The “peace dividend” from the end of the cold war has long since bitten the dust. Global military spending has returned to pre-1989 levels, undoubtedly a legacy of the war on terror and the returning salience of military competition in its context. In fact, by 2011 global military spending was higher than at any year since the end of the second world war. So, what is the explanation for such huge investments? Is it simply the case that states are power-maximising entities, and that as soon as they have access to enough taxable income they start dreaming war?
If the French defense industry was not alone in crossing the strategic Rubicon, it did so with a splash by starting negotiations in the aftermath of the 2008 Georgia war. The move by the EU peace-broker shocked its Western partners, but no objections were raised (at least officially) by NATO which regarded the defense contract as a “sovereign matter between France and Russia.” As Russian forces tighten their grip on the energy-rich and strategically important Crimean peninsula, the Western alliance faces another awkward French moment.
Libya’s Defence Ministry has authorized the military to use force to stop a North Korean-flagged tanker from loading crude oil at a rebel-held port, bypassing the Tripoli government, it said on Sunday. The tanker docked on Saturday at the eastern terminal of Es Sider, one of three ports seized by rebels since August to press demands for autonomy and a bigger share of oil revenue. Local daily al-Wasat said the ship had loaded $36 million of crude.
The Spanish government approved Friday an expansion of the size and duration of the U.S. military presence at the Moron base in southern Spain. The Pentagon is authorized to increase the U.S. Marine contingent at Moron from the current level of around 850 troops to as many as 1,100, Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenes told reporters after Friday’s Cabinet meeting. The U.S. military also asked to expand the number of aircraft stationed at the Moron base, he said.
NATO is launching a military exercise involving 16,000 soldiers from 16 countries in the north of Norway, to practise stopping a surprise invasion, the Norwegian army announced today. The army was quick to add that the multi-national exercise dubbed Cold Response had been planned for a long time and had nothing to do with the current tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine, where Russian forces have taken effective control of Crimea.
A squad of 100 newly-minted Somali commandos are ready to hit the streets following the end of a nine-month training course run by American trainers. Nicknamed Danab (lightning) due to their newly-acquired skills, the commandos are expected to significantly beef up the security effort in the capital Mogadishu which has in recent weeks grappled with a spate of terror attacks.
The US Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response (SP-MAGTF CR) began their redeployment to Moron, Spain after completing a forward deployment in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. Over the following weeks, as violence spread to areas throughout South Sudan, U.S. citizens in those areas needed to be evacuated. While the East Africa Response Force was providing security for the embassy, additional forces were required to continue the evacuation mission.
The defence forces of the 10 members states of the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plan to undertake a joint maritime security exercise in the Malacca Straits in 2015. The initiative would be a first for the bloc, and the announcement comes at a sensitive time as a territorial dispute between China and five member states – Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei – absorbed much of the ASEAN Defence Forces Informal Meeting on 5 March in Naypyidaw.
Two Russian warships on their way to the Black Sea have passed through Istanbul’s Bosphorus staits. Russia’s ‘Saratov’ and ‘Yamal’ ships sailed unaccompanied through the Marmara Sea before entering the Bosphorus straits at 07:30 local time (05:30 GMT). The two ships, which were usually based in the eastern Mediterranean to monitor developments in Syria, are now on their way to Crimea due to the latest situation there. At the same time a Ukrainian ship called ‘Hetman Sahaidachny’ entered the straits at Canakkale (Gallipoli) on its way to the Marmara Sea.
Large-scale tactical exercises have started in the Kaliningrad region. The coast guard troops of the Baltic Sea Fleet are involved in the maneuvres. According to Russian media, the exercises began following a snap check of the armed forces ordered by Vladimir Putin. More than 3,500 servicemen of mechanised infantry regiments and the guards naval infantry brigade take part in the drills. Representatives of Lithuania and Poland say the exercises pose a direct threat to third countries amid the intervention of Russian troops in Ukraine.
Crimea approved the creation of a special forces unit which obey “exclusively” to the regional government
The Supreme Council of Crimea has established a unit of police special forces, known as ‘Berkut’, in the region, located in the southeast of Ukraine, and that has announced this Saturday the Deputy Prime Minister of Crimea, Rustam Temirgaliev, respond “exclusively” at the orders of the regional authorities.Temirgaliev has confirmed that the Supreme Council of Crimea has approved the regional unit of special forces and that “they have already taken the appropriate actions” to begin its operation.
Ukraine’s interior minister accused Moscow’s military of blockading an airport near a Russian naval base on Friday and armed men took control of another airport in Ukraine’s Crimean capital of Simferopol. In a Facebook post, Arsen Avakov called the seizure of the Belbek international airport in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol a “military invasion and occupation.” He added: “It is a breach of all international agreements and norms.” The Interfax news agency quoted Russian military sources in the region as saying the incident at Belbek airport was intended to stop “fighters” flying in.
The U.S. Navy is mapping out how to expand its presence in the Arctic beginning about 2020, given signs that the region’s once permanent ice cover is melting faster than expected, which is likely to trigger more traffic, fishing and resource mining. “The Arctic is all about operating forward and being ready. We don’t think we’re going to have to do war-fighting up there, but we have to be ready,” said Rear Admiral Jonathan White, the Navy’s top oceanographer and navigator, and director of the Navy’s climate change task force. “We don’t want to have a demand for the Navy to operate up there, and have to say, ‘Sorry, we can’t go,’” he said.
“Military officials in Zimbabwe said details of the airbase plan were sketchy and mostly classified due to the veil of secrecy around President Robert Mugabe’s relationship with China’s Red Army. A sizeable number of Chinese troops are reported to have their boots on the ground in the Marange diamond fields, which have since been cordoned off as a high level security zone,” said the publication. It added that a senior Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) officer based in Harare confirmed that there were rumours of the impending establishment of the airstrip as a “follow up to a military treaty signed between China and Zimbabwe in July 2005”.
As you can see, while the Western district does border Ukraine, it also covers a huge amount of other land, too. It is possible that some of the troops in this district may be relatively close to Ukraine: According to the Wall Street Journal, the 20th Army, based about 200 miles from the border, is listed to be involved in “operational and tactical exercises.” On the other hand, the military district in the South is the only one that borders Crimea, and Russia says it is not the part of the drill at all. Crimea is a place to watch, and with good reason. The peninsula is a part of Ukraine but has its own legislature and constitution.
Russia is believed to be deploying military ships carrying troops in the disputed autonomous Crimea region of Ukraine, as Moscow continues to refuse to recognise the interim administration which has taken control of Kiev. Reports suggest the movement of Russia’s large landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov, with at least 200 soldiers onboard, at the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s base at Sevastopol. The ship is said to be accompanied by at least four other vessels with an unknown number of Special Forces Troops onboard, sailing from the Russian port of Anapa to the Crimean/Ukrainian Sevastopol.
British newspaper The Sunday Express claimed yesterday that “British military chiefs were last night (Saturday) ‘carefully monitoring’ developments after Argentina announced a 3 billion pounds sterling (39.2 billion peso) revamp of its armed forces.” The notion that Argentina would threaten Britain’s established military prowess with the former assigning, proportionally, the budget for the armed forces in all of South America is not infrequent in British media and certain politicians’ rhetoric. Argentina spent about 0.8 percent of GDP on the military last year, according to the Centro de Estudios Nueva Mayoría consultancy.
The US Pacific Fleet commander arrived in Manila as momentum gathered to finalise an agreement that would see an expanded US military presence in the Philippines. With the US pressing ahead with its “pivot” to Asia, Admiral Harry Harris is expected to use his first official trip to the Philippines to discuss a deal which would allow United States troops to be rotated around the country in bigger numbers and in more areas. Harris will meet senior embassy and military officials during his visit. President Benigno Aquino hinted last week that Manila and Washington were “very, very close” to signing an agreement.
China is practicing for a “short, sharp war” with Japan. That is the assessment of a top U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, who told colleagues that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is currently conducting training exercises in a practice scenario in which the military takes the Senkaku Islands, near Taiwan. “We witnessed the massive amphibious and cross-military region enterprise,” Capt. James Fannell, deputy chief of staff intelligence and information operations for the U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLEET) said at the West 2014 conference on Feb. 13 in San Diego.
Washington is ready to help Manila in the event that Beijing invades Pag-Asa, the second largest island in the disputed Spratly Islands, a top US military official said. Adm. Jonathan Greenert, naval operations chief of the US Navy, could not say what form of assistance may be extended to the Philippines but noted that the two countries have existing defense treaties. “Of course we would help you and now I don’t know what that help would be (given) specifically,” Greenert told students of the National Defense College of the Philippines in Quezon City.
U.S. Navy to deploy ‘Star Wars’-like laser system this summer; electromagnetic rail guns not far behind
Some of the Navy’s futuristic weapons sound like something out of “Star Wars,” with lasers designed to shoot down aerial drones and electric guns that fire projectiles at hypersonic speeds. That future is now. For the Navy, it’s not so much about the whiz-bang technology as it is about the economics of such armaments. Both costs pennies on the dollar compared with missiles and smart bombs, and the weapons can be fired continuously, unlike missiles and bombs, which eventually run out. The Navy’s laser technology has evolved to the point that a prototype can be operated by a single sailor, he said.
A host of Ethiopian army commanders have voiced their readiness to protect the country’s multibillion-dollar hydroelectric dam project, currently at the heart of a major row with Cairo due to Egyptian fears the dam could threaten its traditional share of Nile water. State-run television reported that military commanders had visited the project site, during which they had voiced their readiness to “pay the price” to protect the dam, which they described as a “national project.” According to state television, the visit – the first by military commanders to the site – came as part of activities marking Ethiopia’s Army Day.
Syria’s regime and rebels are likely to ratchet up military pressure on the ground after the failure of peace talks, setting the scene for a grim escalation of fighting, analysts say. Barely a day after a second round of peace talks in Geneva broke down on Saturday, the rebel Free Syrian Army fired its military chief Selim Idriss, citing “the paralysis within the military command these past months”. A source inside the Syrian opposition said that Mr Idriss — who was appointed to the role in December 2012 — had faced criticism for failings on the battlefield.
Countries in the Eastern African region will prioritize investment in modern intelligence gathering to forestall an eruption of conflicts in the region, regional military chiefs said on Saturday. The regional defense chiefs, who wrapped up a three-day meeting here, agreed that poor early warning systems were to blame for sporadic conflicts and general insecurity. “Some of the conflicts witnessed in the region lately could have been avoided had we acted on indicators that were above board. We need to invest in early warning to forestall chaos,”
Western militaries may lose access to critical materials needed for weapons and other systems, because of the growing demand for new technologies, questionable supply lines and production in unfriendly or dangerous countries, NATO documents show. “Key strategic materials are those that are crucial in the manufacture of sophisticated military hardware or components such as airframes, gas turbines, rocket motors, munitions, armor and electronics,” according to a newly released NATO request for information. “These materials are becoming increasingly scarce.”
Predicting which five weapons will have the greatest impact on the future of combat is a problematic endeavor, as the nature of warfare itself is fluid and constantly changing. A system that could be a game-changer in a major confrontation between two conventional forces—say, China and the United States—could be of little utility in an asymmetrical scenario pitting forces in an urban theater (e.g., Israeli forces confronting Palestinian guerrillas in Gaza or Lebanese Hezbollah in the suburbs of Beirut).
The Rota naval base, in southern Spain, early this next week will welcome the first of the four NATO anti-missile destroyers to be stationed there over the next two years, said U.S. Navy Capt. Greg Pekari. “This is an historic and emotional moment for the naval base, for the United States, for Spain and also for NATO,” Pekari, the top U.S. military officer on the base, said in an interview with Efe. The deployment of the anti-missile vessels will double the number of U.S. personnel on the base.
Ever since an acrimonious split with larger neighbor Malaysia in 1965, Singapore has placed a strong emphasis on the military. The greatest fears for a small country like Singapore lie in two things – coercion by bigger powers and strategic uncertainty that arises from any conflict between great powers,” said William Choong, Shangri-La Dialogue senior fellow for Asia-Pacific Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “Singapore’s defense spending should be seen in such a context.” Last year the government allocated about $12 billion of its budget to national defense.
China’s millions of only children—known as “little emperors” for how they are doted upon by parents and grandparents—may turn out to be terrible soldiers. As much as 70% of the Chinese military (paywall) is made up of men and women who are the only children in their family, according to a professor at the People’s Liberation Army National Defense University—a figure that gives some military policymakers reason to worry.“Soldiers from the one-child generations are wimps who have absolutely no fighting spirit,” warned the Study Times, an ideology-focused government publication.
A futuristic pilotless stealth fighter – the most technologically advanced combat aircraft ever produced in Britain – has passed its first ever test flights in a major milestone towards taking to the skies in combat, defence chiefs have announced. The giant-sized drone, approximately 12 metres long with a 10-metre wingspan, has been codenamed Taranis – and is so secret that few details have emerged until now. Footage of the unmanned aircraft in flight was shown for the first time in public at a briefing by the Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London.
To ensure that only North Korea’s finest gamers are allowed across the border into South Korea, the South Korean military is now securing the DMZ (demilitarized zone) with Microsoft’s Kinect sensor. Just kidding — it has nothing to do with gaming, and all about keeping the border secure. It turns out that Kinect is a very good and cheap way to differentiate between animals and errant North Koreans trying to cross the border, and triggering automatic alerts at nearby South Korean military outposts if a human is detected.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he proposed to Secretary of State John Kerry a U.S.-led NATO force patrol a future Palestinian state indefinitely. The proposed independent Palestine alongside Israel would have no army of its own, only a police force, Assad told the New York Times. So the NATO forces would be in charge of ending weapons smuggling and quashing terrorism, major Israeli concerns, he said. The NATO troops could stay in the West Bank “for a long time, and wherever they want, not only on the eastern borders, but also on the western borders, everywhere,” Abbas said.
The US deployed a ballistic missile defense destroyer to Spain to boost NATO’s anti-missile shield in Europe. The move has sparked talks about Russia possibly scrapping the START nuclear treaty. he deployment of the Navy destroyer USS Donald Cook, equipped with the Aegis shipboard integrated combat weapons system, was announced by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday. Hagel said the US is committed “to deploying missile defense architecture there,” as a part of Phase 3 of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA).
Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) drills this year will be aimed at preventing threats coming from neighboring Afghanistan, Russia’s Defense Minister said in a separate statement. “This year the drills will be more large-scaled (…) there are a number of threats we are concerned with. We should make sure we are ready to respond to them”, he elaborated. Upon Kazakhstan’s initiative, the joint drill of (CSTO) is to be held in Kazakhstan at the drill center Spassk in the vicinities of Karaganda August 18-22.
Missile batteries poke out from behind camouflage nets in the hills above the Olympic Park. Soldiers stand guard inside tents masked with fake leaves and branches in the mountains. Navy speedboats patrol the coast. Plainclothes police officers mingle among the crowd. Closed circuit security cameras are everywhere. An electronic surveillance program monitors all cell phone and internet activity. Russian security officials have promised a “ring of steel” to safeguard the Sochi Winter Olympics. Putin has ordered tens of thousands of extra troops and police to help secure the Olympics.
For the past six months, there have been intermittent reports in the news media and on specialist websites stating that Burma (Myanmar) is developing a submarine capability. If this is true, it has important implications not only for Burma and the region, but also for the wider international community. However, equally dramatic stories about Burma have emerged in the past, only to prove misleading or false. This is not the first time Burma has been linked to a submarine sale. In 2003, it was claimed that the military government had held discussions with North Korea on the purchase of one or two small submarines.
The Special Forces (SF) unit of the Indian Army based in Bangalore has quietly mapped all big government and private establishments in South India to act quickly and effectively in case of a terror strike. “We are ready to take off at very short notice and can be deployed in any part of South India,” its Commanding Officer, who did not wish to be identified, said. Operating from a 180-acre erstwhile military farm, the unit is in regular touch with the Internal Security Division (ISD), Karnataka’s counter-terrorist police unit.
The Russian defense sector is ready to supply armaments for the Defense Ministry’s operations in the Arctic, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said.”The Arctic is one of the systemic threats we have been analyzing. For instance, the Future Research Fund has listed a possible growth of tensions and the struggle for Arctic resources amongst the threats the Fund takes into consideration,” A system of the kind, the “northern” modification of the Pantsir-S1 air defense missile and artillery system, was demonstrated to the chief of state who familiarized himself with the products.
France’s top military officer says he favors an international operation to battle a security “black hole” in southern Libya. Admiral Edouard Guillaud suggested that a lack of firm central authority in Tripoli has fostered lawlessness in the southern area and France doesn’t want it to become “the new center of gravity of terrorism.” Guillaud told reporters Monday that Libya remains an independent state and no international operation could happen without its government’s approval, “but we are looking.” He did not elaborate.
The Mediterranean Dialogue (MD), initiated in l994, signaled the Alliance’s recognition of the growing importance of security challenges from the south. The MD includes: Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Mauritania. Progress in developing the initiative, however, has been slow. While bilateral cooperation has developed relatively smoothly, multilateral cooperation has proven difficult because of members’ differences with Israel regarding the Palestinian issue and more recently the deterioration of Turkish-Israeli relations.
Britain could buy weapons from its former Cold War foe for the first time under a landmark defence treaty, the Telegraph can reveal. Defence chiefs are preparing to sign a deal that would see British defence companies working jointly on projects with the Russian arms industry. The treaty allows arms companies to buy kit from Russia – and Russian diplomatic sources said they hope one day to see British soldiers carrying the Red Army’s famous Kalashnikov rifle as a result. The deal covers ‘unclassified’ technology, so it is unlikely to allow co-operation on advanced battlefield equipment such as missile systems.
INDONESIA has beefed up its military presence in waters off its southern border as military officials claim its air force is ready and that Australia is “reachabale” if there are any more border violations. Indonesian military officials have today told the Jakarta Post its Navy warships, including frigates, fast torpedo craft and corvettes as well as maritime patrol aircraft, have been deployed to waters off its southern border. Four Air Force defence radars have also been programmed to closely monitor the area.
The Army’s doctrine will change dramatically in the near future as joint leaders develop the operational concept of Strategic Landpower, said Gen. Robert W. Cone. One change will be a seventh warfighting function called “engagement,” said Cone, commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. He told those at the Association of the United States Army Aviation Symposium in Arlington, Va., Jan. 15, that the new warfighting function would involve skills used to influence foreign governments and militaries.
Under the UKUSA Agreement, the foundation for Anglo-American intelligence sharing signed in 1943 and considered so sensitive that it was not disclosed to the public until 2005, experts judge that the two countries have shared more secrets than any two sovereign powers in history. It is part of a mosaic of US facilities, from air bases to listening stations in locations from North Yorkshire to Turkey, which, in the words of one US document, “delivers full-spectrum options to combatant commanders, leads and supports joint … warfighting headquarters operations, promoting regional stability”.
Signaling impatience in perceived shortcomings over intrastate Nordic military cooperation, non-aligned Sweden and Finland have agreed to pursue a “special” defense partnership to include joint operations and material procurement. A provisional pact emerged from talks between Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö at the annual Society & Defense conference held Jan. 12 in Sälen, Sweden. Finland and Sweden view the building of a special defense relationship as reinforcing their non-aligned positions to remain outside NATO.
“The disclosure of the Dongfeng-31 at this time obviously aims to respond to the United States’ two big military moves in Japan, which make Beijing believe it is going to meddle in the territorial disputes between China and Japan,” Wong said. It was unclear when the drill took place; the captions said sometime this winter. The pictures showed a missile fired from a large launcher mounted on a 16-wheeled truck. Operators were shown inside a military camp dressed in protective suits, suggesting that the missile force was simulating the launch of an armed warhead.
Speaking on a visit to Sri Lanka, the atoll nation’s new President Abdulla Yameen said he did not want to proceed with the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that would have given the US a foothold in his archipelago located across the main east-west sea route. Although the president gave no reason for the decision, Mohamed Shareef, a minister in Yameen’s office, said it had been made over fears that the pact would upset its neighbours, including India. “We have told them that we can’t do it because both India and Sri Lanka are also not happy with it,” said Shareef, without giving further details.
France will broaden its military presence in Africa’s turbulent Sahel region with specialized new outposts to better fight the terrorism threat from extremist groups such as al-Qaida, the defense minister said. Under the plan, Chad’s capital, N’Djamena, will be a hub of French air power in the region and a base for Rafale and Mirage fighters. A site in Niamey, Niger’s capital, will be equipped with unmanned aircraft such as France’s Harfang and — as of its first official flight on Monday — a U.S.-made Reaper surveillance drone that Le Drian helped authorize France to buy.
North Korea has been building concrete machine-gun pillboxes along the border with China since December as the Chinese staged massive military drills in the area. North Korea Reform Radio quoted a North Korean source as saying each platoon of the border guard units stationed at strategic points along the Apnok and Duman Rivers has been ordered to build three concrete machine-gun emplacements. Officers of each brigade and battalion are looking for rebar and cement outside their camps.
Every year, the U.S. and South Korea team up for one of the world’s largest military exercises. Thousands of troops backed by fighter aircraft, strategic bombers and Navy warships plan for the worst. But America’s elite Special Operations Forces are also involved—planning for the day when they might be the first ones tasked with stepping across the DMZ. The training is a less publicized element of the Pentagon’s exercises in South Korea, which are emphasized as defensive in nature.
The first aircraft carrier built entirely by China is being constructed in the northeastern city of Dalian, a Communist Party official said Saturday, confirming for the first time that the Chinese are building the vessel from scratch. Wang Min, party secretary in Liaoning Province, made the disclosure during a meeting of the provincial people’s congress, according to the online edition of the Chinese-language Takungpao daily in Hong Kong. Wang told the delegates that the aircraft carrier is being built in a shipyard in Dalian and is expected to take six years to complete, Takungpao reported.
We begin to see a little more clearly what it means to be the revival of the Franco-German defense, announced by President Hollande during his press conference on January 14. German soldiers of the Franco-German Brigade (BFA) and should soon join Mali to serve in the EUTM-Mali , the EU mission training Malian army. Certainly the Germans involved since the launch of the mission , including the training of engineers and medical support. In addition, Germany provides air support for the UN force (Minusma) from Senegal.
Triple Canopy, one of ESSD American who works for the State Department under the WPS and ensures the safety of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad (880 personnel deployed for just under $ 300 million per year) offers new courses. The company has just launched a new program for government agencies, agencies of law enforcement (local, state), Multinational Enterprises and course units of the armed forces. The company has obviously decided to extend its offer (by type of training and customer). One way to balance against-the approaching end of some contracts protection and security. TC has refocused its bid security missions on the mainland U.S.
Since the start of the standoff in April 2012, Chinese Maritime Surveillance and PLA Navy ships were present on Bajo de Masinloc. The government report stated the presence of the ships there is part of a China’s pattern to establish a permanent presence – similar to what they did in Mischief Reef. “China has a history of occupying islands or territory that does not belong to her, just like the case of Mischief Reef. We should not discount the possibility that it will exert its full influence and capacity in order to occupy disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea and Scarborough Shoal as evidence by the prepositioning of naval frigates and destroyers,” the confidential government report stated.
The Agency for Defense Development (ADD) has successfully developed an ELINT (electronic intelligence) and image intelligence collection systems, which are installed on F-16s. “We now have the ability to design the signal intelligence collection equipment in the same class or better than that of advanced countries, by securing core technologies such as ultra-wideband signal high-precision direction finding and multiple signal digital analyzing technology obtained from the development of the “ELINT collection system.
The brand new Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer Izumo will undergo a refit to serve as the command center for defending remote islands in the southwest, sources said. By deploying a vessel with front-line headquarters functions, the Defense Ministry aims to strengthen the integrated operations of the Self-Defense Forces in the event coordinated actions are needed to retake remote islands that have been captured, the sources said. The move reflects the outline of a new defense program mapped out in December that calls for creating an amphibious unit in the Ground Self-Defense Force whose main task would be to take back islands.
The U.S. Navy surface fleet must steer away from depending on defensive missiles and must move toward becoming more offensively lethal, says the admiral in charge of those ships. “The surface force must greatly improve its offensive lethality,” says Vice Adm. Thomas Copeman, commander of the Naval Surface Force and U.S. Pacific Naval Surface Force. “We must move beyond the missile as a defensive system,” he says in his “Vision for the 2026 Surface Fleet” report, which was released earlier this month in advance of the Surface Navy Association Conference and Symposium being held Jan. 14-16 in Arlington, Va.
The Pentagon will undergo a massive realignment to its intelligence arm and is stream lining its cyber warfare and science and technology efforts. Part of the re-organization will include merging the Pentagon’s ISR Task Force into an ISR Operations Directorate, counterintelligence and security directorates have been merged together and HUMINT, sensitive activities and National Programs Directorates have been combined. The initiative is part of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s plan to initiative to reduce Pentagon headquarters manning by 20 percent over the next five years.
As part of the government efforts in the fight against insurgency, the Nigerian Army has established a Special Operation Unit. The unit, known as the Nigerian Army Special Operation Command, was established with assistance of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM). The establishment of the new command was announced at a workshop on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism in Abuja. The command was designed as a low level strategy to combat the threat of Boko Haram insurgency.
The Chinese Navy has drawn up a detailed plan to seize this year the Philippines’ Pag-asa Island in a battle that will be restricted in the South China Sea, according to a Chinese news network. A report of business and strategy news platform Qianzhan (Prospects) in Mandarin was translated by English news site China Daily Mail and titled “Chinese troops will seize Pag-asa Island, which is called by China Zhongye, back from the Philippines in 2014.” The report said the Philippines is so arrogant as to announce in the New Year that it will increase its navy and air force deployment at Pag-asa Island which is part of the disputed Spratly Islands.
France intervened in Africa 19 times between 1962 and 1995, often to sway a state’s internal politics under the murky “francafrique” system put in place by Charles de Gaulle to maintain political and business interests in the former colonies. But it began to adopt a more multilateral approach under Jacques Chirac’s 1995 to 2007 presidency, eschewing political meddling in favour of backing United Nations and African Union peacekeeping operations when crises arose. In 2003 and 2008, France led European Union operations respectively to combat rebels in north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and to secure the Central African and Chadian borders with Sudan’s Darfur region.
The U.S. military has stationed a small unit in Mogadishu since last fall, despite a public policy that has shied away from placing ground forces in Somalia since the much-publicized “Black Hawk Down” incident. A cell of U.S. troops, numbering fewer than two dozen, has helped advise and coordinate operations with African troops while operating out of a base in the Somali capital. The Washington Post first reported the story Friday afternoon. The CIA also has a permanent base in Somalia that serves to finance local forces and perform other quiet activities, reports the Post.
THE RUSSIAN MILITARY will now be given full use of a Cypriot airbase and the main port at Limassol. According to the Ministry of Defence in Nicosia the use of the Andreas Papandreou airbase will be only used for ‘emergency scenarios’ and humanitarian missions, but the move highlights growing co-operation between Russia and Cyprus. There has been intensive diplomatic activity between Nicosia and Moscow over Russian requests for military use of the airbase in Paphos and Limassol port since last summer.
Many of the ASEAN nations prefer informal defense cooperation that allows the United States to act as a regional stabilizer. However, this situation is also advantageous for China. For decades, China has waged a low-intensity conflict in disputed maritime zones while politically isolating Taiwan. It has illegally built facilities on contested islands in the South China Sea, harassed the Philippines, and are trying to spark a confrontation with Japan in the East China Sea. With its massive military buildup, China will soon have the conventional military-power projection to seize contested areas and potentially deter U.S. intervention.
Concerned about the potential military consequences of a surge of high tech innovation in China and other nations, the Pentagon is creating a program to track and analyze emerging technology research and patents, military records and interviews show. China has long been considered a threat to U.S. manufacturing because of its low wages and huge population, but now the nation is seeing a boom in innovation as well. Patents for new technologies in China have taken off, and a graph showing the rise in new patents looks like a “hockey stick,” said Patrick Thomas, a principal and director of analytics for 1790 Analytics.
Sudan and South Sudan have begun talks to deploy a joint force to protect oilfields in the South threatened by rebels, Sudan’s foreign minister says. The news comes after Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir flew to South Sudan to discuss the unrest there with his counterpart, Salva Kiir. At least 1,000 people have been killed since violence erupted on December 15. Nearly 200,000 people have been displaced in the conflict, which has taken on ethnic undertones. President Kiir is from the majority Dinka community while his rival Dr Riek Machar is from the Nuer group.
The US Department of Defense has released its ‘roadmap’ for bringing new and ever-more-subjectively-terrifying robots to the battlefield. The document projects wide improvements to drones of all kinds, with the principal aim to increase their range and affordability. Looking further ahead, the document also references ‘nano’-style drones, very small (insect-sized) devices designed for land and air that could be in use as soon as 2018 (though more likely around 2035 for the smallest classes of drones), as well as “robotic wingmen” which could provide unmanned help to ground-based infantry.
Domestically, the militias also pose a threat to Libya’s unity and stability. Their diktat over strategic zones, including the oilfields the economy is so desperately reliant upon, has greatly undermined the government’s credibility and the country’s livelihood in recent months. For example, the Political Bureau of Cyrenaica, a federalist group headed by the self-styled Ibrahim Jadhran, has occupied strategic oil terminals since July. In October, the group announced the creation of a federal state of Cyrenaica.
As Paul J. Smith, Professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, explained: “I don’t think the issue is the possession of submarines per se; it is China’s increasing influence in Bangladesh (including possibilities that China may be able to transform Chittagong into ‘Gwadar East’)”. This is what military planners in India are really worried about.” Gwadar is a strategic Pakistani port-affording access to the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf. The port, which is especially strategic for its importance in the global shipping trade.
Germany’s effort to making a show of military force in Africa are aimed not just at crisis resolution in conflict areas but also at promoting and marketing German weaponry. However, this effort is not independent from the French rivalry factor. When Germany achieved reunification in the 1990s, it began trying to play a more active role in the international arena. Germany’s interest in Africa has grown in recent years, in line with the continent’s increasing geo-economic and geopolitical importance. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, on the grounds of European Union integration, Germany based its Africa policy on those of the EU.
New system said to result in more coordinated and combat-capable forces to efficiently respond to a crisis, but not targetted at any country The Chinese military is to establish a joint operational command system “in due course”, with observers saying this will result in more-coordinated and combat-capable forces to efficiently respond to a crisis. Setting up the system is a basic requirement in an era of information, and the military has launched successful pilot programmes in this regard, the Ministry of National Defense toldChina Daily on Thursday.
Imagine this: In the early morning, a barrage of more than 1,000 Chinese ballistic and cruise missiles bombard Taiwanese civilian and military targets.
As the U.S. Air Force stationed in Okinawa prepares to rush to the aid of its sworn ally, Chinese cyber attacks wreak havoc on America’s air defense and targeting systems. A second volley of ballistic missiles detonates in space, destroying critical military satellites, while a third rains down on the base, damaging jets and leaving runways unusable.
yrian warplanes bombed on Wednesday a barren range of Lebanese hills used by Syrian rebels and refugees to cross between the two countries, wounding at least 10 Syrians who were rushed to hospital in a nearby Lebanese town, Beirut’s state-run National News Agency said. Cross-border strikes have been particularly intense this week around the town of Arsal, where thousands of Syrians have fled to escape their country’s civil war over the past months. The attack came days after Lebanese forces fired on Syrian helicopters near the border, an apparent attempt by Lebanon to signal that it would be forceful in defending its territory.
In a turn of phrase that seems designed to provoke headlines, the US Department of Defense this week said one of its primary goals is to “take the ‘man’ out of unmanned” combat. This quote and much more comes from the latest in the Department’s ongoing series of Roadmap to the Future reports, which seek to lay out both the current realities and future plans of the US military and defense industry. This time, the topic was ripped straight from the headlines: remote combat systems. While the American military has for a long time remained static in terms of overall manpower, one type of recruit it just can’t seem to get enough of is drone pilots.
China is considering reorganising its seven military regions into five in a bid to respond more swiftly to a crisis, the Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun reported on Wednesday. The news comes amid rising tensions over Beijing’s territorial claims in the region, with China and Japan squaring off over a chain of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. Each of the new military regions will create a joint operations command that controls the army, navy and air force as well as a strategic missile unit, the major daily said, citing senior Chinese military officials and other sources.
Poison In Our Waters: A Brief Overview of the Proposed Militarization of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
The U.S. has long viewed the island of Guam, an unincorporated U.S. territory that already hosts two of the Department of Defense’s most “valuable” bases in the world,2an indispensable part of its “Pacific Century.” Prior to talk of the “Pacific Pivot,” the Governments of Japan (“GOJ”) and the United States agreed to reduce the number of Marines on Okinawa in response to intense local pressure. Defense Department planning for Guam is closely bound up with changing plans for basing in Okinawa. In 2006, the governments of Japan and the US formalized a “roadmap” to move 8,600 Marines from Okinawa to Guam.
Barack Obama announced Thursday that he had deployed 45 American military personnel to South Sudan to protect the U.S. embassy and Americans in the country as it teeters toward ethnic civil war. Violence erupted this week in South Sudan following what appeared to be a weekend coup by the ousted Vice President as ethnic tensions plague the newly independent African nation. The International Crisis Group said South Sudan is “on the cusp of civil war.”
Chinese security forces have surrounded monasteries with paramilitary police and detained monks in a county in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) which has been resisting forced displays of loyalty to the Chinese state, according to sources. The security forces in recent weeks have also been raiding monks’ quarters and family homes, seizing computers and mobile phones and conducting daily political re-education sessions for area residents in “politically unstable” Driru (in Chinese, Biru) county, the sources said. “Over a thousand Tibetans from Driru county are now being held in detention,” a Tibetan living in Europe told RFA
Russia intends to revive a rail-based strategic missile capability in response to U.S. plans to develop a conventional long-range strike capacity. “A Defense Ministry report has been submitted to the president and the order has been given to develop a preliminary design of a rail-mounted missile system,” Russian strategic rocket forces commander Gen. Sergei Karakayev was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying. Following an examination of U.S. plans to acquire a so-called “conventional prompt global strike” capability, Russian military officials determined there was a “need to reconsider the issue of a rail-mounted missile system, given its increased survivability and the extent of our railway network,”.
No 10 has indicated that Prime Minister David Cameron is prepared to block any attempt to give the EU a bigger role in co-ordinating defence policy. He will attend a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday, the first to discuss defence for five years. The UK wants to emphasise the primacy of Nato and nation states, although Nato is keen for European countries to contribute more to their own defence. Downing Street fears any move by the European Union could undermine Nato, European officials have privately questioned the UK’s stance.
In recent years, we have also witnessed a reduction in the number and the scale of European military operations outside the Continent. Europe’s contribution to global security and stability is mainly composed of training and support, and does not involve the proper deployment of military resources. The lack of unity and resources in the EU was highlighted by the intervention in Libya where Europe was obliged to let the United States and NATO take the initiative. In the cases of Mali and the Central African Republic, France did not wait for the EU to express an opinion, because as a French diplomat, who was quoted by Le Figaro explained: “Waiting for Europe is like waiting for Godot.”
Yemen’s parliament has voted for a ban on drone strikes, but experts say lawmakers have limited powers and their vote is unlikely to impact Washington’s bid to crush Al-Qaeda militants. The United States operates all unmanned aircraft flying over Yemen in support of Sanaa’s attempts to break Al-Qaeda, and intensified strikes this year have killed dozens of militants. Yemen is home to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which Washington views as the deadliest franchise of the global Wahhabi militant network. Critics say drone strikes kill civilians and have demanded an end to the secrecy surrounding them.
Since the fall of the Gaddafi regime and the foreign military intervention in the country, the need to rebuild security through a stable and capable army in Libya has become urgent. Indeed it is becoming vital to fill Libya’s security vacuum, and efficiently fight against the country’s growing chaos, the militia violence, and al Qaida. Many countries and private entities are interested in benefitting from the risky endeavour of training the Libyan armed forces, and expanding their influence within the resource rich country.
The U.S. military needs a more focused war plan specific to China, especially after China’s recent declaration of an air defense zone over the East China Sea, a group of defense analysts told a prominent House subcommittee Wednesday. As part of the Pentagon’s overall defense strategy to pivot to the Pacific, the U.S. should buy more Virginia-class attack submarines, prioritizing long-range anti-ship missiles, carrier-based drones, and missile defense technology, the analysts told the House Armed Services’ Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.
A radar that is able to track targets at ranges of over 3,000 km has been activated within the Russian air defense system. The Kolkino radar station, using the first modernized 29B6 radar, is able to track aerial targets flying as far aways as Denmark. Earlier the radar had a research role only, and even if full operational capability is expected within 2 years, the new system is already keeping an eye on what flies west of the Russian border. Another 29B6 radar should be installed in the far eastern Russian territories, achieving operational status in 2018.
Last fall Rutgers University ocean researcher Oscar Schofield headed a collaborative experiment called Gliderpalooza, which coordinated 15 aquatic, submersible research drones to sample the deep waters off the coastal Atlantic. About 5 feet long and shaped like tomahawk missiles, the gliders beam home their data every time they surface. The propellerless drones, jam-packed with scientific instruments, swim by changing their buoyancy—taking on and expelling a soda can’s worth of water to sink and float. And they navigate under the waves by themselves.
Japan will set up a new amphibious military unit and deploy unarmed surveillance drones in its southwest, where it faces a row with China over disputed islands, according to drafts of the nation’s latest defence plans seen on Wednesday. The new defence guideline and military build-up plan, to be approved by the government next week, follow China’s declaration in November of a new air defence identification zone in an area that includes the disputed isles, triggering protests from Tokyo, as well as Washington and Seoul.
President Vladimir Putin ordered the Defense Ministry to take every step necessary to protect Russia’s security and national interests in the Arctic region. “In the next year we need to complete the creation of the armed forces’ new units. Special attention must be paid to the deployment of infrastructure and military units in the Arctic,” Putin said at an expanded meeting of the Defense Ministry Board. The president highlighted the recent restoration of an airbase on the Novosibirsk Islands off northern Siberia as “a key factor for control over the situation in the Arctic region.”
The US is planning to station anti-ballistic-missile systems on the Pacific island of Guam, a move ostensibly to defend against unpredictable North Korea, but which analysts say may be intended to counter China. Within Washington’s defence plans for next year are provisions for siting terminal high-altitude area defence (Thaad) systems on the island territory, combined with the broader realignment of US forces in the Asia-Pacific region. Siting missiles in Guam was the latest move in the military game of chess that was being played out in the region, he added.
The new military program law studied in late November in the National Assembly reinforces impunity French soldiers engaged in overseas operations (OPEX). Several articles aim to prevent ” unnecessary litigation of military operations , “responding to a pressing demand of French officers for several years. It is first to strengthen ” the excuse for criminal use of force “introduced in 2005. The latter intended to adapt to the reality of missions soldiers Opex, which consist most frequently shares police, crowd control or coercion, in military maneuvers themselves.
Iranian border forces fired five rockets in Pakistan’s bordering town of Panjgoor on Monday, officials said. An official of the provincial home and tribal affairs department who requested anonymity told Dawn.com that the rockets fired by Iranian forces landed at the Paroum area of Panjgoor. “The loud noise from the rockets were heard far and wide and caused panic in the area,” he said. However, no fatalities were reported as a result of the rocket attacks.
South Korea on Sunday announced an expansion of its air defense identification zone following China’s move to establish a similar zone that has been criticized by Beijing’s neighbors.The new South Korean zone covers a submerged reef that South Korea controls but that China also claims, and it also will include parts of airspace in the zone that China has drawn. The new South Korean zone also overlaps with parts of the Japanese air identification zone.
Earlier in October, Putin stated strongly that Russia would never “surrender” its Arctic area. Indeed, Temp airfield located on Kotelny Island, the largest of Russian islands in Novosiberian region, is being reactivated. The airfield has been operational beginning in 1949 then, 20 years ago, its activity was suspended, and the infrastructures preserved for future use. Since then, Russian policy towards Arctic has become more aggressive and one of the elements of that policy is to reinstate the aforementioned airfield for Russian Air Force planes.
The EU intends utterly to eclipse Nato, backed by the two legally binding 2009 Defence Procurement Directives, which enhance the power of the European Defence Agency (EDA). This is becoming an embryo EU defence ministry. EDA’s statute enables decisions to be taken by majority voting, and where any single state can threaten a veto, a subset of member states can act unilaterally as a bloc in the name of the whole of the EU (so called “structure cooperation”). However, EU Defence is not so much about defence, as protectionism of Continental defence industrial interests, whose technology rather lags behind their US counterparts.
African leaders have moved closer to the creation of a military force capable of intervening in crises like the one in the Central African Republic. Leaders attending a two-day summit on peace and security at the Elysee Palace in Paris have reached broad agreement on France’s proposals to turn plans agreed in principle earlier this year into a reality. France has offered to provide equipment, logistical support and coordination for the force, and will seek to persuade its European Union partners to help with financing.
The latest top secret unmanned spy plane to be uncovered isn’t just a design idea, it’s already flying at the Air Force’s famed Area 51. Unlike the recently announced SR-72, the new RQ-180 from Northrop Grumman is believed to be currently in flight testing according to Aviation Week and Space Technology. The RQ-180 is a new design aimed at intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR, a.k.a. spying) and incorporates stealth technology, in addition to an efficient new design that’s tailored to flights over countries where the red carpet isn’t being rolled out for current U.S. spy drones.
A proposal to dispatch an EU force to the Central African Republic to help African and French troops has failed to convince defence heavyweights Britain and France, diplomats said Thursday. Under the proposal, a unit of up to 1,500 troops known as the EU “Battle Group” — a force designed for quick intervention abroad and currently led by Britain — would have gone into the strife-torn country for up to four months to give a larger African force time to fan out and organise. The European Union proposal, which was seen by AFP, was drafted by European experts, including British and French officers.
An effective European security and defence policy would allow the EU to ‘project influence globally’, argues Maria Eleni Koppa. European security and defence is a topic that has been attracting a lot of attention after the decision of the European council to hold a special discussion dedicated on security and defence – for the first time since 2008 – at the forthcoming December summit. In this context, on 21 November, the European parliament adopted the report on the implementation of European security and defence policy, concerning the positions of the parliament for the future of the common security and defence policy (CSDP).
Last October the Mexico City Public Security Secretariat – its police authority – began testing little cuadricopters intended to supervise street demonstrations. In June, O Globo, a Brazilian daily, used the contraptions to do some overhead “reporting” of protests in Sao Paulo. In February the Tigre municipality in Argentina outside Buenos Aires began using the devices to track and film criminal acts and natural disasters. Indeed, the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Police is developing its own drone,the Metrocopter!
Dubbed “Nightwatch” by the military (and unofficially called “the Doomsday Plane”), the E-4B fleet consists of four modified Boeing 747 aircraft which are designed to keep the U.S. president and Secretary of Defense safe, airborne, and in control of U.S. military forces in the event of a nuclear conflict. All four planes are shielded to be resistant to the radiation and thermal effects of atomic weapons, as well as having electronics hardened to survive electromagnetic pulses.