South Korea on Sunday announced an expansion of its air defense identification zone following China’s move to establish a similar zone that has been criticized by Beijing’s neighbors.The new South Korean zone covers a submerged reef that South Korea controls but that China also claims, and it also will include parts of airspace in the zone that China has drawn. The new South Korean zone also overlaps with parts of the Japanese air identification zone.
The EU is supporting Libyan border security troops near Ghadames, but local members of the military complain of unclear structures and insufficient equipment. They put the blame on the government in Tripoli. The Libyan army is still growing into its tasks more than two years after the revolution against Gadhafi, and it has had only limited success in integrating former rebels. Effectively controlling the country’s borders remains beyond the army’s capabilities. “Large segments of the 1,000-kilometer long border to Algeria are nearly inaccessible.
Nasrallah rarely mentions Saudi Arabia by name, only referring to the monarchy in vague terms in order to maintain plausible deniability. But that all changed on Tuesday, when he accused Saudi agents of being behind the suicide bomb attack on the Iranian Embassy in Beirut last month that claimed 23 lives. In doing so he has openly declared a war that has long been fought in the shadows, first in Lebanon where Hizballah-allied parties are at a political impasse with the Saudi-backed Future Movement of Saad Hariri, and now in Syria.
It’s a familiar scenario: a man, usually a political, security or military figure, emerges from a location he regularly frequents—home, mosque, work, supermarket—and is promptly shot down by gunmen, or turns on his car’s ignition only for it to explode. Said gunmen will then promptly escape, most likely on a motorcycle—or, in the case of a car bomb, watch, satisfied, from afar. Yemen is now at a stage where some assassinations, especially of low-ranking security or military figures, are barely news any more.
China’s increased belligerence in the region is part of its plan to control the Yellow Sea, the South China Sea and the larger East China Sea. Its military doctrine refers to dominance over the “first island chain,” which encompasses the East China Sea. The next step is dominance over what Beijing calls the second island chain extending from Japan to Indonesia. Some analysts have even speculated about plans for a third island chain strategy extending as far as Hawaii. China’s defense ministry warned in a statement that all aircraft that fail to comply with its new rules for transit through the zone could be shot down.
It is perhaps no coincidence that the two kamikaze attack on November 19 against the Iranian embassy in Beirut took place on the eve of the resumption of nuclear talks between the 5 +1 ( United States , Russia , China, France, Britain and Germany) and Iran in Geneva on November 20. If last summer, two attacks had hit the southern suburbs of Beirut , a stronghold of Hezbollah, the Shiite party backed by Iran, this is the first time that Iranian interests were directly affected by a terrorist act (25 dead, including the Iranian cultural advisor and four guards, and 146 injured).
The Armed Forces of the Philippines plan to build a pier and harbor at a naval base in Palawan, the island province closest to the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, according to officials and a defense document. Military officials confirmed Wednesday to reporters the plan to build “pier, harbor and support facilities” in Oyster Bay — the navy’s shipyard directly facing the South China Sea. The project will cost around 313 million pesos (around $7.29 million), according to the document.
Unprecedented plans by an international oil consortium to drill in waters off the disputed Western Sahara are making waves, with activists warning the move could scupper chances of resolving the conflict. The region remains bitterly contested, nearly 40 years after its annexation by Morocco, a move never recognised by the international community. A surge of interest in its potential subsea riches, coupled with Morocco’s unaffordable energy bills, has pushed oil exploration up the agenda, threatening to enflame tensions if any discoveries are made.
MADRID is in danger of sparking a military conflict with Britain over Gibraltar if it does not tone down its actions, a senior MP warned today as the Royal Navy was involved in a new stand-off with a Spanish ship. However, referring to the armed standoff on November 1, Mr Dobbin told MPs: “Reports state that guns were pointed and thankfully no shots were fired. “This diary of events highlights the serious nature the British government of Gibraltar is dealing with.”
Espionage, especially spying on friends, has always involved a cost-benefit calculation – weighing the benefits of eavesdropping against the costs of being found out. But the expansion in sheer information gathering and storage capabilities since the 9/11 terrorist attacks has swamped any efforts to set limits and the proclivity to weigh the pros and cons, analysts say. And the downsides of that, they add, could be many and even lead to a damaging of the counterterrorism efforts that lie at the core of international intelligence cooperation.
The Navy of Russia will place a maintenance base in the Vietnamese port of Camran, in accordance with the stipulated agreements during President Vladimir Putin”s recent visit to that Asian country, reported the local press today. In addition to the approved contracts on military collaboration with Vietnamese leaders, the head of the Kremlin reached a tentative agreement to install those facilities in Camran in 2014, informed Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper. The maintenance center in this deep-water port will occupy part of the space of what used to be the naval air station built by the United States in Camran during its attack to Viet Nam.
A deadly assault by Shi’ite Houthi rebels on a Salafi Islamic school planted in their mountain heartland could ignite wider sectarian conflict in Yemen, where instability has already helped al Qaeda militants to take root. The Houthis, who belong to the Zaydi branch of Shi’ite Islam, have bombarded the sprawling Dar al-Hadith seminary in Dammaj village for two weeks, killing at least 100 people. Political rivalries may have helped to start the violence, but the struggle over a Salafi outpost deep in Houthi territory is also part of a regional contest between Shi’ite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia.
The ruling Chinese Communist Party said it would establish an agency to “manage” growing social unrest, as part of a set of reforms largely focusing on the economy. The new “state security committee” will tackle social instability and unify other agencies in charge of increasing security challenges, both foreign and domestic, the party’s Central Committee said in a statement after a four-day plenary meeting in the nation’s capital ended Tuesday. The committee would “improve the system of national security and the country’s national security strategy”.
As the latest militant-Kurdish military showdown eases in northeast Syria, Baghdad is keeping a close watch on a battle which threatens even greater instability in Iraq. Kurdish forces and al Qaeda-linked groups have for weeks fought over territory, with the Kurds taking over a key border point late last month. But with the likelihood of more fighting to follow, Baghdad is worried of militants securing a wider corridor between eastern Syria and western Iraq.
Saudi Arabia has invested in Pakistani nuclear weapons projects, and believes it could obtain atomic bombs at will, a variety of sources have told BBC Newsnight. While the kingdom’s quest has often been set in the context of countering Iran’s atomic programme, it is now possible that the Saudis might be able to deploy such devices more quickly than the Islamic republic. Earlier this year, a senior Nato decision maker told me that he had seen intelligence reporting that nuclear weapons made in Pakistan on behalf of Saudi Arabia are now sitting ready for delivery.
South Korea’s spy agency said Monday that North Korea was using Russian technology to develop electromagnetic pulse weapons aimed at paralysing military electronic equipment south of the border. The National Intelligence Service (NIS) said in a report to parliament that the North had purchased Russian electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weaponry to develop its own versions. EMP weapons are used to damage to electronic equipment. At higher energy levels, an EMP event can cause more widespread damage including to aircraft structures and other objects.
CONCERNS are growing in Iran about the health of Ali Khamenei, the country’s Supreme Leader, amid fears of a power vacuum at a critical moment for the Islamic Republic. Ayatollah Khamenei, 74, Iran’s most powerful man, has not been seen in public for three weeks. Reports suggest he has had a relapse of a chronic illness. He has no appointed heir. His death could prompt a power struggle as negotiations with the West over Iran’s nuclear program reach a crucial stage.
Japan plans to deploy a surface-to-ship missile unit on Miyako Island in the country’s southern-most Okinawa prefecture for the first time next month. Units equipped with Type 88 surface-to-ship missiles will be deployed on Miyako Island and in the southern part of Okinawa’s main island as part of an 18-day military drill starting on November 1 with about 34,000 personnel taking part, Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF)
This would put all waters between the islands within range of the guided anti-ship missiles, reports the NHK broadcaster.
Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief has said the kingdom will make a “major shift” in relations with the US in protest at its perceived inaction over the Syria war and its overtures to Iran, a source close to Saudi policy said. Prince Bandar bin Sultan told European diplomats that Washington had failed to act effectively on the Syria crisis and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was growing closer to Tehran, and had failed to back Saudi support for Bahrain when it crushed an anti-government revolt in 2011, the source said. “Saudi doesn’t want to find itself any longer in a situation where it is dependent.”
Malaysia is to set up a marine corps and establish a naval base close to waters claimed by China, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said in a statement. According to the statement, the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) base will be established at Bintulu on the South China Sea (SCS) to protect the surrounding area and oil reserves. Unstated by the minister is the base’s proximity to James Shoal, which is 60 n miles away and was the location for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) exercises on that were the most recent example of China asserting its claims to most of the SCS.
Engaged in what they see as a life-and-death struggle for the future of the Middle East with arch-rival Iran, Saudi rulers are furious that the international body has taken no action over Syria, where they and Tehran back opposing sides. Like Washington’s other main Middle Eastern ally, Israel, the Saudis fear that President Barack Obama has in the process allowed mutual enemies to gain an upper hand. The alliance between the US, the biggest economy and most powerful democracy, and Saudi Arabia, the Islamic monarchy that dominates oil supplies, is not about to break.
India’s alleged involvement in illicit nuclear trade networks came under fire in a detailed report issued by a major security-focused think tank here, the Institute for Science and International Security. According to ISIS India was in fact among a group of “illicit nuclear trade suppliers of concern,” including China, Pakistan, Brazil, Turkey, Russia and a host of “rogue states” such as Iran, North Korea, Syria “and possibly a Khan-type network.” It also pulled no punches in emphasising that India benefitted from the Abdul Qadeer Khan nuclear smuggling network which was “exposed and rolled up in 2003 and 2004,”.
Libya’s south-western region of Fezzan declared itself on Thursday an autonomous federal province, Al Arabiya correspondent reported.
Nouri Mohammad al-Qouizi was named as the president of the province, according to Libyan media reports. Local tribal leaders said military chief would later be appointed to protect the region’s borders and its natural resources.The move came a month after Cyrenai, in eastern Libya, took a similar step declaring itself also an autonomous federal province.
It sounds like a doomsday scenario drawn up by strategists at the height of the Cold War. Chinese armies move south into the Korean peninsula and collide with American and South Korean forces moving north. The resulting clashes spark war between nuclear-armed superpowers. A new report says such a confrontation is still a real danger in the event of a sudden collapse of the North Korean regime. The report produced by the US research institute, the Rand Corporation, says that North Korea is a failing state that could fall apart at any moment.
India successfully test-fired for a second time a nuclear-capable missile on Sunday that can reach Beijing and much of Europe, bringing a step closer production of a weapon designed to strengthen its nuclear deterrent. India is trying to keep up with China’s growing military strength and wants to have a viable deterrent against its larger nuclear-armed neighbor. The two countries have generally warm relations, but they fought a brief Himalayan war in 1962 and a buildup of conventional defenses along their disputed border is a source of tension.
The National Command Authority (NCA) decided to further develop the country’s nuclear weapons programme for preserving “full spectrum deterrence” against any possible external aggression. The decision was taken at a meeting of the NCA— the principal policy making body on the research, development, production, use and security of the nuclear programme. This was Mr Sharif’s first session on the nuclear policy after returning to the prime minister’s office in June for a third term. The prime minister had in his second tenure rejected all international pressure and conducted nuclear tests in 1998 in response to Indian nuclear tests.
The future is bleak. “Americans today conduct a colossally militarised but morally nugatory global mission supported by apparent majorities of the political, intellectual, and academic elites of the nation. It has lacked from the very beginning an attainable goal. It cannot succeed. George W. Bush is quoted by Bob Woodward as having said that American strategy was ‘to create chaos, to create vacuum’, in his enemies’ countries. This was very unwise. The United States risks becoming such a strategy’s ultimate victim.”
The Egyptian military has begun operations to set up a 500meter wide and 10kilometre long buffer zone on its border with Gaza. Bulldozers have knocked down some of the houses in the area but residents are complaining that they have neither received eviction notices nor compensations. According to sources, the operation is aimed at reducing weapon smuggling and illegal militant crossings along the border. Tunnels are also being destroyed. Cairo is trying to assert its authority in the turbulent northern Sinai Peninsula.
NEITHER Kevin Rudd nor Tony Abbott will talk of armed intervention in the Syrian crisis, but Australian officers are already working with US allies on a plan if one is needed. Mr Rudd also reiterated Australia’s major alliance with the United States, where Australian military officers are working alongside the the US military in the Pentagon to help draw up war plans for an American-led intervention. Senior officers in Canberra have demanded updated intelligence briefings on the situation. That material includes top-secret human intelligence summaries from Australian and allied spies in the field and hi-tech signals intelligence collected by satellites and other interception methods, including radio and phone traffic.
A government panel on security issues will propose that Japan defend not only the United States but also other allied nations under attack by exercising its right of collective self-defense, the panel’s acting chairman said Tuesday. Shinichi Kitaoka, who also serves as president of the International University of Japan, said in an interview with Kyodo News the panel will state in its report that Japan can exercise the right when “countries with close ties (with it)” are under attack and it is deemed to do harm to Japan. Kitaoka indicated the panel will not specify which country to defend in the upcoming report as withholding such details would be helpful in maintaining deterrence.
Israel Defense Forces setting up new entities to deal with new strategic situation in the Middle East • Operational concept may include pinpoint actions, similar to recent ones in Syria and Egypt that foreign sources have attributed to Israel. Despite budget cuts and the elimination of some units, the Israel Defense Forces in recent months has been setting up entities that will be tasked with fighting what the IDF calls “the battles between the wars.” The Military Intelligence Directorate, Depth Corps and Operations Directorate are involved in the reorganization process. “The battles between the wars” is a new term coined by the IDF several months ago, and encompasses a dynamic military and political campaign.
Since Pakistan announced the first test of the 60-kilometer Nasr ballistic missile in 2011, there is an implicit assumption in Western writings that India will respond to the Pakistani move toward tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) with similar weapons of its own. However, this is precisely what India’s response should not be, and is unlikely to be, if the country and the rest of the international community correctly read the signals from Rawalpindi. The primary task of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons is not to deter India’s nuclear weapons but to avoid having to engage a superior military capability. Pakistan believes that its low nuclear threshold constrains India from militarily punishing it.
Now, have the massive, multi-ethnic superpowers of the modern world really reached their breaking point? The answer’s a big, emphatic no. While there’s certainly no shortage of secessionist claims in Russia, China, and the surrounding geopolitical region they dabble in, it’s unlikely we’ll see any new (internationally recognized) countries emerge from the Caucuses or Central Asia. A major precedent — any one secessionist success story — could set off new fervor in any number of independence-minded areas that could radically undermine the neighborhood superpowers’ international standing.
Egypt and her strategic waterways are the heart of the Arab economy. Wars have been waged in the past based upon these important straits. If Egypt falls to militarism or radical Islam like its neighbors Sudan and Libya, numerous Arab and western nations will suffer massive economic loss. You can have unlimited oil and LNG on hand but you need safe shipping routes in which to transport it. With this understanding Egypt is not truly sovereign and that is why it is in a constant state of flux. Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran and other actors and countries are in the midst of a covert battle royal to influence Egyptian affairs.
The suspension of Tunisia’s transitional parliament could bring the birthplace of the Arab Spring uprisings closer to an “Egyptian scenario” in which the secular opposition topples an Islamist-led government, analysts and politicians say.
The biggest shock to the ruling Ennahda party, the Tunisian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, may be that the latest blow came from one of its own secular allies – a sign of rising polarisation between Islamist and secular forces.
The United States has expressed concern about Japan’s desire to acquire the ability to attack enemy bases in an overhaul of its defense policies pursued by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a government source said in Tokyo. One of the American officials attending bilateral talks on foreign and defense policy cooperation late last month in Tokyo asked the Japanese side to consider the possible negative fallout on neighboring countries if Abe’s administration embarks on such a policy shift.
South and East Asia have become the world’s major oil consumers, but they lack the supply. Energy security thus lies at the heart of Asia’s economic transformation, prosperity and development. Jean-Pierre Lehmann and Suddha Chakravartti explain how China, India and their smaller neighboring economies are scrambling to find ways to secure and deliver enough oil from suppliers to consumers. The vastness and heterogeneity of Asia contrast with the relative compactness and homogeneity of Europe. Nevertheless, Asia does exist as a geopolitical, geo-economic and analytical entity.
Faced with continuing cross border incursions by smugglers and terrorists, Libya and Algeria have decided to activate the Joint Commission agreed last year. Security is a major aspect of its anticipated work, although it is supposed to cover a much wider field, including political and economic collaboration.
The decision to activate the commission was taken at a meeting in the Algerian capital yesterday between the Prime Minister, Ali Zeidan, and his Algerian counterpart, Abdelmalek Sellal and the Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci.
Amid a spate of incursions by China in Ladakh, its troops are also resorting to tactics like preventing the Indian Army from patrolling posts in this sector along the border which was well within India’s territory. In what is being described as an aggressive approach by China, the tactics have come to the fore in the wake of yet another incident last week when Indian troops launched its patrol “Tiranga” from Trade Junction area in North of Ladakh for two posts located 14 km up in the higher reaches along the LAC.
Taiwan has earmarked $110 million for the construction of a pier on Spratlys’ Taiping Island, which the Philippines has also laid claims, set to be completed by 2015. The new project can hold frigates, radar-evading corvettes and Taiwanese Navy’s Kuang Hua VI-class missile boats, according to reports by Taiwanese media on Monday. Taiping, largest among the Spratlys Islands in the disputed South China Sea, is the only territory that has fresh water. It has been administered by the Taiwanese government officially since the 1970s.
The American who leads the leading edge of our sword in the Pacific — the Air Force — worries that China‘s sometimes “aggressive approach” in using its fighters, bombers and ships to signal its territorial claims across the Pacific creates “the potential” for a serious incident in the region. But Air Force Gen. Herb “Hawk” Carlisle carefully calibrated his response, praising the “professionalism” of the pilots engaged in the cat and mouse game across the Pacific.
The Philippines plans to relocate major air force and navy camps to a former U.S. naval base northwest of Manila to gain faster access to waters being contested by China in the South China Sea, according to the country’s defense chief and a confidential government report. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Sunday that as soon as relocation funds are available the government plans to transfer air force and naval forces and their fleets of aircraft and warships to Subic Bay, which has become a busy free port since the 1992 departure of the U.S. Navy.
Early Warning System (EWS), and its adjunct, Early Response (ER) have had their origins since olden times when in primitive societies people were keen to know about future untoward developments that could cause harm and destruction to their peaceful way of life. However after the World War II, the concept matured and saw its application and practice in a more systematic way. Following globalisation and increased use of technology the ability to forecast incipient disasters (natural and man-made) together with social conflicts these EWS have considerably improved.
I am astonished by how little the media has covered the ongoing protests in Bahrain, Kuwait, and eastern Saudi Arabia. You would think that the oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council states would be under a microscope, because what happens there immediately affects oil prices. But large media corporations have opted not to cover events in these countries, so as not to cause market panic. And there is a lot to panic about. The Arab Spring, or something like it, in Bahrain is all about Sunni-Shia tensions. Bahraini Shia make up almost 70% of the country’s total population.
A long time corrupt, disconnected ruling party? Check. Contentious elections? Check. Allegations of voter fraud? Check. Ethnic and religious fault lines? Check. On the surface, two months after the closest election in Malaysian history, one in which the opposition coalition actually received more votes, the situation looks ripe for an uprising along the lines of Egypt or Tunisia, or even nearby Indonesia and Thailand. Instead, the country seems destined for more years of unequal, resource-driven, racially divisive policies.
Azerbaijan’s rapid arms build-up is cause for concern in the region, with some defence analysts warning that it heightens the risk of renewed conflict. President Ilham Aliyev frequently boasts of the amount of money his oil-rich state can afford to spend on weaponry. Appearing at a military parade in Baku on June 26. he took the opportunity to remind everyone that at 3.7 billion US dollars, annual defence expenditure is nearly twice the size of neighbouring Armenia’s entire government budget. A decade ago, Azerbaijan’s defence budget stood at 160 million dollars.
China’s new unified coast guard agency has gone into operation, state media reported yesterday amid maritime disputes with its neighbours, and experts said more ships will be armed as a result. The China Coast Guard integrates the functions of marine surveillance, the existing coast guard which came under the police, fisheries law enforcement and Customs’ anti-smuggling maritime police. The divisions “that were not allowed to be equipped with weapons can be armed now”, Yang Mian, professor of international relations at the Communication University of China
Dozens of people were injured in Cairo clashes Monday as the family of Mohamed Morsi said they plan to sue Egypt’s army chief for having “kidnapped” the ousted Islamist president.
Supporters and opponents of Morsi clashed in Tahrir Square, throwing rocks and firing birdshots, according to members of the emergency services. Police fired tear gas to disperse them.
Dozens of people were injured, medics said, in the clashes that erupted hours after hundreds of Morsi supporters held protests elsewhere in the Egyptian capital.
As was the case with the Balkans in 1914, on the eve of the First World War, the Eastern Mediterranean is now a pile of “kindling”, ready to trigger a larger explosion. Similar to the ball which deprived the life of Archduke Ferdinand, nobody can predict what could widen the conflict, but surely the possibility should not be ignored. Conflicts Sunni and Shiite boil. In the old sources of tension have been added and new, mainly for gas deposits claimed by Israel, Cyprus, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.
Even as the security establishment counters the pan-Indian network of Laskher-e-Taiba (LeT) and its indigenous arm Indian Mujahideen, the Pakistan-based terror outfit is busy opening another front close to the northeast region, along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border. Inputs with R&AW, India’s external intelligence agency, confirm that LeT and its over ground avatar, Jamaat ud Dawah (JuD), are working to extend their footprint along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border by riding piggyback on the sectarian violence targeted against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
The Taurus KEPD 350 air-to-surface missile can be carried by South Korean F-15K fighter jets, and is equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS) that allows a 480kg warhead to penetrate up to 6 metres of reinforced concrete. Joint German-Swedish venture TAURUS Systems, a collaboration between LFK-Lenkflugkörpersysteme GmbH and Saab Dynamics AB, produces the missiles. Theoretically, if launched from a fighter jet in airspace above the central South Korean city of Daejeon––home to ROK Military headquarters––the Taurus could “hit an underground bunker in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang,” Yonhap said.
India, China and Pakistan are vying for supremacy in weapon technology as never seen before. The inventory attained by the three is formidable. Kashmir is embroiled in these equations because a sharp tilt in one direction will influence an outcome on politics here. China has a vested interest in Kashmir as demonstrated not only by its belligerency on LAC with India and Ladakh but by stapled visa on passports from Kashmir and provoking inclusion of Indian administered parts of Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh in their official maps as Chinese territory.
The development of new safe havens for terrorism and transnational crime in the Sahel should be considered a threat to all European national interests, says think-tank. The ongoing crises in Syria and Egypt have marginalised the conflict in Mali in the western media. But the French-led military intervention in that country is facing a complex and challenging transitional period. The United Nations Special Envoy for the Sahel, Romano Prodi, recently warned the international community to “not forget the Sahel, or you will have more Malis if you do”.
Asserting that there has been no change in the attitude and policy of Pakistani military towards India, a former American diplomat has said the next frontier of conflict between the two nations could be Afghanistan.
“Afghanistan is going to be in mess after we leave. India’s equity are now deeply engaged in Afghanistan and danger is that the next frontier of India-Pak conflict is going to be in Afghanistan,” said Robert Blackwill, the former US Ambassador to India said.
As the military’s assault against Boko Haram and civilians in northern Nigeria continues, so too does the ongoing and underreported conflict in the villages around Jos, the capital of Plateau state in Nigeria’s Middle Belt. As in other parts of the Sahel stretching from Khartoum to Dakar, rivalries between ethnic groups, settlers and indigenes, herders and farmers, and religious groups overlap to create a kaleidoscope of insider and outsider identities. Resulting conflicts, in turn, create openings for international jihadist Islam, as in other parts of the Sahel.
The French government decided to provide the Lebanese army with heavy weapons to boost its military performance, a local newspaper reported on Monday. According to al-Joumhouria newspaper, a recent meeting held between French and Lebanese Defense Ministry officials discussed the matter. France decided in light of the meetings to supply the Lebanese army with anti-tank missiles and sophisticated surface-to-air missiles. Informed sources told the newspaper that Paris is “confident that the Lebanese army command is controlling the institution despite what rumors said.”
On July 1, 2013 Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) received another boost by the launch of a geostationary satellite. Though the rocket has a presumable reach of 6000 km but this apparently peaceful advancement in space has military potential. For instance, it is a step towards India’s gradually building anti-ballistic missile defense shield and enhancement of its reconnaissance potential. One wonders if this potential militarization of space will ultimately lead to weaponisation and compel New Delhi’s current and future adversaries to respond in letter and in spirit.
Scores of militants linked to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, now locked in an explosive confrontation with the Egyptian army over the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi, a Brotherhood leader, are reported to have moved into the Sinai Peninsula to fight the military.
They’re expected to join forces with jihadist groups linked to al-Qaida who have established bases in Sinai’s vast desert wastes since 2011 and are already clashing with Egyptian security forces.
How many nuclear weapons and delivery systems does a country need as an effective deterrent against the threats of attack? Finding an acceptable balance is critically important in Asia, where four of the world’s nine nuclear-armed states are located.Asia may be sliding into a nuclear arms race, aggravated by underlying tensions and mistrust. As one nuclear weapons state enlarges its arsenal, other regional atomic powers do the same. SIPRI estimated that China, India and Pakistan had each added about 10 warheads to their operational stockpiles in 2012.
An outburst of hostile rhetoric between Morocco and Algeria reflects a historic animosity rooted in irreconcilable differences over Western Sahara, with analysts saying political factors are reinforcing the deadlock despite some much-needed cooperation.
The decades-old rivalry between the Maghreb neighbours has resurfaced after Algeria’s ageing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in power for 13 years, suffered a mini-stroke and with Morocco’s coalition government on the brink of collapse.
As Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi digs in his heels despite calls for him to step down, roughly 500 U.S. Marines deployed to Italy and Spain are poised to react if their presence is needed to calm the brewing violence in the North African country, according to Stars and Stripes. Pentagon spokesman told reporters the Marines were ready, if needed, to respond to a crisis in the region: “We have taken steps to ensure our military is ready to respond to a range of contingencies.” CNN reports that 200 of the Marines in Italy and Spain are poised to be airborne within an hour of getting orders to deploy to Egypt
Preventing capital flight from banks in crisis-hit countries has been a priority for eurozone policy makers. But have they just shot themselves in the foot? At the height of the region’s debt problems, the amounts held by foreigners in banks in Spain, Italy and other eurozone “periphery” countries shrunk worryingly. Recent months have seen signs of improvement – thanks to a pledge by the European Central Bank to prevent a eurozone break-up, as well as government efforts to boost confidence in the banking system.
Libya is becoming an important transit hub for terrorists, constituting an “extremely dangerous” development in the region, an African Union leader said Tuesday on the sidelines of a regional security meeting in Algeria.
“I have many reports which say Libya has become an important transit hub for the main terrorist groups travelling from one country to another,” said Francisco Caetano Jose Madeira, the AU’s special representative in charge of counter terrorism.
American troops being deployed to Sinai this summer are doing so as part of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) peacekeeping force that has been present there since 1982, the armed forces said in an official statement Saturday. Reports had been circulating on Thursday on the Washington Times and state-run Al-Ahram websites that United States soldiers were being deployed on Egyptian soil to combat riots. Major Ahmed Shaaban told Daily News Egypt that such claims are inaccurate. “They are only training as a precautionary measure,” said Shaaban.
The battle over the Nile has already drawn neighboring countries into the dispute. Sudan and South Sudan have expressed their support for Ethiopia’s dam, while Somalia might show their allegiance to Egypt.
Earlier this month, Egyptian army officials arrived in Somalia to discuss revamping the Somalia National Army and building a possible Egyptian military base. It appears that if Egypt & Ethiopia do go to war, Egypt is relying on Somalia’s strategic location to attack Ethiopia. In order to do so, they will need to go through Somaliland first – with the help of Somalia.
Having recently found its way out of a political deadlock and having just terminated negotiations on a free-trade agreement with the European Union, Moldova is rattled by fears of a military confrontation. “Moldavia fears possible renewed military hostilities, says Moldovan daily Jurnal de Chişinău, on June 20, ahead of a parliamentary debate regarding “how to respond to the provocation of the authorities of Tiraspol,” the capital of the breakaway republic of Transnistria.
According to a draft law pertaining to the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), the intelligence agency will be authorized to not only keep records on people and obtain information about individuals from some public institutions, but also to conduct pre-emptive operations against possible threats inside and outside the country, Taraf daily maintained on Wednesday. The draft, which may well turn Turkey into a state controlled by an intelligence agency, would hugely do away with some democratic achievements Turkey has made in recent years.
Eastern European states had clearer goals in their 1990s transitions, writes Tony Barber. So it is in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, two-and-a-half years after the eruption of the Arab Spring, and so it was just over 20 years ago in central and eastern Europe after the fall of communism. The differences between the two regions are, for the most part, more striking than the similarities. In one fundamental respect, however, they have something in common: a period of transition in which the struggle for a settled constitutional and political order and economic progress is long and hard-fought.
This article discusses the shortcomings of violent social struggles – their relative exclusivity, vulnerability to foreign manipulation for geostrategic goals, and their likelihood (if successful) to establish similarly repressive and violent regimes to the ones they seek to overthrow. French philosopher Michel Foucault argues that the idea of ‘empowering’ somebody is misguided since power is already held within every one of us. It is the lack of recognition of this power that keeps us from making effective use of it.
China has, for the first time, attempted to spell out its strategy and plans to secure its interests in the Indian Ocean in its first “blue book” on the region, released here on Saturday. The blue book makes a case for China to deepen its economic engagements with the Indian Ocean Region’s (IOR) littoral states, but stresses that Beijing’s interests will be driven by commercial rather than military objectives. However, it warns that the Indian Ocean could end up “as an ocean of conflict and trouble” if countries like India, the U.S. and China failed to engage with each other more constructively as their interests begin to overlap.
So many devastating changes in the Middle East’s so-called ‘Arab Spring’ aftermath are being blamed on misguided US policies in many countries. This in-depth report reveals how Washington institutions allegedly groom destructive elements when attempting to destabilise nations. Their tentacles are now even touching Turkey’s fully-fledged democracy – one that has achieved economic transformation in only a decade, with tourism and foreign investment booming.
Damascus is the “Stalingrad” of Russian diplomacy. After years of geopolitical withdrawal, Moscow has chosen Syria as a way to revive its image of power in the world. “Not one step back” is the Kremlin’s new strategy, as it was for the Red Army along the banks of the Volga river during World War II.
The Libyan wound is still bleeding. Despite its economic interests in Libya, Moscow was not even invited to take part in the postwar negotiations. The same thing occurred in 1999, when the Kremlin did not oppose the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.
The Revolutionary Guards, a military force over 100,000 strong which also controls swathes of Iran’s economy, is widely assumed to have fixed the vote last time around, silenced those who protested and to be preparing to anoint a favoured candidate this year, having already narrowed down the field.
In an interview with ISNA news agency in January, Ali Saeedi, the Supreme Leader’s representative to the Revolutionary Guards, created an uproar when he said that it was the duty of the Guards to “engineer reasonable and logical elections”.
Any expansion of NATO to include Sweden and Finland would upset the balance of power and force Russia to respond, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday, underlining Moscow’s nerves over moves to bring the Western alliance closer to its border.
Speculation over Sweden mounted after it warned earlier this year that its defence capabilities were alarmingly limited. It was embarrassed in April when it could not respond to Russian military jets nearing its border, according to media reports. Finland shares a long boundary with Russia.
A highly-placed Israeli source informed me that the location of the secret base was Sdot Micha (also known as Tal Shahar), which already houses Israel’s Jericho 3 nuclear missiles. It is located near Beit Shemesh, 15 miles from Jerusalem. The source also informed me that the new facility was to be hardened and underground to withstand a nuclear attack. This means that Israel expects the site to be attacked by Iranian missiles once that country has nuclear capability.
As the United States pivots away from the Western world to face the burgeoning Pacific Rim, what wisdom can it carry over from its former stomping grounds to the new cockpit of geopolitics? Perhaps Washington can take a page out of Leopold Kohr’s book. The obscure Austrian philosopher once popularized the slogan “Small is Beautiful” — which has clearly never caught on in the States. Yet his theories on the importance of size in international relations might help Washington manage its decidedly outsized geopolitical challenges in Asia.
The UN Security Council yesterday voted to add more than 1,100 extra troops to the international peacekeeping force in Abyei amid new tensions between Sudan and South Sudan over the territory. The move comes after the killing of a tribal leader and an Ethiopian peacekeeper in the past month. The Security Council voted unanimously to increase the strength of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) to 5,326 troops following repeated demands by UN leader Ban Ki-moon. The previous force strength was 4,200 troops. All the troops come from Ethiopia.
Adam Adli, a student activist, was charged on May 23 under Malaysia’s Sedition Act for saying merely “you cheated in elections, we go for demonstrations”. Eighteen other people have been also detained by police, with three claiming injuries, for attending a vigil held in response to the activist’s detention. The next day, two opposition parliamentarians and a leading activist campaigning against the dominant ruling United Malays National Organization (UMNO) were arrested under the same law.
German Finance Minister Schaeuble warned on Tuesday that unless Europe wins the battle against youth unemployment, revolution is a distinct possibility.
The dreaded r-word came about as some corners push to reform the welfare standards to closely correlate with American standards. This would be a monumental mistake according the German finance minister. Youth unemployment as it stands now across the EU is at 25%, double the rate of older citizens.
After the pullout by Chinese troops from Daulat beg Oldi area of Ladakh, infrastructure development programme along the Line of Actual Control is expected to be stepped up besides beefing up of the presence of Indian Army there.
The government is also planning to give final clearance to a Rs. 84,000 crore army proposal for raising the Mountain Strike Corps along the northeastern borders which will include deployment of IAF assets as per Army’s plans, they said.
China should hit out when necessary to resolve rows over some shoals in the South China Sea that are unlawfully occupied by other countries, a Chinese scholar has urged.
“Diplomacy only leverages when backed by military might,” he said, questioning why China cannot make military moves now that the Renai Shoal and Scarborough Shoal are the sovereign territory of China? Since China’s marine power now is strong enough to protect national interests and rights, China should exercise its diplomatic and military clouts interactively to achieve its aim, he contended.
Venezuela’s president has ordered the creation of a new workers’ militia to defend the country’s “Bolivarian revolution” at a time when the government faces economic problems and political turmoil.
President Nicolas Maduro gave few details about the militia, including how many members it would consist of, but said it would be part of the Bolivarian Militia created by late President Hugo Chavez, which consists of roughly 120,000 volunteers. Analysts have said only about one-fourth of that force is combat ready.
On May 19, spokesman Abbas Araqchi of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran said his country “is ready to transparently help resolve the crisis in Bahrain through fair solutions.” Such assistance from Tehran would only take place “in response to a request by Bahraini King,” an official statement said.
The tensions have moved a rung over the last few days, after Iran officially condemned “a raid by Bahraini forces on the house of prominent Shia cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Ahmed Qassim.” The Iranian government denounced the raid as continued and deliberate violence on behalf of the Bahraini government against the Shia community.
Recent incidents in the Golan Heights continue to cast a shadow on the attitudes of Israeli leaders amid reports that Israel plans to carry out new strikes in Syria. These future attacks would be in fulfillment of Israel’s declared policy of preventing strategic weapons from being transferred through Syria to Hizbullah.
The Israeli leadership is trying to predict Syria’s reaction to any upcoming strikes, though Israeli circles purport that if the state were to carry out any attack, it would certainly be met with a Syrian response. Press reports pointed out that this comes in the context of the current tensions in the occupied Golan Heights, after the Syrian army opened fire at an Israeli patrol in the area.
The streets are so much darker now, since money for streetlights is rarely available to municipal governments. The national parks began closing down years ago. Some are already being subdivided and sold to the highest bidder. Reports on bridges crumbling or even collapsing are commonplace. The air in city after city hangs brown and heavy (and rates of childhood asthma and other lung diseases have shot up), because funding that would allow the enforcement of clean air standards by the Environmental Protection Agency is a distant memory. Public education has been cut to the bone, making good schools a luxury and, according to the Department of Education, two of every five students won’t graduate from high school.
The Serbs living in the north of Kosovo flatly refuse to abide by the agreement reached in Brussels, which makes them deprived of the Serbia’s citizenship in favor of becoming Kosovars, or the citizens of Kosovo. Soon they will face a military force called in to guarantee the fulfillment of Brussels accords. The formations of 525th US Army Battlefield Surveillance Brigade come to take part in the three-week-long exercises in Hohenfels, Germany. The future mission includes combat planning, preventing and putting down public unrest, evacuation of wounded and interaction with civil officials.
President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation has drawn a line in the sand over Syria, the government of which he is determined to protect from overthrow. Not since the end of the Cold War in 1991 has the Russian Bear asserted itself so forcefully beyond its borders in support of claims on great power status. In essence, Russia is attempting to play the role in Syria that France did in Algeria in the 1990s, of supporting the military government against rebels, many of them linked to political Islam.
A top U.S. Federal Reserve official urged the European Central Bank on Tuesday to consider employing a U.S.-style quantitative easing programme to counter slowing inflation and recession in the euro zone.
The ECB has engaged in bond purchases in the past but has always withdrawn an equivalent amount of money from markets to ensure its interventions are neutral for the money supply, fearful of stoking inflationary pressures. St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard recommended the ECB could consider quantitative easing (QE), or printing money for asset purchases.
Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas have fought their biggest battle yet for Syria’s beleaguered president, prompting international alarm that the civil war may spread and an urgent call for restraint from the US.
About 30 Hezbollah fighters were killed on Sunday, Syrian activists said, along with 20 Syrian troops and militiamen loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during the fiercest fighting this year in the rebel stronghold of Qusair, near the Lebanon border. That would be the highest daily loss for the Iranian-backed movement in Syria, highlighting how it is increasing its efforts to bolster al-Assad.
Gulf sultanate of Oman is set to buy a $2.1 billion missile system built by the U.S. Raytheon Co. as part of a U.S. drive to install a coordinated air-defense system linking the region’s Arab monarchies to counter Iran.
Details of the contract, including the type of system involved, have not been disclosed, but Oman has been in the market for a medium-range surface-to-air missile system for some time.U.S. officials traveling with Kerry say the deal will enhance the air-defense systems the United States has sold to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other allies in the gulf.
The quicksands of the Arabian Desert are notorious for swallowing up anyone trying to control the area. Historically, that’s what happened to Turkey, Britain, France, Russia and the US. Sooner or later, all discovered that instead of dominating the Middle East, they ended up being dominated by the region’s never-ending problems. And that may also be the fate of China, the latest power to be lured by the idea that it has to engage in Middle-Eastern diplomacy.
According to The Sunday Times, Syria has deployed advanced missiles carrying 500-kilogram (1100-pound) warheads with attack coordinates set for Tel Aviv. The report further suggests that spy satellites have been monitoring Syrian army movements and preparations to deploy the domestically produced Tishreen missiles. The missiles are reportedly being aimed at Tel Aviv and there are standing orders to fire them if Israel strikes Syria. Foreign media outlets claimed that Israel carried out two airstrikes in Syria earlier in the month, reportedly targeting advanced weapon shipments bound for Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah.
China’s all-weather fighter base in Tibet is now widening its range of options in the event of a conflict with India. Intelligence intercepts and satellite monitoring has confirmed that China may have to some extent overcome Tibet’s extreme altitude and temperatures to operationalise an all-weather airfield near the Tibetan capital Lhasa. The airfield is Gonkar, where China has deployed Su-27 fighters. Sources told CNN-IBN that the Gonkar airfield will enable Chinese fighters to widen their selection of Indian targets from Ladakh to Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh
Israel’s activity and presence in Azerbaijan on the northern border of Iran is aimed at exerting pressure on Iran and conducting security and intelligence activity against it and at getting prepared for the delusion of bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities….Because of its strategic location, Azerbaijan offers Israel a springboard for espionage, military activity, and assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists. The paper also refers to the military contracts signed between the two states, amounting to “$1.6 billion in defensive missiles and UAVs.”
“CNN” quoted security sources that said the US developed several plans, including military action against the attackers on the U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi in September last year.
The sources, who asked not to be identified, said U.S. forces made plans aimed at the arrest of the attackers on the U.S. consulate, through a variety of actions, including the transfer of U.S. ground forces into Libya to perform the operation.
THE GRAB on bank deposits that accompanied Cyprus’ bailout could be repeated elsewhere in the eurozone, and the bloc’s banking union may not be strong enough when it is introduced, Standard & Poor’s said yesterday.
“We believe that the events in Cyprus highlight the increased reluctance of financially stronger eurozone countries to make their taxpayers’ funds available to recapitalise banks outside their home jurisdictions,” the credit ratings agency said in a report. “For this reason, although the key features of the Cypriot banking system are not shared by other eurozone countries, we consider that the bail-in may indeed create a precedent.”
Offshore from Syria, Russia’s navy is conducting probably its largest naval deployment outside its own waters since the Soviet breakup. The Chinese navy is in another potential confrontation today with Japan in the East China Sea, and raising questions about where it is headed next.
But the BRIC nations as a whole—a force in the global economic conversation since the acronym was coined by Goldman Sachs to refer to the high-growth economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China—are becoming an increasing naval presence on the high seas.
The shale gas revolution has taken its time to arrive in Europe. But after years of watching the US plunge head-first into natural gas exploration and of reaping the rewards, Europe’s politicians are now deciding whether to join in.
The first major battleground for European natural gas exploration is likely to be in eastern Europe, where the prospect of greater energy security from Russia is a big issue. It is also possible to detect Cold War overtones to the approach taken by the US oil and gas industry and its government.
The recent discovery of oil and gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean off the Israeli, Cypriot and Lebanese coasts is a great boost to the independence and self-sufficiency of these countries.
But the discoveries also add to existing tensions between Israel and Lebanon as both are claiming the oil and gas reserves as their own. In April, natural gas from the Israeli Tamar reserve began to flow from an offshore rig in the Mediterranean Sea into Israel, giving the country the chance to hone its energy security and freedom.
Armenian Defence Minister Seyran Ohanyan has said that the armed forces have begun a large-scale upgrade of their hardware. He said that the military will receive new military hardware and types of weapons, and the existing hardware will be upgraded: “We are regularly making renewals in the army. Now we plan more-large scale efforts in this direction. These projects will also be conducted within the framework of establishing joint ventures with Russia and Poland.”