All 100 senators are invited to the White House compound tomorrow for a briefing on North Korea. This is an unusual event. During the first Gulf War I was sent to the Congress every day to brief both houses. Notice that we went to them and not the other way 'round. Tillerson, Mattis, McMaster, Coates are reported to be the hosts. Some mighty skilled briefers will do the actual thing.
Sounds to me that the senators are being prepared for a probable failure of Trumpian policy with regard to the Chinese and North Korea. A declaration of war or an authorization for the use of military force would require a vote by both houses of congress. So ... You can probably expect to see a lot of members of the House of Representatives visiting the White House soon if that has not already occurred.
The Carl Vinson battle group will be in Korean waters in a few days. USS Michigan, a cruise missile shooting submarine is in Busan, South Korea for R&R and re-vittling. As I have written there is the availability of two additional carrier battle groups in early June. This is all shaping up nicely if you are an armchair field marshal or fleet admiral.
At the same time, pressure is building on the international scene for a real investigation of the 4 April, 2017 gas event at Khan Shaykun in southern Idlib Province, Syria. There is so much now written about this that it seems inevitable that a high profile enquiry will be made. It appears that the R+6 will re-capture Khan Shaykun soon. That will create an interesting situation for the investigators whomever they will be.
The Turkish Air Force carried out intensive strikes on SDF Kurdish and Arab units over-night. Unlike the Russians they do not inform USCENTCOM of such events. USSF soldiers are in the field with the SDF and we could easily have lost men in this. USCENTCOM is not pleased but their assets are often based at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey and that presents a problem in deciding what to do about the Turks.
There are rumors about that Russia will respond favorably to an expected SAG request for Russian ground troops. If this is true then a couple of things are probably correct; 1- The Russians have decided that they are dealing with an unstable commodity in the occupant of the White House and that they need to present DT with a fait accompli in Syria as soon as possible to reduce the chance of further misadventure resembling the apparently erratic decision to attack the Syrian air base at Shayrat in "reprisal." 2. They may feel assured that introduction of their ground forces will not provoke another erratic response. Are they expecting that the US will be too pre-occupied elsewhere (like Korea) to interfere? That could be or it could be that the rumor of ground force intervention is simply press imagination or disinformatsya. pl