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March 18, 2023
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Click / Tap to Enlarge - US Air Force MQ-9 camera footage showing approach of Russian Su-27 over the Black Sea.  - ALLOW IMAGES

Russian Jet Collides With US Drone Over the Black Sea
Poland & Slovakia Sending Fighter Jets to Ukraine

March 18, 2023
On March 14, the following related Flash SMS
message was sent to AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:

3/14 - Russian Su-27 aircraft collides with U.S. unmanned MQ-9 Reaper drone while operating within int'l airspace over the Black Sea. More via email.

What You Need To Know

On Tuesday afternoon, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of collision between a Russian Su-27 fighter aircraft and a U.S. MQ-9 surveillance drone in international airspace over the Black Sea.

According to the U.S. European Command (EUCOM), two Russian Su-27 aircraft conducted an unsafe and unprofessional intercept, with one of the Russian jets striking the propeller of the MQ-9, requiring U.S. forces to bring the unmanned aircraft down in international waters. Several times before the collision, the Su-27s dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless and unprofessional manner.

EUCOM released video footage showing a Russian Su-27 fighter making two very close passes on the MQ-9A, dumping fuel near the aircraft on both fly-bys, and appearing to mis-time its pull-out maneuver on the second pass, resulting in the impact. At least one bent propeller blade can be seen in the video. Defense officials released the footage on Thursday after Russian officials denied the intercept led to a collision.

Damaged MQ-9 propeller following collision with Russian fighter aircraft over the Black Sea. - ALLOW IMAGES

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the incident was part of a “pattern of aggressive, risky and unsafe actions by Russian pilots in international airspace.” Austin spoke to his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, on Wednesday for the first time since October.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said it was clear the intercept and harassment of the drone by Russian jets was intentional, but it was unclear whether the Russian aircraft deliberately made contact with the MQ-9 – a maneuver that could also put the Russian jet at risk.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in its readout of the call with Austin that Shoigu noted the U.S. had provoked the incident by ignoring flight restrictions the Kremlin had imposed due to its military operation in Ukraine, and also blamed “the intensification of intelligence activities against the interests of the Russian Federation.”

Sergei Naryshkin, head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, said Russia is capable and would attempt recovery of the wreckage. US officials have expressed confidence that nothing of military value would remain from the drone.

The collision marked the first known physical contact between U.S. and Russian forces since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Poland and Slovakia to Send Jets

This week Poland became the first NATO country to commit to sending fighter jets to Ukraine.

According to Polish President Andrzej (Ahnzay) Duda, “We can say confidently that we are sending MiGs to Ukraine. We have a dozen or so that we got in the ’90s handed down from the German Democratic Republic and they are functional and play a part in the defense of our airspace. They are at the end of their operational life but are still functional.”

Duda added that the first four planes “in full working order” will be handed to Ukraine in the next few days. Additional aircraft will be delivered after being “serviced and prepared for handover.”

On Friday, Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger tweeted that his government had also approved sending the country's 13 MiG-29s to Ukraine. The country's fleet was grounded last year and it no longer uses the jets. Those aircraft would also be appropriately serviced to full working condition before transfer.

None of this is sitting well with the Russians. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov condemned the plans, saying that the aircraft would not affect the outcome of Moscow's "special military operation", would only bring additional woes for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, and all the equipment would be subject to destruction.

U.S. Fighter Jets Soon?

Regular followers of Threat Journal should easily be able to see where this is headed. As with nearly all other major weapons systems supplied to Ukraine in this conflict, each began with U.S. officials, at least publicly, saying NO. Once the trial balloon goes up and the news cycles progress, eventually the nos are turning to yes. We have seen this with a number of offensive and defensive systems including HIMARS, Patriot missile batteries, Abrams tanks, and soon enough, 4th generation fighter aircraft

ICC Issues Arrest Warrant for Putin

The International Criminal Court said Friday it has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes because of his alleged involvement in abductions of children from Ukraine.

The court said in a statement that Putin "is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation."

The ICC also issued a warrant Friday for the arrest of Maria Belova, the Commissioner for Children's Rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, on similar allegations.

Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova initially responded via her Telegram channel: “The decisions of the International Criminal Court have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view. Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and bears no obligations under it.”

AlertsUSA continues to monitor the domestic and international threat environment around the clock and will immediately notify service subscribers, via SMS messages to their mobile devices, of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.


3/15 - Shallow M7.1 earthquake, Kermadec Islands region (north of New Zealand). AlertsUSA monitoring for tsunami warnings.

3/15 - Pacific Tsunami Warning Center Honolulu warns hazardous tsunami waves .3-1 meter above tide level are forecast for some coasts within the Kermadec Islands.

3/17 - Massive pension-reform protest turns violent outside France's National Assembly, Quai d'Orsay, Paris. US citizens urged to avoid crowds & maintain low profile.

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MiG-29 Fulcrum of the Polish Air Force. Poland is the first NATO nation to provide fighter aircraft to Ukraine in their effort to counter Russia's invasion. — Photo by FlightVideo via - ALLOW IMAGES

Ukraine War Update+

March 17, 2023
What You Need To Know

According to the Institute for the Study of War:

Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a state visit to Russia from March 20 to 22 likely to discuss sanctions evasion schemes and Chinese interest in mediating a negotiated settlement to the war in Ukraine.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko confirmed that Belarusian industry is supplying Russia electronic components, potentially supporting previous ISW assessments that Belarus may assist Russia to evade Western sanctions.

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Commissioner on Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova on March 17 for alleged war crimes involving the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.

Russian outlet Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported that it did not submit a press request to Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin concerning a rumored plot by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev against him.

The Kremlin continues to call up reservists throughout Russia.

According to the UK Ministry of Defence:

The Russian authorities are likely preparing to facilitate wider military conscription to resource its military requirements. On 13 March 2023, Russian Duma deputies introduced a bill to change the age bracket for conscription to men aged 21-30 years, from the current 18-27. The law is likely to be passed, and would come into force in January 2024.

Russia has continued to run conscription call-up cycles twice a year since Soviet times. They are distinct from the exceptional ‘partial mobilisation’ of veterans carried out since September 2022. Russia continues to officially bar conscripts from operations in Ukraine, though at least hundreds have probably served through administrative mix ups or after being coerced to sign contracts.

Many 18-21 year old men currently claim exemption from the draft due to being in higher education. The authorities are highly likely changing the age bracket to bolster troop numbers by ensuring that students are eventually forced to serve. Even if Russia continues to refrain from deploying conscripts in the war, extra conscripts will free up a greater proportion of professional soldiers to fight.

Ukraine conflict map as of March 18, 2023. Image: @war_mapper with permission. - ALLOW IMAGES

Seaman Marcus White, from San Diego, stands watch as aft lookout aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) during a replenishment-at-sea with the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Chancellorsville is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Harris/Released) - ALLOW IMAGES

Commentary / Analysis / Research

March 18, 2023

The Age Of American Naval Dominance Is Over

Very few Americans—or, for that matter, very few people on the planet—can remember a time when freedom of the seas was in question. But for most of human history, there was no such guarantee. Pirates, predatory states, and the fleets of great powers did as they pleased. The current reality, which dates only to the end of World War II, makes possible the commercial shipping that handles more than 80 percent of all global trade by volume—oil and natural gas, grain and raw ores, manufactured goods of every kind. Because freedom of the seas, in our lifetime, has seemed like a default condition, it is easy to think of it—if we think of it at all—as akin to Earth’s rotation or the force of gravity: as just the way things are, rather than as a man-made construct that needs to be maintained and enforced.

But what if the safe transit of ships could no longer be assumed? What if the oceans were no longer free?

~ READ MORE HERE (The Atlantic) ~

Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS)

Included with the current update to the Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) data are a suite of variables that allow users to investigate extremist offenders who plotted to commit, or committed, mass casualty attacks in the United States from 1990-2021. A mass casualty plot is defined as an event in which the perpetrator(s) intended to kill or injure four or more victims. Unlike other data resources on mass casualty events, PIRUS allows users to investigate successful mass casualty attacks as well as unsuccessful plots where the perpetrators clearly intended to kill or injure four or more people but failed. The inclusion of failed and foiled mass casualty plots in PIRUS gives users a more accurate estimate of how often extremists plan to cause significant harm. It also allows users to compare ideological groups and offenders on measures of plot success. This research brief provides an overview of the mass casualty crimes in PIRUS, including their frequency, links to ideological and sub-ideological groups, and a comparison of their perpetrators.


Launch Under Attack: A Sword Of Damocles

On Jan. 10, 1984, a guidance computer in a U.S. Minuteman-III missile suffered a glitch. As a result, operators in the nearby command center received a message that the missile, aimed at Russia, was entering its launch sequence all on its own. It carried three nuclear warheads. Security forces scrambled to park a truck on top of the silo lid in an attempt to prevent the missile from launching. While the officer in charge later disclaimed that there was a real risk, the truck-parking procedure was in place because the risk of inadvertent launch was understood to be nonzero. This begs the question: Are Russian missiles guaranteed never to launch themselves? Are their missileers perfectly reliable? If the answer is no, then why does the United States maintain a policy that risks starting a nuclear war in the event something goes wrong?

~ READ MORE HERE (War on the Rocks) ~

Fleet and Marine Tracker Map as of March 13, 2023.  - ALLOW IMAGES
USNI Fleet and Marine Tracker
March 13, 2023

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of March 13, 2023 based on U.S. Navy, public data provided by the U.S. Naval Institute, and open source reporting.

An Air Force F-35A Lighting II receives fuel from a KC-10 Extender during Operation Panhandle Express over Florida, Feb. 28, 2023. Image: DoD
World News Roundup
March 18, 2023


Donald Trump says he will be arrested on Tuesday
Trump calls for protests of what he claims is his imminent arrest
Law enforcement prepping security for a possible Trump indictment
American spy on loan to UK's GCHQ stabbed by alleged terrorist
United States confirms use of Chinese ammunition in Ukraine
Minnesota nuke plant admits to 400,000 gallon leak of radioactive water
"Mexico is safer" than the U.S., Mexican president says
Mexican cartels are as dangerous as al Qaeda and ISIS
Mexican president says more fentanyl enters the U.S. and Canada than MX
Honduras to seek China relations, pressuring Taiwan ahead of US trip
Federal judge issues gag order on lawyers for defendants in Haiti assassination


Russian President Putin to host Chinese President Xi in Moscow March 20-22
Putin signs amendment to law criminalizing “discrediting the armed forces”
Russia threatens to destroy Ukraine jets after Poland and Slovakia pledges
Poland lays out plans to send mig-29 fighters to Ukraine
US says it will NOT give Ukraine F-16s, despite Poland's decision
US resumes drone flights over Black Sea after Russia intercept
Attack on Russian plane in neutral airspace to be seen as declaration of war
Russia says it will try to retrieve drone after warning U.S. to stop ‘hostile’ flights
International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Russian President Putin
Russia ‘hunts’ for Patriot deployment in Ukraine
US, Russian military chiefs hold deconfliction call for 1st time in months
Macron shuns parliament to enact French retirement bill
France: Pension protests, no-confidence motions after decree


Officials warn against underestimating Al-Shabab and IS in Somalia
Blinken brings U.S. aid to Sahel for fight against islamist insurgencies
Elite officers in Israel’s military plan Sunday walkout
Israeli forces kill four Palestinians in Jenin raid
Angola to send military to DRC after failed ceasefire
Advocates call on Blinken to demand accountability for atrocities in Ethiopia
Gunmen open fire on a Greek cargo ship off the Yemen coast


INDOPACOM: China not responding to U.S. attempts at communication
China's Xi to visit Putin in Moscow as Beijing seeks larger global role
Space Force: China, Russia deploying space weapons to attack US satellites
China has launched hundreds of satellites to target US
China-proposed initiative on global civilization hailed
Kazakhstan seizes Russian launch facility over outstanding debt
North Korea tests massive new intercontinental ballistic missile
"Were DPRK to employ a nuclear weapon, it would be the end of the regime."
TikTok in talks with potential buyers as US presses for ban
U.S. ramps up joint drills in response to N. Korean provocations
Taiwanese military braces for blockade by China
US says China preparing for war it doesn't want to fight
Japan, South Korea renew ties at Tokyo summit
In Myanmar, atrocities rise as army comes under pressure
Strike grips Sri Lanka as unions protest IMF bailout
Clashes erupt in Pakistan as police try to arrest Imran Khan
Pakistan Army will not be available for election duty


Mexican pharmacies selling pills laced with fentanyl to U.S tourists
CDC bought phone data to monitor Americans' compliance with lockdowns
School asks judge to block release of docs related to coronavirus research

Peak Prosperity with Dr. Chris Martenson.
Global Rescue: Wander the World Without Worry

Alert! Symbol - ALLOW IMAGES

Travel Security Resources

With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to research the security situation at your destination prior to booking, and again prior to departure.

The U.S. Dept. of State Travel Website is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide.

Active USGOV Travel Notices

Active USGOV Travel Advisories

Other USGOV Travel Resources

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) - Registering your overseas trip with the Department of State STEP program allows you to receive information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.

Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) - Joining OSAC provides a variety of USGOV resources to enhance the safety and security of the U.S. private sector businesses and organizations operating abroad.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - The CDC travel website is the authoritative federal source for information on current health issues related to specific destinations worldwide. These issues may arise from disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters, or other conditions that may affect travelers’ health.

Foreign Sources of Travel Guidance

See what other governments are telling their own citizens about the safety and security aspects of your destination.

Take Advantage of These Resources

Our social media channels provide a steady steam of important news and resources between issues of Threat Journal with little or no overlap of content. Combined with the AlertsUSA service for instant mobile notification of the really bad developments, you have an unmatched set of tools to keep yourself fully up to speed on the nation's threat environment. With times getting worse by the day, we urge you to utilize these resources.

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