Officers suspected to be loyalists of ousted President Saleh are leading a mutiny inside the headquarters of an elite paramilitary unit, seeking to oust their commander. The officials say gunfire was heard Thursday afternoon inside the Special Forces headquarters, located in the heart of the capital near the presidential palace. The mutineers chanted “leave leave” and tried to storm the office of Mohammed Mansour al-Ghadraa, their new commander.
Walvis Bay will be one of 18 naval bases that will be established in various regions: Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Mynanmar in the northern Indian Ocean; Djibouti, Yemen, Oman, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique in the western Indian Ocean; and Seychelles and Madagascar in the central South Indian Ocean. “These three strategic lines will further enhance China’s effectiveness in taking responsibility for maintaining the safety of international maritime routes thereby maintaining regional and world stability,” the media reports said.
The People’s Liberation Army has established a large-scale signals and information monitoring facility in Hong Kong similar to the U.S. PRISM monitoring program. Satellite photos show that with a diameter of 15.63 meters, the facility is far larger than the aerial fairings of Hong Kong’s weather radar and aviation radar, which Kanwa said allows it to intercept and record signals from telephones, cellphones, Wi-Fi networks and radios. It looks similar to other data mining facilities established in Kashgar in the restive western regions of Xinjiang and Tibet and along the contested border with India
The report, accessed by PTI, said these military manoeuvres were being conducted at forward defence locations of Pakistan which are usually manned by border guarding personnel. The BSF intelligence reported that phone intercepts along the border indicate that Pakistan Army and Rangers are planning to deploy snipers and sharp shooters at strategic locations and posts to target Indian soldiers and assets. The Border Security Force intelligence also reported that a special squad of Pakistani Army commandos have been placed at select locations along the IB and LoC
The OSCE grounded the drones several days ago, largely because their information systems were being jammed. The contractor supplying the aircraft described the jamming as highly sophisticated. “They say it is high-grade military-specification jamming, so it isn’t an amateur job,” Mr. Zannier said. “We are working to find countermeasures so we can continue to use” the drones. Asked who has such jamming capability in the region, Mr. Zannier said, “I can’t speculate. I can imagine who has it, but I can’t say for sure.”
Russia has announced plans to build a drone base for military reconnaissance in a town just 420 miles off mainland Alaska and just over 300 miles off the US state’s St Lawrence Island, Russia’s state news agency reported on Thursday. “The command of the eastern military district in charge of the military development of the Arctic zone has moved forward with plans to form an unmanned aerial vehicle division,” Alexandr Gordeev, spokesperson for the district said.
France will decide in the coming weeks whether to send fighter jets to Jordan to strike ISIS militants in Iraq in an effort to increase the number of missions and reduce the cost, the army spokesman and officials said Thursday. France was the first country to join the U.S.-led coalition in airstrikes on ISIS insurgents in Iraq, who have also taken control of large parts of neighboring Syria during the course of the three-year-old civil war there. “We are thinking about a deployment in Jordan,” Army spokesman Gilles Jaron told reporters.
The importance of the decision in Vietnam–US relations will depend on whether Hanoi decides to take advantage of its new access to American technology. The new policy makes it possible for Vietnam to buy patrol boats for its coast guard and surveillance planes. The Lockheed P-3 Orion planes have advanced sonar detection equipment to monitor activities off Vietnam’s coast, including detecting Chinese submarines operating in its exclusive economic zone. In the wake of the US announcement, China launched a charm offensive with Hanoi.
Azerbaijan shot down an Armenian helicopter that it said violated its airspace in an attack that may trigger fresh confrontations between the two countries over a disputed region. The Mi-24 helicopter was “trying to attack” Azeri positions near a cease-fire line when it was hit, the Defense Ministry in Baku said on its website. Armenia’s Defense Ministry said the aircraft was unarmed and called its downing an “unprecedented provocation.”
Despite the advances there remains one gaping hole in China’s winged military industrial complex – one that could stop it from realising the next mission set for it by the highest echelons of power. Whatever their individual missions, the various jets fighters and aerial drones are building blocks for China’s aim to push the next frontier – space. It said that some space superpowers had developed all-weather, near real-time and high-precision cameras to collect data on China’s military, political, economic and technological abilities.
The South Korean military began its annual war exercise involving all branches of service on Monday to bolster its defense posture against potential threats from North Korea, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said. This year’s 12-day Hoguk exercise involving the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps “will focus on ways to establish supreme military defense capabilities against (North Korea’s) possible regional provocations and all-out war,” the JCS said in a statement.
When Islamic State militants retreated from the embattled town of Jurf al-Sakher last week, the Iraqi military was quick to flaunt a rare victory against the extremist group, with state television showing tanks and Humvees parading through the town and soldiers touring government buildings that had been occupied by the militants since August. Militia commanders told The Associated Press that dozens of advisers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the Lebanese Hezbollah were on the front lines.
Taiwan’s coast guard is conducting a second day of live-fire drills on an island in the disputed Spratly chain, prompting condemnation from Vietnam. The drills are conducted annually on Taiping Island, said Shih Yi-che, a public relations official at Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration. The island is known as Ba Binh in Vietnamese and claimed by both governments as well as China. Vietnam’s foreign ministry said yesterday the drills violate Vietnam’s sovereignty, threaten maritime security, and add to tensions in the South China Sea.
In an unprecedented measure in Morocco, army and police personnel were deployed to streets and squares in the kingdom’s main cities, and outside vital sites and tourist facilities. The heavy presence of military and other security forces came as part of the “Hadar” counter-terrorism plan announced last week. We have never seen such a security alert in Morocco since the Years of Lead,” Ahmed Filali, a real estate agent, told Magharebia. “Even following the terrorist bombings in 2003 and 2007, things didn’t go that far,” he said.
The army officer who has seized power in Burkina Faso amid popular protests in the West African country was twice selected to attend counterterrorism training programs sponsored by the U.S. government, U.S. military officials said. Lt. Col. Isaac Zida, the former deputy commander of the presidential guard, emerged Saturday as the country’s ruler — at least on an interim basis — after angry demonstrators attacked government buildings and forced Burkina Faso’s longtime strongman to flee the country.
The Pentagon has scaled back its plan to assemble an overseas spy service that could have rivaled the CIA in size, backing away from a project that faced opposition from lawmakers who questioned its purpose and cost, current and former U.S. officials said. Under the revised blueprint, the Defense Intelligence Agency will train and deploy up to 500 undercover officers, roughly half the size of the espionage network envisioned two years ago when the formation of the Defense Clandestine Service was announced.
U.S. Arab allies Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait are discussing the creation of a military pact to take on Islamic militants, with the possibility of a joint force to intervene around the Middle East, The Associated Press has learned. The alliance would also serve as a show of strength to counterbalance their traditional rival, Shiite-dominated, Iran. Two countries are seen as potential theatres for the alliance to act, senior Egyptian military officials said.
Planned to be deployed at the end of the first quarter 2015 in the Central African Republic, a battalion of 450 soldiers to join the Gabonese UN contingent should be formed shortly by the Sovereign Global France (SGF). Terms of the transaction were signed on October 31 in France, between the Minister of National Defence, Ernest Mpouho Epigat and President of SGF, Jerome Paolini. SGF will put in operational condition and standards of OMP (Operation peacekeeping) Gabonese soldiers a period of 3 years.
The U.S. will consider arming tribes in Iraq’s al-Anbar province with the precondition that the move is approved by the Iraqi government, Anadolu Agency reoprted reffering to the statement by the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. Martin Dempsey said Iraqi security forces in the province are in defensive positions and would be unlikely be able to respond to a request for assistance from the Albu Nimr tribe, stranded by IS.
More than 50 years after granting its colonial empire independence, it seems Paris cannot keep its nose out of Africa. French military engagement there is much more wide-ranging than just battling Islamist insurgents in Mali. French forces are active in at least 10 African countries. Along with the 2,000 troops France has sent to help restore order in the chaotic Central African Republic, more than 5,500 are tasked with fighting armed terrorist groups, intelligence gathering, training the local military and providing rapid reaction forces.
More Swedes are now in favour of their country joining Nato than are against the idea, according to a new survey by pollsters Novus. 37 percent of Swedes questioned said they supported joining Nato compared with 36 percent who were against the idea. It is the first time a survey has suggested that a larger proportion of Swedes back joining Nato as opposed to keeping out of the organisation. In May 2014, just 28 percent of Swedes polled wanted to join Nato, compared with 56 percent of people who rejected the idea of signing up.
There was no Russian distress call. That’s the opinion of a Swedish signal intelligence (SIGINT) source after a massive $2.8mn military and media sub-hunt consumed the country for a week. Reports of a Russian distress signal and a grainy-picture were enough to deploy the navy while the media widely concluded the vessel had to be a Russian submarine spooking Stockholm. The proof of this was an alleged comms intercept, at distress call frequency, between the supposed sub and Kaliningrad base.
Australian commandos could work alongside soldiers from the feared Iranian Quds forces in the battle against the Islamic State group in Iraq, Defence Minister David Johnston has said. Johnston said the crisis created by the Islamic State’s brutal capture of vast tracts of territory was sufficiently acute that differences should be put aside in the common interest of stopping their reign of terror. His remarks came as the government revealed that Australians were continuing to join extremist groups such as the Islamic State either as fighters or supporters.
The Northern Command of the Indian Army has recently purchased 49 miniature unmanned aerial vehicles to patrol its ‘border region’ with Pakistan and China, a foreign media reported on Sunday. The report said that the Indian Army would deploy these Israeli drones to carry out ‘reconnaissance mission’ over its ‘border areas’ after soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army of China set up camp in Ladakh, part of disputed state of Jammu Kashmir. The Chinese Army soldiers were located 10 kilometres inside the Line of Actual Control.
France is moving troops toward the Libyan border within weeks and, along with U.S. intelligence, is monitoring al-Qaida arms shipments to Africa’s Sahel region, a top French military official said Thursday. A French base will go up within weeks in a desert outpost 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the lawless Libyan border region overrun by Islamic militants, the official said on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter. U.S. intelligence is helping French troops “a lot,” he said.
Russia has been reported to be creating underwater combat robots that are geared to protect its oilrigs and transportation networks as it expands its hold over in the Arctic region. Davydov said it was necessary for the country to develop the robots because of the number of rival countries contesting for the region’s abundant mineral resources, including hydrocarbons. The robots are needed to ensure the stability and security of Russia’s operations in the Arctic, including discovery, production and transportation of resources, sub-glacial operations and infrastructural security.
To casual observers, the annual pumpkin festival in the small college town of Keene, New Hampshire, would seem like a harmless bit of seasonal fun. But to the local police, the event is apparently so threatening, it has to be monitored by military-style sniper units. Photos and videos taken by partygoers show what appear to be teams of plainclothes officers stationed on rooftops, scanning the crowds below with binoculars and military-grade sniper rifles.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reports that Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Volkan Bozkύr said during a visit to Berlin that if Turkey becomes a member of the European Union, the EU would be able to establish an army of 60,000 soldiers.“EU is in a superpower position but it has been unable to build its army, ” he said. “The EU is always in the “soft power” stance because it cannot establish a European army consisting of 60,000 soldiers.”
Two Egyptian officials claimed the country’s warplanes had begun bombing positions in Benghazi, the second-largest city in neighboring Libya, on Wednesday, in an attempt to wrest control of the city from the Ansar-al-Sharia Islamist militia. The mission, which will be led by Libyan pilots, marks the highest-profile collaboration between the two North African countries, both of which are beset by instability, since they experienced simultaneous Arab Spring revolutions in 2011. The Egyptian government has officially denied the news.
Russia is scaring Azerbaijan, as well as Armenia with Karabakh. Moscow is showing that it can provoke both Azerbaijan and Armenia, thus keeping both beside it. In fact, Moscow’s possibilities in Karabakh are highly limited, and perhaps it has decided that it would be cheaper to devour Armenia and Azerbaijan (through the Eurasian Union) in both economic and military terms. Azerbaijan is Russia’s natural ally, unlike Armenia which is making friends with Russia under the threat of blackmail.
The Gulf states plan to launch a joint naval force, a top Kuwaiti defence official said on Wednesday, in a bid to protect waters shared with neighbouring Iran. The new force is expected to be formed in the “coming months”, Maj Gen Ahmad Yussef Al Mulla was quoted as saying by the official Kuna news agency. The Gulf Cooperation Council states – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – formed the Peninsula Shield force in 1982 as a 5,000-strong army.
Raytheon has completed a series of laboratory tests that demonstrated the ability of the US Army’s joint land-attack cruise-missile defence elevated sensor (JLENS) radar system to integrate into the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).”With JLENS providing data to NORAD, our military will have a more accurate picture of what is flying in the National Capital Region’s airspace, and be able to identify slow and low-flying threats such as cruise missiles and drones.”
The tiny, oil-rich nation United Arab Emirates could be laying the foundation for an Arab peacekeeping force by seeking to buy more than 4,500 roadside-bomb protected trucks from the Pentagon, according to a U.S. government official. It follows a series of meetings in recent years between officials from the United States, UAE and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a regional group of six Middle Eastern nations to establish joint security forces in the region.
The Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense announced new legal and practical measures created to respond to unconventional war threats. “Nowadays, procedures activating the military forces don’t ensure a proper scope and timely response,” Juozas Olekas, Minister of National Defense, said in a statement. Olekas said that current global context requires more efficient processes of army activation and a wider mandate to use munitions.
The mysterious workings of a Pentagon office that oversees clandestine operations are unraveling in federal court, where a criminal investigation has exposed a secret weapons program entwined with allegations of a sweetheart contract, fake badges and trails of destroyed evidence. The exact purpose of the silencers remains hazy, but court filings and pretrial testimony suggest they were part of a top-secret operation that would help arm guerrillas or commandos overseas.
The South Korean military said Monday it has deployed additional weapons to islands near the tense western maritime border to better deal with North Korea’s growing threats. The disputed sea border remains a powder keg with the two Koreas fighting bloody battles there in 1999, 2002 and 2009. In the latest incident, both sides briefly exchanged fire last week as a boat from the North violated the Northern Limit Line (NLL).
Military training for students was introduced in 1955, but it was given greater emphasis after the army crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators at Tiananmen Square in 1989. Students at universities that authorities regarded as hotbeds of counterrevolutionary protest. Training became compulsory for all high school and university students in 2001. But Chinese society and social values have radically changed since then, as reflected in the pushback from students and parents.
French forces in Niger have attacked and destroyed what they say is a militant convoy transporting weapons south from Libya, Paris said on Friday. Few details of the operation were disclosed, but France said the attack destroyed weapons and personnel sent by militants in Libya through Niger to support their comrades in Mali. The attack marks the first engagement for a 3,000-strong French force deployed in August, Operation Barkane, aimed at combatting what Paris says are militants who move men and material across the Sahel region of North Africa.
Russia will create a space-based ballistic missile warning system capable of detecting launches of inter-continental and tactical missiles, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Thursday. “Creation of the unified space system is one of the key directions for the nuclear containment development, especially Russian nuclear deterrent forces,” Shoigu told a teleconference with senior ministry officials. The system will be able to detect launches of various types of missiles, both strategic and tactical, including those launched from underwater positions.
Beijing has completed a runway for military aircraft on a South China Sea island also claimed by Vietnam, state-run media reported, as it asserts its territorial claims in the area.The Paracels are also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan, and tensions between Beijing and Hanoi rose this year over Chinese construction and oil exploration there. The runway is Beijing’s latest physical assertion of control in the area, two years after it declared a city named Sansha centered on Woody Island to administer vast swathes of the South China Sea.
New NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday that the Western alliance could deploy its forces wherever it wants, apparently calling into question post-Cold War agreements that have been shaken by Russia’s actions in Crimea and Ukraine. At a summit a month ago, NATO leaders agreed to set up a “spearhead” rapid reaction force that could be sent to a hotspot within days, and to pre-position equipment and supplies in eastern European countries to receive the force if needed.
The Bundeswehr is preparing for a mission to monitor the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen advised the Stewards of the Bundestag about the planned German involvement in a mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). “Our common goal is that the situation stabilized in eastern Ukraine and in a peace process ends,” she said. However, a final decision on the application shall be made after completion of talks with the OSCE and France.
The U.S. Air Force is ready to “weaponize” and quickly field directed-energy technology, following two recent successful high-power microwave (HPM) demonstration programs. Progress is also being made with solid-state high-energy lasers (HELs). Directed Energy was one of three “game-changing” technologies discussed by Maj Gen Tom Masiello, the commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), at the recent Air Force Association (AFA) Conference in Washington, D.C. The others were hypersonics and autonomy.
France is setting up a base in northern Niger as part of an operation aimed at stopping al Qaeda-linked militants from crisscrossing the Sahel-Sahara region between southern Libya and Mauritania, officials said. Paris, which has led efforts to push back Islamists in the region since intervening in its former colony Mali last year, redeployed troops across West Africa earlier this year to form a counter-terrorism force. “A base is being set up in northern Niger with the throbbing headache of Libya in mind,” a French diplomat said.
The Philippine military is mulling the transfer of a Sulu-based Marine battalion to Palawan near the disputed West Philippine Sea, citing “territorial defense operation.” A source said this is being studied by the military top brass in Camp Aguinaldo in coordination with the Armed Forces’ Western Mindanao Command. “That’s being planned by GHQ (General Headquarters) but there is still no confirmation to it. It is still being discussed,” a ranking official said Tuesday.
Germany’s military is unable to meet its medium-term readiness target should NATO call on its members to mobilize against an attack, officials said Monday. The revelation follows days of embarrassing reports about equipment failures that included German army instructors being stranded in Bulgaria en route to Iraq when their plane broke down, and delays in sending weapons to arm Kurdish fighters because of another transport problem. But, he said, Germany’s short-term readiness isn’t an issue.
Turkey’s military on Monday deployed 35 tanks in a border town near Syria after mortar shells landed on Turkish territory, injuring three people, media reported. As clashes between Islamic State (IS) militants and the People’s Protection Units (YPG) intensified in Kobane city in northern Syria, the Turkish Armed Forces stepped up security measures on the border line in Suruc town of the southeastern province of Sanliurfa, Xinhua reported citing the semi-official Anadolu Agency.
Come the start of October US Air Forces Africa will be activated and given the designation of the 17th Air Force. This announcement was made at Ramstein Air Base in Germany by General William Ward, Commander of US Africa Command (Africom). Welcoming the US Air Forces Africa to Africom he said it was a major undertaking involving hard work to establish a new air force service component command from the ground up. The airborne component of Africom, Ward said, will have the same mission.
Speaking at the 11th Arms and Security exhibition in Kiev, Ukrainian chairman of parliament Oleksandr Turchynov said that the government is buying drone aircraft from Poland to assist ‘anti-terrorist’ operations in rebel-held areas of eastern Ukraine. “It’s very important to us, and our Polish colleagues want to supply these products to Ukraine,” Oleksandr Turchynov is quoted by Interfax as saying. The Polish unmanned aircraft are able to lift up to 15 kilograms of cargo, including arms, he said, and would be used immediately in battle zones.
Turkey has sent a warship to the island of Cyprus to monitor a drillship that has been sent to search for natural gas reserves off the island’s coast. Italian-Korean consortium ENI/KOGAS has sent the Bahamas flag-carrier Saipem 10000 drillship to the “Onasagoras” gas field in Block 9 of the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on Tuesday. In response, the Turkish navy has sent its Bafra Korveti warship to observe the drillship’s activities. Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister said that hydrocarbon exploration in the region will continue despite Turkey’s objections, calling Turkey’s actions ‘potential harassment’.
Senior U.S. officials with knowledge of the initiative said Washington wants to support Vietnam by strengthening its ability to monitor and defend its coastline, and said unarmed P-3 surveillance planes could be one of the first sales. Such aircraft would also allow Vietnam to keep track of China’s increasingly assertive activities in the South China Sea, a potential flash point because of interlocking claims from many countries to its islands and reefs. Two senior Obama administration officials said discussions on easing the embargo are taking place in Washington and could result in a decision later this year.
Bahraini fighter jets have joined US-led air strikes in Syria to prevent extremist fighters from expanding throughout the region. The US operation included the Royal Bahrain Air Force (RBAF) and military forces from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Jordan, which was part of an international action plan to stamp out the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation. “A group of fighter jets from the RBAF carried out, along with the air forces of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) states and those of allied and friendly countries, air strikes against a number of selected targets of terrorist groups and organisations, and destroyed them.”
Hundreds of Indian and Chinese troops have dug into positions on a high Himalayan plateau, leading India’s army chief to cancel a foreign trip and monitor a standoff that underscores deep differences between the Asian giants as they seek closer ties. Military officials in New Delhi and Kashmir said on Tuesday that Chinese troops set up a camp about 3 km (2 miles) into territory claimed by India in the Chumar region of the Ladakh plateau more than a week ago.
Turkish government will ask for the parliament’s authorization for military operations in Syria and Iraq, the newly-elected PM Ahmet Davutoğlu said at a press conference on Tuesday. The proposal will be submitted to the Turkish Parliament after the new legislative year starts on Oct. 2, Davutoğlu said. “There can be two different bills depending on the risks in the region,” Davutoğlu said. “We hope that the security situation will not deteriorate for Turkey in the region and that we will not have to send armed forces.”
The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that crew aboard the frigate Lübeck found a 20-centimetre rip on the tail of one of their aircraft in June. A Defence Ministry report seen by the paper shows that the navy decided “to stop all flight operations with this model until further developments,” and ordered checks to be made on all of its 22 machines. The engineers found similar rips on three different machines and “substantial damage” to several more, leading the navy to ground all 22 of that model.
Crews of four Mig-31 aircraft took off from Yelizovo airfield in Kamchatka’s regional centre of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, heading for the Pacific to air cover warships in an imaginary evasive action. Despite difficult weather conditions, they successfully simulated air fights and also fired missiles at sea targets.A strategic command and staff exercise code-named Vostok 2014 (East 2014) with about 100,000 troops participating began in the Eastern Military District.
China sent a surveillance ship to waters off Guam to monitor a US naval drill, the exercise’s operational chief said yesterday. Over the past week, the Chinese Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence – or AGI – ship has been in waters near the site of Exercise Valiant Shield, a biannual training exercise that began on Monday and ends on Tuesday, said Rear Admiral Mark Montgomery. He said interaction between the Chinese and US ships had been professional. “We respect the right of a nation like that, [or] any nation, to safely and responsibly operate their ships,” he said.
One of the most ‘popular’ features on the controversial F-35 is the jet’s Distributed Aperture System (DAS). DAS creates an all-seeing sphere and classifies and relays data and video to the pilot’s helmet and to the jet’s mission computers. This game-changing system has now been adapted for the high seas, and it won’t stop there. DAS accomplishes its unique task via a constellation of electro-optical cameras installed around the F-35, each staring in a separate direction.
Russia and Egypt have reached a preliminary deal for Cairo to buy arms worth $3.5 billion from Moscow, Interfax news agency quoted the head of a Russian state arms agency as saying on Wednesday. Speaking during an arms trade exhibition in South Africa, the head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Alexander Fomin, did not give further details. Russia, the world’s second-largest arms exporter, has sought to boost its military ties with Egypt after relations between Cairo and its long-standing ally Washington soured.
Turkey’s military is drawing up plans for a possible “buffer zone” on the country’s southern border, where it faces a threat from Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, Turkish media quoted President Tayyip Erdogan as saying on Monday. The government will evaluate the plans and decide whether such a move is necessary, Turkish television stations quoted Erdogan as telling reporters on his plane as he returned from an official visit to Qatar. Turkey, a member of the NATO military alliance, has made clear it does not want a frontline role in a military coalition.
Several Arab countries have offered to carry out airstrikes against militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, senior US state department officials said on Sunday. The offer was disclosed by American officials traveling with US secretary of state John Kerry, who is approaching the end of a weeklong trip that was intended to mobilize international support for the campaign against ISIS. “There have been offers both to Centcom and to the Iraqis of Arab countries taking more aggressive kinetic action,” said one of the officials.
With President Pranab Mukherjee set to leave for a four-day visit to Vietnam on Sunday, New Delhi confirmed that it was in talks with Hanoi for supply of BrahMos missiles to the South East Asian country, which was locked in a territorial dispute with China. Several countries like Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia and Malaysia evinced interest in importing the BrahMos. Sources, however, said that Vietnam could be the first country to have a deal with BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited for import of the missiles.
India is subtly increasing defence training programmes in friendly countries in southeast Asia Africa and Latin America, with a global strategic objective. Besides training military officers and personnel of Afghanistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Asean, African and Latin American nations in domestic training facilities, Indian trainers are also visiting countries like Laos and Vietnam and Namibia and Ethiopia to impart military training, official sources told ET.
“Yaogan 21 will be used for scientific experiments, natural resource survey, estimation of crop yield and disaster relief,” Xinhua reported. But experts say the Yaogan series of satellites likely serve Chinese military authorities with information from optical and radar imaging sensors. Tracking data from the U.S. Air Force’s space surveillance network indicate the Yaogan 21 payload launched Monday was put in orbit about 480 kilometers, or 300 miles, above Earth. The orbit is tilted 97.4 degrees to the equator.
Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, who has refused to step down as the commander of the Lesotho Defence Forces, seized a cache including anti-aircraft guns, mortars and small arms from state armouries. “He has refused to vacate offices and depleted armouries,” Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao said, adding the material was being used to prepare for both “defensive and offensive” operations. “Intelligence reports indicate he slips in and out of the mountains,” Mahao added.
“We have confirmed that Ahmed Godane, the co-founder of al Shabaab, has been killed,” Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon’s press secretary, said in a statement. Since taking charge of al Shabaab in 2008, Godane had restyled the group as a global player in the al Qaeda network, carrying out bombings and suicide attacks in Somalia and elsewhere in the region, including the Sept. 21, 2013, attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, that killed 67 people.
South Korea said it would create a combined army unit with the United States, reportedly tasked with destroying North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction in the event of an all-out conflict. The mechanised unit led by a US major general will be set up in the first half of next year as part of elaborate preparations for any future war between the two Koreas. “It will be the first combined ‘field combat’ unit to carry out wartime operations,” a defence ministry spokesman said without elaborating on its mission.
A day after Berlin announced it would send anti-tank rockets, assault rifles and hand grenades to the Kurds, Merkel said Germany had a responsibility to intervene in the conflict to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Iraq, citing evidence of ethnic cleansing by Islamic State fighters. Meanwhile the Bundeswehr army plans to bring a small group of Kurdish peshmerga fighters to southern Germany for a week’s training with the equipment. Critics fear the arms could end up in the hands of jihadists.
American military officials have shed some light on what Canada could contribute to the missile-defence program should it choose to join after a decade spent on the sidelines. Several conversations with high-ranking U.S. military officers point to a common desire: multi-purpose sensors in Canada’s Arctic that would sniff out a wider range of potential threats than just intercontinental ballistic missiles. Those state-of-the-art systems would be designed to track maritime vessels, airplanes and small cruise missiles — all in addition to any large missile fired off by North Korea or some hypothetical rogue state.
Fearing a Russian invasion and occupation of Alaska, the U.S. government in the early Cold War years recruited and trained fishermen, bush pilots, trappers and other private citizens across Alaska for a covert network to feed wartime intelligence to the military, newly declassified Air Force and FBI documents show. Invasion of Alaska? Yes. It seemed like a real possibility in 1950. “The military believes that it would be an airborne invasion involving bombing and the dropping of paratroopers,” one FBI memo said.
The upcoming NATO summit offers an opportunity to demonstrate Europe’s commitment to collective defense, to a stronger European defense posture, and to the transatlantic alliance. The countries of the so-called Weimar Triangle – France, Germany, and Poland – are well suited to lead such an effort. The three big countries in the middle of Europe should thus staff a regional headquarters, which would serve as the basis for defense planning and exercises and support the rotating US troops.
The defence ministry aims to purchase the locally-made Tien Kung 3 (Sky Bow 3) surface-to-air missile system between 2015 and 2024 to replace the ageing Hawk missile systems, said lawmaker Lin Yu-fang of the parliament’s defence committee. This will be the biggest procurement of domestically-made weapon systems in recent years. The Tien Kung 3 surface-to-air missile system, developed by Taiwan’s Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, is designed to counter tactical ballistic missiles for air defence missions and missile interception
Military units in Lesotho have surrounded government and police buildings and gunfire has been heard in the small mountainous southern African kingdom. Speaking to Al Jazeera from South Africa, where he had travelled to on Friday, Prime Minister Tom Thabane said that the army had taken over government buildings and he planned to try to return to the country. “The armed forces, the special forces of Lesotho, have taken the headquarters of the police.”
The U.S. Coast Guard fired at an Iranian fishing boat in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday, nearly adding to a long list of global headaches for President Obama. Fortunately, the incident ended quickly with nobody hurt, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said, according to a CNN report. The Iranian boat had pointed a weapon at the American crew, Kirby said, prompting a single shot from the Coast Guard vessel. “I don’t know whether the shot was just a warning shot, or it hit the dhow.” “In any event, it pulled away and nobody was hurt.”
The German air force is facing such a severe funding shortage that many of its aircraft are unable to fly, mechanics are forced to cannibalise parts from existing planes and only eight of the country’s 109 Eurofighters are fully operational, according to a report in Spiegel magazine. German defence sources have rubbished the article, saying it is inaccurate and does not match up to official air force logs. But the claim that Germany’s air force is not as strong as previously thought will cause concern among its Nato allies at a time of growing worldwide instability.
Senior US officials on Monday said the United Arab Emirates and Egypt have ‘secretly’ launched airstrikes against Islamist militias battling over Tripoli, the New York Times reported on Monday. A number of unidentified aircraft roared over Libya’s capital as loud explosions were heard in the last few days, as the clashes between militias prompted hundreds of people to flee. Egypt has previously denied its involvement, and various warring factions in Libya tried to claim responsibility for the attacks.
After basing its most potent Sukhoi-30MKI fighters at Tezpur and Chabua, India has now begun deploying six Akash surface-to-air missile (SAM) squadrons in the northeast to deter Chinese jets, helicopters and drones against any misadventure in the region. Defence ministry sources on Thursday said IAF has started getting deliveries of the six Akash missile squadrons, which can “neutralize” multiple targets at 25-km interception range in all-weather conditions, earmarked for the eastern theatre.
Guam, because of its military bases, Army anti-ballistic missile system and location 3,300 miles west of Hawaii is an increasingly important strategic hub for the U.S. Asia-Pacific rebalance, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said today. “We’re going to have 60 percent of the Navy out in the Pacific and we’re going to have 60 percent of our combat air forces out in the Pacific,” he said. “But it’s not just about military things. The other part of the rebalance involves an initiative called the Trans Pacific Partnership.
Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania – former Soviet republics with their own Russian-speaking minorities – are increasingly anxious that the conflict in Ukraine and Russia’s annexation of Crimea could herald destabilisation in their own region by Moscow. The Baltic states have asked for an increased NATO presence to reinforce Article 5 of the alliance’s constitution, which states that an attack on one of its members is an act of aggression against all, obliging them to react.
The Ministry of Peshmerga forces in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq announced that the ministry in coordination with the United States is about to start a project of establishing a military airport in Erbil (Hewler), capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. Brigadier Halkurd Hikmet said that the U.S. military team in the Region to monitor the situation in Sinjar Mount, and they provided the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) with a report recommending establishment of a military airport in Erbil in cooperation with the U.S. and the Iraqi Central Government.
Saudi Arabia has ruled out conscription for its defence force in the near future, according to Minister of National Guard Prince Miteb Bin Abdullah. Prince Miteb said the kingdom was restructuring its elite force and applications to join the military exceeded the requirement, making conscription unnecessary, local media reported. “There is a big response from citizens to join the military sector, whether from the colleges, institutes or training centres.”
Concerns about failures to properly improve the accuracy and effectiveness of the Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) ground-based missile interceptors have been raised in a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit report The GAO audit details three separate flight tests of the GMD’s Capability Enhancement I (CE-I) interceptor and the upgraded version called the Capability Enhancement II (CE-II) in which both interceptor designs had issues with their guidance systems.
We could explore the huge potential of retired military officers, offering professional training and technical expertise to local security enterprises in developing and underdeveloped countries, which are often crowded with Chinese enterprises. We could also bring into play the low-cost advantage, equipping overseas Chinese enterprises with low-cost but high-quality homemade security installations. After three decades of development, China now has 3,997 security companies with over 4.5 million security guards.
The South Korean Government is reportedly interested in the acquisition of an Iron Dome anti-missile defence system from Israel in an effort to bolster protection against rockets launched from North Korea. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems CEO Yedidia Yaari was quoted by Israel’s Army Radio as saying that Iron Dome’s performance in the ongoing Gaza war had fuelled foreign interest in its procurement, including by South Korea.
The language, incorporated into the House Armed Services Committee’s passed version of the defense bill, asks the Defense Department to better assess anti-access/area-denial threats in the Asia-Pacific region, submit a report on the cross-strait balance of forces between China and Taiwan, and better estimate China’s fast-growing Naval military power. They (China) are preparing for potential conflict in the Taiwan strait, which includes deterring or defeating third party intervention.
South Korea’s army faces a foe that’s currently causing far more controversy than the North Korean forces massed above the demilitarized zone – and may be just as dangerous. Sagging military morale among the South’s 640,000 troops has resulted in suicides, mass shootings and, most alarming of all from the viewpoint of the top command, the torture murder of a young soldier. In a country that still requires a minimum 21 months military service, young Koreans seem increasingly unwilling to serve.
The Chinese military has set up a joint command center that would integrate the operations of its army, navy and air forces, in a move aimed at making military strategy and tactics more efficient. The joint operations command center has been established under the People’s Liberation Army’s General Staff Headquarters, which is responsible for taking command of military strategies, as part of military reform efforts to boost the unified operations of Chinese capabilities on land, sea, air and in dealing with strategic missile operations, the sources said.
France said it would respond “quickly,” and Saudi Arabia, which is financing the French arms purchases for Lebanon’s army, also pledged to accelerate implementation of the deal. Speaking to AFP, Lebanon’s army chief General Jean Kahwaji said the military was hamstrung in its fight against the jihadists. “This battle requires equipment, materiel and technology that the army doesn’t have,” Kahwaji said. In December, Riyadh agreed to finance a $3-billion package of French military equipment and arms for Lebanon’s army.
Egypt and Algeria are considering a joint military operation in Libya to prevent the rise of Islamic State (ISIS) fighters in their increasingly unstable neighbour Libya, an Algerian newspaper reported. According to Sunday’s editorial in the Algerian Al-Watan newspaper, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is “worried” about the threats from its eastern borders. It pointed out that Bouteflika is “prepared to wage a war against Jihadists in the region”.
NATO’s top commander has begun entertaining the idea of a regional headquarters specifically focusing on Article 5 violations – which requires members to come to the aid of another member if it is attacked – ahead of an alliance gathering in Wales. Retired Adm. James Stavridis(SACEUR) said in an op-ed in June that NATO members needed to prepare more special forces for threats coming from the southern border of the alliance, especially Iraq and Syria, and to deter Russia.
The current focus of Chinese concern appears to be on the ancillary intelligence gathering and surveillance capabilities the United States is putting in place during peacetime rather than the ability of U.S. defenses to intercept a Chinese missile fired during an actual conflict. Chinese military planners worry—justifiably or not—that the radars the United States is deploying in the region, including those that support missile defense, could be used to observe the testing or track the deployments of Chinese missiles.
A powerful Iranian general has emerged as the chief tactician in Iraq’s fight against Sunni militants, working on the front lines alongside 120 advisers from his country’s Revolutionary Guard to direct Shiite militiamen and government forces in the smallest details of battle, militia commanders and government officials say. The startlingly hands-on role of Iranian Gen. Ghasem Soleimani points to the extent of the Shiite-led Iraqi government’s reliance on its ally Tehran. The Iranian role, however, risks further sharpening the sectarian rifts in the conflict.
The U.S. has supplied 747,000 weapons to Afghanistan. It might have a difficult time figuring out where some ended up.
The Pentagon has supplied 747,000 weapons and auxiliary equipment, most via federal contractors, to the Afghan National Security Forces during the last decade. And according to a new report, it might have a hard time figuring out where a fair share of them ended up. The discrepancies show examples of where DOD was not in compliance with its internal operating procedures and accountability requirements, and where missing information could result in the inability to locate weapons.
The Chinese goal is beyond Tibet and that country has border disputes not only with India, but with almost all its neighbours. Dr Sangay said the move of the Chinese to expand its bases proved the country’s intention to look beyond Tibet as China established strong bases in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and even set up sea ports in Pakistan. He revealed that China is also constructing a sea port in Sri Lanka and it is evident that the Chinese are trying to gain control over the Bay of Bengal.
More than half of China’s military airfields have flight paths that are obstructed by tall buildings, causing accidents and airport closures, Chinese state media reported. Nearly 100 accidents have occurred at military air bases due to high-rise buildings and development in the past 20 years, the website of the ruling Communist Party’s mouthpiece, the People’s Daily said. The problem has become so great that more than 10 military airfields have been forced to close or move.
As American officials fire of diplomatic salvos at Russia in response to that nation’s purported actual artillery salvos into Ukraine, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said recently that among other actions, the U.S. military is dusting off decades-old plans, just in case. “We’re looking inside our own readiness models to look at things that we haven’t had to look at for 20 years, frankly, about basing and lines of communication and sea lanes.” “What the military does when faced with these crises is – our job is preparedness, deterrence and readiness.”
Researchers in the US, funded by the US Air Force, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), and the National Science Foundation, have managed to turn air into an “optical fiber.” This breakthrough allows the scientists to create an air waveguide, allowing for much better transmission of lasers through free space. As you might have guessed from the US military’s involvement, this could be big news for laser weapons — but there are repercussions for laser-based communications and scientific research as well.
The new Estonian state defence law that was sent for a round approvals to different state institutions will make the prime minister the highest military head in Estonia, reports LETA reffering to Postimees. The aim of the bill is to make Estonian state defence modern and guarantee leadership of the state with clear command lines. The current state defence basics are considered very outdated and compared to the pre-WWII era. According to the current Estonian laws, the president is the highest head of Estonian state defence.
“This neighborhood watch twosome … will be on the lookout for nefarious capability other nations might try to place in that critical orbital regime,” Gen. William Shelton, the head of Air Force Space Command, told reporters at the Pentagon. The launch comes at a time when China is rapidly improving its space and anti-satellite capabilities. Pentagon planners worry that in a future conflict, Beijing might shoot down or disable American military satellites that are critical for communications, intelligence-gathering, and targeting.
By any measure, this is a serious undertaking. It will involve 3,000 troops, headquartered in the Chadian capital N’Djamena, but spread out across Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. They will be supported by helicopters, fighter jets and, ominously, drones. France’s Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described it as a “counter-terrorism” offensive, designed to ensure that there is no upsurge in terrorist activities from jihadist groups operating in the area. “The aim is to prevent what I call the highway of all forms of traffics to become a place of permanent passage.