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.
The “OptimEyes” system will be rolled out into 450 Tesco gas stations. They will be exposed to millions of customers a week, and privacy advocates are up in arms. Amscreen chief executive, told industry magazine The Grocer: “Yes it’s like something out of Minority Report, but this could change the face of British retail and our plans are to expand the screens into as many supermarkets as possible.” Among the creep-outs of the OptimEyes technology: it lumps you into one of three age brackets based on gender. And, there is technology already available that can match people’s faces to their Facebook profiles and create custom ads based on their Likes.
EU justice commissionner Viviane Reding has said the Union should create its own intelligence service by 2020. Speaking on Monday (4 November) to Greek daily Naftemporiki on the US snooping scandal, she said: “What we need is to strengthen Europe in this field, so we can level the playing field with our US partners.” She added: “I would therefore wish to use this occasion to negotiate an agreement on stronger secret service co-operation among the EU member states – so that we can speak with a strong common voice to the US.
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.
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.
As Twitter is officially banned within most workplaces, for being a tricky ’140-character platform’, Pentagon and other intelligence officials have taken to a privately run, internal microblogging service called as eChirp, which appears to be a replica of the original site. According to The Verge, eChirp was established in 2009, the original goal of the site was to let expert analysts across different agencies weigh in on breaking news without compromising any secure information. The report said that a password-protected subdomain on the US intelligence community’s Intelink intranet is labeled ‘Chirp’
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, citing warnings by President Barack Obama and National Intelligence Director James Clapper about the threat of attacks on computer networks, on Wednesday announced the creation of the city’s first “Cyber Intrusion Command Center.” The command center, which will be operated with the assistance of the FBI and Secret Service, will be staffed by cyber security experts who will scan the city’s computer networks for threats and quickly respond to breaches, according to the mayor’s office.
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.”
Romania has started building a base which will form part of a controversial US ballistic missile defence system. The plan is to have the Deveselu base in southern Romania operational in 2015. It will house SM-3 interceptor missiles and radar equipment. The US government says the missiles will have no offensive capability and only target incoming ballistic missiles launched by a hostile power. Iran is seen as a potential threat. But the US plan has also angered Russia. The new Romanian facility would help protect Washington’s European allies from a “rogue” missile attack.
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.
While incredibly important and providing passage for a large portion of the oil that arrives in the North America and Europe from the Middle East, the Suez Canal is but one narrow strait (called “chokepoints”) through which oil passes on its way to oil-dependent countries. According to an article by Business Insider, seven oil chokepoints of the world are crucial to the world economy. These chokepoints moved about half of the world’s oil production of 84 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in 2010.
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.
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.
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 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.
The Angolan government has bought arms from Russia in a $1 billion deal, Portuguese news agency Lusa said. With the deal Angola becomes the principal purchaser of Russian arms on the continent, outstripping Uganda. “Angola has inked with the state-owned Rosoboronexport monopoly a $1billion agreement which includes the supply of eight Sukhoi 30 hunt planes, transport Mi-17 helicopters, ordinance, light weapons and ammunition. Angola, which is recovering from decades of civil war, maintains close ties with Cold War ally Russia.
Brazil is pushing ahead with a planned $1 billion purchase of anti-aircraft missile batteries from Russia in a deal that will cement a strategic defence partnership between the two BRICS nations, the Brazilian Defence Ministry said. Brazilian officials said they expect to sign a contract by the middle of 2014 for short- to medium-range surface-to-air Pantsir S1 missile batteries and Igla-S shoulder-held missiles. Amorim said defence cooperation between the two members of the BRICS group of leading emerging nations, which also includes China, India and South Africa, could “counterbalance” other options that Brazil wants to keep open – a reference to traditional arms suppliers such as the United States.
“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.
Speculation is mounting whether the government has agreed a deal with Washington to take part in the U.S.-led missile defense program in exchange for another delay in the handover of full control of South Korean troops. Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin fanned speculation Monday by telling a National Assembly audit that the military is hoping to buy SM-3 interceptor missiles that could destroy North Korean ballistic missiles. The SM-3 missiles constitute the core of the U.S.-led missile defense shield. All the signs are that the government is growing less reluctant to join the missile defense program, which China is extremely wary of.
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.
E2V has developed a non-lethal weapon that can disable the engines of motor vehicles and small boats at a distance of up to 50m in under three seconds. Dubbed RF Safe-Stop, the unit, which weighs approximately 350kg, has so far been integrated into Nissan Nevara and Toyota Land Cruisers and is designed to temporarily disable a vehicle’s electronic systems and bring it to a halt. Such systems are said to be particularly suited to stopping vehicles suspected as being used as car bombs.
Rather than create a European army all at once, Germany should focus on building it bit by bit, according to a paper published this month by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (kaf). Germany should develop “islands of cooperation”—small groups of countries whose militaries work together—that can be used as “building blocks” of a pan-European military power, it wrote. The kaf sees the “islands of cooperation” approach as “only the second-best solution” compared with a combined European military. Germany still wants build a combined military if it can; the “islands” approach is simply more practical right now.
One of the world’s leading medical journals has supported the possibility that Yasser Arafat, the longtime Palestinian leader, was poisoned with the radioactive element polonium 210. The British The Lancet journal has published a peer review of last year’s research by Swiss scientists on Arafat’s personal effects. It endorsed their work, which found high levels of the highly radioactive element in blood, urine, and saliva stains on the Palestinian leader’s clothes and toothbrush.
The system for surveilling “irregular migratory flows,” as they are called in the official jargon, is precisely the kind of monitoring apparatus America’s NSA intelligence service might dream up. Using drones, intelligence equipment, offshore sensors and satellite search systems, they plan to survey the Mediterranean in its entirety, linking data through “system-of-systems” technology. National coordination centers are also expected to assist in the exchange of data with the European border protection agency Frontex. Eurosur is set to go into force in seven member states in December.
Turkey’s parliament on Thursday extended for one year a mandate that would allow Ankara to order military strikes against Kurdish rebels holed up in neighbouring northern Iraq.The vote coincides with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s reforms to boost the rights of the country’s sizeable Kurdish community and secure an end to the nearly 30-year battle with the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The PKK has been fighting for self-rule in the mainly Kurdish southeast and east of Turkey since 1984
The reported abduction of Libya’s prime minster early Thursday has exposed the shortcomings in the country’s security sector, but NATO and Libya are yet to come to terms on a 5-month-old request from the country for assistance aimed at bolstering its defenses. “I can confirm that Libyan authorities have requested NATO assistance to build or reform the security sector,” Rasmussen said. “We have been exploring that request for quite some time and we are still looking into it.”
While police departments today aren’t even close to eliminating crime altogether, they are developing something akin to digital versions of precogs. Thanks to innovations in data analysis and surveillance technology, law enforcement officials are increasingly able to predict who will commit crimes, when they will be committed, and where — long before they have occurred. And as these technologies become more widespread among law enforcement agencies, they’re raising some serious questions about the implications of pre-emptive policing.
The Pentagon has spent the last two decades plowing hundreds of millions of tax dollars into military bases in Italy, turning the country into an increasingly important center for US military power. Especially since the start of the Global War on Terror in 2001, the military has been shifting its European center of gravity south from Germany, where the overwhelming majority of US forces in the region have been stationed since the end of World War II. In the process, the Pentagon has turned the Italian peninsula into a launching pad for future wars in Africa, the Middle East, and beyond.
Israel, alarmed at the prospect of a U.S.-Iranian rapprochement, is reported to be discussing the possibility of an anti-Iran alliance with longtime Arab adversaries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a project that could have immense ramifications in the Middle East.
If talks are under way, they’re in large part the result of many secret meetings between Israeli and Arab intelligence chiefs and other senior officials that have been held over several years, often in the Jordanian capital Amman.
Yemeni troops stormed Wednesday a military base overrun by suspected al-Qaida militants, and a senior officer said that the government had regained control of the compound after a three-day standoff. It was not clear if soldiers reportedly taken hostage by the militants at the beginning of the siege have survived. Maj. Gen. Mohsen Nasser told the Associated Press that all the militants were killed in the operation, which followed three hours of intense clashes. He said hostages are believed to be freed, but he didn’t have a count of the number held.
In a replay of the classic East-West rivalry of the Cold War, but with the United States conspicuously on the sidelines, Russia has used economic and security threats to draw post-communist countries into its Eurasian Customs Union and to block the European Union’s Eastern Partnership initiative, which seeks the reform and possible eventual integration of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine into European Union (EU) structures.
Stepping up surveillance along the tense border of China and Pakistan, the Indian Army is equipping its troops with hand-held drones. It has floated a request for proposal for acquiring 49 mini unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) last month, which the army feels will be a “game changer,” like they have been for the allied forces in AfPak. The imminent threat posed by India’s two inimical neighbours China and Pakistan has in recent years forced a rethink on India’s defense preparedness.
Sources indicate the strike inside Somalia will include advisers from the Somali government. It will target al-Shabaab resources and requires an assault force to go in. The source added: “There are several levels to this. Any action needs to be signed off at the highest level. “We need to make sure we have a Somali government presence and we need to avoid collateral damage with cruise missiles which can kill innocent civilians. “That means this is a job for blades, men on the ground.”
The state-run China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation will have to spend at least US$20 billion to design and develop vessels for the PLA Navy’s first carrier battle group, according to the Toyko-based Yomiuri Shimbun. With the task of building 80% of the PLA Navy’s ships, the CSIC has already begun to raise funds through the stock market. However, the company has only managed to raise under US$8.5 billion as its strong ties to China’s military development, limits the type of investors allowed to participate.
The defense minister just called off tests of an underwater missile carrier after yet another unsuccessful launch of an intercontinental missile, which had apparently already been set off during an explosion at the factory. The whole series of missiles had to be sent back to the factory for inspection. Then there was the catastrophe with the Proton-M rockets, a system used for both government and commercial space launches and satellites. During the most recent launch last July, the rocket booster crashed just after take-off, prompting an investigation and temporary suspension of the program.
At least a dozen US National Security Agency (NSA) employees have been caught using secret government surveillance tools to spy on the e-mails or phone calls of their current or former spouses and lovers in the past decade, according to the intelligence agency’s internal watchdog.
The practice is known in intelligence world shorthand as “LOVEINT” and was disclosed by the NSA Office of the Inspector-General in response to a request by the US Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Republican, Charles Grassley, for a report on abuses of the NSA’s surveillance authority.
The government hopes that once new oilfields near Lake Chad begin production, output will hit 200,000 bpd next year and 300,000 bpd by 2015. Those are ambitions plans for the vast desert country, but it still wouldn’t come close to the output from Africa’s biggest producers like Nigeria, which boasts about 2 million bpd, or Angola, which peaked at around 1.7 million bpd this spring. Still, oil exports are invaluable to the Chadian government; they bring in about $1.2 billion annually, or 80 percent of revenues.
There are three types of faultlines in South Asia – the fractures resulting from the movement of tectonic plates (as shown by the September 24 earthquake), the geopolitical differences that have kept Islamabad and New Delhi in a perpetual state of rivalry, and deprivation, with over half a billion people living below the poverty line in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh together. Geopolitical faultlines and state interests in certain cross-border groups also aid these militant movements, for example the alleged Indian support for the Bangladeshi tribes and for Baloch insurgents in Pakistan, and the ISI’s nexus with major Afghan Taliban groups and its support for Kashmir militancy since 1988.
Ankara has granted a long-awaited tender for long-range missile and air defense systems to Chinese contenders, dismissing bids from major NATO allies as the United States, France and Italy. With the decision, announced today following a meeting of the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries’ executive council, which is headed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Ankara has approved the lowest offer despite worries about the Chinese system’s ultimate compatibility with NATO-owned early warning assets.
This is the Operations Coordination Centre – Provincial, or OCCP, where representatives of the Afghan army, police and security service mentored by Australian soldiers coordinate security activities for the entire province. Each morning starts with a roundup of the night’s activities. It hosts regular meetings of the provincial governor, chief of police, provincial army commander, head of intelligence and the commander of Combined Team Oruzgan, Australian Colonel Wade Stothart, to coordinate plans for upcoming events.
Since the election of US president Barack Obama, concern has been raised repeatedly in Gulf states about the US’ commitment to the security and the strategic importance of the region. More recent US positions however have sounded alarms in Gulf capitals that America may be abandoning its Gulf allies. The US and the Gulf states’ very publicly diverging positions on the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, its reluctance to go to war with Syria and its most recent attempt at a rapprochement with Iran is likely to evoke fears of an American “grand bargain” with Iran at the expense of the Gulf.
The treacherous waters off Somalia used to be the world’s most dangerous marine passageway. That dubious distinction has moved a lot closer to home, with the waters near Johor and Malacca now surpassing Somalia as the top piracy hotbed, according to the International Maritime Bureau. It attributed this to the rise in piracy off Indonesia’s Tanjung Priok, Dumai, Belawan, Taboneo and Muara Jawa – where the waters have been marked as hot spots.
Bulgaria has been rocked by daily protests demanding the resignation of the government of Plamen Oresharksi for nearly 100 days, following the ill-fated appointment and rapid withdrawal of Delyan Peevski for head of the State Agency for National Security, popularly known as DANS. The matter has a highly symbolic value, as it demonstrates that the symbiosis between mafia and state has come to the point where state institutions are used primarily for protecting the interests of shady oligarchs.
NATO is scheduled to have in place its first-ever Alliance asset for collecting strategic intelligence: the Alliance Ground Surveillance system. The fleet of five Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft will carry a sophisticated radar capable of monitoring the situation on the ground from high overhead, including the movement of objects of interest such as military vehicles. The Global Hawks will transmit synthetic aperture radar images—which look like photographs—and tracking data on the moving objects down to NATO intelligence analysts.
Aviation rules will be revised to prepare for the Self-Defense Forces’ use of unmanned reconnaissance aircraft to monitor the Senkaku Islands, government officials said. The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry will begin studying similar rules in other countries next month in preparation for a revision in fiscal 2014 starting in April. Current aviation law only applies to manned aircraft, they said. The Global Hawk can fly roughly twice as high as commercial passenger aircraft for more than 30 hours on autopilot.
China criticized Japan on Monday for its plans to install a cutting-edge U.S. military radar system to monitor North Korean missile launches, saying that could impact regional stability and upset the strategic balance. The X-band radar system would boost Japan’s ability to track and intercept missiles from across the Sea of Japan. That was “not conducive to regional nuclear non-proliferation and stability, and will cause an extremely negative impact on the global strategic balance,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.
The new weaponry, developed under a project codenamed “Wan Chien” (Ten Thousands Swords), is scheduled to be carried by dozens of Taiwan’s fighter jets. The new weaponry will enable Taiwanese fighter jets to hit Chinese targets from a distance and reduce the risk of having to fly over mainland territory, analysts say. The weapons, an equivalent of the US-developed joint direct attack munition (JDAM) that converts unguided bombs into all-weather “smart” munitions, is designed to target harbours, missile and radar bases, as well as troop build-ups prior to any invasion of the island, they say.
Saudi Arabia’s estimated $45 billion yearly military outlay represents the region’s largest budget specifically for airpower capabilities in support of Kingdom’s protection. The ¬potential acquisition of 84 new ¬F-15Es and upgrades for 72 existing aircraft, plus 190 new helicopters, including 72 ¬UH-60M Black Hawks, 70 ¬AH-64D Apaches, 36 AH-6i Phoenix ¬helicopters and 12 MD ¬Helicopters MD-530Fs is still in the works. The Kingdom still seeks 48 Eurofighter Typhoons from a 72-aircraft deal brokered via the UK government.
NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow has said that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will support the European aspirations of Ukraine. At the same time, he noted that NATO respects Ukraine’s choice to adhere to the non-aligned status.
“The topic of Ukraine’s national security and its relations with international organizations is important, and recent developments in your country as well as in Russia, Republic of Moldova and Armenia have made it even more urgent,” he said.
Baltic officials said regional security had been weakened as Russia led military exercises on their doorstep involving almost 12,000 troops.
A week of land and sea manoeuvres began Friday as part of biennial exercises with Belarus, Russia’s Defence Ministry said on its website.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which regained independence in 1991 after half a century of Soviet rule, joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 2004 amid Russian opposition.
The government is to establish national security and strategy study departments in up to 10 universities across the country, aiming to create a cadre of “ready to go” professionals for security and intelligence agencies. “We had a meeting in the (human resources development) ministry and the stakeholders concerned were present. We hope to start by next year in some universities—10 universities over the next four years, during the 12th Five-Year Plan,” said University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman Ved Prakash.
A campaign is reportedly underway to gather 30 million signatures endorsing General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for the ballot in the next year’s elections. The General is emerging as a likely front-runner in the presidential elections, despite not having made any proclamation about running for office. Since the coup against the Muslim Brotherhood on 3 July which brought him to power, al-Sisi has enjoyed positive media coverage and public support.
Iran’s clerical leadership has told security hardliners to stay out of politics, in effect instructing them not to wreck the new centrist government’s attempt to solve an intractable nuclear dispute with West. The request was delicate since the military force has accumulated great economic and political power in recent years and is omnipresent in the life of the nation. Such is the Guards’ influence in political, social and economic affairs that they could disrupt any rapprochement with the West if they felt this would damage their interests.
Kanyemba district is about 160 miles north of the capital, and is believed to be holding significant uranium reserves, first discovered in the 1970s by German prospectors, but never exploited due to low world prices at the time. Several other countries have sought the rights to mine Zimbabwe’s untapped uranium deposits, and these include Russia, China and a failed bid by neighbouring South Africa and Namibia, as they scramble for the Yellow cake which is a key ingredient needed for the production of nuclear bombs.
It cannot be heard, seen or smelled, but those in its sights will know it by the intolerable heating sensation they feel from head to toe. The Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate, from Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., demonstrated the maritime security application of the Active Denial System, or ADS, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. The technology is a long-range, non-lethal, personnel-deterring device. The system projects a wavelength, which causes targets to feel an unbearable heating sensation. The target suffers no lasting effect.
On August 23, Paraguayans woke up to news that resembled more the days of Stroessner’s dictatorship than those of a developing democracy. Under the new changes, Cartes can now send the military “to face any form of internal and external aggression that endangers the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the country.” Thus, the president can decide the use of members of the armed forces within the country any time he sees fit by a mere presidential decree.