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.
It has been pointed out that the real purpose of China’s recent declaration of the air defense identification zone (ADIZ) is the “First Island Chain” linking Okinawa, Taiwan, and the South China Sea, which is highly important for China’s marine strategy, rather than the Diaoyudao Islands or oil fields in the East China Sea. Hong Kong-based weekly magazine Yazhou Zhoukan reported on November 30 that China’s declaration of the ADIZ in the East China Sea was made after very careful considerations on the part of the Chinese government, and is a significant strategic breakthrough.
The US Navy is confirming its footprint in the Arabian Gulf by reinforcing its presence through short- and long-term plans. Telling Navy sailors at the US Naval Facility in Manama that Bahrain remained the best option for operating out of the region, Adm Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, described a plan to bring two more coastal patrol ships to the kingdom in the spring. The first littoral combat ships are expected to arrive in Bahrain in 2018 with rotational crews, Greenert told the US newspaper.
China’s increased belligerence in the region is part of its plan to control the Yellow Sea, the South China Sea and the larger East China Sea. Its military doctrine refers to dominance over the “first island chain,” which encompasses the East China Sea. The next step is dominance over what Beijing calls the second island chain extending from Japan to Indonesia. Some analysts have even speculated about plans for a third island chain strategy extending as far as Hawaii. China’s defense ministry warned in a statement that all aircraft that fail to comply with its new rules for transit through the zone could be shot down.
Based on requirements weapon elements will have to be ready for laboratory test by October 2014, while they must reach readiness for test on a plane and in simulated operational environment by 2022. Three new laser devices are to be created: small power marking laser, that would act as a marker and as a blinding weapon against the optical sensors of the enemy planes; medium power laser that is to be used against air-2-air missiles; and a high power device to act as an offensive weapon. The weapon is to be operable up to 65,000 feet of altitude and within a speed envelope of Mach 0.6 – 2.5.
The Defense Ministry plans to slash its tank forces by more than half and redeploy the remaining vehicles to Hokkaido and Kyushu to meet the realities of the post-Cold War world, sources said. The number of Ground Self-Defense Force tanks will be reduced from the current 741 to 300 within 10 years, they said. The proposal to reduce tank numbers will be included in the new National Defense Program Guidelines, the government’s basic 10-year plan for defense and national security, scheduled for completion in mid-December.
Prime Minister Shinzō Abe is the first Japanese premier to visit all 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. In late November, Emperor Akihito will make the first visit by a Japanese monarch to India. Not on either dignitary’s itinerary—China. And that’s no accident. Abe, a foreign-policy hawk who’s clashed with the Chinese over the ownership of some Japanese-controlled islands, wants to shore up relations with the swath of nations forming a semicircle around China. Some have their own beefs, including India, which shares a disputed border with China.
Completely unnoticed by the public, the Bundeswehr was rehearsing in a large maneuver the invasion of a foreign state and the use of a popular uprising against the Special Forces “Crowd Riot Control” (CRC). In large-scale maneuvers , the Bundeswehr rehearsed the invasion of a foreign country and use against a popular uprising. A total of 3,500 soldiers and 700 land and air vehicles participated in the so-called “training exercise information” part. An Air Force officer praised the exercise because of their practicality in the words: “You develop a better understanding if you feel the matter, when you see them, you have to smell the gunpowder and hear the noise.”
Col. Cyril Carcy, the only French Air Force officer currently embedded with U.S. Air Force’s Strategic Studies Group as a result of this enhanced cooperation among the three countries, describes the three pillars of the TSI this way: “Mutual trust among upcoming Air Force decision-makers, which is essential to prepare the future; integration of the three Air Forces, which goes beyond interoperability; air power advocacy, which means that air chiefs may speak with a coherent and unified voice.” Trust, integration and advocacy are the credo guiding the USAF, the FAF and the RAF on the road to enhanced military cooperation and integration among themselves.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines plan to build a pier and harbor at a naval base in Palawan, the island province closest to the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, according to officials and a defense document. Military officials confirmed Wednesday to reporters the plan to build “pier, harbor and support facilities” in Oyster Bay — the navy’s shipyard directly facing the South China Sea. The project will cost around 313 million pesos (around $7.29 million), according to the document.
Seven EU countries have formed what France calls a “club” to produce military drones from 2020 onward. The scheme was agreed in Brussels on Tuesday (19 November) at a meeting of the European Defence Agency (EDA), the EU’s defence think tank, by France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. The group-of-seven’s defence ministers signed a “letter of intent” tasking the EDA to draw up a study on joint production of Medium Altitude Long Endurance (Male) craft, which can be used to strike military targets or for surveillance of migrant boats in the Mediterranean Sea.
Britain said Wednesday it was reviewing its military presence off Gibraltar following a lengthy stand-off between the Royal Navy and a Spanish ship, but denied it was resorting to “gunboat diplomacy”. Foreign Office minister Mark Simmonds said he wanted to de-escalate the situation but would not put up with “bullying and intimidation” of the British territory at the mouth of the Mediterranean. Britain summoned the Spanish ambassador on Tuesday to explain the most serious incursion for months in the waters off Gibraltar, which Spain has long claimed as its own.
Russia is planning to strengthen its integrated regional air defense network with Belarus and set up similar joint networks with Armenia and Kazakhstan, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday. The network reportedly comprises five Air Force units, 10 air defense units, five technical service and support units, and one electronic warfare unit. It is part of the integrated air defense network of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Apart from Belarus, Moscow signed an agreement to establish a regional air defense network with Kazakhstan last year.
The network will use “behavior-based analytics” to monitor the activity of soldiers, according to National Defense Magazine, citing Maj. Gen. Alan Lynn. In particular, the army plans to target employees who have just started or are about to leave their job, as they are seen as most likely to leak information. The system will be able to detect a range of behaviors, including how many emails someone sends per day, and the amount of information that person downloads.
Just how difficult it seems to be for Europeans to literally join forces in terms of defence and security is demonstrated by the EU’s battle group. Since 2007, the European Union has two battle groups with 1,500 soldiers each at the ready. Soldiers are sent by member states on a half-year rotation. Usually made up of multinational troops, the battle groups are intended to be the EU’s quick intervention team and able to prepare the ground for long-term missions. But the battle groups have never been deployed.
Linda Woodford spent the last 15 years of her career inserting phony numbers in the U.S. Department of Defense’s accounts. And every month, they encountered the same problem. Numbers were missing. Numbers were clearly wrong. Numbers came with no explanation of how the money had been spent or which congressional appropriation it came from. “A lot of times there were issues of numbers being inaccurate,” Woodford says. “We didn’t have the detail … for a lot of it.”
Miniature drones are moving closer to becoming full-time military weapons with Northrop Grumman’s successful tactical drone electronic weapons test.After proving its mettle in reconnaissance roles, Northrup Grumman engineers reconfigured the drone to carry an electronic attack payload. With this package the Bat can jam enemy radar and confuse surface-to air missiles trying to seek and destroy friendly UAV’s or aircraft in a warzone. Catapulted from a hydraulic rail launcher and caught by a portable net system the Bat is completely runway independent.
The EU’s “civilian” border mission in Libya is in fact training paramilitary forces, amid a wider European and US effort to stop Libya becoming a “failed state.” According to an internal EU paper – a blueprint for the border mission, Eubam Libya, dated 18 April and seen by EUobserver – its “main effort” is to build up the “operational level” of Libya’s “Border Guards (BG)” and “Naval Coast Guard (NCG).” Both units are part of Libya’s defence ministry. Eubam will take BG and NCG “battalions” out of the field, train them in secure locations, and “redeploy” them into action.
The Royal Gibraltar Regiment is “strengthening Britain’s strong and longstanding diplomatic relationship with Morocco” through Exercise Jebel Sahara an MoD statement said yesterday. The joint training exercise with the Moroccan Deuxieme Brigade d’Infanterie Parachutiste (2BIP) is now in its thirteenth year and the month-long exercise based a few miles north of Marrakech involves 161 members of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, including 49 augmented from the UK, and 200 soldiers from 2BIP.
The United States military is considering a mission to train Libyan security personnel with the goal of creating a force of 5,000 to 7,000 conventional soldiers and a separate, smaller unit for specialized counterterrorism missions, according to the top officer at the United States Special Operations Command.It has not been decided which nations would be involved or where the training would take place, officials said, but the overall mission would be organized by the military’s Africa Command.
The Vikramaditya has a lot in common with China’s first aircraft carrier the Liaoning, that was commissioned in September last year. Both carriers are symbols of great national maritime pride and manifest the blue water ambitions of the world’s fastest growing economies. There is also a reason why these two carriers with their majestic bow ski-jump are nearly identical to Russian naval flagship, the Kuznetsov. All three carriers are designs of the St Peterburg-based Severonye design bureau. These designs were translated into reality at the only warm water egress of the Soviet empire: the Nikolayev South Shipyard on the Black Sea (now in Ukraine).
On the frontline in Libya and Mali, hawkish on Syria, uncompromising on Iran: France, long critical of the United States’ role as the world’s policeman, is emerging as the most interventionist of Western states. France’s uncharacteristically aggressive stance on the international scene comes at a time of apparently diminished influence, with its army squeezed by budget cuts, its economic clout dwindling and the emergence of new players such as Qatar, India or Brazil.
Cairo emerged this weekend from a nighttime curfew imposed three months ago, after security forces brutally cleared two protest camps filled with supporters of President Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted by the army in July. More than 1,000 people were killed in the clearing and the days of bloody street violence that followed. Still, with the curfew and state of emergency over, the cabinet is working on a set of restrictive new laws that have been widely panned by human rights groups.
Arabian Gulf states aim to integrate their air defence systems to meet threats from ballistic and cruise missiles. “Advances in science and technology have made the world networked and connected,” said Maj Gen Staff Pilot Mohammed bin Sweidan Saeed Al Qamzi, commander of the Air Force and Air Defence. “We need to be a single force to overcome our common threats and challenges. While the UAE faces no armed conflicts, civil wars or internal instability, we must remain vigilant to deter conflicts that are occurring regionally.
Satellite imagery has revealed two unusually large artillery pieces, measuring about 80 ft and 110 ft respectively, at a test centre for armour and artillery northwest of Baotou in China. China has historically shown interest in large calibre, long-range artillery. It experimented with the Xianfeng ‘supergun’ in the 1970s as part of Project 640 anti-ballistic missile programme. Approximately 85 ft long, Xianfeng may be the smaller of the two objects retained for experimental use after its cancellation in 1980.
French troops should be allowed to hunt down al Qaeda-linked militants beyond Mali’s borders, French army chief Admiral Edouard Guillaud said in a rare interview on Thursday. Nine months after they were scattered across the Sahara by a French military offensive, Islamists in Mali have named new leaders and are making a comeback as France whittles down its military presence. They have launched attacks on U.N. peacekeepers and killed two French journalists this month. France retains about 2,800 soldiers in its former colony.
The Navy of Russia will place a maintenance base in the Vietnamese port of Camran, in accordance with the stipulated agreements during President Vladimir Putin”s recent visit to that Asian country, reported the local press today. In addition to the approved contracts on military collaboration with Vietnamese leaders, the head of the Kremlin reached a tentative agreement to install those facilities in Camran in 2014, informed Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper. The maintenance center in this deep-water port will occupy part of the space of what used to be the naval air station built by the United States in Camran during its attack to Viet Nam.
There is international consensus that failing states should not become havens for the next wave of terrorists keen to attack the West. The aim is to do so without committing troops, with the Central African Republic a potent example. As the UN warns of impending genocide, it has become the lethal playground for indigenous Seleka rebels along with fighters from al-Qa’ida in the Maghreb, Nigeria’s Boko Haram, Sudan’s Janjaweed, the Lord’s Resistance Army and Malian Islamists. France has kept around 400 troops in the capital, Bangui, to keep the airport road open.
The operating area for NATO’s counter-terrorism task group, Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO (SNMG2), covers 2.5 million square kilometers of vast open space from Gibraltar to the Suez Canal, from the shores of Tripoli to the Turkish beaches. A NATO maritime force tasked with covering so much water relies on logistics support from multiple nations, ashore and afloat, to stay engaged in the vital counter-terrorism Operation Active Endeavor (OAE). Outstanding logistics support from all NATO countries is vital to ensuring the counter-terrorism task group remains at sea for greater periods of time.
Let’s define strategy as the intellectual framework guiding individuals and/or organizations towards sustained success, which in turn can be defined as a sustainable outcome that is valuable and satisfying over time. Strategic thinking has been systematized into what this article’s co-author, USAF Col. (Ret) John A. Warden III, terms the “Prometheus Process.” Prometheus was the Greek god who gave man the capacity for forethought and the ability to make fire. In essence, Prometheus gave mankind the power to create the future, to strategize.
Despite growing ties between Taiwan and China, Beijing has never abandoned the option of using force to bring about ‘reunification’ and continues to regard the island as a core strategic interest. The balance of military power in the Taiwan Strait has shifted decisively to China’s advantage and will continue to do so over the next decade, making armed intervention by Beijing theoretically practicable. Nevertheless, strategic developments will weigh on Beijing, including the extent of the US’s rebalancing of policy towards Asia, the outcome of Taiwan’s 2016 elections, social order on the island, and the situation in Hong Kong.
The age of the drone is here, and U.S. intelligence agencies are warily monitoring their proliferation around the globe. China uses them to spy on Japan near disputed islands in Asia. Turkey uses them to eyeball Kurdish activity in northern Iraq. Bolivia uses them to spot coca fields in the Andes. Iran reportedly has given them to Syria to monitor opposition rebels. The U.S., Britain and Israel are the only nations to have fired missiles from remote-controlled drones, but the proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles has become so prevalent that U.S. intelligence sources and private analysts say it is merely a matter of time before other countries use the technology.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army is considering setting up an air defense identification zone that would overlap with Japan’s over the East China Sea — a move that is likely to heighten tensions between the countries — according to an internal Chinese military document. An ADIZ serves as a national defense perimeter that triggers fighter scrambles when foreign aircraft enter the zone without prior notification. The zones are set up outside national airspace to prevent incursions by suspicious aircraft.
Russia has been seeking to upgrade its military ties with Egypt in an effort to augment its limited access to the Mediterranean and bolster its navy’s presence in the region, the London Times reported.
According to the report, Moscow has been shopping for alternatives to the Tartus port in Syria, where it maintains a limited naval facility, due to fears that President Bashar Assad’s regime will eventually be toppled by rebel forces.
For nearly two hours were attacking exercises against Sweden, Poland and the Baltic states of five Russian planes, including two bombers that were detected via radar as they flew out of the Gulf of Finland. – I think the purpose was to practice the strategic bombers, to carry out various types of attacks, and it is not impossible that they also wanted to highlight the Russian presence in the southern Baltic, says Anders Persson, acting flight tactical commander in the Armed Forces to SVT .
On the list of U.S. military priorities, Africa has always ranked right smack at the bottom. Now that appears to be changing. As Eric Schmitt recently reported in the New York Times, “thousands of soldiers once bound for Iraq or Afghanistan are now gearing up for missions in Africa.” Before the gearing up proceeds much further, Americans might want to ask a few questions. Chief among them are these: Why the sudden shift in priorities? What’s the aim? Who stands to benefit? What risks does the militarization of U.S. policy in Africa entail?
JAPAN is putting missiles on islands marking the gateway to the Pacific, officials said, as part of a huge military drill that has unsettled Beijing. The exercise, aimed at bolstering Japan’s defence of remote islands, has already seen a launching system and a loader for Type-88 surface-to-ship missiles installed on Miyako island, complete with two missiles. Four more missiles were due to arrive on the main island of Okinawa later on Thursday. It was not clear how long they would remain in place.
Mon Dieu! An unexpected ‘invasion’ of 50 French military vehicles caught Plymouth police and the Royal Navy by surprise and brought chaos to the city’s roads. As well as the usual fireworks, Bonfire Night in Plymouth also saw the French army hit our beaches… and immediately call Devon and Cornwall Police for help. It has been 610 years since French soldiers last hit our shores and since then the French and Plymouth have had an Entente Cordiale relationship. However, things were less than cordial last night as the 50 French military vehicles clogged up the city’s roads and left motorists enraged.
Ukraine’s state-controlled arms exporter, Ukrspecexport SC, has begun delivering the upgraded T-72 main battle tanks and related parts to the Ethiopian military. According to local sources gathered by Sudan Tribune, the Ethiopian military has taken delivery of a first group of 16 T-72 Tanks which recently arrived at Djibouti port. The delivery is said to be part of the 2011 deal signed between Ethiopia’s defence ministry and the Ukrainian arms firm to purchase 200 T-72 tanks at a cost of $100 million.
Croatia is leading an effort to develop a regional approach to air defence by 2019 that would be linked to NATO’s integrated air defence system, officials said. Last June, the Adriatic Charter countries Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Macedonia agreed to implement BRAAD — the Balkan Regional Approach to Air Defence — in three phases: conduct a pre-acquisition study, acquire the necessary air-defence equipment and establish the joint air defence.
Saudi Arabia has invested in Pakistani nuclear weapons projects, and believes it could obtain atomic bombs at will, a variety of sources have told BBC Newsnight. While the kingdom’s quest has often been set in the context of countering Iran’s atomic programme, it is now possible that the Saudis might be able to deploy such devices more quickly than the Islamic republic. Earlier this year, a senior Nato decision maker told me that he had seen intelligence reporting that nuclear weapons made in Pakistan on behalf of Saudi Arabia are now sitting ready for delivery.
In video games, players rarely make a human connection with the characters on their screen, but Predator drone operators often monitor their targets for weeks or months before ever firing a weapon, he added. “While the enemy is the enemy, you still understand that they are a real person,” Slim said. “To extinguish a person’s life is a very personal thing. While physically we don’t experience the five senses when we engage a target — unlike [how] an infantryman might — in my experience, the emotional impact on the operator is equal.”
On 28 October, work started at the former airbase at Deveselu in southern Romania on installing elements of the US missile defence system, specifically an Aegis system with SM-3 interceptors. This means that the missile defence project is being implemented on schedule. The move confirms the close, fast-growing military cooperation between Romania and the United States, and means Bucharest is now one of Washington’s main security partners, not just in the region, but increasingly on the European scale.
Mexico’s military has taken control of one of the nation’s biggest seaports as part of an effort to bring drug-cartel activity under control in the western state of Michoacan, officials said. Federal security spokesman Eduardo Sanchez said soldiers are now responsible for policing duties in the city of Lazaro Cardenas as well as in the Pacific seaport of the same name. The port is a federal entity separate from the city. “We have received anonymous tips that lead us to believe there has been corruption and collusion from people at the port,” Sanchez said.
South Korea’s spy agency said Monday that North Korea was using Russian technology to develop electromagnetic pulse weapons aimed at paralysing military electronic equipment south of the border. The National Intelligence Service (NIS) said in a report to parliament that the North had purchased Russian electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weaponry to develop its own versions. EMP weapons are used to damage to electronic equipment. At higher energy levels, an EMP event can cause more widespread damage including to aircraft structures and other objects.
Poland and the Baltic states are hosting the largest strategic war games the defense alliance has held in ten years. The NATO Response Force will practice defending the Baltics from an unidentified foreign invader. The ‘Steadfast Jazz’ exercise, launching on Saturday, gathers some 6,000 troops from all NATO members as well as non-member states – Finland, Sweden and Ukraine. Around half of them will participate in live exercise training, which will involve dozens of armor, aircraft and naval vehicles. The other half of the personnel are headquarters staff, who will take part in command and control drills.
Pocket UAVs for over-the-next-hill surveillance in U.S. Army’s future; Norwegian company to design infantry micro-drones
U.S. Army researchers are asking a Norwegian company to develop a pocket-sized helicopter drone to provide a personal reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for infantrymen and Special Forces warfighters. Officials of the Army Contracting Command in Natick, Mass., are awarding a $2.5 million contract to Prox Dynamics AS of Nesbru, Norway, to develop the Black Hornet Personal Reconnaissance System (PRS) — a one-pound force-protection micro UAV for soldiers and small infantry units.
Operation Able Art: How a 1983 American-NATO war game came close to provoking the Soviet Union into launching a nuclear attack
Able Archer, which involved 40,000 US and Nato troops moving across western Europe, co-ordinated by encrypted communications systems, imagined a scenario in which Blue Forces (Nato) defended its allies after Orange Forces (Warsaw Pact countries) sent troops into Yugoslavia following political unrest. The Orange Forces had quickly followed this up with invasions of Finland, Norway and eventually Greece. As the conflict had intensified, a conventional war had escalated into one involving chemical and nuclear weapons.
By fate, Poland has always found itself in a geopolitical quagmire forcing the Polish nation to struggle to maintain its own sovereign state, and at the worst of times fight to keep its own nation alive. It comes as no surprise that prominent historian Norman Davies decided to title his book regarding Polish history God’s Playground. The pivotal location of Poland on the map of Europe has made it yet another point of interest for another recent geopolitical play: missile defence.
The U.S. handed out two contracts Monday to Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin to develop laser pods that can be mounted on aircraft and shoot down missiles. Under Project Endurance, Northrop Grumman received a $14.6 million contract and Lockheed Martin received $11.4 million to develop laser weapons to protect manned and unmanned aircraft. Project Endurance was included in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) fiscal year 2014 budget.
The test is a critical part of a national effort to establish a conventional prompt strike capability. This capability will contribute to the country’s effort to defend its interests with precision weapons at hypersonic speeds. “The successful execution of this high-speed sled test of a kinetic energy projectile warhead was a necessary step in the progression to a conventional prompt strike capability,” she said. “Now that we’ve demonstrated that the warhead functions in a flight representative environment, we’re one important step closer to that goal.
A paper on German foreign and security policy prepared by two leading think tanks calls for a consolidation of national defense industries to ensure that Europe’s defense industry stays competitive in the long term. The paper, “New Power New Responsibility: Elements of a German Foreign and Security Policy for a Changing World,” was presented here Oct. 30 by the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) and the German Marshall Fund of the United States. It drew on expertise from working groups made up of government officials, parliament officials, think tanks and nongovernmental organizations.
Oxford academic Paul Collier is well known for his book The Bottom Billion in which he maps the links between the world’s poorest people and the world’s most war-torn countries. In a chapter in a new book for IPPR, edited by Labour’s shadow foreign secretary, Douglas Alexander, Collier argues that what Africa needs is an “African NATO”. He writes that the international community oscillates between “pusillanimous passivity” and “gung-ho intervention”.
From his office deep inside the Pentagon, Yoda has outlasted the Cold War, countless military conflicts and 10 presidential elections. But can he survive the sequester? Yoda is the reverential nickname for Andrew Marshall, a legendary if mysterious figure in national security circles. A bald, enigmatic 92-year-old strategic guru, he resembles the Jedi master of “Star Wars” fame in more ways than one. Another defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said Hagel thinks that the Office of Net Assessment should be reorganized and that it “can be strengthened potentially by realigning it so that it remains close to him and his senior team.”
Pakistani soldier-turned-academic Feroz Khan’s book Eating Grass is an insider account tracing the history of Pakistan’s nuclear programme — and its survival despite hurdles. Khan, who was involved in formulating Pakistan’s nuclear arms control policy, spoke with Sameer Arshad about how Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal grew, implications of its nuclear race with India — and how restraints are possible. Bhutto is undoubtedly the Pakistani nuclear bomb’s father — even before the 1965 war, he envisioned the only way to offset the strategic imbalance was through nukes.
DARPA is seeking to understand more about how the brain works in the hope of developing effective therapies for troops and veterans. It has announced a new project called the Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies (SUBNETS). SUBNETS is inspired by Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), a surgical treatment that involves implanting a brain pacemaker in the patient’s skull to interfere with brain activity to help with symptoms of diseases like epilepsy and Parkinson’s. DARPA’s device will be similar, but rather than targeting one specific symptom, it will be able to monitor and analyse data in real time and issue a specific intervention according to brain activity.
Fears that two major naval bases sited near large British cities could become nuclear waste storage facilities “by default” have grown after it was revealed the Ministry of Defence proposes to remove low-level radioactive waste from the UK’s nuclear submarine fleet. According to minutes of a submarine dismantling meeting, the “early removal of low-level waste” has been proposed at two major dockyards: Rosyth, in the Forth estuary, Fife, and Devonport, in Plymouth. The first of Britain’s ageing nuclear fleet of 27 submarines is due to be broken up within five years.
South Korea has developed its first radar-absorbing paint to camouflage its warships, fighter jets and tanks to help them bypass detection, a local university institute said in its latest efforts to arm the nation’s weapons with stealth features. Stealth technology has been considered one of the key features that raise survivability during wartime, with many countries developing related technologies, designs and materials. The radar-absorbing material can be applied with a spray to make it lighter, durable and cheaper than the current tile- or sheet-type electromagnetic wave absorbers made of an iron mixture.
Future military operations may use a constantly updated digital “image skin” for a comprehensive map of the world under development by the Pentagon’s National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). This week, the NGA sought information from potential contractors to help develop the “orthorectified image skin” that would provide the base layer for the world map. Such a map would give the military a clearer picture of any potential trouble spot where troops would have to operate.
What do a kamikaze drone, a “field and forget” surveillance system and an Israeli robot have in common? Buzz at the annual AUSA Army meeting in Washington, D.C. A new “kamikaze” drone that blows itself up — and takes its target with it — was revealed at AUSA. Lockheed Martin chose AUSA to reveal more information on the company’s field-and-forget surveillance system called Self-Powered Ad-hoc Network or SPAN.
So what is SPAN? Basically it looks like rocks, but acts like smart sentries. SPAN is an integrated sensor system that functions as a self-forming mesh to provide covert surveillance for protecting bases, borders and more.
Troops of India and Russia are engaging each other in war games codenamed exercise “Indra” at the Mahajan range under scenarios and situations resembling South Sudan where Indian troops are presently deployed as part of UN peacekeeping mission and face similar challenges.
The joint field exercise between troops of the two countries began on October 22 and plans to carry out an anti-terrorist operation, involving the destruction of illegal armed formations. Russian troops will be using Indian military equipments, including the T-72 and BMP-2.
The Philippines hasn’t operated jet fighters for nearly a decade, an uncomfortable state of affairs for a nation that’s increasingly butting heads with Beijing over the South China Sea. Now Manila has begun buying up fighter jets from South Korea. A collaboration between Korean Aerospace Industries and Lockheed Martin, the FA-50 is designed to be both a training plane for student fighter pilots and to function as a light multi-role fighter. It’s a single-engine plane like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, but weighs less than half as much. It also lacks stealth features, internal weapons bays and the advanced networking capabilities of the F-35.
The U.S. Navy will inaugurate the “DDG1000,” a next generation stealth destroyer, which is undetected on radar screens. The destroyer will be deployed next year as one of the three core elements for the U.S. Pacific Command along with the F-35 stealth fighter, and the Missile Defense System. The battleship is expected to play a role to keep at bay China, which seeks to become a military superpower. The destroyer, which has been constructed in secret, is 15,000 ton class in size, rendering it the largest among the destroyers the U.S. Navy possess, and is armed with high-tech weapons systems.
This year’s defence white paper reflects a definite maturing in the evolution of maritime strategic thinking in our defence policy. The term ‘maritime strategy’ is used ten times. The first use is in the contents, alluding to the fact that a whole section is devoted to maritime strategy. And while the use of air forces in a maritime strategy might seem axiomatic, the 2009 paper also highlighted the need for land forces in maritime strategy, and the 2013 paper elaborated on that need.
A security strategy paper by EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton says EU countries should use military-grade drones for border surveillance. The EU chief is set to debate security ideas with MEPs in the plenary chamber in Strasbourg. Her plan, which outlines priorities in the lead up to an EU summit on defence in December, notes that there is “an urgent need to prepare a programme for the next generation” of so-called Medium Altitude Long Endurance (Male) drones. It adds that: “The objective is to promote a European approach for developing this key future capability.”
The U.S. Army has proved over its 238-year history that it can fight and win almost anywhere — in the jungles, deserts or mountains. The next venue, however, might prove to be the most difficult: oceans. President Barack Obama’s strategic “rebalance” to the Western Pacific was good news for three military services: the Navy, whose ships sail on or under the vast ocean; the Marine Corps, whose troops deploy from them; and the Air Force, which needs long-range weapons and aircraft to cover the skies. Less so for the Army with its heavy tanks and infantry formations.
Nato will have to focus more on issues in the Arabian Gulf to ensure its stability, security experts say. Counter-terrorism, cyber defence, energy security and weapons of mass destruction are among crucial areas the alliance will have to tackle to improve its relationship with GCC states, the audience at the Nato ICI 2013 conference heard yesterday. “What’s going on in Iraq and Syria poses serious security threats to the Middle East and the region,” Vural Altay, Turkey’s ambassador to the UAE, said at the meeting, which presented Nato’s approach to the Gulf.
Renewed protests against president Omar Al Bashir in Sudan have led to speculation about whether the Arab Spring has belatedly reached the country’s borders. Last year, however, similar demonstrations disappeared soon after they began and it is highly likely that matters will turn out the same this time around. There are direct parallels with Syria, however, where the regime has confounded expectations by clinging to power against an uprising that is in its third year.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office paid for the SAS to train Azerbaijan’s special forces in an effort to gain influence with the hardline ex-Soviet regime, the British Sunday Times writes. According to a leaked document seen by The Sunday Times, members of the UK’s elite fighting force taught their counterparts sniper skills and how to storm buildings as part of a six-week training mission. “The paper says one of the aims of the deployment in 2006 — codenamed Operation Lanark — was to “enhance” the FCO’s standing in the central Asian republic,” the article reads.
Images of Taiwanese soldiers decked out in black body armour and ballistic masks have gone viral thanks to exposure on Japanese news sites, where viewers compared the look of the officers to something out of a video game or comic book. The photographs, originally part of a series taken during a 2011 ceremonial parade in Taipei, depict Taiwan’s Armed Forces, including both male and female special operations soldiers and military frogmen. All of the soldiers in the photos wield heavy weaponry including assault rifles, bulletproof shields and submachine guns, but the images that especially captivated netizens were those that showed the elite forces wearing ballistic face masks.
Libya’s security sector is to get assistance from Nato, the alliance confirmed yesterday. The promise comes days after the brief kidnapping of Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, who had made the request for Nato help months ago. “Allies have agreed to respond positively to the request made by the Libyan prime minister for Nato to provide advice on defence institution building in Libya,” Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement. Zeidan’s brief abduction by armed men in Tripoli, which lasted less than a day, raised questions about whether Nato should have responded to the premier’s request earlier.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is on his way to Brussels to have a difficult conversation with his fellow defense ministers in NATO. The point of contention is the continued reduction of the military capabilities of our allies and their growing dependence on U.S. support. Hagel will repeat to European allies the stark message made by Robert Gates on his last trip to Brussels as defense secretary. Gates made international headlines with his warning of “a dim, if not dismal future” for NATO if it continues to be divided “between those willing and able to pay the price and bear the burdens of alliance commitments, and those who enjoy the benefits of NATO membership… but don’t want to share the risks and the costs.”
The Defense Ministry has drafted plans for the Self-Defense Forces to shoot down foreign drones that intrude into Japan’s airspace if warnings to leave are ignored, a source close to the government revealed Sunday. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued his approval when Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera briefed him on the plan Oct. 11, the source said. The ministry drafted the plan in response to a Chinese military drone that intruded into Japan’s air defense identification zone Sept. 9, approaching the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. China also claims the chain as Diaoyu.
The Pentagon has begun shifting its Afghanistan air logistics hub to a base in Romania and will complete the transition from Manas Transit Center in Kyrgyzstan by the time its contract for that facility expires in July 2014.
The announcement of the decision to shift the operations to Forward Operating Site Mihail Kogalniceanu in eastern Romania followed a visit to the Pentagon by Romanian Defense Minister Mircea Dusa.
Former Warsaw Pact countries are steadily adopting NATO standards despite fiscal and industrial constraints. Romanian Defense Minister Mircea Dusa announced that Romania had signed a 600 million euro contract for the purchase of retired Portuguese F-16 fighter aircraft. The F-16 aircraft will be modernized to extend their lifespan by 20 years and will steadily replace Romanian MiG-21 fighters upon their arrival in 2015. While the purchase of aging, secondhand aircraft highlights Romania’s fiscal limitations, it also marks another step in the overall move toward NATO standards by ex-Warsaw Pact countries.
Published this week, China and Taiwan: Possible Storm Signals for Cross-Straits Relations Underscore Need to Provide for Taiwan’s Defense says the growing economic relationship between China and Taiwan has served to promote political dialogue and strengthen trade ties. However, Cheng argues that a “militarily overwhelming People’s Liberation Army [PLA]” would be able to intimidate and coerce Taiwan which would in turn have political and economic implications. Two public statements highlight the potential return of tension to the region, he says.
Budget reductions could render the Army at “high risk to meet even one major war,” according to documents obtained by USA TODAY, a warning the Army is sounding because it sees another war as inevitable before long. The dire assessment by top Army officials to Pentagon leaders provides a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes struggle for the future of the military in a time of declining budgets. The Army provided its assessment as each of the services is conducting a four-year scrub of its strategy and the resources needed to meet it, a process called the Quadrennial Defense Review.
Taking the stage at the United Nations, Mikhail Ulyanov, director of the Department for Security Affairs and Disarmament at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that Moscow and China will submit for U.N. review a draft resolution on transparency and trust in space activities. He noted that “a lack of legal obligations prohibiting the placement of weapons in space is a factor that is negatively affecting strategic stability and preventing the establishment of new treaties on nuclear weapons.”
The U.S. Special Operations Command is awarding a contract to GeoEye Analytics for a special Human Geography Information System that uses a unique satellite constellation for collecting data in areas not commercially available. A human geography information system uses satellite imagery as the baseline and overlays the satellite maps with datasets and other detailed information covering history, culture, education, economy, religion, weather and political landscapes,. In addition, a good human geography system can map and even predict stresses that may change the dynamics of a target area as it relates to regional security.
The military doctrine defines the operations of sea denial as those organized to prevent the use of the sea by an opposing force. The sea denial usually occurs in cases of asymmetric warfare and provides a defensive posture , leaving the initiative leading to the actor who leads an attack, with some exceptions. The means used to implement the sea denial are small high-speed missile ( fast-attack craft ), anti-ship shore batteries, mines and especially submarines . Sea denial describes a situation in which a power has freedom of use to a maritime for its objectives and is able to prevent the use of an opponent .
“I believe the European Council in December will express its position on the future of EU Battlegroups. I expect strong political message that will echo the current level of ambition in committing to use EU Battlegroups,” the Lithuanian Minister of National Defence said. The Minister underscored that Lithuania had always attached great importance to the Battlegroups issue. “We are taking part in the Battlegroup programme with less than two year intervals. While one our contingent is on standby within the current UK-led Battlegroup, the other one is already starting its preparations for the next rotation in 2015 within the Nordic Battlegroup,” Olekas said.
Britain’s cash-strapped military launched a search for buyers for its sole remaining aircraft carrier, saying it would entertain bids from companies, charities and trusts. The ageing, battle-worn HMS Illustrious – 210 metres long and 22,000 tonnes – is one of the Royal Navy’s best-known symbols. It has ferried equipment during the Gulf War and supported evacuations of British nationals from Sierra Leone over the past 32 years. The Royal Navy’s treatment of Illustrious contrasts with that of the ship’s sister carriers, the HMS Ark Royal and HMS Invincible, which were auctioned off in 2011 and later sold for scrap.
The Pentagon is considering reorganizing its internal think tank, an organization credited with helping the US win the Cold War, according to defense sources. The office has been around since 1973, and is the ultimate rarity in Washington, where senior officials come and go like the seasons. Andrew Marshall, who is over 90 years old, was its boss on Day 1 and continues to be its boss. But now as the Pentagon looks to build itself for the decade ahead, a period with fewer spending cash, the revered office could be reorganized or, as some have suggested, eliminated.
Nato is to hold large-scale war games on Russia’s border a couple of weeks before the EU, at an event in Lithuania, plans to take away a former Soviet jewel: Ukraine. The military exercise, called Steadfast Jazz, will see the Western alliance put 6,000 of its soldiers, mariners and airmen through their paces in Poland and in the Baltic Sea region from 2 to 9 November. One hundred Ukrainian troops will also join a “live-fire” part of the drill in Poland’s Drawsko Pomorskie training area. Ukraine’s ambition to join Nato faded when Germany blocked its “membership action plan” in 2008.
Sweden is to join the NATO Response Force (NRF) and participate in Steadfast Jazz — the western military alliance’s largest exercise in the last seven years. According to a NATO statement, the Swedish move comes after the North Atlantic Council approved the Swedish contribution on October 14. “I welcome Sweden’s participation, alongside that of Finland and Ukraine. Our relationship is already strong, and this will make it even stronger,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen was quoted as saying.
Russian army special forces units have had their first training sessions in Arctic warfare, under plans to boost the country’s military presence in the region, a Western Military District spokesman said. Russia has officially set itself the goal of deploying a combined-arms force by 2020, including military, border, and coast guard units, to protect its political and economic interests in the Arctic and boost Russia’s military security. According to the Russian military, two arctic brigades will be deployed in Russia’s extreme north over the next few years.
Last month, the World Health Organisation (WHO) published a long awaited document summarising the findings of an in-depth investigation into the prevalence of congenital birth defects (CBD) in Iraq, which many experts believe is linked to the use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions by Allied forces. “The rates for spontaneous abortion, stillbirths and congenital birth defects found in the study are consistent with or even lower than international estimates. The study provides no clear evidence to suggest an unusually high rate of congenital birth defects in Iraq.”