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A Nation at War

By Alan W. Dowd, ASCF Senior Fellow October 18, 2016 @ 12:19pm


President Barack Obama often emphasized that he “was elected to end wars, not start them.” Yet with U.S. forces now hitting ISIS positions in Libya, Obama has opened a new front in the widening war against ISIS and other jihadist groups.


The airstrikes in Libya underscore that almost eight years after Obama’s election—15 years after 9/11—the U.S. remains deeply engaged in what used to be called theglobal war on terrorism. A three-day stretch in September saw U.S. warplanes bomb jihadists in six different countries. In January 2009, by contrast, there were justthree “active theaters of U.S. military involvement”: Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. Today, U.S. forces are conducting ongoing kinetic operations in seven countries.

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The Next Space Age

By The National Review October 17, 2016 @ 1:15pm


Merritt Island, Fla. — As a child, I was in love with America. From England, everything about the place just seemed marvelous. America was where the movies were set. It was where all the good roller coasters had been installed. It had cities with skyscrapers with romantic names: the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the TransAmerica. Elvis had been an American, as had John Wayne. Marilyn Monroe, too. The Americans — or so I thought — had invented all of the fun stuff: Superman, Coca-Cola, denim jeans, ten-pin bowling. Americans were rich, and happy, and on top of the world. Their president was a film star, with a welcome-to-Disneyland voice. And above all — above absolutely everything else — Americans had been to the moon.


An old joke has it that there are two sorts of countries: “those that use the metric system, and those that have put a man on the moon.” Today, this is typically told with an ironic, self-conscious faux-bombast — as a critical, cosmopolitan nod toward the jingoism of old. But here’s the thing: It’s true. It is difficult to overstate just how substantial a PR victory the Apollo program was for the United States, and tough to relay to the inured just how exceptional its space program made the country look from the outside. As a boy, I would watch the nightly news in wide-eyed wonder as the Space Shuttle blasted off. I proudly carried around my Neil Armstrong lunchbox. I knew by heart the famous, if imprecisely delivered, line: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” In America, they got things done.

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Starliner training systems unveiled as Johnson Space Center

By Chicago Tribune October 17, 2016 @ 12:56pm

Boeing Space Exploration and NASA marked another milestone in the development of the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft Wednesday with the installation of training and simulator systems at Johnson Space Center.


"That is the exciting part of today," JSC Director Ellen Ochoa said. "Seeing all of the operational things coming together.


"It is handy for astronauts to have their offices right across the hall from the simulation. It's easy to do their training here."


The Galveston County Daily News ( ) reports Boeing is one of two companies — SpaceX is the other — contracted by NASA in the final part of its commercial crew program, which will allow the United States to again launch people and material into space.

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Agricultural Seed Company Executives Defend Mergers in Washington

By Source: Wall Street Journal October 17, 2016 @ 12:49pm


U.S. senators on Tuesday challenged executives from the world’s largest seed companies to justify a wave of mergers, which some lawmakers said could lead to higher prices for farmers and consumers alike.


Senior officials from Monsanto Co., Bayer AG, DuPont Co. and Dow Chemical Co. said their combinations would yield higher-performing crops and more effective chemical sprays by integrating research and sharing regulatory costs. If successful, the mergers would shrink the seed and pesticide industry’s top six global players to four companies.

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Battle for Mosul: Iraqi forces inflict 'heavy losses' on ISIS

By Source: CNN October 17, 2016 @ 11:14am


Near Mosul, Iraq (CNN)-- Iraq's military says it has inflicted "heavy losses of life and equipment" on ISIS in a district southeast of Mosul, as Iraqi-led forces close in on the city in the long-awaited battle to recapture it from the terror group.


Hours after the beginning of the offensive, Iraq's military said it had inflicted losses and made advances in the Hamdaniya district, while Masoud Barzani, president of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government, said "we have achieved a lot of success so far."

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