US cruise missiles to return to Germany, angering Moscow

Long-range US missiles are to be deployed periodically in Germany from 2026 for the first time since the Cold War, in a decision announced at Nato’s 75th anniversary summit.

The Tomahawk cruise, SM-6 and hypersonic missiles have a significantly longer range than existing missiles, the US and Germany said in a joint statement.

Such missiles would have been banned under a 1988 treaty between the US and former Soviet Union, but the pact fell apart five years ago.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow would react with a “military reponse to the new threat”.

“This is just a link in the chain of a course of escalation,” he argued, accusing Nato and the US of trying to intimidate Russia.

The joint US-German statement made clear the “episodic” deployment of the missiles was initially seen as temporary but would later become permanent, as part of a US commitment to Nato and Europe’s “integrated deterrence”.

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius, who was speaking at the Nato summit in Washington, said the idea behind the US plan was to encourage Germany and other European countries to put their own investment into developing and procuring longer-range missiles.

The temporary deployment of US weapons would give Nato allies the time to prepare, he explained: “We are talking here about an increasingly serious gap in capability in Europe.”

Source: US cruise missiles to return to Germany, angering Moscow

NATO urged to do more to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine

Ukraine and its most ardent supporters within NATO are airing frustrations that the bloc can do more to confront Russia, even as the alliance’s summit in Washington focuses largely on Western efforts to rein in Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and leaders of other countries on the front line with Russia warned against the alliance watering down language, self-imposing red lines, and holding back concrete commitments to deter and push back Russian aggression in Ukraine and surrounding countries.

At the top of the list is getting President Biden to lift restrictions on the use of U.S.- and allied-provided weapons to strike military targets up to 300 miles inside Russian territory. Biden, in May, said Ukraine can hit inside Russia near the area of Kharkiv.

“If we have this very special weapon, some of them we have, and if we can use it on the territory of Russia, especially on these military targets, if we can do it, of course we can defend civilians, hospitals, schools, children, we can do it,” Zelensky said in conversation at the Reagan Institute in Washington on Tuesday night.

Source: NATO urged to do more to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine

Opinion | The Pentagon is learning how to change at the speed of war – The Washington Post

For several decades, military reformers such as retired Navy Capt. Jerry Hendrix have pleaded with the Pentagon to stop buying wildly expensive but vulnerable aircraft carriers and fighter jets and instead focus on getting vast numbers of cheap drones. But nobody seemed to listen.

“Buy Fords, Not Ferraris” was the title of Hendrix’s iconoclastic 2009 polemic for inexpensive survivable systems. Aircraft carriers, he wrote, “have become too expensive to operate, and too vulnerable to be risked in anything other than an unhostile environment.” Similar arguments applied to exquisite systems beloved by all the services.

Source: Opinion | The Pentagon is learning how to change at the speed of war – The Washington Post

Ukraine’s Air Force Wanted Four Squadrons Of F-16s. It’s Getting Them.

Gen. Serhii Golubtsov, the commander of the Ukrainian air force, has said all along he needed four operational squadrons of Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters to have any chance of controlling the air over a single sector of the 700-mile front line of Russia’s wider war on Ukraine.

It’s taken more than a year of intensive diplomacy between Ukrainian, Norwegian, Dutch, Danish and Belgian officials, but Golubtsov is finally getting his four squadrons.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky announced Belgium would donate 30 surplus F-16s—boosting to 85 the total number of the nimble, supersonic fighters Ukraine should receive starting this summer.

Source: Ukraine’s Air Force Wanted Four Squadrons Of F-16s. It’s Getting Them.

Opinion: Russia can lose this war

On Thursday Russia will celebrate Victory Day, its commemoration of the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945. Domestically, this is nostalgia. In the 1970s, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev created a cult of victory. Russia under Putin has continued the tradition.Abroad, this is intimidation. We are meant to think that Russia cannot lose.

And far too many of us, during Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, have believed that. In February 2022, when Russia undertook its full-scale invasion of its neighbor, the consensus was that Ukraine would fall within days.

Even today, when Ukraine has held its own for more than two years, the prevailing view among Russia’s friends in Congress and in the Senate is that Russia must eventually win. Moscow’s success is not on the battlefield, but in our minds.Russia can lose. And it should lose, for the sake of the world — and for its own sake.

Source: Opinion: Russia can lose this war

Congress hears testimony on Russia’s sonic attacks on US officials in Havana | US news | The Guardian

Russia has “targeted and neutralized” dozens of US intelligence agents in recent years in a covert worldwide operation using sonic weapons, a House committee heard on Wednesday as it looked into the mystery phenomenon known as Havana syndrome.

The panel heard from expert witnesses that Russia had “the motive, the means and the opportunity” to enact the attacks on US diplomats and other government employees at embassies and other government outposts that left many with debilitating or career-ending brain injuries and hearing loss.

Source: Congress hears testimony on Russia’s sonic attacks on US officials in Havana | US news | The Guardian

US AC-130J Ghostrider Destroys Chinese ‘Fishing Boat’ In Rare Military Drills Targeting Notorious Vessels

The US used its legendary AC-130J Ghostrider gunship in an exercise that involved firing its left-side guns on targets simulating China’s notorious fishing boats. This was during Exercise Balikatan 24 with the Philippine military. The AC-130J, used by the US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), is a unique plane with a 30-mm and a 105-mm cannon on its left (port-side) lower fuselage.

The plane circles overhead while providing direct fire support to ground troops. It can also carry air-to-ground weapons like the GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb, GBU-69 Small Glide Munition, AGM-114 Hellfire missile, and AGM-176 Griffin missile.

The aircraft is a C-130 Hercules transport plane. The plane’s target of a small fishing boat, too, assumes significance since China’s use of large swarms of fishing vessels to assert its maritime rights has often vexed military experts.

Source: US AC-130J Ghostrider Destroys Chinese ‘Fishing Boat’ In Rare Military Drills Targeting Notorious Vessels

The Pentagon is lying about UFOs | The Hill

According to Gaetz, fighter pilots tracked four unknown objects flying in a “clear diamond formation.” Notably, the incident occurred on a training range typically conspicuously free of any airborne clutter.

In a case resolution report published last week, the Pentagon’s UFO analysis office concluded with “moderate” confidence that the object observed by the pilot was a balloon, likely “a large commercial lighting balloon.”

This so-called explanation insults the intelligence of any reader who takes a few moments to review the details of the incident. It did not convince the world’s most prominent UFO skeptic. The pilot’s sketch of the object, described as akin to an “Apollo spacecraft,” bears no plausible resemblance to the design of any known industrial lighting balloon.

Source: The Pentagon is lying about UFOs | The Hill

With ATACMS In Hand, Ukraine Looks To Neutralize Putin’s Fortress In Crimea

There is now no place in Russian-occupied Crimea that isn’t safe from attacks from Ukraine. Let’s go.

Ever since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, his armed forces have pounded Ukraine with missiles and drones fired from the relatively safe confines of Crimea.

Following his occupation of the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula in 2014, the Kremlin leader poured billions of dollars into militarizing Crimea, expanding bases and constructing depots and other infrastructure.Now fortress Crimea faces a significant new threat that could neutralize its crucial role in the 26-month-old war: U.S. long-range ATACMS, or Army Tactical Missile Systems. After nearly two years of hesitation, the United States earlier this month delivered versions of the powerful ballistic missiles that can travel 300 kilometers — essentially reaching any of the more than 100 military targets on the peninsula.

“The delivery of ATACMS is a big breakthrough. It could basically make Crimea militarily worthless,” Philip Karber, a Washington-based military analyst who focuses on Ukraine, told RFE/RL.

Source: With ATACMS In Hand, Ukraine Looks To Neutralize Putin’s Fortress In Crimea

Democracy Dies Behind Paywalls – The Atlantic

How many times has it happened? You’re on your computer, searching for a particular article, a hard-to-find fact, or a story you vaguely remember, and just when you seem to have discovered the exact right thing, a paywall descends. “$1 for Six Months.” “Save 40% on Year 1.” “Here’s Your Premium Digital Offer.” “Already a subscriber?” Hmm, no.

Now you’re faced with that old dilemma: to pay or not to pay. (Yes, you may face this very dilemma reading this story in The Atlantic.) And it’s not even that simple. It’s a monthly or yearly subscription—”Cancel at any time.” Is this article or story or fact important enough for you to pay?

Or do you tell yourself—as the overwhelming number of people do—that you’ll just keep searching and see if you can find it somewhere else for free?

Source: Democracy Dies Behind Paywalls – The Atlantic