Laser weapons like those developed by the United States pose little threat to the PLA – smog or no smog – because mainland researchers have pioneered coatings that can deflect beams and render them harmless, mainland scientists say. PLA Navy Rear Admiral Zhang Zhaozhong drew widespread ridicule last month when the National Defence University researcher suggested that China’s thick smog provided the country’s best defence against military lasers.
For the children learning the alphabets of English in normal schools, “A” is for “Apple”, but for their counterparts of Naxal-run schools in Abujhmad areas of south Bastar, known in Maoist parlance as “Liberated Zone”, in Chhattisgarh, “A” is for “Arms” and “B” is for “Bomb”. When kids of normal parents are initiated into formal education by identifying apple, ball, cat, the tribal tiny tots in Maoist-hotbeds of remote south Bastar are introduced to violent world of insurgency through alphabets that acquaint them to military and insurgency jargons.
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.
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.
As a developing country, while the area of Myanmar wide but the location need not much defense. So, the HQ-12 if equipped for the military of Myanmar will mostly assume the ground mission. If the Western powers to attack Myanmar, attacks can come from the East and the city of Yangon. Meanwhile, rocket HQ-12 deployed in any one location in the outskirts of downtown Yangon is able to cover the city’s airspace. The current capital of Naypyidaw is Myanmar in Mandalay, are surrounded by forested mountains, the eastern front was the high mountain ranges, if missiles HQ-12 on the mountain in the East can also protect the city.
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.
Under the partnership, Djibouti has offered military facilities such as a home port to the Chinese navy, Houffaneh told Sabahi. “In exchange, we have asked for our military co-operation to be expanded to enable us to build the operational capacities of the Djiboutian armed forces in order to safeguard security in the country and help to consolidate peace and security in the sub-region,” Houffaneh said. “In this deal, we laid emphasis on building the capacities of Djibouti’s navy, which lacks patrol boats, and building the capacities of the air force, which will soon acquire Chinese aircraft.”
The Greek port of Piraeus could become one of Europe’s top five container-shipping hubs as the government spurs logistics activities in a bid to kick-start economic growth, said Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis. Piraeus, now the 11th-largest container-shipping port in the European Union, is expanding as China-based Cosco Pacific Ltd. (1199) operates one of two piers, builds a third and prepares to offer cargo-train shipping to multinational companies. “Piraeus could become one of the four to five biggest ports in Europe very soon,” Hatzidakis said in a Feb. 20 interview in Brussels.
However, most of Novinsky’s career is shrouded in mystery. In the early 1990s he is believed to have worked at top St. Petersburg physics research institutes – a milieu shared by some of Putin’s closest friends, such as the Kovalchuk brothers – Mikhail and Yury – and Andrei and Sergei Fursenko. Later in the decade he worked in the Russian oil sector. It was not until around the turn of the century that Novinsky materialised as a metals trader in Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk. He quickly managed to privatise key companies, the core of his current fortune.
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.
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.
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.”
Western military action against Islamist fighters in southern Libya has been ruled out by France, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said. The announcement essentially rebuffs an appeal for intervention from neighboring Niger, but Fabius said the Western powers were drawing up plans to help the Libyan government deal with the issue. “No, an intervention, no (that’s not being discussed),” Fabius told RTL radio. “But we are going to have an international meeting in Rome at the beginning of March to give Libya more help because it’s true that there are terrorists gathering in the south.
A so-called bad bank is also a semi-technical term that describes a special division at a financial institution that happens to be packed with toxic assets, unwanted loans or entire business units hived off from a banking group’s “core” operations. Banks euphemistically dub these units “non-core,” “non-strategic” or a host of other names, steering investors away from considering them part of a bank’s future (and generating increasingly impenetrable earning reports in the process).
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.
The newest American tanks arrived at the American military base in Bavaria on January 31. So what? According to the statements made by American military officials, 29 heavy new generation Abrams tanks would be a part of the European Activity Set (EAS). They are supposedly just to serve as equipment for the training center. The appearance of the tanks is explained by the fact that at a time when the American command has decided to continue training American tank personnel in Europe, they had nothing to train them on.
The U.S. (obviously) tops the chart with a recorded 682 billion dollars of annual military spending, or about 20% of our total federal spending. That is a sizable sum. It’s more than the entire GDP of Norway last year. To give you even more perspective, the U.S.’ share of global military spending is more than the rest of the top 10 combined. If we were to divide the defense budget by the median American salary, it would be worth the salaries of 14 million people. It has come under scrutiny with current debt crisis, and with the Iraq and Afghanistan war costing an estimated $4 trillion over the last decade.
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.
After running one of the world’s biggest and most controversial private military groups, Blackwater founder Erik Prince is starting a new venture providing logistics for oil and mining companies in remote and dangerous parts of Africa. China is increasingly looking to Africa to meet its ever growing demand for natural resources. Trade between the two reached an estimated $200 billion (121 billion pounds) this year. With 85 percent of Chinese imports from the continent being oil or minerals, Prince sees an opportunity.
The results of exams for chief police officer show participants who scored three points out of 100 in the exam scored 79 points for the higher ranking deputy inspector exam. In other words, the latter is a more difficult exam. A policeman, who chooses to remain anonymous, said high-ranking Gülenists within the law enforcement distributed exam questions and answers to Gülen–affiliated candidates a week ahead of the exams. The aspiring inspectors memorized the answers to secure high scores in the exams. Furthermore, dates for the deputy inspector exam were deliberately postponed to allow Gülenist participants more time to prepare for the exams.
Weeks of violence between two rival communities have swept Algeria’s desert city of Ghardaia, enflamed by the destruction of a historic Berber shrine, with analysts warning of sectarian conflict engulfing the fragile region. For more than a month, the city of 90,000 inhabitants has witnessed clashes between the Chaamba community of Arab origin and the majority Mozabites, indigenous Berbers belonging to the Ibadi Muslim sect. Three people were killed in the violence, which both sides accused the other of starting.
When an uprising toppled Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak, men like Ahmed Saif who helped run his vast patronage network melted away. Three years later, Saif and other former members of Mubarak’s party are back in action in the populous countryside, offering everything from refrigerators for newlyweds to welfare-like stipends to the poor in exchange for votes. This time, the slick political machine is drumming up support for army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who toppled Egypt’s first freely-elected leader, Islamist Mohamed Mursi, and is expected to become president.
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.
President Hamid Karzai has frequently lashed out at the U.S. military for causing civilian casualties in its raids. But behind the scenes, he has been building a far broader case against the Americans, suggesting that they may have aided or conducted shadowy insurgent-style attacks to undermine his government, according to senior Afghan officials. Karzai has formalized his suspicions with a list of dozens of attacks that he believes the U.S. government may have been involved in, according to one palace official.
In the region, France will have four main bases: N’Djamena (Chad), Niamey (Niger), Gao (Mali) and Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). A N’Djamena: combat aircraft Rafale and Mirage 2000, supported by tankers and ground forces – and the staff who will control operations in the Sahel. In Niamey, intelligence assets, including two new Reaper drones purchased in the United States and will be operational in the coming days. These monitoring devices controlled from the ground in Niamey are collocated with those of the U.S. Air Force.
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 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.
In a move that will pull India a step closer to achieving the “nuclear triad”, Indian Navy is all set to start sea trials for its first indigenously-built nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant in few weeks, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral LVS Babu said on Tuesday. A miniature model of the prestigious subamrine will also be flaunted as a part of Indian Navy tableaux at the Republic Day Parade. INS Arihant’s commissioning into the Indian Navy, which is expected till the end of the year, will gift India with the “nuclear triad”, that is the ability to retaliate to nuclear strikes from land, air and sea-based systems.
CHINA is the first country to label internet addiction a clinical disorder. But instead of shutting the laptop and going for a stroll, in China there are guarded boot camps intended to deprogram hooked teens. We use the internet daily. We rely on it. But there are some who are so addicted to it they shun the tangible realm of reality for an online existence, exploring digital worlds and living a digital life to such an extent the lines of what’s real and what isn’t become a blur. The compulsive need to excessively be online has been the cause of scores of deaths.
The United States has asked Spain for permission to expand its 500-strong Marine rapid-reaction force for Africa by at least 50 percent and extend its presence at the Morón de la Frontera base by one more year, government sources said.A bilateral agreement between both nations allows the US to temporarily station its Marines in the southern airbase, which provides fast access to the Mediterranean region. Because of this temporary nature, the Spanish government could approve the increase to anywhere between 750 and 900 Marines without modifying the agreement, and thus without consulting Congress first.
A longtime no-war pledge has disappeared from Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party’s annual working policy revealed on Sunday, while the ruling party vowed to continue visits to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine and push ahead constitutional revision, in another move leading the country in a far-right direction, observers said. In another change from last year’s policy, the party added a phrase saying it will “bolster veneration for the war dead” – referring to continued shrine visits – and also made clear it will amend the country’s constitution.
Trust in elected leaders has fallen sharply, a global survey revealed, citing the protracted budget battle in Washington that nearly saw the U.S. default on its debts and Europe’s stuttering response to its debt crisis as key reasons for the drop. Ahead of the gathering of political and business leaders in the Swiss resort of Davos, the public relations firm Edelman found that only 44 per cent of university-educated people participating in the survey trusted government, down 4 percentage points from the previous year. As recently as 2011, trust in politicians stood at 52 per cent.
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.
“This is a country in need on many issues – economic development is necessary, investments are needed…countries from the region especially India which is seen as a friend to Afghanistan…people from Afghanistan appreciate India and its solidarity…” German Ambassador to India Micheal Steiner said on the sidelines of an event. To a question, he said India, Germany, Afghanistan and the international community have agreed that the war-torn country still needs military presence but a different one from what it has witnessed in the past.
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.
The Turkish currency plunged to a new low against the dollar Thursday as the government grappled with its worst crisis in years, sparked by a corruption probe targeting top political and business figures. The lira hit 2.20 to the dollar, extending a slide that has seen it lose nine percent of its value since the scandal erupted in mid-December, and over 20 percent since May. Although Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sought to curtail the probe, analysts are concerned the crisis could further savage Turkey’s economy.
Lawmakers in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia voted Thursday to demand powers to hold a referendum on independence from Spain, ramping up their confrontation with a central government determined to avoid the breakup of the country. The vote was largely symbolic, because the Spanish government has repeatedly said that it considers any gesture toward Catalan secession — even a referendum on the question — to be unconstitutional and that it would block any such moves. Both of Spain’s main political parties oppose the idea of a Catalan breakaway.
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 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.
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.
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.
Ugur Bayraktutan, a member of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), is one of the opposition politicians demanding that Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan make public his family’s ties to Saudi Arabian businessman Yasin al-Qadi. Within a month, Erdogan must reply to the request. Bayraktutan wants to know whether Bilal Erdogan actually met with al-Qadi, as the media have reported. “Al-Qadi was here illegally, we have photos to prove it,” Bayraktutan told DW. US authorities list al-Qadi as a supporter of the al-Qaeda terrorist network – an accusation the Saudi businessman rejects.
Public relations in a digital world is increasingly as much about demolishing a brand as about building it, as shown in a recent spat between e-commerce giant Alibaba and social networking major Tencent. The mudslinging between two of China’s most prominent internet companies has brought into focus the rising phenomenon on the mainland of what has come to be known as “black PR” – online campaigns run by public relations companies maligning their clients’ rivals. Trouble erupted when Tencent’s PR team complained on the company’s Weibo account that Alibaba’s PR department had planted negative articles in the media to tarnish Tencent’s image.
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.
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.
Authorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang have detained and interrogated several farmers on suspicion of revealing state secrets and speaking to “hostile” media organizations, relatives said this week. The detentions came after local farming communities, who include ethnic minority Kazakhs, Uyghurs and Xibe, as well as migrant Han Chinese farmers, protested the canceling of their 30-year and 50-year land leases by officials in the Qapqal Xibe Autonomous County in Xinjiang’s Ili prefecture.
Since the International Court at The Hague issued its November 2012 ruling that delineated the new maritime frontier between Nicaragua and Colombia, the longstanding dispute between the Caribbean neighbors has festered into a diplomatic impasse that is increasingly taking on a military tenor. The Nicaraguans have announced that in 2014 they will allow U.S. and Russian military forces to enter the section of the Caribbean that the Hague Court gave them — which Colombia has so far refused to abandon or hand over. Colombian concern turned to alarm in recent weeks after two Russian bombers violated its airspace, while flying between Caracas and Managua.
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.
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.
No one is expecting a tank invasion of Saudi Arabia anytime soon, but the kingdom just put in a huge order for U.S.-made anti-tank missiles that has Saudi-watchers scratching their heads and wondering whether the deal is related to Riyadh’s support for the Syrian rebels. The proposed weapons deal, which the Pentagon notified Congress of in early December, would provide Riyadh with more than 15,000 Raytheon anti-tank missiles at a cost of over $1 billion. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ Military Balance report, Saudi Arabia’s total stockpile this year amounted to slightly more than 4,000 anti-tank missiles.
France would not go out of its way to stop Britain leaving the EU: that is the result of a mock “war game” negotiation which imagined the outcome of several possible scenarios in the aftermath of a likely UK referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017.
The event, organised by the Euro-critical think tank Open Europe, took place yesterday (11 December) in central London and brought together more than 70 participants, including policymakers and European diplomats.
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.
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.
“Iran will have a more long-term stake in the security and economy of Afghanistan than the United States ever will. So, it makes a lot of sense for Karzai to build up a close relationship with his neighbor,” Smith said. Afghanistan and Iran share deep historical, cultural, and linguistic links. And the sides moved to cement their burgeoning political and economic ties during Karzai’s one-day trip to Tehran by agreeing to begin negotiations over a “Comprehensive Friendship And Cooperation Agreement.”
The attackers who devastated Yemen’s Defense Ministry on Thursday, killing 56 people and wounding more than 200, were primarily Saudi Arabians, according to an initial investigative report released Friday. The presence of so many Saudis among the 12 militants who attacked the building bolsters the belief that the assault was the work of al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the al Qaida affiliate based in Yemen that was formed by the merger of al Qaida branches in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
Officially dubbed the K5 Autonomous Data Machine, the 300-pound, 5-foot-tall mobile robot will be equipped with nighttime video cameras, thermal imaging capabilities, and license plate recognition skills. It will be able to function autonomously for select operations, but more significantly, its software will provide crime prediction that’s reminiscent, the company claims, of the “precog” plot point of “Minority Report.” “It can see, hear, feel, and smell and it will roam around autonomously 24/7,” said CEO William Santana Li, a former Ford Motor executive, in an interview with CNET.
French lawmakers propose police and tax officials have warrantless access to live user internet data
If the bill becomes law, it will no longer be necessary to go via the courts to obtain such access, and the number of government officials who could access the data would be much broader, potentially including those responsible for collecting taxes. Requests for access to such data could be approved by an appointee of the Prime Minister for periods of up to 30 days, renewable on demand. The requests could be made by designated officials of the Ministries of Defense, the Interior or Finance, and would be reviewed after the fact by a committee responsible for auditing wiretapping orders.
For France’s happy interventionists, each expedition has had a primary humanitarian focus. But they have also served to bolster fading French international prestige, especially in its former African colonies, and to boost Hollande’s low approval ratings. Oppressed by economic woes, the French appear to enjoy incisive military action abroad (as long at it works). As Napoleon, another pint-sized French leader knew, la gloiremakes little men feel grand. The Hollande doctrine promotes a broader agenda, about how to “do” international security.
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.
Israeli intelligence drew up a list of these men, each one the possessor of highly lethal skills that could be threatening to Israel, even if there had not been a coordinated network embracing of all of them. The list was headed by two men: Imad Mughniyeh, Hezbollah’s supreme military commander, and Gen. Muhammad Suleiman, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s head of secret special projects, including the building of a nuclear reactor, and the person in charge of Syria’s ties with Iran and Hezbollah.
The EU is supporting Libyan border security troops near Ghadames, but local members of the military complain of unclear structures and insufficient equipment. They put the blame on the government in Tripoli. The Libyan army is still growing into its tasks more than two years after the revolution against Gadhafi, and it has had only limited success in integrating former rebels. Effectively controlling the country’s borders remains beyond the army’s capabilities. “Large segments of the 1,000-kilometer long border to Algeria are nearly inaccessible.
“The maritime domain in general has got more complex, with the undersea domain a huge part of that with more sophisticated submarines and the emergence of long-endurance, unmanned or remotely operated vehicles,” he said. “You see it just in oceanographic capabilities. Frankly the way countries globally are using technology in the undersea domain is going to make it a very interesting operational space. You’re going to have to bring a lot more capability into that operating space to ensure you stay dominant — economically as well as militarily.
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.
A pregnant woman has had her baby forcibly removed by caesarean section by social workers. Essex social services obtained a High Court order against the woman that allowed her to be forcibly sedated and her child to be taken from her womb. The council said it was acting in the best interests of the woman, an Italian who was in Britain on a work trip, because she had suffered a mental breakdown. The baby girl, now 15 months old, is still in the care of social services, who are refusing to give her back to the mother, even though she claims to have made a full recovery. The case has developed into an international legal row, with lawyers for the woman describing it as “unprecedented”.
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.
November has been a torrid month for France, rapped by the European Commission for failing to reform its economy and hit by a new sovereign debt downgrade. Nationwide anger at rising taxes has sparked often violent protests, notably by Breton livestock workers up in arms over a planned road freight levy. Yet abroad, it has exuded self-confidence and strength: it played hard ball in major-power nuclear talks with Iran that brought a landmark deal on Sunday; it is gearing up for a risky new peace intervention in ex-colony Central African Republic.
The PAK-DA doesn’t just fill in a technological gap in the current Russian aircraft inventory, but should have the capacity to return Russia — should Mr. Putin desire such — to the glory days of Soviet bomber power, pushing a dynamic long-range bomber into the air that could be the worst of threats to enemies the world over. It was that threat — the threat of rapid deployment and possibilities for diverse missions—that was as powerful a psychological weapon against the Americans in the Cold War as the core aspect of nuclear weapons to be placed aboard these bombers.
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.
Saudi Arabia has emerged as the biggest foreign customer for German arms, buying nearly a quarter of Germany’s total weapons sales. It’s part of an emerging pattern of weapons purchases by Saudi Arabia and its neighbor, the United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia was the world’s 10th-largest weapons importer in 2008-12 (the Emirates was No. 9). And Saudi Arabia is expected to be among the top 5 for 2013-17 “due to major outstanding orders, such as for 48 Typhoon combat aircraft from the UK and 152 F-15SA combat aircraft from the USA.”
Creative or invasive? A controversial new technology allows retailers to gather information about customers through their smartphones as they shop. The technology taps into shoppers’ wifi signals, and can detect a shopper’s location in the store, how long they spend in certain departments, and how often they visit the store. It’s a deal for marketers looking to collect information, but it’s a deal-breaker for privacy advocates. “It’s just one layer of privacy after another being peeled off,” said Mark Bonner, associate professor of law at Ave Maria School of Law. “The potential for abuse is gigantic.”
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.
Germany’s domestic intelligence agency is planning to expand its counterintelligence operations to include friendly countries following revelations about the United States’ extensive spying programme. Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has until now only systematically observed countries of concern, while allies in the European Union and NATO were observed only if there was a concrete suspicion, such as that they were spying on Germany or recruiting spies in the country, the official said. But given the NSA revelations, the agency will in future need to have a 360-degree view which will include friendly countries.
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 Middle East is rich with all sorts of Russian-made anti-aircraft systems. Most of them were delivered to the Arab countries opposing Israel and, in the time of the Soviet Union, to other clients on a political pretext. Although UAE and Jordan are among those nations that have historically bought the bulk of their military equipment in the West, these countries have procured certain air defense systems from Russia. In particular, the UAE was the launch customer for the Pantsyr SAM.
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).
Turkey rejected a unilateral declaration of autonomy over Syria’s Kurdish lands by the country’s dominant Kurdish group, while the larger opposition representing the Kurds said the move was an “anti-revolution and supportive of” the Damascus regime. The leaders of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) announced an interim government over Syria’s Kurdish areas in the northeast. It said Kurdish, Arab and Christian leaders had agreed to turn Syrian Kurdistan – or Rojava – into three semi-independent provincial areas, within a larger Kurdish autonomy in the northeast.
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.
The European Union on Thursday promised “appropriate measures” if the Maldives once again scuttled presidential elections due this weekend and warned the honeymoon destination not to become “autocratic”.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the bloc would regard any bid to further delay or influence the outcome of the run-off election scheduled for Saturday as intended to prevent the people of the Maldives from exercising their democratic right to choose a leader.
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.
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?
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.
Following an accident at the Alcântara satellite launch pad in 2003, in the state of Maranhão, Brazilian intelligence services investigated the possibility that the incident may have occurred as the result of sabotage by French secret service agents. The accident killed 21 people, including engineers and technicians from the General Command of Aerospace Technology, a division of the Brazilian Air Force. According to documents obtained by Folha from the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN, in its Portuguese acronym), there were at least three counter-espionage operations aimed at French agents and their contacts in Brazil.
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.”
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.