DOD’s new analysis of excess capacity failed to persuade one of its key targets, House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), that it badly needs a new round of base closures.Thornberry dismissed the study’s results — that the department’s excess capacity would be 22 percent under force levels projected for 2019 — over their reliance on a force structure he said is inadequate to meet the global threats confronting the nation.“The capacity report the Pentagon belatedly delivered to Congress simply doesn’t tell us what we need to know. In envisioning a military far smaller than anyone thinks is wise, it fails to comply with the law as badly as it fails to justify a BRAC round,” Thornberry said in a written statement last Friday.On Thursday, Rob Wittman (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee, echoed Thornberry’s reaction to the study during his opening remarks to the markup of his panel’s portion of the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill.“This mark prohibits the department from implementing another round of Base Realignment and Closure in the absence of an accurate end strength assessment,” Wittman said.Following the short markup, the Readiness Subcommittee approved its mark and its language rejecting DOD’s request to hold a BRAC round in 2019.There is at least one voice on the committee who has vowed to push Congress to authorize additional base closures — Washington Rep. Adam Smith (D), the committee’s ranking member.Following the release of DOD’s capacity analysis, Smith praised the report and made the case that allowing the military to shed some of its excess infrastructure will help pay for other critical needs.“This report makes clear that DOD maintains a large amount of infrastructure that it does not need,” he said in a written statement. “Disposing of excess infrastructure through a transparent, deliberative, and independent process, such as another round of Base Realignment and Closure, can be done in a responsible manner that enhances military readiness and frees up funds that can be used to strengthen our military in other ways,” Smith said.“I have consistently supported a responsible BRAC process that would produce exactly these kinds of efficiencies. I will continue to work toward legislation that authorizes an additional BRAC round, which also addresses the concerns and skepticism that linger from the 2005 BRAC,” he said.DOD estimated that the Army has 33 percent excess capacity, the Air Force 32 percent and the Navy 7 percent. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
Cristiano Ronaldo was the victim of a double injustice at the Best FIFA Football Awards, according to Portugal coach Fernando Santos, after he missed out on both Best Player and Best Goal.Luka Modric became the first player other than Ronaldo or Lionel Messi to win the Best FIFA Footballer of the Year award since Kaka in 2007.The Croatian captained his side to their first ever World Cup final and was voted the tournament’s best player, picking up the Golden Ball. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! But Santos has spoken out at the decision to give the midfielder the Player of the Year honour over Ronaldo, suggesting his captain and talisman was unfairly beaten into second place.He is quoted in Marca as saying: “If you ask me if Modric is a great player, I answer yes, and that’s why I voted for Modric in second place. Now, if you ask me who is the best player and who it was at this time, it was Cristiano Ronaldo, I have no doubts about that.“He scored 50 goals, which was valid a year ago, two years ago, and three years ago. It seems that suddenly it stopped being ‘it’.”Santos was equally baffled by the decision to overlook Ronaldo for the Puskas award, with the prize instead going to fellow Best Player nominee Mohamed Salah.Ronaldo was nominated for his Champions League quarter-final bicycle kick against current employers Juventus, but was beaten by Salah’s curling effort in last season’s Merseyside derby – a decision that has drawn widespread criticism.Santos was a vocal member of the aggrieved: “When the best player in the world does not win a prize, there is something very strange.”The ceremony, held in London, was as notable for its absentees as it was for its award recipients. Neither Ronaldo nor Messi were in attendance, with the latter being omitted from the nominations entirely despite another prolific season in which he outscored his Portuguese rival at club level.Both players, however, were named alongside Modric as part of the FIFPro World XI.
– plans to intensify sensitisation campaigns, communication activities in progressIn order to become eligible for millions of dollars in cash to mitigate the effects of climate change, Guyana is forging ahead with various consultations and sensitisation workshops both locally and internationally but much more work needs to be done to sensitise the populace.Although such efforts are to be lauded, like many initiatives there are difficulties to be encountered and at this point, one of the major challenges is the fact that stakeholders have limited knowledge about the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) fund worth US$650 million.This is according to Thomas Scheutzlich, a consultant for Global CAD, who was giving an overview of the work his firm has done so far at a Natural Resources Ministry press conference on Thursday.He explained that, sadly, stakeholders, as well as communities that are surrounding forested areas along with those that are intended to reap benefits from REDD+ incentives, are also lacking in knowledge of the initiative.From surveys conducted by Global CAD in conjunction with the Natural Resources Ministry in 2018, data revealed that only about 51 per cent of organisations from Region Four knew about REDD+.Meanwhile, in the outlying communities, in the hinterland areas, where villages depend on the forest for a living, the percentage in unfamiliarity of the topic was higher.Global CAD Consultant Thomas ScheutzlichScheutzlich said that 64 per cent had no idea of the initiative. However, plans are moving apace to correct this situation and in the upcoming months, more focus is going to be placed on communicating much more with stakeholders and indigenous communities.The German consultant stated that in the next few months, communication activities and sensitisation events will be ramped up throughout most, if not all, regions across the country.Come December 2019, a three-year programme to build Guyana’s capacity will end. This US$3.8 million project involves help from the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.Meanwhile, there have been ongoing consultations in seven regions with more meetings scheduled.REDD in Guyana is intrinsically linked with the development and implementation of the Low Carbon Development Strategy and the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Norway is currently the only source of finance through which the LCDS will be implemented although other financing sources may be harnessed as they become available.The MoU establishes a framework for REDD payments into the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) which funds projects under the LCDS.The LCDS initiative was aggressively pursued under the former Administration despite the criticisms that came from the then Opposition, the APNU/AFC coalition.
Chelsea have been told by Fenerbahce they will have to stump up at least £15m for Simon Kjaer, according to reports in Turkey.The Blues are on the market for central defenders this summer and scouted the Denmark international on numerous occasions last season.Kjaer still has three years remaining on his contract with Fenerbahce and the Istanbul outfit are keen to keep hold of the 26-year-old for at least another year.However, according to Fanatik, the Turkish side are unlikely to snub an offer of over £15m and are awaiting a bid from Chelsea.Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid have also expressed an interest in Kjaer but Chelsea are the clear favourites for the defender. Simon Kjaer is wanted by Chelsea this summer 1