The political situation in Algeria has taken a dangerous turn. In conjunction with a visit by an EU delegation to the country, opposition parties have called for early presidential elections that would put an end to incumbent President’s term. The visit by the EU delegation to Algeria and the meetings it held with a number of political figures has stirred a number of reactions that reveal some of the mysteries of the power struggle between opposition and pro-government forces.
The Georgian foreign ministry has said Russia took a “step toward the de-facto annexation” of Georgia’s breakaway territory after Moscow has signed a deal with Abkhazia, giving greater military control over Black Sea region. Under the treaty signed on Monday by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Abkhazia’s leader Raul Khadzhimba, Russian and Abkhazian forces in the territory will turn into a joint force led by a Russian commander.
David Cameron has been warned by German chancellor Angela Merkel that she would rather see the UK leave the European Union than change freedom of movement rules, according to reports. Downing Street on Sunday did not deny that the conversation had taken place, after Der Spiegel said Merkel had rejected Cameron’s demands for a cap on unskilled migrants. Sources told the newspaper that the chancellor said demands for any changes to freedom of movement rules represented a “point of no return”.
Planned to be deployed at the end of the first quarter 2015 in the Central African Republic, a battalion of 450 soldiers to join the Gabonese UN contingent should be formed shortly by the Sovereign Global France (SGF). Terms of the transaction were signed on October 31 in France, between the Minister of National Defence, Ernest Mpouho Epigat and President of SGF, Jerome Paolini. SGF will put in operational condition and standards of OMP (Operation peacekeeping) Gabonese soldiers a period of 3 years.
The Northern Command of the Indian Army has recently purchased 49 miniature unmanned aerial vehicles to patrol its ‘border region’ with Pakistan and China, a foreign media reported on Sunday. The report said that the Indian Army would deploy these Israeli drones to carry out ‘reconnaissance mission’ over its ‘border areas’ after soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army of China set up camp in Ladakh, part of disputed state of Jammu Kashmir. The Chinese Army soldiers were located 10 kilometres inside the Line of Actual Control.
While Swedish citizens enjoy a high standard of living and efficient national social welfare systems, they could face demands to increase spending on the military following widespread media coverage of allegations a Russian submarine may be in waters off the Stockholm archipelago, an expert says. Many critics have questioned the veracity and timing of speculation a Russian submarine could be hiding in Swedish territorial waters at a time of heightened global military tensions under the US-led “war on terror”.
Pakistan will get full-member status of SCO next year, said Sherali. S Jononov, Ambassador of Tajikistan while briefing mediamen on Thursday on the outcome of SCO Summit held on September 11 and 12 in Dushanbe. He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif could not attend the Summit due to political situation at home. However, Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs attended it.
A US treasury official has warned Turkish and Kurdish middlemen against trading in Islamic State (ISIS) oil by threatening to slap US sanctions on those caught dealing with the extremist group. US officials have discreetly criticised the illicit Turkish and Kurdish trade in oil from ISIS, which is also known as IS and ISIL, but comments from US Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen in Washington on Thursday, were the clearest warning so far. “Last month, ISIL was selling oil at substantially discounted prices to a variety of middlemen, including some from Turkey,” Cohen said.
Turkey decides who to arm within its own territories, Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkır said in Brussels where he announced Turkey’s new EU strategy. His remarks came after Germany, on Thursday, said they can send arms to the outlawed PKK that is fighting the ISIS in Kobani. Turkey opposes Germany to arm the PKK to fight ISIS in the Syrian town of Kobani at the Turkish-Syria border. Bozkır said that both the PKK and ISIS were terrorist groups adding that the PKK was also on the terror lists of the U.S., NATO and Turkey.
The United States would respond favorably to the military needs of the poorly equipped Lebanese Army in its fight against terrorism, Lebanese Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi has reportedly said. The local newspaper Al-Mustaqbal, quoting sources following up on Kahwagi’s visit to Washington, reported Thursday the Army chief has been assured by American officials that the United States was prepared to support the military and supply it with weapons to combat terrorism.
The tiny, oil-rich nation United Arab Emirates could be laying the foundation for an Arab peacekeeping force by seeking to buy more than 4,500 roadside-bomb protected trucks from the Pentagon, according to a U.S. government official. It follows a series of meetings in recent years between officials from the United States, UAE and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a regional group of six Middle Eastern nations to establish joint security forces in the region.
The Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense announced new legal and practical measures created to respond to unconventional war threats. “Nowadays, procedures activating the military forces don’t ensure a proper scope and timely response,” Juozas Olekas, Minister of National Defense, said in a statement. Olekas said that current global context requires more efficient processes of army activation and a wider mandate to use munitions.
In 2007 the Los Angeles Police Department cast an acquisitive eye on software being developed by Palantir, a startup funded in part by the Central Intelligence Agency’s venture capital arm. Originally designed for spy agencies, Palantir’s technology allowed users to track individuals with unprecedented reach, connecting information from conventional sources like crime reports with more controversial data gathered by surveillance cameras and license plate readers that automatically, and indiscriminately, photographed passing cars.
The South Korean military said Monday it has deployed additional weapons to islands near the tense western maritime border to better deal with North Korea’s growing threats. The disputed sea border remains a powder keg with the two Koreas fighting bloody battles there in 1999, 2002 and 2009. In the latest incident, both sides briefly exchanged fire last week as a boat from the North violated the Northern Limit Line (NLL).
French forces in Niger have attacked and destroyed what they say is a militant convoy transporting weapons south from Libya, Paris said on Friday. Few details of the operation were disclosed, but France said the attack destroyed weapons and personnel sent by militants in Libya through Niger to support their comrades in Mali. The attack marks the first engagement for a 3,000-strong French force deployed in August, Operation Barkane, aimed at combatting what Paris says are militants who move men and material across the Sahel region of North Africa.
Russia will create a space-based ballistic missile warning system capable of detecting launches of inter-continental and tactical missiles, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Thursday. “Creation of the unified space system is one of the key directions for the nuclear containment development, especially Russian nuclear deterrent forces,” Shoigu told a teleconference with senior ministry officials. The system will be able to detect launches of various types of missiles, both strategic and tactical, including those launched from underwater positions.
New NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday that the Western alliance could deploy its forces wherever it wants, apparently calling into question post-Cold War agreements that have been shaken by Russia’s actions in Crimea and Ukraine. At a summit a month ago, NATO leaders agreed to set up a “spearhead” rapid reaction force that could be sent to a hotspot within days, and to pre-position equipment and supplies in eastern European countries to receive the force if needed.
Contemporary air defense systems delivered by Russia to Iraq will improve national security and protection of vital sites, the Iraqi Defense Ministry said. “System operators have been trained in the manufacturing country,” says a ministry report. “Only a handful of states possess such advanced air defense systems,” it emphasized. Reportedly, contracts with a value exceeding $1 billion were signed during Iraqi Defense Minister Sadun Farhan al-Dulaymi’s Moscow visit this July for the delivery of a large batch of artillery armaments and ammunition.
The Philippine military is mulling the transfer of a Sulu-based Marine battalion to Palawan near the disputed West Philippine Sea, citing “territorial defense operation.” A source said this is being studied by the military top brass in Camp Aguinaldo in coordination with the Armed Forces’ Western Mindanao Command. “That’s being planned by GHQ (General Headquarters) but there is still no confirmation to it. It is still being discussed,” a ranking official said Tuesday.
Turkey’s military on Monday deployed 35 tanks in a border town near Syria after mortar shells landed on Turkish territory, injuring three people, media reported. As clashes between Islamic State (IS) militants and the People’s Protection Units (YPG) intensified in Kobane city in northern Syria, the Turkish Armed Forces stepped up security measures on the border line in Suruc town of the southeastern province of Sanliurfa, Xinhua reported citing the semi-official Anadolu Agency.
Come the start of October US Air Forces Africa will be activated and given the designation of the 17th Air Force. This announcement was made at Ramstein Air Base in Germany by General William Ward, Commander of US Africa Command (Africom). Welcoming the US Air Forces Africa to Africom he said it was a major undertaking involving hard work to establish a new air force service component command from the ground up. The airborne component of Africom, Ward said, will have the same mission.
Speaking at the 11th Arms and Security exhibition in Kiev, Ukrainian chairman of parliament Oleksandr Turchynov said that the government is buying drone aircraft from Poland to assist ‘anti-terrorist’ operations in rebel-held areas of eastern Ukraine. “It’s very important to us, and our Polish colleagues want to supply these products to Ukraine,” Oleksandr Turchynov is quoted by Interfax as saying. The Polish unmanned aircraft are able to lift up to 15 kilograms of cargo, including arms, he said, and would be used immediately in battle zones.
Turkey has sent a warship to the island of Cyprus to monitor a drillship that has been sent to search for natural gas reserves off the island’s coast. Italian-Korean consortium ENI/KOGAS has sent the Bahamas flag-carrier Saipem 10000 drillship to the “Onasagoras” gas field in Block 9 of the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on Tuesday. In response, the Turkish navy has sent its Bafra Korveti warship to observe the drillship’s activities. Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister said that hydrocarbon exploration in the region will continue despite Turkey’s objections, calling Turkey’s actions ‘potential harassment’.
Hundreds of Indian and Chinese troops have dug into positions on a high Himalayan plateau, leading India’s army chief to cancel a foreign trip and monitor a standoff that underscores deep differences between the Asian giants as they seek closer ties. Military officials in New Delhi and Kashmir said on Tuesday that Chinese troops set up a camp about 3 km (2 miles) into territory claimed by India in the Chumar region of the Ladakh plateau more than a week ago.
Turkish government will ask for the parliament’s authorization for military operations in Syria and Iraq, the newly-elected PM Ahmet Davutoğlu said at a press conference on Tuesday. The proposal will be submitted to the Turkish Parliament after the new legislative year starts on Oct. 2, Davutoğlu said. “There can be two different bills depending on the risks in the region,” Davutoğlu said. “We hope that the security situation will not deteriorate for Turkey in the region and that we will not have to send armed forces.”
The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that crew aboard the frigate Lübeck found a 20-centimetre rip on the tail of one of their aircraft in June. A Defence Ministry report seen by the paper shows that the navy decided “to stop all flight operations with this model until further developments,” and ordered checks to be made on all of its 22 machines. The engineers found similar rips on three different machines and “substantial damage” to several more, leading the navy to ground all 22 of that model.
“We have confirmed that Ahmed Godane, the co-founder of al Shabaab, has been killed,” Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon’s press secretary, said in a statement. Since taking charge of al Shabaab in 2008, Godane had restyled the group as a global player in the al Qaeda network, carrying out bombings and suicide attacks in Somalia and elsewhere in the region, including the Sept. 21, 2013, attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, that killed 67 people.
American military officials have shed some light on what Canada could contribute to the missile-defence program should it choose to join after a decade spent on the sidelines. Several conversations with high-ranking U.S. military officers point to a common desire: multi-purpose sensors in Canada’s Arctic that would sniff out a wider range of potential threats than just intercontinental ballistic missiles. Those state-of-the-art systems would be designed to track maritime vessels, airplanes and small cruise missiles — all in addition to any large missile fired off by North Korea or some hypothetical rogue state.
Fifteen thousand people from Iraq’s Sunni tribes will join to the ranks of Iraqi army in western Anbar province against the ongoing fight against the self-styled Islamic State (IS) militant group. “Defense and Interior ministries approved joining of 15,000 volunteers from the tribes into Iraqi army troops for the ongoing fight.” “The voluntary troops will join Iraqi army and police ranks after the establishment of the new Iraqi government, (due to be formed in the upcoming weeks)” he said.
The electricity deficit reached approximately 6,180MW on Monday, resulting in power outages for periods exceeding five hours daily, said an official at the Ministry of Electricity. A 1900MW portion of the deficit resulted from a shortage of 8m cubic metres of gas and equivalent while another 2500MW was attributed to poor technical conditions at power stations, partially a result of failure to carry out the necessary maintenance and repair operations.
The Pentagon is sending tanks, armored vehicles and containers full of other military gear to caves in Norway. It’s all for the U.S. Marine Corps, which wants to update and expand its Scandinavian stockpile. Now, the military is adding M-1A1 Abrams tanks and a number of Assault Breacher Vehicles to the bunkers. The Pentagon is also adding M-88 tank retrievers, amphibious assault vehicles, up-armored Humvees and various upgraded trucks to the cache.
The South Korean Government is reportedly interested in the acquisition of an Iron Dome anti-missile defence system from Israel in an effort to bolster protection against rockets launched from North Korea. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems CEO Yedidia Yaari was quoted by Israel’s Army Radio as saying that Iron Dome’s performance in the ongoing Gaza war had fuelled foreign interest in its procurement, including by South Korea.
The language, incorporated into the House Armed Services Committee’s passed version of the defense bill, asks the Defense Department to better assess anti-access/area-denial threats in the Asia-Pacific region, submit a report on the cross-strait balance of forces between China and Taiwan, and better estimate China’s fast-growing Naval military power. They (China) are preparing for potential conflict in the Taiwan strait, which includes deterring or defeating third party intervention.
France said it would respond “quickly,” and Saudi Arabia, which is financing the French arms purchases for Lebanon’s army, also pledged to accelerate implementation of the deal. Speaking to AFP, Lebanon’s army chief General Jean Kahwaji said the military was hamstrung in its fight against the jihadists. “This battle requires equipment, materiel and technology that the army doesn’t have,” Kahwaji said. In December, Riyadh agreed to finance a $3-billion package of French military equipment and arms for Lebanon’s army.
The world’s first compressed natural gas carrier will be built by China to fulfill an order from Pelayaran Bahtera Adhiguna, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s state-owned power company Perusahaan Listrik Negara,according to ABS, the company selected to class the ship. The CNG ship was designed by China’s CIMC Ocean Engineering Design & Research Institute and will be built at China’s Qingdao Wuchuan Heavy Industry’s shipyard. The ship will be dual-classed with the Indonesian class society Biro Klasifikasi Indonesia.
According to exclusive information made available to To Vima, the USA has asked the Greek government for the permission to place a number of UAV drones on Crete for a period of six to twelve months. The information suggests that talks on the critical matter began in January, with the American side pressuring the Greek government to transfer the drones by early June – no agreement has been reached. The drones are part of the American strategy in tackling the rising terrorism in the Middle East and surrounding areas.
The U.S. has supplied 747,000 weapons to Afghanistan. It might have a difficult time figuring out where some ended up.
The Pentagon has supplied 747,000 weapons and auxiliary equipment, most via federal contractors, to the Afghan National Security Forces during the last decade. And according to a new report, it might have a hard time figuring out where a fair share of them ended up. The discrepancies show examples of where DOD was not in compliance with its internal operating procedures and accountability requirements, and where missing information could result in the inability to locate weapons.
More than half of China’s military airfields have flight paths that are obstructed by tall buildings, causing accidents and airport closures, Chinese state media reported. Nearly 100 accidents have occurred at military air bases due to high-rise buildings and development in the past 20 years, the website of the ruling Communist Party’s mouthpiece, the People’s Daily said. The problem has become so great that more than 10 military airfields have been forced to close or move.
“South Korea is sandwiched between China and the US. It has been playing a double dipping game of seeking security interests with the US, while pursuing economic interests with China… Seoul must pursue a policy of separating politics from economy. But it won’t be easy, as evidenced by the US opposition to South Korea’s efforts to cooperate with China on the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The only way to get away from the dilemma is to improve inter-Korean relations, which would reduce Seoul’s military dependence on the alliance with the US.”
Recent shifts in the political landscape of the Middle East mean that Iraq’s Kurds will gain independence “sooner rather than later”, according to Steven Cook, an analyst for the US think tank the Council on Foreign Relations. “They are not committed to a unified Iraq, which they call a fiction. They are going through the political process in Baghdad to prove to everybody that they are not to be blamed for the breakup of Iraq. When this political process comes to an end – without anybody’s satisfaction – the Kurds will ultimately make moves to go their own way.”
The new Estonian state defence law that was sent for a round approvals to different state institutions will make the prime minister the highest military head in Estonia, reports LETA reffering to Postimees. The aim of the bill is to make Estonian state defence modern and guarantee leadership of the state with clear command lines. The current state defence basics are considered very outdated and compared to the pre-WWII era. According to the current Estonian laws, the president is the highest head of Estonian state defence.
The National Intelligence Organization (MİT) will become a network of interconnected branches or bureaus called strategic analysis, counterespionage, external operations, security intelligence, electronic and technical intelligence and signals intelligence. Even the logos for these divisions have been designed, the report said. According to the story, the restructuring of MİT is part of a longer-term plan to create a system that is similar to the US intelligence community. The US system is made up of 17 separate bodies operating under two main branches.
Iraqi forces have withdrawn from the militant-held northern Iraqi city of Tikrit after a new push to retake the city met heavy resistance, a soldier who fought in the battle said Wednesday. Government troops and allied Shiite volunteer fighters were forced to retreat just before sunset Tuesday to a base four km south after coming under heavy mortar shelling and sniper fire, the sources said. The attempt to retake Tikrit, which fell on June 12 to Sunni insurgents led by the militant Islamic State group, began two-and-a-half weeks ago.
The decision by Poland to admit Raytheon’s Patriot to a short list of bidders for its anti-missile program, while excluding the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) program, has spurred rival claims over performance between the two. On June 30, the Polish Defense Ministry announced that it was narrowing its search for a missile defense system to two candidates, the Patriot and the Aster offered by the Eurosam consortium of Thales and MBDA.
Ashraf Ghani was considered something of an outside chance at the start of Afghanistan’s marathon presidential election after failing to make an impression at the polls five years earlier. But an energetic campaign that saw him capitalise on the growth of social media allowed him to overcome his perceived weaknesses: A policy wonk without a big support base, a fiery temper and a life largely spent outside the country. He worked for the World Bank in the 1990s only returning to Kabul in 2001 as a senior United Nations official after the fall of the Taliban.
The deployments, consisting of up to 120 troops on the ground, go beyond the Pentagon’s January announcement that it had sent a handful of advisors in October. That was seen at the time as the first assignment of U.S. troops to Somalia since 1993 when two U.S. helicopters were shot down and 18 American troops killed in the “Black Hawk Down” disaster. Those U.S. plans include greater military engagement and new funds for training and assistance for the Somali National Army (SNA).
A powerful lobby group pushing for independence for Catalonia from the rest of Spain has revealed plans for how the defence forces of the hypothetical country might look. The new military force would include light infantry units, amphibious assault ships and surveillance aircraft, Spanish national daily El Mundo reported on Wednesday. There are also plans for voluntary military service and a reserve force to be called up in the event of foreign invasion or terrorism threats.
Japan is poised for a historic shift in its defense policy by ending a ban that has kept the military from fighting abroad since World War Two, a major step away from post-war pacifism and a big political victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The change will significantly widen Japan’s military options by ending the ban on exercising “collective self-defense”, or aiding a friendly country under attack. It will also relax limits on activities in U.N.-led peace-keeping operations and “grey zone” incidents short of full-scale war.
In buying Kurdish oil via Turkey, Israel can kill two birds with one stone: It can support its long time silent partner, the Kurds, in overcoming this impasse, and at the same time it can help Turkey fulfill its project of becoming the main conduit for the export of Kurdish oil. Should this plan succeed, it would open up for Israel new vistas with Turkey. To be sure, it will also enhance the economic and political independence of the Kurds of Iraq.
Weapons made in China/Pakistan making their way to India’s next door neighbour should definitely be upsetting for New Delhi. India needs to explore ways urgently to see if it can make a better and more economically viable offer to Myanmar. Myanmar is of huge strategic significance for India. The two countries share a 1,600-km-long land boundary apart from a long maritime boundary in Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea.
Fighting between government forces and troops form the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) took place nearly every day last week in the Manwing area of southern Kachin state. The fighting began shortly after a military column entered into an area controlled by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the KIO’s armed wing. Clashes between the Burma army’s Light Infantry Division No. 88 and resistance forces from KIA battalion 27 took place at Gaw Ngu Yang near Nam Hka village.
President Vladimir Putin on Saturday placed forces in central Russia on “full combat alert” and ordered the 65,000 troops in the region to carry out one week of military readiness drills. Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the ground and airborne drills in the Volga and Ural mountain regions would run June 21 though June 28, the Interfax news agency reported. Troops stationed near Ukraine, thousands of kilometres away from central Russia, are not involved in the drills.
Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas urged NATO on to establish a permanent presence in the Baltic state in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, telling his allies to “open your eyes and stay awake”. The Western alliance has tripled the number of fighter jets based in the Baltics as part of measures to beef up its defences in eastern Europe following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. NATO’s top military commander, said that NATO would have to consider permanently stationing troops in eastern Europe.
A gunshot detection system developed by Raytheon BBN Technologies is to be deployed at utility sites in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Raytheon said an initial order has been received for 110 Boomerang systems and that it is working with utility companies elsewhere in the country for the system’s deployment. Boomerang uses passive acoustic detection technology and computer-based signal processing. It pinpoints small arms fire and reports the location of the gunfire’s location to authorities.
A rising trend of military surplus purchases is sparking a debate about the militarization of police departments, raising questions about whether weapons meant for war belong in America’s small towns. M-16 rifles, grenade launchers, and silencers are among the weapons making their way into police departments. Surprisingly, the military surplus buys don’t end there. In Johnson County, Indiana, law enforcement sparked a debate when they purchased a 55,000 pound, six-wheeled mine-proof armored vehicle.
Russian authorities have “implemented measures” to restrict the use of satellite bases in its territories that serve the US-owned GPS network. The country’s space agency said it would rule out “any military use” of the ground-based stations. The move comes amid Russian attempts to build a US base for its GPS rival, the navigation system Glonass, which have been blocked by the US government. However experts say the move will have no effect on GPS users worldwide.
NATO defence ministers will discuss temporarily reinforcing forces in Poland when they meet in Brussels this week, a spokesman for the German defence ministry said, a move that would be aimed at reassuring countries nervous about Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. The spokesman said this could include “enhanced air patrols over the Baltic states, AWACS surveillance planes over Polandand Romania, more exercises, and an enhanced naval presence by NATO allies from the Baltic to the Black Sea.”
Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtae Lamamra said on Monday that his country was not ready to coordinate with renegade Libyan general Khalifa Haftar, whose forces have been battling militias incorporated into Libya’s regular army. “Algeria is not ready to coordinate with” the general, Lamamra told reporters on the sidelines of a ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement. “This is an internal issue. Algeria will not change its policy of non-interference in the affairs of brotherly and friendly countries,” he said.
Fort Greely, Alaska is home to one of America’s two domestic missile defense bases. Now it’s getting armored against high-altitude electromagnetic energy attacks—like the kind emitted from nuclear blasts. It’s a far-fetched scenario, but the Pentagon is spending millions on a bunker designed to protect against exactly that. According to contract documents from the Army Corps of Engineers, the military plans to spend $44 million on an “HEMP-protected” bunker housing the base’s missile launch control systems.
The German cabinet has adopted a new Africa strategy, showing willingness for a greater German involvement in Africa, German media N-TV reported on Wednesday. In the new Africa policy, Germany’s ruling coalition government expressed willingness to help prevent armed conflicts on the continent at an early stage in the future. In addition to training missions, which would help African countries solve crisis more independently, Germany said it was also ready to send more troops to Africa if necessary.
At least 6 people were injured and 27 arrested in Skopje in a second night of unrest sparked by after the murder of a teenager in a western suburb of the Macedonian capital. Local police blocked access to the Albanian-populated Saraj area in a bid to prevent serious clashes. The protests broke out Monday after the arrest of a 19-year-old suspect, reportedly a member of the country’s Albanian minority, for the murder of a 18-year-old high-school graduate in the Gjorce Petrov suburb while he was trying to prevent a thief from stealing a bicycle.
Japan is to establish new military outposts on remote islands, a report said today, as Tokyo looks to bolster its defence amid a territorial dispute with China. Up to 350 troops each could be stationed on three islands in the far southwest, close to the Senkakus, which Beijing claims as its own under the name Diaoyus, the mass-selling Yomiuri Shimbun reported. The lack of substantial military presence is a source of worry for some in Japan, who caution that it leaves Japan vulnerable to China’s increasingly assertive stance.
Egypt’s Presidential Elections Commission (PEC) said on Sunday that a delegation from the European Union (EU) will be observing its upcoming presidential race. Head of the PEC Anwar El-Asy met with the head of the EU delegation tasked with observing the upcoming elections in Egypt to look into the observing procedures and see what either the committee or state apparatuses can do to facilitate the EU’s task in the country.
Haglund says he is of the opinion that the crisis in Ukraine has added momentum to the NATO debate in Finland.
“It is a bit of a paradox that Russia’s actions have pushed Finland and Sweden closer to NATO membership than ever before. I doubt that was the Russian intention,” he said. In his speech, Haglund said he hopes that discussion regarding the defence policy of the country will continue until the next parliamentary election, as Finland needs to engage in a serious debate on the country’s defence and security solutions.
The Pentagon said today it has temporarily moved nearly 200 Marines to Sicily from their base in Spain as a precaution due to concerns about unrest in North Africa, bolstering the US ability to respond to any crisis. The Pentagon declined to single out any countries but two US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said American concerns were centered squarely on Libya, where armed groups and Islamists refused to disarm. That force is meant to speed US response times in north and west Africa.
Anti-China mobs torched up to 15 foreign-owned factories and trashed many more in southern Vietnam amid rising anger over China’s recent placement of an oil rig into part of the South China Sea claimed by Vietnam, officials and state media said on Wednesday. The unrest at industrial parks established to attract foreign investors was the most serious outbreak of public disorder in the tightly-controlled country in years.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday agreed to complete the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, saying it was beneficial for both countries. The government “is determined to remove obstacles” in the way of the pipeline, Sharif told Rouhani on his first visit to Tehran since being elected prime minister last May. Ties between Islamabad and Tehran had become strained in February following the announcement by the Sharif government that Pakistan was suspending work on a $7.5-billion pipeline for Iranian gas exports.
The covert system relies on a technique called pulse position modulation, which is actually much more simple than you’d expect. It involves dividing a second, minute, or other unit of time into discrete bands, each of which correspond to a different letter or symbol. This code would have to be shared with the intended recipient ahead of time, which is perhaps the most notable flaw with the whole scheme. Once that’s done, through, a series of pulses could be delivered like optical Morse code to convey a message.
It doesn’t pay to be number two in North Korea. In December, the young dictator Kim Jong-un executed his uncle, Jang Song-taek, supposedly Kim’s top advisor. Now Vice Marshal Choe Ryong-hae, who climbed atop Jang’s corpse, has been relieved of his important positions. At least Choe is still alive, apparently left about where he started, as a functionary running labor groups.Choe’s fall is particularly important, because though he was an aide to Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, he rose rapidly under the younger Kim.
The U.S. has established an operational plan to deploy 20 marine brigades to the Korean Peninsula in case of a North Korean invasion into the South, U.S. House Armed Services Chairman Howard McKeon. During a forum in Washington, McKeon said that U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos told him that most of the U.S. marines are to be dispatched to defend South Korea under the plan, according to Yonhap. Under the allies’ joint war plan, the U.S. is to send its 690,000 troops to the peninsula in case of an all-out war.
Trilateral cooperation between Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey in the defense sector was discussed within the Tbilisi summit, Georgian Security Council Secretary Irina Imerlishvili told journalists on May 7. “We have the military cooperation with Turkey, as well as with Azerbaijan, which are bilateral,” she noted. “The sides discussed possible transition to the trilateral cooperation format. The ministers cooperate very closely, but this cooperation is in bilateral format so far.”
Both sides will step up cooperation in the air and naval defenses, with a focus on the Baltic Sea region, the report said. Haglund was quoted as saying that joint Navy and Air Force units are a strong indication of the mutual trust between the two Nordic countries. The Swedish minister said it is not a defense alliance, but an important cooperation, aiming to achieve effective and closer dialogues when common challenges arise.
Philippine police seized a Chinese fishing boat in the disputed South China Sea on Wednesday, an official told Reuters, the latest flare-up of tensions in the oil and gas-rich waters that are claimed wholly or in part by six Asian nations. The boat has 11 crew and police found about 500 turtles in the vessel, some of which were already dead, he said, adding that a Philippine boat with crew was also seized, and found to have 40 turtles on board. Several species of sea turtles are protected under Philippine law.
The Spanish Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Transport and Housing, Rafael Catalá, said that, “Spain aims to become the major logistics platform for southern Europe and northern Africa, serving the global east-west trade routes, as well as the emerging north-south.” To achieve this goal, which is part of the Logistics Strategy, Spain can offer “its geostrategic position and its credentials in infrastructure and transportation systems,” stressed Catalá.
NATO Deputy Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia region James Appathurai said in Tbilisi today that he believed the Alliance would discuss whether NATO allies should deploy “defensive assets” in Georgia. Appathurai announced this in response to the Georgian Defence Minister Irakli Alasania’s suggestion to put “air defense and anti-armour capabilities in Georgia,” which he made in Washington at the Atlantic Council’s conference “Toward a Europe Whole and Free”.
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) interior ministers endorsed a recommendation to set up a Gulf police (GCCPOL).
The ministers also agreed at their meeting in Kuwait, the chair of the current GCC session, to set up a permanent GCC bureau at the United Nations in the Austrian capital Vienna led by Oman, Bahraini and Kuwaiti media reported. “Providing security and preserving the stability of nations is primarily the responsibility of security people,” Shaikh Mohammad Al Khalid, the Kuwaiti interior minister, was quoted as saying at the meeting.
Swedish government took the decision at its meeting on Wednesday.This state of SvD military and civilian sources familiar with the matter. The government’s decision, which has not yet been dispatched formally, means in practice ahead for NATO three. Armed Forces instructed to allow passages every other day during the period May 8 to 31 NATO planes will then fly between Norway and Poland through Swedish airspace.
Russia’s newly acquired Zalyv Shipyard in Crimea’s Kerch port is large enough to accommodate the size of slabs needed to construct the massive vessels, which can exceed 150 000 tons. Crimea’s overall participation in modernizing the Russian Black Sea Fleet was announced Tuesday, reports portnews.ru, by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. Sevastopol is, geographically, a strategically important area for Russia as well as being their only warm water naval base.
The new Russian unmanned ground mobile security robot Taifun-M, designed to provide security at strategic missile facilities, has been shown on the Russian Vesti news program.The combat robots, which have no foreign analogue, will be used to secure RS-24 Yars and SS-27 Topol-M missile sites and can be operated remotely by a secure wireless connection and in the future with an autonomous artificial intelligence system, the program reported Monday.
The U.S. military will have greater access to bases across the Philippines under a new 10-year agreement set to be signed Monday in conjunction with President Barack Obama’s visit and seen as an effort by Washington to counter Chinese aggression in the region. Medeiros declined to say which specific areas in the Philippines are being considered under the agreement, but said the long-shuttered U.S. facility at Subic Bay could be one of the locations.
“Recent media speculation has questioned the cancellation of humanitarian assistance projects in Crimea,” according to a statement released Thursday by European Command. “The school and hospital renovation projects in question were part of EUCOM’s HA program and would have been solely for the benefit of the local school children and community. Rumors that these projects were an attempt to establish a U.S. military base in the region are patently false.”
Russia has acknowledged an Egyptian request to procure a squadron of MiG-35 advanced fighter aircraft, to include up to 24 fighter jets at a cost of US$3 billion. The fulfilment of this package could be delayed though, as this specific type of aircraft hasn’t reached a production stage. The manufacturer, Russian Aircraft Corporation (UAC) through its subsidiary Russian Aircraft Corp (RAC) has failed to gain international orders for the aircraft and is currently awaiting an initial order from the Russian Air Force to kickstart production by 2016.
Putin has suggested creating a unified system of naval bases in Russia’s Arctic. Speaking at a meeting of the Security Council on Tuesday Putin underscored the need for enhancing the reliability of protection of Russia’s Arctic borders. This should be done in various ways, including the reinforcement of the border guard forces’ naval group. Alongside, steps must be taken to enhance military infrastructure.
It sounds like a good idea – develop an online system of publically reporting and disseminating problems or incidents stemming from the use of unmanned aircraft in the public airspace. In practice you’d have to wonder if such a system would get used much because it seems like the system has just a few caveats. Specifically the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice is looking for proposals to develop, host, and maintain a web-based, online flight data and incident reporting system.
Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced on Wednesday that the Navy will establish a naval zone east of the Caspian Sea. Iranian military officials have repeatedly announced that strong naval presence in the Caspian Sea (the world’s largest lake and a resource-rich body of water) is as a way to safeguard national interests and marine resource there.The maritime and seabed boundaries of the Caspian Sea have yet to be demarcated among the five countries bordering the sea.
China is planning to increase its military capabilities in space in reaction to US and other world powers developing astronomical weapons. At the time, US Air Force space analyst Brian Weeden said: “If true, this would represent a significant development in China’s anti-satellite [ASAT] capabilities. “No other country has tested a direct ascent ASAT weapon system that has the potential to reach deep space satellites in medium earth orbit, highly elliptical orbit or geostationary orbit.”
NGI builds on the FBI’s legacy fingerprint database—which already contains well over 100 million individual records—and has been designed to include multiple forms of biometric data, including palm prints and iris scans in addition to fingerprints and face recognition data. NGI combines all these forms of data in each individual’s file, linking them to personal and biographic data like name, home address, ID number, immigration status, age, race, etc.
Israel’s army chief of staff General Benny Gantz said an Israeli military operation in Lebanon is not only a realistic scenario but a necessary one. Gantz told Israel’s Channel 2 that threats against Israel from Lebanon and Gaza are not a mere campaign of intimidation but a reality pointing out that Israel is considering an increase in the level of its preparedness to emergency level to answer these threats. Commenting on the Syrian civil war Gantz said that Israel must prepare for all variables that could change at any time.
With the war in Afghanistan ending, FBI officials have become more willing to discuss a little-known alliance between the bureau and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) that allowed agents to participate in hundreds of raids in Iraq and Afghanistan. The relationship benefited both sides. JSOC used the FBI’s expertise in exploiting digital media and other materials to locate insurgents and detect plots, including any against the United States.
Some 67,000 US military members are currently stationed on the European continent, mainly in Germany (40,000), Italy (11,000) and Britain (9,500). When the Soviet Union fell in late 1991, the total presence stood at 285,000. Chollet, testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, did not specify what such a re-examination could entail at a time when the Pentagon faces budget cuts and is seeking to redeploy part of its resources to the Asia Pacific region as part of a so-called pivot strategy.
Russia has intensified its espionage efforts in Sweden to include war preparations, Swedish security service Säpo warned on Monday. Unge said Russia’s intensified interest in Sweden was evidenced by simulated flight attacks on Swedish targets as well as attempts to recruit spies, increased signals intelligence, and the purchase of a significant number of maps. The simulated flight attacks were a particular point of concern for Säpo.
Speaking to the expanded collegium of FSB in Moscow on Monday, Vladimir Putin outlined the designated priorities for the future work. FSB is in charge of guarding Russia’s external borders, including the land-border to neighboring Norway and Finland in the northwest as well as coastline borders to the Arctic Ocean. “As a priority, we must continue the development of border infrastructure in the Arctic region, as well as on the southern strategic direction,” Vladimir Putin told the audience of FSB officers.
Far from being a thing of the past, it would appear that Pakistani links to Gulf security forces remain strong. Reports last week indicated that Bahrain employs 10,000 Pakistanis in its security forces, including 20% of its air force. Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif denied Pakistan was providing troops, but the article said Pakistan provided security personnel to help quell the 2011 sectarian protests. Not officially, mind you, because they had been recruited through two of Pakistan’s military welfare organisations.
Djibouti may be one of the smallest countries in Africa. But it’s about to become significantly more important, as US forces stationed there increase their operations, on their own and working with local governments. We are building an environment that won’t allow violent extremists to survive in East Africa. The Navy Riverines, American sailors who are part of the United States’ growing joint task force in the Horn of Africa, monitor vessels leaving Djibouti’s harbour for the potentially dangerous waters of the Gulf of Aden.
Saudi Arabia Clamps Down on Little Qatar (Or, How Not To Waste Billions Trying To Be Something You’re Not)
Papa Emir was in a delicate situation. He wanted to make his own mark on things, but could not go too far as to upset the Americans, who were key to him staying in power. In the 2000s, the Muslim Brotherhood was still relatively unknown outside the Arab world and, while not ideal to support, also not a redline that would trigger a U.S. response.
He also sought to turn Doha into a Middle Eastern Geneva.
The UK will expand its military presence in Bahrain with a $9.7m expansion of its maritime command in the capital, Manama, Gulf Daily News has reported. The expansion includes a new, larger headquarters and facilities to provide engineering and logistics support for the four Royal Navy mine countermeasure vessels based in the kingdom. The Middle East has the UK’s second largest Royal Navy presence, with 10 of its 32 warships and support vessels in the region.
A member of the defence team representing the 529 defendants handed a mass death penalty on Monday has said that his team will appeal the verdict, the largest of its kind in the history of Egypt’s criminal courts. Ahmed Shabib, a Muslim Brotherhood lawyer, said on Monday that defence lawyers would bring the appeal after receiving the reasoning behind the court’s ruling. Shabib added that he and his fellow lawyers would request a retrial for the defendants sentenced in absentia.
The U.S. military is always busy planning for war pretty much everywhere, but some places are tougher nuts to crack than others. That’s why the U.S. Special Operations Command is seeking “Geospatial Data on Countries of Interest for Which There is a Critical Need But Non-Existent Data.” Just who might those countries be? According to a USSCOM announcement posted Monday, the “initial dataset” consists of “Jordan, Djibouti, Burma, Honduras, Iran, Morocco, Nigeria, Trinidad & Tobago, Burkina Faso, S. Sudan, N. Korea, and China (Guangdong).”
Japan will announce Monday that it will turn over to Washington more than 700 pounds of weapons-grade plutonium and a large quantity of highly enriched uranium, a decades-old research stockpile that is large enough to build dozens of nuclear weapons, according to U.S. and Japanese officials. The announcement is the biggest single success in President Barack Obama’s five-year-long push to secure the world’s most dangerous materials, and will come as world leaders gather here Monday for a nuclear security summit.
For days the Ukrainian commander, holed up with 500 men in a small corner of the vast Belbek air base in southern Crimea, had predicted that the Russians were coming. He was right. On a ridge line above their compound we could see Russian snipers and spotters, Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and infantry gathering. A one-hour deadline to leave passed and the Ukrainian soldiers prepared themselves for an assault – not from the Russians but from the pro-Russia militia who have forced their way into camps across the peninsula for the last week.