Monday, October 23, 2017

U.S. Executive Order To Recall Up To 1,000 Retired Military Pilots, Tillerson Demands Iranian Militias Leave Iraq, UN Envoy Chides Hamas For Urging Israel's Destruction




Air Force To Recall Up To 1,000 Retired Military Pilots After Trump Unexpectedly Revises Sept 11 Executive Order



In an unexpected development, President Donald Trump has signed an executive order allowing the Air Force to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots to address what the Pentagon has decribed as "an acute shortage of pilots," Fox News reported.
The order, which Trump signed Friday, amends an emergency declaration signed by George W. Bush in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. The Air Force is only allowed to recall up to 25 pilots under current law. The order signed by Trump temporarily removes that cap for all branches of the military.
A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Cmdr. Gary Ross, said in a statement that the Air Force is currently "short approximately 1,500 pilots of its requirements." That number includes approximately 1,200 fighter pilots.


"We anticipate that the Secretary of Defense will delegate the authority to the Secretary of the Air Force to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots for up to 3 years," Ross said.

"The pilot supply shortage is a national level challenge that could have adverse effects on all aspects of both the government and commercial aviation sectors for years to come."

Currently, the Air Force has no plans to take advantage of the recall.
“The Air Force does not currently intend to recall retired pilots to address the pilot shortage. We appreciate the authorities and flexibility delegated to us,” Ann Stefanek, an Air Force spokeswoman, told Fox News.
Now, the question is, will the order inspire some retired pilots to come out of retirement voluntarily...









US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday demanded that Iranian “militias” leave Iraq at a press conference in Riyadh, where the US diplomat is holding talks with top Gulf officials.
Shortly before leaving Riyadh for Doha, Qatar, Tillerson told reporters that an independent and prosperous Iraq would be a foil to Iran’s “malign behavior.”
“We believe this will in some ways counter some of the unproductive influences of Iran inside of Iraq,” he said at a news conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir after participating in the inaugural meeting of the Saudi Arabia-Iraq Coordination Council with Saudi King Salman and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Referring to Shiite militia in Iraq that are backed by Iran he said: “Those fighters need to go home. Any foreign fighters need to go home.”
“We are hoping that European companies, countries and others around the world will join the US as we put in place a sanctions structure to prohibit certain activities of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard that foment instability in the region and create destruction in the region,” Tillerson said.
Earlier, at the coordination council meeting, Tillerson told the Saudi king and Abadi that the event highlighted the improving ties between the longtime rivals and showed “the great potential” for further cooperation. He noted the August reopening of a major border crossing and the resumption of direct flights between Riyadh and Baghdad.

His participation in the meeting comes as US officials step up encouragement of a new axis that unites Saudi Arabia and Iraq as a bulwark against Iran’s growing influence from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea. Amid the push for that alliance, the Iraqi government is struggling to rebuild recently liberated Islamic State strongholds and confronts a newly assertive Kurdish independence movement.










The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process panned Hamas leaders Sunday for urging the destruction of Israel, and said Palestinians should make resolving the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip the focus of their efforts.
Nickolay Mladenov’s comments came after senior figures in the Hamas terror group declared that a reconciliation with rival Fatah does not mean that Hamas will end its efforts to wipe out the Jewish state.
“I condemn the latest statements made by some Hamas leaders, reportedly calling for the destruction of the State of Israel,” Mladenov said. “They do not serve the interest of peace and the goal of achieving a negotiated two-state solution.”

“Under the auspices of Egypt, Palestinian leaders have embarked on a course to solve the grave humanitarian crisis in Gaza and enable the government to take up its responsibilities in the Strip. I encourage them not be distracted from this objective.”









 US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that the United States was prepared for any course of events with regard to the development of the North Korean crisis.

"We're prepared for anything. We are so prepared like you wouldn't believe. You would be shocked to see how totally prepared we are, if we need to be," Trump said in an interview with Fox News Channel.

Presumably speaking about a military solution to the North Korean crisis, Trump said it would be better to avoid a military conflict.
The president also praised China’s actions regarding North Korea.
"They’re closing off their banking systems to North Korea, they have cut the oil way down. … With respect to North Korea, 93 percent of things going into North Korea come through China. China is big stuff," Trump said.

Following Trump's calls on Beijing to cut trade with North Korea in order to settle the situation, China introduced a full ban on imports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood from North Korea. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said in September that the country's imports from North Korea went down by 16.3 percent year-on-year in January-July 2017.










Off the coast of the Korean Peninsula, U.S. and South Korean Navy ships prepared for an event they hope will never happen: a North Korean land and air attack against their neighbors to the south.

The annual bilateral training exercise called Maritime Counter Special Operations Force involved a U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan and a U.S. destroyer, the USS Stethem, as well as South Korean ships.

ABC News' Martha Raddatz was aboard the Reagan in the Sea of Japan for the exercise this week, as the Trump administration grapples with an increasingly hostile and technologically advanced North Korea.

Rear Adm. Marc Dalton, commander of Navy's carrier strike group in the Pacific, said the U.S. commitment to defending itself and its allies is "enduring."
"This exercise is an example of how we train with our allies in order to be ready to respond to a range of crises," he said.



No comments: