NEWS BRIEFS: INTERNATIONAL
30 September 2019   (Washington Post)
The al-Udeid air base in Qatar has been used by the U.S. for 13 years as a command-and-control centre for air assets in a region stretching from northeast Africa through the Middle East to south Asia. However, even as 300 U.S. and allied aircraft were operational in and around Afghanistan and Syria on the weekend, they were controlled from Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, a temporary but significant tactical shift.
30 September 2019   (Nextgov.com)
A bill designed to establish an advisory group of public and private sector representatives, tasked with supporting federal efforts to improve protection of the U.S. electricity grid against cyber attacks, has been approved by the House of Representatives homeland committee. One of several such measures before Congress, it would rotate membership of the proposed advisory group every two years.
30 September 2019   (Nextgov.com)
The Center for Strategic & International Studies, a Washington think-tank, is predicting a 1.8-million shortfall in cybersecurity positions by 2022. While acknowledging efforts by key agencies, universities and technical schools to fill the growing gap, the center says more effort is needed. 
30 September 2019   (BBC News)
Baledogle Airport in the Shabelle region of southern Somalia, used by U.S. military as a training facility, reportedly has been attacked. Al-Shabab militants have claimed responsibility. Local residents reported explosions and gunfire.
30 September 2019   (Defense One)
U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley, expected to be the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is being described as a keen political operator who managed his own meteoric rise through the ranks while advancing the interests of his various institutions. The former paratrooper, known for his blunt manner, also is known for digging into briefing materials.
30 September 2019   (BBC News)
Houthi rebels in Yemen say three brigades of Saudi Arabia troops surrendered on the weekend after suffering what are described as “huge losses of life and machinery.” So far, however, the report has not been confirmed and Saudi leaders have not commented.
30 September 2019   (MSN.com)
Kurt Volker, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO and the Department of State’s unpaid prt-time special envoy for Ukraine, has stepped down. He reportedly quit because he felt he could no longer be effective due to the mounting controversy over President Donald Trump’s conversations with his Ukrainian counterpart. Volker is expected to appear before a congressional committee this week.
30 September 2019   (CBC News)
Mohammed Khalifa, a Canadian who left Canada in 2013 to become part of the emerging Islamic State in Syria and eventually became an ISIS spokesman. Captured by Kurdish forces earlier this year, he says he would like to return to Canada with his non-Canadian wife and three children. However, he says, if that means he would be tried in a Canadian court, he would rather remain in a Syrian prison.
27 September 2019   (Defense One)
The head of the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, Col./Dr. Jerome Buller, has suggested that medics confronted with heavy casualties in the battlefield of the future could rely on artificial intelligence to triage patients. He says biometrics from soldier-borne sensors, combined with stored data, will facilitate decisions on which casualties to treat first.
27 September 2019   (CNN News)
Some 15,000 personnel along with more than 160 aircraft and 580 pieces of weaponry are expected to be on display Oct. 1 when the People’s Liberation Army holds a National Day parade in Beijing. MGen Tan Min, deputy chief of staff of the PLA Central Theater Command, says all weapons to be on display are already in service.

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