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.
Besides testing missiles that can intercept and destroy satellites, the Chinese have developed jamming techniques to disrupt satellite communications. In addition, says Lance Gatling, president of Nexial Research, an aerospace consultant in Tokyo, the Chinese have studied ground-based lasers that could take down a satellite’s solar panels, and satellites equipped with grappling arms that could co-orbit and then disable expensive U.S. hardware. To defend themselves against China, the U.S. and Japan are in the early stages of integrating their space programs.
Iraqi forces have withdrawn from the militant-held northern Iraqi city of Tikrit after a new push to retake the city met heavy resistance, a soldier who fought in the battle said Wednesday. Government troops and allied Shiite volunteer fighters were forced to retreat just before sunset Tuesday to a base four km south after coming under heavy mortar shelling and sniper fire, the sources said. The attempt to retake Tikrit, which fell on June 12 to Sunni insurgents led by the militant Islamic State group, began two-and-a-half weeks ago.
Crete could serve as a regional node for the support, maintenance and repair of the Chinese Navy and the possibility exists for joint naval operations between Greece and China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy. “On Crete there is all the appropriate infrastructure for refuelling, maintenance and repairs for all your country’s navy units. There is a possibility of cooperation, for example, in joint patrols of war ships. And another example, in the area of fighting piracy, where the interests of our two peoples coincide”.
Both Bai Hassan and Kirkuk Oil fields in Kirkuk province are now under Peshmerga control, with the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) having ceased control of one other oil field in the area, from where they smuggle oil to Hamreen Mountains according to a source from North Oil co. who asked to remain anonymous. “Both oil fields have been controlled by the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. These two oil fields are important and very beneficial for Kirkuk because it is the place from where oil is exported abroad,” said the source.
With journalists sentenced to hard labour for writing about an isolated installation, experts are concerned about what might be being produced. “A factory built in a remote area in secrecy and under high security with a lot of pipes and pumps and such could easily be a chemical weapons facility,” Mr Kaszeta said. “However, it is occurring in a country known for secrecy with a military that operates a vast defence industry as a state-owned enterprise. Many things under that umbrella could account for this, such as manufacture of explosives or propellants.”
The decision by Poland to admit Raytheon’s Patriot to a short list of bidders for its anti-missile program, while excluding the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) program, has spurred rival claims over performance between the two. On June 30, the Polish Defense Ministry announced that it was narrowing its search for a missile defense system to two candidates, the Patriot and the Aster offered by the Eurosam consortium of Thales and MBDA.
Analysts have also been talking about a pincer movement by Egyptian and Algerian forces on either side of Libya’s desert regions, with Chadian and French forces cutting off Libya’s southern frontiers thus entrapping “terrorist” groups within Libya’s Sahara. Algeria’s El Khabar newspaper, which is close to Algeria’s military, said on 11 June that Algeria was coming under increasing pressure from western countries to intervene in Libya to destroy the “jihadist Salafist” groups.
China’s new territorial law could mean disaster if it is implemented in the encompassed territories in the nation’s nine-dash line. Defense analyst Rommel Banlaoi said that if China chooses to implement their new law in their claimed areas inside the dotted lines, which covers 80 percent of the South China Sea, the nation could use its military in enforcing the law. “It’s problematic since there are so many claimants in the disputed areas that the nine-dash line has surrounded,” Banlaoi said Monday at Camp Aguinaldo.
Saudi Arabia has deployed 30,000 soldiers to its border with Iraq after Iraqi soldiers withdrew from the area, the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television reported. The world’s top oil exporter shares an 800km border with Iraq, where Islamic State insurgents and other Sunni Muslim militant groups seized towns and cities in a lightning advance last month. King Abdullah has ordered all necessary measures to protect the kingdom against potential “terrorist threats”, state news agency SPA reported.
Mauritanian President Ould Abdel Aziz said: “The gravity of the new threats posed by terrorism, organised crime and all forms of illegal trafficking require the union to adopt a global strategy.” “In the face of the horror of terrorist acts and particularly the massacres of civilians and other barbarous kidnappings, Africa is duty-bound not only to speak with one voice but also to act with a single iron fist to curb violence and terror,” he said about the proposed African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (CARIC).
The merger deal is between Germany’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Nexter Systems of France, providers of land defense systems. “The alliance of KMW and Nexter creates a group with the momentum and innovative force required to succeed and prosper in international competition,” the companies said in a joint statement. “In addition, it offers to its European and NATO customers the opportunity of increased standardization and interoperability for their defense equipment, with a dependable industrial base.”
Israeli diplomats have told their American counterparts that Israel would be prepared to take military action to save the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan if it came under attack by jihadist militants, the Daily Beast reported on Saturday. The threat posed to Jordan by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) which has already taken over wide swathes of Iraq and Syria, is of deep concern to the Obama administration and was the subject of a confidential briefing by administration officials to senators last week, according to the online news site.
Japan is poised for a historic shift in its defense policy by ending a ban that has kept the military from fighting abroad since World War Two, a major step away from post-war pacifism and a big political victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The change will significantly widen Japan’s military options by ending the ban on exercising “collective self-defense”, or aiding a friendly country under attack. It will also relax limits on activities in U.N.-led peace-keeping operations and “grey zone” incidents short of full-scale war.
Battles in the north of Iraq pitting Sunni fighters against the Shiite-led government are sending tremors of fear across the country’s southern borders which, less than three decades ago, funnelled troops that invaded Kuwait’s oil-rich soil. The smaller neighbour, still reeling from the environmental, social and economic impacts of its 7-month annexation by Iraq in 1990-1991, is living a fresh concern as the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL), an Al-Qaeda-inspired group, fights its way in Syria and Iraq to create its own caliphate.
Africa is making progress towards a regional military force by the end of next year, a senior African Union official said on Wednesday, as local leaders urged less reliance on foreign intervention. Delays in implementing the African Standby Force (ASF) forced African states to request French intervention to tackle crises last year in Mali and Central African Republic. Delays in implementing the African Standby Force (ASF) forced African states to request French intervention to tackle crises last year in Mali and Central African Republic.
Weapons made in China/Pakistan making their way to India’s next door neighbour should definitely be upsetting for New Delhi. India needs to explore ways urgently to see if it can make a better and more economically viable offer to Myanmar. Myanmar is of huge strategic significance for India. The two countries share a 1,600-km-long land boundary apart from a long maritime boundary in Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea.
Fighting between government forces and troops form the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) took place nearly every day last week in the Manwing area of southern Kachin state. The fighting began shortly after a military column entered into an area controlled by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the KIO’s armed wing. Clashes between the Burma army’s Light Infantry Division No. 88 and resistance forces from KIA battalion 27 took place at Gaw Ngu Yang near Nam Hka village.
The U.S. Navy has dispatched numerous ships to Hawaii as it prepares for Rim of the Pacific 2014, the world’s largest international maritime exercise. It will involve 49 surface ships and six submarines from 23 countries this year, but the inclusion of one — China — will get an inordinate amount of attention. The People’s Liberation Army of China will participate in the exercise for the first time, sending ships that include the missile destroyer Haikou, the missile frigate Yueyang, the oiler Qiandaohu and the hospital ship Peace Ark.
“New NATO measures for supporting the Ukrainian defense sector include the creation of a trust fund,” the source told journalists. The Foreign Ministers of 28 NATO member-countries will discuss the issue during a coming meeting on June 24 and 25 in Brussels. It’s too early to specify the terms under which the fund will be created or the financial issues, the source said. NATO has no plans, for now, to offer military assistance.
“The Burmese army personnel come to our village and keep loitering in the streets when it is dark, sometimes they come in vehicles. We are afraid to go out in our own village,” said L Haokip, a resident of Haolenphai village. Recently, the Myanmar army has erected a makeshift wooden fence to demarcate the line of control in the area which starts from border pillar number 74. The area mentioned is almost about 12 square kilometers. At present, this area which originally is ancestral land of the Kuki village is claimed by Myanmar as their territory.
The 300 U.S. advisers authorized to assist the Iraqi security forces will find an army in crisis mode, so lacking in equipment and shaken by desertions that it may not be able to win back significant chunks of territory from al-Qaeda renegades for months or even years, analysts and officials say. After tens of thousands of desertions, the Iraqi military is reeling from what one U.S. official described as “psychological collapse” in the face of the offensive from militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The Iraqi military ran out of Hellfire missiles six days ago, and though the U.S. is rushing more missiles into the country, Iraq has only two modified Cessna aircraft to launch them in their battle against the radical Islamic militia ISIS. ISIS has damaged 28 tanks and shot down three helicopters, a significant percentage of the government force, and the militia killed an entire Iraqi Security Force brigade in the last couple of days at the border with Syria, which ISIS now controls.
The Thai military is rapidly taking control of Southeast Asia’s second largest economy with an overhaul of state enterprises, a suspension or cancellation of some of the previous government’s infrastructure projects and efforts to build bridges with foreign investors. The move comes after decades of corruption in the country’s infrastructure, previous Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra – for one – removed from office after being found guilty of having illegally transferred a high ranking civil servant for personal gain.
President Vladimir Putin on Saturday placed forces in central Russia on “full combat alert” and ordered the 65,000 troops in the region to carry out one week of military readiness drills. Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the ground and airborne drills in the Volga and Ural mountain regions would run June 21 though June 28, the Interfax news agency reported. Troops stationed near Ukraine, thousands of kilometres away from central Russia, are not involved in the drills.