“Some” M1 Abrams tanks spotted near Littleton, Colorado, US today

If a conflict between North Korea and the United States suddenly broke out, U.S. troops in South Korea would be “outnumbered” and undersupplied, warns Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas, the former deputy commander of U.S. Forces in Korea.

“The 28,500 U.S. Armed Forces personnel in South Korea are vastly outnumbered by North Korean forces, as well as [South Korean] forces that will conduct the overwhelming majority of the fighting. Unlike every conflict since the last Korean War, we will not be able to build up our forces prior to the start of hostilities,” Jouas wrote in a November 7 letter obtained by Newsweek to several Democratic members of Congress. It’s estimated North Korea has roughly 1.2 million troops.

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http://www.newsweek.com/if-war-north-korea-comes-us-military-would-be-outnumbered-former-top-commander-707212

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Another group of US soldiers departs for Afghanistan, adding hundreds of troops to the thousands already stationed there

The officials said Pentagon leaders, primarily U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, had initially set a tentative cap of about 15,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. But they said Mattis has made clear he is committed to a force level based on military needs, not an arbitrary number. As a result, the officials said they believe the trainers will add to the total U.S. force number in Afghanistan, and not come in as replacements.

The officials weren’t authorized to publicly discuss the troop numbers and insisted on condition of anonymity.

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https://www.militarytimes.com/flashpoints/2017/11/08/us-could-have-almost-16000-troops-in-afghanistan-next-year/

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US deploys fresh troops into Kuwait

Iran on Saturday held the heavily choreographed pageant of anti-Americanism that marks the anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran as relations with President Donald Trump’s administration worsen and the fate of its nuclear agreement with world powers is unresolved.

Thousands gathered on the campus of the former embassy, called a “den of espionage,” where a ballistic missile was displayed. News agencies described it as a Sejil surface-to-surface missile with a range of 1,200 miles. It was the first time Iran displayed a missile during the annual gathering.

Later in the day, the semi-official Tasnim news agency, which has ties to the elite Revolutionary Guard, said the missile was a Qadr-F that has the same range as a Sejil.

Iran has paraded its missile capability in recent months in a show of defiance to Trump, whose administration has said Tehran’s development of ballistic missiles violates the spirit of the nuclear agreement signed in 2015.

Last month, Trump declined to certify Iran’s compliance with the agreement — under which Iran curbed uranium enrichment in exchange for relief from international sanctions. Trump’s decision did not undo the agreement, which European countries and Iran continue to support, but allows Congress to decide whether to reimpose certain sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

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http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2017/nov/05/iran-adds-missile-to-annual-anti-u-s-pa/

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US continues to deploy military equipment into Europe, including Apache, Black Hawk, Chinook helicopters

The US and its European allies have been boosting their presence in Eastern Europe in recent months, responding to a period of tense relations with Russia. Now NATO forces are looking for ways to reestablish military capabilities that have eroded since the end of the Cold War.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other NATO military leaders are set to review changes to the military bloc’s command structure next month, with an eye on enhancing their rapid-deployment abilities and reinforcing their supply lines.

“Fast-evolving security challenges mean new demands on our command,” NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu told Stars and Stripes. “So work is underway to ensure that the NATO command structure remains robust, agile and fit for purpose.”

A NATO internal report seen by German news outlet Der Spiegel concluded that the bloc’s ability to rapidly deploy throughout Europe has “atrophied since the end of the Cold War.”

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http://www.businessinsider.com/nato-changes-to-command-structure-in-europe-amid-tension-with-russia-2017-10?IR=T

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Columns of K1 88-Tanks and other military vehicles recently spotted in Paju, South Korea

The U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet announced on Tuesday that a second aircraft carrier strike group entered the western Pacific amid the increasing threat of North Korea.

USS Theodore Roosevelt – the “Big Stick” – left its San Diego homeport earlier this month on a scheduled deployment to the West Pacific and Persian Gulf. It will now join the USS Ronald Reagan strike group off the Korean Peninsula.

The carrier is expected to make its way to the Persian Gulf to relieve the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

“Entering 7th Fleet is an exciting opportunity to integrate with other U.S. Navy units in the AOO, as well as operate with our partners and allies in the region,” said Rear Adm. Steve Koehler in a statement. “We look forward to continued partnerships that lead to mutual security and common views about operating at sea.”

It is rare to have two U.S. Navy aircrafts stationed in the region.

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https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/second-us-aircraft-carrier-enters-western-pacific-amid-korea-tensions/ar-AAtYvzw?ocid=ob-tw-enus-702

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US is using vaguely worded legal documents which obscure Syria as billions dollars’ worth of weapons’ final destination

The Pentagon has relied on an army of contractors and sub-contractors – from blue-chip military giants to firms linked to organized crime – to supply up to US$ 2.2 billion worth of Soviet-style arms and ammunition to Syrian rebels fighting a sprawling war against the Islamic State (ISIS).

Arms factories across the Balkans and Eastern Europe – already working at capacity to supply the Syrian war – are unable to meet the demand. In response, the US Department of Defense (DoD) has turned to new suppliers like Kazakhstan, Georgia, and Ukraine for additional munitions while relaxing standards on the material it’s willing to accept, according to an investigation by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

Reporters have pieced together the Pentagon’s complex supply line to Syria using procurement records, ship-tracking data, official reports, leaked emails, and interviews with insiders. This program is separate from a now-defunct CIA effort to arm rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

The Pentagon is buying the arms through two channels: the Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which oversees special operations across all services of the US military, and the Picatinny Arsenal, a little-known US Army weapons facility in New Jersey.

The munitions are being transported by both sea and air from Europe to Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait. They are then distributed to US allies in northern and southern Syria by plane and truck. (See: Black Sea Route)

Reporters discovered that the US is using vaguely worded legal documents which obscure Syria as the weapons’ final destination – a practice experts say threatens global efforts to combat arms trafficking and puts the Eastern European governments who sell the weapons and ammunition at risk of breaching international law. Others raise the issue of who, exactly, is using the arms and what will happen to them once ISIS has been defeated.

Read More At:

http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/09/12/the-pentagon-is-spending-2-billion-running-soviet-era-guns-to-syrian-rebels/amp/

https://www.occrp.org/en/makingakilling/the-pentagon-is-spending-2-billion-on-soviet-style-arms-for-syrian-rebels

Israeli forces reportedly enter Beer Ajam, Quneitra Governorate, Syria

On September 8, Israeli troops entered a militant-held area in the eastern part of the Golan Heights, according to sources loyal to Syrian pro-government sources.

Israeli troops allegedly advanced 200 meters inside the area controlled by the so-called Syrian moderate opposition and reached the village of Beer Ajam.

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Read More At:

https://maps.southfront.org/israeli-troops-enter-militant-held-area-of-beer-ajam-in-golan-heights-reports/