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Kahwagi: US to supply Lebanon Army with combat weapons

Kahwagi: US to supply Lebanon Army with combat weapons

The United States would respond favorably to the military needs of the poorly equipped Lebanese Army in its fight against terrorism, Lebanese Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi has reportedly said. The local newspaper Al-Mustaqbal, quoting sources following up on Kahwagi’s visit to Washington, reported Thursday the Army chief has been assured by American officials that the United States was prepared to support the military and supply it with weapons to combat terrorism.

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Russia supplies Iraq with Pantsir-S1, Dzhigit air defense systems

Russia supplies Iraq with Pantsir-S1, Dzhigit air defense systems

Contemporary air defense systems delivered by Russia to Iraq will improve national security and protection of vital sites, the Iraqi Defense Ministry said. “System operators have been trained in the manufacturing country,” says a ministry report. “Only a handful of states possess such advanced air defense systems,” it emphasized. Reportedly, contracts with a value exceeding $1 billion were signed during Iraqi Defense Minister Sadun Farhan al-Dulaymi’s Moscow visit this July for the delivery of a large batch of artillery armaments and ammunition.

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Pakistan is eyeing sea-based and short-range nuclear weapons

Pakistan is eyeing sea-based and short-range nuclear weapons

Pakistan is advancing toward a sea-based missile capability and expanding its interest in tactical nuclear warheads, according to Pakistani and Western analysts. The development of nuclear missiles that could be fired from a ship or submarine would give Pakistan “second-strike” capability if a catastrophic nuclear exchange destroyed all land-based weapons. But the acceleration of Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programs is renewing international concern about the vulnerability of those weapons.

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Azerbaijan Seeks New Security Options

Azerbaijan Seeks New Security Options

Heightened tensions with longtime foe Armenia over breakaway Nagorno Karabakh and mediator Russia’s Ukrainian adventure appear to be pushing Caspian-Sea energy power Azerbaijan ever more strongly toward a military strategy of self-reliance. The strategy comes via two approaches: first, a build-up in Azerbaijani-made military equipment, including drones co-produced with Israel; and, second, a new defense troika with longtime strategic partners Turkey, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and neighboring Georgia, a NATO-member-hopeful.

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Arming the Kurds builds on long history of proxy warfare in the Middle East

Military equipment for Kurds

An “initial gifting package”: the opaque label is wrapped around £1.6m worth of heavy machine guns and half a million rounds of ammunition, which has now reached the Iraqi town of Arbil courtesy of the British government. The delivery adds a small British component to a flow of weaponry, air strikes and“advisors” that has washed into the Kurdish region of northern Iraq over the last month. These deliveries are the most concrete aspect of the international response to the gains by Islamic State (IS) militants over the summer.

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NATO to Set up 10,000-Strong Force in Response to Ukraine Crisis

NATO to Set up 10,000-Strong Force in Response to Ukraine Crisis

Seven NATO members will create a British-led joint expeditionary force for rapid deployment in response to the crisis in Ukraine, the Financial Times has reported. The force of at least 10,000 military personnel aims “to create a fully functioning, division-sized force for rapid deployment and regular, frequent exercises” with a capacity to increase significantly in size if need be, the FT said on its website. The new multilateral force under British command will comprise naval and air units and ground forces.

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Sea-based nukes: A marginal effect on stability

Sea-based nukes: A marginal effect on stability

The deployment of nuclear-armed submarines (SSBNs) is unlikely to contribute greatly to stability, but neither is it likely to create instability where none existed or to magnify existing sources of instability. Beijing is undertaking a large-scale modernisation of its military, including its nuclear force. According to Department of Defense and press sources, China is fielding the mobile DF-31A intercontinental ballistic missile and is developing the mobile DF-41 with multiple independently-targetable re-entry vehicles.

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Romania seeks permanent Nato military presence

Romania seeks permanent Nato military presence

A permanent Nato military base on Romanian territory was a strategic objective that Romania will discuss at next week’s military bloc’s summit in Wales, Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta has said. The objective is unanimously supported by all the state institutions, Ponta pointed out. “This is one of Romania’s fundamental objectives and it is a position which has been established by all the state institutions, namely Romania’s desire to have a Nato permanent military presence on its territory,” the head of government said.

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SCO Holds Giant War Drills in China

SCO Holds Giant War Drills in China

A multinational anti-terror drill was kicked off by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in north China’s Inner Mongolia on Sunday. Deputy chiefs of the general staff from China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and deputy commander of Russia’s eastern military command participated in the opening ceremony of the drill at the Zhurihe training base. The joint exercise code-named “Peace Mission 2014″ is scheduled to run from Aug. 24 to Aug. 29 and aims to deter the “three evil forces” of terrorism, separatism and extremism.

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Denmark will join the NATO missile shield

Denmark will join the NATO MISSILE defence system

Denmark must provide one or more frigates for NATO’s missile defense shield. Defense Minister Nikolai Wammen (S) emphasizes that the decision to equip Danish frigates with advanced radar equipment is taken to protect the Danes from organizations that wish us harm. Decide Nobody has nothing to do with the current conflict in Ukraine, he maintains. This despite the fact that NATO’s missile defense system will be primarily located in Eastern European cities.

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N.Korea Moves Tanks, Armored Vehicles to Chinese Border

N.Korea Moves Tanks, Armored Vehicles to Chinese Border

North Korea has moved scores of tanks and armored vehicles to an Army corps near the border with China in Ryanggang Province. The 12th Corps, which was established in 2010, is tasked with responding to movements of Chinese troops in an emergency. 80 tanks have been deployed in Ryanggang Province, where there had not been a single one before. The corps has been “turned into an attack force after it has been reinforced” with an armored infantry unit, a unit of multiple rocket launchers, and a special warfare and sharpshooter brigade.

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Scandinavian Stockpile: The Pentagon Is Stuffing Caves in Norway Full of Tanks

The Pentagon Is Stuffing Caves in Norway Full of Tanks

The Pentagon is sending tanks, armored vehicles and containers full of other military gear to caves in Norway. It’s all for the U.S. Marine Corps, which wants to update and expand its Scandinavian stockpile. Now, the military is adding M-1A1 Abrams tanks and a number of Assault Breacher Vehicles to the bunkers. The Pentagon is also adding M-88 tank retrievers, amphibious assault vehicles, up-armored Humvees and various upgraded trucks to the cache.

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Baghdad Warns against Foreign Supply of Arms to ‘Certain Faction’

Baghdad Warns against Foreign Supply of Arms to 'Certain Faction'

Iraq’s armed forces command warned on Sunday against foreign planes breaching Iraq’s airspace and arming “a certain Iraqi faction,” Iraq’s armed forces that are still officially under former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, said in a public statement, “We have noticed that in recent days foreign fighter jets have breached Iraq’s airspace and delivered arms to a certain faction inside Iraq without Baghdad’s permission,” Maliki was forced by President Fuad Masum last week to step down as prime minister after almost eight years in office.

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EU gives go-ahead to states sending arms to Iraqi Kurds

EU gives go-ahead to states sending arms to Iraqi Kurds

Iraqi Kurdish President Masoud Barzani asked the international community on Sunday to provide the Kurds with weapons to help them fight the militants, whose dramatic push through the north has startled world powers. EU ambassadors, holding an extraordinary meeting to discuss the crises in Iraq, Ukraine and Gaza, gave the green light for individual governments to send arms under set conditions. Diplomats said some EU states opposed sending arms, meaning there was no EU-wide agreement to do so.

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France Looking at Supplying Iraqi Kurds With Arms

France Looking at Supplying Iraqi Kurds With Arms

France, in consultation with its EU partners, is looking at supplying arms to Iraq’s Kurds to fight against Islamic State jihadists, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Sunday. “One way or another, they must receive, in a sure way, equipment that will allow them to defend themselves and to counterattack,” Fabius told France 2 television from Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq. “We will look into that over the coming days but in liaison with the Europeans.”

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Japan to create SDF space monitoring division by 2019

Japan to create SDF space monitoring division by 2019

The government intends to create a space monitoring division within the Self-Defense Forces by around 2019 and the Defense Ministry has already informed the United States, a source close to the bilateral relationship said Saturday. Initially, the force will be tasked with monitoring dangerous debris floating in Earth’s orbit and with protecting satellites from collisions with such space junk, the source said. The ministry has altered its strategy on the use of space to include the development of an observatory force along these lines.

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US to train, arm Ukraine national guard in 2015

Ukraine troops Slavyansk

The Obama administration has notified Congress of its plans to train and arm the Ukrainian national guard next year, the Pentagon said, as Washington continues to intensify its response to Moscow’s support for rebels in eastern Ukraine. “The Defense Department and State Department have notified Congress of our intent to use $19 million in global security contingency fund authority to train and equip four companies and one tactical headquarters of the Ukrainian national guard as part of their efforts to build their capacity for internal defense.”

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US military buildup in Africa could be ‘pretext’ for further containment of China, says Chinese think-tank

US military buildup in Africa could be 'pretext' for further containment of China, says Chinese think-tank

“Nations such as the US have been strengthening military ties with Africa in recent years under the pretext of security and anti-terrorism,” said one of the report’s authors, Zhang Hongming , a senior research fellow at the academy’s Institute of West Asian and African Studies. “The military presence of the US can be used to deter China if the two nations mistrust each other and see themselves as strategic rivals.” The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences has warned.

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USA is looking to create new base for UAVs in Crete

USA is looking to create new base for UAVs in Crete

According to exclusive information made available to To Vima, the USA has asked the Greek government for the permission to place a number of UAV drones on Crete for a period of six to twelve months. The information suggests that talks on the critical matter began in January, with the American side pressuring the Greek government to transfer the drones by early June – no agreement has been reached. The drones are part of the American strategy in tackling the rising terrorism in the Middle East and surrounding areas.

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UK ‘battle group’ to take part in exercises in Poland to send signal to Russia

UK 'battle group' to take part in exercises in Poland

The UK is to send a “full battle group” of 1,350 military personnel for exercises in Poland, amid rising tension with Russia over Ukraine. They will take part in Nato manoeuvres in October to support allies in Eastern Europe, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said during a trip to Warsaw. It is the UK’s largest such commitment to the region since 2008. Mr Fallon said Britain was playing a “central role” in responding to Russian actions in Ukraine. Some 350 armoured and other vehicles will be involved in the October exercises, known as Black Eagle.

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China think tank accuses Japan of preparing for war

China think tank accuses Japan of preparing for war

Recent increases in the frequency of Japanese military exercises suggest that the country is preparing for war, a think tank with close ties to China’s military said in a report released Wednesday. “Island landing” and other readiness drills conducted by Japan’s Self-Defense Forces “are not only provocative and confrontational, but also meant for war preparedness,” the China Strategic Culture Promotion Association said in its third annual report on Tokyo’s military capabilities.

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U.S., NATO, Boosting Military Cooperation And Transport With Azerbaijan, Georgia

U.S., NATO, Boosting Military Cooperation With Georgia

The United States and its European allies have made a number of recent moves to bolster military cooperation with Georgia as tension continues to fester between Russia and the West. But Georgia’s ability to accommodate more U.S. military traffic has been hampered by delays to a new rail line that it, Azerbaijan and Turkey are building, known as the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. Officials from Azerbaijan and Turkey have blamed Georgia for the delays, which have pushed back the projected date of inaugurating the railroad to the end of 2015.

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Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova to obtain non-NATO ally status, increase in transfer of military assets

Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova to obtain non-NATO ally status

The U.S. Congress passed in two readings a Russian aggression prevention bill that provides major non-NATO ally status for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova (during the period in which each of such countries meets specified criteria) for purposes of the transfer or possible transfer of defense articles or defense services. The bill was submitted to the competent commission for being prepared for the final reading, APA reports, quoting the official website of the U.S. Congress.

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The EU is gearing up against internal unrest

The EU is gearing up against internal unrest

The EGF was originally planned around the turn of the millennium by Italy and France as EU force. Several Member States, including Germany, but had objections to such a paramilitary unit. The governments in Rome and Paris stuck to the plan and eventually founded the EGF as a multilateral, independent of EU unity. According to its statutes, the capabilities of NATO, the OSCE, the UN and the EU can be borrowed. In the foreground, however, are inserts of the European Union.

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Spain’s Defense Minister wants NATO in the Sahel

Spanish Defense Minister wants NATO in the Sahel

Spain is the only European country with a part of its territory located in Africa, being a vital security interest. This geographical position of Spain gives a vital role in maintaining security in the area, “he said. “We are also not hidden we have many economic interests in Africa. ” Morenés mentioned energy dependence, over 60% of our gas imports are from Africa (51% in Algeria, 10% in Nigeria), plus the purchase of oil Gulf of Guinea. And also other interests, “maintain heavy investment in infrastructure in certain countries.”

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China Sells Weapons To South Sudan Amid Civil War, Famine

China Sells Weapons To South Sudan Amid Civil War, Famine

China is selling $38 million worth of missiles, grenade launchers, machine guns and ammunition to South Sudan’s government, even as it pledges to help end a civil war in the country now on the brink of famine. China North Industries Group Corp., the nation’s biggest arms manufacturer known as Norinco, shipped a consignment of weapons to the East African nation last month, according to marine-insurance documents sent to Bloomberg by an industry representative and confirmed by the broker handling insurance for the shipment.

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Visegrad Countries May Turn EU Battlegroup into Permanent V4 Rapid Reaction Force

Visegrad Countries May Turn EU Battlegroup into Permanent V4 Rapid Reaction Force

We, the Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, recognize that current security trends in Europe call for even closer regional defence cooperation and multinational programs deeply rooted in NATO and EU policies. The Visegrád Cooperation continues to serve as a platform for coordination of our countries in all European and transatlantic security policy fora. Cooperation among the V4 national defence industries will be further explored in the field of research and development as well as production.

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U.S. discloses secret Somalia military presence, up to 120 troops

U.S. Military Presence in Somalia Disclosed

The deployments, consisting of up to 120 troops on the ground, go beyond the Pentagon’s January announcement that it had sent a handful of advisors in October. That was seen at the time as the first assignment of U.S. troops to Somalia since 1993 when two U.S. helicopters were shot down and 18 American troops killed in the “Black Hawk Down” disaster. Those U.S. plans include greater military engagement and new funds for training and assistance for the Somali National Army (SNA).

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The European Union prepares the ‘solidarity clause’ framework for military use against citizens

EU prepares the ground for military use against the citizens

“The representatives of the EU Member States in the Council adopted a decision on the so-called ‘solidarity clause’. Were a disaster or a loosely defined crisis to occur, the organs of the European Union would be obliged to assist using all the instruments at their disposal. This includes military resources”, warned Member of the Bundestag Andrej Hunko. The use of the “European Gendarmerie Force” (EUROGENDFOR) is made ​​possible by the “solidarity clause”.

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Naval Nuclear forces of India to be formed this year

Naval Nuclear forces of India to be formed this year

Head of the Indian Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO), Avinash Chander recently declared that the first Indian nuclear submarine INS Arihant “within a month or two” will be capable of carrying out launches of ballistic missiles BO-5 with nuclear warheads. This implies that in the long term, India is planning to create strategic naval nuclear forces – notes Vasily Kashin, expert at the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.

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Possession of hydrogen bombs ‘essential’ for India – Russian analysts

Possession of hydrogen bombs ‘essential’ for India - Russian analysts

Possession of a hydrogen bomb is essential to India to improve its image as a global power and become one of the centres of power in a multi-polar world, Russian experts said in reaction to a report from US intelligence think tank. IHS Jane’s said that a nuclear centrifuge plant constructed in 1992 near Mysore could be channelled towards making of hydrogen bombs. India will be capable of mastering all three ways of delivering nuclear warheads.

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EU wants stronger military industry

Harrier Pilot Prepares for Takeoff

The European Commission on Tuesday (24 June) laid out plans on how to boost the EU’s military and defence industries. It wants to create a single market on defence, make it more profitable, and intensify and merge research with the civil sector. The 14-page plan wants to expand on ‘dual-use technology’, in which equipment can be used for both civilian and military objectives. The EU’s €80 billion Horizon 2020 research programme would be used to help fund dual-technology projects.

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Ukraine unrest fits pattern of Russian invasion drills

UKRAINE-UNREST-POLITICS-EU-RUSSIA

The recent pattern of pro-Russian unrest and fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine resembles a Russian military playbook used in exercises simulating invasion drills, according to a new analysis. The analysis, by ex-NATO commander Wesley Clark and Phillip Karber. The plan was announced despite NATO evidence, disputed by Russia, that President Vladimir Putin is resuming his nation’s buildup of troops near the Ukrainian border.

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Report says new covert uranium plant boosts Indian ability to produce thermonuclear weapons

Report says new plant boosts Indian ability to produce thermonuclear weapons

India is expanding a covert uranium enrichment plant that could potentially support the development of thermonuclear weapons, a defence research group said on Friday, raising the stakes in an arms race with China and Pakistan.The revelation highlights a lack of nuclear safeguards on India, while sanctions-bound Iran faces minute scrutiny in talks with world powers over its own nuclear programme. Unlike Iran, India is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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Estonia PM calls for permanent NATO presence as bulwark to Russia

A worker sticks giant logos of the NATO outside Strasbourg's Congress Center

Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas urged NATO on to establish a permanent presence in the Baltic state in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, telling his allies to “open your eyes and stay awake”. The Western alliance has tripled the number of fighter jets based in the Baltics as part of measures to beef up its defences in eastern Europe following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. NATO’s top military commander, said that NATO would have to consider permanently stationing troops in eastern Europe.

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US Military Assets in and Near Iraq

US Military Assets in and Near Iraq

As President Barack Obama weighs options for potential U.S. intervention in Iraq, the Pentagon has a broad range of ground, air and sea troops and assets in the region. They include: —Six warships in the Persian Gulf, including the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, a cruiser, three destroyers and the amphibious transport ship the USS Mesa Verde, which is carrying about 550 Marines and five V-22 Osprey hybrid aircraft. About 5,000 U.S. soldiers across the border in Kuwait, as part of a routine rotational presence.

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Turkey sends F-16 fighters near the city of Mosul

Turkey sends F-16 fighters near the city of Mosul

Turkey’s Air Force has sent F-16 fighter jets on reconnaissance flights near the Iraqi city of Mosul. Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on that Iraq has not taken the necessary security measures to combat ongoing violence affecting the country. “The ongoing violence in Iraq is quickly spreading and has started to enter neighboring countries,” said by Turkey’s Foreign Ministry. Iraq has seen a marked increase in sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia Muslims in recent months

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Britain intensifies military presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina to prevent civil unrest

Britain intensifies military presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Britain is deploying 90 additional military personnel in Bosnia and Herzegovina to “foresee, monitor and prevent civil unrest” in the country, the British Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced. Two reconnaissance platoons will be sent to Bosnia and Herzegovina for up to six months during the country’s election period and will be based at the EUFOR (European Union Force) Althea headquarters in Sarajevo, according to the MoD.This additional support came after a request from the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, the ministry said.

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Iran: 5,000km-Range Missile Can Hit US Indian Ocean Base Diego Garcia

Iran: 5,000km-Range Missile Can Hit US Indian Ocean Base

Tehran has ballistic missiles able to pound targets over twice as distant as previously thought, and can reach the American mid-ocean strategic base at Diego Garcia, a senior Iranian official has explicitly warned. “In the event of a mistake on the part of the United States, their bases in Bahrain and (Diego) Garcia will not be safe from Iranian missiles,” said an Iranian Revolutionary Guard adviser to Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Majatba Dhualnuri.

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Police Departments Acquiring Military, ‘War’ Weapons

Police Departments Acquiring Military, ‘War’ Weapons

A rising trend of military surplus purchases is sparking a debate about the militarization of police departments, raising questions about whether weapons meant for war belong in America’s small towns. M-16 rifles, grenade launchers, and silencers are among the weapons making their way into police departments. Surprisingly, the military surplus buys don’t end there. In Johnson County, Indiana, law enforcement sparked a debate when they purchased a 55,000 pound, six-wheeled mine-proof armored vehicle.

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UAVs, Stealth, Carriers, Amphibs: DoD Report Details China’s Weapons

UAVs, Stealth, Carriers, Amphibs: DoD Report Details China’s Weapons

The People’s Liberation Army has practiced jamming GPS signals, according to a Pentagon report today. The Chinese are testing those and other electronic warfare weapons and they have “proven effective.” China plans to launch 100 satellites through 2015, including “imaging, remote sensing, navigation, communication, and scientific satellites, as well as manned spacecraft,” says a special section headlined ”Special Topic: Reconnaissance Satellites”

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NATO using Ukraine to syphon more money from EU

NATO using Ukraine to syphon more money from EU

NATO’s Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen wants European leaders to spend more on defense, but Germany, France and the UK are keeping their grip tight, Deutsche Welle reads. “We live in a different world than we did less than a month ago,” Fogh Rasmussen told a Brookings Institution forum in March. In 2013, Germany, France, Italy and Turkey failed to provide the NATO-agreed 2% of GDP on defense. But even debt-struck Greece decided to allocate 2. 3% of its GDP in this sector.

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European Reassurance Fund: Obama Said to Unveil $1 Billion European War Chest

Obama Said to Unveil $1 Billion European Fund in Poland

U.S. President Barack Obama plans to announce a $1 billion fund to help boost defensive capabilities of European allies shaken by Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine, according to a U.S. official. Depending on its size and scope, the initiative may be the highest-profile move to date by Obama affirming a commitment to Europe even as he emphasizes the administration’s rebalance to Asia.

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NATO mulls reinforcing troops in Poland-German defence ministry

Latvia's border guards special task unit prepares for patrolling over the EU external border with Russia in the airbase in Ludza

NATO defence ministers will discuss temporarily reinforcing forces in Poland when they meet in Brussels this week, a spokesman for the German defence ministry said, a move that would be aimed at reassuring countries nervous about Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. The spokesman said this could include “enhanced air patrols over the Baltic states, AWACS surveillance planes over Polandand Romania, more exercises, and an enhanced naval presence by NATO allies from the Baltic to the Black Sea.”

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Sweden’s Elites More Loyal to NATO than to Their People

Sweden’s Elites More Loyal to NATO than to Their People

Over the last 25-30 years Sweden’s military, security and foreign policy elites have changed Sweden’s policy 180 degrees. These fundamental changes were initiated by the Social Democratic government under Prime Minister Goran Persson (1996–2006) and have been carried out with virtually no public debate. The rapprochement with interventionism, militarism and the U.S./NATO in all fields has been planned, incremental, furtive and dishonest; in short, unworthy of a democracy.

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Saudi Arabia unveils part of strategic missile force – a deterrent move against Iran?

Saudi Arabia unveils part of strategic missile force – a deterrent move against Iran

According to the Saudi media, the exercise, code-named Abdullah’s Shield, involved Saudi troops. The manoeuvres were held in the kingdom’s Eastern province at King Khaled Military City, in Hafr al-Batin, facing Iran and Iraq. A preeminent guest at the exercise and parade was Gen. Raheel Sharif, the Pakistani chief of Army Staff According to persistent rumours spreading in the Arab media, Pakistan has helped Saudi Arabia to equip some of its ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads.

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NATO Official: Alliance Will Discuss Deployment of ‘Defensive Assets’ in Georgia

NATO Official: Alliance Will Discuss Deployment of ‘Defensive Assets' in Georgia

NATO Deputy Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia region James Appathurai said in Tbilisi today that he believed the Alliance would discuss whether NATO allies should deploy “defensive assets” in Georgia. Appathurai announced this in response to the Georgian Defence Minister Irakli Alasania’s suggestion to put “air defense and anti-armour capabilities in Georgia,” which he made in Washington at the Atlantic Council’s conference “Toward a Europe Whole and Free”.

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India turns to Russia to help supply arms to Afghan forces

India turns to Russia to help supply arms to Afghan forces

India has signed an agreement under which it will pay Russia to supply arms and equipment to the Afghan military as foreign combat troops prepare to leave the country, in a move that risks infuriating Pakistan. Under the deal, smaller arms such as light artillery and mortars will be sourced from Russia and moved to Afghanistan. India’s neighbor and rival Pakistan is likely to be angered by any move to help arm Afghan forces, even if indirectly.

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EU firms help power China’s military rise

EU firms help power China's military rise

As China boosts its military spending, rattling neighbours over territorial disputes at sea, an AFP investigation shows that European countries have approved billions in transfers of weapons and military-ready technology to the Asian giant. China’s air force relies on French-designed helicopters, while submarines and frigates involved in Beijing’s physical assertion of its claim to vast swathes of the South China Sea are powered by German and French engines — part of a separate trade in “dual use” technology to Beijing’s armed forces.

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US, Philippines reportedly reach 10-year deal on larger military presence

US, Philippines reportedly reach 10-year deal on larger military presence

The U.S. military will have greater access to bases across the Philippines under a new 10-year agreement set to be signed Monday in conjunction with President Barack Obama’s visit and seen as an effort by Washington to counter Chinese aggression in the region. Medeiros declined to say which specific areas in the Philippines are being considered under the agreement, but said the long-shuttered U.S. facility at Subic Bay could be one of the locations.

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The Russian Military’s Tiny New Friend: Cyprus.

Russia fleet of warships enter Mediterranean

Here’s a scenario that’s bound to go well. Take one of the most militarized countries on Earth and start adding Russian weapons and money into the mix. Southern Cyprus is also building ties with Russia, whose navy is increasingly active in the eastern Mediterranean. This means arms sales and access to Cypriot ports and airfields. At the same time, Limassol has become a transit point for illegal Russian arms shipments heading to Syria.

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Egypt interested in buying 24 MiG-35s from Russia

Egypt interested in buying 24 MiG-35s from Russia

Russia has acknowledged an Egyptian request to procure a squadron of MiG-35 advanced fighter aircraft, to include up to 24 fighter jets at a cost of US$3 billion. The fulfilment of this package could be delayed though, as this specific type of aircraft hasn’t reached a production stage. The manufacturer, Russian Aircraft Corporation (UAC) through its subsidiary Russian Aircraft Corp (RAC) has failed to gain international orders for the aircraft and is currently awaiting an initial order from the Russian Air Force to kickstart production by 2016.

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Turkey vulnerable to rising Russian power in the Black Sea

Turkey vulnerable to rising Russian power in the Black Sea

With the annexation of Crimea, Turkey faces a stronger and bolder Russian naval power in the Black Sea. Russia now possesses the Ukrainian navy’s submarine and several, if not most, of Ukraine’s 11 major surface combatants. Even without the Ukraine’s naval assets, Russia’s own new additions to its Black Sea Fleet will enable Moscow to dominate the region. Russia recently put to sea the first of its six Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates. All six frigates are designated for service in the Black Sea Fleet.

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NATO Bolsters Defenses With Air, Sea Patrols on Russia’s borders

NATO Bolsters Defenses Against Russia With Air, Sea Patrols

The U.S.-led alliance will upgrade contingency plans, hold more military drills in eastern Europe and step up air and naval policing on its flanks, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said. “We will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water and more readiness on the land,” Rasmussen told reporters in Brussels today after the 28 North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies approved the bulked-up defense posture.

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China Planning ‘To Militarise Space’ Against US Anti-Satellite Weapons

China Planning 'To Militarise Space' Against US Anti-Satellite Weapons

China is planning to increase its military capabilities in space in reaction to US and other world powers developing astronomical weapons. At the time, US Air Force space analyst Brian Weeden said: “If true, this would represent a significant development in China’s anti-satellite [ASAT] capabilities. “No other country has tested a direct ascent ASAT weapon system that has the potential to reach deep space satellites in medium earth orbit, highly elliptical orbit or geostationary orbit.”

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US could ‘re-examine’ its military presence in Europe

US could 're-examine' its military presence in Europe

Some 67,000 US military members are currently stationed on the European continent, mainly in Germany (40,000), Italy (11,000) and Britain (9,500). When the Soviet Union fell in late 1991, the total presence stood at 285,000. Chollet, testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, did not specify what such a re-examination could entail at a time when the Pentagon faces budget cuts and is seeking to redeploy part of its resources to the Asia Pacific region as part of a so-called pivot strategy.

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Djibouti a key base for US Africa operations

Djibouti a key base for US Africa operations

Djibouti may be one of the smallest countries in Africa. But it’s about to become significantly more important, as US forces stationed there increase their operations, on their own and working with local governments. We are building an environment that won’t allow violent extremists to survive in East Africa. The Navy Riverines, American sailors who are part of the United States’ growing joint task force in the Horn of Africa, monitor vessels leaving Djibouti’s harbour for the potentially dangerous waters of the Gulf of Aden.

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UK to expand Bahrain military presence

UK to expand Bahrain military presence

The UK will expand its military presence in Bahrain with a $9.7m expansion of its maritime command in the capital, Manama, Gulf Daily News has reported. The expansion includes a new, larger headquarters and facilities to provide engineering and logistics support for the four Royal Navy mine countermeasure vessels based in the kingdom. The Middle East has the UK’s second largest Royal Navy presence, with 10 of its 32 warships and support vessels in the region.

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Former Soviet satellites sign joint military pact

HUNGARY-CZECH REPUBLIC-POLAND-SLOVAKIA-VISEGRAD-DEFENCE

Four former Soviet satellites in Central Europe signed a military pact Friday to coordinate defence planning and to create a joint combat unit to operate under NATO and EU auspices, in response to the Ukraine crisis. “The current situation in Europe shows that unfortunately a military conflict, previously considered unthinkable, could happen,” Polish Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said at a meeting of the Visegrad 4 (V4) group of countries — the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

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Belarus to ask Russia for warplanes after NATO drills

Belarus to ask Russia for warplanes after NATO drills

Russian military ally Belarus will ask Moscow to deploy 12 to 15 warplanes on its territory in response to increased NATO activity near its borders due to tension over Ukraine, President Alexander Lukashenko said on Wednesday. The United States and Poland, Belarus’s western neighbour, began war games on Tuesday that are expected to involve at least 12 U.S. F-16 fighter jets. A joint naval exercise of U.S., Bulgarian and Romanian naval forces in the Black Sea started on Wednesday.

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US lasers? PLA preparing to raise its deflector shields with smog and special materials

US lasers-PLA preparing to raise its deflector shields

Laser weapons like those developed by the United States pose little threat to the PLA – smog or no smog – because mainland researchers have pioneered coatings that can deflect beams and render them harmless, mainland scientists say. PLA Navy Rear Admiral Zhang Zhaozhong drew widespread ridicule last month when the National Defence University researcher suggested that China’s thick smog provided the country’s best defence against military lasers.

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China sells Myanmar strategic HQ-12 missiles

China explains why Myanmar to rocket HQ-12

As a developing country, while the area of Myanmar wide but the location need not much defense. So, the HQ-12 if equipped for the military of Myanmar will mostly assume the ground mission. If the Western powers to attack Myanmar, attacks can come from the East and the city of Yangon. Meanwhile, rocket HQ-12 deployed in any one location in the outskirts of downtown Yangon is able to cover the city’s airspace. The current capital of Naypyidaw is Myanmar in Mandalay, are surrounded by forested mountains, the eastern front was the high mountain ranges, if missiles HQ-12 on the mountain in the East can also protect the city.

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Russia to expand its worldwide military presence

Russia to expand its worldwide military presence

Russia says it plans to expand its worldwide military presence by seeking permission for navy ships to use ports in Latin America, Asia and elsewhere.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday in remarks carried by Russian news agencies the military was conducting talks with Algeria, Cyprus, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba, Seychelles, Vietnam and Singapore. He said that it was essential for the Russian navy to be able to call at their ports to service its ships. Shoigu said Russia was also talking to some of those countries asking them to allow long-range bombers to use their air bases for refueling.

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Russia creates Arctic military district

Russia creates Arctic military district

The military build-up in the Arctic is underway. In 2014 Russia will create a new military structure, which will be called the Northern Fleet – United Strategic Command (NF-USC). General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces informed that the mission of the new unit would be the protection of Russian national interests in the Arctic. The active work in this direction started last year, after President Putin’s televised appeal to the Minister of Defense “to pay special attention to deploying infrastructure and military units in the Arctic.”

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Asia’s Arms Race: Australia Voices Concerns as Nations Increase Investment in Weapons

Asia's Arms Race: Australia Voices Concerns as Nations Increase Investment in Weapons

Asia’s emergent superpowers have been flexing their respective hardware and troop capabilities around the region – a cause for concern among those who come too close. Such as Australia. A report just released by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) said that China’s emergence as a major economic power will pose great challenges for the global community. “The re-emergence of China as a great power will be Australia’s greatest foreign policy challenge during the 21st century. Canberra will have to carefully balance Australia’s growing economic relationship with China and its traditional alliance with the US,” the report said.

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US prepares for tank battles in Europe

US prepares for tank battles in Europe

The newest American tanks arrived at the American military base in Bavaria on January 31. So what? According to the statements made by American military officials, 29 heavy new generation Abrams tanks would be a part of the European Activity Set (EAS). They are supposedly just to serve as equipment for the training center. The appearance of the tanks is explained by the fact that at a time when the American command has decided to continue training American tank personnel in Europe, they had nothing to train them on.

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Anatol Liabedzka: Russian Su-27 in Belarus may carry nuclear weapons

Anatol Liabedzka: Russian Su-27 in Belarus may carry nuclear weapons

Combat aircraft in Baranavichy may carry nuclear weapons. This statement was made by leader of the United Civil Party (UCP) Anatol Liabedzka. “A number of steps were made in connection with the deployment of Russian troops in Belarus: an appeal to the Constitutional Court; we tried to carry out pickets across Belarus; we appealed to the defence minister to figure out the status of the group of Russian fighter jets in Baranavichy,” he told ucpb.org. We have received an answer. Firstly, it follows from the letter that citizens of Belarus cannot influence the decisions of top officials relating to defence issues. There are no mechanisms of influence.

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These 10 Militaries are the Most Well-Funded on the Planet

These 10 Militaries are the Most Well-Funded on the Planet

The U.S. (obviously) tops the chart with a recorded 682 billion dollars of annual military spending, or about 20% of our total federal spending. That is a sizable sum. It’s more than the entire GDP of Norway last year. To give you even more perspective, the U.S.’ share of global military spending is more than the rest of the top 10 combined. If we were to divide the defense budget by the median American salary, it would be worth the salaries of 14 million people. It has come under scrutiny with current debt crisis, and with the Iraq and Afghanistan war costing an estimated $4 trillion over the last decade.

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Algeria acquires Chinese artillery; evaluating UAVs

Algeria acquires Chinese artillery; evaluating UAVs

The Algerian military appears to have acquired self-propelled artillery from China and is evaluating Chinese unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as it continues to vastly expand its military forces. Earlier this month photos appeared online showing what appear to be PLZ 45 self-propelled howitzers on a road outside the capital Algiers. The convoy of around 50 vehicles may have been headed to the Central Logistic Base in Blida, to which much of the country’s new military equipment often goes, according to IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly.

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The France reorganized its military presence in the Sahel around four bases

The France reorganized its military presence in the Sahel around four bases

In the region, France will have four main bases: N’Djamena (Chad), Niamey (Niger), Gao (Mali) and Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). A N’Djamena: combat aircraft Rafale and Mirage 2000, supported by tankers and ground forces – and the staff who will control operations in the Sahel. In Niamey, intelligence assets, including two new Reaper drones purchased in the United States and will be operational in the coming days. These monitoring devices controlled from the ground in Niamey are collocated with those of the U.S. Air Force.

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Indian Navy to deploy underwater nuke-deterrent

Indian navy to deploy underwater nuke-deterrent

In a move that will pull India a step closer to achieving the “nuclear triad”, Indian Navy is all set to start sea trials for its first indigenously-built nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant in few weeks, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral LVS Babu said on Tuesday. A miniature model of the prestigious subamrine will also be flaunted as a part of Indian Navy tableaux at the Republic Day Parade. INS Arihant’s commissioning into the Indian Navy, which is expected till the end of the year, will gift India with the “nuclear triad”, that is the ability to retaliate to nuclear strikes from land, air and sea-based systems.

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United States wants to expand its rapid-reaction force based in Spain

United States wants to expand its rapid-reaction force based in Spain

The United States has asked Spain for permission to expand its 500-strong Marine rapid-reaction force for Africa by at least 50 percent and extend its presence at the Morón de la Frontera base by one more year, government sources said.A bilateral agreement between both nations allows the US to temporarily station its Marines in the southern airbase, which provides fast access to the Mediterranean region. Because of this temporary nature, the Spanish government could approve the increase to anywhere between 750 and 900 Marines without modifying the agreement, and thus without consulting Congress first.

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U.S. Navy Must Move Toward Energy Weapons, Offensive Lethality

DDG-1000 Zumwalt destroyer

The U.S. Navy surface fleet must steer away from depending on defensive missiles and must move toward becoming more offensively lethal, says the admiral in charge of those ships. “The surface force must greatly improve its offensive lethality,” says Vice Adm. Thomas Copeman, commander of the Naval Surface Force and U.S. Pacific Naval Surface Force. “We must move beyond the missile as a defensive system,” he says in his “Vision for the 2026 Surface Fleet” report, which was released earlier this month in advance of the Surface Navy Association Conference and Symposium being held Jan. 14-16 in Arlington, Va.

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Japan set to buy $240B worth of hi-tech weapons

Japan set to buy $240B worth of hi-tech weapons

Japan announced that it would buy stealth fighters, drones and submarines as part of a splurge on military hardware that would beef up defense of far-flung islands amid a simmering territorial row with China. The Cabinet of hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to spend 24.7 trillion yen ($240 billion) between 2014 and 2019 in a strategic shift toward the south and west of the country—a 5-percent boost to the military budget over five years. The shopping list is part of efforts by Abe to normalize the military in Japan. Its well-equipped and highly professional services are limited to a narrowly defined self-defensive role.

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Israeli navy to get 2 German frigates to shield natural gas fields

Israeli navy to get 2 German frigates to shield natural gas fields

The Israeli navy is getting two German-built frigates under a $1.37 billion contract that will build up its maritime firepower, officials said. Their primary mission is expected to be protecting the Jewish state’s rich natural gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean. The warships, which the Israelis are expected to pack with their own weapons and electronic systems, such as the Barak 8 medium-range air defense system produced by Israel Aerospace Industries, will be the most advanced surface vessels in the Israeli navy. The frigates will reinforce three advanced Super Dvora Mark III missile corvettes, known as Sa’ar 5s, currently on order from state-run IAI’s shipyards in Haifa.

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Baltic States Panic: Russia deploys nuclear missiles near the Polish border, Kaliningrad

RUSSIA-US-MISSILE-DEFENCE

European countries bordering Russia’s territory of Kaliningrad say they are worried at reports that Moscow has put nuclear-capable missiles there. Lithuania and Poland both issued statements of concern. Russia has not confirmed the report but insists it has every right to station missiles in its western-most region. Moscow has long threatened to move Iskander short-range missile systems to Kaliningrad in response to the United States’ own European missile shield. Russia sees the missile shield as a threat to its nuclear deterrent.

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France pushing EU to establish fund for future military interventions

France pushing EU to fund military interventions

France is pushing its European partners this week to create a fund to pay for overseas military interventions, like the operation France is leading in the Central African Republic. Other European governments aren’t too excited about the idea. The dispute exposes a divide between France, which has several military bases abroad and argues that Europe has a responsibility to former colonies in Africa, and countries like Germany that are wary in today’s economic times of intervening and spending taxpayer money abroad.

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Bahrain expansion latest signal of continued US presence

Bahrain expansion latest signal of continued US presence

The $580 million expansion now underway at the U.S. Navy base here, which will nearly double its size, is a clear signal of the Pentagon’s commitment to maintaining a strong presence in the Middle East. Naval Support Activity Bahrain, home to the U.S. 5th Fleet, has outgrown the capacity of the existing facilities and is expanding to an adjacent 77-acre piece of land along the waterfront. An important milestone in the expansion will be reached next month, when a 400-foot-long tied-arch suspension bridge is lifted into place to join the main base and the new base grounds.

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What’s up with Saudi Arabia’s 15,000 anti-tank missiles?

What’s up with Saudi Arabia’s 15,000 anti-tank missiles

No one is expecting a tank invasion of Saudi Arabia anytime soon, but the kingdom just put in a huge order for U.S.-made anti-tank missiles that has Saudi-watchers scratching their heads and wondering whether the deal is related to Riyadh’s support for the Syrian rebels. The proposed weapons deal, which the Pentagon notified Congress of in early December, would provide Riyadh with more than 15,000 Raytheon anti-tank missiles at a cost of over $1 billion. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ Military Balance report, Saudi Arabia’s total stockpile this year amounted to slightly more than 4,000 anti-tank missiles.

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Massive naval power at heart of America’s look eastwards

Massive naval power at heart of America’s look eastwards

“The maritime domain in general has got more complex, with the undersea domain a huge part of that with more sophisticated submarines and the emergence of long-endurance, unmanned or remotely operated vehicles,” he said. “You see it just in oceanographic capabilities. Frankly the way countries globally are using technology in the undersea domain is going to make it a very interesting operational space. You’re going to have to bring a lot more capability into that operating space to ensure you stay dominant — economically as well as militarily.

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The PAK-DA: A Russian Return To Soviet-Era Strategic Power?

The PAK-DA: A Russian Return To Soviet-Era Strategic Power

The PAK-DA doesn’t just fill in a technological gap in the current Russian aircraft inventory, but should have the capacity to return Russia — should Mr. Putin desire such — to the glory days of Soviet bomber power, pushing a dynamic long-range bomber into the air that could be the worst of threats to enemies the world over. It was that threat — the threat of rapid deployment and possibilities for diverse missions—that was as powerful a psychological weapon against the Americans in the Cold War as the core aspect of nuclear weapons to be placed aboard these bombers.

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Saudi Arabia’s Global Arms Shopping Spree

Saudi Arabia's Global Arms Shopping Spree

Saudi Arabia has emerged as the biggest foreign customer for German arms, buying nearly a quarter of Germany’s total weapons sales. It’s part of an emerging pattern of weapons purchases by Saudi Arabia and its neighbor, the United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia was the world’s 10th-largest weapons importer in 2008-12 (the Emirates was No. 9). And Saudi Arabia is expected to be among the top 5 for 2013-17 “due to major outstanding orders, such as for 48 Typhoon combat aircraft from the UK and 152 F-15SA combat aircraft from the USA.”

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Russian Surface-to-Air Missiles Flow To Middle East

Russian Surface-to-Air Missiles Flow To Middle East

The Middle East is rich with all sorts of Russian-made anti-aircraft systems. Most of them were delivered to the Arab countries opposing Israel and, in the time of the Soviet Union, to other clients on a political pretext. Although UAE and Jordan are among those nations that have historically bought the bulk of their military equipment in the West, these countries have procured certain air defense systems from Russia. In particular, the UAE was the launch customer for the Pantsyr SAM.

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EU funds military presence in the Sahel until 2020

This support of some €5 billion to Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Chad (subject to the approval by the European Parliament and the European Council) will aim to help those countries tackle the specific and complex challenges of the Sahel region: security and stability, development and resilience. Governance, rule of law and security, delivery of social services, agriculture and food security, as well as regional trade and integration will be at the heart of the development programmes over 2014-2020.

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Romania works on US missile shield at Deveselu base

Romania has started building a base which will form part of a controversial US ballistic missile defence system. The plan is to have the Deveselu base in southern Romania operational in 2015. It will house SM-3 interceptor missiles and radar equipment. The US government says the missiles will have no offensive capability and only target incoming ballistic missiles launched by a hostile power. Iran is seen as a potential threat. But the US plan has also angered Russia. The new Romanian facility would help protect Washington’s European allies from a “rogue” missile attack.

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Japan To Deploy Anti-Ship Missiles On Okinawa’s Miyako Island

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.

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Militarisation warning for Antarctica as China and Iran show increasing interest

Australian academics have pointed to dangers that Antarctic bases are for the first time being militarised, despite the continent officially being called a land of peace and science. Satellite systems at polar bases could be used to control offensive weapons, according to a report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and little could be done to prevent it due to the loose nature of the Antarctic Treaty rules. The report highlights a Chinese base inland in the Australian Antarctic Territory for its satellite intelligence gathering potential and also flags Iran’s recent interest in establishing a polar presence.

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Angola ‘biggest African buyer of Russian arms’ after $1bn deal

The Angolan government has bought arms from Russia in a $1 billion deal, Portuguese news agency Lusa said. With the deal Angola becomes the principal purchaser of Russian arms on the continent, outstripping Uganda. “Angola has inked with the state-owned Rosoboronexport monopoly a $1billion agreement which includes the supply of eight Sukhoi 30 hunt planes, transport Mi-17 helicopters, ordinance, light weapons and ammunition. Angola, which is recovering from decades of civil war, maintains close ties with Cold War ally Russia.

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The Dragon’s Spear: China’s Asymmetric Strategy

Chinese military strategists have for millenniums been fascinated by asymmetric methods of warfare. China has no illusions about its military inferiority vis-à-vis the United States and knows that the status is likely to endure for at least two decades. As such the PLA has been developing a full range of asymmetric strategies to deter the US until its military reaches maturity. Aware of the US dependence on space and satellite communications to conduct even the most basic military operations, the PLA has for the past decade invested significant amounts to develop anti-satellite weapons.

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Brazil builds Russian defence ties with missile plan

Brazil is pushing ahead with a planned $1 billion purchase of anti-aircraft missile batteries from Russia in a deal that will cement a strategic defence partnership between the two BRICS nations, the Brazilian Defence Ministry said. Brazilian officials said they expect to sign a contract by the middle of 2014 for short- to medium-range surface-to-air Pantsir S1 missile batteries and Igla-S shoulder-held missiles. Amorim said defence cooperation between the two members of the BRICS group of leading emerging nations, which also includes China, India and South Africa, could “counterbalance” other options that Brazil wants to keep open – a reference to traditional arms suppliers such as the United States.

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Malaysia to establish marine corps, naval base close to Shoal

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.

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Did Seoul Strike Missile Defense Deal with Washington?

Speculation is mounting whether the government has agreed a deal with Washington to take part in the U.S.-led missile defense program in exchange for another delay in the handover of full control of South Korean troops. Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin fanned speculation Monday by telling a National Assembly audit that the military is hoping to buy SM-3 interceptor missiles that could destroy North Korean ballistic missiles. The SM-3 missiles constitute the core of the U.S.-led missile defense shield. All the signs are that the government is growing less reluctant to join the missile defense program, which China is extremely wary of.

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Chinese Small Arms Sales May Fan Conflicts, Equip Terrorists

China is largely in line with international treaties governing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, but its global dealings in small arms are shadowy and potentially helpful to anti-U.S. factions abroad, a new study finds. Most Chinese weapons for export lack the quality of weapons from the United States, Russia or other developed nations. China is therefore a cheaper source of weapons for poor countries with unsophisticated militaries, like many in Africa, the Middle East and South America. China is seen to have a “guns-for-oil” relationship with some African nations.

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Western powers want to modernize nukes

The number of nuclear warheads globally is about 17,000, estimates the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), down roughly 75 percent over the last thirty years largely because of cuts by the United States and Russia. Last June the US president proposed further cutting nuclear arsenals by a third but Russia responded that the shield, intended to protect against attack from Iran and North Korea, would require Moscow to hold more missiles or lose its deterrent capability. Russia fears the system’s interceptors could shoot down its long-range nuclear missiles.

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Burma: two WMD developments

There have recently been two noteworthy developments in the long-running saga of Burma’s reported interest in acquiring weapons of mass destruction. In different ways, both were welcome but, inevitably, concerns remain. And it certainly is short, even more so than the first two reports, which briefly covered developments in 2009 and 2010. The latest report simply states that during 2011, Burma’s main suppliers of weapons and military-related technology were China, North Korea, Russia and Belarus. Also, firms based in Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand apparently assisted Burma’s defence industries in acquiring unspecified production technology.

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The Italian Job: How the Pentagon Is Creating a New European Launchpad for US Wars

The Pentagon has spent the last two decades plowing hundreds of millions of tax dollars into military bases in Italy, turning the country into an increasingly important center for US military power. Especially since the start of the Global War on Terror in 2001, the military has been shifting its European center of gravity south from Germany, where the overwhelming majority of US forces in the region have been stationed since the end of World War II. In the process, the Pentagon has turned the Italian peninsula into a launching pad for future wars in Africa, the Middle East, and beyond.

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Asian superpowers jostle to join the aircraft carrier club

Want to be an Asian superpower? Then an aircraft carrier, it seems, is the minimum requirement for joining this elite club. In China, a retro-fitted former Ukrainian carrier dating back to the Soviet era is the flagship of the country’s hopes for a “blue water” navy — a fleet that can operate on the high seas thousands of nautical miles from base. India has launched its first home built aircraft carrier as part of a plan to operate three carrier battle groups by 2020.

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US to build military base on Saipan to counter PLA missiles: analyst

The island of Saipan — an unincorporated territory of the United States in the western Pacific Ocean — will be reconstructed as a military base to prepare for a potential missile attack by the People’s Liberation Army over the Second Island Chain, according to John Reed, a US military analyst, in an article written for the website of the Foreign Policy magazine. The Second Island Chain is a series of island groups stretching from northern Japan to the Bonin and Marianas islands. It is the second defense line of the United States to prevent the expansion of China’s maritime power in the Eastern Pacific after the First Island Chain, which extends from Alaska to the Philippines, Reed said.

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Brussels plan to control European Army – MEPs call for new EU military HQ

The European Parliament’s majority group of MEPs called for a new headquarters that would direct major civilian and military crisis operations. The European People’s Party said governments “have to start building stand-by forces under Union command”, a move branded as the latest drift to federalism by the UK Independence Party. The proposal came in a new report from the EPP which wants Europe to redefine its security interests and to begin achieving these by actual operational deployments.

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China criticizes Japan for plans to install advanced US X-band military radar

China criticized Japan on Monday for its plans to install a cutting-edge U.S. military radar system to monitor North Korean missile launches, saying that could impact regional stability and upset the strategic balance. The X-band radar system would boost Japan’s ability to track and intercept missiles from across the Sea of Japan. That was “not conducive to regional nuclear non-proliferation and stability, and will cause an extremely negative impact on the global strategic balance,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.

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