Biden and Macron to Meet in October After AUKUS Submarine Tension

President Joe Biden and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, have agreed to meet next month in order to patch up the dispute created by Washington’s recent announcement of its security pact with Australia.

After a half-hour phone call between the two heads of state, a joint statement issued on Wednesday announced that they would meet at the end of October to discuss issues surrounding the pact.

“The two leaders have decided to open a process of in-depth consultations, aimed at creating the conditions for ensuring confidence and proposing concrete measures toward common objectives,” according to the statement. It also noted that Biden had reaffirmed to Macron that the “strategic importance of French and European engagement in the Indo-Pacific region” would continue.

“The two leaders agreed that the situation would have benefitted from open consultations among allies on matters of strategic interest to France and our European partners,” the statement read. “President Biden conveyed his ongoing commitment in that regard.”

The AUKUS security agreement, which includes the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, excluded France and was intentionally kept secret from Macron’s government. It led the Australian Navy to cancel a $36 million contract for a series of new diesel-powered submarines with the French defense contractor Naval Group. 

France’s submarine deal with Australia dates back to 2016, but it was canceled without warning on September 15, when the announcement of the AUKUS pact was made. France was quick to condemn the pact; Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described the country’s exclusion as “brutal, unilateral and unpredictable” in a statement, and the country quickly recalled its ambassadors from both countries.

In the aftermath of the fallout, American officials took steps to reassure France of its value in the Pacific. The day after the announcement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the United States still intended to cooperate with the countries of the European Union in the Pacific, and specifically described France as a “vital partner” in the area. 

In a press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki described the Biden-Macron call as “friendly,” and suggesting that efforts to mend the relationship would continue prior to the October meeting. 

Other world leaders have been less conciliatory. British prime minister Boris Johnson, another beneficiary of the AUKUS deal, sarcastically urged the French on Tuesday evening to “prenez un [get a] grip.”

Trevor Filseth is a current and foreign affairs writer for the National Interest.

Image: Reuters



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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle meet with US ambassador to the UN

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met Thursday with the US ambassador to the United Nations to discuss racial justice and other issues during a work trip to Manhattan.

“Wonderful meeting with Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Important discussion of COVID, racial justice, and raising mental health awareness,” Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield tweeted.

Thomas-Greenfield, a longtime diplomat nominated by President Biden last year, posted images of the couple chatting with her on a white couch and posing next to an American flag at UN headquarters on East 46th Street near First Avenue.

Markle was later seen leaving the building in a long tan coat and sunglasses — after changing out of the somber outfit she wore earlier in the day — and clutching a black leather binder alongside Prince Harry, who sported a gray suit and tie.

According to Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield, they discussed issues including the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health and racial justice.
Matt Sayles
Markle leaving the meeting with the UN Ambassador.
Markle leaving the meeting with the UN ambassador.
AbacaPress / SplashNews.com

The couple then got into a Land Rover amid a swarm of security outside the building and left.

The UN meeting came after the pair viewed the skyline from the rebuilt World Trade Center and honored the 9/11 memorial on their first business trip to the Big Apple since saying goodbye to royal life.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are also in town for the Global Citizen Live event in Central Park, which will feature performances by Jennifer Lopez and others, this weekend.





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Meet Russia’s New Flagship Missile System

Following years of anticipation, Russia’s next-generation S-500 missile defense system is being introduced into service. 

“The state trials have just completed, and the first supplies of this complex have started,” Russian deputy prime minister Yuri Borisov told reporters. “That is not yet the full range as the Almaz-Antey Concern requires. The configurations of the complex were discussed.” Borisov did not elaborate further and his somewhat hazy statement did not become clearer when interpreted in its original Russian. The implication appears to be that certain components are missing from the handful of S-500 units that are currently being delivered to Russia’s Armed Forces. These could be core components without which the system will not function as intended or additional loadout options like different interceptor missile types. Borisov’s statement potentially suggests something of a soft launch for the new missile system, though the details remain unclear as of the time of writing.

The S-500 “Triumfator-M” is Russia’s new flagship missile system, promising across-the-board performance improvements over the country’s current S-400 Triumf. With four radar vehicles per battery, the S-500 reportedly boasts an effective operating range of six hundred kilometers against ballistic missile threats and five hundred kilometers for area defense. The system is believed to be capable of detecting ballistic missiles at a range of up to two thousand kilometers and can track as many as ten ballistic missiles flying at speeds of around seven kilometers per second. Armed with the new, reportedly hypersonic family of 77N6 interceptor missiles, the S-500 is believed to be capable of intercepting hypersonic cruise missiles and intercontinental ballistic missiles, as well as other aerial objects flying at a speed of over Mach five. It is widely reported that a naval variant of the S-500 will be featured on Russia’s upcoming Project 23560 Lider-class destroyer.

Initially slated for completion in 2012, the S-500 project has faced a long procession of delays over the past decade. The cause of these delays was never made clear, as the system’s development history is being kept tightly under wraps by Moscow. The first ten units entered serial production earlier in 2021, with Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko announcing in December 2020 that the S-500 will be introduced into service by the end of 2021.

Despite being branded as a successor to the S-400, there is no indication that the S-500 will be mass-produced in sufficient numbers to widely replace its predecessor any time soon. The S-500 is meant not to substitute, but to complement, the S-400. Though there is a degree of role overlap between the two systems, the S-500 nevertheless fills a unique niche against advanced threats like hypersonic missiles and drones, as well as next-generation stealth fighters. The S-500 will serve alongside older and less capable systems like the S-400 and S-300 to form an additional layer on top of Russia’s echeloned missile defense network, offering what Moscow believes to be unprecedented capabilities against the latest and most dangerous threats.

Mark Episkopos is a national security reporter for the National Interest. 

Image: Wikimedia Commons



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Prime Minister Morrison and President Biden meet at UN Assembly

Despite Australian citizens remaining under strict travel restrictions, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has travelled to the UN Assembly in New York.

The Prime Minister and US President have engaged in their first one-on-one meeting behind closed doors. This comes after the US, Australia, and UK formed a ground-breaking security alliance (AUKUS) to handle geopolitical strains in the Pacific.

As part of this arrangement, Australia has scrapped its unpopular $90 billion French submarine deal and opted to replace them with industry-standard nuclear-powered submarines.

It is thought that the closed-door talks between the Prime Minister and President relate to highly sensitive security issues.

“The United States as no closer or more reliable ally than Australia,” said Biden. “United States and Australia work in a lockstep on the challenges that I laid out today in my speech to the United Nations including handling COVID, addressing the climate crisis, defending democracy and shaping the rules of the road in the 21st century.”

Biden’s speech included references to the World Economic Forum’s demand to ‘Build Back Better’ in rhetoric that Morrison has so far avoided.

The decision to drop the French submarines has been expected for a long time, but it caused tension with both French President Macron and the European Council. After Brexit, the European Union has been critical of a strengthening trade and political alliance between the UK and its historical partners Australia and the US.

Offending the European Union is a secondary concern when compared to the situation of China’s expansion and aspiration for the Pacific region. Australia holds a crucial strategic position for the West, but it has very little to defend it with.

“The environment we’re seeking to operate has changed. I don’t think there’s any dispute about that,” said Morrison.

While Australia’s nuclear submarines will take time to construct and deliver, the deal could see Australia allow allied nuclear submarines stationed in its waters and joining the Navy.

Morrison and Biden held a joint meeting in front of the press afterwards where Biden name-dropped Japan and India in what is shaping up to be a firm geopolitical counterbalance.

Things are changing,” insisted Biden.

Morrison spoke of ‘the freedom of our seas’ and ‘the freedom of our region’ as he addressed the press at the UN Assembly.

The United States and Australia have always shared a partnership that is about a world order that favours freedom,” added Morrison. “And that’s why we have always stood together. Pursuing that freedom of course goes to our security interests.”

Both leaders also heavily focused on climate change, the carbon zero economy, and Covid19.

I am confident that we can avoid the conflict that we all want to avoid, and I believe that includes not only Australia and many countries in our region and friends across ASEAN, but I believe that extends to our partners in Quad, Japan and India, as it indeed does to China,” added Morrison, when addressing the UN General Assembly.

While Australia and the US made sure to talk down a potential conflict with China, stating that they had no intention to enter into a new Cold War, their actions in the pursuit of security suggest that the world is facing a very serious situation.

China has come out in condemnation of the new alliance and the nuclear submarine deal, while Russia has been posting passive-aggressive tweets aimed at the French.





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Meet the Unelected Woman Who Undercut Dems on Obamacare, $15 Min Wage and Now Amnesty

Conservatives generally don’t like unelected bureaucrats who hold power in Washington, D.C. In the case of Elizabeth MacDonough, they might not mind so much.

MacDonough is the Senate parliamentarian, the nonpartisan official who calls balls and strikes when it comes to what flies under the upper chamber’s rules. On Sunday, she ruled that one of the Democrats’ major pitches — including sweeping amnesty for illegal immigrants and other immigration reform proposals under the massive $3.5 trillion budget they want to try to ram through — is way outside.

According to The New York Times, MacDonough said the “policy changes of this proposal far outweigh the budgetary impact scored to it and it is not appropriate for inclusion in reconciliation.”

For something to fit into a reconciliation bill, any policy impacts must be secondary effects of a primary budgetary impact. That’s in the Senate’s Byrd Rule, which The Hill notes says “that the provision in question must produce changes in outlays or revenues that are not merely incidental to its nonbudgetary impact.”

Democrats were frustrated with the decision — which, unless they decide to scuttle the parliamentarian’s ruling or eliminate the filibuster, means immigration won’t be on the docket anytime soon.

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“We are deeply disappointed in this decision but the fight to provide lawful status for immigrants in budget reconciliation continues,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, New York Democrat, said in a statement. “The American people understand that fixing our broken immigration system is a moral and economic imperative.”

He added that he’d be meeting personally with the parliamentarian to see if something can’t be worked out.

At least Schumer accepted MacDonough’s decision for the most part. Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, among others, urged Schumer to ignore the Senate parliamentarian and just do what he wants.

“This ruling by the parliamentarian, is only a recommendation. @SenSchumer and the @WhiteHouse can and should ignore it,” Omar tweeted Sunday night.

“We can’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to do the right thing.”

It’s always the right thing when norms can be ignored to get one’s own way — particularly when that way involves legalizing as many illegal immigrants as possible in as little time as necessary.

There’s also the fact that, as the Constitution Center notes, the Senate parliamentarian serves at the pleasure of the Senate majority leader — which, in this case, is Chuck Schumer. That said, such a blatant power play would be nearly unprecedented and would open the Democrats to reprisals if and when they lose the Senate.

Schumer instead said he was going to try to find a way to get something through without running into the ire of MacDonough.

Related:

Female Democrat Elected to Senate Alongside Feinstein Hints It’s Time for Her to Retire

“Senate Democrats have prepared alternate proposals and will be holding additional meetings with the Senate parliamentarian in the coming days,” the majority leader said.

It’s not like we couldn’t have seen this coming, especially given McDonough’s previous rulings that stifled Democrat attempts to enact their legislative agenda via reconciliation.

In February, when the Democrats tried to sneak a federal $15 minimum wage into their first major spending bill under President Joe Biden, MacDonough got in their way, saying it wouldn’t be able to make the cut in a bill passed through reconciliation.

Do you agree with the Senate parliamentarian’s decision?

Back then, again, the left was “disappointed” in MacDonough. This time, it was Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ turn to express his “[insert adjective here] disappointment” that she didn’t see it their way.

“I was extremely disappointed by the decision of the parliamentarian who ruled that the minimum wage provision was inconsistent with the Byrd Rule and the reconciliation process,” Sanders said.

“But even more importantly, I regard it as absurd that the parliamentarian, a Senate staffer elected by no one, can prevent a wage increase for 32 million workers,” he said.

Wait, unelected appointees shouldn’t be allowed to make decisions that affect millions of Americans? This is indeed news, at least coming from someone who caucuses with the Democrats. It almost sounds like he’s about to call MacDonough a member of the deep state.

And then there was her role in the Obamacare debate in 2017. As The Wall Street Journal noted, she ruled against Senate Republicans when they tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate in a reconciliation bill four years ago. However, she allowed them to leave the tax for the individual mandate at $0, effectively rendering it moot for years.

The question, then, is whether the Democrats can manage something similar on immigration. If they can’t, Elizabeth MacDonough will remain an incredibly important person — and perhaps the biggest impediment to the Democrats’ agenda in the upper chamber for a long time to come.

Who would have ever thought there would be an unelected government official the left could loathe so much?

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).

Birthplace

Morristown, New Jersey

Education

Catholic University of America

Languages Spoken

English, Spanish

Topics of Expertise

American Politics, World Politics, Culture





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Meet The Maskless Elites Whose COVID Hierarchy Profits Them And Punishes You

The same people who profit off of promoting universal masking and pushing strict COVID restrictions on their constituents and customers are shamelessly violating those orders.

These hypocrites are not only violating their own mandates as their infamous predecessors like California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi did, but they are reinforcing a COVID hierarchy that makes children, workers, and others follow the rules while they get to party without care.

Meet the leftist elites who don’t truly believe in the “science” they so dutifully preach, because they won’t suffer the consequences for breaking the rules.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal

Infamous House “squad” member and Democrat Rep. Pamila Jayapal shamelessly celebrated her September birthday without a mask on despite her fierce belief that people should “simply wear a d-mn mask.”

Months before, Jayapal blamed maskless Republicans and former President Donald Trump when she fell ill with COVID-19.

“Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, and in doing so, they endanger everyone around them. Only hours after President Trump incited a deadly assault on our Capitol, our country, and our democracy, many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum COVID-19 precaution and simply wear a d-mn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic — creating a superspreader event on top of a domestic terrorist attack,” she wrote in a statement.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed

San Francisco Mayor London Breed was recently exposed for defying her own mask mandate in a jazz club. In a more than minute-long video, Breed can be seen dancing in a crowded room of maskless people despite city orders requiring people to keep face coverings on unless “actively eating or drinking.”

 

The mayor was unapologetic about getting caught and accused the people calling out her hypocrisy of being “fun police.”

“I had a good time at the Black Cat. And I think it’s sad that this is even a story,” she said.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Magic Johnson, And Jerry Jones

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, basketball star Magic Johnson, and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones all violated the Los Angeles County mask mandate when they posed for a picture together at a Cowboys vs. Chargers game in Inglewood, California.

The Chargers stadium also requires masks for every patron regardless of vaccination status, but that wasn’t enough to stop these elites from hanging out together without masks.

Palm Beach County School Board Member Alexandria Ayala

Palm Beach County School Board Member Alexandria Ayala was caught attending a party maskless after she lobbied her fellow board members to implement a mask mandate in defiance of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s order banning schools from forcing face coverings.

Ayala previously claimed that she supported a mandate because “I care about the safety of every child under our district more than anything else,” but did not seem to mind her previous words as she celebrated in a spotted cowgirl hat.





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Host of ‘Meet the Press’ Finally Hits His Breaking Point on Biden’s Disastrous Presidency

According to Chuck Todd, President Joe Biden is struggling with a “credibility crisis” after spending months showing the country he has a propensity for being wrong on major issues, and that he has also unilaterally diminished the country’s standing on the global stage.

Todd, the host of “Meet the Press,” has actually appeared to hit his breaking point with Biden, judging by his interview on “Sunday TODAY” with Willie Geist on NBC News.

“Well, look, I think he’s got a pretty big credibility crisis on his hands, because all of these problems in some ways showed up after he said something basically the exact opposite,” Todd told Geist when asked how the White House intends to manage its own issues.

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Geist, citing Biden’s Tuesday address to the United Nations General Assembly, appeared concerned about how Democrats will convince the world that the country can navigate through a turbulent eight months and remain a global leader.

Todd, a partisan political operative billed as a moderator on “Meet the Press,” hit Biden on a number of issues that have diminished the country at home and abroad.

Todd and Geist ripped Biden on multiple issues including angering the French after he excluded them from a recent arms sale, COVID vaccine boosters that will not be recommended by the Food and Drug Administration for most Americans, and even the border crisis.

The White House was also not given a pass by either NBC News personality over the fact that the U.S. military — under Biden’s watch — killed seven children with a drone in Kabul during the final days of the chaotic exit from Afghanistan last month.

Do you think Biden will finish his term?

Todd, when referring to the crises facing the country, reminded NBC’s viewers what seasoned politicians and conservatives across the country already know: Biden is almost always wrong.

“Afghanistan withdrawal: [Biden said it] wasn’t going to be messy, this wasn’t going to look like Saigon. The booster shots: [Biden] came out and he essentially said eight months, and even indicated maybe we should start it as soon as five months. Now, we’re not sure if anyone under 65 is going to get a booster shot,” he said.

“Of course, the border … We can talk about the border problems, you could say they’re years in the making, but it’s pretty clear we have a bigger problem now than we’ve had in years, and these policies have turned it into becoming a magnet.”

Todd concluded Biden would address the U.N. Tuesday from a weakened position over how he’s handled foreign policy and the enforcement of the country’s border laws.

“He’s got a lot of work to do. The UN speech, look, he’s got some credibility issues on the world stage. [He has to ensure] that people still view America as a, not just a stable democracy, but a competent leader of the free world right now. So look, he’s got a lot of work to do,” Todd said.

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Beyond addressing the U.N., Todd opined that Biden’s only saving grace with disaffected Americans could be if his behemoth $3.5 trillion spending bill is passed.

“I think the next month’s going to probably still be tough for him politically, because he’s got to get this big bill through Congress. If he can get that thing passed, Willie, I think he can start to, you know, take a few breaths here a little bit, but he’s got a lot on the line here this month. That’s for sure,” Todd said.

It’s doubtful at this point the passage of a bill that spends more money the country doesn’t have would salvage Biden’s reputation with people who have seen firsthand the havoc the inept president can wreak with an ink pen. You know Democrats are in trouble when they’ve lost Geist and Todd.

Two men with no credibility both agree that Biden at this point has no credibility. These are two people who spent four years portraying the term of former President Donald Trump as one big crisis.

How much better off would the country be if the establishment media did not spend four years treating every move from Trump as if it were going to lead the country off a cliff? We’ll never know. But we do know that less than a year into Democratic Party rule of our government, chaos reigns.

And Biden has proved repeatedly throughout this year that everything he touches turns to ash. As that fact becomes apparent to even casual observers, not even NBC’s sycophants can — or will — cover for him anymore.

The situation is that critical.





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CBC “failed to meet standards” in story critical of Lethbridge Conservative MP

The CBC was forced to do some self-evaluation after it ran an online story depicting now re-elected Lethbridge, Alberta Conservative MP Rachael Harder as “callous and ignorant.” Records obtained by Blacklock’s Reporter revealed the one-sided questions from a CBC Calgary reporter, which incorrectly asserted the MP spread misinformation about COVID-19.

Upon examining the story, Helen Henderson, a senior director at CBC Calgary described how the piece “fell short of what we deem acceptable.”

“Let me reiterate that I regret we did not live up to our, and our audience’s, expectations of CBC News.”

The story ran in late November, 2020 and was headlined Lethbridge MP Under Fire For Spreading ‘Misinformation’ about COVID Deaths in Alberta. In the article, social media comments from Harder’s Facebook page were used as a means to depict outrage after the MP shared a November 17 Toronto Sun story.

Figures provided from Statistics Canada and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries were correctly used in the Sun story, but the CBC story used the social media backlash to highlight “angry responses from people who say she is showing a lack of compassion and empathy for all who have died of the disease,” Blacklock’s reported.

One of the quotes featured in the CBC story was from a Calgary doctor who said Harder “had very little respect for human life.” Another said “it seems as if our officials feel that it’s OK that so many people died simply because they have pre-existing conditions.”

Pointing to the comments on Facebook, the CBC said Harder’s post “prompted a flurry of comments from people who say Harder’s decision to share the article is ‘callous and ignorant.’” 

In response, Harder described the story as “sensationalized” and “inaccurate.” Jack Nagler, the ombudsman for CBC was seemingly inclined to agree with Harder’s assessment.

“I am not a big fan of stories based on outrage over social media,” Nagler wrote, adding that the data from the Toronto Sun story was indeed correct. “CBC failed to meet standards,” Nagler concluded.

Harder won re-election in her Lethbridge riding with 56 per cent of the vote.





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What Could Have Been: Meet the Dead Flying Wing YB-49

Here’s What You Need to Know: Although the YB-49 never reached full production, experience with the frame helped validate the concept which now dominates international thinking on strategic bomber design.

The Flying Wing

Early aviation engineers appreciated the potential for a “flying wing” design. A flying wing, which minimizes fuselage and usually eliminates the tail, reduces many of the aerodynamic compromises associated with a normal fuselage, reducing overall drag. However, many of these features enhance stability, meaning that a flying wing often lacks the stability of a traditional airframe. This makes the aircraft more difficult to fly, especially before the advent of fly-by-wire technology. A flying wing can also struggle with creating space for crew, payload, and defensive armament, as any of these can reduce the aerodynamic advantages that the shape offers.

Nevertheless, engineers (especially in Germany and the Soviet Union) tried repeatedly in the interwar period to develop a viable flying wing, either for transport or for military purposes. While these efforts yielded useful data, they rarely resulted in practical airframes. Near the end of World War II, the German successfully developed a jet fighter flying wing, although it did not enter mass production.

From XB-35 to YB-49

In the early years of World War II, U.S. strategists realized that it might become necessary to bomb Germany directly from the United States, especially if Great Britain left the war. A U.S. Army Air Corps request triggered proposals from a Boeing-Consolidated alliance (eventually Convair) and from Northrop. The former resulted in the Convair B-36 Peacemaker, the latter in the XB-35. The B-36 had a relatively conventional design; it looked more or less like a bigger version of the extant bombers of the time, although it had innovative features. The XB-35, on the other hand, was something new to U.S. military aviation; a flying wing. It was smaller than the B-36, but comparable in many performance features.

By 1944, the XB-35 had fallen behind the B-36 (although both suffered significant technological problems), and in any case, the immediate strategic necessity for a trans-continental bomber had waned. The Air Force, which acknowledged that both the B-36 and the XB-35 were largely obsolete, canceled the latter instead of the former because it believed that the problems of the B-36 were easier to solve. However, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) found the flying wing concept sufficiently intriguing that it proposed redesigning the XB-35 airframe around a jet, rather than piston, engines. Northrop developed a plan to re-engine a number of incomplete XB-35 frames with jets, eventually completing three such conversions and preparing several more.

The jet engines improved the top speed of the bomber to 493 miles per hour, an improvement of about 20% over its antecedent. The service ceiling of the YB-49 also increased an important consideration for escaping Soviet interceptors.  However, the fuel-hungry engines shrank the YB-49s combat radius, making it more comparable to a medium bomber than to the long-range B-36. Unfortunately, while the YB-49 could outrun the B-36, it lacked the speed of Boeing’s new B-47 Stratojet medium bomber.

Sabotage?

The YB-49 prototypes suffered an unusual run of bad luck. One prototype was lost with five crew members in June 1948, when the aircraft broke up in midflight. Another was lost during taxi when the nosewheel collapsed, leading to a fire that destroyed the entire aircraft. The Air Force canceled the contract for the YB-49 in May 1950, shortly after this second accident. The last prototype, a recon variant, flew until 1951 and was scrapped in 1953.

Advocates of the YB-49 long nursed the belief that the Air Force had deliberately sabotaged the program in preference for the B-36 and other, later bombers. Jack Northrop, the founder of the company, believed that the Air Force canceled the YB-49 because he would not agree to a merger with Convair. A few dark rumors implied that the accidents suffered by the YB-49 prototypes had not been accidental at all, but rather the result of sabotage. No meaningful evidence has ever emerged to substantiate these allegations.

B-2

Northrop would not realize success in an all-wing airframe until decades later. The B-2 Spirit, while utilizing radically different technology, bears a strong visual resemblance to its distant cousin.  Indeed, the two aircraft share exactly the same wingspan. Northrop adopted the flying wing shape for the B-2 because it offers the advantage of a low radar cross-section. Advances in fly-by-wire technology have made the B-2 much easier to fly than the YB-49 (or the YB-35). All indications suggest that Northrop Grumman’s B-21 Raider stealth bomber will have a similar configuration, as will the Xian H-20 strategic bomber and the Tupolev PAK DA. 

Although the YB-49 never reached full production, experience with the frame helped validate the concept which now dominates international thinking on strategic bomber design.

Robert Farley, a frequent contributor to the National Interest, is a visiting professor at the United States Army War College. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

This article was first published in 2019 and is being reprinted due to reader interest.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.





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World powers to meet with Iran at U.N. to push for return to nuclear talks -France

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NEW YORK — Ministers from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia will meet with Iran at the United Nations later this week to try to give fresh momentum to stalled talks over reviving a 2015 nuclear deal, France’s foreign minister said on Monday.

A sixth round of indirect talks between Tehran and Washington was adjourned in June after hardliner Ebrahim Raisi was elected Iran’s president. Raisi took office on Aug. 5.

Since April, Iran and the world powers have tried to work out how Tehran and Washington can both return to compliance with the nuclear pact, which former U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018 and reimposed harsh sanctions on Tehran.

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“The negotiation must restart,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said. “Time is playing against a potential accord. We need to take advantage of this week to restart these talks. Iran must accept to return as quickly as possible by appointing its representatives for the negotiations.”

New British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is due to meet with her Iranian counterpart Amir Abdollahian in New York on Monday as high-level officials meet at the annual U.N. General Assembly.

“The UK, US and our international partners are fully committed to a nuclear deal, but every day that Iran continues to delay talks whilst escalating its own nuclear program means there is less space for diplomacy,” she said in a statement. (Reporting by Michelle Nicols and John Irish; editing by Grant McCool)



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