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.
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.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday announced a US$1.8-billion (S$2.26b) military upgrade to help defend his country’s maritime territory against “bullies”, amid an ever-worsening dispute with China.
The announcement came on the same day that the Philippines filed a protest with China over the “illegal and provocative” presence of a Chinese warship and two other vessels at a Filipino-claimed shoal in the disputed South China Sea. In thinly veiled comments referring to China, Aquino vowed during a speech to mark the navy’s 115th anniversary that the armed forces would be given the resources necessary to protect Philippine sovereignty.
The demise of the Roman Empire resulted from a combination of strategic overreach and excessive delegation of security responsibilities to newcomers. Without making undue comparisons, the question for the United States today is whether it can remain the world’s leading power while delegating to others or to technological tools the task of protecting its global influence. Drones and allies – non-human weapons and non-American soldiers – have become central to America’s military doctrine.
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.”
South Korea has placed Israeli precision-guided missiles capable of striking North Korean coastal artillery on its Yellow Sea border islands, a military official said Sunday.
“Dozens of Spike missiles and their launchers have recently been deployed on Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong islands,” an official for the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said. “They can destroy (North Korea’s) underground facilities and can pursue and strike moving targets.”
Russia remains concerned about the volatile situation in Afghanistan, fearing the return of the Taliban and other terrorist groups to power once the US-led coalition troops leave Afghanistan by the end of next year. Predicting instability in the violence-wracked country, Russia plans to deploy troops on the Tajik-Afghan border to prevent the spillover of violence into Russia. Moscow’s envoy to Kabul, Andrey Avetisyan, told Reuters that if Russia didn’t guard its border with Afghanistan, it might face multiple challenges, ranging from the transport of narcotics to terrorism, and therefore the only solution was to guard the border.
The U.S. has decided to modernize its tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, as well as in America. Experts are divided concerning how the move will affect the balance of strength in Europe. However, this is not the worst news for Russia.
According to The Guardian, when the programme is completed in 2019-2020, the American nuclear arsenal in Europe will get new high-precision nuclear warheads together with advanced delivery systems, especially stealth planes.
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.
Russia is engaged in a major buildup of both nuclear and conventional missile defense systems at the same time Moscow is seeking legal limits on U.S. missile defenses, according to U.S. officials.
The Russian military is developing and deploying an array of new and modernized anti-missile interceptors that are part of a strategic doctrine that calls for defending against what Moscow believes to be an increasing threat posed by offensive ballistic missiles, said U.S. officials with access to intelligence reports.
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.”
The Algerian army has deployed over 6,000 soldiers on its borders with Tunisia in order to deal with the “potential infiltration of armed Salafi groups”. The past few weeks have witnessed clashes between the Tunisian army and two groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
The Algerian air and ground forces charged with monitoring the eastern borders with Tunisia are working in coordination with the Tunisian authorities to pursue these two armed groups. The first group is holed up in the El Kef Mountains, and the second in Mount Alhaanbe in the Kasserine area bordering Tunisia.
Ahead of its President’s visit here from May 20, Afghanistan on Thursday said it was looking for enhanced defence cooperation with India, from where it was expecting supply of lethal and non-lethal military equipment.
The two sides will discuss a range of issues of mutual concern and interest and will discuss cooperation at a “critical time” for Afghanistan, which is witnessing the withdrawal of NATO combat troops, the envoy said.
India’s long-range maritime snooping and anti-submarine warfare capabilities will get a huge boost when the first of the eight contracted Poseidon-8I aircraft touches down at theArakkonam naval air station in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
Armed with deadly Harpoon Block-II missiles, MK-54 lightweight torpedoes, rockets and depth charges, these sensor and radar-packed aircraft will be the country’s “intelligent hawk eyes” over theIndian Ocean Region (IOR) that is increasingly getting militarized.
A new dynamic was introduced to the militarization of domestic law enforcement. By making a few subtle changes to a regulation in the U.S. Code titled “Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies” the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedent that has been in place for more than two centuries.
“Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances.”
Addressing the top commanders of the Indian Navy on Tuesday, Defence Minister A.K. Antony announced that additional naval bases and air stations are required to extend the Navy’s reach.
“Antony said the construction of additional bases and naval air stations in Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep & Minicoy Islands is necessary to further extend our operational reach,” said a Defence Ministry statement. India is concerned about the growing Chinese maritime presence in the Indian Ocean, said an Indian Navy official.
Defense Department spokesman George Little confirmed Monday that an element of the U.S. Marine unit in Spain moved over the weekend to Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily, Italy. Little said the unit is still on standby, but the move puts it closer to Libya if suddenly needed in Tripoli.
A unit of about 50 Marines has already been providing security at the embassy in Libya since January. Meanwhile, another unit, an elite response team based in Germany and assigned to AFRICOM, was put on alert last week.
Increasing presence of the Chinese maritime forces in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and disciplinary issues in the force are expected to be discussed by the top Navy brass in their commanders’ conference starting on Tuesday.
The Navy has been concerned over the increasing presence of Chinese navy’s submarines and other warships in the IOR. In a recent report submitted to the defence ministry, the Integrated Defence Staff headquarters had informed the government quoting the data by American agencies that 22 encounters of Chinese submarines have taken place outside its territorial waters in the IOR.
Libyans have played down reports of possible foreign intervention after news reports on Friday said the US has alerted special Marine units to be ready to respond to developments in the security situation in Libya.
Speaking to Libya Al-Hurra TV on Saturday, Mr. Mohamed Abdul Aziz the Libyan Foreign Minister denied the reports of American intervention in Libya and that he was aware that the both the US and Britain withdrew some unessential members of staff in their embassies.
The United States, which is trying to bring Syrian rebels and the Syrian government to the negotiating table, is now increasingly worried that Russia plans to sell a sophisticated air defense system to Syria, American officials said Wednesday.
Russia has a long history of selling arms to the Syrians and has a naval base in the country. But the delivery of the Russian S-300 missile batteries would represent a major qualitative advancement in Syria’s air defenses. The system is regarded as highly effective and would limit the ability of the United States and other nations to operate over Syrian airspace or impose a no-fly zone.
Addressing the Russian National Security Council meeting on May 8, President Vladimir Putin said that the forthcoming departure of U.S. and coalition forces from Afghanistan confronts Russia with a more precarious situation on its southern borders. Valery Gerasimov, Russia’s chief of the General Staff since November 2012, who was also present at the meeting, had announced last month the formation of a Special Operations Command — Russia’s version of SOCOM.
In spite of all obstacles, a major breakthrough is required to end the current nuclear deadlock in the region, where Israel is the only atomic power, though the Iranian nuclear programme continues to draw attention – and sanctions – in Western countries. Should such a breakthrough not happen, Egypt and Arab countries may withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which they were pushed to join in 1995 in exchange of U.S. promises to free the Middle East from atomic warheads, Israeli nuclear arsenal included.
SP-MAGTF CR comprises a rotational contingent of approximately 500 Marines, sailors and support elements sourced from a variety of Marine Corps units. It will report to the head of Africom, Army General David Rodriguez.
“The intent for the crisis-response force is just that. … It’s to move in and offset whatever challenges there are to our national interests,” Marine Lieutenant General Richard Tryon, deputy commandant for plans, policies and operations told the Marine Corps Times last month.
As the United States is drawing up plans to reduce and revamp its military presence in Central Asia and while Russia answers increasingly desperate calls for help in the region on military matters, France announced that it is beginning to dismantle its 11 year old military air presence in Tajikistan.
The force of about 230 service members, which is assigned to operational transportation is now in the process of leaving the country, but a small force of specialists will remain in Dushanbe until some time next year when they finish upgrading the runway at the Dushanbe Airport.
Syria has deployed missile defence batteries towards Israel in response to an alleged Israeli attack that targeted a Syrian army facility in the capital Damascus. The pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV cited security sources as saying that Syria will also provide the Lebanese Hezbollah with “new qualitative weaponry”.
A statement issued after an emergency cabinet meeting Sunday said that Israel’s attack “opens the door widely before all eventualities”, Xinhua reported. “Syria will not accept its sovereignty to be infringed upon either at home or abroad,” the statement said.
Thank you so much for inviting me to join you today. At the State Department, I am responsible for overseeing a wide range of defense policy issues, including missile defense policy. In this capacity, it was my responsibility and privilege to negotiate the details of the Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) agreements with Poland, Romania, and Turkey that will enable the United States to implement the European Phased Adaptive Approach (or EPAA), the U.S. contribution to NATO missile defense.
The army on Wednesday briefed the UPA government on the standoff with China in eastern Ladakh, giving it a slew of options to deal with the Chinese incursion, including a proposal to increase troop levels on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Indian soldiers have been eyeball-to-eyeball with the Chinese in the Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) sector since April 15, after Chinese soldiers pitched tents 19km inside the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control. Army sources have maintained that it is possible to cut off the supply lines of Chinese troops, but some in the military establishment believe it could escalate tensions along the disputed border.
BJP today cautioned that the Chinese incursions into Indian territory in Ladakh could snowball into a “Kargil-like” situation and urged the government to take the issue seriously instead of treating it as merely a local issue. “The Prime Minister has said the incursions in Ladakh are a localised issue. To say so is wrong. After all, what had happened in Kargil?” BJP Vice-President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters. Incidentally, NDA was in power when the Kargil conflict took place in 1999. The then government was taken by surprise when the incursions from Pakistan were detected. Naqvi said India should give up its “confused and contradictory” policy towards China and take some serious measures.
The United States may be deploying 10 additional troops to Mali, but that’s just a drop in the bucket of the U.S. military’s presence in Africa, which has been quietly building for the last decade. You’ve probably heard about the 2,000-troop hub at Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti, and the 100 special operators hunting Joseph Kony. But less is known about the handful of U.S. drone bases scattered across the continent and the dozens of exercises involving hundreds, if not thousands, of American troops (Click the placemarks on the map above for a quick description of what U.S. troops are doing in each country.)
Three U.S.-made Patriot antimissile air defense batteries will be deployed in southern Taiwan, in addition to the one already in northern Taiwan, said the Deputy Defense Minister Andrew Yang. Responding to lawmakers’ questions in the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign and National Defense Committee, Yang said the three Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile batteries will be used to boost the country’s defense capability. The PAC-3 missile batteries, part of a US$6.4 billion arms package supplied by the United States in recent years, will be deployed in southern Taiwan, he said.
Blue-helmeted United Nations peacekeepers deployed in African countries may soon have a new tool in their arsenal: the surveillance drone. Drones are heading to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of an intervention force to root out the rebel groups that have destabilized the region for years. Experts say unarmed drones could give often-beleaguered peacekeepers an edge in missions where they can be outfoxed by guerrillas, who often have greater numbers and more local knowledge than UN forces possess.
China has allegedly sold helicopter gunships to ethnic Wa rebels who occupy areas of Shan State in eastern Burma, intelligence monitor Jane’s Information Group reported on Monday.
The report claimed China “delivered several Mil Mi-17 ‘Hip’ medium- transport helicopters armed with TY-90 air-to-air missiles to the Wa in late February and early March, according to both Myanmar ethnic minority and Myanmar government sources.” Bertil Lintner, an expert on Burma and author of Great Game East: India, China and the Struggle for Asia’s Most Volatile Frontier, confirmed the accuracy of the Jane’s report.
The current tensions on the disputed India-China border – known delightfully for its vagueness as the ‘Line of Actual Control’ – in the western sector of the Ladakh region bordering China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region hark back to the scenario five decades ago when little skirmishes snowballed into a major outbreak of hostility. Fortunately, however, this time around there is a fundamental difference, too, which obviates the danger of a catastrophic slide to armed conflict. On a systemic plane, there are disquieting signs that the Indian establishment has not been pulling together on the country’s China policy and this disconnect, which has been suspected through the recent past, threatens to introduce its own disharmony.
Is Britain quietly re-establishing a permanent, strategic military presence in the Middle East, reversing a 1960s decision to withdraw UK forces from “east of Suez”? It is a question posed and addressed in a detailed report published on Monday by Whitehall think tank the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi).
“It may not yet be declared government policy,” says Rusi director Prof Michael Clarke, in the foreword. “But the UK appears to be approaching a decision point where a significant strategic reorientation of its defence and security towards the Gulf is both plausible and logical.” In practice this has already begun.
The Frenchmen will start their shift on April the 30th, and will use the base in Šauliai as their central base. So far, for last four month it was possible to see in Baltic sky F – 16 fighters that were in use by the Danish air forces that were in the region since January first. So far, since the Baltic countries became to be members of NATO forces, 14 different NATO members sent their air forces to protect the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian air borders. The Baltic countries are not able to built their own strong air forces, therefore they are under protect of the other NATO members.
The Balochistan government has decided to deploy army in all districts of the province during upcoming general elections. In a media interview Sunday, Secretary Interior Balochistan Akbar Hussain Durrani said army would be deployed in all 30 districts and 92 tehsils of the province to cope up with any untoward situation. He said a total of 70 thousand security personnel would be deployed, including 6000 from Army, 17000 from FC, 20,000 from Police, 17,000 from Levies, and 10,000 from Balochistan Constabulary.
U.S. commanders have laid out a range of possible options for military involvement in Syria, but they have made it clear that any action will likely be either with NATO backing or with a coalition of nations similar to the NATO-led overthrow of Libyan dictator Col. Moammar Gadhafi.
On Thursday, U.S. officials said there has been no new movement of U.S. military assets to the region. The military options could include establishing a no-fly zone over or a secured area within Syria, launching airstrikes by drones and fighter jets and sending in tens of thousands of ground forces to secure the regime’s chemical weapons caches.
In 2013 Belarus and Russia will launch a program to prepare army units and a system to train control agencies and troops for radioelectronic warfare as part of the regional military force. The information was released by Belarusian Defense Minister Yuri Zhadobin after the session of the joint board of the Belarusian Defense Ministry and the Russian Defense Ministry on 23 April, BelTA has learned. According to the official, the session tabled the progress in implementing the second phase of the creation and development of the united radioelectronic warfare system.
The chief of staff of the Israel Defence Forces, Benny Gantz, recently pushed back against the idea that it was too late for Israel to act alone against Iran’s He felt comfortable making it because he knew that in a few days he would be welcoming a friend bearing gifts. And the gifts? Well, they are gifts the Iranian regime would prefer Israel didn’t possess: advanced radar packages that extend Israel’s ability to see east (and west, north and south, but east is what matters most at the moment), KC-135 refuelling tankers and V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor transport aircraft. The tankers will extend the range of Israel’s bombers, and the Ospreys are particularly useful for inserting commandos into enemy territory.
Russia plans to deploy fighter jets in Belarus this year and eventually establish an air base in the former Soviet republic, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday. The moves would increase Russia’s military presence in Belarus, viewed by Moscow as a buffer between Russia and NATO, and could unnerve neighboring members of the Western alliance.”We have begun considering the plan to create a Russian air base with fighter jets here,” Shoigu said at a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in the capital, Minsk.
Beijing has deployed near Taiwan a powerful missile designed to take out U.S. aircraft carriers as Beijing strengthens its ability to prevent U.S. forces from aiding Taiwan. The missile, designated the DF-21D, is one of a “growing number of conventionally armed” new weapons China is deploying to the region, adding to more than 1,200 short-range missiles opposite the island democracy, Flynn, the Defense Intelligence Agency director, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. The Dong Feng-21D is intended to give China “the capability to attack large ships, particularly aircraft carriers, in the western Pacific,” the Pentagon’s 2012 China report said.
How much of a role Canada should play in helping secure North America from missile attacks could be up for renewed debate. The Conservative government is believed to be facing a request by the United States to join an anti-ballistic missile shield. The request is coming as the Americans ramp up their own protection in response to increased tension with North Korea and Iran. In March, the Pentagon announced its intention to place 14 new ground-based missile interceptors in Alaska by 2017. That suggests the U.S. sees a threat to their northern territory as a possibility, raising the question of Canada’s exposure and also its responsibility.
China has established a national island surveillance and monitoring system and completed airborne remote-sensing surveillance of its 4,406 islands, according to the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR).
The national system is mainly built on aerial surveillance, with satellites, unmanned planes and cruisers as auxiliary instruments, the MLR said in its annual land resources report issued Saturday.
INTERPRETING any country’s pronouncements about its nuclear weapons can be a study in fine distinctions, but occasionally a state says — or fails to say — something in a clear break from the past. A Chinese white paper on defense, released on Tuesday, falls into this category and now demands our attention, because it omits a promise that China will never use nuclear weapons first. That explicit pledge had been the cornerstone of Beijing’s stated nuclear policy for the last half-century. The white paper, however, introduces ambiguity. It endorses the use of nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear attack but does not rule out other uses.
When National Security Council head Yaakov Amidror arrives in Turkey on Sunday to discuss compensation for flotilla victims, he will also be seeking to lay the groundwork for the stationing of Israeli fighter jets in an airbase near Ankara, ahead of a possible strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, the Sunday Times reported.
“Until the recent crisis, Turkey was our biggest aircraft carrier,” an Israeli military source told the London-based publication. “Using the Turkish airbases could make the difference between success and failure once a showdown with Iran gets underway.”
The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) with embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11 departed Naval Air Station North Island April 19 and will join up with San Diego-based guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) for a scheduled Western Pacific deployment, the U.S. Navy said.
Nimitz left its homeport of Naval Station Everett, Wash., March 29 to join Princeton and CVW 11 for a Sustainment Exercise (SUSTEX) in preparation for their deployment. The Commander, U.S. Third Fleet-led exercise ensured the deployment readiness of key operational components of the strike group after a delay in deployment as a result of an emergent maintenance requirement.
Attack helicopters circled as soldiers prepared for an invasion – at Carlisle Airport. Heavily-armed, camouflage-clad troops were loaded into the back of a Chinook helicopter, supported by the Apache gunships ready for a battle over the border. The battleground scenes were played out at the airport, but there was no reason for people nearby to be alarmed – it was all just an exercise. The Royal Netherlands Air Force were conducting a training exercise from airfield as they went through an imaginary scenario. The story read something like a video game – a central European country had invaded a another country over waters, and the Dutch Air Force were in the separation zone ready to strike.
An unnamed Jordan source said the U.S. military agreed on Friday to the country’s request to put Patriot missile batteries along the border with Syria.
A London newspaper quoting the Jordan source said the United States was sending two Patriot missile batteries to the area, The Times ofIsrael reported. The source also said the Patriot missile batteries would be transferred from sites in Qatar and Kuwait, and placed in strategic border spots that could best serve – and protect – the kingdom.
The United States is footing more of the bill for overseas bases in Germany, Japan and South Korea even as the military reduces the number of American troops in Europe and strategically repositions forces in Asia, a congressional report says.
The exhaustive, yearlong investigation by the Senate Armed Services Committee focused on costs and burden-sharing as the United States spends more than $10 billion a year to back up the US military presence overseas, with 70 percent of the amount expended in the three nations. The figure does not include military personnel costs.
The Pentagon is sending about 200 soldiers from a U.S. Army headquarters unit to Jordan to assist efforts to contain violence along the Syrian border and plan for any operations needed to ensure the safety of chemical weapons in Syria, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Congress Wednesday.
The decision to dispatch the 1st Armored Division troops of planners and specialists in intelligence, logistics and operations comes as several lawmakers pressed the Obama administration for even more aggressive steps to end the two-year civil war.The Pentagon leaders made clear that the situation is extremely complicated and they must be certain of the endgame before any military step to try to end the bloodshed.
Disclosing its strength for the first time, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the world’s largest active military, today said its troops totalled 1.483 million, excluding its missiles division. An annual white paper revealing the details of the 2.3 million strong PLA’s actual number of troops in the army, navy and air force, omitted the number of personnel in its Strategic Command Division, the Second Artillery Force, which handled its nuclear and ballistic missiles. Defence analysts who scrutinised the document said here that 2.3 million is stated to be a realistic figure as the paper did not include the numbers of PLA’s Second Artillery, the main missile unit of the Chinese military that comprises of large personnel and mobile missile units.
The 2008 war with Georgia allowed Russia to greatly enhance its already considerable military presence. Russian officials say there are roughly 5,000 Russian personnel in Abkhazia: 3,500 military and 1,500 Federal Security Service (FSB) officers and “border guards”. Moscow allocated $465 million over four years to the rehabilitation and construction of military infrastructure. This included work on Bombora, the largest military airfield in the South Caucasus, in Gudauta. Though Russian media sources describe significant weapons at the base, Western military officials in late 2012 said intelligence indicated only four fighter craft there on a regular basis – two Sukhoi 27s and two MiG-29s.
The east coast is to bear witness to one of the largest tactical military training exercises Europe has seen. More than 40 warships from the UK and its European allies, along with 30 fixed-wing aircraft and 30 helicopters, will storm the east coast in a massive training exercise starting on Friday morning.
The exercise, codenamed Joint Warrior, will kick off at 10am and will aim to put Nato’s Response Force Task Group to the test through a series of manoeuvres across the east and west coast of Scotland over the next three weeks.
After successful demonstrations of UAV shootdowns by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy, the Navy looks to put laser systems to the test in the real world, installing a laser defense system on the U.S.S. Ponce. The U.S.S. Ponce is an amphibious transport dock class vessel used in joint land-sea operations with the U.S. Marines. The vessel was originally commissioned in 1971, built by Lockheed’s Lockheed Shipbuilding unit (which closed prior to Lockheed’s merger to become Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)).
“We understand what kind of regime North Korea is, but we also understand that North Korea is playing games,” said Sun Zhe, director of the Center for U.S-China Relations at Beijing’s Tsinghua University.
“Most importantly, we are complaining that the United States is using military drills as an excuse to continue to do this (rebalancing), putting up B-2s and other advanced weapons systems,” he said. B-2 and B-52 bombers, radar-evading F-22s and anti-missile system vessels like the USS John S. McCain represented the initial U.S. response to North Korea
JAPAN has announced it is deploying Patriot missile interceptors around Tokyo as a precaution against North Korea’s nuclear threats. The Patriot missiles – an advanced version of the interceptor of Gulf War fame – are being moved to key locations around Japan’s capital city, including the defense ministry headquarters. Other key military bases on the Japanese mainland are also taking similar precautionary measures, reports indicate. Japan’s defense minister has also reportedly put destroyers with missile interception systems on alert in the Sea of Japan.
While aggressive war, drone strikes, and a global network of military bases are the most visible aspects of American hegemonic power, what is often overlooked is the U.S. policy of training, assisting, and subsidizing foreign militaries. Although these actions are largely covert and discreet, they serve the same purpose of hegemonic control, diminish peace and national security, and help contribute to the subjugation of foreign citizens. In nearly every continent, the U.S. taught extremely fascistic, right-wing governments the art of cracking down on domestic dissent, jailing and torturing political opponents, centralizing power, making deals beneficial to American corporations, and employing death squads.
The Pentagon has deployed a new missile defense system to Guam following threats of an attack from North Korea, which Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel classified on Wednesday as “a real and clear danger.” A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) System, which defends against ballistic missiles, will arrive in Guam in the coming weeks as a “precautionary move to strengthen our regional defense posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat,” according to a Defense Department release. The isolated island in the Pacific is home to U.S. Naval Base Guam, providing a key stopover point for the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Cheap drones made in China could end up arming potential U.S. foes such as North Korea, Iran and terrorist organizations. China already makes drones that don’t quite match up to U.S. military drones, but for a fraction of the cost. The Chinese military envisions such unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAVs) scouting out battlefield targets, guiding missile and artillery strikes, and swarming potential adversaries, such as U.S. carrier battle groups. “In whatever future conflict scenario we’re in five or 10 years from now, the proliferation of UAVs is going to complicate things for the U.S. military,” said Ian Easton, a research fellow at the Project 2049 Institute.
At the same time, the Japanese public has more fully embraced the once-discredited Self-Defense Forces. That is in part because of anxiety over China and North Korea, but also because of the military’s prominent humanitarian presence after the 2011 tsunami.
The reality of the changing geopolitics was not lost on the Japanese officers who watched their soldiers scrambling up San Clemente’s grassy hills. They acknowledged they were learning tactics from the Marines, who developed them during their island-hopping campaign in the Pacific against Imperial Japan.
China continued moving tanks and armored vehicles and flying flights near North Korea this week as part of a military buildup in the northeastern part of the country that U.S. officials say is related to the crisis with North Korea. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troop and tank movements were reported in Daqing, located in northeastern Heilongjiang Province, and in the border city of Shenyang, in Liaoning Province. According to U.S. officials with access to intelligence reports, both intelligence and Internet reports from the region over the past week revealed the modest military movements in the border region that began in mid-March and are continuing.
Israel’s huge new offshore gas resource offers its enemies an obvious target and gives its navy, long overshadowed by other branches of the Israeli armed forces, a big job that will require extra spending.On patrol boat 836, circling two gas platforms in choppy Mediterranean waters, Captain Ilan Lavi flipped through pictures of the possible threats: boat bombs, drones, submarine vessels, rockets and missiles. “We have to build an entire new defensive envelope,” said Lavi, head of the navy’s planning department who talks as knowledgeably about the financial aspects of the gas industry as he does about security.
South Korea’s defense ministry unveiled Monday a new contingency plan of “active deterrence” that allows its military to launch a preemptive strike against North Korea if the North shows signs of an imminent nuclear or missile attack on the South. The new contingency plan was outlined in an annual policy briefing by Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin to President Park Geun-hye amid heightened tensions over the escalation of North Korea’s bellicose rhetoric against Seoul and Washington.
North Korea’s Feb. 12 nuclear test and continued military threats have sparked calls for Seoul to take a tougher stance against the secluded regime including enhanced nuclear deterrence. One of the most controversial issues is conservatives’ renewed proposal to redeploy tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea. Unlike strategic nuclear weapons that are designed to act as deterrence to war or to damage the opponent’s war capabilities, tactical nuclear weapons are built for use on a battlefield.
In order to further strengthen the defence of Gwadar Port and to enhance the security of vital PN assets and installations along the western coasts, Pakistan Navy has achieved a significant milestone by commissioning the 3rd Pak Marines Battalion. The commissioning ceremony was held today at Gwadar. Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Muhammad Shafiq was the chief guest on the occasion. Addressing the ceremony, the chief guest said that at present the country is faced with internal and external threats, which makes security today’s main concern.
China and Pakistan reached a formal agreement last month to construct a third nuclear reactor at Chashma that the Obama administration says will violate Beijing’s promises under an international anti-nuclear weapons accord.
The reactor deal had been in the works for several years and prompted high-level U.S. government efforts to block the sale because of concerns it will boost Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.
China has become the world’s fifth-largest arms exporter, a respected Sweden-based think tank said on Monday, its highest ranking since the Cold War, with Pakistan the main recipient.
China’s volume of weapons exports between 2008 and 2012 rose 162 percent compared to the previous five year period, with its share of the global arms trade rising from 2 percent to 5 percent, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said. China replaces Britain in the top five arms-dealing countries between 2008 and 2012, a group dominated by the United States and Russia, which accounted for 30 percent and 26 percent of weapons exports, SIPRI said.
Iran has significantly stepped up military support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in recent months, solidifying its position alongside Russia as the government’s lifeline in an increasingly sectarian civil war, Western diplomats said.
Iran’s acceleration of support for Assad suggests the Syrian war is entering a new phase in which Iran may be trying to end the battlefield stalemate by redoubling its commitment to Assad and offering Syria’s increasingly isolated government a crucial lifeline, the envoys said.
French President Francois Hollande on Thursday called on Europe’s leaders to lift an arms embargo on Syria to help insurgents fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. “We are ready to support the rebellion, so we are ready to go this far. We must take our responsibilities,” Hollande told journalists.
Noting that countries including Russia were providing arms to Assad’s regime, Hollande said France “must convince its European partners” to tip the balance by ending the embargo, although the issue was not on the agenda for the Brussels summit.
North Korea seems to have taken “initial steps” to deploy mobile long-range missiles, the head of the U.S. intelligence community said Tuesday, as the unpredictable communist nation churns out military threats.
“Last April it displayed what appears to be a rogue mobile intercontinental ballistic missile,” James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, said at a Senate hearing on national security challenges. “We believe North Korea has already taken initial steps towards fielding this system, although it remains untested.”
On Monday, South Korea and the United States began their annual war games and North Korea responded by following through on some of its latest threats. Thankfully, Seoul hasn’t been turned into a “sea of flames” and there are no nuclear weapons hurdling toward the U.S., but the country cut off its hotline with South Korea on Monday and announced in the state-run newspaper that the 1953 armistice agreement that ended the Korean War is no more. “Today, on March 11, the armistice agreement is annulled,” said the paper. “Every citizen is a soldier.”
Wary of China’s defence modernisation and infrastructure building in the Tibet Autonomous region, India will be raising a new formidable corps-sized formation of 30,000 infantry in the 13th Five-year Plan period that ends in 2022. This new infantry force will be over and above the new Mountain Strike Corps with nearly 40,000 soldiers that India will raise, to act as a counter to China, in the northeastern region. Independent infantry brigades and armoured brigades that are being raised to plug the operational gaps along the 4,057-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) and for building offensive capabilities against the giant neighbouring nation’s powerful military.
Polish, Hungarian, Slovak and Czech defense ministers on Wednesday signed a letter of intent to form a battle group with soldiers from the Visegrád countries, which is to be a part of the European Union Rapid Reaction Force, Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said. The agreement was signed during the Visegrád Group (V4) summit in Warsaw, also attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande. The Visegrád battle group will have 3,000 servicemen, including 1,200 contributed by Poland.
Some lawmakers of the ruling Saenuri Party yesterday intensified their hardline stance on North Korea, calling on Seoul to establish its own nuclear deterrence capability to cope with the growing threat from Pyongyang.
“The only way to defend our survival would be to maintain a balance of terror that confronts nuclear with nuclear,” said Representative Shim Jae-cheol in a Supreme Council meeting held yesterday at the National Assembly in Yeouido, western Seoul. Shim was referring to the North’s continued provocation against the South and the international community by conducting its third nuclear test last Tuesday, following its long-range missile launch in December.
Saudi Arabia has financed a large purchase of infantry weapons from Croatia and quietly funneled them to antigovernment fighters in Syria in a drive to break the bloody stalemate that has allowed President Bashar al-Assad to cling to power, according to American and Western officials familiar with the purchases.
The arms transfers appeared to signal a shift among several governments to a more activist approach to assisting Syria’s armed opposition, in part as an effort to counter shipments of weapons from Iran to Mr. Assad’s forces.
THE cash-strapped Ministry of Defence was under fire last night after Britain renewed its membership of a European army agency at a cost of £3.3million. That is enough to run a battalion of more than 1,200 soldiers for a year or pay for the immediate repair of 300 decrepit Army homes.The decision has dumbfounded analysts and senior soldiers. Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, said: “Throwing £3.3million away on European defence when we are part of Nato and have no wish to ever join a pan-European army is indefensible in this age of austerity.
Japan and the United States have discussed installing an X-band early-warning radar system in Kyoto Prefecture to counter North Korea’s missile threat, informed sources have said.
The Air Self-Defense Force’s Kyogamisaki base in Kyotango has been selected as a candidate site for the deployment of the second X-band missile defense radar system in Japan, according to the sources. The first X-band system was installed at the ASDF’s Shariki base in Tsu-garu, Aomori Prefecture.
The balance of power in the world is changing, with many new power players emerging — in some cases re-emerging — with growing militaries that challenges U.S. interests in the world and highlight the increasing security challenges of the 21st century.
While the U.S. ponders cutting its military spending, her competitors and allies are ramping up their military strength to advance their interests in their part of the world and beyond. In Asia, China, Japan, and India stand as the leaders in military spending with an emphasis in quantity for the purpose of improving their standing and to uphold their national pride.
A number of countries might consider deploying nuclear weapons in outer space on the pretext of countering the danger of asteroids, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said.
“An undesirable effect of this might be that, under the guise of countering asteroids, some countries, which I prefer not to name, might use this as a pretext for deploying nuclear weapons in outer space,” Rogozin said at a ceremony marking Fatherland Defendants’ Day at Technology Museum outside Moscow on Saturday.
Some 4,000 Soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, out of Fort Riley, Kan., are training for realignment to U.S. Africa Command, expected later this year. The 2nd BCT, or “Dagger” Brigade as it is known, will be the first brigade to be regionally aligned to U.S. Africa Command, or AFRICOM. U.S. Pacific Command has had units regionally align to its area of responsibility with similar training at Fort Irwin earlier this year.
The Pentagon is also putting money into developing a new “afloat forward staging base” in the Pacific, which can be used for everything from counter-piracy to mine clearing to Special Operations Forces missions.
Perhaps most public is the move of 250 US Marines to Darwin, Australia, last April, with the promise of as many as 2,500 at any given time in the years to come. Also, some 85,000 US troops are currently stationed in South Korea and Japan.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is at the forefront of a regional push to build up domestic defense manufacturing capability to reduce reliance on imports that come with too many strings attached, analysts say.
Wary of non-Arab adversary Iran in a competition for regional predominance, and seeing an increased security threat from Islamist militants, Gulf Arab monarchies have some of the fastest growing military budgets in the world. The UAE has established a small defense industry that includes maritime security and defense-related services such as maintenance and repairs over the past two decades.
Small arms weaponry, ammunition and various other military equipment were among millions of pounds’ worth of goods exported last year from Britain to Sri Lanka under licences for arms and other closely regulated exports.
Statistics taken from the British government’s own database for strategic export controls show items ranging from assault rifles and shotguns through to weapons sights, pistols and ammunition were sold last year to the South Asian nation’s government, which has been accused of extensive human rights violations in relation to its treatment of its Tamil minority and the suppression of armed separatists, who have also been acused of abuses.
Faced with the growing power of China’s navy, the deployment of Taiwan’s self-developed Hsiung Feng III missiles will be expanded to its Lafayette-class and Knox-class frigates.
The supersonic anti-ship missile, designed by the military-run Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology after nearly two decades of research and development, is already in service on the Navy’s Perry-class frigate, the Chinchiang-class corvette and the Kuang Hua VI fast-attack missile craft. A military source who spoke on condition of anonymity said the military is planning to deploy the missiles on the Lafayettes and Knoxes between this and next year.
South Korea is reinforcing its defence against North Korea including executing a new warfare plan against its weapons of mass destruction and deploying new cruise missiles capable of striking any North Korean location, officials said Wednesday.
The Defence Ministry said it would unveil the new long-range missiles within the week. “We have developed and deployed a cruise missile system with world-class precision and destructive force that can strike any location in North Korea,” Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said.
Russia said Wednesday it was delivering military hardware and light weapons to the governments of Syria and Mali as it expands sales and maintains its footing in some of the world’s deadliest conflicts.
The head of Russia’s arms exporter Rosoboronexport, Anatoly Isaikin, said Russian deliveries to the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad included air defence systems but not the advanced Iskander missiles sought by Damascus. “We are continuing to fulfil our obligations on contracts for the delivery of military hardware,” Isaikin was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.
Tanks, one by one, moving along a main road in China’s coastal Fujian province. Driving up speculations that the Chinese military may be warming up for war. Local residents took these pictures between February 3 to February 6. At times, the line of tanks and artillery blocked traffic for several miles.
And it wasn’t just in Fujian province. These military vehicles were spotted further up the coast, in neighboring Zhejiang province. According to dissident website, molihua.org, these tanks in Hubei province are being transported from a military base to the coast.
“No one of us is ever going to be in a position to challenge China militarily,” one Vietnamese strategist said. “What we can do is create a strategic deterrent that would make them think very long and hard before contemplating even a limited conflict to enforce their claims. That’s what we are doing … as well as reminding China now and then that we would be prepared to fight to defend our sovereignty.”
Vietnam’s dynamic deputy defence minister, Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, has already stated, in a clear nod to China, that if any party escalated the dispute, “we would not stand by and watch”.
Taiwan has put into service a US-made billion-dollar early warning radar system capable of giving more than six minutes’ warning of a mainland missile attack, a senior officer said on Sunday.
The radar, on top of a mountain in the northern county of Hsinchu, started providing surveillance information after a ceremony presided over by the chief of the general staff, air force General Yen Ming, on Friday. “The radar is able to provide us with more than six minutes’ warning in preparation for any surprise attacks,” air force Lieutenant General Wu Wan-chiao said.
The Wa are Burma’s largest rebel group, estimated at up to 30,000 full and part-time fighters. Despite its professed policy of non-interference, military analysts say China has long been the largest supplier of weapons to the Wa, albeit unofficially. The Wa were one of several ethnic militias that formed after the 1989 breakup of the Burmese Communist Party. Beijing directly supported the communists and maintained relations with the newly formed rebel groups. Yale University Ph. D. candidate Josh Gordon said China has been particularly close with the Wa, who speak Chinese. The Wa are more or less a proxy of China, said Gordon.
The United States of America is planning to establish a drone base in Niger, a country sandwiched between Nigeria and Mali, two nations that have been under attack from Islamic militants.
The drone base, according to a report in last Sunday’s edition of the New York Times, will give the US military command increased unmanned surveillance missions on the activities of Boko Haram and other extremist groups in West Africa that are affiliated to Al Qaeda and other sectarian groups.
Residents told the Yemen Post on Sunday they saw French warplanes patrol the sky of the capital in a great show of strength, which they say they felt a bit “over the top” and slightly insulting to Yemen military potency. A retired General, Ali Mohsen Khawlani stressed that Yemen should have been put in charge of all security details . “Our armed forces are perfectly capable and well-trained. What kind of message does it send to see foreign troops invade our capital. Are we moving toward a military occupation? Did foreign powers come to announce they will divide Yemen into zones of influence?”
To beef up security around the Senkaku Islands, the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) will create a 600-member unit exclusively engaged in front-line missions in waters around the islands, where spotting Chinese vessels has become a daily operation, according to sources.
The JCG also plans to newly deploy 12 patrol ships in the area around the islands in Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture. Improved JCG functions are considered necessary to better handle possible intrusions by Chinese vessels into Japan’s territorial waters over a prolonged period.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel must prepare for the threat of a chemical attack from Syria as the army deployed its new Iron Dome anti- missile system near the border with its northern neighbor.
Netanyahu told members of the Cabinet during the weekly meeting in Jerusalem today that Israel faces dangers from throughout the Middle East. Top security officials held a special meeting last week to discuss what may happen to Syrian stocks of chemical weapons amid the civil unrest there, Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom told Army Radio.
On 11 January, China’s defence ministry confirmed that Chengdu J-10 fighters had been dispatched to keep an eye on two Boeing F-15 aircraft operated by Japan. According to its statement, the F-15s were trailing a Shaanxi Y-8 patrolling near a cluster of islands in the East China Sea that are contested by Beijing and Tokyo.
Irrespective of the merits of either party’s claim to these islands, neither side appears willing to back down. Although the prospect of an all-out war over what Tokyo calls the Senkaku and Beijing the Diaoyu islands is remote, any conflict that may develop would involve air combat – possibly on a large scale. This would lead to Japan’s historically strong air force being challenged by an ambitious newcomer.
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says France will accept nothing less than the “total reconquest” of Mali from Islamist militants. Le Drian told French television Sunday that his forces “will not leave any pockets” of resistance.French troops went into the country last week at the request of Mali’s government, after al-Qaida-linked Islamists who control the northern part of the country began moving south towards the capital, Bamako.