.

Despite the promise of a rabid following in the veteran community, Mattis holds that he doesn’t have “a broad enough perspective” to be Commander-in-Chief, according to The Marine Corps Times.

For more on the story, check out The Marine Corps Times

To listen to Mattis’s speech at Columbia Basin College, listen to the SoundCloud recording below:

NOW:These new mini-drones could revolutionize ground warfare

OR: There’s going to be a ‘Top Gun 2′ — with drones

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