fox-news/us/military/air-force

The Pentagon says President Donald Trump has nominated the top U.S. Air Force general in Europe to be the next Supreme Allied Commander in Europe and head of the U.S. European Command.

If confirmed by the Senate, Gen. Tod D. Wolters would succeed Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti.

The announcement was made Friday by acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan. Shanahan says the NATO alliance has agreed to Wolters’ appointment as the Supreme Allied Commander.

In his other role, as head of the U.S. European Command, Wolter would lead all U.S. forces in Europe.

Wolters received his officer commission in 1982 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is a fighter pilot by training.

Source: Fox News National

Redefining success, President Donald Trump heads into his second meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un determined to tamp down expectations that he’ll gain a roadmap to denuclearization. Yet he’s still eager to claim an attention-grabbing victory to offset the political turmoil he faces at home.

Trump laid out ultimate goals for both the U.S. and Kim in an appearance before the nation’s governors Monday before boarding Air Force One to fly to Vietnam: "We want denuclearization, and I think he’ll have a country that will set a lot of records for speed in terms of an economy."

Worries abound across world capitals about what Trump might be willing to give up in the name of a win, but there seems less mystery about his North Korean counterpart. Survival of the Kim regime is always the primary concern.

Trump was the driving force behind this week’s summit, aiming to re-create the global spectacle of his first meeting with Kim last year. But that initial summit in Singapore yielded few concrete results, and the months that followed have produced little optimism about what will be achieved in the sequel.

Trump is publicly unconcerned.

He once warned that North Korea’s arsenal posed such a threat to humanity that he might have no choice but to rain "fire and fury" on the nation. However, in the leadup to the new summit, he’s proclaimed himself in no hurry for Pyongyang to prove it is abandoning its weapons.

"I’m not in a rush. I don’t want to rush anybody, I just don’t want testing. As long as there’s no testing, we’re happy," Trump told the governors on Sunday.

In fact, he is ready to write himself into the history books before he and Kim even shake hands in Hanoi.

"If I were not elected president, you would have been in a war with North Korea," Trump said last week. "We now have a situation where the relationships are good — where there has been no nuclear testing, no missiles, no rockets."

While Trump was airborne, Kim’s armored train was on the move in China, bound toward Vietnam’s capital. Vietnamese officials promised security at "the maximum level." Reporters from 40 nations were expected to transmit the story to the world.

Kim inherited a nascent nuclear program from his father, and after years of accelerated effort and fighting through crippling sanctions, he built an arsenal that demonstrated the potential to rocket a thermonuclear weapon to the mainland United States. That is the fundamental reason Washington now sits at the negotiating table.

Kim, his world standing elevated after receiving an audience with a U.S. president, has yet to show a convincing sign that he is willing to deal away an arsenal that might provide a stronger guarantee of survival than whatever security assurance the United States could provide. The North Koreans have largely eschewed staff-level talks, pushing for discussions between Trump and Kim.

Though details of the summit remain closely held, the two leaders are expected to meet at some point one-on-one, joined only by translators.

The easing of tension between the two nations, Trump and his allies contend, stems from the U.S. president’s own unorthodox and unpredictable style of diplomacy. Often prizing personal rapport over long-held strategic interests, Trump has pointed to his budding relationship with the young and reclusive leader, frequently showing visitors to the Oval Office his flattering letters from Kim.

Trump, who has long declared that North Korea represented the gravest foreign threat of his presidency, told reporters recently that his efforts to defang Pyongyang had moved Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to nominate him for a Nobel Peace Prize, something Abe would not confirm or deny.

Four main goals emerged from the first Trump-Kim summit: establishing new relations between the nations, building a new peace on the entire Korean Peninsula, completing denuclearization of the peninsula and recovering U.S. POW/MIA remains from the Korean War.

While some remains have been returned to the United States, little has been achieved on the other points. Korean and American negotiators have not settled on either the parameters of denuclearization or a timetable for the removal of both Korean weapons and American sanctions.

"The key lessons of Singapore are that President Trump sees tremendous value in the imagery of diplomacy and wants to be seen as a bold leader, even if the substance of the diplomacy is far behind the pageantry," said Abraham Denmark, director of the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

U.S. intelligence officials testified before Congress last month that it remains unlikely Kim will fully dismantle his arsenal. And many voices in the Trump administration, including National Security Adviser John Bolton, have expressed skepticism that North Korea would ever live up to a deal.

Mark Chinoy, senior fellow at U.S.-China Institute at the University of Southern California, said that after generations of hostility, the convivial atmosphere of Singapore "can’t be discounted." But Chinoy noted that Trump had agreed to North Korean’s "formulation of ‘denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,’ which Pyongyang has long made clear meant an end to the US security alliance with South Korea and an end to the U.S. nuclear umbrella intended to defend South Korea and Japan."

After the last summit, Trump unilaterally suspended some military drills with South Korea, alarming some in Seoul and at the Pentagon. But he was insistent this week that he would not draw down U.S. troops from South Korea. And American officials, even as they hint at a relaxed timetable for Pyongyang to account for its full arsenal, have continued to publicly insist they would not favor easing sanctions on North Korea until denuclearization is complete.

A year ago, North Korea suspended its nuclear and long-range missile tests and said it dismantled its nuclear testing ground, but those measures were not perceived as meaningful reductions. Experts believe Kim, who is enjoying warmer relations with South Korea and the easing of pressure from Russia and China, will seek a U.S. commitment for improved bilateral relations and partial sanctions relief while trying to minimize any concessions on his nuclear facilities and weapons.

"Kim is doing pretty well as it is," said Scott Seaman of the Eurasia Group. "The threat of a U.S. military strike is essentially zero, Kim’s diplomatic charm offensive has made him into a bigger player on the world stage, and he continues to whittle away at international commitment to sanctions."

The Hanoi summit comes at a politically uncertain time for Trump.

His potential 2020 foes have begun unleashing attacks. The newly elected Democratic House has begun its investigations of the president, calling his former legal fixer, Michael Cohen, to appear before Congress while Trump is in Vietnam. And special counsel Robert Mueller, who has investigated possible ties between Trump’s campaign Russian election interference, may finalize his report within days of the president’s return to the United States.

___

Associated Press writers Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul and Deb Riechmann, Catherine Lucey, Zeke Miller and Jill Colvin in Washington contributed to this report.

___

Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire

___

Follow all of AP’s summit coverage at https://apnews.com/Trump-KimSummit

Source: Fox News National

President Trump on Tuesday formally directed the Department of Defense to draft legislation creating a so-called Space Force within the U.S. Air Force – in a bid to launch the first new branch of the military in more than 70 years.

Officially known as Space Policy Directive 4 (SPD-4), the directive would put Trump’s Space Force on similar ground as the U.S. Marine Corps, which is part of the Navy, but stipulates that it could become its own separate department in the future. Cost details are expected to be included in the 2020 budget proposal Trump sends Congress next month.

TRUMP ORDERS ESTABLISHMENT OF ‘SPACE FORCE’ AS 6TH BRANCH OF MILITARY 

The directive was developed by the National Space Council alongside members of the Pentagon, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, National Security Council, Office of Management and Budget, and the White House Counsel’s Office.

Space Force will also be represented on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and overseen by an Air Force undersecretary for space.

“We wanted a robust debate, as you would imagine, on where was the right place to land that aligns with the president’s direction, and what’s going to roll out today is a service within the Department of the Air Force,” Gen. David L. Goldfein, the chief of staff of the Air Force, said during a speaking engagement on Tuesday at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

The proposal, which still would need congressional approval, comes just over two months after Trump signed a memorandum getting the process started.

It would follow the U.S. Space Command, which existed from 1982 to 2002 but was moved under U.S. Strategic Command after the 9/11 attacks.

MARS ‘TERROR,’ FUTURE MOON MISSIONS AND AN EPIC JOURNEY TO THE SUN: 2018’S YEAR IN SPACE

The biggest question now surrounding the space force is: What would it actually do?

While some online commentators envision something akin to Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica, the reality would – at least in the foreseeable future – be more down to earth.

Inside the Pentagon, there is a small but vocal minority pushing programs such as anti-satellite weapons, missile detection capability and space-based solar power to counter mounting space threats from Russia and China. But others argue that the biggest danger to future space exploration is the debris floating around Earth’s orbit now.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Whatever the mission, experts tend to agree that a “space force” won’t be something that will be patrolling the final frontier anytime during Trump’s current presidential term.

“This is something that is going to take a long time to get running, three to five years if things run smoothly and this actually gets through Congress,” John Crassidis, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Buffalo, told Fox News.

The last time a new branch of the military was created was in 1947, when the National Security Act created the Air Force in the wake of World War II.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics


Current track

Title

Artist