Thursday, February 25, 2016

Top US commander: Russia wants to 'rewrite' international order - The Hill

Top US commander: Russia wants to 'rewrite' international order - The Hill

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RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty

Top US commander: Russia wants to 'rewrite' international order
The Hill
The era of trying to work with Russia is over, the top U.S. commander in Europe said Thursday while arguing for the rebuilding of U.S. forces in that region. “Russia does not want to challenge the agreed rules of the international order,” Gen. Philip ...
NATO Commander: Russia Poses 'Existential Threat'RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Breedlove: Russia, Instability Threaten US, European Security InterestsDepartment of Defense
Breedlove: NATO Aims to Reestablish Military Communication With RussiaSputnik International

all 18 news articles »

We Just Found Out The Real Reason The FBI Wants A Backdoor ... 

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On the face of it, The FBI vs Apple - the feverish momentum of American technocracy accelerating into the cavernous Orwellian entrenchment of the surveillance state - boils down to a single locked and encrypted iPhone 5S, ...

Judge Confirms Carnegie Mellon Hacked Tor and Provided Info to FBI 

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A rumor has been circulating for a while that researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) provided information to the FBI, which led to the feds identifying Tor users linked to crimes. Details of any arrangements have ...

Obama administration, FBI must act to restore US government's ... 

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Obama administration, FBI must act to restore US government's credibility in Apple's encryption debate. By Daniel Eran Dilger Thursday, February 25, 2016, 09:10 am PT (12:10 pm ET). Actions by the leadership of the Federal Bureau of ...

Early Warning System in Sinai 

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Title:                      Early Warning System in Sinai
Author:                 United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations, 94th Cong., 1stsess
United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations, 94th Cong., 1st sess (1975).Early warning system in Sinai : hearings before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Ninety-fourth Congress, first session, on memoranda of agreements between the Governments of Israel and the United States, October 6 and 7, 1975. Washington, DC: U.S. Govt. Print. Off
LCCN:    75603245

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Date Posted:      February 25, 2016
Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[1]
Record of the testimony of witnesses regarding the installation of sensor systems in the Sinai, interposed between Israeli and Egyptian forces. The sensor “fence” would be an early warning system manned by U.S. nonmiIitary personnel .
[1] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., p. 69

 

Apple's top lawyer to testify before Congress over encryption fight with FBI - The Guardian

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The Guardian

Apple's top lawyer to testify before Congress over encryption fight with FBI
The Guardian
FBI director James Comey, who conceded to a different House panel on Thursday that the resolution of the case will likely set a legal precedent, will also testify – but not alongside Sewell.Comey will speak first and without other witnesses, something ...

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Combat Intelligence 

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Title:                      Combat Intelligence
Author:                  United States. Department of the Army
United States. Department of the Army (1971, 1973). Combat Intelligence: FM30-5. Washington, DC: Dept. of the Army
OCLC:    20446016
UB250.U5C6 1973
Subjects
Date Posted:      February 25, 2016
The 1973 edition supersedes FM30-5.
Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[1]
This intelligence training manual was the most comprehensive published by the army. It includes references to doctrinal lessons learned in the Vietnam War and discusses the use of modern sensors for collecting information, target acquisition, night observation, and electronic warfare . Appendix A is a listing of all other manuals and regulations on the subject of intelligence and is therefore a bibliography of available army intelligence training literature. The manual contains chapters on the collection, processing, and dissemination of intelligence, and on counterintelligence, with special emphasis on order of battle intelligence, the mainstay of army combat intelligence.
[1] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., pp. 69-70

 

Apple officially responds to court request to comply with FBI in San ... 

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Apple has officially filed its mandatory response to the court following an order to comply with the FBIand unlock an iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooter from December. Unsurprisingly, Apple has filed a motion to ...

Apple files motion denying FBI request - USA TODAY

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USA TODAY

Apple files motion denying FBI request
USA TODAY
SAN FRANCISCO - Apple has filed a motion to vacate in its on-going battle with the FBI over access to a killer's iPhone. As expected, the Cupertino company rejected the government's request to create new software that would allow law enforcement ...
Apple to FBI: You Can't Force Us to Hack the San Bernardino iPhoneWIRED
Apple's top lawyer to testify before Congress over encryption fight with FBIThe Guardian
Microsoft Backs Apple in FBI BattleFortune
Washington Post -Ars Technica -ABC News
all 4,610 news articles »

The Widow Spy 

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Title:                      The Widow Spy
Author:                 Martha Denny Peterson
Peterson, Martha Denny (2012). The Widow Spy: My CIA journey from the Jungles of Laos to Prison in Moscow. Wilmington, NC: Red Canary Press
OCLC:    781289031
JK468.I6 P459 2012
Subjects
Date Posted:      February 25, 2016
Review by Mary Jo Patterson[1]
She went home after work and changed into clothes suited for the task at hand: ugly gray tweed coat, dark knit hat, gloves covering manicured fingernails. Then she drove—“aggressively”—for a couple of hours, constantly making hard turns, checking her rearview mirror, seeking to smoke out any possible surveillance. Finally satisfied that no one was tailing her, she parked her car and disappeared into the Moscow subway.
She emerged, walked into a park and headed for the spot where she was to drop the package tucked inside her purse. Cunningly disguised to look like a crushed pack of cigarettes, it contained a miniature camera, six miniature cassettes of film, writing pads used to decipher coded messages and other spy gear. It was dark and cold and nearly 10 p.m. She was nervous, and her heart was pounding. She made the drop while play-acting casual moves to conceal movement—stopping to lean on a snow bank, blowing her nose, adjusting her boot. The package slid down the icy bank and landed perfectly.
She moved on, hypervigilant but poker-faced, as if she were just some Russian woman out for a late-night walk. For more than an hour she walked the streets, biding her time until she could return to the drop site and confirm the package was gone. When she got back, it was still there. Disappointed, she stretched over a three-foot bank of snow to retrieve it and stashed it back in her purse. Martha Denny Peterson had just concluded her first undercover drop for the United States Central Intelligence Agency, and it was a bust. But two weeks later Peterson made a successful delivery. Her boss was ecstatic. Skeptical colleagues were impressed. Peterson’s reputation as a spy within the agency’s fabled Directorate of Operations was sealed.
Intrepid female CIA agents are everywhere these days, from the blockbuster movie Zero Dark Thirtyto the hit TV series Homeland. But in 1975, when Peterson was sent to Moscow as a spy under diplomatic cover, the women of the CIA were in the secretarial pool, not clandestine intelligence operations. That worked to her advantage.
Because the KGB—the Soviet secret police—also could not imagine a woman as a CIA operative, Peterson roamed the streets free of the surveillance teams hampering male colleagues. For nearly two years, while working at the American Embassy in Moscow, she carried out elaborately choreographed dead drops to a prized Soviet agent, passing along intelligence equipment or retrieving film he’d used to secretly photograph documents in his office at the Soviet Foreign Ministry. His tiny camera was concealed in a pen. Driving into a Moscow neighborhood, Peterson would park her car, ride subway trains in different directions, and then proceed by foot to the designated spot. She pulled her long blonde streaked hair back with a rubber band and dressed frumpily to blend into the crowd. It was scary, hairy work.
If you’re wondering how these stealthy details became public—Don’t CIA agents lie about what they do?—it’s because Peterson reveals them in a book, The Widow Spy. Cold War historians and spy buffs might already know a piece of her story.
On July 15, 1977, as Peterson made a risky drop on a railroad bridge over the Moscow River, a team of KGB agents nabbed her. They manhandled her, tried to remove the small radio receiver attached to her bra, interrogated her and quietly kicked her out of the country. One year later Izvestia, the government newspaper, publicized the arrest, prompting extensive media coverage in the United States. The Washington Post ran a front-page story identifying Peterson by name accompanied by a photo of her being grilled by her inquisitors. The article blew her cover, although Peterson denied the story. “I said, ‘It’s propaganda. The Soviets will write anything,’” Peterson says. “In Washington, that sells. People may have thought, ‘She probably does work for the CIA,’ but there are so many people in Washington in that category, or who don’t say where they work, everyone is kind of respectful.”
Peterson never planned to become a spy. She and her older sister grew up in a comfortable home in Darien, Conn., an hour outside New York City, living in what she calls “a very small cocoon.” She was attracted to Drew because it was not far from home and, although small, held the promise of expanding her world. She majored in sociology, with a minor in religion. “Drew had an amazing faculty and a wide range of subjects,” Peterson recalls. “I went there to grow up and have a good time.”
During her junior year she began dating a fellow student, John Peterson ’67, a physics major from Bellingham, Mass. John planned to study journalism after graduating. But he decided, Peterson says, “to be an authentic journalist, he should have life experience first. ”
American involvement in the Vietnam War was building, and John wanted to be where the action was. Instead of graduate school, he enlisted in the Army for two years and served as a Green Beret in Vietnam. Martha, known as Marti, got a master’s degree and taught sociology at a community college. They married in 1969, after he came home.
The following year John joined the CIA as a paramilitary officer. He was assigned to Pakse, Laos, where the United States was fighting a secret war against Soviet-backed communists. Marti went along, the trailing spouse.
While John supervised Laotian troops, trying to prevent the North Vietnamese from reaching South Vietnam, Marti worked for the CIA as a part-time clerk. The fighting moved closer, at one point causing Marti and other American wives to be evacuated. After an American colleague was killed, John instructed Marti about what to do if he met the same fate. Three weeks later, on Oct. 19, 1972, North Vietnamese troops fired a Soviet- made AK-47 at the helicopter in which John was riding. The helicopter crashed and burned.
Marti was a widow at 27. She struggled for months to come to terms with her loss. Ultimately, heeding the advice of one of John’s CIA friends, she followed him into the agency. “I was not a political sort,” she says. “That’s not who I was, or am. Some people have suggested that I joined to avenge him. I don’t know if that’s true. All I knew was that I couldn’t go back to teaching. I didn’t have a home. I was a new widow, kind of lost in the world.” She was firmly ensconced in her new career when, on Thanksgiving Day 1978, she married Stephen J. Shogi, a U.S. State Department official. She took his name, and they had a son and daughter. (Later the couple divorced, and he has since died.) The kids figure in the book’s prologue, set in Virginia in 1997 when they were teenagers. Peterson believed it was time to dispel the family myth that she also worked at the State Department, and asked them to meet her in Langley.
“What’s up?” they asked after arriving.
“I work for the CIA,” she blurted out.
“She’s a spy,” her 17-year-old son quickly responded.
“We all laughed together at how absurd it sounded,” Peterson writes. “Mom, a spy.” Then she took them inside agency headquarters for lunch and a fuller explanation of her past.
During an interview from her home in Wilmington, N.C., where she settled after retiring in 2003, Peterson is friendly and open. But she provides few details about her post-Moscow life in the CIA. A second overseas tour took place in the mid-1990s, but Peterson declines to say where. Asked how her career ended, she says, “My last five years was counter-terrorism. I had a certain responsibility for that. I had a large office I was responsible for. We were tracking terrorists around the world.”
Having to lie to friends and neighbors about her true identity all that time never troubled her. “You just live that way,” she says. “After a while, it becomes who you are. Was it fun? Absolutely. Anything illicit is fun. Was it uncomfortable? No, and it was the culture of the CIA.” After she retired, however, she began telling the truth. “It was liberating,” she says.
Peterson next set out to write a book. CIA friends had encouraged her to tell her story, and she was proud of her career. She also saw a book as a way to honor her first husband and Aleksandr Ogorodnik, the Soviet spy she serviced, code-named “TRIGON.” The two never met, although he once passed within a few feet of her. Peterson considers Ogorodnik a hero for attempting to undermine the Soviet system. She once delivered to him a pen concealing a tiny camera he used to photograph secret government documents that crossed his desk in the foreign ministry. “There was huge personal risk to him,” she says. “What he did had great value for us, but the thought of him taking those pictures, thinking he could get away with it, makes my mouth go dry.”
Shortly before Peterson’s arrest, Ogorodnik was arrested for espionage. He committed suicide on the spot, biting through a pen containing a lethal pill. He had earlier requested poison from the CIA for just such an eventuality. It was Peterson who supplied the pen.
In Wilmington, Peterson took a memoir class and began to write. The hardest part was describing the day John died, a trauma she had never fully recounted or explored. Two years later she submitted the completed manuscript to the CIA for clearance. A literary agent was enthusiastic about the book, but publishers complained the story was dated. People wanted to read about terrorism. One publisher was interested, but wanted the book rewritten. Peterson consulted several professional writers but decided to self-publish. “I wanted my story, told my way, without anyone else reinterpreting it,” she says.
The Widow Spy came out last year [2012]. Since then Peterson has given 33 talks to 1,600 people at libraries, universities and other venues. In February she was the featured guest at a festive $250 “Dinner with a Spy” evening at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., and in April she spoke at the Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Texas.
For someone who spent 30 years in the shadows, it’s a lot of exposure. But she loves it. “Isn’t that strange?” she asks. “Putting myself out there is not characteristic of me. I’ve never been one to brag. On the other hand, I’m very social and have always loved speaking. I’m also a Gemini. People say Geminis have two lives.”
[1] Review by Mary Jo Patterson, in Drew Magazine (Fall 2015), downloaded February 25, 2016.

 
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Encyclopedia of Cold War Espionage, Spies, And Secret Operations 

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Title:                      Encyclopedia of Cold War Espionage, Spies, And Secret Operations
Author:                 Richard C.S. Trahair
Trahair, R. C. S. (2009, 2012) and Robert L. Miller. Encyclopedia of Cold War Espionage, Spies, And Secret Operations. New York: Enigma Books
LCCN:    2009517430

Subjects

Notes

  • “3rd edition, revised and updated.”
Date Posted:      February 25, 2016
Reviewed by Hayden Peake.[1]
Richard Trahair is a social research adviser and consulting psychologist at La Trobe University in Australia.
His coauthor is the senior editor and publisher of Enigma Books. The first and second editions of Trahair’s Encyclopedia were reviewed in Intelligence Studies in 2005[2] and given poor marks for the number of errors they contained, especially since they were “intended as a useful tool to support espionage studies,” This updated and revised edition extends that objective to include “the study of specific circumstances that gave so much importance to espionage during the Cold War period.” (p. xiv) It is also intended to be a tool for authors and “the facts have been checked once again as thoroughly as possible.’’ (p. xxx) But while many corrections have indeed been made, some errors remain. For example, Oleg Kalugin was never a defector, and he did not expose the Koechers, the Czechoslovakian couple acting as KGB surrogate agents in the CIA in the 1980s. (p. 259)
CIA officer Martha Peterson was not “the chance victim of a simple KGB active measure” (p. 413) nor were tradecraft errors the reasons the KGB was able to capture her, but it was the Koechers who had exposed her, a topic she discusses in her memoir.[3] Wrong, too, is the assertion that “while at Cambridge,” Kim Philby approached Donald Maclean, and asked him to work for the NKVD. (p. 418) Philby gave Maclean’s name to his handler a year after he had graduated.[4] Finally, Harry Gold never converted to communism (p. 157)—ironically, he was the only member of the Fuchs atom network who was not a communist and who told the truth at his trial.
The book, however, still has many positive features. The number of entries has been increased. An entry on China was among the additions. Other entries have been revised, and the valuable review of intelligence literature, the biographical data, the chronology, and the sources cited after each entry have likewise been updated.
The authors deserve credit for an improved edition, though readers are cautioned to check the facts against the sources provided rather than assume their accuracy.
[1] Hayden Peake is a frequent reviewer of books on intelligence and this review appeared in The Intelligencer: Journal of U. S. Intelligence Studies (19, 1, Winter/Spring, 2013, pp. 110-111). Hayden Peake is the Curator of the CIA’s Historical Intelligence Collection. He has served in the Directorate of Science and Technology and the Di recto rate of Operations. Most of these reviews appeared in recent unclassified editions of CIA’s Studies in Intelligence. These and many other reviews and articles may be found on line at http://www.cia.gov.
[2] “Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf,” Studies in Intelligence (49, 4, December 2005). This article may be found at https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol49no4/Bookshelf_11.htm
[3] Milton Bearden (2003) and James RisenThe Main Enemy: The Inside Story of the CIA’s Final Showdown with the KGBNew York: Random House; and Peterson, Martha Denny (2012). The Widow Spy: My CIA journey from the Jungles of Laos to Prison in Moscow. Wilmington, NC: Red Canary Press
[4] For more on this point see the transcript of Philby’s 1977 speech to the KGB in Philby, Rufina (1999, 2003) with Hayden Peake and Mikhail Lyubimov. The Private Life of Kim Philby: The Moscow YearsLondon: St. Ermin’s Press.

 
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Moscow Triumphant, as US in Full Retreat in Middle East

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On February 22, which was a public holiday in Russia, President Vladimir Putin went on national television with a newsflash to announce that, after a phone call with the United States’ President Barack Obama, a US-Russian agreement was secured to declare a ceasefire in the Syrian civil war beginning on midnight, Friday, February 26 (local time). The ceasefire does not cover the Islamic State (IS), al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Nusra Front), or “other [United Nations]-designated terrorist organizations [unspecified].” Syrian opposition forces that decide to join the ceasefire must report to the Russian military command in Syria or to the Americans, who are expected to exchange notes. Humanitarian relief will be delivered by the UN to besieged civilian population centers. A successful ceasefire must lead to a political solution of the Syrian problem through dialogue (Kremlin.ru, February 22).
The Russian military has established a ceasefire coordination center at the Russian airbase of Hmeymim, close to Latakia. Syrian opposition fighters that agree to lay down arms must register and are promised they will not be bombed. The Russian press is reporting droves of Syrian opposition fighters raising white flags and laying down their arms. The IS, al-Nusra Front and apparently any other Syrian opposition forces that continue to resist will be bombed relentlessly. The Russian Ministry of Defense announced it is in contact with the defense attaché’s office of the US embassy in Moscow, while accusing Turkey of “aggression against Syria,” of working to derail the tentative ceasefire agreement, and of attacking Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria (RIA Novosti, February 24).
The Islamic State has more or less clearly designated zones of territorial control in Syria and Iraq. Al-Nusra Front does not—its fighters regularly join forces with other opposition groups to fight the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The ceasefire agreement apparently will allow Russia to pound the Syrian opposition at will under the pretext of attacking “terrorists.” To date, the Russian bombing campaign in Syria has focused almost exclusively on demolishing the Syrian opposition and not the IS. After the announcement of the tentative ceasefire, brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry, the Russian military and its allies—pro-Iranian Shia militias and al-Assad forces—reportedly do not have any plans to change their mode of operation and initiate a ground offensive to oust the Islamic State from its self-designated capital Raqqa, while leaving potentially dangerous armed opposition groups in their rear. The ceasefire is seen in Moscow as allowing the US a face-saving formula to disentangle from Syria, leaving it in Russian and Iranian hands. Indeed, this would be a great victory for the Kremlin, achieved at a relatively low cost (Expert.ru, February 24).
Washington continues to call for the removal of al-Assad, but Moscow is not prepared to yield anything, acting from a perceived position of strength. The presidential press service has reported that Putin phoned al-Assad, who agreed to cooperate. Moreover, snap parliamentary elections have been announced by Damascus, scheduled for April 13. In today’s war-torn Syria, any elections will surely be rigged, producing a landslide victory for al-Assad and legitimizing Syria as a joint Russian-Iranian protectorate. In March, Syria is seasonally prone to severe sandstorms that may ground the Russian jets at Hmeymim airbase, so a partial decrease in the bombing may happen. Russian propaganda will likely interpret this as a sign of goodwill in support of the tentative ceasefire, but the drive to eliminate the opposition in northern Syria—in Aleppo, Idlib, Hama and Homs—will continue, together with action to “close” the border with Turkey with the help of YPG fighters (Expert.ru, February 24). According to Mikhail Bogdanov, Moscow’s deputy foreign minister responsible for the Middle East, the Russian bombing campaign has helped to promote peace in Syria: “Only after the Russian air force smashed the military potential of the terrorists, a dialogue could begin between different Syrian fractions to build a renovated secular state” (RIA Novosti, February 25).
Secretary Kerry constantly argues that the US has no other option in Syria than to work closely with Moscow. But to seek Russian cooperation on Syria no matter the cost—playing the role of former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who appeased Adolf Hitler with disastrous results in the run up to World War II—is extremely dangerous. Kerry has emboldened the Kremlin to resort to brute force as a way to push the US into a panicky retreat, while at the same time undermining and degrading the secular Syrian opposition, which may have believed US assurances of aid and support were real. Kerry’s pleading for an end to al-Assad’s rule—“the war will not end while al-Assad is there”—invites only scorn in Moscow. Feeble threats of some unspecified US action, if the ceasefire disintegrates, are routinely dismissed as nonsense—in Moscow’s view, the Obama administration has demonstrated time and again it will do its best not to do anything (Kommersant, February 24).
Key US allies in the region—Turkey and Saudi Arabia—who supported the Syrian opposition in its bid to oust al-Assad, have been equally undercut by the US move to work out a deal with Russia behind their back. Pro-Kremlin commentators express satisfaction that Washington’s Middle Eastern policy is in disarray, with Ankara and Riyadh being the main losers (RIA Novosti, February 24). Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan bitterly complained that his government was not consulted by the US as the Kerry-Lavrov deal was being readied. Erdoğan demanded that the YPG be listed as a terrorist organization and excluded from the ceasefire, together with the IS and al-Nusra. Turkish officials vowed to continue to hit “terrorists” (apparently meaning Kurds, including the YPG) wherever they are (Interfax, February 24).
All this is deadly dangerous, and Kerry (supported by Obama) might, indeed, reap a Chamberlain-style harvest for his efforts. The Turks are embittered, isolated and frightened and could lash out blindly. The Kremlin may believe the US and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have abandoned Erdoğan, and that it is finally time to teach the Turkish leader a stern lesson not to mess with the Russian empire. Moscow is actively developing ties with the Kurds: this month, Syrian Kurdistan (the political wing of the YPG) was allowed to open a semi-diplomatic representative office in Moscow. The head of this Kurdish mission, Rodi Osman, told journalists: “Russia will respond if there is a Turkish invasion [into YPG-held territory],” which could lead to a “big war” (Rbc.ru, February 18).
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Top US commander: Russia wants to 'rewrite' international order

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The era of trying to work with Russia is over, the top U.S. commander in Europe said Thursday while arguing for the rebuilding of U.S. forces in that region.
“Russia does not want to challenge the agreed rules of the international order,” Gen. Philip Breedlovetold the House Armed Services Committee. “It wants to rewrite them.”
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Breedlove was on Capitol Hill defending the Pentagon’s budget request for fiscal 2017, which includes a fourfold increase in funding for the European Reassurance Initiative (ERI) to deter an aggressive Russia.
The increase would bring the initiative's funding to $3.4 billion.
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the committee, questioned whether the initiative is an adequate deterrence to Russia.
“We had a hearing a couple of weeks ago talking about Russia,” he said. “Among the witnesses, for example, was your predecessor and the question was raised, is ERI to really deter Russia? Or is it to make our allies feel better? And maybe it will be one, the latter, but not the former.”
Breedlove argued that the initiative does both. But, he added, it will take time to reverse the downsizing of U.S. forces in Europe.
“That 20 years of change will not be overcome in one or two steps,” he said. “ERI is one of the steps along the way.”
Work needs to be done in five areas, Breedlove added: building infrastructure such as ports, rail yards and training areas; prepositioning equipment; increasing rotational forces; building NATO allies’ capacities; and doing training and exercises alongside allies.
Still, Breedlove said, he doesn’t see a turn to a Cold War-era force posture.
“This is not the Cold War,” he said. “But I do believe we are not where we need to be now in the mixture of permanently forward-stationed forces and prepositioned stock so that we can rapidly fall in on it.” 
U.S. relations with Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, soured after the Kremlin annexed Crimea in 2014. Russia’s intervention in the Syrian civil war in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad further strained relations.
Breedlove warned that Russia is “weaponizing” the Syrian refugee crisis. Russian airstrikes are hitting civilians, causing them to flee and overwhelm Europe.
“What I am seeing in Syria in places like Aleppo and others are what I would call absolutely indiscriminate, imprecise bombing,” he said. “Almost zero military utility, designed to get people on the road and make them someone else's problem. Get them on the road, make them a problem for Europe to bend Europe to the will of where they want them to be.”
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Former Mexican president to Donald Trump: we're not paying for your f-ing wall 

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Republican front-runner, known for his own use of colourful language, demands an apology from Vicente Fox











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Canadian sailor shares historic kiss with same-sex partner – video 

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A Canadian naval vessel made history on Wednesday when one of its master seamen, Francis Legare, shared the traditional ‘first kiss’ with his partner, Corey Vautour – the first time the Royal Canadian Navy’s homecoming kiss has been between two men. In Canada, when a vessel returns from a long trip, a draw is held to decide which crew member can be the first to disembark and share a kiss with their waiting loved one
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AP Interview: Syria’s need for humanitarian help rises

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The President of the International Committee of the Red Cross says the need for humanitarian assistance is increasing in Syria.









Italy's Renzi wins confidence vote on same-sex unions bill

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The 'super amendment' removes from the draft text rights for same-sex pairs to adopt stepchildren and a requirement that couples be faithful











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Israel slams Iranian compensation for Palestinian attackers

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Israel’s prime minister says that an Iranian offer to compensate the families of Palestinians killed in a wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence proves that Iran continues to “aid terrorism.”